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The Power Principle - Part III: Apocalypse

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This film contains controversial subject matter. Interview subjects and creators of some source material may not agree with certain views presented. The power principle is a non-profit documentary and has been released online for free. It is essential to release humanity from the false fixations of yesterday, which seem now to bind it to a rationale of action leading only to extinction. - Buckminster Fuller The sooner strong enough forces can be assembled in Europe under united command the more effective will be the deterrent against a third world war. If I may say this, members of the Congress be careful above all things, therefore, not to let go of the atomic weapon until you are sure and more than sure that other means of preserving peace are in your hands. [Applause] Right here is an ironic, but accurate fact: that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the Cold War which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries including this nation's closest allies our two countries bear the heaviest burdens for we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance poverty and disease. The Power Principle III. Apocalypse (Narrator) They called it M.A.D.: Mutually Assured Destruction. If one of the superpowers attacked, their own nation would be annihilated, in turn. Nuclear bombs, the most destructive weapons ever created would actually maintain the peace. Yet at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, it was not a level playing field. American missiles in Turkey were already pointed at the heart of Moscow. For Soviet strategists, this produced a dangerous first strike capability by the enemy. (TV narrator) Now, the Russians were trying to catch up. There was a syndrome to catch up and overtake, to try and show everyone that we weren't far behind the Americans, that we too had nuclear weapons. There were those who said we could only prevent a nuclear war if we opposed world imperialism with a force of similar strength. For the Soviets, the fear of a first strike was not just the product of a paranoid imagination. Introducing Gen. Curtis E. Lemay, Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command Just a short time ago on March 21st, we passed the 10th anniversary of the United States Air force's Strategic Air Command. That date marked a decade of hour by hour preparedness. Ten years of exercising a potent stabilizing force that has been a major factor in preventing the outbreak of global war. (Narrator) Representing the super-hawks at the Pentagon was General Curtis Lemay. A decade earlier, he had drawn up a war plan which involved dropping the entire stockpile of atomic bombs in a single massive attack on the Soviet Union. 133 atomic bombs on 70 cities within 30 days. Lemay was later quoted by the Washington Post to stating: "Every major American city: Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, will be reduced to rubble. Similarly, the principal cities of the Soviet Union will be destroyed." Well before the Cuban missile crisis, Lemay quipped to 'stratojet' crew member Hal Austin of the 91st strategic reconnaissance that: "maybe if we do these over flights right, we can get World War III started." His comment was not meant in jest. According to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara: "Lemay was absolutely certain that the U.S. was going to have to fight a nuclear war with the Soviet Union and that we should fight it sooner rather than later." Our own policy toward them has been one strictly of watchful non-intrusive friendship. Giving help was help was asked for, but otherwise keeping hands off their internal affairs. It was the United States that provoked the Soviet Union. The strategic air command was flying strategic bombers over the North Pole deep into the Soviet Union when they had no defenses, just to see how far they could get. This is why the Soviets built up missile defenses, etc. They didn't have the money for this, but we pushed them into an arms race. That was our mistake, and the public was completely ignorant of the fact that the U.S. was pushing the Soviet Union into defending itself. (Narrator) Once the arms race began in earnest, the Soviets engaged in their own provocations. In 1961, they broke the ban on nuclear testing by detonating the largest nuclear bomb yet created. We don't want to threaten you, God forbid, but don't fly over the Soviet Union or the Socialist countries. Respect our sovereignty and our borders. If you don't know where your borders are, we'll show you! It's an obvious commie trick Mr. President, we're wasting valuable time! Look at the big board! They're getting ready to clobber us! (Narrator) Stanley Kubrick's outlandish satire 'Doctor Strangelove' portrays events that were frighteningly close to what was actually going on behind the scenes. The character of Jack D. Ripper is widely believed to be a representation of Curtis Lemay, while the Strangelove character, played by Peter Sellers is believed to be an amalgam of leading minds from the Rand Corporation, a think-tank then largely devoted to war gaming and nuclear apocalypse. One of Rand's most notorious strategists was Herman Kahn. He believed that the U.S. atomic arsenal was a wasting resource. So long as the Soviet Union continued to build its own arsenal, America's would decrease in value. For Kahn, nuclear weapons were like a precious commodity in danger of depreciation on the global marketplace. Though Kahn did not advocate a first strike, he believed that a nuclear war was winnable and that the United States should develop a credible first strike capability. The Rockefeller Foundation gave him a million dollar grant. - Just because you go to war, that itself may be an irrational act or may not. But even if you irrationally decide to go to war, it doesn't mean you have to fight in a wildly irrational fashion. - Many people feel that if they survive a nuclear war that things are going to be so awful, life is going to be so destroyed everywhere that they'd actually rather be dead. - That's an almost completely standard reaction, and it's really a reaction to try to prevent thinking about the subject. I make a comment which always gets me into a great deal of criticism; let me make it anyway: objective studies indicate that the post-war environment, while hostile to human life, more hostile than the prewar environment, will not be so hostile as to "preclude normal and happy lives". (Narrator) Having examined the apocalyptic thinking among high level military strategists leading up to the Cuban missile crisis we now turn to Cuba itself. Historian Louis Perez notes that Cuban independence had been anathema to all North American policy makers since Thomas Jefferson. In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson remarked that Spain could rule the island "until our people are sufficiently advanced to take those territories from the Spanish, bit by bit." In 1878, Secretary of State James Blane remarked: "There are only three places that are of value enough to be taken: one is Hawaii, the others are Cuba and Puerto Rico." They took all three, but one successfully revolted. Before the revolution, 75% of Cuba's arable land was owned by foreign individuals or corporations, mostly American. The revolution was not bloodless. Castro's forces executed over 500 people. Yet, the gorillas had the support of the vast majority of Cubans. (N. Chomsky) John F. Kennedy came into office. He had a Latin American study group led by Arthur Schlesinger, a well-known liberal historian. Schlesinger reported back to him the report of the study group with regard to Cuba, which was a main concern, that the threat is "the Castro idea of taking matters into your own hands" which could inspire others in the region who faced problems similar to those of the Cuban poor to take matters into their own hands too, especially if the Castro idea succeeds. Now they'll be more encouraged to do so, and pretty soon the dominoes will fall. That's the threat of a good example. What the imperialists cannot forgive is that we have made a socialist revolution under the very nose of the United States. (Narrator) The danger of a good example, namely one of independence, helps to explain why Cuba has been subjected to literally hundreds of terrorist attacks by the United States since the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship in 1959. There will not be, under any conditions, an intervention in Cuba by the United States Armed Forces. This government will do everything it possibly can, I think it can meet its responsibilities to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba. The United States has committed no aggression against Cuba and no offensive has been launched from Florida or from any other part of the United States. Under the government aegis, we had task forces that were striking at Cuba constantly. We were attempting to blow up power plants. We were attempting to ruin sugar mills. We were attempting to do all kinds of things during this period. This is a matter of American government policy; this wasn't the CIA. (Narrator) The terrorist attacks have included the deployment of biological weapons. (Announcer) Denied the products of our farms and factories, we could not wage war on any front. We can be attacked in spite of our excellent defenses. Attacks may be made in many ways: with bombs, or with biological weapons. This might be one form of biological warfare. Biological warfare? What do they expect me to do about it? It's not my headache. (Announcer) You are wrong. You had better find out the facts about biological warfare or B.W. It can be aimed at you in your home or at work at your food crops, your livestock. (Announcer) Not very far from Edgewood in historic Frederick, Maryland are the biological warfare laboratories. Here, men and women of science are doing basically the same type of work as in other government, university and industrial laboratories: a combination of medical and public health research. While I was at Fort Dietrich, I was able to follow part way through an experiment to determine the effectiveness of an agent. (Narrator) The American government's use of what is sometimes termed 'unconventional warfare' was hinted at in "The good shepherd" directed by Robert De Niro. - I believe that's what you're looking for. - That'll do it. This coffee plantation shows that when our people work together, the result is a more just and productive society. To progress and win economic stability the imperialists that suppress our workers will now be conquered. With the satisfaction of one who believes he has done his duty, with faith in the future, long live the revolution! Long live our beloved country! (Narrator) In the case of Cuba, these attacks have reportedly ranged from the introduction of the Thrips palmi insect plague to African swine virus. According to Newsday, a U.S. intelligence source admitted that he was given the swine virus in a sealed, unmarked container at a U.S. army base and CIA training ground in the Panama Canal zone with instructions to turn it over to the anti-Castro group. The CIA has concocted no less than 600 schemes to kill Castro. Plots have ranged from poisoned cigars to bacterial poisons to be placed in Castro's handkerchief to exploding mollusks painted in bright colors designed to lure a scuba diving Castro to an underwater grave. It took some time before Cuba elected to create a deterrent in the form of potential nuclear war. Initially, Castro followed the procedures required by international law calling on the UN for help in July 1960. He provided the security council with records of more than 20 bombings including the names of pilots, plane registration numbers and other specific evidence. No help was forthcoming. Instead, the U.S. responded with the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, laying the groundwork for one of the most dangerous moments in human history. (Castro) The privileged, the parasites and the sons of parasites want to hoist the [shameful flag of crime]... (Castro) I thought if we expected the Soviets to fight on our behalf to run risks for us and even involve themselves in a war for our sake, it would be immoral and cowardly on our part to refuse to accept the presence of those missiles here. (Narrator) The standoff came to a head in a little known incident when commanders of a Soviet submarine positioned near Cuba believed they were under attack. A group of United States Navy destroyers began dropping practice depth charges on the submarine in order to force it to the surface. This is a special report from CBS news. At its beginning, this day looked as though it might be one of armed conflict between Soviet vessels and American warships on the sea lanes leading to Cuba. But there has been no confrontation as far as we know and some hope has been generated by suggestions of negotiation. (Narrator) According to military protocol, the Soviet commanders had previous permission to launch missiles if all three commanders reach consensus. Two said yes. One said no. An argument broke out among the three in which only Vasili Arkhipov was against the launch. Thomas Blanton, a director of the national security archive would later remark: "a guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world". Arthur Schlesinger was in the government and called it the most dangerous moment in human history. There was actually a moment there when one Russian submarine commander prevented what could have been a nuclear war. They were attacked by U.S. destroyers [with] depth charges. The commanders of the submarines, who had authority to fire nuclear missiles, the same is true of U.S. systems, they thought a war had started. There were three commanders, two of them decided to send off the missiles. The third, Vasili Arkhipov, who should get 20 Nobel peace prizes, rejected the order. They had to have all three agreeing, so they didn't fire them. If they had fired nuclear tipped missiles the U.S reaction (we know from the internal plans) was... They do something like that: "We take out Moscow they take out London" and it goes on from that, you should read the studies, we know what they were. It came that close! 27 years later... (Narrator) For most of the 20th century the philosophy of communism served as a justification for the imperial ambitions of the West. Yet, the fall of the Soviet Union wasn't even predicted by the CIA itself. The collapse was caused by numerous factors. In the West, analysts often point to a corrupt bureaucracy, the desire for more consumer goods, lack of civil liberties and the weakening of the old guard. Perhaps the greatest factor was the Soviet Union's own internal contradictions. Mikhail Gorbachev cited Chernobyl as the primary determinant. "The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl", Gorbachev stated, "even more than my launch of perestroika was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union 5 years later." Gorbachev believes that the West has radically mischaracterized the collapse of the Soviet Union. In a 2012 article, he suggested that the end of the Cold War should not be equated with the collapse of the Russian economy. While the former was enacted with the goal of preventing nuclear war and decentralizing power, the latter actually occurred 2 years later when Russian president Boris Yeltsin and the leaders of the Ukraine and Belorussia staged a violent coup d'état. 20 million Russians were thrown into poverty. Internationally, the result was "a winner's complex among the American political elite in a less stable, more dangerous world." 70's, roughly 10,000 days not including Vietnam, ongoing conflicts. We're focusing on crisis response with some level of combat, so not humanitarian assistance, disaster relief. 80's: rough doubling, spiking and inter-state war across the system according to the great data from University of Maryland. Soviets go away; demand for our services increase 4 to 5-fold. How do we deal with that spike? In a variety of ways. We outsource the contractors: all the Brown and Roots. We created a new category: military operations other than war, and frankly, we simply denied it. Our denial was dubbed the Powell doctrine which said we don't go into any situation unless we have a clear exit strategy, meaning as soon as the guns stop shooting we're out of there as quickly as possible. I'm going to draw a line here. Everything below it: basically cats and dogs. You're going to do this every decade no matter what, like our every decade intervention in Haiti. Contrary to what is sometimes asserted, the Soviet Union was not destroyed by any foreign power but as a result of internal developments. - Mikhail Gorbachev (Narrator) In the West, there's a widespread belief that the Soviet Union's collapse was caused by increased military spending by Ronald Reagan. But was this truly a significant factor? ♫...[proud to] be an American, where at least I know I'm free. ♫ ♫ And I won't forget the men who died ♫ ♫ who gave that right to me. ♫ ♫ And I gladly stand up, ♫ ♫ next to you and defend her still today. ♫ ♫ 'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, ♫ ♫ God bless the USA. ♫ Grenada, 1983 (Narrator) President Reagan reinvigorated American militarism during his invasion of Grenada, overcoming what policy analysts described as the Vietnam syndrome: a widespread disgust by American citizens over imperialism and war. After Reagan took office, military spending literally skyrocketed. Yet insiders from both the East and West are adamant that not only did Reagan's actions failed to hasten the Soviet Union's collapse, they actually prolonged it. According to leading U.S. cold warrior George Kennan: "The general effect of Cold War extremism was to delay rather than hasten the great change that overtook the Soviet Union. (Announcer) The temperature of a nuclear fireball is 20 million degrees, as hot as the center of the Sun. This is the first effect: a pulse of intense heat and light. Across large areas of Central London, people and objects burst into flames, melt or char. (Narrator) The film is called: "Nuclear War: a Guide to Armageddon". Simulating a nuclear attack on London circa 1982 it was symptomatic of growing calls for nuclear disarmament. (Announcer) [The cathedral's] great bronze cross; it vaporizes the liquid metal as it runs down the dome. It melts the stained glass windows and ignites objects inside the cathedral. However, the most widespread injuries are from flying glass. This is what flying glass can do to a pumpkin. Animal fats melt and burn. Tissues are charred to black carbon. This is at 4.5 miles. The temperature is around 1800 degrees. Only at the fringes of this area, here at Wimbledon, do the burns become treatable. At the lawn tennis ground, the heat scorches plywood. This makeup shows what it does to flesh. A third degree burn through the full thickness of the skin looks like this. All these effects have happened in the first 3 seconds of a one megaton explosion. Many people will be completely shielded even quite close to ground zero. However, up to 650,000 people will have suffered major burns from the fireball in these first few seconds. My fellow Americans, thank you for sharing your time with me tonight. Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope. (Narrator) Reagan's strategic defense initiative, popularly known as "Star wars", was only one facet of his military buildup. The most dangerous venture was his proposal for the stationing of new medium range missiles throughout Europe in November, 1983. [...] To ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, and good and evil. A really dangerous thing was that the flight time of these missiles was only 6 to 8 minutes which allowed the Americans to inflict a sudden nuclear strike and decapitate the Soviet Union. That is, to destroy the leadership inside the Kremlin, where launching a counterstrike would have been almost impossible. In the middle of 1982, I had a private discussion with General Kryuchkov. Kryuchkov was very concerned by an imminent nuclear strike of NATO against the Soviet Union. He even talked about the start of a third world war. (Narrator) The logic is simple: in the insulated world of the Soviet leadership, Reagan bellicose rhetoric and military threats did not have a softening effect. Rather, such tactics actually strengthened hard-liners. "The Gipper" (Reagan) is now widely perceived as the man who ended the Cold War. In fact, he nearly ended the world as we know it. On the evening of September 29, 1983 a computer malfunction at a nuclear warning facility near Moscow falsely indicated a nuclear attack by the United States. The probability indicator was at level number 1, the highest possible. Manning the station was Stanislav Petrov. [Alarm bell] Start Alert (Narrator) Petrov did not have the ability to launch a retaliatory strike. However, were he to pass on the information to the top command, they would have only had a few minutes to decide whether to launch a counter attack, noting that under Ronald Reagan U.S.-Russia relations could not possibly have been worse. Petrov broke military protocol and waited. Petrov concluded that the warning was a false alarm. He was right ; it was caused by a realignment of sunlight on high altitude clouds and satellites. (Petrov) My cosy armchair felt like a red-hot frying pan. One of my legs went limp. I felt like I couldn't even stand up that's how nervous I was when I was taking this decision. Petrov stuck to his decision, broke Soviet military rules by not telling his superiors and was proved right: there were no missiles. Petrov broke military doctrine, but possibly saved the world. He has since been given an award by the Association of World Citizens and honored by the U.N. He says he's not a hero and was just doing his job. Stanislav now lives a quiet life in this block of flats northeast of Moscow. But although he says what happened that night in 1983 is just a footnote, it may turn out to be the most important footnote of Cold War history. (Narrator) Brice Blair, a Cold War nuclear strategist later stated that the top Soviet leadership given only a couple of minutes to decide and told that an attack had been launched would have made a decision to retaliate. The Soviets weren't the only ones having computer glitches. A few years earlier, in November 1979, NORAD saw on-screen indications of a full scale Soviet attack leading to emergency retaliation preparations. Fail-safe measures prevented catastrophe but a Senator who was inside the NORAD facility at the time recalled an atmosphere of absolute panic. In 1983, the crisis reached its peak with the Soviet leadership convinced that the American administration was dangerously unhinged, their worst fears appeared to be realized when NATO began a massive war exercise. The scenario: an all out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. It was code named: "Able Archer". When the Third Reich invaded Russia during World War II they did so under the guise of a war game. Soviet hard-liners were convinced that history was about to repeat itself. In the run-up to the exercise, the Soviets secretly mobilized all key components of their military forces. One mistake by either side and holocaust would have resulted. Miraculously, Able Archer and related incidents passed without conflict. In the late 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev began his policies of perestroika and glasnost. Gorbachev proposed cutting offensive strategic arms in half, jointly safeguarding the environment, banning weapons in outer space, ending exploitation of the third world and canceling third world debt payments. Elites in the United States had something different in mind. In 1989, the Berlin wall fell, the Soviet Union collapsed. Anybody who believed the propaganda over the last 50 years would have said NATO would be disbanded. In fact, there was a promise to Gorbachev. George Bush number 1, who was president at the time, made sure that the promise was never in writing. It was a verbal agreement. This has been well studied. It was a verbal agreement which Gorbachev naively took seriously and not realizing who he was dealing with. It was a verbal agreement that if Gorbachev permitted Germany to be reunified and incorporated within NATO, which was quite a concession, then NATO would guarantee that they wouldn't extend "one inch to the East", that was the phrase that was used. They wouldn't go to East Germany and certainly not beyond. But Bush was careful not to put in writing so that promise went out the window very quickly. In fact, Clinton quickly expanded it to the East and so on. But why wasn't NATO disbanded? There's no Russia to defend yourself against. But there's still a reason: you have to make sure that Europe doesn't go off in an independent course. NATO prevents that and keeps it under U.S. command. In fact, NATO was expanded after the Russians disappeared. Not only was it expanded to the East, it was expanded to the world. NATO has been turned into a U.S. run global intervention force: in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and in fact beyond. The current NATO mission, officially, is to protect oil resources, energy resources, pipelines and sea lanes ; that is, to protect the global energy system. Protect means "make sure we run it". (Reporter) March 1999. The US and its NATO allies bomb Yugoslavia. Armed forces joined our NATO allies in air strikes against Serbian forces responsible for the brutality in Kosovo. March 2011. America's next president and the new coalition of the willing attack Libya. The U.N. security council passed a strong resolution that demands an end to the violence against citizens. It authorizes the use of force... The attacks on Libya were sanctioned by the U.N. security council in contrast to the bombings of Yugoslavia. There was no such green light in 1999 and the bombings were led by NATO, the first time the military alliance attacked a sovereign nation. and non NATO member, posing no threat to the group. Similarly, Libya poses no external threat and there are other parallels between the conduct of these wars. The enemy then, Slobodan Milošević, dubbed 'the new Hitler'. The enemy of today: the eccentric Muammar Gaddafi in power for over 40 years, now similarly villainized by the U.S. (Obama) Colonel Gaddafi needs to step down from power and leave. (Reporter) The goal now and back then: getting rid of a leader no longer favored by the West, taking sides with a questionable opposition in what started as a civil war. (R. Rozoff) What we're seeing is a full-fledged war, including attempting evidently to kill the head of state of the targeted country and other leaders of the government. That, again, is a page from the Yugoslav book of 12 years ago. What does the world learn? Evidently, not much. (Reporter) The official reason for Western involvement: a so-called humanitarian mission, a term coined amid the bombings of 1999. (M. Chossudovsky) You can bomb a country because you're coming to save its people. Essentially, that was the rationale behind the war in Yugoslavia. (Reporter) A rationale still relied upon, but widely questioned. (MC) You do not come to the rescue of civilians with bombs and missiles, OK? Bombs and missiles are part of a killing machine and they inevitably will kill civilians. (Reporter) The engine of that machine bought then and now a no-fly zone fueled in Libya by the additional "all necessary measures" where the line between an enemy in a foreign land and its civilians often gets blurred; it did in Yugoslavia, with thousands of people killed and close to one million displaced. (S. Flounders) After the war, when they did a count, they found that U.S./NATO bombs had destroyed 14 tanks in Serbia. But they had also bombed 437 schools. (Reporter) A similar scenario is now predicted in Libya. Now we're seeing the involvement of NATO first in Libya and perhaps elsewhere in Africa. You see at the same time in parallel to a rising NATO role, you see the role of AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa command which at least at the beginning of the NATO engagement was in command of U.S. forces in NATO. Despite efforts to claim that AFRICOM is really about healthcare, AIDS education and women's rights to be carried out by the U.S. military, we have a very serious reality that Africa now provides more oil to the United States than the entire Middle East. So, the notion that this is somehow a humanitarian goal which just coincidentally is going to be carried out by the U.S. military in the name of Africa command simply boggles the imagination. This is the expansion of U.S. military control of Africa. If we look at NATO as a whole and who are the powerful military forces within NATO, these are the former colonial powers in Africa; I think this is something that the African Union is going to be very much on guard against and I think people across Africa are going to be seeing it that way. The Air Force and the army all send troops to say, Somalia, for a hundred days each; I'm going to call that 4x100 = 400 cumulative combined crisis response days from the services, billable hours, which I think is the best measure. This is your expeditionary theater for the 21st century. It's not going away. You can vote Bush-Cheney out of office, it'll still be there. President after president, administration after administration, republican and democrat are going to have to deal with this. One of the first things we discover in this global war on terrorism, we got a lot of different cooks work in this broth. Southern command, European command, Central command, Pacific command, basically precinct captains, in what's logically described as an undercover war. We are seeing a redefinition of strategic command as a global strike force. The beginnings of a matrix organization. War fighting is going to migrate in the direction of these 2 commands previously considered just supporting, now leads in their own right. In fact, the whole Cold War became very greatly clarified in 1989 and 1990. Interesting that it's not studied, but if you want to understand the Cold War, that's the first place you'd look: what happened when Russia disappeared? OK? The Soviet Union disappeared, no Russian threat. Bush, immediately, in 1990, had a new national security strategy right after the fall of the Berlin wall and it was very interesting. It said "Nothing is going to change, except pretexts". It said "We have to keep a massive military force" just like before, but now it's not to protect ourselves from the Russians. It's because of the level of technological sophistication of the third world. That's why we need a military force the size of the rest of the world combined. People didn't laugh. In fact, it wasn't even reported. It said: "We have to keep the defense industrial base." What's that? The defense industrial base is high tech industry. A lot of it developed within the state system and under a Pentagon cover, under pretext of defense. It's called the defense industrial base. That's computers, the internet, the IT revolution, in fact the whole electronics-based high tech economy. You have to maintain that. People can talk about free markets or economics if they like, but we're in the real world. It's a state based... The dynamic center of research and development is going to be in the state sector. The most interesting part was about the Middle East. It said: "We have to maintain intervention forces directed at the Middle East energy system." And then came an interesting phrase: "Where the threats to our interests that required military intervention could not be laid at the Kremlin's door." In short: "We've been lying to you for 50 years. The threats were not at the Kremlin's door." They were radical, but they were called radical nationalism, independent nationalism. Now we're back to the mafia doctrine. All our initiatives - the reforms more democracy and more say to the workers councils: this is the only way forward. Only this can give you real power. (Narrator) Gorbachev had envisioned for post-Soviet Russia a social democracy similar to the Scandinavian nations. Instead, the West insisted on savage free market reforms. They amounted to a mass pillaging of Russian resources with some industries being sold for as low as 2% of their actual value. The Russian parliament disapproved of the measures by a rate of 10 to 1. After a coup and counter coup, Boris Yeltsin bombed his own parliament. We feel that Boris Yeltsin is the best hope for democracy in Russia. (Narrator) In the year after the fall of the Soviet Union, a third of all Russians fell below the poverty line. In a further 8 years, the poverty rate increased by another 72 million. Such patterns have been emulated throughout the former bloc. I worked at the U.S. information agency from 1992 to 1994, so it was on the heels of the end of the Cold War. But what really struck me was that we were merging democracy with free market. I would listen to these speeches made by Clinton and others who were high up in the Clinton administration and I thought why is it, instead of talking about the economy and pushing business interests, because I knew internally that's what we were being asked to do, even through Fulbright exchanges or art exchanges. It was all about promoting American commercial and business interests, but we didn't want to frame it that way to the public audience, the consuming audience, so we said: "What is it that people love more than anything?" What is a feel-good term what in a propaganda context would be called 'a glittering generality' where you don't really define it but it just makes you feel good. It makes your... You get goose bumps. It's words like democracy, liberty, freedom and equality. We use those words as substitutes for the business, the commercial interests. This corporate interest, this rise of corporate power was taking place but within this context of: "We're doing this because we want to liberate these people behind the iron curtain." They were living in darkness; they were seeking the light, the trouble was, the light in this case was: "You can now go shop at Macy's." I'll never forget the end of the separation between East and West Germany and the fall of the Berlin wall which was October 1989. It's been 20 some years. There were many East-Germans asked later, after that liberation whether they were still excited about this reunification of Germany and for many of them it was a little bit like the old song "Is That All There Is?" because after they walked the KaDeWe, the great commercial avenue in West Berlin they thought: "So this is what they meant by liberty, freedom and democracy?" It's about buying, it's about consuming It's not very sustainable, it's not really driven by any larger principles other than creating almost commercial automatons, people who just do things mindlessly, impulse buy... And I think it was a letdown; not that these people in East Germany wanted to live under the East-German regime. I'm not trying to play up these regimes or even the Soviet Union, but we have to think about what were we projecting in the Cold War versus what was the reality. The reality was that the Cold War and going against this enemy, the big bear of the Soviet Union, that was the bitter pill, and the sugar coating was this commercial part of it, the consumerism. Ultimately, many looking back would say in the end, people were seeking freedom; what they found was the marketplace. ♫ Is that all there is? ♫ ♫ Is that all there is? ♫ ♫ If that's all there is my friends ♫ ♫ then let's keep dancing ♫ ♫ Let's break out the booze ♫ ♫ and have a ball ♫ ♫ If that's all there is ♫ Will you shut the fuck up! Vast new opportunities for the Russian mafia. According to an estimate by the Kremlin, the underworld now controls as much as 40% of the nation's economy. (Narrator) In 2009, 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, The Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a poll of Eastern Europeans. It revealed a deep ambivalence about the transition from communism to free market capitalism. The poll notes that in many nations, majorities or pluralities say that most people were actually better off under communism. The figure is lowest in East Germany and highest in Hungary where fully 72% of the population preferred the communist model. In Eastern Europe as a whole, only one third believes their country is run for the benefit of all people. Only one quarter believes that most elected officials care about what ordinary people think and only one in three is satisfied with capitalist democracy. The poll gave participants two options: Soviet style communism or free market capitalism. A third choice was not offered. Postscript If you improve schooling, if you improve healthcare if you improve education, if you improve living conditions of people they become stronger and more confident, they become insulated against fear and they're able to demand still more. That's the reason it doesn't happen. It's not that the people at the top are sadists. The people at the top don't get pleasure from making others suffer. But they do guard against others getting strong, others taking away their wealth, taking away their power others rising up. It turns out to be pretty similar. If you're going to prevent people from rising, you have to fragment them. You have to keep them weak, afraid and relatively uneducated. So you wind up with policies and programs which have that effect. When the economy needs to be stimulated, a good meaning [person], somebody who was truly representing the interests of the population or simply had a good heart, however you want to look at it would spend, the government would engage with the economy to make it come back to life, to make it engage and interact, but we'd do it by fostering programs and activities that would benefit those below. To the extend that you want to save government funds? Fine! Cut the defense budget in half. Cut it by 80%. No loss. What's the problem with that? Well, what about the people in the army who would lose their jobs? No problem! Let's have them build housing. Let's take the military bases, and keep funding them but now we fund them to build low cost housing, to build schools, to build roads to protect people from environmental decay, etc. Just think for a minute: the tsunami hits in Indonesia, Thailand and all over the place. The U.S. army could have done something great. It could have dropped food to all those people. Easily, right? No. We don't do that. We just sit and wait for the opportunity to bomb them. So it's not as if you can't think of ways to not have great disruption even though you're reducing military expenditure. You just transfer the military expenditure to uses that will better people's lives, including the soldier's. Would the soldiers get angry? You tell me! Take a massive military base that's located in Texas or right here on the Cape. What's it called? Or in various other places in the country. Imagine that we hold a little vote among the G.I.'s, here's the vote: we can continue to be a military base whose existence is basically a waste of time in which none of us are doing anything except running in circles, following orders, making believe, etc. on the off chance that there's going to be some war someplace that we can then go, die and kill in or we can change our base. We're going to produce low-income housing. The first recipients will be ourselves. That is, we'll produce low income houses, nice houses; by low income I mean the cost will be low, not the quality. High quality houses. Who will get the first ones? We will. We'll get to live in them and then we'll produce them for the community; the community will get to live in them. We'll also produce roads. We'll pay other bridges, etc. Which one would you rather do? Which would you rather do with the next 5 or 10 years of your life? Not only that, we'll do it with worker self-management. You'll have a say in this. You won't be a subordinate who is bossed around by some foolish colonel who struts like a peacock. You'll have a say over your own life and making these decisions and doing this activity. Of course, everybody would opt for it. That's why you go through this horrendous military training, so that you lose your ability to realize: "Wait a minute, we could be doing things differently!" As long as nuclear weapons exist, the chances of survival of the human species are quite slight. There have been repeated occasions, over and over again, when we've come very close to nuclear war. In fact, we have declassified U.S. records... Russian systems are obviously much worse so whatever is true of us has to be worse for them. There are literally dozens of occasions where the nuclear weapons were on automated response systems; if automated systems detect something going on somewhere and the computers calculate and you get an order to fire the weapons. There are literally dozens of cases where it came up to within a couple of minutes of sending off nuclear missiles that was aborted by human intervention. OK, that's the U.S. side. The Russian side, undoubtedly, is a lot worse because their systems are no good, etc. That's just playing with fire! (Announcer) The bombardier watches over controls as safe as human ingenuity can make them to prevent accidental bomb release. But nuclear weapons have been dropped inadvertently. A report by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation lists over 20 "close calls" involving a potential nuclear exchange during the Cold War. In 1998, a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the risk of accidental nuclear war had increased since the fall of the Soviet Union. Globally there are now over 23,000 nuclear warheads. The United States and Russia possess the vast majority of the total. China, Israel, France and the U.K. also possess huge arsenals. In 1963, the U.S. began testing the "Neutron Bomb". The weapon was explicitly designed to kill humans with radiation while preserving property. In January 2001, a congressionally mandated space commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld recommended the U.S. government "vigorously pursue" weapons in outer space. (Reporter) To meet the challenge, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is making space a top Pentagon priority, putting a 4-star general at the head of the new Air Force space command to take charge of all military space activity including any new anti-missile defense. We pay careful attention to protecting, promoting our interests in space. (Reporter) Pentagon officials say it's the first step toward eventually putting weapons into space. We wouldn't really want to see in the future an Earth surrounded by an outer layer of weapons which will make mankind even more vulnerable than the situation today. In response to the U.S. push to weaponize space, Chinese ambassador Sha Zukang stated in 2005 that: "China... may be forced to review the arms control and nonproliferation policies it has adopted since the end of the Cold War." On September 17, 2002, the U.S. released its new National Security Strategy. It announced that the United States would "make no distinction between terrorists and the nations that harbor them, and that American forces would preventively attack other nations "before threats materialize". In 2002, the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in order to pursue space weaponization and a "missile defense shield" in Europe. The "missile defense shield", which the Obama administration continues to support, would "neutralize Russia's nuclear deterrence potential", according to a top-level Russian diplomat quoted in Der Spiegel. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned in 2011 that Russian will deploy missiles against the "shield" and may opt out of the New START nuclear reductions agreement. Under the Obama administration, drone attacks against Pakistan and other nations have increased dramatically, killings thousands of people. (Obama) I want to make sure that people understand: actually, drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties. For the most part, they have been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates. Libya, 2011 The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reports that 957 civilians were killed inside Pakistan in 2010 alone. According to an investigation carried out by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 50 civilians are murdered for every "militant" targeted. The military budget of the United States is 25 times ours. That signifies that their house is their fortress. Clever, very clever. It means that we too must build a strong and resistant house because we can see what is going on in the world. We know what is going on. Our comrade Mr. Wolf knows who to eat! He devours other countries, heedless... He has no intention of listening to anyone. [Applause] Israel and the Unites States continue to openly threaten Iran with military aggression, while also funding covert terrorist attacks within Iranian borders. PEACE ON EARTH? MR. OBAMA: END THESE WARS! Not tomorrow. Not next year. Now! - Veterans for peace. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's deputy prime minister and former envoy to NATO, has warned that "Any conflict on Iran is a direct threat to Russia's security". Iran supplies 15% of China's oil and natural gas, making Iranian oil more important to China than Saudi Arabia (11%) to the United States. On February 12,2012, Hezbollah warned that an attack against Iran would set the entire Middle East ablaze. There are enough nuclear weapons to destroy most life on Earth. The report U.S. military spending, fiscal years 1945-2008 by the Center for Defense information calculates that the U.S. has spent $21 trillion on "defense" since World War II. The Campaign Against Arms Trade estimates that it would cost $17 billion per year to provide adequate food, water, education, health and housing to everyone in the world. According to these figures, war is 20.5 times more expensive than lifting the entire world out of poverty, based on U.S. spending alone. (Bo Filter - "Slaying Goliath - Give David a Stone") Premium on deterrence and strike, we have to stay out there. We have to avoid what we have been doing the last 15 years which is sucking the troops back home. So are the boys coming home? No, they are never coming home.

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 10 minutes and 47 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Metanoia Films
Director: Scott Noble
Views: 704
Posted by: ltiofficial on Jul 28, 2012

Please note that given its notable length, this project is not currently an official LTI project. Any inquiries about this upload can be addressed by email to: [email protected] Any inquiry about the documentary itself will be forwarded to Scott Noble at Metanoia films ( This film is part three of a three part documentary.

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