by Eric Walberg
Is there more than meets the eye in the sudden
flurry of talk about a world food crisis, asks Eric Walberg...
Food protests and riots have swept more than 20 countries in the past few
months, including Egypt.
On 2 April, World Bank President
Robert Zoellick told a meeting in Washington that there are 33 countries
where price hikes could cause widespread social unrest. The UN World Food
Program called the crisis the silent tsunami, with wheat prices
almost doubling in the past year alone, and stocks falling to the lowest
level since the perilous post-WWII days.
One billion people live on less than $1 a day.
Some 850 million are starving. Meanwhile, world food production increased a
mere 1 per cent in 2006, and with increasing amounts of output going to
biofuels, per capita consumption is declining.
The most commonly stated reasons include rising fuel costs, global warming,
deterioration of soils, and increased demand in China and India. So is it
all just a case of hard luck and poor planning?
There is just too much of a pattern, and too many elements all pointing in
the same direction. Anyone following the news will have heard of the
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which first met in 1921
and the group that represents the inner circle within the inner circle,
the Bilderberg Club, which first met in
The latter, once a highly secretive organization
bringing together select world political and business leaders, was exposed
to the media spotlight in 1990s and since then has had to endure increasing
criticism for its, to say the least, undemocratic role in shaping political
leaders' thinking and actions in accordance with the desires of the world
The US has never been shy about flaunting world opinion. A case in point is
its sole "nay" to multiple UN General Assembly and conference
resolutions which declare that "health care and proper nourishment are human
rights". The resolution was approved by a vote of 135-1 in 1981 under
president Ronald Reagan, and at UN-sponsored food summits by similar
margins in 1996 under president Bill Clinton and in 2002 under
President Bush, dismissing any "right to food".
Whether Republican or Democrat, Washington instead champions free trade as
the key to ending the poverty which it argues is at the root of hunger, and
expresses fears that recognition of a right to food could lead to lawsuits
from poor nations seeking aid and special trade provisions. And these are
only resolutions by a powerless body which is in any case virtually
subservient to the US.
We can see at this very moment how this
international humanitarian body is not above using starvation of innocent
Gazans as a political tool in the interests of the status quo. Despite loud
protestations to the contrary, there is little real international will
opposing a future where millions die of starvation while a world elite
consolidate their power.
Trying to come to grips with the world food crisis, it's hard not to
subscribe to some version of a conspiracy theory - that somehow, for some
reason, this rush towards widespread world famine is actually a plan by a
world clique intent on drastically reducing the world population,
accelerating the collapse of national governments, allowing gigantic world
corporations effectively to take their place, controlling vast areas of
land, leading towards a world governed by these corporations.
Especially with the US so clear in its
assumption that indeed widespread famine is in the cards, for which it does
not want to be held responsible. Forget about global warming (which is of
course very real and harmful to food production).
Here are a few more red flags.
IMF, set up largely by the US following
WWII, are notorious for refusing to advance loans to poor countries
unless they agree to Structural Adjustment Programs that require
the loan recipients to devalue their currencies, cut taxes, privatize
utilities and reduce or eliminate support programs for farmers. The
results are a weakened state, impoverished local farmers and increased
economic domination by international corporations.
Combined with this is constant pressure on
poor countries to lower tariffs, preventing them from building up their
industrial potential, often destituting their farmers who cannot compete
with heavily subsidized produce from rich nations.
Second, rich country subsidies, in Canada,
for example, allow the federal government to pay farmers $225 for each
pig killed in an ongoing mass cull of breeding swine, as part of a plan
to reduce hog production. Some of the slaughtered hogs may be given to
local Food Banks, but most will be destroyed or made into pet food. None
will go to, say, Haiti.
Third, biofuel programs are now
channeling massive quantities of cereal and other crops to produce fuel
for the world's wealthy to run their second and third family cars while
close to a billion starve. Add in GMO products, which are now being
forced on poor countries (and not only) by large multinationals,
protected by copyright laws, effectively enslaving farmers in
perpetuity, not to mention their likely dire effects on loss of crop
Last but not least,
the current US-sponsored wars in the Middle East, with the
resultant sky-rocketing oil prices, are merely accelerating a descent
into the abyss, as it and its conjunct, NATO, continue to expand beyond
all responsible limits and venture into Asia, threatening more and more
recalcitrant countries with loss of sovereignty, subversion and outright
But you don't have to believe in a "Made it
Happen On Purpose" (MHOP) conspiracy for either 9/11 or
the food crisis.
As political analyst William Blum,
famously cited by Osama Bin Laden on one of his video missives, writes,
"we're speaking of men making decisions,
based not on people's needs but on pseudo-scientific, amoral mechanisms
like supply and demand, commodity exchanges, grain futures, selling
short, selling long, and other forms of speculation, all fed and
multiplied by the proverbial herd mentality - a system governed by only
two things: fear and greed; not a rational way to feed a world of human
Blum subscribes to a "Let it Happen On
Purpose" (LHOP) explanation concerning 9/11, that whatever
conspiracy there is is loose and unorganized, that a big dose of
incompetence mixed with justified anger by the oppressed is producing an
explosive concoction, but that it is still possible that leaders will wake
up and address the issues sensibly.
This is a much more comforting worldview, but
one that looks thinner and thinner as the whirlwind gathers momentum. While
Blum dismisses speculation about the food crisis as conspiracy, the links
between the current world upheavals starting with 9/11 are there for all to
see, and less and less seems to separate MHOP from LHOP as
time marches on.
In fact there has been a food crisis ever since imperialism really got
underway three centuries ago. Perhaps the most extensive famines in history
were presided over by Britain in India in the 18-20th centuries. It has
merely metamorphosed over time, just as has the "one world" movement that
imperialism itself launched. Back then, it was more obvious: burn, rape,
dispossess, enslave, create monopolies for trade and production
(plantations), talk about "darkest Africa".
Now it is the WTO, WB, IMF, emergency loans,
privatization, GMO crops, just possibly, the gathering "food crisis".
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez perhaps said it best:
"It is a massacre of the world's poor. The
problem is not the production of food. It is the economic, social and
political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis."
Then what is really going on?
First of all, let's get rid of the idea that we are seeing "impersonal
market forces" at work. Supply and demand is not a law, it's a
policy, one that clearly cannot solve the problem.
Second, let's ask the question which any
competent investigator should pose when starting out on the trail of a
Indeed we can even describe the crime as
genocide if the events in question are avoidable or planned. Those who
benefit are obviously the ones who finance agricultural operations, those
who are charging monopoly prices for the commodities in demand, the various
middlemen who bring the products to market, and the owners of the land and
other assets used in the production/consumption cycle.
In other words, it's
the financial elite of the world who have
gained control of the most basic necessity of life, guided by a long-term
strategy by international finance to starve much of the world's
population in order to seize their land and control their natural
Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They
Are Making (2008), David Rothkopf, currently at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former deputy undersecretary
of commerce for international trade under Clinton and managing director of
Kissinger and Associates, brazenly outlines the real situation.
As a consummate insider, he is clearly
someone who should know. He argues that a global elite now run the planet
and have usurped the power of national governments while ensuring laws
constrained by borders are all but obsolete.
"Each one of them is one in a million. They
number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our
governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international
finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world's
most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global
superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time," states the
promo for the book.
This elite "see national governments as
residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the
elite's global operations. Their connections to each other have become
more significant than their ties to their home nations and governments."
But why would an insider give the plot away to
us plebes, you may well ask. For one thing, the exposure of the conspirators
in the world media - yes, the Internet and satellite communications work
both ways - has meant that there is a pressing need for some soothing PR,
showing us that whatever conspiracy there is is benign, for our own good,
necessary, if you will.
That's the only explanation for such a
startlingly frank insider's account as Superclass provides.
Secondly, it seems the time is ripe to move forward on this plan to
drastically reduce world population, and increase control of the Earth's
land and resources for a world elite in perpetuity.
One-world government, super imperialism, call it what you will.
The expansion of the US military empire abroad, the Trojan Horse of the
conspiracy, comes with the creation of a totalitarian system of surveillance
at home and abroad, put into place as part of the "War
Human microchip implants for tracking
purposes are starting to be used. The military-industrial complex has become
the US's largest and most successful industry, intent on destroying both
foreign and domestic "enemies". The pieces are now in place for world
The 20th century - any conspiracy really can only be clearly argued starting
from the Great War-to-end-all-war - surely was the US century, meaning it
was able to impose its ideology of markets, consumerism and individualism
even to the far reaches of Communist Russia and China, and hence
ensure that the global elite it set in motion will subscribe in some form to
its agenda - if indeed there is one.
This situation is in fact a perverse form of Kant's recipe for world peace:
countries must be willing to cede sovereignty to prevent war. His
idealistic proposal floundered on the unwillingness of countries to cede
meaningful autonomy to a world body, as the experience of the League of
Nations and the UN have shown in spades. However, once the US succeeded in
amassing overwhelming economic might in the world and in splitting up the
SU, it proceeded to use NATO as just such a world body, successfully
tempting the resultant statelets to join it.
The plan was for Russia to be coaxed into the
fold as well, though this part of the plan has, as it turns out, hit a snag.
What about foreign aid?
Yes, Bush just proposed spending an additional
$770 million, bringing next year's budget of food assistance to $2.6
billion. But since this is tied aid, forcing countries to import subsidized
US produce, less than half the amount actually reaches the starving
peasants, and combined with WB/IMF structural adjustment policies such aid
really does more to compound the problem than provide any real long-term
change for the better.
For skeptics about the possibility of some form of LHOP/MHOP, just consider
the following: if indeed 6,000 elite business leaders control the world's
fate, surely such an immensely wealthy and powerful coterie could solve
the food crisis in a flash.
The massive expenditures on arms and the wanton
destruction they cause every second, could, if stopped, provide the will and
resources to restructure the world to end starvation, let alone poverty,
leaving lots left over for the elite to wallow in.
There is no organized force of any consequence
opposing this world elite.
What's stopping it?