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, January 22, 2022

Tucker gets this one right

 

 

Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson discusses the Russia-Ukraine conflict and how the U.S. is moving closer to a 'devastating' war.

Big Pharma corruption in Africa - more relevant than ever

 

 

Dennis Riches writes about this important film: 

The Constant Gardener (2005) covered corruption in drug trials carried out in Africa. 

The film was based on John Le Carré’s novel, which was inspired by the true-life tale of Pfizer’s trial of its new drug trovafloxacin in Kano, Nigeria, during an epidemic of meningococcal meningitis. 

John le Carré, in the first edition of the 2001 novel on which the film is based, provided both a dedication and a personal afterword. The dedication and part of the afterword are reproduced in the closing credits of the film. 

The dedication states: "This film is dedicated to Yvette Pierpaoli and all other aid workers who lived and died giving a damn. Nobody in this story, and no outfit or corporation, thank God, is based upon an actual person or outfit in the real world. But I can tell you this. As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard." 

The text appears over John le Carré's name.

You can pay $4 to watch is film here

It's an important and riveting film.

Friday, January 21, 2022

5G rollout forcing airlines to cancel flights

 


5G internet rollout in the United States has impacted flight operations in the country. 

AT&T and Verizon agreed on Tuesday to a partial delay in activating their 5G networks following an outcry from US airlines, who said the rollout could lead to travel chaos. 

US President Joe Biden said the move would avert major disruptions, but at least one airline, Delta, warned of the potential for cancellations despite the postponement. Aviation industry insiders expect there could still be some flight cancellations and other impacts in the coming days, but the measures announced by AT&T and Verizon are expected to prevent the worst problems. 

Air India is revising and curtailing its US operations from Wednesday in the backdrop of a commercial 5G rollout in the country. 

“Due to the deployment of 5G communications in the USA, our operations from India stand curtailed/revised with change in aircraft type from 19th January,” Air India said in a tweet.

U.S. supports fascists in Bolivia

 


Bolivia's police intercepted a weapons shipment sent from the United States to the separatist region of Santa Cruz, the hub of the fascist opposition gangs that led the violent coup in 2019.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Washington pumping up war fever

 


It's nonstop in the western media. The message - war with Russia is coming. 

An American friend of mine, now living in Russia, has two sons in the US Army. One of them said to him today, "your two sons are going to be fighting your beloved Russia." So the troops are obviously being told to prepare for war. One of those sons, an Army Special Forces soldier has been sent to western Ukraine several times to train the Nazi death squads that have been brought into the Ukrainian  Army since the US orchestrated coup d'état in 2014.

Russia has repeatedly stated that they have no intention of invading Ukraine - unless Ukraine first strikes Crimea or the Donbass (eastern Ukraine that borders Russia where two Russian-ethnic republics are located that have continually been targets of the right-wing Kiev government since 2014).

Russia constantly says they have no desire to take over the failed Ukrainian state - in fact Moscow says that the US-NATO have driven that country into the ground since the 2014 coup and they should help it recover. But the Washington agenda is chaos - just like Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places US-NATO have destroyed with their 'freedom war machine'.

Let's take a moment and look at possible reasons for the US-NATO daily agitation for war.

  • The western corporate powers see their reign as 'global rulers' rapidly vanishing and know this is the last chance to bring down Russia and China before the 'multi-polar' world comes into fruition in the next few years. 
  • The west is led by evil, psychopaths who thirst for war. The neo-cons come to mind.
  • It's all a big public relations scheme to create a rare 'win' for the west. If Russia does not invade Ukraine then the US-NATO can claim it was all because they stood up to the 'Russian bear', proving that their out-of-date alliance still has a role in the world today. 
  • Western oligarchs can't stand to let Russia have all those natural resources in the Arctic that are becoming possible to extract due to melting ice. So Russia must be broken up into smaller nations giving Mr. Big the chance to make the grab. See the RAND Corporation study that lays out the plan to balkanize Russia here. Thus there is no stopping this rush to war.
  • US-NATO are bluffing. It's all a great distraction to help take the heat off Big Pharma's global vaccine campaign and growing international economic problems.
  • You pick - give us your take in the comments.

Now let's review some of the reasons why war might be avoided.

  • If the US-NATO really went to full blown war with Russia then it would likely go nuclear. China would probably be pulled in. If this happens forget covid - kiss your family good-bye. Is the US-NATO stupid enough to try this? Yes they are but there are some sensible leaders in Europe who know this would not be such a great idea. Let's hope they have the stuff it takes to help shut down this insanity.
  • The US-NATO constant aggression is a big money maker for the military industrial complex so this current war talk is a cash cow for them. But they are not stupid and know that nuclear war does not help their profit line.

Think back to 2003 and George W. Bush's ill-fated 'shock and awe' attack on Iraq that turned that nation into a chaotic failed state. Prior to the US-UK attack there were massive protests around the world for peace.

This time, as Washington-Brussels do their daily war-prep media barrage, there are few global protests. In fact there are some in the 'US peace movement' who buy the hype and believe Russia wants to remake the Soviet Union by invading Europe. Anyone who is actually paying real attention at this moment knows that story line is bullshit. But sadly some who should be protesting US-NATO provocations and aggression are not doing so. This weakens our ability to stop WW III.

I hope and pray that more people will speak out - and soon. Our lives depend on your courage and your action.

Bruce  


Hungarian people are interested in peaceful coexistence

 

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov at recent summit meeting in Geneva

 
Hungarian Community for Peace proposing separated deal with Russia
 

The Hungarian Community for Peace considers Russia’s demand for legitimate security guarantees to be fully justified and warns that the security of Hungary could be endangered if we insist on NATO’s policy of rejection. 

The Peace Community calls on the government to immediately recognize the legitimacy of Russia’s security claim and to distance itself from the deployment of NATO forces near Russian borders. 

Before his visit to Moscow in early February, we call on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to declare that the Hungarian people are interested in peaceful coexistence and refuse to sacrifice their security on the altar of the failed policies of NATO allies. It is in our national interest to have good relations with both East and West. 

We expect Hungarian Prime Minister to offer Hungary’s active participation in the construction of the new European security system and the establishment of a cooperative order in the spirit of Helsinki during his meeting with President Putin. We don’t have time to waste! 

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov gave the West a week to respond in writing to the Russian demand. If the US and NATO say no, there can be no doubt that the prospect of technical-military retaliation of Russia will come true, and we will be affected if we do not prevent it with a pragmatic policy through diplomacy. 

The Hungarian Community for Peace is proposing a separated deal with Russia on reciprocal security before we get into trouble due to NATO unrest. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

German Green Foreign Minister Baerbock in Washington's pocket

The German Green Party Co-leader Annalena Baerbock is now foreign minister in the new government and is a long-time opponent of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany.    


New German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is causing serious tensions as she opposes the Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline called Nord Stream 2. The pipeline (a joint project between Russia and several European energy companies) has been completed and is now waiting for final approval from the German government to turn it on. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a supporter of this project.

The controversial pipeline project, which runs from Ust-Luga in Russia to Lubmin in north-east Germany, is also likely to be the first test of the new German government’s already shaky coalition government.

The pipeline does not cross Ukrainian territory, which means that Ukraine would lose its status as the most important transit territory and the revenue that comes with it. Thus the right-wing government in Kiev is quite angry about Nord Stream 2 and is doing all they can to kill the project.

Baerbock, the 40-year-old Green co-leader, has long opposed the pipeline, but the new German chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) supports it.

It is known that large sections of German business community strongly support Nord Stream 2. Without Russian gas supplies, Germany will not be able to meet its energy needs in the coming years as it moves away from nuclear energy and coal-fired power generation. Just last week Scholz commented that he was the leader of the new government and would be making decisions about foreign policy. What problems this will cause with Baerbock and the Green Party have yet to be determined.

Already Europe has had too dip into their gas reserves and many fear that the US-NATO aggressive drive against Russia could create a war that would cut gas supplies from Russia completely. This of course would cause severe hardship for people across Europe this winter and would drive the economy throughout Europe into the ground.


When fully operational, the pipeline would transport 55bn cubic metres of gas to Germany every year, equivalent to about 15% of the EU’s total gas imports.

Baerboc's positions on China and Russia boost her appeal to a Biden administration wary of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose SPD has traditionally been more sympathetic toward Russia.

On January 17 Baerbock visited Kiev where she met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. She also held talks with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy.

At a press conference after talks with Baerbock, Kuleba thanked Germany for its support and friendship. He also expressed gratitude for the way Baerbock's Green Party opposes Nord Stream 2.

Earlier in the month, on January 5, Baerbock traveled to Washington to meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "The more difficult times, the more important strong partnerships are - and as Europeans we have no stronger partner than the USA," Baerbock told Blinkin. The Green politician emphasized that Germany had also supported Ukraine, for example, by setting up a military hospital. Blinken replied that the US would continue to supply Ukraine with 'defensive weapons'. 

 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a news conference with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the State Department on January 5 in Washington


What happened to the German Greens?

With her aggressive stance against Russia, Baerbock is following in the footsteps of the last Green Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, who held the office from 1998 to 2005. At the time of the Rambouillet Conference, Fischer, in close cooperation with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, constructed the pretext for the NATO war against Serbia, an ally of Russia. (Fischer's sell out to the US-NATO war machine really angered the traditional peace movement in Germany and drove many activists away from the Greens.)

In 2014, the Greens and their Heinrich Böll Foundation actively helped fuel the Maidan protests, which served as a cover to overthrow elected Ukrainian President Yanukovych with the help of right-wing extremists and replace him with a nationalist, pro-Western regime. Despite the central role that fascist forces played in this coup, the Greens glorified it as a democratic revolution.

In 2008 I was invited to speak on space issues at the Global Greens conference in São Paulo, Brazil. I had been a Green party member for many years - largely inspired to join during the early 1980's when the German Greens were led by Petra Kelly who was a great inspiration to the German and international peace movement during the height of the Cold War. 

It didn't take me long to see that the German Greens in 2008 were not the same political party that had existed during the early 1980's. 

Because the German's were the largest and strongest of the Green party groups around the world they ran the Brazil Global Greens confab with an iron fist. They were not in the least bit interested in any peace and justice issues - all they wanted to talk about was how to take power. They had a real corporate feel to them.

And now they have won some power and it appears quite clearly they have become one more version of a US-NATO lap dog.

In the recent past I've seen quotes from Baerbock that as a replacement for Russia's natural gas via Nord Stream 2, she supported Europe purchasing much more expensive LNG (fracked gas) from the US that would be sent overseas by ship.  This proposal, strongly supported by most in Washington, is not being picked up by many political leaders in Europe - including the new leader of the German government Olaf Scholz.

How effective Baerbock will be in her new role as Foreign Minister is unknown at this time. But the fact that she is already causing some degree of disharmony within the new ruling German government by her anti-Russian thinking is not a good omen. 

Bruce

~ Some of the above information was copied from multiple articles found on the Internet

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Amazon workers demand justice

 


Amazon promised workers in Chicago full-time roles with a hiring bonus, extra pay for working Thanksgiving, and paid bereavement leave. 

Every promise was broken. 

So these courageous workers led the first-ever walkouts coordinated across multiple Amazon warehouses.

U.S. Cold War on China Will End in Ten Years

 


By Michael Wong 


It being the beginning of the New Year, 2022, I decided to go out on a limb and make a prediction: The current U.S. Cold War on China will increase in intensity over the coming five years, but after five years will begin to wane, and will eventually crawl to a halt within ten years, by 2032. Why would I go out on a limb and make such a seemingly outlandish prediction? Here’s my thinking.

Five years ago, the RAND Corporation published a report saying that the US needs to stop China’s rise within ten years, or else China would become too strong for the US to stop. That was five years ago. This means, that if the report was right, the US must stop China within the next five years or it will be too late, and China’s peaceful economic rise will become inevitable. Here’s a very short one page summary of that RAND Corporation report: rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1140.html

My own observation is that all but one statement in this summary is accurate. The statement I think is inaccurate is: “A long conflict could expose China to internal political divisions.” I think, on the contrary, that a long conflict will have the opposite effect; the population will rally ’round the flag, and become much more determined to fight on, no matter the hardships. In fact, the hardships are likely to increase patriotic sentiment in the population. It will make real the fact that they are at war with an external aggressor. I think even the RAND Corporation has fallen victim to their own propaganda, that the Chinese government is an oppressive government that the people yearn to be free from. They overlook the 90%+ popularity of the government that polls show, which is consistent with what I heard in my visits to China.

Bear in mind that the RAND study was done five years ago and does not take into consideration two big factors that have since significantly weakened the United States; Covid and Trump. Covid you know; the United States has suffered over 800,000 deaths, while China has had under 5,000 deaths in a population four times as large. China did this by strict lockdowns, widespread testing, and strict protective measures which were denounced by the West as human rights violations, but eventually proved to have saved hundreds of thousands of human lives. While the US and other advanced economies contracted in 2020, China’s economy reopened quickly and continued to grow. Trump got us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was intended to isolate China economically.

 

 

Not only did we fail to isolate China, but Trump’s behavior on that and many other issues sent a message to Asia and the world that the US is an unreliable partner, further damaging our credibility and the willingness of other nations to side with us in a war against China. Biden hasn’t improved the situation any and probably made it even worse; Blinken, Sullivan, and others in his administration have proven to be bumbling fools. And in the next five years, I don’t see any probable presidential candidate from either party who is likely to be any more effective. The only way to stop China’s rise would be a nuclear war. Hopefully that won’t happen, because it would end the world. If it does, I withdraw my prediction.

So if anything, the RAND Corporation study is likely to be over-optimistic, compared to today’s actual conditions. In five years, China will become too strong to stop, and its peaceful economic rise will become inevitable. With this rise will come the gradual improvement and strengthening of other third world nations via BRI (China’s “Belt & Road Initiative,” a modern version of the ancient Silk Road that served trade with China, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe) and other efforts by many countries to free themselves from Western domination. The multipolar world that China correctly points out is the natural state of the world will be coming into view. China will not dominate the world as America has, because for thousands of years China has always known that world domination is not sustainable, would exhaust China’s strength and resources, and would eventually lead to her own destruction (for more in-depth explanations, see my article, “The China Fear Factor,” or K. J. Noh’s article, “The US is Set on a Path to War”). Throughout most of China’s five thousand year history, there have usually been numerous strong countries in the world with no single nation dominating the entire world; a multipolar world in which China has a comfortable but not world dominating place.

 



It’ll take at least another five years after the tipping point for the US elite, always more than a bit slow these days, to recognize the sea change and come to terms with it, thus the total estimate of ten years. But they will have no choice, and hopefully the US will go the British route and slowly fade back into just being a country rather than an empire. That will actually be better for our country. If we spent more of our federal budget on domestic needs rather than war, we would thrive indeed. Most of us here will probably live to see it, and then we can pat ourselves on the back for a tough job well done. But until then, our job is to stand up and speak out strongly for peace. The next five years will be the most intense, and things may get worse before they get better. Particularly for those of us who are Chinese or Asian American, anti-Asian hate crimes may increase as the war propaganda and demonization accelerates. This is a time for courage and hard work. But there is hope ahead, and as the old civil rights folk song said, “Keep your eyes on the prize.”

~ Michael Wong is the vice president of Veterans For Peace, Chapter 69, San Francisco, and a retired social worker with a Master of Social Work degree. He is published in the anthologies, Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, edited by Maxine Hong Kingston, and Waging Peace in Vietnam, edited by Ron Carver, David Cortright, and Barbara Doherty. He also appeared in the documentary Sir! No Sir! about the GI resistance to the Vietnam War.  

Monday, January 17, 2022

MLK: 'Spirit of the civil rights movement should imbue the peace movement'

 

 

From the Archives: (The sound begins at 3:36 in the video)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes a speech in front of UN Secretariat Building at an Anti-Vietnam War Demonstration. He was joined by peace movement leaders Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dave Dellinger and others.

Crowd marching carries signs on United Nations Plaza. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sunday song