Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fascism - 10 Steps - BUSH HITLER MUSSOLINI

Talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

'End of America' shows threats to democracy


With so many Americans banking on the promise of change in the new presidential administration, it might seem counterproductive to watch a documentary about the perceived abuses of George W. Bush's eight years in office.

But it doesn't seem likely that Barack Obama will be able to settle the questions about power and democratic rule that are raised by "The End of America" (Indiepix).

The film by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg uses the work of journalist and polemicist Naomi Wolf as a jumping-off point the same way that the early 1990s documentary "Manufacturing Consent" was grounded in the writings of Noam Chomsky.

Wolf's provocative books have included "The Beauty Myth" and "Fire with Fire," well-written and well-thought-out combinations of reporting and political analysis on the role of women in the post-feminist era.

"The End of America" is based on the book that Wolf subtitled "Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot."

The film adds archival footage and many new interviews to bolster Wolf's belief that policy changes made over the last eight years have curtailed individual liberties and expanded the power of government.

Wolf details the 10 steps that she believes precede a slide to fascism -- changes in government common to countries where dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini achieved their power.

"What became so chillingly clear to me is that these 10 steps are in place in the U.S. today," Wolf asserts.

Among the ominous post-9/11 changes analyzed in the documentary are the use of private firms for military operations, the creation of secret prisons and the increased surveillance of ordinary people.

Much of the film focuses on the "war on terror" that followed 9/11, as well as the creation of a Department of Homeland Security.

Obviously, "The End of America" is not "balanced" in the traditional TV journalistic sense, but it is a provocative presentation of an important writer's work.

The two-disc DVD version contains lots of extras, including extended interviews with government officials, journalists and activists like Daniel Ellsberg.

Sundberg and Stern also present a "2008 Post-Election Update" on the DVD.

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The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism by Noam Chomsky



The Nazi Parallel:
The National Security State and the Churches

excerpted from the book

The Washington Connection
and Third World Fascism

by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman

published by South End Press, 1979


The two statements quoted above bring out some central features of modern Latin America. A close study of recent trends-including the specific totalitarian ideology of the generals, the system of ideological manipulation and terror, the diaspora, and the defensive response of the churches (and their harassment by the military juntas)-reveals startling similarities with patterns of thought and behavior under European fascism, especially under Nazism. Fascist ideology has flowed into Latin American directly and indirectly. Large numbers of Nazi refugees came to Latin America during and after World War II, and important ingredients of fascist ideology have been indirectly routed into that area through the U.S. military and intelligence establishment. Whatever the source, however, it has met a need of the local and foreign elites that dominate the area, and has been modified to meet their special requirements.

The ideology designated the "National Security Doctrine" (NSD) now prevails among the military elites that rule at least eight Latin American states-Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. The doctrine has three main elements: (1) that the state is absolute and the individual is nothing; (2) that every state is involved in permanent warfare, its present form being Communism versus the Free World; and (3) that control over "subversion" is possible only through domination by the natural leadership in the struggle against subversion, namely the armed forces. The first two elements of the NSD closely parallel Nazi ideology, which laid great stress on the organic Volkstaat and the deadly combat in process between the forces of good and evil (Bolshevism, Jewry). Geopolitics is also a favorite source of ideological nourishment to the Latin military elite, as it was for the Nazis. Nazi doctrine did not give primacy to the armed forces, although they were assigned an important place, but the Leader and the Party played an elite role. The special place of the' armed forces in the NSD reflects in part the self-interested rationalization of the privileged and dominant military elite; it also represents the choice of vehicle by the colossus of the north, which has long invested in the military establishment as potentially "a major force for constructive social change in the American republics" (Nelson Rockefeller).

An important ingredient of Nazi ideology, anti-Semitism, is absent from the NSD, although it has found a home with the military of certain countries (specifically, Argentina, where there has been a long anti-Semitic tradition). But the NSD also lacks any element of egalitarianism or notion of human community, both present in grotesquely perverted form in Nazi ideology, so that the Latin American version has been well adapted to justifying and institutionalizing extreme inequality and domination by a small elite. The NSD is not a doctrine with ugly potential consequences for specific minorities; it is one that fits the need for disregard and spoliation of the majority. The special place of army and police merely assures that the military elite will share in the spoliation along with the traditional elite group. It is, therefore, an appropriate doctrine for what we have been calling "subfascism."

Since the generals sponsoring the National Security Doctrine have been nurtured by and dependent on the U.S. military intelligence establishment, and look to the United States as the heartland of anti-Communism and Freedom, it is little wonder that the economic doctrinal counterpart to the NSD is quite congenial to the interests of multinational business. The military juntas have adopted a "free enterprise-blind growth" model on the alleged geopolitical rationale that growth means power, disregarding the fact that dependent growth means foreign power. Since profits equal investment equal growth equal power, it works out that state support for large interests-domestic and foreign- and neglect of the masses, is sound policy. We saw earlier that in the economics of client fascism, that is, National Security Economics, the welfare of the masses is no longer a system objective-the masses become a cost of goods sold, something to be minimized-so that although the military juntas sometimes speak of long run benefits trickling down to the lower orders, this is really an after-thought and is not to be taken too seriously.

Furthermore, since the world is one of good and evil, with "no room for comfortable neutralism" (Pinochet, echoing a familiar refrain of his U.S. mentor), and since free enterprise-growth profits-USA are good, anybody challenging these concepts or their consequences is ipso facto a Communist-subversive-enemy. This is a logical deduction from NSD principles, and it is also clearly just what General Maxwell Taylor had in mind in telling the students of the police academy of the lessons of Vietnam and the need for anticipatory counter-subversion. It also means that any resistance to business power and privilege in the interests of equity, or on the basis of an alternative view of desirable social ends or means, is a National Security and police problem. This applies to such organizations as peasant leagues, unions, student organizations or community or political groupings that might afford protection to the weak or threaten to become a political counterforce to elite domination. From the standpoint of the multinationals and latifundists, this is superb doctrine; reform is equated with subversion, the work force is kept in disarray by state power, and nothing stands in the way of organizing economic life in MNC-latifundist interests that can not be taken care of by a few well-placed bribes. As Nelson Rockefeller has said, in dealing with Latin American countries, for whom democracy "is a very subtle and difficult problem," we must be prepared to sacrifice some of our philosophical principles in the interest of helping meet the basic needs of the people of the hemisphere."

In Nazi Germany too, as in other totalitarian societies, a primary aim of the controlling leadership was the destruction of any organizational threat that might challenge the attainment of "state" ends; and unions, students and professional organizations, and community groups and political parties were infiltrated, harassed, destroyed, or brought under state control. The most powerful bases of organized resistance in Nazi Germany were the churches, which provided the "most active, most effective, and most consistent" opposition to Nazi terror. The churches were so deeply rooted in their communities that it was difficult to attack them openly, although the Nazis tried from the beginning to undermine and destroy church authority. The churches were not only the first large organizations left intact that began to resist Hitlerism as organizations, "they also remained unique in this respect throughout the period from 1933 to 1945, although their resistance remained limited to certain issues and methods. Throughout World War II one important segment of the Protestant Church (the Confessing Church) refused to pray for military victory, and by the war's end many hundreds of clergymen had died in concentration camps.

The analogy here with Latin American experience is striking, although it has been diligently avoided in the mass media of the United States. The National Security States, like Hitler, have used informers and force to destroy or bring under state control all protective organizations of the working class, peasants, rural workers and sub-proletariat: a church group's description of Paraguay, where "the government's objective is to suppress any person or organization that strives to help those living in miserable poverty, that is to say 80/ho of the population, is widely applicable in the NSD world. This repression is not undertaken out of sadistic impulses. Rather, as the church throughout the empire now recognizes, "this whole universe of atomized workers, powerless and obliged to humiliate themselves," are kept in that condition for sound economic reasons, given the ends sought and the model of economic development employed by the military juntas.

From the inception of this process, and especially since the Brazilian coup of 1964, the churches have been pressed into opposition to subfascism, just as under Nazism, as the last institutional refuge of the population against state terror and state-protected and state-sponsored exploitation. Initially, again in close analogy with Nazi experience, the coming into power of the National Security State was greeted by the church in a country like Brazil with mixed feelings, and some positive expectations on the part of the more conservative church leaders. But subfascist processes steadily drove the church into a position of increasingly unified hostility, despite efforts by the military junta to alternatively threaten and attempt to bribe the church leaders into quiescence, if not support. Church opposition has been bothersome to the Brazilian junta, in part because the church remains a competing institutional power still providing a base of opposition and some protective cover for the pack animals (the 80% plus). Furthermore, the church and religion are part of the ceremonial apparatus of the Christian-West-Free World, and however little the generals may regard Christian principles, the symbols should be available for manipulation of the lower orders. But they have not been readily available, and the conflict between the churches and military juntas has escalated in Brazil and throughout the empire.

The reasons for the scope and strength of church resistance in Latin America and elsewhere include certain features of the churches themselves, such as the post-Vatican II internal discussions and subsequent democratization, and the institutional shift in church constituency and support. With the middle and upper classes-the traditional basis of support and personnel- gradually abandoning the church after World War II, the constituency of the church has gradually shifted to the 80% plus that is voiceless, powerless and outside the orbit of interest under subfascism. As the church has reached into the communities of the poor it has been obliged to see and feel the problems of this exploited mass, and the result has been a further democratization of the church, expressions of remorse at its elite supportive role in the past, and a new concern for meeting the needs of all people now: "The Holy Spirit is no longer a privilege of the hierarchy or of the religious; the Spirit does not only teach piety and obedience in the teaching of the church. The Spirit shows itself in the new martyrs, in the daring of the communities and their ministers, in the testimony given to the world by the humble and poor people."

It is important to recognize that the dominant elements of the Catholic Church of Latin America were, and in important respects still are, quite conservative. It has been pushed into relatively unified and vigorous opposition against its desires and traditions, in large part by brutalities and injustice of a scale and severity that gave it no alternative.


The quality of the New Brazil that has evoked this church response can be illustrated by its treatment of abandoned children, vast numbers of whom wander and forage in the cities. These children are regarded strictly as a police problem. Nothing is done for them, but they are periodically rounded up, put into police trucks, and transported to other Brazilian states, with a warning to stay away. If something positive is done for them, this is regarded as a menace. Lernoux reports that "in a recent typical case, a young teenager was arrested in Vitoria for trying to organize the city's abandoned children into a work cooperative. After he was beaten and tortured, the boy was sodomized in the local jail."


The treatment of the mass of rural poor has been on the same humanistic plane. The military regime has encouraged and subsidized the shift to export crops such as soybeans and cattle, without the slightest concern, provision, or consideration for the (non-existent) opportunities for the millions of dispossessed:

"Their lands, houses and crops are wiped out by the savage growth of latifundia and big agribusiness. Their living and working conditions are becoming more difficult. In a tragic contradiction, in which the government economic favors multiply herds of cattle and enlarge plantations, the small laborer sees his family's food supply diminishing. "

Volkswagen, Tio Tinto Zinc, Swift Meat Packing, and others have been receiving tax write-offs to develop cattle ranches, while the indigenous people are written off in the process by their government. Italy's Liquigas was allowed to buy six million acres of land in the heart of the territory of the Xavantas Indians, with 60 Indians killed in the eviction process.

The state functions to prevent by force any defense of the rural majority and to allow the powerful to violate the already feeble law with impunity. A great many clergy have been brutalized for making the most elemental defenses of maltreated individuals. Although under Brazil's legal code peasants who have worked the land for 10 years or more are entitled to ownership rights, those rights are widely ignored and in any conflict are usually resolved by the force of the strong. In one contested case a land development company "simply bulldozed the village of Santa Teresinha off the map. When Father Francisco Jentel protested against the destruction of a health clinic built by the peasants, he was jailed and later sentenced to ten years in prison for 'incising the people to revolt'."

The Catholic Church has not been able to swallow passively the intensified post-1964 day-by-day spoliation of the Indians and peasantry. Bishop Dom Pedro Casadaliga has kept up a steady flow of denunciations of the policies of force, fraud and subsidization of rural dispossession by the military regime. He has exasperated the ranchers and military of Sao Felix by organizing peasant cooperatives, schools and health units and urging the peasants to "unite and know your legal rights." The Bishop points out that there is only one private doctor in the prefecture of Sao Felix, which covers 150,000 square kilometers, but the military regime still discourages church medical assistance efforts: "There used to be a nun nurse who worked in the hospital [the Santa Izabel Indian Hospital]. However, she was expelled and prohibited from taking care of Indians or posseiros. We opened a mobile health unit in Sao Felix which was closed by the Secretary of Health of Mato Grosso. Of the four mobile units of the region three are closed and the other is open only sporadically when a doctor of the army or air force is passing through." Efforts to organize the peasantry, even for limited self-help activities, have been viewed with the deepest suspicion by the leaders of subfascism, and this form of subversion has led to the arrest, harassment and exile of numerous clergy in Brazil and elsewhere in the empire.

Bishop Casadaliga was the first of many Brazilian bishops to be subject to military interrogation. Many have suffered more severely. Dom Adriano Hipolito, the Bishop of Nova Iguazu, who has often denounced the Brazilian Anti-Communist Alliance (AAB) as a "bunch of thugs directed and protected by the police" was kidnapped by the AAB, beaten, stripped, painted red, and left Iying on a deserted road. And in October, 1976, Father Joao Brunier, who had gone to the police station with Bishop Casadaliga to protest the torture of two peasant women, was simply shot dead by a policeman (who was eventually "apprehended" and then "escaped"). Hundreds of priests and higher officials of the Latin American churches have been tortured, murdered or driven into exile. Six aides of Archbishop Camara have been murdered, and he is quite aware that only his international reputation has so far saved him from a similar fate.

The Latin American churches have been unified and radicalized by subfascist terror and exploitation. They have learned by bitter experience the roots and consequences of these processes. The Church in Brazil now points out frequently and with great clarity and courage that the National Security Doctrine is a cover for totalitarian violence against ordinary people and is a means of class warfare. It is interesting to see the church preaching with passion for the rights of the individual against a state created and supported by the heartland of "freedom"-"On the level of purpose, the State exists for persons. The person, as a subject of natural inalienable rights, is the origin, center and end of society...It is in this right that the power of authority of the state is based. All force practiced beyond and outside of this right is violence." The church has also become more clear-eyed and explicit on the class bias and massive inhumanity of the development model of growth, and on the role of the U.S. and its military and economic interests in bringing into existence and sustaining the subfascist state. On the benefits of the Brazilian "miracle," one church document notes that

"Five percent (5 million out of 100 million) do attain something. But those who really have the advantage are the ones who are financing our "growth," those from abroad, the foreigners. If a bank will not extend credit without a guarantee of profit, much less will the foreigners finance our development and dispense with their profits. Our external debt amounts to about $10 billion."

External interests not only sustain oppression by their support of the military governments; they are more directly in the picture as developers, expropriators and strike-breakers. Bishop Casadaliga claims that in Sao Felix where latifundias are frequently owned by MNCs, the foreign entities have fought his mild efforts more aggressively than the locals: "Of the attacks I have suffered the majority have been ordered by the administrators and technocrats of the multinational latifundios." The Open Letter quoted at the beginning of this section is more passionate still in describing the sorrowful reality that has "demolished the image of 'the great democracy of the North'," including "the scandalous intervention of the United States in the installation and maintenance of military regimes" throughout Latin America; "the shameful Panamanian enclave with its military training centers" in which the murderers receive their higher education from U.S. instructors in techniques of "systematic persecution" and "scientifically perfected torture"; the activities of "the CIA and other agencies of penetration and espionage"; "the sometimes subtle and other times brazen domination and colonization practices" which have gradually eliminated the possibilities of independent economic development; and the "silent genocide, killing with hunger, with malnutrition, with tuberculosis the children of working families without resources."

The church-state struggle has become general in varying degrees throughout the expanding subfascist component of the empire. In Latin America, only in the few countries that retain a democratic order has an open conflict failed to emerge. In the now dominant terror states, including South Korea and the Philippines, the clergy is under attack and is fighting back with the non-violent weapons at its disposal. It cannot be over stressed that while the church increasingly calls for major social changes, the vast bulk of its efforts have been directed toward the protection of the most elemental human rights-to vote, to have the laws enforced without favor, to be free from physical abuse, and to be able to organize, assemble, and petition for betterment. Most sinister for the leaders of subfascism is any sponsorship of organizational or self-help efforts that might give the underclasses not only a sense of personal dignity but also some notion that they have rights and might exercise some small modicum of power.

The hostility of the National Security States to church support for the majority has reached the level of cooperative efforts at intimidation. In the summer of 1976 a major church meeting in Ecuador was interrupted when "40 barbarians armed with machine guns, revolvers, and tear gas bombs burst in on us. None of us was allowed to touch any of our personal belongings, not even to put on a pair of socks. We were pushed at gun point into a waiting bus-80 of us crammed into a space meant for 50. We had no idea what was happening, and it was useless to ask those gangsters for an explanation." The group, which included 15 foreign bishops and two foreign archbishops, was imprisoned overnight, and the foreign contingent was expelled the next day on the ground that it had been a "subversive meeting" (on subfascist principles, no doubt correct). One factor explaining the incident may have been the hostility to the host, Bishop Leonidas Proano, who had long been in conflict with the local ranchers over his defense of the ownership rights of the Indians. Church sources claim that a more potent factor was the increasingly close relations between Ecuador and the other subfascist states, particularly Brazil and Chile. At the time of the meeting 10 Chilean secret police were in Ecuador helping set up an intelligence and "security" network. The Chilean secret police arranged for a rock-throwing reception for the three Chilean bishops at the Santiago airport upon their return from Ecuador, and the Chilean press used the incident to demonstrate the Communist-subversive qualities of the bishops. The Chilean bishops concluded from their investigation of the episode that it had been a response to the pressures of "friendly governments" which had been applied to Ecuador.

The conflict between the church and the state intensifies as subfascist abuse becomes a more integral component of the reigning system, the church responds, and the National Security State brooks no opposition: "If we don't subscribe to 'their Church,' we are subversive. But how can we accept a mentality that endorses torture and murder, that is so totally unchristian?" And a Paraguayan priest says that "the bishops are arriving at a point where they must choose between their people and the military...It isn't a political choice between right and left but a humanitarian one. In Paraguay, for example, conservative and liberal bishops are united in their opposition to Alfredo Stroessner's regime. Even the military vicar signed the last pastoral letter denouncing government repression." But the churches resist without the huge resources of the state, without access to the government controlled media, and without the power of physical coercion. On the international plane the churches also face the most formidable obstacle of all-namely, United States sponsorship and support for the National Security State. Thus economic and military aid flows to the military juntas and the United States protects them diplomatically, economically and militarily-militarily, of course, mainly against their own populations via counterinsurgency and police aid. The United States has actively cooperated in overthrowing reformers or radicals in democratic systems (Brazil, Chile), but it has never quite been able to throw its weight towards democracy and away from subfascist gangsters even when the gangsters have stood alone with their U.S.-trained militias and weapons against a unified population, as we witness in Nicaragua at the time of writing.

Because the National Security State is U.S.-sponsored and supported and meets U.S. criteria on the fundamentals, there is another important international consequence: the mass media in the United States play down and essentially suppress the evidence of the enormous inhumanities and institutionalized violence of these U.S. satellites. The trial of a single Soviet dissident, Anatol Shcharansky, received more newspaper space in 1978 than the several thousand official murders in Latin America during the same year, not to speak of the vast number of lesser events such as tortures and massive dispossession. Information on Latin American horrors is readily available from church and other sources eager to tell the ghastly story, but-to put the matter baldly-the sponsors of class warfare under subfascism are hardly eager to focus attention on its victims. Just as in the case of warfare in Vietnam, both killing and ruthless exploitation at a distance are best done by proxy or through impersonal machinery, with eyes averted. The Free World establishment wisely chooses to focus on movements of the "gross national product" of Brazil, without too much attention to who gets what and how. The Free World media also concentrate on "terror," defined as we have seen so as to exclude official violence by definition; and the media allow the world of subfascism to be viewed largely through the eyes of the torturers and U.S. officials and businessmen. U.S. power and interest have put a communications lid on the fate of the great majority of the population of Latin America under U.S.-sponsored subfascism. Thus the churches fight a lonely battle as the last institutional protection of the mass of the population, with the primary enemy an absentee ownership interest supported by a super-power. In Latin America it is widely recognized that the origin and preservation of the National Security State rests on U.S. support. It is the ultimate Orwellism that this same superpower is thought in the West to be fighting a noble battle for "human rights."

The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism

To put it simply: in order to make more money and maintain their position of power, U.S. companies support (ie. fund, train, and provide diplomatic support for) repressive governments that will brutally repress their own population. When human rights are non-existent and people are sick and starving, sweatshops can be created and maintained. Once U.S. companies can exploit the repressed workers, they will eliminate (somewhat) well-paying jobs in the U.S. and take it to a third world fascist regime. The well-being of U.S. workers is intimately tied to the well-being of third world workers, The globalized economy of the last 30 years has meant the deterioration of worker status both inside and outside the U.S.

When Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman wrote the precursor to their 1979 book The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism: The Political Economy of Human Rights: Volume I, they found their analysis of U.S. foreign policy unwelcome by the corporate media establishment. The parent company learned about the book in the fall of 1973, and quite predictably was horrified and condemned it’s " unpartiotic" scholarship. Warner Modular Publications, Inc. (at that time a subsidiary member of the Warner communications and entertainment conglomerate) chose to violate their contractual obligation with Chomsky and Herman. They explain:

Although 20,000 copies of the monograph were printed, and one (and the last) ad was placed in the New York Review of Books, Warner Publishing refused to allow distribution of the monograph at its scheduled publication date. Media advertising for the volume was cancelled and printed flyers that listed the monographs as one of the titles were destroyed. The officers of Warner Modular were warned that distribution of the document would result in their immediate dismissal

It seems that after this kneejerk reaction, Warner’s corporate leadership opted for a (slightly) more subtle means of censorship and formally agreed to not supress the book: reaching a compromise with the lower-level publisher (who struggled for distribution of the monograph). However, before the compromise could be enacted the publishing house was shut down, with Warner selling the house’s " stocks of publications and contracts to a small and quite unknown company" effectively killing the book.11

Any book that is so feared by the corporate media merits close attention. William Sarnoff, a high officer of the parent company was very clear about why the book upset him so much, citing Chomsky and Herman’s " unpatriotic" argument that" the leadership in the United States, as a result of its dominant position and wide-ranging counterrevoliutionary efforts, has been the most important single instigator, administrator, and moral and material sustainer of serious bloodbaths in the years that followed World War II." The 442 page book backs up what it claims. Even worse, the book documents how both the mainstream media and educational institutions have been fundamental in providing the propaganda that allows the genocidal death machine to operate.

Chomsky and Herman argue that the U.S. corporate state’s " ideological pretense" that the United States is dedicated to furthering the cause of democracy and human rights throughout the world, though it may occasionally err in the pusuit of this ojective" has been constructed to mask: "the basic fact" that the United States has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states ruled mainly by terror and serving the interests of a small local and foreign business and military elite." 12

M.E.Ch.A and Che at Labor Rally: Che understood the importance of international solidarity as a weapon against transnational corporate imperialism.

They convincingly demonstrate that U.S. corporations purposefully support (and in many instances create) fascist terror states in order to create a favorable investment climate. In exchange for a cut of the action, local military police-states (which foster an image of third world autonomy from their colonial masters) brutally repress their population when it attempts to assert basic human rights:

The proof of the pudding is that U.S. bankers and industrialists have consistently welcomed the "stability" of the new client fascist order, whose governments, while savage in their treatment of dissidents, priests, labor leaders, peasant organizers or others who threaten "order," and at best indifferent to the mass of the population, have been accommodating to large external interests. In an important sense, therefore, the torturers in the client state are functionaries of IBM, Citibank, Allis Chalmers and the U.S. government, playing their assigned roles in a system that has worked according to choice and plan.13

In 1948, State Department planner George Kennan wrote Policy Planning Study 23, clearly stating that if the U.S. wanted to maintain (and expand) its position of world dominance, it could not truly respect human rights and democracy abroad. The document said:

We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only about 6 percent of its population" In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships that will permit us to maintain this disparity" To do so we will have to dispense with sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives" We should cease to talk about vague and" unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization." 14

Kennan elaborated on this concept in a 1950 briefing of U.S. ambassadors to Latin American countries. Of prime importance was to prevent the spreading of the idea " that governments are responsible for the well being of their people." To combat the proliferation of this idea: "we should not hesitate before police repression by the local government" It is better to have a strong regime in power than a liberal one if it is indulgent and relaxed and penetrated by Communist." Kennan would clearly define a "Communist" as someone who believed "that the governments are responsible for the well-being of their people." 15

Puppets mimicking capitalist devils march through town.

Crushing the human spirit and people’s desire to live free is a difficult task. State terror must be viewed in this context. It exists to destroy people’s hope and their desire to liberate themselves from oppression. This is the motive behind the U.S. -- directed counterinsurgency wars waged upon such countries in Latin America as Colombia and Chiapas, Mexico. The origins of U.S. counter-insurgency ideology reveal the fundamentally evil nature of the U.S. ruling class and the state apparatus that serves it.

The Roots of Counterinsurgency

To understand the evil of the U.S. ruling class in its full, one must investigate the historical origins of the state terror being practiced today by the Colombian government. Scholar/activist, Noam Chomsky writes that " US counterinsurgency doctrine was consciously modeled on the practices and achievements of World War II fascism, though it was the Nazis who were the preferred model." Chomsky cites Michael McClintock’s important 1989 study, Instruments of Statecraft, which examines 1950s US Army manuals and documents the disturbing influence of Naziism on U.S. counterinsurgency technique. Chomsky explains that the " manuals recognize Hitler’s tasks to have been much the same as those undertaken by the US worldwide as it took over the struggle against the anti-fascist resistance and other criminals (labeled " Communists" or " terrorists" ). The U.S. Army employed former Wermacht officers to help prepare the army manuals and explicitly drew upon the Nazi practice of " evacuation of all natives from partisan-infested areas and the destruction of all farms, villages, and buildings in the areas following the evacuations." 16

Military manuals made during Kennedy’s administration advocated "the tactic of intimidating, kidnapping, or assassinating carefully selected members of the opposition in a manner that will reap the maximum psychological benefit," the objective being "to frighten everyone from collaborating with the guerilla movement."17

In 1962, Kennedy also shifted the official focus of Latin American military from "hemispheric defense" to " internal security." According to Charles Maechling (who led counterinsurgency and internal defense planning from 1961 to 1966), this historic shift led to a change from toleration " of the rapacity and cruelty of the Latin American military " to " direct complicity" in " the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads." 18

Columbia Yesterday & Today

Moving forward to today, Alfredo Vasquez Carrizosa, president of the Colombian Permanent Committee for Human Rights explicitly argues that the " violence has been exacerbated by external factors." The U.S. influence in Colombia has been to make things much, much worse. Concurring with Noam Chomsky’s assertion that the Kennedy Administration escalated the already brutal state repression in Colombia (and all of Latin America), Vasquez reports that " In the 1960s the United States, during the Kennedy administration, took great pains to transform our regular armies into counterinsurgency brigades, accepting the new strategy of the death squads." President Kennedy’s initiatives:

" ushered in what is known in Latin America as the National Security Doctrine," not defense against an external enemy, but a way to make the military establishment the masters of the game" [with] the right to combat the internal enemy, as set forth in the Brazilian doctrine, the Argentine doctrine, the Uruguayan doctrine, and the Colombian doctrine: it is the right to fight and to exterminate social workers, trade unionists, men and women who are not supportive of the establishment, and who are assumed to be communist extremists. And this could mean anyone, including human rights activists such as myself." 19

In order to understand the true horror of today’s political situation in Colombia it must be seen in relation to the rest of Latin America. In the 90s, Colombia has been compared to Central America in the 1980s, where the U.S. trained, funded, and armed death-squad style terrorists. In her book Resisting State Violence, Professor Joy James argues that in " the 1980s, domestic policing and police brutality, including the 1985 MOVE bombing, were upstaged by the grisly specter of terrorism in U.S. foreign policy" In El Salvador and Guatemala, torture and terroristic killings were employed to derail social, political, and guerilla movements by workers and indigenous peoples." 20

El Salvador’s quite successful state terror operations help illustrate the fundamentally evil nature of both the U.S. ruling class and the local wealthy elite in Latin America, who employ horrifying tactics to break the human spirit, and therefore maintain the status quo.

A January 1994 conference on state terror organized by Jesuits in San Salvador argued that " it is important to explore" what weight the culture of terror has had in domesticating the expectations of the majority vis-à-vis alternatives different to those of the powerful." In the Jesuit journal America, Rev. Daniel Santiago writes:

People are not just killed by death squads in El Salvador--they are decapitated and then their heads are placed on pikes and used to dot the landscape. Men are not just disemboweled by the Salvadoran Treasury Police; their severed genitalia are stuffed in their mouths. Salvadoran women are not just raped by the national guard; their wombs are cut from their bodies and used to cover their faces. It is not enough to kill children; they are dragged over barbed wire until their flesh falls from their bones while parents are forced to watch" The aesthetics of terror in El Salvador is religious." 21

Nicknamed " Blowtorch Bob," (after his favorite instrument of torture) longtime leader of El Salvador’s death squad ARENA party, Robert D’Aubuisson was an open admirer of Adolf Hitler. He once said: " You Germans were very intelligent. You realized that the Jews were responsible for the spread of Communism and you began to kill them." In 1993, the United Nations Truth Commission concluded that a total of 63,000 Salvadorans were killed between 1979 and 1992.22
The Zapatistas

Banner of Emiliano Zapata and his famous quote.
(The Zapatistas name themselves after this radical anarachist from Mexico.)

Mumia Abu-Jamal explains that " the Zapatistas draw their strength, their imagery, and their vision from the most oppressed segments of Mexican life, the indigenous, the conquered ones who have sustained themselves in the face of over 500 years of conquest." 23

The ruling classes of the United States were very threatened by the Zapatista insurgency because of the inspiration that it gave to many oppressed people throughout the world who have also been beaten down but continue to fight. A 1995 Chase Manhattan Bank memorandum written by Riordan Roett (a consultant on Latin American issues) argued that the Mexican government " will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy" [and] will need to consider carefully whether or not to allow opposition victories if fairly won at the ballot box." 24

Emiliano Zapata at Labour Rally, November 30.

This desire to crush the Zapatista rebellion is reflective of the U.S. ruling class’ reaction to the challenge made to white world supremacy and U.S. corporate control over Latin America.The war on drugs has been used as a guise for supplying the Mexican state the necessary military might to put down the rebelling Indians of Chiapas.

Cecelia Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Zapatistas in the U.S. explains that::

US-provided helicopters have been used in the past to attack unarmed populations" The Mexican armed forces have been accused by human rights monitors of murders, disappearances, kidnapping and rape. Nonetheless their requests for military equipment and expertise have been granted time and time again. Under the guise of fighting drug traffickers, the US government has bolstered an anti-democratic and corrupt Mexican government with a laundry list of high-tech military equipment that has been used to violate the basic human rights of the people of Mexico.25

The Counter-insurgency War at Home and the Rise of the Prison-industrial Complex

Seattle Police

For the sake of simplicity I will outline the U.S. counterinsurgency war at home as manifesting itself in three major components. First, is the centralized state apparatus best symbolized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and it’s documented program " COINTELPRO" (short for counterintelli-gence program). Second are the police forces and the accompanying police brutality. Third is the prison-industrial complex apparatus. Among these three broad elements of state repression there is considerable overlap, as oftentimes, the FBI manip-ulates both the police and the prison/criminal justice system.


Counterinsurgency has long been in the thoughts of U.S. planners domestically as evidenced by the FBI’s COINTELPRO waged upon the U.S. left officially from the 1950s to the 70’s. Particularly important for this essay is its campaign against the Black liberation movement’s goal of liberating the U.S.’s domestic colonies.

Quite revealing is a March 3, 1968 COINTELPRO memo discussing the urgent need to prevent " the beginning of a true black revolution." Among several of this counterrevolutionary state program’s goals was to " prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement" . Perhaps most revealing in this " Black Nationalist-Hate Groups" memo is the reference to Martin Luther King (long a target of the FBI) as a potential " messiah" of the supposedly hateful and " violent" Black liberation movement. "Through counterintelligence it should be possible to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them."26

Another stated goal was " to prevent the long-range growth of militant black nationalist organizations, especially among youth. Specific tactics to prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed" " One specific tactical approach was expressed in an April 3, 1968 communique urged that " The Negro youth and moderates must be made to understand that if they succumb to revolutionary teaching, they will be dead revolutionaries." 27

In terms of scale, the FBI’s war of repression against the Black liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s was greatest against the Black Panther Party. In addressing why the Black Panther Party was targeted so intensely by COINTELPRO, Noam Chomsky wrote in 1973 that:

A top secret Special Report for the president in June 1970 gives some insight into the motivations for the actions undertaken by the government to destroy the Black Panther Party. The report describes the party as " the most active and dangerous black extremist group in the United States." Its " hard core members" were estimated at 800, but " a recent poll indicates that approximately 25 percent of the black population has a great respect for the BPP, including 43 percent of blacks under 21 years of age." On the basis of such estimates of the potential of the party, the repressive apparatus of the state proceeded against it to ensure that it did not succeed in organizing as a substantial social or political force. We may add that in this case, government repression proved quite successful.28

Police Brutality and Repression

THE SPIRIT OF THE POLICE STATE: Taken at the time as a double-exposure, this has in the background the crowd filling the streets during the afternoon of Nov.30 , then I spun back around and took a photo of the police line on the edge of the crowd. For this exposure with police, you can see the backs of protesters heads immediately in the foreground.

Police violence against the colonized sectors of the U.S. population is another feature that makes the U.S. resemble a somewhat milder terror state than that in El Salvador or Colombia, but certainly as evil. Accompanying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s criticism of both capitalism and militarism was a scathing critique of racist police brutality. King was most critical of the brutal dehumanization that accompanies this form of state terror.

COINTELPRO target and death-row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal explains that in the " 1960s and 1970s the Black panther Party defined a relationship between the police and the black community as one between an occupying army and a colony." 29

This analysis of the relationship between police and the colonized non-white inner cities was supported by evidence presented by the Warren Commission following the Rodney King inspired uprising. While generally a whitewash of the epidemic of police brutality, the commission did release transcripts from L.A.P.D. mobile digital terminal (MDT) communications between police cars and dispatchers (as well as those routed by central communications between two police vehicles. PART (People Against Racist Terror) activist Michael Novick explains that among a randomly selected 182 days between November 1, 1989 and March 4, 1991, almost every day examined revealed " outrageous examples of open racism, sexism, and homophobia towards other officers as well as civilians, bragging about violence, and a virtual blood lust about engaging in pursuits, beatings, and shootings."

Most importantly, these transcripts reveal a very serious complicity by the upper levels of police leadership. As Novick reports: " The commission found it particularly shocking that, and proof that the department’s top management was unconcerned about racism and the unjustified use of force, that so many officers felt so free over such a protracted period to engage in such remarks, knowing they were being recorded." A sampling of the transcripts reveals conversations like the following:

Where you be?

In the projects.

Roger" good hunting.

If you hear a help call from me, call in an airstrike with napalm.

Better than an M-16 is a Heckler-Koch-94

I’d love to drive down Slauson [in Watts] with a flame thrower. We could have a barbecue.

Mexican means a wetback with no papers and likes to give bullshit to the police, and doesn’t speak no English, until he pulls his i.d. out of his ass, then and only then does he become a Hispanic with papers.

I enjoyed that. Torture and sadism can be such a rrrush" hahahahaha

It must be done tastefully, of course. I was informing [omitted] of the standard procedure for dealing with such subhuman maggots in Central. Ahh, the good old days.

Too bad UCLA is not in session. We could look at all the good-looking bitches.

Show ‘em what a USC grad can do, like give ‘em the chorizo [sausage].

Did you arrest the 85-year-old lady or just beat her up?

We slapped her around a bit. She’s getting medical treatment now.30

In an essay (read during the May 12 demonstration for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom) recently written, Jamal argues that the May 13, 1985 MOVE bombing was highly symbolic in that it has opened the door for outright domestic military assaults upon U.S. citizenry. This draws a direct parallel to U.S. violence towards the third world. Jamal explains:

The twisted mentalities at work here are akin to those of Nazi Germany, or perhaps more appropriately, of My Lai, of Vietnam, of Baghdad, the spirit behind the mindlessly murderous mantra that echoed out of Dan Ang: " We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

As abroad, so here at home. For as the flames smothered life on Osage Avenue, police and politicians spoke of " destroying the neighborhood surrounding the MOVE house, in order to save it." Now cops patrol neighborhoods across America, armed like storm troopers, with a barely disguised urge to destroy the very area they are sworn to " serve and protect." Or perhaps we should say " sever and dissect." 31

The example of the MOVE bombing where police shot into the house while it was burning down (to ensure that those inside would burn to death and not escape) does provide a perfect parallel to U.S. sponsorship of state terror in colonies abroad. Just as the U.S. (and it’s surrogates in the third world) employ terror tactics to terrify conquered populations and ensure their subordination, so too it uses these tactics (in a somewhat milder form) at home. The MOVE bombing is reflective of the increased paramilitary nature of police forces.

The militarization of police has been accelerating, often times establishing explicit links between the U.S. military and the U.S. domestic police forces. Journalist Peter Cassidy reports that in " 1997 alone law enforcement agencies obtained 1.2 million pieces of military hardware. During the 1995-97 fiscal years, the Department of Defense distributed to civilian departments more than 3,800 M-16s, 2, 185 M-14s, 73 M-79 grenade launchers, and 112 armored personnel carriers." 32

These trends in policing are quite significant as they have taken police repression to a level beyond that faced by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and 70s. SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams have become even larger and have had a profound effect on the rest of the police forces. Scholar/activist, Christian Parenti explains that " paramilitary policing units militarize the regular police by osmosis as the weaponry, training, and tactics of the police special forces are gradually passed on to the regular police." 33

In his book Lockdown America, Parenti dedicates an entire chapter analyzing the militarization of the non-white and poor areas of Fresno. Writing about Fresno and policing in general, Parenti argues:

"If there is a parable to be drawn from the story of paramilitary policing in the US, it is that the political theatrics of terror are by no means dead. Physical terror and spectacular displays of violence are still central to the state’s control of the dangerous classes. The helicopters, guns, and constantly barking dogs of the American tactical army are a blunt semaphore to the lumpen classes and working poor. So too are the frequent gang sweeps, field interviews, and curfew busts" The point is that ritualized displays of terror are built into American policing. Spectacle is a fundamental part of how the state controls poor people"(Parenti’s emphasis).34

The Rise of the Prison Industrial Complex and the Politics of Mass Incarceration

This current phase of globalization has created a dramatic rise in the role of prisons in society. While in 1980, there were only 500,000 prisoners total in the U.S., that number has now exceeded 2 million. Many have explained this rise of the prison population by citing the growing economic incentive to expand the population by such lobbying forces as prison guard unions, companies that employ prison labor, prison construction contractors, and private prison corporations.

However, in his 1999 book Lockdown America, it is Christian Parenti’s assertion that while these interest groups do have an economic interest in the proliferation of the prison system, this alone cannot explain the dramatic escalation of the prison population. Instead, Parenti argues that prisons have become a way to control the superfluous population that has been created as a result of downsizing (wherein well-paying jobs are taking to the third world where state repression insures low wages) since the 1970s.

Parenti asserts that while social welfare programs can also help to control the politically dangerous classes, these programs help to empower the poor against their corporate masters. In contrast, the prison system serves to further the conquest of U.S. domestic colonies. While it costs infinitely more to jail someone than to offer social welfare programs (and may therefore seem inefficient) it is highly beneficial for ruling class control of poor people.35

Today, Angela Y. Davis (one of the intellectual leaders of the prison abolitionist movement) has passionately argued that if we are to truly understand the criminal justice system, we must " disarticulate notions of punishment from crime," 36 and recognize that there are other highly rational motives behind the prison system.

The legal system has been designed to control poor people of color and poor people in general. The most obvious manifestation of creating laws to target poor people of color is with the War on Drugs. In September 2000, the U.S. produced-five years late its initial report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In a review of the report, Human Rights Watch argued that one of it’s " most significant weaknesses was in its consideration of the role of race discrimination in the criminal justice system." HRW writes that while it was mostly a typical government whitewash of institutionalized white supremacy:

The report did acknowledge the dramatic, racially disparate impact of federal sentencing laws that prescribe different sentences for powder cocaine versus crack cocaine offenses, even though the two drugs are pharmacologically identical. The laws impose a mandatory five year prison sentence on anyone convicted of selling five grams or more of crack cocaine, and a ten year mandatory sentence for selling 50 grams or more. One hundred times as much powder cocaine must be sold to receive the same sentences. By setting a much lower drug-weight threshold for crack than powder cocaine, the laws resulted in substantially higher sentences for crack cocaine offenders. Although the majority of crack users were white, blacks compromised almost 90 percent of federal offenders convicted of crack offenses and hence served longer sentences for similar drug crimes than whites." 37

Christian Parenti reports that " drug offenders constituted more than a third (36 percent) of the increase in state prison populations between 1985 and 1994; in the federal system drug offenders make up more than two-thirds (71 percent) of the prison population." 38

In their pamphlet " The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy," Linda Evans and Eve Goldberg argue that the war on drugs can be seen as a pre-emptive strike: " Put poor people away before they get angry, Incarcerate those at the bottom, the helpless, the hopeless, before they demand change. What drugs don’t damage (in terms of intact communities, the ability to take action, to organize) the war on drugs and mass imprisonment will surely destroy." 39

Seen in light of CIA complicity in drug importation, we can expose what the criminal justice system is really all about. The war on drugs and the criminal justice system is designed to control colonized populations through terror. Parenti argues that:

This politics of punishment works in two ways: it contains and controls those who violate the class-biased laws of our society, but prison also produces a predator class that, when returned to the street, frightens and disorganizes communities, effectively driving poor and working people into the arms of the state, seeking protection. Thus both crime control and crime itself keep people down.40

The state (through the criminal justice system) has been manipulated by the corporate ruling classes to ensure the continuation of their dominant societal position. Instead of existing to assist communities in living a healthy and positive lifestyle, it is designed to assist in the colonization of poor people of color and the poor in general.

The WTO and Counterinsurgency

Counterinsurgency is the dirty work needed to enforce the unequal racial and class structures imposed by the WTO and the transnational corporations that the WTO serves. The WTO attempts to present an image of itself as making world laws to promote balance, equality, and democracy. This is a well-constructed propaganda campaign designed to mask the truth: the WTO provides public legitimacy to a violent and genocidal campaign of world conquest by (mostly U.S.-based) transnational corporations.

Propaganda like this was recently used in the 1999 bombing of Serbia, where a brutal military assault designed to worsen the situation for the oppressed, was officially done as a humanitarian venture to help the oppressed ethnic communities of the region. As I write this, the U.S. military is terrorizing Afghani civilians with cluster bombs and other brutal anti-human weaponry. At the same time it is dropping food shipments to give the impression that it is trying to help the oppressed and starving people of Afghanistan.

We must not let history be erased and remember that 98% of the North American indigenous population was murdered by 1900 in the name of Christianity and humanitarianism. So too, the Atlantic Slave Trade and black chattel slavery in the U.S. was done in the name of humanitarianism and good-will. The War on Drugs is the major pretext today for the rise of state terror and the dismantling of human rights. Unmasking this state terror campaign is fundamental for fighting the power of U.S. corporations.

1 James Baldwin, interviewed by The Black Scholar, 5 (December 1973--January 1974), 33-42. Reprinted in Fred L. Standley and Louis H. Pratt (eds.), Conversations With James Baldwin, (Jackson and London: 1989) pg.148.

2 On Webb’s story and the corporate media attack see:

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the

Press, Verso Press, New York and London, 1998 and Robert Parry, Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press& " Project Truth" , The Media Consortium, Arlington (VA), 1999.

3 For solid scholarship proving CIA drug trafficking, see:

McCoy, Alfred W., The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Lawrence Hill Books, Chicago 1991, and Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, University of California Press, 1991. Dale Scott and Marshall devote most of the book to reviewing Senator Kerry’s findings.

4 Clarence Lusane, " Cracking the CIA-Contra Drug Connection," Covert Action Quarterly, Winter 1996-97, #59. Lusane specifically argues that " Black leaders must move beyond criticism of the Contra involvement in drug trafficking to questioning a foreign policy that shows little regard for democratic processes or the interests of the poor and working people in the developing world."

5 Newton received his PhD from University of California at Santa Cruz in the History of Consciousness department in 1980. His PhD

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hans Blix - testify against Bush in war crime tribunal

Hans Blix Would Testify Against Bush-Cheney War Crimes
بليكس يكشف تعرضه لضغوط أميركية بشأن ملف أسلحة العراق


كشف هانز بليكس رئيس فريق المفتشين الدوليين السابق في العراق ومدير الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية سابقا عن أن الولايات المتحدة كانت قد صممت على غزو العراق بغض النظر عن نتيجة عمليات التفتيش.

وذكّر بليكس أنه ومدير الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية ومحمد البرادعي سمعا أثناء مقابلة لهما مع ديك تشني نائب الرئيس الأميركي ما يشبه التهديد بالتشكيك في صدقيتهما. وقال إنه فهم أن واشنطن تريد ان تسمع إجابة محددة، كانت مستعدة لاختلاقها إن لم تجدها.

وقال بليكس في مقابلة مع الجزيرة من العاصمة السويدية أستوكهولم إنه فهم هذا التهديد بتشويه سمعته والبرادعي من ديك تشيني.
وأضاف "ما فهمته أنهم إذا لم نأت بالأجوبة المطلوبة، فسيقدمون هذه الأجوبة ويتخذون الإجراءات تباعا"، لكنه أوضح أن ذلك الكلام لم يؤثر على سير عمله وتقديم الحقائق لمجلس الأمن الذي طلب المزيد من التحقيق.
وردا على سؤال بشأن استعداده لأن يكون شاهدا أمام محكمة دولية على زيف الادعاءات الأميركية فيما يتعلق بأسلحة الدمار الشامل العراقية، قال بليكس إنه مستعد لأن يروي قصته للعالم كله، وأوضح أنه أصدر كتابا بهذا الخصوص.
وأشار إلى أن محمد البرادعي تحدث حينها في مجلس الأمن الدولي عن الادعاء الأميركي بوجود اتفاق تعاون نووي بين العراق والنيجر بأنه تزوير ومجرد مزاعم، معتبرا أن الاعتقاد بوجود أسلحة دمار شامل عراقية كان فضيحة.
أسباب الحرب

الإدارة الأميركية ضللت نفسها وضللت العالم بترويجها أن مسألة أسلحة الدمار الشامل سبب لغزو العراق

هانز بليكس

وأعرب رئيس فريق المفتشين الدوليين السابق في العراق عن اعتقاده بأن النفط كان من أهم الأسباب التي دعت إلى قيام الحرب، وقال في هذا السياق "كما في حرب الخليج الأولى ما زالت هناك مصلحة إستراتيجية لوجود القوات الأميركية قريبا من خطوط النفط وخطوط الشحن".
كما أعرب بليكس عن اعتقاده أن الإدارة الأميركية ضللت نفسها وضللت العالم بترويجها أن مسألة أسلحة الدمار الشامل سبب لغزو العراق. وعدد المفتش الدولي السابق أسبابا أخرى للحرب تم ذكرها ولم يتم تأكيدها.
وحسب كلامه، فإن أحد الأسباب هو إصرار الإدارة الأميركية على أنها هاجمت القاعدة في العراق، مشيرا إلى أن التنظيم لم يكن حينها موجودا العراق وإنما جاء لاحقا بعد الحرب.
أما السبب الآخر للحرب -وفق المفتش الدولي السابق- فهو سعي الولايات المتحدة "لتحرير العراق كي يصبح ديمقراطيا"، لكن بليكس أشار إلى وجود "تساؤل عما إذا كانت هناك ذريعة لنشر الديمقراطية عبر الحرب".
وأعرب بليكس عن أمله في أن يتحلى الرئيس الأميركي المنتخب باراك أوباما بموقف مختلف عن "الإدارة السابقة التي كانت تود إطلاق العنف والسير فيه".

Hans Blix Would Testify Against Bush-Cheney War Crimes



In an interview with Aljazeera today, former Chief of the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq told the TV that he and the Head of the IAEA “Mohamed Al-Baradei” were subjected to direct threats from Dick Cheney before the war.

Blix said that Cheney threatened to defame both men’s reputations if they didn’t came with the “required” answers.

It's the same story from everyone else - Bush and Cheney demanded pro-war lies under one threat or another - being defamed, getting fired, and even outing covert CIA operatives. The Bush Administration was nothing more than a mafia operation.

But here's the good part:

Blix also added that he is ready to be a witness on the United States’ false allegations before an International tribunal.


video part 1:
part 2:


Bush has admitted that US assessments of Iraq's WMD were wrong [GALLO/GETTY]

Weapons of mass destruction or WMD - three words that took on such importance and became one of the ostensible reasons for the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by US and allied troops.


Despite Saddam Hussein's eventual agreement to allow UN weapons inspectors into the country, the US and Britain accused Iraq of deceiving the world about its WMD plans.

Many observers claim that the decision to go to war had already been made and that intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was skewed to justify the war. Others felt Saddam was to blame for the invasion, deliberately being vague and elusive on any WMD programmes in order to keep the world guessing about his true strength.

One of the key figures at the heart of the WMD issue in the run-up to the war was Hans Blix who, as chief of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, was responsible for judging Iraq's true level of threat.

Inside Iraq confronts him on some critical issues such as the legality of the war, the haste in launching it, verification of intelligence and the lessons learned to avert a similar war in the future.

And, in light of the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear power programme, we look at whether the issue of WMD might again form the basis for further military adventurism in the region.

Hans Martin Blix (born 28 June 1928 in Uppsala, Sweden) is a Swedish diplomat and politician. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (1978 - 1979). Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Demetrius Perricos. In 2002, the commission began searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, ultimately finding none.

The Sydney Peace Foundation, which announced the award on Monday morning, said Dr Blix was the unanimous choice of the prize jury.

0521 05The citation reads: "Hans Blix, for principled and courageous opposition to proponents of war in Iraq, for lifelong advocacy of humanitarian law and non-violence and for leadership of disarmament programs to rid the world of weapons of terror".

Dr Blix, the former chief UN weapons inspector, declared in 2004 that the war in Iraq was illegal.

In 2003, he said Iraq had probably destroyed all its weapons of mass destruction in the early 1990s.

The jury for the Sydney peace prize is made up of seven community leaders from diverse fields, including business, media and academia, who assess the merits of an individual or organisation to promote peace and justice.

Alan Cameron, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, says it is highly relevant that in the 10th anniversary year of the Sydney Peace Prize, the jury focused on universal disarmament as a major peace issue.

Dr Blix will deliver the City of Sydney Peace Prize Lecture on November 7 in Sydney. He will receive the prize at a gala dinner and award ceremony the following night.

The Sydney Peace Foundation is a non-profit organisation created in 1998 within the University of Sydney.

During the Iraq disarmament crisis before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Blix was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in charge of monitoring Iraq. Kofi Annan originally recommended Rolf Ekéus, who worked with UNSCOM in the past, but both Russia and France vetoed his appointment. Newt Gingrich stated that approving Hans Blix as chief UN weapons inspector was one of the biggest mistakes the United States ever made.

Hans Blix personally admonished Saddam for "cat and mouse" games and warned Iraq of "serious consequences" if it attempted to hinder or delay his mission .

In his report to the UN Security Council on 14 February 2003, Blix claimed that "If Iraq had provided the necessary cooperation in 1991, the phase of disarmament -- under resolution 687 -- could have been short and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided."

Blix's statements about the Iraq WMD program came to contradict the claims of the George W. Bush administration, and attracted a great deal of criticism from supporters of the invasion of Iraq. In an interview on BBC TV on 8 February 2004, Dr. Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were found.

In an interview with London's Guardian newspaper, Hans Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media" .

In 2004, Blix published a book, Disarming Iraq, where he gives his account of the events and inspections before the coalition began its invasion.

Blix said he suspected his home and office were bugged by the United States, while he led teams searching for Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction.Although these suspicions were never directly substantiated, evidence of bugging of UN security council representatives around the time the US was seeking approval from the council came to light after a British government translator leaked a document "allegedly from an American National Security Agency" requesting that British intelligence put wiretaps on delegates to the UN security council.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chomsky's darkest dreams ..

Savour this sentence... the Financial Times,
a stalwart of capitalist indoctrination...

and I quote:

"...the US version of the market economy . and many of its leading players . have failed more spectacularly than even the darkest dreams of Noam Chomsky could predict."

Leader.s tricky challenge of saving US from hell

By Chrystia Freeland

Published: December 18 2008 20:14

At the moment, the United States is focused on what.s gone wrong with the private sector. There.s a lot to talk about. From Bernie Madoff.s self-declared Ponzi scheme, to Dick Fuld.s Jonestown-style collective immolation at Lehman Brothers, to the subprime lending fiasco, the US version of the market economy . and many of its leading players . have failed more spectacularly than even the darkest dreams of Noam Chomsky could predict.

The crisis of US capitalism has been humbling for a country that likes to view the free market as one of its proudest achievements and most valuable exports. But it is a corollary of these market failures which might prove even more intellectually unsettling for the country: the already vastly expanded role of government.


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Viewpoints: Where now for capitalism?
Noam Chomsky
BBC News, September 19, 2008
Markets have inherent and well-known inefficiencies. One factor is failure to calculate the costs to those who do not participate in transactions. These "externalities" can be huge. That is particularly true for financial institutions.

Their task is to take risks, calculating potential costs for themselves. But they do not take into account the consequences of their losses for the economy as a whole.

Hence the financial market "underprices risk" and is "systematically inefficient," as John Eatwell and Lance Taylor wrote a decade ago, warning of the extreme dangers of financial liberalization and reviewing the substantial costs already incurred - and also proposing solutions, which have been ignored.

The threat became more severe when the Clinton administration repealed the Glass-Steagall act of 1933, thus freeing financial institutions "to innovate in the new economy," in Clinton's words -- and also "to self-destruct, taking down with them the general economy and international confidence in the US banking system," financial analyst Nomi Prins adds.

The unprecedented intervention of the Fed may be justified or not in narrow terms, but it reveals, once again, the profoundly undemocratic character of state capitalist institutions, designed in large measure to socialise cost and risk and privatize profit, without a public voice.

That is, of course, not limited to financial markets. The advanced economy as a whole relies heavily on the dynamic state sector, with much the same consequences with regard to risk, cost, profit, and decisions, crucial features of the economy and political system.


Transcription of a previous talk:
Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World. Harvard University. April 13, 1996. (Many thanks to William Greene for the transcription.)

Free Market Fantasies: Capitalism in the Real World
Noam Chomsky
Delivered at Harvard University, April 13, 1996

(transcription courtesy of William Greene)
For those who are interested in the real world, a look at the actual history suggests some adjustment -- a modification of free market theory, to what we might call "really existing free market theory." That is, the one that's actually applied, not talked about.

And the principle of really existing free market theory is: free markets are fine for you, but not for me. That's, again, near a universal. So you -- whoever you may be -- you have to learn responsibility, and be subjected to market discipline, it's good for your character, it's tough love, and so on, and so forth. But me, I need the nanny State, to protect me from market discipline, so that I'll be able to rant and rave about the marvels of the free market, while I'm getting properly subsidized and defended by everyone else, through the nanny State. And also, this has to be risk-free. So I'm perfectly willing to make profits, but I don't want to take risks. If anything goes wrong, you bail me out.

So, if Third World debt gets out of control, you socialize it. It's not the problem of the banks that made the money. When the S&Ls collapse, you know, same thing. The public bails them out. When American investment firms get into trouble because the Mexican bubble bursts, you bail out Goldman Sachs. And -- the latest Mexico bail out, and on and on. I mean, there's case after case of this.

In fact of the leading -- top -- hundred leading transnationals in the Fortune list of transnationals -- there was a recent study of how they -- how they related to the States in which they- they're all somewhere, you know, so they're all mostly here -- in some National State, it turns out that all hundred of them had benefited from industrial policies, meaning, State intervention in their behalf. All hundred had benefited from the State in which they're based. And twenty of the hundred had been saved from total disaster, that is, collapse, by just State bail-out. When people talk about globalization of the economy, remember that the nanny State has to be very powerful in order to bail out the rich. And nothing is changing in that regard. Twenty out of a hundred, again, were saved from collapse by this, including a number here.

Well, that's really existing free market theory. There are many examples of it quite close to home. So, we could start with our own Governor, Governor Weld, who is described by the Boston Globe as a libertarian with a religious belief in free markets. And then a couple of days later, they reported that through various scams he had- his administration was able to sharply increase Federal subsidies to Massachusetts, so that- way beyond what they were before, so that he could parade as a fiscal conservative. And that's pretty common.

Just the year before, you may recall, if you have long memories, they had to close Georges Bank -- the richest fishing area in the world -- because it was being overfished, thanks to a combination of deregulation and subsidies to the fishing industry, which have that odd consequence that you tend to get overfishing. So it looked as if the ground fish were wiped out, and they had to close it off. It didn't take long for the religious libertarian fanatic, William Weld, to take the next jet plane down to Washington, hat in hand, asking for a Federal bail-out. They wanted the Federal government to declare it a natural disaster. And the reason was, as he explained, with, presumably, some scientists in tow, that there was some strange kind of predatory fish which no one had yet found, but they would find it, don't worry. So some kind of predatory fish had come and, sort of, wiped out all the, you know, the Cod and the Haddock, and all those things. So it was a natural disaster, and therefore the general public had to, sort of, pay off the results of deregulation and subsidizing the fishing industry. Well, that's the way to be a libertarian with religious fervor.

Another one is the leader of the conservative revolution, Newt Gingrich. Nobody is more passionate about the market than he is, in particular about what he -- his own district, which he calls a Norman Rockwell world of jet planes and fiber optics, as indeed it is. Except, if you ask where jet planes and fiber-optics came from, you discover that the public paid for them, and still pays for them. And in fact he manages to get more Federal subsidies for his district than any suburban county in the country outside the Federal system. So, you can have conservatism flowering among the malls, and so on.

Or you can go back to the Reaganites, who were also very passionate about free markets for everyone else. Meanwhile, they boasted to the American business community, correctly, that they had done more- that they had instituted more protection than any post-war American administration, in fact, more than all of them combined. They had doubled import restrictions, blocking- and helped -- and poured public funds into major industries to enable them to recapitalize, to protect the -- in fact reconstruct, the steel industry, and the automotive industry, and semiconductors, and so on, which would have disappeared if they had opened the markets.

The Thatcherites in England were about the same. Government expenditures relative to GNP stayed pretty constant, although, anything that went to the general population collapsed. Meanwhile, military industry shot up, arms sales were booming -- that's all publicly subsidized stuff -- arms sales to nice guys like Saddam Hussein, and General Suharto, and others.

Well, that's really existing free market theory.

What are the core policies?

Well, the Washington consensus -- which is basically designed for the Third World to make it that way, and keep it that way -- it's now being applied not just to the Third World countries, but to the rich industrial societies, with the United States and Britain in the lead. However, it's with a twist.

Since it's being applied at home, this is really existing free market theory that's being applied at home, meaning nuanced. So, powerful government to protect the rich, and market discipline and tough love for everyone else. And you see that very clearly. Go through the various elements of the Washington consensus.

The first one is to-about reducing government. Well, that's false. We're not reducing government, we're switching it -- shifting it around. So, social spending is indeed way down since the 1970s when this stuff started -- accelerated after 1980, but it was starting in the mid 70s. The -- kind of a benchmark example is AFDC, the main support system. That was cut virtually in half from about 1970 to 1990, with obvious effects on poor families and children, and so on. It was a part of a general war against women and children that was conducted by the conservatives under the name of "family values." It's interesting that they were able to get away with that. It tells you something about the intellectual culture.

Well one part was the reduction of AFDC from -- by roughly half from about 1970 to about 1990. It's now, essentially gone. That's- the purpose of that, as you know, is so that seven million- couple of million -- I think five or six million kids, average seven years old can learn responsibility. That's part of tough love.

Meanwhile, another part of the government has been very stable, and in fact is going up, namely, the Pentagon system, which remains at approximately Cold War levels. In fact it's higher now than it was under Nixon, although, you know, the big enemy has disappeared, which tells you exactly how much -- tells a rational person at least, exactly how much they were worried about the Russian threat. Not only does it remain at Cold War levels, but it's going up, under the initiative of the fiscal conservatives. The Heritage Foundation, which, you know, sort of a right-wing foundation that designs the budget for the Gingrich army, are calling for an increase in the Pentagon system, as is Gingrich, as indeed was Clinton. So that goes up.

And I should say that cutting of social spending- social spending is being cut very sharply, very much over public opposition. At the time of the 1994 Congressional election -- you know, the big landslide -- over 60% of the public wanted social spending to increase. Ok. It went very sharply down. What about the Pentagon spending going up? Well that's- the public is 6 to 1 opposed to that, which gives you some- one- it's one aspect of a big picture about what's happening to American democracy, and somewhat of a change, not a huge change.

The- so one part of the system is going up: Pentagon spending. Another part is going down: social spending.

And the same is true in other domains. Like, for example, legal aid for the poor is being slashed and virtually destroyed. On the other hand, the security system, the State -- government security system, State and Federal, that's going up. So, prisons are going way up. The prison population -- crime hasn't really -- hasn't changed for about twenty years, but -- and incidentally, U.S. crime rates are not off the spectrum, contrary to what a lot of people believe. Crime rates are sort of at -- toward the high end of the industrial world, but not off the spectrum, with one exception, namely, murder with guns. But that's a special feature of American society which doesn't have to do with crime rates. Apart from that, crime rates are kind of toward the high end, not going up.

The prison population tripled during the Regan years. It's going up even faster now. And I think the reason is another aspect of the Third World model, namely, the superfluous population. There is a big superfluous population -- they don't contribute to wealth protection. Well, we're civilized folks. We're not like the people that we fund in Colombia who go out and murder them. So, we throw them into jail. And that's going way up, even more. And there's also kind of like a side benefit to this. Putting more and more people in jail -- and in fact, under harsher and harsher conditions -- has an -- is a technique of social control for everybody else.

I mean when you're -- if you're -- you know, someday down the road if you decide to run a dictatorship, and you want to really harm people, it's kind of like Hitler in Germany or something, you know that you're going to carry out policies that are going to cause people a lot of harm, you've got to control them somehow. And there aren't many ways to do it. Everyone hits on the same ways. What you do is engender fear, and hatred, and you know, make them hate the guy who looks a little different, or whatever it may be, and then you punish those bad guys because they're really awful, and, you punish them really hard, and so on. And that makes people even more frightened. You can just see that happening right around you. And building up the perception of crime -- crime has a, like a, what they call in literary theory a subtext -- you're supposed to understand, "criminal" has the word -- little word "black" in front of it. Just like "welfare mother", you know "black"- "rich black welfare mother." And criminal means, you know, that black guy who's coming after you. So what you want to do is -- this has the dual effect of getting rid of the superfluous population -- basically unskilled workers -- close race/class correlation -- and also demonizing them, so everybody else is scared and frightened and they'll be willing to accept what's happening to them too, and not look at where the source is.

So that part of the -- that -- the drug war is basically for this, it has almost nothing to do with drugs, but it has plenty to do with criminalizing an unwanted population, and scaring everybody else.

And so does the harshening of prison conditions. Which is really -- it's -- the United States is off the map on this. We're in violation of international conventions, constantly condemned in human rights forums, and getting much worse. The reinstitution of chain gangs was of course bitterly condemned. But you know, that's that bad South, Alabama. Well, it's now in Illinois. The State Senate of Illinois last -- a week or two ago legislated chain gangs -- not for violent criminals, incidentally -- for people who are found with drugs, or, you know, robbed a store, or something like that. The Chicago press pointed out that this carries a -- this is kind of reminiscent of slavery. But the legislator, the Senator -- State Senator who put it through said that this is just another aspect of what he called tough love. And then he explained that some people work better under humiliation. So it's really good to restore elements of slavery, and again, the subtext is everybody else gets scarred. You know, those guys have to walk around like slaves in chains, we must be in real danger, so therefore, we'll accept what's happening to us. That's the logic.

So prisons are going up and it's -- and that has a lot of side benefits apart from just getting rid of the superfluous population. It is a source of cheap labor. So, prison labor is going way up. Cheap labor, you don't have to worry about unions, no benefits, they don't get out of line. And that also, naturally, undercuts wages elsewhere. So what -- just like forcing welfare mothers to work -- you know, raising children isn't work, as anybody knows who's had children -- so you have to drive them to work. Kind of like people who go to, you know, Fidelity Investment to figure out scams about how to deal with the security market. You really want these people to work. But since there's no jobs for them, they're going to work at low-paid, or publicly subsidized wages, which will undercut other wages. The same with prison labor.

In fact the scale of prison construction -- which is a kind of Keynesian stimulus to the economy anyway -- but its scale has become so enormous that even high-tech industry, you know, the guys who are usually just ripping off the Pentagon system, they're beginning to look at it, figuring out -- recognizing that high-tech surveillance devices, and so on, may be another way to, sort of, get -- to transfer public funds to make sure that high-tech industry keeps moving. It's reached -- it's not at the scale of the Pentagon, but it's going up.

Well, that's one aspect of what's called, reducing government -- modifying government, to be precise.

Another aspect of it is what's called "devolution" -- reducing -- moving governmental power from the Federal to the State level. And that has a kind of a rationale which you hear all over the time -- place. For example there was an op-ed a couple of weeks ago in the New York Times by John Cogan -- Hoover Institute at Stanford, who has pointed out what he called a philosophical issue that divides the Democrats from the Republicans. The philosophical issue is that the Democrats believe in big government and entitlements, and the Republicans believe in getting power down closer to the people, to the States, because they're kind of populist types.

Well, it takes about maybe three seconds' thought to realize that moving power down to the States, in funding and so on, is just moving it away from the people, for a perfectly elementary reason: there's a hidden part of the system -- of the power system that you're not supposed to know about, or think about, and that's private power.

Now, it takes a big corporation, like say, General Electric or Microsoft to sort of pressure the Federal government, but even middle-sized guys have no problems with State governments, they can control them quite easily. And in case anyone was too dull to figure this out by themselves, the same day as Cogan's op-ed in the New York Times, which is a typical one, there was a story in the Wall Street Journal about Massachusetts, which had a headline that read: What Fidelity Investment Wants It Usually Gets. And then the story went on to say that Fidelity Investment, the biggest investment firm in Massachusetts, wanted even more subsidy and support from the State government than it already gets, and it was threatening if it didn't it would move over the border to Rhode Island, where it just owns the place. So therefore, the passionately libertarian Governor quickly rearranged, you know, tax subsidies, and one thing or another, so that Fidelity got what it wanted.

Well Fidelity couldn't have done that with the Federal government. It couldn't have said, you know, "you give us even more or we're going to move to Switzerland" or something. I mean, other guys can do it maybe, but not Fidelity.

Raytheon, which is the biggest manufacturing producer, did the same thing. Raytheon -- incidentally Fidelity is not -- it's not that Fidelity is poor, they just announced record profits a couple days ago. Same with Raytheon -- just announced record profits, but you know, having big problems, so they wanted even a bigger tax subsidy, and -- direct subsidy, and tax write-offs, which just means transfer of taxes to -- from the State of Massachusetts, and they threatened that if they didn't get them they were going to go to Tennessee, so of course they got them. The legislature passed a special law giving what they called defense industry special extra subsidies.

Notice that Raytheon is publicly subsidized in the first place. That's where its money comes from. But now it has to be additionally subsidized so that its profits will be even higher than the record profits it just made. Same with Fidelity. And that's the kind of game anybody can -- you know, even -- even way down to much smaller businesses can play with the States.

The consequences of devolution are quite straightforward. It means that any funding that goes to, say, block grants that go to the States, you can be reasonably confident that they'll end up in the deep pockets of rich people, not, you know, in the hands of hungry children, or poor mothers, or anything like that. That's how you get power down to the people. Ok. That's devolution.

In fact quite generally, when you look at it, what's called "government cutting" is more or less cost transfer. It's almost never reduction, sometimes it's increase.

So let's take what's -- take health reform. "Reform" is a word you always ought to watch out for. Like when Mao started the cultural revolution it wasn't called a reform. Reform is a change that you're supposed to like. And watch -- so as soon as you hear the word reform, you kind of reach for your wallet and see who's lifting it. Anyhow, there are things called "health reforms." And health reforms are supposed to, you know, cut government costs. Well they do cut one kind of cost, but of course they raise another kind of cost.

There's a very respectable outfit called the National Bi-Partisan Leadership Council, headed by two ex-Presidents, Ford and Carter, and it just did a study of the cost-transfer effects of the planned health reforms. It concluded that they would add about ten billion dollars a year extra costs, but those extra costs will come from wages, and higher premiums. Which means it's a highly regressive tax on the poor. Highly regressive tax, you know, if it comes from wages and premiums of course. And that's ten billion dollars a year. They also estimated that it will increase the number of uninsured by fifteen to twenty percent up by -- this is by the year 2002 -- so up to about 54 million by the year 2002. Well that's a cost. A big cost, unmeasurable cost. And so you find all the way across the board. And furthermore it's no big secret.

So, like, the Wall Street Journal had a headline which pointed out that -- when the reforms were, you know, moving through Congress -- it said: Rich Gain, Poor Lose, Tradeoffs For The Middle Class. Which is right. That's exactly what the reforms are intended to do. You have to remember, by "Middle Class" they mean the people right below the very rich. So they don't mean the median, you know, they're not talking about people with thirty thousand a year income, they mean -- so what it really means is: great for the rich -- super-rich, tradeoffs for the near-rich, tough love for everybody else, which is most everyone. When you close public hospitals, and that sort of thing, you know exactly who's going to suffer.

Well, let's go to -- what are -- take, say, New York, which has a conservative Governor and a conservative Mayor. And they're carrying out very extensive conservative tax cuts, because they're fiscal conservatives.

The tax cuts, the New York Times pointed out in a small item, all benefit business. So, by accident, all the tax cuts benefit business. Well, there are also tax increases, which are compensating for the tax cuts. But they don't call them tax increases. What they call them is, the phrase is: reduction of subsidies for public transportation and for tuition in public universities.

Well "subsidy" is another interesting word, kind of like reform. It's a subsidy if public funds are used for public purposes. That's called a subsidy. It's not called a subsidy when they go to private wealth. That's reform. So the -- so they're cutting down subsidies for public transportation. Well, that's just a tax. If you pay 20 percent more for getting on the subway, that's a tax. Same if you pay higher tuition at City College. And that's a highly regressive tax. So, who rides the subways, and who goes to City College?

So what they're doing is shifting- is cutting taxes for business -- for the rich, and increasing taxes for the poor, which are going to compensate for that. And that's called fiscal conservatism, and cutting government. Well, so it is across the board. Take- I'll come to other examples, but if you think about it, all the -- take a look -- a close look at the things that are called cutting government, and you notice that they quite characteristically have this property.

The next element of the Washington Consensus is making the tax system more regressive. Ok, we don't have to talk about that, it's stated openly. The thing that isn't stated openly is the reason.

This is supposed to be in order to increase investment and give everyone jobs. But it's a really weird way to do that. I mean, the country is already awash in capital. The people whose taxes are being cut don't know what to do with their money. If you want to increase growth, there's another approach that might be used: stimulate weak demand by progressive taxes. That is, put more money into the hands of people who can spend it. That increases growth -- that would increase growth, but that's not the right way to do it. The right way to do it is by cutting financial gains so that you can have even more speculation against currencies. The- so that's the second part, make the tax system more regressive. What about deregulation?

Well, same effect. Deregulation is a cost shifting measure. So for example if you deregulate -- if you allow industries to -- as they have done already, to deposit toxic wastes without cost, because you have deregulation, it increases their profits, but it also increases water and sewage rates, which is a regressive tax on everybody else who's got to pay that. Also, it has further costs. Some of them you can't estimate. For example, the costs in, say, health, and quality of life, and so on. No way to give numbers to those. And there's also going to be the eventual cost of cleanup. But that's going to be a public cost, remember. Incidentally, a good one, because when you clean up the wastes, that increases the Gross National Product, and we all like to see that go up. But, the public will pay those costs.

So what it is, is just another form of radical cost shifting: increase wealth for the rich, and decrease it for everyone else. So, it fits the experiment's design. In general, it's kind of like a short-term profit gain for some, a very small some, and a big cost for everyone else. What about deregulating the labor market?

Well, same process. Actually that was done by simply criminal behavior. The best review of this I know is in Business Week. The Reagan administration, as they point out, essentially informed the corporate world that they were not going to enforce the laws. There are laws, you know, much hated laws like the Wagner Act, that give you the right to organize, and the Reagan administration simply informed business they weren't going to enforce them.

So the number of illegal firings went up by about a factor of six. And similarly across the board. They also informed business they were not going to enforce the OSHA regulations -- health and safety regulations. So the number of days lost to injury, and the number of injuries, and so on, also shot up. And in fact, that was a great way to undermine unions, and the right to organize -- a whole pile of policies like that -- which was part of deregulating labor markets.

Another part of deregulation of labor markets is to make them more -- what's called, more flexible. Meaning, you don't have any security, and no guarantee, the number of temporary workers goes right up -- way up, no benefits, you never know if you're going to have a job tomorrow. That's really good for the economy. That's good for having jobs.

Some of the most profitable corporations, the ones whose- way up on the Fortune 500 list, and booming, are the ones that, what they call, sell manpower, you know, like Manpower Incorporated, selling temps. Which is terrific for making labor markets flexible. It happens to destroy everybody's life, but that doesn't really matter.

It's -- again, the similarity to the Third World is very close. Back in nineteen -- this is what's called "economic health." When you -- when this is carried -- happens, you call it an "economic miracle", another technical term.

So for example, Brazil. There's a terrific economic miracle under the neo-Nazi Generals that we installed with great self-adulation back in the 60s. And by 1971 it had become the Latin American darling of the business community. And the President, the General who ran the place, pointed out that the economy is doing fine, it's just that the people aren't.

Well we just -- we have a Nobel Prize winner, who just won the Nobel Prize last yea r- last time -- Robert Lucas of Chicago, and he was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, and said, we've been doing great, and have been for a long time. He didn't even bother to add what the Brazilian General did: it's only the people who aren't doing well. What he means by "we" is the top five percent, or maybe top ten percent. And that's right. We've been doing great, we're doing fine, the economy's fine -- by now we don't even worry about the fact that the people aren't doing so well, like -- I won't bother repeating the statistics which you know, and he knows perfectly well.

Ok, that's economic miracles. We're now beginning to get one ourselves.

What about privatization?

Well, again, the effects of that are obvious. So, say, in the latest economic miracle in Mexico, privatization meant, as usual, handing over public assets to friends of the President, or you know, other rich people, or international investors, at a fraction of their cost. And in fact in Mexico the number of billionaires during the economic miracle went up even faster than the percentage of people on the poverty line, as some were doing well, and the people didn't happen to be doing so well. In fact it was a catastrophe for them, even before the collapse. So that's privatization. What about property rights -- increase of property rights?

That's very important, in fact it's a critical aspect of the -- what are called, misleadingly, the free trade agreements, which actually have strong protectionist elements in them. The Uruguay Round, and NAFTA, and so on. And one of them is increase of intellectual property rights. I won't go into the details, but what it amounts to is guaranteeing that major corporations have a monopoly on the technology and knowledge of the future. And they extended those to the -- by various devices, so that it's about fifty years before you can interfere with owned property, which comes from public subsidy, usually through research, and then is handed over to some private corporation, and nobody else is allowed to touch it.

So increasing property rights has a big effect -- highly protectionist measure which is central to the new trade agreements, and has a long-lasting effect, way down the road on organizing the international economy in who gains and who loses. Last element of the Washington Consensus is reducing trade barriers. And here there's another scam that you ought to keep your eyes on.

What's called "trade" in economics is a very odd notion. So, for example, if Ford Motor Company moves parts from Indiana to Illinois for assembly, and then moves them back to Indiana, that's not called trade. But if Ford Motor Company takes parts made in Indiana and moves them across the border to Mexico, where you can get much cheaper labor and you don't have to worry about, you know, pollution and so on, and they get reassembled in Mexico and then sent back to, say, Illinois for value-added, that's called "exports and imports." It never had anything to do with the Mexican economy, or, in fact, any economy, it was all internal to the Ford Motor Company, but it's exports and imports.

So, how big an element is that? Well, about fifty percent of U.S. trade. So about fifty percent of what's called U.S. trade is actually internal to individual corporations. Meaning, controlled by a very visible hand, with all sorts of methods around for distortion of markets, and you know, robbery, and so on and so forth. About the same for Japan. And for the world, you know, it's hard to get numbers, but what's estimated for the world is around forty percent of trade.

Agreements like, say, the Uruguay Round, you know, GATT, if that increases what's called trade, what it actually does is increase investor rights. That is, it increases the power of transnational corporations. You have to really look pretty closely to figure out what the effect is on trade in any meaningful sense. For example, it may increase cross-border operations, but decrease trade, in a meaningful sense of trade, meaning something that's not under the control of, kind of, corporate mercantilism. Going on with this, it's perhaps worth noticing that the very concept of capitalism, and markets, has virtually disappeared.

So for example, if you take the current issue of Foreign Affairs, there's an article by Joseph Nye of the Kennedy School, I think maybe he's Dean of the Kennedy School, who explains that there's a big new weapon in the hands of American diplomats. American diplomats, he says, has a -- diplomacy has a force multiplier. And the reason is because of the attraction of democracy and free market enthusiasms in the United States. That's given -- those things have given the U.S. a real force multiplier. Then he spells it out. It comes from Cold War investments in high technology: electronics, aviation, telecommunications, and so on. That's our free market enthusiasms and democracy.

Well, where did electronics and, you know, aviation and telecommunications come from? Well, from public funds. They didn't have anything to do with the free market. They came from public funds, which were transferred to high-technology industry, under the conscious guise, deceit, of security. And it was conscious.

So, Truman's first Secretary of the Air Force, back in 1948, pointed out to Congress that the word to use is not "subsidy", the word to use is "security." And in fact the whole system was designed that way, and stays that way. So that's the tribute to democracy and free markets. The tribute to democracy and free markets is: you rob the public by deceit to pay- put- to enrich the rich. That's free markets and democracy. And it's published without comment.

Another article in- and probably nobody notices, you know, because the concept of capitalism, just like the concept of democracy, is just gone. Nobody knows what it is. Democracy means: deceive people into doing what the rich people want. And markets means: making sure -- make sure the public subsidize the rich.

Or to take another example, take, say, the Wall Street Journal, which you'd think would be the last holdout of somebody who remembers what capitalism is. Well they had a front -- lead article a couple of weeks ago, on various strategies that States -- meaning, like, States of the Union -- were using to try to be more business friendly. And they picked two examples, Virginia and Maryland, who are sort of competing to see who can most sponsor entrepreneurial values, and be most business friendly, and so on. And they said, well for a while it looked like -- they have somewhat different strategies, that's why they were describing them -- for a while Maryland was doing better, then it turned out Virginia is doing better- now Virginia is doing better, they're more business friendly, more gung-ho about business, and so on.

Alright, you read the article. Turns out it's not Virginia and Maryland. What it is, is the suburbs of Washington, some of which are in Virginia, and the others of which are in Maryland. And what are the two business strategies- entrepreneurial strategies? Well, the suburbs of Washington figured they could rip-off the National Institute of Health and others to develop Biology-based industries, so they were looking for Biotechnology, and so on. They figured that's going to be the big cash cow. And Virginia, which is more business friendly, decided that the old cash cow, the Pentagon, would probably be the best way to rip-off public funds. So they were concentrating on electronics and telecommunications, and so on. And it turned out that Virginia had the better strategy- the better business strategy. They made a better guess about which public funds to rob. And that's what it means to have entrepreneurial values. And it's, again, reported without comment.

This just continues, virtually without a break. The New -- I'll give you one last example.

The New Yorker had a rather good article, actually. You know the -- by now the story about what's happening to the economy and to the population, which used to be what, you know, crazies on the Left talked about, it's now, sort of, hit the public, you know, so you can -- you read it in the newspapers. The New Yorker had an article in which they reviewed the figures on decline of real wages, and you know, increase in profits, and the story you're familiar with, by a guy named Thomas Cassidy. Wasn't a bad article, actually, he sort of repeated the familiar facts. And then he ended up by saying, look no one's to blame for this, it's just the market in its infinite and mysterious wisdom. It just has these effects and there's nothing you can do about it. Then he gave three examples, exactly three examples in the article, of the market in its infinite and mysterious wisdom, namely: Grumman, McDonald Douglass, and Hughes Aircraft.

Now, you know, maybe this is some kind of subtle irony that I'm missing, but these are three prototypes of publicly subsidized corporations. Grumman, Hughes, McDonald Douglass? They wouldn't exist for two minutes if it wasn't for huge public subsidy.

So that's the market in its infinite and mysterious wisdom.

When Clinton was announcing his grand vision of the free market future at the A.P.E.C. conference in Seattle, he did the same thing. It was in the Boeing terminal, that's where he announced it, and he gave Boeing -- Boeing -- as the example of the grand vision of the free market future, and there were big headlines in all the newspapers, and a lot of applause about our love of the free market, and so on. It's not necessary to comment.

But it is kind of interesting. What it means is, that the concept of capitalism and markets has disappeared as fully as the concept of democracy, which is an interesting fact about the modern period, and a kind of a natural effect of, you know, of applying the Washington Consensus at home. Because you really have to drive out any understanding of what's going on, namely, that it's really existing free markets that are being imposed. Well, all of these current measures share one fundamental principle -- and I guess we're at the heart of it -- well, two related fundamental principles. One is: they transfer wealth to the wealthy. And the second is: they transfer decision-making power to the wealthy. So, all of them have the effect, just think them through, what all -- every one of them has the effect of putting more power to make decisions into the hands of unaccountable private tyrannies, what we call "corporations." Basically totalitarian institutions -- but they're mostly unaccountable. And that's the effect. Think through the examples. Every case of the Washington Consensus applied at home has exactly this effect.

And a good part of the propaganda system has the same goal. In this case surely conscious.

So the propaganda system is designed, has been for years, to demonize unions, which makes a lot of sense. Unions are a democratizing force in which the mass- one of the few ways in which the large mass of the population can pool limited resources and work together for some common good. So that's that bad thing: democracy. So naturally you want to demonize and destroy unions, and that's been going on forever.

And the other leading propaganda theme -- and I don't mean by that, you know, like, just what you hear in the newspapers- read in the newspapers and so on, like the entertainment industry and television and everything else -- is anti-politics. Meaning, setting up a picture -- it's called anti-politics -- the picture -- but a very specific kind of anti-politics -- you have to establish the image, you know, get into people's heads, that the Government is the enemy- the Federal Government. State Governments are okay, because they can be sort of controlled by business anyway, so it doesn't matter. But the Federal Government is sometimes a little too big to be pushed around, so it's the enemy. And it cannot be, nobody can dream of the possibility, that the Government is of, by, and for the people. That's impossible. It's an enemy to be hated and feared.

Not that there aren't a lot of things wrong with it, but that's not -- what's wrong with it, from their point of view, is it has a big defect: it's potentially influenceable by the population, and big enough to stand up against private power. And that's the defect.

So, you have to regard it as the enemy. It cannot be of, by, and for the people. It's a kind of a, Them versus Us business. "Them" is the Government which is the enemy. "Us" is all of us nice people, you know, sober working man, his loyal wife -- maybe, extra job these days -- the hard-working executive toiling twenty hours a day, you know, for the benefit of all, the friendly banker who's out there trying to find -- to give you money. That's "Us." And then there's "Them." "Them" is the outsiders, the un-Americans, you know, the agitators, the union organizers, big government, and so on. And it's sort of, Us versus Them. That's the picture.

That has been rammed into people's heads for at least fifty or sixty years by intensive propaganda everywhere. Movies, television, textbooks -- just constant. And not by accident. This is- this part is all extremely conscious. We have a huge public relations industry which spends billions a year -- dollars a year on exactly this sort of thing, and consciously. They even tell you about it. Well why is it happening now, not, say, thirty years ago?

One proposal is: it's the market in its mysterious wisdom. We can put that aside. This is perfectly conscious social policy, and also, hence, under social control. Second is: we live in lean-and-mean times, we've got to tighten our belts. Complete nonsense. I mean, all you have to do is look at the business press. They're just ecstatic, you know, and have been for years.

Business Week just came out a couple of days ago with the annual issue on the top one-thousand corporations. The headline is: 1995 Was One For The Books. America's Most -- and subline: America's Most Valuable Companies Grew Even More Valuable By A Record Thirty-Five Percent. That's these lean-and-mean times we're in. Another headline in Business Week reads -- The Problem Now: What To Do With All That Cash, as the coffers of corporate America are overflowing with surging profits. Another one talks about the Government, really great Government. It says, the Gingrich Congress represents a milestone for business -- never before have so many goodies been showered so enthusiastically on America's entrepreneurs. The headline of that one, incidentally, is Return To The Trenches. You know, like, we've got to ask more- feeding frenzy has to go on from the nanny State.

Fortune magazine, you know the other big business journal, I mean, they can't even find the adjectives in the last couple of years to describe what's going on. One year it's "dazzling", you know. The next year "stupendous." I mean, I'm waiting for the Fortune 500 issue to see what adjectives they come out with next week. What they've been -- double-digit profit growth for an unheralded four years, with pretty stagnant sales, and, fortunately, wages going down.

CEO salaries are going through the roof, and it's uncorrelated with performance. That's another interesting aspect of it. There have been, now, studies of it, so it's just some other thing, it has nothing to do with markets, or anything else. The -- I mean, while wages continue to decline, as does family income, and so on.

Well, you know, nobody who even looks at the business press can believe that there are lean-and-mean times. As I said, the country's just awash with capital. Their problem is they don't know what to do with it. So, therefore, get more.

Another theme that's around now is, you have to have what's called "downsizing" in order to be competitive.

Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics came out with its figures -- up to the last year they have them for it, 1993 -- from 1983 to 1993 the category of executives, managers, and administrative personnel grew 30 percent. Ok. That's downsizing. The fastest growing white collar population happens to be security guard. Well, yeah, that's connected with turning it into a Third World country. You take a walk down San Salvador, you know, you'll see plenty of security guards. You know, rich people have to be protected. And furthermore, all these prisons you're throwing people into, they need security guards. So, yeah, there's -- they're administrative personnel, and that's increasing, but so are- same in corporations. So there's no downsizing going on, except for working people. That's quite different. Why is it happening now? Anyway those are- let's go back to why it's happening now.

Well, fact is, it's always going on, just depending on the weapons at hand. Business, American business particularly, is highly class-conscious, and very open about it, incidentally. And it's always fighting a bitter class war.

You go back a century ago, into what were called "the gay 90s" -- when incidentally, the international economy was about as -- the international economy was pretty much a s- like it is now in terms of capital flows, and so on, it hasn't become more globalized in terms of trade and capital flow, and so on, than it was then, maybe less so -- the -- about a century ago it looked as if the game was over. You know, they were talking about the end of history, perfection had been reached in the Devil-take-the-hindmost society, where everybody's for themselves, and, enrich yourselves, and so on. It was monstrous for the working people. Very brutal in fact, here. That was a century ago.

Well, you know, it didn't end. You know, in Europe particularly, the social contract was slowly imposed -- not easily. It didn't happen here. By the "roaring 20s", as they were called, labor had no voice. This is the, you know, the age of mass-production of automobiles, and so on. Labor was out of it. It was a business-run society, almost completely, and it looked permanent. Again, you know, utopia of the masters, end of history, all this talk.

In the 1930s it proved to be wrong. There was a lot of popular organizing, popular protest. It rammed through elements of the social contract that had been achieved in Europe decades earlier. And that just caused hysteria in the business community. You read the business press, it was talking about, you know, the hazard facing manufacturers, and, the rising political power of the masses, and, how we're going to face disaster unless we figure out some way to reverse this, and, control their minds, and, control them, and so on.

A huge propaganda campaign began right after the Wagner act was passed -- 1935. In the -- in those -- in the next two years the National Association of Manufacturers, it's public relations budget multiplied by a factor of 20, as they recognized that force alone is not going to be enough. The U.S. has a very violent labor history, and plenty of workers were getting killed, but it was clear that this wasn't going to be enough. They had to have huge propaganda. It was sort of put on -- that's when all this "harmony" business that I was talking about got designed. You know, it's a specific design as to how to carry out what they called scientific methods of strike-breaking by controlling communities, and so on. Well, it was put on hold during the War, and then it picked up right after the Second World War was over, with an enormous propaganda campaign. I mean, you can't believe the scale until you look at it, and the purpose was very explicit.

The purpose was to win the everlasting battle for the minds of men, which have to be indoctrinated with the capitalist story, as we sell our preferred way of life, and on and on; these are all just quotes from mainstream PR literature. And it was very substantial, and aimed precisely at what I described. They describe what they're doing, and you can see it in the propaganda, the schools, the entertainment industry, everything else.

Well, what happened in the 1970s?

What happened is, there were some changes in the international economy, and in technology and so on, which just put new weapons into the hands of the masters.

One crucial factor, which everyone points to, is an enormous growth in financial capital -- financial transactions -- it just boomed -- short range financial transactions. That came about, partly, because of the dismantling of the post-war Bretton Woods system of regulated currencies which kind of made currencies free-floating. The Nixon administration just dismantled it. Partly it came about for technical reasons. I mean, the telecommunications revolution, which was of course publicly subsidized, at that point made it possible to transfer funds very rapidly. So, like, you can -- by now it's estimated at around a trillion dollars a day just shift up and back from one market to another -- very short term transactions. All aimed -- and at a huge -- and, aimed at something: they're all aimed at low growth, and high profits, and low wages. And that's -- that is a factor that's driving policy in that direction. I don't think it's by any means an uncontrollable factor, but it is a -- it's definitely a factor. And that's just put a lot -- and this -- the changes in the composition of capital transactions are very striking.

Around- from about maybe -- the time when you have data, like, late 19th Century, up until about 1970, rough estimate was that about ninety percent of capital transfers had to do with the real economy, you know, with investment and trade, ten percent speculation. By 1990, the figures had reversed. By 1995, the latest UNCTAD -- you know, U.N. Economic Commission estimate was about five percent real economy, ninety five percent speculation -- short term speculation, like, against currencies, which is, essentially, aimed at driving down growth and increasing profits and lowering wages.

This was understood very quickly -- by the late 70s. And there were proposals made, for example by James Tobin -- Yale economist Nobel Prize winner -- at an American Economic Association Presidential Address 1978, simply -- suggested a simple reform: low tax, very low tax, on short-term financial transactions, just to slow it down, you know, throw a little sand in the gears. Probably work, it's been called the Tobin Tax, but it's not getting anywhere because the weapon is a very important one. That weapon has been used very efficiently for all the purposes that have been described.

And there are other things.



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posted by u2r2h at 2:48 PM 1 comments