Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Globalization: Part II, Players and Methods

The Players---

I'm sure you gathered from reading Part I that the IMF and World Bank are key players in the process of Globalization. [I consider them quasi-governmental bodies, rather than non-governmental.] Add to that the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve, as well as the central banks of most of the other industrialized countries. It is believed by many serious writers that the IMF/World Bank are merely extensions of the policies of the U.S. Treasury, the Fed Reserve, U.K.'s Treasury, and the U.K.'s Bank of England.

While the above institutions are important, they are no more important than the non-governmental bodies: the transnational mega corporations, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR, founded in 1922) and its U.K. counterpart, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (aka, Chatham House), and the Trilateral Commission (founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski). The CFR and Chatham House are the anglophile Round Table Groups, described in the late Professor Carroll Quigley's 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope. The best quote from the book: "The tragedy is that we no longer have a representative government in this country, or any country; the hope is that the little people will come to accept that, because there is nothing they can do about it." Again...it was published in 1966. Quigley also claimed that the CFR was a front for the J.P. Morgan Company; keep in mind that the good professor (Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University) was a very well respected historian and scholar.

In 1991, David Rockefeller stated publicly, "Surely it is preferable to have the world run by unelected, supranational, [business] elites rather than the nations of the past with their corrupt politicians." That is the goal of Globalization. The function of groups such as the CFR, Chatham House, and the Trilateral Commission is to provide the philosophical underpinnings, the unquestionable academic justifications, for the governmental policies that result in the implementation of Globalization. Consequently, the CFR publishes academic-level papers such as Building a North American Community (meaning, the North American Union), The End of National Currency, Bretton Woods II: Does the World Need a New Monetary System? (authored by Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic advisor), and Global Economic Governance. The Trilateral Commission pens scholarly papers such as Global Governance, Global Redistribution of Power, and Sovereignty and Intervention. The tremendous influence of these groups on governmental policy cannot be overstated; for all intents and purposes, essentially they formulate most of our nation's foreign policy and perhaps a good deal of our monetary policy.

The Methods---

There seems to be no particular chronological order to these methods; at times one must precede another, but mostly they are all taking place more or less simultaneously. I'll list them here, then expand on each one later: selection of Globalist candidates for national office, and then the marketing of them; introduction and justification of Globalist policies to the intellectual elite of the country; use of IMF/World Bank "Structural Adjustment Programs", thus facilitating U.S. corporate expansion to poor countries; Trade Agreements and the WTO (World Trade Organization); the use of "Economic Hit Men"; facilitating coups in uncooperative countries; the maintenance of approximately 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil; and finally, invasion of uncooperative countries (which is a last resort).

Here's what a national election amounts to in the U.S.: the heads of transnational corporations and other members of the Oligarchy/ Corporatocracy, having identified and groomed pre-selected candidates from the two major parties, make massive campaign contributions (indirectly, through PACs) to both. One candidate or the other may be favored from time to time, but generally either one will do. [There is arguably only one major political party in the U.S.: the Transnational Mega Business Party, with a Republican faction and a Democrat faction.] As FDR once wrote to a friend, "In this country, candidates are selected, not elected." The campaign contributions are necessary because the candidates must be marketed to the voting public, and that requires expensive PR firms and multi-media advertising. PR firms run campaigns, not the DNC, DLC, or RNC. The public usually is not bothered with any details regarding Globalization.

Globalist policies must be "sold" to the intellectual elites because those elites are extremely influential in the Corporate Media, educational institutions, various community groups, the entertainment industry, and government at all levels. A relatively small percentage of the American public actually pays attention to important public matters, and it's useful to have them supportive of Globalist tools, e.g., NAFTA. As mentioned above, the intellectual think tanks (CFR, etc.) "justify" policies and tools to the intelligentsia via scholarly papers and even books. Often the mainstream, Corporate Media present summaries of think tank ideas to the general public.

A key method in terms of the Third World is to convince poor countries to take on massive IMF/World Bank loans...for "development". Attached to each loan or interest reduction on a previous loan are conditions, Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), which require actions such as: cutting gov't expenditures, devaluing the currency, privatization of State-owned enterprises, lifting of trade restrictions, enhancing the rights of foreign investors, gearing the economy to exports, and removing price controls and/or State subsidies. Critics have referred to this as virtual extortion. As a consequence, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) have replaced SAPs; however, their contents more often than not turn out to be essentially the same as the old SAPs. The money loaned doesn't go to job development or farm aid, rather it ends up in the wallets of companies such as Bechtel, Hochtief, or Halliburton. They are hired to build ports (for those exports), roads (to get the goods to the ports), water systems, and other infrastructure.

The use of Trade Agreements such as NAFTA to implement Globalization requires no discussion, except to say that there is some controversy regarding the status of NAFTA. Canada and Mexico claim that it's a Treaty; however, it received only 61 votes in the Senate. A treaty requires the approval of 67 Senators. Whether or not it's a Treaty is important because Treaties override U.S. laws.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) plays a major role in the implementation of Globalization. The WTO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, began in 1995 (replacing GATT) and is the only international body dealing with trade between and among nations. It makes the rules for 97% of all world trade, and publishes research papers such as, The WTO and Direct Taxation. No country can override the WTO's rules. Some critics have called the WTO an embryo world government, and claim that it favors rich countries over poor ones. In any case, it has impacted the sovereignty of member countries. A "treaty" of the WTO, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), extended the world trading system to include the service sector; all WTO members are signatories to GATS. The GATS Treaty is the primary tool of the WTO for the implementation of privatization of services such as municipal water delivery and delivery of electricity.

Economic hit men (a la John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) are used to essentially extort/blackmail uncooperative countries, primarily poor countries. The "hit man" will point out to the leader of the country that his country has a World Bank/IMF loan that cannot possibly be repaid, thus the leader needs to do one or more of a number of things, such as voting a certain way in the U.N. on some issue, or favoring some private contractor regarding a large in-country project bidding process. "Oh, by the way, here's $100,000 for your trouble." Mr. Perkins was never 100% certain who his employer was, but eventually assumed that it was the CIA. His book was a NYT bestseller.

Coups as a tool of Globalization should be self-explanatory. The example of Indonesia was given previously. Sukarno would not cooperate with the IMF, so he was booted out. [Same thing with Allende in Chile.] The dictator Suharto in Indonesia allowed U.S. companies to move in and utilize virtual sweatshops for the manufacture of goods for stores such as the GAP and Old Navy. The U.S. and U.K. have participated in coups in fifty countries since 1953, when the CIA engineered the ousting of the democratically elected leader of Iran and installed the Shah. The Shah purchased millions of dollars of armaments from the U.S. and, of course, supplied us with a portion of our oil requirement.

The maintenance of about 800 U.S. military bases around the world is tied in to the final method: invasion of uncooperative countries as a last resort. A prime example is Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama in 1989. The dictator Noriega had become uncooperative, especially relative to Nicaragua, thus his drug informant days for the CIA were used as an excuse to invade...without admitting that he was a CIA operative. It all came out a few years later in a few books and the documentary film, Deception in Panama. At the time of the invasion, George Bush the elder was President here, Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defense, and Colin Powell was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Other examples include our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. While 9-11 provided a fortuitous reason for the invasion of Afghanistan, Taliban representatives were told months before that date, "If you don't accept our carpet of gold [for a pipeline easement across Afghanistan], we'll give you a carpet of bombs." (According to a whistleblower) Plus, according to Brzezinski in 1998, control of Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan (where we now have a military base) and a number of other -stans in Central Asia was a "geostrategic imperative for American primacy". Read into that what you will. In the case of Iraq (which, even according to Bush, had nothing to do with 9-11), Saddam, our former ally, had become uncooperative relative to the petro-dollar. Prior to the invasion, he was on the verge of accepting Euros for oil. If allowed to proceed, that would have ended the petro-dollar and the dollar as the world's reserve currency. That, in turn, most likely would have resulted in a series of events ending with the collapse of our dollar. Plans to invade Iraq were formulated months before 9-11. Saddam, our big buddy in the '80s, had to go. [In the '80s, we supplied him with weapons in order to punish Iran for the overthrow of the Shah and the holding of American hostages. The result was the eight-year Iraq-Iran war.]

In Part III of this series, key understandings will be presented in order to tie everything together. In addition, there will be more on Latin America.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Globalization: Part I, Beginning Seeds

Some people think not, but history is important when attempting to understand current events. Globalization arguably and presently is the most significant event relative to the future of our Republic and our individual sovereignty. Here, in Part I, I'll present the beginning seeds of the phenomenon known as Globalization or Globalism.

In 1944-45, as a result of the Bretton Woods Agreement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and what finally came to be known as the World Bank were created to help rebuild Europe after WW II. The Agreement, drawn up by the UK and the USA, established the rules/regulations for an international monetary system. Some years later, the IMF and the World Bank began making loans to poor countries, the Third World...and those loans had strings attached. More on that in Part II.

In 1965, General Suharto launched a successful coup against Sukarno in Indonesia, a country rich in resources, potential markets, and potential labor. The coup was known about beforehand by both the UK and the USA, but not revealed to Sukarno. [Sukarno, a strong nationalist, had kicked the IMF/World Bank out of his country...refused their "aid".] After the coup and over time, between 500,000 and one million Indonesians were murdered by the Suharto regime. Our CIA supplied a list, which facilitated the beginning of the massacre, of about 5,000 Indonesian communists to the Suharto regime. During that time, loans were made to Indonesia by the IMF and World Bank...with strings attached.

In 1967, Time-Life Corporation sponsored a meeting in Switzerland, the purpose of which was to plan the corporate takeover of Indonesia...that is to say, the economic (not political) takeover. David Rockefeller, a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member, representing Chase Manhattan Bank attended, along with dozens of other business luminaries--- representatives of Lehman Brothers, various oil companies, food companies, ALCOA, U.S. Steel, Siemens, various other banks, etc. General Suharto had his representatives there as well. [This is a classic example of Fascism in action--- mega corporations colluding with government cronies in order to control both the People and the economy.]

The large group in Switzerland divided up according to various sectors: banking and finance, food, consumer goods, oil and energy, etc. Each smaller group then hammered out the rules for doing corporate business in Indonesia. As part of the deal, the government of that country obtained another series of loans from the IMF/World Bank.

In 1973, the USA's CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende...because he was a Socialist, and probably had plans to nationalize U.S. businesses in Chile. A brutal dictator, General Pinochet, was installed; some time later, Pinochet's government obtained loans from the IMF/World Bank. Pinochet ruled for seventeen years. Henry Kissinger, a CFR member, chaired the meetings in the Nixon Adminstration that dealt with covert operations in Chile prior to the coup. Also prior to the coup, a Pepsi Cola franchise owner in Chile who also owned a newspaper (which was thought to be a CIA front) was called to DC to update Dr. Kissinger on the political situation.

In the 1980s, Thatcher of the UK built up her country's arms business and made a lot of armament sales to General Suharto of Indonesia. Also during that time, Thatcher and the USA's President Reagan laid the groundwork for what became known in 1989 as the "Washington Consensus"---a series of policies that supposedly would lead to global prosperity and unfettered economic growth by means of deregulation, privatization and trade liberalization (so-called "Free Trade") around the world. In the Third World, such a lofty goal would be attained through use of the IMF and the World Bank. The "Structural Adjustment Programs" of those two institutions supposedly would be the key to success. Details in Part II of this essay.