NO MORE NATO by June Terpstra
NATO is a political and military organization where members having common values such as capitalist profit and imperialist domination work together in the principle of collective aggression. The continuation of NATO is not in the interest of the people or the planet and may well constitute a threat to all our security in the future. More than 50 years ago the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed to consolidate Western Europe and the United States hegemony over the communist nations of Eastern Europe. It was an alliance of sovereign nations bound together in common purpose — domination.
The deterrence principle of NATO and its member states assisted in destabilizing governments seeking self-determination and independence. In short, NATO achieved its stated mission. With the fall of the Soviet system and the accompanying appearance of the end of a threat to member states, in 1989—1991, NATO's reason to exist ceased. Unfortunately, as with most military bureaucracies, the end of NATO's mission did not mean the end of NATO. Instead, heads of NATO member states gathered in 1999 desperately attempting to devise new missions for the outdated and adrift alliance. This is where NATO moved to an overtly offensive and interventionist organization supposedly concerned with "economic, social and political difficulties...ethnic and religious rivalries, territorial disputes, inadequate or failed efforts at reform, the abuse of human rights, and the dissolution of states," in the words of the Washington 1999 Summit.NATO is an obstacle to achieving world peace.
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO – in a process known as “mission creep,” something that frequently happens when the original raison d’état of large bureaucracies passes away, reinvented itself as a tool for military action by the “G-8-20 community” including the promotion of the so-called “war on terror”. In reality it is a vehicle for US-led use of force with military bases on all continents which bypasses the United Nations and the system of international law, accelerating militarization and escalating arms expenditure. Pursuing an expansionist agenda since 1991, designed to advance strategic and resource interests, NATO has waged war in the Balkans, under the guise of so-called “humanitarian war”, and has waged ten years of brutal war in Afghanistan, where the tragic situation is escalating and the war has expanded into Pakistan.
In the past year, NATO has killed thousands of innocents in Libya, assassinated its leader, Gadhafi and destroyed the Libyan Green government. In Europe NATO is worsening tensions, feeding the arms race with so-called “missile defense”, a massive nuclear arsenal and a nuclear first strike policy. EU policy is increasingly tied to NATO. NATO’s ongoing and potential expansion into Eastern Europe and beyond and its “out of area” operations are making the world a more dangerous place. The conflict in the Caucasus is a clear indication of the dangers. Each advance of the NATO border increases the possibility of war, including the use of nuclear weapons.NATO membership demands a minimum level of military spending of its member states. For NATO's new members, the burden of significantly increased military spending when there are no longer external threats is hard to meet. Unfortunately, this is where the US government steps in, offering aid and subsidized loans to these members so they can purchase more unneeded and unnecessary military equipment. In short, it is nothing more than corporate welfare for the US military industrial complex.
NATO’s expansion and its progressively broader operations over the past ten years indicate in a glaring manner the Alliance’s intention to circumvent, subvert and jeopardize the very existence of the United Nations, a theme dealt with in a previous article, West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO. In addition to “guaranteeing energy security” by establishing military beachheads in the Balkans, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea and retaining U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe and participating in the American-led drive for a global missile shield, NATO has claimed for itself the exclusive mandate to address virtually all problems confronting humanity. In conjunction with Western arms manufacturers and the likes of Lloyd’s of London and Royal Dutch Shell.  Rick RozoffThe Holy Triumvirate —
The United States, NATO and the European Union — recognizes no higher power and believes, literally, that it can do whatever it wants in the world, to whomever it wants, for as long as it wants, and call it whatever it wants, like “humanitarian” intervention. NATO waged lawless imperial aggression against Libya. Daily terror bombings massacred tens of thousands. The continuation of NATO is in reality a cover for increased US interventionism across the globe. It will be a conduit for more unconstitutional US foreign aid and US interference in the internal politics of sovereign nations.
NATO is a lawless killing machine, not a liberator.
Mayor 1%'s new rules try to thwart protest, while groundswell of public dissent grows
In the last ten days, literally thousands of people from across Chicago and beyond rallied a massive amount of public outcry against efforts to restrict free speech and the right to dissent in Chicago.
To help folks separate spin from fact, we've put together this analysis to help you understand how local rules have changed in ways that undercut protest and political speech. While these revisions will not deter us from speaking out and protesting, they do change the excuses the police may use to try to prevent us from protesting.
It's also important that we understand these changes so we can educate our friends and neighbors – and fight for meaningful change that puts people's rights and the greater good ahead of the fear-mongering and greed that drove Mayor 1%'s push for these changes.
City Hall made only token changes to "improve" these revisions, and the worst of Mayor 1%'s proposed revisions remain. While the old protest ordinance was pretty terrible in its own right, the changes approved this week make it even worse. How? Because the revisions give the police more excuses to target protesters they don't like and speech they oppose with greater fines and penalties. The revisions also give police more excuses to try and censor the tools we use to speak out – sound equipment, signs, banners and whatnot.
Let's be clear, under the old ordinance, police routinely repressed speech they disliked anyway. More than a few protesters have been arrested for absolutely no reason, only to find that the police have cooked bogus charges as an afterthought – and an excuse for targeting them in the first place.
But few aldermen or reporters understand the problems with the OLD ordinance, and they certainly have no experience with the police department's chronic selective enforcement of the rules. Most have taken Mayor 1% at his word on the impact of these changes – setting them up for serious buyers' remorse once City Hall starts using these changes as an excuse to suppress political speech.
It's also important to note that Mayor 1%'s latest efforts to suppress our civil liberties do not occur in a vacuum. For the past several months, personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Secret Service have been on the ground in Chicago working to coordinate overall security measures for the NATO/G8 summits – and have made recommendations to municipal authorities on how to "enhance" these security measures.
This occurs at a time when Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act and other repressive measures, and where strong evidence exists of a nationally coordinated, inter-city campaign to suppress the Occupy movement. The National Lawyers Guild and its legal partners have filed a series of Freedom of Information requests seeking evidence of this federal role in the Occupy crackdown, and they have painted an ugly picture of federal coordination at the highest levels to undermine the most basic precepts of our right to dissent.
We "strongly suspect that the 72 so-called Fusion Centers created by the Homeland Security Department around the country, and the many Joint Terror Task Forces operated by the FBI in conjunction with local police in many cities, are serving as coordination points for the increasingly systematic attacks on the Occupy Movement,” writes the Guild
Inevitably, much of this will be litigated in the courts. Meanwhile, this latest effort by Mayor 1% and his yes-men and women – as well as his national federal partners – will not deter the legitimate right of the rest of us to speak our minds, raise our grievances and protest government policy, whether or not new "rules" give the police another excuse to try to censor us. We may not have won on Wednesday, but every single person who spoke out, showed up, shot off an email or phoned their alderman has joined a growing groundswell of truly grassroots opposition to the abuse of power. And that is very, very powerful.
The 1% can make new rules. We honor a higher law and more fundamental freedoms: the human right to equality, dignity and peace with justice, the human right to challenge those who rip us off, undercut our health and safety and abuse our basic freedoms, and the human right to defend these freedoms with words and deeds.
Basic talking points – what has changed with the new ordinances1.
We defeated the increased penalties for "resisting arrest," but Chicago's onerous interpretation of what constitutes "resisting" remains, overly penalizing many forms of non-violent civil disobedience. The penalties remain a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum of $500.2.
The City originally wanted minimum violations of the parade permit and public assembly ordinances to jump 20-fold, from $50 to $1000, and double the maximum penalty from $1000 to $2000, while keeping in place the maximum jail time penalty of 10 days. The new ordinances will make the minimum fine "only" quadruple, to $200, while keeping in place the current maximum penalties of $1000 and/or 10 days in jail. The old ordinance was used to exact a "free speech tax" on messages the City disliked, and so the new ordinance just makes that much worse, while providing additional criteria to find alleged "violations." 3.
The new parade permit ordinance proposed in December and the revised version floated January 12th both required that organizers provide in their permit application – something typically prepared months before the event – "a description of any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade."
Besides being logistically unworkable, this was an obvious 1st Amendment restriction. The great "concession" in the new ordinance is that it demands that organizers include in the permit application "a description of any sound amplification or other equipment that is on wheels or too large to be carried by one person,
and a description of the size and dimension of any sign, banner or other attention-getting device that is too large to be carried by one person,
to be used in connection with the parade." [emphasis ours] 4.
The "reformed" version of the legislation is thus only a slightly less obvious 1st Amendment restriction and begs the question, will parade organizers be required to ban "unauthorized" banners under threat of fine and/or jail time?
Speaking at the City Council's Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation meeting on Tuesday, Michelle T. Boone, the Commissioner of the Department of Cultural affairs and Special Events, tried to soft-pedal this provision by implying that there would be no penalty for violation of it. But if that's so, why include the provision in the ordinance at all? 5.
By changing the definition of what constitutes a "large parade," the new ordinance slips in onerous insurance and other burdens on demonstration organizers. Unless one gets a financial waiver from the Commissioner of Transportation, every street march in the downtown area will require $1 million liability insurance and "indemnify the city against any additional or uncovered third party claims against the city arising out of or caused by the parade; and (3) agree to reimburse the city for any damage to the public way or to city property arising out of or caused by the parade." Failure to provide proof of insurance with one's permit application will be grounds for rejection of the application. 6.
Under the new ordinance, one can apply to the Commissioner of Transportation for a waiver of the financial requirements "if the application is for an activity protected by the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution [virtually every activity is protected by the 1st Amendment] and the requirement would be so financially burdensome that it would preclude the applicant from applying for a parade permit for the proposed activity. An application for a waiver of the application fee or insurance requirement shall be made on a form prescribed by and contain reasonable proof acceptable to the commissioner."
There is no definition as to what constitutes "reasonable proof acceptable to the commissioner." Moreover, both the old and new versions of the ordinances allow the Transportation Commissioner to "establish…rules and regulations" in addition to those specified in the legislation – i.e., a virtual blank check to institute unpopular measures that might have difficulty passing the City Council. 7.
The new ordinance repeats most of the bureaucratic limitations on "public assembly" that were contained in the old ordinance. The city defines "public assembly" as any gathering that does not use the street, but does use sidewalks and "which is reasonably anticipated to interfere with or impede the flow of pedestrian traffic."
When a member of the public raised concern about this during a City Council committee meeting, Boone tried to allay the concern by noting that the language had been lifted wholesale from the old ordinance and that "they [the police] don't enforce a lot of it." The reality is that there has been very selective enforcement of this provision of the old ordinance, amounting to a 1st Amendment content-based restriction.
By making the public assembly provisions a new subsection of the Municipal Code, the City will either enforce the old provisions against everyone, or continue its selective enforcement. Either result is a serious retreat away from the 1st Amendment. 8.
The deputizing of police authority, perhaps even to private security outfits, remained intact in the legislation as passed. There is no sun-set clause on this provision. 9.
"temporary" ordinance concerns the issuance of no-bid contracts. It is important to make sure that this truly goes away on July 30th as provided for in the legislation as passed. Transparency
that his mayoralty would have "the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen." As many have commented, given Chicago's history, that's hardly setting the bar very high. Our struggle has given the lie to Mayor 1%'s claims of transparency: a)
The approximately half-dozen aldermen in the Committee on Special Events, etc. apparently had the latest version of the parade permits ordinance when they passed it out of committee on Tuesday afternoon. It was announced that paper copies of it would be distributed to them at the start of that meeting. When one of us asked for a show of hands during public comment section as to who had read it, all six or so claimed they had.
The fact remains, though, that the "latest" versions of the legislation that the City Clerk's office gave us 90 minutes before the Council vote on Wednesday were outdated, and as of yesterday, the Clerk's website still only had the old versions. So there was no way the general public had access to what was being voted on and thus have the opportunity to meaningfully weigh in on them. b)
As noted above, there is only one item in the whole body of legislation that has a sunset clause. This legislation then was not just for G8/NATO, as Emanuel claimed. In a January 17 City Council committee meeting, Mike Simon of the CDOT said that the permits ordinance revisions had been in the works since 2009. As one of us said to Tunney after the committee meeting, they've had this under review for two years and they've apparently talked to all players except
those who actually use the ordinance. c)
The January 12th not-for-attribution press briefing (with no paper copies of what the revisions were) was accepted with virtually no criticism by the City Hall beat press crew. This was as much a statement about them as it was about Emanuel. Right up to and after Wednesday's vote, most accepted City Hall's spin that there were dramatic concessions to our side in the revised legislation. d)
Next up in the transparency department – what are the G8/NATO summits going to cost city taxpayers? Mayor 1% said
that "We’ll make sure that taxpayers don’t take on the bill" and in a Council committee meeting, Alderman Pope falsely claimed that "Historically host cities have been wholly reimbursed." But wholesale violations of protesters' rights by police have typically cost host cities millions in civil suits
after the fact. Win, lose, or somewhere in between?
Finally, there is the issue of whether or not to call what happened on Wednesday a "victory" for our side or not. Most (but not all) mainstream media accounts accepted the 5th floor's spin that Mayor 1% had listened to the people and revised the legislation to address our concerns – a victory for protesters. We obviously don't think so, but at the same time, it would be wrong to label what happened as a wholesale defeat.
It is standard operating procedure for the City is to introduce draconian measures to the CTA, etc. in so-called "doomsday" budgets, only to then walk back the cuts to more "acceptable" levels once there is public outcry – the "acceptable" levels being the ones they planned on instituting all along. But we don't think that this was the initial plan for this legislation – "professional protesters" (their term) are not a group in the chain of power that they think merits any concessions. We think that they introduced the legislation in the form that they wanted it to pass, and were taken aback at the level of resistance our side was able to muster.
There was no advance plan for the January 12th Mayoral dog-and-pony shows. Those and the other spin measures were crafted in response to our resistance, and the City had to deliver at least minimal concessions in order to make them credible. If we had not fought, we would not have won anything.
Aside from the teachers and those fighting the health clinic cuts, we were the first group to take the new mayor on in a sustained battle. And we're really not a group at all – many thousands of people who did not know each other united in opposition to the mayor's plans. As with any new administration, there are always those in the public who hope that the new guy will be better than the old one, that he can be reasoned with, etc. This was an uphill battle on those grounds alone. Our sustained battle over the ordinances helped take Emanuel's credibility down at least a few notches, concretizing his reputation as Mayor 1%. Moreover, we sent the message that if the City messes with us, we will fight back tenaciously.
Given the rubber stamp nature of our City Council (reinforced by Emanuel's deep pockets, etc.), the idea that anyone could defeat him first time out was a total long-shot. Thanks to this struggle, the odds of people defeating him on other issues in the future have gotten at least a little bit better. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Previous articles in this series can be found here, here, here and here.
Here are the new versions of the ordinances:
G8NATOSub.pdf (75 k)
Parade & public assembly ordinances, new.pdf (56 k)
NATO: National Association of Terror Operations
NATO: National Association of Terror Operations
By Azartush Najjarian
Aug 20, 2011
Most people are familiar with the acronym NATO, which stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, people might not be so informed about the history of NATO and their military interventions.
NATO was created on April 4, 1949. NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium. NATO was originally created as a precautionary, counter-military organization, which would be prepared to fight the spread of soviet communism.
The true history of the movement depicts a very aggressive and offensive military apparatus. NATO is described as an organization with goals exclusively for self defense against external threats. Thus each member state mutually agrees to respond to an attack if and when NATO faces an external threat. Hence, as NATO originally was to function as a political entity, NATO transcended into a military organization. This is proved by its offensive blunders since its founding.
NATO Secretary General was Lord Ismay. Ismay’s famous words for the primary goal of the organization were: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” The United States alliance with NATO was sealed in Washington, D.C on April 4, 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states and the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.
Many Icelanders opposed joining and had an anti-membership March in 1949; thereafter, the goals were declared for NATO:
“The Parties of NATO agreed that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense will assist the Party or Parties being attacked, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”
NATO was originally conceived as an alliance to protect the Western democracies against any invasion by the Soviet Bloc during the cold war. However, none of the member nations of NATO were ever subject to any attack by a foreign army since membership.
The trend of NATO interventions involves military forces from wealthy parts of the world fighting with unimaginative-military advantages with regards to weaponry against impoverished groups in the third world. Humanitarian reasons have been used as the primary justifications in most all of these intervention wars led by NATO. The original twelve members of NATO in 1949 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Some of states were the major ex-colonial powers such as the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, France, Denmark and the US.
After the masses are programmed to commit to the protocols the elite wish to impose, the chaos begins. Propaganda is the tool of indoctrination and it goes back to psychological programming as we have discussed before, which is also synonymous with synthetic realities. Synthetic realities could be defined as the intentional manipulation and distortion of what we perceive to be true in order to achieve a particular aim or goal. In essence it is the annihilation of compassion, rationale, logic, and sympathy. It works to rape and distort human beings from their humanity and mutual desire to assist each other.
According to Thinkquest.org describes propaganda as such: “Propaganda is designed to manipulate the emotions and instincts of the general public. Relying on such low level emotions as hate and fear, it uses incomplete or incorrect information while avoiding logical arguments. It repeats ideas and catchphrases, often uses scapegoats, and relates itself with the high ideals. It tries to curtail individual thought, denounces or suppresses contradictory facts, and acts as a distraction. Mass communication is necessary for the success of propaganda.”
When considering NATO’s historical record of savagery and death, one of the most controversial interventions documented was in Yugoslavia. The former Yugoslav Republics included Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia (Republic), Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. The US and NATO allies attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the 24th of March 1999. Kosovo Albanians wanted independence from the Serbian province of Kosovo. Thus the US and NATO used false allegations to attack Yugoslavia claiming it was for humanitarian reasons. After almost a decade later on the 17th of February 2008 the situation became more transparent. NATO warplanes began attacking military targets first and then the infrastructure while many civilians were killed in the bombings.
The attack on Serbia was seen by Serbs as an attack on their nation and not against the regime of Milosevic. Cluster bombs were used in many areas, which are forbidden by international laws. The regular express train Skopie-Belgrade was targeted by a US pilot twice, which was full of civilians. NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade. NATO also bombed a TV station in Serbia, which killed more than a dozen journalists. Amnesty International sought war crimes measures against the alliance. The Strasbourg Court refused to accept the case filed by Amnesty.
The fears of the Cold War in US history share much in ideology with the modern War on Terror. Both of these historic events were a type of synthetic manipulation of realities through media and politics. Americans were accused of being communist spies in the United States and were arrested unjustly during the Cold War.
The Japanese were also placed in concentration camps during WWII in the US. It would be apparent after little investigation that the US has a long history of bombing and terrorizing countries only to rebuild them and forge alliances. Is this the replay of the Masonic-motto: “Order out of Chaos”? We won’t have time to address this here, but there is sufficient history and writings addressing this subject.
Over the last decade NATO has invaded Iraq and Afghanistan backed by the US fighting the synthetic War on Terror. NATO and the US invaded Libya, and NATO is leading bombing campaigns in Libya for the ousting of Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi. The combined military spending of all NATO members is over 70 percent of the world’s defense spending. Former President George W. Bush said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction as justification for the invasion of the country.
However, considering that NATO defines itself as a military defensive organization in special circumstances when its member states are being attacked, I’m not sure how bombing Libya fits NATO’s stated mission.
For that matter, none of their military adventures have ever followed the organization’s official intentions and stated policies. We must keep in mind that we live in an age where corporations, governments and militaries feel they are free to behave however they wish whether that means killing innocents, drone bombings, physical and psychological torture, military occupations and the like. The future is unpredictable and NATO will continue to play a similar role as the United States, which is the role of a world police force imposing draconian laws that they invent themselves to oppress others and steal the resources of the indigenous.
NATO, G8 in Chicago: Labor, Community Groups Push Back Over Revised Protester Proposals
A coalition comprising some 20 community and labor groups on Friday issued a public letter addressed to Chicago's City Council which outlined their concerns with the revised proposals concerning protesters of the concurrent NATO and G8 summits to be held in the city in May.
The letter -- cosigned by Stand Up! Chicago, the Chicago Teachers Union, several SEIU chapters and other groups -- outlines the groups' "deep concern" with the ordinances submitted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which they say "would diminish both the rights of citizens to peaceful public protest and the democratic tradition of our city" if passed.
The letter proceeds to outline their concerns with the ordinances themselves, as well as what they describe as an "apparent rush to usher them through City Council without time for meaningful community consideration and input."
(Scroll down to read the letter in full.)
The groups plan to hold two press conferences next week ahead of the City Council's anticipated vote on the proposal at their Wednesday meeting.
As the city on Thursday announced that it had approved its first parade permit to protesters ahead of the summits and the mayor stated the city stands "in strong support of the applicant organizations' First Amendment right to protest."
City leaders also announced this week that some of the new rules it had previously proposed, such as increasing the maximum fine for a violation of the parade ordinance and requiring parade marshals per every 100 participant, had been dropped.
But despite the city's recent assurances, other protesters beyond those signing onto the City Council letter also remain unimpressed. Andy Thayer, a veteran Chicago activist at the forefront of the groups planning to protest the summits, said in a statement issued Friday that the latest version of the city's plans for handling protesters of the May summits[PDF], "stunk. Almost as much as the earlier versions."
Thayer said many of the remaining proposals -- such as one requiring protest organizers to describe "any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade" in advance -- are "ridiculous" and "odious."
The city previously came under criticism for its plan to put parts of downtown Chicago, essentially,on a lockdown as part of the federal government's security plan for the summits. Activists have also not been pleased by the increased fines protesters accused of resisting a police officer will face, among other concerns.
Read the letter here:
Open Letter From Community and Labor Organizations
Posted on September 1, 2011
Human Rights Investigations has been repeatedly warning about the Libyan rebels and it has become increasingly clear that racism lies at the very heart of the conflict in Libya. It now clear that the rebel forces are NATO (and Qatar and UAE)’s proxy fighters on the ground. Many of these fighters have been recruited and motivated on the basis of psy-ops about African mercenaries, fired up by viagra, mass-raping women and pillaging their cities - discredited stories which have been spread and amplified by rebel commanders, NATO ministers, the media and ICC prosecutor Moreno Ocampo.
The effects of this pernicious propaganda campaign have been seen in Benghazi, Misrata and Tawergha and across the nation and are now being seen on the streets of Tripoli as rebels round up black-skinned Libyans and African guest workers, putting them into football stadiums.
Virtually all of the detainees say they are innocent migrant workers, and in most cases there is no evidence that they are lying. But that is not stopping the rebels from placing the men in facilities like the Gate of the Sea sports club, where about 200 detainees – all black – clustered on a soccer field this week, bunching against a high wall to avoid the scorching sun.
In the Khallat al-Firjan neighborhood in south Tripoli, Associated Press reporters saw rebel forces punching a dozen black men before determining they were innocent migrant workers and releasing them.
Racism lies at the heart of many of the NATO campaigns, including in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq where innocents are slaughtered in a way that simply would not be accepted if the victims were white.
NATO’s chief weapon in the Libyan conflict has been and continues to be, not Brimstone or Paveway bombs, Tornados, Typhoons or Tomahawk cruise missiles - but racism.
To appreciate the importance of racism in motivating soldiers please listen to Mike Prysner’s speech made at the 2008 Winter Soldier hearings:
“And I tried hard to be proud of my service but all I could feel was shame and racism could no longer mask the occupation. These were people. These were human beings. I’ve since been plagued by guilt anytime I see an elderly man, like the one who couldn’t walk and we rolled onto a stretcher, told the Iraqi police to take him away. I feel guilt anytime I see a mother with her children like the one who cried hysterically and screamed that we were worse than Saddam as we forced her from her home. I feel guilt anytime I see a young girl like the one I grabbed by the arm and dragged into the street.
”We were told we were fighting terrorists, but the real terrorist was me and the real terrorism is this occupation. Racism within the military has long been an important tool to justify the destruction and occupation of another country. It has long been used to justify the killing, subjugation, and torture of another people. Racism is a vital weapon deployed by this government. It is a more important weapon than a rifle, a tank, a bomber or a battleship. It is more destructive than an artillery shell, or a bunker buster, or a tomahawk missile. While all of those weapons are created and owned by this government, they are harmless without people willing to use them.
”Those who send us to war do not have to pull a trigger or lob a mortar round. They do not have to fight the war. They merely have to sell the war. They need a public who is willing to send their soldiers into harm’s way and they need soldiers who are willing to kill or be killed without question. They can spend millions on a single bomb, but that bomb only becomes a weapon when the ranks in the military are willing to follow orders to use it. They can send every last soldier anywhere on earth, but there will only be a war if soldiers are willing to fight, and the ruling class: the billionaires who profit from human suffering care only about expanding their wealth, controlling the world economy, understand that their power lies only in their ability to convince us that war, oppression, and exploitation is in our interests. They understand that their wealth is dependent on their ability to convince the working class to die to control the market of another country. And convincing us to kill and die is based on their ability to make us think that we are somehow superior. Soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, have nothing to gain from this occupation.
”The vast majority of people living in the US have nothing to gain from this occupation. In fact, not only do we have nothing to gain, but we suffer more because of it. We lose limbs, endure trauma, and give our lives. Our families have to watch flag draped coffins lowered into the earth. Millions in this country without healthcare, jobs, or access to education must watch this government squander over $450 million a day on this occupation. Poor and working people in this country are sent to kill poor and working people in another country to make the rich richer, and without racism soldiers would realize that they have more in common with the Iraqi people than they do with the billionaires who send us to war
”I threw families onto the street in Iraq only to come home and find families thrown onto the street in this country in this tragic, tragic and unnecessary foreclosure crisis; only to wake up and realize that our real enemies are not in some distant land. But not people whose names we don’t know, and cultures we don’t understand. The enemy is people we know very well and people we can identify. The enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable. The enemy is the CEO who lays us off our jobs when it’s profitable; it’s the insurance companies who deny us health care when it’s profitable; it’s the banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not 5000 miles away, they are right here at home. If we organize and fight with our sisters and brothers, we can stop this war, we can stop this government, and we can create a better world.”
:: Article nr. 83088 sent on 14-nov-2011 02:13 ECT
Cynthia McKinney on NATO and Libya [ 83088 ] -
November 13, 2011
I was just contacted by someone saying that yet another prominent Libyan--a nice man whom I met--had been tortured and killed by the "rebels" who are now recognized by the US and other governments as the legitimate government of Libya. I hope this information is not true. Upon reflecting on the sad news, I thought about all of the people who were so sure that the lies were true; that the US military response was appropriate; in short, they told us that war is peace. Many spouting the palaver were people who should have known better. Instead, they lapped up the imperial lies like Pavlov's dog, and proselytized war.
I recall those who were vociferous in their support of NATO's assault on Libya and those who were SILENT.
Reverend Jesse Jackson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm8lDFD9hOo), all but six Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (http://alexandravaliente.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/black-caucus-on-libya-war-the-good-the-bad-the-confused-and-the-hopeless/), most Black civic leaders and many Black media backed the President's policy against the people of Libya or were silent.
How many "Progressives" affirmatively backed the President's policy to unleash depleted uranium, helicopter gunships, bunker buster bombs, and these "allies" onto the Libyan population? Or worse yet, were silent? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Mission accomplished: Libya is destroyed, rivers of blood now flow, and the momentous plans for African independence are over. Gone is the visionary and well-financed project for a United States of Africa, a one million-person Army for Africa to repel unwanted invasion and penetration, and the projects that had already been approved by the African Union: the African Central Bank (to be headquartered in Nigeria) to issue a gold-backed currency; the African Monetary Fund (to be headquartered in someplace in Central Africa); and the African Investment Bank (to be headquartered in Libya).
War is a crime and the aggression against Libya is criminal.
1. This video depicts clearly who was backed. The caption: Les rebelles sont racistes et n'arrètent pas de torturer et tuer des Libyens noirs. Un libyen de Taouerga est torturé. (The "rebels" are racists and do not stop torturing and killing black Libyans. One Libyan from Taouerga [that was the mostly Black Libyan city bombed to smithereens by NATO and that the "rebels" have vowed to wipe off the map of Libya] is tortured):
This video, entitled "Rebels torture a Libyan from Taouerga" is dated 7 November 2011:
( http://www.algeria-isp.com/videos/politique-libye/201111-V1588/libye-des-rebelles-torturent-libyen-taouerga-2011.html )
2. Libya is in chaos, rebel now points arms at rebel. I passed through Zawiya on my way from Tunisia to Tripoli. This video is entitled Rebels attack the NTC of Zawiya and is dated 6 November 2011:
( http://www.algeria-isp.com/videos/politique-libye/201111-V1586/libye-des-rebelles-attaquent-cnt-zawiya-2011.html )
The caption in part reads a new kind of war begins--rebels killing rebels.
3. With Iraq, we have seen the decimation of an entire country. So, too, with Libya. From infrastructure to people, nothing was left unattacked. Many individuals whose hand I shook are now dead; many streets bombed, buildings reduced to rubble. This video, done by Russians, depicts Sirte before 20 October 2011 and after NATO's unrelenting bombardment:
4. Listen to the National Endowment for Democracy Libya representative Mahmoud Jibril say why he thinks Muammar Qaddafi was killed: "Too many things would have been revealed you know. This man was full of secrets, you know. He had too many contacts with too many leaders with too many countries . . . "
4. Then review this incredible video of Sliman Bouchiguir admitting that they just made up the numbers of dead, attributed the atrocities to the Jamahiriya government, while reporting to the world that the Libyan Jamahiriya was using a "scorched earth policy" against Libyan civilians and foreigners. It was all lies.
http://www.laguerrehumanitaire.fr/english for Europe, and for US:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gJz45K4Q50
:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.
Thinking the Unthinkable: NATO's Global Military Roadmap by Rick Rozoff
Thinking the Unthinkable: NATO's Global Military Roadmap
by Rick Rozoff
, October 3, 2009
Not content with expanding from 16 to 28 members over the past decade in a post-Cold War world in which it confronts no military threat from any source, state or non-state, and not sufficiently occupied with its first ground and first Asian war in Afghanistan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – the world’s only military bloc – is eager to take on a plethora of new international missions.
With the fragmentation of the Warsaw Pact and the breakup of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991 NATO, far from scaling back its military might in Europe, not to mention returning the favor and dissolving itself, saw the opportunity to expand throughout the continent and the world.
Beginning with the bombing campaign in Bosnia in 1995, Operation Deliberate Force and its 400 aircraft, and the deployment of 60,000 troops there under Operation Joint Endeavor, the Alliance has steadily and inexorably deployed its military east and south into the Balkans, Northeast Africa, the entire Mediterranean Sea, Central Africa, and South and Central Asia. It has also extended its tentacles into the South Caucasus, throughout Scandinavia including Finland and Sweden, and into the Asia-Pacific region where it has formed individual partnerships with Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea along with recruiting troops from Mongolia and Singapore to serve under its command in the eight-year war in Afghanistan.
With the upgrading of its Mediterranean Dialogue program (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), with the Persian Gulf component of the 2004 Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partnership underway and planned for the Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and with the deployment of U.S.-trained Colombian counterinsurgency forces for its Afghan war, a military bloc ostensibly formed to protect the nations of the North Atlantic community now has armed forces and partnerships in all six inhabited continents.
It has waged war in Europe, against Yugoslavia in 1999, and in Asia, in Afghanistan (with intrusions into Pakistan) from 2001 to the present and into the indefinite future, and is currently conducting military operations off the coast of Africa in the Gulf of Aden. The “Soviet menace” invoked sixty years ago to create even at the time the world’s largest and most powerful military alliance receded into history a generation ago and the gap provided by the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact and the USSR has been filled by a military machine that can call upon two million troops and whose member states account for over 70 percent of world arms spending.
But the past fifteen years’ expansion is not sufficient for NATO’s worldwide ambitions. It is now in the process of elaborating a new Strategic Concept to replace that of 1999, introduced during the air war against Yugoslavia and the first absorption of nations in the former socialist bloc. One which NATO described at the time as the Alliance’s Approach to Security in the 21st Century. In the decade-long interim the bloc has come to refer to itself as 21st Century NATO, global NATO and expeditionary NATO. (The first Strategic Concept was formulated in 1991, the year of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Operation Desert Storm war against Iraq.}
The updated version was deliberated upon at NATO’s sixtieth anniversary summit this April, the first held in two nations: Strasbourg in France and Kehl in Germany.
Over a year in advance the bloc’s Secretary General at the time, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, “called on the transatlantic military alliance to develop a new, long-term strategy designed to tackle third-millennium concerns such as cyber attacks, global warming, energy security and nuclear threats” and demanded that it increase its budget to address a “growing list of responsibilities.” 
If upon its founding in 1949 NATO justified the launching of a military bloc in a Europe still nursing the wounds of the deadliest and most destructive war in human history; if after the end of the Cold War it transformed its self-defined mission to encompass military intervention in the Balkans to prove its ability to enforce peace, however one-sided; if after September 21, 2001 it obediently adjusted to Washington’s agenda of a Global War On Terror and efforts against weapons of mass destruction everywhere but where they actually exist; in the past few years NATO has announced new roles and missions that will allow, in fact necessitate, its intrusion into any part of the globe for a near myriad of reasons.
If fact myriad is the exact word used on October 1 at a conference jointly organized by NATO and Lloyd’s of London – “the world’s leading insurance market” as it describes itself – by the latter’s chairman, Lord Peter Levene, in reference to NATO’s new “third millennium” Strategic Concept.
Levene’s address included these words: “Our sophisticated, industrialised and complex world is under attack from a myriad of determined and deadly threats. If we do not take action soon, we will find ourselves, like Gulliver, pinned to the ground and helpless, because we failed to stop a series of incremental changes while we still could.”
His allusion to the character who lends his name to Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels invites the opportunity of quoting a paragraph from it about the protagonist’s – and Levene’s – native land, Great Britain.
After Gulliver boasts to a foreign king of among other matters Britain’s vast colonial domains and its military prowess, his interlocutor responds:
“As for yourself, who have spent the greatest part of your life in travelling, I am well disposed to hope you may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country. But by what I have gathered from your own relation, and the answers I have with much pains wrung and extorted from you, I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Lord Levene hosted the conference on the Alliance’s updated Strategic Concept, one which was attended by what were described as “200 high-level representatives from the security and business community.” 
This past July NATO announced that a “group of experts” would be convened to discuss and plan its new strategy. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, as much as anyone responsible for the Alliance’s first prolonged armed conflict, the 78-day air war against Yugoslavia, chairs the group. The co-chairman is Jeroen van der Veer, who until June 30 was chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell.
NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Lord Levene co-authored a column in The Telegraph of October 1, so accommodating is the Western “free press,” to coincide with the conference of the same day.
They provided a litany of joint NATO-private business sector collaborations to protect the interests of the second party, Western-based transnational corporations, including but by no means limited to information technology, the melting of the polar ice cap, risk management for overseas investments and “storms and floods.”
The article states that “industry leaders, including those from Lloyd’s, have been involved in the current process to develop NATO’s new guiding charter, the Strategic Concept; indeed, the vice-chair of the group is the former chief executive of Shell, Jeroen van der Veer.” 
It also lays out far-reaching plans for military responses to a veritable host of non-military issues. “[G]overnments need to do some contingency planning…including focusing intelligence assessments on climate change, tasking military planners to incorporate it into their planning as well….They also need to step up their cyber-defences, as NATO has done in creating a deployable cyber-defence capability that can help its members if they come under attack.”
The last item is an allusion to events in Estonia in 2007, cyber attacks variously ascribed by Western government and NATO officials to Russian hackers or the Russian government itself. No proof has been offered for the accusations, though that hasn’t prevented major American elected officials from threatening the use of NATO’s Article 5 collective military force provision for use in similar cases.
That is precisely what Levene and Rasmussen meant by endorsing NATO’s “creating a deployable cyber-defence capability that can help its members if they come under attack.”
The urgency of the demand of Lord Levene of Portsoken and former Danish prime minister Rasmussen for history’s largest military bloc to protect Western commercial investments was expressed in an unadorned manner by the writers when they stated “Humans have always fought over resources and land. But now we are seeing those pressures on a bigger scale….
“We must be prepared to think the unthinkable. Lloyd’s developed its 360 Risk Insight programme and its Realistic Disaster Scenarios, and NATO its Multiple Futures project, precisely to lift our eyes from the present and scan the horizon for what might be looming.”
There will be no lack of opportunities for implementing what appears to be the heart of the new Strategic Concept.
Levene mentioned a thousand “determined and deadly threats” during his speech at the conference and Rasmussen started identifying them.
In his presentation at the conference the NATO chief framed his inventory of “deadly threats” by saying, “[T]he challenges we are looking at today cut across the divide between the public and private sectors….NATO, the EU and many Governments have had to send navies to try to defend against attacks. And it has cost insurance companies – many of which are part of the Lloyd’s market – millions.” 
The implication is inevitable that NATO and European Union warships are operating in among other locales the Horn of Africa so that firms like Lloyd’s will have to settle fewer claims.
Rasmussen’s speech included these pretexts for NATO interventions, these future casus belli, all in his own words:
Extreme weather events – catastrophic storms and flooding
Sea levels will rise
Populations will move…in large numbers…always into where someone else lives, and sometimes across borders
Food production is likely to drop
Arctic ice is retreating, for resources that had, until now, been covered under ice
Reinforcing factories or energy stations or transmission lines or ports that might be at risk of storms or flooding
Energy, where diversity of supply is a security issue
Natural and humanitarian disasters
Big storms, or floods, or sudden movements of populations
Fuel efficiency, reduc[ing] our overall dependence on foreign sources of fuel
None of the seventeen developments mentioned can even remotely be construed as a military threat and certainly not one posed by recognized state actors.
Surely no “rogue states” or “outposts of tyranny” or “international terrorists” are responsible for climate change, yet Rasmussen’s proposals for contending with it are military ones.
“[T]he security implications of climate change need to be better integrated into national security and defence strategies – as the US has done with its Quadrennial Defence Review. That means asking our intelligence agencies to look at this as one of their main tasks. It means military planners should assess potential the impacts, update their plans accordingly and consider the capabilities they might need in future.”
He additionally advocated the inclusion of the over forty nations the 28-member bloc has individual and collective partnerships with in adding, “We might also consider adapting our Partnerships to take climate change into account as well. Right now, NATO engages in military training and capacity building with countries around the world. We focus on things like peacekeeping, language training and countering terrorism. What about also including cooperation that helps build capacity in the armed forces of our Partners to better manage big storms, or floods, or sudden movements of populations?” 
Rasmussen’s Pandora’s box of NATO concerns were for years adumbrated by his predecessor, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who two years ago said that “[T]he subjects that the Alliance leaders are expected to discuss at the Bucharest Summit (Spring 2008) [are] NATO enlargement, missile defence, military capabilities, energy security, maritime situation awareness, cyber defence and other new security threats”  in one statement, and in another in the same period “emphasised the importance of such issues as enlargement, partnerships, energy security, the fight against global terrorism, energy security, cyber and missile defence which he expects to be discussed at the Bucharest summit.” 
In March of 2008 Scheffer was quoted in a news report titled “NATO Chief Calls for `Atlantic Charter’ to Define Strategy” as saying, “Challenges are multifaceted, interlinked and can arise from anywhere. We need to do a better job of scanning the strategic horizon. We can’t just be reactive….If NATO is to be capable to act anywhere in world, we will need more global partners.” 
During a visit to Israel this past January Scheffer expounded on the theme: “NATO has transformed to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. We have built partnerships around the globe from Japan to Australia to Pakistan and, of course, with the important countries of the Mediterranean and the Gulf. We have established political relations with the UN and the African Union that never existed until now. We’ve taken in new [countries], soon 28 in total, with more in line….[W]e are looking at playing new roles, as well, in energy security and cyber defence….” 
In a speech on March 22, “The Future of NATO,” he spoke of “long-term, costly and risky engagement far away from our own borders” and interventions “to cover a wider range of concerns and interests – from territorial defence, through regional stability, all the way to cyber defence, energy security, and the consequences of climate change.
“From just 12 member states we went to 26 – and soon 28. And from a purely ‘eurocentric’ Alliance NATO has evolved into a security provider that is engaged on several continents, working with a wide range of other nations and institutions.” 
His earlier reference to the African Union is to NATO’s deployment to the Darfur region of Sudan in 2005, its first African operation, and that to “political relations with the UN” to a backroom deal reached in September of 2008 between Scheffer and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that bypassed permanent Security Council members Russia and China.
Indeed, the growing list of excuses for NATO involvement and intervention, that of Scheffer and now of Rasmussen, is a dangerous arrogation of responsibility and functions that are properly those of the UN and not that of a non-elected military cabal whose combined member states’ populations are a small fraction of the human race.
NATO’s expansion and its progressively broader operations over the past ten years indicate in a glaring manner the Alliance’s intention to circumvent, subvert and jeopardize the very existence of the United Nations, a theme dealt with in a previous article, West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO. 
In addition to “guaranteeing energy security” by establishing military beachheads in the Balkans, Central and South Asia, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea and retaining U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe and participating in the American-led drive for a global missile shield, NATO has claimed for itself the exclusive mandate to address virtually all problems confronting humanity. In conjunction with Western arms manufacturers and the likes of Lloyd’s of London and Royal Dutch Shell.
1) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, March 16, 2008
2) NATO, October 1, 2009
3) The Telegraph, October 1, 2009
4) NATO, October 1, 2009]
6) NATO, October 9, 2007
7) NATO, October 9, 2007
8)Bloomberg News, March 15, 2008
9) Haaretz, January 10, 2009
10) NATO, March 22, 2009
11) Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
Rick Rozoff is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Rick Rozoff
The role genocidal NATO-1FIDEL CASTROThis brutal military alliance has become the most insidious instrument of repression known to human history.NATO took over the role global repressive, after the USSR, which had served the United States a pretext to create it, ceased to exist. Its purpose became clear criminal in Serbia, a Slavic country of origin, whose people fought heroically against the Nazi troops in World War II.When, in March 1999, the countries of this nefarious organization in its efforts to Yugoslaviadisintegrated after the death of Josip Broz Tito, sent troops in support of the secessionistKosovo, met with strong resistance that nation, which experienced forces were intact.The Yankee management, advised by the Spanish right-wing government of Jose Maria Aznar, attacked the television stations in Serbia, the bridges over the Danube and Belgrade, the capital of this country. The embassy of the People's Republic of China was destroyed by Yankee bombs, several employees were killed, and there could be no possible mistake, as the authors claimed. Numerous Serbian patriots lost their lives. President Slobodan Milosevic, pressed by the power of the aggressors and the disappearance of the USSR, yielded to the demands of NATO and acknowledged the presence of troops of this alliance in Kosovo, under UN mandate, which finally led to his political defeat and his subsequent trial by no impartial tribunals in The Hague. Strangely died in prison. If the Serbian leader had resisted a few days more, NATO would have entered a serious crisis, which was about to erupt. The empire had, so much more time to impose its hegemony among the more subordinate members of this organization.Between February 21 and April 27 this year, I published the site Cubadebate nine reflections on the subject in which I discussed extensively the role of NATO in Libya and what would happen in my opinion.I find myself obliged to make a synthesis of the ideas I put forward, and the events that were happening as they were planned, now that a central character in this story, Muammar Qaddafi was severely wounded by the most modern fighter-bombers of NATO, who intercepted his vehicle and worthless, still alive captured and murdered by men armed that military organization.His body was kidnapped and displayed as a trophy of war, conduct that violates the most elementary principles of standards and other Muslim religious beliefs prevailing in the world. It is announced that Libya will be soon declared a "democratic and human rights defender."I find myself obliged to devote several reflections to these important and significant facts. It will continue soon.
As explained above, member countries make direct contributions to NATO in accordance with an agreed cost-sharing formula based on Gross National Income. The largest direct contributors to NATO in absolute terms are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and France.
Different forms of direct funding
Principle and practices of common funding at NATO
The Importance of Opposing the G8 Summit in Chicago
Why should we oppose the G8 Summit in Chicago in May? This annual summit of heads of state of eight major economies and military powers is a meeting of a criminal gang dedicated to further exploiting and oppressing people around the world. This gang--led by the U.S., representing corporations and banks from the U.S., Britain, Japan, Russia, France, Italy and Canada-- meets inside secret meetings, and undemocratically. This year it’s in the middle of our city.
Let’s make sure we expose their aims and acts to everyone we can, and make sure we do not allow them to stop our right to assemble, march, and be seen and heard right where they are meeting. They are not welcome in Chicago. And they know that, which is why they have to threaten to marshal a huge militarized police force and have stiff penalties for those who dare to stand up to denounce and oppose them.
The G8 governments rule over 14% of the world population but represent 60% of “world domestic product”(goods and services sold for a profit) and 72% of military spending, including for nuclear weapons.
Their G8 agenda is not debated or discussed among any legislative bodies in the U.S. or in public anywhere. In fact, representatives of the public, such as peace and justice organizations, are kept out of G8 meetings-- even as observers. And, as we have seen so far in Chicago, the public is even given a hard time about having their own public assemblies anywhere near G8 meetings.
What the G8 stands for is neo-liberal economics (“free markets“), criminal exploitation of the environment, and wars against countries that strive for independence from G8 countries. This is all for maximum profits of the super-rich, at the expense of the peoples of the world.
If you carefully read the G8 Declaration from the May 2011 Summit in France you will see the true imperialist aims of this U.S. dominated grouping: “Our common goal is to develop the rule of law…” They say they “will continue to act in support of…international security,” but whose security are they actually concerned about, if not their own? They demand that others obey the laws they break. For example, to hold the G8 Summit in Chicago, they are trampling over the right of the people to dissent. Meanwhile, they lecture governments around the world about their violation of human rights, while interfering with the rights of the people here at home and abroad.
The May 2011 G8 Declaration supports the U.S.-led illegal and unjust bombing of Libya and regime change there, and threatens Syria, Iran, and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea--which, according to the G8, “ represent a threat to global stability.” This stands truth on its head. For example, in the case of Korea, it is the U.S. that instigated a war there and forcibly divided the country, making South Korea a virtual U.S. colony.
The G8 further exposes itself by standing against strong resistance by the Palestinians. It states it aims to continue the brutal war against the people of Afghanistan.
On the economic front, the Declaration supports “rigorous fiscal consolidation,” meaning austerity for the peoples of the world so the major corporations and banks can rake in super-profits. And, of course, there is no serious plan to stop their destruction of the environment. Their Declarationsays, “Europe has adopted a broad package of measures to deal with the sovereign debt crisis faced by a few countries, and it will continue to address the situation with determination and to pursue rigorous fiscal consolidation alongside structural reforms to support growth.” This means austerity packages such as what we have seen in Greece, Italy, Britain, and sectors of the U.S.
And the G7/8 Finance Ministers’ meeting on September 10 talked about what they would do to “support the historical changes under way in some countries in the Middle East and North Africa, based on … “recognizing that the private sector must be the engine for growth and … we endeavor to provide a platform of … enhanced support to private sector development….” Their Communique says, “We call on the multilateral development banks and regional development funds to foster coordination…in addition to resources that could be available from the IMF [International Monetary Fund]…[and]…drawing on the expertise of the World Bank.”
As John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, has pointed out, U.S. and European institutions such as the World Bank encourage countries to take out loans that they can not repay. Then the International Monetary Fund arrives to offer loans based on certain conditions. The countries’ leaders are told they must curtail public services, raise taxes and, most importantly, sell off public assets. These assets are bought by an assortment of private companies, mostly from the U.S., at very low prices. Exploiting and ruining countries’ economies is what happened by following this path decades ago in Latin America. These are the types of policies the G8 is promoting with the aid of the IMF, etc. for the countries of the Arab Spring and entire Middle Eastern and Mediterranean area.
Even though the G8 would like to meet in Chicago, or anywhere, without a challenge from the people, who do not want to be further exploited and oppressed or killed in imperialist wars, we vow not to let the G8 meet in peace, and to continue building our own forces for a future of peace and justice.
The Importance of Opposing the NATO Summit in Chicago
The NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is an arm of U.S. and European imperialist aggression in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. For this reason, we should not only oppose the NATO Summit to be held in Chicago in May, but demand that it be dismantled.
Why Did the U.S. Organize NATO Right After World War II?
In 1949, the U.S. established NATO to help carry out its post-war plans. It seized the opportunity to build its empire. Europe lay in ruins but the U.S. was in a position to take over European markets and try to grab European colonies, and make huge profits from reconstruction to develop its empire and make the U.S. a super power.
Context-- U.S. Advantages for the Establishment of NATO
The U.S. was the only one of the Allies to escape the devastation of having World War II battles fought on its soil. At the end of the war the U.S. terrorized the world by dropping two atom bombs on Japan and destroying two cities. This was not needed to end the war-- since the Japanese were ready to surrender.
Instead, it was a declaration of naked U.S power, especially to terrorize the USSR --which was seen as a likely block to U.S. plans.
The U.S. was able to fulfill some of its aims using various tools like the Marshall Plan and the North American Treaty Organization--a military alliance made up of Western European countries and Canada. Even though the USSR had been one of the wartime Allies, the U.S. refused the USSR’s request to be part of NATO in 1954.
So the USSR organized the Warsaw Pact made up of Eastern European countries, to stand against any possible US/NATO attacks.
„h US/NATO helped to stir up national differences in Yugoslavia. It eventually established a no fly zone and bombed Serbian positions in 1994. Later, in 1999, NATO unilaterally interfered by enabling Kosovo to split away from Yugoslavia. This included an 11-week bombing campaign against Yugoslavia.
„P Even though Afghanistan is thousands of miles away from the North Atlantic, the U.S with NATO began an illegal war against Afghanistan in 2001--which continues today.
„P In 2003 the U.S. invaded Iraq. In 2004, NATO began to “train and mentor” Iraqi troops.
„h U.S./NATO is targeting Somalia. It has patrolled and stopped vessels in the Indian Ocean and off the coast of Somalia. NATO vessels recently fired on Iranian fishermen off the coast of Somalia. NATO has been ferrying Ugandan troops to Somalia to back pro-U.S. forces there.
„h This past year, U.S./NATO forces viciously bombed Libya and trained so-called “rebels.” The aims have been: setting up a pro-U.S./NATO regime in Libya, establishing a strategic military base, and exploiting Libya’s oil, etc. The U.S. was clearly dominant in this action. As the Manchester Guardian pointed out, through May, the U.S. provided 65% of the personnel, a third of the warships and nearly all the cruise missiles (reason.com/blog/2011/05/26/libya-nato-takes-lead-american).
„h NATO has started to implement a plan to deploy missiles and a radar tracking system in Poland and the Czech Republic, to the extreme irritation of the Russian government, since it appears to be threatening Russia. The disagreements between Russia and the U.S. over this continues to grow sharply to this day. Russia, for example, is threatening not to come to Chicago in May to participate in the Summits.
„h The U.S is now threatening Iran, including with invasion, with various excuses, even including making threats against acts Iran may take to defend itself from a cut off of oil exports, etc.. The U.S. now has Navy ships in and near the Straits of Hormuz. NATO has been in support of all U.S. threats and sanctions against Iran.
U.S./NATO is Expanding Its Imperialist Efforts World-wide:
„h Today, U.S./NATO is expanding its presence and aggression in Asia. It has had a lot of lies and negative things to say about what the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea has done over the last years, and has had NATO officials visiting with officials from the Republic of Korea (the pro-U.S. South Korea).
„h NATO also has “contact” and “partnership” arrangements with Japan, the Australia, and New Zealand.
„h NATO has a current membership of 28 countries, and it is building more formal ties with other pro-U.S. allies around the world. For example it has included Israel, a U.S. agent, in its “Mediterranean Dialogue,” which has focused on interfering in North Africa.
NATO is a military organization beholden to the U.S. The U.S. pays between 20% and 25% of the entire NATO budget (acus.org/natosource/gates-criticizes-nato-how-much-does-us-pay). And we know that the bulk of the 135,000 NATO military personnel are from the U.S
What Are the Summit’s Aims for the Meetings in Chicago?
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced that the Summit in Chicago will include plans for continuing intervention in Afghanistan: NATO “will not leave Afghanistan behind: we'll stay committed…” And there is the issue of the NATO-based missile defense system, and discussions with Russia on that. And U.S./NATO plans to talk about how to extend the “many positive lessons learnt from learnt from our Libya operations.” (www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_78426.htm)
Oppose U.S./NATO in May in Chicago:
The U.S./NATO force is bringing great suffering and destruction to the peoples of the world in its drive to war and fascism, and in bringing profits for its corporate and banking masters from these wars, and in its drive for world domination through threats to attack Iran and Syria and at the expense of its rivals such as Russia and China. This is all in opposition to the desires of the people for peace and justice.
We need to mobilize ourselves to oppose the NATO Summit in Chicago, demand that it be dismantled, that all troops return home now, and that it make reparations for the deaths and devastation it is responsible for.
Why Mayor Emanuel's Proposed Anti-Protester Ordinances Are Everyone's Concern
Even if you have no plans to protest against the G8 & NATO summits in Chicago this May, if you want to oppose a school closing, a greedy employer or a clinic shut-down, your rights are in the cross-hairs.
Mayor 1%, enthusiastic supporter of Bush's Iraq War and #1 recipient of campaign donations from the financial services industry.
Over the past few weeks Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pulled a classic Chicago bait-and-switch.
Last month, while introducing draconian amendments to sections of the Chicago code and a wholesale rewrite of the parade permit ordinance, he in effect said, "Don't worry, this is just for those 'bad people' coming to Chicago to disrupt the G8 and NATO summits. This won't affect the good people of Chicago. Go back to sleep."
But then came the classic switch: when the actual language of the proposed legislation was produced, there were no sunset clauses in most of the proposed "temporary" measures.
A "mistake," said Rahm.
"He lied," I said at a Tuesday press conference.
You can be the judge as to whether this was simply an "opps" moment for Rahm, or whether his thought process is more malevolent. As someone who's long had dealings with the Cityover the old permit ordinance, I can tell you that the proposed ordinance is uniformly much, much worse.
The overall effect is to put a bureaucratic stranglehold on attempts of protest organizers to give expression to the 1st amendment, so tying them up in ticky-tacky provisions, fines and possible jail time that only a masochist would organize a protest with a message that the city fathers don't want to hear.
And it's fair to assume that Mayor 1% doesn't like anti-G8/NATO protesters' messages. As congressman he had the most hawkish voting record of the Chicago-area congressional delegation, slavishly supporting Bush's Iraq War at every turn. He also was Congress's #1 recipient of campaign donations from the financial services industry, quite a feat when you consider the competition for that distinction.
Since the proposed changes to Chicago's ordinances aren't only against those "bad" anti-G8/NATO protesters, but are permanent, they would directly affect anyone who may have a beef with city hall or private employers, whether it's over school closings, health clinic cutbacks, unfair working conditions, immigrant rights or what have you. In a country where the federal government has just officially nixed habeas corpus and the Magna Carta, G8/NATO is the excuse du jour to dramatically erode the 1st amendment in our city.
While last month the most widely-reported of Emanuel's proposed changes were those concerning resisting arrest, no-bid contracts and Chicago police deputizing of other "law enforcement" personnel (however that's defined), these are short amendments to existing legislation. Lost in the shuffle was a wholesale re-write of the City's parade permit ordinance, 10-8-330, and the addition of two whole new sections related to it.
The widely-reported amendments are indeed worrisome, as the no-bid contracts provision, for example, is an invitation to further enhance Chicago's well-deserved reputation for world-class graft. In a City that already doles out millions of dollars each year    for rights abuses by its sworn police officers, the subcontracting of police authority to those "law enforcement" people with even looser supervision is an invitation to even greater police violence and other rights abuses.
And for in-town or out-of-town protesters not familiar with Chicago's fairly unique interpretation of what constitutes "resisting arrest," non-violent civil disobedience could now carry a $200-$1000 fine, up from $25-$500, in addition to more to other, more typical misdemeanor charges.Since at least 2005, Chicago, in contrast to most other areas of the country, has considered "going limp" in the face of arrest to be resisting, and has successfully prosecuted some of us on that score. To underscore this unique interpretation of resisting arrest, Emanuel's new ordinance language codifies it by stating that "'resist' shall mean passive as well as active resistance."
But aside from these provisions, the central line of Emanuel's attack is against those who organize protests, tying them into so many legal and bureaucratic knots that they have precious few resources to devote to the issues they're protesting about.
Under the proposed new parade permit ordinance, 10-8-330, minimum fines for violations would jump 20-fold, from $50 to $1000. Chicagoans rightly were aghast when Daley's sweetheart deal to privatize parking meters caused rates to jump several times over the next few years, but 20 times in one month? The maximum fine would double to $2000 and potentially include 10 days in jail.
As one who has been charged under 10-8-330 more times than I can count, I can tell you that the ordinance is used by police to punish organizers of events that they are hostile to like, say, protests against police brutality. The burden of proof in the courts where these charges are almost always tried, 400 W. Superior Street, is so low that arresting officers don't even have to appear in court. Their testimony, in the form of police reports, is not subject to cross-examination, and is taken as truthful unless proven otherwise by the defense.
Aside from the penalties for violations, the new ordinance would also impose a host of new requirements on demonstration organizers, most of which would be difficult if not impossible to fulfill. This sets the stage for – you guessed it – piling on of more fines:
* Virtually every street protest in the downtown would be designated a "large parade" requiring $1 million liability insurance and for organizers to "agree to reimburse the city for any damage to the public way or to city property arising out of or caused by the parade";
* Large parade or not, organizers would be required to provide the city with "a description of any recording equipment, sound amplification equipment, banners, signs, or other attention-getting devices to be used in connection with the parade" at least a week in advance of the march;
* Every contingent in the march and the order in which they would appear would have to be registered at least a week in advance with the City;
* Demonstration organizers would be required to have one marshal for every 100 participants; and,
* Under a wholly new section of the municipal code (10-8-334), even gatherings on sidewalks, with no presence in the streets, would now be subject to demands that they get permits, giving the City extraordinary latitude to dictate what union and other pickets occur or get shut down by police action.
The absurdity of these requirements will be readily apparent to anyone who has ever organized a protest march. Individuals and groups unknown to you show up with their own banners, bullhorns, "attention-getting devices" and the like. Are the organizers obligated to turn away the "unregistered" participants and their gear? As for the one marshal per 100 participants requirement, a myriad of unpredictable factors like the weather, competing events and effectiveness in publicity make determining in advance how many participants will appear the loosest of guesswork.
The opportunities for City authorities to take political revenge on demonstration organizers – while hiding behind the technical requirements of the parade ordinance – will multiply. Already, anti-war organizers are routinely dinged for alleged minor infractions of the current ordinance, while organizers of far more disruptive non-political parades are given a pass by the police.
What this all adds up to is that with the threat of onerous fines, insurance and marshaling personnel requirements, only the wealthiest non-governmental organizations and businesses will organize protests without a degree of trepidation. As with Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy's threats of thousands of riot-clad police ringing the summits, the net effect of the proposed ordinance challenges is to chill the free exercise of the 1st Amendment.
With the Mayor waiting to introduce these ordinance changes until the holiday season, few in the city know their provisions. A prominent reporter/political commentator I spoke to a few days ago was largely in the dark. She had contacted the City to get the language of the changes, and either by design or incompetence was not given most of the material. It's therefore fair to assume that most aldermen also don't know the content of the legislation, let alone its implications for a vibrant political culture in our city.
That's where you come in. Contact the aldermen on the committees responsible for the new legislation — the Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation (overseeing the new parade permit and public gatherings ordinances, 10-8-330 and 10-8-334) and theCommittee on Budget and Government Operations (overseeing the provisions for no-bid contracts, deputizing "law enforcement," and the proposed revisions to the resisting arrest ordinance). And whether or not your alderman is on either committee, contact him or her.
Share your concerns with them about why Emanuel's proposed legislation is not the kind of retreat to a more repressive city that you would like.
Below are copies of:
1) The current parade permit ordinance (10-8-330). I've left in my highlights of some of the key sections that are useful to focus on.
Parade Permit Ordinance - current version.pdf (64 k)
2) The proposed revision of the parade permit ordinance, plus two wholly new sections related to it. Unlike the resisting arrest revisions, the mayor wants to totally swap out the current 10-8-330 and replace it with this crap.
Proposed re-write of permit ordinance.pdf (2214 k)
3) The proposed revisions to the resisting arrest ordinance, plus new deputizing "law enforcement" and no-bid contracts provisions.
Resisting Arrest, etc ordinance revision proposals.pdf (389 k)
Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law
January 01, 2012 "Reuters" - -WASHINGTON – President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill.
“President Obama's action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”
Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.
“We are incredibly disappointed that President Obama signed this new law even though his administration had already claimed overly broad detention authority in court,” said Romero. “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today. Thankfully, we have three branches of government, and the final word belongs to the Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the scope of detention authority. But Congress and the president also have a role to play in cleaning up the mess they have created because no American citizen or anyone else should live in fear of this or any future president misusing the NDAA’s detention authority.”
The bill also contains provisions making it difficult to transfer suspects out of military detention, which prompted FBI Director Robert Mueller to testify that it could jeopardize criminal investigations. It also restricts the transfers of cleared detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to foreign countries for resettlement or repatriation, making it more difficult to close Guantanamo, as President Obama pledged to do in one of his first acts in office.
The Worst Part of the Signing Statement: Section 1024
December 31, 2011 "Emptywheel" -- As I explained here, Obama’s signing statement on the defense authorization was about what I expected. He included squishy language so as to pretend he doesn’t fully support indefinite detention. And he basically promised to ignore much of the language on presumptive military detention.
But there was one part of the signing statement I (naively) didn’t expect. It’s this:
Sections 1023-1025 needlessly interfere with the executive branch’s processes for reviewing the status of detainees. Going forward, consistent with congressional intent as detailed in the Conference Report, my Administration will interpret section 1024 as granting the Secretary of Defense broad discretion to determine what detainee status determinations in Afghanistan are subject to the requirements of this section. [my emphasis]
Section 1024, remember, requires the Defense Department to actually establish the provisions for status reviews that Obama has promised but not entirely delivered.
SEC. 1024. PROCEDURES FOR STATUS DETERMINATIONS.
(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report setting forth the procedures for determining the status of persons detained pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) for purposes of section 1021.
(b) ELEMENTS OF PROCEDURES.—The procedures required by this section shall provide for the following in the case of any unprivileged enemy belligerent who will be held in long-term detention under the law of war pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force:
(1) A military judge shall preside at proceedings for the determination of status of an unprivileged enemy belligerent.
(2) An unprivileged enemy belligerent may, at the election of the belligerent, be represented by military counsel at proceedings for the determination of status of the belligerent.
(c) APPLICABILITY.—The Secretary of Defense is not required to apply the procedures required by this section in the case of a person for whom habeas corpus review is available in a Federal court.
As I’ve noted, Lindsey Graham (and other bill supporters, both the right and left of Lindsey) repeatedly insisted on this review provision. Lindseypromised every detainee would get real review of his status.
I want to be able to tell anybody who is interested that no person in an American prison–civilian or military–held as a suspected member of al-Qaida will be held without independent judicial review. We are not allowing the executive branch to make that decision unchecked. For the first time in the history of American warfare, every American combatant held by the executive branch will have their day in Federal court, and the government has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence you are in fact part of the enemy force. [my emphasis]
And yet, in spite of the fact that Section 1024 includes no exception for those detained at Bagram, Obama just invented such an exception.
Section 1024 was one of the few good parts of the detainee provisions in this bill, because it would have finally expanded the due process available to the thousands of detainees who are hidden away at Bagram now with no meaningful review.
But Obama just made that good part disappear.
Update: I’m still trying to figure out where Obama gets the Congressional intent to let the Defense Secretary pick and choose which detainees 1024 applies to. The managers’ statement says this about 1024:
The Senate amendment contained a provision (sec. 1036) that would require the Secretary of Defense to establish procedures for determining the status of persons captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40), including access to a military judge and a military lawyer for an enemy belligerent who will be held in long-term detention.
The House bill contained no similar provision.
The House recedes with an amendment clarifying that the Secretary of Defense is not required to apply the procedures for long-term detention in the case of a person for whom habeas corpus review is available in federal court.
Because this provision is prospective, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to determine the extent, if any, to which such procedures will be applied to detainees for whom status determinations have already been made prior to the date of the enactment of this Act.
The conferees expect that the procedures issued by the Secretary of Defense will define what constitutes “long-term” detention for the purposes of subsection (b). The conferees understand that under current Department of Defense practice in Afghanistan, a detainee goes before a Detention Review Board for a status determination 60 days after capture, and again 6 months after that. The Department of Defense has considered extending the period of time before a second review is required. The conferees expect that the procedures required by subsection (b) would not be triggered by the first review, but could be triggered by the second review, in the discretion of the Secretary. [my emphasis]
This seems to be saying two things. First, DOD doesn’t have to go back and grant everyone they’ve given the inadequate review process currently in place a new review. The 3,000 detainees already in Bagram are just SOL.
In addition, this says DOD gets to decide how long new detainees will have to wait before they get a status review with an actual lawyer–and Congress is perfectly happy making them wait over six months before that time.
Obama seems to have taken that language and pushed it further still: stating that DOD will get broad discretion to decide which reviews will carry the requirement of a judge and a lawyer.
It sort of makes you wonder why the Obama Administration wants these men to be held for over six months with no meaningful review?
Imperialism and the “Anti-Imperialism of the Fools”
By James Petras
January 01, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - One of the great paradoxes of history are the claims of imperialist politicians to be engaged in a great humanitarian crusade designed to liberate nations and peoples, while practicing the most barbaric conquests, destructive wars and large scale bloodletting of conquered people in historical memory.
In the modern capitalist era, the ideologies of imperialist rulers vary over time, from the early appeals to “the right” to wealth, power, colonies and grandeur to later claims of a ‘civilizing mission’. More recently imperial rulers have propagated, many diverse justifications adapted to specific contexts, adversaries, circumstances and audiences.
This essay will concentrate on analyzing contemporary US imperial ideological arguments for legitimizing wars and sanctions to sustain dominance.
Contextualizing Imperial Ideology
Imperialist propaganda varies according to whether it is directed against a competitor for global power, or whether as a justification for applying sanctions, or engaging in open warfare against a local or regional socio-political adversary.
With regard to established imperial (Europe) or rising world economic competitors (China), US imperial propaganda varies over time. Early in the 19th century ,Washington proclaimed the “Monroe Doctrine”, denouncing European efforts to colonize Latin America, privileging its own imperial designs in that region. In the 20th century when the US imperial policymakers were displacing Europe from prime resource based colonies in the Middle East and Africa, it played on several themes. It condemned ‘colonial forms of domination and promoted ‘neo-colonial’ transitions that ended European monopolies and facilitated US multi-national corporate penetration. This was clearly evident during and after World War 2, in the Middle East petrol-countries.
During the 1950s as the US assumed imperial primacy and radical anti-colonial nationalism came to the fore, Washington forged alliances with the declining colonial power to combat a common enemy and to prop up post-colonial powers. Even with the post World War 2 economic recovery, growth and unification of Europe, it still works in tandem and under US leadership in militarily repressing nationalist insurgencies and regimes. When conflicts and competition occur, between US and European regimes, banks and enterprises, the mass media of each region publish “investigatory findings” highlighting the frauds and malfeasance of its competitors ..and US regulatory agencies levy heavy fines on their European counterparts, overlooking similar practices by Wall Street financial firms.
In recent times the rising tide of militarist imperialism and colonial wars fueled by Israeli proxies in the US state has led to some serious divergences between US and European imperialism. With the exception of England, Europe made a minimum symbolic commitment to the US wars and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Germany and France concentrated on expanding their export markets and economic capacities; displacing the US in major markets and resource sites. The convergence of US and European empires led to the integration of financial institutions and the subsequent common crises and collapse but without any coordinated policy of recovery. US ideologists propagated the idea of a “declining and decaying European Union”, while the European ideologues emphasized the failures of Anglo-American de-regulated, ‘free markets’ and Wall Street swindles.
Imperial Ideology, Rising Economic Powers and Nationalist Challengers
There is a long history of imperialist “anti-imperialism”, officially sponsored condemnation, exposés and moral indignation directed exclusively against rival imperialists, emerging powers or simply competitors, who in some cases are simply following in the footsteps of the established imperial powers.
English imperialists in their heyday justified their world-wide plunder of three continents by perpetuating the “Black Legend”, of Spanish empire’s “exceptional cruelty” toward indigenous people of Latin America, while engaging in the biggest and most lucrative African slave trade. While the Spanish colonists enslaved the indigenous people, the Anglo-American settlers exterminated them…..
In the run-up to World War II, European and US imperial powers, while exploiting their Asian colonies condemned Japanese imperial powers’ invasion and colonization of China. Japan, in turn claimed it was leading Asia’s forces fighting against Western imperialism and projected a post-colonial “co-prosperity” sphere of equal Asian partners.
The imperialist use of “anti-imperialist” moral rhetoric was designed to weaken rivals and was directed to several audiences. In fact, at no point did the anti-imperialist rhetoric serve to “liberate” any of the colonized people.In almost all cases the victorious imperial power only substituted one form colonial or neo-colonial rule for another.
The “anti-imperialism” of the imperialists is directed at the nationalist movements of the colonized countries and at their domestic public. British imperialists fomented uprisings among the agro-mining elites in Latin America promising “free trade” against Spanish mercantilist rule; they backed the “self-determination” of the slave holding cotton plantation owners in the US South against the Union; they supported the territorial claims of the Iroquois tribal leaders against the US anti-colonial revolutionaries … exploiting legitimate grievances for imperial ends. During World War II, the Japanese imperialists supported a sector of the nationalist anti-colonial movement in India against the British Empire. The US condemned Spanish colonial rule in Cuba and the Philippines and went to war to “liberate” the oppressed peoples from tyranny….and remained to impose a reign of terror, exploitation and colonial rule…
The imperial powers sought to divide the anti-colonial movements and create future “client rulers” when and if they succeeded. The use of anti-imperialist rhetoric was designed to attract two sets of groups. A conservative group with common political and economic interests with the imperial power, which shared their hostility to revolutionary nationalists and which sought to accrue greater advantage by tying their fortunes to a rising imperial power. A radical sector of the movement tactically allied itself with the rising imperial power, with the idea of using the imperial power to secure resources (arms, propaganda, vehicles and financial aid) and, once securing power, to discard them. More often than not, in this game of mutual manipulation between empire and nationalists, the former won out … as is the case then and now.
The imperialist “anti-imperialist” rhetoric was equally directed at the domestic public, especially in countries like the US which prized its 18th anti-colonial heritage. The purpose was to broaden the base of empire building beyond the hard line empire loyalists, militarists and corporate beneficiaries. Their appeal sought to include liberals, humanitarians, progressive intellectuals, religious and secular moralists and other “opinion-makers” who had a certain cachet with the larger public, the ones who would have to pay with their lives and tax money for the inter-imperial and colonial wars.
The official spokespeople of empire publicize real and fabricated atrocities of their imperial rivals, and highlight the plight of the colonized victims. The corporate elite and the hardline militarists demand military action to protect property, or to seize strategic resources; the humanitarians and progressives denounce the “crimes against humanity” and echo the calls “to do something concrete” to save the victims from genocide. Sectors of the Left join the chorus, finding a sector of victims who fit in with their abstract ideology, and plead for the imperial powers to “arm the people to liberate themselves” (sic). By lending moral support and a veneer of respectability to the imperial war, by swallowing the propaganda of “war to save victims” the progressives become the prototype of the “anti-imperialism of the fools”. Having secured broad public support on the basis of “anti-imperialism”, the imperialist powers feel free to sacrifice citizens’ lives and the public treasury, to pursue war, fueled by the moral fervor of a righteous cause. As the butchery drags on and the casualties mount, and the public wearies of war and its cost, progressive and leftist enthusiasm turns to silence or worse, moral hypocrisy with claims that “the nature of the war changed” or “that this isn’t the kind of war that we had in mind …”. As if the war makers ever intended to consult the progressives and left on how and why they should engage in imperial wars.!
In the contemporary period the imperial “anti-imperialist wars” and aggression have been greatly aided and abetted by well-funded “grass roots” so-called “non-governmental organizations” which act to mobilize popular movements which can “invite” imperial aggression.
Over the past four decades US imperialism has fomented at least two dozen “grass roots” movements which have destroyed democratic governments, or decimated collectivist welfare states or provoked major damage to the economy of targeted countries.
In Chile throughout 1972-73 under the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, the CIA financed and provided major support – via the AFL-CIO–to private truck owners to paralyze the flow of goods and services. They also funded a strike by a sector of the copper workers union (at the El Teniente mine) to undermine copper production and exports, in the lead up to the coup. After the military took power several “grass roots” Christian Democratic union officials participated in the purge of elected leftist union activists. Needless to say in short order the truck owners and copper workers ended the strike, dropped their demands and subsequently lost all bargaining rights!
In the 1980’s the CIA via Vatican channels transferred millions of dollars to sustain the “Solidarity Union” in Poland, making a hero of the Gdansk shipyards worker-leader Lech Walesa, who spearheaded the general strike to topple the Communist regime. With the overthrow of Communism so also went guaranteed employment, social security and trade union militancy: the neo-liberal regimes reduced the workforce at Gdansk by fifty percent and eventually closed it, giving the boot to the entire workforce. Walesa retired with a magnificent Presidential pension, while his former workmates walked the streets and the new “independent” Polish rulers provided NATO with military bases and mercenaries for imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In 2002 the White House, the CIA , the AFL-CIO and NGOs, backed a Venezuelan military-business – trade union bureaucrat led “grass roots” coup that overthrew democratically elected President Chavez. In 48 hours a million strong authentic grass roots mobilization of the urban poor backed by constitutionalist military forces defeated the US backed dictators and restored Chavez to power. Subsequently oil executives directed a lockout backed by several US financed NGOs. They were defeated by the workers’ takeover of the oil industry. The unsuccessful coup and lockout cost the Venezuelan economy billions of dollars in lost income and caused a double digit decline in GNP.
The US backed “grass roots” armed jihadists to liberate Bosnia and armed the“grass roots” terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army to break-up Yugoslavia. Almost the entire Western Left cheered as, the US bombed Belgrade, degraded the economy and claimed it was “responding to genocide”. Kosovo “free and independent” became a huge market for white slavers, housed the biggest US military base in Europe, with the highest per-capita out migration of any country in Europe.
The imperial “grass roots” strategy combines humanitarian, democratic and anti-imperialist rhetoric and paid and trained local NGO’s, with mass media blitzes to mobilize Western public opinion and especially “prestigious leftist moral critics” behind their power grabs.
The Consequence of Imperial Promoted “Anti-Imperialist” Movements: Who Wins and Who Loses?
The historic record of imperialist promoted “anti-imperialist” and “pro-democracy” “grass roots movements” is uniformly negative. Let us briefly summarize the results. In Chile ‘grass roots’ truck owners strike led to the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and nearly two decades of torture, murder, jailing and forced exile of hundreds of thousands, the imposition of brutal “free market policies” and subordination to US imperial policies. In summary the US multi-national copper corporations and the Chilean oligarchy were the big winners and the mass of the working class and urban and rural poor the biggest losers. The US backed “grass roots uprisings” in Eastern Europe against Soviet domination, exchanged Russian for US domination; subordination to NATO instead of the Warsaw Pact; the massive transfer of national public enterprises, banks and media to Western multi-nationals. Privatization of national enterprises led to unprecedented levels of double-digit unemployment, skyrocketing rents and the growth of pensioner poverty. The crises induced the flight of millions of the most educated and skilled workers and the elimination of free public health, higher education and worker vacation resorts.
Throughout the now capitalist Eastern Europe and USSR highly organized criminal gangs developed large scale prostitution and drug rings; foreign and local gangster ‘entrepeneurs’ seized lucrative public enterprises and formed a new class of super-rich oligarchs Electoral party politicians, local business people and professionals linked to Western ‘partners’ were the socio-economic winners. Pensioners, workers, collective farmers, the unemployed youth were the big losers along with the formerly subsidized cultural artists. Military bases in Eastern Europe became the empire’s first line of military attack of Russia and the target of any counter-attack.
If we measure the consequences of the shift in imperial power, it is clear that the Eastern Europe countries have become even more subservient under the US and the EU than under Russia. Western induced financial crises have devastated their economies; Eastern European troops have served in more imperial wars under NATO than under Soviet rule; the cultural media are under Western commercial control. Most of all, the degree of imperial control over all economic sectors far exceeds anything that existed under the Soviets. The Eastern European ‘grass roots’ movement succeeded in deepening and extending the US Empire; the advocates of peace, social justice, national independence, a cultural renaissance and social welfare with democracy were the big losers.
Western liberals, progressives and leftists who fell in love with imperialist promoted “anti-imperialism” are also big losers. Their support for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia led to the break-up of a multi-national state and the creation of huge NATO military bases and a white slavers paradise in Kosovo. Their blind support for the imperial promoted “liberation” of Eastern Europe devastated the welfare state, eliminating the pressure on Western regimes’ need to compete in providing welfare provisions. The main beneficiaries of Western imperial advances via ‘grass roots’ uprisings were the multi-national corporations, the Pentagon and the right-wing free market neo-liberals. As the entire political spectrum moved to the right a sector of the left and progressives eventually jumped on the bandwagon. The Left moralists lost credibility and support, their peace movements dwindled, their “moral critiques” lost resonance. The left and progressives who tail-ended the imperial backed “grass roots movements”, whether in the name of “anti-Stalinism”, “pro-democracy” or “anti-imperialism” have never engaged in any critical reflection; no effort to analyze the long-term negative consequences of their positions in terms of the losses in social welfare, national independence or personal dignity.
The long history of imperialist manipulation of “anti-imperialist” narratives has found virulent expression in the present day. The New Cold War launched by Obama against China and Russia, the hot war brewing in the Gulf over Iran’s alleged military threat, the interventionist threat against Venezuela’s “drug-networks”,and Syria’s “bloodbath” are part and parcel of the use and abuse of “anti-imperialism” to prop up a declining empire. Hopefully, the progressive and leftist writers and scribes will learn from the ideological pitfalls of the past and resist the temptation to access the mass media by providing a ‘progressive cover’ to imperial dubbed “rebels”. It is time to distinguish between genuine anti-imperialism and pro-democracy movements and those promoted by Washington, NATO and the mass media.
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 64 books published in 29 languages. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, Le Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
Al Jazeera's top 10 stories of 2011http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/aljazeeratop102011/