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Pandora or Peru: Resisting the mining multinationals

By: Manuel Barcia/Aljazeera English/August 30, 2012

An indigenous group with a millenarian bond to their land are sitting on large reserves of a precious metal. A massive multinational corporation coming from a foreign land with the intention of getting access to the said metal at whatever cost. A conflict that has left people dead and that has the potential to take even more lives – indigenous lives, of course – destroying the environment in the process.

If the story rings any bells, it is because it does. But you would be forgiven for thinking we are talking about Pandora, and the RDA Corporation’s relentless search for unobtanium under the sacred soil of the Na’vi, in the 2009 film Avatar, directed by James Cameron.

As a matter of fact, we are talking about the Minas Conga project in the region of Yanacocha in Peru, and about the Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation’s persistent attempts at removing the local indigenous communities, and changing and contaminating their ancestral landscape in the process, all to expand their gold extraction operations in the area. Sadly enough, the entire world knows about Pandora, but not very many know about Yanacocha.

The new gold rush

With the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008 gold suddenly became one of the most precious commodities in the international markets. Not surprisingly, this led directly to an increase in gold mining worldwide, and to an expansion of the operations – both legal and illegal – of multinational corporations, often with questionable human rights and environmental records.

The case of Newmont is not unique. Other gold mining companies, mostly with headquarters in the US and Canada, have been repeatedly accused of manipulating local politics, of ignoring the interests of local communities standing in their way, and of destroying and polluting the environment across Latin America and other parts of the world.  In neighbouring Colombia, an estimated 5,000 children are now daily engaged in illegal gold mining works often under the most treacherous conditions. Also in Colombia, former paramilitary groups have now eagerly taken on the extraction of this precious metal as a form of supplementing their drug-related incomes. The situation is not much better in Ecuador, where it is only through the fundraising efforts of international NGOs and individuals that the national park of Yasuni and the indigenous communities that inhabit it, have been spared the destruction that open air mining brings.

Barrick Gold, for example, has been accused of dumping toxic substances directly into the riverine system in Porgera, Indonesia. Although the Canadian-based company has been successful in rebutting local demonstrations, the magnitude of the damage caused to the environment has been so noticeable that the Norwegian Pension Fund felt necessary to exclude the company from their investment plans as a penalty. Another Canadian-based company, Gold Corp, has been at the end of similar accusations in relation to Marlin Gold Mine in Guatemala.

Although Newmont is then hardly an exception, what makes it special is their talent in manipulating public opinion. Over the years, they have dodged public demonstrations and have taken on local politicians and community leaders who have questioned their actions in the area.

Newmont also has dubious records in other parts of the world. In the US, they were accused of taking years of questionable tax deductions from the state of Nevada. In Ghana, their invasive Akyem project, for which they were given the 2009 Public Eye “Hall of Shame” award, led to accusations of the destruction of unique natural habitats, the pollution of soils and rivers, and the displacement and resettlement of people. All facts that Newmont, naturally, dispute.

Minas Conga project

Newmont’s involvement in Yanacocha is not new. One of the two largest and more productive gold mines in the world, with a number of open pits across approximately 25,000 hectares of this Peruvian region, the potential of extracting yet more gold in Yanacocha is not to be overlooked.

For almost two decades, Newmont has linked up with Peruvian companies, including Minas Buenaventura, to extract gold from the soil of Cajamarca region, where Yanacocha is located. Daily dynamite blasts loosen the rock, which is then sprayed with a solution of cyanide. The process, predictably, is far from being environmentally friendly, producing a number of contaminant agents, including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

Although Newmont’s own environmental impact assessment states that their projects are not causing irreparable damage to the local ecosystems, their opinion is questionable, especially in light of their previous record in the area.

Back in June 2000, one of Newmont’s trucks spilled between 80 and 151kgs of mercury just outside the village of Choropampa. The locals, completely unaware of the danger and thinking they had found some valuable metal, gathered the mercury and took it to their homes. Only a few days later, between 50 and 70 residents, including several children, showed symptoms of mercury poisoning and had to be hospitalised. Newmont, predictably, denied failing to inform the locals about the accident and the danger they had been exposed to.

These early signs caused the locals to distrust the Newmont and helped to create a state of awareness that was recently revived when the Minas Conga project was approved. Newmont also failed, at least initially, to recognise the local population as indigenous in their 1999 environmental impact study. By doing so, they probably hoped to get around Peru’s strict legislation protecting indigenous communities from enterprises such as theirs.

The escalation of the conflict in the past year is a result of a plan to open a new pit with disastrous consequences for the indigenous communities and for the local ecosystem. Particularly problematic has been the idea of drying out four lagoons and replacing them with four water reservoirs, a move that would certainly lead to increasing problems with drinking water supplies and to the extermination of the flora and fauna in the lagoons. There are well founded fears that the soils in the region may never be fertile again and that the contamination may even reach the Maranon river, an important affluent of the Amazon.

Given that, according to Newmont’s own assessment, the mining industry has hardly brought any improvement to the locals in the area before, the new project has understandably been received with fierce resistance.

Rather than engaging openly with the indigenous communities, who have lived in the region for millennia, Newmont has lobbied the government, accused local politicians of opposing Newmont’s interests, and has even gone so far as to dismiss opposition to the project as emanating mostly from the most uneducated portion of the communities.

The future

The series of demonstrations that began last year against Newmont’s Minas Conga project has, for now, ushered encouraging results for the locals. The Peruvian government has recently come to the realisation that the conflict associated with the project is having an adverse effect on local businesses in the area, and has agreed to call it off, at least for now.

A recent poll conducted in the Cajamarca region showed that 78 per cent of the people opposed it. Only a few days ago, Diario Correo, one of the main newspapers of Peru referred to the project as “dead” and “collapsed”. It seems that the communities, as in Avatar, have won the first round.

Nevertheless, as in Avatar, sequels are likely to happen. All that gold won’t be sitting there for long without greedy multinationals attempting to extract it, even against the will of the local populations. By all the means available to them, they must remain alert for the time when the big machines show up again.

Manuel Barcia is Deputy Director at the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Leeds.

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Noam Chomsky: Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace

 

 

By: Noam Chomsky/Alternet.org/September 3, 2012

It is not easy to escape from one’s skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try. Let’s take a few examples.The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Imagine the situation to be reversed.

Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.

Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.

Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.

All unimaginable, of course, though it is actually happening, with the cast of characters reversed. True, analogies are never exact, and this one is unfair – to Iran.

Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.

Thirty years ago Israel destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor, an act that has recently been praised, avoiding the strong evidence, even from U.S. intelligence, that the bombing did not end Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program but rather initiated it. Bombing of Iran might have the same effect.

Iran too has carried out aggression – but during the past several hundred years, only under the U.S.-backed regime of the shah, when it conquered Arab islands in the Persian Gulf.

Iran engaged in nuclear development programs under the shah, with the strong support of official Washington. The Iranian government is brutal and repressive, as are Washington’s allies in the region. The most important ally, Saudi Arabia, is the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime, and spends enormous funds spreading its radical Wahhabist doctrines elsewhere. The gulf dictatorships, also favored U.S. allies, have harshly repressed any popular effort to join the Arab Spring.

The Nonaligned Movement – the governments of most of the world’s population – is now meeting in Teheran. The group has vigorously endorsed Iran’s right to enrich uranium, and some members – India, for example – adhere to the harsh U.S. sanctions program only partially and reluctantly.

The NAM delegates doubtless recognize the threat that dominates discussion in the West, lucidly articulated by Gen. Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command: “It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East,” one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which “inspires other nations to do so.”

Butler is not referring to Iran, but to Israel, which is regarded in the Arab countries and in Europe as posing the greatest threat to peace In the Arab world, the United States is ranked second as a threat, while Iran, though disliked, is far less feared. Indeed in many polls majorities hold that the region would be more
secure if Iran had nuclear weapons to balance the threats they perceive.

If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability – this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence – that may be because it is “inspired to do so” by the U.S.-Israeli threats, regularly issued in explicit violation of the U.N. Charter.

Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel.

Furthermore Iran must be punished for its “successful defiance,” which was Washington’s charge against Cuba half a century ago, and still the driving force for the U.S. assault against Cuba that continues despite international condemnation.

Other events featured on the front pages might also benefit from a different perspective. Suppose that Julian Assange had leaked Russian documents revealing important information that Moscow wanted to conceal from the public, and that circumstances were otherwise identical.

Sweden would not hesitate to pursue its sole announced concern, accepting the offer to interrogate Assange in London. It would declare that if Assange returned to Sweden (as he has agreed to do), he would not be extradited to Russia, where chances of a fair trial would be slight.

Sweden would be honored for this principled stand. Assange would be praised for performing a public service – which, of course, would not obviate the need to take the accusations against him as seriously as in all such cases.

The most prominent news story of the day here is the U.S. election. An appropriate perspective was provided by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who held that “We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”

Guided by that insight, coverage of the election should focus on the impact of wealth on policy, extensively analyzed in the recent study “Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America” by Martin Gilens. He found that the vast majority are “powerless to shape government policy” when their preferences diverge from the affluent, who pretty much get what they want when it matters to them.

Small wonder, then, that in a recent ranking of the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of social justice, the United States placed 27th, despite its extraordinary advantages.

Or that rational treatment of issues tends to evaporate in the electoral campaign, in ways sometimes verging on comedy.

To take one case, Paul Krugman reports that the much-admired Big Thinker of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, declares that he derives his ideas about the financial system from a character in a fantasy novel – “Atlas Shrugged” – who calls for the use of gold coins instead of paper currency.

It only remains to draw from a really distinguished writer, Jonathan Swift. In “Gulliver’s Travels,” his sages of Lagado carry all their goods with them in packs on their backs, and thus could use them for barter without the encumbrance of gold. Then the economy and democracy could truly flourish – and best of all, inequality would sharply decline, a gift to the spirit of Justice Brandeis.

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Colombian government seeking peace with FARC rebels

By Helen Murphy and Luis Jaime Acosta/Reuters/August 27, 2012

BOGOTA – Colombia’s government is seeking peace with the country’s biggest rebel group, the FARC, and could consider also holding talks with a second guerrilla movement to end five decades of war, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday.

In a televised address from the presidential palace, Santos said his government would learn from the mistakes of so many previous leaders who tried but failed to clinch a lasting ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

“Since the first day of my government I have completed my constitutional obligation to find peace. With that aim, we have had exploratory conversations with the FARC to seek an end to the conflict,” he said, confirming weeks of swirling rumors that his government had started behind-the-scenes discussions.

He added that the military would continue its operations “throughout every centimeter” of Colombia while talks continued.

Santos did not provide further details, but said he would reveal more about the talks in the coming days.

A successful peace agreement with the rebels would secure him a place in history as the leader who ended a conflict that has killed tens of thousands over the years and left the Andean nation’s reputation in tatters.

In response to a Reuters interview published on Monday with the head of the nation’s second biggest rebel group, Santos said the National Liberation Army, known as the ELN, could also be involved in the peace talks.

“Today the ELN has expressed, via an international news agency, its interest in participating in conversations to put an end to the violence,” the president said in his brief speech.

“I tell that group that, within the same framework, they too can be part of the effort to end the conflict.”

A Colombian intelligence source told Reuters earlier that as part of the deal to hold talks, Santos had agreed FARC rebels would not be extradited to any other country to stand trial.

Details are still being worked out, the source said, but the negotiations could take place in Cuba or Norway. U.S. President Barack Obama is aware of the process and is in agreement, the source said.

Santos, who is at the mid-point of his four-year term, has said he would consider peace talks with the FARC only if he was certain the drug-funded group would negotiate in good faith.

SANTOS FOCUSED

The last peace effort ended in shambles.

In 1988 former President Andres Pastrana ceded the FARC a safe haven the size of Switzerland to promote talks. The rebels took advantage of the breathing space to train fighters, build more than 25 airstrips to fly drug shipments, and set up prison camps to hold its hostages.

News of the latest peace effort was met with guarded hope among Colombians.

“Honestly, full peace is probably never possible. Of course it would be good … but really, an end to the war? I think an end to the world will happen first,” said Maria Eugenia Martinez as she sold cigarettes in an upscale Bogota neighborhood.

Santos discussed the peace process during talks in Havana with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro before the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia earlier this year, the intelligence source said.

Colombia’s congress passed a constitutional reform in June that set the legal basis for eventual peace with the rebels. The reform prohibits guerrilla leaders accused of crimes against humanity from holding political office.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Santos said he would only start a peace process “with a high probability of success. I would not start a process to fail.”

VIOLENCE CONTINUES

News of the talks had already angered Santos’ predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, who has slammed Santos for wanting “peace at any cost” and allowing the rebels to rearm and regroup.

Santos, a former defense minister, won election in 2010 by a landslide, pledging to cut unemployment and continue Uribe’s hard line security policies, while fostering economic growth and reducing poverty.

While much of the world struggles to shore up fiscal accounts, Colombia’s financial management, buoyant economy and security advances have helped shield its economy from too much fallout from the international financial crisis.

Once an outcast for most foreign companies, the Andean nation has become a magnet for investment as a U.S.-backed offensive against the FARC sharply reduced the number of kidnappings and murders. The nation was rewarded last year with an investment grade from three major credit-rating agencies.

But the 61-year-old Santos has seen his own ratings slide in recent weeks amid criticism that he had allowed rebels to chip away at the security gains of the last decade.

Attacks on oil industry installations have jumped 40 percent over the last year, while violent clashes between troops and indigenous protesters led to withering criticism of Santos for not protecting the soldiers.

Six people were killed, including two children, in a FARC bomb attack in central Meta province on Sunday.

The FARC, which calls itself “the people’s army” defending peasant rights, has battled about a dozen governments since appearing in 1964, when its founder, Manuel Marulanda, and 48 rebels fought off thousands of troops in jungle hide-outs.

The group has faced its biggest set-backs in recent years as U.S.-trained special forces use sophisticated technology and spy networks to track the leaders.

A string of defeats began in 2008 with a cross-border military raid into Ecuador that killed its second in command. Marulanda died of a heart attack weeks later and was replaced by Alfonso Cano, who was later killed too.

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Tariq Ali: Why Latin America backs WikiLeaks

By: Tariq Ali/Greeleft.org/August 26, 2012

 

British-Pakistani author, journalist and activist Tariq Ali chaired a rally outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on August 19. The rally came before WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange’s widely publicised speech. Ali also gave two speeches. In the second, he spoke about why it was that Assange and WikiLeaks had found support in Ecuador and Latin America more generally — and highlighted the revolutionary movements that have swept the continent to challenge US corporate domination. It is transcribed below.

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I think one aspect of this [situation] that has not yet been dealt with. And it needs to be understood — especially in the Western world. Why is it that an Australian citizen, facing prosecution from a European country, decides to appeal for asylum to a South American republic?

And the reason for that is that for the last 10-15 years, huge changes have been taken place in South America. And these changes are very interesting.

For a whole while, as many of you will know, South America was governed by military dictatorships, of one sort or another — backed by the United States and its European partners — and allowed to do whatever they wanted.

They were taught how to torture [by the US], they were taught how to kill, and they carried on doing it until the changes began. And the changes began for social and economic reasons, it should be pointed out.

The changes began when the people in Venezuela — who were the first — said enough! Enough of International Monetary Fund regulations, enough of World Bank rules. We don’t like neoliberalism, we don’t like the way our oligarchs are running our country, we don’t want to live in a world where everything is privatised, where there is no public sector — that is what started it off.

And there have been more elections in Venezuela than anywhere else in the world since that time. Referendums, campaigns, won by the Bolivarians [as the revolutionary movement headed by President Hugo Chavez is called]. There is a new constitution, in which the population has the right, if it so wishes, to collect a petition so an elected president can be recalled way before the next election is due.

And that Venezuelan model, in different ways, spread. It spread to Bolivia, it spread to Ecuador, it spread for a while to Paraguay [where elected president Fernando Lugo was overthrown in a parliamentary coup in June by forces aligned with large landowning interests], to Honduras [where left-wing president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a 2009 military coup]. It had a huge impact in Brazil.

And so we don’t have the world of the West now in many South American countries. What do they do? They have oil wealth, they have other sources of wealth.

They don’t allow this wealth to go to the fat cats. They don’t allow it to go to bankers. They spend it on free education. They spend it on hospitals. They have created new universities free of charge for poor kids.

They refuse to follow the Western model where everything is privatised — including the armies and including the police force here. Everything is being privatised. The train services here are privatised, in South America they are trying to construct a new one.

And so, these social — radical social democratic governments in South America are today — in my opinion — offering more social and human rights to their citizens than the countries of Europe, leave alone the United States.

And that is why Julian Assange applies for asylum to Ecuador, because this is a country which is determined to be independent. It has asked the American military base in Manta to leave the country. And when the United States objected, Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, said, “OK, if you want a base here, let’s have equality. Why can’t we have a military base in Florida?”

To even ask the question is considered crazy. And there was no agreement. Out went the base.

Ecuador has a new constitution that defends human rights. [There is] a serious attempt to defend the ecology of the country. Social spending has doubled.

And, for me, human rights mean nothing unless there’s social rights, as well, for the ordinary people of a country. The two go hand in hand.

And it is these changes in South America that have now come to the fore in a big way by this one event.

But that is why Julian Assange appealed to Ecuador for asylum, and that is why I think in this week that lies ahead he will receive the backing of a large majority of the South American continent [the Union of South American Nations — which unites the governments of 12 South American nations, voted to endorse Ecuador’s decision on August 19].

And the Europeans, European governments and European citizens, if they wish to, could learn a lot from South America today. Just change your gaze.

The gaze of Europe is constantly fixed in the direction of North America. They should just shift it to South America, and maybe conditions in the lives of ordinary people who live in Europe would be improved as a result.

Instead, despite this huge social and economic crisis, they go on as if nothing has happened. Well, for them, nothing has happened. For ordinary people who live in this country, whatever their class, their creed, their colour, they suffer. And they react angrily sometimes.

South America offers the beginnings of a model against that.

 

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School Out? Not Yet…The New York Times and the School of Assassins

By: Joan Roelofs/Counterpunch.org/August 19, 2012

 

On Saturday, August 11, The New York Times printed a front page article about the nun, Sister Megan Rice, age 82, who committed civil disobedience at the Oak Ridge Tennessee nuclear reservation in a protest against nuclear weapons.  The article also informs us that she had been arrested in 1998 protesting at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.  The Times then notes that some of the trainees from that school “went on to commit human rights abuses.”  You might think of denials of same-sex partner medical benefits, or censorship of soldiers’ mail; in fact, the abuses were (and still are) assassination, torture, and military overthrow of elected governments.

The  Times then states: “The school has since been closed.”  This is not the case at all.  The name has been changed to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, with the same curriculum.

The SOA, aka WHISC, is probably the best known locale of foreign military training, because of the vigil and civil disobedience organized every November by the School of the Americas Watch organization.  Some mainstream news sources note this event; The New York Timesusually ignores it.  Perhaps that is why they think the school is closed; if it is not in the NYT, it can’t possibly exist.

SOA graduates include the murderers of Jesuit priests, the lay missionary and 3 nuns, Archbishop Romero, and the El Mazote massacre of 900 civilians in El Salvador; and many other victims. SOA training manuals advocate torture. The recent overthrow of Honduras government was the work of graduates of SOA.  Other alumni are Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia.

Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela have withdrawn participation in SOA.

“Multicultural” education doesn’t stop with the SOA.  More than 200 institutions in the US train foreign military personnel, and US military sponsored training occurs all over the world, in our overseas institutions and in situ. The 571 page State Department Report on Foreign Military Training for 2010 indicates that approximately 67,100 students from 159 countries participated.

“Education” is offered through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program, and activities funded through Defense and State Departments. All armament sales are accompanied by training.  The State Department International Military Education and Training (IMET) is a major offering. The Expanded IMET (E-IMET) program (arising from criticism of our past trainees’ post-graduate projects—assassination, torture, military takeovers, etc.) is supposed to teach respect for civilian control of the military, human rights, and belief in the rule of law.

Among the DOD programs is Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET).  US Special Operations Forces (SOF) train “with friendly foreign forces. . . The primary purpose of JCET is always the training of US SOF personnel, although incidental training benefits may accrue to the foreign forces.”

Programs exist for combating terrorism, counter-narcotics training, humanitarian demining, and a whole university of military and civilian subjects.  Civilian government leaders of many countries are also invited and participate in the trainings.

The WHISC brags that it teaches peaceful skills such as public administration, but the purpose is clear: when the troops take over a country they have to know how to do it.  Perhaps the DOD has learned from the experience of Lawrence of Arabia: his men captured Damascus, but didn’t have any public administration skills, so lost it.

Each branch of the military has its own network of schools, the military academies have exchange programs, there are regional centers, and civilian institutions have foreign military students. Even military prep schools can get into the picture; some start at pre-Kindergarten. Private contractors also perform training.

Some examples of participating institutions among the 200 are the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (In D.C., Senegal, and Ethiopia); the US Army JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, NC for Special Forces training (Green Berets); and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (Marshall Center).

Land-grant universities were originally planned to include military training, and they are today important centers for these programs. Indonesian special forces—Kopassus—were trained at Norwich University in Vermont. When this was revealed by a reporter, a scandal ensued, the reporter was fired from her newspaper, and the program was shut down. However, the University’s president recently announced that the relationship was resuming.

Among the many countries participating in our military training are Sweden and Switzerland, sometimes thought to be neutral.  They are affiliated with NATO, in a “Partnership for Peace” status.  So also is Russia, and its troops joined ours in anti-terrorism training this May in Colorado.  Another odd grantee is the tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, as Lora Lumpe points out in her excellent 2002 Report on military training.

One goal of these programs is to enable foreign military forces to support combined operations and “interoperability” with US forces. Military hardware is also advertised and demonstrated, being an important part of US exports.

The larger picture is positioning the US as a “holding company” for all the world’s militaries. These are also being groomed to penetrate civilian governments, in some cases by the old fashioned military coup. More sinister is the influence our past trainees, now heavily represented in foreign defense ministries, exert on the temporary elected governments in countries considered democracies—especially those considered the most democratic, such as Sweden and Denmark. Currently fashionable “networking” is indeed a potent technique of US domination.

Joan Roelofs is Professor Emerita of Political Science, Keene State College, New Hampshire. She is the translator of Victor Considerant’s Principles of Socialism (Maisonneuve Press, 2006), and author of Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (SUNY Press, 2003) and Greening Cities (Rowman and Littlefield, 1996). Web site: www.joanroelofs.wordpress.com Contact: joan.roelofs@myfairpoint.net

 

 

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