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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Want to know more about Syria?

 

Biden begins Syria military build up. Region braces for "Assad Must Go" narrative.

Two guys I like to listen to for analysis on many different issues explain the Syrian situation.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Global Network: 29 years of peace in space activism

 

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (GN) was created in 1992 by the combined efforts of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice, Colorado Springs-based Citizens for Peace in Space and journalist Karl Grossman from New York. The group's offices were located in Florida until moved to Maine in 2003.

Below are a series of photos from many years of work on space issues. They are not in order by years due to the fact that moving photos around on this blog is a real challenge. (You can click on any photo for a better view.) Look for the links on each photo entry below for more details about that particular event.

Big thanks must go to GN board chair and webmaster Dave Webb (UK) who has put all of this information on the web site. 


One our most successful campaigns ever was our opposition to NASA's launch of the Cassini space mission that carried 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board.  We organized for three years prior to the launch and I traveled to Europe and across parts of the US to build opposition.  After it was successfully launched in 1997 it later swung back toward Earth for a 'gravity assist fly-by' in order to gain speed for its deep space journey. Groups all over the world helped us build a real international campaign of opposition to Cassini . This meeting was held in Bangladesh. In the end global pressure was so great that NASA moved its dangerous Cassini fly-by several hundred miles farther away from Earth in order to make sure it did not get pulled back toward our home planet and burn up on reentry which would have released the toxic plutonium as dust to be spread by the winds around the planet.


In 2004 the GN held its annual space organizing conference in Portland, Maine.  On the first day we went to Bath for a rally at the river park and a march to Bath Iron Works (BIW).  In those days groups like ours could actually get coverage in newspapers and on TV.  Not so much anymore. Just like today, we called for the conversion of BIW to build things that would help us live sustainably on Mother Earth.


We held our annual GN space conference in Washington DC in 2000.  This photo is from our short march from the White House to the Treasury Department.  We held a rally at Treasury in order to make the point that 'Star Wars' will cost the nation an arm-and-a-leg.  Years ago the aerospace industry stated that militarizing space would be the 'most expensive project in human history'. Conference proceedings were held at American University and one of our speakers was then Rep. Dennis Kucinich.


The GN met in New York City in 2005 for our annual meeting.  Our keynote speaker was Dr. Michio Kaku who was at the founding meeting of the GN in 1992.  He's remained an advisory board member ever since.  Michio was extremely helpful in our campaign opposing the Cassini plutonium probe in 1997. Michio is one of my all-time favorite speakers. In 1986 Michio came to speak in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida at an event I organized. Prior to the event we held a news conference and it was magical to watch him handle the media. 
     



Our 2011 GN space confab was held in North Andover, Massachusetts.  Things began with a protest at the Raytheon space weapons manufacturing plant where various 'missile defense' systems are built and then continued with a weekend conference at nearby Merrimack College. The local peace group that hosted us has held a peace vigil in front of the weapons factory every week for many years.

 

GN members protested blind policies (notice the white canes & eye patches) outside the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany in 2007 during our annual space organizing conference. We held GN meetings in Darmstadt three times over the years.


In 2008 the GN annual space events were held in Omaha, Nebraska. We began the weekend with a Friday rally (in the rain and cold) outside of Offutt AFB where the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is located. Prior to going to Omaha we met in Colorado Springs to join the annual protest at the Space Foundation's big show.  We then drove from Colorado to Nebraska in a raging blizzard but made it safe and sound. Our member from India had never seen such a snow storm before and was marveling about it the entire ride.
  

The GN was hosted by peace people in Kyoto, Japan for our 2015 annual space conference.  Our first day there was spent touring various magical temples and other historical sites.  It's a wonderful city. After these events were over we traveled by train to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the annual remembrance (of US atomic bombings) meetings and ceremonies in those cities.


Our 2015 conference in Kyoto included a day bus trip to see the 'missile defense' X-band Radar U.S. Army base at Kyogamisaki, Northern part of Kyoto Prefecture. We also had a lunch and discussion with local citizens from the affected communities. We presented our annual 'Peace in Space' award to the local organizing committee resisting the provocative radar base.

Also in 2005, following our GN conference, we joined the international disarmament march through New York City.

Lynda Williams (California) and Lindis Percy (Yorkshire) hold one of the flags that Lindis frequently takes to various US military bases in the United Kingdom.  This protest at the US NSA spy base Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire followed our 2001 annual GN conference that was held in Leeds.  We've gone to Leeds three times over the years for our annual meetings.

In 2013 we were invited to go to Kiruna, Sweden, in the far north of the nation, for our annual space organizing confab.  We began by visiting the Esrange space center located near Kiruna which is currently undergoing major expansion as it increasingly is being brought under control of US-NATO as a space weapons testing region and satellite down-link center.

The leadership of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea invited the GN to hold our annual meeting there in 2012.  It was a great honor to support the village struggle to oppose the Navy base construction then underway.  The base is currently used by the US Navy to port its warships that are increasingly active in the region harassing Chinese and Russian borders. On the last day of the conference 16 of us crawled under the razor wire along the sacred rocky coastline as we entered the construction area and were arrested. See my video report on this amazing experience at https://archive.org/details/JejuIslandsStruggleForPeace


We met in Oxford, England in 2018 for our annual GN conference.  We also made a side trip to the US's Croughton AFB near Oxford which is a major US-NATO intelligence and war-fighting communications center.  It handles a huge portion of US military communications in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Also used to route vast amounts of data captured by their network of 'disguised' listening posts inside diplomatic premises, back to the US for analysis by the CIA and NSA.


MUOS is a US Navy military communications base in Sicily.  Three of us from the GN went there in 2015 to speak and meet with local activists.  After our visit the No MUOS resistance movement made this wonderful poster for the GN's annual Keep Space for Peace Week.  This has to be one of my all-time favorite posters.


There have been multiple space conferences held in various Indian cities over the years.  Most of them were organized by GN board member J. Narayana Rao who lives in Nagpur.  In 2014 GN board member Tamara Lorincz from Canada (in the pink, front row) represented us as the keynote speaker at the National Youth Conference on “Peace, Disarmament and Development” at Nagpur University.

GN board member Lindis Percy (Yorkshire) speaking at the July 4 protest at the US's Menwith Hill NSA spy base in North Yorkshire, England.  The base intercepts all phone, fax and email communications from across Europe and relays the signals via satellites back to the US for storage and review.  In the past the US was caught doing 'commercial espionage' from this base on behalf of American corporations who were bidding on various European business contracts.



In 2015 prior to our annual space confab in Kyoto, Japan a delegation from the GN went to Okinawa to learn more about massive US military base expansion and to show our support for the peace movement there.  While on the island they toured Oura Bay next to US Marine base called Camp Schwab.  The US is currently building twin-runways on top of the pristine bay for Pentagon warplanes.  Legions of dump truck loads of landfill are being poured into the bay to build the airfields.  Daily protests at the construction site have been going on for years.  This misguided undertaking was as a result of the Obama-Hillary Clinton 'pivot' of US forces into the Asia-Pacific region in order to encircle China, North Korea and Russia.

 
 
Our 2017 GN space conference and protest were held in Huntsville, Alabama where the Nazi rocket scientists/engineers were brought after the end of WW II to create the US space program. On our first day we held this protest outside Redstone Arsenal as workers knocked off for the day.  Surprisingly we got a much better reception from the workers than we had expected. Huntsville is called the 'Pentagon of the South' and the Army 'missile defense' program is headquartered there.



Our 2019 annual meeting was a bit different than normal.  This time we organized a Russia Study Tour and visited Moscow, Crimea and St. Petersburg.  The two-week trip was intended to break down some walls between our nations.  We are tired of the constant demonization of Russia by the west and felt that more people need to visit and see for themselves what Russia is really like.  We had a great experience, learned so much, and made many new friends.  Russia is not our enemy. 

 

                      In 2020 we could not hold an annual gathering due to the virus pandemic.  Thus we held a couple of Webinars & membership meetings.  This is the video for one such meeting and includes GN members from UK, South Korea, US, Australia and Canada.

 

Bruce 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Telling truths about nukes in Bath, Maine

 

In front of Bath Iron Works/General Dynamics, Mainers rang in the entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, called to celebrate by Smilin' Trees Disarmament Farm.

It was a joyful occasion and tributes were paid to long-time Maine anti-nuke activist Sally Breen and to Sister Ardeth Platte, godmother to one of the speakers.

Photo credits to Keith and Peter Woodruff

Video production by Martha Spiess

Shopping in Venezuela: Breaking U.S. sanctions

 

 

Red Lines host Anya Parampil visits Megasis, an Iranian supermarket, which recently opened in Caracas, Venezuela, and explores cooperation between Tehran and Caracas against the US economic blockade. 

Parampil provides an exclusive look inside a superstore which the US government and corporate media have condemned and attempted to link to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. 

She also speaks with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza about how increased cooperation between Tehran and Caracas is improving the material condition of average citizens in his country.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Latest GN video on BIW & conversion


 

Bath Iron Works is a major shipyard in Bath, Maine which manufactures destroyers and cruisers for the US Navy. What if they began producing products that help sustain life rather than destroy it?

Watch the latest Global Network video on converting BIW, as well as other factories, plants and capabilities toward production of tidal power, commuter rail, and other useful products outside of the military-industrial complex.

Watch on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Spd8z7EME0&feature=youtu.be

 See all our recent space issues videos at the GN YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/c/GNspace4peace/videos 
 

~ Video produced for the Global Network by Iraq & Afghanistan war veteran Will Griffin who also serves on the GN's board. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

History lesson: Who was Fred Hampton?



Fred Hampton was a leader in the Black Panther Party who was harassed and targeted by local law enforcement and the FBI, resulting in his murder during a police raid on his apartment on December 4, 1969.

Fred Hampton joined the Black Panther Party in 1968. He quickly rose in its ranks, both in Chicago and on a national level. However, the Black Panther became a law enforcement target. In the early hours of December 4, 1969, police raided Hampton's apartment and shot the 21-year-old to death. A later investigation revealed that police had fired nearly 100 times, while only one bullet came from inside the apartment, and that prior to his death Hampton had been surveilled and tracked by the FBI.

Frederick Allen Hampton was born on August 30, 1948, to Francis and Iberia Hampton. His birthplace varies between sources. It has been listed as Chicago, as well as the Chicago suburbs of Summit, Maywood, or Blue Island, Illinois.

Hampton led the Youth Council of the NAACP's West Suburban chapter, growing membership to more than 500. He advocated for a community pool in his hometown of Maywood, which led to an arrest for "mob action" following a demonstration in 1967. 

Involvement in Black Panther Party

In November 1968, Hampton helped found the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. From his base in Chicago, he served as chairman of this local chapter. Though Hampton was just 20, he became a respected leader in the Party, aided by his talent for public speaking and experience in community organizing that included work with the NAACP.

As a Black Panther, Hampton arranged for community services such as free breakfasts and health clinics. He also oversaw the formation of a "Rainbow Coalition" between the Panthers and local gangs like the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the white Young Patriots, whose families had migrated from Appalachia. Unfortunately, Hampton's successes and rising profile resulted in negative attention from law enforcement.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once declared that the Black Panther Party was "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country"; he also feared the "rise of a messiah that would unify and electrify the militant nationalist movement." To counter these perceived threats, the Bureau's Counter Intelligence Program, known as COINTELPRO, sought to discredit and undermine Black groups and leaders. Two weeks before his death, Hampton was added to the FBI's Agitator Index, a list of people Hoover considered potential threats to national security.

Death and Aftermath

On December 4, 1969, Hampton was at his apartment on Chicago's West Side. Other Panthers, including Hampton's pregnant fiancée, were also in the residence. At approximately 4:45 a.m., a dozen police officers executed a search warrant for illegal weapons and raided the apartment. Almost immediately after they kicked open the door, Hampton's fellow Black Panther Mark Clark was killed by a bullet that struck his heart.

A layout of Hampton's apartment, provided by William O'Neal, an FBI informant who'd joined the Panthers, had been given to police prior to the raid. The night of the raid O'Neal had also allegedly dosed Hampton with a sleep-inducing barbiturate. Police officers headed to Hampton's bedroom and fired at the bed, striking Hampton but missing his fiancée, Akua Njeri (then known as Debra Johnson). Njeri later stated that after police removed her from the room they said Hampton was "barely alive." She then heard two shots, followed by the words, "He's good and dead now."

No illegal weapons were found during the raid, but the seven Panthers who survived, four of whom were injured, were arrested for aggravated assault and attempted murder. As the apartment was not sealed off, the Black Panther Party subsequently offered tours of the scene. Though the police account was that they had been responding to gunfire, this story was debunked when what had been described by law enforcement as holes created by Panther bullets were shown to actually be nail heads.

Death and Aftermath


On December 4, 1969, Hampton was at his apartment on Chicago's West Side. Other Panthers, including Hampton's pregnant fiancée, were also in the residence. At approximately 4:45 a.m., a dozen police officers executed a search warrant for illegal weapons and raided the apartment. Almost immediately after they kicked open the door, Hampton's fellow Black Panther Mark Clark was killed by a bullet that struck his heart.

A layout of Hampton's apartment, provided by William O'Neal, an FBI informant who'd joined the Panthers, had been given to police prior to the raid. The night of the raid O'Neal had also allegedly dosed Hampton with a sleep-inducing barbiturate. Police officers headed to Hampton's bedroom and fired at the bed, striking Hampton but missing his fiancée, Akua Njeri (then known as Debra Johnson). Njeri later stated that after police removed her from the room they said Hampton was "barely alive." She then heard two shots, followed by the words, "He's good and dead now."

No illegal weapons were found during the raid, but the seven Panthers who survived, four of whom were injured, were arrested for aggravated assault and attempted murder. As the apartment was not sealed off, the Black Panther Party subsequently offered tours of the scene. Though the police account was that they had been responding to gunfire, this story was debunked when what had been described by law enforcement as holes created by Panther bullets were shown to actually be nail heads.

Charges against the Panthers who'd survived the raid were dismissed in 1970. That same year a federal grand jury investigation also found that police had fired 82 to 99 times, with only one shot coming from those in the apartment. Cook County state's attorney Edward Hanrahan, who had directed the raid, was indicted for obstruction of justice in 1971, along with an assistant and 12 officers from the raid. However, no convictions resulted from these charges.

RFK Jr. on the 'costs' of the pandemic

 

I believe that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is telling us important things and faces severe push-back from the corporate oligarchies as a result. He is very courageous and smart.

He also carries with him the deep sadness and (likely) inner rage after the CIA directed assassinations of his father and uncle. He knows who he is fighting. He is telling us the story.

Corporate power is transforming these days into global neo-feudalism. Anyone who stands up to the program gets demonized. When you see US-NATO and their Wall Street bosses demonize a nation, a particular leader, or even an active local citizen they are doing it to scare everyone else.  They want to shut our voices down.

 

They are steadily limiting social media as a progressive vehicle for education and mobilization.  What do we do then - especially under lock down? How many organizations even have street mailing lists of their supporters anymore?

Most people I meet are very suspicious of what is going on in Washington.  We have allies on these concerns with people on the right, the left and in the middle.  But people are afraid, don't know what to believe, are discouraged and are economically sinking. 

They are hoping someone will speak out.  RFK Jr. is doing that.  I respect and thank him for that.  I am signing up to push forward these most difficult issues.  Time is running out for us.  

We all need to open our minds, our hearts, our ears and our eyes. We must reconnect with people's humanity.

Bruce

Monday, January 25, 2021

Listen and learn....what is wrong with that?

 

 

Comedian and political commentator Jimmy Dore has been criticized after he featured a member of the  Boogaloo Bois on this video.

Why is it wrong to talk, listen, question and understand people? What is the alternative - full-blown civil war? Who wants and would benefit from that?

No thanks.....

Russiagate Ain’t Over

 


By Joe Lauria
Consortium News

Russiagate was an invention to help explain away Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 and to undermine the legitimacy of the man who beat her.

Now that that man himself has been defeated, and a Democrat is back in the White House, one would think it was over. But Russiagate has proved too useful an instrument to discard. It beat up not only Donald Trump, but riled Russia too. It was an elixir for CNN’s and MSNBC’s ratings.

And now Russiagate is poised to be used again against Russia, Trump and Trump voters. The latter are way more than “deplorable” now. They are “cult members” and a threat.

Democrats are surely sticking to the Russiagate story as sure as it was exposed as pure opposition research stitched up to appear as a serious intelligence assessment.

Last Friday Clinton invited House Speaker Nancy Pelosi onto her podcast to discuss the events at the Capitol. In the middle of it, Clinton, who has no official position in the Biden administration, revealed the power she has behind the scenes. She brought up the topic by asking Pelosi: 

“We learned a lot about our system of government over the last four years with a president who disdains democracy and — as you have said numerous times — has other agendas. What they all are, I don’t think we yet know. I hope historically we will find out who he’s beholden to, who pulls his strings.”

“I would love to see his phone records to see whether he was talking to Putin the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol,” Clinton went on. “We now know that — not just him, but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members — have the same disregard for democracy.”
 

As if those words weren’t astonishing enough, Clinton made a startling policy proposal. She wanted to know if Pelosi thought the U.S. needs “a 9/11-type commission to investigate and report everything that they can pull together.”  Sounding as if this were pre-arranged, Pelosi responded, “I do.” She added: “I don’t know what Putin has on him, politically, financially or personally.”

    .@SpeakerPelosi and I agree:

    Congress needs to establish an investigative body like the 9/11 Commission to determine Trump's ties to Putin so we can repair the damage to our national security and prevent a puppet from occupying the presidency ever again. pic.twitter.com/yR7LQmXm5Z

    — Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 18, 2021
 

Normally before any investigation can begin there has to be some prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. There has to be something to investigate. But in this instance all there is is wild speculation. Speculation that Trump may have been on the phone with Putin while Trump supporters marauded through the halls of Congress.

The Usefulness of Russiagate

Repeatedly blaming Russia allows Democrats to deny the role they have played in the devastation of working and formerly middle class Americans–which helped elect Trump and fueled the assault on the Capitol.

Rather than enact a social democratic agenda that will repair the damage done to the poor and working class from 40 years of bi-partisan economic neoliberalism, the Democrats, now in control of Congress and the White House, continue to smear their enemies as Russian agents, while threatening a domestic War on Terror and even more surveillance.  (It’s not enough that Trump is gone and led a mostly disastrous presidency and that many of his followers were duped by him.)

Russiagate is also too useful to discard because it is a tool for politicians to get out of sticky situations. In previous years, if a publication revealed a politician’s corruption and it was completely verified, that politician in most cases would eventually resign.

Today that politician can override the truth of the exposure by falsely blaming a hostile foreign power for being behind it.  The corruption story is still true, but now the focus is on who leaked it, which is irrelevant. (U.S. prosecutors routinely use evidence from criminals turned informants to nail bigger fish.)

Such of course was the case with WikiLeaks‘ publication of the Clinton and Podesta emails. (Even though Russia was immediately blamed, four DNC officials did resign, including the chairwoman— “sacrificial lambs” from the party to keep Clinton in place.)

Beyond that, Russiagate has been a convenient and successful strategy of deflection from one’s own responsibility for America’s social and political crises.

The message is that the destruction of American democracy has nothing to do with bipartisan approval of money’s corruption of politics, and vast overspending on the military instead of on education, health care and infrastructure.

Instead it is all being engineered by an evil genius in the Kremlin—a virtual James Bond villain. The adolescent level of political education in the public, and in much of the media, creates fertile ground for such a grand deception to flourish.

It is more absurd and transparent to suggest that Moscow had something to do with the Capitol uprising than it did with the 2016 election.   

Despite four years and counting of Democratic Party propaganda about Trump conspiring with Russia to steal the 2016 election, a $32 million, 22-month investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of any conspiracy.

Shawn Henry, the head of the company CrowdStrike hired by the Democratic Party and Clinton campaign (while keeping the FBI away) to examine the DNC servers declared under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that no evidence of a hack was discovered.

Despite this, the Russiagate saga is still believed by millions of Americans, bolstered by Congressional studies that relied on intelligence briefings.  Mueller and Henry were legally obliged to tell the truth. Intelligence agencies aren’t.

And now Clinton and Pelosi will shamelessly reinvigorate the Moscow-menace malarkey (h/t Biden) into a risky, renewed tension with Russia, which just might work nicely with the hawks in Joe Biden’s cabinet. 

~ Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Celebrating No Nukes Treaty at BIW....still work to be done

 

Thirty Mainers gathered at Bath Iron Works (BIW) last Friday at noon to celebrate the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.  (The US and other nuclear nations currently refuse to sign it.)



BIW builds Navy Aegis destroyers that are outfitted with two primary missile systems.  The SM-3 interceptor missile is a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning.  It's job is to take out Russian or Chinese retaliatory missiles that would be fired after a US preemptive attack. In other words provide a 'missile defense shield' to pick off retaliatory strikes.  The US officially refuses to renounce first-use of nuclear weapons while Russia and China have done so - saying they'd only use their nukes in retaliatory strikes after they were attacked.

Additionally, the Aegis warships carry first-strike attack Tomahawk cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. It was one of these Bath-built guided missile cruisers (USS Cowpens) that fired the first shot in 2003 when George W. Bush launched the US's 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq.  

Mary Beth and I became close friends with the young woman (former naval officer) who was driving the Cowpens when the preemptive attack was launched.  She shared with us how after their volley of cruise missile strikes was over she went below into the dining hall and the crew was cheering as they watched CNN coverage of Baghdad burning.  She limped to her cabin in despair and ended up with a severe case of PTSD or war trauma as it is now more accurately described.

 

Today the US is encircling China and Russia with these Aegis warships.  China and Russia have responded to the new nuclear ban treaty by saying that they'd like to get rid of their nukes but can't afford to as long as the Pentagon refuses to renounce first-strike and continues to surround them with military bases and Navy warships close to their shores.

So the new nuclear ban treaty is a great start but we can't rest until all the aggressive and offensive US military programs are shut down that remain a trigger for nuclear war.

Bruce  

Photos by retired BIW worker Peter Woodruff 

Biden: America is back baby - sends more troops back to Syria!

 

 

To the oilfields in Syria....

The billowing wheat fields of Syria once were a staple that kept the people sated through times of struggle. Until the beginning of the war, Syria was a net food exporter, providing grain to neighboring countries and enjoying a healthy supply more than sufficient to feed its population. When the attempted overthrow of Bashar al-Assad began in 2011 [in a CIA directed operation], the nation collapsed into chaos and food production plummeted. Syria’s borders shrank to a third of their pre-war size as ISIS took over huge swathes of desert, and US-backed Kurdish forces invaded the country’s northeast under the cover of fighting terrorism.

Syria’s occupied [by US and Kurdish forces] northeast region produces 60% of the country’s wheat and 95% of the country’s oil: 400,000 barrels per day of oil production has been lost due to the Kurdish invasion. The formerly oil-rich nation now pumps a mere 20,000 barrels per day and relies on Iranian tankers to import energy. These tankers are increasingly intercepted by Western powers as part of this war of starvation. Additionally, in the last two years five separate sanctions bills have been passed in Washington, targeting the country’s oil and grain trade.

Merely one day after the inauguration of the Biden administration in Washington, the US began transferring hundreds of soldiers from Iraq to northeastern Syria in order to harden the imperial presence. Even under the Trump administration a ninth US army base in Deir Ezzor was commissioned in October, directly facing Syrian military positions west of the Euphrates. The new [Biden] cabinet is stacked with career advocates of regime change, so we can foresee that the border in northeast Syria will be a debut at which the forces of imperialism seek to demonstrate their fanatical commitment to “involvement in the region.”

While unheard of by most Americans, this northern governorate is a litmus test for what is to come in the next four years of foreign policy.

Sunday song