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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Your $$$ for War and Corporate Profits



The gap between the super rich and the rest of the world widened last year as wealth continued to be owned by a small minority, Oxfam has claimed. Some 82% of money generated last year went to the richest 1% of the global population while the poorest half saw no increase at all, the charity said. Oxfam said its figures - which critics have queried - showed a failing system. In 2017 it calculated that the world's eight richest individuals had as much wealth as the poorest half of the world. This year, it said 42 people now had as much wealth as the poorest half, but it revised last year's figure to 61. Oxfam said the revision was due to improved data and said the trend of "widening inequality" remained.
  • The U.S. military is preparing for a changing climate, but not in order to protect the Earth’s environment. The Pentagon’s first and foremost concern is to respond to global warming only in so far as that response enhances the military’s “operational effectiveness” – its ability to fight. Jim Mattis, Secretary of War, has spoken out about the dangers of climate change, running contrary to the commander-in-chief whose National Security Strategy omitted it as a threat. Analysts expect the military to continue with its climate change adaptation and preparedness programs, despite the President’s denialism. However, even as the U.S. military takes steps to make itself more fuel and energy efficient, the Department of Defense remains the world’s largest institutional fossil fuel guzzler. Big increases in the military’s size, pushed by Trump and Congress, are only going to make the Pentagon’s and the world’s carbon emissions worse – which could ultimately impact national security and “operational effectiveness.”

The title of the 2018 National Defense Strategy — “Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge” — pretty much sums up the tone that has been set by Secretary of War Jim Mattis. The plan is straightforward: compete, deter and win. And that applies to outer space, too. “Space is like any other domain of war,” Mattis said following a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he laid out the broad themes of the new strategy. Asked by a member of the audience to elaborate on how the U.S. military would fight enemies in space, Mattis delivered one of his trademark one-liners: “Don’t try it.” In space, the US has to become so strong to make it obvious to adversaries that they would have “no benefit to be gained” from attacking U.S. systems, Mattis said. Capabilities in this case are not traditional military weapons but space systems that are resilient to attack. “It’s not about what you might think, guns in space shooting at each other,” Mattis said. To deter enemies, the military has to make it hard, if not impossible, for them to interfere with U.S. satellites. “For every satellite up, we’ll have a hundred more that could launch as fast as they’re taken out,” he said.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

U.S. Militarization of African Continent



Maurice Carney (Friends of the Congo) speaking at the No Base conference organized by the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases​ last weekend in Baltimore.

He was one of my favorite speakers - I'd previously seen his talks and I always learn so much from him.

The US military expansion on the African continent is massive and will continue to grow.  Public knowledge about this needs to also increase quickly.

Bruce

Sunday Song




Saturday, January 20, 2018

U.S. & Japan: Stop harassing Okinawan activists!


Ukraine & NATO expansion at No Bases Conference



Phil Wilayto speaking at the No Base conference in Baltimore organized by the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Bases.  I went to Ukraine with Phil Wilayto and Regis Trembley in 2016.....



Ana Rebrii from Ukraine also speaking at the No Base conference in Baltimore.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Presentations on Korea and Okinawa at No Bases Conference





Hyun Lee and Will Griffin were on the Asia-Pacific Pivot panel that I moderated last weekend in Baltimore at the No Bases conference.

They both did an excellent job of sharing stories about the active resistance in South Korea and Okinawa against existing US bases.  In both of those places the Pentagon is now expanding US military bases in order to handle the 'pivot' of more forces into the region that are being used to encircle China and Russia.

North Korea is used as the foil to excuse this massive Pentagon expansion. 

Bruce

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Disgusting and reprehensible actions by Israeli occupiers



Israeli occupiers destroyed more than 100 olive trees owned by Palestinian villagers.

Evangelical churches and Jewish supporters in the US help pay for these illegal Israeli 'settlements' on Palestinian lands.  US taxpayers help pay for 'security' that allows the Israeli government to harass and suppress the Palestinian people.

This is pure evil - no other way to look at it.

Disgusting and reprehensible.

Bruce

Too cold for universities in Ukraine


Fort Russ reports:

The Kiev National University has canceled all classes until spring, due to lack of funds to pay for heat and electricity.

It becomes starkly obvious that the war in the East is largely being funded by external parties, in a country that cannot afford to heat its own Universities.

And other universities across Ukraine are also closing until the spring.

Several Odessa universities have canceled all classes until March 26 due to the inability to pay to heat the classrooms.

Classes are canceled, in particular, in Odessa National University (ONU), Odessa Law Academy, and Academy of Food Technologies.

Teachers at ONU also reported that since January 1, 2018, new standards for lighting in the auditoriums have come into force, which the universities are also unable to fulfill due to lack of funds.

In the regional department of education and science, commenting further, they stated that all higher educational institutions are autonomous organizations, and their leadership itself decides how to organize their educational process.
More than 60% of Ukrainians cannot pay for utilities. This is evidenced by the survey data of the sociological group "Rating". The absolute majority of respondents - 97% are feeling pinched by the price increase for consumer goods and services this year.

The US ran the 2014 coup d'etat in Ukraine and now the country is collapsing. Washington does not give a damn - they wanted chaos along the Russian border and they have it.  Many Ukrainians have escaped to Europe or Russia looking for work and safety from the growing  Nazification of the country.

The attacks on the Donbass in eastern Ukraine (bordering Russia) have lately been increasing as perpetual war inside the country enables rule by the puppet regime of Petro Poroshenko, which is propped up by Washington and Brussels (NATO HQ).

In the end Ukraine has become a failed state and will soon completely collapse.  The US and the EU will abandon Ukraine and Russia will be left to pick up the pieces.  Now you might imagine why the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin with Russia.  They saw the train coming and got themselves off the tracks.

Bruce