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 11, 2017

Shaken 'Em Up...



Japan's right-wing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (grandson of a member of the imperial Japanese war cabinet) got more than he asked for - watch his facial expression at the end.....

Lessons from the North

Inside the cave-like used bookstore in Helsingborg for our talk two nights ago

While visiting Stockholm, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, and Malmo we’ve learned much about the drastic changes now underway in Scandinavia.  The US and NATO cultural and military colonization of this part of the world has been a constant theme in our discussions with local activists.

One woman in Malmo told us, “Our Swedish culture is being erased.”  She reported that about 80% of Swedish TV is American programming. I can attest to that fact as the one time I turned on a TV and surfed the available channels it was more than surprising to see program after program from the US.  Her husband remarked that people no longer go to meetings – they go to work and come home and turn on the TV.

We heard that virtually the entire nation had been programmed to root for Hillary Clinton during the last election.  When Trump surprisingly pulled off his electoral college victory mothers had to take their children aside and reassure them as the kids shook in fear of the new American president.

A man in Malmo remarked, “Swedish leaders look to America but now with Trump in office they don’t know what to do.”  (It might be a good time for a course in corporate deprogramming….)

We learned that in recent years’ conservative Swedish governments have privatized much of the national stock of publicly owned apartments forcing people to take out expensive loans to purchase their flats.  The length of the loans will outlive most of the new ‘owners’ and as a result many people who had routinely voted for the Communist party are now voting for the conservatives. The new land owners fear property tax increases as the valuation of their housing has shot upward toward the moon.  They must now protect their ‘investment’.

The once strong sense of community and civic participation has dried up in the growing capitalist desert that now dominates Sweden.  As we walked down a well-lit street in Helsingborg a youngish man described how the local pubs, that used to be filled with political activists and vigorous debate, have closed and been transformed into ‘plastic’ watering holes for the trendy who have little interest in current affairs.  When people no longer are in touch with their own history their moorings are cut loose and they drift dangerously in the rough seas of present times.

This is the story of corporate globalization and you can hear similar tales whether in Romania, India, South Korea, the US, or most other places.  The public has been conditioned toward consumerism, info-tainment, depoliticization and a historical/political amnesia that ensures total bankster control.

Insert into this vacuum the current anti-Russia demonization by the corrupt forces that see Moscow and Beijing as primary obstacles to complete western (US-NATO) domination of the planet’s resources and economic system.  Thus, legions of people throughout the world are daily smothered with stories of a resurgent Russian bear bent of invading Europe to recreate the Soviet Union.  

People with little interest in, or knowledge of, actual global affairs are shepherded like willing lambs into allowing their tax monies to be shifted into NATO coffers to buy more weapons to encircle a largely defensive Russia and China.  Moscow has a vast northern border and as the Arctic Sea melts western fossil fuel pirates drool over the thought of a potential gold mine from drilling in the region. 

Thus, not only are the people of the Nordic nations being dumbed down they are being prepared for war with Russia to ensure the successful balkanization of the nation that Napoleon and Hitler failed to deliver to the western bankers.  This time nuclear weapons are in the military mix but the desperate US imperial puppeteers seem willing to roll the dice anyway as they fear their own demise before the takedown of Moscow and Beijing can be delivered to Wall Street and London’s financial district. 

Bruce   

Friday, February 10, 2017

Now in Malmo

Standing with Global Network board member Agneta Norberg last Saturday evening during her 80th birthday party in Stockholm.  Agneta organized the space conference earlier that day that brought me to the Nordic region.


Last night Dave Webb and I spoke in Helsingborg, Sweden inside a cozy cave-like basement second-hand bookstore.  Afterward our friend Andre Brochu (originally from Massachusetts and came to Sweden as a draft resister during the Vietnam War) took us on the train south to Malmo where we will be speaking tonight.

I want to mention that two nights ago after our talk in Gothenburg an Iraqi military veteran came up to me and told me that he agreed with a point I made during my talk.  I told the story about the 1991 Persian Gulf War that an aerospace industry publication at the time called the 'first space war'.  The Pentagon pre-identified all of Iraq's military targets with US military satellites, including under ground communications cables, and bombed 95% of these targets in the first 2-3 days of the war.  That meant the war was essentially over at that point.  But the US dragged the war on for weeks, expending lots of weapons that needed to be replaced at military production facilities back home, as they 'field tested' the US space war fighting technology system.  The Iraqi soldier said to me, "We felt the same way.  The war was a field test of US military space technology."

During the next two days we are supposed to take the train to Copenhagen, Denmark for speaking events there.  That train journey will take us just over one-half hour.  During that train ride over the bridge into Denmark we will see the huge offshore wind turbine farm.  I'd seen it once before and have always remained certain that we could do the same in the Gulf of Maine that is said to have the most wind capacity anywhere in the US.  Imagine the jobs at a place like Bath Iron Works in Maine building offshore wind turbines - lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and giving the future generations half a chance at life.

Bruce

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Welcome to Alabama




Be sure to listen to this short one from Alabama's governor.....

Join us in Huntsville, Alabama on April 7-9 for the 25th annual Global Network's 25th annual space organizing conference. 

Get more details here

NATO War Games Coming to Sweden


Dave Webb and I arrived in Gothenbourg, Sweden (along the North Sea) after flying here yesterday from Helsinki which sits on the Baltic Sea.  Both these bodies of water are currently being militarized by the US-NATO war alliance.

We where met at the airport by one of our local hosts and taken to a high point overlooking the port city.  Gothenbourg as it turns out is an industrial city where Volvo is headquartered (inside the airport we saw many Volvo displays).  But for an industrial city it is quite clean and remarkably attractive.

We are staying in a very quiet and well kept hostel and met for dinner with a couple leaders of the local peace group that is hosting our talk tonight.  The flyer advertising our event carries a photo of Donald Trump - we've seen his picture practically everywhere you turn since we arrived in Sweden and Finland days ago.  Needless to say people are trying to figure out what Trump will do in the coming years.

My early prediction that in the end Trump will at least help further the decline of the US 'exceptional imperial project' is already turning out to be right on.  People are saying that their country should not be following Washington over the cliff.

A major US-NATO war game called Aurora will be held around Gothenburg this coming August-September and will of course be aimed at Russia.  Like across much of the west Russia and Putin are being continually demonized in Sweden (and Finland) and one of our hosts reported that local police and other public institutions are being mandated to become part of the 'total defense mobilization' against the coming Russian invasion.  Non-stop fear mongering does have an impact on a public who are captives of corporate media!

But the numbers don't lie.  In 2015 the US spent 36% of the world's military spending total - when you add the NATO member (and partner) states that figure jumps to well over 50%.  Russia slinks in at 4% of the global total and in 2016 Moscow actually cut their military spending due to economic sanctions and dropping oil prices.  So is Russia, with its huge land mass and many borders to protect from a NATO on steroids, really going to invade Europe and beyond?  Give me a break!

Such is the world we live in these days where truth and real facts have no place.

Peace groups in the Nordic region are planning coordinated protests next late summer/early fall when US-NATO hold the Aurora war games here.  These efforts should be supported by all.

Bruce

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

This is So Pitiful



Listen to this complete and utter bullshit from one of the leading 'liberal' Democrats in the House of Representatives (Rep. Maxine Waters from Los Angeles)

They have no damn soul....they just make this shit up as they go along and their party faithful follow along like sheep and mouth the same lies.

Who in the Democratic party will call her out on this?

Bruce

No Zumwalt Destroyer on Jeju Island!



A February 7 morning press conference in front of the Jeju Navy base (Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea) regarding people's position opposing to the talk on the deployment of U.S. Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer in Jeju and/or other parts of Korea.

No Zumwalt!

No Jeju Navy base!

Post by Choi Hye-young

Monday, February 06, 2017

The Forces We are Up Against are Fascist



Jeremy Scahill speaks at the Anti-Inauguration event sponsored by Jacobin, Haymarket Books, and Verso Books. Recorded from The Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC. 

Just to be clear, a moment before speaking about Trump's Administration, Jeremy destroyed Obama's Legacy. He is not one sided, and as you can hear at the end of the talk, he calls of the dismantling of the two-party system.

Jeremy is a founding editor of the online news publication The Intercept, and author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, which won the George Polk Book Award. The Intercept was founded with the intention to "produce aggressive, adversarial journalism across a wide range of issues".

Now in Finland


  • Dave Webb (UK Chair of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and I arrived in Helsinki, Finland at 10:00 am this morning after an all night ferry ride from Stockholm.  The seas were fairly calm so the ride was quite nice.  
  • Two members of the Finnish Peace Committee escorted us on the journey.  We speak early this evening in Helsinki and then move back to Sweden tomorrow for talks in Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Malmo and then Copenhagen, Denmark before heading home on Feb. 13.
  • I had my DNA tested some months ago and learned that I am 1% Finnish so it is a bit of a homecoming for me....ha, ha, ha.


O’Reilly then said about Putin: “But he’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.”

Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”

When O’Reilly says he doesn’t know any government leaders who are killers, Trump says “take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes” and references the Iraq War.

  • A so-called 'liberal Democrat (Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn) then trashed Trump in response.  Lately the Democrats are sounding like major league Cold War Hawks.  They seem unable to acknowledge when Trump does or says anything positive.  I mean for God sakes - give the man some credit for not wanting a war with Russia!  At the least for now he is saying something good on this one issue.
  • It's pretty bad when I've noticed some peace activists cheering on Sen. John McCain when he trashes Trump about his position on Russia.  McCain wants war with Russia so bad it is making him crazy.  People here in the US need to develop the ability to see that when Trump does anything good (like dumping the TPP or his position on calm relations with Moscow) we must be able to say something like this:  "OK, good Trump.  Thank you - now let's see some more sensible policies on other issues."  
  • In the end this little bit of sanity about getting along with Russia might not last long in a Trump White House.  The neo-cons are pushing back hard against him and we know he can shift his positions quicker than you can say 'Trump Towers'.  But it certainly won't hurt to encourage him when he does something correctly.
  • A South Korean newspaper is reporting that the US Navy's new Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer will be visiting that country very soon.  People in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island have already made a banner saying 'No to Zumwalt'.  When we were arrested last June at the Bath Iron Works 'christening' for the destroyer we read a statement from village activists expressing their solidarity during the rally before our blocking of the street in front of the shipyard.
Bruce

Sunday Song