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.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

The Crazy Asian Motif....



Excellent discussion on CrossTalk with James Bradley, Ken O’Keefe, and Mohammad Marandi.

THAAD Rocket Fuel: Likely Ground Water Contamination Coming to Seongju, South Korea


The unwelcome US deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense (MD) system in Seongju, South Korea is not only a significant threat to regional peace but is also a major environmental catastrophe waiting to happen.

The reason is that rocket fuel contains a deadly chemical component called perchlorate.  And since the Seongju area is a melon farming community the risk of ground water contamination by perchlorate should be alarming to all concerned.

Perchlorate, the explosive ingredient in solid rocket fuel, has leaked from military bases and weapons and aerospace contractors' plants in at least 22 states, contaminating drinking water for millions of Americans. 

In the US scientists have warned that perchlorate could cause thyroid deficiency in more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age. This thyroid deficiency could damage the fetus of pregnant women, if left untreated.

Reports indicate that 20 million to 40 million Americans may be exposed to the chemical. "We know that the Center for Disease Control has found perchlorate in 100 percent of the people they've tested, so there's widespread exposure, through contaminated drinking water and also through contaminated food," one expert reported.

The government has found traces of a rocket fuel chemical in organic milk in Maryland, green leaf lettuce grown in Arizona and bottled spring water from Texas and California.

Iceberg lettuce grown in Belle Glade, Florida had the highest concentrations of perchlorate discovered anywhere.  The greens had 71.6 parts per billion (ppb) of the compound, the primary ingredient in rocket propellant. Red leaf lettuce grown in El Centro, California had 52 ppb of perchlorate. Whole organic milk in Maryland had 11.3 ppb of perchlorate.

Next week South Koreans go to the polls to elected a new president after the previous right-wing President Park was impeached.

The Pentagon rushed the THAAD deployment ahead of schedule wanting to lock-in the controversial MD system before a new government took office.  The US fears that the likely new President Moon (a progressive) would ultimately delay or possibly even prevent the US from deploying the interceptor system due to the outrage coming from China and Russia who view THAAD as really being aimed at them rather than North Korea.

As the people of Seongju continue their fight against THAAD they'd be wise to begin to talk about the likely groundwater contamination from the rocket fuel that will be transported and stored on site at the new base presently being constructed at a former golf course.  It's only a matter of time that perchlorate will be seeping into the water and ultimately impacting their health and their melon crops.

Bruce

Friday, May 05, 2017

I Can't Feel the Bern......



What a smug hypocrite!

Free Palestine!

Boycott Israeli products!

A Truly Brilliant Video - Must Watch



The isolated, hermit kingdom of the DPRK is shrowded in secrecy, It's nearly impossible to get any reliable information from behind the bamboo curtain. Nonetheless, every week, on T.V. and online, we are bombarded by the bizzare media-spectacle of North Korea. From nuclear apocalypse and prison camps to banned sarcasm and compulsory identical haircuts - any shred of information regarding North Korea becomes a viral media hit, regardless of how dubious the story is.

But that's all about to change.

Two Aussie boys decided to take matters into their own hands and go to North Korea to find out the truth for themselves. Join us as we look past the clickbait and unpack the forces behind the way our media represents the "Democratic People's Republic of North Korea".

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Pushing War with Russia - More than Crazy



One more contemporary version of Dr. Stangelove.

Listen to General  Curtis Scaparrotti, Commander of US European Command, beg Congress for even more $$$ for endless war making - this time targeting Russia.

Currently the US spends 34%  of the world total of military spending.  Add the NATO members to the US total and you get over 50%.

What does Russia spend?  Imagine 4% of the global total.  That's right and please tell me just how in hell Russia could be a threat to the world at 4%?

These people know they have to have an enemy in order to sell the American people and NATO on the idea that even more money is needed in the military budgets of these all ready ripped nations.  So they demonize Russia in order to make the case.

Sadly we find the Democrats these days quite willing to play along with this Russia demonization program - I call it recycled Red baiting.  But obviously it is working and the Congress and NATO are raiding their public treasuries, demanding more budget cuts in social and environmental programs and off we go to the new Cold War.

The weapons corporations investors are making big money while the human and physical infrastructure of our nation collapses.

But most importantly these people are crazy as hell and just might start WW III - believing their own bullshit that the US can fight and win a war against Russia.  The truth is the US can't beat the Taliban in Afghanistan so how in the world are they going to take on Russia - even if they are only spending 4% of the world total in military budgets?

These idiots are criminally insane and should not be running the US military, Congress or the White House!  People wake up and smell the rotting souls in Washington!

Bruce

No to NATO!


On May 24th and 25th, NATO leaders will be present in Brussels for an important NATO summit and for the inauguration of their new headquarters. Donald Trump, the President of the United States, has announced that new many billions will be spent on the military, and he urges Europe to do so too. The rise of defense budgets up to 2% of the Gross Domestic Product will undoubtedly be one of the most important topics on this summit meeting. We don’t want more money for war! We want investments in education, health, job creation and solidarity.
Together with international partners, the Belgian peace movement calls upon you to take part in a wide range of planned actions in order to show that these warmongers are not welcome.
We invite all organizations to support the initiative. How? By endorsing the call, by actively participating in its actions, and by providing some hard-needed financial support.
What are we planning?

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

U.S.'s Nuclear Hypocrisy Continues.....



A nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has been launched from a US Air Force base in California just seven days after a similar launch.  The missile was fired toward the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.  Clearly a warning to North Korea, China and Russia.

Video by the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Here is a nation-by-nation chart of nuclear tests:

US
1,030
USSR/Russia
715
France
210
UK
45
China
45
North Korea
5
India
3
Pakistan
2

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

U.S. Rejects Peaceful Solutions in Korea



The US THAAD missile defense system, controversially deployed in South Korea, is now increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

While the move may be seen as strong-arm diplomacy, the US and North Korea have a long history of failed agreements.

Hyun Lee, a Fellow at the Korea Policy Institute, joins RT America's Manila Chan to talk about the rising tensions.

Monkeys Galore.....


I heard Debbie the Sane Progressive this morning ranting on her live streaming video about the condition of the 'electorate' here in the land of the free.  She is quite entertaining but most of all she consistently hits the nail on the head as she analyzes contemporary American politics.  She used an expression I loved, "We are all monkeys driving cars" in reference to how our evolution from the apes has not progressed as far as we might like to believe.

We've got fast cars and rovers on Mars looking for precious resources that the oligarchy wants to mine on their way to moving our snivelization to the red planet.  But socially, culturally and politically we really haven't come very far.

Just a quick look at Washington is enough to prove the theory that we are are a dummed down nation, fixated on TV, entertainment, sports, and easily seduced by the likes of Clinton, Trump, and the rest of the psychopaths masquerading as leaders in our stooge-filled government.  Yes, indeed we are monkeys in cars.

Debbie is struggling with what to do about this circus-like condition of our government and society.  How does one impact it all and bring about real change?  She and legions of others are worn down trying to make sense of it all and have come to the conclusion that change is not likely - if at all possible.

She smartly diagnoses one of the primary reasons for this sorry state of affairs being due to the public's slavish belief that the two-party system, run by a corporate criminal syndicate, will somehow fix things.  One example of this wrong-way lunacy is the emerging 'draft Bernie Sanders for president in the next election movement'. Last week the savior from Vermont basically agreed with Trump's 'get tough' policy on North Korea.

Sanders has taken that same status quo line on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Yugoslavia, and Syria.  While he might support raising the minimum wage and health care for all, in the long run, Sanders (who claims to be a Socialist) is nothing more than a mainstream Democrat pretending to be a revolutionary.  It's all very sad to watch as he runs around the country with the Clinton-operative and recently named Democratic party chair Tom Perez on their 'party unity' tour.  How can their be unity around a political party controlled by Wall Street and the military industrial complex?

So I think Debbie is right that we are no better than the animals living in the zoo - except we drive cars and touch screens and talk to little hand-sized pieces of plastic.  We call that progress.  Actually we know the monkeys have done less damage to the world than us sophisticated homo sapiens.

So what do we do then with all this in mind?  Slit our wrists?  Go on a drinking binge?  Jump off a cliff?  Become a Republican and get on the winning side?  Escape to, let's see, where could one move to that would be better.............?

In the end Debbie concluded that we have to stand strong for the truth - publicly defend it - be the kind of person we'd like others to be - such as peaceful, caring, sharing, loving.  Fundamentally we've got to be intellectually inquisitive and honest and quit taking the dum-dum pills handed to us by our corporate masters.

It all makes sense to me.  I feel better knowing Debbie is out there ranting and raving.

Bruce

Monday, May 01, 2017

Veterans March on Washington DC - May 29-30



Brothers and Sisters,

The Trump administration recently fired 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria, in violation of international and U.S. law. After that, the largest non-nuclear bomb was dropped on Afghanistan, an impoverished country that has suffered enough already. Trump has been making threats towards North Korea that could initiate a nuclear war – WWIII. He says, he will not tell anyone ahead of time what he will do.

It looks as if Donald Trump and company are hell-bent on destroying this planet with utter disregard for our children and grandchildren.

Veterans cannot be silent while he does it. On May 29-30 Veterans For Peace, other veterans groups and allies will be in Washington, DC, to make our collective veterans' voices heard loud and clear and we invite you to join us!

Here’s the latest information on the Veterans For Peace Memorial Day and May 30th events.  Please spread the word. We will have a number of passionate speakers for justice, human rights, renewable sustainable energy instead of fossil fuels, and an end to war. All of this damage to our society and the earth is directly connected to a U.S. military machine which if not brought to heel, is on a path of mutually assured world-wide destruction. That’s why veterans and allies need to speak up, stand up and march for peace and the planet on May 30th. We will have some great music to lift our spirits as well from Ariel Zevon, Lyla June and other fiercely dedicated and vocal activist musicians. Please let me know if your organization would like to be listed as a co-sponsor of the event at the Lincoln Memorial.

You can read more details and see our list of demands here:

https://www.veteransforpeace.org/take-action/stop-endless-war-build-peace-memorial-day-dc/

Tarak Kauff
Veterans For Peace
Board of Directors
Managing Editor
Peace In Our Times
845-706-0187

CIA's Eternal Military Occupation and Crimes



I recently bought this book and immediately began to read it.  Douglas Valentine has been writing about the CIA's role in counterinsurgency for many years.  That word, to be properly understood though, needs much more definition.

Valentine undertook a detailed study and analysis of the CIA's 'Phoenix' program of counterinsurgency in Vietnam.  He interviewed many of the key players who created and directed Phoenix.  Then Valentine took what he learned from the Vietnam program and shows how it has been refined and implemented in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and more recently in Ukraine.  He illustrates how the mainstream media plays its role in furthering CIA lies and ensuring a docile American public.

Here are a few illustrative bits from the book:

This [American] ruling class within the National Security Establishment, represented most perfectly by Hillary Clinton, knows that its enemies, foreign and domestic, must be suppressed ideologically as well as militarily.  Thus they have embraced the Phoenix concept of employing implicit and explicit terror to control, organize and pacify societies.

The success of the Phoenix doctrine is most evident in the ability of its advocates in the ruling class to corrupt Congress and force it to divert massive amounts of public money into the militarization of foreign and domestic policy.

Now that the corrupt and corrupting Phoenix institutional structure is firmly in place in America, it is only a matter of time until we enter the next Phoenix phase of explicit terror here at home.

The CIA and the media are part of the same criminal conspiracy.
The CIA was protecting the major opium producers in the Golden Triangle [during the Vietnam War], just like they've been protecting the major drug dealers in Afghanistan for the last fifteen years. They were funneling heroin and opium to their warlords in South Vietnam as a payoff for advancing the US policies that were detrimental to their own country.
The truth about US wars is less about combating Islamic terrorism or 'protecting the homeland' than it is about the dark side of the American psyche, rooted in slavery and the genocidal conquest of a continent.  For American businessmen, the global War on Terror with its relentless bombing campaigns and extra-legal methods shrouded in official secrecy, translates into big profits.

The Afghan people hate the Americans more and more, year after year.  And that makes the CIA happy, in so far as it spells protracted war and increased profits for its sponsors in the arms industry.

Afghan anger means more resistance.  And more resistance provides a neat pretext for the eternal military occupation of a disposable nation strategically located near Russia, [Iran] and China.

But it also means spiritual defeat for America, as it descends ever further into the black hole of self-deception, militarism and covert operations.

Valentine names the names of those who developed this global counterinsurgency operation.  He also names some of the 'progressive' activists and alternative media that play ball with the ruling oligarchy here at home by taking money to run their operations. 

The book is endorsed by highly respected figures like NSA whistleblower John Kiriakou, academic Peter Dale Scott who came up with the tag 'deep state' and the truth-telling Robert Parry at Consortium News (which happens to be one of my favorite sources for news and analysis).

If you want to see the big picture of US empire, understand how it works, understand who many of the insiders are (or have been), and get a glimpse into what is coming to America in the near future - then I highly recommend this book.  

Bruce

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Song