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, May 29, 2021

Who controls the EU?

 

 

Back in the 1980’s when the US felt confident that the conservative Communists of China would keep the Chinese masses in the faith, allowing US companies to turn the country into a sweat-shop of dirt-cheap labour, and it all looked to be going very well, it was all “China and Coca Cola”. 

When it started to go pear shaped, and the US was beginning to lose control because China was ‘embracing its own Capitalism’, the think tanks decided that if it all got out of hand, declaring war and freezing China’s assets in the US was a good Plan-B.

(I was in Townsville, Australia in 1996 during an operation “Sabre Tiger” where the atmosphere was thick with America’s confident aspiration. An American female Lieutenant declared on morning talk radio that it was the Top Gun movie that inspired her to join the Air Force – as did many others, in time for Iraq and Afghanistan.)

But the pear has gone “water melon”. Is that not obvious to everyone?

The driving mind-set of the US deep state is still fundamentally McCarthyist with an adolescent capacity for denial. The world could be well into the nuclear stage of WWIII before these people could even contemplate the reality that China has beaten them at their own game. The Chinese have been watching and learning and now they do Capitalism better than the US ever imagined possible: politically, diplomatically, economically, militarily, technologically, ideologically and above all, intellectually.  

 



Europe has perhaps a few months to wake up. The EU-NATO-US connection is like a partnership with the Mafia. 

The way things are going the US will get their fantasists war – and lose VERY badly, taking Europe down with it. Europe (I can’t understand why) is not willing to go “Cold Turkey” with a rapid scaling down of the NATO alliance, which is their only hope of leaving the US to thrash around on the floor banging its tantrum fists long enough to realise that it’s game over and time to grow up. 

This is the only path that would send the necessary signal to the Russians and Chinese and open the way to a more rational, mutually respectful international dialogue among nations as equals. 

This seems to me the only path back to International law and abandonment of the so-called ‘Rules Based System’ that is an affront to the dignity of any nation state and its people, even the member states of the EU: they don’t decide the rules.

Regards,
Allen Jasson  
UK  

Friday, May 28, 2021

Get a great shirt - help the Global Network

 

Now that spring has sprung and temps are steadily rising its a good time to get your new Global Network shirt.

'Free the Sky of Nukes & Weapons' the shirts read.

The T-shirts come in four colors and seven sizes. 

Outside Beale AFB in northern California at a recent protest

The shirt was designed by my late friend and artist Will Park from Florida.

You can order directly online via Bonfire and the Global Network gets a share of the cost. See the shirts here.

We appreciate your support for our efforts to keep space for peace.

Bruce 

Apocalypse Now?

 

 

Watch at least the first two minutes - learn about the 'grab and go' survival kit.

Handy when you're hitting the floor during a nuke attack,

it helps to have a snack for the after-glow party.

Someone is making a buck off those fundies that think the Apocalypse is round the corner.

They might just be right as their political leaders sure are pushing us closer to the brink.

Let's say we don't have a nuclear war,

OK good,

but still consider this survival kit

cause climate crisis is barreling down on us.

Rice packets could go along with the chili - and you won't need a stove to heat them.

Just lay them on the ground and they'll get hot fast.

You'll want the 32 servings of banana chips,

for dessert.

Bruce  

PS God I just love America!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Roman Protasevich - Arrested in Belarus - is a Western Government Financed Neo-Nazi

 


Moon of Alabama reports:

There is more to say about the Ryanair incident in Belarus and the arrest of the 'regime change' operative Roman Protasevich.

We will start with the latter.

The sympathetic portraits of Protasevich in the New York Times and in the Guardian are only of interest for what they leave out.

FOIA Research and The Canadafiles have very well sourced and way more complete pieces on him. They link to a mountain of evidence in form of social media postings, photos and videos which support their findings.

From those we learn that Protasevich has long been a member of the fascist "Young Front" militia of Belarus. He has fought alongside the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine's post-Maidan civil war.

Above is a 2017 picture of Protasevich during a Belorussian court hearing.

Here is Protasevich in 2015 on the cover of the recruitment magazine "Black Sun" of the Azov Battalion.



Here is Protasevich during an Azov parade (video from the event).


Protasevich - back row, third from right

There are more pictures sourced from his friends' social media accounts. They all show him with Azov in full battle dress, with Azov insignia and guns. There have been claims that Protasevich was only working as a journalist for an Azov paper. That seems to be false. His father confirmed that his son 'fought' in Donbass. The Azov leader Andriy Biletsky confirmed that Protasevich fought with them in Donbass and that he was wounded.

Neither the NYT nor the Guardian mention Proasevich's ideological position or his involvement with the neo-nazis of Azov. The London Times had originally reported that Protasevich was involved with Azov but later silently removed that passage from its report.

Another point missing from 'western' media is that Protasevich has long been on the payroll of various 'western' government financed propaganda media:

After being arrested for hooliganism, Protasevich would leave for Prague, Czech Republic in December 2017, and begin formally integrating into the imperialist media sphere.

Protasevich was a 2017-18 Vaclav Havel Journalism fellow in Prague, for US funded regime change outlet Radio Free Liberty/Europe.

Four months after a week long tour of the US State Department, in April 2018, Protasevich began working for USAID funded Belarus Euroradio.fm on August 31, 2018.

He left this job in December 2019, and would announce his new job, as Editor-in-Chief of Nexta, a foreign funded Telegram messaging channel covering Belarusian news, located in Poland, beginning in March 2020.

Stepan Putila, Protasevich’s partner at Nexta, worked for years at Belsat, which has been funded by the Polish Foreign Ministry since 2007, before engaging closely with Nexta.

Nexta played a key role in organizing pro-coup demonstrations in Belarus to protest Western supported candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya who only won 11 per cent of the vote, yet falsely claims that the election was rigged in Lukashenko’s favour, along with regime change organization NED’s funded activists in Belarus.

Protasevich's 2018 visit to Washington DC is of special interest:

On April 20, 2018, he flew via Brussels to Washington. On April 23, 2018, he posted a picture with the subtitle "The most important week in my life begins." The same day he posted a picture of himself inside the US State Department, stating "Never had so many important and interesting encounters in my life. Tired but very pleased." In DC he met with fellow regime change swamp creature, the Ukrainian-American Gleb Zhavoronkov.

Someone should ask the State Department what it thinks of Roman Protasevich's fashion habits.

Volodymyr Ishchenko @Volod_Ishchenko - 1:20 PM · May 26, 2021

Protasevich's selfie in an explicitly neo-Nazi brand Sva Stone. It's extremely unlikely that one can wear these T-shirts without being "in".





Neither the NYT nor the Guardian portrait mention Protasevich's employment by western funded regime change media or his State Department visit.

Neither is astonishing. A recent job description by the New York Times for a correspondent position in Moscow demanded extreme anti-Russian bias. The Guardian piece was co-authored by Luke Harding who is well known for his anti-Russian slant, his closeness to MI6 and his fake reporting:

In a recent book, Luke Harding, an investigative reporter at The Guardian, described how Mr. Steele had dispatched his “collector” [Danchenko] to surreptitiously approach a real estate broker, Sergei Millian, who was a peripheral figure in the Trump/Russia saga. “Millian spoke at length and privately to this person, believing him or her to be trustworthy — a kindred soul,” Mr. Harding wrote.

But the trouble for Mr. Harding, who is close to both Mr. Steele and Mr. Simpson, was that he wrote those lines before the release of the F.B.I. interview of Mr. Danchenko.

In the interview, the collector said that he and Mr. Millian might have spoken briefly over the phone, but that the two had never met.

Mr. Harding did not respond to requests for comment.

That the London Times silently deleted the well-sourced Protasevich-Azov relationship from its report let's one to assume that the British government has issued a D-notice to hide that fact. 

Why the EU takes sides against China

 



The Art of War

By Manlio Dinucci  (il manifesto, Italy) 

On May 20 the European Parliament froze the ratification of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. The agreement was signed by the European Commission after seven years of negotiations last December. The resolution was approved by an overwhelming majority: 599 votes in favor, 30 against, and 58 abstentions. It is formally motivated as a response to Chinese sanctions against members of the European Parliament.  Beijing decided the sanctions after its officials were subjected to sanctions on the accusation, rejected by China, of violating human rights, in particular the Uighurs’ rights. EU lawmakers argued that while Chinese sanctions are illegal because they violate international law, European sanctions are legal because they are based on the human rights defense sanctioned by the United Nations.

What is the real reason behind the "defense of human rights in China" screen? The strategy, launched and led by Washington, to recruit European countries in the coalition against Russia and China. The fundamental lever of this operation is the fact that 21 out of 27 countries of the European Union are NATO members under US command. In the front row against China, as well as against Russia, there are the Eastern countries. They are NATO and  EU members at the same time. They are more linked to Washington than to Brussels, so they increase the US influence on EU foreign politics. 

The EU politics basically follows the US policy, especially through NATO. However, not all US allies are on the same level: Germany and France negotiate under the table with the United States on the basis of their mutual convenience, Italy instead obeys and keeps silent to the detriment of its own interests. NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg can thus declare at the end of the meeting with French President Macron on May 21: “We will uphold the international rules-based order against the authoritarian push-back from countries like Russia and China”.

 



NATO has until now overshadowed the "threat" of China by focusing its strategy against Russia, but is now placing China on the same level. This decision comes in the wake of what they are doing in Washington. Here the strategy against China is about to become law. The draft law S.1169 on Strategic Competition with China was presented to the US Senate on April 15, on the bipartisan initiative of Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho). 

The motivation for this law leaves no doubt that it is an all-out confrontation: “The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is leveraging its political, diplomatic, economic, military, technological, and ideological power to become a strategic, near-peer, global competitor of the United States. The policies increasingly pursued by the PRC in these domains are contrary to the interests and values of the United States, its partners, and much of the rest of the world”.

On this basis, the US Senate Strategic Competition Act will establish political, economic, technological, media, military, and other measures against China, aimed at targeting and isolating this country. It is a real declaration of war, and not figuratively. 

 

Andersen Air Force Base on Guam

Admiral Davidson, who heads the US Indo-Pacific Command, asked the Congress for $27 billion to build a curtain of missile bases and satellite systems around China, including a constellation of space-platform radars. Meanwhile, US military pressure on China is increasing: missile launching warships of the Seventh Fleet cross in the South China Sea, US Air Force strategic bombers have been deployed on the island of Guam in the West Pacific, while the US Navy Triton drones have been approached to China by transferring them from Guam to Japan.

In the footsteps of the United States, NATO is also extending its strategy to East Asia and the Pacific where, Stoltenberg announced, "We need to militarily strengthen together with close partners such as Australia and Japan". 

The European Parliament has therefore not simply taken another step in the "sanctions war" against China. The EU Parliament took another step to bring Europe to war.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

At the BIW Navy compound today

 

Trying to hand out flyers to Navy personnel at the BIW shipyard today (Photo by Peter Morgan)

 

Four of us (three from Veterans For Peace) returned to Bath Iron Works today for our Wednesday vigil outside of the Navy compound at the shipyard owned by General Dynamics. They build Aegis destroyers for the Navy here and many Navy personnel are sent to BIW to oversee the ship building operation from inside the gated compound pictured above.

In addition, as the warships near completion, the Navy crews are sent to BIW to begin to learn how to operate them. Thus we have a captive audience as six destroyers and hundreds of sailors are now at BIW.

My sign today read 'Where do these Aegis go?'  

 

At a previous protest at BIW along with a visiting South Korean activist from Jeju Island where the Navy is porting many of its warships. Her sign reads 'No Navy base'.

Each time I come to BIW I bring a different sign with a new message. We come for an hour starting at 11:15 am - right as many BIW workers and sailors are hitting the sidewalks to go to lunch.

We are doing this the 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month and invite others to join us. 

Today we heard about a dozen times from sailors that 'We are not allowed to take your flyers'. I asked several of them if they had actually been ordered to refuse our flyers and they answered Yes. Some took them anyway.

We handed out about 20 flyers to sailors and BIW ship builders.

It is our intention to prepare these sailors for the protests they will inevitability see as they set sail to ports around the globe where the US military empire has bases. (Largely encircling China and Russia.) We want the sailors to see that there are people at 'home' who are opposed to Washington's endless war making.

When the sailors told me they could not take the flyers I responded with, 'I thought we live in a free country?'  One of them turned and smiled at me and said, 'We ain't free.'

That's about right.

It was my similar experience at Travis AFB, California in 1971 during the war on Vietnam. Peaceniks outside the base gate created loads of discussion in the barracks, chow hall, and on the job.  We were told to ignore them, not talk with them, not take their literature, etc. It made me wonder - I thought we were in Vietnam for freedom? Why can't I hear what they have to say?

It was from that experience that I became an anti-war activist.

Bruce 

What will come next?

 


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s presser following talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. 

Russia has been saying for years that Washington can't be counted on for truthful and sustained negotiations. The US does not like to honor its agreements.

Will the US blink?

Let's see what comes next....

(Be sure to hit the cc - closed captions - button.)

Comparing Wounded Knee and Palestine

 


Wounded Knee was a massacre of nearly 300 Lakota people by soldiers of the US Army. 

It occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the state of South Dakota.


 

The previous day, a detachment of the 7th Cavalry Regiment stopped Spotted Elk's band of Miniconjou Lakota and Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and forced them to camp at Wounded Knee Creek. 

 

 

The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth, arrived and surrounded the encampment. The regiment was supported by a battery of four Hotchkiss mountain guns.

 

  

Crazy Horse family members tell the story in a book they wrote called Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior's Life & Legacy.  

On December 29, the cavalry surrounded Spotted Elk's camp. Four Hotchkiss artillery pieces, which would fire two-pound explosive shells at a rate of nearly one per second, were pointed at their village.  They had our people place their guns into a buckboard [wagon], until they had collected nearly every weapon we owned. Once they had collected our weapons, they fired a carnage of bullets indiscriminately into our people's camp. 

Spotted Elk was sitting in the box of a buckboard at the time and attempted to stand and ask for a cease-fire when two soldiers fired their rifles into his chest and he slipped to the ground. As he tried to get back up, another soldier fired four bullets into him with his pistol at point-blank range.


The village was comprised of mostly old people, women and children. The war against the Lakota had been over for about 15 years and so Spotted Elk's band was no threat.  They had come to the Pine Ridge reservation to participate in the Ghost Dance, a spiritual movement that was trying to revive the people.  The US government was determined to crush this movement. 

Several of the soldiers involved in the mass killing received Medals of Honor from Washington.

Comparing Wounded Knee and Palestine

Wounded Knee comes to mind as I watch the images of Israel's recent Zionist rampage against the Palestinian people. 

When they fought back to defend themselves they were called terrorists by Tel Aviv and their supporters in western capitals. This is similar to the way the Lakota (and other native people) were called 'savages and redskins' by the ruling white oligarchies ('Great White Father') in Washington.

I'm all for non-violence but when the US military starts (or helps others) to kill defenseless people just because their land and resources are wanted, then the people under attack have the right to defend themselves.  And when a people are occupied and colonized as the native people in North America and the Palestinian people are, international law is on their side.  

They have the right to resist.

The similarities between Wounded Knee and Palestine are that neither of them had the capability to defend themselves. The Lakota had virtually no allies on the East coast of the US. They were on their own and disarmed.

The Palestinian people today (essentially disarmed and under attack) though have active supporters on every corner of the planet. The US and Israel continue to show the world their dark side as they participate in this genocide on Palestine.

We must all actively support the Palestinian people and the native people who still suffer from the ravages of Washington's occupation and colonization of their North American lands.

The US-Zionist military empire is filthy.

Bruce

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Gaza’s resistance rockets built from Israeli missiles

 


By Sara Flounders

The Israeli Zionists are attempting to monitor and control every movement of the Palestinian people on land and sea, including access to air, food and water. But Zionism and U.S. imperialism are finding that they are not all powerful. Those days are long gone. 


Palestinian resistance fires rockets from Gaza, May 12.

The area of Gaza in Palestine is about the size of Detroit or Philadelphia, but far more densely populated. It is entirely encircled by a ring of Israeli military steel. Gaza is defenseless against Israeli jets and incoming cruise missiles, advanced artillery systems and missiles fired from Israeli ships, as well as shelling from Israeli tanks that surround it.

Nevertheless, Gaza has long been a center of resistance.

In May, Israeli jets in ten days killed more than 200 Palestinians, maimed thousands, destroyed major apartment blocks, ruined the faltering electric grid and shut down communication infrastructure.

Palestinians responded and fired more than 3,000 rockets in defense. Every Israeli missile that lands in Gaza supplies the raw material for the next generation of Palestinian rockets – thousands of small rockets of resistance. The ability to fire back has injected new revolutionary confidence into the Palestinian movement and into the regional and global movement in solidarity with Palestine.

This growing ability to extract a price for Israeli destruction is a game-changer. Israel and its U.S. backers are realizing, much to their great frustration, that they can no longer act against Gaza with complete impunity.

Israeli repression is not invincible

A number of articles in the global corporate media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Reuters, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, have covered this new development – that Israel is not invincible. 


Military experts in the corporate news coverage express frustration with the growing ability of Palestinian resistance groups to repurpose Israeli missiles and unexploded missiles. The latter, with their explosives and electronic equipment intact, become more valuable when reworked by Gaza’s resistance. But even metal piping from past Israeli settlements can be fashioned into small rockets that travel with ever-increasing range and accuracy.

The more high-tech Israeli missiles that are fired, the greater the number of homemade rockets that are likely to be returned. Workshops using rudimentary technology have manufactured, with great determination and increasing skill, thousands of rockets in Gaza – far more than formerly were smuggled in through resistance tunnels. Some estimate the number of stored rockets at 20,000 to 30,000.

Accuracy, distance and numbers are growing fast. As the May 13 New York Times article states: “The rockets are of widely varying ranges and lack guidance systems, but the militants have been able to improve their accuracy. … The number of rockets fired each day in the most recent spate of hostilities is unprecedented. … [M]ore long-range attacks with 130 rockets [were] fired at Tel Aviv late Tuesday, representing close to 17 percent of all fired until that point. In 2014 that rate was at eight percent and in 2012 at less than one percent.”

Piercing the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’

The Zionist state has deliberately initiated a new war on Palestine with two blatant provocations. The first was a vicious attempt on May 6 to expropriate the homes of families in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrar, in the Old City of East Jerusalem. These attacks, by racist mobs and Israeli police, were on the anniversary of the Nakba, commemorating the driving out of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948.

Then, on May 7, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police launched an attack on the revered al-Aqsa Mosque. The Zionist assault with stun grenades and tear gas on Muslims in the mosque during prayers was an outrageous cultural and religious insult.

Gaza responded with its small homemade rockets. For this defiance they were pummeled by Israeli jets. Israel also has an “Iron Dome” radar network that simultaneously fires hundreds of missiles. Built in 2011, the dome is maintained with $1.6 billion in U.S. funding. The amount of military aid the U.S. has sent Israel since its proclamation as a state in 1948 – the same year Zionists expelled Palestinians in the Nakba – averages out to $10 million a day.

The Palestinian resistance has now developed the ability to pierce Israel’s much publicized “Iron Dome” of anti-missile protection – by firing more than a hundred rockets almost simultaneously from multiple directions. Previously only one rocket was fired at a time. Firing hundreds of rockets can confuse sophisticated Israeli technology more than 10 percent of the time.

This simultaneous firing takes tremendous on-the-ground coordination by the Palestinian resistance. It means that organizational cohesion and coordination among Palestinian groups has grown.

Even if most rockets are blocked, the rockets fired from Gaza can now reach as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. They have forced the grounding of air traffic at Ben Gurion airport. The Israeli ports of Ashdod and Ashkelon closed following attacks on port infrastructure.

Developing new methods of resistance

Previously, Palestinian fighters were able to smuggle some rockets and anti-tank weapons into Gaza – along with essential foods, medicine and fuel – through hundreds of tunnels. The Zionist state has retaliated with percussion bombardment and reinforced the Gaza fence with 20-foot-high galvanized steel. Since 2014, Egyptian collaboration with Zionism under the Al-Sisi presidency has blocked Palestinian access to the tunnels.

As Palestinians have developed new ways to resist, U.S. and Israeli militarists are accusing Iranian engineers of training Palestinians on how to repurpose existing materials. With typical imperialist arrogance, the argument is always that oppressed peoples cannot rise up “all by themselves” but that “someone else” must be to blame. Nowadays, if Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis, Syrians or Afghanis make a determined stand and have military breakthroughs, then Iran is the one blamed.

But Palestinians are resourceful and have highly skilled engineers, machinists and technicians of their own. They use what is at hand – whether materials “provided” by Israeli bombardment, online technical manuals or training provided by persons in solidarity.

The greater skill facilitating Palestinian resistance is on-the-ground coordination and security required for military operations against Israeli occupation.

The Zionist state uses the existence of well-hidden rocket assembly facilities as an excuse to target the Palestinian civilian population and hundreds of crowded homes and apartment buildings in densely populated Gaza. But Palestinians have also developed effective anti-tank missiles to stop tanks. In past Zionist onslaughts, the Israelis have driven waves of tanks through Gaza, attempting to smash all in their path.

As Israeli crimes continue, the burning hatred and determination of a new generation of Palestinian fighters will grow. Their combative resistance of heroic proportions is igniting the region.

A general strike has been called throughout the occupied lands, including in Palestinian communities within the 1948 borders. Rockets from Syria and Lebanon have also been fired on Israel. Palestinians in Jordan and Lebanon are marching on the borders of Israel, demanding the Right Of Return.

The balance of forces is fundamentally shifting. There is no going back. Gaza has made the point that Zionists dropping more bombs, firing more missiles, only guarantees the return of rockets of resistance.

~ Sara Flounders is an activist and political writer who has been active in progressive and anti-war organizing since the 1960s. She is a member of the Secretariat of Workers World Party, as well as a principal leader of the International Action Center. Flounders organized delegations to Iraq during the years when international sanctions were in place, following the 1991 Gulf War. She has traveled on several occasions to Gaza.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Confronting China: Washington's soft-power tricks

 


By Brian Berletic

US foreign policy has for decades admittedly aimed at encircling and containing China’s rise and maintaining primacy over the Indo-Pacific region.

The “Pentagon Papers” leaked in 1969 would admit in regards to the ongoing US war against Vietnam that:

…the February decision to bomb North Vietnam and the July approval of Phase I deployments make sense only if they are in support of a long-run United States policy to contain China.

The papers also admitted that China, “looms as a major power threatening to undercut [American] importance and effectiveness in the world and, more remotely but more menacingly, to organize all of Asia against [America].

The papers also made it clear that there were (and still are), “three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China: (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

The Japan-Korea Front

Military.com in their article, “Here’s What It Costs to Keep US Troops in Japan and South Korea,” reports:

In all, more than 80,000 US troops are deployed to Japan and South Korea. In Japan alone, the US maintains more than 55,000 deployed troops — the largest forward-deployed US force anywhere in the world.

The article notes that according to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the US spent “$34 billion to maintain military presences in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.”

Rather than the US solely depending on its own military forces based within Japanese territory or supported by its Japan-based forces, Japan’s military along with India’s and Australia’s are also being recruited to take part in military exercises and operations in and around the South China Sea.

India’s inclusion in the Quad also fits well into the US 3-front strategy that made up Washington’s containment policy toward China as early as the 1960s.

The India-Pakistan Front

In addition to recruiting India into the Quad alliance, the US helps encourage escalation through political support and media campaigning of India’s various territorial disputes with China.

The US also targets Pakistan’s close and ongoing relationship with China – including the support of armed insurgents in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Recently, a bombing at a hotel in Quetta, Baluchistan appears to have targeted China’s ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Nong Rong.

Balochistan province, near the Afghan border, is home to several armed groups, including separatists.
Absent from the BBC’s reporting is the extensive and open support the US government has provided these separatists over the years and how – clearly – this is more than just a local uprising against perceived injustice, but yet another example of armed conflict-by-proxy waged by Washington against China.
 

 

Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve US strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.

Of course, “Islamist forces” is a euphemism for US-Persian Gulf state sponsored militants used to both fight Western proxy wars as well as serve as a pretext for Western intervention. Citing “Islamist forces” in Baluchistan, Pakistan clearly serves as an example of the latter.

The Southeast Asia Front

Of course the US war against Vietnam was part of a wider effort to reassert Western primacy over Southeast Asia and deny the region from fueling China’s inevitable rise.

The US having lost the war and almost completely retreating from the Southeast Asia region saw Southeast Asia itself repair relations amongst themselves and with China.

Because existing governments in Southeast Asia have nothing to benefit from by participating in American belligerence toward China, the US has found it necessary to cultivate and attempt to install into power various client regimes. This has been an ongoing process since the Vietnam War.

Daniel Twining of the US National Endowment for Democracy subsidiary – the International Republican Institute – admitted during a talk (starting at 56 minutes) by the Center for Strategic and International Studies that same year that:

…for 15 years working with NED resources, we worked to strengthen Malaysian opposition parties and guess what happened two months ago after 61 years? They won.

Far from “promoting freedom” in Malaysia – Twining would make clear the ultimate objective of interfering in Malaysia’s internal political affairs was to serve US interests not only in regards to Malaysia, but in regards to the entire region and specifically toward encircling and containing China.
Twining would boast:

…guess what one of the first steps the new government took? It froze Chinese infrastructure investments.

And that:

[Malaysia] is not a hugely pro-American country. It’s probably never going to be an actual US ally, but this is going to redound to our benefit, and and that’s an example of the long game.


It is a pattern that has repeated itself in Myanmar over the decades with NED money building a parallel political system within the nation and eventually leading to Aung San Suu Kyi and her US-backed National League for Democracy (NLD) party taking power in 2016.

A US-Engineered “Asia Spring”  


Just as the US did during the 2011 “Arab Spring” – the US State Department, in a bid to create synergies across various regime change campaigns in Asia, has introduced the “Milk Tea Alliance” to transform individual US-backed regime change efforts in Asia into a region-wide crisis.

The alliance has brought together anti-Beijing protesters in Hong Kong and Taiwan with pro-democracy campaigners in Thailand and Myanmar.

 


In reality US policy aimed at encircling China is predicated upon Washington’s desire to continue its own decades-long impunity upon the global stage and the continuation of all the wars, humanitarian crises, and abuses that have stemmed from it.

Understanding the full scope of Washington’s “competition” with China helps unlock the confusion surrounding unfolding individual crises like the trade war, the ongoing violence and turmoil in Myanmar, bombings in southwest Pakistan, students mobs in Thailand, riots in Hong Kong, and attempts by the US to transform the South China Sea into an international conflict.

Understanding that these events are all connected – then assessing the success or failure of US efforts gives us a clearer picture of the overall success Washington in encircling China.  It also gives governments and regional blocs a clearer picture of how to manage policy in protecting against US subversion that threatens national, regional, and global peace and stability.

~ Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Tax day protest in Brunswick

 

Brunswick PeaceWorks, joined by other peace groups, Poor People's Campaign, Medicare for all, environmentalists and others, gathered at the Brunswick, Maine town green for the #2021Tax Day event on May 17.  

Here is a short clip. 

Putin compares Pentagon spending with Russia's

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a fiery rebuke to those who, he says, are intent on bringing about the breakup of the world’s largest country, insisting that Russia will defend itself.

He also compares Russian annual military spending (around $42 billion) with Washington's which is 'officially' about $770 billion although when you add in the various buried treasure pots of national security spending (nuclear weapons in the DoE budget, Homeland Security, Veterans Administration, etc) the total is over $1 trillion a year.

How can Russia be considered a military threat to the US or Europe? When you add the NATO members (and 'partners') military spending to the annual Pentagon budget it comes to well over 60% of the global total.

Actually in the last two years Russia has cut their military spending in order to fund more anti-poverty programs inside their nation. 

Who is the real aggressor?

 

Sunday song