The Bankers’ Private Army
By Larry Romanoff, November 08, 2020
Few wars of recent history have been generated by politics or territorial ambitions. Almost all wars launched by the West in the earth’s modern history, including the US Civil War and both World Wars, have been bankers’ wars, incited, instigated and financed by the financial powers of Europe. Anatole France, the Nobel Prize-winning French novelist, once wrote, “You believe you are dying for the fatherland – you die for some industrialists.” We can be reminded here of General Smedley Butler, and his claims that wars were all about money, about forcibly opening the doors for capitalists and bankers to satiate their greed.
“I spent 33 years in the Marines, most of my time being a high-class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. The general public shoulders the bill. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones, Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations. “War was largely a matter of money. Bankers lend money to foreign countries and when they cannot repay the President sends Marines to get it. I know – I’ve been in eleven of these expeditions.”
There is no shortage of examples of Western multinationals committing economic – and human – atrocities just for the sake of more profit. Do we forgive these atrocities because the perpetrators were white, democratic and believe in a free market? Listen to a few voices other than mine, on the topic of US government and corporate criminality. Thomas Friedman, writing in the New York Times: “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist – McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas …” Philip Agee, a former CIA agent, published a book titled CIA Diary, in which he wrote, “American capitalism, based as it is on exploitation of the poor, with its fundamental motivation in personal greed, simply cannot survive without force.” John Maynard Keynes, perhaps the most influential economist in history, said, “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.”
William Greider wrote:
“The great multinationals are unwilling to face the moral and economic contradictions of their own behavior – producing in low-wage dictatorships and selling to high-wage democracies. Indeed, the striking quality about global enterprises is how easily free-market capitalism puts aside its supposed values in order to do business. The conditions of human freedom do not matter to them so long as the market demand is robust. The absence of freedom, if anything, lends order and efficiency to their operations.”
Richard Barnet, wrote in ‘Intervention and Revolution’: “The United States supports right-wing dictatorships in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East … because these are the rulers who have tied their personal political destiny to the fortunes of the American corporations in their countries … Revolutionary or nationalist leaders have radically different political constituencies and interests. For them creating “a good investment climate” for the United States and developing their own country are fundamentally conflicting goals. Therefore, the United States has a strong economic interest in keeping such men from coming to power or arranging for their removal if they do.”
From an article in The Third World Traveler: “CEOs of most of the world’s largest corporations daily make decisions that destroy the lives of many other human beings. Only about 1 to 3 percent of us are sociopaths – people who don’t have normal human feelings and can easily go to sleep at night after having done horrific things. And of that 1 percent of sociopaths, there’s probably only a fraction of a percent with a college education. … Thus there is such a shortage of people who can run modern monopolistic, destructive corporations that stockholders have to pay millions to get them to work. And being sociopaths, they gladly take the money without any thought to its social consequences.”
Listen to Edward Herman:
“… the establishment can’t admit [that] it is human rights violations that make … countries attractive to business – so history has to be fudged, including denial of our support of regimes of terror and the practices that provide favorable climates of investment, and our destabilization of democracies that [don’t] meet [the] standard of service to the transnational corporation. Just as the United States trained Latin American military and police in methods of fighting against “populism” in their countries, by this means helping to produce a “favorable climate of investment” by bringing into power National Security States, so a large, well-trained, and ruthless police is needed in the home country as it pushes a right-wing agenda that is contrary to the interests of a vast majority. There is …a huge tacit conspiracy between the U.S. government, its agencies and its multinational corporations, on the one hand, and local business and military cliques in the Third World, on the other, to assume complete control of these countries and “develop” them on a joint venture basis. The military leaders of the Third World were carefully nurtured by the U.S. security establishment to serve as the “enforcers” of this joint venture partnership, and they have been duly supplied with machine guns and the latest data on methods of interrogation of subversives. The United States has given frequent and enthusiastic support to the overthrow of democracy in favor of “investor friendly” regimes.
The World Bank, IMF, and private banks have consistently lavished huge sums on terror regimes, following their displacement of democratic governments, and a number of quantitative studies have shown a systematic positive relationship between U.S. and IMF / World Bank aid to countries and their violations of human rights. The propaganda system allows the U.S. Ieadership to commit crimes without limit and with no suggestion of misbehavior or criminality; in fact, major war criminals like Henry Kissinger appear regularly on TV to comment on the crimes of the derivative butchers. Because of its power and global interests U.S. leaders have committed crimes as a matter of course and structural necessity. A strict application of international law would … have given every U.S. president of the past 50 years Nuremberg treatment.”
As I wrote earlier, the US has often sent its military to invade other nations on the pretext of defending democracy or ‘protecting American interests’, but in reality using the military to defend European capitalism by violently putting down strikes at multinational companies throughout Central and South America as well as in Asia, and including China. I produced a list of US military interventions with official reasons for each item, listing causes like “protecting American interests, suppress civilian general protest strike, battle civilians during anti-US protests, put down anti-American business protests, control anti-American civilians, war against civilians to protect dictator”. US President Coolidge orchestrated the overthrow of Guatemala’s government when it refused to grant yet more concessions to an international group that already controlled most of that nation. All of these and more were purely commercial endeavors, with a small handful of European bankers using the public power of the US military as a private tool to brutally enforce what was effectively slave labor by companies ostensibly American but often owned by these same European bankers.
It was for this reason the US began supplying its 50 or so brutal puppet-dictators with high-grade weapons and civilian suppression training – to save the US military the expense and trouble of repeatedly invading these nations to put down civilian labor protests against the inhumanity of these multinational firms and international bankers. This is one of the primary sources of the wealth of American industry and the European banking families – by using a military to enforce virtual slavery on the working populations of dozens of poor nations. When I wrote earlier that the US cannibalised much of the world, those words were not chosen lightly. The spread of neo-liberal capitalism throughout the undeveloped world was – and still is – the greatest organised criminal enterprise in history, a massive assault on humanity by a relative handful of European bankers and their industrialist friends, supported and enforced in the most brutal fashion imaginable by their private army – the US military.
And in almost every case where the US was involved, American soldiers were just cannon fodder, disposable assets for the money men who used the US army as a private military to clear the stage for their plundering. If you review the list of US interventions in foreign nations during the past 200 years, almost every one follows the pattern we saw in the Chapter on how the US became rich:
(1) remove a socialist government that is hampering the international bankers and their multinational corporations from looting a nation,
(2) install a brutal military dictator,
(3) ‘pacify’ the population with massacres and terror, and
(4) take ownership of the infrastructure and plunder the nation’s resources unhindered.
None of these 50 or more adventures were about democracy or freedom. All were about money and greed. It needs to be noted that the legendary American ignorance produced by the media, Hollywood, and other propaganda, are all part of a plan executed by the same bankers’ army. If you want to use a nation’s military to execute atrocities for your corporations and banks, you don’t want the people to know because eventually it would turn their stomachs and they would revolt. But if you control the media, the book publishers, and the movies, then you control what people see and read and know, while teaching them what to think. If the bankers do it well, they can massacre tens of millions of innocent civilians in dozens of nations and have the American people believe their government was just “spreading democracy” everywhere. And that is precisely what has happened, and precisely what the American people believe.
While Britain was at the peak of its international power these same European Jewish banking families used the British military as their private army to subdue and terrorise the populations of weaker nations to pacify them for plundering and, in the case of India, to partition the country as well. It was the British military, steeped in capitalist ideology and acting as goons and thugs that brutalised India for generations on behalf of private enterprises that included the British East India Company which was created by the Rothschilds and was entirely a Jewish organisation. India was never about politics or territory, but about money. It was the same European banking families, Rothschild, Sassoon, Kadoorie, Hardoon, and more, that used the British military as their private army to protect the Rothschilds while forcing Indians to grow opium, the Russells while transporting it to Hong Kong, and the Sassoons while executing their exclusive franchise for sales in China. The Boer wars fought in South Africa were arranged by the Rothschilds and their industrialist friends using the British military to exterminate a population resistant to colonisation, then claim the gold fields and diamond mines for their own. England was used as the bankers’ private army for both world wars, done in the full knowledge that the costs would destroy the UK financially, exterminate the British Empire, and leave Britain an insignificant rump of a country. But by that time, the US military was already much stronger and the bankers already had full effective control of the US government and its politicians and, by extension, its military. Britain was disposable, so the bankers disposed of it and transferred their flag to the US.
When Britain was permitted to collapse after its two self-destructive world wars, the bankers transferred their military allegiance to the US and since then it has been the American military doing most of the dirty work to permit their international ravaging. Today, much of this work of conquering the world for the bankers is being transferred to NATO, at least in the European theater. I have referred briefly to the European government being essentially a proto-fascist dictatorship with the actual control and decision-making power residing in dark rooms several levels above both national and European elected representatives, in fact and deed accountable to nobody but themselves. NATO is being co-opted as their private military, one reason aspirants to European membership must first surrender their militaries to NATO which is, like the European rulers themselves, a supra-national criminal body accountable to nobody.
It should be noted that we generally attribute much of the financial and political chaos in the world to the actions of the United States, but in at least one sense that is unfair. It is true the US exercises its unbalanced military, political and financial power to wreak havoc in the world that tends inevitably to benefit only the top 1% but, while these actions may have been unilateral at some point in America’s dark history, today this combined power is directed by that same 1%, by what we have called “the deep state” or “the hidden government”, in other words the power behind the throne. As with Britain in the past, the US today is being used as a tool, its State Department, its military, the CIA and NSA, the dollar and the increasing weaponisation of finance all being arrows in the quiver of this small group of powerful people.
To see the truth of this, we need only think. Most of the actions during the past decades taken (and still being taken today) by the US FED, the policies of the State Department, the incessant wars, revolutions and national destabilisations, were in no way beneficial to either the US as a nation or to the American people. In fact, quite the contrary, since the US bore most of the expense and almost all of the battlefield casualties. But they were very beneficial indeed to those few behind the scenes who vacuumed up astonishing amounts of wealth from each event, which would include the many US depressions, the invasions of countries like Iraq and Libya, the destruction of the Ukraine, and so much more. No ordinary American benefitted in any way from these atrocities, but a small handful of people, the same international kleptocrats in every case, profited in the trillions of dollars. In furthering the propaganda campaign, Hollywood proudly introduced movies of these devastating “wars of liberation” by proclaiming a totally fictitious American heroism, claiming they provided “unmistakable evidence that our country would fight against aggression and all the aggressors that challenged the rights of free men”.
If we look at America’s most recent wars – Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and those that almost were – Syria and Iran, what do we see? Except for their oil and strategic locations, none of those countries were of any consequence to Americans, nor to their government. None of those countries were any threat to the US, nor did any of them do anything to anybody that would justify the military invasions and destruction they experienced. None of those countries were related to 9-11, nor were they related to “terrorism” in any way, at least not prior to the American government’s involvement. Consider Jugoslavia, a peaceful federation that was quietly sitting in a small corner of the world, minding its own business and not doing anything to anyone. So what happened? The story is not complicated. The international bankers wanted Serbia destroyed and the Yugoslav Federation dismantled, a travesty justified to an ignorant and gullible public by yet another vast tapestry of lies and with the US government paying the cost and the US military suffering the Western war casualties. Jugoslavia was certainly not a threat to the US in any sense, nor was it an enemy, and neither the US as a nation, US corporations, or the American people benefitted in any way from the mass destruction and slaughter. In this equation, the US was irrelevant except as a tool. This was entirely a bankers’ war.
With Iraq and Libya, the international Jewish bankers, the same people who own the FED and who control the White House and US Congress from behind the scenes, wanted the wars to obtain control of the oil and to further entrench Israel as the supreme military power in the Middle East. Of course, bankers have no military and, while they can and do cause financial calamities, that wasn’t sufficient; they wanted the kind of total control available only through military invasion and occupation, and through the subsequent total destruction of local militaries, governments, and social and political frameworks, the perpetual income disparity we read about earlier, and the removal of any future hope of defending themselves and expelling their new masters. As was done with both World War I and World War II, The secret government approached the real government, beginning with the White House, with a proposition to invade and destroy those countries and turn their assets over to the bankers and their corporations. The US government was of course willing, but had no money for such expensive adventures. Nevertheless, the solution was at hand: borrow the money from these same bankers. Of course, if the government doesn’t have the money today, it still won’t have it after the wars are over, but governments have an unlimited power to tax, and so can raise the money. Of course, it won’t tax the elites or their corporations, but rather the people. The US military didn’t actually want to fight any of those wars and told two Presidents – Bush and Obama – they were crazy, but with the puppet-masters’ almost absolute control of the White House and Congress and, through them, the military, they successfully forced the wars. The President eagerly enough committed the government to the debt and the military to the wars.
Importantly, and contrary to the propaganda in the newspapers, the US and the bankers didn’t lose those wars; they achieved everything they wanted – almost unlimited trillions of additional wealth for the bankers and the utter destruction of two countries (and their leaders) that Israel didn’t happen to like. And what were the benefits to the American people? None, whatsoever. The people were irrelevant, as was the overall good of the country. Those wars were not about improving lives of the American people, they were not about making the world safe for democracy, they were not about 9-11 and they were certainly not about terrorism. Following the same pattern that has existed for more than 200 years, a small group of powerful European bankers used the US military as a tool, as a personal army, to further their own financial and political ambitions. Think of the hijacking of Hawaii. If Americans bother to ask themselves how they as a nation are better off for those wars, for the destruction of those countries, the millions of deaths and the staggering human and financial cost, the only possible answer is silence. With neo-liberal capitalism, wars are ‘privatised’ in the same manner as all else: privatise the profits and socialise the losses.
The recent wars cost the US an estimated $6 trillion that will have to be repaid by the citizens of the world’s most ignorant democracy. That amounts to about $20,000 for every individual man, woman and child in America, or about $50,000 per household, but Americans no longer have that kind of money and have no hope of accumulating it. Taxes have already been reduced to almost nothing for the members of the secret government, their corporations and their friends, and will not be increased. And, with only part-time and low-wage jobs, the people cannot support increased taxes. But the money must be repaid, and repaid from taxes, and this is already being done in a major way. Collected taxes are being re-allocated, away from necessary social services like healthcare and education, and toward war debt repayment and new military adventures.
The US government will raise $100 billion by killing Medicare and any hope of a national health-care plan, is now raising the retirement age to 70 and reducing government pensions, cutting $20 billion from the food stamp program and billions more from unemployment benefits. It is now eliminating tens of billions from education, drastically cutting funds for primary and secondary education and for universities as well, forcing them to cut teachers and increase tuition fees to support themselves. It is reducing all social services, from public libraries to public transport, and has abandoned even the pretense of repairing an aging infrastructure of disintegrating highways, bridges, dams, railways and airports, that is crumbling after 60 years of neglect. And, to ensure the public doesn’t get too wise too quickly, the US is every year creating new ways to misrepresent its economic statistics, using false numbers to help everyone believe the 2008 recession ended and that hundreds of thousands of new jobs are being created monthly, and that soon everything will be better. In particular, the administration tells unconscionable lies about the inflation rate to hide the vast underpayment of Social Security benefits, and continue to levy this huge additional and unseen tax to steal hundreds of billions from the people.
And who wins? The bankers, the secret government, and their corporate elite. They are already looting Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya of trillions in oil and other revenue and they will collect their $6 trillion with interest from American citizens. And that’s more or less the whole story. One day the American people may eventually wake up and discover what has really happened, and will want revenge for the financial and social war that their own (secret) government has launched against them. But by that time, it will be too late because the government is already prepared. That’s why the US government built its 800 internment camps staffed and ready with armed guards, and that’s why Homeland Security bought its 3 billion bullets. And who lost? Everybody except the bankers and their weapons manufacturers, the victimised nations being the greatest losers but who have already been erased from the public mind with no understanding among the world’s peoples of the bitter and tragic state of these nations today, thanks to the total control of the world’s media that rests in these same hands.
There is one last item requiring mention, one which I have never seen raised anywhere – the real cost of these wars. With war casualties, the US media cleverly report (and understate) only American deaths, conveniently ignoring the far greater number of casualties realised by the victims of these wars. For Vietnam, we are told the US lost about 50,000 soldiers but few are aware that Vietnam (and Laos, and Cambodia) lost in total about 5 million lives plus countless millions of other casualties. For Iraq, we are told of 5,000 American deaths but the media ignore the more than one million Iraqi deaths and the many more millions of injuries and amputations, to say nothing of the 500,000 infants Madeleine Albright killed. In both cases, the vast numbers of tragic victims of Agent Orange, napalm and depleted uranium, are entirely ignored. Also ignored is the fact that the US lost only military personnel while the casualties in the victim countries were almost entirely civilian, at least two-thirds being women and children, a fact deliberately suppressed. Massive civilian deaths are necessary to properly “pacify” a population, a deliberate practice the US has followed for more than 200 years. Think of the Philippines and Indonesia.
The secret government and the media do the same with the financial cost. We know these wars will cost the US perhaps $6 trillion in total, but nobody mentions the financial cost to the victim countries. Iraq, for one, has been literally totally destroyed. It has no military capability of any kind and virtually the entire basic infrastructure of the nation lies in ruins. There is very little that works in that country today, and the cost of rebuilding that infrastructure would be in the trillions of dollars – if Iraq were permitted to rebuild, which it will not be. Afghanistan is a sea of rubble, and Libya, Serbia and the Balkans are hardly better. Libya in particular has degenerated from a fine and rich little country, the most advanced in Africa, to an anarchic failed state that has had all its valuable oil, gold, and other assets confiscated by these same people. Vietnam required 50 years and trillions of dollars for reconstruction, and is still a mess. In these adventures, the US attacked virtually defenseless countries with its incomparably superior military might and rendered them to utter ruin, causing many trillions of dollars of physical destruction as well as uncounted millions of civilian casualties. But on these points the Western media are silent, and for good reason: the mass killing of non-military civilians and the physical destruction of civilian assets were not accidental nor were they ‘collateral damage’. They were the plan.
When we dig beneath the superficialities of American and Western democracies, we discover the same rot permeating everywhere. Politicians, non-elected officials, bankers and other vampires, industrialists, so-called “financiers”, owners of hedge funds and their friends all profiting handsomely from the destructions of war and finance. The list of these names is not large. Weak countries are forced into the privatisation of their most valuable assets and resources, always at fire-sale prices, thus imposing an inescapable destitution on the entire undeveloped world whose populations are little more than disposable irritants in the quest for money. The stories are all similar; bankers and their industrialists smell profit in a nation, and begin by using the IMF and World Bank to plunder these small nations of their resources and infrastructure. On occasions when the financial destruction fails, the US, being controlled by these same people, uses its military power to force open the doors and clear away all obstacles to unhindered plundering, most often at enormous human cost. This march to global tyranny appears almost unstoppable.
Canada’s Globe and Mail ran an article in late 2015 revealing that not only did hundreds of Canadian soldiers die in Afghanistan so that the bankers who control Unocal could have their pipeline, but that scores of these soldiers were committing suicide after their return home. The same happens in the US, with returning young soldiers killing themselves by the tens of thousands. Why do soldiers do that? Because they cannot live with the things they have done to other humans, or the things they have seen done to other humans, all of whom were innocent civilians. Because even with the knowledge that their atrocities had made the world safe for bankers, they still couldn’t live with the images of a mother crying over a bloody mass that no longer resembled her child, or of small children gathered around a mother whose entrails were hanging out everywhere. They killed themselves from a realisation that they had been manipulated by psychopaths into moral depravities which could not be undone, and that their actions were not to defend their country but to help someone make money. For the Americans especially, the recruiting was based on a high moral pretext of freedom and democracy and protecting the world from terrorism, but then the soldiers understood they had been sent to butcher innocent families only to protect banking profits and that, rather than being honored for their actions, they were discarded with contempt.
Democracy is not about government or voting. It is not about freedoms or human rights. It is about money, about a small group of very powerful people with effective control of the world’s largest military, plundering the world’s weak nations and massacring their people, all from their greed and lust for power. There is no morality here, nor even a pretense of morality. As American writer John Kaminski said so accurately, American and British history are very much Jewish history as well, and are not about the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence, but much more about the genocide of native peoples and the enslavement of nations by the Western “business” model. The pretty tales about democracy are bedtime stories for children, for the weak and simple-minded, for the ignorant and uneducated to feel good to be an American. Or a Canadian, Australian or Brit. It is both pathetic and painful to watch the people in Hong Kong, and some in Mainland China too, lapping up the fantasy tales about the warmth and freedom of Western democracy when they are actually supporting the world’s greatest criminal enterprise. There is nothing pretty about Western democracy and there is nothing clean or moral about international affairs, and the sooner the Chinese people realise and accept that, the better for their country. It’s time to grow up.
Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. His writing has been translated into more than 20 languages and is available on more than 100 foreign-language websites around the world. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Larry Romanoff is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new COVID-19 anthology ”When China Sneezes”.
Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai, 2020