Indigenous Activists Fight Climate Change

Immunto (Change)

Island Reach Foundation (2020)

Film Review

This is a documentary about indigenous activism against climate change and growing collaboration between Third and First World activists to minimize and mitigate catastrophic climate change.

The indigenous communities featured are from Vanuatu, Morocco, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Owing to rising sea levels and a loss of protective coral reefs, the islands of Vanuatu are facing flooding of coastal homes and loss of crops due to salinization* of their soils. They also face more frequent and devastating tropical storms. Their climate activists are working to regenerate their reefs via a process known as “coral gardening.” They are also replanting forests and trying to strengthen ties with first world activists.

Morocco and Uganda are experiencing increased desertification due to decreased rainfall. In Morocco, activists are trying a new technology called “fog harvesting.” They use finely woven nets to trap rainwater, which they collect and pipe to local villagers.

Vietnam is experiencing record heatwaves, droughts, and floods, in addition to salinization of their ground water.

Climate activists there have launched a campaign against international banks seeking to fund a new Vietnamese coal plant.

The film also looks at successful climate action campaigns undertaken by Scottish XR members (eg when they occupied the Scottish parliament to hold their own citizens assembly) and climate activists at Standing Rock and in Boston and various Dutch cities.

The filmmakers finish by highlighting an international campaign to pressure the UN to declare ecocide** an international crime subject to International Criminal Court jurisdiction.


*Soil salinization (salinisation) refers to increasing salt concentrations in soil. It’s most often caused seawater contamination (due to rising sea levels).

**Ecocide is criminalized human activity that violates the principles of environmental justice, such as causing extensive damage or destroying ecosystems or harming the health and well-being of a species.

How the Madison Anti-Vietnam War Protests Politicized Me

The War at Home: Resistance to the Vietnam War

Directed by Barry Alexander Brown and Glenn Silber (1979)

Film Review

This documentary traces the history of the student antiwar movement at the University of Wisconsin during the sixties and seventies. In 1968, Playboy magazine described the Madison campus as the most radical university in the country. The topic holds particular interest for me as I attended medical school there between June 1969 and June 1971.

A staunch Goldwater Republican at the time, there was no question my Madison experiences politicized me. It was there I learned how Dow Chemical (which manufactured the napalm the US dropped on Vietnamese civilians) and other big corporations controlled Congress by financing their political campaigns. Although I participated in no street protests, I cut class during the National Moratorium on November 15, 1969 to join 15,000 other students at a teach-in at the UW Field House.

UW-Madison held their first antiwar protest (consisting of 200-300 students) a month before the 1963 Kennedy assassinations. As at universities across the US, the protests grew exponentially in February 1965, after Lyndon Johnson broke his campaign promise (not to expand the Vietnam War) and began bombing North Vietnam.

Protests further escalated in 1966, following a police riot during a sit-in at the UW administration building, in which brutal clubbing of nonviolent protestors resulted in 65 hospitalizations. Protests reached their peak during the summer of 1969, with the governor ordering deployment of the National Guard to assist police. There were literal riots on Mifflin Street, largely in response to police brutality, which I directly witnessed.

Rioters engaged in running battles with police, as well as throwing fire bombs, overturning vehicles, and setting up barricades. Prior to 1969, I had only read about barricades in history books.

Anyone with a public library card can view the film free at Kanopy. Type Kanopy and the name of your library into the search engine.

 

Secret Societies: How Oligarchs Rule the World

 

An Introduction to Skull and Bones and Other Secret Societies

Kris Millegan (2012)

Millegan is the founder of TrineDay, a small Oregon publishing house dedicated to publishing suppressed books that mainstream publishers refuse to print. Titles include John Potash’s Drugs as Weapons Against Us, Judith Vary Baker’s Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald and Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics

I suspect most people will balk at watching the entire video summarizing Millegan’s 30 years of research into what many commentators refer to as the Deep State. For this reason, I have highlighted the two best sections. I have also attached a reading list Millegan recommends for people seeking a deeper understanding of the oligarchs who rule the US via their secret societies.

00.21 For me the best part of the talk concerns Millegan’s father, who worked for the State Department, OSS and later for the CIA and military intelligence. Lloyd Millegan was in charge of the Philippines desk for OSS and in this role he trained Philippine guerillas resisting Japanese occupation and later spied on General Douglas MacCarthur. MacCarthur’s father MacCarthur was the first military governor of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900. Douglas, who was raised in the Philippines, was suspected of supporting the Philippines oligarchy, who were collaborating with the Japanese.

In 1956, the CIA transferred Lloyd to Vietnam, where he worked with Edward Lansdale, who orchestrated a shoot out between US and French intelligence over control of Southeast Asia’s opium trade.

Lloyd eventually left the CIA to become a junior high school teacher. He tried to explain some of his intelligence work to Kris when turned 20. Very little of it made sense until Kris began researching some of Lloyd’s more outlandish statements (eg that the Vietnam War was all about drugs, that secret societies were behind it, that communism was also a sham created by secret societies, that the Vietnam War was part of a conspiracy to opiate the entire baby boom generation, and that CIA analysts informed Eisenhower in 1954 that US victory in Vietnam was impossible).

1.00 The other really interesting part of the talk directly relates to the history of Skull and Bones, a secret undergraduate fraternity started at Yale University in 1832 by William Huntington Russell and Alfonso Taft. Russell was the head of the largest opium smuggling network in the world. Taft was attorney general in the corrupt Ulysses S Grant administration and would be sent to Philippines as the first civilian governor after Arthur MacArthur was dismissed. Teddy Roosevelt’s family owed their wealth to opium smuggling and Warren Delano, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather was chief of operations for Russell & Co, a trading company that did big business in opium smuggling in Canton. Numerous members of the Rockefeller family belonged to Skull and Bones, both before and after they founded Standard Oil. Opium smuggling also enabled Skull and Bones members to gain control of the global steel industry and American railroads.

Millegan has a good summary of the corporate elite families who have belonged to Skull and Bones at Skull and Bones families

READING LIST

Perfectabilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati by Terry Melanson – According to Millegan, this is one of the few historically accurate books in English about the Illuminati. Most of the material available in English is disinformation.

Devious Elites by Sterling Seagrave

Gold Warriors: the Covert History of Yamashita’s Gold by Steling Seagrave – refers to gold Japanese looting during World War II and allegedly hid in caves in the Philippines, how Washington secretly recovered it to set up giant Cold War slush funds and manipulate foreign governments

America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones by Anthony Sutton – describes the battle between French and US intelligence over Southeast Asia’s opium trade.

Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult by Peter Lavenda

Unfriendly Skies : Saga of Corruption by Rodney Stich, Former FAA investigator

Defrauding America: Trojan Horse Corruption by Rodney Stitch – about a “deep-cover CIA officer” assigned to a counter-intelligence unit, code-named Pegasus. This unit had tape-recordings of plans to assassinate Kennedy” from a tap on the phone of J. Edgar Hoover. The voices on the tapes belonged to were Nelson Rockefeller, Allen Dulles, Lyndon Johnson, George H W Bush and J Edgar Hoover.

Fleshing Out Skull and Bones: An Investigation into America’s Most Powerful Secret Society – collection of essays edited by Millegan

 

Hidden History: The US Wars Against Japan, Korea and Vietnam

The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia

By James Bradley

Back Bay Books (2015)

Book Review

This book details numerous myths about the origin of the US wars against Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Bradley begins by revealing how the Roosevelt administration was hoodwinked by the overt fascist Chiang Kai-Shek and Christian missionaries into believing China was ripe for wholesale conversion to Christianity and US-style capitalism. Deceived by Chiang’s promises to wage war against Japan,  Roosevelt poured billions into the civil war Chiang was waging with Mao Se Tung. FDR also created an illegal covert mercenary Air Force for Chiang, a major motivator in the Japanese decision to attack Pearl Harbor.

Had FDR listened to advisors who understood the strong support Mao enjoyed from China’s rural peasants, he never would have supported Chiang – or been forced to open a second front (against Japan) the US was totally unprepared for.

In addition to his greater popularity and military strength, Mao was also genuinely interested in establishing a trade relationship with the US.

According to Bradley, the civil war Mao won in 1949 was actually a war of liberation from European colonial powers, just like Kim Sung Il’s war of liberation in Korea and Ho Chi Minh’s war of liberation in Vietnam. Owing to the total ignorance of Asian society and culture, advisors in the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy administration mistakenly viewed these wars of independence as part of a global communist conspiracy and military aggression the only possible response.

The China Mirage traces the  history of each of these conflicts (Japan, China, Korea and Vietnam) in a clear and compelling way, starting with the massive fortune Roosevelt’s grandfather amassed via the opium smuggling the US and UK forced on China via two opium wars.

For me the most interesting part of the book concerns the US oil/steel embargo that supposedly triggered the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. According to Bradley, Roosevelt opposed the embargo. It was surreptitiously enacted by members of his administration while he was at a secret meeting in Canada with Winston Churchill.

Vietnam War Series Ends with Load of Sentimental Claptrap

The Weight of Memory, Episode 10

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

I found the final episode of the Vietnam War series, shown on Maori TV earlier this week, extremely disappointing. The first half contained some good historical detail and valuable commentary by North Vietnam and Vietcong fighters. The last half was a load of sentimental claptrap about the Vietnam War memorial and other efforts to “heal” the Vietnam experience. It was totally devoid of any political analysis, eg the role of banks, oil companies and defense contractors in strong arming three administrations into pursuing an unwinnable war at great cost to the American people. Even more disgusting was the failure to identify obvious parallels with the illegal US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have lasted even longer than Vietnam.

The filmmakers also totally gloss over the reality that for the Vietnamese, the war was purely a war of independence against foreign invaders.

Episode 10 covers March 29, 1973, when the last US troops left Vietnam, through April 30, 1975 when Saigon collapsed. The US evacuation had scarcely ended in 1973 when the Watergate scandal superseded all other national news. It was all over for Nixon once Congress learned that he had tape recorded all his Oval Office conversations. The tapes would provide undeniable proof of his participation in the Watergate burglary and cover up.

On August 9, after the House Judiciary Committee recommended impeachment, Nixon resigned. On the same day, Congress halved military aid to the (puppet) South Vietnamese government. The result was the virtual economic collapse of South Vietnam. Massive pay cuts would lead South Vietnamese troops to desert at the rate of 20,000 a month.

This episode includes very moving coverage of South Vietnamese who collaborated with the US occupation desperately trying to flee Saigon in front of North Vietnamese troops. Only a few were airlifted via helicopters that evacuated US embassy and security personnel. Many launched themselves into any vessel they could find in the hope of being picked up by US freighters.

Once North Vietnam took control of the south, the blood bath that had been predicted never eventuated. Roughly 1,000 South Vietnamese collaborators were killed in revenge killing and roughly 1.5 million were forced to participate in compulsory re-education.

The Vietnamese economy was a virtual shambles for a good ten years after the war ended. The filmmakers blame this on the privatization of Vietnamese industry and forced collectivization. A better explanation, in my view, is that the US war of aggression totally destroyed the country’s infrastructure and poisoned its farmland with Agent Orange.

Dire economic conditions would lead 1.5 million Vietnamese to flee Vietnam in small and medium-sized boats between 1978 and the early 1990’s. A good number drowned, but most ended up in refugee camps in other Southeast Asian countries. About 400,000 eventually made it to the US.

 

The Link Between Vietnam and Nixon’s Recognition of China

A Disrespectful Loyalty, Episode 9

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

Last night Maori TV showed part 9 of the Vietnam War series.

During the period covered (February 1970 – March 1973), Nixon’s sole focus with to withdraw US troops from Vietnam without losing the 1972 election. He knew he would be defeated if Saigon fell. Much of this episode consists of tape recordings of Nixon’s Oval Office conversations with his chief security advisor Henry Kissinger.

Although the filmmakers refer to 1/4 of US GIs using marijuana in Vietnam and 40,000 being addicted to heroin, for some reason they neglect to mention the South Vietnamese army was the main source of these drugs.

They do report on the growing influence of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and play an excerpt of former naval lieutenant John Kerry’s (a VVAW member) compelling testimony before a Senate investigative committee.

1971 also saw the New York Times publican of the Pentagon Papers, leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. This Defense Department study, covering 1945-1967, revealed successive US presidents had been continuously lying to the American public regarding their true motives waging war in Vietnam.

Nixon’s paranoia about documents Ellsberg and others might possess about his own lies led him to create “The Plumbers,” a secret team that broke into Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office (in the hope of finding material they could use to blackmail him).

Much of this episode focuses on the Paris peace talks, and Nixon’s efforts to force North Vietnam to agree to a favorable peace treaty. To this end, he resumed bombing raid on North Vietnam, which were far more brutal (in terms of civilian casualties) than those Johnson had been condemned for.

I was surprised to learn that Nixon’s recognition of Communist China (after nearly 40 years) was part of a ploy to increase Chinese and Russian pressure on their North Vietnamese allies to sign a peace settlement favorable to the US.

The latter would be signed on January 23,1973, and over the next few weeks the last US troops would leave Vietnam.

As of March 1973, over 58,000 GIs and 2 million Vietnamese had been killed in North Vietnam.

 

Nixon’s Treason in Vietnam

Chasing Ghosts, Episode 7

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

Last night, Maori TV showed Episode 7 of the Vietnam War series, covering the second half of 1968. 1968 was a year of global revolution, when working and oppressed people all over the world revolted against their governments. This happened even in countries like Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Nigeria, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay that had nothing to do with the Vietnam War. See 1968

This episode incorporates excellent footage of the antiwar protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention and the bloody police riot that ensued. Esteemed CBS journalist Walter Cronkite referred to Chicago as a “police state.”

By mid-1968 the new Secretary of Defense Clifford Clark was begging President Johnson to stop bombing North Vietnam. Clark no longer believed the US could win the war, and this was a North Vietnamese condition to begin Paris peace negotiations.

1968 also marked the start of the CIA’s controversial Phoenix program, in which US and South Vietnamese intelligence murdered 20,000 South Vietnamese in an effort to root out the Viet Cong (a secret South Vietnamese revolutionary group) and their supporters.

In the lead-up to elections, Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey also called for an end to the bombing. When Johnson finally halted the bombing on October 31, Humphrey’s poll numbers surged ahead of Nixon’s.

A few days before the election, Nixon sent a secret envoy to South Vietnam promising President Thieu a “better peace deal” if he withdrew from the peace talks – which he did. Because the CIA had caught the conversation on a secret bug in Thieu’s office, Johnson confronted Nixon, who denied it. Viewing it as treason, Johnson chose not to make the incident public. He didn’t want the South Vietnamese government (or the American public) to know how he obtained the information.

Immediately after Nixon’s 1969 inauguration in January, he began secretly (and illegally) bombing Laos and Cambodia. Parts of the Ho Chi Minh trail (which North Vietnam used to send troops, weapons and food south) snaked through Laos, and Cambodia was known to offer sanctuary to North Vietnamese troops.

 

 

1968: The Year Americans Turned Against the Vietnam War

Things Fall Apart, Episode 6

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

Last night Maori TV showed episode six of the PBS Vietnam War series, covering the first half of 1968. Most of this episode deals with the January 31 Tet Offensive from the North Vietnamese standpoint. Although it was a failure militarily for North Vietnam, it was a public relations disaster for the US. It was the first time the North Vietnamese Army/Viet Cong had entered Saigon (they nearly capture the US Embassy.

After watching the nightly coverage of bloody conflict on US TV, the American people realized that Johnson had been lying when he claimed the US was winning the war. Esteemed TV journalist Walter Cronkite covered the Tet Offensive on the ground and came out against the war when he returned to the US.

When Johnson nearly lost the New Hampshire primary to anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy (on March 30), he announced his decision not to seek a second term.

On April 4, Martin Luther King was assassinated (after coming out against the war a year earlier). Later that month, Bobby Kennedy entered the Democratic primary on a pledge to end the war. He seemed poised to win the Democratic nomination when he was assassinated in June.

Vietnam War: Why Johnson Sacked McNamara in 1967

This is What We Do

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

This week, Maori TV showed Episode 5 of the Vietnam War series, which covers 1967. By the end of 1967, over 20,000 Americans had died in Vietnam. In addition to raising taxes, Johnson was forced to gut his war on poverty to help pay for the war.

This episode explains the strategy pursued by US military leadership as well as replaying media footage of key ambushes and interviewing surviving veterans from both the US and Vietnam.Vietnamese veterans talk about the ease of tracking US GIs due to the trail of cigarette butts they left behind.

Many US fatalities stemmed from the use of the M16, viewed by one military analyst as a “piece of shit.” It frequently jammed under jungle conditions and was no match for the Soviet-made AK47 the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong used.

1967 was the year that university students across the US held their first mass anti-Vietnam War protests in New York and Washington DC. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara sent Johnson a private memo advising him the US couldn’t win the Vietnam war. It recommended the President freeze troop levels and cease carpet bombing North Vietnam to bring them to the negotiating table. Johnson promptly appointed him to head the World Bank and installed Clark Clifford as Secretary of Defense. McNamara would remain silent about his reservations about Vietnam for over 20 years.

 

“If You’ve Got Dough, You Don’t Have to Go”

Episode 4 – Doubt

The Vietnam War

Directed by Ken Burn and Lyn Novick

Film Review

Maori TV showed Episode 4 of the Vietnam War series this week. 1966, Lyndon Johnson’s second year in office, saw a massive escalation of US forces in Vietnam – increasing from 200,000 in January to 500,000 in June 1967. Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea also sent troops to serve in Vietnam. Because both Australia and New Zealand had compulsory conscription until the early 1970s, there was a sizeable anti-Vietnam War movement in both countries.

The UK and Europe, in contrast, opposed the Vietnam War and called for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Johnson also substantially escalated bombing campaigns against North Korea, Laos and Cambodia (the North Vietnamese used a network of jungle roads in Laos and Cambodia to transport arms and personnel to South Vietnam). North Vietnamese civilians, most of them women, worked day and night restoring the so-called “Ho Chi Minh trail following US bombing raids.

Because the US was incapable of gaining territory in Vietnam, it used body counts to measure its success. The latter frequently included civilians and were always exaggerated. The US goal was to reach a “crossover point” – where the US killed more North Vietnamese soldiers than North Vietnam could replace. This never happened.

In May 1966, the US puppet government in South Vietnam nearly collapsed owing to mass demonstrations in Saigon demanding representative democracy and a negotiated settlement to the war.

As US forces swelled in Vietnam, the Pentagon was forced to begin drafting college students, which massively fueled the antiwar movement. It was common for well-to-do families (like the Bushes) to arrange deferments tor their kids. As the saying went, “If you’ve got dough, you don’t have to go.”

In Vietnam, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, a disproportionate number of draftees and casualties were African American.