No-one can reasonably deny global life system crisis on all planes. But almost nowhere are the degenerate trends connected, or their common cause identified. The air, soil and water cumulatively degrade. The climates and oceans destabilize. Species become extinct at a spasm rate across continents. Pollution cycles and volumes increase to endanger life systems at all levels in cascade effects. Public sectors and services are defunded and privatized as tax evasion by the rich increases. The global food system produces more and more disabling and contaminated junk without nutritional value. Non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer with only symptom cures. The vocational future of the next generation collapses across nations. The global financial system ceases to function for productive investment in life capital and goods.
Most relevant to us, lethal military production increases to more than the cost to prevent these problems while enforcing the very causal mechanism driving the life-system destruction. Science for Peace certainly has its work cut out for it. Yet conception of peace as a feel-good state of self and members has widely replaced informed recognition of ecocidal and war-criminal aggressions in the real world. A presumptive internalization of blame-the-enemy framing has worked its way into a first premise of public discourse, and the systematic omission of life-and-death facts on the ground has followed suit as a cultivated ignorance. A pattern of omission and silencing has now infiltrated Science for Peace against its founding tradition.
This mind-lock results, for example, in ‘pro-Putin’ and ‘anti-Putin’ perspectives as the starting point of serious public inquiry organized by the acting president over the last seven months. While the bipartisan US doctrine of “full-spectrum dominance” continues to rule and expand into society-destroying wars, this track record is eliminated from the inquiry before it starts. Then when the memory-hole operation is completed at the conference level, it is made out of bounds for executive review as “already over”. Thus the erasure operates at both the ground level and the second-order level in succession. It is reinforced in follower demands to stop pursuing the question by persistent reductions of it to an ad hominem issue. The ultimately regulating pattern of propaganda, war and transnational destruction continues to be ignored and thus abetted. So let us again review the documented pattern of facts. Any disconfirming evidence is welcome, but none has been provided. The memory-hole operations will prevail on macro and micro levels until the circles of erasure and omission are overcome.
The regulating pattern of facts long precedes the Ukraine crisis. Whenever any nation has an independent government with fossil fuel, financial, agricultural or strategic resources not yet subjugated to transnational corporate control, there is a US-led campaign to destroy it. Where is there exception? The master tactic is to direct all attention at the official enemy as pretext for war criminal aggressions. Think of the Middle East – Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria. All have been successively warred upon over decades dating from the overthrow of the social-democratic president Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 to Syria’s still mildly independent social state being destroyed to the roots today. Over 20 years in between, Iraq’s region-leading social state with universal health-care, free higher education, public water and electricity, local agricultural and food subsidies has been subjected to genocidal destruction and permanent civil war. In paradigmatic US war-criminal aggression which is taboo to name in circles of collaboration, Iraq was attacked on contrived pretexts and the state was destroyed to control its fabulous resource riches “floating on a sea of oil’ (Paul Wolfowitz’s phrase).
Try to think of any clear stop to this long history of false propaganda leading to crimes against peace that defines US foreign policy prior to the orchestrated destabilization, violent coup d’etat, civil war construction, and one-way bombing in Ukraine.
In all cases, vast new profit opportunities, resources, lands, price climbs, markets, agribusiness and – most of all – looting of public resources and finances by private foreign financiers and corporations are opened up once sovereign powers to regulate collective life capital bases are stripped away, not only in the victim societies but at home. The civil war method of long-term destruction of formerly independent societies to more freely exploit their resources has continued to the present day in a strategic arc of devastating civil wars from Pakistan to Iraq to Muslim Africa to Europe itself in Ukraine after the Chechnya civil war in Russia was ended. Civil wars render peoples helpless against foreign money control, and the pattern only deepens. Yet just keep blaming the enemy as the central issue, as in the first premise of organization of the Ukraine crisis by Metta Spencer, and the eco-genocidal pattern continues concealed.
For example in recent weeks, Saudi Arabia with US support has recently projected the “terrorist” and sectarian “Shiite” labels on the popular uprising of the poor in Yemen against a corrupt US-Saudi puppet government. In more long-term historical trajectory, civil war has been US-supported and funded in Venezuela ever since its “socialism for the twenty-first century” was launched, briefly succeeding in violent coup d’etat until the people rose in the streets against it and loyal guards defeated the putschists who had already been diplomatically recognised by the US (just as in Ukraine over a decade later). Today a main vector of destabilization of both Russia and Venezuela has been orchestrated oil-price halving aimed at it ruining their economies. Yet always “democratic” and “pluralist” pretexts lead the non-stop attacks on independent societies. The Enemy is whatever seriously opposes the ruling propaganda and the war-criminal agenda. One object alone is achieved in fact. Peoples and resources of the region are more easily predated by transnational corporations without sovereign social defences or unity of collective life purpose permitted. As long as all evils can still be blamed on an ever-shifting Enemy, there is no overcoming recognition.
Even if the US people themselves keep being bled dry with their common life bases and interests stripped out by military and financial claws in the trillions every year, even as public purses and resources are plundered and destroyed across continents by a recurrent common causal mechanism, the same systematic omission of facts, blaming of the official enemy, and ignoring documented evidence occurs. This is the master denial of never facing the issues. Only surface phenomena are ever engaged, and the rest is blocked out. As transnational private money sequences alone multiply in fact, everything connects in social and environmental life depredation out of control. There are myriad masks of the disorder, but always the evolved collective life capital bases of societies and their ecological life hosts are cumulatively expropriated and despoiled. Twenty-five years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia into atavistic nationalisms steeped in the Nazi past, the same happens again north in Ukraine. Yet no level of this deep narrative is even mentioned. Nonetheless its story-line is predictable across borders. Socially organized development is reversed for private transnational feeding on collective financial, agricultural, natural and strategic resources of societies as “freedom”.
What can stop it? Only the rule of life-protective law with the force of law works. But Palestine even seeking the protection of international law is openly threatened and its taxes seized by Israel with US support. When Palestine joins UNESCO by invitation, the US defunds UNESCO. This is a lawless rule of normalized terror, life destruction and impunity. But who sees it?
PM Harper, we know, incarnates the divide-and-rule war method. His CEO rule strips Canada of its social life infrastructures and public tax funds in the name of the nation. Yet his underlying program of serving only private market powers to multiply and pillage across borders – the deeper narrative – is suppressed from view even if there is no exception to it. Science for Peace initiative to expose this underlying attack on science was excluded from executive support because of risk to charitable status. How far do we internalize these norms of tyrannical power? Now Canada is aerial bombing in Arab lands from Libya to Syria – also funded by public money – even though the target ISIL beheaders have been trained and financed by the allied states bombing them. Harper-rule is also now militarily assisting the violent-coup and US-installed regime in Ukraine whose one-way aerial bombing of civilians and infrastructures has killed tens of thousands of its own citizens according to German intelligence, driven two million people from their homes at the latest count, and deployed a policy of mass starvation and ethnic cleansing clearing operations. All this was identified in the October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin, but all was erased by the Ukraine conference in March 2015, in particular the false propaganda campaigns and massive criminal violations of international law.
All disappears from the official story and its propagators by diverting to the official enemy as first step. The topic is diverted to a familiar hate-object of the audience. Corporate mass media and politicians do this as their stock in trade. It gets attention and runs deep into the group psyche. Once diverted to the hate-object of the group – say “Saddam” or “Putin” or “state socialist” or “terrorist” – people block out disproving facts so as to remain acceptable to the surrounding group. This is the underlying thought-switch upon which mass-murderous wars and system oppressions depend as well as most propaganda of daily life. Not even academics may stand up to the accusation of “pro-Russia”, “9-11 conspiracy theorist”, “communist”, or whoever the designated enemy may be.
This is why evidence, public statistics, knowledge of anything outside the official narrative is not now safe in corporate states. Public knowledge is the enemy of the game of propaganda and war. That which sees, documents, shares, certifies, distributes, or organizes to prove and act for the public good is forbidden in a thousand ways even in Canada – the secret behind the Harper agenda of information control – from defunding and de-listing progressive NGO’s, to gags on government ministries and scientists, to allowing only his personal photographer’s pictures into the mass media. Yet the method of silencing facts by blocking them from view is not confined to Harper-rule, but expands by normalization into where we may least expect it.
Thus even the explicit US geostrategic plan and execution of “full spectrum dominance across the world” is reversed by the blame-the-enemy premise. An ultimate issue emerges from contemporary world history to our choice space: whether Science for Peace collaborates with this ruling order of propaganda and power, or stands for scientific standards of evidence and conclusion and against proven falsehood, enemy blame, armed aggression and war. To avoid facing the problem and the proof of it is the way of mission collapse. One merely keeps blocking out the evidence with no reply as if it did not exist, just as in the wider world of power and propaganda. If ignoring the evidence does not work, then one can simply lie and say it has already been fully answered, or say when caught out, no-one knows what the evidence is. All this has already occurred within our own organisation. Saying it is so makes it so if enough people go along with it. The overall method is dominant in the wider world of starting wars while claiming to work for peace. We are naive if we do not think it can happen here.
Reconnecting to the ruinous trends of global degeneration with which we began, and their enforcement by the world’s ruling military and embargo system, we might ask two direct questions. Who joins the dots between the degenerate trends, as opposed to ignoring whatever does not fit the US-led public story? Who looks for the common cause, as opposed to multiplying perspectives on the official enemy?
At the most general level of global corporate press and information systems (including introductory textbooks in economics and sociology, over 90% so controlled in Canada), not one of these fatally degenerate trends is connected to any other or to any common cause producing them. This is testable by looking for any exception. Least of all is the depredatory system of vast military expenditures and operations behind the latest enemy they are used against examined as a cause of the hostilities. Never linked to this perpetual war-preparations system now costing one billion dollars a day of US public money are the transnational corporate expansions into every area that the weapons, covert operations and nuclear threats advance. In Ukraine next to Russia, for example, private Wall Street and German banks are already in with the IMF as loan enforcer; big agribusiness including Monsanto is already operating to control the greatest farmlands of Europe and a breadbasket of the world; big US oil is already into licenses for the new gas-fracking zones being created now that a pro-Russia government – which prohibits fracking – has been overthrown by the violent US-led coup; and of course the world’s leading manufacturers of war armaments are already receiving orders for them via post-coup Ukraine and US war-party promises with Harper-Canada in tow. If you are part of the ruling propaganda and power apparatus, every one of these facts will be ignored.
If you are an active agency of this system, then only the alleged motives of expansion of the official enemy will be mentioned, indeed assumed as the framework of understanding the civil and international war in motion. One does not have to be a warmonger to be part of the propaganda system set towards war, dispossession and mass murder. One can organise for it by blocking out every fact showing the underlying pattern. Who is to know or care? Usually just a minority, and they can be insinuated as violent for their opposition. The press does it. Parties and politicians do it. Regime servers do it. It can be merely pre-conscious indoctrination.
The winning formula is that of the larger system in which they are embedded. The truth is what sells. Endless activities of lectures, member round-ups, connections to like activities, pot-luck dinners, corporate-media chairs for conferences, and so on are all most directly governed by this unexamined value equation. The substance, care and life concern for natural and social, ecological and historical life support systems in cumulative collapse by a global disorder does not compute if it is all blocked out. It dissolves into thin air. The Enemy as hate object steers the process of selection to fit the ruling narrative on which continued funding may depend.
‘Lack of political will’ to do anything follows from the denial of the facts in accord with the ruling framework. Thus no dots can be joined, and so no will is possible. All energies are poured instead into symbolic shows of peace disconnected from the known greatest war machine in the history of the world that invades where it likes. The denial here is not the direct denial found in big-oil funding of deniers of climate destabilization. It is not Harper-rule defunding of all public and non-governmental research exposing system-wide facts. It is more subtle. It operates as in the following paradigm example of our most active member, our acting president in organizing a public conference on one of the great crises of our time.
The very first facts and causal analysis to be eliminated in organizing the conference on Ukraine’s civil war were all those in the lead article of the prior Science for Peace Bulletin, “Corporate Globalization and Society Destruction: Joining the Dots of War and Peace in Ukraine”. I thought it strange as well that I knew nothing of the long-organized conference until a few days before it started. So I tracked how the organization had evolved under the direction of the acting president. I soon found that not only had the primary documented source of Science for Peace been erased from the project. Every causal fact and underlying pattern it reported – which had already been through international refereeing process and publication – was also erased from every topic and expertise of the conference plan. The systematic erasures of the official US-led story and of the Science for Peace Conference framework were revealingly the same.
In consequence I wrote a detailed letter demonstrating the propagandist framing of the conference and systematic omission of the most basic and uncontested facts of the causation of the Ukraine civil war. The letter of analysis spelled out step by step how the organizing principles of the acting president’s wholesale expunction of the relevant basic facts were the same as the official US propagandist story with no evidence that any critical understanding was allowed a space in the entire operation.
I submitted the analysis in the expectation that all my time was well spent in communicating with a scientifically literate community, and further expecting relevant counter-evidence or argument to anything stated. I hoped first for some adaptation to the facts before the conference started, or at least some executive re-thinking of what had happened in the light of the meaning of Science for Peace. Not one of these expectations – normally taken for granted within a learned community – was remotely fulfilled. Qualifed and scientific scholars agreed from the list-serve, but no disagreement or response at all came from the acting president. Only her supporters responded who refused to advance beyond personal matters irrelevant to the Ukraine crisis and to the propagandist structure of the conference. The very same form of executive non-response and diversion compounded by continuous ad hominem fallacies has ruled throughout and since. To place the matter more firmly on the record, my letter as follows was submitted at the same time to the Bulletin. This original open letter is edited and reduced, but remains the record in situ from which deep-structural generic analysis then follows.
“While Science for Peace leadership has trended with the commercial world to personal opinions on issues over principled substance, fact and law, our mission by definition is understanding by scientific standards. We therefore commit in first principle to knowing facts versus ignoring facts, reasoning versus diversion to individuals and imputed perspectives, and seeking the underlying causal structures and principles of phenomena rather than interviews with competing perceptions as an end-in-itself.
The non-scientific commercial format has, however, prevailed through the acting president’s organisation of the conference on the Ukraine civil war and in comments of support which do the same thing. There has been no sign of advancing beyond this format, but only more glaring repetitions of its propagandist framework in public in the name of Science for Peace. The starting story line of “war between Ukraine and Russia” is still proclaimed in Metta Spencer’s solo press release (March 7), although a profoundly false claim in law and in fact. International law is ignored from the start and throughout – the most revealing and dangerous omission of all. Unaccountability to scientific or legal understanding of the driving forces of the civil war, their causal pattern, or the war crimes under law against millions of victims on the ground is built in a-priori.
The propagandist framework here has long been endemic in our dominant media and blame-the- enemy political culture. Yet understanding of Science for Peace is only principled if it lives up to standards of science and reason in seeking the civil peace it advocates. This is what the organisation means – as distinguished from ‘peace’ as conformity to imperial norms, or a criterionless peace of neutrality standing for no life cause that is defined, or the peace of a genocidal outcome. The founders and strength of Science for Peace over decades has been to see through pervasive armed violence and threats against civilians across the world dressed in myths of the designated Enemy to justify the destruction of one society after another. This is the ultimate issue at stake in the direction of Science for Peace. The Ukraine conference, however, excluded these life-and-death issues from every discussion – an exemplification of the ruling frame of mind that abets war crimes by blinkering them out. No item of the agenda allowed the issue. Armaments and nuclear weapons spending, build-ups, threats and wars already in motion have been what Science for Peace has long sought to empirically track, connect and understand in principle at the leading edge of research. But all these were blocked out of view. Instead reduction to the official foreign enemy and demonization of its leader became the basis of the organization from then to now in the name of ‘Science for Peace’.
In this way, home-side imperial and national slogans without definition, the dominant global market business of war, and heinous crimes under law causing over a million people fleeing in East Ukraine under US-supported neo-Nazi command were over months simply erased So too were NATO’s non-stop accusations without evidence to justify the heavy-arms NATO build-ups, war exercises, and aerial bombing preparations in every country on Russia’s East European borders in one-way threatening of world war. International law, the only instituted common ground or regulator across the hostile and warring parties, was kept out of any topic, speaker knowledge, or conference discussion. The Canadian government’s unprecedentedly fact-ignorant war mongering on Ukraine was abolished from view. All was ignored even when explicitly brought to the acting president’s attention with evidence.
As in corporate media and state proclamations, the taboo zone was any line of inquiry or analysis that exposed the official story line, its concealments of central facts, and the mass murders and destruction of civilian homes, schools and infrastructures by the known US-installed coup government of Kiev – now being heavily subsidized and armed to renew its war of one-way bombing, starvation and land clearance of Donbass region citizens. Will the truce hold when US-assisted Kiev views it as a period to prepare for war? The life-and-death facts are not allowed within the ruling format. More disquietingly, they were blocked out by every step of the organisation of the Ukraine conference. Seek to find exception. The method is more effective than a gag order because the silencing pattern is itself silent. Omission cannot be seen.
The silencing method has precedent within the acting president’s magazine as reported by lead Science for Peace member, Edwin Daniel but with no evident attention by the executive or the board in allowing this conference to build over months. As Daniel observed beforehand – as usual with no response– her Peace Magazine will “publish claims that are untrue” and refuse to correct them when pointed out. As we know, this is the very opposite of science and reason. Yet “when I have tried to point these out,” he reports, “I have been consistently ignored. I will mention just one recent example, the question of who was responsible for firing sarin containing rockets in Syria. The western media and governments immediately blamed the Assad regime, but later evidence showed that to be false. After Metta published the media claim and I sent her the refuting evidence, nothing happened. So I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Peace Magazine, explaining the nature of the refuting evidence. It never appeared. When I questioned Metta about it, she denied receiving the letter, which I then resent. It has never appeared.” (Edwin Daniel to sfpboard@listserv, March 14).
The propagandist slanting the acting president has imposed on Science for Peace is anti-scientific in principle. It not only assumes the official enemy designated by the US as evil, but ignores the hard evidence proving that the criminal facts alleged are false (here led by the much-documented investigation of Seymour Hersh). In this case, it was the official enemy of Syria’s Assad. In the case of the conference on Ukraine, as we see below, the issue was immediately mutated to the official enemy, Russia and Vladmir Putin demonized in the West since US-NATO expansion through the Ukraine was stopped after the US-led violent Ukraine coup. Science for Peace has been enlisted into this propagandist framework without notice or Board response.
The acting president has claimed that she had been acting on the instructions of the now resigned president Jim Turk to arrange – in her words – “a conference on Ukraine and Russia”. Yet Turk advises in his recent and only letter on the topic that he in fact said that the conference was to be on “Ukraine”. Already we know from this shift to Russia as the target of understanding the external causation of the Ukraine civil war that the acting president had planned the conference around the ruling blame-the-enemy bias, not the president’s direction.
This propagandist structure has been sustained for the months since through the conference, even when ever more evidence becomes public that refutes it. More alarmingly to a long-time researcher into the deep structure of war propaganda, this unilateral false implication of Russia as alone externally responsible constitutes a propagandist framework from the beginning. It was unilaterally presumed throughout as the organising idea of the conference so that Russia led by Putin (whom MS hates, in her words, as “an immoral thug and the most successful thief in the history of the world”) is assumed as the only extra-Ukraine force involved in what is in fact a constructed civil war. Yet all this is planned according to this false frame in the name and agency of Science for Peace with no apology and no stop afterwards. Most significantly, there is no reply or even denial of this war-propaganda framing itself to the present day.
The pattern continues after the conference with even deeper distortion and reversal of facts. Prefacing her March 4 press report on the conference with athe even more provocative lead asserting “the war between Ukraine and Russia”, she abolishes the historical facts that it is a civil war; that the civil war is known to have been orchestrated by the US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland (as reported in the Bulletin and widely elsewhere, and nowhere denied by the US State Department); and that the coup government under US direction moved quickly to one-way war-criminal aerial bombing of civilians in Eastern Ukraine and economic strangulation of the population. Far from ending with the conference, the ruling propagandist framework continues afterwards, and in spite of all written exposure and protest, is more extreme than before. So distorted is the ruling bias at work that the lead for her press release/article does not take into account what it itself reports from the panelists and interviewees themselves which contradict it.
Even though numerous attempts were made to balance the program, to take into account excluded major facts, to achieve some modicum of scientific integrity, all evidence-based patterns of the documented causal sequence of the civil war and its major atrocities, all continued to be ignored and erased. In accordance with the governing propaganda narrative, the ‘Science for Peace conference on Ukraine’ was immediately published by NATO’s publication, The Atlantic Council (March 5) with the title lead “Culpability – –” . This article described the conference as advising us that “Russia’s actions are best viewed as opportunistic and reactionary, rather than as part of a grand strategy to dismember Ukraine and destabilize the region” – both sides blaming Russia as the villain, and excluding all evidence to the contrary.
How could this happen? Context helps. The acting president was raised and educated in the southern United States, and the International Peace Research Association she identifies with was originally founded as the NATO Science program. Although a main claim to fame is being a member along with 2000 others of the Pugwash group receiving half the Nobel Peace Prize for work done largely over 30 years before she joined, this was work financed by Cyrus Eaton against official-enemy thinking. Here Metta Spencer prides herself most of all for having helped to convince Gorbachev towards the USSR’s peaceful collapse, and this helps to explain why she is so enraged at Putin and Russia who have reclaimed independence and now keep pro-US advocates out of the country. A dominant propagandist framework has been internalized and rewarded that rules out all other nations, military powers, and transnational expansionist aims but Putin Russia as the villain in Ukraine – or whoever the official enemy might be elsewhere. This is by no means a one-off derangement. We saw the same closed unbalance at work against Syria’s Assad where even when a central claim against a designated US Enemy is falsified by heavily researched facts, she repeats it, refuses to correct when advised, ignores and evidently lies to the correcting source, and never reports the truth. Throughout, the ruling operation of fact repression and reversal relies on despising the designated Enemy – the propelling force of big lies and wars across borders against which Science for Peace was founded to confront with knowledge, not propel with one-sided bias and falsehoods.
The acting president, however, has made no response to analysis of this propagandist framework even when directly addressed to her. As all else that crosses the dominant presumptions controlling this form of thought, it is ignored. Push harder, shout at volunteers, obscure conflicts by multiplying perspectives, keep the format free from connective analysis by anyone, display with NATO the results as ‘pluralist democracy’, and never respond to exposure of the unexamined meta program of falsehood at work . We know the pattern at the wider level. External funding and support comes this way, especially from the parties promoting the civil war scenarios.
We might ask a simple question at this point. Where are known US interventions leading to civil war in sovereign countries – from Ukraine to Venezuela – ever questioned in even decades of her magazine to which Science for Peace is being wedded? Even the decisive documented fact that NATO already had Ukraine divided into two in a 2000 map used by its defense ministers – pressed on the acting president by Adnan Zuberi with sources long before the conference – is silenced. Ultimately we are confronted here by another level of the aggression – eliminating the opposition by blanking out whatever justifies it, and sustaining hate of the official enemy at a reflex level by abolition of the central facts of armed force, oppression and – under law – mass murder of civilians and their life support systems on the ground.
And so the conference proceeded with ignoring, dismissal or insinuating abuse of people not staying in line. In accord with the propagandist frame from step one, nothing is allowed to expose the US, neo-Nazi and NATO supportive roles in the society destabilization, the violent coup d’etat or the following string of war criminal atrocities against civilians, nor the pervasively proclaimed evil of the designated Enemy as perpetual pretext for war by reverse blame.”
Beneath the political bullying and repression of facts so familiar in these matters, the very bases of reason and science are silently attacked at the roots. As a professional philosopher and logician as well as social scientist, I have written a lot in refereed journals and texts about the propagandist framing of issues – demonstrating that the underlying logical form is deranged. This is not a personal issue, as propagandists always seek to make it to keep attention away from the evidence. Whatever the issue or parties involved, reason is always diverted to the accepted enemy of the audience as a diversion from the facts of the dispute or issue. At the general level, this is known in the logic of natural language as an ‘ignoratio elenchi’ or informally ‘red herring’. Yet the specific fallacy involved of diverting to a culturally accepted enemy – away from the causes, facts and inner logic of the issue – is so common across tribes and times that it is still pervasively exploited in ruling propaganda fields into today. This is the ad adversarium fallacy which is the track-switch of the rest, and the pro-and-anti-Putin/Russia framing of a conference is a textbook example of its fallacious operations.
It silences all reason and inquiry that does not begin by isolating the official enemy as the issue. Who can I find that is “pro-Putin”? – the main question the acting president posed – is already a complete diversion away from the causation and horrors of the civil war onto the official enemy as the issue. Predictably, no-one took up the invitation. Confined within interview-type format with enemy diversion the basis of presentation, the format ruled out connective meaning, principled understanding and causal analysis of the facts.
I first came to know Science for Peace through its co-founding president and distinguished physicist Eric Fawcett who had read my work, and invited me to give an evening lecture to Science for Peace on “Terrorism” in the midst of the Reagan era. From then on, I was led to believe that Science for Peace was a rigorously logical and factually grounded organisation at the most advanced level of public affairs understanding, and so it has been for many years with some of the world’s greatest critical thinkers like Ursula Franklin and Anatol Rapoport as leading figures. Yet out of this long founding tradition, a Science for Peace conference based in a propagandist framework led by official-enemy assumptions and omitting all basic facts refuting this propagandist frame has been instituted and persisted to this day. It has not only controlled every step of a conference, but it has since overridden all evidence of it and efforts to correct it.
I explained why it was propagandist in principle to Metta Spencer and others in open correspondence days before the ‘Ukraine-Russia’ conference. “I can feel Eric Fawcett turn over in his grave”, I implored. Revealingly, the propagandist framework was never even denied. It was not answered by anyone. Only diversions and ad hominem attacks occurred with reverse blaming the familiar method of sidetracking . As on the wider stage of the politics of power and war, issues of fact and truth versus false war propaganda are erased from view. ‘Killing the messenger’ was the response to former president Judy Deutsch which caused her resignation from the executive. Like others presenting central evidence of the propagandist slant and distortion, all is ignored by the acting presidential circle.
Deutsch further observed that the conference went in fact just as the propagandist frame structured it. The central issues of US financing and directing of the destabilization of Ukraine over years into its Nazi-led coup d’etat and overthrow of its governing party elected by the vast majority of people, the NATO push since 2000 into Ukraine against promises made to Gorbachev and continuous NATO war-fever claims of Russia invasions, hundreds of tanks and border build-ups without evidence, the crippling embargoes on the basis of multiple false claims of the violation of international law in Crimea’s vote for re-integration, whatever did not fit into the propagandist frame of Russia’s Putin as the villain and the US and NATO as invisible was excluded from view.
Former president Deutsch’s open report that not one of these central issues was discussed at the conference was also not denied by its organiser Metta Spencer. ‘There was’, she continues in her letter of protest to the membership, the board and the executive in fact ‘overt suppression of this discussion such as when speakers Marta Dyczok and Leonid Kossals scoffed at these questions; moreover, the written questions were selected, re-worded, and routed by the moderators – – [with the acting president ruling against] any direct interactions with the audience.’ Again there is no denial from anyone present of these eyewitness facts then or since.
In short, every senior member effort to show the degenerate bias and reversal of Science for Peace’s purpose has been silenced just as in the larger macro system of permanent war masquerading as ‘peace’ in continuous digression to ad hominem issues and smears.”
Those standing for Science for Peace against rule by propagandist frame have already appealed to the Board of Directors to set matters straight. The open letter analysis above was a primary document to be reviewed. But again recognition and action was ruled out by imposed framework of omission and exclusion. A chair was appointed for the meeting who declared from the start that he would read none of the evidence presented by the formal statements submitted at all. At a stroke, all was effectively banished from the proceedings including the former president’s very detailed and documented demonstration of the propagandist framework moving through a year of misgovernment. Nothing was read by the presiding officer and others following his lead. No deferral to a more prepared occasion was allowed. Directionless interactions and insinuations ruled with few noticing that the propagandist agenda of the conference was now carried over into erasure at the president-led executive and board levels.
Every one of the long-term concerns of Science for Peace painstakingly defined by members and eye-witness were dissolved into verbal opinions with no ground or fact required. Every step of logical demonstration of the propagandist framework and its abolition of the facts and causal sequence of the Ukraine crisis was simultaneously erased from informed discussion within the executive circle. All was erased by the silencing procedure before anything was read, with political constitutionalist Peter Russell applauding. The meeting happened so debased of any bearings that Science for Peace’s most fully qualified faculty scientist with both medical and physics doctorates, Jim Deutsch – our next, scientist president one would hope – took detailed notes. His report indicated that only know-nothing space of discussion ruled.
Thus organized erasure of facts succeeded again by the same method of framework silencing that had been imposed since September 2014 on Science for Peace’s conference on Ukraine’s civil war.
I have not observed any decision-making body before that does not require reading of relevant expert documentation. More deeply, the underlying facts and pattern of collapse of mission were simply dropped down the memory hole without knowledge, facts or counterargument required any step of the way. This is how the silencing happens at the second-order level as well. The appointed chair of the meeting called to resolve the issues instead dismisses the long-prepared statements for it by prescribing as his exact conditions “I will not read messages” and “I do not think that we should be debating a conference that has already taken place”. All again is relegated to the past as if it had not happened, just as all the basic facts were by the conference itself. Exposure of what is silenced is itself silenced. Science for Peace mission collapses in a continuous format of ignoring, omitting and structurally excluding whatever does not fit the official story at macro and micro levels.
The acting president has carried on in the months since as if successful erasure is complete. Yet in her long Easter/Passover message to members, she asserts two claims on p. 6 of 8 in her only public response to the in-depth demonstrations of her propagandist framework of control. The first is another demand without ground in academic reality: that “we should only cite evidence that we have personally witnessed. Do not quote another person’s criticisms”. This silently entails, we should note, outlawing any direct and proved report of lies, falsehoods and abuses in writing by eyewitnesses and experts so that no denial or counter-evidence from the violator is required. Such an edict would put an end to most scholarly work and reportage that exists. The scholarly remedy is clear. If any written statement of facts is not true, then declare it untrue rather than bluff “court of law” standard with no legal application. Again we may observe the silencing method at work, now on what people may report as true that no-one denies in fact. No denial, I might add, has been made of any facts reported in this article or in my prior open letter.
Again we see the same underlying pattern of repressing or outlawing whatever facts do not fit the official story while asserting moral high-ground at the same time.
The second assertion in the Easter statement of the acting president is more disturbing. It is totally untrue in fact. Metta Spencer says (italics added) she “has been attacked unfairly for the conference that I produced on Ukraine and Russia. I have answered every accusation fully”. I hesitate to observe that the big lie, absolute denial and false victimhood are very well worn in the wider world of power and war. Is there any good reason for not concluding these devices at work here as well? I would hope so, but my open inquiries as to where these answers are can find no report of them, and none exists on the record.
We need, nonetheless, to move beyond the acting president’s performance to the deeper principles by which it is governed. They also govern the wider world of power and war and the conditioned perceptions of those who do not think beyond them. Experienced higher researchers with advanced empirical and theoretical understanding still provide the backbone and intelligence of Science for Peace, but they are now in a minority. This is a trend that has grown dominant in recent times with executive compulsion to increase membership and socials, never an objective of the founders.
No thinking through of what Science for Peace is, the connected systems understanding it requires, and the high standards of reason and analysis it demands has been evident on global issues of war and peace. As we have seen, organizing and discourse in conformity to a ruling propaganda towards war has been instituted into Science for Peace conference and publicity beneath the majority’s notice. I will be very frank in reporting a trend that others in the faculty minority have observed as well. Pervading the endless long messages, potlucks and activities is a feel-good non-science presented as ‘Science for Peace’ but masking and thus abetting US-led war crimes.
We need to understand the inner logic of this dominant frame of mind. How do we lay bare the cognitive disorder which is normal in the world of power, propaganda and war, but does not qualify as true, as science, or as peace? How do we recognise that the opposite is the case despite the surrounding field of state and media propaganda supporting it? How do we counteract unseen rich funding for dissemination of blame-the-enemy narratives that may have infiltrated our mission?
Life-coherent reason is our ultimate obligation. The logical and scientific way of defining this obligation of Science for Peace is by a process of elimination. We begin by exactly defining what it is not to know what it is. The analysis above has provided paradigm illustration in depth. But we have to define the underlying principles at work so that we are not confined to particular agents at particular times.
By this time, we know by principled abstraction that Science for Peace is absolutely not. It is not governed by ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil, or by erasure of US-led war crimes as an issue to consider, or by organizing against basic evidence that does not fit the official story. It certainly is not eliminating critical feedback and questions, or a process of organizational blocks and insinuations against those who oppose the systematic silencing of basic facts. Science for Peace does not turn a blind eye to endless US-led wars, civil wars and preparations for wars, or internalize the dominant propaganda to conceal it. It sets its forehead against the master operation of reverse projecting onto the designated enemy what the aggressor itself is doing as the reason for attacking a weaker society thousands of miles from its borders.
We could substitute Russia or China for the US to discover what is not Science for Peace there too. The differences are very revealing. Russia and China deploy some of these operations against their own citizens, but never thousands of miles away with long-distance killing machinery across the world calling it “peace” and “freedom”.
When we go over such organising principles of not Science for Peace, we can pose a testing question. Where can we find exception or counter-example to their operation in wars around the world since 1990? Yet what step of organizing of Science for Peace now does not omit them and thereby collaborate them? The exceptions are where Science for Peace still lives. The opposite syntax of propaganda towards war is not conscious any more than a mental illness is. It is instituted into the dominant political field of meaning as ‘normal’, and silencing what exposes it is the basic generic operation of war indoctrination and complicity with aggression.
Yet if the issues can be always diverted to personal matters, the evils of the official enemy, plurality of opinions alone, blocking against and denying every step, who is to know it? It all “works as well as bullets” to quote Judy Deutsch again. At the macro level, this propagandist syntax is at work in virtually every causal sequence towards civil war and wars of our era. Scientific reason and logic always seek disconfirming instances to test general claims, and so everyone is invited to find any such counter-evidence here.
Our distinguished colleague Mathematics Professor Franz-Viktor Kuhlman gave examples of these principles at work of what Science for Peace is not in March the day of the board meeting before returning to Poland. He wrote:
“I am not pro-Putin, but I am not pro-USA or pro-NATO either. During my time as an active member of the German Natural Scientists’ Peace Movement “Verantwortung fuer den Frieden” the Heidelberg group put together presentations about SDI and binary weapons. I also know Weizsaecker’s study on BMD very well. In all of this it became very clear to me that scientists have to be very critical and investigative towards both (and now more adequately, all) players. If this principle is dropped in a scientists’ peace movement, I cannot be part of it.
Therefore, I believe that in the name of the scientific principles John McMurtry has talked about, the conference and the messages it has sent to the world have to be discussed without reservations, in particular in the Board meeting, and ways have to be found to correct those messages that cannot be supported by the members of Science for Peace.”
As we know, the board meeting blocked out such issues by its framework of organization, just as the conference did on Ukraine’s civil war. As I wrote before the meeting to the Science for Peace list-serve, the executive and the board: “With neither the chair or participants being informed on anything, and no defined issues or examined documents to consider, arbitrary opinion rules unless prepared and documented communications for the Board focus discussion and response. The Board has strangely not met ‘for a very long time’ before and after a major conference that is a centre of concern in this meeting. This avoidance of input to and direction from the Board cannot continue with legitimacy.”
The major issue here is: How do we avoid ever more omission of the life-and-death facts and patterns of armed wars and preparations for war by our executive organization? How, more exactly, do we ensure we overcome the underlying propagandist framework at work? Observe that other ‘peace-activist’ organizations have recently demanded the ‘humanitarian bombing of Syria’ ‘to save lives’? Why not us too by the same propagandist framework of understanding?
We know the regulating principles at work are not Science for Peace. They are the opposite. Yet they apply impersonally across time and place. There is nothing personal to them unless one internalizes and enacts them. All of us have a choice of whether we think so or not, and whether we stand for Science for Peace or the opposite. The question now is, what can we pose against the syntax of war propaganda to define what Science for Peace is for?
To highlight the opposing principles towards which our choice is made, whether we know it or not, I distinguish each principle of what Science for Peace is and is not by a bold number (1) through (7). Then in the space after each number I define the principle of what Science for Peace is not first, and then the positive principle of what it is. They are in logically ordered to provide a unified succession. In each case, there can no doubt of the opposition between them, and together they guide principled understanding in integrated form. No names are relevant. They provide an impartial framework of what Science for Peace stands for, and what undermines it at the core.
(1) ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil
Any designation of Enemy is examined for justifications relevant to military war under international law
(2) in erasure of US-led war crimes as an issue to consider;
Historical record of war crimes and crimes against humanity by US (or other state as relevant to crisis) is taken into account, especially as the pattern is repeated.
(3) ignoring and overriding scientific standards and evidence wherever they conflict with or falsify the official story;
Recognising that exclusion from account of any relevant basic fact is indicator of distortion/falsehood/ lie in proportion to the flagrancy of omission (especially re. 1 and 2)
(4) eliminating critical questions by organizational blocks and insinuating smears,
Recognizing that any failure of (1) through (3) is likely to be carried on at second-order level and persevering in communication of the basic violations of Science for Peace standards
(5) within a wider context of justifying US-led wars and preparations for wars
Always keeping in mind the documented historical record of crimes against peace and war crimes under law as relevant to the present that repeats them, truthfully opposing rather than omitting or rationalizing them
(6) by internalized operations of US-led propaganda,
Understanding that we live within pervasive communication fields of intense pressures to internalize global selling of lies for self-maximizing returns, especially in US foreign affairs where the declared objective is ‘full-spectrum dominance’ while pretending “peace”
(7) whose master operation is reverse projection onto the designated Enemy
Being able to spot the ‘blame-the-enemy’ operation – the ultimate ideological source of armaments build-ups and wars – by rigorous examination of edited-out issues and facts
(8) of what the dominant force is doing at far higher levels.
Reverse projection is the most maliciously deceitful but successful form of war propaganda and aggression – blaming the designated Enemy for what the invading armed aggressor is itself doing as the reason for attacking the weaker society to death.
John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. His work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan, and he is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). His latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure.