One might call 2014 the ‘year of Russia’. In a recent Chicago speech by
George Friedman, founder and CEO of the private intelligence corporation
STRATFOR, he declared that the US wants “regime change” in Moscow. The
project is well underway as Russia becomes encircled by US-NATO bases along
its border and Pentagon deployments of land-based ‘missile defense’ (MD)
systems in Poland, Romania, and Turkey. US Sea-based MD systems are actively
cruising in the Mediterranean, Black, and Baltic seas and plans are underway
to post them in the Barents and Bering Seas.
Similarly, an expanding and US controlled NATO is moving to encircle China
with its new ‘alliance partners’ in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and
Japan. Land-based MD systems have been deployed in Japan, Okinawa, South
Korea, Taiwan, Guam and sea-based MD interceptor systems are being docked
throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Washington’s message to Russia and China? “We have put a loaded gun to your
head. Forget your efforts to create a multi-polar world through the new
BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) economic development
bank. The west is in charge of the global economic system and we are backing
up our control of the world economy with space-directed Full Spectrum
This is the moment that we are now in as we hold the Global Network’s (GN)
23rd annual conference.
Things really began to unravel when, in 2002, the US withdrew from the
Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia that restricted deployment
of MD systems. Since that time the Pentagon and the Missile Defense Agency
have expanded research, development, and testing of these systems and have
begun the provocative and dangerous deployments of MD near Russia and China.
Those two nations have repeatedly warned the US-NATO that MD deployments
would blow apart serious negotiations for nuclear weapons reductions. In
fact all sides are now moving toward new generations of nuclear weapons.
It is much to my surprise, and disappointment, that some parts of the global
peace movement has yet to understand or recognize the dangers of US-NATO
expansion and MD deployments. Maybe it fears the recycled red-baiting (what
I call being ‘Putinized’) that waits anyone who speaks out against the
western encirclement of Russia. Whatever the reason the peace movement is in
a weak position today, in part because of its reluctance in dealing with the
aggression of US-NATO on behalf of corporate globalization. As a result the
possibility of WW III is now greater than ever according to Stephen Cohen,
professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York
University and Princeton University.
During this past year I’ve been spending several hours each day learning
more about the civil war in Ukraine. After studying many accounts confirming
the US directed the coup d’état in Kiev, I am convinced this was intended to
create chaos and civil war along the Russian border in order to further
plans for destabilization of the Moscow government. Professor Cohen is now
warning us to follow the unfolding situation of Transnistria (also called
Trans-Dniestr or Transdniestria), a breakaway state located mostly on a
strip of land between the River Dniester and the eastern Moldovan border
with Ukraine. It appears that US-NATO could next create a crisis there in
its deadly project to draw Russia directly into war.
Added to this story is the melting ice in the Arctic Sea and the opportunity
for oil corporations to drill where there was once only ice. The US military
is increasingly active there and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) has become very
involved in promoting the development opportunities from the Arctic zone.
Russia has the largest land border with the Arctic which is likely why the
RAND Corporation has developed a plan to Balkanize the Russian nation thus
making it easier for corporate control of the entire Arctic region.
Our Global Network financial situation is more stable today than ever. I can
only explain it by the increasingly unstable global situation and our base
of supporters feeling like they are getting clear information and determined
action from our network. Unexpected generous donations from the craigslist
Charitable Fund the last two years has given us an additional boost. A
recent funding appeal to our members for travel assistance for our Kyoto
meeting was very successful. Our members appear to like our efforts to
connect-the-dots and do solidarity work in places like Jeju Island, Okinawa,
Sicily, and in Kyoto Prefecture.
The documentary The Ghosts of Jeju (now translated into six languages) has
dramatically helped take our space warfare concerns to many new places.
Filmmaker Regis Tremblay is working on another film about US militarization
across the Asia-Pacific and the GN is doing what we can to support that
In June I traveled to Washington DC to join a Veterans For Peace (VFP)
delegation that met with the Governor and various mayors from Okinawa. I am
now helping to organize a large VFP delegation this fall that will travel to
Jeju Island and Okinawa. VFP leadership has expressed interest in connecting
more directly with our space-related work and has invited me to submit
articles for print in their two most recent national newspapers.
During the past year I was also invited to speak at several national
conferences held in New York, California, New Jersey, and Washington DC. In
each of these events I helped put our space issues directly into the peace
and justice movement’s overall analysis of current events.
Throughout 2014 we’ve also worked closely with the group called
KnowDrones.com that is doing magnificent work concentrating on the drone
issue. Our GN boards approved a $500 donation toward their effort to
purchase TV ads in US communities where drone operations bases are located.
The ads called on drone pilots to stop flying. Recent reports suggest that
the military is having to cut back on its drone missions due to pilot
“burnout”. The drone campaign recently consulted with the GN about how
satellites and down-link stations are used to direct drone attacks, so it is
good to see activists beginning to make these important connections.
During Keep Space for Peace Week in 2014 there were more than 80 local
events held in 10 countries.
During space week our GN board member Tamara Lorincz (Canada) represented us
at a national youth conference on space and disarmament issues held in
Nagpur, India. Board member J. Narayana Rao reported that the students loved
Tamara. Space week will be held in 2015 from October 3-10. Our poster is now
being distributed across the US and around the world.
For the last several years I’ve been organizing a peace walk across Maine
during our annual Keep Space for Peace Week. Two years ago the walk focused
on drones and in 2014 the walk began in a western Maine community where a MD
interceptor deployment site is being considered. This coming October 9-24
the Maine Walk for Peace will feature the ‘militarization of the seas’ theme
and the Pentagon’s impact on creating climate change. This will allow us to
talk about the US ‘pivot’ of 60% of Pentagon forces (mostly Navy) into the
Asia-Pacific where much environmental damage is being done to ocean life.
Our Space Alert! newspaper remains popular and many local people continue to
place bulk orders for distribution across their communities. Our message
also has been widely broadcasted again this year by regular interviews on
PressTV and Russia Today. My public access TV show, This Issue, now in its
11th year, is aired on 14 stations across Maine and is sometimes picked up
in other states. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing GN board member
Regina Hagen from Germany when she visited. As our issues get more coverage
in the alternative media, my blog Organizing Notes has seen increased
During the past months the top sources of blog visitors have been: US,
France, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Greece, South Korea, India, United
Kingdom, and Japan.
In Bath, Maine in June, 2014 I helped organize a public forum about
conversion of Bath Iron Works that drew 100 citizens. This kind of event was
historic in the ship building community of Bath. I continue to speak and
write about conversion of the military industrial complex at every
opportunity. It seems that an increasing number of people are talking about
this across the country. The issues of jobs, climate change, austerity cuts
in social programs, and endless war all offer the chance to put forward the
alternative transformative vision of conversion to building rail, solar,
wind and tidal power systems so we can deal with the coming reality of
We continue to owe our web master and board convener, Dave Webb many thanks
for his excellent work and leadership. We thank all of our board members for
their help and advice throughout the year. We thank all of our members who
send donations to keep us going and the very useful information they send
along that I’d otherwise never have the chance to find.
I also owe my partner Mary Beth Sullivan many heartfelt thanks for her
support and loving patience while I work long hours and am often gone on
trips. She helps keep the GN going in many unrecognized ways.