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The Left vs. the Liberal Media

Media Lens debunks the BBC’s humanitarian interventionists

FLASHBACK | The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction: Methane, Propaganda & the Architects of Genocide | Part I

WKOG editor: The first segment (Part I-below) of this investigative report was published on January 17, 2011. On December 13, 2011, it was quietly reported that:

 Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who led the 8th joint US-Russia cruise of the East Siberian Arctic seas, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

“Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said….

“In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed,” Dr Semiletov said.

“We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some of the plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal,” he said.

Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Since this the quiet release of this report, the (essentially non-existent) media coverage on the destabilizing methane hydrates should be considered that of a heavily censored topic by corporate and foundation funded media.

+++

An investigative report.

By Cory Morningstar

January 17, 2011

Part I

World Marches to Methane Annihilation

 

“[T]he question is not will this methane be released, but when.” – Robert C. Hendricks, NASA, November 2007

 

The architects of death: The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction are the melting permafrost, the destabilizing methane hydrates and the corporations such as Halliburton, ChevronTexaco, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and the banking and investment industry who, hand in hand with the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense, have been planning and waiting to exploit methane hydrates for decades. Methane hydrates are considered the ultimate in climate wealth opportunity because the control of these hydrocarbons could literally shift the balance of global power (US Department of Defense). It is clear that nothing has been done to prevent catastrophic climate change – and nothing will be done. Global emissions are set to continue skyrocketing. This article attempts to clearly articulate why, almost two decades after the first international climate change summit, the world governments have failed to protect us from dangerous atmospheric climate interference. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of misinformation that is being perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda.WKOG editor: The first segment (Part I-below) of this investigative report was published on January 17, 2011. On December 13, 2011, it was quietly reported that:

 Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who led the 8th joint US-Russia cruise of the East Siberian Arctic seas, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

“Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said….

“In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed,” Dr Semiletov said.

“We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some of the plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal,” he said.

Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Since this the quiet release of this report, the (essentially non-existent) media coverage on the destabilizing methane hydrates should be considered that of a heavily censored topic by corporate and foundation funded media.

+++

An investigative report.

By Cory Morningstar

January 17, 2011

Part I

World Marches to Methane Annihilation

“[T]he question is not will this methane be released, but when.” – Robert C. Hendricks, NASA, November 2007

The architects of death: The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction are the melting permafrost, the destabilizing methane hydrates and the corporations such as Halliburton, ChevronTexaco, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and the banking and investment industry who, hand in hand with the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense, have been planning and waiting to exploit methane hydrates for decades. Methane hydrates are considered the ultimate in climate wealth opportunity because the control of these hydrocarbons could literally shift the balance of global power (US Department of Defense). It is clear that nothing has been done to prevent catastrophic climate change – and nothing will be done. Global emissions are set to continue skyrocketing. This article attempts to clearly articulate why, almost two decades after the first international climate change summit, the world governments have failed to protect us from dangerous atmospheric climate interference. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of misinformation that is being perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda.WKOG editor: The first segment (Part I-below) of this investigative report was published on January 17, 2011. On December 13, 2011, it was quietly reported that:

 Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Igor Semiletov of the International Arctic Research Centre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, who led the 8th joint US-Russia cruise of the East Siberian Arctic seas, said that he has never before witnessed the scale and force of the methane being released from beneath the Arctic seabed.

“Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of metres in diameter. This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures more than 1,000 metres in diameter. It’s amazing,” Dr Semiletov said….

“In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed,” Dr Semiletov said.

“We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some of the plumes were a kilometre or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal,” he said.

Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

Since this the quiet release of this report, the (essentially non-existent) media coverage on the destabilizing methane hydrates should be considered that of a heavily censored topic by corporate and foundation funded media.

+++

An investigative report.

By Cory Morningstar

January 17, 2011

Part I

World Marches to Methane Annihilation

 

“[T]he question is not will this methane be released, but when.” – Robert C. Hendricks, NASA, November 2007

 

The architects of death: The Real Weapons of Mass Destruction are the melting permafrost, the destabilizing methane hydrates and the corporations such as Halliburton, ChevronTexaco, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil and the banking and investment industry who, hand in hand with the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense, have been planning and waiting to exploit methane hydrates for decades. Methane hydrates are considered the ultimate in climate wealth opportunity because the control of these hydrocarbons could literally shift the balance of global power (US Department of Defense). It is clear that nothing has been done to prevent catastrophic climate change – and nothing will be done. Global emissions are set to continue skyrocketing. This article attempts to clearly articulate why, almost two decades after the first international climate change summit, the world governments have failed to protect us from dangerous atmospheric climate interference. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of misinformation that is being perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda.

The Deeply Distorted ‘Syria Deeply’

“Sites like Syria Deeply & Storyful need to be exposed for what they are –minions of an imperial mindset that act as the propaganda arm for the military industrial complex and profit on war & suffering. Any aid group that aligns with this is either deeply delusional or capitalising on obscene atrocities.”

SyriaDeeply2

SyriaDeeply1

April 11, 2013,

Lisa Inti, Wrong Kind of Green Critical Thinking Collective

Syria Deeply launched on March 12, 2012. It describes itself as “an independent digital media project led by journalists and technologists, exploring a new model of storytelling around a global crisis.” The word ‘independent’ appears to be a loose and vague term these days. Various members of the Syria Deeply team have been involved in ABC News, Bloomberg Television, the International Herald Tribune, the Business Insider, Monocle Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, ABC and PBS. Deborah Amos, the senior editorial advisor is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

MUST WATCH: Dr Steve Best – The Paralysis of Pacifism

 

WKOG: An excellent lecture by Dr Steven Best. Not to be missed.

“The desire for a nonviolent and cooperative world is the healthiest of all psychological manifestations. This is the overarching principle of liberation and revolution. Undoubtedly, it seems the highest order of contradiction that, in order to achieve nonviolence, we must first break with it in overcoming its root causes. Therein lies our only hope.” — Ward Churchill, Pacifism as Pathology

 

Conference: “The Paralysis of Pacifism: In Defense of Militant Direct Action and “Violence” for Animal Liberation” held by Prof. Steve Best in ex slaughterhouse of Aprilia – Italy – 06 September 2012.

Prof. Steve Best is a writer, speaker, public intellectual, and activist. Steven Best engages animal rights, species extinction, ecological crisis, biotechnology, liberation politics, terrorism, mass media and culture, globalization, and capitalist domination. He is Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso.

This conference has been organized by “Per Animalia Veritas” which is an organization that promotes antispecism as a radical revolution for a renewed cruelty-free and vegan society through militant activism.

To subscribe to Steve Best’s blog visit: http://drstevebest.wordpress.com/

FLASHBACK: Full Disclosure: Buying Venezuela’s Press with US Tax Dollars

The US has been covertly funding opposition-aligned journalists in Venezuela, says Jeremy Bigwood.

Jeremy Bigwood is an investigative reporter whose work has appeared in American Journalism Review, The Village Voice, and several other publications. He covered Latin American conflicts from 1984 to 1994 as a photojournalist.

This article is reproduced, excluding endnotes, from NACLA Report on the Americas (September/October 2010). *Third World Resurgence No. 240/241, August-September 2010, pp 66-69

THE US State Department is secretly funnelling millions of dollars to Latin American journalists, according to documents obtained in June under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The 20 documents released to this author – including grant proposals, awards, and quarterly reports – show that between 2007 and 2009, the State Department’s little-known Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour (state.gov/g/drl) channelled at least $4 million to journalists in Bolivia, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, through the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF, padf.org), a Washington-based grant maker. The documents shed light on one small portion of the overall US effort to covertly fund journalists all over the world.

The records released thus far pertain only to one particular programme, called ‘Fostering Media Freedom in Venezuela’, for which the State Department gave PADF $700,000 for the period 2007-09. The programme provides journalism grants to unnamed individuals and sponsors journalism education programmes at four regional universities. In carrying out this project, PADF collaborated with Venezuelan media NGOs associated with the country’s political opposition, only two of whose names were not redacted from the declassified documents. It is unclear whether the programme has continued. If it has, and the State Department gave PADF the previously awarded amount, the US government will have spent almost $1.5 million on journalism development in Venezuela since 2007.

Both the State Department and PADF declined to comment for this article.

‘Fostering Media Freedom in Venezuela’ is just one small component of the US government’s covert funding of foreign news outlets and journalists. Not only the State Department but also the Department of Defence, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), and the US Institute for Peace (USIP) all support ‘media development’ programmes in more than 70 countries. The US government spent $82 million in 2006 alone on global media initiatives (not counting money from the Pentagon, the CIA, or US embassies), according to a 2008 NED report.

These government entities fund hundreds of foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs), journalists, policy makers, journalist associations, media outlets, training institutes, and academic journalism faculties. Grant sizes range from a few thousand dollars to millions. For some groups and individuals, the funding can come from more than one US government source and can be disbursed either directly from a US embassy or through intermediaries, which are usually US subcontractors or ‘independent international non-profit organisations’, like PADF.

By serving as an intermediary, PADF has until now hidden the State Department’s role in developing Venezuelan media – one of the political opposition’s most powerful weapons against President Hugo Ch vez and his Bolivarian movement. Neither the State Department, PADF, nor the Venezuelans whom they fund have disclosed the programme’s existence. Yet, as one document notes, the State Department’s own policies require ‘all publications’ that it funds to ‘acknowledge the support’. The provision was simply waived for PADF. ‘For the purposes of this award,’ the document reads, ‘ …the recipient is not required to publicly acknowledge the support of the US Department of State.’ The document does not explain how the programme’s purposes – which, among other things, include establishing professional norms in journalism – do not require PADF or its ‘subgrantees’ to acknowledge that they are funded by the US government.

Although $700,000 may not seem like a lot of money, the funds have been strategically designed to underwrite the best of Venezuela’s news media and recruit young journalists. The documents detail a series of grants doled out to unnamed individual journalists, including two kinds of grants ‘for innovative reporting and investigative reporting’, with the winning content disseminated online ‘and to selected independent media audiences’. We don’t know who won these grants, but we do know that they were substantial. One of them consisted of 10 one-year grants of $25,000 each. For many journalists, especially in Latin America, $25,000 a year is a high salary. PADF also holds ‘2 competitions, one per year, for a total of $20,000 in funding awarded to at least six entries’.

PADF’s Venezuela programme also supports journalism education, which is undertaken to produce investigative work ‘via innovative media technologies’. This grant supports ‘a series of trainings for local journalists focused on the basic and advanced skills of Internet-based reporting and investigative reporting’, aiming to engage ‘a wide range of Venezuelan media organisations and news outlets, including four university partners’. A quarterly report from January-March 2009 mentions courses at Andr‚s Bello Catholic University, the Metropolitan University, the Central University of Venezuela, and Santa Mar¡a University. PADF proposes targeting universities in the capital city of Caracas as well as regional campuses in ‘the Andes, Center East, Zulia and the Western region of the country’.

These initiatives have been undertaken with the collaboration of well-connected opposition NGOs that focus on media. Only one of the documents names any of these organisations – which was probably an oversight on the State Department’s part, since the recipients’ names and a lot of other information are excised in the rest of the documents. A 2007 document names Espacio P£blico (espaciopublico.org) and Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (ipys.org.ve) as recipients of ‘subgrants’. Neither of these organisations has disclosed its participation in the PADF Venezuela programme. On its website, Espacio P£blico describes itself as a ‘non-profit, non-governmental civil association that is independent and autonomous of political parties, religious institutions, international organisations or any government’ (emphasis added). The other ‘subgrantee’, the Venezuelan chapter of Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPyS-Ve), is a Peru-based journalism organisation funded by USAID and the NED. Both groups strongly criticise the Ch vez government for its alleged assault on free expression and other human rights in Venezuela.

The disclosure in July of these organisations’ collaboration with PADF led to calls in Venezuela for a public investigation, forcing Espacio P£blico and IPyS to issue statements on the matter. ‘In Venezuela, it is in no way a crime’ for NGOs to accept international financing, IPyS declared. The organisation denounced the revelations as the latest example in a series of ‘threats, slanders, and defamatory campaigns… put forward by [pro-Ch vez] political agents with absolute impunity’. This was little more than an attempt, IPyS emphasised, to paint the organisation and its allies as foreign agents of the US government. Espacio P£blico issued a similar statement from the National College of Journalists and the National Press Workers’ Union.

Neither statement addressed the real issue: the NGOs’ failure to disclose the US government’s funding of their activities. Moreover, the documents released thus far do not indicate that the Venezuelan journalists and students who participated in this programme were acting as direct ‘agents’ of the US government. Indeed, those who benefited from the PADF grants and education programmes may not have known that the State Department was funding them. And so far as we know, the State Department was not dictating editorial policy in Venezuela or providing its sponsored journalists with talking points. However, the NGOs that worked with PADF targeted their grants and training programmes at journalists who were disposed to pursue reporting that bolstered the US posture toward Venezuela – while never disclosing the source of their funding.

Traditionally, the leading ‘democracy promoter’ in Venezuela is USAID, followed by the NED, with about a third as much funding. In 2005 an FOIA request yielded documents showing that the two entities were underhandedly directing millions of dollars to Venezuelan opposition NGOs. At the time, USAID’s main intermediary was Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a Maryland-based contractor, along with smaller entities associated with the US government, including the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, and Freedom House. After these findings were published, DAI was forced to close its office in Caracas. With the USAID and NED covers blown wide open, the US government apparently sought new funding channels, at least one of which PADF has provided.

PADF’s main office is housed within the Organisation of American States (OAS), granting its officers privileged access to the big players in hemispheric affairs. Funded by various US government agencies and a few private sources – including Stanford Financial Group (recently under investigation for bad banking practices and its CIA connections) and ex-Cuban rum maker Bacardi – PADF has worked in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1962, generally focusing on economic development and disaster relief. Its mission statement, however, does leave open the possibility of getting into the ‘democracy promotion’ racket: The online mission statement says the organisation ’empowers disadvantaged people and communities’ not only ‘to achieve sustainable economic and social progress’ but also ‘to strengthen their … civil society’ (emphasis added). ‘Strengthening civil society’, like ‘promoting democracy’, is NGO-speak for meddling in another country’s politics, even promoting so-called regime change. As one of the documents notes, for example, PADF has worked in Cuba ‘with USAID and private funding to nurture the emergence of independent civil society and entrepreneurship and accelerate a democratic transition’ (emphasis added).

PADF emphasised its solid connections and years of experience in its bid to work as the State Department’s intermediary. In one grant proposal, the organisation described itself as ‘affiliated with the OAS’ and said it ‘operates independently of bureaucratic obstacles that could otherwise slow implementation and sub-grant approvals’. PADF added that it already had ‘over two years of experience working in Venezuela to strengthen local civil society groups working in close coordination with the local OAS office with an ongoing USAID/[Office of Transition Initiatives] grant’. It is ‘one of the few major international groups that has been able to provide significant cash grants and technical assistance to Venezuela NGOs’, the proposal said, adding: ‘To date we have provided over 10 grants to strengthen the institutional capacity of local groups that provides us with unique capability and experience to carry out the proposed… project.’

PADF furthermore advertised that it has access to many sources of cash flow: ‘In addition we can facilitate private sector cash and in-kind donations from both US and in-country donors to complement project resources, if and when needed. PADF’s partnerships with regional business and civil society associations and other regional groupings further enhance our capabilities. They provide for rapid access to international agencies, hemispheric leaders and networks of corporate donors and NGO partners.’ PADF even offered a novel way of evading the official Venezuelan exchange rate. ‘By using PADF’s new “bond swap” system to transfer funds to Venezuela,’ PADF noted, ‘we calculate that the additional local currency generated will be sufficient to meet all in-country expenses within the new US$ budget limit.’ In short, PADF offered its services as a dynamic money-laundering machine.

The revelations that the United States is funding journalism in Venezuela and elsewhere in the hemisphere come on the heels of a report released in May by the centre-right think tank FRIDE (fride.org), based in Madrid, which found that since 2002, the United States has funnelled an estimated $3 million to $6 million every year to ‘small projects with political parties and NGOs’ in Venezuela through an alphabet soup of shifting, intertwined channels. (The FRIDE report was removed from the group’s website soon after it was publicised in June.) Thus, the government support for media fits together with a larger, long-term US effort to strengthen its favoured political movement in Venezuela and elsewhere throughout the hemisphere in the era of Latin America’s ‘left turn’.

Today’s US media sponsorship has deep roots in the history of North American interventionism. Clandestine US funding of media in various countries was first exposed in the 1970s during two congressional investigations convened after the Watergate scandal. Media had by then played a critical role in several US interventions in Latin America, especially after the 1954 invasion of Guatemala and overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz. During that formative operation, a radio station called La Voz de la Liberaci¢n broadcast messages denouncing Arbenz and cheerleading the invasion. It claimed to be Guatemalan but was in fact run by the CIA, airing from Honduras.

The ‘successful’ Guatemala operation quickly became a model emulated in subsequent interventions. As one CIA analyst put it in the 1980s: ‘The language, the arguments, and the techniques of the Arbenz episode were used in Cuba in the early 1960s, in Brazil in 1964, in the Dominican Republic in 1965, and in Chile in 1973.’ Over time, however, US propaganda became more sophisticated and more clandestine. Rather than produce and disseminate its own propaganda, the CIA funded private media companies and journalists, often providing them material to publish or broadcast. During the run-up to the 1973 coup that overthrew Chilean president Salvador Allende, for example, the CIA had established editorial control of El Mercurio, the country’s most prestigious newspaper, which ran constant articles and editorials against the Allende government and in favour of neoliberal economic policies.

As the research of Peter Kornbluh shows, the CIA in less than a year spent $1.95 million on El Mercurio, which was also funded by the ITT Corporation, the CIA’s main private collaborator in Chile. ‘Sustained by the covert funding,’ Kornbluh notes, ‘the Edwards media empire [which owned the paper] became one of the most prominent actors in the downfall of Chilean democracy. Far from being a news outlet, El Mercurio positioned itself as a bullhorn of organised agitation against the government.’ The newspaper was essential, even decisive, in setting the stage for the coup, as the CIA itself recognised. When asked in 2008 if the CIA still funds foreign journalists, agency spokesman Paul Gimigliano said, ‘The CIA does not, as a matter of course, publicly deny or confirm these kinds of allegations.’

After the congressional investigations in the 1970s, the burden of funding overseas media shifted to entities like USAID and the NED, the latter described by the New York Times as ‘a quasi-governmental foundation created by the Reagan Administration in 1983 to channel millions of Federal dollars into anti-Communist private diplomacy’. One of the NED’s first major projects was supporting La Prensa, a major pro-US newspaper in Nicaragua previously funded by the CIA. The NED began funding the paper in 1984 with a grant of two years for $150,000 through a Washington cutout called PRODEMCA.

By early 1987, NED delegations were openly visiting La Prensa. During the 1990 presidential campaign, NED provided the newspaper with at least $1 million, with much of the funding being funnelled through Venezuelan and Costa Rican pass-throughs. Thanks in part to this and other US democracy promotion initiatives, the pro-US candidate Violeta Chamorro – whose family owned La Prensa – was elected president in 1990.

Domestic manipulation

The US government’s use of news media to achieve political outcomes is not limited to efforts abroad. In January 2005 a series of reports revealed that various government agencies had doled out money to at least three US columnists who supported the Bush administration’s social policies, including the No Child Left Behind law and the Healthy Marriage Initiative. And in 2008, the New York Times revealed that the Pentagon had hired more than 75 retired military officers to appear on network and cable news shows to promote the Iraq war.

‘Records and interviews,’ the Times wrote, ‘show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse – an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.’ To date, none of the networks that featured these undisclosed Bush administration publicists – ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox – have mentioned the Times story, which won a Pulitzer Prize.

Although these commentators failed to disclose their arrangements with the US government, they at least presented themselves as editorialists. Yet perhaps the worst recent example of the US government’s meddling in news media anywhere involved Florida-based ‘reporters’ who covered Cuba, US-Cuban relations, and the Cuban American community. The story was first publicised in September 2006, when the Miami Herald reported that at least 10 South Florida journalists, including three staffers at the Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, El Nuevo Herald, had been moonlighting for Radio and TV Mart¡, the Miami-based government broadcaster that targets Cuba with US propaganda. New documents released in response to an FOIA request and made public in June show that a handful of these journalists were working for the government while producing unerringly hostile coverage of five Cubans convicted of espionage in 2001. The lawyers for the Cuban Five, as they are known, tried unsuccessfully to have the trial moved out of Miami, where the unsequestered jury was likely to be exposed to the prejudicial coverage.

At a time when US journalism is widely acknowledged to be in decline – with thousands of people laid off from the industry since 2008 – it is ironic that the government has seen fit to pump millions of tax dollars into developing the profession elsewhere, even as calls for a government ‘bailout’ of domestic journalism are ignored or ridiculed as socialistic. Another irony is that undisclosed foreign state support for ostensibly independent reporting violates basic principles of journalism’s professional integrity, yet much of the US funding has been undertaken in the name of fostering professionalism and inculcating journalistic standards.

Reporters in Venezuela and elsewhere in the region can and should hold their governments to account. But they should be wary of grants and seminars administered through US-connected NGOs, since covert funding may in some cases cause unwitting recipients to break their countries’ laws. In the end, US officials will have to ask themselves if all this covert funding is really going to successfully help the opposition and ‘promote democracy’ – or whether it will simply backfire and reveal how in practice, Obama’s stated vision of hemispheric relations as guided by ‘mutual respect and common interests and shared values’ is little more than lip service.



 

Human Rights and Humanitarian Imperialism in Syria

A view from an African American human rights defender

“This perspective is the cornerstone of white supremacist ideology that has been internalized by the mass populations in Europe and the US, no matter the ethnicity or race. It is an essential element of the normalization and universality of white supremacy as an ideological and cultural phenomenon. From the point of view of the psychologically decolonized ‘other,’ the projection of Western liberal society as the model for all of humanity is absurd. But what makes White supremacy so powerful as an instrument of social conformity and national identity in the US, and dangerous for the non-white world, is not just its ubiquity but also its invisibility….”

by Ajamu Baraka

2012-09-27, Issue 599

Pambazuka

Syria is just the latest in a long line of international crimes perpetrated by Western powers. But what makes the crimes in Syria, as those in Libya, even more offensive, is the cynical use of human rights to advance the diabolical interests of Western imperialism.

As the corporate media beat the drums of war with Syria, led this time by CNN and the New York Times with support from the rear coming from the confused white left/liberal likes of Democracy Now, a now familiar line is conjured up to rationalize intervention – humanitarian intervention as a basis to exercise the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). David Gergen, the ‘soft neocon’ advisor to both republican and democratic presidents, made the claim on CNN recently that human rights groups would love to see the US intervene in Syria. A claim that is probably accurate for the US-based white, middle-class human rights mainstream. But this position certainly does not represent the positions of the growing, but largely ignored, ‘new human rights movement’ of grassroots organizations of people of color, informed by an African American radical human rights tradition, [1] who are reclaiming and redefining human rights as an anti-oppression, anti-imperialist ‘people-centered’ movement. But before I touch on this new movement let me briefly explore how this new version of the white man’s burden emerged to become the main device for mobilizing public opinion in the US to support war in the guise of humanitarianism.

In a meticulous examination of thousands of national security documents, James Peck demonstrated empirically what many of us already understood from our position in the margins of the human rights movement and from direct experiences with the US settler state. And that was that the human rights idea was severed from its radical potential in the late 1940s and early 1950s, co-opted by ruling class forces in the US and Western Europe in 1970s as a weapon in the ideological battles of the Cold War and had become a ‘new language of power designed to promote American foreign policy’ with little to do with human rights and everything to do with providing a rationale for protecting and advancing US and Western imperialism. [2] Why was the human rights idea important for US propagandists?

Before the 1990s it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to persuade the American people to support intervention into another state with the claim that the intervention was necessary to protect lives or human rights.

The idealism of former President Ronald Reagan’s ‘moral’ crusades against Communism and the success of a new phenomenon in the post Cold War era – a North-South war in the form of the United Nations endorsed war against Iraq – suggested to the ruling elements that significant progress had been made moving public opinion away from the geo-political restraints imposed by the ‘Vietnam syndrome,’ (the irrational, from the point of view of the ruling elites, reluctance to support military actions outside of the US). However, it was still not certain that public opinion would support the violence and brutality of war if the terms and interests were more murky than the simple ‘good versus evil’ binary offered by the anti-Communism of the Cold War. What was needed in this period – when it seemed that growing numbers of people in the US would become more inwardly-looking, concerned with issues of domestic economic development, inequality, and environmental justice among a number of domestic issues – was an ideological weapon that would mask US geo-political and economic interests while simultaneously providing a moral rationale for US intervention. Human rights activists gave them the perfect weapon – humanitarian intervention to protect human rights.

Through the Looking Glass

Intercontinental Cry

September 11, 2012

By Jay Taber

In his seminal study Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson observed that communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. As Simpson noted, psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.

In the U.S. Army War College manual on psychological warfare, the stated objective is to destroy the will and ability of the enemy to fight by depriving them of the support of allies and neutrals. Some of the methods used in the manual are sowing dissension, distrust, fear and hopelessness.

In the decades since these publications were first published,a new form of psywar has emerged in the form of false hope. With unlimited funding and organizational support from foundations like Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, U.S. Government propaganda now has a vast new army of non-profits that, along with corporate media and academia, serve as both a third wing of mass consciousness and a fifth column for destabilization campaigns worldwide.

As Cory Morningstar captures The Simulacrum in her multi-part series on the non-profit industrial complex, domesticating the populace is a fait accompli, and the only question remaining is what will happen if and when capitalist activism is seen for what it is. By following the money from aristocratic derivatives to embodiments of false hope like Avaaz, MoveOn, and Change, Morningstar steps through the looking glass to expose how NGOs have become a key tool of global dominance using social media as a means of social manipulation.

When the smoke generated by phony progressives clears, all that is left is an industrial wasteland of false hope and real threats. When the betrayals of NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are known, we can finally begin to exercise our responsibilities. Until then, programs like Democracy Now remain little more than adult versions of Sesame Street for the toy Che brigades.


[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.]

SPECIAL REPORT: EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA

The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

August 8, 2012
by Keith Harmon Snow

Conscious Being Alliance

This special report includes three unpublished video clips of interviewees from the Politics of Genocide documentary film project: Ugandan dignitary Remigius Kintu, former Rwandan prime minister Fautisn Twagiramungu, and Nobel peace prize nominee Juan Carrero Saralegui.

               From the 1980s to today, an elite group of Western intelligence operatives have backed low-intensity guerrilla warfare in certain African ‘hotspots’.  Mass atrocities in the Great Lakes and Sudan can be linked to Roger Winter, a pivotal U.S. operative whose ‘team’ was recently applauded for birthing the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.  Behind the fairytale we find a long trail of blood and skeletons from Uganda to Sudan, Rwanda and Congo.  While the mass media has covered their tracks, their misplaced moralism has simultaneously helped birth a new left-liberal ‘humanitarian’ fascism.  In this falsification of consciousness, Western human rights crusaders and organizations, funded by governments, multinational corporations and private donors, cheer the killers and blame the victims—and pat themselves on the back for saving Africa from itself.  Meanwhile, the “Arab Spring” has spread to (north) Sudan.  Following the NATO-Israeli model of regime change being used in Central & North Africa, it won’t be long before the fall of Khartoum. 

SPLA tank South Sudan LR.jpg

SPLA Tank in South Sudan: An old SPLA army tank sits in the bush in Pochalla, Jonglei State, south Sudan in 2004.  Israel, the United States, Britain and Norway have been the main suppliers of the covert low-intensity war in Sudan, organized by gunrunners and policy ‘wonks’.  Photo c. keith harmon snow, 2004.


It is, oh! such a happy fairy tale!  It begins as all happy fairy tales do, in fantasy land.  The fantasy is one of human rights princes and policy ‘wonks’ in shining armor and the new kingdom of peace and tranquility, democracy and human rights, that they have created.  That is what the United States foreign policy establishment and the corporate mass media—and not a few so-called ‘human rights activists’—would have us believe about the genesis of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

“In the mid-1980s, a small band of policy wonks began convening for lunch in the back corner of a dimly lit Italian bistro in the U.S. capital,” wrote Rebecca Hamilton in the recent fairytale: “The Wonks Who Sold Washington on South Sudan.”  Hamilton is a budding think-tank activist-advocate-agent whose whitewash of the low intensity war for Sudan (and some Western architects of it), distilled from her book Fighting for Darfur, was splashed all over the Western press on 11 July 2012. [1]

The photos accompanying Hamilton’s story show a happy fraternity of ‘wonks’—what exactly is a ‘wonk’?—obviously being your usual down-jacket, beer- and coffee-slurping American citizens from white America, with a token black man thrown in to change the complexion of this Africa story.  Their cups are white and clean, their cars are shiny and new, their convivial smiles are almost convincing.  There is even a flag of the new country just sort of floating across Eric Reeves’ hip.

Because of Dr. Reeves’  ‘anti-genocide’ work in Sudan, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe has written that the Smith College English professor is “arrogant to the point of contempt.”  (I have had a similar though much more personal experience of Dr. Reeves’ petulance.)

71002505.jpg

“John Prendergast (L-R), Eric Reeves, Brian D’Silva, Ted Dagne and Roger Miller [sic]—pose for a photograph in this undated image provided to Reuters by John Prendergast,” reads the original Reuters syndicated news caption for the posed image of the Council of Wonks.  (U.S. intelligence & defense operative Roger Winter is misidentified as “Roger Miller”.)

The story and its photos project the image of casual, ordinary people who, we are led to believe, did heroic and superhuman things.  What a bunch of happy-go-lucky wonks!  Excuse me: policy wonks!  And their bellies are presumably warmed by that fresh Starbucks ‘fair trade’ genocide coffee shipped straight from the killing fields of post-genocide [sic] Rwanda… where, coincidentally, Starbucks reportedly cut a profit of more than a few million dollars in 2011.

This is a tale of dark knights, of covert operators and spies aligned with the cult of intelligence in the United States.  Operating in secrecy and denial within the U.S. intelligence and defense establishment, they have helped engineer more than two decades of low intensity warfare in Sudan (alone), replete with massive suffering and a death toll of between 1.5 and 3 million Sudanese casualties—using their own fluctuating statistics on mortality—and millions upon millions of casualties in the Great Lakes of Africa.

Behind the fantasy is a very real tale of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocides real and alleged, and mass atrocities covered up by these National Security agents with the aid of a not-so-ordinary English professor—their one-man Ministry of Disinformation—Dr. Eric Reeves.

Game Over For The Climate?

In the 1980s, big business openly declared war on the green movement which it perceived as a genuine threat to power and profit. By a process of carefully limited corporate media ‘inclusion’, the honesty, vitality and truth of environmentalism have been corralled, contained, trivialised and stifled. Today, even as environmental problems have lurched from bad to worse, the green movement has virtually ceased to exist. The lessons are obvious. Corporate media ‘inclusion’ of dissent hands influence and control to the very forces seeking to disempower dissent. No-one should be surprised by the results.

MEDIA LENS

JA slide show

June 19, 2012

Whatever happened to the green movement? It’s been 50 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring, a powerful book about the environmental devastation wreaked by chemical pesticides. Since then we’ve had the rise and fall – or at least the compromised assimilation – of green groups such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Forum For the Future.

Last week, the Independent marked the half-century with a well-meaning but frankly insipid ‘landmark series’ titled ‘The Green Movement at 50’. But there’s a glaring hole in such coverage; and, indeed, in the ‘green movement’ itself: the insidious role of the corporate media, a key component of corporate globalisation, in driving humanity and ecosystems towards the brink of destruction.

The acclaimed biologist and conservationist Edward O. Wilson puts the scale of the crisis bluntly:

‘We’re destroying the rest of life in one century. We’ll be down to half the species of plants and animals by the end of the century if we keep at this rate.’

And yet ‘very few people are paying attention’ to this disaster. Wilson, who is 82, directed his warning to the young in particular:

‘Why aren’t you young people out protesting the mess that’s being made of the planet? Why are you not repeating what was done in the ‘60s? Why aren’t you in the streets? And what in the world has happened to the green movement that used to be on our minds and accompanied by outrage and high hopes? What went wrong?’

The trouble is that most of what the public hears about politics, including environmental issues, comes from the corporate media. This is a disaster for genuine democracy. As discussed in a recent alert, the media industry is made up of large profit-seeking corporations whose main task is to sell audiences to wealthy advertisers – also corporations, of course – on whom the media depend for a huge slice of their revenues. It’s blindingly obvious that the corporate media is literally not in the business of alerting humanity to the real risk of climate catastrophe and what needs to be done to avert it.

Last month, leading climate scientist James Hansen, who was the first to warn the US Congress about global warming in 1988, observed that:

‘President Obama speaks of a “planet in peril,” but he does not provide the leadership needed to change the world’s course.’

Hansen added:

‘The science of the situation is clear — it’s time for the politics to follow. […] Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real, caused mostly by humans, and requires urgent action. The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait — we can’t wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations.’

If adequate action doesn’t happen soon, says Hansen, it’s ‘game over for the climate’.

Always Stuck On Square One

And yet even liberal media outlets repeatedly present as fact that there has been government ‘failure’ to respond to climate change. They do very little to report that big business, acting through and outside government, and the corporate media itself, has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent the required radical action.

Indeed, media debate on how best to respond to environmental crisis has barely moved in a generation. For years, the public has been assailed by the same anodyne editorials urging ‘the need for all of us to act now’. Meanwhile, for obvious reasons, corporate media organisations are silent about the inherently biocidal logic of corporate capitalism. They are silent about the reality that politics in the US and UK is largely ‘a two-party dictatorship in thraldom to giant corporations,’ as Ralph Nader has observed (interview with Paul Jay, The Real News Network, November 4, 2008). They are silent about the role of the mass media, especially advertising, in normalising the unthinkable of unrestrained consumption. The corporate media, including its liberal media wing, is a vital cog of the rampant global capitalism that threatens our very existence.

But – and here some of our readers start to protest or scratch their heads –  surely the Guardian is immune to such political and commercial pressures? After all, it is owned by the non-profit Scott Trust, as the paper’s editors and journalists are fond of reminding their audience. But delve a little deeper and you will see that the newspaper is managed and operated by influential bigwigs with extensive ties to the establishment, ‘mainstream’ political parties, finance and big business (as we discussed at greater length in our book, Newspeak in the 21st Century, Pluto Press, London, 2009).

The truth is the Guardian is just as grubbily commercial as other corporate media organisations. In fact, a media insider revealed to us recently that the Guardian has a confidential business plan to address its current massive loss-making (a common affliction in today’s newspaper industry with the increasing leakage of advertising from papers to the internet). He told us that when a media website is ranked in the top 10 in the United States, the floodgates of online advertising open and its coffers start to fill. The online Guardian has therefore been marketing itself to US audiences as heavily as it can. Its stringently-moderated Comment is Free website is one of the crucial elements of that strategy. The Guardian is now at the threshold of accessing lucrative sums in advertising revenue.

With humanity heading for the climate abyss, it’s time for the green movement and those on the left to wake up to the reality that the Guardian, and the rest of the liberal-corporate media, is not in favour of the kind of radical change that is desperately needed.

The Sound Of A Door Closing Forever

Despite an endless series of escalating alarms from Mother Nature indicating the urgency of the climate crisis, no serious action is being undertaken to avert catastrophe. Whenever the corporate media bothers to report the latest sign of climate threat, it usually does so in passing and without proper analysis of the likely consequences, and what can and should be done.  And then the issue is simply dropped and forgotten.

For example, the head of the International Energy Agency recently warned that the chance of limiting the rise in global temperatures this century to 2 degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels is reducing rapidly.

‘What I see now with existing investments for [power] plants under construction…we are seeing the door for a 2 degree Celsius target about to be closed and closed forever,’ Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, told a Reuters’ Global Energy & Environment Summit.

‘This door is getting slimmer and slimmer in terms of physical and economic possibility,’ he warned.

According to the IEA, around 80 per cent of the total energy-related carbon emissions permissible by 2035 to limit warming to 2°C have already been taken up by existing power plants, buildings and factories.

The 2°C limit was agreed in 2010 at the UN climate summit in Cancún, Mexico. Why 2°C? The Reuters report explains:

‘Scientists say that crossing the threshold risks an unstable climate in which weather extremes are common…’

Tragically, the current trend in greenhouse gas emissions means that rising carbon dioxide emissions may well produce a 2°C rise as early as 2050 and a 2.8°C rise by 2080.

If there is ever any ‘mainstream’ discussion of ‘climate risk’, it is usually couched in terms of this ‘safe limit’ of  2°C warming. This was a major theme of the most recent UN climate summit in Durban in December 2011. For example, Louise Gray, environment correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, wrote that:

‘UN scientists have stated that emissions need to peak and start coming down before 2020 to stand a chance of keeping temperature rise within the “safe zone” of 2C.’

Lord Julian Hunt, former head of the UK Met Office, pointed out the best current estimate for global temperature rise by 2100 is 3.5°C and said that the ‘international consensus’ is that it ‘should be limited to 2C’.

And a Guardian editorial declared:

‘The race to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2C is still winnable if there is a big change in the pace,’ although conceding that ‘a 3-4C rise looks the most likely outcome.’

Few voices disagree with this framing of the climate debate and what the ‘safe’ target should be. But Chris Shaw, a social sciences researcher at the University of Sussex, is one exception. Shaw has been investigating how international climate change policy is being driven by the ideological notion of a single global dangerous limit of 2°C warming. In reality, however, such a precise limit cannot be supported by the complexities of climate science. For example, low-lying coastal regions such as Bangladesh and Pacific islands are clearly more vulnerable to likely sea-level rises than elevated inland regions. Also, 2°C warming would be more harmful to some ecosystems than others; coral reefs may bleach out of existence once the oceans warm by as little as 1°C. Additionally, because of geographical variation in the effects of climate change, 2°C global average warming means that some parts of the world would actually experience as much as 4°C-5°C warming.

Shaw’s analysis shows how the ‘two degree dangerous limit’ framework of debate and policy-making has constructed climate change ‘as a problem solvable within existing value systems and patterns of social activity.’ In other words, corporate globalisation is not up for challenge. He stresses that even if we had a perfect forecast of future climate change and our vulnerability to it, ‘deciding what counts as dangerous is still a value choice because what is considered to be an acceptable risk will vary between individuals and cultures.’ The 2°C-limit ideology ‘elevates the idea of a single dangerous limit to the status of fact, and in so doing marginalises egalitarian and ecological perspectives’.

This propaganda process of marginalising sane alternatives has been no accident. As Shaw rightly observes:

‘Since the Second World War, the prevailing consensus has been that all problems can be solved through the expert application of industrial technologies, rather than real changes in how we live our lives or, more fundamentally, in human consciousness. The two degree limit perpetuates this approach by diverting attention away from questions about the political and social order.’

Shaw concludes:

‘What should be a political debate about how we want to live becomes reduced to a series of expert calculations about “how much CO2 can we continue emitting before we warm the world by two degrees?” or “what will be the effect on GDP of reducing emissions by 20 per cent?” Consequently, we are invited to see the world as a kind of planetary machine that requires engineering management and maintenance by experts.’ (Email, June 18, 2012)

Climate activist and independent journalist Cory Morningstar observes that the first suggestion to use 2°C as a critical temperature limit for climate policy was not even made by a climate scientist. Rather it was put forward by the well-known neoclassical economist, W. D. Nordhaus:

‘Nordhaus has been one of the most influential economists involved in climate change models and construction of emissions scenarios for well over 30 years, having developed one of the earliest economic models to evaluate climate change policy. He has steadfastly opposed the drastic reductions in greenhouse gases emissions necessary for averting global catastrophe, “arguing instead for a slow process of emissions reduction, on the grounds that it would be more economically justifiable.”’

Morningstar, initiator of the grassroots group Canadians for Action on Climate Change, has carefully traced the cynical machinations of corporate ‘environmentalism’. She highlights the little-known fact that, rather than a 2°C target, the original ‘safe limit’ was given as just 1ºC by the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases in 1990. But an unholy alliance of corporate interests resulted in it being buried and replaced by the higher target.

She adds:

‘As a consequence of such interference by many powerful players who sought to ensure the economic and political power structure would not be threatened, adaptation surfaced as the primary goal in international climate science and policy, effectively replacing the goals of prevention and mitigation from the 1980s.’

Morningstar warns of making false friends in the struggle to avert the climate chaos ahead:

‘The mainstream environmental movement no longer inspires nor leads society to an enlightened existence – it simply bows down to the status quo.’

Too many of these mainstream groups have, she says, essentially ‘teamed up’ with the very same corporations that need to be challenged; the same corporations who:

‘greenwash summits and caused such social injustice and environmental degradation in the first place and continue to lobby and bully to maintain the status quo of corporate dominance today.’

Chris Shaw points out that powerful policy actors, notably the European Union, have imposed the simple metric of the two degree limit which ‘is then parroted uncritically by the media and NGOs. The danger is that the concept communicates a fallacious sense of certainty.’ (Email, May 24, 2012)

He sums up:

‘The argument reduces to this – defining what counts as dangerous is a value choice, not an expert calculation. The neoliberal globalization agenda cannot accommodate almost seven billion different opinions [i.e. the global population] about how much warming should be risked in the name of continued economic growth.’

And so the ideology that best fits within the neoliberal agenda of corporate globalisation – in other words, a single warming limit – is the framework that prevails. Shaw says that ‘a new way of talking and thinking about climate change is long overdue’ and intends to set out options for this at his blog.

Contraction And Convergence

In a rare exception in the corporate media, an article by the Independent’s science editor Steve Connor at least allowed James Hansen a few short paragraphs to spell out the dangers of the 2ºC threshold – if not the economic-growth ideology that lies behind it – and what is really required instead:

‘The target of 2C… is a prescription for long-term disaster …we are beginning to see signs of slow [climate] feedbacks beginning to come into play.

‘Ice sheets are beginning to lose mass and methane hydrates are to some degree beginning to bubble out of melting permafrost.’

Along with other scientists and climate campaigners, Hansen believes the focus should be on limiting the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – now at around 390 parts per million (ppm) and rising annually by 2 ppm. Hansen says it should be no higher than 350 ppm to stop catastrophic events such as the melting of ice sheets, dangerous sea level rises and the huge release of methane from beneath the permafrost. This will require drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and even ‘biosequestration’, for example through reforestation, to soak up some of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.

But even 350 ppm may well be too high, as Hansen himself acknowledges. There may need to be an upper limit of 300 ppm. Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the prestigious Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, goes further stating:

‘Our survival would very much depend on how well we were able to draw down carbon dioxide to 280 ppm.’

This would mean giving up fossil fuels completely; a move which would be fiercely and relentlessly opposed by vested interests.

So, if not the current UN process with its 2°C ‘safe limit’, what should be the framework for averting climate catastrophe? For many years now, we have advocated the climate policy known as ‘contraction and convergence’ proposed by the London-based Global Climate Institute led by the indefatigable Aubrey Meyer. By agreeing to a level of, say, 280 ppm, both ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ nations would contract (i.e. reduce) their production of global-warming gases. This would be done by converging to an equitable per-capita basis of shared emission rights: more populous nations would be allowed to emit proportionally more than smaller nations.

Now that the Kyoto Protocol – the previous climate treaty – has expired in 2012, the United Nations is currently considering the best way forward for its climate negotiations. The GCI’s proposal of contraction and convergence is gathering a good head of steam. For the sake of planetary health – indeed humanity’s survival – it should be accepted and implemented.

The Megalomaniacal Megamachine

The mainstream environment movement, with its career campaigners and high-level hobnobbing with power, has largely failed the public. Tony Juniper, former director of Friends of the Earth (FoE), speaks grandly of the ‘two parallel discourses’ of planetary boundaries and economic growth ‘going in polar opposite directions’. That is all too obvious, and has been well-known for decades. He then claims that ‘the profoundest failure of all is our underlying disconnect from the Earth.’

Juniper explains:

‘We work to take on these environmental challenges without having any kind of profound connection with nature. We’ve lost it talking in a mechanistic, policy-oriented way.

‘We’ve tried to make it all about numbers, parts per million, complicated policy instruments, and as a result, we’ve lost something that’s essential. Most people couldn’t tell you the names of country flowers by the side of the road, the birds that are singing. It’s a disconnect in our world view – a failure in our philosophy.’

Being able to name flowers by the side of the road is all good and well. But what about the deep structural causes in economics and politics that generate destruction and stifle change? In the late 1990s, one of us asked Juniper what he thought about the problem of the mainstream media acting as a propaganda system for corporate power. It was clear he had no idea what we were talking about.

Do leading environmentalists really have nothing more astute, inspiring and hard-hitting to say about a global industrial system of destructive capitalism which is consuming the planet? As one of the characters in Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang observes in the battle against the corporate assault on nature:

‘We’re not dealing with human beings. We’re up against the megamachine. A megalomaniacal megamachine.’

Feeling ‘a profound connection with nature’ is vital for one’s well-being. But it will not get us very far if we do not also recognise and then dismantle the destructive financial practices of global ‘investors’, institutions of state-corporate power – with the media a key element – and the warmongering ‘adventures’ that are crushing people and planet.

In the week of the Rio 2012 Earth summit, 20 years on from the original jamboree in 1992, George Monbiot writes in the Guardian:

‘So this is the great question of our age: where is everyone? The monster social movements of the 19th century and first 80 years of the 20th have gone, and nothing has replaced them. Those of us who still contest unwarranted power find our footsteps echoing through cavernous halls once thronged by multitudes. When a few hundred people do make a stand – as the Occupy campers have done – the rest of the nation just waits for them to achieve the kind of change that requires the sustained work of millions.

‘Without mass movements, without the kind of confrontation required to revitalise democracy, everything of value is deleted from the political text. But we do not mobilise, perhaps because we are endlessly seduced by hope. Hope is the rope from which we all hang.’

Stirring words. But Jonathan Cook, an independent journalist who used to work for the Guardian, notes sagely that:

‘There are no mass protest movements today because “we are endlessly seduced by hope”. And who, I wonder, does most to promote such hope? How unfortunate that he ran out of space when he did – otherwise he might have been able to answer that very question for us.’ (Email, June 18, 2012)

In other words, Guardian columnist Monbiot misses out the crucial role of the corporate media, not least his own newspaper, in endlessly seducing us all by hope.

Cook adds:

‘I was a little surprised by this level of chutzpah from Monbiot. In truth, who or what does he think could be capable of generating such hope and be so practised in the art of seduction? It’s clearly not the politicians: they were around decades ago, when there were serious protest movements. But a wall-to-wall “professional” (ie corporate) media is of much more recent origin. In fact, the rise of such media appears to track very closely the increase in our soma-induced state.’

For years, the corporate media has selected and promoted high-profile green spokespeople – like the Green Party’s Jonathan Porritt and Sara Parkin, Greenpeace’s Lord Peter Melchett and Stephen Tindale, FoE’s Charles Secrett and Tony Juniper, author Mark Lynas and Monbiot himself – who have then come to limit and dominate the environment debate within ‘respectable’ bounds.

In the 1980s, big business openly declared war on the green movement which it perceived as a genuine threat to power and profit. By a process of carefully limited corporate media ‘inclusion’, the honesty, vitality and truth of environmentalism have been corralled, contained, trivialised and stifled. Today, even as environmental problems have lurched from bad to worse, the green movement has virtually ceased to exist. The lessons are obvious. Corporate media ‘inclusion’ of dissent hands influence and control to the very forces seeking to disempower dissent. No-one should be surprised by the results.

 

The Truth about Libya and Gaddafi that Corporate Media (& NGOs) Silenced

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr Martin Luther King

Mu?ammar al-Gadd?f?
June 1942 – 20 October 2011

Mu’tasim-Billah al-Gaddafi
1977 – 20 October 2011

Although propaganda and lies regarding Libya and their brother leader, Muammar Gaddafi perpetuated incessantly and relentlessly via the global network of corporate media, the propaganda was also met with opposition utilizing the worldwide web. Hackers is Serbia went to war with anti-Gaddafi sites, closing them down as quickly as they appeared. Websites in Pakistan conveyed the facts of the false Green Square constructed in Doha. Music artists rapped about their African hero Gaddafi. Committed bloggers and authors detailed and continue to detail the truth. Independent news sources such as the Black Agenda Report with many others have been in the vanguard of a critical counter-attack to the corporate media’s campaign of lies, deception and propaganda.

Testimony of Libya – Lizzy Phelan

This is an imperative, absolutely brilliant must watch testimony of a journalist who was on the ground in Libya. This testimony documents yet another exposure of the truly appalling CIA front and Al-Jazeera media, the propaganda instrument of the Emir of Qatar, funder and ‘friend’ of the NATO ‘rebels’ in Libya.

The world has failed Libya. Their voices went unheard. This is a video of 1.7 million people (in a country of 6 million in total) who rallied in support of Gaddafi on July 1st, 2011. The anti-war movement was silent. Many NGOs actually aided the invasion. Unlike the illegal act of war on Iraq – a united citizenry “trend of moral cohesiveness” that would speak out against and rally against the war on Libya never materialized.

Countries which, on record, refused to accept the imperialistic recognition of the National Transition Council (NTC) included Angola, Bolivia, Cuba, Repubblica Democratica del Congo, Ecuador, Guinea Equatoriale, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nicaragua, Sudáfrica, Swaziland, Tanzania, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Even in death, using language as their weapon, the corporate media framed Gaddafi as ‘filth’ initially claiming he was found hiding in a sewer (it is revealing to note that they also claimed to have found Saddam hiding in a hole) begging not to be executed. The fact is that Gaddafi was in Sirte – the most dangerous place in the world. Not in hiding. Not fleeing the country. Gaddafi had vowed to fight until the bitter end for his country and his people earlier professing “I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.” He did just that, until he was slaughtered, just like the tens of thousands of Libyans the Nato ‘rebels’ also slaughtered. Indeed, they even placed the bodies of Gaddafi and his son in a butcher’s freezer in Misrata. After his brutal assassination, the real terrorists such as U.S. Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Obama, responsible for the murder of millions, continued to refer to Gaddafi as a brutal dictator.

A Libyan girl’s message to Obama and Sarkozy (Running time: 2:35)

Gaddafi has been described by Nelsen Mandela and many others as a true visionary. This in part to his revolutionary Green Book (hence the green Libyan flag) that all Libyans were encouraged to learn. This visionary quest for true democracy helped transition Libya into a country with the highest standard of living in Africa. This is incredible when one considers in 1951, prior to Gaddafi, Libya was officially the poorest country in the world. As part of his independent-mindedness, one of the first things Gaddafi did after taking power was to expel British & American military bases from Libya.

Life in Libya

Although Imperialist state ‘leaders’ and corporate media painted Gaddafi as a dictator/tyrant, in fact, in January of this year United Nations praised Libya on human rights, social protection and equality.

The facts on Libya (listed below) is also available on the following two videos. In the first video you witness Gaddafi driving through his city waving to his people who are clearly excited to see him. This footage is filmed in April 2011. It clearly shows a defiant Gaddafi ‘s as NATO bombs Tripoli in the colonial re-conquest of Libya backed by U.S. imperialism with the ruling classes of Italy, France and Britain, all former colonial masters in Libya.

One must ask themselves if this is something we would witness Obama doing in the United States? The answer of course is no. Only a leader who knows he is loved by his people would be willing to drive openly with no protection. In fact, the Pope waves to his ‘loyal following’ through a automobile with 4 inch bullet – proof glass. (“Because nothing shows your faith in God like 4 inch bullet-proof glass.”)

It is beyond tragic to see how absolutely beautiful the city was before being destroyed. (See the links under the videos for further resources)

(Telegraph TV) Colonel Gaddafi ‘parades through Tripoli in a jeep to delight of supporters (Running time: 1:47)

Which motorcade has the signs of a democracy, which the signs of a police state? (Running time: 1:53)

What you don’t know about Gaddafi: (Running time: 7:24)

Libya Truth:  (Running time: (9:24)

Some facts most people do not know about Libya (under Gaddafi)

  • There is no electricity bill in… Libya; electricity is free … for all its citizens.
  • There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
  • Home considered a human right in Libya – Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi’s father has died while him, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent. (In Qaddafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”)
  • All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
  • Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of all charges.
  • Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.
  • If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2, 300/mth accommodation and car allowance.
  • In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
  • The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.
  • Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.
  • If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
  • A portion of Libyan oil sale is, credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
  • A mother who gave birth to a child receive US $5 ,000
  • 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
  • 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 87%.
  • Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.

“They want to do to Libya what they did to Iraq and what they are itching to do to Iran. They want to take back the oil, which was nationalized by these country’s revolutions. They want to re-establish military bases that were shut down by the revolutions and to install client regimes that will subordinate the country’s wealth and labor to imperialist corporate interests. All else is lies and deception. Italy carried out the brutal occupation and colonization of Libya from 1911 to 1943, when it was ousted by the British, French and U.S. at the end of World War II. When these powers set up a Libyan state in 1951, they did so to allow Britain, France and the U.S. to each retain military bases and corporate interests there. Britain kept the bases and political dominance in the east, bordering its former colony Egypt, where Benghazi and the “rebels” are. France kept its military and its dominance in the southwest, near its colonies Algeria and Tunisia. And the U.S. military kept Wheelus Air Force base outside Tripoli to dominate the Mediterranean. All these imperialist parasites thrived even further once oil was discovered in Libya in 1955. But the gravy train ended with the 1969 revolution led by Muammar Gaddafi. U.S., British and French military bases were shut down, oil companies were eventually nationalized. And the oil wealth of the country was used to raise the standard of living of the Libyan people to the highest in Africa. Washington killed a million and a half Iraqi civilians, including half a million children, in 10 years of sanctions. It then killed another million in the second Iraq war, displaced 3 million more and destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the economy. The Pentagon massacres civilians with regularity in Afghanistan, using Predator drones and other gunships. It pays for every bullet, missile, tank and helicopter used by the Israeli settler state for the destruction of Palestinian homes, orchards, buildings and for use in “collective punishment” against civilians — not to mention the massacres carried out during the war on Gaza. Washington supports death squads in Colombia that kill trade union and peasant leaders, as well as the wholesale murder of villagers. Its record of sponsoring mass murder in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala is well known.” [Source: youtube]

Few are aware that Gaddafi was invited, as an esteemed guest, by Columbia University in 2006, to speak about and share knowledge of Libya’s vision of “direct democracy” (based on The Green Book), a lecture that was streamed live.

The Gold Diner

The gold bullion – held by the Libyan central bank is (March 2011) among the 25 largest reserves in the world, as reported by the Financial Times, citing the International Monetary Fund. (143.8-tonne | $6.4-billion) This provided Libya a critical lifeline after billions of Libya’s assets were seized by the United States and the 27 member states of the European Union.

Many believe the Nato-led imperialist invasion of Libya was/is about oil and a vast wealth of natural resources yet another critical element that few are aware of is the fact that Gaddafi had planned to introduce the gold dinar, a single African currency made from gold, a true sharing of the wealth. Peace founder Dr James Thring stated “It’s one of these things that you have to plan almost in secret, because as soon as you say you’re going to change over from the dollar to something else, you’re going to be targeted … There were two conferences on this, in 1986 and 2000, organized by Gaddafi. Everybody was interested, most countries in Africa were keen.” This would have eradicated the US Dollar and Euro as the African trade currencies. (Running time: 3:31)

The Devil According To NATO – Gaddafi At Home

(Via Sott.net) The daily life of the ‘brutal dictator’, surrounded by incredible luxury and brutalizing small children? (Running time: 1:52) In April 2011 NATO forces attacked Gaddafi’s compound murdering his youngest son and three of his grand children, all under the age of twelve. Within twenty-four hours US President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, an undoubtedly deliberate attempt to shift the spotlight away from the atrocious war crimes committed by NATO ‘rebels’ upon Libya.

Watch: Humanitarian War in Libya – There is no evidence!

MESSAGE FROM MUAMMAR GADDAFI, OCTOBER 6, 2011 (Running time: 1:37)

The Aftermath: The Assassination of Gaddafi

(Via John Murphy) While the nation’s attention has been focused on the Occupy Wall Street movement, new dangers for this country and for the world have been created by the Obama administration. The president has made it clear that America’s interventionist path has not changed direction one bit. If anything, he has done what once would have seemed impossible, accelerating that direction more than his predecessor ever hoped.

PODCAST: Listen (approx. 13 minutes in): http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/the-ugly-truth-podcast-oct-24-2011/. “We are honored to introduce for the first time writer/investigative journalist Martin Iqbal of www.empirestrikesblack.com who, along with Jonathon Azaziah weighs in on the assassination of Gaddafi and the growing evidence that it was not the “freedom fighters” who killed Gaddafi but actually British SAS troops.”

Demonstrations Being Organized

‘NATO and AFRICOM out of Africa!’ demonstrations are being organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U.S. and in London, England on November 5, 2011.(In Philadelphia, we will rally at Broad Street and Susquehanna at 12pm and march from there to the conference site at 1310 North Broad Street. In London, we will demonstrate outside the U.S. embassy at 1pm.) Contact uhuruasi for more information. Obama and NTC are puppets of white imperialism! African resistance goes on until victory!

Some final words from Mu’ummar Qaddafi:

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful…

For 40 years, or was it longer, I can’t remember, I did all I could to give people houses, hospitals, schools, and when they were hungry, I gave them food. I even made Benghazi into farmland from the desert, I stood up to attacks from that cowboy Ronald Reagan, when he killed my adopted orphaned daughter, he was trying to kill me, instead he killed that poor innocent child. Then I helped my brothers and sisters from Africa with money for the African Union.

I did all I could to help people Understand the concept of real democracy, where people’s committees ran our country. But that was never enough, as some told me, even people who had 10 room homes, new suits and furniture, were never satisfied, as selfish as they were they wanted more. They told Americans and other visitors, that they needed “democracy” and “freedom” never realizing it was a cut throat system, where the biggest dog eats the rest, but they were enchanted with those words, never realizing that in America, there was no free medicine, no free hospitals, no free housing, no free education and no free food, except when people had to beg or go to long lines to get soup.

No, no matter what I did, it was never enough for some, but for others, they knew I was the son of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the only true Arab and Muslim leader we’ve had since Salah-al-Deen, when he claimed the Suez Canal for his people, as I claimed Libya, for my people, it was his footsteps I tried to follow, to keep my people free from colonial domination – from thieves who would steal from us.

Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called “capitalism” ,but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer.

So, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following His path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters.

I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it.

Let this testament be my voice to the world, that I stood up to crusader attacks of NATO, stood up to cruelty, stoop up to betrayal, stood up to the West and its colonialist ambitions, and that I stood with my African brothers, my true Arab and Muslim brothers, as a beacon of light.

When others were building castles, I lived in a modest house, and in a tent. I never forgot my youth in Sirte, I did not spend our national treasury foolishly, and like Salah-al-Deen, our great Muslim leader, who rescued Jerusalem for Islam, I took little for myself…

In the West, some have called me “mad”, “crazy”, but they know the truth yet continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip, that my vision, my path, is, and has been clear and for my people and that I will fight to my last breath to keep us free, may Allah almighty help us to remain faithful and free.

— Mu’ummar Qaddafi.

[Source] — http://www.english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/13-04-2011/117563-message_from_qaddafi-0/

Resources | Further Reading – (Will continue to update)

Must Read Articles:

Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective: http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/03/libya-getting-it-right-a-revolutionary-pan-african-perspective/

Must Follow Blogs:

http://libya360.wordpress.com/

http://empirestrikesblack.com

http://globalciviliansforpeace.com/

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/

http://twelfthbough.blogspot.com/

Must Watch Documentaries:

The Humanitarian War: http://www.laguerrehumanitaire.fr/english

Annie Machon: ex-MI-5 whistle-blower, activist and author joins Jack Etkin for an elucidating and revealing look at ‘Deep State’ and high-level national and international intelligence and security methodologies. Annie covers subjects such as false-flag/black operations, the MI-5’s botched attempt on Gaddafi’s life, the London Tube bombing (7/7), 9/11 and others. This penetrating and articulate interview is a must see. It verifies why we must question everything we are spoon-fed by mainstream media:

After the Coup: The Deadliest Place in the World for a Journalist: Mini-documentary on the Honduran journalists that have watched 15 colleagues assassinated in 19 months under the Lobo regime, a government Barack Obama praises for its “strong commitment to democracy”:

The War On Democracy

The story of the manipulation of Latin America by the United States over the past 50 years, including the real story behind the attempted overthrow of Hugo Chávez in 2002 by award winning journalist John Pilger (with English subtitles).

Versión en español

Social Media:

Fight media propaganda and help Libya against NATO’s aggressions: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-the-aggression-in-Libya/186296531416909

http://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-THE-WAR-IN-LIBYA-WE-DEMAND-IT/213018878711849?ref=ts

Must Read Books:

Gadaffi’s “Green Book”: http://libya360.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/the-green-book-by-muammar-al-gaddafi/

ADDITIONAL VIDEOS:

DEMOCRACY in Libya! (Running Time 11:58)

Libya Airstrikes- Russian Satellite Detect NO EVIDENCE of Bombings |  No bombing of civilians by Libyan Air Force.  NATO War based on a lie. (Running time: 6:16)

Gaddafi – A Libyan Hero (Running time: 3:50)

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