Beyond Greed

Basic Bliss | Togo Smials' LiveJournal | MozDawg DAV

December 12, 2002

Reading a news item, Military Spending Called too High, on Polaris Institute's report entitled Breaking Rank (PDF). In it Steven Staples is reported to haved described Canada's defence policy, which dates back to the 1994 white paper, as "woefully outdated and really mired in Cold War thinking."
[Reading this reminded me of a set of letters hosted by MediaLens: George Monbiot Responds on Iraq and 'Just War'. (That's my local copy of their documents.)]

Other items by Staples:

  • After 911: The military-corporate Agenda
  • Military Spending vs. Social Programs
  • Notice of new video: WTO and the Global War System. Some of this is available online from PeaceWire's video page
  • International Network on Disarmament and Globalization's Peace Wire

  • posted by Bernard 12/12/2002 02:03:02 PM

    December 7, 2002

  • The New Normalcy and Acts of Resistance are two fine pages on the Refuse and Resist site. I strongly recommend one piece in particular: The U.S. Hit List at the United Nations reads in part, "Quietly, and without the fanfare that accompanies the campaign in the mountains of Afghanistan, the administration has begun a long march through multilateral institutions. At the UN and elsewhere, the U.S. has mounted a campaign to purge international civil servants judged to be out of step with Washington in the war on terrorism and its insistence that the U.S. have the last word in all global governance issues. "
    posted by Bernard 12/7/2002 11:46:35 PM
  • November 16, 2002

    * Indymeda . Main . WebHome * *
    posted by Bernard 11/16/2002 05:53:37 AM

    November 9, 2002

    Apparently George W. and company have found someone to do their bidding in Baghdad: Tinker, Banker, NeoCon, Spy ... the dude snuck out of Jordan after embezzling $70million as head of its 2nd biggest bank!
    posted by Bernard 11/9/2002 09:06:10 AM

    October 19, 2002

    Global Military Expenditures 2002 Global military expenditures currently exceed $800 BILLION!

    The top military spenders are:

    United States $343.2 Billion
    Russia* $60 China
    $42 Japan
    $40.4 United Kingdom
    $34 Saudi Arabia $27.2
    France $25.3
    Germany $21
    Brazil $17.9
    India $15.6
    Italy $15.5
    South Korea $11.8
    *Based on 2000 funding (most recent year available)

    Global Priorities
    For approximately 30% of Annual World Military Expenditures (~$810 billion), all of the following could be accomplished

    ***: To Eliminate Starvation and Malnutrition ($19 billion)
    To Provide Shelter ($21 billion)
    To Remove Landmines ($4 billion)
    To Build Democracy ($3 billion)
    To Eliminate Nuclear Weapons ($7 billion)
    To Refugee Relief ($5 billion)
    To Eliminate Illiteracy ($5 billion)
    To Provide Clean, Safe Water ($10 billion)
    To Provide Health Care and AIDS Control ($21 billion)
    To Stop Deforestation ($7 billion)
    To Prevent Global Warming ($8 billion)
    To Stabilize Population ($10.5 billion)
    To Prevent Acid Rain ($8 billion)
    To Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Energy Efficiency ($33 billion), Renewable Energy ($17 billion)
    To Stop Ozone Depletion ($5 billion)
    To Prevent Soil Erosion ($24 billion)
    To Retire Developing Nations Debt ($30 billion)

    For more information, please visit:

    Sources: Center for Defense Information, Council for a Livable World, International Institute for Strategic Studies, US State Department, US Central Intelligence Agency
    posted by Bernard 10/19/2002 11:58:08 PM

    August 1, 2002


    Senate hears dire warnings by dissidents
    Iraq 'close to nuclear bomb goal'
    Julian Borger in Washington
    Thursday August 1, 2002
    The Guardian


    Bush and Blair agree terms for Iraq attack
    Military hatch new option for invasion
    Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor
    Saturday July 27, 2002
    The Guardian


    The last thing the US wants is democracy in Iraq
    Nick Cohen
    Sunday July 28, 2002
    The Observer


    The Coming October War in Iraq
    By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Wednesday, 24 July, 2002


    posted by Bernard 8/1/2002 07:45:55 PM

    Cautioning vs an Iraq Attack - Digest of Recent News
    Prepared by Janet M Eaton,
    July 31, 2002

    [1] UN Must Sanction Iraq Strike
    John Hopper in Berlin and Richard Norton-Taylor
    Wednesday July 31, 2002
    The Guardian

    The leaders of Germany and France highlighted the gap now separating Britain and the US from some of their closest allies on policy towards Iraq yesterday, saying they could not support an attack without a UN mandate.

    At the end of talks in the German city of Schwein, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and President Jacques Chirac insisted that clear UN approval was necessary.

    They admitted their position amid the growing evidence that George Bush and Tony Blair have agreed in principle on an invasion, perhaps before the end of the year.

    [2] Unions warning on Iraq attack
    July 31, 2002

    Ten trade union leaders issued a joint warning to Tony Blair yesterday not to involve Britain in an American-led invasion of Iraq


    [3] Turkey to dissuade US against attack on Iraq ANKARA, July 31 (Reuters):

    Turkey is trying to dissuade the United States from launching a military attack on Iraq, prime minister Bulent Ecevit said in comments published today after a day of heavy diplomatic traffic between the two allies. The United States has made no secret of its determination to oust Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Any military action to do so would almost certainly require cooperation from Turkey, a NATO ally to the North of Iraq. [..]


    [4] Monitor Iraq: Why Not Do Nothing?
    by Marc Lynch
    July 31, 2002 in the Christian Science

    WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. -- As Senate hearings get under way, Americans are beginning to work through their doubts about the prospect of war with Iraq. Commentators from right to left, as well as senior US military officials, have expressed concerns: the risks of extended combat and significant loss of American soldiers; the possibility of Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction; the costs of a large-scale campaign.


    [5] Eight Washington Lies About Iraq
    by Jon Basil Utley 7/31/02
    Each of these assumptions is refuted in the article:
    1. Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attack on America or is close to obtaining nuclear weapons 2. If we don't bomb Iraq, Saddam will use his WMD against us or his neighbors. 3. Iraq wouldn't let the UN - US monitors inspect possible WMD production or storage sites. That's why America started bombing. 4. It's Saddam's fault that half a million children died since the economic blockade. Saddam could feed his people if he cared instead of using his money to buy weapons 5. If Iraq allowed inspectors for WMD [Weapons of mass destruction] Washington would remove the blockade . Iraq must prove that it has no WMD and that it won't manufacture any in the future. 6. It's Iraq's fault that the blockade continues . America has nothing against Iraq's people, only against its government 7. Saddam gassed his own people 8. A War would be quick and easy to win. Iraqis would welcome Americans to overthrow their cruel dictator. America would then set up a friendly regime, easily occupy the country and rid it of weapons of mass destruction.


    [6] Bush's Messy War is Courting Total Disaster
    By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Report
    Tuesday, 30 July, 2002


    With the fight in Afghanistan still unfinished, with no evidence on the table to make the case that Saddam Hussein poses a threat to America, and with the terrifying implications of chaos in the Mideast if we do go to war there, why on earth would Bush and his people want to push towards battle?

    In all likelihood, the answer lies within the geometry of the voting booth and the American marketplace. ....... By most reports, Republicans are facing an electoral wipeout to rival the Gingrich Revolution of 1994. A splendid little war, combined with the inevitable demands for patriotism, would serve to create Bush coattails where none currently exist.

    Beyond that lies a motivation that is chilling in its inception. Larry Kudlow, a market analyst for CNBC, put forth the proposition in a column published on July 28th that war in Iraq is necessary to save the stock market. The article is entitled, 'Taking Back the Market - By Force.' "The shock therapy of decisive war," opined Kudlow, "will elevate the stock market by a couple thousand points.

    [7] What, If Anything, Does Iraq Have to Hide?
    by Scott Ritter
    Long Island, NY Newsday
    July 30, 2002 i

    The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), has announced that he plans to hold hearings on Iraq starting tomorrow.

    Given Sen. Biden's open embrace of regime removal in Baghdad, there is a real risk that any such hearings may devolve into a political cover for the passing of a congressional resolution authorizing the Bush administration to wage war on Iraq. Such hearings would represent a travesty for the American people.


    [8] NYT July 30, 2002 Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in a War on Iraq

    WASHINGTON, July 29 -- An American attack on Iraq could profoundly affect the American economy, because the United States would have to pay most of the cost and bear the brunt of any oil price shock or other market disruptions, government officials, diplomats and economists say.


    The Persian Gulf war cost $61.1 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service, of which $48.4 billion was paid by other nations.

    The House Budget Committee's Democratic staff said that in 2002 dollars, the cost of the war was $79.9 billion, providing a very rough benchmark for what a conflict of similar dimensions might cost today.

    Representative John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a member of the Armed Services Committee, said the United States would come up with whatever money was necessary. But he said planning for a war now would have to recognize the nation's deteriorating fiscal condition and the need to address other priorities.


    [9] Dangers in gamble of going for a city too far
    By Michael Evans, Defence Editor
    July 30, 2002

    THE latest military option for toppling Saddam Hussein is the highest-risk venture so far to emerge from the leaky Pentagon. The Americans could learn from Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, who dispatched 30,000 allied paratroops behind enemy lines in 1944 to capture Arnhem and seven bridges on the Dutch-German border. Monty gambled that a narrow, penetrating assault deep behind enemy lines would have greater impact than a classic advance along a broad front. But Arnhem proved "a bridge too far".


    [10] Human Rights: Attacking Iraq--The Humanitarian Consequences
    The Earth Times. All rights reserved
    July 30, 2002

    To conclude, the warped projections and conjectures on the "coming war" on Iraq that are being relayed by American mass communication media completely exclude the humanitarian angle. US decision-makers have a new-found spring in their step after the miraculous "victory" in Afghanistan and the freeing of Kabul from the reactionary Taliban. The poltergeists of Vietnam and Somalia have given way to a swagger and arrogance that all future American military missions will be 'liberating' in nature and involve minimum military and civilian casualties. Objective history begs to disagree. CNN never discussed the final count of Afghan people killed and displaced in the recent Afghan war. Let it not be a case that the terrible human consequences of war on Iraq also remain under wraps. Highlighting them would be the only credible way to counter the dominant discourses of "patriot act" and "total war."


    [11] Blair warned: Iraq attack 'illegal'

    Government legal experts say UN mandate is needed for action

    By Paul Waugh Deputy Political Editor

    29 July 2002

    Tony Blair has been told by the Government's own lawyers that British participation in an invasion of Iraq would be illegal without a new United Nations mandate.

    The advice, which is highly confidential, has led the Foreign Office to warn Downing Street that a fresh UN resolution could be the best means of ensuring Russian and moderate Arab support for any attack against Saddam Hussein.

    Senior government sources say the Prime Minister has also received conflicting legal opinion from law officers that current UN resolutions could offer sufficient cover for any military action. But the very fact that even one part of Government has been told an attack could be illegal will delight the many Labour MPs worried that Mr Blair will unilaterally back an American assault.



    [12] ''War with Iraq is imminent''
    Printed on Sunday, July 28, 2002 @ 00:02:31 EDT ( )
    By Keiler Hook Guest Columnist (United States)


    The American people are not bloodthirsty and they would rather their government negotiate peace not war. The answer to Iraq is diplomacy and continued attention by the United Nations. The United States contained the USSR for 50 years using diplomatic measures. Our government has a responsibility to all the peoples of the world to end war not to start it.

    Mr. Bush says that our government is "working towards peace." The government is in the position to spread peace by ending this threat to attack Iraq. Will he heed the advice from people outside his assemblage of provocateurs and henchmen?


    [13] Force Above Law: The New International Disorder?
    By Carah Ong
    July 11, 2002

    The US has historically been one of the most resolute advocates of the Rule of Law. However, current trends indicate that it is moving dangerously towards completely shunning this approach, resulting in US reliance on Rule of Force as the principal means for solving global conflicts. While on the one hand the US disavows current obligations under international law and refuses to participate in new international legal mechanisms, it expects other countries to adhere to such laws and to US directives. Continued US attempts to increase its military domination combined with its withdrawal from international legal processes are eroding national and international security in an already unstable and unbalanced international environment.


    [14] July 30, 2002

    PIF Policy Report June 2002

    Fallacies of U.S. Plans to Invade Iraq

    By Stephen Zunes
    Stephen Zunes ( is Middle East editor of Foreign Policy in Focus (

    [] There is no evidence of Iraqi links to Al Qaeda
    [] The military threat from Iraq is greatly exaggerated
    [] A war against Iraq would be illegal
    [] Defeating Iraq would be militarily difficult
    [] The U.S. has virtually no support from regional allies


    posted by Bernard 8/1/2002 12:22:08 AM

    May 17, 2002

    Well, that was an afternoon well spent! *Of course, because I did this instead of going out to busk in the rain, now I can't afford a cup of coffee ...*
    posted by Bernard 5/17/2002 05:10:05 PM

    April 24, 2002

    In 1973, from my position in military communications intelligence, I had a bit of a view into how things unfolded as Salvador Allende's democratically elected government was overthrown in Chile. Nearly 30 years later, from the comfort and anonymous safety of wherever you are now, you can see both more and more clearly. I wonder, will you make the effort? Venezuela Watch; Greg Palast on Chavez and the "Coup"
    posted by Bernard 4/24/2002 12:21:36 AM

    March 26, 2002

    Reading the "Alternative Budget for Nova Scotia" [PDF] from The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives it seemed clear to me the neo-liberalism agenda fulfills Marx's prophecy in that it creates its own grave diggers; the larger the share of a community's wealth that flows to those who are already wealthy, the more that wealthy elite will decide to their own benefit, in their own favour and in favour of those who serve their interests. The least inhuman outcome from this situation would be that the elite takes on the role of benevolence oligarchs. It is dreaming in technicolour to think that there can be anything like democratic development, except a transfer of decision making to those who on produce the wealth and are affected by the production and distribution. The wealthy struggle to preserve and extend their luxurious isolation; such is the actuality of how material reality conditions consciousness ... no surprise there. What needs to be underlined is this: it is exactly that luxurious isolation that skews their deliberations away from the public good. The wealthy minority would deny some even the fundamental material goods that would enable them to enjoy and make use of their rights. The majority, in the name of the public good, would deny the wealthiest minority only the most extravagant of their surplus. Yet it is those who already own and control so much who receive the most. It is the case that wealth is being accumulated by a few, and that the rate of concentration is accelerating. There may be no golden road to utopia, but it seems the road to hell is a well groomed downhill run.
    posted by Bernard 3/26/2002 05:11:06 PM

    March 25, 2002

    Perhaps the power of dialectical materialism only arises consciously when individuals and communities are confronted by outrageous indignity? In this case, people's struggle for access to water gave rise to a significant document: Cochabamba Declaration; perhaps all such instances should be as eloquently articulated.
    posted by Bernard 3/25/2002 02:50:15 PM

    March 19, 2002

    An interesting way of passing expensive hours, the computer simulation of social dynamics, as illustrated with this set of movies of Rauch animations (a sidebar to the April 2002 edition of The Atlantic). But scientific theories, as good as they are, and I've spent years studying the best I could get my hands on, are only useful if honestly applied. When interpreted or disseminated by those who are either cynically dishonest or those whose views are distorted by utopian fantasies, they only add to the mystification of our world. Just as in the life of the individual, development of a community to its fullest potential requires a vigorous and rigorous honesty. (This is not, however the agents of villainy would tell you, equate to a call for mystical infallibility.) An open-ended acknowledgment of the challenges, that's what we respond to most productively; the more mendacious will always tender a version that is edited in order to advantage some fore-gone conclusion and by so doing fore-close some future better than they dare claim.
    But my point at this moment is to disclose the saddest development of all: whether it be the tender-hearted humanists or the credible liberals who are proposing yet another insightful social or economic theory, they who do so are damned by the wicked machinations of those with real power. Those who really would market sausages made from the bodies of labourers worked to death if they could are in fact and actually engaged in practices just as dark. This small snippet from a longer article will suffice for this place:
    Interview of Greg Palast, Journalist for BBC and Observer, London, by Alex Jones (The Alex Jones Radio Show, Monday (PM), March 4, 2002)
    GP: [...] I'll tell you two things. One, I spoke to the former chief economist, Joe Stiglitz who was fired by the (World) Bank. So I, on BBC and with Guardian, basically spent some time debriefing him. It was like one of the scenes out of Mission Impossible. So I got the insight of what was happening at the World Bank. In addition, [h]e would not give me inside documents but other people handed me a giant stash of secret documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. (And so one of the things that is happening is that, in fact, I was supposed to be on CNN with the head of the World Bank Jim Wolfensen and he said he would not appear on CNN ever if they put me on. And so CNN did the craziest thing and pulled me off.
    AJ: So now they are threatening total boycott.
    GP: Yea right. ) So what we found was this. We found inside these documents that basically they required nations to sign secret agreements, in which they agreed to sell off their key assets, in which they agreed to take economic steps which are really devastating to the nations involved and if they didn't agree to these steps, there was an average for each nation that signed one-hundred and eleven items that they are required to sign on to. If they didn't follow those steps they would be cut-off from all international borrowing. - we've got examples from, I've got inside documents recently from Argentina, the secret Argentine plan. This is signed by Jim Wolfensen, the president of the World Bank. By the way, just so you know, they are really upset with me that I've got the documents, but they have not challenged the authenticity of the documents. First, they did. First they said those documents don't exist. I actually showed them on television. And cite some on the web, I actually have copies of some on [...] So then they backed off and said yea those documents are authentic but we are not going to discuss them with you and we are going to keep you off the air anyway. So, that's that.
    *Talk Radio's Alex Jones Vs. the New World Order
    *The Writings of Greg Palast

    I personally make an effort at every opportunity not to disillusion the young people I have discussions with. I do not encourage their fantasies, I encourage them to realize that the good is best achieved by abandoning all mystifications and utopian distortions. But there are moments when the travesty that is described as governance and civil societies is so appalling ... words fail me.
    My country either stood by or collaborated in the overthrow of Salvadore Allende's democratically elected government in Chile. And there I was, all airborne ready and comm_tech trained ... with my brain drained of blood. On one hand we have George W. Bush brandishing nuclear arms and on the other we have the chicanery of our countries' complicity with IMF and WB skulduggery. So yet another generation of youth will have their reasonable expectations despoiled. Those who insist on the legitimacy and efficacy of bourgeois institutions should tear their hair out and weep, and would, if they had the energy of righteous conviction.
    posted by Bernard 3/19/2002 11:11:22 PM

    "There are just some things that should never be done to human beings" ... that's the kind of bottom line thinking that is characteristic of Micheal Ignatieff, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy and author of "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry". Interestingly, with that sort of slant on the foundations of civility (one of Ignatieff's lines is "The naked creature at the barbed wire fence is us" ... and this is from a man who lectures at military colleges on such as the need for constant ethical vigilance), the center's motto reads: "The yawning gap between the apparent attractiveness of human rights ideals and their realization has prompted the Carr Center to focus on the tools and techniques for realizing existing norms."
    While Ignatieff's position is that we will need combat-ready troops to defend human rights ("peace making", distinct from "peace keeping" ... which was my attitude as a soldier up until the overthrow of Salvadore Allende's democratically elected Chilean government, by the American backed fascist Pinochet), he stresses that the short term gains of security over human rights are going to be costly in the long run. As evidence of what I'd call his even-handedness, consider just this line of argument from his article in the New York Times: "The question after Sept. 11 is whether the era of human rights has come and gone. If that sounds alarmist, consider some of the evidence."
    Ignatieff walks the line. While adopting a logic that alams me with its similarity to commodity thinking (I've come to regard cost - benefit analysis as the sign of evil) he inevitably uses the human rights standards of "freedom from" to draw that line. Consequently, when he focus on what he calls "the failure of states" in sub-Saharan Africa, he talks about the need for responsible African representative to draw a virtuous circle and attend to the real and pressing needs of the people.
    I'm thinking that those who are more inclined to lobby government officials than to defy plastic bullets while rattling perimeter fences would do well to consider Ignatieff's book, "Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry". I might not reconsider the decision I made, post-Chile, to oppose military interventions, but I certainly do appreciate his approach ... we the people need to demand our rights not to be commoditized, our freedom from intentional empoverishment.
    BTW there is RealAudio of a recent interview from NPR's "The Connection".
    posted by Bernard 3/19/2002 01:10:16 PM

    March 18, 2002

    Subject:  A paroxism of greed
    Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 9:59:39
    From: "Bernard D. Tremblay (Ben)"
    Organization: MetaGnosis
    To: Talk Peace < talkpeace AT>
    The first thing I heard on the radio this morning is the news that the
    newly announced American military policy includes not only the threat of
    pre-emptive nuclear strikes against "rogue state", but it also includes
    Russia in the list of targetted nations. (This is in keeping with the
    Pentagon's doctine of "full-spectrum dominance", part of which involves
    the militarization of space.)
    The US is spending US$100 million per day to maintain its present
    military stock, and will be dedicating part of its recently increased
    US$400 billion yearly budget for military spending for new weapons;
    apparently it has turned its back to non-proliferation as well as to
    reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
    I was touched by the voice of our former Ambassador to the UN for
    disarmament as he once again sent out a clarion call against the scourge
    of nuclear arms, and also by the cold rationalism of the defense analyst
    who patronized him with agreement that disarmament was a worthy aim and
    then chided him, saying we had to be practical, that the only way we
    could have an influence was if we were involved.
    What we are witnessing is a paroxism of greed: if citizens do not
    recognize that this is a signal moment for the insanely wealthy to grab
    for power, the elite and their think-tank advisors do.
    The last thing I wrote yesterday evening was on the theme of "coccoon"
    and how the bourgeois dream of the nuclear family with its own private
    castle stocked with everything needed for pleasure and entertainment
    mimics the sadly mistaken notion that we can each of us be
    self-sufficient and complete in splendid isoaltion from others. That
    dream of "coccoon" (which so many cultures would find abhorent, if not
    simply pathological) is the root that feeds consummer capitalism: in my
    drive for self-sufficiency, I will indulge the tyranical boss, ignore
    the ignorant co-worker, work around the dictatorial supervisor, find my
    comfort with convenient food and convenient music and convenient
    transportation, and on and on, never taking arms against outrageous
    fortune, always striving to avoid the slightest edge of responsibility.
    The power elite recognize that their lust for full spectrum global
    dominance cooresponds with the narrowly materialistic aims of those who
    believe that narrow self-interest is the "practical" route to personal
    satisfaction. Isolated and ham-strung by petty appetites, we will be
    ruled by those who have similarly shallow views of human dignity.
    I heard a chickadee sing in my backyard just now. The earth, in its
    unboundedly practical optimism, is moving into another spring.
    Ben Tremblay
    see Pentagon Bootprints Around the Globe
    posted by Bernard 3/18/2002 01:16:59 PM

    March 13, 2002

    * In The Myth of the Global Economy Mark Weisbrot (he's co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research,) writes, "Sadly, more than 60 years after World War II pulled this country out of the Great Depression, military Keynesianism is still the only expansionary fiscal policy that can command a majority among our political class. Hence the real economic stimulus package of the Bush Administration, whether calculated as such or not: the War Without End. It seems that globalization is not only area of economic debate where ideology has crowded out reason." Ya ... I can't celebrate that it's taken this long for the penny to drop, but ... ya, that's right."
    I'm reminded here of the "Our Present" section of the Aligning With Purpose site, which reads in part, "When we first started exploring the problems in our world, we noticed that the U.S. government wasn't really working for "the people" ... that our justice system wasn't really just ... that our press wasn't really free ... and that our foundations weren't really a positive influence in our future.

    * Also on the Commondreams site:

    Related to this last item, a photo series documenting the extrajudicial killing of Palestinian Mahmoud Salah by a Israeli Border Police unit is on the front page of Left Turn. (This item courtesy Electronic Intifada.)
    posted by Bernard 3/13/2002 01:07:41 PM

    March 10, 2002

    A new Solidarity Village FAQ for Kananaskis.

    * Here's a new report from the Wurhld Bank: Globalization, Growth and Poverty: Building an Inclusive World Economy
    * There are a few interesting things on this US Government page, Economics & Trade Issues, Information Resource Center, US Embassy (Dominican Republic):
    - 1) How do you feel when you hear that a USGov spokesman declares, "No Development Without Growth"? Dunno ... it gives me the whillies! More on this here: "Larson Interview on Financing for Development" and here: "Zoellick Urges Latin America to Continue Economic Reforms".
    - 2) The page promotes a document called "Economic Freedom of The World 2001 Annual Report ", and who are the authors but our own Fraser Insitute stooges! BTW, "economic freedom" is one of FrazuhrInst's "research areas" ... ain't that spookey?! Oh ya, and the URL is wrong ... the doc is actually here
    * I'm sensing a theme here ... some sort of meme ... maybe reading about the "Paradigm shift at the center of pre-Monterrey debate" will make me feel more secure? *yaaaa, right!*

    Here's something I wrote for MobGlob's G7 Working Group:

    As it was stated in MobGlob minutes:
    "G7 finance ministers in halifax first week of june these are the real players and they are coming to us! (The G7 was in hfx in 1995)
    A working group started (bottom-lined by ben tremblay [that's me! bdt]) for the G7 welcoming committee that will try to expand past the confines of mobglob to bring the community together in organizing actions that will connect local issues to the global trends talk of teach-ins, reclaiming space, "shut-down style activity", launch of caravan to alberta for G8."

    So here we are!

    1st off, I need to hear from you. Would you write with whatever's on your mind concerning P7? ... what you think we should start with, what you'd like to see, how we can outreach, how much time you can kick in, whatever. If I don't hear from you, then nothing will happen. Those who feel like getting together to brainstorm, ya gotta let it be known.
    2nd. I need to hear from you (see above).
    3rd ... ya, that's right

    What I'm hoping is that we can have something like a teach in that will at once lay the foundation for what will be happening here and in Alberta during the G8, but might also focus on the finance ministers themselves, since they'll actually be here. I think list of demands would be nice.

    posted by Bernard 3/10/2002 12:08:22 AM

    March 7, 2002

    7 and 29
    Seven years ago we here in Halifax hosted a People's Summit, the P7, which ran parallel to the meeting of the heads of the G7 nations, and I played a small role it the P7's unfolding. Nearly 30 years ago the forces of elitist authoritarianism lead by General Pinochet overthrew the elected government of Chile, under Salvadore Allende with the complex structures that comprise western democracies projecting power to ensure the military junta's success and I, as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, played a small role in that unfolding.

    Looking back over those two periods I wonder at what is common and find two threads intertwined and running through what I see as the fabric of social justice: as a Marxist I hold to a belief that our understanding of self and others is conditioned by our material circumstances; as a Buddhist I believe that our happiness and authentic presence is obstructed by false beliefs concerning the nature of our situation. What I see as social justice is not so much the mere presence or absence of plenty and surplus, but our relationship to whatever plenty and surplus obtains. Is the neurotically anxious middle-manager in his suburban comfort  less symntomatic of economic injustice than the single parent exhausted by his or her three part-time jobs? Whether the innocent Jew in the work-camp of the complacent Nazi who's memberhip in the party was a career requirement, neither can lead the dignified life of responsible citizenship that is foundational community. Injustice unacknowledged violates the integrity of the perpetrator as well as the victim.

    What I hope, when I imagine a local response to this June's visit of the G7 finance ministers, is an exploration of our agenda: how can we most clearly present our view of emancipation to those who preach moniterization and privatization as the highest goods? What are the actions items to which we demand the elected representatives attend? How can we communicate our objections to the globalization of capital so that the largest number can see that another world is, not only possible, but absolutely necessary, so that we can quite properly address this as a community pursuing its intelligent interests?

    Remembering the many whose activism dates back to A20 and the FTAA conference in Quebec City, I'm reminded that my point here is to express my personal resonance, my perception of my own need ... to express again the clear and unchanging basis of the resistance that has informed by life for three decades and more: until and unless we the people freely and democratically act with an eye to human need, we will be swept along and used as replacable machine parts in the apparatus that works to concentrate wealth in the hands of those who are already wealthy.

    With an ever more well informed view of the global, can we come together to share our experiences and express our grievances? As though the politicians were willing to hear, can we come together and draft our petitions? Can we at least remind them that we are more than data, and that there is more in the world than their spreadsheets can present?

    posted by Bernard 3/7/2002 01:01:02 AM

    March 5, 2002

    Setup ''Beyond Greed'' for us by upcoming G7 Finance Ministers' meeting in Halifax
    posted by Bernard 3/5/2002 02:45:55 PM

    Powered by Blogger


    Human need, not corporate greed ... without justice, there can be no peace. That's the meme stringing these items together.