Monday, December 15, 2014



or a series of notes and thoughts on 

The following notes were taken by myself during viewings of the film. The text presented includes some direct references to statements made on camera (indicated by quotation marks), as well as a number of observations, side references and potential avenues for further inquiry that came to mind as I watched. I do this because I believe this film to be an important document in the field of parapolitics, and anything I can do to help get it seen by more people - and, in particular, the RIGHT people - I see as worth doing. Secondly, as I did with my relatively popular concordance for The Net, I wanted to create an easy-to-use text and image based "concordance" that both documents and compliments the information presented in the film. As always, I leave it for you readers to decide whether or not I have succeeded on that count. - YOPJ 15/12/2014


“This film contains controversial subject matter. Interview subjects and creators of some source material may not agree with certain views presented. The Power Principle is a non-profit documentary and has been released online for free.”

In the years between the end of World War II and 1989, when it fell, 171 people were killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall. With the Cold War over, why didn't Eisenhower's prophesied Military Industrial Complex collapse? Why did Clinton’s promised "Peace Dividend" fail to appear in any truly significant way? Why did most of the meager cuts to the military budget simply migrate to private enterprise, where taxpayers still ended up footing the bill?

Ah, but all those pressing questions became totally moot on September 11, 2001. The USA now spends over 1 TRILLION DOLLARS a year on the military. As much as the rest of the world combined. There are over 800 military bases in 150+ countries. More money is now spent on air conditioning for American military personnel than the entire budget of NASA. Cuts to war spending are now all but unthinkable.

This film sets out to examine the reasons why.


Adam Smith and George Washington both believed America would one day become an Empire. Most historians agree that the project really got started with the Monroe Doctrine (1823). But it kicked into high gear after the Second World War, in the wake of which the world had only two Superpowers, or potential Empire builders: the USA and the USSR. There was, however, a significant power imbalance. The USA was far wealthier and 20 million Russians had just been slaughtered by the Germans. 

It's true that the Red Army expanded into Europe in the years after WWII. Before the breakup of the Soviet bloc, people from Poland, Hungary, Checoslovakia et al experienced real repression. But did this make American atrocities, ostensibly committed in the "fight against communism", legitimate? Was the idea of a Global Communist Conspiracy realistic? Or was it just propaganda? 

National Security Document #68, which states: “US military superiority is a policy which the US would peruse whether or not there was a Soviet Union”, gives us cause to wonder. Let’s look at Five Interventions during the Cold War to put this theory to the test:


- 1951Mohammed Mossadegh wins landslide elections, but the Brits and Americans are disturbed. Dr. Mossadegh was elected on a policy of partially nationalizing that nation's oil. This would endanger Western control of oil supplies (Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. being the old name for none other than British Petroleum, aka BP). 

- Nafeez Ahmed's book War on Freedom is an excellent resource. Here is his blog.

- Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Teddy), along with MI6 and the CIA and a bunch of oil industry businessmen organized the coup that overthrew Mossadegh. Needless to say, this was illegal.

- Despite his claims to be able to transform into a puma at will, John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man, offers some decent insights, here. Also, anybody interested in parapolitics should probably have a link to his website bookmarked, regardless of whether or not they agree with everything he says.

- The Shah of Iran was re-installed by the coup plotters. So the USA put an un-elected KING back into power in Iran, replacing a democratically elected secularist. This unfortunately fits in with the West's tradition of supporting anti-Democratic "strongmen" wherever it suits Big Business (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, etc, etc, etc).

- "In 1976, Amnesty International concluded that the Shah's CIA-trained security force, SAVAK, had the worst human rights record on the planet. ... It went on to claim that the torture techniques the CIA had taught SAVAK were 'beyond belief'." It was from this boiling well of resentment from which the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his Islamist Shi'a revolution rose.

- And yet, despite this, even Jimmy Carter wasn't above publicly supporting the Shah, calling his Iran "an island of civility" in the region. It should be noted that, despite occasionally violent covert operations undertaken against it by the USA and Israel, Iran has not initiated aggression against another country in over 200 years.

- As an "appendix" of sorts to this section on Iran - more of an expansion, really - be sure to watch this highly entertaining and highly illuminating History of Oil by British comedian/activist Robert Newman. It will help to round out your understanding of the issues and probably disabuse you of some long-cherished beliefs about history (sorry about that).


- Whenever you hear politically savvy comedians making jokes implying that the Rockefeller-owned produce company United Fruit - global purveyors of everybody's favorite brown bag lunch fruit, Chiquita Bananas - is actually kind of sinister, it is the 1954 CIA coup d'etat in Guatemala to which they are making sly reference. So, now and forever more, you, too, are in on the joke. You're welcome. But really, it's not that funny.

- This section begins quite bluntly with CIA man Howard Hunt admitting, on camera, that the US waged Nazi-inspired terrorism against the democratically elected leader Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. His exact words are astonishing:
"What we wanted to do was have a terror campaign to terrify Arbenz, particularly - terrify his troops - much as the German Stuka bombers terrified the population of Holland, Belgium and Poland at the onset of World War II, and has rendered everybody paralyzed."
- Howard Hunt, Head of CIA Operation, Guatemala, 1954
- When Arbenz took office, 2% of the population owned 70% of the arable land. He initiated some progressive programs, including granting some unused land to landless peasants for agriculture, giving labor unions the right to exist, and other modest, moderate reforms. He was not a communist, and had no links to communists. But he also wasn't willing to play ball with United Fruit, who just so happened to "own" 43% the land in that country (with only 1/3 of that land cultivated, and several hundred thousand unemployed peasants who were happy to farm it). Therefore, by the logic of Empire, democratically elected or not, the man had to go.

- Of course CIA director Allen Dulles - one of the most evil characters in the parapolitical milieu; we're talking Project PaperclipMK-Ultra, Bay of Pigs, the JFK assassination, the Warren Commission cover-up, etc, etc, ad nauseum - is up to his neck in this bloodbath.

- But how to legitimize a coup when Arbenz wasn't a communist, and Guatemala didn't even have diplomatic relations with the USSR? Enter Edward Bernays, "double nephew" of (and hardworking promoter of) Sigmund Freud, and one of the early pioneers of advertising, the "public relations" (PR) industry, as well as advanced, psychological propaganda techniques. Bernays also happened to be a firm believer that democracy simply didn't work, and that an "elite" or "vanguard" needed to be in control of society, with platoons of public relations experts on the payroll, helping to control the masses by engineering consent.

- One of documentarian Adam Curtis's best works is his multi-part documentary about propaganda, , The Century of the Self. This introduction gives a pretty good taste of what the series is about, which is mainly: "how those in power have used Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy." It is "must watch" material and I will be doing a group-watch, concordance of it eventually. Keep your eyes on this space!

- John Stauber of the Center for Media and Democracy links Bernays to Nazi propaganda minister Goebbels, and points to the fact that this "liberal Jewish intellectual" was "completely comfortable" with playing a part in the anti-democratic coup against Arbenz as proof of the man's moral culpability.

- How did Bernays help the coup? By doing what he did best and organizing a wide-ranging, well-funded propaganda campaign! His "media blitz" linked Arbenz to Guatemala's grass-roots communist organizations in all the most influential newspapers, magazines and media outlets of the day. This was a lot easier to do back then, with no Internet and far less suspicion of power elites among the working and middle classes.

- Binghampton University Professor Emeritus James Petras explains how Arbenz was removed to restore the right-wing regime of Carlos Castillo to power and how, between 1954 and 1990, somewhere close to a quarter million native people were massacred by government forces in what can only be described as an attempted genocide. Maria Esparza founded the Historical Memory Project to document this atrocity as well as other often poorly documented events in South and Central America.

"I wanted to mention one case in particular, the painful one of the Congo. Unique in modern history, this shows how one can flout, with total impunity and the most insolent cynicism, the rights of peoples. Under the United Nations flag, Patrice Lumumba was killed in the Congo. And it's the same United Nations which the Americans want to send to inspect our own territory!
- Che Guevara, UN speech, 1961

- The Post-World War II era gave birth to a number of revolutionary and anti-colonial movements around the world. The Powers That Be soon figured out that, instead of outright massacres and military suppression - neither of which were particularly good for business - better to give the restless natives a semblance of independence while retaining covert control behind the scenes. Thus did the era of colonialism give way to the era of neo-colonialism.

- Author and educator Peter Linebaugh (here's his blog) explains the main difference between colonialism and neo-colonialism thusly:
Colonialism is when one political economy dominates and conquers another. Neo-colonialism is when the imperial power takes down its flag and a local or national one puts up its flag. But the economic relations remain the same. That is, the imperial country still extracts value from the human beings in the colony, but now it's done in the name of trade. Neo-colonialism means so-called independence for states. But all that basically means is they have their own flags, sometimes their own airlines, their own stamps and sometimes their own coinage.

- In the Congo, between 8 and 10 MILLION people were KILLED in an incredible slew of atrocities perpetuated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by the colonial forces of King Leopold II of Belgium. Therefore, there was a lot of hope when, after decades of struggle, Patrice Lumumba - an educated man of humble origins - was elected Prime Minister in the newly liberated country. It took all of 12 weeks for The Powers That Be to put the kaibosh on that nonsense.

- Here was the problem with Lumumba in a nutshell. Immediately upon being elected, he wanted Belgium to vacate its military. Belgium refused, so Lumumba went to the UN, who backed Belgium. He then approached the USA and asked for support, stating with almost heartbreaking sincerity: "It's with great pleasure that I find myself today in the United States, home of democracy and freedom!" But Eisenhower rejected him. So he approached the USSR for help. Even though Khrushchev offered only minor material support, Lumumba had signed his own death warrant.

- Another problem was the fact that Lumumba felt that some of the wealth generated by the Congo's vast mineral resources should stay in the Congo and be used to better the lot of its people. Obviously, another unforgivable sin. 
In 2001, the minutes of a long buried meeting of the National Security Council were revealed to the public. During the gathering, President Eisenhower told CIA chief Allen Dulles that Lumumba had to be "eliminated".
- Once again, a public relations propaganda blitz painted Lumumba as a communist stooge of the USSR. The CIA readied an assassination-via-poisoning plot cooked up by CIA witch-doctor Sidney Gottlieb - head of the nefarious MK Ultra mind-control division and a truly despicable sack of sub-human filth - which was eventually abandoned in favor of a more brutal and direct option: a Belgian-sponsored military coup. Cameras rolled as a sad-eyed Lumumba was hanged by his captors. He was replaced by Joseph Mobutu, who looted the nation, and let Belgium continue to do the same.

The United States has been engaged in an effort to stop the advance of communism in Central America by doing what we do best: by supporting democracy. Grenada, that tiny little island... it isn't nutmeg that's at stake in the Caribbean and Central America. It is the United States' national security.
- Ronald Reagan, 1983
- In the 1970's, the teensy-tiny island nation of Grenada saw the rise of something called the New JEWEL Movement. Led by a young lawyer named Maurice Bishop, it's aim was a "Joint Endeavour for Welfare, Education and Liberation". After the NJM gained power in Grenada, literacy and disease rates dropped precipitously as the new government accepted labor and donations from anybody willing to help. They made the mistake of accepting free labor from Cuba in the building of an airport (which was actually funded mostly by the UK). Then, in early October of 1983, an internal power struggle led to Bishop being first detained, then executed, by former NJM partner, Bernard Coard. This combination of minor communist connections and political instability put Grenada square in the middle of the Pentagon's incredibly simplistic and oft-debunked Domino Theory of incipient communist take-over efforts... and the Reagan administration's cross-hairs.
One of the leading themes of the Cold War has been the Domino Theory; what critics call "the danger of a good example". ... You could call it the Mafia Doctrine. The Godfather does not tolerate disobedience. It's too dangerous. If some small storekeeper doesn't pay protection money, the Godfather may not care about the money, but he does care about the refusal. ... The Domino Theory is always ridiculed after the dominoes don't fall. ... There's nothing ridiculous about the theory. That's why it keeps being resurrected. The Mafia principle is correct.
- Noam Chomsky

- A 7,300-strong force of American Army Rangers, Airborne Paratroopers and Delta Force commandos, as well as Navy SEALS, were joined by a couple hundred Jamaican soldiers for Operation Urgent Fury. Their opponents? 1,500 troops from Granada, reinforced by 720 Cubans and a couple dozen North Koreans. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most ridiculously mis-matched war in the history of military combat.

- Something this otherwise excellent documentary fails to point out is that the American-led invasion of Grenada took place only two days after a terrorist drove a truck loaded with 2000 lbs of TNT and compressed gas into the lobby of Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of over 300 American Marines and affiliated personnel. It was an unmitigated disaster, brought about as a direct result of the President's purely political choice to maintain a land-base rather than a more easy-to-defend flotilla, a decision that flew in the face of advice from military brass at the time. In context, it seems very likely that Grenada simply fell victim to an unfortunate coincidence of timing. It was the invasion of Grenada, by the way, which inspired the satirical film Wag the Dog.


General Pinochet and bosom buddy Henry Kissinger
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people."
- Henry Kissinger

- "Nowhere was the danger of a good example more apparent than in Chile." Ah, yes. Now we reach the OTHER September 11th. September 11, 1973, which saw the American-orchestrated coup d'etat that ousted Chile's democratically-elected leader: Salvador Allende. Under Fascist military dictator August Pinochet, soccer stadiums became concentration camps, thousands began to disappear without a trace, women were kidnapped, impregnated, forced to give birth (the children were farmed out to Chilean elites), then dumped into the sea from military helicopters. Keep that in mind as you read about this regime's cozy relations with Henry Kissinger (America's own Merlin), the Bush Crime Family, revolutionary economist Milton Friedman, and various other Friends in High Places, listed below.

Poet and singer/songwriter Victor Jara
[Victor Jara] was taken to the stadium where he was a source of strength for his fellow prisoners, singing for them until soldiers beat him to the ground and smashed his hands. In his last poem, smuggled out of the stadium, he wrote: "What horror the face of Fascism creates / They carry out their plans with knife-like precision / For them, blood equals medals / How hard it is to sing when I must sing of horror / In which silence and screams are the end of my song." After two days, they killed him.
- John Pilger, "The War on Democracy" (2007)

General Pinochet with high school sweetheart Maggie Thatcher
- The Fascist "Generalisimo" Pinochet found an unlikely confederate in self-declared "small-l libertarian" Milton Friedman, the "Free Marketeer" and "Laissez-Faire" theorist of the Chicago School who, as a European Jew who fled the Nazis, you would think might have some issues with a regime with a penchant for concentration camps, torture chambers, political reeducation prisons, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Rather, he went around telling anyone who would listen about how he and his chums, the Chicago Boys, had helped precipitate a Miracle in Chile! Jeepers Creepers! Gosh Golly Wow! Too bad it didn't last... and probably never actually ever happened, depending on how you measure such things. Oh, the excuses they made! But hey, you know, it's all water under the bridge now. Or rather, blood. Endless gushing rivers of blood.
"It's an honor for me to be here to pay tribute to a hero of freedom: Milton Friedman. He has used a brilliant mind to advance a moral vision. We have seen Milton Friedman's ideas at work in Chile, where a group of economists called the Chicago Boys brought inflation under control and laid the groundwork for economic success." 
- George W. Bush

- Graeme McQueen, co-founder for Center for Peace Studies and author of The 2001 Anthrax Deception (forget about Building 7, guys, THIS is the "smoking gun" of Neoconservative involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001), explains quite succinctly the difference between the two types of Market Fundamentalism. First, there is the sincere form that evinces a deep faith in the power of the market to solve economic and other kinds of problems. The second type of Market Fundamentalists are, in reality, "Bullet Fundamentalists". They believe in FORCE, and the market is just one among many things that they will use.

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- Benito Mussolini 
Over a very short period of time overlapping parts of the 80's and 90's, the so-called "economic miracles" of free market reforms led to huge increases in misery and precipitous declines in the standard of living for millions upon millions of people in Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere. In Argentina, in less than a decade, neo-liberal "austerity" reforms caused unemployment to rise from 3% to 20%, and saw the number of people living in "extreme poverty" swell from 500,000 to five MILLION. The "economic miracle" in Argentina ended in Apocalyptic food riots. Fucking FOOD RIOTS. Before free market measures were put in place, Argentina was, like, the Canada of South America. Then, all of a sudden, formerly middle-class people were reduced to foraging for food in garbage dumps. It was insanity.

- A good topic for further study is the concept of what is now referred to as "Grand Area" Strategy or Planning. Cooked up by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Working Group in the cauldron of World War II and the early days of the Cold War, it lays out a plan for a planet-straddling "command and control" apparatus evolving away from the British-style rule of Empire to a Pax Americana. Basically, the uncontested control of populations and resources around the world. Global Domination. Full Spectrum Dominance.

- Chomsky explains that Soviet imperialism after World War II did take place, but interventions took place in a narrow way, within Eastern Europe. "That was their domain." For the US, it was the rest of the world. "The history of the Cold War was wars against independent countries by the Superpowers."


- After World War II, with the Marshall Plan, the US pumped vast sums of cash to its European allies, ostensibly to help rebuild obliterated infrastructure, but also to help dissuade them from turning towards communism. And yet, even so, of the 50 BILLION dollars committed, only five billion went towards non-military purposes.

- The first real test to America's commitment to democracy was in Greece, where the peasant-led anti-Nazi resistance had evolved into a non-Stalinist form of grass-roots, bottom-up, semi-communist "self government" that caught fire and spread from village to village. The churches supported this new way of governing, simultaneously insisting upon a separation of church and state. Winston Churchill called it "anarchy" and insisted that Greece put King George back on his throne, with a Fascist puppet dictator by his side. This precipitated the Greek Civil War, which saw the UK, the USA and allies provide arms and support to the very Fascists and Nazis that they'd just spent the better part of a decade trying to remove from power! 150,000 dead Greeks later, nothing much was changed. Afterwards, when crushing the school teachers and farmers of highland Greece didn't prove to be sufficient to dampen their revolutionary spirit, the US supported the first direct revival of Fascism in Europe after WW II, which took place there and lasted until 1974.
"Adhereing strictly and faithfully to our agreement of October... During all the long weeks of fighting the Communists in the streets of Athens, not one word of reproach came from Pravda or Izvestia."
- Winston Churchill

Z by Costa-Gavras

- Chomsky: "Italy has been the target of more CIA action than anywhere else in the world up until at least the late 1970's, at which point the historical record runs dry."

- Few people understand what went on in Italy during and immediately following World War II. As Chomsky explains, the anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist resistance in Italy had been so successful in chasing out the Axis powers that the Americans and Allies were actually forced to re-install Fascist police, military, business leaders and even politicians in order to crush the increasingly pro-Communist resistance forces.

- Although this documentary doesn't go into this topic, during the post-war period, the Left in Italy was so popular and well organized that NATO and the CIA - under the leadership of former top Nazi "super-spy" Reinhard Gehlen, a prize Paperclip pig second only, perhaps, to Werner Von Braun - initiated a Strategy of Tension code-named GLADIO. Essentially, Fascist and Nazi agents either funded or outright committed savage acts of terrorism that were then blamed on left-wing and Communist agitators in order to terrify various European populations into the arms of "strong" conservative, anti-Communist political leaders. Thousands died and, perhaps more insidiously, the political life of Europe became something like a vast, Satanic chessboard. And the going price for pawns was dirt-fucking-cheap.

The embrace of Fascist leaders by the West is often explained as a product of Cold War necessity, yet the reality is more complex. From the very beginning of the Fascist movement, many Western business leaders not only praised Fascists, but offered significant intellectual, financial and moral support. The case of Spain provides one of the most striking examples. When peasants and workers took control of production, consumption and social life across much of the country, world leaders united in opposition against them. Their system of self-government threatened not only the Fascists and Communists, but also the liberal democracies in America and the rest of the world.
- The documentary that we are currently studying features some choice excerpts from the 1997 film Living Utopia, considered "a jewel" by historians, students of documentary film, and rebel hearts the world over. It features first-hand recollections of the rise of the anarchist Spanish Revolution in the mid-1930's. It is well worth your time and attention, so I link it here, as a reminder, in case you'd like to watch it later.

"Fascism is a very rational system. It is an instrument by the ruling plutocracy to distract the people with the accouterments of a false revolution. ... Much of politics is the rational use of irrational symbols. So when people study Italian Fascism or Nazism, especially, they focus on it as a kind of insane movement that just happened... In fact, what they tried to do is direct the real grievances of the German people towards irrelevant enemies. ... And when the Fascists came into power, they cut wages by 50%, they destroyed every labor union, they destroyed every opposition party and every newspaper, they abolished all inheritance taxes for the rich or cut them drastically, they abolished all cartel taxes for the corporations, pretty much what's being done here without having to go, politically, all that far. So Fascism is an instrument whereby the plutocracy can control and hopefully effect a Final Solution to the class struggle. ... What substantiates what I just said ... is the way in which the plutocracy reacted to the Fascists."
- Michael Parenti, historian and author
- Journalist Russ Baker points out that there were a great many "industrialists" and Wall Street types who had a great deal of sympathy for Hitler and Mussolini and who were very much in tune with their beliefs. This included those pesky Dulles Brothers, Allen and John Foster, not to mention Prescott Bush, father to George Herbert Walker "Poppy" Bush and grandfather to George W. Bush. As President of Brown Brothers Harriman, Prescott was even charged under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

- Yes, that's right... as all you old time Daily Dirt readers were already aware, I don't call them the Bush Crime Family for nothing.

- The Power Principle 1 - Empire ends with a truly breathtaking montage of footage from World War II and a quote from maverick progressive politician Henry Wallace, who predicted that the Cold War would lead to "a century of fear."

- Closing to the strains of Richard Wagner's epic orchestral composition Siegfried's Death and Funeral March was an altogether fitting choice, in my opinion.

- Stay tuned for my concordance to The Power Principle II - Propaganda, coming soon.


  1. 4 more to come you say?
    - I shall consume at leisure and look forwards

  2. Yep! Another four editions. Keep watching this space!