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Food for Thought:
Basmati rice is one of the best kinds of rice you can buy, savoured
for its slender grain and distinctive taste. But Basmati, an Asian crop, is now
under threat. Rice Tec Inc. now owns a patent on Basmati rice in the U.S. - their
"Basmati" is derived from crops that have taken farmers in Asia generations of
hard work to develop. . . . International bio-tech companies are racing to patent
the major food crops. This could result in the world's seed supply being monopolised
by a few large corporations. Farmers' rights to save and sell their seed are being
compromised and there is a real risk that the patenting of food crops will threaten
livelihoods, making poor people poorer. . . .
THE UNITED STATES IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM LYNCH MOB, OR St VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE REVISITED?GEOPOLITICAL REALITY - THE BARE BONES OF POWER
With Us Or
We therefore see that with the complaisance of the Mass Communications Media, "Terrorism" has come to be distorted to mean an illegal, even obscene, term associated with states, heads of state, or groups perceived to oppose the imposition of United States Power. We must remember, too, the fallacy of one-man-one-vote "Democracy" as prated endlessly by President George W. Bush and his predecessors. This tends to be no less of an illusion domestically than in certain countries in the Third and Developing Worlds.
The great soft underbelly of the mass of the people on either side of the Atlantic have been existing safely in a materialist ambience of bread and circuses, conditioned by classic tactics of Diversion; essentially Propaganda and control of the increasingly porn-sodden channels of communication and entertainment. Bush probably lives his illusion of "Democracy", just as reality for the great soft under-belly of society in the United Kingdom has become the latest episode of "Coronation Street", the Australian television soap "Neighbours", footballer David Beckham's hairstyle, package holidays or what film star Gwyneth Paltrow thinks of the sexual skills of Englishmen in bed.
Those at all levels of society who do think, repeatedly demonstrate their concern and contempt for illusory "Democratic" processes that allow them little genuine say in the affairs of the nation by a consistent and alarmingly low turnout at election times. "Democracy" as advocated for, and imposed upon, target nations in the Developing and Third Worlds has a rather different interpretation. This is the removal of authoritarian regimes which resist the Power of the Global Economic Model controlled by the so-called International Community, in essence the United States.
Semi-literate, illiterate and even terrorised populations, with little or no understanding of the issues involved, are induced to vote into power corrupt governments and leaders acceptable to the United States and its allies. Behind the assiduously promoted facade of humanitarian concerns and the war against Soviet Communism - now the war against "Terrorism" - the United States, acting through its Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), has for decades ruthlessly destabilised target nations around the world using openly "Terrorist" methods at a cost of millions of lives(3)(4).
The events of 11th September, 2001, were symbolic of "pay-back time". The deaths of some 3,000 innocent people, however tragic, were a mere drop in the ocean compared with those millions, for which those governments they have passively elected to office have been responsible. We examined the events of 11th September cautiously, with a preliminary look at the Power of Oil. A phrase bandied about at the time was "It's the oil, stupid", and the air was in any case alive with speculation in the immediate after-math of September 11th(5). When we turned to the destruction of the Twin Towers, we found many questions, such as "clues" conveniently discovered on site and in a parked car, unanswered(6). Even today there is a body of opinion that the episode was a deliberately self-inflicted Diversion from internal corruption, serious economic problems and the pressing economic need to precipitate another war. Nor can the frenetic talk-up to precipitate a military attack on Iraq in the face of, apparently, so little viable evidence, give one faith in the integrity of the United States Administration with its Zionist-oriented "Hawks".
Former senior C.I.A. Officer John Stockwell, in his exposure of C.I.A. activites, offers compelling evidence that President Kennedy was assassinated at the hands of the C.I.A, the all-powerful Right-Wing Establishment and the equally powerful Military-Industrial complex, and that "over 100 witnesses were killed or died mysterious and violent deaths". And if President Roosevelt was ready to sacrifice the lives of some 2,000 American servicemen at Pearl Harbour in 1941 to draw the United States into the war against the Axis Powers, surely anything is possible.(7).
Former State Department official William Blum, who collaborated with ex-C.I.A. officer Philip Agee, has written a similar exposure of the world-wide operations of the C.I.A.(8)
The Corruption Of Power And The Power Of Money
One might wonder in the present scenario if, behind the smoke-screen of self-righteous obfuscation and media talk-up, United States administrations might not be more at home in the Chicago of Al Capone than in Washington? Lord Acton famously opined that Power corrupts, and absolute Power corrupts absolutely. To see Power and the devaluation of human life in the context of an age one might go back to the Sixteenth Century and the conquest of Central and Southern America by the Conquistadors. Great Britain slaughtered the Mahdi's hordes with machine guns in the Sudan and instituted the genocidal concentration camps for Boer families during the war of 1899-1901. This was at the end of a century during which "Christian" European immigrants wrested North America from the indigenous Red Indians with the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Industrial Revolution and rise of modern banking evolved in the Twentieth Century as International-Finance Capitalism. In other words the world of the Trans-National Corporation (T.N.C.) - the Multinational - and the increasingly deregulated globalisation of Money. In parallel, the exponential rise in technology and growth of the industrial base gave rise to a corresponding rise in the Science and Methodology of War. This was to be in theory a more enlightened age of humanitarian values, of the League of Nations, succeeded in turn by the United Nations. Yet in a single century we had wars as never before. We had, too, the growth of the Military-Industrial complex. Like the illicit drugs trade, this has become an immovable object in the irresistible force of Money Power.
Fundamental values in the United States dominated materialist ethos of the Western way of life are Power and Profit. Michael Rowbotham has written with great clarity of the financial enslavement of the debt-usury system of money "creation" by the private banking system(9). His sequel, Farewell America, shows how this system has enslaved and exploited the Developing and Third Worlds(10). Each element of this debt-based Global Economic Model, from the mortgage and credit spending of the individual, to the multinational corporation and national governments, is committed to borrowing. The indebted private citizen runs fast to stand still under this regime.
On a larger scale investment based on borrowing results in over-production to catch unrepayable debt that chases its own tail. The National Debt is a classic example. Markets have to be found to absorb the dog-eat-dog of commercial over-production. Within this structure, of course, lurks the Armaments Industry, the over-production from which can only be expended by "utilisation" or obsolescence. Also organic to this structure is Biotechnology-driven Agriculture, in which we foist our over-production upon each other, or upon the Developing and Third Worlds, thus distorting and destabilising indigenous systems.
Money supply is thus regulated artificially - and economies strangled or overheated - by the creation or otherwise of "money" required, in theory, to facilitate the free movement and exchange of goods and services. Given political will the state could, and should, itself create and spend money into the economy for its own purposes, leaving the private banking system to sustain the private sector. However, the Financial Elite, woven into the Corridors of Power and the Establishment generally, have long established their control over this democratic right, ultimately, of the people.
The riposte of the Social Credit system is that money may be compared with the tickets required to operate a railway, in that one would not run a train half-empty for want of tickets. In other words money, like train tickets, should be created according to need. We may take this analogy further. The fractional reserve banking system means that private banks may create "Money" several multiples over and above the original secured deposit of genuine wealth. So the almost indefinite multiple of this wealth may be floated and traded in the form of paper "money", bonds, loans and so on, in the deregulated global scenario.
In terms of "train tickets", the deregulated printing of tickets would destabilise the balance between rational requirements for trains and passengers. Like the printer and issuer of money, Power would lie with the printer and issuer of "tickets", who would regulate the system and hold passengers and trains to ransom at will.
We have depicted this situation as that of an inverted cone spinning in precarious equilibrium as it spirals ever upwards. Pull out one pin and it begins to collapse. One way or another, we all lose.
To sustain the environment-sapping
Power and Profit of Western materialism, at the heart of which lies oil, all the
natural resources, production and economies that comprise this hugely complex
model must be controlled. In 1991 John Stockwell wrote(11):
Political Fraud And Fallacy We must return to the Nineteenth Century, to the World Revolution of the Proletariat against the mainly Middle Class Bourgeoisie postulated by Karl Marx. This had undoubted justification in the extreme material and social divisions within society. From this period evolved the Labour and Trades Union Movements, and organisations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.), in the United States. During the 1930s we had the "Poverty Amidst Plenty" when the Earth's natural and productive resources were denied the people simply by the control of Money - the vital "train tickets". These gross injustices saw members of the more privileged classes turning to Communism, as expressed through certain elements of the Cambridge Apostles(12). The Twentieth Century also saw the rapid growth of American financial, commercial and industrial might. This centrifugal debt-driven drive for Power and Profit was a direct challenge to the insular economic imperialism of Great Britain and Europe, to which President Roosevelt was notoriously hostile. This also saw the growth of the Power of Organised Jewry and Political Zionism as a major political force in the United States. This is, of course, fundamental to the pivotal problem of the State of Israel in the Middle East and to Islam generally today.
The collapse of British and European Power, accelerated by the 1939-45 War, saw the vacuum swiftly filled by the United States. This was exercised through the foundation of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F.), and the United Nations; all effectively dominated by the United States. The growth of the Trans-National Corporations saw power leaching away from individual national governments, even behind the facade of United States administrations; partially at least by integration in the political system of the Global Power Brokers and their functionaries.
In the case of "New" Labour Governments since 1997 we have seen this in the close relationships with Goldman Sachs, British Petroleum and the World Trade Organisation (W.T.O.), all functioning beyond the reach or perceptions of the electorate. Unrealistic ideals of social engineering exercised through Education, Law and Order, the Media, destabilisation of family and cultural values and Political Correctness have further weakened the United Kingdom.
The historical Left-Right, "them and us" prejudices divert public attention from the existence of a Ruling Elite drawn from, and based upon, all political factions. Leading politicians do not die poor; bought off by various mechanisms such as advances for the publication of unmarketable memoirs, company directorships and consultancies. Former Prime Minister John Major is now European Chairman, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord (Geoffrey) Howe, is an adviser, of the Carlyle Group, a major investor in the Military-Industrial complex that also includes on its main board George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush, former Secretary for Defense Frank Carlucci and former Secretary of State James Baker (New Internationalist, 1st July, 2002).
The Fabian delusion, to judge from the sanctimonious waffle of The Third Way, is that International Socialists, such as Prime Minister Tony Blair's "New" Labour, can work in some form of partnership with International-Finance Capitalism(13). The reality is that this concept has long missed the boat in the consolidation of the Global Economic System. A further truth is that New Labour Governments since 1997, far from any partnership, have simply "climbed into bed" with the Multinational Corporations. Debt to the City of London and Wall Street continues to chase its tail. The escalatory profit-debt cycle is relentless. This is a major reason for the ceaseless world-wide privatisation of State functions, which the late Lord Stockton (Harold Macmillan), referred to as "selling off the family silver".
Capital accrued by the State from privatisation is soon swallowed up by the cycle of money creation and the National Debt. With each collapse, as in the case of Enron, WorldCom and Tyco in the United States, Air Traffic Control, Equitable Life and Railtrack in the United Kingdom, the individual suffers as the debt is transferred to the public sector. This is exactly what happened in 1970 in the case of Lockheed and Pennsylvania Central in the United States, which was reported by The Times of 12th November, 1971, under the telling headline "Rise of the capitalists' socialism in the U.S." Each time a pin is pulled out this precariously unstable structure, unravels, as on 11th September, 2001, in an already seriously declining market.
The knock-on effect is seen right across the industrial, commercial and financial system. Faced again with an economic melt-down, the Diversion of another war is required.
"Cold" War - East West Confrontation In Its True Colours The collapse of Soviet
Communism during the 1980s laid bare the real nature of the forces ruling our
lives, and the fallacy at the grass roots of cherished party-political divides.
The so-called "Cold" War had provided a vital market for the Military-Industrial
complex and a foothold for the United States in Europe. This was not all. The
public at large were never allowed to know that International Finance-Capitalists
had not only financed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917(14) but that, almost without
a break, these same Global Power Brokers had continued to support the Communist
system until its collapse. This collaboration has been well recorded by the late
Antony C. Sutton(15)(16).
After 1989, phony war became phony peace. The Communist collapse also exposed the truth about the Ruling Elites and the Global Power-Play behind this collaboration because they were faced with framing a new global scenario with, as it were, no phony "Cold" War behind which to hide. The "Frankfurt School" of Cultural Communism at the Institute for Social Research in Germany, had worked through from the 1920s systematically to destabilise Western societies; that element of the people most likely to challenge this undoubted conspiracy(18). The agencies of Communist World Revolution obligingly worked concurrently to destabilise Developing and Third World countries in, what may be argued, in hindsight, to have been a largely notional conflict with the Capitalist West.
As we peel away the layers of our conceptual "onion", we have indeed witnessed Marxist ideals applied in Cuba, in Zimbabwe today, or by elements of the Middle and Upper Classes during the 1930s. Peel away another layer and we see the vast swirling forces of two ultimately complementary systems that have laid the way for the present International Finance-Capitalist Imperium. The bloody suffering of millions of innocent people thus obligingly rendered their economies ripe for plucking.
Since 1989 the "most powerful nation in the world" has duly subsumed the role of the world's "police-man". In other words, the United States had to re-establish a cycle of conflict in some new form to justify the Military-Industrial complex and maintain in equilibrium the precariously spinning inverted "cone" of the Global Economy. The remainder of the so-called "International Community" - largely the United Kingdom and the European Nations, along with its surrogates such as Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan - now has the prospect of picking up the tasty economic crumbs from the second war in a decade planned against Iraq.
It's the oil, stupid! Those who question this apparent cynicism might care to consider the "concern" of the International Community for stability in the Balkans and former Soviet states, and the spread of United States military bases from the Balkans and Turkey to the North of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. We should peer behind these altruistic ideals.
The 2001 Annual Company Report for MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas plc, for example, lists connections between the Board of Directors and the European Round Table of Industrialists, the Chemical Bank New York Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Bankers Trust International, Shell International Petroleum, Enterprise Oil and British Petroleum. We find further evidence of touching United States concern for the security of the former Soviet satellites in this extract from the European Foundation Intelligence Digest of 26th July, 2002:
* The American arms manufacturer and aerospace
company Lockheed Martin has announced its intention to invest $5,000,000,000 in
five Polish companies in order to conquer the largest market for arms sales among
the new Nato member states. The Polish President, who has been on a state visit
to the U.S.A. and was honoured there with a special trip in Air Force One, an
honour given to very few visiting foreign heads of state, seems ready to sign
up for a contract worth a further $3,000,000,000. Next year, Poland is due to
replace its Soviet MIG 21s with new aircraft "which correspond to Nato standards",
ie., which are built by Western, especially American, manufacturers. By 2008,
Poland should have 60 or so of these aircraft. This means that Lockheed Martin,
the Anglo-Swedish conglomerate Saab-BAE and the French manufacturer Dassault,
are all competing with one another to get the contract. The Polish President is
asking for the Americans to invest $3,000,000,000 in his country's military and
civil industry in return for the purchase of American planes. . . . Similar negotiations
are going on in Hungary and the Czech republic, which are also spending vast sums
on new supersonic aeroplanes. Similar sales are expected from other countries
in the queue to join Nato, even though their state budgets are very small.
AGRICULTURE AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
Corrupt Research And An Unscrupulous Drive For Markets
In 1998 we investigated the B.S.E.-C.J.D. crisis (Bovine Spongi-form Encephalopathy - Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease)(19). In the following year we investigated the field of Biotechnology and Genetically Modified material (G.M.)(20). For those readers who found the extracts in "Food For Thought" on the cover page of this edition of On Target strangely at odds with the text that immediately follows, think again. And read again!
People must eat to live. Food is big business. Supplies on a global scale are controlled by a handful of conglomerates, such as Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, Continental Grain (U.S.A. and Canada), Unilever and Nestlé. So, too, are the Agrichemical and Biotechnology Industries big business on a global scale. This includes not only the basic seed, but the associated and often environmentally damaging chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides. If oil has been a major factor during the Twentieth Century, it is the growing, supply and marketing of agricultural material and produce that will play a major role at the start of the new Millennium. The same ruthless drive exists in Agriculture and Biotechnology to control overseas markets and force domestic over-production on target nations. Needless to say, this has its focus in the overwhelming Power of the United States.
1998 was marked by two areas of conflict that involved the United Kingdom and Europe with the United States. The first was the banana "war". Preference had been given to relatively uneconomic small-scale exports from former colonies in the Caribbean. The United States was determined to force the European Union to open its markets to large volume produce from the Central and South American plantations owned by American conglomerates. Also in 1998 the American Monsanto company launched a nation-wide advertising campaign to foist Genetically Modified produce on the people in the United Kingdom. For once the people woke up and rebelled, with the active support of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
In 1999, also the year of the illegal United States-driven "Nato" attack on the Balkans, it was no surprise that the annual Bilderberg Group Meeting was attended by Lord Robertson, Secretary-General of Nato, and Robert Shapiro, then Chief Executive of Monsanto. It is well known that a "revolving door" of appointments operates between Monsanto and the Food and Drugs Administration (F.D.A.), in the United States. There were predictable knock-on connections able to apply pressure to the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.), and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (F.A.O.), of the United Nations.
Since the defeat of Monsanto, a relentless cat-and mouse campaign has been waged by the United States in attempts to force the European Community to accept its over-production. This includes G.M. bovine growth hormone, G.M. seed and foodstuffs, and manipulation of the labelling of G.M. produce. Stalled for the time being in the West, Monsanto - together with the European Aventis Corporation - has been turning its attention to the Developing and Third Worlds, employing a mixture of blackmail, bribery and coercion and with serious implications for indigenous farmers and farming methods.
The British Betrayal From the start of the B.S.E.-C.J.D. episode official handling of agricultural matters has been a mixture of political equivocation, vested interests, corruption, duplicity and downright incompetence. This de facto attrition of British Agriculture seemed to accelerate under New Labour Governments. The Foot and Mouth Disease crisis went even further and involved the deliberate manipulation of statistics, intimidation and illegal actions by the Police and Armed Forces(21)(22).
British oil interests are close to those of the United States, which possibly goes some way to explain the close relationship between Prime Minister Tony Blair and United States Presidents. B.P. Amoco and Royal Dutch Shell are in the top league along with Esso-Exxon. It is also true that there is a clear case for gaining a lead in Genetic Engineering research, properly undertaken. However, it soon became clear that not only was Blair eager to promote G.M. material, but that his Government was effectively "in bed" with Monsanto and the associated Biotechnology development agencies. Any study of annual company reports will reveal the interlocking network of directorships that includes, for example, the retailing conglomerates, banks, former government ministers and senior civil servants.
To understand this further, we have to go back to 1972, the Government of Edward Heath, and the Green Paper on Research and Development floated under the predominating influence of Lord Victor Rothschild. The Paper was critically examined by the Board of the Science Faculty of the University College of North Wales. The crux of the Paper was that strategic post-graduate research on behalf of the research councils should be largely subjected to Customer Contract Procedure (C.C.P.). This would effectively place control in the hands of government ministries with divisive consequences for ministries, councils and scientists. Under the Government of Margaret Thatcher this was taken a stage further, when we encounter shortage of official funding and the argument that governments, rather than the private banking sector, should create their own money for public sector requirements. Instead, Margaret Thatcher promoted a partnership between government and private sector finance. In other words, a form of privatisation in which research should be commercially funded, which effectively placed faculties and individual scientists in the hands of the multinationals. Today, learned "professors", scientists generally and scientific "opinion" have lost much of their credibility and respect.
Medical, agricultural and veterinary regulatory and advisory bodies are populated by appointees who are either beholden to a multinational for research, who have investments in multinational corporations, or who even have a seat on the board of directors. In the same way formal conferences and "consultations" are controlled. We have been seeing this corrupt professional conflict of interests in the arguments between natural animal and manufactured fats, and in the dispute over the triple M.M.R. vaccine. But nowhere has this been more evident than in the field of Biotechnology and so-called Frankenstein Foods. Worse still British governments repeatedly attempt to force G.M. policies on British farmers and rush to support the United States in negotiations between the United States and the European Community.
The Fight back For Truth Mrs Jose MacDonald, B.Sc.(Agric), taught agriculture in Nigeria before returning to farm Welsh Black Cattle for 20 years in the United Kingdom. She is co-founder of a monthly newsletter Farming and Live-stock Concern U.K., which she compiles and publishes at her own expense. An expert on Biotechnology, she has worked tirelessly to expose the duplicity of governments, retail chains and multinational conglomerates. Her field includes the dangers from G.M. material without adequate research, the use of G.M. seed, including Monsanto's notorious "terminator" seed, dishonest labelling, especially to conceal the country of origin, and the associated use of pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals. Mrs MacDonald has travelled extensively in the United Kingdom and abroad. She deals at ministerial level in Europe, with the European Commission and in countries overseas. It is significant that obstruction has come mostly from United Kingdom governments. It is to Mrs MacDonald that we owe much of our material. She has written of commercial interests as follows:
* Since the war we have raised yields by crossing desired plant genes into other varieties of the species and now have a world surplus of food. Scientists now dependent mainly on large multinational companies for research jobs, are crossing bacteria and virus genes into plants with little concern for the fact that these genes can disrupt the normal combination of natural genes and may prove pathogenic. It was a great step forward in fundamental science when the genomes of plants and humans were recognised. However the scientists do not yet understand the function of the contents of these genomes. It is therefore amazing that this science is being commercialised.
European Union and our Government have exerted continuous vast control over farmers
and this control will extend to large multinational companies producing G.M. (Genetically
Modified), seeds and the sprays that go with them. The seed costs more than traditional
* One of the driving themes of this column has been to examine critically the hidden ties between industry, government and seemingly independent non-governmental organisations, particularly over the issue of food biotechnology and the multimillion-dollar public relations campaigns launched to counter opposition to it. There are a multitude of government-funded citizens' groups that have been co-opted into becoming third-party front groups for government-industry communications strategies. I've written about the central role played, for example, by the Consumers' Association of Canada and the Food Biotechnology Communications Network (which has since disbanded). Now the Dieticians of Canada might face this quandary. The group describes itself as "the nationwide voice of over 5,000 dieticians, bringing trusted information on food and nutrition to Canadians". Last week it published a resource pamphlet titled Modern Food Biotechnology: Principles and Perspectives. The document is billed as a neutral educational resource for D.C. members to help them understand the issues surrounding genetically modified foods. It's funded by the Council for Biotechnology Information, the industry voice headed by former Monsanto Canada president Ray Mowling, and authored by Dr Milly Ryan-Harshman, who worked for and was trained by Monsanto on food biotechnology issues. In the past she has promoted the corporation's G.M. potatoes, and travelled to China with Mowling (on an initiative funded by C.I.D.A.), to lobby the Chilean Government into relaxing regulations governing G.M. foods. . . . Ultimately dieticians, nutritionists and health practitioners have no business defending this industry because the reality is that none of these crops have ever been subject to chronic testing. So nobody knows if they are safe or not. And it's a sad day when people who claim to be health practitioners and dieticians are becoming shills for the biotech industry. [Shill - a North American term for a person employed to decoy or entice others into buying, gambling, etc.].
The "Pressure Vessel" Of Multinational Forces The global economic scenario is that of a "pressure vessel" of debt-driven over-production on the point of explosion, with the inevitable risks of mutual destruction. Sadly, given the huge advances in technology, production and communications during the Twentieth Century, we could all theoretically be living an easier, less pressurised existence. Only Debt, Greed, Profit and pursuit of Power drive this centrifugal Growth on an increasingly global scale. The United States is seen as the epicentre of this ruthless and frenetic situation in which the pressure "leaks" are weak economies that are destroyed or distorted in the process.
Jose MacDonald has been instrumental in bringing the threat from Biotechnology and the Multinational Corporations to the attention of Third World governments. The following is taken from a letter to Mrs MacDonald from the office of the High Commissioner for the Republic of Zambia, 20th August, 2002:
* I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter, a copy of which I will forward to my Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. I thank you for your support and am hereby sending you a copy of the statement by my government over this matter. Zambia needs the support of the British government in strengthening its capacity to deal with these issues of Biotech which are being forced on us, unfortunately with the approval of U.N. agencies like the W.F.P. [World Food Programme] (emphasis added). It is true Zambia needs food aid now, but one should not take advantage of our plight and cause irreparable damage to our agriculture and eco systems. Governments of goodwill can either directly source the correct type of food we are used to or give us financial support to source the same ourselves. I hope you can bring pressure on your government to increase their levels of support to Zambia. Zambia remains under pressure from the United Nations - meaning, in effect, the United States - to accept G.M. food from the United States as part of the World Food Programme.
As reported recently in the Financial Times, "The U.S. Agency for International Development has complained publicly that warehouses in Zambia's capital Lusaka are filled with maize, while the country's people face starvation". The reality is all too transparent, as is the pressure. As for the "Agency for International Development", this is an equally transparent euphemism for the imposition of United States over-production. So far the Zambian Government has denied the seriousness of the "shortages" and is sticking to its guns. Here are extracts from the statement by the Hon. Newstead L. Zimba, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services on the Food Security situation in the country and on the issue of Generically Modified Foods.
* As you are all aware, the President has
recently informed the Nation that Genetically Modified Foods (G.M.F.s), would
not be allowed to be brought into the country and further that such maize already
in the country should not be distributed until further notice and until the government
has taken into account the outcome of consultations with stakeholders. Such consultations
have been carried out and these have culminated into a national public debate
on Genetically Modified Foods. The consultations have been with Zambian farmers,
academicians and researchers, seed suppliers, traders, opposition political parties,
government technocrats, civil society, churches, chiefs and the general public.
In this regard, all Genetically Modified Food Stuff including maize that is already
in the country should not and will not be distributed. Relevant instructions will
be issued to the institutions that are handling the Genetically Modified Food
Stuff that is already in the country. I would also like to use this opportunity
to instruct all institutions that have a role to play in implementing this government
decision to put all the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure that the country
does not continue to receive any Genetically Modified Foods.
Farmers At The Epicentre Of Economic Terrorism Allegations, "reports" and
"studies" conveniently promote the prospect of impending world food shortages
and widespread starvation. Paradoxically, we find Western Nations, primarily the
United States, clamouring to force domestic over-production on to the world market.
These are generally versatile economies, unlike for example, those that are primarily
Agriculture-based, such as the former English speaking Commonwealth countries.
Equally paradoxically, we find self-sufficient domestic agricultural systems in
the Developing and Third Worlds at risk of forcible destabilisation due to pressure
applied through the World Trade Organisation (W.T.O.), or directly by Multinational
("Besieged 'Mr Farming' digs in as pressure rises", Financial Times,
17th June, 2001;
Although the United States is readily seen as the focus for this relentless Power, it is easy to overlook that small and medium family farms in the United States are likewise under threat. In March, 2001 The Spotlight newspaper revealed the same pressures from the Government and the Multinationals against organic farming methods as in the United Kingdom. The North American Free Trade Agreement (N.A.F.T.A.), negotiated in 1992, opened United States markets to cheaper sources from Latin America ("Middle class, farmers languish under N.A.F.T.A. - Agribusiness thrives as U.S. farms die - N.A.F.T.A. has killed off family farms and enriched corporate agrigiants while kicking your food bill skyward", The Spotlight, 9th July, 2001). This extract, from the United States' farmers' publication The Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman for April and May, 2002, demonstrates the effects of G.M. feedstuffs on pig production:
* Jerry Rosman, a farmer in Shelby County, Iowa, was shocked to discover that birth rates in his pig herd had dropped by almost 80 per cent. He checked for diseases, he checked his artificial insemination methods and his nutrition programme. All seemed well. Rosman discovered that other pig farmers around him were experiencing the same problems. He found a common denominator. All the farmers were growing and using the same hybrids of Bt [includes a bacteria, causing fungus and potentially harmful to humans and animals] corn as pig feed. Bt corn is a type of genetically engineered crop. So Rosman had the corn tested in a laboratory. The test revealed high levels of Fusarium mould. Two distinct strains of the mould were present in the corn of all four farmers. One of these farmers went back to non-Genetically Engineered corn, and his low birthrate problem went away. An agronomist has told Rosman that the gene which was inserted in his Bt corn might be difficult to get rid of from his soil. After the first article appeared in The Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman, phone calls flooded Rosman. Twelve other pig farmers reported they had been having similar problems. The Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), has required no testing to find out how Bt corn affects reproduction of animals who eat it. Or humans to eat it. Oh yeah. You're eating it. The stuff is everywhere. And the genes inserted into Bt drift into conventional corn too. It's a regular party.
A visit to the United States by Michael Hart of the Small and Family Farms Alliance, confirmed the concurrent plight of the farming community there. These paragraphs have been adapted, adding emphasis where necessary, from an article by Michael Hart:
* I had asked the Family Farm Defenders if they could arrange some visits or meetings with farmers growing G.M. crops. I visited a number of such farms and spoke to the farmers. They were growing [Monsanto] "Roundup Ready" soybean and maize; some were also growing Bt varieties that contain genes for producing insecticide to control pests. Every farmer I met was unhappy with G.M. crops. They all said they were using more than one spray of Roundup to control weeds, some up to 3 passes. And even at that level it was not fully successful. Most of them claimed they had weeds that were Roundup resistant, but what they didn't know was if it was natural or by transfer from the crop of Roundup Ready genes. I saw plenty of examples where the Roundup had not worked and where Roundup Ready soybean was a weed in Roundup Ready maize. All the farmers claimed that they used more chemical than before, some are now mixing Atrazine with Roundup for spraying maize to get weed control which defeats the point of the G.M. crop. So it would seem that after several years of growing G.M. crops, the claim of using less chemicals as a reason for using them is untrue.
said that the yields were at best equal to, but more often below, conventional
crops, but the seed cost more and the spray costs were now higher, which begs
the question why keep on doing it? The answer is very frightening and simple.
Because the biotech companies own and have patents on the inserted genes, you
can not use them without their permission, so if you have them in your plants
without telling them you have stolen their "goods" and they will if they detect
them take you to court and fine you. No one objected to paying a royalty on seed,
say if you used home saved seed. But if you stop growing G.M. varieties the problem
is in cross contamination either in the field or in the seed like we had here
a couple of years ago, because the biotech companies detect their genes; however
it got there, you will have used it without their permission. You will therefore
be taken to court and fined. These companies have the right to enter your property
for samples to test for the genes; they also test at the stores and mills when
your grain is delivered. So in the face of this it is safer in financial terms
to grow a G.M. crop using more chemicals, getting a lower yield from the more
expensive seed, than it is to risk growing a conventional crop which might get,
or be contaminated by, genes that you can not see or detect yourself which, if
detected by the biotech company will mean a large fine. So far no one to my knowledge
has yet successfully defended themselves against having the genes in their crop
from contamination and with huge legal costs to do so, few will fight it anyway.
Which means these farmers are trapped in a system in which they see no way out
but to remain growing G.M. No wonder the G.M. companies want to get G.M. wheat
item on my agenda was to learn something about the subsidy system in the United
States. The system seems about as complicated as the C.A.P. [Common Agricultural
Policy of the European Union]. They have support for maize and soybean as major
crops, which explained why all I saw was maize or soybean being grown. There is
no payment for beef other than some disaster payments such as drought. Sheepmeat
has a deficiency payment scheme and a payment for ewe lambs retained for flock
replacements. But the government has used protective tariffs to stop imports of
cheap sheep meat from New Zealand and Australia. Milk had not been subsidised
until the new farm bill for 2002 came in, and now that too will get a deficiency
payment. But as always the price of milk has dropped as the dairy companies saw
that the taxpayer was going to make up the difference between the set price and
the market price, in effect stealing the subsidy, so once again it is not the
farmer who gets the subsidy but the middle men and retailers.
The last farm bill, in 1996, the Freedom to Farm Bill, has failed, and not achieved anything except the loss of farmers from the land. . . . So why the United Kingdom Government and the European Union are going down the Freedom to Farm road is beyond me when it has failed so well.
Most of all my visit reinforced and confirmed my view that we have a global farming crisis, and globally is the only way we can solve it. So while I was there the Small and Family Farms Alliance (S.F.F.A.), along with the F.F.D. started to organise an international meeting of family farms organisations to start being proactive on a global scale in promoting the family farm as the only solution to a sustainable future for food, environment communities and farming. Without such a movement we will be, and are already being, played off one against the other to all our downfalls.
THE "MOB" - THE
UNITED STATES UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
Frustration is perhaps more acute,
in a once great Nation with a once great Empire, as one watches mob rule exercised
by a United States Administration as it mounts a war it intends to wage against
Iraq. No less disconcerting are the brazen double standards accorded the State
of Israel. It is all too easy to identify Americans as collectively culpable.
Then one remembers those outstanding figures who have spoken out against this
brutal exercise of Power. Professor Noam Chomsky immediately springs to mind.
Former Congressman Paul Findley was unseated by the American-Jewish lobby simply
because he espoused the Palestinian cause after an approach by one of his constituents(23).
Now Black Democrat Congress-woman Cynthia McKinney has been defeated in a primary
election with the aid of "funding from Jewish groups outside the state"
The common plight
of small, medium, family and organic farmers everywhere also shows that British
(and European), farmers are not alone. With the Collaboration of governments the
octopus-like tendrils of Multinational Corporations extend everywhere across national
boundaries to enslave and destroy perfectly sound agricultural systems purely
for Power and Profit. As in the United Kingdom draconian legislation is being
put into place to "preserve" the environment. We read that "Farmland in Oregon
has been laid waste so fish can thrive in a lake" (The Observer, 28th July,
2001), and of the confiscation of land ("Federal Government waging war on ranchers,
land owners, farmers in America's heartland" and "Property rights - peril in land
grab continues", American Free Press, 22nd October, 2001).
We were passed the text of an "Open Letter To America From A Canadian" with the remark that it was a "ballistic Canadian rant"! It had originally been submitted by its author, Mr W.R. McDougall to the Washington Post, but predictably had not been published. In August, 2002, it was printed by The Baltimore Chronicle, whose joint Proprietor and Managing Editor, Alice Cherbonnier, has kindly given On Target permission to republish. As a blunt critique the style could be said to be "streetwise", earthy or racy. We drew a second breath and read the letter through carefully. We could not disagree with it. The ball lies in the court of the people of the United States, and Mr McDougall certainly makes the point forcefully and comprehensively. Here goes:
And so it has come to this. Your once great nation has fallen into madness, an
affliction of mass denial that brings shivers up the spines of millions outside
your borders. Yours is a sick nation. But most of you carry on as though nothing
at all is the matter. Dark, evil operations run rampant in the secret corners
of your government institutions. A dubiously constituted
government pursues war at will anywhere on earth, discussing nuclear options that
become points for cheerful chatter over lunch. Your military and intelligence
agencies employ terrorist tactics around the globe even as they insist that such
tactics are necessary in the fight against terrorism. You have become a nation
of monsters, America. Hypocrites. Murderers. Fools. Your constitution is a shambles
thanks to "national security" measures resulting from what might well be U.S.-government-sanctioned
terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., covert provocations designed
to justify a malevolent, poisonous, oil-based military economy. Never mind that
earth-friendly technology already exists to once and for all end dependence on
oil, coal and nuclear energy from huge, out-of-control utilities and corporations.
You would rather pay through the nose for your insecure comforts, wouldn't you
America, and make others pay with their blood. At the same time, you stand by
as the Israelis' secular Zionists - whom you support through the supply of arms
and money - slaughter untold numbers of innocents in the West Bank, then blame
the Palestinians for bringing the terror upon themselves. (True, there are abominable
Arab suicide bombers in Israel's midst. But are they not driven to madness and
desperation by your infernal support of international terrorist politics?)
The Baltimore Chronicle And The Sentinel We have come to accept that the mainstream media in the United States are almost exclusively controlled - or inhibited - by the American-Jewish lobby, with powerful links to Israel. This much was confirmed by J.J. Goldberg, who wrote with the approval of leading members of that faction(24). Encouragement that there still exists an active measure of independence comes with The Baltimore Chronicle. Alice Cherbonnier, in her assessment of the replies to "Open Letter To America From A Canadian", mostly supportive, some venomous, commented:
Ever get discouraged about the state of our Union? Want to rant about our seeming
lack of interest in other countries, our childlike fixations on sports, our seemingly
wilful ignorance about what's going on - not only about world issues, but right
down to what's happening in our local communities? Not all of us are like that,
of course. But too many of us are.
Of The Baltimore
Chronicle, in conjunction with The Sentinel, we further read that:
WEAPONS INSPECTORS - WHO WAS KIDDING WHOM?
A great deal has been
written about the work of the UNSCOM team in Iraq and the work and opinions of
its members. The names of Richard Butler, Hans Blix and Scott Ritter have featured
prominently. It has been fairly obvious that Butler is the establishment's "man",
and that his pronouncements suit the position of the "Hawks" in the United States.
Ritter, a former Captain in the United States Marines, has been an eloquent "gamekeeper
turned poacher" - or vice versa depending upon one's overall position - latterly
vociferously discounting claims about Iraq's continuing possession of Weapons
of Mass Destruction. It has to be significant that the "proof positive" promised
by Prime Minister Tony Blair several months ago, and once more promised in the
run-up to a scheduled Parliamentary debate, has yet to be forthcoming. Much the
same may be said of the hollow bellicosity in this respect of United States "hawks",
such as Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz or Richard Perle, to whom definitive evidence
appears to be immaterial anyway.
* David Ransom's
excellent essay ("Rogue superpower"), contains one inaccuracy in the claim that
Saddam was responsible for the departure of the weapons inspectors. This is a
myth long perpetuated by U.S. and British government spokespersons. According
to Hans von Sponeck, former U.N. co-ordinator in Iraq - who followed his predecessor
Denis Halliday by resigning in disgust at the effect of the embargo - the sequence
of events was as follows:
BOOK REVIEW by "Kitz"
The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order by John Stockwell.
South End Press, 1991. 205pp. From a middle class Presbyterian Texan background,
John Stockwell became a Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.), agent via the U.S.
Marine Corps. In 1977, having directed C.I.A. operations in Angola and having
been sickened by what he was doing, he decided to blow the whistle on his Government's
activities through the C.I.A. Acknowledging that this made him a traitor, as far
as the United States Government was concerned, he nonetheless proceeded to publish
a book, In Search Of Enemies. This was in 1978, followed by this book,
The Praetorian Guard, published in 1991. As its most senior defector from the
C.I.A., he is now a marked man and all his publications must bear government scrutiny.
As one would expect, the book is a damning and penetrative exposure of how the
C.I.A. works, of its relationship to the U.S. Government and, in particular to
George Bush senior as the C.I.A.'s one time director. Bush, an adroit politician,
later found himself operating as Vice-President with President Reagan and with
such shady characters as Attorney General Edwin Meese et al, themselves working
in and through the hallowed National Security Council (the N.S.C.), whose aim
has turned out to be nothing less than American global domination. This elite
grouping constitutes Stockwell's Praetorian Guard.
WAY FORWARD TO ARMAGEDDON? Commentary on domestic
and international affairs has reached a plateau. This can be seen in repetitive
material from the "talking heads" in the mainstream press, lack of penetration
and paucity of inspired crusading. The debt-based global economy has been fully
exposed, but very few wish to understand or recognise that this is the linchpin
of the entire structure; much less find any way forward. The systematic erosion
of moral, social and democratic political values, of our historic culture and
traditions, has been well covered. What further comment is needed?. The raw pursuit
of Power, focused on the military and economic might of the United States, world-wide
control of natural resources, and the Middle East are likely to occupy centre
stage into the forseeable future.
REFERENCES Note: Prices are shown where available from Bloomfield Books, and represent only a selection relevant to the theme of this edition of On Target. A wide range of reading may be found in the Stock Price List (S.P.L.), which may be obtained post free on request from the address on the last page. Out of print, or older works, may be obtained through the Book Search Service, or the Second-Hand Book Service, both of which are operated by Mr. T.G. Turner, for which details are available as for the S.P.L.
(1) Miksche, F.O. Secret
Forces - The Technique of Underground Movements. Faber and Faber Ltd., 1950.
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