A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological or other weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans or cause great damage to human-made structures (e.g., buildings), natural structures (e.g., mountains), or the biosphere. The scope and usage of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Originally coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, since World War II it has come to refer to large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.
Structural violence, a term coined by Johan Galtung and by liberation theologians during the 1960s, describes social structures – economic, political, legal, religious, and cultural – that stop individuals, groups, and societies from reaching their full potential. In its general usage, the word violence often conveys a physical image; however, according to Galtung, it is the “avoidable impairment of fundamental human needs or…the impairment of human life, which lowers the actual degree to which someone is able to meet their needs below that which would otherwise be possible”. Structural violence is often embedded in longstanding “ubiquitous social structures, normalized by stable institutions and regular experience”. Because they seem so ordinary in our ways of understanding the world, they appear almost invisible. Disparate access to resources, political power, education, health care, and legal standing are just a few examples. The idea of structural violence is linked very closely to social injustice and the social machinery of oppression.
By ‘cultural violence’ we mean those aspects of culture, the symbolic sphere of our existence – exemplified by religion and ideology, language and art, empirical science and formal science (logic, mathematics) – that can be used to justify or legitimize direct or structural violence. Stars, crosses and crescents; flags, anthems and military parades; the ubiquitous portrait of the Leader; inflammatory speeches and posters all these come to mind…Cultural violence makes direct and structural violence look, even feel, right – or at least not wrong. – Cultural Violence by JOHAN GALTUNG
Yesterday, I came across an article entitled Neocon 101: What do Neoconservatives Believe?, and one of the paragraphs allowed me to connect some more dots. It opined:
“Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.”
We all now know, that there were no physical weapons of mass destruction. So, if there were none, why would they have to fabricate this claim in order to invade Iraq? If we look at the invasions by the neocons in different countries over the years, inclusive of Libya, Syria and soon to be Venezuela for “humanitarian” reasons, we at once recognize the hidden machinations that are at work in plain sight. For example, these excerpts from Libya – Why Was Muammar Gaddafi Killed – May We Never Forget are very revealing!!
“Mr. Muammar Gaddafi was certainly not killed for humanitarian reasons.
Mr. Gaddafi wanted to empower Africa. He had a plan to create a new African Union, based on a new African economic system. He had a plan to introduce the ‘Gold Dinar’ as backing for African currencies, so they could become free from the dollar dominated western monetary system, that kept and keeps usurping Africa; Africa’s vast natural resources, especially oil and minerals. As a first step, he offered this lucrative and very beneficial alternative to other Muslim African states, but leaving it open for any other African countries to join…
…Gaddafi also wanted to detach his oil sales from the dollar, i.e. no longer trading hydrocarbons in US dollars, as was the US / OPEC imposed rule since the early 1970s. Other African and Middle Eastern oil and gas producers would have followed. In fact, Iran had already in 2007, a plan to introduce the Tehran Oil Bourse, where anyone could trade hydrocarbons in currencies other than the US dollar. That idea came to a sudden halt, when Bush (George W) started accusing Iran of planning to build a nuclear bomb which was, of course a fabricated lie, confirmed by the 16 most prominent US security agencies – and later also by the UN body for nuclear safety – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in Vienna. Washington needed a pretext to stop the Tehran Oil Bourse which would have decimated the need for dollars, and thereby most probably would have meant the end of the dollar hegemony
Saddam Hussein had the same idea. He promised as soon as the murderous and criminal embargo imposed by the UN – of course dictated by Washington – would end in 2000, he would sell his petrol in euros. He was killed.
Gaddafi’s new plan for Africa would have meant an entirely new banking system for Africa, away from the now western (mainly France and UK) central banks dominated African currencies. – It could have meant the collapse of the US dollar – or at least an enormous blow to this fake dollar based western monetary system.
So, the Gold Dinar was not to happen. Anybody – to this day – who threatens the dollar hegemony will have to die…
…Gaddafi was not only the leader of Libya, he had ambitions to free Africa from the nefarious fangs of the west. Despite being called a dictator and despot by the west – they do that to anyone who doesn’t submit to Washington’s rules – he was very much liked by Libyans, by his people. He had a more than 80% approval rate by the Libyan people. Libya’s oil fortune has allowed him to create a social system in his country where everybody would benefit from their land’s riches – free health care, free education, including scholarships abroad, modern infrastructure, top-notch technology in medicine, and more.”
Although, Iraq was accused of having weapons of mass destruction, it was the neocons’ weapons of mass destruction that were used to destroy Iraq and Libya, and several other countries around the world. What is not being talked about and has become unspeakable are the financial (structural) weapons of mass destruction like sanctions and austerity that have resulted in many people’s lives destroyed in mass, due to deprivation of access to universal human life necessities like food, water, healthcare, and education to name a few. When the IMF, World Bank, BIS and WTO construct rules of engagement and incapacitate countries from investing in their people and make them dependent on legally-binding unpayable debt to the private transnational banking money-sequencing cartels, then these institutions become the culprits of structural weapons of mass destruction.
And finally, when ideologies like neoliberalism and religious fundamentalism deny science and become trigger happy and fund eco-genocidal programs that continue to destroy the lives of masses of people and the environment, by use of physical weapons of mass destruction like climate-destabilising fossil fuels and soil and gut microbiome-destroying chemicals like qlyphosate, they in truth and in fact are using cultural weapons of mass destruction to justify their actions. They use the mass media to filter in that which props up their system and filter out that which reveals the hidden eco-genocidal structural machinations.
If we want true and sustainable livelihoods, health and peace by rule of the majority, using no longer weapons of mass destruction by the minority rule, be they physical, structural and cultural, the status quo cannot remain.
Given that structural violence deprives people of universal human life necessities like 1) clean air, potable water and healthy soils, 2) nourishing food, 3) shelter with ample provision to retire, sleep and function, 4) social inclusion, safety and healthcare when ill or infirm, 5) education, recreation and meaningful work, and 6) social justice, we must now become consciously aware of these life-requirements and make every effort to provide them for all humanity via the collective means of mass life-regeneration. This is in essence the civil commons which is defined as “any and all social constructs which enable universal access to human life goods without which people’s capacities are always reduced.“
As Professor John McMurtry explains in Corporate Globalization versus The Civil Commons by which People’s Lives are Sustained:
“Beyond the civil commons bases of safe and reliable energy flows into homes to perform the functions required for individual creation, food, warmth, and sleep, beyond the evolving body of public rules and regulations to ensure the safety of foods, water supplies and building structures, and beyond the publicly built and kept pathways and routes of people’s lives in every life-value domain, still more layers of civil commons to enable us to live and flourish as human. The public education that has taught people how to read, compute and research, the public libraries and resources all can access without price, the civil water mains and sewer pipes built and maintained to provide all with drinking and cleaning sources to overcome filth and disease, the universal public healthcare without which countless lives are bankrupted or destroyed, the universal pensions for old age, unemployment-income insurance, disability allowances and supports, the civil interventions available in countless forms to prevent harms to person, property and home, the public information resources and consumer protection requirements, the publicly constructed and serviced dry-and-wet waste cycles for all dwellings, the countless standing government offices to respond to needs of every kind, the new shareware and creative commons of the Internet – where do the civil commons stop? What domain of our lives is not deprived or threatened without them? What human benefit of culture and civilisation do we enjoy that they do not enable in a continuous way?
The uncovering of the civil commons by which people’s lives are continuously sustained and enabled on every level day in and day out is the lost common ground of our lives. It is simultaneously the substance of social justice not yet recognised in received theory and doctrine. Yet which is not under attack by defunding, underfunding, deregulation and for-profit privatization as private wealth has risen for the apical money-sequencers to a level where a few hundred control more private wealth than 95% of the world? After public grade school education was stripped in Africa to pay foreign money-sequence debts to public health systems, and income security for the unemployed, civil services, pensions and higher research in the industrialised world slashed or privatised for profit afterwards, there seems no end to the reversal of humanity’s social evolution itself.”
We thus need now, more than ever before, to structurally institutionalize the provisioning of life-requirements, and to become more aware of and to culturally internalize the absolute necessity of securing and protecting the social and planetary life-grounds that sustain all of life. Before we can do so, however, we first must bring into the foreground and in full view the background structural and cultural weapons of mass deception which are ultimately responsible for the mass social and environmental destruction we see now evolving in our midst, in order to put an “end to the reversal of humanity’s social evolution itself”.
To do otherwise, would only make us complicit with the eco-genocidal machinations of the multiplying money-cancer class.
It is a telling symptom of our condition that no established school, discipline or general theory of social analysis has grounded itself in life requirements… Instead, some social construct is invariably adopted as the ultimate reference body-set of ideas, the state, the market, a class, technological development, or some other factor than the life-ground itself.
— John McMurtry, Author – The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure