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.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

What animal has visited us?

 


We discovered these tracks outside our back door?

Was it a bear, deer or a woolly mammoth?

It certainly isn't a squirrel or a rabbit.

Bigfoot (Sasquatch) maybe? 

You can click on the photos for a better view.  Let me know if you have any idea.

Bruce 

On the Navalny case....

   

Russia – stop calling the Navalny team “opposition”, they are NATO agents

 


By Christelle Néant 

Donbass Insider

Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called for an end to the labeling Navalny and his team as “opposition” in Russia and for them to be called by their real name in view of their actions, namely NATO agents.

It must be said that following the complete sabotage of Alexey Navalny and his team, between the video published by the FSB showing his associate with a man considered to be an MI6 agent, and the abject behaviour of “Mr. 2%” in court against a veteran of the Second World War, the fact that the Russian “opposition” is in reality a team of NATO agents has become more and more flagrant.

Following the failure of the latest pro-Navalny demonstrations in Russia, his associate Leonid Volkov, who is leading the protest actions from abroad, had called on 4 February for them to cease until spring or even summer.

“We won’t organise a rally next weekend… The wave of protests must end at a high point. Because if we continue to get down, it will demotivate and frustrate everyone terribly… We are going to prepare well and organise something big in the spring and summer,” he said.

But on 9 February, the situation turned around, and the Navalny team announced that new actions would finally be carried out in February.

Why such a turnaround in barely five days? Because Volkov and Ashurkov (the one who had been filmed in the company of a supposed MI6 agent) went to receive their instructions from their Western bosses. And not even secretly. Poland proudly posted the meeting in question on its Twitter wall.

“Recent developments in EU-Russia relations require action by EU Member States. This is why Poland is hosting a virtual meeting with A. Navalny’s closest associates, Leonid Volkov and Vladimir Ashurkov. The 27 permanent representatives of the EU with the ambassadors of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ukraine are now discussing the next steps”.

In short, NATO has given its orders to the Navalny team for the next steps to be taken, making them agents of the organisation. No conspiracy in all this is explicitly stated in the tweet!

The meeting at which Ashurkov and Volkov received their orders from their NATO bosses did not escape the notice of Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, who commented it on her Facebook wall as proof that Navalny’s team is in fact a group of influence agents.

“What happened between 4 and 9 February that led the opposition to radically change its tactics? It’s simple – there was an online meeting with Volkov and Ashurkov at the Polish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels on 8 February 2021, attended by EU countries, the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, it was a meeting of NATO countries. NATO members gave instructions to the “opposition”, or in fact to their agents of influence, on how to conduct subversive operations “more intelligently”. 

 

The West has already invested too much money and resources in this story to wait for spring. They understand well that in spring, the information campaign launched by the West will be deflated. They can no longer juggle with the theme of “chemical weapons” without presenting facts because their backs are against the wall. So they’re just all-in,” she wrote on her wall.

While on the set of Russia’s first television channel, Maria Zakharova went even further in drawing the conclusion from all this, saying that it was necessary to stop calling the Navalny team “opposition” and instead describe them as what they are, namely agents of NATO influence.

“Generally speaking, we should stop calling them “opposition”, opposition is something else. They are agents of influence,” she said.

Commenting on the details of the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman stressed that this was a NATO meeting with its agents of influence aimed at destabilising the situation in Russia.

“It doesn’t matter how you make it up, it doesn’t matter how you call it, but it is a meeting with influence agents to destabilise the situation in a sovereign state, there is no other way to call it”, said Zakharova.

And for the diplomat such acts on the part of Russian citizens can only be described as treason.

“It’s banal and vulgar, it’s always been like that. Take the classic works of our authors: from high literature to children’s fairy tales. For our country, this is a story whose qualification is unequivocal. We now take no legal references, etc. But as far as the moral and ethical assessment is concerned, this is treason,” said Ms Zakharova.

The diplomat also stressed that Alexey Navalny, presented by the West as a “prisoner of conscience”, did not deserve such a qualification because he has no conscience.

“I would like to say that the Western media also supported or participated in this campaign… as well as non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International, which described Navalny as a “prisoner of conscience”. This is an oxymoron – you cannot call a person who has no conscience because he or she is lying a prisoner of conscience,” said Zakharova at a Duma meeting that investigated foreign interference in Russia’s internal affairs.

She said that Russia could not consider the actions of the countries involved “other than as an attempt to divert information resources to interfere in the internal affairs of the country, which is contrary to international legal principles”.

The Navalny affair and its use by NATO countries to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs clearly shows the double Western standard, which shouts out for imaginary Russian interference, but does not hesitate to do to Moscow what it accuses it of doing. But above all, it could end up completely scuttling Alexey Navalny and his team on the political level in Russia. Because the Russians have no desire to have a NATO agent at the head of the country. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

No justice in Israel for Palestinian people

 

The ruling by the International Criminal Court is a game-changer

From now on, Israeli Army soldiers and officers had better think twice about obeying orders to destroy Palestinian homes.


Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc) press release

The judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague ruled unequivocally that the court has full authority to hear and decide on Palestinian complaints of violations of International Law by the State of Israel and its army. Thereby, the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.  

To date, the only judicial authority authorized to hear cases relating to acts by the Israeli Army in the Occupied Territories had been the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. In spite of prolonged wild incitement waged by Israeli right-wing circles against the Supreme Court and its judges, in practice the Supreme Court was and remains extremely forgiving towards the occupation army, rejecting the vast majority of appeals lodged by Palestinians. 

When it comes to the judges of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, it's a completely different matter. The Hague Court is bound by the provisions of International Law, specifically by the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which sets out in detail what an occupying state is allowed - and what it is forbidden - to do in a territory under the military rule of its army. Many of the acts that the IDF routinely undertakes in the territories under its rule may turn out  to be serious violations of International Law.  

For example: Just a few days ago, on the morning of Monday, February 1, a large military force arrived in the tiny village of Hamsa al-Fouka in the northern Jordan Valley. The soldiers destroyed dozens of residential buildings and sheep pens, leaving 85 Palestinian residents - 45 of them children - homeless and exposed in the open air. The soldiers also demanded that the residents completely leave Hamsa al-Fouka and move to another location that the army would determine for them, threatening that if they did not leave voluntarily, they would be forcibly transferred by the army.  

This act of destruction and devastation carried out by the army - and it is certainly not the first of its kind - has gone virtually unnoticed by the Israeli public and political system. Knesset Members who habitually engage in loud and vociferous debates failed to take up this issue. But make no mistake: outside the borders of the State of Israel, there are those who constantly monitor and closely record such acts.  



At the International Court, indictments can certainly be filed against IDF officers and settlers as well as against officials and ministers in the Government of Israel. Among other things, acts of wanton destruction – carried out  especially against small and highly vulnerable Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills - can certainly lead to the filing of indictments against everybody involved. 

From now on, IDF officers should think twice about obeying an order to participate in such acts of destruction, and risk serious consequences. Officers who nevertheless decide to continue participating in these acts of destruction had better make an effort to keep their identities secret, constantly wear masks regardless of the Kovid-19 situation, and in general start acting like law-breakers evading law enforcement -  because that is exactly what their legal status is about to become.  

Decision-makers in the State of Israel have been well aware in recent weeks that the decision of the judges in The Hague was imminent, and that President Trump - who tried to intimidate the International Court by series of blatant threats - is no longer in the White House. It is surprising that in such a situation the decision-makers continued to order soldiers and officers to go on destroying of Palestinian homes, when knowing that those who carry out such orders may have to pay a heavy price.  

 



Defense Minister Gantz should look up from his clashes with the Prime Minister and his party's precarious electoral situation, and think about the consequences of the Hague judges' decision – the consequences for himself personally, both regarding his former position as Army Chief of Staff and his present one as Defense Minister, and the changing judicial situation of the soldiers and officers for whom he is responsible as being in charge of Israel’s military system.

 
~ Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson +972-(0)54-2340749

Latest interview with Regis Tremblay


Regis Tremblay interviews Bruce Gagnon [yesterday] on STRATCOM as the most dangerous organization on Earth; the U.S. Space Force; Nuclear weapons and power in space; Biden's foreign policy towards Russia and China; and the effort to clean up space. 

Thousands and thousands of space junk bits could spell dark times for the planet after causing a cascading destruction of satellites that control nearly everything we do on Earth. 

See our Global Network video about STRATCOM here  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

'Is it too much for us to ask for human dignity?'

 

Odds & Ends

 


  • Our newsletter (Space Alert!) printer delivered excess copied to me yesterday.  After they print the paper they also mail it to our US domestic mailing list.  Then I take the extra copies and do the mailing to our international members.  If you'd like to get a copy of the paper just send me an email at globalnet@mindspring.com and I will send you one right away.   You can also view it online here
  • I was invited yesterday to speak to a local church committee here in Bath about non-violent direct action.  Rev. Bill Bliss (Neighborhood UCC church) offered the invite.  He (and his two sons) went on our Global Network Russia Study Tour in 2019.  I really enjoyed the discussion and was pleasantly surprised at how many great questions the church members asked.  
  • Earlier in the week several of our Global Network board members met on Zoom with the lead lawyer in a pending federal court action that will challenge the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) that is in charge of authorizing satellite launches. Tens of thousands of launches are now planned in the next few years - so many that the aerospace industry and the Pentagon are running around the globe looking to build new spaceports to handle the glut. A couple big problems immediately come to mind when I think of thousands of mini-satellite launches. One would be the toxic rocket exhaust punching a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer thus making our climate crisis worse. The growing space debris problem, with increasingly congested orbits adding to the mess, makes the chances of an accidental avalanche of crashes in space more likely. This could ultimately make it impossible to launch a rocket off Earth due to the ‘minefield’ of space junk circling our already fragile planet. Astronomers are upset about the dark night sky being fouled by legions of new blinking satellites encircling our planet. I'll keep you posted as this legal action moves forward. 

 


  • Jonathan Cook writes: “There is a reason that, as we rush lemming-like towards the cliff-edge, urged on by a capitalism that cannot operate at the level of sustainability or even of sanity, the push towards intensified war grows. Wars are the lifeblood of the corporate empire headquartered in the US. Whether public or covert, wars provide an opportunity to remake poorly defended, resistant societies — such as Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria — in ways that allow for resources to be seized, markets to be expanded and the reach of the corporate elite to be extended. War is the ultimate growth industry, limited only by our ability to be persuaded of new enemies and new threats.”
  • The Tromsø municipal council in northern Norway has decided to say NO to a port for U.S. nuclear-powered submarines. This prompted the Norwegian Minister of Defense to react:  “Tromsø cannot opt out of NATO”, he said in late 2020. The federal government is pushing hard to override local politicians and public opinion. Tromsø is the third largest urban municipality in Norway, and the seventh in population. Tromsø is the regional civil administration center for the northern area in Norway. Tromso is very close to the Russian border along the Barents Sea. NATO is continually holding war games there (aimed at Russia) and has established a weapons depot in Norway where after each war game is over much of the military hardware is being stored. A similar US weapons hub has also been built in Poland.

 

NATO war games in the Nordic region aimed at Russia

  • NATO is expanding its military alliance into space, and announced construction of a “space center” at Ramstein AFB, Germany. The new facility will be used as a coordination point for surveillance in space, the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.  “This will be a focal point for ensuring space support to NATO operations, sharing information and coordinating our activities,” a NATO official said.  About half of the 2,000 satellites currently in earth orbit are owned by NATO members (mostly US). The action follows a 2019 NATO decision declaring space as a separate area of operations. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

JFK's most important speech


This is the speech that got JFK killed - along with some other issues that pissed off the CIA, mafia, and Wall Street....

It is my understanding that the national media largely ignored this speech - thus few across the nation ever knew about it.  It ran against the prevailing political agenda of endless war and Washington's global domination post WW II.

Things haven't changed much since then - in fact they've gotten worse.  You'd never hear a Bush, Clinton, Obama, Trump, Biden or others in either major party in this country talk like JFK does in his speech.

We need voices like JFK's but they are going to have to come from the grassroots - the corporations have locked down Washington so these ideas are verboten in government these days.

The US has become bad-hearted - not really that different from the enemies it has fought - the Nazis, terrorists or others.  Look in the mirror America and see what we have become.

Violence runs through our veins.  It was America's creation story.

We all know now that the US is arrogant with a deep-rooted misbelief that it is the most exceptional of nations. USA uber alles....

Let's recall that Operation Paperclip, which brought about 1,500 former Nazi military leaders to the US after WW II, helped in many ways ensure that aggression, greed and deceit became embedded inside the Deep State and its supporters.  We suffer from it today. 

Bruce

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

What ever happened to class struggle?

 

As the fight amongst the oligarchs heats up over Trump's 2nd impeachment, one must wonder what ever happened to the days when the poor and the working class were clear-eyed enough to see their real struggle was against the rich?  Wall Street banksters, the weapons warlords, Hollywood moguls, oil barons, real estate developers and the like.  

Instead we see the Lumpenproletariat on their knees scratching and clawing each other - defending one side of the elite mobsters who are armed against the other in Washington's usual sideshow that distracts the nation from the ever present reality of capital accumulation.  The gap between the 1% and the 99% widens to resemble the divide at the Grand Canyon while loyal Republican & Democrat party faithful bark out the scripts written by the commanders of the Congressional leadership.

If you listen closely you can hear the muffled graveyard anguish of Robin Hood, Joe Hill, Mother Jones, Ida B. Wells, Woody Guthrie, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, Cesar Chavez and many more.  Why are we not aiming our anger and well-justified outrage at those who really run the show? Why do we carry water for one side of the corrupt uber class against the other?

 

 

Trump's impeachment in the Senate is all about theatrics and distraction.  Even before the gavel pounds to open the hearings the outcome is known.  The costly show will go down to ultimate failure because 17 Republicans are needed to ensure a 'successful' prosecution and the Democrats will not sway enough of the other side to join the effort.

Meanwhile the legions of those being evicted from their homes will grow, unaddressed by the well dressed (and well fed) politicians who stand on the Senate floor and bloviate about 'right and wrong'. The hungry will not be fed by these hearings.  The jobless will not be helped.  Those without Medicare for All will not be served by those who work for the rich.

National Public Radio (NPR), the NY Times, Washington Post, Fox News, MSNBC and CNN will spend hours cranking up the public with reports on the 'historic debate' in the halls of the people.  But those halls have boundaries and those who labor inside the Congress have masters to serve and they know their jobs.  They don't do anything to disrupt the status quo.

Beware what bait you bite on in the coming days. You just might get hooked into a circus act that is designed to hide the real horror of today - the reintroduction of feudalism.

Bruce

Monday, February 08, 2021

Return of Dr. Strangelove

 


The New Cold War
Head of Strategic Command: US Must Prepare for “Very Real Possibility” of Nuclear War With China

In an era when international cooperation in the face of pandemics and climate change is essential, the world appears to be racing towards a new Cold War, and unfortunately, few except the military top brass are talking about it.

by Alan Macleod

Mint Press News

Writing in the U.S. Naval Institute Journal, Admiral Charles A. Richard warned that the military must “consider the possibility of great power competition, crisis, or direct armed conflict with a nuclear-capable peer” and update and modernize its approach to its two principal adversaries.

“There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons,” he wrote, demanding that the United States “prepare for the conflict we prefer, instead of one we are likely to face.”

Richard accused the Chinese of “mak[ing] technological leaps in capabilities in every domain” and Russia of “aggressively modernizing its nuclear forces.” He concluded that “the probability of nuclear use is low, but not impossible, particularly in a crisis and as our nuclear-armed adversaries continue to build capability and exert themselves globally,” and that the U.S. risks suffering “embarrassment” or worse if they do not act.

The admiral’s words closely echo a recent report from the Atlantic Council — a body that is filled with top American generals and closely linked to NATO. The council advised President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” around China, past which the U.S. would respond militarily. These included virtually any Chinese military actions in the South China Sea, cyberattacks on its neighbors, or even a North Korean strike on its adversaries. Any backing down from the brink, the council insisted, would mean national “humiliation” for the United States.

In recent months, the United States has taken a number of provocative military actions on China’s doorstep. In July, it conducted naval exercises in the South China Sea, with warships and naval aircraft spotted just 41 miles from the coastal megacity of Shanghai, intent on probing China’s coastal defenses. In December, it flew nuclear bombers over Chinese vessels close to Hainan Island. Last year Florida Senator Rick Scott stated that every Chinese national in the U.S. was a communist spy and should be treated with extreme suspicion.

Scott’s words are part of a broader propaganda war against China. In 2011, the American public’s view of the country was strongly favorable. However, due in no small part to fearmongering stoked by politicians and media pundits, nearly three-quarters of Americans (a historic high) hold negative views of China, with less than one-quarter positively rating the country, according to Pew Research.

It is a similar story with Russia. During the 2012 presidential debates, Republican nominee Mitt Romney was relentlessly mocked for his position that Russia was an adversary. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” President Obama famously quipped. Since then, however, the number of Americans with a favorable view of Russia has dropped from an all-time high in 2011 of 49% to just 19% today.

Perhaps due to increased nationalistic sentiment, little attention has been paid to the Trump administration’s decisions to back out of every international anti-nuclear weapons deal the U.S. had signed, including the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and the Open Skies treaties as well as the New START agreement.

Last week, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset their famous Doomsday Clock — an estimation to how close the world is to armageddon — to just 100 seconds to midnight, the closest, in their estimation, we have ever been to complete destruction. Explaining their decision, the committee, which includes 13 Nobel laureates, stated that nuclear nations have, 

Ignored or undermined practical and available diplomatic and security tools for managing nuclear risks. By our estimation, the potential for the world to stumble into nuclear war—an ever-present danger over the last 75 years—increased in 2020.”


One piece of good news came down on Wednesday when the White House announced it had renewed the New START treaty — a deal which limits the number of nuclear missiles the U.S. and Russia can possess. However, on Iran, Venezuela, China, Afghanistan, and other nations, Biden appears to be maintaining Trump’s aggressive policies.

The outcome of any nuclear confrontation has been well understood by war planners for over half a century. In his book “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” former military analyst and whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg explained that his team calculated that, in the event of a totally successful widespread American nuclear strike against the Soviet Union, with no retaliation whatsoever, at least 99% of the world’s population would die as a result. As he noted: 

It is the smoke, after all (not the fallout, which would remain mostly limited to the northern hemisphere), that would do it worldwide: smoke and soot lofted by fierce firestorms in hundreds of burning cities into the stratosphere, where it would not rain out and would remain for a decade or more, enveloping the globe and blocking most sunlight, lowering annual global temperatures to the level of the last Ice Age, and killing all harvests worldwide, causing near-universal starvation within a year or two.”


In an era when international cooperation in the face of pandemics and climate change is essential, the world appears to be racing towards a new Cold War. Unfortunately, few except the military top brass are talking about it. Worse still, they seem to be almost delighted at the prospect.

~ Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Conservative activist speaks out against weaponization of space

 


Good video on dangers of war in space from a conservative activist...he begins with the Jeff Bezos leaving Amazon story so the mega-zillionaire can concentrate on launching satellites.

Is there growing opportunity for conjunction of interests between some conservatives and progressives?  It can only happen if we are willing to listen to one another without pre-judgment.

Bruce

Sunday song