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....

My Photo
Name:
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 21, 2021

Some snaps from Maine's coastline

   
A truly wonderful art gallery & tourist trap. Lots of great stuff - had to restrain myself.

Wild turkeys






One of our highlights was to take a 'Puffin watch cruise' to try to see the endangered seabird. Most of them have already left the small island where they summer but we got to see a couple of them. After the birds leave the island they don't touch land again for four months - living at sea the entire time. They are magical birds and I deeply appreciate the efforts underway to help them make a come back. But challenges still remain as their primary source of food, Atlantic herring, are declining due to over fishing.


MB and I went to New Harbor, Maine for a week get-a-way. It is about an hour from where we live in Bath and a lovely place.

We rented in a room inside a very old house within stone's throw of the harbor and a couple minutes walk to the rocky coastline.

We spent our time sleeping late, walking each day, visiting various sites and of course eating our share of seafood. We ran into a friend and her young son twice in different coastal villages which was quite remarkable. 

We both did alot of reading - I polished off one book entitled The Devil is in the Details: Alan Dale with Malcolm Blunt on the Assassination of President Kennedy.

If you are into the JFK story then I highly recommend this book.

Be sure to click on the photos above for a better view. Most of them were taken in the Pemaquid area.

Bruce

Protest Climate Crime at Blue Angels Air Show

 

 

Please join us in Brunswick, Maine to protest the climate-damaging Great State of Maine Air Show by the Navy's Blue Angels warplanes.

Date: Saturday, September 4 at 10:00 am


Location: Main gate, Bath Rd., Brunswick Executive Airport (former Brunswick Naval Air Station)

Event: Rally with live music and speakers re: climate impact of military

Sponsors: Maine Veterans for Peace, Maine Natural Guard, Peaceworks of Greater Brunswick, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Peace Action Maine, Pax Christi Maine (additional sponsors welcome!)

This event is part of a long presence protesting Maine air shows, a major source of air pollution at a time when climate has reached a tipping point.

Generally understood to be a military recruiting event, this air show burned napalm on the runway for entertainment in 2012!

We hope you can join us to help thousands of Mainers connect the dots between militarism and climate crisis.

 

Friday, August 20, 2021

The Flight from Kabul and the Legacy of General Soleimani

 


By Seyed Mohammad Marandi

 Al Mayadeen

Iran has strong reason to believe that the sudden withdrawal of western forces was designed to create instability and chaos in Afghanistan.

Roughly 20 years ago, after the Taliban’s crushing defeat in Afghanistan and the complete withdrawal of support from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia under US pressure, the Quds Force began a dialogue with this seemingly diminished organization. At that time, many thought this to be a meaningless endeavor as the political landscape across the region was changing dramatically. The fact that the Taliban murdered 11 Iranian diplomats and a journalist inside the Iranian consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, would have made this new direction seem grossly inappropriate in the eyes of many in Tehran, if publicized.

The US invasion of Afghanistan, and subsequently Iraq, forced the Americans to stomach the presence and role of powerful Iranian allies in both countries. The US-led occupation forces lacked a coherent long-term strategy as well as allies, while important opposition leaders and military and political organizations were based in Tehran. In Afghanistan, the US had to turn to a coalition of political parties or the so-called Northern Alliance, which was struggling under tremendous pressure in their resistance against a foreign-backed brutal and ruthless Taliban.

Therefore, when the Taliban was defeated and remnant forces fled the country, Iranian allies took key positions in the Afghanistan government. There seemed to be no need or justification for dialogue with this seemingly spent force. However, General Qasem Soleimani believed that the Taliban continued to have popular support among a significant segment of the Pashtun tribes and populations in southern Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, and he felt that the only path to long-term regional stability was for all the parties to engage in dialogue.



General Soleimani also believed that under such circumstances, the only force that was prepared to significantly drive up the cost of the US-led occupation, a key strategic Iranian objective, was the Taliban. He knew that under such circumstances the occupation of both Iraq and Afghanistan would gradually become extremely problematic and unpopular in western countries and that ultimately, such a huge burden would hit western economies hard and force them to withdraw their forces from both countries.

The objective of the Quds Force was to create mutual understanding and to encourage the more moderate factions within the fragmented Taliban to gain the upper hand. General Soleimani believed it was inevitable that foreign forces would at some point be forced to leave the country, and that following the country’s liberation, it was essential that Afghanistan isn’t pushed by the withdrawing occupation forces into another devastating civil war.

2011 was a significant turning point in the relationship, and high-ranking delegations began visiting Tehran. As time went by, the relationships became warmer and even personal, so much so that when General Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes and their companions were murdered at Baghdad International Airport by the Trump regime, a high ranking Taliban delegation traveled to Tehran and visited his house to pay condolences to his family.

While accusations of Iranian military support for the Taliban against Afghan government forces are completely baseless, there was one significant and revealing instance where the Taliban asked for Iranian assistance. Both Iranian intelligence and the Taliban knew that US-linked factions within the rapidly collapsing ISIS were extracted from Syria and inserted into Afghanistan. The Taliban asked the Quds Force to help it defeat what it saw to be an existential threat. Iran informed the Afghan government, which wasn’t particularly happy with such cooperation, but they didn’t object.

Ultimately, the Taliban made 4 commitments to the Quds Force. It would maintain stability on the border with Iran, it would not compromise on its opposition to the presence of any foreign forces, it would not target other ethnic groups or sects, and that “brothers wouldn't kill brothers.” While there are differing factions with very different views within the Taliban, the Iranian have assessed that during these years the current Taliban leadership has been committed to its promises.

This relationship has helped the Islamic Republic of Iran become an effective mediator in recent weeks and months, to ensure that the withdrawal of occupation forces doesn't lead to civil war, and to prod the new government to be inclusive of all Afghans. Iran has strong reason to believe that the sudden withdrawal of western forces was designed to create instability and chaos in Afghanistan. The US believes that if it can’t have Afghanistan, then the country should become a source of persistent trouble for Iran, China, Russia and even India. Meanwhile, significant sums of money are currently being sent by Saudi Arabia and 2 other regional counties to support extremist takfirist factions within the Taliban. Iran isn’t naive, but doing what it can to prevent tragedy is a responsibility. If that doesn’t work, the Quds Force will vehemently support those resisting extremism and terrorism.

Iran is constantly working and negotiating with the different parties inside Afghanistan as well with neighboring countries, plus China and Russia, to block the efforts of those who are pushing for a return to the dark past. Iran’s imminent membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will enhance its capability to coordinate international efforts in this regard.

General Soleimani is no longer among us, but his legacy continues to inflict blows on the dying US Empire.  

~ Seyed Mohammad Marandi is Professor of English Literature and Orientalism; Head of the American Studies department at the University of Tehran

We need a new system based on justice....

 


American economist Professor, Jeffrey Sachs exposes how America, its Western allies, the CIA and the defence industry have rigged the system to keep Africa from being prosperous.  It is a stunning expose and rebuke to the present world order. 

Sachs is an American economist, academic, public policy analyst and former director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, where he holds the title of University Professor. He is also a renowned leader in sustainable development, a senior UN advisor and a bestselling author.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

The war money-go-round

 


RT America's Faran Fronczak breaks down the astronomical spending involved in the US invasion of Afghanistan before discussing the tremendous profits defense contractors reaped from the war and the interlock between the boards of these too-big-to-fail companies and the Defense Department.

A closer view of Vladimir Putin

 


Where does ideology end and culture begin? 

In this clip, Vladimir Putin covers an astounding amount of ground in 5 minutes; individualism/collectivism, the formation of the United States as a democracy, ethnic cleansing of native Americans, and the Stalin era of the Soviet regime. 

Putin is one of the most demonized leaders in the world. He is also one of the most misunderstood - particularly in the west as a result of the non-stop demonization.

For those who say they don't like Putin - just answer this one question? Where did you get the majority of the information 'you think you know' about him?

 This short video gives us one more view of the man - this interview with journalists from the RT network.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Film review: Who owns outer space?

 

 

Pax Americana and the Weaponization of Space is a documentary film by Denis Delestrac with a music score by Amon Tobin. 

The film deals with the issue of space weapons and their politics, featuring interviews with several key United States military personal, academics such as Noam Chomsky and others, including Martin Sheen.

 The film won the Best Documentary award at the 2009 Whistler Film Festival and was selected in a number of international film festivals.

The film was also viewed on public TV in Canada and throughout Europe. Pax Americana was additionally seen in theaters throughout Latin America. 

Unfortunately filmmaker Delestrac could not get a distribution deal in the US (for obvious reasons) so most Americans had little chance of seeing this important documentary.

Please consider sharing this important film with others.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Surprise, surprise....

 

 

Check out this article The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan back with a bang

By Pepe Escobar 

 

 

Except we should not call it 'defense'. Because it has nothing to do with that.

Who decides who gets to play?

 


Power is shifting worldwide 
and the technologies
under development 
make real 'democratic' governance,
in any part of the world, 
subject to 
corporate domination of information. 

Mr. Big's new motto is
'Out with the old, 
in with the digital'.  
 
But who controls the digital? 
Who decides who gets to play? 
Who owns
the info flow?
 
Beware of 
the hollow promises
that big-tech
makes.
 
They claim,
Life,
and 'democracy',
will be
so much easier.

By now
we know
it's a rigged 
game.

Bruce

Monday, August 16, 2021

America is coming to an end....

 


Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman (Kangi Duta) shares the old Hopi Prophecy about the end of America, the big change that's coming and the ways to truly live on and with Mother Earth. 

Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman (1936-2007)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Trailer: Climate crisis alert

 


Abby Martin's second feature film is an anti-imperialist environmental documentary.

Sunday song