Bulletin N° 871
The Power Principle
(in 3 parts)
directed by Scott Noble
This film explores how the US establishment promotes a culture of fear in order to secure increased military expenses, year after year. It claims the US government and the military-industrial complex, together with the US media developed a powerful propaganda machinery (inspired in good part from Nazi propaganda) in order to scare and convince the public that US invasions like those in Dominican Republic (1965), Grenada (1983), US support for brutal mass-killings, terror campaigns like those in Guatemala (1954), Indonesia (1965), El Salvador (1979), US-designed assassination plots like those in Nicaragua (1981) and in huge parts of Latin America (Operation Condor) and support for overthrowing democratically elected governments like those in Brazil (1964) and Chile (1973) were needed in order to prevent the spread of communism, using mainly the domino theory.
The movie also points at the help provided by the Western countries to fascist regimes in order to counter movements supporting workers rights (socialism, communism, anarchy). The fascism is presented as an instrument in the hands of the plutocracy for oppressing and enslaving the working class.
The meaning of the movie's title, "The power principle" is revealed as the Mafia principle, which is "not allowing disobedience" - in this case not allowing the countries in the developing world to have governments that try to improve the life of the many.
The movie traces the roots of the US establishment (both Republican and Democrat parties) mindset into the doctrine of Edward Bernays, pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, who believed the democracy is hard to handle and people are just too stupid to govern themselves in democracy, so there is a need of an elite, public guardians who manage the society and there is a need of public relation practitioners who would be professionals in working for the government for managing, manipulating the public and engineering consent.
Subject : The Capitalist Conspiracy, Part 7 : 'Artificial Intelligence,' ‘artificial scarcity’ & the old mafia ‘protection racket.’
December 16, 2019
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
We return momentarily to F. William Engdahl’s book, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (1992), to examine a radical analysis of US foreign policy, with its roots embedded in the decisions of a power elite, who are groomed for specific qualities generation after generation since the founding of nation.
Engdahl introduces chapter 9, “Running the World Economy in Reverse: Who made the 1970’s Oil Shocks?”, with a description of President Nixon in a financial panic at the end of his first term of office,
. . . in 1969, the U.S. economy had again gone into recession. In order to combat the downturn, U.S. interest rates by 1970 were sharply lowered. As a consequence of the falling interest rates, speculative ‘hot money’ began once more to leave the dollar in record amounts, seeking higher short-term profits in Europe and elsewhere.
One result of by now almost a decade–long American refusal to devalue the dollar, and her reluctance to take serious action to control the huge unregulated Eurodollar market, was an increasingly unstable short-term currency speculation. As most of the world’s bankers well knew, King Canute could pretend to hold the waves back for only so long.
As a result of Nixon’s expansionary domestic U.S. monetary policy in 1970, the capital inflows of the previous year reversed, and the U.S. incurred a net capital outflow of $6.5 billions. But, as U.S. recession persisted, as interest rates continued to drop into 1971, and money supply to expand, these outflows reached then-huge dimensions, totaling $20 billions. Then, in May of 1971, the United States recorded its first monthly trade deficit as well, triggering a virtual international panic sell-off of the U.S. dollar. The situation was indeed becoming desperate.
By 1971 U.S. official gold reserves represented less than one quarter of her official liabilities, meaning that theoretically if all foreign dollar holders demanded gold instead, Washington would have been unable to comply without drastic measures.
. . .
On August 15, 1971 Nixon took the advice of a close circle of key advises which included his chief Budget adviser, George Shultz, and a policy group then at the Treasury Department including Paul Volcker, and Jack Bennett, who later went on to become a director at Exxon. That sunny quiet August day, in a move which rocked the world, the President of the United States announced formal suspension of dollar convertibility into gold, effectively putting the world fully onto a dollar standard with no gold backing, and by this, unilaterally ripping apart the central provision of the 1944 Bretton Woods system. No longer could foreign holders of U.S. dollars redeem their paper for U.S. gold reserves.
. . .
By declaring to world dollar holders their paper would no longer be redeemed for gold, Nixon ‘pulled the plug’ on the world economy, setting into motion a series of events which was to rock the world as never before. . . .
De Gaulle’s defiance of Washington in April 1968 on the issue of gold and adhering to the rules of Bretton Woods, had not been sufficient to force through the badly needed reordering of the international monetary system, but it had sufficiently poisoned the well of Washington’s ill-conceived IMF Special Drawing Rights scheme to cover over the problems of the dollar.
The suspension of gold redemption and the resulting international ‘floating exchange rates’ of the early 1970’s solved nothing. It only bought some time.
An eminently workable solution would have been for the U.S. to set the dollar to a more realistic level. From France, de Gaulle’s former economic adviser, Jacques Rueff, continued to plead for a $70/oz. gold price, instead of the $35 level the U.S. unsuccessfully defended. This would calm world speculation and allow the U.S. to redeem her destabilizing Eurodollars balances abroad, without plunging the domestic U.S. economy into any serve chaos, Rueff argued. If done right, it could have given a tremendous spur to U.S. industry as its exports could cost less in foreign currency. American industrial interests would again have predominated over financial voices in U.S. policy circles. But reason was not to prevail.
. . .
The real architects of the Nixon strategy were in the influential City of London merchant banks. Sir Siegmund Warburg, Edmond de Rothschild, Jocelyn Hambro and others, saw a golden opportunity in Nixon’s dissolution of the Bretton Woods gold standard the summer of 1971, London was once again to become a major center of world finance, and again on ‘borrowed money,’ this time with American Eurodollars.
After August 1971, dominant U.S. policy, under White House National Security Adviser, Henry A. Kissinger, was to control, not to develop, economies throughout the world. U.S. policy officials began proudly calling themselves ‘neo-Malthusians.’ Population reduction in developing nations, rather than technology transfer and industrial growth strategies, began to be the dominating priority during the 1970s, yet another throwback to nineteenth-century British colonial thinking. How this transformation took place we shall soon see.
. . .
Permanent instability had been introduced into world monetary affairs in a way not seen since the early 1930’s, but this time, strategists in New York, Washington and the City of London were preparing an unexpected surprise to regain the upper hand and recover from the devastating loss of the monetary pillar of their system. (pp.155-158)
Engdahl goes on to elaborate on the importance of the conspiratorial meeting of international power elites held in Sweden in the spring of 1973, and the central role played by Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State.
The design behind Nixon’s August 15, 1971 dollar strategy did not emerge until October 1973, more than two years later and even then few persons outside a handful of insiders grasped the connection. The August 1971 de-monetization of the dollar was used by the London-New York financial establishment to buy precious time, while policy insiders prepared a bold new monetarist design, a ‘paradigm shift’ as one preferred to term it. Certain influential voices in the Anglo-American financial establishment had devised a strategy to create again a strong dollar, and one again to increase their relative political power in the world, just when it appeared they were in decisive rout.
In May 1973, with the dramatic fall of the dollar still vivid, a group of 84 of the world’s top financial and political insiders met at the secluded island resort of the Swedish Wallenberg banking family, as Saltsjoebaden, Sweden. This gathering of Prince Bernhard’s Bilderberg Group, heard an American participant outline a ‘scenario’ for an imminent 400 percent increase in OPEC petroleum revenues. The purpose of the secret Saltsjoebaden meeting was not to prevent the expected oil price shock, but rather, plan how to manage the about-to-be-created flood of oil dollars, a process U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger later called ‘recycling the petro-dollar flows.’(pp.158-160)
What the powerful men grouped around Bilderberg had evidently decided that May, was to launch a colossal assault against industrial growth in the world, in order to tilt the balance of power back to the advantage of Anglo-American financial interests, and the dollar. In order to do this, they determined to use their most prized weapon – control of the world’s oil flows. Bilderberg policy was to trigger a global oil embargo, in order to force a dramatic increase in world oil prices. Since 1945, world oil trade had by international custom been priced in dollars as American oil companies dominated the postwar market. A sharp sudden increase in the world demand for U.S. dollars to pay for the necessary oil, therefore, meant an equally dramatic increase in world demand for U.S. dollars to pay for that necessary oil.
Never in history had such a small circle of interests centered in London and New York, controlled so much of the entire world’s economic destiny. The Anglo-American financial establishment had resolved to use their oil power in a manner no one could imagine possible. The very outrageousness of their scheme was to their advantage, they clearly reckoned.(pp.163-164)
The next step in creating the “oil shock” to further the plan of population control and world domination, according to Engdahl, was the carefully orchestrated “Yom Kippur War” (October 6-25, 1973).
On October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria invaded Israel, igniting what became known as the ‘Yom Kippur’ war. Contrary to popular impression, the ‘Yom Kippur’ war was not the simple result of miscalculation, blunder or an Arab decision to launch a military strike against the state of Israel; The entire events surrounding outbreak of the October war were secretly orchestrated by Washington and London, using the powerful diplomatic secret channels developed by Nixon’s White House National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger.
Kissinger effectively controlled the Israeli policy response through his intimate relation with Israel’s Washington ambassador, Simcha Dinitz. As well, Kissinger cultivated channels to the Egyptian and Syrian side. His method was simply to misrepresent to each party the critical elements of the other, ensuring the war and its subsequent Arab oil embargo.
. . .
One enormous consequence of the ensuing 400 percent rise in OPEC oil prices was that investments of hundreds of millions of dollars by British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and other Anglo-American petroleum concerns in the risky North Sea could produce oil at a profit. It is a curious fact of the time that the profitability of these new North Sea oil fields was not at all secure until after Kissinger’s oil shock. Of course, this could have only been a fortuitous coincidence.
By October 16, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, following a meeting on oil price in Vienna, had raised their price by a then-staggering 70 percent, from $3.01/barrel to $5.11. That same day, the members of the Arab OPEC countries, citing the U.S. support for Israel in the Mideast war, declared an embargo on all oil sales to the United States and Netherlands – the major oil port of Western Europe.
Saudi µArabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Libya, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Algeria announced on October 17, 1973 that they would cut their production below the September level by 5 percent for October and an additional 5 percent per month, ‘until Israeli withdrawal is completed from the whole Arab territories occupied in June 1967 and the legal rights of the Palestinian people are restored.’ The world’s first ‘oil shock,’ or as the Japanese termed it, ‘Oil Shokku’ was underway.
. . .
Most governments across Europe fell in this period, victim to the consequences of the oil shock on their economies.
. . .
But the economic impact on the developing economies of the world – for at this time they still could be rightly called developing, rather than the fatalistic Third World designation so in vogue today – the impact of an overnight price increase of 400 percent in their primary energy source was staggering. The vast majority of the world’s less-developed economies, without significant domestic oil resources, were suddenly confronted with an unexpected and unplayable 400 percent increase in costs of energy imports, to say nothing of costs chemicals and fertilizers for agriculture derived from petroleum. During this time, commentators began speaking of ‘triage,’ the wartime idea of survival of the fittest, and introduced the vocabulary of ‘Third Word and ‘Fourth World’ (the non-OPEC countries).
India in 1973 had a positive balance of trade, a healthy situation for a developing economy. By 1974, India had total foreign exchange reserves of $629 millions with which to pay – in dollars – an annual oil import bill of almost double that of $1,241 million. Sudan, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and throughout Africa and Latin America country after country was faced in 1974 with gaping deficits in their balance of payments. As a whole, developing countries in 1974 incurred a total trade deficit of $35 billions according to the IMF, a colossal sum in that day, and, not surprisingly, a deficit precisely 4 times as large as in 1973, or just in proportion to the oil priced increase.
Following the several years of strong industrial and trade growth of the early 1970’s, the severe drop in industrial activity throughout the world economy in 1974-75 was greater than any such decline since the war.
But while Kissinger’s 1973 oil shock had a devastating impact on world industrial growth, it had an enormous benefit for certain established interests – the major New York and London banks, and the Severn Sisters oil multinationals of the U.S. and Britain. Exxon replaced General Motors as the largest American corporation in gross revenues by 1974. Her sisters were not far behind, including Mobil, Texaco, Chevron and Gulf.
The bulk of OPEC dollar revenues, Kissinger’s ‘recycled petrodollars,’ was deposited with the leading banks of London and New York, the banks which dealt in dollars as well as international oil trade. Chase Manhattan, Citibank, Manufacturers Hanover, Bank of America, Barclays, Lloyds, Midland Bank, all enjoyed the windfall profits of the oil shock. We shall later see how they recycled their ‘petro-dollars’ during the 1970’s, and how it set the stage for the great debt crisis of the 1980’s.(pp.164-170)
Thus we see the origins of “Artificial Scarcity” as it was executed by Anglo-American policymakers in the 1970s, through the coordination of oil, finance, and diplomatic/military policies.
This strategy of population control replacing economic development, according to Engdahl, included orchestrated attacks on nuclear energy by huge petroleum interests and it embraced the Anglo-American green agenda.
Beginning in the 1970’s an awesome propaganda offensive was launched from select Anglo-American think-tanks and journals, intended to shape a new ‘limits to growth’ agenda, which world insure the ‘success’ of the dramatic oil shock strategy. The American oilman present at the May 1973 Saltsjoebaden meeting of the Bilderberg group, Robert O. Anderson, was a central figure in the implementation of the ensuing Anglo-American ecology agenda. It was to become one of the most successful frauds in history.(p.173)
. . .
Robert O. Anderson also contributed significant funds to a project initiated by the Rockefeller family at the Rockefeller’s estate at Bellagio, Italy with Aurelio Peccei and Alexander King. This Club of Rome, and the U.S. Association of the Club of Rome, in 1972, gave widespread publicity to their publication of a scientifically fraudulent computer simulation prepared by Dennis Meadows and Jay Forrester, titled; ‘Limits to Growth.’ Adding modern computer graphics to the discredited essay of Malthus, Meadows and Forrester insisted that the world would ‘soon perish for lack of adequate energy, food and other resources. As did Malthus, they chose to ignore the impact of technological progress on improving the human condition. Their message was one of unmitigated gloom and cultural pessimism.
One of the most targeted countries for this new Anglo-American anti-nuclear offensive in this time was Germany. While France’s nuclear program was equally if not more ambitious, Germany was deemed an area where Anglo-American intelligence assets had greater likelihood of success given their history in the postwar occupation of the Federal Republic. Almost as soon as the ink had dried on the Schmidt government’s 1975 nuclear development program, an offensive was launched.
A key operative in this new project was to be a young woman whose mother was German and stepfather American and who had lived in the U.S. until 1970, working for U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey, among other things. Petra K. Kelly had developed close ties in her U.S. years to one of the principal new Anglo-American anti-nuclear organizations created by McGeorge Bundy’s Ford Foundation, the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Natural Resources Defense Council included Barbara Ward (Lady Jackson) and Laurance Rockefeller among its board at the time. In Germany, Kelly began organizing legal assaults against construction of the German nuclear program during the min 1970’s, resulting in costly delays and eventual large cuts in the entire German nuclear plan.
Engdahl concludes this chapter on “The World economy in Reverse” with a brief description of Malthusian theory of population growth and how this theory was adopted in the 1970s to promote “population control” as an instrument for US “national security”:
In 1798 an obscure English clergyman, professor of political economy in the employ of the British East India Company’s East India College at Haileybury, was given instant fame by his English sponsors for his ‘Essay on the Principle of Population.’ The essay itself was a scientific fraud, plagiarized largely from a Venetian attack on the positive population theory of American Benjamin Franklin.
The Venetian attack on µFranklin’s essay had been written by Giammaria Ortes in 1774. Malthus’ adaptation of Ortes’ ‘theory’ was refined with a façade of mathematical legitimacy which he called the ‘law of geometric progression,’ which held that human populations invariably expanded geometrically, while the means of subsistence were arithmetically limited or linear. The flaw in Malthus’ argument, as demonstrated irrefutably by the spectacular growth of civilization, technology and agriculture productivity since 1798, was Malthus’ deliberate ignoring of the contribution of advances in science and technology to dramatically improve such factors as crop yield, labor productivity and such.
By the mid-1070’s, indicative of the effectiveness of the new propaganda onslaught from the Anglo-American establishment, American government officials were openly boasting in public press conferences that they were committed ‘neo-Malthusians,’ something for which they would have been laughed out of office a mere decade or so earlier. But nowhere did the new embrace of British Malthusian economics in the United States show itself more brutally than in Kissinger’s National Security Council.
On April 24, 1974, in the midst of the oil crisis, White House National Security adviser, Henry Alfred Kissinger, issued a National Security Council Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200), on the subject of ‘Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.’ It was directed to all cabinet secretaries, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the CIA and other key agencies. On October 16, 1975, on Kissinger’s urging, President Gerald Ford issued a memorandum confirming the need for ‘U.S. leadership in world population matters,’ based on the contents of the classified NSSM 200 document. The document made Malthusianism, for the first time in American history, an explicit item of security policy of the government of the United States. More bitter the irony, was the fact that it was initiated by a German-born Jew. Even during the Nazi years, government officials in Germany were more guarded about officially espousing such goals.
NSSM 200 argued that population expansion in select developing countries which also contain key strategic resources necessary to the US economy, posed potential U.S. ‘national security threats’. The study warned that under pressure from an expanding domestic population, countries with needed raw materials will tend to demand better prices and higher terms of trade for their exports to the United States. In this context, the NSSM 200 identified a target list of 13 countries singled out as ‘strategic targets’ for U.S. efforts at population control. The list, drawn up in 1974, no doubt, as with all other major decisions of Kissinger, also involving close consultation with the British Foreign Office, is instructive.
Kissinger explicitly stated in the memorandum, ‘how much more efficient expenditures of population control might be than (would be funds for) raising production through direct investments in additional irrigation and power projects and factories.’ British 19th-century Imperialism could have expressed it no better. By the middle 1970’s the government of the United States, with this secret policy declaration, had committed itself to an agenda which would contribute to its own economic demise as well as untold famine, misery and unnecessary death throughout the develop sector. The 13 target countries named by Kissinger’s study were Brazil, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.(pp.176-179)
In the following Chapter 10, titled, “Europe, Japan and a Response to the Oil Shock,” F. William Engdahl gives a detailed description of “the petrodollar monetary order” that followed the 1974 oil price inflation that was engineered by Kissinger and the Bilderberg Group. The “developing world” was irretrievably devastated:
While industrial countries experienced a certain slow recovery from the initial oil shock by 1975, the overall position of developing economies deteriorated as a result of the quadrupling of primary oil prices. Total current-account deficit of all developing countries rose from a average of some $6 billion per year during the early 1970’s, to more than $26 billion in 1974 (again, a quadrupling parallel with the price of oil), and an unbearable seven-fold increase to $42 billion by 1976, with the vast majority of this deficit in countries of the developing sector whose per capita income levels were the lowest in the world.
Under the threat of losing access to further borrowing from the World Bank and private industrial-nation banks, these less developed countries were forced to divert precious funds from industrial and agricultural development into simply reducing this ‘balance of payment’ deficit. Their oil imports had to be paid in dollars, while the cost of their raw materials exports had fallen sharply in the global recession of 1974-75. The countries were forced to borrow short-term, to pay the huge oil import payments and the only major lenders ready to
Lend where the US and British ‘Eurodollar’ banks, recycling their huge new Petrodollar windfall. The entire Indian subcontinent, most of Africa and entire regions of Latin America were in serve economic and political crisis as a result.
Private U.S. and European banks stepped in to the breach, under the Bilderberg ‘petrodollar recycling’ strategy, to lend to these countries, but only to ‘balance’ accounts which had been left in shambles by the Anglo-American oil shock, not to finance creation of necessary production infrastructure or technology development. These private petrodollar loans came from London ‘Eurodollar’ banks of the United States and Britain. OPEC oil revenues, paid to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries, were paid in dollars and those dollars were channeled and ‘guided’ into offshore London Eurodollar banks for relending to the victims of the new oil shock in the developing sector’.
Dr. Kissinger and friends left nothing to chance in the process.(pp-183-184)
Engdahl goes on to describe how the so-called “Third World” countries (no longer called “developing countries”) eventually responded in an effort for self-defense, and how this effort was systematically smashed.
[In August] of 1976 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, heads of state and senior cabinet officials of 85 nations, members of the so-called Group of Non-aligned Nations, met under the host government of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Included among the leaders present were India’s Indira Gandhi, and numerous heads of state or officials of African, Asian and Latin American governments, … [as well as] Algeria, and Iraq.[p.188)
. . .
The explosive issue of the foreign debt had been placed on the negotiating table for the first time, not by a single government, but by 85 governments acting collectively.(p.189)
At the end of September 1976, Guyana’s Foreign Minister Frederick Wills had been designated to present the demands of the Colombo group before the United Nations General Assembly, where he dropped a “political bombshell” :
“The International Monetary Fund and the monetary system of Bretton Woods must provide a place for alternative structures such as international development banks, which have as their goal, not the recovery and reconstruction of Europe or preferential agreements for development of a market economy, but rather the just development of the gains from an unequal global economic system.
“. . . The burning problem of the debt and debt service has taken on a special importance. Developing countries are not able to manage their basic requirements, as noted in Colombo, without resort to some form of debt restructuring or moratoria. We must make every effort to oppose attempts to divide us through ‘case-by-case’ techniques. We cannot allow ourselves to mortgage future unborn generations to the burdensome debt repayment and destructive debt service. The time for debt moratorium has arrived.”(p.190)
Willis challenged the authority of the United States and its British ally in their draconian measures of what later would be called “genocidal policies of austerity”:
“The only Third World raw material that did well in the economic arena was oil, but the large oil reserves were centered in the Middle East, and manipulation of inter-Arab and Arab-Israeli conflicts, together with inculcation of a penchant for prestige projects meant that Third World oil could no be used as factors in Third World development. One by one Third World countries were gripped by inflation and starvation, by low life-expectancy and high infant mortality. The Old Order of Canniing and Castlereagh, Pitt and Disraeli remains.”(p.192)
Here Engdahl remarks : “The reference to the methods of British 19th-century Foreign Minister, Castlereagh, the master artisan of British Balance of Power diplomacy at the 1815 Congress of Vienna, was appropriate. The principal active opponent who deployed the full power and force of the U.S. Government, intelligence services and economic clout to destroy the dynamic set off at Colombo in 1976 was Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, a devout student of Castlereagh.”(p.192)
Kissinger’s tried and proven tactic of “divide and rule” prevailed against his European opponents who had expressed solidarity with the Colombo Non-Aligned declaration. And as for the strategists of this bold Declaration, within months they were forced out of office, as Kissinger would term it, “case-by-case.” Indira Gandhi was forced into elections in February 1977 and out of office by March, less than six months after Willis present the declaration of the Non-Aligned nations at the United Nations General Assembly. By May 1977 Sirimavo Bandaranaike was out of office, following a wave of strikes that paralyzed her country that were reportedly led by “Trotskyites” close to British intelligence services. And on February 14, 1978, Guyana’s Foreign Minister, Frederick Wills, the key strategist of the Non-Aligned initiative on economic development, was forced to resign.(p.194)
The Third World threat to the Anglo-American order and their regime of global taxation through petrodollars, had apparently been eaten back. The floodgates were opened by the leading Eurodollar banks of London and New York to lend ever grater sums to select states of the Third World who agreed to the draconian IMF terms, to refinance their oil-related deficits.(p.194)
We are told of similar interventions when so-called Third World countries attempted to develop an “atoms for peace” to replace oil as a primary energy supply in order to permit economic development.
In 1977, Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was overthrown in a military coup led by General Zia ul-Haq.
Before his death by handing, Bhutto had accused U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger of being behind this overthrow because of Bhutto’s insistence on developing Pakistan’s independent nuclear program. Writing his defense from his prison cell before his execution, Bhutto declared, ‘Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, has a brilliant mind. He told me that I should not insult the intelligence of the United States by saying that Pakistan needed the Reprocessing Plant for her energy needs. In reply, I told him that I will not insult the intelligence of the United States by discussing the energy needs of Pakistan, but in the same token, he should not insult the sovereignty and self-respect of Pakistan by discussing the plant at all . . . I got the death sentence.’
General Zia reversed Bhutto’s independent foreign policy and quickly embraced Washington, and abundant U.S. military assistance followed.(p.196)
The creation of the Trilateral Commission.
In April 1975, at a private closed-door meeting in Tokyo - organized by David Rockefeller, chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank , and George W. Ball, the founder of the Bilderberg group - future polices of Rockefeller’s newly formed Trilateral Commission were discussed by representatives of Anglo-American oil and banking concerns.
What concerned the hundred or so influential policy-makers at the April meeting of Rockefeller’s . . . Trilateral Commission was the dangerous risk to the Anglo-American establishment of continuing the offensive U.S. foreign policy stance against the rest of the world, associated with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the Republican administration. Kissinger’s hard-line ‘divide and rule’ tactics had been to isolate one after another country, whether European, developing sector or OPEC, of portraying OPEC as the villain to developing countries whose economic growth had been destroyed by the Bilderberger’s 1973 oil shock policy.
By 1975, his thinly-veiled ‘thug’ approach to international diplomacy was risking creating an enormous international backlash. A new ‘image’ was needed to sell the world on the need for continued American hegemony. Therefore, at the Tokyo gathering of the Trilateral Commission that April;, little more than a year-and-a-half from the 1976 American presidential elections, David Rockefeller introduced a man to his influential international friends, who was presented by Rockefeller as the next president of the United States. Few Americans, let alone foreigners had ever heard of the small-town Georgia peanut farmer who preferred to be called, ‘Jimmy’ Carter.
. . .
The public profile of Carter’s presidency was ‘human rights’ for the Third World, ‘negotiation, not confrontation.’ He portrayed himself as an ‘outsider’ to the Washington power establishment, but the content of U.S. policy under Carter, with his pre-selected crew of establishment advisers, was to maintain the American Century at all costs. Under a rhetorical façade of ‘reforming the old order’ of U.S. foreign policy the Carter Administration continued the basic Anglo-American neo-Malthusian strategy initiated by Kissinger at the National Security Council under National Security Study Memorandum 200. Third World development was to be blocked, and a ‘limits to growth’ post-industrial policy was to be imposed, to maintain the hegemony of the dollar imperium. Carter’s ‘human rights’ was to become a bludgeon to justify unprecedented U.S. intervention into the internal affairs of targeted Third World nations.
The strategy was to fail miserably.(p.198-200)
As early as 1977, the European Community showed an interest in stabilizing their currencies in the aftermath of the oil shocks. With the leadership of Juergen Ponto, chairman of Dresdner Bank, the vision developed to restore order in the European economies by creating a stable monetary system which would be based on a new alliance with southern Africa, including South Africa, the Ivory Coast, and Angola.
Angola was rich in oil, South Africa had industrial technology and infrastructure needed by Angola and other African states. The region required financial investment and secure foreign trade outlets for it to work. In late 1974, South African Finance Minister Nicolaas Diederichs publically called for a revaluation of the international central bank gold price to market level, echoing the debate in Europe. ‘I have consistently pressed for monetary authorities to be allowed to sell gold among themselves at a market-related price . . . gold in official vaults of central banks would be revalued; and there would be much more money to pay the Arabs; secondly, the dollar would lose vale,’ he noted.
At the same time, German and Italy initiated a bilateral agreement under which gold was used as collateral for a German loan with gold valued at 80% of the market price of $150. European discussions around some effective use of gold as an alternative to the tyranny of the dollar standard were clearly growing in import.
. . .
Then, on July 31 in Frankfurt Dresdner Bank head Juergen Ponto was assassinated by terrorists claiming to be the Baader-Meinhof. Some weeks later, in Cologne the chairman of the German Employer’ federation, Hanns-Martin Schleyer, was kidnapped and later murdered by the same organization. While the assassins’ trail led back to the East, there was significant reason to believe that certain powerful western intelligence services had a role in both assassinations. In the event, West Germany was plunged into political chaos and gripped by fear as never in the postwar period. The possibility of any significant development initiative towards South Africa had been killed along with Ponto and Schleyer. The initiative to break with the dollar imperium had been stalled for the moment.(pp.200-202)
. . .
[D]espite all efforts since the early 1970s, the ‘danger’ of independent industrial and trade growth which undercut the prized domination of the dollar imperium, was clearly becoming real in the minds of policy-shapers in Washington and London. Even more drastic shocks were required to stop the insistence of nations to pursue scientific and industrial development.
Drastic shocks they were.
In November 1978, President Carter named the Bilderberg group’s George Ball, like Carter a member was a member as well of the Trilateral Commission, to head a special White House Iran Task Force under the National Security Council’s Brezezinski. Ball recommended Washington drop support of the Shah of Iran and support the fundamentalist Islamic opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini, Robert Bowie for the CIA was one of the lead ‘case officers’ in the new CIA-led coup against the man their covert actions had placed into power only 25 years earlier.
Their scheme was based on detailed study of the phenomenon of Islamic Fundamentalism as presented by British Islamic expert, Dr. Bernard Lewis, then on assignment at Princeton University in the United States. Lewis’ scheme, which was unveiled in the May 1979 Bilderberg meeting in Austria, endorsed the radical Muslim Brotherhood movement behind Khomeini, to promote balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. Lewis argued that the West should encourage autonomous groups such as the Kurds, Armenians, Lebanese Maronites, Ethiopian Copts, Azerebaijani Turks and so forth. The chaos would spread in what he termed an ‘Arc of Crisis,’ which would spill over into the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union.
The coup against the Shah, as that against Mossadegh in 1953, was run by British and American intelligence, characteristically, with the bombastic American, Brzesinski, taking public ‘credit’ for getting rid of the ‘corrupt’ Shah, while the British remained safely in the background.(pp.204-205)
. . .
Carter’s Security Adviser, Brzezinski, and Secretary of State Vance, implemented their ‘Arc of Crisis’ policy, spreading the instability of the Iranian revolution throughout the perimeter around the Soviet Union. From Pakistan across Iran, U.S. initiatives created instability or worse.
. . .
In October 1979, a devastating new Anglo-American financial shock was unleashed on top of the second oil shock of that year. That August, on the advice of David Rockefeller and other influential voices f the Wall Street banking establishment, President Carter appointed Paul Volcker, the man who, back in August 1971, had been a key architect of the policy of taking the dollar off the gold standard, to head the Federal Reserve. Paul A. Volker, a former official at Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, and of course , a member of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, was President of the New York Federal Reserve at the time of his nomination to the post as head of the world’s most powerful central bank.
. . .
The policy strategists based in the City of London and New York, then resolved to impose a Malthusian monetary shock on top of the oil shock, to tilt the balance of world development decisively to their relative advantage.
In October 1979, Volcker unveiled a radical new Federal Reserve monetary policy. He deceived a shocked Congress and a desperate White House, by insisting that his radical monetarist cure was aimed at ‘squeezing inflation out of the system.’ It was aimed at making the U.S. dollar the most eagerly sought currency in the world, and, to stop industrial growth dead in its tracks, in order that political and financial power flow back to the dollar imperium. Volcker’s cold rationalization to Congress was that ‘restraint on growth in money and credit, maintained over a considerable period of time, must be an essential part of any program to deal with entrenched inflation and inflationary expectations.’
The defect in Volcker’s monetary shock therapy was that he never addressed the fundamental origins of the soaring inflation – two oil price shocks since 1973, which had raised the price of the world’s basic energy and transportation by 1,300% in six years. And Volcker’s insistence on restricting the U.S. money supply by cutting credit to banks, consumers and the economy was a calculated fraud. Volker knew fully, as did every major banker in New York and London, that control of America’s domestic dollar supply was a minor part of a far larger problem. Volcker knew well that his actions had little control on the estimated $500 billion outside the United States, circulating in the so-called Eurodollar markets of London and the Cayman Islands and such offshore hot money havens. At the time of the October 1979 Volcker monetary shock therapy, Morgan Guaranty Trust calculated the gross size of dollars in the Eurodollar offshore markets at fully 57% of the entire domestic U.S. money supply. The American citizen was to pay the cost of this rampant offshore money pool, as thought it never existed.
In both his objectives, Volcker succeeded. U.S. interest rates on the Eurodollar market soared from 10% to 16%, on their way up to levels of 20% in a matter of weeks, as the world looked on in stunned disbelief. Inflation was indeed being ‘squeezed’ as the world economy was plunged into the deepest depression since the 1930’s. And the dollar began what was to be an extraordinary five year long ascent.
The oil shock and the Volcker shock were combined with a decision as well by the leading circles of the establishment to ‘take the bloom off the nuclear rose’ once and for all, in order to ensure that the alarming trend of developing worldwide nuclear energy resources to replace reliance on Anglo-American oil, was decisively ended.
Unprecedented diplomatic and legal pressures from the Carter White House since 1977, had not succeeded in significantly blunting the attraction of nuclear power. But on March 28, 1979, in a town in the center of Pennsylvania, a bizarre event occurred, which was then portrayed to the world press in fictitious terms as though it were a Hollywood movie script, or a remake of H.G. Wells’ 1938 ‘War of the Words’ radio broadcast.
Unit-2 of the Three-Mile Island nuclear power reactor complex in Harrisburg, underwent an improbable sequence of ‘accidents.’ Later investigation revealed that critical valves had been illegally and manually closed before the event, preventing emergency cooling water from entering the reactor’s steam generator system. Within 15 seconds emergency back-systems had brought the nuclear fission process to a stop. But then, a plant operator violated all procedure and intervened to shut off cooling water into the reactor core. The details of what then happened have been documented elsewhere extensively.
On August 3, 1979 in its official report on the event the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission posed sabotage or criminal negligence as one of six possible causes for the Three-Mile Island event. But even after eliminating the other five possible causes, the government refused even to consider the possibility of sabotage seriously.
News to the world’s media during the entire Harrisburg drama was strictly controlled by the newly-established White House Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). No government or nuclear plant official was allowed to speak to press except when screened by FEMA censors.
. . .
Curiously as well, the same month, a spectacular Hollywood movie, ‘The China syndrome,’ starring Jane Fonda, portrayed a fictional account almost exactly parallel with the Harrisburg events, further fuelling public hysteria over dangers of nuclear energy.
By the end of 1979, the hegemony of the Anglo-American financial establishment over the world’s economic and industrial potentials had been reasserted in a manner never before imagined. Their control of world oil flows had again been a central weapon of their peculiar brand of Malthusian policy. Out of the chaos of Khomeini’s Iran and Volcker’s dollar shocks, these influential policy arbiters saw themselves as virtual gods of Mt. Olympus. Within a short decade their lofty mount, however, was to feel the rumblings of an underlying volcano.(pp.207-211) . . . .
The 23 + items below contain articles and essays offering information and interpretations which invite us to meditate on our collective condition and to carefully examine the web of power relationships around us - both international and domestic; to analyze them and better understand the forces that govern our lives. Once our feet are on the ground, the inevitable question is where do we stand in this torrent of events, animated by corporate greed and its dire imperative to control entire populations and neutralize resistance at any cost.
Professeur honoraire de l'Université Grenoble-Alpes
Ancien Directeur des Researches
Université de Paris-Nanterre
Director of The Center for the Advanced Study
of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
F. William Engdahl:
Lecture in Moscow
“On CIA, Arab world, Arab spring, religious fanaticism”
William Engdahl during his visit in Moscow within the Initiative Postglobalization delivered a lecture devoted to shale revolution, Arab spring and Eurasia. At this part famous expert is speaking about CIA, Arab spring and the truth of interest of the USA at the Middle East.
“On Lebanon, Syria, Katar, Israel and Putin”
During his visit in Moscow William Engdahl met with audience, which has an interest in geopolitics and told about Arab Spring, situation at the Middle East and more -- he is convinced that Russia position is rights in this conflict.
“On China, Russia and Iran as a resistance against global fascism”
William Engdahl within Initiative Postglobalization came to Moscow, where he delivered a lecture about shale gas, Arab spring and Eurasia. There a short piece of the lecture, where expert speaks about China and Russia and Iran resistance to global fascism.
"On Destruction of the USSR, American economy, findings of new sources of financing"
William Engdahl within Initiative Postglobalization came to Moscow, where he delivered a lecture about shale gas, Arab spring and Eurasia. There a short piece of the lecture, where expert explains motives of the destruction of the USSR and attempts of the USA to find new source of financing.
Crisis Management: Kissinger, McNamara, and Rice
This week Uncommon Knowledge brings us interview excerpts from two former secretaries of state and Hoover fellows Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, and former secretary of defense Robert McNamara. All three have influenced American foreign policy through the years and through different crises, and all three believe that the United States possesses a particular responsibility in the world.
Roger Waters Onstage ‘Attack’ Video Stuns Pink Floyd Fans
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Subject: [MCM] Say it ain't so: Chris Hedges and the Intercept join forces with the US war machine
Great essay on the propaganda tactic of deploying trusted "leftist" voices
to defuse resistance.
The Art of Doublespeak: Bellingcat and Mind Control
by Ed Curtin
In the 1920s, the influential American intellectual Walter Lippman argued that the average person was incapable of seeing or understanding the world clearly and needed to be guided by experts behind the social curtain. In a number of books he laid out the theoretical foundations for the practical work of Edward Bernays, who developed “public relations” (aka propaganda) to carry out this task for the ruling elites. Bernays had honed his skills while working as a propagandist for the United States during World War I, and after the war he set himself up as a public relations counselor in New York City.
There is a fascinating exchange at the beginning of Adam Curtis’s documentary, The Century of Self, where Bernays, then nearly 100 years old but still very sharp, reveals his manipulative mindset and that of so many of those who have followed in his wake. He says the reason he couldn’t call his new business “propaganda” was because the Germans had given propaganda a “bad name,” and so he came up with the euphemism “public relations.” He then adds that “if you could use it [i.e. propaganda] for war, you certainly could use it for peace.” Of course, he never used PR for peace but just to manipulate public opinion (he helped engineer the CIA coup against the democratically elected Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954 with fake news broadcasts). He says “the Germans gave propaganda a bad name,” not Bernays and the United States with their vast campaign of lies, mainly aimed at the American people to get their support for going to a war they opposed (think weapons of mass destruction). He sounds proud of his war propaganda work that resounded to his credit since it led to support for the “war to end all wars” and subsequently to a hit movie about WWI, Yankee Doodle Dandy, made in 1942 to promote another war, since the first one somehow didn’t achieve its lofty goal.
As Bernays has said,
The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda
in the world today.
He was a propagandist to the end. I suspect most viewers of the film are taken in by these softly spoken words of an old man sipping a glass of wine at a dinner table with a woman who is asking him questions. I have shown this film to hundreds of students and none has noticed his legerdemain. It is an example of the sort of hocus-pocus I will be getting to shortly, the sly insertion into seemingly liberal or matter-of-fact commentary of statements that imply a different story. The placement of convincing or confusing disingenuous ingredients into a truth sandwich – for Bernays knew that the bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.
In the following years, Bernays, Lippman, and their ilk were joined by social “scientists,” psychologists, and sundry others intent on making a sham out of the idea of democracy by developing strategies and techniques for the engineering of social consensus consonant with the wishes of the ruling classes. Their techniques of propaganda developed exponentially with the development of technology, the creation of the CIA, its infiltration of all the major media, and that agency’s courting of what the CIA official Cord Meyer called in the 1950s “the compatible left,” having already had the right in its pocket. Today most people are, as is said, “wired,” and they get their information from the electronic media that is mostly controlled by giant corporations in cahoots with government propagandists. Ask yourself: Has the power of the oligarchic, permanent warfare state with its propaganda and spy networks increased or decreased over your lifetime. The answer is obvious: the average people that Lippman and Bernays trashed are losing and the ruling elites are winning.
This is not just because powerful propagandists are good at controlling so-called “average” people’s thinking, but, perhaps more importantly, because they are also adept – probably more so – at confusing or directing the thinking of those who consider themselves above average, those who still might read a book or two or have the concentration to read multiple articles that offer different perspectives on a topic. This is what some call the professional and intellectual classes, perhaps 15-20 % of the population, most of whom are not the ruling elites but their employees and sometimes their mouthpieces. It is this segment of the population that considers itself “informed,” but the information they imbibe is often sprinkled with bits of misdirection, both intentional and not, that beclouds their understanding of important public matters but leaves them with the false impression that they are in the know.
Recently I have noticed a group of interconnected examples of how this group of the population that exerts influence incommensurate with their numbers has contributed to the blurring of lines between fact and fiction. Within this group there are opinion makers who are often journalists, writers, and cultural producers of some sort or other, and then the larger number of the intellectual or schooled class who follow their opinions. This second group then passes on their received opinions to those who look up to them.
NOTE: Concerning Ed Curtin's piece on Bellingcat, and the participation of some leftist voices in the exaltation of that propaganda mill, a friend who knows the background of Chris Hedges' involvement writes that "he was duped into presenting the Emmy to Bellingcat—and, from what I hear, he believes it was done intentionally to smear him."
As this friend is someone I (and many others) quite admire for his integrity and bravery, and as it's wholly plausible that Hedges would have been set up, I am reserving judgement on his action, and urge people on this list to do so, too.
This caveat does not detract from the essential soundness of Ed Curtin's thesis: that the
lords of propaganda are extraordinarily skilled at co-optation of the opposition.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Vanessa Beeley, who knows more than anyone (outside the CIA) about the White Helmets, "de-platformed" throughout Canada for planning to discuss it
Attached here is Vanessa's excellent presentation on the White Helmets, which
I sent out back in the summer of 2017.
Award-Winning Journalist Vanessa Beeley Faces “Deplatforming” at Six Canadian Venues
Vanessa Beeley's final Canadian stop in Winnipeg - December 12 at 7pm
By Michael Welch
Global Research, December 12, 2019
Vanessa Beeley, the award-winning journalist who has gained notoriety for her on the ground reporting on the Syrian conflict has faced opposition in her efforts to speak to Canadian audiences at the invitation of local anti war activists.
According to Ken Stone of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, a lead organizer of Beeley’s cross-Canada speaking tour, six venues have so far backed away from hosting the UK journalist’s talks. These include Palestine House in Mississauga, the Steelworkers Hall in Toronto, St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, the University of Montreal, the University of Winnipeg, and the Millenium Library, also in Winnipeg.
Stone explains that the withdrawal from agreements at each venue to host Beeley were preceded by the circulation of at least two hit pieces on the journalist upon her arrival in Canada – one by La Presse in Quebec and one by the Huffington Post. Stone explained that the decision to cancel in each case was precipitated by the circulation of these articles by unknown actors.
“There wasn’t an organized effort, but there were people in individual cities where she was speaking who took it upon themselves to circulate these articles behind the scenes – shadowy figures who tried their very best to scare the managers of various venues into cancelling, and they did so six times.”
The proper name of the tour is ‘Canada’s Dirty War on Syria: The White Helmets and the Regime Change War billionaires.’ Ms. Beeley was intent on presenting her research into Canada’s role in undermining the government of President Bachar Al Assad. Beeley’s message directly contradicts mainstream reporting on the conflict, particularly her research into the White Helmets, which she and other independent journalists classify as a propaganda construct providing public relations cover for regime change efforts and continued economic sanctions that are decimating the country.
The justification for one venue after another cancelling is not clear, as none have officially provided any explanation. According to Stone, however, there were two venues on the tour that allowed the Beeley presentation to take place in spite of this unexpected opposition. One was the New Vision Church in Hamilton. The other was the Knox Metropolitan United Church in Regina. Both Ministers highlighted concerns from a complainant about ‘hate speech’ being directed toward the White Helmets, and the prospect of traumatizing vulnerable Syrian refugees.
lick on the link for the rest.
Bernard Lewis and Norman Podhoretz discuss the Middle East on Uncommon Knowledge
Paul Volcker’s Long Shadow
by Ellen Brown
Central banks worldwide buying up massive amounts of gold in a shift away from US dollar – Goldman Sachs
Gold prices will climb to $1,600 per ounce over the next year, Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs projects. It says that central banks are consuming a fifth of the global supply of the yellow metal.
“De-dollarization in central banks – demand from central banks for gold is biggest since the Nixon era, eating up 20 percent of global supply,” the head of global commodities research at Goldman, Jeff Currie, told Bloomberg. “I am going to like gold better than bonds because the bonds won’t reflect that de-dollarization.”
Citing “fear-driven demand” for the precious metal, Goldman analysts said last week that investors should diversify their long-term bond holdings with gold.
“Going long-term depends on what is going to happen to global growth. The further out you go, the higher the probability that the US is going to hit a recession. We have $1,600 holding out through 2021,” Goldman Sachs analyst Mikhail Sprogis told Kitco News. Gold was trading at $1463.30 per ounce on Tuesday.
Sprogis said that central bank gold demand will be driven by demand from Russia, Turkey, China, and other countries, including Poland.
Statistics showed that hedge funds and other large speculators boosted their bullish bets on the precious metal by 8.9 percent in the week ended December 3. That is the biggest gain since late September.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Fed says no hikes in 2020.
What about gold?
The Wealthy Are Hoarding Physical Gold - Peter Schiff's Gold News
The State of the Canadian Debt Slaves, How They Compare to American Debt Slaves, and the Bank of Canada’s Response
Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about Capitalism and White Supremacy
William K. Black | The Real News Network
The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare – And the Resulting Human Crisis
by Jon Hellevig
The United States runs the by far biggest and most bloated healthcare sector in the world when measured as a share of the total economy. Its annual value was $3.7 trillion, amounting to 17.9% of GDP (2018). That is nearly double the average of developed Western countries (as a share of GDP). The enormous expense does not buy Americans any better health than the Europeans get for half the price, in fact the health outcomes are far inferior in the US. In life expectancy, the US has fallen down to 33rd place, even overtaken by Cuba.
Exorbitant prices on drugs, medical treatment and health insurances are crushing consumers. Half of working age American adults have either no insurance at all or only an inadequate insurance and therefore risk being financially ruined for any kind of medical treatment – even just checking in at a hospital and leaving the same day could land you with a five-figure bill. Studies have shown that two-thirds of Americans are not able to afford a $500 unexpected cost for medical emergency, a sum which will not get you even past reception at an American hospital. According to the American Cancer Society, 137 million Americans suffered medical financial hardship in 2018. They then had to resort to borrow a total of $88 billion only to cover their necessary medical expenses. Medical bills are now the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States.
In a unique study covering the entire US healthcare sector, Awara Accounting https://www.awaragroup.com/ has dug into the problems of the US pharma and healthcare industries, and the findings are shocking. The Awara study shows https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ that in addition to the original sin of corporate greed, the exorbitant costs of the US healthcare system stem from layers upon layers of distortions with which the system is infested. Each part of the healthcare industry contributes to what is a giant monopoly scam: the pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, drug wholesalers, drug stores, group purchasing organizations, health insurance companies, doctors, clinics and hospitals, and even what should be impartial university research. And on top of that, there’s the government as a giant enabler of monopolized corporations running roughshod over the American consumer and patient.
But it is worse than that. All the monopolists (in official parlance, oligopolies) are in turn owned by the same set of investors in what is called horizontal shareholding. The same some 15-20. investors have the controlling stake in all the leading companies of the entire pharma and healthcare industry.
That’s not all. Two of the investors, BlackRock and Vanguard, are the biggest owners in almost every single one of the leading companies.
Furthermore, BlackRock is owned by Vanguard, BlackRock’s biggest owner being a mystical PNC Services, whose biggest owner in turn is Vanguard. Vanguard itself is recorded directly as BlackRock’s second biggest owner. Moreover, BlackRock and Vanguard are the two biggest owners of almost all the other 15-20 biggest investors, which most are cross-owned and together own the entire US pharma and healthcare sector. Ultimately, then we might have the situation that the whole healthcare sector and Big Pharma are controlled by one giant oligarch clan (and the very real people who stand behind them), one single interest group of oligarch investors.
Besides, it’s the same for the entire US economy. Those two investors control almost all major US companies.
Incredible? Read on, the evidence with charts and details is below in the text.
Now, this means that we are not exaggerating when we talk about an oligarch takeover of the US pharma and healthcare industries. It’s real. And very real people suffer for real.
As far as we know, this is the first report to reveal this mind-boggling extent of monopolization and concentration of ownership in US pharma and healthcare. This monopolization is fast approaching Soviet levels, with the same lethal consequences.
Another particularly important thing in the Awara report is that the US healthcare crisis and global comparisons serve as a marvelous case study to show what is wrong with neoliberalism and how the so-called free-market is not necessarily better than a mixed economy. At the very core of the US healthcare crisis, is the American ideological precept that healthcare must be a private corporate for-profit business – never mind any level of predatory monopolies. But compared with European countries the US loses hands down on every parameter. European life expectancy and health outcomes are far better at half the cost. In a European-style system all citizens have nearly equal access to general health services without having to incur financial hardship in a medical emergency. It has then been clearly shown that, the European mixed system of universal healthcare with public insurance and public hospitals, coupled with government regulation of drug prices and their availability, works best. And there’s a lesson for the wider economy, too.
Yet when you mention government regulation, price controls and universal healthcare, US politicians from both parties and most analysts (of the type that make it into mainstream media) pull out the socialism card. But this is not a question of the free-market vs. socialism. There can be no such question because, first, a mixed economy is not socialism. And, second, there is no free market in the United States any longer. What used to be a free market aka Capitalism, is nothing but a crony capitalist monopoly ridden system almost exclusively controlled by an ever more consolidating group of oligarchs. The choice is not between socialism and capitalism, but between a real market economy and the present oligarchy.
[Note. Wherever the original Awara Accounting study on US healthcare https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/us-healthcare-system-in-crisis/ contain the source references and links, they have as a rule not been duplicated here.]
A Healthcare System Run Amok
Drug prices in the United States are the highest in the world, American prices for prescription drugs being two to six times higher than those of the rest of the world. Prescription drug prices in the US increased nearly 100% in only the past six years. Before that, between 1997 and 2007, drug prices had already tripled.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, September 27, 2019
Subject: [MCM] The Big Money's using Greta Thunberg (and AOC) to screw all the rest of us (MUST-READ)
"Make no mistake. When the most influential multinational corporations, the world’s largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look behind the surface of public climate activist campaigns to the actual agenda. The picture that emerges is the attempted financial eorganization of the world economy using climate, something the sun and its energy have orders of magnitude more to do with than mankind ever could—to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to 'save our planet.'"
Climate and the Money Trail
Global Research, September 25, 2019
In-depth Report: Climate Change
Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grassroots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond.
Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?
Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.
Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless “climate” companies.
In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.
Bonnie Prince Charles, future UK Monarch, along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted “green financial instruments,” led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.” That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.
In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to “green” investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.
Bank of England’s Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, “Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.” The paper states, “One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board’s private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.” There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Goldman Sachs Key Actor
Click on the link for the rest:
Why a 'Green New Deal' must be decolonial
by Vijay Kolinjivadi
“Shame!” Indigenous Leaders & Delegates from Global South Stage Dramatic Walkout at COP25 in Madrid
with Tom Goldtooth, from Indigenous Environmental Network, and Karin Nansen, from Friends of the Earth International
Operation Condor 2.0
by Peter Koenig
We can't leave Afghanistan now, says Gen. Petraeus, because they have trillions of dollars worth of minerals
Global weapons sales up; US leads market
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Why did the CPJ exclude Assange from its annual list of jailed journalists?
Why Did Respected Press Freedom Organization Exclude Assange From Annual List Of Jailed Journalists?
by Kevin Gasztola
A prominent press freedom organization in the United States declined to include WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its annual list of journalists jailed throughout the world.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), based in New York City, anticipated a backlash to the exclusion, and CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney wrote a post intended to head off criticism. But the post raises several questions and invites further scrutiny.
Can a laudable press freedom organization claim Assange is not a journalist without aiding the political case brought by prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s Justice Department?
Warrant targeting Assange supporter reveals scope of US government campaign against WikiLeaks
Lawyers complain about lack of access to Julian Assange in jail
Ex-Australian Deputy PM on Julian Assange’s US Extradition: Where Does This One Stop?!
Hundreds of journalists around the world sign open letter demanding freedom for Assange
by Oscar Grenfell
Sheldon Adelson, hired “security” company to spy on Julian Assange?
by Philip Giraldi
There are many possible suspects
The Julian Assange drama drags on. Though he continues to sit in a top security British prison awaiting developments in his expected extradition to the United States, the Spanish High Court has been given permission to interview him. Assange is claiming that the Spanish company contracted with by the Ecuadorean government to do embassy security in London spied on him using both audio and video devices. The recordings apparently included conversations with Assange’s lawyers outlining his defense strategies, which is an illegal activity under Spanish law. The prosecution has also indicted the company director, former military officer David Morales, on associated criminal charges of bribing a government official and money laundering. Morales has said that he is innocent.
Aware that he might be monitored by the British government as well as by other interested parties, Assange would often meet his legal team using a white noise machine or in women’s bathrooms with the water running, but the firm, UC Global, anticipated that and planted devices capable of defeating the countermeasures. It planted microphones in the embassy fire extinguishing system as well as in numerous other places in the building. The recordings were reportedly streamed, undoubtedly encrypted, to another nearby location, referred to in the trade as a listening post. The streamed material was also reportedly transcribed and copied at the UC Global offices in Andalusia, but hard copies of the material were made as well on CDs and DVDs to be turned over directly to the client.
The Spanish newspaper El Pais, which has seen much of the evidence in the case, also mentioned how UC Global fixed the windows in the rooms actually being used by Assange so they would not vibrate, making it possible to use laser microphones from a nearby line of sight building to record what was being said. Presumably the listening post also served as the line-of-sight surveillance point.
The British government willingness to let the interview take place is apparently due in part to the Spanish judiciary’s claims that it has obtained an overwhelming amount of documentary and other evidence that demonstrates that Assange is basically telling the truth.
And there is inevitably more to the story. David Morales, who managed the project, reportedly returned from a trip to the United States and told colleagues that the UC Global would henceforth be doing some work “for the dark side” at “another league” level. According to the New York Times, which has examined the documents obtained by El Pais and accepted that they are authentic, “In the court filing, the prosecution asserts that Mr. Morales returned from a security fair in Las Vegas in 2015… He signed a contract with Las Vegas Sands, the casino and resort company of Sheldon Adelson, and the prosecution contends that Mr. Morales passed information about Mr. Assange to security officials at the company, saying it acted as a go-between with the C.I.A.”
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Assange 'blocked from seeing evidence' over extradition to US.
WikiLeaks founder remains in prison ahead of full hearing over extradition in February
Julian Assange has been blocked from seeing evidence in his extradition case as he battles against being sent to the US, a court has heard.
Lawyers representing the WikiLeaks founder told a hearing they were not being given sufficient access to their client in prison.
Mr Assange appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court via a video link on Friday for the hearing, which was about extending his custody at HMP Belmarsh.
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/newsfromunderground/CAGxB6W-vvqZz1yJ7gQEcv8L2wFRtrYAOyhA4zPEZnnCy%2BJwYmA%40mail.gmail.com.
NATO Names China as New Target, Alongside Russia
China to be added to 'challenges' for the first timeJason DitzPosted onDecember 3, 2019
News From Underground
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Subject: [MCM] What Google's doing—and why it must be stopped (MUST-READ)
"Suppressing negative search suggestions can be used to shift opinions about any topic—even about Google itself."
Dr. Google Will See You Now
Friday, November 22nd 2019 at 5:00 pm
Authoritarianism has emerged in Silicon Valley. Google no longer helps you find what you are truly looking for. Instead, they now customize results to satisfy their wants and needs. Individual results might vary
Google's audacious tyranny, which includes censorship, surveillance, and mind control, is accelerating at a wicked clip. It's hard to keep up. The planet's leading search engine is stealthily infiltrating areas/sectors of our society, including elections, news, finances, health, not to mention your mind, all the while 'vacuuming' and usurping data, to become a megalithic repository.
Google's parent company Alphabet acquired FitBit for a cool $2.1 billion, adding it to the other 200 companies it owns.
The Wall Street Journal reports via an anonymous 'source' within Google that the company has been accessing millions of patients' personal health data alongside Ascension, the largest Catholic health system in the world, without patient consent.
The deal between Google and Ascension authorizing the data transfer was formally signed hours after The Wall Street Journal broke the story.
The same day, Ascension put out a notification stating that there was no breach of data and that their collaboration is (somehow) entirely compliant with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations of 1996 (more on this later).
The Wall Street Journal reports that attorney generals representing 48 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, announced the opening of a sweeping antitrust investigation into Google.
The Guardian publishes an opinion piece titled "I'm the Google whistleblower. The medical data of millions of Americans is at risk."
Mind Control, Surveillance, Wicked Genius
The amount of surveillance, manipulation, and mind control that Google is guilty of beckons the slogan: "Make George Orwell Fiction Again."
Democracy without Journalism?
Confronting the Misinformation Society
by Victor Pickard
The first scholarly book to historicize the current American journalism crisis and situate it within long-term structural problems that plague the entire commercial news industry
A timely intervention that brings normative questions about journalism's democratic imperatives back into focus and proposes structural alternatives to today's failing commercial news models
Scrutinizes major transformations in American journalism while offering policy proposals for creating a more democratic media system
News Is Becoming Reality TV
with Rick Sanchez
Will Artificial Intelligence Destroy Us or Simply Make Humans Irrelevant?
by Paul Craig Roberts
Noam Chomsky interview, Tucson, 28 October 2019
Relive Office Hours with Professor Chomsky on his birthday, Dec 7!
Premiered Dec 7, 2019
News From Underground
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019 3:06 AM
Subject: [MCM] Hit the deck: US Army prepares biggest deployment to Europe in 25 years.
As not reported in the New York Times, or (correct me if I'm wrong) anywhere else that where it would be more visible than on this website. And why is that? Because it contradicts the Trump-as-Putin's-
puppet narrative? Because too clear a story of US aggression would foul up the propaganda casting Putin as "expansionist"?
Whatever the reason(s) for it, this press silence is yet one more shocking abdication of responsibility by "our free press."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
US Army Prepares Biggest Deployment to Europe in 25 Years
by Jason Ditz
(ANTIWAR.COM) — In 2020, the US Army will be carrying out its biggest deployment in 25 years into Europe. The deployment will send 20,000 US troops, and 13,000 pieces of equipment across Europe for wargames beginning in May and running through June.
US Gen. Christopher Cavoli would not define the operation as aimed at Russia, but did tie it to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, saying it “changed everything.” The large deployment will be difficult.
That’s because as with most recent operations, the US will be sending forces largely into former Warsaw Pact countries, and those countries have railroads incompatible with Western Europe. Moreover, the bridges in those countries were built without envisioning having to support the heaviest of US tanks.
News From Underground
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Ukraine and IMF reach $5.5 billion agreement
As my friend Michael Buergermeister notes, the IMF, by its own rules,
is not permitted to lend money to Ukraine, because the latter has
defaulted on its loans from Russia. Yet the IMF is doing so anyway.
And God help the people of Ukraine.
News > Ukraine
Ukraine and IMF Reach $5.5 Billion Agreement
The agreement was reached in a telephone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
Ukraine’s government and the International Monetary Fund have reached an agreement Saturday on a new three-year US$5.5 billion loan, which will encompass economic and policy reforms.
Ukraine Ready to Accept 'Reasonable Compromise' on Conflict
The agreement, which still must be approved by the fund’s management and the Executive Board, was reached in a telephone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
“... the effectiveness of the arrangement will be conditional on the implementation of a set of prior actions,” Georgieva said in a statement, referring to the set of neoliberal structural reforms traditionally demanded by the agency to give out the loans.
These usually include austerity measures such as a reduction in social spending, liberalization of markets and financial sector, massive layoffs, elimination of welfare schemes, and liberalization of labor laws. The IMF would then process the deal in the context of what it calls an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) over three years.
An EFF is used "to assist member countries in overcoming balance of payments problems that stem from structural problems,” highlights IMF’s debt policy. Although details of how the money would be used over the plan’s three years weren’t given.
The growth of Ukraine’s gross domestic product (GDP) in July-September 2019 amounted to 4.2 percent compared to the same period in 2018, while in the second quarter the growth rate was higher and amounted to 4.6 percent, in the first quarter it amounted to 2.5 percent, according to the State Statistics Service.
to the Ministry of Economy, the economic projection for 2020 stands at a
3.7 percent increase in real GDP instead of the previously projected 3.3
percent, but the estimate of economic growth in the next two years has not
changed: in 2021 economic growth is expected to reach 3.8 percent, in 2022 some
$738bn: NDAA sanctions Russia, arms Israel & Ukraine
We can't leave Afghanistan now, says Gen. Petraeus, because they have trillions of dollars worth of minerals
Why Did A Saudi Pilot Kill U.S. Sailors While Three Others Filmed It?
by Doug Bandow
The U.S. military is training Saudi Arabian pilots here in States, who later leave to slaughter Yemeni civilians thousands of miles away. Unfortunately, some of that violence was turned against us, when a Saudi trainee killed three American sailors at Pensacola Air Station on December 6.
In fact, a half dozen Saudis were arrested in the incident. Three of them apparently filmed the murders, presumably to post online. Yet afterward President Donald Trump spent more time justifying the Saudi royals than supporting the victims’ families.
Every time a terrorist commits murder and mayhem, Americans ask why? U.S. officials usually insist that it is because we are so “good.” If only.
Why terrorists kill should not be a mystery since they themselves tell us why. And none of them has said it is because the U.S. has the First Amendment, holds democratic elections, or leads the world in charitable giving.
Consider Mohammed Saeed al-Shamrani, the Saudi pilot-in-training at Pensacola. On Twitter he declared: “I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.”
He explained: “I’m not against you for just being American, I don’t hate you because [of] your freedoms, I hate you because every day you [are] supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity.” Al-Shamrani’s complaint is against U.S. foreign policy, which today so often means bombing, invading, and occupying other nations and killing their peoples.
“Booming” Economy Means More Bad Jobs and Faster Race to the Bottom
by Glen Ford
For the past 30 years, no matter which party has been in power, the US economy has produced more and more “bad” jobs – because the Race to the Bottom is ruling class policy.
“Whole sectors have become precarity zones.”
A Brookings Institution study shows 44 percent of all American workers toil in “low-wage” jobs, with median earnings of $18,000 a year. Most of them are adults in their prime working years, whose paychecks provide the main sustenance for their families, 20 percent of which live at below 150 percent of the poverty line. Blacks and Latinos are overrepresented in low-paid employment, but more than half of these bad jobs are held by whites.
The corporate consensus, shared by its monopolized media, is that the economy is booming – which only confirms that the Race to the Bottom is ruling class policy, no matter how much the “liberals” at places like Brookings bemoan the hardships inflicted on the working poor.
Working class precarity is built into the system, by design. Another study, measuring the Job Quality Index , shows that the proliferation of low-paid work isn’t a hangover from the 2008 meltdown, but a characteristic of late stage capitalism. "In 1990, the jobs were pretty much evenly divided" said one of the creators of the index.
"We discovered that 63% of all jobs that were created since 1990 were low-wage, low-hour jobs." The data show the Race to the Bottom has accelerated for U.S. workers under both Republican and Democratic administrations: the elder and younger Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and now Trump, who is running for re-election on the strength of the economy.
“Precarity is built into the system.”
The duopoly system is a magnificent mechanism of corporate rule and working class ruin. When only corporate parties are permitted to govern, and corporate mouthpieces monopolize the media, capitalist-inflicted misery is made to seem natural and inevitable. The highly-educated researchers at Brookings can imagine only one way out of the downward spiral for those localities where bad jobs are the norm: “attract and grow more high-wage jobs by drawing new companies in and helping existing companies grow and increase their productivity.” In other words, more capitalism, of the more socially-conscious kind. But clearly, the stock market favors precarity capitalism, which it rewards with high returns, and punishes capitalists that don’t immiserate their employees or farm them out to low-wage contractors.
by Liz Ryan Murray,
President al-Assad: Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria
with President al-Assad
The interview that Italian Rai News 24 refused to broadcast
Damascus, SANA-President Bashar al-Assad said that Syria is going to come out of the war stronger and the future of Syria is promising and the situation is much better, pointing out to the achievements of the Syrian Arab army in the war against terrorism.
The President, in an interview given to Italian Rai News 24 TV on November 26,2019 and was expected to be broadcast on December 2nd and the Italian TV refrained from broadcasting it for non-understandable reasons, added that Europe was the main player in creating chaos in Syria and the problem of refugees in it was because of its direct support to terrorism along with the US, Turkey and many other countries.
President al-Assad stressed that since the beginning of the narrative regarding the chemical weapons, Syria has affirmed it didn’t use them.
The President affirmed that what the OPCW organization did was to fake and falsify the report about using chemical weapons, just because the Americans wanted them to do so. So, fortunately, this report proved that everything we said during the last few years, since 2013, is correct.
“Dark Day for Everyone Who Believes in Justice”: U.K. Tories Defeat Labour in Landslide Election
News From Underground
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2019
Subject: [MCM] Some tricks that cut the Labour vote
Aside from smearing Corbyn as a rabid anti-Semite, and otherwise defaming him, the forces backing Boris Johnson have played several dirty tricks to cut the Labour vote, as a good friend of mine explains:
First, one of the best UK election/parliament blogs is the YouTube channel "A Different Bias" by Phil Moorhouse. Check out one of his recent video commentaries. Unfortunately if you don't know about his channel, or his website https://www.patreon.com/adifferentbias, they're nearly impossible to find, as Google has buried them.
Moorhouse describes the dire situation of UK expats living abroad, unable to vote in their home country's General Election. Although still eligible to vote, they have not received their postal ballots in time to send them in by the deadline, as happened with the May 2016 election:
British Citizens Not Allowed to Vote in the General Election
There also seems to be some truth to claims of Labour postal ballots being delivered/counted late. Apparently there were hundreds of thousand of postal ballots that never got delivered or were delivered too late, for example on the
day of the election, preventing many UK citizens living abroad to to cast their vote:
I've also learned that approx. 60% of the 5 million UK citizens living abroad are unable to cast a vote in the Dec 2019 General Election because of a rule stating that a UK citizen who has lived abroad for over 15 years becomes ineligible, as described in this article below:
British long-stay expats in Spain increasingly angry over 15-year voting exclusion - Expat News at ExpatsBlog.com
It’s estimated just under five million Britons are now living overseas, either in retirement or for work, with around 60% now denied the human right to cast a vote in one of the most crucial general elections since WWII. Spain is home to many thousands affected by this cruel rule, with the result likely to destroy their chosen lives unless the Spanish government allows them an unconditional stay. Even should this happen, British expats now making regular visits to their extended families still in the UK may well be hamstrung by the cost and bureaucracy involved in a short-term return to the home
country followed by re-entry into Spain.
Some articles on the anti-Labour disinformation campaign:
All Is Not Lost for Labour
with Tariq Ali
The Great American Shakedown
by Chris Hedges
The Democratic Party and its liberal supporters are perplexed. They presented hours of evidence of an impeachable offense, although they studiously avoided charging Donald Trump with impeachable offenses also carried out by Democratic presidents, including the continuation or expansion of presidential wars not declared by Congress, exercising line-item veto power, playing prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner to kill individuals, including U.S. citizens, anywhere on the planet, violating due process and misusing executive orders. Because civics is no longer taught in most American schools, they devoted a day to constitutional scholars who provided the Civics 101 case for impeachment. The liberal press, cheerleading the impeachment process, saturated the media landscape with live coverage, interminable analysis, constant character assassination of Trump and giddy speculation. And yet, it has made no difference. Public opinion remains largely unaffected.
Perhaps, supporters of impeachment argue, they failed to adopt the right technique. Perhaps journalists, by giving voice to opponents of impeachment—who do indeed live in a world not based in fact—created a false equivalency between truth and lies. Maybe, as Bill Grueskin, a professor at the Columbia University Journalism School, writes, impeachment advocates should spend $1 million to produce a kind of movie trailer for all those who did not sit through the hours of hearings, to “boil down the essentials of the film” and provide “a quick but intense insight into the characters, setting the scene with vivid imagery—to entice people to come back to the theatre a month later for the full movie.” Or perhaps they need to keep pounding away at Trump until his walls of support crumble.
The liberal class and the Democratic Party leadership have failed, even after their defeat in the 2016 presidential election, to understand that they, along with the traditional Republican elites, have squandered their credibility. No one believes them. And no one should.
Sure, Impeach Trump, But Let’s be Honest
by Scott Tucker
Congress is the front office of the ruling class.
Sure, impeach Trump for legitimate reasons explicitly stated in the Constitution. But let’s be honest that an 18th century document did not include slaveholding among high crimes against humanity, and certainly has no specific clauses covering modern war crimes and state terrorism.
The New York Times has a recent article (“Republican Tactic: Using Impeachment Hearings to Smear Biden on Ukraine,” by Katie Glueck and Maggie Haberman, Dec. 7, 2019) delicately threading the needle on the issue of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Burisma Holdings in Ukraine. Anyone who pretends to believe that Hunter’s dad had no actual wrongdoing influence in gaining his son a gig with the Ukrainian gas market should try to pitch that point of view on MSNBC. Or indeed in the pages of The New York Times, where Glueck and Haberman wrote the following:
“Hunter Biden did hold a lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was vice president, and while there is no evidence of wrongdoing, the arrangement struck some Obama administration officials as unseemly given the elder Mr. Biden’s role in Ukraine policy.”
Unseemly. Well, that’s both high-toned and begrudging, but only an afterthought since “there is no evidence of wrongdoing.” To be sure, the Republicans are claiming a false equivalence between business as usual nepotism and presidential corruption explicitly forbidden by the Constitution. Even so, the Democratic Party is also striving to change the subject whenever its own partisan policy in Ukraine gains too high a profile in the daily news.
Though I must not wander too far afield of my subject here, I do advise readers willing to follow this trail of evidence through the career of Victoria Nuland, a former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, a former CEO of the Center for a New American Security, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, and the Brady-Johnson Distinguished Practitioner in Grand Strategy at Yale University. She served under Vice President Dick Cheney, and in the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. On February 4, 2014, a recording of a phone call between Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, was published on YouTube. Nuland and Pyatt discussed how to get the US State Department’s favored candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the post of Prime Minister of Ukraine. Yatsenyuk duly took that job on February 27, 2014. In this phone call, Nuland stated her strong preference for the United Nations as mediator rather than the European Union, adding: “Fuck the EU.” To which Pyatt responded, “Oh, exactly . . .”
Indigenous Bolivia Ready to Go to War Against Fascism
by Andre Vltchek
“We will all fight those evil beings who declared themselves our rulers."
Bolivia, December 2019, three weeks after the fascist coup. It is devilishly cold. My comrade’s car is carefully navigating through the deep mud tracks. Enormous snow-covered mountain peaks are clearly visible in the distance.
The Bolivian Altiplano; beloved, yet always somehow hostile, silent, impenetrable.
So many times, in the past I came close to death here. In Peru as well as in Bolivia. More often in Peru.
Now, what I do is totally mad. Being a supporter of President Evo Morales from the beginning until this very moment, I am not supposed to be here; in Bolivia, in the Altiplano. But I am, because these mud huts on the left and right, are so familiar and so dear to me.
My comrade is a Bolivian farmer, an indigenous man. His hands are red, rough. He usually does not talk much, but after the coup, he cannot stop speaking. This is his country; the country that he loves and which has been stolen from him, from his wife and from his children.
We can both get screwed here, but if we do, that’s life; we know the risk and we are happy to take it.
Carlos (not his real name), my driver and a friend, explained:
“I called them, the elders, and they said it is ok that you come. I sent them your essays. You know, people here now read, even in the deep villages. After 14 years of Evo’s government, the entire country is covered by the mobile phone network. They read your stuff translated into Spanish. They liked what they read. They agreed to give you a statement. But they said, ‘if he is not really a Russian-Chinese left-wing writer, but instead some Camacho crony, we will break his head with a stone.’”
Camacho; Luis Fernando Camacho, a member of the fascist, U.S.-backed Revolutionary Nationalist Movement, and the Chair of the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz since 2019. A major adversary of Evo Morales, a man who during the 2019 Bolivian general election, sided with the West, with the treasonous Bolivian military (trained in the United States), and demanded Evo’s resignation, on 5 November 2019.
I am fine with what they say. We are going.
We drive up, and then, at approximately 4,100 meters above sea level, we level up.
A new, wide road is being constructed. Of course, it is a project from the days of Evo’s presidency.
But it is not only the road building that can be detected all around us. There are water towers and water pumps and faucets in every village. Water is free, for all. There are schools, medical centers as well as sport facilities, and carefully attended fields.
The drive is long, tough. But at one point, we see a few buses and cars parked on the top of a hill.
There is a small plateau, and a giant white speaker sitting in the middle of the field.
People in colorful outfits are scattered all around the site: men, women and children. A group of elders is seated in a closed circle. They are chanting, and their appeal is broadcasted through the speaker. They are addressing what is sacred to them: Mother Earth. They need strength in order to go on, to struggle, to defend themselves.
I am first ‘scanned’ by the people, and only then allowed to approach the elders. I explain who I am, and soon, the formalities are over.
“Please record but do not film our faces, for security,” I am told. “But later, you can film the gathering.”
Soon after, I sit down, and they begin to talk:
“The situation which we are living in these days in our country, in the communities up here, in the Andean communities is very difficult. In reality we feel frustrated, often abandoned because during the previous government led by President Evo Morales, we as farmers and indigenous people, felt very good. Even if, sometimes, we did not receive too much help, still, the government, the very President Evo Morales, is of our own blood, our own class. For that reason, we were supporting him. And we keep supporting him.”
“And this, what we have, now is a government – dictatorship. They say the contrary, but it is a fascist government. It is a government which is burning Wiphala, our symbol. It dishonors us. We feel humiliated, we feel discriminated against. For that reason, we realize that we cannot fail; we cannot stay here like this, we will continue fighting. There will be elections in our country, and we will continue supporting that one person who has elevated our name; the name of the native people, of workers, of working people, and of the poor.”
“First, we will go to the elections, if of course there are elections. We will go and support our people; our leaders. In case that they will produce electoral fraud, then yes, we will rise!”
I told them that I have known their country, and Altiplano, for more than 25 years. Everything has changed. The villages consisting of mud huts came to life. They woke up, began to bloom. Water for all began to run through the pipes provided by the government. Modern ambulances have been deployed, serving all corners of the nation. Health centers opened their doors to millions of students, and so did schools, and vocation centers. New roads have been built. The government encouraged ecological farming.
Bolivia, for decades and centuries living under monstrous apartheid has been exploited, humiliated and robbed of everything, but lately has begun rising to its feet.
I told them this. I told them how I used to come here, again and again, in the 1990’s, from Peru; a country devastated by the so-called “Dirty War” which I have described in my novel “Point of No Return”. Peru was terribly broken, but here, in Bolivia, people were half-alive. There was no hope, only silent, frightening misery.
Now Bolivia, once the poorest country in South America, has been way ahead of Peru, a state which has been relentlessly cannibalized by the neo-liberal economic model, while still racially and socially divided to the extreme.
I asked the elders, whether they agreed. They did.
“Certainly. Because with our own eyes we have seen enormous economic changes and we have witnessed how Bolivia rose and after those 14 years, got ahead of this entire Latin American region.”
I filmed, photographed.
Before we left, an elderly woman approached the car, and screamed something in a local language.
“We will all fight those evil beings who declared themselves our rulers. If they don’t disappear, soon again we will close the roads between El Alto and La Paz, and they will have to eat their own excrement. Our people will never again be defeated. Say this wherever you go!”
I said that I will.
Venezuela will begin airdropping petros next week – Decrypt
News From Underground
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2019 9:58 PM
Subject: [MCM] "A Very British Coup" (1988) is a MUST-SEE at this dark time—as powerful as it is prescient
"A Very British Coup"
News From Underground
Students in Cardiff weren't allowed to vote (like many other Britons far and wide)
It seems that students over there—a constituency likely to vote Labour—were kept from voting just as students over here have been disenfranchised time and time again, from the presidential races in 2000 and 2004, to Scott Walker's "election" and "re-election" in Wisconsin, to several Democratic primaries in 2016, among other of our many rigged elections.
Labour has been waging a culture war against its own base for decades, fixating on liberalism instead
with George Galloway
News From Underground
The Tory "victory" has Dr. Goebbels grinning in the flames
Here Caitlin Johnstone nails the epic smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn, who was overwhelmingly "defined," throughout the British (and US) press, as both a Kremlin tool and closet Nazi, with a "long history of embracing virulent anti-Semites"—two slanders that, by no coincidence, have been used expertly, and widely, Over Here. Thus Corbyn was subjected to the same false, strident and relentless defamation that was one of Dr. Goebbels' specialties, now routinely used by our CIA-connected "free press," and its Israeli adjuncts, to "neutralize"dissenters of all kinds, from Jill Stein and (especially) Julian Assange to anyone who criticizes Israel.
Thus the US "meddled" zestfully in that election, through organs like (of course) the New York Times, whose view of Corbyn has been just as fair and honest as its view of Bernie Sanders, or Assange, or Bashar al-Assad, or Nicolås Maduro, or whoever else is on the CIA's shit-list. Yesterday (UK's Election Day), the Times joined the attack with a ferocious op-ed by Bret Stephens— "A Vote for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party Is a Vote for Anti-Semitism"— from which I took that bit above, about Corbyn's "long history" as a Nazi sympathizer.
That excremental screed is really something, coming, as it does, from a
newspaper that played down the Holocaust while it was happening, hailed
the neo-Nazi junta in Ukraine as a bulwark of "democracy," and is now
blacking out the fascist crackdown in Bolivia—all the while comparing
Trump to Hitler, and endlessly deploring "white supremacy" (as well as
Caitlin is quite right: This disgraceful episode affirms—or, rather, re-affirms— that propaganda works (a fact that's also evident in the astonishing success of many other campaigns raging now, from the impeachment farce and measles panic to the corporate-driven "climate movement" and transgender cult—just to name a few).
And yet we must be careful not to see such propaganda as the only reason
for the Tory sweep, which depended also on election theft—to what degree
we don't yet know, and must find out, through rigorous investigation.
Someone Interfered in the UK Election & It Wasn’t Russia
by Caitlin Johnstone
The Most Unpopular Government in UK Political History
We won the argument, but I regret we didn’t convert that into a majority for change | General election 2019
Corbyn’s defeat has slain the left’s last illusion
by Jonathan Cook
The corporate class – the 0.001% – has been in control of our political life uninterrupted for 40 years.
This was an election of two illusions.
The first helped persuade much of the British public to vote for the very epitome of an Eton toff, a man who not only has shown utter contempt for most of those who voted for him but has spent a lifetime barely bothering to conceal that contempt. For him, politics is an ego-trip, a game in which others always pay the price and suffer, a job he is entitled to through birth and superior breeding.
The extent to which such illusions now dominate our political life was highlighted two days ago with a jaw-dropping comment from a Grimsby fish market worker. He said he would vote Tory for the first time because “Boris seems like a normal working class guy.”
Johnson is precisely as working class, and “normal”, as the billionaire-owned Sun and the billionaire-owned Mail. The Sun isn’t produced by a bunch of working-class lads down the pub having a laugh, nor is the Mail produced by conscientious middle managers keen to uphold “British values” and a sense of fair play and decency. Like the rest of the British media, these outlets are machines, owned by globe-spanning corporations that sell us the illusions – carefully packaged and marketed to our sectoral interest – needed to make sure nothing impedes the corporate world’s ability to make enormous profits at our, and the planet’s, expense.
The Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Guardian and BBC have all worked hard to create for themselves “personalities”. They brand themselves as different – as friends we the public might, or might not, choose to invite into our homes – to win the largest share possible of the UK audience, to capture every section of the public as news consumers, while feeding us a distorted, fairytale version of reality that is optimal for business. They are no different to other corporations in that regard.
Media wot won it
Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury, Lidl and Waitrose similarly brand themselves to appeal to different sections of the public. But all these supermarkets are driven by the same pathological need to make profits at all costs. If Sainsbury’s sells fair trade tea as well as traditionally produced tea, it is not because it cares more than Lidl about the treatment of workers and damage to the environment but because it knows its section of consumers care more about such issues. And as long as it makes the same profits on good and bad tea, why should it not cater to its share of the market in the name of choice and freedom?
The media are different from supermarkets in one way, however. They are not driven simply by profit. In fact, many media outlets struggle to make money. They are better seen as the loss-leader promotion in a supermarket, or as a business write-off against tax.
The media’s job is to serve as the propaganda arm of big business. Even if the Sun makes an economic loss, it has succeeded if it gets the business candidate elected, the candidate who will keep corporation tax, capital gains tax and all the other taxes that affect corporate profits as low as possible without stoking a popular insurrection.
Bought And Paid For
GOP lawmaker tries to get Georgetown funding pulled over alleged ‘anti-Israel, pro-Islamist’ bias
by Michael Arria
In September Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) traveled to Israel as part of an AIPAC-sponsored trip .
On December 11, President Trump signed an executive order that effectively weaponizes antisemitism as a cudgel to beat back BDS activities on college campuses. The order threatens to withhold federal funding from universities if the government determines that they’ve failed to prohibit discrimination.
Trump’s move was barely announced before a member of congress attempted to use the new playbook. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) has sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asking for Georgetown University to be investigated over its alleged anti-Israel bias. The news was reported on Twitter by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Washington bureau chief Ron Kampeas.
“I have recently become aware of systematic support for biased, anti-American, pro-BDS individuals and scholarship at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies that are not in accordance with the mission of Title VI funds and contrary to America’s national security interests…The so-called Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a dagger aimed at the heart of one of America’s closest allies, Israel,” reads the letter. Riggleman cites a report on Georgetown faculty from Islamophobic commentator Daniel Pipes’s website as the basis behind his concerns.
From: GAZA PALESTINE [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 4:13 AM
Subject: Do not leave us these days ... the injured people tremble in the cold ... I desperately need your support for us now this winter. An emergency matter
We need your support in helping us to get more first aid to help the injured get the basic treatments, medicines and basic treatments necessary to provide them with good health conditions.
We need more first aid kits, more medicine and first treatments like iodine, solutions and some painkillers.
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Former Spy Details Israel’s Main Motive Behind Epstein’s Sexual Blackmail Operation
by Whitney Webb
MintPress speaks with Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli spy who worked closely with Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, as part of their work with Israeli military intelligence and had frequent encounters with Jeffrey Epstein.
Ari Ben-Menashe, is a former Israeli spy who worked closely with Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, as part of their work with Israeli military intelligence.
MONTREAL — In recent weeks, renewed attention has been brought to the allegations that Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex trafficking and sexual blackmail operation was run on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Those claims revolve around statements made by a former Israeli military intelligence official turned public relations consultant Ari Ben-Menashe, whose allegations regarding the Epstein scandal were reported by MintPress this past October.
Ben-Menashe’s claims related to Epstein first surfaced in an interview between Ben-Menashe and Zev Shalev of the independent news outlet, Narativ. As detailed in a MintPress summary and commentary of that interview, Ben-Menashe claimed to have seen Jeffrey Epstein in the office of Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father, several times in the 1980s.
At the time, Ben-Menashe was in close contact with Robert Maxwell regarding their work mutual work with Israeli military intelligence. Maxwell, in addition to heading a media empire and being a one-time member of U.K. parliament, was a longtime operative for Israeli intelligence, so much so that his 1991 funeral was attended by no less than six serving and former heads of Israeli intelligence as well as several high-ranking Israeli politicians and prime ministers.
Maxwell is alleged to have recruited Jeffrey Epstein for Israeli intelligence and later introduced Epstein to Ben-Menashe and another operative, Nicholas Davies. Epstein was introduced to Ben-Menashe as having been pre-approved by leading figures in Israel’s military intelligence directorate, known as Aman.
MintPress recently conducted its own interview with Mr. Ben-Menashe as part of an ongoing investigation on the life and connections of the now-infamous Jeffrey Epstein.
Part of that interview is provided below with relevant commentary, particularly regarding claims related to the relationship between Epstein and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Epstein’s trip to Tel Aviv immediately prior to his first arrest, and the reasons for Israeli military intelligence’s interest in orchestrating and financing a major sexual blackmail operation targeting top U.S. politicians.
“Israel Requested that Epstein Target Clinton”
MintPress News first asked Ben-Menashe about Robert Maxwell, a known asset and operative for Israeli intelligence, having recruited Jeffrey Epstein. Ben-Menashe = confirmed this to MintPress and also noted that, after their initial meeting, Epstein was frequently present in Maxwell’s office in London.
During the 1980s, as MintPress previously reported, Epstein claimed to have been an intelligence operative and so-called “bounty hunter” in the world of shadow finance. During this time, he was known to have developed close relationships with several British arms dealers, particularly Sir Douglas Leese. Thus, Epstein appeared to frequently be traveling between the Middle East and London, which is also supported by Epstein’s now-infamous Austrian passport which he was believed to have carried during this period of time.
Ben-Menashe told MintPress that he had not only met Epstein after Epstein had been recently recruited by Israeli military intelligence, but had seen him on several occasions thereafter as Epstein “used to be in [Robert Maxwell’s] office [in London] quite often” and would arrive there between trips to and from Israel.
In addition, Ben-Menashe revealed his understanding of why Epstein was eventually shepherded into acting as a professional sexual blackmailer on behalf of Israeli military intelligence. Per Ben-Menashe, there were concerns among Israeli intelligence figures that, following the Reagan Era, a new president would push for Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, something those officials sought to avoid by any means necessary.
ABM | Here’s the thing… Mr. Carter… as in President Carter… the Israelis feared that Mr. Clinton, when he was campaigning for President, will be a repeat of Mr. Carter. He wanted to press them for peace with the Palestinians and all that stuff. They feared… Clinton wasn’t that… but they feared he was that… And I think Mr. Epstein was sent early on to catch up with President Clinton.
MintPress News (MPN) | Well, that’s interesting because the first year Clinton was in office, Epstein was already attending donor dinners at the White House and making White House visits as well.
ABM | Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I believe his biggest client was Mr. Clinton catch, or catch, or whatever, and he had a few other congressmen and what not but Clinton was, was his biggest catch.
Thus, Ben-Menashe argues, when Bill Clinton’s candidacy in the 1992 U.S. Presidential election became clear, efforts were made to target him via sexual blackmail and Jeffrey Epstein was chosen for that purpose. Bill Clinton was eventually blackmailed by the state of Israel and his administration was also targeted by Israeli espionage as part of the “Mega” spy scandal. Epstein’s involvement in the Clinton administration and his visits to the White House date back to Clinton’s first year in office. More information on the Epstein-Clinton relationship can be found in this MintPress report.
In addition, MintPress also asked Ben-Menashe if he was aware of Ghislaine Maxwell being directly involved with her father’s intelligence-related activities prior to his death in 1991. Ben-Menashe noted that Ghislaine accompanied her father so frequently, including on a now-infamous 1989 party on Maxwell’s yacht where Donald Trump and several key figures in the PROMIS software scandal were in attendance, that she was involved in his intelligence-related activities to some extent. However, he stopped short of saying how involved she was or what she has specifically been involved in prior to her father’s death.
When did Epstein really meet Ehud Barak . . . ?
Today’s Allies Are Tomorrow’s Enemies
by Philip Giraldi
The U.S. is burdened with a number of false allies that use the relationship with Washington to enable their own schemes.
One might postulate that the United States is regularly supporting so-called allies whose very nature will eventually generate blowback that will do terrible damage to actual American interests. The recent example of the mass shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida by Saudi Second Lieutenant Mohammed Alshamrani is illustrative. Alshamrani killed three American sailors while three other Saudi students filmed what was taking place, presumably for posting on social media.
Though the U.S. and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have no actual alliance, the American and Saudi militaries have a relationship that began during the Second World War. Currently, Washington supports Riyadh as a force multiplier and extension of U.S. power in the Persian Gulf region to serve as a check on what if perceives to be as hostile Iran. Saudi Arabia, nurturing its own regional ambitions, clearly sees Iran as its principal enemy. As the White House also appears keen to do whatever is necessary to bring about regime change in Tehran, the tendency in Washington to serve as an apologist for whatever Riyadh does will continue for the foreseeable future. And, as an added bonus, the Saudis buy billions of dollars’ worth of American made weapons annually.
Someone has to train the people who fly the expensive warplanes, so Saudi Air Force “students” are sent to American bases like Pensacola where they undergo language and flight training that is normally conducted by civilian contractors. The student pilots, surely carefully screened by Saudi security, would be unlikely candidates for staging a terrorist attack in the United States, but the Alshamrani incident suggests that there is more dissidence bubbling beneath the surface than is apparent from the rosy assurances about The Kingdom coming out of the White House and the Royal Palace in Riyadh.
The investigation of Alshamrani continues, but it seems clear that he was unhappy with aspects of America’s pro-Israel and interventionist foreign policy. He also connected with radical websites on social media and his colleagues report that he would periodically return to the U.S. from home leave in Saudi Arabia “more religious.” On the night before the incident, he showed a film that included a mass shooting.
On Rogues and Rogue States
by Fred Reed
How did Nazi Germany differ from the United States today?
I have just finished reading William Shirer’s Berlin Diary. (This may not fascinate you, but I am coming to something.) I first encountered it in high school. It is of course Shirer’s account as a correspondent in Germany of the rise of the Nazis. Most of it is well known to the educated. The Nazis, who had control over the domestic press, convinced the German population that the Poles were threatening Germany, as plausible as Guatemala threatening the United States. The Poles were said to be committing atrocities against Germans.
Then the Reich, with no justification whatever, having absolute air superiority, attacked Poland, bombing undefended cities and killing huge numbers of people. It was a German pattern several times repeated. Many reporters told of the smell of rotting bodies, of refugees dying of hunger and thirst. Today the Reich is endlessly remembered as a paragon of evil. It was.
How did Nazi Germany differ from the United States today? There is the same lying. Washington insisted that Iraq was about to get nuclear weapons, biological agents, that it had poisonous gas. None of this was true. The government, unimpeded by the media, persuaded over half of the American population that Iraq was responsible for Nine-Eleven. Now it says that Iran works to get nuclear weapons, and of course that the Russians are coming. The American press, informally but strictly controlled, carefully doesn’t challenge any of this.
Having prepped the American public as the Nazis prepped theirs, Washington unleashed a savage attack against Iraq, deliberately destroying infrastructure, leaving the country without power or purified water. The slaughter was godawful. But, said America, the war was to rid the Iraqi people of an evil dictator, to bring them democracy, freedom, and human rights. (The oil was entirely incidental. The oil is always incidental.)
Watch: Julian Assange's dad details son's torture
by Independent Australia
Independent Australia together with QCCL hosted an event to raise awareness for the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, featuring his father John Shipton.
DESPITE THE oppressive humidity in a Brisbane hall packed to twice its capacity, the attention of the crowd did not falter. All eyes were on John Shipton as he spoke quietly and eloquently, detailing his son’s torture. John’s son is Julian Assange, currently rotting in Belmarsh Prison in the UK, awaiting potential extradition to the U.S. and facing 175 years in prison.
The conditions under which Assange is being held are worse than those of mass murderers and child sex offenders. Essentially in solitary confinement, he is not permitted internet usage. His visiting rights are limited to two half-hour visits per week. He cannot contact family or friends and his ability to prepare his own defence has been severely thwarted.
This, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, is:
"prolonged exposure to psychological torture … and abuse [which] may soon end up costing his life.”
The event, co-hosted by Independent Australia and the Council of Civil Liberties (QCCL) was intended to mobilise support for the journalist and WikiLeaks founder. Managing editor David Donovan and executive editor Michelle Pini interviewed Mr Shipton, along with anti-war activist Ciaron O’Reilly.
John Shipton spoke of his son's commitment to truth-telling and said of his son:
"Not once has Julian complained. Not once did he complain or moan about his situation. I don’t know if he thinks it’s worth it, but as far as I can see from the outside, his resolve is undiminished… I’ve never found any bitterness in Julian."
Ciaron O'Reilly described Assange's popularity thus:
Where Julian is popular Is at the extremities of empire – he’s really big in Bangladesh... and the Congo – where he’s not popular is at the centre of empire. There's a lot of hostility in the UK and there was quite a lot of general sympathy with the liberal Left in the U.S. until Clinton blamed her election loss on WikiLeaks. There's a lot of scepticism in Australia.
Mr Shipton said the allegations against his son amounted to a distraction tactic to divert the limelight from the war crimes WikiLeaks exposed, and that this was the reason Assange is not receiving diplomatic assistance:
"Julian has had 100 consular "assistances" in one form or another, which is a testament to failure because he’s there still...
You, and us together, hold Julian up. Not the politicians or the big wigs. It’s us – we hold him up."
From: Les Mutins de Pangée [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2019 8:18 AM
Subject: Noël est annulé
Orwell's '1984' revisited: What Oceania and Israel
have in common
by Adam Raz
The aim of war is not a conquest of one kind or another, but the preservation of a hierarchical society of “high” and “low.”
George Orwell is one of the most widely read English-language authors, and has certainly been one of the most quoted ones for more than a half-century. There is no need to mention the many concepts associated with him: “Newspeak,” “thought police,” “Orwellian” and so on. At the same time, the man who strove, as he himself said, to turn political writing into an art and who declared that everything he wrote after 1936 (subsequent to his participation in the Spanish Civil War, against fascist forces) was written against totalitarianism and in favor of democratic socialism, continues to be perceived, ultimately, as a storyteller.
In contrast to the approach of the vast body of writing that exists about Orwell, and about his novel “1984” in particular, I will argue here, in brief, that his output needs to be seen as belonging to the realm of of political theory. In other words, Orwell is (also) a political theoretician (in the conventional sense of the term: a person who espouses a theory about the social reality). Moreover, and especially in his 1949 dystopic novel, he contributed significantly to the understanding of the dynamics of modern politics and in particular of the phenomenon the Roman historian Tacitus called the “secrets of governing” (arcana imperii). “Every new political theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to hierarchy and regimentation,” Orwell wrote.
Any consideration of Orwell’s writing cannot ignore the fact that he chose the literary genre as the most congenial for giving expression to his views. Writing was for him a tool for changing social reality, and the literature he wrote was political. In fact, it often seems as though the narrative interferes with his attempt to set forth his views about modern capitalism (and about democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other). Indeed, when he encountered difficulties in plot construction, he was known to deal with them by devious literary means, so as to retain his political point.
A vivid example of this is his insertion of a completely theoretical text running to dozens of pages in “1984,” by means of a literary stratagem of introducing a fictitious book-within-a-book. The text, “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism,” is manifestly a sociopolitical analysis of trends in modern industrial society and a historic description of the phenomenon called “government.” Some people advised him to remove the “book” from the book. Happily for us, he ignored them.
‘It depends on you’
Orwell did not in any systematic way read the classic works of political thought and theory (as opposed to contemporaneous political writing, about which he was extremely knowledgeable), and that may help us understand why he chose the literary genre rather than focusing on philosophy or political science. In his works he gave expression to, and provided an explanation (theoretical) for, developments in modern society. Shortly before his death, in 1950, he made it unequivocally clear that the appalling picture of the future starkly depicted in “1984” was not some imaginative exercise for him. “Don’t let it happen. It depends on you,” he asserted toward the end of his life. In his view, the dystopia had already begun to materialize.
What is the “it” he warned against? He is referring to the fact that in the struggle to impose limits on political power, society is at a disadvantage. Orwell went a few steps further, developing the analysis of José Ortega y Gasset, who in his book “The Revolt of the Masses” (1932), wrote, “This is the gravest danger that today threatens civilization: State intervention; the absorption of all spontaneous social effort by the state… The result of this tendency will be fatal. Spontaneous social action will be broken up over and over again by State intervention; no new seed will be able to fructify. Society will have to live for the State, man for the governmental machine.” In “1984,” Orwell showed how that scenario could be realized in everyday life.
His writing from the 1930s onward displays a persistent effort to identify the socioeconomic forces that were pushing toward the emergence of a society whose features resemble those he would portray in “1984” and to warn against them. For this reason, Orwell’s final book was a very frightening one. He was out to scare his readers, because he wanted to make them think about the direction in which modern society was being led. “Power is not a means, it is an end,” he wrote at the end of “1984.”
Then, as now, the public had trouble conceiving of the fact that there are sociopolitical elements whose goal is to preserve a class society. In other words, precisely in an era in which technology is creating great abundance, unparalleled in human history, it is scarcity that rules. (“In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life,” Orwell wrote.)
In his view, this state of affairs was not the result of a mistake, a “hidden hand” or a government of fools; it was a deliberate policy advanced by an exploitative elite. And it isn’t by accident that the masses don’t grasp what is happening: “In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.” In other words, there are forces whose vested interest is to preserve “high” and “low.” The rationale for this was explained as early as the 17th century by the French statesman Cardinal Richelieu in his “Political Testament”: “All students of politics agree that when the common people are too well off, it is impossible to keep them peaceable… It would not be sound to relieve them of all taxation and similar charges, since in such a case they would lose the mark of their subjection and consequently the awareness of their station.”
Orwell died young, aged 46 – younger than the age at which many thinkers in the realms of humanities and social sciences have written their magnum opus. From this point of view, it’s hard to imagine how our world would look if Niccolo Machiavelli (who died at 58), Karl Marx (at 64), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (66), Immanuel Kant (79) or Thomas Hobbes (91) had died when they were still in their forties. By the same token, it’s tempting to imagine how our world of ideas would look if Orwell had lived another 40 years.
A survey of his development as a thinker, beginning from his period of service in the Imperial Police in Burma (when he was in his 20s), shows one thing clearly: The issues that troubled Orwell beginning in the 1930s won a richer and more complete theoretical expression in “1984.” Indeed, when we consider the stage his intellectual progress had reached in the autumn of his years, we find new directions, not yet fully matured, in his analysis of modern politics.
Mechanism of power
What I’ve written so far is meant to justify my reading of “1984” as political theory, and not just as a novel. The general plotline is well known and needs no elaboration. I will only mention that the book covers a short period in the life of Winston Smith, a citizen of Oceania (a region congruent with much of today’s Western world), which is under tight totalitarian rule as part of a one-party system and where life plays out under the watchful eye of “Big Brother.”
Over the years, what has drawn the most attention in the book – and is also considered Orwell’s legacy – is the description of the totalistic means of supervision and control that exist in Oceania, and in particular the “telescreen” that monitors people nonstop and identifies “deviations” from the government’s sadistic path. And, of course, the notion of the media as serving political interests. (“Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie,” Orwell wrote). In the wake of the technological and political developments of recent decades, references to him are only increasing, but often those references miss the crux of the book: not the mechanism of power, but the motif that generates it.
Two great questions arise from the book: How did it happen and why did it happen? That is, how did humanity reach a situation in which a small elite possesses spiritual and physical power over the entire population? Or, in Orwell’s famous formulation in “1984”: “I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.”