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, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

No Syria war protest in Bath

About 30 of us gathered in Bath yesterday for what was initially intended to be a celebration and reunion of our key folks who worked on the recent GD corporate welfare bill in Augusta - LD 1781.

But with the US blitzkrieg on Syria the night before we added a solemn 45-minute march thru the heart of Bath's downtown area and over to the Bath Iron Works shipyard where Navy destroyers are built.  We were generally pleased with the reception we got as we walked.  People silently moan about another US war but most feel powerless to do anything.  Seeing us out on the street encourages others to express their own feelings - no one likes to feel politically isolated.

Before everyone had arrived I was on the computer listening to a Pentagon statement about the attack.  The general doing the briefing reported that all US-British-French weapons hit their targets.

A Russian briefing stated that a total of 71 missiles out of 103 launched by the US-led 'coalition of the killing' were intercepted by Syria's air defenses while approaching their targets.

Following the massive US strike on Syrian targets, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Washington was "locked and loaded" to conduct new strikes against the war-torn Middle East country.

Haley said on Sunday to Fox News that the United States was not going to pull its troops out of Syria until its goals in the country were accomplished. She said that Washington's main goal is "to see American troops come home," but it is not going to leave "until we know we have accomplished those things."

My interpretation of Haley's comments:  the US is not leaving Syria until we are confident we've turned the country into a chaotic and failed state like has been done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Somalia.

While listening to the Pentagon briefing on this 2018 rendition of 'shock and awe' I learned that four of the Navy ships that fired cruise missiles into Syria were the USS Monterrey, USS Laboon, USS Higgins and USS Cook - all built at the Bath Iron Works shipyard.  This fact gives many of us in Maine a clear understanding that we have a special responsibility to protest against the building of these deadly warships at BIW and to call for the conversion of the shipyard.

Following our march thru Bath we returned to the Addams-Melman House for our long-planned pot luck lunch (and it was a good one).  John Morris graced us with a new song he had written the night before for the occasion (see it on my Sunday song just below).

One big surprise was when Orlando Delogu (retired USM professor of law and expert on state tax policy) walked into the house.  Orlando was a key adviser and active helper in our recent campaign to defeat the corporate give-a-way to General Dynamics.

We all know that America is addicted to war and violence.  Particularly our economy has become addicted to perpetual war in order to fuel the voracious appetite of the weapons industry. reports:

Raytheon stock surged Friday morning, after 59 of the company’s Tomahawk missiles were used to strike Syria in Donald Trump’s first major military operation as President.

The Tomahawk missile used in the strike is made by Raytheon (rtn, +0.49%), whose stock opened 2.5% higher Friday, adding more than $1 billion to the defense contractor’s market capitalization.

The shares of other missile and weapons manufacturers, including Boeing (ba, -2.45%), Lockheed Martin (lmt, -0.08%), Northrop Grumman (noc, -0.40%) and General Dynamics (gd, +0.08%), each rose as much as 1%, collectively gaining nearly $5 billion in market value as soon as they began trading, even as the broader market fell.

So this is the deep sickness that now inhabits the soul of the American nation.  We've become killers for hire - a taxpayer funded war machine which serves at the behest of the corporate criminal syndicate that rules the United States and much of the world.  This is the reason why Washington is so hated around the world.

But Mr. Big wants it all - including Syria, Iran, Russia and China.  Those nations remain committed to resisting Washington's plan for regime change and domination.

What each of us does in the coming days will help determine the outcome of this timeless struggle to make the world a slave to the greedy and those who hunger for power.


Photos by Regis Tremblay (click on a photo for a better view)


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