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, 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

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Did-You-Talk-to-Russians Witch Hunt


By Robert Parry

In the anti-Russian frenzy sweeping American politics and media, Democrats, liberals and mainstream pundits are calling for an investigative body that could become a new kind of House Un-American Activities Committee to hunt down Americans who have communicated with Russians.

The proposed commission would have broad subpoena powers to investigate alleged connections between Trump’s supporters and the Russian government with the apparent goal of asking if they now have or have ever talked to a Russian who might have some tie to the Kremlin or its intelligence agencies.

Such an admission apparently would be prima facie evidence of disloyalty, a guilt-by-association “crime” on par with Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Cold War pursuit of “communists” who supposedly had infiltrated the U.S. government, the film industry and other American institutions.

Operating parallel to McCarthy’s Red Scare hearings was the House Un-American Activities Committee (or HUAC), a standing congressional panel from 1945-1975 when it was best known for investigating alleged communist subversion and propaganda. One of its top achievements was the blacklisting of the “Hollywood Ten” whose careers in the movie industry were damaged or destroyed.

Although the Cold War has long been over – and Russia has often cooperated with the U.S. government, especially on national security issues such as supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan – Democrats and liberals seem ready to force Americans to again prove their loyalty if they engaged in conversations with Russians.

Or perhaps these “witnesses” can be entrapped into perjury charges if their recollections of conversations with Russians don’t match up with transcripts of their intercepted communications, a tactic similar to ones used by Sen. McCarthy and HUAC to trip up and imprison targets over such secondary charges.

Ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has already encountered such a predicament because he couldn’t recall all the details of a phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29, 2016, after Flynn took the call while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

When Obama administration holdovers at the Justice Department decided to gin up a legal premise to go after Flynn, they cited the Logan Act, a law enacted in 1799 to prohibit private citizens from negotiating with foreign adversaries but never used to convict anyone. The law also is of dubious constitutionality and was surely never intended to apply to a president-elect’s advisers.

However, based on that flimsy pretext, FBI agents – with a transcript of the electronic intercept of the Kislyak-Flynn phone call in hand – tested Flynn’s memory of the conversation and found his recollections incomplete. Gotcha – lying to the FBI!

Under mounting media and political pressure, President Trump fired Flynn, apparently hoping that tossing Flynn overboard to the circling sharks would somehow calm the sharks down. Instead, blood in the water added to the frenzy.

Iran-Contra Comparison

Some prominent Democrats and liberals have compared Trump-connected contacts with Russians to President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal or President Reagan’s Iran-Contra Affair, an issue that I know a great deal about having helped expose it as a reporter for The Associated Press in the 1980s.

The key difference is that Iran-Contra was an unconstitutional effort by the Reagan administration to finance an illegal war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government in defiance of a congressional ban.

The Trump-connected communications with Russians – to the degree they have occurred – appear to have been aimed at preventing a new and dangerous Cold War that could lead to a nuclear holocaust.

In other words, Iran-Contra was about enabling a paramilitary force to continue its brutal marauding inside a country that was no threat to the United States while the current “scandal” is about people trying to avoid hostilities between two nuclear superpowers, an existential threat that many mainstream and liberal pundits don’t want to recognize.

Indeed, there is a troubling denial-ism about the risks of an accidental or intentional war with Russia as the U.S. media and much of Official Washington’s establishment have lots of fun demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin and jabbing the Russians by shoving NATO troops up to their borders and deploying anti-ballistic missiles in Eastern Europe. For some crazy reason, the Russians feel threatened.

False Narratives

This Russia-bashing and Russia-baiting have been accompanied by false narratives presented in the major U.S. newspapers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, to justify increased tensions.


For instance, the Post’s senior foreign affairs writer Karen DeYoung on Friday described the civil war in Ukraine this way: “That conflict began when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, then backed separatists in eastern Ukraine in what has become a grinding war, despite a deal to end it, called the Minsk agreement, negotiated with Putin by the leaders of France and Germany.”

But DeYoung’s synopsis is simply not true. The crisis began in the fall of 2013 when Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of what he regarded as a costly and unacceptable association agreement with the European Union, a move which prompted protests by Ukrainians in Kiev’s Maidan square.

The Obama administration’s State Department, U.S. neocon politicians such as Sen. John McCain, and various U.S.-backed “non-governmental organizations” then stoked those protests against Yanukovych, which grew violent as trained ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi street fighters poured in from western Ukraine.

In early 2014, a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Yanukovych took shape under the guidance of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who were caught in a phone call in late January or early February 2014 conspiring to impose new leadership inside Ukraine.

Nuland disparaged a less extreme strategy favored by European diplomats with the pithy remark: “Fuck the E.U.” and went on to declare “Yats is the guy,” favoring Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the new leader. Nuland then pondered how to “glue this thing” while Pyatt ruminated about how to “midwife this thing.”

On Feb. 20, 2014, a mysterious sniper apparently firing from a building controlled by the ultranationalist Right Sektor killed both police and protesters, setting off a day of violence that left about 70 people dead including more than a dozen police.

The next day, three European governments struck a deal with Yanukovych in which he agreed to early elections and accepted reduced powers. But that political settlement wasn’t enough for the U.S.-backed militants who stormed government buildings on Feb. 22, forcing Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.

Instead of standing by the Feb. 21 agreement, which the European nations had “guaranteed,” Nuland pushed for and got U.S. allies to accept the new post-coup regime as “legitimate,” with Yatsenyuk becoming prime minister and several top government posts given to the ultranationalists and neo-Nazis.

Spreading Violence 

In the ensuing days, the right-wing violence spread beyond Kiev, prompting Crimea’s legislature to propose secession from Ukraine and readmission to Russia, whose relationship to the peninsula dated back to Catherine the Great.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Crimea scheduled a referendum that was opposed by the new regime in Kiev. Russian troops did not “invade” Crimea because some 20,000 were already stationed there as part of a basing agreement at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol. The Russians did provide security for the referendum but there was no evidence of intimidation as the citizens of Crimea voted by 96 percent to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move that Putin and the Russian duma accepted.

Eastern Ukrainians tried to follow Crimea’s lead with their own referendum, but Putin and Russia rejected their appeals to secede. However, when the Kiev regime launched an “Anti-Terrorism Operation” against the so-called Donbass region – spearheaded by ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi militias – Russia provided military assistance so these ethnic Russians would not be annihilated.

Karen DeYoung also framed the Minsk agreement as if it were imposed on Putin when he was one of its principal proponents and architects, winning its approval in early 2015 at a time when the Ukrainian military was facing battlefield reversals.

But Assistant Secretary Nuland, working with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and the Ukrainian parliament, sabotaged the agreement by requiring the Donbass rebels to first surrender which they were unwilling to do, having no faith in the sincerity of the Kiev regime to live up to its commitment to grant limited autonomy to the Donbass.

In other words, Kiev inserted a poison pill to prevent a peaceful resolution, but the Western media and governments always blame the Minsk failure on Putin.

If Karen DeYoung wanted to boil all this history down to one paragraph, it might go: “The Ukraine conflict began when U.S. officials supported the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych, prompting Crimea to rejoin Russia and causing ethnic Russians in the east to rise up against the U.S.-backed coup regime in Kiev, which then sought to crush the rebellion. The Kiev regime later torpedoed a peace deal that had been hammered out by Russian, Ukrainian and European negotiators in Minsk.”

But such a summary would not have the desired propaganda effect on the American people. It would not present the U.S.-backed side as the “white hats” and the pro-Russia side as the “black hats.”

The simple truth is that the story of Ukraine is far more complex and multi-sided than The Washington Post, The New York Times and most mainstream U.S. news outlets want to admit. They simply start the clock at the point of Crimea’s rejection of the post-coup regime and distort those facts to present the situation simply as a “Russian invasion.”

A Whipped-Up Hysteria

The major media’s distortion is so egregious that you could call it a lie, but it is a lie that has proved very useful in whipping up the current anti-Russian hysteria that is sweeping Official Washington and that has given birth to a New Cold War, now accompanied by a New McCarthyism that deems anyone who doesn’t accept the “groupthink” a “Russian apologist” or a “Moscow stooge.”

Since last November’s election, this New McCarthyism has merged with hatred toward Donald Trump, especially after the outgoing Obama administration lodged unproven accusations that Russia undercut Hillary Clinton’s campaign by hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee and those of her campaign chairman John Podesta – and slipped that information to WikiLeaks.

Those emails showed how the DNC undercut the rival campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders and revealed the contents of Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street banks as well as pay-to-play aspects of the Clinton Foundation, information that Clinton wanted to keep from the voters.

But no one thought the emails were a major factor in the Clinton-Trump race; indeed, Clinton blamed her stunning defeat on FBI Director James Comey’s last-minute decision to reopen and then re-close his investigation into security concerns about her use of a private email server as Secretary of State.

But the script on how Clinton lost was flipped during the Trump transition as President Obama’s intelligence agencies floated the Russia-hacked-the-election scenario although presenting no public evidence to support the claims. WikiLeaks representatives also denied getting the material from Russia, suggesting instead that it was leaked by two different American insiders.

A Ministry of Truth

Still, during the post-election period, the anti-Russian hysteria continued to build. In November, The Washington Post highlighted claims by an anonymous group called PropOrNot accusing some 200 Web sites, including Consortiumnews.com and other major independent media outlets, of disseminating Russian “propaganda.”



The New York Times joined in the frenzy by calling for leading technology companies to marginalize Web sites that are deemed to be publishing “fake news,” a vague term that was applied not just to intentionally false stories but to information that questioned official narratives, no matter how dubious those narratives were. The New McCarthyism was morphing into a New Orwellianism.

The movement toward a Ministry of Truth gained further momentum in December when Congress passed and President Obama signed a military authorization bill that included a new $160 million bureaucracy to identify and counter alleged “Russian propaganda.”

The anger of Democrats and liberals toward President Trump in his first month has added more fuel to the Russia-bashing with some Democrats and liberals seeing it as a possible route toward neutralizing or impeaching Trump. Thus, the calls for a full-scale investigation with subpoena power to demand documents and compel testimony.

While the idea of getting to the full truth has a superficial appeal, it also carries dangers of launching a witch hunt that would drag American citizens before inquisitors asking about any contacts – no matter how innocuous – with Russians.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, HUAC also claimed that all it wanted was the truth about whether some Americans were allied with or sympathetic to Moscow. Sen. Joe McCarthy offered a similar rationale when he was trying to root out “disloyal” Americans with the question, “are you now or have you ever been a communist?”

That Democrats and liberals who hold the McCarthy era in understandable disdain would now seek to rekindle something similar reeks of rank opportunism and gross hypocrisy – doing whatever it takes to “get Trump” and build an activist movement that can revive the Democratic Party’s flagging political hopes.

But this particular opportunism and hypocrisy also carries with it the prospect of blindly ramping up tensions with Russia, diverting more taxpayer money into the Military-Industrial Complex and conceivably sparking – whether planned or unplanned – a nuclear Armageddon that could eliminate life on the planet. Perhaps this anti-Trump strategy should be rethought.

~ Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

Making $$$ from Space Arms Race


This 1997 planning document from the US Space Command called Vision for 2020 has many chilling words inside.

Under a section entitled 'Control of Space' the document states:

Control of Space is the ability to assure access to space, freedom of operations within the space medium, and an ability to deny others the use of space, if required.

The Pentagon has long bragged that the space control and domination program, often called 'Star Wars', will be the most expensive project in human history.  I like to call it Pyramids to the Heavens and some years ago I asked Florida artist Will Park to make an illustration of that concept.  Here is what he produced.



So how will the US ever be able to pay for the largest industrial project in human history?  In the Vision for 2020 they address that question in a section called 'Global Partnerships':

Global Partnerships augments military space capabilities through leveraging of civil, commercial, and international space systems.  The growth of non-US military space systems provides the opportunity for the US to gain increased battlespace awareness and information connectivity in a cost-effective manner.  These partnerships provide shared costs, shared risks, and increased opportunities.
Let's translate this a bit.  Star Wars will cost too much even for the US - especially as our own economy is collapsing.  So the Pentagon must round up the posse to get them to help pay for it - but the Space Command will remain in control of the 'tip of the spear'.

Thus we have seen in recent days the new US Vice-President Pence over in Europe at a NATO meeting demanding that they pay a greater share of the growing war budget as the steroidal alliance expands up to the Russian borders.

The last two words in the 'Global Partnership' paragraph are 'increased opportunities'. Of course this refers to the aerospace corporations that are raking in big $$$$$ as they collect the 'contributions' from NATO members and partners around the world  - NATO has gone global.

It's quite a remarkable 'business plan'.

The way to beat them is to starve the beast - fight like hell to hang on to social progress everywhere.

Bruce

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Pivot Toward War: U.S. Missile Defense & the Weaponization of Space



25th Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest
April 7-9, 2017
Huntsville, Alabama



Purpose
Join us for the Global Network’s 25th anniversary Space Organizing Conference and Protest at the home of Redstone Arsenal and the Space & Missile Defense Command, also known as the ‘Pentagon of the South’.

The effort by the Pentagon to develop and deploy the next generation of Star Wars weapons will increase global instability and cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.  The US Space Command has long maintained its mission is to create the technologies to ‘control and dominate’ space and the Earth below – ultimately on behalf of corporate interests.

This conference will allow citizens to learn more about these important issues and meet leaders from the growing international movements to Keep Space for Peace and Stop NATO expansion.

Fees
Registration for the conference will be on a sliding scale between $25-$75 (pay what you can best afford).  Lunch and supper on April 8 are included in your registration fee.  You can register online using the GN’s web site Donate Now button here

See the conference brochure here

Housing
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Springhill Suites Hotel (745 Constellation Place Dr) in downtown Huntsville for $99 per night (up to 4 persons per room).  (Contact us for details on reserving hotel rooms.) The hotel has an airport shuttle from the Huntsville airport. The Lowe Mill conference location is five minutes from the hotel. Limited home hospitality will also be available on a first come, first served basis.


Speakers/Music (List in formation)
  • Judy Collins (Vine & Fig Tree, Alabama)
  • Bruce Gagnon (Global Network Coordinator, Maine)
  • Dr. Shreedhar Gautam (President, Global Network Chapter Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • Subrata Ghoshroy (Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT)
  • William Griffin (Veterans For Peace, Georgia)
  • Huntsville Feminist Chorus (Alabama)
  • Joy Johnson (Green Party of Madison County, Alabama)
  • Tarak Kauff (Veterans For Peace, New York)
  • Hyun Lee (Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific, New York)
  • Tiara Rose Naputi (Chamorro diaspora from Guam, Assistant Professor, Dept of Communication, University of Colorado)
  • Agneta Norberg (Swedish Peace Council, Stockholm)
  • Yasuo Ogata (Co-chair World Conference against A & H Bombs and former Member of Parliament, Upper House, Japan)
  • Lindis Percy (Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases, England)
  • J. Narayana Rao (Global Network board member, India)
  • Mary Beth Sullivan (PeaceWorks, Maine)
  •  Im Sun-bun (Farmer, Korean Women's Peasants Association, Seongju, South Korea)
  • Regis Tremblay (Filmmaker, Maine)
  • Dave Webb (Global Network Board Convener & Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK)
  • Lynda Williams (Physics faculty, Santa Rosa Junior College, California)
  • Loring Wirble (Citizens for Peace in Space, Colorado)
  • Col. Ann Wright (US Army retired, diplomat) * Keynote speaker

Conference Program

 Friday, April 7

  • 2:00 pm News Conference
  • 4:00 – 5:30 Vigil at Redstone Arsenal/Marshall Space Flight Center – Gate 9 (Rideout Road, Exit 14 off Hwy 565)
  • 6:00 Dinner at Las Parrillas Grill Mexican Restaurant (2713 Patton Rd SW, Exit 17 off Hwy 565)
  • 8:00 Cash bar at hotel and film screening: Thirty Seconds to Midnight: The Final Wake-Up Call by Regis Tremblay

 

Saturday, April 8


  • 8:30 – 9:00 am Registration at Flying Monkey Theatre (Lowe Mill, 2211 Seminole Dr, 2nd floor)
  • 9:00 – 9:30 am Welcome & Purpose of Conference
  • 9:30 – 10:00 Presentation: The US Space Global Warfighting System & Global Network Responses
  • 10:15 – 11:45 Plenary Panel I -  A New Arms Race: Military Satellites, Drones, Prompt Global Strike, Military Space Plane, NSA Surveillance, & Mining the Sky
  • 12:00 – 1:00  Lunch
  • 1:15 – 2:30  Plenary Panel IIAsia-Pacific Pivot: Resistance to Missile Offense Radars & Interceptors
  • 2:45 – 4:00 Plenary Panel III – Global Network Leader Reports from around the World
  • 4:15 – 5:45 Plenary Panel IV – Alternative Vision: Transforming a War Economy to a Peace Economy - Organizing Strategies & Movement Building during the Trump Administration
  • 6:00 – 8:00 Supper Program – Keynote Speaker & Music (Col. Ann Wright & Huntsville Feminist Chorus)

Sunday, April 9


  • 10:00 am – Noon   Visit Space & Rocket Center Museum (Exit 15 off Hwy 565)


Sponsors (List in formation)
  • Gainesville Iguana (Florida)
  • Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
  • Greater Brunswick (Maine) PeaceWorks
  • Green Party of Madison County (Alabama)
  • Maine Natural Guard
  • Nashville (TN) Greenlands
  • North Alabama Peace Network
  • Selma (Alabama) Center for Nonviolence, Truth and Reconciliation
  • Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea & Militarism in Asia & the Pacific
  • United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC)
  • US Peace Council
  • Veterans For Peace Chapter 99, Asheville, NC
  • Veterans For Peace, Savannah (Georgia) Chapter 170
  • Veterans For Peace National
  • WorldBeyondWar.org

Sunday Song - Bonus Track


Sunday Song