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Neo-conservative’s roots were planted first by Rockefeller

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  • Neo-conservative’s roots were planted first by Rockefeller

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    Current Issue • June 22 to July 5, 2006 • No 141

    Neo-conservative’s roots were planted first by Rockefeller
    A strange marriage a century ago between Christian missionaries and
    cut-throat capitalists created the world’s first billionaire, and it’s a marriage
    still working for men like Harper and Bush
    By Dan Adleman
    Modern day neo-conservatism is usually associated with the Project for the
    New American Century, a “think tank” of prominent right-wing warmongers
    (including Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle,
    John Bolton, and Francis Fukuyama) who got together in 1997 to argue for a
    new “Pax Americana,” whereby the global order "must have a secure foundation
    on unquestioned US military preeminence” with full-scale domination of not
    only the world and its resources, but also space and cyberspace.
    In 1998, PNAC sent a letter to then-President Clinton, urging him to declare
    war against Iraq on the basis of its proximity to Iran and Israel and its
    rich oil reserves: “While the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the
    immediate justification [for war], the need for a substantial American force presence
    in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. . . . And
    even should US-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in
    the region would still be an essential element in US security strategy given
    the longstanding American interests in the region."
    PNAC luminaries like former Assistant Secretary of Defense and current World
    Bank president Paul.Wolfowitz and Alan Bloom (who set up shop at the
    University of Toronto and formed the kernel of what later developed into the
    so-called Calgary School, the ideological wing of Harper’s Conservatives), claim
    direct intellectual lineage from Leo Strauss, a post-WWII German philosopher who
    (perhaps rightly) saw democracy as being rife with nihilism and constantly
    in jeopardy of falling victim to the tyranny of the majority.
    In response to this, he advocated a kind of modern Machiavellian aristocracy
    that would use the “noble lies” of religion and nationalism to manipulate
    the dumb, hedonistic masses into doing the bidding of the natural ruling
    elites. And it was this very policy of calculated deception and manipulation that
    the Bush administration used to coerce the American public into getting
    behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    A true genealogy of neo-conservatism, however, should begin well before
    Strauss’ ideas began to shape the minds of young Wolfowitz and Bloom, and should
    reach back to John D Rockefeller Sr.
    Rockefeller Sr, the founder of Standard Oil, used Christian missionaries in
    the American west to soften up and gather intelligence on the Native American
    communities that inhabited oil-rich land. In Thy Will Be Done: Nelson
    Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, authors Gerard Colby and Charlotte
    Dennett point out that the evangelization process insidiously mollified the
    natives, weakening their communal social structure and subverting their will to
    defend themselves against exploitation. In 1902, Rockefeller’s right-hand
    man, Baptist preacher Fred Gates, wrote him a letter praising their exploits: “
    We are only in the very dawn of commerce, and we owe that dawn to the channels
    opened up by Christian missionaries. . . . The effect of the missionary
    enterprise of the English speaking peoples will be to bring them the peaceful
    conquest of the world." Little could Gates or Rockefeller have known just what a
    profound impact this symbiotic neo-conflation of seemingly disparate
    agendas would have on the trajectory of the American empire.
    John D Rockefeller would become America's first billionaire. And Standard
    Oil, accused of unethical monopolizing tactics, was eventually broken up into
    Exxon, Mobile, Chevron, and a number of other oil giants that still dominate
    the industry today. When a young Nelson Rockefeller took up the gauntlet of
    his grandfather’s vast economic empire and further diversified the family’s
    fortune into ranches, banks, mines, weapons, and supermarkets, he also parlayed
    his wealth into unprecedented political capital. He and his brother David,
    CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank, went on to play integral roles in every
    administration from WWII onward.
    As Eisenhower’s CIA liaison, Rockefeller focused his attention on Cold War
    strategy and psychological warfare. He later went on to serve as Nixon’s
    emissary to South America, where the Rockefeller family had enormous holdings.
    Later, after Nixon’s fall from grace, Rockefeller was appointed Gerald Ford’s
    Vice President. Long before corporate cronies like Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush,
    the boundaries between business and politics disappeared as
    Rockefeller-the-warmongering politician went after communism with rabid ferocity and
    Rockefeller-the-businessman profited immensely from the war against Third World
    communism through both his massive investments in the military-industrial complex
    (including such corporations as McDonnell Aircraft, United Nuclear, and GE),
    and the economic opportunities that America’s tin-pot implants provided for
    Rockefeller’s oil, mineral, rubber, and ranching companies all over South
    One of the primary spearheads of Nelson’s campaign was the Agency for
    International Development (AID). Working in concert with the CIA, AID and groups
    like the so-called Alliance for Progress posed as humanitarian missions meant
    to elevate South American Third World countries out of squalor, while in fact,
    they were merely quick injection systems for neo-liberal capitalism. Groups
    like the Alliance for Progress were merely corrupt consortiums of American
    businessmen eager to peddle “schemes to give latrines to the poor”(as Che
    Guevera sneeringly referred to it) without really helping the impoverished people
    of South America. In fact, most of these schemes were designed to take
    advantage of South America’s poverty by giving “aid” through private American
    banks (suc
    These poor (and sometimes outright corrupt) governments would have to pledge
    not to nationalize or overtax the private oil, mineral, rubber, or fruit
    industries. And while private corporations and a few South American elites would
    accumulate the lion’s share of the wealth, the poor would have little to
    show for it but unmanageable tax debt. This approach formed the core of what
    became the IMF’s current modus operandi in the Third World, and it should come
    as no surprise that Chase Manhattan still leads the world in forking out the
    usurious loans that hobble Third World nations.
    AID was also used to funnel CIA and corporate money into a little-known
    evangelical organization called the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). SIL
    was the sciency new name given to the Wycliffe Bible Translators, a shadowy
    organization whose official mandate was to bring the Word to the heathens. Its
    unofficial mandate, however, was directly inspired by Gates’ work pacifying
    American Natives in the name of dominion, commerce, and the Lord. But SIL went
    far beyond just softening and collecting intelligence on the potentially
    rebellious, ostensibly proto-communist tribes that inhabited the oil and
    mineral-rich land around the Amazon basin; the group also played an active role in
    removing these people from their homes by whatever means necessary.
    According to Victor Halterman of SIL, this was often accomplished by
    seducing tribesmen with trinkets like knives, axes, and mirrors, “the kind of things
    the Indians can't resist.” And then the missionaries “explain that from now
    on if they want to possess them they must work for money.” The missionaries
    would then move them to reservations (as in Ecuador, where many indigenous
    people died in the transition), or get them work on the giant new cattle farms
    (many of which were owned by Rockefeller’s International Basic Economy
    Corporation) that had begun to supplant the rainforest. In the end, the natives
    wound up virtually indentured to American corporations, but “settle[d] down at
    it when they realize[d] there's no going back."
    This strategy was successfully deployed throughout the Amazon Basin in
    countries such as Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, and Peru. And the consequent
    devastation to the Amazon rainforest, “the lungs of the planet,” and the people
    who inhabited it were incalculable.
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  • #2
    As a result, SIL was eventually denounced
    and kicked out of a number of countries, including Mexico and Brazil, and was
    banned from entry into Venezuela. At a Yucatan indigenous people’s conference
    1980, SIL was officially denounced for using a scientific name to conceal
    its religious agenda and capitalist worldview that was hostile to indigenous
    traditions. But by that point it was already too late to do anything more than
    The system that the Rockefellers established formed the kernel of the
    neo-conservative approach to world government. According to this model, three
    voracious forces unite to form a partnership for planetary parasitism. The most
    important of these forces, the American military-industrial complex, takes on
    the role as organizing principle, wielding the other two—high capitalism and
    Judeo Christianity—in order to further all of their imperial goals. While the
    American military-industrial will-to-power seeks to preserve the Pax
    Americana, high capitalism and evangelical Christianity are driven to spread both the
    market’s and Christ’s tendrils into every nook and cranny of the globe. In
    this sense, the neo-conservative system is a highly-evolved three-headed
    monster, like the fire-breathing chimera of ancient Greek lore, meant to further
    the rapacious pursuits of its three heads, even if they should be realized
    at the expense of the rest of the world’s well-being. Ominously, chimeras were
    also said to augur imminent storms.
    In recent history, many (from both the right and the left) have begun to
    speculate that the pie-in-the-sky neo-conservative project has reached its
    logical conclusion and is now being torn apart by its many internal
    contradictions. Perhaps most prominent among these is the fact that while “free market”
    fundamentalists like Fukuyama preach the gospel of capitalism as the panacea to
    all that ails the Third World (inspired by David Rockefeller’s doctrinaire
    and self-serving assertion that private enterprise is the basis of political
    freedom), capitalist institutions like the IMF have been exposed as mechanisms
    to keep the Third World poor and in debt to the US government and
    juggernauts like Chase, Bechtel, and Halliburton (which are beholden only to their
    shareholders). The Third World is, however, smartening up to this dynamic and
    some countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, are wriggling free of the IMF by
    rushing to pay off their debts as quickly as they can; other countries are
    simply refusing to be integrated into the IMF circuit. Moreover, the Iraq War
    has illustrated the extent to which the agendas of giant corporations can be
    absolutely antithetical to the economic well-being of their host nation,
    particularly its lower and middle classes.
    There are countless other contradictions causing the neo-conservative
    project to collapse in on itself; for example, there is heated debate within the
    Republican Party as a result of intractable opposition between high capitalism’
    s religious faith in technophilic utopianism and evangelical Christianity’s
    backward-looking refusal to believe in so many of the underpinnings thereof,
    not to mention capitalism’s hostility to the supposedly sacred web of life
    that makes its existence possible.
    Another powerful tension has emerged as a result of the
    military-industrial-evangelical bulwark in Israel, which is perhaps the very crucible of the
    untenability of the neo-conservative project. At the best of times, the Middle
    East is an extraordinarily fragile equilibrium. The evangelical insistence that
    Israel be an exclusively Jewish state (in order to facilitate the mythical
    Rapture) which must be armed-to-the-teeth in order to defend itself against
    the satanic Muslim hordes not only disrupts this equilibrium (as well as the
    western world’s access to cheap oil), but also forces all the neo-conservative
    and Islamo-theocratic wagons to circle around each other with accelerating
    rapidity until someone finally fires off the first shot.
    In fact, it is neo-conservatism’s imperial hubris that has forced Islamic
    and communist nations to unite and form a kind of doppleganger of the
    neo-conservative monster. Indeed, relations between nations like Russia, China,
    Venezuela, and Iran have become as tight as they are largely as a defensive
    mechanism in response to Uncle Sam’s spasmodic sabre-rattling.
    Recently, in response to Dick Cheney’s hypocritical criticism of Russia’s
    human rights record, Vladimir Putin pointed out that Cheney had no such
    problem with oil-rich Kazakstan’s draconian government so long as its willing to be
    compliant with Uncle Sam’s demands for oil, commerce, and US bases. Putin
    went on to criticize “Fortress America” for its heavy-handed strong-arm
    tactics throughout the world and suggested that if the US continued to bully Russia
    or Iran, it would be fatally overstepping its bounds.
    The notion of “Fortress America” conjures the image of Reagan’s imaginary “
    shining city on a hill,” a “tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than
    oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in
    harmony and peace." Of course, 9/11 seared through this delusional archetype
    in an unprecedented fashion. Ironically, the Rockefeller brothers had been
    such a driving force behind the Twin Towers’ construction that the financial
    community had affectionately nicknamed the buildings “Nelson” and “David.”
    Given that 9/11 was also the anniversary of the bloody 1973 CIA-sponsored coup
    (a plot hatched by David Rockefeller’s cabal and overseen by Nelson’s
    protégé Henry Kissinger) that toppled Chile’s President Salvadore Allende (who had
    nationalized many Rockefeller interests in Chile) and replaced him with
    murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet, the attack on New York’s grand crystalline
    citadels takes on a startling new resonance.
    Former American ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, recently pointed
    out that “the United States is a City on a Hill, but it is increasingly fogged
    in.” He added, “We need a war on arrogance as well as a war on terror.”
    This brings to mind the other definition of chimera, an unrealizable dream, a
    castle in the sky. Now if floating Fortress America is so fogged in that its
    elites can no longer even see the secure foundation to which it was once
    attached, why is the Harper administration hitching Canada’s wagon so firmly to it?
    And what does that bode for the rest of us who are just along for the ride?

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