David Swanson: Omaha, Root of All Evil?
Omaha: Root of All Evil?
What if a single nation on this planet were to pour more resources into its military than the rest of the nations combined, set up military bases in 80 percent of the other nations, stockpile more nuclear weapons than all other nations combined, develop new nuclear weapons intended for aggressive first-strike use, completely dominate the militarization of space, erase any policy lines between space and ground warfare and between nuclear and conventional weapons, and establish the goal of being able to quickly destroy any target anywhere on earth in order to protect its military and corporate investments?
I know what you're thinking: "Those Iranians may be evil, but I didn't know they'd advanced as far as all that. Do they still wear turbans?"
I don't know how to break this to you, so I'm just going to say it: The nation that has done everything I mentioned is the United States of America.
Now, here's a second riddle for you: What if the United States of America were to establish a command center outside of the Pentagon from which to run Bush and Cheney's illegal spying programs, the targeting of targets around the globe via satellite, and the full range of aggressive nuclear and conventional warfare, a command center that will control the next war against Iran or whatever other nation is chosen? Where would that Strategic Command center be located?
I know what you're thinking: "Isn't it in Dick Cheney's basement?"
But that's where they've fooled you. All they need to place in Dick Cheney's basement is a telephone into which our Ruler can utter things like "Take out Tehran." Dick Cheney's basement is hardly a suitable venue for annual weapons makers conventions or huge glossy displays of futuristic weaponry on which good patriotic Americans can spend their grandchildren's money, now is it?
That's where Omaha, Nebraska, comes in, and Stratcom, the Strategic Command center located 10 miles to its south, and the root of all evil, the hub of the greatest purveyor of violence in the world, what Bruce Gagnon calls the most dangerous place on earth.
Gagnon is the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, which has decided to hold its annual conference this year in the same place where war profiteers so often gather: Omaha. At http://www.space4peace.org you'll find plans for the April 11th to 13th conference, which will include activists from around the world, including the leaders of groups that are opposing the construction of new "missile defense" and other U.S. military bases near their homes.
On the agenda for April is a rally in front of Stratcom, a manned terrestrial protest of a form of warfare that sends unmanned arial vehicles controlled by satellite to kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan. While other nations push for a ban on weapons in space, the United States is already using space and investing billions in plans to use it in new ways.
Some of the citizens of Omaha may drive past the front gates of Hell and have no idea what's inside. Others have produced a documentary telling the story of Stratcom. "Stratcom, the Gun That's Still Loaded" is a 58 minute DVD produced by Frances Mendenhall, who describes it as follows:
"Offutt AFB, 10 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska, has long caught the attention of the peace movement, since it has historically been tasked with targeting the nuclear arsenal of the US. But after 9/11 its missions grew nightmarishly in complexity and scope, so that it is now being called 'the most dangerous place on the planet.' Learn the details of this danger and why the Global Network is planning its April conference in Omaha. Even better, contact your public access station and get it aired." Request a DVD: francesmendenhall_AT_yahoo.com
David Swanson is an organizer of the www.AfterDowningStreet.org coalition.