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

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Field Testing U.S. High-Tech Weapons in Israel


The U.S. and Israel have teamed up to create a series of 'missile defense' (MD) systems for the Israeli military. The U.S. has supported the development of these systems by donating hundreds of millions of dollars to the Israeli projects. Iron Dome is part of a future multi-tiered missile defense system that Israel is developing, which will also include Arrow 2, Arrow 3, Iron Beam and David's Sling as early as 2018.

This MD program allows Israel to indiscriminately attack the Palestinian people and protect themselves from the feeble attempts to retaliate.

The U.S. uses Israel to field test many high-tech weapons systems like drones and so-called 'missile defense' on the essentially defenseless Palestinian people.  This kind of military colonization of Palestine is illegal under international law but Washington and Tel Aviv don't care about the rule of law anymore.

The Benefits to NATO Membership?


VFP Delegation in Hebron



Veterans For Peace member Will Clark (who I have traveled with to South Korea, Okinawa and India) reports from Hebron as they were tear gassed by the Israeli occupation forces.

Veterans For Peace joined the popular resistance in Palestine against the Occupation on the 23rd anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, or sometimes called the Cave of Patriarchs Massacre. 23 years ago Baruch Goldstein, an American-Jewish Settler in Israel, opened fire on a large number of Palestinians, leaving 29 dead, several as young as 12, and 125 wounded. Many Israeli settlers still to this day continue to laud him as a hero. 

The state of Israel has been illegally occupying Palestine for over seven decades, committing human rights violations and war crimes. Despite Palestinians having a majority population and living in the area for thousands of years, the Israeli military continues to oppress the people as well as Israeli settlers spreading their territories over what's left of Palestinian land. The U.S. has supported this oppression by selling military equipment to Israel as well as giving financial aid, now $3.8 billion every year.

Veterans For Peace opposes war in all of its manifestations, including this atrocious occupation against the Palestinians.

Shaking off Oppression



In spite of anti-free-speech efforts to get her controversial lecture in Berkeley canceled, on February 16, 2017, author and former journalist Alison Weir, courageously gave a presentation titled 100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism: How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine. She was warmly received by a well informed Berkeley audience and received a standing ovation at the end.

Alison covered in depth the creation of Israel in 1948 as a result of a worldwide movement called “political Zionism,”which was active in the United States since the late 1800s. After Israel was created, this movement – now known as the “Israel lobby” – continued to work on behalf of Israel. Today it is one of most powerful and pervasive special interests in the United States. Among its many achievements has been to re-define the term “Anti-Semitism” to increasingly make it mean criticism of Israel and or support for Palestinian human rights. Another accomplishment has been to procure massive US aid to Israel: on average, 7,000 times more than to others around the world. She also covered the unbalanced media coverage of Israel-Palestine, the role of Israel partisans in promoting the US War on Iraq, and the ongoing demonization of Iran.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Pentagon 'Missile Defense' Radar in Northern Norway

 

If you look closely at the map - up in the top right hand corner on the Barents Sea - is the village of Vardo.  In Vardo is the world's most advanced radar, Globus II.  It turns out Globus II is a name the Norwegian military intelligence service has given to this American radar.  The US military named it Have Stare.

According to Norwegian journalist Bard Wormdal (author of The Satellite War), "This is a 'missile defense' (MD) radar that provides the Pentagon with the capability to initiate a nuclear first strike with less risk of suffering a counterattack. This gives the US military superiority in relation to other nuclear powers, which in turn will try to catch up or surpass the US - and a new arms race is a reality."

Wormdal reports that once the white covering blew off the Have Stare radar and a British reporter noticed that the radar was pointed directly at Russia. No surprise there considering the location of Vardo.

Wormdal reports:  "In 2007 the US Embassy in Oslo applies heavy pressure on leading governmental and parliamentary politicians, research environments and journalists to prevent dissension in NATO on the plans for a European missile shield."



Wormdal interviewed MIT Professor Ted Postol who is an expert on US MD.  Postal maintains that Vardo is essential for the US 'missile defense' system to function in Europe:  "It's very difficult to understand why the Vardo radar would not be employed as part of the American missile defense system.  [The US maintains it is used for tracking space debris in orbit.] The reason being that it is the only radar that has any possibility whatsoever of identifying a warhead from a decoy.  It is the only radar with a resolution and range that can provide information on what is a warhead and what is a decoy weapon in an attempt to track an ICBM..."

It is obvious to anyone that is paying attention that the US has created a string of MD radars and interceptors (on land and on Navy Aegis warships) that encircle Russia and China.  Since the role of MD is to serve as the shield, to pick off retaliatory strikes after the US military has launched a first-strike attack, it becomes possible to figure out the US strategy.

The classic war story has been updated to meet the technological age.  The sword strikes first and then the shield is used to defend the counter thrust from the target.  Only today the cost of the sword and the shield are so vast that the US must get their NATO allies and partners to help pay for what the Pentagon calls 'the most expensive project in human history'.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Knocking Down the Indians





U.S. Military Eyes & Ears in the Arctic



US-NATO are intercepting Russian and global communications and militarizing the island of Svalbard in violation of Norway-Russia treaty that outlaws military use of the island.

In his landmark book entitled 'The Satellite War' Norwegian journalist Bard Wormdal reports the following about Svalbard:

  • Svalbard is the best location for a ground station serving Polar-orbiting satellites....Only Svalbard is situated close enough to the North Pole to enable a ground station to download data from all [satellite] flights overhead....The satellites can be controlled and data downloaded during the 15 minutes they are visible from Svalbard before they pass the North Pole and are visible to a station in Alaska for another 15 minutes....By setting a satellite on a fixed course around the North and South Poles it is then possible to gain images of all sections of the planet in the space of a full day.  That is why most earth observation satellites travel in a Polar orbit.  

  • The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago....The preamble to the treaty stipulates that the Islands must only be used for peaceful purposes, and Article 9 states that Svalbard "may never be used for warlike purposes."

  • In the year 2000 Norway and the US entered into a mutual formal agreement to develop space co-operation [at Svalbard]....Norway wants the US to pay for a fiber cable....The US Armed Forces inject $25 million, or one-third of the total cost.  It goes without saying the Pentagon wants something in return.

  • The US currently has at least 104 military satellites....With the new generation of weather and environmental satellites the focus is changing from "dealing with the weather" to utilizing data on the atmosphere and conditions in outer space directly in warfare.

  • Svalbard is the best location for a ground station serving Polar-orbiting satellites. Only Svalbard is situated close enough to the North Pol to enable a ground station to download data from all satellite flights overhead. Svalbard can communicate with satellites in all the 14 orbits a satellite completes around the Earth in the space of 24 hours.

  • Twenty years ago the Pentagon almost always only used their own satellites for communication.  Private corporations now supply 80-90% of all [military] satellite communication. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Oliver Stone: "You Don't Have to Fit In"



Oliver Stone at the Writers Guild Awards 

“You don’t have to fit in. It’s fashionable now to take shots at Republicans and Trump and avoid the Obamas and Clintons. But remember this: In the 13 wars we’ve started over the last 30 years and the $14 trillion we’ve spent, and the hundreds of thousands of lives that have perished from this earth, remember that it wasn’t one leader, but a system, both Republican and Democrat.

Call it what you will: the military industrial money media security complex. It’s a system that has been perpetuated under the guise that these are just wars justifiable in the name of our flag that flies so proudly.”

"Our country has become more prosperous for many but in the name of that wealth we cannot justify our system as a center for the world’s values. But we continue to create such chaos and wars. No need to go through the victims, but we know we’ve intervened in more than 100 countries with invasion, regime change, economic chaos. Or hired war. It’s war of some kind. In the end, it’s become a system leading to the death of this planet and the extinction of us all.”

“I’ve fought these people who practice war for most of my life. It’s a tiring game. And mostly you’ll get your a– kicked. With all the criticism and insults you’ll receive, and the flattery too, it’s important to remember, if you believe in what you’re saying and you can stay the course, you can make a difference.”

“I urge you to find a way to remain alone with yourself, listen to your silences, not always in a writer’s room. Try to find not what the crowd wants so you can be successful, but try instead to find the true inner meaning of your life here on earth, and never give up on your heart in your struggle for peace, decency, and telling the truth.”

~ Oliver Stone

The Numbers Don't Lie



Research done by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) for global total of military spending in 2015.

US leads the pack spending 36% of the world share.  Add NATO members/partners to the US numbers and you get well over 50%.

Russia comes in at 4% and last year (2016) they actually cut their military budget due to economic sanctions and drop in oil revenues.

So is Russia really able to 'recreate the Soviet Empire' and attack Europe as the western media and Washington-London-Brussels-Berlin-Paris claim?  Total nonsense.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Bruce

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

U.S. Prepares for War with Russia



US Army Soldiers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division participate in a multinational combined arms breach of obstacles training exercise Feb. 15, at the Gora Hetmanska Range in Drawsko Pomorskie.

The exercise was conducted alongside Polish, German and Dutch Soldiers highlighting NATO interoperability. 

In particular listen to the interview that begins at 3:50 into the video.

Group Think Leads to Disaster


A couple of days ago I was outside doing some snow shoveling.  One of my neighbors came over to talk and he told me he was very confused.  "I grew up after WW II and used to believe that our country was the good guy," he told me.  "Now I don't know who to believe anymore."

He went on to say that when Obama was first elected that the new president and Hillary Clinton (as Secretary of State) talked about how they were going to 'reset' relations with Russia.  "When Trump tries to do the same thing he is trashed," the neighbor exclaimed.

This was a very moving and revealing conversation.  I told the neighbor that he was a wise man to be in such a quandary - I said we've all got to develop independent thinking skills these days.  This party loyalty stuff leads to a suspension of independent thinking and requires people to follow the leaders like lemmings over the cliff.  Group think leads to disaster.

It is quite evident to me that the Republicans and Democrats are playing 'good cop - bad cop' as they have recently switched roles once Trump moved into the White House.  Now the Democrats have become the major league war hawks calling for increased military pressure on Russia and Iran.  The similarities between professional wrestling on TV and the US Congress are striking.

I read a great article this morning by CJ Hopkins (award-winning American playwright and satirist based in Berlin) entitled Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution. He writes:

I’m going to repeat and italicize that to hopefully avoid any misunderstanding. The system the deep state primarily serves is not the United States of America, i.e., the country most Americans believe they live in; the system it serves is globalized Capitalism. The United States, the nation state itself, while obviously a crucial element of the system, is not the deep state’s primary concern. If it were, Americans would all have healthcare, affordable education, and a right to basic housing, like more or less every other developed nation.

My heart is breaking as I watch mindless liberals on Fazebook throwing their support behind the likes of Sen. John McCain for 'standing up against Trump'.  Many people are plum lazy and don't much bother to find out for themselves what is really going on.  Instead they turn on the boob tube, listen to a Rachel Maddow rant on MSNBC about Putin, and figure they know the score.  They don't!

Many of these same people were lulled to sleep during the 2003 manipulations that led to 'shock and awe' in Iraq - or they fell for the 2011 lies to cover up the US-NATO take down of Libya that created a refugee mess - or they were under the Obama spell in recent years as the US-NATO created the mess in Syria (where the Pentagon used depleted uranium ammunition) that also resulted in a massive refugee crisis.

Many of those same well meaning people recently ran to their nearest airport to hold signs opposing Trump's immigration ban but it never seemed to dawn on them that their beloved Obama's bombing of these very same countries during the past eight years had much to do with these poor refugees wanting to come to the US!  Might they ever have considered going out to the streets with a sign saying to Obama - STOP THE DRONE STRIKES - STOP KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE!

No, they didn't bother.  Instead the Washington Post reported during the height of the Obama reign that 70% of self-identified liberals supported his drone bombing campaign in the Middle East and Central Asia.  Why did they support him?  Because he was a Democrat - their president - and he was a nice family man - and was articulate and not stupid like Trump!

How much can my heart take of this mindlessness?

Why do people persist in buying the fake goods from the traveling snake oil salesmen?

Bruce