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, August 09, 2014

PARTNERS IN CRIME


Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

By Glenn Greenwald

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.

The relationship has, on at least one occasion, entailed the covert payment of a large amount of cash to Israeli operatives. Beyond their own surveillance programs, the American and British surveillance agencies rely on U.S.-supported Arab regimes, including the Jordanian monarchy and even the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, to provide vital spying services regarding Palestinian targets.

The new documents underscore the indispensable, direct involvement of the U.S. government and its key allies in Israeli aggression against its neighbors. That covert support is squarely at odds with the posture of helpless detachment typically adopted by Obama officials and their supporters.

See the rest of the story here

PUTIN'S PROBLEM



From the Vineyard of the Saker:

Who is Mr. Putin? by Mikhail Khazin (MUST SEE!)


There is a lot of nonsense and garbage floating around on the Internet about the personality of Vladimir Putin, mostly written folks who not only know nothing about him, but who don't even understand the basics about how the Russian state works.  Today, I want to share with you a video (especially translated for this purpose by the Russian Team) in which the renowned Russian economist Mikhail Khazin shares his view of Putin and of Putin's current position vis-à-vis the hostile and russophobic West.  I don't always agree with Khazin, and even in this case I don't fully agree with some of what he says, but I think that Khazin has really "nailed the bottom line on the head" (how is that for a combo-neologism?).  Seriously, I think that Khazin is fundamentally correct, especially about the West's refusal to accept Putin as anything else than a very junior partner (and even that was in the past, now they want him dead).  Where I disagree with Khazin is when he implies that Putin wanted or even believed that such an honest partnership was possible.  Medvedev - yes.  But not Putin.  By training and by trade he knew the West, and especially its ruling elites, extremely well and I believe that Putin pretended to play the "partnership game" for as long as possible to buy as much time as possible for his party which I refer to as the "Eurasian sovereignists" (folks like Shoigu or Rogozin), as opposed to the "Atlantic Integrationists" (folks Medvedev or Kudrin).  Anyway, listen to Khazin - who is superbly informed and who knows his stuff - and get a rare insider view of what is really happening behind the Kremlin walls.

The Saker

ARE WE READY TO PAY FOR ANOTHER WAR IN IRAQ?



Elite donors of American allies in the Persian Gulf region have poured an immense amount of resources into rebel groups like IS in efforts to advance on three general goals: opposing Iran, its ally Bashar Assad and his government in Syria, and fomenting the Sunni-Shia divides in the region.

Friday, August 08, 2014

AFTER THE BOMBS FALL...


STIRING SHIT UP


U.S. CREATES ISIS AND THEN BOMBS IT



US military aircraft have conducted an airstrike on artillery used by the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

The real goal is Iraq is to break it up into three separate countries.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

FORCED TO FIGHT IN UKRAINE



Some Ukrainian soldiers have been appalled by the methods used by the army in the east. Over 400 troops crossed the border to Russia seeking refuge there. Maria Finoshina met some of them.

CHOMSKY ON ISRAEL'S "SADISTIC" GAZA ATTACK



Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky describes Israel’s 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900 people and left almost 10,000 people injured. Chomsky has written extensively about the Israel/Palestine conflict for decades. After Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Chomsky co-authored the book, “Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians” with Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé.

His other books on the Israel/Palestine conflict include “Peace in the Middle East? Reflections on Justice and Nationhood” and “The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians.” Chomsky is world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years.

PLEADING FOR LIFE IN IRAQ



The war of insurgency that ISIL Takfiri militants have waged in Iraq is indiscriminately affecting people from all faiths living in the country. Now concerns are rising over the plight of a specific minority, the Yazidis also known as Izadis, who face extermination as a result of the ISIL violence in the north.

The Iraqi parliament has been urged to help do something for the plight of one of the world’s most ancient minorities.

It's all very complicated in Iraq and I am not following the day-by-day story enough to have a good opinion.  Here though is a report from the Vineyard of the Saker:

Daashing out of Iraq: Recent Military Maneuvers

The timing of the Kurdish advance west in Daash held territory appears to be a well planned operation. Three events are significant.

The first was that the advance and confrontation of the Kurds did not begin till the return of Former President Jalal Talibani. He is pragmatic and astute as opposed to Massoud Barzani who is Kurdish nationalistic and believed to be close to Israel. A deal was being reported where he, Talibani, allowed the Iranians to send in 200 “Advisors”; this was denied by the Iranian press. But it is possible that the Kurds are now being “advised” by the Iranians.

The second is the death of Hezbollah commander Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj, who the Hezbollah confirmed was killed/martyred in Mosul, Iraq. This is very significant as the commander was killed deep in Daash territory. Three members of Iran’s Elite Qods Brigade have also been killed in Iraq. Kamal Shirkhani in June near Samarra, Ali Reza Moshajari mid June in Karbala, and Shojaat Alamdari Mourjani in Samarra Early July.

The third is the official backing, at this stage purely symbolic, of the Iraqi government to Sunni opposition groups willing to fight/already fighting Daash in Mosul. Also recent comments made by Sunni politicians that request the Iraqi Air Force to avoid civilian casualties and work closely with the Peshmergas and comments backing Sunni Militias opposed to Daash indicate an aligning of interests.

On a political and military level, the three sides appear to be aligning against their common enemy. The Iraqi Air Force/Army Aviation is now flying sorties for the Peshmergas. However, there is bound to have been some quid pro quo between the Kurds and the Iranians, and in Baghdad, between the Shia and the Sunni. The future of Kirkuk is going to be of great interest. The Kurds will eventually hand over Mosul and Sinjar to the Iraqi government, but control of Kirkuk and other cities with substantive Kurdish populations, such as Jalawla, is going to be contentious.

The Kurds had, like the Iraqi government earlier, requested the United States for air strikes. Obama did not oblige. The Iranians may have stepped in. The movement of heavy equipment and the Kurds investing their armour in the fight suggests that Iran may be willing/or may already be rearming and resupplying the Kurds.

The rebellion by the Shaitat tribe in Eastern Syria has forced Daash to pull back its fighters from Iraq and reinforce its fighters in Syria. This has been of significant tactical advantage to the Kurds. By attacking the Peshmergas, Daash has over played its hand and stretched itself thin. For now, Daash has lost the offensive.

PLANE CRASH VIEW FROM MALAYSIA



MH 17: WHO STANDS TO GAIN?
                                                                            

By Chandra Muzaffar

The Russian military has released military monitoring data which challenge allegations circulating in the media pertaining to the MH 17 crash in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine on July 17 2014. Questions have been raised about Kiev military jets tracking MH 17, Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the deployment of Buk missile systems. Kiev should also release military data on the circumstances leading to the crash. So should the Pentagon which reportedly has relevant intelligence and satellite data.

Since military data is hardcore information, Kiev and Washington should be persuaded to be transparent and accountable. The UN Secretary-General can play a role in this since there is a specialized agency within the UN, the ICAO, dedicated to international civil aviation. Military data from Moscow, Kiev and Washington should be scrutinized by the independent international panel that is supposed to probe the MH 17 catastrophe.

Such data carries much more weight than videos purportedly revealing the role of the pro-Russian rebels and the Russian government in the crash. One such video showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia is a fabrication. The billboard in the background establishes that it was shot in a town --- Krasnoarmeisk --- that has been under the control of the Ukrainian military since May 11. Similarly, a You Tube video showing a Russian General and Ukrainian rebels discussing their role in mistakenly downing a civilian aircraft was, from various tell-tale signs, produced before the event.

The public should be wary of fabricated “evidence” of this sort, after what we have witnessed in the last so many years. Have we forgotten the monstrous lies and massive distortions that accompanied the reckless allegation that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which led eventually to the invasion of that country in 2003 and the death of more than a million people? Iraq continues to bleed to this day. What about the Gulf of Tonkin episode of 1964 which again was a fabrication that paved the way for wanton US aggression against Vietnam that resulted in the death of more than 3 million Vietnamese? The “babies in incubators” incident in Kuwait in 1990 was yet another manufactured lie that aroused the anger of the people and served to justify the US assault on Iraq.  Just last year we saw how an attempt was  made by some parties to pin the blame for a sarin gas attack in Ghouta, Syria upon the Assad government when subsequent investigations have revealed that it was the work of some militant rebel group.

From Tonkin to Ghouta there is a discernible pattern when it comes to the fabrication of evidence to justify some nefarious agenda or other. As soon as the event occurs before any proper investigation has begun, blame is apportioned upon the targeted party. This is done wilfully to divert attention from the real culprit whose act of evil remains concealed and camouflaged. The colluding media then begins to spin the “correct” version with the help of its reporters and columnists who concoct “fact” out of fiction. Any other explanation or interpretation of the event is discredited and dismissed derisively to ensure that the “credibility” of the dominant narrative remains intact. As the narrative unfolds, the target often embodied in a certain personality is demonized to such a degree that he arouses the ire of the public and becomes an object of venom.

The pattern described here is typical of what is known as a “false flag” operation in which blame for some dastardly deed is consciously transferred to one’s adversary. It has happened right through history and many contemporary nation-states --- and not just the United States --- are guilty of flying false flags.

To protect ourselves from being deceived by such operations, the general public should always ask: who stands to gain from a particular episode? Cui Bono is in fact an important principle in the investigation of a crime. In the case of the MH 17 carnage, the pro-Russian rebels do not benefit in any way from downing a civilian airliner. Their goal is independence from the Kiev government which is why they are fighting Kiev through sometimes violent means including shooting down its military planes.  Massacring 298 passengers in a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur does not serve their cause. Moscow which backs the rebels to an extent also gains nothing from involving itself in such a diabolical carnage. 

10 days after the carnage, it is now clear who is trying to reap benefits from that terrible tragedy in the skies. The demonization of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, orchestrated from various Western capitals, including Kiev, after Crimea voted to join the Russian Federation, thus thwarting one of the primary strategic goals of NATO’s eastward expansion, has now reached its pinnacle. After MH 17, it has become a lot easier to convince people--- even without an iota of evidence --- that Putin is a “mass murderer”.  The tarnishing of Putin’s image is crucial for those in the West who want to curb Russia’s political re-assertion so that the US and its allies can perpetuate their global dominance without hindrance.    

MH 17 has helped the elite in Washington in yet another sense. It has strengthened its push for tougher sanctions against Russia which began after the Crimea vote. Given their extensive economic ties with Russia, many European countries such as Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy have been somewhat lukewarm about widening and deepening sanctions. But will that change now? Will an outraged European public, incensed by the MH 17 massacre, demand that their governments punish Moscow?

It is obvious that those who seek to punish Russia and the pro-Russian rebels, namely, the elite in Washington and Kiev, are poised to gain the most from the MH 17 episode. Does it imply that they would have had a role in the episode itself? Only a truly independent and impartial international inquiry would be able to provide the answer.

In this regard, we must admit that while elites in Kiev and Washington may stand to gain from MH 17, those who actually pulled the trigger may be some other group or individual with links to the powerful in the two capitals. It is quite conceivable that a certain well-heeled individual equipped with the appropriate military apparatus and with access to air-control authorities in the region may have executed the act of evil itself.

Because of who he is, and where his loyalties lie, that individual may have also decided to target Malaysia. Was he giving vent to his anger over our principled stand on the question of justice for the Palestinians? Was he also attempting to divert public attention from Israel’s ground offensive against Gaza which time-wise coincided with the downing of the Malaysian airliner?

As we explore MH 17 from this angle, would we be able to connect the dots between MH 17 and MH 370, between July 17 and March 8, 2014?

We should not rest till the whole truth is known and the evil behind these two colossal catastrophes punished severely.

We owe this to every soul who perished on those fateful flights.

(This article is dedicated to the cherished memory of all those on MH 17 --- especially the 80 children who were on board).

- Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) Malaysia

International Movement for a Just World
JKR 1258, Section 5
Jalan Telok off Jalan Gasing
46000 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan
03 7781 2497 (Phone)
03 7781 3245 (Fax)
www.just-international.org 

THE CAR CULTURE


Mr. Big loves cars
especially the financing
the oil is a nice
additional
addiction
to the wallet

We were taught
to carry our wallet,
like bearing the cross
around our necks,
a public
acknowledgement
of our servitude

we are all on this sinking
ship together

Obama says to Africa

"Coca-Cola will help provide clean water, General Electric will assist with infrastructure development, and Marriott will build more hotels."

Look the hell out
Africa!
Mr. Big
is coming to town
tonight

You gonna get,
like India got,
cars and wallets
financing is nice

from the west
to the east
Mr. Big
loves them all

Just don't object
or you get
drilled
shelled
locked down
the hard way

Go along
and you'll suffer less
bullies always get
their way

Obama is a
damn pig
working for the man
dancing and smiling
his way along


Some fear telling the truth
about the man of
African descent
who sells out black, brown
and white folks
in the land of the free
and home of the brave

Look out Africa
Obama wants to
bring you
the car culture
and slavery,
slavery with a smile,
it's all Hollywood now
everyone's an actor

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

IMPORTANT HISTORY ABOUT PALESTINE



ARRIVING IN RUSSIA



Driven to desperation by the now 4 month long army offensive in eastern Ukraine, thousands have been fleeing the conflict zone to Russia - forced to leave their lives and homes behind. Maria Finoshina reports now from one of the border crossings.

TEXANS STAND AGAINST GAZA CLEANSING



Texas Stands With Gaza held a 5,000 person gathering in Austin, Texas Saturday August 2nd, 2014 to march and rally in solidarity with Gaza. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Rania Masri, Professor, writer, human rights activist
  • Minister Jim Rigby, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
  • Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Sheikh Islam Mossaad, North Austin Muslim Community Center
  • Snehal Shingavi, Professor, writer, human rights activist

THE SETTLER COLONIES


PLANNING FOR WAR WITH RUSSIA & CHINA


It's actually been 69 years since the US dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9).  The US is the only country in the world that has ever used these kinds of weapons against other human beings.

Historian Gar Alperovitz has written about the US bombing....

Here is how General Dwight D. Eisenhower reports he reacted when he was told by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson that the atomic bomb would be used:

“During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.”

Some might be surprised to learn that the Pentagon is still preparing for nuclear war - particularly with Russia and China.  On July 31 the Pentagon published a new planning document entitled “Ensuring a Strong Defense for the Future,” which was drafted by the National Defense Panel, a group of former top civilian and military officials, commissioned by Congress to provide a critical review of the official Pentagon planning document released early this year, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.

The Pentagon planning document states:

“We believe … a global war-fighting capability to be the sine qua non of a superpower and thus essential to the credibility of America’s overall national security strategy. In the current threat environment, the United States could plausibly be called upon to deter or fight in several regions in overlapping time frames: on the Korean peninsula, in the East or South China Sea, in the Middle East, South Asia, and quite possibly in Europe [Russia]. The United States also faces the prospect of having to face nuclear-armed adversaries. Additionally, the spread of al Qaeda and its spin offs to new areas in Africa and the Middle East means that the U.S. military must be able to sustain global counterterrorism operations and defend the American homeland even when engaged in regional conflict overseas.”

The authors repeatedly complain of the limitation on US military spending because of the burden of domestic social programs, pointing to “the large and growing gap between the amount collected to support entitlement programs, principally Social Security and major health programs, and the amount being spent on those programs.”

They declare, “America must get her fiscal house in order while simultaneously funding robust military spending. Aggressive health care cost containment should certainly be pursued both within the Department [i.e., for the soldiers and their families] and more broadly across all government programs.”

The National Defense Panel is co-chaired by William Perry, defense secretary in the Clinton administration, and General John Abizaid, former head of the US Central command. Its members include four other retired generals, as well as Michele Flournoy, former deputy defense secretary under Obama, and Eric Edelman, a leading neo-conservative and defense undersecretary in the George W. Bush administration.

The group is thus bipartisan, representing the entire spectrum of the security establishment in official Washington. Its report was issued under the auspices of a federally funded agency devoted to the study of war, whose name, with impeccable Orwellian logic, is the US Institute of Peace. 

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

STAYING ACTIVE IN MAINE

Bri, Nicole, MB and I worked the Veterans for Peace table at the Brunswick peace fair last Saturday 

  • The 10th annual peace fair last weekend in neighboring Brunswick was better attended than any I had ever remembered.  Likely had to do with the outrageous Gaza massacre going on and local folks needed to be around one another so they could share their feelings. Community is important, especially during dark times.  I was busy all day talking with people and handing out literature from VFP, the Global Network, PeaceWorks, and from Jeju Island.
  • The cease fire in Gaza is welcomed I'm sure by the Palestinian people.  Israel is catching hell all around the world and the boycott of Israeli products is spreading like wild fire.  You can see the list of products that are being boycotted hereI would love to see the International Criminal Court take some serious action against Israel's genocide of the Palestinian people. 
  • Ukraine continues to unravel under the controlling hands of US-EU.  Without their support the Kiev regime would have likely fallen by now.  More innocents are being killed daily by Kiev's shelling of population centers from a safe distance.  The recent mass desertions into Russia by Ukrainian troops is a welcome sign that those soldiers have figured out that they are on a fool's errand.  The western media twists the facts of these white flag waving soldiers from Ukraine.  They make it sound that Russia forced them over the border.  The media is always looking for a way to submerge the truth.  It's gotten so now you can spot the lies quickly when you listen to NPR or the BBC.
  • Our Global Network newsletter Space Alert! is now at the printer.  I finished up with the editing on Monday and our layout person Nancy Randolph did her usual great job of piecing it all together.  Now it is sitting at the printers waiting to be run.  You can see the online version here
  • I head to Biddeford again tomorrow evening to tape another TV show on the public access program done by Richard Rhames.  He wants to talk about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  I was just down there last month - it always good to be with Richard - one of the sharpest guys I've ever met. 
  • We'll hold another Gaza peace vigil here in Bath this coming Sunday at noon.  We will meet on the corner of Washington & Centre Streets.  Public opinion is rapidly moving against Israel's wicked policies and we need to stay visible with our protests.
  • My Op-Ed was published in our local paper today.  It's called Why Endless War? and you can see it here

DIGGING TO LIVE



Tania Krämer for Deutsche-Welle joins the tunnel diggers in the Gaza Strip.

The Jewish newspaper Haaretz has a beautifully written story called The underground ghetto city of Gaza: Having despaired of the world, of the fear, of the blood, the only refuge left to us was the earth. We buried ourselves alive. You can find it here

ANOTHER REASON FOR GENOCIDE IN GAZA



Whilst the BBC ignore worldwide protests over Gaza, a British Gas spin-off group, BG Group, has found nearly £2.5 BILLION worth of natural gas in the troubled region. BG owns around 90% of the rights to offshore gas field exploration around Gaza. Since the discovery, Israel stepped up a maritime blockade and confiscated Gaza's energy resources - leading to criticism that not only are they separating Palestinians from their land, but stealing their resources as well.

THE OTHER HUMANITARIAN CRISIS



The eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk has declared a state of humanitarian catastrophe over a lack of medical supplies, electricity, lighting, mobile and internet communication. Some 250,000 civilians are unable to leave, the statement also says.

US-NATO are on the hook for these war crimes as they fund and direct this mess by their puppet regime in Kiev.

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR WAR CRIMES IN GAZA



Israel is pulling its troops out of Gaza. A 3-day ceasefire brokered by Egypt is now officially in place. Israel says it has completed its month-long mission, which was to target Hamas, but which brought the worst devastation and civilian losses in years. Bill Van Esveld from Human Rights Watch joins RT.

Monday, August 04, 2014

CEASEFIRE TO RELOAD ISRAEL'S WAR MACHINE


ON THE RUN FROM FASCIST KIEV'S WAR



A total of 438 soldiers, including 164 Ukrainian border guards have been allowed to cross into Russia on Sunday night after they requested sanctuary.

Previously hundreds of Kiev's soldiers have crossed into Russia - not wanting to kill their own citizens in the civil conflict being encouraged, funded, and directed by the US-NATO war machine.

Vineyard of the Saker writes today:  

There is also information that among those who did not surrender there are Polish mercenaries, which essentially explains the stubbornness of the resistance (a serious international scandal is possible).

CONVERT THE WAR MACHINE


Sunday, August 03, 2014

"NOBODY BELIEVES YOU ANY MORE"



Senator David Norris is a political and human rights activist in Dublin, Ireland and speaks about Israel's Gaza crimes.

BOYCOTT ISRAELI PRODUCTS



GAZA PROTEST IN BATH




We had 19 folks join us in Bath, Maine today at noon... we stood on corners for an hour and then walked through the downtown shopping district in a solemn procession..... going to do it again next Sunday at noon as well. 

We had very good response from local citizens and tourists...... being on the street helps the public feel that they are not alone in thinking that Israel's attack on Gaza is shameful and a war crime.

OUR SOUL IS DEAD


War is big biz
we arm the world
the more war
the better
for those
with the mega
yachts
they bought
with 'Shock and Awe'
profits
I've seen the one
docked in Freeport,
Maine

perfect name
'Freeport'
free in this country
to cheat, lie, steal,
kill
rampage
slaughter
burn
blast

til they surrender
or are all gone
or just hidden

I saw a video
yesterday
a boy
about 15
in Gaza
still alive
in hospital
lower part of
his face
gone
upper lip
on down
all gone

I almost puked
by my heart was
injured
I can't stop thinking
about him
and the rest
of the innocents
blasted
and back home
in places like BIW
we are building more
to blast someone else

whose next?
step right up for a
blasting
Ukraine?
Russia?
China?
Venezuela,
hey you got oil!
You next?

Surrender to
Mr. Big
or get blasted
and we'll even
make money
on the deal

our soul is dead

SUNDAY SONG