Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Terror in Britain: What did the Prime Minister Know?

US and the UK launched their version of ''shock and awe' on Libya in 2011. They turned a once prosperous and stable African nation into another failed state adding to Washington and London's long list of regime changes.  Since that time refugees have flooded from the region to Europe and a civil war still rages in Libya.

By John Pilger

The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this: The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy.

Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review.”

The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years. The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organization, which seeks a “hardline Islamic state” in Libya and “is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida.”

The “smoking gun” is that when Prime Minister Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, then to join al-Qaida affiliated groups in Syria.

Last year, the FBI reportedly placed Abedi on a “terrorist watch list” and warned MI5 that his group was looking for a “political target” in Britain. Why wasn’t he apprehended and the network around him prevented from planning and executing the atrocity on May 22?

These questions arise because of an FBI leak that demolished the “lone wolf” spin in the wake of the May 22 attack – thus, the panicky, uncharacteristic outrage directed at Washington from London and Donald Trump’s apology.

The Manchester atrocity lifts the rock of British foreign policy to reveal its Faustian alliance with extreme Islam, especially the sect known as Wahhabism or Salafism, whose principal custodian and banker is the oil kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Britain’s biggest weapons customer.

This imperial marriage reaches back to the Second World War and the early days of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The aim of British policy was to stop pan-Arabism: Arab states developing a modern secularism, asserting their independence from the imperial West and controlling their resources. The creation of a rapacious Israel was meant to expedite this. Pan-Arabism has since been crushed; the goal now is division and conquest.

The ‘Manchester Boys’                                                  

In 2011, according to Middle East Eye, the LIFG in Manchester were known as the “Manchester boys.” Implacably opposed to Muammar Gaddafi, they were considered high risk and a number were under Home Office control orders – house arrest – when anti-Gaddafi demonstrations broke out in Libya, a country forged from myriad tribal enmities.

Suddenly the control orders were lifted. “I was allowed to go, no questions asked,” said one LIFG member. MI5 returned their passports and counter-terrorism police at Heathrow airport were told to let them board their flights.

The overthrow of Gaddafi, who controlled Africa’s largest oil reserves, had been long been planned in Washington and London. According to French intelligence, the LIFG made several assassination attempts on Gaddafi in the 1990s – bankrolled by British intelligence. In March 2011, France, Britain and the U.S. seized the opportunity of a “humanitarian intervention” and attacked Libya. They were joined by NATO under cover of a United Nations resolution to “protect civilians.”

Last September, a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee inquiry concluded that then Prime Minister David Cameron had taken the country to war against Gaddafi on a series of “erroneous assumptions” and that the attack “had led to the rise of Islamic State in North Africa.” The Commons committee quoted what it called President Barack Obama’s “pithy” description of Cameron’s role in Libya as a “shit show.”

In fact, Obama was a leading actor in the “shit show,” urged on by his warmongering Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and a media accusing Gaddafi of planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew … that if we waited one more day,” said Obama, “Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

The massacre story was fabricated by Salafist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda.” The Commons committee reported, “The proposition that Mu’ammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

Destroying Libya

Britain, France and the United States effectively destroyed Libya as a modern state. According to its own records, NATO launched 9,700 “strike sorties” of which more than a third hit civilian targets. They included fragmentation bombs and missiles with uranium warheads. The cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. Unicef, the U.N. children’s organization, reported a high proportion of the children killed “were under the age of ten.”

More than “giving rise” to Islamic State — ISIS had already taken root in the ruins of Iraq following the Tony Blair and George W. Bush invasion in 2003 — these ultimate medievalists now had all of north Africa as a base. The attack also triggered a stampede of refugees fleeing to Europe.

Cameron was celebrated in Tripoli as a “liberator,” or imagined he was. The crowds cheering him included those secretly supplied and trained by Britain’s SAS and inspired by Islamic State, such as the “Manchester boys”.

To the Americans and British, Gaddafi’s true crime was his iconoclastic independence and his plan to abandon the petrodollar, a pillar of American imperial power. He had audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would have happened, the very notion was intolerable to the U.S. as it prepared to “enter” Africa and bribe African governments with military “partnerships.”

After losing control of Tripoli, Gaddafi fled for his life. A Royal Air Force plane spotted his convoy, and in the rubble of Sirte, he was captured and sodomized with a knife by a fanatic described in the news as “a rebel.”

Having plundered Libya’s $30 billion arsenal, the “rebels” advanced south, terrorizing towns and villages. Crossing into sub-Saharan Mali, they destroyed that country’s fragile stability. The ever-eager French sent planes and troops to their former colony “to fight al-Qaida,” the menace they had helped create.

On Oct. 14, 2011, President Obama announced he was sending Special Forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, U.S. combat troops were sent to South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent was under way, largely unreported.

Selling Weapons 

In London, one of the world’s biggest arms fairs was staged by the British government. The buzz in the stands was the “demonstration effect in Libya.” The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a preview entitled “Middle East: A vast market for UK defence and security companies.” The host was the Royal Bank of Scotland, a major investor in cluster bombs, which were used extensively against civilian targets in Libya. The blurb for the bank’s arms party lauded the “unprecedented opportunities for UK defence and security companies.”

Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May was in Saudi Arabia, selling more of the £3 billion worth of British arms, which the Saudis have used against Yemen. Based in control rooms in Riyadh, British military advisers assist the Saudi bombing raids, which have killed more than 10,000 civilians. There are now clear signs of famine. A Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from preventable disease, says Unicef.

The Manchester atrocity on May 22 was the product of such unrelenting state violence in faraway places, much of it British sponsored. The lives and names of the victims are almost never known to us.

This truth struggles to be heard, just as it struggled to be heard when the London Underground was bombed on July 7, 2005. Occasionally, a member of the public would break the silence, such as the east Londoner who walked in front of a CNN camera crew and reporter in mid-platitude. “Iraq!” he said. “We invaded Iraq. What did we expect? Go on, say it.”

At a large media gathering I attended, many of the important guests uttered “Iraq” and “Blair” as a kind of catharsis for that which they dared not say professionally and publicly. Yet, before he invaded Iraq, Blair was warned by the Joint Intelligence Committee that “the threat from al-Qaida will increase at the onset of any military action against Iraq. … The worldwide threat from other Islamist terrorist groups and individuals will increase significantly”.

Just as Blair brought home to Britain the violence of his and George W Bush’s blood-soaked “shit show,” so David Cameron, supported by Theresa May, compounded his crime in Libya and its horrific aftermath, including those killed and maimed in Manchester Arena on May 22.

The spin is back, not surprisingly: Salman Abedi acted alone; he was a petty criminal, no more than that; the extensive network revealed last week by the American leak has vanished. But the questions have not.

Why was Abedi able to travel freely through Europe to Libya and back to Manchester only days before he committed his terrible crime? Was Theresa May told by MI5 that the FBI had tracked him as part of an Islamic cell planning to attack a “political target” in Britain?

In the current election campaign, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made a guarded reference to a “war on terror that has failed.” As he knows, it was never a war on terror but a war of conquest and subjugation. Palestine. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Syria. Iran is said to be next. Before there is another Manchester, who will have the courage to say that?

~ John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. Pilger’s Web site is: His new film, “The Coming War on China,” is available in the U.S. from

Photos from Two Days of Protest in Washington DC

Standing with Mike Tork from Cape Cod, Ma. who got arrested with us at Bath Iron Works in Maine last April 1 during 'christening' of another Aegis destroyer.

I spent a night in DeWitt town jail with Chuck Heyn a couple of years ago after we were arrested at the Hancock Air Field drone base just outside of Syracuse, NY.  Chuck came to our recent Global Network space conference in Huntsville, Alabama. 

Vietnam veteran Bill Perry showed us the names of six of his unit mates on the Vietnam Wall who were killed when their chopper was shot down.  Bill was supposed to be on that chopper but was goofing off and missed the flight and had to take another helicopter and just missed the terrible moment.

During the rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial I held this flag - many tourists stopped by and listened or took photos of the event.

Peggy Akers from Maine was a nurse in Vietnam during the war.  She has been an active VFP member for many years.

Art Laffin lives at the Catholic Worker House in Washington.  Every week since 1987 his community has held vigils at the Pentagon and the White House.  Art joined us for the march to the White House.

Great banner that says it all. 

The Fugs did a return engagement and performed their legendary song (first sang at the Pentagon in 1967) when they tried to levitate the war building.  This time they chased the demons from the White House before we marched to that site from the Lincoln Memorial.  People loved it.  Listen to the song here.

One final photo of rally participants at the Lincoln Memorial before taking off for the White House.

Lots of car and foot traffic saw us as we marched to the White House.  The white VFP flags are so visible.

VFP national board member Tarak Kauff was the lead organizer for the rally and march.  Tarak came to Maine last year and was arrested with us at Bath Iron Works during our Zumwalt 12 action at the shipyard.

I spoke outside the White House telling the story of the Obama-Hillary Clinton 'pivot' of 60% of Pentagon forces into the Asia-Pacific to provocatively encircle China and Russia.  I talked about how this massive military redeployment is severely impacting places like Jeju Island, South Korea and Okinawa as new US bases now being built destroy the environment and local fishing and farming cultures.

Final group photo at the White House.  It was a good two days of protest in Washington as huge crowds of holiday tourists thronged to the usual hot spots memorializing American  'freedom and democracy' - neither of which exist in the US any longer. 

Photos  by Ellen Davidson and on the photos for a better view....see more photos here

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

VFP Brings Letters to the Vietnam Wall

On Memorial day in Washington Veterans For Peace (VFP) placed letters written by people from around the country along the Vietnam War Memorial - many people picked them up and read them.

Then we went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and VFP members took turns reading the entire April 4, 1967, “Beyond Vietnam” speech by Dr. King at the Riverside Church in New York City where he came out against the Vietnam War.  It was this speech where King declared that America was the largest purveyor of violence on the planet.  Exactly one year to the day after delivering that speech King was killed by his own government who feared that the famed civil rights leader would bring that movement and the peace movement together.  That could not be allowed so he was assassinated.

The US government is now working overtime to 'rewrite' the history of the Vietnam War so that the public will 'finally get over it'.  VFP is committed to keep the truth about Vietnam alive.

U.S. Pushing Regime Change in Venezuela

The US (CIA, National Endowment for Democracy) are funding and directing many of those using violence in the streets of Venezuela just like Washington has previously done in Guatemala, Chile, Ukraine, Libya, and now in Syria as well as many other nations.

The US media does the demonization work on the easily manipulated minds of the American people.  When will our citizens ever learn not to believe the BS?

Pentagon Pulls a Fast One on South Korea

RT reports:

The newly-elected president of South Korea ordered a probe into why the country’s defense ministry failed to report to him the import of four more rocket launchers for the US anti-missile system in addition to the two confirmed publicly. 
“President Moon said it was very shocking,” to hear the four additional launchers had been installed without being reported to the new government or to the public, presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan told a media briefing on Tuesday.

The deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was approved by the previous conservative government in Seoul, which fell after then-President Park Geun-hye of the Saenuri Party was impeached under the corruption charges. Moon Jae-in, a Democrat, won the May 9 election and is in the process of power transition. A promise to review the controversial THAAD deal was part of his campaign.

Moon’s office announced a probe into an undisclosed entry of four THAAD launchers, which were brought into the country in addition to two units, the deployment of which was publicly announced.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Heading to Washington for Veterans Protest

Eric Herter picked me up at our house at 5:00 am this morning and we drove south to Portland, Maine to grab at 6:00 am bus to Boston.  After a two-hour wait we jumped on a train heading to Washington DC so we can attend the Monday and Tuesday protests by Veterans For Peace.

Three of us will be staying at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house in DC.

Veterans are gathering from around the country for the rally and march on Tuesday beginning at the Lincoln Memorial that will end at the White House with civil disobedience against America's cycle of non-stop wars and the mad waste of trillions of dollars on them.
I don't see much chance of any reforms happening in Washington now that the oligarchs control the government.  Our nation has become a 'failed state' in the sense that the Congress and White House only work on behalf of the rich and the corporate interests.

So what is left to the citizen to do about this sorry state of affairs?  All the doors to real change have been slammed shut in our faces.  For me the answer is obvious - we must organize and participate in non-violent resistance.

Thomas Jefferson famously said, "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations....Every generation needs a new revolution."

I am not inclined to sit back and wait for someone else to fix things.  That's not how my understanding of history works.  The idea of democracy is a participatory activity and if we are to have a nation run by the people then the people have to make it happen - especially as we face times like these where democracy has been drowned by Mr. Big and his $$$$$$.

I don't go to Washington thinking that 'one protest' will do magic and turn everything around.  Over the years I've been asked a zillion times, "What good did that protest do?"  That's not how it works - one protest is not meant to turn things around just like that.  It's a building process where the issues get illuminated, demands made, the public is made to confront the reality even if they don't want to acknowledge it, more people get inspired to act, consciousness and movement builds and spreads.

The Occupy Movement is one example of how one action spread around the country and around the globe.  The 1% and the 99% became household concepts and those themes made their way onto the nightly news and front pages of newspapers.

In a way you could say that protesting is a 'leap of faith' - the spark is not always lit at each protest but now and then the fire catches on.

I've come to the point that I don't really worry if protests I attend are 'worth it or not'.  I do them because I believe in the issues at hand and I feel compelled to act.  I have no choice - I must stand in non-violent resistance even if there are only a handful of us.  But I've been around long enough to have confidence that when we do act together ripples and waves are created that take our heartfelt demands further into the public consciousness then we could ever know or imagine.  I've learned to have faith that things will move in a good way if we stay loyal to our own beliefs in what we stand for.


Update:  It is 4:17 pm and our train has stopped in Wilmington, Delaware.  They just announced that somewhere ahead of us another train hit some truck on the tracks and there was an explosion.  So we are sitting and are not going to be arriving in DC on time.

Stop the Wars

The Single-Payer Mantra

Keep repeating it - we want single-payer - Medicare for all!

Sunday Song

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Manchester-Libya Connection in Five Minutes

By Pepe Escobar

Let’s focus on Ramadan, father of the Manchester “martyr” Salman Obeidi; now that’s a nasty piece of work.

He hails from the al-Obeidi tribe, from al Gubbah in eastern Libya. Under Gaddafi he was a Sgt. Major, very pious and Islamist-connected. He left Libya in 1991 and settled down in the Saudi Wahhabi paradise where – crucially – he trained mujahideen fighting in Afghanistan against the Najibullah government, after the Soviet retreat. 

In 1992 the mujahideen enter Kabul, as in bomb it to death, including the recently “normalized” Hekmatyar. Ramadan goes to London and then Manchester, joining the Libyan Islamist diaspora that coalesces around the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Ramadan connects with none other that Abu Anas Al-Libbi – who also lives in Manchester – and will become the brains behind the al-Qaeda attacks on Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

Ramadan also connects with the infamous Abdelhakim Belhaj – former mujahid in Afghanistan and VERY close to… Osama Bin Laden. Belhaj convinces Ramadan to go back to Libya.

After the Cameron/Sarkozy/NATO “liberation” of Libya, Ramadan joins the Al Umma party, whose leader is Sami al Saadi, one of the LIFG’s top commanders, and gets very close to the Grand Mufti Sadeq al-Ghariani, the spiritual guide of hardcore Islamist militias linked to Belhaj.

Three years ago Ramadan was part of the Islamist militia raid that re-conquered Tripoli’s airport; son Salman flew from Manchester for this one, was shot, and treated in Turkey.

Ramadan was also part of the Benghazi Defense Brigades; a mish mash of Islamists from Katiba 17 (financed by Qatar and instrumental in the Benghazi revolt against Gaddafi) and Ansar al Sharia. You all remember what happened on 9/11, 2012; it was Ansar al Sharia operatives who attacked the US consulate in Benghazi.

Arguably the key point in all this mess is that Ramadan profited from the MI5 rat line transporting Libyans back to the home country to fight Gaddafi. The minister in charge of authorizing this “policy”? Theresa May [currently running for Prime Minister as a Tory].

MI5 and the British government always knew, all along, what Ramadan was all about. He was certainly an asset; the Brits were heavily involved in eastern Libya from the start. He has not been arrested; he’s now under protection, Mafia-style. His “arrest” took place – how lovely! - just as a shadow flight carrying US Special Forces landed in Misrata.

The only missing link is why son Salman “betrayed” his al-Qaeda Dad by converting to Daesh.

This is just an ultra-concise summary of the whole stinking-to-high-heavens scam. But you get the drift.

~ Pepe Escobar is a Brazilian journalist. He writes a column – The Roving Eye – for Asia Times Online, and works as an analyst for RT, Sputnik News, and Press TV as well as formerly for Al Jazeera. Escobar has focused on Central Asia and the Middle East, and has covered Iran on a continuous basis since the late 1990s. Escobar has reported extensively from Afghanistan. 

"Spend $$ on Your Own People"

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma believes that improper distribution of funds and hyper inflated US military spending, not globalization or other countries “stealing” US jobs, is behind the economic decline in America.

The Deep State is the State

By Ron Jacobs

The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government.  It is the US state itself.  Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism.  It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies.  The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions.  Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance.   Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the “deep state” as we understand it, a broader understanding of the “deep state” places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date.  In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century.  However, the centralization of that power began in earnest in the years following World War Two.

For those who don’t know what the NSC-68 actually was, it is essentially a directive that militarized the conflict between US capitalism and Soviet communism.  It was based on the correct understanding that US capitalism required open access to the resources and markets of the entire planet and that the Soviet Union represented the greatest threat to that access.  Not only did this mean the US military would grow in size, it also ensured that the power of the intelligence sector would expand both in terms of its reach and its budget.  When one recalls that this period in US history was also a period when the FBI and the US Congress were going after leftists and progressives in the name of a certain right-wing ideological purity, the power of the US secret police becomes quite apparent.

As the 1950s turned into the 1960s, the so-called deep state’s power continued to grow.   Some of its better known manifestations include the failed attempt to invade revolutionary Cuba that became known as the Bay of Pigs, the use of psychoactive drugs on unsuspecting individuals as part of a mind control study, and numerous attempts to subvert governments considered anti-American.  Among the latter actions one can include covert operations against the Vietnamese independence forces and the murder of the Congolese president Patrice Lumumba.  In terms of the “deep state’s” domestic operations, this period saw the intensification of spying on and disrupting various groups involved in the civil rights and antiwar organizing.  Many elements of the domestic operation would become known as COINTELPRO and were directed by the FBI.

Although the agencies of the so-called deep state operate as part of the US state, this does not mean that those agencies are of one mind.  Indeed, like any power structure, there are various factions represented.  This means that there are disagreements over policies, priorities, direction, and personnel.  The only certainty is that all of its members agree on the need to maintain the supremacy of US capital in the world.  At times, the seemingly absolute power of the CIA and FBI have caused the US Executive Branch to try and set up other means and methods in order to circumvent that power.  Two examples of this that come quickly to mind are the establishment of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) by the Kennedy administration in 1961-1962 and the failed attempt (known as the Huston plan after its creator Tom Huston) by the Nixon White House to centralize the direction of all US government intelligence operations in the White House.

There is no soft coup taking place in DC.  The entire government has been owned by big business and the banking industry for more than a century, if not since its inception.  That ownership has been dominated by the military-industrial complex since about the same time as when the aforementioned agencies were created.  That is no coincidence.  However, their role in the current uproar over Russia and Michael Flynn is not because they are taking over the government.  It is because their current leadership represents the factions of the US establishment that were removed from power in November 2016.

Donald Trump is not against the so-called deep state. He is against it being used against himself and his cohorts. .  In the world of capitalist power, the factions Trump represents are not the same factions represented by the presidents former FBI director Comey served—the factions represented by Bush and Obama.   He understands that if he can install individuals in key positions at the FBI, CIA, DHS and other security and military agencies, he and his allies will be more than happy to use the power of these agencies against their opponents.  Indeed, he would most likely greatly enhance those agencies’ power, making a further mockery of the US Constitution.  If Trump is able to get the agencies of the deep state to work for the factions he represents—either by replacing those loyal to others not named Trump or by cajoling and coercing them to change their loyalty—he will think the deep state is a great thing.  In this way he is no different than every other US president.  He understands that whoever controls the deep state controls the US.  The struggle we are witnessing between the FBI and the Trump White House is part of a power struggle between US power elites.

When the ruling class is in crisis, as it is now, the job of the left is not to choose one side or the other.  Nor is it to accept the narrative provided by one or other faction of the rulers, especially when that narrative supports the police state.  Instead, it is the Left’s job to go to the root of the crisis and organize resistance to the ruling class itself.
Join the debate on Facebook

~ Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: 

Friday, May 26, 2017

NATO is a Terrorist Organization

Going Underground talks to the award-winning author and filmmaker John Pilger about Manchester concert attack and NATO.

'American Society Disintegrating'

Footage of Alger Hiss being interviewed in 1970 intercut with older footage from the 1950s when he was accused of being a Communist spy. Hiss denied being either a spy or a Communist.

His first trial resulted in a hung jury and the government tried him a second time and got a guity verdict.  Although he had been sentenced to five years' imprisonment, Hiss served only three years and eight months in Lewisburg Federal Prison. He was released from prison on November 27, 1954.

While in prison, Hiss acted as a voluntary attorney, adviser, and tutor for many of his fellow inmates.

Hiss recalls from the early 1950s that "Anti-Communism was the Anti-Semitism of America" during the McCarthy witch hunts in Congress.

One could say that today we have recycled red-baiting in Washington as the deep state again uses fear of the 'Russian bear' as political distraction to keep the people's eyes off the real problem of endless war and severe austerity budgets as the public is now being brought onto the reservation.

The only real difference appears to be that during the 1950s the Republicans led the red-baiting campaign and now it is largely the 'liberal' Democrats demonizing Russia. Otherwise the script appears to be much the same.

The script was likely written on Madison Avenue by the expensive public relations firms.


Why are You Shooting at Kids?

The US taxpayers send billions each year to Israel to pay for their illegal and immoral grab of land and water resources from the Palestinian people.

This young woman showed great courage to stand with the people who are experiencing genocide in the 21st century.  Gladly more and more people are waking up to these crimes that are supported by the US government - which has essentially become an agent of Israel.


A National Shame - End the Wars for Fossil Fuels

Video and words below by Will Griffin

Someone messaged me on The Peace Report Facebook page and requested that I make a video about suicides in the military. He told me that his brother was in the Navy and took his own life. Afterwords, the Navy tried to cover up the suicide. I’m not sure of the details, but I felt compelled to make a video about suicides.

After digging for weeks through all the reports and data collected over the past several years, I thought it would be best to make a two-part series. This first part will explain the numbers and rates on suicides of military members, veterans, and civilians. The second part will focus on what the military is doing in response to these numbers, which is quite frankly horrific, shocking, and sad. I hope for the second part to be finished in a week or so.

The data is a load of information, so I narrowed it down to what I thought was the most significant.

~ Will Griffin is an Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran, a member of Veterans For Peace, and lives in Georgia.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Solidarity with Palestine

Israel, and their agents around the world, are trying to make the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement 'illegal' around the world.  Good luck - you can't lock us all up.

Keep resisting Israeli apartheid!

Solidarity forever with the tortured Palestinian people!

No more genocide in Palestine!

Over 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails are now on their 39th day of hunger strike.
Addameer reports that they're experiencing alarming deteriorating health conditions, including weight loss, weakness, difficulty speaking, standing & walking, high-blood pressure, kidney & chest pain, and vomiting of blood. Some have lost consciousness and have been transported to hospitals for immediate care.
Since the Israeli occupation began in 1967, Israeli forces have arrested more than 800,000 Palestinians, almost 20% of the total Palestinian population in the occupied territories.
More than one in three Palestinian men have been imprisoned by Israel. They are sentenced by a court system run by the Israeli military, and 99.74% of the cases heard there end in conviction. 
Some Palestinians are held indefinitely without charges or trial. Palestinians have even been jailed for posting about their own oppression on Facebook.

The hunger strikers have a range of basic demands, but Israel still refuses to negotiate with them and has inflicted various forms of punishment on those participating, including:
  • Subjecting them to dehumanizing strip searches
  • Confiscating salt supplements and forcing them to drink unsanitary tap water
  • Placing them in solitary confinement
  • Providing insufficient medical examinations
  • Forcing them to stand to be counted or face severe fines
  • Transferring them from prison to prison
  • Confiscating their personal items
  • Banning them from shaving their beards, cutting their nails, and washing their clothes
While American media is quick to report violence coming from the Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation, they are astoundingly quiet when it comes to nonviolent resistance. The largest collective hunger strike in the world should be headline news.
These hunger strikers need us to act now to amplify their voices. Here are things you can do:
1) Call, write, and tweet your Congressional rep and ask them to: 
  • Pressure Israel to meet the prisoners' demands
  • Write a letter of support for the hunger strike 
2) Call the International Red Cross at 202-587-4600 and demand that it fulfill its obligation to examine the prisoners' cells
3) Call Amnesty International USA at 212-807-8400 and urge it to pressure Israel to meet the prisoners' demands
4) Post about the hunger strike on social media:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I'll Never Stop Digging

I had enough of all the mounting insanity and Washington bullshit this morning and couldn't stand another minute in front of the computer.  I went outside and began weeding the garden and before I knew it I'd spent more than three hours going thru every veggie and flower bed with a vengeance.

I transplanted a flowering bush that needed more light and room to spread its feeble branches.  I went to the hardware store and got some mulch to add to some bald spots near our doors.  I planted some more lettuce and peas in spots that were bare after previous plantings.

The work and the dirt were good for me.  I spend many hours each day reading some of the worst news out there always trying to better understand what the deep state is doing now and in the future.  I take seriously the fact that many others don't have the time or the stamina to do what I do.  I often hear from people how much they appreciate that I dig up information and post it on my blog and on Fazebook - otherwise they might not get to see it.

And normally I enjoy digging for information - it's a challenge and I am consumed by the desire to see the full picture - I have a super curious nature and a deep desire to not have the wool pulled over my eyes anymore.

Having grownup on Air Force bases and going to schools on those bases I was indoctrinated as a 'young patriot'.  It wasn't really until I joined the Air Force myself in 1971 that my eyes began to open and my heart quickly followed.

It was my first roommate and co-workers at Travis AFB, California that turned me toward the peace movement.  I became a voracious reader during the 3 1/2 years in the military and remain one now.  It was my reading of the Pentagon Papers (at my office desk at Wheeler AFB, Hawaii) which threw me over the edge and ended all my illusions about American democracy and exceptionalism. (My bosses weren't too pleased with me reading political books at my desk and kept a file on me detailing my many 'insubordinate' transgressions. A fellow GI found the file one day while going through the desk of our boss while he was out to lunch.)

One of my jobs at Wheeler was to service the administrative needs of Air Force officers assigned to US Embassies throughout the Pacific.  When I read their job descriptions they were all the same - they served as liaison between the host government and US weapons corporations.  They were serving as salesmen for the weapons corporations while on active duty.  The US taxpayers were paying for that and I was shocked.  I shouldn't have been.

During that time I made a pledge to myself that once I got out of the Air Farce (it felt like prison to me) I would never put myself in a position again where I was not a free man.  Finding a career (since 1978) as a full-time organizer was a gift and a blessing for which I am eternally grateful.

But now and then it all takes a heavy toll on me.  Yesterday I felt my insides churning as I read article after article about US deception around our expanding war in Syria.

So thanks for the garden to help me release this insanity - that and some music - gives me the peace of mind I need to keep digging.  I'll never stop.


Budgets are Moral Documents

A Catholic nun friend of mine said some years ago about the US, "We are a killer nation, we can kill them fast or we can kill them slow."

This budget represents perfectly those words.  We can kill people around the world fast with our obscene stock of deadly military machines and we can kill our own people slowly by calculated and cruel neglect as social programs are destroyed and life expectancy diminishes.

The soul of America is dark.


Deep State Turned Trump Back Toward Establishment Foreign Policy

President Donald Trump's first foreign visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel has focused on combating ISIS and extremism, which they claim is allegedly manufactured by Iran.

Former US diplomat Jim Jatras says "to talk in Saudi Arabia about cooperation against terrorism would be like going to Berlin in 1942 to talk about cooperation against genocide."

Jan Oberg in Sweden writes:

Donald Trump is the antithesis of leadership. Walking into the cauldron of the Middle East and denouncing Iran when it had just – almost at the same moment – re-elected as president a man who presided over the deal that de-fanged his country’s nuclear program and whose support is badly needed in fashioning an end to the Syrian war, stabilising Iraq and beheading ISIS was a show of how not to make friends and win people over. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

There Goes Crazy Maxine Again.....

Rep. Maxine Waters, Democrat from Los Angeles, has gone off the deep end again.  This time she is alleging that Putin gave Trump the talking points in his recent election campaign.

These desperate Democrats, looking for a distraction to justify their terrible job in the national election, are on a drunken binge trying to tie everything possible to Moscow.  If it wasn't so ridiculously serious it would almost be funny.

This is about the third time I've seen Rep. Waters make really crazy allegations against Russia - she appears to have signed on as the #1 attack dog for the Democrats.  She lives in a safe district that will likely reelect her again no matter how far off the deep end she plunges.

It's really quite sad to see the Democrats make such fools of themselves.  They've really got nothing else to gripe about since their party is in bed with the right-wing Republicans on military spending and endless war mongering, corporate welfare, defunding social progress, and doing little about the environmental crisis we face.

What is even more sad though is that legions of grassroots Dems across the nation are following these cues from 'leaders' like Rep. Waters and daily repeat these same nonsensical utterances.

I'm not a Trump defender but I do believe he is quite capable of having made up his campaign slogans like 'lock her up' and 'crooked Hillary' - just remember Trump for years participated in professional wrestling on TV.  He had lots of practice appealing to those who are, can we say, on the lower end of the IQ scale.

It just goes to show the true condition of 'democracy' in America - there is none.


Normalizing Perpetual War

Norman Solomon joins Paul Jay on The Real News discussing the Trump/Russia affair and plans to isolate and perhaps attack Iran.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Selling the Terrorist Alliance

Saudi Arabia has hired a high profile public relations firm to boost the image of the Islamic Military Alliance, a NATO-like organization founded in 2015 that consists of dozens of countries, African, Asian and Gulf states.

The trouble is that Saudi Arabia funds Sunni extremists worldwide! RT America’s Alexey Yaroshevsky has the details.

Trump in Riyadh: A Gulf NATO to Gang Up Against Iran & Syria

By Jan Oberg
TFF PressInfo

The role – again – of marketing companies in selling wars

Few wars have been so thoroughly media-managed and marketing-loaded as that on Syria. No wonder arms deals are too – otherwise citizens around the world would protest loudly that their tax money is spent on destruction and more destruction and all the promises of the past that this – or that – arms deal will increase security and peace in the world have turned out to be fake information – disinformation – and an integral part of what can only be termed “fearology” by governments against their own people.

One must therefore welcome Russia Today’s excellent research by Alexey Yaroshevsky also on this dimension.

This report is high-speed but listen carefully to it as it points out two US companies associated with this deal and US-Saudi relations with questionable image – a report that also highlight to some extent the roles of both Bill and Hillary Clinton in all this: the Qorvis MSLGroup and Burson-Marsteller.

In passing one cannot but deplore that it is Russia Today, not its Western peers, that does the research on the role of PR and marketing firms.

NATO in Gulf with Denmark as a liaison?

Back to NATO in Kuwait and what it may mean.

Here is what the United Arab Emirates’ daily The National reported on January 24, 2017. Interestingly, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE are members of ICI – the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative – while Saudi Arabia and Oman plan to join. This is exactly the coalition we have mentioned above.

Three days later the same sources quotes the Danish ambassador in the UAE:

    “NATO officials are expected to visit in coming months after the Danish embassy in Abu Dhabi becomes the country’s go-between with the bloc, said Merete Juhl, the Danish ambassador.

    “NATO and Europeans really need a reliable and capable partner in the Middle East, like the UAE, to better understand how to deal effectively with challenges internationally but also at home, with refugees and newcomers that represent a new security threat,” she said.

    “So these types of partnerships are something we are prioritising because it’s what we need in today’s world.”

So NATO member Denmark is appointed as the go-between – the UAE being the second largest military spender after Saudi Arabia. The article also explains how the UAE has contributed to NATO operations in Afghanistan and Libya.

In spring 2016, then US Secretary of State, John Kerry had talked about a much closer cooperation:

    “Ahead of last year’s Camp David summit, Gulf officials had hoped for a NATO-like binding security pact with Washington, but such an agreement was always highly unlikely. Now, the US is willing to discuss increasing cooperation between NATO and the GCC, though officials gave no further details on what was being considered.

    Mr Kerry said Washington had agreed with GCC foreign ministers to “begin the process of evaluating whether or not the concept of a GCC-Nato partnership in specific terms is something that would contribute significantly to the security and stability of the region”. [GCC = Gulf Cooperation Council].

It’s worth noting the term GCC-NATO partnership and what is then stated in the report:

    “Much of Mr Kerry’s meetings in Bahrain centred on Iran’s role in the region. Most GCC countries consider Tehran to be their gravest security threat, and are concerned about US intentions towards Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal and as Iran appears to be increasing its involvement in the Middle East.

    Despite the Obama administration’s hope that the nuclear deal will empower moderates within Iran, Tehran has provocatively carried out a number of ballistic missile launches and continued or increased its involvement in the wars in Syria and Yemen.

    Recent remarks by Mr Obama have only reinforced fears that the US intends to play a more neutral role in the region and do less to contain Iran. Gulf countries and Iran must “find an effective way to share the neighbourhood”, the US president said in a recent interview with The Atlantic magazine.”

One must assume that President Trump is eager, during his meetings with high-level people from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, to emphasize how much he loathes Iran and the nuclear deal.

US foreign policy aims, or so one must conclude, at deepening the Sunni-Shia divide – a divide that does have historic roots but has taken on a “hardness” since the catastrophic US post-occupation misadministration of Iraq that lead directly to the creation of ISIS.

Another dimension – a macro perspective

Of course there can be other interpretations of Saudi Arabia’s militarization than the one advanced here. But none of this could possibly lead to a new, wiser Western relationship to the Middle East than we’ve seen the last good 100 years. There is not a shred of evidence that the US has learned any lesson from those 100 years or, in particular, since 10/7 – the commencement of the war on Afghanistan and the wars that followed.

And for Syria and Iran, there can be nothing positive in any of the above – while there certainly is for both ISIS and Israel – the latter supporting terrorism in various ways and places and being allied with Sunni rather than Shia.

If you are in doubt, read the statement by a Israeli minister about the desirability to kill Bashar al-Assad and continue with the destruction of Iran. Since this minister has not been fired by Netanyahu it must be perceived as official Israeli policy.

So for genuine peace, the post-Obama rapproachment between the US and Saudi Arabia/Gulf States is a bad omen in that it still builds on divide-et-impera, confrontation and military dominance rather than diplomacy and mutually beneficial cooperation in the long term.

US/NATO and their allies in the region have learned no lessons from failed wars, destroyed countries and cultures, millions upon millions of dead and suffering people, the growth of terrorism thanks to Western policies and the now 16 year old War on Terror – and therefore there is nothing new, constructive or hope-inducing in any of this.

Future generations in the Middle East and in the West will pay a huge prize.

And even though much of what has been described above may seem to signal strength, every bit of it points in one direction: the dissolution of the US Empire and in its wake, the more slow disintegration of NATO and the EU.

The West works vertically on short-sighted and continued destruction and therefore employs military means above all others – permanent confrontation and exceptionalism.

The Rest works horizontally with constructive visions – such as the Silk Road and Silk Belt that sends much more attractive, inclusive signal also to the Middle East – with civilian means such as infrastructure, education, cultural exchange and mutual economic benefits.

In future history books, the Middle East could well turn out to have been a major crossroads in more than one sense of the emerging, much better, cooperative world order that will come when the last Empire has finished itself.

Until that happens: How many more tragedies and how much more human suffering shall the world witness and endure? 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This is Sick

CIA: International & Domestic Terrorism

I recently shared some passages from this book while I was about half-way through it. I've just finished reading it and want to share even more.  It's a very important book and while few will read the entire thing at least many of you can read some excerpts from it.

Douglas Valentine undertook a detailed study and analysis of the CIA's 'Phoenix' program of counterinsurgency in Vietnam.  He interviewed many of the key players who created and directed Phoenix.  Then Valentine took what he learned from the Vietnam program and shows how it has been refined and implemented in El Salvador, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and more recently in Ukraine.  He chillingly illustrates how the Department of Homeland Security (created in response to 9-11) is being constructed to serve as the domestic version of the Phoenix program.

The book is endorsed by highly respected figures like NSA whistleblower John Kiriakou, academic Peter Dale Scott who came up with the tag 'deep state' and the truth-telling Robert Parry at Consortium News (which happens to be one of my favorite sources for news and analysis).

If you want to see the big picture of US empire, understand how it works, understand who many of the insiders are (or have been), and get a glimpse into what is coming to America in the near future - then I highly recommend this book.  See more of Valentine's words just below.


  • The CIA influences politics in foreign nations in many ways.  CIA officers are constantly funneling money to all political parties, right and left, and establishing long-range agents to monitor and manipulate political developments.  That's standard operating procedure.
  • The history of the US intelligence operations in Ukraine is educational.  OSS officers [of the US] in WW II released Stepan Bandera from prison in 1944.  Bandera was a Nazi collaborator whose militia slaughtered Poles, Jews and communist workers on the eastern front.  The US recruited Bandera so he could fight the advancing Soviet Union [as it fought Hitler's Army]. Nothing has changed.  Just over ten years ago the CIA initiated its 'Orange Revolution' for the same purpose - to thwart the Russians.  It was one of the first color revolutions and it involved the same people the CIA employed in its [Kiev] coup in 2014.  
  • [T]he CIA has been operating with [fascist] Ukrainian exiles since the end of WW II, when they hired General Reinhard Gehlen.  Gehlen had been the chief anti-Soviet spy for the German Army.  US Army intelligence hired Gehlen in 1945, but as soon as the CIA was formed it grabbed him and put him in charge of Eastern Europe.  The CIA used this former Nazi to re-activate the spy networks he had in Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, all the Eastern European countries, and these old Nazi spies and saboteurs went to work for the CIA.
  • [CIA] created a new Digital Directorate so it can more perfectly control Internet information.... Just as the CIA is at the forefront of propaganda on the Internet, its science and technology division is at the forefront of shaping the industries that run the world.
  • Certainly people have to be reminded, and the young have to learn, that America's policy of war crimes for profit cannot exist without the complicity of the mainstream media, which shamelessly exploits our inclination to believe that our leaders behave morally.
  • America's ruling National Security Establishment has expanded covert paramilitary operations from 60 nations in 2008, to 120 in 2013.
  • In 1967... the CIA's Counterintelligence staff were creating the MHCHAOS program in Langley, Virginia, to spy on members of the anti-war movement, and turn as many of them as possible into double agents.... Chaos was super-secret because it was illegal for the CIA to engage in domestic operations.
  • [The US has] the World Bank and the IMF strangling countries with debt, like the banks are strangling college students and home owners here.  The War on Terror is the best thing that ever happened to US capitalists and their secret police force, the CIA.  Terrorism is the pretext that allows the CIA to coordinate and transcend every government agency and civic institution, including the media, to the extent that we don't even see its wars anymore.  Its control is so pervasive, so ubiquitous; the CIA has actually become the Phoenix.
  • Not coincidentally, the outlawing of narcotic drugs turned the issue of addiction from a matter of 'public health' into a pretext for expanding police forces and reorganizing the criminal justice and social welfare systems.
  • Heroin smuggled by 'CIA people' into the US was channeled by Mafia distributors primarily to African American communities.  Local narcotics agents then targeted disenfranchised blacks as an easy way of subduing or criminalizing them, reducing their community organizing and voting power, thereby preserving the white ruling class's privileges.

  • [T]he CIA for years had sanctioned the heroin traffic from the Golden Triangle region of Burma, Thailand and Laos into South Vietnam as a way of rewarding top officials for advancing US policies.
  • [D]ozens of narcotics prosecutions have been dismissed on national security grounds due to the participation of CIA assets operating in trafficking organizations around the world.
  • [In 1975] the [Congressional] Church Committee, as it was known, was investigating the CIA's many and varied illegal activities.  But rather than bring about the total destruction of the Agency, the Church Committee concluded that allegations of drug smuggling by CIA assets and proprietaries 'lacked substance'....The Rockefeller Commission likewise gave the CIA a clean bill of health.
  • People think this [CIA drug trade] is something that started in Central America during Iran-Contra, but it started in China when the US backed Chiang Kai-sek in the 1920s. The only way that Chiang Kai-shek could finance his government was through the opium trade....The US has been engaged in an unstated policy since the 1920s of supporting its political allies by allowing the leadership to make fortunes dealing drugs.... With the support and blessings of the CIA, several top generals in South Vietnam had franchises in the drug trade.
  • Corrupting the leadership of a country in order to keep it in your pocket is integral to maintaining an empire.  It is a well-established colonial policy.  The two main facets of Phoenix - controlling the 'upper tier' people in a foreign government by corrupting them, and terrorizing the lower tier into submission - come together in the mid-70s in Central America and explode with Iran-Contra in the 1980s.
  • The US has had an unstated policy of smuggling guns to militant factions in Mexico's Northern states that are continuously fighting against the central government.  It's one of the ways of keeping the central government weak, so that Mexico can never develop into a strong economic or political adversary.... Several presidents of Mexico have been agents of the CIA.... No one talks about it, but the CIA has an operations officer engaged in covet actions in every province and state in Mexico, including along the border.
  • These things were planned 70 years ago.  After WW II, the big brains in industry and government prepared to rule the world....The CIA and military hire the smartest anthropologists, sociologists and psychologists to figure out how to do this stuff.  They have it down to a science called the Human Factors.
  • We need to develop a collective historical consciousness to understand the predicament and to be able to do something about it, to stop being manipulated by the press on a daily basis.  The media have us trained like sex-texting teenagers to focus on things that have nothing to do with how our perceptions of events are being controlled.  It is important for people to take a broader view and to try to put these things in perspective, not only to understand what is happening now, but to see where things are going in the future and to plot a way to deal with it.
  • From the time [my book] The Phoenix Program was published in 1990, I'd witnessed a gradual escalation of belligerent nationalistic rhetoric, accompanied by an outpouring of revisionist Vietnam War history. The reactionary Reagan, Bush and Clinton regimes had waged a series of increasingly militant and covert action initiatives, from El Salvador to Iraq to Serbia, in a calculated and well-publicized attempt to purge the Vietnam Syndrome from the fragile American psyche.

  • In its 2000 policy paper 'Rebuilding America's defenses,' the neocon Project for a New American Century worried that the transformation of American armed forces through "new technologies and operational concepts" was likely to take too long, "absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."
  • Symbolically, 9/11 wiped the slate clean.  All the moral prohibitions on the rabid right were lifted, and all the rage they had cultivated during the degenerate Clinton regime was unleashed, under the aegis of counterterrorism, on nations sitting on vast oil reserves, as well as suspected terrorists, domestic dissidents, and the flag-waving American public as well.
  • The CIA does nothing unless it can be assured of plausible deniability, and the Homeland Security apparatus is an infinitely large space in which the CIA can hide operations aimed at manipulating society and managing the political control of the American people.
  • The psychological warfare campaign blossomed on 9/11; the warmongers saturated the airwaves and editorial columns with propaganda calling anti-war protesters "un-American" and equating them with terrorist sympathizers.  The propaganda has never stopped.  As it was during the Vietnam War, peace protesters and civil rights activists have become enemies of the state and, hence, targets of the Homeland Security infrastructure.

  • [T]he Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has fusion centers which operate in every state and major city, just like Phoenix intelligence and operations centers were set up in Vietnam.  Every law enforcement entity in a state or city sends a representative to the local fusion center, which tries to anticipate threats through analysis of shared intelligence....Along with the FBI's task forces, fusion centers serve as cover for domestic CIA operations. 
  • Ultimately, the DHS is about protecting the haves from the have-nots, just like Phoenix coordinators were protecting large land owners from Vietnamese revolutionaries fighting for agrarian reform.
  • Since the creation of the Homeland Security protection racket, over eight trillion taxpayer dollars has been moved from social programs into "internal security" programs that have provided the National Security Establishment with over 250,000 cadres to pacify the flag-waving American public.

  • For a glimpse into the future look at Israel, which has had a leading role in teaching Americans "how to do it".  There, administrative detention makes it okay to round up civilians, detain and torture them indefinitely, destroy their homes with bulldozers, cast them to the four winds, and steal everything they own simply because they are Palestinians.

  • Theoretically, only five percent of the population needs to be organized in this fashion in order to wield control over the indifferent 90% and defeat the five percent that form the resistance.
  • If America's policy of conducting war crimes is ever to end, people of conscience must expose the dark side of our national psyche, the part that allows us to employ terror to assure our world dominance.