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SEQUESTRUTIN AND THE SMOKIN MIRRORS SENSATIONALISM March 3, 2013

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A civilian employed by the Army, said, “I can’t say if this is happening in all branches of the military, but here’s what’s happening here. They are giving us ‘forced furloughs’ amounting to two days off every two weeks, without pay.”

In other words, these support-level workers will take a 20% reduction in salary without having their pay rate reduced.

Some won’t get to choose the 2 days of unpaid leave they are forced to take off, and they will not be able to file for unemployment benefits, because they are still employed.

The Masses are dismissing the sequester as “only” a 2% cut in the government’s budget.

But it appears it will be paid disproportionately by the little guys just trying to make ends meet. For some a 20% cut in pay for someone making $50,000 is significant for them!

Poloticians,  yeah! I said it, may still work out a deal if the sequester causes a stink. We have a better plan…

Things you can do… Avoid ill effects of Sequestration In Your Life

One thing that is abundantly clear in all of this fiscal cliff and sequestration drama. Anyone who relies on the government for their livelihood had better help yourself and start your own business and protect you and yours.

Jobs and entitlements can come and go, and your so-called Congress can axe them at any time.

It granted a large increase in the spending limit in exchange for future budget cuts.

Republicans “are unwilling to sign onto a plan in which 50 percent of the savings would come from tax increases. While concerned about the impact on defense, ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said the military’s worries are “not desperate enough to raise taxes” when there are other options.” – See more at: http://www.c-span.org/Events/Joint-Chiefs-Assess-Impact-of-Sequestration

Here’s what the Commander in Chief said about it at that time: “Is this the deal I would have preferred? No. But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year.” -President Barack Obama

He was right: there was a huge incentive for both sides to get a better deal.

The law said that if the two parties couldn’t come up with a better solution, two things would happen:

1. The borrowing limit would automatically increase by another $1.2 trillion.

2. Automatic, across-the-board spending cuts called a “sequester” would kick in

Conservatives did not want to raise the debt ceiling any more, and liberals did not want social programs slashed, so it seemed like the strong-handed tactic might actually work.

But lawmakers failed to act in 2011 … and then waited until December of 2012 before they even started looking at a possible solution.

Economists sounded the first warning. They claimed that if the sequester, combined with the mandatory tax-hikes, actually took effect, it could cause irreparable harm to the already-fragile economy. They warned it might push the U.S. off the brink of recovery into a new recession.

That’s why many began calling it the “Fiscal Cliff.” And it turned into quite a circus.

Politicians pointed more fingers. News media fanned the flames. It was a frenzy.

The average citizen didn’t have a clue what the so-called “fiscal cliff” was all about, but at least he knew it was serious business… and that something had to be done soon. Or bad things would happen.

Here’s what did happen: in the wee hours of January 1, 2013 … Congress saved the day!

Sort of.

They passed a hefty tax increase for the wealthy, and allowed a significant tax increase to creep back into 86% of the American working public’s paychecks.

But that was only half of the “cliff” problem.

They simply kicked the other half (the sequester part) down the proverbial road. The automatic budget cuts were delayed until March 1,2013. Legislators claimed it would give both sides time to craft a “more equitable” plan rather than relying on sequestration.That’s because most elected officials loathe a government spending sequester.

Why? Because it’s a brute-force budget-balancing tactic that hasn’t been used since 1987. Besides …

To Do Business by way of Sequestration Is the “DUMBASS” Way…

Say you ran a small business with about 12 people you that employ. A couple of them were intelligent workers that brought tremendous worth to your organization and increased its profitability. Two of your employees were slackers who seriously underperformed in their duties. The rest were average workers.

The bad economy was affecting your business and forced you to make a 20% cut in your payroll. Which of these two scenarios would be smarter:

1. Fire the two underperforming employees, eliminating 20% of your workforce, or
2. Slash 20% of all 10 employees salary on an equal basis

A wise business owner would never pick #2 and punish his star employees in order to be “fair” to the slackers. That’s plain silly.

But that’s what a government sequester is all about: Every department pays equally. Across-the board cuts without taking into consideration the value of the program.

At least, that’s what we were led to believe.

And that’s why leaders on both sides of the political aisle where screaming and making threats about the dire effects of the sequester earlier this year.

Conservatives groused about how the sequester would harm our national security and gut our military.

Liberals whined that it would leave grandma out on the street without a blanket.

“Unfair” was the battle cry sounded on both sides. But neither side was right, because the reality is …

The Sequester Has Plenty of Loopholes

It turns out the “across the board cuts” politicians were threatening weren’t really across the board.

The Congressional Research Service released their official report last month called “Budget Sequestration and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules.”

The large document identifies certain programs that are 100% exempt from sequestration. These exceptions were squeezed into the the dark corners with fine print in the original “Budget Control Act” Obama signed into law back in August, 2011.

There are plenty of full exemptions from the sequester, including:

  • Social Security and Medicaid benefits
  • Refundable tax credits to individuals
  • Food Stamps
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Supplemental Security Income

In other words, none of these political “hot-button” items will be affected at all. They’re exempt.

And, oh yea, all of the Congress’s special pension and insurance payments? Yup. Exempt. Go figure!

Another one of those exemptions is: “Compensation for the President” (Page 19)

The bill cited a constitutional provision which prevents the President’s salary from being reduced while he’s in office.

So Who WILL Pay for the $85 Billion in Cuts?

With so many exemptions, you may wonder who’s going to bear the brunt of the $85 billion in cuts that will kick in tonight at midnight.

The answer isn’t totally clear just yet, but one thing is clear: the military is on the hook for 50% of the sequester.

This hasn’t gotten a lot of press, because another one of the “exempt” items is military pay. In other words, the sequestration law does not permit anyone employed by the military to have their pay cut.

That’s why many analysts were predicting HUGE layoffs in the military, especially among its civilian workers.

We couldn’t find any good recent info on that,

The nice lady, a civilian employed by the Army, said, “I can’t say if this is happening in all branches of the military, but here’s what’s happening here. They are giving us ‘forced furloughs’ amounting to two days off every two weeks, without pay.”

In other words, these support-level workers will take a 20% reduction in salary without having their pay rate reduced.

They won’t get to choose the 2 days of unpaid leave they are forced to take off, and they will not be able to file for unemployment benefits, because they are still employed.

Many are dismissing the sequester as “only” a 2% cut in the government’s budget.

But it appears it will be paid disproportionately by the little guys just trying to make ends meet. A 20% cut in pay for someone making $50,000 is significant for them!

Politicians may still work out a deal if the sequester causes a stink. We have a better plan…

Presidential Debates!, PLEASE!!! October 27, 2012

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God help them if Obama and Romney ever had to participate in a real debate about a real issue at the Oxford Union. They would be massacred. Paul Roberts.

The “debates” revealed that not only the candidates but also the entire country is completely tuned out to every real problem and dangerous development. For example, you would never know that US citizens can now be imprisoned and executed without due process. All that is required to terminate the liberty and life of an American citizen by his own government is an unaccountable decision somewhere in the executive branch.

No doubt that Americans, if they think of this at all, believe that it will only happen to terrorists who deserve it. But as no evidence or due process is required, how would we know that it only happens to terrorists? Can we really trust a government that has started wars in 7 countries on the basis of falsehoods? If the US government will lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to invade a country, why won’t it lie about who is a terrorist?

America needs a debate about how we can be made more safe by removing the Constitutional protection of due process. If the power of government is not limited by the Constitution, are we ruled by Caesar? The Founding Fathers did not think we could trust a caesar with our safety. What has changed that we can now trust a caesar?

If we are under such a terrorist threat that the Constitution has to be suspended or replaced by unaccountable executive action, how come all the alleged terrorist cases are sting operations organized by the FBI? In eleven years there has not been a single case in which the “terrorist” had the initiative!

In the eleven years since 9/11, acts of domestic terrorism have been miniscule if they even exist. What justifies the enormous and expensive Department of Homeland Security? Why does Homeland Security have military-equipped Special Response Teams with armored vehicles.

Who are the targets of these militarized units? If eleven years of US government murder, maiming, and displacement of millions of Muslims hasn’t provoked massive acts of domestic terrorism, why is Homeland Security creating a domestic armed force of its own? Why are there no congressional hearings and no public discussion? How can a government whose budget is deep in the red afford a second military force with no defined and Constitutionally legal purpose?

What is Homeland Security’s motivation in creating a Homeland Youth? I’ve worked with FEMA during its’ formulation, my questions now are; Is the new FEMA Corps a disguise for a more sinister purpose? Perhaps a Hitler youth type. Are the massive ammunition purchases by Homeland Security related to the raising of a nationwide corps of 18- to 24-year-olds? How can so much be going on in front of our eyes with no questions asked?

Why did not Romney ask Obama why he is working to overturn the federal court’s ruling that US citizens cannot be subject to indefinite detention in violation of the US Constitution? Are the massive ammunition purchases by Homeland Security related to the raising of a nationwide corps of 18- to 24-year-olds? How can so much be going on in front of our eyes with no questions asked?

Why did not Romney ask Obama why he is working to overturn the federal court’s ruling that US citizens cannot be subject to indefinite detention in violation of the US Constitution? Is it because Romney and his neoconservative advisers agree with Obama and his advisers? If so, then why is one tyrant better than another?

Why has the US constructed a network of detainment camps, for which it’s hiring “internet specialist”

Why does the US Army now have a policy for “establishing civilian inmate labor programs and “civilian prison camps on Army installations”

How did the presidential debates avoid the fact of Predator Drones flying over us here in the domestic United States of America? What is the purpose of this? Why are the smallest police forces in the most remote of locations being equipped with armored cars? I have seen them. In these small lilly-white communities north of Atlanta, Georgia, communities of sub-million dollar MacMansions have militarized police with armored cars and automatic weapons. SWAT teams in full military gear are everywhere. What is it all about? These small semi-rural areas will never see a terrorist or experience a hostage situation. Yet, they are all armed to the teeth. They are so heavily armed that they could be sent into combat against the Third Reich or the Red Army.

Any such questions run afoul of the assumption of America’s moral perfection. No such debate will ever happen. But if “it is the economy, stupid,” why is there no economic debate?

Last month the Federal Reserve announced QE3. If QE1 and QE2 did not work, why does anyone, including the Federal Reserve chairman, think that QE3 will work?

Yet, the utterly irrational financial markets, which haven’t a clue about anything, were overjoyed at QE3. This can only be because what rules the equity market is propaganda, spin, and disinformation, not facts. The vaunted stock market is incapable of making any correct decision. The decisions are made by the fools in the market operating on a short-run basis. The only safe path to take is to run with the lemmings. This strategy insures that a portfolio manager is always in the middle of his peers and, therefore, he doesn’t lose clients.

How wonderful it would have been for Obama and Romney to have confronted in a real debate how QE3, designed to help insolvent “banks too big to fail,” can help households operating, with two earners, on real incomes of 45 years ago, which is where the current real median household income stands.

How does saving a bank, designated as “too big to fail,” help the family whose jobs or main job has been exported to China or India in order to maximize corporate profits, executive performance bonuses and shareholders’ capital gains?

Obviously the working population of the US has been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich.

An appropriate debate question is: Why has the livelihood of working Americans been sacrificed to the profits of the mega-rich?

No such question will ever be asked in a “presidential debate.”

“In the 21st century, US citizens became nonentities. They are brutalized by the police whose incomes their taxes pay. They, for protesting some injustice or for no cause at all, are beaten, arrested, tasered and even murdered. The police, paid by the public, beat up paralyzed people in wheel chairs, frame those who call them for help against criminals, taser grandmothers and small children, and shoot down in cold blood unarmed citizens who have done nothing except lose control of themselves, either through alcohol, drugs, or rage said Roberts”

Brainwashed Americans pay large taxes at every level of government for protection against gratuitous violence, but what their taxes support is gratuitous violence against themselves. Every American, except for the small number of mega-rich who control Washington, can be arrested and dispossessed, both liberty and property, on the basis of nothing but an allegation of a member of the executive branch who might want the accused’s wife, girlfriend, property, or to settle a score, or to exterminate a rival, or to score against a high school, college, or business rival.

“Get Ready”…MOAB “The Mother Of All Bombs” March 28, 2012

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Most people would have you believe, that all is well down on the home front, which can’t be further away from the truth in regards to “WAR” and I mean in the worst way, since the Americas has been the “The Americas”. What we are about to experience now as I have written about before; predicting this would come. Well, It’s here, and Israel started it with the aid and cooperation of the United States, has manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting for their actions to anybody. Not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighboring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their objective of attacking and destroying the production centers for nuclear fuel in Iran.

In a letter by Fidel Castro, you can surmise for yourself as to what is inevitably going to be.

 

Fidel Castro ‘s latest reflections hints to the danger of a looming US Iran war. Fidel Castro warns that a war with Iran war would  be the worst mistake in US history.

This Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without the risk of being mistaken. Our species faces new problems. When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species.

It seemed that on our planet, common sense and order reigned. For a while, economic development, backed by technology and science appeared to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.

Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have been surfacing. Almost 200 States, supposedly independent, constitute the political organization which in theory has the job of governing the destiny of the world.

25, 000 nuclear weapons needed to defend the changing order ?

Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or enemy forces ready to defend the changing World order, by interest or necessity, virtually reduce to zero the rights of billions of people.

I shall not commit the naïveté of assigning the blame to Russia or China for the development of that kind of weaponry, after the monstrous massacre at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman in August 1945 after Roosevelt’s death [April 1945].

Nor shall I fall prey to the error of denying the Holocaust that signified the deaths of millions of children and adults, men or women, mainly Jews, gypsies, Russians or other nationalities, who were victims of Nazism. For that reason the odious policy of those who deny the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.

Does anyone by chance think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that will keep it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?

In a few weeks, the 40 million dollars President Obama promised to collect for his electoral campaign will only serve to show that the currency of his country has lost its value, and that the US, with its unusual growing public debt drawing close to 20 quadrillion, is living on the money it prints up and not on the money it produces. The rest of the world pays for what they waste.

Nor does anyone believe that the Democratic candidate would be any better or worse than his Republican foes: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate these three characters from Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King.

It is really unheard-of to observe such a technologically powerful nation and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. It is being accused of producing enriched uranium that serves as fuel energy or components for medical uses. Whatever one can say, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but this cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior complicated purification process.

However, Israel, with the aid and cooperation of the United States, has manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting for their actions to anybody. Not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighbouring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their objective of attacking and destroying the production centres for nuclear fuel in Iran.

International politics have been revolving around that crucial topic in that complex and dangerous part of the world, where most of the fuel that moves the world economy is produced and supplied.

The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists by Israel and their NATO allies has become a practice that motivates hatred and feelings of revenge.

The Israeli government has openly stated its objective to attack the plant manufacturing Iran’s enriched uranium, and the government of the United States has invested billions of dollars to manufacture a bomb for that purpose.

On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that “A top US Air Force General has described the largest conventional bomb – the re-invented bunkers of 13.6 tons – as ‘fantastic’ for a military attack on Iran.

“Such an eloquent comment on the massive killer-artefact took place in the same week that President Barack Obama appeared to warn against ‘easy words’ on the Persian Gulf War.”

“…Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for US Air Force operations […] added that probably the bomb would be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington.

“The MOP, also referred to as ‘The Mother of All Bombs’, is designed to drill through 60 metres of concrete before it detonates its massive bomb. It is believed to be the largest conventional weapon, non-nuclear, in the US arsenal.”

“The Pentagon is planning a process of wide destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and massive civilian victims through the combined use of tactical nuclear bombs and monstrous conventional bombs with mushroom-shaped clouds, including the MOABs and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that exceeds the MOAB in destructive capacity.

“The MOP is described as ‘a powerful new bomb that aims straight at subterranean Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. The giant bomb –longer than 11 persons shoulder to shoulder, or more than 6 metres from end to end’.”


The Mother of all Bombs (MOAB)

I ask the reader to excuse me for this complicated military jargon.

As one can see, such calculations arise from the hypothesis that the Iranian combatants, numbering millions of men and women well-known for their religious zeal and their fighting traditions, surrender without firing a shot.

In recent days, the Iranians have seen how US soldiers occupying Afghanistan, in just three weeks, urinated on the corpses of killed Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and murdered more than 15 defenceless citizens.

Let us imagine US forces launching monstrous bombs on industrial institutions, capable of penetrating through 60 metres of concrete. Never has such an undertaking ever been conceived [and carried out].

Not one word more is needed to understand the gravity of such a policy. In that way, our species will be inexorably led towards disaster.

If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.

As for me, I harbour not the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit and lead the world towards the greatest mistake in its history.

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 21, 2012


WWIII Scenario


“The Mother of All Bombs”: a “great weapon” to use on Iran, says US air force chief

– by Michel Chossudovsky, Finian Cunningham – 2012-03-10

Women Be Warned: Silence Gives Consent March 22, 2012

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Republicans running for elective office at the state and national levels infuse their campaign rhetoric with cries to “Get government out of the way!”  They decry the Affordable Healthcare Act,  derisively referred to as “Obamacare”, claiming that it puts government between you and your doctor. Yet, state legislature after state legislature  is introducing bills that puts state government between women and their doctors, like the ultrasound bill recently introduced and signed into law in Virginia. Granted, legislators backed off the transvaginal ultrasound mandate and revised the bill to require  the “less intrusive” abdominal ultrasounds, but the fact that an ultrasound is MANDATED still makes the law intrusive…it takes away the woman’s right to make that decision with her doctor. Is this not putting government between a person and their doctor?

The House Oversight Committee in Congress recently held a hearing on the Affordable Care Act focusing on the requirement for employers to provide contraception as part of their healthcare plans and they deliberately excluded women from testifying in the process. There were four Congresswomen on that panel and only two of them took a stand and walked out…why did the other two stay? No female witnesses were allowed to testify yet two women stayed on that committee…did they not feel the same outrage that Eleanor Holmes Norton and Carolyn Maloney felt?

White Republican males are engaging in warfare against women’s health at all levels of government and women, as a group, are strangely silent. Many of these republicans (lowercase letter used deliberately) are presumably married to women, have daughters and most importantly, were carried for nine months in the womb of a woman…how could they be so disdainful of women? What makes them think that it’s ok for them and the government they so eloquently rail against when undermining Obama, to make these decisions for women?

The way to put an end to all of this nonsense is for the wives (and girlfriends) of these anti-women legislators to “hold an aspirin between their knees” and refuse  access to their vaginas! Let’s see how long they continue this assault on women’s health when they’ve gone a few weeks without p****, including that which they pay for!

Posted by guest blogger, Bridget Foster

 

 

 

 

 

Merchandising, Branding, for profit and military expansion in AFRICA!!! March 21, 2012

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Edward Bernays believed that society could not be trusted to make rational and informed decisions on their own, and that guiding public opinion was essential within a democratic society. Bernays founded the Council on Public Relations and his 1928 book, Propaganda cites the methodology used in the application of effective emotional communication. He discovered that such communication is capable of manipulating the unconscious in an effort to produce a desired effect – namely, a capacity to manufacture mass social adherence in support of products, political candidates and social movements. Nearly a century after his heyday, Bernays’ methodology is apparent in almost every form of civic and consumer persuasion. The platform of social media is being used in unprecedented new ways, one such example is a new online documentary about the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), an extremist rebel group operating in Central Africa.

 

The documentary is unprecedented, not for its educational attributes but for its capacity to use visual branding, merchandising and highly potent emotional communication to influence the viewer to support US military operations in resource rich Central Africa under the pretext of capturing the LRA’s commander, Joseph Kony. The Lord’s Resistance Army was originally formed in 1987 in northwestern Uganda by members of the Acholi ethnic group, who were historically exploited as forced laborers by the British colonialists and later relegated by the nation’s dominant ethic groups following independence. Together with the Holy Spirit Movement, the LRA represented the armed wing of a resistance faction aiming to overthrow the government of current Ugandan President and staunch US military ally, Yoweri Museveni.

 

The LRA was originally formed to combat ethic marginalization, but soon became dominated by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed spiritual messenger of the (Christian) Holy Spirit. Kony utilized his messianic persona to lead a syncretic spiritual movement based on Acholi tribal beliefs’ and extremist Christian dogma. It is claimed that LRA seeks to establish a theocratic state based on the Ten Commandments, however its inner ideological mythology is largely unknown. In an effort to mobilize a large scale armed resistance, the LRA routinely recruited child soldiers and forced them to commit heinous acts such as cannibalism and mutilation on others who resisted to join the rebel group during their extensive twenty-five year campaign.


KONY 2012 is directed by Jason Russell and runs just thirty minutes; the video has received over twenty million views on YouTube and Vimeo and it’s national support group on Facebook is said to gain 4,000 members each hour. The highly produced feature is narrated from the perspective of Russell and his attempt to explain the Lord’s Resistance Army to his infant son, Gavin. The video features footage from Russell’s trip to Uganda (prior to 2006, when the LRA was still operating in the region) and introduces the viewer to Jacob, a Ugandan boy who was formally recruited by the LRA as a child soldier. Russell presents various montages of ethically diverse groups of students raising their fists in the air, sporting KONY t-shirts, and scenes of mass celebration in response to President Obama signing the S. 1067: Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009.

 

The bill was passed without congressional approval, and allows the US to deploy military forces in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan (at the consent of those nations) in pursuit of LRA rebels.  The film further advocates the requirement of public support for US military operations in the region through forms of street activism, encouraging viewers to purchase Action Kits ($30.00) and posters ($10.00) featuring images of Joseph Kony. Russell then targets specific celebrities and US policy makers and pressures them to endorse the campaign against Kony. Perhaps most absurdly, Russell suggests that without mass public support from the American public, the US would withdraw its military presence from the region.

 

This is the first large-scale campaign to mobilize social medialites to aggregate public support for what would otherwise be, controversial pro-intervention US foreign policy. The production relies on highly charged and often unrelated emotional triggers, which ultimately rely on the viewers sense of compassion in tandem with a lack of prior information on the subject to produce a desired result – explicitly, the villainous mythification of Kony and the mainstream acceptance of US presence in Africa through a proposed archipelago of AFRICOM military bases in the region.

 

The production targets an age group between thirteen and twenty-one, and uses a level of academic vocabulary appropriate for a young adult audience with a limited attention span; the narrator at one point even insists the viewer pay attention. The viewer is encouraged to form an emotional connection to Russell, as we witness unrelated footage of his child’s birth. The viewer is then subsequently associated with Russell’s role as a nurturer to his young son, before shifting to scenes of Russell nurturing the Ugandan child soldier, Jacob. Russell is shown prophetically pledging to stop the LRA to the traumatized and crying young boy. The intimate portrayal of emotion in these scenes work to further incite an reactionary response from the viewer, towards the preordained conclusion suggested in the narrative – a mass mobilization of support for the US military in their efforts to stop Jacob’s source of trauma. Bernays’ would be beside himself.

 

KONY 2012 is produced like any other sleek marketing campaign – instead of stimulating elements of self-satisfaction like advertisers would do to promote a product, US military intervention is justified to end an atrocious humanitarian catastrophe. The film also plays on an underlying theme of the White Man’s Burden, a notion that persons of European descent inherit a quality of guilt for their ancestors’ inclination for slavery and colonialism, requiring an activist response to finally correct the situation by “saving Africa.” During the Nigerian civil war in 1967, western media successfully used images of starving children for the first time to strengthen public support for military aid to the secessionist Republic of Biafra before rebel forces were defeated. This film attempts to purportedly “change the conversation of our culture,” however it remains a highly sophisticated refurbishment of pro-military interventionist foreign policy propaganda, dependent on dangerous subliminal messaging.

 

 

Furthermore, the film was produced by an organization called Invisible Children, Inc.,

Invisible Children has partnered with two other organizations, Resolve and Digitaria, to create the LRA Crisis Tracker, a digital crisis-mapping platform that broadcasts attacks allegedly committed by the LRA. On its list of corporate sponsors, Resolve lists Human Rights Watch and the International Rescue CommitteeDigitaria’s website boasts commercial clients such as CBS, FOX, MTV, ESPN, Adidas, NFL, Qualcomm, NBC, National Geographic, Hasbro and Warner Brothers. While KONY 2012 attempts to portray itself as an indigenous activist movement bent on bringing justice to African children, its parent organization is affiliated with the upper echelon of the US corporate media and a network of foundation-funded pro-war civil society groups with a long history of fomenting pro-US regime change under the banner of democratic institution building.

 

According to Invisible Children’s own LRA Crisis Tracker, not a single case of LRA activity has been reported in Uganda since 2006. The website records ninety eight deaths in the past year, with the vast majority taking place in the northeastern Bangadi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a tri-border expanse sharing territory with the Central African republic and South Sudan. Since December 2009, the eastern Djemah region of CAR has seen occasional LRA activity; the western Tambura region of South Sudan has experienced even less. The LRA has been in operation for over two decades, and presently remains at an extremely weakened state, with approximately 400 soldiers. Due to the extreme instability in northern DRC after decades of rebel insurgencies and Rwandan/Ugandan military incursions into the nation, it remains highly unlikely that cases of violence in the region can be sufficiently investigated before concluding LRA involvement.

 

 

The whereabouts of Joseph Kony are completely unknown; he was last seen in crossing between Sudan and CAR in 2010, according to unverified reports. The US military currently has one hundred military officers training and overseeing the Ugandan military in anti-LRA operations. Due to the complete absence of LRA activity in Uganda, it becomes feasible that the US may be planning further operations in the resource rich DRC. Over six million Congolese nationals have been killed in war since 1996, largely with US complicity. The regimes of Paul Kagame in Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni in Uganda have both received millions in military aid from the United States. Since the abhorrent failure of the 1993 US intervention in Somalia, the US has relied on the militaries of Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia to carry out US interests in proxy.

 

Paul Kagame of Rwanda has been given free reign by the US to conduct military operations inside DRC in the on-going ethnic conflict in that region following the 1994 Rwandan genocide. For Ugandan participation in the fight against Somalia’s al Shabaab, Museveni receives $45 million dollars in military aid. The US has contributed enormous sums to these nations and now is beginning to consolidate its presence in the region under Barack Obama and AFRICOM, the United States African Command. The LRA has contributed to less than one hundred unverified deaths in the past twelve months. Considering that the United States completely ignored events in DRC and Rwanda that collectively resulted in nearly seven million deaths, their participation against the ailing Lord’s Resistance Army is completely absurd by comparison.

 

Through AFRICOM, the United States is seeking a foothold in the incredibly resource rich central African block in a further maneuver to aggregate regional hegemony over China. DRC is one of the world’s largest regions without an effectively functioning government. It contains vast deposits of diamonds, cobalt, copper, uranium, magnesium, and tin while producing over $1 billion in gold each year. It is entirely feasible that the US can considerably increase its presence in DRC under the pretext of capturing Joseph Kony. The US may further mobilize group forces, in addition to the use of predator drones and targeted missile strikes, inevitably killing civilians. In a press conference at the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, AFRICOM Commander, General William Ward stated that AFRICOM will further its regional presence by “operating under the principle theatre-goal of combating terrorism”. 


 

During an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared AFRICOM’s guiding principle as protecting “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”, before citing China’s increasing presence in the region as challenging to American interests.The crimes of the Lord’s Resistance Army have been documented in the past and they are truly despicable actions. Presently, the operations of the LRA have nearly dissolved and their presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is difficult to verify. While the pro-war filmmakers behind KONY 2012 naively call for the US military to assert its place in the conflict, an independent fact finding mission would be far more effective in assessing the seriousness of the LRA threat in the present day. 

 

 

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4MnpzG5Sqc)

Nile Bowie is an independent writer and photojournalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; he regularly contributes to Land Destroyer Report and Global Research Twitter: @NileBowie

Why Obama is killing innocent women/children…LIBYA August 24, 2011

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“And you all also may remember that early on, I said if you hide a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you provide comfort to a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorist. ” George W. Bush. (Address to US., troops, Alaska, 16th February 2002.)

Given the ferocity of the attack on Libya, the country Tony Blair credited himself with bringing in from the cold and turning in to a new trading partner, Colonel Qadhafi, has been remarkably conciliatory. On 5th., April he wrote to President Obama, more in sorrow than in anger.(i)

The irony of a half African, Nobel Peace Prize winner, initiating bombing in Africa, instead of using his roots to nurture shoots of understanding and co-operation, is a fairly mind stretching irony. But why spoil an unbroken track record and become the only US., President in modern history not to attack a few countries who pose the United States no threat whatsoever.

On April 30th., Libya’s leader proposed a negotiated cease fire with the rebels, as long as NATO; “stop its ‘planes.” NATO and the insurgents, rejected the offer saying it: “lacked credibility.” Don’t bother to: “Give peace a chance.”

America, Woodrow Wilson’s: ” … only idealistic nation in the world.”, responded by participating in a missile attack which killed the Colonel’s second youngest son, Saif Al Arab, and three grandchildren under twelve.

Nato launched the air strike hours after the Libyan leader renewed calls for a ceasefire and negotiations, in an 80-minute televised address. “The door to peace is open,” he declared, adding that while the Libyan government would welcome a ceasefire “it cannot be achieved unilaterally.” “Come, France, Italy, Britain, America, come to negotiate with us – why are you attacking us?”

But it is April, the seemingly open season on the Qadhafi family, month. On April 15th., 1986 his adopted toddler daughter Hanna was killed in a US., bombing; his son Khamis reportedly died of wounds from another bombing, just four days before March this year, became April.

On 11th., April, Delegates from the African Union, also failed to broker a truce, rejected by the former Justice Minister, turned “rebel leader”, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who had gone on behalf of the government to Benghazi to broker a peace deal – and switched sides. Quaddaffi himself had accepted the plan. In recently released Wikileak-ed US., diplomatic cables, Jalil is described as “open and cooperative.”(ii) Wonder what deal might have been struck.

NATO’s Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard said he is aware of unconfirmed reports that some Qadhafi family members may have been killed: “All NATO’s targets are military in nature … We do not target individuals”, he said. In broken record mode, he “regrets”: “all loss of life, especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of the ongoing conflict.” Interestingly all three attacks appear to have been on the same residential area, where the media yesterday found a decimated one story residential house, the television still on, food in the kitchen, fruit on the table and a football game machine in the garden.

NATO have, in time honored fashion, intimated that the home was a military compound. They said the same of the Ameriyah Shelter in Baghdad in 1991, where the still unknown number incinerated inside, upwards of 400, were woman and children. It had, of course, never been a military compound. They intimated the same of the media centre in Belgrade in 1999 – and, with a different slant, of Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel in 2003, where US., troops killed two journalists and wounded three. On that day (April 8th.,) two more buildings housing journalists were attacked, killing a third correspondent.

In 2008, Sgt. Adrienne Kinne, a former Arabic linguist in U.S., Army Intelligence, revealed that she had seen secret documents listing the Palestine Hotel as a possible military target, prior to the 2003 shelling incident. Reports from Kinne suggest that the attack on the hotel was a deliberate attempt to control news coverage of the U.S., invasion of Iraq, as the Palestine Hotel was a popular place for international journalists. The list of such attacks, globally, over decades, with accompanying collateral lies, is a woeful reflection on military integrity. (News, websites, Wikipedia.)

Yesterday’s attack, said a Libyan government spokesman, was: “An assassination attempt.” Hard to argue, since Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said the Libyan Leader is: “a legitimate target”, and Prime Minister Cameron insists that he “must go.” (iii)

Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) is aghast: “NATO’s leaders have blood on their hands. NATO’s airstrike seems to have been intended to carry out an illegal policy of assassination. This is a deep stain which can never fully wash. This grave matter cannot be addressed with empty words. Words will not bring back dead children. Actions must be taken to stop more innocents from getting slaughtered. Today’s attack underscores that the Obama Doctrine of so-called humanitarian intervention appears to be a cover for regime change through assassination and murder.” (iv)

But US., driven attacks have “form” in serial assassinations. In July 2003, Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday and his fifteen year old grandson, were shredded to pieces by US., troops machine gun fire, in a house in the ancient northern Iraqi city of Mosul. No arrests, no trial, simply assassinated, by illegal invaders. Arbitrary executions, unquestioned and unaccountable.

“Historically, America has not sought to impose its will on other countries. The service of our armed forces throughout the world has been uniquely important to the happiness of people everywhere …” stated President Obama in his Nobel Prize Award address. Tell that to the bereaved, bereft, broken, bleeding, bombed, orphaned, displaced. Breathtaking.

In Benghazi and elsewhere in Eastern Libya, the US., and allies are openly advising, backing, funding and arming rebels and insurgents, who have risen up against their own, sovereign government. “Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a (sic) horrific scale”, expanded the President at the Nobel ceremony. Right on, Sir.

Incredibly the US., has already done an oil deal with the rebels. Another day, another ram raid. Also another mirror image of Iraq, who switched out of oil trading in US., dollars in November 2000.

Further, regarding Libya: “The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN., resolution that allowed the US., and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qadhafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US., and the rest of the world only for gold dinars.

The US., the other G-8 countries, the World Bank … and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. ” (v)

Amid the politics and the horror of knowing that countries dressed as bastions of legality and democracy now have a policy of assassination, Saturday 30th., brought another tragedy. Also bombed by the “humanitarian interveners”, was a parent-funded school for children with Down’s Syndrome. Ismail Seddigh founded the school seventeen years ago, after his daughter was born with Down’s. Through therapy, crafts, music and inventive teaching methods, they aim to have the children able to cope with a main stream school by the age of six. “I feel really sad. I kept thinking, what are we going to do with these children?” Asks Mr. Seddigh. The strike happened before the children arrived, mercifully. The orphanage on the floors above was also bombed.

“If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocence, they have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they will take that lonely path at their own peril”, said George W. Bush, as he took that path to Afghanistan.

Shortly after 9/11, General Wesley Clark was, as has been recently re-remembered, told by a Pentagon colleague that the decision had been made to “take out” seven countries in five years. The countries were: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. A little behind schedule, but short of a miracle, the path of greed and inhumanity is hewn.(vi)

Meanwhile, Britain’s little geographically, diplomatically and follicly challenged Foreign Secretary, William Hague has apparently lost the plot. Foreign missions in Libya’s capital have been targeted by crowds angry at a Nato air strike killing Colonel Quaddaffi’s son and grandchildren.. A UK., embassy building had been completely burnt out. Italian, French, US., embassies and the United Nations building – symbol of Security Council Resolution 1973 authorising the plight they find themselves in – were also attacked.

Mr Hague rails that the Quaddaffi regime has: “failed in its duty” to protect it and that Omar Jelban, Libya’s Representative in the UK., had been given 24 hours to leave the country. Hague said: “The Vienna Convention requires the Quaddaffi regime to protect diplomatic missions in Tripoli. By failing to do so, that regime has once again breached its international responsibilities and obligations. I take the failure to protect such premises very seriously indeed.” Truly jaw dropping.

Between 31 st., March and 24th., April, alone, there were 3,438 sorties over Libya and 1,432 strikes against little over six million people (vii) on a country that poses no threat to any NATO country, and has threatened no other. Fig leaf UNSCR 1973, does not make the decimation or assassinations legal. The Colonel has lost five of his family. Yet he and his government is demanded to prioritise protection of the British Embassy – while Britain is contributing substantially to the bombing – perhaps Libyans should also clutch a copy of the Vienna Convention for reading whilst on UK Embassy guard duty.

Since law experts across the globe are queuing up to see George Bush, Tony Blair, and their former Administrations on war crimes trials, and now Barack Obama, David Cameron, Liam Fox, William Hague and their colleagues would seem to be on equally dodgy ground, now in three countries, perhaps a little reading of international law closer to home might be in order.

“We stand at the threshold. It is time for you and me to move out of the dark void of brutal exploitation and greed into the light of compassion and cooperation”, wrote John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” recently.

Nearly two and a half thousand years ago, Thucydides (460 BC – 395 BC) wrote: “When will there be justice in Athens? There will be justice in Athens when those who are not injured are as outraged as those who are.” When will power learn?

Yesterday, 1st., May, the day of the Libyan assassinations, is the eighth anniversary of George W. Bush landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln in his little flying suit and announcing: “Mission accomplished.” Well, that’s all gone well, then.

“War Crimes” against Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Al-Thani… August 22, 2011

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Five months into the bombing campaign, it is no longer possible to believe the initial official version of the events and the massacres attributed to the “Gaddafi regime”. Moreover, it is now essential to take into account Libya’s legal and diplomatic rebuttal, highlighting the crimes against peace committed by television propaganda, the war crimes perpetrated by NATO military forces, and the crimes against humanity sponsored by political leaders of the Atlantic Alliance.

Just under half of Europeans still support the war against Libya. Their position is based on erroneous information. They still believe, in fact, that in February the “Gaddafi regime” crushed the protests in Benghazi with brutal force and bombed civilian districts in Tripoli, while the Colonel himself was warning of “rivers of blood” if his compatriots continued to challenge his authority.

During my two months’ investigation , I was able to verify that these accusations were pure propaganda intoxication, designed by the NATO powers to create the conditions for war, and relayed around the world by their television media, in particular Al-Jazeera, CNN, BBC and France24.

However, the reader who doesn’t know where he stands on this issue and who – despite the brainwashing of September 11 and Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction – is reluctant to accept that the United States, France, the UK and Qatar were actually capable of fabricating such lies, will be able to forge an opinion over time. NATO, the largest military coalition in history, has failed after five months of bombardments to overthrow the one it designated as a “tyrant.” Every Friday, a large demonstration in support of the regime is organized in a different city and all experts are unanimous in considering that Colonel Gaddafi enjoys at least 90% of popular support in Tripolitania and 70% across the entire country, including the “rebel” areas. These are people who every single day put up with the blockade, aerial bombardments and ground fighting. Never would they be defending with their flesh and blood someone who committed against them the crimes of which he has been accused by the “international community.” The difference between those in the West who believe that Gaddafi is a tyrant who fired on his own people, and those in Libya who believe that he is a hero of the anti-imperialist struggle, is that the former live in an illusion created by TV propaganda, whereas the others are exposed to the concrete reality on the ground.

That said, there is a second illusion to which the West has succumbed – and in the “Western” camp I now include not only Israel, where it has always claimed to belong, but also the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Turkey which, though of Eastern culture, have chosen to embrace it -, the illusion to think that it is still possible to devastate a country and kill its people without legal consequences. It is true that, until now, international justice has been the justice of the victors or the powerful. One may recall the Nazi official who heckled the judges at Nuremberg telling them that if the Reich had won the war, the judges would have been the Nazis while those held accountable for the war crimes would have been the Allies.

More recently, we saw how NATO used the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to try to justify post facto that the war in Kosovo was “the first humanitarian war in History,” according to the expression employed by Tony Blair. Or again, how the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was used in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian government, then to decapitate the Lebanese Hezbollah, and probably soon to accuse the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Not to mention, the International Criminal Court, the secular arm of the European colonial powers in Africa.

However, the development of instruments and organs of international justice throughout the twentieth century has gradually established an international order with which the superpowers themselves will have to comply or which they will have to sabotage in order to escape their responsibilities. In the case of Libya, the violations of international law are countless. The main ones, presented below, were established by the Provisional Technical Committee, a Libyan ministerial coordination organ, and expounded at various press conferences by the legal adviser to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, French attorney Marcel Ceccaldi [1].

TV channels which, under the leadership of their respective Governments, have manufactured false information to lead to war, are guilty of “crimes against peace”, as defined by the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions in the aftermath of World War II [2]. The journalist-propagandists should be considered even more culpable than the military who perpetrated war crimes or crimes against humanity, to the extent that none of these crimes would have been possible without the one that preceded them: the “crime against peace.”

The political leaders of the Atlantic Alliance, who diverted the object and purpose of Resolution 1973 to engage in a war of aggression against a sovereign state, are personally responsible before international justice. Indeed, according to the jurisprudence established by the Tokyo Court following the Second World War, crimes cannot be ascribed to either States or organizations, but to individuals. Plundering the assets of a state, establishing a naval blockade and bombing infrastructure to cause people to suffer, attacking an army inside its barracks and ordering the assassination of enemy leaders or, failing this, terrorizing them by murdering their families, all amount to war crimes. Their systematic perpetration, as is the case today, constitutes a crime against humanity. This crime is imprescriptible, which means that Messrs. Obama, Sarkozy, Cameron and Al-Thani will be pursued by the law for the rest of their lives.

NATO, as an organization, is legally responsible for the material and human damage of this war. The law leaves no room for doubt that the organization must pay, even though it will surely try to invoke a privilege of jurisdiction to dodge its responsibilities. It will be up to the Alliance to decide how the bill for the conflict should be split among Member States, even though some of them may be on the verge of bankruptcy. This will be followed by disastrous economic consequences for their peoples, guilty of having endorsed such crimes. In a democracy, no one can claim to be innocent of the crimes committed in its name.

International justice will have to address more specifically the case of the Sarkozy “administration” – I use this Anglicism here to underscore the fact that the French president has been piloting his Government’s policy directly, without going through his prime minister. Indeed, France has played a central role in preparing for this war since October 2010 by organizing a failed military coup and then, as early as November 2010, by planning with the United Kingdom the bombing of Libya and the landing of ground troops on its soil, which was then believed to be feasible, and finally by actively conspiring in the lethal unrest in Benghazi which led to the war.

In addition, France, more than any other power, has deployed Special Forces on the ground – without uniforms, no doubt – and violated the arms embargo by supplying the insurgents, either directly or through Qatari airplanes. Not to mention that France has violated the UN freeze of Libyan assets, funnelling part of the fabulous cash from the Libyan Sovereign Fund to the CNT puppets, to the detriment of the Libyan people who wanted to guarantee the well-being of their children in the face of oil depletion.

These gentlemen from NATO, who hoped to escape international justice by crushing their victim, Libya, in a few short days so that it would not survive to pursue them, will be disenchanted. Libya is still there. She is filing complaints with the International Criminal Court, the Belgian courts (whose jurisdiction NATO falls under), the European Court of Justice, and the national courts of aggressor states. She is undertaking steps before the Council of Human Rights in Geneva, the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations. It will be not be possible for the big powers to extinguish these fires all at once. Worse, the arguments they will use to evade a court will ricochet against them in another court. In a few weeks or months, if they have not succeeded in destroying Tripoli, they will have no other way out to avoid humiliating convictions than to negotiate the withdrawal of the complaints at a very high price. Thierry Meyssan said it best in this article  and will have them all be accountable for their actions…

Bush-Obama’s deceptive cost of WAR… July 13, 2011

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According to some diligent research done by Global Research during his speech on Afghanistan June 22, President Obama revealed that “Over the last decade, we have spent a trillion dollars on war.” He knew this was a deceptive understatement, as did everyone who keeps close watch on the Bush-Obama wars all these years.

 

Few Americans , however, have closely followed Washington’s 21st century wars of choice, so a trillion probably sounds right to them, but that amount in 10 years — when the annual cost of air conditioning alone for the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq amounts to $20.2 billion a year — is  way off base.

 

(It’s difficult to conceive of one trillion, so we’ll repeat a method we’ve used before: Sixty seconds comprise a minute. One million seconds  comes out to be about 11½ days. A billion seconds is 32 years. And a trillion seconds is 32,000 years.)

 

The latest objective estimate for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, made public June 29, is between $3.7 trillion and $4.4 trillion (140,800 years), according to the research project “Costs of War” by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

 

The university assembled a team of economists, anthropologists, political scientists, legal experts, and a physician to do this analysis, which included future costs for veterans care and interest on war debts to be paid over the next few decades.

 

The medical costs are huge. “While we know how many U.S. soldiers have died in the wars (just over 6,000),” the report pointed out, “what is startling is what we don’t know about the levels of injury and illness in those who have returned from the wars. New disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with 550,000 just through last fall.” This doesn’t even include the thousands of deaths and injuries among quasi-military contractors. There are about as many contractors as troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

It’s impossible to precisely predict the interest costs on these wars. In 2010, $400 billion of our tax money went toward paying off past war debts as far back as the Korean War of the early 1950s. We’ll pay war debts indefinitely because Washington is always borrowing to plan for or start new wars. So far, the U.S.-led NATO war for regime change in Libya is costing American taxpayers about a billion. The Pentagon has blueprints ready for many different kinds of future wars, from small counter-terrorism escapades, to cyberspace and outer space conflicts, to nuclear war, all the way up to World War III.

 

The Brown University figures may turn out to be underestimates. A few independent studies over the years have been somewhat higher but were brushed aside by the White House and the mass media. This may happen to the Brown calculations as well.

 

The respected Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard Professor Linda Bilmes wrote a book three years ago estimating the cost of the Iraq war only, based on data collected in 2006. It was titled “The Three Trillion Dollar War.” They based their calculations on the “hidden” costs of the war that include enormous medical care expenses over the next 50 years for tens of thousands of badly wounded soldiers, other benefits, equipment replacement, and interest on war debts.

 

Stiglitz and Bilmes calculated in 2008 that the combined cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars would be between $5 and $7 trillion.  They called these adventures the “credit card wars.” Using a somewhat different methodology a few years ago, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, estimated the Iraq war ultimately will cost $3.5 trillion. They didn’t include the Afghan war.

 

Assuming Obama is reelected, the Bush-Obama wars — including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen (and Somalia, where the U.S. is now engaged in drone strikes), plus the wars in Obama’s final years — will certainly top $5 trillion in real costs.

 

In this connection, we cannot forget that current Pentagon spending of around $700 billion a year represents a huge increase since 2001, when it totaled about $380 billion. (By comparison, during this same time period, military spending by Iran — portrayed by Washington, Tel-Aviv and Saudi Arabia as the greatest danger to peace in the Middle East — dropped from $9 billion in 2001 to $7 billion in 2010.)

 

But Defense Department expenses are only half the story. Double the Pentagon’s $700 billion for a true estimate of the amount of money the U.S. spent on war-related issues  last year. That’s $1.4 trillion a year for the United States. How is this possible?

 

Instead of just discussing the Pentagon budget, it is essential to also consider Washington’s various other “national security” budgets. That of course includes the costs of Washington’s 16 different intelligence services, the percentage of the annual national debt to pay for past war expenses, Homeland Security, nuclear weapons, additional annual spending requests for Iraq and Afghan wars, military retiree pay and healthcare for vets, NASA, FBI (for its war-related military work), etc. When it’s all included it comes to $1,398 trillion for fiscal 2010, according to the War Resisters League and other sources.

 

It’s not enough just to take note of the money Washington spent on stalemated wars of choice. It’s fruitful to contemplate where our $5 trillion Bush-Obama war funding might have been invested instead. It could have paid for a fairly swift transition from fossil fuels to a solar-wind energy system for the entire U.S. — a prospect that will now take many decades longer, if at all, as the world gets warmer from greenhouse gases. And there probably would have been enough left to overhaul America’s decaying and outdated civil infrastructure, among other projects.

 

But while the big corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy are thriving, global warming and infrastructure repair have been brushed aside. States are cutting back on schools and healthcare. Counties and towns are closing summer swimming pools and public facilities. Jobs and growth are stagnant. The federal government is sharply cutting the social service budget, and Medicare et al. are nearing the chopping block.

StimuFlation April 10, 2010

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Happy-face media reporting of economic news is providing the usual upbeat spin on Friday’s debt-deflation statistics. The Commerce Department’s National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) for May show that U.S. “savings” are now absorbing 6.9 percent of income.

I put the word “savings” in quotation marks because this 6.9% is not what most people think of as savings. It is not money in the bank to draw out on the “rainy day” when one is laid off as unemployment rates rise. The statistic means that 6.9% of national income is being earmarked to pay down debt – the highest saving rate in 15 years, up from actually negative rates (living on borrowed credit) just a few years ago. The only way in which these savings are “money in the bank” is that they are being paid by consumers to their banks and credit card companies.

Income paid to reduce debt is not available for spending on goods and services. It therefore shrinks the economy, aggravating the depression. So why is the jump in “saving” good news?

It certainly is a good idea for consumers to get out of debt. But the media are treating this diversion of income as if it were a sign of confidence that the recession may be ending and Mr. Obama’s “stimulus” plan working. The Wall Street Journal reported that Social Security recipients of one-time government payments “seem unwilling to spend right away,” 1 while The New York Times wrote that “many people were putting that money away instead of spending it.”2  It is as if people can afford to save more.

The reality is that most consumers have little real choice but to pay. Unable to borrow more as banks cut back credit lines, their “choice” is either to pay their mortgage and credit card bill each month, or lose their homes and see their credit ratings slashed, pushing up penalty interest rates near 20%! To avoid this fate, families are shifting to cheaper (and less nutritious) foods, eating out less (or at fast food restaurants), and cutting back vacation spending. It therefore seems contradictory to applaud these “saving” (that is, debt-repayment) statistics as an indication that the economy may emerge from depression in the next few months. While unemployment approaches the 10% rate and new layoffs are being announced every week, isn’t the Obama administration taking a big risk in telling voters that its stimulus plan is working? What will people think this winter when markets continue to shrink? How thick is Mr. Obama’s Teflon?

We are living in the wreckage of the Greenspan bubble

As recently as two years ago consumers were buying so many goods on credit that the domestic savings rate was zero. (Financing the U.S. Government’s budget deficit with foreign central bank recycling of the dollar’s balance-of-payments deficit actually produced a negative 2% savings rate.) During these Bubble Years savings by the wealthiest 10% of the population found their counterpart in the debt that the bottom 90% were running up. In effect, the wealthy were lending their surplus revenue to an increasingly indebted economy at large.

Today, homeowners no longer can re-finance their mortgages and compensate for their wage squeeze by borrowing against rising prices for their homes. Payback time has arrived – paying back bank loans, whose volume has been augmented to include accrued interest charges and penalties. New bank lending has hit a wall as banks are limiting their activity to raking in amortization and interest on existing mortgages, credit cards and personal loans.

Many families are able to remain financially afloat by running down their savings and cutting back their spending to try and avoid bankruptcy. This diversion of income to pay creditors explains why retail sales figures, auto sales and other commercial statistics are plunging vertically downward in almost a straight line, while unemployment rates soar toward the 10% level. The ability of most people to spend at past rates has hit a wall. The same income cannot be used for two purposes. It cannot be used to pay down debt and also for spending on goods and services. Something must give. So more stores and shopping malls are becoming vacant each month. And unlike homeowners, absentee property investors have little compunction about walking away from negative equity situations – owing creditors more than the property is worth.

Over two-thirds of the U.S. population are homeowners, and real estate economists estimate that about a quarter of U.S. homes are now in a state of negative equity as market prices plunges below the mortgages attached to them. This is the condition in which Citigroup and AIG found themselves last year, along with many other Wall Street institutions. But whereas the government absorbed their losses “to get the economy moving again” (or at least to help Congress’s major campaign contributors to recover), personal debtors are in no such favored position. Their designated role is to help make the banks whole by paying off the debts they have been running up in an attempt to maintain living standards that their take-home pay no longer is supporting.

Banks for their part are slashing credit-card debt limits and jacking up interest and penalty charges. (I see little chance that Congress will approve the Consumer Financial Products Agency that Mr. Obama promoted as a flashy balloon for his recent bank giveaway program. The agency is to be dreamed about, not enacted.) The problem is that default rates are rising rapidly. This has prompted many banks to strike deals with their most overstretched customers to settle outstanding balances for as little as half the face amount (much of which is accrued interest and penalties, to be sure). Banks are now competing not to gain customers but to shed them. The plan is to offer steep enough payment discounts to prompt bad risks to settle by sticking rival banks with ultimate default when they finally give up their struggle to maintain solvency. (The idea is that strapped debtors will max out on one bank’s card to pay off another bank at half-price.)

The trillions of dollars that the Bush and Obama administration have given away to Wall Street would have been enough to buy a great bulk of the mortgages now in default – mortgages beyond the ability of many debtors to pay in the first place. The government could have enacted a Clean Slate for these debtors – financed by re-introducing progressive taxation, restoring the full capital gains tax to the same rate as that levied on earned income (wages and profits), and closing the tax loopholes that effectively free finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector from income taxation. Instead, the government has made Wall Street virtually tax exempt, and swapped Treasury bonds for trillions of dollars of junk mortgages and bad debts. The “real” economy’s growth prospects are being sacrificed in an attempt to carry its financial overhead.

Banks and credit-card companies are girding for economic shrinkage. It was in anticipation of this state of affairs, after all, that they pushed so hard from 1998 onward to make what finally became the 2005 bankruptcy laws so pro-creditor, so cruel to debtors by making personal bankruptcy an economic and legal hell.

It is to avoid this hell that families are cutting their spending so as to keep current on their debts, against all odds that they can avoid default in today’s shrinking economy.

Working off debt = “saving,” but not in liquid form

People are putting more money away, but not into savings accounts. They are indeed putting it into banks, but in the form of paying down debt. To accountants looking at balance sheets, savings represent the increase in net worth. In times past this was indeed the result mainly of a buildup of liquid funds. But today’s money being saved is not available for spending. It merely reduces the debt burden being carried by individuals. Unlike Citibank, AIG and other Wall Street institutions, they are not having their debts conveniently wiped off the books. The government is not nice enough to buy back their investments that had lost up to half their value in the past year. Such bailouts are for creditors and money managers, not their debtors.

The story that the media should be telling is how today’s post-bubble economy has turned the concept of saving on its head. The accounting concept underlying balance sheets is that a negation of a negation is positive. Paying down debt liabilities is counted as “saving” because one owes less.

This is not what people expected a half-century ago. Economists wrote about how technology would raise productivity levels, people would be living in near utopian conditions by the time the year 2000 arrived. They expected a life of leisure and prosperity. Needless to say, this is far from materializing. The textbooks need to be rewritten – and in fact, are being rewritten.3

Keynesian economics turned inside-out

Most individuals and companies emerged from World War II in 1945 nearly debt-free, and with progressive income taxes. Economists anticipated – indeed, even feared – that rising incomes would lead to higher saving rates. The most influential view was that of John Maynard Keynes. Addressing the problems of the Great Depression in 1936, his General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money warned that people would save relatively more as their incomes rose. Spending on consumer goods would tail off, slowing the growth of markets, and hence new investment and employment.

This view of the saving function – the propensity to save out of wages and profits –viewed saving as breaking the circular flow of payments between producers and consumers. The main cloud on the horizon, Keynesians worried, was that people would be so prosperous that they would not spend their money. The indicated policy to deter under-consumption was for economies to indulge in more leisure and more equitable income distribution.

The modern dynamics of saving – and the increasingly top-heavy indebtedness in which savings are invested – are quite different from (and worse than) what Keynes explained. Most financial savings are lent out, not plowed into tangible capital formation and industry. Most new investment in tangible capital goods and buildings comes from retained business earnings, not from savings that pass through financial intermediaries. Under these conditions, higher personal saving rates are reflected in higher indebtedness. That is why the saving rate has fallen to a zero or “wash” level. A rising proportion of savings find their counterpart more in other peoples’ debts rather than being used to finance new direct investment.

Each business recovery since World War II has started with a higher debt ratio. Saving is indeed interfering with consumption, but it is not the result of rising incomes and prosperity. A rising savings rate merely reflects the degree to which the economy is working off its debt overhead. It is “saving” in the form of debt repayment in a shrinking economy. The result is financial dystopia, not the technological utopia that seemed so attainable back in 1945, just sixty-five years ago. Instead of a consumer-friendly leisure economy, we have debt peonage.

To get an idea of how oppressive the debt burden really is, I should note that the 6.9% savings rate does not even reflect the 16% of the economy that the NIPA report for interest payments to carry this debt, or the penalty fees that now yield as much as interest yields to credit-card companies – or the trillions of dollars of government bailouts to try and keep this unsustainable system afloat. How an economy can hope to compete in global markets as an industrial producer with so high a financial overhead factored into the cost of living and doing business must remain for a future article to address.

A new Civil War…Mixed with “REVOLUTION” April 10, 2010

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As nations of the world are thrown into a debt crisis, the likes of which have never been seen before, harsh fiscal ‘austerity’ measures will be undertaken in a flawed attempt to service the debts. The result will be the elimination of the middle class. When the middle class is absorbed into the labour class – the lower class – and lose their social, political, and economic foundations, they will riot, rebel, and revolt.

Ratings Agency Predicts Civil Unrest

Moody’s is a major ratings agency, which performs financial research and analysis on governments and commercial entities and ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers. On March 15, Moody’s warned that the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain “are all at risk of soaring debt costs and will have to implement austerity plans that threaten ‘social cohesion’.” Further, Moody’s warned that such ‘austerity’ measures increase the potential for ‘social unrest’:

“Growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion,” said Pierre Cailleteau, the chief author.

“We are not talking about revolution, but the severity of the crisis will force governments to make painful choices that expose weaknesses in society,” he said.[1]

In other words, due to the massive debt levels of western nations taken on to save the banks from the crisis they caused, the people must now pay through a reduction of their standards of living. Naturally, social unrest would follow.

This has not been the first or only warning of “social unrest” in the west, and it certainly won’t be the last.

The Economic Crisis and Civil Unrest

At the onset of the economic crisis, these warnings were numerous. While many will claim that since we have moved on since the fall of 2008, these warnings are no longer valid. However, considering that the western world is on the verge of a far greater economic crisis that will spread over the next few years, from Greece to America, a great global debt depression, these warnings should be reviewed with an eye on the near future.

In December of 2008, in the midst of the worst period of the crisis of 2008, the IMF issued a warning to government’s of the west to “step up action to stem the global economic crisis or risk delaying a recovery and sparking violent unrest on the streets.”[2] However, governments did not stem or stop the economic crisis, they simply delayed the eventual and inevitable crisis to come, the debt crisis. In fact, the actions governments took to “stem” the economic crisis, or delay it, more accurately, have, in actuality, exacerbated the compound effects that the crisis will ultimately have. In short, bailing out the banks has created a condition in which an inevitable debt crisis will become far greater in scope and devastation than had they simply allowed the banks to fail.

Even the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the most prestigious financial institution in the world – the central bank to the world’s central banks – has warned that the bailouts have put the global economy in potentially far greater peril. The BIS warned that, “The scope and magnitude of the bank rescue packages also meant that significant risks had been transferred onto government balance sheets.”[3]

The head of the IMF warned that, “violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.”[4] However, he is disingenuous in his statements, as he and the institution he represents are key players in that “small elite” that benefit from the global financial system; this is the very system he serves.

In late December of 2008, “A U.S. Army War College report warn[ed] an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.” The report stated:

Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities … to defend basic domestic order and human security.[5]

Further revealed in the news release was the information that, “Pentagon officials said as many as 20,000 Soldiers under the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) will be trained within the next three years to work with civilian law enforcement in homeland security.”[6]

Europe in Social Crisis

In January of 2009, it was reported that Eastern Europe was expected to experience a “dangerous popular backlash on the streets” over the spring in response to the economic crisis:

Hit increasingly hard by the financial crisis, countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic states face deep political destabilisation and social strife, as well as an increase in racial tension.

Last week protesters were tear-gassed as they threw rocks at police outside parliament in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, in a protest against an austerity package including tax rises and benefit cuts.[7]

In January of 2009, Latvia experienced the largest protests since the mass rallies against Soviet rule in the late 1980s, with the protests eventually turning into riots. Similar “outbursts of civil unrest” spread across the “periphery of Europe.”[8]

This should be taken as a much larger warning, as the nations of Eastern Europe are forced into fiscal ‘austerity’ measures before they spread through the western world. Just as throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, countries of the ‘global south’, which signed Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) with the IMF and World Bank, were forced to undertake neoliberal reforms and harsh fiscal austerity measures. The people of these nations rioted and rebelled, in what was cynically referred to as “IMF riots”. What our nations have done abroad, in the name of ‘aid’ but in the intent of empire, is now coming home. The west will undergo its very own “IMF riots”.

The fears of civil unrest, however, were not confined simply to the periphery of Europe. In January of 2009, a massive French strike was taking place, as “teachers, television employees, postal workers, students and masses of other public-sector workers” were expressing discontent with the handling of the economic crisis; as “A depression triggered in America is being played out in Europe with increasing violence, and other forms of social unrest are spreading.”[9]

By late January, France was “paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battlefield.” Yet, the ‘credit crunch’ had hit harder in Eastern Europe and the civil unrest was greater, as these countries had abandoned Communism some twenty years prior only to be crushed under the “free market” of Capitalism, leading many to feel betrayed: “Europe’s time of troubles is gathering depth and scale. Governments are trembling. Revolt is in the air.”[10]

Olivier Besancenot, the leader of France’s extreme left “is hoping the strike will be the first step towards another French revolution as the recession bites and protests multiply across Europe’s second largest economy.” He told the Financial Times that, “We want the established powers to be blown apart,” and that, “We are going to reinvent and re-establish the anticapitalist project.”[11]

In January of 2009, Iceland’s government collapsed due to the pressures from the economic crisis, and amidst a storm of Icelanders protesting in anger against the political class. As the Times reported, “it is a sign of things to come: a new age of rebellion.” An economist at the London School of Economics warned that we could expect large-scale civil unrest beginning in March to May of 2009:

It will be caused by the rise of general awareness throughout Europe, America and Asia that hundreds of millions of people in rich and poor countries are experiencing rapidly falling consumption standards; that the crisis is getting worse not better; and that it has escaped the control of public authorities, national and international.[12]

In February of 2009, the Guardian reported that police in Britain were preparing for a “summer of rage” as “victims of the economic downturn take to the streets to demonstrate against financial institutions.” Police officials warned “that middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year.”[13]

In March, it was reported that “top secret contingency plans” had been drawn up to counter the threat posed by a possible “summer of discontent,” which “has led to the ­extraordinary step of the Army being put on ­standby.” The report revealed that, “What worries emergency planners most is that the middle classes, now struggling to cope with unemployment and repossessions, may take to the streets with the disenfranchised.”[14]

As the G20 met in London in early April 2009, mass protests took place, resulting in violence, “with a band of demonstrators close to the Bank of England storming a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, and baton-wielding police charging a sit-down protest by students.” While the majority of protests were peaceful, “some bloody skirmishes broke out as police tried to keep thousands of people in containment pens surrounding the Bank of England.”[15] Protests further broke out into riots as a Royal Bank of Scotland office was looted.[16] The following day, a man collapsed and died in central London during the protests shortly after having been assaulted by riot police.[17]

On May 1, 2009, major protests and riots broke out in Germany, Greece, Turkey, France and Austria, fuelled by economic tensions:

Police in Berlin arrested 57 people while around 50 officers were hurt as young demonstrators threw bottles and rocks and set fire to cars and rubbish bins. There were also clashes in Hamburg, where anti-capitalist protesters attacked a bank.

In Turkey, masked protesters threw stones and petrol bombs at police, smashing banks and supermarket windows in its biggest city, Istanbul. Security forces fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of rioters and more than a hundred were arrested with dozens more hurt. There were also scattered skirmishes with police in the capital, Ankara, where 150,000 people marched.[18]

There were further protests and riots that broke out in Russia, Italy, Spain, and some politicians were even discussing the threat of revolution.[19]

As a debt crisis began spreading throughout Europe in Greece, Portugal, and Spain, social unrest followed suit. Riots and protests increasingly took place in Greece, showing signs of things to come to all other western nations, which will sooner or later have to face the harsh reality of their odious debts.[20]

Is Civil Unrest Coming to America?

In February of 2009, Obama’s intelligence chief, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the economic crisis has become the greatest threat to U.S. national security:

I’d like to begin with the global economic crisis, because it already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period… And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.[21]

What this means, is that economic crises (“if they are prolonged for a one or two year period”) pose a major threat to the established powers – the governing and economic powers – in the form of social unrest and rebellion (“regime-threatening instability”). The colonial possessions – Africa, South America, and Asia – will experience the worst of the economic conditions, which “can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have.” This can then come back to the western nations and imperial powers themselves, as the riots and rebellion will spread home, but also as they may lose control of their colonial possessions – eliminating western elites from a position of power internationally, and acquiescence domestically: The rebellion and discontent in the ‘Third World’ “can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.”

In the same month, the highest-ranking general in the United States, “Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ranks the financial crisis as a higher priority and greater risk to security than current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He explained, “It’s a global crisis. And as that impacts security issues, or feeds greater instability, I think it will impact on our national security in ways that we quite haven’t figured out yet.”[22] Rest assured, they’ve figured it out, but they don’t want to tell you.

Again, in the same month, the head of the World Trade Organization (WTO) warned that, “The global economic crisis could trigger political unrest equal to that seen during the 1930s.” He elaborated, “The crisis today is spreading even faster (than the Great Depression) and affects more countries at the same time.”[23]

In February of 2009, renowned economic historian and Harvard professor, Niall Ferguson, predicted a “prolonged financial hardship, even civil war, before the ‘Great Recession’ ends,” and that, “The global crisis is far from over, [it] has only just begun, and Canada is no exception,” he said while at a speaking event in Canada. He explained, “Policy makers and forecasters who see a recovery next year are probably lying to boost public confidence,” while, “the crisis will eventually provoke political conflict.” He further explained:

There will be blood, in the sense that a crisis of this magnitude is bound to increase political as well as economic [conflict]. It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. It will topple governments that were moderate and bring in governments that are extreme. These things are pretty predictable.[24]

Even in May of 2009, the head of the World Bank warned that, “the global economic crisis could lead to serious social upheaval,” as “there is a risk of a serious human and social crisis with very serious political implications.”[25]

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Adviser, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission and a key architect of ‘globalization’ warned in February of 2009 that, “There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!”[26]

In early May 2009, the New York Times reported on the results of a major poll, suggesting, “A solid majority of people in the major Western democracies expect a rise in political extremism in their countries as a result of the economic crisis.” Of those surveyed, 53% in Italy and the United States said they expected extremism is “certain to happen” or “probable” in the next three years. That percentage increases to 65% in Britain and Germany, and is at 60% in France and Spain.[27]

Over the summer of 2009, the major nations of the west and their corporate media machines promoted and propagandized the notion of an ‘economic recovery’, allowing dissent to quell, spending to increase, stock market speculation to accelerate, and people’s fears and concerns to subside. It was a massive organized propaganda effort, and it had major successes for a while. However, in the New Year, this illusion is largely being derided for what it is, a fantasy. With the slow but steady erosion of this economic illusion, fears of riots, rebellion and revolution return.

On March 1, 2010, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan warned President Obama about civil unrest, saying:

When we can’t feed our families what do you tell us? Thou shalt not steal? When survival is the first law of nature? What are you going to do when black people and poor people erupt in the streets of America? It’s coming! Will you use the federal troops, Mr. President, against the poor?[28]

A March 8 article in the Wall Street Journal speculated about the discontent among the American people in regards to the economy, suggesting that it is “likely” that the economy has “bottomed” and that it will simply “trudge along” until November. However, the author suggested that given all the growing discontent in a variety of areas, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some civil unrest:

Now, contrary to what you may read in the New York Times or the Huffington Post, the ugliness could come from anywhere – the Left, the Center or the Right. Almost everyone in America thinks they’ve been betrayed.[29]

Clearly, the possibility and inevitability of riots in the United States, and in fact in many western nations becomes increasingly apparent. The middle classes will likely become the most angered and mobilized populace, having their social foundations pulled out from under them, and with that, they are overcome with a ‘failure of expectations’ for their political and economic clout. With no social foundations on which to stand, a class cannot reach high in the political and economic ladder, nationally or internationally.

As documented in Part 2 of this series, the middle class, for the past few decades, has been a class living on debt, consuming on debt, surviving on debt and existing only in theory. As nations collapse into a global debt crisis, the middle classes and the college students will be plunged into a world which they have seldom known: poverty. As documented in Part 1 of this series, the global social systems of poverty, race and war are inextricably interrelated and dependent on one another. As the middle class is absorbed into the global poverty class – the labour class – our nations in the west vastly expand their hegemony over the world’s resources and key strategic points, rapidly accelerating military involvement in every region of the world. As war expands, poverty grows, and racial issues are exacerbated; thus, the government asserts a totalitarian system of control.

Will the Middle Class Become Revolutionary?

In 2007, a British Defence Ministry report was released assessing global trends in the world over the next 30 years. The report stated assuredly that, “During the next 30 years, every aspect of human life will change at an unprecedented rate, throwing up new features, challenges and opportunities.”[30] In regards to ‘globalization,’ the report states:

A key feature of globalization will be the continuing internationalization of markets for goods, services and labour, which will integrate geographically dispersed sets of customers and suppliers.  This will be an engine for accelerating economic growth, but will also be a source of risk, as local markets become increasingly exposed to destabilizing fluctuations in the wider global economy… Also, there will continue to be winners and losers in a global economy led by market forces, especially so in the field of labour, which will be subject to particularly ruthless laws of supply and demand.[31]

Another major focus of the report is in the area of “Global Inequality,” of which the report states, over the next 30 years:

[T]he gap between rich and poor will probably increase and absolute poverty will remain a global challenge… Disparities in wealth and advantage will therefore become more obvious, with their associated grievances and resentments, even among the growing numbers of people who are likely to be materially more prosperous than their parents and grandparents.  Absolute poverty and comparative disadvantage will fuel perceptions of injustice among those whose expectations are not met, increasing tension and instability, both within and between societies and resulting in expressions of violence such as disorder, criminality, terrorism and insurgency. They may also lead to the resurgence of not only anti-capitalist ideologies, possibly linked to religious, anarchist or nihilist movements, but also to populism and the revival of Marxism.[32]

The report states quite emphatically that there is a great potential for a revolution coming from the middle class:

The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx.  The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states.  The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite.  Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.[33]

Is Revolution the Right Way Forward?

As the world has already experienced the greatest transfer of wealth in human history, the greatest social transformation in world history is soon to follow. The middle classes of the west, long the foundations upon which the consumer capitalist system was based, are about to be radically reorganized and integrated into the global labour class. As this process commences and accelerates, the middle classes will begin to protest, riot, rebel, and possibly revolt.

We must ask ourselves: Is this the right way forward?

History is nothing but an example that when revolution takes place, it can quickly and effectively be hijacked by militant and extremist elements, often resulting in a situation worse than that prior to the revolution. Often, these elements themselves are co-opted by the ruling elite, ensuring that whatever regime rises in the ashes of the old, no matter how militant or radical, it will continue to serve and expand the entrenched interests of elites. This is the worst-case scenario of revolution, and with history as a guide, it is also a common occurrence. To understand the nature of co-opted revolutions and entrenched elites, one need only look at the revolutions in France and Russia.[34]

While the righteous indignation and anger of the western middle class population, and in fact, the global population as a whole, is entirely justified, there is an extreme danger in the possibilities of how such a revolutionary class may act. It is imperative to not take violent action, as it would merely be playing directly into the hands of states and global institutions that have been preparing for this eventuality for some time. Nations are becoming ‘Homeland Security States’, setting up surveillance societies, increasing the role of the military in domestic issues and policing, expanding the police state apparatus and militarizing society in general. Democracy is in decline; it is a dying idea. Nation states are increasingly tossing aside even the remaining vestiges of a democratic façade and preparing for a new totalitarianism to arise, in conjunction with the rise of a ‘new capitalism’.

Violent action and riots by the people of these nations will only result in a harsh and brutal closing of society, as the state clamps down on the people and installs an oppressive form of governance. This is a trend and process of which the people should not help speed along. Violent acts will result in violent oppression. While peaceful opposition may itself be oppressed and even violently repressed by the state apparatus, the notion of a clamp down on peaceful protesters is likely to increase dissatisfaction with the ruling powers, increase support for the protesters, and may ultimately speed up the process of a truly new change in governance. It’s difficult to demonize peaceful action.

While people will surely be in the streets, seeking to expand their social, political, and economic rights, we must undertake as a global society, a rapid and extensive expansion of our mental and intellectual rights and responsibilities. We cannot take to the streets without taking on the challenges of our minds. This cannot alone be a physical change in governance that people seek – not simply a political revolution – this must be coupled and driven by an intellectual revolution. What is required is a new Enlightenment, a new Renaissance. While the Enlightenment and Renaissance were western movements of thinking and social change, the new global Enlightenment must be a truly transnational and worldwide revolution in thinking.

Western Civilization has failed. It will continue to insist upon its own dominance, but it is a failure in regards to addressing the interests of all human civilization. Elites like to think that they are in absolute control and are all-powerful; this is not the case. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Take, for example, the integration of North America into a regional bloc like that of the European Union, an entirely elite-driven project of which the people largely know little or nothing about. Elites seek to force the people of this region to increasingly identify themselves as ‘North American’, just as elites in Europe increasingly push for a ‘European’ identity as opposed to a national identity. While the intended purpose of this social reorganization is to more easily control people, it has the effect of uniting some of these people in opposition to these elite-driven projects. Thus, those they seek to unite in order to control, are then united in opposition to their very control.

As the ‘globalization project’ of constructing a ‘new world order’ expands, built upon the concepts of global governance, elites will inadvertently unite the people of the world in opposition to their power-project. This is the intellectual well that must be tapped as soon as possible. Ideas for a truly new world, a true human ‘civilization’ – a “Humane Civilization” – must be constructed from ideas originating in all regions of the world, from all peoples, of all religions, races, ethnicities, social groups and standings. If we are to make human civilization work, it must work for all of humanity.

This will require a global “revolution in thinking”, which must precede any direct political action. The global social, political, and economic system must be deconstructed and built anew. The people of the world do not want war, it is the leaders – the powerful – who decide to go to war, and they are never the ones to fight them. War is a crime against humanity, a crime of poverty, of discrimination, of hate. The social, political and economic foundations of war must be dismantled. Socially constructed divides between people – such as race and ethnicity – must be dismantled and done away with. All people must be treated as people; racial and gender inequality is a crime against humanity itself.

Poverty is the greatest crime against humanity the world has ever known. Any society that permits such gross inequalities and absolute poverty, which calls itself ‘civilized’, is only an aberration of the word, itself. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.[35]

Andrew Gavin Marshall writer for Global Resaerch

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