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. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, January 14, 2019

Once confused - now just outraged....

I was once one of those confused by the rhetoric coming out of Washington DC.  In 1968 I was Vice-President of the Okaloosa County, Florida Young Republican Club working on the Nixon for President campaign.

Then in January 1971 I tried to join the US Air Force like my step-dad and failed my induction physical because of an old high school football injury.  I had to get a waiver to get into the military when most guys my age were trying to get waivers to avoid the war in Vietnam.

Having grown up on military bases around the world I had swallowed the patriotic pills handed out in the military-run schools on the bases and all the other indoctrination that comes along with such a sheltered life.

It wasn't until I had my own experiences running up against the many glaring contradictions surrounding the Vietnam war that my eyes began to open to the lies and manipulations of our government and media that sold and perpetuated that war and all the rest of them since.

Lucky for me my first roommate in the barracks at Travis AFB in California (my first permanent base assignment after my training was over) was an organizer in the GI Resistance movement.  Meetings were often held in our room at night with me at first sitting in the corner and after a few months moving my chair into the circle.  See a great documentary on this GI anti-war movement here

Travis was an airlift base for the war - GI's would come to our base to fly to Vietnam.  When the planes returned they carried body bags of the dead soldiers and were lined up on the runway just across the street from my office.  Protests were frequently held outside the base on weekends and we'd talk about these events in the barracks, the chow hall and on the job.  My life was changed by these remarkable experiences - it is at Travis that I became a peacenik.

Some nights GI's who were Black Panthers from the big cities came to our room and talked about racism in the military and across the nation.  There was a race riot in the barracks courtyard one night and the black GI leaders came to our room before it began to give a warning to my roommate and me so we'd not get caught up in the melee.  Many black GI's on our base were unfairly treated and had been arrested and thrown into the brig.  The riot was in response to the racism inter-woven into the military.

All throughout my adult life I've been on the streets to protest one US war or 'military action' after the other.  Each time the media portrayed these events as great patriotic battles to liberate a certain people (Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Libya, Syria, Yemen and more) and bring them freedom and democracy.  Most of the public would fall for these moves on the Grand Chessboard but thanks to my awakening experiences during Vietnam I was able to cut through the bullshit and get to the core of the corporate manipulation.

Sadly, far too many American people still fall for the waving flag, the national anthem and the media lies that accompany the US military empire and endless war.

Since late 1971 I've been trying to do my own thinking in order to take back control of my heart and mind.  I am grateful to the legions of peace people who came before me and helped pull the cover off the deception coming from our war hungry nation.



Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you for your own tireless efforts to pull the cover off the deception that keeps the U.S. perpetually engaged in warmongering.

1/20/19, 6:55 AM  

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