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, June 26, 2021

Countering the “China Threat” – At What Price?

 

The Pentagon is upgrading its full-spectrum dominance, 
with China as the primary target.

 

By Koohan Paik-Mander   


In early June 2021, in a classified directive to Pentagon officials, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin slammed the former Trump administration for talking big but never taking action to counter “the China threat.”

Austin made it clear that things would be different under President Biden. His “tough guy” rhetoric strikes just the right tone for a massive, costly, military-infrastructure overhaul that would render the conventional warfare of the twentieth century unrecognizable: more nukes, fewer troops, and an omnipotent 5G network.

The goal of this overhaul is to give the United States and its allies the ability to summon, at once, unmanned military forces to rain terror down on any spot in the world—a swarm of drones, hypersonic missiles, submarine torpedoes, and bombers—all with the ease of calling an Uber.

This game-changing metamorphosis of how wars are fought is already underway. It’s called the JADC2 (Joint All-Domain Command & Control), a globally networked, cloud-based command center, overseen by the recently anointed U.S. Space Force.

It was for this that the Space Force was created—not as a jokey Trump trifle.

However, targeting China with this new paradigm for mass destruction will not bring about global security. Even if it were to somehow not culminate in a nuclear conflict, the ecological and climate costs of commanding war from outer space would be devastating. And yet, ever-more-mammoth military preparations are being staged in ever-more-numerous locations on Earth.

President Biden is in lockstep with Austin’s anti-China mission. Much of Biden’s $715 billion Pentagon budget request for 2022 is for investment in hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, micro-electronics, 5G technology, space-based systems, shipbuilding and nuclear “modernization” (read: expansion). The request seeks $28 billion to “modernize” the nuclear triad (the ability to launch nukes from land, sea, and air). The budget also includes the largest research-and-development request—$112 billion—in the history of the Pentagon.

Imagine that kind of support for healthcare.

Each line item is a deadly weapon, which, discretely, already carries terrifying implications. But, taken together, as part of the JADC2—an integrated, multi-dimensional system with machines responsible for pulling the trigger—the whole is far more chilling than the sum of the parts.

Among the types of missiles on Biden’s wish-list are some whose range exceeds the limits in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987. But the INF Treaty is no longer in effect, after President Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in August 2019, just four months before the creation of the Space Force. That means that Biden and Austin are now free to spend taxpayer money on these perilous weapons.

Policy analyst Michael Klare has observed that this year’s budget subordinates all perceived threats to a single bogeyman-du-jour: China. War with China, specifically, means more nukes, long-range missiles, and unmanned weapons. These weapons are not just to be used by the United States, but are also for export to allies as well—much to the financial gain of weapons industrialists like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

For example, a declassified U.S. Department of Defense report from 2018 provides a directive to sell more arms to India, to “enhance India’s status as a Major Defense Partner,” and to “support India’s membership in the Nuclear Supplier’s Group.” The essence of the Pentagon’s massive global vision is to construct, from the ground up, a hard and soft infrastructure upon which the newly created Space Force can operate.

 



Just as the continent-spanning interstate highway system was laid during the 1950s to ensure a profitable future for the automobile industry, this new infrastructure—comprised of 5G, artificial intelligence, rocket launchpads, missile tracking stations, satellites, nukes, and internet-connected fleets of unmanned ships, jets, subs, hypersonic, and other craft—will ensure a reliably profitable assembly-line output of arms for the weapons industry.

In tandem with the military infrastructure will come a continued expansion of associated security infrastructure, such as increased surveillance and data collection of every individual on the planet. As a former board member at Raytheon, Lloyd Austin is perfectly positioned to pull this off. In fact, during his first three months as defense secretary, he awarded over $2.36 billion in contracts to the missile manufacturer he once faithfully served.

 

The Opium Wars were two wars waged between the Qing dynasty and Western powers in the mid-19th century. The First Opium War, fought in 1839–1842 between Qing China and Great Britain, was triggered by the dynasty's campaign against the British merchants who sold opium to Chinese merchants. The Second Opium War was fought between the Qing and Britain and France, 1856–1860. In each war, the European force's modern military technology led to easy victory over the Qing forces, with the consequence that the government was compelled to grant favorable tariffs, trade concessions, and territory to the Europeans. It was during this time that John Kerry's and FDR's fore-bearers made their fortunes in the Opium trade. The profits built Yale, Harvard and Columbia universities and funded the construction of the railroads to the west.


China Threat = Yellow Peril


The Pentagon has a billion dollars a year to spend on public relations, and vilifying China has become Lloyd Austin’s top priority. He paints a picture of urgency so dire that it seems the only way to meet the challenge is to fund his comprehensive Weapons New Deal.

Once the new military infrastructure is fully in place, the Space Force will be equipped to dominate the planet. Until now, the INF Treaty’s cap on missile range prevented the implementation of this vision, given the hemispheric distance between China and the United States. Now that the treaty is no longer in effect, however, the Indo-Pacific theater is the ideal geography to debut this new way of warfare that relies on satellites to deliver strikes clear to the opposite side of the planet.

Thousands of satellites are already in place; thousands more will follow, thanks to private efforts by the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. The United States is currently working through the UN to standardize 5G internationally. Algorithms are now being written to remove human decision-making from warfare. Pacific reefs have already been dredged, forests razed, and protestors arrested on islands encircling China to make way for destroyer berths and rocket launchpads—nodes of the global war infrastructure.

One of the those “nodes” is at Soseong-ri village, 200 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The melon farmers there have painful, first-hand experience of South Korea’s complicity with the Pentagon’s agenda. In mid-March, after five years of community protests against the deployment of a THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile system, Lloyd Austin strongly protested the poor conditions of the THAAD base, calling them “unacceptable.”

After Austin’s disparaging remark, the South Korean government sent around a thousand riot police to Soseong-ri to forcefully remove residents from blocking components of the THAAD base construction material from entering the military installation. This took place on four occasions immediately following Austin’s statement and has since accelerated to twice a week, according to peace activist Sung-Hee Choi.

Choi points out that the THAAD system is made by Lockheed Martin and the associated radar is manufactured by Raytheon, where Austin previously served on the board. Choi adds that she is nervous about the intensifying military tension in her country and in northeast Asia: “I think recent anti-Asian hate is like a preparation for war against North Korea and China, just like when the Bush administration exploited anti-Muslim sentiments just before the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

 

Elder woman manhandled in the melon farming village of Soseong-ri, South Korea as Washington enforces deployment of the controversial THAAD 'missile defense' base at a converted golf course next to the village. The government sends in thousands of police to pull the sitting villagers from the road so that the US Army can move hardware and supplies into the base. The villagers understand they are now a primary target in any war with China.



Pacific Pivot and the First Island Chain

Military planners have been nurturing this Rubicon moment with China for at least a decade, beginning when Obama announced his “Pacific Pivot” toward Asia. Since then, communities in the Asia-Pacific region have been confronted with elaborate, ecocidal preparations for full-scale war with China. Natural resources have been destroyed to construct a globe-sweeping, networked infrastructure of missile deployment and satellite tracking.

That was the first phase of laying the groundwork for 21st century warfare. Biden’s current request for funding will expand this strategic rebalance of military forces into its second phase.

Most of the Pentagon-ravaged spots have been concentrated so far on the string of archipelagos that fringe China’s coastline. These islands are politically controlled by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines—nations themselves already heavily militarized.

War strategists call this the “First Island Chain.” The JADC2 system is being developed with this particular geography in mind. “Project Convergence,” a U.S. Department of Defense war exercise, takes place over a span stretching from Washington state to North Carolina, replicating the distance along the First Island Chain.

The First Island Chain is one of three chains of Pacific islands that ring China at varying distances. Further east, the Second Island Chain is comprised of Guam and the other Mariana Islands. The Third Island Chain, even further east in the mid-Pacific, is the Hawaiian archipelago.

In war strategy, these chains serve several functions: as a barrier to be breached by an attacker, as a protective wall to be strengthened by a defender, and as a springboard from which to mount an invasion. They also serve as geopolitical benchmarks for measuring regional influence, which is why control of Taiwan is so critical. If the United States loses Taiwan to mainland China, it would signal the unravelling of U.S. domination in the region.

The delicately beautiful islands of the First Island Chain have languished mostly unknown to the rest of the world. They are home to many endemic species such as the Yonaguni pony, the Ryukyu damselfly, the Amami rabbit, and a newly designated species of pufferfish that builds sand mandalas on the ocean floor to attract a mate. At the tiny airport on Ishigaki Island, local butterflies flutter in a terrarium behind the check-in counter. In town, decorative trees lining the road support sleeping bats hanging like furry ornaments.

Environmentalists fear these species are now doomed. A radar tracking station has been built, despite public protest, over the watering hole for the Yonaguni ponies. Its high-frequency radar will likely kill the bountiful insect-life found on the island, like the butterflies and the Ayamihabiru moth with its 10-inch wing span.

Amami-Oshima, an island that has remained virtually untouched since primeval times, has now been desecrated. Its old-growth forest, dense with unique flora and fauna, was razed in two areas for missile deployment, while associated development is disfiguring the coastline and other inland areas. On the islands of Ishigaki and Miyako, more missile deployment facilities have been erected against the will of locals.

Meanwhile, on Okinawa, tens of thousands of residents have been protesting the U.S. presence for decades. The latest barbarity: soil that contains an untold number of bones of Okinawan ancestors as well as U.S. soldiers—all killed in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II—is slated to be used as landfill for the bottom of Oura Bay. For four years, locals have ferociously objected to construction here of a new U.S. air base, intended to be a key JADC2 hub. The beloved bay has been home for millennia to the largest rare blue-coral colony in the world and 5,334 documented species of wildlife.

U.S. militarism continues to beleaguer Jeju Island off the coast of South Korea as well. There, villagers, fishers, and tangerine farmers have been ferociously protesting for over a decade the construction of a navy base to port Lockheed Aegis-missile bearing destroyers. The base was completed in 2015, but plans are in the works to construct a constellation of new facilities to complement the navy base, including a new airport, a missile tracking station, a weather radar station, and a satellite operations facility.

The famously drinkable streams of Jeju are now contaminated, its UNESCO-celebrated corals have been dredged, and wetlands have been smothered with concrete. Jeju Island is morphing, in real time, from one of Asia’s most cherished natural wonders to another key hub for JADC2 space-war operations.

 



Second Island Chain: the Marianas

The desire for “military readiness” compels the Pentagon to train troops for proficiency. But how will soldiers train for the paradigm-shifting JADC2, which is as different from current warfare as checkers is from 3-D chess?

First of all, with no soldiers—or a lot fewer of them—human-scale fighting will be replaced by warfare conducted over global distances and at hypersonic speeds. Military planners say that armed forces will be leaner and “strike harder, faster and farther.” For this reason, the training will take up more geography, by necessity, over endless expanses of open seas teaming with wildlife. For decades, naval practice has been taking place in marine areas surrounding Korea, Guam, Okinawa, Hawaii, and California. Needless to say, they have been a constant nuisance to residents, fishers, native practitioners, and sea creatures.

Now, to accommodate the JADC2, even more expansive swaths of the ocean are being set aside for year-round military exercises.

The most egregious example is the MITT (Mariana Islands Training and Testing), a plan to transform over a million square miles of biodiverse ecosystems into the largest-ever range complex for bombing and firing practice. The impacted area would be larger than the states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, and New Mexico combined.

The largest multinational open-ocean military exercises in history will take place here, home to 26 species of cetaceans. The navy itself estimates that its activities will maim or kill over 81,000 whales and dolphins per year. And that doesn’t count the ecological casualties anticipated in other existing exercise ranges, such as those around Hawaii, California, Alaska, Australia, in the Sea of Japan, and in the Bay of Bengal.

Painting by Russell Wray (Hancock, Maine)


For their part, thousands of residents of the Marianas are protesting the plan to turn their ancestral archipelago into a year-round war zone. Large portions of Guam and Tinian would become dedicated firing ranges, placed right next door to towns and neighborhoods. Practice-bombing on the islet of Farallon de Medinilla, a migratory-bird hotspot, will increase from 2,150 strikes a year to 6,000 strikes a year. And most tragically, the whole of the astonishingly pristine island of Pagan is slated to undergo perpetual full-spectrum assaults from air, land, and sea. The island is expected to endure continuous bombing from mortars and missiles, its wildlife damaged by sonar, torpedoes, hand grenades, reef-crushing amphibious landing practice, and countless experimental detonations. Because of the colonial status of the Mariana islanders, they have not been able to legally demand transparency and accountability from the U.S. government.

This powerlessness was brought into stark relief when the military bulldozed 3,000 burials to make way for a live-fire training range. The remains were deposited, pell-mell, in cardboard boxes and stored in various undisclosed offices around the island. A barrage of questions from the islanders has gone unanswered. To add insult to injury, the shooting range is also to be sited atop the island’s most important aquifer.

In response to these human-rights transgressions, native CHamoru poet and attorney, Julian Aguon, filed a submission in 2020 with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on behalf of indigenous rights group Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian.  Three special rapporteurs then sent a letter in March to President Biden expressing concern for human rights, environmental impacts, and indigenous rights. The president has yet to respond.

The Perpetual Profits of War Games


An assortment of large-scale joint naval exercises takes place every year across the Pacific. The events are attended by patron-countries of the U.S. weapons industry in a fashion similar to soccer or football season. These nations include Japan, Korea, India, Australia, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Thailand.

The prototype has been the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, held every two years in Hawaiian waters since 1971 and slated to run again in 2022. In 2018, RIMPAC drew 25,000 troops, 52 ships, and submarines from 26 countries. Weapons dealers from all over the world view RIMPAC as an opportunity to show off their wares, making the event part-Vegas trade show, part-World Cup. For marine life, it is four weeks of blitzkrieg.

This fits nicely with the policy cited in the 2019 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, which calls foreign military sales the “tool of first resort in strengthening alliances and attracting new partners.” In other words, for the United States, partnerships are not rooted in a shared philosophy of justice and diplomacy. Rather, they are anchored firmly in weapons sales.

Those partnerships, meanwhile, increasingly target a single adversary: China. Raytheon loyalist Lloyd Austin has been unequivocally clear that his raison d’etre is to bully China. And the president and Congress seem happy to accommodate.

They consistently ignore a far better method of responding to China’s growing influence, such as diplomacy. Hashing out differences at the same conference table would be a lot less expensive and have the added benefit of not risking all life on Earth.


~ Koohan Paik-Mander, who grew up in postwar Korea and on the U.S. colony of Guam, is a Hawaii-based journalist and media educator. She is a board member of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and formerly served as campaign director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization. A contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, she is the co-author of The Superferry Chronicles: Hawaii’s Uprising Against Militarism, Commercialism and the Desecration of the Earth, and has written on militarism in the Asia-Pacific for The Nation, Progressive, and other publications. An interview with her on this topic can be seen here. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

The Totem Pole journey

 

 

The road that leads to death is not an option.

At this point in history we are summoning all the forces of life that run through everything to come together in a common, collective fight.

From the ancestors to our grandchildren....we draw the line.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

'This is the most dangerous time in my life'

 

 

By Regis Tremblay

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space discusses the US role in S. Korea since 1945: total domination and colonization. 

We discussed full spectrum dominance, the Pivot to Asia, NATO expansion to Asia. 

We looked at all of this in the context of last weeks summit between Russia and the USA. 

Meeting Navy CO at BIW

 

 

Yesterday four of us peaceniks returned to the Navy compound gate at Bath Iron Works (BIW) for an hour as part of our bi-weekly vigils.

As we've come to expect we are now seeing more sailors (of all ranks) turn their eyes to the ground as they pass us by. More than a third of those passing me who refused a flyer made sure to say, 'We can't take one'. That means of course they have been ordered by their commander to 'stand down'! No interaction with those 'activists'. 

It's a big mistake because it causes the wheels to turn and many sailors (liked happened to me during my time in the Air Force during the Vietnam war) begin to question the definition of democracy. 'I thought we had this massive-offensive military in order to spread democracy! And I can't even take a flyer. But I can die in battle representing corporate interests. Where truly is this democracy?'

Most of us at these vigils wear our Veterans For Peace shirts and Peter Morgan always flies his VFP flag. I keep changing my sign. Yesterday I used a sandwich-board sign made by artist Natasha Mayers. Here she is wearing it at one of her recent arrests at a BIW 'christening'.

 

Artist and activist Natasha Mayers (left) with her sandwich-board sign at BIW.  Ridgeley Fuller (Belfast) on the right.

 

Early on one sailor took my flyer, paused, looked me in the eye, and while smiling said, 'Thank you for being here'. He then walked away and the next thing I knew this same sailor was talking to John Morris at another of our protest positions and they spoke for a long time.

We go to lunch afterwards to kick-around what happened at our vigils. John reported that the sailor took a 2nd flyer, saying it would be shared. Apparently the sailor has applied for conscientious objector status (CO). When asked why, John said the sailor didn't believe in the mission anymore and wanted out.

That takes guts and we wish this person the very best. The sailor had not heard about VFP so John gave a good explanation about the group.

We are told that another VFP member from Massachusetts wants to come join us next Wednesday. Normally we'd not go that particular week (only do the 2nd & 4th Wednesday) but since we have a guest coming we'll return to the Navy compound gate at 11:00 am.

One BIW worker I met during last year's labor strike - we met on the picket line - walked by again yesterday for the 2nd time this month. We always have a nice chat. He's a very loving man - very religious and credits Jesus with turning his life away from drugs, alcohol and the like. We exchanged thoughts about the nature of God - I told him I gravitate more toward Native American spirituality - the Great Spirit. I did ask him if he thought Jesus (the Prince of Peace) would call the destroyers made at BIW 'evil'?

We parted in peace. It was nice.

(I'd like to offer a sincere welcome to BIW and Navy 'investigators' who are reading this blog. I hope you all are learning something as you keep an eye on us dangerous rascals.)

Bruce 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Black Ops in the Black Sea

HMS Defender. (Royal Navy)

 

The former British ambassador reacts to news that Russia fired warning shots at a British destroyer on Wednesday that entered the territorial waters of Crimea, still claimed by Ukraine.

Russia said Wednesday it had fired warning shots at a British warship [with BBC reporter conveniently onboard] that had entered its territorial waters. The British Ministry of Defense has denied the incident took place, saying, “No warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender. The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law.”

 

By Craig Murray

Sometimes it is worth stating the obvious. The United Kingdom does not have a coast in the Black Sea. British warships are not infesting the Black Sea out of a peaceful intent, and there is no cause for them to be entering disputed waters close to anybody’s coast. This is not a question of freedom of navigation under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. There is nowhere that a British warship can be heading from the UK under the right of innocent passage that would require it to pass through coastal waters by Crimea. The Black Sea is famously a cul-de-sac.

I expect we will now be in for a mad frenzy of Russophobia, yet again. I shall comment further once I have more details of why and exactly where Russia was firing warning shots. But just remember this, it was not Russian warships near the British coast, it was British warships in an area where they had no business other than ludicrous, British nationalist, sabre-rattling. 


The UK needs to lose its imperial delusions. Sending gunboats to the Crimea is as mad as – well, sailing an aircraft carrier expressly to threaten the Chinese. There are those who see this activity as evidence of the UK’s continued great power status. I see it as evidence of lunacy.

~ Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. This article is from CraigMurray.org.uk

'Exceptional nation' cracks down on press freedom

 

 

RT reports:

US authorities have apparently seized the web domains of Iran’s international media outlets Press TV and Al-Alam, along with the Yemeni TV channel Al Masirah, run by the Houthi faction, an Iraqi Shia satellite channel, and others.

Visitors to the PressTV.com and a number of other websites were greeted on Tuesday with a notice that they were seized under US laws that allow civil and criminal forfeiture of property involved in “trafficking in nuclear, chemical, biological, or radiological weapons technology or material, or the manufacture, importation, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance.”

The seizure notice by the US Department of Justice also invokes a law governing presidential authority in dealing with “unusual and extraordinary threat; declaration of national emergency,” which includes the Iran Nonproliferation Amendments Act of 2005 and the ironically named Iran Freedom Support Act of 2006.

Are we too competitive?

 


Are we too competitive, 
dog-eat-doggers?
 
Toes on the line,
keep your nose clean,
don't rock the boat,
climb the corporate ladder.
 
Every person,
every organization
for themselves?
 
Some reject this system
but I wonder
how many of us
have internalized
the hyper-competition model
even as we resist capitalism?
 
Do our movements
compete with one another,
helping to keep us isolated
sadly ineffective,
and under corporate control?
 
Compete for money,
media coverage,
volunteers,
'Likes on Fazebook'?
 
Dreams of grandeur,
a spot near the top.
 
Our egos
take a ride
on the cloud of hope.
 
The system
is deeply embedded
in us.
 
Is it possible
to question,
and defeat
institutionalized
Madison Avenue-brand
three-piece suit
fascism?
 
Slavery 
by another 
name.
 
Are we 
too competitive
to come together?
 
Can I take the log
out of my own eye?
 
Bruce 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Jimmy Carter on China and other things.....

 

 

I first saw Jimmy Carter (former Governor of Georgia) when he came to Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida in 1975 when I was attending school there after I got out of the Air Force the year before.

I was impressed with his speech and began paying attention to his presidential campaign. 

In 1976 I volunteered to help on his campaign. He was elected in November of that year. He was a one term president.

One of the key reasons I supported Carter was his statement: "The arms race is a disgrace to the human race." He used to say it often - as if to signal that America's long-running bout with militarism was misled. 

The public then had the 'Vietnam syndrome' and the corporate oligarchy wanted to get rid of that problem so they could return to full-blown empire building.

Once he became president, Carter built the Trident nuclear submarine base in St. Marys, Georgia very near the Florida border. For more than 20 years I joined the annual peace witness at the base on New Years Eve. The building of the sub base helped to sour me on Jimmy Carter.

It wasn't until some years after Carter left office that I learned how he had been recruited by Zbignew Brzezinski to run for president on behalf of the Trilateral Commission. After the debacle of the Vietnam War the ruling elites decided they needed a fresh face - but one they would control. So they took a virtually unknown moderate southern politician, with no national base or experience in foreign affairs, and made him president.  They played the 'peanut farmer' card created by the best minds on Madison Avenue.

A book that really helped to put me over the top on Carter, and the Democrats, was Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management by Holly Sklar. 

Sklar wrote:

In 1973 the Trilateral Commission was founded by David Rockefeller, Chase Manhattan Bank chairman, Zbignew Brzezinski, [President Jimmy] Carter's national security advisor, and other like-minded "eminent private citizens." Some 300 members (up from about 200 members in 1973) are drawn from international business and banking, government, academia, media, and conservative labor. The Commission's purpose is to engineer an enduring partnership among the ruling classes of North America, Western Europe, and Japan-hence the term "trilateral" - in order to safeguard the interests of Western capitalism in an explosive world. The private Trilateral Commission is attempting to mold public policy and construct a framework for international stability in the coming decades. ..."trilateralism" refers to the doctrine of world order advanced by the Commission.


Shortly before Jimmy Carter's election in 1976, Richard Ullman wrote from inside the foreign policy establishment: "In the U.S. - among elites, at any rate-trilateralism has become almost the consensus position on foreign policy." But it was only at the time of Carter's election that the Trilateral Commission was given much media attention. "Sound the Alarm: the Trilateralists are Coming" teased William Greider in a post-inaugural article on the Carter Administration and the Trilateral Commission. Jimmy Carter has picked no less than twenty-five trilateralists to serve in the highest posts of his administration. Besides Brzezinski, founding director of the Trilateral Commission, we find: Vice-President Walter Mondale, (former) Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, (former) Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Paul Volcker.


I lost most of my hope for Carter during his ill-fated administration. In the years that followed I did regain a fraction of respect for him - largely based on his work with Habitat for Humanity, building homes with people who could not afford to purchase one on the open market.

But then when Ralph Nader (who I always supported) was running for president his last time, Carter came on TV and launched a mean-spirited tirade opposing Nader's presidential run. By that time I was no longer a Carter fan but was still shocked that this 'good Christian' could be so mean-spirited.

With that said, I do like his comments above on China - although note that they were directed at Donald Trump. I wonder if he'd lecture Joe Biden nearly as strongly about the same subject?  One can always hope I suppose.

In the end Carter was a very mixed bag. Emphasis on mixed and bag.

Bruce

Monday, June 21, 2021

American Exceptionalism: The Divine Lie


By Regis Tremblay 

My friend S. Brian Willson returns with a shocking look in the mirror for all Americans. We were founded on The Big Lie of white, European, male supremacy. A veteran of the war in Vietnam that changed his life and turned him into a staunch anti-war, anti-US foreign policy activist that cost him his legs when he attempted to block the shipments of arms to Nicaragua in 1987 at the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

He is the author of Blood on the Tracks (Amazon) and is featured in a film I made in 2016, Warriors for Peace, Veterans Speak. I spent three days with Brian filming his story.

Could snivel-ization go dark?

 


 
This video by the German Space Agency does a decent job laying out how dependent we've become on satellites orbiting the Earth, and the ground stations spread around the globe, that relay signals. This is an important illustration of what current life has come to.
 
The video makes a vague reference to 'international cooperation' and the 'preservation and protection of our space infrastructure'. Nothing more explicit than that. It almost sounds like aerospace industry talking points. Don't harm our money machine - we've got to protect our 'space investments'.
 
The real danger though to these space assets is the US's long-known Pentagon doctrine of 'control and domination of space'. The US claims that it will be the Master of Space. Read about it in the infamous 1997 Space Command document called Vision for 2020
 
 

 

If there is ever a war in space then a massive cascading of satellite crashes will further pollute the space environment and turn the Earth dark. The list is endless....GPS, cell phones, ATM machines, weather prediction and more would be lost. This is what the video does chillingly show.

In 1989 Apollo 14 astronaut (and moon walker) Edgar Mitchell was a speaker at a protest I organized for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice at the space center in Florida.



During his speech Mitchell described to us that any war in space would be the 'one and only' due to the 'piranha laced-river of debris' that would orbit the Earth forever, 'entombing us on the planet'.

So the dreams of moving snivel-ization to Mars would be shot. Those scientists (many that work for the military) who talk about 'discovering the origins of life' would be out of a job.

In spite of the fact the future of humanity is riding on the imperative to ensure 'No war in space' ever happens, it appears that the Pentagon continues to rush headlong over the cliff. No one in Washington is listening to any of the serious questions and concerns about Space Force and US domination of the heavens. 

It's as if they are blind, deaf, and beyond dumb.

Bruce 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sunday song