Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Collateral Brain Damage? - The Hollywood Propaganda Ministry

By Alex Constantine, Scheduled for the July 2002 issue of High Times

"Without censorship, things can get terribly confused
in the public mind."

--General William C. Westmoreland,
Time, April 5, 1982

Tinseltown Down

During the filming of Black Hawk Down, the Pentagon persuaded its producers to change the name of Army Ranger John Stebbins, portrayed by Ewan McGregor, because the true-life "patriot" had been convicted to a 30-year prison term for the sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl. (Megan Turner, "WAR-FILM `HERO' IS A RAPIST," NY Post, 12/18/01) In the movie, "John Grimes" stands in for pedophile Stebbins. Despite this and numerous other revisions to the record of the famed Somali military fiasco, Black Hawk Down met with widespread acclaim. The film's Washington premiere was attended by Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Oliver North and a division of generals. It grossed $75.5-million in its first three weeks.

But jeering protestors -- including Brendan Sexton, an actor in Black Hawk Down -- decried the movie, a riot of Hawkish clichés ("C'mon, let's roll!"), as crude war propaganda, a drug intended to stupefy the country into supporting covert operations and oil company maneuvers in Somalia, still more dead civilians. The Pentagon's heavy hand in the making of the film was condemned as a manipulation of public sentiment recalling the Goebbels propaganda mill.

A glance that way is instructive. "Films," Heinrich Goebbels opined, constitute a "scientific means of influencing the masses," of molding attitudes, and he cautioned, "a government must not neglect them." Movies were central to the Nazi regime's domestic propaganda blitz. Under Nazi rule, some 1,300 movies were approved or commissioned by the Reich. Robert Hertzstein, a former consultant to the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, notes in The War that Hitler Won that Goebbel's ministry salted popular films with repetitious words and symbols that stirred the emotions of the German populace: "heroism," "sacrifice," "mass murder," "hatred for Germany." (in Robert Edwin Herzstein, The War that Hitler Won: Goebbels and the Nazi Media Campaign, New York: Paragon, 1987, p. 272.) A half century later, Black Hawk Down -- with its profuse "heroism," "sacrifice," "mass murder," "hatred for America" -- swept the next bellicose right-wing "homeland." The parallels were glaring.

And obnoxious. Brendon Sexton, speaking at an anti-war forum held at Columbia University, recalled that in preparation for his role, he and a fellow actor flew to Georgia for `Ranger Orientation Training' at Fort Benning in Columbus. From Atlanta, they shuttled to the training site and "on our flight there were a bunch of guys with Marine haircuts speaking Spanish. It took us a few moments to realize these guys were `students' of the School of the Americas, the U.S. Army's own terrorist training camp in Latin America." This experience "put things into perspective: warlords, dictators and terrorists are normally okay with the U.S., as long as they do the bidding of U.S. corporate interests." ("What's wrong with Black Hawk Down? -- Black Hawk Down Actor Brendan Sexton on what really happened in Somalia," Z-Magazine Web Site, http://www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm)

Those interests lurked beyond Ridley Scott's klieg lights in geopolitical obscurity. Throughout the 1970s and '80s, Somalia was ruled by the decrepit Mohamed Siad Barre. Bowing to the dictates of American Oil, President Barre crushed all dissent. He leased nearly two-thirds of oil-rich Somalia to four American petroleum companies: Chevron, Conoco, Phillips and Amoco. Somalia, a tiny country in the Horn of Africa, is also of interest to the U.S., a direct route to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Barre was overthrown in 1991, Somalia erupted in turmoil and the oil companies' land contracts were rendered useless paper. At the same time, there was no shortage of misery in the world. A military adventure to Somalia would have appeared whimsical. Citing famine in Mogadishu and the South, President George Bush, Sr. let the dogs out. The Los Angeles Times noted that Bush's envoy during the operation made the Conoco compound his base. ("Black Hawk Down: Shoot first, don't ask questions afterwards," Independent, 2-2-02)

On May 7, 1993 Canadian newspapers reported that Airborne Commandos had torture-murdered a Somali teenager. Then came subsequent news of murders by Canada's peacekeepers. As many as 1,000 civilians (or "Skinnies"s) were massacred by American troops sent to "restore order" and grab Barre's successor, Mohammed Aideed. Colin Powell, then head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the military operations in Somalia as "a paid political advertisement" for the Pentagon. (Michael L. Tan, "Only a Movie," INQ7, Philippine news web site, http://www.inq7.net/opi/2002/feb/26/opi_mltan-1.htm.)

The "humanitarian" operation devolved into wholesale bloodshed. "In one incident," the Independent reported in 1998, "Rangers took a family hostage. When one of the women started screaming at the Americans, she was shot dead. In another incident, a Somali prisoner was allegedly shot dead when he refused to stop praying outside. Another was clubbed into silence." Mark Dowden, author of Black Hawk Down, wrote the article -- yet his book, released a year later, makes no mention of these atrocities. (Independent, 2-2-02) Further nips and tucks in the film script were made at Pentagon request.

Letters from the studios to Pentagon officials declassified last year reveal that Hollywood routinely rewrites history at the dictate of DoD officials with the authority to grant access to military hardware and property. If the script changes are not made, assistance is denied, the film suffers. Films that have won Pentagon approval include Armageddon, Air Force One, The Jackal, Top Gun, Pearl Harbour and Bad Company. Some movies that didn't make the grade: The Thin Red Line, Apocalypse Now, Sgt Bilko, Platoon, Independence Day and Spy Game. (Duncan Campbell, "Top Gun versus Sergeant Bilko?," The Guardian, 8-29-01.)


The national security-entertainment complex is as driven by greed as it is hypocrisy, so on September 15, 2000, the New York Post reported: "BUSH MADE BUNDLE ON MOVIE VIOLENCE." President Bush has scolded panderers of film violence and is given to public pronouncements that there should be "a sense of urgency in our society about the pervasiveness of violence" (excluding the current spate of gory war movies, of course -- these he applauds). "I think it starts with reminding moms and dads that they've got to be mindful of the games and movies and music that their children are listening to." Most moms and dads had no idea that, for ten years, moralist Bush sat on the board of Silver Screen Management Co., a company operated by New York businessman Roland Betts, a fellow Skull & Bones frat brother. Silver Screen has financed a score of R-rated flicks, including The Hitcher, a bloodfest. Bush joined the board of SS in 1983 and was a director until 1993, when he planned his candidacy for the Texas governor's office. Bush received over $100,000 in directors' fees and bonuses from the firm.

In the last election cycle, Bush's starched supporters regaled Al Gore for his friendship with Pulp Fiction producer Harvey Weinstein, and soliciting campaign funds in Hollywood. They selectively forgot that Colin Powell sat on the corporate board of Time-Warner before his appointment to the State Department. Time-Warner Cable offers hardcore pornography. In 1992, the ultra-conservative American Family Association named Time-Warner "the third leading sponsor of sex, violence and profanity on broadcast TV." (Robert Peters, "Time Warner Still a Major Cultural Polluter," Morality in Media Web Site: http://www.moralityinmedia.org/index.htm?mediaIssues/timewarn.htm.)

Martin Kaplan, a former speechwriter and Disney executive, allowed at a recent news conference that between Hollywood and Washington, "there's a combination of distrust and affection. There has been the culture-wars side of it, but there's also been quite a passionate relationship with legislative outcomes. They understand each other in a fundamental way." (Doug Saunders, "Films of War," Globe and Mail, 11-17-01)

This intimacy was conspicuous when screenwriter E. Howard Hunt was tapped for spy duty. It was conspicuous in 1952, when Actors' Guild president Ronald Reagan was recruited by the Crusade for Freedom, a CIA front, to star in a series of televised appeals for viewer donations to resettle East European Nazi collaborators -- "freedom fighters," Reagan said -- in the U.S. (John Loftus, The Belarus Secret, New York: Knopf, 1982, pp. 107-41.)

And it was conspicuous twenty years later at the world premiere of The Godfather, an event attended by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Robert Evans, the film's producer, a Kissinger crony, had known Mafia ties -- his attorney was Sidney Korshak, the legendary West Coast mob fixer -- but this didn't deter the world's most prominent war criminal. Evans writes in his memoirs that when Kissinger arrived at the screening, the paparazzi "became so unruly that extra police were called in to physically push them back."

A reporter shouted, "Dr. Kissinger, why are you here tonight?"

Kissinger croaked with a grin, "I was forced."

"By who?"

"By Bobby."

The theater's lights dimmed, the theme rose, Evans gushed: "my whole life seemed to pass before me. Here, sitting between Henry and Ali [McGraw], watching this epic unfold, I felt that everything my life was about had led up to this moment." (Robert Evans, The Kid Stays in the Picture, London: Aurum Press, 1994, pp. 9-10.)

The mutual admiration was still evident in November, 2001 when senior White House advisor Karl Rove and several dozen studio executives met in Beverly Hills to discuss the war on terrorism. "It's important to hear what Hollywood has on its mind," Bush administration spokesman Ari Fleisher explained at a daily press briefing. The names Bill Maher, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty or Larry Flynt did not come up.

The thoughtful movie moguls represented CBS, HBO, MGM, Showtime, Dreamworks, Viacom and other multinational cartel dream factories. The New York Times assured, "several executives emphasized ... that they were not interested in making propaganda films." CNN mentioned that MPAA president Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association, "hoped the White House representatives weren't planning `to tell us what kind of movies to make.'" Rove wanted "concrete information, told with honesty and specificity and integrity." But most reports of the closed meeting note that "patriotic" movies were the topic of discussion. The studio executives offered to turn out flicks in the tradition of Why We Fight, a documentary made during World War II, and The Battle of San Pietro; they also committed to public service projects on biological terrorism and "homeland security." (Rick Lyman, "White House Sets Meeting with Film Executives to Discuss War on Terrorism," New York Times, 11-8-01.) Among the volunteers to the war effort, count directors David Fincher (Fight Club), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) and Randal Kleiser (Grease), and Die Hard screenwriter Steven E. De Souza.

Never mind that Hollywood was already tummy-tuck deep in the propaganda biz. A few days before Rove's summit, actor Tom Cruise met with CIA officials to discuss ways of burnishing the agency's image in the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3. (Editorial, "Unease over Hollywood Washington pact," Guardian Unlimited, November 14, 2001.) Truth is, the nation's political and entertainment capitals had been on intimate terms for decades when the studio moguls issued their denials.

"For many years," Canadian media critic Doug Saunders writes, "Hollywood's most prominent products, its major studio films and TV series, have been almost indistinguishable from government-funded propaganda. With rare exceptions, whenever men in uniform appear on-screen, Hollywood has been singing Washington's song from the beginning." The grave flaws in American foreign policy "may loom large in history, but 50 years of cinema and TV have painted [the CIA and DoD] in bright and unmottled hues." And reaped immense profits with their art: CIA expenditures alone on propaganda during the Cold War ran to hundreds of millions of dollars each year. (Alex Constantine, And Now a Word from Our Sponsor -- the CIA, Virtual Government) "If Bush were to erect a soundstage on the White House lawn, he could not do a better job getting the official line across than movies and TV shows have been doing for years." (Saunders)

Two years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency opened its headquarters to Showtime and Paramount for the making of In the Company of Spies. The program aired on Showtime. To celebrate the completion of this collaborative project, the CIA's George Tenet invited everyone involved to a private screening at CIA headquarters in Langley. "The CIA's objectives were clear," screenwriter Roger Towne told the Associated Press. "They hoped to see a human face put on the agency and we had just the story to do it." ("Hollywood Whores for Washington," http://www.xmag.com/archives/7-08-feb00/antiDrug.html and http://www.xmag.com/archives/7-08-feb00/antidrugCont.html) This is an agency, mind you, with two faces, an international Gestapo that has trained death squads around the globe, assassinated a score of foreign leaders, plotted coups, conducted illicit human experimentation, peddled LSD, sprayed disease on Cuban crops, dragged the country into Vietnam, created bin Laden, etc. Tenet boasted that the movie "portray[s] us in a good light, and I want the American people to know the values we believe in."

"Never," noted the Washington Post, "has the CIA so fully embraced a movie." (Vernon Loeb, "The CIA's Operation Hollywood," Washington Post, October 14, 1999, Page C-1.)

The Langley-Hollywood romance began during World War II, when the Office of Strategic Services (the nascent CIA) and a Disney make-up artist designed disguise kits for agents on jungle assignment. In the postwar period, make-up artists were also recruited for the start-up of Studio Six Productions, a full-fledged CIA front complete with business cards, an office, movie posters and trade ads. Studio Six was run by John Chambers, who won an Academy Award for his make-up wizardry in Planet of the Apes, his partner Tom Burman and the CIA's Tony Mendez. (Robert P. Laurence, "Into the Shadows: The CIA in Hollywood," television review, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12-04-01.)

The CIA, soiled by a half century of PR disasters, hired Chase Brandon, a 26-year veteran paramilitary officer with experience "all over Latin America" -- also a cousin of actor Tommy Lee Jones, Al Gore's college roommate -- in 1996 to fill the newly-created position of Entertainment Liaison Officer. "The popular image of us is of some kind of rogue organization creating mayhem and madness on a whim," Brandon told the press a week prior to the World Trade Center air assaults. "We hate to see ugly imagery of us in television and films."

Brandon's office was conceived on December 20, 1991 by the "Task Force on Greater CIA Openness" in a study undertaken at the request of then CIA director Robert Gates, a Bush, Sr. appointee, and immediately classified, though a few copies were leaked. The report proposed an image upgrade to neutralize public hostility. The task force was in "substantial agreement that we generally need to make the institution and the process more visible and understandable rather than strive for openness on specific substantive issues." Forget openness, the Openness Task Force advised. The report "seems to recommend no real change in attitude," complained The Excluded Middle, an anti-CIA Internet site, "only in the way that the agency presents itself to a hostile or at least an indifferent public." The authors of the report boast arrogantly that the CIA's Public Affairs Office (PAO) censored and had buried projects that it found objectionable in the past. Chase Brandon hails from the PAO. Contact with "every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation" was advised by the panel. The result was the Entertainment Liaison Office. (Anonymous, "CIA MEMO ON GREATER OPENNESS REVEALS CONTRADICTIONS," Excluded Middle, http://www.elfis.net/tem/ciaduh.htm)

The CIA's PR campaign was calculated to convince viewers that programs like The Agency on CBS -- praised by Brandon for portraying "the bravery and decency of the men and women who work here" -- were true-to-life. Wolfgang Peterson, an executive producer of the spook show, observes that Americans "are questioning whether we need a CIA, and this is a great opportunity to get the word out." With CIA oversight, of course. Michael Frost Beckner, creator of series, worked closely with Brandon and submitted the product for Agency approval. (Duncan Campbell, "Hollywood helps CIA come in from the cold," The Guardian, September 6, 2001.) The premiere episode of The Agency featured agents thwarting a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, a smoke-belching storyline fit for Rupert Murdoch's delusional Fox cable channel, or perhaps Nickelodeon.

A plausible script was suggested by Guardian media critic John Patterson: "Think of a movie that chronicles the fortunes of a secretive, murderous, criminal organization, deeply prone to the pathologies of masculinity and paranoia, all seen over the course of four decades with excess followed by hubris followed by dead reckoning. The CIA awaits its version of Goodfellas." (John Patterson, "The Caring, Sharing CIA," The Guardian, October 5, 2001.) A working title for this version might be:

"Indecent Exposure"

The raw material for a true-life CIA classic already exists in the life and untimely death of Hollywood scriptwriter Gary Devore (The Dogs of War, Raw Deal). In the early morning hours of June 28, 1997, Devore drove his SUV off the highway near Palmdale, California, plunged into the California Aqueduct and drowned, Chappaquiddick-style. It wasn't a blowout. He didn't nod off at the wheel. Shortly before the fatal plunge, Devore bragged to his wife by cell phone that he was wide awake, riding on "adrenaline" because he was hard at work on the final draft of Solo, a film script about the military occupation of Panama, and was headed for their beach home in Santa Barbara to complete it. The body would not be found for over a year.

In the meantime, his disappearance summoned up a multitude of conspiracy theories, including CIA assassination. Wendy Devore, his wife, still considers this the most likely explanation and ignores the snickers of the press. Her husband wrote spy thrillers for the screen and had intelligence contacts. Police found a surveillance wire hidden in a bedroom drawer. Devore disappeared in the Antelope Valley, on the outskirts of Palmdale, a CIA enclave. And shortly after the writer went missing, the Agency's Chase Brandon popped up at the house to request private access to the scriptwriter's office and computer -- as though the spook had good reason to believe that Devore, then officially a missing person, was dead. (Ivor Davis and Sally Ogle Davis, "Disappearing Act: A Big Comeback...A Big Mystery," E-Online, http://www.eonline.com/Features/Specials/Screenwriter/Three/index3.html)

In July, 1998 Devore's Explorer was hauled from the aqueduct. The driver's window was down. "He must have been unconscious when he hit the water," she told reporters. "Otherwise, if the window was open, why couldn't he get out?" From the start, police have refused, despite Wendy's pleas, to investigate the case properly.

The Los Angeles Times reported on June 29, 1998 that Devore made frequent calls over a period of several weeks before vanishing to "a longtime friend," Chase Brandon, "at the CIA in Langley, Va., to ask him about the U.S. invasion of Panama, former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega and about Noriega's involvement in drugs and money-laundering." Brandon: "I remember talking to him about a lot of elements of Panama and Noriega's regime and the drug money that Noriega was alleged to have had stashed in safes in his offices and that's the money that, in his script [Solo], soldiers stumble across and steal. From that, we sort of drifted off and sort of talked about U.S. counter-narcotics programs in general. I may have mentioned a couple things about the agency's role in providing increased U.S. intelligence efforts to provide support to U.S. law enforcement."

On May 6, 1997, Devore made a note in his day-planner: "Undersecretary for int'l narcotics makers. Chase [name crossed out]. Crime and Narcotics Center. CNC. Largest center in CIA. Espionage agents work with local police, gov't, etc. Do cover work on problems locals won't handle. Airfields, burn labs, fuel storage."

Chase Brandon snickers at conspiracy theories, but offered the Times one of his own: "Gary was one of those people who met a horrible, tragic quirk of fate. He was simply victimized by people who wanted that car." (Robert W. Welkos, "Without a Trace," Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1998.) A conspiracy to steal a moving automobile on an open highway. Case closed. Then again, as filmmaker Barbara Trent (The Panama Deception) pointed out to The Colorado Daily last year, a CIA spokesman is "paid a lot of money to lie. I mean, how many times do we have to learn that lesson?" (Terje Langeland, "Filmmaker to speak on media deception," Colorado Daily, January 27, 2000, http://www.empowermentproject.org/codaily.htm) Gary Devore's death remains a mystery.

The Manchurian Moviegoer

The proliferation of pro-American films and television programs might be described as a cynical mind control operation, a psyop. John Rendon, a "strategic communications" firm hired by the Pentagon (at $100,000 a month) in the war on terrorism, describes himself as "an information warrior and a perception manager." (Jeff Stein, "Propaganda, the Pentagon, and the Rendon Group," TomPaine.Com http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/5188)

Perception management is the mission, under a $45 million Army grant, of the Institute for Creative Technologies, an interactive virtual-reality warfare simulation center and think-tank in Marina Del Rey, operated by the University of Southern California. Richard Lindheim, former vice president of Paramount Television Group, is executive director of the center. The keynote address at the ITC's opening in 1999 was delivered by Jack Valenti, who observed in his opening remarks, "Los Angeles is not the entertainment capital of the world. Washington, DC is the entertainment capital of the world!"

James Der Derian, director of the Information Technology, War and Peace Project (ITWP), was sitting in the audience at the ITC's opening in 1999. "I did not want to rain on the parade," he wrote in an ITWP newsletter, but had to ask "whether the linking up of Hollywood and the Pentagon might not repeat the World War II experience, when training films were mixed with propaganda films, and military simulations became a tool for public dissimulation?"

Valenti came back with a response that "made up in pugnacity what it lacked in nuance." The MPAA president "contrasted my view to the decision to drop the atomic bomb on the Japanese. `Some might have seen that as a heartless and terrible thing to do, but not the 150,000 American boys whose lives would have been lost. This is a lesson in Philosophy 101 that I am giving to you right now.'" But Der Derian came away with another lesson: "Valenti, like many in power today, are all too ready to drop the bomb on dissident viewpoints." Death on the battlefield or simulated on the screen "gives war its special status. This fact can be censored, hidden in a body bag, air-brushed away, but it provides, even in its erasure, the corporal gravitas of war. However, everything I witnessed that day at the ICT was dedicated to the disappearance of the body, the aestheticizing of violence, the sanitization of war. Will this latest alliance of brass, silicon and celluloid be any different? It would seem not." (James Der Derian, "Dreams, Lies and Video Tapes," INFOintervention, Watson Institute Web site, December 18, 2001, http://www.watsoninstitute.org/infopeace/911/jdd_videos.html)

Sanitizing war is the primary aim of the patriotizing media. When the bombs began to fall in Afghanistan, killing and mutilating innocent civilians, a policy of suppressing the body count (or "propaganda") was adopted by Donald "Precision Bombing" Rumsfeld and the government's "information warriors." In Hollywood, self-censorship is the rule. Rarely have the Feds had reason to step in and silence the studios by threat of force. (A rare exception was an episode of Murphy Brown concerning the medical benefits of marijuana -- DEA Director Thomas Constantine threatened a "criminal investigation" of the program. See "Pushing propaganda", from the About website, 7/17/00, http://civilliberty.about.com/library/weekly/aa071700a.htm?iam=dpile&terms=cia+propaganda+movies)

Nevertheless, an atmosphere of aggression and fear has fostered an industry, argues San Francisco Examiner film critic Michael Ryan, "in which ideology predominates and contrary voices are silenced. What happens when someone wants to make a film about Abdul Nabi and his family, Afghans who were forced to become refugees when U.S. bombs killed 28 people in nearby villages?" The managers of perception will interpret such a storyline "as `stupid meddling,' and `should be stifled.'" ("Unease over Hollywood-Washington pact," Guardian Unlimited, November 14, 2001.)

On Black Tuesday, the national security cult's pentagram was breached by a jetliner, the demons of mass persuasion set loose. Until the exorcist arrives, expect generous servings of "heroism," "sacrifice," "mass murder," and "hatred for America" at the matinee.


~ The Ratville Times ~


The subversion of political activism in America

A Critical Analysis Of Anti-Establishment Movements In America

by Phillip Darrell Collins

Historically, a majority of anti-Establishment movements has been largely unsuccessfully. For instance, despite the efforts of the sixties counterculture to end the Vietnam War, the Establishment managed to draw the conflict out for several years and gain control of the lucrative drug trade in the Golden Triangle. The same holds true for the anti-WTO movement, which has only succeeded in vandalizing the businesses of small shop owners. These ongoing successions of failure are the results of the Establishment's subversive efforts and political activists' own susceptibility to Hegelian manipulation.


The Sixties Counterculture
Romanticized by filmmakers like Oliver Stone and faithfully emulated by Generation X, the sixties counterculture ostensibly represented an enormous grassroots mobilization against the elite. However, in reality, the movement was merely the integral constituent of a Hegelian dialectic designed by the ruling class. The elite laid this dialectical snare through the following tactics:


The Promulgation of a Hegelian Meme - One of the weaknesses of the sixties counterculture was its own feeble grasp of the political spectrum. Exploiting this systemic Achilles' heel, the elite infused sixties radicals with a meme (a virus of the mind, so-to-speak) that would guarantee the movement's disintegration. Many of the sixties activists were recruited from academic institutions, which have been longtime disseminators of Establishment propaganda. On college campuses abroad, political scientists were already rigorously promoting a Hegelian view of the political spectrum. According to this dialectical framework, the political spectrum could be conceived of as straight line with fascism occupying the far right pole and communism occupying the far left pole. Nestled comfortably in between these two polar extremes was the American system.


Communism ----- American system ------ Fascism


This spectrum was patently false. Where was there room for the absence of government (anarchy) on this spectrum? Why did Americanism, which is predicated upon limited government and individual liberties, find itself sandwiched between two totalitarian systems? Clearly, this spectrum was disproportionate with reality. In truth, the spectrum drew itself out like this:


Communism ------- Fascism ------- American system ------- Anarchy


Communism and fascism are merely kissing cousins of the left. The appellation of "communism" comes from the Latin root communis, which means "group" living. Fascism is a derivation of the Italian word fascio, which is translated as "bundle" or "group." Both fascism and communism are forms of coercive group living, or more succinctly, collectivism. The only substantial difference between the two is fascism's limited observance of private property rights, which is ostensible at best given its susceptibility to rigid government regulation. In 1933, the Fuehrer candidly admitted to Hermann Rauschning that: !'the whole of National Socialism is based on Marx!( (Martin, p. 239, 1990).  Nazism (a variant of fascism) is derivative of Marxism. The historical conflicts between communism and fascism were merely feuds between two socialist totalitarian camps, not two dichotomously related forces. This is the true nature of the political spectrum.


Ayn Rand probably provided the most eloquent summation of this dialectic:


It is obvious what the fraudulent issue of fascism versus communism accomplishes: it sets up, as opposites, two variants of the same political system; it eliminates the possibility of considering capitalism; it switches the choice of !'Freedom or dictatorship?!( into !'Which kind of dictatorship?!( - thus establishing dictatorship as an inevitable fact and offering only a choice of rulers. The choice - according to the proponents of the fraud - is: a dictatorship of the rich (fascism) or a dictatorship of the poor (communism) (Rand, p. 180, 1967).


However, the counterculture unconsciously subsumed the Establishment's Hegelian meme and assessed the political climate of the time according to the Establishment's Hegelian model of the political spectrum. The memory of Nazi Germany and the atrocities of fascism during World War II were still floating on the surface of public conscious. Frightened by the chimera of "right-wing fascism," sixties radicals aligned themselves with the crypto-Marxist left. Thus, the counterculture only further promulgated the Hegelian dialectic of communism against fascism. Both of these polar extremes represent variants of the same political doctrine: statism. Cloistered within this dialectical framework, the counterculture enshrined the very socialistic machinations of the State that would empower the ruling class.


Control Through Elite Financing - Although the sixties counterculture mounted opposition against the Establishment, its adherents received funding from the plutocrats themselves. In 1970, an Illinois commission report revealed "!Kthat $192,000 in Federal money and $85,000 in Carnegie Foundation funds were paid to [the] Students for a Democratic Society!Kduring the fall of 1969" (Epperson, p.403, 1985). When undercover police intelligence operative David Gumaer investigated the sources of SDS financing, he:


!Ksoon discovered it came through radicals via the United Nations, from the Rockefeller Foundations, the Ford Foundation, United Auto Workers, as well as cigar boxes of American money from the Cuban embassy (Epperson, p. 403, 1985).


In his The Strawberry Statement: Notes of A College Revolutionary, former revolutionary Kunen provided the following account of the 1968 S.D.S. (Students for a Democratic Society) national convention:


Also at the convention, men from Business International Roundtables-the meetings sponsored by the Business International for their client groups and heads of government-tried to buy up a few radicals. These men are the world's leading industrialists and they convene to decide how our lives are going to go. These are the boys who wrote the Alliance for Progress. They're the left wing of the ruling class. They agreed with us on black control and student control!K
They want McCarthy in. They see fascism as the threat, see it coming from Wallace. The only way McCarthy could win is if the crazies and young radicals act up and make Gene more reasonable.
They offered to finance our demonstrations in Chicago.
We were also offered Esso (Rockefeller) money. They want us to make a lot of radical commotion so they can look more in the center as they move to the left (pg. 116).


Before the House and Senate Security Committees, former Communist Party member and FBI informant James Kirk made the following statement:


They (sixties radicals) have no idea they are playing into the hands of the Establishment they claim to hate. The radicals think they are fighting the forces of the super-rich, like Rockefeller and Ford, and don't realize that it is precisely such forces which are behind their own revolution, financing it, and using it for their own purposes (Griffin, 1995, pg. 107-108).


Eventually, a few of the sixties radicals became aware of this manipulation. One such radical was the leader of SNCC, Stokely Carmichael. James Kirk made the following observations concerning Carmichael:


Mr. Carmichael was obviously in the middle of something very important which made him more nervous and tense than in the past!KHe started speaking of things which he said he could not have said before because his research was not finished!K
He repeated the line from the song he liked so well, "Something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?" He kept hitting on the theme that a very large monopoly capitalist money group, the bankers to be exact, was instrumental in fomenting (the) idea that the Jews are the ones actually behind the oppression of the blacks!KIn the agencies of this power, he cited banks, the chief among which were Morgan Guaranty Trust and Chase Manhattan. And the foundations connected with these monoliths (Griffin, 1995, pg. 108).

Apparently, Carmichael's revelations presented a distinct threat to the hidden manipulators. According to researcher Des Griffin: "Within weeks Carmichael had been mysteriously removed from SNCC and the Black Panthers. He had learned too much" (pg. 108)!


Neutralization by COINTELPRO - Carmichael was but a microcosm of the paradigm shift gradually taking place amongst the sixties radicals. Like many of the power organisms that had originated with the ruling class, the counterculture was developing autonomy. Recognizing this tectonic shift, the elite decided that the movement was no longer a useful machination. In fact, the sixties counterculture had become a potential threat to the ruling class. The movement had to be neutralized. This was accomplished through COINTELPRO, a counter-insurgency program within the FBI. Ostensibly, COINTELPRO was presented as an anti-Communist "counterintelligence program." According to the chief of the COINTELPRO unit:


We were trying first to develop intelligence so we would know what they were doing [and] second, to contain the threat.... To stop the spread of communism, to stop the effectiveness of the Communist Party as a vehicle of Soviet intelligence, propaganda and agitation (Wolf, 2002).

However, COINTELPRO's objectives were delineated in such an elastic fashion that they could be extended to encompass almost any form of activism. This elasticity was especially evident in COINTELPRO's use of the vague appellation "New Left." The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations commented on this elasticity:


As discussed earlier, the Bureau did not define the term "New Left," and the range of targets went far beyond alleged "subversives" or "extremists." Thus, for example, two student participants in a "free speech" demonstration were targeted because they defended the use of the classic four-letter-word. Significantly, they were made COINTELPRO subjects even though the demonstration "does not appear to be inspired by the New Left" because it "shows obvious disregard for decency and established morality" (Wolf, 2002).


Thus, COINTELPRO became America's "morality police." However, the techniques employed by COINTELPRO were anything but moral. William C. Sullivan, former assistant to the Director, provided a candid description of the program's tactics:


This is a rough, tough, dirty business, and dangerous. It was dangerous at times. No holds were barred.... We have used [these techniques] against Soviet agents. They have used [them] against us. . . . [The same methods were] brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business (Wolf, 2002).

The Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations provided a brief synopsis of COINTELPRO's strategy:


The Bureau approved 2,370 separate counterintelligence actions. Their techniques ranged from anonymously mailing reprints of newspaper and magazine articles (sometimes Bureau-authored or planted) to group members or supporters to convince them of the error of their ways, to mailing anonymous letters to a member's spouse accusing the target of infidelity; from using informants to raise controversial issues at meetings in order to cause dissent, to the "snitch jacket" (falsely labeling a group member as an informant) and encouraging street warfare between violent groups; from contacting members of a "legitimate group to expose the alleged subversive background of a fellow member to contacting an employer to get a target fired; from attempting to arrange for reporters to interview targets with planted questions, to trying to stop targets from speaking at all; from notifying state and local authorities of a target's criminal law violations, to using the IRS to audit a professor, not just to collect any taxes owing, but to distract him from his political activities (Wolf, 2002).


While many researchers characterize COINTELPRO as a "right-wing conspiracy," it must be understood that so-called "left-wing" Communist regimes employed the same tactics. Recall William C. Sullivan's statement: "We have used [these techniques] against Soviet agents. They have used [them] against us. . . " (Wolf, 2002). This fact reinforces the chimerical nature of the traditional left vs. right dialectic. Totalitarianism is totalitarianism, irrespective of whatever Hegelian appellation the orthodoxy of political science might assign it.


The Anti-WTO Movement

The elite's Hegelian strategy of ideological divide and conquer is also evident in the case of the World Trade Organization. Exploiting the intrinsic irrationalism of partisan affiliations, the oligarchs promulgated another fraudulent dialectical struggle between the right-wing and the left-wing.


"Right-wing" Manipulation - Republicans, neo-conservatives, and other so-called "right-wingers" selectively overlooked the genuine threat posed by the WTO: the further erosion of national sovereignty and destabilization of national economies. Why would they turn their heads and ignore such an obvious danger? Simple. Support of the WTO constituted loyalty to the Republican Party. After all, didn't George Bush support free trade? Doesn't a good Republican support everything that a Republican president supports, irrespective of the economic, political, or moral ramifications? The National Review and other neo-conservative rags printed avid defense polemics for the WTO, thus reiterating a dictum espoused by both major political parties: "Our way or the highway." This rigidity endemic to the two-party system has already resulted in the ostracism of two dissenting voices, Patrick Buchanan and James Trafficant. Such is the irrationality of strict adherence to partisan affiliations.


"Left-wing" manipulation - Meanwhile, many of the left-wing anti-WTO protesters had no qualms with world government or globalism. They certainly were not heartbroken by the fact that globalist machinations such as the WTO undermined national sovereignty and subordinated national economies to the authority of an onerous global entity. Majorities of the protesters were eco-zealots (i.e., watermelon Marxists, green on the outside and red on the inside) whose only problem was the global elite's disregard for the environmental chimera they dubbed "Gaia." New Republic journalist Robert Wright made the following observation concerning Ralph Nader and other phony left-wing WTO protesters:


"Nader and most of the Seattle left would gladly accept a sovereignty-crushing world body if it followed the leftist model of supranational governance found in the European Union" (Wright, 2000).


To appease the puppets of this artificially contrived opposition, President Bill Clinton "espoused a future WTO whose member nations would meet global environmental and labor standards or else face sanction" (Wright, 2000).


If anything, the WTO conflict represented a feud between elite factions: the Anglo-American Establishment of the west and the European Union of the east. Of course, there is further fragmentation into smaller sub-factions, but these two camps seem to be the major players. Both the eastern and western elites desire a world government. However, the western ruling class seeks to establish what they call a Pax Americana, a New World Order headquartered in America. The eastern elite wants a Pax Europa with the locus of power firmly embedded in Europe.


The masses rallied in one of the two camps. The so-called "right-wing" (i.e., conservatives, Republicans, nominal Christians, etc.) aligned themselves with the Anglo-American Establishment. Meanwhile, the so-called "left-wing" (i.e., liberals, radical environmentalists, Democrats, traditional Marxists, etc.) aligned themselves with the oligarchs of the European Union. It must be understood that both sides are intrinsically irrational and wrong. Both are facilitating the formation of a one world socialist totalitarian government. Either way, the free republic of America is doomed should one of these camps succeed. This is the anatomy of the elite's Hegelian dialectic, an ongoing process of divide and conquer.


Political Activism and the Second Gulf War

There can be little debate over the illegitimacy of the latest American military campaign in Iraq. Clearly, the war was illegal because it was antithetical to the principles of Americanism. It was never the policy of the Founding Fathers to attack other nations without provocation. Iraq did not overtly attack the United States and the contention that it did through the surrogate apparatus of al-Qaida has never been substantiated. Moreover, a guiding axiom of Americanism has been the avoidance of entangling alliances abroad. The so-called "coalition of nations" that fought Saddam represented one such entangling alliance. Unilaterally, bilaterally, or multilaterally, America's initiation of the war was still wrong. However, infected by Hegelian memes and controlled through elite financing, the antiwar movement only helped to further realize the ruling class' objectives.


Empowering the UN - Many of the left-wing "antiwar" protesters argued that the United States could not go to war without the approval of the United Nations. Moveon.org trumpeted mantras such as "Inspections work. Wars don't!" Win Without War urged people to tell congress: "Supporting the current UN disarmament mission in Iraq is critical" (Jasper, 2003). Yet, perhaps the most blatantly pro-UN statement was made by Peace Action:


The US must do its part to strengthen international legal systems in order for them to be as effective as possible. This means immediately paying US back dues to the United Nations (UN) and working through the UN to strengthen international laws on terrorism and the means to enforce them. The US should also support the International Criminal Court (ICC).... (Jasper, 2003).


This contention was a Trojan horse of the UN's globalist masters. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other Freedom documents constitute the only legitimate law of the land, NOT any of the edicts or decrees of the United Nations. This was an obvious ploy to empower the United Nations as a world government and further undermine the sovereignty of the United States. In truth, the so-called "antiwar" protesters would have had little or no trouble with the war had it been officially sanctioned by the United Nations, which has always been a conduit for elitist interests.


*  Elite Financing - The left-wing antiwar activists fancied themselves as some sort of grass roots movement, another populist crusade for the twenty-first century. However, a recent article in the Washington Post painted quite a different portrait. Journalist Julia Duin observed: "The American antiwar movement is decked out with all the elements of the counterculture, but it is getting some very establishment funding" (Duin, p. 1, 2003).


The Institute for Policy Studies, which is a left-wing think tank with a budget of $2.2 million, had circulated numerous anti-war polemics in recent months (Duin, p.1, 2003). Among the various Establishment institutions financing this entity were the Turner, Ford, MacArthur, and Charles Stewart Mott foundations (Duin, p.1, 2003). The Institute for Policy Studies finds its very origins with the ruling class. New York banks provided the money necessary to establish the IPS as a branch of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation (Dope, Inc., p. 547, 1992). James Warburg, son of first Federal Reserve chairman Paul Warburg, was a founding trustee of IPS (Dope, Inc., p. 540, 1992).


Eli Pariser, the international campaigns director of Moveon.org, openly admitted that his organization had an operating budget of $300,000 a year (Duin, p. 2, 2003). One major accomplishment that this group boasted was its $3.5 million grossing fund-raiser for liberal political candidates during the 2002 election (Duin, p. 2, 2003). No doubt, these grateful politicians were also major contributors to Moveon.org's $300,000 operating budget. After all, reciprocity is the key to any healthy relationship.


Manufactured Opposition - Of course, it would be both biased and flatly incorrect to assert that elite manipulation has remained confined solely to the left-wing. The so-called "right-wing" also played an integral role in the manipulation surrounding Bush's war in Iraq. Meanwhile, on the other end of the bogus political spectrum, the Establishment had manufactured its own synthetic opposition. Suddenly, from Fort Wayne to Cleveland and Atlanta to Philadelphia, "pro-war" rallies were launched to support Bush's Iraq campaign (Burkeman, p. 1, 2003). Was this a grass roots response to the antiwar demonstrations? Journalist Oliver Burkeman answers this question:


But many of the rallies, it turns out, have been organized and paid for by Clear Channel Inc. - the country's largest radio conglomerate, owning 1,200 stations - which is not only reporting on the war at the same time, but whose links with President Bush stretch back to his earliest, much-criticised financial dealings as governor of Texas. The company has paid advertising costs and for the hire of musicians for the rallies (Burkeman, p. 1, 2003).


Predictably, many conservatives, Republicans, and so-called "Christians" flocked to this dialectical camp. As the hawks and the doves engaged in the harlequin antics of a fraudulent ideological melee, the power elite strengthened their grip on society.



It is painfully clear that political activism in the United States has been rendered ineffective or, in some cases, detrimental to the activists themselves. A portion of the blame rests on the shoulders of the Establishment, which has controlled movements through elite funding. However, a larger portion of the blame must be shouldered by the activists themselves. Contaminated by Hegelian memes and trapped in dialectical snares, activists continue to help the very plutocrats they claim to hate. Only when activists learn to transcend partisan affiliations and develop some autonomous aptitude will America finally see the fruits of any political activism.



Sources cited


Burkeman, Oliver, "Bush backer sponsoring pro-war rallies," http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4633514,00.html, March 26, 2003.

Duin, Julia, "Foundation cash funds antiwar movement," http://dynamic,washtimes.com/twt-print.cfm?ArticleID=20030402-42181748, April 2, 2003.

Editors of Executive Intelligence Review, Dope Inc., Executive Intelligence Review, Washington, D.C. 1992.

Epperson, Ralph, The Unseen Hand, Publius Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1985.

Griffin, Des, Fourth Reich of the Rich, Emissary Publications, Oregon, 1995.

Kunen, James, The Strawberry Statement, Random House, New York, 1968.

Jasper, William F. "Recycling Radicalism," The New American Magazine Online, http://thenewamerican.com/tna/2003/03-24-2003/vo19no06_radicalism.htm, 2003.

Martin, Malachi, The Keys of this Blood, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1991.

Rand, Ayn, Capitalism: The Unknown Idea, New American Library, Reissue edition, July 1986.  

Wolf, Paul, Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports On Intelligence Activities And The Rights Of Americans, http://www.cointel.org, 2002.

Wright, Robert, "Continental Drift," New Republic On-line, http://www.tnr.com/011700/coverstory011700.html, September 17, 2000.


Author's Biography

Phillip Darrell Collins was the chief editor of The Hidden Face of Terrorism, a book by Paul David Collins.


~ Illuminati News ~


Are government-trained psychic killers for real?

At the start of the twisted treasure hunt that is ''The Men Who Stare at Goats,'' the journalist Jon Ronson appears to be looking for furtive, paranoid quacks who play mind games. He seems to have hit the mother lode.

Take the goats of the title: Mr. Ronson cites a hundred of them. He says that they have been hidden at a Goat Lab at Fort Bragg in North Carolina and de-bleated for security reasons.

They have been used in top-secret experiments by psychic spies whose existence is not officially acknowledged by the United States Army. Military psychics are so well hidden that they aren't covered by the Army's coffee budget. It makes them cranky to have to bring their own coffee to work.

''The damn psychic spies should be keeping their damn mouths shut, instead of chitchatting all over town about what they did.'' So says retired Maj. Gen. Albert N. Stubblebine III, the first of the many characters redolent of ''Dr. Strangelove'' who are found in this jaw-dropper of a -- hard to believe, but, yes -- nonfiction story.

Some of these experts contend that a goat's heart can be stopped by the intense gaze of a certain kind of supersoldier. ''Goat didn't have a chance,'' one of these tough guys tells Mr. Ronson. Such fighters sometimes refer to themselves as Jedi Warriors, because the thinking about their occult superpowers dates back to early ''Star Wars'' days. It was then that the post-Vietnam military, demoralized and fiscally hamstrung, was ready to try anything in the way of intangible new weaponry.

Mr. Ronson sets his book up beautifully. It moves with wry, precise agility from crackpot to crackpot in its search for the essence of this early New Age creativity. Much of it can be traced to the 1977 fact-finding mission of Lt. Col. Jim Channon, now also retired but given credit for an influential legacy.

It was Colonel Channon's 125-page ''First Earth Battalion Operations Manual'' that suggested a whole new approach to combat and a whole new type of military uniform. According to Colonel Channon's plan, soldiers' uniforms should include pouches for ginseng regulators, divining tools and loudspeakers that would emit ''indigenous music and words of peace.''

The author's explorations also take him to one soldier of fortune who died after ''acting too big for his boots regarding his superhuman powers,'' and to a New Age company alleged to be dealing in both healing bars (costing $7,600 and resembling blocks of soap) and group sex (''Don't tell your husband because he wouldn't understand the energy work'').

~ more... ~

Reflections on the State

By Michael S. Rozeff (2005)

Why the State?

Just about everyone lives under a State. States are what the world has come to. We and our forefathers have both chosen this order and had it imposed on us. Can this whole order be a bad mistake? Yes, it can, if it is based upon faulty theory. Believing in spontaneous generation, not the germ theory of disease, doctors didn't know enough to wash their hands 140 years ago. We're like those doctors.

States were far weaker only 50 years ago and weaker still 100 years ago. Are bigger and stronger and more intrusive States, like the germ theory of disease, a great boon for mankind, a wonderful discovery that prolongs and saves lives? The bloody 20th century, a ton of evidence to the contrary, and the best theory all strongly suggest the opposite: All States harm mankind and the bigger they are the more harm they cause.

If the State destroys, then why is it the dominant political form? Basically because it gains power over its subjects who, for a variety of reasons, either cannot or do not resist that power. Oppenheimer and Albert Jay Nock tell us much about these developments.

The reactions of the State's citizens to the State fall into a great many categories, ranging from love to hate, indifference to resistance. Three prominent categories are worth mentioning. There are those who do not like the State but do not resist it. They realize that the State possesses the monopoly of legal violence in the area over which it rules and they view it as an irresistible force. They don't think it's worth fighting City Hall. Their behavior looks like those who are indifferent.

Then there are people who'd like to resist. Some even try but they fail to do much. They discover that the rulers are clever enough to prevent serious organized resistance from groups within the State. The rulers have a catalog of methods of control, including co-opting, subsidy, taxes, smear, propaganda, force, law, ballot access control, press dominance, etc.

Then there are very many people who loyally support, even love, the State. There are many reasons why they cling to the State.

1. Error of identification. People long to be identified as something, an American or a Frenchman or a Russian. These are matters of nation, country, society, custom, language, group, religion, culture, not State. Yet in many people's minds, they merge. The State comes to represent what a person is. The State gains loyalty by blurring the lines between itself, country and society. Patriotism, a love of country, overlaps with love of State.

2. Error of attribution. People make the logical error of attributing progress achieved by the country to the State: Cum hoc, ergo propter hoc. If a horse wins a race despite a 5-pound handicap, it wins despite the extra weight not because of it.

3. Illusion of order. People fear anarchy. They think that the power of the State to suppress and keep order is better than exposure to unnamed and unseen anarchic forces. Fear of one's fellow man sows the seeds of support of the State. This solution to the problem of order is an illusion that is based on contradiction, however. If one fears men, and the rulers are men, then the rulers are also to be feared. In fact, the State to whom one gives such great power is even more to be feared. There is no security of life when one turns one's life over to one's jailer.

4. Illusion of security. People want security, insurance against the trials of life, a father that is there to feed and house them when they have troubles. It is illusion to think that the State can provide comfort. The State has no resources of its own, so it must draw them from the citizens themselves. In the process, much waste occurs, insecurity of rights is fostered, and the overall productivity of the people is reduced. In its external relations, which are frequently aggressive, the State wastes still more resources. Hence, the State makes people less secure.

5. Vicarious pleasure. Many identify with the State's power. They feel good when the State uses its power. Death and destruction do not bother them. They like the idea of wars and armies marching, big tanks, missiles and rockets, and space ships flying to the moon. If the State is a superpower, all the better.

6. Hunger for power and wealth. Many people benefit from the State. Perhaps they rule, or gain subsidies or laws that favor them.

7. Philosophy. There are those like Hegel who justify the State and replace God with the State.

8. Miscalculation. Many people think the State is a good deal. These people can't count or calculate. They give up $1 and get back $0.80 and do not know it. Sometimes they underestimate the costs they bear now and in the future. Sometimes they overestimate the benefits. Of course, the State does what it can to help them miscalculate.

9. Hope. This is a kind of misplaced faith. People irrationally hope and believe that the State's power will ameliorate various evils, usually in a social context. When the State's programs fail, these people are incapable of analyzing the reason for the failure because of the complexity of social situations and because of their biased hopes.

10. Gullibility and propaganda. The State encourages illusions about its powers and abilities.

The State's success as a political form, even though it is a counterproductive form of human organization, has all these roots and no doubt more that I am overlooking.

The State's concentration of power

States are defined by their possession of a monopoly of legalized violence in a territorial area. But they usually also possess another signal feature: a peculiar pyramidal power structure. The State has a leadership consisting of a rather small group of men. Below each leader is the entire power of the people, and this amplifies the leader into a powerful concentrated force. The men in a country who like to use power see it for the taking in every State, and they take it by becoming its leaders. This process brings power-loving men into positions of power. This turns a nation's pinnacle into a power-wielding dynamo that can be turned internally or externally.

The leaders represent all their subjects in their inter-State (called international) relations. The various rulers, many being power-loving men, often do not get along with one another and have ambitions to expand their rule. Hence, the system of States with their concentrated powers is geared to produce strife and often war of a more serious scope than mankind's wars before the advent of States. Total war is an invention of the modern State.

If the masses have evil aspirations, and they do, the State focuses and embodies them. If the leaders have evil impulses, and they do, they are given greater scope. Hardly ever do leaders work as hard for peace as they do for conquest, because the State is power and attracts those who wish to use power. Peace talk comes mainly from those outside the State system. Even peaceable rulers are trapped by the system, often their own nasty subjects, and find it hard to promote peace. The results are deadly for the human race.

Overlooked costs

The State imposes, controls, robs, kills and invades, all of which is wrong. These actions are unhealthy for the souls of the citizens. They are also very costly. But I think we may not fully understand the long-term dynamic of some of these costs. Costly social programs, once begun, go on and on and on. War can last generations, even after it supposedly has officially ended.

Often with public consent, often without it, States consciously and rationally choose to begin conflicts, but are the underlying calculations flawed? Shortsighted? Do peoples and rulers fail to count all the costs of conflicts? Do they fail to understand the longstanding unhappiness these choices bring? Do they underestimate how long conflicts last and how the human and property costs mount? I hypothesize that this is the case.

Observe. The Kashmiri conflict is 60 years old. Today's Irish and English still are paying the price of the English invasion of Ireland over 800 years ago and the subsequent attempt to wipe out Catholicism. The South has not forgotten the North's invasion 145 years ago. Many generations of Arabs will remember the U.S. invasion of Iraq and seek justice. The 9/11/01 attack is related to the U.S. presence in Lebanon which goes back to 1957, some 44 years earlier. The Tamil-Sri Lankan conflict over secession is 30 years old. The Korean conflict is still not settled after 55 years.

Four elements of psychology underlie my hypothesis. First, human beings can be very determined. Second, human beings can pass memories of injustice on indefinitely. Third, human beings are prepared to die for what they believe in. Fourth, the horizon of a leader is approximately his tenure of leadership which is far shorter than the collective and enduring memories of those who bear the ultimate costs of his decisions.

To a leader and his cheerleaders, power looks a lot better in the short-run than in the long-run. But none of them will be around in the long-run. They won't even be around beyond a few terms in office. This is a strong argument for greatly limiting State power.

Costs of conflicts are sometimes hidden and forgotten. The 45-year Cold War has ended, for the time being. It is altogether too easy to forget that the bad and unrealized outcome of the Cold War, nuclear Armageddon, could have occurred. The risk was high. We might have suffered grievously heavy costs. To forget that risk because the gamble paid off is to misunderstand the flawed calculations upon which the Cold War was based. Mutual assured destruction was an incredibly poor policy choice compared to the no-holds-barred pursuit of peace. Trumpeting that we won the Cold War by an arms race is not only bad history but a bad basis for future policy based once again on even more force of arms. The next series of armed conflicts need not end so happily.

Risk is a peculiar thing and not well understood. It has to do with the loss you might incur if something bad happens. Sometimes the bad outcome does not happen and the player begins to forget the risk or figure it isn't really there anymore. But it is. And when it hits, you understand, even if it is too late to do anything about it.

And have all the costs of the Cold War been incurred yet? Far from it. Our leaders still have the cold war mentality. Our troops are still in far-flung places with missions redefined. Disarmament has not proceeded very far. If even one atomic device left over from the Cold War is exploded over one city anywhere in the world, what will we then think? Probably about blame. We'll be blaming the evil men who exploded it, the lax security of those who lost it, and the failures of those who could have stopped it. We'll be out for revenge. But what we should be thinking is that this is the cost of war-making rather than peace-making. This is a long-term cost of the Cold War.

Costs of the State that involve risk are also hidden. For example, we have a few men who are given enormous power. The risk is obvious but overlooked. The nation is vulnerable to the defects of character and emotion, limitations of mind and intelligence, and limited information of a few men. Concentrating power in a few men is like an investment with all one's wealth placed on one stock. Plunging in stocks usually fails and all is lost.

The U.S. has experienced this problem time and time again, but we have not recognized this problem for what it is. In fact, the Congress has supinely abdicated any serious debate on issues of war and defers to the President. So we have given him even more power! This is really a dumb thing to do. An all-powerful President is nothing more than a highly risky gamble. We have already lost that gamble far too many times. Count the wars and interventions since 1945 and you will know how many times.

Our leaders and their supporters among us overestimate the expected net benefits of fighting. They think naïvely that there is a benefit to a superpower stemming from its ability to impose on others. This is illusion. Superpowers create multiple enemies. The fights grow larger, more frequent, and more destructive as the opponents multiply and build their strength. As the superpower expands, it requires ever more territory and expenditure to secure its new outposts. It becomes ever more vulnerable. There is no security whatsoever in superpower politics and expansion.

Do we the people gain as the U.S. exercises its so-called leadership responsibility in the world? What a lot of hooey that is, designed to justify a losing power game. Is the game worth it, or is it illusion? When the sons are slain and maimed, when nothing real is gained or attained, isn't it illusion, La Grande Illusion? What are the gains from World Wars I and II? Some States fended off some other States. We ran just to stay in one place. We were held back by the struggles. We were not made better off. We defended, without necessity, because of the piled-up errors of States. Many millions of lives were destroyed. Each War created the conditions for yet more wars, such as the Cold War. What were the gains from Korea and Vietnam? The U.S. heavily inserted itself into the Middle East during the Cold War in order to contain the Soviet Union. From that questionable policy has sprung today's involvement for which the bills are piling up.

Are the long-run costs of the power game that produces world-wide flashpoints such as Taiwan and the 38th parallel adequately appreciated by its supporters? I very much doubt it.

~ PanArchy ~

Anti-Israel carol service condemned by religious leaders

The event, titled "Bethlehem Now: Nine Alternative Lessons and Carols", was held last week St James's, Piccadilly and organised by Open Bethlehem, a Palestinian group and Jews for Boycotting Israeli.

It saw Once in Royal David's City sung as: "Once in Royal David's City, Stood a big apartheid wall, People entering and leaving, Had to pass a checkpoint hall, Bethlehem was strangulated, And her children segregated."

The Twelve Days of Christmas was refashioned as: "Twelve assassinations, Eleven homes demolished, Ten wells obstructed, Nine sniper towers, Eight gunships firing, Seven checkpoints blocking, Six tanks a-rolling, Five settlement rings, Four falling bombs, Three trench guns, Two trampled doves, And an uprooted olive tree."

The Rector of St James's Piccadilly, the Rev Charles Hedley, has said that he received dozens of complaints and will "think twice" before allowing a repeat of the service in his church, according to The Times.

The newspaper adds that the offices of both the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and his predecessor Lord Carey of Clifton have also criticised the service.

Among the guests were Baroness Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer who was sacked from the party's front bench in 2004 after saying she "understood" why Palestinians became suicide bombers and that she would consider becoming one if she were Palestinian.

~ Telegraph ~

Codex Alimentarius: Population control under the guise of consumer protection

The most dominant country behind the agenda of Codex is the United States whose sole purpose is to benefit multinational interests like Big Pharma, Big Agribusiness, Big Chema and the like. At the latest meeting in Geneva, the U.S. recently became the chair of Codex which will facilitate an exacerbation of the distortion of health freedom and will continue the promulgation of misinformation and lies about genetically modified organism (GMOs) and nutrients while fulfilling the tacit population control agenda. The reason the U.S. continues to dominate Codex is because other countries falsely believe the U.S. possesses the latest and greatest safety technology when it comes to food and hence, whatever the U.S. asks for, its allies (E.U., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore) follow suit nearly every time.

Many of the countries who wish to participate and want to voice their opinions are not allowed to attend the Codex meetings as the U.S. denies most visas for these representatives whenever they feel like it. Many of these countries (South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Sudan, Nigeria) realize that Codex has been altered from a benevolent food organization to one that is fraudulent, lethal and illegitimate. The fact that Codex meetings are held all over the world is also no accident and allows the U.S. to maintain its tight grip on the Codex agenda as the less economically viable countries are not able to attend.

The Real Threat

While the esoteric agenda of the media is busy driving fear into the hearts of the world by focusing on terrorism, global warming, salmonella, and food shortages, the real threats are clandestinely becoming a reality. Soon every single thing you put into your mouth (with the exception of pharmaceuticals, of course) will be highly regulated by Codex Alimentarius, including water. The standards of Codex are a complete affront to the freedom of clean and healthy food, yet these regulations have no legal international standing. Why should we be worried? These soon-to-be mandatory standards will apply to every country who are members of the WTO (World Trade Organization). If countries do not follow these standards, then enormous trade sanctions will result. Some Codex standards that will take effect on December 31, 2009 and once initiated are completely irrevocable include [2]:

* All nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are to be considered toxins/poisons and are to be removed from all food because Codex prohibits the use of nutrients to "prevent, treat or cure any condition or disease"

* All food (including organic) is to be irradiated, removing all toxic nutrients from food (unless eaten locally and raw).

* Nutrients allowed will be limited to a Positive List developed by Codex which will include such beneficial nutrients like Fluoride (3.8 mg daily) developed from environmental waste. All other nutrients will be prohibited nationally and internationally to all Codex-compliant countries [2].

* All nutrients (e.g., CoQ10, Vitamins A, B, C, D, Zinc and Magnesium) that have any positive health impact on the body will be deemed illegal under Codex and are to be reduced to amounts negligible to humans' health [3].

* You will not even be able to obtain these anywhere in the world even with a prescription.

* All advice on nutrition (including written online or journal articles or oral advice to a friend, family member or anyone) will be illegal. This includes naturalnews.com reports on vitamins and minerals and all nutritionist's consultations.

* All dairy cows are to be treated with Monsanto's recombinant bovine growth hormone.

* All animals used for food are to be treated with potent antibiotics and exogenous growth hormones.

* The reintroduction of deadly and carcinogenic organic pesticides that in 1991, 176 countries (including the U.S.) have banned worldwide including 7 of the 12 worst at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pesticides (e.g., Hexachlorobenzene, Toxaphene, and Aldrin) will be allowed back into food at elevated levels [4].

* Dangerous and toxic levels (0.5 ppb) of aflotoxin in milk produced from moldy storage conditions of animal feed will be allowed. Aflotoxin is the second most potent (non-radiation) carcinogenic compound known to man.

* Mandatory use of growth hormones and antibiotics on all food herds, fish and flocks

* Worldwide implementation of unlabeled GMOs into crops, animals, fish and trees.

* Elevated levels of residue from pesticides and insecticides that are toxic to humans and animals.

Some examples of potential permissible safe levels of nutrients under Codex include [2]:

* Niacin - upper limits of 34 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 2000 to 3000 mcgs).

* Vitamin C - upper limits of 65 to 225 mcg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 mcgs).

* Vitamin D - upper limits of 5 μg daily (effective daily doses include 6000 to 10000 μg).

* Vitamin E - upper limits of 15 IU of alpha tocopherol only per day, even though alpha tocopherol by itself has been implicated in cell damage and is toxic to the body (effective daily doses of mixed tocopherols include 10000 to 12000 IU).

The Door is Open for Codex

In 1995, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created an illegal policy stating that international standards (i.e, Codex) would supersede U.S. laws governing all food even if these standards were incomplete [5]. Furthermore, in 2004 the U.S. passed the Central American Free Trade Agreement (illegal under U.S. law, but legal under international law) that requires the U.S. to conform to Codex in December of 2009 [6].

Once these standards are adopted there is no possible way to return to the standards of the old. Once Codex compliance begins in any area, as long as we remain a member of the WTO, it is totally irrevocable. These standards are then unable to be repealed, changed or altered in any way shape or form [1, 2, 7].

Population control for money is the easiest way to describe the new Codex which is run by the U.S. and controlled by Big Pharma and the like to reduce the population to a sustainable 500 million - a reduction of approximately 93 percent. The FAO and WHO have the audacity to estimate that by the introduction of just the vitamin and mineral guideline alone, at a minimum 3 billion deaths (1 billion from starvation and another 2 billion from preventable and degenerative diseases of under nutrition, e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes) will result.

Degraded, demineralized, pesticide-filled and irradiated foods are the fastest and most efficient way to cause a profitable surge in malnutrition, preventable and degenerative disease which the most appropriate course of action is always pharmaceuticals. Death for profit is the new name of the game. Big Pharma has been waiting for this opportunity for years.

~ more... ~

Capitalism needs purging, not tweaking

The very system that engenders our ecological suicide, values economic expansion over life, the economy over ecology and shopping over a sustainable future will soon claim it is going to save not only life on earth but itself at the same time. Timid NGOs – from Greenpeace to the New Economics Foundation – are jumping on the bandwagon, and will soon be followed by desperate corporations and governments greenwashing themselves in the hope that they will rebuild confidence and rake in profits from a new market. But it's a wagon that, despite a repaint, is still heading for the precipice.

Not only will the deal continue to be based on the fantasy logic of a growth economy with no tethers to the real limits of the biosphere, but it will include a "carbon army" of "green collar workers" – no doubt forced off welfare (which will be cut away as we pay off the bail-outs) into poorly paid and alienating green jobs. Meanwhile, fossil fuel corporations will be hit with a windfall tax that will be used to "deal with the effects of climate change." It all sounds suspiciously like the old capitalism to me.

What we need is a new logic, not a new deal. Eighteenth century abolitionists didn't advocate a tax on slavery: they wanted it stopped. We shouldn't tax fossil fuels, but stop them being pumped out of the ground. Similarly, we don't need new jobs but new definitions of work.

We need a new way of thinking about what has value, how we feed ourselves, how we live together, how we build culture, democracy and politics and how we connect to the natural world. None of us will ever see such an opportunity again.

~ more... ~

Mile-thick cloud of pollution is choking the planet

A massive mile-thick brown pollution haze has settled over vast areas of the planet, changing weather patterns and threatening health and crops, according to the UN.
Vast areas of Asia, the Middle East, southern Africa and the Amazon Basin, are affected by the smog-like plumes, caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels and firewood, are known as "atmospheric brown clouds".

When mixed with emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for warming the earth's atmosphere like a greenhouse, they are the newest threat to the global environment, according to a report commissioned by the UN Environment Programme.

"All of this points to an even greater and urgent need to look at emissions across the planet," said Achim Steiner, head of the UNEP.

Brown clouds are caused by an unhealthy mix of particles, ozone and other chemicals that come from cars, coal-fired power plants, burning fields and wood-burning stoves. First identified by the report's lead researcher in 1990, the clouds were depicted in the report as being more widespread and causing more environmental damage than previously known.

Perhaps most widely recognised as the haze this past summer over Beijing's Olympics, the clouds have been found to be more than a mile thick around glaciers in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush mountain ranges.

They hide the sun and absorb radiation, leading to new worries not only about global climate change but also about extreme weather conditions.

~ The Scotsman ~

Dissidence and literature

Technologically, the world has come very far in the recent years, but still, dictatorships follow the same path as they always have, but of course, now they do it in a more sophisticated way. They still burn and ban books, but now they also try to limit and control the use of the Internet, because it is through the internet that the written word can reach millions of people in an instant and bring them the information that these governments and powers have tried to hide. In the past, once a writer was in exile, he/she would be more or less disconnected from his/her people, but today, this is not the case at all. Books and articles can be written and be made available on line. Discussions can be made, and the truth can rise to the top. Of course, this age of technology has its own complications. Just the same way that writers and dissidents can use the Internet to reach people, dictatorships and their agents and supporters can do the exact same thing and try to distort the truth. But this is a battleground of a very serious war that goes on without pause and to which every writer needs to remain dedicated. The future belongs to the young generation, and in order to make this future better than the present is for the older generation to succeed in giving to the youth the burden of history it has carried. However, let's not forget that history can be abused and twisted. For example, there are still those who say the holocaust never happened, even though the holocaust is a very well documented event of recent history.

As human beings, we have a tendency to turn our backs on what causes us sorrow, pain, and despair, especially when these are historical events that bring our conscience, whether personal or social, under a microscope. So a writer who writes about such matters is always faced with a great deal of resistance. Also, let's not forget that governments and extremist political groups have and will use literature as a tool of propaganda. Of course, it's needless to say that when literature becomes a tool to serve a certain ideology, it automatically loses its soul and becomes lost. Any intelligent reader can spot such a condition without effort, no matter how skillfully it's done. Literature is not to serve a certain ideology, but to become the honest bearer of the human experience and condition, whether in the fiction or non-fiction form.

There are also those who take the power of literature too lightly. Without words and literature, we become secluded and imprisoned in our own bodies. What is the use of experience if it cannot be shared? I learned more about the holocaust from Anne Frank's Diary, Ellie Wiesel's Night, and Imre Kertesz's Fatelessness than I have ever learned from any history books. This is because these amazing works of literature not only tell us about what happened, but they tell us about how people felt as they experienced such horrors, so that we can put ourselves in their shoes and not only know but feel their experiences. Without literature, history and the human experience, which is a very important part of history, becomes a cold and impersonal recitation of numbers and words that can rarely bring tears to anyone's eyes or touch anyone's heart.

I am a practical person by nature, and as I told you, I wanted to become a medical doctor, but I ended up becoming a political prisoner at the age of 16 and spending more than 2 years in prison, and then I became a writer. I have always admired those who act on their convictions for a good cause: doctors who risk all and work in war and poverty torn regions to save lives, human-rights activists who are at the front lines of humanitarian disasters, journalists who risk their lives to bring us reports and images about events happening across the globe, engineers who build roads and schools in remote areas or bring clean running water to those who need it.

What is the role of the writer? In my humble opinion, every writer is a part of humanity's collective conscience. As a writer, I am here to remember and to make sure that the world knows and remembers. Some people say, “but these are only words.” I would say that these are the words that contain our humanity. We're here at this conference to speak about dissidence and literature, but I would like to ask you “what is dissidence?” To you, is dissidence a political act or a human one, or maybe both? I believe that when dissidence is mainly political and serves a certain ideology or religion, it should be left to politicians. However, when literature enters the arena of dissidence, in order for literature to keep its soul and humanity, it has to serve the human conscience without serving an ideology, and if it manages to do this, it would deliver to the future generations the truth of our experience, humanity, and imagination. But this is easier said than done. As human beings, we are very much prone to letting our political views cloud our judgment. So when a writer allows his/her ideology to shape and define her work and become its blueprint, we see the death of good literature, which bears witness to human and historical conditions, and, we see the rise of a phenomenon which I choose to call “literary propaganda.”

~ more... ~


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