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The Power Principle - Part I: Empire

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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 for free. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? - Mark 8:36 (Female Narrator) November 1989. After more than a quarter of a century, the most visible symbol of the ideological divide between Soviet Russia and the United States is declared a non-entity. Since its creation, 171 people have been killed attempting to cross the Berlin wall. Now, a euphoric public chips away at what was soon to be a relic of the cold war. For Americans, it was the end of an era. And soon, a new president would be sworn into office to realize the dreams of a world without a major military rival. Many believed that the specter of what President Eisenhower had termed: 'the military-industrial complex' would become a thing of the past. Rather than devoting enormous sums to military spending taxpayer funds could now be allocated to a radical expansion in healthcare and other forms of social spending. The dream was not to be. On February 1st, 1999 the Clinton administration released its new federal budget It contained a tiny 3% increase in spending on social programs. Meanwhile, $112 billion in new funds were allocated to the military, while the budget of the CIA and other intelligence agencies rose to $29 billion. Clinton had promised what he called: "a peace dividend" and delivered in the form of modest cuts to some elements of the military. Yet at the same time, his administration expanded the influence of the Pentagon in key areas. One of their most significant acts was to end the official ban on advanced arms exports to Latin America and the former Soviet Bloc countries. Secretary of State Warren Christopher instructed U.S. embassies to help American arms companies promote trade. Christopher had previously served as director of Lockheed Martin, the largest arms manufacturer in the world. The rise in arms sales coincided with a massive increase in privatization. Many of the jobs cut from the military were simply transferred to private contractors. Over 100,000 by the end of Clinton's first term. In the wake of 9/11 the American military budget doubled to over $700 billion. Today, it is estimated at over $1 trillion. I've said that we need to increase the size of our military which, politically, if it got to the floor, probably would pass, but, as you know, there are a bunch of folks on the Left who think that that is a waste of money. I think it's important for us to do. (Narrator) As a whole, the U.S. now spends as much on war as the rest of the world combined. An estimated 800 U.S. military bases in at least 150 countries crisscross the globe. To put these numbers in perspective, more money is now spent on air conditioning for American military personnel than the entire budget of NASA. In the halls of power, the idea of initiating significant cuts to war spending has become almost unthinkable. This film will examine the reasons why. The Power Principle I. Empire (Announcer) Village squares and public grounds. Their memory and the memory of all their brothers in arms before them are enshrined in a chain of tribute that reaches back across the developing story of a nation itself. Its recognition of its manifest destiny to be strong enough to support freedom beyond its own shores. (Narrator) Over 200 years ago, the philosopher Adam Smith made a remarkable prediction. He claimed that America would become an extensive empire which seems very likely to become one of the greatest and most formidable that ever was in the world. George Washington agreed, suggesting that the new republic was an infant empire. It would take nearly two centuries for the prophecy of Adam Smith to be fully realized. Most historians trace the explosion of American interventionism to the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. But it was only during the 20th century that the empire would become truly global. Following World War II, two major players were left standing: the United States and the Soviet Union. Yet, there was a significant power imbalance. This is an image of what America looked like after the war. And this, the Soviet Union. During World War II, over 20 million Russians had perished at the hands of the 3rd Reich. The Red Army expanded into Eastern Europe. Before the breakup of the Soviet Bloc, citizens in countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia were denied the right to self-determination and subjected to violent repression by the Soviet State. Yet, did these actions justify atrocities by the United States? And were pronouncements by western leaders of an international communist conspiracy the result of realism, or propaganda? One theory can be found in National Security Council document #68 released internally in the year 1950. It states that U.S. military superiority was a policy which the United States would probably pursue even if there were no Soviet Union. We begin by testing this viewpoint through examination of five American interventions during the Cold War. Iran, 1951 (N. Ahmed) Mohammed Mossadegh, who was democratically elected, he became the prime minister overwhelmingly. He won landslide elections. The British and the Americans were disturbed by this, precisely because they realized that it would endanger their control of the oil supplies because the imperative of this whole democratic process was precisely the injustice of Iranian oil being pretty much controlled by the external powers that would be the United States and Britain. (Announcer) Our picture could only be complete if we could show you what the conditions were like before the oil company came into being. But the British have introduced hygiene into Persia education and sport. In your opinion Mr. Jackson, what would be the probable effect in Persia of British withdrawal? - I think economic disaster. Persians think that by nationalizing oil, they're going to get rich. Unfortunately, the reverse will be the case. The Iranians were obviously very upset by this and they wanted all revenues to be used to develop the infrastructure of Iran and for the benefit or the Iranian people. If you look at the classified documents that have now come out of the State Department and British Foreign Office, this idea was very candidly discussed that democracy was considered to be a problem. In fact, some of the documents clearly point out that there was no actual influence from the Communist Party, that this was very much a democratic movement and that British and American officials were very aware that this was a truly indigenous movement. Yet what they were saying publicly was quite different. We have public statements from British and American officials that this was a left-leaning government, that it was infiltrated by and very close to the Tudeh party or the Communist party and that this was really an attempt by the Soviet Union to get control of Iran. This was therefore a geopolitical threat. What actually happened as a result was that MI:6 and the CIA worked together to organize a coup that would overthrow Mossadegh. "Iranian oil grab set for today" We were afraid to sent troops into Iran and use the old model Instead, we sent a CIA agent, Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt's grandson. Kermit Roosevelt, with a few million dollars did an amazing thing. He managed to overthrow through a series of riots and a coup basically he overthrew this democratically elected president, Mossadegh, and replaced him with the Shah. (K. Roosevelt) There was some discussion. The first of those went around the table and the only person on the State Department side whom I can remember as taking any kind of a very specific position was ambassador Henderson who was back for this meeting. He said that he wanted to know maneuver details. He felt that this was a considerable departure from diplomatic tradition but he felt it was required by the situation. He wanted to approve it, and he wanted to know as little about it as possible. This basically happened, there was a violent military operation which removed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah of Iran. ("Mossadegh", Stage play) It is all relevant. They have made many accusations against me. But I know that I am guilty of only one thing and that is I did not surrender to foreign influences. In 1976, Amnesty International concluded that the Shah's CIA-trained security force (SAVAK) had the worst human rights records on the planet. It went on to claim that the torture techniques the CIA has taught SAVAK were "beyond belief". (J. Carter) Iran, because of the great leadership of the Shah is an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. Death to the Shah's mercenary army! God is great! This is what established the conditions of hostility towards U.S. and British interference in that country. One of the really popular spaces in Iran. Romania, 1989 (Narrator) In December 1989 Romanians stormed the central committee of Stalinist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu He was executed along with his wife. Iran, 1979 In Iran, the people would also storm the headquarters of their oppressors. Interior, SAVAK HQ The Shah himself escaped, but many of his henchmen did not. Iranians took over the headquarters of SAVAK and executed its leadership. Really, Kermit Roosevelt was the forerunner of both the economic hitmen and this new breed of jackal that today works for private organizations. That set the stage for what has happened ever since. I often look back and think "What if we had instead, supported Mossadegh?" and said "He's democratically elected, let's help them." That could have changed the whole politics of the Middle East. We would never have had the problems that we're having today. (Narrator) Despite continued aggression against Iran by Israel and the United States, including violent covert operations, it has not attacked another country in over 200 years. What we wanted to do was have a terror campaign to terrify Árbenz particularly, terrify his troops, much as the German Stucka bombers terrified the population of Holland, Belgium and Poland at the onset of World War II, and just rendered everybody paralyzed. Guatemala, 1954 (Narrator) Shortly after the coup in Iran, the democratically elected government of Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala was similarly overthrown. When Árbenz took office, 2.2% of Guatemalans owned 70% of the arable land. Árbenz' programs included giving away uncultivated land grants to around 100,000 landless peasants. He also instituted a program of support for union rights and other basic reforms. Árbenz is best described as a moderate progressive, not a Marxist. Yet his programs were met with outrage in Washington. Especially concerned were shareholders of Rockefeller's United Fruit Company. Under the dictator Jorge Ubico United Fruit had established control of 42% of Guatemala's land. and was exempted from taxes and import duties. The United Fruit Company really owned half the country, literally. About only a third of the land, the million acre plantations, only a third of it was cultivated. On the other hand, you had several hundreds of thousands of landless Indian workers, rural workers who were in dire poverty. (Narrator) The case of United Fruit presents a particularly glaring example of the evolving symbiotic relationship between powerful corporations and the American state. CIA director Allen Dulles belonged to United Fruit's law firm and held shares in the company. John Moors Cabot, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs was the brother or a former United Fruit president. President Eisenhower's personal secretary was married to the head of United Fruit's public relations department. Clearly, Árbenz had to go. The problem was that he was not a communist, nor did his government have any links to the Soviet Union. In fact, Guatemala didn't even have diplomatic relations with Russia. The solution came by way of a man named Edward Bernays. Known as 'the father of public relations', Bernays was a major figure in the development of advertising and propaganda. Eddie Bernays is known as the father of spin or the father of public relations. Fascinating individual, he was double nephew of Sigmund Freud and he actually learned fundamental techniques of human psychology and the ability to manipulate and manage human behavior from uncle Sigmund. He, at the same time, publicized and promoted uncle Sigmund in the United States and then aggrandized himself with his association with his uncle. Eddie Bernays believed that, fundamentally, democracy was untenable and that people are just too stupid to govern themselves in a democracy. His rationalization was that there needed to be this elite of guardians, of public policy and public opinion who would manage society and that the public relation practitioner would be a professional who would work for government and industry in managing and manipulating and doing what Eddie called 'engineering consent'. In the 1930s, a journalist friend of Edward Bernays' by the name of Karl von Weigand came back from nazi Germany. He had interviewed Goebbels, the nazi propaganda minister. He said to his friend Bernays: "Eddie, Joseph Goebbels has an even bigger propaganda library than yours and he reads and uses all your books." When Sheldon Rampton and I were writing about this in the '90s, we wrote a passage saying that we wondered if at some point Bernays, a liberal Jewish intellectual, began to realize that this technique of manipulating and managing public opinion and behavior that he thought was essential to preserve democracy might not just as easily be used in the wrong hands to subvert democracy. That question we raised was answered later when we found out that indeed Bernays was completely comfortable helping to engineer and manage this overthrow of the elected government of Guatemala and he was well-aware of what had resulted from that. (Narrator) Bernays' strategy was to take the anti-communist model used during the coup in Iran and turn it into a media blitz. Bernays was offered huge sums of money to develop a propaganda campaign against Árbenz and the people of Guatemala. Shortly before the coup, articles began appearing in The New York Times The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Time, The New Leader and other publications concerning the growing influence of Guatemala's communists. Guatemala was the new battleground in the war against the Soviets. (Announcer) In Guatemala, the Jacob Árbenz regime became increasingly communistic after its inauguration in 1951. Communists in the Congress and high governmental positions controlled major comities, labor and farm groups and propaganda facilities. They agitated and led in demonstrations against neighboring countries and the United States. (J. Petras) Árbenz was overthrown in order to restore to power a right-wing regime. From 1954 to 1990, when some sort of a peace accord was signed, 225,000 Indians mostly were murdered in Guatemala by the CIA-installed military regime. It was a victory for the U.S. in the Cold War, but it was a terrible genocidal situation in Guatemala and finally recognized, at least verbally, by Clinton who actually apologized to the Guatemalan people for the destruction which resulted from the U.S. military coup. This is the first time in the history of the world that the communist government has been overthrown by the people. For that, we congratulate you and the people of Guatemala for the support they have given. We are sure that under your leadership supported by the people whom I have met by the hundreds on my visit to Guatemala, that Guatemala in going to enter a new era in which there will be prosperity for the people together with liberty for the people. I founded the historical memory project in 2000-2001. When I organized the first conference for the project to create a forum to discuss the genocide in Guatemala because in 2000, I came back from Guatemala after 3 years of working with a UN truth commission collecting war survivor's testimonies, field work that we did for about a year in the highlands of Guatemala. When I came back to the States... Well, first I was struck by the lack of discussion there is currently with regards to indigenous peoples in the Latin American context and also the lack of academic or scholarly discussion about genocide and state violence during the Cold War years. In the context of a 36-year civil war in Guatemala the Guatemalan state committed genocide against at least, that we documented, 4 indigenous groups. Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas continue to be a vulnerable population, targeted for elimination by the state. I took testimonies of war survivors there: massacres, smashing babies against trees, raping women, all the terrible things that we learnt through the collection of testimonies, but I think that the most important thing to understand is how U.S. ideologies of national security doctrine resonated with local ideologies that polarized and fragmented society with this notion of the internal enemy The ideology behind the national security doctrine that was implemented throughout the Americas during the Cold War years said that there was an enemy inside the population, not outside, because armies, supposedly are supposed to protect borders from an external enemy. But the national security doctrine said to the military, the local armies over there, was to say "Look, you need to find terrorists or the internal enemy inside the country." So, anyone was perceived by the army, militaries, death squads and paramilitary forces as the internal enemy. What that did was to turn people against each other. Indigenous communities are usually very tight. People rely on each other, families rely on each other, it's very different from the Western notion of neighborhoods or communities. In Guatemala, indigenous people depend on each other for survival. When you insert fear and you insert, at the heart of the community this notion of the internal enemy the impact was terrible again, because you fragmented families and entire communities that became suspicious of one another. Trust and solidarity within these communities have been very difficult to rebuild. That to me is very important to consider when we look at atrocities in Latin America, what has been the aftermath of these atrocities, the long lasting consequences of violence. Humanity has said enough and has set itself in motion. Its giant steps will not stop until they lead to true independence. I wanted to mention one case in particular, the painful one of the Congo. Unique in modern history, this shows how one can flout, with total impunity and the most insolent cynicism, the rights of peoples. Under the United Nations flag, Lumumba was killed in the Congo. And it's the same United Nations, which the Americans want to send to inspect our own territory. Congo, 1961 (Narrator) Similar events to that of Guatemala would unfold in the Congo, after Patrice Lumumba was elected Prime Minister, setting a tragic pattern for all of Africa. The post World War II era gave birth to revolutionary movements across the continent threatening old colonial powers. As with the French in Indochina, the colonial powers first attempted to crush such movements through violence. Eventually, however, nominal independence, featuring corrupt governments, became the model of choice. Colonialism is when one political economy dominates and conquers another. Neo-colonialism is when the imperial power takes down its flag and a local national puts up its flag, but the economic relations remain the same. That is, the imperialist country still extracts value from the human beings in the colony, but now it's done in the name of trade. Neo-colonialism means so called 'independence' for states. But all that basically means is they have their own flag sometimes their own airlines and perhaps their own stamps and their own coinage. (Narrator) In the case of the Congo, an estimated 8 to 10 million people had died via forced labor and murder under King Leopold of Belgium. Now, the Congolese people would be granted independence. or so they believed. The first elected Prime Minister was Patrice Lumumba, who had been raised in a mud brick house. Fighters for independence now victorious, I salute you on behalf of the Congolese government. We've had our share of irony, of insults of blows that were inflicted upon us morning, noon and night, simply for being Negroes. Who will forget the shootings, where so many of our brothers died those who would no longer be cowed by a regime based on injustice, oppression and exploitation. [Applause] (Narrator) Lumumba's speech, as well as his belief that the Congo's vast mineral wealth should belong to the people who lived there set off alarm bells in the West. Under the hospices of the UN, the Belgians insisted on retaining a strong military presence in the country. Lumumba traveled to the United States and asked for help. It's with great pleasure, that I find myself today in the United States, a country of democracy and freedom. (Narrator) Lumumba's overtures were rejected. Rebuffed by one superpower, he turned to the other. The Soviets gave only token support. But Lumumba's act of defiance was enough to sign his death warrant. After South Africa, the Congo has the largest working class in sub-Saharan Africa. If the Congo achieved real independence, it would pose a direct threat to Western business interests across the Continent. The United States deplores the unilateral action of the Soviet Union in supplying aircraft and other equipment for military purposes to the Congo. The Soviet action, which seems to be motivated entirely by the Soviet Union's political designs in Africa. I must repeat that the United States takes a most serious view of this action by the Soviet Union. In 2001, the minutes of a long buried meeting of the National Security Council were revealed to the public. During the gathering, President Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles that Lumumba had to be "eliminated". (Narrator) At around the same time as Eisenhower delivered his judgment, articles began appearing in the New York times painting Lumumba as a Communist and Soviet stooge. They published a fraudulent claim that Lumumba had received $200,000 from the Belgian communist party, and without a hint of irony, referred to the first democratically elected leader of the Congo as a dictator. The CIA assassination plot got under way when Sydney Gottlieb who headed up the psychochemical department of the agency's mind control experiments carried a vial of poison to the Congo via diplomatic pouch. The plot was abandoned however in favor of a hit sponsored by the Belgians, in collaboration with Congolese military officials. After being deposed in a coup, Lumumba and two of his associates were tied up and executed. Taking Lumumba's place was Joseph Mobutu. He looted an estimated $4 billion during his time in office. More importantly for the West, he allowed the continued looting of the Congo's vast mineral reserves by Western corporations. Today, the average life expectancy in the Congo is 46 years. The United States has been engaged in an effort to stop the advance of communism in Central America by doing what we do best: by supporting democracy. Grenada, 1983 Grenada, that tiny little island... It isn't nutmeg that's at stake in the Caribbean and Central America, it is the United States National security. (Narrator) In Grenada, the New Jewel Movement had attempted to challenge emerging patterns of free market reform. Unemployment has dropped from 49% to 14%. The literacy rate rose to a remarkable 98%. Free healthcare and secondary education were established. Grenadians received scholarships for study abroad. As I was teaching at Binghamton University, one of my graduate students was actually from Grenada. When the revolution took place against the corrupt, right-wing authoritarian regime and the New Jewel Movement came to power, the student asked me what he should do, I said: "Go back and work in your government. This is a chance to bring about some of the changes we talk about in our seminars." He went back and the Grenadian government proceeded to implement advanced social programs, housing programs, cultivating, agriculture, generally opening the country to citizens' participation. Now, the U.S., especially the Reagan administration, was very upset with several things. 1) The fact that Grenada was declaring an independent foreign policy accepted aid from whatever country was offering it, whether it was the European Union, Cuba, or what have you. The fact that the Cubans sent a mission to Grenada to build a major airport became a pretext for Reagan to assert that this airfield was going to be a Soviet base when in fact, the funding for the Cuban construction team came from England. Nevertheless, the social changes and the independent foreign policy provoked the ire of the hard-liners in the Reagan administration. The charges that Grenada was a communist base were absolutely rejected. The fact that there was a coup attempt within the Grenadian government to oust the president Bishop served as the detonator for the U.S. intervention. "Invasion of Grenada" - Operation Urgent Fury - October 1983 (Announcer) The U.S. goes to war against the Caribbean island of Grenada. Their mission: stop a Cuban-inspired coup and rescue stranded American students. We were just hoping that they'd come get us. But the operation is a logistical nightmare and troops face a determined enemy. It's time to die. Can U.S. forces win in this Cold War confrontation? (Narrator) The war in Grenada was perhaps the most lopsided conflict in recorded human history. A token force of a few hundred troops was dispersed by what the U.S. military termed: "Operation Urgent Fury". Unlike Guatemala, Iran and the Congo, the resources and labor of the tiny nation were insignificant, nor did Granada offer any real geostrategic import. Why then, did they bother? (U.S. General Haig) What we're watching is a 4 phased operation; Phase 1 has been completed: the seizure of Nicaragua. Next is El Salvador, to be followed by Honduras and Guatemala. It's clear and explicit. - There is a Caribbean domino theory unfolding. - I wouldn't call it necessarily a domino theory, I would call it a priority target list. A hit list, if you will, for the ultimate takeover of Central America. (Narrator) The domino theory of communism was used throughout the Cold War as a justification for American military interventions. If one country went socialist, others would inevitably follow. This, in turn, would lead to a worldwide reduction in democracy, human rights and freedom. ... because that's the way they operate! And others just parrot the communist lie. On the other hand, outright gifts are only one way America aids other nations. As we constantly raise our standard of living, the spinoffs raise the standard of other countries. (Narrator) It is probable that many leaders and foot soldiers accepted the domino theory on its face. The problem is that statistical data proves that in the post-World War II era, the United States was the world's biggest promoter of totalitarian regimes. A study by Lars Schultz found that U.S. aid has tended to flow disproportionately to the Western hemisphere's relatively egregious violators of fundamental human rights. An additional study by Martha Huggins conducted in the 1990s suggested that the more foreign police aid given by the U.S., the moral brutal and less democratic the police institutions and their governments become. This seeming contraction cannot be explained by the domino theory of the Cold War. There is, however, a rational explanation. As Washington moved to overthrow Árbenz' government in Guatemala, state department officials warned of the new government that "Its agrarian reform is a powerful propaganda weapon; its broad social programs of aiding the workers and peasants in a victorious struggle against the upper classes and large foreign enterprises has a strong appeal to the populations of Central American neighbors where similar conditions prevail. (N. Chomsky) One of the leading themes of the Cold War has been the domino theory; what critics call 'the danger of a good example'. There are two different ways of perceiving what amounts to the same thing. You could call it 'the mafia doctrine'. The Godfather doesn't tolerate disobedience. It's too dangerous if some small storekeeper doesn't pay protection money. The Godfather may not care about the money, but he does care about the refusal. Then it's necessary to send his goons to collect the money, but also to make an example. (Proprietor) my store next Friday, I'll give you the money. (Gangster) This is Friday Babu, how many times I gotta tell you? - You keep on calling me Babu, it's 'Singh' motherfucker! - I'm trying to help you! -You keep on telling me 'I'm your friend'. You don't even know my fucking name! - You want me to catch a beatin'? I'm gonna catch a beatin' if I go back again like last week. See this guy? This guy don't want you to have the money. Cuz he wants to come back there and squash your head! That's a guiding principle of world order. The U.S. has been far and way the dominant power in the post-Second World War era over much of the world and it wants obedience and conformity. There's a fear which is called the domino theory that if one domino falls, one small country falls, it'll topple over the next one, it'll topple over the next one... Pretty soon, all the dominoes will fall and we'll be in trouble. For example, if you have successful independent development somewhere, others suffering the same problems will ask "Why not us?". That's often pretty explicit in the internal record. (R. McNamara) The objective was to prevent the dominoes from falling. The loss of Vietnam would trigger the loss of South-East Asia. If this little nation goes down the drain and can't maintain its independence, ask yourself what's going to happen to the other little nations. The domino theory is always ridiculed after the dominoes don't fall. Take, say, Vietnam which was successful from the U.S. point of view. If a virus is going to spread contagion, what you do is kill the virus and inoculate the potential targets of the infection. That's what the U.S. did: it destroyed Vietnam, never become an independent, successful country and install vicious dictators in all the surrounding countries. The actions of the ruler, president Diệm have been declared autocratic and perhaps his personal actions are to some degree. But when one realized the chaos he faced, the complete anarchy that existed there, it's conceivable that autocratic methods within a democratic framework were required to restore order. The most important, of course, was Indonesia. In 1965, general Suharto carried out a military coup which wiped out the one mass space political party (sort of a party of the poor), killed hundreds of thousands of landless peasants opened the country up to Western exploitation. There was total euphoria in the United States. The New York Times' liberal correspondent James Reston called it "a gleam of light in Asia". At the time this was happening, they described it as a staggering mass slaughter but just magnificent. In fact, in retrospect, McGeorge Bundy, one of the top planners for Kennedy and Johnson, a national security adviser, in retrospect, he said he thought that "we probably should have called off the war in 1965", the Vietnam war because the region was inoculated, Indonesia was sound. No more dominoes. Not much point wasting more time wiping out Vietnam. But there's nothing ridiculous about the theory. That's why it keeps being resurrected. The mafia principle is correct. If you want to maintain order and discipline, you have to make sure that there's no disobedience even in the smallest place, and in particular no successful disobedience. So, yes, it's a dominant theme of world order in the hands of the United States and in fact its predecessors in imperial conquest. The United States must respect the right of the peoples to develop the economy the way it declares it or needs it to be. Chile, 1973 (Narrator) Nowhere was the danger of a good example more apparent than in Chile. For most Americans, the date of September 11th has only one possible connotation. Yet, for the people of Chile, the date signifies an older, deeper scar. On September 11th, 1973, the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown in a violent coup d'état. It established a military dictatorship ran by Augusto Pinochet which would last for 17 years resulting in the torture and murder of thousands of citizens. At the height of the repression, Chile's soccer stadium was transformed into a concentration camp. Among those targeted was a man whose music now plays on this film's soundtrack: Victor Jara. (J. Pilger) He was taken to the stadium where he was a source of strength for his fellow prisoners singing for them until soldiers beat him to the ground and smashed his hands. In his last poem smuggled out of the stadium, he wrote: "What horror the face of fascism creates. They carry out their plans with knife-like precision. For them, blood equals medals. How hard it is to sing when I must sing of horror in which silence and screams are the end of my song." After two days, they killed him. (Narrator) A report of August 18, 1970 by the State Department explained: "We identify no vital U.S. national interests within Chile Nevertheless, for Henry Kissinger and other major policy planners, Allende represented a virus that could spread contagion throughout Latin America. As an example of this virus in action, one of Allende's first acts was to guarantee school children a glass of milk every day. We have no contact with any of the people that carried out the military coup and therefore the coup that overthrew Allende was done without contact with the United States. (Narrator) Kissinger was lying. Declassified documents reveal that the coup in Chile was directed from Washington and that the Allende regime had been under attack even before its inception. A CIA cable of October 1970 reads: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. Unlike the other governments we have discussed, Salvador Allende's regime was explicitly socialist. Yet it had also been democratically elected. In short, his regime challenged the entire ideological basis of the Cold War. Rather than be taken alive, Allende committed suicide in the Moneda palace, as fascist troops were closing in. Workers of my homeland, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Go forward, knowing that sooner rather than later, avenues will be open anew, along which free men will walk to build a better society. Long live Chile, the people and the workers! (Narrator) In stark contrast to what Allende had in mind as a corrective to Chile's economic woes, Pinochet would embrace a radical program of free market form, as theorized by Milton Friedman and 'the Chicago boys'. Friedman described himself as a libertarian with a small 'l'. Presenting his philosophy as a more moderate variant of the Austrian school of free market capitalism, he shared with them a vision in which virtually everything is owned. The programs entailed deregulation, wage reduction, attacks against unions, elimination of social spending, and a fire sale of natural resources to transnational corporations. The Western press described the events in Chile as an economic miracle. (M. Esparza) Economic policies that were implemented in Chile as a result of the military regime are intertwined. One cannot analyze the violence without considering the way in which these economic policies ought to be implemented. Today, Chile stands as one of the most unequal countries in the whole region. The polarization between the haves and the have-nots have increased dramatically in the last 20 years; again, as a result of these neo-liberal policies or globalized policies that were implemented during the Pinochet regime, which meant the privatization of pension plans, for example, for people who retire. The privatization of universities, schools, the educational system, health, etc. An economic miracle for whom? That's always the question that I raise when they talk about economic miracle: who has benefited from this economic miracle? I think that's the key question. Thank you all very much. It's an honor for me to be here to pay tribute to a hero of freedom: Milton Friedman. He has used a brilliant mind to advance a moral vision. We have seen Milton Friedman's ideas at work in Chile where a group of economists called 'the Chicago boys' brought inflation under control and laid the ground work for economic success. (N. Klein) The thesis of the shock doctrine is that we've been sold a fairy tale about how these radical policies have swept the globe. That they haven't swept the globe on the backs of freedom and democracy but they have needed shocks, crisis and states of emergencies. Milton Friedman understood the utility of crisis. Only a crisis, actual of perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. Milton Friedman was the leading monetarist. He was a professor of economics at the University of Chicago who believed that value came from money in contrast to those who believe that value comes from human beings, that human beings and human laborers are the source of all value. Milton Friedman believed it was money and gold. Therefore, by changing monetary rates and fiscal policy, he was able to organize an economy. He was a free marketeer, a laissez-faire capitalist, a laissez-faire theorist. That's part of his monetarism. Laissez-faire means let the market decide. Devil take the hindmost. Get as much as you can and run. This negates consumption, health and meeting human needs while a few profit. This is the theory of Milton Friedman. My feeling is that there are two kinds of market fundamentalism. When I use the term, is use it to mean a deep faith in the power of the market, and the market to solve economic problems, and even other kinds of social and political problems. I regard it as very naive in that sense. It's almost a kind of religious faith: the market will solve it. It's OK, the market will solve it. But they also sometimes think it's benevolent; that the market will no only solve this, but that it will somehow solve it in a way that benefits humanity. To me, of course, it's completely unjustified. The market doesn't give a damn how many people die. The market may solve peak oil by killing 3 billion people. There's nothing here to be worshiping. It's type 1 market fundamentalism. Type 2 have some kind of affection for the market because they feel that it has, for example, helped them into their positions of wealth and power. The other way to look at it, which is what I usually say, is that they're not market fundamentalists at all. They're bullet fundamentalists. They believe in force. The market will just be one among many things they will use. The reason I'm bringing that up is because I think they're equally cynical; I think they're equally cynical about market. I don't think they really have any particular affection or romanticism for the market anymore than they do for God, or something, that the stupid people can believe in all these things, whether it be traditional religions or the market and then our job is not to accept any of those naive beliefs but to manage society for our own benefit and possibly the benefit of others. I really don't know how often they think of themselves as altruistic. In other words, I'm not convinced that the kinds of elites we see in the U.S. at the moment really are market fundamentalists in a very deep sense. I do think violence and force are more their thing and that they're quite interventionist and that they're bullet fundamentalists. (Narrator) Reaching the homeland during the late '70s and beyond and culminating in the worldwide financial crisis, the process of globalization would demand free market reforms of virtually every country in the world. Not only did they fail to raise living standards, they resulted in greatly increased misery for the vast majority of the world's people. The escalation of deprivation indicators in Brazil and Mexico, which together account for over half of Latin America's 465 million inhabitants, reveal the miracle at work. Between 1985 and 1990, the rate of child malnutrition in Brazil increased from 12.7% to 30.7% of all children. In Mexico, the purchasing power, the minimum wage dropped 66% between 1982 and 1991. In Argentina, unemployment rose steadily in the '80s and '90s from 3% in 1980 to 20% in 2001 while the number of people in extreme poverty rose from 200,000 to 5 million. The economic miracle in Argentina culminated in this. Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power. - Benito Mussolini Grand Area Strategy was developed really, during the Second World War. It continued to develop afterwards in the early stages of the Cold War: this is grand world order planning. Most of the evidence that we have for this and the direction it took came out of the Council on Foreign Relations working group that was setup in the 1940s with the State Department, called the war and peace studies project. Most of this material is now declassified and available. The documents that have come out really reveal an openly imperial mindset. The language spoke openly about establishing a Pax Americana. It talked about the necessity of transitioning away from British imperial rule to a new form of American global domination, yet openly talked about limiting the sovereignty of different countries, depending on their amenability to the principles of this new global economic and political order that the U.S. and Britain envisaged. It spoke about the need to establish international institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the UN as mechanisms to regulate this world order, but quite openly spoke about doing this in the interests of the advanced industrial countries such as Britain, the U.S and Western Europe. On the one hand, even though there was this sense of benevolence, there was the idea that if we don't set up these institutions, there would be international instability and the danger of nazism, there was also the candid admission that it would protect the economic interests of a specific group of states, the interests of the colonies themselves, and these countries in the less-developed world that were trying to breaking out at that time struggling for national independence, but their interests were really not in the equation. They were even references to the need to use propaganda to legitimize this whole new structure to domestic publics. I think you can learn a lot from these documents and it's pretty clear that the principles that they outlined, even though they certainly evolved, but a lot of the basic principles have remained continuous throughout different stages in the post war periods. Within the Middle East region, that had a specific implication which was control of Middle Eastern resources. Grand area strategy spoke specifically about controlling specific parts of the world, to ensure U.S. preeminence: parts of Asia, parts of Africa, parts of the Middle East. It spoke about the need to control these regions especially due to their populations and their resources and their geographic locations. We have all bound ourselves to walk together to make sure that there is increasing happiness and prosperity for the broad masses of the people in every land, no longer subject to the hard strains of war. A few months later... (8 March 1946) An iron curtain has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of central and Eastern Europe. (Announcer) In the background was the growing struggle between two great powers to shape the post-war world. Already an iron curtain had dropped around Poland, Hungary Yugoslavia, Bulgaria. What about Soviet imperialism after the Second World War? That was real, but it was narrow. If you take a look at interventions after the Second World War, the Soviet Union did intervene in East-Berlin, in Hungary, in Czechoslovakia, Poland... Within Eastern Europe, that was their domain. They wanted to be left alone to run their own dungeon and their own domain. For the U.S., it was the rest of the world, if you take a look at U.S. interventions: all over the place. The idea is: "OK, we run the world, and there's a tacit compact; we'll kind of shout at each other..." Stay out of this hemisphere, and don't try to start your plans and your conspiracies over here. "...but each of us will discipline our own domains." For Russia: Eastern Europe, for the U.S.: the world. Take a look at the history of the Cold War: that's what it was; it was wars against independent countries by the superpowers almost all: the U.S, because our domain is the world. (Narrator) One of the most revealing passages in Churchill's memoirs describes an exchange between himself and Stalin, when the two warlords carved up the political boundaries of Europe, not on official policy documents, but a half sheet of paper. "The moment was apt for business", Churchill wrote. "So I said to Stalin: 'Let us settle about our affairs in the Balkans. Your armies are in Romania and Bulgaria. How would it do for you to have 90% predominance in Romania for us to have 90% of the say in Greece and go 50/50 about Yugoslavia?" Stalin agreed and kept his word. (Reporter) Birmingham, where in the shadow of the Queen Victoria's statue and beneath the red flag, a vast crowd listens to a fighting speech by Lord Beaverbrook And we believe in Stalin's leadership. [Applause] (Narrator) Following World War II, the United States began funneling huge sums of money to its European allies in what became know as the Marshall plan. The purpose was twofold: to help European nations rebuild their shattered economies and to dissuade their populations from embracing communism, socialism or any path independent of the United States. The aid provided essential relief for the war-ravaged countries of Europe. Yet, in the years between 1952 and 1962, of the 50 billion dollars given to 90 separate countries by the United States, only 5 billion dollars was for nonmilitary economic support. It was a desirable step to persuade the world, that we really were being altruistic here, this was not basically an anti-communist, anti-soviet measure. (Narrator) The first major test in establishing America's commitment to real democracy would come from Greece. During the war, the left-wing National Liberation Front had provided the majority of resistance to the nazis. It also set up interim governments across the nation. Though its military leadership was communist, the partisan governments bore no resemblance to stalinist Russia. They were decentralized and participatory. In April, it set up a provisional government in the mountains. Elections were held, and women were given the vote for the first time. I remember that the government made beautiful things happen. We were raised with high level. The other governments had neglected their peasants. Beautiful things happened, live voting. I voted and we helped in the local government in any way we could. The solidarity and understanding that were generated up here in the mountains and the enthusiasm for self-government made people so much more aware and sophisticated that hose of us who came up from Athens just couldn't believe it. In general, the people were very pleased with this people's government, where general assemblies every month and every villager could air his grievances and criticize the chairman or councilor when he didn't do his duty. We made decisions for the whole village. Whatever happened in the village, everybody had to know about it. That was how self-government worked. When we started to govern ourselves, we got encouraged and people woke up, so to speak. We became more active and took up more responsibility for ourselves. We wanted this government to agree to the separation of Church and State and that priests should complete secondary school and have theological degrees. In the meantime, we joined the resistance and the churches contributed, however they could. (Narrator) Winston Churchill described the situation as anarchy and demanded a return of King George II. When the people of Greece rejected the return of the monarchy, the British army attacked. (Reporter) EAM's goal was to make Greece independent: free from all ties. We knew from the start that the British wanted to keep Greece within their stream of influence in the Mediterranean for their own political ends. EAM was opposed to this and so the British were against us from the start. The British and the Greek governments, along with the royalist troops, wanted to restore the old order in Greece. They wanted the king back on his throne because he was the best guarantee of British interests in Greece: political, economic and strategic. People hated the dictatorship of Metaxás and the king. Together, they oppressed the Greek people. We didn't want in any way to go back to the same tyrannical regime which was supported from abroad after the liberation. That regime was hated by all Greeks. (Narrator) A network of concentration camps were set up across the Greek Islands, while right-wing death squads terrorized villages. A favorite technique was beheading. President Truman responded by giving hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the very men the allies had been fighting just months before. The free peoples of the world look through us for support in maintaining their freedoms. If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world and we shall surely endanger the welfare of this nation. I therefore ask the Congress to provide authority for assistance to Greece and Turkey in the amount of $400 million for the period ending June 30th, 1948. (Narrator) In 1947, 74,000 tons of military equipment were sent to Greece. Among the supplies were hundreds of mules. Less amusing were the massive stocks of napalm. During the Greek Civil War, Churchill praised Stalin for "adhering strictly and faithfully for our agreement of October... During all the long weeks of fighting the communists in the streets of Athens, not one word of reproach came from Pravda or Izvestia." There were many fears. The primary fears were the usual ones. The British invaded Greece in 1944 and tried to restore it to the British Imperial system, resenting that the U.S. was taking it over. In Greece, there was a strong nazi resistance. It pretty much liberated the country from the nazis. It was what's called communist, it was peasant and worker-based. All over Europe, in the wake of the war, there was a radical democracy, often called communist or socialist or something like that. The U.S. didn't want that. It wanted to restore the traditional order. So in Greece, after the British could no longer control the resistance, they pulled out, the United States moved in. That's when the Truman doctrine was announced in lofty rhetoric about defending democracy, but in fact it was to crush the anti-nazi resistance (the peasant/worker-based anti-nazi resistance) and to restore the traditional order with many fascist collaborators, etc., they didn't care about that. That which is exactly what happened; it killed maybe 150,000 Greeks; it set Greece on the path it followed. Later, it turned out that it wasn't enough, so the U.S. supported openly the first direct revival of fascism in Europe, not hidden, the fascist generals were supported by the United States when they took over in the '60s. That led us into 1974, I think, when there was an uprising which threw them out. OK, that's Greece. Italy. Italy has been the target of more CIA action than anywhere else in the world as far as the record shows up until at least the 1970s. At that point, the record runs awry. In Italy, there was a very powerful lift. If there had been free elections, the left would have won. The U.S. were very much frightened of that. In fact, go back a little bit. Italy was the first place where U.S. and British troops landed on the continent. 1943. They landed in Sicily and then started moving up the peninsula They had a problem. The nazis were being driven from Italy as in Greece by the popular resistance. As the U.S. and British forces came in, they had to crush the resistance and reinstate the fascists, which is exactly what they did. The Field Martial Badoglio, a very fascist hero conqueror of Abyssinia, was installed as Prime Minister when the pro-fascist king was brought back especially as the troops went to the North. The North had already been liberated by the resistance, the nazis had been pretty much driven out. They had established a functioning society with worker-owned factories, driving out managers, etc. The United States was horrified and the British (remember, it was the labour party then), they were even more horrified. The idea of driving managers out of factories and running it yourself... It was utter anathema. The liberated society of Northern Italy had to be crushed and the traditional forces reinstituted including, of course, leading fascists. In fact, this was done all through Europe, but the most important places were Italy and Greece because they had advanced farther then. Italy and Greece were both understood to be part of the system of controlling Middle East oil. The transit lines went through the Mediterranean. That's all one big system of which this is one component and the U.S. was not going to sacrifice that. The control of Middle Eastern oil was regarded as an absolutely central part of post-war global planning and, of course, control over Europe. There were other aspects too. The formation of NATO, for example, was theoretically motivated by concern that Russia would invade maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it was also driven by the concern that Europe might move in an independent path. Europe is a big place. It has an economy of the scale of the United States', more advanced than the United States in many respects. It had been crushed by the war, but it was going to re-industrialize, and it did, over the next couple of decades and became a flourishing economy. There's always a concern that it might strike out on its own. It might become what was called a third force, independent of the U.S. and Russia. It may be along Gaullist lines. De Gaulle had this plan of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals as a separate force in world affairs; it's an anathema to U.S. planners. (Narrator) The embrace of fascist leaders by the West is often explained as a product of Cold War necessity. Yet, the reality is more complex. From the very beginning of the fascist movement, many Western business leaders not only praised fascists but offered significant financial, intellectual and moral support. The case of Spain provides one of the most striking examples. When peasants and workers took control of production, consumption and social life across much of the country, world leaders united in opposition against them. Their system of self-government threatened not only the fascists and stalinists, but liberal democracies in America and the rest of the world. (Narrator) The rebels called themselves anarchists. (N. Chomsky) In the media and general commentary the term anarchy is used to indicate chaos, bomb throwing, disruption, criminality... The actual meaning of the term is quite different: it involves mutual aid, cooperation; it's as close as you can get to pure democracy, real popular control over all institutions. Sometimes resistance is usually leaderless resistance. That's partly ignorance and partly a way to undermine efforts to try to achieve a cooperative society with popular control which of course is obviously very much opposed by elite interests. When it came to getting anything from the store, then, naturally, one had to have that particular capacity and that way of thinking. Why would you take 2 kilograms of meat today if 1 kilogram is enough for you, and tomorrow you can go and get more? Or a suit, or a pair of shoes? Light, water, school, everything was free. There was no selfishness. It didn't exist. How could it? When there's no money, there's no selfishness. When you say it today, people don't understand. But everyone adapted very well. When the collective was formed, when it was created, the vast majority of the people accepted it easily and there were no union people or anarchists at all. There was a big blackboard in the union office. Any worker who had a complaint would write it on the blackboard and it would be discussed in the assembly. If a person suggested something, it was to find out what others thought and if they would accept that proposal. If people agreed, fine; if not, they'd do something else, but always by consensus. We didn't govern ourselves because the Regional Commitee said so. Every people has its culture, and because of that, it has its customs. The customs we have here in Valencia aren't the same as those in Andalusia. You have to be aware that you're working for yourself. You don't have a boss, so you're more keen to work. That way of behaving ethically in society without the need of any police force. I think that self-management continues to be the great unsolved question. How did the liberal democracies respond? Exactly as you'd expect them to. They despise democracy, for very good reasons: the masters do not want the ignorant meddlesome outsiders to run their own affairs, because they'll do it in their own interest. You lose hierarchy, domination, and centralized control: all the values that the masters naturally want. So, the liberal democracies essentially joined forces with the fascists and the communists to destroy the revolution. After they destroyed the anarchist social revolution, then they started fighting among themselves. But the first task, for the first year, was to make sure that the popular revolution was crushed. The communists were in fact in the lead. The fascists, of course, had their own interests. The United States was a little marginal at that time. It wasn't the major world power, it was mostly England and France. But Roosevelt also played a role, so there was an embargo passed which prevented arms from going to the republic. However, Roosevelt tolerated breaking of the embargo illegally to provide oil to the fascists. The State Department pretended it didn't know. Of course, they did know. I remember this as a child, the left-wing press was reporting it, the government said they never heard about it and of course the media went along with the government. Years later, the documents came out and they conceded that it had been happening all along. So yes, Roosevelt was basically supporting the fascists, but primarily destroying the anarchist revolution, which was a real threat. A totalitarian state will reign in Spain. The functioning of all the capacities and energies of the country in which inside the nation's unity, the work, considered as the least avoidable duty will be the only exponent of the popular will and thanks to which the authentic power of the Spanish people will be able to manifest through those natural structures, which like the family, the city council, the association and the corporation will crystallize our highest ideals into reality. Fascism is a very rational system. It is an instrument by the ruling plutocracy to distract the people with the accouterments of a false revolution. There's always a false populism. There's a lot of goose stepping and there's a lot of manipulation of symbols, sentiments love of the state and the like. Much of politics is the rational use of irrational symbols. The attention that when people study Italian fascism or nazism especially, they focus on it as a kind of insane movement that just happened, carried on by this maniac Adolf Hitler and the Germans went our of their heads and were led astray. In fact, what they tried to do, is to direct the real grievances of the German people toward irrelevant enemies. The democratic parties promised a heaven on Earth! 38 parties, 6 million unemployed When the fascists came into power, they cut wages by 50%, they destroyed every labor union they destroyed every opposition party and every newspaper (closed them down). They abolished all inheritance taxes for the rich or cut them drastically; they abolished all cartel taxes for the corporations: pretty much what's being done here without having to go all that far politically. Fascism is an instrument whereby the plutocracy can control and, hopefully, effect a final solution to the class struggle. You totally shatter, destroy and enslave the working class, and people just have to take it. What substantiates what I just said, that fascism is an instrument of plutocracy, is the way the plutocracy acted toward the fascists not just the German plutocracy which gave Hitler enormous sums of money, which enabled him to go all over the country, but also the plutocracy of the United States, where all sorts of eminent members of that plutocracy openly supported the fascists. (Announcer) I.G Farben industries, Allgemeine Elektricitäts-gesellschaft, Siemens-Schuckertwerke, Siemens-Halske, Opel, Fried. Krupp Aktiengesellschaft Tōkyō Shibaura Mitsubishi Electrical Engineering Company, Westinghouse Electric Company of Japan Compagnia Generale di Elettricità Marconi Società Anonima and many more all over the world. (R. Baker) Among the titans of Wall Street, there was a tremendous amount of sympathy for Adolf Hitler and for Mussolini, coupled with a great deal of fear about what they perceived as a rising red threat and the threat from unions. So they were largely sympathetic with what they saw going on over there. Of course, these people and the attorneys working for them like the Dulles brothers who would later go on to run the State Department and the CIA were very much in tune on this sort of thing. It put them in an awkward position later on, when they ended up having to fight against Hitler, but that never really changed, I think, their fundamental belief which was that they shared common cause with industrialists everywhere. In fact, many of these people were involved with companies that had operations in Germany and in occupied territories of Germany. We later saw the prosecution of a number of them under the Trading with the Enemy Act and this included Prescott Bush the grandfather of George W. Bush. (Reporter) Prescott Bush was a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman the most prestigious investment bank on Wall Street. By the time when the influence of the WASP establishment in America, the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants was near its peak. (Narrator) Not only did some of the most powerful corporations support fascism in Europe, so did many of its most powerful politicians. Mussolini was frequently praised by leading political figures in the United States and Britain and even by Churchill himself. On January 20th, 1927, he lauded the new philosophy while on a trip to Italy "I will say a word on an international aspect of fascism", Churchill stated, "Externally, your movement has rendered a service to the whole world... Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of civilized society." It was only when fascist states began threatening Anglo-American interests that the philosophy fell out of favor, at least temporarily. Working class men and boys from around the world were now forced to either defend or combat the Frankenstein monster nurtured by elites within their own nations. The nightmare of World War II had begun. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly all over Europe. (Narrator) Despite rhetoric to the contrary, Truman would support fascist and other totalitarian leaders across the globe. Republican Senator George Bender lamented that: "Mr. Truman has urged the Congress to authorize a program of military collaboration will all the petty and not so petty dictators of South America." Aggressive politician Henry Wallace went further: He stated that: "Bipartisan reactionary war policy would eventually lead to outright fascism in the United States itself. According to Wallace, the Cold War would lead to a century of fear. End of Part 1

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 35 minutes and 42 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Metanoia Films
Director: Scott Noble
Views: 2,681
Posted by: ltiofficial on Jul 22, 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 documentary addresses the foreign policy of the United States during the Cold War. It is part one of a three part documentary.

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