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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

U.S. coup in Venezuela is pure hypocrisy

Ilhan Omar (D-MN) speaks out against the Venezuelan coup, she is immediately smeared as a Russian.

According to the corporate controlled media in the US, Russia interfered in our last national election.  I don't believe it but how in the hell can the media complain about that alleged incident and then turn around and support a US coup d'etat in Venezuela?

Mainstream media and the Democrats hate everything Trump does and says - but then when he pushes a coup d'etat in Venezuela they clam up. 

It is nothing but hypocrisy - pure and simple.

Please read this very important article entitled Venezuela’s US-Backed Coup Leader Immediately Targets State Oil Company and Requests IMF Money at Consortium News.  This media organization is one of my favorite news sites.

To see the majority of Democrats slavishly falling in line on this coup just makes the case - both major political parties in the US are corporate agents - bought and sold by Mr. Big.  It's that corporate campaign cash that buys subservience in Washington. 

As Jimmy Dore says in this video - we need a revolution here.  Yeah, the sooner the better.


Words of wisdom....


“Every time the US ‘saves’ a country, it turns it into an insane asylum or a cemetery."

Friday, January 25, 2019

No U.S. intervention in Venezuela!!

Medea Benjamin (CODEPINK) with a sign reading 'Don’t support a coup in Venezuela' interrupted an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting attended by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington DC on Thursday.

Many of those in attendance applauded the woman dressed in pink while Pompeo gave a wry smile.

Security eventually removed the woman from the meeting room as she shouted: 'Coups only create more violence.'

Push back against Trump's 'offensive' space proposal

Members of the UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament hold signs at their recent annual conference

Trump boasts that his latest proposal to station orbiting battle stations in space would enable the Space Command to pick-off any nuclear missile attack against the US.  

The new Trump space proposal is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning sold to the public as ‘missile defense’.  The system is not actually designed to protect the U.S. from every nuclear missile launched at us—that would be a mathematical impossibility. This Star Wars system would only work as the ‘shield’ to be used to pick off Russian or Chinese retaliatory responses after a U.S. first-strike sword is thrust.

We know this because the Space Command has been computer war gaming such a scenario for years—they call it the ‘Red team’ versus the ‘Blue team.

These words below give an indication that so-called 'missile defense' is in fact about developing a budget line that would enable the research, development, testing and deployment of offensive space systems.  See for yourself and you decide what the agenda really is:

We are not interested in keeping pace with the emerging threats. We want to outpace them. This requires not just defensive weapons, but a host of enabling technologies that will allow us to integrate the missile defense mission across our department." - Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, 01/17/2019

The kicker is that the costs would be colossal—what the aerospace industry has long said would be the largest industrial project in human history. The only way the U.S. can pay for it is by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and by twisting the arms of NATO members to pony up more money.  We've repeatedly heard the calls in Congress for cutting 'the entitlement programs' and we've seen Trump going to Europe demanding that NATO member states pay more to the 'alliance'.

All of this of course punches huge holes in any hopes of negotiating the PAROS (Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space) Treaty at the United Nations.  For many years Russia, China and Canada have led efforts at the U.N. to bring forth such a new treaty - to close the door to the barn before the horse gets out.  But the US (through successive Republican and Democrat administrations) has blocked the development of such a treaty despite massive global support for a ban on a new arms race in space.

One must wonder what the Democrats (now in control of the House of Representatives) will do when Trump requests funding for these dangerous and destabilizing space warfare programs.  We all recognize the power of the aerospace industry in Congress. Most of the members of Congress from both parties get campaign donations from the space weapons corporations. 

It is high time for the American people to realize that this program, that I've long called Pyramids to the Heavens (see art below from Florida friend Will Park), can only be funded if all programs of social progress are defunded and the $$$$ gets moved into Pentagon coffers.

New York-based journalism professor Karl Grossman has been writing about the Star Wars program for many years.  See his latest article on Trump's proposal here.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Truth be told.....

Sign petition to oppose U.S. led coup in Venezuela

Yesterday US President Donald Trump took the extraordinary and illegal action to recognize the president of Venezuela’s legislature as the “interim president” of the country.

Sign the petition here to tell your elected officials NO US-ENGINEERED COUP In Venezuela!

It is clear that the US government and corporate media believe they have entered the final offensive to replace the elected Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro with one that will be subservient to US interests.

Tell your elected officials that you oppose foreign intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs. This action is counter to both the United Nations and Organization of American States Charters and thus illegal under international law.  

We know that President Trump met with Venezuelan coup plotters in 2017 and the Venezuelan opposition speaks openly of its coordination with the United States government. Officials in the U.S. and internationally have repeatedly called for the Venezuelan military and business people to take power, denouncing and refusing to recognize legitimate elections, and even having the audacity to "recognize" a "new president" in Venezuela who was not elected and who has no legitimate claim to office. Recent events have included the first ever attempted coup-by-drone, in August 2018; and the January 22nd coup attempt by 27 National Guard troops led by a sergeant. One might infer a sense of desperation among the enemies of the Bolivarian government.  
US National Security Advisor John Bolton called Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua a "Troika of Tyranny", but the real triple threat faced by Latin America is the alliance of ultra-right administrations from the United States, Colombia, and Brazil of Donald Trump, Iván Duque, and Jair Bolsonaro, respectively. These Oligarchs of Overthrow have Venezuela in their sites, and military intervention is clearly an option on the table where they are seated.
By James Jordan from the Alliance for Global Justice

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Global Network Membership Form 2019

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Vietnam Veteran: Americans Can't Handle the Truth

Mike Hastie’s father was a U.S. Army career officer. He moved from military base to military base as a child. When the Vietnam War escalated, Mike joined the army in 1969 and then deployed to Vietnam in 1970. Immediately upon arrival he witnessed suicides, homicides, and drug abuse. Mike also encountered a powerful resistance to the war: artwork against President Nixon, soldiers refusing to deploy and applying for conscientious objector status, and even mutiny.

Beginning in the 1980s, Mike has been speaking out against the American Empire. Since his deployment to Vietnam, he has witnessed the patterns of imperialism over his life span: Vietnam, Guatemala, Panama, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq again, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and so much more.

One pattern he has noticed here at home is how Americans refuse to hear his stories. Mike often exposes the American Empire for the crimes it commits on a daily basis, but people just don’t want face the truth about empire. He says in order to accept his experiences as a U.S. Army soldier, Americans would have to change their core belief system. Americans often believe the United States is a force for good in the world, spreading freedom and democracy. But according to Mike, and many veterans like myself, we know this mythology of the American Empire is a flat out lie sold to the American public.

Mike and I spoke about his experiences in Vietnam and since then becoming an anti-war activist, or should I say an anti-empire whistleblower. From his generation of veterans to my generation of veterans there exists major differences but one familiar pattern reoccurs, the American Empire conducts itself has a force of evil around the world. The United States creates instability and insecurity everywhere it travels. The troops don’t serve the people of the United States, but the ruling class. And the American public is sold one myth after another to keep the empire rolling along.

Short excerpt from the interview with Will Griffin.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Defending sacred lands in Canada

Some of you may be thinking we've lost. That we've made an agreement with industry. That we are bending, conceding, giving up. This is not true. We will never give up. There will be no pipelines on our Yin'tah. The Unist'ot'en have never been defeated. We will win this fight, and we will do it with integrity and honour, as we have always done.

Our hereditary chiefs witnessed the brutality of the RCMP at 44. The militarized police force. The snipers and automatic weapons. Canada came to our territories poised for battle. They came to invade us for industry.

Unist'ot'en yin'tah is a place of healing. It is home to Wet'suwet'en people seeking refuge from colonial trauma. People recovering from addiction. People reconnecting with the land. Our chiefs love our people and want them to thrive. We would not send our ill and healing people to war. We would not tell our people to fight on a day of mourning.

CGL and RCMP have twisted our words and misrepresented our intentions. They raided our land one day and showed up offering protection the next. We do not trust them. They are liars, and bullies, and colonizers, and thieves. But we are not like them. We know what we are doing is right.

We follow our laws and protocols. We respect each other. We are up against a heartless company and a faceless state. CGL dismantled the gate on a funeral day. RCMP blocked the road so we could not attend the funeral or feast. We gathered together, held each other up. This is what we do in the face of violence and oppression. We remember our teachings. This is why we are still here, still strong, still fighting. We learn from the land how to be resilient, how to grow. We turn to our story as Wet'suwet'en people, we turn to our culture and our laws. We know that is where our power lies.

We don't need their guns or their money. We have the land and the water and the animals and all our relations. We don't need their court orders and police enforcement. We have our Indigenous neighbours and relatives standing beside us. We don't need their threats and intimidation. We have the strength of our ancestors within us. We don't need their force and their violence. We have governed ourselves sustainably since time immemorial. We are still here. We are still fighting. This is not over.

We trust our hereditary chiefs. We trust our elders. We listen to them. We trust our systems of governance, which have lasted thousands of years and will last for thousands more. We respect the land.


Monday, January 21, 2019

Snow, 'good vs evil' and MLK

  • The snow storm was not as bad as had been expected - the 18 inches along the Midcoast of Maine turned out to be more like 5-8 inches.  I got out and did my cleaning up of various places around the apartment.  MB took a photo of me from our upstairs window. It was very cold and the snow turned to an icy sleet early on. So the ground will be a slick mess.

  • At 4:30 pm I put on all my cold weather gear and walked about a mile to friend Regis Tremblay's home.  It took me 30 minutes to make the walk which I was fortunately able to do because the city had run a plow that cleared most of the sidewalks along the way.  But under that new snow was still a sheet of ice so I had to watch my step.  

  • Regis and I spent alot of time talking about 'good and evil' in our world.  It's a classic struggle and we both know that there is little more important to do in life than to step up to the plate and take a stand on this one.  The global ruling elites are re-introducing feudalism and want to turn our current credit card debt culture into full blown slavery.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. called upon us to be engaged in this epic fight by defending justice, peace and promoting love.  King was certainly killed because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and his efforts to unite the civil rights movement and the peace movement. It was rumored that before he was killed King was talking to Dr. Benjamin Spock (a leader of the peace movement) about running for president with the famous baby doctor as his running mate.  Neither of the two corporate political parties would have liked that one bit.

In his famous Riverside Church speech in New York City in 1967, King called the US government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today", as well as the leading exponent of "the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long". He emphasized that his condemnations extended far beyond the conflict in Southeast Asia: "the war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit." He insisted that no significant social problem could be resolved while the US remains "a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift" - a recipe, he said, for certain "spiritual death". For that reason, he argued, "it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war."


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sunday song