April 09, 2014

Memo From the Wretched: Enough About Nonviolence

No people has been the recipient of more unsolicited advice than the Palestinians. The exemplars of barbarity to neoconservatives and the subjects of anguished progressive reprimands, the Palestinians often serve as a pretext for blowhards of all political affiliations to dust off their soapboxes. A particularly egregious form of sermonizing to which the Palestinians are subject is the admonition that they undertake nonviolent modes of resistance. I would like to argue that this sort of admonition is both ignorant and immoral.

I do not want to explore whether or not nonviolence is the best strategic or moral form of anti-colonial resistance. The difference between violence and nonviolence is not as trenchant as most commentators imagine. Violence and nonviolence, both amorphous terms, are in constant dialectic, and no historical example can be found of either of these approaches being effective without the other present. Undertaking nonviolent resistance is an ethical and strategic decision with which I have no quarrel. In fact, I have tremendous admiration for those who practice this method at the risk of their personal safety and in the service of national liberation.

I dislike the frequent lecturing from Western liberals to Palestinians about the merits of nonviolence, an act as misguided as it is patronizing. Michael Tomasky of The Guardian, for example, posed the following hypothetical amid Israel’s January, 2009, massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip: “A hypothetical question for you. Suppose the Palestinian liberation movement, going way back to the founding of the PLO in 1964, had been dedicated to nonviolent struggle as opposed to armed struggle, and the Palestinians had had a Gandhi, and not an Arafat.” The Palestinians, Tomasky surmises, would have had a state over twenty years ago. His colleague Gershom Gorenberg argues that “[t]hrough violence—from airplane hijackings to suicide bombings and rocket fire—Palestinians have failed to reach political independence…. So why not adopt the strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience, the methods of Gandhi?” Gorenberg wonders, “Is that kind of radicalism imaginable in Islam?”

On CommonDreams.org, Marty Jezer explains, “Palestinian nonviolence seems a romantic fantasy, an idealistic dream. But perhaps idealism is the most realistic approach at this time; and nonviolence the solution most grounded in reality. I challenge anybody to come up with an equivalent strategy, one that assures Israelis their security and Palestinians their state.” Michael Lerner asks what he imagines to be a self-evident question: “Who are Palestine’s friends? Those who encourage a path of non-violence and abandoning [sic] the fantasy that armed struggle combined with political isolation of Israel will lead to a good outcome for Palestinians.”

It would be too time consuming to respond to all the problems in these passages, but in them we can identify some useful points of analysis. The most important point is that the Palestinians do practice nonviolence. They have done so ever since Zionists began settling their land, a process that is by its very nature violent. Today, as throughout the twentieth century, one can find ample examples of intrepid and imaginative civil resistance. I have met very few Westerners who have traveled to Palestine and didn’t return home inspired.

An interesting feature of Palestinian nonviolence is that it usually evokes a ferocious response by Israel. During the 1980s, peaceful demonstrators had their bones broken at the behest of Yitzhak Rabin. Earlier generations were deported and had their homes demolished. Today’s nonviolent activists are often shot, imprisoned, or beaten. The village of Bi’lin in the West Bank has done a weekly protest for over four years. During the course of these peaceful gatherings, the Israeli military has been utterly brutal. In April, 2009, soldiers shot and killed an unarmed demonstrator, Bassem Ibrahim Abu Rahmah. Abu Rahmah was hit in the chest with a tear-gas grenade, the same weapon that earlier in the year cracked open the skull of American demonstrator Tristan Anderson. In June, 2009, one of the leaders of the Bi’lin demonstrations, Adeeb Abu Rahme, was arrested and kept in military detention without due process. The breathless appeals by concerned Western liberals for the Palestinians to practice nonviolence are both ludicrous and immoral in light of the historical record and the invidious violence of the Israeli state.

The Palestinians have always mixed violence and nonviolence, like all anti-colonial movements. It is through a host of racist presuppositions and an inherent commitment to Zionism that American liberals imagine that somehow Palestinians are a special case, that their reliance on violence is culturally innate (Gershon Gorenberg) or that they are motivated by factors other than liberation, such as anti-Semitism and civilizational envy (Alan Dershowitz). The inability or unwillingness of so many liberal intellectuals to recognize the long tradition of Palestinian nonviolent resistance bespeaks tacit racism in addition to a hypocritical devotion to Israel’s normative and continuous state violence.

These calls for Palestinian nonviolence pretend to be ethically disinterested, but they are entangled with troublesome politics that are fundamentally destructive and undemocratic. For instance, they are often accompanied by appeals to avoid criticism of Zionism (Norman Finkelstein), to eschew effective nonviolent tactics such as boycott and divestment (Michael Lerner), and to reject counterproductive things like binationalism and right of return (Finkelstein and Lerner). In other words, the Palestinians should reject violence, and while they’re at it go ahead and give up all of their legal entitlements and decolonial aspirations.

My good friend, the philosopher Mohammed Abed, pointed out to me recently that the grueling endurance of life under military occupation—waiting hours at checkpoints, being denied medical care, having universities shut down—is itself a testament to an unusual commitment to nonviolence. I suspect that when many Western liberals urge the Palestinians (and other colonized people) to undertake nonviolence, they are using a truncated definition of the term informed by a poor or distorted understanding of the concept. In this usage, they conflate nonviolence with passivity. It is a great convenience to the liberal advocates of colonization to have a colonized population comprised of passive resistors. But colonized people are never as stupid and gullible as their liberal saviors imagine them to be.

The Palestinians, anyway, are far too evolved to listen to those who would use their courage and diligence to dispossess them of their right to active resistance. Violent or nonviolent, their choice of resistance isn’t the business of liberal armchair ethicists. Those ethicists are fond of claiming that if the Palestinians resisted nonviolently they would have already achieved their liberation. This claim is factually untrue. It is just as likely that if liberal commentators would assess their own profound support of violence they would have a lot less to say to others and more time to devote to their own failed selves.

Steven Salaita’s latest book is The Uncultured Wars: Arabs, Muslims, and the Poverty of Liberal Thought.

U.S. Argument Against Nuclear Abolition Profoundly Flawed

By Ira Helfand | International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War | April 8, 2014

Back in the 1980s there was a very, very widespread understanding of what was going to happen if there were a nuclear war. We’ve lost that understanding, by and large. Certainly, in the general population, there is very little understanding about what nuclear weapons can do or even how many there are in the world.

What is really quite new, I think, is the discovery in the last eight years, starting in 2006, that even a very limited use of nuclear weapons would cause a global catastrophe. In a war in which cities were targeted with nuclear weapons, perhaps as many as 20 million people would be killed in the first week directly from the explosions, from the firestorm, from the direct radiation. In all of World War II, about 50 million people died over eight years. This is 20 million people dying in the course of a single week.

Moreover, this limited use of nuclear weapons—far  less than half of a percent of the world’s nuclear arsenals—causes profound global climate disruption. Temperatures worldwide drop about 1.3 degrees centigrade and this effect lasts for about a decade. As a result of that, there would also be a very significant disruption of global precipitation patterns. And as a result of these combined effects, there would be a very profound impact on food production. We issued a report in April of 2012 suggesting that up to a billion people worldwide could die of famine. Since then, new data shows that there will be widespread hunger in China as well – another 1.3 billion people at risk.

We have never had an event like this in human history where anywhere from 15 to 30 percent of the human population dies over the course of a decade. And this is a real possibility in the event of a war between India and Pakistan, which is itself a real possibility.

The effects of a large-scale war dwarf even these horrors. If only 300 warheads in the Russian arsenal detonated over targets in American urban areas, between 75 and a hundred million people would be dead in the first 30 minutes, and a U.S. counterattack on Russia would cause the same kind of destruction. In addition to killing this many people in half an hour, this attack would also completely destroy the economic infrastructure of this country.

But again, as mind-boggling as this kind of direct toll is, it is not the worst part of the story because a war between the United States and Russia also causes profound climate disruption. A hundred small warheads in South Asia put 5 million tons of debris into the upper atmosphere and dropped global temperatures 1.3 degrees centigrade. A war between the United States and Russia, using only those weapons that are still allowed when New START is fully implemented in 2017 – that war puts 150 million tons of debris into the atmosphere, and it drops global temperatures 8 degrees centigrade on average.  In the interior regions of Eurasia and North America, the temperature decline is 25 to 30 degrees centigrade. We have not seen temperatures on this planet that cold in 18,000 years, since the coldest moment of the last ice age.  In the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, there would be three years without a single day free of frost.  Temperature goes below freezing at some point every single day for three years. And that means there is no agriculture, there is no food production. Most of the ecosystems in this zone collapse. The vast majority of the human race starves to death, and it is possible that we become extinct as a species.

Now, if that is the starting point of the conversation, the next thing that flows from that is these weapons cannot exist. We know that there is a real and finite possibility every day that they will be used. And if that is true, then it is simply a matter of time until they actually are used, and that means they cannot be allowed to exist. And that is a very different starting point than where we are in the current conversation about disarmament. And that’s why this argument, I think, has become so powerful.

The plans of the nuclear weapon states to maintain their nuclear arsenals indefinitely are simply unacceptable, and we need a fundamentally different new approach. They say that politics is the art of the possible. Statesmanship, I think, is clearly the art of the necessary. And it is time that we ask our leaders to act like statesmen, not like politicians. It’s time that we demand that behavior of them. And I think that’s what this whole movement is about at this point. It is calling the nuclear weapons states, saying that we will not accept their behavior anymore, and demanding that they change.

So the question becomes, how do we move the process forward? Well, people could just abandon the NPT, or they could try to engage in some kind of productive international diplomatic initiative to achieve the stated goals of the NPT, which is the elimination of nuclear weapons. And I think the people who have been advocating for a convention to ban nuclear weapons understand this is not the end stage; this is a way of trying to move the ball down the field, of trying to put some pressure on those nuclear weapon states that are using the NPT process, frankly, to preserve their nuclear monopoly. And there’s just no patience left in this idea of acceptable nuclear apartheid.

The nuclear-weapon states can’t have it both ways. They can’t say “it’s OK for us to have nuclear weapons because we’re never going to use them” on the one hand, and on the other hand say “our policy is based on deterrence. For deterrence to work, we have to convince people that we will use them.” You just can’t do this. It’s one or the other. You can’t say we’re never going to use nuclear weapons and then talk about the circumstances in which we can use them legitimately and safely and without it being a humanitarian disaster. Either you’re going to say that you’re never going to use them, or you’re going to say that you are going to use them. And if you’re going to say that you are going to use them, then if it’s OK for the U.S. to use them and to have them so we can use them, then how can you tell the rest of the world that they can’t? And the fact of the matter is, we have lost that argument. The rest of the world rejects that—and rightly so—because the argument is profoundly flawed.

The nuclear ban treaty that’s been proposed is a political tool to try to create pressure to get to a nuclear weapons convention. What has been proposed is a treaty that bans not just use, but also possession, to make the point that these weapons should not be maintained, even when countries say they’re never going to use them, because of the very clear fact that the countries that say they’re never going to use them in fact do have plans for using them. If this administration in the United States, which is so allergic to the idea of a ban treaty, put forward any significant initiative at this point, I think we would all rally behind it. A ban treaty really does move things forward in a very dramatic way and I would encourage people to support that, but I think if other ideas come forward, you know, it’s fine – whatever moves the ball forward. We’ve just got to get some movement in the right direction and we’re not getting it right now.

The humanitarian message, I think, is the key.  The thing that motivated Gorbachev, according to his memoirs, to take the initiatives which he took in the 1980s were the conversations he had with physicians from my organization, in which they explained to him what was going to happen if the weapons were used.  And remarkably, as the head of a nuclear power, he didn’t fully understand what was going to happen if a nuclear war took place. The same is true of most of the leaders of the nuclear weapons states today.

 On March 31, IPPNW co-president Ira Helfand participated in a roundtable discussion on the NPT and the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, co-sponsored by the Arms Control Association and IPPNW's US affiliate, Physicians for Social Responsibility. This article is adapted from Dr. Helfand's remarks. A complete transcript, including presentations by Ambassador Desra Percaya, Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations; Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies; and George Perkovich, Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is available at the Arms Control Association website.

George Monbiot in the Guardian lobster pot

By Jonathon Cook | April 8, 2014 

Back in February the Guardian quietly announced a deal with the global consumer goods corporation Unilever. Here is the beginning of the Guardian’s press release:
Guardian News and Media today officially launches Guardian Labs – its branded content and innovation agency – which offers brands bold and compelling new ways to tell their stories and engage with influential Guardian audiences. The official launch of the new commercial proposition is marked by the announcement of a pioneering seven-figure partnership with Unilever, centred on the shared values of sustainable living and open storytelling. … The new Unilever partnership will create a bespoke engagement platform to increase awareness of, and foster debate about, sustainability issues, and ultimately encourage people to live more sustainable lives.
I wonder how many of those who proudly declare themselves “Guardian readers” recognised their beloved newspaper in that statement.

In fact, it makes perfect sense for Unilever – a corporation whose brand “positioning” depends on its customers identifying it as a responsible and caring business, despite the evidence to the contrary – to team up with the Guardian, another corporation whose brand positioning has already persuaded most of its customers that it is a responsible and caring business.

Today the Guardian columnist George Monbiot does something pretty brave for a Guardian columnist: he alerts his readers to the existence of this arrangement and gently questions what it represents, in an article bewailing the fact that “corporations have colonised our public life”.
Here is what he says:
I recognise and regret the fact that all newspapers depend for their survival on corporate money (advertising and sponsorship probably account, in most cases, for about 70% of their income). But this, to me, looks like another step down the primrose path. As the environmental campaigner Peter Gerhardt puts it, companies like Unilever “try to stakeholderise every conflict”. By this, I think, he means that they embrace their critics, involving them in a dialogue that is open in the sense that a lobster pot is open, breaking down critical distance and identity until no one knows who they are any more.
It’s worth noting how rarely journalists criticise the nature of the media they work in. Maybe that is not so surprising: few businesses, the media included, are happy having their flaws paraded in public. But what Monbiot has done here is to appear brave while really shrinking from the truth. He criticises the Guardian while really not criticising it.

Monbiot’s implication in the nice metaphor above is that Unilever is the the lobster pot, while the poor Guardian is the lobster in danger of being “stakeholderised”. Or, in another metaphor he uses, the Guardian is the one being led up the primrose path.

What he encourages his readers to infer is that the Guardian is the victim in this deal, being seduced and violated by Unilever. The reality is that Unilever and the Guardian are both wolves in sheep’s clothing. The arrangement works to the benefit of them both. In Monbiot’s reckoning, the Guardian is “public life” being colonised by Unilever. In fact, the Guardian is no more public life than Unilever. Both have colonised the public space, in the interests of maximising profits whatever the consequences to the public good and the planet. (And please, no one try to claim that my argument is refuted by the fact that the Guardian loses money. It is not a charity. Its goal is not to lose money; its goal is to find a strategy, like the one with Unilever, to revive its fortunes in a dying industry.)
In fact, the lobster pot metaphor would be much more apt to describe Monbiot’s relationship with the Guardian. The newspaper has “embraced” him, “breaking down his critical distance and identity until he no longer knows who he is”. Now if he told us that, I really would be cheering him for his honesty.


Killer Drones in a Downward Spiral?

By Medea Benjamin and Kate Chandley | Dissident Voice | April 7, 2014

Illegal US drone strikes continue (the Long War Journal says there have been 8 drones strikes in Yemen so far in 2014), but efforts to curb the use of killer drones have made remarkable headway this year.

While the faith-based community has taken far too long to address the moral issues posed by remote-controlled killing, on February 13, the World Council of Churches — the largest coalition of Christian churches — came out in opposition to the use of armed drones. The Council said that the use of armed drones poses a “serious threat to humanity” and condemned, in particular, US drone strikes in Pakistan. This is a breakthrough in the religious community, and should make it easier for individual denominations to make similar pronouncements, as the Church of the Brethren has.

There have also been major developments in the secular world. In February, the European Union, with an overwhelming vote of 534-49, passed a resolution calling on EU Member States to “oppose and ban the practice of extrajudicial targeted killings” and demanding that EU member states “do not perpetrate unlawful targeted killings or facilitate such killings by other states.” This resolution will pressure individual European nations to stop their own production and/or use of killer drones (especially the UK, Germany, Italy and France), and to stop their collaboration with the US drone program.

People on the receiving end of US drone strikes have also stepped up their opposition. On April 1, a group of friends and family of drone strike victims in Yemen came together to form the National Organization for Drone Victims. This is the first time anywhere that drone strike victims have created their own entity to support one another and seek redress. The organization plans to conduct its own investigations, focusing on the civilian impact of drone attacks. At the official launch, which was packed with press, the group said any government official supporting the US drones should be tried in a criminal court. “Today, we launch this new organization which will be the starting point for us to get justice and to take legal measures on a national and international scale against anyone who is aiding these crimes,” said the organization’s president Mohammad Ali al-Qawli, whose brother was killed in a drone strike.

The Pakistani government has taken its opposition to drone strikes directly to the UN Human Rights Council. Pakistan, with the co-sponsorship of Yemen, introduced a resolution calling for transparency in drone strikes and for setting up a committee of experts to address the legal issues. Despite the opposition of the United States, which boycotted the talks and lobbied to kill the resolution, it passed on March 24 by a vote of 27-6, with 14 abstentions. The panel of experts that will be convened is scheduled to present its findings at the UN Human Rights Council session in September 2014.

UN Special Rapporteur on Terrorism, Ben Emmerson, also used this session of the UN Human Rights Council to release a detailed report on the issue of drones. Emmerson examined 37 instances of drone strikes in which civilians were reportedly killed or injured and concluded that nations using drones must provide a “public explanation of the circumstances and a justification for the use of deadly force.” Emmerson said it was critical for the international community to reach a consensus on many issues presented by drones strikes, including state sovereignty and whether it is legal to target a hostile person in a non-belligerent state.

These new developments have come about due to increasing public scrutiny and protests against drone attacks, such as the ongoing protests at the Hancock, Beale, and Creech Air Force Bases, the headquarters of drone manufacturer General Atomics, the White House, CIA, Congress and the Pentagon. The entire month of April has been designated for Days of Action, with film showings, talks, die-ins, re-enactments of drone strikes and other creative actions happening throughout the country.

Activists opposing weaponized drones are pleased to finally see more movement at the international level, and hope this will result in heightened pressure on the Obama administration, both internationally and domestically, to stop its policy of targeted assassinations and instead adhere to the rule of law.

April 08, 2014

The saturated fat scam: What’s the real story?

The “Coca Cola conspiracy” and the obesity epidemic

Aletho News | February 7, 2010

In the late 1960′s the US, through conventional hybridization techniques, succeeded in creating new types of corn dramatically increasing yield per acre by reducing the space required per plant as well as increasing the number of ears per stalk. This development was seen as a phenomenal opportunity for the nation with the world’s greatest capacity of corn production. All that was needed was a way to increase demand for corn. Although shifting the Western diet to grits was not likely there were other options.

Corn fed hogs and Chicken would now become less expensive to produce in confined animal feeding operations which would later proliferate. But due to the inherent inefficiency of converting grain calories into animal calories the development of processed foods that use corn itself and not animal products would be far more profitable than selling pork or chicken.
Corn syrup and corn syrup solids had seen their uses multiply under the post WWII “better living through chemistry” paradigm. Now they would also be much cheaper to produce. In 1973, Richard Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, Earl Butz, altered US farm policy to permanently subsidize the increased production of corn, opening a new era in which corn-based processed foods would become far cheaper than their rivals. The convenience and fast food industries were poised to take off. Soft drinks that cost pennies to produce could be marketed at phenomenal profit. Corn derivatives would find their way into virtually every processed food.

In the video below, Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) are the cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.

The processed foods industry knew that their products would cause an epidemic of obesity among their customers, but they also realized that their bottom line would grow exponentially. The FDA and USDA provided all the cover needed and then some by pointing the finger in the wrong direction. Saturated fat was demonized as a health hazard despite the fact that it had been a major part of traditional diets for the entirety of recorded history among most European cultures.

Subsequently, while Americans reduced the percentage of calories from fats in their diets to 30% from 40%, rates of obesity and cardio-vascular disease steadily increased.
The “low-fat” foods fad was a complete fraud. Convincing consumers to choose “lite” products allowed producers to substitute high fructose corn syrup for the relatively expensive saturated fat content in its products. The industrial trans-fats which were combined with the corn syrup turned out to actually increase the risk of cardio-vascular disease when compared to the consumption of saturated fats. These developments would have enormous implications for public health not just in the US but worldwide over the ensuing decades. The damage would eventually become too great to conceal.

In April 2009 Harvard School of Public Health would issue a press release revealing the following research results:
Strong evidence developed at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and elsewhere shows that sugary drinks are an important contributor to the epidemic rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the United States. Faced with these growing public health threats, experts from the Department of Nutrition at HSPH believe beverage manufacturers, government, schools, work sites and homes must take action to help Americans choose healthier drinks. They propose that manufacturers create a class of reduced-calorie beverages that have no more than 1 gram of sugar per ounce-about 70 percent less sugar than a typical soft drink-and that are free of non-caloric sweeteners. They also propose that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require beverage manufacturers to put calorie information for the entire bottle-not just for a single serving-on the front of drink labels. [...]
Americans consume sugary beverages in staggering amounts. On a typical day, four out of five children and two out of three adults drink sugar-sweetened beverages. Teen boys drink more than a quart of sugary drinks, on average, every day. A 12-ounce can of soda or juice typically has 10-12 teaspoons of sugar and 150 or more calories; the popular 20-ounce bottle size now prevalent on store shelves and in vending machines carries nearly 17 teaspoons of sugar and 250 calories.
According to research at HSPH and elsewhere, sugared beverages are the leading source of added sugar in the diet of young Americans. If a person drank one can of a sugary beverage every day for a year and didn’t cut back on calories elsewhere, the result could be a weight gain of up to 15 pounds.
Consuming sugary drinks may have other harmful health outcomes: The latest research from HSPH published in the April issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed the health of 90,000 women over two decades and found that women who drank more than two servings of sugary beverages each day had a nearly 40 percent higher risk of heart disease than women who rarely drank sugary beverages.
They make the following recommendations:
Beverage manufacturers: Create reduced-calorie beverages with no more than 1 gram of sugar per ounce and that are free of non-caloric sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose or stevia. That’s about 3 teaspoons per 12 ounces and about 50 calories. Manufacturers should also offer smaller (8-ounce) bottles of sugary drinks.
Individuals: Choose beverages with few or no calories; water is best. Call manufacturers’ customer service numbers and ask them to make sugar-reduced drinks.
Food shoppers: Purchase less juice and cross the soda off your home shopping list. Skip the “fruit drinks” too, since these are basically flavored sugar-water.
Schools and workplaces: Offer several healthy beverage choices and smaller serving sizes. Also make sure water is freely available.
Government: The FDA should require companies to list the number of calories per bottle or can-not per serving-on the front of beverage containers.
In January of 2010 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition released the following abstract of a newly completed study which finds no link between saturated fat intake and heart disease:

Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health. 

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.
Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD. 

Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results. 

Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

Biomass Energy: Dirty and Unsustainable

Aletho News | December 26, 2009

President Obama's continuing "all-out, all-in, all-of-the-above" energy strategy still supports biomass energy development despite its increasingly obvious problems, numerous abandoned facilities, and public rejection. An asserted need to reduce America's reliance on imported oil is frequently cited in arguments made for funding projects which are otherwise environmentally and economically dubious. 

The US Department of Energy uses the term “renewable” when introducing visitors at its website to the topic of biomass energy. Perhaps it can be argued that biomass energy is renewable, but is it accurate to describe the repeated removal of biomass from agricultural or forested lands as sustainable? A quick review of some basics on the role of organic matter in soils belies the claim. 

To support healthy plant life, soil must contain organic matter—plants don’t thrive on minerals and photosynthesis alone. As organic matter breaks down in soil, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur are released. Organic matter is the main source of energy (food) for microorganisms. A higher level of microbial activity at a plant’s root zone increases the rate of nutrient transfer to the plant. As the organic matter decreases in soil so does this biochemical activity. Without organic matter, soil biochemical activity would nearly stop. 

In addition to being a storehouse of nutrients, decaying plant matter keeps soil loose, helping soil remain both porous and permeable as well as gaining better water-holding capacity. This is not only beneficial to plant growth but is essential for soil stability. Soil becomes more susceptible to erosion of all types as organic matter content is reduced. 

The value of returning organic matter to the soil has been well-known to farmers since the earliest days of agriculture. Crop residues and animal waste are tilled back into the soil to promote fertility. 

Denny Haldeman, steering committee member of the national Anti-Biomass Incineration Campaign, asserts that there is no documentation of the sustainability of repeated biomass removals on most soil types. Most documentation points to nutrient losses, soil depletion and decreased productivity in just one or two generations.
A cursory search of the Department of Energy website does not reveal that they have given the issue of soil fertility any consideration at all. However the biomass industry is supported by both Federal and State governments through five main advantages: tax credits, subsidies, research, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and preferential pricing afforded to technologies that are labeled “renewable” energy. Without government support, biomass power plants wouldn’t be viable outside of a very limited number of co-generation facilities operating within lumber mills. But under the Sisyphean imperative of “energy independence” and with generous access to public assistance, the extraction of biomass from our farmlands and public forests is set to have a big impact on land use (or abuse).
The creation of an artificial market for agricultural “wastes” harms entire local agricultural economies. In Minnesota, organic farmers are concerned that a proposed turkey waste incinerator will drive up the price of poultry manure by burning nearly half of the state’s supply. The establishment of biomass power generation will likely make it more difficult for family farms to compete with confined animal feeding operations and will contribute generally to the demise of traditional (sustainable) agricultural practices. 

Similar economic damage will occur in the forest products industries. Dedicating acreage to servicing biomass wood burners denies its use for lumber or paper. Ultimately, the consumer will shoulder the loss in the form of higher prices for forest products. 

As available sources of forest biomass near the new power plants diminish, clear-cutting and conversion of native forests into biomass plantations will occur, resulting in the destruction of wildlife habitat. Marginal lands which may not have been previously farmed will be targeted for planting energy crops. These lands frequently have steeper grades and erosion, sedimentation and flooding will be the inevitable result. 

It gets worse. 

Municipal solid waste as well as sewage sludge is mixed with the biomass and burned in locations where garbage incineration was traditionally disallowed due to concerns over public health. Dioxins and furans are emitted in copious quantity from these “green” energy plants. Waste incineration is already the largest source of dioxin, the most toxic chemical known. 

Providing increased waste disposal capacity only adds to the waste problem because it reduces the costs associated with waste generation, making recycling that much more uneconomic. In terms of dangerous toxins, land-filling is preferable to incineration. The ash that is left after incineration will be used in fertilizers, introducing the dangerous residual heavy metals into the food supply. 

In reality biomass fuel isn’t sustainable or clean.

Investment bankers salivate over North Africa

Chaos and strife create the revolutionary atmosphere in which opportunity abounds
Aletho News | March 8, 2011
Investment banking is usually thought of as a field that values stability. Yet the greatest rewards are often attained through destabilization.
North African regimes and leaders have their obvious faults and flaws. Autocracies have an inherent weakness in their tendency to ossification. This basic reality is reflected not just in the obvious lack of democratic institutions, but also in the economic structures of the North African states. Regimes which have persisted for many decades tend to retain many of the economic characteristics of the era in which they were formed.
In the developing economies, during the decades prior to the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990′s, state owned industries were fostered in order to provide basic services such as telecommunications, transport and public utilities. Local manufacturing industries were protected from offshore competition as a means of furthering development goals and enhancing balance of trade accounts. These well established practices have come to be seen by today’s promoters of ‘free trade’ and privatization as an impediment to maximizing profits. Once established, these industries are in many cases difficult to dislodge.
Therefore, a clean break is required for restructuring primary domestic industries in order for international investors to reap a greater share of locally generated profits. This process is referred to as ‘creative destruction’. To facilitate the emplacement of the new order, the old order must first be swept aside. This requirement of upending the existing order explains why Western neoconservatives have been promoting the revolutionary uprisings in North Africa. Neoconservative think tanks and publications are closely associated with the banking interests. Evidence of their designs on North Africa is abundant.
A 2010 Bertelsmann evaluation titled Transformation Tunisia reported:
Tunisia’s decision makers have once again advanced transformation too sluggishly. Despite the formal abolition of trade barriers for industrial goods with the European Union as of 1 January 2008, in practice, Tunisia has seen too little progress in terms of trade liberalization [emphasis added].
[The] Tunisian banking sector and capital market are regularly cited as one major hindrance to the country’s economic modernization. Although they have been formally brought up to international standards, financial supervision and regulation remain subject to political influence. This is partly due to direct state control over financial flows and partly to the state’s direct involvement therein. Although it sold its stakes in two banks in 2002 and 2005, respectively, the state remains the controlling shareholder in at least four other banks because it controls 50% of their assets. Under these conditions, top-rank bank executives are de facto appointed by the president through a controlling body.
On January 7, 2011, Elliott Abrams wrote for the Council on Foreign Relations:
“Tunisia, whose literacy rate has long been the highest in Africa at nearly 80% and whose per capita GDP is about $8,000, should have the ability to sustain a democratic government—once the Ben Ali regime collapses [emphasis added].
“Tunisians are clearly sick of looking at all the giant photos and paintings of Ben Ali that appear on walls, posters, and billboards all over the country. [...]
“If Tunisia can move toward democracy, Algerians and Egyptians and even Libyans will wonder why they cannot. This kind of thing may catch on [emphasis added]. In fact, in Algeria it may already be catching on.” (Elliott Abrams: Is Tunisia Next?)
On February 13, the New York Times described Robert Kagan as “a Brookings Institution scholar who long before the revolution helped assemble a nonpartisan group of policy experts to press for democratic change in Egypt.” [emphasis added]
Maidhc Ó Cathail has noted that:
Arianna Huffington … was prescient in a December 13, 2010 op-ed in Lebanon’s Daily Star titled “Social media will help fuel change in the Middle East.”
And also that:
Robert Kagan, who co-founded the Project for a New American Century with William Kristol in 1997, was joined on that “nonpartisan group” by PNAC founding member Elliott Abrams and PNAC deputy director Ellen Bork. Bork is currently “democracy and human rights” director at PNAC’s successor, Foreign Policy Initiative, where Kagan and Kristol are directors. Not surprisingly, Kristol wrote in the Weekly Standard on January 29 that he was “in complete agreement” with his fellow PNACers’ Working Group on Egypt in its demands that the U.S. suspend aid to Mubarak. [...]
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Kagan looked positively sanguine about the prospects for a post-Mubarak Egypt. Like George Soros, he seems confident that Israel has “much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East.”
It should be recalled that many of these same individuals and institutions were principle actors in the promotion of the ‘color revolutions’ in many of the former Soviet Republics as well as in Iran’s failed ‘green revolution’ during the summer of 2010.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi points out that the direction that events take is not being left to local forces:
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was interviewed by Rachel Maddow several weeks ago and revealed that Washington has already begun meddling.  Albright denounced Egyptian ex-president Mubarak … and then confirmed that the National Endowment for Democracy was already hard at work in Egypt, even though Mubarak had not yet stepped down, building up infrastructure and supporting party development.  Recall for a moment that Albright believes that a heavy fist is an essential part of diplomacy and that US interests always trump whatever suffering local people have to endure. [...]
Those who are aware of the insidious activities of the National Endowment for Democracy or NED, an ostensibly private foundation that spreads “democracy” and is largely funded by the government, will not be surprised to learn that it is already active in North Africa because it is almost everywhere.  NED, which has a Democratic Party half in its National Democratic Institute, and a Republican Party half in its International Republican Institute, was the driving force behind the series of pastel revolutions that created turmoil in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.  Remember when the Russians and others complained about the activities of NGOs interfering in their politics?  NED was what they were referring to.
Albright is in charge of the NED Dems while John McCain leads the NED GOP. [...]
Neoconservative Ken Timmerman has identified the core NED activity overseas as “training political workers in modern communications and organizational techniques,” surely a polite way to describe interfering directly in other countries’ politics.
On February 27, John McCain and Joe Lieberman visited Cairo. As reported by Politico:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who’s on a quick trip through the Middle East, said Sunday he found Cairo to be a “very exciting place.”
“We went to Tahrir Square today. Got a warm, enthusiastic welcome,” he said of his visit to Cairo with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Of course, to suggest that the uprisings have been orchestrated solely by these interests would ignore genuine grassroots concerns. Nothing here is meant to suggest that conditions for unrest were not present or that sacrifices for social change have not been made by the peoples of North Africa. This article is only meant to inform as to the activities of the interventionists. The real accomplishments of the uprisings may yet predominate.
Within a month after demanding cessation of military aid to Mubarak, the very same neocon cabal was demanding military intervention in the less pliable Libya. Jim Lobe reports for IPS:
In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage U.S. intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to “immediately” prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week.
The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40 policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush, was organised and released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old neo-conservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous – or infamous – Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
Warning that Libya stood “on the threshold of a moral and humanitarian catastrophe”, the letter, which was addressed to President Barack Obama, called for specific immediate steps involving military action, in addition to the imposition of a number of diplomatic and economic sanctions to bring “an end to the murderous Libyan regime”.
In particular, it called for Washington to press NATO to “develop operational plans to urgently deploy warplanes to prevent the regime from using fighter jets and helicopter gunships against civilians and carry out other missions as required; (and) move naval assets into Libyan waters” to “aid evacuation efforts and prepare for possible contingencies;” as well as “(e)stablish the capability to disable Libyan naval vessels used to attack civilians.”
Among the letter’s signers were former Bush deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Bush’s top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice President Dick Cheney’s former deputy national security adviser, John Hannah, as well as FPI’s four directors: Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.
It was Kagan and Kristol who co-founded and directed PNAC in its heyday from 1997 to the end of Bush’s term in 2005.
The letter comes amid growing pressure on Obama, including from liberal hawks, to take stronger action against Gaddafi.
Two prominent senators whose foreign policy views often reflect neo-conservative thinking, Republican John McCain and Independent Democrat Joseph Lieberman, called Friday in Tel Aviv for Washington to supply Libyan rebels with arms, among other steps, including establishing a no-fly zone over the country.
By March 6, Reuters was already reporting the hoped for results:
As entrenched monopolies and patronage give way in the Middle East and North Africa, governments in the region could open their markets further and divest some state assets.
Wealthy Gulf states such Kuwait and Qatar have little cause to sell, but post-revolutionary states such as Tunisia will likely lower protectionist barriers…
“… this crisis is going to reveal some opportunities as structures linked to old regimes will be unwound,” said Julian Mayo, investment director at Charlemagne Capital. [...]
“When you have an economy moving from socialist dictatorship to full-fledged free market, the spider in the web of that transformation will be the banks,” [emphasis added] said Bjorn Englund, who runs an investment fund focused on Iraq.
Related video post:
Alliance for Youth Movements: The State Dept.’s New Vehicle for Regime Change
Update March 13, 2011:
US training quietly nurtured young Arab democrats
Update March 15, 2011:
A regional strategy for democracy in the Middle East
Zalmay Khalilzad | Washngton Post | March 15, 2011
… The Middle East uprisings that hold the greatest promise are in anti-American dictatorships. The immediate challenge is to ensure the ouster of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. [...]
… Gaddafi’s overthrow and the consolidation of a liberal, pro-American regime would bolster prospects for reform in Iran and Syria by countering Iranian propaganda that the current revolts are Islamist in character and directed only at partners of the United States.
We can follow up with a variety of steps to foment democratic revolutions against Tehran and Damascus, beginning with clarion calls for change. These include: training and support for opposition forces in and outside the countries; pressure directed against regime officials who attack their own people, including targeted sanctions and referrals in international tribunals; surrogate broadcasting and other pro-democracy messaging; funds for striking workers; and covert efforts to induce defections by regime and security officials. …

Three Mile Island, Global Warming and the CIA

In the mid 1970s “climate cooling” was the topic of articles in popular magazines such as Newsweek with reports of meteorologists being “almost unanimous” that the trend could lead to catastrophic famines, another little ice age or worse. In 1974 Time magazine published an article titled “Another Ice Age?.” In 1975 the New York Times ran an article titled “Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable,” while in 1978 they reported that “an international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.”

While it may be true that the “newspaper of record” is not the best source for topics that go beyond the pronouncements of official or “off the record” statements from government agents, it is instructive that the message changed by the end of the decade, after the March 28, 1979 accident at Three Mile Island which had sounded the death knell for the nuclear power industry that is.

Daniel Yergin writes that by the early 1980s “a notable shift in the climate of climate change research was clear-from cooling to warming.”1 Yergin reports that the Department of Defense’s JASON committee had concluded that “incontrovertible evidence that the atmosphere is indeed changing and that we ourselves contribute to that change,” adding “a wait-and-see policy may mean waiting until it is too late.” Political action was now being called for. That action would entail reducing carbon emissions, something which could be achieved through increased reliance on the now unpopular nuclear power industry.

Nuclear weapons programs rely on the existence of large nuclear processing facilities including mining, milling and enrichment of uranium as well as a highly specialized and experienced labor pool. While it is possible to produce nuclear weapons without a nuclear power industry it is far preferable to have a dynamic nuclear industry in place. The nuclear facilities that existed in 1979 would not last forever and the industry was seen as an essential component of the military industrial complex. These factors might have been over-riding considerations in the JASON committee report.

One of the principle scientists engaged in formulating the AGW theory was Roger Revelle, a US Navy oceanographer who was employed at the Office of Naval Research. The US Navy was actually central to the development of the civilian nuclear power industry in the US due to its reactor designs for nuclear powered submarines and ships.

Another outspoken early proponent of AGW theory was Britain’s Margaret Thatcher who also sought the construction of new nuclear power plants as well as Trident nuclear submarines along with new nuclear weapons. Her Conservative party also sought to crush the coal miner’s unions with which they had intractable disputes. Britain went on to begin construction of new nuclear power plants during the 1980s while firing tens of thousands of coal miners.

In the US, the Carter administration sponsored the establishment of the solar energy industry, another carbon free energy source. George Tenet (later named as director of the CIA) became the promotion manager of the Solar Energy Industries Association which included companies such as Grumman, Boeing, General Motors and Exxon.

In 2008 another CIA director, James Woolsey would also become involved in promoting “a Fortress America of tanks and solar panels, plug-in hybrids and nuclear reactors,”2 only in his case the service to the carbon free industry would come after the CIA stint rather than before. Woolsey has recently appeared in an anti-oil print ad for the American Clean Skies Foundation.

The Institute for Policy Studies reports on Woolsey’s focus as an energy security advisor to the John McCain presidential campaign:
A founding member of the Set America Free coalition, a pressure group aimed at highlighting the “security and economic implications of America’s growing dependence on foreign oil,” Woolsey sees himself as helping pioneer a new political coalition that combines his militarist security ideology with green politics. He says, “The combination of 9/11, concern about climate change, and $4 a gallon gasoline has brought a lot of people together. I call it the coalition of the tree-huggers, the do-gooders, the cheap hawks, the evangelicals, and the mom and pop drivers. All of those groups have good reasons to be interested in moving away from oil dependence.”3
The Set America Free coalition includes liberal groups such as the Apollo Alliance, the American Council on Renewable Energy and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
In promoting the reduction in reliance on Middle Eastern oil imports Woolsey is joined by prominent hawks such as Senator Joseph Lieberman, former Senator Sam Brownback, Representative Eliot Engel, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane, Thomas Neumann of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, Frank Gaffney head of the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP), Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), Gary Bauer of American Values and Meyrav Wurmser of the Hudson Institute.

An outcome of energy independence would be greater freedom to initiate wars of aggression across the Middle East region that would destroy any potential resistance to the greater Israel project. Woolsey’s positions as an advisor to the neoconservative-led Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; and advisory board member of the Likudnik Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs might shed some light on his aims.


1 Daniel Yergin, The Quest, Penguin Press
2 Jackson West, “R. James Woolsey and the Rise of the Greenocons
3 Tim Shipman, “John McCain Hires Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey As Green Advisor,” Daily Telegraph, June 21, 2008.

December 03, 2009

There's more to climate fraud than just tax hikes

Aletho News
December 3, 2009

By now we know that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory has been built on a mixture of hype and massaged data. Various carbon tax schemes have been put forward, even unprecedented proposals for a world wide taxation authority to be overseen by the UN. Does it follow that the primary agenda behind the fraud was the implementing these new taxes, or, were these proposed tax schemes secondary and part of a proclivity on the part of the state to seize any opportunity to enhance revenue?

In the three decades since AGW was made into a political tool by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party, tax laws have been "reformed" many times in Britain, as well as other Western nations dominated by the AGW meme. Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative Party were known for their opposition to social leveling through taxation. Reduction of public services, combined with hectoring the disadvantaged about self reliance, were hallmarks of British politics through the 1980's and beyond. In Europe and North America, today's overall level of taxation is not higher than that prevalent in 1979.

In Britain and the US, governments have been able to utilize the issuance of sovereign debt to increase military budgets while at the same time reducing capital gains and corporate tax rates creating an era of "borrow and spend" growth for the state sector. In the US, the higher income tax brackets have come down while middle class employees have seen increased social security deductions from their paychecks. These revenues were then "borrowed" by the general fund and in fact replaced the revenues lost due to the reduction of corporate taxes.

The burden of financing government spending has been increasingly shifted to the median wage earner and away from the investor and high income earner. Adoption of a tax collection system based on the consumption of energy would seem to fit into this general pattern, since working people spend a larger portion of their earnings on energy, and goods derived from energy, than do the wealthy. However, this outcome could be easily achieved by implementing a flat tax on income or a national sales tax. The rationale used to promote the flat tax is much simpler and would have been more likely to succeed than pushing the AGW carbon tax through fraudulent scaremongering. Right now a national sales tax would be politically far easier to implement in the US.

Since the 1970's we have seen capital controls lifted allowing for the free movement of capital through most of the world. New tax credits and deductions came into existence which were, in fact, incentives for multinational corporations to shift their operations from industrialized nations to the third world. Lower corporate tax rates could be found in the third world while profits were repatriated at favorable rates. This enabled the shifting of production, and later services, to the third world through tax policies. The Kyoto protocol looked suspiciously similar to these tax policies in that it also created an advantage for the deployment of capital in low wage nations.

A "free trade" regime without tariff barriers would allow for the hyper-exploitation of third world labor while at the same time driving down first world labor costs. But due to the combined competitive disadvantages of poor infrastructure, inexperienced workforces, and transport costs, as well as the necessity of writing off stranded production assets in the developed nations, corporations based in the advanced economies demanded that their governments finance the restructuring of the global economy. Lower labor costs just couldn't compensate for the disadvantages of moving to China or India, at least not until infrastructure was improved and workforces were trained. Without government assistance offshoring corporations would fail to compete in the marketplace with established industry at home. This motive, providing advantages to investment in the developing nations, is more plausible than the commonly assumed notion that the motive behind the AGW fraud was an excuse to raise taxes on consumers. There is a weakness in this proposition that is similar to the weakness described above regarding carbon taxes though, governments could have aided their corporations through tax advantages without all the complexity and risk involved in AGW fraud.

Yet, there is another motive that is much more certain than either of the above possibilities, even more certain than the profits that Goldman Sachs stood to gain from carbon credits trading schemes. To understand this motive we must return to the time when the AGW meme was first promoted. Three Mile Island had recently been shut down following a near melt down. Unknown quantities of radioactive material were released across a vast area of Pennsylvania. 2,400 lawsuits were filed for death or disease suffered by family members which were ultimately denied access to federal courts. In the US, applications for construction of new nuclear power plants had a zero chance of approval by local authorities. The nuclear industry had come to a standstill. At the same time national policy makers, in conjunction with the military industrial complex, wanted to maintain a dynamic nuclear industry that included ongoing mining, milling, enrichment, research and development as well as a large pool of personnel with nuclear expertise. In fact, Thatcher's situation was particularly strained in that she wanted to discharge tens of thousands of coal miners, replacing them with the politically poisonous nuclear power plants. This feat would require an overriding fear, something that calls for the public to acquiesce and reserve their strong objections. There would be no way to sell such policies to the public without resorting to a paradigm changing ruse, one that defines any dissidence as a danger to the safety of society. AGW would provide that cover. In fact, it is hard to imagine any other paradigm change that could have subverted the environmentalist opposition to the nuclear industry.

If the AGW theory could be planted within a co-opted or deceived environmental movement, general acceptance of the alarmism would be seen as a victory for the environment despite the fact that CO2 is not actually a pollutant. The din of propaganda would be constant until a state of emergency appeared imminent. Nuclear power plants would be presented as the way out while the absence of any solution for nuclear waste disposal would be ignored. The high financial cost of the nuclear facilities would be absorbed later by rate payers while the government would underwrite the investor's risks.

The AGW Svengali, Al Gore, is no stranger to promotion of the nuclear industry. Since the late 70's, he has been outspoken in support of new reactors, defending the aborted Clinch River Breeder Reactor, which was was scheduled to produce weapons grade plutonium, to the bitter end. Representation of nuclear interests is actually a Gore family tradition going back to the industry's foundation. Keith Harmon Snow reports:
A 1957 study by the Brookhaven National Laboratory estimated “the consequences of a very large reactor accident at a hypothetically small nuclear plant near a large city” at 43,000 injuries, 3,400 deaths and $7 billion in 1957 losses. Congress passed the “Gore Bill” of 1956, championed by then U.S. Senator Albert Gore (Sr.) of the pro-nuclear Gore dynasty. This became the Price Andersen Act -- reauthorized by Congress again in 2002 – shielding the industry from significant liability for any major nuclear accident. The 1989 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Catastrophic Nuclear Power Accidents determined that private nuclear corporations would be unlikely to survive unless the federal government insured the industry against such “unexpected and unknown” potential liabilities as the Bhopal disaster (Union Carbide), Agent Orange (Dow) and the Dalkon Shield.
To better appreciate the imperative of maintaining the nuclear industry one must acknowledge the tenuous hold on power that the Western elites possess. The global mass of humanity have little interest in the perpetuation of the existing power structure. While it is possible for a minority to rule over the majority, without an overwhelming technological advantage, military dominance is too costly both in lives and finance. Weapons of mass destruction have provided the ultimate terror instrument necessary to check organized challenges to military supremacy. This was why Hiroshima and Nagasaki were obliterated. Pax Americana arose from the annihilation of non-combatants. The capability of mass murder is why some nations have seats on the UN Security Council with veto power while others have one vote in the General Assembly. Maintenance of this disparity in destructive power is essential to the continued dominance over the non-nuclear nations according to Peter Phillips:
The U.S. Government is blazing a trail of nuclear weapon revival leading to global nuclear dominance. A nuke-revival group, supported by people like Stephen Younger, Associate Director for Nuclear Weapons at Los Alamos, proposes a "mini-nuke" capable of burrowing into underground weapon supplies and unleashing a small, but contained nuclear explosion. This weapons advocacy group is comprised of nuclear scientists, Department of Energy (DoE) officials, right wing analysts, former government officials, and a congressionally appointed over-sight panel. The group wants to ensure that the U.S. continues to develop nuclear capacity into the next half century.
The US nuclear energy industry is overseen by the Department of Energy, which also oversees the nuclear weapons complex through the National Nuclear Security Administration. The reliable lifespan of the current nuclear arsenal is measured in decades. Due to the untested decay characteristics of plutonium it is possible that much of the present arsenal could become unserviceable with little advance warning. The existence of a robust nuclear industry is a prerequisite for new weapons production capability which may be the main factor in Energy Secretary Chu's strident support for a new generation of nuclear power plants.

AGW has been instrumental in the resurrection of nuclear power in the US and Britain. Seen in this light the AGW fraud is not surprising. The mass collusion of lies is actually a normal occurrence when "national security" is perceived to be involved. Institutions and foundations are can be relied upon to perform their roles. Entire industries conform to the dominant anticipated cap and trade system. Other nations have been co-opted or pressed into accepting the AGW meme. One only has to examine the warmongering lies about Iraqi WMDs or Iranian nuclear weapons programs to put the AGW fraud into perspective.