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: Brunswick, ME, 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. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Friday, September 30, 2022

Vladimir Putin on western sabotage of Nordstream pipelines



Asian woman elder hands me $5


Yesterday was another of our weekly 'No war with Russia' vigils we've been holding in Brunswick each Thursday for an hour. We held our first one on February 5.

We had Rosie, Dan and me there. Sometimes 2-3 more folks join us.

I do it for the waves and honks - especially from truckers. We get few negatives. Mostly blank stares at the car ahead. You can almost see the words 'stay in line' tagged on their foreheads.

I like to encourage those drivers who are thinking outside the box and not buying the non-ending corporate media Russia demonization.

Anyway, before anyone else arrived for the vigil, an elder Asian woman approached and wanted to read my sign. She said nothing to me, but then with her extended hands gave me a deep look and $5 bill. I didn't want to take it but that would have insulted her. I moaned and then said thank you. She walked away into a local fingernail shop where I realized she worked. Many of the workers in these shops are Vietnamese.

I wonder if she thought I was homeless. I really have no idea.

After the vigil I dodged traffic and went into the medium strip of the busy downtown street to pick four flowers (each a different color) from the city's beautification efforts. 

I walked toward her shop and entered the mini-mall outer door and realized that she was sitting inside the door with her shoes off. She was leaning against the wall and could see the street through the big windows from this spot. I handed her the small but radiant flowers and said thank you again.

She said to me 'I don't speak English' but her eyes and spirit told me all I needed to know.

That is why I love to hold signs on busy downtown streets. I try look the people in the eye - sometimes they look back.

For what ever reason.


Updating the collapsing US-UK-NATO war on Russia


  • At around 12 minutes into the video Col. Macgregor discusses the destruction of the Nordstream 1 & 2 pipelines. He says 'The Russians did not do this.'
  • He also discusses the fact that Washington does not want any ceasefire or peaceful agreement to end the war in Ukraine.
  • In addition the former Army officer reviews the original Russian military strategy along with the new emerging reservist mobilization decree. 
  • He also claims that Germany was getting ready to make a shift and move away from supporting the war. The pipeline destruction now severely limits Berlin's options. He predicts that the current Germany government will collapse. He appears to also believe that NATO is in trouble.
  • Poland, Macgregor says, is the most gung-ho for a bigger war. (Poland also hates Germany.)
  • He concludes by saying the Kiev puppet government is rumored to be working on a nuclear dirty bomb.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Vladimir Putin on sabotage of pipelines



Putin: “Why would I blow up my own pipes? I could simply shut them off … I am not against the citizens of Europe, it's your leaders who are against the citizens of Europe.” 


Scott Ritter News

🇷🇺🇺🇸The sabotage on the "Northern Streams" occurred in the control zone of US intelligence. 
This was stated in the Russian Foreign Ministry.  

Czech citizens leading the way



Thousands of Czechs protested Wednesday in capital Prague again over soaring energy bills and demand to put an end to Czech supporting Ukraine. Hailing "The Czech Republic first," the demonstration came after a massive protest with some 70,000 people involved three weeks ago. 

Protesters criticized Fiala’s government on a number of issues, including supporting EU sanctions against Russia and insufficient help for households and businesses affected by the soaring energy prices.

My biggest fear....who is the real aggressor?



You can see the writing on the wall. Put your ear to the railroad tracks and hear the train coming.

The US has nuclear weapons stationed at bases in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey (and soon in the UK) and just might be getting ready to drop one on Ukraine.

The US-UK-NATO are losing the war - despite all the lies told in western corporate media. They've already shown themselves willing to use desperate measures by ordering/helping Kiev to repeatedly attack the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in eastern Ukraine.

And just this week we saw the terrorist raid on Nordstream 1 & 2 pipelines which clearly were done by the western allies. 

 "Didn't NATO bases conduct exercises there [in the area of the incidents], were not American soldiers accommodated on the territory of neighboring countries? (...) This July, in the same place, near the island of Bornholm — this is Denmark — NATO exercises were conducted, using deep-sea equipment," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.

NATO member states are currently saying they will begin an investigation to learn who did this sabotage. Talk about the fox guarding the chicken house.

What makes me think the west might turn to nukes? How would they pull this off?

My fear is that the US could drop a battlefield nuke in the Donbass and then use their global CIA-run media arm to blame Russia for doing so. (Just like they are presently starting to do by blaming Russia for damaging their own undersea pipelines.) Then the US-UK-NATO could use that for an excuse to go full bore against Russia.

For evidence one might turn to this statement just released: 

On Sunday, Jake Sullivan warned that Washington and its allies would act “decisively” if Russia uses tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that it had communicated “at very high levels to the Kremlin” that any use of nuclear weapons in neighboring country would be “met with catastrophic consequences.”
NATO may send troops into Ukraine if Russia deploys nuclear weapons in that country, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told local media on Thursday. The US-led military bloc has repeatedly maintained it’s not at war with Moscow and is not a party to the conflict.


I know this sounds insane. Totally irrational. Crazy. Evil, despicable. All of those words describe the neo-con pirates who run Washington and most of the EU governments. They are blinded by greed and desire for 'full spectrum dominance'. They are disconnected from reality. Are they capable of using nukes? You judge for yourself.

I'm just raising this because I feel I must. The neo-cons have been running their global economic and military empire for a long time. But their day in the sun is quickly fading. Russia, China, Iran and many other nations are now standing up to them. The neo-cons are desperate and highly dangerous.

Many of my long-time friends are adamantly opposed to nuclear war - as I am. But some of these folks still put much of the blame for this war on Russia. I don't see it that way.

If we hope to survive this current apocalyptic moment then I believe we must point our collective fingers at the real aggressor - the neo-con led west.

Remember that Russia's military budget this year is right around $65 billion. That is a defensive military. Compare that with the offensive Pentagon budget of around $1.2 trillion (when you add in all the hidden pots of gold like the Department of Energy nuclear weapons budget). Add NATO members military budgets to the US numbers and it is well over 60% of the global total in military spending. 

If Washington feels it can continue to neutralize the already weak peace movement across the west by its tactic of divide-and-conquer, then the neo-cons will feel confident in continuing their suicidal death-march to regain global dominance.


Truth slips out....



Former President George W. Bush accidentally slipped on his words stating Russia's brutal invasion of Iraq, instead of Ukraine. 

He quickly corrected himself and blamed his age. “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of Ukraine.”

Banderastan SITREP by Faina Savenkova


by Faina Savenkova for the Saker blog

For three years now I have been telling you about what is happening in Lugansk [Donbass region of eastern Ukraine]. About the war in which I live, about sorrows and joys. A year ago, the Peacemaker website [Myrotvorets Ukrainian kill list] published my personal data. I have written many letters to world leaders and artists in Western countries. I had only two requests: to delete the personal data of all the children from the “Peacemaker” and to help the children of Donbass to find a peaceful life so that we would not be killed. When the confrontation with the “Peacemaker” began, my friends – Ukrainian journalists asked me why I did not write a letter to Zelensky, but only mentioned him in an interview. At that time it was difficult for me to answer; I still naively believed that there could be peace between Ukraine and Donbass and that UN Secretary-General Guterres and UNICEF, as world-renowned organizations, would help me. But, unfortunately, I was wrong. Everything I asked for was ignored by these organizations, and Ukraine decided that we could be captured by force. My efforts and dreams have remained dreams. The only thing I’m glad about is that I didn’t write to Zelensky at that time. And now I understand why: you can’t write and ask not to kill children to someone who gives orders to shell Donetsk, Gorlovka, Alchevsk and other cities. You cannot write to a president who sends thousands of his soldiers to their deaths without sparing them, gives orders for terrorist acts and the murder of children. You can’t write to the president who started this massacre and lost half of his country. You can’t write to a loser. Every day children die in the Donbas, Kherson and Zaporozhye. And he has only himself to blame. A president who will lose everything…

Well, what about UNICEF, the UN, Amnesty International? Did they say anything about the children killed by the Ukrainian army? No, of course not. They reacted the same way to the story of the Peacemaker. They know. But they remain silent or express “concern”. They are silent always and everywhere. When the children of Yugoslavia, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were killed, they were silent. And if such respected organizations turn a blind eye to the brutal murder of children, do they have anything to say about the story of the “Peacemaker”? I think not. After all, according to UNICEF and Amnesty International, we are the wrong children, born and living in the wrong place. One of my essays says that children of war behave quietly because adults do not hear them. They are. Unfortunately, we children are not interested in these adults. We are not like them. They seem to think it’s okay to kill us, they just need to do it quietly so as not to disturb others with our cries for help. I’m sorry this is happening. I am sorry that the country in which I was born is shelling and trying to destroy everything that is dear to me and everything that I love, under the approving smile of those who can, but do not want to stop this war. Unfortunately, all those who help Ukraine do not realize that the war is coming to them.

Ordinary people in the United States and Europe are mostly unaware of the atrocities of the Ukrainian army, the brutal shelling and killing of civilians. People are told that we are shooting at ourselves or that the Russian army has been shooting at us for eight years. Apparently, that’s why we expected Russia to come here in 2022, right? This is a different reality.

But I’m sure it won’t always be like this. The truth will win anyway.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

From Poland with love?


Latest News

  • NATO held an exercise with unmanned submarines around the Danish island of Bornholm in June, exactly where the Nord Stream pipes were sabotaged yesterday. It makes the suspicion towards the US even stronger. See here

  • No suspects behind the incident have officially been named, although in a tweet former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski “thanked” Washington for destroying the pipeline. Moscow, which called the incident a “terrorist attack," also named the US as a potential suspect. The Russians have characterized Sikorski's statement as “borderline insane hysterical-euphoric reaction“.
  • The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island, was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces. It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. See here
  • Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said an attack on Nord Stream was “in no one’s interest,” but that it also represented a “significant opportunity” for Europe to abandon Russian natural gas in favor of alternative energy supplies, presumably such as US LNG, and “accelerate the transition to renewables” in order to fight climate change.  
  • See SouthFront coverage here and America’s Grand Masters Checkmate the Baltic Sea here

Speech at Budapest peace event


 President of the Hungarian Community for Peace, Endre Simó’s speech at the Labor Party peace meeting on September 26, 2022 at Nyugati Square in Budapest

I wish you a good day, thank you for the invitation, I am glad that the Hungarian Community for Peace can work together with the Labor Party to protect the peace of our country! It is true that we joined together in the framework of the Forum for Peace movement, which was established on September 5th, to prevent Hungary from being plunged into war, together with organizations and individuals with diverse world views. We need to act because our government preaches too much about peace, but does little for it!

The government allows Western weapons destined for Ukraine to pass through Hungary, gives its name to Western sanctions policy with the exception of oil and gas sanctions, accepts NATO soldiers, allows Ukrainian soldiers treated in our hospitals to return to fight (neutral Switzerland does not allow them to continue go to war), our lady president of the republic, the commander-in-chief of our armed forces, apostrophizes Russia as an aggressor, because it could no longer tolerate the extermination of its sons from Donetsk and Luhansk and to drive a wedge between two brotherly peoples, the Russian and the Ukrainian. Anti-Russian statements are made, the peace-loving Hungarian is not allowed into the public service media.

We are at the point where the Hungarian political leadership stands by Zelensky even in minority matters. Not only does it not protect our compatriots living beyond our borders from being used as cannon fodder against the Russians, but they are already taking away from the Transcarpathians the freedom to live their identity. This happened a few days ago, when Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó signed a statement in New York together with his EU colleagues denying the right of the people of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia to a referendum. To be able to freely decide who he wants to live with in the future, Russia or Zelensky’s Ukraine. Would this government be so narrow-minded that it doesn’t even realize what it’s doing? On what basis can we claim the right to autonomy and self-determination for ourselves if we deny it to others? Or is this how we want to please Brussels in order to receive the frozen 7.5 billion euros? Are we turning the Transcarpathian Hungarians’ right to autonomy and self-determination into money? Shall we let principles declared sacred be reduced to fair trade? What do our bloods matter to us when there is money in the house? Would the government identify with the Kiev regime that classified its citizens into indigenous and secondary ethnicities, declaring Ukrainians superior and Russians, Hungarians, and Ruthenians inferior?

Who is the aggressor? The one who slaughters 13,000 Russians and shoots his own if he befriends them, or the one who protects them and wants to liquidate the resurgent Nazism? Who represents human rights? The one who divides his people into inferior and superior races, or the one who allows him to decide in a referendum who he wants to live with. Who represents democracy, Kyiv, which bans opposition parties, or Russia, which even back home offers the opportunity to vote to the 3.5 million Ukrainians who fled there?

According to the signs, the values of which the West was so proud can be found in the East! Should we seek Liberty where peoples’ right to self-determination is denied? Should we seek Equality where 60 percent of the wealth is owned by 1 percent of the population? Where is the Fraternity? Isn’t it where they preach peaceful coexistence? Why we cling to allies who will not let us live in peace with others and want to continue the war, not end it?

The policy of the Hungarian government is characterized by dishonesty, duplicity, and servility! We drink the juice of this on a daily basis, with skyrocketing prices, suppressed wages and pensions, impoverishment and declassification. Shouldn’t it finally be said, this is enough for our own allies to constantly cross us? So that we can not live in good relations with others? With those who are essential to our national economic development, our energy security, our social stability, and the prosperity of our people?

The Hungarian nation needs sovereign politics, not one that is subordinated to foreign interests! We must protect our brothers and sisters abroad as others do. Our national interest could be best served by creating a collective security and cooperation system, as proposed by Moscow, but rejected by NATO. If the West continues to refuse to compromise and reject peaceful cooperation with Russia, we will have no choice but to make a separate deal with Moscow. This is dictated by the Hungarian interest here at home and beyond our borders. The Hungarian Community for Peace is for the people, for our nation, together with its allies, including the Labor Party in the Forum for Peace movement! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Who benefits from pipeline sabotage?



The two Russian pipelines Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 were hit in the last 24 hours.

NS-1 was shut down weeks ago by Russia due to Germany not repairing it as called for in their contract with Russia.

NS-2 had never been turned on after it was recently completed due to US pressure on Germany to stay in line on US-EU sanctions against Russia.

Both pipelines deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany and beyond.

During the entire time that NS-2 was under construction Washington tried to destroy the deal but failed. The US was able though to get Germany to rule out starting the pipeline. Washington instead wanted Europe to purchase fracked gas (LNG) from US drillers even though it would be much more expensive due to shipping costs.

I've read today that it could take quite a while to fix the two pipelines that have just been sabotaged. Who benefits from this? The US is already trying to pin it on Russia. Typical MO from the CIA.

Many in the German public have been calling on their government to turn on NS-2. That will now be impossible. The Germans are being locked into a cold box.

One can begin to imagine why Russia has so little trust for the US-UK-NATO.





This article here contends the following:

The military operation on Monday night which fired munitions to blow holes in the Nord Stream I and Nord Stream II pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, near Bornholm Island,  was executed by the Polish Navy and special forces.

It was aided by the Danish and Swedish military; planned and coordinated with US intelligence and technical support; and approved by the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Truss Brews Tempest While Spending on ‘Defense’

Paul Rogers says that the government of Liz Truss, for all its militarism, will stoke public backlash by ignoring the greatest single threat to global human security.

By Paul Rogers at openDemocracy

Liz Truss, the U.K.’s new prime minister, places a high premium on loyalty. This is why many former members of the cabinet, however experienced, have been relegated to the backbenches. There is, though, one survivor from the Cameron-Clegg coalition era — Truss herself.

In keeping with her own politics, the market fundamentalism of the Tufton Street brigade is very much in evidence in her choices of both ministers and advisers — and in her response to the energy crisis. This will be met by a price cap, but that will be achieved by loans of up to £130bn that will have to be repaid by the public, with the massive profits of the fossil carbon corporations scarcely affected.

Meanwhile, the obscene maldistribution of wealth in the U.K. continues. The country’s billionaires have now accumulated more than £600bn of wealth, with the top 10 on the Sunday Times Rich List amassing £176bn between them – but perish the thought that wealth redistribution or even windfall taxes should be mentioned in polite company.

This issue of who pays extends to a major element of Truss’s wider politics: defence policy. A key context, much in tune with grassroots Tories, is that the U.K. is one of the world’s great powers, to be demonstrated by increasing military spending to 3 percent of national income by 2030. This is the biggest hike since the 1950s, even though military spending went up under Boris Johnson, largely by diverting money from the international aid programme.

Truss’s plan goes very much further. According to a leading defence economist, professor Malcolm Chalmers from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), this substantially increased spending will run to an additional £157bn at current prices. Chalmers points out that unless there are even more cuts in public spending, this would require income tax to increase by 5p in the pound, or for the standard VAT rate to rise from 20 to 25 percent.

Even if this were to be achieved, it leaves unsolved the much bigger issue of whether Britain’s current defence posture is relevant to the security challenges ahead, not least in terms of recent performance, let alone monetary efficiency.

Military Failures & Inefficiency

On the issue of performance, the evidence is damning. During the past two decades, the U.K. has been a core player in three failed wars and one that is currently failing.

Of the failed wars, the longest has been the 20 years of the Afghanistan war, but the Iraq conflict has been similarly disastrous, with violence and instability continuing and a violent death toll currently standing at 288,000, the great majority of them civilians.

The 2011 Franco-British war in Libya left a deeply unstable and volatile country serving as a conduit for extreme paramilitaries and weapons spreading across the Sahel. Even the presumed defeat of ISIS in the 2014-18 air war has turned out to be anything but, as groups linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda grow elsewhere, especially in northern and eastern Africa.

As to efficiency in the U.K. military-industrial complex, this is little short of a joke. The lack of efficiency has shown itself repeatedly, with persistent cost overruns, long delays in programmes and embarrassing failures of highly expensive new items, the recent breakdown of HMS Prince of Wales being just the latest case.

The U.K.’s National Infrastructure Authority has done its best for years to keep tabs on dodgy programmes. Four years ago, these reached a peak when five systems under development and collectively costed at just short of £16bn were all red-flagged (at risk of collapse) at the same time.

Part of the problem is that Britain’s military-industrial complex is very much a closed system that requires enemies in order to thrive and, if need be, can always resort to appeals for patriotism. It is a thoroughly integrated system comprising the military, arms manufacturers, civil servants, think tanks, security and intelligence agencies and university departments, with trades unions necessarily looking out for their members. 


Truss’ defence stance, however unaffordable, will go down very well in these circles. It is, after all, nothing new. Five years ago, when Boris Johnson was foreign secretary, he gave that year’s Tory party conference his “let the British lion roar” speech, all about a renewed greatness rooted in the military.

Eighteen months later came the retro-fantasy of a new global Britain favoured by Gavin Williamson during his brief sojourn at the Ministry of Defence. This quasi-imperial, post-Brexit lurch, just like Johnson’s speech, is likely to be reeled out in the months ahead, with enemies such as Russia, China, Islamists and others all serving to remind the public of the need for strong defence.

Ignoring Climate Crisis

Ordinarily, this might be expected to work, but there is one very awkward element that suggests otherwise. It also stands to cause Truss really serious problems.

One aspect of her political make-up that was evident during the leadership campaign is an almost total ignoring of the challenge of climate change, reinforced last week by her decision to promote an arch-climate sceptic, Jacob Rees-Mogg, to the energy brief.

This should come as no surprise. After all, when the Tories won an overall victory in the 2015 election and were no longer encumbered with the Lib Dems, they immediately took an axe to many of the decarbonising initiatives advocated by Labour before 2010 and maintained by the Lib Dems during the five-year coalition.

These included reducing support for solar power and electric vehicles; stopping subsidies for onshore wind while increasing them for North Sea oil; privatising the Green Development Bank; and scrapping the “zero carbon homes” plan due to ensure all new homes would be carbon-neutral from 2016.

These lost the U.K. years in decarbonisation, making the current energy crisis even worse.

What is perhaps forgotten is that the environment minister at the time was a rising young Tory politician by the name of Liz Truss.

Now, we have an entire government minimising the climate crisis just when it is becoming blindingly obvious that it is the greatest single threat to global human security.

The government may ignore this but the people won’t – and we can be certain that it will emerge rapidly, before the next general election, to be a focus of mounting public anger and action that will far transcend the activities to date of Extinction Rebellion and other activist and campaigning groups.

Even as we face a recession and a winter of crisis for so many people, this may yet come to be the defining crisis of Truss’s time in Downing Street.

~ Paul Rogers is emeritus professor of peace studies in the Department of Peace Studies and International Relations at Bradford University and an honorary fellow at the Joint Service Command and Staff College. He is openDemocracy’s international security correspondent. He is on Twitter at: @ProfPRogers. 

Monday, September 26, 2022

Edward Snowden gets Russian citizenship



The whistleblower fled the US after leaking top-secret documents, almost a decade ago

President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia’s TASS news agency confirmed on Monday. The American’s name was included without fanfare on a list of 72 foreigners who became citizens.  

Snowden, who applied for citizenship in 2020 upon receiving permanent residency rights, has not commented on the decision as of Monday evening Moscow time. His wife will also apply for citizenship, according to his lawyer.

The former Booz-Allen contractor is not eligible for mobilization to the Ukrainian front as he did not serve in the Russian army, the attorney said in a statement to media, pouring cold water on feverish social media speculation that Snowden might be drafted now that he was officially a Russian citizen of military age.

While the fact that Snowden has lived in Russia since fleeing the US in 2013 has been held up as “proof” he was undermining the US government on behalf of Moscow, he was marooned in Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from Hong Kong to catch a connecting flight to Cuba after the US canceled his passport mid-flight. He was reportedly en route to Ecuador, where he had lodged an asylum request with what was then a government friendly toward American dissidents.

The US still wants Snowden returned home to face espionage charges related to his 2013 leak of a mammoth cache of files revealing the NSA’s sprawling surveillance operations, which targeted American civilians to a far greater degree than previously known to the public. Rather than release the documents himself, however, the whistleblower reached out to a small group of journalists and filmmakers including Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, instructing them to curate and publish them as needed.

After the publication of a handful of disturbing revelations alongside their source documents in the Washington Post, The Guardian, and other establishment outlets led to Washington calling for Snowden’s head, billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar quickly purchased the entire archive, using it as the foundation for his company First Look Media, which launched The Intercept with the Snowden docs as its headliner. However, the site never released more than 10% of the leaked files during the 15 years it hosted them. Despite Omidyar’s billions, The Intercept cried poverty when it shut down access to that small fraction of the archive in 2019.

That decision that was made without consulting Snowden, who had rendered himself a de facto stateless individual for the sake of making their contents public. Since then, the surveillance program he exposed was declared unlawful by a US appeals court.

Updating referendums to rejoin Russia



This video is done by SouthFront which is banned on YouTube. They make very good update videos daily at their web site about the Ukraine and Syrian wars.

In this case someone else copied and pasted this video onto YouTube. Don't know how long it will remain available.

The verdict: White House NSC spokesman lies


fyi - NSC is the White House National Security Council 


By Ray McGovern

Thanks to Establishment media, the sorcerer apprentices advising President Joe Biden – I refer to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jacob Sullivan, and China specialist Kurt Campbell – will have no trouble rallying Americans for the widest war in 77 years, starting in Ukraine, and maybe spreading to China. And, shockingly, under false pretenses.

Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons. Corporate leaders, and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. "exceptionalism," find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the US cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, "Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Name that band


Seven friends (Lisa Savage, Mark Roman, Ken Jones, Melody Shank, Rosie Paul, MB Sullivan and me), along with dog Raffy, walked to the end of Potts Point in Harpswell, Maine today and enjoyed the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

All of us are dedicated peaceniks.

A kind woman and her husband visiting from Vermont offered to take our picture. 

This is one of my favorite spots in Maine. MB and I come here often. It's a nice walk to get to the point and the scenery is more than wonderful.

All of us live in Maine except for Ken and Melody who now live in North Carolina. They used to both teach at the University of Southern Maine and are currently on a month-long trip visiting old friends up here in the nawth country.

It was a perfect day to be outside and after this walk we went to a fish fry shack along the water and had lunch together sitting outside and enjoying the sea view a bit more.


Sunday song


Saturday, September 24, 2022

From Suicide to Dead and Buried… Germany Now Provokes China


By Finian Cunningham

Not content with committing its nation to economic suicide from deteriorating Russian relations, the German government now wants to bury the corpse by sabotaging trade relations with China.

Robert Habeck, Germany’s trade minister, has riled Beijing by telling a G7 summit last week that Berlin was aiming to adopt a new China policy to “reduce economic dependency”. Habeck said Germany would strive to take tougher controls over Chinese foreign investment and move away from German reliance on China for key commodities such as semiconductors, batteries and other electronics.

Sounding tough in front of other Western members of the G7 forum (a redundant elite club if ever there was one), Habeck said, “the naivety towards China is over”. He said that trade relations would no longer be viewed in isolation from alleged human rights violations and other international concerns, presumably meaning China’s alleged hostility towards Taiwan.

Beijing slammed Habeck’s remarks and retorted that he was the one who is being “naive” in seeking to damage mutually beneficial bilateral relations.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz doubled down on the provocation at the weekend when he was asked about China’s position on Taiwan. Scholz implied that Beijing was the hostile party in recent tensions over the breakaway island territory. He cautioned China: “It is important that we ban violence from international relations.”

It was another red flag being waved by Berlin in China’s face. Scholz doesn’t seem to realize, or doesn’t want to realize, that Taiwan is a sovereign part of China. That is the legal fact of treaties at the United Nations and the internationally accepted One China Policy. It is the United States, Britain, Australia, France and Germany that are increasingly deploying military forces in China’s territorial waters that are causing dangerous tensions and obliging Beijing to take a tougher position on defending its sovereignty, including its rightful claims over Taiwan.

What are the German leaders playing at? The recklessness of their stance and the damage being inflicted on the nation’s economy make you wonder whose interests are they serving. Certainly, it would seem, not the interests of the German population.

Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, is crashing headfirst from its insane sabotage of energy trade with Russia. It reminds you of those slow-motion car crash tests where dummies are flung into the windscreen. Now it’s heading for a Chinese wall.

The self-imposed cutting off of gas supply from Russia is wrecking German industry and plunging the population into a winter of misery of untold poverty and hardship. Many observers including Russian President Vladimir Putin are baffled by the willful embrace of economic suicide that the German government is rushing into.


For decades, the German export-led economy has been driven by a copious supply of low-priced Russian natural gas and oil. The coalition government in Berlin, which took over from Angela Merkel’s administration at the end of last year, has cut off links with Moscow as part of its support for Washington’s policy to isolate Russia. Germany has gone all in to support the U.S.-backed Kiev regime with heavy weapons supplied to Ukraine in a war with Russia.

So much for Scholz’s admonition to China to “ban the use of violence in international relations”. Berlin is fueling the conflict in Ukraine and along with the U.S. and other NATO powers is preventing any diplomatic process to find a peaceful resolution with Russia.

If the death blow to the German economy was not bad enough from the reckless policy toward Russia, now Berlin wants to kill relations with Beijing.

China is Germany’s top trading partner for the past six years. Bilateral trade has grown steadily. This year’s commerce is heading to surpass the 2021 record high of over $240 billion in Chinese-German trade.

With its 1.4 billion population, China is a vital market for Germany’s exporters, especially the all-important auto industry that drives the German economy. Nearly 40 percent of global sales for Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes are in China, spurred by the latter’s phenomenal economic development.

The Berlin government is putting its economic lifeline with China at risk by adopting a policy of wantonly provoking Beijing. In this, the German “leaders” are following Washington’s bidding. They have done this with regard to sabotaging Russian relations. Now they are bent on repeating the folly toward China.

It is notable that Habeck, the German trade minister, is a member of the Greens in the coalition government with Scholz’s Social Democrats. The other senior Green in the coalition is Annalena Baerbock who is the foreign minister. Both of them are pushing an irrational ideological position of damaging Russian and Chinese relations. The Greens want to convert Germany to renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. That’s how they justify doing away with Russian hydrocarbons. But the calculation is woefully misplaced. German industries and the wider population need Russian gas to run their factories and heat their homes. The folly of cutting off Russian energy is backfiring big time. The absurdity is that Germany is now going back to dirty fuel from coal in order to desperately fill the power vacuum that has been self-inflicted by Green ideologues.

More than Green ideology, however, is the real underlying ideology of Russophobia and Sinophobia. Habeck and Baerbock are blinded by their subservience to Washington’s transatlantic agenda of dividing Europe from having normal neighborly relations with Russia and China.

Washington’s agenda is to promote U.S. hegemony and its presumed unipolar dominance in international relations. In short, American imperialism.

An extension of that agenda is to incite antagonism toward China. The encirclement of Russia goes hand in hand with the encirclement of China. It is no coincidence that as Washington escalates tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and NATO encroachment, it is also feverishly inciting tensions with China over Taiwan and dubious allegations of human rights violations by Beijing.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Congress are pumping weapons into Ukraine and Taiwan in a deliberate and one could say criminal bid to provoke military confrontation. The U.S. capitalist economy needs tensions and conflict to sustain its military-industrial complex, the beating heart of American capitalism.

If Germany’s Chancellor Scholz had any independence of thought, he would be better to remonstrate with Washington over the use of violence in international relations.

But there is no chance of Scholz and his government ever doing that. They are lackeys for Washington and are hopelessly brainwashed with ideological nonsense, Russophobia and Sinophobia.

This winter is already coming with dread for Germany and the wider European population over the policy choice to trash the cornerstone of Russian energy relations. With the further damage to German-Chinese relations, the Berlin political elite are shooting Germany and Europe in the head – twice.

German industries, businesses and workers are incensed by the stupidity of their so-called government which is more accurately described as a Washington-backed regime in Berlin. Angry protests on the streets witnessed in recent weeks in Germany and elsewhere across Europe against self-inflicted economic misery are but a foretaste of the explosive social unrest brewing.

Latest Space Alert interview with Margaret Flowers



Margaret Flowers is the director of Popular Resistance and host of Clearing the FOG.

She serves on the administrative committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and on the executive committee of the US Peace Council.
She is a pediatrician, public health advocate and activist. After 17 years of practicing medicine, she became an advocate for a single-payer insurance system, organized against US imperialism, and has been active in the US Green Party.
Margaret is interviewed by Global Network coordinator Bruce Gagnon.  

Friday, September 23, 2022

Western powers can't stand real democracy


Western media (no surprise) are trashing the referendums throughout eastern Ukraine today. 
The only voices you here on US media are people claiming they don't support the vote to rejoin with Russia.
Here is another side to the story which you will never experience on corporate media.

I'm sure you join me in wishing the people of Donbass all the best! To be on my mailing list, send an email to - - thanks, Graham   

This is how propaganda is spread



Don't forget that the BBC is a government sponsored media which has a long history of lies, distortions and propaganda.  

The video above uses BBC reporting on the death of former North Korean leader and the succession by his son to illustrate the recent death of the queen in England. 

And for some good laughs we can hear the new king call comedian Jimmy Dore....


Interesting anti-NATO protest in Trieste



With English sub-titles

Protest calls for end to US-NATO war using Ukraine against Russia.

Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is the capital city, and largest city, of the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, one of two autonomous regions which are not subdivided into provinces.  


Thursday, September 22, 2022

What about it?



You want to talk to me about national sovereignty? 

The United States is currently occupying one third of Syria and stealing their oil reserves in their region that happens to have oil.

Pelosi visit: Regime change coming for Armenia?



Many have noted the suspicious and very convenient timing regarding Azerbaijan-Armenia hostilities which serve as an additional distraction for Russia amid its special military operation in Ukraine and its ongoing operations in Syria. 
In addition to a recent visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Armenia, anti-CSTO protests promoted by US government-funded media organizations in Armenia point toward events being much more than convenient timing and instead similar to US-engineered unrest [regime change] seen in Ukraine in 2014.

New Space Force anthem: Master of Disaster



The U.S. Space Force, the newest military branch established in 2019, has officially adopted its own song titled “Semper Supra” that was unveiled during the 2022 Air Force Association Air, Space and Cyber Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Sept. 20.  

Global Network board member Koohan Mander Paik tipped us off to the existence of the song and wrote this brief review:  "What a hokey-ass song." 

Yes, right.

Some of the Space Force lyrics include: 'Watchful eye, Guardians of the blue, Standing guard, Space Force on high'.

The current US-NATO navies, constantly bumping up along the Chinese coast in the South China Sea, is done in the name of 'freedom of navigation operations'. These are provocative attempts to pump up conflict and even war with China. The US has repeatedly declared that China is an 'existential threat' to the US. Joe Biden just last weekend declared that the US would 'come to the aid' of Taiwan if Beijing decided to intervene there. 

That is in spite of the fact that official US policy has recognized that Taiwan is part of China. So any Washington intervention in Taiwan would legally be defined as an invasion of a sovereign China.


Similarly the Pentagon is attempting to create the rationalization that the Space Force has the 'right and duty' to guard the heavens by patrolling the sky to determine just who is allowed to venture in and out of space. They call it 'freedom of space navigation operations'.

As mining the sky becomes possible in coming years, having the ability to 'control space, dominate space, and deny others the use of space' (see Space Command 1997 document Vision for 2020) becomes a key strategy for the US imperium. 

The US has set in motion the 'most expensive industrial project' in the history of the planet Earth - as boasted by the aerospace industry over many years. This will be the ultimate boondoggle, the biggest heist in recorded history. The crime of all crimes.

And guess who will be paying the freight? The Pentagon has been ordered to round up the NATO allies to get them to help pay for space warfare tech because even after Washington destroys Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what is left of the social safety net, it still won't be enough to cover the costs.

But even though the allies are being brought in to help pay for Star War$, the US will still control the tip of the spear. 

Why? Because Washington wants to be the master of the universe. Simple as that.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Getting hotter in Ukraine: Putin calls out the west & NATO




Referendums on joining Russia will be held in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions of eastern Ukraine on September 23-27 - events that will come as Russia continues its special military operation in Ukraine.

In an address to the nation on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on a number of pressing issues related to the West's stance on Russia and Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.

'The West Wants to Destroy Russia'

Putin pointed out that the West’s current goal is to "destroy Russia."

“The purpose of the West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are already directly saying that in 1991 they were able to split the Soviet Union, and now the time has come for Russia itself, and that it should disintegrate into many mortally warring regions,” the Russian president stressed.

According to him, such plans have been hatched in the West for a long time, as they encouraged gangs of international terrorists in the Caucasus, promoted the installation of NATO's offensive infrastructure close to Russia's borders [US first-strike missile launch facilities in Poland and Romania] and made "total Russophobia their weapon."

Putin said that the Western elites are targeting Russia with their aggressive policy in order to maintain their dominance.

“[We talk] about the aggressive policy of a number of the Western elites, who are striving with all their might to maintain their dominance, and for this purpose they are trying to block or suppress any sovereign independent centers of development in order to further brutally impose their will on other countries and nations, to plant their fake values,” according to the Russian president.

Putin also said that the West “has crossed every line in its aggressive anti-Russian policy,” adding that “we constantly hear threats against our country and our people.”

"Some irresponsible politicians in the West talk about plans to organize the supply of long-range offensive weapons to Ukraine, systems that are capable of launching strikes against Crimea and other regions of Russia”.

In his TV address on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russia was at war with the collective West rather than Ukraine.

“In reality, we are fighting the collective West plus NATO. When we speak about it, we mean not only the weapons being supplied [to Kiev] in huge batches, but also about [space-based] systems of communication and information processing systems,” Shoigu said.

The Western states as well as NATO, he said, are supplying Kiev with "huge" amounts of weapons. The minister went on to stress that the Ukrainian forces are increasingly using Western weapons to target civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.

He stressed that more than 70 military satellites and 200 civilian satellites are working to aid Ukraine and added that some 150 Western military specialists have been deployed to Kiev, de facto leading Ukrainian forces.

Military Losses of Russia and Ukraine

Touching upon the issue of the military costs of the armed conflict in Ukraine, Sergei Shoigu estimated that Kiev has lost half of its army, which originally had about 200,000 troops at the initial stage of Moscow’s special operation.

"Over this time, their losses amount to over 100,000 [military casualties]. This includes 61,207 deaths and 49,368 troops who were injured," Shoigu said. 

“Our losses to date are 5,937 dead,” Shoigu revealed. 

From the front lines of the Donbass


From Lysychansk with truth, once more! Thanks again for all your support of my work, if you'd like to be on my mailing list, send me an email at - thanks again, Graham.

Note: Graham Phillips is from England and has been reporting on the war against the Russian-ethnic Ukrainian citizens by the US-installed right-wing regime in Kiev even before the coup of 2014. He has essentially been declared 'persona non grata' by the UK government and had his bank account seized by London for trying to tell the truth about the Donbass.

U.S. AFRICOM means colonization not democracy


 Amidst the Biden Administration’s Forever-Wars Policy in Africa, 

The Black Alliance for Peace Launches A Month of Action Against AFRICOM 

(U.S. Africa Command)

For Immediate Release            

Media Contact
(202) 643-1136

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022—October 1, 2022 is the 14th anniversary of the launch of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Yet, jihadist terrorist violence on the African continent has increased since the founding of AFRICOM and NATO’s destruction of Libya resulting in civilian casualties and instability, which the West has used as pretext and justification for the continued need for AFRICOM. Since its founding, coups carried out by AFRICOM-trained soldiers have also increased.

That is why the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) is organizing an International Month of Action Against AFRICOM in October. This is an effort to raise the public's awareness about how the presence of U.S. military forces exacerbates violence and instability throughout the continent.

Despite its rhetoric, the purpose of AFRICOM is to use U.S. military power to impose U.S. control on African land, resources and labor to service the needs of U.S. multinational corporations and the wealthy in the United States. It also serves as a major boon to “defense” contractors.

AFRICOM is a direct product of NATO via the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), which originally took responsibility for 42 African states. In 2003, NATO started expanding; four years later, in 2007, EUCOM commander James L. Jones, who was also NATO commander of operational forces, proposed the creation of AFRICOM.

NATO has become a huge global axle in the wheel of the military industrial complex, which includes more than 800 U.S. military bases around the world as well as  joint bases or relationships with almost all African countries. These are all controlled by the U.S. empire for realizing the U.S. policy of Full Spectrum Dominance, which is driven by the ferocious appetite of international finance  capital.

NATO continues today in the form of AFRICOM facilitating wars, instability and the corporate pillage of Africa. This hypocrisy explains why 17 African nations abstained from the March 2 United Nations resolution condemning Russia. One African state, Eritrea, even voted no. Their experiences with NATO and AFRICOM ensure skepticism of self-proclaimed noble motives.  


Motives such as bill H.R. 7311, the “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act',' a racist affront to African sovereignty designed to dictate what bi-lateral relations African states are permitted to have.

That is why we call on our friends and allies to endorse this month as an individual or organization. Beyond that, we are calling on you to participate each week using our calls to action, for which we have provided materials on our webpage. Each week’s call to action ranges from watching our kick-off webinar to organizing mass actions like banner drops, facilitating teach-ins using our materials and spreading the word using BAP’s custom graphics.

The Black Alliance for Peace calls for the dismantling of NATO, AFRICOM and all imperialist structures. Africa and the rest of the world cannot be free until all peoples are able to realize the right of sovereignty and the right to live free of domination.

We demand:

  •     The complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Africa;
  •     The demilitarization of the African continent;
  •     The closure of U.S. bases throughout the world; and
  •     The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) oppose U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conduct hearings on AFRICOM’s impact on the African continent, with the full participation of members of U.S. and African civil society.

Link to online version:

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Cindy Sheehan interviews Bruce Gagnon


For this edition of the Soapbox, Cindy interviews peace activist Bruce Gagnon about the worsening situation in Ukraine, and the upcoming annual Keep Space 4 Peace Week.

Listen to Cindy's podcast here  

Also see the recent testimony of a captured Ukrainian soldier at this link.

He was surprised how he was treated by the Russians after what his command had told them. 

Protests in Niger demand that French soldiers leave their country

A man holds a placard reading 'Clear off criminal French army' as people demonstrate against French military presence in Niger on September 18, 2022 in Niamey.  French forces first intervened in the Sahel's jihadist emergency in 2013, sending troops to support Malian forces fighting a regional insurgency. It widened the effort a year later with Operation Barkhane, eventually deploying some 5,100 troops, warplanes and drones in former colonies Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. (Photo by Boureima HAMA / AFP)



Thousands of French troops are being stationed in Africa's Sahel region on the pretext of fighting terrorism. However, over the past years, the French presence has become more and more unpopular among Africans.

On September 18, Nigeriens filled the streets of the country's capital city Niamey, protesting against French troops deployed in their country.

The protesters reportedly marched from Toumo Square to the National Assembly. They were organized by the M62 movement, a group of NGOs which reportedly describes itself as "peaceful" and committed to "the dignity and sovereignty of the Nigerien people."

Some of the protesters were carrying Russian flags, while others held banners saying “criminal French army - get out” and “The colonial army of Barkhane must go".

“There are anti-French slogans because we demand the immediate departure of the Barkhane force in Niger, which is alienating our sovereignty and which is destabilizing the Sahel“, Seydou Abdoulaye, the coordinator of the M62 Movement, told AFP.

For 10 years French troops have been located in Mali for the implementation of so-called Operation Barkhane, which is aimed, according to French officials, at fighting terrorism in the Sahel.

In August French troops left the country, wrapping up the withdrawal process they started in December 2021.

"This day at 1.00 p.m. (1300GMT), the last detachment of the Barkhane force present on Malian soil crossed the border between Mali and Niger," the French Ministry of the Armed Forces stated in a press release.

At the same time, the end of the operation in Mali was accompanied by Mali's accusation of France supporting terrorists inside the African country.

On August 15, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop in a letter to the United Nations Security Council stated that the French had repeatedly invaded Malian airspace, using drones, Casa C-295 and Airbus A400M cargo aircraft, Mirage 2000 strike aircraft and Chinook transport helicopters.

"The government of Mali has several pieces of evidence that these flagrant violations of Malian airspace were used by France to collect intelligence for the benefit of terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and to drop arms and ammunition on them,” the letter says.

In recent months, several anti-French demonstrations have taken place in the Sahel.

On May 14, 2022, young natives of Mali demonstrated in support of their country's army whose leaders were said to be adopting a strategy that contradicted French interests.

The next day, students in Chad protested against the presence of French troops in the country, accusing French of stealing its natural resources, and reportedly chanting “Chad is Free and France is out.”

In November 2021 protestors in Burkina Faso and Niger blocked and stoned a large French military supply convoy travelling from Ivory Coast to Mali.

After pulling its last soldiers out of Mali, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu said that despite the withdrawal of its forces from Mali, France's presence in the Sahel and "reinforced cooperation with the countries of the area, e.g., Niger" will continue.

In April, Nigerien MPs voted overwhelmingly in favor of a text authorizing the deployment of foreign forces on the territory, in particular French, to "fight terrorists."

Hassoumi Massoudou, Niger's Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that his country wanted "an increase in the intervention of our partners," because "with the departure of French forces from northern Mali, we expect greater pressure from terrorists on our country."

On their part, Nigerien NGOs describe the presence of foreign soldiers as "occupying forces", "a threat to the country's sovereignty" and accused them of an "active support" for "jihadists who spread terrorism from Mali," AFP reports. 

Australian activists oppose war with China


Nick Deane (left) and Bevan Ramsden. Photo: Courtesy of Deane


AUKUS assists Washington, not Aussie defense: Australian peace activists


By Global Times 

Editor's Note:

A year on since AUKUS' announcement, concerns increasingly grow about nuclear proliferation. Voices both outside and inside Australia have expressed opposition. On the first anniversary of the establishment of AUKUS, Global Times (GT) reporter Xia Wenxin talked to Nick Deane and Bevan Ramsden, two peace activists from the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC), about their concerns, anti-AUKUS activities, and their plans.

GT: Can you give us a brief introduction of your organization? Who are the people involved?

Ramsden: The Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition is one of a number of anti-AUKUS groups around Australia, and the overall organization is the Australian Anti-AUKUS Coalition (AAAC). That is the overall body of which we are members. We're also members of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN), which is one of the leading organizations within that coalition.

Deane: There are mainly young people from one of the socialist groups, and then there are a few old people like myself. Dr. Hannah Middleton, a retired academic, is one of the main members. But we're just ordinary people who are concerned about AUKUS and not happy with the way it seems to be leading Australia.

GT: What anti-AUKUS activities have you been involved over the past year?

Ramsden: I think to get a picture of what's been happening over the last year, we have to mention that within a week or two of the AUKUS announcement, IPAN and the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition were able to organize a petition which over the last year has got about 26,600 signatures on it, and it will be presented to parliament on the anniversary - September 16.

That's a fairly big petition for Australia and quite one of the largest ones. But the opposition to AUKUS included trade unions and city councils like Wollongong and Newcastle, both of which opposed having a port developed for nuclear submarines. There's a lot of opposition there, from other trade unions include the Electrical Trades Union in Queensland, the Maritime Union of Australia, the New South Wales Teachers Federation, and so on. There are a very large number of organizations that formed this coalition in opposition to AUKUS's development.

Deane: One of the first things that IPAN did was organizing a Zoom meeting in October last year, and we were amazed because there were more than 100 people who tuned into that Zoom meeting straightaway.

The SAAC organized three AUKUS-specific demonstrations over the year: one on December 11, a student protest on March 16, and we picketed an armaments conference on May 10. We will have a fourth one coming up on the anniversary on Friday, September 16.

The SAAC also took part in the rallies on this year's May Day (May 1) and Hiroshima Day (August 6). It was also involved in an International Zoom Meeting on February 12 and organized a public forum in Sydney on June 15.

There've been articles written as well, quite a lot in the alternative press - not much in the mainstream press - but quite a bit in the alternative media, for example, the Pearls and Irritations.

GT: What are your concerns about AUKUS?

Deane: AUKUS involves the purchase or acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. These don't really have any particular benefit for Australia in terms of Australian defense. They will only assist the US in its stance vis-à-vis China.

So we're very concerned that what it represents is a step - it's dragging Australia along another step toward being engaged in war with China. And that would be absolutely disastrous for Australia if that came about. And we don't understand why it is that Australia is taking this path. It doesn't make any sense.

What would be more sensible? We acknowledge the fact that China is a rising power; that's obvious. And we've got to learn to live with that and learn to live alongside China. Why it develops into a sort of antagonistic stance is very concerning. And we think that's not in Australia's best interests.

Ramsden: We should point out that a poll was recently conducted by the Lowy Institute about war with China. And actually, 51 percent of Australian people are opposed to Australia getting involved in such a war. And that is a strong base from which to agitate further and persuade our government to change its stance. We're not against having self-defense forces or arrangements, because every country that wants to safeguard its independence needs that. But these big nuclear subs, which are meant for long-distance, hunter-killer operations, are not suitable for the specific task of safeguarding our coastal waters. The smaller diesel-electric subs would, we believe, do a better job and would be more appropriate.


Deane: The other thing to mention here is that the AUKUS agreement isn't just about nuclear subs. There are all sorts of other aspects to it. We're seeing greater and greater, closer and closer cooperation between Australian and US defense forces. Recently, there was a military exercise going on in northern territory called "Pitch Black," and it's just indicative of the way that, over time, we seem to be getting drawn closer and closer into the US defense system.

That's very concerning as well. It indicates a loss of independence. There's someone saying that should it come to some sort of a conflict between the US and China sometime in the future, there's really no way that Australia could avoid it. And the previous defense minister said it would be inevitable that Australia would be involved. We want to take that inevitability out of the question.

Ramsden: Both Nick and I and the organization we work within - equally the IPAN - stand for an independent Australia, an independent foreign policy, in which Australia makes decisions in the best interests of its people and doesn't act subserviently to any big power, but plays its part as a responsible international citizen, helping to resolve conflicts peacefully and making its decisions in the best interests of its people.

Now, the problem with alliances is you get caught up in these sorts of conflicts. And IPAN wants to see Australia make a choice about taking an independent position in the world, standing on its own feet, and being a self-reliant country, but seeking peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all countries. We should be friends of all and enemies of none.

GT: Compared to the Morrison administration, is there any difference in the current government's attitude and approach to promoting AUKUS?

Deane: I can't see any real difference between the two, quite honestly. Our current Minister of Defense, Richard Males, was the opposition spokesman for defense. He was very keen for Australia to join America in their freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. And I think if anything, he'd be encouraging Australia to join those operations.

Ramsden: More recently in the US, Males was lecturing over there at some institutes. And he argued not for interoperability of Australian forces with the US but interchangeability with the US military. That means that you lose control of your own defense forces and get dragged into their wars. So we are very unhappy about that position. It's been obvious that the new prime minister and the new foreign affairs minister have gone around the Pacific and to other countries, trying to heal the divisions that were created by the previous government, and they're using more moderate language. But there's been no backing away from AUKUS at all. The defense minister has shown an interest in being even more closely associated with the US and its foreign policy. So that's not very encouraging for us at the moment.

Unfortunately, both major parties have been somewhat in lockstep with each other and with US foreign policy for several decades. That's something which we, as individuals and as part of our organization, are very much concerned about. I'm campaigning for an independent Australia, which is back to breaking that lockstep agreement with the US, and also seeking for one of the parties, the Labor Party hopefully, to change its stance. A lot of its members don't agree with their own leadership on this matter. But nevertheless, they are the dominant force, and unfortunately, they are in lockstep with the US and its foreign policy.

Deane: The AUKUS announcement came only a few months before the election, and I think Labor was sort of scared into supporting it for fear of appearing weak in connection with Australia's relationship with China. That's one of the fears, because there is, I think, within the Australian community, a sort of residual fear of China. Some people actually believe that China is a threat, but that's not a view that Bevan and I share.

Ramsden: That's something which was not so prevalent three or four decades ago, but the media has worked hard in echoing the more reactionary politicians and that influences the way people feel, of course.

GT: Some people think AUKUS has set a dangerous precedent. Do you agree with this?

Deane: AUKUS does set a precedent: If Australia can acquire nuclear-powered submarines, why shouldn't other countries? So it does raise questions about nuclear proliferation. And one of the groups that has been speaking out against AUKUS is the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons because they can see what it means. So there's quite a dangerous precedent in there.

And one of the things that we are seeing is a sort of resurgence of the people who would like to see Australia become a nuclear power - in terms of nuclear energy first, but then you're only a step away from talking about nuclear weapons. So the whole aspect of the nuclear question is very disturbing.

GT: What are your plans to oppose AUKUS in the next stage?

Ramsden: One of the activities that is currently going on and that has been organized by the AAAC is to place newspaper advertisements called "Public Calls for Peace," and this has involved some 600 organizations and individuals. We have raised the money for the advertisements. This advertisement is directed at the Australian government, and it's a very strong statement that these organizations and individuals are making to the new Australian government. It will be printed in The Australian newspaper and there will be a full-page advertisement in The Saturday Paper on September 17.

There are some plans for a big convergence against the Quad when they meet next February. There are definitely plans in hand for increasing the demonstrations, but we have to get deeper into the community. We have to have public meetings in town halls. We have to engage a wider section of the community. For people from that section that doesn't want war with China, we want them out on the streets with us. So the next activity is really to go deeper into the community, engage more people and involve them in the movement.