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, August 14, 2021

Getting away

 

 

Mary Beth (MB) and I will be going away for a week. We both need a break.

MB is a social worker and works with the homeless in Portland. She loves her job. But it takes a toll.

I spend much of the time online doing my work for the Global Network. I love my job too. But U.S. foreign policy surely takes a toll.

We are going to enjoy a week on the rocky coast of Maine. We will rent a room in an old house by the ocean. We'll sleep late, walk, read and go on some side trips to various sea sites. Mostly we can clear our heads a bit.

The house has no WiFi but there is a spot nearby where I can get limited connection. I will likely post here everyday - I consider my blog my spiritual practice. It's my daily share and prayer. (I've got a bunch of posts already lined up so it won't take much effort.)

I'll let you know how it went when we get back.

Bruce

Friday, August 13, 2021

Why is there income inequality in the US?

 


The wages per hour is what the employer gives the employee. The productivity per hour is what the employee gives to the employer.

If what the workers gave the employer rose by 72 percent, whereas what the employer gave the worker on average rose by 17 percent over 40 years, there's your explanation for why there's great inequality in the United States.

~ Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Ukraine to invite Pentagon to deploy troops/rockets?

 

A battery of the American Patriot air defense missiles deployed at the Polish town of Morag, some 60 km from the border on Russia's Kaliningrad Region.

 RT reported:

US invited to station troops & rocket systems in Ukraine in potential major escalation of tense standoff across border with Russia

 

A top Ukrainian politician has called on Washington to deploy its military, including army units and air defense systems, to the troubled Eastern European nation, in what would undoubtedly be seen by Moscow as a grave provocation.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Reznikov revealed he had made the request as part of a visit to the United States, during a meeting with the Jamestown Foundation, a think-tank which the Russian government has previously accused of spreading propaganda against the country.

“It is important to expand the security package for Ukraine,” Reznikov said. “First of all, with the stationing of air defense forces, and even by deploying American units.” The politician added that Ukrainian legislation already allows for foreign troops to be based in the country.

Russia has repeatedly said that the presence of US military personnel on its borders with Ukraine would be a major red line in the simmering political conflict between the two nations. In February, Kiev called on NATO to begin flying warplanes and troop transports near the disputed Crimean Peninsula. Moscow has insisted that such moves are “provocative” and increase the chances of a potentially catastrophic incident, undermining regional stability.

At the same time, Reznikov said that an increased presence of Western forces in his country was necessary because of Russian dominance over the Black Sea, the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, and Moscow’s “influence in the Balkans.”

In addition, the deputy prime minister repeated allegations that the Kremlin may be planning to station nuclear weapons in Crimea. Russian officials, including Yury Gempel, the head of the Crimean parliament’s diplomatic committee, have blasted the claims as “unsubstantiated.” State Duma member Andrey Kozenko went further, saying those pushing the purported conspiracy without evidence should see “a psychotherapist” rather than making appeals to the West.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

'What did we get out of 20 years of war?'


 

Kabul remains tense and under a grip of fear as the Taliban continues to make rapid advances across several provinces within the country. 

On August 8, the Taliban militia took over the provinces of Takhar, Sar-e Pol and Kunduz even as the Afghan government forces continue to put up a fight.

Rocket lab protest in New Zealand

 


'STOP Militarisation of Space' New Zealand 'Rocket Lab' protest 21 June 2021 in Auckland. It asks government and Space Industry CEO to refuse US military Space Missile payloads for warfare combat targeting. Speakers also expose dangers to health and environment from the proposed 100,000 satellites for civilian/military dual purpose.

This public event reinforces NZ Nuclear Free Peacemaker policies and the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act. However, (OSHAA) regulations must be improved to keep 'Space for Peace Aotearoa'. This requires an amendment to prohibit rocket launches of military weapons and satellites contributing to warfare infrastructure.

In addition, the NZ government should actively pursue the UN PAROS Treaty (Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space) for protection of Heaven and Earth for humanity.

Comment corner: Has the U.S. begun its “great retreat”?

 

Below are several excellent comments that follow The Saker's interesting piece asking the question:  Has the US begun its “great retreat”? Where do you think Biden, and the American war machine, will head next?

 

Larchmonter445
No contraction, no retreat.

The US is shifting. They are creating a buffer of proxies to contain China, and then rebase out of range of China’s missiles. Vanuatu, Hawaii, Guam, Marshall Islands, the Philippines, and Australia, will get buildups, naval base-building and become airfields and logistic hubs for trying to contain China within the first chain of islands. The QUAD will become the Asian NATO if the US can keep demonizing China.

Biden cannot possibly be strategizing any of this. The US Navy has always dominated American policy and actions in the Asia Pacific region. They are changing the facts on the ground (and the seas).

The US versus Russia is Game Over. Putin has the technologies, weapons, and will against which the US and the West have no answer. Look closely. The best they can drum up is to try to take down Lukashenko in Belarus. and if they create a serious destabilization, Russian military and security forces would go in an keep order.

The US is not going to leave Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria. Such a vacuum would be a strategic gift to Russia, Iran and China. With little effort, the US can keep all three in turmoil for years more. There are plenty of ISIS and AQ fighters who work for peanuts (and some meth).

What will change is emphasis. We will see and hear a lot about Taiwan and the Philippine Sea instead of Iran and the Persian Gulf.



migueljose

I don’t know what is happening but here are a few thoughts. I think the U.S. knows that the axis of resistance is now formidable and that it cannot defeat it head to head. The U.S. is therefore cutting its losses and retreating (Afgahnistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria), while trying to cajole, pressure and blackmail allies/vassals into stepping up. Militarily the U.S. is attempting death by 1000 cuts which includes big time embargoes, lying, cheating, stealing and false flags, sowing destruction through as many whacko mercenary groups as possible: MEK, ISIS/Al Qaida, Asov, Uighurs, Miami Cubans, evangelical Christians, Zionists, Narcos. Oh, and NATO.

Meanwhile, Biden appears to be dusting off the Monroe Doctrine and ramping up hegemony in Latin America, more like a regional imperial power as opposed to a world imperial power. I look for hot wars on Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela within a year. Bolsonaro plans to become a king and will try and stage a coup with Biden’s help since Lula would not bow down to Biden. bottom line, hard times for everyone, no “soft landing”. Strengthen your life lines. Talk to neighbors more. Grow more food. Get stronger. Stop whining.



 Blackring
@Larchmonter445

” The US is shifting. They are creating a buffer of proxies to contain China, and then rebase out of range of China’s missiles.”

I agree that US is “shifting”. But the reasons are not some grand strategy ones. They are b.r.o.k.e.

Politicaly. Socially. Sexually. Health. Infrastructure. Cracks everywhere.

The western empire is in the final stage of its historical life cycle so its moves are erratic like those in old sclerotic men who stubbornly refuse to accept reality. Running up the stairs and falling again and again.

They can do a lot of damage here and there (and they surely will), but nothing can change their fate. The World will survive…

So, it is not contraction, nor retreat. It is last gasp for air.

Anglo-saxon civilisation had its time, and it shined bright. Now it is time to leave the stage, along with their proxies.

Gracefully, I hope.



Snow Leopard

A very worthwhile analysis Saker; As I see it the empire is collapsing rapidly and irretrievably. It is going to need all the resources it can muster to keep its most feared opponent from causing it real problems. That uber dangerous opponent (at least in the eyes of the empire) is, as always, the American people. So it is consolidating as well as retreating. It has no real political capital left with which to launch any serious aggression and Zone B is steadily increasing its gravitational pull on the rest of humanity. All the empire has left is propaganda and the ability to do weird shit with money. But they know they are riding a very dangerous tiger, which limits their operational room more than we might expect.

The understanding I hold to is that in terms of real power the empire died in December of 2012. It just takes a little time for the empire to realize it is stone dead and for its corpse to fall to the earth. When one is finally out of cosmic time that is it. When an entity runs out of cosmic time it no longer has any capacity for creative self construction, so I cannot see the empire regaining any consolidated capacity for sustaining itself.

However I share your expectation that the chaos will intensify and that will further the destruction. But I feel I have reason to be confident that it will not be allowed to take humanity down with it. There has been so much spiritual integrity built up amongst the people of the world over the last 40 years that there is no way that cannot have a positive salvatory influence. That fact alone holds opens the door to a survivable transition.
 

 


Charles Dunaway

For the first time in a very long time, we are seeing erstwhile establishment voices call for an end to US militarism in the Middle East. That is a welcome sign, but I doubt it is for the correct reasons. US exceptionalism is still the state religion on the shores of the Potomac.

Another important indicator is the intensification of US regime change and chaos-generation tactics in Asia, particularly Indochina. The National Endowment for Democracy and its local stooges are fomenting demonstrations and violence in virtually every country on China’s borders. The US is determined to undermine the Belt and Road Initiative and defeat China economically – something it cannot do by competition in the classic capitalist manner, but thinks it can do by subterfuge and threat. It could be that we are simply seeing a “Pivot to Asia” by “Biden”.

When considered alongside the ever-heightening level of threats, insults and sanctions against the Russian Federation, it makes sense that the US Military-Industrial Complex intends to justify additional trillions of dollars for weapons systems to fight a war against a major power. Fighting “terrorism”, particularly through proxies, simply doesn’t generate enough revenue. More major, technically complex, and expensive systems are very profitable, particularly when they don’t actually have to meet specifications or be delivered on time.

The only hope the world has at this point (and it’s a faint one) is that the people of the US will finally realize that the reason they have streets filled with homeless people in tents, millions without adequate health care, a crumbling infrastructure, and stagnant wages, is that all the fruits of their labor are going to the wealthy and the military. Given the captive media system in this country, it’s unlikely they will notice until it’s too late – if it isn’t already. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Moscow's crime? Demanding national sovereignty

 


Tariq Ali discusses the tensions between the US and its NATO allies and Russia.

He says the US and NATO hate Russia not for various actions and policies but for the fact Vladimir Putin's government has regained Russia's sovereignty. 

He also says a US attempt to court Russia into an alliance against China will not work, and that military threats and saber-rattling against China won't work either.

Monday, August 09, 2021

U.S. nuclear guinea pigs

  

After more than four decades of forced silence, some of the last surviving US atomic soldiers shared their unfathomable experiences of the atomic bomb tests in the 1950s.

"The Atomic Soldiers" was directed by Morgan Knibbe. It is a part of The Atlantic Selects, an online showcase of short documentaries from independent creators, curated by The Atlantic.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Sunday song