Sunday, May 23, 2010

The True Terrorists: How WHM's Economic Corruption is a key component of Corporate Racist Atrocious Patriarchy (CRAP)

[image of book cover is from here, where you can find his other books]


This post contains some biographical information and a recent piece of writing from John Perkins, corporate insider and whistle-blower about U.S. economic terrorism, genocide, and ecocide. All of it is atrocity and terrorism. All of it. And the damage to human beings and the Earth, including the U.S. citizens and "our" land, is far worse, more lethal, more destructive, than anything the entire Taliban could possibly do to this country. Why, then, isn't the U.S. government interested in stopping--STOPPING, ENDING--this horror and terrorism? Because it's being committed primarily by U.S. white, homophobic, publicly heterosexual, Christian men, that's why. Because our country must do this to make the richest white men happy (richer). So scapegoating the Taliban (let alone Mexican "illegal aliens") as "our primary enemy" is a despicable, cowardly, grievously dishonest and diversionary tactic, make no mistake about it. Because they've done NOTHING in comparison to what WE do to ourselves... if we're going to be so callous as to ignore the horrors we visit upon other parts of the world. 

Mexicans coming to this country work harder than most U.S. white Americans with none of the job or home security, so let's have the media and government cross that group off the list of people to be irrationally, racistly, misogynistically concerned about harassing, raping, and otherwise terrorising. And, to even pretend we're pro-democracy, we might stop covertly and overtly trying to control other nations' struggles for democracy and autonomy from us!
The terrible events of that day [11 September 2001] convinced John to drop the veil of secrecy around his life as an EHM, to ignore the threats and bribes, and to write Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He believed he had a responsibility to share his insider knowledge about the role the U.S. government, multinational “aid” organizations, and corporations have played in bringing the world to a place where such an event could occur. He wanted to expose the fact that EHM are more ubiquitous today than ever before. He felt he owed this to his country, to his daughter, to all the people around the world who suffer because of the work he and his peers have done, and to himself. In this book, he describes the dangerous path his country is taking as it moves away from the original ideals of the American republic and into a quest for global empire. [source: below]
"Fake Accounting, Greed and Oil"
While countries around the world continue to watch their economies collapse, and Goldman-Sachs leaders testify to Congress about how they manipulated both their shareholders and the American public, we are also faced with a tragic oil spill on our most fragile coastlines.

The sad truth is that oil, greed and fake accounting work hand in hand to empower those who have -- and significantly disempower those who do not.

In my book, HOODWINKED I talk about the 30,000 Ecuadorians who filed a lawsuit against Texaco (since purchased by Chevron). (See this link - http://tinyurl.com/34ovl2r ). The company destroyed vast sections of rain forest and the toxic wastes from its operations allegedly killed many people and made many more chronically sick.

It is often the indigenous people who are the ultimate losers in the greed wars. How can they with so little to start with take a stand against a huge oil company? Despite the challenges they faced, the Ecuadorians did do this and continue to battle.

Trudie Styler who visited the devastated Ecuadorian site and joined me at a public talk in Quito several years ago hosted a concert at Carnegie Hall on May 13, 2010. It featured her husband Sting, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, and Debbie Harry and was a fundraiser for the Rainforest Fund, founded by Trudie and Sting in 1989. Afterwards Trudie expressed to me feelings similar to those she often says publicly: "

You know (Trudie said) I love beaches and coastal environments. I love the ocean. I'm appalled by the terrible scenes of devastation that etched themselves forever into our consciousness after the Exxon Valdez disaster and now are haunting us once again along the Gulf Coast. I am dismayed by the continuing destruction of our delicate ecosystems -- of birds, fish, animals, and plants. This is absolutely unacceptable. We MUST protect or coastlines from such tragedies.

"However, I have also flown over thousands of miles of rain forests that have been destroyed by oil. I have been with mothers sitting at the bedsides of their children, as they lie in terrible agony, innocent victims of the most horrible deaths imaginable -- because oil drilling poisoned their water and their food sources. I have stood beside once-pristine lakes now turned into black tar. "So, I feel compelled to ask everyone to take into account the entire planet as we mourn for the Gulf Coast and seek ways to protect our beaches. Let us avoid the temptation to say "not in my back yard; take the pollution someplace else." Let us rather commit to freeing ourselves from the oil addiction that ultimately will destroy all of us."

Steve Donziger, a New York lawyer who has devoted more than a decade to the case, repeats every chance he gets, "And most of the consumers in the United States have no idea. They are oblivious to the true price of the oil they consume. And Big Oil wants to keep it that way."
These statements express a sad truth about so much of what is going on in the world today and the inadequacy of our accounting procedures to assign the true costs to products. Oil is a classic example of how those who sit on resources are inadequately compensated while those who consume them are charged prices that do not begin to cover the actual costs. In light of last week's oil spill, it seems we are seeing the same thing happen again with BP and the countless millions the oil spill will affect horribly for a decade.

Many costs are never taken into account when determining the price of the goods and services we consume. They are all too often considered "externalities." Those externalities include the social and environmental costs of the destruction of resources, the pollution, and the burdens on society of workers who become injured or ill and receive little or no health care; the indirect funding of companies that are permitted to market hazardous products, dump wastes into rivers or oceans, and pay employees less than a living wage, just to name a few.

All of these and more contribute to the current global economic crisis. Because so many resources are underpriced, they are wasted casually and depleted unnecessarily. Instead of recycling or using them more efficiently, we continue to drill, mine, extract, and manufacture with reckless abandon.

Is the "Age of Reckless Abandon" really what we want to be most remembered for in generations to come?

[source: here] About John Perkins:


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John Perkins has lived four lives: as an economic hit man (EHM); as the CEO of a successful alternative energy company, who was rewarded for not disclosing his EHM past; as an expert on indigenous cultures and shamanism, a teacher and writer who used this expertise to promote ecology and sustainability while continuing to honor his vow of silence about his life as an EHM; and as a writer who, in telling the real-life story about his extraordinary dealings as an EHM, has exposed the world of international intrigue and corruption that is turning the American republic into a global empire despised by increasing numbers of people around the planet.

As an EHM, Johns job was to convince Third World countries to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development—loans that were much larger than needed—and to guarantee that the development projects were contracted to U.S. corporations like Halliburton and Bechtel. Once these countries were saddled with huge debts, the U.S. government and the international aid agencies allied with it were able to control these economies and to ensure that oil and other resources were channeled to serve the interests of building a global empire.

In his EHM capacity, John traveled all over the world—to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East—and was either a direct participant in or witness to some of the most dramatic events in modern history, including the Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair, the fall of the Shah of Iran, the assassination of Panama’s President Omar Torrijos, the subsequent invasion of Panama, and events leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In 1980 Perkins founded Independent Power Systems, Inc (IPS), an alternative energy company. Under his leadership as CEO, IPS became an extremely successful firm in a high-risk business where most of his competitors failed. Many “coincidences” and favors from people in powerful positions helped make IPS an industry leader. John also served as a highly paid consultant to some of the corporations whose pockets he had previously helped to line—taking on this role partly in response to a series of not-so-veiled threats and lucrative payoffs.

After selling IPS in 1990, John became a champion for indigenous rights and environmental movements, working especially closely with Amazon tribes to help them preserve their rain forests. He wrote five books, published in many languages, about indigenous cultures, shamanism, ecology, and sustainability; taught at universities and learning centers on four continents; and founded and served on the board of directors of several leading nonprofit organizations.

One of the nonprofit organizations he founded and chaired, Dream Change Coalition (later simply Dream Change, or DC), became a model for inspiring people to attain their personal goals and, at the same time, to be more conscious of the impacts their lives have on others and on the planet, and for empowering them to transform their communities into more balanced and sustainable ones. DC has developed a following around the world and has empowered people to create organizations with similar missions in many countries.

During the 1990s and into the new millennium, John honored his vow of silence about his EHM life and continued to receive lucrative corporate consulting fees. He assuaged his guilt by applying much of the money he earned as a consultant to his nonprofit work. Arts & Entertainment television featured him in a special titled “Headhunters of the Amazon,” narrated by Leonard Nimoy. Italian Cosmopolitan ran a major article on his “Shapeshifting” workshops in Europe. TIME magazine selected Dream Change as one of the thirteen organizations in the world whose Web sites best reflected the ideals and goals of Earth Day.

Then came September 11, 2001. The terrible events of that day convinced John to drop the veil of secrecy around his life as an EHM, to ignore the threats and bribes, and to write Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He believed he had a responsibility to share his insider knowledge about the role the U.S. government, multinational “aid” organizations, and corporations have played in bringing the world to a place where such an event could occur. He wanted to expose the fact that EHM are more ubiquitous today than ever before. He felt he owed this to his country, to his daughter, to all the people around the world who suffer because of the work he and his peers have done, and to himself. In this book, he describes the dangerous path his country is taking as it moves away from the original ideals of the American republic and into a quest for global empire.

2 comments:

Johnny said...

I'm glad John Perkins is still with us. We need his story and I'm going to buy his book. Another excellent, hard-hitting post, Julian.

Julian Real said...

Thank you, Johnny.

I don't see why more people won't connect the damned dots.