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: Bath, Maine, 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.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Mixed news - mixed reviews

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wave to the crowd during a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on September 18, 2018.

  • Congratulations to leaders of North and South Korea for burying the hatchet and joining hands and hearts in their great effort to bring peace and reunification to the Korean peninsula.  They are making peace with or without the USA. It's about time people around the globe figured out they need to do it on their own. Washington is not interested in peace - weapons are America's #1 industrial export product.  When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line?  Next on the agenda is to close the many US military bases in Korea.  The US is not needed to protect anyone.  Actually we need to protect people and nations from the US.

  • President Trump has authorized new, classified orders for the Pentagon’s cyberwarriors to conduct offensive attacks against adversaries more freely and frequently, the White House said on Thursday. “Our hands are not as tied as they were in the Obama administration,” John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, told reporters in announcing a new cyberstrategy. Mr. Bolton rewrote a draft of the strategy after joining the administration in April. Many of his remarks on Thursday focused on a secret order — which Mr. Trump signed in August but which has never been publicly described — that appears to give far more latitude for the newly elevated United States Cyber Command to act with minimal consultation from a number of other government agencies.

  • According to data from the US Treasury Department, China made a massive sale of its US $7.7 billion worth of US Treasury bonds. Beijing has thus reduced its investment in US government debt to a six-month low of $1.171 trillion. Meanwhile, China remains the leader on the list of top US lenders. Japan is in second place, with $1.03 trillion. Ireland ranks third, with bonds worth $300 billion. Previously, Russia sold about 85% of the US Treasury securities it owned and increased its gold reserves to a record level. In April and May this year, Moscow reduced assets in US Treasury securities from $96 billion to $15 billion. The list of the 33 largest holders of public debt published by the US Treasury Department no longer includes Russia.

  • Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights. A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — will now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. 

  • Creating a Space Force as a separate military service, as proposed by President Donald Trump, would cost an estimated $12.9 billion in its first five years, according to a detailed Air Force plan for how to go about it. This is the first publicly available cost estimate. When the White House announced plans to establish a Space Force in August, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan declined to give a figure but said it would be in "the billions." Creation of Space Force as a separate military service will require congressional action. The administration is expected to submit proposed legislation early next year authorizing the establishment of a Space Force.

  • Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a new book "Accessory to War". Tyson, who is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, weighs in on the privatization of space exploration, Trump's 'Space Force' proposal and more. He writes, "I don't value judge it. It's hard to not value judge something like this, but I've worked hard to not value judge it. For me, compiling this book, looking at the role that science in general and astrophysics in particular has played in aiding the warfighter, I stepped aside and I said, 'I will not pass judgment on this.' On President Trump's call to create a Space Force Tyson says, "I don't have a horse in that race. I don't have a fundamental problem with it, and just because it came out of Trump's mouth doesn't make it crazy."


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