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, November 13, 2021

UNAC space issues webinar with GN speakers

 


The deadly connections between space militarization and the climate crisis. 


A UNAC sponsored webinar in conjuction with the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Speakers include:

  • Dave Webb (UK) – Board chair of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and recent past chair of UK's Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
  • Koohan Paik-Mander - a Hawaii-based journalist and media educator. She is a board member of the Global Network and the CODEPINK working group "China is Not Our Enemy." She formerly served as campaign director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization.
  • Bruce Gagnon -Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space  

Class Warfare and Socialist Resistance: Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela

 


 
Why do Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela pose such an existential threat to the U.S.? The promise of socialism and their resistance to US class warfare.
 
 
By Ajamu Baraka
 
One of the extreme ironies of the latest attack by the settler-colonial regime of the United States against the national democratic project of Nicaragua is that in Nicaragua, the second poorest nation in the Americas, universal healthcare and education are guaranteed to the population as a human right, while in the U.S. those kinds of basic human rights are distant dreams.

The day after the so-called progressive block of legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives surrendered to President Joe Biden and the right-wing corporate wing of the party on the Build Back Better legislation that offered some minor and temporary relief for workers and the poor, many of those same “progressives” voted for the RENACER Act . The RENACER Act is a vicious piece of legislation meant to undermine the ability of the Nicaragua government to protect the human rights of its people and to punish the people for having the temerity to support their government and their anti-colonial project.

Why do Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela pose such an existential threat to the U.S.? Why are they able to unite all the wings of the democrat party and the republican party against them? It boils down to two factors. First, the power of their example in attempting to build independent, self-determining projects that center the material needs and interests of the people over those of capital. Second, the class warfare politics of the U.S. state.

The reassertion of the racist Monroe Doctrine by the former US National Security Advisor John Bolton was not repudiated by the Biden administration because it is also the guiding framework for its policies. The reference to the Monroe Doctrine was nothing more than connecting that doctrine to its contemporary policy expression reflected in the doctrine of “Full Spectrum ” dominance that has been bipartisan U.S. foreign policy for twenty years. The thrust of this policy is that any nation that attempts to defy the U.S. and build an independent project that threatens U.S. hegemony in any region of the world will be destroyed.

The fact that Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela are not only attempting to build independent projects but build socialism makes their example even more of a threat.

But there is also a domestic ideological component to this as well. The very existence of these nations at this historical moment, a moment characterized by the deepening and irreversible contradictions and current crisis of the capitalist order poses a potentially serious ideological threat. If these relatively poor nations can build public housing and eliminate homelessness, offer free education and universal healthcare, guarantee that no one will be allowed to go hungry, can build democratic structures with the protected right of popular participation, the question as to why these kinds of human rights are unrealizable for the people of the U.S. is a destabilizing one that must be avoided at all costs.

For the U.S. it has never been about human rights but hegemony


Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela are attempting to build a socialism that is committed to a framework of social justice that we refer to as People(s)-Centered Human Rights (PCHRs). PCHRs are informed by the theoretical social practice of the African American radical human rights tradition and have emerged as the flip side of the same coin from People(s)-centered development. Unlike the liberal, individualist, state-centric and legalistic conception of human rights, PCHRs are defined as:

“Those non-oppressive rights that reflect the highest commitment to universal human dignity and social justice that individuals and collectives define and secure for themselves through social struggle.”

 


This approach to human rights views human rights as an arena of struggle that when grounded and informed by the needs and aspirations of the oppressed, becomes part of a unified comprehensive strategy for de-colonization and radical social change.

U.S. President Joe Biden declared that Nicaragua president Daniel Ortega was “no different from the Somoza family that Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago.” He went on to say that “the United States, in close coordination with other members of the international community, will use all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to support the people of Nicaragua and hold accountable the Ortega-Murillo government and those that facilitate its abuses.”

Biden forgot to mention that the U.S. placed Somoza in power and supported him until he was overthrown by the Sandinistas in 1979.

The idea that the U.S. is concerned about democracy or human rights anywhere in the world is an insult to all thinking persons. I will not list once again the litany of crimes that support that assertion except for two. The Biden administration and their ideological lackeys in the media and even among some elements of what is referred to as a left question the 65 percent turn-out for the elections in Nicaragua. But when it was objectively verified that less than one quarter of the voting population turned out for the phony election of the Clinton imposed president of Haiti Martel Martelly, or equally phony election of Jovenel Moise with less than twenty-percent turnout, where were the questions from the New York Times, Washington Post and all the other propaganda outlets posing as news operations?

What was Joe Biden’s position in the administration when his boss President Obama gave the greenlight to overthrow the democratically elected government of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras? Did he oppose it?

Criminality is a core characteristic of all settler-colonial states because they are born out of systematic, terroristic, and genocidal violence against indigenous populations, and even more so when, as in the case of the U.S. they become global empires. Democracy and human rights are no more than ideological props to obscure the real interests and intentions of the rulers and to build domestic support for whatever criminal activity the state has embarked on.

Subversion in Haiti, sanctions and attacks on Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela and the ongoing wars launched from the over 800 U.S. military bases world-wide continues and will continue as long as the U.S. public is confused, disorganized, and diverted from understanding that the interests of the capitalist oligarchy are not their interests.

Slowly that shift in consciousness is happening in the U.S. The economic crisis of the last year and half, coming on the heels of the devastating crisis of 2008-9, has created a legitimation crisis and a new understanding of the real interests of the rulers that will not be reversed. The precarity of workers and the poor are forcing them to eliminate any and all illusions about their government and the economic system.

Debate around the Build Back Better legislation and the elimination of provisions that could have had a material impact on the lives of workers, in particular women of color workers, exposed the legislation as a cynical public relations stunt.

Compared to the attempts by states attempting to move toward socialism, the provisions in the bill even before it was stripped of most of its progressive provisions, still did not offer a real minimum floor for the protection of the fundamental human rights to social security, the right to an adequate income, housing, education, the right to participate in governance with the right to vote as a minimum, and healthcare, to name a few of the rights denied the population in the U.S., and even more so for its racialized and colonized captives.

That is why the idea of socialism and the possibility of an alternative to the barbarity of capitalism has been attacked. The U.S. intends to turn Nicaragua into Haiti, Cuba into Honduras, and Venezuela, which is key for liberation movements in the region, into Libya - the U.S. and European latte-left is helping.

But as brother Netfa Freeman stated, Black anti-colonial revolutionaries will stand with Nicaragua and all the struggling peoples of the planet against the number one threat to international peace and human rights – the United States of America. In that position, there is no compromise and no retreat!

~ Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. Baraka serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council and leadership body of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) and the steering committee of the Black is Back Coalition. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He was awarded the US Peace Memorial 2019 Peace Prize and the Serena Shim award for uncompromised integrity in journalism.  

Friday, November 12, 2021

What happened at Santa Susana Field Lab?

 


 In 1959, the Santa Susana Field Lab experienced an unconfined partial meltdown which resulted in what many now consider to be the worst nuclear disaster in United States history. Yet, it remained concealed from the public eye for twenty years. 

Now, with surrounding communities seeing a 60% increase in cancer rates, residents, including Melissa Bumstead, who's young daughter has been suffering from a rare cancer for years, are demanding a full cleanup of the site. 

Through her journey to discover the truth about her daughter’s illness, the once timid mother speaks out, carrying the Simi Valley Hillside community on her shoulders, to the steps of Washington D.C.

The feature documentary, directed by Nicholas Mihm, airs Sunday, November 14th at 10pm ET on MSNBC.

~ The contamination lives on today. See this Radioactive microparticles related to the Woolsey Fire in Simi Valley, CA

Thursday, November 11, 2021

War for what in Mali?

 


Orban don’t send Hungarian soldiers to Mali – Mobilisation of the HCP


With the slogan 'Orban don’t send soldiers to Mali', the Hungarian Community for Peace (HCP) is mobilising for the defense of the lives of the Hungarian soldiers and the honor of the Hungarian Nation.

HCP informed the Press on November 11 that a Demo will be held on November 20 at 11 a.m. in Kossuth Square, waiting for all those who do not want the lives of Hungarian soldiers to be sacrificed for foreign interests

 


"Wasn't Afghanistan enough?", one of their slogans sounds, referring to the fact that seven Hungarian soldiers came home from the Asian country in coffins. According to their additional slogan, "Hungarian soldier stay home!" and "Hasn't enough Hungarian blood flowed beyond our borders yet?" 

The Peace Community also stands up for the protection of the honor of the Hungarian Nation. Hungary is not a colonialist country, do not militarily help France, whose soldiers, according to the Prime Minister of Mali, are undesirable in the African country. 

HCP condemns that the government, with the approval of the parliament, will triple the number of the Hungarian contingent stationed in Mali.

 

 
 

The President of the Peace Community addressed an open letter to the Prime Minister of Mali, Choguel Kokalla Maiga, on Wednesday. In it, he called the Hungarian military action contrary to the interests of Mali and Hungary and to international law. He assured the Malian prime minister of HCP political and moral support in his struggle to restore the country's independence and territorial integrity as well as the national control over the resources and minerals of the country.

"The Hungarian Community for Peace strongly condemns the sending of Hungarian troops to your country. All the more so as they were requested to be sent there by a country whose soldiers are themselves in Mali illegally”,  the HCP letter to the Prime Minister of Mali stated.  

~ Endre Simó is the president of Hungarian Community for Peace (HCP)

The west is a cancer virus

 


Alexander Mercouris discusses the tragic story of Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recommitting the US to 'Globalization' which translates to the west running the whole world.

How has that worked out since WW II? One bloody war after the other.

Washington's continues to seek to isolate (and bring back under western control) China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and any other nation that dares to stand up to Mr. Big.

The west is a cancer - it won't rest until it absorbs everything.

Those who don't surrender to this western political virus will face unrelenting economic and military strangulation. 

This is the neo-con strategy. It's a corrupt and evil religion of greed, arrogance, domination and misplaced exceptionalism.

It won't work.

If left to their own devices the neo-cons will kill all of us and destroy the planet.

The only hope for the human race is to take down these neo-cons that run the US-NATO countries.

It's either them or the planet.

We don't have much time.

And no, the Democrats are not going to save us. The Dems are a huge part of the problem.

Bruce 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

CIA: Turn in a terrorist


'Turn in a terrorist, get $5,000' – Nancy Hollander, lawyer for Guantanamo Bay prisoners, on CIA leaflets spread over Afghanistan that contributed to the number being tortured in Gitmo.

Must watch videos: Global Network presentations during Glasgow People's Summit

 

On November 7 the Global Network was part of a COP26 People's Summit webinar (along with Veterans For Peace and the National Priorities Project) entitled 'US militarism, space tech and climate crisis'.
 
The GN was represented by two of our members who made excellent presentations. They were: 

  • GN board member Koohan Paik-Mander (Hawaii) focused on Pentagon plans to expand military operations in the Pacific in order to encircle and dominate China with more military bases. She dramaticly showed how a 'high-speed kill web' will reign terror on Earth via space technology. Koohan revealed that US war games in the Pacific region are currently having huge lethal impacts on sea life. This marine holocaust she reports will be called 'the smart ocean'.  You can watch her important 14-minute talk above.
  • GN member Lisa Savage (leader of the Maine Natural Guard) titled her talk 'Nothing to See Here: Information Control & Perception Management Around Climate Impact of Space Programs'.  A long-time communications activist, Lisa outlines how the US 'manages information' in order to sell the militarization of space. She asks why there is so much silence about the climate impacts of militarized space? Lisa illustrates in detail how the Pentagon is not concerned about its impacts on climate crisis but instead is working to 'manage the unavoidable'. You can watch her 19-minute video presentation below.

 


You can also view the entire webinar (with all five speakers) here

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Biden and Congress agree: Build Back Bombs Better

 


 $1.75 trillion for the social welfare/climate bill; $1.75 trillion for ‘modernizing’ nukes.
 

By John Walsh

Last Friday, the US Congress passed the “Infrastructure” Bill, which will be signed into law post haste, says the White House. The bill, designed to upgrade roads, bridges, transport and broadband, is a bricks-and-mortar affair and will benefit industry and commerce. It is the first of two bills that have been the center of attention in the US for months now.

The second bill is the Build Back Better bill. This bill has provisions for childcare and preschool, elder care, health care, prescription-drug pricing, immigration and curbing greenhouse-gas emissions. This might be described as a bill for people, not for bricks and mortar. It has been the darling of progressives in Congress. The White House has now promised it will come up for a vote by November 15.

Whatever one may think of the Build Back Better bill, there is no doubt it is a shadow of its original self. The total for the Build Back Better plan was to be in the neighborhood of $6 trillion, as originally envisaged by congressional progressives, and then it slipped to about $3 trillion, and now it has shrunk again to $1.75 trillion – the incredible shrinking Build Back Better bill.

It is woefully inadequate. On health care, greenhouse gases, family leave, education and other matters, it is little more than a stingy beginning.

Now look at the cost of “upgrading” and “modernizing” the US nuclear arsenal, a program that was originated by Barack Obama, after he got his Nobel Peace Prize, and has now ballooned beyond its original $1 trillion price tag to a stunning $1.75 trillion. No shrinkage there. For both main US political parties, no cost is too high to keep us Americans poised every instant on the razor edge of Accidental Armageddon.

 

Obama the magician - we had to learn to watch both of his hands as he did his tricks

Nuclear weapon “modernization,” however, is only one small corner of the total picture.  Let’s look at the entire military budget.

President Joe Biden’s first budget for the Pentagon and nuclear weapons, for fiscal 2022, is about $750 billion. The spending on the Build Back Better Bill is to extend over 10 years, yielding an average annual expenditure of $175 billion. Biden’s “transformative,” historic” Build Back Better plan gets only 23% of the Pentagon budget – assuming the latter is not fattened up even more.

The situation is even more barbaric when we look at the entire “national security” budget, which includes the yearly budget of the 17 “intel” agencies and comes to $1.3 trillion. No expenditure is too great, it seems, to ensure that the feds track all our phone conversations and e-mails and harass every unsuspecting Chinese student and academic they can get their mitts on. It would take only 13% of that $1.3 trillion to fund Build Back Better.     

For weeks the mainstream US media have been burdening its audience with a grueling daily account of the Build Back Better bill, with tedious detail about inter- and intra-partisan quarreling. The basic tale is that US Senator Joe Manchin is standing in the way of all that is good, holy and angelic in the political world.

True, but that makes him nothing more than a typical senator. However, the Manchin morality play touches on a simple but important question for those already feeling the limber fingers on their wallets of the insidious pickpocket, inflation. How are we to pay for Build Back Better? Regardless of which side of the question you come down on, cost constitutes an obstacle in influential quarters.

From all of the above, a compelling proposal emerges. A 23% cut in the military budget (or if you wish to cast your net wider, a 13% cut in the “national security” budget) would fund the entire Build Back Better Bill – with no more cuts.


The magicians assistant - don't be fooled again....



With a 23% cut for fiscal 2022, the military budget drops from $750 billion to $580 billion. That is still well in excess of the combined military expenditures of $314 billion for China ($252 billion) and Russia ($62 billion). In fact a cut of 50% in the military outlay would still leave it at $375 billion, still higher than the combined expenditure of Russia and China.

If an elected official cannot agree to that, he or she is either paranoid or a hegemonist up to no good. In either event they should be barred from public office.

The military budget of $750 billion is now under “continuing resolution,” which means interim funding until a final vote can be taken in the weeks ahead. One needs no crystal ball to forecast broad bipartisan support for this piece of legislation. The only serious discussion will be how much to increase the amount.

“Bomb Back Better,” if we might call it that, will sail through Congress and the White House as effortlessly as a vulture on the wing.

Common sense suggests we Americans transfer our hard-earned dollars from guns to butter, but no such prospect is in sight. Only one act is required to get to that promised land. We must not vote for anyone who cannot see his or her way to an ironclad commitment to a 50% cut in the National “Security” Budget – for starters. It’s as easy as that.  


~ John V Walsh, until recently a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, has written on issues of peace and health care for Asia Times, EastBayTimes/Mercury News, LA Progressive, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch and others.

Monday, November 08, 2021

Digital ID - mass surveillance system

 


Jimmy Dore and Max Blumenthal discuss:

Key words in this video about what your high-tech linked phone can deliver in the near future: will 'protect you', facial scanning, mandated vax reminder, passport control, banking control, medical data, drivers license, access to bars/restaurants, deliver government 'public service' announcements, etc.

  • If you are naughty the government turns off your phone and you are now invisible
  • Lose your job if you don't follow all government mandates
  • Homeless or older person and don't want a cell phone - what do you do then?
  • Creating a segregated society - those who have passports and those who don't
  • Determines what products, services or information you have access to or close you off 
  • Tony Blair calls it 'the natural evolution of technology' (Blair's foundation took $25 million from Bill Gates)
  • Allow or limit national/international travel
  • US AID involved in promoting digital ID - helps with international surveillance
  •  Legislation introduced in Washington to make digital ID mandatory - lingo in the bill all about 'efficiency, empowerment and inclusion'
  • Will allow the corporate world to 'leverage your ID info for commercial purposes'
  • Protests against the QR code GreenPass now underway around the world - people are angry at more than the vax - the vax mandate is being used to introduce control and domination of all of us (Trojan horse)
  • Many people in the US 'left' falling for these measures believing they will make us safer
  • Keep your eyes on 'Genetic editing'
  • Drones will monitor movement of people using QR codes in your phone
  • Massive civil liberties violations

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Sunday song