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Capitalising On Nonviolence

Capitalising On Nonviolence

OtporMarch32013

Above image: March 3, 2013: Otpor/Canvas (fist symbol) rears its ugly head in Venezuela. Today’s youth are the oligarchy’s sacrificial lambs.

Massive displays of nonviolent resistance have always been an essential component to challenging oppression successfully. One can only hope that Western citizens will learn from contemporary history and rise up to overthrow the ultra-violent warmongers who manage their countries too, mindful of the fact that nonviolent liberal institutions are routinely complicit in the brutality of the systems they ostensibly criticize. – Michael Barker

Swans Commentary

June 20, 2011

By Michael Barker

Berel Rodal is the founding vice chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) — a center that was formed in 2006, ostensibly “as a catalyst to stimulate interest in nonviolent conflict…” Like many peace reformers, members of the ICNC’s cadre of intellectuals are happy to work with a wide variety of institutions, organizations, and groups. This includes peace groups, resistance movements, and — strangely — war academies and intelligence agencies. While their engagement with the latter groups may seem contradictory, teaching peace to leading members of the military-industrial complex is critical to peace advocacy efforts at the ICNC. This is because they aim to change the views of people they disagree with, not just confirm the ideas of those who are already close to their views. Therefore, in this respect, it is fitting that at the peak of his former career Berel Rodal served as the director general of the policy secretariat for Canada’s Department of National Defence and continues to maintain close connections to leading hawks in the US foreign policymaking circles, like, for example, long-time cold warrior Richard Perle (see later). This should not be taken as a demonstration of a massive conspiracy, but is simply evidence that imperial elites are interested in co-opting critical voices.

WATCH: AT UN, Evo Morales Denounces IMF, CNN, Old Order as UNCA Demands 1st Question

WATCH: AT UN, Evo Morales Denounces IMF, CNN, Old Order as UNCA Demands 1st Question

Evo Morales Makes Very Clear What the Non-Profit Industrial Complex Will Not

Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, United Nations, Feb 20, 2013

When Bolivian President Evo Morales held a UN press conference on Wednesday, he was raring to speak about his privatization of airports and natural resources, and “robbery,” as he put it to Inner City Press, by the International Monetary Fund.

It was the trendy grain quinoa that brought Evo Morales to New York, by way of Caracas where he tried to visit bed-ridden Hugo Chavez.

Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access thanked Morales for his press conference, which ended up taking nearly an hour, then asked about corporations and corporate dominance of the UN. Video here from Minute 11:52.

How ‘Economic Hit Men’ Conspire to Impoverish the Third World with Aid (The Importance of Eritrea]

imf_mofo

WKOG editor: This article spells out why visionary independent states such as Eritrea – that reject most all international aid, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the non-profit industrial complex (serving as instruments to the imperial states) – are considered a very real threat to hegemonic rule, and are thus demonized with intent to destabilize. The demonization process of such sovereign states and their leaders/governments who work relentlessly to break the chains of enslavement/imperialism, is carried out with precision by the hope industry/humanitarian industrial complex, the non-profit industrial complex, the corporate media complex and the military industrial complex – all working in strategic tandem. [Example: Rio Summit “Good Versus Evil” Advert Displays Blatant Racism and Imperialism at Core of Avaaz]]

In a world of accelerating environmental degradation and expanding collapse of vital ecosystems, these sovereign states must be protected from foreign interference at all costs – because it is these states and the citizens that live and breathe revolution with the land they love, that represent the only hope for humanity.

Eritrea, like all other states, is not and will not be perfect. However, it is a working model that demonstrates that there is a way to break free from subservience to imperial, hegemonic powers. A model that is truly reflective of the revolution with social democracy as the foundation. Let us support such an effort. Eritrean solutions by Eritreans. Venezuelan solutions by Venezuelans. Bolivian solutions by Bolivians. Argentinian solutions by Argentines. White saviors need not apply.

Further reading: An Economic Lesson We Can Learn from Eritrea by Mark D. Juszczak.

Daily Nation, Kenya

By JOHN MBARIA
February 24  2013

Unfortunately for us in developing countries, this grand deception did not end after Perkins published his book. It is a scheme that is so well-crafted that the victim becomes dependent on it and often begs those behind it to continue stealing.

As Kenyans enter into a national dialogue on whether we can do without the West should Uhuru Kenyatta win the presidency, everyone ought to read a book that reveals how the West, the Bretton Woods institutions and giant multinationals take everyone for a ride so that they can rake in billions of dollars generated in the developing world.

It is a book you can never find in Kenya. But the shocking, best-selling gem ought to be read by everyone, particularly those who have been harping loudest on the great mercies of donors.

US Attempting Regime Change in Malaysia: Fact or fiction?

 

by Nile Bowie

Mathaba

January 8, 2013

As the South-East Asian nation of Malaysia prepares for general elections, distrust of the political opposition and accusations of foreign interference have been major talking points in the political frequencies emanating from Kuala Lumpur.

The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) leads the country’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and has maintained power since Malaysian independence in 1957.

Open Eyes

Editorial

By Jay Taber

Jul 24, 2012

Intercontinental Cry

Seducing as photo ops with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at summer camps funded by convicted inside trader George Soros might be, the idea of young missionaries sowing seeds of democracy along side CIA operatives might seem a little bit silly. Yet, missionaries worldwide — desperate for a chance to do something important and worthwhile with their lives — enroll in programs choreographed to provide cover for covert ops conducted by the NSA and CIA aimed at overthrowing governments and undercutting democratic movements that don’t heel to Wall Street and the Pentagon.

While U.S. agencies with names like USAID, United States Institute of Peace, and National Endowment for Democracy woo the innocent with t-shirts, flags and exotic trips abroad, the fact is they are about as likely to foment democratic revolutions as other American teenagers in helicopter gunships mowing down civilians in the streets of Baghdad. At least the Peace Corps didn’t act like toy Che brigades.

I only saw one CIA-sponsored NGO live, and that was at the 2003 anti-war demonstration in San Francisco’s UN Plaza. With tens of thousands filling the streets converging on the plaza to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq, the small contingent on the edge of the plaza holding expensive pro-war signs, and using amplified noisemakers in order to disrupt peace presenters on stage, was clearly not a genuine grassroots group.

In the Wrong Kind of Green article on fake revolutions in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, we learn how Wall Street think tanks merge seamlessly with US Government front groups to create the spectacular illusions of rainbow revolutions and Arab Spring. With funding from the CIA, NED, Soros’ Open Society Institute, and the Ford Foundation, the toy Che brigades have become instrumental in whitewashing Wall Street’s dirty deeds around the globe.

This reality may be hard for American liberals to swallow, but better this bitter pill than raising the specter of another blowback like 9/11. What goes around comes around.

For Americans who want to exercise their responsibilities as citizens or as human beings, there really are very few opportunities to do so effectively without taking enormous risks way out of proportion to what they are capable of handling. You see them repeatedly attempting to assuage their frustrations with this state of affairs by donating money to philanthropies, but the sad truth is that these are merely another form of chaneling dissent controlled by the individuals and institutions that cause all the problems in the first place.

Giving to MoveOn or becoming a Soros baby is an act of acquiescing to this brutal system; trying to actually change that system makes one an outsider–marginalized to the land of no resources.

Until a sufficient number recognize the charade for what it is, and begin helping and funding resistance rather than reform, nothing substantive will change. There are those willing to take large risks, but they cannot endure without backing from those who lack the courage.

Fortunately, it isn’t all that difficult to find them once one realizes that mainstream philanthropy is a farce. The real fighters are the ones demonized by the market and the media daily; I could probably pick up any local newspaper and tell you where your money would be well-spent and where it would just go down the drain.

In the old days of the CIA and National Security Agency (NSA), official US Government organizations were more candid about overthrowing governments that did not succumb to domination by US corporate or military misadventures. Then Wikileaks happened upon US State Department cables and our view of international diplomacy changed forever.

Today, CIA-sponsored rainbow revolutions — financed by National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — use puppet NGOs to destabilize non-compliant foreign regimes. Thanks to whistle-blowers and Wikileaks, we now know how US embassy diplomatic pouches are used to smuggle currency to these Trojan horses.

In an ironic twist of fate, we also get a glimpse of how the US State Department strategically undermines the world indigenous peoples’ movement and human rights in general. To put it mildly, it isn’t a pretty picture.

Reading the December 2010 IPS report on COP 16, I was reminded of earlier conferences, where the European forces of globalization divided up other peoples’ lands by international agreement. Not having transcripts from those 16th-19th century proceedings, I can only imagine the invocation of church, state and market interests that combined in setting forth those self-congratulatory plans.

Watching the privileged and powerful at the climate change talks in Cancun, religious bigotry took a back seat to state and market propaganda, but the contempt for indigenous peoples and their sense of the sacred was front and center. With only the state of Bolivia dissenting from the state and market narrative, the concept of saving the planet or extending human rights through this international forum was trampled by hoards of self-congratulatory bureaucrats and career activists whose funding depends on maintaining this progressive hoax.

While expecting such behavior from craven opportunists like BINGO delegates, I was surprised to see progressive media falling so quickly into line. Perhaps they were simply playing up to their social milieu; maybe they were hoping to get a NED grant for covering the back of US Secretary of State Clinton. Whatever the reason, it was a sorry display of lackey journalism; my only response is that if they’re not with us, then they’re against us.

Even the Mother Jones article on Cancun read like a press release from the US State Department. After successfully undermining Kyoto and setting the stage for the REDD Ponzi scheme, the only task left in the climate charade was to marginalize the indigenous nations whose lands are to be recolonized. With all the current notoriety from Cablegate, I’m sure that Secretary Clinton appreciated the progressive media support.

Back in 2006, an article in En Camino observed,

Though democracy is often conceived of as a political form based on popular sovereignty and participation, its most commonly understood meaning is a thoroughly streamlined version–a system in which a small elite rules by confining mass participation to leadership choice in controlled elections.

Polyarchies —  a form of restricted democracy that accommodates capitalist principles in otherwise threatening contexts — permitted the US to make a relatively smooth transition from supporting dictatorships in the Philippines and Nicaragua, for example, to supporting democratization movements in those same countries. As it turns out, limited “democracy” often serves US interests more effectively than authoritarianism.

In the Philippines and Nicaragua, the US began financing ostensibly pro-democracy groups, facilitating their rise to positions of power out of proportion to their numbers or the strength of their ideas, within broader democratization movements. Selected Philippine and Nicaraguan NGOs and political parties received financing (direct and indirect) from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and sister organizations that allowed them to create a much higher profile than their left-wing competitors.

When the dictatorships ended, these pro-US elite groups were well-placed to take power, as the examples of Corazon Aquino (Philippines) and Violeta Chamorro (Nicaragua) illustrate. The replacement of dictatorships in Latin America with polyarchies brought with it the widespread implementation of neoliberal economic reforms.

Americans, as we see time and time again, are incredibly naive about world politics. By and large, they accept government propaganda, no matter how absurd. They bought the Cold War script, the drug war script, and the War on Terror script, mostly without a second thought. They even bought the Hope and Change script, electing a Wall Street toady to fight as their champion against the powers that be.

Apparently, American gullibility knows no bounds. As evidenced by the popularity of the color-coded revolutions myth, they enthusiastically embrace the notion that a few thousand people armed with nothing but iphones can topple dictators, replacing them with authentic democracies due solely to their sincerity and good wishes.

Of course, power vacuums are filled by those who are prepared, not to mention connected. And when you’re talking about reorganizing a society of tens or hundreds of millions of people, those connections — be they economic, religious, or military — count. How many times have we seen righteous indignation betrayed by notorious factions in cahoots with the IMF, World Bank, or CIA?

Whatever one might think about Egypt’s Mubarak or other dictators who’ve fallen out of favor with the US and the EU, popular uprisings have political backgrounds, social context, and often unintended consequences. And when you’re talking about regime change within totalitarian states, there is always a back story of international intrigue, as well as conspiracies to seize power.

In other words, things are never what they seem, especially if one’s sources of information are the governments of intervening world powers, or the corporate media that does their bidding.

To state it bluntly, when the U.S. government and the former colonial powers of Western Europe decide to abandon dictators and proxy governments, they have to fabricate a narrative that conceals their sordid past, as well as reveals disingenuous outlines of their desired future. Both require distortion of the present. In the case of Egypt, that distortion is aided by not asking key questions.

Writing at Cyrano’s Journal a year ago, Jared Israel examined the media narrative of the insurrection in Egypt, what it does and doesn’t tell us, and how it is even contrived to fit a preconceived pattern. Patterns exist, but in order to see them, one has to open one’s eyes.

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

Poverty Pimping

By Jun 19, 2012

Intercontinental Cry

Anyone who has observed politicians and developers in action knows that the quickest way to destroy community cohesion is through programs like the war on poverty. Under the myriad schemes by governments to use the plight of the poor to enrich themselves, the cover of moral sanctity is essential to success.

On the global scene, the UN Millenium Development Goals — auspiciously aimed at poverty reduction — contain the seeds of warfare, genocide, and ethnic cleansing–-all in the name of charity. Lined up against indigenous self-determination and sovereignty in this battle are the World Bank, IMF, and poverty pimps like William Jefferson Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates.

Caught in the crossfire are native peoples whose idea of appropriate development does not include the extraction of their resources by transnational corporations backed by the armies of UN member states.

 

[Jay Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, an author, a correspondent to Fourth World Eye, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.]

 

PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS JOIN THE RANKS OF PRO-IMPERIALIST NGO’S

Posted on May 10, 2012

Source: Syria 360° – Syria News

Starving Syrians For Human Rights

*John V. Walsh

The wing of the U.S. human rights movement which targets foreign countries can wind up as a cruel business, aiding the ruthless and violent actions of the U.S. Empire, wittingly or not. For the U.S. all too often uses human rights as a cover for taking action against countries that defy the Empire’s control.

Some weeks back, I decided to look into one such group, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), an organization I had long refrained from joining out of skepticism. But perhaps, I thought, PHR had sidestepped the dangers inherent in this work. So I joined to find out.

Some days later I received my first email from PHR. I was floored by the heading, “Protect Syrian Citizens: Help Make Sanctions Tougher.” The word “tougher” struck me. The email read in part: “Help us impose tougher sanctions on Pres. Assad’s brutal regime. The Syria Sanctions Act of 2011, S. 1472, will target Syria’s energy and financial sectors. Contact your Senators today and urge them to back S. 1472.” The sponsor of this bill was Kirsten Gillibrand, and among the 12 co-sponsors were two neocon leaders, John McCain and Joe Lieberman, the latter hardly a human rights stalwart when it comes to Palestinians. Did that not ring alarm bells at PHR?

Fourth World Eye | Public Relations Puppets

Beautiful Children

Mar 20, 2012 by Jay Taber

Source: Center for World Indigenous Studies

In Poznan, Poland in 2008, the UN excluded indigenous nations delegates from participating in climate change talks, insinuating that only UN member states are legitimate governing authorities. The motivation for the United Nations exclusionary policy on indigenous peoples participation was that the UN was meeting to hatch a new scheme for transnational corporations and investment banks to control the world: it was called REDD, a Ponzi scheme for carbon-market trading that would make the Wall Street heists of today look like chicken feed. Indigenous nations sent delegates to protest this life-threatening fraud by the UN and its agencies like the IMF, World Bank, and WTO. Civil society groups spoke in support of the indigenous peoples, UN officials closed them out, and the world never knew.

In the runup to the 2009 UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, I wrote about the news ruse perpetrated by the UN to undermine the Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change. True to their past practices, they repeated this trickery with an added twist, stating indigenous peoples could only participate through UN-recognized non-governmental organizations.

This privileged participatory posture of the UN was repeated in 2010 in Cancun, where the Indigenous Caucus spokesman Tom Goldtooth had his credentials revoked for calling the conference a trade show for promoting false solutions. Goldtooth and others were ejected by the UN for drawing media attention to the fact that a major agenda item of the international discussion in Cancun, as in Copenhagen, was to silence indigenous peoples. I later wrote about the NGO ambassadors of greed fronting for the UN scheme, noting commentary by Goldtooth that he had never witnessed the intensity of deception as unleashed by the UN in Copenhagen and Cancun.

Now, in the runup to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, the UN has preselected indigenous representation — already compromised by bribery from UN agencies and transnational corporations — as those that will be permitted to participate. As cheerleaders funded by such entities as Ford Foundation, these supplicants amount to little more than public relations puppets.

Somalia & Disaster Aid | A Multi-Million Dollar INDUSTRY

Somalia & Disaster Aid | A Multi-Million Dollar INDUSTRY

 

Image from the article Somalia: the Real Causes of Famine

Famine in Somalia – The story you’re unlikely to hear any time soon

By Rasna Warah

2011-08-03

cc Oxfam In the absence of a well-functioning central government, Somalia is in effect being ‘managed and controlled by aid agencies’, writes Rasna Warah. But it’s a story that is unlikely to be told by either the global news networks or the ‘aid workers whose livelihoods depend on donor money that will soon flow into Somalia via Kenya.’

I knew the real story about the famine in northern Kenya and Somalia would probably never be told when I watched a young foreign aid worker “reporting” the famine for CNN in Dadaab camp.

The young white woman, clearly coached to use the opportunity of her CNN appearance to publicise her organisation, wore a T-shirt that had the word OXFAM emblazoned on it.

The look of self-righteous, politically-correct compassion was evident on her face as she talked of starving children and emaciated mothers walking for miles in search of food.

Predictably, CNN viewers saw images of skeletal children and exhausted women with shrivelled breasts, images that have launched a multi-million dollar fund-raising campaign by the UN and donor agencies.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has asked donors to raise $1.6 billion to assist Somalia alone.

Meanwhile, dozens of humanitarian agencies are clamouring to make an appearance in Dadaab in order to raise funds for their own organisations. Dutch journalist Linda Polman calls it “The Crisis Caravan”.

In her book by the same name, Polman says that an entire industry has grown around humanitarian aid, “with cavalcades of organisations following the flow of money and competing with each other in one humanitarian territory after another for the biggest achievable share of billions.”

According to Polman, disasters like the one in Somalia attract an average 1,000 national and international aid organisations. This doesn’t include “briefcase” charities that collect funds through churches, clubs and bake-sales.

Much of the money raised goes to administrative and logistical costs of aid agencies, including the salaries of bright-eyed aid workers, such as the one described above, who drive big cars and live in nice houses, but tell people back home they live in hardship areas where they help starving Africans.

Are people starving? Yes. Should they be helped? Of course. But how much of the food that is supposed to be distributed will most likely be stolen by militia or find its way to shops where it will be sold?

Also obscured in the media hype is the real cause of famine in places such as Somalia. In a recent article, Michel Chossudovsky, professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and founder of the Centre for Research on Globalisation, argues that in the 1980s, agriculture in Somalia was severely affected by economic reforms imposed by the IMF and the World Bank. Somalia remained self-sufficient in food until the late 1970s despite recurrent droughts, he writes.

The economic reforms, which included austerity measures and privatisation of essential services, destabilised the economy and destroyed agriculture.

Wages in the public sector were drastically reduced, urban purchasing power declined dramatically and the cost of fuel, fertiliser and farm inputs shot up. This set the stage for the civil war in 1991, from which Somalia has yet to recover.

Famine and food aid became the norm, as hundreds of aid agencies set up shop to handle a crisis that was of their own making.

In short, Somalia became a “business opportunity” that provided jobs to hundreds, if not thousands of (mostly Western) aid agency employees.

Nicholas Stockton, a former Oxfam executive director, once called this phenomenon “the moral economy”.

Michael Maren, whose book, The Road to Hell, should be required reading for those who want to understand the politics and economy of food aid, shows how this aid suppressed local food production in Somalia, fuelled civil war and created a permanent food crisis.

This crisis and the lack of a strong, well-functioning central government have also resulted in a situation where aid agencies are zipping in and out of Somalia without any vetting by the government.

In effect, Somalia is being managed and controlled by aid agencies — the government is there in name only.

Unfortunately, this story is unlikely to be told on CNN, BBC, Sky TV or other global news networks that dominate the international news agenda.

And it will certainly not be told by the aid workers whose livelihoods depend on donor money that will soon flow into Somalia via Kenya.

Nor will the Somali people be given an opportunity to explain to viewers what impact food aid and foreign intervention have had on their lives.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Rasna Warah is writer and journalist based in Nairobi.

http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/75419