Friday, June 2, 2017

Old Strategy, New Tactics: The Corruption Formula, Introduction (Part 1 of 3)

Old Strategy, New Tactics:‘The Corruption Formula’


Why is the world so corrupt?

[Disclaimer:  This is the first part of a 3 part blog post series. Given the nature of the topic and vast amounts of information available on it, we’ve tried to condense some of the most pertinent and relevant information to help you, the reader, to better see and understand our perspective on it. Please take the time to go through all the interactive links, videos, and references.  As always, comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. ]


Do you read the news?  Many try to.  Sometimes it is hard to read, because the news is always so depressing, and we mean always, but as concerned citizens and Muslims we should be aware of what is going on in the world.  After all, how can we as Muslims claim to care for the plight of others, especially our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, when our knowledge of how they live only comes via filtered news, which is often limited and in many cases missing much detail?  Therefore, over the last few months we've expanded our research to include a more detailed look at the history and politics of many countries, especially Muslim-majority countries.  We have focused on material that helps us to understand just how many of the countries in the world today were first created, underwent political transition and the change of power, and how they continue to exist and function.  In other words, how did we get to where we are today?
Our goal was to connect this knowledge to news of current events.
Now, why are we boring you, the reader with the origin and journey of our research?  Because after months of careful reading, one question keeps popping up in our minds, namely:
“how is it possible that most of the world is living under a “corrupt government”?” 
Dozens and dozens of different countries throughout the planet, all with different cultures, religions, and types of government setups, yet all share one common denominator, corruption!
Just to be clear, when we say “corrupt government”, we don’t mean the type of government that the countries claim to have on paper.  For instance, take the countries of Egypt or Argentina, they both claim to be some form of a “Democratic Republic”, which may or may not be true, but this doesn’t describe how the leaders actually run the country.  Also, we are not referring to corruption in general terms, because every country in the world has corruption.  If there’s a law on the books, there will always be bad actors that will try to break that law for some type of gain.
What we are referring to is a government whose corruption is purposeful, systematic, and pandemic.  A government whose endgame and sole existence is corruption, and most importantly, whose corruption serves the interests of those in power as well as those of a foreign power.  In other words, a government whose role is NOT to serve its people, but rather to allow the family or clique in power to steal the country’s wealth, as well as multitude of foreign companies to come in and do the same.  Some refer to this type of government as a kleptocratic government.
Another common characteristic that all these ‘corrupt governments’ have, is that the money in the county flows up, rather than down, just like a mafia.  In a normal or healthy government the country’s resources in all its forms are usually drawn from the population to the center, but then are largely distributed back downwards within the system, in the form of patronage, infrastructure, public services, decent salaries for public officials, and so on. [1]   Most importantly, the overall money in the country, stays in the country.
On the other hand, in these ‘corrupt governments’, the people not only pay taxes, but they also pay a barrage of extorted bribes and fines for everything you can think of.  This money then moves up the ladder, i.e. everyone is paying someone else off, until it reaches the top.  But by far, the biggest characteristic of this type government is that the money moving upwards within the system is largely sent outside the country altogether (that’s where offshore financial havens come into play).  In addition, the corrupt leadership is getting large amounts of money from donors, but that money doesn’t stay in the country either.  Overall the net gain that people living in these countries get is: minimal public services (if any), a gun to the face if you get too unhappy about it, a substandard living, and an overall life of acute injustice and lack of dignity. [2]
To further understand how “corrupt” this type of systemic, widespread, and purposely executed corruption can be, we will provide several different examples at the end of this post, so you the reader, can see and feel in detail what these people are living under.
Now that you, the reader, understand a little clearer just what we mean by a “corrupt government”, we must ask the question again, how is it possible that the overwhelming majority of all the counties in South America, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia etc.…all have governments that fall into this category?  Really think about this -- these five areas are all very different: different cultures, people, resources, politics etc.… yet they all share this horrible trait.  Or ask yourself the question in reverse, how is it that Western countries (i.e. US, France, U.K. Germany, etc.) avoid this fate?  Of course, they have corruption too as many are well aware and as already mentioned, but not purposely instituted pandemic corruption built from the ground up, where money flows up instead of down.  Is it a coincidence or this by design? 
Well to answer this properly we must look at a little history, in particular the history of colonization.

Colonization – Old School

The first wave of colonization began in the early 15th century when the Portuguese conquered the city of Ceuta (Northeast tip of Morocco) in 1415. [3]  This wave of Europeans using their superior ships and canons to exploit others for profit continued into the first half of the 19th century with British, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and the Dutch conquered Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, Africa, & the Americas. [4]  Some refer to these centuries’ as the ‘Age of Discovery’, but a more proper label would be the ‘Age of Wicked Profiteering’.  These centuries are marred with heinous crimes against humanity in which whole populations were decimated and cultures were destroyed, for the sole goal of getting rich by controlling foreign maritime trade. [5]  

The second wave of colonization is often referred to as the ‘Age of New Imperialism’ and began during the second half of the 19th century.  This is when European powers, the United States, and the Empire of Japan used advanced military technology to begin an unprecedented pursuit of territorial conquest.  Their goal was to make their empires bigger through conquest and the exploitation of resources to feed each of their industrial revolutions.  This is the era in which the ‘Scramble for Africa’, America’s ‘Manifest Destiny’ and ‘The Great Game’ in Asia all took place. [6] [7]  This wave was equally brutal to humanity, and resulted in a transition from direct control via political and military occupation to indirect control usually through “puppet” proxy rulers. [ibid]
In general, the overall purpose of colonialism was to control land, labor, natural resources, and markets to fuel the empire of the growing colonial economy.  These industrial nations forcibly pushed their way upon developing nations, and then extracted value from these developing nations, just as one would from a mine or a field that you own. [8]


Colonization – New School

The mad dash to expand and exploit the world’s resources was very chaotic, so much so that by 1898 rival imperial countries finally collided in what is known as the Fashoda Incident between Britain and France. [9]  
War here was barely avoided, but this new fear lead to new alliances, and these new alliances were one of the main causes that eventually lead to the outbreak of World War I in 1914.  This four year global war originated in Europe and was the first time weapons of mass destruction were developed and used.  Over 38 million military and civilians were killed worldwide. [10]

After the devastation of WWI, all the world powers agreed that war in the new modern and industrial world was too costly and therefore must be avoided.  Therefore, in 1920, the League of Nations was created.  The League was the first international organization whose goal was to maintain “world peace”.  However, the League had many flaws and more importantly it did not get United States support.  Ultimately the League proved incapable of preventing aggression by the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) in the 1930s, and by 1939 the world powers were yet again entrenched in a world war over resources. [11]  WWII was more widespread and brutal than WWI, and by its’ end in Sept 1945, the war had claimed (by some estimates) the lives of over 60 million people. [12] [Good Videos Here and Here]
The winners of WWII were the Allied powers (Britain, France, Soviet Union, China, and the US), who defeated the Axis powers, but by far the biggest winner was the United States.  Throughout the war the US financed the other Allied powers, supplying them with billions worth of planes, tanks, food, clothing, and strategic resources, which tremendously helped the US economy.  Also, aside from the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US was the only major power to avoid any domestic homeland bombing and the only power that possessed (and used) nuclear weapons. [13]  Thus, by the end of WWII, the US had graduated to the unchallenged number one superpower on the planet.
On the other hand, the other powers were decimated by the war.  Their homeland infrastructures were in shambles, their economies were now heavily indebted to the US, millions of their citizens were killed, and they no longer had the resources to keep control of their imperial colonies. [14]
The end of WWII also gave birth to a new international “peacekeeping” organization, the United Nations. [15]  After four years of intense negotiations, the Allied victors designed the UN to replace the League of Nations and to secure their future interests, that is why only the US, China, France, UK, and the Soviet Union possess veto power on the United Nations Security Council. [Good Videos explaining structure and function of the UN here: A, B, C]

It’s important to note, that without the US, the UN would not exist, or would have failed just as the League of Nations did.  The other powers were well aware of this, because they needed US leadership, military might, and money for the UN to achieve its primary goal of maintaining international peace and security.  Additionally, unlike the League, this time around all US leaders of both political parties, pushed for the UN too, most likely because they saw the UN as a mechanism to take a leadership role in world affairs, maintain peace among the other world powers, and to extend their reach and influence to the former European colonies and beyond.  As the saying goes, “To the victor, go the spoils”.
In addition to the UN, the US also helped create both the IMF and World Bank to help manage the global economy and to aid in the post WWII reconstruction.
The last event during this time worth highlighting was the creation of the US’s more robust and centralized intelligence service, the CIA, to replace its predecessor the OSS (Office of Strategic Services).
Now why is all of this important? How does it tie into what we’ve dubbed, “new school colonization”?  What we are putting forward and the whole purpose of this blogpost series, is to show that the US came up with a new method of colonization.  A new formula if you will, whose end result is similar to old school colonization, but without the mad scramble and direct confrontation among world powers.  Thus, since the end of WWII, the US (as well as other powers) has been practicing and applying this new formula to secure third world resources, strategic interests, and extend their global influence and power.  But before we dive deep into this new 'formula', we must expand and understand the instruments and symbols of this formula -- namely the important roles that the IMF/World Bank and the CIA have.

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