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“The US is a collapsing empire but a very dangerous one” Interview with Bruce Gagnon

Bruce Gagnon is a Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992.
Between 1983–1998 Bruce was the State Coordinator of the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice and has worked on space issues for 31 years.
Bruce is a Vietnam-era veteran and began his organizing career by working for the United Farm Workers Union in Florida organizing fruit pickers. Bruce is an active member of Veterans for Peace and is the Secretary of Space in the Green Shadow Cabinet.
Bruce has traveled to and spoken in many countries and on many college campuses. Bruce was engaged in producing of documentary videos critical to the US foreign politics.
Bruce initiated the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home in 2009 that spread to other New England states and beyond. This campaign makes the important connections between endless war spending and fiscal crisis throughout the U.S.
In 2013 Bruce helped organize the passage of a drone bill in the Maine state legislature that requires police to obtain warrants before they can spy on the public. The bill was vetoed by the governor.
Bruce helps the South Korean Jeju village fighting against construction of a Navy base. He has worked to help build support for the Jeju Island issue for several years.
Having returned from his last voyage to Jeju Island Bruce Gagnon answered several questions of our site.


Q: More and more disturbing news comes from the Middle East. Some observers have even talked about the threat of a third world war. Have these fears any ground in your opinion?

BG: The US-NATO want to take down the Syrian government to be followed by Iran and eventually Russia and China. (Look at the mess US-NATO have already created in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya which by the way has the largest deposits of oil on the African continent.) Understanding this reality is the reason why Russia chose to intervene in Syria – Moscow wants to stop the advance while they still can. By creating chaos in the region the US-NATO hope to ‘justify’ their expanded operations and presence there. So clearly the US-NATO (now using Turkey as a proxy) are indeed creating the possibility for a wider war with Russia. I’d say the war is long ago underway. Russia has now decided to directly react.

Q: The recent conflict between Russia and Turkey has alarmed the entire world, because Turkey is a NATO member. How do you assess the attitude of NATO to the incident with the plane?

BG: I believe the US was involved in helping Turkey shoot down the Russian plane. The US has the military satellite capability to track and target any plane in that region. Turkey would not likely have taken such a provocative step to shoot down the Russian plane without clear US backing. In recent days the US has deployed AWACS planes to Turkey as a further threat to Russia. Notice how Obama defended Turkey after the Russian plane was shot down.

Q: The United States have increased their military activity in the Baltic States during the last year. Local official sources (for example, the Ministry of Defense of Lithuania), openly reported on concentrations of military equipment and military drills. Does the USA prepare to open another front against Russia?

BG: Absolutely, the US is now deploying troops and recently held war games in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – all right on Russia’s border. Of course the civil war in Ukraine has essentially been created by the US-NATO as a way to destabilize the Russian border and to further demonize Putin as he takes steps to protect the Russian speaking citizens along the Russian border with Ukraine. Russia is damned if they react and damned if they don’t react to this US-NATO expansion up to their borders. How would the US react if Russia or China were holding military operations on the Mexican or Canadian borders? Washington would go ballistic! Unfortunately the American people know little about all of this due to the corporate control of the media across the west.

Q: Conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe don’t prevent the USA to demonstrate power in East Asia. How would you comment on the recent incident in the South China Sea when the US warship entered the area, which China considers its territorial waters? Why does American leadership need it?

BG: The US operations in the Asia-Pacific, part of Obama’s declared ‘pivot’ of 60% of Pentagon military forces into that region, are intended to ‘control’ China and ultimately make possible regime change in Beijing. The US fears the growing Russia-China alliance and thinks it must move now to topple both those governments while they still can. China imports 80% of their oil to run their economy on ships through the South China Sea making them very vulnerable to the US pivot into that region that could allow Washington to ‘choke off’ China’s oil imports. Thus we see Russia and China now planning to build a land pipeline from Russia to China to ship natural gas to China. The creation of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) development bank is a threat to the western IMF-World Bank capitalist economic order. Again, Washington feels it must move to smash these ‘challenges’ to its corporate global control before they become established and unstoppable. The US is a collapsing empire but a very dangerous one as its power begins to wane.

Q: If we compare Obama with most of the presidential candidates, he looks like a supporter of the soft and limited use of military force. What candidates have a better chance of winning, and how do you assess the impact of elections in 2016 to US foreign policy?

BG: Hillary Clinton appears to be the anointed one by the corporate oil-i-garchy that runs the US. The election is really just a side show – a façade to create the illusion that democracy exists. Bernie Sanders is good on domestic issues but horrible on foreign policy – he supports US-Israel policy; supports the boondoggle F-35 warplane; wants the US to get Saudi Arabia to do more of our dirty work in the Middle East; and more. The best candidate we have in the US is Green Party leader Jill Stein who won’t win because the electoral deck is stacked. We should vote for people who are telling the truth and advancing a real alternative program to end the power of the military industrial complex. By supporting good people we help shine a light on those campaigns which give people more hope and the public learns much along the way.

Q: What do public organizations of peace activists need to do now to counter the growth of international tension?

BG: International terrorism is heavily funded, directed, supported by the US-NATO, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and the rest of the authoritarian monarchs in the Middle East. The best thing that peace activists could do would be to figure this out and begin to educate the public about how the whole ‘war on terror’ is essentially a shell game to allow for corporate control of the resource base in the Middle East and Central Asia. Russia has the world’s largest supply of natural gas and thus the reason the west wants regime change in Moscow. Follow the fossil fuels and the $$$$$. Learn that Washington-London-Brussels-Tokyo are carrying water for the global corporate oligarchy and they demonize any country (or leader) that does not get on its knees and submit to this corporate control. We have to begin to see how the corporate forces have colonized each of our minds with their propaganda. We need to take back our own minds and souls from the corporate forces that are killing the planet.

Q: You are actively involved personally in the struggle against US military bases in East Asia. What were your reasons to choose this field of antiwar struggle?

BG: The activists in East Asia (in particular on Jeju Island, South Korea and in Okinawa) are some of the most determined fighters for peace, human rights, and the environment I’ve seen during my 35 years in the peace and justice movement. They are linking all these issues and are sitting on a powder keg as the US tries to take down China. These activists know the bases where they live are a power projection hub for the Pentagon’s growing assault on both Russia and China. In a war they are all dead. They are fighting for their lives and for nature. We should all be helping them in every way we can and sending people to visit with them and learn from them. I’ve just recently returned after helping lead a Veterans For Peace delegation to stand with the folks in both those places. We have much to learn from them about how to sustain an anti-imperialist campaign over time. They’ve been fighting against US bases in Okinawa since 1953. They use song, dance, joy, and deep love along with their fierce determination to control their own destiny. It’s the same story on Jeju Island. These folks are the models for sustained peace work.


2 Responses to “The US is a collapsing empire but a very dangerous one” Interview with Bruce Gagnon

  1. Thank you Bruce for your valuable information:I want to add something which is more or less overlooked: The North, which means a US´Nato-flank from Iceland,Britain ,Denmark,Norway Sweden,Finland,Estonia,Latvia and Lituania. These countries armies are steady wartraining together with the US,UK,German and a bunch of other Eurpean Nato Armies(and Turkey),In 2011 in January, all heads of states were invited to London to have chat with Primeminister Camerun about forming a Northern military mini-Nato which is now fully operative.Officially Sweden and Finland are not in Nato but always complicit in US warpreparations.

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