By Tony Cartalucci
President George Bush, President Barack Obama, and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney all work for the exact same handful of corporate-financier interests. While they vary in how they dress up their methods of carrying out what is essentially a singular agenda, there is glaring continuity from one administration to the next in a process analogous to a corporate spokesman presenting the agenda of the board of directors. Changing spokesmen doesn’t change the agenda of the board of directors.
While the corporate media focuses on non-issues, and political pundits accentuate petty political rivalries between the “left” and the “right,” a look deeper into presidential cabinets and the authors of domestic and foreign policy reveals just how accurate this analogy is and who sits on the “board of directors.”
Image: Professional spokesmen, representative not of the American people but of Fortune 500 multinational corporations and banks. Since the time of JP Morgan 100 years ago, the corporate-financier elite saw themselves as being above government, and national sovereignty as merely a regulatory obstacle they could lobby, bribe, and manipulate out of existence. In the past 100 years, the monied elite have gone from manipulating the presidency to now reducing the office to a public relations functionary of their collective interests.
George Bush’s cabinet consisted of representatives from FedEx, Boeing, the Council on Foreign Relations, big-oil’s Belfer Center at Harvard, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Circuit City, Verizon, Cerberus Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, and the RAND Corporation, among many others.
Image: The Henry Jackson Society is just one of many Neo-Conservative think-tanks, featuring many of the same people and of course, the same corporate sponsors. Each think-tank puts on a different public face and focuses on different areas of specialty despite harboring the same “experts” and corporate sponsors.
His foreign policy was overtly dictated by “Neo-Conservatives” including Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Richard Armitage, Zalmay Khalilzad, Elliot Abrams, Frank Gaffney, Eliot Cohen, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, Francis Fukuyama, William Kristol, and Max Boot – all of whom hold memberships within a myriad of Fortune 500-funded think-tanks that to this day still direct US foreign policy – even under a “liberal” president. These include the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, the Foreign Policy Initiative, the Henry Jackson Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, and many more.
Image: A visual representation of some of the Brookings Institution’s corporate sponsors. Brookings is by no means an exception, but rather represents the incestuous relationship between US foreign and domestic policy making and the Fortune 500 found in every major “think-tank.” Elected US representatives charged with legislative duties, merely rubber stamp the papers and policies drawn up in these think-tanks.
Obama’s cabinet likewise features representatives from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, the Council on Foreign Relations, Fortune 500 representatives Covington & Burling, Citi Group, Freedie Mac, and defense contractor Honeywell. Like Bush’s cabinet, foreign policy is not penned by Obama sitting behind his desk in the Oval Office, but rather by the very same think-tanks that directed Bush’s presidency including the Council on Foreign Relations, RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institute, the International Crisis Group, and the Chatham House. There are also a myriad of smaller groups consisting of many of the same members and corporate sponsors, but who specialize in certain areas of interest.
Image: A visual representation of current US President Barack Obama’s cabinet’s corporate-financier ties past and present. As can be plainly seen, many of the same corporate-financier interests represented in Obama’s administration were also represented in Bush’s administration.
And with Mitt Romney, the likely republican candidate running for president against Obama in 2012, we see already his foreign policy advisers, Michael Chertoff, Eliot Cohen, Paula Dobrainsky, Eric Edelman, and Robert Kagan, represent the exact same people and corporate-funded think-tanks devising strategy under both President Bush and President Obama.
While Presidents Bush and Obama attempted to portray the West’s global military expansion as a series of spontaneous crises, in reality, since at least as early as 1991, the nations of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and many others that previously fell under the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, were slated either for political destabilization and overthrow, or overt military intervention. While the public was fed various narratives explaining why Bush conducted two wars within the greater global “War on Terror,” and why Obama eagerly expanded these wars while starting new ones in Libya and now Syria, in reality we are seeing “continuity of agenda,” dictated by corporate-financier elite, rubber stamped by our elected representatives, and peddled to us by our “leaders,” who in reality are nothing more than spokesmen for the collective interests of the Fortune 500.
Image: The International Crisis Group’s corporate sponsors reveal a pattern of mega-multinationals intertwined with not only creating and directing US, and even European foreign policy, but in carrying it out. ICG trustee Kofi Annan is in Syria now carrying out a ploy to buy time for NATO-backed terrorists so they can be rearmed, reorganized, and redeployed against the Syrian government for another Western-backed attempt at regime change – all done under the guise of promoting “peace.”
No matter who you vote for in 2012 – until we change the balance of power currently tipped in favor of the Fortune 500, fed daily by our money, time, energy, and attention, nothing will change but the rhetoric with which this singular agenda is sold to the public. Romney would continue exactly where Obama left off, just as Obama continued exactly where Bush left off. And even during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Bush Sr., it was the same agenda meted out by the same corporate-financier interests that have been driving American, and increasingly Western destiny, since US Marine General Smedley Butler wrote “War is a Racket” in 1935.
A clear pattern should be apparent. The influence of corporate-financiers transcends more than presidencies, but contaminates all aspects of modern society including what is often called “non-governmental organizations” or NGOs. Modern NGOs are entirely funded and centrally directed by Fortune 500 corporations to carry their neo-imperial agenda to the four corners of the globe under the guise of the very best of intentions. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), for instance, portends to be “supporting freedom around the world.” Aquick look at their board of directors reveals they are in fact drawn from big-oil, big-banking, and defense contracting boards of directors, Neo-Conservative warmongering think-tanks, corporate lobbyists, and US State Department functionaries, past and present.
Image: A visual representation of the National Endowment for Democracy’s corporate-financier ties. It is not freedom they are interested in “supporting around the world,” but rather the interests of the corporations and institutions their board of directors represents.
NED was central in funding, training, and directing mobs of protesters across the Arab World during the 2011 US-engeineered “Arab Spring,” only to see US proxies put into power where these mobs successfully toppled governments or led to violence and foreign military intervention that successfully implemented regime change. Tunisia and Libya both have overt, long-time associates of the West now in power, while similar proxies are fighting to take power in Egypt as well as battling for control over Syria. It then becomes obvious that it is not “freedom” NED is supporting worldwide, but rather the corporate-financier hegemony of the Fortune 500.
While there are a number of reasons to vote – including to simply write in the names of candidates to show dissatisfaction with the predetermined choices presented before us – we must recognize that voting alone will not change anything. And as the Occupy Wall Street movement has taught us, while our leaders demand nations like Libya and Syria allow their people to roam the streets armed and terrorizing the population, they have no intention of allowing even peaceful protests to take place back at home.
The solution is to identify and undermine the very source of power driving these world-spanning corporate-financier interests. One needs not travel further in search of this source of power than their own bathroom mirror. It is we the people, who on a daily basis, feed this monolithic corporate-financier machine of domination, exploitation, and destruction. And we need not do more than simply withdraw the time, money, energy, and attention we pay into this machine on a daily basis. We can begin by eliminating from our lives entirely the unnecessary amenities we purchase from this machine. This includes junk-food like that peddled by Pepsi Co., Coca-Cola, and the mega-chain restaurants, cafes, and fast food outlets spanning the world.
We can then begin devising local alternatives to replace these amenities, and eventually the necessities. We need not live a life of austerity or of want in the wake of deciding to boycott entirely the Fortune 500. We can leverage education, technology, and ingenuity to devise alternatives that not only match, but exceed the quality and comfort provided to us by these mega-multinationals.
While the system wants you to vote in their elections, you would be better served to instead vote with your wallet, time, energy, and attention. Don’t be drawn into the establishment’s circular debates, distractions, and especially the charade of predetermined elections. Regardless of who wins, Obama or Romney, the Fortune 500 will have a professional spokesman to present their collective agenda to the public under the guise of “democracy.” America, and the West in general, is run by the Fortune 500, they were your last president or prime minister, they will be your next president or prime minister.
If this dissatisfies you – boycott them and put them out of business.
Tony Cartalucci is the writer and editor at Land Destroyer
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