Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Russia In Rebellion

Russia has come under the international spotlight recently due to the protests that are currently going on concerning recent elections that many think were fraudulent. These protests need to be put in context within domestic Russian politics and also the possible influence of outside forces should be examined.

The political system that Russia operates under is called "sovereign democracy," a term coined by Vladislav Y. Surkov. Sovereign democracy is a system which "preserve[s] the electoral process but hollow[s] out institutions capable of challenging the Kremlin's power." [1] It is essentially a system designed to keep the Kremlin in power but channels the anger of people into the voting booth. To accomplish this end, Surkov used a mixture of the youth movement Nashi, the United Russia party, and the might of the Kremlin to help Vladmir Putin consolidate his authority over his first two terms. (The group Nashi is a pro-Kremlin youth movement that is extremely nationalistic and patriotic which may have plans to turn their membership into political candidates to run the country. [2])

Over his two terms, Putin consolidated and centralized power at the federal level, ejected corporate interests, and expanded the Russian economy. [3] This centralization of power at the federal level has come at the expense of regional governments and helps in turning Russia more and more back to the Communist era when all power was in the hands of the federal government. This concentration of power by Putin has been going on since 2000 when legislation was passed that gave "the Russian president power to replace any regional leader and disband any parliament guilty of enacting legislation 'in violation of federal law.'" [4] However, one could argue that centralization of power was needed as in the late '90s there was a large gain in regional autonomy which could potentially have weakened the rule of law and had negative implications of Russian state integration. [5]

The current protests are taking place due to election fraud which kept Putin's United Russia party in power of the Duma, although with a smaller majority. There are a total of seven political parties in Russia, though the most powerful party is Putin's United Russia. United Russia's main goal for the country is to keep power in the hands of the Kremlin and is extremely nationalistic and emphasizes law and order. While they have political allies such as the Right Cause party, there are still exists a major opposition to the Kremlin in the form of bloggers, banned political parties, and environmentalists. Essentially, the political battle in Russia is between the old guard who wants to uphold Soviet style authoritarianism and liberals.

 However, in this battle, outside forces are currently at play. Putin has been reported as stating his refusal to negotiate with protesters and has accused the US of backing the protests. While it may seem as if Putin is trying to blame the protests on America, this accusation may have some merit.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is backing several NGOs and political groups in Russia. [6] This is reminiscent of the US backing civil societies in Egypt and then having them spring to action when the Egyptian revolution came about. It also may remind one of the current situation in Syria where the US is backing the moderate Islamic civil society group Movement for Justice and Democracy.

In addition to this, the new US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, is on the board of directors for both the NED and Freedom House. [7] Thus, there is a case to be made for US-meddling in the Russian protests elections. The US has had problems with Russia, especially over NATO expansion and the American missile defense system. Tensions have also been ratcheting around the Iranian nuclear program and the ongoing situation in Syria.

It seems that the protest movement, which must like the Arab Spring is a legitimate desire of the people for radical governmental reform and change, may be co-opted by the United States and made to serve US interests. Thus, the people of Russia must remain vigilant of outside forces while at the same time ensuring that their voices are heard and demands met.

Endnotes


Friday, December 23, 2011

Constitutional Expert: Obama Can Detain US Citizens

This article was originally posted on Washington's Blog on December 21, 2011.


Top Legal Expert: “President Obama … Says That He Can Kill [Any American Citizen Without Any Charge and] On His Own Discretion. He Can Jail You Indefinitely On His Own Discretion”

By: Washington’s Blog


I’ve previously noted that Obama says that he can assassinate American citizens living on U.S. soil.
This admittedly sounds over-the-top.  But one of the nation’s top constitutional and military law experts – Jonathan Turley – agrees.
  • Is the second most cited law professor in the country
  • Has worked as both the CBS and NBC legal analyst during national controversies
  • Ranks 38th in the top 100 most cited ‘public intellectuals’ in a recent study by a well-known judge
  • Is one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases
  • Has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues
  • Is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues

Turley said yesterday on C-Span (starting at 15:50):
President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.
Two of his aides just … reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.
You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion
***
I don’t think the the Framers ever anticipated that [the American people would be so apathetic]. They assumed that people would hold their liberties close, and that they wouldn’t relax …

Government Says It Can Assassinate or Indefinitely Detain Americans on American Soil Without Any Due Process of Law

The Government Has Never Given a Rationale for Assassination

While one might assume that the government has given a valid justification for the claim that it can assassinate anyone anywhere, the Washington Post noted yesterday:

In outlining its legal reasoning, the administration has cited broad congressional authorizations and presidential approvals, the international laws of war and the right to self-defense. But it has not offered the American public, uneasy allies or international authorities any specifics that would make it possible to judge how it is applying those laws.
***
“They’ve based it on the personal legitimacy of [President] Obama — the ‘trust me’ concept,” [American University law professor Kenneth Anderson] said. “That’s not a viable concept for a president going forward.”
***
Under domestic law, the administration considers [assassinations] to be covered by the Authorization for Use of Military Force that Congress passed days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In two key sentences that have no expiration date, the AUMF gives the president sole power to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, groups or persons who committed or aided the attacks, and to prevent future attacks. [But the government just broadened the authorization for use of military force from those who attacked us on 9/11 to include the Taliban and the vague category of "associated forces".]
***
The authorization did not address targets’ nationality or set geographical boundaries, and there was “nothing about the permission of the government” of any country where a terrorist might be found, the former official said.
And see this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Who Are The Real Traitors?

It was recently reported that Bradley Manning is now on trial for allegedly releasing US military documents to Wikileaks, Many civilians and government officials are condemning Manning's actions on the grounds that the leaks damaged national security. However, one should ask who the real traitors are to this country.

Manning released information that revealed that US troops had committed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. These are admirable deeds that, once they came to light, should have been addressed immediately and the soldiers who committed those war crimes punished. However, the government and media have reacted in such a manner that they have made Manning's actions seem criminal. Instead of dealing with the fact that war crimes had been committed, instead the media and government pushed that the idea that what Manning had done was wrong and had endangered national security. How does one endanger national security by exposing war crimes? Reality has been turned on its head! These same government officials who condemn Manning for releasing such information argue that the United States is a country based on the rule of law, however they betray that ideal by demonizing Manning and calling for his head.

It is quite interesting to note that the same politicians in Congress who are calling Manning a traitor to his country have had a major hand in the destruction of the United States by backing two wars, massive bailouts of financial "institutions," allowed for the country's industrial base to be dismantled and sent overseas, and essentially selling their country of the highest bidder. Not only in doing this have they tarnished the name and reputation of America but they have also racked up $15 trillion debt of which they insist that social programs are to blame rather than the wars and bailouts. They have betrayed their country by not protecting it from robber barons. These same politicians have also betrayed the country by acting as if the Constitution were a fictional document. By passing legislation such as the Patriot Act, they have turned their back on their country and the American people.

These politicians are the real traitors to the country. In betraying the country they have damned present and future generations of Americans.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blackwater Going Back To Iraq?

It was reported recently by Russia Today that the infamous private military company Blackwater may be returning to Iraq, but under the name Academi.

After the 2007 massacre that involved Blackwater employees gunning down Iraqi civilians, the company changed its name to Xe Services as to "[reflect] the company’s shift away from providing private security. " The company is now changing its name again to Academi in order "to reflect changes the company has undergone since a group of investors bought it in December 2010 from founder Erik Prince." (Prince himself is now busy raising a private army for the United Arab Emirates.)

This is not good for the Iraqis as private military firms are not necessarily legally responsible for their actions, sometimes to the point that 
Even if major crimes are done, the state cannot do anything as mercenaries enjoy significant protection. “In passing Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 of June 2003, the Iraqi provisional government granted exemption from prosecution to all personnel action on behalf of the coalition- including PMC employees.” This allows for PMCs to go about and do literally whatever they please, without fear of any consequences whatsoever and could potentially have the employees do things that they wouldn’t have done so before if they were under the law, like torturing and killing civilians for example.
While US troops are leaving Iraq, private military firms are coming in with between 4,500 and 5,000 people, about the size of an Army brigade.

In addition to this, while it has been reported that US troops are leaving Iraq, in reality that is a falsehood due to the fact that 
There are an estimated 400 arms deals between Baghdad and Washington, worth $10bn, with an additional 110 deals, worth $900m, reportedly pending. Many of these, as part of the deal, require US trainers, who would be working through the Office of Security Co-operation in the embassy. Bloomberg news reported that this "newly established office will have a core staff of 160 civilians and uniformed military alongside 750 civilian contractors overseeing Pentagon assistance programmes, including military training. (emphasis added)
Let's hope that they don't get back in.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

War Drums (Poem)

I hear them

I hear them yelling

I hear them screaming

Banging

On their war drums

"Bomb them"

"They are a threat"

"Global security is at risk"

The drums are beating

They are beating faster and stronger

Than ever before

I hear them

Yelling

Yelling for bombings

Yelling for invasion

Yelling for actions

But, the real question is this:

Do they understand what they are saying?

They are yelling

Yelling for more death, more bloodshed, more pain

They argue for bombings, for invasions,

But they fail to realize how many people will die

How many innocent people, how many soldiers will die

First they went into the Graveyard

On a whim

Pre-planned and with no evidence

Linking the victim to the crime 

Without stopping they went

To the Oil Fields

Lies served as their bombs, Deception, their artillery, Propaganda, their bullets

And rained hell, but not just on the people, on the soldiers as well

Yet, they still beat the war drums

Pleading for more tears, more destruction, more suicides

I pray for this not to happen

But I can still hear them screaming

Bitter Tears (Poem)

I hear the loud, overwhelming chants
Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!
I look up on the stage to see a man
Whose vision and courage seem to challenge
The current status quo
He is different, he is new, he is energized
With ideas about how to make this country great again
For the first time in years, I leave my jaded self behind 
And allow myself to believe
To be lost in an illusion
My heart is brimming with hope for change
Change that brings us back to our roots
Brings us back to who we once were
To who we truly are
So filled with hope and joy that 
I run, nay sprint to the booth
To cast my vote
A vote for restoration
A vote for sanity
Near the House in the bitter cold
I see him come on the stage
His voice ringing out loud
He speaks of bringing change to the country
I am filled with hope
Yet
And yet I- I was wrong
Glass
Shattering
Pain
Unbearable
I see nothing
No change, no restoration
Only more pain and destruction
The pain is too deep
Too much
Welling up inside me
The tears begin to flow
These bitter tears flow
Out onto my cheeks
I no longer smile
I can no longer hold my head up in pride
Like a candle, my hope has been blown out
I sit curled up tight in a ball
Weeping
Not just for me
But for my country
All hope is gone

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Council on Foreign Relations and the “Grand Area” of the American Empire

Please note that this article was originally posted on andrewgavinmarshall.com on December 13, 2011

The Council on Foreign Relations and the "Grand Area" of the American Empire

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

ImportantThe People's Book Project is currently in need of support, as it has run out of funds. Please donate to help ensure that this project can move forward and help support an effort to provide a new examination of our world, and a new understanding in how we can go about changing it! Thank you.



Chapter Excerpt: The Making of the American Empire
The process of establishing an American Empire during and after World War II was not – as has been postulated (by those who even admit there is such a thing as an 'American Empire') – an 'accident' of history, something America seemingly stumbled into as a result of its unhindered economic growth and military-political position as arbiter of world peace and prosperity. A vast literature has developed in the academic realm and policy circles – particularly within Political Science and the think tank community, respectively – which postulates a notion of 'American empire' or 'American hegemony' as accidental, incidental, benevolent, reluctant, and desirable.
Robert Kagan is a prominent American neoconservative historian. He is a Senior Fellow at the prestigious think tank, the Brookings Institution, was a founder of the neoconservative think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), formerly worked at the State Department in the Reagan administration under Secretary of State, George Shultz, and served for over a decade as a Senior Associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and is, of course, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kagan has written a great deal on the notion of American hegemony. As he wrote in the journal, Foreign Policy, in 1998, "the truth about America's dominant role in the world is known to most clear-eyed international observers." This truth, according to Kagan, "is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the United States is good for a vast portion of the world's population." Samuel Huntington, another Council member and prominent American strategist, wrote that, "A world without U.S. primacy will be a world with more violence and disorder and less democracy and economic growth than a world where the United States continues to have more influence than any other country shaping global affairs."[1] This "Benevolent Empire" – as Kagan titles his article – rests on such fundamental ideas as the notion "that American freedom depends on the survival and spread of freedom elsewhere," and that, "American prosperity cannot occur in the absence of global prosperity." For half a century, Kagan wrote, Americans "have been guided by the kind of enlightened self-interest that, in practice, comes dangerously close to resembling generosity."[2]
Sebastian Mallaby, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, former Editorial Board Member and columnist at the Washington Post as well as correspondent and bureau chief for The Economist, wrote in the journal Foreign Affairs, that "empire's are not always planned," referring to America as "The Reluctant Imperialist."[3] Lawrence Summers, another prominent economist, politician, and policy-maker for the Clinton and Obama administrations, referred to America as "history's only nonimperialist superpower."[4] Niall Ferguson, a prominent British liberal economic historian, has written extensively on the open acknowledgement of "American Empire," but stipulates, as he did in his book Colossus, "that the United States is an empire and that this might not be wholly bad." Referring to America as an "Unconscious Colossus," Ferguson stressed that, "a self-conscious American imperialism might well be preferable to the available alternatives."[5] Ferguson in fact stresses the need for Americans to "recognize the imperial characteristics of their own power today [writing in 2005] and, if possible, to learn from the achievements and failures of past empires." This, Ferguson felt, would reduce the so-called "perils" of being an "empire in denial."[6]
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., famed American liberal historian and adviser to President Kennedy, wrote that the United States enjoys "an informal empire – military bases, status-of-forces agreements, trade concessions, multinational corporations, cultural penetrations, and other favors," yet, contends Schlesinger, "these are marginal to the subject of direct control," and instead, "far from ruling an empire in the old sense," America "has become the virtual prisoner of its client states."[7] Some other commentators referred to America as a "virtual" or even "inadvertent" imperial power.[8]
The notion of America as a "reluctant imperialist" or a "benevolent empire" is not a new one. This has been the mainstay within the academic literature and policy-planning circles to both advocate for and justify the existence of American domination of the world. The concept of the reluctant, yet benevolent great power presents an image of a dutiful personage coming to the aid of those in need, following the responsibility which is derived from great power; that America's rise to economic prominence – also seen as the product of free and democratic initiative and ideals (thus negating America's long history of being a slave state and subsequently a brutal industrial society) – was the precursor to America being thrown the title of 'global power,' and with that title bestowed upon it – like a child-king still unsure of his own abilities to rule – took up the activities of a global power with a desire to bring the rest of the world the same altruistic truths and enlightened ideals which made America flourish so; that America's gift to the world was to spread freedom and democracy, in the economic, political, and social spheres. This myth has been a constant foundation for the advocacy and justification of empire. Its importance rests most especially on the ideals and global public opinion which prevailed as the great European empires waned and ultimately collapsed through two World Wars.
The colonized peoples of the world had had enough of empire, had suffered so immeasurably and consistently under its tutelage, that the concept of empire was so discredited in the eyes of the world's majority as to be incapable of justifying in the formal imperial-colonial sense. At home, America's domestic political situation and public opinion had been largely isolationist, seeking to refrain from an expansive foreign policy, leading many American presidents and strategists to bemoan the struggle for empire beyond the continent on the reluctance of the American people and Congress to pursue aggressive expansionism (save for the expansion across the continent, wiping out Native American populations for American Lebensraum and the slow, increasing expression of trans-sovereign rights in Latin America, long considered "America's backyard").
World War II, then, presented a new opportunity, and a new challenge for America in the world. The opportunity was to become the worlds most powerful empire history had ever witnessed; the challenge, then, was to justify it in explicitly anti-imperial rhetoric. America, thus, was not a reluctant or accidental empire, nor, for that matter, a benevolent one. America was chosen to be an empire; it was strategised, discussed, debated, planned and implemented. The key architects of this empire were the bankers and corporations which arose out of America's Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century, the philanthropic foundations they established in the early 20th century, the prominent think tanks created throughout the first half of the 20th century, and the major academics, strategists and policy-makers who emerged from the foundation-funded universities, institutes, think tanks, and the business community, and who dominated the corridors of power in the planning circles that made policy.
No sooner had World War II begun than American strategists began calling for a new global American empire. Henry R. Luce, a Yale graduate and founder of Time MagazineLife, and Fortune, was among America's most influential publishers in the first half of the 20th century. A strong supporter of the Republican Party and virulent anti-Communist, Luce was also a staunch advocate of fascism in Europe – notably Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany – as a means of preventing the spread of Communism. In 1941, Luce wrote a famous article in Life entitled, "The American Century," in which he stated that, "the 20th Century must be to a significant degree an American Century." Luce wrote that America has "that indefinable, unmistakable sign of leadership: prestige." As such, unlike past empires like Rome, Genghis Khan, or Imperial Britain, "American prestige throughout the world is faith in the good intentions as well as the ultimate intelligence and ultimate strength of the whole American people."[9] Luce felt that the "abundant life" of America should be made available "for all mankind," as soon as mankind embraces "America's vision." Luce wrote:
It must be a sharing with all peoples of our Bill of Rights, our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our magnificent industrial products, our technical skills. It must be an internationalism of the people, by the people and for the people… We must undertake now to be the Good Samaritan of the entire world.[10]
While Luce was perhaps the first theorist to posit the specific concept of "the American Century," the actual work done to create this century (or at least the latter half of it) for America was chiefly initiated by the Council on Foreign Relations, and the prominent strategist Dean Acheson, among others. As Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Dean Acheson delivered a speech at Yale entitled, "An American Attitude Toward Foreign Affairs," in which he articulated a vision of America in the near future, and as he later recalled, it was at the time of delivering this speech that Acheson began "work on a new postwar world system." Acheson declared in his speech that, "Our vital interests… do not permit us to be indifferent to the outcome" of the wars erupting in Europe and Asia. The causes of the war, according to Acheson, were in "the failure of some mechanisms of the Nineteenth Century world economy," which resulted in "this break-up of the world into exclusive areas for armed exploitation administered along oriental lines." Recreating a world peace, posited Acheson, would require "a broader market for goods made under decent standards," as well as "a stable international monetary system" and the removal of "exclusive preferential trade agreements." Essentially, it was an advocacy for a global liberal economic order as the means to world peace, and without a hint of irony, Acheson then called for the immediate establishment of "a navy and air force adequate to secure us in both oceans simultaneously and with striking power sufficient to reach to the other side of each of them."[11] Dean Acheson was also closely involved in the Council on Foreign Relations' plans for the shaping of the post-War world order.
The Council on Foreign Relations and the 'Grand Area'
Before America had even entered the war in late 1941, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was planning for America's assumed entry into the war. The CFR effectively undertook a policy coup d'├ętat over American foreign policy with the Second World War. When war broke out, the Council began a "strictly confidential" project called the War and Peace Studies, in which top CFR members collaborated with the US State Department in determining US policy, and the project was entirely financed by the Rockefeller Foundation.[12] The War and Peace Studies project had come up with a number of initiatives for the post-War world. One of the most important objectives it laid out was the identification of what areas of the world America would need to control in order to facilitate strong economic growth. This came to be known as the "Grand Area," and it included:
Latin America, Europe, the colonies of the British Empire, and all of Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia was necessary as a source of raw materials for Great Britain and Japan and as a consumer of Japanese products. The American national interest was then defined in terms of the integration and defense of the Grand Area, which led to plans for the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank and eventually to the decision to defend Vietnam from a Communist takeover at all costs.[13]
In 1940, the Council on Foreign Relations also began a wide-ranging study of the war-time economic needs of the United States (prior to U.S. entry into the war), called the Financial and Economic Experts, which divided the world into four main blocs: continental Europe (which was dominated by Germany at the time), the U.S. –Western hemisphere, the United Kingdom and its colonial and commonwealth nations, and the Far-East-Pacific Area, including Japan, China, and the Dutch East Indies. The study compiled a list of each region's main imports and exports. Upon completion of the study in the fall of 1940, the Council sent its conclusions and policy recommendations to President Roosevelt and the State Department. The conclusions stated that the United States needed larger export markets for its products, and specifically that the U.S. needed "living space" (or as the Nazi German state referred to it, Lebensraum) throughout the Western hemisphere and beyond, as well as trade and "economic integration" with the Far East and the British Empire/Commonwealth blocs. The report stated bluntly, "as a minimum, the American 'national interests' involved the free access to markets and raw materials in the British Empire, the Far East, and the entire Western hemisphere."[14]
This was the foundation for the Grand Area designs of the Council in the post-War world. The Grand Area project emphasized that for America to manage the "Grand Areas" of the world, multilateral organizations would be needed to help facilitate "appropriate measures in the fields of trade, investment, and monetary arrangements." The study further emphasized the need to maintain "military supremacy" in order to help facilitate control of these areas. As the Council's 1940 report to the U.S. State Department stated: "The foremost requirement of the United States in a world in which it proposes to hold unquestioned power is the rapid fulfillment of a program of complete re-armament," which would "involve increased military expenditures and other risks."[15]
While the Grand Area project was made and designed for the United States during World War II, it included plans for the post-War world, and included continental Europe in its designs following the assumed defeat of Germany. Thus, as economist Ismael Hossein-Zadeh wrote, "making the Grand Area global." The idea behind the "Grand Area" was "even more grandiose – one world economy dominated by the United States," and the study itself suggested that the Grand Area "would then be an organized nucleus for building an integrated world economy after the war."[16] As Shoup and Minter wrote in their study of the Council, Imperial Brain Trust, "the United States had to enter the war and organize a new world order satisfactory to the United States."[17] Benevolent, indeed.
Following Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into the War, the Council concluded as early as 1941 that the defeat of the Axis powers was simply a matter of time. As such, they were advancing their plans for the post-War world, expanding the Grand Area to:
include the entire globe. A new world order with international political and economic institutions was projected, which would join and integrate all of the earth's nations under the leadership of the United States. The Unification of the whole world was now the aim of the Council [on Foreign Relations] and government planners.[18]
As a part of this planning process, the U.S. Department of State formed the Advisory Committee on Postwar Foreign Policy in late December of 1941, of which the first document that was produced, "stressed the danger of another world depression and the need to provide confidence in world economic stability." Thus, "the United States had to be involved with the internal affairs of the key industrial and raw materials-producing countries." A key question in this was, as one postwar planner articulated, "how to create purchasing power outside of our country which would be converted into domestic purchasing power through exportation." The idea was about "devising appropriate institutions" which would fulfill this role, ultimately resting with the formation of the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (later known as the World Bank). The postwar planners had to continually construct an idea of an international order, directed by the United States, which would not so easily resemble the formal colonial period or its methods of exerting hegemony.[19]
Recommendations of the Council suggested that such new international financial institutions were necessary in terms of "stabilizing currencies and facilitating programs of capital investment for constructive undertakings in backward and underdeveloped regions." These plans included for the establishment of an International Reconstruction Finance Corporations and an "international investment agency which would stimulate world trade and prosperity by facilitating investment in development programs the world over." These plans were drafted in recommendations and given to President Roosevelt and the Department of State.[20]
One Council member suggested that, "It might be wise to set up two financial institutions: one an international exchange stabilization board and one an international bank to handle short-term transactions not directly concerned with stabilization." Thus, the Council drafted in 1941 and 1942 plans that would result in the formation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which formally emerged from the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, an event that is commonly acknowledged as the "birthplace" of the World Bank and IMF, thus ignoring their ideological origins at the Council on Foreign Relations two-to-three years prior. The internal department committees established in the Department of State and Treasury were well represented by Council members who drew up the final plans for the creation of these two major institutions.[21]
Whereas the League of Nations had been a major objective of the Rockefeller Foundation and Carnegie Corporation-funded Council on Foreign Relations following World War I, so too was the United Nations near the end of World War II. A steering committee consisting of U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull and five Council on Foreign Relations members was formed in 1943. One of the Council members, Isaiah Bowman,
suggested a way to solve the problem of maintaining effective control over weaker territories while avoiding overt imperial conquest. At a Council [on Foreign Relations] meeting in May 1942, he stated that the United States had to exercise the strength needed to assure "security," and at the same time "avoid conventional forms of imperialism." The way to do this, he argued, was to make the exercise of that power international in character through a United Nations body.[22]
The "secret steering committee," later called the Informal Agenda Group, undertook a series of consultations and meetings with foreign governments which would be essential in creating the new institution, including the Soviet Union, Canada, and Britain, and the Charter of the United Nations was subsequently decided upon with the consent of President Roosevelt in June 1944.[23] The Informal Agenda Group was made up of six individuals, including Secretary of State Cordell Hull. All of them, with the exception of Hull, were Council members. President Roosevelt had referred to them as "my postwar advisers," and aside from formal policy recommendations, they "served as advisers to the Secretary of State and the President on the final decisions." By December 1943, a new member was added to the Group, Under Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., who was not only a Council member, but was also a former top executive at United States Steel and was the son of a partner in the J.P. Morgan Bank. After the Group had drafted the recommendations for a United Nations body, Secretary Hull had asked three lawyers to rule on its constitutionality. The three lawyers he chose were Charles Evan Hughes, John W. Davis, and Nathan L. Miller. Both Hughes and Davis were Council members, and John Davis was even a former President of the Council and remained as a Director.[24] John D. Rockefeller Jr. subsequently gifted the United Nations with $8.5 million in order to buy the land for its headquarters in New York City.[25]

Endnotes
[1]            Robert Kagan, "The Benevolent Empire," Foreign Policy (No. 111, Summer 1998), page 26.
[2]            Ibid, page 28.
[3]            Sebastian Mallaby, "The Reluctant Imperialist: Terrorism, Failed States, and the Case for American Empire," Foreign Affairs (Vol. 81, No. 2, March-April 2002), page 6.
[4]            Ibid, page 2.
[5]            Niall Ferguson, "The Unconscious Colossus: Limits of (& Alternatives to) American Empire," Daedalus (Vol. 134, No. 2, On Imperialism, Spring 2005), page 21.
[6]            Ibid, pages 21-22.
[7]            Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "The American Empire? Not so Fast," World Policy Journal (Vol. 22, No. 1, Spring 2005), page 45.
[8]            Michael Cox, "Empire by Denial: The Strange Case of the United States," International Affairs (Vol. 81, No. 1, January 2005), page 18.
[9]            Geir Lundestad, "'Empire by Invitation' in the American Century," Diplomatic History (Vol. 23, No. 2, Spring 1999), page 189.
[10]            Bruce Cumings, "The American Century and the Third World," Diplomatic History (Vol. 23, No. 2, Spring 1999), page 356.
[11]            Ibid, pages 358-359.
[12]            CFR, War and Peace. CFR History: http://www.cfr.org/about/history/cfr/war_peace.html
[13]            Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (New York: State University of New York Press, 2003), page 74.
[14]            Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), pages 43-45.
[15]            Ibid, page 45.
[16]            Ibid, page 46.
[17]            Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy(Authors Choice Press, New York: 2004), page 118.
[18]            Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), page 48.
[19]            Ibid, pages 49-51.
[20]            Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy(Authors Choice Press, New York: 2004), pages 166-167.
[21]            Ibid, pages 168-169.
[22]            Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (New York: State University of New York Press, 2003), page 159.
[23]            Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), page 51.
[24]            Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter, Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy(Authors Choice Press, New York: 2004), pages 169-171.
[25]            Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism (New York: State University of New York Press, 2003), page 160.