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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Friday, March 06, 2015

The Real Show....


How Putin Blocked the U.S. Pivot to Asia


by MIKE WHITNEY
“The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad…. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the ‘world’s only superpower.’  Neoconservatives proclaimed ‘the end of history.'”
—  Paul Craig Roberts,  former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury

“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.”
— Russian proverb
On February 10, 2007,   Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the 43rd Munich Security Conference that created a rift between Washington and Moscow that has only deepened over time.  The Russian President’s blistering hour-long critique of US foreign policy provided a rational, point-by-point indictment of US interventions around the world and their devastating effect on global security.  

Putin probably didn’t realize the impact his candid observations would have on the assembly in Munich or the reaction of  powerbrokers in the US who saw the presentation as a turning point in US-Russian relations. But, the fact is, Washington’s hostility towards Russia can be traced back to this particular incident, a speech in which Putin publicly committed himself to a multipolar global system, thus, repudiating the NWO pretensions of US elites. Here’s what he said:

“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.”

With that one formulation, Putin rejected the United States assumed role as the world’s only superpower and steward of global security, a privileged position which Washington feels it earned by prevailing in the Cold War and which entitles the US to unilaterally intervene whenever it sees fit. Putin’s announcement ended years of bickering and deliberation among think tank analysts as to whether Russia could be integrated into the US-led system or not.  Now they knew that Putin would never dance to Washington’s tune.

In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin would learn to comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role in the Washington-centric system. But it hasn’t worked out that way. The speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight.  The declaration challenging US aspirations to rule the world, left no doubt that  Putin was going to be a problem that had to be dealt with by any means necessary including harsh economic sanctions, a State Department-led coup in neighboring Ukraine, a conspiracy to crash oil prices, a speculative attack of the ruble, a proxy war in the Donbass using neo-Nazis as the empire’s shock troops, and myriad false flag operations used to discredit Putin personally while driving a wedge between Moscow and its primary business partners in Europe. Now the Pentagon is planning to send 600 paratroopers to Ukraine ostensibly to “train the Ukrainian National Guard”, a serious escalation that violates the spirit of Minsk 2 and which calls for a proportionate response from the Kremlin. Bottom line: The US is using all the weapons in its arsenal to prosecute its war on Putin.

Last week’s gangland-style murder of Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, has to be considered in terms of the larger geopolitical game that is currently underway. While we may never know who perpetrated the crime, we can say with certainly that the lack of evidence hasn’t deterred the media or US politicians from using the tragedy to advance an anti-Putin agenda aimed at destabilizing the government and triggering regime change in Moscow.  Putin himself suggested that the killing may have been a set-up designed to put more pressure on the Kremlin. The World Socialist Web Site summed up the political implications like this:

“The assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a significant political event that arises out of the US-Russia confrontation and the intense struggle that is now underway within the highest levels of the Russian state. The Obama administration and the CIA are playing a major role in the escalation of this conflict, with the aim of producing an outcome that serves the global geo-political and financial interests of US imperialism….

It is all but obvious that the Obama administration is hoping a faction will emerge within the Russian elite, backed by elements in the military and secret police, capable of staging a “palace coup” and getting rid of Putin….

The United States is not seeking to trigger a widespread popular revolt. (But) are directed entirely at convincing a section of the oligarchy and emerging capitalist class that their business interests and personal wealth depend upon US support. That is why the Obama administration has used economic sanctions targeting individuals as a means of exerting pressure on the oligarchs as well as broader sections of the entrepreneurial elite….
It is in the context of this international power struggle that one must evaluate Nemtsov’s murder. Of course, it is possible that his death was the outcome of his private dealings. But it is more likely that he was killed for political reasons. Certainly, the timing of the killing—on the eve of the opposition’s anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow—strongly indicates that the killing was a political assassination, not a private settling of accounts.”  (“Murder in Moscow: Why was Boris Nemtsov assassinated?“, David North, World Socialist Web Site)
Just hours after Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow, the western media swung into action releasing a barrage of articles suggesting Kremlin involvement without a shred of  evidence to support their claims. The campaign of innuendo has steadily gained momentum as more Russia “experts” and politicians offer their opinions about who might be responsible. Naturally, none of the interviewees veer from the official storyline that someone in Putin’s charge must have carried out the attack.  An article in the Washington Post is a good example of the tactics used in the latest PR campaign to discredit Putin.  According to Vladimir Gel’man, Political Scientists European University at St. Petersburg and the University of Helsinki:
“Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of political opposition, was shot dead nearby the Kremlin. In my opinion, it has all the hallmarks of a political assassination provoked by an aggressive Kremlin-induced campaign against the “fifth column of national traitors”, who opposed the annexation of Crimea, war with the West over Ukraine, and further decline of political and civil freedoms in the country. We may never know whether the Kremlin ordered this killing, but given the fact that Nemtsov was one of the most consistent critics not only of the Russian regime as such but also of Putin in person, his dissenting voice will never upset Putin and his inner circle anymore.”  (“What does Boris Nemtsov’s murder mean for Russia?“, Washington Post)
The article in the Washington Post is fairly typical of others published in the MSM. The coverage is invariably long on finger-pointing and insinuation and short on facts. Traditional journalistic standards of objectivity and fact-gathering have been jettisoned to advance a political agenda that reflects the objectives of ownership. The Nemtsov assassination is just the latest illustration of the abysmal state of western media.

The idea that Putin’s agents would “whack” an opposition candidate just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin is far fetched to say the least.  As one commenter at the Moon of Alabama blog noted:
“Isn’t the image of a dead political opponent lying on a bridge overlooked by the Kremlin a bit rich? I mean, short of a dagger lodged between his shoulder blades with the inscription “if found, please return to Mr Putin”, I can’t think of a more over-egged attempt at trying to implicate the Government. And on the night before an opposition rally Nemtsov hoped to lead. I mean, come on.”
While there’s no denying that Moscow could be involved, it seems unlikely. The more probable explanation is that the incident is part of a larger regime change scheme to ignite social unrest and destabilize the government. The US has used these tactics so many times before in various color-coded revolutions, that we won’t reiterate the details here. Even so, it’s worth noting that the US has no red lines when it comes to achieving its strategic goals.  It will do whatever it feels is necessary to prevail in its clash with Putin.

The question is why? Why is Washington so determined to remove Putin?

Putin answered this question himself recently at a celebration of Russia’s diplomatic workers’ day. He said Russia would pursue an independent foreign policy despite pressure in what he called “today’s challenging international environment.”

“No matter how much pressure is put on us, the Russian Federation will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy, to support the fundamental interests of our people and in line with global security and stability.” (Reuters)

This is Putin’s unforgivable crime, the same crime as Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria and countless other nations that refuse to march in lockstep to Washington’s directives.

Putin has also resisted NATO encirclement and attempts by the US to loot Russia’s vast natural resources. And while Putin has made every effort to avoid a direct confrontation with the US, he has not backed down on issues that are vital to Russia’s national security, in fact, he  has pointed out numerous times not only the threat that encroaching NATO poses to Moscow, but also the lies that preceded its eastward expansion. Here’s Putin at Munich again:
“I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee….
Where are these guarantees?”
Where, indeed. Apparently, they were all lies.  As political analyst Pat Buchanan said in his article “Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”:
“Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother Russia’s front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin….

… though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases in Central Asia permanent.

… through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and “human rights” institutes such as Freedom House,… we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and Russia herself….

These are Putin’s grievances. Does he not have a small point?” “(Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”, Pat Buchanan, antiwar.com)
Now the US wants to deploy its missile defense system to Eastern Europe, a system which–according to Putin “will work automatically with and be an integral part of the US nuclear capability. For the first time in history, and I want to emphasize this, there are elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to respond to that.”

How can Putin allow this to happen?  How can he allow the US to situate nuclear weapons in a location that would increase its first-strike capability and undermine the balance of deterrents allowing the US to force Russia to follow its orders or face certain annihilation. Putin has no choice but to resist this outcome, just as has no choice but to oppose the principle upon which US expansion is based, the notion that the Cold War was won by the US, therefore the US has the right to reshape the world in a way that best suits its own economic and geopolitical interests. Here’s Putin again:
“What is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term,  it refers to a type of situation where there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making.   It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. At the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within…..

I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world…. the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization….” (Munich, 2007)
What sort of man talks like this? What sort of man talks about “the moral foundations for modern civilization” or invokes FDR in his address?

Putin:  “‘Security for one is security for all’. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out: ‘When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.’ These words remain topical today.”

I urge everyone to watch at least the first 10 minutes of Putin’s speech and decide for themselves whether they think the characterization (and demonization) of Putin in the media is fair or not. And pay special attention to Minute 6 where Putin says this:
“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?” (“Vladimir Putin’s legendary speech at Munich Security Conference“)
While Putin is making this statement, the camera pans to John McCain and Joe Lieberman who are sitting stone-faced in the front row seething at every word uttered by the Russian president. If you look close enough, you can see the steam emerging from McCain’s ears.

This is why Washington wants regime change in Moscow. It’s because Putin refuses to be pushed around by the United States. It’s because he wants a world that is governed by international laws that are impartially administered by the United Nations. It’s because he rejects a “unipolar” world order where one nation dictates policy to everyone else and where military confrontation becomes the preferred way for the powerful to impose their will on the weak.

Putin:  “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts…The United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way….And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this — no one feels safe.”  Vladimir Putin, Munich 2007

Putin isn’t a perfect man. He has his shortcomings and flaws like everyone else. But he appears to be a decent person who has made great strides in restoring Russia’s economy after it was looted by agents of the US following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He has lifted living standards,  increased pensions,  reduced poverty, and improved education and health care which is why his public approval ratings are currently hovering at an eye-watering 86 percent.  Even so, Putin is most admired for standing up to the United States and blocking its strategy to pivot to Asia. The proxy war in Ukraine is actually a struggle to thwart Washington’s plan to break up the Russian Federation, encircle China, control the flow of resources from Asia to Europe,  and rule the world.   Vladimir Putin is at the forefront of that conflagration which is why he has gained the respect and admiration of people around the world.

As for “democracy”, Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am. Absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone, the only one of my kind in the whole world. Just look at what’s happening in    America, it’s terrible—torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial or investigation.     And look at  Europe—harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used in one capital after another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Gandhi died.”
Well said, Vladimir.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Notes from Nuclear Confab in NYC

Speaking at Helen Caldicott's Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction last weekend in New York City

I took some notes at the nuclear war event in NYC last weekend.  I'm not going to put them in any particular order but they are all interesting.

  • Russia's early warning system is fragile and thus they keep their nuclear retaliatory forces on launch on warning status.  Unlike the US Moscow has no space-based early warning system. They can't see over the horizon and have to make a guess if they are being hit in a first-strike. Chance of accidental nuclear war is higher now than during most of the Cold War. Russia is very aware that the Pentagon has plans for decapitation strikes on Russia.  (Ted Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology & National Security Policy, MIT)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies are advancing and increasingly given control of nuclear launch decision making.  (Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT)
  •  Eight workers at Department of Energy (DoE) nuclear laboratory at Los Alamos, N.M. were contaminated from plutonium-238 last December.  Was not reported in any of the local newspapers.  The development of the atomic bomb by the US was about control of the former Soviet Union in the post-WW II era.  The DoE today is in crisis because of incompetence and collapsing management.  (Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group)
  • Since going to work for Associated Press and Newsweek he has never seen the Washington propaganda machine working at this rate.  One way to get the American people worked up is to demonize a leader of a particular country.  Some analysts at CIA told him that the Malaysian plane was not shot down by eastern Ukrainian 'rebels'.  Perception management - how do we bring the American people back to reality?  (Robert Parry, Investigative Journalist, Consortium News)
  • The US is spending money on the military rather than dealing with climate change at a rate of $24 million (military) to $1 million (climate change).  In China the ratio is $1 million (military) to $1 million (climate change).  It would cost up to $1 trillion a year globally to deal with the current reality of climate change.  The US currently spends $500 billion per year giving subsidies to the oil corporations.  (John Feffer, Institute for Policy Studies)
  • Bikini actually means the skin of the coconut but Madison Avenue came up with the idea to name women's bathing suits the 'bikini' at the very time the Pentagon was doing above ground nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands.  Medical claims by the Marshallese people who suffer from radiation sickness are going unfunded since the US does not appropriate ample funds to cover these compensation claims.  (Holly Barker, Dept of Anthropology, Univ. of Washington)
  • Read this book The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted. The deep state has conquered America and we have a rump Congress.  Wall Street is the ultimate owner of the deep state - along with the CIA and military industrial complex.  Ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over their government.  The oligarchy maintains the outward appearance of a functioning democracy. Most people are assimilated by the institutions they work for into 'group think'.  We'll never get a handle on nuclear weapons until we cure the pathology of the deep state.  (Mike Lofgren, Former Republican congressional staffer, author)
  • 411 financial institutions from 31 countries invest $402 billion in 28 companies that produce nuclear weapons. (Susi Snyder, PAX, The Netherlands)
  • A really good way to help people understand the power and effects of a nuclear war is to get them to take at look at this spectacular web site called Nuclear Secrecy.  You can calculate the damage to your own community just by clicking a few buttons.  If there was a nuclear exchange with Russia and they blasted Bath Iron Works here in Maine we'd have 10,530 immediate deaths and then 19,650 estimated injuries.  The total population of Bath is about 10,000 people. (Alex Wellerstein, Asst Professor of Anthropology and & Int'l Affairs, Stevens Institute of Technology)
  • Consumerism is the main definition of freedom. (Robert Scheer, author, former LA Times columnist, Editor Truthdig)
  • You can listen to any or all of the conference speakers by clicking here and then clicking again on the left side of the screen where speakers names are listed in blue.

The Smoking Guns


Here are some interesting tidbits from my email inbox this morning. 

  • The Nation reports that drone pilots are quitting like rats off a sinking ship.  Some good news for once:
The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

There are roughly 1,000 such drone pilots, known in the trade as “18Xs,” working for the U.S. Air Force today. Another 180 pilots graduate annually from a training program that takes about a year to complete at Holloman and Randolph Air Force bases in, respectively, New Mexico and Texas. As it happens, in those same 12 months, about 240 trained pilots quit and the Air Force is at a loss to explain the phenomenon. (The better-known U.S. Central Intelligence Agency drone assassination program is also flown by Air Force pilots loaned out for the covert missions.)

  • Oriental Review shares a very important story about increased US destabilization efforts in Central Asia:
Strategic Theory:  The US’ primary goal in creating chaos in Central Asia is to split Russia’s focus in dealing with the Ukrainian Crisis and create a situation where its decision makers are unable to adequately protect the country’s entire periphery. This is envisioned as leading to the penetration of chaotic dynamics directly into the Russian Federation itself (be it from the west or the south), which could contribute to the realization of the ‘Eurasian Balkans’ end game of dividing the country into ethnic and regional fiefdoms and indefinitely prolonging the US’ unipolar moment. In order to get to such a grand finale, a series of steps must be taken in the countries around Russia to provoke such a scenario.

  • Craigslist has a job notice that is a mind-blower.  Don't try to tell me that the Pentagon is not preparing for direct military operations in Ukraine and Russia:
Ukrainian/Russian Men Needed $19/Hr (Oceanside, CA)

GTS (Glacier Technology Solutions LLC) - We are military contractors working directly with the US Marine Corps assisting them with their immersive simulation training program. Currently, we are looking for role players of Ukrainian and/or Russian ethnicity and language skills. Need MEN ranging 18-65 years of age. This is temporary, part time, on-call work based on need and availability. At the moment, we are staffing for an upcoming training to take place on: March 29-31, 2015. The scheduled hours will vary from 8-12 hours per working day. Compensation is $15.17/hr. plus another $4.02/hr. Health and Welfare benefit for up to 40 hours of work in a workweek. (Overtime rates will be paid if necessary). Register for work at: www.Shiftboard.com/wforce
For further questions feel free to call. We look forward to meeting, and sharing this fun and unique work experience with you.

  • On the plus side The New Yorker magazine has a big spread this month about the Catholic Worker movement and plowshares activists.   You can find it here  
  • Just to keep things in perspective.... think about how Russia is accused by US-NATO of wanting to recreate their Soviet 'empire'.  Let the numbers speak for themselves.  The Russian military budget is approximately $53 billion in 2015 while the US is spending more than $787 billion on Pentagon operations.  Then add in the combined NATO members military budgets. Is Putin really in any position to play Hitler?  It's a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Responses to My Despairing Rant


I've had some interesting responses to my blog post yesterday called 'This Is a Declaration of War' which I also sent to my email list.  Thought I'd share some of them - leaving out the names. Thanks folks.

  • Please remove me from your mailing list.
  • Very well put, Bruce!  I hope this gets wide distribution. But in Venezuela they just prevented a similar coup, so that is most encouraging. But I agree this is extremely dangerous. On the other hand, I think EU countries are getting very nervous over this trend and may break with the US. I would love to know what transpired with the conference with Merkel, Putin, et. al... then there's the China card. Interesting times, for sure!   
  • Those who have de-brainwashed themselves from indoctrination by the Nazi inst.'s they were born in under...  which takes a maverick disposition... a certain in the bone Thoreauvianism ... know that the USA has always worked as much destruction as  possible against all life everywhere.
  • I RARELY share e-mails with others but on this issue I pulled-out all the stops. Thanks
  • Stop wringing your hands and realize this failure, which you aptly describe, is for a reason: the failure to attack the fundamental premise of the new global war, 9/11.  If the entire peace movement devoted half the energy to 9/11 truth as it does to composing these rants people would know the truth.  It was true then and it's true now.  Only the truth can set us free. 
  • Christ Bruce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Bruce...you sound REALLY DEPRESSED...I just got back from DC/AIPAC/ NETANHAYU  and am equally despondent re Congress' determined march toward war with Iran...so what to do??????...we need a clamor and I don't know how to generate a clamor/uproar in Maine in such a way it strikes a chord and doesn't turn people off ......ideas??/solidarity....!
  • Don't they call that the "Strategy of Tension". Yes, I stubbed my toe this morning and that darn Putin caused it. I'm waiting for "our fight isn't with the Russian people it's with the bad man Putin". Before it was Ho Chi Minh, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, fill in the blank. Yes, they have done well lowering the education standards and awareness of history of the Amerikkkan folks.
  • A walk down memory lane.  Same old same old, different actors, same script and ending.  This time however, Russia is not going to play dead.  No one suffered more than Russia during WW2 and now with the Nazi symbols once again being worn by the neo-fascists in Ukraine, Russia will not stand by and watch history repeat itself.  Napoleon, Hitler and now US/NATO at the border.
  • …gulp….
  • As long as the American Public (the sleeping giant), remains uninformed, disinterested and apathetic,  Washington will do its will and lead the nation into a war with truly unpredictable, unintended, catastrophic consequences. When will the sleeping giant wake up and say "No, not in my name"?  Doesn't look like anything is 'waking up'.
  • Pivotal article.  We see a lot of mass media warmongering here. Yesterday Dagens Nyheter  (Stockholm) had an article where a professor emeritus (the only professor emeritus that I know of who is worth his weight in gold is Stephen F. Cohen) Magnus Ljungren from Gothenburg was linking up Putin with a reactionary, ultra nationalistic philosopher Ivan Iljin in a sort of Putin's heart belongs to Ivan Iljin instead of daddy. Then there is the infamous professor from Lund Kristian Gerner who spit his venom in Dagens Industri, "Russia is not a democracy". That was only yesterday. It is incessant.  In the old days you might have seen a Swedish government letting the parties sit down to negotiate in Stockholm for as long as it takes but official Sweden has taken sides: EU, NATO, and comprador Ukraine.
  • So many reasons to want to run away! But where? Why I keep the song After the revolution by David Roviks on my ipod.
  • I agree 100% with Bruce's analysis. It is all western war mongering to destabilise in order to grab routes and resources. Not simplistic but simple, and undoubtedly true.
  • Bruce is deeply educated on this subject and we can thank him for doing our homework for us. We need to pay attention, spread the word and speak out.
  • I just finished reading an article that you probably can find on the Internet by Joanna Macy called "The Greatest Danger". I'm very moved by reading the article this time - and, I've read it 5 or 7 times through the years.  Somehow, it's sinking in deeper and wider this time.  It seems clearer to me with this reading of the article. The intro to the article reads: "If you're really paying attention, it's hard to escape a sense of outrage, fear, despair.  Author, deep-ecologist,
    and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy says: Don't even try." 
  • Why do U.S. leaders tolerate warmongers and a military industrial complex? To be clear, I agree with the Ukrainian aspiration for liberty but feel the Americans have bigger fish to fry. In particular, the motivations of the Neocons seem to have too much in common with those of neo-Nazis and we should take care of our own authoritarians before we start looking for foreign dragons to slay. Maybe we can start with disbanding NATO, twenty-five years too late. Admittedly my study of the issue is not current. Too many years since I was an Army Foreign Area Officer for East Europe, but I'm sure that if we exclude the unconstitutional Air Force and CIA, there are still enough ethical American leaders with common sense. 
  • Thanks Bruce for sticking in there against the military magamachine.  Best wishes from Byron Friends of Palestine [Australia].

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Remembering Fr. Bix - Inspired by Jeju Island



Felice Cohen-Joppa from Tucson writes:

In Solidarity With our Peace Friends on Jeju Island... Twelve activists with the Pacific Life Community were arrested for blocking the road into Lockheed Martin, Sunnyvale, California on March 2 (8 are still in jail for at least a night or two after refusing to sign papers for their release).

Before the blockade some of the protesters did one of the special dances from Gangjeong village, after practicing over the weekend! More pictures and a report will be on the Nuclear Resister Facebook page after I get some sleep and travel home!!

Fr. Bix, Presente!

This Is a Declaration of War


At times I feel completely overwhelmed by the current US-NATO military operations aimed at Russia.  It's growing rapidly - one can't help but wonder if the recent 'victory' of the self-defensive forces in eastern Ukraine wasn't allowed by Washington and Kiev as a way to get public opinion behind the already well established plans for even more NATO escalation.

It's all just far too neat and tidy to be seen otherwise.  This is not a conspiracy but a well designed military plan to take down Moscow.  They are playing with fire. In some respects the 'project' is now impossible to stop.  The question for the moment is how long will this attack on Russia go on and what level of conflict will result?  Will it go nuclear?  If so the world is fucked.

The Pentagon role now is to send legions of NATO trainers into Ukraine to "push Kiev's [reluctant] troops forward" in order to "deter Russian aggression."  It's a long term military operation that is going to be exceedingly expensive.  It's got to be sold to the American people and folks throughout Europe.  In order to make this public relations campaign successful the perpetrators have to flip the switch - turn the story ass backwards - blame the other side for doing what US-NATO are in fact doing.

The source of the aggression is quite clear to me.  US-NATO are all over Russia's border.  I learned today that the current right-wing Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves grew up in New Jersey and went to Columbia University.  It's funny how the US is able to continually put their agents into office in key nations around the world.

Go back to post WW II and note how fascist Syngman Rhee lived in the US and was then put in power in South Korea to ensure Washington's control.  Recall the many fascist dictators that the US repeatedly put in place in Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia and throughout Latin America and the African continent.  It's called good corporate planning.

More recently in 2008 we saw Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (also trained in the US at George Washington University) launch an attack on Russian speaking republics South Ossetia and Abkhazia along Russia's border.  Russia responded to the Georgian military strike against the  people there by counter-attacking Georgia.  The fighting took place in the strategically important Transcaucasia region which borders the Middle East.

I'll never forget watching the first US politician to arrive in Georgia after the 2008 shooting war subsided.  It was then Sen. Joe Biden who made that visit, just months before being selected as Obama's running mate. Biden came back slinging much anti-Russian rhetoric and most importantly threatened Russia with dire consequences if it did not do as instructed by Washington and Brussels.   Biden of course also led the effort in the Senate to send more weapons and US military 'trainers' to Georgia.  So this is all a familiar story.

Just this morning NPR (National Public Radio) had an interview with a Russian woman who 'fingered' Putin as the one who called for the killing of Boris Nemtsov this past weekend in Moscow.  It's all so damn convenient - the pieces just keep tumbling into place as the case is made for war with Russia in order to contain the 'evil Putin'.  Can you see Manuel Noriega (Panama), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), and Muammar Qaddafi (Libya) all over again?  It's a tried and true twisting of the truth in order to set up supposed 'obstacles' for take down.  It's always sold though as the mighty super-moral US swooping in to protect 'freedom and democracy'.  Walt Disney couldn't have done this any better.

The US-NATO expansion of the conflict in Ukraine is indeed a declaration of war against Russia.  And from what I can make out the Russian people see the writing on the wall - they can hear the train coming.  Sadly the American people have no clue what is going on nor do most of those in Europe.

This project has been set up with criminal precision.  After all the CIA and the Pentagon have had alot of practice over the years.  This is what Washington does best.

Latest News from Ukraine



"A large number of terrorist Takfiri fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in its fight against the pro-Russian population," an Arab security official told FNA on Sunday on the condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the issue.
  • "Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion... to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that's taking place," US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday. Despite earlier warnings from Russia (and claims that NATO had not agreed to any such foreign 'boots on the ground' action') Foster added, "what we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer." (See video below - at least watch from 30:18 to 32:15)
  • Speaking before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, US Assistant Secretary of European Affairs Victoria Nuland said that the State Department is vastly increasing its budget for battling what she calls “the Kremlin’s pervasive propaganda campaign poisoning minds across Russia, on Russia’s periphery, and across Europe. This year, the [Broadcasting Board of Governors] is committing $23.2 million to Russian-language programming,” Nuland told the committee. “A 49% increase since [fiscal year 2014].” The State Department is also requesting an additional $20 million, which would “ramp up efforts to counter lies with truth.”
  • An extensive report on "How the Malaysian Boeing" was shot down over Ukraine has been completed.  You can find it here

Tear Down that Wall!



Little Red Riding Hood visits the Israeli separation wall that keeps Palestinians divided as Jewish settlements continue to grow.

We Had to Skip Dinner



A film about the great American myth - the American dream - now the American nightmare.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Brawling in Kiev's Rada (Parliament)



These are the cats that Washington wants to send weapons and US military 'trainers' to support in Kiev.

A fist fight exploded in the Ukrainian Rada on Tuesday, after Ukraine's Radical Party (nationalists that want to rearm Ukraine with nukes) leader Oleg Lyashko reportedly started an altercation with Sergei Melnychuk, the leader of the Aidar volunteer (Neo-Nazi) battalion.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Vladimir Rybak attempted to stop the fight several times but the conflict continued until parliament was suspended. The fight later spilled out into the Rada's hallways.

From what I have observed these fisticuffs seem to happen quite regularly inside the Rada. Elected officials who are supporters of the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine appear to have mostly been driven out of the Rada.

Fracked Up - U.S. Plans for Control of Ukraine's Natural Gas



Recall that V-P Joe Biden's son Hunter signed on to the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest oil company, Burisma Holdings, at a time that the US is urging Ukraine to develop energy independence from Russia.  (You could call it the spoils of war. And you could call it corruption at the highest levels.)

“Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine,” Hunter Biden said in a statement.

So one reason for the US war in Ukraine is to force the drilling for fracked natural gas in the eastern part of the county.  The local population opposes doing so as they know that it will ruin the environment.  Thus they must be driven off their land by Kiev's Army which is backed by the US-NATO war machine.

This video shows how a fracking operations camp had been set up but the self-defense forces drove them out of the area.

The US wants to install western energy companies in Ukraine and Washington wants to force regime change in Moscow so they can get their hands on Russia's natural gas - which happens to be the largest supply on the planet.

Israel Pushes War with Iran



Robert Kelly says Netanyahu avoids facts and evidence to push conflict to a point where war is the only answer.

The Nation Magazine reports:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces a difficult election in only two weeks, came to Washington pretending to be deeply alarmed by Iran’s potential for developing a nuclear weapon and saying he is determined to ensure that President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Tehran result in a “better deal” than the one now anticipated (without detailing how that could be done).

In fact, Netanyahu had three unstated goals. His first and most important was to shore up his own flagging political fortunes in Israel. Second, he wanted to forestall any further pressure from Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and congressional Democrats for a peace deal with the Palestinians, having successfully torpedoed the 2013–14 round of talks. Third, he wanted to forestall a thaw in US-Iran relations, which is apparent both in the nuclear talks and on the ground in Iraq, where Washington, Baghdad and Tehran are now de facto allies against ISIL.

Kiev Asks Japan for Weapons


Shut Down AIPAC



A coalition of human rights organizations, led by CODE PINK, organized four days of political action in Washington DC to oppose the policies of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) during its annual policy conference. Coined #ShutDownAIPAC, activists hosted a variety of creative events: protests outside the DC Convention Center and Netanyahu’s speech in Congress; events critiquing AIPAC policies; and a lobby day in Congress to call for no more sanctions on Iran.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Kiev's Troops Send Message to Poroshenko



Ukraine President Poroshenko gets a message from his troops on the front lines of the US-NATO war.  They've figured out they are cannon fodder and are getting rather angry about it.  Thus US-NATO 'trainers' are being sent in to 'whip them back into shape'.  All they need is a bit more "training and they'll get right back at it."

Hardly....the wheels are coming off this Washington-Brussels war project.  No wonder there was an assassination on the Kremlin doorstep.  Needed to distract the public from the real story.  Pin it all back on Putin.  Can you see the Madison Avenue public relations campaign in motion?

Video from Caldicott Nuclear War Symposium in NYC



Steven Starr, Bruce Gagnon  (at 19:57 into the video), Bill Hartung speak at the Helen Caldicott sponsored Symposium: The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction in New York City held on February 28, 2015. This was the first of two days and was live streamed. 

Helen Caldicott did the moderating of this first day.

Find the entire conference film here

US-NATO Project: Chaos Along Russia's Border



This video is a moving and heartbreaking inside view of the US-NATO backed assault on the Russian speaking people of eastern Ukraine.

You get a glimpse of the self-defense forces - former miners, farmers, electricians, tele-communications engineers, musicians, former soldiers, husbands, wives and some volunteers from Russia who have come to eastern Ukraine to help defend the people from the endless attacks on their communities.

The people often refer to the 'Grads' that Kiev's forces use to shell them.  Each time I heard Grads I flash back to my Little League baseball team at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota in the early 1960's.  The name of my team was the 'Grads'.  At the time I had no clue what a Grad actually was.

There is a lull in the fighting now after Kiev's forces got routed out of Debalcevo just days ago.  For the moment Kiev's forces have retreated enough to resupply themselves and wait for the new 'trainers' from the US, Poland, Canada, and Britain coming to prop up their war machine.  It is expected they will renew their offensive in the spring.

Since Kiev's huge loss in Debalcevo the self-defense forces have been left with legions of military vehicles, weapons, and other such equipment.  The real question is what are they going to do with all the refugees and how will they survive?  Russia has been sending in many convoys of humanitarian aid but even that is just a drop in the bucket.

For us in the west we must make a more determined effort to force our corporate dominated governments to end this insane provoking of war with Russia.  We have to start with educating our own fellow citizens who have largely fallen victim to the brainwashing by corporate run media.

Heads Up: The blue and yellow flag patch is Kiev forces. The self-defense forces are red and blue.

Ukraine Update




Block the British Trident Nuclear Warheads



About 150 campaigners for British nuclear disarmament have formed human blockades at a plant in Berkshire that builds Trident warheads.

The peaceful protest at AWE Burghfield closed one of the roads to the site earlier and blocked two entrances.

Blockader Andrew Dey said: "It's time for Britain to join other UN nations in negotiating an international nuclear ban treaty."

Tribe or Truth?


Which way should we go?

Go with the crowd
or
speak the truth?
There is a price
to pay
either way

Best go with
the congregation
My wife
or husband
would kill me
if I say
what I really think
in the wrong place
at the wrong time
I can't afford
to get labeled
a pain-in-the-ass
a loudmouth
a trouble maker
a commie
a divider
too negative
Can't we just
have fun?

What about the kids
the job
the mortgage
the family Sunday dinners
already so tense
as it is?

You expect me
to talk about that
at my bridge club?
Do you realize
I wouldn't have
one friend left
after that?!

Things are getting
worse for sure
What will it take
to move us
to speak
the truth
and take action
while still possible?

What is our limit?
Which comes first
the truth
or getting along?
Being liked...
being effective...
sleeping at night...

What about
the next seven
generations?

Will they really
care
what everyone
thought of us?