State of Plague Part 7:Disease-Mongering as Militarized Trojan Horse for Globalization and Surveillance
The mindset is that the barbarians are backward and inferior and, for their own benefit, we have to uplift them, civilize them and educate them and so on. The psychology behind it is kind of transparent. When you’ve got your boot on someone’s neck and you’re crushing them, you can’t say to yourself “I’m a son of a bitch and I’m doing it for my own benefit.” So we have to figure out some way of saying “I’m doing it for their benefit.” And that’s a very natural position to take when you’re beating someone with a club. ~Noam Chomsky, Uganda Rising
Midnight Oil: Hearts and Minds and Fuel and Lives Going Dark Around the World
For a recap, Part 1 of this series discusses the potential role of the use of vaccine drives as cover for military intelligence and drone operations in domestic legislative campaign to make vaccines compulsory in the US. Part 2 discusses Foucault’s “panoptic,” disease-driven theory of the surveillance state and overlaps with the Gates Foundation’s militarized approach to public health. Part 3 looks into the merger between the wars on disease/terror and the dangerous exchange of tactics and ideology that results, from the likening of ideological enemies to “viruses” to the elevation of commercial science to the status of state religion. Part 4 discusses Kissinger’s panoptic viral theory of foreign policy and ways this model is used against Americans. Part 5 discusses the viral theory in the framework of the Gates Foundation’s fundamentalist market and science doctrines and engagement in radical social engineering. Part 6 looks into the deeper history and racial implications of the alleged use of abortifacient vaccines against Kenyan women by their own government, UNICEF, WHO and the Gates Foundation and discusses whether this represents a militarized Heart-of-Darkness scheme to engage a target population in its own destruction—a type of panoptic inoculation drive against threats to corporate interests.
Since the overall forcus of the series is the possible blowback of foreign exploits in the form of repressive domestic policy—ways in which weaponized tactics, ideology and metaphors spawned by the merger between military interests and public health used as a Trojan horse for foreign exploits come home to roost—it would seem important to take a look at the global stakes.
Kenya, the target of the most recent credibly alleged mass sterilization campaign using vaccination as cover, is just one example of countries currently at the center of the global battle for resouces. This could be due to competition with China for newly discovered Kenyan oil and gas stores. As The Guardian’s John Pilger wrote in 2013, a lot of what’s happening relates to China:
For Obama, there is a more pressing cause – China. Africa is China's success story. Where the Americans bring drones, the Chinese build roads, bridges and dams. What the Chinese want is resources, especially fossil fuels. Nato's bombing of Libya drove out 30,000 Chinese oil industry workers. More than jihadism or Iran, China is Washington's obsession in Africa and beyond. This is a "policy" known as the "pivot to Asia", whose threat of world war may be as great as any in the modern era.
Competition with China may likewise explain a few things that otherwise make no sense at all. It might explain why Bill Gates fulfilled Kenyan President Uhuro Kenyatta’s 2013 campaign promise to provide laptops to all Kenyan children—an arguably election-swinging promise Kenyatta would likely never have made had it not been prearranged. It could explain why Gates intervened despite the fact that Kenyatta was not Washington’s preference while, oddly, the Marxist, militant-backed Raila Odinga was: Kenyatta’s defiant relationships with Russia and China— China in particular—though the latter is no hindrance to Gates. Gates, who appeared to play “good cop” to Washington’s “bad cop” regarding Kenyatta, has heavily invested in China—at one time through Microsoft and now through the Gates Foundation—and has multiple connections to the country through investments in atomic power, vaccine and computer tech and agriculture. Also oil through circuitous routes, such as Gates’ ownership of the Canadian National Railway as the rail company is revitalized by China’s investment in Canadian oil.
Kenya is also a prime illustration of the reasoning behind Kissinger’s preoccupation with “viral” political uprising and interrupted flow of coopted resources due to the country’s hidden, violent history of exploitation by— and empire-killing rebellion against— foreign occupiers. Kenya was the site of the 1998 US embassy bombing which first brought Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda to the attention of US intelligence and led immediately to Bill Clinton’s bombing of a Sudan’s Al-Shifa pharmacutical manufacturing facility in retaliation, leading to an estimated civilian death toll that ranges from the tens to hundreds of thousands. Kenya has also long been a powder keg of ethnic violence deliberately stoked and cultivated under colonialism and which still rages on in a predictable pattern of settling scores and identifying traitors—what has happened following colonialism around the world. All of the above events have served as recruiting tools for terror groups and continue to provide an opening wedge for the West to play one side against the other.
The latter could potentially explain why Kenya’s President Kenyatta, a practicing Catholic, might have risked condemnation by the Catholic diocese in Kenya if it proves true Kenyatta is covering for Gates’ and WHO/Unicef’s alleged mass sterilization campaign disguised as a tetanus vaccine drive: Kenyatta’s 2013 trial for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court had followed a typical explosion in ethnic violence stemming from an earlier contentious election in 2007, in which the US also intervened controversially by sending then-Senator Obama as a congressional delegation of one to support Odinga—whose father, the country’s first Vice President, was from the same tribal ethnic group as Obama’s father— and leading to Odinga, the loser of the election, being appointed Prime Minister as a concession to stop the violence. The charges against Kenyatta were likely politicized to some degree since violence had also reportedly been fueled by Washington’s preferred candidate. But the trial could conceivably have driven Kenyatta into a corner that made the risk of Vatican reproach pale in comparison to thinly veiled threats from Washington to impose sanctions in the case Kenyatta is elected and from which any number of compromised political figures might welcome powerful support, even with unsavory strings attached.
Wherever the onus for the past political violence truly belongs, certain passages from Kissinger’s National Security Study Memorandum seem relevant: “separatist movements...revolutionary actions and counter-revolutionary coups …may undermine the conditions for expanded output and sustained flows of… mineral supplies from abroad… and result in expropriation of foreign interests… That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States… providing selected health care for both mothers and their children can enhance the acceptability of family planning…”
The fact that any of this is hard to follow— and very easy to get wrong— conveys the point that we have no grounding in this history. Africa is still referred to as the “dark continent” because we get so little humanizing information on the hopes, struggles and self-forged successes of the people living in the 54-going-on-55 countries and island nations that make up the continent that isn’t filtered through the lens of certain exploitative philanthropic organizations which depict only the pathos and gratitude of recipients of Western largesse. We hear about warlords, terror groups and genocide—what African countries “do to themselves”— but little real news on what the West is actually doing on the continent and has done for centuries, from the slave trade to modern human trafficking, human rights abuses that trail in the wakes of Western occupation and engineered coups, and the rampant use of African populations as guinea pigs for unethical pharmaceutical trials. Though it can’t be discounted that certain positive aid ventures reach their intended recipients, the various disasters that result from the many seeming attempts to compensate for history through philanthropic measures are partly from Western cultural ignorance, partly due to deliberate divide and conquer strategies and pillaging. That’s the major source of darkness.
And oil is dark too. A list of the world’s coveted strategic resources—the flow of which was so concerning to Kissinger— inculdes gold, diamonds, uranium, cobalt, iron, copper, manganese, bauxite, silver, agricultural products and timber, etc., though the battle for resource control always rages hardest over oil and gas.
Oil and gas explain a lot all over the world. They largely explain why Iran, long a priority target in the biofuel battle, seems to be at the center of the world’s nuclear debate despite lack of evidence it’s producing nuclear weapons. The country recently asked, perhaps tongue in cheek, for the countries collectively maintaining over 16,000 warheads—the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—to think about gradual disarmament. Gas and pipelines largely explain the US proxy war in the Ukraine against Russia, why it’s almost never described by the media as such, and why the collateral of 6,000 lives within a year in that conflict seems to matter less than celebrity news. Oil is obviously one of the main stakes of the Iraq war. Another was the privatization of war itself, though biofuel fueled it all.
The militarized Halliburton program in the Middle East is just a sample among many in the “struggle for dependence” on the world’s dwindling biofuel stores. As David Vine, anthropology professor and author ofIsland of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia, summarizes for Huffington Post,
The sad irony is that any legitimate desire to maintain the free flow of regional oil to the global economy could be sustained through other far less expensive and deadly means. Maintaining scores of bases costing billions of dollars a year is unnecessary to protect oil supplies and ensure regional peace -- especially in an era in which the United States gets only around 10% of its net oil and natural gas from the region. In addition to the direct damage our military spending has caused, it has diverted money and attention from developing the kinds of alternative energy sources that could free the United States and the world from a dependence on Middle Eastern oil -- and from the cycle of war that our military bases have fed.
Vine focuses on the growing number of US military bases in oil rich countries which often provide support for despotic regimes: “…since 1980, the U.S. military has gradually garrisoned the Greater Middle East in a fashion only rivaled by the Cold War garrisoning of Western Europe.”
And again, biofuel may explain why Africa has been a hotbed of US military activity. Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco’s divulgence last year that vaccine philanthropy has been repeatedly used as cover for military operations raises the question of whether the fact that Africa has also been a hotbed of vaccine and other forms of foreign medical aid may have been a conscious lead-in for occupation.
There have been warnings for several years that a full-scale invasion of Africa was imminent and it’s clear that the incentives for occupation exist in terms of Africa’s frackable shale deposits and stores of oil and minerals. In a 2013 article titled,The Real Invasion of Africa is Not News and a Licence to Lie is Hollywood's Gift, The Guardian’s John Pilger wrote,
A full-scale invasion of Africa is under way. The United States is deploying troops in 35 African countries, beginning with Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. Reported by Associated Press on Christmas Day, this was missing from most Anglo-American media.
The invasion has almost nothing to do with "Islamism", and almost everything to do with the acquisition of resources, notably minerals, and an accelerating rivalry with China. Unlike China, the US and its allies are prepared to use a degree of violence demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Palestine. As in the cold war, a division of labour requires that western journalism and popular culture provide the cover of a holy war against a "menacing arc" of Islamic extremism, no different from the bogus "red menace" of a worldwide communist conspiracy.
Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments. Last year, Africom staged Operation African Endeavor, with the armed forces of 34 African nations taking part, commanded by the US military. Africom's "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.
As Nick Turse reports for The Nation in 2015, this quiet invasion has only ramped up since:
Africa has, in fact, become a prime locale for shadowy covert missions by America’s special operators. “This particular unit has done impressive things. Whether it’s across Europe or Africa taking on a variety of contingencies, you are all contributing in a very significant way,” SOCOM’s commander, General Votel, told members of the 352nd Special Operations Group at their base in England last fall.
June members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Niger, Uganda, Ghana, and on two separate missions to Malawi; in July, troops from the team traveled to Burundi, Mauritania, Niger, Uganda, and South Africa; August deployments included the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Niger, two missions in Malawi, and three to Uganda; September saw activities in Chad, Togo, Cameroon, Ghana, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Uganda, and Malawi; in October, members of the unit headed for Guinea and South Africa; November’s deployments consisted of Lesotho, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Guinea; while December’s schedule consisted of activities in South Sudan, Cameroon, and Uganda, according to the documents. All told, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division carried out 128 separate “activities” in 28 African countries during all of 2013.
Then last year’s African Ebola outbreak which killed several thousand in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia—an event quickly followed by pronouncements of a human vaccine trials for the disease— exposed a blatant panopticism that has been the traditional entering wedge for occupation on that continent all along. At issue is nothing less than horrifying death as a rationale to curtail freedom and impose elements of martial law. Countries were closing borders and criminalizing failure to report, as would be expected for an actually deadly epidemic.
But martial law within affected countries wasn’t the most blatant expression of panopticism. Following news of the outbreak, there was little public surprise that 3,000 American troops were sent to Africa to “fight Ebola.” It’s a pattern that few question these days since Americans have long been trained to view African populations as backwards, hysterical, anti-progress and clearly in need of containment and management like the many diseases—AIDS, malaria, cholera, etc.— that plague African nations. From Murdoch-held Vox:
In an address from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, Obama said that the US is willing to take the lead on international efforts to combat the virus. Ebola "is a global threat, and it demands a truly global response," Obama said.
"This is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security. It's a potential threat to global security, if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic," he said. "That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease." This outbreak is already "spiraling out of control," he added.
Just as torture produced no valuable intel yet was successful in justifying an invasion of Iraq, and just as the vaccination drive used as cover for Neptune Spear was worthless in terms of protecting against hepatitis B, sending US troops to manage Ebola has been a travesty as well, though this begs the question of whether it’s been successful in another sense. In an article titled Empty Ebola Clinics in Liberia are Seen as Misstep in U.S. Relief Effort, the New York Times reports,
[A]fter spending hundreds of millions of dollars and deploying nearly 3,000 troops to build Ebola treatment centers, the United States ended up creating facilities that have largely sat empty: Only 28 Ebola patients have been treated at the 11 treatment units built by the United States military, American officials now say…But even before the first treatment center built by the American military opened there, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia had fallen drastically, casting doubt on the American strategy of building facilities that took months to complete.
Domestically, it could have bolstered particular agendas if the outbreak had spread to the US, justifying a similar expansion of militarization at home. But after attempts to sensationalize the few cases that spread from returning aid workers and vaccine industry avatar Nancy Synderman’s defiance of a quarantine, the crisis died down.
The latest development in the Amerithrax skullduggery scandal has only heightened speculation that the Ebola outreak was deliberately triggered as a militarized pharmaceutical scheme. The updated anthrax claims, made by imprisoned Anonymous hacktivist, Matt DeHart, a former Air National Guard intelligence analyst trainee, were that the CIA was behind the anthrax attacks in 2001— already a popular theory in the fringe media.
On the one hand, it doesn’t seem that far fetched that an industry which conducts unethical drug trials on the poor and indigent worldwide and kills more than 200 thousand Americans a year with prescription drugs could in some way be responsible for a lethal contagion. And it’s feasible that a public health administration and regulators incompetent and crooked enough to lose track of vials of active small pox, avian flu and anthrax, etc., and corrupt enough to cover up Vioxx risks, etc., could fail to report that an outbreak of a deadly disease occurring due to human error in the course of vaccine or containment research. Or worse.
But, in the case of Ebola, it would be extremely difficult to prove and is in many ways beside the point. Whether certain events were outside Western control or not, the most accessible proof of malfeasance is often how these events are used to wag the dog and advance agendas that the public would not otherwise support. Until any evidence surfaces, the pursuit of unprovable theories of how something happens could seem almost like deliberate avoidance of indisputable and politically rife effects that demonstrate a more likely route to hold public figures accountable for criminal acts—if that is really the point. The 9/11 attacks were used to launch a profitable “war on terror” that only spawned militance around the world. The anthrax attacks were used to pivot the onus for 9/11 from Al Qaeda to Iraq and Saddam Hussein to justify an invasion. The effects are 1.3 million dead civilians, the privatization of war and the explosion of private mercury armies, a trail of torture and war crimes and domestic militarization. There are smoking guns, fingerprints and corpses everywhere. If those responsible can’t be prosecuted for these known and proven crimes, it should be measure enough that the system we’re currently living under is politically criminal.
And it’s already clear these outbreaks have various forms of human facilitation. Take polio in Pakistan. Armed attacks on vaccine clinics following the use of vaccine philanthropy as cover for the mission to kill Bin Laden were reported around the world. But almost no Western media picked up Pakistan media reports of a warlord’s explanations for vaccine resistance. One explanation was the use of vaccine drives as cover for drone strokes and another was that the area had gone without electricity for thirty years and children were dying as a direct result— the implication being that if drives were really from a sincere attempt to help, other deadly infrasctructure problems would have been addressed.
It was mentioned in Part 5 of the series that, according to an Express Tribune report, a senior Taliban Commander in the North Waziristan Agency, Hafiz Gul Bahadur,explained that “Polio infects one child in a million, but hundreds of Waziri women, children and elders have been killed in these strikes.” The pamphlet went on to explain that constant surveillance in the region was causing mental breakdowns among residents: “Each day the list of psychological patients increases in Waziristan, which is worse than Polio.” “We are without electricity for the last 30 years and the government is redressing the problem. The government is least bothered to look into the matter despite repeated requests and protests. Thus, we have no other option, but to refuse vaccination of our children.”Malik Mashal Khan said “if our children die from the scorching heat and mosquito bites, so what if they die of polio? We will continue the boycott until the government fulfils our demand. We are betrayed with false promises of the government and the officials are doing nothing practical.”
Then there’s the fact that climate change and industrial emissions increase the deadliness of various pathogens as has been warned of for decades. In that sense, it might be poetic justice that the Ebola outbreak temporarily suspended Exxon’s plans for offshore drilling in Liberia last year.
Drilling plans for offshore Liberia have been delayed due to an Ebola virus outbreak in the region, Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (COPL) said in a statement adding that “drilling on Block LB-13 has been delayed due to the recent Ebola virus outbreak in the region resulting in a reduced presence of expatriates in country.”
Arthur Millholland, COPL chief executive said: “We continue to make significant progress with the technical evaluation of Liberia. Whilst the possible delay in the commencement of drilling is regrettable, the safety of the partnership’s staff is paramount and we are confident that staff numbers in country will return to normal levels in the near future.”COPL which holds the remaining 17 percent equity is in a partnership with ExxonMobil (operator and 83 percent equity holder) on Block LB-13 offshore Liberia.
And whether a triggering event was random or engineered, motives to use the events opportunistically are obvious. All three countries—Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia— have been identified as rich in gas and oil and it’s undeniable is that poverty and the ravages of wars for dwindling resources, exploitation and resulting instability have contributed to the spread of disease. Even prior to the natural gas frenzy, deforestation, corruption and pollution in Sierra Leone from gold and diamond mining have triggered longstanding degradation of human health and the environment and the destabilization of infrastructure and economics.
…all three countries [Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia] have poor health infrastructure, due in part to years of civil war in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia has just .014 doctors per 1,000 people, and a common joke is that JFK Medical Center, Monrovia’s main hospital, has long had the unflattering nickname “Just For Killing.”
As writer and public health expert Laurie Garrett explains,
The nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have a shared, brutal history of civil wars that since 1989 have left more than 400,000 people dead, displaced half a million people from their traditional homes, seen rape used as a weapon against tens of thousands of girls and women, and put Liberia's former President behind bars as a war criminal. … In these three nations, few families have not experienced murders, rapes, torture, maiming, loss of homes and death.
Though the recent story of a vaccination campaign disaster in Syria which caused the deaths of up to fifty children wasn’t conclusive about what might have caused the injuries, the philanthropic campaign does seem to follow the classic path of war footing:
The UN has halted a measles vaccination campaign in northern Syria after at least 15 children died after receiving shots, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in a joint statement.
“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria,” the statement said. “The deaths of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunization campaign had been under way.”
The children were all under the age of two, Reuters reported, citing aid workers.
Around one hour after being given a second round of the measles vaccine in Idlib on Tuesday, the children demonstrated signs of “severe allergic shock,” said Abdullah Ajaj, a physician administering the vaccinations at a medical center in Jarjanaz, according to AP. The second round of vaccinations began in Idlib and Deir Ezzour on Monday.
Following the vaccine, some of the children’s bodies swelled and they suffocated to death.
“There was shouting and screaming, it was hard for the parents. You get your child vaccinated and then you find your child dying, it’s very hard,” Ajaj said.
Conflicting statements from the Syrian opposition and reports from rights groups have put the number of vaccine-related deaths between 34 and 50.
Beyond the scramble for oil and gas, GM tech also provides a parallel give-and-grab illustration involving some familiar players:
This week the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID hosted a meeting in London with big agribusinesses to discuss strategies to increase corporate control over seeds in Africa. The location of the meeting was secret. So was the agenda. Attendance was strictly invite-only and nobody who even came close to representing African small farmers was invited.
Meanwhile farmers and food sovereignty activists met at the World Social Forum in Tunis, Tunisia to discuss their solutions to the problems of our food system. These two meetings represent not just two different types of meeting – a closed, secretive meeting of the powerful versus an open, democratic meeting of grassroots activists – but also two radically different paths for the future of our food. One is based on corporate control and would generate vast profits for a small elite; the second is centred on sustainable, democratic, local food production.
"There is powerful evidence that organic farming practices and local seeds used by small-holder farmers are able to produce more food on less land and with less water than industrial agriculture."
As often was the case in colonial times the corporate agenda in Africa is today often disguised as paternalistic benevolence. Friendly-sounding projects such as the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the DfID-supported New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition promise to eliminate hunger by creating the conditions that will bring new corporate technologies and more big business investment to African agriculture.
On the face of it that all sounds very good. So why this level of secrecy for the meetings about the projects? Samwel Messiak, a Tanzanian food campaigner I met in Tunis tells a very different story of the corporate agenda for Africa’s food. He told me that in Tanzania the New Alliance has helped corporations “buy” land off local communities without their consent and without paying them compensation for their lost land.
This is because the corporate agenda of AGRA and the New Alliance threaten to move control of land and seeds into corporate hands. The push for corporate engagement in Africa’s agriculture also has a strong focus on producing cash crops for consumption in richer parts of the world (a practice started in colonial times) which if anything provides less food for people living locally.
Part 8 looks further into specific cases of panoptic coups and color revolutions.
Adriana Gamondes is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and one of the blog’s Facebook administrators.