Archive | March 31, 2017

These Sculptures Tell the Story of the First Japanese Americans Sent to Camps*

These Sculptures Tell the Story of the First Japanese Americans Sent to Camps*

The memorial wall is 276 feet long—one foot for every Japanese person who lived on Bainbridge Island in 1942.

Credit: Paul Dunn

By Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn

Seventy-five years ago, U.S. soldiers took 227 people with Japanese ancestry from their homes on Bainbridge Island, Washington, to Seattle and put them on trains headed for concentration camps. They were the first in the nation to be rounded up after Executive Order 9066. Eventually, 120,000 people were made to live for years behind barbed wire.

In 1988 the U.S. government formally apologized, and reparations were paid. Every March 30, the community of Bainbridge gathers to heal. It built a memorial to those first victims, and it’s now a satellite of the National Parks Service Minidoka National Historic Site. It is a wall 276 feet long—one foot for every Japanese person who lived here in 1942. Along the memorial wall are six friezes by Seattle artist Steve Gardner, who believes the sculptures are particularly relevant today. Gardner remembers the Japanese community’s insistence that his works not merely tell a story:

Their hope was that it would resonate with people in a way that would make them treat others with love,” he said.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Secret Race to get Congo’s Uranium to Destroy Hiroshima*

He Survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki*

Japan Officially asked the U.S. to Stop Military-related Rapes*

Children Sexually Assaulted at E.U.’s Official Refugee Camps*

Homeless Are Being Abducted and Put into FEMA Camps*

Iraqi Kurd Refugees to Europe Return Home after Horrific Experiences in Camps*

USAID and Sterilization Camps In India*

Homeless People Incarcerated in US Deported to Camps

El Salvador 1st Country to Ban Gold and Metal Mining to Protect the Environment*

El Salvador 1st Country to Ban Gold and Metal Mining to Protect the Environment*

The smallest country in Central America – El Salvador – has approved a law prohibiting all metal mining in an attempt to protect the environment and natural resources.

It is the first country in the world to do so.

The new law, supported by 70 lawmakers, bans all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals both in open pits and mines.

“It’s a historic day in El Salvador. It’s a historic day for the whole world,” Environment Minister Lina Pohl told reporters after a vote in Congress, as quoted by the Financial Times.

“This is a brave step, an extraordinary step, and an enormous step toward reversing the environmental degradation in this country,” she added.

The level of environmental pollution in El Salvador is one of the highest in the region, second only to Haiti, and the availability of drinking water is the lowest, according to U.N. data.

Mining is an industry whose primary and first victim is water. We are talking about an issue that is a life-or-death issue for the country,” said Andrés McKinley, a mining and water specialist at Central American University in San Salvador, as quoted by the New York Times.

The legislation was passed despite interest from international gold and silver mining companies.

In October, El Salvador won a lawsuit at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) against the Australian-Canadian miner OceanaGold Corp.

The company demanded $250 million compensation after El Salvador retracted an extraction permit in 2009. OceanaGold was instead obliged to pay the country $8 million in legal costs.

El Salvador has the population of about six million people and has a $25.9 billion gross domestic product.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. University Sues the CIA over War Crimes in El Salvador*

Indigenous Land Rights Could Halt Australia’s Largest Coal Mining Project*

The Battle for Oak Flat against the Resolution Copper Mining Company*

Navajo Nation Is Suing the EPA over Colorado’s Mining Catastrophe*

Canadian Mining Abuses in Africa*

Congress Seeks to Privatize Space with ‘Off-Planet’ Mining Bill

Three Million Gallons of Mining Wastewater Spilt on Navaho Land*

Government Sells Native Sacred Land to Mining Company*

Peruvian Woman Wins Battle against Multinational Mining Corporation*

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Knowledge*

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Knowledge*

By Jason Martell

Recent advances in DNA research have established that there was an Eve who lived about 250 to 270 thousand years ago, a first mother from who all modern humans stem, no matter what their racial heritage.

[In 1987, scientists from the Universities of California and Michigan announced that all human beings descended from a single mitochondrial Eve: who lived in Africa.]

Then came news a few years later that there also was an actual Adam. Finally, genetic advances made test-tube babies possible by mixing the male sperm with the female egg and re-implanting it.

The knowledge that we have acquired corroborates what the Sumerians knew six thousand years ago. You wonder how is it possible, how could they know?

How, as another example, could their symbol of the entwined serpents, that we still use today to denote medicine and healing and biology, be 6,000 years ago, the symbol of Enki, who engaged in genetic engineering to bring about the Adam?

That was a symbol of the DNA, the double helix of DNA.

Notice in the image, the two entwined snakes and the ladder like ribbons between the serpents bodies…..does it remind you of anything?

What does the emblem of entwined serpents, the symbol for medicine and healing to this very day, represent?

The discovery by modern science of the double helix structure of DNA offers the answer: The entwined Serpents emulated the structure of the genetic code, the secret knowledge of which enabled the creation of the Adam.

The first man the Anunnaki created called the “Adam”.

So, you say, “Ok. There were Anunnaki.” Now, who were the Anunnaki and where were they from? The Sumerians say, “They came here from Nibiru.”

And you say, “What is Nibiru?” So they say, “It is one more planet in our solar system.”

Now, if you say,

“I’m really impressed by the Sumerian knowledge, and, maybe they knew what they were talking about regarding the Anunnaki.

But I don’t think there is another planet with these advanced beings on it near Earth.”

However, this is not science fiction.

“There is a tablet in the British Museum, its catalogue number is such and such; it was discovered in this and this place; the text was first published by this and this scholar, here is what it says.”

All the information, all the sources that I am giving, are academically, scientifically, scholarly known and accepted sources. At no time do I invent my own source.
Source*

Related Topics:

Meet the Hidden Second Layer of Information in Your DNA*

Cosmic Rays Evolve Consciousness and Transform DNA*

Beyond DNA and Our Dangerous Limited Minds*

DNA Changing to Three and Four Strands*

The End of Times and The Lost Book of Enki  Sumeria

A 200,000 Year-Old City in Southern Africa pre-Dates Sumer*

The Human Body Emits, Communicates with, and is Made from Light*

Human DNA Tied Mostly to Single Exodus from Africa Long Ago*

The Journey Beyond Yourself: On Welcoming Who You Truly Are*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks with first lady Cilia Flores as they arrive to the Supreme Court, before delivering his state of the union address, in Caracas, Venezuela. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

 

The U.S. government claimed Thursday that Venezuela’s top court had ‘usurped’  power from the country’ national assembly, after the Supreme Court made a statement about its responsibility to ensure the rule of law in a ruling on a constitutional interpretation on joint public-private ventures.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said,

“The United States condemns the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s March 29 decision to usurp the power of the democratically-elected National Assembly,” according to NBC News.

“We call for the government of Venezuela to permit the democratically-elected National Assembly to perform its constitutional functions, hold elections as soon as possible and to release all political prisoners.”

In a ruling on an appeal filed by the Venezuelan Corporation of Petroleum to Article 33 of the Organic Law of Hydrocarbons, the court stated that the National Assembly had authority to approve such ventures. The court ruled that since the National Assembly continues to be in contempt of the constitution, the top court will “ensure the rule of law” and will exercise parliamentary powers where necessary in the ruling issued today on the joint venture.

“As long as the disrespect and invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persists, this Constitutional Chamber will ensure that the parliamentary powers are exercised directly by this Chamber or by the body it has in place to ensure the rule of law,” said the ruling.

Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., also released a joint statement on Thursday, saying the decision was “an attack on what remained of democratic institutions in Venezuela.”

Toner, Rubio and Menendez — echoing corporate mainstream media — have painted the Supreme Court’s decision as a “power grab” for “dictator” President Nicolas Maduro.

Since January 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly was in contempt of the constitution by the Supreme Court over fraud charges involving opposition deputies from the state of Amazonas. The officials were caught in a recording illegally offering sums of taxpayer money to citizens, encouraging them to vote for opposition candidates.

When the Supreme Court ordered the National Assembly to hold elections to replace the corrupt leaders, the legislative body refused.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said in a statement earlier in the day,

“We denounce attempts by the regional right to attack the Venezuelan democratic system, which is popularly supported and based on Bolivarian ideas.”

“Venezuela categorically rejects intervention by the Government of Peru on Venezuelan internal jurisdiction matters,” Rodriguez added, commenting on Peru’s decision to remove their Venezuelan ambassador over the Supreme Court decision.

According to constitutional experts, the country’s legislature could reinstitute its status by removing the authorized legislators from the positions they were illegally sworn into.

Government officials have accused the opposition of attempting to provoke an institutional impasse in order to justify an external intervention.

Source*

Related Topics:

Venezuela’s Supreme Court Blocks U.S. Regime Change*

Venezuela Maintains High Human Development Despite U.S. Engineered Economic Crisis*

Evo Morales Defends Venezuela against Treacherous OAS Head*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

Odebrecht Accounts Blocked in Venezuela in Corruption Probe*

The Caribbean Supports Venezuela against U.S. Interventionism*

 

20-months old Dies in Hospital, as NHS Forced to Repeatedly Delay his Operation*

20-months old Dies in Hospital, as NHS Forced to Repeatedly Delay his Operation*

By Jessica Gay

There is no denying that the NHS is under pressure. Who can forget the red alert meltdown in January? Almost half of NHS trusts across England declared major hospital alerts in one week. But it appears things have been going awry for a long time. As the NHS is forced to keep cancelling non-emergency operations to try and recover control, vulnerable people are being ignored and neglected. Only now are we understanding the full effects of all of this.

Kayden Bancroft

Kayden Bancroft was 20 months old when he died at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) in April 2016. He’d been waiting three days for life-saving surgery. After falling and hurting his mouth, Bancroft was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital where it was discovered he had a hole in his diaphragm, and part of his bowel had burst through the hole. Staff asked for him to be transferred to RMCH, but were denied as there was no intensive care bed available.

He was then transferred the following day to an ordinary ward and his surgery was repeatedly delayed. He then suffered a cardiac arrest, with nurses struggling for 30 minutes to resuscitate him.

Speaking of the trauma, Bancroft’s grandmother Julie Rowlands said:

His care was appalling. He was basically put in a room, and left. And all we got, nearly every day, was, ‘He’s not having the operation today, he’s not having the operation today.’ They were coming up with excuses, ‘There’s no bed, or a car crash victim’s come in.’ That’s all we got, all the time we were there, was excuses.

Speaking of the hospital’s failure, she added:

After his cardiac arrest the doctors tried to bring him round, but he was without oxygen for almost half an hour. They took him to theatre, but I knew it was too late. It was four-and-a-half hours before they brought him back and they apologised there and then and said as a hospital they had failed him.

A preventable death

As the family’s lawyer Stephen Clarkson highlighted after the inquest into the hospital’s failure: “The real tragedy here is that Kayden’s death was entirely preventable”. During the incident it was revealed senior surgeons repeatedly tried to warn trust management about the shortage of emergency operating theatres. Hospital consultant Mr. Khalil also told the BBC:

 “On Thursday [two days after being admitted to RMCH], one of the surgeons had offered to cancel one of his elective lists, so that he could do Kayden as an emergency, but did not receive the support that he needed. That should not have happened.”

The trust told the BBC that it had no record of this request. It said:

We believe that there are sufficient theatres in our children’s hospital to cope with the demand for emergency cases; however, on occasions some children do have to wait for urgent surgery while emergency surgery takes place.

The trust added:

The trust would like to make it clear that at no time has it directed clinical staff to prioritise elective over non-elective care. As is the case at most similar hospitals, elective cases are regularly cancelled to accommodate emergency patients.

Continued cancellations

The consequences of cancelling operations and appointments are blatantly clear. But, thanks to government underfunding, the NHS has been left without any other options. In 2016, 20,000 eye appointments were cancelled at Shropshire’s hospitals alone. Chief Executive of the NHS  Simon Stevens has also revealed this is only likely to continue as patients must wait longer for non-urgent operations as a ‘trade off’ for improvements in other areas.

It’s only so long before an urgent case like Bancroft gets overlooked in the chaos.

Source*

Related Topics:

Hospitals across England Declare ‘black alert’ as NHS Crisis Worsens*

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

U.K. Ground Foot Soldiers, the Social Services to Run the NHS*

Bank Bail-outs Behind Behind U.K.’s Collapsing Public Services*

Thousands Protest Privatization of Health Service in London*

‘Wish you well against Jewish invaders’: Himmler’s Letter to Palestinian Arab Leader Discovered*

‘Wish you well against Jewish invaders’: Himmler’s Letter to Palestinian Arab Leader Discovered*

German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin Al-Husseini meet in Berlin, 30 November 1941.

 

An old telegram uncovered by the National Library of Israel shows a letter from Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler to Palestinian Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, voicing his support for “freedom-seeking Arabs” against “world Jewry.”

The telegram, dating back to autumn 1943, appears to show how in their hatred for Jews, Nazis in Europe have been seeking to support Palestinians against the “Jewish invaders.”

“To Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini,” the letter read.

“From the outset, the National Socialist [Nazi] movement of Greater Germany has been a standard-bearer in the battle against world Jewry. For this reason, it is closely following the battle of freedom-seeking Arabs, particularly in Palestine, against the Jewish invaders.

The shared recognition of the enemy and the joint fight against it are creating the strong base [uniting] Germany and freedom-seeking Arabs around the world. In this spirit, I am pleased to wish you, on the anniversary of the wretched Balfour Declaration, warm wishes on your continued fight until the great victory.”

The telegram was sent on 2 November 1943, marking the 26th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration by the British government, which then controlled the Palestinian territories and expressed support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

The document was first confiscated by U.S. Army in Germany, before falling into the hands of a member of the Jewish Haganah paramilitary group (which later went on to form the core of the IDF), who then donated it to the National Library. It was rediscovered after library staff was asked to look for materials about the 1917 declaration.

Amin al-Husseini was considered to be one of the ringleaders of the Jerusalem riots in the 1920’s, which followed tensions between Arab and Jewish communities, and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by the British. Despite later being granted a pardon, al-Husseini continued with his hardline rhetoric, stopped co-operating with British authorities and took an uncompromising position against the Jews, objecting to any notion of Jewish statehood.

In November 1941, the Grand Mufti visited Nazi Germany where he told Hitler that Arabs and Germans were natural friends as they had common enemies in the Jews and the British. Al-Husseini wanted Hitler’s backing for an Arab revolt against French and British rule in the Middle East but did not get it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in 2015 that Hitler didn’t initially want to exterminate the Jews until he was talked into it by al-Husseini.

“Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said to him: ‘If you expel them [the Jews], they will all come here [to Palestine],'” Netanyahu said in a speech before the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.

In Netanyahu’s version of events, Hitler then asked, “So what am I supposed to do with them?” and the mufti allegedly replied: “Burn them.”

The statements caused a wave of criticism from Palestinians, German politicians, opposition leaders and Holocaust experts, who accused Netanyahu of twisting historical facts.

Source*

Related Topics:

When Palestine was 85% Arab, 15% Israeli and U.K. and U.S. Paid the Jews from the Caucasus to Live There*

The Heart of the Beast: The Sykes-Picot Agreement and Europe’s Colonial Partition of the Middle East*

Israeli Geneticist: Ashkenazi Jews come from Turkey, not Palestine*

How Fear was Instilled to Make Jews Leave for Israel

“Deadly Facts”: How So-Called “Objectivity” Created a Culture of Conformity*

As Netanyahu and May Chat, a Large Nest of Israeli Spies in London Exposed*

Neo-Nazis Help Israel Block Recognition of Palestine*

 

Indigenous and Environmental Groups Sue Trump over Keystone XL*

Indigenous and Environmental Groups Sue Trump over Keystone XL*

“This movement has already defeated the Keystone XL pipeline, and we will again,” said Brune.

On Thursday morning multiple Indigenous and environmental organizations launched two simultaneous lawsuits over U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval of the massive Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

The Indigenous Environmental Network and the North Coast Rivers Alliance joined forces in one suit, while the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth launch another, both in federal court in Montana.

Both lawsuits argue that Trump’s executive order approving the 1,200-mile pipeline project — which aims to bring toxic tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska — violates environmental laws because it is based on an outdated and biased environmental impact study.

“President Trump is breaking established environmental laws and treaties in his efforts to force through the Keystone XL Pipeline, that would bring carbon-intensive, toxic, and corrosive crude oil from the Canadian tar sands, but we are filing suit to fight back,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Goldtooth and the IEN were key organizers of the historic Standing Rock water protection action which has galvanized the Indigenous sovereignty and climate justice movements over the past year.

“For too long, the U.S. Government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture, and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels,” Goldtooth added.

“The time has come to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shut down risky extreme energy projects like the tar sands that are poisoning our families, wildlife, water sources and destroying our climate.”

In 2015 then President Barack Obama declined to approve the pipeline, despite its passing of an environmental assessment, after years of massive organized resistance to the project.

Both lawsuits argue that the original 2014 environmental assessment was biased, in that it was completed by a company with a conflict of interest, and is long out of date given new evidence of the multiple risks posed by the project.

The IEN also claims that the pipeline would violate the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

“The Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a dirty and dangerous proposal that’s time has passed,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“It was rightfully rejected by the court of public opinion and President Obama, and now it will be rejected in the court system. It has never been a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but rather a question of when, and Keystone XL is no different.”

Brune expressed confidence that the lawsuit, along with a powerful mass mobilization, can defeat Trump’s agenda.

“We continue to meet Trump in the streets, and we look forward to meeting him in the courts to stop his reckless agenda that threatens our clean air and water and the climate. He was defeated – twice – when he tried implementing a Muslim ban; he was defeated when he tried to take health care away from 24 million Americans, and he will be defeated once again as he tries to force this pipeline on the people who have already seen its rejection. This movement has already defeated the Keystone XL pipeline, and we will do so once again.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Buffet, Gates Foundation, Bono’s RED and the Dakota Access Pipeline

DAPL Approved a Week After Co-Owner’s Pipeline Spilled 600,000 Gallons of Oil in Texas*

Two Major Pipelines Spill the Same Week Trump Advances KXL, DAPL*

Chippewa Tribe Calls for Pipeline Removal from all Tribal Land, Refuses Right-of-way Renewal*

Indigenous-Led Pipeline Resistance Camps Spread Across the U.S.*

Canadian First Nations Battle Pipelines on Ground, in Court*

 

World Bank Declares itself Above the Law*

World Bank Declares itself Above the Law*

By Pete Dolack

The World Bank has for decades left a trail of human misery. Destruction of the environment, massive human rights abuses and mass displacement have been ignored in the name of “development” that works to intensify neoliberal inequality. In response to legal attempts to hold it to account, the World Bank has declared itself above the law.

At least one U.S. trial court has already agreed that the bank can’t be touched, and thus the latest lawsuit filed against it, attempting to obtain some measure of justice for displaced Honduran farmers, faces a steep challenge. Regardless of the ultimate outcome of legal proceedings, however, millions of people around the world have paid horrific prices for the relentless pursuit of profit.

A trail of evictions, displacements, gross human rights violations (including rape, murder and torture), widespread destruction of forests, financing of greenhouse-gas-belching fossil-fuel projects, and destruction of water and food sources has followed the World Bank.

The latest attempt at accountability is a lawsuit filed in the U.S. federal court in Washington by EarthRights International, a human rights and environmental non-governmental organization, charging that the World Bank has turned a blind eye to systematic abuses associated with palm-oil plantations in Honduras that it has financed. The lawsuit, Juana Doe v. International Finance Corporation, alleges that,

“Since the mid-1990s, the International Finance Corporation [a division of the World Bank] has invested millions of dollars in Honduran palm-oil companies owned by the late Miguel Facussé. Those companies — which exist today as Dinant — have been at the center of a decades-long and bloody land-grabbing campaign in the Bajo Aguán region of Honduras.

For nearly two decades, farmer cooperatives have challenged Dinant’s claims to sixteen palm-oil plantations … that it has held in the Bajo Aguán region. On information and belief, Dinant’s former owner, Miguel Facussé, took that land from the farmer cooperatives through fraud, coercion, and actual or threatened violence. The farmer cooperatives have engaged in lawsuits, political advocacy, and peaceful protests to challenge Dinant’s control and use of the land. And Dinant has responded to such efforts with violence and aggression.”

Bank’s own staff cites failures

EarthRights International alleges that the World Bank has “repeatedly and consistently provided critical funding to Dinant, knowing that Dinant was waging a campaign of violence, terror, and dispossession against farmers, and that their money would be used to aid the commission of gross human rights abuses.” The lawsuit filing cites “U.S. government sources” to allege that more than 100 farmers have been killed since 2009.

The suit also says that the International Finance Corporation’s own ombudsman said the World Bank division “failed to spot or deliberately ignored the serious social, political and human rights context.” These failures arose “from staff incentives ‘to overlook, fail to articulate, or even conceal potential environmental, social and conflict risk’ and ‘to get money out the door.’ ” Despite this internal report, the suit says, the World Bank continued to provide financing and that the ombudsman has “no authority to remedy abuses.”

(World Bank representatives did not respond to a request for comment. Although not directly a party to the lawsuit, Dinant describes the allegations as “absurd.” In a statement on its web site, the company said “All allegations that Dinant is — or ever has been — engaged in systematic violence against members of the community are without foundation.”)

EarthRights International’s lawsuit faces an uphill challenge due to an earlier suit filed by it on behalf of Indian farmers and fisher-people being thrown out by the same court when it ruled that the World Bank is immune from legal challenge. The bank provided $450 million for a power plant that the plaintiffs said degraded the environment and destroyed livelihoods. The court agreed with the World Bank’s contention that it has immunity under the International Organizations Immunities Act. (The dismissal has been appealed.)

The International Organizations Immunities Act provides that “International organizations, their property and their assets, wherever located, and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy the same immunity from suit and every form of judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments.” The World Bank has been declared the equivalent of a sovereign state, and in this context is placed above any law as if it possesses diplomatic immunity.

This law is applied selectively; lawsuits against Cuba are not only allowed but consistently won by plaintiffs. These are not necessarily the strongest of cases, such as participants in the Bay of Pigs invasion winning judgments and a woman who was married to a Cuban who went back to Cuba winning $27 million because the court found that her marriage made her a “victim of terrorism”!

More than 3 million people displaced

Despite its immunity, a passport may not be needed to enter a World Bank office, but can it be argued that the lending organization uses its immense power wisely? That would be a very difficult case to make.

A 2015 report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found that 3.4 million people were physically or economically displaced by projects funded by the World Bank. Land was taken, people were forced from their homes and their livelihoods damaged. Some of the other findings of the report, on which more than 50 journalists from 21 countries worked:

  • From 2009 to 2013, the World Bank pumped $50 billion into projects graded the highest risk for “irreversible or unprecedented” social or environmental impacts — more than twice as much as the previous five-year span.
  • The bank regularly fails to live up to its own policies that purport to protect people harmed by projects it finances.
  • The World Bank and its International Finance Corporation lending arm have financed governments and companies accused of human rights violations such as rape, murder and torture. In some cases, they continued to bankroll these borrowers after evidence of abuses emerged.
  • Ethiopian authorities diverted millions of dollars from a World Bank-supported project to fund a violent campaign of mass evictions, according to former officials who carried out the forced resettlement program.

One of the articles that is a part of this investigative report said the bank routinely ignores its own rules that require detailed resettlement plans and that employees face strong pressure to approve big infrastructure projects. The report says:

“The World Bank often neglects to properly review projects ahead of time to make sure communities are protected, and frequently has no idea what happens to people after they are removed. In many cases, it has continued to do business with governments that have abused their citizens, sending a signal that borrowers have little to fear if they violate the bank’s rules, according to current and former bank employees.

‘There was often no intent on the part of the governments to comply — and there was often no intent on the part of the bank’s management to enforce,’ said Navin Rai, a former World Bank official who oversaw the bank’s protections for indigenous peoples from 2000 to 2012. ‘That was how the game was played.’ …

Current and former bank employees say the work of enforcing these standards has often been undercut by internal pressures to win approval for big, splashy projects. Many bank managers, insiders say, define success by the number of deals they fund. They often push back against requirements that add complications and costs.”

Funding that facilitates global warming

Incredibly, one of the outcomes of the Paris Climate Summit was for leaders of the G7 countries to issue a communiqué that they would seek to raise funds “from private investors, development finance institutions and multilateral development banks.” These leaders propose the World Bank be used to fight global warming despite it being a major contributor to projects that increase greenhouse-gas emissions, including providing billions of dollars to finance new coal plants around the world. The bank even had the monumental hypocrisy to issue a report in 2012 that called for slowing global warming while ignoring its own role.

It is hoped you, dear reader, won’t fall off your chair in shock, but the World Bank’s role in facilitating global warming has since only increased.

Financing projects that facilitate global warming had already been on the rise. A study prepared by the Institute for Policy Studies and four other organizations found that World Bank lending for coal, oil and gas reached $3 billion in 2008 — a sixfold increase from 2004. In the same year, only $476 million went toward renewable energy sources. Oil Change International (citing somewhat lower dollar figures) estimates that World Bank funding for fossil fuels doubled from 2011 to 2015.

Destructive logging projects across the Global South funded by the World Bank accelerated in the 1990s. Despite a January 2000 internal report finding that its lending practices had not curbed deforestation or reduced poverty, Southeast Asia saw a continuation of illegal logging and land concessions, and untimely deaths of local people blowing the whistle, as has Africa.

Similar to its report on curbing global warming that ignores its own role, the World Bank shamelessly issued a 2012 report calling for international law enforcement measures against illegal logging. Perhaps what is illegal are only those operations not funded by the bank?

Loans to pay debt create more debt, repeat

Ideology plays a critical role here. International lending organizations, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, consistently impose austerity. The IMF’s loans, earmarked for loans to governments to pay debts or stabilize currencies, always come with the same requirements to privatize public assets (which can be sold far below market value to multi-national corporations waiting to pounce); cut social safety nets; drastically reduce the scope of government services; eliminate regulations; and open economies wide to multi-national capital, even if that means the destruction of local industry and agriculture. This results in more debt, which then gives multi-national corporations and the IMF, which enforces those corporate interests, still more leverage to impose more control, including heightened ability to weaken environmental and labor laws.

The World Bank compliments this by funding massive infrastructure projects that tend to enormously profit deep-pocketed international investors but ignore the effects on local people and the environment.

The World Bank employs a large contingent of scientists and technicians, which give it a veneer of authority as it pursues a policy of relentless corporate plunder. Noting that the bank possesses “an enormous research and knowledge generation capacity,” The environmental and social-justice organization ASEED Europe reports:

“The World Bank is the institution with one of the largest research budgets globally and has no rival in the field of development economics. … A number of researchers and scholars have questioned the reliability of the World Bank-commissioned research. Alice Amsdem, a top scholar on East Asian economies, argues that since the World Bank continually fails to scientifically prove its conclusions, its policy justifications are ‘quintessentially political and ideological.’ Regarding the World Development Report (WDR) series, for example, Nicholas Stern, an Oxford professor in economics and former World Bank chief economist says that many of the numbers used by the Bank come from highly dubious sources, or have been constructed in ways which leaves one sceptical as to whether they can be helpfully applied.” (citations omitted)

Capitalist ideology rests on the concept of “markets” being so efficient that they should be allowed to work without human intervention. But what is a market? Under capitalism, it is nothing more than the aggregate interests of the most powerful and largest financiers and industrialists. No wonder that “markets” “decide” that neoliberal austerity must be ruthlessly imposed — it is those at the top of vast corporate institutions who benefit from the decisions that the World Bank, and similar institutions, consistently make.

Markets do not sit in the clouds, beyond human control, as some perfect mechanism. They impose the will of those with the most who can not ever have enough. Markets are not ordained by some higher power — everything of human creation can be undone by human hands. Our current world system is no exception.

Source*

Related Topics:

Honduras: Paradise in Peril

Honduran Farmers Sue World Bank for Lending Arms for ‘Profiting From Murder*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

World Bank Aims to Hand over Seed Industry to Agribusiness*

The World Bank’s Identification for Development*

Gates and World Bank Peddling Private, For-Profit Schools in Africa, Disguised As Aid*

Eugenics of the UN, WHO and World Bank in Mexico*

Africa Human Rights Body Rejects New World Bank Proposals*

The World Bank and Money Laundering