Of The So-Called Left
Resistance: Part 2
Charles Shaw, May 3, 2005
February United for Peace and Justice, the largest representative
coalition within the American "anti-war movement",
emerged from their second annual Assembly with a 2005 "action
plan" that effectively caged the "anti-war" debate
exclusively within the Iraq conflict to achieve partisan ends
on behalf of the pro-war Democratic Party and their Neoliberal
corporate benefactors. Their "action plan" refused
to address any of the core issues of US Foreign and Defense
policy, which are the root causes of a pervading culture of
war and militarism that has taken over the nation in the years
decisions are part of a larger pattern of "regulated resistance",
a system by which dissent is carefully managed and constrained
by self, overt, or covert censorship; denial-based-psychology;
fear of personal or professional criticism and reprisal; and
pressure from powers above including elected officials and those
establishment foundations which flood millions into the not-for-profit
establishment money, and the access it grants, has caused many
ostensible resistance leaders to suddenly and dramatically abandon
long-held ideological positions and shift their behavior towards
doing what can clearly be seen as the bidding of those in power
whose views and values are in direct contravention to the established
mores of peace and justice movements throughout history.
"resistance leaders" of the "Left" act as
figures who use their resources and visibility to regulate the
debate, tactics, and rhetoric of the "anti-war" and
other "progressive" movements.
of the So-Called "Left"
press is the hired agent of a moneyed system, set up for no
other reason than to tell us lies where their interests are
concerned." Henry Adams
shocking investigative report "The Left Gatekeepers",
journalist Bob Feldman researched purportedly "Left"
activist and media organizations that receive substantial funding
from large establishment foundations with known ties to the
CIA, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission,
and even the much-maligned Carlyle Group, the arms dealing "investment
fund" featured in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, of which
GHW Bush, the Saudi royal family, and, at one time, the Bin
Laden family, are all equity partners.
structure is used by these organizations to funnel corporate
and personal wealth into the policy-making process. Foundations
are tax-free, and contributions to foundations are deductible
from federal corporate and individual income taxes. The Foundations
themselves are not subject to federal income taxation, and they
control hundreds of billions of dollars of money that would
normally go to pay these necessary taxes.
asks, "Are the interests of the people being served by
'dissidents' who are being subsidized by the agencies of the
ruling class whom they should be exposing? What does this say
about the motivations behind the Left establishment's ideological
warfare against conspiracy researchers, and their adoption of
an increasingly watered-down analytical view which fails to
look closely at the inner power structures and conspiracies
of the ruling elite?"
of these "dissidents" Feldman describes are members
of the UFPJ Steering Committee, and he specifically cites prominent
peace activist Medea Benjamin, and Leslie Cagan, the renowned
anti-nuke activist who is now UFPJ's National Director.
Influence and a Profound Conflict of Interest
Benjamin and Kevin Danaher co-founded the international human
rights organization Global Exchange 17 years ago. In that time
they have been consistently clear and outspoken with their views
on war and Neoliberalismmore commonly known as corporate
globalization. Because of their combined intellectual acuity
and renowned fearlessness, Benjamin's media savvy, and the access
they have been granted through some of their more prominent
benefactors such as the MacArthur Foundation and billionaire
financier George Soros, they have come to command a high level
of visibility in progressive politics.
has fast made a name for herself as a leading figure in the
"anti-war movement" with well-publicized media stunts
at the Republican and Democratic Conventions, disruptions of
FCC and Congressional hearings, and frequent trips to the Middle
East to showcase the suffering of the Iraqi and Afghani people.
She also benefits from her proximity to well-known "progressive"
leaders, celebrities, and journalists. Alongside her Code Pink
Women for Peace, and Danaher's Green Festivals, Global Exchange
has come to command a significant market share in the larger
peace and justice community, reaping enormous "street cred"
within the activist world.
also wields a disproportionate amount of weight within the Green
Party of the United States, having run for Senator of California
on their ticket in 2000, and within the anti-war umbrella group
United for Peace and Justice, where she sits on their Steering
Committee and is arguably their most influential member. As
testament, Benjamin and her Global Exchange/Code Pink cadre
were the authors of three of the five proposals passed by UFPJ
at the February Assembly.
the 2004 Presidential campaign, Benjamin's message and tone
began to shift dramatically into what came to be known as the
"ABB" movementAnybody But Bush. She and eighty
fellow prominent leaders who once formed the one hundred-thirteen
member "Nader 2000 Citizens Committee" put forth a
petition urging anti-war Nader not to run, and instead threw
their support behind pro-war Democratic Party candidate John
Kerry. At the Green Party National Convention in Milwaukee last
June Benjamin campaigned heavily for "safe-state"
candidate David Cobb, who was also unabashedly ABB and even
initially pledged not to run in swing states, though he now
denies it. Benjamin cajoled Greens into neither nominating Nader
nor giving him the official endorsement he and running mate
Peter Camejo had publicly sought from the party.
and con arguments of ABB have been argued exhaustively, and
many do not find the issue relevant any longer. But they are
relevant when considering just how UFPJ became ABB and has since
found itself embroiled in partisan politics working to attack
exclusively the Bush Administration and their competing Neoconservative
movement, despite the fact that American war policy is a bipartisan
Cagan's Pacifica Foundation is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation,
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (which was recently
taken over by what has been described as a "Right Wing
coup"), the Rockefeller-funded Working Assets group, and
the ubiquitous George Soros. Like PBS, the Pacifica Network
recently went through a takeover drama where a cabal of Board
members attempted to sell the station off to center-mainstream
corporate interests. Cagan is also reportedly connected to the
right-wing Ford Foundation, which funnels money to her through
a Lesbian advocacy group known as Astraea.
Action, which describes itself as "the nation's largest
grassroots peace group" that "gets results,"
is funded in part by a Working Assets grant. Both Peace Action
and Working Assets gave UFPJ a combined total of $45,000 for
their 2003 operating budget (the last year UFPJ published their
financial statements, something they are required by law to
do annually). UFPJ also received a $151,000 grant from the Funding
Exchange, a network of social justice foundations throughout
the United States that gives money to progressive organizations.
outrages many of those within the activist community who are
aware of these funding sources is that these so-called "dissidents"
would consent to take money from these foundations given the
long and voluminous history they have as part of the war-making
book Trading with the Enemy, Charles Hingham documents how both
the Rockefeller and Ford fortunes were enhanced in part through
collaboration with Nazi Germany, the Rockefellers by selling
the Nazis oil through the Standard Oil Company, and the Fords
by selling the Nazis tanks through subsidiary corporations (note:
the only industrial infrastructure spared in the Allied bombing
of Germany was the Ford Motors plant near Cologne). Both Standard
Oil (eventually Amoco) and the Ford Motor Co. made huge profits
from Defense contracts following WWII. Since 1950 a Rockefeller
has held a prominent leadership position in the Council on Foreign
Relations, and David Rockefeller was cofounder of the Trilateral
Commission. Both organizations helped craft the "Carter
Doctrine" of the late 1970s which stated that the US would
heretofore intervene militarily to protect its oil supply from
the Middle East.
on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been the historical driving force
behind such bedrock institutions of corporate globalization
as the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund,
Word Trade Organization, and NATO, and which Esquire magazine
referred to in 1962 as "that part of the Establishment
that guides our destiny as a nation." In 1950, the Chicago
Tribune published a story on the CFR in which they stated, "[the
members] have used the prestige that their wealth, their social
position, and their education have given them to lead their
country towards bankruptcy and military debacle. They should
look at their hands. There is blood on themthe dried blood
of the last war and the fresh blood of the present one."
George Soros, who refers to himself as a "progressive philanthropist",
has since 1995 been part of the arms-dealing Carlyle Group,
in which he has invested a reported $100 Million, and has substantial
stock holdings in weapons manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed-Martin.
He is a member and former Director of the CFR, and is a member
of the enigmatic Bilderberg Group, a collection of approximately
1300 of the world's richest and most powerful figures in business,
banking, media, military, and government, who meet once a year
in extreme secrecy and under almost unfathomable security, and
whose official purpose and actions remain a mystery, spurring
a deluge of wide-ranging speculation.
American contingent of Bilderberg is a bipartisan cavalcade
that includes Paul Wolfowitz, David Rockefeller, Colin Powell,
Henry Kissinger, Vernon Jordan, Melinda Gates, Bill Clinton,
and Alan Greenspan. It is long argued and well documented that
the mission of this organization, working in conjunction with
the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission,
is to manipulate world governments and economies to promote
a global, capitalist agenda commonly referred to as the "New
World Order". These supranational bodies seek to dismantle
national sovereignty (through mechanisms such as "Free
Trade" agreements) in favor of a one-world government which
primarily upholds the rights of corporations and the wealthy
over the people.
connection begs the question: How much influence does Soros
and his ilk have over Benjamin et al, and, by proxy, the "anti-war
movement"? Is this relationship the reason Benjamin has
dropped the anti-Globalization rhetoric and instead become immersed
in partisan wrangling over the Bush Administration and the war
in Iraq? Is this the reason she has adopted a "blowback"
stance with regards to 9/11 and the resultant "War on Terror"?
At the UFPJ Assembly, Benjamin abstained from voting on the
9/11 Truth proposal, and afterwards explained her abstention
by claiming she was "afraid a vote for the proposal would
mean that UFPJ would have to work with certain 'difficult people'
involved in the 9/11 Truth movement."
unfortunate Benjamin cannot bring herself to work with "difficult"
people (even though it is doubtful she is even aware of just
who is and is not a recognized credible member of 9/11 Truth).
Because of the nature of 9/11 research, it sadly finds itself
constantly infiltrated by the proverbial kook and various degrees
of disinformation, but Benjamin and UFPJ have taken an all-inclusive,
monolithic view of this very complex and diverse movement. It
is even more unfortunate, and some might argue tragic, that
personal foibles take priority over justice for the families
of 3,000 people killed on that fateful day in September, and
the hundreds of thousands killed in the name of the "War
on Terror" as some form of retribution for 9/11. Unless,
of course, it was not a personal foible that influenced her
decision to abstain, but something more direct, such as a mandate
from her funders, the threat of some form of professional backlash
or reprisal, or simple peer disapproval.
the greatest insult to injury is that she is now raising money
for the (somewhat oxymoronic) Progressive Democrats of America.
As Ralph Nader's running mate Peter Camejo wrote in an open
letter to the Green Party, "In the fund appeal for the
PDA [Benjamin] says the PDA is not the Democratic Party. It
is like saying the Panama Canal is not Panama."
Obligations and Inexcusable Denials of the "Left"
a clear portrait of how "regulated resistance" works
within the "Left" or "progressive" media,
consider their steadfast refusal to report on or organize around
two of the most important incidents in modern American history
as pertains to our present situationpossible US government
involvement in 9/11, and the relationship between the Bush family
and the Nazi regime in Germany.
of Omission and Distortion: 9/11, and the Rubber Stamp
throughout this article, the first and perhaps greatest failure
of the "anti-war movement" is the shameful irresponsibility
the "Left" has shown by their refusal to challenge
the "official" story behind 9/11.
the rank and file didn't buy into the hypenor were many
convinced by the gatekeepers' offhand, passionless calls for
an official investigation. Interest in alternative 9/11 reporting
continued to grow, and by the time that members of 9/11 victim's
families began publicly demanding an end to the government cover-up
and even mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times
were admitting that the lack of an independent investigatory
commission was "extraordinary," the Left media gatekeepers
backed down and adopted a new tactic of silent stonewalling
and tacit support for the official story.
widespread and well-documented critiques that even "War
on Terror" apologists acknowledge, the corporate media
has never once challenged the "official" story. Instead,
they gleefully lapped up the Osama theory fed to it by the Bush
Administration while the fires at Ground Zero were still burning,
and in the 18 months between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq settled
comfortably into its role as "Bush handmaiden and peace
absence of any challenge to this story from the "anti-war
movement" is frankly disturbing on a level that supersedes
even the craven behavior of the corporate media. Although the
"Left" has no compunction attacking Bush and his Neoconservative
cabal, it consistently fails to see how the ongoing bipartisan
validation of the "official" story is the license
the US Government takes to continue their imperial ambitions
through the chimera known as the "War on Terror",
and by proxy, the corporate neocolonialism occurring across
Truth movement got a fledgling chance to make its case to the
"Left" on May 26th, 2004, when, Amy Goodman, host
of the flagship Progressive news source Democracy NOW!, agreed
to host prominent theologian David Ray Griffin, author of The
New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration
and 9/11. Her decision followed a long and relentless "Waking
Amy" campaign organized by Emanuel Sferios of the 9/11
at the last minute, Goodman abruptly and without explanation
changed the format of the show from an interview to a "debate,"
and brought in long-time "anti-conspiracist" Chip
Berlet. Berlet is not an expert on 9/11 research, and his group,
Political Research Associates, is an alleged "Left"
organization that is funded in part by the Ford Foundation.
(It is interesting to note that "Chip" Berlet's full
name is John Foster Berlet. He was named after John Foster Dulles
who, with his brother Allen, designed the CIA for Harry Truman
in 1947, and played a prominent role in smuggling Nazis into
America to help build the post-WWII American "Defense"
and Intelligence apparatus).
their being a virtual laundry list of inconsistencies to the
"official" story, and documented proof of government
cover-up activity, the final product, "The New Pearl Harbor:
A Debate On A New Book That Alleges The Bush Administration
Was Behind The 9/11 Attacks," focused almost exclusively
on a handful of weak speculations made by French researcher
Thierry Meyssan, not Griffin, about aspects of the Pentagon
strike. This well-worn tactic known as the "straw man argument"
is used by detractors to attack and undermine the weakest part
of an alternative theory in order to dismiss it and alienate
the public from the larger issue. If a journalist with otherwise
flawless research happens to have one bad assertion, the 90
per cent he or she got right is generally ignored in favor of
attaching the person to their one misstep. This tactic presupposes
in a "deductive" argument that the theory is only
as strong as the weakest link. Berlet tried to discredit Griffin
by associating him with Meyssan, even though Griffin stated
clearly on the show that his book merely compiled information
from other researchers in order to raise questions that made
a solid case that the "official" was simply implausible.
choosing to focus on the most difficult theories to believeregardless
of their potential meritGoodman and Berlet completely
missed the point. Griffin stated quite clearly on the program:
"There are all sorts of possible theories as to what happened.
You don't have to come up with an alternative theory to show
that the 'official' theory is very problematic."
countered by saying, "It's not good to believe in conspiracies
that cannot be proven by available evidence." But this
principle does not take into account the prevalent role of cover-ups
in these types of operations (such as this one being perpetrated
by the US Government), which prevents potentially enlightening
evidence from ever being examined. Some more notable examples
include the total failure of air defenses and the role of hijack-based
"war games" exercises taking place that morning, the
admitted controlled-demolition of Building 7 which had to have
been pre-wired, all the steel from the Twin Towers which was
immediately shipped to China without being studied, all the
video footage of the Pentagon strike which was promptly seized
by the FBI (even though disclosure would have put an end to
all the wild "no plane, missile strike" theories of
Meyssan and others), and the notes from the now infamous closed-door
Bush/Cheney "visit" with the 9/11 Commission, which
were promptly confiscated.
approach to discrediting "conspiracy theory" reinforces
what can be called the "disbelief" factor, as in "I
just can't believe that the Bush Administration/US Government/Americans/people
would do such a thing!" Although this knee-jerk emotional
response is understandable and easily explainable within the
context of human psychology, it does not amount to a logical
defense of the "official" story. In the absence of
any substantive debate, another psychological factor operated
alongside the "disbelief" factor: As Griffin states,
"the Bush administration created a halo over 9/11, so it
became not only unpatriotic, but almost sacrilegious to raise
any questions." The "anti-war movement" and "Left"
media, ostensibly dissident by nature and thus obliged to question,
instead pulled right into lockstep with the government and corporate
media, rubber-stamping the "official" version of events.
did end up writing a lengthy response to Berlet's misleading
critique, but the damage had already been done. Goodman never
really inquired beyond the "straw man" arguments Berlet
kept pounding, and no other "Left" media outlet with
the audience of Democracy NOW! has touched the story since.
important to note that Democracy NOW! was awarded a $75,000
Ford Foundation grant in 2002 "to continue incorporating
the aftermath of the September 11th attack into future broadcasts,"
and received a further $150,000 from Ford in 2004.
Sferios says the Ford Foundation does not have to explicitly
tell Democracy NOW! how they want 9/11 to be covered. He explains
that "Democracy NOW! will simply self-censor, because they
want future money from the Ford Foundation. It's also important
to note that Amy Goodman coined a new, pejorative phrase to
dismiss the 9/11 Truth Movement. She is the first in history,
as far as I know, to refer to us as a "conspiracy theory
glaring irony in all of this is that it was Goodman herself
who uttered these words:
think the media has reached an all-time low in this country.
And that is a terrible violation of what our profession is supposed
to do. We are supposed to hold those in power accountable. We're
not supposed to cozy up to those in power, not supposed get
the perks of the powerful. We are supposed to be there to, if
not keep the politicians honest, show what's going on. And it
is very serious now because we're talking about wartime... And
when the media acts as a conveyer belt for the lies of the administration,
we not only are violating our responsibility, but those lies
these sins of omission regarding 9/11 is the "Left's"
refusal to address any of the voluminous evidence uncovered
by controversial journalist Michael Ruppert in his book Crossing
the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of
the Age of Oil.
investigation, the most thorough of any effort thus far including
the Kean Commission, has been publicly attacked more than any
other independent effort, which for many is a testament to its
seemed like a coordinated effort, David Corn and Norman Solomon,
purported "Left" journalists, through The Nation and
Pacifica Radio, repeatedly pilloried Ruppert for almost two
years before his book was releasedwithout once addressing
the evidence presented. The sum total of their response to Rubicon
was to engage in a series of ad hominem attacks portraying Ruppert
as mentally unstable. Although Ruppert is an impassioned, domineering,
even frequently alienating character with a classic type-A personality
(perhaps he could be described as "difficult"?) who
has very little patience for those who question his work, he
is anything but insane, and his personality is not all that
different from many of the personalities we have been discussing.
What is never taken into consideration when discussing his "psychology",
however, is that Ruppert has a lot of reason to be sensitive
about the issue of government corruption and malfeasance. Multiple
attempts have been made on his life for trying to expose CIA
and LAPD complicity in the South Central crack-cocaine trade.
Anyone familiar with the history of disinformation tactics will
recognize the Corn/Solomon attacks as a tried and true method
of discrediting not only an author or researcher, but an entire
line of investigation.
be noted that the MacArthur-funded Nation, for which Corn is
a staff writer, has ties back to the CIA and its former director
William Casey, and the Manhattan Institute, and Chief Editor
Katrina vanden Heuval's father was involved in "Operation
Mockingbird", a CIA project originating in the early days
of the Cold War to buy influence behind the scenes at major
media outlets and put reporters on the CIA payroll. Solomon
is the Director of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington
and is the ostensible head of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In
Reporting), funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations,
Working Assets group, and the Shumann Foundation.
That Would Outrage AnyoneBut No One Knows About
has also consistently refused, on any level, to report or act
on the established connection between the Bush Family and the
Nazi Party during the 1930's, 40's, and early 50's.
Buchanan, the charismatic, relentless independent journalist
from Miami wrote about his inability to get any mainstream media
source to pick up his New Hampshire Gazette story, "BushNazi
Dealings Continued Until 1951" in his 2004 book, Fixing
America: Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media,
and the Religious Right.
though Buchanan's reporting was based on facts that came directly
from declassified official documents currently in the National
Archives, not one single mainstream news source agreed to even
look at the government documents, which chronicled the long
history of collaboration between Bush's grandfathers Prescott
Bush and George Herbert Walker, Prescott Bush's employer A.
Averell Harriman of Brown Brothers Harriman, and Nazi industrialist
and financier Fritz Thyssen. Between 1942 and 1951, under the
"Trading with the Enemy Act," the US Government seized
33 Bush-Harriman-Nazi businesses and client assets. But instead
of facing a firing squad for treason during war time, Prescott
Bush pocketed $1.5 Million from the liquidation of the first
and largest of the 33 businesses, the Union Banking Corporation,
principle investor in the Silesian-American Corporation which
used slave-labor from the Auschwitz concentration camp for mining
in Poland. None of the principles in the deal were ever brought
story should have resurfaced every time one of the Bush men
ran for or was appointed to public office. Instead, it was spun
relentlessly, and eventually buried. Only The Guardian of London
eventually picked up on this story in one subsequent article
nearly a year later titled, "How Bush's grandfather helped
Hitler's rise to power".
goes on to say:
more troubling, and certainly more surprising, not even left-leaning
media, 'alternative media' outlets, or media watchdog groups
would touch the story. The Bush-bashing editor of the Nation,
Katrina vanden Heuvel, and her assistant Peggy Suttles, both
declined to pursue the story... Don Hazen, a founder of alt-media
online syndicate, Alternet, also refused to report the story...
Norman Solomon, a regular op-ed contributor to The New York
Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Washington
Post, initially agreed to help get the story out "to the
world" until he discovered that his four bread-and-butter
newspapers had all turned down the documents... Later, even
the Center for American Progress, a George Soros-funded liberal
think tank in Washingtonheaded by former Clinton Chief
of Staff John Podestawould refuse to acknowledge or help
expose the Bush-Nazi connection."
note: Alternet also refused to consider this article for publication).
history tends to ignore it, the United States' rise to global
dominance was largely made possible by former Nazis who were
smuggled into the country during and after the war to work in
secret weapons labs, and lay the foundation for what would become
the controlled mass-media. Nazi scientists invented the technology
for the jet engine, the ballistic missile, the nuclear bomb,
and other classified weapons and surveillance technologies that
both the Americans and the Soviets appropriated for use in the
parent companies of the Left Gatekeeper foundations became part
of what Dwight D. Eisenhower coined in his farewell address
the "Military-Industrial Complex," which since the
end of WWII has expropriated an estimated $15 Trillion in American
taxpayer money for "Defense" spending. That, as author
Joel Andreas notes, "is more than the amount of money spent
on all the existing man-made wealth of the US: that is every
building, highway, park, factory, car, and what have you."
The Death of Authentic Resistance
Novick of the Anti-Racist Action network has been around a long
time, and has a list of bona fides pages long. He has seen many
an organization come and go, and he believes that the 501(c)3/NGO/not-for-profit
corporate model has been the death of popular movements and
organizations vacuumed up the flotsam and jetsam of the resistance
movements of the 60s and 70s, gave them paid staff positions,
and neutered them. This was true long before the emergence of
the current round of the 'anti-war movement'. It happened to
the women's movement and the Black and Chicano liberation struggles
as far back as the 70s. In the late 80s, most of the anti-racist
projects that sprung up to deal with the first wave of Neo-Nazism
went the board and staff, grant-writing model, with the result
that they lost both their militancy and their anti-establishment
spark, making them politically irrelevant. Most went out of
business as other vogues took precedence with funders."
is no doubt that this madness must stop, and yet, where is the
"anti-war movement" here when we need them most? Not
reading this article, for sure, even though it was written for
those who would attack just-cause critics of the "anti-war
movement", those who lament that they have no other funding
options and who can bring themselves to rationalize taking blood
money, those who put their own names and careers ahead of the
people they purportedly representand for all those who
recognize this hypocrisy and want something more, something
better. Though it is difficult and may require sacrifice and
even dismantling this corrupted system, we must look at how
our movements come to dance with the devil, and turn into the
very things that we once so despised.
1 - Is it possible to change the system when you are the system?