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Friday, March 30, 2007

Political Theatre (more pleeeaaasse!)

The New Group presents the world premiere of The Accomplices by Bernard Weinraub, directed by Ian Morgan. Hillel Kook arrives in the United States at the beginning of World War II, fresh from the underground resistance to the British in Palestine. Under the alias Peter Bergson, he leads a small group of activists seeking aid for the rescue of Jews in Europe. Bergson is shocked to find his efforts blocked by both the Roosevelt administration and the Jewish establishment. Undaunted, Bergson and his colleagues organize a bold campaign in a desperate race against time and fear of reprisal. Based on actual events, Bernard Weinraub's new play The Accomplices is the true story of one man's fight on American soil to shatter a conspiracy of silence and inaction.


By Bernard Weinraub
Directed by Ian Morgan


In 1940, Hillel Kook, a.k.a. Peter Bergson, arrives in the US fresh from the underground resistance in Palestine. He seeks aid for the rescue of European Jews from the Nazis. Bergson is shocked to find himself blocked by both the Roosevelt administration and the Jewish establishment. Veteran NY Times reporter Bernard Weinraub writes a blistering account of the fight to save millions, and the conspiracy of silence and inaction that continues to haunt us to this day.


Bernard Weinraub's play about Peter Bergson, Ben Hecht and their work during WWII is profiled in today's New York Sun by Gabrielle Birkner, who neglects to mention the title of the controversial documentary in question (FYI, it's Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die?):

Addressing American Complicity

By Gabrielle Birkner

In the opening scene of "The Accomplices," the inaugural play of Bernard Weinraub, a former entertainment reporter for the New York Times, a Holocaust-era Jewish activist named Peter Bergson begs an American immigration officer to stamp his passport.

"You have the greatest country in the world. With the greatest President," Bergson, a member of the clandestine Jewish army in British Mandate Palestine, says. "You have the most powerful Jews here in New York."

The officer stamps Bergson's passport, and welcomes him on behalf of President Franklin Roosevelt. So begins the young visitor's campaign to convince the president and American Jewish leaders to do more to save European Jews.

"The Accomplices," which opens March 20 at the Acorn Theatre, provides an ultimately damning look at President Roosevelt's response to the Holocaust. It also casts a critical eye on American Jewish leaders many of them dismissed Bergson as a renegade for failing to press the administration to rescue Jews from Nazi Europe.

Preparations for the play's six-weekrun coincide with a burgeoning public interest in Bergson, and his small band of collaborators known as the Bergson Group. In addition to Mr. Weinraub's play, the group's wartime efforts will be the focus of a first-of-its-kind conference at Fordham Law School in June.

Mr. Weinraub's own fascination with Bergson, who was born "Hillel Kook" into a family of rabbinic scholars, goes back a quarter century. At that time, the playwright was reporting for the Times on a controversial television documentary about America's tepid response to the Holocaust. "Through the story, I became interested in the whole issue of American complicity — of what America did, and didn't do, and what Jews here did and did not do," Mr. Weinraub told The New York Sun.

He added: "People obviously didn't know the full scale of what was happening, but there was also a lot of shutting your eyes to the realities."

The Bergson Group did not flinch. It tirelessly pleaded its cause — lobbying Congress, taking out advertisements in the New York Times, organizing a rabbis march on Washington, and, with playwright Ben Hecht, producing a Madison Square Garden pageant dedicated to the Jews who were being murdered overseas.

Indeed, the group's work was an impetus for the Roosevelt administration to establish the War Refugee Board in January 1944. That board ultimately rescued 200,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied Europe. But with a Jewish body count of 6 million, the activists regarded their efforts as failed. "They never thought they accomplished much, and that their efforts were insignificant given the scale of what happened," Mr. Weinraub, who has interviewed some of the activists and their family members, said.

Until recently, historians have largely ignored the Bergson Group.

That's changing, the director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Rafael Medoff, said. "A new, young generation has arisen in the Jewish community — a generation, unencumbered by old political rivalries and biases of the 1940s, interested in looking objectively at how the American Jewish community responded to the Holocaust," he said.

Mr. Medoff, the co-author with Mr. Wyman of "A Race Against Death: Peter Bergson, America, and the Holocaust," briefed the "The Accomplices" cast members on the historical figures and events they will bring to the stage. He called the play, produced by the New Group and directed by Ian Morgan, a powerful and historically accurate account of "young activists who devoted themselves exclusively to the mass slaughter of the Jews in Europe." Mr. Medoff contrasted their efforts with "establishment Jewish leaders who did not devote themselves exclusively to that cause."

Historian Steven Bayme, the director of Contemporary Jewish Life at the American Jewish Committee, said it would be a mistake to "assume that the Jewish community in the 1930s and 1940s had as much leverage as they did later on."

"The real question is not ‘Why the American Jewish community was so divided?' or ‘Why did it remain relatively silent?'" he said. "The real question is, ‘Why was the Jewish community so powerless?'"

Mr. Bayme, added that Roosevelt, despite his failure to help more Jewish refugees, succeeded in moving America from isolationism to interventionism. He said the president convinced the populace that "American Jews did not get us into this war, and that American democracy could not coexist with Nazi Germany."

Today Jewish communal leaders are more outspoken about anti-Jewish bias and communal suffering. But in Hollywood, residual fear among Jews of calling too much attention to Jewish issues lingers, Mr. Weinraub said, citing the response to Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic tirade last summer. "It wasn't like the Jews in Hollywood came down on him," the playwright said. "I don't want to name names, but there are lots of famous Jewish directors and stars who could have criticized him. There weren't any profiles in courage there."

"The Accomplices,"

Bernard Weinraub

Ian Morgan


FDR And The Holocaust, On Stage

By Dr. Rafael Medoff --

The story of the Roosevelt administration’s response to the Holocaust has been chronicled in books and on film. Now, for the first time, it is coming to the stage.
“The Accomplices,” an off-Broadway play written by former New York Times correspondent Bernard Weinraub and directed by Ian Morgan, will be performed by The New Group with preview performances starting March 20. After meeting earlier this month with the author and cast for more than two hours, I have no doubt this is one play that will not be soon forgotten.
Weinraub recently retired from the Times after a long and distinguished career as a staff correspondent. He is best remembered in the Jewish community for his explosive front-page exposes in 1983 about the ill-fated American Jewish Commission on the Holocaust.

Chaired by former associate justice of the Supreme Court Arthur Goldberg, the commission brought together scholars and representatives of Jewish organizations, ostensibly to prepare an impartial review the American Jewish community’s response to news of the Holocaust. Instead, as Weinraub revealed, it fell apart, largely because some Jewish groups were not ready to acknowledge their predecessors’ failings.
Weinraub’s articles in 1983 stimulated some much-needed introspection among American Jews, and “The Accomplices” will help complete the process. There is no doubt that the American Jewish community’s view of its past has matured a great deal in recent decades. Most Jewish leaders today recognize the need to learn from, rather than attempt to deny, the mistakes that were made in the 1940’s. Those mistakes are addressed frankly, but soberly, in “The Accomplices.”
On one side of this drama stand President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the anti-Semitic Breckinridge Long, whom FDR put in charge of immigration affairs. The play shows how, with FDR’s approval, Long did everything possible to obstruct opportunities for rescue, and to keep the number of Jewish immigrants way below even what the restrictive immigration quotas allowed.
On the other side stands the American Jewish community – anguished over the suffering of Europe’s Jews but deeply divided as to how to respond. These divisions are exemplified through Rabbi Stephen Wise, the most prominent Jewish leader of the time, and Hillel Kook – better known as Peter Bergson – a maverick activist who led controversial protests against Roosevelt’s refugee policies.
Wise favored a cautious, low-key response to the news from Europe; Bergson led marches in Washington and sponsored full-page newspaper advertisements that rocked the Jewish community, Capitol Hill, and beyond.
Infusing the characters’ dialogue with their actual language, taken directly from historical documents, Weinraub succeeds in bringing these painful events to life.
Precisely because Weinraub strives to maintain historical accuracy, the story does not reflect well on FDR. That’s obvious from the play’s title. But then, one sometimes forgets that even at the time, Roosevelt was strongly criticized – including by some of his most loyal supporters – for his refusal to rescue Jewish refugees.
For example, a March 1943 editorial in the liberal political magazine The Nation declared: “You and I and the President and the Congress and the State Department are accessories to the crime and share Hitler’s guilt. If we had behaved like humane and generous people instead of complacent cowardly ones, the two million lying today in the earth of Poland ... would be alive and safe. We had it in our power to rescue this doomed people and yet we did not lift a hand to do it...”
In a similar spirit, the editors of The New Republic wrote in May 1943: “If the Anglo-Saxon nations continue on their present course, we shall have connived with Hitler in one of the most terrible episodes of history... if we do not do what we can, our children’s children will blush for us a hundred years hence.”
During the first week of rehearsals, I was invited to brief the cast of “The Accomplices” about the historical issues and personalities they are portraying. As it turned out, they needed much less briefing than I would have expected. They had been reading David Wyman’s 1984 best-seller The Abandonment of the Jews, Stephen Wise’s autobiography, transcripts of interviews with Peter Bergson, and the diaries of Breckinridge Long. They are likely one of the best-informed casts of any historical drama in recent memory.
I was not surprised to learn that an early version of “The Accomplices” won last year’s Plays in Progress Award. And I will not be surprised if this spring’s production wins a few awards of its own. But awards aside, it will no doubt serve its main, and very important purpose – to educate the public about a difficult chapter in our nation’s history.
Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Banks force DEBT (which forces WAR and killing)


The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It

Current Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding


THIS VIDEO explains it "for dummies"

Money as Debt : Animated Video by Paul Grignon

Download and watch it!

How? use OPERA.COM opera9 browser and click on the torrent-download-link.


Monetary Reform

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Here's an introduction to various approaches to monetary reform

The two most discussed reforms are the introduction of demurrage (i.e. the accumulation of money should cost something so it cannot be speculatively hoarded), and the reform of seigneurage, the contemporary monopoly of private banks to issue money, so that it can be freed up for use by local communities.

See the related entries on Taxation Reform and Basic Income

Demurrage-based currencies


There seems to be a consensus amongst monetary reformers that a key change would be the replacement of interest with the system of demurrage:

"As a matter of fact, there are money systems that encourage sharing not competition, conservation not consumption, and community, not anonymity. Pilot versions of such systems have been around for at least a hundred years now, but because they are inimical to the larger patterns of our culture, they have been marginalized or even actively suppressed. Meanwhile, many creative proposals for new modes of industry such as Paul Hawken's Ecology of Commerce, and many green design technologies, are uneconomic under the current money system. The alternative money systems I describe below will naturally induce the economies described by visionaries such as Hawken, E.F. Schumacher, Herman Daly, and others. They will also reverse the progressive nationalization and globalization of every economic sector, revitalize communities, and contribute to the elimination of the "externalities" that put economic growth at odds with human happiness and planetary health. Given the determining role of interest, the first alternative currency system to consider is one that structurally eliminates it. As the history of the Catholic Church demonstrates, laws and admonitions against interest are ineffective if its structural necessity is still present in the nature of the currency. A structural solution is needed, such as the stamp-scrip system proposed by Silvio Gesell in The Natural Economic Order. Also known as demurrage, Gesell's "free-money" (as he called it) bears a form of negative interest. Every week a stamp costing a tiny fraction (say 0.1%) of the currency's denomination must be affixed to it, in effect a "user fee" or a "maintenance cost"; another way to look at it is that the currency "goes bad"--depreciates in value--as it ages. If this sounds like a radical proposal that could never happen, it may surprise you to learn that Gesell's ideas were praised by no less an authority than John Maynard Keynes himself. What's more, the system has actually been tried out and it worked!

Although demurrage was applied as long ago as Ancient Egypt in the form of a storage cost for commodity-backed currency, the best-known example of instituted in the town of Worgl, Austria, in 1932 by its beloved mayor Uttenguggenberger. To remain valid, each piece of this locally-issued currency required a monthly stamp costing 1% of its face value. Instead of generating interest and growing, accumulation of wealth became a burden--much like possessions are a burden to the nomadic hunter-gatherer. People therefore spent their income quickly, generating intense economic activity in the town. The unemployment rate plummeted even as the rest of the country slipped into a deepening depression; public works were completed, and prosperity continued until the Worgl currency was outlawed in 1933 at the behest of a threatened central bank.

Demurrage has a number of economic, social, and psychological effects that are highly relevant to our discussion. Conceptually, demurrage works by freeing material goods, which are subject to natural cyclic processes of renewal and decay, from their linkage with a money that only grows, exponentially, over time. As established in Chapter Four, this dynamic is what is driving us toward ruin in the utter exhaustion of all social, cultural, natural, and spiritual wealth. Demurrage currency merely subjects money to the same laws as natural commodities, whose continuing value requires maintenance."

2. The two main planks of currency reform, explained by Thelma Weeks:


First of all the proposals address two main problems within today's monetary system -

1. The right that Central Banks have to issue money at will, almost without restrictions and without any backing. This right, the uncovered loans and the ensuing interest will have to go.

2. The new system will no longer be built on growth. Without the burden of interest companies no longer need their customers to pay for their loan repayments (an estimated 30% on every article being bought in Europe). This will get rid of inflation and companies can concentrate on production that meets a real need.

The new financial system incorporates the numerous complementary currencies (approximately 5000 at the last count) to sustain the co-operative trade system, alongside the present currencies for competitive global trade. Complimentary currencies - currencies created and issued by co-operating people, used for exchange within a defined context and interest free - are to used wherever appropriate to stimulate local, regional and national trade. They are seen as especially useful to achieve specific aims in specific areas. A lot of these complimentary currencies already exist - e.g. air miles, bonus points barter schemes, LETS, Time Dollars and the Japanese National Health currency. It is further proposed that there is a demurrage (opposite of interest) for currency which is not in circulation('savings accounts') to encourage the use of currency as an active tool for trade and exchange. Money should have the same function in the societal body as blood has in the human body. When it gets stuck it causes problems. For that reason the demurrage has historically proved its viability. The new system will address many existing challenges in our society and have an immediate effect on poverty, starvation and inequality. Not to mention the damage to ecosystems. It will be part of the present emerging paradigm/consciousness shift from fear and insecurity to confidence and trust of a large part of humanity to implement these proposals. If everyone understands where the present system doesn't work and why and more importantly what it obstructs or undermines then we can all focus on the alternatives and the successful experiments that are already taking place and build on them.

3. An example of Demurrage: Worgl


"The greatest success stories of complimentary currencies are in picking up ravaged communities and helping to get them on their feet. A primary example that Lietaer and Kennedy cite is the Worgl, a currency created by a small Austrian town during the great depression. The town of Worgl had high unemployment and lacked the money to pay for its normal infrastructure services, so they killed two birds with one stone by printing a local currency they could pay people to do civic work with, and which could only be used in the local area. They also made the value of the currency time-decaying (or "demurring", as it's properly called) by 12% per year, which caused people to spend it rapidly--increasing the "velocity of money", which in a sense multiplies the amount of money in the community. In about one year, Worgl dropped its unemployment rate by 25% and increased public-works investment by 220%, while the rest of Austria slid further into depression. The experiment was only stopped because the Austrian government was worried that its control over the national money system would be threatened. Today in the Brazilian favela of Palmeira, a local currency called the Palma is helping to lift the residents out of poverty; it is working much more slowly than the Worgl did, but it does not circulate as much because its value does not demur over time."

Reforming the system

Abolishing seigneurage


Seigneurage is the privilege of commercial banks to create money. It is a privilege that should be abolished.

1. Herman Daly

"Daly broached an area of social wealth that is rarely explored -- the private privilege of issuing money, called seigniorage. Historically, this was the king's prerogative that was later passed to the commercial banking sector. Some 95 percent of the US's money supply exists in the form of demand deposits and loans made by banks. Under our system of fractional reserve banking, which allows banks to retain only a small fraction of money on hand as a reserve against money lent out, banks are able to reap enormous private profits through their seignorage privileges. Why not gradually raise the reserve requirement to 100 percent, asked Daly, and reap some public gain from the ability to create money? Daly conceded he might be regarded as a "monetary crank" in making this proposal, but cited some illustrious economists of the 1920s who agreed with him. (Note: James Robertson, a progressive-minded economist in Great Britain, has also proposed reforms along these same lines. See his speech, "The Alternative Mansion House Speech," by James Robertson of the New Economics Foundation, London, and his report, with Joseph Huber, "Creating New Money.")

2. Reforming the Seigneurage, James robertson


"The necessary reform is simple - but our minds should not be repelled by its simplicity! There are two sides to it.

(1) Central banks should create the amount of new non-cash money (as well as cash) they decide is needed to increase the money supply. They should credit it to their governments as public revenue. Governments should then put it into circulation as public spending. In deciding how much new money to create, central banks should operate with a high degree of independence from their governments - as the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England now does.

(2) It should be made illegal for anyone else to create new money denominated in the official currency. Commercial banks will then be excluded from money creation. They will be limited to credit-broking as other financial intermediaries are - borrowing, but no longer creating, the money they need to lend.

This reform will restore "seigniorage", in a form adapted to the conditions of the Information Age. That is to say, it will restore the prerogative of the state to issue money, and to capture as public revenue the income that arises from issuing it, in an age when most money has become information. Originally, seigniorage was the revenue enjoyed by monarchs and local rulers from minting coins. It reflected the fact that the coins were worth more than the costs of producing them. As, over several centuries, the physical characteristics of money have changed from metal to paper to electronic bits and bytes, and as banking practices have developed, the relative importance of that original source of seigniorage has gradually dwindled. Now that almost all money takes the form of electronic entries in computerised bank accounts, extending the traditional principle of seigniorage to non-cash money will correct the anomaly that has grown up over the years.

The arguments for this monetary reform are not limited to the contribution it will make to public revenue, considerable though that will be. As the report explains, it will have beneficial social and environmental effects. It will be very beneficial for the economy as a whole. For example, it will tend to bring about lower interest rates and lower inflation; and it will tend to create greater economic stability, by enabling the central bank to smooth out the peaks and troughs of business cycles more effectively than it can do today. It will also help to clarify monetary statistics, monetary definitions and monetary terminology. This is a crucial point. The distinction between means-of-payment money and store-of-value money - between the functions of sight deposits and savings deposits - has become blurred in recent decades. The result is that the concepts and definitions on which monetary understanding and policy-making are based are now even more obscure than they were before. It is not at all clear what is now included in the "money supply". The different definitions of money - M0, M1, etc, up to M4 - are abracadabra to most people. One might imagine that a monetary priesthood had deliberately set out to conceal from citizens and politicians of democratic countries how the money system works, and how it could be made to work better for the common good. The proposed reform will mean that the whole stock of national currency circulating in the economy will have been issued by the central bank. It will include all the non-cash money in everyone's current accounts, together with the cash which everyone holds. It will be easy to calculate how much of it there is. It will no longer be necessary to juggle with M0, M1, M2, M3, M3 extended, M4, and so on. There will simply be the one amount of plain money M. Everyone - and that includes politicians, officials, bankers and monetary experts, as well as a growing number of citizens, bank customers and taxpayers - will be able to understand better than today how the system works. As befits the citizens of a democracy, we will be better able to evaluate and discuss the monetary and financial policies and policy options which are presented to us. This reform will mark an essential further step towards what, at the Mansion House last year, Chancellor Gordon Brown called "transparency in policy-making, involving an open system of decision-making in both monetary and fiscal policy".

Using a systems approach


Book: Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron and John Jopling

This book uses systems theory to analyse the current monetary system and suggest radical changes in its `protocol'. From a book review at the Prospertity site.

Gaia is the name of the Greek goddess of Earth. On the 10th June a new book, Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation & People-Power by Roy Madron and John Jopling was launched at the London School of Economics.

"To illustrate the power of thinking in systems terms, John then took seven propositions about systems and used them to look at two different systems: the Global Monetocracy, today's highly dysfunctional system; and Gaian Democracy, a system designed with justice and sustainability in mind. The propositions were: thinking in systems terms means seeing whole systems; all human systems have a purpose; systems are self organising and self generating; all systems are always changing; systems go through various stages; systems sometimes get into a vicious spiral; and, while the imperative for change may come from outside the system, change takes place within it. John argued that the Global Monetocracy is a single system with money growth as its purpose; that it is self-organising, always changing and moving through different stages; and that it is currently in a vicious spiral. This, he said, is the system in which we are living today. By viewing the system in this way we are able to make sense of things that would otherwise be baffling, for example: why things are getting worse on so many fronts; why the authorities are failing to do anything about it; and why currently fashionable ways of attempting to influence politicians and their corporate partners are so unsuccessful. He emphasised that neither individuals nor any particular group within society are to blame. Rather the system as a whole is at fault.

So something new is required -- a strategy for reconfiguring the system as a whole -- and this is where Gaian Democracy comes in. This draws on the latest developments in understanding how systems change, and makes use of well-tested processes for bringing about change. In this way, human societies at all levels, from local to global, can learn to cope with the highly complex and difficult situations they face."

Lietaer's green convertible currency

Bernard Lietaer: "Many countries of the world face a fourfold dilemma. They are experiencing unemployment, inflation, and ecological degradation, and they lack a convertible currency. They produce some raw materials for which an international market exists, but because of the burden of debt servicing and a soft currency, their dilemma yearly becomes more acute. This article proposes a solution in the form of a new convertible currency, that I call New Currency. This comprises a combination of two familiar concepts: stamp scrip and currency backed by a basket of commodities."

1. Stamp scrip's and `basket of commodities' explained

"Stamp scrip is a medium of exchange characterized by a small monthly "user fee" or "negative interest" charge. This fee was typically levied by requiring a small stamp to be affixed to the back of the bill each month to revalidate it. The user fee gives an incentive to the bearer not to hoard this currency. Its practical and demonstrated economic effects include strong, positive impacts on employment creation and on inflation control. It also provides structural support for ecologically sound economic growth. It has been tested and used with remarkable success in a variety of cultures and historical settings, including Western Europe as recently as the 1930s. The second concept--a currency backed by a predetermined basket of commodities--is more familiar. An original aspect of my proposed plan is that a country's central bank would guarantee delivery of the value of the basket but would remain free to deliver it in the form of any mix of the commodities included in it. This approach provides unusual stability for the international value of the currency, while guaranteeing substantial flexibility in the way the country fulfills its commitments. The stamp scrip concept actively promotes internal economic stability and employment growth, while the basket of commodities concept ensures immediate convertibility of the national currency and the international stability of its purchasing value. These two concepts fit together by equating the negative interest rate of the stamp scrip with the approximate costs of storing, insuring, and delivering to their respective international markets the commodities in the basket."

2. The Terra Currency Proposal


"One proposal is the Terra (Latin for Earth), a supra-national currency whose unique characteristics would make long-term financial thinking automatically rewarding, while assisting in stabilizing the world economy.

Characteristics include:

1. The Terra is defined as a standard basket of the most important commodities and services in the global market for which futures markets can be established (e.g. oil, wheat, copper, etc., and some standardizable services, or for example Carbon Emission rights). Because it is fully backed by a physical inventory of commodities, the Terra would be a very robust international standard of value.

2. The Terra is designed as an inflation-proof currency. Inflation is always defined as the changes in value of a basket of goods and services. Therefore, by selecting the appropriate ingredients in the basket, the Terra can be made inflation-proof.

3. The Terra currency is complementary to conventional national currencies, operating in parallel to, and without replacing them. It basically would amount to introducing some standardization to the international countertrade activities which grow by 15% per year, three times faster than conventional currency denominated trade.

4. The cost of storage of the physical commodities would be applied to the bearer of the Terra at an estimated 3.5-4% per annum). This makes the Terra a 'demurrage' charged currency (the opposite of a positive interest rate currency), and insures its use mainly as a trading device, as it costs the bearer to store or hold onto it. Therefore, it is beneficial to keep the Terra in circulation, which in turn benefits all.

5. The Terra is a public service project, with profits earned used to fund other projects for economic development globally."

3. See our entry on the EBCU, the environmentally-backed currency unit.

For more views on the interrelationship of ecology and money, see

Social Money and the Distributive Economy

Thinking about monetary reform is not new. Already in the 1930's, spurred by the Great Depression and the social crisis of the time, many people were looking to monetary reform, a tradition which got `lost' in the successful golden era of Keynesianism. A few months ago I mentioned the proposals of Gesell. Another thinker of the same period was Jacques Duboin, who wrote Rareté et abundance in 1945. This idea fit in very well in the themes of our issues 97 and 98, dedicated to thinking about scarcity (of nature AND of purchasing power in much of the South) and abundance (of productive capacity). Jacques Duboin came up with a set of proposals for a `distributive economy' and his work is continued by the journal La Grande Releve. Thesecond item is a recent investigation by the journal of how the ideas of the distributive economy are related to complentary currencies.

1. The distributive economy and the basic income

"The task is thus to abolish this pattern of accumulation, inherent in the conception of capitalist money. If man can do nothing to change the laws of nature, he must, on the contrary, be able to change the rules of his own game.This is the aim of our proposition of a distributive economy, or economy of the needs, in which money cannot accumulate. Distributive money is strictly consumerist in nature : it is only a purchasing power, it is used just once to hand out goods and services from the producers to the consumers, it does not circulate, it cannot be invested to bear interest and is no longer anonymous.

This is the only way in which any investment can be decided taking into account other requirements than financial return on capital. The management of goods and services will be established for the benefit of the whole community, while having regard to ecological imperatives, only if instead of being submitted only to the blind forces of the market, it is established at the end of debates, in which all human, social, ecological, moral, ethical aspects, can be taken into consideration.Actually, the aim of our propositions is to invent democracy in economy. We have been thinking a lot over this problem, particularly because it opens prospects that are bright. We think that any person, who is born in today's world, is entitled to the right of living in the best way that is possible, with the only limit that it does not prevent the other people and their descendants from having the same rights. It's why in distributive economy, every one, from his birth to his death, is attributed an income.

However, we think also that any right must go together with a duty, here,the economic duty to keep things working.Thus, a Social Income is associated with a Social Service to share the goods, as well as the tasks, between all.This implies the creation, at various levels (local, regional, national, european, etc.), of say, Social and Economical Councils (SEC), democratically constituted and acting according to the principle of subsidiarity. Economic democracy is at last attained by granting to these Councils the power of creating money. This power is taken away from the credit banks that now use it in an arbitrary way. The money created, in the modern computerised fashion, is also used to finance the needed investments for organisations and companies, who are of course accountable for them. In a word, in the distributive economy, all that is humanly and physically possible will be made financially possible. Thus, the SECs will have charge of the management of both aspects of the distributive economy. To manage the social income, they have to estimate the amounts of purchasing power to be distributed periodically (each month, for example). In a broad sense, this problem consists in evaluating the production of output in a given time. The factors to take into account are consumer demand, limiting conditions, public service requirements and planned investments. The sum total of all social income, for a given period of time, is the difference between the value of estimated production output and that of the approved investments. The second charge of the SEC is evidently linked to this. Sharing the tasks involves that the social service is effected by each and everyone throughout his active life, taking into account his aptitudes, and subject to community needs."

Special Issue of La Grande Releve, the journal of the movement, dedicated to the life and ideas of the founder. See at

2. The Distributive Economy and Complementary Currencies


"It's time to realize that mankind is now in possession of the mastery of production of goods and services. If the big problems of the past were those of production to avoid scarcity, they are now those of distribution of a potentially abundant production. The revolutionary transformation of our means of production have to be used to change our economic and social relations. Profit can no longer be the nerve of economy ! This implies that the capitalistic money (created by banks in relation to anticipated profits) has to be replaced by a new kind of money, the role of which will be simply to adjust the total income of consumers to the amount of goods and services that have been ecologically produced for them. It is a consumption money, canceled when it has been used by a consumer. It cannot be hoarded or lent at interest. It is from local experiments, under democratic control, that this kind of money, let us call it « social money », has to prove oneself and then be extended on larger areas. In this paper some attempts of implementation of social money in various places of Europe and Latin America are analyzed.

Since Michael Linton initiated in British Columbia the concept of "complementary community currencies" in 1984, thousands of such currencies have been implemented around the world and are the subject of a number of theoretical works or experiments. Japan seems to become a world leader in promoting complementary community currencies to solve the socioeconomic problems it faces since the early 1990's (such as aging, unemployment and economic slump) based on an unsustainable system. In a series of projects, called Eco Money Projects, more than 40 different types of complementary currencies are currently experimented in Japan in order to determine :

- which is the best technologie (from high-tech smart cards to low-tech paper notes) ;

- which is the right scale (from mountain villages of 800 people to area of 10 million people) ;

- how many functions can be compatible on a single smart card (1 to 27, from elderly and/or child care, local unemployment, small business loyalty schemes, ...)

According to the results, a very large scale project could be initiated.It is beyond to the scope of this paper to review all the experiments involving complementary or social currencies in progress in the world. A comprehensive review can be found on the web. In the galaxy of complementary currencies one must discriminate between on the one hand, "moneys with social aim" the goal of which is to solve a series of social problems and, more generally, to give a good living standard to people, and on the other hand, "complementary currencies" aimed at keeping running local economy. Complementary currencies have not for aim to replace but only to complement the legal national currency.

In the following we will give some examples of these two kinds of currencies. The only role of the new currency is to allow the transfer of the production to the consumers. This so-called "distributive money" is strictly consumerist in nature : it is only used for payment, it does not circulate since it is cancelled as soon as it has been used by the consumer, it cannot be invested to bear interest and is no longer anonymous. However, term payments are still possible.The amounts to be distributed periodically (each month, for example) are figured in the same computerised fashion as the transactions now made routinely by stock exchange and financial markets. In a broad sense, the problem consists in evaluating the production to output in a given time. The factors to take into account are consumer demand, ecological and environmental protection, public service requirements and planned investments. The sum total of all "social income" distributed is the difference between the value of estimated production output and that of the approved investments, for a given period of time. Considering that all citizens of a region are equal heirs to the fruits of labour and research having led to our present means of production, Jacques Duboin proposed the same social income for all, in other words economic equality. But feedback from a majority of people shows that they are not prepared for such a radical move. The goal of economic equality must then be envisioned only in the long term.

A transition is thus necessary: To accelerate the advance toward distributive economics, we propose to share the buying power in the form of a citizenship income, calculated on the basis of what we call a "civic contract".They are aimed at stimulating individual initiative, innovation and creativity while taking into account the increasing complexity of the economic structure Their objective is to develop autonomy and responsibility in the citizen, to give him the opportunity of directing his own life, to let him make a choice of his activities while reckoning their value even if not measurable in traditional economic fashion."

More Information

Transforming Money, introduction and overview from Susmita Barua, at

The Creating new Money report is at

A shorter review, at

A summary here, at

FAQ ON DEBT FFEE money, at

And check these many interesting monetary reform links, at

See also this text on Lets and monetary reform, at

Key Books to Read

Presentation of Bernard Lietaer's book, "The Future of Money", at Interview of Bernard Lietaer, at

Recommended by James Robertson

Monetary Reform - Making it Happen, 2004 (with John Bunzl). International Simultaneous Policy Organisation, paperback, 80 pp. ISPO "Making it Happen" Briefing Series No 1. Available online at

Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age, 2000 (with Joseph Huber). New Economics Foundation, paperback, 97 pages, £7.95. Available online at

The Monetary Reform Reading List

Compiled by Thelma Weeks

For further reference I would recommend the following books by authors who were present or prepresented at the workshop:

1.' Interest and Inflation and Free Money', Margrit Kennedy, the second edition ISBN 0-9643025-0-0 (1995) available from Seva International, Okemos, Michigan: It sets out the problem as it was first conceived by her. ( Silvio Gesell published his major work in German in 1918 called ("Natural Economic Order")

2.'The Little Earth Book' - James Burger ISBN 1-901970-23-X, available from Alastair Sawday Publishing UK. Tel: +44 (0)1275 464891 Fax: +44 (0)1275 464887 Email: This skilfully illustrates the link between the destruction of our planet (environment and resources)and the link to the monetary system. You will find the ideas/theories of many of the participants to the conference briefly explained in this delightful little book with references to the complete texts.

3.'The Ecology of Money', Richard Douthwaite, (Schumacher briefings 4 ISBN1 870098 81 1).

4.'Transforming Economic Life', James Robertson, (Schumacher briefings 1 ISBN 870098 72 2)

5.'New Money for Healthy Communities', Thomas Greco

6.'The Future of Money', Bernard Lietaer, available through This recently published book is not represented in the Little Earth Book and presents a clear, intelligent and easily understandable overview of the present system and its challenges. It introduces the concept of a global currency, the Terra, for co-operative exchange. The book was launched in the House of Commons; see Positive News Spring 2001.

7.'Beyond Globalization', Hazel Henderson (1999) ISBN 1-56549-107-6, Kumarian Press - for the New Economics Foundation.

8.'Recreating Money', Joseph Huber and James Robertson, London 2001

These books offer encouraging reading - even though awareness is created about all the issues that should concern every human being. For the first time I feel that there is a solution in sight and that there are ways in which we can contribute to the outcome - in time or after the event of a collapse. If nothing else we can all help to create awareness of the existing issues and the solutions for when the world needs them and before anything else we can deal with our own emotional blocks around money and abundance consciousness!!!!!!

ooks recommended by the Prosperity website

PROSPERITY: Freedom from Debt Slaveryis a 4-page monthly journal which campaigns for publicly-created debt-free money. PROSPERITY is edited and published by Alistair McConnachie and a 12-issue subscription is available for £15 payable to PROSPERITY at 268 Bath Street, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, G2 4JR. Tel: 0141 332 2214; Fax: 0141 353 6900,

Creating New Money is available for £7.95 from The New Economics Foundation, 3 Jonathan Street, London, SE11 5NH. Tel: 0207 820 6300.

The Grip of Death: A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics by Michael Rowbotham, [Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1998]

Goodbye America! Globalisation, debt and the dollar empire by Michael Rowbotham, [Jon Carpenter Publishing, 2000]

Recommended by Molly Scott Cato

Context: green or 'gaian economics', see

"There is a whole community of monetary reformers who have tackled the problem and provided useful guides. My own favourite is The Ecology of Money by Richard Douthwaite (Green Books, £5). It has the unquestionable bonus of being short and, in common with Richard's other works, offering plenty of real situations to make the ideas accessible. Brian Leslie has produced a useful booklet: Where's the Money to Come From? If you have more stamina you might try the cheerfully titled Grip of Death by Michael Rowbotham (Jon Carpenter, £15), The Politics of Money by Frances Hutchinson, Mary Mellor and Wendy Olsen, or J. K. Galbraith's Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went (Penguin)."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Chomsky and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

9-11: The Truth Matters
by Kim Petersen
March 13, 2007

On 11 September 2001, I sat with a Palestinian family in the living room of their home in Aqaba, Jordan and watched subdued as planes struck US landmarks. It wasn’t long before the Saudi rebel Osama bin Laden was fingered as the culprit. That the corporate media had so quickly named a responsible party was suspicious. My suspicion was further aroused when, days later, I spoke with a friend who trained pilots for Royal Jordanian Airlines. The captain claimed that flight 93 had not crashed; it had been shot down. To adduce his point he pointed out how there were no large chunks of fuselage among the wreckage and that the wreckage was scattered over too wide an area. Assuming his facts were true, then the media portrayal of the 9-11 Gestalt was immediately questionable.

Reports quickly surfaced about Israelis celebrating during the attack, that no Arabs were on the planes, that onboard cell phones could not function under those circumstances, that US air force interceptor planes had taken inordinately long to scramble, that the WTC buildings’ owner had massively insured the buildings for a terrorist attack, that only a demolition could collapse the buildings in such a manner, that jet fuel did not burn hot enough to melt steel, that the president sat with school children apparently unfazed by the news of the attack, and so on. True or not, it was no wonder that people became engaged in a movement to determine what happened on 9-11.

How does one arrive at the “truth”?

Certainly not through close-mindedness. Would one be likely to arrive at the “truth” if he is unwilling to consider all the evidence? Open-minded skepticism -- the willingness to consider many views skeptically -- seems a logical formula by which to arrive at the truth. Open-minded skepticism includes critical appraisal of facts, pertinent literature, and hypotheses in reaching one’s own conclusions. Of course, hashing one’s conclusions over with others helps to winnow out wrong conclusions and refine incongruencies. Consequently, I have maintained an open-mindedness to information emerging from 9-11 but with requisite skepticism. There was no way that I could, with limited resources and at great distance, check on the mass of information and evidence that had to be sifted through to conclude anything definite. I could only conjecture about isolated pieces of information.

That many people would devote themselves to the endeavor of trying to get at the “truth” of 9-11 seems like something laudable and not to be disparaged, despite whatever wild theories some people might reach and proffer. Many contrarians, however, deemed it sufficient to disqualify the self-described “truth seekers” as “conspiracy theorists.” Even some people normally considered progressives have ridiculed the truth seekers. What should one think when a progressivist voice, derided as a conspiracy theorist by his detractors [1], uses the same epithet to describe others?

Linguistics professor Noam Chomsky downplays non-official views on 9-11, especially of Bush government involvement with 9-11.

How often are commissions and their reports about getting at the truth? How often are they about delay, cover-up, spin, and obfuscation? [2] Why should the plodding 9-11 Commission Report, despite the commissioners’ claim to be “independent, impartial, through and nonpartisan,” be any different? In Britain, the Hutton Inquiry is widely regarded as a whitewash of the purported assassination of bio-terrorism expert Dr. David Kelly. [3] Why should the 9-11 Commission be expected to issue a report that implicates the Bush administration? In fact, the Commission’s “sweeping” mandate is not about assigning individual blame.


Was 9-11 a false flag operation?

“Did [the Bush administration] plan it in any way or know about it?” asks Chomsky. “This seems to me extremely unlikely. For one, they would have had to be insane to try anything like that.” [4]

Adolf Hitler’s Big Lie is premised on a lie so colossal that the truthfulness of it would be unchallenged. If, indeed, the official version of 9-11 is a lie, then what could be a bigger lie? Would this be insane?

Chomsky knows that regime insanity does happen. He called Hitler’s WWII Holocaust “the most fantastic outburst of collective insanity in human history.” [5]

Does not insanity prevail in the world? How else should one describe a world in which the masses of people slave away so that the idle few can siphon up the newly created wealth, a world where the plutocrats in the superpower can overthrow elections and governments in foreign states that do not meet their approval, where ethnic cleansing and genocide are permitted or encouraged elsewhere when it is in the “national interest” of the superpower, and where the corporate media colludes with the crimes against humanity? Does not realpolitik obfuscate insanity? Given all this, why should the idle ruling class not be emboldened to commit further acts of insanity?

Lies are nothing new to governments. The invasion-occupation of Iraq was a government lie. What was the pretext for this? 9-11. 9-11 allowed the Bush administration to push its disinformation about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. Was the slaughter of some 655,000 (and counting) Iraqi civilians and the sacrifice of nearly 60,000 (and counting) US casualties not insane?

The Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide, kidnapped and forced into exile by a US-engineered coup, said of the US:

You’re dealing with a country that was willing and able, in front of the UN and in front of the world at large, to fabricate claims about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They were willing to lie about issues of global importance. It’s hardly surprising that they were able to find a few people to say the things that needed to be said in Haiti, in a small country of no great strategic significance. [6]

Maybe few Americans are aware of the Haitian coup, but many Americans now know about the lie of Iraq weapons of mass destruction. Sadly, not enough Americans care to halt the war crimes of their government, and not enough citizens of other countries care enough to pressure their government sufficiently to stop support of, let alone take a stand against, US aggression.

Chomsky also knows of evidence that points at Pearl Harbor not being a surprise attack -- that Franklin D. Roosevelt knew it was coming and allowed it to happen. [7] The American populace was consequently persuaded to reverse its aversion to military participation in World War II. Was FDR insane to let the attack on Pearl Harbor happen?

In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff conceived Operation Northwoods, a plan for a secret terrorist attack against the homeland to trick the American public into supporting a war against Cuba. Were the Joint Chiefs of staff insane to contemplate a self-inflicted attack?

Journalist John Pilger does not consider the committing of insane acts by extreme regimes, such as in the US and Israel, as implausible:

When you have extreme regimes, as modern history has taught us, then some very awful things are likely to happen. They’re prepared to take risks. They don’t care about human life . . . or destroying human life on a scale that, that other regimes . . . might draw back from. [8]

Ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern has no doubts about the insanity of members of the US regime, describing vice-president Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives as “crazy like a fox.” [9]

Recently, Chomsky seems to have reconsidered US regime insanity: “Then again, a predator becomes even more dangerous, and less predictable, when wounded. In desperation to salvage something, the administration might risk even greater disasters. The Bush administration has created an unimaginable catastrophe in Iraq.” [10]


Insanity aside, Chomsky argues that a planned attack against the homeland “would have leaked. You know, it is a very poor system. Secrets are hard to keep.”

In 1954, in an operation code-named “Susanah,” Israeli agents targeted British and US buildings in Egypt. The operation, known as the Lavon Affair, was uncovered. For the public at large, however, there were no substantial leaks for many years, and most people still probably know little or nothing of the Lavon Affair.

On 8 June 1967, a US surveillance ship in the Mediterranean Sea, the USS Liberty, was deliberately attacked by Israeli planes, killing 34 crew members. The US regime imposed strict censorship over the attack, and it remains largely confined to the Memory Hole.

Secrets might not be perfectly kept, but they can be kept sufficiently secret for a long enough period of time -- long enough to manage public perception and allow those people culpable to escape serious rebuke or punishment.

Yet Chomsky insists, “So something would have leaked out, very likely. And if it had they would have all been before a firing squad. It would have been the end of the Republican Party forever.”

How many Americans know about the events of the Lavon Affair, the attack on the USS Liberty, or Operation Northwoods? Even if all Americans knew, one might ask how many would care unless provoked to care?

As for the melodramatic reference to firing squads, Chomsky knows better. “Elite” government characters and their high-ranking minions are seldom harshly punished and certainly not by firing squad. In the US, capital punishment is mainly for the poor, predominantly non-White class.

Chomsky states, “You couldn’t predict that the plane would actually hit the Trade Center. It could easily have missed.”

Three out of three planes hit their targets! [11]

Chomsky repeats, “But what you can be almost certain of is that any hint of a plan would have leaked and would’ve just destroyed [the Bush administration officials]. And to take a chance on that would have been just meaningless.”

Chomsky’s assertion is at variance with the commonly held dictum that the lust for power corrupts the human. The examples of humans taking seemingly insane risks for greater power and prestige are myriad. But how much of a chance would such conniving characters be taking? In the documentary Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992), Chomsky expounds on the complicity of the corporate media (which would be the ultimate leaker):

And what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the interests of suffering people and not the needs of the American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that’s dripping from their hands because of the way they’re allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system.

Furthermore, Ed Herman and Chomsky meticulously supported their Propaganda Model which illustrates how information is controlled by the corporate media. The system, the authors explained, allows dissident views to occasionally leak, but confines such views at the margins. [12]

There already have been leaks. Film-maker Aaron Russo claims his friend, Nicholas Rockefeller, of the “elite” Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), let him in on an upcoming “event”: “Eleven months before 9-11 happened there was going to be an event and out of that event we were going to invade Afghanistan to run pipelines through the Caspian Sea; we were going to invade Iraq to take over the oil fields and establish a base in the Middle East, and we’d go after Chavez in Venezuela.” [13]

If true, this is outrageously prescient stuff. Russo states 9-11 is a “phony,” “fake,” “fraud,” and the “war on terror” is a “fraud,” “farce,” “hoax,” and “joke.”

Russo has no doubts who was behind 9-11: “People know that 9-11 was an inside job. Look what they did here in America, look at 9-11, look what they did. They killed thousands of Americans -- people jumping out of windows from a hundred floors up. They don’t care.”

Russo asks, “Why do you think 9-11 happened and nothing since then? Do you think our security is so great here . . . ? Nine-11 was done by people in our own government, in our own banking system to perpetuate the fear of the American people into subordinating themselves to anything the government wants them to do . . . that’s what it’s all about.”

Leaking requires extreme courage -- or maybe insanity. Woe to those people who would try and expose the insanity of government and its agencies. Journalist Gary Webb exposed the scorching hot potato of CIA involvement in drug smuggling. For this he was pilloried and run out of the corporate media. His life ended in a tragic suicide. [14] Diplomat Joseph Wilson went public with disinformation emanating from the Bush White House prior to the invasion of Iraq. The corporate media hurled invective at him [15] and his wife was outed as a CIA operative. The leaks of Webb and Wilson caused hardly a ripple to the power centers. The lesson: the leakers will suffer and leaks can be plugged.

Despite this, there have been plenty of leaks about 9-11 and the “war on terrorism”: US officials such as former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter, former counter-terrorism chief Richard Clark, and former treasury secretary Paul O’Neill were all scathingly attacked after coming forward. In Britain, intelligence employee Katherine Gun, BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, and BBC executives Greg Dyke and Gavyn Davies lost their jobs. Ministry of Defense employee Dr. David Kelly wound up dead. Obviously, leaking carries a high price. Even the exposure of plagiarized and “sexed-up” dossiers and the condemnatory Downing Street Memos fizzled. None of these leaks had major impact. Conclusively, it is not enough merely for information to leak. The leaked information has to reach enough people, and more importantly, that information needs to be credible and meaningful to people. Leaked information that reaches too few people or is viewed with utmost disbelief has little or no effect.

Most importantly, people need to care. The “official” 9-11 story has a large share of doubters, and yet it has still hardly made a dent in the political landscape or caused harm to the Republican Party.

How is one to assess Russo’s revelations? The usual method is to question what a person stands to gain for speaking out. In Russo’s case, certainly not money and fame. He was already well-to-do and well known. The filmmaker says he even turned down membership in the CFR, having no interest in “enslaving the people.” In fact, Russo has already paid a price in being ostracized from Hollywood. He says he is motivated by a “sense of conscience” and a “sense of justice.” This selflessness gives Russo credibility.

Aaron Dykes, a videographer present at the taping of the interview, vouched for Russo: “I can say that Aaron Russo is a very open person; his body language and tone convey that of a person being completely honest, as one watching the interview can also witness. At the same time, it is one man’s word against another, so I can’t say that it is hard evidence in a court of law, without other supporting evidence. However, the Russo family has pictures with Nick Rockefeller and their relationship is otherwise established.”

But Russo’s source, Nicholas Rockefeller, appears to be a most dubious character. [16] Despite this Rockefeller’s dubiousness, according to Russo, he still predicted a 9-11-type “event.”


Chomsky attacks the evidence produced as “essentially worthless.” This is his opinion. I find myself in agreement with Chomsky on his skepticism, if not the level of skepticism, to the scientific evidence. But even challenging the scientific evidence may exact a price for dissenting academics, as Brigham Young University physicist Dr. Steven Jones has found out. He was put on paid leave, a “rare” course of action for a professor with “continuing status.” [17]

Conspiracy Theorists

Chomsky dismisses the truth seekers as “elaborate conspiracy theorists” who are “completely wrong” and “diverting people away from serious issues.” Who is to determine what are serious issues? In a culture where whether Britney Spears wears underwear dominates public discourse (according to Russo and interviewer Alex Jones), determining what happened on 9-11 is hardly inconsequential.

Who Cares?

But Chomsky makes a most extraordinary statement: “Even if it were true, which is extremely unlikely, who cares? I mean, it doesn’t have any significance. . . . It’s just taking energy away from serious issues for ones that don’t matter.”

This is Chomsky’s opinion. The families of the 2,973 people killed and the 24 people missing on 9-11 probably care. The warmongers in the government apparently thought that enough people cared enough so that they could exploit 9-11. Obviously, the “truth seekers” care.

Russo maintains: “Until you get to the root cause of 9-11, which is supposedly the ‘war on terror,’ we’ll never solve our problems. . . . Where did 9-11 come from? That’s the root cause of everything.”

If, indeed, it is the root cause of everything, then that seems like a pretty good reason for everyone to care.

In the meantime, the warmongering US and Zionist regimes are targeting the US public with a massive disinformation barrage demonizing Iran. Former national security advisor to US president Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, is not convinced of the sanity of the US regime. On 1 February, he warned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“A plausible scenario for a [US] military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure ... then, by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the United States blamed on Iran culminating in a quote-unquote defensive US military action against Iran…” [18]

False flag operation? Insanity? Further insouciance or unwitting credulity by the public might result in a cataclysmic loss of life.

This is why it is wrong to assert that the “truth seekers” are diverting energy away from serious issues. It is not merely about the issue of 9-11 but also about the credibility of the regime. The presence of 9-11 “truth seekers” shows the Bush administration that there are a persistent number of people dedicated to exposing the crimes of government, arguably acting as a potential brake on the regime. Therefore, attaching pejorative labels to “truth seekers” hardly serves the aims of progressives or humanity.

Kim Petersen is Co-Editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at:

Other Recent Articles by Kim Petersen

* Hoping Against Hope? The Struggle Against Colonialism in Canada
* Progressive Principles: Israel and the Duty to Obey Conscience
* Google-ized: An Interview with Adam Engel
* The Martyring of a Nazi Sympathizer: In Defense of Free Speech
* Zionist Appeasement: A Blight on the Canadian Political Landscape
* Money Trumps Democracy
* The Evil of Collaboration
* Zionists Lay the Groundwork for a Military Strike Against Iran
* An Uncompromising Leftist Position
* Elephants Not in the Room
* Platitudes Are No Defense Against Zionist Terrorism
* Principles Over Realism: The Zero-State Solution
* Let’s Not Support Lesser Evilism: Much Ado About Nothing Election Results
* The Reciprocity Principle: Questions That Need to be Asked
* Genocide in Iraq
* Going Nuclear: Northern Korea’s Ace
* An Unacceptable Nuclear Gamble


[1] Daniel Pipes identifies Chomsky as a conspiracy theorist in Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From (The Free Press, 1997), 157-160. Alexander Cockburn calls the “truth seekers” “conspiracists” in “The Age of Irrationality: The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the American Left,” Dissident Voice, 15 December 2006. George Monbiot scorns the “truth seekers” as “conspiracy idiots” and “morons” in “9/11 fantasists pose a mortal danger to popular oppositional campaigns,” Guardian, 20 February 2007. Monbiot complains without evidence that the “truth seekers” are “destroying the [progressivist] movements some of us have spent a long time trying to build.”

[2] Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999), 294. Hochschild describes the Belgian authorities attempt to “erase” historical record. The greedy, lascivious Belgian king Leopold II turned to manipulated commissions whenever threatened by exposure of the huge genocide in his private colony, the Congo Free State (insidious doublespeak for a state based on brutalized slave labor). The 1904-5 African Commission of Inquiry Report turned up scandalous testimony and was buried, remaining off limits to researchers more than 70 years later.

[3] Michel Chossudovsky, “Who Ordered the Assassination of Dr. David Kelly? Global Research, February 26, 2007.

[4] “Noam Chomsky on 911 conspiracy part 2,” YouTube. See also Noam Chomsky, “9-11: Institutional Analysis vs. Conspiracy Theory,” ZBlog, 10 June 2006.

[5] Noam Chomsky, “His Right to Say It,” The Nation, 28 February 1981.

[6] Peter Hallward, “An Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide,” London Review of Books, 22 February 2007.

[7] Robert Stinnett, “The Pearl Harbor Deception,” www., 7 December 2003. Stinnett notes that the US had cracked Japanese codes and continues to stonewall on freedom of information requests over 60 years after the Pearl Harbor attack.

[8] “Interview with John Pilger,” Flashpoints, 14 February 2007.

[9] Ray McGovern, “Helping Israel Die,” Tom Paine, 9 February 2007.

[10] Noam Chomsky, “A predator becomes more dangerous when wounded,” Guardian, 9 March 2007.

[11] Some “truth seekers” would protest the assumption that whatever hit the Pentagon was a plane. US major general Albert Stubblebine, the expert in charge of the army’s imagery interpretation for scientific and technical analysis, emphatically states, “The plane does not fit in that hole.” “U.S. Army General Says Flight 77 Did Not Hit Pentagon,” Digg.

[12] Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (Pantheon Books, 2002).

[13] “Historic Interview with Aaron Russo, Fighting Cancer and the New World Order,” Google Video. In this explosive interview, Russo drops more bombs like the CFR’s plan to microchip the population, a depopulation plan, and how the women’s lib movement was all about increasing the workforce and tax base. Michael Chossudovsky in “The Criminalization of the State,” Centre for Research on Globalization, 3 February 2004 quotes David Rockefeller in a 1994 Statement to the United Nations Business Council: “We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”

[14] Nick Schou, “The CIA-Contra-Crack Connection, 10 Years Later,” Dissident Voice, 21 August 2006.

[15] Robert Parry, “Why the Media Can’t Stop Smearing Joe Wilson,” Smirking Chimp, 5 September 2006.

[16] The conclusions that one can jump to from a name. The Wikipedia page for Nicholas Rockefeller was deleted but is preserved at “” A search of the CFR website for “Nicholas Rockefeller” turned up zilch.

[17] Ted Walsh, “BYU places ‘9/11 truth’ professor on paid leave,” Deseret Morning News, 8 September 2006.

[18] “Brzezinski predicts provoking war with Iran,”