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[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part II

[To see the Table of Contents, click here. A glossary of terms and acronyms appearing in the text will be found here. Translation by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left]

December 12, 2012

Capitalist Subsumption of the Amazon Indigenous Economy

Finally, in addition to the vertical nature of this despotic power there is a territorial dependency of the regional power structure itself. The major part of the Bolivian Amazon lies in the department of Beni, and the major productive activities in the region today are ranching, timber extraction and chestnut harvesting.

[TIPNIS] Alvaro Garcia Linera: Geopolitics of the Amazon – Part I

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left

December 11, 2012

Revolution and Counterrevolution in Bolivia

Bolivian leader replies to critics of the Morales government’s development strategy

Introduction

Álvaro García Linera is one of Latin America’s leading Marxist intellectuals. He is also the Vice-President of Bolivia — the “co-pilot,” as he says, to President Evo Morales, and an articulate exponent of the government’s policies and strategic orientation.

In a recent book-length essay, Geopolitics of the Amazon: Patrimonial-Hacendado Power and Capitalist Accumulation, published in September 2012, García Linera discusses a controversial issue of central importance to the development process in Latin America, and explains how Bolivia is attempting to address the intersection between economic development and environmental protection.

Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I

September 10, 2012

Part one, section one of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

“I wish you a refreshing bath of conscience, I wish that you may be able to try out looking at others eye to eye, I wish that the spring of truth makes life more humane for you.” – Excerpt from the profound message to Avaaz by poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina

 

The Art of Social Engineering | The Art of Social Genocide

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.

This investigative report examines the key founders of Avaaz, as well as other key sister organizations affiliated with Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus, thus acceptance, for the illusory “green economy” and a novel sonata of 21st century colonialism. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of carefully orchestrated depoliticization, domestication of populace, propaganda and misinformation that is being perpetrated and perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda. The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.

Within part I of this investigative report:

  • The Simulacrum
  • Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO
  • 2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished
  • Introduction: The Non-profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War
  • Historical Amnesia
  • Corporate “Green” Pedophilia
  • The Commerce of Trust
  • The Cat is Out of the Bag
  • New York City Occupy Wall Street Embraces Otpor and Bombing for Peace
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • Unidentified “Freedom of Speech”
  • 15M – Europe’s Occupy Movement
  • The Commerce of Exploitation: Change.org
  • Indoctrinated Subservience & Whitism
  • Avaaz’s Founder and MoveOn.org Announce the U.S. “Spring”

 

Part II:

  • Bread and Circuses
  • Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network
  • Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?
  • The Avaaz Gate-Keepers
  • Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello
  • Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential
  • The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers Within the Dark Triad
  • The Empire
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda
  • Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

 

Part III:

  • Behavioural Change
  • May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics
  • The Behavioral Economics of Hatred
  • Purpose
  • Res Publica
  • Avaaz Founding Board Member: Ben Brandzel
  • Purpose: James Slezak
  • MoveOn.org
  • GetUp
  • The 21st Century Social Movements
  • The Non-Profit Industrial Complex Finally Finds “Success”
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Andrea Woodhouse
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Paul Hilder
  • The Avaaz “Core Campaign Team Members”

 

The Simulacrum

“As regards the ‘foundations’ created for unlimited general purposes and endowed with enormous resources, their unlimited possibilities are so grave a menace, not only as regards to their own activities and influence but also the numbing effect which they have on private citizens and public bodies, that if they could be clearly differentiated from other forms of voluntary altruistic effort, it would be desirable to recommend their abolition.” – Senator Frank Walsh, 1915

In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image-making. The first is a faithful reproduction, a precise copy of the original. The second is distorted intentionally in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers. Plato gives the example of Greek statuary, which was crafted larger on top than on bottom so that viewers from the ground would see it correctly, whereas if they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed.

This latter representation serves as a visual art metaphor for the non-profit industrial complex. A semblance of entities, united in an ideology encompassing truth, justice and ethics – which is false. This is the simulacrum, distorted in such a way that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle. This report aims to allow you, the reader, to view the matrix from such an angle. By denying the reliable input of our senses while accepting the non-profit industrial complex’s manipulative constructs of language and “reason,” global society has arrived at a grossly distorted copy of ethics and intrinsic worth – a warped simulacrum of thespian complexity, a vast work of superficial depth.

Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO

 

 “What a cluster-fuck of disinformation this world has become. The sinister forces of greed and avarice are, through consolidation of wealth and power, more powerful than ever. Humankind has a huge uphill battle to wage.” — Comment at How Avaaz is Sponsoring Fake War Propaganda from Syria

The 21st century NGO is becoming, more and more, a key tool serving the imperialist quest of absolute global dominance and exploitation. Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” (a concept promoted by corporations in the first place). This misplaced trust has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to ascend to the highest position: the missionaries of deity – the deity of the empire.

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated and backronymed as “mode of operation.” The term is used to describe someone’s habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning. In English, it is frequently shortened to M.O.

The expression is often used in police work when discussing a crime and addressing the methods employed by the perpetrators. It is also used in criminal profiling, where it can help in finding clues to the offender’s psychology. It largely consists of examining the actions used by the individual(s) to execute the crime, prevent its detection and/or facilitate escape. [Source: Wikipedia]

2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished

“Existing soft power initiatives and agencies, particularly those engaged in development and strategic communications, must be reinvigorated through increased funding, human resources and prioritization. Concurrently, the U.S. government must establish goals, objectives and metrics for soft power initiatives. Furthermore, the U.S. government can better maximize the effectiveness of soft power instruments and efforts through increased partnerships with NGOs. By providing humanitarian and development assistance in areas typically inaccessible to government agencies, NGOs are often able to access potential extremist areas before the government can establish or strengthen diplomatic, developmental or military presence, including intelligence.” — Joseph S. Nye, former US assistant secretary of defense, June 2004

The non-profit industrial complex represents a rich portfolio of soft power tools readily available to the ruling elite. Today we witness the near complete metamorphosis of the complex having successfully morphed into the absolute idyllic clearinghouse for the collective and coordinated imperialist agenda shared by a broad spectrum of government institutions, dominated by the financial industrial complex, corporate power and hegemonic rule – all under the guise of a global conscience reflective of “civil society” via self-appointed NGOs.

Joseph S. Nye (quoted above) is a former US assistant secretary of defense, former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council and professor at Harvard University. A world renowned scholar of international relations, Nye co-founded the liberal institutionalist approach to international relations, theorizing that states and other international powers possess more or less “soft power” (a term first coined in the 1980s). In a 2004 article titled The Rising Power of NGO’s, Nye peddled his soft-power theory as the quintessential element that must be employed in order to protect the American public from “terrorists.” Of course, Nye neglected to include the fact that the true “terrorists” are those who hold power within our very own EuroAmerican governments/establishments, waging violence upon sovereign, resource-rich states. It’s an easy sell as it enables one to conveniently deny their assent to (our own) state-sponsored terrorism and continued collective and voluntary servitude as well-behaved, rapturous consumers under the influence of American (non) culture.

If a state can present its power as legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter far less resistance to its foreign policies and agendas. Further, if the Western states’ (non) culture and (illusory) ideology are desirable, other states will more willingly acquiesce. This is an area where the NGOs excel. They do so by never referring to their own “leaders” as dictators or fascists, yet more than willing to apply these derogatory terms to leaders targeted for regime change. Simultaneously, while reporting on human rights abuses or environmental violations in states exploited by industrialized capitalism, the NGOs neglect to comment on their own states’ escalating assault on “democracy.” Most important, the non-profit industrial complex certainly does not address the fact that industrialized and globalized capitalism (imposed by hegemonic rule) is the crux of most all suffering and ongoing crisis in the very states they criticize and deem culpable. A continuous subtle undertone of support/belief in their own states’ democracy is achieved simply by never opening a dialogue on the legitimacy of power structures within their own (imperialist) states.

In essence, soft power is “the universalism of a country’s culture and its ability to establish a set of favourable rules and institutions that govern areas of international activity [that] are critical sources of power” or, more simply, the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce and rather than using force or money as a means of persuasion. This is where states such as Bolivia (and Libya until its recent annihilation) are very real threats to the American superpower. States such as Bolivia and Libya (past-tense) serve the people to advance themselves to a more enlightened, more democratic existence in a very real sense, while democracy and freedoms in the Americas mean little more than “freedom to shop” and buy as much sweatshop junk as one can(not) afford. If corporate-owned/controlled media and corporate-funded/controlled educational institutes actually educated the American public on intellectual enlightenment and progressive advances in other countries – Americans would truly wonder what the fuck was going on. Rather, we are kept in the dark; doped up by big pharma and stupefied by Big Brother, all while such states and leaders are continually vilified and demonized in the media (both corporate and foundation-funded “progressive”), all while NGOs remain silent on their own accelerating fascist governments. American “exceptionalism” is, undoubtedly, the biggest lie ever told sold.

Introducing the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War

Packaging – Uncle Sam is the best in packaging and selling illusions.

 “I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the U.S.AID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America.” — Evo Morales, February 2012

In 2001, it was George W. Bush who propelled an illegal invasion of Iraq by way of relentless pounding of repetitive messaging of discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq coupled with incessant images of the Twin Towers being destroyed. This psyop (or psychological operation, a new form or warfare) reverberated throughout a mainstream media that obediently fed the lies to the masses. The role of the media was absolutely essential. Yet, in spite of Bush calling for the invasion of Iraq, citizens of the globe, in united cohesion, held the largest mass protests and peace vigils the world had ever witnessed.

Today, however, the push to invade under the guise of humanitarianism is no longer a message from predominantly imperialist governments alone. Rather, there is a new game in town. Flash forward one decade to 2011 and the push for war no longer comes from the lone vacuity of despised war criminals such as George Bush or his charismatic alter-ego, Barack Obama. Rather, the message is now being spoon-fed to global society via the “trusted” NGOs, with Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at the forefront, as documented prior to and during the attack on and subsequent occupation of Libya, and more recently, the destabilization of Syria. [One of many reports of such malfeasance include “HUMAN RIGHTS” WARRIORS FOR EMPIRE | Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch“, by Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.]

“While much was made of the United Nations decision to establish a Human Rights Council in 2006, those who’ve witnessed the evolution of this institution are well aware that the UN was designed by (and functions to serve) the interests of modern states and their supplicants, not the Indigenous nations they rule. For those attached to charitable organizations like Human Rights Watch and other pashas of the piety industry, this is a bitter pill to swallow.” — Jay Taber, Obstacles to Peace, 13 July 2012

 

“The UN Human Rights Council stands as one of the significant obstacles to dynamic political development in the Fourth World. Many individuals and the peoples they represent in the Fourth World have come to believe that the UN Human Rights Council will relieve their pain from the violence of colonialism. It cannot, and it will not.” — Dr. Rudolph Ryser, Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies

A decade later, thanks to the non-profit industrial complex awash in an influx of money that flows like the river Nile, partnered with the corporate media complex, it is now “the people” – having been swayed by fabrications, omissions and lies – who lead the demand for invasion of these sovereign states. And, most ironic, it is not the so-called “right” at the vanguard; rather, it is the “progressive left.”

Historical Amnesia

“False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it? — John Pilger, award-winning journalist, in History is the Enemy as “Brilliant” Psy-ops Become the News, 21 June 2012


Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, David Hilliard, Fred Hampton, and Erica Huggins – forgotten heroes indeed. The Black Panthers, who emerged on the scene in 1966, drew much inspiration from the ideologies of Malcolm X. Rejecting pacifism and reformism, under the leadership of Fred Hampton, the Panthers recognized the necessity of militant action and self-defense (“by any means necessary”) against racists and the state. The Panthers were effective in organizing the struggle towards a true revolutionary faction, with the state full-well recognizing the very real potential the Panthers held to gain mass support for their revolutionary movement. The state was terrified at this very real threat. It must be noted that during this same time period, white youth were demonstrating against the Vietnam war while 45% of Blacks fighting in Vietnam proclaimed they would be prepared to take up arms within their own state to secure justice for the American people. Considering that in 1960 almost half of America’s population was under 18 years of age, the ample surplus of youth made the threat of a widespread revolt against the status quo a very real possibility. By 1967, the rise in militancy and “Black Power” drew a very tactical response from very anxious foundations. Rockefeller and Ford created the National Urban Coalition (NUC) with the intent of transforming “Black Power” into “Black capitalism.” This was the vehicle designed/created to crush the building momentum that was confronting/challenging the prevailing system of economic control and oppression. By 1970, as Black capitalism took hold, foundations were funneling over $15 million into “moderate” Black organizations in order to effectively deflect the Black Power movement into non-threatening channels. With Black Power successfully transitioning itself into Black capitalism, American corporations utilized the opportunity to cast themselves in a liberal, progressive light by financing Black Power conferences.

The evidence that the Panthers’ revolutionary movement was a very real threat to the American state is indisputable: the FBI (under J. Edgar Hoover) declared the Panthers the number one threat to the internal security of the US. The state tried to eradicate the Panthers “by any means necessary,” gunning down scores of Panthers in the street.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was also closely affiliated with the Rockefellers via the 1957 founded Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), which received money from the church and the Rockefellers. Although quite radical, elites considered SCLC moderate and “workable” because of its stance on nonviolence (which protects the state), alongside goals of integration rather than revolution. However, by the late 1960’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. had embraced militancy and radical positions espoused by both the Panthers and Malcolm X. As Martin Luther King, Jr.’s refusal to compromise increased, the foundation funding decreased. A respected man of such stature, speaking out, thus educating a vast public of the oppression caused by the capitalist system/racism, was indeed (and remains so today) a great threat to the powers that dominate. Thus, King was assassinated. Today, in united cohesion, the states work ardently with “progressive” (foundation-funded) media and the non-profit industrial complex, in ensuring that the King legacy is continually and relentlessly sanitized, watered down and co-opted to serve the elitist agenda. The pacifist doctrine, fondly funded by hegemonic rule, is continuously pumped through and circulated throughout the gentrified “movement” like fluoride in the city water – a neutral benevolence of slow poison we drink in voluntary servitude. [June 27, 2012: Black On The Old Plantation | Civil Rights Organizations Enslave Themselves to Corporate Funding]

“We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism.” — Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panthers

While Huey P. Newton advocated armed struggle, his ideology did not mean that the end product would be a world in which violence reigns. Rather, Newton believed that the oppressed must use guns as the means to a peaceful end of the oppression. He quoted Mao Tse-tung: “We are advocates of the abolition of war, we don’t not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.” Within the Panther Party, the gun was not upheld as a means of violence, rather, it was a symbol for empowerment and self-determination. [Huey P. Newton :: Philosophy :: Armed Self-Defense]

In October of 1969, hundreds of youth clad in football helmets marched through an elite shopping district of Chicago. Utilizing lead pipes, they shattered shop windows and demolished parked cars. This was the first demonstration known as the “Days of Rage” – organized by a group who called themselves the Weather Underground. Outraged by the war on Vietnam and the rampant racism in America, the Weather Underground waged a strategic low-level war against the state that continued throughout much of the seventies. The Underground had the state on the run. Members of the Underground bombed state property including the Capitol building (never incurring a single casualty) and even broke Timothy Leary out of prison all while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts ever conducted in US history.

Weather Underground Bombs the Capitol, Pentagon, and State Department (Running time 10:00)

Today, most all the past revolutionary leaders of the Weather Underground, now conformed, apologize for their “tactics,” having been isolated and framed as “violent” by the co-opted left and status quo. [http://youtu.be/S6kPGh0w_-c]

It was during this time of true revolutionary uprising that money and “opportunities” began to siphon into the movements. The art of co-optation had begun with the only weapon (palatable to the public) the oligarchy possessed – money. This money would serve to indulge, thus co-opt, inflated egos scouted from within the left. Co-opting was an absolute necessity for the state to protect the dominant power structures from true systemic change that would effectively transfer power to the people. Examples of revolutionary movements in history, as evidenced in The Weather Underground, the Panthers and others, demonstrate unequivocally that the left became more jingoistic for war only after an influx of money began pouring in from the state and plutocrats via their foundations, which were in many cases set up for this very purpose.

A case in point: Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality/CORE (who advocated “Black control of Black communities” in order to allow for the manifestation of “Black capitalism”) was named a Ford Foundation fellow and became a board member of the Rockefeller/Ford-created NUC/National Urban Coalition. Ford granted CORE Cleveland $175,000 in 1967 to help elect Carl Stokes, who was very much pro Black-capitalism.

Lesser known are the events led by CIA operant Gloria Steinem. The “Black Feminist” movement was created, funded and manipulated by the CIA from the very beginning with Steinem leading the charge. Steinem planted faux “Black feminists” in revolutionary Black Power movements/grassroots organizations in order to instill division and hatred and, ultimately, to dismantle the growing movement. Steinem’s “success” would assist the state’s crushing of the Black Power movement itself. [Read: BLACK FEMINISM, THE CIA AND GLORIA STEINEM]

Throughout the world, there are organizations identifying themselves as the Black Panthers and other true revolutionary movements in existence. However, blinded by the shiny veneer of the big NGOs, few people are aware that such revolutionary movements even exist today. It is the job of the non-profit industrial complex, while waving the pacifist bible in one hand, to deliberately ensure that these groups are not only marginalized, but ignored altogether. Such movements, which have to potential to disrupt (or even dismantle) the power structures that enslave us, must remain invisible or framed in a negative light – if co-opting them is not possible, that is.

And that is something that the Western culture has perfected: co-optation. Forrest Palmer writes: “I am writing a blog post called ‘Malcolm X on a postage stamp.’ It is exactly what you see here [http://www.movements.org/pages/team]. If you know that something is happening at the grassroots and you can’t stop it, the West accepts it, places their handpicked leaders in the forefront who appease the masses into thinking what they are doing is still ‘revolutionary,’  negotiate with the ‘leaders’ ensuring they acquiesce to the state, compromise and either end up with things status quo or so watered down that the compromise doesn’t help the masses at all, but instead helps the state. The best example of a singular event of this: The March on Washington. It went from a black mass rebellion to a benign walk in the park masquerading as a movement. They had all their speeches proofread by the state, including King’s ‘great’ I Have a Dream speech. If the speeches weren’t what the state wanted, they either changed them (John Lewis) or weren’t allowed to speak (James Baldwin).”

“Malcolm predicted that if the civil rights bill wasn’t passed, there would be a march on Washington in 1964. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, which was peaceful and integrated, the 1964 march Malcolm described would be an all-Black ‘non-violent army’ with one-way tickets.” [Wikipedia, speaking of Malcolm X and his speech The Ballot or the Bullet.]

And so it goes. Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February 1965. And while our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Middle East and the Global South continue to be grossly exploited or altogether annihilated by the imperialist forces, the movement is ever-so acquiescent. Five hundred dollars a day for lodging at the Rio+20 Summit has never been so easy for those within the champagne circuit. And with a Democratic administration and a Black American president in the White House, the modern civil rights movement and dominant left organizations have never found it so easy to remain silent, with little to no criticism from civil society who, self-appointed, they falsely claim to represent.

“While in the US those puppets have traditionally taken on the form of talking heads on corporate and public television, they are increasingly represented in the form of NGO PR puppets employed in the moral theatrics industry…. As the credibility of politicians and pundits plummets, it is these PR puppets that are increasingly responsible for bolstering public support for militarism in general and militarized humanitarian intervention in particular.” — Jay Taber, Intercontinental Cry; Pious Poseurs, 24 June 2012

Although now seemingly normalized, one must consider it slightly ironic that it is in fact no longer the dominant “progressive left” beating the drums against war. [Exceptions include legitimate grassroots groups such as Peacelink in Italy.] Rather, as in the case of climate change, it is primarily the countries seeking to free themselves from the chains of imperialist enslavement that vocally oppose the escalating destabilization campaigns, inclusive of the most recent, in Syria. On 16 February 2012, the 12 sovereign states who voted against the resolution to condemn Syria at the United Nations included North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and Syria, along with states who primarily compose ALBA; Bolivia, Belarus, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua. And it is not coincidence that most all the leaders of all these same states, who continue the struggle for autonomy, are all similarly vilified and demonized by the corporate-media complex, joined recently by the non-profit industrial complex. It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.

Demonization is a key psyop, directly sponsored by the US Pentagon and intelligence apparatus to influence and sway public opinion and build consensus in favour of invasion. [Prof. Michel Chossudovsky] A recent example can be extracted from the failed 2011 destabilization campaign against the Morales government in Bolivia led by US-funded NGOs including the “Democracy Centre,” which declared: “But the abuses dealt out by the government against the people of the TIPNIS have knocked ‘Evo the icon’ off his pedestal in a way from which he will never fully recover, in Bolivia and globally.” [Further reading: U.S. Funded Democracy Centre Reveals Its Real Reason for Supporting the TIPNIS Protest in Bolivia: REDD $$$. ¿Por qué se defiende el tipnis?, http://youtu.be/RPiw3cDotHA]

A similar situation (developing nations, rather than the “environmental movement,” taking the lead) has taken place on the issue of climate change. ALBA nations, with Bolivia at the forefront, led while the non-profit industrial complex purposely and grossly undermined the strong positions necessary to mitigate the climate emergency. The climate justice movement was acquiescent and thus kowtowed to the “big greens”; “big greens” such as Avaaz, 350.org and Greenpeace who had partnered with HSBC, Lloyds Bank, nuclear giant EDF, Virgin Group, Shell (via TckTckTck partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change) and other corporate giants constituting the “TckTckTck campaign” whereby “the objective was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit” (Havas Press Release). There was no justice to be found, only a cohesive hypocrisy amongst the professional left that flourished like a cancer.

Next: Part one, section II.

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]September 10, 2012

Part one, section one of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

“I wish you a refreshing bath of conscience, I wish that you may be able to try out looking at others eye to eye, I wish that the spring of truth makes life more humane for you.” – Excerpt from the profound message to Avaaz by poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina

The Art of Social Engineering | The Art of Social Genocide

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.

This investigative report examines the key founders of Avaaz, as well as other key sister organizations affiliated with Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus, thus acceptance, for the illusory “green economy” and a novel sonata of 21st century colonialism. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of carefully orchestrated depoliticization, domestication of populace, propaganda and misinformation that is being perpetrated and perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda. The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.

Within part I of this investigative report:

  • The Simulacrum
  • Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO
  • 2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished
  • Introduction: The Non-profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War
  • Historical Amnesia
  • Corporate “Green” Pedophilia
  • The Commerce of Trust
  • The Cat is Out of the Bag
  • New York City Occupy Wall Street Embraces Otpor and Bombing for Peace
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • Unidentified “Freedom of Speech”
  • 15M – Europe’s Occupy Movement
  • The Commerce of Exploitation: Change.org
  • Indoctrinated Subservience & Whitism
  • Avaaz’s Founder and MoveOn.org Announce the U.S. “Spring”

Part II:

  • Bread and Circuses
  • Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network
  • Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?
  • The Avaaz Gate-Keepers
  • Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello
  • Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential
  • The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers Within the Dark Triad
  • The Empire
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda
  • Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

Part III:

  • Behavioural Change
  • May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics
  • The Behavioral Economics of Hatred
  • Purpose
  • Res Publica
  • Avaaz Founding Board Member: Ben Brandzel
  • Purpose: James Slezak
  • MoveOn.org
  • GetUp
  • The 21st Century Social Movements
  • The Non-Profit Industrial Complex Finally Finds “Success”
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Andrea Woodhouse
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Paul Hilder
  • The Avaaz “Core Campaign Team Members”

The Simulacrum

“As regards the ‘foundations’ created for unlimited general purposes and endowed with enormous resources, their unlimited possibilities are so grave a menace, not only as regards to their own activities and influence but also the numbing effect which they have on private citizens and public bodies, that if they could be clearly differentiated from other forms of voluntary altruistic effort, it would be desirable to recommend their abolition.” – Senator Frank Walsh, 1915

In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image-making. The first is a faithful reproduction, a precise copy of the original. The second is distorted intentionally in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers. Plato gives the example of Greek statuary, which was crafted larger on top than on bottom so that viewers from the ground would see it correctly, whereas if they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed.

This latter representation serves as a visual art metaphor for the non-profit industrial complex. A semblance of entities, united in an ideology encompassing truth, justice and ethics – which is false. This is the simulacrum, distorted in such a way that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle. This report aims to allow you, the reader, to view the matrix from such an angle. By denying the reliable input of our senses while accepting the non-profit industrial complex’s manipulative constructs of language and “reason,” global society has arrived at a grossly distorted copy of ethics and intrinsic worth – a warped simulacrum of thespian complexity, a vast work of superficial depth.

Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO

 “What a cluster-fuck of disinformation this world has become. The sinister forces of greed and avarice are, through consolidation of wealth and power, more powerful than ever. Humankind has a huge uphill battle to wage.” — Comment at How Avaaz is Sponsoring Fake War Propaganda from Syria

The 21st century NGO is becoming, more and more, a key tool serving the imperialist quest of absolute global dominance and exploitation. Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” (a concept promoted by corporations in the first place). This misplaced trust has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to ascend to the highest position: the missionaries of deity – the deity of the empire.

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated and backronymed as “mode of operation.” The term is used to describe someone’s habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning. In English, it is frequently shortened to M.O.

The expression is often used in police work when discussing a crime and addressing the methods employed by the perpetrators. It is also used in criminal profiling, where it can help in finding clues to the offender’s psychology. It largely consists of examining the actions used by the individual(s) to execute the crime, prevent its detection and/or facilitate escape. [Source: Wikipedia]

2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished

“Existing soft power initiatives and agencies, particularly those engaged in development and strategic communications, must be reinvigorated through increased funding, human resources and prioritization. Concurrently, the U.S. government must establish goals, objectives and metrics for soft power initiatives. Furthermore, the U.S. government can better maximize the effectiveness of soft power instruments and efforts through increased partnerships with NGOs. By providing humanitarian and development assistance in areas typically inaccessible to government agencies, NGOs are often able to access potential extremist areas before the government can establish or strengthen diplomatic, developmental or military presence, including intelligence.” — Joseph S. Nye, former US assistant secretary of defense, June 2004

The non-profit industrial complex represents a rich portfolio of soft power tools readily available to the ruling elite. Today we witness the near complete metamorphosis of the complex having successfully morphed into the absolute idyllic clearinghouse for the collective and coordinated imperialist agenda shared by a broad spectrum of government institutions, dominated by the financial industrial complex, corporate power and hegemonic rule – all under the guise of a global conscience reflective of “civil society” via self-appointed NGOs.

Joseph S. Nye (quoted above) is a former US assistant secretary of defense, former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council and professor at Harvard University. A world renowned scholar of international relations, Nye co-founded the liberal institutionalist approach to international relations, theorizing that states and other international powers possess more or less “soft power” (a term first coined in the 1980s). In a 2004 article titled The Rising Power of NGO’s, Nye peddled his soft-power theory as the quintessential element that must be employed in order to protect the American public from “terrorists.” Of course, Nye neglected to include the fact that the true “terrorists” are those who hold power within our very own EuroAmerican governments/establishments, waging violence upon sovereign, resource-rich states. It’s an easy sell as it enables one to conveniently deny their assent to (our own) state-sponsored terrorism and continued collective and voluntary servitude as well-behaved, rapturous consumers under the influence of American (non) culture.

If a state can present its power as legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter far less resistance to its foreign policies and agendas. Further, if the Western states’ (non) culture and (illusory) ideology are desirable, other states will more willingly acquiesce. This is an area where the NGOs excel. They do so by never referring to their own “leaders” as dictators or fascists, yet more than willing to apply these derogatory terms to leaders targeted for regime change. Simultaneously, while reporting on human rights abuses or environmental violations in states exploited by industrialized capitalism, the NGOs neglect to comment on their own states’ escalating assault on “democracy.” Most important, the non-profit industrial complex certainly does not address the fact that industrialized and globalized capitalism (imposed by hegemonic rule) is the crux of most all suffering and ongoing crisis in the very states they criticize and deem culpable. A continuous subtle undertone of support/belief in their own states’ democracy is achieved simply by never opening a dialogue on the legitimacy of power structures within their own (imperialist) states.

In essence, soft power is “the universalism of a country’s culture and its ability to establish a set of favourable rules and institutions that govern areas of international activity [that] are critical sources of power” or, more simply, the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce and rather than using force or money as a means of persuasion. This is where states such as Bolivia (and Libya until its recent annihilation) are very real threats to the American superpower. States such as Bolivia and Libya (past-tense) serve the people to advance themselves to a more enlightened, more democratic existence in a very real sense, while democracy and freedoms in the Americas mean little more than “freedom to shop” and buy as much sweatshop junk as one can(not) afford. If corporate-owned/controlled media and corporate-funded/controlled educational institutes actually educated the American public on intellectual enlightenment and progressive advances in other countries – Americans would truly wonder what the fuck was going on. Rather, we are kept in the dark; doped up by big pharma and stupefied by Big Brother, all while such states and leaders are continually vilified and demonized in the media (both corporate and foundation-funded “progressive”), all while NGOs remain silent on their own accelerating fascist governments. American “exceptionalism” is, undoubtedly, the biggest lie ever told sold.

Introducing the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War

Packaging – Uncle Sam is the best in packaging and selling illusions.

 “I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the U.S.AID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America.” — Evo Morales, February 2012

In 2001, it was George W. Bush who propelled an illegal invasion of Iraq by way of relentless pounding of repetitive messaging of discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq coupled with incessant images of the Twin Towers being destroyed. This psyop (or psychological operation, a new form or warfare) reverberated throughout a mainstream media that obediently fed the lies to the masses. The role of the media was absolutely essential. Yet, in spite of Bush calling for the invasion of Iraq, citizens of the globe, in united cohesion, held the largest mass protests and peace vigils the world had ever witnessed.

Today, however, the push to invade under the guise of humanitarianism is no longer a message from predominantly imperialist governments alone. Rather, there is a new game in town. Flash forward one decade to 2011 and the push for war no longer comes from the lone vacuity of despised war criminals such as George Bush or his charismatic alter-ego, Barack Obama. Rather, the message is now being spoon-fed to global society via the “trusted” NGOs, with Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at the forefront, as documented prior to and during the attack on and subsequent occupation of Libya, and more recently, the destabilization of Syria. [One of many reports of such malfeasance include “HUMAN RIGHTS” WARRIORS FOR EMPIRE | Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch“, by Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.]

“While much was made of the United Nations decision to establish a Human Rights Council in 2006, those who’ve witnessed the evolution of this institution are well aware that the UN was designed by (and functions to serve) the interests of modern states and their supplicants, not the Indigenous nations they rule. For those attached to charitable organizations like Human Rights Watch and other pashas of the piety industry, this is a bitter pill to swallow.” — Jay Taber, Obstacles to Peace, 13 July 2012

“The UN Human Rights Council stands as one of the significant obstacles to dynamic political development in the Fourth World. Many individuals and the peoples they represent in the Fourth World have come to believe that the UN Human Rights Council will relieve their pain from the violence of colonialism. It cannot, and it will not.” — Dr. Rudolph Ryser, Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies

A decade later, thanks to the non-profit industrial complex awash in an influx of money that flows like the river Nile, partnered with the corporate media complex, it is now “the people” – having been swayed by fabrications, omissions and lies – who lead the demand for invasion of these sovereign states. And, most ironic, it is not the so-called “right” at the vanguard; rather, it is the “progressive left.”

Historical Amnesia

“False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it? — John Pilger, award-winning journalist, in History is the Enemy as “Brilliant” Psy-ops Become the News, 21 June 2012


Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, David Hilliard, Fred Hampton, and Erica Huggins – forgotten heroes indeed. The Black Panthers, who emerged on the scene in 1966, drew much inspiration from the ideologies of Malcolm X. Rejecting pacifism and reformism, under the leadership of Fred Hampton, the Panthers recognized the necessity of militant action and self-defense (“by any means necessary”) against racists and the state. The Panthers were effective in organizing the struggle towards a true revolutionary faction, with the state full-well recognizing the very real potential the Panthers held to gain mass support for their revolutionary movement. The state was terrified at this very real threat. It must be noted that during this same time period, white youth were demonstrating against the Vietnam war while 45% of Blacks fighting in Vietnam proclaimed they would be prepared to take up arms within their own state to secure justice for the American people. Considering that in 1960 almost half of America’s population was under 18 years of age, the ample surplus of youth made the threat of a widespread revolt against the status quo a very real possibility. By 1967, the rise in militancy and “Black Power” drew a very tactical response from very anxious foundations. Rockefeller and Ford created the National Urban Coalition (NUC) with the intent of transforming “Black Power” into “Black capitalism.” This was the vehicle designed/created to crush the building momentum that was confronting/challenging the prevailing system of economic control and oppression. By 1970, as Black capitalism took hold, foundations were funneling over $15 million into “moderate” Black organizations in order to effectively deflect the Black Power movement into non-threatening channels. With Black Power successfully transitioning itself into Black capitalism, American corporations utilized the opportunity to cast themselves in a liberal, progressive light by financing Black Power conferences.

The evidence that the Panthers’ revolutionary movement was a very real threat to the American state is indisputable: the FBI (under J. Edgar Hoover) declared the Panthers the number one threat to the internal security of the US. The state tried to eradicate the Panthers “by any means necessary,” gunning down scores of Panthers in the street.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was also closely affiliated with the Rockefellers via the 1957 founded Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), which received money from the church and the Rockefellers. Although quite radical, elites considered SCLC moderate and “workable” because of its stance on nonviolence (which protects the state), alongside goals of integration rather than revolution. However, by the late 1960’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. had embraced militancy and radical positions espoused by both the Panthers and Malcolm X. As Martin Luther King, Jr.’s refusal to compromise increased, the foundation funding decreased. A respected man of such stature, speaking out, thus educating a vast public of the oppression caused by the capitalist system/racism, was indeed (and remains so today) a great threat to the powers that dominate. Thus, King was assassinated. Today, in united cohesion, the states work ardently with “progressive” (foundation-funded) media and the non-profit industrial complex, in ensuring that the King legacy is continually and relentlessly sanitized, watered down and co-opted to serve the elitist agenda. The pacifist doctrine, fondly funded by hegemonic rule, is continuously pumped through and circulated throughout the gentrified “movement” like fluoride in the city water – a neutral benevolence of slow poison we drink in voluntary servitude. [June 27, 2012: Black On The Old Plantation | Civil Rights Organizations Enslave Themselves to Corporate Funding]

“We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism.” — Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panthers

While Huey P. Newton advocated armed struggle, his ideology did not mean that the end product would be a world in which violence reigns. Rather, Newton believed that the oppressed must use guns as the means to a peaceful end of the oppression. He quoted Mao Tse-tung: “We are advocates of the abolition of war, we don’t not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.” Within the Panther Party, the gun was not upheld as a means of violence, rather, it was a symbol for empowerment and self-determination. [Huey P. Newton :: Philosophy :: Armed Self-Defense]

In October of 1969, hundreds of youth clad in football helmets marched through an elite shopping district of Chicago. Utilizing lead pipes, they shattered shop windows and demolished parked cars. This was the first demonstration known as the “Days of Rage” – organized by a group who called themselves the Weather Underground. Outraged by the war on Vietnam and the rampant racism in America, the Weather Underground waged a strategic low-level war against the state that continued throughout much of the seventies. The Underground had the state on the run. Members of the Underground bombed state property including the Capitol building (never incurring a single casualty) and even broke Timothy Leary out of prison all while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts ever conducted in US history.

Weather Underground Bombs the Capitol, Pentagon, and State Department (Running time 10:00)

Today, most all the past revolutionary leaders of the Weather Underground, now conformed, apologize for their “tactics,” having been isolated and framed as “violent” by the co-opted left and status quo. [http://youtu.be/S6kPGh0w_-c]

It was during this time of true revolutionary uprising that money and “opportunities” began to siphon into the movements. The art of co-optation had begun with the only weapon (palatable to the public) the oligarchy possessed – money. This money would serve to indulge, thus co-opt, inflated egos scouted from within the left. Co-opting was an absolute necessity for the state to protect the dominant power structures from true systemic change that would effectively transfer power to the people. Examples of revolutionary movements in history, as evidenced in The Weather Underground, the Panthers and others, demonstrate unequivocally that the left became more jingoistic for war only after an influx of money began pouring in from the state and plutocrats via their foundations, which were in many cases set up for this very purpose.

A case in point: Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality/CORE (who advocated “Black control of Black communities” in order to allow for the manifestation of “Black capitalism”) was named a Ford Foundation fellow and became a board member of the Rockefeller/Ford-created NUC/National Urban Coalition. Ford granted CORE Cleveland $175,000 in 1967 to help elect Carl Stokes, who was very much pro Black-capitalism.

Lesser known are the events led by CIA operant Gloria Steinem. The “Black Feminist” movement was created, funded and manipulated by the CIA from the very beginning with Steinem leading the charge. Steinem planted faux “Black feminists” in revolutionary Black Power movements/grassroots organizations in order to instill division and hatred and, ultimately, to dismantle the growing movement. Steinem’s “success” would assist the state’s crushing of the Black Power movement itself. [Read: BLACK FEMINISM, THE CIA AND GLORIA STEINEM]

Throughout the world, there are organizations identifying themselves as the Black Panthers and other true revolutionary movements in existence. However, blinded by the shiny veneer of the big NGOs, few people are aware that such revolutionary movements even exist today. It is the job of the non-profit industrial complex, while waving the pacifist bible in one hand, to deliberately ensure that these groups are not only marginalized, but ignored altogether. Such movements, which have to potential to disrupt (or even dismantle) the power structures that enslave us, must remain invisible or framed in a negative light – if co-opting them is not possible, that is.

And that is something that the Western culture has perfected: co-optation. Forrest Palmer writes: “I am writing a blog post called ‘Malcolm X on a postage stamp.’ It is exactly what you see here [http://www.movements.org/pages/team]. If you know that something is happening at the grassroots and you can’t stop it, the West accepts it, places their handpicked leaders in the forefront who appease the masses into thinking what they are doing is still ‘revolutionary,’  negotiate with the ‘leaders’ ensuring they acquiesce to the state, compromise and either end up with things status quo or so watered down that the compromise doesn’t help the masses at all, but instead helps the state. The best example of a singular event of this: The March on Washington. It went from a black mass rebellion to a benign walk in the park masquerading as a movement. They had all their speeches proofread by the state, including King’s ‘great’ I Have a Dream speech. If the speeches weren’t what the state wanted, they either changed them (John Lewis) or weren’t allowed to speak (James Baldwin).”

“Malcolm predicted that if the civil rights bill wasn’t passed, there would be a march on Washington in 1964. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, which was peaceful and integrated, the 1964 march Malcolm described would be an all-Black ‘non-violent army’ with one-way tickets.” [Wikipedia, speaking of Malcolm X and his speech The Ballot or the Bullet.]

And so it goes. Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February 1965. And while our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Middle East and the Global South continue to be grossly exploited or altogether annihilated by the imperialist forces, the movement is ever-so acquiescent. Five hundred dollars a day for lodging at the Rio+20 Summit has never been so easy for those within the champagne circuit. And with a Democratic administration and a Black American president in the White House, the modern civil rights movement and dominant left organizations have never found it so easy to remain silent, with little to no criticism from civil society who, self-appointed, they falsely claim to represent.

“While in the US those puppets have traditionally taken on the form of talking heads on corporate and public television, they are increasingly represented in the form of NGO PR puppets employed in the moral theatrics industry…. As the credibility of politicians and pundits plummets, it is these PR puppets that are increasingly responsible for bolstering public support for militarism in general and militarized humanitarian intervention in particular.” — Jay Taber, Intercontinental Cry; Pious Poseurs, 24 June 2012

Although now seemingly normalized, one must consider it slightly ironic that it is in fact no longer the dominant “progressive left” beating the drums against war. [Exceptions include legitimate grassroots groups such as Peacelink in Italy.] Rather, as in the case of climate change, it is primarily the countries seeking to free themselves from the chains of imperialist enslavement that vocally oppose the escalating destabilization campaigns, inclusive of the most recent, in Syria. On 16 February 2012, the 12 sovereign states who voted against the resolution to condemn Syria at the United Nations included North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and Syria, along with states who primarily compose ALBA; Bolivia, Belarus, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua. And it is not coincidence that most all the leaders of all these same states, who continue the struggle for autonomy, are all similarly vilified and demonized by the corporate-media complex, joined recently by the non-profit industrial complex. It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.

Demonization is a key psyop, directly sponsored by the US Pentagon and intelligence apparatus to influence and sway public opinion and build consensus in favour of invasion. [Prof. Michel Chossudovsky] A recent example can be extracted from the failed 2011 destabilization campaign against the Morales government in Bolivia led by US-funded NGOs including the “Democracy Centre,” which declared: “But the abuses dealt out by the government against the people of the TIPNIS have knocked ‘Evo the icon’ off his pedestal in a way from which he will never fully recover, in Bolivia and globally.” [Further reading: U.S. Funded Democracy Centre Reveals Its Real Reason for Supporting the TIPNIS Protest in Bolivia: REDD $$$. ¿Por qué se defiende el tipnis?, http://youtu.be/RPiw3cDotHA]

A similar situation (developing nations, rather than the “environmental movement,” taking the lead) has taken place on the issue of climate change. ALBA nations, with Bolivia at the forefront, led while the non-profit industrial complex purposely and grossly undermined the strong positions necessary to mitigate the climate emergency. The climate justice movement was acquiescent and thus kowtowed to the “big greens”; “big greens” such as Avaaz, 350.org and Greenpeace who had partnered with HSBC, Lloyds Bank, nuclear giant EDF, Virgin Group, Shell (via TckTckTck partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change) and other corporate giants constituting the “TckTckTck campaign” whereby “the objective was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit” (Havas Press Release). There was no justice to be found, only a cohesive hypocrisy amongst the professional left that flourished like a cancer.

Next: Part one, section II.

Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I | Part II | Section II

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]September 10, 2012

Part one, section one of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

“I wish you a refreshing bath of conscience, I wish that you may be able to try out looking at others eye to eye, I wish that the spring of truth makes life more humane for you.” – Excerpt from the profound message to Avaaz by poet Gabriel Impaglione of Argentina

 

The Art of Social Engineering | The Art of Social Genocide

Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello.

The Ivy League bourgeoisie who sit at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex will one day be known simply as charismatic architects of death. Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.

This investigative report examines the key founders of Avaaz, as well as other key sister organizations affiliated with Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus, thus acceptance, for the illusory “green economy” and a novel sonata of 21st century colonialism. As we are now living in a world that is beyond dangerous, society must be aware of, be able to critically analyze, and ultimately reject the new onslaught of carefully orchestrated depoliticization, domestication of populace, propaganda and misinformation that is being perpetrated and perpetuated by the corporate elite and the current power structures that support their agenda. The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.

Within part I of this investigative report:

  • The Simulacrum
  • Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO
  • 2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished
  • Introduction: The Non-profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War
  • Historical Amnesia
  • Corporate “Green” Pedophilia
  • The Commerce of Trust
  • The Cat is Out of the Bag
  • New York City Occupy Wall Street Embraces Otpor and Bombing for Peace
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • Unidentified “Freedom of Speech”
  • 15M – Europe’s Occupy Movement
  • The Commerce of Exploitation: Change.org
  • Indoctrinated Subservience & Whitism
  • Avaaz’s Founder and MoveOn.org Announce the U.S. “Spring”

 

Part II:

  • Bread and Circuses
  • Avaaz: The Emperor of the NGO Network
  • Did Libya’s Citizens Demand Foreign Intervention?
  • The Avaaz Gate-Keepers
  • Avaaz Co-Founder and Executive Director: Ricken Patel
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Perriello
  • Indoctrination of the Youth is Essential
  • The Humanitarian Industrial Complex: The Ivory Towers Within the Dark Triad
  • The Empire
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Tom Pravda
  • Avaaz Co-founder: David Madden
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Eli Pariser
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Jeremy Heimans

 

Part III:

  • Behavioural Change
  • May 2010: Avaaz’s Co-Founders Seek a Purpose-Driven Consumer Life | Behavioral Economics
  • The Behavioral Economics of Hatred
  • Purpose
  • Res Publica
  • Avaaz Founding Board Member: Ben Brandzel
  • Purpose: James Slezak
  • MoveOn.org
  • GetUp
  • The 21st Century Social Movements
  • The Non-Profit Industrial Complex Finally Finds “Success”
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Andrea Woodhouse
  • Avaaz Co-founder: Paul Hilder
  • The Avaaz “Core Campaign Team Members”

 

The Simulacrum

“As regards the ‘foundations’ created for unlimited general purposes and endowed with enormous resources, their unlimited possibilities are so grave a menace, not only as regards to their own activities and influence but also the numbing effect which they have on private citizens and public bodies, that if they could be clearly differentiated from other forms of voluntary altruistic effort, it would be desirable to recommend their abolition.” – Senator Frank Walsh, 1915

In his Sophist, Plato speaks of two kinds of image-making. The first is a faithful reproduction, a precise copy of the original. The second is distorted intentionally in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers. Plato gives the example of Greek statuary, which was crafted larger on top than on bottom so that viewers from the ground would see it correctly, whereas if they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed.

This latter representation serves as a visual art metaphor for the non-profit industrial complex. A semblance of entities, united in an ideology encompassing truth, justice and ethics – which is false. This is the simulacrum, distorted in such a way that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle. This report aims to allow you, the reader, to view the matrix from such an angle. By denying the reliable input of our senses while accepting the non-profit industrial complex’s manipulative constructs of language and “reason,” global society has arrived at a grossly distorted copy of ethics and intrinsic worth – a warped simulacrum of thespian complexity, a vast work of superficial depth.

Modus Operandi: The 21st Century NGO

 

 “What a cluster-fuck of disinformation this world has become. The sinister forces of greed and avarice are, through consolidation of wealth and power, more powerful than ever. Humankind has a huge uphill battle to wage.” — Comment at How Avaaz is Sponsoring Fake War Propaganda from Syria

The 21st century NGO is becoming, more and more, a key tool serving the imperialist quest of absolute global dominance and exploitation. Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” (a concept promoted by corporations in the first place). This misplaced trust has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to ascend to the highest position: the missionaries of deity – the deity of the empire.

Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated and backronymed as “mode of operation.” The term is used to describe someone’s habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning. In English, it is frequently shortened to M.O.

The expression is often used in police work when discussing a crime and addressing the methods employed by the perpetrators. It is also used in criminal profiling, where it can help in finding clues to the offender’s psychology. It largely consists of examining the actions used by the individual(s) to execute the crime, prevent its detection and/or facilitate escape. [Source: Wikipedia]

2004: The Soft Power Imperative | 2011: Mission Accomplished

“Existing soft power initiatives and agencies, particularly those engaged in development and strategic communications, must be reinvigorated through increased funding, human resources and prioritization. Concurrently, the U.S. government must establish goals, objectives and metrics for soft power initiatives. Furthermore, the U.S. government can better maximize the effectiveness of soft power instruments and efforts through increased partnerships with NGOs. By providing humanitarian and development assistance in areas typically inaccessible to government agencies, NGOs are often able to access potential extremist areas before the government can establish or strengthen diplomatic, developmental or military presence, including intelligence.” — Joseph S. Nye, former US assistant secretary of defense, June 2004

The non-profit industrial complex represents a rich portfolio of soft power tools readily available to the ruling elite. Today we witness the near complete metamorphosis of the complex having successfully morphed into the absolute idyllic clearinghouse for the collective and coordinated imperialist agenda shared by a broad spectrum of government institutions, dominated by the financial industrial complex, corporate power and hegemonic rule – all under the guise of a global conscience reflective of “civil society” via self-appointed NGOs.

Joseph S. Nye (quoted above) is a former US assistant secretary of defense, former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council and professor at Harvard University. A world renowned scholar of international relations, Nye co-founded the liberal institutionalist approach to international relations, theorizing that states and other international powers possess more or less “soft power” (a term first coined in the 1980s). In a 2004 article titled The Rising Power of NGO’s, Nye peddled his soft-power theory as the quintessential element that must be employed in order to protect the American public from “terrorists.” Of course, Nye neglected to include the fact that the true “terrorists” are those who hold power within our very own EuroAmerican governments/establishments, waging violence upon sovereign, resource-rich states. It’s an easy sell as it enables one to conveniently deny their assent to (our own) state-sponsored terrorism and continued collective and voluntary servitude as well-behaved, rapturous consumers under the influence of American (non) culture.

If a state can present its power as legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter far less resistance to its foreign policies and agendas. Further, if the Western states’ (non) culture and (illusory) ideology are desirable, other states will more willingly acquiesce. This is an area where the NGOs excel. They do so by never referring to their own “leaders” as dictators or fascists, yet more than willing to apply these derogatory terms to leaders targeted for regime change. Simultaneously, while reporting on human rights abuses or environmental violations in states exploited by industrialized capitalism, the NGOs neglect to comment on their own states’ escalating assault on “democracy.” Most important, the non-profit industrial complex certainly does not address the fact that industrialized and globalized capitalism (imposed by hegemonic rule) is the crux of most all suffering and ongoing crisis in the very states they criticize and deem culpable. A continuous subtle undertone of support/belief in their own states’ democracy is achieved simply by never opening a dialogue on the legitimacy of power structures within their own (imperialist) states.

In essence, soft power is “the universalism of a country’s culture and its ability to establish a set of favourable rules and institutions that govern areas of international activity [that] are critical sources of power” or, more simply, the ability to attract and co-opt rather than coerce and rather than using force or money as a means of persuasion. This is where states such as Bolivia (and Libya until its recent annihilation) are very real threats to the American superpower. States such as Bolivia and Libya (past-tense) serve the people to advance themselves to a more enlightened, more democratic existence in a very real sense, while democracy and freedoms in the Americas mean little more than “freedom to shop” and buy as much sweatshop junk as one can(not) afford. If corporate-owned/controlled media and corporate-funded/controlled educational institutes actually educated the American public on intellectual enlightenment and progressive advances in other countries – Americans would truly wonder what the fuck was going on. Rather, we are kept in the dark; doped up by big pharma and stupefied by Big Brother, all while such states and leaders are continually vilified and demonized in the media (both corporate and foundation-funded “progressive”), all while NGOs remain silent on their own accelerating fascist governments. American “exceptionalism” is, undoubtedly, the biggest lie ever told sold.

Introducing the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War

Packaging – Uncle Sam is the best in packaging and selling illusions.

 “I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the U.S.AID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America.” — Evo Morales, February 2012

In 2001, it was George W. Bush who propelled an illegal invasion of Iraq by way of relentless pounding of repetitive messaging of discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq coupled with incessant images of the Twin Towers being destroyed. This psyop (or psychological operation, a new form or warfare) reverberated throughout a mainstream media that obediently fed the lies to the masses. The role of the media was absolutely essential. Yet, in spite of Bush calling for the invasion of Iraq, citizens of the globe, in united cohesion, held the largest mass protests and peace vigils the world had ever witnessed.

Today, however, the push to invade under the guise of humanitarianism is no longer a message from predominantly imperialist governments alone. Rather, there is a new game in town. Flash forward one decade to 2011 and the push for war no longer comes from the lone vacuity of despised war criminals such as George Bush or his charismatic alter-ego, Barack Obama. Rather, the message is now being spoon-fed to global society via the “trusted” NGOs, with Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch at the forefront, as documented prior to and during the attack on and subsequent occupation of Libya, and more recently, the destabilization of Syria. [One of many reports of such malfeasance include “HUMAN RIGHTS” WARRIORS FOR EMPIRE | Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch“, by Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.]

“While much was made of the United Nations decision to establish a Human Rights Council in 2006, those who’ve witnessed the evolution of this institution are well aware that the UN was designed by (and functions to serve) the interests of modern states and their supplicants, not the Indigenous nations they rule. For those attached to charitable organizations like Human Rights Watch and other pashas of the piety industry, this is a bitter pill to swallow.” — Jay Taber, Obstacles to Peace, 13 July 2012

 

“The UN Human Rights Council stands as one of the significant obstacles to dynamic political development in the Fourth World. Many individuals and the peoples they represent in the Fourth World have come to believe that the UN Human Rights Council will relieve their pain from the violence of colonialism. It cannot, and it will not.” — Dr. Rudolph Ryser, Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies

A decade later, thanks to the non-profit industrial complex awash in an influx of money that flows like the river Nile, partnered with the corporate media complex, it is now “the people” – having been swayed by fabrications, omissions and lies – who lead the demand for invasion of these sovereign states. And, most ironic, it is not the so-called “right” at the vanguard; rather, it is the “progressive left.”

Historical Amnesia

“False reality” requires historical amnesia, lying by omission and the transfer of significance to the insignificant. In this way, political systems promising security and social justice have been replaced by piracy, “austerity” and “perpetual war”: an extremism dedicated to the overthrow of democracy. Applied to an individual, this would identify a psychopath. Why do we accept it? — John Pilger, award-winning journalist, in History is the Enemy as “Brilliant” Psy-ops Become the News, 21 June 2012


Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, David Hilliard, Fred Hampton, and Erica Huggins – forgotten heroes indeed. The Black Panthers, who emerged on the scene in 1966, drew much inspiration from the ideologies of Malcolm X. Rejecting pacifism and reformism, under the leadership of Fred Hampton, the Panthers recognized the necessity of militant action and self-defense (“by any means necessary”) against racists and the state. The Panthers were effective in organizing the struggle towards a true revolutionary faction, with the state full-well recognizing the very real potential the Panthers held to gain mass support for their revolutionary movement. The state was terrified at this very real threat. It must be noted that during this same time period, white youth were demonstrating against the Vietnam war while 45% of Blacks fighting in Vietnam proclaimed they would be prepared to take up arms within their own state to secure justice for the American people. Considering that in 1960 almost half of America’s population was under 18 years of age, the ample surplus of youth made the threat of a widespread revolt against the status quo a very real possibility. By 1967, the rise in militancy and “Black Power” drew a very tactical response from very anxious foundations. Rockefeller and Ford created the National Urban Coalition (NUC) with the intent of transforming “Black Power” into “Black capitalism.” This was the vehicle designed/created to crush the building momentum that was confronting/challenging the prevailing system of economic control and oppression. By 1970, as Black capitalism took hold, foundations were funneling over $15 million into “moderate” Black organizations in order to effectively deflect the Black Power movement into non-threatening channels. With Black Power successfully transitioning itself into Black capitalism, American corporations utilized the opportunity to cast themselves in a liberal, progressive light by financing Black Power conferences.

The evidence that the Panthers’ revolutionary movement was a very real threat to the American state is indisputable: the FBI (under J. Edgar Hoover) declared the Panthers the number one threat to the internal security of the US. The state tried to eradicate the Panthers “by any means necessary,” gunning down scores of Panthers in the street.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was also closely affiliated with the Rockefellers via the 1957 founded Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), which received money from the church and the Rockefellers. Although quite radical, elites considered SCLC moderate and “workable” because of its stance on nonviolence (which protects the state), alongside goals of integration rather than revolution. However, by the late 1960’s, Martin Luther King, Jr. had embraced militancy and radical positions espoused by both the Panthers and Malcolm X. As Martin Luther King, Jr.’s refusal to compromise increased, the foundation funding decreased. A respected man of such stature, speaking out, thus educating a vast public of the oppression caused by the capitalist system/racism, was indeed (and remains so today) a great threat to the powers that dominate. Thus, King was assassinated. Today, in united cohesion, the states work ardently with “progressive” (foundation-funded) media and the non-profit industrial complex, in ensuring that the King legacy is continually and relentlessly sanitized, watered down and co-opted to serve the elitist agenda. The pacifist doctrine, fondly funded by hegemonic rule, is continuously pumped through and circulated throughout the gentrified “movement” like fluoride in the city water – a neutral benevolence of slow poison we drink in voluntary servitude. [June 27, 2012: Black On The Old Plantation | Civil Rights Organizations Enslave Themselves to Corporate Funding]

“We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism.” — Bobby Seale, a founder of the Black Panthers

While Huey P. Newton advocated armed struggle, his ideology did not mean that the end product would be a world in which violence reigns. Rather, Newton believed that the oppressed must use guns as the means to a peaceful end of the oppression. He quoted Mao Tse-tung: “We are advocates of the abolition of war, we don’t not want war; but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.” Within the Panther Party, the gun was not upheld as a means of violence, rather, it was a symbol for empowerment and self-determination. [Huey P. Newton :: Philosophy :: Armed Self-Defense]

In October of 1969, hundreds of youth clad in football helmets marched through an elite shopping district of Chicago. Utilizing lead pipes, they shattered shop windows and demolished parked cars. This was the first demonstration known as the “Days of Rage” – organized by a group who called themselves the Weather Underground. Outraged by the war on Vietnam and the rampant racism in America, the Weather Underground waged a strategic low-level war against the state that continued throughout much of the seventies. The Underground had the state on the run. Members of the Underground bombed state property including the Capitol building (never incurring a single casualty) and even broke Timothy Leary out of prison all while successfully evading one of the largest FBI manhunts ever conducted in US history.

Weather Underground Bombs the Capitol, Pentagon, and State Department (Running time 10:00)

Today, most all the past revolutionary leaders of the Weather Underground, now conformed, apologize for their “tactics,” having been isolated and framed as “violent” by the co-opted left and status quo. [http://youtu.be/S6kPGh0w_-c]

It was during this time of true revolutionary uprising that money and “opportunities” began to siphon into the movements. The art of co-optation had begun with the only weapon (palatable to the public) the oligarchy possessed – money. This money would serve to indulge, thus co-opt, inflated egos scouted from within the left. Co-opting was an absolute necessity for the state to protect the dominant power structures from true systemic change that would effectively transfer power to the people. Examples of revolutionary movements in history, as evidenced in The Weather Underground, the Panthers and others, demonstrate unequivocally that the left became more jingoistic for war only after an influx of money began pouring in from the state and plutocrats via their foundations, which were in many cases set up for this very purpose.

A case in point: Roy Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality/CORE (who advocated “Black control of Black communities” in order to allow for the manifestation of “Black capitalism”) was named a Ford Foundation fellow and became a board member of the Rockefeller/Ford-created NUC/National Urban Coalition. Ford granted CORE Cleveland $175,000 in 1967 to help elect Carl Stokes, who was very much pro Black-capitalism.

Lesser known are the events led by CIA operant Gloria Steinem. The “Black Feminist” movement was created, funded and manipulated by the CIA from the very beginning with Steinem leading the charge. Steinem planted faux “Black feminists” in revolutionary Black Power movements/grassroots organizations in order to instill division and hatred and, ultimately, to dismantle the growing movement. Steinem’s “success” would assist the state’s crushing of the Black Power movement itself. [Read: BLACK FEMINISM, THE CIA AND GLORIA STEINEM]

Throughout the world, there are organizations identifying themselves as the Black Panthers and other true revolutionary movements in existence. However, blinded by the shiny veneer of the big NGOs, few people are aware that such revolutionary movements even exist today. It is the job of the non-profit industrial complex, while waving the pacifist bible in one hand, to deliberately ensure that these groups are not only marginalized, but ignored altogether. Such movements, which have to potential to disrupt (or even dismantle) the power structures that enslave us, must remain invisible or framed in a negative light – if co-opting them is not possible, that is.

And that is something that the Western culture has perfected: co-optation. Forrest Palmer writes: “I am writing a blog post called ‘Malcolm X on a postage stamp.’ It is exactly what you see here [http://www.movements.org/pages/team]. If you know that something is happening at the grassroots and you can’t stop it, the West accepts it, places their handpicked leaders in the forefront who appease the masses into thinking what they are doing is still ‘revolutionary,’  negotiate with the ‘leaders’ ensuring they acquiesce to the state, compromise and either end up with things status quo or so watered down that the compromise doesn’t help the masses at all, but instead helps the state. The best example of a singular event of this: The March on Washington. It went from a black mass rebellion to a benign walk in the park masquerading as a movement. They had all their speeches proofread by the state, including King’s ‘great’ I Have a Dream speech. If the speeches weren’t what the state wanted, they either changed them (John Lewis) or weren’t allowed to speak (James Baldwin).”

“Malcolm predicted that if the civil rights bill wasn’t passed, there would be a march on Washington in 1964. Unlike the 1963 March on Washington, which was peaceful and integrated, the 1964 march Malcolm described would be an all-Black ‘non-violent army’ with one-way tickets.” [Wikipedia, speaking of Malcolm X and his speech The Ballot or the Bullet.]

And so it goes. Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February 1965. And while our brothers and sisters in Africa, the Middle East and the Global South continue to be grossly exploited or altogether annihilated by the imperialist forces, the movement is ever-so acquiescent. Five hundred dollars a day for lodging at the Rio+20 Summit has never been so easy for those within the champagne circuit. And with a Democratic administration and a Black American president in the White House, the modern civil rights movement and dominant left organizations have never found it so easy to remain silent, with little to no criticism from civil society who, self-appointed, they falsely claim to represent.

“While in the US those puppets have traditionally taken on the form of talking heads on corporate and public television, they are increasingly represented in the form of NGO PR puppets employed in the moral theatrics industry…. As the credibility of politicians and pundits plummets, it is these PR puppets that are increasingly responsible for bolstering public support for militarism in general and militarized humanitarian intervention in particular.” — Jay Taber, Intercontinental Cry; Pious Poseurs, 24 June 2012

Although now seemingly normalized, one must consider it slightly ironic that it is in fact no longer the dominant “progressive left” beating the drums against war. [Exceptions include legitimate grassroots groups such as Peacelink in Italy.] Rather, as in the case of climate change, it is primarily the countries seeking to free themselves from the chains of imperialist enslavement that vocally oppose the escalating destabilization campaigns, inclusive of the most recent, in Syria. On 16 February 2012, the 12 sovereign states who voted against the resolution to condemn Syria at the United Nations included North Korea, China, Russia, Iran and Syria, along with states who primarily compose ALBA; Bolivia, Belarus, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua. And it is not coincidence that most all the leaders of all these same states, who continue the struggle for autonomy, are all similarly vilified and demonized by the corporate-media complex, joined recently by the non-profit industrial complex. It is critical to note that the imperialist powers (inclusive of the UN) do not criticize or demonize or withdraw their support from such leaders on any ethical or moral ground. Denunciation of state leaders and emotive language is merely theatre. Rather, the imperialist states strategically set out to destroy any state leader that is unwilling to be controlled by US interests and foreign policy. A case in point is unwavering support of the Saudi royal family responsible for atrocious human rights violations to which the imperialist countries turn a blind eye.

Demonization is a key psyop, directly sponsored by the US Pentagon and intelligence apparatus to influence and sway public opinion and build consensus in favour of invasion. [Prof. Michel Chossudovsky] A recent example can be extracted from the failed 2011 destabilization campaign against the Morales government in Bolivia led by US-funded NGOs including the “Democracy Centre,” which declared: “But the abuses dealt out by the government against the people of the TIPNIS have knocked ‘Evo the icon’ off his pedestal in a way from which he will never fully recover, in Bolivia and globally.” [Further reading: U.S. Funded Democracy Centre Reveals Its Real Reason for Supporting the TIPNIS Protest in Bolivia: REDD $$$. ¿Por qué se defiende el tipnis?, http://youtu.be/RPiw3cDotHA]

A similar situation (developing nations, rather than the “environmental movement,” taking the lead) has taken place on the issue of climate change. ALBA nations, with Bolivia at the forefront, led while the non-profit industrial complex purposely and grossly undermined the strong positions necessary to mitigate the climate emergency. The climate justice movement was acquiescent and thus kowtowed to the “big greens”; “big greens” such as Avaaz, 350.org and Greenpeace who had partnered with HSBC, Lloyds Bank, nuclear giant EDF, Virgin Group, Shell (via TckTckTck partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change) and other corporate giants constituting the “TckTckTck campaign” whereby “the objective was to make it become a movement that consumers, advertisers and the media would use and exploit” (Havas Press Release). There was no justice to be found, only a cohesive hypocrisy amongst the professional left that flourished like a cancer.

Next: Part one, section II.

 Avaaz Investigative Report Series [Links]|Further Reading: Part I | Section I | Part I | Section II | Part I | Section III | Part II | Section I

[Cory Morningstar is an independent journalist /ecological activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change, Political Context and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur]

Bolivia: The US Is Spying on Latin America Under the Cover of USAID and other NGOs

 “I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the USAID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America,” Morales said during a press conference in Oruro, a southwestern Bolivian city.

Feb 10, 2012

China Daily

LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday accused the United States of spying on his and other Latin American countries.

The Bolivian president said the spying is done under the cover of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the USAID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America,” Morales said during a press conference in Oruro, a southwestern Bolivian city.

Morales said the United States, through the cover of development aid operations of those organizations, knows “all the details of the activities of the social sectors and union leaders” in those Latin American countries.

The president regretted that some union leaders were allegedly used by these NGOs to stir disputes such as the one over a highway project in an indigenous territory in his country.

Bolibya? Juan Carlos Zambrana sets the Record Straight on the Destabilization Campaign Against Morales Led by U.S. Funded NGOs

January 23, 2012

By Cory Morningstar

 

“Al-Jazeera, which started out as a credible news agency, has become the whore of international journalism and is as credible as the scrawlings of a demented simpleton on the walls of a football stadium. What is really happening in Syria, we shall be reporting in the forthcoming days. Meanwhile let us tell the story of Libya, which you will not see on Al-Jazeera, nor indeed on the British Bullshit Corporation, its friend and bedmate.” —Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda.Ru, from the article The West, Syria and Libya.

It is no secret that Al Jazeera has become an instrumental tool of propaganda (Wadah Khanfar, Al-Jazeera and the triumph of televised propaganda by Thierry Meyssan), serving the Imperialist powers in the expanding destabilization campaigns taking place at unprecedented speed across the globe. What is perhaps less known is the destabilization campaign staged against the Bolivian President Evo Morales, which Morales successfully circumvented and over-came in late 2011. (Media reported several deaths including a baby – all which proved to be complete fabrication.)

The Phenomenon of the Indigenous Counterrevolution

By Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

January 13, 2012

It is no secret that the United States finances the opposition to leftist governments, and that its motivation is to control natural resources. In the case of Bolivia, indigenous resistance to U.S. abuse made the indigenous people formidable defenders of human rights, but their symbiotic relationship with the land also made them defenders of natural resources. Evo Morales managed to tie up the loose ends of this symbiotic relationship, and, therefore, his victory was so significant for the indigenous peoples that now, in Bolivian politics, all roads pass through the indigenous. The extreme right had no choice but to invent their own indigenism, and, as absurd as it might be, the notion of an indigenous imperialism, the new political phenomenon in Bolivia, is an indigenism complacent with neoliberalism, the U.S. Embassy, the transnational oil companies, and the NGOs, where the interests of looting hide.

This novel mutation of the indigenous movement has its center of operations in the lowlands of Santa Cruz, coalescing around the Indigenous Confederation of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB), funded by USAID and supported by a legion of NGOs, as was demonstrated by the march opposing the road through the TIPNIS, and the agreement that the Guarani signed directly with the Repsol oil company, with the help of the NGO Nizkor, behind the back of the Plurinational State of Bolivia.

In the latter case, Repsol simply put $14.8 million in a Certificate of Deposit for ten years, with the interests committed itself to give approximately $140,000 monthly to the Assembly of Guarani People (APG) for them to manage freely. Considering that international oil companies are for-profit entities, it is clear that there exists an ulterior motive, beyond the apparent philanthropy. As it happened with the TIPNIS road, where one of the mechanisms to create the dependency of the Indigenous, were the carbon bonds paid by the industrialized countries as a “compensation,” (which allows them, by the way, to continue polluting the planet), the consultation with the Indigenous that the new constitution establishes to approve the environmental permits for projects in their territories had been kidnapped in advance by the interests of plunder, in order to boycott the process of change.

The U.S., the transnational corporations, the NGOs, the Right, its powerful press, and even the Catholic Church, were openly promoting the new indigenous counterrevolutionary leadership, dependent on the interests of plunder, to put in place around the natural resources new local elites opposed to the national interest. Following the political mandates of their “benefactors,” the counterrevolutionary indigenous leaders proved that they could oppose every project and even destabilize the government, which ultimately means boycotting the process of change, and why not, even overthrowing Morales’ government.

History has shown that the Right, when is defeated democratically due to its in lack of arguments to convince a historically dispossessed people such as Bolivians of the benefits of pillage, resorts to the most curious and conspiratorial covert operations. The phenomenon of counterrevolutionary indigenism is undoubtedly one of those destabilizing projects. However, the manipulation is so obvious that it does not withstand the test of an objective analysis. The Bolivian people have already realized that the eternal war between Left and Right is the war between plundering and a people who refuse to be robbed one more day.

Having come to power, the Bolivian people have a new objective in the sphere of understanding. The Guarani people are beginning to understand, for example, that they don’t need to surrender to the transnational corporations that previously took 83% of the value of hydrocarbons and intend to do it again. What they need to do is to claim their portion of the Direct Tax on Hydrocarbons (IDH), which is a resource for the welfare of the producing areas. They are finally understanding that the nationalization carried out by President Morales has multiplied those revenues, which are still being administered by the regional governments. These revenues, at least in the case of Santa Cruz, being in the hands of the Right, have been redistributed through projects that benefit the productive sectors in power. The indigenous Bolivians are finally understanding that some of that money belongs to them, and that all they have to do to manage it directly is to push for democratization of the concept of autonomy, which left behind national centralism only to become stuck in that of the governorships.

In December 2005, when Evo Morales won his first election by promising the people the nationalization of hydrocarbons, Tarija’s Governor (then Prefect) Mario Cossio, closely linked to transnational corporations, and speaking for the Right, said that they had lost the central government but not the hydrocarbons, because the new provincial governments would take over decision-making concerning those resources. Autonomy was, without a doubt, the plan “B” of the transnationals to control Bolivia’s hydrocarbons. It was not surprise, therefore, to confirm that the transnational oil companies were always part of the Right’s destabilizing structure that constantly conspired against Evo Morales’ government.

The process of renewing understanding that the Bolivian people are going through is actually a process of recovery from the enormous damage caused by the powerful campaign of disinformation with which the Right has managed to place them in a state of collective hypnosis, under which, as automatons, they have boycotted their own future. This process of awakening of consciousness was noted, for example, in the latest election of the Guarani People’s Assembly, in which the leader who signed the agreement with Repsol Oil lost the election facing a leadership that favors good relations with the government in order to carry out legislative changes to rescue their representation, and the right to self-manage their resources.

Something similar is starting to happen with the natives of the TIPNIS, who have already realized the manipulation to which they have been subjected by the interests of plunder. They understand that the national projects, being genuinely in favor of the classes previously forgotten are much more beneficial for them, as is, for example, the project of the Chapare development pole, which aims to make possible the substitution of coca leaf production with the industrialization and export of agricultural products under the communitarian production model, in which they are protagonists.

The transnationals boycotted the road to prevent the success of that production model, opposite to the capitalist agriculture model, that is controlling the world’s food production. Again, the motives of the conflict are the attempts of transnational corporatocracy to control Bolivia, and the efforts of the people to defend themselves.

In despite of all, the poor results of the huge imperialist investments to defeat Morales and his process of transformation prove that, in Bolivia, the counterrevolutionary indigenous movement will be just another U.S. experiment doomed to failure, simply because it prostitutes the indigenous identity by corrupting it for the benefit of exploiters, dragging it away from its natural symbiotic relationship with mother earth, which make the indigenous invariably anti-imperialist.

www.juancarloszambrana.com

http://politicalcontext.org/blog/2012/01/the-phenomenon-of-the-indigenous-counterrevolution/

U.S. Funded Democracy Centre Reveals It’s Real Reason for Supporting the TIPNIS Protest in Bolivia: REDD $$$

November 23rd, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

DI NO AL REDD – Rapido Enriquecimiento con Desalojos, usurpación de tierras y Destrucción de biodiversidad. SAY NO TO REDD – Reaping Profits from Evictions, Land Grabs, Deforestation and Destruction of Biodiversity

“Bolivia is and will remain a country who desperately struggles to resist Imperialism and fight for their autonomy – against all odds.”

The Democracy Centre, Avaaz and Amazon Watch are the main three NGOs, heavily funded by U.S. interests (Rockefellers, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation and Soros to name a few), who led the recent International campaign in which they denounced and demonized Bolivian Indigenous leader Evo Morales and his government. This destabilization campaign focused on the TIPNIS protests. A violent confrontation between TIPNIS protestors (influenced/funded by U.S. NGOs/USAID/CIDOB) and the police was the vital opportunity needed in order to execute a destabilization campaign that the U.S. has been strategically planning for decades. (Declassified Documents Revealed More than $97 Million from USAID to Separatist Projects in Bolivia | Evo Morales Through the Prism of Wikileaks – Democracy in Danger).

A key demand put forward by the TIPNIS protestors were that Indigenous peoples would directly receive financial compensation for ‘offsetting’ carbon emissions. This policy, known as REDD/REDD+ (Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), has been denounced as the commodification and privatisation of the forests by many, including those within the climate justice movements. The ‘People’s Agreement’ created at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (April 2010) clearly condemned REDD, stating that it violates “the sovereignty of our Peoples.” REDD has been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right for underdeveloped countries to develop their economies. Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environment Network stated unequivocally that “The carbon market solutions are not about mitigating climate, but are greenwashing policies that allow fossil fuel development to expand.”

Morales survived the orchestrated attempt to destabilize his government. No one’s fool, Morales did something completely unexpected that few if anyone had even considered: he granted the Indigenous peoples of the TIPNIS every single demand which the protestors, under foreign/outside influence had sought (although he made clear that on the issue of REDD, the ‘People’s Agreement’ adopted at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth would guide any future decision on this issue). Completely caught off guard by Morales response, and realizing, perhaps for the first time, whose lives would ultimately be affected by the outcomes of the demands, and how, one anxious protestor commented “we’re screwed“.

Video: Manipulation: Indigenous Peoples Alto Xingu-STOP pushing us for REDD (running time: 9:26)

Morales has been a world leader in his vocal opposition to REDD stating that “nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.” At the opposite end of the spectrum are the foundations (who serve as tax-exempt front groups for corporations and elites) who finance the NGOs who have led the campaign to discredit Morales are most all heavily promoting and investing in REDD. CIDOB is involved in pilot REDD projects funded by the NGO called FAN (Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza) which is funded by a slew of foreign interest entities/states and corporate NGOs such as USAID, Conservation International, European Union, American Electric Power, BP-Amoco and Dow Chemical‘s partner, The Nature Conservancy. Indeed, when it comes to the world’s most powerful NGOs voicing any dissent to the false solution of REDD, the silence is deafening. (http://www.redd-monitor.org/2011/10/26/manufacturing-consent-on-carbon-trading/)

The money behind the REDD scheme is in the trillions.

Above: Indigenous Peoples Alto Xingu – Stop Pushing Us For REDD – Photo: Rebecca Sommer

It is revealing to note that while the corporate NGOs worked feverishly to shine an International spotlight on the tear-gassing of the TIPNIS protestors by Bolivian police, a slaughter of 100,000 Libyan civilians was underway in an Imperialist, NATO-led invasion under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention’. This invasion was made possible by the fabrication of events and lies put forward by 78 NGOs. To this day, there is no evidence to back these lies. The NGOs were and remain silent on this latest atrocity as the U.S./Euro Imperialist destabilization campaigns escalate in the Middle East in a race towards global domination.

The Democracy Centre makes clear it’s opposition to the Bolivian Morales government’s position on REDD in its policy statement on REDD drafted by staffer Kylie Benton-Connell [1]

In this report, the Democracy Centre both denies/ignores the involvement of USAID in the CIDOB promoted REDD Amazonia project via its funding to FAN, and argues that “The REDD Amazonia project is important, because it keeps the possibility of these kind of projects alive in Bolivian institutions, in a context where the national government is swimming against the tide of international REDD politics.”

Furthermore, Benton-Connell reiterates the Democracy Centre’s opposition to the Bolivian Morales government’s position and the Centre’s support for REDD in her article published on November 21, 2011 (link below and also published on the Democracy Centre’s website):

” The decision linking forest conservation to carbon markets may well be finalized at the UN climate negotiations in Durban at the beginning of December, unless it is blocked by dissident countries.”

Moreover, Benton-Connell tells us:

“… if today’s Bolivian government or a future one drops its opposition to carbon markets, and an international agreement is reached on trading in forest carbon, revenue streams could become much larger.”

Benton-Connell continues that the problem is not REDD itself, but how REDD is organized. She states:

“The fates of many ordinary people in Bolivia — and of similar communities across the globe — will be in play as technocrats discuss plans for forest carbon trading at the upcoming UN climate negotiations in Durban. As Marcos Nordgren Ballivián, climate change analyst with Bolivian organization CIPCA told us last year: “tensions already exist, and with a new source of profits such as REDD could prove to be, it might cause problems … But we’ll have to see how REDD is organized, because that will define, of course, if these conflicts are worsened.”

The following text appears 8 March 2010 in an article titled Getting REDDy to Cross the Finish Line, Two Decades in the Making: “It’s hard to imagine with all the progress REDD has achieved, that it all started less than 20 years ago with the Rio Summit in ’92, when the makings of a global sustainability architecture in the form of a climate treaty began to take shape. But a forestry treaty had yet to happen … With over 20 years of experience in the forestry sector, Michael Northrup, Program Director of Sustainable Development at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was invited by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to give a Distinguished Lecture, ‘After Copenhagen: Implications for U.S. Climate, Energy, and Forest Policy’ at the high brow, exclusive Cosmos Club. Northrup casually described to the 30 or so people in the room where we are with REDD today and how we got here. Plus he played the “name game” as he knew most of the people in the room.”

Of course, Rockefeller is not alone in its quest to lead and dominate on the promise of “green capitalism”; other members of the elites will not be left behind to feed on the breadcrumbs. For example, The Climate and Land Use Alliance, whose member foundations include the ClimateWorks Foundation (Avaaz partner), the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and multi-million dollar corporate NGOs – Greenpeace International and Rockefeller’s WWF have joined forces to push forward the false solution of REDD.

“The big business conservationists and their professionals didn’t buy off the movement; they built it.” -Katherine Barkley and Steve Weissman, “The Eco-Establishment“, in: Ramparts (eds.), Eco-Catastrophe, Harper and Row, 1970

Video: President Morales Speaks to Imperialism (UN Gen Ass, Sept 21, 2011)(Running time: 8:02)

Let us close while we reflect upon the words of author Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti:

“In the recent conflict over the construction of a highway through the TIPNIS indigenous territory, history repeated itself once again: indigenous people renounced all possibility of progress and integration in favor of the hidden political objective of the US to boycott the projects of crop-substitution and development center in the Chapare, wherein lies the core of the anti-imperialist consciousness of the Bolivian people. Once again, foreign interests have ensured that the Indians act against their own interests. This shows that a priority issue for the new agenda of president Morales should be to continue deconstructing the control mechanisms of the Western powers. “Philanthropy” has always been one of the most dangerous mechanisms.”

The article: http://www.alternet.org/water/153161/will_programs_to_off-set_carbon_emissions_fuel_further_conflict_in_bolivia%27s_forests?page=entire

For further reading on the International Campaign to Destabilize Bolivia: http://wrongkindofgreen.org/category/the-international-campaign-to-destabilize-bolivia/

[1] Benton-Connell worked with the Democracy Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia from February 2010 to June 2011, where she authored the report “Off the Market: Bolivian forests and struggles over climate change.”

Bolivia: Solidarity Activists Need to Support Process

Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Green Left Weekly

By Federico Fuentes

Bolivia’s first indigenous president celebrates winning a recall referendum in August 2008.

The recent march in Bolivia by some indigenous organisations against the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) has raised much debate among international solidarity activists.

Such debates have occurred since the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005 on the back of mass uprisings.

Overwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of the process of change.

However, such a viewpoint is not only simplistic; it can leave solidarity activists on the wrong side.

Kevin Young’s October 1 piece on Znet, “Bolivia Dilemmas: Turmoil, Transformation, and Solidarity”, tries to grapple with this issue by saying that “our first priority [as solidarity activists] must be to stop our governments, corporations and banks from seeking to control Bolivia’s destiny”.

Yet, as was the case with most articles written by solidarity activists, Young downplays the role of United States imperialism and argues the government was disingenuous in linking the protesters to it.

Others went further, denying any connection between the protesters and US imperialism.

The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB), the main organisation behind the march, has no such qualms. It boasted on its website that it received training programs from the US government aid agency USAID.

On the site, CIDOB president Adolfo Chavez, thanks the “information and training acquired via different programs financed by external collaborators, in this case USAID”.

Ignoring or denying clear evidence of US funding to such organisations is problematic. Attacking the Bolivian government for exposing this, as some did, disarms solidarity activists in their fight against imperialist intervention.

But biggest failure of the solidarity movement has been its silence on US and corporate responsibility for the conflict.

The TIPNIS dispute was not some romanticised, Avatar-like battle between indigenous defenders of Mother Earth and a money-hungry government intent on destroying the environment.

Underpinning the conflict was the difficult question of how Bolivia can overcome centuries of colonialism and underdevelopment to provide its people with access to basic services while trying to respect the environment. The main culprits are not Bolivian; they are imperialist governments and their corporations.

We must demand they pay their ecological debt and transfer the necessary technology for sustainable development to countries such as Bolivia (demands that almost no solidarity activists raised). Until this occurs, activists in rich nations have no right to tell Bolivians what they can and cannot do to satisfy the basic needs of their people.

Otherwise, telling Bolivian people that they have no right to a highway or to extract gas to fund social programs (as some NGOs demanded), means telling Bolivians they have no right to develop their economy or fight poverty.

Imperialism aims to keep Third World nations subordinate to the interests of rich nations. This is one reason foreign NGOs and USAID are trying to undermine the Morales government’s leading international role in opposing the grossly anti-environmental policies, such as Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD).

REDD uses poor nations for carbon offsets so corporations in rich countries can continue polluting. Support for REDD was one of the demands of the protest march.

Young says “our solidarity should be with grassroots revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and defenders of human rights, not with governments or parties”.

But, as the TIPNIS case shows, when governments are trying to grapple with lifting their country out of underdevelopment, the demands of social movements with competing sectoral interests may clash.

In fact, some of the most strident supporters of the highway were also the very same social movements that solidarity activists have supported in their struggles against neoliberal governments during the last decade.

In such scenarios, you can only choose between supporting some social movement demands by dismissing legitimate demands of others, as many did with the TIPNIS case.

Lasting change can only come about when social movements begin to take power into their own hands when social movements become governments.

It is this objective that Bolivia’s social movements set. They forged their own political instrument through struggle ? commonly known as the Movement Towards Socialism ? and won a government they see as their own.

Having gone from a position of “struggle from below” to taking government from the traditional elites as an instrument to achieve their goal of state power, these social movements have begun winning control over natural resources and enacted a new constitution.

Converting the constitution’s ideals into a new state power remains a task for the Bolivian revolution.

But its success depends on the ability of “grassroots revolutionaries, anti-imperialists and defenders of human rights” ? operating within and without the existing state ? to struggle in a united way.

Our solidarity must be based on the existing revolutionary struggle in Bolivia, not a romanticised one we would prefer.

A permanent state of protests may be attractive for solidarity activists, but ultimately can only translate into a permanent state of demoralisation unless social movements can go beyond opposing capitalist governments and create their own state power.

Refusing to support the struggles as they exist illustrates a lack of confidence in the Bolivian masses to determine their own destiny. It also displays an arrogance on the part of those who, having failed to hold back imperialist governments at home, believe they know better than the Bolivians how to develop their process of change.

Mistakes are made in any struggle. But such mistakes should not be used to try and pit one side against another. We should have confidence that these internal conflicts can be resolved by the social movements themselves.

[Federico Fuentes edits Bolivia Rising.]

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49516

The West, the Rest and the Exploited (Bolivia, TIPNIS, USAID, CIDOB, NED, The Democracy Center)

The Western empires have their days numbered, not just because emerging countries are catching up to them, but because they have corrupted their own system and made it unsustainable.

 

Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti

November 18, 2011

The conservative British historian Niall Ferguson argues in his latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, that “beginning in the 15th Century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and work ethic”. He argues that controlling these “Killer applications,… the West jumped ahead of the rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting new scientific knowledge, evolving representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the industrial revolution… Western empires controlled 4/5 of the global economy”. What a story of exceptionalism.

What the British historian avoids putting into proper perspective is that, “by chance,” in the 15th Century there also took place the “discovery of the New World,” which led Europe into a new era of prosperity and the new colonies into one of genocide, slavery and plunder. It would be more honest to acknowledge that the six “applications” that the West monopolized were war, Illicit appropriation of labor, property and knowledge; the legalization of their spoils of war; control of the media to create a triumphalist history; and, to the present day, the evolution of their methods of control. But that only highlights the obvious misrepresentations. There are more subtle deceptions in Ferguson’s selective memory, such as the concepts of “evolution of representative government” and the “rule of law”.

The so-called “evolution” of representative government led to the fact that the people’s participation in democracy ends on Election Day, when they choose their president and their representatives to Congress. Through this mechanism, a bridle was put into the mouths of the people, mounted like donkeys, and the reins were turned over to the interest groups, who, financing election campaigns, literally bought the brand-new representatives. With 80 percent of the planet depending on the empires for trade, health, education, communications, food supply, religions, finance, and so on, It was easy for the empires to impose on not only their own countries, but also on most of the world, puppet governments to serve corporate interests.

The also misleading concept of “rule of law” hides, among other things, authorization for the empires to become “guardians” of compliance with this law, which they use as pretext to invade any country that interests them, as it happened in the case of Libya, a country which NATO bombarded mercilessly, then invaded, ironically, based on the pretext of protecting it. Pierre Charasse says in his article The west and the rest, or the myth of the international community, that “The Military intervention in Libya … had as a legal basis resolution 1973 of the United Nations Security Council, and as a moral foundation, the responsibility to protect the civilian population”.

The Western empires organized the circus of the world forums in order to herd into them the small countries that they influenced, to subject them to “laws” to which empires are not subject to. That was clear when the U.S. invaded Iraq unilaterally, and it is obvious each year when, in the United Nations, 186 countries vote to lift the blockade on Cuba, but in practice, loses to the U.S. vote and the lone support of Israel. Therefore, the so-called “evolution of representative government” and “Rule of Law” can also represent the evolution of the control mechanisms of imperialism.

Ferguson says that, “The days of Western predominance are numbered, because the Rest has finally downloaded the six killer apps the West once monopolized— while the West has literally lost faith in itself.” He fails to recognize that the collapse of the West is largely self-inflicted, because it corrupted its own system so much that it is now unsustainable. It totally deregulated itself, and gave itself license to unleash wars around the world, seeding the planet with death, misery and desolation with the only objective to increase its control, to continue plundering with impunity, ever increasing the gap between rich and poor. Five centuries were not enough, and they continue to do it, as in even into the 21st Century.

At a time when the political forces of the planet are changing polarity from the West to the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, Bolivian President Evo Morales has called on the social organizations to discuss the second phase of the process of change, and to establish a new agenda for his government. It is important to analyze the case of Bolivia, because it is the other side of the equation in this Western exceptionalism described by Ferguson. Bolivia’s population, mainly indigenous, survived the above-mentioned five centuries of plundering and exploitation; as a result, the long period of resistance, in a vicious cycle of war between the forces of looting and the people’s attempts to defend themselves, has exposed the creative ways in which imperialism operates.

In my book Secrets of State I explain that, after the first Bolivian revolutionary government nationalized John D. Rockefeller’ s Standard Oil Co. for fraud on the Bolivian State, Nelson Rockefeller, the successor of the oil empire, then working at the State Department, realized that the Bolivian indigenous were becoming aware of their strength as a class and would soon claim their political space. Thus began an era of apparent U.S. cooperation, hidden under the disguise of philanthropy, with which to begin to control the indigenous. The U.S. also diversified its methods of control, introducing them to international lending institutions and the United Nations. An example of this was the case of the Andean Indian Program.

The United States could not prevent the historical Bolivian revolution of 1952, but having trapped the small Andean country into dependency, and having gotten into its bloodstream trough programs to “include” the natives, began to make them believe that they were supported while discreetly disfiguring the social reform plan with a skillful manipulation of the words used in legislation. In this way, it distorted the agrarian reform, because the idea of peasants owning the land and organizing productively was aberrant to the capitalist production system of “hacienda”, or large agricultural corporation, which the US promoted for political purposes in the eastern lowlands of Bolivia, creating a new right-wing ruling class to counter the anti-imperialism of the Andean region. Through other programs of “cooperation” the US strengthened and indoctrinated the Bolivian military, in preparation for the next generation of dictatorships.

Two tragic realities are clear in Bolivian history. One is that the U.S. has the undeniable objective of regime change on counties that resist its policies, and an extraordinary set of mechanisms to achieve it. The second is the consequence of the first: the people’s challenge is not only to come to power, but also, once there, to have to constantly defend their government. The Bolivian people have come to power, and have already put in place unprecedented changes, but I think that Morales’ government, before sitting down to talk with a legion of foreign interests, should investigate in depth the extent to which various social sectors have been infiltrated by USAID, which openly funded CIDOB, by the NED, and by the army of NGOs, with unfortunately has become another mechanism for hegemony to evade responsibilities.

An interesting case study is that of The Democracy Center, whose participation in support of the people in the Water War of 2000 was as commendable as is now its surprising dislike of Evo Morales. It seems as though it expected to emerge from that conflict with their own president, and the rise of Evo Morales thwarted their plans. The current benefactor of The Democracy Center is the Ford Foundation, but it is curious to find among its previous benefactors the Rockefeller Foundation: the same people who since the Second World War have been manipulating in different ways the will and the destiny of the Bolivian peasants, to use them politically in favor of the agenda of capitalism.

In the recent conflict over the construction of a highway through the TIPNIS indigenous territory, history repeated itself once again: indigenous people renounced all possibility of progress and integration in favor of the hidden political objective of the US to boycott the projects of crop-substitution and development center in the Chapare, wherein lies the core of the anti-imperialist consciousness of the Bolivian people. Once again, foreign interests have ensured that the Indians act against their own interests. This shows that a priority issue for the new agenda of president Morales should be to continue deconstructing the control mechanisms of the Western powers. “Philanthropy” has always been one of the most dangerous mechanisms.

www.juancarloszambrana.com

http://juancarloszambrana.com/?page_id=452

http://politicalcontext.org/blog/2011/11/the-west-the-rest-and-the-exploited/

Flashback: Declassified Documents Revealed More than $97 Million from USAID to Separatist Projects in Bolivia

“USAID’s work in Bolivia is not just oriented towards strengthening the opposition to Evo Morales and promoting separatism, but also involves attempts to penetrate and infiltrate indigenous communities, seeking out new actors to promote Washington’s agenda that have an image more representative of the Bolivian indigenous majority. One declassified document clearly outlines the necessity to give ‘more support to USAID and Embassy indigenous interns to build and consolidate a network of graduates who advocate for the US Government in key areas.'”

Press conference by US researcher and investigative journalist, Jeremy Bigwood in La Paz, Bolivia, October 11, 2008. Reveals proof and documents to the press and public that show US intervention in Bolivia. (English subtitles | Running time: 7:17)

Below is an article by Eva Golinger. Golinger is a Venezuela-based award-winning Attorney and Author. You can follow her on twitter.

Newly declassified documents reveal More than $97 million from USAID to separatist projects in Bolivia

May 22nd, 2009

Eva Golinger

Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in “decentralization” and “regional autonomy” projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the “first donor to support departmental governments” and “decentralization programs” in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia.

Decentralization and separatism

The documents confirm that USAID has been managing approximately $85 million annually in Bolivia during the past few years, divided amongst programs related to security, democracy, economic growth and human investment. The Democracy Program is focused on a series of priorities, the first outlined as “Decentralized democratic governments: departmental governments and municipalities”. One document, classified as “sensitive”, explains that this particular program began when USAID=2 0established an Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI) en Bolivia during 2004. The OTIs are a division of USAID that function as rapid response teams to political crises in countries strategically important to US interests. The OTI only address political issues, despite USAID’s principal mission dedicated to humanitarian aid and development assistance, and they generally have access to large amounts of liquid funds in order to quickly and efficiently achieve their objectives. The OTI operate as intelligence agencies due to their relative secrecy and filtering mechanism that involves large contracts given to US companies to operate temporary offices in nations where OTI requires channeling millions of dollars to political parties and NGOs that work in favor of Washington’s agenda. After the failed coup d’etat against President Chávez in April 2002, USAID set up an OTI in Venezuela two months later, in June 2002, with a budget over $10 million for its first two years. Since then, the OTI has filtered more than $50 million through five US entities that set up shop in Caracas subsequently, reaching more than 450 NGOs, political parties and programs that support the opposition to President Chávez.

In the case of Bolivia, the OTI contracted the US company, Casals & Associates, to coordinate a program based on decentralization and autonomy in the region considered the “media luna” (half-moon), where the hard core opposition to President Evo Morales is based, particularly in the province20of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Casals & Associates was also charged with conducting a series of training seminars and workshops to strengthen oppositional political parties that were working against then presidential candidate Evo Morales in 2004 and 2005. After Morales was elected president at the end of 2005, OTI directed the majority of its funding and work to the separatist projects that later produced regional referendums on autonomy in Eastern Bolivia. Their principal idea is to divide Bolivia into two separate republics, one governed by an indigenous majority and the other run by European descendents and mestizos that inhabit the areas rich in natural resources, such as gas and water. After 2007, the OTI, which had an additional budget of $13.3 on top of USAID’s general Bolivia program funding, was absorbed into USAID/Bolivia’s Democracy Program, which since then has been dedicating resources to consolidating the separatist projects.

USAID’s work in Bolivia covers almost all sectors of political and economic life, penetrating Bolivian society and attempting to impose a US political and ideological model. The investment in “decentralization” includes all the support and funding needed to conform “autonomous” regions, from departmental planning to regional economic development, financial management, communications strategies, departmental budget structures, and territorial organization designs – all prepared and implemented by USAID representatives and partners in=2 0Bolivia. As part of the program titled “Strengthening Democratic Institutions” (SDI), USAID describes its work to “enrich the dialogue on decentralization; improve management of departmental budgetary resources; and promote regional economic development.” Through this program, USAID has even created “territorial organization laboratories” to help regional governments implement their autonomy successfully.

In one document dated November 30, 2007, just months before the separatist referendums held in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija during early 2008, the Democratic Initiatives Program of OTI/USAID worked closely with the Prefects (regional governments) to “develop sub-national, de-concentrated” models of government. In those regions, those promoting such “sub-national, de-concentrated” models, or separatism, have made clear that their objective is to achieve a political, economic and territorial division from the national government of Bolivia, so they can manage and benefit solely from the rich resources in their regions. It’s no coincidence that the separatist initiatives are all concentrated in areas rich in gas, water and economic power. The multi-million dollar funding from USAID to the separatist projects in Bolivia has encouraged and supported destabilization activities during the past few years, including extreme violence and racism against Indigenous communities, terrorist acts and even assassination attempts against President Morales.

Strengthening political parties in the opposition

Another principal priority of USAID in Bolivia as outlined in the declassified documents is the extensive funding and training of oppositional political parties. Through two US entities, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), both considered international branches of the republican and democrat parties in the US that receive their funding from the Department of State and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID has been feeding – with funding and strategic political aide – political groups and leaders from the opposition in Bolivia. During the year 2007, $1.250.000.00 was dedicated to “training for members of political parties on current political and electoral processes, including the constituent assembly and the referendum on autonomy.” The principal beneficiaries of this funding have been the opposition political parties Podemos, MNR, MIR and more than 100 politically-oriented NGOs in Bolivia.

Intervention in electoral processes

An additional substantial part of USAID’s work in Bolivia has been devoted to intervening in electoral processes during the past few years. This has included forming a network of more than 3,000 “observers”, trained by USAID grantee Partners of the Americas, a US corporation that also receives funding from major companies and entities that form part of the military-industrial complex. The creation of “networks” in “civil society” to monitor electoral=2 0processes has been a strategy utilized by Washington in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, to later use such apparently “independent” observers in an attempt to discredit and delegitimize elections and denounce fraud when results are not favorable to US interests. In the case of Venezuela, for example, the organization that has implemented this strategy is Súmate, a Venezuelan NGO created with funding and strategic support from USAID and NED, that has presented itself in the public opinion as “apolitical” but in reality has been the principal promoter of the recall referendum in 2004 against President Chávez and later the leader in denouncing fraud after every electoral process in Venezuela lost by the opposition, despite that such events have been certified as legitimate and “fraud-free” by international institutions such as the Organization of American States, European Community and the Carter Center. These “networks” function as centers for the opposition during electoral processes to strengthen their position in the public opinion and through the mass media.

Penetration in indigenous communities

USAID’s work in Bolivia is not just oriented towards strengthening the opposition to Evo Morales and promoting separatism, but also involves attempts to penetrate and infiltrate indigenous communities, seeking out new actors to promote Washington’s agenda that have an image more representative of the Bolivian indige nous majority. One declassified document clearly outlines the necessity to give “more support to USAID and Embassy indigenous interns to build and consolidate a network of graduates who advocate for the US Government in key areas.” The document further discusses the need to “strengthen democratic citizenship and local economic development for Bolivia’s most vulnerable indigenous groups.” Per USAID, “this program shows that no one country or government has a monopoly on helping the indigenous. The program shows that the US is a friend to Bolivia and the indigenous…”

http://boliviarising.blogspot.com/2009/05/newly-declassified-documents-reveal.html

Peak Hypocrisy | U.S. Backed Organizations Exploit Crisis in Bolivia

September 30th, 2011

by Cory Morningstar

In their scathing “open letter” (whereby they appoint themselves judge, trial, jury and executioner – advising people that Evo Morales is essentially corrupt and has lost all support), The U.S. Democracy Centre states:

 “The events of the past week represent something new rising in Bolivia. The people – who have now listened to many Morales speeches about protecting the Earth and guaranteeing indigenous people control over their lands – have risen to defend those principles, even if their President has seemingly abandoned them. Ironically, Morales has now inspired a new environmental movement among the nation’s younger generation, not by his example but in battle with it.”

The Democracy Centre would do well to listen to their own admonitions.

If The Democracy Centre’s mandate was, in reality, to protect the Earth, guarantee Indigenous Peoples control over their land, rise to defend these principles, and inspire a new environmental movement among their nations younger generation, The Democracy Centre would (as would the U.S.-funded NGOs such as Avaaz and Amazon Watch who are exploiting this horrific crisis to its full potential) be endorsing, promoting and campaigning on the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba (in which over 20,000 Indigenous Peoples participated).

They have not.

And finally, is it not completely egregious for any U.S. organization (funded with foundation money via corporations and plutocrats) to have the audacity to dictate the values of human rights and non-violence to any country, when U.S. bombs are “reigning” down on occupied countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, while covert U.S. wars are underway in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. These wars are murdering untold numbers of men, women and children – all in the name of resource exploitation, all under the grossly false auspices of democracy and liberation. The elite, institutional left take no issue in denouncing the Morales government yet remain silent on the war crimes committed by the U.S. – the biggest imperialist power in the world.

Bolivia is and will remain a country who desperately struggles to resist Imperialism and fight for their autonomy – against all odds.

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Read more about The Democracy Centre and their “open letter”: http://wrongkindofgreen.org/2011/09/29/about-the-u-s-democracy-centre-an-open-letter-to-our-friends-about-the-current-situation-in-bolivia/

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U.S. Influence | 2010 Ecuador crisis

“The script used in Venezuela and Honduras repeats itself. They try to hold the President and the government responsible for the “coup,” later forcing their exit from power. The coup against Ecuador is the next phase in the permanent aggression against ALBA and revolutionary movements in the region.” – Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger

“Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger claimed that the coup attempt was part of a systematic, US-supported plan to destabilise member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). She alleged that US ambassador Heather Hodges was sent to Ecuador by former US President George W. Bush “with the intention of sowing destabilization against Correa, in case the Ecuadoran president refused to subordinate himself to Washington’s agenda,” and that Hodges increased the budget of USAID and the NED for social and political groups that “promote US interests.” Golinger claimed that certain “progressive” social groups received “financing and guidelines in order to provoke destabilising situations in the country that go beyond the natural expressions of criticism and opposition to a government.” According to Golinger, USAID’s 2010 budget in Ecuador $38 million. Golinger referred to the indigenous political party Pachakutik Movement’s press release on 30 September asking for Correa’s resignation on the grounds that his “dictatorial attitude” had generated “serious political turmoil and internal crisis.” In the statement, Pachakutik leader Cléver Jiménez said that the “situation” of the police and armed forces in the coup attempt “should be understood as a just action by public servants, whose rights have been made vulnerable.” Golinger alleged that Pachakutik was funded by NED and USAID and that its call for Correa’s resignation and its support for the mutiny was an example of the US plans to destabilise ALBA member states. Pachakutik strongly denied having “any relationship at all with the organism known as USAID, previously NED, not today nor ever” and accused the Ecuadorian government of having accepted USAID/NED funding. Golinger responded by referring to a National Democratic Institute (NDI, one of the four institutes funded by NED) report from 2007 describing Pachakutik being trained by the NDI in “Triangle of Party Best Practices and strategic planning methodologies” as part of NDI’s Latin American/Caribbean Political Party Network of over 1400 individual members, funded under NED Core Grants 2000-031, 2001-048, 2003-028, and 2004-036.” [Source: Wikipedia]

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A must watch documentary which clearly illustrates why extreme care and caution is so incredibly important during such a crisis. The stealth and deceit can be nothing less than staggering.

The War On Democracy

The story of the manipulation of Latin America by the United States over the past 50 years, including the real story behind the attempted overthrow of Hugo Chávez in 2002 (with English subtitles)

Versión en español

‘The War On Democracy’ was produced and directed by John Pilger and Christopher Martin and edited by Joe Frost. The film, John Pilger’s first for cinema, explores the current and past relationship of Washington with Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile.

Using archive footage sourced by Michael Moore’s archivist Carl Deal, the film shows how serial US intervention, overt and covert, has toppled a series of legitimate governments in the region since the 1950s. The democratically elected Chilean government of Salvador Allende, for example, was ousted by a US backed coup in 1973 and replaced by the military dictatorship of General Pinochet. Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador have all been invaded by the United States.

John Pilger interviews several ex-CIA agents who took part in secret campaigns against democratic countries in the region. He investigates the School of the Americas in the US state of Georgia, where Pinochet’s torture squads were trained along with tyrants and death squad leaders in Haiti, El Salvador, Brazil and Argentina.

The film unearths the real story behind the attempted overthrow of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez in 2002 and how the people of the barrios of Caracas rose up to force his return to power.

It also looks at the wider rise of populist governments across South America lead by indigenous leaders intent on loosening the shackles of Washington and a fairer redistribution of the continent’s natural wealth.

John Pilger says: “[The film] is about the struggle of people to free themselves from a modern form of slavery”. These people, he says, “describe a world not as American presidents like to see it as useful or expendable, they describe the power of courage and humanity among people with next to nothing. They reclaim noble words like democracy, freedom, liberation, justice, and in doing so they are defending the most basic human rights of all of us in a war being waged against all of us.”

‘The War On Democracy’ won the Best Documentary Award at the 2008 One World Awards.

The panel’s citation read: “There are six criteria the judges are asked to use to select the winner of this award: the film’s impact on public opinion, its appeal to a wide audience, its inclusion of voices from the developing world, its high journalistic or production standards, its success in conveying the impact of the actions of the world’s rich on the lives of the poor and the extent to which it draws attention to possible solutions. One film met every one of these. It was the winner of the award: John Pilger’s ‘The War on Democracy’.”

Read John Pilger’s article about the making of ‘The War On Democracy’ which appeared in the Guardian in June 2007.

http://www.johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-on-democracy

ABOUT THE U.S. DEMOCRACY CENTRE (An Open Letter to Our Friends About the Current Situation in Bolivia)

The Democracy Center, in the U.S., dismayed by what has happened in Bolivia, bitterly critical, and holding “the highest levels” responsible – and that, precisely because of the reputation of the Centre but also its powerful reach, is now issuing an open letter being circulated around the world, with this posting having been made from India.

Their open letter is found below.

The Democracy Center:Current Foundation Support

  • The Wallace Global Fund, Washington, DC: General operating support.
  • The Open Society Institute, New York, NY: Support for The Center’s investigation and publishing work related to Bolivia and Latin America.
  • The Shadow Foundation, Portland, OR: Support for The Center’s investigation into the Transredes (Shell/Enron) Bolivia oil spill and its aftermath.

The Democracy Center: Other Major Foundation Support over the Past Decade

  • The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York, NY
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA
  • The California Wellness Foundation, San Francisco, CA
  • The David and Elise Haas Fund, San Francisco, CA

http://democracyctr.org/blog/about/our-funders

September 28th, 2011: A leading activist of REDES (Social Ecology Network), in Uruguay, responded / reacted to the posting by The Democracy Center by forwarding an article by Federico Fuentes, to give what he stated is “a more balanced and nuanced picture of what is happening than what we are getting via email and the news”: Bolivia : Crisis deepens over disputed highway

No wonder Jim Shultz (The Democracy Centre) recently wrote: For a decade many environmental activists have focused their climate efforts on the doomed goal of getting the world’s governments to bind themselves to some form of enforceable planetary speed limit on the growth of carbon emissions and atmospheric temperature. It was a surrender of national sovereignty that was
never to be. The fights in Washington and Bolivia are taking on the climate crisis where we will most need to wage the fight, at the national and local level, policy-by-policy, project-by-project. Shifting our best efforts from global summitry to decisions closer to home also links the climate debate to more immediate concerns like oil spills and forest destruction that might drawbroader support.”

While we must all support local struggles, the idea that we can win this the oncoming ecological collapse by NOT taking up the fight at the international level is exactly the kind of thinking his funders/sponsors would support and which the Bolivian government correctly understands is a strategy for defeat.

Below is a Bolivian solidarity response to the article written by Jim Shultz titled “From Disillusionment to Direct Action: A Tale on Two Continents.”

I think there is a major flaw in Jim’s portrayal of symmetry [“profound commonality”] between the Tipnis standoff in Bolivia and the Keystone XL pipeline protests in North America.

I would argue that there is a profound lack of commonality.

Bolivia is an extremely impoverished country struggling against powerful imperialist forces and penetration – led by the world’s only superpower. It is still in the initial stages of decolonizing and nationalizing its own state, one that had been largely gutted and stunted through foreign domination and the apartheid exclusion of indigenous peoples from public affairs and governance. Over recent decades NGOs with international funding came to fill the vacuum and to offer some of the attributes of stable governance, and in the process creating a special middle class, a clientel middle class. This was the flipside of foreign domination by transnationals.

The Morales-MAS indigenous government is leading a revolution, a long march, against this heritage. Not surprisingly, it is meeting stiff resistance from many NGOs and new NGO-based middle class layers. No surprise, also, that US and European destabilization schemes have found fertile soil in this NGO web of networks.

Washington has at its beck and command many arsenals of divide-and-conquer strategies and tactics, some first developed and honed in the settlement wars against North American indigenous peoples.

The defeat of the first indigenous anti-imperialist government in the America’s is a vital strategic necessity for US imperialism.

Now, can any such powerful foreign factors be said to be at play in Keystone XL pipeline protests?

I realize that the Bolivian government has made errors in its handling of the Tipnis dispute, but it is a vanguard force in both the struggle for indigenous self determination, and in the global struggle to save the planet from environmental meltdown. On both fronts Washington and its imperialist system is the principal enemy.

Jim’s article obscures this fundamental divide, and for that reason strikes me more as part of the problem than the solution.

+++

An Open Letter to Our Friends

About the Current Situation in Bolivia

Dear Friends,

Over the past few days we have received many emails from friends outside of Bolivia, long-time supporters of the struggle for social justice here, asking for our opinion and analysis about the turbulent events of the past week. In particular, people want to understand what led to the government’s of the indigenous march protesting construction of a highway through the TIPNIS rainforest. As many of you know, a year ago the Democracy Center stopped its ongoing reporting about events in Bolivia and we intend to return to that role. However, given recent events neither can we be silent. Our analysis and views are represented in the article below. Please share it with others who might be interested.

Jim Shultz

The Democracy Center

The Morales Presidency Takes an Ugly Turn

In 2005, Sacha Llorenti, the President of Bolivia’s National Human Rights Assembly, wrote a forward for our Democracy Center report on an incident here two years previously, known as ‘Febrero Negro’. The IMF had demanded that Bolivia tighten its economic belt and President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada complied by proposing a new tax on the poor. His action set off a wave of protest and government repression that left 34 people dead. Llorenti wrote of the government’s repression, “Those days refer to an institutional crisis, state violence, and her twin sister, impunity.”

Only months after Llorenti wrote those words, that era in Bolivia’s history seemed swept away in a wave of hope. The nation’s first indigenous President, Evo Morales, rode into power on a voter mandate unmatched in modern Bolivian history. He proclaimed a new Bolivia in which indigenous people would take their rightful place in the nation’s political life, human rights would be respected, and a new constitution would guarantee autonomy for communities ignored by the governments of the past. Overnight the people who had been attacked or ignored by Bolivia’s leaders suddenly became Bolivia’s leaders. Llorenti eventually rose to the most powerful appointed position in the nation, Minister of Government. The rays of optimism that spread out from Tiwanaku and La Paz extended worldwide and Morales become a global symbol of something hopeful.

It is a sad measure of how deeply things have changed that it was Llorenti himself who stepped behind the podium at the Presidential Palace last Monday to defend the Morales government’s violent repression of indigenous protesters on September 25th. Five hundred police armed with guns, batons and tear gas were sent to a remote roadside to break up the six-week-long march of indigenous families protesting Morales’ planned highway through the TIPNIS rainforest. Llorenti’s declarations echoed the tired justifications heard from so many governments before: “All the actions taken by the police had the objective of preventingconflicts and if cases of abuse have been committed they will be punished.”

Men, women and children marching to defend their lands were attacked with a barrage of tear gas, their leaders were beaten, women had bands of tape forcibly wrapped over their mouths – all under orders from a government that had promised to be theirs. How did it come to this?

The Highway Through the Rainforest

The indigenous families that were attacked by police on that Sunday left their lands in the TIPNIS on August 15th to march nearly 400 miles to their nation’s capital and press their case against the road that would cut through the heart of their lands. President Morales had made it very clear that he was not interested in hearing any more of their arguments against the mainly Brazil-financed highway. In June he declared, “Whether you like it or not, we are going to build this road.”

Morales argued that the highway was needed for “development,” creating new economic opportunities in parts of the country long isolated. In the name of those goals he was willing to ignore the requirements of community consultation and autonomy in the new Constitution that he had once championed. He was willing to abandon his own rhetoric to the world about protecting Mother Earth and to ignore studies about the likely destruction of the forest that the new highway would bring. What could have been a moment of authentic and valuable debate in Bolivia about what kind of development the nation really wanted instead became a series of presidential declarations and decrees.

As the march of some 1,000 people crept slowly onward toward La Paz its moral weight seem to grow with each step, drawing growing public attention that Morales couldn’t stop. The march became the lead story in the country’s daily papers every morning for weeks. Civic actions in support of the marchers grew in Bolivia’s major cities. More than sixty international environmental groups, led by Amazon Watch, signed a letter to Morales asking him to respect the marchers’ demands.

From Morales, however, each day only brought a new set of accusations aimed at stripping the marchers of their legitimacy. First, said the government, the march was the creation of the U.S. Embassy. Then the government declared that the marchers were the pawns of foreign and domestic NGOs. Last week while in New York for his speech to the U.N., the Morales entourage announced that it had evidence that it was former President Sanchez de Lozada who was behind the march. The litany of ever-changing charges began to sound something akin to a schoolboy scrambling to invent reasons for why he didn’t have his homework.

When the charges failed to derail the marchers’ support, the government and its supporters decided to try to steer them off their path to La Paz in other ways. They blocked the arrival of urgent donations of water, food, and medicine gathered and sent from throughout the country. But this only added yet again to the moral weight of humble people walking the long road to the capital.

Tear Gas at Dusk

Just after 5pm on Sunday, September 25, five hundred police dressed in full battle gear descended on the encampment () where the marchers had pitched themselves for the night. Running at full speed they began firing canisters of toxic tear gas directly into the terrified groups of men, women, and children. Then the police began forcing them, screaming and crying, onto buses and into the backs of unmarked trucks for unknown destinations. Television footage captured the police knocking women to the ground and binding their mouths shut with tape. Many others ran to escape into the trees and fields so far from their homes. Children were separated from their parents.

Later that night those who had escaped the police began to take refuge in the small church of the town of San Borja. Early Monday morning government planes tried to land on an air strip in the town of Rurrenabaque, where more than 200 captured marchers were to be forcibly put aboard and returned to the villages where they had begun their trek so many weeks and miles before. The people in the community swarmed the runway to keep the planes from landing and were met with another attack of tear gas by the police sent there by the government.

Hours later the country’s young Defense Minister, Cecilia Chacon, announced her resignation. She wrote in a public letter to President Morales, “I can not defend or justify it [Sunday’s repression]. There are otheralternatives in the framework of dialogue, respect for human rights, nonviolence, and defense of Mother Earth.”

She became the latest in a string of former Morales allies who had dramatically split from the government over the TIPNIS highway and the government’s abuses of the marchers. Morales’ former ambasador to the U.S., Gustavo Guzman, and the President’s former Vice-Minister for Land, Alejandro Almaraz, had not only left the government but also gone to join the marchers.

Over the course of the following Monday public denouncements poured out against the police attack on the marchers – from the National Public Ombudsman, the U.N., women’s groups, human rights groups, the Catholic Church, labor unions, and others, including many who had once been fervent Morales supporters.

By that Monday evening, with his public support in freefall, Morales finally spoke to the nation. He began by denying any involvement in Sunday’s police violence, blaming it on unnamed subordinates. But after years of arguing that his predecessors should be prosecuted for the abuses of soldiers and police under their command, it was a defense that convinced no one. Several key government officials told journalists that such an aggressive police action would never have taken place without orders from the government’s highest ranks.

Morales then announced that he would put the highway to a vote by the two Bolivian states, Cochabamba and Beni, through which the project would pass. Almaraz, the former Lands Vice-Minister, and others, quickly pointed out that such a referendum was unconstitutional, a direct violation of the provisions allowing local indigenous communities to decide the fates of their lands.

If Morales thought he had plugged the political leak in his weakened Presidency, it became clear Tuesday morning that the anger against him was only growing. Larger marches filled the streets in the cities of La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Sucre. The country’s labor federation (C.O.B) announced a strike. By nightfall the nation’s transportation workers announced that they too would stage a work stoppage Wednesday in opposition to the highway and in support of the marchers.

Just after 7pm Tuesday night Sacha Llorenti appeared at the Presidential Palace podium once again, this time to announce his own resignation. It appeared not so much an act of conscience, in the mold of Ms. Chacon’s the day before, but more a man being tossed overboard in the hope that it might afford the President some political protection.

Then Morales took to the airwaves to add an announcement of his own –

the temporary suspension of construction of the disputed road. But by early Wednesday news reports revealed that the Brazilian firm happily bulldozing the highway had received no such order.

A People Rising

Wednesday morning Evo Morales woke to a nation headed for a transit standstill, with new marchers headed to the streets, schools closed and a nation deeply angry with its President. The cheering crowds of his 2006 inaugural had become a distant memory.

What is behind Morales’ devotion to a road through the heart of the TIPNIS? Is he simply a stubborn believer in a vision of economic development filled with highways and factories, in the style of the North? Is it a matter of Presidential ego, of not wanting to make the call to his Brazilian counterpart (Brazil is both the financier and constructor of the road, and eager to gain access to the natural resources it would make accessible), admitting that he can’t deliver on a Presidential promise? Are his deepest supporters, the coca growers, so anxious for a road that will open up new lands for expanding their crop that Morales has been willing to push things this far? Only President Morales knows his true motivations. But what is a certainty is that he has paid an enormous political cost for sticking to them.

The events of the past week represent something new rising in Bolivia. The people – who have now listened to many Morales speeches about protecting the Earth and guaranteeing indigenous people control over their lands – have risen to defend those principles, even if their President has seemingly abandoned them. Ironically, Morales has now inspired a new environmental movement among the nation’s younger generation, not by his example but in battle with it.

In my interview with Sacha Llorenti for our report on Febrero Negro, he also told me something else. He told me that the 2003 repression was, “the moment in which the crisis of the country was stripped down to the point where you could see its bones.” Today in Bolivia a different crisis has laid bare a new set of political bones for all to see.

Evo Morales, in his global pulpit, had been an inspiring voice, especially on climate change and on challenging the excesses of the U.S. In Bolivia on economic matters he has often been true to the world, raising taxes on foreign oil companies and using some of those revenues to give school children a modest annual bonus for staying in the classroom.

But the abuses dealt out by the government against the people of the TIPNIS have knocked ‘Evo the icon’ off his pedestal in a way from which he will never fully recover, in Bolivia and globally. He seems now pretty much like any other politician. What has risen instead is a movement once again of the Bolivian people themselves – awake, mobilized, and courageous. The defense of Bolivia’s environment and indigenous people now rests in the hands, not of Presidential power, but people power – where real democracy must always reside.

We do apologize for the mess, we are currently undergoing some necessary maintenance. Our articles and information will still be available though not as you would normally expect it to look. Thank you for your patience and have a wonderful day.