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Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for Corporate Cannabis

Counterpunch

 

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As detailed in my recent article “The War on Weed is Winding Down,” the health benefits of cannabis are now well established. It is a cheap, natural alternative effective for a broad range of conditions, and the non-psychoactive form known as hemp has thousands of industrial uses. At one time, cannabis was one of the world’s most important crops. There have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in the US, compared to about 30,000 deaths annually from alcohol abuse (not counting auto accidents), and 100,000 deaths annually from prescription drugs taken as directed. Yet cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance (“a deadly dangerous drug with no medical use and high potential for abuse”), illegal to be sold or grown in the US.

Powerful corporate interests no doubt had a hand in keeping cannabis off the market. The question now is why they have suddenly gotten on the bandwagon for its legalization. According to an April 2014 article in The Washington Times, the big money behind the recent push for legalization has come, not from a grassroots movement, but from a few very wealthy individuals with links to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

Leading the charge is George Soros, a major shareholder in Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company and producer of genetically modified seeds. Monsanto is the biotech giant that brought you Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, dioxin-based pesticides, aspartame, rBGH (genetically engineered bovine growth hormone), RoundUp (glyphosate) herbicides, and RoundUp Ready crops (seeds genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate).

Monsanto now appears to be developing genetically modified (GMO) forms of cannabis, with the intent of cornering the market with patented GMO seeds just as it did with GMO corn and GMO soybeans. For that, the plant would need to be legalized but still tightly enough controlled that it could be captured by big corporate interests. Competition could be suppressed by limiting access to homegrown marijuana; bringing production, sale and use within monitored and regulated industry guidelines; and legislating a definition of industrial hemp as a plant having such low psychoactivity that only GMO versions qualify. Those are the sorts of conditions that critics have found buried in the fine print of the latest initiatives for cannabis legalization.

Patients who use the cannabis plant in large quantities to heal serious diseases (e.g. by juicing it) find that the natural plant grown organically in sunlight is far more effective than hothouse plants or pharmaceutical cannabis derivatives. Letitia Pepper is a California attorney and activist who uses medical marijuana to control multiple sclerosis. As she puts it, if you don’t have an irrevocable right to grow a natural, therapeutic herb in your backyard that a corporation able to afford high license fees can grow and sell to you at premium prices, isn’t that still a war on people who use marijuana?

Follow the Money to Uruguay

Monsanto has denied that it is working on GMO strains. But William Engdahl, author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, presents compelling circumstantial evidence to the contrary. In a March 2014 article titled “The Connection Between the Legalization of Marijuana in Uruguay, Monsanto and George Soros”, Engdahl observes that in 2014, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of marijuana. Soros is a major player in Uruguay and was instrumental in getting the law passed. He sits on the board of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), the world’s most influential organization for cannabis legalization. The DPA is active not only in the US but in Uruguay and other Latin American countries. Engdahl writes:

Studies show that Monsanto without much fanfare conducts research projects on the active ingredient in marijuana, namely THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), in order to genetically manipulate the plant. David Watson of the Dutch company Hortapharm has since 1990 created the world’s largest collection of Cannabis seed varieties. In 1998, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals signed an agreement with Hortapharm that gives GW Pharma the rights to use the Hortapharm cannabis for their research.

In 2003 the German Bayer AG then signed an agreement with GW Pharmaceuticals for joint research on a cannabis-based extract. In 2007, Bayer AG agreed to an exchange of technology with . . . Monsanto . . . . Thus Monsanto has discreet access to the work of the cannabis plant and its genetic modification. In 2009 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that it had succeeded in genetically altering a cannabis plant and patented a new breed of cannabis.

Monsanto could have even greater access to the Bayer/GW research soon. In March 2016, Monsanto approached the giant German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer AG with a joint venture proposal concerning its crop science unit. In May, Bayer then made an unsolicited takeover bid for Monsanto. On May 24th, the $62 billion bid was rejected as too low; but negotiations are continuing.

The prospective merger would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and chemicals. Environmentalists worry that the entire farming industry could soon be looking at sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides. Monsanto has sued hundreds of farmers for simply saving seeds from year to year, something they have done for millennia. Organic farmers are finding it increasingly difficult to prevent contamination of their crops by Monsanto’s GMOs.

In Seeds of Destruction, Engdahl quotes Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State. Kissinger notoriously said, “Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people.” Engdahl asserts that the “Green Revolution” was part of the Rockefeller agenda to destroy seed diversity and push oil- and gas-based agricultural products in which Rockefeller had a major interest. Destruction of seed diversity and dependence on proprietary hybrids was the first step in food control. About 75% of the foodstuffs at the grocery store are now genetically manipulated, in what has been called the world’s largest biological experiment on humans.

Genetic engineering is now moving from foodstuffs to plant-based drugs and plant-based industrial fibers. Engdahl writes of Monsanto’s work in Uruguay:

Since the cultivation of cannabis plants in Uruguay is allowed, one can easily imagine that Monsanto sees a huge new market that the Group is able to control just with patented cannabis seeds such as today is happening on the market for soybeans. Uruguay’s President Mujica has made it clear he wants a unique genetic code for cannabis in his country in order to “keep the black market under control.”

Genetically modified cannabis seeds from Monsanto would grant such control. For decades Monsanto has been growing gene-soybean and GM maize in Uruguay too. George Soros is co-owner of agribusinesses Adecoagro, which planted genetically modified soybeans and sunflowers for biofuel.

Other commentators express similar concerns. Natural health writerMike Adams warns:

[W]ith the cannabis industry predicted to generate over $13 billion by 2020, becoming one of the largest agricultural markets in the nation, there should be little doubt that companies like Monsanto are simply waiting for Uncle Sam to remove the herb from its current Schedule I classification before getting into the business.

In a 2010 article concerning Proposition 19, an earlier legalization initiative that was defeated by California voters, Conrad Justice Kiczenski noted that criminalization of cannabis as both industrial hemp and medical marijuana has served a multitude of industries, including the prison and military industry, the petroleum, timber, cotton, and pharmaceutical industries, and the banking industry. With the decriminalization of cannabis, he warned:

The next stage in continuing this control is in the regulation, licensing and taxation of Cannabis cultivation and use through the only practical means available to the corporate system, which is through genetic engineering and patenting of the Cannabis genome.

AUMA: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Suspicions like these are helping to fuel opposition to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a 2016 initiative that would rewrite the medical marijuana laws in California. While AUMA purports to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the bill comes with so many restrictions that it actually makes acquisition more difficult and expensive than under existing law, and makes it a criminal offense for anyone under 21. Critics contend that the Act will simply throw access to this medicinal wonder plant into the waiting arms of the Monsanto/Bayer/petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex. They say AUMA is a covert attempt to preempt California’s Compassionate Use Act, Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996 by voter initiative.

Prop 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, but it did give ill or disabled people of any age the right to grow and share the plant and its derivatives on a not-for-profit basis. They could see a doctor of their choice, who could approve medical marijuana for a vast panoply of conditions; and they were assured of safe and affordable access to the plant at a nearby cooperative not-for-profit dispensary, or in their own backyards. As clarified by the 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines, Prop 215 allowed reimbursement for the labor, costs and skill necessary to grow and distribute medical marijuana; and it allowed distribution through a “storefront dispensing collective.” However, the sale of marijuana for corporate profit remained illegal.  Big Pharma and affiliates were thus blocked from entering the field.

At the end of 2015 (effective 2016), the California state legislature over-rode Prop 215 with MMRSA – the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015/16 – which effectively rewrites the Health Code pertaining to medical marijuana. Opponents contend that MMRSA is unconstitutional, since a voter initiative cannot be changed by legislative action unless it so provides. And that is why its backers need AUMA, a voter initiative that validates MMRSA in its fine print. In combination with stricter California Medical Association rules for enforcement, MMRSA effectively moves medical marijuana therapy from the wholistic plant to a pharmaceutical derivative, one that must follow an AUMA or American Pharmaceutical Association mode of delivery. MMRSA turns the right to cultivate into a revocable privilege to grow, contingent on local rules. The right to choose one’s own doctor is also eliminated.

Critics note that of the hundreds of millions in tax revenues that AUMA is expected to generate from marijuana and marijuana-related products, not a penny will go to the California general fund. That means no money for California’s public schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure. Instead, it will go into a giant slush fund controlled by AUMA’s “Marijuana Control Board,” to be spent first for its own administration, then for its own law enforcement, then for penal and judicial program expenditures.

Law enforcement and penalties will continue to be big business, since AUMA legalizes marijuana use only for people over 21 and makes access so difficult and expensive that even adults could be tempted to turn to the black market. “Legalization” through AUMA will chiefly serve a petrochemical/pharmaceutical complex bent on controlling all farming and plant life globally.

[Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.]

Stranger Than Fiction: How to Keep an Antiwar Movement Down

by Emma Quangel

May 9, 2016

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Imagine, if you will, the year 2016. It is a year of war. Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Turkey – just a handful in a long list – are under attack. Covert operations angling at “regime change” take place in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The African continent is engulfed in conflict, the threat of “regime change” knocking against even South Africa’s door. The BRICs are threatened, destabilizing. Thousands drown every year in the Mediterranean while millions more flood Europe, desperate for refuge from the violence and poverty that plagues their homelands. The right is on the rise across Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. The global economy is sagging under the weight of its own contradictions.

The United States government, that acts as the hired guns of a global class of jet-setting billionaires, imprisons 2.3 million of its own people. 3.2 per cent of its citizens are under correctional control. The descendants of those once kidnapped and enslaved are particularly tormented – one in three black males in the USA will spend some time in prison. 12,000 children in Flint, Michigan are poisoned by lead in the water. 60,000 people in New York City are homeless. Nearly 1,000 people were killed by the police in the United States last year. Thousands more are tortured – even boiled alive – in US prisons. In the state of Louisiana, black men in chains pick cotton for slave wages while overseers toting shotguns monitor them from horseback. The electoral system is rigged, disenfranchises millions, and offers the same solution, year after year: submit or be crushed.

Imagine, if you will, the year 2016 without a revolutionary movement against such conditions.

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The Black Panther Party was possibly the highwater mark for American revolution in the 20th century because it existed in concert with, and gave guidance to, a broad-based antiwar movement. While the labor struggles of the working class at the turn of the century were integral in improving the lives of millions of Americans and providing a platform for revolutionary socialism, it wasn’t until the radical labor movement started to speak out against the First World War that they were persecuted in full by the government, lynched, deported and imprisoned. Likewise, the Black Panthers were most heavily targeted when they developed a line that connected the suffering of the American people to the suffering inflicted on others by the United States abroad. In both instances, the culprit was imperialism, capitalism made flesh in the form of guns and planes that could stamp out challenges to its hegemony.

That the Black Panther Party even existed should one of the greatest points of pride among radicals in the United States. Indeed, Black Panthers are still on the run from the FBI or languishing in prisons, sometimes for decades under solitary confinement. They were able to serve the people while educating them about the world we lived in. To the Black Panthers, to anyone who would call themselves a dialectical materialist, the idea that the United States Government is an institution that can be reformed is simply absurd. The United States Government, to Marxists, does not exist as a faulty waiter failing to bring free health care and universal housing with the check, but rather, to mediate class conflict in favor of the bourgeoisie – not just in the United States, but worldwide. The Black Panthers saw this, and declared themselves in solidarity with the victims of imperialism. They toured the world, meeting with revolutionaries from North Korea to Vietnam. And this, along with organizing among poor black communities in the United States, is what brought down the wrath of the state on their heads.

It is possible to say that a revolutionary movement in the United States can only exist when there is praxis that recognizes the relationship between oppression in the US and imperialism. I would further venture to say that there can be no praxis without the two elements being present concurrently, and that no honest effort at building a revolutionary movement in the US can be made without recognizing that there must be an antiwar movement to join, and that this antiwar movement must be anti-imperialist.

After all, the wars of today differ greatly from the wars of the early 20th century, the wars that threw Emma Goldman and Big Bill Haywood in jail. We no longer have the draft – the popular rage over Vietnam saw an end to that – and the US spends more time launching air strikes from unmanned drones than digging trenches or preparing for bayonet combat. Likewise, imperialism doesn’t always take place at the end of a gun. The IMF and World Bank, created at the end of World War II, helped to exert influence over economies and governments where a heavier, more direct hand was once required. The creation of NATO and the Cold War made imperialism seem a war of ideologies, rather than the ham-fisted grab at resources that it was. Now, it seems that while American bombs and bullets murder so many worldwide, we are encouraged to side with imperialism as socialists. We are expected to take on the reasoning of George W. Bush and Samantha Power so long as it is dressed up and marketed in a way that pleases us, even if we consider ourselves “Left” leaning politically. Like soda and smartphones, we are exhorted to find identity in our positions, to represent ourselves by our consumer choices.

An alarming trend is on the rise in the United States and in the English-speaking world more generally: the ubiquitous Op-Ed. What was once relegated to just one page of the newspaper (the term Op-Ed meaning something that ran on the page opposite to Editorial) now makes up large sections of online news media. I imagine it is cheaper to pay a freelancer $250 (optimistic!) for their opinion than finance a foreign bureau. Whole TV networks run on an audio-visual version of the Op-Ed. It is a form of news that directly tells its reader how to think about the current events. Many gain their information on a topic simply from reading Op-eds. Today’s columnist and pundit is a TV show, someone that we can tune into on a regular basis for entertainment and flattery. If one show is boring, if you don’t like what they’re saying – simply switch the channel. It doesn’t matter, as all are trying to sell you a ruling class agenda. And, above all else, in our 24 hour news cycle, we are never allowed to present news in a boring way. The VICE lifestyle brand turned global news channel, with its correspondents pulled from content marketing’s central casting, is a prime example of the desire to “sex-up” news by letting opinions lead coverage. It is a way to engage the youth, as it boasts openly, to not only consume brands, but also official narratives, with enthusiasm.

A narrative example from the Op-ed world of news could be as follows: In Syria, democratic protesters are fighting against a brutal regime that slaughters them with impunity. These democratic protesters, now called rebels, are always at risk of being annihilated by state violence and torture because the Western Left has “failed” them.We must all support these rebels and pressure our government to do the right thing,whatever that might be.

Some articles might be run in conjunction, many that might contradict this narrative. We might learn from respected journalists with years of experience and lauded professional histories that things aren’t so simple. We might learn from State Department press transcripts that these brave rebels take quite a lot of money from the US Government. But it doesn’t matter if half of the paper contradicts the other half. When we are told how to read the news, through the eyes of these pundits, we are happily oblivious of whatever facts might contradict our chosen authority. After all, Thomas Friedman is far more influential and famous than some no-name stringer for The Times. Anyone who might disagree with the official narrative, even if they are respected journalists, scholars or activists, are now called conspiracy theorists, “hacks” or worse.

But while journalists are still nominally held to professional standards, the pundit owes no such thing to her audience. After all, this is just her opinion, and she is not expected to have thoroughly researched differing narratives – nor is she obligated to present opposing views, or to present anything evenly – when publishing her Op-ed. This is not unexpected, nor is it dishonest to the job description of a “pundit”. It’s up to the publication to decide how much of its material is news, and how much of it is entertainment packaged as Op-eds.

Yet, there is danger when a pundit or entertainer decides to call herself a journalist without having been subjected to the same standards we would expect from the NYT stringer. Facts are not checked and sources are not vetted. So-called journalists, such as Michael Weiss or Molly Crabapple, rely heavily on anonymous sources who slip them scintillating information or photographs. And yet, I am unsure who these sources are, who has vetted them, and how they did so. Indeed, as this new generation straddles the line between journalist and pundit, the means by which they communicate are themselves in question. My own WhatsApp number is from Iraq, though I have not lived there since October 2015. So, I think it’s natural to ask how these sources are processed, especially if the Op-ed writers posing as journalists are writing whole books based on their testimony, appearing on talk shows as experts, and building careers off promoting wars. While the content may be biased and one-sided, laden with marketing copy and convenient omissions, we should be incredibly wary on how we define, protect, but also how we verify the “source”. Indeed, I wouldask how these pundits find, vet and receive information, but as many already tried to have me fired from my last job for asking such questions, it’s pointless to attempt from my position – though I welcome corrections and inputs from editorial.

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As it stands, The Guardian admitted last week that it had been fed stories on Syria by the UK Home Office operating from behind a PR firm that was operating a Syrian advocacy campaign. Breakthrough Media joins its American agency Purpose (via The Syria Campaign) in pushing advocacy for pro-intervention narratives on the Syria conflict. What is left out of the discussion of whether or not public funds are being used to propagandize war to the tax-paying public is the disclosure of who the freelance “journalists” are that are being paid or otherwise lobbied to write on Syria. We would expect that journalists taking money or in kind contributions from campaign staff disclose such information when writing on the election – why not the same expectation from those who write on foreign policy matters? Perhaps it is because, in the long run, such issues are far weightier than whatever new jab a candidate throws on social media or a cable news talk show. One of the more chilling revelations from The Guardian, one seemingly lifted straight from my book, is that some of the journalists reported they were unaware that they were being utilized in this way.

If we knew that Fred Hampton or Emma Goldman were taking money from public relations firms (who may or may not have been receiving marching orders from governments) when speaking or writing on the wars they opposed, wouldn’t that change the way we see their positions? And certainly, if we were to discover that some of our favorite, cherished personalities who regularly tell us how to read the news were taking money from PR firms, to confuse, mislead, attack or threaten activists who might otherwise try and build a case against the US government’s wars abroad and at home, wouldn’t that be a scandal?

There may be no antiwar movement today because we live in a media environment that seeks to destroy it in its nascence. Andrew Bacevich, in his recent instructive essay for Harper’s called “American Imperium”, makes the case that:

The trivializing din of what passes for news drowns out the antiwar critique. One consequence of remaining perpetually at war is that the political landscape in America does not include a peace party.

Indeed, before there can be a peace party, there must be an antiwar critique. And the “trivializing din” that Bacevich speaks of is not simply drowning out antiwar critique, it is merciless in seeking to destroy and discredit ideas such as the fact that the United States enjoys unprecedented military, economic, ideological and strategic domination over the entire world. Such ideas, when voiced publicly, are met with derision and laughter. As if, with dozens of bases and tens of thousands of soldiers surrounding Russia, one could seriously argue that Russia is imperialist, or an equal threat to world peace as the US. There are no Russian bases and no Russian soldiers garrisoned on our borders. We cannot even know, as the numbers are not publicly available, how many US soldiers and bases are currently in the Middle East – indeed, how many are currently in Iraq and Syria, where much conflict is currently taking place. Whereas before, reliable journalists and their supportive editors might have been successful in discovering such figures, they are now too focused on revenue and survival. This opens wide the door for propagandists who wish to deride and discredit any remaining “Left” antiwar sentiment in the US. Until this is resolved, building an anti-imperialist antiwar movement will remain an uphill battle, even among smaller groups, as subjectivity and sophistry continues to be taught and promoted over objectivity, materialism, serious study and clear thinking.

 

[“Emma Quangel is the woman who bravely contributed to the outing of Nazi murderer/”Last Rhodesian” Dylann Storm Roof’s blog, which probably spoiled Roof’s chances at the inexorably successful—for white supremacists—insanity defense.  After Quangel, an insanity verdict for Roof would be an insanity verdict for the U.S. white supremacist system: which is to say, in lieu of Aristotelian-bourgeois justice, Artaudian ritual magic, a self-reparative exorcism.”]

WHO ARE SYRIA’S WHITE HELMETS?

21st Century Wire

June 21, 2016

By Vanessa Beeley

 

Who are the White Helmets? This is a question that everyone should be asking themselves.

A hideous murder of a rising star in UK politics, Jo Cox MP, has just sent shock waves across the world. Within hours of her death, a special fund was established in her name to raise money for 3 causes. One of those causes is the Syrian White Helmets.

Are we seeing a cynical and obscene exploitation of Jo Cox’s murder to revive the flagging credibility of a US State Department & UK Foreign Office asset on the ground in Syria, created and sustained as first responders for the US and NATO Al Nusra/Al Qaeda forces?

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FOLLOW THE MONEY: The White Helmets are just one component of the new NGO Complex.

If this is the case, and I fear it is, the depravity of our government, the US government, the state led media and associated Syria Campaign support groups have reached a new level of perversion of Humanity. The White Helmets have been demonstrated to be a primarily US and NATO funded organisation embedded in Al Nusra and ISIS held areas exclusively.

This is an alleged “non-governmental” organisation, the definition of an NGO, that thus far has received funding from at least three major NATO governments, including $23 million from then US Government and $29 million (£19.7 million) from the UK Government, $4.5 million (€4 million) from the Dutch Government. In addition, it receives material assistance and training funded and run by a variety of other EU Nations.

A request has been put into the EU Secretary General to provide all correspondence relating to the funding and training of the White Helmets. By law this information must be made transparent and available to the public.

There has been a concerted campaign by a range of investigative journalists to expose the true roots of these Syria Civil Defence operatives, known as the White Helmets.  The most damning statement, however, did not come from us, but from their funders and backers in the US State Department who attempted to explain the US deportation of the prominent White Helmet leader, Raed Saleh, from Dulles airport on the 18th April 2016.

“It was unclear whether Mr. Saleh’s name might have shown up on a database, fed by a variety of intelligence and security agencies and intended to guard against the prospect of terrorism suspects slipping into the country.” ~ New York Times

Mark Toner, State Department spokesperson:

“And any individual – again, I’m broadening my language here for specific reasons, but any individual in any group suspected of ties or relations with extremist groups or that we had believed to be a security threat to the United States, we would act accordingly. But that does not, by extension, mean we condemn or would cut off ties to the group for which that individual works for.”


So we come back to the initial question.  Why is the tragic death of a passionate and ambitious politician being exploited? Why are all political parties in the UK endorsing the Jo Cox fund to provide financial assistance for an organisation the UK Government is already funding and training?

Why are the public once more being used as political pawns to further our government’s imperialist objectives inside Syria and their covert, illegal, proxy intervention of a sovereign nation via both terrorist forces and phony humanitarian first responders?

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Phillip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary meeting White Helmets in southern Turkey

The White Helmets are perhaps being demonstrated to be the most crucial component of the US and NATO shadow state building inside Syria.  Led by the US and UK this group is essential to the propaganda stream that facilitates the continued media and political campaign against the elected Syrian government and permits the US and NATO to justify their regime of crippling economic and humanitarian sanctions against the Syrian people.

If this latest mechanised ‘NGO’ blueprint is successful then we could see it being re-deployed as key to future neo-colonialist projects. The White Helmets are a direct intra-venus line into the terrorist enclaves within Syria, acting as a conduit for information, equipment and medical support to maintain the US NATO forces.

Is this the future of warfare, is this the “swarming” outlined in a 2000 report produced by thebRAND Corporation and entitled: Swarming and the Future of Conflict.

“The emergence of a military doctrine based on swarming pods and clusters requires that defense policymakers develop new approaches to connectivity and control and achieve a new balance between the two. Far more than traditional approachesto battle, swarming clearly depends upon robust information flows. Securing these flows, therefore, can be seen as a necessary condition for successful swarming.”

[Update 22/6/2016] An important “previously unpublished interview with Jo Cox” was released today by Adam Barnett.  In this interview Jo Cox makes a clear statement regarding the way the UK Government should be maximising the use of their assets, the White Helmets, inside Syria:

“Second thing: many organisations, whether it’s the White Helmets or others, have got really creative ideas about how to operate under the siege and civil war conditions. They’ve got really interesting ideas about channelling money, getting aid in, thinking creatively about how they operate, which DfID [Department for International Development] should be listening to. [emphasis added]

And then the third thing is about giving airtime to civil society groups, making sure that they get more time on panels– and making sure this is representative of the diversity of civil society views as well, whether that’s women’s groups, or the White Helmets, or NGOs, or just doctors or people who are literally trying to get on with making society function in response to the humanitarian crisis.”

Is this why we are seeing what is, in effect, crowd funding for  proxy war? Do we really want to look back and be “judged by history” for enabling conflict and state terrorism, violating international law and invading sovereign nations.  Are we prepared to accept the consequences of such actions, consequences that should be taken by our governments alone but are now being diffused outwards to the general public.  Is this an attempt by our government to disassociate themselves from their criminal actions?

To condense our research on the Syria White Helmets, we have collated all relevant articles and interviews below.  We condemn wholeheartedly any senseless murder but we recommend that there is serious public and political re-evauluation of the morality of funding a US NATO organisation established to further “regime change” objectives in Syria.

Mass murder is being committed across Syria and the region by US and NATO proxy terrorist militants. Funding the White Helmets will serve to prolong the suffering and bloodshed of the Syrian people.

UK Column: White Helmets, Humanitarians or Executioners?

Vanessa Beeley speaks to Mike Robinson of UK Column about recent executions of Syrian Arab Army soldiers celebrated by White Helmet operatives.” Watch:


Mint Press: Dissecting the “Humanitarian” Propaganda Driving US Intervention in Syria, Again.

“Speaking to Mnar Muhawesh on ‘Behind the Headline,’ investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley pulls back the curtain on the anti-Assad ‘freedom fighters’ and ‘moderate rebels,’ revealing a carefully calibrated propaganda campaign to drive US intervention in the war-torn country.”Watch:

Hands Off Syria: The Syria White Helmets Exposed as US UK Agents Embedded with Al Nusra and ISIS

Video made by Hands Off Syria in Sydney Australia based upon the research of Vanessa Beeley on the White Helmets. Watch:


Mint Press: US Propaganda War in Syria: Report Ties White Helmets to US Intervention

“White Helmets primary function is propaganda” reported an independent journalist, who tied the group to George Soros and the controversial advocacy group Avaaz.”

Change.org Petition: Do NOT give 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to Syria White Helmets

This petition has currently garnered 1370 signatures. The White Helmets have received over $ 40 million in funding from the US Government [USAID] and the UK Foreign Office despite their claims of being “fiercely independent and accepts no money from governments, corporations or anyone directly involved in the Syrian conflict.”

Sputnik: Soros Sponsored NGO in Syria Aims at Ousting Assad not Saving Civilians

“One of the largest humanitarian organizations operating in war-torn Syria – the White Helmets – has been accused of being an anti-government propaganda arm that encourages direct foreign intervention.”

21st Century Wire: Syria’s White Helmets, War by Way of Deception Part 1

This piece examines the role of the Syria Civil Defence aka,’The White Helmets’ currently operating in Syria and take a closer look at their financial sources and mainstream media partners in order to better determine if they are indeed “neutral” as media moguls proclaim these “humanitarians” to be.

21st Century Wire: Part II. Syria’s White Helmets, “Moderate” Executioners

The NGO hydra has no more powerful or influential serpentine head in Syria than the Syria Civil Defence aka The White Helmets who, according to their leader and creator, James Le Mesurier, hold greater sway than even ISIS or Al Nusra confabs over the Syrian communities. This article explores the White Helmet involvement in terrorist executions of civilians particularly in Aleppo.

21st Century Wire: Humanitarian Propaganda War Against Syria – Led by Avaaz and the White Helmets

“The White Helmets in their haste to point the finger of blame at Moscow, managed to tweet about Russia’s air strikes several hours before the Russian Parliament actually authorized the use of the Air Force in Syria.” ~ Sott.net

UK Column: Syria White Helmets

“Mike Robinson speaks to Vanessa Beeley about the so-called NGO, the White Helmets. Are they really the humanitarian first responder organisation they claim to be?” Watch:

Eva Bartlett: Human Rights Front Groups Warring on Syria

This page will continue to expand as more so-called “Human Rights” groups are outed for propagating anti-Syria war rhetoric and false allegations against the Syrian government and Syrian Arab Army.  As it is, the list of players is quite extensive.  Below, I’ll list the known HR front people and groups (many, if not most, with links to the US State Department and criminals like George Soros).

Ron Paul Institute: Syria the Propaganda Ring

We have demonstrated that the White Helmets are an integral part of the propaganda vanguard that ensures obscurantism of fact and propagation of Human Rights fiction that elicits the well-intentioned and self righteous response from a very cleverly duped public. A priority for these NGOs is to keep pushing the No Fly Zone scenario which has already been seen to have disastrous implications for innocent civilians in Libya, for example.

Dissident Voice: Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators

“But White Helmets primary function is propaganda. White Helmets demonizes the Assad government and encourages direct foreign intervention.”

Prof Tim Anderson: Syrian Women Denounce the White Helmets

“A range of Syrian women have denounced the US-UK funded group the ‘White Helmets’, led by a former British soldier and recently revealed to be financed by USAID. They come from all the country’s communities (e.g. Sunni, Alawi, Druze, Christian) but, like most Syrians, prefer to identify simply as Syrian.”

Khamenei.ir: Interview with Prof. Tim Anderson NATO’s Dirty War on Syria

“The ‘White Helmets’ are a Wall Street creation, funded and led by the US and the UK, to give ‘humanitarian’ cover to the al Qaeda groups they support.”

AlternativeView7:  Syria: White Helmets Exposed

“We live in a world governed by propaganda where the majority of media mouthpieces are gagged by those who own them and only permitted to release information that serves the narrative of the ruling elite or Imperialist powers.”

White Helmets: One of the many suspect Hollywood style promo rescue videos

Please note that the child that is rescued is very clean considering she has allegedly been buried under the rubble of “regime” bombing raids..we do not in any way wish to detract from the heroic work of the true first responders on the ground in Syria, the real Syria Civil Defence and the Red Crescent who are never mentioned in the western media but we do wish to draw your attention to the propaganda methods being employed to amplify US and NATO narratives that are insisting upon “regime change.”

21st Century Wire: We will add to the above articles and interviews as they become available.  Vanessa Beeley has just completed a speaking tour of the UK and Iran during which she highlighted the role of the NGO complex in general and the White Helmets in particular as a new breed of predatory humanitarianism being unleashed against target nations. Videos of her talks will be published as soon as they become available from the AV7 conference and Frome Stop War.

***

[Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.]

 

The revolution will not be subsidized or absurd failure of the left (an interview with Cory Morningstar)

 

[English version. Read the original article in French here.]

 

We recently interviewed Cory Morningstar, a Canadian investigative journalist specializing in ecology and politics. Her outstanding work is available online freely, on her website (in English) . We published two articles on our site, namely 350.org, AVAAZ and the World March for the Climate – How the Empire Made Us Walk (by Cory Morningstar), and 350.org, Bill McKibben (& Naomi Klein): Ecology Made in Wall Street.

ONG

: How dire does our current predicament, as a species living on planet Earth, seem to you, and why?

Cory Morningstar: It is so dire, we are unable, or perhaps simply unwilling, to even comprehend the magnitude. Even those who do have the capacity to comprehend the magnitude of our predicament, are often unable to accept it fully. By this I mean we continue making long term plans for things we’ve established will not be plausible/possible at some point in our lifetime. We are so indoctrinated and conditioned to insanity, it appears we are not able to break free. Further, even if we did muster such courage to break free, the system that enslaves ensures we cannot. If one assembles the science in a way such as Guy McPherson has done, it is clear we have surpassed the utmost limits (1C) to which we warned by the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (UNAGGG) published in 1990. A document which I might add was purposely buried in order to continue to grow the industrialized capitalist economic system. And of course this does not even include the further warming to which we are firmly committed yet will not show up for a few decades due to lag.

If one needs more proof to appease their doubt, they need not look further than Natalia Shakhova’s apocalyptic warning that the shallow water column and a weakening permafrost which serve as a seal for methane could go at any time.[1] Shakhova, one of world’s foremost experts/scientists on methane hydrates has seen her publications essentially blacklisted from media for years. Also, one must consider leading scientists began to employ the term “anthropocene” decades ago to describe a distinct geological epoch from the Holocene – a transition/change caused by human impacts. We collectively ignore this incredible turning point.[2]

Those are some of my main observations, but I think what I find most dire is what I observe in my day to day life. The simple observations of how people treat 1) each other, 2) sentient beings, 3) non-human life forms and 4) our Earth mother. And the ugly truth is that most people treat all four like disposable garbage. Hell, they even treat their bodies like garbage and are more than willing to poison their own children in a multitude of ways. One has to contemplate if this is sheer ignorance or rather, self-hatred. Regardless, we continue to rapidly devolve.  The level of cognitive dissonance becomes clear when you consider every civilization that has ever existed has fallen, yet the civilization that exceeds all others in regard to plunder of our natural environment upon which we absolutely depend, is considered exempt from this same prophetic fate.

 

: In the West, inside industrial societies, the main political opposition toward the dominant culture, which may not be as much in opposition as it likes to pretend or think, and that I’ll call “the left”, in order to be succinct, appears to be a huge failure, doesn’t it?

Cory Morningstar:

Yes, this is very true. I would agree that it is a huge failure. There are many reasons for this I believe. I will name a few. The majority of our “left” is comprised of privileged, almost exclusively white middle class. The same 1% class of people creating 50% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. It is incredibly difficult to persuade someone to look in the mirror when all those who surround him/her are demonizing fossil fuel corporations as though industry is somehow separated from society and the system itself.

After years of work on climate and ecological issues, I’ve concluded Western environmentalism is dead, having been replaced by 21st century anthropocentrism. The word “activist” in the west is a term that simply refers to a self-absorbed anthropocentrist – willfully blind to the horrors of imperialism and racism that hums beneath the entire system. Much of our language has been co-opted by the non-profit industrial complex including environmentalism, activism, radical, and even the word capitalism – a vogue word that provided an effective discourse to actually protect and expand the same socio-economic system that is killing us.

Revolutionary ideology in America is dead. A process is now fully underway now via the “new economy” (the financialization of nature) and even this does not invoke meaningful, fierce, necessary resistance. As much as Deepface (Facebook) may play a role in conveying information, social metrics in this way are like money. 500k followers has nothing to do with revolutionary actions, just as money is backed by nothing. Yet they both dominate the modern fucked-up Brave New World we live in today. I would argue social media is ultimately a great detriment to society as a whole,  the ultimate wet dream of every oligarch and advertiser alive today. Like my WKOG comrade Forrest Palmer says, like Latin, truth is a dead language in this world – as is critical thinking. There is simply no appetite for radical change if it impairs privilege. And the radical change necessary to even slow climate change down would require the most radical (yet empowering) sacrifice that would tear down the institutions that oppress those who pay the price for the privilege of the Euro-American West. I’ve come to terms with the fact that privilege in any form will never be relinquished by those who have it – it would have to be taken via force. Any legitimate attempts to dismantle current power structures, or even slow down our multiple crises and ultimate self-annihilation would only come from the working class.

: Why? What are the main reasons for its failure? 

Cory Morningstar: I think we fail to recognize the level of our own indoctrination. Pivotal questions put forward centuries ago in the paper The Politics of Obedience by Étienne de La Boétie continue to go unanswered. There is little to no interest in delving into such a critical barrier to this critical issue which serves to insulate current power structures. Facts grounded in reality observed by real revolutionaries, such as  Assata Shakur who pointed out “Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them”, go ignored.

I believe the main reason for our collective failure is the success of the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) which is financed to the tune of trillions by those who oppress us. Those at the helm of the NPIC appeal to the  worst traits of humanity, rather than the best. Individualism, narcissism, ego, want, hunger for power and recognition/fame. They tell the lies that we need to hear in order to live with ourselves and continue our rapacious plunder. They allow us to bask in our privilege without guilt. The “dead left” follows those they identify with, such as 350’s McKibben and Klein – white, wealthy “leaders” appointed by the elites. The Marilyn Bucks no longer exist. Revolutionaries such as Omali Yeshitela – who the “dead left” does not identify with – are ignored. In 1966 revolutionary leader Stockley Carmichael  stated “And that’s the real question faction the white activists today. Can they tear down the institutions that have put us all in the trick bag we’ve been into for the last hundreds of years?” Exactly 50 years we can answer with an unequivocal no. White activists were not/are not prepared to tear down the institutions as these institutions have granted this class privilege that they are not prepared to give up at any cost. Even the cost of their own children. And as Forrest Palmer notes often, today, the black bourgeoisie seek to assimilate into this oppressive system rather than destroy it. Even using the word destroy in the same breath of activism is deemed unacceptable. Self-defense is not recognized as legitimate by those of privilege while violence by the police state is generally accepted.  The belief that the world’s most powerful capitalists will give up any power or wealth voluntarily is absolutely asinine.

: It seems to me like the left is a confused mix of many different ideologies, more or less controlled and created by the dominant culture, which it thinks it is challenging, and that we can thus point out several major contradictions/inconsistencies that are preventing it from being an effective force of resistance, of change. What are your thoughts on this, and what would these major contradictions/inconsistencies be?

Cory Morningstar:

I thought this to be true years ago. That is, if “the left” could fully understand that they are continually being reabsorbed back into the very systems they claim to oppose, we could be militant against such manipulation. By fully embracing both discipline and critical thinking, we could stop this from happening over and over again. But western society has taught us the opposite. It celebrates the opposite. Don’t think critically. Don’t learn your history. Believe in the 10-second sound bites delivered to you from the corporate superpowers echoed through the NPIC/media chambers. But when I started writing the ugly truths about the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who form the NPIC, I discovered people believe in these institutions. The belief is powerful – akin to the belief in man’s white, blue-eyed male god.

When John D. Rockefeller stated “the ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun, he knew then what it would take decades for the left to come to terms with. With what they have yet to come to terms with. The idea that we can shift the balance of power through organizations financed by – and in many cases created by – the most powerful institutions in the world, is ludicrous. And yet it continues to be a most powerful force that promises our own self destruction and ultimate annihilation.  And when we look at what the dead left in the West continues to “demand” (demands where the solutions are already written and waiting for us behind closed doors), “solutions” that have nothing do with protecting nature or non-human life forms, but only western lifestyles, perhaps our eradication is a good thing. 

And that’s the saddest part of the story as we come to the final chapter. The irony being that if man had of placed non-human life first and foremost ahead of human life, by default, we would have saved ourselves. The is the ultimate contradiction. And what has lead to our ultimate demise. There is good news though. In all and every likelihood that we are unable to stop climate change, let alone slow it down, it is never too late to further our knowledge and pursue truth and justice. If we could garner even a shred of dignity as nature closes in, I think this is most worthwhile.


[1] “The total amount of the methane (CH4) in the current atmosphere is 5 gigatons. The amount of carbon preserved in the form of methane in the East Siberian Arctic shelf is approx. 100’s-1000’s gigatons. Only 1% of this amount is required to double the atmospheric burden of methane (which is approx. 23x more powerful than CO2). There is not much effort needed to destabilize just 1% of this carbon pool considering the state of permafrost and the amount of methane currently involved. What keeps this methane from entering the atmosphere is a very shallow water column and a weakening permafrost which is losing its ability to serve as a seal. It could happen anytime. “Natalia Shakhova is one of the world’s foremost experts on methane hydrates.

[2] The Holocene is the geological epoch that began after the Pleistocene at approximately 11,700 years before AD 2000 and officially continues to the present.

Avaaz: un écran de fumée occultant les bombes libératrices à uranium appauvri [2012]

Liberterre

November 14, 2012

by Dominique Guillet

Avaaz French 2

Peu de temps après l’opération psychologique spéciale dénommée 9/11, le Général Wesley Clark, ancien général en chef de l’OTAN (Organisation Terroriste de l’Atlantique Nord) rencontre, au Pentagone, un officier d’état-major qui le convie à consulter un document confidentiel émanant du Ministère de la Défense US et stipulant que, dans les 5 années suivantes, sept pays seront envahis (“libérés” dans le langage Orwellien) par les USA : l’Irak, la Syrie, le Liban, la Libye, la Somalie, le Soudan et l’Iran. Le Général Wesley Clark, en retraite, s’est exprimé publiquement plusieurs fois à ce sujet: «C’était une déclaration stupéfiante : l’armée servirait à déclencher des guerres et à faire tomber des gouvernements et non pas à empêcher les conflits. Nous allons envahir des pays. Mes pensées se bousculaient. J’ai mis ça de côté, c’était comme une pépite que vous conservez. Un groupe de gens a pris le contrôle du pays avec un coup d’État politique, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld… je pourrais nommer une demi-douzaine d’autres collaborateurs du Projet pour un Nouveau Siècle Américain (PNAC). Ils voulaient que le Moyen-Orient soit déstabilisé, qu’il soit chamboulé et placé sous notre contrôle». (1)

Est-ce donc une coïncidence si l’organisation dénommée Avaaz a soutenu les interventions militaires en Libye (19 / 20 / 21) et en Syrie (25 / 26 / 27 / 28)? Est-ce donc une coïncidence si Avaaz se mêle des affaires internes de la Somalie (2 / 3 / 4)? Est-ce donc une coïncidence si Avaaz se mêle des affaires internes du Soudan (5) en accusant, par ailleurs, le très diabolisé Iran de livrer des armes (7 / 8)? Est-ce donc une coïncidence si Avaaz se mêle des affaires internes de l’Iran (9 / 10)?

Qui sont donc ces “activistes Avaaz” impliqués très concrètement, en 2012, dans des opérations de déstabilisation de la Syrie (11)?

L’organisation Avaaz n’est-elle pas tout simplement une tête de pont de la CIA, un gigantesque écran de fumée occultant les bombes libératrices à uranium appauvri de l’Impérialisme Occidental?

A l’automne 2009, en rédigeant mes quatre articles sur l’arnaque du réchauffement climatique anthropique (13), je découvris que cette organisation sollicitait les activistes pour récolter des fonds, en l’espace de quelques jours, à hauteur de 150 000 dollars afin de créer un blog durant le Sommet de Stockholm. «Il ne nous reste plus que quelques jours. Si d’ici lundi, nous pouvions collecter 150 000 dollars, Avaaz pourrait engager les grands moyens sur ce projet: construire une carte du monde et un blog dans le style de Twitter permettant de relier tous les événements organisés pour le climat le 21 septembre; mettre en place une base de données téléphoniques mondiale pour permettre à des milliers d’entre nous d’inonder nos dirigeants de coups de téléphone; et enfin engager une équipe de professionnels pour faire la différence sur le terrain médiatique, face aux puissants lobbys industriels et pétroliers».

150 000 dollars financés par des militants naïfs pour créer un blog!! On croit rêver. A l’époque, je pensais qu’Avaaz n’était qu’une ONG frauduleuse, une de plus, une Organisation pour Niaiser les Gogos, dont l’objectif unique est de soutirer beaucoup d’argent aux activistes et dont l’outil principal est fondé sur des pathologies modernes, la pétitionnite aiguë et la conjugaison débridée du verbe “cliquer”. Et il est clair qu’Avaaz excelle en tant que gigantesque machinerie à cliquer/glaner des dollars/euros. Il n’est que de consulter, sur internet, l’une de ses campagnes, en 2009, pour lever des fonds, à grands renforts de petits montants:

«C’est un moment d’une importance cruciale pour l’Iran et pour le monde. Nous pouvons aider à faire connaître la vérité en organisant de toute urgence un sondage post-électoral rigoureux auprès des citoyens iraniens, en leur téléphonant pour leur demander pour qui ils ont voté et en publiant les résultats dans les médias.  Plus d’un tiers des votes sont en jeu – et notre sondage pourra ainsi prouver qui dit la vérité . Si nous arrivons à recueillir 119 000 € dans les prochaines 24 heures, nous pourrons publier les résultats avant que le Conseil des gardiens de la Constitution ne rende publics les résultats de son propre recomptage des voix. Si nous arrivons à recueillir plus d’argent, nous pourrons étendre la portée de cette campagne. Nous avons un besoin urgent que 10 000 d’entre vous donnent un petit montant. Aidez à financer le sondage dès maintenant en utilisant le formulaire sécurisé fourni ci-dessous.» (10)

On se demande d’ailleurs ce qui est sécurisé chez Avaaz car la phrase suivante apparaît en rouge gras: «$228,449 ont fait un don pour aider financer un sondage pour la vérité en Iran». Où apparaît-elle? Sur le site d’Avaaz France car aujourd’hui, en novembre 2012, il est toujours possible d’appuyer sur le bouton Paypal pour contribuer financièrement à ce sondage, pour le moins,  très “post-électoral”. Après vérification de la même campagne sur son site US, il s’avère que la maison mère s’est répandue en plates excuses, en 2009, à propos de l’impossibilité d’effectuer le dit sondage à cause de la corruption en Iran. A l’époque, Avaaz proposa aux ponctionnés, en toute sincérité bien entendu, de récupérer leur dû – en envoyant un mail –  ou de le mettre à disposition d’une autre campagne qu’ils venaient juste de lancer pour sécuriser un internet libre en Iran!! (12)… et pour sécuriser la cagnotte chez Paypal.

Car Avaaz a besoin d’argent, de beaucoup d’argent, pour organiser ses pétitions virtuelles à partir de quelques ordinateurs, et surtout pour les rémunérations de ses cadres. Car affirmons-le, haut et fort, les cadres chez Avaaz ne sont pas rémunérés avec des cacahuètes virtuelles: le fondateur et directeur exécutif, Ricken Patel, a ainsi touché, en 2010, la modeste somme salariale de 183 264 dollars (15 200 dollars par mois) – en légère augmentation par rapport à ses salaires de 120 000 dollars des années précédentes –  tandis que le directeur de campagne, Ben Wikler, a touché 111 384 dollars de salaire. Cette même année 2010, Avaaz a déclaré sur sa feuille de revenu (form 990): 921 592 dollars de “frais de campagnes et de consultance”, 182 196 dollars de “frais de voyages”, 262 954 dollars de “frais de publicité”, 404 889 dollars de “frais de technologie d’information”, etc, etc. Tout cela pue l’arnaque financière et le copinage archi-dollarisé. Parmi ses quelques frais de gestion, Avaaz a payé Milena Berry (et son mari Paul), pour un travail de consultance IT (technologie d’information), la bagatelle de 245 182 dollars en 2009 et de 294 000 dollars en 2010. Malgré la très haute rémunération de Milena Berry, qui se présente comme la technicienne en chef de la gestion informatique de l’organisation,  Avaaz a fait appel à la générosité des dons, afin de renforcer son système informatique, suite à une prétendue cyber-attaque en mai 2012. Sans commentaires.

L’organisation Avaaz ne semble d’ailleurs pas très pressée de publier sa déclaration de revenus pour 2011, ce que l’on comprend fort bien de par la pléthore d’articles, émergeant sur internet, afin de dénoncer cette organisation frauduleuse. A la mi-novembre 2012, la “form 990” est toujours absente de son site alors que l’audit du rapport financier a été délivré par son cabinet comptable de New-York (Lederer, Levine et Associates), le 19 juin 2012.

Avaaz a été créé en 2006 par MoveOn.org et Res Publica. “Avaaz”, dans différents langages de l’Asie et de l’Europe de l’est signifie “la voix”.  La voix silencieuse, derrière Avaaz et Res Publica, est celle de trois individus: Tom Perriello, un ancien membre du Congrès US, Ricken Patel, consultant chez de nombreuses entités contrôlées par les psychopathes prédateurs, et Tom Pravda, un ancien diplomate d’Angleterre consultant pour le Ministère de l’Intérieur US.

Parmi les autres fondateurs d’Avaaz se trouvent Eli Pariser (le directeur exécutif de MoveOn), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant pour la Banque Mondiale), Jeremy Heimans (le co-fondateur de GetUp! et de Purpose), et l’entrepreneur Australien David Madden (le co-fondateur de GetUp! et de Purpose).

MoveOn, le co-fondateur d’Avaaz, a distribué, en 2002, par le biais de son Comité d’Action Politique, 3 millions et demis de dollars à 36 candidats politiques au Congrès US. En novembre 2003, MoveOn reçut 5 millions de dollars du spéculateur milliardaire George Soros. Ricken Patel a, d’ailleurs, déclaré publiquement que l’Open Society Institute de George Soros (renommé Open Society Foundation en 2011) était l’un des membres fondateurs d’Avaaz.

Qui est George Soros? L’un des prédateurs psychopathes à la direction du CFR (Council for Foreign Relations) et l’un des membres du Groupe Bilderberg. Le CFR et le Groupe Bilderberg sont deux des pseudopodes de la baudruche dénommée “Nouvel Ordre Mondial”. Le CFR et le Groupe Bilderberg ont été créés par les Rockefellers, la famille responsable de nombreux maux qui sévissent sur la planète.  Pour mémoire, la Fondation Rockefeller a promu les lois eugénistes aux USA dès le début du siècle passé; elle a financé le Nazisme avant et durant la seconde guerre mondiale; elle a financé les recherches génétiques, dès 1945, et donc tout le secteur des chimères génétiques; elle a lancé la dévastatrice Révolution Verte…

Avaaz fut, en juin 2009, l’un des partenaires dans la campagne Tcktcktck lancée par Havas, aux côtés d’EDF, de la Loyds Bank… et de 350.org, une organisation financée par la Fondation Ford, la Fondation Rockefeller, le Rockefeller Brothers Fund et le milliardaire George Soros.

avaaz french

George Soros est le financeur incontournable de toute cette mouvance d’ONGs aux objectifs occultes. Durant l’été 2009, l’Open Society Institute (de Soros) donna une subvention de 150 000 dollars à Avaaz. En sus de cette subvention, Avaaz reçut de Res Publica (financée par Soros) 225 000 dollars en 2006, 950 000 dollars en 2007 et 500 000 dollars en 2008. La Foundation to Promote Open Society (de Soros) donna à Avaaz, en 2008/2009, 300 000 dollars de soutien général et 300 000 dollars pour la campagne (sur l’arnaque) climatique durant laquelle Avaaz a particulièrement brillé dans son expertise pour susciter de l’argent non virtuel afin de combattre un réchauffement climatique virtuel avec des pétitions tout aussi virtuelles. Ricken Patel ne précise d’ailleurs, nulle part, dans sa croisade contre le réchauffement climatique anthropique, comment il effectue la rédemption de “l’empreinte carbone” générée par les émoluments grandioses de ses bons amis au sein d’Avaaz (une redistribution des libéralités généreuses de la clique de Soros alors qu’Avaaz prétend effrontément que l’organisation ne reçoit de l’argent que de dons individuels!!!) et de “l’empreinte carbone” générée par ses très hauts salaires chez Avaaz! Il s’agit vraisemblablement d’une rédemption virtuelle.

Et, qui plus est, nous ne sommes pas allés vérifier si les multiples casquettes de Ricken Patel généraient de multiples “empreintes carbone” liées à de multiples salaires. En effet, il est le co-fondateur et co-directeur de Faith in Public Life (une grosse organisation chrétienne); il est consultant pour International Crisis Group, pour la Fondation Rockefeller, pour la Fondation Bill Gates, pour l’ONU, pour l’Université Harvard, pour CARE International, pour International Center for Transitional Justice; il est le co-fondateur et co-directeur de DarfurGenocide.org; il est le co-fondateur et directeur de Res Publica. Etc, etc, ad nauseam.

Dans la clique des fondateurs d’Avaaz – dont l’idéologie est fondée sur la pratique du clic-clic et le syndrome du petit montant – Patel n’est pas le seul à arborer de multiples casquettes. On retrouve Tom Perriello dans la consultance ou la direction chez: National Council of Churches of Christ, Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Faithful America, Faith in Public Life, Center for a Sustainable Economy, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Youth and Environmental Campaigns, E-Mediat Jordan, International Center for Transitional Justice, Res Publica, The Century Foundation, l’ONU, Open Society Institute, etc, etc. Il oeuvra avec le Reverend Dr. James Forbes sur des concepts de “justice prophétique”. Tom Perriello soutient l’opération psychologique spéciale dénommée “guerre à la terreur” qui fut lancée par Bush et prolongée par Obama. Sa vision d’Israël participe du conte de fée: il considère ce pays comme l’une des «créations les plus spectaculaires et excitantes de la communauté internationale» au 20 ème siècle et est convaincu qu’il «existe une relation stratégique et morale permanente entre les USA et Israël». Etc, etc, ad nauseam.

Le grand amour que Tom Perriello éprouve pour Israël n’empêche nullement Avaaz de lancer une pétition pour soutenir les malheureux Palestiniens persécutés par l’Etat Sioniste! Et c’est là que réside le grand génie stratégique d’Avaaz pour enfumer les militants et activistes sincères: Avaaz promeut, de temps en temps, de “nobles” causes: les abeilles, les Palestiniens… et même Kokopelli. Avaaz a même lancé une pétition pour mettre les banquiers en prison, ces mêmes banquiers qui ont promu avec Avaaz la législation “cap and trade” (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America… ) ou avec lesquels les fondateurs d’Avaaz collaborent dans l’International Crisis Group (Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Group…).

Avaaz atteint des sommets de grand guignolesque lorsque l’organisation lance une campagne pour stopper la “guerre contre les drogues”. Le 3 juin 2011, la marionnette Ban Ki-moon reçoit des mains de Ricken Patel – accompagné de Richard Branson, le fondateur de Virgin – une pétition de 600 267 personnes: “End the War on Drugs”.  De quoi parle-t-on ici? D’une campagne de dépénalisation du cannabis, de l’ayahuasca, des champignons psilocybes et du peyotl? Ou bien d’une campagne pour stopper la guerre contre la gangrène sociale que constitue la commercialisation tout azimut de l’héroïne et de la cocaïne? Gageons qu’il s’agit bien de la seconde alternative. L’héroïne et la cocaïne constituent les deux sources les plus généreuses des caisses noires de la mafia des psychopathes prédateurs tout autant que des liquidités des grandes banques internationales. La présence de l’Alliance Occidentale en Afghanistan s’explique, entre autres, par le contrôle de l’opium dont 95 % de la production mondiale est concentrée dans ce pays. Quels sont les journalistes, dignes de ce qualificatif, qui ont informé le public quant au scandale gigantesque du blanchiment de centaines de milliards de dollars de l’argent de l’héroïne et de la cocaïne par les grandes banques internationales (23 / 24): HSBC, Wells Fargo, Bank of America….?

Toutes ces campagnes ne constituent qu’un gigantesque écran de fumée pour occulter toutes les finalités odieuses qu’Avaaz soutient au service de l’Impérialisme Occidental: la destruction de la Libye, la déstabilisation de la Syrie, la déstabilisation de l’Iran, la déstabilisation de la Bolivie d’Evo Morales.

Toutes ces opérations de destruction et de déstabilisation de pays souverains sont promues par Tom Perriello dont les visions bellicistes (“pro-war”) ne sont un secret pour personne.

Dans une vidéo (14), Tom Perriello, est présenté comme l’honorable directeur de E-Mediat Jordan, une organisation localisée en Jordanie, un pays limitrophe de l’Irak et de la Syrie. Il s’adresse aux jeunes de cette organisation (“un centre d’entraînement, de technologies et d’outils”) qui sont prêts, déclare-t-il, «à se sacrifier pour leur pays», à savoir à servir de chair à canon pour l’avancement de l’Impérialisme Occidental.

En mai 2009, alors que 60 membres du Congrès US votèrent contre l’attribution de 97 milliards de dollars supplémentaires dans les guerres d’Irak et d’Afghanistan, Tom Perriello vota pour.

En mars 2010, une réception fut organisée par deux organisations de coloration pseudo-verte “League of Conservation Voters” et “Environmental Defense Action Fund” pour lever des fonds pour la réélection de Tom Perriello au Congrès US. MoveOn.org, le co-fondateur d’Avaaz, lui attribua 100 000 dollars pour sa campagne de réélection.

En mars 2010, alors que 60 membres du Congrès US votèrent contre la prolongation de la guerre en Afghanistan, Tom Perriello vota pour.

Le 27 juillet 2010, Tom Perriello vota contre le retrait des troupes US du Pakistan.

Le 27 juillet 2010, alors que 115 membres du Congrès US votèrent contre l’attribution de 33 milliards de dollars supplémentaires dans la guerre d’Irak, Tom Perriello vota pour.

Le 30 juillet 2010, Tom Perriello vota contre les régulations (HR 3534) visant à encadrer les forages de pétrole en haute mer et vota en faveur de la suspension d’un moratoire imposant des gardes-fous sur les dits forages en haute mer.

Le 15 décembre 2011, Tom Perriello devint le directeur de CAP Action, l’une des branches du Center for American Progress. Dans la revue Democracy Journal, après avoir vanté le “succès” de l’intervention militaire en Libye, il déclara:

«Aujourd’hui, Kadhafi est mort et le peuple Libyen peut, pour la première fois depuis des décennies, jouir de l’opportunité d’une gouvernance responsable et démocratique… Il n’y a pas eu de décès dans les troupes Américaines. Les combattants insurgés et la vaste majorité de la population ont célébré la victoire comme une libération et les Syriens courageux, qui quotidiennement risquent la mort en s’opposant à leur propre régime répressif, se sont réjouis de la chute de Kadhafi. Tous ces accomplissements ne sont pas de petits exploits pour ceux qui se soucient de la dignité, de la démocratie et de la stabilité…»

Ce sont effectivement de grands exploits qui caractérisent la “libération” de la Libye qui fut le pays le plus riche de l’Afrique: un chaos social généralisé, des attentats quotidiens, des luttes intestines continuelles, sans oublier les 50 à 100 000 civils Libyens libérés à jamais de “l’oppression” de Kadhafi en mourant sous les bombes à uranium appauvri de l’Occident.

Que ce soit au travers des conceptions bellicistes de ses fondateurs ou de ses propres campagnes de déstabilisation et d’invasion militaire de pays souverains, Avaaz est clairement une organisation complice de crimes de guerre.

Je n’ai ni le temps ni l’envie de sonder plus avant les profondeurs d’immoralité de cette organisation crapuleuse. Je renvoie les lecteurs et lectrices à de nombreux articles et témoignages qui commencent à poindre sur internet (29 / 30 / 31 / 32) et, en particulier, aux quatre excellents rapports d’investigation rédigés au Canada par Cory Morningstar. (15 / 16 / 17 / 18).

Ce dont je suis convaincu, c’est que l’énorme rideau de fumée mis en place par Avaaz par le biais de campagnes “humanistes” en faveur des Palestiniens, des abeilles, de la forêt Amazonienne ou de Kokopelli… est en train de s’estomper rapidement. Avaaz est la “voix” occulte du complexe militaro-industriel qui cherche à semer le chaos de la guerre sur toute la planète.

Avaaz, bas les masques!

 

The Collaborators

Medium

June 18, 2016

by Jay Taber

We Mean business slider

“We Mean Business”  [September, 2014, People’s Climate March]

In the summer of 1999, as I traveled by train through France for three weeks, I saw numerous memorials to the French Resistance. While staying in Cauterets, the entrance to the Pyrenees National Park, I observed a commemoration ceremony in front of town hall to these valiant volunteers—many of whom sacrificed their lives fighting fascism in the 1930s and 1940s.

Revered as these solid citizens of the French Republic are, there is a residue of resentment—well-deserved—for the opportunists who sold their souls to the fascists during that horrific fight for freedom. These were, and are, known as the collaborationists (a.k.a. the collaborators)—still a poignant term of derision in France today, particularly in Paris.

I was reminded of this recently, when looking at a group photo in my Jan. 2016 article Heart of Darkness at Wrong Kind of Green (under New World Order-Same Old Crimes) of Wall Street-funded NGO representatives to Paris 2015–where “the agenda of the financial elite at Paris was to subsume human rights to the all-encompassing ‘clean energy’/New Economy regime”. Reading the caption, I could not help thinking that these are the collaborators of climate change.

Video: The ideologies espoused by “We Mean Business” are transparent in the interview with Avaaz & Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans by We Mean Business. “We’ve been talking in a broader way about the future of consumer activism, of organizing people not as citizens but as consumers.”—Jeremy Heimans, Purpose, 2011

We Mean Business members Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 2.10.18 PM

“The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) plays a fundamental role within the [We Mean Business] coalition, building on its policy and strategic work advocating for climate change solutions and leveraging the efforts of its EU and global business members.” [Source]

Coincidentally, I was simultaneously reviewing the art and manuscripts of the Situationist International (SI)–the artists, intellectuals and writers that precipitated the May 1968 uprising against capitalism that ‘brought the entire economy of France to a dramatic halt’. Perusing the writing of two principal leaders of SI, Michele Bernstein and Guy DeBord, I wondered what these members of the 20th Century avant-garde would have done at COP21, where the 21st Century architects of the final solution gathered to ‘carve up the world for capitalism’.

As I observed in the opening section by the same name in my article Netwar in the Big Apple, published at CounterPunch (July 2014),

For ubercapitalists like Bill Gates and their sycophants like William Jefferson Clinton—who promote the false hope of neoliberal globalization—terminating the collective ownership of Indigenous nations, in exchange for totalitarian corporate control of the planet’s resources, is a dream coming true. As architects of the final solution, they?—?along with the World Bank, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations—view the UN Millenium Development Goals as a blueprint for annihilation of the world’s Indigenous societies.

In Pathways to Spectacle/Consumerism as “Activism” (Feb. 2016), I noted that ‘The driving force behind privatization through social engineering is the non-profit industrial complex’. As I observed in Social Capitalists: Wall Street’s Progressive Partners (Feb. 2015), CERES-WE MEAN BUSINESS, TIDES & 350—opportunistic collaborators working for Wall Street ‘to dislodge the United Nations Center on Transnational Corporations, and prevent enforceable rules governing the operations of multinational corporations’—‘received millions from Wall Street corporations and foundations’.

We Mean Business Associates 2

We Mean Business Twitter status, October 5, 2015

In Hijacking the Environmental Movement: Just Say No to 350 (April 2016), I wrote, ‘The “new economy” they promote is essentially what used to be called fascism’, and that “The ongoing social disintegration of industrial civilization that produces pseudo-citizens signing online petitions created by ruling class entities like Avaaz, Purpose and 350, is indicative of the unbridled power of seamless spectacle, begun in the era of television, and culminated in the reign of the Internet. Controlling Consciousness through public relations has generated a ‘discursive monoculture’, where self-organized democratic renewal is unimaginable”.

rare earths are the key to a greenwashed, technotopian future Illustration: Stephanie McMillan

Six years ago, Cory Morningstar, in Suicidal Tendencies or Addiction: Earth Day Hijacked by Climate Wealth Opportunists, observed that Earth Day has ‘become nothing more than a day of greenwash opportunism and will mark the fall of the mainstream environmental movement’. As the French philosopher Guy DeBord observed in his 1967 treatise The Society of the Spectacle, we now live in a culture of imbeciles ‘in which advertising has become the only factor’.

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an author, an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

Divide and Conquer: 350 Apologists

Public Good Project

June 10, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

tar sands action - behind tom goldtooth

2011: Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and Canadian author, Naomi Klein. Photo by Josh Lopez.

As I wrote in my op-ed Degrees of Evil: Savoring the Nuances of Co-optation, spectacle celebrities like Naomi Klein count on infantile consumers to maintain their activist credentials. As a board member of 350–funded by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and TIDES Foundation (Warren Buffett, et al)–Klein and her cohort Bill McKibben are in bed with CERES and Goldman Sachs. Yet, despite this blatantly obvious hypocrisy by the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of Climate Evangelism, the myth of 350 as a ‘grassroots’ organization persists.

BoliviaCochabambaPeoplesClimateChangeConference

This myth might be an amusing entertainment, were it not for the fact that 350 is complicit with Wall Street in Hijacking the Environmental Movement, and guilty as Agent Saboteur of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth.

So it is disappointing, but not surprising, when people like Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)–funded by TIDES–perpetuate the myth of 350 as a small organization responsive to indigenous interests. While IEN has done some good things, they nevertheless know where their bread is buttered, and this leads them to speak half truths–which amount to whole lies. The Goldtooth interview Divide and Conquer, while enlightening about REDD, also serves as a warning about the insidious corruption of Wall Street-funded NGOs–IEN included.

 

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

 

Shearing Sheep

Endurance

May 29, 2016

by Jay Taber

 

Shearing Sheep Getty

A trial of the new automatic sheep shearing machine at the government’s agricultural experimenting station at Beltsville, Maryland, circa 1927. Getty Images.

When in Ireland, I witnessed a sheep farmer and his Border Collies herding sheep into an enclosure. Using whistle commands, the farmer instructed the Collies on which way to turn the sheep, when to bunch them, and when to move them into the pen.

I was reminded of this witnessing the Break Free ‘fossil-free’ campaign events, May 14-16. Assuming the role of the sheep farmer, 350 (led by Bill McKibben) blew the whistle commands, while Break Free organizers barked at environmental activists (the sheep)–herding them into protest encampments at oil refineries.

It was astonishing to witness such precision in action. Of course, this entertaining choreography would never have taken place without the enticement of a payoff for McKibben and his herders from the ‘wool merchants’, i.e. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and the Rockefeller Brothers.

a-border-collie-herding-sheep-at-the-rockefeller-center-1948-photo-for-life-magazine-by-george-silk

1948 — a sheepherding demonstration at the Rockefeller Center

Now, all that remains is the sheep shearing by on-the-take politicians–the wool taking the form of U.S. Treasury funds for nuclear-powered electrical generating stations, along with large scale solar and wind turbine farms, using highly toxic chemicals from the oil industry in their manufacture.

Now that’s an efficient, vertically-integrated operation.

 

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted Indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

FLASHBACK TO 2015: The Star Studded White Savior Industrial Complex in Haiti

The Feminist Wire

March 11, 2015

by Natalia Cardona

 

Patricia Arquette’s recent remarks during the Oscars made for strong debate among feminists of color and white feminists in the U.S. Arquette stated that women, in this case white women, helped gays and people of color in the U.S. in their struggles for their human rights, and that now it was their turn to help women [read: white women] achieve wage equality. The remarks spurred much anger and questioning of her white privilege. That same dynamic occurred when Sean Penn stood up to present the Academy Award for Best Picture to “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu and said, “Who gave this sonofabitch a green card?” The sentiment, widely shared on twitter by Latin Americans in the U.S., was that the Oscars proved that even when Latin Americans win the highest honor, someone will without a doubt ask for your papers.

For me, the question also became about what happens when people like Arquette and Penn take their white privilege into developing countries like Haiti, placing themselves in the role of white savior. Because what seems to have been overshadowed by both of their highly insensitive remarks about the gay community, communities of color in the United States, and immigrants is that both of these personalities believe themselves to be supporting Haiti’s sustainable development.

What does it mean when people who don’t recognize their white privilege or racist actions—Arquette recently dressed as a stereotypical “Chola” for Halloween and Penn never apologized for his remarks at the Oscars in fact he stated he “didn’t give a f*ck about all of this.”—go abroad to “help” Brown and Black people through development projects?

Arquette’s commentary promotes the idea that the U.S. is a post-racial, post homophobic society with a civil rights movement that has achieved full equality for people of color and a gay rights movement that has secured gains for LGBTQ communities in all fifty states. These assertions are expressed in a country where 64,000 African American women are missing and where every week so far this year, one transgendered woman, most of whom are women of color, has been killed because of who they are. While Penn’s remarks were dismissed by Iñárritu as “hilarious,” many of us who are considered Latin Americans did not find them so funny. For us, it was another humiliation and a reminder that racism and white privilege are the forefront of some of the toughest challenges for Brown and Black freedom and true equality.

Given that Arquette doesn’t understand how she could possibly be White, a woman, poor, and still be privileged, I politely direct her to Peggy McIntosh’s 1988 article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” Penn should know better given his liberal activist persona, but what kind of expectations can one have of a man who was charged with domestic assault and pleaded to a misdemeanor? Yes, these are the type of people that find it quite easy to go to developing countries, develop reputations as “do-gooders,” and become the epitome of white saviors without any question as to their backgrounds or even whether their skills are fit for the job. Whereas, Haitians who set the example for all Latin American nations by being the first to overthrow colonialism and ban slavery outright are constantly being viewed through a white gaze that has sought to entrench the prejudice that they are not capable of handling their own development and freedom. What does it mean when Arquette and Penn export this narrow and ahistorical view of the world to Haiti and other places in the Global South?

Arquette and Penn’s comments immediately reminded me of Teju Cole’s assessment of the industrial White savior complex and its impact on development policies that focus on people of color both at home, here in the U.S., and abroad. Cole has said that the “white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.” Sounds familiar?

The White savior industrial complex, according to Cole, plays an important role in the current system of global pillage. It provides a safety valve for unbearable conditions created by foreign imperialists in places like Haiti. In this context Arquette and Penn, as well as other white personalities, play an important role in sustaining that very oppressive system. The challenge for these white saviors, according to Cole, is in thinking beyond their prime objective of doing good and feeling good. These celebrities don’t see or don’t want to see the machinations of power behind extreme situations like those in Haiti. The role colonial powers like France, U.S. foreign policy, and non-governmental organizations play in undermining Haiti’s independence scape these White “saviors” because as Cole has already stated this industrial complex “is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.”

slideshow_feature_4When I look at Arquette’s charity, Give Love, through this White savior lens and as part of an industrial complex I cannot help but challenge its role in Haiti. Arquette’s organization claims to support “Community-led sanitation projects to improve public health & create jobs around recycling,” but upon closer inspection of its website, it’s extremely difficult to identify how, in fact, communities in Haiti are leading these projects. If she is really trying to “help” people in Haiti, doesn’t it behoove her to ask Haitians if and how they want help and ensure Haitians themselves are leading the changes they want to see? When organizations like Give Love only pay lip service to community leadership they dismiss the autonomy, dignity, and self-respect of the very people they are claiming to help. If you ask Penn about his charity the first thing he will spout out and that is very evident in his website is that he hires mostly Haitians. Good for him! But hiring Haitians to implement your vision and that of others with privilege only perpetuates prejudices and reinforces the oppressive system that Haitians have been trying to fight off for centuries. In fact, Penn went from being a do-gooder whose ambitions may cause more harm than good to being a political operative when he asserted that the current president of Haiti, Michel Martelly, had transitioned to his post democratically and peacefully and then proceeded to dismiss the thousands of Haitians that regularly protest Martelly’s presidency and call for his resignation. Because as former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive put it: “the line between intrusion, support and aid is very fine.”

Currently, most aid to Haiti is directed to more than 300 officially recognized non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This situation begs the question: are NGOs like Arquette’s and Penn’s good or bad for Haiti’s development and sustainable independence? Are they somehow less corrupt then the Haitian government, or are they just tools of foreign imperialist efforts, wittingly or unwittingly playing the role of undermining Haitian autonomy and independence?

A first glance at the work of Arquette’s charity in Haiti would have the average person nodding in support, myself included. Who wouldn’t agree with the need for improved sanitation in a global context where more people have a cell phone then a toilet! Would I donate the $50 so that a family or school has a toilet that will ensure sanitation needs are met? Sure, I would. And as for Penn’s work, he’s brought millions of dollars to Haiti but he also has done real damage to Haitian autonomy by working with the people in the halls of power including the U.S. government and army, MINUSTAH, and the IMF to implement projects that support the existing system, which was founded by imperialist nations including the U.S., rather than question that system and truly put Haitians in the proverbial driver’s seat of their own freedom!

Yes, there is much more to “making a difference” than making a donation, especially for privileged whites from the USA, given the role that U.S. foreign policy has played in the underdevelopment of Haiti! If Arquette and Penn want to support Haiti, they and their organizations should also consider addressing questions of U.S. foreign policy which has swung from invasion and military occupation to the removal of President Aristide. Because there is a very small difference between using your privilege to transform the world and just making yourself feel good.

 

[Natalia Cardona is from Guatemala.  She has been active on issues of militarism and economic justice for more than a decade. She began her career at UNIFEM’s Andean Regional Office in Ecuador. Natalia also spent nine years at American Friends Service Committee lobbying to change U.S. military and economic policy in Latin America and the Caribbean region. She also worked as Program Director for the Center for Women’s Global Leadership leading their work on militarism and violence against women as well as social and economic rights. And is currently the Membership and Constituency Engagement Manager at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (a global network of feminist organizations).]

Amnesty International Confirms it No Longer Supports Women’s Human Rights

Feminist Current

May 26, 2016

by Meghan Murphy

Amnesty
Image/Art of Dissent

 

Amnesty International has formally adopted a policy calling for the legalization of prostitution around the world. The organization’s senior director for law and policy, Tawanda Mutasah, said:

“Sex workers are at heightened risk of a whole host of human rights abuses including rape, violence, extortion and discrimination. Far too often they receive no, or very little, protection from the law or means for redress.”

He fails to mention that, under legalization, these human rights abuses are amplified, nor does he consider how or why the law would address said abuses, once sanctioned under law. Mutasah adds:

“We want laws to be refocused on making sex workers’ lives safer and improving the relationship they have with the police, while addressing the very real issue of exploitation. We want governments to make sure no one is coerced to sell sex, or is unable to leave sex work if they choose to.”

“LOL,” said feminists across the globe.

This neoliberal policy, in the works for some time but now formalized, was developed, in part, by pimps and traffickers. Despite the fact that the system of prostitution exists in direct conflict with the human rights of women and girls, and despite ample evidence to show that legalization only increases abuse and exploitation, Amnesty International pushed forward with this policy, effectively abandoning any semblance of respect for women.

Men’s rights activists around the world can rest easy knowing that organizations like Amnesty International have their penises interests first in mind.

 

 

[Meghan Murphy, founder and editor of Feminist Current, is a freelance writer and journalist. She completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog. Follow her @meghanemurphy]