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, April 11, 2015

Defending the Sacred in Hawai'i

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawai‘i News Now – Hundreds rally against Thirty Meter Telescope at UH Manoa campus

More Neo-Nazi Attacks on the Public in Eastern Ukraine



"Krivbas" battalion attacked the dwellers of Krivoy Rog

Viktoriya Shylova, the leader of "Antivoyna" (Anti-War) movement appealed to her countrymen on her page in Facebook:

Dear fellow citizens!

Today it is dangerous to honestly fulfill the duties of a member of the Regional Council in the Dnepropetrovsk Region. It is much more dangerous than in Kiev. In the capital of Ukraine the rally of protest against the rising of utility prices went peacefully, and in Krivoy Rog it was scattered by the mercenaries from "Krivbas" battalion and the radical scum from the Right Sector. Let me remind you that public organizations of Krivoy Rog appointed a rally against the rising of utility prices and closure of six schools for today. According to the latest reports the authorities are planning to close six schools. The sum of utility services a person will have to pay for a two-room apartment will amount to 1500 UAH beginning with April the 1st.

Today "the ATO heroes" from "Krivbas" and the PS [Pravy Sektor - Right Sector is a far-right Ukrainian nationalist political party] broke up the meeting of about 250 dwellers of Krivoy Rog. In fact it was an armed assault of thugs armed with sticks, bates and fire-arms upon the people. Women and the elderly had been disperced by brute force, regardless of their age and gender. Militants from "Krivbas" attacked two of my assistants and the activists of "Antivoyna" movement. They surrounded our car, demanded that the passengers left it, broke the car windows with bricks. After the driver refused to open the doors, they pointed a "Kalashnikov" at him and threatened to use the machine-gun. It is a miracle that the activists managed to escape and avoid being slaughtered by the armed thugs. My car was pursued by a white Passat. A journalist of the movement was also attacked, beaten and a cassette with photos of the rally was taken away from him. Several dwellers of the city had been beaten, when they tried to defend the peaceful protesters. The group of attackers numbered about 100 persons, and the police stood aside and did not react to the outrageous actions of "Krivbass" and PS.

It is clear now what the authorities need the volunteer battalions for. They need them for suppressions of social movements against the rise of prices, the war, closure of schools and kindergartens. As a member of the Dnepropetrovsk City Council I am preparing the appeal to the Prosecutor's Office and the Security Service of Ukraine in regard to the hindrances to my activities as a member of the Council, as a protector of human rights of the dwellers of the Dnepropetrovsk Region.

I would like to tell the masked radicals that they will be punished, as they are criminals and have violated the rights of the Ukrainian people. Their outrage will come to an end soon, and their names are known to everyone here. Their masters will flee the country, and they will have to answer for their crimes.

I appeal to the inhabitants of Krivoy Rog with a request to send in video and photo evidence, as our evidence was destroyed by the militants. What kind of peace and concord is Poroshenko talking about, if violence is used against his own citizens?

P.S. The scum and criminals expect to have intimidated everyone, who is against the present-day authorities and in favour of the people. Ukraine has turned into Somalia or a concentration camp. I will inform you about the developments.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Banning the 'Left' in Ukraine


The US-NATO puppet regime in Kiev fears growing opposition to their war policies even in the western part of Ukraine.  Thus they are taking authoritarian steps to outlaw 'leftist' political expression and organizing.  Here is a report on this undemocratic trend translated from Russian by Alexey Tatu.


Social protests may spiral into "left terror" in Ukraine after the ultra-right Kiev bans communist and left ideology

 The prohibition of all propaganda related to Communist ideology in Ukraine is tied directly to the fear of the Kiev authorities of a threat of social protests, this was stated in Kiev on April 10, by political expert Aleksey Bluminov.

According to the expert, the government in Kiev has shown poor economic results, which naturally leads to an increase in social protests in the country.


"The ban of the Communist, and in fact, any left-wing ideology, and the establishment of criminal penalties for the promotion of corresponding ideas is not an accident or a deviation. It is a natural result of the policy carried out in Ukraine for the past year by the winning ultra-right forces.
 

"The current phase of repression and persecution against the left is directly linked to catastrophic failures in government policy by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, imposing on the country the measures dictated by IMF under the guise of austerity," stated the political analyst. Against a giant (in some areas reaching up to 93% from last year's level) decline in industrial production, amid mass layoffs and reductions (according to official data, the number of registered unemployed in Ukraine in the past year has increased by 1.8 million people), the government is implementing large-scale cuts in social spending of the budget and these are cuts in salaries and pensions, eliminating benefits, and raising the price of literally everything.

"Add to this list the war, the cost of which is close to $100 billion. In such circumstances, the authorities are rightly afraid that the inevitable 'leftization' of the society against the background of anti-war protests will lead to a sharp surge in popularity of even the 'toothless' Communist party of Ukraine led by Petro Symonenko, who, synchronously with the prohibition of communism, was interrogated by the security service of Ukraine for eleven hours straight on trumped up charges of supporting terrorism," said Aleksey Bluminov.

According to Aleksey Bluminov, there is a growing demand for left-wing political projects, and after declaring them outlawed, there is a possibly of the emergence of "left-wing" terrorist groups.


There are already many existing and likely to form on a wave of discontent, radical non-systemic left-wing groups, including ones capable of real terrorism. And this terrorism, as in Russia at the beginning of the last century, will enjoy the sympathies of a large part of society. This is actually why the current Kiev regime carried out a preventive cleansing of the political field, and ahead of time criminalizing and victimizing any alternative policy from the left.

Because if the authorities have a "cure" against the protests with the "separatist" slogans in the form of pumping the society with a great degree of chauvinism and societal cohesion in the face of "external threats," the regime has no "cures" at all against mass protests under social slogans, with clear political leadership and political programs that can attract the wider society under socialist banners" - concluded the expert.


Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine adopted a law banning the propaganda of the Communist ideology. The ban covers not only the national anthem and national symbols of the USSR, but also quotes of the leaders of the Communist party, the names of cities, villages, and streets. For example, according to this law the city of Dnepropetrovsk will have to be renamed into Kirovograd. In addition, the images of a hammer and sickle, and the national anthem of the USSR were outlawed.

U.S. Cover Blown on 'Missile Defense'



The Russian Foreign Ministry says it's now certain that U.S. plans for a missile defense shield in Europe, are directed against Moscow.

Yemen Protest Against Saudi Attacks



Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Sanaa, Yemen, to protest Saudi-led airstrikes. Yemen has descended into open conflict between several key groups in recent months, pushing the nation to the brink of full-scale warfare. The US backed and Saudi-led intervention, protesters say, will make the country even more unstable and could lead to a wider conflict.

Already protected by the colossal presence in the Persian Gulf of US air and naval installations, the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia owns the world’s largest arsenal (on a per capita basis) of advanced American, British and German arms. It is the largest purchaser of British weapons, and a major customer for leading US military companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics. NATO powers have for many years embraced a guns-for-oil pact with the Kingdom and fellow royal families of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

See article on this subject in The Nation entitled: A Call to Resist Saudi (and US) Aggression in Yemen ....This invasion pits billionaire royal elites of the Gulf—and their US and Arab League supporters—against the downtrodden people of Yemen.

U.S. Pushing More 'Missile Defense' in Korea


THAAD controversy an outcome of much longer, ongoing debate

 By Park Byong-su, senior staff writer 

The hankyoreh

The recent debate over deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula is an extension of a years-old ongoing debate over US missile defense systems. THAAD‘s emergence as a major diplomatic issue could stem from a lack of strategic judgment and Cold War-era antagonistic policies from Seoul.

The issue of South Korea’s participation in US-led missile defense has surfaced repeatedly over the past decade. Each time, Seoul has maintained that it would not take part. But in practice, it has found itself drawn step by step into Washington‘s missile defense vision.

The US first requested South Korean participation when it began pushing missile defense in earnest with the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001. The Kim Dae-jung administration (1998-2003) rejected the idea, citing concerns that it might trigger a backlash from China and Russia and provoke North Korea. It also suffered the humiliation of reaching an agreement at a Feb. 2001 summit with Russia to maintain and strengthen the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) restricting the building of missile defense systems, only to encounter fierce protests from the US. Underlying its approach was a goal of managing the North Korea threat and provocations by promoting inter-Korean reconciliation and relaxing tensions through dialogue and diplomacy, rather than relying on military means alone.

It’s an approach that was broadly carried on under the Roh Moo-hyun administration (2003-08). But Roh also introduced the Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile for air defense and the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) for the Aegis vessel - leading some to question whether the door had been opened for South Korean missile defense participation. Both missiles were early models of the Patriot-3 and SM-3, which are components of missile defense.

The situation changed dramatically with the arrival of the Lee Myung-bak administration in 2008. Restoring relations with the US became a priority, and the issue of missile defense participation came up as a matter of course. Indeed, Kim Tae-hyo, Secretary to the President for Foreign Affairs at the time, declared after the election that participation would be “given favorable consideration.” The ensuing backlash led the administration to reaffirm its non-participation. In its place, plans were announced for a Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system. It was South Korea’s military response to the repeated provocations spawned by the hard-line North Korea policies, including the sinking of the ROKS Cheonan warship, the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, and North Korea’s second nuclear test. An independent missile defense system was offered as an alternative - and a way of quieting the debate over missile defense participation.

The missile defense issue took on even greater importance when the Park Geun-hye administration took office in 2013. North Korea‘s nuclear and missile programs were key reasons for the Oct. 2014 decision to once again postpone the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON) to South Korea, with an agreement between Seoul and Washington that the transfer could happen after the KAMD had been set up.

But the idea of an “independent” KAMD fell by the wayside with South Korea’s acceptance of US demands that it be “interoperable” with US missile defense. Since the two systems would basically have to be integrated through the sharing of radar information, the KAMD would be effectively a component of the US missile defense network. Seoul’s decision in late 2014 to force through the signing of a trilateral intelligence sharing agreement with Washington and Tokyo paved the way for a trilateral missile defense system based on interoperability.

“What we’re seeing with the recent THAAD debate is a clash of strategic interests between the US, which has stubbornly insisted on building a missile defense system; South Korea, which has ultimately agreed to it; and China, which wants to nip it in the bud,” explained a former senior foreign affairs and national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Barring some change in position toward improving inter-Korean relations or otherwise changing the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, there’s a lot of potential for us to get caught in the middle between the US and China going ahead,” the former official added.

We Created a Racist Culture



A call for white folks to take responsibility for their racism.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

McGovern on 'Missile Defense' Aimed at Russia



Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern talks about 'missile defense' and Star Wars at the World Russia Forum, held in the Hart Senate office building, Washington DC.

Courage Needed by Corporate Media on Ukraine Story



Katrina vanden Heuvel (editor of The Nation) gives a interesting speech at the World Russia Forum, held in the Hart Senate office building, Washington DC.

Our Hope for Survival



My heart
yearns and churns
for peace
amongst
the divided
children
of our Mother Earth

I don't want
to give in
to the calls
for demonization
and fear

I was made to love
all my relations
human, mineral,
plants, animals
I remember
praying for them
in the sweat lodge
it's the way of life
our hope
for survival

US-NATO Plan to 'Balkanize' Russia


Here is part of an interesting interview found on Fort Russ with Leonid Petrovich Reshetnikov who is a member of the Scientific Council of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.  This longtime foreign intelligence chief discusses the current conflict between Russia and the US.  His responses to the questions should be quite instructive to the reader.

- In your opinion, how will the events develop in Novorossia [eastern Ukraine Donbass region] in the spring and summer? Will there be a new military campaign?

- Alas, the probability is very high. A year ago the idea of federalization of Ukraine was still alive. But now Kiev only wants war. Only a unitary state. For several reasons. Mainly because ideologically anti-Russian people are at the helm of the country, who are not just subordinate to Washington, but are literally funded by those forces, which hide behind the US government.

- And what does this proverbial "world government" [USA] want?

- Easier to say what they don't need: don't need a federated Ukraine, it would be a poorly controlled territory. It would be impossible to open military bases, install new ['missile defense'] air defense systems. And such plans exist. From Lugansk or Kharkov the tactical cruise missiles reach beyond the Urals, where our main forces of nuclear deterrence are located. And with 100% probability they could strike silo-based and mobile-based ballistic missiles on the take-off trajectory. This area is now unreachable to them neither from Poland, nor from Turkey, nor from South-East Asia. This is the main goal. Therefore the USA will fight for Donbass to the last Ukrainian.

- So this is not about the shale gas deposits, which were found on this territory?

- The main strategic task - unitary Ukraine under their complete control for a fight against Russia. And shale gas or arable land - it's just a nice bonus. A side benefit. Plus a serious blow to our defense from the disruption of the ties between the defense industries of Ukraine and Russia. This is already done.

- In the information flow associated with Ukraine, we forget about the explosive growth of religious extremism in Central Asia...

- This is an extremely dangerous trend for our country. There is a very difficult situation in Tajikistan. The situation is unstable in Kyrgyzstan. But the direction of the first blow could be Turkmenistan.... We kind of forget about it a bit, due to the fact that Ashgabat keeps to itself. But this "homestead" may collapse first. Do they have enough forces to defend themselves? Or will we have to intervene in a country, which keeps a fairly remote distance from us. So this section is tough. And not only in connection with the penetration into the region of militants from "Islamic State". According to recent data, the U.S. and NATO are not going to leave Afghanistan, and will retain their bases there. From a military perspective, five or ten thousand soldiers who remain, can be deployed into a group 50-100 thousand-strong in a month.

This is a part of the overall plan of the encirlclement and pressure on Russia, undertaken by the USA in order to overthrow President Vladimir Putin and split the country. An ordinary layman may certainly not believe that, but people who posses large amounts of information, are well aware of it.

- What are the contours of the split?

- Initially they want to chip at the weakest points. Doesn't matter what breaks away first: Kaliningrad, the North Caucasus or the Far East. This will be the detonator of the process which may escalate. This idea is not propaganda, it's real. Such pressure from the West (Ukraine) and South (Central Asia) will only increase. They are trying to seep through the Western gates, but also testing the strength of the Southern.

- What is our most strategically dangerous section?

- The South is very dangerous. But there are still buffer states - the former Central Asian Soviet republics. While in the West the war is already on the border. Practically on our territory.

The battle is now not between Ukrainians and Russians, but a war of world systems.

- So a joint Russian-American fight against terrorism, in particular, with ISIS - is just a fiction?

- Of course. America creates terrorists, feeds them, trains them, and then gives the command to the whole gang: "Go". They may shoot one "rabid dog" from this pack, but the rest will be incited even harder.

- Leonid Petrovich, you think that the U.S. and American presidents are just tools. Who, then, creates the policies?

- There is a community of some virtually unknown to the society people who not only install American presidents, but determine the rules of the "Big game" for everyone. These are, in particular, transnational financial corporations. But not only them.

A reformatting of the world financial and economic system is taking place. There is an obvious attempt to rethink the entire structure of capitalism, without abandoning it. Foreign policy changes dramatically. The US suddenly dumped Israel - their main ally in the Middle East for the sake of improving relations with Iran. Why is Tehran now more needed and more important than Tel Aviv? Because it is in the zone of the encirclement of Russia. These shadow forces set the task of elilmination of our country as a serious player on the world stage. After all, Russia carries a civilizational alternative to the entire united West.

Moreover, the world is experiencing an explosive growth of anti-American sentiment. Hungary, where the conservative right-wing forces are in power, and the leftists in Greece - diametrically opposite forces - practically came together and revolted against the dictate of the United States on the Old continent. The revolt is boiling in Italy, Austria, France and so on. If Russia can hold on, then processes will surface in Europe, which are detrimental to the forces, aspiring for world domination. And they know it.

- Some European leaders are already crying that the US literally forced them to institute sanctions. Can Europe escape from the "friendly" American embrace?

- Never. America holds it tight on several chains: the Fed's printing press, a threat of color revolutions and a physical elimination of unwanted politicians.

- Are you exaggerating about the physical elimination?

- Not at all. The US Central Intelligence Agency - is not even an intelligence service in terms of the level of its tasks. The KGB or SVR - are classic intelligence agencies: collecting information and reporting to the leadership of the country. At the CIA these traditional intelligence activities are at the end of the task list. The main ones - are elimination, including physical, of political figures and the organization of coups. And they do it in real time.

After the sinking of the "Kursk" submarine the [former] CIA Director George Tenet paid us a visit from Romania. I was tasked with meeting him at the airport. Tenet did not come out of the plane for a long time, but the ramp was open, and I was able to peak inside of his "Hercules". It was a flying command post, computer operation center, fully packed with equipment and communication systems, which can track and model the situation around the world. Accompanying delegation - twenty people. We have been flying on regular flights in groups of 2-5 people. As they say, feel the difference.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Remembering the Important Hainan Island Story


A top US military commander says he is concerned about China’s ballistic missile submarines capable of attacking the United States with nuclear weapons.

Commander of the US Northern Command Admiral William Gortney said on Tuesday that any time a country has nuclear weapons and delivery systems that can reach the US homeland, “it’s a concern of mine,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The US said that the Chinese submarines are deployed in the South China Sea at a base on Hainan Island.

Actually China has very few nuclear weapons which they use as a deterrent force.  In the past China had these nuclear weapons buried underground.  But after the US pulled out of the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty with Russia in 2001, and rapidly began developing and testing "missile defense" (MD) systems, China was forced to start moving their nukes onto submarines to make their deterrent capability survivable.

The connection here is that MD is the shield that would be used after a Pentagon first-strike attack is launched to take out Chinese (or Russian) nuclear forces.  After the first-strike sword attempts to take out Chinese underground nukes the MD systems mission would be to pick off any retaliatory strike thus giving the US a "successful" first-strike.

Once China began moving their nukes onto submarines the US started claiming that China was expanding its military so it could attack the American continent.  I've often heard our politicians in Maine saying, "Oh my god, China is expanding their Navy so we need more Aegis destroyers to counter that move."  These destroyers in Maine are outfitted with MD systems so you can see how US escalation causes a response by China that is then used by US politicians to justify further counter-escalation.  All of that helps build fear and confusion back here at home and leads to endless increases in the already bloated Pentagon budget.  Social programs then have to be cut to pay for the additional military spending.

Note above that the US Navy says that China is porting their subs on Hainan Island.  It is important to remember that China's naval reconnaissance system on Hainan Island was built by the American weapons corporation Lockheed-Martin following a US spy plane incident in 2001.

In 2001 George W. Bush sent a slow lumbering propeller driven Navy EP-3 signals intelligence aircraft bumping up along China's coast. The Chinese scrambled interceptor jets and the planes collided killing one Chinese pilot.  The EP-3 was forced down onto Hainan Island and after 10 days the American crew was sent home. China took the spy plane apart, kept the high-tech equipment, and sent the rest of the plane back to the US in crates. The incident took place ten weeks after the inauguration of Bush as president and was his first foreign policy crisis. It was a signal to China that the US was going to increase its military aggressiveness toward the Beijing government. China then hired Lockheed-Martin to build their naval recon system so Beijing could better see what was happening with US military moves along their coastline.  (The Navy EP-3 spy plane was also built by Lockheed-Martin so the weapons company was making money off both sides of the street.)

Just because China has nuclear capability does not mean they will use it.  China has not shown an aggressive history of attacking other nations.  In fact it is the US since WW II that has increased its military operations around the world frequently attacking sovereign nations like Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Bosnia, Serbia, Somalia, Grenada, Haiti, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and eastern Ukraine.

It should also be remembered that the US is the only country that has ever used nuclear weapons against another nation when it dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan near the end of WW II.

It is the US that is currently "pivoting" 60% of its military forces into the Asia-Pacific in order to control and dominate China.  As a result of the pivot (or 'rebalancing' as they call it these days in Washington) more ports-of-call, barracks for troops, and airfields are needed for US forces.  Thus we see the Pentagon expanding bases of operation in Hawaii, Okinawa, Australia, Guam, Philippines, and South Korea.  On Jeju Island in South Korea a naval base is being built to port US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and Aegis destroyers.  In many of these places active resistance to US military operations is growing.

Since Beijing imports a high percentage of their oil on ships via the South China Sea and the Yellow Sea the Pentagon intends to create the military capability to blockade that vital shipping route thus holding a gun to China's head.

The comments by Admiral William Gortney reveal the deception, the slight of hand, that the US uses to disguise its own aggressive intentions.  People increasingly understand this and are rejecting the notion that the US, on behalf of corporate capital, should rule the world.

Parry: Group Think on Ukraine in Washington



Robert Parry, Iran-Contra affair journalist & Consortium News, talks at the World Russia Forum in DC.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

See the Bigger Picture in Ukraine


Land grab in Ukraine is Monsanto’s backdoor to the EU

By ORIENTAL REVIEW

The quest for Ukraine’s legendary black earth is almost complete. To the dismay of French, Polish, German farmers, the multinational agricultural corporation Monsanto, as well as DuPont Pioneer and John Deere, have all lobbied for access to the largest agricultural market in Eastern Europe. This will soon reshape the market for agricultural products in the EU and spell ruin for Europe’s farmers.

In Nov. 2013, the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation drafted a legal amendment that will benefit global ag producers by allowing the widespread use of genetically modified seeds. Taking a backseat to the dramatic political developments there, this turn of events went almost unnoticed, although Monsanto has been lobbying within Ukraine’s agricultural market for quite a while. Back in 2007 the US embassy in Kiev demanded that the Ukrainian government take action against sellers of “fake” seeds (i.e., producers competing with TNCs).

When GMO crops were legally introduced onto the Ukrainian market in 2013, they were planted in up to 70% of all soybean fields, 10-20% of cornfields, and over 10% of all sunflower fields, according to various estimates. That equals about one million hectares of land growing GMO crops (or 3% of the country’s total farmland). Leaving aside for the moment the controversy about the hazards of GMOs in general, let us merely consider how the seizure of the Ukrainian market by American multinational agribusinesses will affect the EU’s economy.

Since the mid-90s the Ukrainian-Americans at the helm of the US-Ukraine Business Council have been instrumental in encouraging the foreign control of the Ukrainian ag industry. Within two to three years, as the relevant provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU go into effect, Monsanto’s lobbying efforts will transform the Ukrainian market into an oligopoly consisting of American corporations.

Although the media in Kiev is awash in patriotic rhetoric, it is unlikely that any heroic figures will emerge who will stand up for the right of new generations of Ukrainians to live and work on wholesome land. The intellectual standards of the work being done by the Ukrainian Grain Association, for example, the largest umbrella organization of Ukrainian farmers, are on eloquent display in its latest press release, which needs no further comment.

Within a few years ag producers will expand their use of biotechnology licensed from the US, which Article 404 of the Association Agreement with the EU somewhat ambiguously refers to as “best practices … for agricultural policies.” Making Ukrainian ag producers addicted to seeds that are only available from America is part of a relentless PR campaign promoting GMO technology throughout Europe that brandishes keywords like “innovation,” “biotechnology,” and “the common EU market.”

Within the next few years, as addendums to Ukraine’s Association Agreement with the EU go into effect, Monsanto is counting on a significant increase in the acreage of ​​GMO cropland in Ukraine. 
Afterward they will begin to act out their role as a colonial power, raking in profits from emerging markets, although India already knows that story does not have a happy ending. The company was booted out a few years ago, after a ghastly outbreak of mass suicides among the local farmers, according to the Times of India.

Because of budget deficits and their dependence on the IMF, Ukrainian banks are now firmly tethered to external financing. IMF loans and assistance from the World Bank and other supranational organizations are secured by Ukraine’s rich black earth, in a practical as well as a legal sense. Local banks will only offer favorable credit terms to those farmers who agree to use certified herbicides. Naturally those are manufactured by Monsanto. The corporation will receive a steady income from that precious black earth, “wringing” the fertile soil dry.

Further proof that American investors have a sincere appreciation for the value of Ukraine’s black earth can be seen in the recent acquisition of a 50% stake by the investment fund Siguler Guff & Co in the Ukrainian Port of Illichivsk, which specializes in agricultural exports.

Ukraine controls a third of all arable land in Europe. The hasty introduction of biotechnology into developing countries leads to deplorable results that are evident in Latin America and Africa. But Europe’s farmers will go bust much earlier. Their goods, which are produced by workers in the EU where the price of labor is quite exorbitant, cannot compete with the influx of GMO products from Ukraine.

Polish farmers know very well where all this is heading. They cannot win a court fight against the lawyers employed by these multinational giants, and so in 2013 they shifted their tactics in favor of mass protests.  

By contrast, ag producers in France, Germany, and other EU countries still seem indifferent. The bottom line is that European farmers, who are somewhat removed from politics, have not yet grasped that Washington’s much-hyped propaganda about “working toward democracy in Ukraine” has but one objective – to toss another lasso around Europe’s economy and her agricultural producers, bringing them to their knees.

Investigate the Pentagon Budget



Politicans across the nation are yelling and screaming about welfare fraud as a way to create the momentum to destroy social progress.

Rarely do we hear the political class talk about the trillions of dollars unaccounted for by the Pentagon and the weapons corporations.  Nor do we hear either party complain about corporate welfare. 

Isn't it time to get off the backs of the poor and working class and go after the real fat cats?

Israel Kidnaps Palestinian Parliamentarian



Palestinian rights groups have condemned the arrest of a prominent left-wing lawmaker in the West Bank.

Khalida Jarrar was seized by Israeli forces, in a night raid on her home.

1,300 Mainers Tell @SenAngusKing Don't Bomb Iran, Let Diplomacy Work!


By Lisa Savage

Mainers concerned about Sen. Angus King's belligerent stance toward Iran visited his Augusta office yesterday to deliver a petition with 1,300 signatures of constituents calling for diplomacy, not war. In this photo Doug Rawlings, co-founder of Veterans for Peace, hands the petition to King's staff while Codepink associates Ridgley Fuller and Mark Roman join others in holding DON'T BOMB IRAN signs produced by social action organization CREDO, the petition's sponsor.

This is one of many actions concerned citizens are taking to let King know that we expect him to represent the people of Maine, not the campaign donors of AIPAC. Israel does not and should not dictate U.S. foreign policy, but King has been eager to jump on their bandwagon.

A call to action circulated by Just Foreign Policy has also been making the rounds in our state. It draws attention to the fact that King, an independent, has co-sponsored legislation designed to sink any negotiated agreement with Iran to monitor nuclear production. 

     Dear Maine Citizen,

    Exciting news from Switzerland: the US, our international partners, and Iran have agreed on a framework for the Iran nuclear deal! [1] 

    This latest development proves that diplomacy is working. But even with this landmark success, Republicans in Congress will continue to try to derail a final deal. 

    Sen. Angus King is currently helping Republicans kill an Iran deal. Sen. Angus King is currently a co-sponsor of a piece of legislation Republicans are trying to push through the Senate: the Corker-Menendez bill (S. 615) that would impose procedural hurdles in the way of a deal. This bill will likely be considered shortly after Congress returns to DC on April 14. [2] [3] [4]

    Call Sen. Angus King NOW at (202) 224-5344 and say

    The US, our international partners, and Iran have reached an agreement on a framework for an Iran nuclear deal. Diplomacy is working. I urge Sen. Angus King to STOP SUPPORTING the Corker-Menendez bill (S. 615), to OPPOSE the Kirk-Menendez sanctions bill (S. 269), and to OPPOSE consideration of any other legislation that would compromise the talks until after the June 30 deadline.

    When you're done, report your call here:
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/iran-deal-call 


    Thanks for all you do to promote diplomacy,
    Megan Iorio and Robert Naiman
    Just Foreign Policy

    References:
    1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/negotiators-hold-marathon-all-night-session-in-last-ditch-effort-for-agreement/2015/04/02/68334c88-d8b2-11e4-bf0b-f648b95a6488_story.html
    2. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/senate-grants-obama-weeks-long-reprieve-on-iran-bill-116250.html
    3. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/269
    4. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/615


Those in Maine who prefer to make a local call can contact the Augusta office at 207-622-8292. Or use this link to send King an email. Let's work together to remind Congress that we want them to support the Iran deal, and that we don't support the war that hawks are promoting.

Use these CODEPINK links to send a letter to your reps and senators saying Congress: Let diplomacy work! or to sign an open letter to Sen. Tom Cotton.

We Used to Call It Piracy



Secretary of War Ashton Carter reveals that it is wrong to think there is a separation between capitalist economics and war policy.  In fact they are connected at the core.  The cruel and anti-democratic TPP trade deal is indeed a weapon of mass destruction that would be used to destroy the last remnants of national sovereignty of any country that signed onto the deal.

It just goes to show that the 1% understands that US military policy isn't about spreading democracy, justice, human rights or environmental sustainability.  US foreign policy is only about freedom.....the freedom of the banking class to raid any nation for all their wealth and natural resources.  In the old days this was called piracy.

News Roundup

Activists put a bust of Edward Snowden on top a revolutionary war memorial in Brooklyn, New York (click on photo for a better view.)

Hours after police removed the Snowden bust artists replaced it with a hologram.
They say the action was a message of defiance aimed at the authorities who "censored" the piece.

  • I did an hour long radio interview this morning on a show hosted by long-time Vermont peace activist Joseph Gainza.  We talked about Ukraine and the US goal for regime change in Russia.  During the interview we also talked about the Obama 'pivot' of 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific.  Joseph alerted radio listeners to an important story reported this morning on Democracy NowThat story begins with:  We turn now to the major increase in U.S. arms exports under President Obama. As Saudi Arabia continues U.S.-backed strikes in Yemen and Washington lifts its freeze on military aid to Egypt, new figures show the majority of U.S. weapons exports under Obama have gone to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia tops the list at $46 billion in new agreements. William Hartung writes that even after adjusting for inflation, "the volume of major deals concluded by the Obama administration in its first five years exceeds the amount approved by the Bush administration in its full eight years in office by nearly $30 billion." That also means the Obama administration has approved more arms sales than any other U.S. administration since World War II. You can listen to this entire segment here
  • Politico reports:  Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer (New York), one of Capitol Hill’s most influential voices in the Iran nuclear debate, is strongly endorsing passage of a law opposed by  Obama that would give Congress an avenue to reject the White House-brokered framework with Iran unveiled last week.  Sen. Schumer is an agent of the Israeli political action committee AIPAC and is expected to be chosen as the new leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate next year when the current leader Sen. Harry Reid retires.  This story is a clear indication of the control that Israel now has over the US government.  Not good news for anyone.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel is losing control of the EU's members on the issue of Russian sanctions that have hurt the European economy.  Finland, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Cyprus and Austria are expressing discontent about the anti-Russian sanctions under which they suffer more than other EU countries.
  • The US and EU are not happy that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. Greece could ask Moscow to bankroll a bailout or Russian gas company Gazprom could agree to a gas discount for the beleaguered Greek economy.  Either way the unipolar US capitalist financial empire is showing serious cracks in the wall as Russia and China begin to create alternative banking and international lending mechanisms for nations that are tired of being hollowed out by IMF demanded austerity measures and privatization sell-offs of national assets.
  • My radio interview on a program called Earthwise in New Zealand is now available online.  We discussed concerns that the US via NATO is preparing for war with nuclear-armed Russia, hoping to impose a 'regime change' that would benefit GMO corporates, like Monsanto, and oil corporations.  Find it here

German MP Blows Whistle on US-NATO



German member of parliament Sahra Wagenknecht (Left Party) tells the truth about what is actually happening in Ukraine.  She blows the whistle on US-NATO aggression towards Russia.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Czechoslovak Soldiers Reject Participation in NATO War on Russia


MEMORANDUM

Czechoslovak reserve forces against the war planned by NATO commanders

On January 19th 2015 the facebook group, which combines all members of the CSLA, PS, VMV, SNB in reserve or decommissioned, issued an important memorandum, which has become even more urgent in light of the situation today. A defensive back up location in the event that the group gets "disappeared" from Facebook, the group of the same name exists on VK.com as well.

For the first time since the end of the 2nd World War we see a genuine threat of war yet again. Consequently, we consider it necessary to issue the following statement.

We, the Czechoslovak soldiers in reserve, unanimously reject any participation in battles that are geopolitical acts of aggression of the global elite by way of NATO and the support of our governments.

We swore to defend our homeland the Czech and Slovak Republics. We swore to protect the freedom and independence of our proud and sovereign nations, for which our ancestors laid down their lives in the world wars. We are guided by this oath in a civilian initiative to deal with a crisis situation. Freedom and independence is being jeopardized long time by a system of representative pseudo-democracy, where an elected representative does not have the obligation to advance the interests of voters and in practice, laws represent but the personal interests of the legislators, the interests of political parties and economic interest groups. Our homeland is under the pressure of global elites and economic interest groups, who are doing away with the power of citizens through a system of representative democracy.

Our deliberately flawed constitution and charter of rights and freedoms is being perverted and constitutional laws are violated by legislators themselves. Legislative power is being privatized, executive power is being politicized and judicial power corrupted by lobbying laws and pressure from our governments. The results are an unplayable public deficit, deindustrialization, the privatization of the republic’s property and defrauded budgets, food and energy dependence, the privatization of natural resources, pensions and the health of citizens. Our country has been unlawfully divided, looted, indebted, people enslaved and their families liquidated by repossession genocide, national infrastructure transferred into the hands of western corporations. Destructive chaos and despair dominates in the community.

For this reason, we the Czechoslovak soldiers in reserve recognize our military oath and together we come with a vision for the defense of our nations. We unequivocally reject fighting in the ranks of NATO against the Russian federation or other Slavic nations and we likewise intend to stand up firmly through organized civilian pressure against the further liquidation of our democracy, freedom and independence. We are uniting in a crisis situation and by utilizing our civilian and military skills and expertise we intend to create sufficiently strong, organized civil pressure for the period of time necessary to assert our patriotic goals.

We swore allegiance to our homeland, the Czech and Slovak Republics.

We, the Czechoslovak reserve soldiers, will fulfill this oath!

Peace Train Rolls Again Thru Donbass



RT travels to eastern Ukraine to see how a restored rail line in the Donbas is reuniting families separated by months of heavy fighting.

For now there is come stability although the Kiev regime, under the military training of US Army troops now inside Ukraine, is still shelling some eastern towns.  How long this pause in the civil war will last is anyone's guess.  Some speculate that Kiev will resume their assaults on the east come late spring. 

The Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement is not being implemented by Kiev - they are supposed to start serious negotiations to give local autonomy to the Donbas but so far not much is happening and early concerns are that Kiev will create a sham process that is doomed to fail which would then be blamed on Moscow and the self-defense forces in the east.  Unless Kiev enters authentic negotiations with the people in the Donbas then the process will not bear any real fruit.

John Oliver with Snowden



John Oliver recently discovered, much to his dismay, that many Americans still don’t know who Edward Snowden is or what he did. And that’s a scary thought given that soon parts of the Patriot Act that allow the NSA and other agencies to look into our personal data are up for renewal. So the “Last Week Tonight” host did what any good political comedian would: He took a trip to Moscow to talk to the whistle-blower and have him explain in terms average U.S. citizens can wrap their heads around just how scary and all-encompassing government surveillance is.

The resulting interview is hilarious and informative, but also an important addition to the conversation Americans need to have about surveillance. One of the most interesting parts comes when Snowden explains just how involved companies like Google and Facebook are in helping the government watch over civilians.

But really, the entire somewhat suggestive video is worth watching.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Protest at U.S. Embassy in Kiev: "We Are Not Cattle"



Anti-US Protests Broke out in Kiev


By drcollins1980

On April 1 US Embassy was picketed by more than two thousand Ukrainian people under slogan “We are not cattle!”

The phrases “We are not cattle!” on the posters were written in four languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English and Polish. Also people unrolled the big slogan with the quote of one famous Ukrainian writer Panas Mirny “Do oxen roar when the rack is full?”

For 2 hours, from 12 a.m. till 2 p.m. people were mooing and bleating in protest against the transformation of the Ukrainians into beasts by means of prices and rates increase, lowering salaries and standards of living, and banning freedom of speech and opinion. Mooing is the only thing people can do not to be arrested by the current government. But even despite these safety measures many people received physical threats from guarding US embassy right-wing radicals and USC officers.

The representative of the Embassy came to the picketing people and asked what they wanted. The answer was mooing and eloquent posters.

At the end of the picket a few activists began to throw the thing that beasts have enough – excrements at the plate of the Embassy. Several USC officers came up to them threatening by arresting and transferring to the nearest police buses.

The Ukrainian mass media headed by the Ministry of Propaganda of Ukraine ignored such an action and the information about this protest was blocked. Even bloggers who tried to place this information were instantly blocked (for example, Maxim Ravreba and Anatoly Sharij – he’s ready to give an interview on such theme, Anatoly was shocked, 2 minutes after placing the material the YouTube account was blocked).

Complete blockade, both forced and information is obvious. It’s obvious that American embassy in Kiev is guarded much better than other governmental buildings, because the US Embassy is the main institute of power in Ukraine.

Where Do These Warships Go?

Guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham launched from Bath, Maine in 2009 is currently on its provocative mission into the Black Sea


The US Navy guided-missile destroyer Jason Dunham entered the Black Sea on Friday in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the US 6th Fleet has announced.

Some 750 US Army tanks and thousands of its troops were deployed to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia for Atlantic Resolve activities, in a move described as a means "to deter Russian aggression."




Don't you just love how the US-NATO cover their own provocative military operations on Russia's doorstep by accusing Moscow of aggression?  How many times does it need to be said that Washington would go ballistic if Russia or China were sending their warships into the Gulf of Mexico, or along our Atlantic or Pacific coasts?  Do you get a pit in your stomach when you recognize the utter hypocrisy of this game of chess the US is playing?

Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over the growing number of NATO military drills in eastern Europe. The build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe “is an unprecedentedly dangerous step” that violates Russia’s agreements with the NATO alliance, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

It should be remembered that following the collapse of the former Soviet Union US Secretary of State James Baker promised Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, that NATO would not expand "one inch" to the east toward Russia.  Today US-NATO have established military bases and operations right on Russia's border.  The Native Americans always warned that "the Great White Father in Washington speaks with a forked tongue".

The USS Jason Dunham is outfitted with the Aegis phased array radar "missile defense" interceptor system. The job of this ship is to knock out Russian nuclear missiles fired in response after the US launches a first-strike attack.  So you could easily say that this warship is a double-provocation.

But sadly the American people will know little to nothing about this event and if they do hear about it they wouldn't likely pause even for a second because this kind of thing happens everyday all over the world.  After all the US Navy is just showing the flag promoting freedom and democracy.  What's wrong with that - we are the good guys aren't we?


The Funnies: Marching to Madness


Sunday Song