Geneva (9/2.-50). Intensive is the debate about climate change. The emotions run deep, and clever campaigning riled sections of society to proclaim we got only “12-years left” before we, humanity will be extinct. Hence trying to remain balanced is without doubt a challenge. However, we will try to do so. The long read is about a review on where the NGO movement is heading, posing the question if NGOs are a threat to national security? And anyone with reasonable mental facilities should be concerned.
Extinction Rebellion, Mao’s new Youth revolts & Antifa in Syria
Shortly after London came to a massive standstill, the Extinction Rebellion achieved a political victory in getting a support message from, to no one a surprise, the political leftist Jeremy Corbyn declaring a climate emergency, as a political declaration. Interestingly this coming from a guy his ex-wives in an upcoming biography call a “joyless fanatic”, and a firebrand, “slightly unkempt ideologue obsessed with left-wing politics”.
Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have voiced their support for the Extinction Rebellion environmental protests in London after the tactics used by the protesters were criticized by the public. But it poses the question how far NGOs are permitted to go. Asking activists, the answer a free-for-all is permitted as too much is at stake.
However, despite the political success the concerning rise of criminality in the activist scene has for some time already riled the security community. Activists are routinely violating criminal laws and as this investigation shows unearths some dubious, revolutionary ambitions. A common joke within the activist scene goes like this, “What’s the fastest way to get a criminal record? Join Greenpeace!”
Sadly, the nonchalant attitude towards criminal prosecution is based on the narrative “democratic countries” will not prosecute activists and viewing the criminal act is tolerated. In the case of the Russian Federation this strategy backfired. In fact, most countries are viewing green activists increasingly as part of the problem rather than the solution.
WWF as recently as March 2019 faces serious allegations including torture, murder, abuse of the local population and mistreatment.
The WWF Executive for Malaysia resigned in 2018 citing professional and personal reasons for leaving WWF. In March last year, allegations of sexual harassment complaints being “swept under the carpet” by people in authority at WWF-Malaysia had surfaced. It is unclear if the resignation of the top WWF chief in Malaysia was the result of the scandal. But the case of WWF is not unique, Greenpeace and Oxfam faced a series of sexual assault scandals in the past few years.
But criminal matters are not limited to sexual assaults. For example, the founder of the Extinction Rebellion did not deny causing damage worth £7,000 in an action against Kings College. Currently working on his PhD, yes we guessed it right, on civil disobedience the activist escaped prosecution justifying the damage to benefit social norms. And Greenpeace was convicted of state felony offenses in Ohio while targeting Procter & Gamble. Many in the public space disagree with the activists.
“The end is near”, is what we heard many times before, but the evidence is rather unconvincing. “Only five years left before 1.5C carbon budget is blown“, said one 2016 headline. “Researchers say we have three years to act on climate change before it’s too late“, said Popular Science just last year in 2018. Similar apocalyptic prophecies are associated with the activists.
Prominent climate scientists are pushing back against the view, promoted by media coverage of recent science reports as well as climate advocates, that we have only 12 years to act on global warming or face an existential threat to humanity.
This do-or-die framing has found a powerful advocate in Democratic freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who said on Monday that millennials understand that we only have 12 years or “the world is going to end.” She is pushing a broad policy proposal to address climate change, known as the Green New Deal.
Scientists disagree. “All the time-limited frames are bullshit,” Gavin Schmidt, who leads NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, told Axios in an email. “Nothing special happens when the ‘carbon budget’ runs out or we pass whatever temperature target you care about, instead the costs of emissions steadily rise,” he said.
So far, the emotional debate. A few distinctive impressions are forming. Deliberate misrepresentation, fake news, rhetorical hyperbole positions, force change at all costs, criminalization and the use of violence. In one particular nasty dose of campaign-ism under all costs, Greenpeace did not shy away from using fake academics to run a smear campaign against academics funded by oil and gas companies. Nobody ever asked if illegal entrapment with the purpose to defame is a violation of the law?
Increasingly governments and society are having enough of the claims since the negative impacts somewhat outrank the claimed green benefits. In New Zealand, the use of children at the primary school level for political purposes was considered “wrong, wrong, wrong..”. Use of minors is a well-documented strategy by all extremists’ governments. The Telegraph called “it’s wicked to utilize the good intention of children for political purposes.” One must agree.
UNICEF for example promotes the children participation in the democratic decision-making process. This is, however, a double-edged sword. The consensus is, children used for political purposes does cause serious harm to them.
“Children are being used in different political activities, such as, rallies, political gathering etc. During Hartal they are used for picketing, breaking cars, setting fire on cars or even for hurling bombs. These activities are illegal in the eye of law. This causes serious harm to them. Sometimes it becomes the cause of their premature death.”
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.
The history of the (mis)-use of children for political and propaganda purposes is long and tragic. And if anyone care to check if not Adolf Hitler was the master of mobilizing the young who coined the term “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future”. The list of using youth to promote political extremism is long and includes the communists Red Pioneers, the Association of Pioneers of Yugoslavia, the Little Eagles in Greece, Mao’s Red Guards, the Hitler Youth, Islamic States Lion Pups and now the Green Youth.
Peter Belfry wrote an excellent paper about the success of the Hitler Youth to serve as a stark warning about the dangers using the “Green Guards”,
“The Hitler Youth (HJ) was used by Hitler and the Nazis to spread, gain, and maintain their power. The group offered a viable alternative to other youth groups at the time. It drew them in by using emotional appeal and by trying to be inclusive to all classes… The youth were very supportive throughout the war, enthused by their indoctrination.”
The paper also identified the correlation between failing grades in the 1933-1935 academic years. Hitler Youth leaders pushed for less homework and more leisure time. The Hitler Youth were able to influence school routines and control of schools. The result was Nazi ideology allowed the youth to lack of discipline and teacher authority. This showed in the Hitler Youth marks, with 62.2% failing or almost failing. It raises questions about the true motives of the 350.org or Extinction Rebellion. The carbon copy of today’s global Youth Climate Strike and the Red Guard demonstrations of the left is somewhat striking.
We are in the age of manufacturing consensus, building a global community to subscribe to an ideological doctrine which is not unlike the national socialists attempted to form during their reign of terror or communism. The Green extremist view is equally narrow, and politicians fail routinely to recognize the dangers these movements created. A well-known German expert on the subject said in a conference,
“Germany produced three of the four contemporary political movements. The Nazi’s, Communism and the Green movement. The fourth is Extremist Islam that was born in the Middle East. The Nazi’s and the communists were a German invention, so is today’s Green movement. Two of the three failed, so why should the Green movement be any different.”
Increasingly the debate is no longer about the freedom of speech, political participation or disagreement on solution. Increasingly extremist forces aim to capture the political discourse. In an interesting legislative outcry, in 2017 U.S. lawmakers spoke out against the use of violence towards individuals and destruction of property are both illegal, potentially fatal and was rejected. The U.S. Congress called on the Department of Justice to maintain “safe and reliable energy infrastructure is a matter of national security”.
The Australian government in 2012 warned the coal protests could have “major trade and investment implications” for the Australian economy. ” The risk of protest-related disruptions in the energy sector is likely to continue in the near future … these disruptions pose a real threat to the reliable delivery of electricity and other essential services,” former Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said.
The Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) has been monitoring and advising on security issues arising from some activists and suggested privately green actions pose greater risks to energy infrastructure than terrorists. The Australian leaked documents show Greenpeace is pushing for $5.92 million in philanthropic funding to finance legal challenges against the mining industry. The Australian wrote that the Greenpeace plan named Wotif founder and Greens donor Graeme Wood and philanthropic consultant Sam Hardy aka Dr Samatha Harding on the cover but its current financing is unclear.
The NGO anti-coal bond by a collation of NGOs targeted the Indian government in Europe was deliberately sabotaged by the Green groups like banktrack.org, a front targeting the banking sector, and founded by Greenpeace, WWF and other activist members resulted in NGO interfering in the development of states and society. Interestingly, banktrack.org was named in the RICO original indictment in U.S. federal court.
Dismissed by an unimaginative judge and poor legal preparation it is unlikely we will see the last of this splinter to appear in future legal entanglements and affiliation with the label eco-terrorism.
Jamie Bartlett wrote an excellent article on the problem with the Green Extremists. He said, “There’s nothing new about radical environmentalism. In 2001, the Earth Liberation Front — a militant, violent environmentalist group — was described by the FBI as one of the top domestic terrorist threats. Academics have estimated that “REAR” (Radical Environmentalist and Animal Rights) cells can be found in at least 25 countries and were responsible for more than 1,000 criminal acts between 1970 and 2007 in the United States alone — mostly vandalism and attacks on animal testing facilities…..”.
Whereas his views are UK concentric, green extremism in Asia is adopting a more extremist form of collecting extremist elements from the banned Marxists in Indonesia, toying with armed groups in Syria and expanding on the Antifa movement during the recent Mayday demonstrations in Indonesia. A well-documented case in 2011 in Indonesia shows the eco-agenda once muddled with revolutionary Marxist inspiration is difficult to untangle and once radicalized, like jihadist, use extreme violence and premeditated murder as a tool to be the means to their ends. Today the role of leftist, armed rebels on the side of the Kurdish anti-Islamic State factions in Syria and Iraq poses the question what will happen to the foreign, leftist fighters after Islamic State is defeated? Will they join the radical ranks of the extremists and becoming the global anarchist tourists, as indicated by Indonesian anarchists surfacing in Bali targeting the tourism industry are an immediate concern? 325.nostate.org suggested so.
“Let’s light the spark of revolutionary solidarity and ignite the black international. Fire to Corporations, Investors, Tourism and Banks operating in Indonesia.” Conspiracy of Cells of Fire, Flyposter, July 2018
Like the Islamic State the extremist’s leftist shows distinguishing presence in symbolism, association, and calls for action in the public domains. The leftist social media networks are even lesser patrolled than the right-wing and terrorist online presence. But the message of the left groups and the reference to the armed struggle is concise.
Targeting tourism in Indonesia stands out. In the online interview of Indonesian anarchists, the foreign ‘anarchist tourists’ visiting Bali and a strong green eco-movement founded by Greenpeace in Bali merges the two groups ideologically seamless. A drop of visitors to Bali as a result of anarchist inspired violence would be disastrous to the national economy. It poses the question if eco-anarchism is terrorism?
The security and intelligence community seem ignorant about the emerging issue and activists immediate claim these are fictional connections. Taking the Kodak moment as a guide, they are not.
Activists, Eco-terrorists vs. Freedom fighters?
One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter has been as a concept around forever. U.S. president Ronald Reagan in a 1986 Radio address to the nation made the point that, “Freedom fighters do not need to terrorize a population into submission,” By this, he tried to draw a clear line between the concepts ‘freedom fighter’ and ‘terrorist’. Activists are always concerned about the label “terrorism”.
By sheer definition “to terrorize” is not merely an act of bombing, murder and killing, but to force the will onto us or to terrorize us into following “them”, whoever “them” is within the definition, terrorism. The radical activist scene is quick to downplay the label and claim the environmental movement is for the greater good but the narratives sound frightfully identical to any other extremist slogan proposed by the Nazi’s, communists, jihadists or other nihilistic view-based groups. Hence the tactics applied from naming and shaming individuals, cultural icons, and brands, targets families, sabotaging companies and the economies, attempting to bankrupt companies financially, destroy pipelines, disrupt maritime shipping lanes, raid nuclear power stations, are by definition acts of terrorism.
Bill McKibben another firebrand activist, for example represents the divestment strategy as a moral obligation but rejects the responsibility of the consequence. Activism is cool unless you are directly affected by its actions. A reoccurring theme in the large public record available is the skillful manipulation of the media. Fake news, in one word.
Robert Pollin, a distinguished professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, co-director of PERI and co-author of a study said,
“The first is that workers and communities throughout the world whose livelihoods depend on people consuming fossil fuel energy will face major losses — layoffs, falling incomes and declining public-sector budgets to support schools, health clinics and public safety…. The third problem pushes us beyond the fossil fuel industry itself and into broader issues of jobs and prospects for economic growth. According to most analysts, economies will face higher energy costs when they are forced to slash their fossil fuel supplies. It will therefore become more expensive to operate the full gamut of buildings, machines and transportation equipment that drive all economies forward….”
The truth of the expert opinion is like the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 9/11 attacks and Brexit. Nobody knows the outcomes despite the overly optimistic modelling. The variables are considerable uncertain, but one thing is for certain, societies will undergo radical changes. Driven by highly vested personal interests such as Bill McKibben and other climate change proponents the oil and gas industry are grappling with the existential threat the activists are posing.
It interesting that U.S. government officials characterized pipeline opponents as “extremists” and violent criminals that could commit potential acts of “terrorism.” Here a final thought. If it would be true, we got only 12 years left any steps we as a species take today will be too late.
Are NGOs a threat to national security?
Consider this. Greenpeace, EarthFirst!, and others were charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in the United States, were convicted of felonies in the state of Ohio and facing new state felony charges in North Dakota in the past three years. EarthFirst! an eco-terror group operates in the loose collective of eco-extremists such as 325.nostate.org. Although the serious RICO case elements were dismissed, the federal U.S. judge allows the defamation portion of the lawsuit to continue. Greenpeace remains charged in federal court and state courts.
Despite Greenpeace scream of anti-free speech, loss of democratic rights, the record shows the groups in a different light. Perhaps on the lower activist level the naivety and honest is still somewhat present however at the ideological level Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, even factions within WWF, the Forest Peoples Programme, the U.S. Rainforest Action Network, the Canadian Canopy and a gaggle of other groups are funded by foreign interests. Climate Change politics have little to do with the environment.
Greenpeace and others have neither the moral superiority and no longer present an honest cause. In 2014 all Netherlands based staffers, except for one, asked for the resignation of the Greenpeace leadership. The history of Greenpeace offenses and criminal arrests, sexual assault in India and Argentina, financial speculations and targeted divestment campaigns harming companies and ordinary citizens is long. But neither are other groups like WWF, Oxfam, and other NGOs.
“Now Greenpeace says it never intended people to take its words about Resolute’s logging practices as literal truth”
But all of this is a distraction from a much more unpleasant and significant hypocrisy, which Greenpeace has signed onto, along with eight other environmental groups: a campaign to abolish the position of Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission. The reach of the NGOs to attack corporations, political leaders and the scientific narrative is comparable to the any other extremist movement.
At this point we must ask why the Indian government considers Greenpeace, the Ford Foundation, the ClimateWorks Foundation, and other civil society groups a threat to Indian national security and economic development. The answer is a simple Yes. These NGOs are impacting the Indian GDP by a negative 2-3% which correlates to a whopping US$ 108-162 billion per annum loss to the Indian government.
If we bring this analysis into the Indonesian context this would mean an annual loss of between US$ 47-71 billion. Since the campaign against Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), for example, ran for 10 years, according to Greenpeace, the loss to the Indonesian state and communities would be a staggering US$ 477.6 to 716 billion. With the forestry industry representing an estimated 0.7% of GDP, negative Greenpeace, NGO, and foreign-funded campaigning costs Indonesia between US$ 334 to US$ 501 million every year.
The threat of economic warfare carried out by a bunch of has-been hippies who claim, according to a Malaysian website, to be bringing US corporations to their knees, and now Indonesian industries like APP and its competitor APRIL, has a direct, measurable impact on the national economy and the people. According to Greenpeace propaganda, APP lost 75% of its US market share. A similar campaign targeting a Malaysian company, WTK, resulted in 80% of its UK market share being wiped out by 2001.
In 2011 a report for the World Bank found the loss of the Indonesian palm oil market share was mainly caused by the negative campaigns initiated by NGOs in European countries. This led to a loss of taxes to the Indonesian state. The report made a convincing scientific argument between the economic loss and hostile NGO actions harming the Indonesian state.
It seems the Indonesian government has not considered the geopolitical implications of Greenpeace actions despite the obvious signs that groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network have caused economic losses to Indonesians. But the Indian government’s position may change all that. The Chinese changed the law, and Philippine government ordered an audit after it emerged the EU funded NGOs who filtered money into the communist insurgency for years. The usual docile Indonesian intelligence services have taken notice with the close associate of the president warning the NGOs.
It is time for Indonesians and the incoming administration to ask the hard questions – before it is too late. But first we must first ask if the Green fantasy of the outgoing administration of SBY has contributed to a better life for the country’s citizens. Several US academics, despite being sponsored and possibly paid with government funds by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, don’t think so. The heated rebuttal by SBY officials to a University of Maryland study suggests the data are being politicized.
It seems the departing government has finally gotten the message that greener policies which claim to improve everything are nothing more than a folly, just like Marxism and other variations of socialist ideology associated with the Green agenda. Interestingly, a United Nations report and a US Senate report released in early July 2014 support the claim that extreme leftist billionaires are funding actions by NGOs against sovereign nations.
The UN report is perhaps a wake-up call. After all it’s a UN report. It states, “They found… a developing culture of “defensive and secretive” practice among NGOs, which have become “uncritical of their won and donor practices.” The 2006 UN report states further, “Looked at baldly, this is an unhealthy scenario in which a hierarchy of power is brought about by control of funds, creating a culture of resentment and secrecy.”
In a speech given in the UK, the former Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo oddly enough told the stunned audience that the NGOs, and in this case Greenpeace, are the “cheap labor” that governments can use to go into places the government cannot go. This was a stunning revelation, especially when taking into account that Greenpeace always claims it does not work for governments. After all, they are just a bunch of tree huggers battling evil corporate greed and preaching the new Green religion. However, a European Union study on funding of civil society groups dispels the myth that Greenpeace and others like it do not get money from governments. Directly or indirectly, huge sums of money are funneled into NGOs like Greenpeace.
For example, since 2012 the Ford Foundation has funneled US$ 1.4 million into the US Greenpeace Fund Inc. for campaign actions in Indonesia. In September 2013 the Climate Works Foundation granted US$ 1 million to the Greenpeace Fund, Inc. “to support continued work on campaigns and commodity market pressure to end deforestation caused by palm oil expansion in Indonesia.” A year earlier, in June 2012 Greenpeace declared war against “environmental criminals” and “commodity traders” to bring the green war to a complete new level of “waves of disobedience”. By December funding was provided by Climate Works Foundation. Specifically, in December 2012 the foundation granted the Greenpeace Fund, Inc. US$ 400,000 “to further Greenpeace’s campaign to stop deforestation and peat land clearance for palm oil expansion in Indonesia.” At the same time, another US$ 400,000 to “scale up….[the] development of an integrated global campaign”. The Ford foundation directed US$ 467,500 to a Norwegian NGO to be filtered into Indonesia.
More recently, in April 2013 the Ford Foundation granted the beloved Hollywood star Harrison Ford US$ 400,000 towards his enviro-rant against the Indonesian government, which aired on Showtime in April 2014. The Ford Foundation grant specified the grant was “to produce a film segment on deforestation and community rights in Indonesia for a television show about climate change called “The Years of Living Dangerously,” an obvious allusion to the Mel Gibson film of roughly the same name which portrayed the overthrow of President Sukarno.
The fact that such massive funding for programs that threaten the sovereignty of the Indonesian state is originating from the legacy of automobile baron Henry Ford, whose Ford Motor Company continues to enjoy consistent growth in sales in Indonesia, particularly in sales of the gas guzzling Ford pick-up trucks, is ironic to say the least.
Another eco-consultancy called Climate Advisers has, in conjunction with the Indonesian Center of Environmental Law (ICEL), influenced the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exclude palm oil in the renewable fuel standards of the United States. The chairman of the board of the ICEL is no less than Mas Achmad Santosa, an official of the SBY administration. Santosa’s position in connection with the grant funding with Climate Advisors is, at the least, a conflict of interest; at the most it is a violation of his fiduciary duties as a government official to protect the state instead of subversively working against Indonesian economic interests.
Although seemingly, unprecedented, the Indian Intelligence Services report outlined, besides the economic case, evidence as to why and how Greenpeace is meddling in internal affairs of the state. The report outlines influencing of political parties, activism, and unrest. This allegation can be applied to Indonesia as well and can be documented by a Climate Works Foundation funding document for 2014, which shows funding allocated to influence Indonesian politicians. This raises the question of whether a private organization is bribing Indonesian legislators to change legislation and if this would be a test case for the KPK.
But the Indian government is not the only government that has over the past years changed its political views towards militant civil society actors, and in particular Greenpeace, and recognized the threat the group represents. In addition to India, governments responding to the threat with a more hard-line approach include Malaysia, China, Laos, Bangladesh, New Zealand, a country considered on the forefront of environmental protection, the UK, Australia who revises legislation to allow unfair product boycott campaigns to be subjected to civil liability, the United States, with the 9th circuit court just having enough, Canada, France, Germany, and the Russian Federation. Russia with its long standing relationship between funding the anti-nuclear movement in Germany Soviet secret police, the KGB, in particularly changed the terminology declaring foreign NGOs as ‘foreign Agents’ and ‘extremists’. New Zealand revoked the charity status of Greenpeace since the group engages “in criminal trespassing” not consistent with a charity charter.
Australian legislators are debating anti-product boycotting legislation that would enable targeted industries to retaliate against Greenpeace or others who stage boycotts. This is a move being closely monitored by Indonesian lawmakers, who will consider similar legislation once the new cabinet is sworn in.
Last September Russia threw up piracy and terrorism charges at Greenpeace activists, not unlike France and the United States had done previously. Only the Winter Olympics saved the 30 activists from lengthy jail sentences in a Russian gulag.
In the US state of Ohio, nine Greenpeace activists are currently in the docks facing felony charges and up to eight years jail time. A second charge of vandalism was added carrying an 18-month sentence if they are found guilty. To beat the US felony charges Greenpeace has had to engage costly lawyers, including a high-profile lawyer who represented the American porn king Larry Flynt. The legal team petitioned to have the burglary charges dropped. But the Court rejected the petition, stating that the First Amendment right of freedom of speech does not apply since Greenpeace targeted the US Company Procter and Gamble through “carefully planned, deceptive means.”
Besides these criminal prosecutions and legislative actions, corporations are increasingly fighting back. Greenpeace is fighting multi-million dollar lawsuits in India, including Tata, and the tea industry, one of the economic corner stone of India, Canada and in the UK against its perpetual enemies, Shell and BP.
And if all this were not bad enough, in June a rogue Greenpeace finance officer at the Amsterdam headquarters lost US$ 5.3 million (about 3.8 million euros) in a wild currency speculation scheme. Greenpeace donors were irate; some 7,328 donors fled, and the finance officer was reportedly fired. But if a corporate banker had committed such a financial atrocity he would probably have wound up in jail. Not so with Greenpeace. So much for accountability.
Kumi Naidoo said that Greenpeace is currently facing 72 million euros in legal bills. With an estimated budget of annually 300 million euros, Greenpeace is spending an estimate 25% of donor funding on legal bills.
The German magazine Der Spiegel points out that squabbling over money and financial scandals is a regular affair at Greenpeace, painting a disturbing picture about what appears to be a financial corporation with a political wing. The financial corporation is Greenpeace; the political wing the Green Party.
But most importantly is the military wing of the financial corporation: The Green Army, i.e. the Greenpeace Direct Action Unit under the command of John Sauven. Training is regular and is like any other extremist movement structured along military recruitment tactics. Start off as a street hustler volunteers must have a history of street busking to recruit new members, called Direct Dialogue Campaigners (DDC) are the first step on the ladder to join the Direct-Action Unit.
Participating in a direct-action support role the recruits will be tested to see if he or she has the mantle for a more direct role in demonstrations. This follows by a class on Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA), teaching the volunteer the fine art of activism. Once selected the “clean skin”, an activist with no criminal history, will be paired with an experienced operator for an action. If on foreign soil foreigners are usually detained, charged and depend on the country, deported. Greenpeace counts on the annoyance to get rid of the activists. In Russia this strategy backfired and Greenpeace since has not returned.
Activism is a Crime
Greenpeace, in its own words, has developed a sophisticated communications narrative in its offices in Thailand. This admission fuels the argument that the group is not just merely hugging trees but has a more sinister objective in mind: meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign Asian nations.
Military style Greenpeace operations are not new and have their origin with members of Greenpeace serving with the French Foreign Legion or more recently the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But more importantly, the organization is under the leadership of a former African National Congress (ANC) political operator, Kumi Naidoo, whose best friend was shot in a security operation by Apartheid security forces after he returned from military training. Greenpeace’s pacifist roots have long been forgotten. The organization has become irrevocably militant and Hell-bent on global activism. Legally or otherwise.
Despite its current legal challenges Greenpeace still maintains the delusion that it is infallible and untouchable. Its executives continue to boast that everyone doing business with “Company X” will be targeted by Greenpeace. Such threats generally inflict the desired fear response by the company in question.
Greenpeace officials often speak in public forums and write in global media openly calling for boycotts of products, targeting companies, and misrepresenting facts. Close examination of Greenpeace documents shows blaring holes in the narrative presented by Greenpeace and others.
Back to its increasing militarization, Greenpeace is extremely adept at psychological warfare and has a well-trained propaganda wing that cleverly manipulates images to portray the “truth” as Greenpeace sees it. Its Army of foreign (mainly European and North American) trainers, many of whom are actual real war veterans, travel the four corners of the globe slipping in under the pretext of non-violent Direct Action training, when in fact they conduct paramilitary style Direct Activist training to eager militants, many of them in Asia.
Greenpeace’s Navy is legendary. One of its ships was even blown up and sunk by the French Intelligence service. Greenpeace’s armada of three war ships is constantly circling the globe, its sailor-activists ready to climb any oil rig or board any vessel belonging to any evil capitalist company in their sights.
A US judge, ruling against an NGO cousin of Greenpeace, said it well when he wrote, “You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.” Though the Jolly Roger doesn’t fly from their sterns, the triad of Greenpeace war ships is nothing more than a pirate armada.
And let us not forget the Greenpeace Air Force. Costly over flights by helicopters, air planes, and drones, are routinely carried out against companies who they relentlessly bombard, accuse, and smear.
Extremist Links: Gezi Park went bad
The May 2013 environmental protests in Gezi Park in Istanbul shed some light on the militancy that has taken hold of the environmental movement. Very little coverage prior to the protests was given to the Direct-Action seminar held by the extremist NGO 350.org, with support by Greenpeace, to teach 500 activists Direct Action activism. Titled “The Global Power Shift,” the environmental protests spun rapidly out of control and resulted in 11 dead and 8,163 injured. Soul searching is not expected, but recommended, if the NGOs and Greenpeace want to retain the title “non-violent.”
As part of the second stage of its plan, 350.org is attempting to develop 5,000 Direct Action activists globally. Although 350.org claims to be targeting the global fossil fuel industry, it has attracted a large group of other anarchist and militant groups, which are not controllable by either Greenpeace or 350.org. What were once non-violent, tree-hugging protests have now become a deadly business.
This reality is vehemently denied by Greenpeace. But open source research indicates that hundreds of Greenpeace activists have a wide range of criminal records ranging from modest trespassing to the more serious federal indictments Greenpeace activists are facing in Ohio. But once a political movement introduces violence justification no longer applies. Greenpeace and the cohorts of 350.org have made the transition to a violent, extremist movement.
Other activists have been prosecuted under anti-terror legislation for their activities with domestic terror organizations. Media reporting about these activists indicates they take pride in their criminal records and wear their arrests proudly, like a soldier wears his medals.
No exact numbers on the size of the Direct-Action activists are known but the activists are appearing increasingly in Asian countries. A well-informed observer of the militant scene in Asia noted, “If you don’t have a criminal record, when you join Greenpeace very likely you will get one.”
The methods used by Greenpeace and its kin are noteworthy for Asian policy makers to consider. For example, following their arrest and subsequent release, a US and German national appeared in 2010 in Manila where they were spotted training an Asian 10-man Direct Action cell. The cell consisted of Filipino, Indonesian, and Thai activists, many of whom have since appeared in criminal recordings. The Indonesian activist Adhonian C. was charged by Korean authorities and later released. This simple example illustrates the thin line between activism and extremism getting thinner pushing the boundary of what is morally justifiable and what is extremism.
In the End…
Greenpeace often states it’s a movement, which in the context of the Greens (the Green Party), is the politicization of a commercial enterprise, Greenpeace.
But Greenpeace’s halcyon days may be numbered. Increasingly, governments are perceiving non-state actors such as Greenpeace as a greater threat to national security and passing legislation to rein them in.
Whereas Greenpeace and other NGOs view this as shrinking of the democratic space, Direct Action activism, often violent, is what triggers the legislative backlash in the first place. Therefore, we can rightly ask if activism is what in fact undermines democratic space?
So far Greenpeace is still getting away with its antics. But global trends show that Greenpeace’s actions are often the cause for change in legislation to control what is perceived as an increasingly militant organization.
It will be interesting to see how Greenpeace moves forward with all the myriad challenges it faces. Besides the trials and lawsuits, perhaps the deadliest challenge Greenpeace faces is a loss of face due to the currency trading scandal and the recently attempted coup d’état against Kumi Naidoo launched by 39 out of 40 Amsterdam staffers. Will donors think twice before giving money to what could be a sinking ship?
Some most definitely will, but the hard core “insurgents” will likely stay loyal. Nevertheless, fundraising must be a priority in order for the organization to be able to fight a war on two fronts: on the high seas, climbing bridges and buildings, and in general wreaking havoc on normal people’s lives; and in the court room, both civil and criminal. Greenpeace must pay for all this.
Campaigning is its raison d’etre. But the legal bills are growing. Therefore, undiminished funding must be maintained to keep the current 25% of budget for legal bills from expanding. It won’t be surprising if more and more donors think twice about donating their hard-earned money to Greenpeace.
At the end, once more all of this poses the question: Is Greenpeace, and the NGOs are a threat to national economic security, and national security? The answer in a short, and brutal way: Yes, they are.