Tag Archives: the Wolfowitz doctrine

Washington’s War on Russia

Only Moscow Can Stop It

By Mike Whitney
March 18, 2015
Counter Punch

24d77-ukraine2bwar“In order to survive and preserve its leading role on the international stage, the US desperately needs to plunge Eurasia into chaos, (and) to cut economic ties between Europe and Asia-Pacific Region … Russia is the only (country) within this potential zone of instability that is capable of resistance. It is the only state that is ready to confront the Americans. Undermining Russia’s political will for resistance… is a vitally important task for America.”

-Nikolai Starikov, Western Financial System Is Driving It to War, Russia Insider

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

-The Wolfowitz Doctrine, the original version of the Defense Planning Guidance, authored by Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992

The United States does not want a war with Russia, it simply feels that it has no choice. If the State Department hadn’t initiated a coup in Ukraine to topple the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, then the US could not have inserted itself between Russia and the EU, thus, disrupting vital trade routes which were strengthening nations on both continents. The economic integration of Asia and Europe–including plans for high-speed rail from China (“The New Silk Road”) to the EU–poses a clear and present danger for the US whose share of global GDP continues to shrink and whose significance in the world economy continues to decline. For the United States to ignore this new rival (EU-Russia) would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel and accepting a future in which the US would face a gradual but persistent erosion of its power and influence in world affairs. No one in Washington is prepared to let that happen, which is why the US launched its proxy-war in Ukraine.

The US wants to separate the continents, “prevent the emergence of a new rival”, install a tollbooth between Europe and Asia, and establish itself as the guarantor of regional security. To that end, the US is rebuilding the Iron Curtain along a thousand mile stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Tanks, armored vehicles and artillery are being sent to the region to reinforce a buffer zone around Europe in order to isolate Russia and to create a staging ground for future US aggression. Reports of heavy equipment and weapons deployment appear in the media on nearly a daily basis although the news is typically omitted in the US press. A quick review of some of the recent headlines will help readers to grasp the scale of the conflict that is cropping up below the radar:

“US, Bulgaria to hold Balkans military drills”, “NATO Begins Exercises In Black Sea”, “Army to send even more troops, tanks to Europe”, “Poland requests greater US military presence”, “U.S. Army sending armored convoy 1,100 miles through Europe”, “Over 120 US tanks, armored vehicles arrive in Latvia”, “US, Poland to Conduct Missile Exercise in March – Pentagon”

Get the picture? There’s a war going on, a war between the United States and Russia.

Notice how most of the headlines emphasize US involvement, not NATO. In other words, the provocations against Russia originate from Washington not Europe. This is an important point. The EU has supported US-led economic sanctions, but it’s not nearly as supportive of the military build up along the perimeter. That’s Washington’s idea and the cost is borne by the US alone. Naturally, moving tanks, armored vehicles and artillery around the world is an expensive project, but the US is more than willing to make the sacrifice if it helps to achieve its objectives.

And what are Washington’s objectives?

Interestingly, even political analysts on the far right seem to agree about that point. For example, check out this quote from STRATFOR CEO George Friedman who summed it up in a recent presentation he delivered at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. He said:

“The primordial interest of the United States, over which for centuries we have fought wars–the First, the Second and Cold Wars–has been the relationship between Germany and Russia, because united there, they’re the only force that could threaten us. And to make sure that that doesn’t happen.” … George Friedman at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, Time 1:40 to 1:57)

Bingo. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or (alleged) Russian aggression. That’s all propaganda. It’s about power. It’s about imperial expansion. It’s about spheres of influence. It’s about staving off irreversible economic decline. It’s all part of the smash-mouth, scorched earth, take-no-prisoners geopolitical world in which we live, not the fake Disneyworld created by the western media. The US State Department and CIA toppled the elected-government in Ukraine and ordered the new junta regime to launch a desperate war of annihilation against its own people in the East, because, well, because they felt they had no other option. Had Putin’s ambitious plan to create a free trade zone between Lisbon to Vladivostok gone forward, then where would that leave the United States? Out in the cold, that’s where. The US would become an isolated island of dwindling significance whose massive account deficits and ballooning national debt would pave the way for years of brutal restructuring, declining standards of living, runaway inflation and burgeoning social unrest. Does anyone really believe that Washington would let that to happen when it has a “brand-spanking” trillion dollar war machine at its disposal?

Heck, no. Besides, Washington believes it has a historic right to rule the world, which is what one would expect when the sense of entitlement and hubris reach their terminal phase. Now check out this clip from an article by economist Jack Rasmus at CounterPunch:

“Behind the sanctions is the USA objective of driving Russia out of the European economy. Europe was becoming too integrated and dependent on Russia. Not only its gas and raw materials, but trade relations and money capital flows were deepening on many fronts between Russia and Europe in general prior to the Ukraine crisis that has provided the cover for the introduction of the sanctions. Russia’s growing economic integration with Europe threatened the long term economic interests of US capitalists. Strategically, the US precipitated coup in the Ukraine can be viewed, therefore as a means by which to provoke Russian military intervention, i.e. a necessary event in order to deepen and expand economic sanctions that would ultimately sever the growing economic ties between Europe and Russia long term. That severance in turn would not only ensure US economic interests remain dominant in Europe, but would also open up new opportunities for profit making for US interests in Europe and Ukraine as well…

When the rules of the competition game between capitalists break down altogether, the result is war—i.e. the ultimate form of inter-capitalist competition.” (The Global Currency Wars, Jack Rasmus, CounterPunch)

See? Analysts on the right and left agree. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or Russian aggression. It’s plain-old cutthroat geopolitics, where the last man left standing, wins.

The United States cannot allow Russia reap the benefits of its own vast resources. Oh, no. It has to be chastised, it has to be bullied, it has to be sanctioned, isolated, threatened and intimidated. That’s how the system really works. The free market stuff is just horsecrap for the sheeple.

Russia is going to have to deal with chaotic, fratricidal wars on its borders and color-coded regime change turbulence in its capital. It will have to withstand reprisals from its trading partners, attacks on its currency and plots to eviscerate its (oil) revenues. The US will do everything in its power to poison the well, to demonize Putin, to turn Brussels against Moscow, and to sabotage the Russian economy.

Divide and conquer, that’s the ticket. Keep them at each others throats at all times. Sunni vs Shia, one ethnic Ukrainian vs the other, Russians vs Europeans. That’s Washington’s plan, and it’s a plan that never fails.

US powerbrokers are convinced that America’s economic slide can only be arrested by staking a claim in Central Asia, dismembering Russia, encircling China, and quashing all plans for an economically-integrated EU-Asia. Washington is determined to prevail in this existential conflict, to assert its hegemonic control over the two continents, and to preserve its position as the world’s only superpower.

Only Russia can stop the United States and we believe it will.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO): Profit, Power and Geopolitics

By Colin Todhunter
December 15, 2014
Global Research

 

gmo_girl_735_350Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not essential for feeding the world [1,2], but if they were to lead to increased productivity, did not harm the environment and did not negatively impact biodiversity and human health, would we be wise to embrace them anyhow?

The fact is that GMO technology would still be owned and controlled by certain very powerful interests. In their hands, this technology is first and foremost an instrument of corporate power, a tool to ensure profit. Beyond that, it is intended to serve US global geopolitical interests. Indeed, agriculture has for a long time been central to US foreign policy.

“American foreign policy has almost always been based on agricultural exports, not on industrial exports as people might think. It’s by agriculture and control of the food supply that American diplomacy has been able to control most of the Third World. The World Bank’s geopolitical lending strategy has been to turn countries into food deficit areas by convincing them to grow cash crops – plantation export crops – not to feed themselves with their own food crops.” Professor Michael Hudson [3].

The Project for a New American Century and the Wolfowitz Doctrine show that US foreign policy is about power, control and ensuring global supremacy at any cost [4,5]. Part of the plan for attaining world domination rests on the US controlling agriculture and hijacking food sovereignty and nations’ food security.

In his book ‘Seeds of Destruction’, William Engdahl traces how the oil-rich Rockefeller family translated its massive wealth into political clout and set out to capture agriculture in the US and then globally via the ‘green revolution’ [6]. Along with its big-dam, water-intensive infrastructure requirements, this form of agriculture made farmers dependent on corporate-controlled petroproducts and entrapped them and nations into dollar dependency and debt. GMOs represent more of the same due to the patenting and the increasing monopolization of seeds by a handful of mainly US companies, such as Monsanto, DuPont and Bayer.

In India, Monsanto has sucked millions from agriculture in recent years via royalties, and farmers have been compelled to spend beyond their means to purchase seeds and chemical inputs [7]. A combination of debt, economic liberalization and a shift to (GMO) cash crops (cotton) has caused hundreds of thousands of farmers to experience economic distress, while corporations have extracted huge profits [8]. Over 270,000 farmers in India have committed suicide since the mid to late nineties [9].

In South America, there are similar stories of farmers and indigenous peoples being forced from their lands and experiencing violent repression as GMOs and industrial-scale farming take hold [10]. It is similar in Africa, where Monsanto and The Gates Foundation are seeking to further transform small-scale farming into a corporate controlled model. They call it ‘investing’ in agriculture as if this were an act of benevolence.

Agriculture is the bedrock of many societies, yet it is being recast for the benefit of rich agritech, retail and food processing concerns. Small farms are under immense pressure and food security is being undermined, not least because the small farm produces most of the world’s food [11]. Whether through land grabs and takeovers, the production of (non-food) cash crops for export, greater chemical inputs or seed patenting and the eradication of seed sharing among farmers, profits are guaranteed for agritech corporations and institutional land investors.

The recasting of agriculture in the image of big agribusiness continues across the globe despite researchers saying that this chemical-intensive, high-energy consuming model means Britain only has 100 harvests left because of soil degradation [12]. In Punjab, the ‘green revolution’ model of industrial scale, corporate dominated agriculture has led to a crisis in terms of severe water shortages, increasing human cancers and falling productivity [13]. There is a global agrarian crisis. The increasingly dominant corporate-driven model is unsustainable.

More ecological forms of agriculture are being called for that, through intelligent crop management and decreased use of chemical inputs, would be able to not only feed the world but also work sustainably with the natural environment. Numerous official reports and scientific studies have suggested that such policies would be more appropriate, especially for poorer countries [14-16].

When on occasion the chemical-industrial model indicates that it does deliver better yields than more traditional methods (a generalization and often overstated [17]), even this is a misrepresentation. Better yields but only with massive chemical inputs from corporations and huge damage to health and the environment as well as ever more resource-driven conflicts to grab the oil that fuels this model. Like the erroneous belief that economic ‘growth’ (GDP) is stimulated just because there becomes greater levels of cash flows in an economy (and corporate profits are boosted), the notion of improved agricultural ‘productivity’ also stems from a set of narrowly defined criteria.

The dominant notions that underpin economic ‘growth’, modern agriculture and ‘development’ are based on a series of assumption that betray a mindset steeped in arrogance and contempt: the planet should be cast in an urban-centic, ethnocentric model whereby the rural is to be looked down on, nature must be dominated, farmers are a problem to be removed from the land and traditional ways are backward and in need of remedy.

“People are perceived as ‘poor’ if they eat food they have grown rather than commercially distributed junk foods sold by global agri-business. They are seen as poor if they live in self-built housing made from ecologically well-adapted materials like bamboo and mud rather than in cinder block or cement houses. They are seen as poor if they wear garments manufactured from handmade natural fibres rather than synthetics.” Vandana Shiva [18]

Western corporations are to implement the remedy by determining policies at the World Trade Organization, IMF and World Bank (with help from compliant politicians and officials) in order to  depopulate rural areas and drive folk to live in cities to then strive for a totally unsustainable, undeliverable, environment-destroying, conflict-driving, consumerist version of the American Dream [19,20].

It is interesting (and disturbing) to note that ‘developing’ nations account for more than 80% of world population, but consume only about a third of the world’s energy. US citizens constitute 5% of the world’s population, but consume 24% of the world’s energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as two Japanese, six Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians and 370 Ethiopians [21].

Despite the environmental and social devastation caused, the outcome is regarded as successful just because business interests that benefit from this point to a growth in GDP. Chopping down an entire forest that people had made a living sustainably from for centuries and selling the timber, selling more poisons to spray on soil or selling pharmaceuticals to address the health impacts of the petrochemical food production model would indeed increase GDP, wouldn’t it? It’s all good for business. And what is good for business is good for everyone else, or so the lie goes.

“Corporations as the dominant institution shaped by capitalist patriarchy thrive on eco-apartheid. They thrive on the Cartesian legacy of dualism which puts nature against humans. It defines nature as female and passively subjugated. Corporatocentrism is thus also androcentric – a patriarchal construction. The false universalism of man as conqueror and owner of the Earth has led to the technological hubris of geo-engineering, genetic engineering, and nuclear energy. It has led to the ethical outrage of owning life forms through patents, water through privatization, the air through carbon trading. It is leading to appropriation of the biodiversity that serves the poor.” [22]

The ‘green revolution’ and now GMOs are ultimately not concerned with feeding the world, securing well-rounded nutritious diets or ensuring health and environmental safety. (In fact, India now imports foods that it used to grow but no longer does [23]; in Africa too, local diets are becoming less diverse and less healthy [24].) Such notions are based on propaganda or stem from well-meaning sentiments that have been pressed into the service of corporate interests.

Biotechnological innovations have always had a role to play in improving agriculture, but the post-1945 model of agriculture has been driven by powerful corporations like Monsanto, which are firmly linked to Pentagon and Wall Street interests [25]. Motivated by self-interest but wrapped up in trendy PR about ‘feeding the world’ or imposing austerity to ensure prosperity, the publicly stated intentions of the US state-corporate cabal should never be taken at face value [26,27].

In India, Monsanto and Walmart had a major role in drawing up the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture [28]. Monsanto now funds research in public institutions and its presence and influence compromises what should in fact be independent decision and policy making bodies [29,30]. Monsanto is a driving force behind what could eventually lead to the  restructuring and subjugation of India by the US [31]. The IMF and Monsanto are also working to ensure Ukraine’s subservience to US geopolitical aims via the capture of land and agriculture [32]. The capture of agriculture (and societies) by rich interests is a global phenomenon.

Only the completely naive would believe that rich institutional investors in land and big agribusiness and its backers in the US State Department have humanity’s interests at heart. At the very least, their collective aim is profit. Beyond that and to facilitate it, the need to secure US global hegemony is paramount.

The science surrounding GMOs is becoming increasingly politicized and bogged down in detailed arguments about whose methodologies, results, conclusions and science show what and why. The bigger picture however is often in danger of being overlooked. GMO is not just about ‘science’. As an issue, GMO and the chemical-industrial model it is linked to is ultimately a geopolitical one driven by power and profit.

Notes

1] This report indicates the root causes for global food shortages:  http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/Feeding-the-World/Will-GM-Crops-Feed-the-World

2] Citing official reports and data sources, references in this article indicate agricultural productivity in India was better in 1760 and 1890 and that India does not require chemical-industrial agriculture let alone GMOs: http://www.globalresearch.ca/india-genetically-modified-seeds-agricultural-productivity-and-political-fraud/5328227

3] http://michael-hudson.com/2014/10/think-tank-memories/

4] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm

5] http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40093.htm

6] Arun Shrivastava reviews and summarizes Engdahl’s book here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/seeds-of-destruction-the-hidden-agenda-of-genetic-manipulation-2/9379

7] http://www.countercurrents.org/shiva180614.htm

8]  Based on the findings of a report by researchers at Cambridge University in the UK: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/new-evidence-of-suicide-epidemic-among-indias-marginalised-farmers

9] Official figure quoted by the BBC as of 2013: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21077458

10]http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2267255/gm_crops_are_driving_genocide_and_ecocide_keep_them_out_of_the_eu.html

11] Official report released by GRAIN: http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4929-hungry-for-land-small-farmers-feed-the-world-with-less-than-a-quarter-of-all-farmland

12] Farmers Weekly quotes a report by researchers at the University of Sheffield in the UK: http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/only-100-harvests-left-in-uk-farm-soils-scientists-warn.htm

13] Newspaper report quoting official statistics and research findings: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/337124/punjab-india039s-grain-bowl-now.html

14] Official UN report: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/tdr2013_en.pdf

15]http://www.srfood.org/en/official-reports# and http://www.plantpartners.org/agroecology-reports.html

16] http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408#tabModule

17] http://phys.org/news/2014-12-crops-industrial-agriculture.html

18] http://www.organicconsumers.org/btc/shiva112305.cfm

19] Food policy analyst Devinder Sharma outlines the motives of Western corporations in India: http://www.bhoomimagazine.org/article/cash-food-will-strike-very-foundation-economy

20] Arundhati Roy discusses the erroneous notion of ‘progress’ being applied in India and the conflict and violence that has followed: http://www.guernicamag.com/features/we-call-this-progress/

21] http://public.wsu.edu/~mreed/380American%20Consumption.htm

22] http://www.spaziofilosofico.it/numero-07/2959/economy-revisited-will-green-be-the-colour-of-money-or-life/

23] Vandana Shiva describes how the ‘green revolution’ and ‘free trade’ have turned India into a net importer of foods it used to be self sufficient in: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/09/201398122228705617.html

24] Article describing the plight of agriculture in Africa: http://www.globalresearch.ca/behind-the-mask-of-altruism-imperialism-monsanto-and-the-gates-foundation-in-africa/5408242

25] http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsantos-gmo-food-and-its-dark-connections-to-the-military-industrial-complex/5389708

26] Article providing factual historical insight into Monsanto and its wrongdoings: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-complete-history-of-monsanto-the-worlds-most-evil-corporation/5387964

27] Analysis of Wall Street’s fraudulent practices in recent times and the complicity of the entire political and economic system: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/03/pers-m15.html

28]http://www.democracynow.org/2006/12/13/vandana_shiva_on_farmer_suicides_the

29]  http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/07/monsanto-a-contemporary-east-india-company-and-corporate-knowledge-in-india/

30] http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/nip-this-in-the-bud/article5012989.ece

31] http://www.countercurrents.org/todhunter031114.htm

32] http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/food-security-hostage-wall-street-and-us-global-hegemony

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