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, September 25, 2021

A fact is a fact....

 

US Turning Oil-Rich Nigeria into Proxy for its Africa Wars

 

Gulf of Guinea

What AFRICOM is doing under the cover of counterterrorism



By T.J. Coles (The Grayzone)

Last month, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari wrote an op-ed in The Financial Times. It might as well have been written by the Pentagon. Buhari promoted Brand Nigeria, auctioning the country’s military services to Western powers, telling readers that Nigeria would lead Africa’s “war on terror” in exchange for foreign infrastructure investment. “Though some believe the war on terror [WOT] winds down with the US departure from Afghanistan,” he says, “the threat it was supposed to address burns fiercely on my continent.”

With Boko Haram and Islamic State operating in and near Nigeria, pushing a WOT narrative is easy. But counterterror means imperial intervention. So, why is the Pentagon really interested in Nigeria, a country with a GDP of around $430 billion — some $300 billion less than the Pentagon’s annual budget — a population with a 40 percent absolute poverty rate, and an infant mortality rate of 74 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 5.6 per 1,000 in the U.S.?

A U.S. Naval Postgraduate School doctoral thesis from over a decade ago offers a plausible explanation: the Gulf of Guinea, formed in part by Nigeria’s coastline, “has large deposits of hydrocarbons and other natural resources.” It added: “There is now a stiff international competition among industrialized nations including the United States, some European countries, China, Japan, and India.”

Since then, the U.S. has been quietly transforming Nigeria’s police and military into a neo-colonial force that can support missions led by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Buhari’s offer makes U.S. involvement in Nigeria appear as if Nigeria is asking for help, when in fact the stage is already set for AFRICOM.

The Pentagon’s broader aim is to stop China and Russia from gaining a foothold in the continent. In the meantime, it aims to crush any and all opposition groups that disrupt energy supplies so that oil giants can continue exploiting Nigeria’s resources. 

Read the rest of this important article here

Friday, September 24, 2021

Truth about America: Democracy for sale to crooks & thieves

 


How Organized Crime Infiltrated American Business After WW II and Corrupted National Politics from Truman to Trump


By Jeremy Kuzmarov

Provocative new book documents the unsavory alliance between the Mafia, the CIA, and the corporate establishment that transformed America into “the world’s most dangerous nation”

During the years of the Trump presidency, popular and scholarly discussions of the erosion of U.S. political and legal norms frequently contrasted the Trump era with a supposed golden age of U.S. democracy in the mid-20th century.

Jonathan Marshall’s new book, Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021) effectively challenges this narrative and the myth of the “greatest generation.”

The book details the largely neglected story of how well-protected criminals organized the corruption of U.S. politics and business at a national level after World War II.

Traditional U.S. historians, according to Marshall, have treated corruption as a “barely detectable eddy in the large current of events, with no lasting political or even moral significance.”

They ignore the ties between organized crime and dominant political figures, ranging from Harry S. Truman to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard M. Nixon, along with the role of the mafia and CIA in subverting Third World nations.

As such, they present an incomplete picture, which plays into belief in “American exceptionalism”—that the country’s politics are more morally pure than other countries.

“Americans,” Marshall writes, “must arm themselves with greater knowledge of the long-neglected ‘dark quadrant’ of our national politics in order to shrink its power and strengthen our democracy.”

Harry Truman: The Pendergast’s Man

 

Harry S. Truman and Kansas City mafia boss Tom Pendergast

 

Marshall begins his story with Harry S. Truman, a failed businessman and law school student whose political rise was fueled by his backing by the mafia-linked Pendergast political machine in Kansas City.

Kansas City in the 1920s was a center for vice. Thomas J. Pendergast—who was convicted in 1939 on federal tax evasion charges—was the “ruling spirit behind” the “roaring business” of gambling, prostitution, bootlegging, the sale of narcotics and racketeering,” in partnership with political boss John Lazia, an ally of Al Capone’s Chicago outfit.

Truman’s political career began in 1922 when he was elected county court judge in Eastern Missouri as Pendergast’s hand-picked candidate.

Young Truman recorded in his diary how he let a former saloon keeper and murderer who was “a friend of the big boss,” as he termed Pendergast, steal about $10,000 from the general revenues of the county, though he rationalized the decision by claiming that it “kept the crooks from getting a million or more from public bond issues.”

In return for this and other political favors, Pendergast allies, such as Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Robert Hannegan, secured Truman’s nomination as Roosevelt’s running mate at the 1944 Democratic Party Convention in Chicago over Henry Wallace, an anti-fascist progressive who had the overwhelming support of the delegates.

See the rest of this sordid all-American story at CovertAction Magazine here

Thursday, September 23, 2021

BIW Navy gate vigil continues

 

 

Yesterday we were back at the Navy compound gate at Bath Iron Works (BIW) for another of our twice-a-month vigils during the lunch break at the shipyard.

Peter Morgan (on the left) and John Morris from Maine VFP held the large banner made for one of our previous peace walks through the state. The banner was painted by Maine artist Russell Wray (Hancock). You can imagine that we got some double-takes on it.

It was probably our best day for reactions from shipyard workers and the public.

I was holding a sign that reads 'Are we building a sustainable future yet?'  The sign was made by long-time BIW worker Peter Woodruff who passed away some months ago. Peter often joined us at our BIW vigils and took photos.

One guy drove by and yelled, 'No, not yet!' in response to my sign. I usually stand on the opposite side of the street from Peter and John so I can catch Navy personnel and workers as they come and go from the compound.

I'd estimate that about 17 of our VFP (Pentagon's contribution to the climate crisis) flyers were handed out while we were there on Wednesday. That is about half-a-dozen more than usual. I like to say we are wearing them down. 

One young worker passed me by and said we should not just be talking with the 'low level workers', but that he agreed with us anyway. On his return trip from the local convenience story (where many workers/sailors buy their lunches) I asked him if he had a minute to talk. He stopped and I told him that he was correct and that we are constantly looking for all kinds of ways to communicate our message about converting BIW to building commuter rail, offshore wind turbines, tidal power systems and the like. 

I told him we try to communicate with the Maine congressional delegation, the big-wigs at General Dynamics (that owns BIW) and the top Pentagon officials as well as the public. But, I reminded him, BIW workers and sailors are citizens as well and should also hear our message. He agreed.

I also explained how studies at U-MASS Amherst and Brown University Economics Departments reveal conversion would create thousands more jobs with the same amount of money now spent on destroyers. Military spending is 'capital intensive' while any other kind of civilian production would be 'labor intensive'. 

It was a nice conversation.

Actually it would be really helpful if we could get some religious leaders across the state to be part of our conversion effort but so far it has been quite difficult. One would imagine that those who profess to follow the 'Prince of Peace' would be eager to see the nation move away from endless war to a more peaceful and sustainable posture on our fragile planet. Imagine if we could cut the Pentagon budget - lots of money would become available to help those in need. 

But I suppose the call of the Sunday collection plate holds most of them back from being involved with us. It's very sad. In the meantime the 'money changers' keep doing what they do.

 

Navy compound gate at BIW. From this site the Navy monitors the process of building Aegis destroyers and sailors assigned to the new warships come and learn to operate them. So we get to see alot of people during these vigils.

 

Near the end of our hour-long vigil one man drove out of the navy compound and shouted from his car 'Keep doing what you are doing'. He had a big smile on his face.

We return for our next Wednesday vigil on October 6 at 11:00 am. It will be during Keep Space for Peace Week which is a good fit. (Additionally another space week vigil will be held at BIW on Saturday, October 9 in front of the administration building on Washington St. starting at 11:30 am.)

If you click on the photo at the top, take note of the missile being fired from the destroyer on the left side of the banner. It is an 'interceptor missile' that has previously shown the capability to knock a satellite out of the sky (Operation Burnt Frost). Thus it can be called an ASAT (Anti-satellite weapon). 

So it is clear that the destroyers made at BIW in some respects are part of the Pentagon Star Wars program.

On we go....

Bruce

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Hearing from the Irish MP

 


Clare Daly (Ireland), a member of the European Parliament, criticized the European Parliament’s report on Russia that calls for a tougher policy against Moscow.

Electro-magnetic warfare in space

 

 

Will Griffin's monthly space video he makes for the Global Network.

The next domain of warfare includes the combination of outer space and dominance over the electromagnetic spectrum, otherwise known as electromagnetic warfare (EW). 

Global Network links: https://linktr.ee/space4peace

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How lies get manufactured & accepted....

 

 

9/11/2001

Witnesses at the scene were shocked to see the lack of remains of the airplane.

It was reported the debris were blown by the wind over 6 miles away from the main impact site.

"It looks like there's nothing there, except for a hole in the ground."
"There was nothing you could distinguish that a plane had crashed there."
"There's really nothing left of that plane."
"There was virtually nothing left of that plane."
"The plane has totally disintegrated."
"There was nothing there that you could really say was an airplane."

History department: 1987 Cape Canaveral protest against first-strike attack planning

 


In January of 1987 I coordinated the biggest protest in my organizing career. The event was held at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida and I was working for the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice.

We called the protest 'Cancel the Countdown!'.

More than 5,000 people turned out to protest the first test launch of the Trident II nuclear missile from the space center. 

Things actually began two weeks before the big rally.

Our 'Peace Pilgrimage to Stop the Trident' began at the Kings Bay Trident submarine base (built by President Jimmy Carter) which is located just over the Florida-Georgia border line. More than 200 people were on the peace walk. The walk was led by John & Martina Linnehan.

Affinity groups were formed on the peace walk as it headed south and just days before the pilgrimage reached Cape Canaveral small teams of activists began sneaking into the launch zone at the Cape. The public goal was to reach the Trident launch area and sit on the pad so the nuclear missile could not be fired into space.


In the middle of the night people walked south down the beach to the Cape, others waded through the alligator and snake infested swamp, and others still found even more creative ways of getting into the forbidden zone. Each day for a week before the scheduled national protest, arrests were reported in the local papers about those who had been captured by the military security. Warnings blared in the mainstream media about machine-gun armed military personnel and the dangers of being eaten by alligators. But the alarms did not deter people from their peaceful trek.

We were strongly supported by then national Mobilization for Survival that had its office in New York City. They organized a 'peace train' on Amtrak that began in Boston and headed south to Florida. At each big city they stopped, a news conference was held at the train station, and more people joined the journey to the Cape. Mobe staff helped in many ways to make this a special event.

On the day of the final rally a slew of great speakers and musicians took the stage at our protest area just one mile from the Cape Canaveral (now named) Space Force station gates. Among the speakers were Dr. Benjamin Spock (the famous baby doctor and activist), Odetta, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton and more. Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul and Mary) sang at a church fundraiser for the protest in Orlando the night before.

 

Dr. Benjamin Spock

After the rally was finished we began a slow but deliberate march to the Cape's well-armed front gates. The day before several of us on the organizing team met with the Brevard County Sheriff's Department who told us that a 'counter protest' was planned against us. We agreed that the cops would keep us on one side of the four-lane road and the counter folks on the other side - with police down the middle. But things did not turn out that way.

 

 

During our rally we sent our peacekeeper team down to check out the front gate and they reported that the police were on the base side of the closed gate. And standing in front of the gate were beer drinking right-wingers who vowed to block us from entering the base. Many were carrying wooden sticks with signs on them.

 


As we approached this mad scene at the gate it was difficult to communicate with our peacekeepers on the walkie-talkies because a military chopper was just above our heads and along the river to one side were air-boats making an additional racket. It was a prescription for a disaster. The police had set us up.

 

One of the counter-protesters 'guarding' the front gate. Our numbers swallowed them up as we approached the missile launch base gate.
 

There were maybe 50 of the heavy drinking rightists and over 5,000 of us. As we made our final approach to the gates our peacekeepers went forward and mingled with the right-wingers. Then the rest of us just overwhelmed them with joy, love and determination to get over the fence.

 

Among the many Florida Coalition leaders arrested was Bobbie Heinrich from Ft. Myers, Florida who went over the fence. She was a deeply spiritual person and spent many years in Africa working with tribal people.

Ladders were placed up against the fence and large pieces of carpets were slung over to cover the barbed wire. Dr. Spock was the first to climb over then many, many more followed. In the end over 200 of us were arrested either at the Cape base gate or during the previous days as folks attempted to venture into the launch zone.

 

 

As it turns out one woman was able to reach one of the launch towers and picked up the phone and called security to come get her. The local media loved that story.

The reason we felt this protest so important was because the Trident nuclear missiles on submarines are a key element in Pentagon first-strike attack planning. It was in those days that I really began to understand that the US was setting in motion a dangerous and provocative program to gain global supremacy by threat of first-strike attack - something both China and Russia have renounced. It is even worse today.

I too climbed over the fence and spent five days in jail for refusing to give my real name - something many people did during that action. I said my name was Joe Nagasaki. (The jailers had never heard of Nagasaki and called me Nag-ass-key.)

My work today is just a continuation of those days back in the 1980's. I keep people like Dr. Spock and Bobbie Heinrich in my heart. 

Bruce  

See more photos from the protest here

Monday, September 20, 2021

Talking space issues with Regis Tremblay

 


Interview with long-time friend (and former Mainer) Regis Tremblay who now lives in Crimea, Russian Federation.

We discuss all things space - past, present and future.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

AUKUS: If the truth be told....

 


By Caitlin Johnstone

Australia has joined the U.S. and U.K. in an “enhanced trilateral security partnership” called AUKUS with the unspoken-yet-obvious goal of coordinating escalations against China.

Antiwar reports:

    “President Biden and the leaders of Australia and the UK announced a new military agreement on Wednesday aimed at countering China. The pact, known as AUKUS, will focus on the sharing of sensitive military technologies, and the first initiative will focus on getting Australia nuclear-powered submarines.

     US officials speaking to CNN described the effort to share nuclear propulsion with another country as an ‘exceedingly rare step’ due to the sensitivity of the technology. ‘This technology is extremely sensitive. This is, frankly, an exception to our policy in many respects,’ one unnamed official said.”

    This deal will replace a planned $90 billion program to obtain 12 submarines designed by France, an obnoxious expenditure either way when a quarter of Australians are struggling to make ends meet during a pandemic that is four times more likely to kill Australians who are struggling financially.

This is just the latest in Canberra’s continually expanding policy of feeding vast fortunes into Washington’s standoff with Beijing at the expense of its own people.

If readers are curious why Australia would simultaneously subvert its own economic interests by turning against its primary trading partner and its own security interests by feeding into dangerous and unnecessary provocations, I will refer them once again to the jarringly honest explanation by American political analyst John Mearsheimer at a debate hosted by the Australian think tank Center for Independent Studies in 2019.

Mearsheimer told his audience that the U.S. is going to do everything it can to halt China’s rise and prevent it from becoming the regional hegemon in the East, and that Australia should align with the U.S. in that battle or else it would face the wrath of Washington.

“The question that’s on the table is what should Australia’s foreign policy be in light of the rise of China,” Mearsheimer said. “I’ll tell you what I would suggest if I were an Australian.”

Mearsheimer claimed that China is going to continue to grow economically and will convert this economic power into military power to dominate Asia “the way the US dominates the Western Hemisphere” and explained why he thinks the U.S. and its allies have every ability to prevent that from happening.

“Now the question is what does this all mean for Australia?” Mearsheimer said. “Well, you’re in a quandary for sure. Everybody knows what the quandary is. And by the way you’re not the only country in East Asia that’s in this quandary. You trade a lot with China, and that trade is very important for your prosperity, no question about that. Security-wise you really want to go with us. It makes just a lot more sense, right? And you understand that security is more important than prosperity, because if you don’t survive, you’re not gonna prosper.”

“Now some people say there’s an alternative: you can go with China,” said Mearsheimer. “Right, you have a choice here: you can go with China rather than the United States. There’s two things I’ll say about that. Number one, if you go with China you want to understand you are our enemy. You are then deciding to become an enemy of the United States. Because again, we’re talking about an intense security competition.”

“You’re either with us or against us,” he continued. “And if you’re trading extensively with China, and you’re friendly with China, you’re undermining the United States in this security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective. And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.”

Nervous laughter from the Australian think tank audience punctuated Mearsheimer’s more incendiary observations. The CIA is known to have made numerous attempts to assassinate Castro.

There you have it. Australia is not aligned with the U.S. to protect itself from China. Australia is aligned with the U.S. to protect itself from the U.S.

~ Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. 

Things have to change

 


Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Wolf Clan speaks about the ignored warnings & how we are living in the times of a 200-year-old prophecy. 

It will get worse before it gets better - get ready. 

This was recorded in 2007 and is timelier than ever.

Sunday song