There’s nothing like a glass of cool, clear water to quench one’s thirst. But the next time you or your child reaches for one, you might want to question whether that water is in fact, too toxic to drink. If your water is fluoridated, the answer may well be yes.
For decades, we have been told a lie, a lie that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the weakening of the immune systems of tens of millions more. This lie is called fluoridation. A process we were led to believe was a safe and effective method of protecting teeth from decay is in fact a fraud. For decades it’s been shown that fluoridation is neither essential for good health nor protective of teeth. What it does is poison the body. We should all at this point be asking how and why public health policy and the American media continue to live with and perpetuate this scientific sham.
The Latest in Fluoride News
Today more than ever, evidence of fluoride’s toxicity is entering the public sphere.The summer of 2012 saw the publication of a systematic review and meta-analysis by researchers at Harvard University that explored the link between exposure to fluoride and neurological and cognitive function among children. The report pooled data from over 27 studies- many of them from China- carried out over the course of 22 years. The results, which were published in the journal Environmental Health Sciencesshowed a strong connection between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and decreased IQ scores in children. The team concluded that “the results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults.” 1
The newest scientific data suggest that the damaging effects of fluoride extend to reproductive health as well. A 2013 study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology showed a link between fluoride exposure and male infertility in mice. The study’s findings suggest that sodium fluoride impairs the ability of sperm cells in mice to normally fertilize the egg through a process known as chemotaxis. 2 This is the latest in more than 60 scientific studies on animals that have identified an association between male infertility and fluoride exposure.3
Adding more fuel to the fluoride controversy is a recent investigative report by NaturalNews exposing how the chemicals used to fluoridate United States’ water systems today are commonly purchased from Chinese chemical plants looking to discard surplus stores of this form of industrial waste. Disturbingly, the report details that some Chinese vendors of fluoride advertise on their website that their product can be used as an “adhesive preservative”, an “insecticide” as well as a” flux for soldering and welding”.4 One Chinese manufacturer, Shanghai Polymet Commodities Ltd,. which produces fluoride destined for municipal water reserves in the United States, notes on their website that their fluoride is “highly corrosive to human skin and harmful to people’s respiratory organs”. 5
The Fluoride Phase Out at Home and Abroad
There are many signs in recent years that indicate growing skepticism over fluoridation. The New York Times reported in October 2011 that in the previous four years, about 200 jurisdictions across the USA moved to cease water fluoridation. A panel composed of scientists and health professionals in Fairbanks, Alaska recently recommended ceasing fluoridation of the county water supply after concluding that the addition of fluoride to already naturally-fluoridated reserves could pose health risks to 700,000 residents. The move to end fluoridation would save the county an estimated $205,000 annually. 6
The city of Portland made headlines in 2013 when it voted down a measure to fluoridate its water supply. The citizens of Portland have rejected introducing the chemical to drinking water on three separate occasions since the 1950’s. Portland remains the largest city in the United States to shun fluoridation.7
The movement against fluoridation has gained traction overseas as well. In 2013, Israel’s Ministry of Health committed to a countrywide phase-out of fluoridation. The decision came after Israel’s Supreme Court deemed the existing health regulations requiring fluoridation to be based on science that is “outdated” and “no longer widely accepted.”8
Also this year, the government of the Australian state of Queensland eliminated $14 million in funding for its state-wide fluoridation campaign. The decision, which was executed by the Liberal National Party (LNP) government, forced local councils to vote on whether or not to introduce fluoride to their water supplies. Less than two months after the decision came down, several communities including the town of Cairns halted fluoridation. As a result, nearly 200,000 Australians will no longer be exposed to fluoride in their drinking water.9
An ever-growing number of institutions and individuals are questioning the wisdom of fluoridation. At the fore of the movement are thousands of scientific authorities and health care professionals who are speaking out about the hazards of this damaging additive. As of November 2013, a group of over 4549 professionals including 361 dentists and 562 medical doctors have added their names to a petition aimed at ending fluoridation started by the Fluoride Action Network. Among the prominent signatories are Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson and William Marcus, PhD who served as the chief toxicologist of the EPA Water Division.10
The above sampling of recent news items on fluoride brings into sharp focus just how urgent it is to carry out a critical reassessment of the mass fluoridation campaign that currently affects hundreds of millions of Americans. In order to better understand the massive deception surrounding this toxic chemical, we must look back to the sordid history of how fluoride was first introduced.
How to Market a Toxic Waste
“We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we do add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic.” 11
These words of Dr. John Yiamouyiannis may come as a shock to you because, if you’re like most Americans, you have positive associations with fluoride. You may envision tooth protection, strong bones, and a government that cares about your dental needs. What you’ve probably never been told is that the fluoride added to drinking water and toothpaste is a crude industrial waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries, and a substance toxic enough to be used as rat poison. How is it that Americans have learned to love an environmental hazard? This phenomenon can be attributed to a carefully planned marketing program begun even before Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to officially fluoridate its drinking water in 1945. 12 As a result of this ongoing campaign, nearly two-thirds of the nation has enthusiastically followed Grand Rapids’ example. But this push for fluoridation has less to do with a concern for America’s health than with industry’s penchant to expand at the expense of our nation’s well-being.
The first thing you have to understand about fluoride is that it’s the problem child of industry. Its toxicity was recognized at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when, in the 1850s iron and copper factories discharged it into the air and poisoned plants, animals, and people.13 The problem was exacerbated in the 1920s when rapid industrial growth meant massive pollution. Medical writer Joel Griffiths explains that “it was abundantly clear to both industry and government that spectacular U.S. industrial expansion and the economic and military power and vast profits it promised would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment.”14 Their biggest fear was that “if serious injury to people were established, lawsuits alone could prove devastating to companies, while public outcry could force industry-wide government regulations, billions in pollution-control costs, and even mandatory changes in high-fluoride raw materials and profitable technologies.” 15
At first, industry could dispose of fluoride legally only in small amounts by selling it to insecticide and rat poison manufacturers. 16 Then a commercial outlet was devised in the 1930s when a connection was made between water supplies bearing traces of fluoride and lower rates of tooth decay. Griffiths writes that this was not a scientific breakthrough, but rather part of a “public disinformation campaign” by the aluminum industry “to convince the public that fluoride was safe and good.” Industry’s need prompted Alcoa-funded scientist Gerald J. Cox to announce that “The present trend toward complete removal of fluoride from water may need some reversal.” 17 Griffiths writes:
“The big news in Cox’s announcement was that this ‘apparently worthless by-product’ had not only been proved safe (in low doses), but actually beneficial; it might reduce cavities in children. A proposal was in the air to add fluoride to the entire nation’s drinking water. While the dose to each individual would be low, ‘fluoridation’ on a national scale would require the annual addition of hundreds of thousands of tons of fluoride to the country’s drinking water.
“Government and industry especially Alcoa strongly supported intentional water fluoridation… [it] made possible a master public relations stroke one that could keep scientists and the public off fluoride’s case for years to come. If the leaders of dentistry, medicine, and public health could be persuaded to endorse fluoride in the public’s drinking water, proclaiming to the nation that there was a ‘wide margin of safety,’ how were they going to turn around later and say industry’s fluoride pollution was dangerous?
“As for the public, if fluoride could be introduced as a health enhancing substance that should be added to the environment for the children’s sake, those opposing it would look like quacks and lunatics….
“Back at the Mellon Institute, Alcoa’s Pittsburgh Industrial research lab, this news was galvanic. Alcoa-sponsored biochemist Gerald J. Cox immediately fluoridated some lab rats in a study and concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and that ‘The case should be regarded as proved.’ In a historic moment in 1939, the first public proposal that the U.S. should fluoridate its water supplies was made not by a doctor, or dentist, but by Cox, an industry scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims.” 18
Once the plan was put into action, industry was buoyant. They had finally found the channel for fluoride that they were looking for, and they were even cheered on by dentists, government agencies, and the public. Chemical Week, a publication for the chemical industry, described the tenor of the times: “All over the country, slide rules are getting warm as waterworks engineers figure the cost of adding fluoride to their water supplies.” They are riding a trend urged upon them, by the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association, the State Dental Health Directors, various state and local health bodies, and vocal women’s clubs from coast to coast. It adds up to a nice piece of business on all sides and many firms are cheering the PHS and similar groups as they plump for increasing adoption of fluoridation.” 19
Such overwhelming acceptance allowed government and industry to proceed hastily, albeit irresponsibly. The Grand Rapids experiment was supposed to take 15 years, during which time health benefits and hazards were to be studied. In 1946, however, just one year into the experiment, six more U.S. cities adopted the process. By 1947, 87 more communities were treated; popular demand was the official reason for this unscientific haste.
The general public and its leaders did support the cause, but only after a massive government public relations campaign spearheaded by Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays, a public relations pioneer who has been called “the original spin doctor,” 20 was a masterful PR strategist. As a result of his influence, Griffiths writes, “Almost overnight…the popular image of fluoride which at the time was being widely sold as rat and bug poison became that of a beneficial provider of gleaming smiles, absolutely safe, and good for children, bestowed by a benevolent paternal government. Its opponents were permanently engraved on the public mind as crackpots and right-wing loonies.” 21
Griffiths explains that while opposition to fluoridation is usually associated with right-wingers, this picture is not totally accurate. He provides an interesting historical perspective on the anti-fluoridation stance:
“Fluoridation attracted opponents from every point on the continuum of politics and sanity. The prospect of the government mass-medicating the water supplies with a well-known rat poison to prevent a nonlethal disease flipped the switches of delusionals across the country as well as generating concern among responsible scientists, doctors, and citizens.
“Moreover, by a fortuitous twist of circumstances, fluoride’s natural opponents on the left were alienated from the rest of the opposition. Oscar Ewing, a Federal Security Agency administrator, was a Truman “fair dealer” who pushed many progressive programs such as nationalized medicine. Fluoridation was lumped with his proposals. Inevitably, it was attacked by conservatives as a manifestation of “creeping socialism,” while the left rallied to its support. Later during the McCarthy era, the left was further alienated from the opposition when extreme right-wing groups, including the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan, raved that fluoridation was a plot by the Soviet Union and/or communists in the government to poison America’s brain cells.
“It was a simple task for promoters, under the guidance of the ‘original spin doctor,’ to paint all opponents as deranged and they played this angle to the hilt….
“Actually, many of the strongest opponents originally started out as proponents, but changed their minds after a close look at the evidence. And many opponents came to view fluoridation not as a communist plot, but simply as a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions. Some could be termed early environmentalists, such as the physicians George L. Waldbott and Frederick B. Exner, who first documented government-industry complicity in hiding the hazards of fluoride pollution from the public. Waldbott and Exner risked their careers in a clash with fluoride defenders, only to see their cause buried in toothpaste ads.” 22
By 1950, fluoridation’s image was a sterling one, and there was not much science could do at this point. The Public Health Service was fluoridation’s main source of funding as well as its promoter, and therefore caught in a fundamental conflict of interest. 12 If fluoridation were found to be unsafe and ineffective, and laws were repealed, the organization feared a loss of face, since scientists, politicians, dental groups, and physicians unanimously supported it. 23 For this reason, studies concerning its effects were not undertaken. The Oakland Tribune noted this when it stated that “public health officials have often suppressed scientific doubts” about fluoridation.24 Waldbott sums up the situation when he says that from the beginning, the controversy over fluoridating water supplies was “a political, not a scientific health issue.”25
The marketing of fluoride continues. In a 1983 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, then Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, Rebecca Hammer, writes that the EPA “regards [fluoridation] as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.” 26 A 1992 policy statement from the Department of Health and Human Services says, “A recent comprehensive PHS review of the benefits and potential health risks of fluoride has concluded that the practice of fluoridating community water supplies is safe and effective.” 27
According to the CDC website, about 200 million Americans in 16,500 communities are exposed to fluoridated water. Out of the 50 largest cities in the US, 43 have fluoridated water. 28
To help celebrate fluoride’s widespread use, the media recently reported on the 50th anniversary of fluoridation in Grand Rapids. Newspaper articles titled “Fluoridation: a shining public health success” 29 and “After 50 years, fluoride still works with a smile” 30 painted glowing pictures of the practice. Had investigators looked more closely, though, they might have learned that children in Muskegon, Michigan, an unfluoridated “control” city, had equal drops in dental decay. They might also have learned of the other studies that dispute the supposed wonders of fluoride.
The Fluoride Myth Doesn’t Hold Water
The big hope for fluoride was its ability to immunize children’s developing teeth against cavities. Rates of dental caries were supposed to plummet in areas where water was treated. Yet decades of experience and worldwide research have contradicted this expectation numerous times. Here are just a few examples:
In British Columbia, only 11% of the population drinks fluoridated water, as opposed to 40-70% in other Canadian regions. Yet British Columbia has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. In addition, the lowest rates of dental caries within the province are found in areas that do not have their water supplies fluoridated. 31
According to a Sierra Club study, people in unfluoridated developing nations have fewer dental caries than those living in industrialized nations. As a result, they conclude that “fluoride is not essential to dental health.” 32
In 1986-87, the largest study on fluoridation and tooth decay ever was performed. The subjects were 39,000 school children between 5 and 17 living in 84 areas around the country. A third of the places were fluoridated, a third were partially fluoridated, and a third were not. Results indicate no statistically significant differences in dental decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities. 33
A World Health Organization survey reports a decline of dental decay in western Europe, which is 98% unfluoridated. They state that western Europe’s declining dental decay rates are equal to and sometimes better than those in the U.S. 34
A 1992 University of Arizona study yielded surprising results when they found that “the more fluoride a child drinks, the more cavities appear in the teeth.” 35
Although all Native American reservations are fluoridated, children living there have much higher incidences of dental decay and other oral health problems than do children living in other U.S. communities. 36
In light of all the evidence, fluoride proponents now make more modest claims. For example, in 1988, the ADA professed that a 40- to 60% cavity reduction could be achieved with the help of fluoride. Now they claim an 18- to 25% reduction. Other promoters mention a 12% decline in tooth decay.
And some former supporters are even beginning to question the need for fluoridation altogether. In 1990, a National Institute for Dental Research report stated that “it is likely that if caries in children remain at low levels or decline further, the necessity of continuing the current variety and extent of fluoride-based prevention programs will be questioned.” 37
Most government agencies, however, continue to ignore the scientific evidence and to market fluoridation by making fictional claims about its benefits and pushing for its expansion. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “National surveys of oral health dating back several decades document continuing decreases in tooth decay in children, adults and senior citizens. Nevertheless, there are parts of the country and particular populations that remain without protection. For these reasons, the U.S. PHS…has set a national goal for the year 2000 that 75% of persons served by community water systems will have access to optimally fluoridated drinking water; currently this figure is just about 60%. The year 2000 target goal is both desirable and yet challenging, based on past progress and continuing evidence of effectiveness and safety of this public health measure.” 38
This statement is flawed on several accounts. First, as we’ve seen, research does not support the effectiveness of fluoridation for preventing tooth disease. Second, purported benefits are supposedly for children, not adults and senior citizens. At about age 13, any advantage fluoridation might offer comes to an end, and less than 1% of the fluoridated water supply reaches this population. And third, fluoridation has never been proven safe. On the contrary, several studies directly link fluoridation to skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and several rare forms of cancer. This alone should frighten us away from its use.
Biological Safety Concerns
Only a small margin separates supposedly beneficial fluoride levels from amounts that are known to cause adverse effects. Dr. James Patrick, a former antibiotics research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, describes the predicament:
“[There is] a very low margin of safety involved in fluoridating water. A concentration of about 1 ppm is recommended…in several countries, severe fluorosis has been documented from water supplies containing only 2 or 3 ppm. In the development of drugs…we generally insist on a therapeutic index (margin of safety) of the order of 100; a therapeutic index of 2 or 3 is totally unacceptable, yet that is what has been proposed for public water supplies.”39
Other countries argue that even 1 ppm is not a safe concentration. Canadian studies, for example, imply that children under three should have no fluoride whatsoever. The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association states that “Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than 3 years old.” 40 Since these supplements contain the same amount of fluoride as water does, they are basically saying that children under the age of three shouldn’t be drinking fluoridated water at all, under any circumstances. Japan has reduced the amount of fluoride in their drinking water to one-eighth of what is recommended in the U.S. Instead of 1 milligram per liter, they use less than 15 hundredths of a milligram per liter as the upper limit allowed. 41
Even supposing that low concentrations are safe, there is no way to control how much fluoride different people consume, as some take in a lot more than others. For example, laborers, athletes, diabetics, and those living in hot or dry regions can all be expected to drink more water, and therefore more fluoride (in fluoridated areas) than others. 42 Due to such wide variations in water consumption, it is impossible to scientifically control what dosage of fluoride a person receives via the water supply.43
Another concern is that fluoride is not found only in drinking water; it is everywhere. Fluoride is found in foods that are processed with it, which, in the United States, include nearly all bottled drinks and canned foods. 44 Researchers writing in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry have found that fruit juices, in particular, contain significant amounts of fluoride. In one study, a variety of popular juices and juice blends were analyzed and it was discovered that 42% of the samples examined had more than l ppm of fluoride, with some brands of grape juice containing much higher levels up to 6.8 ppm! The authors cite the common practice of using fluoride-containing insecticide in growing grapes as a factor in these high levels, and they suggest that the fluoride content of beverages be printed on their labels, as is other nutritional information. 45 Considering how much juice some children ingest, and the fact that youngsters often insist on particular brands that they consume day after day, labeling seems like a prudent idea. But beyond this is the larger issue that this study brings up: Is it wise to subject children and others who are heavy juice drinkers to additional fluoride in their water?
Here’s a little-publicized reality: Cooking can greatly increase a food’s fluoride content. Peas, for example, contain 12 micrograms of fluoride when raw and 1500 micrograms after they are cooked in fluoridated water, which is a tremendous difference. Also, we should keep in mind that fluoride is an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, aerosols, insecticides, and pesticides.
And of course, toothpastes. It’s interesting to note that in the 1950s, fluoridated toothpastes were required to carry warnings on their labels saying that they were not to be used in areas where water was already fluoridated. Crest toothpaste went so far as to write: “Caution: Children under 6 should not use Crest.” These regulations were dropped in 1958, although no new research was available to prove that the overdose hazard no longer existed. 46
Today, common fluoride levels in toothpaste are 1000 ppm. Research chemist Woodfun Ligon notes that swallowing a small amount adds substantially to fluoride intake. 47 Dentists say that children commonly ingest up to 0.5 mg of fluoride a day from toothpaste. 48
This inevitably raises another issue: How safe is all this fluoride? According to scientists and informed doctors, such as Dr. John Lee, it is not safe at all. Dr. Lee first took an anti-fluoridation stance back in 1972, when as chairman of an environmental health committee for a local medical society, he was asked to state their position on the subject. He stated that after investigating the references given by both pro- and anti-fluoridationists, the group discovered three important things:
“One, the claims of benefit of fluoride, the 60% reduction of cavities, was not established by any of these studies. Two, we found that the investigations into the toxic side effects of fluoride have not been done in any way that was acceptable. And three, we discovered that the estimate of the amount of fluoride in the food chain, in the total daily fluoride intake, had been measured in 1943, and not since then. By adding the amount of fluoride that we now have in the food chain, which comes from food processing with fluoridated water, plus all the fluoridated toothpaste that was not present in 1943, we found that the daily intake of fluoride was far in excess of what was considered optimal.” 49
What happens when fluoride intake exceeds the optimal? The inescapable fact is that this substance has been associated with severe health problems, ranging from skeletal and dental fluorosis to bone fractures, to fluoride poisoning, and even to cancer.
When fluoride is ingested, approximately 93% of it is absorbed into the bloodstream. A good part of the material is excreted, but the rest is deposited in the bones and teeth, and is capable of causing a crippling skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that can damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and result in muscle wasting, limited joint motion, spine deformities, and calcification of the ligaments, as well as neurological deficits.
Large numbers of people in Japan, China, India, the Middle East, and Africa have been diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis from drinking naturally fluoridated water. In India alone, nearly a million people suffer from the affliction. 39 While only a dozen cases of skeletal fluorosis have been reported in the United States, Chemical and Engineering News states that “critics of the EPA standard speculate that there probably have been many more cases of fluorosis even crippling fluorosis than the few reported in the literature because most doctors in the U.S. have not studied the disease and do not know how to diagnose it.” 50
Radiologic changes in bone occur when fluoride exposure is 5 mg/day, according to the late Dr. George Waldbott, author of Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. While this 5 mg/day level is the amount of fluoride ingested by most people living in fluoridated areas, 51 the number increases for diabetics and laborers, who can ingest up to 20 mg of fluoride daily. In addition, a survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture shows that 3% of the U.S. population drinks 4 liters or more of water every day. If these individuals live in areas where the water contains a fluoride level of 4 ppm, allowed by the EPA, they are ingesting 16 mg/day from the consumption of water alone, and are thus at greater risk for getting skeletal fluorosis. 52
According to a 1989 National Institute for Dental Research study, 1-2% of children living in areas fluoridated at 1 ppm develop dental fluorosis, that is, permanently stained, brown mottled teeth. Up to 23% of children living in areas naturally fluoridated at 4 ppm develop severe dental fluorosis. 53 Other research gives higher figures. The publication Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride, put out by the National Academy of Sciences, reports that in areas with optimally fluoridated water (1 ppm, either natural or added), dental fluorosis levels in recent years ranged from 8 to 51%. Recently, a prevalence of slightly over 80% was reported in children 12-14 years old in Augusta, Georgia.
Fluoride is a noteworthy chemical additive in that its officially acknowledged benefit and damage levels are about the same. Writing in The Progressive, science journalist Daniel Grossman elucidates this point: “Though many beneficial chemicals are dangerous when consumed at excessive levels, fluoride is unique because the amount that dentists recommend to prevent cavities is about the same as the amount that causes dental fluorosis.” 54 Although the American Dental Association and the government consider dental fluorosis only a cosmetic problem, the American Journal of Public Health says that “…brittleness of moderately and severely mottled teeth may be associated with elevated caries levels.” 45 In other words, in these cases the fluoride is causing the exact problem that it’s supposed to prevent. Yiamouyiannis adds, “In highly naturally-fluoridated areas, the teeth actually crumble as a result. These are the first visible symptoms of fluoride poisoning.” 55
Also, when considering dental fluorosis, there are factors beyond the physical that you can’t ignore the negative psychological effects of having moderately to severely mottled teeth. These were recognized in a 1984 National Institute of Mental Health panel that looked into this problem.
A telling trend is that TV commercials for toothpaste, and toothpaste tubes themselves, are now downplaying fluoride content as a virtue. This was noted in an article in the Sarasota/Florida ECO Report, 56 whose author, George Glasser, feels that manufacturers are distancing themselves from the additive because of fears of lawsuits. The climate is ripe for these, and Glasser points out that such a class action suit has already been filed in England against the manufacturers of fluoride-containing products on behalf of children suffering from dental fluorosis.
At one time, fluoride therapy was recommended for building denser bones and preventing fractures associated with osteoporosis. Now several articles in peer-reviewed journals suggest that fluoride actually causes more harm than good, as it is associated with bone breakage. Three studies reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed links between hip fractures and fluoride. 575859 Findings here were, for instance, that there is “a small but significant increase in the risk of hip fractures in both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1 ppm.” In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that people given fluoride to cure their osteoporosis actually wound up with an increased nonvertebral fracture rate. 60 Austrian researchers have also found that fluoride tablets make bones more susceptible to fractures.61 The U.S. National Research Council states that the U.S. hip fracture rate is now the highest in the world. 62
Louis V. Avioli, professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, says in a 1987 review of the subject: “Sodium fluoride therapy is accompanied by so many medical complications and side effects that it is hardly worth exploring in depth as a therapeutic mode for postmenopausal osteoporosis, since it fails to decrease the propensity for hip fractures and increases the incidence of stress fractures in the extremities.” 63
In May 1992, 260 people were poisoned, and one man died, in Hooper Bay, Alaska, after drinking water contaminated with 150 ppm of fluoride. The accident was attributed to poor equipment and an unqualified operator. 55 Was this a fluke? Not at all. Over the years, the CDC has recorded several incidents of excessive fluoride permeating the water supply and sickening or killing people. We don’t usually hear about these occurrences in news reports, but interested citizens have learned the truth from data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Here is a partial list of toxic spills we have not been told about:
July 1993 Chicago, Illinois: Three dialysis patients died and five experienced toxic reactions to the fluoridated water used in the treatment process. The CDC was asked to investigate, but to date there have been no press releases.
May 1993 Kodiak, Alaska (Old Harbor): The population was warned not to consume water due to high fluoride levels. They were also cautioned against boiling the water, since this concentrates the substance and worsens the danger. Although equipment appeared to be functioning normally, 22-24 ppm of fluoride was found in a sample.
July 1992 Marin County, California: A pump malfunction allowed too much fluoride into the Bon Tempe treatment plant. Two million gallons of fluoridated water were diverted to Phoenix Lake, elevating the lake surface by more than two inches and forcing some water over the spillway.
December 1991 Benton Harbor, Michigan: A faulty pump allowed approximately 900 gallons of hydrofluosilicic acid to leak into a chemical storage building at the water plant. City engineer Roland Klockow stated, “The concentrated hydrofluosilicic acid was so corrosive that it ate through more than two inches of concrete in the storage building.” This water did not reach water consumers, but fluoridation was stopped until June 1993. The original equipment was only two years old.
July 1991 Porgate, Michigan: After a fluoride injector pump failed, fluoride levels reached 92 ppm and resulted in approximately 40 children developing abdominal pains, sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea at a school arts and crafts show.
November 1979 Annapolis, Maryland: One patient died and eight became ill after renal dialysis treatment. Symptoms included cardiac arrest (resuscitated), hypotension, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a whole gamut of intestinal problems. Patients not on dialysis also reported nausea, headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness. The fluoride level was later found to be 35 ppm; the problem was traced to a valve at a water plant that had been left open all night. 64
Instead of addressing fluoridation’s problematic safety record, officials have chosen to cover it up. For example, the ADA says in one booklet distributed to health agencies that “Fluoride feeders are designed to stop operating when a malfunction occurs… so prolonged over-fluoridation becomes a mechanical impossibility.” In addition, the information that does reach the population after an accident is woefully inaccurate. A spill in Annapolis, Maryland, placed thousands at risk, but official reports reduced the number to eight. 65 Perhaps officials are afraid they will invite more lawsuits like the one for $480 million by the wife of a dialysis patient who became brain-injured as the result of fluoride poisoning.
Not all fluoride poisoning is accidental. For decades, industry has knowingly released massive quantities of fluoride into the air and water. Disenfranchised communities, with people least able to fight back, are often the victims. Medical writer Joel Griffiths relays this description of what industrial pollution can do, in this case to a devastatingly poisoned Indian reservation:
“Cows crawled around the pasture on their bellies, inching along like giant snails. So crippled by bone disease they could not stand up, this was the only way they could graze. Some died kneeling, after giving birth to stunted calves. Others kept on crawling until, no longer able to chew because their teeth had crumbled down to the nerves, they began to starve….” They were the cattle of the Mohawk Indians on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation during the period 1960-1975, when industrial pollution devastated the herd and along with it, the Mohawks’ way of life….Mohawk children, too, have shown signs of damage to bones and teeth.” 66
Mohawks filed suit against the Reynolds Metals Company and the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in 1960, but ended up settling out of court, where they received $650,000 for their cows. 67
Fluoride is one of industry’s major pollutants, and no one remains immune to its effects. In 1989, 155,000 tons were being released annually into the air, and 500,000 tons a year were disposed of in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. 68
Numerous studies demonstrate links between fluoridation and cancer; however, agencies promoting fluoride consistently refute or cover up these findings.
In 1977, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis and Dr. Dean Burk, former chief chemist at the National Cancer Institute, released a study that linked fluoridation to 10,000 cancer deaths per year in the U.S. Their inquiry, which compared cancer deaths in the ten largest fluoridated American cities to those in the ten largest unfluoridated cities between 1940 and 1950, discovered a 5% greater rate in the fluoridated areas. 69 The NCI disputed these findings, since an earlier analysis of theirs apparently failed to pick up these extra deaths. Federal authorities claimed that Yiamouyiannis and Burk were in error, and that any increase was caused by statistical changes over the years in age, gender, and racial composition. 70
In order to settle the question of whether or not fluoride is a carcinogen, a Congressional subcommittee instructed the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to perform another investigation. 71 That study, due in 1980, was not released until 1990. However, in 1986, while the study was delayed, the EPA raised the standard fluoride level in drinking water from 2.4 to 4 ppm. 72 After this step, some of the government’s own employees in NFFE Local 2050 took what the Oakland Tribune termed the “remarkable step of denouncing that action as political.” 73
When the NTP study results became known in early 1990, union president Dr. Robert Carton, who works in the EPA’s Toxic Substances Division, published a statement. It read, in part: “Four years ago, NFFE Local 2050, which represents all 1100 professionals at EPA headquarters, alerted then Administrator Lee Thomas to the fact that the scientific support documents for the fluoride in drinking water standard were fatally flawed. The fluoride juggernaut proceeded as it apparently had for the last 40 years without any regard for the facts or concern for public health.
“EPA raised the allowed level of fluoride before the results of the rat/mouse study ordered by Congress in 1977 was complete. Today, we find out how irresponsible that decision was. The results reported by NTP, and explained today by Dr. Yiamouyiannis, are, as he notes, not surprising considering the vast amount of data that caused the animal study to be conducted in the first place. The results are not surprising to NFFE Local 2050 either. Four years ago we realized that the claim that there was no evidence that fluoride could cause genetic effects or cancer could not be supported by the shoddy document thrown together by the EPA contractor.
“It was apparent to us that EPA bowed to political pressure without having done an in-depth, independent analysis, using in-house experts, of the currently existing data that show fluoride causes genetic effects, promotes the growth of cancerous tissue, and is likely to cause cancer in humans. If EPA had done so, it would have been readily apparent as it was to Congress in 1977 that there were serious reasons to believe in a cancer threat.
“The behavior by EPA in this affair raises questions about the integrity of science at EPA and the role of professional scientists, lawyers and engineers who provide the interpretation of the available data and the judgements necessary to protect the public health and the environment. Are scientists at EPA there to arrange facts to fit preconceived conclusions? Does the Agency have a responsibility to develop world-class experts in the risks posed by chemicals we are exposed to every day, or is it permissible for EPA to cynically shop around for contractors who will provide them the ‘correct’ answers?” 74
What were the NTP study results? Out of 130 male rats that ingested 45 to 79 ppm of fluoride, 5 developed osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. There were cases, in both males and females at those doses, of squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth. 75 Both rats and mice had dose-related fluorosis of the teeth, and female rats suffered osteosclerosis of the long bones.76
When Yiamouyiannis analyzed the same data, he found mice with a particularly rare form of liver cancer, known as hepatocholangiocarcinoma. This cancer is so rare, according to Yiamouyiannis, that the odds of its appearance in this study by chance are 1 in 2 million in male mice and l in 100,000 in female mice. He also found precancerous changes in oral squamous cells, an increase in squamous cell tumors and cancers, and thyroid follicular cell tumors as a result of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water. 77
A March 13, 1990, New York Times article commented on the NTP findings: “Previous animal tests suggesting that water fluoridation might pose risks to humans have been widely discounted as technically flawed, but the latest investigation carefully weeded out sources of experimental or statistical error, many scientists say, and cannot be discounted.” 78 In the same article, biologist Dr. Edward Groth notes: “The importance of this study…is that it is the first fluoride bioassay giving positive results in which the latest state-of-the-art procedures have been rigorously applied. It has to be taken seriously.” 71
On February 22, 1990, the Medical Tribune, an international medical news weekly received by 125,000 doctors, offered the opinion of a federal scientist who preferred to remain anonymous:
“It is difficult to see how EPA can fail to regulate fluoride as a carcinogen in light of what NTP has found. Osteosarcomas are an extremely unusual result in rat carcinogenicity tests. Toxicologists tell me that the only other substance that has produced this is radium….The fact that this is a highly atypical form of cancer implicates fluoride as the cause. Also, the osteosarcomas appeared to be dose-related, and did not occur in controls, making it a clean study.” 79
Public health officials were quick to assure a concerned public that there was nothing to worry about! The ADA said the occurrence of cancers in the lab may not be relevant to humans since the level of fluoridation in the experimental animals’ water was so high. 80 But the Federal Register, which is the handbook of government practices, disagrees: “The high exposure of experimental animals to toxic agents is a necessary and valid method of discovering possible carcinogenic hazards in man. To disavow the findings of this test would be to disavow those of all such tests, since they are all conducted according to this standard.” 73 As a February 5, 1990, Newsweek article pointed out, “such megadosing is standard toxicological practice. It’s the only way to detect an effect without using an impossibly large number of test animals to stand in for the humans exposed to the substance.” 81 And as the Safer Water Foundation explains, higher doses are generally administered to test animals to compensate for the animals’ shorter life span and because humans are generally more vulnerable than test animals on a body-weight basis. 82
Several other studies link fluoride to genetic damage and cancer. An article in Mutation Research says that a study by Proctor and Gamble, the very company that makes Crest toothpaste, did research showing that 1 ppm fluoride causes genetic damage.83 Results were never published but Proctor and Gamble called them “clean,” meaning animals were supposedly free of malignant tumors. Not so, according to scientists who believe some of the changes observed in test animals could be interpreted as precancerous. 84 Yiamouyiannis says the Public Health Service sat on the data, which were finally released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 1989. “Since they are biased, they have tried to cover up harmful effects,” he says. “But the data speaks for itself. Half the amount of fluoride that is found in the New York City drinking water causes genetic damage.” 46
A National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences publication, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, also linked fluoride to genetic toxicity when it stated that “in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations.” 85 The result of this is not only birth defects but the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells. The Journal of Carcinogenesis further states that “fluoride not only has the ability to transform normal cells into cancer cells but also to enhance the cancer-causing properties of other chemicals.” 86
Surprisingly, the PHS put out a report called Review of fluoride: benefits and risks, in which they showed a substantially higher incidence of bone cancer in young men exposed to fluoridated water compared to those who were not. The New Jersey Department of Health also found that the risk of bone cancer was about three times as high in fluoridated areas as in nonfluoridated areas. 87
Despite cover-up attempts, the light of knowledge is filtering through to some enlightened scientists. Regarding animal test results, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, James Huff, does say that “the reason these animals got a few osteosarcomas was because they were given fluoride…Bone is the target organ for fluoride.” Toxicologist William Marcus adds that “fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, and other effects.” 88
The Challenge of Eliminating Fluoride
Given all the scientific challenges to the idea of the safety of fluoride, why does it remain a protected contaminant? As Susan Pare of the Center for Health Action asks, “…even if fluoride in the water did reduce tooth decay, which it does not, how can the EPA allow a substance more toxic than Alar, red dye #3, and vinyl chloride to be injected purposely into drinking water?” 89
This is certainly a logical question and, with all the good science that seems to exist on the subject, you would think that there would be a great deal of interest in getting fluoride out of our water supply. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. As Dr. William Marcus, a senior science advisor in the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, has found, the top governmental priority has been to sweep the facts under the rug and, if need be, to suppress truth-tellers. Marcus explains 90 that fluoride is one of the chemicals the EPA specifically regulates, and that he was following the data coming in on fluoride very carefully when a determination was going to be made on whether the levels should be changed. He discovered that the data were not being heeded. But that was only the beginning of the story for him. Marcus recounts what happened:
“The studies that were done by Botel Northwest showed that there was an increased level of bone cancer and other types of cancer in animals….in that same study, there were very rare liver cancers, according to the board-certified veterinary pathologists at the contractor, Botel. Those really were very upsetting because they were hepatocholangeal carcinomas, very rare liver cancers….Then there were several other kinds of cancers that were found in the jaw and other places.
“I felt at that time that the reports were alarming. They showed that the levels of fluoride that can cause cancers in animals are actually lower than those levels ingested in people (who take lower amounts but for longer periods of time).
“I went to a meeting that was held in Research Triangle Park, in April 1990, in which the National Toxicology Program was presenting their review of the study. I went with several colleagues of mine, one of whom was a board-certified veterinary pathologist who originally reported hepatocholangeal carcinoma as a separate entity in rats and mice. I asked him if he would look at the slides to see if that really was a tumor or if the pathologists at Botel had made an error. He told me after looking at the slides that, in fact, it was correct.
“At the meeting, every one of the cancers reported by the contractor had been downgraded by the National Toxicology Program. I have been in the toxicology business looking at studies of this nature for nearly 25 years and I have never before seen every single cancer endpoint downgraded…. I found that very suspicious and went to see an investigator in the Congress at the suggestion of my friend, Bob Carton. This gentleman and his staff investigated very thoroughly and found out that the scientists at the National Toxicology Program down at Research Triangle Park had been coerced by their superiors to change their findings.”91
Once Dr. Marcus acted on his findings, something ominous started to happen in his life: “…I wrote an internal memorandum and gave it to my supervisors. I waited for a month without hearing anything. Usually, you get a feedback in a week or so. I wrote another memorandum to a person who was my second-line supervisor explaining that if there was even a slight chance of increased cancer in the general population, since 140 million people were potentially ingesting this material, that the deaths could be in the many thousands. Then I gave a copy of the memorandum to the Fluoride Work Group, who waited some time and then released it to the press.
“Once it got into the press all sorts of things started happening at EPA. I was getting disciplinary threats, being isolated, and all kinds of things which ultimately resulted in them firing me on March 15, 1992.”
In order to be reinstated at work, Dr. Marcus took his case to court. In the process, he learned that the government had engaged in various illegal activities, including 70 felony counts, in order to get him fired. At the same time, those who committed perjury were not held accountable for it. In fact, they were rewarded for their efforts:
“When we finally got the EPA to the courtroom…they admitted to doing several things to get me fired. We had notes of a meeting…that showed that fluoride was one of the main topics discussed and that it was agreed that they would fire me with the help of the Inspector General. When we got them on the stand and showed them the memoranda, they finally remembered and said, oh yes, we lied about that in our previous statements.
“Then…they admitted to shredding more than 70 documents that they had in hand Freedom of Information requests. That’s a felony…. In addition, they charged me with stealing time from the government. They…tried to show…that I had been doing private work on government time and getting paid for it. When we came to court, I was able to show that the time cards they produced were forged, and forged by the Inspector General’s staff….”
For all his efforts, Dr. Marcus was rehired, but nothing else has changed: “The EPA was ordered to rehire me, which they did. They were given a whole series of requirements to be met, such as paying me my back pay, restoring my leave, privileges, and sick leave and annual leave. The only thing they’ve done is put me back to work. They haven’t given me any of those things that they were required to do.”92
What is at the core of such ruthless tactics? John Yiamouyiannis feels that the central concern of government is to protect industry, and that the motivating force behind fluoride use is the need of certain businesses to dump their toxic waste products somewhere. They try to be inconspicuous in the disposal process and not make waves. “As is normal, the solution to pollution is dilution. You poison everyone a little bit rather than poison a few people a lot. This way, people don’t know what’s going on.”
Since the Public Health Service has promoted the fluoride myth for over 50 years, they’re concerned about protecting their reputation. So scientists like Dr. Marcus, who know about the dangers, are intimidated into keeping silent. Otherwise, they jeopardize their careers. Dr. John Lee elaborates: “Back in 1943, the PHS staked their professional careers on the benefits and safety of fluoride. It has since become bureaucratized. Any public health official who criticizes fluoride, or even hints that perhaps it was an unwise decision, is at risk of losing his career entirely. This has happened time and time again. Public health officials such as Dr. Gray in British Columbia and Dr. Colquhoun in New Zealand found no benefit from fluoridation. When they reported these results, they immediately lost their careers…. This is what happens the public health officials who speak out against fluoride are at great risk of losing their careers on the spot.”
Yiamouyiannis adds that for the authorities to admit that they’re wrong would be devastating. “It would show that their reputations really don’t mean that much…. They don’t have the scientific background. As Ralph Nader once said, if they admit they’re wrong on fluoridation, people would ask, and legitimately so, what else have they not told us right?”
Accompanying a loss in status would be a tremendous loss in revenue. Yiamouyiannis points out that “the indiscriminate careless handling of fluoride has a lot of companies, such as Exxon, U.S. Steel, and Alcoa, making tens of billions of dollars in extra profits at our expense…. For them to go ahead now and admit that this is bad, this presents a problem, a threat, would mean tens of billions of dollars in lost profit because they would have to handle fluoride properly. Fluoride is present in everything from phosphate fertilizers to cracking agents for the petroleum industry.”
Fluoride could only be legally disposed of at a great cost to industry. As Dr. Bill Marcus explains, “There are prescribed methods for disposal and they’re very expensive. Fluoride is a very potent poison. It’s a registered pesticide, used for killing rats or mice…. If it were to be disposed of, it would require a class-one landfill. That would cost the people who are producing aluminum or fertilizer about $7000+ per 5000- to 6000-gallon truckload to dispose of it. It’s highly corrosive.”
Another problem is that the U.S. judicial system, even when convinced of the dangers, is powerless to change policy. Yiamouyiannis tells of his involvement in court cases in Pennsylvania and Texas in which, while the judges were convinced that fluoride was a health hazard, they did not have the jurisdiction to grant relief from fluoridation. That would have to be done, it was ultimately found, through the legislative process. Interestingly, the judiciary seems to have more power to effect change in other countries. Yiamouyiannis states that when he presented the same technical evidence in Scotland, the Scottish court outlawed fluoridation based on the evidence.
Indeed, most of Western Europe has rejected fluoridation on the grounds that it is unsafe. In 1971, after 11 years of testing, Sweden’s Nobel Medical Institute recommended against fluoridation, and the process was banned.93 The Netherlands outlawed the practice in 1976, after 23 years of tests. France decided against it after consulting with its Pasteur Institute64 and West Germany, now Germany, rejected the practice because the recommended dosage of 1 ppm was “too close to the dose at which long-term damage to the human body is to be expected.” 84 Dr. Lee sums it up: “All of western Europe, except one or two test towns in Spain, has abandoned fluoride as a public health plan. It is not put in the water anywhere. They all established test cities and found that the benefits did not occur and the toxicity was evident.”94
Isn’t it time the United States followed Western Europe’s example? While the answer is obvious, it is also apparent that government policy is unlikely to change without public support. We therefore must communicate with legislators, and insist on one of our most precious resources pure, unadulterated drinking water. Yiamouyiannis urges all American people to do so, pointing out that public pressure has gotten fluoride out of the water in places like Los Angeles; Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey; and 95Bedford, Massachusetts. 46 He emphasizes the immediacy of the problem: “There is no question with regard to fluoridation of public water supplies. It is absolutely unsafe…and should be stopped immediately. This is causing more destruction to human health than any other single substance added purposely or inadvertently to the water supply. We’re talking about 35,000 excess deaths a year…10,000 cancer deaths a year…130 million people who are being chronically poisoned. We’re not talking about dropping dead after drinking a glass of fluoridated water…. It takes its toll on human health and life, glass after glass.” 96
There is also a moral issue in the debate that has largely escaped notice. According to columnist James Kilpatrick, it is “the right of each person to control the drugs he or she takes.” Kilpatrick calls fluoridation compulsory mass medication, a procedure that violates the principles of medical ethics. 97 A New York Times editorial agrees:
“In light of the uncertainty, critics [of fluoridation] argue that administrative bodies are unjustified in imposing fluoridation on communities without obtaining public consent…. The real issue here is not just the scientific debate. The question is whether any establishment has the right to decide that benefits outweigh risks and impose involuntary medication on an entire population. In the case of fluoridation, the dental establishment has made opposition to fluoridation seem intellectually disreputable. Some people regard that as tyranny.” 98
Source: Dr. Gary Null, PhD
While walking through the streets of San Francisco the other day and totally admiring this beautiful city’s “painted lady” architectural glory, I suddenly and inexplicably started wondering what this amazing place might look like if it too had been bombed all to crap in the same manner that Damascus has been bombed all to crap by all those missiles and cluster-bombs and Al Qaeda operatives that American taxpayers are paying for — as they happily torture, rape and/or maim women and children in our name.
And this sudden unexpected vision of beautiful San Francisco as a bombed-out ruin has even further strengthened my resolve to do everything that I can to prevent America’s ruthless War Street from spending our money on bombing other countries — lest something like this happens to our beloved San Francisco too. Or to my own beloved Berkeley.
We need to stop all this expensive, bloody and worthless slaughter and seriously consider a far, far better alternative instead: “Do unto Syria what we would have Syria do unto us.”
And let’s also consider what corporate America’s current utter lack of a “Do unto Africa as we would have Africa do unto us” policy would do to us here if it also was reversed? Can you even imagine what it would be like in America if what happens in Africa today daily was happening here too? Really? Would we Americans love to be perpetually in debt to the world bank, have our lands and resources seized by neo-colonialists, our crops polluted with GMOs, millions of our women and children raped and killed, and our pristine forests turned into a dumping ground for nuclear and industrial waste? Hardly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
And while we’re at it, let’s also “Do unto Israel as we would have Israel do unto us.” America’s relationship to Israel right now sucks eggs for the Israelis. And what exactly is this relationship? It might be easier to understand if we look at it from a different perspective and if our roles were reversed.
Imagine, for instance, that some huge gonzo super-power on the other side of the world was pumping billions and billions and billions of dollars into America’s economy annually — but with only one stipulation: That all this gigantic wad of free Moola can only be used for one purpose: To kill, torture, maim and and jail Native Americans. And steal their land. And establish an American Gestapo defense force and fund Settlers to take over what few Indian reservations we have left (after 19 million Native Americans have already been slaughtered here already), and to treat native Americans like animals and to napalm their children. And to do this all in the name of God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Would we, as Native Americans — or even as just plain American citizens — see the cruelty and injustice in this? Or would we just sell out to all those big bucks thrown our way like the Israelis have; and just relax and glorify in the joy of having a vampire-like power over others who are completely at our mercy?
These same choices are the ones that America’s War Street is forcing Israelis to make every day. And so far, most Israelis seem to have chosen blood-money over the Ten Commandments. What a waste.
And also let’s consider another new perspective: “Do unto nature and the environment what we would have nature and the environment do unto us.” Always remember that Nature bats last. Think Fukushima. Think a thousand more hurricanes like Sandy, Haiyan and Katrina. More fracking earthquakes. More 140-degree days. “Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, [stated] that global climate change was the greatest threat the United States faced — more dangerous than terrorism, Chinese hackers and North Korean nuclear missiles.”
And America’s War Street and Wall Street and related skin-flint tax-dodging huge corporations are obviously not clear on the concept of “Do unto Americans as you would have Americans do unto you” either.
In the 1940s, every American sacrificed their comfort and rationed their goods and went without in order to pay for the “Good War”.
But ever since that stupid and useless invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, 99% of Americans are sacrificing and going without in order to pay for some stupid and useless “Endless War” that in no way benefits them — while America’s top one percent make no sacrifices at all; dining on caviar, buying cruise-ship-sized yachts with their bloody “war” profits and fiddling like Nero.
And yet most Americans these days do nothing to protect themselves from being cheated, robbed and exploited, but rather spend their last decaying days as citizens of a formerly economically-viable democracy happily watching pseudo-myths and fables on Fox News — as our beloved country slowly slips into third-world status. “Welcome to Jakarta.”
Are we finally getting the Big Picture here yet — that what goes around comes around? If Americans continue to let Wall Street and War Street run our domestic policies, our foreign policies and our environmental policies, then all we can ever expect to receive is blood and carnage in return.
Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. “Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.
Roundup’s Insidious Effects
Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:
Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.
Politics Trumps Science
In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.
In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:
In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.
Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda,widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.
In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”
The TPP and International Corporate Control
As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:
No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .
If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .
Return to Nature: Not Too Late
There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:
Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.
In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.
Source: Ellen Brown | CounterPunch
We came, we saw, we stayed. Forever. That’s the essence of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) to be struck between the Obama administration and Afghanistan – over 12 years after the start of the never-ending War on Terror.
President Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry define it as a ‘strategic partnership’. If that’s the case, it’s one of the most lopsided in history; Afghan President Hamid Karzai is no more than a sartorially impeccable American puppet.
Kerry announced the so-called BSA in Washington on Wednesday even before a Loya Jirga (‘Grand Council’, in Pashto) of 2,500 Afghan tribal leaders, clerics, members of parliament and merchants started their four-day deliberations in a tent on the grounds of the Polytechnical University in Kabul on Thursday.
But then Karzai, probably in his last major speech as president, pulled off a fabulous stunt. He knows he is, and will be, accused of selling Afghanistan down the (Panjshir) river. He knows he is sacrificing Afghan sovereignty for years to come – and there will be nasty blowback for it.
So once again he channeled Hamid the Actor, and played his best honest broker impersonation, stressing the BSA should be put off until the Afghan presidential elections in April 2014, and be signed by his successor.
It was high drama
“There’s a mistrust between me and the Americans. They don’t trust me and I don’t trust them. I have always criticized them and they have always propagated negative things behind my back,” he claimed.
I have been to Jirgas in Afghanistan; even looking at those inscrutable, rugged tribal faces is a spectacle in itself. So what were they thinking in Kabul? Of course they did not trust the Americans. But did they trust Karzai? Could they see this was all an act?
A consultative Loya Jirga cannot veto the BSA. Even the Jirga chairman, Sibghatullah Mojadeddi, stressed Karzai may sign without any consultation. Yet Karzai insists he will not sign without the Loya Jirga’s approval.
Many members of the Afghan parliament and the entire Afghan opposition already voted with their feet, boycotting the Jirga. Not to mention the Taliban – essential to any agreement on the future of Afghanistan – and the still fully weaponized Hezb-e-Islami. Everyone is eagerly waiting to hear Taliban supremo Mullah Omar’s take on the whole kabuki.
The BSA ‘negotiation’ has been like an extended Monty Python sketch. Washington has always insisted US soldiers can break into Afghan homes at will and remain immune to any sort of Afghan prosecution. Otherwise the Americans will leave for good at the end of 2014, leaving just the poorly trained and largely corrupt Afghan National Army (ANA) to fight the Taliban.
Up until Karzai’s latest stunt, the Obama administration considered the deal was in the bag. Just look at the letter Obama sent to Karzai.
And by the way, no apologies. National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Washington does not need to apologize for killing and injuring tens of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan since 2001, not to mention occupying vast swathes of the country. Earlier, a Karzai spokesman said that would be the case.
If in doubt, just listen to super-hawk US Senator Lindsay Graham, who told Reuters, “I’m stunned. Apologize for what? Maybe we should get the Afghan president to apologize to the American soldiers for all the hardship he’s created for them.”
There’s nothing ‘residual’ about a US occupation to be disguised as ‘forces’ necessary to train and ‘advise’ the roughly 350,000 soldiers and police which are part of ANA, built from scratch over the last few years.
And what we’re talking about here is a deal starting in 2015 and in effect up to 2024 ‘and beyond’.
The final agreement is not much different from this previously leaked working draft. An update has been circulating this week in the Pentagon and the US Congress. The Pentagon, via Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, justifies the whole thing by the proverbial need to ‘maintain Afghanistan’s security’ and make sure foreign aid is not being squandered (as it has always been).
There will be plenty of US military outposts and bases; Afghan bases and other bases of which the US has ‘exclusive use’. Bagram, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar-e-Sharif are inevitably on the list. Once again, this is the US Empire of Bases – so well characterized by the late Chalmers Johnson – in pristine form.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, the current US/NATO military commander in Afghanistan, wants up to 13,000 troops to stay, not including security guards and the cream of the crop, the counterterrorism gang. In theory, these forces won’t engage in combat “unless otherwise mutually agreed.” The draft text emphasizes, “US military operations to defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate in the common fight against terrorism.”
Translation: a future festival of raids by Special Forces, and a counter-terror free-for-all.
The draft text only mentions, vaguely,” full respect for Afghan sovereignty and full regard for the safety and security of the Afghan people, including in their homes,” as Obama also mentioned in his letter to Karzai.
And there’s absolutely nothing on the critical issue of drones based in Afghan bases that have been used for incinerating the odd commander but also scores of innocent civilians in the Pakistani tribal areas.
All about pivoting to Asia
The Maliki government in Baghdad had the balls to confront the Pentagon and veto the immunity for US forces – effectively kicking out the occupying force in Iraq. Hamid Karzai, for his part, caved in on virtual every US demand. The key question in the next few months is for what; Mob-style protection if he stays in Afghanistan, or the equivalent of the FBI’s witness protection program if he moves to the US?
Even assuming the Loya Jirga endorses the BSA (not yet a done deal) and Karzai’s successor signs it (with Karzai removing himself from the tight spot), to say this opens a new Pandora’s box is an understatement.
The occupation, for all practical purposes, will continue. This has nothing to do with fighting the War on Terror or jihad. There’s no Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The few remnants are in Waziristan, in Pakistani territory. The US is – and will remain – essentially at war with Afghan Pashtuns who are members of the Taliban. And the Taliban will keep staging their spring and summer offensives as long as there are any foreign occupiers on Afghan soil.
The drone war will continue, with the Pentagon and the CIA using these Afghan bases to attack Pashtuns in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Not to mention that these US bases, to be fully operational, need unrestricted access to the Pakistani transit routes from the Khyber Pass and the Quetta-to-Kandahar corridor. This means Islamabad keeps profiting from the scam by collecting hefty fees in US dollars.
No one knows yet how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will respond to this. Not only Russia and China – who are adamantly opposed to US bases in Afghanistan – but also Iran and India, SCO observers and two countries that can sway Afghanistan away from the Taliban in a non-military way.
We just need to picture, for instance, a practically inevitable future development; Washington deciding to deploy the US missile defense system in Afghanistan (it already happened in Turkey). Russia and China already see that the US may have lost the economic race for Central Asia – as China clinches deal after deal in the context of expanding its New Silk Road(s) grand strategy. What’s left for Washington is – guess what – bits and pieces of the same old Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, as in military bases to ‘monitor’ both China and Russia very close to their borders.
What’s certain is that both Russia and China – not to mention Iran – all see this Operation Occupy Afghanistan Forever for what it is; yet another (military) chapter of the American ‘pivoting to Asia’.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
In the past week, our U.S. Congress tabled the egregious mistake of amnesty bill S744 projected to render a free pass for 20 million illegal migrants and their families. It also raises legal immigration from 1.0 million annually to 2.0 million. For the moment, the American people stand a chance of not allowing an unending flood of humanity into the United States to drive our population to over 100 million added immigrants within four decades.
However, at the current rate of mass legal immigration of 1.0 million annually, we remain on course to add 100 million immigrants, their children and chain-migrated relatives by 2050—a scant 37 years from now.
That’s enough people to duplicate the populations of our top 20 cities within the United States. We would have to water, house, warm, transport, feed, work, educate and medicate 100 million more people. That fact alone should sober the most optimistic individuals in America. It should cause every single one of our 535 Congressional critters to stand back to “see” the enormous tragedy their actions portend for all Americans of every race, creed or color.
The “Gang of Eight” U.S. Senators who created the amnesty bill S744 will prove some of the dumbest, most unintelligent nincompoops ever to walk the halls of Congress for their sheer stupidity in formulating that bill.
As this series progresses, you grow in understanding of the ramifications of adding 100 million immigrants. You comprehend the enormity of the decision and its final outcome. Please realize that Congress continues to push to pass amnesty. They won’t enforce our laws, our president won’t enforce our laws; but they can’t wait to legalize lawbreakers and employers who hire those lawbreakers.
What lies below the surface of adding 100 million immigrants? We know that we face horrific energy depletion with that many added persons to our civilization. But most don’t posses a clue as to what lies beneath the waters of such a population-load on America.
Do you notice that humans encroaching on habitat around the world in such places as Africa, India, China and South America—create horrible species extinction rates? How many extinctions? Answer: over 100 extinctions 24/7. In other words, the human race thinks its endless population growth supersedes any other creature on the planet.
What does that mean for America?
In 2013, we lost 250 species to extinction in the lower 48 states according to the U.S. Department of Interior and we lose that many every year. That equates to 2,500 living, breathing creatures every decade. They will never again exist on this planet. How can that happen?
Ecological footprint on America
Ecological footprint may be the most unheard-of word in America, but its impact will grow more devastating in the coming decades—as we continue to lose more and more species to human encroachment on habitat.
To give you an example: an Ethiopian farmer uses .4 (4/10th) of an acre of land to feed, house and clothe himself and his family. That’s his ecological footprint.
However, when that same Ethiopian farmer immigrants to America at our behest, his ecological footprint jumps to a whopping 25.4 acres of land to support him. Our standard of living runs hundreds of times greater in use of land, water and resources than a simple farmer from Africa. But once he arrives, we force his “footprint” to jump more than 50 times. (Source: www.allspecies.org)
If we add another 100 million immigrants within 37 years, do the math! That 100 million legal immigrants X’s 25.4 acres of land equals to 2.54 billion acres of land that must be destroyed to feed, house, educate, recreate, build malls, roads and a dozen other items that destroy natural habitat.
That’s why extinction rates gallop at over 100 species per day worldwide as the human race rampages with an added 80 million annually, net gain. In other words, the other creatures on the planet don’t have say or a prayer. (Source: Norman Myers, Extinctions Worldwide, Oxford University)
But payback will arrive at some point. We will lose the grizzly bear, the moose, the bald eagle, the salmon, the hummingbird, the antelope, fox and hundreds of other creatures. How?
It’s called “cascading extinctions.” When you kill off one creature such as a prairie dog, you also kill off 67 other creatures that live-off that one furry rodent. Fox, coyotes, hawks, eagles and dozens more. That’s why you don’t see those great creatures living in concrete-filled jungles called “cities.”
Remember, we stand to duplicate the populations of our 20 most populated cities within 37 years, “IF” we continue the 1965 Immigration Reform Act; and faster if S744 bill passes with 2.0 million legal immigrants added annually.
In other words, our country will become as hostile and ugly toward other creatures as the Bengal tiger in India or the Snow Leopard in Nepal, or the elephant in Africa along with the gorillas, or the grizzly bear in Montana, or finally, this nation’s symbol: the Bald Eagle.
Dear reader, we stand this watch in our nation’s history. What we allow today affects seven generations into the future. We actually walk on the faces of the children of tomorrow. What will we leave them? What kind of environment? What kind of national parks? What kind of landscape? What kind of habitat for other creatures?
What can you do?
- We need to stop S744 and reduce all legal immigration to less than 100,000 annually.
- We need to work on conservation of all oil burning by mandating conservation, smaller cars, mass transit and more taxes to discourage accelerating use.
- We need to collective empower ourselves by joining www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org and www.Fairus.org
- We need to write major media email addresses and newspapers to force them to address this population nightmare.
The double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian embassy in Beirut – with at least 23 people killed and 170 wounded – was a de facto terror attack happening on 11/19. Numerology-wise, naturally 9/11 comes to mind; and so the case of the Washington-declared war on terror metastasizing – largely conducted by oozy forms of Saudi “intelligence”.
Yet don’t expect the “West” to condemn this as terror. Look at the headlines; it’s all normalized as “blasts” – as if children were playing with firecrackers.
Whether carried out by a hazy al-Qaeda-linked brigade or by Saudi spy chief Bandar bin Sultan’s (aka Bandar Bush’s) goons, the Beirut terror attack is essentially configured as a major, Saudi-enabled provocation. The larger Saudi agenda in Syria implies getting both Hezbollah and Iran to be pinned down inside Lebanon as well. If that happens, Israel also wins. Once again, here’s another graphic illustration of the Likudnik House of Saud in action.
Nuance also applies. Bandar Bush’s strategy, coordinated with jihadis, was to virtually beg for Hezbollah to fight inside Syria. When Hezbollah obliged, with only a few hundred fighters, the jihadis scurried away from the battlefield to implement plan B: blowing up innocent women and children in the streets of Lebanon.
While Hezbollah welcomes the fight, wherever it takes place, Tehran’s position is more cautious. It does not want to go all out against the Saudis – at least for now, with the crucial nuclear negotiation on the table in Geneva, and (still) the possibility of a Geneva II regarding Syria. Yet the House of Saud is not welcoming Geneva II anytime soon because it has absolutely nothing to propose except regime change.
On Syria, the main pillar of Bandar Bush’s strategy is to turn the previously “Free” Syrian Army into a “national army” of 30,000 or so fully weaponized hardcore fighters – mostly supplied by the “Army of Islam”, which is nothing but a cipher for the al-Qaedesque Jabhat al-Nusra. King Playstation of Jordan, also known as Abdullah, collaborates as the provider of training camps near the Syrian border. Whatever happens, one thing is certain; expect Bandar Bush’s goons to be carrying out more suicide bombings on both Lebanon and Syria.
The Zionist/Wahhabi/Salafi axis
The dodgy al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades in theory exist since 2005, placing the odd bomb here and there. One sheikh Sijareddin Zreikat tweeted responsibility for the Beirut terror attack. Curioser and curioser, the claim was “discovered” and translated into English by the Israeli disinformation website SITE. 
Yet another Israeli intelligence disinformation site, DEBKAfile, claimed the terror attack was an Iran/Hezbollah false flag, based on a “Saudi warning” reaching “Western intelligence agencies, including Israel”.  The rationale, according to “Saudi intelligence”, was “to convince Hezbollah fighters consigned against their will to the Syrian battlefield”.
This does not even qualify as pathetic. Hezbollah is basically defending the Lebanese-Syrian border, and has only a few hundred fighters inside Syria. Moreover, no string of suicide bombings will deter Hezbollah and Tehran from regaining control of what really matters in the Syrian strategic context; the Qalamoun area.
Qalamoun, ringed by mountains, is a 50-kilometer stretch bordering the Bekaa valley in Lebanon, between Damascus and al-Nabk, and right on the absolutely critical Damascus-Homs corridor of the M5 highway. The Syrian army is on the offensive in Qalamoun. Recapturing the whole area is just a matter of time. This means controlling the northern approach to Damascus. Hezbollah is helping in the offensive out of Bekaa valley. This does not mean they will camp out in Syria afterwards.
Now for the false flag accusation. As far as real false flags are concerned, one just has to re-examine three recent international bombings that supposed victimized Israel. In India the bomb had no projectiles; it barely injured an Israeli attache. In Azerbaijan the bomb was miraculously “discovered” before it went off. And in Thailand, the bomb exploded too soon, injuring only a nearby Iranian.
Crass Israeli disinformation is unmasked when it leaps into this conclusion:
If Tehran is capable of such atrocities merely as a diversionary tactic, then perhaps Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin ought to take a really hard look at their negotiating partner across the table before signing a major deal Wednesday, Nov. 20, which leaves Iran’s nuclear program in place.
So this neatly ties up with the current Israeli hysteria about the Geneva negotiations, which also includes the umpteenth report by a News Corporation outfit, London’s Sunday Times, that Saudi Arabia will help Israel to attack Iran. 
It also ties up with the proverbial US shills spinning, gloating rather, that, “strategically, this de-facto Israeli alliance with the Saudis is an extraordinary opportunity for Israel”. 
Even such shills have to admit that the House of Saud is “blocking formation of any government in Lebanon, for example, to obstruct Iran’s ally, Hezbollah”. “Blocking” of course is a euphemism to normalize suicide bombing.
And then comes the ultimate wishful thinking disguised as “analysis”; Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu “bidding to replace the United States as military protector of the status quo”. Translation; the Likudniks dreaming of becoming the new military Mob boss of petrodollar Wahhabis.
Bandar Bush’s strategy – weaponizing and providing cover to Salafis, jihadis and every patsy or mercenary in between – will go on unabated. After Bandar Bush convinced Washington to get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Qataris, the Saudis are the supreme warfare go-to channel. The Bandar Bush machine has ties with virtually every jihadi outfit in the Levant.
It certainly helps that Bandar has the perfect cover; the fact that he knows and has cajoled every significant player in Washington. In the US, Bandar Bush remains a dashing hero, even eliciting fawning comparisons with Gatsby.  Right. And my name is actually Daisy.
Even with its own embassy attacked in Lebanon, Iran is maintaining an extremely calibrated approach. The number-one priority is the nuclear negotiations in Geneva with the partner that really matters, the US. This explains Iran blaming the Beirut terror attack on the proverbial “Zionists”, and not Saudi-enabled jihadis posing as “rebels” and part of the whole Bandar Bush nebula.
For the moment though, enough of Orwellian newspeak. What happened in Beirut was a terror attack, cheered by Israel, and fully enabled by Saudis; a graphic display by the Likudnik-House of Saud axis.
1. Al-Qaida-linked group claims responsibility for deadly Beirut attack, Ha’aretz, November 19, 2013.
2. Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic, DEBKAfile, November 19, 2013.
3. Israel, Saudi Arabia Unite For Attack On Iran, RT, November 17, ’13.
4. The stakes of an Iranian deal, Washington Post, November 15, 2013.
5. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Gatsby, Master Spy, The Daily Beast, November 16, 2013.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at email@example.com.
Source: Asia Times
The end of last year was masked with sadness for Belgium parents Raphaël Sirjacobs & Béatrice Dupont, as their nine week old daughter Stacy Sirjacobs lost her fight for life. Stacy died just one week after her first vaccinations and left her twin sister Lesly behind. Devastated by their loss their parents are convinced that vaccines and hospital failures were the cause of their beautiful daughters death.
Stacy and Lesly were born one month premature by Caesarean section and spent the next four days in an incubator. Stacy needed resuscitation at birth.
Following medical advice parents Sirjacobs and Dupont decided to have the twins vaccinated. Stacy was slightly unwell with a cold on the day of her vaccinations but doctors assured her parents that it was safe to give her the vaccinations.
(It is worth noting that there is a history of Sudden Infant Death and allergies in the family. The twins were being prescribed a milk supplement due to a milk allergy at the time Stacy became ill)
The twins received Prevenar, a vaccine against meningitis and pneumonia, Infanrix Hexa, a six in one vaccination for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus type B, and finally the Rotarix, a preventive vaccine for gastroenteritis.
This means that these tiny vulnerable babies received a staggering nine vaccines in one day, vaccines that may have caused one of them to die.
A week after her vaccinations Stacy became unwell with a fever of 39.9 degrees C. Her parents decided to administer Perdolan to lower her fever. As their daughter was still very poorly they called the hospital who advised them to bring their daughter in.
The medical staff diagnosed Stacy with a slight chest infection and infection in her blood and told her parents not to worry as this was “not serious”. Stacy was then given medication and put on a drip feed and kept in for observation.
Stacy’s father informed me that all links to the vaccines were strongly denied.
Despite Stacy having a heartbeat of 200 to 230 beats per minute the pediatrician told her parents that she was fine and that she was probably suffering from gastroenteritis (an illness that this little girl had been vaccinated against!).
The worried couple decided not to leave their daughter and remained by her bedside. During the evening they informed the nurse that their daughter had diarrhea but to their astonishment, they were told that the baby had been changed and they were to let her get some sleep and change her when she woke up.
During the night, Stacy continued to suffer ‘abnormal diarrhea’, and despite frantic pleas from her parents the nurse refused to do anything, even though by this time Stacy was restless and in obvious distress. Stacy’s father says that they reported to nursing staff that Stacy was covered in small red spots and had difficulty breathing.
According to Stacy’s father, Stacy’s medical records states that at 19.45 a doctor telephoned his brother to ask his permission to do a lumbar puncture and put Stacy on the antibiotic Ampire, while they were awaiting the results. Authorization was denied …
Stacy died a short time later.
Stacy’s father says: (translated from French by Google translate)
“The nurse 23h phone to the pediatrician to inform him that the little Stacy is worse, this one happens to 11:45 p.m. ET begins to make attempts at resuscitation. He informed at the time the parents that the baby is not breathing on their own, and asks them to leave the room. Would follow three hours, during which everything is sought to revive the girl, who is declared dead at 3am. But in fact, the heart stopped beating Stacy at midnight.
The pediatrician then began to explain to parents that the little one died of sepsis and meningitis, while in order to make such a diagnosis, it would have had to do a lumbar puncture which was not performed, or that would have required at least one blood culture or stool, the results will not be known until 3 or 4 days”.
Stacy’s death was recorded as: Meningitis.
It is interesting and extremely sad that this little girl died of an illness that she was vaccinated against just one week before she died. It is obvious from the information that I have from the father that this tiny vulnerable baby was left to suffer in considerable pain, dirty and in distress, whilst the pleas of her parents were ignored.
Vaccinations are administered to a child based on the age of the child from the day that they are born. Due to the advances in medicine, babies are being saved at an earlier and earlier stage in their development. We know that Stacy was born at approx one month premature, which means that she was given her eight week old vaccinations at just a month old; she was also unwell at the time she was vaccinated. It is my opinion that her small immature immune system could not cope with the onslaught of deadly toxins and chemicals that are in our vaccines today.
Stacy’s devastated parents are so outraged by what they have discovered since their baby’s death, that they are now asking the world to join them in a worldwide protest. They want the world to hold a global event in memory of Stacy and the many hundreds of children that have been killed or injured by vaccinations worldwide. They feel that vaccine deaths are being covered up and ask the citizens of the world to stand united for one day against vaccine damage. They say:
We are the parents of Stacy, who died a week after HER first vaccines; we are organizing a global event in honor of Stacy, Nova and all other vaccine victims worldwide. We are summoning every citizen of every country to take to the streets in their own cities, towns and villages: things must now change!
Remember to invite local journalists, the media and any victims or parents of victims prepared to tell their story. Make placards, banners and signs: UNCENSORED VACCINE INFORMATION, FREEDOM OF CHOICE!
The event is to be held on the January 20th 2012. If it is not possible for you to attend one of the many protests that are being held, then perhaps you could go along to your local church and light a candle to register your protest at what is happening around the world.
Sirjacobs and Dupont are right; something radical does need to be done to make the authorities listen to parents
Vaccine deaths are being reported around the world at an alarming rate. In May 2010 The Times of India (2) reported that 128 deaths had occurred during the previous year and the figure appeared to be rising with each year. Their report suggested that the Indian government was covering up vaccine deaths. Arun Ram reporting for the Times wrote:
“The government tries to pass on every death as unrelated to vaccine. It sometimes merely does a culture of the vaccine in question. Just because a vaccine is not found to be contaminated, it doesn’t mean the vaccine has not caused the death,” says Dr Puliyel.
In March 2011 Neil Z miller (3) wrote that in the USA more than 2,000 babies died after receiving pneumococcal and Hib vaccines and yet nothing whatsoever was done. He reported that whilst these vaccines were suspended in Japan after just four deaths, the news of over 2000 deaths in the USA was barely even reported. According to Miller Paul Offit had called the Japanese authorities foolish, saying that the babies probably died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). In fact he passed their deaths off as anything he could, except the vaccines that is. Miller wrote:
According to Paul Offit, media spokesperson for the vaccine industry, “the Japanese Ministry of Health was foolish to suspend the Hib and pneumococcal programs.” Offit thinks the deaths were probably caused by SIDS, or underlying conditions, or another cause – anything except the vaccines. Often, children get sick and die by chance.
Actually, Paul Offit could be right, many of the vaccinated babies could be dying as a result of SIDS because in May 2011 an interesting article hit the internet by storm stating that a study published in the Journal of Human and Experimental Toxicology found that the countries that administered the highest number of vaccines during the first year of life experienced higher infant mortality rates. (4)
This is not new because studies have been stating that vaccines were causing children to die for many years.
The Pourcyrous study (5) was the first study to examine the impact of multi-vaccinations on the immature brain. It is clear from the results of this study that the more vaccines a child has, the larger impact the vaccines have on the child’s brain. Massroor Pourcyrous, MD, Sheldon B. Korones, MD, Kristopher L. Arheart PhD, Henrietta S. Bada, MD studied 239 preterm infants who were given either a single vaccine or multiple vaccines, their results are as follows:
Abnormal elevation of CRP level occurred in 85% of infants administered multiple vaccines and up to 70% of those given a single vaccine. Overall, 16% of infants had vaccine-associated cardiorespiratory events within 48 hours postimmunization. In logistic regression analysis, abnormal CRP values were associated with multiple vaccines (OR, 15.77; 95% CI 5.10-48.77) and severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (OR, 2.28; 95% CI 1.02-5.13). Cardiorespiratory events were associated marginally with receipt of multiple injections (OR, 3.62; 95% CI 0.99-13.25) and significantly with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) (OR, 4.76; 95% CI 1.22-18.52).
This study has had so much impact that it has now being quoted in papers and books on adverse reactions to vaccines and SIDS worldwide.
As today saw the news that yet another vaccine is to be added to babies vaccine schedule, the Meningitis B vaccine (6), we to ask ourselves how many Stacy’s will it take before action is taken?
This article has been written in memory of Stacy Sirjacobs and the many hundreds of babies who have lost their life after receiving what the governments tell us are ‘safe vaccines’.
1. Citizen Action for Uncensored Vaccine Information and Freedom of Vaccination Choice – 20th January 2012 http://sanevax.org/citizen-action-for-uncensored-vaccine-information-and-freedom-of-vaccination-choice-20th-january-2012/
2. Daily Paul reporting on The Times of India article written by Ron Paul http://www.dailypaul.com/166249/128-kids-died-after-vaccine-in-2010-govt-cant-say-why-the-times-of-india
3. Neil Z Miller http://ebookcashstreams.com/HotNewsBlog/2011/03/2000-babies-died-in-the-united-states-after-receiving-vaccines/
4. New Study: More Vaccines Increase Infant Mortality Rates http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644
5. The Pourcyrous Study The Journal of Pediatrics http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%2807%2900185-0/abstract
6. Daily Mail – New vaccine against deadly meningitis B ‘will be available in the spring’ by Jenny Hope http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2088176/New-vaccine-deadly-meningitis-B-available-spring.html#ixzz1jpErW3Ff
Source: Christina England | VacTruth.com
Ten years ago, brilliant research-writer James Howard Kunstler wrote a book: The Long Emergency. He explained what America faces with its huge population when Peak Oil manifests on our civilization. I met him at a Washington, DC conference where he pointed out how fast America runs out of non-renewable resources.
Among the most important non-renewable resources we face in this century: oil. As of 2011, according to the top oil geologist in the world, M. King Hubbert predicted that America’s oil would peak in 1970. He predicted that we would decline from nine million barrels of oil daily in the lower 48, to three million. That’s exactly what happened.
Hubbert also predicated the “Hubbert Curve” would show the Middle East and other oil rich countries facing depletion in the early to middle part of the 21st century.
(The Hubbert Curve shows us that we now face the last half of all oil reserves in the world as of 2011. Numerous other oil geologists concur. Humanity faces running out of oil by 2050 or sooner.)
Why? Right now in 2013, humans burn 84 million barrels of oil 24/7. If you lined up every 42 gallon drum of oil side by side at 20 inches per drum in diameter, at 84 million of them, they would form a belt of barrels around the globe at the equator some 25,000 miles. We load them up every midnight and burn them down in the next 24 hours. As can be imagined, that’s a lot of oil being burned and a lot of carbon being expelled all over the planet, called “Carbon Footprint.”
That Carbon Footprint warms our oceans and causes such typhoons like Haniyan, as well as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. I discovered that developing global phenomenon while I worked with top climate scientists in Antarctica in 1997-98.
Note this reason for this series: we expect to add 100 million immigrants to America within 37 years. That’s enough to duplicate our top 20 cities’ populations in America. Those immigrants will be driving cars, warming their homes, using water and demanding food.
By that time, world population will add another three billion people demanding more oil to water, feed, house and transport themselves.
In Kunstler’s book, he noted that China, because it’s adding 27 million cars to its highways annually, expects to burn 98 million barrels of oil daily by 2030. Did you get that number? Let me repeat it: China expects to burn 98 million barrels of oil daily within the next 17 years. That’s more than all of the world burns in 2013 daily.
When you add the total of 10 billion humans burning oil by 2050, we face imminent depletion faster. Amazingly, NO ONE will talk about it at the national level. Obama, all world leaders and our Congress stick their heads into the sand as if it will go away. It won’t. It’s coming at us faster than a speeding bullet train with no brakes.
“The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human lifetime….so I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population…that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it.” James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
No amount of conservation will save us because we remain on course to add 100 million immigrants. China remains on course to add another 400,000,000, that’s 400 million people. India, also burning oil at an accelerating pace, expects to add 500 million people to reach 1.6 billion.
Folks, how do you pump in excess of 200 million barrels of oil out of the ground daily by 2050, burn it all up and not appreciate that our biosphere faces some serious “carbon footprint” overload?
As I research this information, I sit before my keyboard almost in a state of catatonic depression. Future generations will face our utter disregard of reality by what we bequeath to them.
“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.” Walter Youngquist, energy
Once oil depletes, what do we intend to fill our tractor gas tanks with for energy? Some say, “Technology will save us.” I wonder how we will eat “technology” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fact: nothing exists on the short or distant horizon that can duplicate the energy of oil.
With the Amnesty Bill S744, our Congress doubled our current legal immigration from one million to two million people annually. That single bill expects to add 100 million immigrants, their babies, diversity visas and chain-migration faster than 37 years. Once they land on America, we face Peak Oil’s consequences with no way out. The problem becomes unsolvable and irreversible.
What can you do?
- We need to stop S744 and reduce all legal immigration to less than 100,000 annually.
- We need to work on conservation of all oil burning by mandating conservation, smaller cars, mass transit and more taxes to discourage accelerating use.
- We need to collective empower ourselves by joining www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org and www.Fairus.org
- We need to write major media email addresses and newspapers to force them to address this population nightmare.
Start here by writing letters demanding these media people address this situation in America:
George Noory: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Today Show: email@example.com
Matt Lauer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Williams: email@example.com
Greta van Susteren: Ontherecord@
Illiteracy and racial dysfunction…
Current U.S. Census Bureau figures show 22.3 percent of American citizens live below the poverty line. That equates to 69,520,000 Americans. They cannot secure a livable-wage job in order to pay for food, home, medical care and basic living in this country.
Within 37 years, demographic experts project an additional 100 million legal immigrants flowing into the United States of America. They expect to arrive from Africa, Indonesia, India, China, the Middle East, Mexico, Central America, South America and many of the poverty-stricken countries of the world. Their impact on America: they will force the addition, in sheer numbers, of an additional population enough to duplicate our 20 top metropolitan cities in the U.S. in 2013.
(Source: Pew Research Center, U.S. Population Projections by Fogel/Martin and the U.S. Census Bureau document those demographic facts.)
But what most Americans fail to understand stems from the fact that world human population expires at 57 million annually. Humans not only replace 57 million people, but also add an additional 80 million, net gain, to the planet annually. Total: 7.1 billion people in 2013. That’s 137 million new babies that need to be watered, fed, housed, warmed, medicated and educated annually. Unfortunately, those countries with those fecundity rates cannot educate that many new children annually. They lack teachers, books, supplies and schools. Tragically, over 10 million children starve to death annually. (Source: United Nations Population figures.)
The tragedy of America’s 1965 immigration bill added 100 million immigrants within 40 years; then, the 1986 amnesty accelerated the speed of the onslaught and now the proposed S744 amnesty bill expects to add another 100 million immigrants within 35 years or less. Those desperate immigrants will pour into America at 200,000 every 30 days, along with their birth rates, diversity visas and chain-migration.
This five-minute video presents an example of illiteracy and what it costs you as this woman birthed 15 kids on welfare:
Why do you think those countries around the world suffer misery and starvation within their societies? What causes it? Why can’t they duplicate Western skills for filling grocery stores to the brim with food like you see all across America? Answer: illiteracy, lack of intellectual horsepower, cultural poverty, lack of water and arable land.
Unfortunately, we inject those factors into the USA at blinding speed. The new amnesty provides for two million, that’s 2,000,000 million third world immigrants annually. They average 900,000 births annually, which equals 9 million in 10 years. That’s a total of 2.9 million legal immigrants annually. (Source: Dr. Steven Camorata, www.cis.org) When you look at S744, you see 250,000 green cards annually and many more visas on all levels. We could see that 100 million accelerate our population even faster than the predicated 37 years to rush from 316 million to 438 million.
Along the way, we lack the funds, the teachers, the schools, the resources and the languages to teach the endless millions of kids inundating our failing school systems. Over 85 languages create linguistic chaos in my Denver, Colorado school system with minimum of 50 percent dropout rates and as high as 67 percent. Detroit, Michigan runs 76 percent dropout rates as reported by Brian Williams at NBC Nightly News.
We face colossal cultural and educational dysfunction. What one factor drives failed states around the world? Answer: illiteracy.
With over 42 million Americans who cannot read, write or perform simple math, we face enormous challenges that we will not be able to solve. Some 48.1 million Americans subsist on food stamps today. They cannot work, function, feed or house themselves. Do any of us possess any idea what the next 100 million immigrants will mean as to food stamps, section 8 housing, welfare and medical care? How will we cope with their languages?
(Source: Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com, “23 percent of Americans illiterate.”)
Racial and linguistic segregation across America
When people lack education, but see wealth on TV, they react. When they can’t attain it, they shoplift, steal cars, form gangs and dwell in underworld ethnic enclaves. You can see it in most failed countries in the world.
Today in Jackson, Mississippi, with a 90 percent African-American population, they elected a mayor who promotes changing five southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina into a separate Republic of New Black Afrika.
Journalist Andrea Ryan wrote, “Raising his fist in a black power salute during his swearing in, the newly elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was true to his character as a former leader of the black supremacy group, Republic of New Afrika. The group is dedicated to transforming five of the Southern states into an independent socialist black nation. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, born in Detroit as Edwin Finley Taliaferro, is a radical activist, and co-founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. He’s, also, being praised by the Nation of Islam, who wrote in their publication, Final Call, that ‘the seeds of a black nation are already taking root in Mississippi.’
In Detroit, Michigan, now 93 percent Black and Middle Eastern population, Muslims expect to dominate that population as their numbers grow in the USA from their current seven million to well over 20 million by 2050. They possess the capacity to use the U.S. Constitution to install Sharia Law by voting power of the majority. At some point, another Mayor Chokwe Lumumba could rise out of the ashes of Detroit to lead it toward a separate state or country.
In the UK, France and Belgium, Sharia Law Muslims thugs prowl the streets to beat up on anyone uninformed enough to visit during the night. Last month, in London, England, ten Sharia “police”, caught on video, beat an American boy senseless and disfigured his face because he walked into the “no go zone” in the Muslim sector. France features over 70 “no go zones” dominated by Muslims.
Solid estimates in the USA show 22 Islamic “villages” guarded and walled off from public scrutiny in Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Oregon.
In Los Angeles, the legal and illegal Mexican-Latino population overwhelms schools, housing, hospitals and food stamp stores. California features four million illegal migrants and most of them work underground or with forged papers. They defraud food stamp and housing welfare rolls. Spanish fast becomes THE language of southern California. Unfortunately, they fled Mexico where the average child drops out of school by sixth grade. They repeat that cultural practice in California. At some point, a Spanish Chokwe Lumumba will rise out of the quagmire of Los Angeles to lead that arena into a satellite state of Mexico.
Short video on “EBT” (Electronic Benefits Transfer) food stamp cards paid for by your tax dollars to feed illiterate Americans who even ship the food to other countries. A rapper shows how to use them, steal them, trade them and defraud with them:
What does this all add up to in our country?
- A first world country cannot continue at that level of excellence in the face of illiteracy and intellectual dysfunction.
- A first world country cannot maintain its culture, language and educational levels of excellence by injecting itself with multiple languages, cultures and cultural illiteracy.
- One look at the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Belgium and Holland offers a depressing look at the final outcome of mass immigration from disparate cultures and failed-states worldwide.
- Multiculturalism, illiteracy and multi-lingualism do not, cannot and will not maintain America as a cohesive, viable, educated and first world civilization.
- Since it’s not working in 2013, how will it work with another 100 million added immigrants within 37 year? Answer: it will not!
This video brings this entire Western world nightmare into sharper focus:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
Our situation will not become any prettier as we discuss the exhaustion of oil, resources and arable land in the next part of this series.
Rick Warren is one of America’s most influential Christian ministers. He’s so popular that many folks call him “America’s Pastor.” Warren has earned a reputation as larger than life and until a couple of years ago he was large around the middle! Because of health concerns he decided to shed a few pounds. But why go it alone? After all, he had his own personal cheering section if he wanted it – Saddleback Church in Lake Forest California, an evangelical megachurch he started in 1980. Thirty-three years later Saddleback boasts over 20,000 weekly attendees. He felt sure that many folks would cheer him on while others would join him in his endeavor to achieve a healthier lifestyle. So he said No! to Jenny Craig and took on the daunting task of developing a weight loss program that, according to Rick Warren, is “God’s prescription for your health.”
Sound like a plan?
Well, yes, in fact he christened it “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.”
On January 15, 2011, over 6,000 people made the trek to Saddleback’s main campus to learn what the Bible allegedly says about getting healthy. Thousands more watched online at the other Saddleback campuses.
In order to achieve his lofty goal, he brought together “three of the leading health specialists in America.” But surprisingly the three doctors picked by the pastor were not Christians—not by a long shot. In fact, when you look into some of the things they’re into (more on this in a moment), it’s fair to say that all three of them are into New Age/New Thought spirituality.
Who are the doctors Rick Warren chose? 1) Mehmet Oz. Dr. Oz is a Sufi Muslim, a cardio vascular surgeon, and popular daytime talk show host. 2) Dr. Daniel Amen (pronounced A-mun). Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and brain imaging specialist. He’s also a practitioner of Tanta which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Dr. Amen is also a self-professed Christian. 3) Dr. Mark Hyman. Dr. Hyman is a practitioner in alternative therapies in health and medicine and is a secular Jew.
Does this seem like a good fit too you? I mean, why didn’t he elicit the aid of three notable Christian specialists to create “God’s prescription for your health”?
Furthermore, why would a high-profile evangelical pastor choose doctors who are entrenched in New Age/New Thought (occult) spirituality, as well as questionable alternative health practices? Warren’s fully aware that Paul cautioned the church in Thessalonica to abstain from even the appearance of evil (1 Thes. 5:22).
In light of what the Bible clearly teaches, it’s surprising that a Christian minister, who understands what the Bible teaches (or at least he should), is unconcerned that some in his flock may not know that the New Age practices he purports are anti-biblical and that they might very well involve themselves in the sort of pagan practices that the above mentioned doctors promote, practices that are expressly forbidden in Scripture. God’s people are to be separate from the pagan nations. In 2 Cor. 6:14-15 Paul says this to the Church:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
When Pastor Rick chose the three doctors—specialists or not–to design a weight loss plan it was done in a way that would appeal to the sheep of his pasture, his audience. And of course many of them bought into their shepherd’s health plan, hook line and sinker.
But – why was he not concerned about his flock’s spiritual health? What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness?
The three doctors believe that practicing meditation on a regular basis is integral to health and fitness. This is known as contemplative prayer (CP). Rick Warren promotes CP even though he knows perfectly well that it’s a form of neo-Gnosticism that, sadly, Protestants/evangelicals have borrowed from the monastic traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. Meditation is recommended in the book. On the Daniel Plan website, Dr. Joseph Mercola demonstrates the 4-7-8 breathing exercise (here) that he learned from meditation proponent Dr. Andrew Weil while attending a presentation. Dr. Hyman wrote an article for the site, Six Ways I Changed My Life and How You Can Change Yours without once mentioning God. He did, however, recommend the Hindu practice of yoga. So as you can see, there’s a very good reason for sounding the alarm regarding the Daniel Plan book that’s set to be released December 3, 2013.
Tell me more…
What does CP involve? Without getting too far afield, practitioners choose a single word or short phrase from the Bible and repeat it over and over during breathing techniques that come from India. Doing breathing techniques is an attempt to “bind the mind with one thought.” The goal is to achieve an altered state of consciousness (empty the mind completely) and to attain to the “higher self” that New Age/New Thought devotees believe to be the divinity within each person. The popular term for this is Transcendental Meditation.
So, what’s the big deal about Christians involving themselves in Eastern meditation? Well, the big deal is that when a person attains an altered state of consciousness it may bring him/her into contact with “familiar spirits,” which is a way of saying neutral or benign spirits. More commonly the spirits are anything but benign; they’re demons! According to the Bible, demons are fallen angles – prideful angles that rebelled against God and as a result were banished from His kingdom. Scripture rightly refers to the banished angels as “spiritual forces of evil.” They remain in rebellion against God. The spirits often appear to humans as “angels of light” — but they’re masters of deceit! So they’re not the good guys they trick us into thinking they are. Trust me on this; evil spirits are your worst nightmare – far worse than Freddie Kruger! For this reason Paul forewarned of Satan’s fondness for fooling the flock:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Cor. 11:12-15)
Former New Ager Ray Yungen warns:
Many people have unwittingly become New Agers by simply seeking to improve their physical and mental health through meditation.
Doctors Amen and Hyman co-authored the Daniel Plan book but Dr. Oz didn’t participate. Here’s a bit of background info on the book’s co-authors excerpted from my 2011 column Rick Warren Introduces the “Devil Plan”:
Dr. Daniel Amen
Dr. Amen is a child and adult psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine. In addition he is a brain imaging specialist.
Dr. Amen teaches “techniques that will improve ‘brain health,’ claiming that poor brain health is associated with a host of problems from overeating to depression. … He includes meditation (and in fact this is his primary tool) as a way to have a healthy brain.”
Dr. Amen recommends a meditation called Kriya Kirtan which is from the Kundalini tradition:
“I teamed with Drs. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Nisha Money to study the impact of meditation on the brain. We chose a simple 12 minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan, that is easy for busy people to practice. It is based on the five primal sounds: Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa (aa being the fifth sound). Meditators [sic]say each sound as they consecutively touch their thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. The sounds and fingering are repeated for two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently, two minutes whispering and two minutes out loud.” (Online source)
Dr. Amen is also a practitioner of Tantric or tantric sex which is the use of Hinduistic-type mysticism during sexual intercourse. Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) reports:
“In a 6-CD set called Create a More Passionate Night, Dr. Amen has teamed up with advanced certified Tantra educator, T. J. Bartel. … Tantra is the name of the ancient Hindu sacred texts that contain certain rituals and secrets. Some deal with taking the energies brought forth in meditation through the chakras and combining them with love-making to enhance sexual experiences.”
“Make no mistake about it” says LTR, “Reiki, meditation, tantric sex – these are very powerful mystical experiences that have the capability to delude and deceive those who are involved with it.”
For Christians who have read to this point, I hope you’re becoming alarmed.
Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman is editor-in-chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine which is said to be “the most prestigious journal in the field of integrative medicine, and the medical editor of Alternative Medicine, the Art and Science of Healthy Living.”
In her article, Alternative/ Blended/ Complementary/ Integrated Healing, Marcia Montenegro examines alternative therapies:
“It is called alternative because the technique/ drug/ herb has not been or cannot be adequately tested, or has been found ineffective or dangerous. If it were a safe, tested treatment, it would not be in the alternative category. Many cited studies to support these methods are flawed, short-term, based on anecdotal evidence, conducted by believers in the techniques, & often are not published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The terms complementary, blended, and integrated are now being used as well since alternative treatments are being combined with traditional medicine. This makes it more difficult to test the alternative methods or to know what is really working when the patient improves. It should be remembered that the placebo effect accounts for 30% or more for a person feeling better.”
Dr. Hyman claims he’s not into meditation but he does recommend yoga to create calm.
In my article Can A Pagan Practices Be “Christianized” I explain why Christians must avoid yoga:
“Christian apologists John Ankerberg and John Weldon maintain that, ‘The basic premise of yoga theory is the fundamental unity of all existence: God, man, and all of creation are ultimately one divine reality.’ To explain the basic premise, the authors quote from an editorial in the Yoga Journal: “We are all aware that yoga means ‘union’ and that the practice of yoga unites body, breath, and mind, lower and higher energy centers and, ultimately self and God, or higher Self. But more broadly, yoga directs our attention to the unity or oneness that underlies our fragmented experiences and equally fragmented world. Family, friends, the Druze guerrilla in Lebanon, the great whale migrating north—all share the same essential [divine] nature.””
Dr. Hyman participated in a program called Yoga, Body & Spirit at Shambhala Mountain. The program included Susan Piver, who offered instruction in the ancient wisdom tradition of Buddhist meditation, and Richard Reoch who presented Golden Ball Chi Kung.
Dr. Hyman retails expensive supplements “critical for supporting lifelong health,” books and CDs in his “healthy living store” online. The UltraWellness Essentials Kit for Women costs $130 for a one month supply. For youngsters it’s a tad less. Only $47 per month because “Like adults, children need a purified source of essential fatty acids to help build healthy brain cells, support focus and attention, and optimize metabolism.”
This is UltraBunk!
Earth to Dr. Hyman! At your exorbitant cost for “high-quality multi vitamin and minerals” most families can’t afford to get healthy! (Visit Dr. Hyman’s store)
Why has this not dawned on Pastor Rick? In one of his promotional videos he held up each of the doctors’ books and urged his congregants to purchase them! This makes one wonder if Dr. Hyman’s books recommend the high priced vitamins, and if this is the case, who derives benefit from the sale of these products?
That an evangelical pastor would allow his sheep to be influenced by New Age ideas and questionable medical practices should give us pause. Christians should avoid becoming involved in any sort of assembly where we are powerless to address issues that come up which could cause us to compromise our biblical principles. Moreover, it should give us pause when the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ teams up with occultists!
I’ll close with a quote from John 10:7-13:
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling [hired hand], and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
New Age Spirituality–On Solid Rock Resources
Contemplative Prayer—On Solid Rock Resources
Rick Warren’s New Age Health Gurus—Berit Kjos and Sara Leslie
Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, and Spiritual Disciplines–By Ken Silva
Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan Accelerates – Tells Followers to Practice 4-7-8 Hinduistic Meditation –By Lighthouse Trails Research
Acute water shortages, aquifers exhausted, contaminated rivers…
Few Americans understand what their children face within 37 years with the addition of 100 million immigrants to the United States of America. The ramifications of passage of mass Amnesty Bill S.744 guarantee devastating consequences to our country. I hope, as you read this series, you understand that your children will become victims of your apathy and inaction.
Instead of this crisis standing front and center at the national leadership and media levels—America’s population predicament remains the most ignored, evaded and suppressed issue of our time.
I’m not exactly certain why we stand in denial of the effects of adding 100 million immigrants. You could ask the average American on the street about the implications of S744 and he or she wouldn’t possess the slightest idea of what you’re talking about.
As a reminder validating the reason for this series: demographic experts project the United States adding 100 million immigrants to this country by 2050—a scant 37 years from now. All totaled, since we reached 300 million in October of 2007, we will add 138 million people by 2050 to total 438 million people—enough to duplicate 20 of our top cities’ populations to our country. That 100 million people will have to be watered, fed, housed, transported and provided medical services. The enormity of it transcends understanding. The Pew Research Center, U.S. Population Projections by Fogel/Martin and the U.S. Census Bureau document those demographic facts.
Today in America, seven states suffer water shortages in 2013: Florida, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. They may be able to water their populations at this time, but they stand on the edge of acute water shortages.
Florida sustains 18 million people in 2013, but demographic projections show them doubling to 36 million within 37 years—all of it because of legal immigration. Texas, at 26 million, expects to hit 36 million by 2050. The whopper granddaddy of them all: California holds 38 million on their way to 58 million.
What amazes me: no one whispers a word. Somebody with a brain in the media or government must be pulling their hair out while wondering why the media always reports “downstream” or after the catastrophic event already occurred.
But when the “Water footprint” disaster hits, we will have already added 100 million immigrants. At that point, everyone becomes victims.
(We pollute our drinking water with trash and chemicals all over the planet. Notice the mountain of plastic debris; but you can’t see the chemical contamination within the water. Not until, of course, you contract cancer.) Photography www.lightstalkers.org
“Without sustainability, ’severe’ water scarcity by 2050” By Andrew Nusca
“Today, 36% of the global population — approximately 2.4 billion people — already live in water-scarce regions and 22% of the world’s GDP ($9.4 trillion at 2000 prices) is produced in water-short areas,” said Nusca. “Moreover, 39% of current global grain production is not sustainable in terms of water use.
“According to IFPRI’s analysis, current “business as usual” water management practices and levels of water productivity will put at risk approximately $63 trillion, or 45 percent of the projected 2050 global GDP (at 2000 prices), equivalent to 1.5 times the size of today’s entire global economy. Moreover, 4.8 billion people (52 percent of the world population) will be exposed to severe water scarcity by 2050.”
(This is the kind of water contamination I have seen in my world travels. Many beaches around the world feature knee deep plastic trash. Worse, most of it sinks to the bottom and disrupts ocean, river and lake eco-systems. Yet, not one world leader or corporations calls for a 25 cent deposit-return law.) Photography by www.lightstalkers.org
As their water shortages slam home, where do you think they flee? Answer: first world countries.
Interestingly enough: these figures stand for our current 7.1 billion humans. Projections show another 3.1 billion added to that to reach 10 billion by 2050.
Something will happen and it won’t be pretty.
- 1 out of 6 people in the world lack access to clean water – that equals 1.1 billion people
- 9 million people will die this year from lack of access to clean water
- Every 15 seconds a child dies from water related illness
Exactly how do we Americans think we will escape those realities by adding 100 million immigrants?
(Imagine millions gallons of chemicals being dumped into America’s lakes and streams 24/7 because that’s what’s happening. Leaking gas tanks from gas stations and individual oil dumps poison our ground water. Dairy, beef, pig and chicken farms cause enormous ground water pollution. Add another 100 million immigrants and we face humongous consequences that will become irreversible and unsolvable.) Photography by www.wikipedia.org
Facts about Pollution from Livestock Farms
Livestock pollution and public health
- California officials identify agriculture, including cows, as the major source of nitrate pollution in more than 100,000 square miles of polluted groundwater.
- In 1996 the Centers for Disease Control established a link between spontaneous abortions and high nitrate levels in Indiana drinking water wells located close to feedlots.
- Manure from dairy cows is thought to have contributed to the disastrous Cryptosporidiumcontamination of Milwaukee’s drinking water in 1993, which killed more than 100 people, made 400,000 sick and resulted in $37 million in lost wages and productivity.
Water expert Ken Midkiff said, “In just a few short decades in the US, we have depleted our water supply. In the eastern states, which once had an abundance of water, bitter disputes and legal battles have become commonplace over water shortages caused by overpopulation. In the western states, where water has always been in short supply, population growth in dry areas has led to water shortages that threaten to severely restrict or perhaps even bar further growth.”
How do you “bar growth” by adding over 100 million people to America inside of four decades?
Just imagine with me: within 37 years, endless immigration will add 20 million immigrants to California. Anyone want to guess the outcome of that many people on the water supplies?
Water is essential for all dimensions of life. Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the world’s population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the world’s population will double. The costs of water infrastructure have risen dramatically. The quality of water in rivers and underground has deteriorated, due to pollution by waste and contaminants from cities, industry and agriculture. Ecosystems are being destroyed, sometimes permanently. Over one billion people lack safe water, and three billion lack sanitation; eighty per cent of infectious diseases.
The only part of the government that really listens to what you have to say…
The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most caught my attention concerned “Sigint” – Signals intelligence, the term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:
“Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will not.”
What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security Agency – on moral principle – refuse to say or do?
I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all criticism of US foreign policy: “What would the United States have to do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would be too much?” I’ve yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I suspect it’s because the person is afraid that whatever they say I’ll point out that the United States has already done it.
The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo – 22 years in a row
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
|Year||Votes (Yes-No)||No Votes|
|1993||88-4||US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay|
|1995||117-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1996||138-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1997||143-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|2000||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2001||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2002||173-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2003||179-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2004||179-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2005||182-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2006||183-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2007||184-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2008||185-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2009||187-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2012||188-3||US, Israel, Palau|
Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.
Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.
However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:
“The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.”1
So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the police.
Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person?
As to “independent journalism” – what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?
The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba? The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.
How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 3 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.
The Cold War Revisited
I’ve written the Introduction to a new book recently published in Russia that is sort of an updating of my book Killing Hope. 4 Here is a short excerpt:
The Cold War had not been a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It had been a struggle between the United States and the Third World, which, in the decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, continued in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.
The Cold War had not been a worldwide crusade by America to halt Soviet expansion, real or imaginary. It had been a worldwide crusade by America to block political and social changes in the Third World, changes opposed by the American power elite.
The Cold War had not been a glorious and noble movement of freedom and democracy against Communist totalitarianism. It had typically been a movement by the United States in support of dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and corrupt oligarchies which were willing to follow Washington’s party line on the Left, US corporations, Israel, oil, military bases, et al. and who protected American political and economic interests in their countries in exchange for the American military and CIA keeping them in power against the wishes of their own people.
In other words, whatever the diplomats at the time thought they were doing, the Cold War revisionists have been vindicated. American policy had been about imperialism and military expansion.
Apropos the countless other myths we were all taught about the Soviet Union is this letter I recently received from one of my readers, a Russian woman, age 49, who moved to the United States eight years ago and now lives in Northern Virginia:
I can’t imagine why anybody is surprised to hear when I say I miss life in the Soviet Union: what is bad about free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment, guaranteed free housing? No rent or mortgage of any kind, only utilities, but they were subsidized too, so it was really pennies. Now, to be honest, there was a waiting list to get those apartments, so some people got them quicker, some people had to wait for years, it all depended on where you worked. And there were no homeless people, and crime was way lower. As a first grader I was taking the public transportation to go to school, which was about 1 hour away by bus (it was a big city, about the size of Washington DC, we lived on the outskirts, and my school was downtown), and it was fine, all other kids were doing it. Can you even imagine this being done now? I am not saying everything was perfect, but overall, it is a more stable and socially just system, fair to everybody, nobody was left behind. This is what I miss: peace and stability, and not being afraid of the future.
Problem is, nobody believes it, they will say that I am a brainwashed “tovarish” [comrade]. I’ve tried to argue with Americans about this before, but just gave up now. They just refuse to believe anything that contradicts what CNN has been telling them for all their lives. One lady once told me: “You just don’t know what was going on there, because you did not have freedom of speech, but we, Americans, knew everything, because we could read about all of this in our media.” I told her “I was right there! I did not need to read about this in the media, I lived that life!”, but she still was unconvinced! You will not believe what she said: “Yes, maybe, but we have more stuff!”. Seriously, having 50 kinds of cereal available in the store, and walmarts full of plastic junk is more valuable to Americans than a stable and secure life, and social justice for everybody?
Of course there are people who lived in the Soviet Union who disagree with me, and I talked to them too, but I find their reasons just as silly. I heard one Russian lady whose argument was that Stalin killed “30, no 40 million people”. First of all it’s not true (I don’t in any way defend Stalin, but I do think that lying and exaggerating about him is as wrong)*, and second of all what does this have to do with the 70s, when I was a kid? By then life was completely different. I heard other arguments, like food shortages (again, not true, it’s not like there was no food at all, there were shortages of this or that specific product, like you wouldn’t find mayo or bologna in the store some days, but everything else was there!). So, you would come back next day, or in 2-3 days, and you would find them there. Really, this is such a big deal? Or you would have to stay in line to buy some other product, (ravioli for example). But how badly do you want that ravioli really that day, can’t you have anything else instead? Just buy something else, like potatoes, where there was no line.
Was this annoying, yes, and at the time I was annoyed too, but only now I realized that I would much prefer this nuisance to my present life now, when I am constantly under stress for the fear that I can possibly lose my job (as my husband already did), and as a result, lose everything else – my house? You couldn’t possibly lose your house in Soviet Union, it was yours for life, mortgage free. Only now, living here in the US, I realized that all those soviet nuisances combined were not as important as the benefits we had – housing, education, healthcare, employment, safe streets, all sort of free after school activities (music, sports, arts, anything you want) for kids, so parents never had to worry about what we do all day till they come home in the evening.
* We’ve all heard the figures many times … 10 million … 20 million … 40 million … 60 million … died under Stalin. But what does the number mean, whichever number you choose? Of course many people died under Stalin, many people died under Roosevelt, and many people are still dying under Bush. Dying appears to be a natural phenomenon in every country. The question is how did those people die under Stalin? Did they die from the famines that plagued the USSR in the 1920s and 30s? Did the Bolsheviks deliberately create those famines? How? Why? More people certainly died in India in the 20th century from famines than in the Soviet Union, but no one accuses India of the mass murder of its own citizens. Did the millions die from disease in an age before antibiotics? In prison? From what causes? People die in prison in the United States on a regular basis. Were millions actually murdered in cold blood? If so, how? How many were criminals executed for non-political crimes? The logistics of murdering tens of millions of people is daunting. 5
Let’s not repeat the Barack fuckup with Hillary
Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire – despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior – is mankind’s last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and I’d like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Here’s what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:
Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?
“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.” 6
Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because … because she wants to be president … because she thinks it would be nice to be president … no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world … she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldn’t want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.
And she spoke the above words at the “Take Back America” conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.
Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldn’t care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has “succeeded”. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war “illegal” or “immoral”? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I haven’t studied. Hillary Clinton, however, I’ve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua. 7
Now we hear from America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.” 8
We also hear from America’s premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”. 9
Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.” 10
There’s much more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s conservative leanings, but if you need more, you’re probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that he’s “really good at killing people”. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?
I’m sorry if I take away all your fun.
- Democracy Now!, “U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly Against U.S. Embargo of Cuba”, October 30, 2013 ↩
- Huffingfton Post, May 3, 2012 ↩
- Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba (1991), p.885 ↩
- Copies can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org ↩
- From William Blum, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire (2005), p.194 ↩
- Speaking at the “Take Back America” conference, organized by the Campaign for America’s Future, June 20, 2007, Washington, DC; this excerpt can be heard on Democracy Now!’s website ↩
- Roger Morris, former member of the National Security Council, Partners in Power (1996), p.415 ↩
- National Review Online, May 1, 2007 ↩
- Fortune magazine, July 9, 2007 ↩
- Washington Post, October 25, 2013 ↩
- Washington Post, November 1, 2013, review of “Double Down: Game Change 2012” ↩
Linguistic chaos and tension…
As a reminder validating the reason for this series: demographic experts project the United States adding 100 million immigrants to this country by 2050—a scant 37 years from now. All totaled, since we reached 300 million in October of 2007, we will add 138 million people by 2050 to total 438 million people—enough to duplicate 20 of our top cities’ populations to our country. The Pew Research Center, U.S. Population Projections by Fogel/Martin and the U.S. Census Bureau document those demographic facts.
From the dawn of time, ethnic tribes created languages to fit their understanding of their surroundings. Eskimos created words that defined ice, cold, caribou, whales and frozen seasons. Tribes in Africa created languages that described their trees, rivers, monkeys, elephants and zebras. Tribes in the desert of the Middle East formed entirely different languages based on heat, camels and sand storms.
Each language not only allowed tribes to communicate, language defined their “worldview” or how they perceived existence. That same language also formed their religions. They created their religions based on their fears of the unknown—to give them a sense of hope, community and purpose. Each language defined how a tribal member understood and interpreted the meaning of life.
Language also allowed human beings to become self-aware, pursue understandings of the world around them and form family and community bonds. It served them well and humanity advanced in word, thought and concepts.
Language also separated tribes because they could not understand one another. Back in those times, civilizations grew, but never mixed because few seldom stepped outside their territorial boundaries. However, when they stepped out of their “turf”, they fought in wars for dominance. History reads as one Great War or conflict after another right up to 2013. In the last 10 years, the USA fought two wars. Another 20 wars wage in different areas of the planet as you read this series.
Isolation of tribes changed with mass transportation first with the sailing ship, locomotive, automobile and finally the airplane. Today, we see cultures, civilizations and individual humans crossing over onto all seven continents.
The one thing they take with them with a powerful sense of meaning remains their culture and their language. It defines them and offers them meaning.
However, when they cross over into countries with totally different languages, cultures and meanings—they become ostracized, confused, marginalized, out of place and ultimately, angry.
No multicultural and multilingual country in the world today enjoys a peaceful state of being. Today, Canada struggles with French, Arabic, Chinese and other Asian languages overwhelming their schools via immigration.
Belgium, Lebanon and Malaysia suffer conflicts and tension from multiple languages. In those countries, minorities with different languages vie for autonomy. Pakistan separated from India and Cyprus divided because of language, religion and culture. Nigeria suppressed ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and a growing Muslim demographic.
With hundreds of languages in the world today, we see a clashing of civilizations, which ultimately come down to culture and language. A country without a single language in the 21st century faces ultimate disintegration of its culture, worldview and language.
With different languages come different ideas on how political “things” should proceed in a country. Some languages suppress all women’s rights. Other languages condone “honor killings” of women as a normal way of life.
Immanuel Kant said, “Language and religion are the great dividers.” You can see his wisdom working all over the planet in violent confrontations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sweden, France, UK, Tunisia and many more.
A country, culture and language constitute more than a place to live. A language creates a state of mind, a worldview and distinct understanding of a person’s standing in life. His or her culture defines how he or she operates in the world. If a person in a country loses language and culture—they lose their ability to function in a viable manner.
If you notice all the terrorist attacks on the USA in the last 11 years, they came from people who speak other languages, come from other cultures—yet injected themselves into America via our immigration policies. From the 9/11 maniacs, to the Fort Dix Six, to the Times Square Bomber, to the Shoe Bomber, to the Underpants Bomber, to the Denver bomber, to the Fort Hood killer, to the Korean shooter at Virginia Tech, to the Boston Marathon Bomber, to the New Jersey Muslim who beheaded and be-handed two people last year—all of them arrived from a different language.
Unfortunately, at the present rate of 1.0 million legal immigrants annually and the proposed 2.0 million immigrants annually via Senate Bill 744 Amnesty, Americans guarantee themselves more bombings, more mass murderers and more language breakdown that descends on this country at blinding speed. Especially in education! Once we lose our literacy, we lose our ability to maintain a first world civilization.
Already, America faces a complete language change with Spanish when the Mexican tribe becomes the new majority in 2042, a scant 29 years from now. You can bet they will force their language onto America. In 2013, every business in America offers a phone recorder with “Press 1 for Spanish” and “Press 2 for English.” Already in Detroit, Michigan, a recorder says, “Press 1 for Arabic.”
This linguistic chaos speeds into America at such a rate of speed, that once it lands in greater numbers, we will not be able to turn back. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he sealed his face. If we citizens allow Congress to pass S744, we seal our fate as a multicultural and multi-linguistic nation guaranteed to fracture every community, our culture and our future.
You see, as former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm said, “Different languages create a deeper and more intractable separating factor. America has been successful because we have become one people. Language is the social glue, shared history and uniting symbols that tie us together.”
We need one language to bind us, one culture to sustain us. When a host country such as Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Europe and Holland lose their language, they lose their foundation.
If we continue on this current path, by 2050, America faces 100 million more immigrants with at least 100 to 150 new languages and they will press for their right to speak, learn and establish their languages in their tribal enclaves. They will crush English, crush our schools and create chaos in our culture. By 2050, America cannot help but become a multicultural morass, linguistic battlefield and suffer 100 million immigrants attempting to make their language THE language of America. It’s not going to be pretty for anybody because no one will be able to understand anyone else.
If you remember the Biblical Tower of Babel, God changed one language into multiple languages. They disagreed, fought, separated and finally abandoned the tower.
America faces the same fate with multiple languages.
Humanity’s Umbilical Cord…
Have we forgotten the source of our sustenance? Have we allowed the apodictic evolutionary theoreticians to define our beginnings with convoluted nonsense? Have we assumed that the world should pursue the proliferation of remarkable labor saving and entertaining devices as if they are essential to the human race? We seek to travel faster and farther, communicate quicker and more completely, have more leisure and less work, and accumulate more knowledge and more power.
In past essays I wrote about the disconnection between the population and the land. Land provides the elements of life and when we fail to properly associate the population with the land we jeopardize a balance that is essential to our peaceful existence.
The Industrial Revolution created a drastic change in Western culture a change that has always been considered beneficial. Life in the Western World slowly became remote from the land and we forgot that the work that consumes our day is supported by the same dirt that our ancestors prayed would supply their food.
Indian writer Satish Kumar has written a book entitled “Soil, Soul, Society”. He describes the problem as anthropocentric: a worldview that human beings are at the center of the universe. He writes, “So if you want to take care of the universe, start with your soul. Care of the soul is for self-realisation. When you are at home within, you are at home in the universe. Taking care of yourself, being at ease with yourself, being happy within yourself, being fulfilled in yourself is a prerequisite, an imperative for self-realisation. Everything you truly need and want is within you. You are capable of solving every problem in the world with your inner wisdom.”
Kumar is on track with his concern about the danger of thinking the universe centers on human beings but he is wrong about our ability to “solve every problem” with “inner wisdom”
The Bible informs us that we were created from dust and to dust we shall return. There has never been a better description of our origin and condition! Part of the tendency to support an evolutionary creation stems from our disconnection from the land Though it is impossible to contend with the fact that our human bodies will ultimately return to dust anthropocentric theorists refuse to acknowledge reality.
When God created human beings from dust He created them in His own image. The Christian Bible confirms this fact but we do not need the Bible to determine our universal nature. With the birth blood still on their body’s babies claim their centrality. They cry loudly and harshly for love and sustenance. This elevation of self does not recede with time; children demand their toys and yours too; adolescents are tediously self-centered; the world revolves around the affairs of young men and women and in the middle years hidden methods of personal gain thrive. We have a God-like nature without His stature, wisdom, power, and righteousness.
It was our failure to see ourselves as we really are that allowed us to bless the Industrial Revolution without properly considering its dangers. Today, demi-gods experiment with human life as if they are vested with a right to tamper with Someone Else’s creation. They venture into an arena they are incapable of understanding as if there were no consequences to their actions. They leap without looking.
Humans are designed for physical work. As we invent additional devices to give us more leisure time with parallel efficiency we invent more jogging shoes and exercise machines to replace the physical work we are not doing.
There is nothing wrong with increasing knowledge and inventing labor saving devices as long as short term positive results do not result in long term disaster. We exist by the will of another on a planet that we did not create, in a universe too big for our apprehension, in a time span that is a speck in unfathomable infinity. We are wonderfully made and some of us are extremely brilliant but when we allow our god-like nature too overshadow our humble circumstance we are prone to major error.
Did human beings evolve through an evolutionary process that defies the obvious time/deterioration process or were they created by the same God that crafted the universe? There are numerous prolixity filled esoteric discussions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the meaning of the word “entropy”. Many of these dissertations are carefully crafted to protect Darwin’s theory of Evolution. “Highly energetic chemistry is thought to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 billion years ago, and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all life existed. The current scientific consensus is that the complex biochemistry that makes up life came from simpler chemical reactions. The beginning of life may have included self-replicating molecules such as RNA and the assembly of simple cells.” (From Wikipedia)
The truth is that human beings are prisoners on a tiny planet located in a vast (maybe infinite) universe, limited by time, size, mental ability, physical ability, and capacity to completely comprehend the milieu in which they live.
When we ignore the restraints our Creator has set forth in His Word Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection gains validity. The strongest and smartest dominate, survive, and reproduce. Unending war for survival can be witnessed in the animal kingdom and continues with occasional modifications in the human realm.
The world’s leaders are overwhelmingly anthropocentric. They value their false conception of human capacity more than freedom, peace, and prosperity. So, since peace and freedom depend on our obedience to God’s Law, tyrants have risen to the fore.
When God gave His Law to Moses He gave us the formula for replacing the jungle code of natural selection with a life of purpose, peace, and prosperity. Today we have wandered so far from His intent that fantasy has overcome the lives of our leaders. We are being governed by people who no longer see the world as it is; people who would rather live a lie than confront the truth. They have gained their office through an electorate that has failed to properly assess the human condition; people who believe that the feeble intellect of our most brilliant can devise a formula for freedom. They are both wrong and instead of creating a better world they have become witnesses to its continued deterioration.
Tyrants rule America and our freedoms are quickly vanishing.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – – Voltaire (1694-1778)
Does anyone in the United States understand or comprehend what America will look like in 2050 “IF” we continue endless immigration into our country? Does any leader possess an inkling of the ramifications of adding the projected 100 million immigrants, their kids and chain-migrated relatives?
That’s correct, at the current rate of immigration legalized by the 1986 Reagan amnesty, we continue on course to add 100 million immigrants from all over the world. They arrive legally at 1.0 million annually. They birth 900,000 babies among their numbers annually. (Source: Dr. Steven Camorata, www.cis.org) With chain migration, that means each “new” American may invite 10 of his or her relatives to join them with “family-reunification.” If the current S744 amnesty bill passes, your US Congress jumped that 1.0 million to 2.0 million legal immigrants annually.
Do the math! Any way you cut it, that means America will experience an avalanche, a human tsunami, or simply the biggest wave of humanity ever to hit our country or any country, ever. We will grow from our current 316 million to well over 438 million people within 37 years. The extra 38 million will come from our own “population momentum.” These figures stem from our country reaching 300 million in October of 2007. We grow by 3.1 million annually.
What’s it going to look like? Answer: it will become ugly on multiple levels—environmentally, sociologically, linguistically, culturally, quality of life and downgraded standard of living—for starters. Parts 1 through 5 will cover what we face.
First of all, 100 million immigrants will equal our adding 20 of our most populated cities. Think of it: we will add another New York City, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and eight other American cities.
We face watering 100 million more people, housing them, transporting them, warming them, feeding them and finding jobs for them.
Today in 2013, seven states face shortages: Georgia, Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. But Georgia will grow from 8.2 million to 16.4 million. Florida expects to grow from 18 million to 36 million. For the whopper fact of all, California expects to jump from 38 million to 58 million.
Our cities face resembling present-day Mumbai, India; or Tokyo, Japan; or Paris, France; or Shanghai, China—bursting at the seams with 50 to100 mile traffic jams, people smooched into 200 square foot apartments rising out of the ground like mindless stalactites.
Our rivers will run with endless chemicals from industrial, farm, human and acid rain pollution. Our National Parks will become so crowded that you will be forced to draw a lottery number in order to visit them.
Every last bit of arable land and wildreness will be destroyed by what scientists call “ecological footprint.” In Ethiopia, it takes .4 (4/10ths) of an acre of land to feed, water and house a person. In the USA, it takes 25.4 acres of land to support one person. (Source:www.allspecis.org)
With those 100 million immigrants, we must destroy 2.54 BILLION acres of land. That, in turn, guarantees accelerating our current 250 species suffering extinction annually in the lower 48 to double that number which will mean 5,000 species a year suffering extinction at the hands of our encroachment on the natural world.
As those enormous human numbers impact the carbon footprint and impact the “water footprint”, we face water predicament that will become unsolvable and irreversible. We face water wars, water confrontations, water irrigation problems heretofore never imagined.
Our giant aquifers like the Ogallala will dry up leaving us with no irrigation of our corn, wheat and hay fields.
We incorporate a Faustian Bargain in 2013 to reap a Hobson’s Choice in 2050—a scant 37 years from now.
Our quality of life cannot help but degrade into severe limitations as to hunting, fishing, wildlife extermination, energy exhaustion and resource depletion.
Let’s talk about energy: we hit Peak Oil in 2011. We face the last 50 percent of all oil remaining on the planet. It takes more energy units to pump it and less energy units out of the ground. Finally, at some point, we will be left with little oil at staggering prices—but a 438 million population to feed. Of sobering note, the world will have added 3.1 billion humans to feed, to this nightmare extends beyond our borders.
How about the environment? Anybody want to guess how much damage our carbon footprint will wreak havoc on our oceans with acidification and warming of the waters? My guess: we face annual Hurricane Sandy’s and Katrina’s. More tornadoes will mow humans down at an outstanding rate.
Additionally: I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg of what we bequeath to our children.
As I sit here with the scientific facts, my own world travels having seen the 12 largest cities on the planet and my own scientific experiences in Antarctica—I am appalled that the American people and our leaders gallop into this added 100 million more immigrants without so much as a shout, whimper or cry.
Our kids will curse our stupidity, arrogance and outright disregard for their futures. My own two U.S. Senators understand what we face because I spent 45 minutes explaining the facts to their staffs, but they voted to add 2.0 million legal immigrants annually to make our fate arrive even faster than 37 years.
My guess: our leaders resemble intellectual lunatics. Our people resemble the dumbest sheep on the planet.
Finally, why am I one of the few Americans who “sees” this so clearly? Why aren’t there tens of millions of Americans who “see” and take it to “60 Minutes” ; “Charlie Rose” ; “Today Show” ; “DateLine” ; “Good Morning America” ; Scott Pelley, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer, Kelly Mygen, Shepard Smith and every other media leader? Why don’t we demand a national discussion?
If we refuse to act, remain too apathetic to act, or don’t act—the S744 Amnesty Bill will pass and add that 100 million immigrants to this country in a blink of time. God help our children when they inherit our legacy of 100 million immigrants.
There is a new normal in America: our government may shut down, but our wars continue. Congress may not be able to pass a budget, but the U.S. military can still launch commando raids in Libya and Somalia, the Afghan War can still be prosecuted, Italy can be garrisoned by American troops (putting the “empire” back in Rome), Africa can be used as an imperial playground (as in the late nineteenth century “scramble for Africa,” but with the U.S. and China doing the scrambling this time around), and the military-industrial complex can still dominate the world’s arms trade.
In the halls of Congress and the Pentagon, it’s business as usual, if your definition of “business” is the power and profits you get from constantly preparing for and prosecuting wars around the world. “War is a racket,” General Smedley Butler famously declared in 1935, and even now it’s hard to disagree with a man who had two Congressional Medals of Honor to his credit and was intimately familiar with American imperialism.
War Is Politics, Right?
Once upon a time, as a serving officer in the U.S. Air Force, I was taught that Carl von Clausewitz had defined war as a continuation of politics by other means. This definition is, in fact, a simplification of his classic and complex book, On War, written after his experiences fighting Napoleon in the early nineteenth century.
“Forever war is forever profitable.”
The idea of war as a continuation of politics is both moderately interesting and dangerously misleading: interesting because it connects war to political processes and suggests that they should be fought for political goals; misleading because it suggests that war is essentially rational and so controllable. The fault here is not Clausewitz’s, but the American military’s for misreading and oversimplifying him.
Perhaps another “Carl” might lend a hand when it comes to helping Americans understand what war is really all about. I’m referring to Karl Marx, who admired Clausewitz, notably for his idea that combat is to war what a cash payment is to commerce. However seldom combat (or such payments) may happen, they are the culmination and so the ultimate arbiters of the process.
War, in other words, is settled by killing, a bloody transaction that echoes the exploitative exchanges of capitalism. Marx found this idea to be both suggestive and pregnant with meaning. So should we all.
Following Marx, Americans ought to think about war not just as an extreme exercise of politics, but also as a continuation of exploitative commerce by other means. Combat as commerce: there’s more in that than simple alliteration.
In the history of war, such commercial transactions took many forms, whether as territory conquered, spoils carted away, raw materials appropriated, or market share gained. Consider American wars. The War of 1812 is sometimes portrayed as a minor dust-up with Britain, involving the temporary occupation and burning of our capital, but it really was about crushing Indians on the frontier and grabbing their land. The Mexican-American War was another land grab, this time for the benefit of slaveholders. The Spanish-American War was a land grab for those seeking an American empire overseas, while World War I was for making the world “safe for democracy” — and for American business interests globally.
Even World War II, a war necessary to stop Hitler and Imperial Japan, witnessed the emergence of the U.S. as the arsenal of democracy, the world’s dominant power, and the new imperial stand-in for a bankrupt British Empire.
Korea? Vietnam? Lots of profit for the military-industrial complex and plenty of power for the Pentagon establishment. Iraq, the Middle East, current adventures in Africa? Oil, markets, natural resources, global dominance.
In societal calamities like war, there will always be winners and losers. But the clearest winners are often companies like Boeing and Dow Chemical, which provided B-52 bombers and Agent Orange, respectively, to the U.S. military in Vietnam. Such “arms merchants” — an older, more honest term than today’s “defense contractor” — don’t have to pursue the hard sell, not when war and preparations for it have become so permanently, inseparably intertwined with the American economy, foreign policy, and our nation’s identity as a rugged land of “warriors” and “heroes” (more on that in a moment).
War as Disaster Capitalism
Consider one more definition of war: not as politics or even as commerce, but as societal catastrophe. Thinking this way, we can apply Naomi Klein’s concepts of the “shock doctrine” and “disaster capitalism” to it. When such disasters occur, there are always those who seek to turn a profit.
Most Americans are, however, discouraged from thinking about war this way thanks to the power of what we call “patriotism” or, at an extreme, “superpatriotism” when it applies to us, and the significantly more negative “nationalism” or “ultra-nationalism” when it appears in other countries. During wars, we’re told to “support our troops,” to wave the flag, to put country first, to respect the patriotic ideal of selfless service and redemptive sacrifice (even if all but 1% of us are never expected to serve or sacrifice).
We’re discouraged from reflecting on the uncomfortable fact that, as “our” troops sacrifice and suffer, others in society are profiting big time. Such thoughts are considered unseemly and unpatriotic. Pay no attention to the war profiteers, who pass as perfectly respectable companies. After all, any price is worth paying (or profits worth offering up) to contain the enemy — not so long ago, the red menace, but in the twenty-first century, the murderous terrorist.
Forever war is forever profitable. Think of the Lockheed Martins of the world. In their commerce with the Pentagon, as well as the militaries of other nations, they ultimately seek cash payment for their weapons and a world in which such weaponry will be eternally needed. In the pursuit of security or victory, political leaders willingly pay their price.
Call it a Clausewitzian/Marxian feedback loop or the dialectic of Carl and Karl. It also represents the eternal marriage of combat and commerce. If it doesn’t catch all of what war is about, it should at least remind us of the degree to which war as disaster capitalism is driven by profit and power.
For a synthesis, we need only turn from Carl or Karl to Cal — President Calvin Coolidge, that is. “The business of America is business,” he declared in the Roaring Twenties. Almost a century later, the business of America is war, even if today’s presidents are too polite to mention that the business is booming.
America’s War Heroes as Commodities
Many young people today are, in fact, looking for a release from consumerism. In seeking new identities, quite a few turn to the military. And it provides. Recruits are hailed as warriors and warfighters, as heroes, and not just within the military either, but by society at large.
Yet in joining the military and being celebrated for that act, our troops paradoxically become yet another commodity, another consumable of the state. Indeed, they become consumed by war and its violence. Their compensation? To be packaged and marketed as the heroes of our militarized moment. Steven Gardiner, a cultural anthropologist and U.S. Army veteran, has written eloquently about what he calls the “heroic masochism” of militarized settings and their allure for America’s youth. Put succinctly, in seeking to escape a consumerism that has lost its meaning and find a release from dead-end jobs, many volunteers are transformed into celebrants of violence, seekers and givers of pain, a harsh reality Americans ignore as long as that violence is acted out overseas against our enemies and local populations.
Such “heroic” identities, tied so closely to violence in war, often prove poorly suited to peacetime settings. Frustration and demoralization devolve into domestic violence and suicide. In an American society with ever fewer meaningful peacetime jobs, exhibiting greater and greater polarization of wealth and opportunity, the decisions of some veterans to turn to or return to mind-numbing drugs of various sorts and soul-stirring violence is tragically predictable. That it stems from their exploitative commodification as so many heroic inflictors of violence in our name is a reality most Americans are content to forget.
You May Not Be Interested in War, but War Is Interested in You
As Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky pithily observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” If war is combat and commerce, calamity and commodity, it cannot be left to our political leaders alone — and certainly not to our generals. When it comes to war, however far from it we may seem to be, we’re all in our own ways customers and consumers. Some pay a high price. Many pay a little. A few gain a lot. Keep an eye on those few and you’ll end up with a keener appreciation of what war is actually all about.
No wonder our leaders tell us not to worry our little heads about our wars — just support those troops, go shopping, and keep waving that flag. If patriotism is famously the last refuge of the scoundrel, it’s also the first recourse of those seeking to mobilize customers for the latest bloodletting exercise in combat as commerce.
Just remember: in the grand bargain that is war, it’s their product and their profit. And that’s no bargain for America, or for that matter for the world.