The Flight into Gold and Silver

February 27th, 2011 by Bob Chapman

The world is awash in dollars and that is being reflected in the USDX, which are six major currencies versus the dollar. The loss of value is being loudly trumpeted as the IMF says a replacement must be found. This is the same IMF that has been foisting non-gold backed SDRs on us since 1969. Every time they have tried this it has been a failure. We can give the Illuminists an ‘A’ for effort, but what they do not get is that the professionals and investors see right through it. Another batch of fiat currency is not going to solve the world’s currency crisis, which can only be saved by gold backing. Needless to say, the mainstream media will never talk about this in realistic terms, because the elitists control them. The denigration of currencies versus gold and silver are advancing apace, as the elitists day after day try to suppress gold and silver prices.

The major media is as complacent as ever because they are totally controlled. It is not ignorance or incompetence. It is control. The media tells us the stock market is headed higher, but fails to tell us why. The reason is manipulation by the US government, and those who control it, and funds swamping the market via QE2. This is an economy where few jobs are being created, unemployment remains steady and we are told that a rising stock market means recovery, which is far from the truth. Propaganda flourishes as well as physiological warfare. There is no truth for the American people and the people of the world, it is all controlled and capsulated for consumption and control. There is no real recovery; it is all smoke and mirrors to mislead the public. Government and the media declare there is no inflation, but yet it abounds. This is the same media that has ignored the climb in gold and silver prices for 11 years. They have few explanations as to why gold and silver prices are rising. It is because the value of fiat currencies are falling versus gold and silver, but that is not the explanation we hear. We are told a number of absurd falsities.

Gold and silver are just now beginning to break out of government instigated doldrums, which has been government induced by those who own the Fed. None of the old tricks and nostrums is working anymore, so new tactics are being taken. You have seen ongoing attacks on gold and silver that has been going on since 1988, and in the last 15 years they have been relentless.  As of late the theme is destroy the gold and silver shares to make people believe that there is little value there, to shake novices out of their positions. The psywarfare plan is to force down gold and silver share prices and gold in order to destroy silver prices so that JPM and HSBC can cover their shorts. It hasn’t worked and won’t work. Needless to say, we get the usual from CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and Fox. Is it a bubble or a craze? Again, what else would you expect from a media which is usually wrong.

The debt and inflation will become more terse as we struggle forward. Government knows it has to cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, screwing the participants and better enabling government to control and reduce these benefits. Allowing government to renege over and over again does not instill confidence in its citizens. There are mammoth cuts coming, but the military industrial complex will experience few. This is how the elitists keep their empire by threat of force. Just look around you and look at the Patriot Act and Homeland Security or the new Gestapo the FBI. Yes readers, you already live in a police state.

As Americans overlook these developments and the fact that anyone who criticizes government is a terrorist, price inflation is destroying their purchasing power and it’s being done deliberately, as a result of saving a broken banking system that only catered to the wealthy and connected. Loans are available, but generally only to AAA corporations and fellow elitists, as interest rates begin their devastating rise into the future. That needless to say will be accompanied by a falling dollar and higher gold and silver prices. Many other countries have duplicated these events, so not only will the US dollar fall in value, but also so will the currencies of most every other country versus one another and particularly versus gold and silver. In case you missed it, or forgot, versus nine major currencies over the past 10 years on average gold has appreciated 15-1/4% annually and silver 20-3/8% annually, thus, these facts are nothing new. They have just been hidden from you. As a result of the loss in purchasing power and ever building debt we have seen demonstrations and riots throughout Europe for the past two years. That has been followed for the same reasons, plus price inflation, in the Middle East with the overthrow of the governments of Tunisia and Egypt. Several more monarchies and dictatorships are on the verge of falling as well. In the US the attempt to radically change retirement benefits and unions has led to demonstrations in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. We believe in time as unemployment rises with prices and there is no economic recovery that demonstrations will increase and they could, as they have elsewhere, turn violent. If police in the US fire on civilians or beat them into submission there will be retaliation and law enforcement will get decimated.

There is absolutely no way the dollar and other currencies can be saved. That is why the prices of gold and silver move relentlessly upward. There already is waning confidence in the dollar and many other currencies, and that is why the USDX, the dollar index, as a yardstick, is inferior to measuring all currencies versus gold and silver. You may not realize it now, but you are living through the collapse of fiat money systems. The future of monetary and fiscal matters will take many twists and turns, some good, some bad. It is far too early to make solid predictions on what routes will be taken. At this juncture it is easy to see where we are headed, but the future is more difficult. It could be inflation, hyperinflation, deflationary depression and another contrived war to distract people from the more important issues of the economy, finance and economic survival. In the meantime in reaction to such events gold could go to $5,000 or $10,000 and silver $100 to $500, as the flight to quality becomes a stampede.

Why All Workers Should Support Unions

February 27th, 2011 by Shamus Cooke

It’s official: Republicans have declared war on organized labor. Unclear to millions of unorganized workers is whether or not they should care. Thanks to years of rightwing propaganda — and labor union inertia — millions of Americans are “union skeptics,” unsure as to the nature of the union animal. These fence-straddlers have no direct experience with organized labor, but they will be absolutely crucial participants in this war of corporate power versus working people. 

Why is a war against labor unions a war against working people at large? At bottom, unions represent the human right to work with respect, to receive decent wages and benefits, and to organize with your co-workers to ensure this right is enforced. 

As millions of working people in America understand, a non-union work site typically means living with poor wages, poor or nonexistent benefits, and zero job security. The boss can fire you for glancing at him with a less than kind look, or because you complained about a workplace safety issue, etc. Unions empower workers to perform their jobs with dignity, without fear of the boss. 

The AFL-CIO’s website helps explain how unions help all workers: 

“Unions have made life better for all working Americans by helping to pass laws ending child labor, establishing the eight-hour day, protecting workers’ safety and health and helping create Social Security, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage…”

Read Shamus Cooke’s chapter in The Global Economic Crisis

The right wing cannot answer the above arguments, so they avoid them, focusing instead on the greedy “union boss.”   Unfortunately, partial truths aid this rightwing attack on unions; some labor leaders in the U.S. today act as self-serving rulers over their union kingdom, collecting large salaries via dues money while ignoring the demands of their members and the needs of unorganized working people.  

This insular thinking of some union leaders has helped distance the labor movement from the rest of the working class, at the expense of both. The right wing is now exploiting this separation, painting labor unions as “ruining America” while corporations claim they cannot afford the high wages of union workers, and state and federal governments blame union workers for their budget problems. 

Unions have become the right wing’s ultimate scapegoat for the recession in their attempts to funnel the rage that many working people feel against labor unions. The right wing maniacally works to shift attention away from those who caused the recession and even benefited from it — the banks and corporations — to those who suffer from it — workers, immigrants, and the poor.  It is the classic syndrome of blaming the victim.
 
Re-shifting the blame to where it belongs will take a re-shifting of the labor movement. The stagnant thinking of union officials will need to be replaced with inspiring actions, for example, in Wisconsin, and with inspiring slogans, such as “No Concessions” and “Tax the Rich.”

Wisconsin proves that organizing massive demonstrations with aggressive tactics inspires all working people, who are eager to push back against the corporate power that has dominated American politics for decades, through both the Democratic and Republican Parties. 

The more that rank and file union members are inspired by these collective actions, the less willing will they be to accept reductions in their wages and benefits, which, over time, has led to a steady demoralization of the labor movement. The harder that union members fight to maintain or increase their wages and benefits, the more willing will unorganized workers be to join unions, since all workers become hopeful when they see other workers fighting for their rights.

Ultimately, labor unions must work extra hard to re-connect with the non-union working class. Massive resources must be put into organizing private sector workers. Unions must lead coalitions of labor and community groups to demand Jobs For All, Medicare For All, the Defense of Social Security, and other policies that benefit all working people. 

By doing this, labor unions will re-ignite the hope of a better life in millions of non-union workers, who will then actively support the cause of labor unions and ask to join them. Only then will labor unions be strong enough to repel the attack on union wages and benefits that both Republicans and Democrats have participated in, by balancing state budgets on the backs of state and federal workers. State workers must demand that budgets be balanced on the backs of the corporations and rich instead.

As state and local public sector workers in Wisconsin, and for that matter, working people throughout the country demand “No Concessions,” they can make their slogan more tangible by demanding “Tax the Rich and Corporations,” as the way to resolve the fiscal crisis, which is something that millions of non-union workers would eagerly support and fight for.
 
If the Governor of Wisconsin still refuses to remove the union-busting, benefit-slashing legislation, even after the majority of people have expressed their desires, then workers must be prepared to enforce democracy by using one of their most powerful weapons. The Madison Central Labor Council has advocated a statewide strike in support of Wisconsin’s public workers. Unions in both the public and private sector across the state should respond positively to this call. And by raising the demand of Jobs For All to be paid for by taxing Wall Street, the unemployed will see that the unions are fighting for their interests as well and will be inspired to join the struggle.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org)  He can be reached at [email protected]

Treating War as a Crime

February 27th, 2011 by David Swanson

Of the Radical and the Quaint
Remarks in Boca Raton, Fla., February 26, 2011
http://warisacrime.org/content/radical-and-quaint

I really want to thank Nancy Parker and everyone who helped put this event together. I would have come just to hear the other two speakers. I’ve learned a lot from Sandy Davies and consider his book required reading for all Americans. And it’s an honor to speak together with Ben Ferencz who has been advancing the rule of law since the age when — more so than not — the United States was a proponent of international justice.

Today’s Palm Beach Post’s article about Mr. Ferencz and this event begins with this sentence:

“War is such a widespread force in the world that the very idea of treating it as a crime seems both radical and quaint.”

As the proprietor of a website called War Is A Crime .org I have always strived to be radical and quaint. I don’t dispute the Post’s description, but I find it intriguing. How can an idea be both radical and quaint? One definition of quaint is “pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar.” Another is “having an old-fashioned attractiveness or charm.”

In fact the idea of treating war as a crime is, in a very real way old-fashioned. In 1928, our government made war a crime when the Senate ratified by a vote of 85 to 1 the Kellogg-Briand Pact which condemned and renounced all war. The Senate tacked on an exception for the traditional right of self-defense. But our Secretary of State Frank Kellogg had rejected a proposal from France to include that exception in the treaty. Kellogg argued that if any such exception were included the treaty’s “positive value as a guarantor of peace” would be “virtually destroyed.” And hardly a dozen years later he was proven right as a second World War took some 70 million lives with the participation of several nations that had signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and most of them acting in the name of defense. But the Pact remains the supreme law of the land under our constitution, and — even as adopted by the U.S. Senate — it treats legal war as an exception to the general rule that war is a crime.

When the second world war was over and the criminals on one side of it were prosecuted, another treaty was established called the United Nations Charter. This one too, which also remains the supreme law of the land, made war a crime — but this time with two narrow exceptions. One is the traditional right to defense. The other is in some ways a reversal of a second provision that the U.S. Senate had attached to the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The Senate had stipulated that the United States could not be required to go to war to enforce the ban on war. The UN Charter, on the contrary, stipulated that the UN could authorize particular wars as a sort of global police officer. What ever you think of these exceptions to the ban on warfare or of that ban itself, the Palm Beach Post is perfectly right in understanding that the exceptions have overtaken the rule. We fight so-called defensive wars against impoverished unarmed nations halfway around the globe. And we maintain that the UN has authorized wars even in the face of the UN maintaining it has not. Defensive and global-policing wars are not exceptions so much as loopholes large enough to sail a fleet through. The assumption is now that war is legal. The burden of proof is on the quaint radicals to prove that a particular war is a crime.

Ben Ferencz is going to tell you about the hurdles to prosecuting war. There have been some advances in prosecuting lesser war crimes. The beautiful nation of Italy has prosecuted and convicted 23 CIA agents for kidnapping a man off an Italian street and sending him off to be tortured by the guy who now runs Egypt. But those 23 convicts go about their happy lives unnoticed in the United States, albeit unable to travel abroad. George W. Bush just canceled a trip to Switzerland for fear of arrest and prosecution for torture. Spain yesterday determined to move ahead with a case against US torturers, and a separate case may indict six former top US officials. But here in the Homeland, torture has been turned into a policy choice and aggressive war into a tool that needs to be used more quickly and efficiently going forward.

Another definition of quaint is “unusual in an interesting, pleasing, or amusing way.” It’s not just old-fashioned to look back to the early days of this nation before the permanent standing army, or to Pennsylvania’s banning of war in the extremely quaint year of 1682, or to rudely recall the goal of disarmament in the Atlantic Charter that I guess was already quaint by 1947. It’s also amusingly shocking and scandalous, and thus radical, to imagine a nonviolent economy in a nation that leads the world in weapons sales, maintains a thousand military bases around the earth, slices the globe into various “commands” to be dominated, operates special forces in 75 countries, fights multiple simultaneous ground wars, murders at will and across all borders with unmanned aircraft, and devotes well over half of federal discretionary spending to the military and wars.

But we never anymore speak about good slavery or just rape. A mere 10 years ago, Americans universally denounced torture. Yet the horrors of war far outstrip, while encompassing, these other outrages, and we go on referring to good wars and just wars, or at least the theoretical possibility of them. The very worst thing humanity has ever created is culturally legal, regardless of what the actual laws say. And yet we cannot survive its continued presence, and we do not need to try. The justifications offered for each particular war — before, during, and after — and the justifications for the machinery of empire are a tissue of lies all the way through.

The money we put into the military, over half of every dollar raised through income tax or borrowing, produces fewer and lower paying jobs than could be had by investing in other sectors, including education, infrastructure, and energy, and — if done right — even in tax cuts. Military spending is worse than nothing, in economic terms, and we cannot survive it. Nor can our environment survive the destruction that wars and weapons testing bring. The blowback and weapons proliferation encouraged by our current policies may kill us all. And we will be powerless to resist these trends if we allow the so-called wartime erosion of our civil liberties and representative government to continue — unless, I guess, we all master our impersonations of David Koch when phoning our elected officials.

There was a glitch in the “We’re #1″ corporate media line last week when a New York Times column noted that among industrialized nations the United States is at or near the worst ranking in income equality, employment, democracy, wellbeing, food security, life expectancy, education, and percentage of the population in prison, but right at the top in military spending whether measured per capita or as a percentage of GDP or in absolute terms. When Dr. King said that a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on the military than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death he wasn’t warning us. He was warning our parents and grandparents. We’re the dead.

But I think we’re only in a coma. We don’t choose to fund the war economy. When pollsters tell us what the budget looks like, we demand cuts to the pentagon. But the rest of the time we don’t bother to find out what happens to our money. A recent poll found that only 25% of Americans thought we should fund the military at a rate of three times the next most militarized nation, but only 32%, not 75%, wanted to cut military spending, which would in fact have to be slashed drastically to get it down to three times what China spends.

We have two-thirds of the country opposed to a war in Afghanistan that costs over $100 billion per year, and a major debate in Washington over how to cut $100 billion from the budget — a debate that does not include mention of that war. To effect change, we need more than majority opinion. We need massive strategic Wisconsin-Egyptian public pressure. And before we can generate that pressure to bring our war dollars home and defund the even more costly base military budget, we will have to show people that not just one war is based on lies; they all are.

The Iraq War is typical of any war in terms of its dishonesty. My book attempts to lay out and refute the major categories of lies used in every war effort, so that from now on we can reject alleged reasons for war immediately upon hearing them. These include claims that only war can oppose evil, that war is needed for defense, and that wars serve humanitarian goals. Chris Matthews on MSNBC recently discovered that the Iraq WMD story was not quite kosher and demanded an investigation of Iraq War lies, which is more than anyone in Congress has done since 2006. Next week tune in as Matthews may discover that there was no Gulf of Tonkin incident or begin to doubt that Spain really sank the Maine.

Did you read the Rolling Stone article on Thursday about the U.S. military’s program in Afghanistan to lie to visiting senators and think tankers and military officials themselves about the state of the war? It looks like an official from Florida saw his career suffer when he honorably refused to take part in that. And the people who did it may come off looking about as bright as the Men Who Stare at Goats, but the Senators who fell for it come off looking as bright as the goats. Seriously, for how many years can you believe victory is right around the corner?

An anonymous US military official was quoted in the New York Times yesterday explaining, as some of us have been screaming for nearly a decade, that the military occupation is itself causing violence and instability. The Secretary of War, Robert Gates, yesterday at West Point said that we shouldn’t launch any more wars like the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, in an interview just published, Gates argues for further prolonging the war in Afghanistan — an action every bit as criminal and immoral as initiating the war in the first place.

Nobody is apologizing to Barbara Lee for ostracizing her when she alone of all members of Congress voted against the war on Afghanistan. Ten years ago voting for an aggressive and doomed to be disastrous war was the right thing to do. Never mind that the Taliban was willing to turn bin Laden over to a third country to be tried. Never mind that any pretense to the contrary could no more justify a war than Italy would now be justified in bombing Washington for not extraditing the CIA convicts. There was evil in the world, and only violence could get us drunk enough to believe we’d had nothing to do with it.

Now, 10 years later, ending a war because of its illegality is not an issue at all, except for quaint radicals. And ending it because the American people want it ended is just inappropriate. In wartime, leaders should not be swayed by public opinion when they are busy bombing a new democracy into place. Ending the war because it costs money or fuels terrorism or damages the earth or kills human beings doesn’t make any sense. If it did, David Koch would be phoning in about it.

The disturbing side to Gates’ desire to avoid future wars like these is that he and many in Washington think we should pursue a different kind of war: small wars, secret wars, assassinations, death squads, and unmanned drone attacks. This agenda, when combined with the ever expanding secrecy of our government, and when combined with Americans’ relative lack of concern for the deaths of non-Americans spells trouble for advocates of peace. What if we were to finally catch on to the tricks of the second oldest profession on earth, the war propagandist, just in time for wars to proceed in the shadows without marketing campaigns, public debates, or even the pretense of authorization by a legislature?

The answer to this, I think, is two-fold. We must work with whistleblowers and publishers, such as wikileaks, to find out what our government is doing. And we must organize and train and engage in relentless nonviolent activism to radically and quaintly change what it is doing.

We may be past the point of spiritual death as a nation, yet somehow we’re still kicking. And we’re not just kicking our neighbors who have unions or health coverage, as we’ve been instructed. We’re pushing back against the plutocratic plunderers of our children’s future. Some of us whom the government taxes for working will be paying a visit to Bank of America this evening, which the government pays to rip us off. Nicole Sandler, our nation’s best radio host, is here to lead that action.

There is a moment of activism in the world right now that should not be allowed to slip through our fingers. We have an absolute duty to fend off the twin dangers of collapse into apathy or degeneration into violence. Did you know that Egyptians studied the Montgomery Bus Boycott and learned from American scholars of nonviolent action? We are part of an ongoing exchange of ideas and inspiration. And while our government may not save a trillion dollars a year by hiring Egyptian activists to spread democracy instead of the Pentagon, we can take inspiration from what is happening across the Middle East and the Middle West and find our calling in the eternal nonviolent struggle for a better world.

There is no quick fix to the mess we’re in. For godsake, peace is quaint and radical. You don’t dig out of that hole in a matter of days. And this is good, not bad, news for you and me. Drug abuse, I guarantee you, has plummeted in Madison, Wisconsin. Nobody’s skydiving. Nobody’s reading their horoscopes or trying on new religions. Nobody engaged in the peace and justice movement has to look for meaning in life. Nonviolent action is what makes life worthwhile.

And we Americans can do it as well as anybody else and have done it before. Libyans are laying down their lives against brutal violence, and they are advancing the cause of peace and justice whether they win this year or decades down the road. They have no parties, no unions, no civil society, they’re divided by region and tribe, and yet they are taking action and so can we.

Most human societies have not known war and many have known it and dropped it. The current issue of Yes magazine has an article about a group of baboons that engaged in constant violence for years and then developed a culture of peace. Now I’m not claiming we’re all geniuses, but if baboons can do it we might want to try. War is not in our genes. It’s not necessitated by the small-scale violence that responds to it. It’s not needed to defend anything. It is worse than anything it can be used to remedy. And if the young people in this room live to be as old as the elderly in this room it will be because the thought of war as an acceptable human behavior has been made both radical and quaint.

David Swanson is the author of “War Is A Lie” http://warisalie.org

http://davidswanson.org

http://warisacrime.org

Review of: The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century

Editors, Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall
Publisher: Global Research, 2010 (391 pp)

There’s a certain irony to my reading this book while waiting at the Food Stamp office. I’m part of an increasing number suffering under the New World Order’s systematic destruction of the planet’s middle classes so as to concentrate wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer families. While global uprisings now threaten global governance under a single currency, scheming rulers have long anticipated this reaction. In The Global Economic Crisis, we learn exactly how a planet-wide military dictatorship plans to enforce its feudal vision.

Neatly organized into five sections comprising 20 essays by fifteen different authors, Global Economic Crisis carefully ties militarization with the planned economic meltdown. Client states and the U.S. itself have openly and sometimes secretly developed the legal framework for martial law. Testifying before a US Senate committee on Intelligence in early 2009, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, warned that civil unrest owing to the economic collapse posed a greater threat than Arab terrorism. One of the book’s essayists, Bill Van Auken, points out that this is the first time in several years that Al Qaeda did not top the list of threats to national security.

The book’s major theme, supported by well-documented sources (and we expect nothing less from Global Research), hammers out the connection between military dominance and planned economic crises. Cuts in social spending augment the buildup of arms. Intellectual property laws bolster control of the world’s food supply by a handful of multinational corporations. Captured by transnational corporations that escape national anti-trust laws, the “free market” has given way to corporate control of prices, while driving down wages. Social protest of such polices is met by military and police violence.

In GEC, we learn that today’s global economy is driven by trade in oil, arms, drugs, and slavery (including prostitution). Where neoliberalism flourishes, so do these sectors. On the drug trade, Michel Chossudovsky writes, “The underlying military and intelligence objective is to protect the cocaine and heroin markets, which feed billions of narco-dollars into the Western banking system.” Indeed, a recent report by Bloomberg News exposed how Bank of America and Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo) finances Mexico’s drug cartels;  

“They are multinational businesses, after all,” says [Mexican Senator Felipe] Gonzalez, as he slowly loads his revolver at his desk in his Mexico City office. “And they cannot work without a bank.” 

One can travel to any major city in the world and buy supposedly illegal drugs, arms, prostitutes or slaves. The level of infrastructure required for such a ubiquitous global market implies government and banking support. 

Those writing about the social and economic ramifications of globalist actions will greatly appreciate Peter Phillips’ essay, “Poverty and Social Inequality.” It’s chock full of charts laying out facts and statistics.  

One of the more intricate essays, “The Political Economy of World Government,” details how economic classes are being restructured, with the potential for the middle classes to unite “using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes.” In this piece, Andrew Gavin Marshall shows how various private interest groups like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg group and the Trilateral Commission are deliberately restructuring society to make national borders irrelevant. 

On par, Ellen Brown’s piece, “The Towers of Basel: Secretive Plan to create a Global Central Bank” shows how a shadowy global banking committee can break national economies, or boost them if the country does what the moneylenders dictate. 

Not entirely an easy read, Global Economic Crisis nonetheless exposes the deep underworkings of a criminal class of bankers and industrialists who serve their own economic interests at the expense of everyone else, backed up by an expanding global military presence.

 The last book to get me this angry was John Perkins’ Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Like Confessions, strategies to circumvent and overturn the globalists’ plans are offered in GEC. The “Cook Plan,” for example, emphasizes the need to dissolve the debt-based monetary system – a theme often discussed by Ellen Brown. Claudia von Werlhof also offers alternatives, describing the various labor and peasant movements that restore local economies while protecting the environment from the ravages of corporate ecocide.

By fully digesting the information presented, the world’s people can best strategize effective resistance. Nonviolence has been a key feature of street protests and strikes that started in Greece and France last year, though often met with violence by police and military. But the stark “austerity” measures neoliberals are foisting on the globe, while they rake in trillions of dollars in bankster bailouts and no-bid contracts, have emboldened populists across Northern Africa. Austerity has even inspired the otherwise anemic US labor movement, with protests spreading from Wisconsin to Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and beyond.

Such street action must also be coupled with direct measures taken at the local level, however. It is here that the ideas presented in Global Economic Crisis can be of most use. By understanding how banks engineered this “bloodless coup,” we find impetus for restoring national sovereignty and a more sane and equitable economy.

The Global
Economic Crisis


Michel Chossudovsky
Andrew G. Marshall (editors)

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As the wave of popular uprisings has spread across the Arab world, a flurry of articles have appeared suggesting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be the next “dictator” to be overthrown.

Such arguments follow a pattern in the corporate media of slandering the Chavez government and the revolutionary process it leads.

They aim to conceal the real threat that haunts imperialism: that the Arab world may follow the example of Venezuela and other countries in Latin America — and break away from Western hegemony.

Particularly cynical were the comments by British foreign secretary William Hague, who falsely alleged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had fled to Venezuela on February 21. This triggered a spate of headlines tying “Venezuela” and “Libya” together — despite the fact the allegation was untrue

A February 2 editorial by the Miami Herald claimed: “With dictators toppling like dominoes across the Middle East, Venezuela’s president-for-life, Hugo Chavez, is signaling worry about his own despotic rule.”

The article ignores the fact that Chavez was overwhelming elected as president in three elections supervised by numerous international observers. All up, pro-Chavez forces have won more than a dozen national elections, all verified as free and fair, since 1998.

With new elections set for 2012, Chavez maintains more than 50% support — even in polls commissioned by the US-funded opposition.

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres went further when he listed Chavez along with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as two despots corrupted by oil that must be eliminated.

“I believe the world should get rid of oil and tyranny, both of them together are dangerous,” Peres said, VoiceofAmerica.com reported on February 23.

Peres was at least more honest than most, adding that his reason was because Europe has to pay higher oil prices due to the “whims of some producer countries”.

The reality is that as US hegemony is being challenged by the popular uprisings in the Arab world, right-wing commentators and policy-makers are scrambling to spin the situation to their own advantage.

They are singling out governments outside of US control as possible targets for enforced “regime change” from outside.

Responding to the idea that Venezuela could be next, Chavez noted on February 18 that what was occurring in Egypt “started here a while ago. We have been in rebellion for a while now, in a revolutionary rebellion.”

Chavez said that rebellion began in Venezuela with the February 1989 popular uprising known as the Caracazo.

As a result of International Monetary Fund-imposed hikes in fuel prices, tens of thousands of Venezuelans poured onto the streets of Caracas and other major cities to protest against the neoliberal measure.

A brutal crackdown left an estimated 4000 dead and temporarily quelled the rebellion.

However, the fervour continued in Venezuelan society, leading to Chavez’s election in 1998 on an anti-neoliberal platform.

Chavez said: “What happened in Egypt — and which has not finished — is a sudden awakening of people’s power. We have only seen the first waves.

“They are events that mark a new phase of history in the entire world.”

One of Chavez’s first moves by Chavez when he was elected was to strengthen the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and use it to negotiate a more just oil price for countries dependent on oil revenues.

Chavez also took back government control over Venezuela’s nominally state-run oil industry. These moves have allowed his government to pour much of the oil revenue into social programs.

These wide-ranging programs eradicated illiteracy and extended free education and healthcare to the most needy. They have also been crucial to the process of expanding community control over the running their affairs.

The Chavez government has also used oil revenues to seek to develop other sectors of the economy to help break oil dependency.

To follow the mainstream media, you would get the impression the Chavez government is working overtime to silence freedom of speech. The reality, however, is not one TV station or newspaper has been closed down — and the overwhelming majority are virulently anti-government.

On the other hand, hundreds of new community radio stations have flourishing in the impoverished barrios, extending free speech to those who have never had the opportunity to exercise it before.

The US-backed dictators in the Arab world have consistently placed relations with Israel above the interests of the Palestinian people — despite the popular sympathy for the Palestinian cause among Arab people.

In contrast, since December, nine South American countries have formally recognised a sovereign Palestinian state.

Chavez’s government, and Bolivia’s radical president Evo Morales, have gone further. They broke all diplomatic relations with Israel after its brutal onslaught against Gaza in 2009.

Andelfo Garcia, a former foreign minister of the most loyal US ally in the region, Colombia, said in the February 19 Miami Herald that this move is just one more sign that South American countries are no longer simply adopting US foreign policy as their own.

“It’s like a wave rolling through Latin America,” he said. “The region has its own vision and wants to play a larger role [on the world stage].”

Venezuela has been in the forefront of moves towards greater regional integration, and a shift away from traditional dependence on trade with the US — as well as greater trade and dialogue with other parts of the Third World, such as the Middle East.

The US and Israel are terrified of the threat of something similar occurring in the Arab world — should the democratic revolutions be successful and extend to exerting democratic control over oil and other resources.

It also helps explain why Chavez is hailed by so many in the Arab world as a hero.

However, as Santiago Alba Rico and Alma Allende said in a February 24 Rebelion article “From the Arab world to Latin America”, Venezuela and Cuba’s reluctance to clearly condemn the brutal repression being carried out by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi’s against a popular revolt will have negative consequences for the anti-imperialist project in Latin America.

Venezuela and Cuba have called for a “peaceful resolution” to the violence in Libya and warned the West could use the bloody scenes as an excuse to intervene.

The Arab revolt represents both an “economic revolt” and a “democratic, nationalist and anti-colonial revolution”, they said, that “provides the socialist left and pan-Arabists in the region with an unexpected opportunity”.

They said: “the Arab people, who have returned to the world stage, need the support of their Latin American brothers”.

The pioneering processes of liberation in Latin America, is a symbol of hope for the global anti-imperialist struggle. Therefore, left-wing Latin American governments should unreservedly support the peoples of the Arab world.

This would pre-empt the strategy of the Western powers, which are trying to relegitimise themselves as champions of “human rights and democracy” and may seek to use Gaddafi’s crimes as an excuse to intervene militarily.

Ignoring the brutal reality of Gaddafi, who has been a friend in recent years of the West and its allied dictators, risks breaking ties with popular Arab movements, they pointed out.

It could also give legitimacy to the false accusations thrown at Venezuela and Cuba by imperialism.

They added: “Hopefully Gaddafi will fall — today better that tomorrow.”

They said the wave of revolts in the Arab world could connect with the revolutionary processes in Latin America. They wrote: “The opportunity is great and could be the last to definitively reverse the current balance of forces and isolate the imperialist powers in a new global framework.”

One thing is clear, just as the US has sought to prop up dictatorships in the Arab world, it will continue its struggle to defeat the popular revolutionary movements in Latin America.

Eva Golinger said in Correo del Orinoco International on February 18 that US President Barack Obama had requested US$5 million dollars in special funding from the US Congress special funding for anti-Chavez groups in the 2012 budget.

On February 18 Venezuelanalysis.com said that Venezuelan parliamentarians had condemned threats from Republican congressmen and the newly appointed chair of the House sub-committee on foreign affairs for the Western hemisphere, Connie Mack.

Mack, has called for a “full-scale economic embargo” against Venezuela.

The real threat to Venezuelan democracy, as across Latin America and the Arab world, comes from the US Empire.

Kiraz Janicke and Federico Fuentes worked in the Green Left Weekly Caracas bureau from 2007-2010.

Russia to Deploy Military Units on Kuril Islands

February 27th, 2011 by Global Research

Russia will deploy military units on Iturup and Kunashir, part of the Kuril Islands, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Saturday.

“We will most likely base in two military towns on two islands – Iturup and Kunashir,” Serdyukov told journalists in Vladivostok, Russia’s Far East.

The defense minister said his trip to the Far East is aimed at analyzing how the machine gun-artillery division will be “integrated” with the Russian forces located in Vladivostok, Sakhalin and Kamchatka.

“The grouping will be changed by its structure. It is highly likely that staff will be slightly cut but it will be reinforced by the newest communications systems, electronic warfare and radar stations,” Serdyukov said.

Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow will increase its military presence on the South Kuril Islands to “ensure the security of the islands as an unalienable part of Russia.”

A General Staff official said that S-400 missile defense systems could possibly be deployed to the islands to protect them from possible attacks.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, is holding an extraordinary session on Friday to discuss the situation in Libya, amid reports of a possible military intervention in the Arab country.

The Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, made the announcement yesterday in Budapest, where he was meeting with the ministers of defense of the European Union.

Normally, the NATO Council would call a meeting among the permanent representatives of the 21-member military defense organization.

The High Representative of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, said that NATO would consider the imposition of a “no-fly zone” over Tripoli and increased sanctions against the Libyan government.

Israeli troops attack Protesters

February 26th, 2011 by Global Research

 Dozens of Palestinian citizens suffered tear gas suffocation and two were injured at noon Friday when the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacked them using grenades and rubber bullets in the villages of Bil’in and Masara, and Silwan district of occupied Jerusalem.

The Israeli troops attacked the weekly peaceful anti-wall protesters in Bil’in, Ramallah district, as they were marching towards the segregation wall.

Eyewitnesses said the troops used wastewater mixed with chemicals to disperse the protesters.

Masara village, south of Bethlehem, also witnessed a similar march and clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian young men.

In Silwan in occupied Jerusalem, Israeli soldiers brutally assaulted young men protesting Judaization activities in Jerusalem after the Friday prayers. One of the young men was seriously injured in his spine when soldiers fired at him with rubber bullets.

EU Weapons Exports to Libya

February 26th, 2011 by Global Research

Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Saturday the fuel placed inside the reactor of the country’s first nuclear power plant will be temporarily removed to run a number of tests, local media reported.

Upon Russia’s request, the fuel will be removed from the reactor core of Bushehr nuclear power plant in order to conduct a number of tests and carry out technical work, Ali Asghar Soltanieh was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

He said nuclear fuel will be placed in the core of the reactor again after the tests are conducted.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said at the end of last month that Bushehr nuclear power plant was to join the national power grid in early April.

Salehi rejected claims that the launch of Bushehr power plant and its connection to the national power grid would be postponed again. “Everything with Bushehr nuclear power plant is progressing well,” he said, “We hope in the mid-February, one or two weeks earlier or later, the nuclear power plant could join the national power grid.”

He rejected reports that computer system in Bushehr was infected by a virus called Stuxnet, saying the computer worm could not go beyond personal computers and enter the facility’s main system.

Some analysts believe it was Stuxnet that caused the delays of the plant’s joining the national grid.

Russia signed an agreement worth one billion U.S. dollars with Iran in 1995 to take over the project. Its completion, initially scheduled in 1999, was postponed several times by mounting technological and financial challenges and interruptions under pressures from the United States.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that while the European Union must be concerned about what is happening in Libya, it must not interfere in the internal affairs of the country.

Putin spoke at a news conference following talks between the Russian government and the EU Commission in Brussels.

‘We must let people build their own destiny and not interfere in their internal political process,’ he said.

‘Belgium has not had any government for over 250 days but no foreign power can change the course of things in this country,’ Putin said.

The Russian President expressed concern about the situation in Libya, ‘especially the fact that it could have an influence in the north Caucasus’.

He warned that the price of oil would exceed US$200 a barrel in the following days because of the events in Libya.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has once again confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear energy program.

In an IAEA report issued on Friday, the agency reaffirmed that Iran’s nuclear program has never been diverted to nuclear weapons production, the Press TV correspondent in Vienna reported.

But the report still says Tehran must halt its uranium enrichment activities, as demanded by four United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, stated that the demand is politically motivated, saying, “When all nuclear activities are accounted for and there is no diversion to military purposes… then what is the justification for referring to an old obsolete request of suspension.”

The report also claimed that Iran has not been abiding by some of its obligations, an allegation Iran strongly rejects.

Soltanieh told Press TV that all nuclear activities in Iran are under the full-scope safeguards of the IAEA and that Tehran has been cooperating with the agency far beyond its legal obligations.

“The report is on the implementation of safeguards in Iran and therefore those parts referring to other things, like the Security Council or the Additional Protocol, are beyond the mandate of such a report,” the Iranian envoy said.

The report also maintains that Iran’s nuclear facilities have not been affected by the Stuxnet computer virus since the country’s production of low-enriched uranium is higher than it was last fall.

In July 2010, media reports claimed that Stuxnet had targeted industrial computers around the globe, with Iran being the main target of the attack. They said the Bushehr nuclear power plant was at the center of the cyber attack.

The document, prepared by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, is a prelude to the upcoming IAEA Board of Governors meeting, which opens on March 7.

On June 9, 2010, the UN ratified a US-engineered resolution imposing new sanctions on Iran over the allegations that Tehran is concealing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Tehran has vehemently rejected the allegations of diversion, saying it needs nuclear energy to meet its growing domestic demand for electricity and to provide fuel for the Tehran research reactor, which produces medical isotopes for cancer treatment.

Iran is a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and thus has the right to enrich uranium to produce fuel.

80% of report confirms Iran’s cooperation with IAEA

Soltanieh also told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday that 80 percent of the report confirms that Iran is cooperating with the IAEA.

“For the 26th time, the IAEA confirmed that there is no diversion in Iran’s nuclear program,” he stated, adding that the good point about the IAEA report is that it is comprised of two parts.

“Over the past eight years… this is the first time that the format of the report of the IAEA director general has changed and the report is comprised of two parts. One part is devoted to Iran’s commitments under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and shows that Iran’s (nuclear) activities… are under the safeguards agreement,” he said.

“The second part contains the requirements stated by Amano based on the UN sanctions resolution, while we… have many times proved that the sanctions lack legal weight and must not be implemented,” Soltanieh added.

Soltanieh also stated that the report says Iran is not reprocessing plutonium, but the latest UN sanctions resolution requires Iran to halt the reprocessing of plutonium and this indicates that the UN sanctions resolution is contradictory.

Report: CIA Considers Targeting Pakistani Diplomats

February 26th, 2011 by Jason Ditz

The CIA is reportedly extremely annoyed at the continued detention of top CIA operative Raymond Davis over the murder of two Pakistanis on the streets of Lahore, insisting that Davis deserves “diplomatic immunity” for the killings.

Now, according to those reports, the CIA is mulling retaliatory targeting of Pakistani diplomats across the world, in the hopes of putting them in a similar circumstance as a way of spiting the Pakistani government or perhaps shaming them into releasing Davis.

Davis’ story has been major news in Pakistan, where he was initially referred to as a “consulate employee” but it was later admitted that he was a top CIA operative in the nation, and his claims of “self-defense” fell apart in the face of evidence that he jumped out of the car and chased one of his victims down the street to finish him off.

The claims of diplomatic immunity have continued and incredibly even escalated after it was revealed that Davis was not a diplomat, but a spy. The Zardari government, faced with public outrage, has insisted it will let the matter play out in court.

The popular uprisings across the Middle East are sparking similar unrest in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “Day of Rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11.

Already there have been protests last week in the city of Qatif and other towns in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province demanding, among things, the release of political prisoners and a raft of social reforms. There are also reports of prominent Shia clerics being detained by the Saudi Sunni authorities, and security forces mobilizing in anticipation of further protests.

Sadek al-Ramadan, a human rights activist in Al Asha, Eastern Province, said: “People here are watching closely the protest movements across the region, which are tapping into long-held demands for reforms in Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Ramadan said that there are “deep frustrations” in Saudi society over high levels of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and perceived widespread corruption among the rulers of the world’s top oil exporter whose Gross Domestic Product last year is estimated at $622 billion.

An indication of the concern among the Saudi monarchy about growing unrest in the country was a closed meeting this week between King Abdullah and King Hamad al-Khalifa of Bahrain. The latter travelled to Riyadh to greet his 87-year-old Saudi counterpart on his return from the US and Morocco, where the ailing ruler had been receiving medical treatment. On the same day, Wednesday, the Saudi government unveiled a $37 billion social fund aimed at tackling youth unemployment and chronic shortages in affordable housing. A 15 per cent hike in salaries for government employees was also announced.

Al-Ramadan said that while the country’s minority Shia communities have “felt discrimination and repression most keenly over many decades, their grievances are also being shared increasingly by the majority of Sunni people”. Saudi Arabia’s population is estimated at around 19 million, with an expatriate workforce of some eight million.

“Unemployment is as high as 50 per cent among Saudi youth, whether Shia or Sunni, and there is a serious shortfall in housing and education facilities,” said Al-Ramadan. “People want more transparent governance, an end to corruption, and better distribution of wealth and welfare.”

He said that there was widespread recognition that reform in Saudi Arabia is badly needed. “The question is: how far will the call for reforms go?”

The Saudi authorities are undoubtedly mindful of the rapid escalation of anti-government protests in the neighbouring Persian Gulf island state of Bahrain, which is only an hour’s drive away from the Eastern Province across a 25-kilometre causeway. Noticeably, the last two weeks have seen a big fall in the numbers of Saudis who usually come to Bahrain for a weekend getaway, with reports that Saudi officials have been turning away would-be visitors trying to cross the causeway.

Before the recent rallies began in Bahrain on February 14, small groups of Bahraini protesters were calling for relatively mild constitutional reforms. But after a week of heavy-handed repression resulting in seven civilian deaths and hundreds of injured, the protest movement in Bahrain is now bringing up to 200,000 people on to the streets every night demanding the overthrow of the al-Khalifa monarchy.

In the coming weeks, the Saudi rulers face a difficult balancing act. Too little reform or too much repression by the authorities could set off the kind of full-blown uprisings sweeping the Middle East. And there is a lot at stake for the kingdom’s rulers. Up to 90 of the country’s oil production and processing is located in its restive Eastern Province, where the state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has its headquarters in Dhahran. Some 80 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s national income is due to its oil and gas sectors.

Middle East analyst Ralph Schoenman said: The oil wealth of Saudi Arabia is concentrated almost entirely in the Shia-dominated Eastern Province – that sector of Arabia where popular disaffection is as profound and political alienation as explosive as it is in Bahrain.”

Schoenman added: “Beneath the appearance of calm, the Saudi royal family and King Abdullah have been consulting frantically with the other Gulf Sunni feudal sheikhdoms – from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates to Qatar and Oman.”

Global Research Editor’s Note

What is occurring in Libya is a carefully planned armed insurrection rather than a peaceful protest movement as in Tunisia and Egypt. 

There are indications that the armed militia groups are supported by the US.

The objective is not democratization but “humanitarian intervention” and regime change, with a view to eventually installing a pro-US government as well as taking control of one of the World’s largest oil producers. 


Battles rage in Libya; Gaddafi loyalists launch counter-attack

Death toll in fighting for Zawiyah 23

Friday February 25, 2011 (1123 PST)

BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched a counter-attack on Thursday, fighting gun battles with rebels who have threatened the Libyan leader by seizing important towns close to the capital.

The opposition were already in control of major centres in the east, including the regional capital Benghazi, and reports that the towns of Misrata and Zuara in the west had also fallen brought the tide of rebellion closer to Gaddafi’s power base.

Gaddafi loyalists attacked anti-government militias controlling Misrata, Libya’s third-biggest city, and killed several people in fighting near the city’s airport.

Soldiers were reported along the roads approaching Tripoli, and fighting broke out in the town of Zawiyah, an oil terminal just 50 kilometres west of Tripoli. Witnesses said people in civilian clothes, who appeared to be pro and anti-Gaddafi forces, were firing at each other in the streets.

“Twenty-three people have been killed and 44 wounded in the Libyan town of Zawiyah after clashes on Thursday between opponents of Gaddafi and forces loyal to him,” Libya’s Quryna newspaper said.

Quoting medical sources, the newspaper said “intense exchange of fire” was preventing people wounded in the clashes from reaching hospitals. It also said some men were removing their wounded relatives from hospitals for fear of them falling into the hands of what it called security battalions, in an apparent reference to Gaddafi loyalists

“It is chaotic there. There are people with guns and swords,” said Mohamed Jaber, who passed through Zawiyah on his way to Tunisia on Thursday.

Anti-government militias were in control of Zuara, about 120 kilometres west of Tripoli, Egyptian construction workers who fled into Tunisia told Reuters on Thursday.

There was no sign of police or military and the town was controlled by “popular committees” armed with automatic weapons.

“The people are in control. Police stations have been burned and we didn’t see any police or army in the past few days,” Egyptian labourer Ahmed Osman said.

A Reuters correspondent was shown about a dozen people being held in a court building who residents said were “mercenaries” backing Gaddafi. Some were said to be African and others from southern Libya.

“They have been interrogated, and they are being kept safe, and they are fed well,” said Imam Bugaighis, 50, a university lecturer now helping organise committees to run the city, adding that they would be tried according to the law, but the collapse of institutions of state meant the timing was not clear

“War uber alles”: The Pentagon Needs Some More Wars

February 26th, 2011 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The United States government cannot get enough of war.  With Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime falling to a rebelling population, CNN reports that a Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. is looking at all options from the military side.

Allegedly, the Pentagon, which is responsible for one million dead Iraqis and an unknown number of dead Afghans and Pakistanis, is concerned about the deaths of 1,000 Libyan protesters. 

While the Pentagon tries to figure out how to get involved in the Libyan revolt, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific is developing new battle plans to take on China in her home territory. Four-star Admiral Robert Willard thinks the U.S. should be able to whip China in its own coastal waters. 

The admiral thinks one way to do this is to add U.S. Marines to his force structure so that the U.S. can eject Chinese forces from disputed islands in the East and South China seas. 

It is not the U.S. who is disputing the islands, but if there is a chance for war anywhere, the admiral wants to make sure we are not left out.

The admiral also hopes to develop military ties with India and add that country to his clout. India, the admiral says, “is a natural partner of the United States” and “is crucial to America’s 21st-century strategy of balancing China.”  The U.S. is going to seduce the Indians by selling them advanced aircraft.

If the plan works out, we will have India in NATO helping us to occupy Pakistan and presenting China with the possibility of a two-front war. 

The Pentagon needs some more wars so there can be some more “reconstruction.”

Reconstruction is very lucrative, especially as Washington has privatized so many of the projects, thus turning over to well-placed friends many opportunities to loot.  Considering all the money that has been spent, one searches hard to find completed projects. The just released report from the Commission on Wartime Contracting can’t say exactly how much of the $200,000 million in Afghan “reconstruction” disappeared in criminal behavior and blatant corruption, but $12,000 million alone was lost to “overt fraud.”

War makes money for the politically connected.  While the flag-waving population remains proud of the service of their sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, cousins, wives, mothers and daughters, the smart boys who got the fireworks started are rolling in the mega-millions.

As General Smedley Butler told the jingoistic American population, to no avail, “war is a racket.” As long as the American population remains proud that their relatives serve as cannon fodder for the military/security complex, war will remain a racket.

Is Tripoli being set up for a civil war to justify U.S. and NATO military intervention in oil-rich Libya? 

Are the talks about sanctions a prelude to an Iraq-like intervention?

Something is Rotten in the so-called “Jamahiriya” of Libya

There is no question that Colonel Muammar Al-Gaddafi (Al-Qaddafi) is a dictator. He has been the dictator and so-called “qaid” of Libya for about 42 years. Yet, it appears that tensions are being ratcheted up and the flames of revolt are being fanned inside Libya. This includes earlier statements by the British Foreign Secretary William Hague that Colonel Qaddafi had fled Libya to Venezuela. [1] This statement served to electrify the revolt against Qaddafi and his regime in Libya.

Although all three have dictatorship in common, Qaddafi’s Libya is quite different from Ben Ali’s Tunisia or Mubarak’s Egypt. The Libyan leadership is not outright subservient to the United States and the European Union. Unlike the cases of Tunisia and Egypt, the relationship that exists between Qaddafi and both the U.S. and E.U. is a modus vivendi. Simply put, Qaddafi is an independent Arab dictator and not a “managed dictator” like Ben Ali and Mubarak. 

In Tunisia and Egypt the status quo prevails, the military machine and neo-liberalism remain intact; this works for the interests of the United States and the European Union. In Libya, however, upsetting the established order is a U.S. and E.U. objective.

The U.S. and the E.U. now seek to capitalize on the revolt against Qaddafi and his dictatorship with the hopes of building a far stronger position in Libya than ever before. Weapons are also being brought into Libya from its southern borders to promote revolt. The destabilization of Libya would also have significant implications for North Africa, West Africa, and global energy reserves.

Colonel Qaddafi in Brief Summary 

Qaddafi’s rise to power started as a Libyan lieutenant amongst a group of military officers who carried out a coup d’état. The 1969 coup was against the young Libyan monarchy of King Idris Al-Sanusi. Under the monarchy Libya was widely seen as being acquiescent to U.S. and Western European interests.

Although he has no official state or government position, Qaddafi has nurtured and deeply rooted a political culture of cronyism, corruption, and privilege in Libya since the 1969 coup. Added to this is the backdrop of the “cult of personality” that he has also enforced in Libya.

Qaddafi has done everything to portray himself as a hero to the masses, specifically the Arabs and Africans. His military adventures in Chad were also tied to leaving his mark in history and creating a client state by carving up Chad. Qaddafi’s so-called “Green Book” has been forcefully portrayed and venerated as being a great feat in political thought and philosophy. Numerous intellectuals have been forced or bribed to praise it.

Over the years, Colonel Qaddafi has tried to cultivate a romantic figure of himself as a simple man of the people. This includes pretending to live in a tent. He has done everything to make himself stand out. His reprimanding of other Arab dictators, such as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, at Arab League meetings have made headlines and have been welcomed by many Arabs. While on state visits he has deliberately surrounded himself with an entourage of female body guards with the intent of getting heads to turn. Moreover, he has also presented himself as a so-called imam or leader of the Muslims and a man of God, lecturing about Islam in and outside of Libya.

Libya is run by a government under Qaddafi’s edicts. Fear and cronyism have been the keys to keeping so-called “order” in Libya amongst officials and citizens alike. Libyans and foreigners alike have been killed and have gone missing for over four decades. The case of Lebanon’s Musa Al-Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement, is one of the most famous of these cases and has always been a hindrance to Lebanese-Libyan relations. Qaddafi has had a very negative effect in creating and conditioning an entire hierarchy of corrupt officials in Tripoli. Each one looks out for their own interests at the expense of the Libyan people.

Fractions and Tensions inside the Hierarchy of Qaddafi’s Regime

Because of the nature of Qaddafi’s regime in Tripoli, there are a lot of internal tensions in Libya and within the regime structure itself. One of these sets of tensions is between Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and his father’s circle of older ministers. Libyan ministers are generally divided amongst those that gather around Saif Al-Islam and those that are part of the “old guard.”

There are even tensions between Qaddafi and his sons. In 1999, Mutassim Al-Qaddafi tried to ouster his father while Colonel Qaddafi was outside of Libya. Mutassim Qaddafi holds a Libyan cabinet portfolio as a national security advisor. He is also famously known amongst Libyans for being a playboy who has spent much of his time in Europe and abroad. There is also Khames Gaddafi who runs his own militia of thugs, which are called the Khames militia. He has always been thought of as possible contender for succession too against his other brothers.

There have always been fears in Libya about the issue of succession after Colonel Qaddafi is gone. Over the years, Qaddafi has thoroughly purged Libya of any form of organized opposition to him or prevented anyone else, outside his family, from amassing enough power to challenge his authority.

The Issue of Loyalty and Defection in Libya

Undoubtedly, little loyalty is felt for Qaddafi and his family. It has been fear that has kept Libyans in line. At the level of the Libyan government and the Libyan military it has been both fear and self-interest that has kept officials, good and corrupt alike, in line. That mantle of fear has now been dispelled. Statements and declarations of denunciation against Gaddafi’s regime are being heard from officials, towns, and military barracks across Libya.

Aref Sharif, the head of the Libyan Air Force, has renounced Qaddafi. Interior Minister Abdul Fatah Al-Yunis (Al-Younis), who is from Benghazi (Bengasi) and oversees a branch of the special operations work in Libya, has resigned. Yunis is reported to be Qaddafi’s “number two” or second in charge, but this is incorrect. Abdullah Sanusi, the head of Libyan Internal Intelligence and Qaddafi’s relative through marriage, is the closest thing to a “number two” within the structure of power in Tripoli.

Reports have been made about two Libyan pilots defected to Malta and Libyan naval vessels refusing to attack Benghazi. Defections are snowballing amongst the military and government. Yet, there must be pause to analyze the situation.

The Libyan Opposition

At this point, however, it must be asked who is the “opposition” in Libya. The opposition is not a monolithic body.  The common denominator is the opposition to the rule of Qaddafi and his family. It has to be said that “actions of opposition or resistance against an oppressor” and an “opposition movement” are also two different things. For the most part, the common people and corrupt Libyan officials, who harbour deep-seated hate towards Qaddafi and his family, are now in the same camp, but there are differences.

There is an authentic form of opposition, which is not organized, and a systematic form of opposition, which is either external or led by figures from within the Libyan regime itself.  The authentic people’s internal opposition in Libya is not organized and the people’s “actions of opposition” have been spontaneous. Yet, opposition and revolt has been encouraged and prompted from outside Libya through social media networks, international news stations, and events in the rest of the Arab World. [2]

The leadership of the internal opposition that is emerging in Libya is coming from within the regime itself. Corrupt officials that have rebelled against Gaddafi are not the champions of the people. These opposition figures are not opposed to tyranny; they are merely opposed to the rule of Colonel Qaddafi and his family. Aref Sharif and Al-Yunis are themselves Libyan regime figures.

It has to also be considered that some Libyan officials that have turned against Qaddafi are doing it to save themselves, while others in the future will work to retain or strengthen their positions. Abdel Moneim Al-Honi, the Libyan envoy to the Arab League in Cairo, can be looked at as an example. Al-Honi denounced Qaddafi, but it should be noted that he was one of the members of the group of Libyan officers who executed the coup in 1969 with Qaddafi and that later in 1975 he himself tried to take power in a failed coup. After the failed coup, he would flee Libya and only return in 1990 after Qaddafi pardoned him.

Al-Honi is not the only Libyan diplomat to resign. The Libyan ambassador to India has also done the same. There is an intention on the part of these officials to be members of the power structure in a Libya after the ouster of Qaddafi:

Libyan Ambassador to India Ali al-Essawi told the BBC that he was quitting, opposing his government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.

Mr. Al-Essawi was reported to be a Minister in Tripoli and could be an important figure in an alternative government, in case Libyan President Muammar Qadhafi steps down.

The second Libyan diplomat to put in his papers was Tripoli’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Abdel Moneim al-Honi, who said in Cairo that he had quit his job to “join the revolution” in his country.

“I have submitted my resignation in protest against the acts of repression and violence against demonstrators, and I am joining the ranks of the revolution,” said Mr. Al-Honi. The Second Secretary Hussein Sadiq al Musrati, announced his resignation from China, in an interview with Al-Jazeera, and called on the Army to intervene in the uprising. [3]

Again, these revolting officials, like Al-Yunis and Sharif, are from within the regime. They are not mere diplomats, but former ministers. There is also the possibility that these types of “opposition figures” could have or could make arrangements with external powers.

External Forces at Play in Libya

The governments of the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, and Italy all knew very well that Qaddafi was a despot, but this did not stop any of them from making lucrative deals with Tripoli. When the media covers the violence in Libya, they should also ask, where are the weapons being used coming from? The arms sales that the U.S. and the E.U. have made to Libya should be scrutinized. Is this a part of their democracy promotion programs?

Since rapprochement between the U.S. and Libya, the military forces of both countries have moved closer. Libya and the U.S. have had military transactions and since rapprochement Tripoli has been very interested in buying U.S. military hardware. [4] In 2009, a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lieutenant-Colonel Hibner, affirmed this relationship best: “[The U.S.] will consider Libyan requests for defen[c]e equipment that enables [Libya] to build capabilities in areas that serve our mutual interest [or synchronized U.S. and Libyan interests].” [5] The qualifier here is U.S. interests, meaning that the Pentagon will only arm Libya on the basis of U.S. interests.

In what seems to have happened overnight, a whole new arsenal of U.S. military hardware has appeared in Libya. American-made F-16 jets, Apache helicopters, and ground vehicles are being used inside Libya by Qaddafi. [6] This is a shocking revelation, if corroborated. There are no public records about some of this U.S. military hardware in the the arsenal of the Libyan military. In regards to the F-16s, Libyan jets are traditionally French-made Mirages and Russian-made MiGs.

Silvio Berlusconi and the Italian government have also been strong supporters of Qaddafi’s regime. There is information coming out of Libya that Italian pilots are also being used by the Libyan Air Force. [7] Mercenaries from Chad, Sudan, Niger, and Nigeria are also being used. This has been verified through video evidence coming out of Libya. The Libyan regime is also considering contracting American or European security firms (mercenaries). [8]

The Politics of Al Jazeera

The Libyan government has shut down the internet and phone lines and an information war is underway. Although one of the most professional news networks in the world, it has to be cautioned that Al Jazeera is not a neutral actor. It is subordinate to the Emir of Qatar and the Qatari government, which is also an autocracy. By picking and choosing what to report, Al Jazeera’s coverage of Libya is biased. This is evident when one studies Al Jazeera’s coverage of Bahrain, which has been restrained due to political ties between the leaders of Bahrain and Qatar.

Reports by Al Jazeera about Libyan jets firing on protesters in Tripoli and the major cities are unverified and questionable. [9] Hereto, the reports that Libyan jets have been attacking people in the streets have not been verified. No visual evidence of the jet attacks has been shown, while visual confirmation about other events have been coming out of Libya.

Al Jazeera is not alone in its biased reporting from Libya. The Saudi media is also relishing the events in Libya. Asharq Al-Awsat is a Saudi-owned paper that is strictly aligned to U.S. interests in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region. Its editor-in-chief is now running editorials glorifying the Arab League for their decision to suspend Libya, because of the use of force by Tripoli against Libyans protesters – why were such steps not taken for Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, or Yemen? Inside and outside the Arab World, the mainstream media is now creating the conditions for some sort of intervention in Libya.

The Role of Foreign Interests in Libya

Qaddafi and his sons have run Libya like a private estate. They have squandered its wealth and natural resources. One of Gaddafi’s son’s is known to have paid the American singer Beyoncé Knowles a million or more U.S. dollars for a private music concert. [10] Foreign corporations also play a role in this story.

The positions and actions of foreign corporations, the U.S., and the European Union in regards to Libya should not be ignored.

Questioning the role of foreign governments and corporations in Libya is very important. The Italian and U.S. governments should be questioned about the role that pilots of Italian nationality and newly bought U.S. weaponry are playing in Libya.

It is very clear that democracy is only used as a convenient pretext against dictators and governments that do not bow down and serve U.S. and E.U. interests. All one needs to do is to just look at the way Mutassim Qaddafi was welcomed with open arms in Washington on April 21, 2009 by Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration. Upon their meeting, Secretary Clinton publicly said:

I am very pleased to welcome Minister Gaddafi to the State Department. We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya. We have many opportunities to deepen and broaden our cooperation and I am very much looking forward to building on this relationship. So Mr.Minister welcome so much here. [11]

What the U.S. and the E.U. want to do now is maximize their gain in Libya. Civil war seems to be what Brussels and Washington have in mind.

The Balkanization of Libya and the Push to Civil War

Qaddafi’s son Saif Al-Islam has made statements on Libyan television about deviant Taliban-like faith-based organizations taking over Libya or attempting to take it over. Nothing is further from the truth. He has also warned of doom and civil war. This is part of the Qaddafi family’s efforts to retain power over Libya, but a path towards civil war is unfolding in Libya.

Amongst the ranking members of the military, Mahdi Al-Arab, the deputy chief of Libya’s military staff, was said to have renounced Qaddafi. [12] Al-Arab, however, has modified his position by saying that he does not want to see Libya spiral into a civil war that will allow foreign intervention and tutelage. [13] This is why Al-Arab prevented the people of his city, Zawarah, from joining the revolt and going to nearby Tripoli. [14]

The drive towards civil war in Libya is fuelled by two factors. One is the nature of Qaddafi’s regime. The other is an external desire to divide and weaken Libya. 

Qaddafi has always worked to keep Libyans divided. For years there have been fears that Qaddafi’s sons would start a civil war amongst themselves or that some other high ranking officials could try to jockey for power once Qaddafi was gone. Civil war on the basis of ethnicity, regionalism, or tribalism is not a big threat. Tribes and regions could be co-opted or allied with, but the people that would spark a civil war are regime figures. The threats of civil war arise from the rivalries amongst regime officials themselves. Yet, it must be understood that these rivalries are deliberately being encouraged to divide Libya.

The flames of revolt are being fanned inside Libya. Chaos in the Arab World has been viewed as beneficial in many strategic circles in Washington, Tel Aviv, London, and NATO Headquarters. If Libya falls into a state of civil war or becomes balkanized this will benefit the U.S. and the E.U. in the long-term and will have serious geo-political implications.

All the neighbouring states in North Africa would be destabilized by the events in Libya. West Africa and Central Africa would also be destabilized. The tribal boundaries running in Libya and Chad extend into countries like Niger, Algeria, and Sudan. The chaos in Libya would also have a significant effect on Europe and global energy. Already the events in Libya are being used to validate the drive to control the Arctic Circle and its energy resources. [15]

What Will Be Qaddafi’s End? 

It is very likely that Qaddafi will not have as fortunate an exit from power as Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. Finding refuge for Qaddafi will not be easy. In general, Qaddafi is considered a liability by other governments. Saudi Arabia, which can be portrayed as a refuge for Arab dictators, will most likely not give Qaddafi refuge. Libya and Saudi Arabia have bad relations. He is also wanted for investigation in Lebanon. Generally, Qaddafi’s relationship with the leaders of the Arab petro-sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf is tense and negative. He will not be granted refuge anywhere in the Persian Gulf.

In general, Arab governments will also be afraid to host him. In his efforts to present himself as a champion of the people, he has insulted many of his fellow Arab dictators. There is something to be said, however, when Qaddafi’s statements at Arab League meetings or about Palestine and Iraq are far more popular or candid than the rest of the Arab dictators.

It is highly improbable that any Latin American, European, or ex-Soviet countries will give him refuge. A country in sub-Sahara(n) Africa is the mostly likely place Qaddafi could seek refuge.

His options are limited and he is determined to hold on to power. Civil War seems to be looming in the horizon. It is highly unlikely that he will leave Libya peacefully and the U.S. and its allies have no doubt examined this scenario. On February 23-24, 2010, he met with the leaders of the three biggest tribes in Libya (Werfala, Tarhouna, and Wershfana), to secure their support. [16] His own tribe, Qaddafa is supporting him and it seems that the Madarha and Awlad Slieman tribes are also supporting him. [17]

The Threats of NATO Intervention and U.S. and E.U. Control over Libya

Libya has been in the cross-hairs of the Pentagon for years. According to Wesley Clark, the retired general who was the supreme military commander of NATO, Libya was on a Pentagon list of nations to be invaded after Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The list included Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, and lastly Iran. In Clark’s own words:

So I came back to see him [a high ranking military officer in the Pentagon] a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defence’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” [18]

In one way or another all the nations on the list have been attacked directly or indirectly and all of them, but Syria and Iran, have succumbed to the U.S. and its allies. Again, the only exceptions are Iran and its ally Syria. In Lebanon, the U.S. has made partial gains, but it is now receding with the decline of the Hariri-led March 14 Alliance.

Libya started secret negotiations with Washington in 2001 that materialized into formal rapprochement after the fall of Baghdad to British and American troops in 2003. Yet, the U.S. and its allies have always wanted to expand their influence over the Libyan energy sector and to appropriate Libya’s vast wealth. A civil war provides the best cover for this.

Libyans Must Be Aware of the Pretext of Humanitarian Intervention

The Libyan people should be on their high guards. In is clear that the U.S. and the E.U. are supporting both sides. The U.S. and the E.U. are not the allies of the people of the Arab World. In this regard, the U.S. supports Qaddafi on the ground through military hardware, while it also supports the “opposition.” If the so-called Western governments were serious about democracy, they would have cut their business ties to Libya, specifically in the energy sector, before 2011.

Both Washington and the powers in Brussels could co-opt opposition forces. They have supported Gaddafi, but they do not control him or his regime like they controlled Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt. Libya is a very different story. The objectives of Washington and Brussels will be to strengthen their control over Libya either through regime change or civil war.

“Actions of opposition to Gaddafi” are strong, but there is no strong organized “opposition movement.” The two are different. Nor is democracy guaranteed, because of the nature of the coalition opposed to Gaddafi, which includes corrupt regime officials.

There is now talk about a “humanitarian intervention” in Libya, similar to Yugoslavia and Iraq. A “no-fly zone” over Libya has been mentioned, as has NATO military intervention. The aims behind such statements are not humanitarian, but are intended to justify foreign interference, which could potentially lead to an invasion. Should this come to fruition, Libya would become an occupied country. Its resources would be plundered and its assets privatized and controlled by foreign corporations as in the case of Iraq. 

Today, in Libya and the Arab World the ghosts of Omar Mukhtar and Saladin are still very much alive and active. Getting rid of Gaddafi and his sons alone is not the solution. The entire corrupt system of governance in Libya and the culture of political corruption must be dismantled. At the same time, however, foreign interference or domination should also not be allowed to take root in Libya. If the Libyan people are mobilized and steadfast, they can fight such schemes.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

NOTES

[1] “UK Hague: some information that Qaddafi on way to Venezuela,” Reuters, February 21, 2011.
[2] One is taken back by the proliferation of pre-1969 coup Libyan flags. Where did all these flags come from?
[3] “3 Libyan Diplomats resign,” The Hindu, February 22, 2011.
[4] James Wolf, “U.S. eyes arms sales to Libya,” Reuters, March 6, 2009.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.; I have been given two explanations for this. The first explanation is that government agents from Libya have been disseminating misinformation to Al Jazeera. This includes reports made to Al Jazeera that jets have been attacking civilians in the streets. Gaddafi has used this to try to discredit Al Jazeera internally in Libya by pointing out to the Libyan people that no jet attacks have occurred and that Al Jazeera is broadcasting misinformation. The second explanation is that Al Jazeera is simply spreading misinformation. Whatever the case, both explanations agree no Libyan jets have attacked protesters yet.
[10] Marine Hyde, “Beyoncé and the $2m gig for Colonel Gaddafi’s son,” The Guardian (U.K.), January 8, 2010; it was Mutassim and not Hannibal Gaddafi that the music concert was for (the article is wrong). The article is not authoritative and has been cited to illustrate that these types of escapades are even vaguely known by the mainstream press in Britain and Western Europe.
[11] U.S. State Department, “Remarks With Libyan National Security Adviser Dr. Mutassim Qadhafi Before Their Meeting,” April 21, 2009: <http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/04/121993.htm>.
[12] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] David Ljunggren, “Libya turmoil puts focus on Arctic oil: Greenland,” ed. Robert Wilson, Reuters, February 23, 2011.
[16] Information from sources in Libya; not publicly confirmed yet. I have been told that Qaddafi promised the tribes reform and that he would step down in about one year in time. I was also informed that he claimed that none of his sons would control Libya either.
[17] Ibid.
[18] General (retired) Wesley Clark, “92 Street Y Exclusive Live Interview,” interview by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, March 2, 2007.

حرب جديدة ضد لبنان

February 25th, 2011 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

اعتقد كثيرون في الشرق الأوسط، أنّ الحرب على غزة هي امتدادٌ لحرب العام ٢٠٠٦ على لبنان، وأنها دون أدنى شك جزءٌ من النزاع نفسه. فبعد الهزيمة الإسرائيلية في العام ٢٠٠٦، لم تتخلّ تل أبيب وواشنطن عن مشروعهما في تحويل لبنان إلى دولة  تابعة. تابعة

أثناء زيارة الرئيس الفرنسي نيكولا ساركوزي إلى تل أبيب في مطلع كانون الثاني الماضي، أكّد له رئيس الوزراء الإسرائيلي إيهود أولمرت ما معناه أنّ إسرائيل تهاجم اليوم حماس في قطاع غزة، وأنها ستقاتل غداً حزب الله في لبنان.  لبنان
لا يزال لبنان في مرمى النيران، وتسعى إسرائيل إلى إيجاد تبرير أو حجة لشن حرب أخرى عليه. عليه

 

في البداية، كانت واشنطن وتل أبيب تأملان في السيطرة على بيروت عبر قوىً سياسية تابعة ضمن تحالف الرابع عشر من آذار. وحين أصبح جلياً أنّ هذه القوى غير قادرة على السيطرة سياسياً على لبنان، هاجمه الجيش الإسرائيلي بهدف استثارة الانهيار النهائي لحزب الله وحلفائه السياسيين. في العام ٢٠٠٦، حدثت الهجمات الإسرائيلية الأقوى في المناطق التي يتمتع فيها حزب الله وحلفاؤه بأكبر دعم، في محاولة لتقليص هذا الدعم الشعبي، لا بل استئصاله. استئصاله

بعد حرب العام ٢٠٠٦، وهزيمة إسرائيل الثانية في لبنان، بدأت واشنطن وتل أبيب، بمساعدة الأردن والإمارات العربية المتحدة ومصر والمملكة العربية السعودية، في تسليح عملائهما في لبنان بهدف تشكيل خيار مسلح داخلي ضد حزب الله وحلفائه. وفي خضم أعمال العنف الداخلية المحدودة بين المعارضة الوطنية اللبنانية وتحالف الرابع عشر من آذار، وكذلك في خضم اتفاق الدوحة الذي جرى عقده في قطر يوم الحادي والعشرين من أيار ٢٠٠٨ ونتيجة فشل هذا الخيار المسلح الداخلي، تعرّض الهدف الإسرائيلي الأمريكي المتضمن إخضاع لبنان لضعف شديد. شديد

تشكلت «حكومة وحدة وطنية»، تحوز فيها المعارضة الوطنية اللبنانية ـ وليس حزب الله وحده ـ على الثلث المعطّل في الوزارة، ومنصب نائب رئيس الوزراء. الوزراء

الهدف في لبنان هو «تغيير النظام» وقمع كل أشكال المعارضة السياسية. لكن كيف السبيل إلى ذلك؟ المؤشرات المرتبطة بالانتخابات العامة للعام ٢٠٠٩ ليست لصالح تحالف الرابع عشر من آذار. ودون خيار داخلي سياسي أو مسلح في لبنان، الذي يمكن أن يؤدي إلى إقامة «ديمقراطية» برعاية أمريكية، اختارت واشنطن وحليفها الإسرائيلي الوثيق الأمر الوحيد الممكن: دعم عسكري، حرب أخرى على لبنان. لبنان

مصالبة الحديد ٣ : إسرائيل تجري مناورات لحرب على جبهتين ضد لبنان وسورية 

وصل التخطيط لهذه الحرب إلى مرحلة متقدمة. ففي تشرين الثاني ٢٠٠٨، قبل شهر واحد من بدء تل أبيب للمجزرة في قطاع غزة، أجرى الجيش الإسرائيلي تدريباً يحاكي حرباً على جبهتين ضد لبنان وسورية دعي: «شيلوف رزوؤوت ٣» أي مصالبة الحديد ٣.   أي

تضمّن التدريب العسكري محاكاة غزو واسع لسورية ولبنان في آن معاً. قبل بضعة أشهر من تمارين الغزو الإسرائيلية، حذّرت تل أبيب بيروت من أنها ستعلن الحرب على لبنان كله، لا على حزب الله وحده. لا

برّرت إسرائيل هذه التحضيرات الحربية بالتأكيد أنّ قوة حزب الله قد تعاظمت، وأنّه أصبح شريكاً للحكومة منذ اتفاق الدوحة الذي انعقد في قطر بين تحالف الرابع عشر من آذار والمعارضة الوطنية اللبنانية. من المناسب أن نذكر بأنّ حزب الله كان عضواً في التحالف الحكومي قبل حرب إسرائيل على لبنان في  العام ٢٠٠٦. العا 

ليس هنالك أدنى شك في أنّ تل أبيب ستزعم أنّ حزب الله يدعم حماس لشن حرب وقائية على لبنان تحت راية محاربة الإرهاب الإسلامي. في هذا السياق، أعلن ديل لي دييلي، رئيس قسم مكافحة الإرهاب في وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية، في مقابلة أجرتها معه صحيفة الحياة بأنّ هجوماً إسرائيلياً على لبنان «وشيك» في إطار  مكافحة الإرهاب. مكافحة الإرهاب

التخطيط لحرب خاطفة

خططت تل أبيب لحرب خاطفة واسعة النطاق على كل لبنان، يتضمن غزواً برياً فورياً. قبيل بداية المجزرة الإسرائيلية في قطاع غزة، كان كبار الموظفين والضباط الإسرائيليين قد وعدوا بأنّ أية قرية لبنانية لن تكون بمنجى من غضب القصف الجوي الإسرائيلي، بغض النظر عن ديانة أو مذهب سكانها وربما توجههم السياسي. السياسي

وفق صحيفة جيروزاليم بوست، قال الجنرال مايكل بين باروخ، أحد المشرفين على تمارين الغزو: «أثناء الحرب الأخيرة، فتحنا النار بهدف زعزعة نشاطات حزب الله. [...] في المرة القادمة، سوف نهاجم  لندمّر». لندمّر

بعد هزيمة إسرائيل في العام ٢٠٠٦، أقرّت الحكومة الإسرائيلية بأنّ «خطأها الفادح» تمثّل في الاعتدال بدل الهجوم على لبنان بكل قوتها العسكرية. وقد أوحى كبار الموظفين الإسرائيليين بأنّه إذا ما أعلنت حربٌ جديدة على اللبنانيين، فسوف تستهدف كل البنى التحتية المدنية والحكومية. والحكومية

عقيدة بيروت الدفاعية الجديدة: تهديد لمصالح إسرائيل وهدفها المتمثل في السيطرة على لبنان

لماذا أصبح لبنان في بؤرة الاستهداف مجدداً؟ الجواب ببساطة: لأسباب جيوسياسية واستراتيجية. كما تتدخل أيضاً عملية التوافق السياسي والانتخابات العامة للعام ٢٠٠٩ التي ستجري قريباً. فبعد تشكيل بيروت لحكومة وحدة وطنية يديرها الرئيس الجديد ميشيل سليمان، يجري التخطيط لوضع عقيدة دفاعية جديدة،
هدفها إبعاد إسرائيل وجعل البلد يتمتع بالأمن والاستقرار  السياسي. السياسي 

 

أثناء النقاشات حول «استراتيجية الدفاع الوطني» التي عقدها اللبنانيون الأربعة عشر الذين وقعوا على اتفاق الدوحة، اتفقت كل الأطراف اللبنانية على أنّ إسرائيل تمثّل تهديداً للبنان. للبنان
في الأشهر التي سبقت الحملة العسكرية الإسرائيلية على غزة، اتخذت بيروت إجراءات دبلوماسية وسياسية هامة. وقد زار الرئيس سليمان، يصحبه عدة وزراء، دمشق (أول زيارة رسمية خارجية للرئيس، يومي ١٣ و١٤ آب  ،٢٠٠٨)،  وإلى طهران (يومي ٢٤ و٢٥ تشرين الثاني ٢٠٠٨).٢٠٠٨ 
  
كما زار الجنرال جان قهوجي، قائد القوات المسلحة اللبنانية، دمشق (في ٢٩ تشرين الثاني ٢٠٠٨) للتباحث مع نظيره السوري الجنرال حبيب. أثناء هذه الزيارة، التقى أيضاً الجنرال حسن تركماني، وزير الدفاع السوري، والرئيس السوري. وأتت زيارته بعد زيارة وزير الداخلية اللبناني زياد بارود، الذي زار دمشق بالمناسبة نفسها. في هذه الأثناء، قام وزير الدفاع اللبناني إلياس المر بزيارة رسمية إلى موسكو (١٦ كانون الأول ٢٠٠٨). موسكو

من هذه النقاشات، انبثقت فكرة أن تزوّد موسكو وطهران القوات المسلحة اللبنانية بالأسلحة، بعد أن كان الجيش اللبناني يتمتع بذخائر أمريكية منخفضة النوعية. لقد منعت الولايات المتحدة على الدوام الجيش اللبناني من شراء أسلحة ثقيلة يمكن أن تنافس قوة إسرائيل العسكرية. العسكرية

كما تمّ كشف أمر آخر، هو أنّ روسيا ستقدّم عشر طائرات مقاتلة من طراز ميغ ٢٩ لبيروت، وفق استراتيجية الدفاع اللبنانية الجديدة على سبيل الهبة. كما سيتطلب استخدام تلك الطائرات الروسية وضع أنظمة رادار وكشف بعيد المدى. كذلك، يحاول لبنان الحصول على دبابات هجومية وصواريخ مضادة للدبابات وعربات مدرعة وحوامات عسكرية  روسية. روسية

في إطار تفاهم إيراني – لبناني دفاعي مدته خمس سنوات، عرضت إيران على الجيش اللبناني تزويده بصواريخ متوسطة المدى. من جانب آخر، تناقش ميشيل سليمان أثناء زيارته إلى إيران مع ضباط إيرانيين وزار معرضاً للصناعة الدفاعية الإيرانية. الإيرانية
وفي حين هدفت المباحثات مع موسكو وطهران إلى تسليح الجيش اللبناني، هدفت المباحثات مع سورية إلى إقامة إطار دفاعي وأمني مشترك ضد الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية. الإسرائيلية

إدماج حزب الله في القوات المسلحة اللبنانية

فضلاً عن ذلك، زار ميشيل عون، رئيس التيار الوطني الحر وكتلة التغيير والإصلاح في البرلمان اللبناني، طهران من الثاني عشر إلى السادس عشر من تشرين الأول ٢٠٠٨، قبل زيارة ميشيل سليمان الرسمية، ثم زار دمشق من الثالث إلى السابع من كانون الأول ٢٠٠٨. يلعب السيد عون دوراً أساسياً في «التوافق السياسي»، وقد اعترف بتحالفه السياسي مع حزب الله، وأعاد تأكيده. تأكيده

   

وفي حين يدعو السيد عون إلى نزع سلاح حزب الله سلمياً في إطار استراتيجية دفاعية لبنانية، وافق على أن ينضم مقاومو حزب الله إلى الجيش اللبناني عاجلاً أو آجلاً. لن يتم نزع السلاح هذا إلا في الوقت المناسب وحين لن تعود إسرائيل تشكل تهديداً على لبنان. يوافق حزب الله إلى حدّ كبير على هذا الرأي، شرط أن يزول التهديد الإسرائيلي لأمن البلاد. هذا الموقف من سلاح حزب الله موجود في الفقرة العاشرة (حماية لبنان) في بروتوكول التفاهم مع حزب الله بتاريخ السادس من شباط ٢٠٠٦، الذي وقعه ميشيل عون باسم حزبه السياسي، التيار الوطني الحر. الحر

كما دعا السيد عون لدى عودته إلى لبنان إلى تشكيل استراتيجية دفاعية لبنانية جديدة ووعد بأنّ نتائج زيارته إلى إيران ستظهر بعد نحو ستة أشهر. من جانب آخر، ذكر أنّ إيران، بوصفها «النظام الإقليمي الرئيسي بين لبنان والصين»، ذات أهمية استراتيجية بالنسبة لمصالح  لبنان. لبنان

تثير الوجهة التي تتخذها الدولة اللبنانية باستراتيجيتها الدفاعية الجديدة قلق أتباع واشنطن السياسيين في لبنان. فقد انتقدوا شراء الأسلحة الإيرانية والتعاون مع سورية في مجال الدفاع. كما جرى التنديد بزيارة الجنرال جان قهوجي إلى سورية، وهي زيارةٌ سمح بها مجلس الوزراء بكامل أعضائه. فضلاً عن ذلك، وضمن هذه القوى المحابية لأمريكا في لبنان، هنالك حركةٌ تنادي بانتهاج لبنان «لسياسة دفاعية محايدة على الطريقة السويسرية» في الشرق الأوسط. سيكون مثل هذا الحياد مناسباً جيوسياسياً واستراتيجياً بالنسبة للولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل. لا داع للقول إنّ هذا الموقف المحايد لا يحظى بكثير شعبية في لبنان، في ظل التهديد بشن عدوان عسكري  إسرائيلي. إسرائيلي

  

إنهاء الضغط الإسرائيلي الأمريكي على بيروت لتوطين اللاجئين الفلسطينيين

تقتضي إقامة عقيدة دفاعية جديدة اندماج مقاتلي حزب الله في القوات المسلحة اللبنانية وحل القوات شبه العسكرية الحالية للحزب، بعد توفير شروط معينة ش. ر

نتيجةً لذلك، ستحلّ إحدى أكبر المشكلات السياسية في لبنان. سوف يزود انضمام مقاومي حزب الله إلى الجيش، بالترافق مع المساعدة العسكرية الروسية والإيرانية، لبنان بالقدرة على الدفاع عن نفسه ويسمح له بمواجهة التهديد بشن عدوان عسكري إسرائيلي. هذه التطورات تقلق تل أبيب وواشنطن ولندن، لأنها تأتي في الاتجاه المعاكس للنموذج الأمريكي للأنظمة التابعة السائد في الشرق الأوسط، وهي أنظمة منسوخة عن نظام الحكم في مصر والمملكة العربية السعودية. ة

كرد فعل على تقارب لبنان مع روسيا وإيران، تم على نحو عاجل إرسال مسؤولين رفيعي المستوى من وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية إلى بيروت في كانون الأول ٢٠٠٨. أثناء هذه المهمة، أكّد ديل لي دييلي وديفيد هيل، وهما على التوالي منسق مكتب مكافحة الإرهاب في وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية ونائب الوزير المكلف بشؤون الشرق الأوسط، التهديدات المبطنة بشن هجوم عسكري على لبنان، عبر لوم حزب الله. تستهدف هذه التهديدات لبنان بأكمله، وهي تهدف إلى زعزعة إقامة العقيدة الدفاعية العسكرية الجديدة. ة
ليس أمام إسرائيل والولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الأطلسي وقتٌ طويل لمنع بيروت من غرس مبدأ الدفاع الوطني الجديد هذا. ع 

لن تعود إسرائيل قادرةً على تبرير التدخل العسكري للبنان في حال أصبح حزب الله حزباً سياسياً وفق هذه الاستراتيجية الدفاعية. علاوةً على ذلك، وإذا أصبحت بيروت تستطيع حماية حدودها من التهديدات العسكرية الإسرائيلية بفضل هذا الموقف الدفاعي الجديد، سيضع ذلك حداً ليس لطموحات تل أبيب للسيطرة عسكرياً واقتصادياً على لبنان فحسب، بل سيوقف أيضاً الضغط الذي تمارسه إسرائيل على لبنان لتوطين لاجئي الحرب الفلسطينيين الذين ينتظرون العودة إلى أرض أجدادهم التي  احتلتها إسرائيل. ل

من الواضح أنّ توطين الفلسطينيين في لبنان يرتبط أيضاً بعملية التوافق السياسي وبالاستراتيجية الدفاعية الجديدة. وقد ناقشه ميشيل سليمان مع المسؤولين الإيرانيين في طهران. ن

بؤرة التوتر في الشرق الأوسط: سيناريو لحرب عالمية ثالثة؟:

في العام ٢٠٠٦، حين هاجمت إسرائيل لبنان، قيل للرأي العام إنّ هذه الحرب نزاعٌ بين إسرائيل وحزب الله. والحال أنّ حرب العام ٢٠٠٦ كانت بصورة أساسية هجوماً على لبنان بأكمله. لم تنجح حكومة بيروت في اتخاذ موقف، فأعلنت «حيادها»، كما تلقت القوات المسلحة اللبنانية الأمر بعدم التدخل ضد الغزاة الإسرائيليين. وقد نتج ذلك عن أنّ الأحزاب السياسية في تحالف الرابع عشر من آذار بزعامة السيد الحريري كانت تسيطر على الحكومة. كانت تتوقع أن تنتهي الحرب بسرعة، وأن يجري تفكيك حزب الله (غريمها السياسي)، وبالتالي، يستبعد من الساحة السياسية الداخلية باعتبار أنّه سيصبح عاجزاً عن القيام بدور ذي دلالة. والحال أنّ ما حدث منذ العام ٢٠٠٦ هو العكس تماماً. ماً

ولو أنّ الحكومة اللبنانية قد أعلنت الحرب على إسرائيل رداً على عدوان هذه الأخيرة، لأرغمت سورية على التدخل لصالح لبنان، وفق معاهدة ثنائية جرى توقيعها بين البلدين في العام ١٩٩١. م

إذا أعلنت إسرائيل الحرب على لبنان، ستلعب بنية التحالفات العسكرية دوراً حاسماً. ربما تقف سورية إلى جانب لبنان، وإذا دخلت النزاع، قد تحاول دمشق الحصول على دعم طهران وفق اتفاق تعاون عسكري ثنائي بين البلدين. ن

إذن، سيناريو التصعيد ممكن وربما يخرج عن  السيطرة. رة

إذا دخلت إيران حرباً دفاعية ضد إسرائيل إلى جانب لبنان وسورية، ستتدخل أيضاً الولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الأطلسي، ما سيجرنا إلى حرب موسعة. ة

توجد اتفاقات تعاون عسكري بين كل من إيران وسورية وبين روسيا. كما عقدت إيران مثل هذا النوع من الاتفاقات الثنائية مع الصين، وهي عضو مراقب في منظمة تعاون شانغهاي . وربما ينجر حلفاء إيران، بمن فيهم روسيا والصين، وكذلك الدول الأعضاء في منظمة معاهدة الأمن الجماعي  ومنظمة تعاون شانغهاي إلى هذا النزاع الموسع!! ع

*مؤلف مستقل يعيش في أوتاوا، وهو أخصائي في الشرق الأوسط وآسيا الوسطى وباحث مشارك في مركز أبحاث العولمة

A fuggire dalla Libia non sono solo famiglie che temono per la loro vita e poveri immigrati da altri paesi nordafricani. Vi sono decine di migliaia di altri «profughi» che vengono rimpatriati dai loro governi con navi e aerei: sono soprattutto tecnici ed executive delle grandi compagnie petrolifere. Non solo l’Eni, che realizza in Libia circa il 15% del suo fatturato,  ma anche altre multinazionali soprattutto europee: Bp, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Basf, Statoil, Rapsol. Sono costretti a lasciare la Libia anche centinaia di russi della Gazprom e oltre 30mila cinesi di compagnie petrolifere e di costruzioni. Una immagine emblematica di come l’economia libica sia interconnessa all’economia globalizzata, dominata dalle multinazionali.

Grazie alle ricche riserve di petrolio e gas naturale, la Libia ha una bilancia commerciale in attivo di 27 miliardi di dollari annui e un reddito procapite medio-alto di 12mila dollari, sei volte maggiore di quello egiziano. Nonostante le forti disparità, il livello medio di vita della popolazione libica (appena 6,5 milioni di abitanti in confronto ai quasi 85 dell’Egitto) è quindi più alto di quello dell’Egitto e degli altri paesi nordafricani. Lo testimonia il fatto che lavorano in Libia circa un milione e mezzo di immigrati per lo più nordafricani. L’85% delle esportazioni energetiche libiche è destinato all’Europa: al primo posto l’Italia che ne assorbe il 37%, seguita da Germania, Francia e Cina. L’Italia è al primo posto anche nelle importazioni libiche, seguita da Cina, Turchia e Germania.

Tale quadro ora salta in aria per effetto di quella che si caratterizza non come una rivolta di masse impoverite, tipo le ribellioni in Egitto e Tunisia, ma come una vera e propria guerra civile, dovuta a una spaccatura nel gruppo dirigente. Chi ha fatto la prima mossa ha sfruttato il malcontento contro il clan di Gheddafi, diffuso soprattutto fra le popolazioni della Cirenaica e i giovani nelle città, nel momento in cui l’intero Nord Africa è percorso da moti di ribellione. A differenza che in Egitto e Tunisia, però, l’insurrezione libica appare preordinata e organizzata.

Emblematiche sono le reazioni in campo internazionale. Pechino si è detta estremamente preoccupata degli sviluppi in Libia e ha auspicato «un rapido ritorno alla stabilità e normalità». Il perché è chiaro: il commercio cino-libico è in forte crescita (circa il 30% solo nel 2010), ma ora la Cina vede messo in gioco l’intero assetto dei rapporti economici con la Libia da cui importa crescenti quantità di petrolio. Analoga la posizione di Mosca. Di segno diametralmente opposto, invece, quella di Washington: il presidente Obama, che di fronte alla crisi egiziana aveva minimizzato la repressione scatenata da Mubarak e premuto per una «ordinata e pacifica transizione», condanna senza mezzi termini il governo libico e annuncia di aver approntato «la gamma completa di opzioni che abbiamo per rispondere a questa crisi», comprese «le azioni che possiamo intraprendere e quelle che coordineremo con i nostri alleati attraverso istituzioni multilaterali». Il messaggio è chiaro: vi è la possibilità di un intervento militare Usa/Nato in Libia, formalmente per fermare il bagno di sangue. Altrettanto chiare sono le ragioni reali: rovesciato Gheddafi, gli Stati uniti potrebbero rovesciare l’intero quadro dei rapporti economici della Libia, aprendo la strada alle loro multinazionali, finora quasi del tutto escluse dallo sfruttamento delle riserve energetiche libiche. Gli Stati uniti potrebbero così controllare il rubinetto energetico, da cui dipende in gran parte l’Europa e si approvvigiona anche la Cina.

Ciò avviene nel grande gioco della spartizione delle risorse africane, che vede un crescente braccio di ferro soprattutto tra Cina e Stati uniti. La potenza asiatica in ascesa – presente in Africa con circa 5 milioni di manager, tecnici e operai – costruisce industrie e infrastrutture, in cambio di petrolio e altre materie prime. Gli Stati uniti, che non possono competere su questo piano, fanno leva sulle forze armate dei principali paesi africani, che addestrano attraverso il Comando Africa (AfriCom), principale loro strumento di penetrazione nel continente. Entra ora in gioco anche la Nato, che sta per concludere un trattato di partnership militare con l’Unione africana, di cui fanno parte 53 paesi. Il quartier generale della partnership Nato-Unione africana è già in costruzione a Addis Abeba: una modernissima struttura,  finanziata con  27 milioni di euro dalla Germania, battezzata «Edificio della pace e sicurezza».

One of the nation’s senior soil scientists alerted the federal government to a newly discovered organism that may have the potential to cause infertility and spontaneous abortion in farm animals, raising significant concerns about human health.  Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University, believes the appearance and prevalence of the unnamed organism may be related to the nation’s over reliance on the weed killer known as Roundup and/or to something about the genetically engineered Roundup-Ready crops. In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the professor called on the federal government to immediately stop deregulation of roundup ready crops, particularly roundup ready alfalfa.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn—suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup.  This organism appears NEW to science!

This is highly sensitive information that could result in a collapse of US soy and corn export markets and significant disruption of domestic food and feed supplies. On the other hand, this new organism may already be responsible for significant harm (see below). My colleagues and I are therefore moving our investigation forward with speed and discretion, and seek assistance from the USDA and other entities to identify the pathogen’s source, prevalence, implications, and remedies.

We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of RR alfalfa. Naturally, if either the RR gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity. Based on the current evidence, the only reasonable action at this time would be to delay deregulation at least until sufficient data has exonerated the RR system, if it does.

For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status. In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.

A diverse set of researchers working on this problem have contributed various pieces of the puzzle, which together presents the following disturbing scenario:

Unique Physical Properties

This previously unknown organism is only visible under an electron microscope (36,000X), with an approximate size range equal to a medium size virus. It is able to reproduce and appears to be a micro-fungal-like organism. If so, it would be the first such micro-fungus ever identified. There is strong evidence that this infectious agent promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.

Pathogen Location and Concentration

It is found in high concentrations in Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, distillers meal, fermentation feed products, pig stomach contents, and pig and cattle placentas.

Linked with Outbreaks of Plant Disease

The organism is prolific in plants infected with two pervasive diseases that are driving down yields and farmer income—sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soy, and Goss’ wilt in corn. The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).

Implicated in Animal Reproductive Failure

Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of this organism in a wide variety of livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility. Preliminary results from ongoing research have also been able to reproduce abortions in a clinical setting.

The pathogen may explain the escalating frequency of infertility and spontaneous abortions over the past few years in US cattle, dairy, swine, and horse operations. These include recent reports of infertility rates in dairy heifers of over 20%, and spontaneous abortions in cattle as high as 45%.

For example, 450 of 1,000 pregnant heifers fed wheatlege experienced spontaneous abortions. Over the same period, another 1,000 heifers from the same herd that were raised on hay had no abortions. High concentrations of the pathogen were confirmed on the wheatlege, which likely had been under weed management using glyphosate.

Recommendations

In summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions, we request USDA’s participation in a multi-agency investigation, and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of RR crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with glyphosate and/or RR plants can be ruled out as a threat to crop and animal production and human health.

It is urgent to examine whether the side-effects of glyphosate use may have facilitated the growth of this pathogen, or allowed it to cause greater harm to weakened plant and animal hosts. It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases; it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders. To properly evaluate these factors, we request access to the relevant USDA data.

I have studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years. We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.

Sincerely,

COL (Ret.) Don M. Huber
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University
APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS)  

Iraq’s “National Day of Rage”

February 25th, 2011 by Dirk Adriaensens

Underneath are a few comments and statements I compiled, sent to me by different Iraqi persons. It’s necessary to counter the near total media blackout on Iraqi protests, that have been going on in every major Iraqi town the past weeks. These protests culminate today in a “National Day of Rage”, organized by the heroic Iraqi youth. Spread the news. Let the world know what is happening in Iraq. 

It is late at night or rather it is early Friday 25th February, 2011 – the day that all Iraqis chose to call The Great Day of Anger – it is the result of the slow rumblings of the Iraqi People’s anger about the past 8 years of destruction, pillage and plunder, rape, and total catastrophe.   The demonstrations will continue and will get larger.

The Iraqi People are demonstrating against corruption, absolute and abysmal poverty, unemployment, total lack of services, and occupation, and very importantly corruption – administrative and fiscal corruption ; they are also demonstrating demanding freedom and human dignity and the immediate expulsion of the Occupation.   They are demonstrating for Iraq and have come together as Iraqis.

Yesterday’s events started off with an amusing speech by Maliki asking people not to demonstrate on Friday!  He described the demonstrators as “the enemies of freedom”!  Any other day but Friday and he looked really frightened.

They have banned the press and closed streets in Baghdad.

It has been leaked that the General from Heet, General Nassir Alghanim, who has terrorised the people of Mosul has run away with 450 soldiers – we do not know their ranks.   This news will be confirmed later.

In the meantime

Colonel Hameed Kadhim in the Ministry of the Interior – Director of Training of Police has resigned because he has refused to obey orders to beatup the demonstrators.   In the meantime 6 anti riot units have sbeen stationed throughout Abu Nawwas and Tahrir Square and have been ordered to beat up the demonstrators.   Also, the Meesan anti riot batallion which is made up of the Da’awa Party Militia has been brought in to Tahrir Square.

The authorities are going round house to house making people sign undertakings that they will not go out and demonstrate – regrettably some members of parliament in the Iraqiya block have also done this in the Anbar province as well as in A’adhamiya!   ID Cards are being confiscated so that these young people are stopped at check points and barred from joining the demonstrations.

The Muthanna regiment has surrounded Abu Ghraib and raided houses as well as taken ID Cards from demonstration leaders in that area.   It has also imposed a curfew there.

All vehichles have been banned from coming into central Baghdad as well as all TV vans which relay live!   Firdaws Square has been closed up for reasons of repairs!

Muntathar Al – Zaidy has been arrested in A’adhamiya.

The Baghdadiya reporter, Meenas, was arrested by police dressed in civillian clothes in Tahrir Square – he was in the Square without his cameraman – among the demonstrators.

Government officials were caught in Baghdad airport before catching a plane with USD1.2 million and the money impounded.

A journalist friend of mine in Baghdad tells me that there is a chilling atmosphere in Baghdad and I quote:”The mood here is chilling. There is an obvious intimidation tactic applied here. I saw riot police practiciing today. maliki’s speeches, sadr and sistani’s statements. It’s insane.”

It is also reported that a great number of senior officials, ministers and members of parliament have left the country.

The Chairman of Baghdad Provincial Council has issued a ban on all slogans that state that the government and/or the Provincial Council Chairman and Members of Baghdad should go!   As for the Basra Chairman of the Provincial Council, Shiltagh, he actually stated publicly at The Prophet’s Birthday celebrations, to an audience of senior tribal leaders as well as religious persons, that Tunisian prostitutes are more honourable than the demosntrators whence a fight broke out – this was recorded by all the media including satellite stations!”

Pray for Iraq!

Muntathar Al Zaidy’s brother’s message:

To the great young people of Iraq,

In the afternoon today 24/02/2011 mercenaries of al-Maliki arrested my own brothers Muntathar Al Zaidy and Dhergham Al Zaidy in the hope of sabotaging the demonstration.

As they have done with me when they tortured me and broke my foot only a couple of weeks ago. But they are stupid because they cannot understand that this revolution has not one leader or a president. If they wish to arrest all the leaders of this blessed Intifadha, then they need to arrest one million from our youth.

We would like to say to the enemies that Lt. Gen. Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi, Muntathar,  Uday and Dhargam Al Zaidy and the rest of our youths are only the advocates for the Iraqi people. The majority of Iraqis are on our side as we hold the occupation government responsible for their safety and welfare until they are released, and tomorrow will raise a banner demanding the release of all detainees, including our mentioned brothers.  So my brothers and sisters, do not let these events affect your determination and motivation to turn up bright and early to our demonstration tomorrow 25th Feb 2011.i

We have divided the preparatory Committee members to several sub committees, including ..

1. Security Committee and its mission to maintain the security of the demonstration, in collaboration with the good people of our brothers in the army and police to stop the agence provocateur in their tacks from lurking in our midst and sabotaging our mission. These agents will no doubt be planted by the government and some of the opportunist political parties.

2. Media Committee : our aim is to discreetly record and send photos and video clips via the Internet and monitor violations by the security services.

3. The Stewarding Committee: Its mission is ensure an orderly protest and chanting slogans. It will prevent any lifting of a politically motivated banner or any sectarianism and racism on the banners. Only Iraqi flags and banners agreed in the Preparatory Committee, calling for the exit of the occupiers and their stooges.

4. Medical Committee, which consists of four volunteer doctors and three medical assistants, its  mission is to treat the sick and the wounded if we come under attack or in case of an emergency God forbid ..

We call upon our brothers and sisters  the demonstrators to stay away as much as possible the security services and to avoid causing any friction with them whatever they do and however provocatively they may behave.

.

 Beware of any unidentifiable objects you might come across, just inform the nearest steward about it.

Long live Iraq, free and united

Long live our dignified mighty people,

May peace and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you

Uday al-Zaidi

APPEAL NO (1) TO THE HEROIC DEMONSTRATORS

We call upon all the organizers of demonstrations to make emergency backup plans in case Iraq’s enemies move to steal and plunder The National Museum and the National Library 

They should organize groups of young men and women to provide  protection for the important sites which include the National Museum, all ministries as well as all service institutions, hospitals, universities and schools etc

http://www.wammdh.com/user.aspx?id=50&SectionID=0

A special government force arrested Lt. Gen. Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi, director of the individuals in the current Department of Defense on Wednesday morning (today) due to his resignation and giving up his rank and joining the crowds of demonstrators protesting the incomplete current government.

A  media source in the province of Baghdad stated, “A force in the Baghdad Operations Command raided this morning, the home of director of personnel in the Ministry of Defense General Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi in Jadriya in central Baghdad, and arrested him without a judicial arrest warrant. “

The source added, “The security force took away General Abdul Aziz,to an unknown destination. “

The director of the Department of Personnel in the Ministry of Defense General Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi presented on Tuesday, his resignation via Al Sharquiya satellite TV station, and his Declaration of support for the demonstrators. He also  accused the current government of corruption and sectarianism.

Best Regards

Tahrir Swift

http://solidarityiraq.blogspot.com/

A spokesman for Baghdad operations, Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, said he would prevent vehicles from surrounding areas in Tahrir Square, in a move to block the arrival of the demonstrators to it on Friday February 25.

As well as cars were banned, journalists from television were prevented coverage of the protests in Tahrir Square.

The spokesman for Baghdad operations “will prevent the traffic of surrounding areas for the Tahrir Square on Friday, as well as preventing cars of direct broadcast so as ‘not to impede the movement’ of demonstrators.”

Sources from the security agencies and intelligence services had two days ago given warning to the owners of the buildings surrounding Tahrir Square of the consequences of allowing photographers and journalists from getting to the rooftops and took their written pledges, in an attempt to prevent a wide media coverage of the event, on Friday, 25 February.

http://www.wammdh.com/UserNewsDetails.aspx?ID=50&NewsID=GOsGUeaFt/0=

Urgent appeal, investigate the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice

In Sulaymaniyah: murder of a young man Rizwan Ali (17 years) and another aged 14 died of his wounds Thursday 17/02/2011 by the security forces  and militia belonging to the Kurdish parties in the Seraiy Square-  Sulaymaniyah during a peaceful protest carried out mainly by young people.

2 – Kidnapping of activist Uday Al Zaidi on 2/14/2011 By Interior Ministry forces and the arrest of his colleagues during a peaceful licensed demonstration in Firdous Square in central Baghdad. He was tortured and his limbs were broken to prevent him from future participation in peaceful demonstrations called by the popular movement to save Iraq.

3 – The killing of three protesters and wounding 55 others in the city of Kut in southern Iraq on 16 February where a peaceful demonstration protesting the lack of public services and corruption, was confronted with firearms and live ammunition.

4 – the death of journalist Riad al-Rubaie in the middle of a peaceful demonstration of youth on 20 February, at Tahrir Square after being severely beaten by the police under the eyes of  his fellow protesters.

5 – Security forces in civilian clothes raided the sit in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad at dawn on February 21 and attacked the protesters with sharp implements and blades resulted, killing one person and seriously injuring nine others. The wounded protesters said the security forces asked them to leave the arena.   After midnight, the security forces withdrew from the arena to make way for about  sixty men armed with  spears, sticks and electric batons to attack the camp. They raided the camp and burned down the sit-in tent.

In a desperate attempt by the authorities of the Green Zone to intimidate the young protesters and dissuade them from demonstrating on Friday in Tahrir Square, They have  since yesterday been warning of all government forces under item (c), and had recalled all licensees of such forces immediately back to their units and the deployment of tanks at intersections and entrances to neighbourhoods and bridges and carry out policing and to force pledges from employees and citizens in residential neighbourhoods, of non-participation in legitimate peaceful protests. The government’s supporters are also attempting to sabotage the protests by watering down the demands and/or steering them to a partisan/religious line and/or agendas. These demonstrations are totally independent of any political current, organised mainly by Iraqi youth and expressing popular demands and sentiments. The government’s insidious plans to sabotage or suppress the protests are a clear indication of their own fear of the Iraqi youth’s power and determination. It is an indication of that Iraqi people’s hour of reckoning, with this political system is drawing near.

Best Regards

Tahrir Swift

http://solidarityiraq.blogspot.com/

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his supporters in the Fatah party want us to believe that dramatic changes are underway in the occupied Palestinian territories.

This is part of a strategy intended to offset any public dissatisfaction with the self-designated Palestinian leadership in the West Bank. The PA hopes the ‘news’ will create enough distraction to help it survive the current climate of major public-regime showdowns engulfing the Middle East.

Anticipating a potential popular uprising in the occupied territories – which could result in a major revamping of the current power, to the disadvantage of Abbas – the PA is now taking preventive measures.

First, there was the resignation of the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Ereka on February 12. Erekat was clearly implicated in negotiating, if not squandering, Palestinian rights in successive meetings with Israeli and American officials. This was revealed through nearly 1,600 leaked documents, which Aljazeera and the Guardian termed the ‘Palestine Papers’.

Erekat was hardly representing himself, as he readily gave away much territory, including most of Jerusalem. He also agreed to a symbolic return of Palestinian refugees to their land, now part of today’s Israel. By keeping his post, the entire PA ‘peace process’ apparatus would have remained ineffective at best, and at worst entirely self-seeking, showing no regard whatsoever for Palestinian rights.

With Erekat’s exit, the PA hopes to retain a margin of credibility among Palestinians.

Erekat, who made his entrance to the world of ‘peace process’ at the Madrid peace conference in 1991, opted out in a way that conceded no guilt. He claimed to have left merely because the leak happened through his office. The PA expects us to believe that, unlike other Arab governments, it functions in a transparent and self-correcting manner. Erekat wants to be seen as an “example of accountability”, according to the Washington Post (February 16). He claimed: “I’m making myself pay the price for the mistake I committed, my negligence. These are the ethics and the standards. Palestinian officials need to start putting them in their minds.”

The message is neatly coined, although it belittles the real issue at stake. This has caused much outrage in Palestinian intellectual, political and public circles. Negligence is one thing, and relinquishing a people’s rights is another entirely.

Two days after Erekat’s departure, the PA cabinet in the West Bank also suddenly resigned. The cabinet had met earlier that day, and its Prime Minister Salam Fayyad then submitted his resignation to President Abbas. The latter, in turn, accepted the resignation and immediately reappointed Fayyad to form a new government. An exercise in futility? Of course, but for a good reason.

The resignation was merely tactical. It aimed at quelling the current popular discontent and preventing it from spilling over into street protests. But it was also tactless, for it reintroduced the very man who formed the old government to assemble a new one. If indeed Fayyad’s political performance was lacking – and thus deserving of rebuke and mass resignation – then what is the point of putting the same man in charge of yet another phase of inefficiency and ineffectiveness?

The dramatic move was meant to show the people that the PA did not need a popular uprising to initiate reforms and change. Fayyad was reappointed because he is valuable to the current political structure of the PA, and he’s also the most trusted Palestinian official as far as the US is concerned.

Then, on top of all this, the PA cleverly set September as a deadline for elections in the occupied territories. This date acquired a compounded value when Western officials began assigning other great expectations to September as well. One such call was made by EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who expressed her hopes – along with those of the ‘international community’ – that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would be reached by September.

Based on the current political reality – a rejectionist Israeli front, a Palestinian front that is polarized and largely self-seeking, and a US-led Western front that is incapable of doing much more than pressing the Palestinians for more concessions – we know only too well that no peace will come in September.

Abbas, a pragmatic man by his own admission, knows this as well. The September deadline is largely aimed at creating further distraction. If all eyes are focused on that date, there will be no need to worry about the here and now.

But September is also not too far off, a reality that calls for some early steps. Hamas expectedly rejected the call for elections without a platform of political and territorial unity. Why should Hamas get involved in another election if any unfavorable outcome will only bring further punishment to the Palestinian people? A sound concern, of course, but that rejection allowed Abbas, on February 17, to condition the elections based on Hamas’ participation. In other words, Hamas is once more positioned as the hurdle that stands between the Palestinians and unity, political normalcy and democracy. Now Hamas will be continually derided for delaying the ‘Palestinian national project’, until September leisurely arrives and disappears, leaving behind no mark of meaningful change.

Abbas and his trusted men already know the outcome of this endeavor. In their defense, the strategy also has little to do with September, elections or Hamas’ position. It is aimed at deepening the divide among Palestinians, and distract from the main problem, which is the fact that the PA serves no purpose other than managing the administrative side of the Israeli military occupation. The PA is devoid of any national value to the Palestinian people, and only serves the interests of those involved in subjugating them. The Palestinians are now required to move past this dismal political moment and seek an alternative – an all-inclusive, representative and truly democratic institution to lead the next stage in their fight for freedom.

The PA wants to stall until September. But will Palestinians wait that long?

- Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, LondonS), available on Amazon.com.

It’s amazing how governments infiltrate terror cells time and again, but then fail to actually stop the attacks.

London

The Guardian noted on February 13th:

A remark from the sentencing judge that Babar “began co-operating even before his arrest”, has raised the possibility, supported by other circumstantial evidence obtained by the Guardian, that he may have been an informant for the US government before his detention by the FBI in April 2004.

***

Having reviewed the court transcript himself, bereaved father Graham Foulkes said: “There’s a hint from one or two of the sentences [in the transcript] that do strongly suggest [Babar's] co-operation was going well beyond his official arrest. And it looks as if the Americans may well have known in detail what Babar was up to in Pakistan [at the time] and that is a very, very serious matter.”

When judge Marrero’s office was asked to clarify the remarks, his office declined to comment. The US attorney’s office declined to comment on whether Babar had been working with US agencies before his arrest.

The law enforcement officer involved in Babar’s arrest and debriefing also refused to discuss the allegations.

Indeed, this short Fox news interview with terrorism expert and former prosecutor for the Justice Department shows that the bombing “mastermind” was a British intelligence agent (or read the transcript here). And see confirming story here.

An MSNBC translator confirms that claim of responsibility by Al-Qaeda was a fake. And see this this regarding the unreliability of the translation.

This article from the Independent raises the question of whether attackers were “arrested and then released” while remaining under close observation by the government”.

Times Online reports that the police were “bugging” the car of the mastermind of the bombings.

And apparently Israel was warned ahead of the blasts (confirmed here).

Madrid

BBC reported in 2004:

The Spanish interior ministry says it is investigating reports that two suspects in the 11 March Madrid train bombings were police informants.

The move came after Spain’s El Mundo newspaper said Moroccan Rafa Zuher and Spaniard Jose Emilio Suarez had been in contact with police before the attacks.

The men are suspected of providing dynamite for the attacks, which killed 191 people and injured more than 2,000.

The paper said they passed on details about drug deals and other crimes.

New York: 1993

For example, the FBI had penetrated the cell which carried out the 1993 world trade center bombing, but had — at the last minute — canceled the plan to have its FBI infiltrator substitute fake powder for real explosives, against the infiltrator’s strong wishes (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view)?

And see this TV news report:

New York: 2001

The government had also infiltrated the 9/11 terror cell:

  • According to the large French newspaper Le Monde, the intelligence services of America’s close ally France and of other governments had infiltrated the highest levels of Al-Qaeda’s camps, and actually listened to the hijackers’ debates about which airlines’ planes should be hijacked, and allied intelligence services also intercepted phone conversations between Al-Qaeda members regarding the attacks
  • The National Security Agency and the FBI were each independently listening in on the phone calls between the supposed mastermind of the attacks and the lead hijacker. Indeed, the FBI built its own antenna in Madagascar specifically to listen in on the mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to various sources, on the day before 9/11, the mastermind told the lead hijacker “tomorrow is zero hour” and gave final approval for the attacks. The NSA intercepted the message that day and the FBI was likely also monitoring the mastermind’s phone calls
  • According to the Sunday Herald, two days before 9/11, Bin Laden called his stepmother and told her “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” U.S. officials later told CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” Indeed, before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother.
  • And according to CBS News, at 9:53 a.m on 9/11, just 15 minutes after the hijacked plane had hit the Pentagon, “the National Security Agency, which monitors communications worldwide, intercepted a phone call from one of Osama bin Laden’s operatives in Afghanistan to a phone number in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia”, and secretary of Defense Rumsfeld learned about the intercepted phone call in real-time (if the NSA monitored and transcribed phone calls in real-time on 9/11, that implies that it did so in the months leading up to 9/11 as well)

What About the Terror Arrests?

But what about the arrests which have been made of would-be terrorists? Doesn’t that show that governments do sometimes catch the bad guys?

Maybe … but:

  • Former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke said:

A lot of the cases after 9/11 were manufactured or enormously exaggerated and were announced with great trumpets by the attorney general and the FBI director so that we felt that they were doing something when, in fact, what they were doing was not helpful, not relevant, not needed.

  • The Washington Post ran a story about one alleged threat entitled “Was it a terror sting or entrapment?“, showing that the U.S. government lent material support to the wanna-be terrorists, and put violent ideas in their heads
  • There are numerous other instances of entrapment of peaceful or mentally incompetent people who are then arrested as “terrorists”. For example, the “mastermind” of the terrorism plot was a self-confessed “pothead” , another was a crackhead, and that they were all semi-retarded. And see this, this and this

So while there are a lot of loud announcements about catching terrorists, most of the convictions are optics without substance.

VIDEO: Gaddafi Loses More Libyan Cities as Protests Continue

February 24th, 2011 by Global Research

Libya and Imperialism

February 24th, 2011 by Sara Flounders

Of all the struggles going on in North Africa and the Middle East right now, the most difficult to unravel is the one in Libya. 

What is the character of the opposition to the Gadhafi regime, which reportedly now controls the eastern city of Benghazi? 

Is it just coincidence that the rebellion started in Benghazi, which is north of Libya’s richest oil fields as well as close to most of its oil and gas pipelines, refineries and its LNG port? Is there a plan to partition the country? 

What is the risk of imperialist military intervention, which poses the gravest danger for the people of the entire region?

Libya is not like Egypt. Its leader, Moammar al-Gadhafi, has not been an imperialist puppet like Hosni Mubarak. For many years, Gadhafi was allied to countries and movements fighting imperialism. On taking power in 1969 through a military coup, he nationalized Libya’s oil and used much of that money to develop the Libyan economy. Conditions of life improved dramatically for the people.  

For that, the imperialists were determined to grind Libya down. The U.S. actually launched air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986 that killed 60 people, including Gadhafi’s infant daughter – which is rarely mentioned by the corporate media. Devastating sanctions were imposed by both the U.S. and the U.N. to wreck the Libyan economy. 

After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and leveled much of Baghdad with a bombing campaign that the Pentagon exultantly called “shock and awe,” Gadhafi tried to ward off further threatened aggression on Libya by making big political and economic concessions to the imperialists. He opened the economy to foreign banks and corporations; he agreed to IMF demands for “structural adjustment,” privatizing many state-owned enterprises and cutting state subsidies on necessities like food and fuel.  

The Libyan people are suffering from the same high prices and unemployment that underlie the rebellions elsewhere and that flow from the worldwide capitalist economic crisis. 

There can be no doubt that the struggle sweeping the Arab world for political freedom and economic justice has also struck a chord in Libya. There can be no doubt that discontent with the Gadhafi regime is motivating a significant section of the population. 

However, it is important for progressives to know that many of the people being promoted in the West as leaders of the opposition are long-time agents of imperialism. The BBC on Feb. 22 showed footage of crowds in Benghazi pulling down the green flag of the republic and replacing it with the flag of the overthrown monarch King Idris – who had been a puppet of U.S. and British imperialism.

The Western media are basing a great deal of their reporting on supposed facts provided by the exile group National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which was trained and financed by the U.S. CIA. Google the front’s name plus CIA and you will find hundreds of references. 

The Wall Street Journal in a Feb. 23 editorial wrote that “The U.S. and Europe should help Libyans overthrow the Gadhafi regime.” There is no talk in the board rooms or the corridors of Washington about intervening to help the people of Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or Bahrain overthrow their dictatorial rulers. Even with all the lip service being paid to the mass struggles rocking the region right now, that would be unthinkable. As for Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialists are pulling every string they can to get the masses off the streets.  

There was no talk of U.S. intervention to help the Palestinian people of Gaza when thousands died from being blockaded, bombed and invaded by Israel. Just the opposite. The U.S. intervened to prevent condemnation of the Zionist settler state.

Imperialism’s interest in Libya is not hard to find. Bloomberg.com wrote on Feb. 22 that while Libya is Africa’s third-largest producer of oil, it has the continent’s largest proven reserves – 44.3 billion barrels. It is a country with a relatively small population but the potential to produce huge profits for the giant oil companies. That’s how the super-rich look at it, and that’s what underlies their professed concern for the people’s democratic rights in Libya.

Getting concessions out of Gadhafi is not enough for the imperialist oil barons. They want a government that they can own outright, lock, stock and barrel. They have never forgiven Gadhafi for overthrowing the monarchy and nationalizing the oil. Fidel Castro of Cuba in his column “Reflections” takes note of imperialism’s hunger for oil and warns that the U.S. is laying the basis for military intervention in Libya. 

In the U.S., some forces are trying to mobilize a street-level campaign promoting such U.S. intervention. We should oppose this outright and remind any well-intentioned people of the millions killed and displaced by U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Progressive people are in sympathy with what they see as a popular movement in Libya. We can help such a movement most by supporting its just demands while rejecting imperialist intervention, in whatever form it may take. It is the people of Libya who must decide their future.

In its Fortieth Anniversary special issue, Foreign Policy magazine (now owned by the Washington Post) presents a series of articles titled “Unconventional Wisdom.”  According to the editors letter, Foreign Policy endeavours “to keep alive” the “relentless determination to resist the uncritical thinking of the foreign-policy herd.”  The editor states that this issue is a tribute to “the smart, reasoned, and pull-no-punches debate these articles represent.”

Most of the “unconventional wisdom,” when juxtaposed with much of the information available away from the mainstream media of corporate U.S.A., is quite ordinary and not all that unconventional.  ‘Conventional’ is given the meaning of not natural, not spontaneous, following tradition. In that light, is it unconventional to say growth cannot last forever?  Not really, that has been postulated for many decades if not centuries.   Remember Malthus?  He is coming back with a vengeance.  Is it unconventional to say the “rich really don’t care about the poor?”  Hardly, that is as old as human states and empires.  Some of the other essays on China and security would certainly go against the conventional wisdom of the Glen Becks and Bill O’Reillys of the world, but for anyone who follows non-mainstream media, there is much conventional wisdom that passes here for unconventional. 

Palestine/Israel

A few of the articles make presentations that while theoretically debunking conventional wisdom, simply continue the conventional mythology as the U.S. wishes to see it.  Leslie Gelb, president Emeritus of the Council of Foreign Relations, and from reading his bibliography well out on the right wing of U.S. foreign policy, believes he is providing some unconventional wisdom when arguing “America Pressures Israel Plenty.”  If that were true, it would be unconventional, but there is nothing in his essay to support his thesis.  He postulates two pieces of ‘conventional’ wisdom  – really only one, each representing a side of the same coin – that the Israelis are the main stumbling block to Middle East peace, and not the Palestinians; and that the U.S. has failed to use it influence to pressure Israel for serious compromises.  From that Gelb attempts to say the opposite, that the U.S. has pressured Israel a lot.  In this case it is truly unconventional as it is essentially not true.

Gelb argues that Israel has “a long and compelling history of making major concessions to Arabs.”  He describes the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt as “booty of war” that was returned to Egypt in “an act of territorial generosity unprecedented in modern history.”   The withdrawal was only one part of an overall agreement that saw both sides accepting collective parameters of peace and was a necessary part of any negotiations towards peace.  It was not a gift, not a concession, not a generosity, but very much a part of the overall peace process as witnessed by UN Security Council Resolution 242:

1. Affirms that the fulfillment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East should include the application of both the following principles:

      (i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;

      (ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and    acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political    independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within       secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force; 

That Israel gained largely from it is unarguable – a safe western boundary guaranteed by U.S. military and economic support to both parties, allowing the Israelis to concentrate their military to the east and north.  Three years later Israel occupied southern Lebanon and stayed for twenty years before leaving -  in perhaps another move of “unprecedented territorial generosity?”

The argument then turns to some simple phrases that without context are meaningless.  The first is “Israelis negotiated with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, whom they rightly considered a terrorist.” Is this supposed to demonstrate U.S. pressure?  And if so, how?  The British negotiated with the IRA, and they negotiated with the ANC, both known terrorist groups.  The U.S. has negotiated with the Taliban, and indirectly supports the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq of Iran whom they label as terrorists.  The U.S. has supported anti-Castro terrorists, in particular Orlando Bosch, who performed the 1976 mid-air bombing of a Cubana Airlines flight killing 73 people, and is in U.S. territory in spite of Bush’s warning against those who harbour terrorists.  Essentially, the U.S. and Israel will negotiate with whomever they feel they can reach some advantage with for resource, political, and financial control.

Then there are more concessions to the Palestinians.  Gelb argues that Israel offered “more than ninety per cent of the West Bank” to the Palestinians.  How wonderful!  Especially considering that the Palestinians originally occupied one hundred per cent of it.  Even more, the Palestinians occupied one hundred per cent of the Palestinian Mandate before the British packed up and left.  The UN partition plan offered the Palestinians forty-four per cent of the territory – how generous, how unprecedented!  The Israelis conquered another-twenty four per cent in the 1948 nakba, then occupied the rest in the 1967 war.  How generous, how unprecedented of them to offer the Palestinians what amounts to about eighteen per cent of their original homeland. 

According to Gelb, this offer was then upped with “a sliver of Arab East Jerusalem” – their own land again – a “land link to Gaza” and a limited right of return.  By this time the Palestinians had grown wary of the U.S. led Israeli ‘negotiations’ and without anything in writing and no real commitments, the deal collapsed.

“In return the Israelis received little,” except for everything they already controlled against the rule of international law for both occupied territories and human rights.   After a brief presentation about the arguments of both sides for “further concessions”, Gelb states that the Palestinians do not “acknowledge that when Israel departed Gaza in 2005, it uprooted 9,000 Israeli settlers.” What is there it acknowledge…it is a known fact, obviously recognized by both sides.  Although not argued here as a “generous concession” as it has been elsewhere, the move was a combination of political ploy to represent itself to the western media as a move for peace, while at the same time allowing the ongoing settlements in the West Bank to proceed.  The overall result was the imprisonment of all of Gaza and complete control of all movement of people and resources. 

In the next statement he argues, “Israel got rockets and a terrorist enclave run by Hamas.”  True, but only when taken completely without context and completely without analysis of historical events.  There is no cause and effect as implied by the juxtaposition of the statements.   With Gaza effectively sealed off and controlled in all facets by Israel, and with daily routine shelling, mortar fire, and sniper fire by the IDF, the scale of violence was perpetrated mainly by the Israelis.  Also, it did not take much U.S. “pressure” to convince Israel to negate the democratic election of Hamas to power within the Palestinian territories and to try and create a civil war in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas, with U.S./Israeli support going to Fatah.   

Finally Gelb comes around to the U.S. again, saying, “the United States has pushed and pulled Israel toward concessions, but received little or no credit from the Arab side.”  Unfortunately for Gelb’s argument, with all the economic and military support that the U.S. has provided and continues to provide to Israel over the last four decades, much more than talk could have been presented as pressure.  The Israelis know quite well that the U.S. presents a good rhetorical front about peace and democracy, but will only act in areas where its geopolitical concerns are being denied or harmed.   The “American role has been real and substantial” only in that sense, a real and substantial support of the Israeli government and it actions in Palestine. 

The summary is that both Israel and the U.S. deserve “credit for their concrete efforts to make peace.”  Those concrete efforts amount to a huge increase in settlements made of concrete, a security ‘fence’ made in part of concrete, many concrete road blocks and inspection points, and ironically, the destruction of much Palestinian civilian infrastructure wherein concrete has been transformed into rubble.  There is much more concrete in the bypass roads and other infrastructure to support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.  The U.S. also accepts Israeli ambiguity on its nuclear weapons, its main reactor at Dimona protected under layers of concrete, simply another part of the U.S.’ double standards when dealing with nuclear powers both in and out of the NPT.

All other efforts on the part of the U.S. are simply political rhetoric to sound good for  domestic money and votes, and to rationalize its geopolitical strategies in the region.  Along with that, the Palestinian Papers reveal how much the Palestinians were willing to concede to the Israelis concerning settlements, Jerusalem, and the right of return.  If someone of Gelb’s credentials and contacts was unaware of this, he wilfully remained so, and while it is convenient to argue from hindsight, Gelb certainly should have been aware that the now disgraced Palestinian negotiators were offering much more than the populace would accept. 

Lockerbie Bombing: Libya was Framed

February 24th, 2011 by Linda S. Heard

On December 21 1988, a Pan Am plane mysteriously exploded over Scotland causing the death of 270 people from 21 countries. The tragedy provoked global outrage. In 1991, two Libyans were charged with the bombing.

In the event, only Abdulbaset Ali Mohammad Al Megrahi, a Libyan agent, was pronounced guilty by a panel of three judges, who based their decision on largely circumstantial evidence. Al Megrahi and the Libyan government have protested their innocence all along.

Nevertheless, after suffering punitive UN sanctions which froze overseas Libyan bank accounts and prevented the import of spare parts needed for the country’s oil industry, Tripoli reluctantly agreed to pay $2.7 billion to victims? families ($10 million per family), on condition the pay-out would not be deemed as admission of guilt.

In February, 2004, the Libyan prime minister told the BBC that his country was innocent but was forced to pay-up as a “price for peace”.

Al Megrahi is currently serving a life sentence but earlier this year the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission ruled there may have been a miscarriage of justice on the basis of lost or destroyed evidence.

Later this month, a Scottish appeals court is due to revisit the case and is expected to overturn Al Megrahi’s conviction as unsafe.

The Libyan leader’s son Saif Al Islam recently said he is confident Al Megrahi will soon be found innocent and will be allowed to return home.

On Sunday, an Observer expose written by Alex Duval Smith reported “a key piece of material evidence used by prosecutors to implicate Libya in the Lockerbie bombing has emerged as a probable fake” with allegations of “international political intrigue and shoddy investigative work” levelled at “the British government, the FBI and the Scottish police”.

The Observer story maintains Ulrich Lumpert a Swiss engineer who was “a crucial witness” has now confessed that he lied about the origins of a timer switch.

Recently, Lumpert gave a sworn declaration to a Swiss court, which read “I stole a prototype MST-13 timing device” and “gave it without permission on June 22, 1989 to a person who was officially investigating the Lockerbie affair”.

The owner of the company that manufactured the switch – forced into bankruptcy after being sued by Pan Am – says he told police early in the enquiry that the timer switch was not one his company had ever sold to Libya.

Moreover, he insists the timer switch shown to the court had been tampered with since he initially viewed it in Scotland, saying the pieces appeared to have been “carbonised” in the interim. He also says the court was so determined to prove Libya’s guilt it brushed aside his evidence.

In 2005, a former Scottish police chief signed a statement alleging the CIA had planted fragments of a timer circuit board produced at trial, evidence supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent to the effect his agency “wrote the script” to ensure Libya was incriminated.

There are also allegations that clothing allegedly purchased by the bomber in Malta before it was wrapped around the bomb, was intact when discovered but by the time it reached the court it was in shreds.

Life sentence

The shopkeeper who sold the item made a statement to the effect Al Megrahi had never been a customer. Instead, he identified an Egyptian-born Palestinian Mohammad Abu Talb – now serving a life sentence in Sweden for a synagogue bombing.

Professor Hans Koechler, appointed by the UN to be an observer at the trial, has termed its outcome “a spectacular miscarriage of justice”. Koechler has repeatedly called for an independent enquiry, which, to date, the British government has refused to allow.

Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, insists “no court is likely to get to the truth, now that various intelligence agencies have had the opportunity to corrupt the evidence”.

Jim Swire, the father of one of the Lockerbie victims, said “Scottish justice obviously played a leading part in one of the most disgraceful miscarriages of justice in history.”

Craig Murray, a former British ambassador, who was earlier second-in-command of Britain’s Aviation and Maritime Department from 1989 to 1992, writes about a strange incident on his website.

Murray says a colleague told him “in a deeply worried way” about an intelligence report indicating Libya was not involved in the Pan Am bombing. When he asked to see it, his colleague said it was marked for named eyes only, which Murray describes as “extremely unusual”. Earlier, a CIA report that had reached a similar conclusion had been conveniently buried.

If Al Megrahi walks, as is likely, Libya will be vindicated and would presumably be able to reclaim monies paid in compensation along with its reputation.

This would also be a highly embarrassing turn of events for Britain and the US not to mention their respective intelligence agencies, and would leave the question of who bombed Pan Am Flight 103 unanswered.In a perfect world, Libya should also receive an apology from its accusers and should be allowed to sue for damages for all that it lost as a result of UN sanctions.

But in a world where political expediency often triumphs, the appeal has no foregone conclusion despite the exposure of dubious “evidence” and suspect “witnesses”.

Linda S. Heard is a specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She can be contacted at [email protected] Response to this article may be considered for publication.

Egypt/Turkey-Israel: ‘A clean break’

February 24th, 2011 by Eric Walberg

It is not Israel backed by the distant US that inherits the Ottoman mantle of hegemony in the Middle East, but some combination of Turkey and Egypt…

While Egypt’s revolution was very much about domestic matters — bread and butter, corruption, repression — its most immediate effects have been international. Not for a long time has Egypt loomed so large in the region, to both friend and foe. At least 13 of the 22 Arab League countries are now affected: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

But just as powerful has been the resonance in Israel. It has no precedent for an assertive, democratic neighbour. Except for Turkey.

As the US was putting the finishing touches on NATO (established in April 1949), Turkey became the first Muslim nation to recognise Israel, in March 1949 (Iran did so a year later). Under the watchful eye of its military, Turkey and Israel had close diplomatic, economic and military relations throughout the Cold War.

The first hint of trouble was Turkey’s denunciation of “Israeli oppression” of the Palestinians in 1987, but it was not until the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002 that a strong critical voice was heard. In 2004 Turkey denounced the Israeli assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a “terrorist act” and Israeli policy in the Gaza Strip as “state-sponsored terrorism”.

Saudi acquiescence to US-Israel hegemony is understandable because of the Saudi monarchy’s total reliance on the US dollar income from its oil. As US secretary of state Henry Kissinger told Business Week after Saudi Arabia defied the US with its oil embargo in support of Egypt in the 1973 war against Israel, any more such behaviour would lead to “massive political warfare against countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran to make them risk their political stability and maybe their security if they did not cooperate”.

His words were not idle. King Faisal, who had risked all to help the Egyptians and Palestinians, was assassinated shortly after that, and his act of defiance was the last peep heard from the Saudis. Or Egypt, which went on to make peace with Israel. Even as Turkey’s resistance to Israel has grown hotter, Israel continued to find comfort in the accommodating nature of president Hosni Mubarak’s rule, though it has been a “cold peace” between enemies.

Yes, enemies. For despite official relations and a trickle of photo ops of Egyptian-Israeli leaders shaking hands over the past three decades, 92 per cent Egyptians continued to view Israel as the enemy, according to a 2006 Egyptian government poll. Perhaps Mubarak also found maintaining good relations with Israel distasteful, but he complied with US wishes, getting the second largest US aid package (after Israel).

Current Israeli military strategy was honed in the early1980s, after the elimination of Egypt as a military threat. Two names are identified with it. Ariel Sharon announced publicly in 1981, shortly before invading Lebanon, that Israel no longer thought in terms of peace with its neighbours, but instead sought to widen its sphere of influence to the whole region “to include countries like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and areas like the Persian Gulf and Africa, and in particular the countries of North and Central Africa”. This view of Israel as a regional superpower/ bully became known as the Sharon Doctrine.

Sharon’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 followed traditional imperialism’s strategy of direct invasion and co-opting of local elites, in this case a Christian one. But already this strongman policy was losing its appeal. It didn’t work for Israel in Lebanon. There was always the risk of a strongman turning against his patron or being overthrown.

The more extreme version of the new Israeli game plan to make Israel the regional hegemon was Oded Yinon’s “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”. Yinon was nicknamed ‘sower of discord’ for his proposal to divide-and-conquer to create weak dependent statelets with some pretense of democracy, similar to the US strategy in Central America, which would fight among themselves and, if worse comes to worst and a populist leader emerges, be sabotaged easily – the Salvador Option. Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah described the Israeli policy based on Yinon in 2007 as intended to create “a region that has been partitioned into ethnic and confessional states that are in agreement with each other. This is the new Middle East.”

Yinon was using as a model the Ottoman millet system where separate legal courts governed the various religious communities using Muslim Sharia, Christian Canon and Jewish Halakha laws. Lebanon would be divided into Sunni, Alawi, Christian and Druze states, Iraq divided into Sunni, Kurd and Shia states. The Saudi kingdom and Egypt would also be divided along sectarian lines, leaving Israel the undisputed master.

“Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security.” Yinon correctly observed that the existing Middle East states set up by Britain following WWI&II were unstable and consisted of sizable minorities which could be easily incited to rebel. All the Gulf states are “built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil”.

Following on Yinon’s strategy in 1982, Richard Perle’s 1996 “A Clean Break” states: “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right.”

Israeli internal security minister Avi Dichter said shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003: “Weakening and isolating Iraq is no less important than weakening and isolating Egypt. Weakening and isolating Egypt is done by diplomatic methods while everything is done to do achieve a complete and comprehensive isolation to Iraq. Iraq has vanished as a military force and as a united country.”

According to Haaretz correspondent Aluf Benn writing on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Sharon and his cohorts “envision a domino effect, with the fall of Saddam Hussein followed by that of Israel’s other enemies: Arafat, Hassan Nasrallah, Bashar Assad, the ayatollah in Iran and maybe even Muhammar Gadaffi.” By presenting the US with facts-on-the-ground and using its US lobby, Israel would keep itself at the heart of American plans for the Middle East.

The invasion of Iraq was always intended as a prelude to the invasion of Iran. The Israeli logic, which is hard to fault, is that with Iraq now occupied, unstable and its inevitably pro-Iranian Shia majority asserting control, Iran has been strengthened, and that the same war plan against Iran is necessary to defeat the chief remaining regional anti-Israeli regime, which is now gathering support from not only Shia, but from Sunni opponents to the US-Israeli project throughout the Arab world. Ben Eliezer told the gathering: “They are twins, Iran and Iraq.”

Despite Turkish storm clouds on the horizon, until 25 January 2011, Israel’s plan was still to replace the Ottoman Turks of yore as the local imperial power. The Arab nations (prepared by British imperial divide-and-conquer and local-strongman policies) would be kept divided, weak, dependent now on Israel to ensure safe access to oil. An Israeli-style peace would break out throughout the region.

But this tangled web has unravelled. Despite the $36 billion poured into Egypt’s military and Americanisation of Egypt’s armed forces since the peace treaty with Israel, according to wikileaks-egypt.blogspot.com US officials complained of the “backward-looking nature of Egypt’s military posture” (read: Israel is still Egypt’s main enemy), that the army generals remained resistant to change and economic reforms to further dismantle central government power.

Egyptian Minister of Defence Muhammad Tantawi “has resisted any change to usage of FMF [foreign military financing] funding and has been the chief impediment to transforming the military’s mission to meet emerging security threats.” In plain language, Egypt’s de facto head of state was criticised by the US because he refused to go along with the new US-Israeli strategy which would incorporate Egypt’s defence into a broader NATO war against “asymmetric threats” (read: the “war on terror”) and to acquiesce to Israel as the regional hegemon.

Mubarak was the Egyptian strongman that fit Sharon’s strategy for the region. But he was overthrown in a truly unforeseen manner — by the people. Yinon’s divide-and-rule strategy — in the case of Egypt, by inciting Muslim against Copt — has also come to naught with the popular revolution here, one of its symbols being the crescent and cross.

There has indeed been “a clean break” with the past, but not the one foreseen by Perle. His scheme can be rephrased as: Egypt and Turkey can shape their strategic environment, in cooperation with Syria and Lebanon, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Israel. As for Dichter’s hubris, it is impossible at this point to see what the future holds for Iraq, but it will not be what he had in mind. And Iran can now breathe a sigh of relief.

A year and a half ago, an Israel Navy submarine crossed the Suez Canal to the Red Sea, where it conducted an exercise, reflecting the strategic cooperation between Israel and Egypt, aimed at sending a message of deterrence to Iran. Just one week after the fall of Mubarak, the canal is being used to deliver a message of deterrence – but this time the message is for Israel, as Iranian warships cross the canal on their way to Syrian ports.

Nor are the upheavals across the Arab world at present following the sectarian scenario envisioned by Yinon. Even the Shia uprising in Bahrain is more about an oppressive neocolonial monarchy, originally imposed by the British, than about Shia-Sunni hostility.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has expressed fears about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood “undermining the peace treaty” which 85 per cent of Israelis approve of. But he need not fear. While Egyptians have no love for Israel, none contemplate another war against what is clearly a more powerful and ruthless neighbour.

What really hurts for the Likudniks is the new Egypt in cooperation with the new Turkey will put paid to the Sharon/ Yinon strategy for establishing Israel as the regional empire. It will have to join the comity of nations not as a ruthless bully, but as a responsible partner.

***
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/ You can reach him athttp://ericwalberg.com/

-[General Gary North, commander of the US Pacific Air Force] has hinted at one of the roles the new bombers might play in any future war with China. He said the key to defeating the new J-20 fighter would be to prevent it ever taking off from its mainland bases. Bombers might be used to attack Chinese airfields in the early hours of a conflict.

$3.7 billion. That’s how much the US Air Force proposes to spend over the next five years developing a new, stealthy, long-range, manned bomber likely specifically intended to penetrate Chinese air defences. The plan, included in the Obama administration’ s 2012 budget, could lead to the production of around 100 new bombers by the mid-2020s — and could significantly tip the Pacific balance of power.

Last week’s bomber announcement marked the continued escalation of the arms race between the United States and China. Since early 2010, China has debuted a new stealth fighter prototype (the Chengdu J-20), brought ballistic anti-ship missiles into service and at least temporarily matched the US in sheer number of satellite launches (15). Meanwhile, the United States has deployed long-range spy drones to Guam, test-flown a new carrier-launched drone fighter and begun development of new supersonic anti-ship missiles—all in addition to the new bomber programme.

According to Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Phillip Breedlove, the bomber will comprise the biggest part of a ‘family of systems’ that will also include a non-nuclear ballistic missile plus new munitions for the bomber and two types of stealthy drones that might be controlled from the bomber. The new missiles and planes will be ‘decades ahead’ of what other countries might possess, Breedlove claimed.

The Air Force might also add lethal lasers to the bomber at some point in the future, said Gen. William Fraser, head of Air Combat Command.

The Pentagon’s bomber development coincides with the scripting of a new battle plan aimed at preserving US military capabilities in the Pacific. This so-called AirSea Battle plan is meant to help coordinate US Navy and Air Force ships and planes to better defend Taiwan from possible Chinese attack, while also countering Beijing’s efforts to expand its influence beyond its territorial waters.

The United States’ current force of some 160 B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers, armed with guided bombs and missiles, already factors heavily into US Pacific war plans. But of these bombers, only the 20 B-2s have any ability to evade Chinese radars; the B-1s and B-52s could be vulnerable to Chinese fighters and surface-to-air missiles. The new bomber would likely displace some of the B-1s and B-52s and result in a more survivable long-range force.

The US Air Force base on Guam already hosts a rotating detachment of B-52s and B-2s. As the new bomber nears service, the Air Force might install new ‘hardened’ hangars—either buried or armoured—to protect the valuable planes from Chinese ballistic missiles, according to Gen. Gary North, commander of the US Pacific Air Force.

North has hinted at one of the roles the new bombers might play in any future war with China. He said the key to defeating the new J-20 fighter would be to prevent it ever taking off from its mainland bases. Bombers might be used to attack Chinese airfields in the early hours of a conflict.

CIA Involvement.: Lockerbie evidence was faked.

February 24th, 2011 by Marcello Mega

This report was published by the Scotesman more than four years exactly three years ago. “the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.”

A former Scottish police chief has given lawyers a signed statement claiming that key evidence in the Lockerbie bombing trial was fabricated.

The retired officer – of assistant chief constable rank or higher – has testified that the CIA planted the tiny fragment of circuit board crucial in convicting a Libyan for the 1989 mass murder of 270 people.

The police chief, whose identity has not yet been revealed, gave the statement to lawyers representing Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, currently serving a life sentence in Greenock Prison.

The evidence will form a crucial part of Megrahi’s attempt to have a retrial ordered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC). The claims pose a potentially devastating threat to the reputation of the entire Scottish legal system.

The officer, who was a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland, is supporting earlier claims by a former CIA agent that his bosses “wrote the script” to incriminate Libya.

Last night, George Esson, who was Chief Constable of Dumfries and Galloway when Megrahi was indicted for mass murder, confirmed he was aware of the development.

But Esson, who retired in 1994, questioned the officer’s motives. He said: “Any police officer who believed they had knowledge of any element of fabrication in any criminal case would have a duty to act on that. Failure to do so would call into question their integrity, and I can’t help but question their motive for raising the matter now.”

Other important questions remain unanswered, such as how the officer learned of the alleged conspiracy and whether he was directly involved in the inquiry. But sources close to Megrahi’s legal team believe they may have finally discovered the evidence that could demolish the case against him.

An insider told Scotland on Sunday that the retired officer approached them after Megrahi’s appeal – before a bench of five Scottish judges – was dismissed in 2002.

The insider said: “He said he believed he had crucial information. A meeting was set up and he gave a statement that supported the long-standing rumours that the key piece of evidence, a fragment of circuit board from a timing device that implicated Libya, had been planted by US agents.

“Asked why he had not come forward before, he admitted he’d been wary of breaking ranks, afraid of being vilified.

“He also said that at the time he became aware of the matter, no one really believed there would ever be a trial. When it did come about, he believed both accused would be acquitted. When Megrahi was convicted, he told himself he’d be cleared at appeal.”

The source added: “When that also failed, he explained he felt he had to come forward.

“He has confirmed that parts of the case were fabricated and that evidence was planted. At first he requested anonymity, but has backed down and will be identified if and when the case returns to the appeal court.”

The vital evidence that linked the bombing of Pan Am 103 to Megrahi was a tiny fragment of circuit board which investigators found in a wooded area many miles from Lockerbie months after the atrocity.

The fragment was later identified by the FBI’s Thomas Thurman as being part of a sophisticated timer device used to detonate explosives, and manufactured by the Swiss firm Mebo, which supplied it only to Libya and the East German Stasi. At one time, Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence agent, was such a regular visitor to Mebo that he had his own office in the firm’s headquarters.

The fragment of circuit board therefore enabled Libya – and Megrahi – to be placed at the heart of the investigation. However, Thurman was later unmasked as a fraud who had given false evidence in American murder trials, and it emerged that he had little in the way of scientific qualifications.

Then, in 2003, a retired CIA officer gave a statement to Megrahi’s lawyers in which he alleged evidence had been planted.

The decision of a former Scottish police chief to back this claim could add enormous weight to what has previously been dismissed as a wild conspiracy theory. It has long been rumoured the fragment was planted to implicate Libya for political reasons.

The first suspects in the case were the Syrian-led Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), a terror group backed by Iranian cash. But the first Gulf War altered diplomatic relations with Middle East nations, and Libya became the pariah state.

Following the trial, legal observers from around the world, including senior United Nations officials, expressed disquiet about the verdict and the conduct of the proceedings at Camp Zeist, Holland. Those doubts were first fuelled when internal documents emerged from the offices of the US Defence Intelligence Agency. Dated 1994, more than two years after the Libyans were identified to the world as the bombers, they still described the PFLP-GC as the Lockerbie bombers.

A source close to Megrahi’s defence said: “Britain and the US were telling the world it was Libya, but in their private communications they acknowledged that they knew it was the PFLP-GC.

“The case is starting to unravel largely because when they wrote the script, they never expected to have to act it out. Nobody expected agreement for a trial to be reached, but it was, and in preparing a manufactured case, mistakes were made.”

Dr Jim Swire, who has publicly expressed his belief in Megrahi’s innocence, said it was quite right that all relevant information now be put to the SCCRC.

Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the atrocity, said last night: “I am aware that there have been doubts about how some of the evidence in the case came to be presented in court.

“It is in all our interests that areas of doubt are thoroughly examined.”

A spokeswoman for the Crown Office said: “As this case is currently being examined by the SCCRC, it would be inappropriate to comment.”

No one from the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland was available to comment http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1855852005&format=print

Related Global Research Articles on Lockerbie

Lockerbie Investigator Disputes Story

Was Libya Framed for Lockerbie Bombing?

Lockerbie and Kafka’s Labyrinth

 Global Research Articles by Marcello Mega

In the 2006 Canadian Census, Statistics Canada contracted out the collection and processing of Canadian private census data to US war monger/arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Being an American company LM is subject to the US “Patriot Act” which allows the US government full access to all information in the possession of any US company for its fraudulent “war on (of) terror.” Many Canadians strongly objected to this, especially the Orwellian intrusive “long form.”
 
The current 2011 UK census also has been contracted out to Lockheed Martin by the UK government, with the same attendant problems which are only worse now. There is considerable outcry in England to boycott the census.
 
Is the current Canadian census also again contracted out to Lockheed Martin? I haven’t looked into this yet. I suggest everyone asks some pointed questions of Statistics Canada and listen carefully to see if you accept their answers.
 
Acquiescence and complicity is a serious political as well as personal issue.
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/19/census-boycott-lockheed-martin
 
Boycott the UK census over links to Lockheed Martin, protesters say
 
We’re ready to face £1,000 fine, declare anti-war protesters in row over role of US arms firm Lockheed Martin in data gathering
 
 
£1,000 fine if you refuse to answer Census questions
 
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/230473/-1-000-fine-if-you-refuse-to-answer-Census-questions
 
 
How Close Are We to a Nano-based Surveillance State?
 
http://www.activistpost.com/2011/02/how-close-are-we-to-nano-based.html

Dying Education in the “Blossoming” Iraqi Democracy

February 23rd, 2011 by Dirk Adriaensens

International Seminar: “Defending Education in Times of War and Occupation”

(Dirk Adriaensens, member of the BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee, 16 February 2011) 

While Anglo Saxon universities are boasting of their so-called “glorious role” in the reconstruction of Iraqi academia (See f.i. U of A helping create an education revolution in Iraq)[1], Iraq’s education is dying. From August 1990 onwards, UN sanctions excluded Iraqi education from international scientific developments and banned import of essential educational material such as books and even….. pencils. Many Iraqi professors and scientists left the country during that period.

Then came the 2003 invasion….

First the US/UK invaders and their Iraqi stooges transported mobs of looters in 2003 to the educational institutions to destroy scientific education research centers, confiscate all papers and documents to stop any Iraqi scientific renaissance before it had a chance to begin[2].

Second they burnt, looted or destroyed 84% of Iraq’s higher education institutions.[3] John Agresto, in charge of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in 2003-2004, initially believed that the looting of Iraq’s universities was a positive act in that it would allow such institutions to begin again with a clean slate, with the newest equipment as well as a brand new curriculum.[4] John Agresto knew next to nothing about Iraq’s educational system. Even after he was proposed and selected by Donald Rumsfeldt, he did not pore through a reading list. “I wanted to come here with as open a mind as I could have,” he said. “I’d much rather learn firsthand than have it filtered to me by an author.” He did a Google search on the Internet. The result? “Not much,” he said. This ignorant man, neocon republican, was assigned as the CPA’s senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education.[5] Currently he works full-time with the (private) American University of Iraq – Sulaimani as its Interim Provost and Chancellor. He is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, in the company of Kanan Makiya, a “close friend” of Ahmed Chalabi, and an influential proponent of the 2003 Iraq War[6].

Third they sacked, threatened, kidnapped, drove into exile and assassinated Iraq’s best and brightest educators. This destructive process is ongoing. On 26 January 2011, Iraqi security forces arrested more than 100 intellectuals from the Province of Diyala of which Baaquba is the capital. Among those arrested are four top medical professors teaching at the Diyala University’s Medical College, professors Mazen Razzouqi, Adel al-Hussaini, Ali al-Husaini and Bahaa Abed. It is not clear why Iraqi security forces arrested the intellectuals at a time the Diyala University suffers from severe faculty shortages.[7]

Fourth they attacked educational institutions to intimidate, frighten, kidnap, arrest and kill students. As a consequence school attendance decreased dramatically. And apparently school attendance is still considered too high by the Iraqi government as the army now prevents students from going to school. On 3 February a source in the Directorate of Education in Abu Ghraib told news agencies that the Muthanna Brigade of the Iraqi army prevented students of the Isra school for boys and from the Ascension High School for Girls in Haswa area of the district of Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, from going to school to perform their mid-term exams. He also noted that “the army used force to prevent teachers and also the observers from the exams to reach their schools and ordered them to return to their homes.” The source added that “the army struck terror into the hearts of students and citizens alike, amid the apparent absence of human rights and law.”

Fifth they changed the history books. Contemporary Iraq history is taught in sixth, ninth and 12th grades. Now, in all three text books history suddenly comes to an end after the 1958 revolution. Fifty years are being erased from Iraq’s memory. “History is always affected by politics – and the winner gets his version into the text books”, said Ms Nadia, an Iraqi history teacher. What’s more, even the old glorious past of Iraq is being erased from the collective memory. “Seventh graders studied ancient civilizations, focusing on Mesopotamia. It was a rich study that caught the imagination of the pupils and inspired them. Now the focus on Mesopotamia is very little – Hamurabi is just another king who wrote the law on an obelisk – and greater focus is given to neighbouring civilizations”.[8] The Iraqi history books no longer mention the occupation of Palestine.

Sixth they appointed academics, loyal to the US occupation authorities and the Iraqi Quisling government. These appointments were made on a sectarian basis. Some even with falsified curricula and purchased fake diplomas. Corruption in higher education is rampant.

Seventh the Iraqi government shows no desire to rebuild Iraqi education, neither the destroyed infrastructure, nor the quality of education. Instead, the Iraqi government has committed to fully fund $1 billion a year to a program that will send over 50.000 students abroad over the next 5 years, selected on sectarian grounds.[9] The students are studying in the U.S. and London[10] and pay for tuition and fees, as well as room and board, meaning that Iraq is sponsoring US and UK universities. All this while only few funds are allocated to reconstruct the educational sector inside Iraq: schools, universities and research.

Some “revolution” in education! Quite an achievement!

Nouri al-Maliki has asked the diaspora elite and academics in exile to return to Iraq to help rebuild the country. But the BRussells Tribunal warned on 26 April 2009 already that “those academics who return are finding jobs few and the welcome far from warm”[11]. The statement further alarmed the academics who are invited or forced to return, to be aware of criminal acts like kidnappings or assassinations.[12]

Iraq’s Universities now the worst in the Arab World.

The results of these policies are disastrous. Iraq’s universities, once the showcase of the Arab region, are now probably the worst in the Arab region, Asia and the world. The Ranking Web of World Universities is published twice a year (January and July), covering more than 20,000 Higher Education Institutions worldwide.[13]

On the Arab level only 3 Iraqi universities are in the top 100 of Arab universities in the latest ranking of January 2011:

The University of Kufa ranks 77th, the University of Technology ranks 86th and the University of Sulaymaniyah ranks 91th.[14]

  

On the global level only 8 Iraqi universities figure in the top 12.000:

Kufa University

6097

University of Technology Iraq *

6503

University of Sulaimani

6664

University of Dohuk

8781

University of Mustansiriyah

10264

Foundation of Technical Education

10327

University of Mosul

10738

Kurdistan University

11240

College of Medicine Basrah University

11338

University of Basrah

11406

American University of Iraq Sulaimani

11591

The show-piece of Iraq: Baghdad University, doesn’t even figure in the top 12.000.

That’s the fantastic revolution in education, predicted by some unworldly Western academics and mala fide US politicians.

The facts on the ground in Iraq show that there is no “revolution” whatsoever in Iraq’s education system, no reconstruction worthy of the name. There is only destruction, corruption and decline.

How can there possible be progress when sectarian militia’s still roam the campuses, when there’s no serious investigation into the assassinations of Iraqi academics, when attacks on educational institutions are assigned to “insurgents” while it is well known that the destruction of the Iraqi education system is part of the plan to culturally and ethnically cleanse Iraq, to “end the state” as Paul Wolfowitz declared in 2003.

25th of February: Iraqi youth declare “Day of Rage for Change and Freedom in Iraq”

Following the example of their Tunesian and Egyptian fellow Arabs, Iraqi youth declare the 25th Feb a day of rage and they call for demonstrations in Baghdad. Their slogans:

* Enough with our silence, our patience has ran out.

* We are like camels, we eat weeds and transport gold

* Our annual income from oil is $100 billion, yet we cannot find bread to eat.

* Death to democracy that takes us from bad to worse

* Death to democracy that does not recognise impeccable qualifications

* Death to democracy that has made people strangers in their own homeland

* Death to democracy that looks the other way while the ministers steal and embezzle billions and facilitate their escaping justice (reference to the minister for electricity, commerce..etc.)

* Death to democracy that robs the bank in daylight (reference to the robbing of the bank of Rafidain in Zuwiya)

* Death to democracy that has promised transparency but created foggy atmosphere.

* Death to democracy that has turned into a religion of worshiping positions of power

* Death to the democracy of assassinations with silenced guns

* Death to the democracy that assassinated our best academics and scientists and is replacing them with ignorant people who can hardly read and write.

* Death to the democracy of death and beheading

* Death to the democracy of poverty, backwardness and murder

* Death to the democracy that arrests the murderers, then set them free and claims they escaped!

* Death to the democracy that assassinated the opposition writers and those who stand by the truth

* Death to the democracy of the ethnic and sectarian quotas

* Death to the democracy that brought us a cancer of separation walls in our beloved Baghdad.

As you can read, some of these slogans are related to the dreadful state of Iraq’s Higher Education and the killings of academics. Others are directed against the poor quality of public services and rampant unemployment. Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, home to more than six million people, hardly gets one hour of non-interrupted electricity supplies every 24 hours.[15] Iraq has run out of money to pay for widows’ benefits, farm crops and other programs for the poor, the parliament leader told lawmakers who have collected nearly $180,000 the past 9 months in one of the world’s most oil-rich nations.[16]

Every day there are demonstrations and protests in many Iraqi towns, not covered by the mainstream press. Police shot randomly at hundreds of protesters in al-Hamza district in Iraq’s southern province of al-Diwaniya on the 4th of February, killing one person and injuring four.
The incident came after a statement released on 3 February by the Iraqi parliament condemning the use of violence against demonstrators in Egypt and urged for the respect of human rights.
The protesters who followed up with their demands from a previous demonstration on Thursday called for the removal of al-Hamza head official and for the Iraqi government to provide basic services.
In addition to demanding employment, the protesters carried lamps and small sacks of sugar to symbolize their demands for food and electricity.[17]

Richard Falk’s comments on the International Seminar: “Defending Education in Times of War and Occupation”.

“The shocking portrait of what occupation has meant for academicians and students is depicted by the Ghent Charter that has been endorsed by prominent educators in Europe and elsewhere, including the Rector of the University of Ghent. The BRussells Tribunal has played a leading part in exposing these realities afflicting Iraqi universities, and has organized a seminar to take place in Ghent, Belgium, March 9-11, 2011, with the title “Defending education in times of war and occupation.”

“It is important that all of us, especially those paying taxes in the United States to pay for this occupation, understand that our silence is complicity. Especially those of us associated with teaching and research in American universities bear an additional responsibility to exhibit even now our solidarity with those who have suffered and are suffering in Iraqi academic communities. We know that many faculty members have been murdered since 2003 (over 500 confirmed cases), particularly those who spoke out and acted against the occupation, and many more have fled the country permanently. The departure of university personnel is part of a wider exodus of middle class Iraqis, estimates are over two million, leaving the country deprived of the sort of national social fabric essential to avoid predatory forms of foreign economic exploitation of the country.”

“We who devote our lives to higher education realize the importance of educated and dedicated young people for the wellbeing of a country. If Iraq’s future is to be restored to some semblance of decency, its institutions of higher learning will need to become safe and hospitable for students and faculty.”[18]

In the meantime, read the Ghent Charter in Defense of Iraqi Academia and weep![19]

Objectives of the Ghent international seminar on Iraqi academics

While the mainstream media continues to ignore or conceal information vital to any reasoned understanding of why the United States and its allies attacked Iraq, occupied it, and continue to occupy it, the urgent task of the proposed seminar is not only to give reasons for the destruction of Iraqi academia, but also to propose ways of saving it, highlighting the duty of international organisations to respond, and the moral responsibility of non-Iraqi educators to stand in solidarity with their Iraqi counterparts.

Thus in Ghent, in cooperation with other Belgian universities and international organisations, the aim is to alert the international academic community to the ongoing nature of the crimes against Iraqi academics and to propose and explore practical remedies.

The introductory content of the seminar would cover a number of elements:

·     Introduction to the results of “state-ending”: the killing of academics and destruction of Iraqi academia as exemplary of a strategy of cultural and political destruction;

·     Testimony on the killing of Iraqi academics and the destruction of the educational system in Iraq and its current status under occupation and a client government;

·     Special attention to the situation of the forcibly displaced: the challenges faced by Iraqi refugees in securing their rights to education, financing their education, and the right to work for displaced Iraqi academics;

·     An assessment of the practical challenges to education in Iraq today, spanning facilities and the loss of persons, as well as the general deterioration of social culture and public safety amid the collapse of the state and the reign of violent militias and associated leaders.

·     An analysis of the extent of discrimination, corruption and oppression in Iraqi universities and the educational system and how these might be stopped.

The objectives — and main content — of the seminar would be:

·     To provide the international academic community, wider public and relevant institutions with an opportunity to hear the truth about the destruction of Iraq, and the plight of Iraqi academia and academics in particular;

·     To provide, within the framework of an accurate, non-partisan understanding of the destruction of Iraqi academia and the killing of academics, an opportunity for those who stand in solidarity with Iraqi academics and promote education in general to propose and discuss practical means of helping Iraqis recover their rights to education, and defending Iraqi academics;

·     To provide, in particular, a forum for educational leaders — whether deans, professors, department heads or administrators — to establish a practical network of opportunities for displaced Iraqi academics, thus helping to save what remains of Iraqi academia outside Iraq;

·     To formulate, alongside the practical initiatives discussed or adopted, the insistence that politicians, governments, civil servants and associated institutions, at national and international levels, take immediate steps to uphold international law, the rights of education embraced by the United Nations, and to stop the ruthless repression and killing of Iraqi academics.

The main objective of the seminar should be to make a solid step towards relieving the suffering of the Iraqi people. They are the ultimate targets of the destruction of Iraqi academia.

One of the best means of bringing closer an end to their suffering is to participate in efforts to propose, map, plan and outline the steps necessary for rehabilitating Iraq’s educational system. Saving Iraqi academics is a keystone in stemming any further destruction of Iraq and its people, and to rebuilding what remains.

Only Iraqis can rebuild Iraq, and for Iraq to be sovereign these Iraqis should be skilled, capable and independent, so the destruction wrought can be repaired. Iraq’s educators are vital to Iraq’s future.

The time is long past for speeches and assurances from those in positions of power. Practical action must be demanded, of those in power and from ourselves.

More information and possibilities to register: http://www.brussellstribunal.org/Seminar

Notes 

[1] http://www.education.ualberta.ca/en/FacultyOfEducationNews/2010/11/UofAhelpingcreateaneducationrevolutioninIraq.aspx

[2] See “Cultural Cleansing in Iraq”, Dirk Adriaensens, page 119, Pluto Press, ISBN 9780745328126

[3] http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4b7aa9df5.html

[4] Nabil al-Tikriti in “Cultural Cleansing in Iraq” p 98, 
http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745328126&

[5] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A56414-2004Jun20_2.html

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanan_Makiya

[7] http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news%5C2011-01-26%5Ckurd.htm

[8] http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/2010/12/as-if-saddam-never-was.html

[9] http://www.brussellstribunal.org/AcademicsFraud140909.htm

[10] http://www.al-jamiat.com/admissions-and-applications/iraq-education-initiative-sending-50000-students-across-the-globe/

[11] http://www.brusselstribunal.org/Al-Tikriti.htm

[12] See the list of 451 assassinated academics:  http://www.brussellstribunal.org/academicsList.htm

[13] http://www.webometrics.info/index.html

[14] http://www.webometrics.info/top100_continent.asp?cont=aw

[15] http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news%5C2011-01-15%5Ckurd.htm

[16] http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/11/21-0

[17] www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/02/04/136241.html

[18] http://richardfalk.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/244/

[19] http://www.brussellstribunal.org/pdf/ghent-charter-in-defense-of-iraqi-academia.pdf

War, Martial Law, and the Economic Crisis

February 23rd, 2011 by Prof Peter Dale Scott

The following is an excerpt of a chapter by Peter Dale Scott from the new book by Global Research Publishers, “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.“ 

Help us get the word out, “like“ the book on Facebook, comment, and share with friends!

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Bailout

The bailout measures of late 2008 may have consequences at least as grave for an open society as the response to 9/11 in 2001. Many members of Congress felt coerced at the time into voting against their inclinations, and the normal procedures for orderly consideration of a bill were dispensed with.

The excuse for bypassing normal legislative procedures was the existence of an emergency. But one of the most reprehensible features of the legislation, that allowed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to permit bailed-out institutions to use public money for exorbitant salaries and bonuses, was inserted by Paulson after the immediate crisis had passed.

According to Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vermont) the bailout bill originally called for a cap on executive salaries, but Paulson changed the requirement at the last minute. Welch and other members of Congress were enraged by “news that banks getting taxpayer-funded bailouts are still paying exorbitant salaries, bonuses, and other benefits.”[1] In addition, as the Associated Press reported in October 2008, “Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. questioned allowing banks that accept bailout bucks to continue paying dividends on their common stock. ‘There are far better uses of taxpayer dollars than continuing dividend payments to shareholders,’ he said.”[2]

Even more reprehensible is the fact that after the bailouts, Paulson and the Treasury Department refused to provide details of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) spending of hundreds of billions of dollars, while the New York Federal Reserve refused to provide information about its own bailout (using government-backed loans) that amounted to trillions. This lack of transparency was challenged by Fox TV in a FOIA suit against the Treasury Department, and a suit by Bloomberg News against the Fed.[3]

The financial bailout legislation of September 2008 was only passed after members of both Congressional houses were warned that failure to act would threaten civil unrest and the imposition of martial law.

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.[4]

Here are the original remarks by Senator Inhofe:

Speaking on Tulsa Oklahoma’s 1170 KFAQ, when asked who was behind threats of martial law and civil unrest if the bailout bill failed, Senator James Inhofe named Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the source. “Somebody in D.C. was feeding you guys quite a story prior to the bailout, a story that if we didn’t do this we were going to see something on the scale of the depression, there were people talking about martial law being instituted, civil unrest… who was feeding you guys this stuff?,” asked host Pat Campbell. “That’s Henry Paulson,” responded Inhofe. “We had a conference call early on, it was on a Friday I think – a week and half before the vote on Oct. 1. So it would have been the middle… what was it – the 19th of September, we had a conference call. In this conference call – and I guess there’s no reason for me not to repeat what he said, but he said – he painted this picture you just described. He said, ‘This is serious. This is the most serious thing that we faced.’”[5]

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA 27th District) reported the same threat on the Congressional floor:

The only way they can pass this bill is by creating a panic atmosphere… Many of us were told that the sky would fall… A few of us were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no. That’s what I call fear-mongering, unjustified, proven wrong.[6]

So it is clear that threats of martial law were used to get this reprehensible bailout legislation passed. It also seems clear that Congress was told of a threat of martial law, not itself threatened. It is still entirely appropriate to link such talk to the Army’s rapid moves at the time to redefine its role as one of controlling the American people, not just protecting them. In a constitutional polity based on balance of powers, we have seen the emergence of a radical new military power that is as yet completely unbalanced.

Continuity of Operations (COOP)

The Army’s New Role in 2001: Not Protecting American Society, but Controlling It. This new role for the Army is not wholly unprecedented. The U.S. military had been training troops and police in “civil disturbance planning” for the last three decades. The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, or “Operation Garden Plot,” was developed in 1968 in response to the major protests and disturbances of the 1960s.

But on January 19, 2001, on the last day of the Clinton administration, the U.S. Army promulgated a new and permanent Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program. It encapsulated its difference from the preceding, externally oriented Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) as follows:

a. In 1985, the Chief of Staff of the Army established the Army Survival, Recovery, and Reconstitution System (ASRRS) to ensure the continuity of essential Army missions and functions.

ASRRS doctrine was focused primarily on a response to the worst case 1980’s threat of a massive nuclear laydown on CONUS as a result of a confrontation with the Soviet Union.

b. The end of the Cold War and the breakup of the former Soviet Union significantly reduced the probability of a major nuclear attack on CONUS but the probability of other threats has increased. Army organizations must be prepared for any contingency with a potential for interruption of normal operations.

To emphasize that Army continuity of operations planning is now focused on the full all-hazards threat spectrum, the name “ASRRS” has been replaced by the more generic title “Continuity of Operations (COOP) Program.[7]

This document embodied the secret Continuity of Government (COG) planning conducted secretly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and others through the 1980s and 1990s.[8] This planning was initially for continuity measures in the event of a nuclear attack, but soon called for suspension of the Constitution, not just “after a nuclear war” but for any “national security emergency”. This was defined in Reagan’s Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, as “any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological emergency, or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.” The effect was to impose on domestic civil society the extreme measures once planned for a response to a nuclear attack from abroad.[9] In like fashion, ARR 500-3 Regulation clarified that it was a plan for “the execution of mission-essential functions without unacceptable interruption during a national security or domestic emergency.”

Donald Rumsfeld, who as a private citizen had helped author the COG planning, promptly signed and implemented the revised ARR 500-3. Eight months later, on 9/11, Cheney and Rumsfeld implemented COG, a significant event of which we still know next to nothing.[10] What we do know is that plans began almost immediately – as foreseen by COG planning the 1980s – to implement warrantless surveillance and detention of large numbers of civilians, and that in January 2002 the Pentagon submitted a proposal for deploying troops on American streets.[11]

Then in April 2002, Defense officials implemented a plan for domestic U.S. military operations by creating a new U.S. Northern Command (CINC-USNORTHCOM) for the continental United States.[12] In short, what were being implemented were the most prominent features of the COG planning which Oliver North had worked on in the 1980s.

“Deep Events” and Changes of Party in the White House

Like so many other significant steps since World War Two towards a military-industrial state, the Army’s Regulation 500-3 surfaced in the last days of a departing administration (in this case the very last day). It is worth noticing that, ever since the 1950s, dubious events – of the unpublic variety I have called deep events – have marked the last months before a change of party in the White House. These deep events have tended to a) constrain the incoming president, if he is a Democrat or, alternatively, b) to pave the way for the incomer, if he is a Republican.

Consider, in the first category, the following (when a Republican was succeeded by a Democrat):

– In December 1960 the CIA secured approval for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, and escalated events in Laos into a crisis for which the Joint Chiefs proposed sending 60 000 troops. These events profoundly affected President Kennedy’s posture towards Cuba and Indochina.

– In 1976 CIA Director George H.W. Bush installed an outside Team B intelligence unit to enlarge drastically estimates of the Soviet threat to the United States, eventually frustrating and reversing presidential candidate Jimmy Carter’s campaign pledge to cut the U.S. defense budget.[13]

Equally important were events in the second category (when a Democrat was succeeded by a Republican):

- In late 1968 Kissinger, while advising the Johnson administration, gave secret information to the Nixon campaign that helped Nixon to obstruct the peace agreement in Vietnam that was about to be negotiated at the peace talks then taking place in Paris. (According to Seymour Hersh, “The Nixon campaign, alerted by Kissinger to the impending success of the peace talks, was able to get a series of messages to the Thieu government” in Saigon, making it clear that a Nixon presidency would offer a better deal. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey.[14] Kissinger was not the kind of person to have betrayed his president on his own personal initiative. At the time Nixon’s campaign manager, John Mitchell (one of the very few in on the secret), told Hersh, “I thought Henry [Kissinger] was doing it because Nelson [Rockefeller] wanted him to. Nelson asked Henry to help and he did.”[15]

- In 1980 the so-called October Surprise, with the help of people inside the CIA, helped ensure that the Americans held hostage in Iran would not be returned before the inauguration of Reagan. This was a major factor in securing the defeat of incumbent Jimmy Carter.[16] Once again, the influence of the Rockefellers can be discerned. A CIA officer later reported hearing Joseph V. Reed, an aide to David Rockefeller, comment in 1981 to William Casey, the newly installed CIA Director, about their joint success in disrupting Carter’s plans to bring home the hostages.[17]

Both the financial bailout, extorted from Congress and the escalated preparations for martial law can be seen as transitional events of the first category. Whatever the explanations for their timing, they constrained Obama’s freedom to make his own policies. Moreover they have the consequence of easing this country into unforeseen escalations of the Afghan war.

The Intensive Quiet Preparations for Martial Law

Let us deal first with the preparations for martial law. In late September 2008, at the height of the financial meltdown, The Army Times announced the redeployment of an active Brigade Army Team from Iraq to America, in a new mission that “may become a permanent part of the active Army”:

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission – with a twist – at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks… After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one… They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.[18]

This announcement followed by two weeks the talk of civil unrest and martial law that was used to panic the Congress into passing Paulson’s bailout legislation. Not only that, the two unprecedented events mirror each other: the bailout debate anticipated civil unrest and martial law, while the announced positioning of an active Brigade Combat Team on U.S. soil anticipated civil unrest (such as might result from the bailout legislation).

Then on December 17, 2008, U.S. Northern Command chief General Renuart announced that “the US military plans to mobilize thousands of troops to protect Washington against potential terrorist attack during the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama.”[19]

The U.S. Army War College also raised the possibility of the U.S. Army being used to control civil unrest, according to the Phoenix Business Journal:

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report.

The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.[20]

It is clear that there has been a sustained move in the direction of martial law preparations, a trend that has been as continuous as it has been unheralded. Senator Leahy was thus right to draw our attention to it on September 29, 2006, in his objections to the final form of the Fiscal Year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, which gave the president increased power to call up the National Guard for law enforcement:

It… should concern us all that the Conference agreement includes language that subverts solid, longstanding Posse Comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law. There is good reason for the constructive friction in existing law when it comes to martial law declarations.[21]

This quiet agglomeration of military power has not “just growed”, like Topsy, through inadvertence. It shows sustained intention, even if no one has made a public case for it.

For more from this chapter, click here.

NOTES

1. WCAX, Burlington, Vermont, http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S= 9567271, 22 December 2008; Cf. CNBC, http://www.cnbc.com/id/27423117, 30 October 2008: ” ‘You can get paid $30 million under this program’, says Michael Kesner, who heads Deloitte Consulting executive compensation practice, ‘There’s no limit on what you can get paid.’ ”
2. John Dunbar, AP, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081025/meltdown_evolving_bailout.html, 25 October 2007.
3. David Hirst, “Fox Joins Battle cry for Details of US Bail-out”, BusinessDay, http://www.businessday.com.au/business/fox-joins-battle-cry-for-details-of-us-bailout-20081223-74eh.html?page=-1, 24 December 2008.
4. Mike Sunnucks, “Ariz. Police say they are Prepared as War College warns Military must prep for Unrest; IMF warns of Economic Riots”, Phoenix Business Journal, http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/15/daily34.html, 17 December 2008.
5. 1170 KFAQ, “Paulson Was Behind Bailout Martial Law Threat”, Blacklisted News, http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-2367-0-13-13–.html, 23 November 2008.
6. Rep. Brad Sherman, in the House, 8:07 EST PM, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaG9d_4zij8&NR=1, 2 October 2008; Rep. Sherman later issued the following clarification: “I have no reason to think that any of the leaders in Congress who were involved in negotiating with the Bush Administration regarding the bailout bill ever mentioned the possibility of martial law – again, that was just an example of extreme and deliberately hyperbolic comments being passed around by members not directly involved in the negotiations.” See Rep. Sherman, Alex Jones Show, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bH1mO8qhCs.
7. Army Regulation 500-3, “Emergency Employment of Army and Other Resources”, Army Continuity Of Operations (COOP) Program, http://www.wikileaks.org/leak/us-army-reg-500-3-continuity-2001.pdf, emphasis added; Tom Burghardt, “Militarizing the ‘Homeland’ in Response to the Economic and Political Crisis: NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support”, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10534, 11 October 2008.
8. Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 2007, p. 183-87; James Mann, The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, New York, Viking, 2004, p. 138-45.
9. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 183-87.
10. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38, 326; 555, footnote 9; Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 228-30.
11. Ritt Goldstein, “Foundations are in Place for Martial Law in the US”, Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/ 2002/07/27/10274974183 39.html, 27 July 2002.
12. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 240-41.
13. Ibid., p. 60-61.
14. Robert Parry, “Henry Kissinger, Eminence Noire”, ConsortiumNews, http://www.consortiumnews.com/2008/122808.html, 28 December 2008: “Kissinger… – while serving as a peace-talk adviser to the Johnson administration – made obstruction of the peace talks possible by secretly contacting people working for Nixon, according to Seymour Hersh’s 1983 book, The Price of Power”, p. 21.
15. Seymour Hersh, The Price of Power, 1983, p. 18; Jim Hougan, Spooks: The Haunting of America, New York, William Morrow, 1978, p. 435: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always the protégé of his patron, Nelson R[ockefeller], even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
16. Peter Dale Scott, Road to 9/11, op. cit., p. 93-118.
17. Ibid. p. 82-87, 91, 104-05.
18. Gina Cavallaro, “Brigade Homeland Tours Start Oct. 1″, Army Times, http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland _090708w/, 30 September 2008; Michel Chossudovsky, “Pre-election Militarization of the North American Homeland, US Combat Troops in Iraq Repatriated to ‘Help with Civil Unrest’”, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php? context= va&aid=10341, 26 September 2008.
19. AFP, Agence France-Presse, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iTBOy3JF8pVAthIthq8C1NrMf4Cg, 17 De- cember 2008.
20. Mike Sunnucks, “Ariz. Police say they are Prepared as War College warns Military must prep for Unrest; IMF warns of Economic Riots”, Phoenix Business Journal, http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/12/ 15/daily34.html, 17 December 2008.
21. Remarks Of Sen. Patrick Leahy, “National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2007 Conference Report”, Congressional Record, http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200609/092906b.html, 29 September 2006.

Liberty’s Easy Slide into Tyranny

February 23rd, 2011 by John Kozy

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

Robert Burns – 1785

No matter how hard we try, no one can control the future, and we cannot assume the future will be like the present.

Woodrow Wilson signed the law that established the Federal Reserve. He later rightly lamented having done so. He writes, “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” Oh, how right he is, and oh, the mischief the FED has wrought! But establishing the FED must have seemed right to Wilson when he signed the law.

Harry Truman had similar qualms about the CIA.

[I]t has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency. . . .

assuming the President himself possesses a knowledge of our history, a sensitive understanding of our institutions, and an insight into the needs and aspirations of the people, he needs . . . the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots. . . .

every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. . . .

But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. . . .

Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department “treatment” or interpretations.

I wanted and needed the information in its “natural raw” state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical. . . . But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating. . . .

 For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

 I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue. . . .

 I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment . . . and that its operational duties be terminated. . . .

 We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.

Of course, nobody paid any attention. And oh, the mischief the CIA has wrought!

The problem is that what seems like a good idea to someone with pristine motives turns into something horrid when placed in the hands of someone else. Those pristine motives Gang aft agley.” So it is with what has come to be known as executive privilege.

Executive privilege is the claim made by members of the executive branch that they can refuse to comply with certain subpoenas and other requests from the legislature and courts, but executive privilege is not mentioned in the Constitution. Some claim the privilege is a form of the common-law principle of deliberative process privilege whose roots are often traced to English Crown Privilege. Viewed that way, it is clearly a monarchial attribute that is distinctly antidemocratic. But the Supreme Court has validated it.

In US v. Nixon, Chief Justice Burger writes: “Whatever the nature of the privilege of confidentiality of Presidential communications in the exercise of Art. II powers, the privilege can be said to [emphasis mine] derive from the supremacy of each branch within its own assigned area of constitutional duties. Certain powers and privileges flow from the nature of enumerated powers; the protection of the confidentiality of Presidential communications has similar constitutional underpinnings.” No one, it seems, noticed that “can be said to” is not synonymous with “is.”

Chief Justice Burger further writes,

“In United States v. Reynolds . . . the Court said:

It may be possible to satisfy the court, from all the circumstances of the case, that there is a reasonable danger that compulsion of the evidence will expose military matters which, in the interest of national security, should not be divulged. When this is the case, the occasion for the privilege is appropriate, and the court should not jeopardize the security which the privilege is meant to protect by insisting upon an examination of the evidence, even by the judge alone, in chambers.”

Mr. Burger seems not to have noticed that he gave the executive branch the combination to the safe in this passage. From this point on, all the executive branch has to do to sustain a claim of executive privilege is to say that complying with the subpoena or request would entail a reasonable danger that military matters would be exposed or the nation’s security would be impaired. These claims have now become standard practice.

Until the end of World War II, assertions of executive privilege were rare. In 1796, George Washington refused to comply with a request from the House of Representatives for documents related to the negotiation of the Jay Treaty. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. So Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.

Thomas Jefferson asserted the privilege in the trial of Aaron Burr for treason. The Court denied it and he complied with the Court’s order.

But from 1947-49, several major security cases arose. A series of investigations followed, ending with the Hiss-Chambers case of 1948. At that point, the Truman Administration issued a sweeping secrecy order blocking congressional efforts from FBI and other executive data on security problems. Security files were moved to the White House and administration officials were banned from testifying before Congress on security issues.

During the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, Eisenhower used executive privilege to forbid the “provision of any data about internal conversations, meetings, or written communication among staffers, with no exception to topics or people.” Department of Defense employees were also instructed not to testify on any such conversations or produce any such documents. The reasoning behind the order was that there was a need for “candid” exchanges among executive employees in giving “advice” to one another. Eisenhower made the claim 44 times between 1955 and 1960. The Supreme Court has validated such claims saying there is a “valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties” and that “[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.”

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first President since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose when a Federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.

The George W. Bush administration invoked executive privilege on numerous occasions. So has the Obama administration. Executive privilege has now become a tool for not only protecting military secrets and other secrets the revelation of which would endanger the nation’s security, but a way of covering up executive branch wrongdoing.

Nixon tried to use executive privilege in an unsuccessful attempt to cover up his administration’s complicity in the Watergate break in. Clinton attempted to use executive privilege to cover up his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. George W. Bush asserted executive privilege to deny disclosure of details about the scandal involving the FBI’s misuse of organized-crime informants and Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton’s fundraising tactics, none of which had anything to do with national security or military secrets. And now it is reported that the Justice Department has in the last few months gotten protective orders from two federal judges keeping details of some software technology out of court because the details if revealed would threaten national security. But others involved in the case say that what the government is trying to avoid is public embarrassment over evidence that the software’s designer bamboozled federal officials.

Huge conspiracies aren’t what destroys people’s freedom, they are too easy to undo. The accumulation of errors, failed policies, and little and big unfairnesses destroy it. It happens because The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/ Gang aft agley,/ An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain.

The FED, CIA, Executive Privilege, The Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and more, by themselves, are bad but not disastrous. Together, however, they are the tools of tyranny that are tyrannizing America, because they provide people who are not answerable to the people with powers that can be and often are abused. It happens because those who implement ideas that seem sound never ask what happens when the powers these ideas entail fall into the hands of the unscrupulous.

The insidiousness of these tyrannical tools is that they can exist amid the trappings of democracy, along with political parties and regular elections. The result is a tyrannical nation masquerading as a democracy.

All of these agencies as part of the executive branch act secretly. And we have forgotten that, “Secrecy, being an instrument of conspiracy, ought never to be the system of a regular government.”—Jeremy Bentham

John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

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In previous Revolution Roundups [22], we featured mass protests by the people of Ireland, Italy, Britain, Austria, Greece, France and Portugal, as the Global Insurrection contagion spread throughout Europe. And now, as we have seen over the past month, North African and Middle Eastern nations have joined the movement as the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Morocco, Gabon, Mauritania, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Palestine, Iraq, Sudan and Algeria have taken to the streets en masse.

The connection between this latest round of uprisings and the prior protests throughout Europe is one the mainstream media is not making. We are witnessing a decentralized global rebellion against Neo-Liberal economic imperialism. While each national uprising has its own internal characteristics, each one, at its core, is about the rising costs of living and lack of financial opportunity and security. Throughout the world the situation is the same: increasing levels of unemployment and poverty, as price inflation on food and basic necessities is soaring.

Whether national populations realize it or not, these uprisings are against systemic global economic policies that are strategically designed to exploit the working class, reduce living standards, increase personal debt and create severe inequalities of wealth. These global uprising, which have only just begun, are the first wave of the inevitable reaction to the implementation of a centralized worldwide Neo-Feudal economic order.

The global banking cartel, centered at the IMF, World Bank and Federal Reserve, have paid off politicians and dictators the world over — from Washington to Greece to Egypt. In country after country, they have looted national economies at the expense of local populations, consolidating wealth in unprecedented fashion – the top economic one-tenth of one percent is currently holding over $40 trillion in investible wealth, not counting an equally significant amount of wealth hidden in offshore accounts.

IMF imperial operations designed to extract wealth and suppress populations have been ongoing for decades. As anyone researching economic imperialism will know, a centrally planned Neo-Liberal aristocracy controls the global economy.

I: Centrally Planned Economic Repression

The IMF has a well-worn strategy that they use to conquer national economies. As I warned four months ago, we have now progressed into Step 3.5: World Wide IMF Riots. Back in October, in a TV interview [23] with Max Keiser, we discussed leaked World Bank documents that revealed the IMF’s strategy. I stated the following:

“They have a four-step strategy for destroying national economies…. We are about to enter what they would call Step Three. Step Three is when you’ve looted the economy and now food and basic necessities all of a sudden become more expensive, harder to get to. And then, Step 3.5 is when you get the riots. We are fastly approaching that….

We are headed to, as the IMF said, and as they plan, Step 3.5: IMF Riots. That’s what’s coming…”

Fast-forward four months to today, and now we see country after country rebelling against high food prices. Since our October interview, food prices have spiked 15%. According to new World Bank data, since June 2010, “Rising food have pushed about 44 million [24] people into poverty in developing countries.”

As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced another round of Quantitative Easing (QE2), those of us paying attention knew that the trigger had been pulled and Step Three had been executed. It was a declaration of economic war, an economic death sentence for tens of millions of people – deliberately devaluing the dollar and sparking inflation in commodities/basic necessities. It was a vicious policy that would impact people from Boston to Cairo.

When QE2 was announced, I warned [25]: “Food and Gas Prices Will Skyrocket, The Federal Reserve Just Dropped An Economic Nuclear Bomb On Us.” I also wrote [26]: “The Federal Reserve is deliberately devaluing the dollar to enrich a small group of a global bankers, which will cause significant harm to the people of the United States and severe ramifications throughout the world…. The Federal Reserve’s actions are already causing the price of food and gas to increase and will cause hyperinflation on most basic necessities.”

To be clear, there are several significant factors contributing to rising food prices, such as extreme weather conditions, biofuel production and Wall Street speculation [27]; but the Federal Reserve’s policies deliberately threw gasoline all over those brush fires. QE2 was another economic napalm bomb from the global banking cartel.

In a recent McClathy news article entitled, “Egypt’s unrest may have roots in food prices, US Fed policy,” Kevin Hall reports [28]:

“‘The truth of the matter is that when the Federal Reserve moved on the quantitative easing, it did export inflation to a lot of these emerging markets…. There’s no doubt that one of the side effects of the weak dollar and quantitative easing has been rising commodity prices. It helped create this bullish environment for commodities. This is a very delicate balancing act.’

It’s a view shared by Ed Yardeni, a veteran financial market analyst, who reached a similar conclusion in a research note to investors…. He joked that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should be added to a list of revolutionaries, since his quantitative easing policy, unveiled last year in Wyoming, has provoked unrest and change in the developing world.

‘Since he first indicated his support for such a revolutionary monetary change… the prices of corn, soybeans and wheat have risen 53 percent, 37 percent and 24.4 percent through Friday’s close,’ Yardeni noted. ‘The price of crude oil rose 19.8 percent over this period from $75.17 to $90.09 this (Monday) morning. Soaring food and fuel prices are compounding anger attributable to widespread unemployment in the countries currently experiencing riots.’”

The people throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa, on the fringe of the Neo-Liberal economic empire and most vulnerable to the Fed’s inflationary policies, are the first to rebel.

Before analyzing the situation within the US, let’s take a closer look at the global Neo-Liberal economic policies that led to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolts.

II :: Economic Imperialism: IMF Plunder of Egypt and Tunisia

In the Middle East and North Africa populations are rising against their local dictators. However, these “dictators” take orders from the IMF.

A report from the Center for Research on Globalization revealed some background and historical context:

“The Alliance between Global Capitalism and Arab Dictators

It is paramount to understand that the Arab dictators and tyrants serve the interests of organized capital. This is their primary function. They are elements of the global system formed by organized capital.

Looking back, protests and riots started in 1977 against the regime of Mohammed Anwar Al-Sadat, Mubarak’s predecessor. The causes of these protests were the neo-liberal policies that the I.M.F. had handed down to Sadat. The I.M.F. policies ended government subsidies on basic daily commodities of life. Food prices jumped and Egyptians became hard-hit….

The Arab people grasp the fact that their ruling class and governments are not only corrupt regimes, but also comprador elites, namely the local representatives of foreign corporations, governments, and interests…. In Egypt, Gamal Mubarak (who was being groomed by his father for the presidency) worked for Bank of America.

In Tunisia, Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali was a military officer trained in French and American military schools who, once in power, served U.S. and French economic interests. In Lebanon, Fouad Siniora was a former Citibank official before he became prime minister…. Within the corrupt Palestinian Authority, Salam Fayyad worked for one of the banks forming the U.S. Federal Reserve and the World Bank….

Moreover, almost all Arab finance ministers are affiliated to the major global banking institutions. All of them also strictly adhere to the Washington Consensus of the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.) and the World Bank…”

Samer Shehata, professor of Arab politics at Georgetown University, summed up [29] the situation in Egypt and Tunisia:

“Beginning in 2004… Egypt began implementing economic reforms called for by the IMF—or really forced on them by the IMF and the World Bank… a new government was appointed, new ministers were appointed, who believed wholeheartedly in the ideas of the IMF and the World Bank. And they quite vigorously pursued these policies. And there was at one level, at the level of macroeconomic indicators, statistics, GDP growth rates, foreign direct investment and so on—Egypt seemed to be a miracle. And this, of course, was the case with the Tunisian model earlier. You’ll remember that Jacques Chirac called it the ‘economic miracle,’ and it was the darling of the IMF and the World Bank, because it implemented these types of reforms earlier. Well, of course, we saw what happened in Tunisia. In Egypt, from 2004 until the present, the government and its reforms were applauded in Washington by World Bank, IMF and US officials…. Egypt received the top reformer award from the IMF and the World Bank…”

Former Goldman Sachs executive Nomi Prins reveals more details [30]:

The Egyptian Uprising Is a Direct Response to Ruthless Global Capitalism

“The revolution in Egypt is as much a rebellion against the painful deterioration of economic conditions as it is about opposing a dictator…. When people are facing a dim future, in a country hijacked by a corrupt regime that destabilized its economy through what the CIA termed, ‘aggressively pursuing economic reforms to attract foreign investment’ (in other words, the privatization and sale of its country’s financial system to international sharks), waiting doesn’t cut it….

Tunisia’s dismal economic environment was a direct result of its increasingly ‘liberal’ policy toward foreign speculators. Of the five countries covered by the World Bank’s, Investment Across Sectors Indicator, Tunisia had the fewest limits on foreign investment…. Egypt adopted a similar come-and-get-it policy, on steroids…. But, as we learned in the U.S., what goes up with artificial helium plummets under real gravity…. Not surprisingly, those foreign speculation strategies didn’t bring less poverty or more jobs either. Indeed, the insatiable hunt for great deals, whether by banks, hedge funds, or private equity funds, as it inevitably does, had the opposite effect….

Ironically, the [Egyptian Ministry of Investment] brochure touted the large college graduate population entering the job market each year — 325,000. The same graduates are the core of the current revolution. They failed to find adequate jobs and are faced with an official unemployment rate of just below 10 percent (though, similar to the U.S., that figure doesn’t account for underemployment, poor job quality or long-term prospects)…. Meanwhile, 20 percent of Egypt lives in poverty… For in the United States, economic statistics are no better. By certain measures, like income inequality, they are worse than in Egypt.”

III :: US-Egypt Economic Parallels, Inequality & Poverty

Comparable economic statistics between the US and Egypt are facts that US mainstream media propagandists are not reporting.

Inequality of Wealth

Income inequality has reached a record level within Egypt, as Pat Garofalo explained [31]:

“One of the driving factors behind the protests is the… growing sense of inequality. ‘They’re all protesting about growing inequalities…. The top of the pyramid was getting richer and richer,’ said Emile Hokayem of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in the Middle East.

As Yasser El-Shimy, former diplomatic attaché at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote in Foreign Policy, ‘income inequality has reached levels not before seen in Egypt’s modern history.’”

As the US mainstream media references the “oppressive” and “corrupt” inequality of wealth throughout Egypt, the hypocrisy is shameful. The inequality of wealth in the United States is currently the most severe it has ever been. Gini coefficient ratings are a measure of a nation’s inequality – the higher a nation scores, the more unequal the society is. The US has a Gini coefficient rating of 45, compared to Egypt’s 34.4, Yemen’s 37 and Tunisia’s 40, making the US the most unequal, “oppressive” and “corrupt” of the four.

As John Dewey once said, “There is no such thing as the liberty or effective power of an individual, group, or class, except in relation to the liberties, the effective powers, of other individuals, groups or classes.”

Poverty

When well-paid “experts” in expensive suits sitting behind desks in state of the art studios discuss the hardships of the Egyptian people, something tells me that these pundits haven’t spent much time interacting with tens of millions of people living in inner city America – just because the mainstream media doesn’t cover them, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They exist in larger numbers in the US than they do in most rebelling countries.

The rising price of food has played a pivotal role in sparking the uprisings, food prices have a larger impact in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, as they represent a more significant percentage of total income. However, the overall costs of living in the US are significantly higher. When these costs are factored in — medical expenses, housing, transportation, education, etc. – the US poverty level of $22k per year, for a family of four, is comparable to the poverty rate measure in Egypt.

According to the CIA, the poverty rate [32] in Egypt is 20%. With a population size of 83 million people, this would put 16.6 million Egyptians living in poverty. In the US, the current poverty rate is 16.8% [33], with a population of 309 million, this puts 52 million Americans living below the poverty line.

When you consider that the US has 52 million people currently living in poverty, you realize, as shocking as it may sound, that we have a larger number of desperate people in the US than rebelling populations in countries throughout the Middle East and Europe. Overall, in comparison to Egypt, the US population is obviously more geographically spread out, but if you breakdown the demographics, many large US cities have a poverty rate higher than the 20 percent rate in Egypt.

Consider that, according to low-ball government statistics, nine major US cities have a poverty rate over 25%.

IV :: Debt Slavery: Unemployed, Underemployed, Underpaid, In Debt

The unemployment rate in Egypt mirrors the unemployment rate in the US, currently fluctuating between nine and ten percent, according to government sources. The unemployment rate among recent graduates attempting to enter the workforce also mirrors the crisis in the US. The young unemployed and underemployed demographic has played a pivotal role in leading the rebellion. Reporting for the Financial Times in an article entitled, “At hand, an Arab awakening [34],” Roula Khalaf sums it up this way:

“In Egypt, as in Tunisia, the young people who initiated the street campaigns were educated, internet-savvy activists with no political affiliation. [Sound familiar?] After watching the fervour unleashed in the past month, young Syrians, Bahrainis, Algerians and even the quiescent Libyans are turning to Facebook and Twitter to call for their own ‘day of rage’.

As Mr Khashoggi puts it: ‘The 25-year-old unemployed today has become the strong man.’”

A report from Business Week entitled, “The Youth Unemployment Bomb [35],” provides more detail:

“In Tunisia, the young people who helped bring down a dictator are called hittistes—French-Arabic slang for those who lean against the wall. Their counterparts in Egypt… are the shabab atileen, unemployed youths… In Britain, they are NEETs – ‘not in education, employment, or training.’ In Japan, they are freeters: an amalgam of the English word freelance and the German word Arbeiter, or worker. Spaniards call them mileuristas, meaning they earn no more than 1,000 euros a month. In the U.S., they’re ‘boomerang’ kids who move back home after college because they can’t find work. Even fast-growing China… has its ‘ant tribe’ – recent college graduates who crowd together in cheap flats on the fringes of big cities because they can’t find well-paying work.

In each of these nations, an economy that can’t generate enough jobs to absorb its young people has created a lost generation of the disaffected, unemployed, or underemployed—including growing numbers of recent college graduates for whom the post-crash economy has little to offer….

More common is the quiet desperation of a generation in ‘waithood,’ suspended short of fully employed adulthood. At 26, Sandy Brown of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a college graduate and a mother of two who hasn’t worked in seven months. ‘I used to be a manager at a Duane Reade in Manhattan, but they laid me off. I’ve looked for work everywhere and I can’t find anything,’ she says. ‘It’s like I got my diploma for nothing.’”

The collapsing job market, declining wages, loss of benefits and skyrocketing cost of education has created a “lost generation” of young college graduates with little options and massive debt. When millions of American students took out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to pay for an education which they assumed would give them the skills needed to make a good living, they never imagined that they would be either unemployed, working part-time, or making significantly less than people in their chosen profession have traditionally made. The majority of young workers in their twenties and early thirties have debt that they will spend most of their life trying to pay back. They’ve been sentenced to a life of…

Debt Slavery

Mike Whitney recently interviewed Alan Nasser on CounterPunch for a piece entitled, “The Student Loan Swindle [36].” Here’s an excerpt:

MW: Is it possible to ‘walk away’ from a student loan and declare bankruptcy?

Alan Nasser: No, it’s not possible for student debtors to escape financial devastation by declaring bankruptcy. This most fundamental of consumer protections would have been available to student debtors were it not for legislation explicitly designed to withhold a whole range of basic protections from student borrowers. I’m not talking only about bankruptcy protection, but also truth in lending requirements, statutes of limitations, refinancing rights and even state usury laws – Congress has rendered all these protections inapplicable to federally guaranteed student loans. The same legislation also gave collection agencies hitherto unimaginable powers, for example to garnish wages, tax returns, Social Security benefits and – believe it or not – Disability income.

Twisting the knife, legislators made the suspension of state-issued professional licenses, termination of public employment and denial of security clearances legitimate measures to enable collection companies to wring financial blood from bankrupt student-loan borrowers. Student loan debt is the most punishable of all forms of debt – most of those draconian measures are unavailable to credit card companies….

MW: Is it fair to say that the student loan industry is a scam that targets borrowers who will never be able to repay their debts? Are these students like the people who were seduced into taking out subprime loans? How much money is involved and how much of that money is either presently in default or headed for default?

Alan Nasser: It’s as fair as fair can be. First, the student loan industry is huge – a large majority of students from every type of school are in debt. Debt is held by 62 percent of students enrolled at public colleges and universities, 72 percent at private non-profit schools and 96 percent at private, for-profit (‘proprietary’) schools. It was announced last summer that total student loan debt, at $830 billion, now exceeds total US credit card debt, which is itself bloated to the bubble level of $827 billion. And student loan debt is growing at the rate of $90 billion a year.”

These students weren’t expecting an economic crisis to occur, and, unlike the banks that lent them the money, they’re not getting a bailout. Also factor in that the overwhelming majority of new jobs, the few that are being added, are either part-time, temporary or in low paying fields without health or retirement benefits. Mix all of this together, and you have a vicious cycle with devastating consequences.

Given the size of this segment of the population, carrying this much debt, at such a young age, with limited prospects, you can feel the winds of revolution blowing.

Contrary to all the propaganda you hear from the mainstream media and politicians, the economy is still shedding jobs at a staggering pace. ZeroHedge recently featured a report entitled, “Just How Ugly Is The Truth Of America’s Unemployment [37]” by economist David Rosenberg:

“It is laughable that everyone believes the labor market in the U.S.A. is improving.… The data from the Household survey are truly insane. The labor force has plunged an epic 764k in the past two months. The level of unemployment has collapsed 1.2 million, which has never happened before. People not counted in the labor force soared 753k in the past two months.

These numbers are simply off the charts and likely reflect the throngs of unemployed people starting to lose their extended benefits and no longer continuing their job search (for the two-thirds of them not finding a new job). These folks either go on welfare or they rely on their spouse or other family members or friends for support….

Of all the analysis we saw over the weekend, the only one that made any sense was the editorial by Bob Herbert:

‘The policy makers don’t tell us that most of the new jobs being created in such meager numbers are, in fact, poor ones, with lousy pay and few or no benefits. What we hear is what the data zealots pump out week after week, that the market is up, retail sales are strong, Wall Street salaries and bonuses are streaking, as always, to the moon, and that businesses are sitting on mountains of cash. So all must be right with the world.

Jobs? Well, the less said the better.

What’s really happening, of course, is the same thing that’s been happening in this country for the longest time — the folks at the top are doing fabulously well and they are not interested in the least in spreading the wealth around.

The people running the country — the ones with the real clout, whether Democrats or Republicans — are all part of this power elite. Ordinary people may be struggling, but both the Obama administration and the Republican Party leadership are down on their knees, slavishly kissing the rings of the financial and corporate kingpins.’

… the civilian population rose 1.872 million last year. At the same time, the labor force fell 167k. Those not in the labor force soared 2.094 million. Just in January, we saw 319,000 people drop out of the work force. These numbers are incredible. This is a highly dysfunctional labor market. People are falling through the cracks at an alarming rate as they come off their extended jobless benefits….”

In the US, we have over six million people who have now been unemployed for over six months, the highest total we have ever had. Factoring long-term unemployed and part-time workers looking for full-time work in to the total unemployment count, we now have over 30 million Americans in need of employment.

V :: The American Dream Foreclosed Upon

The foreclosure crisis in the United States, which has already affected over seven million people since the crisis began, is not slowing down, it’s accelerating. Economist Joseph Stiglitz recently predicated another two million foreclosures in 2011 [38]. David Walsh sums up the growing crisis [39]:

Nearly 30 percent of US homeowners now ‘underwater’

“Year over year, home values were down 5.9 percent nationally, and have fallen 27 percent since their peak in June 2006. The total value of US single-family homes fell a staggering $798 billion in 2010’s fourth quarter, and for the entire year, more than $2 trillion….

The number of US homeowners ‘underwater,’ i.e., owing more than their homes were worth, at the end of 2010, jumped to 27 percent, up from 23.2 percent in the third quarter…. ‘The rate of homes selling for a loss reached a new peak in December, with more than one-third (34.1 percent) selling for a loss. The rate of homes sold for a loss has increased steadily for the past six months.’ Some 15.7 million homeowners had negative equity at the end of the fourth quarter, in households home to more than 40 million people.

The massive number of those underwater will ‘surely lead to higher foreclosure rates soon,’ notes CNNMoney…. Economist Joseph Stiglitz, speaking at a conference in Mauritius February 9, predicted that another 2 million foreclosures would take place in the US in 2011, adding to the 7 million already recorded since the financial meltdown of 2008.

Banks repossessed 1 million homes in 2010, and this year is expected to be bleaker. Approximately 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind in their mortgage payments.”

VI :: A Recipe For Revolution: Tax Breaks for the Rich, Budget Cuts for the Poor

Let’s recap the statistics: we have 59 million people without healthcare, 52 million in poverty, 44 million on food stamps, 30 million in need of work, seven million foreclosed upon and five million homes over two months late in their mortgage payments. Meanwhile, all new political policies and proposals on the table, on the state and federal level, are committed to major cuts in social services. In a sign of what’s to come, Obama’s first disclosed spending cut targets the poor. As Salon recently reported [40]:

New Obama strategy: Beat up poor people

“To prove it is ‘serious’ about the deficit, the White House proposes cutting a program that helps pay heating bills. The Obama administration… will propose big cuts to a program that provides energy assistance to poor people when it unveils its suggested 2012 budget. ‘The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP… would see funding drop by about $2.5 billion from an authorized 2009 total of $5.1 billion.’

The news is generating a lot of outrage… in large part because of a paragraph that suggests that the White House wants to gain political advantage from being seen as tough on the most vulnerable Americans — people who can’t afford heating oil during cold winters…. If the White House wants to convince Americans that it is serious about budget discipline, it should do so by ‘going after powerful vested interests rather than those least able to defend themselves within the political arena.’ The White House could redouble its efforts to cut oil company subsidies or repeal tax cuts for the rich, for example.”

As The Independent reported [41], “Obama to set out painful budget plans for austerity in America. Americans are about to get a first glimpse of what tight-fisted federal government looks like with President Barack Obama releasing an austerity-tinged draft budget.”

In a report we featured on the AmpedStatus Hot List with the headline, “US Democracy Crushed By Economic Elite,” Bob Herbert sums it up [42]:

“One state after another is reporting that it cannot pay its bills. Public employees across the country are walking the plank by the tens of thousands. Camden, N.J., a stricken city with a serious crime problem, laid off nearly half of its police force. Medicaid, the program that provides health benefits to the poor, is under savage assault from nearly all quarters.

The poor, who are suffering from an all-out depression, are never heard from. In terms of their clout, they might as well not exist. The Obama forces reportedly want to raise a billion dollars or more for the president’s re-election bid. Politicians in search of that kind of cash won’t be talking much about the wants and needs of the poor. They’ll be genuflecting before the very rich.”

Austerity measures and draconian cuts to the social safety net are occurring just after passing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to multi-millionaires and billionaires. On the state level, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report [43] revealing, “Thirty-one states have released their initial budget proposals for fiscal year 2012 (which begins July 1 in most states), and, for the fourth year in a row, these budgets propose deep cuts in education, health care, and other important public services…”

After committing trillions of dollars to bailing out the big banks, the Federal Reserve and government officials have now made it clear that the states will not receive the same treatment. In fact, the bailed out players on Wall Street, who have taken our tax dollars and given themselves all-time record-breaking bonuses, are looking to cash in on the suffering of states across the country. As Lynn Parramore recently put it [44]:

Crank Up the Casino! Hedge Funds to Short American States and Cities

“The looming possibility of municipal defaults, which some say could total hundreds of billions of dollars, is causing grave concern. Hedge funds are also deeply concerned about America’s municipal debt crisis. They worry about how to best profit from it.

The Wizards of Wall Street have looked over the catastrophe of cash-strapped America and found it good for business. In their corporate laboratories, they are working furiously to whip up wondrous new financial products that will allow them to reap millions from misery. You might think that after plunging the country into said Recession with their fancy financial products, these Wizards might feel a little indelicate about gearing up for a game of shorting a community near you. Clearly you don’t know Wall Street. The Financial Times reports that once-boring muni bonds are suddenly sexy.”

Speaking of reaping millions from misery, the food stamp racket pays off just as well as the war racket. The economic parasites profit off [45] of food stamps:

Food Stamps: JPMorgan & Banking Industry Profit From Misery

“JPMorgan’s division that makes food stamp debit cards made $5.47 billion in net revenue in 2010. As the head of this division, Christopher Paton, says, ‘This business is a very important business to JPMorgan in terms of its size and scale.’ According to the company’s most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, the Treasury & Securities Services segment, which is the division that includes the food stamp business, was up 2% in the last three months of last quarter and brought in $5.47 billion in net revenue for most of 2010.”

Republicans and Democrats, along with their Wall Street masters, are so arrogant, deluded with wealth, completely lacking perspective, shortsighted and, quite frankly, ignorant.

As the economic top one-tenth of one percent has more wealth than they have ever had, the middle class is quickly disappearing and poverty is soaring. As politicians ignore the needs of the suffering masses in favor of a Kleptocratic Oligarchy, which operates above the law, it is only a matter of time before an uprising takes hold.

After analyzing societal and economic indicators within the US, in comparison to rebelling countries, it is not a matter of whether people will revolt or not, it’s a matter of when.

There are two significant differences between the United States and other rebelling nations:

1) The US has a much more powerful, sophisticated and omnipresent propaganda media system to keep the populace suppressed – isolated and confused.

2) The US keeps 52 million people temporarily pacified in anti-poverty programs [46] by giving them food stamps, unemployment benefits or other forms of life-sustaining government assistance.

Both of these differences are temporary, and not in any way sustainable. The safety nets here are unraveling and cuts in vital social services will be implemented just as millions more will need them. At the same time, food stamps and other forms of limited government assistance will be worth less and less as food and gas prices continue to rise.

Rising commodity prices will push the 239 million [33] Americans currently living paycheck to paycheck over the edge. Also factor in healthcare costs, which have been skyrocketing even faster. On a personal level, my health insurance provider just notified me that my family has to pay 45% more for coverage – and we already had the world’s most expensive healthcare system. For my wife, one child and myself, we will now have to pay over $1100 per month for a basic health insurance plan.

There are currently 59 million Americans who don’t even have healthcare insurance. The health system has become vintage Grapes of Wrath [47], as have most aspects of the centrally planned system of economic despotism that we live under.

Add all of these factors together and you have a recipe for revolution. The mainstream propaganda news outlets and “Reality” TV soma will only keep people at bay for so long. The propaganda system collapses when people can’t afford to eat. Americans may be late to the party, but once one city revolts, the dominos will fall and a wave of protest will sweep through the country like a tsunami.

The only questions are: when will it happen, and how it will begin?

VII :: “Hungry People Don’t Stay Hungry For Long”

Food prices have been a leading indicator for rebellion thus far. Given the Federal Reserve’s commitment to driving food prices higher, as a matter of policy, and the government’s commitment to cutting assistance programs, people lining up at Wal-Mart on the last day of the month, waiting for the clock to strike midnight so they can buy their family milk and bread on their food stamp debit card, seem to be the most likely to rebel first.

As food prices increase, food stamps are obviously going to buy you less food. On top of that, as food prices escalate, millions more will need food assistance, right at the point when the current safety net can least afford it.

Let’s analyze the most recent food stamp data to see how America’s inevitable revolution may begin.

With 43.6 million Americans currently relying on food stamps, there are 13 states with over a million people already on food stamps:

· Texas 3,925,119 (number of people on food stamps) — 15.6% (of state population)
· California 3,521,881 — 9.5%
· Florida 2,994,413 — 15.9%
· New York 2,934,493 — 15.1%
· Michigan 1,920,330 – 19.4%
· Ohio 1,772,608 — 15.4%
· Georgia 1,732,865 — 17.9%
· Illinois 1,732,169 — 13.5%
· Pennsylvania 1,673,714 — 13.2%
· North Carolina 1,531,255 — 16.1%
· Tennessee 1,264,407 — 19.9%
· Arizona 1,050,181 — 16.4%
· Washington 1,019,791 — 15.2%

States with over 18% of the population on food stamps:

· Mississippi 612,889 — 20.7%
· Tennessee 1,264,407 — 19.9%
· Oregon 749,498 — 19.6%
· Michigan 1,920,330 — 19.4%
· New Mexico 399,454 — 19.4%
· Louisiana 866,905 — 19.1%
· West Virginia 345,683 — 18.7%
· Kentucky 813,041 — 18.7%
· Maine 241,117 — 18.2%
· South Carolina 839,109 — 18.1%
· Alabama 863,606 — 18.1%

In our nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, there are 131,611 people on food stamps, which is a stunning 21.9% of the population.

As mentioned before, cities with a poverty rate over 25% – Detroit 36%, Cleveland 35%, Buffalo 29%, Milwaukee 28%, St. Louis 27%, Miami 27%, Memphis 26%, Cincinnati 26% and Philadelphia 25% – are also highly vulnerable to revolt.

VIII :: The Empire State Rebellion

Given all the data, due to New York’s geographical lay out, population size and proximity to power, it is a prime candidate for insurrection. There are currently 2.9 million people living in New York that are on food stamps, which is equivalent to the entire population of Manhattan. Just imagine three million people flooding into lower Manhattan. Imagine if three million people decided to take a 15-30 minute subway ride down to the Financial District and camped out from Wall Street to the NY Fed, spilling over to the corporate offices of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.

Perhaps the one million people on food stamps from New Jersey and Connecticut will make a short trip into lower Manhattan as well, four million strong shutting down lower Manhattan, the economic capital of the world.

How would that play out in the global media?

One million people gathering in Cairo, Egypt sent shock waves throughout the world, and rightfully so, but just wait until millions of Americans begin flooding the streets. The revolution contagion will spread throughout the world like a category five hurricane.

“The civilization may still seem brilliant because it possesses an outward front,
the work of a long past, but is in reality an edifice crumbling to ruin
and destined to fall in at the first storm.”
– Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

IX :: The Battle in Madison: A Sign of Things to Come

While bloated federal and state spending has grown to staggering levels of debt, and demands immediate attention, any cut in spending or attempts to reduce the deficit must first come at the expense of the organized criminal class that has looted the national economy. Any cuts that happen before that need to be understood as an escalation and extension of the attacks on the American people.

While continuing their attacks on American small businesses and private-sector workers, the global financial elite are now stepping up their attacks on public workers. In this context, the Wisconsin state government attacks against the state teachers’ union doesn’t have anything to do with the old Democrat Vs. Republican divide and conquer debates of the past. This is about people fighting back against their economic oppressors. In Egypt, Mubarak was the Neo-Liberal Aristocracy’s local enforcer. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker is the Neo-Liberal Aristocracy’s local enforcer.

This battle in Madison, Wisconsin, between the American people and the global financial elite, represents the opening salvo, the awakening of an American resistance movement and a sign of what’s to come.

 

In a report entitled, “Wisconsin governor threatens to call National Guard on state workers,” Andre Damon explains the situation:

“Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, announced an assault against state…. Walker’s proposal, which he said would quickly pass in the state legislature, drastically limits collective bargaining, removing the right of unions to negotiate pensions, retirement and benefits….

When asked by a reporter what will happen if workers resist, Walker replied that he would call out the National Guard. He said that the National Guard is ‘prepared … for whatever the governor, their commander-in-chief, might call for … I am fully prepared for whatever may happen.’

Walker’s proposal allows state authorities to arbitrarily fire workers who ‘participate in an organized action to stop or slow work,’ or who ‘are absent for three days without approval of the employer,’ according to the governor’s press release.”

Democracy Now pointed out:

“… the governor’s actions could have national ramifications: ‘If Governor Walker pulls this off… if he takes down one of the strongest and most effective teachers’ unions, WEAC, in the country, then we really are going to see this sweep across the United States.’”

As a recent Washington Post report [48] summed it up:

Workers toppled a dictator in Egypt, but might be silenced in Wisconsin

“In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.

The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday. By Friday, when Egypt’s military leaders apparently decided that unrest had reached the point where Mubarak had to go, the Egyptians who operate the Suez Canal and their fellow workers in steel, textile and bottling factories; in hospitals, museums and schools; and those who drive buses and trains had left their jobs to protest their conditions of employment and governance. As Jim Hoagland noted in The Post, Egypt was barreling down the path that Poland, East Germany and the Philippines had taken, the path where workers join student protesters in the streets and jointly sweep away an authoritarian regime.

But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers’ organizations here in the United States…. Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees. Under his legislation… the unions representing teachers, sanitation workers, doctors and nurses at public hospitals, and a host of other public employees, would lose the right to bargain over health coverage, pensions and other benefits. (To make his proposal more politically palatable, the governor exempted from his hit list the unions representing firefighters and police.)….

[Those who] often profess admiration for foreign workers’ bravery in protesting and undermining authoritarian regimes. Letting workers exercise their rights at home, however, threatens to undermine some of our own regimes, and shouldn’t be permitted. Now that Wisconsin’s governor has given the Guard its marching orders, we can discern a new pattern of global repressive solidarity emerging – from the chastened pharaoh of the Middle East to the cheesehead pharaoh of the Middle West.”

Part Two :: The Most Repressive Regime: US Police State

X :: Torture: Made in the USA

It is extremely hypocritical when well-paid mainstream “news” people talk about how repressive and barbaric the Mubarak regime is in Egypt. Once again, I doubt they’ve been to inner city America recently.

If you want to report on Egypt participating in torture, it is vital to point out where they were getting their weapons, training and funding from. Who paid them to commit horrific crimes against humanity? Look in the mirror US taxpayers; you may not like what you see.

WikiLeaks revealed information on a US-Egyptian torture program [49]:

WikiLeaks Docs: Torture-Linked Egyptian Police Trained in U.S.

“Newly released classified U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks have shed more light on the key U.S. support for human rights abuses under Mubarak’s regime in Egypt. The cables show Egyptian secret police received training at the FBI’s facility in Quantico, Virginia, even as U.S. diplomats in Egypt sent dispatches alleging extensive abuse under their watch.

Coincidentally, Quantico also hosts the military base where alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is being held in solitary confinement.

A cable from October 2009 cites allegations from ‘credible’ sources that some prisoners were tortured ‘with electric shocks and sleep deprivation to reduce them to a ‘zombie state.’ One cable from November 2007 shows then-FBI deputy director John Pistole praised the head of Egypt’s secret police for ‘excellent and strong’ cooperation between the two agencies. Pistole currently heads the Transportation Security Administration in the United States.”

America the beautiful… The Transportation Security Administration, from electric shocks, sleep deprivation and zombie states in Egypt, to cancer causing, civil liberty-destroying Naked Scanners at an airport near you.

XI :: American Gulag: World’s Largest Prison Complex

If you want to report on Egypt putting their citizens in prison, again, the hypocrisy is astonishing. The US, by far, has more of its citizens in prison than any other nation on earth. China, with a billion citizens, doesn’t imprison as many people as the US, with only 309 million American citizens. The US per capita statistics are 700 per 100,000 [50] citizens. In comparison, China has 110 per 100,000. In the Middle East, the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia imprisons 45 per 100,000. US per capita levels are equivalent to the darkest days of the Soviet Gulag [51].

The majority of prisoners are locked up for non-violent crimes, with tens of thousands in Supermax cells. In addition to the heinous torture programs that the US government has carried out in Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Gitmo, we have our own solitary confinement torture programs for Americans in Supermax Units throughout the country. As Jim Ridgeway from Solitary Watch [52] explains:

“Solitary confinement has grown dramatically in the past two decades. Today, at least 25,000 prisoners are being held in long-term lockdown in the nation’s ‘supermax’ facilities; some 50,000 to 80,000 more are held in isolation in ‘administrative segregation’ or ‘special housing’ units at other facilities. In other words, on any given day, as many as 100,000 people are living in solitary confinement in America’s prisons. This widespread practice has received scant media attention, and has yet to find a place in the public discourse or on political platforms.”

The US prison industry is thriving and expecting major growth over the next few years. A report from the Hartford Advocate titled “Incarceration Nation [53]” revealed, “A new prison opens every week somewhere in America.” If you want to report on the brutal suppression of citizens, consider that somewhere in America, every week, a new prison is being built to literally “house the poor.”

A Boston Globe article [54] by James Carroll shined a light on our repressive regime:

“… as federal corrections budgets increased by $19 billion, money for housing was cut by $17 billion, ‘effectively making the construction of prisons the nation’s main housing program for the poor.’ State budgets took their cues from Washington in a new but unspoken national consensus: poverty itself was criminalized. Although ‘law and order’ was taken to be a Republican mantra, this phenomenon was fully bipartisan.”

Again, just because you don’t hear this reported on TV, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

XII :: Loss of Civil Liberties

In addition to the record-breaking imprisonment of the American population, since 9/11 our civil liberties have been violated in unprecedented fashion. Tom Burghardt, in an article entitled, “American Police State: FBI Abuses Reveals Contempt for Political Rights, Civil Liberties,” summed up a new report [55] from the Electronic Frontier Foundation “documenting the lawless, constitutional-free zone under construction in America for nearly a decade:”

“As mass revolt spreads across Egypt and the Middle East and citizens there demand jobs, civil liberties and an end to police state abuses from repressive, U.S.-backed torture regimes, the Obama administration and their congressional allies aim to expand one right here at home.

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released an explosive new report documenting the lawless, constitutional-free zone under construction in America for nearly a decade. That report, ‘Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001-2008,’ reveals that the domestic political intelligence apparat spearheaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, continues to systematically violate the rights of American citizens and legal residents….

According to EFF, more than 2,500 documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that:

* From 2001 to 2008, the FBI reported to the IOB approximately 800 violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations, although this number likely significantly under-represents the number of violations that actually occurred.

* From 2001 to 2008, the FBI investigated, at minimum, 7000 potential violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.

* Based on the proportion of violations reported to the IOB and the FBI’s own statements regarding the number of NSL [National Security Letter] violations that occurred, the actual number of violations that may have occurred from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.

But FBI lawbreaking didn’t stop there. Citing internal documents, EFF revealed that the Bureau also ‘engaged in a number of flagrant legal violations’ that included, ‘submitting false or inaccurate declarations to courts,’ ‘using improper evidence to obtain federal grand jury subpoenas’ and ‘accessing password protected documents without a warrant.’

In other words, in order to illegally spy on Americans and haul political dissidents before Star Chamber-style grand juries, the FBI routinely committed perjury and did so with absolute impunity.

Reviewing the more than 2,500 documents EFF analysts averred that they had ‘uncovered alarming trends in the Bureau’s intelligence investigation practices’ and that the ‘documents suggest the FBI’s intelligence investigations have compromised the civil liberties of American citizens far more frequently, and to a greater extent, than was previously assumed.’”

XIII :: Internet Crackdown

When the Egyptian regime shut down the Internet, they did so by using American made technology. Having been knocked offline here at AmpedStatus.com, we have firsthand experience in what it feels like to have your ability to communicate and First Amendment rights stripped away. We still don’t know who was behind the attacks on our website, but the situation in Egypt was an interesting case study. As it turned out, Obama’s new Chief of Staff, Bill Daley’s company provided the technology used to shut down the Internet in Egypt. No, I’m not referring to JP Morgan, it was the other company Bill Daley was a board member of up until last month, Boeing.

As media reform organization Free Press revealed [56]:

“The Mubarak regime shut down Internet and cell phone communications before launching a violent crackdown against political protesters.

Free Press has discovered that an American company — Boeing-owned Narus of Sunnyvale, CA — had sold Egypt [Telecom Egypt, the state-run Internet service provider] ‘Deep Packet Inspection’ (DPI) equipment that can be used to help the regime track, target and crush political dissent over the Internet and mobile phones. Narus is selling this spying technology to other regimes with deplorable human rights records.

The power to control the Internet and the resulting harm to democracy are so disturbing that the threshold for using DPI must be very high. That’s why, before DPI becomes more widely used around the world and at home, the U.S. government must establish clear and legitimate criteria for preventing the use of such surveillance and control technology.”

It is probably just be an odd coincidence, but it was soon after we published the following report [57] that we were knocked offline:

Obama Renews Commitment to Complete Destruction of the Middle Class – Meet the New Economic Death Squad

“…. Boeing certainly does love Wall Street. For those of you out of the loop, you may not recall that the most powerful and destructive WMD that Boeing executives ever helped develop was the CDO, that’s a Collateralized Debt (Damage) Obligation. Do you remember Edward Liddy? Liddy and Bill Daley were both Boeing board members, before Liddy temporarily moved to Goldman Sachs where he oversaw their Audit Committee. Liddy was the person who had the most knowledge of Goldman’s CDO exposure insured through, what was that company’s name?… Oh, AIG. Yeah, that was it. Then, Hank ‘Pentagon-Watergate-Goldman’ Paulson unilaterally made Liddy the CEO of AIG, before teaming up with Tim ‘Kissinger-Rubin-Summers-IMF’ Geithner to flush $183 billion tax dollars down the ‘too big to fail’ drain. And then… after the government was finished pumping our tax dollars to financial terrorists through the AIG SPV, Liddy scurried back to the board of Boeing where he could have cocktails with his ole pal Billy-Boy Daley. Yep, Goldman, JP Morgan, Boeing and the destruction of the US economy, birds of a feather…”

Within an hour of publishing that report [57], our site was knocked offline.

Something that has become very clear to me: when you accurately criticize the most powerful people, most people will ignore you, except the people who have the most power. They notice right away, and they let you know about it.

As I said, this is all probably just a coincidence.

However, this tangled web of interests between the Pentagon, Wall Street and the White House is fully exposed, yet again, with Obama’s special envoy to Egypt, Frank Wisner Jr.

Wisner has just as many conflicts of interest as Bill Daley and Edward Liddy. Some reports have mentioned that Wisner was biased toward supporting the Mubarak regime because he is a longtime friend of Mubarak, and worked for a law firm that represented the regime, Patton Boggs. But that’s only part of the story. Wisner, like Bill Daley, is a Council on Foreign Relations member [58]. He is the son of legendary CIA propaganda expert Frank Wisner Sr., who created and ran Operation Mockingbird [59]. For those of you who haven’t heard of Frank Wisner Sr., he used to report on “his ‘mighty Wurlitzer,’ on which he could play any propaganda tune.”

Frank Jr. was also a board member of Enron [60], up until its collapse, and like Edward Liddy, he also worked for AIG, from 1997 until 2009 [61]. Wisner oversaw two of the greatest corporate catastrophes in American history, back to back. Given his track record, Barack “mighty Wurlitzer” Obama must have thought he was the perfect guy for a collapsing corporate puppet regime in Egypt. Wisner is a disaster capitalism expert, right up there with Edward Liddy and Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Birds of a feather…

XIV :: Silencing Dissent

The recent internal emails from cyber-security firm HB Gary, released by WikiLeaks, exposing online campaigns to crackdown on critical journalists, reveals some of the other common methods used by the financial elite, like the Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America, to target and silence political adversaries.

As one of the targets of the revealed campaign, Brad Friedman reported [62]:

US Chamber of Commerce Thugs Used ‘Terror Tools’ for Disinfo Scheme Targeting Me, My Family, Other Progressive U.S. Citizens, Groups

“The US Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful Rightwing lobbying group in the country, was revealed to have been working with their law firm and a number of private cyber security and intelligence firms to target progressive organizations, journalists and citizens who they felt were in opposition to their political activism, tactics and points of view.”

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who was a constitutional law and civil rights litigator, was also a target of these planned attacks. In a report on the campaign [63] to smear and discredit him, he focused on how common these illegal attacks are:

The leaked campaign to attack WikiLeaks and its supporters

“The real issue highlighted by this episode is just how lawless and unrestrained the unified axis of government and corporate power is. As creepy and odious as this is, there’s nothing unusual about these kinds of smear campaigns. The only unusual aspect here is that we happened to learn about it this time because of Anonymous’ hacking. That a similar scheme was quickly discovered by ThinkProgress demonstrates how common this behavior is. The very idea of trying to threaten the careers of journalists and activists to punish and deter their advocacy is self-evidently pernicious; that it’s being so freely and casually proposed to groups as powerful as the Bank of America, the Chamber of Commerce, and the DOJ-recommended Hunton & Williams demonstrates how common this is. “

Greenwald later added [64]:

“Given the players involved and the facts that continue to emerge — this story is far too significant to allow to die due to lack of attention…. As the episode… demonstrates, simply relying on the voluntary statements of the corporations involved ensures that the actual facts will remain concealed if not actively distorted…. Entities of this type routinely engage in conduct like this with impunity, and the serendipity that led to their exposure in this case should be seized to impose some accountability… that these firms felt so free to propose these schemes in writing and, at least from what is known, not a single person raised any objection at all — underscores how common this behavior is.”

Dylan Ratigan recently interviewed Glenn Greenwald and they summed up the situation [65], here’s a brief excerpt:

DYLAN: Am I correct in understanding that substantial, legitimate, serious, powerful private security firms were pitching Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce a campaign for which they would be paid money, in which they would assassinate the reputations and intimidate and threaten the well-being of targeted private individuals. Is that true?

GLENN: Yes, the journalists, activists, political groups, and the like.

DYLAN: Whoever it may be. And that the law firm that brought these private security firms in was recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice. So it’s on a recommendation from the DOJ that private and substantial security firms are being brought in to pitch smear and intimidation campaigns against those who support transparency in information. Fair?

GLENN: Yes, exactly….

DYLAN: … they were saying, ‘You pay me money and those who are validating the efforts of WikiLeaks or the efforts of transparency, period, in the modern information world, we will threaten their careers such that they’ll give up the cause, if you pay us.’

GLENN: Right. ‘We’ll investigate them. We’ll find out dirt on them. We will destroy their reputation using all kinds of schemes and techniques.’

DYLAN: And this came out through another leak which is the ironic twist…

GLENN: Well, one ironic twist is that it came out through a leak and the other ironic twist is that these are internet security firms that held their expertise in providing internet security and yet their e-mail system was hacked.

XV :: Protected By Anonymous

Propaganda doesn’t work as well when you have the Internet, a cyberspace Underground Railroad, a form of mass communication that allows citizens to interact without corporate gatekeepers effectively censoring critical thought. All of these attacks show the desperation of the ruling class, in attempting to maintain an obsolete propaganda system. Just look at how common and accepted unlawful practices have become in pursuit of their goals.

It is a strategic imperative that we protect Internet freedom from the forces of media concentration and censorship. Organizations such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous are playing a critical role in exposing information and protecting those who are critical of the most powerful and corrupt elements within society.

Part 3: Bring the Tyrants Down

Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience:

“All people recognize the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency is great and unendurable. And oppression and robbery are organized, I say; let us not have such a machine any longer. I think that it is not too soon for honest people to rebel and revolutionize.”

XVI :: The Denial of Wealth

As I wrote in The Economic Elite Vs. The People [66]:

“When you take the time to research and analyze the wealth that has gone to the economic top one percent, you begin to realize just how much we have been robbed. Trillions upon trillions of dollars that could make the lives of all hard-working Americans much easier have been strategically funneled into the coffers of the Economic Elite. The denial of wealth is the key to the Economic Elite’s power. An entire generation of massive wealth creation has been strategically withheld from 99% of the US population.”

In a new report entitled, “Nine Pictures of the Extreme Income/Wealth Gap [67],” Dave Johnson helps make the point:

“Many people don’t understand our country’s problem of concentration of income and wealth because they don’t see it. People just don’t understand how much wealth there is at the top now. The wealth at the top is so extreme that it is beyond most people’s ability to comprehend. If people understood just how concentrated wealth has become in our country and the effect it has on our politics, our democracy and our people, they would demand our politicians do something about it….

Top 1% owns more than 90% of us combined….

400 people have as much wealth as half of our population.”

XVII :: Economic Death Squad

A report entitled, “Grapes of Wrath – 2011 [68],” presents a challenge to us:

“The American people have a choice…. The current path, forged by a minority of privileged wealthy elite, will lead to the destruction of this country and misery on an unprecedented scale…. Are you prepared to incur the wrath of the vested interests and meet their lies and propaganda with the fury of your own wrath in search for the truth? These men are sure you don’t have the courage, fortitude and wrath to defeat them.”


 

In an article and video entitled, “The Wall Street Economic Death Squad [69],” as I reported back in October, 2009:

“We need to focus our strategy on the small group of men who carried out the financial coup. These 13 men played leading roles in first crashing the economy, and then stealing trillions in taxpayer funds. Some of them are now calling the shots and running the government to insure that their obscene profits keep pouring into their coffers.

Know Our Enemies, EHMs – Meet The Wall Street Economic Death Squad:

Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, John Mack, Vikram Pandit, John Thain, Hank Greenberg, Ken Lewis.

These men ‘presided over the largest transfer of wealth in history, from the working class to the flamboyant super rich.’ What these men have done is obscene. After crashing the economy, trillions, literally trillions of dollars have been funneled into the pockets of a select few, in secrecy, while billions of people suffer in poverty, billions suffer to survive. This small tight-knit Wall Street cadre has committed a crime against humanity.”

Ralph J. Dolan, writing on Dissident Voice, declares, “Bring the Tyrants Down!”

“… while we’re observing these historic events in Egypt we might take a lesson in justice. We might come to our senses and freeze the assets of Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan Chase and John Strumpf of Wells Fargo – for starters. Then we could go after the other major players in orchestrating the financial meltdown – Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, etc.

These guys who waltz away with billions in profits while they create misery and dislocation for many millions of struggling working people are beneath contempt….

We seem ready to kneel at the feet and kiss the hands of those who would rob us blind.

Enough! Let us bring these tyrants down!”

If Egyptians can seize the assets [70] of a dictator like Mubarak, why can’t we seize the assets of Jamie Dimon and Llyod Blankfein?

A new report from Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone harshly sums up Banana Republic USA:

“A former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. ‘Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,’ he said. ‘That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.’ I put down my notebook. ‘Just that?’ ‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.’

Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industrywide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted. Their names by now are familiar to even the most casual Middle American news consumer: companies like AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. Most of these firms were directly involved in elaborate fraud and theft.”

Once again, veteran financial journalist Paul B. Farrell hits the nail on the head. Writing for Market Watch, Farrell doesn’t pull any punches in summing up [71] what needs to be done, and it can’t be said enough:

Fed Dictator Bernanke Needs To Be Toppled

“Fed boss Ben Bernanke is the most dangerous human on earth, far more dangerous than Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30-year dictator, ever was. Bernanke rules a monetary dictatorship… But this reign of economic terror will end. Just as Mubarak was blind to the economic needs of the masses and democratic reforms, Bernanke is blind to the easy-money legacy that’s set the stage for revolution, turning the rich into super rich while the middle class stagnates and peanuts trickle down to the poor.”

You can’t sentence the overwhelming majority of the population to slow death through economic policy and expect to get away with it.

While one-tenth of one percent of the population rolls around in obscene wealth, they may want to take a look outside of their groupthink short-sighted delusional perspective and notice the outside world. You cannot ignore the suffering of the masses. They will show up at your doorstep next.

I hear footsteps…

XVIII :: 99.9% Vs. 0.1%

Egypt exposed the power that the people have. One million Egyptians proved that you can shut down a powerful regime through a mass demonstration of non-violent force. Here in the US, according to public opinion polls, 75-80% of the population believes the government doesn’t have the consent of the governed.

The mainstream media leaves Americans feeling isolated and powerless to create change, but in reality, average Americans have all the power that they need to end the economic suffering and injustices that they endure. The overwhelming majority of people feel powerless to create change, if they would just realize that they are the overwhelming majority, we would have the change we so desperately need.

As I’ve written in the past [72]:

“To those Americans who feel powerless to change things, I say that your feelings are only a result of your induced delusion. You have become so propagandized that you do not even understand the significant position that you are in…. We are still a mass of people who have the power to change the course of history…. we are 99.9% of the US population, and they are only 0.1%.

If we fight, we win!”

The people of Tunisia and Egypt has shown us the way. People are rising up throughout the world against the exact same people who looted America. The economic central planners that have launched an economic war on Americans, are also plundering the rest of the global economy with devastating consequences for 99.9 percent of the global population.

As John Pilger points out [73]:

The Egyptian Revolt Is Coming Home

“The uprising in Egypt is our theatre of the possible. It is what people across the world have struggled for and their thought controllers have feared…. Across the world, public awareness is rising and bypassing them. In Washington and London, the regimes are fragile and barely democratic. Having long burned down societies abroad, they are now doing something similar at home, with lies and without a mandate. To their victims, the resistance in Cairo’s Liberation Square must seem an inspiration.”

We are, as fate has it, the most power group of people on the planet. The sooner a critical mass can understand this, and the urgency of the moment, the better chance we have of solving this crisis through non-violent means. When the aware but passive realize that they too will face increasingly harsh consequences, that’s when we will have a chance to fix things. Until then, the hole gets deeper by the day.

As nations continue to fall to internal revolt, the more covert and militaristic elements of power will move to the fore. In a world of collapsing economies, limited resources and extreme weather, it appears we are on a road to worldwide war [74]. As the people of Egypt have demonstrated, the non-violent movement has to assert itself before the situation gets so dire that outbreaks of violence will be commonplace, thus insuring a further, much harsher crackdown, police state and Neo-Feudal economic order.

As Chris Hedges makes clear [75]:

“The longer we believe in the fiction that we are included in the corporate power structure, the more easily corporations pillage the country without the threat of rebellion….

No system of total control, including corporate control, exhibits its extreme forms at the beginning. These forms expand as they fail to encounter resistance….

All centralized power, once restraints and regulations are abolished, once it is no longer accountable to citizens, knows no limit to internal and external plunder. The corporate state, which has emasculated our government, is creating a new form of feudalism, a world of masters and serfs.”

If we do not stand and rebel now, devastating consequences are sure to drastically lower our living standards within the near future. If we rise, people across the globe will continue to rise.

“We must conclude that a changeover is imminent and ineluctable in the co-opted cast who serve the interests of domination, and above all manage the protection of that domination. In such an affair, innovation will surely not be displayed [in the mainstream media]. It appears instead like lightening, which we only know when it strikes.”
– Guy DeBord

When revolution returns to America, the point won’t be to take down a figure head puppet politician like Mubarak or Obama, mere public relations moves will not suffice. We will take down the system behind them. We will take down the global banks, break them up, end the campaign finance racket, end closed-door lobbying, end the system of political bribery, end the two-party oligarchy, remove puppet judges who voted for unlimited spending by private economic elites, end corporate welfare and the various financial rackets which loot national wealth at the expense of the people.

“All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time,
in fact they are all artificial and temporary.”
– Strobe Talbott

We must enact common sense polices to deter organized corruption. The devil is always in the details, so rain RICO laws down upon them.

They shall reap what they sow.

Their day of reckoning is fast approaching.

Thomas Jefferson was correct when he said, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

As Jefferson rightfully declared, “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

Great ready… here it comes.

As a wise man once said,

“Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains
to earth like dew
Which in sleep
had fallen on you
Ye are many
they are few

 
We will not let our families continue their descent into debt slavery.
We will not leave our children to toil in a Neo-Feudal society.
We will not be on the wrong side of history.
A global uprising has begun.
Join the Movement [21].

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[3] I :: Centrally Planned Economic Repression: #centrally

[4] II :: Economic Imperialism: IMF Plunder of Egypt and Tunisia: #economic

[5] III :: US-Egypt Economic Parallels: Inequality & Poverty: #us-egypt

[6] IV :: Debt Slavery: Unemployed, Underemployed, Underpaid, In Debt: #debt

[7] V :: The American Dream Foreclosed Upon: #american

[8] VI :: A Recipe For Revolution: Tax Breaks for the Rich, Budget Cuts for the Poor: #recipe

[9] VII :: “Hungry People Don’t Stay Hungry For Long”: #hungry

[10] VIII :: The Empire State Rebellion: #empire

[11] IX :: The Battle in Madison: A Sign of Things to Come: #battle

[12] X :: Torture: Made in the USA: #torture

[13] XI :: American Gulag: World’s Largest Prison Complex: #gulag

[14] XII :: Loss of Civil Liberties: #loss

[15] XIII :: Internet Crackdown: #internet

[16] XIV :: Silencing Dissent: #silencing

[17] XV :: Protected By Anonymous: #protected

[18] XVI :: The Denial of Wealth: #denial

[19] XVII :: Economic Death Squad: #death

[20] XVIII :: 99.9% Vs. 0.1%: #99

[21] XIX :: Join the Movement: http://ampedstatus.org/network/about/

[22] Revolution Roundups: http://ampedstatus.org/revolution-roundup-2-as-mass-rebellion-spreads-throughout-europe-americans-dance-with-the-stars/

[23] TV interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQlUH95syXc&feature=player_embedded

[24] 44 million: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ink1E6LS_BRteJuMLy8IYQ-GTKmQ?docId=CNG.174090b19aab9f0dd092524489bf4699.9d1

[25] warned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yde_wYkhCm8&feature=player_embedded

[26] wrote: http://ampedstatus.org/we-need-a-rally-to-restore-the-rule-of-law-andor-the-constitution/

[27] Wall Street speculation: http://vodpod.com/watch/5584693-speculation-frenzy-in-food-markets?u=ampedstatuscom&c=ampedstatus

[28] reports: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/31/107813/egypts-unrest-may-have-roots-in.html#ixzz1DKk2tk00

[29] summed up: http://www.democracynow.org/seo/2011/1/31/economic_concerns_underpin_the_uprising_in

[30] more details: http://www.nomiprins.com/thoughts/2011/1/29/the-cia-on-egypts-economy-financial-deregulation-and-protest-1.html

[31] explained: http://thinkprogress.org/author/Pat G.

[32] poverty rate: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=eg&v=69

[33] 16.8%: http://ampedstatus.com/census-bureau-poverty-rate-drastically-undercounts-severity-of-poverty-in-america/

[34] At hand, an Arab awakening: http://www.yousufnazar.com/?p=1203#more-1203

[35] The Youth Unemployment Bomb: http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/11_07/b4215058743638.htm

[36] The Student Loan Swindle: http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney02042011.html

[37] Just How Ugly Is The Truth Of America’s Unemployment: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/just-how-ugly-truth-americas-unemployment-david-rosenberg-explains?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zerohedge%2Ffeed+(zero+hedge+-+on+a+long+enough+timeline%2C+the+survival+rate+for+everyo

[38] two million foreclosures in 2011: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-09/stiglitz-expects-2-million-u-s-foreclosures-this-year-update1-.html

[39] growing crisis: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/feb2011/hous-f10.shtml

[40] reported: http://www.salon.com/technology/how_the_world_works/2011/02/09/white_house_picks_on_cold_poor_people/index.html

[41] reported: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/obama-to-set-out-painful-budget-plans-for-austerity-in-america-2213876.html

[42] sums it up: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/opinion/12herbert.html?_r=2

[43] report: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3389

[44] put it: http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/02/09/crank-up-the-casino-hedge-funds-to-short-american-states-and-cities-35396

[45] profit off: http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/02/09/food-stamps-jpmorgan-banking-industry-profits-from-misery-35307/

[46] anti-poverty programs: http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-08-30-1Asafetynet30_ST_N.htm

[47] Grapes of Wrath: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0147716756?tag=thebur01-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0147716756&adid=0PB90SCK8JA2VSA4QJF7

[48] report: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/15/AR2011021504339.html

[49] US-Egyptian torture program: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/10/headlines#4

[50] 700 per 100,000: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/

[51] Soviet Gulag: http://gulaghistory.org/

[52] Solitary Watch: http://realcostofprisons.org/blog/archives/2010/01/new_site_solita.html

[53] Incarceration Nation: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2009/nov/19/can-our-shameful-prisons-be-reformed/

[54] article: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/11/08/the_prison_boom_comes_home_to_roost/

[55] new report: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BUR20110207&articleId=23116

[56] revealed: http://act2.freepress.net/sign/dpi/?source=FPhomepage

[57] following report: http://ampedstatus.org/obama-renews-commitment-to-complete-destruction-of-the-middle-class-meet-the-new-economic-death-squad/

[58] member: http://www.cfr.org/experts/world/frank-g-wisner/b879

[59] Operation Mockingbird: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

[60] board member of Enron: http://www.redrat.net/thoughts/terrorists/wisner.htm

[61] 1997 until 2009: http://ir.aigcorporate.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=76115&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1256455&highlight=

[62] reported: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=8354

[63] report on the campaign: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/02/15/palantir/index.html

[64] later added: http://firedoglake.com/2011/02/16/early-morning-swim-glenn-greenwald-discusses-wikileaks-smear-campaign-with-matt-miller/

[65] summed up the situation: http://www.dylanratigan.com/2011/02/15/glenn-greenwald-on-radio-free-dylan-3/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DylanRatigan%2FPodcast+(Dylan+Ratigan)

[66] The Economic Elite Vs. The People: http://ampedstatus.com/full-report-the-economic-elite-vs-the-people-of-the-united-states-of-america

[67] Nine Pictures of the Extreme Income/Wealth Gap: http://ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011020612/understanding-extreme-incomewealth-gap

[68] Grapes of Wrath – 2011: http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=10725

[69] The Wall Street Economic Death Squad: http://ampedstatus.com/the-wall-street-economic-death-squad/

[70] seize the assets: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54459

[71] summing up: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-dictator-bernanke-needs-to-be-toppled-2011-02-15

[72] the past: http://ampedstatus.com/full-report-the-economic-elite-vs-the-people-of-the-united-states-of-america/

[73] points out: http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/02/the-egyptian-revolt-is-coming-home/

[74] road to worldwide war: http://ampedstatus.org/the-road-to-world-war-iii-the-global-banking-cartel-has-one-card-left-to-play/

[75] makes clear: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/recognizing_the_language_of_tyranny_20110206/

The U.S. as National Security State

February 23rd, 2011 by Dr. Robert P. Abele

 

If a study of U.S. government actions since 9/11/01 teaches anything, it should bring into relief the overall plan of the world’s sole superpower to extend its hegemony to all lands and nations, including our own. A small-scale study of this process of the U.S. evolving into a National Security State could be done in five steps. In addition to outlining those steps, the intent of the present article is to offer four essential elements needed for any solution to this problem of U.S. government dominance in foreign lands and domestically.

Step 1: The Institutional Goal of the Victors of WW II: Preserving the Victory. The idea of hegemony is that of institutional self-interest in dominance. Noam Chomsky calls it “the imperial grand strategy,” and defines it as the U.S. holding “unquestioned power.”2 Andrew Bacevich calls it “Washington Rules,” and defines it as the belief that the U.S. ought to enforce its perceived norms as to how the world should behave, combined with “the sacred trinity” of global military presence, global power projection, and global interventionism.3 Regardless of the term used, it is the U.S. goal to maintain the war’s victory status as pre-eminent world power.

This may be seen as part of the culmination of the understanding of the doctrine of “American Exceptionalism” that started in with President Reagan and culminated in the Bush years—i.e. that the U.S. is not just qualitatively different (the historical meaning), but “better” or “above” others.

Step 2: (Result of step 1): Observe and eliminate any potential competition for hegemony, including that of dissident citizens. This is propagandized as “a threat to our national interests,” when really it is only to the interests of the agents doing the bidding of the state complex. Examples of this abound in just recent history:

            a) Reagan’s “War on Terror” in Central America in the 1980’s;

            b) The government and media’s rhetoric for those who question U.S. foreign policy as “anti-American” or even “terrorist.” In the old Soviet Union, the operative term for traitors was “anti-Soviet.”

            c) The 755 U.S. military bases around the world;

            d) The U.S.’s attempted coup of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002;

            e) Bush’s “War on Terror” in the 2000’s—Afghanistan and Iraq;

            f) Unwarranted domestic spying by the federal government against its own citizens, and its infiltrating progressive groups;

            g) The U.S. government attacks on groups such as ACORN, war dissidents in Chicago and Minneapolis, and protestors at the Republican Convention in 2008;

            h) Obama’s rebranding of the “war on terror” as “challenges to America’s interest,” while maintaining Bush-era policies of the war on terror.4

 

Step 3 (Result of Steps 1 & 2): Use of the Idea of Supreme Emergency to preserve and increase hegemony. “Supreme emergency” is defined by political scientist Michael Walzer as a threat that causes a fear beyond the ordinary fears of war, and that that threat and fear may require those measures that the war convention bars.5

There are serious problems that occur when using this concept to expand hegemony. First, most of what governments classify as “Supreme Emergency” is at root only an expression of institutional self-interest or expediency, and is the direct result of this basic impetus toward hegemony. For example, Winston Churchill’s use of the term to describe Britain’s situation in 1939 was a bit of rhetoric designed to weaken the British people and government’s resistance to maintaining the war convention’s proscription of extreme brutality.6

There are many examples of the U.S. following a similar pattern, domestically. For example, after 9/11/01, Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Bryant, in a letter sent to key senators during debate of the Patriot Act: “As Commander-in-Chief, the President must be able to use whatever means necessary to prevent attacks upon the United States…Here, for Fourth Amendment purposes, the right to self-defense is not that of an individual, but that of the nation and its citizens…If the government’s heightened interests in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it certainly would also justify warrantless searches.”7 Further, President Bush used the events of 9/11/01 to claim the power to detain, without charge, any person—including U.S. citizens—he declared to be “enemy combatants” or “suspected terrorists.” Additionally, he claimed the power to engage in preventive war as well as to practice indefinite detention   of arrested suspects. Critically, the “Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003” empowered the state to rescind one’s citizenship for providing any type of “material support” to an organization that the state has deemed to be involved with terrorism.

Barak Obama has followed his predecessor in this thinking. President Obama claims to have executive power to order the assassination of U.S. citizens. Further, he is continuing the concentration camps in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, along with the practice of torture, as well as escalating drone attacks (started by Bush in Afghanistan) to Pakistan and Yemen.

A second significant problem with this notion of supreme emergency is that when a hegemonic understanding of “Supreme Emergency” becomes the rule rather than the exception, as it has with the “war on terror” (often called “global civil war”), the institutional mindset of “supreme emergency” becomes the standard government way of operating. The result is predictable: if the “state of emergency” is not brought to an end, totalitarianism results. Georgio Agamben refers to this as a “state of exception.” According to Agamben, totalitarianism “can be defined as the establishment, by means of [a constant] state of exception [supreme emergency], of a legal civil war that allows for the physical elimination not only of political adversaries but of entire categories of citizens who for some reason cannot be integrated into the political system.”8 The Nazi jurists spoke regularly and openly of this, calling it “a willed state of exception,” done “for establishing the National Socialist State.”9 The United States perches precariously close to falling into this. One need only examine the USA PATRIOT Act, and/or the Bush military order of 2001 allowing “indefinite detention” and trial by “military commissions” of those noncitizens who were only suspected of some involvement in “terrorist activities,” to see how close we are to this becoming a reality in the U.S.

In the U.S. today, our “state of exception” is called “Continuity of Government” (COG) planning, and includes plans for suspending the Constitution in the event of an attack. Thanks to patrons like Oliver North, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others, the COG calls for warrantless surveillance, warrantless detention, and militarization of domestic security. As to the latter, Peter Dale Scott documents that since 2008, we now have a U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team stationed permanently within the national boundaries of the United States.10 Scott adds that, since 2002, American citizens have lived under a U.S. Army Command called NORTHCOM. Additionally, we have also seen this militarization of the domestic U.S. in action already on the streets of Toledo, Ohio, in 2008.11

The mechanism by which Supreme Emergency is established is fear, not serious threats. It involves the use of propaganda to create fear in the populous so that hegemonic plans can continue unabated. This fear is exaggerated for the populous in order to alleviate potential resistance to government self-interest in dominance. Witness, for example, the well-planted line from Condoleezza Rice: “We don’t want the smoking gun [of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction] to be a mushroom cloud.”12 Additionally, President Bush made use of such fear tactics in a speech at the United Nations on September 12, 2002. He followed it by a similar speech in Cincinnati, Ohio in October. Finally (for now), Colin Powell’s U.N. speech presented many assertions without much evidence, all intended to “catapult the propaganda” as Mr. Bush put it.13 Powell’s unsubstantiated assertions, placed for propaganda purposes, included charges that Iraq was hiding their WMD programs from the world; that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons programs, and was preparing “delivery devices” to attack others by using them; that Iraq was connected to and supportive of terrorism in general; that Iraq was connected to the events of 9/11; and that Iraq was guilty of not being able to prove a negative—i.e. not being able to prove that they destroyed munitions. This now-famous “proving of a negative” that made Iraq guilty would later be used by then-Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld used to justify the U.S. inability to find WMD in Iraq after the invasion.                       

Step 4: The Permanent State of Emergency = Continuity in Government (COG) = the National Security State. This state has been characterized by Gary Wills as “permanent war in peace.”14 It started in 1945 with the organization of the Strategic Services Unit, until, by 1952, a full National Security State was in place.15 This state is finally established when government rule engages the following actions:16

            a) it is fixated on alleged foreign enemies and the threat they pose to the homeland;

            b) the threat is used for the justification of any military solutions to “pacifying” those enemies;

            c) it maintains political and economic power not primarily in the people, but in the military (and defense contractors);

            d) it uses propaganda methods to narrow the parameters of political debate and to put fear in the populace regarding perceived state enemies (e.g. the Truman Doctrine speech of 1947: “Totalitarian regimes” anywhere in the world “undermine…the security of the United States”);

            e) it uses many appeals to “national security.”

Step 5: Six Characteristics of the U.S. Version of the National Security State

            a. National Security State engages in regular, unannounced, unapproved (by Congress or law) wars

                        i. Drones in Yemen and Pakistan: The U.S. first said it used targeted killing in November 2002, with the cooperation and approval of the government of Yemen.

In April of 2009, The News, a newspaper in Lahore, Pakistan, published figures provided by Pakistani officials indicating that 687 civilians have been killed along with 14 al Qaeda leaders in some 60 drone strikes since January 2008—just over 50 civilians killed for every al Qaeda leader.17 Further, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported: “According to the statistics compiled by Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009.” For each al Qa’eda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities.”18

On June 3, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) delivered a report sharply critical of US tactics. The report asserted that the US government has failed to keep track of civilian casualties of its military operations, including the drone attacks, and to provide means for citizens of affected nations to obtain information about the casualties and any legal inquests regarding them. Obama’s response was to ignore the U.N. report, and increase the drone attacks. As neoconservative architect Francis Fukuyama stated: the U.N. is “perfectly serviceable as an instrument of American unilateralism.”19 When it isn’t, the National Security State can and does ignore them. Since 1966, the U.S. has cast more vetoes in the U.N. than any other nation, with 82 vetoes. The previous record was held by the former Soviet Union, which cast a total of 121 vetoes between 1946-1989.20

                        ii. The Coming Wars for Oil: From whence comes the oil of the future? Experts generally agree upon the following list: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, the Caspian Sea area (consisting of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan), and Latin America (consisting of Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia, and Ecuador).21 Given these locations of oil, what are the global strategies, especially by the world’s largest military power, the U.S., for securing its own and its ally’s oil needs for the 21st century?

Under President Clinton, the U.S. secured the Caspian Sea basin oil supplies by exchanging arms and military training, along with conducting joint military maneuvers for an oil pipeline. Because of U.S. distrust of Russia, Clinton negotiated a route from Azerbaijan through Turkey and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.22

President Bush increased the military presence in the Caspian Sea basin after 9/11, and deployed military trainers to Georgia.23

The trip by President Obama to Turkey—his first foreign trip as President—was an attempt to break a deadlock in building the pipeline through Turkey.24

Additionally, the U.S. and NATO now have troops and military bases established in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan. These countries have agreed to supply oil and natural gas to NATO countries, thus undermining agreements and sought-after agreements involving these countries and Russia, China, and Iran. In conjunction with this, the U.S. is directly undermining the attempts of Russia, China, and Iran to continue their agreements with Central Asian countries for oil and natural gas. This is especially true with the TAPI (Turmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline to run from the Caspian Sea to India, which killed the Iranian-Pakistan-India deal to run a pipeline between them (IPI). In sum, TAPI is the finished product of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. NATO will be expected to use military power to protect the pipeline, and thus consolidates Western power in the region.25

Similar U.S. machinations were undertaken with West Africa and even Latin America. For example, the U.S. has established smaller-type military bases– what the Defense Department refers to as “lily pads”—in an arc running from the Andes in South America through North Africa and across the Middle East, to the Philippines and Indonesia. These locations are consummate with the fact that the bases are located in or near the oil-producing states of the world. In Latin America, the U.S. military uses bases in Paraguay to monitor, and to be in position to move against the Bolivian and Venezuelan governments, since both countries nationalized their oil companies.26

Furthermore, according to The London Guardian, the April, 2002 military coup in Venezuela was clandestinely supported and organized by the U.S. in response to President Hugo Chavez’s nationalizing Venezuela’s oil company, PDVSA.27

The two main players on the oily world stage today, besides the U.S., are Iran and China. The role of Iran is dual: geographic and geologic. Geographically, Iran sits between three important sea shipping lanes: the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Sea of Oman, and is the geographical point of intersection for the Middle East, Asia, and the steppes of Russia. Geologically, next to Saudi Arabia (264.3 billion barrels), Iran has the largest oil reserves in the world (132.5 billion barrels). That the U.S. wants control of Iran is beyond doubt. Aside from continuing threats to Iran made by former President Bush and now President Obama, Iran is completely surrounded by U.S. military bases, in the Persian Gulf, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Turkey, in Iraq, in Cyprus, in Israel, in Oman, and in Diego Garcia.28 Iran itself has become an “Observer State” (along with India and Pakistan) to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Created by China in 2001, and with members including Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, these members and have pledged mutual economic and military aid.

            b. The National Security State results in a Repressive State at home. When Supreme Emergency becomes the order of the day, it may be turned against domestic civilians. For example, Hitler’s February 28 “Decree for the Protection of the People” which suspended the articles of the Weimar Constitution concerning personal liberties, was never repealed.29 In the U.S. similar events have come rapid-fire since 9/11/01, beginning with the USA PATRIOT Act, and George Bush’s “military order” of November 13, 2001, authorizing the “indefinite detention” and trial by military commissions of noncitizens suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. Add to these power grabs the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which grants the state a wide swath of powers, including the powers to: suspend the right of habeas corpus for those deemed “unlawful enemy combatants;” hold people indefinitely and without charge; shield administrative agents from prosecution for criminal behavior in violation of the Geneva Conventions; and permit hearsay evidence and evidence obtained by torture.

Obama himself has continued down this road, with his deepening of unchecked surveillance powers (including warrantless wiretapping of citizens, accessing personal records, monitoring financial transactions, and tracking email, internet and cell phone use), his claims that the federal government cannot be sued for illegal spying, his claims of Executive privilege to order assassinations of U.S. citizens, and his continuation of torture and Guantanamo Bay prison.

All of these actions and others are direct legislative erasing of any legal status of the individual, in some cases individual U.S. citizens.

Historically, similar structural mechanisms of governments in Rome, Spain, Portugal, and Britain all led to repressive governments which fell quickly when they began to govern through a structure of repression.30 Today we see the same thing beginning to take shape in America.31

            c. The National Security State has automatic Just Cause for any military action. This is arguably the most critical aspect of an ethical justification going to war. By this, it is generally meant that an attack from another nation is either occurring or imminent. The National Security State sees any long-range, potential threat as casus belli. For example, Thomas M. Nichols, Chairman of the Department of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College, in an article published in 2003 in Ethics & International Affairs, crafted a list of reasons to support the Bush case that the cause for military action against Iraq was just:

“Iraq has shown itself to be a serial aggressor led by a dictator willing to run imprudent risks, including an attack on the civilians of a noncombatant nation during the Persian Gulf War; a supreme enemy of human rights that has already used weapons of mass destruction against civilians; a consistent violator of both U.N. resolutions and the terms of the 1991 cease-fire treaty, to say nothing of the laws of armed conflict and the Geneva Conventions before and since the Persian Gulf War; a terrorist entity that has attempted to reach beyond its own borders to support and engage in illegal activities that have included the attempted assassination of a former U.S. president; and most important, a state that has relentlessly sought nuclear arms against all international demands that it cease such efforts.”32

The conclusion Nichols draws from this impressive list of Saddam Hussein crimes is that “any one of these would be sufficient to remove Saddam and his regime…but taken together they are brief for what can only be considered a just war” (emphasis added).

Nichols is arguing from the viewpoint of the National Security State. Any other analysis would not be so hasty to conclude the necessity of an invasion. For example, the list of studies from the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies should be enough to demonstrate clearly that the claims Nichols makes are very broad and general in the first instance (e.g. “a terrorist entity that has attempted to reach beyond its own borders to support and engage in illegal activities”); and insufficient in law or morality to support a preemptive attack on another nation. Nichols’ premises that Hussein attacked “the civilians of a noncombatant nation during the Persian Gulf War” and that he “has already used weapons of mass destruction against civilians,” happened during the Gulf War of 1991, and thus are not legitimate pretexts for a 2003 invasion.33

Perhaps most importantly, Nichols states explicitly that “any one of” the premises listing Saddam Hussein’s bad behavior is a sufficient condition for invading Iraq.  This cannot be true without the value premise that “any violation of international law or U.N. mandates morally justifies an invasion of Iraq.” This normative premise is absurd because, if true, then any country may be invaded by another for a single violation of international law or U.N. mandate. Without weighting values from innocent violations to gross violations, his conclusion is a non sequitur. If it is the conclusion Nichols wants, then the U.S. should have invaded Israel, for instance, before we invaded Iraq, since Israel has ignored far more U.N. mandates concerning its nuclear weapons and its treatment of the Palestinians than has Iraq concerning weapons pursuits.

            d. The National Security State is its own Proper Authority. The Bush administration and the American writers who supported the war made it clear that they did not believe that the U.S. needed U.N. authorization to pursue preventive war.  However, simultaneously and in contradictory fashion, they all likewise stated that in attacking Iraq they were enforcing UNSCR 687 and 1441.

In March of 2003, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, argued in the New York Times that there are “Good Reasons for Going Around the U.N.” in order to war with Iraq. Her main reasons for maintaining this included the fact that the U.S. has done it before, with Kosovo; and that the U.N. “cannot be a straightjacket, preventing nations from defending themselves or pursuing what they perceive to be in their vital national security interests.”34 Ms. Slaughter concludes “that which is legitimate is also legal.” But this is a non-sequitur argument, as Ms. Slaughter completely ignored international law in this argument, which would clearly see the invasion as illegal. Significantly, she disregarded Nuremberg Charter, Article 6, which makes criminal invasions of other countries as “Crimes against Peace,” and the United Nations Charter, Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 51, all of which condemn the use of force against another nation without imminent provocation. Ms. Slaughter places the National Security State above the law, which is certainly not a legal or moral casus belli. But arguing that historical precedent makes for legality would legitimate Hitler’s invasion of France, once he had invaded other countries.

Further, the idea that the U.S. can bypass international bodies and use only its own authority to send its military into another country presumes that the National Security State trumps international law by allowing one nation to determine what is best for both itself and the world and then to act on it, whether or not it is in concert with the rest of the world.  Because it excludes dialogue and more importantly the demands of universality of principle required by ethical thinking, it has no place in a moral analysis of war.

                        e. The National Security State does not count Civilians as Important to its Functioning. By a long and time-honored tradition in ethics and in international law, when the practice of either ignoring (by not taking into account) or intending civilian deaths becomes commonplace, whether proportional or not to the good intention of defeating the enemy, the war itself may be said to be conducted unjustly. 

The Bush administration and its generals did not consider the category of discrimination to be of importance. The Obama administration has continued this policy. This is demonstrated by two facts: first, the U.S. military spokespersons have stated directly that it does not count the civilian dead in Iraq. Second, the newly formed Iraqi government issued an order in December of 2003, with pressure from the (U.S.) Coalition Provisional Authority, that there was to be no counting of Iraqi dead civilians.35 If it was truly U.S. policy to protect noncombatants and to avoid injuring or killing them, one would think that knowing how many they have killed or for whose deaths they are at least partly responsible would be something the military would want to know and engage, not suppress.

We must add two massacres to this ever-growing category of civilian abuse inflicted by the U.S. incursion into Iraq: Haditha and Fallujah.  In November of 2004, the U.S. military engaged in an assault on the city of Fallujah. Among the atrocities engaged by the Americans, such as dropping a number of 500-pound bombs on the city of Fallujah, Italian television documented a story showing that the United States used both cluster bombs and white phosphorus bombs on the citizens of Fallujah.36 The use of such bombs is strictly prohibited not only by the ethical principle of discrimination, but by international law. These actions, as well as the assault on Fallujah in general, violate the Geneva Convention and the War Crimes Act of 1996.

According to press reports, there are many more such incidents that occur in Iraq that never get reported, such as the civilian massacres in Balad, al-Latifya, Samara, Najaf, and others.37 In Najaf alone over 200 civilians were massacred by U.S. forces.38

Michael Walzer has said it best: if there is no distinction possible between the guerrillas and the civilians,

“the anti-guerrilla war can then no longer be fought—and not just because, from a strategic point of view, it can no longer be won.  It cannot be fought because it is no longer an anti-guerrilla but an anti-social war, a war against an entire people.”39

Haditha and Fallujah were both war crimes that the U.S. military attempted to cover up.  But according to press reports, there are many more such incidents that occur in Iraq that never get reported, such as the civilian massacres in Balad, al-Latifya, Samara, Najaf, and others.40 In Najaf alone over 200 civilians were massacred by U.S. forces.41

                        f. The National Security State is concerned solely with its Own Existence. Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Bryant, in a letter sent to key senators during debate of the Patriot Act: “As Commander-in-Chief, the President must be able to use whatever means necessary to prevent attacks upon the United States…Here, for Fourth Amendment purposes, the right to self-defense is not that of an individual, but that of the nation and its citizens…If the government’s heightened interests in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it certainly would also justify warrantless searches.”

Congress is not permitted to interfere with the military maneuvers of the National Security State.42

What we have done in this brief analysis of the paradigm examples of the National Security State at work, is two things:

            1. Demonstrate the slide into a national security state by such appeals to “threat + fear = supreme emergency.”

            2. Demonstrate the slide from national security state into repressive state.

            3. The slide into a repressive state coincides with a slide into perpetual war.

Stopping the slide

What can we do to prevent the U.S. from sliding into totalitarianism? Here are just a few provisionary steps.

Step 1: Recognize that radical change is required, because the state apparatus has been structured so as to continue to push to achieve and maintain complete state hegemony in the world. With this foundational mode of state structure and purpose, radical change of state structure is required. This can only be done with some kind of people’s push to return the power to themselves, as we see in Egypt and Tunisia (and, arguably in Madison, Wisconsin). Without that, or without a cataclysmic world event, such as a united Arab front against American attempts at dominance, or the collapse of the world economy, state mechanisms will continue to be structured as hegemonic agencies, and perpetual war and continued assault upon citizen rights will be the ongoing and deepening modus operandi of the state.

Step 2:  One of the ways to recognize and acknowledge the slide into a full-blown repressive state is to maintain objectivity in analysis. Focus on the government structure that leads to national security state. This does two things: first, it keeps the positing of “evil-doers” and those with “evil intent” to a minimum, since this cannot usually be demonstrated empirically anyway. It is a more objective, less passionate analysis. Second, it demonstrates the pattern of a movement from democracy to authoritarianism.

This type of objective analysis is easily applied to issues we have discussed above, such as the development and consequences of the National Security State in general, and/or to the development and spread of U.S.-NATO military bases to prepare for military defense of oil and gas supplies.

Step 3: Focus objective analysis on ethical prescriptions as well. Ethically speaking, objective analysis can be done by analyzing how universal ethical analyses can be. For example, using what the German philosopher Immanuel Kant termed “reversibility,” one can maintain objectively that if our nation can declare a supreme emergency from a feared, temporally-distant potential threat, and attack them militarily on that basis, so can other states so engage. Or, as the German philosopher Jurgen Habermas puts it, for authentic communication between parties to take place, all affected must be able to accept the consequences of any proposed norm.43

Application of such analysis might include discussion of the Crime of Aggression of Obama’s drone strikes. In 1950, the Nuremberg Tribunal defined Crimes against Peace, in Principle VI, specifically Principle VI(a), submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, as:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

A tentative definition of aggression was adopted by the U.N.  International Law Commission on June 4, 1951, which stated:

“Aggression is the use of force by a State or Government against another State or Government, in any manner, whatever the weapons used and whether openly or otherwise, for any reason or for any purpose other than individual or collective self-defence or in pursuance of a decision or recommendation by a competent organ of the United Nations”.

Another application might be the violations of the Geneva Conventions in attacking civilians, by troops or, more importantly in Obama’s case, by drones. Article 51, Section 2 proscribes “indiscriminate attacks:” those not directed at specifically military targets; those attacks or weapons that cannot be limited to military objectives and that strike civilians or civilian objects as well as military ones; and attacking military targets that the belligerent has reason to believe in advance will cause excessive and disproportionate damage to civilians or civilian objects, the latter defined simply as non-military objects.

Protocol II, “relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts,” specifically calls upon all nations to refrain from all “violence to the life, health, and physical and mental well-being of [noncombatant] persons.”

The Hague Conventions of 1899 ban the attacking towns and cities that are undefended, and collective punishment. Prescriptions to limit the conduct of war include the requirements to warn towns of impending attacks, to protect cultural, religious, and health institutions, and to insure public order and safety.    

Step 4: Get Organized; Get Active!

The reason the citizens of Tunisia and Egypt are in revolution is because the U.S. National Security State has backed dictators like Mubarak for our own hegemonic interests. The people there are now taking their country back not only from Mubarak, but from the National Security State apparatus. We ought to get with it and do the same.

Conclusion. This approach represents a first attempt to formulate an alternative model for progressives to use, in place of analyses of individual events. It’s the system and the way it is structured that needs attention. This National Security system can be shown to exhaust economic resources and personnel, and to be a repressive model of government, both internationally and domestically. A new model of mutual exchange and mutually recognized moral standing is a better model for future government because it is closer to the fundamentals of a democratic society, based as it is on equality of citizens as well as their liberty.

About the Author

Dr. Robert P. Abele holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University and M.A. degrees in Theology and Divinity. He is the author of three books: A User’s Guide to the USA PATRIOT Act (2005); The Anatomy of a Deception: A Logical and Ethical Analysis of the Decision to Invade Iraq (2009); and Democracy Gone: A Chronicle of the Last Chapters of the Great American Democratic Experiment (2009). His latest articles on political theory and war will be published in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Global Justice, by Springer Press, in the spring of 2011. Dr. Abele is an instructor of philosophy at Diablo Valley College, located in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

Notes

1 This article is an adaptation of a transcript from a presentation given at the Project Censored Annual Awards Event, on February 5, 2011.

2 See Chomsky, Noam, Hegemony or Survival, p. 15, and all of Chapter 2.

3 See Bacevich, Andrew, Washington Rules, pgs. 12-15.

4 See “Barak Obama Declares ‘War on Terror’ is Over,” The U.K. Telegraph, February 4, 2011.

5 The “war convention” is Walzer’s term for the set of norms, customs, professional codes, legal precepts, religious and philosophical principles, and reciprocal arrangements that shape our judgments of military conduct—set forth most explicitly in international law. For definitions and elaboration on both “supreme emergency” and the “war convention,” see Walzer, Michael, Just and Unjust Wars, pgs. 44-47; 129-137; 231-232; 251-255.

6 Walzer, ibid., pgs. 251-252.

7 Chang, Nancy, “The USA PATRIOT Act: What’s So Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?” www.ccr-ny.org.

8 Agamben, Georgio. States of Exception (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), p. 2.

9 Ibid.

10 Peter Dale Scott, “The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American Democracy,” Global Research, January 22, 2011.

11 Darsha Philips, “Mayor Kicks Marines Out of Toledo and Ends U.S. Military Takeover Drill,” Prison Planet Forum, February 9, 2008.

12 In a CNN interview on September 8, 2002.

13 In a speech at the Athena Performing Arts Center at Greece Athena Middle and High School, on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 in Rochester, NY. See Jacob Weisberg, “Bushism of the Day,” Slate.com, May 25, 2005.

14 See Wills, Gary, Bomb Power, pgs. 57-105; 120-135; and Andrew Bacevich, Washington Rules on pgs. 12-15; 20-21.

15 Wills traces this history in ibid, pgs. 57-105.

16 This list is a variation of one presented by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Brave New World Order (Orbis Books, 1992).

17 Harper’s Magazine, June 12, 2009.

18 “US Drone Attacks Killed 700 Civilians, Officials Say,” The National, 4 January 2010; and “Over 700 Killed In 44 Drone Strikes In 2009,” DAWN, 2 January 2010

19 Cited by Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival, p. 29

20 From “Changing Patterns in the Use of the Veto in the Security Council,” Global Policy Forum, on information provided by the United Nations

21 Klare, Michael, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet (New York: Macmillan/Henry Holt Paperbacks; March 31, 2009).

22 Klare, “Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the Rest of the World’s Oil,” Foreign Policy in Focus, January, 2004.

23 Ibid.

24 Engdahl, F. William, “U.S. Strategy of Total Energy Control Over European Union and Eurasia,” Global Research, July 16, 2009.

25 Rick Rozoff, “Wars Without Borders: Washington Intensifies Push into Central Asia,” Global Research, January 30, 2011.

26  Johnson, Chalmers. Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).

27 Campbell, Duncan, “The Coup,” The London Guardian, April 22, 2002.

28 Escobar, Pepe. Globalistan: How the Globalized World is dissolving into Liquid War (Michigan: Nimble Books, 2006).

29 Agamben, op. cit., p. 2.

30 Phillips, Kevin, Wealth and Democracy, (New York: Broadway Books, 2002), and Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004); both quoted in Peter Dale Scott, op. cit.

31 See Scott, ibid, and Agamben, ibid, for more on this.

32 Nichols, Thomas M. “Just War, Not Prevention,” Ethics & International Affairs, 17.1 (April, 2003).

33 For more detail, see Abele, Robert. The Anatomy of a Deception (Maryland: University Press of America, 2008).

.34 Anne-Marie Slaughter, “Good Reasons for Going around the U.N.” New York Times, March, 18, 2003.

35 Niko Price, “Iraq to Stop Counting Civilian Dead,” Associated Press, December 10, 2003.

36“U.S. Broadcast Exclusive: “Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre’ on the U.S. Use of Napalm-like White Phosphorus Bombs,” Democracy Now, November 8, 2005.

37 For more, see Dahr Jamal, “Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq,” www.truthout.org, May 30, 2006.  See also Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan, “U.S. Miltary Hides Many More Hadithas,” Inter-Press Service, June 7, 2006.  See also Patrick Cockburn, “U.S. Victory against Cult Leader was ‘Massacre’,” The Independent/U.K., January 31, 2007.

38 Dahr Jamal and Ali al-Fadhily, “Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed,” Inter-Press Service, February 1, 2007.

39 Walzer, Michael, Just and Unjust Wars, p. 187.

40 For more, see Dahr Jamal, “Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq,” www.truthout.org, May 30, 2006.  See also Aaron Glantz and Alaa Hassan, “U.S. Miltary Hides Many More Hadithas,” Inter-Press Service, June 7, 2006.  See also Patrick Cockburn, “U.S. Victory against Cult Leader was ‘Massacre’,” The Independent/U.K., January 31, 2007.

41 Dahr Jamal and Ali al-Fadhily, “Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed,” Inter-Press Service, February 1, 2007.

42 See Memorandum for William J. Haynes IT, General Counsel of the Department of Defense, by John Yoo and Daniel J. Bryant.

43 Habermas, Jurgen. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action, p. 63.

 

Bibliography

Abele, Robert, The Anatomy of a Deception (Maryland: University Press of America,

            2008).

Agamben, States of Exception (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).

Bacevich, Andrew. Washington Rules (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010).

Chomsky, Noam. Hegemony or Survival (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2003).

Cockburn, Patrick, “U.S. Victory against Cult Leader was ‘Massacre’,” The

            Independent/U.K., January 31, 2007.

Democracy Now, “U.S. Broadcast Exclusive: “Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre’ on the

            U.S. Use of Napalm-like White Phosphorus Bombs,” November 8, 2005.

Escobar, Pepe. Globalistan: How the Globalized World is dissolving into Liquid War

            (Michigan: Nimble Books, 2006).

Glantz, Aaron, and Alaa Hassan, “U.S. Miltary Hides Many More Hadithas,” Inter-Press

             Service, June 7, 2006.

Habermas, Jurgen. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Cambridge,

            Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1990).

Jamal, Dahr, “Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq,” www.truthout.org, May 30, 2006.

Jamal, Dahr and Ali al-Fadhily, “Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed,” Inter-Press

            Service, February 1, 2007.

Johnson, Chalmers, The Sorrows of Empire (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004).

——–, Nemesis (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006).

Klare, Michael, Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet (New York: Macmillan/Henry Holt

            Paperbacks; March 31, 2009).

Nichols, Thomas M. “Just War, Not Prevention,” Ethics & International Affairs, 17.1

            (April, 2003).

Price, Niko, “Iraq to Stop Counting Civilian Dead,” Associated Press, December 10,

            2003.

Rick Rozoff, “Wars Without Borders: Washington Intensifies Push into Central Asia,”

            Global Research, January 30, 2011.

Scott, Peter Dale, “The Doomsday Project, Deep Events, and the Shrinking of American

            Democracy,” Global Research, January 22, 2011.

Slaughter, Anne-Marie, “Good Reasons for Going around the U.N.” New York Times,

            March, 18, 2003.

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Wills, Gary, Bomb Power (New York: Penguin Books, 2010).

 

Bahrain’s uprising against the US-backed ruling elite is gathering critical mass, with the Persian Gulf island state seeing the biggest demonstration ever last night. Some 200,000 people took the main highway leading to the financial district in the capital, Manama, shouting in unison for the regime to go.

Their protest is now firmly established at Pearl Square, where tents have been erected and basic amenities installed to cope with the thousands who now camp there nightly. In deliberate replication of the demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, the protesters in Bahrain are saying that they are not moving until their demands are met.

Men, women and children have lost their fear. After a brutal crackdown by the state last week, which resulted in seven civilians murdered and hundreds injured, failed to crush the uprising, the people are now increasingly emboldened and determined to demand the overthrow of the Al Khalifa regime.

People have found their voice to demand what they have been wanting for many decades – for, what they see, as an imposter regime to go; to get out of their lives and their island.

Bahrainis have long memories regarding the nature and origin of the regime. Over and over, the protesters will tell you that they have had enough of the Al Khalifas’ predatory rule.

One small, makeshift placard held by a group of young teenagers said in Arabic: “The visit is over”.

Many indigenous Bahrainis (about 600,000 of the total one million present population) can trace their family origins back to the time of “Prophet Issa” (Jesus) and beyond.

They view the ruling Al Khalifa family as something of an imposter that has abused the civility of the Bahraini people for the past 200 years. It is not a gross oversimplification of history when Bahrainis relate how the Al Khalifas originated from a Bedouin tribe in what became central Saudi Arabia and voyaged around the Persian Gulf as pirates and renegades seeking a base.

After being kicked out of Zubarah (later Qatar), the Al Khalifas settled in Bahrain. With the help of the British Empire, they became rulers of the island in return for British “protection”. Bahrain, as an ancient trading hub, bestowed on the indigenous people a certain cosmopolitan, civilized attitude. They were fishermen, farmers, boat makers and artisans who were able to make a good living from the island’s rich natural resources, which included abundant freshwater aquifers.

Their new masters and their rapacious way of existence, plus crucial British material and political support, made short work of these people’s natural hospitality to install a dynasty that has bled the island dry. The present prime minister, and uncle of the king, has been in office for 40 years since the country gained nominal independence from Britain in 1971. The prime minister personally owns many of the skyscraper properties that have sprung up in Manama’s financial district, including the twin towers of the Financial Harbour.

Among the protesters last night, one rather dishevelled Bahraini man, about 45-years old, explained how Bahrain’s modern land reclamation projects have destroyed vast swathes of coastline and indigenous livelihoods to create areas such as the financial district of Manama that attract international capital and enrich the Al Khalifas.

“When I was a boy, my family used to fish here. We always had plenty to eat and we would sell fish at the market. Now I don’t have any work.” He pointed to the ground beneath the skyscrapers and said: “This used to be sea. This is where we used to live.”

The same story is recounted by many other ordinary Bahrainis who have watched their country’s resources of fishing, pearling, farming, and latterly oil, being depleted to enrich a ruling elite that comprises 50-100 individuals.

But after decades of exploitation, Bahrainis seem to have finally lost their tolerance of these “pirates” thieving off them, imprisoning them, torturing them, killing them, stealing their beaches and their natural resources – all with the full support of Britain and latterly the US government – with its Fifth Fleet moored here.

The final line crossed was when the regime ordered the army last week to shoot unarmed civilians who were simply asking for a fair share of their own country.

The bloodshed has only made more people come out en masse and more determined.

Another man at the protests put it like this: “When a person asks for some bread and that person gets beaten for it, he will then ask for bread and butter; when he gets beaten again, he will become even more defiant and ask for bread, butter and jam… and so on. That’s what has been going on here for decades, centuries.”

There were many young mothers with their children among the demonstrators. All were saying that they have come out to fight for their children’s future.

“We have no life here and we want to make a life for ourselves and our children. We want freedom.”

These are the kind of objective, desperate conditions that are coming to all countries enslaved under global capitalism, including the US and Europe. When the mass of people stsrt to realise that their lives and the lives of their children are being denied by a system of elite parasitism (capitalism), then they will find the necessary militant intolerance towards the system – such as we are beginning to see in the US state of Wisconsin.

It comes down to a very basic conflict of material interests: your elite undue wealth is stopping me and my people feeding our children. That is a hugely powerful driver behind the uprising in Bahrain and elsewhere across this region. It’s what makes history, events and, ultimately, change happen. More than ever, it can be seen how Karl Marx is so right about how all of modern history stems from the history of class struggle. A lot of ordinary people may not yet put it exactly like that, but that’s what it gets down to.

But it is not enough to just stand up to the elites and kick them out. There is a need to know what to replace their system with. We need to be able to analyse and articulate what we want, otherwise vacuum sets in and the elites can reconfigure, dissipate and distract the mass of disaffected people. Calls by the elites in Bahrain and elsewhere for “national dialogue” – with the belated blessing of Washington, London, Paris etc – is no doubt a hurried attempt to repackage and retrench the regime.

Without some kind of awareness of alternative, there is the danger of the momentum being dissipated and the opportunity for a socialist solution being lost. Among the Bahraini protesters, the demands are so far largely described in terms of admirable values: democracy, freedom, human rights, equality. But time is of the essence to begin articulating an organized social, political, economic programme in order to realize their aspirations and needs.

In Bahrain, of the seven deaths over the past week, there is a horrific picture of one of the victims who was shot at close range while he slept at the protest camp at Pearl Square last Thursday when the state did its worst to crush the movement. The photo has become a poster being held up by many demonstrators. It shows the bloodied face of a man whose skull is blown off. It’s grotesque and people aren’t being ghoulish about it either (we can imagine how Fox News would try to twist into Arab/Islamic bloodlust). The picture is being displayed to simply show the heinous reality of this regime and its Western capitalist masters, and what that regime has for so long taken off these people and what it is prepared to do in order to keep taking off the people.

Finian Cunningham is a journalist and musician: [email protected] , www.myspace.com/finiancunninghammusic  

Public debt: unsustainable and simply unpayayable

February 23rd, 2011 by Bob Chapman

Public debt has become a problem worldwide. What is becoming more and more evident is that it is unsustainable and simply unpayable. It could be compared to a giant Ponzi scheme. We see no meaningful debt reductions thus, government will have to raise taxes, which will further suppress the economy, or people and companies will be forced to buy such bonds, or perhaps pension and retirement funds will be seized to continue the game for a while longer.

The whole concept of government debt in the US, whether it’s federal, state, municipal, corporate or personal stands on very shaky ground. Debt is serviced with revenues and income and when both are falling it is difficult to service. We have begun to enter a period of slowly rising interest rates. In the US the Fed has managed interest rates to be as low as possible to both aid in a recovery and to keep the financial edifice from collapsing. Over the past six months the bench mark 10-year Treasury note yield has risen from a yield of 2.20% to 2.74% and presently stands at about 3.60%. That 1.4% rise in rates has been offset by GDP growth of 3%. The problem is that such GDP growth has been maintained by growth in debt. The two sources of debt are the Fed and government. The Fed has been buying the government debt by creating money out of thin air. That is called monetization and it causes inflation. The government demand comes from revenues that have fallen and continue to fall, and as a result government issues more debt. The lenders, the bond buyers, sell dilution in the value of debt and in the dollar and as a result demand a higher yield. At this stage you can see how important QE1 and 2 and fiscal stimulus have been over the past 2-1/2 years. Had they not been implemented the economic and financial system would have collapsed. The next question to be asked is will we have to have quantitative easing and stimulus indefinitely? The answer is yes, but unfortunately if that path is followed lenders will demand ever-higher interest rates and the dollar will continue to fall in value versus gold and silver and other currencies. We estimate GDP growth to be 2% to 2-1/4% in 2010, down from 3%, all of which were aided by quantitative easing, the creation of money and credit and fiscal stimulus the result of debt. Without these props there would have been little or no growth, and fairly quickly the economy would have faltered. That would have brought about a classical purge accompanied by a deflationary depression. There will soon come a time the creation of money and credit and fiscal stimulus will no longer work and the system will finally fail. That is inevitable. That will begin to happen when interest rates are rising faster than growth rates. Once that condition exists there is no further hope of servicing debt or creating more debt, because there will be no natural buyers and inflation will be raging if not hyperinflation. The US is not the only country staring into this abyss; most countries around the world have the same problem.

As you probably have already figured out such fiscal and monetary policies of many countries cannot continue. The issuance of new debt has to be curtailed, as well as the growth of future liabilities. On its present course the US is headed toward a deficit in excess of 100% of GDP in just 1-1/2 years.

These countries have experienced and most still do, profligate government spending, little fiscal restraint and outright criminal behavior. Such action in time cause markets to put pressure on governments to mend their ways. That is where the higher yields come into play and as we pointed out we are already witnessing that. In 1 to 1-1/2 years the cost of carrying debt will begin to reduce GDP, because government debt demands will crowd out private investment. Except for AAA corporations we have already seen that over the past two years, as lenders retain cash and generally refuse to lend to medium and small companies and individuals as well.

A product of these conditions is a perpetuation of unemployment, which we believe is 22.6% presently, for years into the future. In addition, we have had 20 years of free trade, globalization, offshoring and outsourcing that has lost America 8.5 million good paying jobs and the loss of 42,400 businesses. We have extended unemployment, but every month millions fall off leaving them on their own and food stamps. These transfer payments make up 20% of household income, which is also unsustainable. Our guess is that the current extended benefits will be extended further in spite of a projected $1.6 trillion deficit. Political types prefer an extension to revolution, but the cost is more debt, a falling dollar and rising gold and silver prices. In addition, an end to extended benefits will sap consumption that must be maintained at 70% of GDP in order to keep the economy from failure. Do not forget the US is not the only country with debt problems. In the same league are Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Italy, England and above all Japan, which is more than 200% and growing exponentially. None of these countries are capable of growing out of their debt problems and thus, eventually we see a multilateral default of debt, which will probably entail a 2/3’s write off of debt. A jubilee of sorts.

If stabilization and growth have to be based on continued creation of money and credit and monetization then the system has to eventually collapse. It is no more a solution than extended unemployment benefits, federal government spending and hiring and food stamps. It throws the problems into the future at a terrible cost. In spite of this largess unemployment won’t improve and the monetary and fiscal effect on the economy will lesson. We call it the law of diminishing returns. Last year we saw 3% growth, or so we are officially told, and this year we believe it will be about 1% less at 2% to 2-1/4%. The effectiveness of the policy is losing momentum and strength. The next question is will a $1.7 trillion QE3 with $850 billion in additional fiscal spending be able to maintain 1% growth. Our answer is we do not think so. This fading monetary and fiscal policy will be accompanied by ever falling government revenues, unless ever more debt is created. Are you getting the feeling that governments are running around in circles with no solution in sight? If you are you are correct. The only answer is to purge the system and the sooner the better. The longer the problems are extended and individuals will be faced with unemployment and under employment and that means borrowing and the use of credit cannot be extended and that means the economy cannot grow. Even if spending cuts and higher taxes were implemented the economic and financial affects would not be felt for 6 months to a year. Government has waited too long.

Projections for the future are very difficult if for no other reason than we do not know where interest rates will be. We assume they will be higher, but how much higher? We just do not know. We can tell you that in 1980 official inflation was 14-3/8% and the long bond yield was over 20%. Will that be repeated, we do not know, but we can say we could see something close to that. If we have hyperinflation we could see 30% inflation. Who knows – we won’t know until we approach getting there. Are we going to look like the German Weimar Republic of the early 1920s or today’s Zimbabwe? We don’t know but it is certainly possible and near the edge of probability.

What really gets our attention is that elitists that control all this really believe they can retain control. If they cannot they figure they will just have another major war, like they always have had. They know what we now. They know deficits are going to further rise precipitously, unless there are major policy changes, spending cuts and higher taxes. Even if the proper steps were taken we are probably looking at 30 or more years of depression. Debt cannot be kept within bounds, just look at what is going on today. The elitists have no intention of radically changing their ways. There will be more of the same until the system ceases to function.

We have written about rising interest rates in the whole spectrum of government and corporate bonds. The average has been 100% to 150%. Official rates have been raised in Brazil, India and China. In the US, bond buyers have already been pricing in yield increases, which they feel are necessary to offset inflation losses. Unfortunately for buyers they have not gotten nearly enough yield to compensate and are losing money on return and currency depreciation versus other currencies, but particularly versus gold and silver. In order to offset real losses, real yields will have to rise and they will. The first stop for the US 10-year note should be a move upward from 3.60% to 4% to 4.25%. That should happen this year. The next move in 2012 should be to 5% to 5.60% and the second move from 5.60% to about 7%. Mind you these are very conservative estimates. Any recovery in housing will be impossible with prices falling another 15% to 20%. Anyone with an ARM will be a dead duck. That means about a 60% plus failure rate. Bumping along the bottom could take 8 to 30 years and as we mentioned before government could end up with most of the housing eventually causing a process of nationalization.

 

These higher rates, which are inevitable, will raise havoc on the Federal budget and its debt service. Average maturities are 4.5 years – a very foolish move that began some 15 years ago. This means even if taxes are raised and the budget deficit cut, they will only serve as a damper on costs, which would lead to dollar depreciation and default. Worse yet, who will want to buy bonds and in particular US dollar denominated bonds as gold and silver are soaring and profits are falling along with the stock market? The Fed is buying and monetizing at least 80% of treasuries now. That means they will have to buy them all, including some from nations such as China, Japan and Middle Eastern owners. Long-term bond holders will be looking at 30% losses and the stock market 50% plus losses. The monetization process at this point will produce inflation from 14% to 40%, which could well be accompanied by hyperinflation. That hyperinflation could come quickly once inflation passes 14-3/8%, which it officially hit in 1980. At that time 30-year T-bond rates were more than 20%. We do not know exactly what the numbers will be, but we do know they will be terrible. Some time along the way the US will be forced to default and then China will own a goodly part of the US. We also believe that a major world war will be in progress. Again as a diversion from the massive economic and financial problems plus revolutions worldwide, which could short circuit having another world war. We do not know how these events will roll out, but we do know they are probable.

Higher interest rates will cause major problems for banks, private equity funds and hedge funds. The cost of borrowing and using leverage will be prohibitive. Many banks and funds will go under. Defaults will abound and cash flow to bond holders will diminish making outflows greater than inflows. This process of losses will in part mirror what we saw in the early 1930s, not only in reduced value but also in the doubling of gold prices and the increase in gold and silver shares of more than 500%. This also will be accompanied by a complete collapse in living standards.

In the worst of several US air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan in recent days, up to 51 civilians were killed last Thursday in Afghanistan’s north-eastern Kunar province. General David Petraeus, the commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, expressed the colonial-style hostility of the occupation force’s senior command toward the Afghan population, reportedly accusing local residents of burning their children to fake evidence of civilian casualties.

In a five-hour operation on the night of February 17, US Apache helicopters strafed a group of alleged Afghan insurgents with gunfire, rockets and Hellfire missiles. Surveillance drones guided the helicopter assault in the mountainous district of Ghaziabad, near the Pakistan border, and according to the Washington Post, bombs were dropped by at least one of the unmanned Predator aircraft. The attack was one of a number of recent US operations in the district, ordered as part of President Barack Obama’s broader escalation of the Af-Pak war.

Rear Admiral Gregory Smith, senior military spokesman in Kabul, stated that three dozen people were killed in the incident. He maintained they were all “suspected insurgents who had gathered to attack US and Afghan troops”. However, the remarks of one unnamed military official, cited by theWashington Post on Monday, made clear that American authorities had no knowledge of the identities of those killed. The official admitted that those targeted had been wearing civilian clothes.

Kunar Governor Said Fazlullah Wahidi contradicted Smith’s claims. He said: “According to our information 64 people were killed: 13 armed opposition, 22 women, 26 boys and 3 old men.” The governor sent a three-man “fact-finding team” to the area on Saturday, which returned with seven injured people suffering burns and shrapnel wounds, including a young man and woman and five boys and girls.

Dr. Asadullah Fazli, chief doctor at the provincial hospital in Asadabad, the capital of Kunar, told the New York Times that the hospital had treated at least nine wounded from the area, including three women, four children and two men. One two-year-old girl had to have her leg amputated because of shrapnel injuries. The Times noted: “There were several other military operations in the area over the last few days, so it was not clear which one caused those injuries.”

In an attempt to defuse outrage among the Afghan population over the latest atrocity carried out by the occupation forces, President Hamid Karzai issued what has become a pro forma denunciation of American military operations. He stated that “about 50 civilians have been martyred” and pledged to send investigators to the scene of the killings.

Karzai met with his national security council and General Petraeus at the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday. According to an account of the meeting published in the Washington Post, “Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, dismissed allegations by Karzai’s office and the provincial governor that civilians were killed and said residents had invented stories, or even injured their children, to pin the blame on US forces and force an end to the operation.”

One unnamed participant in the meeting said: “He claimed that in the midst of the [operation] some pro-Taliban parents in contact with a government official decided to create a civilian casualty claim to pressure international forces to cease the [operation]. They burned hands and legs of some of their children and sent them to the hospital.”

The discussion demonstrates the contempt with which the American military command regards Karzai, the figurehead first installed as Washington’s stooge shortly after the 2001 invasion.

The Washington Post reported that Karzai and his colleagues found Petraeus’s baseless allegations “deeply offensive” and “shocking”. One official declared: “Killing 60 people, and then blaming the killing on those same people, rather than apologising for any deaths? This is inhuman. This is a really terrible situation.”

Petraeus declined to respond to the published account of his meeting with the Afghan president. The day after his provocative remarks on the Kunar killings, more Afghan civilians were killed in a US air strike. In Qilgha village in Nangarhar province, immediately south of Kunar, a missile destroyed a family’s home, killing the parents and four children aged between three and eight who had been sleeping inside. The father, named Patang, was a member of the Afghan national army.

A provincial official told the AFP news agency that American forces had targeted three insurgents planting mines on nearby road, but had hit the home by mistake. NATO spokesmen confirmed there had been civilian casualties, but said no further details would be released, pending an investigation.

One village resident told Pajhwok Afghan News that foreign forces intercepted a vehicle taking the wounded father to hospital, halting it for two hours. “The troops beat us and tied our hands,” the man, Psarlay, said. “Meanwhile, Patang died because of excessive bleeding.”

Another resident, 26-year-old Ezatullah, told the Wall Street Journal: “The house was completely destroyed by the strike. Only two children [aged] four and six survived.” He added that “thousands of people attended the funeral of the slain family Monday and are planning a protest against coalition forces Tuesday”.

A report issued February 1 by the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) tallied at least 2,421 civilian deaths and 3,270 injuries inflicted last year by US-NATO forces, Taliban and resistance groups, and Afghan government police, soldiers, and militia. The violence in 2010 was the worst since the invasion a decade ago. The real casualty rate for civilians is likely to be significantly higher than the ARM tally, with US-NATO forces routinely covering up their crimes and labelling victims as “insurgents” or “terrorists”.

The Obama-Petraeus counter-insurgency strategy effectively centres on the use of overwhelming force against the population, aimed at crushing continued resistance to the occupation of the resource-rich and strategically vital country. At the same time, the Obama administration has illegally extended the war into Pakistan, with US ground forces active in the border region near Afghanistan, backed by a steady bombardment of CIA drone missile attacks.

On Sunday and Monday, two drone attacks killed a reported 12 people. In the first incident, seven alleged militants were killed —including, according to Pakistani intelligence agents cited by various media outlets, an Iraqi Al Qaeda operative—after multiple missiles struck a house in the tribal agency of South Waziristan. Five more alleged militants were killed the next day in North Waziristan.

These operations mark the resumption of US drone attacks after a four-week pause—the longest period in which Pakistan had not been hit by American missiles since December 2009. The temporary cessation was widely believed to have been connected with Washington’s efforts to secure the release of CIA agent Raymond Davis, arrested on January 27 in Lahore on murder charges. Obama’s bombings have generated enormous anger among ordinary Pakistanis, and destabilised the government in Islamabad. The US government is nevertheless proceeding, underscoring the ruthlessness of its Af-Pak war.

An article in the Washington Post on Monday pointed to the indiscriminate character of the missile strikes. It explained that at least 581 alleged militants had been killed by drones in Pakistan last year, but just two of the victims had been previously listed on the US list of “most wanted” terrorists.

“Despite a major escalation in the number of unmanned Predator strikes being carried out under the Obama administration, data from government and independent sources indicate that the number of high-ranking militants being killed as a result has either slipped or barely increased,” the Washington Postexplained. “Even more generous counts—which indicate that the CIA killed as many as 13 ‘high-value targets’—suggest that the drone program is hitting senior operatives only a fraction of the time.”

The article noted that drones were no longer restricted to striking known targets. Anyone in Pakistan witnessed doing something deemed suspicious, such as travelling to or from alleged terrorist-controlled buildings, could be killed by CIA assassins, operating the drones from Langley, Virginia.

Global stock values fell broadly for the second day on Tuesday and crude oil prices surged as the social upheaval in Libya disrupted petroleum exports and ongoing protests in Bahrain and Yemen threatened to spread to Saudi Arabia.

All of the major Western oil companies operating in Libya reported cutting back or suspending their operations Monday, reportedly causing a decline of more than 8 percent in the country’s normal output of 1.6 million barrels per day. In addition, Libya’s ports were closed.

Hard information on the situation within Libya is scarce, as the regime of Muammar Gaddafi has banned foreign reporters and shut down Internet and cell phone service. However, there are indications that worker strikes, as well as voluntary production cutbacks, are playing a role. Al Jazeera reported Monday that Libya’s Nafoora oil field had stopped production because of a strike.

Benchmark oil prices shot up Monday and Tuesday to near three-year highs. The price of Brent crude, a European benchmark grade, jumped $3.22 a barrel Monday, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $105.74. US oil prices surged over 7 percent early Tuesday, coming to within $2 of $100 a barrel. This followed a 6 percent increase on Monday.

 

Within the context of already spiraling food and commodity prices, mounting trade and currency wars, and continuing mass unemployment in most of the advanced industrialized economies of North America, Europe and Asia, a new oil price bubble poses the simultaneous threat of renewed slump and uncontrolled inflation. Either outcome would likely result in major banking failures and sovereign defaults, and further fuel social unrest.

USA Today on Tuesday cited US industry analysts as warning that gasoline prices at the pump could hit $5 a gallon by this year’s peak summer driving season. The newspaper wrote of the role of speculation in the oil price spiral: “Speculators are also propelling oil. After profiting on soaring cotton, coffee and corn futures, traders are exploiting the energy market.” It quoted Darin Newsome, an analyst at the energy tracking firm DTN, as saying, “The flow of money plays an enormous role in the direction, speed and volatility of these markets.”

Bill Belchere, global chief economist at Mirae Asset Securities, warned in an interview Tuesday on Bloomberg Television, “You’ve got to be very concerned, particularly because it can affect the oil price, and if you have the oil price spike up another $20, $30, you could reenter a global recession.”

US stock markets, closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday, dropped sharply Tuesday, falling in line with depressed markets in Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 178 points, declining 1.4 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gave up 27 points, a drop of 2 percent. The NASDAQ Composite index plummeted even more sharply, losing 77 points, or 2.7 percent.

European stocks fell more than 1 percent overall on Monday, with the Italian index suffering the worst loss, 3.6 percent, reflecting the close economic ties between Italy and Libya. On Tuesday, France’s CAC 40 index fell another 1.2 percent and Italy’s FTSE MIB index dropped another 1.1 percent, following a delayed opening. The Stoxx Europe index registered an overall fall of 0.6 percent.

Asian shares continued to fall Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 losing 1.8 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropping 2.1 percent, and China’s Shanghai Composite index declining 2.6 percent.

Libya is the world’s 17th largest oil producer, accounting for 2 percent of global daily output. It is the third biggest producer in Africa, but holds the largest proven petroleum reserves on the continent. It exports most of the 1.2 million barrels it ships daily to Europe, with Italy its biggest customer.

A substantial disruption of Libyan exports is itself economically significant, but the feverish surge in market oil prices has more to do with fears that Libya is only the prelude to social upheavals in the far more import oil producer, Saudi Arabia. The latter currently produces 8.4 million barrels a day, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the world’s daily oil consumption of 87.5 million barrels. It exports 6.5 million barrels per day.

The central role of the Saudi regime in maintaining world oil markets was underscored by its hosting Tuesday of a conference to discuss means of curtailing oil price volatility. At the meeting, attended by energy officials from over 90 nations, including the US, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi gave assurances that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would meet any shortage resulting from a supply disruption.

Fears of the revolutionary contagion spreading to US imperialism’s oil-producing bulwark in the Persian Gulf are growing particularly due to the ongoing protests in Bahrain, itself a much smaller oil producer, and Yemen. The former, an island nation in the Gulf, lies just to the east of Saudi Arabia. The latter shares its northern border with the Saudi Kingdom. The Sunni sheiks and their American sponsors are particularly concerned that the general social unrest in Yemen will merge with an ongoing separatist insurgency by Yemeni Shiites in the north of that country.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday quoted Neil Atkinson, research director at Datamonitor, saying, “Even if the Gaddafi regime is toppled, oil production should not be seriously damaged in the medium term because it is the lifeblood of the country. In the short term, oil markets are understandably nervous, but the real fear lurking behind the Libyan story is over Saudi Arabia.”

Peter Beutel, oil analyst with the energy risk management firm Cameron Hanover, was even more blunt. CNNMoney.com quoted him Tuesday as saying: “Now it’s starting to look like the entire region’s on fire, and it looks like it could spread to other parts of the region… This thing is getting worse and worse, and it could spread to Saudi Arabia, and that’s the big fear.”

He added that markets were shaken up over the realization that the “regional revolution… will see more radical and extreme elements take over in succession.”

Haitians Say Ngiyabonga (Thank You) South-Africa!

February 23rd, 2011 by Jean Saint-Vil

Ngiyabonga President Zuma

Ndiyabulela President Mbeki!

Dearest Gentlemen,

It is with a joyful heart that we send you this letter to express our most sincere thanks for the dignified manner in which, over the past seven years, both of you have offered to our native Haiti a solid, comforting and restful brotherly shoulder. This, you have done in your capacity as President of the Republic of South-Africa, during a much difficult season of our national life. Mèsi anpil! Ndiyabulela! Ngiyabonga! (kakhulu)!

As the year 2003 drew to an end, Haiti’s fragile democracy was attacked relentlessly by powerful international forces. The latter allied themselves with criminal elements of Haitian society with the goal of toppling the democratically-elected government, led by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Hundreds of miles across the Atlantic Ocean, South-Africa rose to make its mighty presence felt by the side of a besieged sister nation. If your prompt and heroic intervention did not avert the February 29, 2004 Coup d’État, it nonetheless helped affirm, for our generation, important principles and practices of international solidarity and genuine brotherhood that our beloved pan-africanist ancestors Anténor Firmin, Marcus Garvey and Robert Sobukwe would have whole-heartedly applauded and encouraged.

It was with awe and great pride that we watched the friendly flag of South-Africa wave gracefully over the ship docked at Port-au-Prince harbor, on that windy December day of 2003.

President Thabo Mbeki, you had decided to disregard the hateful diatribes of the fearmongers. Boldly, with honor and respect, you came and celebrated with us, in Haiti, the 200th anniversary of our national independence which also marks a most crushing defeat suffered by state-sponsored and church-blessed racial slavery in the Americas.

Ayiti-Azania: A Common Struggle Against Absolute Evil

Ayiti, as the native Tainos people called her, is known as Africa’s first-born daughter in the Americas. She shares with Azania some characteristics which compel us to remain hopeful about the fate of humanity. A beacon of freedom during the era of the MAAFA, like Azania in our generation, Haiti was reborn from and for the struggle of good over absolute evil.

Starting with the 1444 Portuguese attacks against the coast of Africa and the Papal bull of 1452, absolute evil took the insidious form of racial slavery whereby millions of human beings were systematically kidnapped, uprooted, terrorized, thrown to sharks in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, enslaved and worked to death on countless plantations all over the Americas. While some who claimed to be the most enlightened of our species were merely paying lip service to the ideals of liberty, equality and human brotherhood, the wretched of the earth rose and led, by themselves, a genuine revolution against the evil (dis) order of the day. Indeed, the giant step Boukman, Cecile Fatiman, Toussaint L’ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines and their comrades helped accomplish during those faithful years of revolution (1791-1803) represents a truly irreversible victory for humankind.

I Was Homeless and You Provided Me Shelter

Mindful that numerous Africans were still suffering in bondage in the Americas, barely days after the creation of the Republic of Haiti, founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines published a decree, dated January 14, 1804, in which he announced devoting part of the new nation’s meager post-war budget to securing the emancipation of formerly enslaved human beings.

It is thus self-evident why, in 2004, revolutionary South-Africa celebrated the bicentennial of the Haitian Revolution, while others had decided that such celebration must be boycotted and sullied with a bloody coup d’état.

President Zuma, a year ago, during your visit to England you expressed gratitude toward those who had helped shelter you along with other leaders of the ANC, during those difficult years of exile. Speaking of the deep conviction held by elder Sisulu, yourself and the other comrades, you said you knew that ultimately “the power of the people was too powerful for a government to say you can’t stay here”. Indeed, even beneath the dusty rubbles of present day Haiti, the gracious spirit of Dessalines lives on. We find it extremely uplifting that Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe’s global pan-africanist spirit is also very much alive in the new South-Africa. We experienced its warm presence, in July 2010, as a tour guide at your Union Building in Tshwane was blooming with pride recounting the dignified reception the Presidency of his country had reserved to the deposed leader of Haiti, as he set foot on Azanian soil with his wife and two small daughters. The great risks and sacrifices that the Republic of South-Africa and its leaders have voluntarily shouldered for the benefit of their Haitian brothers and sisters are sincerely appreciated. We take this opportunity to congratulate and encourage you also for the bold and productive efforts you have recently multiplied to help our brothers and sisters in Côte d’Ivoire attain a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the conflict which is affecting their beautiful country. Your able leadership is duly noticed and appreciated!

Smiling through the gate – The above picture of an enlarged 1960s photograph was taken on July 14, 2010 at the family house of Elders Rolihlahla Mandela and Winnie Madikizela in Soweto. As we admired these innocent smiles (courtesy of the beautiful daughters of Madiba), we could not help but make the parallel with young Michaelle and Marie-Christine Aristide who, although offered the blessed opportunity to be with their parents, in a nice physical surrounding, are made to live as “free prisoners” because of the international violence which threatens the lives of their too politically active, too black and too socially-conscious parents.

Honouring an Old and Noble Tradition

Today, President Aristide and his family prepare to leave Azania to return to Ayiti, where this couple of experienced scholars vow to contribute positively to a much-needed revival of their country’s education system. The sincere thanks we address to you President Zuma and to you President Mbeki, are not due to the shared African ancestry which binds us genetically nor is it, merely, for the common experience that our two nations share in over 500 years of struggle against white supremacist violence. Rather, we do so in keeping with an age-old Haitian tradition of paying due gratitude and homage to those who, regardless of race, creed or color, have stood firm and constant in the revolutionary fight against injustice and barbarism, any and everywhere.

Back in the 1800s, while so-called “white liberals” in the Americas and Europe were paying lip service to the cause of human brotherhood and universal freedom, with “la société des amis des Noirs” agitating for an extra day of rest for the millions of enslaved Africans, there stood in the United States of North-America, a beautiful human soul named John Brown who, contrarily to the self-styled “liberals”, had refused to advocate for “slavery light”. Rather, Brown took up arms, joined his African brothers and demanded that racial slavery – the absolute evil – be immediately and forever eradicated from the face of earth. As you know, the Haitian Revolution inspired several armed rebellions in the slave states of the U.S. Gabriel Prosser (1800), Denmark Vesey (1822) and Nat Turner (1831), led rebellions involving thousands of enslaved Africans. When, in October 1859, the U.S. Government crushed John Brown’s attempt to seize the arsenal and armory at Harpers Ferry, Haiti shared the pain of millions. History records that, following Brown’s December 2, 1859 hanging, Haiti went to great lengths to express her gratitude to this sincere revolutionary leader who was willing to shed away white privilege and commit race and class suicide for the benefit of humanity. During three days of national mourning for John Brown’s execution, flags in Port-au-Prince were flown at half mast. A solemn mass was held in the cathedral, with the active participation of President Fabre Nicholas Geffard. It is also then that the main boulevard of Port-au-Prince was named Avenue John Brown. The Revue de Commerce which declared “the death of John Brown to be a crime against humanity” wrote “while waiting the happy day of the regeneration of our enslaved brethren, let us raise in our hearts our altar to John Brown, the immortal benefactor of our race, the holy victim of our cause, and let us adopt, as our sister and friend, his worthy and unfortunate widow”. Indeed, all over the island, collections were made and subscriptions started in behalf of the widow of John Brown. They collected twenty thousand dollars for Brown’s family.

Thus, spoke and acted the grateful sons and daughters of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, in 1859.

“Lè ou wè vye zo nan chimen, konnen li te gen chè sou li yon jou” – when you see old bone by the road, be mindful that it had once carried flesh and muscles says the Haitian proverb.

iNingizimu Afrika lizwe elimangalisayo!

Its glorious past notwithstanding, today, Haiti is known for the endemic poverty which deprives the majority of her people of the opportunity to lead normal, happy and productive lives. It is a disturbing fact that abject poverty has reached in Haiti depths that are simply unacceptable in our modern age. Like racial slavery and apartheid, abject poverty is an absolute evil whose eradication shall require of us bold and decisive acts of international brotherhood and genuine solidarity.

Poverty is unfortunately, a current and global phenomenon. We have seen how you are valiantly struggling against it in South-Africa. We have been to the impoverished communities near Johannesburg and Cape Town. Dreadful as we found these realities which you are still facing, we came away, nonetheless, with the overall assessment that South-Africa is today a place of tremendous hope and rising aspirations. More so than the good quality of your national road network or the impressive infrastructure of your major cities and of your institutions of higher learning, the beautiful images and sounds that remain with us from our July 2010 experience are those of these bright, multilingual, young men and women whom we met in Durban (at the University of Kwazulu Natal), in Johannesburg and in Cape Town; the professional radio journalists we heard commentating the World Cup games; the citizens calling in to express their well-articulated opinions on the thorny issue of illegal immigration, the multi-racial volunteer health-care workers we interviewed as they were providing AIDS prevention education in Cape Town etc… Indeed, you are a proud and determined people engaged on a historical path to greatness. Yes, iNingizimu Afrika lizwe elimangalisayo! South-Africa is a beautiful country, inhabited by a beautiful, courageous, generous and friendly people.

Surely, the seven years our beloved former president spent among you represent a two-way educational experience of immense value for both peoples. Today, after years of knowledge-sharing among their South-African brethren, Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Mrs. Mildred T. Aristide are heading home. To no small extent, gentlemen, this great achievement will come to pass because of your efforts. You have demonstrated exemplary vision and courage by welcoming Haiti’s exiled former President in your country where, based on all accounts, he and his family have been treated with due respect and brotherly care. Now, as you work out important details of protocol and security with the Government of Haiti, we feel obligated to bring to your attention the disturbing presence on Haitian soil of notorious convicted criminals who took an active part in the murderous 2004 coup d’état. These men walk the streets of Haiti without a care in the world, seemingly benefiting the support of powerful international forces. Many have already raised their voices to demand that the Government of Haiti deploy every effort necessary to guarantee the safe accommodation of Haiti’s former President and his family, in full accordance with the requirements of the Haitian Constitution.

Beware the Prophets of Doom!

No doubt, as you receive this letter, you would have also been made aware of a strange collection of modern-day missionaries who are busy spewing out prophesies of gloom and doom in certain North-American and European publications that are known to be hostile to president Aristide’s return home. The hateful messages of these naysayers is nothing new or out-of-character. They know all too well why “this return” represents a major blow to the face of white supremacist racism and a serious defeat of global banditry. Indeed, in December 1859, while the multitude mourned the passing of a great human being, there were strange folks who met the killing of John Brown with celebration. Back then, the famous European writer, Victor Hugo wrote a thoughtful letter of condolences and sympathy, addressed specifically to the People of Hayti, in which he stated: “ I have been sadly deceived in that fraternity of races, the Southern States of the American Union. In killing Brown, they have committed a crime which will take its place among the calamities of history”. Thankfully, from 1859 to 2011, remarkable progress has been accomplished on our little planet to create this genuine fraternity of races that Hugo dreamt about. Although said fraternity is dealing with growing pains, we may, for intance, proudly celebrate that Victor Hugo’s visionnary attitude can find its match in that of contemporary European writer Claude Ribbe, in the writings of Professor Michel Chossudovsky or those of Danny Glover, Naomy Klein, Noam Chomsky, Randall Robinson or those of the beloved and unforgettable John Maxwell, who still speaks so powerfully from the other side of life, in sharp denunciation of the bicenntenial coup d’état and continued exile of Haiti’s democratically-elected President.

Let us Put Sciences and Technology to the Service of Humanity

In closing, Brothers Zuma and Mbeki, allow us to say that, much beyond its formidable power of symbolism, we dare dream that President Aristide’s return shall also signal the dawn of a new era of enhanced cooperation between Haiti and South-Africa. Many are we who long to see full diplomatic relations established between our two nations, with an active and vibrant Haitian Embassy in Tshwane (Pretoria) and a dynamic South-African High Commission in Port-au-Prince. South-Africa today can proudly boast of hosting 8 of the 10 highest ranked universities of the African continent, with the University of Cape Town, the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosh toping the list. It is crucial that these two revolutionary countries engage in fruitful, mutually beneficial cooperation; especially, in the fields of applied Sciences and Technology. Brother Presidents, I am sure you both agree, the African Renaissance must know absolutely no borders, be they man-made or otherwise!

Indeed, depi nan Ginen bon Nèg ap ede Nèg! Brotherhood is as ancient as motherland Africa.

Ayibobo! Amandla!

Jafrikayiti (Jean Saint-Vil) and Darlène Lozis, Ottawa, Canada.

N.B. : We take this opportunity to salute the tireless Mother of the Nation, Winnie Madikizela, and we send our best wishes of happiness and prompt recovery to our beloved Madiba.

The recent death of one of the United States’ most prominent sociologists, Harvard Professor Daniel Bell, and the effusive eulogies that have accompanied his obituaries highlight the importance of ideological utility over scientific rigor. Typical of the mass media’s hagiographic write-ups is the obituary in the Financial Times (2/12-13/1, p. 5), which claimed that “Few men are given the gift of seeing into the future, but Daniel Bell … was one of them … with uncanny accuracy”. Further on, the ‘puff’ piece pronounced that, “Few thinkers in the second half of the 20th century managed to catch the social and cultural shifts of the times with such range and in such detail as he did”. No doubt there are some important reasons why Bell warrants such effusive praise, but it certainly is not because of his understanding of the political, economic, ideological developments which transpired in the United States during his intellectual life.

An examination and analysis of his major writings reveals an ‘uncanny’ tendency to be consistently wrong in his analysis of ideological developments and of the central features of the US economy, its class structure and propensities toward permanent war and deepening economic crisis.

One of Bell’s earliest and most influential books, The End of Ideology (1960), argued that the US was entering a period when ideology was disappearing as a motor force of political action: in his analysis pragmatism, consensus and the decline of class and social conflict characterized the future of American politics. The End of Ideology was published during a decade when American society was riven by anti-war and anti-imperialist movements, which saw the early exit of one US President (Johnson) and when tens of thousands of American combat troops were paralyzed and immobilized in Indo-China, leading to massive popular mobilization at home and eroding any sense of ‘political consensus’.

During the same decade major Afro-American urban uprisings and social movements erupted in hundreds of cities, in many cases leading to violent confrontations and harsh repression by a National Guard and police uninterested in ‘consensus’ building. Ideologies flourished, including ‘ ‘Black Power’, Marxism in many forms, variants of the New Left’s “participatory democracy”, feminism and environmentalism. Instead of reflecting on the realities of the decade and rethinking his misguided prophecies, Bell, holed up at Colombia and later (1969) at Harvard Universities, merely sneered at the protagonists of the new ideologies and social movements. The rebirth of ideology as a guide and/or rationale for political action was not confined to the Left and the environmental movements by any means: The stridently ideological neo-liberal and neo-conservative Reaganite Right emerged to dominate politics in the 1980’s, redefining the role of the state, leading to a full scale assault on the welfare state and corporate regulation and justifying a massive revival of militarism.

Never has a social scientist so decisively misread the historical times, made such myopic predictions and been refuted in such a brief time frame. This monumental disconnect with reality did not prevent Bell from going forward with another bit of prophecy: The Coming of Post Industrial Society. In this book Bell argued that class struggle and manufacturing activity were being replaced by a new service economy based on information systems and “new principles of innovation, new modes of social organization and new social class”. He went on to argue that class struggle was being replaced by “meritocracy” based on education and a politics of personal self-interest.

Even a cursory reading of the period would reveal that this was a time of intensified of class struggle, this time from above (rather than below), entailing a successful political onslaught by both the Reagan Administration and the major corporations against the rights of labor, including the massive firings and jailing of the striking air controllers and the beginning of a national campaign to roll back wages, salaries and job protection in auto, steel and other key industries.

Secondly, the relative decline of manufacturing and the rise of the service industry did not lead to the growth of better paid white collar work for the children of the displaced industrial workers: the vast majority of the new service workers were poorly paid (averaging less than 60% of the unionized factory workers income) and engaged in menial manual labor.

What Bell dubbed the postindustrial ‘knowledge society’ was in fact the growing predominance of financial capitalism, which increasingly defined the primary uses and functions of the information systems: the development of new software for speculative financial instruments. Rather than “merit” as the basis of social mobility, especially at the top, it was the links to the big investment houses that served as the principle vehicle for success. This relationship undermined the domestic manufacturing economy and stable employment.

Bell’s conceptual “contributions” reflected his uncanny ability to coin euphemisms useful for obfuscating the ascendency of a parasitic financial class and labeling its predatory behavior, “meritocratic”.

It is hard to believe that Bell, a former labor editor for Fortune, a big business publication, was not aware of the massive shift from industrial to finance capital. More likely Bell honed his skills as a publicist coming up with simple phrases and catchy concepts that entered into the narrative of a mainstream media eager to divert public debate from the profoundly negative features of the capitalist onslaught on the working class from the 1980’s onward.

Bell’s last big book, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, was at once celebration of capitalism as a great success story, which, he warned, carried within it’s breast the seeds of its own destruction where the Puritan value of hard work had been eroded and replaced by “instant gratification”, “consumerism” and the counter-culture, leading inevitably to a moral crises.

 

Bell once again diverted attention from the most obvious structural contradictions by focusing on marginal behavior patterns, themselves the bi-products of an increasing global-imperial power. The most flagrant “contradictions” that Bell ignored was between the disappearing ‘republican’ tradition in the US and the dominant drive toward empire building; the contradiction between the decline of the domestic economy and the growth of overseas militarism. Bell’s post-industrial rhetoric failed to recognize that the loss of US manufacturing jobs was not due to corporate America’s conversion to an “information economy” but rather to its relocation overseas, (Asia, Caribbean, and Mexico) either via subcontracting or foreign investment. In other words, Bell attributed the decline of the American domestic economy to the morality of the middle class and lower-income American consumers instead of presenting an objective analysis of the structural features and behavior of globalized capital as they serve an expanding empire.

Even more perversely this “exceptional thinker”, “the paragon of our time”, failed to capture the essential deepening class contradictions of our time. Comparative statistical studies have demonstrated that the US now has the worst inequalities of any advanced capitalist country and the worst health system among the top fifty industrial countries. Moreover, like so many of the New York’s affluent intellectuals with their six figure salaries, Bell failed to confront the inescapable fact that the inequalities in Manhattan were as bad or even worse than Guatemala, Calcutta, and Sao Paulo: Less than 1% of the residents controlled 40% of New York City’s wealth.

Such are Bell’s “cultural” contradictions: the contrast between the pronouncements of our celebrated academic and the reality which existed just outside of the academic grove.

As an intellectual, Bell’s contribution was therefore mediocre, at best, and lacking in any meaningful insights, especially in his pretentions at prophecy. Bell’s noteworthiness and his reputation, particularly in the prestigious media and academic journals, was due to his unfailing ability to fashion catchy euphemisms designed to divert attention from the devastating socio-economic fallout of late 20th century capitalism. He provided useful concepts for business and financial publicists and scribes to embellish their narratives. His grand reputation among many academics, as a writer willing to engage the ‘great issues’ of our times, to debate with and polemicize with critics on the Left, is a minor virtue given his substantive mediocrity and mendacious defense of the indefensible.

Statistics Canada website

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/gen/private-sect-prive-eng.cfm

Private Sector Involvement

What work is being contracted out for the 2011 Census?

“Activities involving access to or handling of confidential census data are out of scope for contracting, and only undertaken by Statistics Canada employees.
 

“Which contracts have been awarded in support of the 2011 Census?

“To date, the following major contracts have been awarded in support of the 2011 Census:

  • Following an open, transparent and competitive procurement process, on July 21, 2008, Public Works and Government Services Canada awarded Lockheed Martin Canada a contract to provide Statistics Canada software for its employees to process questionnaires in preparation for and during the 2011 Census. The contract is for $19.7 million and is essentially an upgraded version of the software used by Statistics Canada in 2006.”

TB Comment:
 
Is this really a credible reassurance? Lockheed Martin is a leading player in the global warfare/surveillance/espionage state. Go have a look at what they do.
 
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/census-systems/index.html
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/
 
It is in reality an agent of a foreign power operating deep inside our own government.

Can we really believe that software “provided” by them will be totally secure to allow only Statistics Canada employees to access and handle confidential personal citizen data? Even computer novices have heard of trojans and back doors. For our government to have awarded this highly sensitive contract to a corporate agent of another government is beyond inappropriate. With such an easily breached setup like this, how can Canadians have any real confidence that their personal data will remain only in the trust of employees of their oiwn government? Statistics Canada makes much that their employees have been sworn to secrecy. So they should be, but that is not the issue. Has Lockheed Martin? There is no mention of a confidentiality agreement with the software supplier as a condition of the contract. Nor is there mention that as an American corporation Lockheed Martin is obliged by the US Patriot Act to divulge all information it has or acquires to the US government for its “war on terror.”
 
The UK government has also contracted Lockheed Martin to “provide” similarly for their upcoming 2011 Census. Brits and Canucks beware. Bear all this in mind as you contemplate how you will respond to the 2011 Census.
 

Israeli army will cash in on Egypt’s upheavals

February 22nd, 2011 by Jonathan Cook

Israel has been indulging in a sustained bout of fear-mongering since the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled earlier this month. The ostensible aim has been to warn the international community that the lengthy “cold peace” between the two countries is on the verge of collapse.
 
In reality, the peace treaty signed three decades ago is in no danger for the forseeable future. The Egyptian and Israeli armies have too much of a vested interest in its continuation, whatever political reforms occur in Egypt.
 
And if the Egyptian political system really does open up, which is still far from sure, the Israeli military may actually be a beneficiary — if for all the wrong reasons.
 
The main value of the 1979 Camp David treaty to the Israeli leadership has been three decades of calm on Israel’s south-western flank. That, in turn, has freed the army to concentrate on more pressing goals, such as its intermittent forays north to sow sectarian discord in Lebanon, its belligerent posturing towards first Iraq and now Iran in the east, and its campaign to contain and dispossess the Palestinians under its rule.
 
But since Mubarak’s ousting on February 11, Israeli politicians and generals have warned that democracy for Egypt is bound to empower the country’s Islamists, supposedly bent on Israel’s destruction.
 
Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, compared a post-Mubarak Egypt with Iran, saying Israel was “preparing for the worst”. Likewise, Gabi Ashkenazi, the departing chief of staff, stated that Israel was braced for the peace treaty’s cancellation as the “moderate camp” weakened.
 
Officially, Tel Aviv’s concern is that, should the treaty be revoked, Israel will have to redirect much of its martial energy to preparing for potential hostilties with its neighbour, the most populous Arab state. Israel’s anxious declarations about the peace treaty, however, are largely self-serving.
 
Peace has reigned between Israel and Egypt because it is so strongly in the interests of both militaries. That is not about to change while the Egyptian and Israeli general staffs maintain their pre-eminent roles as the praetorian guards of their countries’ respective political systems.
 
Today’s close ties between the Israeli and Egyptian armies are a far cry from the earlier era of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who galvanised Arab nationalism in an attempt to defeat Israel, or his successor, Anwar Sadat, who almost led the Arab world to victory against the Israeli army in 1973.
 
Since the signing of the 1979 agreement, Washington has bought off the hawks on each side with massive military subsidies underwritten by the American taxpayer. The US has been happy to bankroll an accord that strengthens Israel, its useful Middle Eastern ally, and buys the acquiesence of Egypt, the Arab state best placed to resist the current regional order.
 
The Egyptian army receives $1.3 billion in annual military aid, making it the second largest recipient after Israel, which gets more than twice as much. In addition, military hardware has been lavished on the Israeli army, making it possibly the fourth strongest in the world — an astonishing situation for a country of only seven million.

The munificence has continued despite the US financial crisis, and includes Washington’s effective donation last year to Israel of two dozen of the next-generation F-35 stealth fighter jet as part of its pledge to maintain Israel’s “technological edge” over its rivals in the region.
 
Three decades of American money thrown at the two armies have made each a key player in their respective economies — as well as encouraging a culture of corruption in the senior ranks.
 
In Egypt’s case, large sections of the economy are controlled by retired generals, from electrical goods and construction companies to the production of olive oil and medicines. The army is reported to own about a third of the country’s assets.
 
The Israeli army’s economic stake is less ostentatious but no less significant. Its officers retire in their early forties on full pensions, and then cash in on their “security know-how”. Second careers in arms dealing, military consultancies or sinecures in Israel’s booming homeland security exports are all but guaranteed. Ehud Barak, a former chief of staff and the current defence minister, made millions of dollars from his security consultancy in a few years out of politics, for example.
 
Corruption, endemic in Israel’s political culture, has rapidly seeped into the military. Some of it is visible, as demonstrated this month with the passing over of a series of candidates for the vacant post of chief of staff because of the skeletons in their closets. Some is not: current investigations into dubious activities by Mr Ashkenazi and his family are subject to heavy reporting restrictions.
 
Nonetheless, both armies are revered by their countrymen. Even should that change in Egypt over coming months, the army is too strong — thanks to the US — to be effectively challenged by the protesters.
 
Israeli hawks, however, are right to be concerned — on other grounds — about the “threat” of political reform in Egypt. Although greater democracy will not undermine the peace agreement, it may liberate Egyptians to press for a proper regional peace deal, one that takes account of Palestinian interests as the Camp David accord was supposed to do.
 
Not least, in a freer Egypt, the army will no longer be in a position to play Robin to Israel’s Batman in Gaza. Its continuing role in the strangulation of the tiny enclave would likely come to an end.
 
But in such a climate, the Israeli military still has much to gain. As Israeli analyst Aluf Benn has observed, Israel will use the Middle East’s upheavals to highlight to the US that it is Washington’s only reliable ally — the so-called “villa in the jungle”. Its show of anxiety is also designed to remind the US that a jittery Israel is more likely to engage in unpredictable military adventures.
 
The remedy, of course, is even greater American largesse. And for that reason, if no other, the fear-mongering from Tel Aviv is not about to end.
 
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.
 
A version of this article originally appeared in The National (www.thenational.ae), published in Abu Dhabi.
 

Dangers of Genetically Modifed Crops: The Destabilization of Agriculture. Health Hazards

February 22nd, 2011 by Friends of the Earth International

Friends of the Earth International

PRESS RELEASE

Embargo: 00.01 AM, Tuesday 22nd February 2011

Cracks widen in biotech industry myths

AMSTERDAM / BRUSSELS / MONTEVIDEO / BENIN CITY, 22 February 2011 – Governments are being forced to protect farmers and citizens from genetically modified crops (GM crops) to combat biotech corporations’ stranglehold over farmers, and health scares from escalating pesticide use, according to a new report by Friends of the Earth International. [1]

On the eve of the release of industry-sponsored figures on the adoption of GM crops globally, the research highlights how even pro-GM governments in South America and the United States have been forced to take steps to mitigate the negative impacts of GM crops on farmers, citizens and the environment. [2]

In South America, the Brazilian Government has launched a GM-free soy programme to help farmers access non-GM soy seeds. In Argentina new research has exposed that the herbicide Glyphosate, used on the majority of GM crops grown worldwide, could have severe negative impacts on human health. [3] This has led to bans on spraying of the herbicide near people’s homes. In Uruguay, local areas are declaring themselves GM-free.

Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty coordinator Martin Drago said,

“Farmers and citizens in South America are bearing the burden of ten years of GM crops with widespread health disasters and rising costs. The myths on which the biotech industry is built are crumbling.

The havoc wreaked across South America shows that this technology is not compatible with sustainable farming. It is a wake up call for the rest of the world to move towards more ecological methods of farming.”

Widespread resistance to GM crops in the developing world and Europe means that they are only planted on a large scale in a handful of countries and that over 97% of global agricultural land is GM-free.

Friends of the Earth Europe Campaigner Mute Schimpf said:

“The widespread opposition to genetically modified crops and foods in Europe continues to rise because consumers and farmers can see that they offer no added value and instead create environmental and health risks.

GM crops will hinder, not help the challenge of ensuring we can feed our global population with safe and healthy food.”

Friends of the Earth International’s report “Who Benefits from GM crops? An industry built on myths” 2011 also finds that:

* A new generation of GM crops designed to promote the use of pesticides Dicamba and 2,4 D, are set for release in the United States. GM companies are promoting these as a solution to the failure of existing GM crops to control weeds and reduce pesticide use.

* Biotech companies, aided by the United States Government, are now looking to new markets in Africa in an attempt to salvage profits. The Gates foundation, which funds billions of dollars worth of agriculture projects in Africa, has bought shares in Monsanto, giving the Gates foundation a direct interest in maximising the profits of Monsanto over protecting the interests of small holders in Africa.

* GM crops continue to collapse in Europe. Less than 0.06 percents of European fields are planted with GM crops. Seven EU countries have banned Monsanto’s GM maize because of growing evidence of its negative environmental impacts. Three countries banned BASF’s GM potato due to health concerns immediately after its authorisation in spring 2010, and for the first time five member states have sued the European Commission over the authorisation of a GM crop.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

English: Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty Coordinator +44 (0) 7961986956

Spanish: Martin Drago, Friends of the Earth International Food Sovereignty Coordinator, +598 (99) 138559

English, French, Dutch: Marlijn Dingshoff, Friends of the Earth International media coordinator: + 31 (0) 20-6221369

NOTES

[1] See Who Benefits from GM crops: the industry built on myths. http://www.foei.org/en/who-benefits-from-gm-crops-2011/view

[2] See also Friends of the Earth International 2010 “Who Benefits from GM crops: the great climate change swindle” http://www.foei.org/en/resources/publications/pdfs/2010/who-benefits-from-gm-crops-2010

[3] Paganelli, A et al. Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling, Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2010, 23 (10), pp 1586–1595, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749

On the Ethical Conduct of Warfare: Predator Drones

February 22nd, 2011 by Jim Fetzer

                                    

 “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm” —  Isaac Asimov’s “First Law of Robotics”

Among the most intriguing questions that modern technology poses is the extent to which inanimate machines might be capable of replacing human beings in combat and warfare.  The very idea of armies of robots has a certain appeal, even though “The Terminator” and “I, Robot”, have raised challenging questions related to the capacity for machine mentality and the prospect that, once they’ve attained a certain level of intelligence, these machines might turn against those who designed and built them to advance their own “interests”, if, indeed, such a thing is possible.  In an earlier article, “Intelligence vs. Mentality: Important but Independent Concepts” (1997), for example, I have argued that, while machines may well be described as “intelligent” because of the plasticity of behavior they can display in response to different programs, they are not the possessors of minds and therefore may be capable of simulating human intelligence but not of its possession.                              

From a philosophical point of view, there are at least three perspectives that could be brought to bear upon the use of the specific form of digital technology known as “predator drones”, which are pilot-less aircraft that can be deployed with the capacity to project lethal force —perhaps most commonly, by missile attacks, primarily — with or without any intervention by human minds.   The first is that of metaphysics, in particular, from the perspective of the kinds of things they are, especially with respect to the question of autonomy.  The second is that of epistemology, in particular, the question of the kind of knowledge that can be obtained about their reliability on missions.  And the third is that of axiology, in particular, the moral questions that arise from their use as killing machines, where, as I shall suggest, there is an inherent tension between the first and the third of these perspectives, which is considerably compounded by the second.

As a former artillery officer, I can appreciate the use of weapons that are capable of killing at a distance with considerable anonymity about those who are going to be killed.  In traditional warfare, artillery has been used to attack relatively well-defined military targets, but has not infrequently been accompanied by civilian casualties, which today are often referred to as “collateral damage”.  An intermediate species of killing machine arises from the use of controlled drones, where human minds are an essential link in the causal chains that produce their intentional lethal effects.  The use of predator drones, of course, is distinct from surveillance drones in this respect, because surveillance drones can acquire information without bringing about death or devastation.  Without those capacities, however, there would be scant purpose in the deployment of predator drones, the existence of which is predicated upon their function as killing machines. 

Ontology and Autonomy

The important metaphysical — more precisely, ontological — question that arises within this context is the applicability of the concept of autonomy to inanimate machines.  The traditional philosophical conception related to issues of moral responsibility concerns whether arguments by analogy apply.  Moral responsibility for human actions typically requires a certain basic capacity for rationality of action and rationality of belief, combined with an absence of coercion and of constraint.  When humans are unable to form rational beliefs (responsive to the information available to them, because they are paranoid) or take rational actions (which promote their motives based upon their beliefs, because they are neurotic), they may be exonerated from moral responsibility for their actions.  Similarly, when their actions are affected by coercion (by means of threats) or constraints (by being restrained), degrees of responsibility may require adjudication.

While human actions result from a causal interaction of motives, beliefs, ethics, abilities and capabilities, counterparts for predator drones do not appear to exist except in an extended or figurative sense.  If capabilities represent the absence of factors that inhibit their abilities from being exercised — as is the case when they cannot fly because their batteries need recharging — then their incapacity to perform their intended tasks could not be said to be their own responsibility.  But insofar as they are designed and built to conform to the programs that control them, it is difficult to suppose that analogies with humans properly apply.  Since analogies are faulty when (a) there are more differences than similarities, (b) when there are few but crucial differences, or (c) when their conclusions are treaded as certain rather than merely probable, absent mentality, it is difficult to conclude that they are capable of the possession of beliefs, motives, or morality.

From the perspective of epistemology, the kind of knowledge that can be acquired about these machines is not akin to that of pure mathematics, which acquires certainty at the expense of their content, but rather than of applied mathematics, which acquires its content at the expense of its certainty.  The complex causal interaction between software, firmware, and hardware makes the performance of these systems both empirical and uncertain as the product of evaluating their success in use against the properties of their design.  If they are not engineered in accordance with the appropriate specifications, for example, then the result of their deployment can be fraught with hazard.  The reliability of these systems in delivering their lethal force to appropriate targets can be completely unknown without testing and study, where the conditions of their use in Iraq and Afghanistan makes their probability of success unpredictable. 

Epistemology and Targeting

The most serious problems with their deployment, however, arise from the criteria for determining the targets against which they are properly deployed.  In the language of artillery, sometimes targets are designated as “free fire” zones, where any human within that vicinity is considered to be a legitimate target.  That works when the enemy is clearly defined and geographically prescribed.  In the case of guerilla (or “irregular”) warfare, however, there are neither uniforms to identify the enemy nor territorial boundaries to distinguish them, as is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, where virtually any group of individuals, no matter how innocuous they may turn out to be, tends to be regarded as “fair game” for drone attack. In military language, of course, it’s all readily excusable as “collateral damage”.

How many wedding parties are we going to take out because the drone saw group behavior that it had been programmed to hit?  How often do we have sufficient information to know that we are actually targeting insurgents and not innocents? Surely I am not alone in finding our actions repugnant when I read, “Over 700 killed in 44 drone strikes in 2009” taking out 5 intended targets —140 to 1 — and 123 civilians were killed for 3 al-Qaeda in January 2010. The headlines are ubiquitous:  “CIA chief in Pakistan exposed.  Top spy received death threats; U.S. drones kill 54”, Wisconsin State Journal (18 December 2010), where the American government claims, just as it did in Vietnam, that every dead body was a ”suspected militant”: none were innocent men, women, or children.   Even The Washington Post (21 February 2011) seems to perceive that something is wrong with killing so many people and hitting so few targets.

We are now invading Pakistani airspace in our relentless determination to take out those who oppose us. From the point of view of the countries that we have invaded and occupied, they might be more aptly described as “freedom fighters”. Since we invaded these countries in violation of international law, the UN Charter and the US Constitution, we appear to be committing crimes against humanity. And the risk posed by our own technology is now extending to the USA itself. A recent article found in Software 26th August 2010 12:26 GMT, “ROBOT KILL-CHOPPER GOES ROGUE above Washington DC!” by Lewis Page, describes a perceived threat to the nation’s capitol as attributable to “software error”. No deaths resulted from this infraction, but perhaps the next time a mistake of this kind will lead to the deaths of members of Congress or of “The First Family” on a picnic outing in the Rose Garden, which will make for spectacular headlines.  Yet we don’t even pause to ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with collateral damage?”

Morality and Methodology

We cannot know whether or our conduct or that of our machines is moral or not  unless we know the nature of morality. The answer depends upon which theory of morality is correct. There are many claimants to that role, including subjective theories, family-value theories, religious-based theories, and culture-related theories, according to which “an action is right” when you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of it. So if you (your family, your religion, or your culture) approve of incest, cannibalism, or sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, such actions cannot be immoral, if one of these theories is true. All these approaches make morality a matter of power, where right reduces to might. If someone approves of killing, robbing, or raping you, then you have no basis to complain on the ground that those actions are immoral, if subjectivism is correct. Similarly for family, religion, and culture-based alternatives. Every person, every family, every religion, and very culture is equal, regardless of their practices, if such theories are true. They thus embody the principle that “might makes right”.

As James Rachels, The Elements of Moral Philosophy (1999), has explained, on any of these accounts, the very ideas of criticism, reform, or progress in matters of morality no longer apply. If attitudes about right and wrong differ or change, if that is all there is to it, even when they concern your life, liberty, or happiness. If  some person, family, or group has the power to impose their will upon you, then these theories afford you no basis to complain. While Rachels is correct, as far as he goes, I have sought to establish objective criteria for arbitrating between moral theories that parallel those we have for scientific theories, including the clarify and precision of their language, their scope of application for the purpose of explanation and of prediction, their respective degrees of empirical support, and the simplicity (or economy or elegance) with which that degree if systematic power is attained.   And, indeed, as I explain in detail in The Evolution of Intelligence (2005) and in Render Unto Darwin (2007), there do appear to be parallel criteria of adequacy for moral theories.

Theories of morality, no less than theories of physics, chemistry, and such, are also subject to evaluation on the basis of (CA-1) the clarify and precision of their language as a first criterion.  Since the problem of morality arises from the abuse of power, it seems apparent that a second criterion of adequacy (CA-2) should be that an acceptable theory not be reducible to the principle that “might makes right”.  Yet a third, which might be viewed as encompassing empirical content in the form of virtually universal human experience (CA-3) holds that an acceptable theory of morality should properly classify the “pre-analytically” clear cases of immoral conduct — such as murder, robbery, and rape — as “immoral” on that theory; and similarly for “pre-analytically” clear cases of moral behavior, such as (apart from special cases) telling the truth, keeping our promises, and dealing equitably with other persons.  The fourth (CA-4) is that an adequate theory of morality should shed light on the “pre-analytically” unclear cases, such as pot, prostitution, and flag burning but also abortion, stem-cell research, and cloning.

Alternative Theories

While I address those “unclear cases” in the recent books I have cited, here I shall confine myself to considering the moral status of the use of predator drones, If  we apply the four criteria by focusing on the second, third, and fourth, then the inadequacies of all but one moral theory become apparent. With regard to the four traditional theories I have discussed — simple subjectivism, family values, religious ethics, and cultural relativity — it should be apparent that they reduce to the corrupt principle that might makes right and therefore violate (CA-2).  Since they permit pre-analytically clear cases of immoral behavior to qualify as “moral”, they also violate (CA-3).  Because the “morality” of unclear cases, like the use of predator drones, varies with attitudes, which can differ from person to person, group to group, religion to religion and culture to culture at the same time or within any of those at different times, none of these theories satisfies (CA-4).

The relativity of traditional theories has motivated students of morality to move in the direction of more philosophical theories, which tend to fall into the categories of what are know as “consequentialist” and “non-consequentialist“ theories.  The former classify an action as “right” when it produces at least as much GOOD as its effect as does any available alternative, where what is GOOD is usually taken to be happiness. The problem, however, remains of deciding FOR WHOM that happiness ought to be produced, since it might be the individual, the group, or everyone.  According to Ethical Egoism, for example, an action is right when it brings about as much happiness for you personally as any available alternative. The consequences for others simply don’t count. So Ted Bundy, John Gacy, and Jeffrey Dahmer, for example, are home free — morally speaking — though few juries would be likely to be impressed by the argument that killing gave them more happiness than any available alternative. The violations of (CA-2), (CA-3), and (CA-4), I presume, require no elaboration.

According to Limited Utilitarianism, moreover, an action is right when it brings about as much happiness for the members of your group as any available alternative. This is good news for The Third Reich, the Mafia, and General Motors. If no available alternative(s) would produce more happiness for Nazis than territorial acquisition, military domination, and racial extermination, then those qualify as moral actions if Limited Utilitarianism is true.  As in the case of Ethical Egoism, the violations of (CA-2), (CA-3) and (CA-4) appear to be obvious. Classic Utilitarianism, among consequentialist theories, is the only one that dictates the necessity of encompassing the effects actions have upon everyone rather than some special class. But even this virtue does not guarantee the right results. If a social arrangement with a certain percentage of slaves, say, 15%, would bring about greater happiness for the population as a whole  — because the increase in happiness of the masters outweighed the decrease in happiness of the slaves  — then that arrangement would qualify as moral.  Yet slavery is immoral if any practice is immoral.

Deontological Morality

The problem here is more subtle than in other cases and therefore deserves more explanation.  Actions that benefit the majority may do so at the expense of the minority.  The Classical Utilitarian conception of “the greatest good for the greatest number” should not come at the expense of the life, liberty, or property of the minority — absent mechanisms to insure that their rights are protected and upheld.  Technically, we are talking about a concept of morality that is distributive (as a property of each person) rather than collective (as a property of the group), as I shall explain. Suppose that ten smokers were selected at random by the government each year, put on television and shot. It might well be that enthusiasm for smoking would fall dramatically, that heart and lung disease would diminish, that health care premiums would drop and that the net happiness of society would be maximized. If that were the case, should we select ten smokers at random each year, put them on television and shoot them?

If theories that qualify manifestly immoral behavior, such as a slave-based society or random public executions to promote the health of the nation.as “moral” ought to be rejected, then perhaps a non-consequentialist approach might do better.  According to what is known as Deontological Moral Theory, actions are moral when they involve treating other persons with respect.  More formally expressed, it requires that other persons should always be treated as ends (as intrinsically valuable) and never merely as means (instrumentally).  This approach has its roots in (what is technically known as) “the Second Formulation of the Categorical Imperative” advanced by Immanuel Kant, but we can forego such niceties here.

This does not mean that persons can never treat other persons as means, which usually happens without thereby generating immorality. The relationship between employers and employees is clearly one in which employers use their employees as a means to conduct a business and make profits, while employees use their employment as a means to make a buck and earn a living. Within a context of mutual respect, this is moral conduct as a feature characteristic of human life. When employers abuse their employees by subjecting them to unsafe working conditions, excessive hours, or poor wages, however, the relationship becomes exploitative and immoral.  These are the conditions that typify “the sweat shop” and explain why they are despicable business practices.

They can also occur when employees fail to perform their duties, steal from their employers, or abuse the workplace. Similar considerations apply to doctors and patients, students and faculty, or ministers and congregations, which may explain our dismay at their betrayal.  Perhaps the central consequence of a deontological perspective is the centrality of due process.  No one should be deprived of their life, liberty or property without an appropriate form of certification that punishment of that kind is something that they deserve, which reveals the gross immorality of military aggression, territorial conquest, systematic genocide—and death by the use of predator drones to kill other persons, with only superficial regard for due process in the case of the intended targets and non-existent for everyone else!

                                                                          

Axiology and Autonomy

When we are talking about a so-called “autonomous machine”, then the question becomes whether or not such an entity is even capable of understanding what it means for something to be a person or to treat it with respect.  There are ways to guarantee killing the enemy within a target zone, namely, by killing everyone in it.  And there are ways to avoid killing the wrong target, namely, by killing no one in it.  The problem is to kill all and only the intended targets.  But is that possible? This becomes extremely problematical in the case of unconventional warfare.  In principle, persons are entitled to be treated with respect by following rules of due process, where no one is deprived of life, liberty, or property without having the opportunity to defend them selves.  In the case of the use of predator drones, however, the only processes utilized by autonomous machines are those that accrue from the target identification criteria with which they are programmed.

These machines, like other tools including computerized systems, are inherently amoral — neither moral nor immoral — from a deontological point of view. They, like other digital machines, have no concept of morality, of personhood or of mutual respect.  They are simply complex causal systems that function on the basis of their programs. Were these conventional wars involving well-defined terrain and uniformed combatants, their use, in principle, would be no different than high-altitude bombing or artillery strikes, where, although the precise identity of our targets are not always known, we know who they are with high probability.  In cases like Iraq and Afghanistan, our information is partial, sketchy, and all too often wrong.  We are killing around 140 innocents for every intended target!

We are taking out citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, which, alas, if research on 9/11 is well founded — visit http://911scholars.org , for example, or http://patriotsquestion911.com — have never threatened us.  So we really have no business being there at all. Yet to this day we continue to hear about the threat from al-Qaeda and from Osama bin Laden, who appears to have died in 2001. We are depriving the citizens of other countries of their life, liberty, and property with no semblance of due process.  This means that our actions are not only in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the United States’ Constitution but also violate basic human rights. We once believed it was better for ten guilty me to go free than for one innocent man to be punished.  We now practice the policy that it is better for 140 civilians to die than for one suspected “insurgent“ to live.  We have come a long way from Isaac Asimov’s “First Law”.

* An expanded and revised version of “Predator Drones: The Immoral use of Autonomous Machines” (2010).

Jim Fetzer [send him mail], a former Marine Corps officer who earned his Ph.D. in the history and the philosophy of science, is McKnight Professor Emeritus at the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota. He has published extensively on the theoretical foundations of computer science, AI, and cognitive science.  His academic web site may be found at http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfetzer/ .

The Security Budget vs. the Necessities of Americans.

February 22nd, 2011 by Kevin Zeese

President Obama and the Congress have taken 66% of discretionary spending in the federal budget off the table –the SecurityBudget – while proposing a freeze to the rest of the budget and deep cuts to some programs that provide necessities for the American people. His budget crystalizes a choice that U.S. presidents have been making since President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex – investment in the military vs. investment in the civilian economy.

The bloated and sacrosanct security budget – the military, domestic security and intelligence budgets –all saw rapid growth under President Bush when the DoD doubled its budget. Under President Obama the trendhas continuedwith record military, intelligence and domestic security budgets. 

And, while the so-called recovery has only been a recovery for Wall Street and big business, the administration and congress are focused more on the deficit then on re-starting the economy for the rest of us. But there is more talk of cutting Social Security and Medicare than cuttingthe security budget. In fact, these two items are called entitlements because they are a contract with working Americans who pay for them in every paycheck. For this reason they should not even be considered part of the deficit. Payrolltaxes fund these two programs that are essential for older Americans in their retirement years. Both face budget challenges but can be fixed, indeed Social Security has more than $2.5 trillion in Treasury Notes in reserve.

President Obama has proposed the largest DoD budget since World War II, $553 billion (not including war funding and nuclear weapons funding in the Department of Energy). Much attention has been shined on Secretary of Defense Gates’proposal to “cut” $78 billion inthe Pentagonbudget.  Those “cuts” take place over five years with reductions taking place after the 2012 election in 2014 and 2015.  And, the “cuts” do not include the cost of wars.  The Afghanistan war alone could eat up projected “savings” and if the CIA’s war in Pakistan escalates that will be an even bigger budget item.  Further, we have not seen what the continuing U.S. military footprint in Iraq will cost. These projected cuts are more image than reality.

How does military spending impact Americans? President Reagan’s former assistant secretary of defenseLawrenceKorb describes the military budget as “an annual tax of more than $7,000 on every household in the country.”While increasing the security budget, Obama and the Democrats have proposed widespread cuts to critical programs from a 50% cut in low-income heating assistance to nearly a 30% cut to the clean drinking water fund.  They have also proposed a 25% cut ($1.3 billion) to the community development block grants used to fund local community development including affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. These are essential services needed for Americans health, safety and economic security.Of course, Republican cuts in the House budget are even more extreme but Obama set the table for them by making the debate about deficits and both parties will not touch the security budget. Military analyst, William Hartung, writes “These cuts will be painful, and they will be felt in every middle- and lower-income household in America.”

Cities and states are cutting essential services to balance their budgets.  U.S. taxpayers will spend $737billion for Pentagon spending for FY2011 including war funding). To get a sense of what these means, for the same amount of money tax payers could provide funding for 11.3 million elementary school teachers for one year or 93.5 million scholarships for university students for one year or restart the economy by providing 166.9 million households with renewable electricity – solar photovoltaic for one year.Instead all these programs face cutbacks, while military spending grows.

To get a sense of the absurdity of protecting all military spending, the federal government spends $500 million each year for military marching bands.  In comparison it spends $430 million a year on public broadcasting.  More than half of all Americans use PBS each year, 170 million people, but PBS faces cutbacks while military bands are protected from budget cuts.

The greater damage will be in the failure to restart the economy.  Economists like Nobel Prize winner, Paul Krugman and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, are convincingly urging more spending. Big business is sitting on $2 trillion in cash stifling job creation and a real economic recovery. There are no signs of inflation because the recovery – if you can even it call it a recovery – is non-existent for working Americans and the unemployed/underemployed whose consumer purchases are needed to drive the economy. Obama risks a 1937 mistake – cutting spending too soon and causing another collapse.

Cutting $1 trillion from the federal budget is the goal of the Obama administration deficit plan.  All of these cuts could come from military spending and still leave the U.S. militarily dominant.  In fact, since the administration has projected an increase in spending of $6.5 trillion from 2011 to 2020, even a trillion would be a slowing of growth more than a real cut. Lawrence Korb lays out a five point plan to reduce military spending by $1 trillion without jeopardizing national security and thereby protecting U.S. economic security.

He is not alone, the Sustainable Defense Task Force provides specific cuts without harming U.S. national security including:

•The $238 billion Joint Strike Fighter program: Cancelling the program and relying instead on upgraded versions of current aircraft would save almost $50 billion over ten years.

•The MV-22 Osprey: Replacing this dangerous, overpriced, and underperforming aircraft with cheaper alternatives would save over $10 billion over ten years.

•Reducing the number of U.S. troops in Europe and Asia to 100,000 from current levels of 150,000 would save $80 billion over a decade.

•Reforming Pentagon health care systems so that retirees pay modest, reasonable premiums could save $60 billion over a decade.

•Scaling back missile defense and space weapons programs could save over $50 billion over a decade.

•Further reductions in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including deployment of fewer ballistic-missile launching submarines, could save over $100 billion in a ten year period, much of it in operating costs.

•Reducing the size of the Navy from 286 to 230 ships would save over $125 billion over ten years.

If you combine these recommendations of the five point plan of Lawrence Korb, which includes items like bringing home 50,000 of the 150,000 troops stationed in Asia and Europe, reducing the size of the Army and Marine Corps to their pre-Iraq invasion level and reducing nuclear weapons from 1,968 to the 311 the Military War College says is needed for defense, the U.S. would save another $200 billion.

For many, these would only be the starting points of correctly prioritizing military spending.  President Eisenhowerwarned about the military industrial complex 50 year ago. During that time, U.S. spending on the military adjusted for inflation has more than doubled and we have moved to a permanent war state. Columbia University’s Seymour Melman, a professor of industrial engineering, pointed out that “Industrial productivity, the foundation of every nation’s economic growth, is eroded by the relentlessly predatory effects of the military economy.” In fact, we have seen – as we see in the Obama budget – a constant conflict between the military economy and the civilian economy.  The civilian economy is losing that battle.

Thomas Woods, Jr. recently wrote in the American Conservative that military spending is parasitic as it feeds off the economy rather than grows it. The scale of resources used by the military is exorbitant, Woods writes: “To train a single combat pilot, for instance, costs between $5 million and $7 million. Over a period of two years, the average U.S. motorist uses about as much fuel as does a single F-16 training jet in less than an hour. The Abrams tank uses up 3.8 gallons of fuel in traveling one mile. Between 2 and 11 percent of the world’s use of 14 important minerals, from copper to aluminum to zinc, is consumed by the military, as is about 6 percent of the world’s consumption of petroleum. The Pentagon’s energy use in a single year could power all U.S. mass transit systems for nearly 14 years.”

To get a sense of the competition between the civilian and military economy, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation’s plants, equipment, and infrastructure (capital stock) at just over $7.29 trillion in 1985; and from 1947 to 1987 the military spent the equivalent, $7.62 trillion in capital resources.

With the long record of the ascendency of military spending it is not surprising to see the U.S. economy in collapse, industry disappearing and the infrastructure crumbling. Not only has the U.S. failed to win a major war since World War II, but the cost of the standing army has become a burden on all of us and a drag on the economy.  Some describe the U.S. Empire in decline and others see a collapse as possible at any moment

The failure of President Obama to confront military spending in this time of economic collapse and perceived deficit crisis, when tax dollars are needed to restart the domestic economy, is not only a short term budget failure but does not face up to the long-term damaging economic impact of the American military empire.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace (www.VotersForPeace.US) and an editor of the book ComeHomeAmerica.US (visit ComeHomeAmerica.US for more information and to purchase the book).

The same group of Egyptian generals running Cairo presently also formed the backbone of the Mubarak regime. There has been no real change in government. The military junta represents a continuation of the Mubarak regime. The previous so-called civilian administration and the Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces are virtually the same body.

The generals would have run Egypt either way, under the so-called civilian government formed by Mubarak before he resigned or the current military government. While the generals rule the Nile Valley, a “controlled opposition” is being manufactured and nurtured by the U.S. and its allies. 

Change is forthcoming. Whose interests will it serve? Those of Washington and Brussels or those of the grassroots movements in North Africa and Southwest Asia?

The Imperial Province of Egypt

Since its inception as a Roman province, Egypt was always a valuable and important territory, its role as a breadbasket and economic hub were so significant for the Romans that it had a status as a special “imperial province” ruled directly by the Roman emperors.

Today, Egypt is of immense importance to America’s imperial ambitions.  The Suez Canal is a global artery of maritime trade and of vast strategic importance as a military and energy corridor. The “Global Constabulary” that is Washington’s self-imposed role as global arbiter would be crippled without Egypt firmly in place.

Even if speaking hypothetically, when U.S. General James Mattis says that if the Suez Canal is closed, then the U.S. military will engage Egypt offensively (meaning attack or invade), he is not joking. [1] The Suez Canal is an important part of the global economy, the military network of the U.S. and NATO, and Washington’s modern-day and ever more mutinous empire.

What has changed in Post-Ben Ali Tunisia and Post-Mubarak Egypt?

Aside from the spirit and the confidence of the people, both Tunis and Cairo have not seen any substantial changes. The English playwright William Shakespeare said it best: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” [2] In the case of post-Mubarak Egypt and post-Ben Ali Tunisia it must be said that “dictatorship and tyranny by any other name is still dictatorship and tyranny.” The point simply is as follows; what is important is what something is and not what something is called.

The chiefs of two oppressive Arab regimes are gone, but their actual regimes still remain in one form or another. Mubarak and Ben Ali were dominant actors within the power structure of the regimes in Tunis and Cairo. Yet, there is still an oligarchic supporting structure which remains intact. Both Mubarak and Ben Ali could almost be thought of in terms of the firsts amongst a set of peers or primus inter pares. Both dictators were members of a cast of oligarchs within their respective authoritarian republics.

The regime structures remain. Also, the external forces that supported the Tunisian and Egyptian regime structures persist. These external forces are  the United States and the European Union.

The Phasing in of the Military Junta in Cairo

Before and after Mubarak stepped down from his office, the military in Egypt started being presented as a circumvent third party actor and as the “protector” of the Egyptian people. It is not coincidental that Mohammed Al-Baradei (El-Baradei/ElBaradei) was calling for the military to takeover. [3] In pertinence to this there has been a calculated ongoing public relations campaign to support the Egyptian military.

The military junta was slowly phased in. Signs of this included the political statements that the Egyptian military had started releasing to the public before Mubarak formally resigned. [4] The journalist Hamza Hendawi, who has been actively covering Egypt, spells this out:

Egypt’s 18-day uprising produced a military coup that crept into being over many days — its seeds planted early in the crisis by Mubarak himself.

The telltale signs of a coup in the making began to surface soon after Mubarak ordered the army out on the streets to restore order after days of deadly clashes between protesters and security forces in Cairo and much of the rest of the Arab nation.

“This is in fact the military taking over power,” said political analyst Diaa Rashwan after Mubarak stepped down and left the reins of power to the armed forces. “It is direct involvement by the military in authority and to make Mubarak look like he has given up power.” [5]

Moreover, the Egyptian military is not the neutral actor that it is being portrayed as. It is a backbone of the dictatorial establishment in Egypt that hoisted Mubarak. The Egyptian military is also Washington’s best bet for holding onto Egypt and to maintain the status quo.

The Egyptian Military is a Continuation of the Mubarak Regime

Presently the Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces runs Egypt. It is a military junta that rules by degree. Similarly in Tunis, Fouad Al-Mebazaa, one of the “old guard” of Ben Ali, is also ruling by decrees that bypass any democratic process. [6]

The rule of the military generals in Cairo is only a formality; the military has always run Egypt under the guise of civilian government. The Egyptian protests have served to solidify and consolidate the hold of the Egyptian military over the Egyptian government. It is likely that Mubarak, before he stepped down from his office, was preparing the grounds for a military junta to take over with his new cabinet appointments. As a precaution, the new cabinet may have been part of a phasing in of open military rule.

Moreover, Mubarak’s regime began as a continuation of the regime of Mohammed Anwar Al-Sadat. Mubarak and Sadat both also came from within the ranks of the Egyptian military. Sadat was an Egyptian Army officer and Mubarak was a commander in the Egyptian Air Force. The Sadat-Mubarak regime can best be described as a club of military generals. In other words, Egypt’s top military brass and the regime are cast from the same lot.

Omar Suleiman, the man Mubarak selected to fill the long-time vacant post of Egyptian vice-president, too comes from the ranks of the Egyptian military. While a civilian clothed cabinet minister, General Suleiman was the head of Cairo’s intelligence services.  This is clear evidence of the nature of the Egyptian regime as a military government or a general’s club.

Ahmed Al-Shafik, the prime minister that Mubarak appointed to his new 2011 government is also a general. Shafik was the head of the Egyptian Air Force. Nor is Shafik a new face to government; he was an Egyptian cabinet minister prior to his appointment as prime minister of Egypt.

Even Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the deputy prime minister and defence minister of Egypt is a military general.  Field Marshal Tantawi is also the supreme commander of the Egyptian military and heads the Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces, which now officially governs Egypt. Under Mubarak’s rule, Tantawi has simultaneously served as the chief of the Egyptian military and the defence minister of Egypt since 1991 until the present. If not the second most powerful individual in Egypt, Field Marshal Tantawi is one of the most powerful members of the Egyptian ruling class.

These generals – officially retired or not – form the Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces. In other words, Suleiman, Shafik, and Tantawi are running Egypt. They would have done it under a civilian regime or a military regime. Is there a real major difference between the previous so-called civilian government and the current military junta? The differences between the two are really nominal.

In reality, a carte blanche or blank cheque has been given to the same figures that were supposedly running the civilian regime. These officials and the Egyptian state ruled under a military junta will feel less pressure for suppressing the liberty and demands of the Egyptian people. The governing status quo is very much alive.

Washington’s Role in the Establishment of a Military Junta in Egypt

Like Rome in its day, the United States has established a series of global patron-client relationships as the basis of its empire. The Egyptian military is one of these U.S. clients. It is bankrolled by Washington. After Israel, Egypt is the second largest recipient of financial aid from the U.S., and the majority of this goes to the Egyptian military as a means of sustaining the patron-client relationship Washington has with Cairo.

It is because of the nature of this patron-client relationship that the U.S government had aided and abetted the takeover of Egypt by the Egyptian military. Washington presently has no other relationship in Egypt that is analogous in its strength to this. This would also not be the first time that Washington has helped prop a military government in an Arab country. In 1949, the U.S. helped secure another military takeover of the state in Syria. This has been part of the U.S. hegemon’s objective for preserving its control over its Egyptian province.

Sami Hafez Al-Anan (Al-Enan), the chief of staff of the Egyptian military, was in Washington for two days after the protests ignited in Egypt. [7] Undoubtedly, the U.S. government instructed him on what the U.S. wanted from the Egyptian regime and the military generals before his departure. After his return to Egypt, Ahmed Shafik was appointed the new prime minister and Field Marshal Tantawi became deputy prime minister. Martin Indyk, who is a former U.S. official, also openly said that the grounds should be prepared for the Egyptian military. [8] Since Indyk is no longer a U.S. official he was able to say what the White House and U.S. State Department could not openly express.

U.S. officials were also praising the Egyptian military before and after the resignation of Mubarak. The U.S. government also has not and does not intend to freeze or end its military aid to the junta in Cairo. U.S. officials are also complicit in all the acts of oppression committed under Mubarak and by the military junta.

The Egyptian Military Serves the Interests of Capital

The state and its military might are subordinated to organized capital. When Smedley D. Buttler, a retired U.S. Marine major-general, wrote in 1935 that he and the U.S. military served the interests of organized capital, he was being utterly frank. The Egyptian military, more specifically the leadership of the Egyptian military, serve the interests of capital, in both its local and global forms.

Under the Mubarak-Sadat regime the corrupt generals of Egypt have run Egypt as a vast estate.  They run and control an extensive network of private enterprises and national assets, from the tourism sector and resort areas in Sharm el-Sheikh to construction companies. The lucrative Suez Canal is also under the control of the military.

No real changes can be expected under a group of generals who have an interest in maintaining the kleptocratic status quo. The Egyptian junta has also announced as the government of Egypt that it will continue the sanctions regime against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and maintain the treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Manufacturing Dissent through a Counter-Discourse

The U.S. government wants to control the situation in Egypt. In order to do this Washington is busy involved in setting up a “controlled counter-discourse” through “manufactured dissent.” The controlled counter-discourse is being shaped through the manufacturing of an opposition (pseudo-opposition).

In this regard, the U.S. has declared that it is preparing to bankroll the rise of new political parties in Egypt. [9] This aid is intended to control and manipulate the internal affairs of Egypt. One should ask, what would be the reaction of the U.S. government and the American people if countries such as Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela where funding newly forming political parties in the United States?

Washington is also desperately trying to politically hedge its bets by making gestures of support and giving nominal support to some forms of authentic opposition. Yet, all the while the U.S. government is working to dilute the authentic opposition and infiltrate the protest movements with its own so-called opposition figures. There is also a synchronized effort by the Egyptian regime – which encompasses the military junta – to do the same. The so-called “Wise Men” group is a facet of this.

Mohammed Al-Baradei is also an opposition figure that is intended to preserve the status quo, albeit with cosmetic changes on the surface. Al-Baradei represent’s the imperial interests of Washington. Not only did he support the intervention of the Egyptian military, but he suggested the formation of  “a transitional government headed by a presidential council of two or three figures, including a military representative.” [8] The Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces in effect is what Al-Baradei demanded for before Mubarak’s resignation. In is also noteworthy to mention that Al-Baradei has also stated that he “respects Suleiman as someone to negotiate with over the transition [after Mubarak resigns].” [10] None of this is mere coincidence, including Al-Baradei’s calls for military intervention.

The so-called promotion of “civil society” in the form of non-government organizations (NGOs), which receive funding and training from the E.U. and Washington, are tied to creating a controlled opposition, a controlled counter-discourse, and political hedging. The declaration by the Egyptian High Council of the Armed Forces that it will govern Egypt for about six months or longer could be tied to the efforts to manufacture a “controlled opposition.” This could be one of the reasons that Martin Indyk, before Mubarak resigned, said “What we have to focus on now is getting the military into a position where they can hold the ring for a moderate and legitimate political leadership to emerge.” [11]

Since the end of the Second World War, the U.S. government has been engaged in manipulating political processes through non-state actors. This has been done through so-called democracy promotion, cultural, and educational programs. It is used as a tool of internal manipulation.

Arab Democracy

Hereto, there is no authentic Arab democracy. The consensus system in Lebanon is flawed and based on religious and confessional lines. Ironically, the only democratic system amongst the Arabs existed amid the occupied and downtrodden Palestinians.

The Palestinians had instituted a democratic system that lasted until the Hamas-Fatah split and the establishment of Mahmoud Abbas as a quasi-dictator in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Washington’s contempt for actual democracy amongst the Arabs is visible from its position on the Palestinian elections in 2006 that ushered in a Hamas government. Washington, Tel Aviv, the E.U., the House of Saud, Jordan, and Egypt were all instrumental in the debasement of democracy amongst the Palestinians.   

In regards to Israel, Tel Aviv relishes calling itself a democracy in comparison to the Arabs, but claims that Israel is a democracy are also incorrect. Israel can best be characterized as an ethnocracy, which also embraces militarism and aspects of a theocracy. An ethnocratic state is a state where individual rights and state laws are based on ethnicity. Although Jews are not an ethnic group in the conventional sense, in Israel discrimination of non-Jewish Israelis is systematic and legal. Israeli Jewry and Israeli non-Jews do not have the same rights. For example, a non-Jewish Israeli citizen cannot marry someone from outside of Israel and live in Israel with them, but a Israeli Jew can. This type of discrimination is justified as legal “religious discrimination” to keep the so-called Jewish identity of Israel.

Washington’s Greater Middle East Project Will Not Materialize

If the Arab protesters are to make far-reaching changes they must persist with their demands and not back down. Nor can they ignore the role that foreign policy and economic factors play in their states.  This is essential in order for genuine changes/revolutions to take place and not bogus shows of democracy. The current transitional government in Tunis and the Egyptian military junta are continuations of the old regimes. They will either try to maintain power or wait until a “controlled opposition” takes power and “managed democracies” are established in Tunisia and Egypt.

All is not doom and gloom. The U.S. government and the Egyptian junta are not omnipotent powers either. They have limited strength. Nor can they control the lower ranks of the Egyptian military. Washington and the Egyptian generals have been worried about defection amongst the ranks of the junior officers and the non-commissioned members of the military.

A new reality is setting in. A new Middle East is coming, but it will be one that no one expects. Creative destruction and political manipulation can only go so far. What is certain is that the new Middle East will not be the one that Condoleezza Rice and Ehud Olmert bragged about when Israel was bombarding Lebanon in 2006. The U.S. establishment will eventually realize that humans cannot control chaos.

The Shifting Sands

All things are finite and no empire lasts forever. Rome’s empire fell and eventually somewhere down the road so will the global empire of the United States. Washington and its cohorts are now beginning to sink in the sands of the Middle East. The U.S. government has put the United States on the wrong side of history. If Mubarak was the modern pharaoh of Egypt, then on the world-stage the U.S. is the pharaoh. Washington too will eventually see disgrace if it does not listen to the growing chorus.

In Washington there is a belief that the Arab protests can be manipulated, but the sands are shifting. The people of the region have realized that people should not be afraid of their governments, their governments should be afraid of them. The Rome of today, Washington, has been stopped in its tracks in the lands of North Africa and Southwest Asia.

Revolution is underway in the petro-sheikhdom of Bahrain, while the U.S. and E.U. have been silent as the Bahraini military and foreign mercenaries with Saudi and Jordanian help have been unleashed on civilian protesters. The Palestinian people’s morale has been lifted and pressure is being put on Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which simply enforces the Israeli occupation in the West Bank. In Iraqi Kurdistan protests have started against Massoud Barzani and the Kurdistan Regional Government, which the U.S. and Britain have always tried to showcase as a model of Anglo-American success in Iraq. Protests have also broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Sudan, Iran, Turkey, and Libya. Yemen is rife with revolutionary fervour.

The bravery of the sons and daughters of Tunisia and Egypt have inspired and uplifted the Arabs as a whole and stirred the Turko-Arabo-Iranic World. Despite any attempts at managing these events, no one will be able to predict how they will play out. Still, one way or another, change will take shape.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes on the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

NOTES

[1] Adrian Croft, “U.S. sees Suez Canal closure as inconceivable,” eds. Peter Griffiths and Elizabeth Fullerton, Reuters, February 1, 2011.
[2] William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron’s Education Series, 2002), II.ii.44-45.
[3] Sarah El Deeb and Hamza Hendawi, “ElBaradei calls on Egyptian army to intervene,” Associated Press (AP), February 10, 2011.
[4] Hamza Hendawi, “Analysis: Military Coup was behind Mubarak’s exit,” Associated Press (AP), February 11, 2011.
[5] Ibid.
[6] “Tunisia calls up reserve troops amid unrest,” Associated Press (AP), February 7, 2011; Sofie Bouderbala, “Tunisian lawmakers approve emergency powers, Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 7, 2011; Kaouther Larbi, “Tunisia Senate grants leader wide powers,” Agence France-Presse (AFP), February 10, 2011.
[7] Philips Stewart, U.S. and Egyptian military chiefs meet in Washington,” ed. John O’Callaghan, Reuters, January 28, 2011; “Egypt general quits meeting to tend crisis at home,” Associated Press (AP), January 28, 2011.
[8] Elisabeth Bumiller, “Calling for Restraint, Pentagon Faces Test of Influence With Ally,” The New York Times, January 29, 2011.
[9] David E. Sanger, “Obama Presses Egypt’s Military on Democracy,” The New York Times, February, 2011, A7.
[10] Hamza Hendawi and Maggie Michael, “Egypt protestors throng square after violence, Associated Press (AP), February 4, 2011.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Bumiller, “Pentagon Faces Test,” Op. cit.

Korisni idioti i kolaps Srbije

February 21st, 2011 by Ljubomir Kljakić

Sažetak: Činjenica što današnja Srbija nema svoju strategiju, ali se zato u njoj dosledno sprovodi strategija za Srbiju, u ovom radu osvetljava se kao sistemska posledica bazičnog koncepta unutar koga su razvijene i od koga ne odstupaju sve (unutrašnje i spoljašnje) strategije koje su na snazi u današnjoj Srbiji. Taj bazični koncept jeste Velika Korporativna Strategija (imperijalna “vizija” o 21. stoleću kao još jednom “američkom veku” i SAD koje “deluju kao svetska vlada”) i svetska korporativna revolucija.

Sa svojom politikom globalne “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, ova svetska revolucija pokrenuta je 1979 – 1981. Glavni njen cilj bio je i ostao da ostvari Veliku Korporativnu Strategiju, suspenduje novovekovnu republiku sa njenim konstitutivnim načelom suverenog i slobodnog građanina i demokratskim ustanovama koje na tom načelu počivaju, i da uspostavi svetski korporativni poredak, odnosno imperijalni poredak novog feudalizma. Rezultati postignuti tokom četrdesetogodišnje istorije ideološkog, teorijskog i praktičnog uspostavljanja tog poretka upozoravaju da se sa ostvarenjem Velike Korporativne Strategije daleko stiglo. Nosilac imperijalnog suvereniteta u korporativnom poretku jeste svetski savez korporativne moći u kome američka liberalna oligarhija (Bilderberg, Savet za inostrane odnose i Projekat osamdesete, Trilateralna komisija, drugo) ima odlučujuću ulogu.

Deo svojih operativnih “nadležnosti” od značaja za neposredno upravljanje posebnim segmentima na velikoj sceni svetskih poslova (svetsko tržište, države, regionalne asocijacije država, međunarodne profesionalne i korporativne organizacije, drugo), ovaj nosilac korporativnog suvereniteta “delegira” svakoj onoj strukturi lokalne vlasti i moći čija je lojalnost prema suverenu najmanje podložna sumnji, uključujući ovde i lokalnu vlast i moć u SAD. Optimalni oblik takve vlasti i moći jeste režim “meke” okupacije koji u interesu suverena, na određenom prostoru, neposredno sprovodi i održava neka nekompetentna, nesamostalna i korumpirana lokalna oligarhija. Neophodnu unutrašnju koheziju i stabilnost svakog režima “meke” okupacije i lokalnog saveza moći koji ga lojalno sporovodi, obezbeđuju osobe kojima se zbog posebnih ličnih svojstava dodeljuju nominalno glavne uloge. To su korisni idioti (od gr. idiōtēs, lat. idiota, onaj ko je neupućen u javne poslove, ko se ne bavi politikom kao javnim poslom, nego radi za sebe i zbog sebe, onaj ko zasebno radi izvan zajednice, takođe onaj ko je neznalica, nekompetentna osoba).

Iako je svetska korporativna revolucija svoj vrhunac dostigla 1999 – 2001, iako je utopija o svetskom korporatiovnom poretku tada doživela inverziju u svetski poredak korporativne distopije, ipak lokalni vojnici ove propale revolucije u današnjoj Srbiji, upravo od 2001. pa do danas, i dalje sprovode njenu politiku “kontrolisane dezintegracije” i rade na velikom delu ostvarenja krajnjeg cilja Velike Korporativne Strategije – dizajniraju jednu “novu” Srbiju koja treba da postane integralni i lojalni deo idealno zamišljene svetske korporativne imperije. To je osnovni razlog zbog koga se današnja Srbija nalazi pred kolapsom, koji se, uostalom, možda već i dogodio. Sledstveno, ovi lokalni vojnici propale svetske revolucije jesu korisni idioti svetskog korporativnog poretka, poredak koji su uspostavili u današnjoj Srbiji jeste poredak korisnih idiota, a zastava pod kojom nastupaju i koja predstavlja privide koji se propagiraju kao strategije, jeste lažna zastava. Među brojnim činiocima koji utiču na takav tok stvari jesu i instituti tajne diplomatije i politike interesnih sfera sa svojom bogatom istorijom.

Zato je aktuelni položaj Republike Srbije strukturalno identična položaju koji je Kneževina, docnije Kraljevina Srbija, imala posle Berlinskog kongresa 1879. i 28. juna 1881. kada je potpisana tzv. Tajna konvencija sa Austro-Ugarskom. Matrica za zavisnu, kontrolisanu, zaostalu i nadziranu Srbiju koja je postavljena 1879 – 1981, danas je ponovo na sceni istorije. Ovdašnji korisni idioti u svemu su pristali na tu veliku reviziju i travestiju istorije. Shodno tome, unutar spoljašnjeg poretka korporativne distopije i unutrašnjeg poretka korisnih idiota, današnja Srbija nema prava na samostalnu unutrašnju i spoljašnju politiku, nema prava na sopstvenu razvojnu strategiju, pa konsekventno nema pravo ni na sopstvenu budućnost.

Ključne reči: strategija, Srbija, liberalna oligarhija, svetski savez korporativne moći, Velika Korporativna Strategija, svetska korporativna revolucija, kontrolisana dezintegracija, korisni idioti, lažna zastava, korporativna distopija, tajna diplomatija i politika interesnih sfera, Berlinski kongres 1878, Tajna konvencija 1881, revizija i travestija istorije, matrica zavisne, kontrolisane, zaostale i nadzirane Srbije.

1.

Zaista, ima li Srbija svoju strategiju?[1]

Nije jednostavno odgovoriti na ovo pitanje. Posebno kada znamo da strategija, izvorno vojni pojam (gr. στρατηγία, strategiaštab zapovednika vojske, vrhovna komanda armije, od gr. στρατηγός, strategosvrhovni zapovednik armije, general, kovanica od στρατός, stratosvojska, armija, domaćin, i άγός, agosvođa, starešina, zapovednik, izvedeno od άγω, ago – voditi), i danas znači ono isto što je značio i pre nešto više od 1.400 godina kada je pojam nastao i prvi put bio uveden u upotrebu – nauku i veštinu integrisanja i angažovanja svih društvenih, prirodnih, političkih, ekonomskih, naučnih, psiholoških, vojnih i drugih postojećih kapaciteta neke organizovane ljudske zajednice, u miru ili ratu, radi ostvarivanja izvesnog jasno određenog, opšte prihvaćenog, zajedničkog cilja u bližoj ili daljoj budućnosti.[2]

Poteškoće u ovom slučaju dodatno se uvećavaju kada se prisetimo da je sam pojam strategija nastao i prvi put počeo da se upotrebljava, zahvaljujući događajima koji su se pre nešto više od 1.400 godina odigravali upravo ovde, na centralnom Balkanu, gde danas tragamo za odgovorom na pitanje “ima li Srbija svoju strategiju?”

Pojam strategija nastao je, naime, krajem 6. veka sa ciljem da se unapredi i naučno zasnuje jedna tako kompleksna i zahtevna politička, vojna i ekonomska aktivnost kao što je to uspostavljanje i održavanje univerzalnog svetskog poretka na krajnjim istočnim i krajnjim severnim granicama tadašnje Rimske, odnosno Romejske imperije (Istočno rimsko carstvo, Vizantija). Vodeći dvadesetogodišnji permanetni rat protiv Persijanaca u Centralnoj Aziji, a protiv Slovena, Anta i Avara na Balkanu i Podunavlju, sa osloncem na instrumente rata koji se danas nazivaju asimetrično ratovanje, ovo zahtevno preduzeće uspostavljanja i održavanja imperijalnog poretka nastojao je tokom poslednje dve decenije 6. veka da sprovede imperator Mavrikije (gr. Φλάβιος Μαυρίκιος Τιβέριος Αὔγουστος, lat. Flavius Mauricius Tiberius Augustus, Flavije Mavrikije Tiberije Avgust, 539 – 602, na vlasti 582 – 602).[3]

Mavrikijevo carsko iskustvo stečeno u imperijalnim ratovima na Balkanu i Centralnoj Aziji, sistematizovano je, teorijski uopšteno i kodifikovano na stranicama 12 knjiga, odnosno poglavlja, rukom pisanog priručnika o vojnoj strategiji pod naslovom Στρατηγικόν, Strategikon, Стратегикон. Iako pitanje autora tog rada do danas nije dobilo zadovoljavjući odgovor, nema nikakve sumnje da je Strategikon veliko Mavrikijevo carsko zaveštanje.[4] Svima onima koji će ga u budućnosti naslediti na svakom prestolu svake buduće imperije, Mavrikije je ostavio dragocen katalog uputstava od značaja za uspostavljanje i održavanje svakog budućeg imperijalnog poretka. Istorija je potvrdila visoku vrednost tog zaveštanja. Tako je u 6. veku nastao pojam strategija i tako je počela duga istorija njegove upotrebe.[5]

U striktno vojnom smislu, značenje pojma strategija ostalo je nepromenjeno od Mavrikijevog vremena. I danas, vojna strategija označava dva od ukupno četiri nivoa ratne veštine (velika strategija ili skup političkih ciljeva koji treba da budu ostvareni, strategija, operatika, taktika).[6] Jedino što se dogodilo jeste da se tokom 20. veka proširio prostor primene tog pojma, pa se danas strategija koristi u praktično svim oblastima društvenog života – od upravljanja vojskom i državom, preko upravljanja velikim ekonomskim sistemima (nacionalna, regionalna, svetska ekonomija),[7] do poslovnog i korporativnog upravljanja.[8]

Imamo li sve ovo u vidu, posebno samo značenje pojma strategija, onda je više nego očigledno da u današnjoj Srbiji ne nailazimo na nauku ili veštinu integrisanja i angažovanja svih raspoloživih kapaciteta zajednice radi ostvarivanja nekog, opšte prihvaćenog, zajedničkog cilja. Naročito zbog toga što opšte prihvaćeni, zajednički cilj na čijem su ostvarenju integrisani i angažovani svi raspoloživi potencijali zajednice nikako ne može biti ono što danas svi vide i osećaju – potpuni kolaps Srbije kao veoma verovatna, gotovo izvesna, perspektiva ove Republike u roku ne dužem od naredne dve godine. Tekući događaji i alarmantno stanje društvenih činjenica opominju na verovatnoću takvog ishoda. Sledstveno, o nekoj strategiji za koju bi se moglo reći da jeste strategija današnje Srbije ne može biti ni govora.

Zaključak da u današnjoj Srbiji nema ni traga od od njene sopstvene strategije ne ostaje bez valjane argumentacije čak i pod pretpostavkom, uostalom osnovanom, da tekući događaji i alarmantno stanje društvenih činjenica ukazuju da se kolaps Srbije uveliko odigrava, da se zapravo već i dogodio,[9] a da mi, kao savremenici i učesnici, budući lišeni one istorijske distance sa koje se stvari mnogo bolje i mnogo jasnije vide, još nismo svesni tog kataklizmičkog ishoda. Ne bi to bio prvi put u istoriji da savremenici i učesnici budu i poslednji koji su saznali u čemu su učestvovali, dokle su stigli i šta ih je snašlo.

Na osnovu svega, sledi li negativan odgovor na naše pitanje? Današnja Srbija, dakle, nema svoju strategiju?

2.

Ipak, i pre nego što odgovorimo potvrdno, treba da razmotrimo takođe tvrdu činjenicu da je, na haotičnoj peni talasa događajne istorije, ovdašnja vladajuća nomenklatura (političke partije na vlasti i opoziciji, Narodna skupština, Vlada, svako ministarstvo pojedinačno, predsednik Republike, brojna “nezavisna” regulatorna tela, međunarodne i domaće korporarativne asocijacije i komore, korporacije i banke, “civilni sektor” sa svojom mrežom “nevladinih organizacija”, druge ustanove, pojedici), samo tokom protekle decenije, ponudila građanima Republike više desetina, čak i više stotina, dokumenata koji se predstavljaju i propagiraju kao sopstvene, opšte ili posebne, razvojne strategije (revolucionarna transformacija Srbije kao apsolutna dezintegracija, deregulacija i privatizacija svih ljudskih, prirodnih i privrednih resursa zajednice; posebne radikalne “reforme” konstitucionalne, zakonske i političke organizacije društva i države, privrede, finansijskog i bankarskog sistema, poljoprivrede, zdravstvene i socijalne zaštite, sistema bezbednosti, odbrane i vojske, obrazovanja, pravosuđa, nauke, telekomunikacija, prostornog planiranja, populacione politike, kulture, svakidašnjeg života i dalje, redom).

Tako su, na primer, samo na službenoj internet stranici Vlade RS, u prvoj nedelji decembra 2010. godine, bila dostupna čak 83 (i slovima, osamdesetitri) važeća dokumenta koji su predstavljeni kao strategije.[10] Među njima, naročito se ističu dve opšte razvojne strategije. Reč je, prvo, o Nacionalnoj strategiji privrednog razvoja Srbije 2006 – 2012,[11] koju je 9. novembra 2006, usvojila praktično tehnička Vlada RS (opšti parlamentarni izbori, naime, raspisani su već sutradan, 10. novembra 2006) i drugo, reč je o Strategiji održivog razvoja Republike Srbije od 2008. do 2018, koju je sledeća tehnička Vlada RS usvojila 9. maja 2008. [12]

Pored ove 83 (i slovima, osamdesetitri) važeće Vladine strategije iz prve nedelje decembra, još jedan dokument predstavljen kao strategija ponuđen je Srbiji samo desetak dana docnije. Reč je o kratkom dokumentu pod naslovom Srbija 2020. Koncept razvoja Srbije do 2020. godine. Taj dokument,  kao najnoviju partijsku, ali još više kao svoju ličnu “viziju” naše budućnosti, uveo je u javni život Boris Tadić, predsednik vladajuće Demokratske partije na izbornoj skupštini ove organizacije, 18. decembra 2010.[13]

Strategija vladajuće Demokratske partije koju je kao svoju ličnu “viziju” predstavio i podržao Boris Tadić, njen predsednik, već dva dana kasnije dobila je podršku i Borisa Tadića, predsednika Republike.[14]

Četiri dana posle predsednika vladajuće Demokratske partije i dva dana posle predsednika Republike, dr Mirko Cvetković, predsednik Vlade, lojalni “saputnik” vladajuće Demokratske partije i Božidar Đelić, jedan od potpredsednika Vlade i jedan od najuticajnijih članova vladajuće Demokratske partije, obojica sa bogatim desetogodišnjim iskustvom u administriranju privredom, finansijama i drugim vitalnim sektorima Srbije, sa primerenim entuzijazmom, podržali su podršku koju je Boris Tadić, u obe svoje uloge, dao tom dokumentu. Istom prilikom, kao visoki državni i partijski službenici, takođe i kao članovi grupe “eksperata” Demokratske partije koji su napisali Srbiju 2020, Cvetković i Đelić pozvali su zainteresovane da uzmu učešće u “javnoj raspravi” o toj “viziji”.

Iako “viziju” sama Vlada nije razmatrala, pa je sledstveno nije mogla ni usvojiti kao vlastiti “nacrt za javnu raspravu”, ipak je Srbija 2020 istog dana osvanula i na Vladinoj službenoj internet stranici.[15] Dva dana posle postavljanja Srbije 2020. na internet stranicu Vlade, sumnju u pogledu njene svrsishodnosti, izrazio je Mlađan Dinkić, takođe nadležan za administriranje finansijama i privredom Srbije u svim vladama za proteklih deset godina (prvo kao guverner NBS, zatim i kao ministar), danas takođe potpredsednik Vlade, istovremeno i ministar za ekonomiju i regionalni razvoj, predsednik takođe vladajuće partije G17, ali i predsednik faktički opozicione asocijacije Ujedinjeni regioni Srbije.[16]

Tako je u decembru 2010, otpočeli još jedna “javna rasprava” o još jednoj strategiji, čiji je broj, kao što se vidi, za samo desetak dana, porastao na 84 (i slovima: osamdesetičetiri) važeće strategije koja se mogu naći na službenom sajtu Vlade RS.

Ako ovoj impresivnoj zbirci od 84 (i slovima: osamdesetičetiri) vladine strategije priključimo i sve one desetine i stotine različititih dokumenata posebne ili opšte namene koji se takođe propagiraju kao strategije, koje su kao svoje “vizije” i preporuke političkoj nomenklaturi i građanima Republike (strategija spoljne politike, decentralizacije i regionalizacije, vojno-civilnih odnosa, evroatlantskih integracija, članstva u NATO, strategija za mlade… i tako dalje), potpisale brojne od onih više stotina (i hiljada) registrovanih nevladinih organizacija,[17] često u simbiozi sa samom Vladom,[18] videćemo da je današnju Srbiju preplavio i poplavio ogromni unutrašnji talas od više stotina najrazličitijih strategija.

Premda veoma diskretno i sasvim nenametljivo, gotovo stidljivo, snazi i dinamici ove unutrašnje poplave spektakularnih razmera koja je zadesila Srbiju, nemerljiv doprinos daju i mnogobrojne, javnosti praktično nepoznate, strategije međunarodnih i lokalnih korporacija, međunarodnih i lokalnih korporativnih asocijacija, naročito međunarodnih banaka, kao i međunarodnih i lokalnih organizacija industrije kriminala koje neposredno deluju u Srbiji ili u njoj imaju svoje poslovne interese.[19]

Najzad, čitavu ovu sliku uokviruju brojne spoljašnje strategije koje u odnosu na današnju Srbiju, direktno ili preko svojih akreditovanih predstavnika, nastoje da sprovedu zainteresovane države, kao i vojne, političke, ekonomske, propagandne, obaveštajne, religiozne… međunarodne organizacije i asocijacije – SAD, NATO, EU, MMF, Svetska banka, Banka za međunarodna poravnanja, Evropska centralna banka, Evropska banka za obnovu i razvoj, Svetska zdravstvena organizacija… i tako dalje.

Kao dobra ilustracija u ovoj stvari, može da posluži kancelarija Agencije za međunarodni razvoj SAD u Srbiji (U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID). Na službenom sajtu ove organizacije, samo u okviru Projekta za razvoj konkurentnosti Srbije dostupno je, ako sam dobro prebrojao, čak 190 dokumenata.[20] U njima, razrađuju se neki specifični elementi strategije za Srbiju vlade SAD,[21]  odnosno danas važeće Vizije Obamine administracije za Jugoistočnu Evropu, The Obama Administration’s Vision for Southeastern Europe.[22]

Kada sve ovo saberemo, onda osnovano možemo da pretpostavimo kako je današnja Srbija zemlja koja se u svetskim razmerama može podičiti sa možda  najvećim brojem pojedinačnih strategija po glavi stanovnika. Sledi li otuda zaključak da nam ovo iznenađujuće svojstvo naše društvene stvarnosti daje dovoljno argumenata na osnovu kojih se na pitanje “ima li Srbija svoju strategiju” može odgovoriti potvrdno? Srbija, dakle, ima svoju strategiju?

Potvrdan odgovor na ovo pitanje značio bi da je makar jedan od više desetina i stotina dokumenata koji se u Srbiji predstavljaju kao strategije u saglasnosti sa značenjem samog pojma strategija. Nevolja je, međutim, u tome što takav primer ne postoji. Drugim rečima, ni jedna od ovih strategija nije u saglasnosti sa značenjem samog pojma. Ni u jednoj od strategija na sceni ne prepoznajemo “nauku ili veštinu integrisanja i angažovanja svih društvenih, prirodnih, političkih, ekonomskih, naučnih, psiholoških, vojnih i drugih postojećih kapaciteta neke organizovane ljudske zajednice, u miru ili ratu, radi ostvarivanja izvesnog jasno određenog, opšte prihvaćenog, zajedničkog cilja u bližoj ili daljoj budućnosti”.

Srbija, dakle, nema svoju strategiju. To što nema svoju, ne znači, međutim, da nema nikakvu. Postoji, naime, strategija za Srbiju. Kao što je već pokazano, ovo potvrđuje Vizija Obamine administracije za Jugoistočnu Evropu i operativno sprovođenje tog programa na čemu rade USAID, druge agencije vlade SAD, korporacije, kao i korporativne fondacije iz te zemlje akreditovane u Srbiji. Razume se, postoje i drugi srodni primeri.[23]

3.

Ipak, postojanje strategije za Srbiju najuverljivije potvrđuje dramatičan raskorak između proklamovanih ciljeva dokumenata koji se u današnjoj Srbiji propagiraju kao njene vlastite strategije i stvarnog stanja društvenih prilika na čije poboljšanje i unapređivanje ove strategije navodno treba da utiču. Nepremostiva provalija deli ova dva sveta, stvarni svet stvarnih ljudi i svet prividâ koje nazivaju strategijama. Što su deklarisani ciljevi ovdašnjih unutrašnjih strategija postavljeni više i ambicioznije, to se u stvarnom životu više i brže urušava, dezintegriše i razara celokupna socijalna struktura. Ove činjenice dobro su poznate.[24] Ali, ipak, da navedem i jedan veoma upečatljiv primer.

Sa naslovom Posao za 750.000 ljudi!, i podnaslovom Do kraja 2012. investiraće se 60 milijardi dolara, posao će dobiti 750.000 ljudi, a bruto dohodak će dostići oko 6.500 dolara po stanovniku!, dnevnik Politika je na dan 11. novembra 2006, predstavio Nacionalnu strategiju privrednog razvoja Srbije za period 2006 – 2012. godine, koju je 9. novembra 2006. usvojila, tada već faktički tehnička Vlada RS. Na početku tog novinskog izveštaja, kaže se: 

“U narednih šest godina u Srbiju će ukupno biti uloženo oko 60 milijardi dolara, a zahvaljujući prosečnoj stopi rasta bruto društvenog proizvoda (BDP) od sedam odsto, umesto 5,5 procenata, bruto dohodak po stanovniku iznosiće najmanje 6.500 dolara. Ovo su samo neki elementi iz Nacionalne strategije privrednog razvoja Srbije za period 2006 – 2012. godine, koju je na poslednjoj sednici usvojila Vlada Srbije.

“Kako napominje dr Edvard Jakopin, direktor Republičkog zavoda za razvoj, jedan od učesnika u izradi strategije, značaj ovog dokumenta ogleda se ne samo u tome što treba da ubrza privredni rast već i u činjenici da je u Srbiji sličan dokument poslednji put bio usvojen pre 21 godine. Negativne posledice nepostojanja strategije tokom protekle dve decenije bile su veoma vidljive.

“Nacionalna strategija privrednog razvoja nije sektorska, granska ili neka parcijalna analiza, već jedna vrsta nacionalnog kišobrana pod kojim su sve oblasti, sve strategije, a ima ih više od 30 – ističe Jakopin. – U njoj je ‘skenirana’ ekonomska situacija u Srbiji i određeni prioriteti države do 2012. godine, sa osnovnim ciljem da dođemo u predvorje Evropske unije.”

Na kraju, kaže se još i ovo:

“Autori Nacionalne strategije privrednog razvoja računaju da će Srbija u narednih šest godina dostići vrednost BDP koji je imala početkom devedesetih godina prošlog veka, a koji sada iznosi samo 60 odsto ondašnjeg nivoa. Tako bi se maksimalno približili proseku deset novoprimljenih članica EU. Inače, sada srpski BDP čini 40 odsto proseka tih deset zemalja, ali je, za utehu, ipak veći od BDP-a Rumunije i Bugarske. Kako ‘nova evropska desetorka’ predstavlja nehomogenu grupu zemalja, u kojoj prednjače Kipar, Malta i Slovenija, računa se da ćemo 2012. godine dostići 60 odsto proseka njihovog BDP-a.

“Studija je rađena po evropskim pravilima, bez obzira na to kada će Srbija postati članica EU.

“Građane Srbije najviše će zanimati šta će biti sa njihovim standardom u narednih šest godina, ali i koliko će u narednom periodu moći da nađe posao. Prema procenama u Nacionalnoj strategiji, do kraja 2012. zaposliće se oko 750.000 ljudi, a mnogi od njih će drugoj fazi tranzicije preći iz društvenog u privatni sektor. Ohrabruje i pretpostavka da će očekivane veće stope rasta BDP-a, omogućiti i brži rast standarda. Smatra se veoma realnom procena da će nam bruto društveni proizvod po stanovniku 2012. dostići oko 7.000 dolara.” [25]

U izradi dokumenta koji je ovako predstavila Politika, “učestvovalo je preko dvadeset stručnjaka i dva konsultanta iz EU u koordinaciji Ekonomskog instituta i Republičkog zavoda za razvoj”, pojasnio je tada za publiku dr. Jurij Bajec, jedan od autora ove Nacionalne strategije privrednog razvoja Srbije za period 2006 – 2012. godine, danas ekonomski savetnik predsednika Vlade RS.[26]

Međutim, samo četiri godine od usvajanja, ova Nacionalna strategija privrednog razvoja Srbije za period 2006 – 2012. godine, iako formalno još važeća, danas je sasvim zaboravljeni dokument, njeni euforično najavljivani visoki ciljevi nestali su kao da ih nikada nije ni bilo, dok se stvarni svet stvarnih ljudi očekivano uspešno profilisao i profiliše po obrascu ubrzane dezintegracije, erozije, urušavanja i entropija celokupne socijalne strukture. 

“Prema podacima RZS-a… u oktobru (2010 – prim. LJ. K.) je industrijska proizvodnja bila za 2,9% manja nego u oktobru 2009. godine, pri čemu je proizvodnja prerađivačke industrije smanjena za 3,6%.

“…Posmatrano u desezoniranoj seriji, pad koji se dogodio u oktobru uporediv je samo sa padom proizvodnje u decembru 2008. godine i u januaru 2009. godine. Da se ne vraćamo dalje u prošlost poput uvođenja sankcija UN i NATO bombardovanja.

“U odnosu na januar 2008. godine, desezonirani indeks prerađivačke industrije manji je tačno za 20%.” [27]

I još:

“A jezikom mrske statistike privreda Srbije, ako se tako uopšte može nazvati to jada što je od nje ostalo, izgleda ovako: 90.000 preduzeća završilo je prošlu godinu (2009 – prim. LJ. K.) sa gubicima oko 373 milijarde dinara ili devet odsto više od prethodne godine. Od gubitka privrede koji je 1994. iznosio 3,8 milijarde dinara uspeli smo da nazidamo gubitak od 1.606 milijardi dinara, od čega oko 500 milijardi dinara predstavlja potpuni gubitak sopstvenog kapitala u preduzećima. U blokadi je oko 64.000 preduzeća i preduzetničkih radnji. Oko 13.000 preduzeća je nerazvrstano i najverovatnije fantomski deluju perući novac i robu. U ovim preduzećima vodi se kao zaposleno oko 144.000 radnika. Na kraju 2009. imovina naše privrede vredela je 5.442 milijarde dinara. Sopstveni kapital, umanjen za kumulirane gubitke, bio je 3.539 milijardi dinara. To znači da nedostaje sopstveni kapital vredan oko 1.883 milijarde dinara.

“Zalihe od 1.064 milijade dinara finansirane su pogubnim kratkoročnim pozajmicama. Prošlu godinu pozitivan bilans je imalo 51.000 preduzeća dok je sa minusom poslovalo čak 31.260 preduzeća sa ukupnim gubitkom 95,7 milijardi dinara; gubici su veći za 120 odsto od prošle godine.

“Ništa nije manje sumorna slika o broju zaposlenih u preduzećima: 20.000 preduzeća nema nijednog zaposlenog radnika, 21.000 ima samo jednog radnika, 13.000 je nerazvrstano. Čak 80 odsto preduzeća ima manje od 10 zaposlenih radnika…

“…Srpska privreda je dužna i Bogu i narodu. Duguje između sebe, duguje domaćim i stranim bankama, duguje i potražuje od države a opstaje zahvaljujući intravenoznom upumpavanju subvencionisanih kredita za likvidnost. Oni će obezbediti preživljavanje u vremenu krize ali ne i normalan privredni život. Privreda Srbije se ne može oporaviti jer nema šta da se oporavi…

“Statistička istina je jako mrska i mnogi je političari ne žele videti i građanima obznaniti. Zbog toga ćemo još dugo biti taoci ‘loše beskonačnosti’ koji će činiti ekonomski negativni trendovi. Jednom ćemo morati reći zašto smo tu gde jesmo jer dalje nećemo moći dok ne prođemo kroz senku sopstvenih obmana. Ovo danas je život u iluzijama. Na to ima pravo pojedinac ali nikako oni koji vode državu.”[28]

Brojni su i drugi pouzdani izvori koji se mogu konsultovati u ovoj stvari.[29] Uostalom, reći danas da je Srbija u dubokoj krizi i pred kolapsom koji se odigrava ili se možda već i dogodio, isto je što i otkriti da je voda mokra. Bez ikakvog napora, svako vidi i na vlastitoj koži oseća posledice nepremostive provalije koja razdvaja stvarni svet stvarnih ljudi i svet prividâ koje ovde nazivaju strategijama. Isto tako, svako može videti da su razmere i brzina urušavanja, dezintegrisanja i razaranja celokupne socijalne strukture zajednice upravno srazmerni sa iskazanim ambicijama i visinom deklarisanih ciljeva ovdašnjih strategija društvenog razvoja. 

 

4.

Iako ovde imamo posla sa relacijom međuzavisnosti koja je na prvi pogled paradoksalna, ipak nije reč o paradoksu. Reč je o načelno neminovnoj i neizbežnoj, sledstveno nimalo paradoksalnoj, sistemskoj posledici bazičnog koncepta na kome sve ove unutrašnje strategije počivaju i od koga ne odstupaju. Upravo taj bazični koncept jeste ona jedna i jedina delotvorna strategija koja se u današnjoj Srbiji zaista sprovodi i to punom snagom, bez ostatka, bez obzira na cenu i sa ogromnim uspehom –  to je strategija za Srbiju.

Naime, i kao što je poznato, sve strategije u današnjoj Srbiji, unutrašnje i spoljašnje, postavljene su i razvijene unutar gvozdenih koordinata formalno ne proglašene, ali od 1979 – 1981, kada je ono “neo – ‘liberalno’ ludilo Margaret Tačer i Ronalda Regana”,[30] počelo da se širi po čitavom svetu, faktički pokrenute svetske korporativne revolucije.

Ova revolucija pokrenuta je i odvija se u skladu sa Velikom Korporativnom Strategijom – ambicioznom, veoma korporativnom, takođe i veoma patriotskom, razumljivo imperijalnom “vizijom” o 21. stoleću kao još jednom “američkom veku”.[31] Zauzimajući mesto na samom vrhu hijerarhije moći i vlasti u SAD, sa svim materijalnim i ljudskim resursima koji su joj na raspolaganju, profilisana tokom tzv. “hladnog rata”, ukorenjena unutar opšte imperijalne tradicije, a posebno unutar anglo-američke imperijalne tradicije kao njen legitimni istorijski naslednik, sa osloncem na gusto isprepletanu mrežu uticajâ pojedinaca, porodica, grupa, državnih institucija, korporacija, klijentalističkih država i banaka svetskog saveza korporativne moći u kome igra glavnu ulogu, američka korporativna oligarhija, u ovom slučaju njena “liberalna” frakcija, “liberalna oligarhija”,[32] kako kaže Kastorijadis, bila je ona snaga koja je postavila i ovu Veliku Korporativnu Strategiju (ciljevi, sredstva, dinamika, vođstvo) i pokrenula ovu svetsku korporativnu revoluciju.

Konačni cilj ove “vizije” bio je (i ostao) da se SAD do 2050. godine uspostave, potvrde i održe kao svetska super sila koja, kako to veruju ideolozi ove “vizije” i kao što misli Majkl Mandelbaum, takođe jedan od ideologa, danas jedina na planeti poseduje “ordungsmacht, moć da tvori poredak”,[33] stoga i moć da širom sveta”deluje kao svetska vlada”,[34] da kao “dobri Samarićanin”, legalno i legitimno, milom ili silom, uvodi, održava i obezbeđuje unutrašnji korporativni poredak SAD kao spoljašnji, svetski poredak (tzv. novi svetski poredak) i da čitav svet integriše u ovu svoju “demokratsku” i “liberalnu” korporativnu imperiju. Neprikosnovena na samom vrhu piramide moći Amerike koja “deluje kao svetska vlada”, ovom imperijom upravlja i treba da upravlja njena korporativna oligarhija.

Pokazalo se, međutim, da ovu “viziju” o “sledećem američkom veku” i Americi koja “deluje kao svetska vlada”, niti je lako, niti je moguće ostvariti. Ispostavilo se da je sama istorija nepremostiva prepreka na putu ostvarenja tog velikog sna. Naime, svetska korporativna revolucija, punom snagom pokrenuta 1979 – 1981, dostigla je vrhunac svoje ekspanzije već dve decenije kasnije, 1999 – 2001. Neponovljivi skup događaja trajno je obeležio taj istorijski “trenutak” – rat SAD i NATO protiv SR Jugoslavije, odnosno Srbije od 24. marta do 10. juna 1999; operacija “novi Perl Harbur” izvedena u Njujorku, Vašingtonu i Pensilvaniji, 11. septembra 2001; ova operacija odmah je u SAD, istovremeno u EU, poslužila kao opravdanje za uspostavljanje unutrašnjeg sistema preventivnog nadzora, totalne kontrole i organičavanja ljudskih sloboda; istovremeno operacija “novi Perl Harbur” uzeta je kao casus belli za proglašenje američkog rata kao beskrajnog “rata protiv globalnog terorizma”; već 7. oktobra 2001, otpočela je invazija američkih trupa na Avganistan, a beskrajni, prostorno neograničeni “rat protiv globalnog terorizma” bio je pokrenut; tokom deset godina, ovaj rat toliko je eskalirao (Avganistan, Irak, Pakistan, Jemen, drugo) da mu se kraj ni ne nazire.

Do tada usporavan primenom različitih tehnika unutrašnjeg i spoljašnjeg amortizovanja strukturalne krize, a posebno primenom tehnika indukovanja krize i njenog “prelivanja” u prekomorske, naročito nerazvijene zemlje, u zemlje istočne i zapadne Evrope, najzad i na tzv. srednju klasu u samim SAD, proces opadanja i urušavanja moći Sjedinjenih država kao samoproglašene globalne super sile, ne samo da se ubrzao posle ovih događaja 1999 – 2001, nego je postao nepovratan. Danas, deset godina docnije, pred našim očima smenjuju se spektakularni prizori opadanja, dezintegrisanja, urušavanja, neuspeha i faktičkog sloma Velike Korporativne Strategije i njenog programa svetske korporativne revolucije.

Duboka kriza svetskih finansija, praćena dramatičnim rastom nezaposlenosti i takođe dramatičnim rastom siromaštva u SAD i EU, koja je 2007 – 2008. pokrenuta iz SAD, a 2008 – 2010. nastavila da se odvija bez ikakvih izgleda da unutar postojećih parametara bude sanirana (posebni slučajevi Grčke, Ujedinjenog kraljevstva, Islanda, Irske, Španije, Portugalije, Italije, Belgije, Mađarske, Rumunije, Bugarske, Francuske, ali pre svih njih slučaj samih SAD,[35] kao i slučaj Nemačke i konstrukta poznatog kao Evrozona[36]), nije samo potvrdila ovaj trend opadanja, dezintegrisanja, urušavanja, i sledstvenog sloma programa svetske korporativne revolucije, nego ga je samo dodatno osnažila i ubrzala njegovu dinamiku. Tako govore činjenice.

Međutim, upravo tokom protekle decenije, od 2001. do danas, ovdašnji lokalni vojnici ove propale svetske revolucije, uprkos činjenicama života i uprkos zdravom razumu, bez ostatka i sasvim neinteligentno odani njenim dogmama i proklamacijama, danonoćno, samopregorno i požrtvovano, kao da se ništa nije dogodilo, i dalje rade na velikom delu ostvarenja konačnog cilja Velike Korporativne Strategije – na uspostavljanju korporativnog poretka (i) u Republici Srbiji.

Nepokolebljivi i nezaustavljivi u svojoj slepoj veri u Veliku Korporativnu Strategiju, lokalni vojnici propale svetske revolucije nastupaju pred ovdašnjom javnošću pod zastavom papirnatih privida koji se ovde propagiraju kao strategije. Ova njihova zastava je lažna zastava. Jer, upravo pod tom i takvom zastavom, tvrdeći da rade nešto drugo, ovdašnji vojnici korporativne revolucije rade ono što od građana Srbije kriju kao zmija noge – na štetu Srbije i njenih građana disciplinovano sprovode onu stvarnu, jednu i jedinu, strategiju za Srbiju. A to znači da dizajniraju jednu “novu” Srbiju koja treba da postane integralni i apsolutno lojalni deo idealno zamišljene svetske korporativne imperije.

Trenutno, oni su sve svoje snage usmerili na ispunjavanje najvažnijeg prethodnog uslova koji mora biti zadovoljen kako bi idealno zamišljeni korporativni poredak strategije za Srbiju uopšte mogao da bude uspostavljen. Taj prethodni uslov jeste ostvarenje programa “slamanje nacije – izgradnja nacije”, “breaking the nation – building the nation”.[37]

U posebnom slučaju Srbije, to znači da ova današnja, istorijski zatečena, odnosno “stara” Srbija, mora biti radikalno deregulisana, dezintegrisana, poništena i najzad pretvorena u privatizovani prazni prostor na kome se, posle tog velikog postignuća “slamanja nacije”, mirno može prionuti na još veći posao “izgradnje nacije” jedne “nove” Srbije. “Čisti”, idealno zamišljeni korporativni poredak (sa ili bez Srba, kao što je to već neko rekao), može se uspostaviti tek u toj i takvoj “novoj” Srbiji.

Zato i zastava pod kojom i dalje odlučno i neumoljivo marširaju naši lokalni vojnici (propale) svetske korporativne revolucije ima samo jednu funkciju – da od građana Srbije sakrije smisao i krajnji cilj onoga što se zaista dešava u Srbiji i sa Srbijom. A to je privatizacija celokupnog društvenog bogatstva i na njoj zasnovana sveopšta banalizacija i vulgarizacija svih javnih poslova, jedno društvo zasnovano na krađi, laži i manipulaciji, permanetna prodaja roga za sveću i beskrajno prenošenje žednog preko hladne vode. Ovo sistemsko i plansko dezintegrisanje, devastiranje, urušavanje, destruiranje i poništavanje Srbije sakriveno je ispod zastave koja simbolizuje sve ovdašnje strategije. Sledstveno, to je lažna zastava.

Nesumnjiva je unutrašnja logika takvog stanja stvari. Naime, na desetine i na stotine ovdašnjih unutrašnjih strategija, kao i lažna zastava koja ih simbolizuje, pripadaju kolekciji ideoloških i praktičnih instrumenata za “kontrolisanu dezintegraciju”, “controlled disintegration”. Reč je modelu upravljanja društvenim procesima koji omogućava optimalne rezultate u svakom od pojedinačnih slučajeva “slamanja nacije”. Politika “kontrolisane dezintegracije” jeste unutrašnje jezgro strategije za Srbiju. Istovremeno, “kontrolisana dezintegracija” jeste i smisao strategije za Srbiju, njen glavni cilj i njen glavni operativni instrument. To je centralni problem sa kojim u ovoj zemlji danas imamo posla.[38]

 

5.

 

Politika “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, “controlled disintegration”, koncipirana je i najavljena u SAD, krajem šezdesetih i tokom sedamdesetih godina 20. veka.

Bio je to onaj istorijski “trenutak” kada su glavni akteri na sceni svetskih poslova tog vremena (Prvi svet, Drugi svet, Treći svet – Vašington, Moskva, Beograd) shvatili da je “svetska revolucija 1968″ nepovratno uzdrmala poredak sveta ustanovljen posle Drugog svetskog rata. Postalo je očigledno da je taj poredak na izdisaju, a da globalna strukturalna kriza nije samo još jedna od kriza 19. i 20. veka, nego da predstavlja oblik istorijske demisije dotadašnjeg svetskog (kapitalističkog) sistema. Sledstveno, opšti zaključak bio je da su neophodna takva rešenja koja bi u neposrednoj i daljoj budućnosti na najmanju moguću meru umanjila rizike i štetu od takvog toka stvari. 

Ranije, i na drugom mestu, opširnije sam pisao o  sklopu i ishodu tih događaja.[39]

Unutar ovog istorijskog ambijenta, postavljena je i Velika Korporativna Strategija. Reč je o kompleksnom, sofisticiranom i ofanzivnom odgovoru vladajuće korporativne oligarhije SAD na unutrašnju i spoljašnju krizu. Taj odgovor čvrsto se oslanja na model liberalnog imperijalizma koji je između 1904. i 1919. godine postavio engleski geograf Halford Džon Makinder (Halford John Mackinder, 1861 – 1947),[40] istinski naslednik Ričarda Heklvita (Richard Hakluyt, 1552 или 1553 – 1616) na Univerzitetu Oksford[41] i direktor Londonske škole za ekonomiju i političke nauke (London School of Economics and Political Science), osnivač moderne geopolitike i geostrategije (Geografska osovina istorije, Svetski okean, Svetsko ostrvo ili Veliki kontinent, Srce zemlje, Velika igra, Dugi rat, Imperija), jedan od utemeljivača doktrine atlantskog, odnosno anglo-američkog liberalnog imperijalizma.[42] Takva, Velika Korporativna Strategija predstavljena je tokom sedamdesetih godina 20. veka kao strateški korpus načelâ i praktičnih politikâ za ostvarenje korporativne “vizije” o još jednom “američkom veku”. Drugim rečima, Velika Korporativna Strategija imala je da osigura globalnu dominaciju SAD, odnosno vladajuće korporativne oligarhije te zemlje, do 2050. godine. 

Ostvarenje tako visoko postavljenog cilja mogla je da osigura samo jedna svetska revolucija,  teorijski i ideološki dobro utemeljena i organizovana, sa neograničenim sredstvima na raspolaganju, pokrenuta u pravom “trenutku” i bezkompromisno vođena. I, zaista, između 1968. i 1973, liberalna frakcija američke korporativne oligarhije, delujući iz samog središta na vrhu ove piramide moći, istovremeno je najavila “drugu američku revoluciju kao drugu svetsku revoluciju” i pokrenula obimne radove na teorijskom, ideološkom i praktičnom utemeljenju njene Velike Korporativne Strategije. [43] 

Sa istorijske distance od preko četrdeset godina, danas se jasno vidi da su u samom epicentru ovih događaja naročito značajne uloge odigrala trojica savremenih “graditelja imperije” – Dejvid D. Rokfeler, Henri Alfred Kisindžer i Zbignjev Kazimir Bžežinski.

Dejvid D. Rokfeler, najmlađi sin Džona D. Rokfelera Mlađeg, unuk Džona D. Rokfelera Starijeg, brat Ebi, Džona Trećeg, Nelsona, Lorensa i Vintropa, predsednik Čejz Menheten banke (Chase Manhettan Bank), takođe nosilac mnogobrojnih drugih prestižnih titula, jedan od američkih osnivača Grupe Bilderberg, od 1970. predsednik Saveta za inostrane odnose (Council on Foreign Relations, CFR), bio je u tom času nesumnjivo najmoćniji i najuticajniji pripadnik liberalne frakcije američke i svetske korporativne oligarhije.[44]

 

6.

Da se nešto dešava, nije ostalo nezapaženo ni među glavim protagonistima tadašnje međunarodne kritičke javnosti. O tome svedoči pismo koje su Noam Čomski, Vladimir Dedijer i Žan Pol Sartr objavili 30. decembra 1971, u Njujorškoj književnoj reviji. Evo tog dokumenta:

“Uredništvu,

“Bič sfera uticaja proganja svet još od navale modernog imperijalizma, pre stotinu godina. Tokom ovog perioda, isprekidanog talasima masovnih nasilnih smrti, praćenih pauperizacijom na globalnom nivou, imperijalističke sile su putem tajne diplomatije, koja se sprovodi iza zatvorenih vrata, periodično zaključivale ugovore o podeli sfera uticaja.

“One su donosile odluke od vitalnog značaja za sudbinu trećih strana, naročito kada je reč o kolonijalnim i pokorenim narodima, bez njihovog znanja i protiv njihovih osnovnih interesa, tretirajući ih kao objekte, a ne kao subjekte međunarodnih odnosa.

“Tokom doba imperijalizma, instrument sfera uticaja primenjivan je na sve široj skali. Prvi takav sporazum o podeli na interesne sfere zaključen je u Berlinu 1884, kada su samo afričke kolonije bile predmet imperijalističke pohlepe. U Prvom svetskom ratu, plen pobedničkih velikih sila bio je pažljivo seciran u Londonskom ugovoru iz 1915. i drugim sličnim tajnim sporazumima. I u Drugom svetskom ratu, kroz konferencije u Teheranu, Jalti i Potsdamu, veći deo Evrope i Azije postao je žrtva takvih pljačkaških metoda. Ovoga puta, čak je i Francuska, koja je i sama bila vodeći partner u ranijim eksploatatorskim sporazumima, podelila ovu sudbinu.

“Pojedinačne supersile odnose se prema ‘svojim sferama uticaja’ kao prema svom lovištu. Veliki talas samoopredeljenja od poslednjeg svetskog rata, doveo je do pada nekoliko kolonijalnih imperija, ali je, zbog pritiska supersila, neokolonijalizam na svim kontinentima, učinio da nezavisnost mnogih naroda i bivših kolonija bude samo nominalna.

“Poslednjih godina svog života, zgađen licemerjem institucionalizovanih organa svetskog javnog mnjenja i svestan zahteva zabrinutih ljudi širom sveta da nešto mora da se uradi, Bertrand Rasel je inicirao formiranje Tribunala za ratne zločine radi istraživanja ratnih zločina u Vijetnamu. I poslednjih meseci svog života, on je osetio da se u svetu uspostavlja nova ravnoteža moći i da su otpočeli pregovori za novu podelu sveta na sfere uticaja.

“On je bio potpuno svestan potrebe za pregovaranjem između velikih sila radi rešavanja važnih pitanja koja ih razdvajaju, naročito u dobu nuklearnog oružja. Ali, on se usprotivio staroj praksi negiranja vitalnih interesa drugih strana i kršenja principa prava na jednakost između država, velikih i malih, kao i prava narodnih pokreta.

“Sledeće godine biće obeležena stogodišnjica rođenja Bertranda Rasela. U saradnji sa Fondacija za mir Bertrand Rasel, pozivamo sve zainteresovane osobe koje imaju interesa za etičke, istorijske i pravne aspekte problema sfera uticaja da prisustvuju Raselovom memorijalnnom simpozijumu o sferama uticaja u doba imperijalizma.

“Simpozijum će se održati u septembru 1972, a mesto će biti naknadno objavljeno.

“Predlažemo da simpozijum prvo raspravi analitičke perspektive kako bi se obezbedio opšti pregled, a potom istorijske test-slučajeve od 1878. do danas.

“Pet glavnih radova obuhvatiće sekciju Analitičke perspektive:

“1. Konceptualne osnove sfera uticaja i tajne diplomatije u istoriografiji imperijalizma.

“2. Institucija sporazuma o sferama uticaja u međunarodnom i nacionalnom pravu.

“3. Međunarodni moral protiv tajne diplomatije i sporazuma o sferama uticaja.

“4. Pokretačka snaga imperijalizma.

“5. Nastajući svetski poredak.

“Svi oni koji žele da učestvuju treba da kontaktiraju profesora Vladimira Dedijera u Departmanu za istoriju, Univerzitet Mičigen, En Arboru, Mičigen 48104 do 1. januara 1972, posle toga u Staroj Fužini, Bohinj, SR Slovenija, Jugoslavija.

“Verujemo da će ovaj Simpozijum pomoći da se svetska javnost usredsredi na borbu protiv imperijalizma na svim kontinentima.

“Noam Čomski/  Vladimir Dedijer/ Žan-Pol Sartr” (preveo. LJ.K.)[45]

Prošla su tri meseca od kada su Čomski, Dedijer i Sartr najavili predstojeći simpozijum o sferama uticaja, kada je Dejvid D. Rokfeler, u martu 1972, održao govor na Čejz međunarodnom finansijskom forumu, Chase International Financial Forums, i predložio osnivanje Međunarodne komisije za mir i prosperitet, International Commission for Peace and Prosperity, koju bi sačinjavali “vodeći privatni građani”, “leading private citizens”, iz Severne Amerike, Evrope i Japana spremni da nesebično rade na “problemima budućnosti” – smanjivanje napetosti u svetu, međunarodna trgovina i investicije, problemi životne sredine, kontrola kriminala i droge, populaciona kontrola, pomoć zemljama u razvoju. Bila je to prva javna najava predstojeće korporativne ofanzive sa novim strateškim konceptom trilateralnog saveza, koji je, kao geopolitičku platformu od vitalnog interesa za SAD i njenu liberalnu oligarhiju, tokom 1968 – 1970. formulisao, utemeljio i razvio Zbignjev Kazimir Bžežinski. [46]

Već mesec dana posle ove najave, od 21. do 23. aprila 1972, u hotelu La Reserve du Knokke-Heist, Knoke, Belgija, zasedala je grupa Bilderberg,[47] čiji je jedan od osnivača (1954) i Dejvid D. Rokfeler. Tom prilikom, Rokfeler je sa sobom poveo i Zbignjeva Kazimira Bžežinskog. Predstavio ga je ostalim članovima i predložio da upravo Bžežinski upravlja programom proširenja članstva te asocijacije sa predstavnicima iz Japana, kako bi se novi koncept trilateralnog saveza mogao da realizuje unutar Bilderberga, umesto da se osniva neka nova organizacije. Iako je sam Bžežinski naišao na nepodeljenu podršku, proširenje članstva za koje se založio Rokfeler nije naišla na odobravanje. Prvenstveno je Denis Hili (Denis Healey), jedan od prvaka britanske Laburističke partije i poslanik u Parlamentu UK, takođe jedan od osnivača Bilderberga i stalni član njegovog nadzornog odbora, bio izričito protiv proširenja članstvom iz Azije. Jer, tvrdio je Hili, na taj način bila bi napuštena izvorna atlantska načela po kojima je, i u okviru kojih je, Bilderberg osnovan 1954. godine. Sâm predlog o trilateralnom savezu moći bio je, međutim, verifikovan i podržan.

Četiri meseca posle aprilskog zasedanja Bilderberga, u avgustu 1972, Dejvid D. Rokfeler pozvao je grupu korporativnih prvaka iz Severne Amerike, Zapadne Evrope i Japana na porodično imanje Rokfelerovih, imanje Pokantiko Hils (Pocantico Hills) u okrugu Vestčester, Njjujork, predstavio im platformu trilateralnog saveza, predložio im osnivanje međunarodne komisije “vodećih privatnih građana” koji će predstavljati ova tri svetska “regiona”, takođe im predstavio Bžežinskog kao administratora tog projekta i od svih prisutnih dobio jednodušnu podršku. Tako je, na ovom sastanku, nova Rokfelerova međunarodna organizacija faktički i osnovana. Javnost će o njenom postojanju biti obaveštena nepunih godinu dana docnije, u času kada i sva preostala tehnička, organizaciona i finansijska pitanja od značaja za njen budući rad budu rešena.

Istovremeno, jedan drugi i drugačiji tok događaja, određen bitno drugačijim moralnim razlogom i bitno drugačijim razumevanjem ljudske slobode, istorije i ljudske odgovornosti, omogućio je da simpozijum Sfere uticaja u doba imperijalizma, Spheres of influence in the age of imperialism, koji su u decembru 1971. najavili Čomski, Dedijer i Sartr, bude i održan od 11. do 15. septembra 1972, u Lincu, Austrija. Predsedavao je Vladimir Dedijer, koji je, takođe, bio i autor uvodnog referata o opštim konceptualnim, teorijskim i metodološkim, problemima istraživanja interesnih sfera i tajne diplomatije.[48]

Što se tiče Dejvida D. Rokfelera, on je posle sastanka na kome je dobio podršku za svoju trilateralnu platfromu i na kome je, faktički, osnovana nova međunarodna organizacija “vodećih privatnih građana” Severne Amerike, Zapadne Evrope i Japana, održao još jednu seriju konsultacija o detaljima tog projekta. Naročito značajan, bio je Rokfelerov razgovor sa Henrijem Alfredom Kisindžerom (ovaj nekadašnji stipendista i štićenik porodice Rokfeler, bio je tada savetnik za nacionalnu bezbednost i nesumnjivo najmoćnija osoba u administraciji Ričarda Milhausa Niksona, predsednika SAD, što znači i jedan od najuticajnijih, sledstveno i jedan od najmoćnijih ljudi na svetu).[49] Tom prilikom, Kisindžer je izričito podržao Rokfelerov trilateralnu platfomu, a naročito Bžežinskog kao nominovanog administratora tog projekta.

Najzad, i posle svega, u julu 1973, Dejvid D. Rokfeler obavestio je javnost da je osnovana i da je počela sa radom Trilateralna komisija, Trilateral Commission, međunarodna organizacija “vodećih privatnih građana” Severne Amerike, Zapadne Evrope i Japana, predstavio je njene ciljeve, kao i njenog prvog izvršnog direktora, Zbignjeva Kazimira Bžežinskog.[50]

Iste ove 1973. godine, takođe pod predsedništvom Dejvida D. Rokfelera, Savet za inostrane odnose pokrenuo je najveći istraživački program u svojoj istoriji, Projekat osamdesete, 1980′s Project. Više desetina saradnika radiće predano na tom programu sve do 1982.[51] Cilj Projekta osamedesete bio je da se na usvojenoj opštoj platformi (Zbignjev Bžežinski),[52] držeći se neomalteizijanske teorije o planetarnom višku stanovništva (Pol Erlih),[53] neomaltezijanske teorije o prirodnim (Donela H. Midovs i dr.)[54] i socijalnim granicama rasta (Fred Hirš),[55] kao i korporativnog koncepta novog vlasništva i relativizma slova i duha zakona i prava uopšte (Čarls Rajh),[56] uz snažan oslonac na “doktrinu šoka” tzv. neoliberalne teorije, njenog monetarizma i njenog tržišta kao “nevidljive ruke” (Milton Fridman i drugi),[57] postavi čvrst i adaptibilan strateški okvir za globalnu politiku SAD tokom osamdesetih godinama 20. veka, ali i docnije.

Godinu dana od službenog početka rada Trilateralne komisije i pokretanja Projekta osamdesete, 10. decembra 1974, Savet za nacionalnu bezbednost SAD usvojio je na predlog i pod predsedništvom Henrija Alfreda Kisindžera, tada već državnog sekretara, operativni dokument od izvanrednog značaja za nastajuću Veliku Korporativnu Strategiju i njeno ostvarivanje u neposrednoj budućnosti. Reč je o poverljivom (confidential) dokumentu Studija nacionalne bezbednosti Memorandum 200: Posledice svetskog rasta stanovništva za bezbednost i prekomorske interese SADNational Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200). U izvorima, taj dokument kolokvijalno se još naziva i Kisindžerov izveštajThe Kissinger Report, ili Memorandum 200Memorandum 200.

Kao najveća opasnost za nacionalnu bezbednost SAD do 2050, još preciznije do 2075. godine, Kisindžerov izveštaj identifikuje, sa jedne strane, demografski trend “prekomernog” i “nekontrolisanog” rasta broja ljudi u nerazvijenim delovima sveta (Afrika, Azija, Latinska Amerika), a sa druge trend opadanja broja stanovništva u razvijenijim delovima sveta (Severna Amerika, Evropa, Australija). “Nekontrolisani” rast stanovništva u nerazvijenim delovima sveta vodi u kritičnu “prenaseljenost” planete koja u doglednoj budućnosti neće biti u stanju da “servisira” (hrana, voda, energenti, drugo) ovo “prekobrojno” stanovništvo. Takvo stanje vodi u nestabilnost, sukobe i planetarni besporedak koji, sledstveno, predstavlja najveću opasnost za bezbednost SAD. S tim u vezi, a u skladu sa neomaltuzijanskim konceptima Nultog rasta (Zero growth) i Nultog populacionog rasta (Zero population growth, ZPG),[58] pisci izveštaja predlažu predsedniku SAD, tada je ovu dužnost obavljao Džerald Rudolf Ford Mlađi, usvajanje preventivnih mera za globalnu populacionu kontrolu koja u interesu nacionalne bezbednosti SAD treba da osigura efektivno upravljanje SAD nad svetskim populacionim trendovima i omogući zaustavljanje rasta svetske populacije. Pošto je u novembru 1975, predsednik Džerald Rudolf Ford Mlađi potpisao i na taj način usvojio Kisindžerov izveštaj, nalazi i preporuke tog poverljivog dokumenta postali su integralni i obavezujući deo politike koju će voditi ova i naredne predsedničke administracije SAD.[59]


Kisindžerov izveštaj
, neposredno se oslanja na rad jedne prethodne komisija čiji je mandat bio da unutar identičnog neomaltuzijanskog koncepta organizuje komparatrivno istraživanje demografskih trendova u SAD i svetu. Godine 1970, formiranje komisije sa ovim  mandatom naložio je  Ričard Milhaus Nikson, predsednik SAD. Kao što je već rečeno, Heri Alferd Kisindžer bio je tada savetnik za nacionalnu bezbednost, nesumnjivo najmoćniji funkcioner Niksonove administracije, što znači i jedan od najuticajnijih i najmoćnijih ljudi na svetu. Drugim rečima, bez Kisindžera, projekat sa takav ciljem i implikacijama nije se mogao ni pokrenuti, niti je mogao biti realizovan. Reč je o Komisiji za rast stanovništva i američku budućnost, The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future. Predsednik komisije bio je Džon D. Rokfeler Treći, najstariji brat Dejvida D. Rokfelera, zbog čega je ona danas poznatatija pod imenom Rokfelerova komisija za rast stanovništva, The Rockefeller Commision on Population Growth. Rezultate do kojih je došla, Rokfelerova komisija predstavila je u izveštaju iz  1972.[60]

7.

Fred Hirš (Fred Hirsch 1931-1978), uticajni liberalni ekonomista, zastupnik neomaltuzijanskog koncepta o društvenim granicama privrednog rasta, urednik londonskog nedeljnika Ekonomist, član CFR angažovan za rad na Projektu osamdesete, bio je onaj koji je konstruisao i prvi upotrebio pojam “kontrolisana dezintegracija”, “controlled disintegration”. Kao jedan od tri autora knjige Alternativa za monetarni bezporedak, Alternatives to monetary disorder iz 1977,[61] prvog naslova objavljenog u kolekciji Projekat osamdesete, Hirš je upravo u toj knjizi, prvi put i upotrebio pojam “kontrolisana dezintegracija”, “controlled disintegration”. Tako je imenovao model “kreativne” monetarne politike koji, posle raspada svetskog monetarnog sistema 1971 – 1976, i dalje treba da primenjuju SAD, razume se u vlastitom interesu i u interesu svojih najbližih saveznika. Ima li se u vidu činjenica da su 1971 – 1976. upravo SAD sa svojim jednostranim “kreativnivnim” merama monetarne politike dovele do raspada dotadašnjeg međunarodnog monetarnog sistema nastalog 1945. na osnovu ugovora iz Breton Vudsa, onda proizilazi da je Hiršova “kontrolisana dezintegracija” samo retorička inovacija za imenovanje jedne u tom času već razvijene i već pokrenute politike svetske dominacije. Međutim, bila je to uspešna retorička inovacija.

Toliko uspešna, da će model “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, inicijalno namenjen globalnoj monetarnoj politici SAD, biti više nego uspešno primenjena i u svim drugim posebnim politikama te zemlje (svetska monetarna politika, odnosni sa SSSR do samoukidanja te zemlje, potom odnosi sa Ruskom Federacijom, nuklearno naoružanje, odnosi sa azijskim zemljama, naročito sa Kinom, Afrika, odnosi Sever – Jug, energetska politika i posebno nafta, Bliski Istok, prirodni resursi kao “zajednički” resursi, svetski poredak koji ima primat nad unutrašnjim, industrijska politika i reforma međunarodnih ekonomskih organizacija, svetska politika kontrole i ograničavanja rasta stanovništva, međunarodna saradnja). Hiršova “kontrolisana dezintegracija” jeste unutrašnje jezgro Projekta osamedesete i svih posebnih politika koje su u okviru tog projekta strateški definisane.

Već 8. novembra 1978, Pol Voker, član CFR, jedan od rukovodilaca Projekta osamdesete i, u tom času, predsednik njujorške Banke federalnih rezervi (Federal Reserve Bank of New York), izričito je potvrdio da politika (i sistem) “kontrolisane dezintegracije” zaista predstavlja unutrašnje jezgro Projekta osamedesete. Naime, u predavanju koji je povodom Hiršove smrti održao na univerzitetu Vorvik u Koventriju, Engleska, Voker je citirao Hiršov stav o nužnosti sprovođenja politike “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, a zatim je ovo stanovište snažno podržao rekavši: “Kontrolisana dezintegracija u svetskoj ekonomiji legitimna je tema za osamdesete.”[62]

I zaista, pošto je u maju 1979, Margareta Hilda Tačer postala premijer UK, svetska korporativna revolucija sa njenom politikom “kontrolisane dezintegracije” pokrenuta je punom snagom u januaru 1981, kada su Ronald Vilson Regan, kao predsednik i, što je u ovoj stvari još važnije, Džordž Herbert Voker Buš, kao potpredsednik,  preuzeli vlast u SAD.

Sva glavna svojstva događajâ koji će potom uslediti, uzorno demonstrira jedan od najvažnijih, najefikasnijih i, pokazaće se, najrazornijih instrumenata svetske korporativne revolucije, operativna politička platforma za globalnu ekonomsku dominaciju koja je tada aktivirana. U skladu sa preporukama koje je Savet za inostrane odnose predstavio u svom Projektu osamdesete (takođe u skladu sa preporukama ostalih korporativnih organizacija od uticaja, Bilderberg, Trilateralna komisija, drugo) ovu platformu su, naime, kao zajedničku politiku u polju svetskih finansija 1979 – 1981. definisali Trezor SAD (US Tresury), Međunarodni monetarni fond i Svetska banka. Budući da je ova tripartitna saglasnost o “standardima” nove globalne finansijske politike, sasvim očekivano, takoreći neizbežno, bila postignuta u Vašingtonu, gde sve tri ove finansijske instutucije imaju svoje sedište, ova njihova zajednička svetska politika nazvana je 1989. godine “Vašingtonski noncensus”.[63]

Drugim rečima, od 1979 – 1981. pa do danas, što znači već 30 godina, ostvarivanje svojih strateških ciljeva SAD zasnivaju na konceptualnim pretpostavkama koje su razvijene i postavljene u Projektu osamdesete i na velikim mogućnostima “kontrolisane dezintegracije”.

Danas je prilično očigledno da je tokom osadesetih godina 20. veka upravo politika “kontrolisane dezintegracije” omogućila ono spektakularno dezintegrisanje svetskog, a posebno istočnoevropskog poretka kakav je bio uspostavljen posle 1945. Uspeh ove politike naročito dobro ilustruje 12 (i slovima, dvanaest) susreta koje su šefovi SAD i SSSR, dve glavne sile koje su taj poredak uspostavile 1945. i održavale ga narednih nekoliko decenija, dvojica američkih predsednika, Ronald Vilson Regan i Džordž Herbert Voker Buš i Mihail Sergejevič Gorbačev, generalni sekretar KP SSSR i prvi čovek tadašnjeg SSSR, imali između novembra 1985. i oktobra 1991.[64] Isto tako, uspeh politike “kontrolisane dezintegracije” upečatljivo ilustruje i onaj značajni moskovski sastanak koji je 20. januara 1989, Gorbačov imao sa četiri člana Trilateralne komisije – Dejvid D. Rokfeler, Henri Alfred Kisindžer, Valeri Žiskar Desten, Jasuhoro Nakasone.[65]

Glavni rezultat svih ovih razgovora jeste da je tokom samo šest godina, između 1985. i 1991, neočekivano brzo i uspešno, dezintegrisan svetski poredak koji su tokom Drugog svetskog rata, naročito od 1943. do 1945, na osnovu više ugovorâ o međusobnim odnosima i podeli interesnih sfera, uspostavile SAD i SSSR, uz prisustvo UK[66] – kontrolisano je dezintegrisan dotadašnji poredak u Istočnoj Evropi (samoraspuštanje tzv. komunističkih režima na tom prostoru, samoraspuštanje Saveta za uzajamnu ekonomsku pomoć, samoraspuštanje Varšavskog ugovora, munjevito povlačenje Crvene Armije iz vojnih baza u Nemačkoj i zemaljama Istočne Evrope), dve dotadašnje Nemačke kontrolisano su integrisane u jednu SR Nemačku, kontrolisano je dezintegrisana Čehoslovačke, a dve nezavisne države proglašene su na istom prostoru, kontrolisano je dezintegrisan i sâm SSSR, a jedanaest nezavisnih država proglašeno je na njegovoj dotadašnjoj teritoriji.[67]

Kao posebne manifestacije istog ovog toka globalne kontrolisane dezintegracije, paralelno su, sa jedne strane, podsticani procesi kontrolisanog integrisanja zemalja prvo Zapadne, a odmah potom Istočne Evrope u novoosnovani međunarodni entitet, Evropsku uniju (Ugovor o Evropskoj uniji, tzv. Mastrihtski ugovor, potpisan je u Mastrihtu, Holandija, 7. februara 1992, stupio je na snagu 1. novembra 1993), a sa druge strane, bila je pokrenuta (i uspešno dovedena do kraja) kontrolisana dezintegracija još jedne dotadašnje evropske federacije, SFRJ. Posle desetogodišnjeg kontrolisanog rata za jugoslovensko nasleđe (1991 – 2001), na teritoriji ove nekadašnje evropske federacije do sada je proglašeno sedam novih država.

Tako je tokom osamdesetih i devedesetih godina 20. veka sa uspehom bila sprovedena kontrolisana dezintegracija poretka u zemaljama Istočne Evrope i Balkana, pa tako i kontrolisana dezintegracija dotadašnjeg svetskog poretka uopšte. U temelje tog velikog uspeha korporativne revolucije i njene politike kontrolisane dezintegracije ugrađeno je  čak 75 “lokalnih” ratova koji su između 1981. i 2001. potresali svet i odneli desetine miliona ljudskih života.[68] Isto tako, sastavni deo tog velikog uspeha jeste spirala svetske pandemije AIDS-a koja je takođe pokrenuta 1981. i čiji je dosadašnji rezultat preko 25 miliona umrlih.[69] Najzad, ovaj nesumnjivo monumentalni uspeh korporativne revolucije i njene politike kontrolisane dezintegracije omogućile su naročito one stotine miliona ljudi širom sveta koji su kao neposredne žrtve tog sklopa događaja proglašeni “istorijskim gubitnicima” i jednostavno prepušteni svojoj zloj “sudbini”.[70]

8.

Uprkos fascinatne monumentalnosti kontrolisanog dezintegrisanja svetskog poretka, a naročito poretka Istočne Evrope i njenog, istini za volju manje uspešnog konvertovanja u Zapadnu Evropu, odnosno u Evropu kao takvu, to je ipak bila samo etapa na putu ka krajnjem cilju Velike Korporativne Strategije. Taj krajnji cilj jeste svetski korporativni poredak.

U stvarnosti, takav globalni poredak ne uspostavljaju SAD za koje ideolozi kao što je Majkl Mandelbaum nadahnuto tvrde kako danas deluju kao “svetska vlada”.[71] Ignorišući polazno načelo svakog istraživačkog postupka, naime da “pravo ustrojstvo stvari voli da se krije” i da je “nevidljivi sklop jači… od vidljivog”, kako je to još pre 2.500 godina formulisao Heraklit,[72] ostajući, dakle, na vidljivoj površini događajne istorije, i Mandelbaum svojom tvrdnjom skriva skriveno, zamagljuje zamagljeno i mutnu sliku čini još mutnijom.

Jer, u stvarnosti, takav globalni poredak može uspostaviti samo ona struktura moći i vlasti koja faktički i suvereno upravlja i samim Sjedinjenim državama, budući da u toj zemlji jedina zaista i poseduje, i kontroliše ono što Mandelbaum naziva “ordungsmacht, moć da (se) tvori poredak”.[73] Ova struktura moći jeste tamošnja korporativna oligarhija. Svetski korporativni poredak, dakle, uspostavlja korporativna oligarhija koja upravlja Sjedinjenim državama. Sledstveno, upravo ova korporativna oligarhija jeste i faktička “svetska vlada”.

Drugim rečima, globalni korporativni poredak uspostavlja, održava i kao faktička “svetska vlada” njime upravlja ona korporativna oligarhija koja poseduje moć da na SAD “delegira” operativno upražnjavanje svog vlastititog “ordungsmacht” – “moć da tvori poredak”, a da, istovremeno, ona sama, sasvim u skladu sa načelom da “pravo ustrojstvo stvari voli da se krije” i da je “nevidljivi sklop jači… od vidljivog”, koliko god dugo je to moguće, ostane sakrivena i nevidljiva u dubokoj senci tig događaja.

Uspostavljanje imperijalnog poretka novog feudalizma kao supstituta za suspendovanu novovekovnu republiku sa njenim konstitutivnim načelom suverenog i slobodnog građanina i demokratskim ustanovama koje na tom načelu počivaju, kako u Sjedinjenim državama, tako i u svakom drugom delu sveta od interesa za svetski savez korporativne oligarhije, upozorava da se sa upražnjavanjem onog “ordungsmacht”- “moć da tvori poredak”, daleko stiglo u nastojanju da se uspostavi, učvrsti i proširi svetski korporativni poredak.

Nosilac imperijalnog suvereniteta u takvom poretku jeste transnacionalna “super klasa”, svetski savez moći u kome liberalna oligarhija SAD ima odlučujuću ulogu. Deo svojih operativnih “nadležnosti” od značaja za neposredno upravljanje posebnim segmentima na velikoj sceni svetskih poslova (države, regionalne asocijacije država, međunarodne institucije, međunarodne profesionalne i korporativne organizacije, drugo), ovaj nosilac imperijalnog suvereniteta “delegira” svakoj onoj strukturi lokalne vlasti i moći čija je lojalnost prema imperijalnom suverenu najmanje podložna sumnji, uključujući ovde i lokalnu vlast i moć u SAD.

Sa stanovišta imperijalnog poretka, optimalni oblik takve vlasti i moći, jeste režim “meke” okupacije koji u interesu suverena, na određenom prostoru, neposredno sprovodi i održava neka nekompetentna, nesamostalna i korumpirana lokalna oligarhija. Samo takav lokalni savez moći obezbeđuje najveći stepen lojalnosti prema imperijalnom poretku i njegovom suverenu, svetskom savezu moći liberalne oligarhije.

Neophodnu unutrašnju koheziju i stabilnost režima “meke” okupacije i lokalnog saveza moći koji ga lojalno sporovodi, obezbeđuju osobe kojima se zbog njihovih posebnih ličnih svojstava dodeljuju nominalno glavne uloge. To su korisni idioti svetskog korporativnog poretka.

Ova izvedenica nastala je od gr. ιdiōtēs i lat. idiota. U skladu sa svojim izvornim značenjem, ona i danas označava svakoga ko je suštinski neupućen u poslove od značaja za zajednicu, ko se ne bavi politikom zbog zajednice, javnog interesa i opšteg dobra, nego poslove od javnog interesa obavlja isključivo zbog sebe,  izvan zajednice i u vlastitom interesu. Ovo gr. ιdiōtēs i lat. idiota takođe označava svakoga ko je  neznalica i po svemu moralno nedostojna i nekompetentna osoba.[74] Sledstveno, svaki lokalni poredak “meke” okupacije čiju unutrašnju koheziju i stabilnost obezbeđuju korisni idioti jeste poredak korisnih idiota, što znači da je poredak nekompetentnih i moralno nedostojnostnih koji se uspostavlja, održava i kojim se upravlja na štetu zajednice, javnog interesa i opšteg dobra. Zato i svaka ona zastava pod kojom javno nastupaju korisni idioti jeste lažna zastava.

9.

Nimalo slučajno, dakle sasvim u skladu sa ritmom istorije, ovaj model upravljanja svetskim i lokalnim poslovima u kome korisni idioti imaju nominalno glavne uloge, veoma dobro, spolja i iznutra, osvetlila su dva dokumenta koja je 1980, toj nultoj tački aktuelnog istorijskog ciklusa, a povodom američkih predsedničkih izbora na kojima će pobediti dvojac Ronald Vilson Regan – Džordž Herbert Voker Buš, objavio Njujork Tajms.

Prvi od ova dva dokumenata jeste pismo koje je Džordž Vald, profesor emeritus biologije na Univerzitetu Harvard, jedan od tri dobitnika Nobelove nagrade za medicinu 1967, anti-ratni aktivista, borac za ljudska prava, veliki kritičar politike američkih administracija i veliki kritičar liberalne korporativne oligarhije SAD, član Raselovog međunarodnog tribunala za ratne zločine, napisao 14. avgusta 1980. Vald je svoje pismo poslao Njujork Tajmsu, koji je taj tekst objavio posle pet dana, 19. avgusta 1980. Evo tog važnog i poučnog dokumenta:

“Sumnjam i gotovo sam potuno ubeđen da je kandidatura Džona Endersona u trci za Predsednika, bila ili smišljena ili dopuštena od strane Trilaterarne komisije kako bi se podelili glasovi Demokrata i tako osigurao izbor Ronalda Regana.

“Trilaterarna Komisija, koju je 1973. osnovao Dejvid Rokfeler, zove se tako jer okuplja vrh korporativne i finansijske moći, plus pomoćnu kastu naučnika, političara i sindikalnih šefova iz Severne Amerike, Zapadne Evrope i Japana. Dejvid Rokfeler je njen severnoamerički predsednik.

“Izvanredan deo Karterove administracije bio je sastavaljen od njenih članova: sam predsednik Karter, potpredsednik Mondejl, savetnik za bezbednost Bžežinski, bivši državni sekretar Vens, bivši sekretar Trezora Blumental, sekretar za odbranu Braun, zamenik državnog sekretara Voren Kristofer, zamenik sekretara za energetiku Sovhil, predsednik Federalnih rezervi Voker, specijalni pomoćnik Hedli Donovan, predsednikov savetnik Lojd Katler, svi  međusobno povezani sa drugim visokim funkcionerima. (Sve ove osobe i dalje su vezane za Trilaterarnu Komisiju kao ‘nekadašnji članovi u javnoj službi’.)

“Obojica, i nezavisni kandidat Džon Enderson, i republikanski kandidat za potpredsednika Džordž Buš, jesu ili su bili članovi. Kako čitava lista iz SAD uključuje samo 92 člana, 18 u ‘javnoj službi’, to Trilaterarna Komisija nudi retku koncentraciju svih glavnih pretendenata na predstojećim izborima i pokriva, kao što se to događa, sva tri politička izborna tela.

“Jasno, Džon Enderson predstavlja ponavljanje kandidature Džimija Kartera iz 1976, obojica su, Enderson i Karter, članovi Trilaterarne komisije od njenog osnivanja. Obojica su postali kandidati iz pomrčine: Džimi Karter, veletrgovac kikirikijem i u jednom mandatu guverner Džeordžije; Džon Enderson, neprepoznatljivi republikanski predstavnik iz Ilinoisa. Obojica su nastupili kao bundžije: Karter kao anti-vašingtonski, anti-establišment populista; Enderson, desni Republikanac, sa onim što liberalni Demokrati vide kao obeshrabrujuće glasačko prebrojavanje u Kongresu, iznenada iskrsava kao naivni liberal koji predstavlja nezavisni glas Demokrata razočaranih Karterom i glasača okupljenih oko pojedinačnih pitanja: anti-nuklearnog, za abortus, protiv menica, za E.R.A., za kontrolu naoružanja – u prošlosti poslednja i gotovo sigurna formula da se izgubi na izborima.

“Ali, ako sam u pravu, Enderson nije dizajniran da dobije ove izbore, nego da podeli glasove Demokrata.

“Pošto je inicijalno startovao kao kandidat za republikansku nominaciju, predstavio je svoj novi politički imidž i vlastito ime učinio prepoznatljivim. Potom nas je maltretirao agonijom odlučujući da li da nastupi kao Nezavisni. Nema agonije. Kao republikanskog kandidata Regan ga je već eliminisao. Da bi podelio glasove Demokrata, on mora da nastupi kao Nezavisni. Na to mi najviše lični njegova skorašnja konferencija sa senatorom Kenedijem. Ona poručuje američkim glasačima: vidite, ja nisam samo bliži Demokratama nego Republikancima, ja sam kao stvarni, autentični Demokrata poput senatora Kenedija, koji se čak slaže da smo po izvesnim tačkama bliski jedan drugome.

“Ono što sve ovo znači, ako sam u pravu, jeste to da su Dejvid Rokfeler i njegova Trilaterarna komisija, pošto su četiri godine imali Džimija Kartera, odlučili da mogu postići čak i više sa Reganom i njegovim čovekom Bušom. Henri Kisindžer, politički savetnik porodice Rokfeler i član izvršnog komiteta Trilaterarne komisije, slavio je Regana na republikanskoj konvenciji kao ‘garanta naših nada’.

“Mislim da je Džon Enderson instrument koji je dizajnirala Trilaterarna komisija da bi osigurala Reganov izbor./ Džordž vald, Vuds Hol, Masačusets, 14. avgust 1980.” (preveo, LJ. K.) [75]

Drugi od ova dva dokumenta, jeste pismo u kome Džordžu Valdu odgovara sâm Dejvid D. Rokfeler, osnivač Trilateralne komisije. Rokfelerov odgovor Njujork Tajms je objavio već 20. avgusta 1980, samo dan pošto je bio objavljen Valdov komentar. Osim što demonstrira ideologiju i politike liberalne korporativne oligarhije onako kako ih iznutra, u samom središtu, doživljava jedan od njenih najmoćnijih i najuticajnijih pripadnika, Rokfeler ovde takođe demonstrira i standardnu tehniku tabuiziranja tog svetskog saveza moći tako što Džordža Valda diskvalifikuje kao zastupnika prokažene tzv. teorije zavere. Evo i ovog, takođe poučnog i značajnog dokumenta: 

“Nikada nisam prestao da se čudim onoj nekolicini među nama koji prepoznaju zaveru ispod svakog kamena, a tajno društvo iza svakog ugla. Neočekivano, poslednji koji se pridružio teoretičarima zavere jeste profesor Vald, Nobelov laureat, koji u pismu od 19. avgusta, pretpostavlja da je ‘kandidatura Džona Endersona u trci za Predsednika, bila ili smišljena ili dopuštena od strane Trilaterarne komisije kako bi se podelili glasovi Demokrata…’

“Profesor Vald, avaj, nije usamljen u svojim sumnjičenjima.

“Prema nekima, Trilaterarna komisija je kobna urota poslovnih ljudi istočnog establišmenta koji će učiniti gotovo sve – uključujući ulazak u kolaboraciju sa Kremljom – zarad finansijske koristi. Činjenica što su mnogi nekadašnji članovi, uključujući predsednika Kartera, danas članovi Administracije, slavi se kao dokaz da zavera đavolski dobro radi.

“Kao osnivača Trilaterarne komisije i njenog sadašnjeg predsedavajućeg za Severnu Ameriku, obično me izdvajaju kao ‘glavnog zaverenika’.

“Pojavljujem se u jednoj skorašnjoj tiradi kako dirigujem urotom ‘… da se stanovništvo Njujorka smanji na otprilike četiri miliona a višak populacije otera u robovske radne logore… ‘ Ista publikacija potvrđuje da sam uveliko odgovoran za fašističke zavere u Latinskoj Americi koje’… dovode do promene globalnog vremenskog modela, što obeležavaju suše i opasne zime u Sjedinjenim državama.’

“U osnovi, lako je odbaciti ovu vrstu besmislene klevete. Ona dolazi sa ekstremnih rubova levice i desnice, a pošto me istovremeno nazivaju komunistom i fašistom to me stavlja negde bliže centru političkog spektra gde mi je uostalom i  najudobnije…

“Ipak, nedavno je udaranje u bubanj šupljoglavaca postalo glasnije, a nekoliko previše živahnih maštarija nastoji da nekako poveže komisiju sa kampanjom za predsedničke izbore 1980.                                                                                
                         

“Stoga mislim da profesor Vald i njegovi ko-konspiracionalistički teoretičari mogu uvažiti objašnjenje misteriozne organizacije koja ih izgleda zaokuplja u svakom momentu. Bojim se da je stvarnost mnogo manje pitoreskna od teorija.

“Trilaterarna komisija sada ima oko 300 članova iz Severne Amerike, Zapadne Evrope i Japana. Otprilike četvrtina su iz Sjedinjenih Država i uključuju ne samo poslovne ljude, nego i sindikalne lidere, univerzitetske profesore i direktore istraživačkih instituta, kongresmene i senatore, predstavnike medija i druge. Skoro je podjednak broj Republikanaca i Demokrata, a predstavljena je i većina nacionalnih regiona. Među sadašnjim i nekadašnjim članovima iz SAD su predsedavajući Republikanskog nacionalnog komiteta, predsednik A.F.I. – C.I.O., izdavač Čikago San-Tajmsa i drugi koji bi svakako imali poteškoća u planiranju iste zavere.

“Trilaterarna komisija ne zauzima stavove o problemima, ne potpisuje menicu pojedincima za izbore, niti postavlja kabinet. Ona održava skupove koji se rotiraju iz regiona u region i određuje uvodna saopštenja (task force reports) o kojima se diskutuje na sesijama komisije. Izveštaji se bave različitim aspektima svetske trgovine, energetskih resursa, međunarodnog monetarnog sistema, odnosa Istok – Zapad i drugim.

“Da li je komisija tajna? Nipošto. Za 10$ godišnje svako može da se pretplati na njen kvartalni magazin Trialog i da, takođe, periodično prima uvodna saopštenja. Nadalje, mi objavljujemo izvore svih priloga iz SAD koji prelaze 5.000$. Jedini deo našeg rada koji je ‘zatvoren’ – ‘off the record’ jesu disusije na skupovima komisije, a držimo ih privetno kako bismo obeshrabrili neograničenu krititiku i raspravu.

“Da li je komisija ekskluzivna? Da, po tome što nastojimo da odaberemo samo najdarovitije i najeminentnije građane iz industrijskih demokratija. U tom kontekstu, veseli a ne čudi to što su mnogi bivši članovi sada funkcioneri Administracije. Daleko od toga da je koterija međunarodnih konspiratora sa planom da prikriveno osvoje svet, Trilaterarna komisija je u stvarnosti, a to je moja poenta, grupa obzirnih građana zainteresovanih da identifikuju i osvetle probleme sa kojima se svet suočava i da doprinesu većem razumevanju i saradnji među internacionalnim saveznicima.

“Izvinjavam se, profesore Vald, ali kao što bi Valter Kronkajt rekao: “‘Stvari su takve kakve jesu’. / Dejvid Rokfeler, Predsedavajući, Banka Čejs Menhetan” (preveo, LJ. K.)[76]

Kao što je poznato, na američkim predsedničkim izborima 4. novembra 1980, pobedio je dvojac Regan – Buš (50,7%), izgubio je Džejms Erl Karter Mlađi, zvan Džimi sa svojim timom (41,0%), nezavisni kandidat, Džon Bejard Enderson, bio je treće plasiran (6,6%), dok su preostali glasovi (1,4%) bili podeljeni između dvojice od još četiri pretendenta koji su u ovim izborima učestvovali.

Pojam korisni idiot, korisni idioti, danas označava pojedince ili grupe u nekoj lokalnoj zajednici, koji slepo i bezpogovorno ispunjavaju sve spoljašnje ideološke i praktične naloge svetskog saveza moći liberalne oligarhije i njenog poretka globalne imperijalne dominacije, i to bez obzira na činjenicu što ispunjavanje ovih naloga za samu lokalnu zajednicu ima pogubne posledice. Takve osobe imaju funkcionalnu upotrebljivost, odnosno poseduju određenu korisnost, samo za poredak spoljašnje korporativne dominacije i, razume se, za sebe. U zajednici u kojoj igraju svoje nominalno glavne uloge i manifestuju ovu svoju funkcionalnu upotrebljivost i korisnost, takve osobe proizvode samo štetu. Otuda su to korisni idioti.

 

10.

Za trideset godina, pored svih drugih rezultata, politika “kontrolisane dezintegracije” ostavila je za sobom i velike uspehe u ovom preduzeću proizvodnje i instaliranja lojalnih lokalnih saveza moći u kojima nominalno glavne uloge igraju korisni idioti. Svet je pun izvanrednih primera koji to pokazuju. Ipak, to što su tokom ovih trideset godina Ronald Vilson Regan, Vilijam Džeferson Blajt Treći, mnogo poznatiji kao Vilijam Džeferson Klinton, zvani Bil, zatim Vaclav Havel, Boris Nikolajevč Jeljcin, Džordž Voker Buš, Entoni Čarls Linton Bler, Silvio Berluskoni, Nikola Pol Stefan Sakrozi de Nađ-Boska, ili Barak Husein Obama Drugi, da pomenem samo najvažnija imena, pokazali dokle sve može stići i kako se sve može upotrebiti neki korisni idiot, nije najveće postignuće politike “kontrolisane dezintegracije”.

Pokazalo se, naime, da je zaista najveći rezultat ove politike strukturalna kriza – haos bezporetka koji ugrožava čitavo čovečanstvo, razume se i same Sjedinjene američke države, zemlju u kojoj je “kontrolisana dezintegracija” koncipirana, iz koje je pokrenuta i iz koje se, uprkos svemu, i dalje vodi. Umesto idealnog svetskog poretka koji je deklarativno zagovarao, svetski savez korporativne oligarhije proizveo je ono što je jedino mogao – nestabilni i nepredvidljivi, kontrolisani i autoritarni, represivni i totalitarni, vojno-policijski i bankarsko-finansijski bezporedak.

Tako je utopija (od gr. εϋ, dobar, zdrav i gr. τόπος, mesto, u značenju savršeno društvo) o svetskom korporativnom poretku kao idealnom društvu i kraju istorije, doživela inverziju. Transformisala se u vlastitu suprotnost, u svetsku korporativnu distopiju (od gr. δυσ, loš, bolestan i τόπος, mesto, prostor, u značenju loša zemlja, bolesna zemlja, sinonimi – kakotopija, antiutopija).

Kao živi spomenici ove inverzije poretka u bezporedak, po sili socijalne i istorijske inercije, na velikoj sceni svetskih poslova ostali su svi oni lokalni režimi “meke” okupacije koje je politika “kontrolisane dezintegracije” posejala širom sveta. Uvezani u gustu planetarnu mrežu “kontrolisane dezintegracije” kojom upravlja imperijalni suveren, ovi režimi prekrivaju svet i održavaju privid njegove integrisanosti, stabilnosti i predvidljivosti.

Upravo zbog posledica ove istorijske inverzije i inercije, pojam korisni idiot, danas se naročito često koristi tamo gde je svojevremeno, iako zbog drugačijih razloga, i nastao – u SAD i povodom SAD.[77]

Kao sinonim za korisnog idiota danas se upotrebljavaju i neki drugi pojmovi, najčešće pojam agent uticaja.[78]

Iako sâm nije koristio pojam korisni idiot, Kornelijus Kastorijedis je u studiji Kriza zapadnih društava koju je objavio u proleće 1982, dakle na samom početku svetske korporativne revolucije i njene politike “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, objasnio ovu planetarnu pojavu i detektovao njena osnovna svojstva. U vezi sa tim, Kastorijadis u Krizi zapadnih društava, pored ostalog, kaže sledeće:

 ”Apsolutna mentalna pauperizacija vladajućih krugova izražava se kroz proglase o krahu kenzijanizma…, pomodarstvo monetarizma (povratak stare kvantitativne teorije o novcu, tautologije o kojoj se odavno zna da je njen preobražaj u ‘eksplikativnu’ teoriju prijevaran) ili najnovije demonološke izmišljotine, kao što je supply side economics.

 ”Koliko će se dugo ovaj sistem moći nositi sa stalnim porastom broja nezaposlenih i stagnacijom životnog standarda zaposlenih?… Naposlijetku, u kapitalističkim privredama bez rasta, nezaposlenost ne može a da ne nastavi rasti po stopi od nekoliko postotaka aktivnog stanovništva godišnje (što odgovara prirodnom priraštaju stanovništva koji je uvećan učincima ulaganja u labour-saving).

“Druga oblast… jest oblast cijelog sklopa problema što su označeni izrazima ‘energija’, ‘neobnovljivi resursi’, ‘okoliš’, ‘ekologija’… I tu također nema politikâ, ili, ako ih ima, one su neprimjerene potencijalnoj težini ovih pitanja…

“Izvjesno je, međutim, da ni jedan režim ne može opstati ako… njegovi mehanizmi i načini selekcije političkog osoblja ne uspiju koliko-toliko spojiti ova dva neophodna zahtjeva… Prembda su se za sto ili stopedeset godina ‘sposobni’ i ‘nesposobni’ upravljači smjenjivali na vlasti, činjenica je da su bili rijetki slučajevi kad je upravljačka nesposobnost predstavljala odlučujući faktor evolucije.

“U suvremenom razdoblju stvari stoje upravo obrnuto. Ovome se mogu pronaći opći sociološki uzroci: širok pokret depolitizacije i privatizacije, raspad mehanizama kontrole i korekcije koji su postojali u klasičnim parlamentarnim režimima, drobljenje vlasti između raznovrsnih lobija… Potrebno je, ipak, naglasiti poglavito dva faktora svojstvena modernoj ‘političkoj’ organizaciji.

“Prvi je vezan uz birokratizaciju političkog Aparata (stranaka). Za sve stranke vrijedi više-manje apsolutno pravilo suvremene totalitarne birokratske partije: sposobnost napredovanja u Aparatu nema, u načelu, ništa sa sposobnošću vođenja poslova koji su u njegovoj nadležnosti. Biranje najsposobnijih jest biranje onih koji su najsposobniji da budu birani.

“Drugi je svojstven liberalnim zemljama. Izbor vodeđih čelnika, poznato je, svodi se na to da se imenuju osobe koje se najbolje mogu ‘prodati’. U suvremenom totalitarnom birokratskom Aparatu autoritet nije ni racionalni, ni tradicionalni, ni karizmatski, da preuzmemo tipologiju Maksa Vebera. Teško bi, na primjer, bilo odrediti u čemu se sastoji karizma Leonida Brežnjeva. To je novi tip autoriteta, za koji treba iznaći i novovo ime – nazovimo ga inercijskim tipom autoriteta. Ali, u liberalnim (ili mekim) birokratskim Aparatima, kakve su zapadne političke stranke, na djelu je povratak ‘karizmatskog’ tipa autoriteta: karizma je tu naprosto samo poseban dar jedne vrste glumaca koji igraju ulogu ‘šefa’ ili ‘državnika’. (Ovo je bilo očigledno davno prije izbora Regana, koji je, u tom pogledu, samo simbol uvećan do prostaštva.)…

“Ovi slučajni i neizbježni upravljači nalaze se tako postavljeni na vrh golemom birokratskog Aparata koji je danas moderna država, nositelj i organski proizvoditelj jedne proliferirajuće iracionalnosti unutar koje se sve više prorjeđuje nagdašnji birokratski etos (veliki dužnosnici ili skromni ali savjesni činovnici). I oni se sad moraju nositi s društvom koje se sve manje zanima za ‘politiku’ – to jest za svoju sudbinu, sudbinu društva kao cjeline.” [79]

Trideset godina posle ove Kastorijadisove analize, vidimo da se kriza zapadnih društava transformisala u svetsku krizu, da je “apsolutna mentalna pauperizacija vladajućih krugova”, zahvatila čitav svet, i da čitavim svetom sada zaista upravljaju “osobe koje se najbolje mogu ‘prodati’”, oni glumci “koji igraju ulogu ‘šefa’ ili ‘državnika’”, dakle korisni idioti.


Poredak korisnih idiota
danas je karakterističan za svaki lokalni režim “meke” okupacije širom sveta i svaku lokalnu oligarhiju koja takav režim servisira, održava i brani, pa tako i za režim “meke” okupacije i oligarhiju koja taj režim servisira, održava i brani u današnjoj Srbiji.[80] Korisni idioti i njihov poredak korisnih idiota u današnjoj Srbiji ne odstupaju od opšteg modela ove planetarne pojave koju je 1982. osvetlio Kastorijadis.

Zbog svoje urođene naivnosti, prirodne gluposti, brižljivo negovanog neznanja, različitih psiholoških kompleksa, neutoljive strasti za vlašću ili bogatstvom, u svakom slučaju zbog svoje moralne nedostojnosti, kao i primerne nekompetentnosti, korisni idioti u današnjoj Srbiji, takođe veruju da su zbog slepe lojalnosti i poslušnosti koje manifestuju prema vladajućem doktrinarnom sistemu Velike Korporativne Strategije, istovremeno postali i ravnopravni saveznici njegovih glavnih arhitekata, nosilaca i protagonista. Ova naivna, glupa i neznalačka predstava veoma je daleko od istine.

Naime, arhitekati, nosioci i protagonisti vladajućeg doktrinarnog sistema Velike Korporativne Strategije, koji su uostalom cinici, ne doživljavaju slepo lojalne lokalne pojedince i grupe korisnih idiota kao saveznike vredne poštovanja, nego jedino kao one koji zavređuju potpuni prezir. Za arhitekate, nosioce i protagoniste vladajućeg doktrinarnog sistema, ovi slepo lojalni pojedinci i grupe vredne svakog prezira, samo su pogodni objekti kojima se u okvirima režima “meke” okupacije uspešno upravlja primenom jednostavnih tehnika “štapa i šargarepe” iz Pavlovljevih neuro-psiholoških eksperimenata.

Stepen slepe lojalnosti koju svaki korisni idiot demonstira prema vladajućem sistemu spoljašnje subjugacije i njegovim dogmama, utoliko je veći ukoliko je manji kapacitet socijalne i emocionalne inteligencije kojom korisni idiot raspolaže. Svojstva idealnog korisnog idiota jestu emocionalna i socijalna tupost, moralna ravnodušnosta i potpuna neosetljivost za stvarne ljude i teške posledice koje u životima tih ljudi proizovdi vladajući sistem subjugacije. Zato se u tekućim raspravama naročito ističe da su upravo moralna ravnodušnost, emocionalna tupost i potpuna neosetljivost za posledice koje sistem proizvodi u životu stvarnih ljudi, pravo lice slepe lojalnosti koju prema sistemu demonstira neki korisni idiot.

Sledstveno, danas je korisni idiot svako onaj ko, slep, gluv, nem i neosetljiv za činjenice života, i dalje zastupa ciljeve propale korporativne revolucije kao istorijsku “sudbinu” koja niti ima niti može imati alternativu. Srbija, razume se, nije izuzetak. Ovdašnji korisni idioti legitimišu se svakodnevno kao vatreni zastupnici propagandnih slogana o  vrlinama sveta bez alternativa, dakle o vrlinama mrtvog sveta. “EU nema alternativu”, “NATO nema alternativu”, “DS nema alternativu”, “vladajuće partije nemaju alternativu”, “vlast nema alternativu”, samo su neke od takvih parola vulgarne propagande koje se neprekidno koriste na našoj lokalnoj sceni.

11.

Svaka vlast korisnih idiota demonstrira bezrezervnu lojalnost jedino prema vrhu hijerarhije korporativnog saveza svetske moći i to samo zato što je primarno lojalna prema vlastitim ličnim ili grupnim ambicijama i interesima. Otuda korupcija, za koju se u Srbiji pretežno koristi eufemizam “sukob interesa”, predstavlja prirodno, sistemsko i strukturalno svojstvo ove vlasti.

“Sveopća korupcija koju vidimo u suvremenom političko-ekonomskom sistemu nije periferijska ili anegdotska, ona je postala strukturalno i sistemsko obilježje društva u kome živimo”, kaže Kastorijadis 1993.[81] Brojni dostupni, otvoreni i pouzdani izvori dokumentovano potvrđuju ovo stanje činjenica širom sveta.[82] Svež i dobar primer jeste i američka lista Deset najtraženijih korumpiranih političara za 2010, Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2010, koju je polovinom decembra objavila tamošnja fondacija Judicial Watch. Predsednik SAD, Barak Husein Obama, kao i donedavni šef njegovog kabineta, Ram Emanuel, nalaze se u ovom katalogu. [83] Ovo ne treba da čudi ima li se u vidu da protiv visoke sistemske korupcije koja je 2007. detektovana u toj zemlji, do danas nisu preduzete nikakve praktične mere.[84] Naprotiv, odlukom Vrhovnog suda SAD po kojoj korporacije dobijaju zakonsko pravo da direktno finansiraju izborne kampanje političkih partija, sistemska korupcija u toj zemlji samo je dodatno osnažena.[85]

Iako u našoj Republici katalog kao što je to katalog Deset najtraženijih korumpiranih političara za 2010 još nije napravljen, ipak, sudimo li po raspoloženju domaćeg javnog mnenja, jasno je da ovdašnji model korupcije ne odstupa od navedenog sistemskog modela korupcije u SAD. Nimalo slučajno, čak “81 odsto građana Srbije smatra da korupcija cveta u političkom životu”, pokazuju rezultati istraživanja o korupciji u Srbiji, koje je, za potrebe Programa za razvoj UN (United Nations Development Program, UNDP), sproveo TNS Medium Gallup. Rezultati istraživanje objavljeni su krajem oktobra 2010.[86]

Brojne dostupne činjenice, na primer činjenice o privatnim poslovima Olivera Dulića, ministra za životnu sredinu i prostorno planiranje u Vladi RS, koje činjenice je istražio i objavio portal pištaljka.rs, kao i zataškavanje tog skandaloznog slučaja u kome se naročito istakla Agencija za borbu protiv korupcije,[87] snažano podržavaju ovo uverenje javnosti o korumiranosti ovdašnjeg poretka korisnih idiota.

Isto uverenje javnosti osnažuju i brojni drugi slučajevi, pa tako i prvih devet do sada objavljenih dokumenata američkog Državnog sekretarijata za spoljne poslove o Srbiji. Navedeni dokumenti, kao što je poznato, “procureli” su u javnost preko portala WikiLeaks. Reč je o poverljivim (confidential), a u nekim slučajevima i tajnim (secret) izveštajima o prilikama u vrhovima ovdašnje vlasti koji su u Vašington (Državni sekretarijat, Savet za nacionalnu bezbednost, drugo) i na ostale adrese od interesa (“evropski politički kolektiv”, vojno-obaveštajni aparat SAD, američke misije u drugim zemljama, od EU i Rusije do Kazahstana), poslati iz ambasade SAD u Beogradu. [88] 

To što sve dimenzije ove spektakularne operacije “curenja” poverljivih dokumenata američke vlade o trećim zemljama preko portala WikiLeaks, još nisu rasvetljene, to što su se u međuvremenu otvorila i brojna zanimljiva pitanja o samom WikiLeaks-u, njegovim osnivačima i kontroverznim vestima koje okružuju čitavu ovu operaciju,[89] ne dovodi u pitanje nesumnjivi učinak građe koja je zahvaljujući WikiLeaks-u postala dostupna javnosti širom sveta.

U slučaju Srbije, to znači da navedenih devet dokumenta, takođe potvrđuju dominatno uverenje (i) ovdašnje, kao i međunarodne javnosti, da su poredak i vlast korisnih idiota uveliko uspostavljeni i učvršćeni u našoj Republici. Sledstveno, i sasvim u skladu sa teškim posledicama koje takvo stanje stvari ima za Republiku, njen teritorijalni integritet i njenu celovitost, njen ustavni poredak, njeno dobro ime, njene ustanove i njene građane, sadržaj ovih dokumenata takođe potvrđuje da su glavni instrumenti ovdašnje vlasti i moći zaista vaninstitucionalno i neustavno koncentrisani u rukama samog predsednika Republike, odnosno predsednika vladajuće Demokratske partije i nekolicine njegovih najbližih i najpoverljivijih kabinetskih i partijskih saradnika.[90]

12.

Zato i nije teško pokazati da je zastava koja simbolizuje stotine strategija koje su korisni idioti tokom proteklih deset godina ponudili građanima ove Republike zapravo lažna zastava koja skriva praktične i ideološke instrumenate za sprovođenje “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, “slamanja nacije – izgradnje nacije”  i uspostavljanje poretka korporativne distopije. Da to vidimo, dovoljno je da se suočimo sa svakidašnjim činjenicama našeg svakidašnjeg društvenog, ekonomskog i političkog života.

Najzad, i sasvim u skladu sa doktrinarnim načelima “kontrolisane dezintegracije”, “slamanja nacije – izgradnje nacije” i korporativne distopije, uloga vlasti ovdašnjih korisnih idiota i nije drugo nego da, sledeći doktrinu T.I.N.A. (there is no alternative, ne postoji alternativa) i mašući lažnom zastavom, stvari dovede do kolapsa. Drugim rečima, upravo kolaps Srbije jeste krajnji cilj pregalaštva ovdašnjih korisnih idiota.

Ipak, i kao što to pokazuju događaji na svetskoj sceni tokom proteklih deset godina, nesumnjivo je da alternativa zaista postoji. To pokazuju slučajevi zemalja udruženih u asocijaciju BRIK (Brazil, Rusija, Indija i, naročito, Kina koja je danas druga industrijska sila sveta i zemlja koja je trenutno prva u oblasti razvoja informatičkih tehnologija), ali to pokazuje i razvoj događaja u samim SAD i EU. Tako, na primer, već od 1980, a sasvim izvesno od 1994. do danas, o tome naročito uverljivo svedoči radikalna kritika tzv. “Vašingtonskog koncenzusa”. Bez obzira na različita teorijska stanovišta koja zastupaju, svi kritičari bez izuzetka polaze od premise da je politika zasnovana na tzv. “Vašingtonskom koncensusu” jedan od glavnih generatora tekuće svetske krize, sledstveno i svake od njenih lokalnih manifestacija, te da je čitav taj koncept,  doživeo potpuni slom.[91] Za naše lokalne prilike, nije bez značaja ni činjenica da je članak na tragu ove kritike tzv. “Vašingtonskog koncenzusa”, u maju 2002. napisao i Zoran Đinđić, tadašnji predsednik Vlade RS.[92]

U novembru 2008, jedna od CIA afilijacija, Savet za nacionalne obaveštajne poslove, National Intelligence Council (NIC), objavio je izveštaj Globalni trendovi do 2025, Global trends 2025, u kome se na osnovu brojnih raspoloživih parametara predviđa da će tokom  narednih 15 godina, tekuća  erozija američke globalne moći biti nastavljena i dovedena do kraja, a da će se na svetskoj sceni ulogu SAD preuzeti novi globalni akteri, među kojima je Kina na prvom mestu.[93] Ispostavilo se, međutim, da se erozija američke moći odvija mnogo brže. Tako su bolji poznavaoci, već u oktobru 2009, konstantovali da su SAD uveliko stigle u 2025, budući da se njihova globalna nadmoć istopila čitavih petnaest godina pre roka o kome govori prognoza iz 2008.[94] Od septembra do decembra 2010, dodatno je osnažena argumentacija za jedan ovakav zaključak.[95]

Otuda smo tokom proteklih godina svedoci grozničavog traganja za alternativnim rešenjima širom sveta. Ale ne i u poretku korisnih idiota sa kojima imamo posla u današnjoj Srbiji.

Zato za svakoga ko još nije obnevideo od ovdašnje lokalne propagande Velike Korporativne Strategije, svaki pokušaj artikulisanja alternativnih razvojnih strategija u svetu, ili ovde, kod kuće, predstavlja prvorazredni i poučni uzor. Ovo svakako važi za alternativne koncepte i rešenja na kojima istrajava međunarodna Radna grupa: Alternativna ekonomska politika za Evropu, Working Group: Alternative Economic Policy for Europe, takođe poznata i kao Evromemorandum grupa, Euromemorandum Group. Od 1998, svake godine u oktobru, ova otvorena asocijacija koja okuplja preko 350 ekonomista sa evropskih i američkih univerziteta i naučnih instituta, zaseda u Briselu i tom prilikom objavljuje svoje preporuke.[96] Evromemorandum za 2008 – 2009, objavljen je pod naslovom Demokratska transformacija evropskih finansija, režim pune zaposlenosti i ekološko restrukturiranje. Alternativa kapitalizmu kojim upravljaju finansije.[97] 

Kao i sve druge alternativne strategije na kojima danas rade u svetu ili kod kuće (višestruko poučan primer jeste primer zrenjaninske Jugoremedije),[98] i Evromemorandum za 2008 – 2009. dosledno je ignorisan u ovdašnjem poretku korisnih idiota i njegovoj kontrolisanoj javnosti. Takvo stanje činjenica ne treba da nas čudi. Ono je logična posledica glavnog unutrašnjeg svojstva svakog poretka u kome korisni idioti igraju nominalno glavne uloge.

Naime, svaki takav poredak strukturiran je prema unutra kao optimalno zatvoreni, što znači temeljno represivni, parohijalni svet koji, u isto vreme, manifestuje krajnju poslušnost prema svakom spoljašnjem sistemu koji nad njim sprovodi vlastitu politiku hegemonije, dominacije i subjugacije. Istovremenu unutrašnju zatvorenost i spoljašnju otvorenost parohijalnog sveta osiguravaju korisni idioti koji u poretku represivne parohijalne zatvorenosti igraju nominalno glavne uloge. Sledstveno, takav jedan poredak u potpunosti je rezistentan na svaku alternativnu mogućnost. Ova otpornost poretka korisnih idiota prema svakoj alternativi, posledica je njegove temeljne represivnosti i posledične rezidentnosti prema ljudima uopšte, a prema ljudskoj slobodi, slobodnom mišljenju i slobodnom delovanju posebno. Zajednice u kojima se takav poredak uspostavio izložene su riziku da nestanu sa istorijske scene u doslovnom smislu te reči. Sa svojim vlastitim parohijalnim poretkom u kome korisni idioti igraju nominalno glavne uloge, današnja Srbija izložena je upravo ovom riziku. Slaba je uteha što je tom istom riziku izložen čitav svet.

Naime, parohijalni poredak u kome korisni idioti igaju nominalno glavne uloge nikako nije ekskluzivno svojstvo samo današnje Srbije. Upravo je suprotno. Ovaj parohijalni poredak nije ništa drugo nego svetski parohijalni bezporedak koji je čovečanstvu kao tempiranu bombu ostavila propala svetska korporativna revolucija – to je svetski poredak korporativne distopije. Kolaps je jedino prirodno “stanje” takvog poretka. Razume se, ovo važi i za Srbiju.

13.

Brojni, veoma kompleksni, unutrašnji i spoljašnji činioci uticali su da se takav poredak uspostavio. Neki od njih skicirani su i na ovom mestu, ali je samo po sebi razumljivo da je za celovitu analizu potrebno da se uradi još mnogo toga. Iz perspektive specifičnog iskustva današnje Srbije ovo naročito važi u slučaju onih formativnih činilaca o kojima se u ovdašnjoj javnosti tako retko i tako nerado govori. A upravo ove činioce o kojima se kod nas radije ne govori, naglašava Mavrikijev Strategikon, upravo zahvaljujući analizi tih činilaca razvijen je sam pojam strategija, kao što se upravo na ovim činiocima posle Mavrikija, sve do našeg vremena, što znači i danas, temeljio i temelji svaki program imperijalne dominacije (i) na centralnom Balkanu. 

I zato, za ovu priliku i na ovom mestu, nije na odmet da se postavi pitanje koje za neku drugu raspravu ponovo otvara još jedan zatamnjeni i neprozirni problemski krug.

Naime, ne utiče li na ovakvo stanje stvari i neki javnosti do sada nepoznati, dakle tajni, ugovor, konvencija, protokol, memorandum, obećanje, beleška ili slično nazvani, pisani ili nepisani, sporazum koji su glavni protagonisti poretka korporativne distopije sklopili sa ovdašnjim korisnim idiotima na štetu vitalnih interesa Republike Srbije i njenih građana?

Opšta svetska istorija institutâ tajne diplomatije i politike interesnih sfera, a naročito posebna istorija tajne diplomatije i politike interesnih sfera na Balkanu, razume se uključujući tekuću istoriju tridesetpetogodišnje jugoslovenske i srpske krize, daju dovoljno argumenata na osnovu kojih se sa veoma visokim stepenom verovatnoće na ovo pitanje može odgovoriti potvrdno.

Uostalom, već u Mavrikijevom Strategikonu sadržana je nedvosmislena preporuka o važnosti primene instituta tajne diplomatije za uspostavljanje i održavanje imperijalnog poretka.

“Kako kod njih (misli se na Slovene sa kojima Mavrikijeve trupe ratuju na centralnom Balkanu, prim. LJ.K.) ima mnogo glavara (ρηγων) i pošto se međusobno ne slažu, nije neumesno neke od njih pridobijati (μεταχεφίζεσθ-αι, možda bolje μεταχαρίζεσθαι) bilo rečima bilo darovima, naročito one bliže granici, a napadati druge, da ne bi (naše) neprijateljstvo protiv sviju stvorilo kod njih jedinstvo ili vlast jednoga”, preporučuje se u Strategikonu.[99] Kao što naše istorijsko i aktuelno iskustvo to svakodnevno potvrđuje, ova Mavrikijeva preporuka nije izgubila ništa od svoje delotvornosti ni za današnju Srbiju, ni u današnjoj Srbiji.

Najzad, delotvornost ovog načela tajne diplomatije jeste jedan od razloga zbog kojih je aktuelni položaj Republike Srbije strukturalno identična položaju koji je Kneževina, docnije Kraljevina Srbija, imala posle 28. juna 1881. kada je Čedomilj Mijatović, tadašnji ministar finansija i zamenik ministra spoljnih poslova, po nalogu i u ime suverena i svog ličnog prijatelja, kneza Milana Obrenovića, potpisao Ugovor o savezu između Austro-Ugarske i Srbije, poznatiji pod imenom Tajna konvencija.

“Tajna konvencija između Austro-Ugarske i Srbije iz 1881. godine posebna je vrsta ugovora o interesnim sferama. Ona je posledica već izvršene podele Balkana na kongresu u Berlinu, 1878. godine. Tu je, uprkos otporu Rusije, sklopljen sporazum o tome da je Bugarska u ruskoj interesnoj sferi, dok je Srbija prepuštena na milost i nemilost Austro-Ugarskoj. Još za vreme trajanja Berlinskog kongresa, Srbija je morala da zaključi s Austro-Ugarskom ekonomski sporazum koji je nametao obavezu da za tri godine izgradi železničku prugu Beograd – Niš i da je poveže sa Solunskom i Carigradskom prugom. Time su stvorene mogućnosti za prebacivanje austrijske i nemačke robe na istok.

“Odluke triju zaniteresovanih država – Austro-Ugarske, Rusije i Nemačke, o podeli interesnih sfera, utvrđene u grubim crtama u Berlinu 1878, tačno su utvrđene u nizu tajnih ugovora o interesnim sferama, posle 1878. godine.

“Vodeći računa da je njen glavni neprijatelj Engleska, Nemačka je posle Berlinskog ugovora 1878. pokušala da popravi odnose s carskom Rusijom. Oživljava se Savez triju careva i u Berlinu 18. juna 1881. sklapa se tajna konvencija između Austro-Ugarske, Nemačke i Rusije. U 5. članu te konvencije, sile potpisnice se uzajamno obavezuju da će držati u tajnosti sadržinu kao i činjenicu potpisivanja ovog ugovora. Ova ista saglasnost postignuta je i za protokol priključen ovoj konvenciji. U protokolu se tačno utvrđuje podela interesnih sfera na Balkanu. U prvom članu protokola Austro-Ugarska dobija pravo da izvrši aneksiju Bosne i Hercegovine kad god to bude želela. U naknadu, Bugarska postaje interesna sfera Rusije. Srbija, napuštena od Rusije na Berlinskom kongresu, morala je, na dan 28. juna 1881. godine da zaključi s Austro-Ugarskom ugovor o savezu, nazvan ‘tajna konkvencija’. U 2. članu tog ugovora srpska vlada se obavezala da neće vršiti i trpeti na svome zemljištu nikakve pripreme i radnje protiv interesa Austro-Ugarske Monarhije u Bosni i Hercegovini i Sandžaku. U istom članu, Austro-Ugarska prima obavezu prema Srbiji i dinastiji Obrenovića, obećavši da će raditi na održanju i jačanju monarhije. U 3. članu Austrija se obavezuje da se neće protiviti da se knez Srbije proglasi kraljem. U 4. članu Srbija se obavezuje da neće voditi pregovore niti zaključivati bilo kakve političke ugovore bilo s kojom drugom državom i da neće dozvoliti na svojoj teritoriji strane vojne snage, redovne ili neredovne, čak ni kao dobrovoljce. U 7. članu Austrija se obavezuje da će potpomagati širenje Srbije na jugu, ali istočno od Sandžaka.

“Konvenciju su potpisali u Beogradu, u ime Srbije ministar finansija i zamenik ministra inostranih poslova – inače lični prijatelj kneza Milana – Čedomilj Mijatović, a u ime Beča austrijski ministar baron De Herbert. Srpska vlada nije znala za ovu konvenciju. Knez Milan je o sadržini konvencije, pred samo njeno potpisivanje, kratko obavestio jedino predsednika vlade. Tajna konvencija nije iznošena pred Narodnu skupštinu na ratifikaciju. Knez Milan je austro-ugarskoj vladi uputio jednu ličnu izjavu da će ugovor izvršiti bez ikakvih ograničenja. Tu je izjavu potpisao 24. oktobra 1881. godine. Austro-ugarska vlada i srpska vlada takođe su potpisale zajedničku deklaraciju, u Beogradu, 25. oktobra, i u Beču, 30. oktobra, gde su precizirale 4. član tajne konvencije. U ime austro-ugarske vlade ovu deklaraciju potpisao je B. Kalaj, a u ime srpske vlade M. Piroćanac.

“Godine 1889, posle abdikacije kralja Milana i dolaska na presto njegovog maloletnog sina Aleksandra, ponovo je sklopljen ugovor između dveju vlada, po kome se tajna konvencija produžuje. U 4. članu ugovora od 1889. godine, austro-ugarska vlada odobrava aspiracije srpske vlade prema Makedoniji. U 4. članu izričito se veli da će, shodno 7. članu Konvencije od 1881. biti dozvoljeno teritorijalno proširenje Srbije u pravcu doline Vardara sve dokle prilike dozvoljavaju. Tri namesnika u Srbiji, posebnom deklaracijom od 19. marta 1889. godine, potvrdila su da priznaju ugovore od 1881. i 1889. godine. Time su oni odgovornost s kralja Milana preneli na sebe, kao namesnike maloletnog kralja Aleksandra Obrenovića.

“Interesne sfere na Balkanu ponovo su precizirane ugovorom između Nemačke i Rusije, 18. juna 1887. godine, takozvanim ‘potvrdnim ugovorom’, kojim su potvrđeni tajni ugovori i protokol od 1881. godine, zaključeni između Nemačke, Rusije i Austro-Ugarske.

“U drugom članu ovog ugovora Nemačka priznaje ‘istorijska prava koja je Rusija zadobila na Balkanskom poluostrvu, a naročito legitimnost njenog preovlađujućeg i odlučujućeg uticaja u Bugarskoj i Istočnoj Rumeliji’. U članu 3. priznaju se i prava Rusije na Bosforu i Dardanelima.

“Car i kralj Franjo Josif i car Nikolaj II sklopili su 8. maja 1897. godine novi tajni austrijsko-ruski ugovor o podeli interesnih sfera na Balkanu. Po 1. članu ovog ugovora dva cara su se sporazumela da ako dođe do takve situacije da održanje dotadašnjeg status quo bude postalo nemogućim, Austro-Ugarska i Rusija odbijaju unapred svaku ideju osvajanja Balkanskog poluostrva; pri tome, one su odlučile da zajednički brane ovaj princip pred nekom drugom velikom silom koja bi mogla da istakne svoja prava na teritorije Balkanskog poluostrva. Dva cara takođe ponovo potvrđuju koje su austrijske a koje ruske interesne sfere na Balkanu. Rusija priznaje Austro-Ugarskoj sva prava koja je stekla na osnovu ugovora u Berlinu, 1878. godine. Okupacija Bosne i Hercegovine i Sandžaka uopšte ne dolazi u obzir da se o njoj ponovo diskutuje, a carska i kraljevska vlada apostolskog veličanstva Franje Josifa II zadržava sebi pravo da, kad dođe pogodan trenutak, sadašnji status okupacije, kao i prava održavanja garnizona u Sandžaku, pretvori u aneksiju. Dalje je ovim ugovorom predviđeno da se na teritoriji od Janine na jugu, pa do Skadarskog jezera na severu, s odgovarajućim proširenjima na obadve strane, stvori nezavisna država kneževina Albanija. Ostatak balkanske teritorije treba da postane predmet pravedne podele između raznih malih postojećih balkanskih država. Prilikom te podele Austro-Ugarska i Rusija zadržavaju pravo da kažu svoje mišljenje kada za to dođe vreme. Ovim članom, car Franjo Josif II i car Nikolaj II isključuju mogućnost ujedinjenja Južnih Slovena, jer su se složili da se onemogući svaka kombinacija promenama granica koja bi dovela do očigledne nadmoćnosti bilo koje balkanske države protiv drugih država. Ruska vlada je uz ovaj tajni ugovor posebnom notom precizirala neke od odluka samog ugovora, a naročito ono što se tiče ruske interesne sfere u istočnom delu Balkanskog poluostrva, a, pre svega, na prilazima moreuzima Bosfora i Dardanela.”[100] 

Bez obzira na faktičku ili samo nominalnu promenu glavnih aktera ovog plana, matrica za zavisnu, kontrolisanu i nadziranu, sledstveno siromašnu i zaostalu Srbiju koju je postavio Berlinski kongres 1878, a precizirala Tajna konvencija od 28. juna 1881, ponovo je aktivirana na sceni istorije. Sa svojim poretkom koji su uspostavili i koji sprovode u današnjoj Srbiji, ovdašnji korisni idioti u svemu su pristali na ovu veliku reviziju i travestiju istorije. Shodno tome, unutar poretka korporativne distopije, današnja Srbija nema nikakva prava na samostalnu unutrašnju i spoljašnju politiku. Zato današnja Srbija nema svoju strategiju, nego se pod onom lažnom zastavom u njoj dosledno sprovodi strategija za Srbiju, jedna od brojnih lokalnih emanacija Velike Korporativne Strategije, propale korporativne revolucije i poretka korporativne distopije.

Svako može da vidi kako se današnja delotvornost matrice za zavisnu, kontrolisanu, nadziranu, siromašnu i zaostalu Srbiju koja je postavljena 1878 – 1881, danas sistematski kapilarno, svakodnevno i nedvosmisleno potvrđuje u svim područjima društvenog života, horizontalno i vertikalno. Naročito upečatnjivo današnju delotvornost ove matrice reflektuje simbolička politika i politika simbola u današnjoj Srbiji, na primer politika imenovanja glavnih ulica glavnog grada. Ova politika, naime, potvrđuje da zaista postoji spoljašnji i unutrašnji “koncenzus” o “povratku” Republike Srbije u stanje Kneževine, odnosno Kranjevine Srbije uspostavljeno posle Berlinskog kongresa 1878. i Tajne konvencije od 28. juna 1881. Zato je veoma lako pokazati da iz perspektive svetskog saveza korporativne moći i njegovog imperijalnog poretka korporativne distopije današnja Srbija nema pravo na bilo kakvu samostalnu unutrašnju i spoljašnju politiku. Takođe, veoma je lako pokazati i to da je unutrašnji poredak u kome ovdašnji korisni idioti igraju svoje nominalno glavne uloge u svemu pristao na ovu veliku reviziju i travestiju istorije.

Ostaje da se istraži u kojoj je meri na ovu travestiju uticao “i neki javnosti do sada nepoznati, dakle tajni, ugovor, konvencija, protokol, memorandum, obećanje, beleška ili slično nazvani, pisani ili nepisani, sporazum koji su glavni protagonisti poretka korporativne distopije sklopili sa ovdašnjim korisnim idiotima na štetu vitalnih interesa Republike Srbije i njenih građana”.

Ne sumnjam da će ova “misterija” biti rešena mnogo ranije nego što to izgleda u ovom trenutku.

 

Beograd, decembar 2010.

[1] U sažetom obliku i pod istim naslovom, glavne ideje ovog rada izložio sam kao jedan od uvodničara na raspravi Da li Srbija ima svoju strategiju? Rasprava je održana 14. decembar 2010, u Beogradu, u organizaciji Centra za nacionalnu strategiju, Udruženja književnika Srbije i Nove srpske političke misli.

[2] Katalog definicija pojma strategija videti pod strategy, Answers.com, http://www.answers.com/topic/strategy.

[3] Videti, Георгије Острогорски: Историја Византије, СКЗ, Београд, 1959, str. 96 – 103; Елен Арвелер: Политичка идеологија Византијског царства, Филип Вишњић, Београд, 1988, str. 35 – 39; Димитри Оболенски: Византијски комонвелт, Просвета, Београд, 1991, стр. 62 – 67; Тибор Живковић: Словени и Ромеји, Историјски институт Српске академије наука и уметности, Посебна издања, књига 33, Београд, 2000; Warren Soward: Theophylact Simocatta and the Persians, California State University, Fullerton, CA, http://www.humanities.uci.edu/sasanika/pdf/Theophylact.pdf.

[4] Kao autor Strategikona u izvorima se pominje sam Mavrikije, međutim analize teksta pokazale su da je autor mogao biti i neko od Mavrikijevih učenih savremenika, uključujući ovde i njegovog brata Petra (gr. Πέτρος, лат. Petros, 545 – 602), jednog od tri stratega (гр. strategos, glavni komandant, general) iz vremena Mavrikijevih balkanskih ratova. U srpskoj vizantologiji, na primer, kao autor Strategikona, navodi se anonimni Pseudo-Mavrikije. Videti, Византијски извори за историју народа Југославије, том I, уредник Георгије Острогорски,  обрадили Фрањо Баришић, Мила Рајковић, Бариша Крекић, Лидија Томић, Српаска академија наука, Посебна издања, Књига CCXLI, Византолошки институт, Књига 3, Издавачко предузеће Београд, 1955, Teofilakt Simokata, delovi iz Istorije ekumeneΟίκουμενικη ίστορία u kojima se opisuje doba Mavrikijeve vladavine i njegovi ratovi sa Slovenima, str. 103 – 126; Pseudo-Mavrikije, izvodi iz Strategikona, u kojima se opisuju običaji i svojstva Slovena sa kojima je ratovao, str. 127 – 142.

[5] Jedan od Mavrikijevih naslednika na carskom prestolu, Lav VI Filozof (866 – 912, na vlasti 886 – 912), drugi od imperatora iz Makedonske dinastije, naveo je opširne delove iz Strategikona u svom delu Τακτικά, Tactica, Taktika. Tako se i dogodilo da je zahvaljujući prvim prevodima Taktike Lava VI Filozofa na savremene jezike, pojam strategija počeo da se koristi u Evropi krajem 18. i početkom 19. veka – Strategie u Nemačkoj od 1777, nedugo posle toga stratégie u Francuskoj, strategy u Engleskoj od 1810, itd.

[6] Veoma dobar pregled klasičnih i savremenih vojnih teorija i doktrina, može se naći na portalu The Clausewitz Homepage, http://www.clausewitz.com/index.htm; takođe, što se tiče naše unutrašnje scene, Живојин Мишић: Стратегија. Вештина ратовања (1907), Војноиздавачки завод, Београд, 1993; Vojna politika i strategija super sila, Centar za strategijska istraživanja Generalštaba JNA, Beograd, 1979; Evropa danas i bezbednost Jugoslavije, Generalštab JNA, Centar za strategijska istraživanja, Beograd, 1982; Kosmos, savremene tehnologije i odbrana, Đ. Popović, urednik, Centar oružanih snaga za strategijska istraživanja i studije “Maršal Tito”, Institut za strategijska istraživanja, 1986; Sovjetska vojna moć 1986, Centar oružanih snaga za strategijska istraživanja i studije “Maršal Tito”, Beograd, 1987; časopis Savremeni problemi ratne veštine, Centar visokih vojnih škola JNA, odnosno VJ, potom Sektor za školstvo, obuku, naučnu i izdavačku delatnost VJ, Beograd, 1991 – 2000…

[7]  Strateško upravljanje nacionalnom ekonomijom, utemeljio je DŽ. M. Kejnz 1936. godine, videti, John Maynard Keynes: The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,  Palgrave Macmillan, London, 1936, http://www.scribd.com/doc/11392072/The-General-Theory-of-Employment-Interest-and-Money.

[8] “Porter’s Five Forces”, “Porterovih pet sila”, bio je model strateškog upravljanja iz 1979 – 1980. sa kojim je M. E. Porter, njegov autor, zasnovano savremeno korporativno upravljanje; videti, Michael Eugene Porter: How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy, Harvard Business Review, March – April 1979; Michael Eugene Porter: Competitive Strategy, Free Press, New York, 1980.

[9] Танјуг: Сваке године 35.000 грађана мање у Србији, Политика, 30. 09. 2010, http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Drustvo/Svake-godine-35_000-gradjana-manje-u-Srbiji.sr.html.

[10] Влада Републике Србије. Стратегије, http://www.srbija.gov.rs/vesti/dokumenti_sekcija.php?id=45678.

[11] Национална стратегија привредног развоја Србије од 2006. до 2012. године, Влада Републике Србије. Стратегије, http://www.srbija.gov.rs/extfile/sr/62206/strategija_privrednog_razvoja163a_cyr.zip.

[12] Стратегија одрживог развоја Републике Србије, Влада Републике Србије. Стратегије,

http://www.srbija.gov.rs/extfile/sr/88898/nacionalna_strategija_odrzivog_razvoja0081_cyr.zip.

[13] Boris Tadić: Da čitavo društvo podrži plan “Srbija 2020″, Демократска странка, Beograd, 18. decembra 2010, http://www.ds.org.rs/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10586&Itemid=424.

[14] “Dokument Strategija Srbija 2020. – Koncept razvoja Republike Srbije do 2020. godine, nalazi se na naslovnoj strani sajta predsednika Republike Srbije (www.predsednik.rs) u rubrici dokumenti u donjem delu naslovne strane sajta predsednika Srbije./ Ovaj dokument možete preuzeti i u rubrici nadležnosti, podsekcija dokumenti.” Obaveštenje o dokumentu Strategija Srbija 2020. Predsednik Republike Srbije. Vesti. 20. decembar 2010,

http://www.predsednik.rs/mwc/default.asp?c=301500&g=20101220134636&lng=lat&hs1=0; Србија 2020. Концепт развоја Републике Србије до 2020. године (нацрт за јавну расправу), Predsednik Republike Srbije. Dokumenti. Strategija Srbija 2020, 20. decembar 2010,

http://www.predsednik.rs/mwc/pic/doc/srbija_2020_final_18122010.pdf.

[15] Циљ економске стратегије већи стандард и бољи живот становништва, Влада Републике Србије. Вести. Активности Владе, 24. 12. 2010, http://www.srbija.gov.rs/vesti/vest.php?id=145378; Србија 2020. Концепт развоја Републике Србије до 2020. године (нацрт за јавну расправу), Влада Републике Србије. Вести. Активности Владе. Нацрт концепта развоја Србије до 2020,

http://www.srbija.gov.rs/extfile/sr/145381/koncept_razvoja_srbije_do_2020.pdf; Танјуг: Цветковић представио концепт развоја Србије до 2020, Политика Online, 24. 12. 2010,

http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Ekonomija/Cvetkovic-predstavio-koncept-razvoja-Srbije-do-2020.sr.html;  I.J.: Cvetković: Do 2020. godine 400.000 više zaposlenih u Srbiji, Blic Online, 24. 12. 2010, http://www.blic.rs/Vesti/Ekonomija/225682/Cvetkovic-Do-2020-godine-400000-vise-zaposlenih-u-Srbiji

[16] Mlađan Dinkić, lider Ujedinjenih regiona Srbije i potpredsednik Vlade, u razgovoru za Danas o odnosima u vladajućoj koaliciji. Zbog Tadića sam obećavao 1.000 evra, razgovor, autor: Nikola Tomić, Danas, e-izdanje, 26. decembar 2010,

http://www.danas.rs/danasrs/politika/zbog_tadica_sam_obecavao_1000_evra.56.html?news_id=206706.

[17] Procene o broju NVO u Srbiji kreću se od 40.000 udruženja građana, od čega je 15.000 nastalo posle 1990 (Mr Žarko Paunović, Univerzitet u Beogradu, FPN: Civilno društvo i građanska participacija,

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=40&ved=0CGYQFjAJOB4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjlpmr.files.wordpress.com), preko 1.286 organizacija koje su 2005. registrovane u bazi podataka NVO Građanske inicijative (NVO sektor u Srbiji, Mreža, vanredno izdanje, Građanske inicijative,  sa Freedom House, No(v)ib, Oxfam, Nederlands, Federacija nevladinih organizacija Srbije, Beograd 2005, http://www.scribd.com/doc/7032469/NVO-Sektor-u-Srbiji), do 9.597 NVO tokom 2009, kako navodi Tanjug (U Srbiji 9.597 NVO, http://www.novosti.rs/vesti/naslovna/aktuelno.69.html:257986-U-Srbiji-9-597-NVO).

[18] Kao upečatljiv primer ove simbioze, videti, Finalna verzija dokumenta: Institucionalni mehanizam saradnje Vlade i civilnog društva: uporedna iskustva i preporuke za Srbiju, Vlada Republike Srbije. Стратегија за смањење сиромаштва. Vesti. 29. 04. 2009,

http://www.prsp.gov.rs/vest.jsp;jsessionid=23835034408936B3F64186F60C3159E7?id=658; pod ovim naslovom i sa tom e-adresom postavljeno je, naime, nešto sasvim drugo, jedan od projekata NVO Građanske inicijative: CIDEC – Dijalog građana i građanki za evropski koncenzus. Institucionalni oblici i mehanizmi učešća građana i građanki u procesu Evropskih integracija, Građanske inicijative, “Projekat finansira EU kroz Fond za EU integracije kojim rukovodi Delegacija Evropske Komisije u Republici Srbiji, a tehnički realizuje Press Now”, Beograd, juni 2009,

http://www.gradjanske.org/admin/download/files/_id_188/CIDEC-02.pdf.

[19] Videti, na primer, Иван Нинић: Приватизација “Комерцијалне банке”! Влада Србија и EBRD под маском „докапитализације“ договорили паклени план за приватизацију “Комерцијалне банке”!, Фонд Слободан Јовановић, 28. 12. 2010, http://www.slobodanjovanovic.org/2010/12/28/ivan-ninic-privatizacija-%E2%80%9Ekomercijalne-banke%E2%80%9C/?lang=cir.

[20] USAID Serbia. Projekat za razvoj konkurentnosti Srbije. Resusrsni centar. Dokumenti, http://www.compete.rs/sr/downloads; takođe, Serbia Enterprise Development Project. Final Report, November 2007, Period of Performance: July 2003 – June 2007, PCE-I-00-00013, Task Order 814, Client: United States Agency for International Development, Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PDACN385.pdf.

[21] USAID navodi tri strateška cilja SAD na kojima radi u Srbiji: “Strateški cilj 1.31: Ojačati demokratsko upravljanje tržišnom ekonomijom. Ovaj SC je skoncentrisan na promene na republičkom nivou, jačanje političkih i zakonskih okvira i njihovu primenu…/ Strateški cilj 1.32: Povećati privredni rast preduzeća u sektorima i opštinama sa visokim potencijalom…/ Strateški cilj 2.11: Smanjiti opasnost od političke nestabilnosti. Ovaj SC će se usmeriti na podršku ključnim demokratskim strukturama i procesima na svim nivoima republike radi jačanja političke stabilnosti. Unaprediće se i uslovi u određenim, ugroženim oblastima kroz poboljšanje ekonomskih uslova i aktivno učešće građana u lokalnoj zajednici.” USAID Serbia, Strategija USAID-a za Srbiju i Crnu Goru od 2006 – 2011. Opšti rezime strategije za Srbiju, http://serbia.usaid.gov/code/navigate.php?Id=208. Iako se na istom mestu navodi da je “puna verzija strategije za Srbiju” dostupna zainteresovanima, ona to u stvarnosti nije.

Umesto navedenog dokumenta, zaniteresovani nailazi na upozorenje da je zakucao na vrata “službenog kompjuterskog sistema vlade SAD”, da je pristup “punoj verziji strategije za Srbiju” dozvoljen samo na osnovu autorizacije USAID-a, i da neautorizovani pristup za počinioca može imati adminsitrativni, disciplinski ili krivični postupak na osnovu odgovarajućih zakonâ SAD, videti http://www.usaid.gov/cgi-bin/goodbye?http://www.usaid.gov/cgi-bin/goodbye?http://www.usaid.gov/cgi-bin/goodbye?http://serbia-montenegro.usaid.gov/upload/documents/Strategy/Strategija_USAID-a_za_Srbiju_Opsti_rezime.pdf.

[22] The Obama Administration’s Vision for Southeastern Europe. Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Kokkalis Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, February 17, 2010, U.S. Department of State. Diplomacy in Action, http://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2010/137012.htm; opširniji komentar, Ljubomir Kljakić: Treba da obrađujemo svoj vrt, I – III, Fond Slobodan Jovanović, 7, 10, 14. jun 2010, http://www.slobodanjovanovic.org/2010/06/07/ljubomir-kljakic-treba-da-obradujemo-svoj-vrt-i-deo/?lang=lat

 

[23] Najcalovitiji pregled agencija, organizacija i fondacija stranih vlada koje su akreditovane u Srbiji nudi Međunarodni savet dobrovoljnih agencija (Ženeva, Švajcarska) sa svojim Imenikom agencija UN/ Međunarodnih vladinih agencija i međunarodnih nevladinih organizacija u Srbiji i Crnoj Gori, videti,  Directory of UN/ International Government Agencies and INGOs in Serbia and Montenegro, International Council of Voluntary Agencies. Centre for International Support,

http://www.icvacis.org/pdf/Directory%20-%20International%20Agencies.pdf.


[24]
Obilje podataka od interesa u ovoj stvari nudi najnovije istraživanje javnog mnenja o činjenica društvenog života u Srbiji za proteklih 20 godina. Videti, Kako građani Srbije vide tranziciju iz socijalizma u kapitalizam. Preliminarni nalazi, Mreža ISP (Mreža Istraživača socijalnih prilika), 23. 10. 2010, http://www.mrezaisp.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=79&Itemid; 20 godina tranzicije od socijalizma u kapitalizam. Kako građani Srbije vide tranziciju. Istraživanje javnog mnenja tranzicije (Srećko Mihailović, Miroslav Ružica, Tanja Jakobi, Zoran Đ. Slavujević, Mirjana Vasović, Bora Kuzmanović, Dragan Popadić, Đorđe Vuković, Marija Kolin, Zoran Stojiljković, Miloš Mojsilović, Miroslav Hadžić, Zoran Krstić, Tanja Miščević), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Beograd, 2010, http://www.fes.rs/pubs/2010/pdf/20.kako-gradjani-srbije-vide-tranziciju.pdf.

[25] Интегрални текст, под насловом Šta donosi nacionalna strategija privrednog razvoja Srbije, Еkapija, 11. 11. 2006, http://www.ekapija.com/website/sr/page/78209.

[26] Prof. Jurij Bajec, jedan od autora Nacionalne strategije privrednog razvoja Srbije 2006 - 2012. Srbija kao brucoš…, Izvor: Biznis & Finansije, http://www.vibilia.rs/srpski/izvestaj/0508/Jurij_251206.pdf.

[27] Miroslav Zdravković: Industrijska proizvodnja u oktobru, Ekonomija.org, 1. oktobar 2010, http://www.ekonomija.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1327&cntnt01origid=51&cntnt01detailtemplate=Sample2&cntnt01returnid=54.

[28] Milan Knežević: Jezikom statističke istine, Ekonomija.org, 26. novembar 2010,

http://www.ekonomija.org/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1308&cntnt01origid=51&cntnt01detailtemplate=Sample2&cntnt01returnid=54.

[29] Videti, na primer, Национални интерес, 1, тема броја Србија у вртлогу економске кризе, Београд, 2010; Криза и развој, зборник радова са истоименог научног скупа, Институт друштвених наука. Центар за економска истраживања, Београд, 2010; Nebojša Katić: Iz drugog ugla, http://nkatic.wordpress.com/; Национални интерес, 3, тема броја Елите у постсоцијализму, Београд, 2010; Нова српска политичка мисао, vol. XVII (2009), no. 3-4, тема броја Светска економска криза и Србија, Београд, 2010…

[30] Kornelijus Kastorijadis: Uspon beznačajnosti, preveo sa francuskog Frano Cetinić, Umetničko društvo Gradac, Čačak – Beograd, 1999, str. 62.

[31] Za “viziju” o 21. stoleću kao još jednom “američkom veku” u interpretaciji njenih liberalnih ideologa, videti, na primer, Majkl Mandelbaum: Treba li svetu Golijat. Kako Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada u 21. veku (2005), Filip Višnjić, Beograd, 2006; o konceptu Sledeći američki vekТhe Next American Century u interpretaciji tzv. neokonzervativaca, neocon, reprezentativni izvori dostupni su na sajtu The Project for The New American Century, http://www.newamericancentury.org/.

[32] Kornelijus Kastorijadis: Uspon beznačajnosti, isto, str. 48 i kasnije.

[33] Majkl Mandelbaum: Treba li svetu Golijat. Kako Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada u 21. veku, isto, str. 32.

[34] “Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada”, Majkl Mandelbaum: Treba li svetu Golijat. Kako Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada u 21. veku, isto, str. 23.

[35] Economic Black Hole: 20 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy Is Dying And Is Simply Not Going To Recover, The Economic Collapse, February 10th, 2010,

 http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/economic-black-hole-20-reasons-why-the-u-s-economy-is-dying-and-is-simply-not-going-to-recover; Scott Strelczyk: An Argentina-like Economic Crisis, American Thinker, Aug 13, 2010, http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/08/an_argentinalike_economic_cris.html

[36] William Pfaff: Euro’s Crisis Has American Fingerprints, Truthdig, May 11, 2010,

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/euro_crisis_has_american_fingerprints_20100511/; Andrew Jackson: The Euro Crisis, The Progressive Economists, May 26, 2010, http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2010/05/26/the-euro-crisis/; Uri Dadush and contributors: Paradigm Lost: The Euro in Crisis,  Carnegie Endowment  for International peace, June 2, 2010,

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/Paradigm_Lost2.pdf; Ralf Neukirch: ‘Are You Still Loyal to Europe?’Euro Crisis Damages Germany’s Reputation, Spiegel Online, November 29, 2010, http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,731689,00.html; Jens Witte: Fears of a Euro Demise. The Disastrous Consequences of a Return to the Deutsche Mark, Spiegel Online, November 29, 2010, http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,731798,00.html

[37] Re-Ordering the World, Edited by Mark Leonard, The Foreign Policy Centre, London, March 2002,  http://fpc.org.uk/fsblob/36.pdf; Robert Cooper: The Breaking of Nations. Order and Chaos in the Twenty-first Century, Grove Press, New York, 2003 (српски превод, Robert Kuper: Raspad nacija. Poredak i haos u XXI veku, Filip Višnjić, Beograd, 2007); Francis Fukuyama: State-Building. Governance and World Order in the 21st Century, Cornell University Press, New York, 2004 (српски превод,  Frensis Fukojama: Građenje države. Upravljanje i svetski poredak u dvadesetprvom veku, Filip Višnjić, Beograd, 2007); James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Beth Cole DeGrasse: The Beginners Guide to Nation-Building, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, Arlington, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, 2007,

http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG557.pdf;  Verena Fritz and Alina Rocha Menocal: Understanding State-Building from a Political Economy Perspective. An Analytical and Conceptual Paper on Processes, Embedded Tensions and Lessons for International Engagement. Report for DFID’s Effective and Fragile States Teams, Overseas Development Institute (ODI),  London, September 2007, http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/download/1340.pdf; The U.S. Army Stability Operations Field Manual. U.S. Army Field Manual No. 3-07, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 6 October 2008, http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/repository/FM307/FM3-07.pdf

[38] Љубомир Кљакић: Криза. Историјска демисија светског система и српска криза. Милитаризација светских послова и светски корпоративни поредак. Преиспитивање, štampano, Национални интерес, 1, Београд 2010, стр. 205 – 238, Зборник крушевачке Филозофско-књижевне школе 2009, Крушевац 2010, стр. 143 – 170, dostupno na više e-adresa, na primer, Globalresearch.ca, 18. 02. 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17699; Treba da obrađujemo svoj vrt, I – III, Fond Slobodan Jovanović, 7, 10, 14. jun 2010,

http://www.slobodanjovanovic.org/2010/06/07/ljubomir-kljakic-treba-da-obradujemo-svoj-vrt-i-deo/?lang=lat, i na više drugih e-adresama; Европска Унија каомекаимперија и Срби,  Центар за националну стратегију, 4. новембар 2010,

http://www.sac.org.rs/blog/15/doc/EU%20kao%20meka%20imperija.pdf, kao i na drugim e-adresama,  štampano, Национални интерес, 3, исто, стр. 427 – 428,

[39] Ljubomir Kljakić: Kosmopolis. Ogled o celini sveta i upravljanju svetskim poslovima, rukopis, Beograd, avgust 2005 – februar 2007, стр. 110 – 122; Scribd.com, 06/05/2010,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32579294/Ljubomir-Kljaki%C4%87-KOSMOPOLIS-OGLED-O-CELINI-SVETA-I-UPRAVLJANJU-SVETSKIM-POSLOVIMA.

[40] Halford J. Mackinder: The geographical pivot of history, The Geographical Journal, 1904, 23, pp. 421- 437, http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1775498.pdf;  H. J. Mackinder:  Democratic ideals and reality: a study in the politics of reconstruction, Constable, London, 1919, на српском, H. Dž. Makinder: Demokratski ideali i stvarnost. Studija politike obnove (1919), sa engleskog preveo Dušan D. Stojanović, Metaphysica, Beograd, 2009.

[41] Osnovno o Ričardu Heklvitu, na drugom mestu. Videti, Љубомир Кљакић: Стратегија Ешер. Срби и Американци у светским пословима кроз историју и отворена питања будућности…, Београд, април 2004, стр. 90, 98, 100  – 101, 108, Scribd.com, 09/12/2010,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/37296972/Љубомир-Кљакић-СТРАТЕГИЈА-ЕШЕР.

[42] Opširnije o doktrini liberalnog imperijalizma, na drugim mestima. Što se tiče stavova ovog autora, videti, Ljubomir Kljakić: Kosmopolis. Ogled o celini sveta i upravljanju svetskim poslovima, rukopis, Beograd, avgust 2005 – februar 2007, str. 74 – 98; Scribd.com, 06/05/2010,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/32579294/Ljubomir-Kljaki%C4%87-KOSMOPOLIS-OGLED-O-CELINI-SVETA-I-UPRAVLJANJU-SVETSKIM-POSLOVIMA.

[43] Videti, Paul Ehrlich: The Population Bomb, Ballantine Books, New York, 1968; Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski: Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, Тhe Viking Press Inc., New York, 1970; Charles A. Reich: The Greening of America. How the youth revolution is trying to make America livable, Random House, New York, 1970; Jean-François Revel: Ni Marx ni Jésus. De la seconde révolution américaine à la seconde révolution mondiale, Robert Laffont, Paris 1970 (Jean-François Revel: Without Marx or Jesus: The New American Revolution Has Begun, by Delacorte Press, New York,  1972); John D. Rockefeller 3rd: The Second American Revolution: Some Personal Observations, Harper Collins, New York, 1973; Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III: The Limits To Growth. A Report For The Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament Of Mankind, 1972 (Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III: Granice rasta, Stvarnost, Zagreb 1974); Regionalized and Adaptive Model of the Global World System. Report on the Progress in the Strategy for Survival Projectof the Club of Rome, Mihajlo Mesarović and Eduard Pestel, Directors, Club of Rome Report, Confidential, September 17, 1973; Mihajlo Mesarović and Eduard Pestel: Mankind At The Turning Point – The Second Report To The Club Of Rome 1974; Fred Hirsch: Social Limits to Growth, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,1976; Melvin J. Lasky: Utopia and Revolution. On the Origins of a Metaphor, or Some Illustrations of the Problem of Political Temperament and Intellectual Climate and How Ideas, Ideal, and Ideologies Have been Historically Related, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1976…

[44] Za bibliografiju dostupnih radova o Dejvidu D. Rokfeleru, porodici Rokfeler i njenoj ulozi u američkim i svetskim poslovima od 1870. do danas, videti Ljubomir Kljakić: Kosmopolis. Ogled o celini sveta i upravljanju svetskim poslovima, isto, str. 121, napomena 52.

[45] Noam Chomsky, Vladimir Dedijer, and Jean-Paul Sartre: Russell Memorial Symposium, The New York Review of Books, December 30, 1971,

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1971/dec/30/russell-memorial-symposium/.

[46] Zbignjev Kazimir Bžežinski, potomak porodice poljskih sitnih plemića iz Galicije, sin poljskog diplomate, državljanin SAD od 1958, tada profesor državne uprave na Univerzitetu Kolumbija, Njujork, direktor Istraživačkog instituta za komunističke poslove u Školi za međunarodne poslove istog univerziteta (Research Institute on Communist Affairs, School of International Affairs,  Columbia University), “demokratski” anti-komunista, istaknuti vojnik tzv. “hladnog rata”, demokrata i liberal, član Saveta za spoljne poslove, visoko pozicioniran unutar aparata nacionalne bezbednosti SAD; u anglo-američkom časopisu Encounter (glasilu koje je finansirala CIA u svom “kulturnom hladnom ratu” protiv SSSR i “međunarodnog komunizma”), objavio 1968 – 1969. više radova u kojima je prvi put predstavio koncept trilateralnog saveza moći; u razvijenom  obliku, ovu ideju izložio je u knjizi Between Two Ages. America’s Role in the Technetronic Era koja je objavljena u jesen 1970. i odmah naišla na izvanredan prijem; iz današnje perspektive, izgleda da je ovo takođe bio i manifest nadolazeće svetske korporativne revolucije i svetskog korporativnog poretka sa SAD u glavnoj ulozi; videti, Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski: Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, Тhe Viking Press Inc., New York, 1970,

http://www.thenewalexandrialibrary.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/between-two-ages-by-zbigniew-brzezinski.pdf.

[47] Bilderberg Meetings. The Official Website, http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/conferences-10s.html; List of Bilderberg meetings, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bilderberg_meetings; Dejvid Rokfeler: Memoari (2002, 2003), Interkomerc, Beograd, 2004, o Bilderbergu, str. 437 – 439. 

[48] Spheres of influence in the age of imperialism. Papers submitted to the Bertrand Russell Centenary Symposium, Linz, Austria, September 11th to 15th, 1972, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation for Spokesman, Nottingham, England, 1972;  Vladimir Dedijer: Interesne sfere. Istorija interesnih sfera i tajne diplomatije uopšte, a posebno Jugoslavije u Drugom svetskom ratu, Prosveta, Beograd, 1980, стр. 7 – 9, 97 – 98; Vladimir Dedijer, Rudolf Rizman: Universal Validity of Human Rights, Russell – Sartre Heritage Papers 1, Boro Dedijer Foundation for Peace, 1982, pp. 15 – 16, 34 – 35.

[49] Opširnije, Ljubomir Kljakić: Kosmopolis. Ogled o celini sveta i upravljanju svetskim poslovima, исто, Henri Kisindžer, graditelj američke imperije, str. 116 – 120.

[50] The Trilateral Commission (службени сајт), http://www.trilateral.org/; Trilateral Commission, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trilateral_Commission; Trilateral Commission, SourceWatch,

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Trilateral_Commission; Holly Sklar: Trilateralism. The Trilateral Commission and elite planning for world management, South End Press, Boston, MA, 1980; Stephen Gill: American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission, Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1992; Dejvid Rokfeler: Memoari, исто, o Трилатералној комисији, стр. 442 – 445; Will Banyan: The “Proud Interanationalist”: The Globalist Vision of David Rockefeller, March 2006,

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/third_section/The_Proud_Internationalist_2006.pdf

[51] Projekat osamdesete, 1980′s Project, bio je aktivan između 1973. i 1982; dobro organizovan, projekat jer takođe podržan i znatnim finansijskim sredstvima (budžet 1,3 miliona dolara, koordinacioni komitet od 14 ljudi, 9 direktora, među kojima i Zbignjev Bžežinski, Majkl Blumental, Sajrus Vens, Pol Voker, 12 istraživačkih grupa za različite oblasti sa po 20 članova, brojni drugi eksperti angažovani kao savetnici, administrativni aparat); rezultati rada objavljeni su između 1977. i 1982. u 33 knjige; za CFR, sve knjige objavio je njujorški izdavač McGraw-Hill. Videti, Robert D. Schulzinger: The Wise Men of Foreign Affairs, Columbia University Press, New York, 1984; Peter Grose: Continuing the Inquiry. The Council on Foreign Relations from 1921 to 1996, The Council on Foreign Relations, New York, 1996, 2006, pp. 53 – 67; Dejvid Rokfeler: Memoari, isto, o CFR i Projektu osamdeste, str. 432 – 437; potpuniju listu knjiga objavljenih u okviru Projekta oasamdesete, videti u Љубомир Кљакић: Европска Унија каомекаимперија и Срби, isto, napomena br. 3.

[52] Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski: Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, ibid., напомена бр. 36.

[53] Paul Ehrlich: The Population Bomb, ibid, napomena br. 36.

[54] Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, William W. Behrens III: The Limits To Growth. A Report For The Club Of Rome’s Project On The Predicament Of Mankind, 1972, ibid., напомена бр. 36.

[55] Fred Hirsch: Social Limits to Growth, Harvard University Press,  Harvard, MA, 1976.

[56] Charles A. Reich: The Greening of America. How the youth revolution is trying to make America livable, Random House, ibid, напомена бр. 36.

[57] Miltom Friedman: Autobiography, Nobelprize.org. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1976, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1976/friedman-autobio.html; Milton Friedman, Wikipdia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman;  Paul Krugman: Who was Milton Friedman?, The New York Review of Books, February 15, 2007, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/feb/15/who-was-milton-friedman/; Naomi Klein: Doktrina šoka. Uspon kapitalizma katastrofe (2007), vbz, Zagreb, 2008.

[58] Zero growth, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_growth;  Zero population growth, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_population_growth.

[59] National Security Study Memorandum, NSSM 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (The Kissinger Report), December 10, 1974, USAID, http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PCAAB500.pdf; Brian Clowes, Ph.D.: Kissinger Report 2004.  A Retrospective on NSSM – 200, Human Life International, Front Royal, VA,

http://www.scribd.com/doc/10059513/Nssm-200Kissinger-Report; Is Overpopulation a National and Global Security Threat?, The Center for Research on Population and Security, http://www.population-security.org/issue_a.htm… Na osnovu američkog Zakona o slobodi informacija, Freedom Information Act, Kisindžerov izveštaj, kao i drugi dokumenti Saveta za nacionalnu bezbednost o tom programu, deklasifikovni su od polovine devedesetih godina do kraja 2008, pa su tako i postali dostupni javnosti.

[60] The Rockefeller Commision Report. Тhе Population and the American Future. The Report of The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, The Center for Research on Population and Security,http://www.populationsecurity.org/rockefeller/001_population_growth_and_the_american_future.htm.

[61] Fred Hirsch, Edward L. Morse & Michael W. Doyle: Alternatives to monetary disorder, McGraw-Hill, for the Council on Foreign Relations/ 1980s Project, New York, 1977.

[62] Paul A. Volcker, President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York: The Political Economy of the Dollar, The Fred Hirsch lecture sponsored by the Fred Hirsch Memorial Committee at Warwick University, Coventry, England, on Thursday, November 9, 1978, FRBNY Quarterly Review/ Winter 1978 – 79, pp. 1 – 12, Concurrently being published in the January 1979 issue of The Banker (London),

http://www.ny.frb.org/research/quarterly_review/1978v3/v3n4article1.pdf.

[63] Tzv. “Vašingtonski konsenzus” označava vladajuću neoliberalnu politiku koju su u periodu od 1979 -1980. do 2008 -2009, zastupali i sprovodili operativni akteri svetske korporativne revolucije među ekonomistima, političarima i novinarima, ali pre svega označava politiku Trezora SAD koju su na temelju očekivane saglasnosti operativno sprovodili MMF, Svetska banka i druge međunarodne finsnsijske institucije. Isto tako, pojam označavao radikalne “neoliberalne reforme” ekonomije i finansija u UK i SAD (“tačerizam”, “reganomika”), koje su, istovremeno, tokom osamdesetih godina 20. veka, propisane kao nužan spoljašnji uslov za sve zemlje u razvoju, a od 1989 – 1990. i kraja tzv. “hladnog rata” za tzv. tranzicione zemlje u Istočnoj Evropi, uključujući ovde i sve zemlje na prostoru izvorne Jugoslavije, pa prema tome i Srbiju. Sam pojam “Vašingtonski koncenzus” konstruisao je 1989. Džon Vilijamson kako bi imenovao deset posebnih reformskih “preporuka” za koje je našao da predstavljaju “standardni” sadržaj paketa “reformskih uslova” koji je Vašington – Trezor SAD, odnosno američko ministarstvo finansija, MMF, Svetska banka – izričito propisao prvo za sve zemlje u razvoju, a potom i za čitav svet. Ovih deset “standardnih reformskih uslova” koje svaka nacionalna ekonomija mora da ispuni, jesu: fiskalna disciplina, preusmeravanje javne potrošnje (od subvencija za obrazovanje, primarnu zdravstvenu zaštitu i druge javne potrebe na investicije u infrastrukturu), poreska reforma (proširenje poreske osnovice, umereno marginalna poreska stopa), promenljive kametne stope koje se utvrđuju na tržištu, konkurentni valutni kurs, potpuna liberalizacija međunarodne trgovine (ukidanje svih oblika kvantitativnog ograničenja, niske i ujednačene carinske tarife), potpuna liberalizacija unutrašnjih stranih investicija, potpuna privatizacija preduzeća u državnom i javnom vlasništvu, potpuna pravna deregulacija (ukidanje svih propisa koji ograničavaju nastup stranih kompanija ili konkurenciju na nekom lokalnom tržištu, od deregulacije su izuzeti samo lokalni propisi koji se tiču pitanja bezbednosti, zaštite životne sredine i zaštite potrošača, kao i propisi koji garantuju “razborit” nadzor nad lokalnim finansijskim institucijama), puna zakonska zaštita privatnog vlasništva. Videti, Washington Consensus, Harvard University’s Center for International Development (CID). The Global Trade Negotiations Home Page,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalization_and_Its_Discontents; Washington Consensus, Wikipedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus,

[64] Kalendar ovih 12 susreta SAD – SSSR na najvišem nivou izgleda ovako: 19 – 21. novembar, 1985, Ženeva,  Švajcarska, Ronald Regan i Mihail Gorbačov;  10 – 12. oktobar, 1986, Rejkjavik, Island, Ronald Regan i Mihail Gorbačov; 7 – 10. decembar, 1987, Vašington, SAD, Ronald Regan i Mihail Gorbačov; 29. maj – 1. jun, 1988, Moskva, SSSR, Ronald Regan i Mihail Gorbačov; 7. decembar, 1988, Njujork, SAD, Ronald Regan i Mihail Gorbačov, u prisustvu izabranog predsednika SAD Džordža H. V. Buša; 2 – 3. decembar, 1989, La Valeta, Malta, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 30. maj – 3. jun, 1990, Vašington, SAD, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 9. septembar, 1990, Helsinki, Finska, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 19. novembar, 1990, Pariz, Francuska,  Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 17. jul, 1991, London, UK, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 30 – 31. jul, 1991, Moskva, SSSR, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov; 29 – 30. oktobar, 1991, Madrid, Španija, Džordž Buš i Mihail Gorbačov.

[65] Mikhail Gorbachev Reports on the Trilateral Commission, Mаking the History of 1989,

http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/138; Anatoly Cbernyaev’s Notes from the Politburo Session, January 21,1989, From the National Security Archive, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/archive/files/trilateral-commission_456077e5f6.pdf; Commemorating… 1989. The Year that Changed the Map of Europe (And Therby the World), The Trilateral Commision, 33rd European Regional Meeting, 16 – 18 October 2009, Oslo, Norway – North American Regional Meeting, 6 – 8 November 2009, Washington, DC, pp. 9 – 15,

http://www.trilateral.org/download/doc/Commemorating_1989.pdf.

[66] …Treća moskovska konferencija, 18. oktobar – 1. novembar 1943, susret ministara spoljnih poslova SSSR, SAD i UK,  Molotova, Hala i Idna, Moskovska deklaracija; Prva konferencija Velike trojice, 28. novembar – 1. decembar 1943, Teheran, kodirano Eureka, Staljin, Ruzvelt i Čerčil, zajednička strategija u ratu protiv Nemačke i njenih saveznika; Konferencija u Breton Vudsu, 1 – 15. jul 1944, SAD, predstavnici 44 savezničke zemlje osnovali Međunarodni monetarni fond i Svetsku banku za obnovu i razvoj; Konferencija u Dambarton Oksu, Vašington, 21 – 29. avgust 1944, predstavnici 39 savezničkih zemalja potpisali sporazum o osnivanju OUN po završetku rata; Druga konferencija u Kvebeku, kodirano Octagon, 12 – 16. septembar 1944, Ruzvelt, Čerčil, razmatran Morgentauov plan za posleratnu Nemačku, kao i druga pitanja rata; Četvrta moskovska konferencija, kodirano Tolstoy,  9. oktobar 1944, Staljin, Čerčil, Molotov, Idn, ustanovljene posleratne sfere uticaja u Istočnoj Evropi, kao i na Balkanskom poluostrvu; Konferencija na Malti, kodirano Argonaut & Cricket, 30. jaunuar – 2. februar 1945, Ruzvelt i Čerčil, pripreme za susret sa Staljinom na Jalti; Konferencija na Jalti, kodirano Argonaut & Magneto, 4 – 11. februar 1945, Staljin, Ruzvelt, Čerčil, osnove plana za podelu Nemačke i posleratnu Evropu, posebno slučajevi Poljske i Jugoslavije, “džentlmenski sporazum” o podeli interesnih sfera na Balkanu po principu 50:50, zakazana osnivačka konferencija OUN, dogovoren ulazak SSSR u rat protiv Japana; Osnivačka Konferencija OUN, San Francisko, 25. april – 26. jun 1945, predstavnici 50 zemalja, Povelja OUN; Konferencija u Postdamu, kodirano Terminal, 17. jul – 2. avgust 1945, Staljin, Truman, Čerčil, zatim Atli, Postdamska deklaracija o bezuslovnoj kapitulaciji Japana, Sporazum iz Postdama o politici prema Nemačkoj.

[67] Videti, Michael R. Beschloss, and Strobe Talbot: At the Highest Levels. The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, etc,, 1993; Timothy Garton Ash: In Europe’s Name. Germany and the Divided Continent, Vintage Books, New Yprk, 1993; Aleksandar N. Jakovljev: U vrtlogu sećanja, I-II (2001), LIR BG – Forum pisaca, Beograd, 2002; Commemorating… 1989. The Year that Changed the Map of Europe (And Therby the World), The Trilateral Commision, ibid.

[68] List of wars 1945 – 1989, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1945%E2%80%931989; List of wars 1990 – 2002, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1990%E2%80%932002.

[69] AIDS, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS< .

[70] Paul Treanor: How Many People did Thacher Kill? (The original version Wieviele Menschen hat Thatcher getötet?, Telepolis, 04.11.1998, http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/2/2516/1.html); Paul Treanor. Archive. Document Index.http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/thatcher.html; David Redmon, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn: Privatization is Suicide, Consumers, Commodities & Consumption. A Newsletter of the Consumer Studies Research Network, Vol. 5, No. 1, December 2003,

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/dtcook/www/CCCnewsletter/5-1/Redmon.htm;
John Gerring, Strom C. Thacker: Do Neoliberal Economic Policies Kill or Save Lives?, Department of Political Science. Department of International Relations. Boston University, Boston MA, November 2, 2007, http://www.bu.edu/sthacker/IMRpolicy071102.pdf; Claudia von Werlhof: The Consequences of Globalization and Neoliberal Policies. What are the Alternatives?, GlobalResearch.ca, February 1, 2008,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7973; Anup Shah: Poverty Facts and Stats, The Page Last Updated, Mondey, September 20, 2010, Global Issues,

http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats; Thank You United Nations and All the Neoliberal Colonialist NGOs, Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Haiti), January 12, 2011,

http://brikourinouvelgaye.com/2011/01/12/thank-you-united-nations-and-all-the-neoliberal-colonialist-ngos/

[71] Majkl Mandelbaum: Treba li svetu Golijat. Kako Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada u 21. veku, isto, str. 23 (videti napomenu 33 u ovom tekstu).

[72] Miroslav Marković: Filozofija Heraklita Mračnog, Nolit, Beograd 1983, str. 48 – 49.

[73] Majkl Mandelbaum: Treba li svetu Golijat. Kako Amerika deluje kao svetska vlada u 21. veku, isto, str. 32 (videti napomenu 32 u ovom tekstu).

[74] Kovanica korisni idiot, korisni idiotiuseful idiot, useful idiots, prvi put javno upotrebnjena je u jednom članku o italijanskim političkim prilikama koji je Njujork tajms objavio na samom početku tzv. Hladnog rata i nedelju dana pre publikvanja Rezolucije Informbiroa (Arnold Cortesi: Communist Shift is Seen in Europe. Tour of Two Italian Leaders Behind Iron Curtain Held to Doom Popular Fronts, New York Times, June 21, 1948, p. 14). U tom članku navodi se da će italijanski komunisti dati priliku korisnim idiotima, odnosno svojim “saputnicima” sa levog krila Socijalističke partije Italije, ili da pristupe Komunističkoj partiji Italije ili da napuste lagodnu “saputničku” poziciju. Posle ovog članka, kovanica korisni idiot, korisni idioti, označavala je tokom tzv. “hladnog rata” sve one koji nisu pripadali komunističkim organizacijama, ali su imali simpatije za SSSR i stvar komunizma uopšte ili su, čak, sa njima dalili neke ideje i uverenja. Implikacija jedne takve pozicije, tvrdilo se, jeste da ovi korisni idioti nesvesno rade za SSSR i međunarodni komunizam, zbog čega ih SSSR i međunarodni komunizam cinično i beskrupulozno iskorišćavaju za postizanje svojih mračnih ciljeva. Tvrdilo se da je autor pojma korisni idioti, bio sam Lenjin.  Međutim, u proleće 1987, Grant Haris iz vašingtonske Kongresne biblioteke, saopštio je da dugogodišnje, veoma pažljivo iščitavanje Lenjinovih objavljenih radova na raznim jezicima, nije potvrdilo osnovanost ove propagandne legende o Lenjinu kao autoru kovanice korisni idioti. Taj izraz, naime, nije pronađen ni u jednom od Lenjinovih radova, izjavio je Grant Haris. Videti, Useful idiot, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot; Daniel Finkelstein: Never said it: 10 famously inaccurate quotes, The Times, March 18, 2009, http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2009/03/10-things-that.html.

[75] Wald, George. Letter. New York Times 19 Aug. 1980, sec. 14: 4, dostupno na adresama The High Priest Of Globalization Essay. Research Paper, Мy Best Essays. http://mybestessays.com/the-high-priest-of-globalization-essay-research/; Other Western Élites. The Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg.org. http://www.bilderberg.org/trilat.htm.

[76] Tekst dostupan na adresi Other Western Élites. The Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg.org., http://www.bilderberg.org/trilat.htm.  

[77] Bruce S. Thorton: The Chorus of Useful Idiots, FrontPageMagazine.com, Friday, November 01, 2002,

http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=21386; George Manbiot: Dreamers and idiots. Britain and the US did everything to avoid a peaceful solution in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Guardian, Tuesday, 11 November, 2003, http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2003/nov/11/afghanistan.iraq; Simon Jenkins: London: Resisting the Useful Idiots, The Huffington Post, July 29, 2005,

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-jenkins/london-resisting-the-usef_b_4878.html; Anthony Browne: Fundamentally, we’re useful idiots, The Times, August 1, 2005,

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article550184.ece; J.B.Williams: Targeting the Rich and Corporations. Obamanomics 101 For Useful Idiots, Canada Free Press, Thursday, September 11, 2008, http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/4966; Tony Judt: Bush’s Useful Idiots. The Strange Death of Liberal America, London Review of Books,  Vol. 28, No. 18, 21 September 2006,  http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n18/tony-judt/bushs-useful-idiots; Chris Hedges: The Idiots Who Rule America, Truthdig, Octоber 20, 2008,

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20081020_the_idiots_who_rule_america/; J.B Williams:  Obama’s Natural-Born Useful Idiots, Canada Free Press,  Tuesday, May 11, 2010,

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/23043;  Simon Tisdall: Cameron has proved himself – as Obama’s useful idiot, The Guardian, Thursday 29 July 2010,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/29/david-cameron-obamas-useful-idiot; Shyam Sundar: The ‘UKDSA’s’ celebrity, Useful Idiot was (and still is) Tony Blair, Corporete Frauds Watch, Thursday, 14 October 2010, http://corporatefraudswatch.blogspot.com/2010/10/ukdsas-celebrity-useful-idiot-was-and.html

[78] Agent of influence, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_of_influence.

[79] Kornelijus Kastorijadis: Uspon beznačajnosti, isto, str. 11 – 12.

[80] Kanadski filozof Džon Ralston Sol, dao je značajan doprinos razumevanju korisnih idiota kao savremenog planetarnog fenomena, tako što je posebno osvetlio korporativizam kao dominatnu ideologiju. Videti, John Ralston Saul: Voltaire’s Bastards. The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, Vintage Canada, Toronto, 1993; The Unconscious Civilization, Free Press, New York, 1999 (srpski prevod, Džon Ralston Sol: Nesvesna civilizacija, Karpos, Beograd, 2010); The collapse of globalism аnd the rebirth of nationalism, Harper’s magazine, March 2004, pp. 33 – 43,

http://harpers.org/archive/2004/03/0079950.

[81] Kornelijus Kastorijadis: Uspon beznačajnosti, isto, str. 71.

[82] Vdeti, Richard Damania and Erwin Bulte: Resources for Sale: Corruption, Democracy and the Natural Resource Curse, School of Economics, Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia, Discussion Paper No. 0320, July 2003, http://www.adelaide.edu.au/cies/papers/0320.pdf; Axel Dreher, Christos Kotsogiannis and Steve McCorriston: Corruption Around the World. Evidence from a Structural Model, Department of Economics, School of Business and Economics, University of Exeter, UK, June 8, 2004, http://129.3.20.41/eps/pe/papers/0406/0406004.pdf; David Martimort  and Stéphane Straub: Privatization and Coruption, University of Toulouse (IDEI) and Institut Universitaire de France, University of Edinburgh, January 6, 2006, http://idei.fr/doc/conf/veol/straub_martimort.pdf; Jack E. Lohman: Politicians - Owned and Operated by Corporate America. Why Campaign Reform is Crucial to the US Economy and National Security and Why Clean Money Elections are the Right Fix, Colgate Press, Sussex, WI, 2006, http://www.moneyedpoliticians.com/; Nick Mathiason: Western bankers and lawyers ‘rob Africa of $150bn every year’, guardian.co.uk. The Observer, Sunday 21 January 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/jan/21/business.theobserver2; Suzan Rouz-Ejkerman, urednik: Ekonomija korupcije. Međunarodni zbornik, Službeni glasnik, Beograd, 2008; 2009 Global Integrity Report, Global Integrity. Independent Information on Governance & Corruption, http://report.globalintegrity.org/

[83] Po alfabetskom redu, na američkoj listi Deset najtraženijih korumpiranih političara za 2010, Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians for 2010, fondacije Judicial Watch, nalaze se: senator Barbara Bokser (demokrata, Kalifornija), Ram Emanuel (doskorašnji šef kabineta predsednika Baraka Huseina Obame), senator Džon Ensig (republikanac, Nevada), Barni Frenk (demokrata, Masačusets), Džesi Džekson mlađi (demokrata, Ilinois), Barak Husein Obama (predsednik SAD), Nensi Pelosi (demokrata, Kalifornija), Čarls Rendžel (demokrata, Njujork), Hal Rodžers (republikanac, Kentaki) i Maksin Voters (demokrata, Kalifornija). Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2010, Judicial Watch. Tom Fitton President, December 17, 2010,

http://www.judicialwatch.org/weeklyupdate/2010/50-washingtons-ten-most-wanted-corrupt-politicians-2010.

[84] 2009 Global Integrity Report. Accountability and Anti-Corruption Unchanged in U.S. Despite New Administration, Global Integrity. Independent Information on Governance & Corruption,

http://report.globalintegrity.org/globalindex/findings.cfm#NewAdministration.

[85] Adam Liptak: Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit, The New York Times, January 21, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html?_r=2; The Editors: How Corporate Money Will Reshape Politics, Room for Debate. The Opinion Page (with 555 Readers’ Comments), The New York Times, January 21, 2010, http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/how-corporate-money-will-reshape-politics/;  Deborah Tedford: Supreme Court Rips Up Campaign Finance Laws, National Public Radio (NPR), January 21, 2010, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122805666.  

 

[86] Владимир Радомировић: Истраживање. Политичари најкорумпиранији, pištaljka.rs, 30. 11. 2010, http://www.pistaljka.rs/home/read/53, интегрални текст самог истраживања на е-адреси, 

http://www.pistaljka.rs/public/fck_files/file/dokumenti/TNSMediumGallup_UNDP_Corruption%20benchmarking_Report_Oct-10%20SRB.doc.

[87] Иван Нинић: Фирма министра Дулића послује са 70 буџетских институција, pištaljka.rs, 03. 12. 2010, http://www.pistaljka.rs/home/read/55; Владимир Радомировић: Напрасно уписан пренос права у Dg comp., pištaljka.rs, 03. 12. 2010, http://www.pistaljka.rs/home/read/57; Екипа Пиштаљке: Агенција попустљива према министру, pištaljka.rs, 17. 12. 2010, http://www.pistaljka.rs/home/read/63

[88] WikiLeaks: 06Belgrade1681, ICTY Action Plan Scorecard, October 6, 2006, Confidential, http://213.251.145.96/cable/2006/10/06BELGRADE1681.html; 08B Belgrade 1097, Serbia: Prospects for Completion of ICTY, October 10, 2008, Secret//Nonforn,

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2008/10/08BELGRADE1097.html; 09Belgrade399, Serbian Government Hunting fro Mladic, Jun 6, 2009, Confidential,

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/05/09BELGRADE399.html; 09Belgrade765, Serbia in the Wake of Vice President Biden’s Visit, July 29, 2009, Confidential,

 http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/07/09BELGRADE765.html; 09BELGRADE841, Serbia Grapples with Russia Relations in Advance of Medvedev, September 3, 2009, Secret,

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2009/09/09BELGRADE841.html; 09BELGRADE1222, Serbia: War Crimes Ambassador Rapp Highlights Importance of, October 22, 2009, Unclassified//For Official Use Only, http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/10/09BELGRADE1222.html; 10BELGRADE3, Post ICJ Opinion: Serbia to Continue Obstructing Kosovo, January 12, 2010, Classification:  Confidential//Noforn, http://213.251.145.96/cable/2010/01/10BELGRADE3.html;  10BELGRADE19, Serbia: Ambassador’s First Meeting with President Tadic, January 21, 2010, Secret,

http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2010/01/10BELGRADE19.html; 10BELGRADE25, Serrbia: Ambassador’s First Meeting with Presidential Foreign, February 5, 2010, Secret,

http://www.wikileaks.ch/cable/2010/02/10BELGRADE25.html.

[89] Videti, Julie Lévesque: Who’s Who at Wikileaks?, Global Research, December 20, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22437.

[90] Tekst koji je pred čitaocem već je bio završen, kada je Boris Tadić, u ulozi predsednika Republike, ponudio još jedan argument u prilog široko rasprostranjenog uverenja o vanustavnoj i vaninsitucionalnoj koncentraciji vlasti i moći u današnjoj Srbiji. U svom prvom javnom nastupu u 2011, Tadić je preko Tanjuga obavestio ovdašnju i međunarodnu javnost da je današnja Srbija, koja je po ovom svom predsedniku takođe i “nedovršena kuća”, već uradila nešto što ona, međutim, i uprkos Tadićevoj izričitoj tvrdnji, nije uradila. Naime, predsednik današnje Srbije obavestio je da Republika priznaje faktičko stanje uspostavljeno na jednom delu njene teritorije posle 1999, odnosno posle 17. februara 2008, drugim rečima da priznaje tzv. “republiku Kosovo” kao ravnopravnog partnera u međunarodnim odnosima, što posledično znači da priznaje priznaje ovaj entitet kao “nezavisnu državu”. Evo tog značajnog predsedničkog obaveštenja: “Kada je reč o pregovorima o Kosovu i Metohiji, koji bi trebalo da započnu ove godine, Tadić je poručio da je Srbija spremna za razgovore, ali da čeka da ista spremnost bude iskazana i u Prištini. Dijalog je, kako je naglasio, jedini način da Srbija ostvari svoja legitimna prava jer u suprotnom ima stanje zamrznutog konflikta./ Beograd je, kako je poručio, spreman za fleksibilni dijalog i nema ambiciju da političko stanje na Kosovu vraća na nivo od pre 1999. godine jer je to nerealno... (podvl. LJ.K.)” Тадић: Србија је као недовршена кућа. Београд нема амбицију да политичко стање на Косову враћа на ниво од пре 1999. године, јер је то нереалистично, поручио председник Србије, Танјуг, Политика, 03. 01. 2011,

http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Politika/Tadic-Srbija-ne-sme-da-propusti-nijednu-priliku.sr.html.

[91] 50 Years is Enough. The Case Against The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Edited by Kevin Danaher, South End Press, Boston, 1994; Edward S. Herman: Triumph of the Market, South End Press, Boston, 1995; Moises Naim: Fads and Fashion in Economic Reforms: Washington Consensus or Washington Confusion?, Foreign Policy Magazine, International Monetary Fund, October 26, 1999; oseph Stiglitz: Globalization and Its Discontents, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2002 (srpski prevod, Džozef E. Stiglic: Protivurečnosti globalizacije, SBM-x, Beograd, 2004; John Williamson: Did the Washington Consensus Fail?, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC, November 6, 2002,

http://www.iie.com/publications/papers/paper.cfm?researchid=488; Herschel I. Grossman & Juan Mendoza:  Annexation or Conquest? The Economics of Empire Building, SUNY at Buffalo, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Economics Working Paper No. 2002-15, May 2002, Social Science Research Network, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=310602; Walden Bello: The Economics of Empire, New Labor Forum, Vol. 12, No. 3, Fall, 2003, published by Joseph S. Murphy Institute, City University of New York, pp. 8 – 16; Gordon Laxer: Popular National Sovereignty and the U.S. Empire, Journal of World-systems Research, XI, 2, december 2005, Special Issue: Globalizations from “Above” and “Below”. The Future of World Society, pp. 317 – 353; Dani Rodrik: Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion? A Review of the World Bank’s Economic Growth in the 1990s:Learning from a Decade of Reform, Journal of Economic Literature,Vol. XLIV (December 2006), pp. 973- 987; Michael Chossudovsky: Globalizacija bijede i novi svjetski poredak (2003), Prometej, Zagreb, 2008; Naomi Klein: Doktrina šoka. Uspon kapitalizma katastrofe (2007), V.B.Z., Zagreb, 2008; The Global Economic Crisis. The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Editors, Global Research Publishers, Montréal, Québec, 2010; Рајко Буквић: Вашингтонски концензус и деиндустријализација источне и југоисточне Европе, НСПМ, петак, 07. јануар 2011, http://www.nspm.rs/ekonomska-politika/vasingtonski-konsenzus-i-deindustrijalizacija-istocne-i-jugoistocne-evrope.html.

[92] Зоран Ђинђић: Недаће глобализације, приказ, Joseph Stiglitz: Globalization and its Discontents, Њујорк, 2002, НИН, 9. мај 2002, Меморијална интернет презентација Др Зорана Ђинђића, http://www.zorandjindjic.org/index.php?vrsta=17&kategorija=&tekst=1142&naredba=prikaz&br_stranice.

[93] Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, The National Intelligence Council. 2025 Project. November 2008, http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf.

   

[94] Michael T. Klare: Welcome to 2025. American Preeminence Is Disappearing Fifteen Years Early, TomDispatch.com, October 26, 2009,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175113/Michael_Klare_the_great_superpower_meltdown.

[95] Michael T. Klare: Twenty-First Century Energy Superpower.  China, Energy, and Global Power, TomDispatch.com, September 19, 2010,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175297/tomgram%3A_michael_klare%2C_china_shakes_the_world/; Dilip Hiro: America Is Suffering a Power Outage…and the Rest of the World Knows It, TomDispatch.com, September 23, 2010,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175299/tomgram%3A_dilip_hiro,_the_waning_of_america/; Achlee

Vance: China Wrests Supercomputer Title From U.S., The New York Times, October 28, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/technology/28compute.html?_r=1; Alfred W. McCoy: The Decline and Fall of the American Empire. Four Scenarios for the End of the American Century by 2025,  TomDispatch.com, December 5, 2010,

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175327/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_taking_down_america/; James Petras: The Crisis of Capitalism and the New Great Depression. Sneak Peak of “The Global Economic Crisis”,  Globalresearch.ca, December 9, 2010,

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22348; Mike Whitney: Doomsday for the US Dollar. Post Mortem for the World’s “Reserve Currency”,  Globalresearch.ca, December 14, 2010, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22402Gilbert Mercier: The American Empire Is Collapsing, And Americans Will Be The Last to Know, News Junkie Post, AlterNet, December 15, 2010, http://www.alternet.org/story/149173/.

[96] U radu ove neformalne asocijacije međunarodne akademske zajednice koja traga za alternativnim ekonomskim (i socijalnim, sledstveno političkim, itd.) strategijama i predlaže odgovarajuća rešenja, nije učestvovao ni jedan ovdašnji ekonomista. Istini za volju, iz zemalja koje su tokom proteklih 20 godina nastale na prostoru izvorne Jugoslavije, u radu tog foruma redovno učestvuje samo Jože Mencinger iz Ljubljane.

Working Group: Alternative Economic Policy for Europe. Euromemorandum-Group, http://www.memo-europe.uni-bremen.de/euromemo/indexmem.htm.

[97] EuroMemorandum 2008/09. Democratic transformation of European finance, a full employment regime, and ecological restructoring – Alternatives to finance-driven capitalism, EuroMemorandum Group, http://www.memo-europe.uni-bremen.de/downloads/EUROMEMORANDUM%202008_09_with_names_of_contributors1.pdf.

[98] Dosije o privatizaciji i transferu moći, Autor: Miroslava Pudar, Danas, 05. 01. 2007; Nebojša Popov: Otimanje od očaja, Jedan trenutak tranzicije, Republika, 422 – 423, 1 – 29. februar, 2008;  Pokret za slobodu. Koordinacioni odbor radničkih protesta u Srbiji: Platforma Koordinacionog odbora radničkih protesta u Srbiji, 25. 09. 2009,

http://freedomfight.net/cms/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=239&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01detailtemplate=my_showdetail.tpl&cntnt01dateformat=%25d.%20%25m.%20%25Y.&cntnt01returnid=62; Pritisci na Republiku. Nebojša Popov optužio vlast za pokušaj reprivatizacije zrenjaninske firme Jugoremedija i zastrašivanje radnika, Balkan Magazin, četvrtak, 22. jul 2010,

http://www.balkanmagazin.net/kolumna/novosti_i_politika/pritisci_na_republiku_.xhtml;  Reporterka Danasa na neobičnoj mobi akcionara „Jugoremedije“. Radnici sami grade fabriku. Uložili su pare, kupili plac, napravili projekat nove hale i učestvuju u radovima, dok im pasulj kuva lično dr Nebojša Popov, Autor: Miroslava Pudar, Danas, 25. 10. 2010…

[99] Византијски извори за историју народа Југославије, том I, уредник Георгије Острогорски,  обрадили Фрањо Баришић, Мила Рајковић, Бариша Крекић, Лидија Томић, isto, str. 138.

[100] Vladimir Dedijer: Interesne sfere. Istorija interesnih sfera i tajne diplomatije uopšte, a posebno Jugoslavije u Drugom svetskom ratu, isto, str. 95 – 97.

US House Approves Drastic Social Spending Cuts

February 21st, 2011 by Patrick Martin

The US House of Representatives voted early Saturday for legislation that would impose $61 billion in cuts in current federal spending, the vast majority of it slashed from domestic social programs. It was a near party-line vote of 235 to 189, with no Democrats supporting the measure, and only three Republicans opposing it because they wanted even deeper cuts.

The vote came on a bill that would fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, through September 30. With the fiscal year nearly half over, the cuts would have a disproportionate impact, since the reduction in spending would be compressed into the seven months remaining. The cuts average 14 percent of discretionary domestic spending, a category that covers most functions of the federal government outside of the military, counterterrorism, interest payments, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The Democratic-controlled Congress failed to pass any appropriations bills last year, a default that gives the House, now under Republican control, the opportunity to carry out an onslaught on social programs.

The continuing resolution adopted when Congress adjourned last year keeps the federal government funded only through March 4. With Congress in recess during the week of President’s Day, the House and Senate will not resume work on funding the government until Monday, February 28, leaving only five days to avert a government shutdown.

After the House passed the $61 billion in cuts, Speaker John Boehner declared that the Republicans would not support any extension of the continuing resolution unless the bill contained major cuts—even a brief extension of a few weeks to allow for House-Senate negotiations.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in a television interview Sunday that some temporary extension would be passed to prevent a shutdown. Referring to the $61 billion in cuts in the House bill, he said, “I don’t think the Senate will pass those cuts, we’ll have to negotiate.”

Other Republicans did raise the possibility of a government shutdown, including conservative Steve King of Iowa, who said that the public reaction to the closing down of federal offices would be different in 2011 than in 1995-96, when a previous Republican congressional majority forced a shutdown during the Clinton administration.

Senate Democrats, who will head the negotiations with the Republican House, were at pains to emphasize their support for major spending cuts. Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said, “I think we need to sit down in a positive, constructive way and work out our differences. There are differences. But the starting point is that we know we need to cut spending, we know we need to live within our means.”

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” said, “If we don’t want to make political points and we’re not posturing for the extreme element of our party, we can all sit down and find those compromises.”

A majority of House Republicans actually supported even deeper cuts, but a measure to cut $22 billion more was defeated by a 147-281 vote on Friday, as 92 Republicans, including the entire House leadership, joined with all the Democrats to vote the amendment down.

The House Republican leadership argued that the $61 billion in cuts in current spending actually fulfilled a campaign promise to cut $100 billion, if it were compared to the spending levels proposed by the Obama administration last year but never enacted. Using the same yardstick, Senate Democrats are advocating $41 billion in cuts from the level requested by Obama, which amounts to an effective freeze in current spending levels.

Following the vote, Boehner hailed the cuts as an effort “to liberate our economy from the shackles of out-of-control spending.” He claimed that “cutting federal spending is critical to reducing economic uncertainty, encouraging private-sector investment, and creating a better environment for job creation in our country.”

Boehner is pandering to politically unhinged ultra-right elements, drawn largely from the upper-middle class, who view all forms of federal spending and regulation—except for the military and police—as tantamount to socialism. But the real driving force of the spending cuts is not the Tea Party, but Wall Street, which extracted trillions in federal subsidies for the bailout of the banks, and now is demanding that working people pay the cost.

The entire framework of the Washington “debate” over the fiscal crisis is fraudulent. Both parties, Democrats as much as Republicans, defend the interests of the super-rich and embraced the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, carried out in the December bipartisan “compromise”, which swelled the current fiscal deficit to record levels. Both endorse the gargantuan military budget, which set an all-time record last year and is expected to top $670 billion this year. And both parties and two administrations—first Bush, then Obama—carried out the bailout of Wall Street.

Both Democrats and Republicans agree that spending cuts should be focused on domestic social spending programs, and their divisions are over which programs should be cut back or eliminated. The Republicans support programs that provide tax breaks and subsidies for their favored industries, especially oil, mining and agriculture, while the Democrats are seeking to defend programs that benefit urban areas, the union bureaucracy and sections of the middle class.

These differing priorities were expressed in a series of votes from Wednesday through early Saturday, as the House approved nearly 100 amendments to the package of cuts drafted by Ryan and the Budget Committee and backed by the House Republican leadership. In most cases, the amendments were proposed by ultra-right Republican congressmen sympathetic to the Tea Party movement, and targeted programs that they oppose for political rather than fiscal reasons.

These measures included cuts of $747 million from food assistance programs for the poor, cutting Pell Grants for low-income college students by an even greater amount than already proposed by the Obama administration, a cut of one-third in overall funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and a 50 percent cut in funding of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

At least eight separate amendments were adopted to block implementation of the Obama health care legislation adopted by the Democratic-controlled Congress last year, while another half-dozen amendments prohibit funds for EPA action on greenhouse gases, strip mining, solid fuel combustion, particulate emissions or revoking water pollution permits. The EPA is even barred from measuring the level of greenhouse gas pollutants being released into the atmosphere.

The House rejected amendments that would have made it more difficult for federal agencies to give pay increases to workers through promotion or reclassifcation, as well as an effort to suspend the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires payment of prevailing union wages on most federally funded construction projects. A proposal to eliminate funding for the National Labor Relations Board was defeated, in favor of a measure to cut NLRB funding by 18 percent.

A few cuts were made in military and security programs, notably the scrapping of a second engine for the F-35 fighter aircraft, built by General Electric, and an end to funding for the East-West Center and the US Institute of Peace, both propaganda outfits for promoting the interests of US imperialism. An amendment to cancel the US contribution to the United Nations—a hobbyhorse of the ultra-right—was defeated.

Other amendments simply reflect the ultra-right sentiments of various Republican congressmen, translated into budgetary provisions, including:

barring all funding for Planned Parenthood, the largest family planning organization, because it provides counseling and referrals for women seeking abortions;

ending federal funding for AmeriCorps;

ending federal funding for the Public Broadcasting System;

cutting funding by a third for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, charged with monitoring derivatives trading in the financial reform bill passed last year;

barring FCC enforcement of “net neutrality” rules for the Internet;

defunding a database of injuries caused by defective consumer products;

rejecting any increase in funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has the main responsibility for implementing the new financial regulations;

cutting spending for the National Endowment for the Arts by $20 million.

While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was praising the role that the internet played in toppling oppressive regimes (ironically enough, close U.S. allies), the Justice Department was in court in Alexandria, Virginia seeking to invade the privacy and political rights of WikiLeaks supporters even as it shields well-connected “War on Terror” fraudsters.

Scarcely batting an eyelash, Madame Clinton told her audience at George Washington University that “the goal is not to tell people how to use the internet any more than we ought to tell people how to use any public square, whether it’s Tahrir Square or Times Square.”

Rich with rhetorical flourishes that should have evoked gales of laughter but didn’t (this is America, after all), Clinton averred that “together, the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association online comprise what I’ve called the freedom to connect. The United States supports this freedom for people everywhere, and we have called on other nations to do the same.”

Really?

Has the honorable Secretary attended a demonstration of late, or found herself on the receiving end of a police baton, a rubber bullet, a jolt from a taser or ear-piercing blast from a “nonlethal” sonic weapon?

Or perhaps Madame Clinton has been served with a National Security Letter that arrives with its own built-in, permanent gag order, had her organization infiltrated by provocateurs, been the focus of “spear phishing” attacks by a secret state agency, say the FBI or one of their private contractors, who’ve implanted surveillance software on her laptop or smart phone, or summoned by subpoena to appear before a Star Chamber-like grand jury?

I didn’t think so.

The Secretary’s hypocrisy and mendacity would be amusing if the American people hadn’t already lived through a decade where the cheapening of constitutional rights, particularly First and Fourth Amendment guarantees, hadn’t been eroded to the point of savage annihilation by all branches of government and by both capitalist parties.

After all, in the filthy Washington trough where money rules, “liberal” Democrats and “conservative” Republicans alike are joined at the hip and outdo one another in paying obeisance to the National Security State.

Indeed, just a hop, skip and a jump across the icy Potomac, an Alexandria courthouse witnessed the “change” regime’s Justice Department move to seize the contents of private Twitter accounts, including those of left-wing Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, and other WikiLeaks supporters.

While Mrs. Clinton hypocritically praised the role of social networking sites in helping to bring down torture-friendly, corrupt regimes in Egypt and Tunisia (close U.S. allies in the multibillion dollar kabuki dance known as the “War on Terror”), a grand jury was investigating whether there are grounds for filing criminal charges against WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange, and the heroic Bradley Manning, the incarcerated Army private suspected of leaking compromising files to the organization.

Outraged by revelations of American war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Apache helicopter gunship murder of a dozen people, including two Reuters journalists, as well as the release of thousands of diplomatic cables, the secret state is bringing the full weight of its formidable machinery down upon anyone, anywhere who have the temerity to challenge the lies of our militarist masters.

Denouncing the Obama regime’s latest assault, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argued that forcing Twitter to turn over users’ data to the government would hand the state a veritable road map of people connected to WikiLeaks, including journalists who may have communicated with the group, and would seriously chill free speech.

EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn pointed out that “Twitter is a publication and communication service, so the information sought by the government relates to what these individuals said and where they were when they said it. This raises serious First and Fourth Amendment concerns. It is especially troubling since the request seeks information about all statements made by these people, regardless of whether their speech relates to WikiLeaks.”

Public knowledge of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s criminal probe recently surfaced when U.S. Magistrate Theresa Carroll Buchanan, granted a motion by three Twitter clients that partially unsealed some government filings in the case.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that Buchanan should overturn her earlier ruling ordering Twitter “to disclose its clients’ data, as well as unseal documents in the case, including requests from prosecutors to get information from other technology companies,” the The Washington Post reported.

When news of the federal government’s fishing expedition first broke in January, The New York Times reported that what made the case unusual weren’t de rigueur secret state subpoenas, but the fact that Twitter challenged the Justice Department’s gag order “and won the right to inform the people whose records the government was seeking.”

The Times noted that “WikiLeaks says it suspects that other large sites like Google and Facebook have received similar requests and simply went along with the government.”

Such demands, and long-suspected capitulation by internet behemoths Google and Facebook, are at the heart of current debates over data retention.

As security analyst and surveillance critic Christopher Soghoian pointed out last month, “The hypocrisy of the government’s push for such data retention is clear when compared to the extreme efforts that government agencies go to in order to shield their own communications, documents and other records from the American people.”

Particularly when lawbreaking by favored contractors are cloaked by bogus claims of “national security.”

Shielding a “War on Terror” Fraudster

One sordid example among hundreds of similar cases which have come to light was recently uncovered The New York Times.

Investigative journalists Eric Lichtblau and James Risen disclosed that for “eight years, government officials turned to Dennis Montgomery, a California computer programmer, for eye-popping technology that he said could catch terrorists.”

Montgomery’s “eye-popping technology” was a fraud, a multimillion grift that bamboozled the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command and other secret state agencies and almost resulted in the 2003 shoot-down of passenger planes heading towards the U.S.

Hardly the “smartest guy in the room,” Montgomery is awaiting trial in Nevada on charges “of trying to pass $1.8 million in bad checks at casinos.” However, “he has not been charged with wrongdoing in the federal contracts, nor has the government tried to get back any of the money it paid.”

In the last few months Obama’s Justice Department, Lichtblau and Risen inform us, have “gotten protective orders from two federal judges keeping details of the technology out of court,” and “says it is guarding state secrets that would threaten national security if disclosed.”

According to the Times, the software suite Montgomery sold the Pentagon was chock-a-block with snake-oil claims that it “could find terrorist plots hidden in broadcasts of the Arab network Al Jazeera; identify terrorists from Predator drone videos; and detect noise from hostile submarines.”

These claims “prompted an international false alarm that led President George W. Bush to order airliners to turn around over the Atlantic Ocean in 2003.”

In a famous incident of Bush administration fear mongering that coincided with the Christmas holidays for maximum effect, and hyped of course by the media as the latest in a series of “grave threats” to the heimat, Montgomery reported the alarming news to his CIA contacts.

But as Global Research analyst Michel Chossudovsky pointed out at the time, the Bush administration had “chosen the Christmas holiday to wage a campaign of fear and intimidation. Its ultimate objective consists in manipulating Americans into accepting a de facto military government, as a means to ‘protect their civil liberties’.”

Chossudovsky averred, and facts that came to light years later proved beyond all reasonable doubt that “the terrorist alert was fabricated by the CIA.” A cynical deceit facilitated by “War on Terror” fraudster Montgomery.

According to the Times, Montgomery had claimed that “hidden in the crawl bars broadcast by Al Jazeera, someone had planted information about specific American-bound flights from Britain, France and Mexico that were hijacking targets.”

CIA officials then “rushed the information to Mr. Bush, who ordered those flights to be turned around or grounded before they could enter American airspace.”

“Senior administration officials,” the Times revealed, “even talked about shooting down planes identified as targets because they feared that supposed hijackers would use the planes to attack the United States, according to a former senior intelligence official who was at a meeting where the idea was discussed.”

While the anonymous official later called the idea “crazy,” nevertheless snake-oil salesman Montgomery had convinced intelligence officials that the fabricated threat was “real and credible.”

Despite the fact the United States was a hair’s breath from blasting commercial airliners from the skies and killing hundreds of innocent people, the CIA “never did an assessment to determine how a ruse had turned into a full-blown international incident, officials said, nor was anyone held accountable.”

“In fact,” the Times reports, “agency officials who oversaw the technology directorate–including Donald Kerr, who helped persuade George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, that the software was credible–were promoted, former officials said.”

“”Nobody was blamed,” a former CIA official told the Times. “They acted like it never happened.”

Kerr, a long-time fixture in the national security establishment, was formerly an executive vice president with the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). After serving as the CIA’s Deputy Director for Science of Technology, he was rewarded for his role in the “planes incident” fiasco with an appointment by Bush as the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the top secret Pentagon satrapy that flies America’s fleet of intelligence satellites. And since being well-connected means never having to say your sorry, Kerr is currently the Deputy Director of U.S. National Intelligence where he continues to labor mightily to “keep us safe.”

Despite serious misgivings about Montgomery’s firm, eTreppid Technologies, the secret state was eager to buy his company’s dodgy software. Why? As it turns out, Montgomery was, as they say, juiced.

Along with partner Warren Trepp, described as a former “top trader for the junk-bond king [and convicted fraudster] Michael Milken,” Montgomery’s company “with the help of Representative Jim Gibbons, a Republican who would become Nevada’s governor and was a longtime friend of Mr. Trepp’s, the company won the attention of intelligence officials in Washington.”

Some of Montgomery’s “friends” also included “Edra Blixseth, a onetime billionaire who with her former husband had run the Yellowstone Club in Montana.”

Back in October, the Associated Press reported that the FBI had opened a criminal probe and was investigating the former co-owner of the swank Yellowstone Club, whose members include Bill Gates and former Vice President Dan Quayle, over charges that she bilked creditors at the time of her messy divorce.

A well-connected Republican insider, according to AP, investigators are probing “a massive real estate scheme fueled by greed, fraud and hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-advised loans.”

“The current federal inquiry into Edra Blixseth,” AP informed us, “involves a series of multimillion dollar loans she took out or guaranteed around the time of her divorce, according to an attorney familiar with the matter.”

“Court records show,” according to AP, that “she claimed to be worth $782 million at the time of another loan, for $950,000. Within months, she filed for personal bankruptcy owing creditors at least $157 million.”

Like her pal Montgomery, Blixseth claims she did “nothing wrong.” What’s that old saw about birds of a feather?

“Hoping to win more government money,” the Times reported, “Ms. Blixseth turned to some influential friends, like Jack Kemp, the former New York congressman and Republican vice-presidential nominee, and Conrad Burns, then a Republican senator from Montana. They became minority stakeholders in the venture, called Blxware.”

Burns told the Times he was “impressed” by a video presentation Montgomery gave to an unnamed “cable company.” The former senator told Lichtblau and Risen that the security grifter “talked a hell of a game.”

For his part, Kemp leveraged his connections with war criminal and then-Vice President Dick Cheney, “to set up a meeting in 2006 at which Mr. Kemp, Mr. Montgomery and Ms. Blixseth met with a top Cheney adviser, Samantha Ravich, to talk about expanding the government’s use of the Blxware software.”

When Ravich didn’t jump fast enough and hand over more taxpayer boodle, Montgomery’s former attorney Michael Flynn “sent an angry letter to Mr. Cheney in May 2007″ and “accused the White House of abandoning a tool shown to ‘save lives’,” the Times reported.

But Montgomery and Blixseth still had a card to play and had some powerful friends in the Air Force who helped play them.

Lichtblau and Risen disclosed that “an Air Force contracting officer, Joseph Liberatore,” who described himself as a “believer,” despite skepticism from other secret state agencies including the CIA, was concerned by “problems with the no-bid contract.”

According to an email obtained by the Times, Liberatore wrote that if other agencies examined the deal “we are all toast.”

“In 2009,” Lichtblau and Risen inform us, “the Air Force approved a $3 million deal for his technology, even though a contracting officer acknowledged that other agencies were skeptical about the software.”

As Montgomery’s firm crashed and burned, the Bush and now, the Obama administration, sought to cover their ass-ets and “declared that some classified details about the use of Mr. Montgomery’s software were a ‘state secret’ that could cause grave harm if disclosed in court.”

“The secrecy was so great that at a deposition Mr. Montgomery gave in November,” Lichtblau and Risen report, that “two government officials showed up to monitor the questioning but refused to give their full names or the agencies they worked for.”

Bottom line: while the U.S. government affirms that the private communications of American citizens are fair game to be trolled by secret state snoops, fraud and serious crimes carried out under the dark banner of an endless “War on Terror” are treated, like evidence of torture and other crimes against humanity, as if they “never happened.”

Criminalizing Whistleblowing

The National Security State’s assault on our right to privacy comes hard on the heels on moves in Congress, spearheaded by troglodytic Republicans (with “liberal” Democrats running a close second) to criminalize whistleblowing altogether.

Last week, the Muslim-hating Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introduced the SHIELD Act in the House, a pernicious piece of legislative flotsam that would amend the Espionage Act and make publishing classified information, and investigative journalism, a criminal offense.

Also last week, legislation was introduced in the Senate that “would broadly criminalize leaks of classified information,” Secrecy News reported.

Sponsored by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), the bill (S. 355) “would make it a felony for a government employee or contractor who has authorized access to classified information to disclose such information to an unauthorized person in violation of his or her nondisclosure agreement,” Secrecy News disclosed.

In an Orwellian twist, Cardin, who received some $385,000 in campaign swag from free speech advocates such as Constellation Energy, Goldman Sachs and Patton Boggs (Mubarak’s chief lobbyist in Washington) according to OpenSecrets.org, said that the bill would “promote Federal whistleblower protection statutes and regulations”!

As Secrecy News points out, the bill “does not provide for a ‘public interest’ defense, i.e. an argument that any damage to national security was outweighed by a benefit to the nation.” In other words, you don’t need to know about government high crimes and misdemeanors. Why? Because we say so.

In November, shortly after WikiLeaks began publishing Cablegate files, King fired off a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that WikiLeaks be declared a “foreign terrorist organization” and the group’s founder declared a “terrorist ringleader.”

We know the fate reserved for “terrorists,” don’t we?

As the United States sinks ever-deeper into a lawless abyss where the corporate state is lowering the boom on democracy altogether, is the day far off when Madam Clinton’s avowal that we ought not “tell people how to use any public square, whether it’s Tahrir Square or Times Square,” come back with a vengeance to haunt America’s venal ruling class?

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an  his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military “Civil Disturbance” Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Popular revolts across the Middle East continue to be a source of hope and inspiration. But there is cause for concern. Imperialism is maneuvering to subvert the will for change. While the situation is still in flux, it looks increasingly likely that the maneuvers will succeed.

When the unemployed Tunisian university graduate Muhammed Bouazizi self-immolated to protest the confiscation of the fruit stall that was his sole means of subsistence, he could not have imagined his final act of desperation would trigger an upswelling of region-wide riots.

But the spark that was lit in Tunisia fired up the peoples of the Middle East. Bin Ali was forced to flee his country in disgrace, Hosni Mubarak was toppled and sent into involuntary retirement. A whole series of countries including Yemen, Jordan, Libya, Bahrain, Iran, even Saudi Arabia, and more, are currently resonating with persistent protests.  

In Tunisia and Egypt, the two countries so far where the revolts scored a tangible gain by bringing down the heads of state, broad masses of public led a protracted struggle. Even if no organization or political movement stood out, the masses were far from disorganized. In both countries, the working class played a major part in carrying the revolts to eventual success.

Moreover, both countries had pro-Western governments in power. Comfortable with the status quo, at first the US and its allies as well as the Western media reacted to the revolts with apprehension. Secularism would dissolve and Tunisia would be lost to Islamists if Bin Ali fell, claimed the media organs of the West; similarly, headlines raised the outcry that Egyptian rioters were looting the National Museum in glaring contradiction of eyewitness accounts.

Washington: Observing From a Distance

While Western media took its time noticing and characterizing the revolts, the US appeared to be ‘observing from a distance’ and avoided taking a clear stand.

In Tunisia, the ouster of Bin Ali was managed under the control of the army in collaboration with the West, facilitated by last minute tutelage from Western European countries including the country’s former colonizer France, eliminating ‘unwanted’ consequences. Once the new government was settled in, the army withdrew its protection over the steadfast activists in the capital city allowing them to be violently removed from Kasbah Square.  

Egypt was larger and more complicated than Tunisia, compelling Washington to act with greater wariness. On October 28 Hillary Clinton suggested that Mubarak should “listen to his people”, giving the first hint of a possible shift in the US position.  

Subsequent statements from the US side offer a clear picture of how Washington strived to stay on top of the developments.

Obama (February 1): (to Mubarak) Do not run again.

Special envoy Frank Wisner (February 2): (Private meeting with Mubarak) Your presidency is at an end. You should prepare for an orderly transition.

Obama (February 2): (phone call with Mubarak) An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now. Praises to Egypt’s military for showing restraint.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs (February 2): Time for transition in Egypt is now.

Obama (February 3): Egypt should have a system of government that will meet the aspirations of its people.

US officials (February 4): Mubarak must transfer power to a transitional government run by the VP Omar Suleiman and supported by the military.

First US tweet in Arabic (February 9): President Obama is committed to the view that Egyptians are the ones who need to decide their own fate.

Having spent the early weeks frantically lobbying world governments on Mubarak’s behalf, the government of Israel would also get in stride with Washington’s changed position after a while and proclaim its support for a smooth transition in Egypt.

 

US pressing for the same script in other countries

 

The extent of change achieved so far by the popular revolts in Egypt and Tunisia seems to have assuaged imperialistic qualms. In both countries, the will for revolution was evident from the start. But the mass movements lacked focus as well as a commonly shared vision that went beyond the toppling of the individual dictators, and this critical failing has prevented the formulation of a strategy that could pursue qualitative transformation. Pent-up frustration was released at little or no cost to global interests, and power was transferred to figures who enjoy wholehearted imperialist approval.

The vague promise of ‘orderly transition’ won the day, whetting US appetite for more change. On February 12, Obama declared Mubarak’s ouster in Egypt “was only the beginning.”

February 14 saw the US proclaim open support to regime opponents in Iran. Two days later Obama stated his hope that “the people of Iran have the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms and a more representative government.”

Considering the reticence displayed a year ago when Washington was careful to assume a ‘neutral stance’ during weeks of protests in post-election Iran, one can observe that the US feels emboldened by recent developments in the Middle East and is more prepared to take decisive steps.

 

What role for Turkey in the scenario?

In his visit to Iran last week, addressing the host country on a live TV broadcast, Turkish president Abdullah Gül drew attention to ongoing popular revolts in the region and asserted that peoples’ demands had to be recognized. Radical reforms might be called for, he said.

When the always calculating Gül voices a pro-reform message in a country on edge where members of parliament are demanding the execution of opposition leaders, one has to wonder if the Justice and Democracy Party is auditioning for a part in Washington’s game. Likewise, after avoiding any mention of events in Tunisia at a time when a series of localized protest rallies in Turkey were being crushed by customary police violence, Erdoğan would quickly jump on the bandwagon once Obama’s position became evident and make several well publicized statements endorsing the protestors in Egypt.

 

Touting the ‘Turkish model’ 

In Tunisia and Egypt the revolts appear successfully contained for the time being, with power entrusted to transitional governments loyal to the West. The regimes have gained time to put together a ‘democratic’ façade behind which exploitation can be further modernized and hated market reforms can pick up speed.  

Rampant privatizations, ruthless erosion of social security, disregard of labor laws, youth unemployment at rates to rival anywhere on the globe…

A posture of defiance, and a pandemonium of ‘change’ that somehow only serves to consolidate allegiance to international dictates… That is the kind of free market democracy that imperialism would like to prescribe to the rebellious Middle East, and it has a tried and tested model at hand.

“Take your cues from the Justice and Democracy Party of Turkey,” is the call raised from capital cities of the West. Hence, the renewed interest in Turkey in these past few weeks as a ‘democratic moderate Islamic country’, and accolades for the JDP that were rehashed most recently  by David Lidington, UK’s Minister of State for Europe and NATO, when he asserted that he would “far rather the Islamic world, and particularly the young people of the Arab and the wider Muslim world, looked to Prime Minister Erdogan as their model political leader rather than to a Mr. Ahmadinejad.”

Not content with merely promoting the JDP as a model, opinion makers have lately taken to suggesting that the party could help negotiate with Egypt’s Moslem Brothers. Reliably pro-Western, market friendly Islamists appear to be a winning formula as far as imperialism is concerned.

 
Editorial originally published on February 17, 2011, in soL, Turkey’s most widely read leftist news portal.  First published in English by Global Research.

Editor’s Note

Ray McGovern is a frequent contributor to Global Research

Subject: Veterans For Peace Demands Apology From Secretary of State

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2011

CONTACT: Veterans for Peace  http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

Leah Bolger, [email protected]

Veterans For Peace Demands Apology From Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Watches as Police Manhandle Peaceful Protester

WASHINGTON – February 17 – Just minutes after Secretary Clinton began a speech lauding freedom of the internet, two security personnel forcefully removed an audience member wearing a Veterans For Peace t-shirt who had silently stood and turned his back to her. Ray McGovern, a 71-year old veteran, and former CIA analyst was violently grabbed and forcibly removed from the auditorium in direct view of Mrs. Clinton. According to Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, attorney with the
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “For this peaceful expression of dissent, he ended up bruised, bloodied, arrested, and jailed.

Secretary Clinton never paused, continuing her speech lecturing other countries about the need to allow freedom of expression and dissent, while Mr. McGovern was hauled out in front of her.”

Mr. McGovern is covered with bruises, and the metal handcuffs were fastened so tightly that his wrists were cut and bloody. After being held by local police, he was told that he was being charged with “disorderly conduct.”

We asked Ray for a quick statement after his release. He wrote:

“I find myself wondering if this show of brutality may be a signpost on a path to even wider and more brutal repression. I have been comparing what happened during Clinton’s speech Tuesday with my four-minute mini-debate with Donald Rumsfeld on May 4, 2006 in Atlanta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MInHphR4zBg). Halfway through, Rumsfeld gives the nod to a black-hatted security fellow to elbow me away from the microphone.

I shout, ‘So this is America.’ Rumsfeld takes one look at the TV cameras streaming live, makes a snap decision, and tells the security fellow to let me stay. During that same speech in Atlanta, one fearless witness stands dead-center in the audience with his back to Rumsfeld for the entire speech and is not bothered, much less beaten and jailed.

The contrast between the experience of May 2006 and February 2011 can be viewed through the prism of the proverbial ‘boiling frog.’ There does seem to be a subtle but successful campaign to get people gradually accustomed to increasingly repressive measures; and many, perhaps most, Americans seem oblivious.

After 9/11 Norman Mailer saw a ‘pre-fascist climate’ reigning in  America. If we don’t stand up for our rights, it may not be long before we shall have to drop the ‘pre.’”

Veterans For Peace is proud of our member Ray McGovern, whose simple, dignified action speaks volumes about the power of non-violence. We abhor the actions of the security personnel who reacted violently and in flagrant violation of Mr. McGovern’s First Amendment rights. We also deplore the indifference of Secretary Clinton who didn’t bat an eye and we demand that she apologize for her silence and hypocrisy. Most importantly, we call on the American public to wake up to the
dark reality of what this country has become…a place where civil liberties and freedom of expression are becoming increasingly endangered, and the government’s response to every situation is intimidation and force.

Call 202-647-4000 and write Sec. Clinton to protest:
http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1312/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5914

Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.

The Numbers Behind the Middle Eastern and North African Revolts

February 21st, 2011 by Washington's Blog

What determines which Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) countries will face revolt?

On February 3rd, the Economist came up with a list of “vulnerable” countries based upon the amount of democracy, corruption and press freedom:

Unemployment

But the Economist index doesn’t take unemployment into account.

As Alternet notes:

Arab Labour Organisation (ALO) figures show that Arab countries have among the highest unemployment rates in the world — an average of 14.5 percent in fiscal year 2007/08 compared with the international average of 5.7 percent. The rates may even be higher if one accepts unofficial estimates.

Global risk specialist Mi2g notes:

There are a lot of “orphans” and most are young – 65 percent of the population of the Arab League is under the age of 30. Youth unemployment rates are exorbitantly high – as high as 75 percent in some countries like Algeria. While the informal economy provides partial compensation, this does not provide security; the Jasmine Revolution was triggered by the self-immolation of a young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, unemployed after police confiscated his wheelbarrow, used to make ends meet by selling fruits and vegetables.

On February 2nd, Nomura published a report written by Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations, arguing that youth unemployment and underemployment – along with a large proportion of youth – are primary factors driving revolt in the Middle East:

In both Tunisia and Egypt factors were at play which are also to be found in other economies in the region, notably:–An autocratic and corrupt regime [and] A significant―youth bulge and related unemployment and under-employment….

In other words, when there alot of young, unemployed (or under-employed) people, they might revolt.

Here are statistics from Nomura showing the percentage of youth under 15 years old and median age in years in the Middle East and Northern Africa:

Country

Population Aged <15>

Median Age (2010)

Algeria

27.0%

26.2%

Egypt

32.1%

23.9%

Iran

23.8%

26.8%

Iraq

40.7%

19.3%

Jordan

34.0%

22.8%

Libya

30.1%

26.2 %

Morocco

28.0%

26.2%

Saudi Arabia

32.0 %

24.6%

Syria

34.7%

22.5%

Tunisia

22.9%

29.1%

Yemen

43.4%

17.8%

On February 9th, the Economist came up with a revised index, which they call the “shoe thrower’s index” (throwing one’s shoes at someone is the ultimate sign of disrespect in the Arab world).

The index gives a 35% weighting for the share of the population that is under 25; 15% for the number of years the government has been in power; 15% for both corruption and lack of democracy as measured by existing indices; 10% for GDP per person; 5% for an index of censorship and 5% for the absolute number of people younger than 25:  

As a side note, youth unemployment is rising globally. As the New York Times reported last August:

Youth unemployment across the world has climbed to a new high and is likely to climb further this year, a United Nations agency said Thursday, while warning of a “lost generation” as more young people give up the search for work.

The agency, the International Labor Organization, said in a report that of some 620 million young people ages 15 to 24 in the work force, about 81 million were unemployed at the end of 2009 — the highest level in two decades of record-keeping by the organization, which is based in Geneva.

The youth unemployment rate increased to 13 percent in 2009 from 11.9 percent in the last assessment in 2007.

“There’s never been an increase of this magnitude — both in terms of the rate and the level — since we’ve been tracking the data,” said Steven Kapsos, an economist with the organization. The agency forecast that the global youth unemployment rate would continue to increase through 2010, to 13.1 percent, as the effects of the economic downturn continue. It should then decline to 12.7 percent in 2011.

***

In some especially strained European countries, including Spain and Britain, many young people have become discouraged and given up the job hunt, it said. The trend will have “significant consequences for young people,” as more and more join the ranks of the already unemployed, it said. That has the potential to create a “ ‘lost generation’ comprised of young people who have dropped out of the labor market, having lost all hope of being able to work for a decent living.

***

Data from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical agency, show Spain had a jobless rate of 40.5 percent in May for people under 25.

Indeed, as I have previously pointed out, youth unemployment is also very high in the U.S. And when those who have given up looking for work and those who are underemployed are taken into account (i.e. using the U-6 measure of unemployment), it is clear that the youth of much of the world are suffering Depression-level unemployment.

Food

As many have noted, soaring food prices are also one of the main reasons for the revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.

Nomura pointed out last September:

The World Bank (2009, p.11) estimates that nearly two-thirds of total income
is spent on food in the poor urban population of the developing world. High food prices reduce the ability to meet even basic needs and can lead to increased poverty and become a potential source of protests, riots and political tension ….

Alternet notes:

“Tunisians and Algerians are hungry. The Egyptians and Yemenis are right behind them,” Emirati commentator Mishaal Al Gergawi wrote in the Dubai- based newspaper Gulf News. “Mohammad Bouazizi didn’t set himself on fire because he couldn’t blog or vote. People set themselves on fire because they can’t stand seeing their family wither away slowly, not of sorrow, but of cold stark hunger.”

While Americans spend less than 15 percent of household expenditures on food, Egyptians spend 50%.

As UPI reports:

Just as in Tunisia, the spark was skyrocketing food prices — increasing at a brisk 17 percent annually in Egypt. That’s unhealthy in any economy but particularly one in which, as estimated by the investment house Nomura, on average 50 percent of household expenditures goes toward food. (In the United States, by comparison, food costs represent 14 percent — and falling — of the Consumer Price Index.)

For that, Egyptians may in no small way thank the U.S. Federal Reserve and its policies of “quantitative easing” — known by most as “printing money.”

Nomura prepared the following chart showing household spending on food as a percentage of income (I’ve bolded information on the MENA countries):
.nobrtable br { display: none }

Rank

Country

Nomura’s Food Vulnerability Index (NFVI)

GDP per
capita Current prices US$

Household
spending on
food % of total
consumption

Net food
exports
(% of
GDP)

1

Bangladesh

101.5

497

53.8

-3.3

2

Morocco

101.3

2,769

63.0

-2.1

3

Algeria

101.3

4,845

53.0

-2.8

4

Nigeria

101.2

1,370

73.0

-0.9

5

Lebanon

101.2

6,978

34.0

-3.9

6

Egypt

101.0

1,991

48.1

-2.1

7

Sri Lanka

101.0

2,013

39.6

-2.7

8

Sudan

100.9

1,353

52.9

-1.3

9

Hong Kong

100.9

30,863

25.8

-4.4

10

Azerbaijan

100.8

5,315

60.2

-0.6

11

Angola

100.8

4,714

46.1

-1.4

12

Romania

100.7

9,300

49.4

-1.1

13

Philippines

100.7

1,847

45.6

-1.0

14

Kenya

100.7

783

45.8

-0.8

15

Pakistan

100.6

991

47.6

-0.4

16

Libya

100.6

14,802

37.2

-1.7

17

Dominican Rep

100.6

4,576

38.3

-1.1

18

Tunisia

100.5

3,903

36.0

-1.1

19

Bulgaria

100.5

6,546

49.5

-0.1

20

Ukraine

100.5

3,899

61.0

0.9

21

India

100.4

1,017

49.5

0.3

22

China

100.4

3,267

39.8

-0.3

23

Latvia

100.4

14,908

34.3

-1.1

24

Vietnam

100.4

1,051

50.7

0.8

25

Venezuela

100.4

11,246

32.6

-1.0

26

Portugal

100.4

22,923

28.6

-1.8

27

Saudi Arabia

100.3

19,022

25.1

-1.8

28

Kazakhstan

100.3

8,513

44.7

0.1

29

Uzbekistan

100.3

1,023

34.7

-0.3

30

Russia

100.3

11,832

34.4

-0.7

31

Mexico

100.3

10,232

34.0

-0.5

32

Indonesia

100.2

2,246

47.9

1.0

33

Croatia

100.2

15,637

30.1

-0.9

34

Peru

100.2

4,477

31.8

-0.3

35

Greece

100.2

31,670

38.3

-0.7

36

Belarus

100.1

6,230

42.3

0.8

37

Slovenia

100.1

27,019

25.8

-1.3

38

Syria

100.1

2,682

47.9

1.5

39

Turkey

100.1

9,942

35.2

0.2

40

South Korea

100.1

19,115

23.1

-0.9

41

Colombia

100.1

5,416

28.0

0.0

42

South Africa

100.0

5,678

25.0

-0.1

43

Serbia

100.0

6,811

44.8

1.4

44

Czech Republic

100.0

20,673

27.4

-0.4

45

Lithuania

100.0

14,098

41.1

1.1

46

Guatemala

99.9

2,848

37.1

1.3

47

Slovakia

99.9

18,212

22.3

-0.4

48

Poland

99.9

13,845

32.1

0.7

49

Singapore

99.9

37,597

21.9

-1.0

50

Kuwait

99.9

54,260

30.0

-1.1

51

UK

99.8

43,541

22.5

-1.0

52

Israel

99.8

27,652

17.7

-0.5

53

Japan

99.7

38,455

19.8

-0.6

54

Italy

99.7

38,492

22.1

-0.3

55

Thailand

99.6

4,043

39.0

2.7

56

Hungary

99.6

15,408

29.4

1.6

57

Sweden

99.5

51,950

17.4

-0.7

58

Finland

99.5

51,323

20.5

-0.5

59

Germany

99.5

44,446

18.5

-0.3

60

Spain

99.5

35,215

21.8

0.4

61

Austria

99.5

49,599

19.5

-0.3

62

Ecuador

99.5

4,056

30.6

2.5

63

Switzerland

99.5

64,327

24.0

-0.5

64

Malaysia

99.5

8,209

37.1

2.9

65

France

99.5

44,508

22.0

0.2

66

Brazil

99.5

8,205

20.8

1.8

67

United States

99.3

46,350

13.7

0.2

68

Canada

99.3

45,070

18.0

0.6

69

Australia

99.2

47,370

19.7

1.1

70

Belgium

99.2

47,085

15.9

0.9

71

Chile

99.1

10,084

22.5

3.1

72

Ireland

99.1

60,460

25.8

1.5

73

Norway

99.0

94,759

16.9

-0.6

74

Luxembourg

99.0

109,903

19.1

-1.0

75

Costa Rica

98.9

6,564

30.6

4.7

76

Netherlands

98.9

52,963

13.3

1.6`

77

Denmark

98.8

62,118

16.8

1.8

78

Argentina

98.7

8,236

33.4

5.6

79

Uruguay

98.5

9,654

25.3

5.6

80

New Zealand

97.7

30,439

18.8

7.5

As should be noted, there are countries outside of MENA with extremely high percentages of spending on food.

For years, Western journalists have castigated Zimbabwe’s land reform program. From afar, they pronounced land reform a failure for having brought about the total collapse of agriculture and plunging the nation into chronic food insecurity. Redistributed land, we are continually told, went to cronies with political connections, while ordinary people were almost entirely excluded from the process. Farmland went to ruin because of the incompetence of the new owners. These were simple messages, drilled into the minds of the Western public through repetition. For Western reporters, certain that they owned the truth, emotion substituted for evidence. Those of a more curious frame of mind, however, were left to wonder what conditions were like in the field, where no reporter bothered to venture.

Now this gaping lacuna has been filled by two recent studies. In a report issued just over a year ago, the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS) details the results of its extensive field investigations conducted in six districts from 2005 to 2006.(1) The other field study was done in Masvingo Province beginning in 2006 by the Livelihoods after Land Reform project, with multinational assistance, including that of the Great Britain-based Institute of Development Studies (IDS). (2)

What both studies found was that the facts on the ground were at variance with popular Western perceptions. As the IDS study noted, “Those of us exposed regularly to the international, especially British, media found it hard to match what we heard on the TV and radio and read in the newspapers with what we were finding on the ground.” There were a number of misperceptions, which in large part the team felt were due to  “a simple lack of solid, field-level data.” (3) Although it is true that there has been such a lack, this factor alone does not account for the inaccuracy of Western news reports. The ideological factor is paramount, as always. For that reason, even though concrete information is now available, the tone of Western reports is unlikely to change.

It can never be stressed enough that Zimbabwe inherited a highly unequal land ownership pattern from apartheid Rhodesia. By 2002, 70 percent of the richest farmland still remained in the hands of just 4,500 white commercial farmers, focused mainly on producing crops for export. Meanwhile, one million indigenous families eked out a bare existence, crowded into an arid region of limited suitability for agriculture, known as the ‘communal’ areas. Fast-track land reform redistributed much of the commercial farmland to some 170,000 families. Whatever its faults in execution, the process has undeniably created a significantly more equitable distribution of land than what prevailed before.

That is not the story the Western audience hears. Instead, we are told that fast track land reform was a “land grab” by “cronies,” bringing about a more unequal distribution of land than what had preceded it. Yet the surveys conducted by the AIAS and the IDS found that most beneficiaries of land reform were ordinary people, whereas those who might be categorized as “elites” constituted a small minority. According to the IDS, this minority amounted to less than five percent.

But it does leave open the question of how one determines who an “elite” is and who is not. That one works for the government does not in itself mean that one is an “elite” or a “crony,” nor that one has necessarily ignored the application process and simply bullied one’s way into being granted land. Such cases did occur, but they hardly constitute the typical experience of resettled farmers. “That some of the beneficiaries are ‘elites’ is undisputed,” notes the AIAS. “What is in dispute is their character and the extent of their benefit. The tendency to generalize the notion of an ‘elite’ leaves unexplained the social content of the concept, and assumes that it lacks differentiation in a dynamic process of class formation.” Government job holders, war veterans and ZANU-PF members are lumped together with high ranking officials as “elites,” or “cronies”. It is assumed that all bypassed the land application process in order to seize land.

The AIAS points out that the empirical evidence shows “a more differentiated pattern.” This finding is confirmed by the IDS team: “The composition of land reform beneficiaries is highly varied. The claim that the land reform was dominated by politically well-connected ‘cronies’ is simply untrue. Nor are war veterans a dominant group. Although many took leadership roles during the land invasions, the majority came from rural backgrounds where they had been farming in the communal areas. While some civil servants and business people are members of the elite, many are not. Teachers, extension workers and small-scale entrepreneurs have joined the land reform, adding new skills and capacities. And farm workers too have been important beneficiaries.”

There were two resettlement schemes implemented during fast track land reform: the A1 model, in which small farms intended to benefit the landless or disadvantaged were allocated, and the A2 model, which were larger farms that were expected to be more immediately productive. The AIAS found that most of the beneficiaries of land reform came from the communal areas, about 62 percent. Other ordinary people accounted for the majority of the remaining percentage. Applicants for A2 farms “were required to submit a business development plan and a proof of capacity to finance farm operations.” For this reason urban residents unsurprisingly accounted for a far higher percentage of applicants for A2 farms than they did for A1 farms. Still, even in the A2 farms they rank second to communal farmers. (4)

Despite a lack of infrastructure, beneficiaries were quick to take up farming operations. For instance, nearly 72 percent of those allocated land in 2002, the peak year of land resettlement, began operations that same year. This, despite resistance by evicted commercial landowners, and the refusal of many of them to vacate the land. By 2003, the percentage of these resettled farmers that had begun farming had risen to almost 96 percent, a far cry from the popular image of land going to waste. (5)

Agricultural productivity, we are so often told, has been dismal since the launch of fast track land reform. The not always unstated implication of Western reports is that the land would have been best left in the hands of the few wealthy commercial landowners, as only they were capable of producing bountiful outputs. That view is a manifestation of the free market philosophy that is so comforting to the entitled: that the greatest good should go to the privileged few. From that vantage point, the many who suffer the consequences of an extreme and narrow concentration of wealth are deemed unworthy of consideration.

There has indeed been a decline in agricultural production in recent years, although for varied and complex reasons. Certainly one of the key factors responsible for the decline is that Zimbabwe’s entire economy has shrunk by around 40 percent since the year 2000. By abandoning the destructive Western-initiated structural adjustment program, and then by accelerating land reform efforts in order to achieve a more equitable distribution of land, Zimbabwe triggered Western hostility. Neoliberal sensitivities were offended, and punishment was not long in coming. By late 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which instructed U.S. officials in international financial institutions to “oppose and vote against any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the government of Zimbabwe.” The U.S. wields enormous influence in the decisions of the IMF, World Bank and other international financial institutions. Great Britain and other Western countries were of like mind, and Zimbabwe found itself shut out of the kind of normal credit operations that are essential for any modern economy to operate.

Western meddling did not stop there, and the net effect was to cause the Zimbabwean economy to take a nosedive, a trend which unavoidably had an adverse impact on agricultural operations. Agriculture  does not exist in isolation. In myriad ways it is interrelated to the general economy, and it cannot remain unperturbed by a deep economic downturn. For all of their expressed concern for Zimbabwe’s agricultural productivity, Western leaders must bear a major portion of the responsibility for its decline. But then, that is what sanctions are intended to do: sow economic ruin in the target nation.

Another not insignificant factor in the decline of crop production is that much of the region in which Zimbabwe is situated is especially susceptible to the effects of climate change, and over the last decade there has been a sharp increase in the frequency of major drought conditions. According to the AIAS, “the period from 2001-2005 was characterized by poor rainfall distribution, the worst in the post-independence period.” (6)

As this chart illustrates, rainfall and agricultural production in Zimbabwe track quite closely. Maize is measured in the chart, as this is the staple crop in Zimbabwe.


 

(Source: Sam Moyo presentation – “Zimbabwe’s Agrarian Reform and Prospects for Recovery”)

The drought in the 2007-8 agricultural season was particularly nasty, and national maize output plummeted to 470,000 metric tons. Yet in the following season, the nation enjoyed good rainfall and as a result more than two and a half times as much maize was produced. (7)  It is impossible to consider the correlation between rainfall and agricultural output and then continue, as Western reports do, insist on its irrelevance.

In Masvingo Province, the area the IDS studied, the “production since settlement, for all farmers outside the irrigated plots, has been highly dependent on the pattern of rainfall, and the droughts in many of the seasons since 2000 had a huge impact on people’s ability to establish themselves. By contrast, the good rainfall years resulted in substantial harvests and were vitally important in the pattern of accumulation, allowing for the purchase of new inputs, equipment and livestock.” (8)

Western media have distorted the pre-land reform picture as well. Contrary to the rosy picture painted of the apartheid-era inherited land ownership pattern, most commercial farms focused on export crops such as tobacco, while the bulk of food for domestic use was grown by communal farmers. In more than half of the years in the two decades preceding fast track land reform, Zimbabwe needed to import food. (9) It is simply untrue that the import of food is a new development in Zimbabwe’s history.

It is inaccurate to attribute a drop in agricultural production entirely to resettled farmers. The “pattern of low yields based on inputs’ constraints,” the AIAS reports, “also affected communal area farmers…Indeed, a large proportion of the marketed maize and cotton in recent years is found to have originated from the newly resettled areas.” The evidence in the AIAS survey, as well as according to the views of farmers and extension workers, “is that yields have declined mainly because of the shortages of (and failure to access) inputs” by new farmers due to inadequate credit and personal savings. “Yields were also affected by frequent bouts of inclement weather.” The shortage of draft power, too, “is a key constraint to timely and adequate plowing.” (10)

Historically, the success of any land reform effort depends on the support new farmers are given.  Adequate agricultural inputs are essential. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has had to deal with some daunting challenges in that regard.

The AIAS found that less than half of the farmers it surveyed relied on inorganic fertilizer, production of which has sharply declined in the nation. “Fertilizer and agro-chemicals use have been most affected because they require some imported content yet foreign currency resources have been scarce.” (11) And the supply of foreign currency is low due to Western sanctions. As the IDS study points out, other factors include “frequent plant and machinery breakdowns and power cuts, and the reduced capacity of the National Railways of Zimbabwe, leading to increased costs of moving raw materials from mines and ports by road.”(12) Sanctions have reduced Zimbabwe’s access to spare parts to keep machinery running, and the poor supply of foreign currency limits the amount of electrical power that can be imported from neighboring countries. “Furthermore,” the AIAS notes, “the majority of the new farmers are resource-constrained and thus cannot afford to meet their input requirements from the market even when the inputs are available.” (13)

Prior to the fast track land reform process, large commercial farms received strong credit line support from both state and private financial institutions, while nearly all smallholders lacked such support. After fast track land reform, most of the private financial companies withdrew altogether from offering credit to farmers. Only two percent of resettled farmers “benefitted from private sector crop input schemes and none were beneficiaries for livestock programs.” (14) Financial support for the burgeoning number of farmers fell to the state, which was ill equipped to meet the need, with its financial resources stretched to the breaking point by economic sanctions. As a result, only a small percentage of resettled farmers were able to benefit from adequate credit support, compelling most of them to rely on their own savings to manage. (15)

International NGOs for the most part refused to provide any services to resettled farmers, and focused their efforts elsewhere. Relying for their funding on Western governments hostile to the land reform process, NGOs were loath to support the beneficiaries of a process they preferred to see fail. (16) Less than three percent of resettled farmers in the AIAS study sample received extension support from NGOs. “Input assistance from NGOs was even lower with 1.7 percent of the beneficiaries having received such support.” (17) AIAS interviews with NGO officials revealed that the organizations were opposed to operating in resettled areas because they regarded land reform as illegitimate. (18) These humanitarian organizations, it seems, were much happier with the old system, in which the many suffered hunger and privation while the wealthy few thrived.

And yet, despite all obstacles, many resettled farmers have managed to prosper. According to the IDS study, “impressive investments have been made in clearing the land, in livestock, in equipment, in transport and in housing.” Indeed, the IDS argues, “the scale of investment carried out by people themselves, and without significant support from government or aid agencies , is substantial, and provides firm foundations for the future.” (19)

“Cattle holdings have a direct impact on crop production,” notes the IDS study, and “the value of draft power, transport and manure is substantial.” (20) In the IDS study sample, herd sizes in the resettled areas have grown, while households without cattle have declined. (21)

One of the primary goals of land reform in Zimbabwe was poverty alleviation, a deeply unpopular concept in the U.S. and Great Britain, but one that still means something in much of the rest of the world. While not every farmer is succeeding, the majority of resettled farmers have experienced real change in their lives. As one farmer explained, “We are happier here at the resettlement. There is more land, plots are larger and there is no overcrowding. Last season I got very good yields, and filled two granaries with sorghum. Following resettlement, there is now a future for my family, and my sons will have land.” (22) Another man had “little land to farm” prior to resettlement, and relied for help from his relatives in order to survive. He and his wife have managed to clear four hectares on their new farm. “Before I had no cattle,” he said, “but now I own five head, all purchased through farming. I have also managed to buy a plow.” In a turnaround, no longer needing support from his family, it is he who helps family members back in the communal areas during periods of drought, and sends cash to pay for his young brothers’ school fees. “The new land has transformed our lives,” he remarks. (23) According to another farmer, “Life has changed remarkably for me because I have more land and can produce more than I used to.” (24) These are typical comments from resettled farmers.

“While newspaper headlines around the world emphasized the collapse of agriculture and the growth in food insecurity in the country,” the IDS study reports, “the new farmers were getting on with establishing their new farms and producing, sometimes in very substantial amounts. This disconnect between perception and reality became most apparent following the 2008-9 season which resulted in very substantial production. At the same time, the aid agencies and those interested in discounting any success in land reform, were proclaiming impending famine and need for massive food imports.” (25)

This is not to say that there are no problems. For example, as the IDS study points out, “The failure of input supply and delivery has seriously hampered production.” (26) Indeed, improving the supply of inputs is perhaps the single most important task need.

Wages paid to farm workers tend to be low, a pattern that has persisted even after fast track land reform took over most of the large scale commercial farms. (27) Still, more farm workers than not report an improvement in their working conditions since the implementation of fast track land reform. (28) Working conditions for farm workers constitute a key weakness, and even though the lives of farm workers were particularly harsh under the former large scale commercial farm owners, there is substantial room for improvement.

The discrepancy in size between A1 and A2 farms presents an inherently unstable situation when there are still so many people who need land. The class differentiation between A2 farm owners, A1 farmers, and those in communal areas, including landowners and the landless, is likely to grow over time.

In particular, in a region highly vulnerable to climate change, an expansion of irrigation schemes is critical. That, however, will be difficult for the cash-strapped government of Zimbabwe to achieve, except in the unlikely event that Western governments ease the sanctions regime.

Still, despite these problems, fast track land reform has created a vastly more equitable distribution of land compared to the previous lopsided ownership pattern. Poverty alleviation has been real, and many have for the first time in their lives been given hope. Resettled farmers are determined to succeed. As one put it, “Land is what we fought for. Our relatives died for this land… Now we must make use of it.” (29) As a sovereign nation, Zimbabwe has the right to improve its citizens’ lives, regardless of how offensive that ambition is to the imperialist nations. The land belongs to the people of Zimbabwe, and resettled farmers are succeeding in spite of the obstacles thrown in their way by Western sanctions and interference.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and on the Advisory Board of the Korea Truth Commission. He is the author of the book Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit.

http://www.amazon.com/Strange-Liberators-Militarism-Mayhem-Pursuit/dp/1595265708

Notes

(1) “Fast Track Land Reform Baseline Study in Zimbabwe: Trends and Tendencies, 2005/06,” African Institute for Agrarian Studies, December 2009.
(2) Ian Scoones, et al, “Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities,” James Currey, 2010.
(3) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 1-2
(4) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 22
(5) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 50-51
(6) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 52
(7) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 103
(8) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 96
(9) Sam Moyo, “Agrarian Reform and Prospects for Recovery,” African Institute for Agrarian Studies, July 28, 2009
(10) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 175
(11) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 69
(12) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 96
(13) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 69
(14) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 163
(15) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 75
(16) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 77 Ian Scoones, et al, p. 210-211
(17) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, p. 163
(18) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, note on p. 163
(19) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 77
(20) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 122
(21) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 117
(22) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 6
(23) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 66-67
(24) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 238
(25) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 124-125
(26) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 125
(27) African Institute for Agrarian Studies, note on p. 109
(28)African Institute for Agrarian Studies, note on p. 112-113
(29) Ian Scoones, et al, p. 76

A New American Workers’ Movement Has Begun

February 21st, 2011 by Dan La Botz

Thousands of workers demonstrated at the state capital in Madison, Wisconsin on February 15 and 16 to protest plans by that state’s Republican Governor Scott Walker to take away the state workers’ union rights. Walker, cleverly attempted to divide the public workers by excluding police and firefighters from his anti-union law, and the media have worked to divide public employees against private sector workers. Yet, both firemen and private sector workers showed up at the statehouse to join public workers of all sorts in what has been one of the largest workers’ demonstrations in the United States in decades. Only California has seen demonstrations as large as these in recent years.

Many demonstrators, taking a clue from the rebellions against authoritarian and anti-worker governments that are sweeping the Middle East, carried signs saying, “Let’s negotiate like they do in Egypt.” While the situation in Wisconsin is hardly comparable to the revolution in the Arab world, what we are witnessing is the beginning of a new American workers’ movement. Because this movement is so different than what many expected, it may take us by surprise.

Not What We Expected

Many of us, myself included, had for years expected a rank-and-file workers’ movement to arise out of shop floor struggles in industrial workplaces, out of the fight for union democracy, and out of the process of working-class struggle against the employers. While that perspective still has much validity, something different is happening. The new labour movement that is arising does not start in the industrial working-class (though it will get there soon enough), it does not focus on shop floor issues (though they will no doubt be taken up shortly), it is not primarily motivated by a desire for union democracy (though it will have to fight for union democracy to push forward the leaders it needs). And it does not, as so many American labour movements of the past did remain confined to the economic class struggle (though that too will accelerate). It is from the beginning an inherently labour political movement.

The new movement that is arising does not focus on the usual issues of collective bargaining – working conditions, wages, and benefits – but focuses rather on the political and programmatic issues usually taken up by political parties: the very right of workers to bargaining collectively, the state budget priorities, and the tax system which funds the budget. The new labour movement, because it has begun in the public sector, will not be so much about the process of class struggle as it will be about how class struggle finds a voice through political program. This will have tremendous implications for the traditional relations between the organized labour movement and the Democratic Party, especially since the Democrats, from Barack Obama to state governors like Andrew Cuomo, are also demanding that public employees give up wages, benefits, conditions and rights.

Not Your Grandfather’s Working-Class

We have for decades in the United States thought of the working-class as being made up of those workers of railroad, mine and mill whose calloused hands produced the material wealth of this nation over 200 years, that is, since the first factories were opened in the Northeast in the 1790s. Industrial workers though have been declining as a percentage of the population since the 1920s and have diminished at an accelerated rate since the 1950s. Since the 1980s the decline of industrial workers as a proportion of the wage earning class has been dramatic. In the old days, skilled workers, almost all white men, came as immigrants from the countries of Western and Northern Europe, while the unskilled industrial workers were immigrants from the South and East of Europe, whites from Appalachia, and African Americans from the South’s plantations. While most of those industrial workers were male, millions of women also toiled in textile mills, garment shops, and other workplaces. Those workers created the Knights of Labor in 1869, American Federation of Labor (AFL) in 1886, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) in 1905, and finally in the great labour upsurge of the 1930s won the legal right to organize with the Wagner Act of 1935 and built the Congress of Industrial Unions (CIO).

The Rise of the Public Employees

The post-war period saw the expansion of government as millions found jobs not only in streets and sanitation, the water works, and as teachers, but also as social workers, public health nurses, and college professors. Another labour upsurge in the 1960s and 1970s led to the establishment and rapid growth of public employee unions of all sorts: the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). These public workers were far more racially diverse than many of the private sector unions, made up white, African American, and Latino workers, of men and many women.

Public employees in the 1960s and 70s won the rights to union recognition, collective bargaining, and the strike through hundreds of strikes, large and small during those two decades. The newspapers’ front page often carried the photo of some teacher or social worker, nurse or secretary, sanitation worker or park employee being carried off to jail for striking with the union. The most famous of these strikes, perhaps, was the AFSCME Local 1733 strike by African American sanitation workers of Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the civil rights movement, was there to help those workers with their strike, when he was assassinated.

The Unions at a Turning Point

Today we in the labour movement are at a turning point. American employers, political parties, and government at all levels have decided that the time has come to move against what is the last bulwark of American unionism: the public employee unions. As of the latest count by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11.9 per cent of all workers are in unions, and only 6.9 per cent in the private sector. In the public sector, however, public employee unions represent some 36.2 per cent of all workers, and the number is even somewhat higher among teachers. America’s political and economic elite are looking for the final solution to the labour problem – and we are not getting on the trains and going to the camps.

Public employees, now finding themselves on the frontline of the labour movement, are fighting back from one end of the country to the other and nowhere at the moment so dramatically as in Madison, Wisconsin. Just as the Arab revolution spread rapidly from Tunisia to Egypt, so we can expect to see this public worker movement spread from one state to another as it resists Republican and Democratic party governors and local officials who want to strip workers of their rights.

What Sort of a Labour Movement Can We Expect?

What does labour history teach us about labour movements? First, we know that when masses of workers go into motion, as they have now begun to do, political consciousness grows and changes rapidly. Workers who today simply fight to defend their union rights will, if they succeed in resisting the right’s attempt to destroy them, go on to fight to expand not only their rights but to improve their working conditions and standard of living. Most important, workers will fight to expand their power. We are just at the beginning.

Second, when workers discover the strategy and tactics of their movement, those quickly spread to other groups of workers in society. When the rubber workers in Akron, Ohio discovered the sit-down strike in 1936, it quickly spread not only to the auto industry leading to the great strikes of 1937 and 38. Remarkably, the sit-down also spread to such unlikely workers as the “shop girls” of department stores. During the 1950s and early 1960s, African American civil rights activists rediscovered the power of the sit-down, transforming it into the sit-in in lunch counters, bus stations, and other private and public places across the South.

Today public workers in Wisconsin are in search of the strategies and the tactics that can defend their rights, and they are using the mass rally and the camp out at the capital. When they discover or rediscover the strategy and tactics that work, those will spread like wildfire across the country to other public workers – and then jump to the private sector.

The Movement is Both Economic and Political

Third, real labour movements ignore the artificial separation between economic and political, taking up either or both as they follow the logic of the struggle. Industrial workers’ struggles for higher wages in the 1930s became transformed into struggle for the employers’ recognition of the unions and labour legislation granting workers the right to organize. Similarly, public employees in the 1960s fought for the right to organize unions and collective bargaining which then flowed the other way, to a fight for higher wages. What is today primarily a political fight in Wisconsin, that is to defend the right of public employees to have a labour union, bargain collectively and enjoy the right to strike, will inevitably become a struggle for better conditions, higher wages, and health and pension benefits.

Fourth, when a real labour movement arises, that is, a movement not merely of thousands or even tens of thousands, but of millions, it necessarily becomes transformative. Labour union officials who hesitate, who waver, or who knuckle under will soon find themselves challenged by new, younger leaders who will either force those officials to fight or push them aside. Such a movement will change the unions – often by changing the leadership first and sometimes by changing the very institutions themselves. Such was the case with the rise of the industrial workers movement in the 1930s which broke the shell of the old AFL to create the new CIO.

A Political Alternative

Fifth, and finally, a new American labour movement of millions will challenge the old political relationship between the unions and the Democratic Party. The unions will fight at first to force the Democratic Party to give up its own conservative budget, tax and labour policies, and failing to do that, will seek another vehicle. Unions may first attempt to change the Democrats by running union candidates in Democratic Party primaries, or they may attempt to take over the state party. Whether the new American labour movement will have the power to put forward a political alternative remains to be seen.

Wisconsin though is famous for its long history of political grouping to the left of the Democratic Party which, from time to time, have shown considerable influence: the Socialist Party held power in Milwaukee into the 1960s, the Farmer-Labor Party was once a power in the state, Progressive Dane (county) thrived a couple of decades ago, and the Wisconsin, Green Party has over a score of elected officials throughout the state. None of these was or is what a workers’ movement needs to achieve real political power, but the presence of such political alternatives is indicative of a more tolerant and experimental attitude in the state. American workers have never in their history succeeded in creating a workers’ party of any power, with the exception of the Socialist Party of the early 20th century.

Today, with the Democrats lowering taxes on the rich, cutting budgets, and laying off public employees, we may be in for the kind of confrontation between workers and a pro-business Democratic party that can produce a political alternative. Certainly the struggle over politics and government is built into this contest as it seldom is so directly in the private sector. The task at the moment is to build the fight to defend public services and public employees unions and their rights, but this leads directly to political confrontation. •

Dan La Botz is a labour writer, teacher, and was the Socialist Party candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 2010 election. This article first appeared on the solidarity-us.org website.