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. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Time to call out the 'Dems'



Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) confronted by anti-war protesters about her support for more war $$$ to Ukraine.

Maine's Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) was on the local NPR station this week using the most extreme language in supporting the Biden war on Russia. All the while, the Washington installed Kiev puppet regime keeps the war fires burning. Someone(s) are making lots of cash on this deal.

Pingree claims to be a 'progressive liberal'. Pingree is a hustler - I'd never vote for her. She is a first-class corporatist. 

I am so fed up with the liberals in this country.  They have long ago sold their souls to the ruling neo-con oligarchs.


The downward cycle of neo-feudalism



The UK financial system is facing a major crisis this week. What’s causing it?
Recently, UK government-issued bonds have been getting dumped en masse, flooding the market and tanking their value. Why is this a problem?
Two reasons. Firstly because UK pension funds, which constitute a major source of retirement saving for many people, are heavily invested in these bonds. Secondly, because the government’s ability fund spending via borrowing is made possible by issuing these bonds.
Over the past couple weeks, the Bank of England has intervened in the market and has been buying their own bonds to temporarily shore up bond value, allowing pension funds a window to divest. But the UK govt has announced these emergency measures will come to an end this Friday.

Why are these bonds getting dumped in the first place? Partly it’s a loss of confidence in the UK government. With the entirety of Europe facing an unprecedented energy crisis this winter, investors are betting that the government will not be able pay interest on these bonds.
However, a major part that isn’t receiving as much attention is the impact of US monetary policy. 
The Fed’s recent interest rate hikes are causing a huge capital flight from the UK to the US. Industry is likely to follow. 
In a sense, the US is cannibalizing the UK economy.
And while this crisis may initially precipitate in the UK, it is unlikely to remain contained there. German broad market funds, for example, have lost 50% of their value since the beginning of the year.
In short, Europe is going to learn two painful economic lessons this winter: 1- a significant portion of European prosperity was built on access to cheap Russian gas. 2- capital is international, has no loyalties, and the US is throwing a welcome party.    

Documentary trailer: The forgotten War



Extraordinary documentary film about the US bombing war on Korea released today at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea.

The Korean war was the precursor to the Vietnam war--massive use of napalm, unbridled slaughter of civilians and refugees, free-fire zones, and a genocidal level of carpet bombing: Curtis LeMay, the head of Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, claims the US "killed off 20% of the population". 
This film tells that story through historic archival footage and survivor testimony voice-over.

Essential to watch in order to make sense of current North Korea-US relations, North-South relations in general, and the current historic moment.

Nordstream pipeline: Who done it update....


Masterminds of Nord Stream Terror Attacks Plunged Europe Into Energy Poverty


During the Russian Energy Week forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the Nord Stream terror attacks in late September sought to undermine energy security on the continent.

The masterminds of the Nord Stream terror attacks plunged Europe into energy poverty, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

"As for Europe and its energy security, what happened [to the Nord Stream pipelines] has actually nullified its energy security... That is, the masterminds and perpetrators of these terror attacks simply plunged Europe into energy poverty," Novak told the Russian Energy Week.

Novak's remarks came hours after reports that Sweden, Germany and Denmark had refused to jointly investigate the acts of sabotage at the pipelines, each pledging to investigate the attacks independently. Sweden is said to have pulled out from the joint investigative team, followed by Denmark.

The German interior ministry told a Friday briefing that the federal police "finished establishing the circumstances" of the sabotage at the Nord Stream network, which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

The Russian side, in the meantime, has emphasized that it will not recognize the results of the investigation in the attacks, unless Russian experts are allowed to partake in the probe. If Russian experts are denied access to the ongoing investigation, Moscow will assume that Denmark, Sweden and Germany "have something to hide" or provide a cover-up for the perpetrators, the Russian foreign ministry stated.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that there's no doubt that the incidents at the Nord Stream pipelines were acts of international terrorism.

"There is no doubt that this is an act of international terrorism, the purpose of which is to undermine the energy security of the entire continent," Putin told the Russian Energy Week, adding that some participants in the energy market are trying to undermine the infrastructure of competitors.

"And who is behind the sabotage at Nord Stream? Obviously, those who seek to finally break the ties between Russia and the European Union: those who want to finally undermine and finish off the political sovereignty of Europe, weaken its industrial potential, take over the market," Putin stressed.

Nord Stream pipelines suffered fuel leaks and rapid pressure drop on September 26, with Sweden and Denmark registering explosions in the area. The operator company Nord Stream AG later said that the damage to the pipeline system is unprecedented. Putin stated that it was a deliberate assault on European energy infrastructure, hinting that the US and Britain are responsible for the blasts. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has been investigating the incidents as acts of international terrorism. 

Friday, October 14, 2022

Time to speak out next week


We will be on the street in downtown Brunswick, Maine on Thursday, Oct 20 from 11:30 am to 12:30.

We meet at the intersection of Pleasant St (US1) and Main Street in front of the Tontine Mall next to the town green.

Join us with an appropriate sign for our 'No war with Russia' vigil. We've been holding these weekly protests here since mid-February.

We'd like to get a good turnout because we need to enliven our fellow citizens to the current dangers of WW3 coming in a red hot flash. Many of them are still sleepwalking.

Also we urge you to send your congressional delegation in Washington a message. This is what I sent to the Maine delegation this week:

Stop funding this war on Russia that could turn into WW3 in a red hot flash. Ukraine is nothing more than cannon fodder in the US-UK-NATO attempt to break Russia up so the west can steal their vast resource base.

Don't we know by now that all US wars are about fossil fuels and other declining natural resources?

You could also send a letter to the editor of your local paper. You are lucky if you can get it printed. I can't get a letter printed in Maine papers anymore.

And talk to your families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Show some umph and speak up. We are on the verge of madness.

The Dems are using Ukraine to show how tough they are in hopes of staying in power in Washington this November.

And most important watch and share the film - Wag the Dog.


Vandana Shiva: Let's take our sovereignty back



In this third interview with Berenice Galli, Vandana Shiva updates the system's basic themes, she proposes an alternative to the current system. 

The issues she addresses are not just about India. They are closely linked to the dramatic problems we have in Italy, in particular those concerning small agricultural producers. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

“Farmers in India struggle against laws that destroy their sovereignty. Small producers will only be able to survive if their sovereignty is defended. When sovereignty is taken away from them, small producers will disappear just as with species diversity, which disappears if their sovereignty is not respected.

When the laws are tailor-made for multinationals so that they get bigger and bigger markets, more and more control over land use, more and more control over deciding and designing agricultural systems, we suffer from the enormous problems we are witnessing. 


But for me, this historical moment has an interesting aspect because not only Indian farmers are revolting, but also Dutch, German, Irish, and Italian farmers. And they do it because the oligarchs, the billionaires have the highest concentration of wealth, they have the financial assets that control the multinationals in their hands. These billionaires have a common project: to exterminate all species and all productive humanity.

The economics of care is a revolutionary process for me because care is the first thing that sustains life, both in society and in nature, but even more important is that, by introducing care into the economy, we regain possession of the economy, and we reconvert it from being an economy of piracy and theft to an economy of regeneration and love”.

U.S. thinks it is God


When the United States made the decision to start becoming a World Empire with the signing of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, it became a Gangster Nation

From there, the malignant cancer grew with leaps and bounds to become what it is today. Once you have that kind of power, and pleasurable economic lifestyle that goes with it, you will do ANYTHING to maintain that world status.

It will take a miracle to change this narcissistic behavior. 

The Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a primary example of how far the U.S. will go to maintain that power, let alone on March 1, 1954, when the U.S. detonated a Thermonuclear Bomb in the Marshall Islands that was 1,000 times greater than the Atomic Bomb that was dropped on Hiroshame-a, that caused widespread radioactive contamination. 

This is Profound NARCISSISM that works out in the gym every single day. 5% of the world's population 'Thinks' it is God.  

Mike Hastie  
Vietnam veteran

Thursday, October 13, 2022

EU has a serious problem now


Poland accuses Germany of selfishness because Berlin wants to help its industry to buy gas in the face of the biggest energy crisis since the Second World War. Warsaw is very unhappy with Germany's attempts to save its industry, as this will not allow the European Union to raise enough money for Poland to buy expensive gas. 

In principle, the discontent of the Poles can be understood. Germany makes it clear that all that matters to it is to save only its industry, and Berlin will try to save its factories this winter only by taking gas from neighboring countries. 

Simply put, the EU has a serious problem now. This winter, in the European Union everyone will be for himself. 

The other day, Berlin announced its plan to allocate an exorbitant amount of 200 billion euros to support German industry, which is being hit hard by high gas prices, and to abandon the gas tax, which was supposed to be introduced on October 1.

Ukraine war analysis from retired Army officer



Douglas Macgregor is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and government official, and an author, consultant, and television commentator. 

In 2020, President Donald Trump proposed Macgregor as ambassador to Germany, but the Senate blocked the nomination.

He is currently one of the most listened to analysts and speaks to 'conservative and progressive' audiences quite widely.

He also speaks in clear and informative lingo and is very candid.  

If you want to jump right to Col. Macgregor his interview begins at 17:30 in the video 

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Commentary: On gas and peace - Péter Szijjártó to Moscow



By Simó Endre (President of the Hungarian Community for Peace)

Budapest, 11 October 2022


Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó intends to discuss the security of Hungary's energy supply and peace in Moscow this week.

Until now, the Orbán government has claimed that our country's energy supply is secured, and the Western sanctions have also failed to take effect. So why the tour? Would even more security be needed? Is that never enough? Or would it not only be about energy supply? Would our government perhaps begin to realize that security is not only necessary for us, but also for others?

We would have finally come to the realization that neither the issue of energy supply nor war would have arisen if NATO, including Hungary, had recognized Russia's right to the security of its borders and had said yes to the proposal of December 15, 2021 on the creation of a European security and cooperation system? Instead of saying no to it along with our NATO allies?

Would we begin to recognize who wants peaceful cooperation and who doesn't? Wasn't it because of the blowing up of North Stream pipelines or of the Kerch bridge that our leaders became enlightened? Or did the planned and foiled blast of the Turkish Stream pipeline supplying gas also to Hungary on September 22 cause alarm in government circles so fearing the well-being of our people?

We even distance ourselves from the mere suspicion that our flying diplomat's new desire to travel was triggered by Russian missiles as proof that there is no stalemate on the Ukrainian front, but that the fate of the Kiev regime depends solely on Moscow, which we must love even if we hate it from the bottom of our hearts. Simply because we were ordered to love it from Washington and Brussels.

We need gas, but not peace? Because our allies say we shouldn't? Are we worried about hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, but do we condemn the right of self-determination of Russians in Ukraine? We call the Russian intervention in Ukraine aggression, but do we turn a blind eye to the fact that instead of implementing the Minsk agreement, the Russians in Donbas were exterminated by the thousands? And our compatriots living over there are being used as cannon fodder, since in Kyiv's eyes they are not natives anyway?

Crazy in Buda Castle!

It seems that in the midst of the never-ending "Kállay double dance", the ground is getting hot under our masters' feet! They should decide what to do. But they don't dare. Their pockets are pulling West, but our peaceful future is East! So they travel, because on the road is the best. However, it is not Moscow that needs to be convinced of the importance of peaceful cooperation, but our own allies, who fill our neighbors with weapons and see us as a map. If we couldn't make ourselves understood by them, we should finally realize that we don't need "friends" who won't let us live in peace with others, but those who can be happy if we live on good terms with everyone, East and West alike.  

US Increased Intelligence and Special Forces Operatives’ Presence in Ukraine



    In addition to possible escalation with Moscow, these operations also contradict Joe Biden’s statements that the US will not send troops into Ukraine.

By Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst (SouthFront)

The US intelligence presence in Ukraine has existed at least since the end of the Second World War. After the war was over, the CIA worked closely with the Ukrainian Nazi insurgents of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) who were tasked with carrying out acts of sabotage in western parts of the Soviet Union. The OUN, led by the likes of Stepan Bandera and Yaroslav Stetsko was a Nazi organization infamous for its extreme anti-Semitism, Polonophobia (hatred of Poles) and Russophobia. It collaborated closely with the invading Nazi German forces and actively took part in the mass murder of Poles, Jews and Russians in Nazi-occupied Ukraine.

In the closing years of the Second World War, the OUN and other similar Nazi organizations were trained for behind-enemy-lines operations against the advancing Red Army. After Germany’s defeat, these forces continued their terrorist activities with the support of the CIA. The US top intelligence agency essentially recycled the Nazi German network in western Ukraine and also provided weapons and training for these forces. Declassified intelligence shows that the CIA even protected Stepan Bandera so he could coordinate and keep the Nazi movement in Ukraine alive. The CIA operation to accomplish this was codenamed PBCRUET-AERODYNAMIC, based on the now-declassified document dated June 17, 1950.

After the KGB and the Soviet military defeated the Nazi insurgents in what is present-day western Ukraine, the surviving members went dormant for the remainder of the (First) Cold War. However, during the last days of the USSR and the immediate aftermath of its dismantlement, Nazi groups were reactivated, only this time as political parties and organizations, most of which became militant by 2014. This paved the way for the NATO-orchestrated Maidan coup, bringing the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis to power. The militant wings of these organizations and political parties were directly incorporated into the Ukrainian military, including the infamous “Azov Battalion” and many other similar groups.


Although the Pentagon took over the task of training and arming these Neo-Nazi groups, the CIA and other US intelligence services never stopped working with them. US special operations forces are working closely with CIA personnel in Ukraine. According to The Intercept, the US initially withdrew its CIA and special operations operatives from Ukraine days before Russia launched its special military operation, leaving some personnel behind. However, their numbers have increased significantly in recent months. The report states that the CIA initially thought that Kiev would quickly be taken by Russian forces, but after it became clear that wouldn’t happen, the US decided to send its operatives back.

The report further states that “US intelligence and special operations within Ukraine are now far more extensive than they were early in the war, when US intelligence officials were fearful that Russia would steamroll over the Ukrainian army.” Multiple current and former US intelligence officials stated that “there is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel and resources in Ukraine than there were at the time of the Russian invasion in February.” The New York Times made similar claims in a report authored in June, stating that there was a large CIA presence in Ukraine. Although there was no mention of US special operations forces activities in the country, the controversial report claimed that several US allies and satellite states, namely the UK, France, Canada and Lithuania, sent special operations forces to directly support the Kiev regime.

The Intercept claims that the secret CIA and US special forces operations in Ukraine are being conducted under a covert presidential finding and that this indicates US President Joe Biden quietly notified Congress of a “broad program of clandestine operations inside the country.” In the US, a presidential finding, formally known as a Memorandum of Notification (MON), is a presidential directive delivered to certain Congressional committees to allow covert CIA operations. President Biden is reportedly using an altered version of a finding originally used by the Obama administration:

    “One former special forces officer said that Biden amended a preexisting finding, originally approved during the Obama administration, that was designed to counter malign foreign influence activities. A former CIA officer told The Intercept that Biden’s use of the preexisting finding has frustrated some intelligence officials, who believe that U.S. involvement in the Ukraine conflict differs so much from the spirit of the finding that it should merit a new one.”

It is currently unknown what exactly the US special operations forces are doing in Ukraine and neither is their precise location. However, it’s safe to assume they’re at least assisting the Kiev regime forces in training and possibly even [directing and] targeting Russian troops during recent attacks involving Western weapons such as the HIMARS. In addition to possible escalation with Moscow, these operations also contradict Joe Biden’s statements that the US will not send troops into Ukraine.

Now this takes the cake....



The NYT says the death toll was too low. Are they suggesting that Russia needs to kill more people? 

They also don't tell that most of those who were killed are Kiev's military and intel agents. 

What happened to the earlier NYT articles that said Russia had run out of missiles?

What the hell is wrong with these people?

RAND Corporation plan for Ukraine war


Click on image for a better view


To see the entire RAND Corporation study click here

Trump pushes for Russia-Ukraine talks



By  John V. Walsh (California)

It is about time that the [political] Parties competed for the peace vote. So far the progressive Dems get an F-; same for Establishment Republicans.

Look at Ukraine.  The Maidan coup etc took place under Obama with Nuland as the engineer, then it went into hibernation under Trump when Nuland found herself out of the government apparatus. 
Nuland a central figure in the war in Ukraine began her career in govt under Clinton, then under Cheney, then under Bush 2.0, then under Obama, NOT under Trump who is despised by the neocons, then back into govt under Biden where she helped drive the proxy war in Ukraine into high gear based on the groundwork laid by St. Obama.  Her career tells us a lot about the neocons who went over from the GOP to the Dems in 2016 and have remained there. Tulsi Gabbard [who just quit the Dems] has a point.

Trump is great at pointing out the disgusting nature of the Biden regime. Unfortunately he is not the person for the job of providing an alternative.  But he is at least a voice for peace in Ukraine that reaches the ears of tens of millions of Americans.  Perhaps he will at least make the issue of war and peace a major issue in the 2024 election.

The progressives now have NO such antiwar politician who is in touch with the American people. 
There is something profoundly wrong with the reigning progressive/liberal world view when its principal spokesperson, Bernie, is pro-war.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

What is the #1 job of a human?


Can't say we were not warned


This is Gaza, not Ukraine. No howling cries were heard on the BBC, MSNBC or NPR.


Over many years (at least back to 2007) Russia pleaded with the US-NATO for security guarantees. Stop NATO expansion and war games on Russia's doorstep. Moscow was essentially laughed at by the neo-con west.

Following the US-EU directed coup d'etat in Kiev in 2014, and the almost immediate shelling of the Russian-ethnic region of the Donbass in Ukraine (near the Russian border), more than 14,000 were killed and over 35,000 wounded. No howling cries were heard on the BBC, MSNBC or NPR. 

Russia tried via the Minsk Accords to bring a federated status (local autonomy) to the Donbass - still within the Ukraine government. No dice. Moscow was betrayed by Kiev, Brussels and Washington.

The west took out Nordstream 1 & 2, attempted more offensives against the Donbass region and attacked the Crimean Kerch bridge

The Kerch bridge attack was the final red line. Russia has responded by hitting military targets and energy infrastructure all across Ukraine. Unlike US-NATO 'shock and awe' in Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Palestine, and Yemen these current attacks have not gone after the civilian populations.

Such current outcomes in Ukraine could have been avoided with honest diplomacy, which the US-EU have steadily sought to undermine and instead they focused exclusively on military escalation and sanctions on Russia.

The US-UK-EU are desperate to hang on to their hundreds of years of corporate colonial domination of the Global South. Those days are now over.

Will the US-UK-NATO resort to nuclear attacks on the Donbass and Russia in a last ditch effort to stay in control?

That is the essential question at this moment. More and bigger protests are urgently needed.


US Special Forces are on the ground in Ukraine



By Dave DeCamp


The presence is part of a broad clandestine operation that includes the CIA

US special operations forces are on the ground in Ukraine as part of a broad covert operation that includes CIA personnel, The Intercept reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed US intelligence and military officials.

The report said that the US withdrew its CIA and special operations assets from Ukraine shortly before Russia’s invasion, although one US official said the CIA “never completely left.”

The CIA initially predicted that Kyiv would fall quickly to Russia, but after it became clear that wouldn’t happen, the Biden administration sent its covert assets back into Ukraine.

The report said that US clandestine operations inside Ukraine “are now far more extensive than they were early in the war, when US intelligence officials were fearful that Russia would steamroll over the Ukrainian army.”

Several current and former intelligence officials said that there “is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel and resources in Ukraine than there were at the time of the Russian invasion in February.”

Back in June, The New York Times reported that there was a CIA presence in Ukraine, but it made no mention of US special operations forces. The Times report did say that several US allies have special operations troops in Ukraine, including Britain, France, Canada, and Lithuania.

The Intercept report said the covert operations inside Ukraine are being conducted under a covert presidential finding that indicates President Biden has quietly notified Congress of a “broad program of clandestine operations inside the country.” The report said that the finding President Biden is using is an altered version of a finding originally during the Obama administration.

It’s not clear what the US personnel are doing inside Ukraine or where exactly they are operating, but the presence risks provoking Russia. The covert operations contradict President Biden’s pledge not to send troops into Ukraine, which he said before Russia’s invasion could spark a “world war.”

Monday, October 10, 2022

A view from Deutschland


Dr. Eberhard König

I was born in Saxony in 1945. Until 1989, my homeland, the GDR [East Germany] , in the form of the Hallstein Doctrine, was under sanctions of the U.S.-minded Western world for its entire existence until 1989.

Sanctions are for me always and everywhere "economic war".

If the sanctioned party is not brought to its knees in this way, the next stage follows, the war with weapons. This is also the case in the Ukraine conflict. All international customs of cooperation and trade are kicked into the dustbin in order to delay the economic crash of the USA. Economic winner of the Ukraine-Russia conflict is primarily the USA.

Catastrophic for the climate and the environment are the arms deliveries, the covert military emergency ventilation of Ukraine by the Western world. A devastating human rights problem within Ukraine was exploited by NATO to expand geopolitical supremacy, regardless of the consequences. 

All the concerns of many people in Germany have their roots in the fact that geopolitical goals of the intellectual and economic elites of the USA and its allies have taken precedence over human rights, the will of the people and economic reason.

As a physicist, I can only see irrationality in terms of climate or economics from even more fracking gas from the US to be transported across the Atlantic to Europe and popular resistance to the LNG terminals in Germany.

I know of no example of any other country ever interfering in U.S. bilateral economic relations in such a way, as the U.S. did with Nordstream 2, for example. 


Sunday, October 09, 2022

On my way to India


I am heading today to India for the space issues conference being organized by a Global Network board member who teaches at the hosting law school. This will be the 2nd such space issues conference she has organized - the first was in 2019 which was a huge success with more than 200 participants from 20 law schools across India.

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post on the blog while I am gone but will do my best.

I return a week later.

Just hope the US-UK-NATO-Kiev don't start a nuclear war while I am gone.

Please do the world a favor and let Biden and your congressional delegation know right away that you think this WW III threatening by Washington is sick, sick, sick.

If you live outside the US, please ask your government to speak out against Washington's war-mongering.

I wish everyone the best.

Good luck.


GN space issues webinar video: Dangers of WW3 & Space War


Here is the video of the Global Network space issues webinar Dangers of WW3 & Space War that was held yesterday.
Speakers included Dr. Dave Webb (UK), Agneta Norberg (Sweden), Koohan Paik Mander (Hawaii), Subrata Ghoshroy (Boston) and Tamara Lorincz (Canada).
After the presentations questions were taken from the audience for the remaining time.
The event was moderated by Bruce Gagnon (Maine).
Please help us get these important messages spread more widely by sharing with your lists.  

Sorting it all out with someone who knows the score



Col. Douglas Macgregor joins David Gornoski to talk about Zelensky's recent remarks on a "preemptive strike," whether Russia is losing ground in Ukraine, how the outcome of the war is shaping out to be, what lies in the future for Germany, and more. 

Full episode here:

Sunday song



All Roads (and Railways) Leading to China… and the West Ain’t Happy


The author boarding the new high-speed China-Laos Railway via the Golden Triangle and Mekong River. China is building commercial links where the U.S. previously destroyed during the Vietnam War


By Finian Cunningham

China’s ascendant global power is showing up the increasingly bankrupt condition of the United States and its Western allies.

China is succeeding where the British, French and Japanese imperialist powers failed. This year saw the full operation of the China-Laos Railway, the first link in an ambitious Pan-Asian Rail Network that will integrate eight Southeast Asian nations designed to carry freight and millions of passengers.

The city of Kunming in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan is the rail and road hub linking the world’s second-biggest economy to its southern neighbors. The Pan-Asian Rail Network covers Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, converging on the port cities of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore (see map graphic below).

Kunming, already connected to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and other Chinese metropolises, is thus providing a gateway for the entire Southeast Asian region to global trading routes. It represents China’s world-spanning Belt and Road Initiative in action.

The China-Laos segment of this transcontinental network was completed in December 2021 – on schedule after five years of construction – with a budget of $6 billion. The other regional segments are still under construction. A network of new motorway “expressways” complement the rail links, the configuration resembling a Chinese fan spreading out.

The Pan-Asian Rail Network is planned for completion by 2030 at a total cost of $112 billion. Some 30,000 kms of tracks will be laid, carrying both high-speed and conventional speed trains. Beijing is financing up to 70 percent of the construction costs, with the remainder capitalized through bilateral loans. The overall design is backed by the inter-governmental trade bloc, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

It is an awesome mega-project that is aimed at boosting economic growth for the region. Inner land areas are to be opened up for agriculture, tourism and transport of goods.

Over a century ago, the British and French colonial powers attempted to build railways in Southeast Asia – and failed. A combination of world wars and financial burden derailed former projects. The Japanese imperialists tried to link Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) with an infamous railroad built by prisoners of war – and failed. Now China is laying down infrastructure based on a wholly different concept of partnership and joint development. All the signs indicate that China is succeeding.

The achievement of the China-Laos rail link alone is impressive. It covers over 1,000 kilometers from Kunming to Vientiane, the Laotian capital. It required the building of hundreds of tunnels and bridges through mountainous territory spanning twice the meandering Mekong River.

President Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos hailed the railway as “opening a new era of development and prosperity” for his landlocked and relatively poor nation of 7 million people. Largely funded by China, the rail link will open up Laos for trade with its giant northern neighbor and beyond. For China, the links to Laos and the other Southeast Asian nations provide additional access to land and sea routes to global markets. It’s a stellar example of the “win-win” philosophy that guides the comprehensive BRI vision espoused by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Belt and Road Initiative was launched by President Xi in 2013. Already nine years old, the BRI has seen 146 nations joining the global partnership which is explicitly based on multipolar co-development. The Pan-Asian Rail Network is an embodiment of that vision.


One would think that such a vision for mutual prosperity and peaceful partnership might be welcomed by all. Not so among the US-led Western powers and allies.

American and allied news media have embarked on a relentless campaign to denigrate and demonize China and its BRI projects.

The Australian Financial Review ran a recent article with the dubious headline: “Can the West Dismantle China’s Pan-Asian Railway Dream?” The article went on to say: “Fast train plans are a concern for Western nations worried about China’s growing influence in the region.”

The Financial Review doesn’t explain the means or legalities of “dismantling” these projects. Neither does it spell out the justification for “concerns” about China’s growing influence. The tacit assumption is based on a notion of Sinophobia and a self-ordained right by the West to destroy China’s investments and infrastructure projects. The self-appointed West evidently feels entitled to judge and act unilaterally – even criminally – with impunity and without consulting the opinion of countries that have embraced mutual partnerships with China.

The U.S. government-owned Radio Free Asia continually alleges that China is seeking to dominate its regional neighbors through “debt traps”. On the newly opened rail link, the RFA reported: “Giant China, tiny Laos link up with launch of high-speed train”, and went on to assert that Beijing’s financing of the project was a means to dominate through debt.

This “debt-trap” accusation is a recurring insinuation by Western media to undermine China’s bilateral relations. There is an arrogant assumption by Western powers that they know better than Laos and other BRI participating nations. There is also a dubious pretense that the United States and its allies are somehow the sole benefactors of other nations, uniquely looking out for their national well-being. The facts are contrary to such pretensions. It is the Western capitalist states that have historically used financial debt to subjugate and control developing nations for exploitation of their natural resources.

Shouldn’t Western powers perhaps consult with China’s BRI partners about how they actually assess their prospects? In all the reams of negative reporting, Western media rarely if ever report the willing partnering with China of countries like Laos. It’s like their opinions don’t count. The United States and its Western allies simply presume to know better.

Another recurring unsubstantiated allegation made by Western media is that China’s colossal infrastructure plans are causing large-scale ecological damage and displacing local farming communities. Somehow, Radio Free Asia cited precisely that “a total of 4,411” farming families were made landless by the China-Laos railway. The publication did not say how that seemingly exact figure was obtained. It did, however, admit that “most of them have been compensated”.

Typically, no credible evidence is presented by Western media for claims of detrimental impact. This author journeyed on the China-Laos rail link at the end of September and viewed endless, rolling green landscapes, showing minimal ecological disruption beyond the laying of tracks. The same can be said for a new expressway road bridge under construction across the Mekong River between China and Laos. The verdant jungles surrounding the bridge and motorway worksites appeared untouched.

The negative claims by the United States regarding China’s BRI in Southeast Asia and in Laos in particular are bitterly ironic. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped over 260 million bombs on Laos between 1964-73 in a covert operation dubbed Rolling Barrel aimed at defeating the North Vietnamese army and Vietcong guerrilla. That criminal American aggression made Laos the “most bombed country in history” – exceeding the tonnage of explosives dropped during the Second World War. Over 50,000 Laotian people were killed by the American carpet bombing, which until today has left an odious legacy of deadly cluster bomblets scattered over the mountainous jungles. Indeed a major part of China’s rail construction involved extensive de-mining and clearing of American unexploded ordnance across remote terrain.

Despite Western attempts to smear China’s BRI, it is pushing ahead unabated. Southeast Asia demonstrates eloquently that all roads and railways are leading to China which is set to supplant the United States as the world’s biggest economy. And the West is evidently not happy about that because it threatens U.S.-led hegemony and its ambitions of unipolar dominance.

China’s ascendant global power, based on partnership and mutual development, is showing up the increasingly bankrupt condition of the United States and its Western allies. These has-been capitalist powers are coming off their rails, if not the owners of train-wreck economies.