Monday, May 11, 2015

Trade Wars : Monsanto’s Return To Vietnam

Now facing stiff, organised opposition in the U.S. Monsanto seeks to peddle it's poison in ASEAN  

By Desiree Hellegers

This past week, as activists gathered in Washington, D.C. for the conference on “Vietnam: the Power of Protest,” in Viet Nam’s Ho Chi Minh City, a delegation led by Veterans for Peace (VFP) Chapter 160 was quietly wrapping up a two week tour. The tour was timed to coincide the VFP’s national “Full Disclosure Campaign."

A move by Monsanto into ASEAN would be
a catastrophe for the rice farming industry - and
the people who grow it
The VFP initiative, like the D.C.-based conference over the weekend, is geared to counter a Department of Defense (DOD) campaign, funded by the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to produce commemorative events and historical accounts, including school curriculum, to mark the 50thanniversary of the Vietnam War. Set against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s push for fast track authority to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), this year’s VFP 160 tour raised troubling questions not only about the ongoing effects of the war on Viet Nam, but about Monsanto’s introduction of genetically modified (GMO) seeds onto the Vietnamese market. 

The text of the TPP, which would be the largest trade deal in history, impacting 40% of the world’s economy, remains shrouded in secrecy. But leaked passages indicate that the TPP will heighten the growing income inequality in both Viet Nam and the United States and override local and national laws and policies geared toward protecting the environment and public health. Monsanto, one of the single largest producers of the estimated 20 million gallons of Agent Orange sprayed in Viet Nam between 1961 and 1971, is among the corporations that stand to garner windfall profits if the TPP is passed.

Widespread contamination from the dioxin-laced defoliant Agent Orange (AO), and a landscape littered with unexploded ordinance (UXO)—including landmines and cluster bombs—are among the legacies of what’s known in Viet Nam as the “American War.” One of many troubling aspects of the Pentagon’s 50th anniversary campaign is its Orwellian spin on a high tech war that bathed Vietnamese jungles and waterways in toxic defoliants in one of the largest, most reckless scientific experiments in human history. Among five objectives outlined in the NDAA is the mandate that the DOD history celebrate “advances in technology, science and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War”.

The leaders of the VFP tour, including Chapter 160 President Suel Jones, Vice President Chuck Searcy, Don Blackburn, Chuck Palazzo, and David Clark, all served in the American War in Viet Nam and each returned, drawn by their memories of the war and their desire to help support Vietnamese NGOs working to address the suffering engendered by the war. With the leadership VFP Chapter 160 ranging from their late sixties to early seventies, the vets anticipate that, at best, they’ll have another five years to lead the tours, their primary fundraising vehicle to cover their limited administrative expenses and provide support for their partner organisations.

The day after we arrived in Viet Nam, on April 17, a class action lawsuit was filed in France on behalf of millions of Agent Orange affected Vietnamese. The lawsuit was filed against Monsanto and 25 other U.S.-based manufacturers of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange. After years of legal skirmishes, a 1984 settlement provided limited relief to American GIs suffering from a range of health effects linked to Agent Orange exposure, from prostate and lung cancer, to multiple myeloma, diabetes, Parkinsons and heart disease. But attempts to get legal redress and financial support for the estimated three million Vietnamese suffering from Agent Orange exposure have repeatedly failed.

The U.S. has never made good on the promises Nixon made at the 1973 Paris Peace talks to provide Viet Nam with more than $3 billion in reparations, equivalent in today’s currency to more than $16 billion. The relatively paltry aid that the U.S. has supplied the still war-ravaged country comes with string attached: ongoing pressures to enact various forms of “structural adjustment,” which the TPP seems designed to accelerate.

On the same day the lawsuit was filed in France, we met with U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius, the first ambassador since the “normalization” of US-Viet Nam relations in 1995 to openly acknowledge the lingering effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese people. By some accounts, the two-decade embargo that the U.S. imposed on Viet Nam after the war exacted suffering equal to the war itself.

Osius told the gathered delegation and journalists that meaningful political relations between the U.S and Viet Nam necessitate “facing the past.” “If we hadn’t addressed the Agent Orange issue, I don’t think we’d have the credibility to address” other shared concerns, chief among which he numbered climate change, global health, education and trade. Osius vaunted the virtues of the TPP and the “huge benefits” it will provide for Vietnamese workers, while ostensibly strengthening environmental protections and regulationsgoverning food safety. He acknowledged, however, that alongside the benefits that Viet Nam is enjoying from the liberalization of trade in recent years, the country has witnessed the emergence of a new Vietnamese oligarchy. And he also acknowledged the role that the TPP will play in privatizing state institutions, which under the terms of NAFTA and the WTO, are frequently relegated to the status of unfair trade barriers. Under the TPP, he told us, “non-performing state institutions will,” of course, be subject to elimination. When I challenged Ambassador Osius’ claims about the benefits of the TPP, invoked the secrecy of the document and invited him to print out and share a copy of the trade deal with the delegation to substantiate his claims, he declined diplomatically.

On our way to visit Village, a program situated at the outskirts of Hanoi, serving Agent Orange-affected children and veterans, we saw scenes that have become familiar in U.S. cities bent on attracting global investment at all costs. “Development” in Viet Nam, as in the United States, is increasingly code for housing demolition and displacement. Along the edges of Hanoi, which is now home to one Rolls Royce and four Mercedes Benz dealerships, luxury condominiums are springing up, along with sporadic protests. The tensions between “development” and the revolutionary vision and promises of Ho Chi Minh’s Communist Party, are set in stark relief in Doan Hong Le’s 2010 film Who Owns the Land. The award-winning film documents the struggles of poor farmers confronting displacement by a luxury golf course, along with rationalizations from their local Communist Party leadership.

In each city along the path of the tour—from Hanoi to Hue, to A Luoi, Danang, Na Tranh, and Ho Chi Minh City—we saw evidence of the ongoing suffering engendered by the war. And in each city, we met with members of the Veterans Association of Viet Nam (VAVN) along with local chapters of the Vietnamese Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) which has long been at the forefront of the struggle for legal and financial redress for Vietnamese disabled by AO-exposure. At a meeting in Hanoi with VAVN, our host Gen. Phùng Khắc Đăng, invoked the role of American corporations in the production of Agent Orange, taking care to acknowledge that AO has had “very terrible effects not only on Vietnamese but on U.S. soldiers and citizens.” At a meeting in Danang, standing before a bust of Ho Chi Minh, a VAVA representative remembered “seeing the planes come and the foliage die.” Another representative chimed in: “It destroyed anything with leaves. It kills us. It kills the people. It kills all the trees and animals.” But the focus, he reminded us—and himself—must be on “how to rebuild the country, how to develop the country.” Regarding the war and the U.S. use of Agent Orange, he went on to say, “We just turn the page, [but] we don’t delete it.”

“We appreciate the generosity of the Vietnamese people,” responded VFP 160 Vice President Chuck Searcy, “But we also think we should learn the lessons of the past.” Searcy wanted to know why, after the tragic consequences of Agent Orange, the Vietnamese government has allowed Monsanto to return, open offices and trade in Viet Nam, where the company now markets GMO seeds, including corn. In response, the VAVA representative invoked Viet Nam’s entry into the WTO. “When we signed up for the WTO, we had to take them—they have to be here,” he said.

If the WTO relegated local and national environmental and health laws to the status of “unfair trade barriers,” Mexico’s experience following the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ought to serve as another cautionary tale about the likely impacts of the TPP on Viet Nam. Following passage of NAFTA, the U.S. flooded Mexico with cheap American corn, including Monsanto’s GMO strains. The move not only gutted the Mexican corn market, it resulted in widespread GMO contamination of the country’s diverse indigenous corn strains. In Canada, as Naomi Klein has documented, the WTO and NAFTA have been used to challenge, respectively, the development of local renewable energy in Ontario, and a moratorium on fracking in Quebec. Leaked portions of the TPP indicate that the trade agreement will only expand the profits and corporate impunity that Monsanto and other corporations have long enjoyed.

The human health effects caused by the use of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange during the American war are most dramatically evidenced in the province of Quang Tri, in the area the U.S. demarcated as the demilitarized zone or DMZ. One of an estimated 28 “hot spots” scattered throughout Viet Nam, many of which were the sites of US bases where Agent Orange was transported and stored, Quang Tri was the most heavily sprayed province. An estimated 15,000 people in Quang Tri suffer from Agent Orange exposure. Our first encounter with the nearly unthinkable damage that Agent Orange has wrought in Viet Nam came during a visit to a family that receives support from VFP 160 and its partner organization Project RENEW. Four out of five adult children in the family are severely disabled. Only the second of the couple’s children, born between 1972 and 1985, seems, along with his own children, to have dodged the chemical bullet of Agent Orange. However, as the Vietnamese are increasingly discovering, the effects of Agent Orange may skip one generation, only to emerge in the next. The four disabled adult children are unable to stand upright as a result of a host of congenital health issues. They scurry about on all fours, with puzzled expressions that are markers of the developmental disabilities that frequently result from AO exposure. In Quang Tri Province, we learn, 1300 families have between 3 and 5 children who suffer from the debilitating effects of Agent Orange exposure.

But Agent Orange is far from the only source of misery that remains in Quang Tri Province. If the U.S. dropped more bombs on Viet Nam than were used throughout World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters combined, Quang Tri was the most heavily bombed region in Viet Nam. The range of prosthetic devices on display at the Quang Tri Mine Action Visitor Center reflect Project RENEW’s work to meet the needs of more than 900 individuals province-wide who have received prosthetic devices following injuries from UXO, which is scattered across an estimated 80% of the Province. Another 1,100 amputees are currently awaiting limbs. Also on display at the Center are crayon drawings by Quang Tri children learning in school-based programs to identify unexploded ordinance and notify authorities of the location. More than two million Vietnamese combatants and civilians were killed during the American War, but the more than 60,000 Vietnamese killed by land mines, cluster bombs and other UXO since the war now exceeds the 58,000 American GIs killed during the war. And still the US remains one of only a handful of countries worldwide which have refused to sign on to UN treaties banning landmines and cluster bombs.

In Nha Trang, we visited a woman and her sister who are caring for two adult children, neither of whom registered signs of AO-exposure until their late teens. The older of the two, now 40, lay moaning in a bedroom in the rear of the house. His 36- year-old sister is still cognizant enough to anticipate her own future when she sees his emaciated and contorted limbs.

In Ho Chi Minh City, our final stop on the tour, we visit the Tu Du Hospital/Peace Village, which is home to some sixty AO-affected children, along with a handful of adults who have grown up at the facility. On the ward, a couple of children eagerly demanded to be hugged, while others, some with feeding tubes in their noses, looked at us with uncomprehending gazes. A child at the far end of a room stared blindly in front of him. Like many AO-affected children, one of his eyes was entirely missing, a blank space where a socket might be. In another room, a hydrocephalic child of indeterminate gender with a head the size of a watermelon lay motionless in a crib. Perched in a chair beside the crib, cradling the child’s hand, sat a girl who appeared to be no more than six or seven years old. She glanced up momentarily, a bit annoyed perhaps by the crowd of American spectators trooping through, then returned to the all-consuming work of comforting her friend.

The following day, April 30th, the anniversary in the U.S. of the “fall of Saigon,” we rose early to attend “Liberation Day” festivities in Ho Chi Minh City. The tightly choreographed parade featured male and female veterans in dress uniforms; sunflower-swirling school girls; and a billboard size image of Ho Chi Minh atop a hot pink float–silhouetted like a modern day pop culture saint against a celestial blue backdrop. Entirely absent from the scene was any hint or interest or participation from the rank and file residents of the city named after the revolutionary figure.

The reception that followed in the “Reunification Palace” was presided over by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and attended by about 100 people representing organizations from 40 countries and territories around the world. First among the speakers was Hélène Luc. As Phuc noted, Luc “support[ed] and assist[ed] the Vietnamese delegation” at the Peace Talks, while serving as a member of the Paris City Council. In her comments, Luc invoked Ho Chi Minh’s historic 1945 Declaration of Independence, modeled after the founding document of the United States. She lauded the courage and bravery of the revolutionary struggle, and of the activists who took to the streets around the world to stop the war.

Last to speak when the floor opened up was Virginia Foote, President of the U.S.-Vietnam Trade Council and President of the Board of the International Center in Washington, D.C. “As an American–and I think I speak for all of the Americans in the room,” observed Foote,“we pledge to continue to work on the economic development of the country” as well as “on the war legacy issues.”

She spoke of attending the ground-breaking ceremony at the Land Mine Action Center in Hanoi only a few days before and of the “new money [that] is coming in,” to “support and assist Viet Nam.” “At the same time,” she said, “we are working on some very tough trade negotiations and hoping we can finish those this year as well….We will continue to struggle forward with the TPP,” she said, before the Deputy Prime Minister offered a few ceremonial comments to conclude the meeting.

On April 30th in the United States, with little fan fare, California Representative Barbara Lee introduced the Agent Orange Victims Relief Act of 2015. The bill, supported by the U.S.-based Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (, would provide funds to substantially mitigate AO contamination throughout Viet Nam, and for health care and direct services for Vietnamese AO sufferers. It would also expand relief for American veterans, and provide new support for their children, who suffer from AO-related congenital health problems.

Amid new initiatives to secure justice for Agent Orange survivors and ongoing negotiations for a trade deal that stands to significantly shape the future of both countries, the corporate controlled media in the U.S. has been only too willing to offer up a steady diet of cinematically compelling footage of South Vietnamese forever scrambling toward helicopters and hanging from rooftops. Leaked passages indicate that, if passed, TPP will expand the impunity and profits of corporations like Monsanto that seem every bit as willing today as they were in the 1960s to profit from the misery of Vietnamese peasants and the working poor in both countries. Meanwhile, in Viet Nam, the work of VFP 160 and its partner organizations continues, and in Ho Chi Minh City’s Peace Village sits a little girl who refuses to be distracted, to loosen her grip or turn her back on the suffering that surrounds her.

Desiree Hellegers is a board member of Portland Peace and Justice Works/Copwatch, an associate professor of English at Washington State University Vancouver, and the author of No Room of Her Own: Women’s Stories of Homelessness, Life Death and Resistance (Palgrave MacMillan).

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Oil Leaked Into Hudson River After Fire At Nuclear Reactor Near NYC

Predictions of a looming catastrophe at Indian Point gain ground  


Oil leaked into the Hudson River on Sunday after a transformer fire and explosion a day earlier at the Indian Point nuclear plant north of New York City, and Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was concerned about environmental damage.

meltdown and explosion of  a 
containment facility
Cuomo visited the plant for a briefing on Sunday. The governor, who in the past has called for the plant to be shut down because of its proximity to densely populated New York City, also visited the plant on Saturday.

When the transformer exploded, it released oil into a holding tank, which then overflowed, sending oil onto the ground and into the river, Cuomo told reporters on Sunday after he was briefed by emergency and plant officials. He said crews were working to contain and clean up the oil spill but it was not clear yet how much oil had been released.

"If you are on site, you see an oil sheen all over the area where the transformer went on fire, and it was a significant area that was covered by oil, foam and water," Cuomo said.

The transformer explosion and fire at the nuclear power reactor 40 miles (65 km) north of New York City was quickly put out. The fire triggered the closure of the plant's Unit 3 reactor, while the other Unit 2 reactor continued to operate.

Entergy Corp , which runs the facility and is one of the largest U.S. nuclear power operators, said the plant was stable and there was no danger to the public or to employees.

"Anything that happens at this plant obviously raises concerns," due to the proximity to the largest U.S. city, Cuomo said.

"The transformer fire in and of itself was not dangerous. 

A nuclear disaster has long been predicted for Indian Point

But the fear is always that one situation is going to trigger another. If something goes wrong here, it goes very wrong for a lot of people."

Cuomo said emergency crews thought the fire was out but it reignited and had to be extinguished again.

The transformers are located around 300-400 feet away from the reactor.

The plant, which dates back to the 1960s, has around 1,000 employees. 

It is one of 99 nuclear power plants licensed to operate in the United States and which generate about 20 percent of U.S. electricity use, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's website.

Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Editing by Chris Reese.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

WAYNE MADSEN : Kerry’s Message To Somalia : Beef Up Military

Despite across the board failures, the completely irrelevant, drooling doofus Kerry just can't seem to keep his nose out of other countries' business  

By Wayne Madsen

Secretary of State John Kerry came off, once again, sounding like "Johnny One Note" on the first-ever visit by an American Secretary of State to Somalia. In his short three hour meeting with Somali leaders, including Somalia’s ineffective and powerless president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Kerry was confined to a sandbag-fortified security bivouac at Mogadishu airport because the Somali government has no control over its own capital city. 

Kerry emphasized to the Somali president the need for Somalia to establish a strong military to unite the country. However, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has been ineffective in battling against the Islamic State-aligned Al Shabaab jihadist movement, which has launched deadly terrorist attacks across the border into Kenya, and Somalia-based pirates that have preyed on shipping in surrounding international waters. The security situation in Somalia is so poor, the U.S. ambassador to Somalia, Katherine Dhanani, is resident in Nairobi because the security situation in Mogadishu prevents the U.S. from re-opening its embassy there.

The United States helped oversee the occupation of parts of Mogadishu in 2006 by troops from the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Most of the invading troops came from Ethiopia and Kenya. The foreign occupation of Mogadishu was aimed at dislodging the jihadist-oriented Islamist Islamic Courts Union (ICU) from power. Kerry’s three hour meeting with the rump Somali government took place under the protective military umbrella of AMISIOM, which maintains its military headquarters at Mogadishu airport.

Kerry’s hastily-arranged surprise visit to Mogadishu airport was made during his well-publicized trip to Kenya. Kerry’s emphasis on Somalia rebuilding its military while African Union peacekeepers patrol Somalia’s major population centers is in keeping with the Obama administration’s steady militarization of America’s foreign policy in Africa. To emphasize America’s military-oriented Africa policy, Kerry followed up his short visit to Mogadishu airport with a stop at the U.S. military and intelligence base at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, a major operations center for U.S. drone attacks in the region.

In actuality, the spirit of John F. Kennedy's Peace Corps, a civilian program without any ties to the U.S. military or intelligence community designed to help steer newly-emergent nations, mostly in Africa, to self-sufficiency and development, is now officially dead. The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) now holds ultimate sway over America’s Africa policy and assistance programs. The State Department's aid program for countries like Somalia is now firmly under Pentagon control.

Kerry is not only blindsided by a militaristic foreign policy toward Africa, and particularly, Somalia’s woes, but is constrained by the State Department’s enthusiasm for the Somalia status quo. Somaliland, the former British Somaliland that declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991, should have beaten South Sudan to achieve international recognition as an independent state. However, the United States continues to insist that Somaliland reunite with the dysfunctional government in Mogadishu. And the Pentagon maintains an inordinate amount of influence over U.S. policy toward Somaliland, a state that has held democratic elections in a sea of turmoil since it declared independence in 1991 after the fall of the bloody U.S.-supported Somali dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. AFRICOM advisers are busy providing training and weapons to African Union "peacekeeping" forces in southern Somalia whose mandate is to reunite Somalia into a unitary state. The independence of Somaliland and the autonomy of Puntland, another self-governing Somali region in northern Somalia, are seen by AFRICOM and the State Department as short-lived until a strong government can be re-established in Mogadishu.

In many respects, the government of Somaliland faces the same uphill battle for recognition as the Al-Hirak movement faces in South Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden. In both cases, Somaliland and South Yemen, there is a popular desire for the restoration of the independence that was once enjoyed by both former British colonies. In the case of Somaliland, the post-colonial independence granted by Britain to "British Somaliland" in 1960, although only lasting five days prior to the country uniting with Italian Somaliland to form the Somali Republic, gives the Republic of Somaliland proclaimed in 1991 a firm legal basis under international law. However, the United States has decided that neither Somaliland nor the former People’s Republic of South Yemen, declared after Britain’s withdrawal in 1967 but terminated when the country unified with North Yemen in 1990, will ever see their independence restored. And the presence of U.S. drone bases at Camp Lemonnier and Arba Minch airport in Ethiopia are meant to reinforce to all the players on the Horn of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula that the United States policy in the region is backed up with the threat of stealth deadly force provided by the drones.

Somalia’s puppet president, Hassan Sheik Mohamud, is a 2001 graduate of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding’s faith-based conflict resolution center of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Harrisonburg is also the location of James Madison University and both campuses have maintained their share of connections to the U.S. intelligence community. 

Ever since the downfall of Sad Barre, the failed Somali state has experienced the rule of leaders dubiously-appointed under Western supervision and having longstanding ties with the West. Mohamud’s predecessor, Mohamed Osman Jawari, the current Speaker of the Somali parliament, lived in Norway before moving to Somalia. His predecessor, Hassan Sheikh Sayid Abdulle, the current Somali ambassador in Rome, was a Somali army officer who graduated from the National Defense University in Washington, DC. From 2009 to 2012, the President of Somalia was Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the former commander-in-chief of the jihadist Islamic Courts Union who switched over to the American side. Ahmed, to the satisfaction of his American overseers based at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, appointed Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, the former First Secretary of the Somali embassy in Washington, as Prime Minister. Somalia’s prime minister from 2007 to 2009 was Nur Hassan Hussein Adde, the INTERPOL liaison officer and chief of the Somali National Police under the Siad Barre regime. Ever since the 1960s, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency trained members of the Somali police force as its agents-of-influence while the Soviet KGB held sway over most of the Somali military’s officer corps.

Essentially, John Kerry paid a visit to a regime in Mogadishu that exercises no power over Somalia and which has been propped up by one American agent-of-influence after another. 

Somaliland, on the other hand, has shown itself to be resilient in the face of international non-recognition. The nation of 3.5 million people, where moderate Sufism plays a large part in religious life, is a relative oasis in a political and religious desert of turmoil. The country has two airlines that provide service between the capital Hargeisa and Djibouti, Dubai, Ethiopia, and Saudi Arabia. Somaliland has its own currency, the Somali shilling, and an impressive banking and telecommunications sector. In other words, Somaliland is the type of nation that Kerry wants to see run out of Mogadishu for all of Somalia, including Somaliland. That goal, however, is a fool’s errand and a pipe dream. It is far better to recognize Somaliland’s independence and hope that the failed nation of Somalia and all of its semi-autonomous constituent statelets such as Puntland, Jubaland, and others will use Somaliland as a role model for their own futures.

In many ways, the plight of Somaliland is similar to that of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. All three nations were born out of ruthless civil wars engineered by the West and all three have been shunned by the international community. None of these aspirant nations have seen the type of support from Washington that enabled Kosovo and South Sudan to receive international recognition. Kerry and his advisers would rather continue to support failed states like Somalia, Kosovo, and South Sudan in the interests of the State Department’s ignominious loyalty to its own status quo enthusiasts than in recognizing stark reality.

Wayne Madsen

Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. 

As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C.

America Fiddles As Derelict Zones Erupt And Burn

Throughout history, when the poor become too poor and the rich too rich the same scenario repeats itself over and over again - with the same predictable results    

By Dallas Darling

Mahatma Gandhi warned that the deadliest form of violence is poverty. But for Gandhi, poverty consisted of not only economic impoverishment but political, social, and cultural. It also included psychological, emotional, even spiritual, neglect and abandonment.

Known today as America's derelict zones, abandoned youth and homes, ruined souls and buildings, depreciated students and schools, and neglected prisoners, mirror Gandhi's insight. 

Such hallmarks of American society also inflict deadly violence on their victims.

As a result of government corruption, corporate privatization, rapacious economic inequality, a mass media that indoctrinates viewers with trivial news and spectacles of violence, and brutal overseas wars, derelict zones and societal stressors are increasing.

They are also erupting and burning in various forms of social unrest, civil disorder, disruptive rioting, and outright rebellion. Again, this is what happens when some communities not only become undervalued and obsolete but certain groups of people.

The ensuing urban unrests in Baltimore and across America, after Freddie Gray's murder, was another outcry from America's derelict zones. It is always difficult to repress disproportionate arrests among young blacks and high rates of unemployment.

It is also a shame to ignore high mortality rates among births and low life expectancies. Still, 150,000 people, or almost 25 percent of people living in Baltimore, live below the official poverty level.(1) Deteriorating environments always threaten survival.

At the same time, the highest-ranking police officer in Freddie Gray's arrest had been recently hospitalized for mental health. Not only had family members reported erratic and threatening behavior, but the officer was considered a risk to himself and others.

The other police that brutalized Freddie Gray, then refused him medical treatment after he sustained serious injuries, mirrors another kind of segregated and institutionalized derelict zone: an absolute and authoritative zone void of concern and respect for human life. 

Dehumanizing institutions that invest into violent-provoking security measures and weapons instead of proactive outreach programs, find it easy to place their victims face down in police vans, slamming their heads into a wall which severs their spinal cords.

Extrajudicial killings take many forms and can be concealed behind violent institutions of racism, poverty, and militarism. Riotous police leads to riotous protesters, some beaten and shot. How many have been killed due to manipulating tax codes or marketing wars? 

Democracy ceases to exist without functioning and livable infrastructures. Nor does it thrive with high unemployment rates, thuggish institutions, or derelict zones filled with individuals that lack "fair" and "practical" opportunities to experience their potentialities.

Make no mistake. Today's large percentage of children living in poverty will have long-lasting consequences for America. 

Those who can barely meet the necessities of life, or who live in extreme poverty and go to bed hungry at night, will never forget. 

And when intact cultures, that provide people with a powerful means by which to bolster self-esteem and humanness, are deliberately and systematically cut off from their own cultural roots, the value of education and achievement may appear to be another's value.

Just as worse is a rapacious market, one which promotes itself as the only fundamental right of freedom of expression but which destroys human lives. Is it only fair, then, that in a commodified society destruction of property also becomes a freedom of expression?

The problem with future generations is that they are never considered. Neither are they included in decision making processes. They are instead held hostage by an archaic past and self-serving policies, policies which hold them and others captive. 

Justice delayed is always justice denied. Until future generations of youth are allowed to participate in democratic processes, and unless derelict zones are transformed into vibrant and dignified communities with caring institutions, America will continue to fiddle while derelict zones erupt and burn, perhaps even self-destruct.

Dallas Darling (

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Readingon Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some NationsAbove God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas' writings at and


(1) http://www, "Ten Shocking Facts About Baltimore," by Bill Quigley., April 28, 2015.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of



The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.



Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

 photo capitalism_zpsah78uy5p.jpg
We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.



By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...



UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak


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Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...



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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .



By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.