Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, May 31, 2021

The revolutionary origins of Memorial Day and its political hijacking


A day celebrating Black liberation utilized for white supremacy

By Ben Becker

What we now know as Memorial Day began as “Decoration Day” in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. It was a tradition initiated by former slaves to celebrate emancipation and commemorate those who died for that cause.

These days, Memorial Day is arranged as a day “without politics”—a general patriotic celebration of all soldiers and veterans, regardless of the nature of the wars in which they participated. This is the opposite of how the day emerged, with explicitly partisan motivations, to celebrate those who fought for justice and liberation.

The concept that the population must “remember the sacrifice” of U.S. service members, without a critical reflection on the wars themselves, did not emerge by accident. It came about in the Jim Crow period as the Northern and Southern ruling classes sought to reunite the country around apolitical mourning, which required erasing the “divisive” issues of slavery and Black citizenship. These issues had been at the heart of the struggles of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

To truly honor Memorial Day means putting the politics back in. It means reviving the visions of emancipation and liberation that animated the first Decoration Days. It means celebrating those who have fought for justice, while exposing the cruel manipulation of hundreds of thousands of U.S. service members who have been sent to fight and die in wars for conquest and empire.

The first Decoration Day

As the U.S. Civil War came to a close in April 1865, Union troops entered the city of Charleston, S.C., where four years prior the war had begun. While white residents had largely fled the city, Black residents of Charleston remained to celebrate and welcome the troops, who included the TwentyFirst Colored Infantry. Their celebration on May 1, 1865, the first “Decoration Day,” later became Memorial Day.

Historian David Blight retold the story:

“During the final year of the war, the Confederates had converted the planters’ horse track, the Washington Race Course and Jockey Club, into an outdoor prison. Union soldiers were kept in horrible conditions in the interior of the track; at least 257 died of exposure and disease and were hastily buried in a mass grave behind the grandstand. Some 28 black workmen went to the site, re-buried the Union dead properly, and built a high fence around the cemetery. They whitewashed the fence and built an archway over an entrance on which they inscribed the words, ‘Martyrs of the Race Course.’

Then, black Charlestonians in cooperation with white missionaries and teachers, staged an unforgettable parade of 10,000 people on the slaveholders’ race course. The symbolic power of the low-country planter aristocracy’s horse track (where they had displayed their wealth, leisure, and influence) was not lost on the freed people. A New York Tribune correspondent witnessed the event, describing ‘a procession of friends and mourners as South Carolina and the United States never saw before.’

At 9 a.m. on May 1, the procession stepped off led by 3,000 black schoolchildren carrying armloads of roses and singing ‘John Brown’s Body.’ The children were followed by several hundred black women with baskets of flowers, wreaths and crosses.

Then came black men marching in cadence, followed by contingents of Union infantry and other black and white citizens. As many as possible gathered in the cemetery enclosure; a childrens’ choir sang “We’ll Rally around the Flag,” the “Star-Spangled Banner,” and several spirituals before several black ministers read from scripture.” (“The First Decoration Day,” Newark Star Ledger)  


The battle over the ‘memory’ of the Civil War

Blight’s award-winning “Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory” (2001) explained how three “overall visions of Civil War memory collided” in the decades after the war.

The first was the emancipationist vision, embodied in African Americans’ remembrances and the politics of Radical Reconstruction, in which the Civil War was understood principally as a war for the destruction of slavery and the liberation of African Americans to achieve full citizenship.

The second was the reconciliationist vision, ostensibly less political, which focused on honoring the dead on both sides, respecting their sacrifice, and the reunion of the country.

The third was the white supremacist vision, which was either openly pro-Confederate or at least despising of Reconstruction as “Black rule” in the South.

Over the late 1800s and the early 1900s, in the context of Jim Crow and the complete subordination of Black political participation, the second and third visions largely combined. The emancipationist version of the Civil War, and the heroic participation of African Americans in their own liberation, was erased from popular culture, the history books and official commemoration.

In 1877, the Northern capitalist establishment decisively turned their backs on Reconstruction, striking a deal with the old slavocracy to return the South to white supremacist rule in exchange for the South’s acceptance of capitalist expansion. This political and economic deal was reflected in how the war was commemorated. Just as the reunion of the Northern and Southern ruling classes was based on the elimination of Black political participation, the way the Civil War became officially remembered—through Memorial Day celebrations—was based on the elimination of the Black veteran and the liberated slave.

As Blight explains, “With time, in the North, the war’s two great results—black freedom and the preservation of the Union—were rarely accorded equal space. In the South, a uniquely Confederate version of the war’s meaning, rooted in resistance to Reconstruction, coalesced around Memorial Day practice.” (“Race and Reunion,” p. 65)

The Civil War whitewashed

In the statues, anniversary parades and popular magazines, the Civil War was portrayed as an all-white affair, a tragic conflict between brothers. To the extent the role of slavery was allowed in these remembrances, Lincoln was typically portrayed as the beneficent liberator standing above the kneeling slave.

The mere image of the fighting Black soldier pierced through this particular “memory,” which in reality was a collective and forced “forgetting” of the real past. Portraying the rebellious slave or Black soldier would unmask the Civil War as a life-and-death struggle against slavery, a true social revolution, and a reminder of the political promises that had been betrayed.

While African Americans and white radicals continued to uphold the emancipationist remembrance of the Civil War during the following decades—as exemplified by W.E.B. DuBois’ landmark “Black Reconstruction”—this interpretation was effectively silenced in the “respectable” circles of academia, mainstream politics and popular culture. The white supremacist and reconciliationist retelling of the war and Reconstruction was only overthrown in official academic circles in the 1950s and 1960s as the Civil Rights movement shook the country to its core, and more African Americans fought their way into the country’s universities.

While historians have gone a long way to expose the white supremacist history of the Civil War and uncover its revolutionary content, the spirit of the first Decoration Day—the struggle for Black liberation and the fight against racism—has unfortunately been whitewashed from the modern Memorial Day.

So let’s use Memorial Day weekend to honor the fallen fighters for justice worldwide, to speak plainly about this country’s historic crimes, and rededicate ourselves to take on those of the present. 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday song


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.

Allen Jasson  

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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 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


Saturday, May 22, 2021

History lesson: When Israel's terror campaign actually began



Syrian girl compares the Islamic State in the Levant to the Jewish State in the Levant, in context of the recent attack on Palestine. 

She does an excellent job of covering the history of the Zionist genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people.

The actions of Israel violate UN legal mandates and international law.  But unless the US-NATO stops funding the Israel military operation nothing will change.


Global News Round-up



  • Yesterday members of the Jewish community and allies delivered a clear message at the Israeli consulate in Toronto, Canada about bloodshed from Israel’s violence in Gaza and across historic Palestine. Rabbi David Mivasair, a member of Independent Jewish Voices, said, “It can no longer be business as normal at Israel’s consulates in Canada. The death and destruction inflicted by Israel in Gaza, as well as the heightened violence by Israel across Palestine, cannot be washed away. This belligerence is the latest in an ongoing aggressive 73-year settler-colonization project by Israel across historic Palestine. The ceasefire doesn’t end the injustice and oppression.”

  • In recent days at the port of Livorno (Tuscany), Italy the Liberty Pride ship of the US Army's Maritime Security program has docked. The ship must load weapons and equipment from Camp Darby. Camp Darby is located between Pisa and Livorno and is the fourth largest US arsenal outside the United States. Liberty Pride will deliver its cargo to the port of the Romanian city of Constanta on the Black Sea on the 23rd of this month, as weapons are needed for the Ukrainian-US Sea Breeze 2021 exercise. This year 27 countries (including 16 NATO members) with the involvement of military units, airplanes, and ships will participate in the war games. These countries will be joined by Observers for a total of 35 nations involved. 
  • Nicaragua’s Sandinista government is calling out blatant U.S. interference as the country prepares to hold its presidential election in six months. The U.S. is preparing economic sanctions in an attempt to generate hunger as a weapon against the elected government as previous regime change efforts have been unsuccessful. Washington's 'Reinforcing Nicaragua’s Adherence to Conditions for Electoral Reform (RENACER) Act', introduced in March, would require the U.S. government to increase sanctions on Managua. President Daniel Ortega recently remarked, "Here the Yankee Ambassador goes about here and there, promoting his candidates, as if he were Nicaraguan... He is not Nicaraguan! If he wants to promote candidates, he should promote them in the United States, as North American Candidates, yes. The Yankee Ambassador should not get involved here, as he is indeed getting involved, nominating candidates, pressuring political parties, so that the political parties accept the candidate the Yankee wants. He thinks we are still in the times of the Yankee Occupation."

  • Congressman Brad Sherman (D-California), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the 'Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act'. Among other things, the bill calls for serious, urgent diplomatic engagement in pursuit of a binding peace agreement constituting a formal end to the Korean War. In 1953, the parties to the Korean War signed an Armistice Agreement that pledged an end to “all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved.” Common sense tells us that this conflict ended in July 1953. But in fact, the US only signed an armistice. Therefore, the US technically remains in a state of war with North Korea. This situation does not serve anyone’s interest.  
  • The Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) has established itself as one of the most feared paramilitaries in Mexico over the last decade. Images of the group have become the standard depiction of the Mexican cartels writ large. Their propaganda videos often feature groups of masked men bristling with enough small arms to make them formidable against even conventional armies. In an interview aired on Mexico’s Telemundo network in May 2019, a former CJNG soldier described his experience at a training camp and claimed that the cartel employed U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) to train their recruits. According to the former sicario (assassin), there was “a group of elite Marines, there were [members] of the United States Navy, there were Delta Forces, there was everything there.” The Special Forces training has been funded under the Plan Mérida, which has resulted in the U.S. providing more than $1.6 billion for fighting the War on Drugs, most of it in military aid. 

Memory of South African apartheid informs Palestine issue



 “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” 

~ Desmond Tutu (South Africa)

Friday, May 21, 2021

On the streets of London


Kareem Dennis, better known by his stage name Lowkey, is a British rapper and activist from London, England.

Post rewrites history....


Painting in Moscow’s World War II museum depicting the Nazi siege of Leningrad which resulted in the deaths of 632,253 civilians. [Source:]


Washington Post Moscow Bureau Chief Distorts History of World War II

By Jeremy Kuzmarov

On May 9, 2021, Russians celebrated Victory in Europe (V-E) Day with a customary parade honoring the sacrifices of the Soviet people in World War II.

Rather than reporting on the day’s festivities, The Washington Post ran a story by its Moscow bureau chief, Robyn Dixon, about a Russian man who has spent years digging into archives to find out who killed his great-grandfather in 1938 during purges led by Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin.

Noting that “digging up the truth from the past can still bring trouble in today’s Russia,” Dixon wrote that, under current Russian President Vladimir Putin, “official propaganda has sought to glorify Russia as a victim of foreign aggression that saved the world in World War II, meanwhile playing down the horrors of Soviet massacres and repressions including the ‘Great Terror’ that Stalin led in the 1930s.”

Dixon’s remarks represent historical revisionism at its worst; whatever the truth about the latter claim, Russia was a victim of foreign aggression and did save the world from Nazism in World War II.

Historians estimate that 26 million Russians were killed fighting the Nazis, while 1,710 Russian cities and 70,000 towns and villages were destroyed, along with 31,850 factories, 84,000 schools, 65,000 kilometers of railway and 1,974 collective farms.

The Soviet Red Army destroyed 507 German divisions and 100 allied Axis divisions, 77,000 enemy planes, and 48,000 enemy tanks and armored vehicles. It further accounted for between 75 and 80 percent of Axis casualties in World War II, killing at least 10 million German soldiers.

General Douglas MacArthur stated that in none of the many wars he had participated in had he observed “such an effective resistance to the heaviest blows of a hitherto undefeated enemy, followed by a smashing counterattack which is driving the enemy back to his own land. The scale and grandeur of this effort marks it as the greatest military achievement in all of history.”

U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime minister Winston Churchill also acknowledged the Soviet Union’s “gigantic effort” in fighting and ultimately defeating Hitler’s Germany.

See the rest of this story at  CovertAction Magazine

~ Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine. He is the author of four books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019) and The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018).

Thursday, May 20, 2021

'I'm just a kid - I'm just 10'


"I don't know what to do." 

A 10-year-old Palestinian girl breaks down while talking to Middle East Eye after Israeli air strikes destroyed her neighbor's house, killing 8 children and 2 women.

"It's not fair."

U.S. turns the screws on Korean village for opposing THAAD


Photo by No THAAD office in Soseong-ri

THAAD, Get out! It  benefits US arms corporations but brings tears to Koreans!

In mid-March, this year, Lloyd Austin, the US Secretary of Defense, mentioned that it is ‘unacceptable as an alliance’ when he talked about the poor condition of US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) base, in Soseong-ri, Seongju, mainland of Korea. 

THAAD is a part of the US 'missile defense' system which is actually offense system (aimed at China, North Korea and Russia). 

What Austin meant was he was complaining against the people in Soseong-ri and Korea who oppose and protest to the deployment of THAAD. 


Photo by Yonhap News

Since then there were constant police invasions of Soseong-ri (small melon farming village) on April 28th, May 14th, May 18th, and May 20th. 

Some people were even injured and arrested during their brave protests to the moving of THAAD generator, base construction materials etc. into the base. The police showed unprecedented oppression against people including religious men and women. 

The South Korean government sent police to Sosoeng-ri just before the ROK-US summit (in Washington D.C, May 21). We can see that Soseong-ri is currently the center of ROK-US-Japan trilateral military alliance. 



Remarkably, Lloyd Austin was a former board member of Raytheon, the production company of THAAD radar. He was also ‘a former top commander of US forces in Iraq under Obama and ‘oversaw deployment of US Special Forces to Syria.’ In a word, he is one of ‘revolving door personnel.’ There is arms corporation behind the oppression against people.

There is no peace in Korea and northeast Asia unless the Korean War Armistice ends with an official peace treaty and THAAD withdraws! Let’s take out THAAD and plant peace!

~ Shared by Sung-Hee Choi

Manifest of the Youth of Donbass


On May 15, 2021, a meeting of youth leaders from the LPR and DPR took place in the symbolic place of Krasnodon – in the museum of the Order of Friendship of Peoples “Young Guard”. The museum is named after the Soviet underground anti-fascist youth organization, which was active from September 1942 to January 1943. Its participants selflessly fought for the liberation of their Homeland from fascism, for which they were executed by the Nazis. 

Today the youth project of the LPR – “Young Guard” of the public movement “Peace for Lugansk region” (Mir Luganshchine) also has the same name. The guys honor the feat of their fellow countrymen, preserve history, which today they are so ardently trying to rewrite and are real patriots of their Motherland. 

At the meeting, the leaders of the “Young Guard” project and the public organization “Young Republic” from the DPR, on behalf of their associations, proclaimed the “Manifest of the youth of Donbass”, in which they appealed to young people from different countries, including the youth of Ukraine. 

The youth of the Republics urges their peers to think critically, to take an active civic stance, and also to preserve the history, traditions and culture of their people. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Things are such a mess....


Things are such a mess
here at home,
some think we are getting back to normal,
except for the fact that the uber-rich
have made out
like bandits
during the covid economy
They've consolidated power
are buying off the suburban libs
(Biden calls them 'the middle class')
while most of the rest of the country
falls apart
The deal was made years ago,
London and New York decided,
American will become the
loaded gun,
the 'master of NATO'
and will make war on behalf of
corporate capital

(Wall St, the Deep State, Big-AG, Big Pharma, CIA, Hollywood and the MIC)

The Pentagon calls its role
it comes in hard
(shock & awe style)
and dominates any
'non-integrating' nation,
under the thumb
of Mr. Big.

You should call it
and pillage.

    It was common for Near Eastern religions to include a Chaoskampf: a cosmic battle between a sea monster representing the forces of chaos and a creator god or culture hero who imposes order by force.

    Leviathan can also be used as an image of Satan, endangering both God's creatures—by attempting to eat them—and God's creation—by threatening it with upheaval in the waters of Chaos.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

J. Narayana Rao Presente!


Rao's son Ramesh just wrote and said, "Father breathed his last at 11:50 PM yesterday night".
I responded with, "Thank you Ramesh for telling us. Our hearts are with your family. We were honored to call Rao a friend and co-worker. He was a great man. I will miss him very much."
This is a devastating loss to the Global Network and to those who got to know Rao.
We must thank Tamara Lorincz for helping us to know in the first place that he was in the hospital.
Tamara writes: 

I went to India for a peace & disarmament conference. It was an incredible experience. Rao took me to Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashram that’s a picture of him and me under the great tree at the ashram. Rao also took me to Deekshabhoomi, the Buddhist monument and place to remember Ambedkar. It was a real privilege to know him and see him in India for that I thank the Global Network.
With sadness,

Law professor Aruna Kammila writes from India:
Very sad to know, I personally visited him, couple of months ago, when he came to Visakhapatnam. In fact every time he comes to his daughter's place at Visakhapatnam, I go visit him and discuss, how we can contribute to the Global Network's cause.  I have even posted the book and he congratulated me. Asked me to send any publication in future. Honestly a huge loss to all of us. Without his support I wouldn't have been a member. May his soul RIP.

Our Global Network board convener Dave Webb from the UK writes:
So sorry to hear this sad news. Rao was a lovely, humble man who was a dedicated campaigner for peace in space and on Earth. His knowledge and understanding guided us through so many visits, meetings and conferences in India and he was a major contributor to GN strategy and business. 
We will miss his input and his presence. We should definitely hold a memorial meeting online in the near future. My condolences and best wishes to Rao's family.

Dr. Geetha Thachil, a retired Associate Professor from the M.S.S. Institute of Social Work, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India writes:
I have very fond memories of him...his vivacity and contagious laughter will be etched in my mind was he who brought you to my college in Nagpur where you [Bruce] addressed my students and staff...on space weaponization and the urgent need to stop this....Mr. Rao's genuine regard for the less fortunate, his enthusiasm to help them and his selfless help in working for the railway pensioners are all rare qualities to be found these days....His ability to connect to the youngsters was something that always drew praise...he could strike a wavelength with them which was remarkable....His anti-nuclear work is so praiseworthy...he worked tirelessly on what he believed in...he was a humble and kind soul....shall always miss him...The many seminars he organized on themes that he held dear deserves special mention....the amount of trouble he would undergo to organize these programmes...
I know that he had great respect for you, Mr. Dave and many others and I wish to offer my humble condolences to this great man....

I've seen alot of really great activist leaders pass on during my time as an organizer. They are all hard to take.
Rao was another of these great figures - I will carry his memory and spirit with me always.
See what I wrote about him just a week ago here 

Russian pranksters expose U.S. regime change ops


I love this video (all in English). It reminds me of the two US pranksters called 'The Yes Men'.  

In this case two well-known Russian pranksters expose the 'National Endowment for Democracy' (NED) which is a long-time CIA front group that funds 'color revolution' regime change operations around the globe. 

Recently NED was very involved in the attempted coup d'etat in Belarus and in this video they brag about it as well as their continuing operations to destabilize the Russian government.

Particularly great was near the end when the person posing as the US's prize candidate in the last Belarusian election claims she needs money for new clothes and boots. She says that her Swedish contact told her she was not keeping in style. One of the NED operatives on the call responds by saying, "I think we probably need to take this into another call."  Yeah right - top secret!

And then to top it off at the very end the pranksters say they are with the Belarusian KGB and begin to tell the NED operatives that they have the 'right to remain silent'. I was cracking up.

But on the serious side it is quite amazing that the NED directors would dare to boast about how, despite efforts by Moscow to restrict access to NGO's inside their nation, the NED still has ways around those obstacles.

Who is really interfering in other countries internal affairs? The fucking USA!

I wish the American people would get on the ball.


RT reports this story:

A pair of notorious Russian pranksters posing as leading Belarusian opposition figures have duped the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) into revealing the extent of US involvement in Eastern European political movements.

In a video call posted on the online channel of pranksters Vovan and Lexus, senior representatives of the American agency disclosed that they have actively financed and supported anti-government campaigns in the region. The officials from the NED, which is funded by Congress and describes its role as “supporting freedom around the world,” also revealed that they are coordinating efforts with prominent political activists in a range of countries, including Russia.

The officials believed they were talking to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the figurehead of Belarus’ opposition movement, and one of her advisors.


During the call, Nina Ognianova, who oversees the NED's work with local groups in Belarus, outlined the wide-ranging programs the agency bankrolls in the country, insisting that “a lot of the people who have been trained by these hubs, who have been in touch with them and being educated, being involved in their work, have now taken the flag and started to lead in community organizing.”

Ognianova claimed that, through this work, the NED played a role in igniting the colossal street protests that rocked Belarus after long-time leader Alexander Lukashenko declared victory in the country’s presidential election last August. The opposition and many international observers say the vote was rigged in his favor, and tens of thousands took to the streets for demonstrations each weekend after the election.

“We believe that this long-term trust-building that we have had with partners in Belarus has indeed brought the events, or the build-up to the events, of last summer,” Ognianova stated.

“We don't think that this movement that is so impressive and so inspiring came out of nowhere - that it just happened overnight,” she added, “but it has been developing and we have our modest but significant contribution in that by empowering the local actors to do the important work.”

Carl Gershman, the president of the US state-backed agency, told the pranksters that Washington-based funding and policy groups were already working with Tikhanovskaya and her team “very, very closely.” He then asked the opposition figure, who fled to neighboring Lithuania after the election, to set out her thinking on the situation “so we can understand what your strategy is... and how we can be helpful.”

The comments are likely to add fuel to Lukashenko’s previous controversial claims that the widespread domestic opposition to his government is being stoked from abroad.

The pranksters also pushed the NED’s top team to outline their current activity in Russia, asking what they were doing to support anti-Kremlin activists. Gershman replied that such initiatives are “obviously incredibly important and we've emphasized this, going back to the election in August when the demonstrations were taking place in the Russian Far East, and people were connecting with each other and saying we share the same ideals, so we're very committed to helping on that, and we will - working with our networks and our institutes.”


One of the duo, claiming to be Tikhanovskaya's assistant, questioned this, saying, “I know that NED is prohibited in Russia now,” referencing a 2015 government decision declaring it to be an “undesirable NGO.” A number of the group's senior leadership team began to laugh, with Gershman insisting “that doesn't matter. We don't have offices, we're not like Freedom House or NDI [the National Democratic Institute] and the IRI [International Republican Institute], we don't have offices. So if we're not there, they can't kick us out.”

“But we support many, many groups and we have a very, very active program throughout the country, and many of the groups obviously have their partners in exile,” the fund's president added. “So we are very active and we can be very helpful on this issue.” He added that they were “of course” in touch with Leonid Volkov, a Lithuanian-based activist frequently described as the chief of staff of jailed Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

Barbara Haig, the deputy to the NED’s president for policy and strategy, also hinted at the potential scale of US funding for political groups, saying, “we have a very ample program in Russia” which “goes even down to the grassroots in provinces - oblasts - outside of Moscow. It is very deep and it is very broad.”

Both she and Gershman expressed concern about Russian military exercises billed to take place alongside Belarusian troops later this year, with Haig asking if the group should be “looking at the deployment of Russian military in the country and how that might be changing over time, and whether we should be raising this with some of our contacts.”


Somewhat ironically, Haig also insisted that opposition groups in Russia are concerned about purported efforts to infiltrate and monitor their activity, saying that “security is a huge issue.” How the NED's most senior figures came to speak with the pranksters, who kept their cameras turned off and spoke in an unconvincing imitation of Tikhanovskaya's voice, is unclear.

The pair, whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, have previously blagged their way into calls with the likes of Prince Harry, Amnesty International and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However, they have been accused by some Western commentators of disproportionately targeting opponents of the Kremlin, with their comedy gotchas frequently seeking to generate political controversy.

The NED describes itself as a “private, non-profit, grant-making organization that receives an annual appropriation from the US Congress through the Department of State.” It acknowledges that its “continued funding is dependent on the continued support of the White House and Congress,” but states that its own “independent Board of Directors” is in charge of how the funds are spent. The agency insists that its “independence... also allows it to work with many groups abroad who would hesitate to take funds from the US Government.” Representatives of the NED have been approached for comment.