TREATISE ON ZANDTAO
Quite simply security becomes a euphemism for making war by the way in which the corporatocracy uses it, often even a euphemism for creating war. So when we face the issue of security what we are facing is the reality of war. And in the West we need to face war, because the other earner for the 1% is war. They kill people to make a profit, or rather they get some of the 99% to do the killing in order to make their profit. Historically the 1% were landowners, royalty, and when they wanted to increase their wealth they invaded and stole land. And the people who died getting them the land were the 99% - the soldiers. Now the kings always said that it was others invading, and the soldiers believed they were right to fight. But in truth it was never right or wrong. If one king did not invade the other did and as the people never knew the full facts they did as their king bid.
Now this is what happens today. Saddam Hussein did this, we are under threat, invade. Iran is plotting against the US, invade. Libyan people are fighting to overthrow their dictator, bomb and murder the dictator. These are the reasons we are given but in truth the wars the West have been involved in since the Second World War (and possibly before) have not been justifiable – the reasons we have been given are the excuses to fight war.
Let us go back to the Second World War. The American neo-colonial strategy was to enter the war late. As a result other western countries had decimated each other, and the US gained neo-colonial control of the erstwhile European colonies. African countries had been under colonial control – controlled by the military of different colonial countries whilst the military resided in the colony. The Second World War decimated the armies of the European colonial powers, and this left the road open to independence. Neither Europe nor the US wanted genuine independence for these countries so they sowed the seeds of conflict within. Although they became nominally independent they did not gain autonomous democratic independence. Essentially the metropolitan countries were concerned about natural resources, they required African resources for their own transnationals to convert into profits. What is even worse is that over the centuries of colonial rule they had imposed cash crops. Crops such as maize which is not indigenous to Africa were imposed, and have now become considered by many as local food. But because the foods are not indigenous this damages the environment. It shows worst on the edge of the Sahara desert where there is increased desertification. These are areas where indigenous farmers planted crops and used other techniques which preserved ecological balance, cash crops just destroy that balance whilst providing sweets (and others) for the western palate.
Post-war there was established a neo-colonial US hegemony that ensured provision of raw materials to the transnationals of the US and her allies. But that was not enough. During the war the military-industrial-complex had been established as part of the war effort. This MIC had profited greatly from the war, and following the war President Eisenhower warned of this power “we recognise the imperative need for this development yet we must not fail to comprehend these grave implications” [F1]. This unheeded warning has allowed an arms industry that pulls the strings of war, and that profits immensely from wars that on a little more than cursory inspection appear only to have profit as a rationale.
John Stockwell, a CIA whistleblower, describes the period following the Second World War as the Third World War [F3]. Whilst America entered into a global conflict with the Soviet Union, their fighting did not occur in the Soviet Union, it occurred in the Third World, places such as Vietnam. He opens the clip with a caption “How 6 million people were killed in CIA secret wars against Third World countries”. Throughout this time armaments were sold and profits were made.
At the end of the Cold War there were no communists as enemies, so there were no pretexts for wars to be waged. Along came Iraq, and the 1% through the US government turned on their erstwhile friend, Saddam Hussein. This man was a tyrant but he always had been, yet previously his tyranny had been supported by the US and its arms industry. We had a war (known as First Gulf War in 1991) with new technology, precision bombing in which few people were killed was the approach, yet sound sources claim more than 200,000 Iraqis were killed in the war of little over a month [B3]. Vast profits were made by the MIC, and very few westerners were killed. It was a media-controlled acceptable war to the democratic peoples in the West.
This set the trend for future profit-making. The Third World War as described by Stockwell was a strategy that occurred on the lands of defenceless people, after Vietnam few westerners got killed. With the introduction of technology-intense warfare few westerners are killed and huge profits are made. But there is a need for an enemy to justify the warfare, and this need was described by Nicholas Rockefeller [B4]:-
"We are going to have a war on terror which you can never win, and so you can always keep taking people's liberties away. The media is going to convince everybody that the war on terror is real. The ultimate goal is to get everybody in the world chipped with an RFID chip, and have all money be on the chips, and if anyone wants to protest what we do, we turn off the chip."
What is significant is that this quote was made before 9/11, eleven months before. Notice also what he says about money. He wants money controlled on chips, it is not a huge leap to see that already the corporatocracy controls money and they are just seeking to tighten that control. Unless we have alternative currencies.
Since 2001 we have had a “War on Terror”. Troops have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq leading to great devastation of those peoples and lands. On this website [B3] it is quoted that more than 1,455,500 people have been killed as a result of US involvement in Iraq. What has happened in Iraq is so immoral [B5]. Initially Saddam Hussein was supported by the US in a war against Iran, then suddenly the allegiance was changed. He thought he had US tacit approval when he invaded Kuwait only to find the US using that as a pretext for war. Now Saddam Hussein was an evil man but he did not have the support of the Iraqi people, he was a tyrant and dictator not voted in by a democracy. Yet the West through the UN developed a sanctions regime that impoverished the country, and after a decade of sanctions they then used the pretext of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” to start a second war, weapons which notoriously were never found. If the US wanted to conquer Saddam, why didn’t they do that after the First War saving all the devastation caused by the sanctions and second war? During both wars the MIC profited from the use of the latest technology, and following on from the war those same group of companies have profited from security and reconstruction contracts given to them by a puppet Iraq government.
Annie Machon has an interesting take on 9/11 [F6]. From the above you can see that Nicholas Rockefeller was discussing a “War on Terror” before 9/11 happened. Since 9/11 happened the War on Terror was started - ostensibly to attack Al Qaeda and find bin Laden. Initially the West went into Afghanistan, and yet when they finally killed Osama bin Laden he was in Pakistan. The marines killed him and buried his body at sea instead of bringing him back to stand trial. Troops have not been withdrawn from Afghanistan. None of it makes sense. Annie Machon takes this a step further. Investigate 9/11. Read what you can about it, and then see if you can trust what your government tells you. Make the decision for yourself. Personally I have. I cannot piece together the truth but it is not what governments have told me. More importantly there is no justification for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Despite this lack of justification wars still go on. But the corporatocracy are still concerned, not because of all the deaths in the Middle East, but because there were still a few western deaths in Iraq making it unpalatable for the voters at home; this is a pointer that they are still concerned about the power of genuine democracy. The 1% has then developed the technology further – drones. Drones can kill by remote control, war can be waged by soldiers pushing a button at distance – at no apparent risk to the US or its military. Here are the costs of a General Atomics Predator drone [B6]:-
Unit Cost $40 million.
How much of that is profit for General Atomics?
Drones are a frightening development. It is believed that the deaths of American soldiers was what brought an end to the war in Vietnam, if there are no deaths does that mean there is no end to war? Now that we have drones does that mean that the 1% will make their profits from a perpetual war on terror conducted through the use of drones by technicians playing video games in the deserts of the US? Is this how the US economy is going to survive? A perpetual war on terror conducted through drones. What is so frightening is that this is not beyond the realms of possibility. The western media has the people under sufficient control that they will believe the propaganda that presents people as terrorists. Is there a trial? No. A White House committee decides such a person is a terrorist and then a drone is sent to kill them [B7]. And the public reaction to these drone atrocities? So far, minimal. Because we live in a media-controlled perpetual war on terror – for the purposes of profits for the 1% and relative comfort for the 99% in our western homelands.
But there is a big danger from drones – they are calling it blowback; I call it karma. These committees nominate a target as a “terrorist”, and they claim this target is living in a particular community. A drone is sent in and a desert technician presses a button releasing a bomb. The claim is that this process is just killing terrorists, ask that of the 3000 people who have been killed in Pakistan [B8]. If such people were terrorists then there is not likely to be a backlash, but if your family were killed how angry would you be? The result will be an increasing anger against the West, at present this anger will be directed at the western forces in the Middle East – thus creating further war for the MIC. But the real blowback will come when the people of these families develop the skills to control drones in western homelands. Then there will be blowback. What should be understood here is that weapons of war easily change hands, and such weapons will rightly be used for justice. To stop blowback we need to stop the drones – here is one campaign place[B9].
To my satisfaction I have established the position that wars are being fought to enable the profits of the MIC – and not for the spurious reasons propounded. Whilst democracy and freedom are important ideals and well worth defending, this is not the primary motivation of these wars. You must decide for yourself. This war for profit is an integral part of the neoliberal model of so-called western democracy. To establish this aspect neoliberalism requires what might be called the Four Pillars of War. There are few people who like war, even the most hawkish do not accept that the killing is enjoyable. Therefore to fight a war it is necessary to make it acceptable to all the required people that war should be fought. It is therefore essential to understand how war is built up, and how in the building-up to war the components of the war machine do not see themselves as war-like – more especially they do not see themselves as the instigators.
1) To begin with we have the military. Typically a soldier is a “good citizen”. By this I mean that the soldier believes in his country, and believes the political leaders when they say it is necessary to go to war. For the ordinary soldier it is necessary for them to believe they are fighting for “king and country”, “the good old US of A” or the tribal king taking them to war. A significant part of the soldier’s training is discipline. This discipline is two-fold, necessary for survival under battle conditions, but more importantly a complete acceptance of the command structure up to and including the political element. Some soldiers do begin to question, and that is why the disciplinary hierarchy is so important. Whether the soldiers question or not, they still have to obey orders – they still do the bidding of the generals.
For the military the political interface is between the generals, admirals etc and the political leaders. It is important to understand this role of the military leaders as pillars of war. These men are often known as hawks, but the truth is that these people are not the instigators of war – they are usually defenders. They perceive their role as defending honour, freedom, democracy, the American Way, or some such apparent moral high ground. They become convinced that at the time of war what they believe in has been threatened. This notion of defence is important to them in not being responsible for the aggression, at the same time they consider their position moral – at least I hope so. These generals etc. are life-long military, and have spent years accepting this notion of defence backed up by this apparent moral high ground. Their function is primarily to enact the war although in the political interface they do make recommendations concerning the defence of the country. Whether you or I think the same way as these hawks, in terms of the “Pillars of War” it is important to understand that these people have been inculcated into the military mindset and believe that they are defending their country. They too get caught up in the war rhetoric created by politics and media.
2) In order to fight a war there is a need for military hardware, and someone has to manufacture it. This industrial wing needs to see itself as amoral – as a business. It is not their decision to go to war but they are willing to sell the government the necessary munitions. As such they cannot be perceived as culpable in starting a war, and making a profit is considered acceptable in business. Perhaps munitions should be non-profit-making?
3) Political leaders – These leaders are considered to be the people who make the decisions about going to war. In order to make the political decisions more acceptable, in the West these leaders are given legitimacy by the democratic process, and therefore if they make a decision to fight the war they say it is the will of the people. At the same time there are a number of supporting cast voted in as the representatives of the people such as in congress or parliament, all of whom add legitimacy to this democratic process that gives credence to the fighting of a war.
4) The people themselves are an integral part of the process as they provide the legitimacy for the political leaders, and it is the people and lifestyle that the military say they are defending. The way I have described these 4 pillars war is a matter of honour defending a nation, and even though the munitions manufacturers are making a profit they are technically not part of the decision-making process. As described above all 4 pillars of war are not guilty of war-mongering, military defending, industry providing, leadership bowing to the will of the people, and the people accepting their leadership and giving democratic credibility.
This is what we as voters are asked to believe, but this is not the reality that is in place. Over the centuries it became recognised that munitions were highly profitable. As already quoted Eisenhower warned in “Why we fight” about the power of the Military Industrial Complex [F1]. Watch the whole film to get some feeling for the relationship between the first three Pillars of War.
The first thing to remember is that a significant premise of the western war machine is that people must not affirm a decision to go to war, they must feel it is forced on them. These are innocuous sounding words which describe how relations with the Military Industrial Complex work. The first one is influence. Let’s start with the munitions companies. The CEO’s of these companies publicly meet with politicians. In their meeting together they might say business is bad, and how it might affect the people the politician represents. This is a warning because the politician knows that there is a knock-on affluence from sales of munitions. Now the politicians have survived years in the political party so they are already moulded, so when the situation arises they are likely to be more favourable to war as it helps their people. I am not saying that politicians change their views but if there were doubts maybe they are persuaded to forget the doubts – this is not confrontation but influence. All the powerful players in the decision-making process are under the same influence – they are like-minded. Business people need profits so they blame business and take the immoral decision that encourages war. The Generals are already of a like mind for war because that is how they became generals. And the politicians survive politically by contribution so they are under the influence of money – Wall Street, the Square Mile, and the MIC. It is all influence.
So the first three Pillars are surrounded by like-minded influence that encourages war. But that is not enough. It is not possible to wage war without the complicity of the voters – at least a significant proportion of them. Here the war in Iraq was a good example. In the First Gulf War Iraq invaded Kuwait because Kuwait was mining their oil, Saddam also thought the US would not object because they had supported him in his rise to power (see Iraq page). When the war had finished sanctions were in place thus ensuring that a dictator would exploit his people giving the West a moral position to support their later claims for war. But the main pretext was Weapons of Mass Destruction which the West initially knew Iraq had because they had provided them. Despite sufficient evidence to the contrary WMD were still used as a pretext in 2003 for the Second Gulf War. However before that happened 9/11 happened. There is much controversy as to what happened on 9/11 but at best it was an event the type of which the US establishment were waiting for – there are far worse scenarios offered including complicity by the US government. As a result of 9/11 the “war on Terror” was started – as predicted by Nicholas Rockefeller (see quote above), and as this lynchpin of the corporatocracy points out the “War on Terror” is not an enemy that can be targeted and expunged – there will always be people who disagree with capitalism (the corporatocracy) so there will always be people to be called terrorists. Through the media politicians drew a connection between the War on Terror and Iraq, and all of these loose associations enabled the war machines to kick in and the troops are still there.
Significant in this process of making the war seem acceptable is the media on three levels, firstly in presenting the propaganda that the enemy is heinous, secondly nowadays that allied peoples are not hurt in war and thirdly that overall there are few casualties – use of drones or the myth of precision bombing etc. I don’t think it is necessary for the political leaders to persuade the people that what they say is right but they just need to create enough obfuscation and doubt that there will not be a public outcry when the invasion takes place. In the case of Iraq the ground had been seeded in the US and UK for a long time that Saddam was an evil dictator. As the leaders pushed for war there were demonstrations against, but these were not sufficient to deter and the result was the devastation that followed. And there has not been a sufficient public outcry to affect the MIC and its government. What is worse is that since then the war machine has started up again enabling an attack on Libya supporting rebels whose democratic credentials are dubious at best. Only yesterday these rebels and the weapons of the MIC entered Tripoli, and we shall now see the devastation in Libya – on a par with Iraq where the construction and security industry will take their spoils in the country.
With Libya the fourth pillar was only tacit – perhaps because there were no troops involved. Obama started the war without the consent of congress – the supposed peoples’ representatives. This is very worrying, now war can be started without even a tacit acceptance by the people. In the US the government has a debt deficit. This is substantial and can easily be traced to the borrowing to service the wars. This debt is a political issue – perhaps this is a platform on which war can be fought. For me the humanitarian cost is far more significant but the death of a person in the Middle East sadly does not merit enough consideration. The first three pillars have a vested interest in the propagation of war, the only way that can be fought is by a democratic upswelling that makes the waging of war unacceptable. But can a Peace campaign win? There is no evidence in the past that Peace campaigning has worked significantly, perhaps it can be said that the worst ravages of warmongers have been reigned in bythe Peace movement.
The people need their homes. The above political analysis of the corporatocracy recognises that these homes are connected by the economic system to the wars that are waged. You can call this trickle-down or simply recognise that with the increased money paid to the workers communities can survive better. I don’t think however that people accept this. They work to pay for their homes and bring up their families, this seems reasonable. But the economy is not as straightforward as that. The capitalist economy has moved beyond such simple transaction. It is debt-driven rather than transactional, the wealth of the rich cannot be substantiated by traditional methods such as the gold standard (as discussed in the last chapter). If all the people including the rich were to demand the money that was in their accounts the economy would crash. To avoid such a run the economy needs significant infusions of purchasing that give the impression that the economy is perhaps functioning at the credit-level it pretends to be. In reality the economy is not sustainable, and it is true that if the economy was altered drastically such as by removing war purchases it would collapse.
But isn’t it better to collapse than to have it continue based on the War on Terror?
People needing their homes is a status quo scenario. What happens to the economy if the government moves to the left. The Superclass manipulates the economy so that it appears that such moves will cause ordinary people hardship. They induce fear and insecurity so that ordinary people decide that if they alter the status quo they put their homes at risk. This is in fact true because the people who manipulate the economy put their homes at risk. In effect this status quo ensures sufficient compliance to the government of the day irrespective of the morality.
And that brings me back to the wars. The war economy is an integral part of the status quo, and whether ordinary houseowners are aware of this or not they instinctively know that the status quo cannot be altered. So the fourth pillar could equally be described as the status quo. If ordinary people in the West accept the status quo then we will have deaths from war – it is that simple. So where does that lead us with a humanitarian anti-war strategy? Promoting peace by voting for candidates who stand on an anti-war platform is one way. But look at Obama. I have no doubts that he lied to get voted but that is not provable as he will always blame the Republicans. And I doubt if an anti-war candidate would get sufficient votes in western governments.
A sustainable economy does not depend on war but long before such an economy could come into existence there would be manipulations that would promote the fears associated with changing the status quo.
Now that there is no Cold War, the US has no enemy to hold it back. War is integral to the US economy, and therefore integral to the economy of the world. In describing the four pillars of war I have tried to show what is required for war to continue, and sadly I can offer no solution as to ending war. The only possible solution is altering the status quo by taking an anti-war platform but that is unlikely to work as the Superclass would ensure that ordinary people would suffer first. A sustainable economy would alter the status quo but again manipulations would ensure that the economy continued with its debt. However sustainability provides a better lifestyle, and is worth considering from that standpoint alone.
With this status quo compassion is focussed on the family. Previously I had tacitly accepted that compassion for the family is enough but how do you weigh that compassion for the family and accept eschewing compassion for the dead in Iraq? The corporatocracy has taken advantage of that compassion and exploits through war and other means. Recognition of this reality means that compassion for the family is not enough, because that compassion has been misused. Being insightful one needs to look beyond the family as the object of our compassion because of the tacit complicity inherent in the status quo pillar. Activists being active of course is part of the solution but houseowners and families in general are now forced to move out of their sphere of compassion because of the exploitation their devotion has left them vulnerable to. How families take on that activist decision is their choice but sadly compassion for the family without activism of some sort is not now an option.
Fear is significant in promoting the status quo so it is an important aspect to security; it is necessary to examine fear, to see why it is so important? If we as a people are used to being frightened it is no great leap to turn that fear into attack, if we are threatened on a personal level we lash out. That is a natural survival instinct. This instinct is used by the governments of the 1% to create war. Look at 9/11. 5000 people died and the anger led to a backlash. Did people ask for justice? No they looked for a target, they were satisfied when the US went into Afghanistan – they had their target. But they were frightened it would happen again, this is what the government used. But did the people say they wanted an innocent target? No they trusted their government which told them that bin Laden was in Afghanistan. Why? Because they were afraid, and they wanted a target.
It is important to understand that the media creates island states. Despite the size of the US the majority of Americans are unaware of what is happening in the world, the UK is an island, and Europe is more and more perceiving itself as an island. Initially it was easy for the governments to hoodwink the people about overseas exploits, but with the increasing accessibility of the media, especially during the Vietnam war, people became more aware of what was actually happening. Not only were westerners dying but they were committing atrocities. Whilst there has always been a propaganda machine integral to any jingoism, more needed to be done to ensure that the peoples’ fear maintained loyalty to their governments’ lies. It is now clear that mainstream media is integral to the strategy of the 1%. This media exacerbates the fears of ordinary people with racist caricatures and complete lies.
There are two actions that are needed to help deal with this. People need to be more discerning in the media they learn information from. Certainly it used to be the case in the UK that the truth was available on the less popular channels, I suspect the same is true in the US. But a great resource at the moment is the internet. I challenge anyone to watch the Democracy Now broadcasts [F7] daily, and maintain their same blinkered view. That is until the corporatocracy institutes regulations of the internet.
Fear is engendered in daily life. Old people are afraid to walk the streets, fear for Arabs is built up, black people are aggressive gangbangers. These stereotypes allow governments to step in and “protect” the people. This increases policing leading to there being sufficient police to oppress the Occupy movement whose only crime is the exercise of free speech. In the Arab Spring the dictators murdered their own people, is that going to happen in the West? The violence is engendering its own blowback – greater resistance and more Occupy. These young people recognise the bleakness of their own futures, have overcome their fears, and see resistance as their only alternative. I hope that continues.
Can we change the way the 1% exploit finance and war? Western societies need the profits from war to survive, and corporations realise that wages are cheaper in the Third World so are moving their plant there. We already have a financial crisis because the 1% puppets are creating money, so where is the West going to earn money? By a perpetual War on Terror. How can it be stopped? By a genuine democracy with the 1% joining the 99%. Can that happen? I don’t believe so.
Where does that leave us? In the west we are living in societies that profit from wars, and that we need those profits to maintain the standard of living. It is immoral to live the way we do, but can we destroy the system that created it? No because that would mean destroying the financial system we are a part of. We live in a prison of war and finance whilst the rich get richer. But as the rich get richer they destroy themselves, they create inequalities which mean that people will eventually rise up. There is a balance of struggle between the 99% and the 1% which the 1% are winning. The 99% needs to hold back the ravages of war and finance that is the 1%, and this can only be done by genuine democratic approaches. Occupy are working on this. Argentinian cooperatives worked on this, the Arab Spring is working on this, but it is an ongoing dynamic. The more we sit back and let governments decide the more the ravages will occur. It is the 99% for evolution or the 1% for destruction, for humanity’s sake more effort is needed on the part of the 99%.
Facing Security Strategy:-
Cultivating harmonious living is a personal strategy that overcomes personal insecurity and leads to a life without fear, how do we transpose that to a national and international strategy? Fear produces insecurity, and the 1% engender this fear to help fuel a jingoism that increases their profits from military expenditure during wars. Recognising the global reality that the insecurity felt in the West is a consequence of western international strategy can begin to alleviate the fear and insecurity that leads to such unnecessary violence – that leads to murder for profit on a global scale.