June 24, 2008

ACTIVISM: Anti Star wars defense update


Folks met in Brunswick, Maine on the town green for an hour of sign
holding, writing letters to Condi Rice (who goes to the Czech
Republic on July 10 to sign the Star Wars radar agreement), and we
closed with a circle and everyone shared why they had come. Most
of those in the photo fasted on June 22.

In dozens of cities all over the world the June 22 global day of
fasting brought people out onto the streets in creative displays
of solidarity with the 70% of the people in the Czech Republic who
are working hard to reject U.S. plans to deploy a Star Wars radar
facility in their country.

Thousands of signatures were gathered for the petition at
http://www.nonviolence.cz/ In many places statements were written
on paper plates to Secretary of State Rice and will be sent to her
before her visit to Prague in early July.

You can find many more photos, and reports, at this web site.

At the end of the day I received an email from Col. Robert Suminsby,
Jr. in which he said, "The point I made, and will continue to make,
is that the country is on an unsustainable course. The growth of
entitlement spending, left unchecked, will eventually crowd out all
other parts of the federal budget."

Col. Suminsby worries that people like me are taking a fixed position
of hands off entitlement spending ........"You see, I'm prepared
to make sacrifices to fix national problems. I think others should
expect to make sacrifices as well," he said.

I want to assure the Colonel that I too am ready to see "sacrifices"
made for the good of the nation. I'd like to see the $14 billion
of month we are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan brought home to
build rail systems, solar, and windmills. I'd like to not see us
attack Iran. I'd like to see an end to tax cuts for the rich and
the corporations. I want an end to the NSA's "warrantless wiretapping"
of American citizens and people all over the world.

I'd like to see at least a 50% cut in military spending for starters.
(Just yesterday an article was sent around about the increases in
funding for the Pentagon's high-tech black "secret" budget. I'd
like to see the black budget shut down.) I'd like to see the 750
plus U.S. military bases around the world shut down.

Living at a time where we face increasing corporate media consolidation
many of us have to rely on email, websites, and blogs to get our
messages out to the general public. Newspapers are now in dire
financial straits, in part, because people rely on the Internet as
their primary source of information.

Col. Suminsby concluded his email to me by saying, "Therebs precious
little difference between you and any number of right-wing blowhards
on talk radiob&on either end of the ideological spectrum, if you
insist on creating your own version of someonebs position and then
attacking it, youbll succeed only in making yourself feel good, and
convincing those who already agreed with you."

I would thank Col. Suminsby for sending me the email. He should
know that increasing majorities of the people in the U.S. and around
the world are now quite uncomfortable with the escalating U.S.
military empire. There is a growing backlash against U.S. militarism
both here at home and abroad.

I noticed that the Colonel is soon to be transferred to Germany. I
lived there in the mid-1960's when my Air Force father was stationed
in Wiesbaden. One day our middle school class was taken to the Rhine
River to view the ruins of a castle. The tourist guide informed us
that the stone slab we were standing on had once been the barracks
of Roman soldiers. I remember wondering to myself, "What were those
soldiers doing so far from home?" Even at that young age I intuitively
understood that empires are a contradiction and in time can not
stand. They are destined to fall.

In our case the U.S. empire is now collapsing. One clear sign is
that in the U.S. there is growing competition for the federal tax
dollar. Will we fund the Pentagon or social progress? We can't serve
two masters.

It appears that the debate will go on.

Bruce K. Gagnon Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear
Power in Space PO Box 652 Brunswick, ME 04011 (207) 443-9502
http://www.space4peace.org global...@mindspring.com
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Blog)

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