Thursday, 5 January 2006

About Power & Wealth IV: Manufacturing Consent

Following up directly from the previous post in this series "The Functional Core":
In essence, the Market has become a weapon in the hands of it's maker.
Whomever accumilates the most sophisticated and commanding economic
arsenal, gets to call the shots.

From the colonial to the imperialist, into the hands of an unchallenged
super-power. Now it is not in fact the territorial threat that sends countries
into conflict, nor is it theology. Sadly, it is rarely humanitarian either. Though
all are evoked in the politizing of a nation's aims. Now it is merely another
and desperate attempt to generate instability itself, for which the drums
of war rumble. And it is in the wake of many a hard-earned deal, that we
summon our allies.
Globalization, as it is commonly refered to, is little more than a capitalist
battle for economic territory and a rapid return to aristocratic privileges
previously attributed to the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. The
objective of a powerful nation state is but to out-perform and destabilize 'the
other': destroy the other's production tools, access their market, their human
and natural resources, extend the reach of ones own labour force and establish
economic dominance through imposition and / or dependency - often a
combination of both.

Laws designed to protect the rights of a population whom are otherwise
subjugated to Market developments are frequently rendered disfunctional on
the basis of well-guarded jurisdiction. Afterall, which nation's civil laws will be
upheld in the case of international affairs? Thanks to the many very active
business lobby groups and untouchable economic trade policy institutions -
nothing but the business of business has legitimized jurisdiction. An
individuals rights are in fact much less expansive or protected, than that of any
corporation. 'International Affairs' and "Foreign Affairs" are now little but popular
euphemisms for 'big business affairs' that govern realms of law within and
between nations.

Humanitarian standards set by int'l bodies (such as the U.N.) are largely ignored,
afterall, the dominant and imposing state can claim itself as having the sovereign
right to conduct trade business in accordance to their own standards. They are
beyond the grasp of any external authority. In fact, the dominant player can pick
and choose to acknowledge law and policy in accordance to their own objectives
and especially in the effort to punish a resisting nation. A nation equiped with it's
very own wee trade policies and practices, interests and laws. Who will stop
them from doing so?

The global arena is riddled with hypocrisy. For the abled Core, it is a
gluttonous feast day after day after day, where they (our nations) sit privy to all
that which the most influential state cannot chew up and swallow itself. While
the G8 countries do vi for ranking, increasingly, the G7 are but the taste-testers
and peripheral benefactors, depending on how cooperative they are.. Many of
which do not have the guts to refuse invite, and are more than happy to be
thrown a meaty bone - regardless of what they state to their public. Or what
their population says to them, for that matter.

While for these states, the punitive impact of direct opposition would prove
too devastating to that particular (federal) administration's individual careers.
Besides, riding coat tails reaps it's rewards all the while destracts from the
sharing of blame. For most other nation states however, the result would be so
destructive that they work only toward having the means to risk claiming the
same quality of "soveriegnty" as the dominate player(s).

This is of course, where the focus inevitably narrows and highlights on the #1
Core nation - the United States of America. Recently and appropriately
described to me as the "800 pound gorilla next door". Indeed, the U.S. gov't
has more than demonstrated it's weight and status in relationship to Canada
and to the nations of the world. It seems that everyone is well-aware of the
slights and insults, the betrayals and the crimes committed in it's plight to
demonstrate it's placement in the Big Chair at the Big Feast - with exception
of an amazingly large swath of it's own population.

Mouths were agape around the globe, with the final sweeping confirmation
that a close majority of U.S. citizens supported a 2nd term for the Bush admin.
Not because we believe this 'man' and his crew were all that need be defeated
in the struggle for a more just world - nope. Not just because he was the Uncle
Sam Wants You Man for the Iraq War, nope. Simply because this U.S. President
has become a recognizable symbol for injustices perpetuated beyond U.S. national
borders now and in preceding decades.

An easy target indeed, the "captain and chief" presents himself as a menace to
the world; a lawless cowboy with an appropriated vocabulary and an
uncompromising "do no wrong" "moral authority" consistency that inflares the
nostrils of just about any informed and critically minded observer. Despite first
impressions, Bush Jr is not entirely the moron he chooses to present of himself.
He is not unawares of the consequences of his admin's policies nor actions. It
really isn't the case that he and his crew "poorly planned" nor "blindly
endeavored" the "War on Terror". They employed the term, the tactics, and the
strategy based upon a long awaited opportunity and with a very clear vision of
the broader implications.

Bush is the front-man, the take-it-for-the-team-man, the future-of-America
mouthpiece. One guy among a number, but with a strategy to win the vote. He
plays a character, keeps to a script, and has a team of informed co-conspirators.
This one nation of the America's is on a noble mission, one that was conceived
long before daddy Bush's reign, and saw the inception of the Project for the New
American Century in 1997. The participants in this project included politicians
and corporate figures, high-level military and a few CIA personnel. In 2000,
they described the following :
At present the United States faces no global rival. America's
grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous
position as far into the future as possible.

Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States
now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both
today and in the future. But years of cuts in defense spending have
eroded the American military's combat readiness, and put in jeopardy
the Pentagon's plans for maintaining military superiority in the years
ahead. Increasingly, the U.S. military has found itself undermanned,
inadequately equipped and trained, straining to handle contingency
operations, and ill-prepared to adapt itself to the revolution in military
affairs. Without a well-conceived defense policy and an appropriate
increase in defense spending, the United States has been letting its
ability to take full advantage of the remarkable strategic opportunity
at hand slip away.
(Emphasis Added)
As you can see, this was a bid for an increase in military financing and effort. This
proposal outlined the nature of the military in the future, and subtly noted the
desired conflict theatres. It was dated for September, the controversial election
was in November. Everyone of Bush Jr's new administration was involved in PNAC
and many signed their name to this and other PNAC documents. I located this and
documents of similar nature (but that were dated two years prior), in the Pentagon
CIA Archives, in 2001. It has since circulated the net and a copy can be downloaded
from Wikipedia.

PNAC promotes U.S. Global Leadership (a soft phrase with obvious meaning)
and so does the current administration, and so do countless other neocons and
opportunistic neoliberals whom have recognized that the time for an American
Empire to out-do the empires of history, had come. In this document and others,
the words 'revolution' and 'transformation' and 'preeminence' are used regularly
to tactfully describe issues surrounding how to procure, manage, and sustain US
world dominance . The word "security" is used only in the context of protecting
U.S. 'leadership' and interests - not citizens. Most of these early doc's clearly
state that there is no threat. The emphasis is not on economic global
competitiveness and success among a diverse pool of international players, but
is on military power and it's ability to protect and further state interests. This
vision, push and strategy-making began at the onset of the 2nd world war. The
original scope of this 'vision' was much less expansive before the American
government actualized the potential that Germany could be defeated - and the
rewards of heroically captaining that defeat. The plight to increase US presence,
economic hegemony and political influence on the global stage, has been a
patient and rewarding struggle - ever since.

All the tools of war have been and are employed to meet this timely vision.
Every economic sanction, trade policy, aid package, the making and breaching
of civil and int'l law - as well as whatever military might can be summoned. These
people appear to view themselves as True Patriots in their understanding of the
real potential and they know what must be done to attain it. They know what's
best for America and have the 'balls' to accept the cruel conditions, the death of
innocents, the extinguished lives of young soldiers, and the nurturing of a nearly-
as-menacing faceless enemy... as merely a means to an end. Those whom do not
understand this, at very least understand that the economic benefits reach
beyond the necessity of globalization and that they will get rich, rich, rich. War
(however employed) is to them but the way of the world, and they aim to be on
the winning side.

Then there are the abled-but-bystanding who shrug their shoulders and tell us
that it's "better them then us" 'cause it's an "eat or be eaten" affair. All stances
pointedly ignore the potential for constructive change and support the perpetual
extension and conceptual expansion of empirical, imperialist, and colonial
history. This is the point. These are the markers of success. The level of
acceptance garnered and enveloped into the culture of 'the people' - consent.

Some say that surely, these people are creating wars in the world for a reason
beyond greed? Oversimplified - but not entirely incorrect. However, the main
characters in this narrative do have conviction. An unshakable faith. Much akin
to that insidious Myth so much of our culture is founded upon - that of the
(nonexistent) Free Market. Myth and faith bound and entwined with purpose.
These political elites are only doing what it is that is required by all great leaders
of all great empires. To do anything else would be irresponsible and weak in the
face of history. What giant would but awake only to turn over and mind it's own
fingers and toes? Such a giant would only be ridiculed as a figure children's tales.

And what remarkable lessons in improvement evolve with the advent of time,
where the manufacturing of consent is concerned. Swaying the opinion of a
population that believes in democracy, has disdain for colonialism, and was
accustomed to a 'mind yer own business and I'll mind mine' manner of engaging
with the world - became merely an issue of media savvy built upon four decades
successfulful research, development and theatre trials (I will flush out examples
of this , later). So was it seen that one could convince the bulk of the population
that several generations of war aimed at securing their nations rightful place as
king of the castle, is but the sacrifice that must be made... Under less honest
pretexts, of course. In fact, tactical approaches to converting popular opinion has
been so successful, that many U.S. citizens now view their nation as morally
obligated to interfere, intervene, and implement - even at the expense of their
own hard earned rights and freedoms. The secret to this success? Fear of a
looming threat, a faceless enemy. If the tactic works, why change it?

You may find Operation Northwoods of interest, in regard to how far your (any)
government might, has, and will go to convince you that there is a more pressing
need to break down those barriers presented by other nations. There is much
worth quoting in this document, it briefly outlines various proposals set forth by
the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (Department of Defence) regarding the "Cuba
Problem" and how they might create public justification for an invasion.
Highlights (suggested tactics for the purpose of manufacturing public consent):
Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires -- napthalene...

We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. ..

We could develop a Communist Cuba terror campaign in the
Miami area, in othFloridadia cities and even in Washington.
The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking
haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans
enroute to Florida (real or simulated)....

It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate
convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down
a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to
Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would
be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The
passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or
any grouping of persons with a common interest to support
chartering a non-scheduled flight...

It is possible to create an incident which will make it appear that
Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over
international waters in an unprovoked attack...

... determination that a credible internal revolt is impossible of
attainment during the next 9-10 months will require a decision by
the United States to develop a Cuban "provocation" as justification
for positive US military action.
You can download this document at the National Security Archive and
of course, information and links are also available at Wikipedia.

I am suggesting that the US manufactured the terrorist attack in New York?
However plausible this theory is, I believe that this would have been highly

The 'giant' had already devastated so many populations, had already nurtured the
will and wont, and had already armed the once disjointed militia groups whom
would grow to apply an equal level of steadfast patience in their plight to oppose
and defeat thier maker. All that would need to be provided - is the opportunity.

Let us not forget that this story does not start with 9-11. That event is but a
blood stained flag signifying a turning point in (western) public awareness. That
event was but a necessary step toward making a far more important, formal
declaration. Not merely a declaration of war - but an ominously stated exhibition
of imperial preeminence and military predominance intended to parade the
worlds most dangerous nation in the seat of unchallenged and unparalleled power,
before a world audience.

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