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Blog: Lies Lies Lies

Thu 15th Sep 2011

Hands up who’s heard of the ADT? If I tell you it’s the acronym for Agribusiness Development Team you’re probably wondering what the hell that’s got to do with NATO choppers shelling Kabul central.

Well, saddle up, dudes, for a bumpy ride through the peaks of the Hindu Kush that I hope will leave you as angry as I am.

Be prepared for winding roads that plummet into ignorance, for unexpected pin-stripe suits popping out from the undergrowth. Be prepared to encounter the legacy of a military presence that can be traced back to the reign of Darius the Great in the 6th Century BC.

Be prepared for… farming?! WTF?!

Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee was interviewed on Tuesday’s Radio4 Today programme by the ever-deficient Sarah Montague. He repeatedly tried to justify his contention that Obama was rushing things, being a bad-bad liberal, and that the US troops had to stay put for just a moment longer. Why – to deter any future Taliban attacks, of course, silly.

And did silly Sarah say “Well, Pete, old chum, the grunts didn’t exactly deter this one, did they?” Did she press him on which of the several separate Taliban factions he might be referring to? Or perhaps she enquired what the joint US-UK long-term strategy was in the region? Did she attempt to draw out smug Mr King on the mixed-message funding sources between terrorists, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the West? Did she even guess the connection between what the military is doing in near-by Nangarhar Province and the world seed-bank buried in nuclear-proof bunkers under Svalbard ice in the Arctic Circle?

Did she hell!

I just don’t buy that if I have even a sniff of this stuff, that she and the assembled news and current affairs team at the Beeb simply don’t know about one of the most potent reasons why America insists on remaining in Afghanistan. Maybe the news department’s been ‘advised’ not to discuss it. Hell, maybe even the aforementioned King-twonk isn't aware of it.

But it’s all there, publicly available online. And, no I don’t mean on some loopy conspiracy website.

I'm talking about American – and by extension British - complicity in a sinister move to control the world’s resources, including food production, and, in the process, secure the fortunes of some multi-nationals for centuries to come. Sure, oil and gas are also part of it, but consider this.

Whatever they tell us in their duplicitous press releases about how ‘we’ have to feed those poor ignoramuses around the world, the global coalition, sitting on trillions of military-industrial profits, need long-term strategies to assure they dominate methods of food production and distribution. The hell with local sustainability. The hell with women’s food cooperatives. The hell with the choice to reject foods needlessly modified and dependent on chemicals.

Why isn’t Sarah talking about this? Why isn’t anyone at the BBC or any UK news or current affairs programme talking about this? Why aren’t they making the connections between continuing a dubious military occupation and consequences for our dinner plates?

It’s maddening the subject hides behind an apparently benign and plausible front. For example, what could be more laudable than the pursuit of international peace? You can almost slice it up like mom’s apple pie, it sounds so tasty.

One of the commentators recently invited to explain terrorism and the Taliban was a representative of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, whose Boardroom Chair, Richard Giordano, is former Chair of the Board of the BG Group - a global company dedicated to controlling the world’s natural gas supply.

One of his co-Carnegie-board members is former US Senator Bill Bradley, who keeps a presence on powerful and suspiciously discreet investment bank Allen & Co, with cross corporate alliances including Coca-Cola (recently scrutinized for its undue influence in setting US Middle East policy, and very dodgy practices involving chemical pesticides in the Indian sub-continent), and Citigroup which handles investments for some of the wealthiest people in the world. Both Giordano and Bradley help fund the Carnegie Endowment.

In fact, the more you drill down to the board level of all these so-called impartial advisors so quotable by the UK media, you find a network of mostly American representatives of multi-national investment companies whose links are as tangled as a cobweb spun by a spider on crack.

I’m guessing Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Goldman Sachs International are probably less interested in preparing Afghani villagers for life after war, than protecting their clients’ longer term interests. Hey! - aren’t they part of that clique of financial sharks who landed the whole world in the shit a couple of years ago?

Back to the ADTs.

It is both public knowledge and covert that a series of US military units are up to their grow-bags in a long-term agricultural strategy in the Kush.
In 2009, a group of soldiers and airmen from the Kentucky National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, deployed to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. Their mission, explained Maj. John H. Homes Jr. “is to teach Afghans (sic) how to farm.”
How insulting is that? Afghanis have been farming the region, sustainably and with respect for bio-diversity for thousands of years. In less war-torn days, holiday resorts in the Kush catered to the world’s wealthy, feeding them a bounty of locally grown apples, grapes, wheaten bread, rice, nuts, to accompany meat from local herds.
Could this benevolent military initiative actually be the product of geography, the province in question being strategically placed along centuries-old supply routes between the Khyber Pass and Kabul? Could it really be a selfless American solution to helping clean up the opium poppy fields, so beloved by the military in their support of the Taliban against occupying forces of the former Soviet Union – and so open to drug-smuggling abuse?

ADTs, each primarily composed of National Guard troops, have been assigned so-called advisory and/or supervisory roles for Afghani farmers. About ten teams have been deployed to Afghanistan on missions which sound a truly helpful alternative to hostile actions. It’s only on further examination that the hidden truth emerges. What a stunning example of the military-industrial complex, intent on the American cultural conquest of the world.

The mission conveyed to the public is of US troops guiding those backward Afghanis away from their opium-poppy production to growing saffron, pomegranates, and other cash crops, repeating their “success” in South America over 20 years. Solving the drugs trade and charming hearts and minds through agriculture? A win-win, surely.

Makes you wonder yet again at the real reason the US was so keen on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In the May 4, 2011 online report by Missouri News, we read of “Missouri’s efforts to sow a lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan through agricultural outreach continue.

“Seventy soldiers making up the fifth Missouri National Guard Agribusiness Development Team left the state Tuesday to complete training exercises in Indiana before shipping to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province …

“I think sometimes efforts like yours get lost amidst all the news of military strikes and the like,” said Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City. “But let us not for a moment underestimate the importance of what you do or the value of teaching the rest of the world that we Americans are not a people of war but instead a people committed to make this world a better place.”

What’s that smell? Oh, yeah – lies, lies, lies!

Petrochemicals, disguised as lifesavers, seep inexorably under the skin of occupied nations. The US government funds GM research at the same universities tied into procurement supplied by the very GM companies which will profit. And the indigenous farmers become forever enslaved to replacing seeds and specific fertilizers

Pull out the map and let’s follow the money trail.

Grants for the projects are awarded by a nexus of US mid-western universities, including those in Kansas and Missouri. The Grants can be traced back to research departments, in receipt of federal funding, and working for GM development companies including Monsanto and Chemonics.

BTW – did you realize that the UK government hands out grants to lobby companies trying to get Parliament to take a more proactive stand allowing further GM trials throughout the country? One such company is affiliated to Sainsbury’s supermarket whose avowed policy is not to stock GM foods? Labelling on imported mixed-source foods into the UK from the US is unregulated to provide information of any GM contents?

Are you getting angry yet?!

The latest monitoring studies of GM seeds, which have been repeatedly proven to cross-contaminate organic farms, reveal that, far from the promise to eliminate chemical use in agriculture, GM seeds require species-specific herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, such as Round Up, a Monsanto product largely rejected in Europe. What’s more, the crops require ever-greater doses of chemicals as the years progress.

It is solely these seeds being distributed to Afghani farmers, being “taught” how to farm.

In exchange for these ‘magic beans’ the Nangarhar farmers get lessons in modern growth promotion, and shipments of seed-cleaning tractors. As documented by Saadullah Fitrat on 26 July 2011, on the Pajhwok website, “The donated vehicles included a machine which can clean 2.5 tonnes of wheat seed a day. It has been manufactured by the ADT at a cost of $200,000.”

As with other such projects, cash-crop monocultures are favoured over a sustainable, locally supervised agricultural approach based on bio-diversity.

It’s when you consider the matter of procurement, the hidden agenda emerges. Several US Midwestern universities, including Kansas and Missouri, are the sources of the agricultural experts and of the GM seeds procured by the ADTs. Among the sources of supply is a private company called Chemonics.

In Motion magazine recently published a cogent article detailing the darker side of US aid, not only in Afghanistan but also in Iraq.

As the article points out, certain Taliban factions have also been supplying seed to local farmers. This is a race not to win hearts and minds, but to take full control of the future of agriculture in the Kush.

All of which begs the question: why is the UK so willing to support such obscene cultural imperialism? And why has our print and broadcast media been so silent?

The ADT initiative dates back to a US neo-con agenda. It doesn’t take Julian Assange to conclude there’s some cover-up of real intentions in the Kush.

Lies, lies, lies!

OK pull on your mukluks, we’re heading for the Arctic.

When the global pumped-up billionaires who control all cross-border policy futures realized how important it was to assure ownership of the mechanisms for life, including food, water, and resources – they devised a cunning plan.

On the pretence of feeding the world, they established the Seed Bank at Svalbard. There already are various seed banks around the world, but this is the Ice Daddy. This is beyond nuclear destruction. This is managed by The Global Crop Diversity Trust.

"The Trust aims to ensure the conservation of the diversity within all crops of importance to food security. However, the Trust will give priority to the crops that are included in Annex 1, or referred to in Article 15, of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. These are the crops that the international community has judged to be the most important for food security and interdependence."

Sounds good, yeah? Then you learn "The Trust is working with the United States Department of Agriculture," and that’s a body having been investigated by some members of the US Senate, who testified with documentary evidence of the influence of Monsanto.

According to independent Australian health researcher and radio broadcaster Helen Lobato, “When Svalbard was set up the press release promised no GM seed would be stored there.” Lobato presently co-producers Food fight, a weekly program around food security issues; her background is in critical care nursing. She, too, has accrued evidence of the real situation on Svalbard.

First of all, although the facility was intended to preserve every single variety of seed on earth, particularly those unheard of by the world’s wealthiest nations, but used by a huge number of indigenous peoples around the world – that has not been the case. So while the richest nations will be catered for in any future catastrophe, the poorest won’t be.

And, GM seeds are being preserved whether or not they’ve been shown to contaminate non-GM crops.

Why do the relevant questions go unasked, let alone unanswered?

I’m not just furious, I’m outRaged!


Here's a collection of urls that expand these issues:

ADT "posture statement"

YouTube vid presenting the PR spin on ADTs in Afghanistan

US Defence Department overview article on the project

Patronizing article from the Army Times: “Their mission is to teach Afghans how to farm.”

Article announcing the arrival of the Kansas ADT

Recent deployment of ADT troops to Nargarhar. May 4, 2011 online report by Missouri News

20 tractors donated to Nangarhar farmers
Pajhwok


Manfred Ladwig’s video report for Deutsche Welle Television on YouTube
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2

Roundup and birth defects, a report by Michael Antoniou, Mohamed Ezz El-Din, Mostafa Habib, C. Vyvyan Howard, Richard C. Jennings, Carlo Leifert Rubens, Onofre Nodari Claire Robinson, John Fagan
Earth Open Source June 2011

Herbicide Tolerance & GM crops
Greepeace Special Report June 2011

GM seeds in the doomsday vault? by Helen Lobato
March 2011


Nordic Genetic Resource Center

Global Crop Diversity Trust
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