Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Conspiracy Theory 101

Conspiracy theories abound. Personally, I hate them. I shy away from anyone who promotes one. The problem with conspiracy kooks is they always lack evidence. Sure, there are books on the various theories, reporters and academics spewing a screed to con the feeble-minded into buying their books. "But, comes a doubter, and the entrails aren’t right, the stars aren’t aligned, and we don’t do tests...," nor do ‘we’ provide much proof either. It seems only those who know the secret handshake are ‘in the know’ and everyone else is hoodwinked or blindly worshiping. I am especially skeptical of the ‘real, hidden, true story’ schtick. Like most people, I find that evidence works so much better than supposition and facts are more credible than innuendo. That there is an anti-capitalist movement, quite content to be mis-identified as anti-Bush, is not a theory. It is demonstrable with evidence and fact. When you cut through the rhetorical and theatrical static, they stand out. When exposed, they thrash about and scream like vampires staked out in sunlight.

The Bush haters, or more accurately, the anti-capitalists, operate on two levels. On the surface is the lie and the ‘bigger’ the lie the better. The lie is the way to reel in the gullible, to snag the loons to hold the placards. The popular movement usually overshadows the agenda; be it save the whales, protect the earth, anti-nukes, or anti-war. The real agenda appears as a side-line, among the links on the web-site, listed as a partner in the coalition. The ‘real deal’ is what they don’t want you to see. Most of the people in a given movement are simple folk who’ve been bamboozled with catchy slogans that tug on the heart strings. The leaders, the lieutenants giving the marching orders, the aparatcheks goading the faithful, and the party bosses on the street corners beating the drums are the ones who obfuscate. They don’t dare to identify the true agenda, or risk sending their ‘supporters’ running for the tall grass.

The current anti-war movement provides an excellent object lesson. In the early 1980s Medea Benjamin was an Institute for Food and Development Policy (IFDP) project coordinator. In 1988, she founded Global Exchange, ostensibly an international human rights organization. Benjamin assisted Leslie Cagan to create United for Peace and Justice (UPJ) in October 2002 and, in November 2003, helped Nermin Al-Mufti form the Baghdad-based International Occupation Watch Center (IOWC). Benjamin and Cagan coordinated with Jodie Evans to form Code Pink. So what? Just a bunch of nice ladies who care enough to spend their money trying to save lives. They’d like you to think so.

IFDP, while sounding humanitarian, was actively supporting the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and Medea Benjamin’s work for it was to provide aid to the enemy of the United States. Benjamin is a committed anti-capitalist. Extolling the social justice of Cuba, which she has visited often, Benjamin said it was like she’d "died and went to heaven." She works closely with the communist Workers World Party which is committed to "fight against capitalism." Benjamin has been very vocal recently, saying things like: "the Muslim world sees the United States as willing to bomb but not willing to feed people," and notes her coalitions are "determined to stop the US from unilaterally dictating to other people...who their leaders should be," and states her group’s goal is "[to build] a world that rejects ethnic and religious divisions, celebrates diversity...[and] focuses on building a global community." What Medea Benjamin never, ever, says is that America donates more food and money around the world than any other nation; that Americans have fought and died in greater numbers than any other nation to free others from dictators; and that her idea of "heaven," communist Cuba, is the anti-thesis of her stated goals. In fact, Benjamin’s idea of a global community would "reject ethnic and religious divisions" by denying religion. To achieve her agenda, Benjamin has to lie about who she is, what she stands for, and what her goals truly are.

Leslie Cagan was coordinator of the National Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Central America and what she coordinated were anti-US marches in support of - you guessed it - Manuel Ortega’s Sandinistas. She also is a devotee of Fidel Castro. She was director of the Cuba Information Project for 7 years and spent two months in Cuba between 1969-70, "Just ten years into their revolution, the Cubans had taken control of their history...and there we were in Cuba, a whole nation under attack from the US." My father, who had escaped from Cuba saw it somewhat differently. Cagan organized the 1982 Central Park (NYC) anti-nuke rally. Cagan opposed the use of force to remove Saddam from Kuwait with the National Campaign for Peace in the Middle East. She was a member-in-good-standing in the Communist Party USA when it split in 1991 and she co-founded the Committee of Correspondence to continue her support for Gorbachev. In October 2002, Cagan founded United for Peace and Justice (the parent of Springfield Peace and Justice). Where was her concern for Peace and Justice for the Kuwatis, or for the non-communist Cubans and Nicuraguans, or is it only loyal comrades who deserve Peace and Justice?

Benjamin and Cagan helped Jodie Evans create Code Pink. Evans shares their world view. She is a director for Rain Forest Action Network (RAN), which was co-founded by Mike Roselle of ELF/ALF fame. Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) top the FBI Domestic Terrorist list.. RAN, ELF, and ALF are vehemently anti-capitalist. ELF/ALF activists go to Steve Kretzmann for training with his Ruckus Society. Kretzmann is also Code Pink coordinator and his Ruckus Society is a member of the UPJ coalition. Kirsten Moller was in IFDP with Benjamin and is now Global Exchange’s executive director, as well as an organizer for Code Pink. The public face of Code Pink is Sand Brim, their go-to-gal for news media interviews, but in the 80s, she was the executive director of Medical Aid. Brim used Medical Aid as a cover to provide a neurosurgeon to treat Nidia Diaz, Ortega’s Marxist Revolutionary Party Commander. Diaz liked to brag about the four US Marines and nine civilians her group recently killed.

That brings us to Nermin Al-Mufti, a co-director of IOWC, which purports to be "an international coalition of peace and justice groups" ideally headquartered in Baghdad, and with direct ties to Global Exchange, Code Pink, and a coalition member of UPJ. Al-Mufti has been identified by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan as a Ba’athist mouthpiece for Saddam Hussein who worked for the regime-run newspapers and magazines; Al-Thawra, Al-Qadisaya, and ALIFBA. Today, Al-Mufti earns a decent living touring American universities saying things like "How can you let your children fight Bush’s war? Please explain to me why this is happening? Why is Bush destroying cultural centers, houses, hospitals and museums? We do not understand this war. What does Bush want? Petrol?" and "They looted and burned all the universities, the hospitals. I used to cry...[It’s a] scheme to make the Iraqis lose their identity." Al-Mufti states that the IOWC exists to provide Iraqis an advocate against abuses "under [US] occupation, including the activities of international corporations and advocate for the Iraqi’s right to control their own resources, especially oil." Al-Mufti never reported that Saddam used oil-for-food contracts to bribe international corporations and ministers. The ‘oil-for-food’ money meant to feed starving Iraqis but used for Saddam’s palaces and military never appeared in her reports. She was unfazed by the insurgents use of schools, homes, hospitals, museums and mosques for weapons depots. She has denied the thousands of rapes in the well-known rape-rooms. She inflates the civilian casualties, but was silent about Saddam’s mass graves and his maiming or murder of dissenters. According to Al-Mufti, Saddam was a benevolent, kindly man who loved his people and provided well for them. Most Iraqis disagree.

All of the organizations and people mentioned are vehemently anti-corporate and anti-capitalist, and all have direct ties to the Marxist-Leninist, Socialist, or Communist parties. Their overarching thesis is that corporations are a threat to democracy and individuals rights. Their strategy is to redistribute wealth by increasing minimum wages, opposing trade, and legislating the growth of corporations. The means to accomplish this include assaulting big business, forcing white-collar layoffs, promoting ‘green’-energy while opposing nuclear energy, protesting the building new electrical power plants and oil refineries, blocking the opening of domestic oil fields, multiculturalism and segregation by oversensitive ethnic diversity, lowering the standard of education, rampant unrestrained welfare, deconstructing the stock market, the inflationary ballooning of minimum-wage, and incurring profit loss for businesses. In short, the dissolution of the American way of life brought to you courtesy of Social Justice.

In an interview with The Sunday Oregonian, Medea Benjamin noted that the timetable for "the movement" was a gradual shift of 20 years or more, which, despite the economic collapse, would bring forth a "healthier, more stable economy." Bush supporters believe in the same things he does: a strong America, a strong economy, personal ownership of property and the means to create wealth - that’s not worship, it’s common ground. The anti-capitalists hide their true agenda in anti-Bush sloganeering, defrauding their followers by political sleight of hand in much the same way that Lenin did to the Russian people who believed his promise of a better life. One encyclopedia describes communism as the antithesis of capitalism, achieved by the violent overthrow of society. Socialism, it said, accomplishes the same goal peacefully and incrementally over time. We know from history that neither communism nor socialism work; if they did, the activists would be emigrating to such countries. In those misbegotten systems the wealth is not shared equally, it is held by the party leaders. It is instructive to observe that Benjamin et al have made nice fortunes that are well-insulated from the global collapse they are trying to foster. If that’s not the typical Leftist "I’ve got mine, but you can’t have yours," I don’t know what is.

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