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, July 03, 2021

U.S. wargames in Nordic region aimed at Moscow

 


By Agneta Norberg

Warplanes F-16, from the US´s 480 Fighter Squadron, took off from Luleå/Kallax airfield on June 7th 2021 at 9 o´clock. This was the start for war training and coordination with the Swedish warplane, JAS 39 Gripen. 

The target is Russia. The war exercise, Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE) continued until June 18th. The US F-16, warplanes were deployed at Luleå Kallax for three weeks to make recognizing tours in the entire Northern area.

This particular warfighting exercise is a further development from earlier similar exercises which are conducted each second year. The war training is conducted from four different airbases and from three countries: Norrbotten´s air wing, Luleå, (Sweden), Bodö and Orlands air bases, (Norway), and Lappland´s air wing in Rovaniemi (Finland).

The US war planes and marine forces have been in the North for war preparations for many years. This is a militarizing of the entire North, which I have described in my booklet The North: a Platform for Warfare against Russia in 2017. This aggressive, militarization have been ongoing since after WW II, when Norway and Denmark were dragged into NATO in 1949. Read Kari Enholm's Behind the Facade, 1988.

Arctic Challenge Exercise was launched for the fifth time this year. Seventy warplanes were in the air at the same time. The air wing boss, Claes Isoz, proudly uttered: "This is a very important exercise for all the participating nations and therefore we have chosen not to cancel it because ACE is strengthening not only the national ability, it also contributes to add to a common security for all nations in the North."

 

 

These dangerous northern war games, where sea-land exercises like ACE and Cold Response, are all stepping stones in US strategy for the war against Russia. 

[The motivation is] to close Russia´s access to the open sea and to exploit the large oil-and-gas findings under the Arctic ice cap which have become more and more open. The US adopted a plan for this in a Security Directive in 2009 - The National Security Presidential Directive, No 66

The United States has broad and fundamental national security interests in the Arctic region and is prepared to operate either independently or in conjunction with other states to safeguard these interests. These interests include such matters as missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sea-lift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations; and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.

This war game Arctic Challenge Exercise, 2021, conducted for the fifth time, should be understood and linked to the US's 'Security Directive'. 

~ Agneta Norberg is Chair of the Swedish Peace Council and is a member of the Global Network's  Board of Directors. She lives in Stockholm

Friday, July 02, 2021

Preparing for war with China

 


The US and Japan are reportedly conducting joint military exercises aimed at China, according to sources of the Financial Times. 

This is an extension of Trump-era policies adopted by the Biden administration. 

RT America’s Alex Mihailovich has the story. 

Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof and Jeremy Kuzmarov, Managing Editor of Covert Action Magazine and author of The Russians are Coming Again join a panel to discuss. 

My therapy garden

 

Hens & chicks spreading (click on the photos for a better view)
  





The beauty on the porch. Planted long before we moved in to this house....

 

Sunflowers on left - Clemantis climbing the trellis - Kale in the two pots

Zucchini flowering

I sit at the computer for many hours each day. I try to get up and move around now and then. Having a garden helps.

Mainers love to garden due to long cold winters where we get stuck inside far too much. Thus when spring comes colors begin to pop out of the ground. Much money is made at the garden shops from people who want to plant some signs of beauty.

Now that spring has sprung (and intense summer heat is upon us) I can go outside and tinker with my plants. I weed them, water them, nurse them and talk to them. It's great therapy for me.

A bonus is that we have a huge amount of birds that come to the garden daily looking for bugs, worms and other such good eats. I also have various tall objects in the garden so the birds have many easy landing spots. It's a joy for me to sit at my desk and see the birds swooping in.

The reality of the peace work I do is that positive results are hard to come by. So the garden gives me a rare chance to see a seed grow if I take good care of the plants. Last night I cooked a meal and had four different veggies from the garden in the dish. 

Our particular neighborhood has lots of good gardens - it's like a big park. We love to walk the streets and admire the many wondrous plants. 

Slowly but surely (we just moved into this house one year ago) I am finding more ways to grow food (for humans and animals) in our yard. (I know it is working because some animal came and ate the roses that began to bloom. Birds are eating the blueberries as they ripen.) 

Just this spring I planted a peach tree, four blueberry bushes and I've planted 50 sunflowers in various places. 

I moved many car loads of rocks here to accent the garden. In a way it is a work of art.

My oldest sister (I have 5 of them) wrote this morning, "You inherited your grandfather’s green thumb and love of gardening." My Italian immigrant grandfather grew his own grapes, made his own wine, and had a large garden at his home in Connecticut. It made me happy to hear her say that.

Bruce

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Atlantic stormwind in the Black Sea

 


The Art of War

By Manlio Dinucci (il manifesto, Italy)

The large aero-naval maneuver Sea Breeze, officially "co-hosted by the United States and Ukraine" in the Black Sea, began yesterday. The United States planned and commands it, US is, therefore, the host in this sea close to Russian territory.  Sea Breeze is taking place from June 28 to July 10. The maneuver is led by the US/African Naval Forces with headquarters in Naples and includes the Sixth Fleet. It includes naval, submarine, amphibious, land, and air warfare exercises.

Since this series of annual maneuvers in the Black Sea began in 1997, the 2021 edition sees the largest number of participants: 32 countries from six continents with 5,000 soldiers, 18 special forces teams, 32 ships, and 40 war airplanes. 

Not only NATO member countries - Italy, Great Britain, France, Spain, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, the three Baltic Republics, Turkey and Canada – participate in it, but partner countries like Georgia, Moldova, Sweden, Israel, and above all Ukraine. Other nations sent their military forces to the Black Sea including Australia, Japan, South Korea and Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal, and Brazil. 

 


The fact that military forces are deployed in the Black Sea, even from Australia and Brazil for this great maneuver under US command directed against Russia is in line with what Joe Biden promised: "As president, I will immediately take steps to renew the alliances of the United States, and make America, once again, lead the world”. The war maneuver in the Black Sea, the largest to date, demonstrates that President Biden's steps go in the direction of a growing escalation against Russia and at the same time against China.

Sea Breeze 2021 actually began on June 23, when the British warship HMS Defender sailing from Ukraine to Georgia entered Crimea’s territorial waters. A deliberate provocative act claimed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who declared that Great Britain can again send its warships to those waters since it does not recognize the "annexation of Ukrainian Crimea by Russia". 

This hostile action, certainly concerted with the United States, was implemented just a week after the Biden-Putin Summit, defined by the US president  "good, positive"; a week after Russian President Putin warned in the press conference in Geneva: "We conduct military exercises within our territory, we do not bring our equipment and personnel close to the borders of the United States of America, as the US and its partners are doing now near our borders”.  

This hostile action was implemented by Great Britain just two weeks after the signing of the New Atlantic Charter with the United States, in which their Allies are assured that they will always be able to rely on "our nuclear deterrents" and that "NATO will remain a nuclear alliance”.

The deliberate violation of Crimean territorial waters made the war maneuver in the Black Sea even more dangerous. If this action is repeated, it may have the aim of provoking a Russian military response possibly with some dead or wounded to accuse Moscow of aggression. 

 


It is not a coincidence that some architects of Ukraine's Maidan Square putsch in 2014 hold important posts in the Biden Administration, such as the current Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland. The putsch set in motion a sequence of events. The bloody offensive against the Russian [speaking citizens] of Ukraine pushed the inhabitants of Crimea - this Russian territory passed to Ukraine during Soviet times in 1954 - to decide the secession from Kyiv and the re-annexation to Russia with 97% of votes in a popular referendum.  

NATO and the EU accused Russia of having illegally annexed Crimea and subjected the country to sanctions. Now, they want to move from political to military confrontation. They play with fire, even with the nuclear one. 

History lesson: Dirty bio-war lab secrets

 


This is one of the best films I've ever seen. I thank RT for producing it. I urge you to watch it and share the info with others.

The terrible crimes of Japan's secret bio-war Unit 731 should be seen by every person on the planet.

Thousands of people were used as test subjects for the development of biological weapons by Japan during WW II . The subjects (during Tokyo's occupation of China) were injected with cholera, typhoid, anthrax, bubonic plague, to be later dissected alive. 

 

Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just 'coincidentally' giving the thumbs up while in a plane marked 731.  Many people had a negative reaction (including me) to his trying to rehabilitate the memory of the bio-war Unit 731. Abe's maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi was de facto "economic king" of occupied China and Manchukuo, a Japanese puppet state in Northern China, in the lead-up to World War II. During the war, Kishi served as Vice Minister of Munitions in the fascist cabinet of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō. At the end of the war, Kishi was imprisoned in Sugamo Prison as a suspected 'Class-A' war criminal by the US military occupation of Japan, but was released and later de-purged as part of the Occupation's 'reverse course'. The Reverse Course began in 1947, at a time of rising Cold War tensions. As a result of Reverse Course, the emphasis of Occupation policy shifted from the demilitarization and democratization of Japan to economic reconstruction and remilitarization of Japan in support of Washington's Cold War objectives in Asia.

 

The unit's ideologist and head doctor was Shiro Ishii. He and most of his associates were never punished. They became practicing physicians or scientists in top post-war Japanese corporations. 

Ishii was brought to Fort Detrick (the top US bio-warfare lab) after Japan's defeat in WW II ostensibly to train the Americans in the 'art' of biological war.

It was Ishii that consulted with the US during the Korean War when Washington dropped bombs packed with bio-toxic payloads on North Korean villages. When North Korea dared to report these deadly bio-agent bombs to the world, the US resoundingly denied the claims and called them a 'pack of Communist lies'. 

The film shows the current program by Washington to encircle Russia and China with bio-warfare labs. What is their purpose?

I highly recommend the book A Plague upon Humanity: The Secret Genocide of Axis Japan's Germ Warfare Operation by Daniel Barenblatt. 

Barenblatt tells the entire sordid story about the US role in keeping Japan's dirty bio-war efforts alive to this very day.  

Bruce

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Peter Woodruff Presente!

 

 

Peter Woodruff passed away on June 27. He lived in Arrowsic, Maine - just on the other side of the Kennebec River from Bath. 

Peter worked at Bath Iron Works (BIW) for over 30 years. Like most shipbuilders he did different jobs while there. 

He was a longtime environmentalist in Maine and loved the ocean and all of its creatures. He was a gardener as well and enjoyed taking photos. He was also a strong union member who was active in past strikes at the shipyard.

Soon after the U.S. 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq in 2003, with the first cruise missiles fired from a BIW built Aegis cruiser (USS Cowpens), Peter began working with the peace movement.

In late 2008 Peter asked me to help him create a petition for workers at the shipyard saying they wanted to build offshore wind turbines. He and a couple fellow-workers gathered more than 800 signatures out of about 4,000 workers at the time. (BIW has at least four facilities spread out over 10 miles apart so it is real hard to reach all of the workers.) He was worried that he might be fired but it didn't happen.

Peter next wondered what he should do with the petition signatures and I suggested he request a meeting with the editor of the local paper. The meeting happened and the editor wrote a wonderful editorial congratulating Peter on his courage and vision. 

There was no way Peter was going to get fired at that point.

Peter then ordered bumperstickers that read: 'Save BIW, Build Wind Turbines'. He handed them out to fellow workers who put the stickers on their vehicles and on their lunch pails. 

In 2009 I interviewed Peter on my public access TV show called This Issue. You can watch it here. At that time he also wrote this Op-Ed for the local newspaper in our community.



For six years Peter and I did a weekly radio show at the Bowdoin College station in Brunswick. The show was an hour long and we played political music and talked about various issues - including conversion of BIW to sustainable technologies like commuter rail, offshore wind turbines, tidal power systems and more. Studies show that building these types of systems rather than weapons for war would actually create more jobs.

We had to eventually give up the radio show because Peter was losing his ability to speak. Because of his work at BIW, Peter was exposed to metallic dust which he inhaled. This dust entered his blood stream and began to impact him. 

Peter had his health insurance through the company-related HMO and he went to his doctor and asked to find out if his illness was work related. His doctor asked him, "Are you trying to hurt the company?" Peter said no, I just want to know what my problem is. Not long after, on a Sunday, the secretary of his doctor called Peter and told him the doctor no longer wished to treat him. Peter then went to talk with a labor lawyer to inquire if a class-action suit could be filed against the company. The lawyer told him that a 'financial settlement' could be extracted from BIW. Peter declined saying he was not interested in money, he instead wanted justice for all the workers at the shipyard.

Some years back Peter discovered that manganese mining in Africa was causing similar medical problems for workers. The cutting of steel at BIW, and inhalation of dust, was causing manganese poisoning for Peter. I once asked him if other workers at the shipyard had similar problems. He said yes, but no one ever talks about it.

In his last years at BIW he worked in the tool room where workers lined up every morning to check-out tools. There was a big bulletin board by the tool room so those waiting in line got a daily dose of political articles that Peter pinned to the board. Included there were so many copies of my blog posts that workers began to ask him if he was related to Bruce Gagnon. Peter again wondered if he would be fired for posting on the bulletin board but once again nothing came of it.

Due to this worsening condition Peter withdrew from meetings that he had always previously attended. But when there were protests he still came with his camera and took photos for us - many of which ended up on this blog.

Peter was like a brother to me and I will miss him terribly. We had many great times together.

In the end our community will miss this courageous man who dared to organize on behalf of peace and conversion of BIW while working inside the shipyard.

 

 

May we keep Peter's vision alive....

Peter Woodruff Presente!

May you rest in peace.

Bruce

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Upside-down world we live in

 


Who could ever have predicted that right-wing TV evangelist Pat Robertson would interview whistleblower William Binney? Binney worked as the Technical Director for the National Security Agency (NSA) as a code-breaker for more than 30 years.

Robertson ran for the Republican party nomination for president in 1988. He didn't win.

The fact he is interviewing Binney, and even asks about famed whistleblower Edward Snowden, is more than amazing.

You'd never hear Binney on MSNBC, CNN, or many other 'liberal' media outlets. Why not?

The world is surely upside-down these days. The political sands are shifting as the ruling corporate elites are playing the public off against itself. 

This (redirection, confusion) tactic, used in all US-sponsored 'Color Revolutions' around the globe, is intended to ensure continued corporate dominance of our nation.

It's wise to keep an independent mind and heart. Don't take the fake.

It is fascism - the wedding of corporations and government. Being done New York City style with a flair, a flurry, and a lie.

(I recognize that this interview is from 2020 but it is still mind-blowing.)

Bruce

Monday, June 28, 2021

New U.S. regime-change boss

 

 

The US government’s funding arm of political subversion and regime change around the globe - the National Endowment for Democracy - has a new president - Damon Wilson.  He replaces Carl Gershman who headed the NED since its creation by the US government in the 1980s.

Who is Wilson and what implications does his troubling background and expertise have for the future of the NED? 

Will supposedly “pro-democracy” and “pro-human rights” groups continue justifying taking NED money with an openly pro-war president handing it out to them?

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Taking it to the sports world

 

I love basketball and my favorite team has always been the Washington Wizards (formerly the Baltimore Bullets). I was born in Maryland.

The corporate takeover of pro sports has made it harder and harder to stay a fan but I've made a pact with myself to do what I can to bring my political work into my fandom.

I frequently visit a Wizards fan site called Bullets Forever and they regularly have a 'Fan mailbag' feature where you can send in questions and the guys that run the site answer them. I've taken to doing that and just this past week I had two of my questions featured.

One was about the logo and slogan the team used this past season: DC Above All. When I first saw it Hitler's Deutschland über alles came to mind so I wrote a comment (doubting they'd print it) but much to my surprise it appeared in their June mailbag. Here is my question along with the answer which actually impressed me.

 

  • Will the Wizards get rid of their ‘DC Above All’ slogan which is eerily similar to WWII Germany’s ‘Deutschland über alles’? Have the Wizards become a PR arm of the State Department? (Bruce Gagnon)


Albert: I reached out to the corresponding people at Monumental Sports & Entertainment [corporate owners of the Wizards] regarding your question specifically but have not received a response in time.

From past seasons when teams decide to change their slogans, they do so before the start of a new regular season. So I assume that is what the Wizards will do as well.

For those of you not familiar with what Bruce is referring to in regard to “Deutschland über alles,” it literally means “Germany above all else.” It is part of the stanza from their national anthem as originally written, and it was regularly sung during the Nazi era and is associated as such. Germans today often avoid singing that verse due to the perception it has with Nazism and don’t appreciate hearing it, even when sung by accident by foreigners. Wikipedia has a better way of explaining this than I can so I’ll refer you there. I did read some criticism on the “DC Above All” slogan for that reason specifically as well. 

Sunday song