1. Exuberant nationalism

Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic images, slogans and symbols - National flags are seen everywhere in public display. Territorial aggression is explained to be mere destiny -- an unbidden greatness thrust upon the nation by history.

It is this burden of unique responsibility that now raises the fascist state above all previous constraint, no longer bound by international obligations, treaties or law.

2. Enemies Identified

This national cause is identified as unity against enemies - The people are rallied around a unifying patriotism directed against some common threat: communists, liberals, a racial, ethnic or religious minority, intellectuals, homosexuals, terrorists, etc.

The state's message is sometimes couched in an easily recognized religious theme. Amazingly, this language is used even when the full context of the teaching shows the meaning to be diametrically opposed. Any dissent is "siding with the enemy", and therefor treasonous.

3. Rights Disappear

Disdain for human and political rights - Fascist regimes foster an artificial climate of fear by intentionally amplifying stress and anxiety. Citizens naturally feel a strong need for security and are easily persuaded to ignore abuses in the name of safety. The few still willing to question are met with bullying and smear campaigns of intimidation.

Legislative bodies, if still in existence at all, are cowed into rubber-stamp submission with occasional ceremonial opposition. The judiciary tends to become activist in support of state views. The public often looks away, or even enthusiastically approves as rights are stripped away.

The concept of the individual inevitably yields ground, exchanged for the promised safety of the all-powerful state.

4. Secrecy Demanded

Obsession with secrecy and national security - The workings of government become increasingly hidden. Questioning of authority is discouraged at all levels of society. From office talk at the water cooler up through the entire apparatus of rule, guarded speech and secrecy become ends in themselves.

Troubling questions are muted and entire areas of scrutiny are placed out of bounds by simply invoking "national security".

5. Military Glorified

Supremacy of the military - The military establishment receives a disproportionate share of government resources, even as pressing domestic needs are neglected. Individual soldiers and military culture are glamorized and made constantly visible.

This provides both an object for public glorification, as well as sharp warning to possibly restless citizens that the power of the state stands close at hand, ready to use its great potential for violence.

6. Corporations Shielded

Corporate power is protected - Typically, a segment of the business elite plays a major role in bringing fascists to national leadership, often from an unsavory obscurity. This marriage of big money and raw violence is often considered by historians to be the hallmark and backbone of fascism.

As these business-government-military interests meld, the significant threat of organized labor is clearly recognized. Labor unions and their support organizations are either co-opted successfully or ruthlessly suppressed and eliminated as soon as possible.

7. Corruption Unchecked

Rampant cronyism and corruption - Fascist states maintain power through this relatively small group of associates, mutually appointing each other to interlocking and rotating positions in government, business and the military.

With this degree of control, they make full use of both official secrecy and the ready threat of state violence to insulate themselves from any meaningful criticism. They are not accountable and are shielded from scrutiny in a way unthinkable in a democratic society.

8. Media Controlled

Controlled mass media - Sometimes the media are controlled directly by clumsy government functionaries. At other times, sympathetic corporate media insiders shape the themes indirectly, and therefor more skillfully. Image regularly trumps content as the "news" is presented breathlessly and with flashy stage effects.

A practiced formula of tenacious repetition brings even the most absurd lie into acceptance over time. By design, the very language itself and the coloration employed will push alternate views "out of the mainstream".

The terms of any remaining debate are narrowly defined to the state's advantage, making it easy to marginalize a truly differing perspective. Censorship and "self-censorship", especially in wartime, is common.

9. Rampant Sexism

Rampant sexism - Governments of fascist states tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Traditional gender roles are made even more rigid and exaggerated.

10. Intellectual Bullying

Disdain for intellectuals - Fascist society tends to create an environment of extreme hostility to critical thought in general, and to academics in particular.

Ideologically driven "science" is elevated and lavishly funded, while any expression not in line with the state view is at first ignored, then challenged, then ridiculed and finally stamped out.

It is not uncommon for academics to be pressured to attack the work of their insufficiently patriotic peers. Writings are censored; teachers are fired and arrested. Free artistic expression in new works is openly attacked, and existing works deemed unpatriotic are often publicly destroyed.

11. Militarized Police

Obsession with crime and punishment - Fascist society is often willing to overlook police abuses and forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. Long jail sentences for clearly political offenses, torture and then assassination are at first uncomfortably tolerated, and then start to pile up to become the norm.

Often a national police force is given virtually unlimited power to snoop through the civilian population. Networks of surveillance and informers are employed, both for actual intelligence gathering and also as a means to keep neighbors and co-workers isolated and mistrustful of each other.

12. Elections Stolen

Fraudulent elections - In the disordered time as fascists are rising to power, the electoral arena becomes increasingly confusing, corrupted, and manipulated.

There is rising public cynicism and distrust over what are widely believed to be phony elections manipulated by moneyed influence, obvious media bias, smear campaigns, ballot tampering, judicial interference, intimidation, or outright assassination of potential opposition. Fascists in power have been known to use this disorder as the rationale to delay elections indefinitely.

Daniel Taylor
Old-Thinker News

"Although technological powers will be vast and progress will likely be made, the normal level of social resistance and political stalemate is likely to oppose change. Thus, it may take an occasional environmental collapse, global wars and terrorism, or yet unknown calamities to force the move to global consciousness." — William E. Halal, Emerging Technologies and the Global Crisis of Maturity

The technological revolution that will re-shape humanity and our world is well underway. A cacophony of crises, both real and manufactured, are being heralded as birth pangs of a new global order. Some analysts say that we can no more fathom the political, technological, and social world that will emerge as "…chimpanzees in the forest can comprehend what goes on among humans in a nearby village." [1]

We witness piecemeal examples of the steady buildup to this catalyst every day in the media. However, they fail to connect them in a coherent picture to demonstrate their interwoven nature. The "big picture" gets lost to many. We leave it to the "experts" to interpret these events and developments, but they often present solutions that come directly from the establishment. 

To begin, let’s take a look at the technological revolution. Nanotechnology, biotechnology, information science and cognitive science (NBIC) are converging to form what has been called the largest leap in technological progress in human history. The Transhumanist movement is eagerly anticipating this revolution. Some foresee the fusion of the human brain with computer circuitry as leading "…to a truly revolutionary upheaval for the human race." [2] Brain-machine interfaces; cloning; genetic engineering of food, plants, and animals; artificial intelligence; nanomaterials; these all stem from the NBIC convergence.

Some countries are currently serving as testing grounds for technologies that are expected to be implemented globally in the near future. For example, South Korea’s "U-city" or "ubiquitous city" called New Songdo - hailed as the city of the future - is nearly fully functional. The city is wired from the ground up with RFID sensors and other advanced computing devices to automate traffic, surveillance and e-government. The marketing campaign for the city is heavily focused on consumer convenience aspects of the technology, reminiscent of the sci-fi thriller Minority Report. The U-city model, being tested in New Songdo, is anticipated to be exported world-wide. There is a reason this technology is being tested in South Korea. As the New York Times reports,

"Much of this technology was developed in U.S. research labs, but there are fewer social and regulatory obstacles to implementing them in Korea," said Mr. Townsend [a research director at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California], who consulted on Seoul’s own U-city plan, known as Digital Media City. "There is an historical expectation of less privacy. Korea is willing to put off the hard questions to take the early lead and set standards." [3]

Some believe that ubiquitous computing technology, also known as the "Internet of Things", is heralding the beginning of a "unified global intelligence." This global intelligence will consist of a vast network of places, things and people that have been given a virtual representation in a computer network. William E. Halal, professor emeritus of science, technology and innovation at George Washington University writes,

"Even with the turmoil that is sure to follow, this will mark the serious beginning of a unified global intelligence, what some have forecast as the emergence of a "global brain" - a fine web of conscious thought directing life on the planet." [4]

Brain-machine interfaces

The current and ongoing technological revolution has - as shown with the above example - a whole array of implications attached to it. Advancements in brain-machine interfaces provide one of the most startling examples. Fred C. Ikle, former undersecretary of defense for policy under the Reagan administration, and author of The Ultimate Threat to Nations: Annihilation from Within,is anticipating the development of advanced brain-machine interfaces. It is this development that Ikle sees as the most revolutionary. He writes,

"In my judgment, the greatest, most profound transformation of the human condition will not derive from the prolongation of life, or from the anxiously debated - and probably vastly overrated - possibilities of human cloning and "designer babies." Instead, I see an effective synthesis of the computer with living human brains as the agent that will lead to a truly revolutionary upheaval for the human race."[5]

These interfaces, Ikle writes, could spark a race between superpowers to create a super-advanced think tank. This brain-computer symbiosis would come from a group of individuals connected to a central computer.

"Its purpose would be greatly to enrich and expand what advanced computers can do by creating a symbiosis between, on one side, a computer system designed for this purpose, and on the other side, the judgmental capacities and essential emotive functions of the human brain. The contribution of the living human brain would probably not come from one individual "hooked up" to a computer, but from computer linkages to an expert committee or group of policy advisors. Such a symbiosis would be far more advanced than the latest brain-computer links."[6]

Transhumanism

Brain-machine interfaces lead us inevitably to the Transhumanist movement, which sees technologies like this as heralding a new era of human enhancement. Most researchers anticipate these technologies to be developed at first to serve a medical purpose - such as restoring sight, allowing paralyzed individuals to move robotic arms using their minds, etc. The initial focus on providing aid to disabled individuals is giving technologies like brain-machine interfaces public acceptance and support because of its benevolent nature. Eventually, however, these technologies will be used for enhancement purposes and not out of any specific medical necessity.

The June 2002 conference Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, organized by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce, discussed this NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information science and Cognitive science) revolution. The lengthy report demonstrates the intense attention that is being given to these rising technologies. The report calls for the training of a new generation of scientists to aid in the coming convergence.

"Education and training at all levels should use converging technologies as well as prepare people
to take advantage of them. Interdisciplinary education programs, especially in graduate school,
can create a new generation of scientists and engineers who are comfortable working across fields
and collaborating with colleagues from a variety of specialties… education projects need to be launched at the intersections of crucial fields to build a scientific community that will achieve the convergence of technologies that can greatly improve human capabilities." [7]

The Knowledge NBIC Project, funded by the European Union, is conducting research into the political and social implications of the NBIC convergence. One of the project’s recent reports details the potential applications of these enhancement technologies,

"…people may come to think of themselves as ‘always already disabled’, that is, on the verge of falling behind in a social world where regular neurochemical upgradings are expected as a precondition for adequate performance. The first stirrings of this general problem have already entered public view in controversies concerning the use of drugs to enhance competitive athletic and academic performance. The political responses so far suggest that this… agenda may well be subject to considerable regulation but it is very unlikely that its advance will be stopped altogether."[8]

The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense report DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036 is also anticipating the use of this technology.

"By 2035, an implantable information chip could be developed and wired directly to the user’s brain. Information and entertainment choices would be accessible through cognition and might include synthetic sensory perception beamed direct to the user’s senses. Wider related ICT developments might include the invention of synthetic telepathy, including mind-to-mind or telepathic dialogue. This type of development would have obvious military and security, as well as control, legal and ethical, implications."[9]

The RAND corporation has its sights on this technological revolution as well. RAND’s 2001 report, The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015 covers these issues. Among other trends, it foresees expanded globalization, reduced privacy and potential societal unrest as a response to revolutionary technologies.

"The results could be astonishing. Effects may include significant improvements in human quality of life and life span… continued globalization, reshuffling of wealth, cultural amalgamation or invasion with potential for increased tension and conflict, shifts in power from nation states to non-governmental organizations and individuals… and the possibility of human eugenics and cloning."[10]

The Scientific Planners

"Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. There neither is nor can be any simple increase of power on Man’s side. Each new power won by man is a power over man as well." — CS Lewis, The Abolition of Man

The influence of wealthy and important interests in shaping current and past events cannot be ignored when studying what the future may hold. Elites have always sought to project their dominance into the future, and this modern world is no different. Trends can either be products of an organic process or a deliberate method.

As we progress into the future, prominent analysts see a trend toward global government and a "global consciousness" as a natural, logical, and organic process of evolution. What these experts often fail to mention is the fact that it has been a prime directive of institutional schooling to prepare and condition youth to accept world governance for decades.

In 1954 the Reece Committee, chaired by Carroll B. Reece, produced its findings regarding the influence of tax-exempt foundations in the field of education. The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation and others were discussed during the Committee hearings. A predominant theme in the Committee’s findings was the desire of the foundations and those behind them to create a system of world governance. The use of propaganda and social engineering were identified as the means to achieve this goal.

The Reece Committee cited a report from the President’s Commission on Higher Education, published in 1947. The cited report states,

"In speed of transportation and communication and in economic interdependence, the nations of the globe are already one world; the task is to secure recognition and acceptance of this oneness in the thinking of the people, as that the concept of one world may be realized psychologically, socially and in good time politically.

It is this task in particular that challenges our scholars and teachers to lead the way toward a new way of thinking. There is an urgent need for a program for world citizenship that can be made a part of every person’s general education.

It will take social science and social engineering to solve the problems of human relations. Our people must learn to respect the need for special knowledge and technical training in this field as they have come to defer to the expert in physics, chemistry, medicine, and other sciences." [1]

Futurists and government analysts often point to global warming and terrorism as defining crises of our time, as a natural part of the "global crisis of maturity." Today, these issues are often presented as a justification for a system of world governance. William E. Halal writes,

"Intercultural conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and threats of environmental collapse are likely to force the move to some form of global community as the best means for managing such nagging problems." [2]

Again, what we are not being told is that these issues were identified by powerful interests many years ago to serve as a pretext to prepare the way for "global solutions." In a 1991 report titled "The First Global Revolution", published by the Club of Rome, we find the following statement:

"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." [3]

In order to gain a deeper perspective, let’s take a look at the earlier 1976 Club of Rome report "Rio: Reshaping the International Order" which details a strategy to create a system of economic and world governance. The report states,

"At the highest level, the level of world affairs, international institutions must form the prime movers of planned change."

"The achievement of this global planning and management system calls for the conscious transfer of power - a gradual transfer to be sure - from the nation State to the world organization. Only when this transfer takes place can the organization become effective and purposeful."[4]

Halal continues in his Futurist article, praising the Club of Rome for its anticipation of these events,

"The major conclusion from this analysis is that the world is facing a global crisis of maturity, the most salient example being the near-collapse of the global banking system in October 2008. Warnings of massive transformations have been anticipated for decades by the Club of Rome and many others. Today, however, the acceleration of change seems to be producing a mounting series of severe global disruptions - energy shortages as oil supplies peak, impending climate change and environmental decline in general… continuing terrorism… as globalization inexorably strains old systems to the breaking point."[5]

As these crises develop amidst the rising technological revolution, we are entering an "Age of Transitions" in which the elite of society - who have foreseen, and in many cases manufactured these crises - hope to emerge on top.

The Great Transition

"It will be necessary to replace today’s cumbersome social systems, religious dogmas, heated emotions, partisan ideologies, and other commonly outmoded forms of thought and consciousness that now form the major obstacles to progress." — William E. Halal, Emerging Technologies and the Global Crisis of Maturity

There are several futurists, think tanks and high level government analysts that are both eagerly anticipating and warning that there will be great social conflict during this "great transition". They are nearly uniform in calling for a casting aside of "outmoded forms of thought" to pave the way for a new era. By holding on to "ancient ideas" of government and religion, people are holding back the progress of the great technological revolution and a resulting "planetary civilization". Some have compared the potential impact of this transition to the social and political impact of the Industrial Revolution. This new revolution, however, is on a much grander scale.

Some call it the "Age of Transitions", others the "Global Crisis of Maturity". Zbigniew Brzezinski called it the "Technectronic Era".  However it is labeled, it brings with it major change and upheaval to humanity. Fred C. Ikle, author of The Ultimate Threat to Nations: Annihilation from Within, sees a widening gap between the "two souls" of society. One is dedicated to the scientific outlook that has been freed from religious and political bindings, while the other clings to the "stubborn past" of tradition and religion. Ikle sees this expanding gap as a great danger to all governments world-wide. Ikle writes,

"This widening chasm is ominous. It might impair the social cohesion of societies, and of nations, by drawing the human psyche in two directions: to the personal and national identity that resides in acquired beliefs, memories, and traditions of the past; and to the promise of greater wealth and power offered by untrammeled technological progress… In the scientific sphere, we are neither emotionally tied to our cultural and religious heritage, nor pining for a final redemption. But when animated by the world’s old soul, we seek to protect our identity by clinging to ancient artifacts from our ancestors and hallowed legends from the distant past."[1]

William E. Halal stated in the March-April 2009 edition of The Futurist that, "Some new form of global order is needed to avert disaster." He continues, "The transition could happen anytime, but it is hard to conceive of a future in which today’s systems could survive much beyond 2020, let alone 2030." Halal writes,

"It will be necessary to replace today’s cumbersome social systems, religious dogmas, heated emotions, partisan ideologies, and other commonly outmoded forms of thought and consciousness that now form the major obstacles to progress."[2]

Halal cites prominent pollster John Zogby’s new book The Way We’ll Be as he discusses the rise of a new "global generation." His description of this generation fits current economic trends that point to dramatically lower standards of living, but frames this as a "sustainable" lifestyle. The "First Globals" as he calls them will be "…intent on living sustainable lives in a unified world." Zogby writes,

"…we are in the midst of a fundamental reorientation of the American character… away from wanton consumption and toward a new global citizenry in an age of limited resources." [3]

Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and futurist, believes that the globe is moving towards what he calls a "Type 1" civilization. This civilization, according to Kaku, will be technologically superior and constitute a world-wide system of governance, a global language, culture, and global economy. The transition may not be smooth, however. As kaku has repeatedly stated, there will be resistance to the rise of this "Type 1" civilization. In a 2006 interview Kaku stated,

"It’s the most dangerous of all transitions because there are some people who don’t want to be in type 1. They instinctively in their gut know that a type 1 system will be a system of different discourses, of different ideas and clashes of ideas and so on and so forth and these people who don’t want this transition are the terrorists.

In their gut, the terrorists know that we’re headed for type 1. They can’t articulate it, they don’t know the larger outlines of it, but in their gut they don’t like it."[3]

In an earlier 2005 BBC interview Kaku said,

"…look at the economies. NAFTA, European Union, Trading blocks, the birth of a new economy is taking place.

Now there are people who don’t like this transition, who feel in their gut feel more comfortable being in a Type minus 1. They’re the terrorists. They in their gut realize that a Type 1 civilization has flowing ideas, challenging orthodoxies, new bigger, wondrous ideas popping forth. That’s Type 1." [5]

As the world faces unparalleled economic turmoil, America’s decline is marking a historical geopolitical time period. The re-ordering of the globe is underway. The "Global Crisis of Maturity" - as envisioned by the elite - is ushering in a new world order as advancing technologies dramatically alter society.

It is vitally important that everyone, especially young people, gain their own understanding of what we are facing. The school system may prepare you for the future, but only in a manner that is self-serving to the establishment and kept within safe confines to prevent organic change. This study must involve not just a study of potential technological developments, but an understanding of the nature of power and the elites that wield it. Social engineers and opinion molders will be working overtime to shape society during this "Age of Transitions" as societal norms are broken and reshaped, and the political battlefield is thrown into chaos.

Citation:

The Technological Revolution:

[1.] Ikle, Fred Charles. The Ultimate Threat to Nations: Annihilation from Within. Columbia University Press, 2006. Page 33

[2.] lbid 1, Ikle.

[3.] "Korea’s High-Tech Utopia, Where Everything Is Observed."  The New York Times. October 5, 2005. Available at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/05/technology/techspecial/05oconnell.html?_r=1>

[4.] Halal, William E. "Emerging Technologies and the Global Crisis of Maturity." The Futurist. March-April 2009.

[5.] lbid 1, Ikle.

[6.] lbid 1, Ikle. Page 32.

[7.] Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, National Science Foundation. "Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance." Arlington, Virginia 2002. Page 21. Available here: <http://www.wtec.org/ConvergingTechnologies/1/NBIC_report.pdf>

[8.] Project coordinator: Nico Stehr Ph.D. F.R.S.C. "Knowledge Politics and New Converging Technologies: A Social Science Perspective." Available here: <http://www.converging-technologies.org/docs/Knowledge%20NBIC%20D1.pdf>

[9.] "DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036."

[10.] Philip S. Anto´n, Richard Silberglitt, James Schneider. "The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015." RAND Corporation. 2001. Available here: <http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/2005/MR1307.pdf>

The Scientific Planners:

[1.] United States. Cong. House Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations. 1954.

[2.] Halal, William E. "Technology’s Promise: Highlights from the TechCast Project", The Futurist, Nov-Dec 2006.

[3.] Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider. The First Global Revolution. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991. Page 115.

[4.] Jan Tinbergen. RIO: Reshaping the International Order: A Report to the Club of Rome. 1976. Page 100.

[5.] lbid 2, Halal.

The Great Transition:

[1.] lbid 1, Ikle. Page 16.

[2.] lbid 2, Halal.

[3.] lbid 2, Halal.

[4.] 2006 interview with the Conscious Media Network. Available here: <http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=641879988>

[5.] BBC Hard Talk Extra. Gavin Esler interviewing Michio Kaku. April 22, 2005. Available here: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/4483221.stm>

Person Daniel Taylor
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Worldtribune.com

The following is based on a report by Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media. Elite members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, recently considered a proposal for a new global television network to usher in a state of “global governance.” The concept strikes some as authoritarian, even totalitarian. But the parent company of Fox News was one of the sponsors of this year's gathering.

The media proposal, which was included in “The Global Agenda 2009” report, is to create “a new global network” with “the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other.” Several prominent U.S. media figures signed on to the alarming and controversial proposal.

Isn’t it nice that we might have a TV network telling us “who we are?” And “what we mean to each other?” Perhaps we will learn that we are global citizens. Perhaps a global leader of some sort will tell us that. Who might that be?

This proposal doesn’t come from a fringe organization. The WEF is an exclusive club of very rich and powerful people from around the world. It describes itself as “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

This year’s conference featured speeches by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Premier We Jiabao. Many U.S. corporations, including some getting Wall Street bailout money, were sponsors. News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, was a “strategic partner” of the event.

Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, represented the Obama Administration at this year’s event and called leaders from all nations to “seize gladly” the duties of collaborating and boldly embrace “a new era of global financial responsibility.”

But the WEF also envisions cooperation and collaboration
in global media ventures. It asks, “How can we save journalism to help it save the world?” Clearly, this is advocacy journalism on a global scale.

Indeed, the list of “Recommendations” says it is imperative to start “Communicating a global agenda, and motivating and mobilizing people to support it…”

Is this journalism? Or is it brainwashing and propaganda?

It says that “a genuine, global voice” is needed that shares a “fundamental commitment” to being an international media voice, and makes mention of “the media voices we think of as international” coming from London (the BBC), Qatar (Al-Jazeera) or Atlanta (CNN).

BBC is known for its anti-American programming, Al-Jazeera for its pro-terrorist slant, and CNN for its left-wing and pro-Democratic bias.

It will take “innovative public-private funding” to bring this new network into being, apparently meaning that the taxpayers in the U.S. will have to be soaked in order to help bring this about. But no price tag is put on the venture and no objection was apparently raised to government funding of such a network on a global basis. An “overview” statement does, however, decry “censorship and self-censorship.”

Elsewhere in the report (page 31) the idea of “international taxation” is proposed for “global action” of various kinds. Perhaps this is a vehicle for raising revenue for the new “global voice.”

The media proposal was developed by one of several “Global Agenda Councils” under the auspices of the WEF. The new TV network proposal was issued under the supervision of Pat Mitchell, the president of the Paley Center for Media and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Service. She was the chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media.

Other members of the Council on the Future of Media were Betsy Morgan of the left-wing Huffington Post (former general manager of CBSNews.com); Rui Chenggang of China Central Television, an official political propaganda arm of the communist regime; and Zafar Siddiqi of CNBC Arabiya, a subsidiary of General Electric which is described as a 24-hour Arabic language financial and business information channel.

There is no indication in the published report that the Huffington Post executive raised any objection to working hand-in-glove with the communist propaganda channel. Is the Chinese media model a precedent for the new “global network?”

The conference was covered by media organizations such as CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes and Fox, but no coverage that we could find was devoted to the proposal for a government-financed global media network. Talk about self-censorship!

John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University
and the “Rapporteur of the Global Agenda Councils focusing on Society and Values,” summarized the work of Mitchell’s panel. He says (page 46) that, “We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit ‘CNN’ providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.”

According to DeGioia’s biography, he walks the walk and is dedicated to helping “prepare young people for leadership
roles in the global community.” His bio adds, “He is a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and Chair of its Education Committee and he represents Georgetown at the World Economic Forum and on the Council on Foreign Relations.”

The media council took advantage of what a description of its work said was an “enormous opportunity” to “redefine the media and its roles in a global, interconnected society.”

Under the title of “Recommendations” (page 182), the Council on the Future of Media declares that “The Council is championing a new global, independent news and information service whose role is to inform, educate and improve the state of the world?one that would take advantage of all platforms of content delivery from mobile to satellite and online to create a new global network.”

It goes on, “In a world where there are calls for global governance as a response to a global financial crisis, where scientific research, capital flows and production chains are globalized, the media and the communities in which we imagine ourselves remain fiercely localized.” Hence, a global network will work against “localized” or national-based systems and convince people to go “global” with their outlook and solutions. In other words, the new network will help undermine old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty and patriotism.

There are 22 members (page 183) of the Council on the Future of Media. In addition to Mitchell and Morgan, American members include:

    * Alex S. Jones, former media reporter for the New York Times and now Director, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
      .
    * Susan King, former Washington correspondent for ABC News and now Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy, Carnegie Corporation of New York.
    * John Lavine, Dean, Medill School of Journalism Northwestern University
      .
    * Nicholas Lemann, former Washington Post reporter and now Dean, School of Journalism, Columbia University.
    * David Nordfors, Director, Innovation Journalism and Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University.
    * Monroe Price, Director, Centre for Global Communications Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Pennsylvania.
    * Orville H. Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society.

There doesn’t appear to be one identifiable conservative member on the list. Of course, everyone on the list is a certified objective media proessional, neither liberal nor conservative. Just ask them.

 

William Blum

I’ve said all along that whatever good changes might occur in regard to non-foreign policy issues, such as what’s already taken place concerning the environment and abortion, the Obama administration will not produce any significantly worthwhile change in US foreign policy; little done in this area will reduce the level of misery that the American Empire regularly brings down upon humanity. And to the extent that Barack Obama is willing to clearly reveal what he believes about anything controversial, he appears to believe in the empire.

The Obamania bubble should already have begun to lose some air with the multiple US bombings of Pakistan within the first few days following the inauguration. The Pentagon briefed the White House of its plans, and the White House had no objection. So bombs away — Barack Obama’s first war crime. The dozens of victims were, of course, all bad people, including all the women and children. As with all these bombings, we’ll never know the names of all the victims — It’s doubtful that even Pakistan knows — or what crimes they had committed to deserve the death penalty. Some poor Pakistani probably earned a nice fee for telling the authorities that so-and-so bad guy lived in that house over there; too bad for all the others who happened to live with the bad guy, assuming of course that the bad guy himself actually lived in that house over there.

The new White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, declined to answer questions about the first airstrikes, saying “I’m not going to get into these matters.”1 Where have we heard that before?

After many of these bombings in recent years, a spokesperson for the United States or NATO has solemnly declared: “We regret the loss of life.” These are the same words used by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on a number of occasions, but their actions were typically called “terrorist”.

I wish I could be an Obamaniac. I envy their enthusiasm. Here, in the form of an open letter to President Obama, are some of the “changes we can believe in” in foreign policy that would have to occur to win over the non-believers like me.

Iran

Just leave them alone. There is no “Iranian problem”. They are a threat to no one. Iran hasn’t invaded any other country in centuries. No, President Ahmadinejad did not threaten Israel with any violence. Stop patrolling the waters surrounding Iran with American warships. Stop halting Iranian ships to check for arms shipments to Hamas. (That’s generally regarded as an act of war.) Stop using Iranian dissident groups to carry out terrorist attacks inside Iran. Stop kidnaping Iranian diplomats. Stop the continual spying and recruiting within Iran. And yet, with all that, you can still bring yourself to say: “If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.”2

Iran has as much right to arm Hamas as the US has to arm Israel. And there is no international law that says that the United States, the UK, Russia, China, Israel, France, Pakistan, and India are entitled to nuclear weapons, but Iran is not. Iran has every reason to feel threatened. Will you continue to provide nuclear technology to India, which has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while threatening Iran, an NPT signatory, with sanctions and warfare?

Russia

Stop surrounding the country with new NATO members. Stop looking to instigate new “color” revolutions in former Soviet republics and satellites. Stop arming and supporting Georgia in its attempts to block the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhasia, the breakaway regions on the border of Russia. And stop the placement of anti-missile systems in Russia’s neighbors, the Czech Republic and Poland, on the absurd grounds that it’s to ward off an Iranian missile attack. It was Czechoslovakia and Poland that the Germans also used to defend their imperialist ambitions — The two countries were being invaded on the grounds that Germans there were being maltreated. The world was told.

“The U.S. government made a big mistake from the breakup of the Soviet Union,” said former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev last year. “At that time the Russian people were really euphoric about America and the U.S. was really number one in the minds of many Russians.” But, he added, the United States moved aggressively to expand NATO and appeared gleeful at Russia’s weakness.3

Cuba

Making it easier to travel there and send remittances is very nice (if, as expected, you do that), but these things are dwarfed by the need to end the US embargo. In 1999, Cuba filed a suit against the United States for $181.1 billion in compensation for economic losses and loss of life during the almost forty years of this aggression. The suit held Washington responsible for the death of 3,478 Cubans and the wounding and disabling of 2,099 others. We can now add ten more years to all three figures. The negative, often crippling, effects of the embargo extend into every aspect of Cuban life.

In addition to closing Guantanamo prison, the adjacent US military base established in 1903 by American military force should be closed and the land returned to Cuba.

The Cuban Five, held prisoner in the United States for over 10 years, guilty only of trying to prevent American-based terrorism against Cuba, should be released. Actually there were 10 Cubans arrested; five knew that they could expect no justice in an American court and pled guilty to get shorter sentences.4

Iraq

Freeing the Iraqi people to death … Nothing short of a complete withdrawal of all US forces, military and contracted, and the closure of all US military bases and detention and torture centers, can promise a genuine end to US involvement and the beginning of meaningful Iraqi sovereignty. To begin immediately. Anything less is just politics and imperialism as usual. In six years of war, the Iraqi people have lost everything of value in their lives. As the Washington Post reported in 2007: “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.”5 The good news is that the Iraqi people have 5,000 years experience in crafting a society to live in. They should be given the opportunity.

Saudi Arabia

Demand before the world that this government enter the 21st century (or at least the 20th), or the United States has to stop pretending that it gives a damn about human rights, women, homosexuals, religious liberty, and civil liberties. The Bush family had long-standing financial ties to members of the Saudi ruling class. What will be your explanation if you maintain the status quo?

Haiti

Reinstate the exiled Jean Bertrand Aristide to the presidency, which he lost when the United States overthrew him in 2004. To seek forgiveness for our sins, give the people of Haiti lots and lots of money and assistance.

Colombia

Stop giving major military support to a government that for years has been intimately tied to death squads, torture, and drug trafficking; in no other country in the world have so many progressive candidates for public office, unionists, and human-rights activists been murdered. Are you concerned that this is the closest ally the United States has in all of Latin America?

Venezuela

Hugo Chavez may talk too much but he’s no threat except to the capitalist system of Venezuela and, by inspiration, elsewhere in Latin America. He has every good historical reason to bad-mouth American foreign policy, including Washington’s role in the coup that overthrew him in 2002. If you can’t understand why Chavez is not in love with what the United States does all over the world, I can give you a long reading list.

Put an end to support for Chavez’s opposition by the Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other US government agencies. US diplomats should not be meeting with Venezuelans plotting coups against Chavez, nor should they be interfering in elections.

Send Luis Posada from Florida to Venezuela, which has asked for his extradition for his masterminding the bombing of a Cuban airline in 1976, taking 73 lives. Extradite the man, or try him in the US, or stop talking about the war on terrorism.

And please try not to repeat the nonsense about Venezuela being a dictatorship. It’s a freer society than the United States. It has, for example, a genuine opposition daily media, non-existent in the United States. If you doubt that, try naming a single American daily newspaper or TV network that was unequivocally against the US invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Panama, Grenada, and Vietnam. Or even against two of them? How about one? Is there a single one that supports Hamas and/or Hezbollah? A few weeks ago, the New York Times published a story concerning a possible Israeli attack upon Iran, and stated: “Several details of the covert effort have been omitted from this account, at the request of senior United States intelligence and administration officials, to avoid harming continuing operations.”6

Alas, Mr. President, among other disparaging remarks, you’ve already accused Chavez of being “a force that has interrupted progress in the region.”7 This is a statement so contrary to the facts, even to plain common sense, so hypocritical given Washington’s history in Latin America, that I despair of you ever freeing yourself from the ideological shackles that have bound every American president of the past century. It may as well be inscribed in their oath of office — that a president must be antagonistic toward any country that has expressly rejected Washington as the world’s savior. You made this remark in an interview with Univision, Venezuela’s leading, implacable media critic of the Chavez government. What regional progress could you be referring to, the police state of Colombia?

Bolivia

Stop American diplomats, Peace Corps volunteers, Fulbright scholars, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, from spying and fomenting subversion inside Bolivia. As the first black president of the United States, you could try to cultivate empathy toward, and from, the first indigenous president of Bolivia. Congratulate Bolivian president Evo Morales on winning a decisive victory on a recent referendum to approve a new constitution which enshrines the rights of the indigenous people and, for the first time, institutes separation of church and state.

Afghanistan

Perhaps the most miserable people on the planet, with no hope in sight as long as the world’s powers continue to bomb, invade, overthrow, occupy, and slaughter in their land. The US Army is planning on throwing 30,000 more young American bodies into the killing fields and is currently building eight new major bases in southern Afghanistan. Is that not insane? If it makes sense to you I suggest that you start the practice of the president accompanying the military people when they inform American parents that their child has died in a place called Afghanistan.

If you pull out from this nightmare, you could also stop bombing Pakistan. Leave even if it results in the awful Taliban returning to power. They at least offer security to the country’s wretched, and indications are that the current Taliban are not all fundamentalists.

But first, close Bagram prison and other detention camps, which are worse than Guantanamo.

And stop pretending that the United States gives a damn about the Afghan people and not oil and gas pipelines which can bypass Russia and Iran. The US has been endeavoring to fill the power vacuum in Central Asia created by the Soviet Union’s dissolution in order to assert Washington’s domination over a region containing the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world. Is Afghanistan going to be your Iraq?

Israel

The most difficult task for you, but the one that would earn for you the most points. To declare that Israel is no longer the 51st state of the union would bring down upon your head the wrath of the most powerful lobby in the world and its many wealthy followers, as well as the Christian-fundamentalist Right and much of the media. But if you really want to see peace between Israel and Palestine you must cut off all military aid to Israel, in any form: hardware, software, personnel, money. And stop telling Hamas it has to recognize Israel and renounce violence until you tell Israel that it has to recognize Hamas and renounce violence.

North Korea

Bush called the country part of “the axis of evil”, and Kim Jong Il a “pygmy” and “a spoiled child at a dinner table.”8 But you might try to understand where Kim Jong Il is coming from. He sees that UN agencies went into Iraq and disarmed it, and then the United States invaded. The logical conclusion is not to disarm, but to go nuclear.

Central America
 
Stop interfering in the elections of Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, year after year. The Cold War has ended. And though you can’t undo the horror perpetrated by the United States in the region in the 1980s, you can at least be kind to the immigrants in the US who came here trying to escape the long-term consequences of that terrible decade.

Vietnam

In your inauguration speech you spoke proudly of those “who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom … For us, they fought and died, in places like … Khe Sanh.” So it is your studied and sincere opinion that the 58,000 American sevicemembers who died in Vietnam, while helping to kill over a million Vietnamese, gave their life for our prosperity and freedom? Would you care to defend that proposition without resort to any platitudes?

You might also consider this: In all the years since the Vietnam War ended, the three million Vietnamese suffering from diseases and deformities caused by US sprayings of the deadly chemical “Agent Orange” have received from the United States no medical attention, no environmental remediation, no compensation, and no official apology.

Kosovo

Stop supporting the most gangster government in the world, which has specialized in kidnaping, removing human body parts for sale, heavy trafficking in drugs, trafficking in women, various acts of terrorism, and ethnic cleansing of Serbs. This government would not be in power if the Bush administration had not seen them as America’s natural allies. Do you share that view? UN Resolution 1244, adopted in 1999, reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to which Serbia is now the recognized successor state, and established that Kosovo was to remain part of Serbia. Why do we have a huge and permanent military base in that tiny self-declared country?

NATO

From protecting Europe against a [mythical] Soviet invasion to becoming an occupation army in Afghanistan. Put an end to this historical anachronism, what Russian leader Vladimir called “the stinking corpse of the cold war.”9. You can accomplish this simply by leaving the organization. Without the United States and its never-ending military actions and officially-designated enemies, the organization would not even have the pretense of a purpose, which is all it has left. Members have had to be bullied, threatened and bribed to send armed forces to Afghanistan.

School of the Americas

Latin American countries almost never engage in war with each other, or any other countries. So for what kind of warfare are its military officers being trained by the United States? To suppress their own people. Close this school (the name has now been changed to protect the guilty) at Ft. Benning, Georgia that the United States has used to prepare two generations of Latin American military officers for careers in overthrowing progressive governments, death squads, torture, holding down dissent, and other charming activities. The British are fond of saying that the Empire was won on the playing fields of Eton. Americans can say that the road to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Bagram began in the classrooms of the School of the Americas.

Torture

Your executive orders concerning this matter of utmost importance are great to see, but they still leave something to be desired. They state that the new standards ostensibly putting an end to torture apply to any “armed conflict”. But what if your administration chooses to view future counterterrorism and other operations as not part of an “armed conflict”? And no mention is made of “rendition” — kidnaping a man off the street, throwing him in a car, throwing a hood over his head, stripping off his clothes, placing him in a diaper, shackling him from every angle, and flying him to a foreign torture dungeon. Why can’t you just say that this and all other American use of proxy torturers is banned? Forever.

It’s not enough to say that you’re against torture or that the United States “does not torture” or “will not torture”. George W. Bush said the same on a regular basis. To show that you’re not George W. Bush you need to investigate those responsible for the use of torture, even if this means prosecuting a small army of Bush administration war criminals.

You aren’t off to a good start by appointing former CIA official John O. Brennan as your top adviser on counterterrorism. Brennan has called “rendition” a “vital tool” and praised the CIA’s interrogation techniques for providing “lifesaving” intelligence.10 Whatever were you thinking, Barack?

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi

Free this Libyan man from his prison in Scotland, where he is serving a life sentence after being framed by the United States for the bombing of PanAm flight 103 in December 1988, which took the lives of 270 people over Scotland. Iran was actually behind the bombing — as revenge for the US shooting down an Iranian passenger plane in July, killing 290 — not Libya, which the US accused for political reasons.11 Nations do not behave any more cynical than that. Megrahi lies in prison now dying of cancer, but still the US and the UK will not free him. It would be too embarrassing to admit to 20 years of shameless lying.

Mr. President, there’s a lot more to be undone in our foreign policy if you wish to be taken seriously as a moral leader like Martin Luther King, Jr.: banning the use of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, and other dreadful weapons; joining the International Criminal Court instead of trying to sabotage it; making a number of other long-overdue apologies in addition to the one mentioned re Vietnam; and much more. You’ve got your work cut out for you if you really want to bring some happiness to this sad old world, make America credible and beloved again, stop creating armies of anti-American terrorists, and win over people like me.

And do you realize that you can eliminate all state and federal budget deficits in the United States, provide free health care and free university education to every American, pay for an unending array of worthwhile social and cultural programs, all just by ending our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not starting any new ones, and closing down the Pentagon’s 700+ military bases? Think of it as the peace dividend Americans were promised when the Cold War would end some day, but never received. How about you delivering it, Mr. President? It’s not too late.

But you are committed to the empire; and the empire is committed to war. Too bad.

Notes

   1. Washington Post, January 24, 2009 ↩
   2. Interview with al Arabiya TV, January 27, 2009 ↩
   3. Gorbachev speaking in Florida, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, April 17, 2008 ↩
   4. http://www.killinghope.org/bblum6/polpris.htm ↩
   5. Washington Post, May 5, 2007, p.1 ↩
   6. New York Times, January 11, 2009 ↩
   7. Washington Post, January 19, 2009↩
   8. Newsweek, May 27, 2002 ↩
   9. Press Trust of India (news agency), December 21, 2007 ↩
  10. Washington Post, November 26, 2008 ↩
  11. http://www.killinghope.org/bblum6/panam.htm ↩
 

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