In Fourth World Geopolitics and the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, John Schertow interviews Dr. Rudolph C. Ryser of the Center for World Indigenous Studies about past, present and future relations between the United Nations, Indigenous nations, and modern states.
If Naomi Klein’s colossal con sets the standard for mesmerizing the infantile, then we might want to investigate how stating the obvious makes one a celebrity. When we examine Klein’s claim to fame, what is it that makes her such an iconic cult figure? Did she uncover some deep, dark secret? Reveal some sinister conspiracy? Unveil some magical alchemy?
The threat of climate change has been documented for over a decade; the causes are well-known. Any school child knows fossil fuel consumerism is the culprit, and that capitalism is the driving force.
So what new insight did Naomi Klein bring to the discussion? That ecological and social collapse means This Changes Everything? How trite can you get?
Nevertheless, as the queen of climate change, Comrade Klein has considerable influence, helped immensely by the capitalists sponsoring her royal float (350.org) in the upcoming parade of imbeciles. Her innate ability to mesmerize the infantile is undoubtedly her biggest asset, certainly a reason for Wall Street’s support for her charlatan charade.
Deceiving the despondent by celebrating silliness (i.e. fossil fuel divestment) is but one of Queen Naomi’s devious skills; manipulating the credulous into marching behind her logo of false hope is the envy of Mad Men everywhere. At this rate, her brand recognition is right up there with The King, Barack Obama–master of Hope and Change!
Information is the facts that matter; knowledge is information in a framework.
Intelligence is information analyzed for its value to develop plans for action.
Netwars are fought and won by comprehensive understanding.
–Communications in Conflict
In 1999, when the AFL-CIO herded protestors away from the WTO ministerial in Seattle, it was following through on its nefarious 1994 bargain with President Clinton over NAFTA. Having sold its soul to Wall Street for the few crumbs promised in the aftermath of the opening salvo of globalization, organized labor in the US fell all over itself to become Clinton’s lapdog. Looking back, one might ask, What side were we on?
By November 30, 1999, the fact of labor’s complicity in destroying the economies of the US and Mexico was somehow overlooked or forgotten by the thousands of marchers leaving the AFL-CIO rally. When hundreds of these innocents inadvertently left the labor parade to see what was going on at the WTO convention site, they experienced a rude awakening to reality. As they became enveloped in what came to be known as the Battle in Seattle, these newcomers to activism became witnesses to civil disobedience and police misconduct on a scale not seen since the Civil Rights Movement. As the tear gas-laden fog of war left many choking and disoriented, those on the front line (that labor leaders had hoped the marchers would never see) had opened America’s eyes to the brutality experienced daily in the Third and Fourth World.
In a parallel of history, AFL-CIO in November 2012 joined Wall Street fossil fuel exporters in promoting a carbon corridor of global proportions on the Salish Sea between Seattle and Vancouver. As part of a campaign to annihilate First Nations treaty rights in Washington and British Columbia, the organized labor alliance was engineered by the world’s largest public relations firm for the purpose of clearing the way for the Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal and Bakken Shale crude armada to overwhelm Coast Salish communities, inundating the San Juan and Gulf Islands with fleets of colliers and supertankers carrying fossil fuels from North America to Asia.
By 2013, Wall Street had learned some important lessons from the multitude of post-1999 protests against globalization. This time around, it owned its own NGOs, which are extremely effective in herding the naive away from making clear and effective demands. Amplifying these lapdog NGO voices with Wall Street-funded Wurlitzers, celebrities like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein (350.org) were created and marketed to lead the credulous astray. As pied pipers of climate change, McKibben and Klein have managed to deceive thousands of American youth into believing fossil fuel divestment on college campuses, or XL photo-ops in front of the White House, are revolutionary. Continuing the historical parallel, In September 2014, 350.org is organizing a Peoples Climate March in New York City.
As Wall Street hijacks the environmental movement using foundation-funded NGOs, Indigenous peoples struggle to be heard, hoping to survive the onslaught of organized labor, compromised greens and militarized police. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department and Pentagon have reorganized to counter Indigenous insurgencies around the globe.
Welcome to Netwar.
Daniel Tseghay’s review of Red Skin, White Masks by Glen Sean Coulthard illuminates the fraud of reconciliation, characterized by the accommodation forced on Indigenous nations by modern states. This violent transformation of noncapitalist forms of life into capitalist ones, quotes Tseghay, is a structure, not an event.
Challenging the disingenuous politics of recognition — which includes transfer of land, delegation of self-determination, and economic development initiatives from the state to Indigenous communities — “do little more than reproduce the systems of power they claim to uproot.” Integrating Indigenous governments into the resource-exploitation economy, he notes, signifies the defeat of Indigenous peoples.
Symbols of reconciliation, says Tseghay, function as diversions from revolutionary change. Dismantling white supremacy and other aspects of ongoing settler state colonialism, he argues, requires organizing around the ethic of mutual aid, unencumbered by the urge towards hierarchies. Quoting Coulthard, “For Indigenous nations to live, capitalism must die.”
Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire discusses why it is time to abolish NATO and dismantle the military-industrial complex that is eroding freedom worldwide. As war crimes by the U.S./UK/NATO axis expand into civil conflicts that could be handled diplomatically, says Maguire, militarism becomes an impediment to human rights and democracy.
Militarizing our societies, she notes, makes violence acceptable; while this is the norm promoted by governments, corporations and media, it is a norm that must be strategically opposed by those who seek a world of peace. This ideological challenge, created by powerful elites that profit from war, is most pronounced in the fraudulent “humanitarian wars” which epitomize the aberration of militarism that must be abolished.
The Native American rally in Seattle, to protect the Salish Sea from fossil fuel export developments in Washington and British Columbia, is a sign that Netwar in the Northwest is escalating. Indeed, coal and oil exporters — hoping to cash in on creating a colossal carbon corridor for Tar Sands bitumen, Powder River Basin coal and Bakken Shale crude — are already laundering money through the Washington Republican Party to help elect pro-carbon candidates to the Washington State Legislature.
While the rally to save the Salish Sea was led by American Indian tribes, it was supported by environmental groups, and as noted in a series of articles on the totem pole journey led by Lummi Nation elder Jewell James, mainstream churches involved in programs like Earth Ministry are taking an active role in adding their voices to those of Native Americans and organizations like Sierra Club, to stop the madness of fossil fuel export from North America to Asia.
Sometimes lurking in the shadows of Idle No More, and always seeking to hijack the growing “movement” against fossil fuel consumption and pollution, however, is 350.org– a Rockefeller Foundation-funded NGO (led by Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben) that misdirects activists into fruitless activities like college campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns. While 350 Seattle was not the primary participant in the referenced rally, 350.org is the key player in the People’s Climate March distraction scheduled for September 20-21 in New York.
Netwar in the Big Apple: Wall St. vs the Indigenous Peoples Movement explains in more detail how pied pipers like Klein and McKibben function as agents of Wall Street who lead naive youth and gullible adults astray. For the credulous, photo-ops with Wall Street-created celebrities like Klein and McKibben might make them feel virtuous or important, but for tribal authorities challenging the fossil fuel industry, they are a dead end.
Fantasies about political power that NGOs like 350.org promote on behalf of their Wall Street benefactors allow pooh-bahs like Klein and McKibben to manipulate well-intentioned citizens into meaningless activities, thus dissipating the energy they bring to the environmental and human rights movements. Countering this insidious subversion of civil society requires shining a light on the dark corners of the non-profit industrial complex; following the money is a good place to start.
International Indian Treaty Council, Winnemem Wintu, Comanche, Chickaloon, Laguna Acoma, Apache and Navajo delegations are in Geneva Switzerland addressing the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination about discriminatory U.S. policy toward American Indian tribes and Indigenous Peoples worldwide.
The announcement by the UN Secretary-General on this International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples that indigenous peoples can act as “powerful agents of progress” belies the fact that the UN — since adopting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 — has done everything in its power to see that indigenous nations and their delegates are excluded from meaningful participation at the UN. When indigenous diplomats have sought to contribute to discussions on climate change and industrial development in their territories, the UN has repeatedly used trickery and deceit to keep their voices silenced.
While it is technically true that as the Secretary-General says, “In order for them to contribute to our common future, we must secure their rights,” insinuating that the UN is actually working to do that is a fraudulent and misleading statement. If one looks at what UN agencies like the World Bank have done and are doing to indigenous peoples around the world, it is hard not to conclude that the Secretary-General’s bromides are nothing but a smoke screen to hide the UN’s real intentions–the assimilation of indigenous societies into the market system, and their eventual annihilation by modern states.
As noted in Netwar in the Big Apple: Wall St. vs the Indigenous Peoples Movement, psychological warfare by institutions like the UN includes the use of misleading statements (aka gray ops) to misdirect responsibility for the subjugation of indigenous nations by modern states. When the UN talks about its post-2015 development agenda, it is talking about totalitarian corporate control of the world’s resources, including those of indigenous peoples. When the Secretary-General did his part alongside Bill Gates, holding up the Millenium Development Goals banner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, he was part of the largest swindle in the history of humankind.
While it is true that, as the Secretary-General said, that many UN member states act with impunity in violation of UNDRIP, it is often with the UN’s blessing. When the UN showcased UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues chair Grand Chief Edward John as an example of empowering indigenous peoples, they neglected to note that Chief John — as First Nations Summit chair – made it his mission to undermine First Nations sovereignty in British Columbia, Canada, thus expediting their assimilation through privatization of their lands and resources. Indeed, willingness to further the corporate agenda was an essential criteria for his appointment by the UN.
Extinguishing Sovereignty of indigenous nations by Wall Street, the UN, its PR puppets, and its member states involves trickery, subterfuge, violence and fraud. Psychological warfare, that misleads civil society activists into thinking the UN is an honest broker, leaves indigenous leaders open to attack. UN propaganda in the run-up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples next month in New York, is, like the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues — Designed to Deceive.
As the UN prepares to host its member states for a World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in September, Russia has preempted indigenous human rights by declaring indigenous peoples do not exist in the Russian Federation. Reverting to a Stalinist stance on the dozens of indigenous nations in Russia’s empire, Putin has set the stage for a revival of ethnic cleansing and cultural genocide. Rudolph C. Ryser reports on Russia’s scheme to swallow Fourth World nations.