Dark Green VIII: Waldheim’s UN, Lebensräum and Sustainable Development

The-United-NationsBy M.K. Styllinski

“Governments must take action to support institutions and mechanisms that will improve coherence, as well as bring about integrated policy and action across the social, economic and environmental pillars.

Current understanding supports the creation of a Sustainable Development Council within the UN system to integrate social, economic and environmental policy at the global level.

There is also strong support for strengthening global governance by including civil society, business and industry in decision-making at all levels.”

State of the Planet Declaration


Strains of eco-fascism have been worming their way through the insides of the United Nations and genuine initiatives since it first arrived on the scene, care of Rockefeller funding. The Malthusian influence didn’t fully get underway until 1967 with the Trust Fund for Population Activities, a result of the 2nd World Population Conference in Belgrade, two years earlier. After this, a steady outflow of population bomb hysteria linked with environmentalism, education, international aid and health began to emerge. Ever looking for a way to push through its “scientific technique” of humanism, UNESCO held their conference on the Scientific Basis for the Rational Use and Conservation of the Resources of the Biosphere in 1968, complementing the publication of Paul Erhlich’s book The Population Bomb in the same year. The World Population Conference in Bucharest followed in 1974. [1]

Pertinent to our exploration of Elite-induced eco-fascism, Austrian-Czech Kurt Waldheim seems to have played an important part in its genesis when he became General Secretary of the United Nations from 1972 – 1981. When we look at his background it is not hard to understand why.

After the German annexation of Austria in 1938 Waldheim was attending the Boltzmangasse Consular Academy and the University of Vienna’s Law Faculty which had built a tradition of Nazi recruitment and indoctrination. [2]In the same year, 20-year old Waldheim became a member in the National Socialist German Students’ League (NSDStB), a division of the Nazi Party. Not long after, he applied to become a member of the mounted corps of the SA but it is not clear if he actually became a member. [3]In early 1941, he then served as a squad leader in the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front and soon discharged from further service after being wounded, spending the rest of the war studying for a law degree at the University of Vienna. He also married Elizabeth Ritschel in 1944 who was uncompromising in her belief in Nazism. [4]

It seems Waldheim did rather well as an intelligence officer of the Wehrmacht obtaining the rank of Oberleutnant. According to The International Commission of Historians Waldheim’s functions in the German Army Group E from 1942 – 1945 were as: “… an Interpreter and liaison officer with the 5th Alpine Division (Italy) in April/May 1942, O2 officer (communications) with Kampfgruppe West in Bosnia in June/August 1942, Interpreter with the liaison staff attached to the Italian 9th Army in Tirana in early summer 1942, O1 officer in the German liaison staff with the Italian 11th Army and in the staff of the Army Group South in Greece in July/October 1943 and O3 officer on the staff of Army Group E in Arksali, Kosovska Mitrovica and Sarajevo from October 1943 to January/February 1945.” [5]

Kurt Waldheim

Kurt Waldheim

By 1943 he was in Yugoslavia and embroiled in the massacres carried out by the German and Croatian military. Waldheim claimed no direct knowledge of these atrocities but had heard such things took place. He stated he had been “horrified” but believed he was powerless to prevent such things from happening, which was probably true. [6]However, as author William Walter Kay mentions, this was standard protocol in German Army units in which Waldheim served. He tells us: “In 1942 the multi-national Axis army enacted a system of reprisals for acts of resistance including punitive executions of suspects. SS units randomly lynched Serbs from Belgrade street-posts to meet quota. Worse atrocities were committed by the Axis puppet state of Croatia – a front for the genocidal Ustasha movement …”

Walter Kay also notes: On March 19, 1942, after a spike in resistance, the German 12th Army decreed: ‘The most minor case of rebellion, resistance or concealment of arms must be treated immediately by the strongest deterrent methods… It is better to liquidate 50 suspects than have one soldier killed’ ” These standards were mild. In Bosnia, where Waldheim was, ratios were: ‘100 Serbs to be executed for every German killed, 50 Serbs for every German wounded.’ ” [7]

What came under the spotlight more than any other period of Waldheim’s history is his role in Operation Kozara in 1942. Also known as Operation West-Bosnian by the Axis, fierce fighting took place around the mountain of Kozara in North-Western Bosnia involving Yugoslav Partisan resistance against the Germans, Croatians and Chetniks. Over 25,000 Serbs were sent to concentration camps and many civilian atrocities carried out by the invading forces [8]

One of the biggest and most notorious camps was Jasenovac based in Ustaše (Croatia).

In 1942, when victory over the Bosnian Resistance had been declared, Waldheim was cited for valour before joining General von Stahl’s 72,000-troop Battle Group in West Bosnia in order to rout the partisans once and for all. The General went to work in no uncertain fashion, ringing the surrounding area with barbed wire before advancing. The aftermath saw: “4,735 insurgents/suspects were executed and 70,000 civilians were shipped to camps. Rape and robbery were rampant.” Indeed, Waldheim’s role as an intelligence officer was to keep casualty statistics and to organise transportation for detainees. His name appears on a fine paper commemorative ‘list of honour’ a Wehrmacht document for distinguished service in Kozara. The Croatians awarded him a silver Crown of King Zvonimir medal “for courage in the battle against the rebels in West Bosnia.” [9]

Not exactly standing on the side-lines.

Yet, once again, Waldheim claimed ignorance even though he was in the thick of atrocities and as an intelligence officer it was his job to collate statistics and be acutely aware of the numbers game relating to all aspects of operations. One such operation took place in the Greek city port of Salonika on July 11, 1942 where: “… several thousand Jewish men were corralled into the city square and forced to perform difficult yoga positions under the hot sun while German soldiers hooted, clapped and took photographs. Elderly Jews died on the spot. The photos circulated widely in the Axis press including in a Croatian newspaper popular where Waldheim was then stationed.” [10]

If not directly involved, Waldheim was part of the enabling intelligence apparatus which had detailed knowledge of atrocities. As Walter Kay highlights: “Deporting Jews was a labour intensive operation, much discussed by the soldiers, and unavoidable to an intelligence officer like Waldheim who later pled ignorance.” [11]

Without such enthusiastic support for Croatian fascism Waldheim’s name would scarcely have appeared on the Wehrmacht’s “honor list” of those responsible. In the same year and probably as a reward for a job well done, Kurt Waldheim was allowed time off to complete his PhD thesis ‘The Concept of Reich according to Konstantin Frantz.’” In it he argued that “… the Germanic Reich was the new ‘body of Christ’ inspired by the theory of Prussian statesman Konstantin Frantz (1817-1891) who was part of the Lebensräum ethic of a Greater Germany extending to across Western and central Europe. Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, the Balkans, and the Netherlands were all to be absorbed into the Reich according to Waldheim’s thesis.[12]

Part of the problem with Waldheim’s denial of his own history is the access he had to military information, special briefings, reconnaissance reports, logistics and statistics. As an intelligence officer he was at the sharp end of covert operations. This was best represented by his position as an “O3” officer which: “… were the army’s best informed men.” Walter Kay’s research reveals that Yugoslavian authorities accused Waldheim of involvement in the destruction of villages and massacring civilians, stating: “Orders were planned in detail with the cooperation of the [intelligence] unit at the army corps headquarters, and in particular with the collaboration of Lieutenant Waldheim.” They relied on numerous direct witnesses including three officers from General Loehr’s staff who confirmed Waldheim’s job was “to offer suggestions for reprisals, the fate of prisoners of war and imprisoned civilians.” [13]

After the war in 1947 Waldheim’s record was formally presented to UN War Crimes Commission by the Yugoslav delegation. 75 percent of Yugoslav prosecution requests were rejected by the British-chaired UN Commission. Yet the following year prosecution was recommended in part from British and US veterans’ eyewitness reports and persistent allegations of “putting hostages to death and murder.” [14]And here’s where Waldheim managed to get away with the biggest conjuring trick of his life, which would eventually result in the helmsman ship of the United Nations.

After the summer of 1945 where he had spent most of it in a POW camp he cut a deal with Anglo-American Intel and offered all he knew. In return, Waldheim gained safe passage back to Austria and a new life knowing that various intelligence agents had powerful bargaining chips over his destiny. With the War Crimes Commission concluded by the end of the 1940s with over 36,000 accused Nazi criminals dismissed without trial communism took over as the new bogeyman and Nazis disappeared into the system. His fate was very much in their hands. Like the Nazis of Operation Paperclip and those that fled to Brazil and Argentina it was life that could be both lucrative and powerful provided you would play ball. Waldheim was no different to many who had their war experiences washed cleaned in return for determining policy for vested interests. The next step was to get Waldheim into a position where he could be useful.

After Austria joined the UN in 1955, it was Waldheim who led Austria’s UN delegation until in 1965, whereupon he took up the post of Austrian diplomat in Czechoslovakia. With a failed bid for the Austrian Presidency with an ultra-right wing People’s Party in 1971, he was ushered into pole-position as an authentic candidate for UN Secretary-General.

Quite apart from the fact that Waldheim had a negative reputation within the UN itself (in one individual’s opinion: “a scheming, ambitious, duplicitous egomaniac ready to do anything for advantage or public acclaim.”) he presided over the greening of the institution in ways that established a cast iron, bureaucratic platform for the global warming industry and subsequent green washing in general. [15]In effect, Waldheim used the UN to usher in his global Lebensräum, a practical expression of Nazi land ethic and race theory. EU states supplied 40 percent of the UN’s budget and 50 percent for funding and programmes with most UN head offices located in Europe and two-thirds of environment offices and staff situated in Europe, prominence and complete bias of European Elite dominated the UN during his tenure. American and Russian influence was eroded by allowing mini-states to enter the consensus building process and creating complex and protracted meetings within the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Meanwhile, Waldheim allowed a particular brand of European environmentalism to take precedence within the UN. Euro-Environmentalism and the UN are now one and the same with the UN’s Economic Commission of Europe (ECE) – which works closely with European Environment Agency (EEA) headquarters in Copenhagen – forging major treaties and subsidiaries for their implementation sourced from a £30 million annual budget. It is linked to the UN Millennium goals project by overseeing better coordination and continuing to usurp its otherwise economic mandate by making sure the “rational use of natural resources and sustainable development” continues apace. [16]

UN Agenda 21 and sustainable Development being the pinnacle of elite objectives. More on this in future posts.

In 1971, Maurice Strong had commissioned a report on the state of the planet, entitled “Only One Earth: The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet” co-authored by Barbara Ward and Rene Dubos. 152 experts had given their analyses as to the “State of the Earth”, the first report of its kind. This was to act as a foundation report for the first major UN meeting on the environment in Stockholm the following year.

When Waldheim chaired the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 it was attended by 113 states, setting for a global environmental textbook for a new industry of activism, operations, institutions and organisations. Twenty-six principles were listed which member states needed to focus their attention, with education, overpopulation, awareness of biodiversity and conversation as the key proponents of a green campaign. Science and society did not feature. The framework for change was predicated on maintaining a capitalist system but placing the ecological principles in the consciousness so that they may be later expanded. In other words, exploitation of resources was fine as long as reserves were not depleted or the environment polluted.

UNESCO’s roots in depopulation, eugenics and humanism was dipped in Waldheim-Green and found to fit remarkably well. Mass education on the perils of global warming and ecological disaster was implemented. The world was running out of oil and radical change was needed in societies. Climate change became an eco-cause.

1971-72 saw a veritable explosion of environmental awareness. Limits to Growth was published, and Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headed by Maurice Strong all arrived just a few months apart. The UNEP covers a complex range of issues including: the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental governance and green economy. Developing international environmental conventions, promoting environmental science, information and policy integration with national governments, regional institutions and in conjunction with environmental NGOs occupies the headquarters, six regional offices and various country offices around the world. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, with offices worldwide, UNEP’s task was to: “organize regulation of industrial agricultural products, gather data on the detriments of mining, and formulate a global energy balance sheet. UNEP’s inaugural budget financed 100 air pollution measuring stations and 10 stations to record environmental change.” [17]We will be coming back to the UNEP presently. For now, we must jump forward fifteen years.

dreamstime_l_33071801© Cienpiesnf | Dreamstime.com – Go Green Transparent Colorful City

Happy colours! Volunteering and a bright fresh, SMART future for all! I wish that was the reality. This isn’t about tearing down optimistic, and sincere concern for our environment. It’s about calling out elite pathology masquerading as constructive discourse and positive action – and it goes deep indeed. Stay with me here as it’s going to be a long haul.

The term “sustainable development” emerged from the 1987 report of the UN’s World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (otherwise known as the Brundtland Commission) chaired by CoR member Javier Perez de Cuellar, of which Maurice Strong was also a member. (Surprise!) The report was entitled: “Our Common Future” and placed sustainability and the focus on environmental resource management at the forefront of UN projects.

The report stated that the governments of the world have a responsibility to “… maintain eco-systems and ecological processes for the functioning of the biosphere, shall preserve biological diversity, and shall observe the principle of optimum sustainable yield in the use of living natural resources and eco-systems.” [18] Sounds logical and responsible, as all these initiatives do until you read the small print and place it in context. The report defined sustainable development (SD) to mean: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This means that: “Sustainable global development requires that those who are more affluent adopt lifestyles within the planet’s ecological means.” Which is an admirable desire though contradicted when: “Sustainable development can only be pursued if population size and growth are in harmony with the changing productive potential of the ecosystem.” Hence, the targeting of the third world and very little targeting of those who create and keep the systems in place that defines such a world.  [19]

Due to the vague definition of what constitutes SD, there is still no consensus as to what fulfills the criteria for sustainable practice. Consequently, it has been used to denote and define a wide variety of different beliefs and eco-ideologies from eco-psychology to green capitalism and even domains which have nothing to do with environmental concerns but may feature in the grand scheme of what is perceived as “sustainable.” After all, the architecture of global economics and the dynamics of geo-political strategies connected to securing the world resources can in no way be said to be sustainable. They are based on a “grab and run” mentality. But they both derive their impetus from the environmental fruits of water, energy and food. The sustainable development issue can be used to justify a form of security on the part of the Establishment in order to secure future generations (i.e. their families) with sustainable supplies, despite those resources being finite. That is not to say that SD should not be a vital part of humanity’s endeavours at the local and global level. However, “sustainable” is not synonymous with “green” but it can be a darn good pitch for neo-imperialism.

The recycling and alternative-energy industries employ millions while The World Bank and the UNEP use SD to select which projects to finance. So, if the company walks the green talk and donates to saving a patch of rainforest in the South, he receives the World Bank stamp of approval whilst the company continues to “slash and burn” the Northern section of the forest. Know that your massive mining project will be viewed with disdain by the Structural Adjustment Team? Create a tree foundation and pay the fine. Business will continue as usual, provided you have a good PR dept. Thus a new “Green Capitalism” emerged at the end of the Wall St. eighties which promoted “pollution control pays” as a slogan and where big multi-nationals realised: “environmental management is a powerful corporate tool for improving efficiency” and improving public image even if there was no real change in corporate objectives, commonly known as “green washing”. Which meant the greater the benefits the more willing corporations would be to pay a fine and everyone would be happy. This hasn’t stopped some of the biggest environmental organisations from happily snuggling up to the corporate sponsors.

Mike Wright editor of Green Futures magazine recently commented: “… when it comes to working with business in general, one thing is certain. If our society is to make the decisive shift towards a sustainable future which is so urgently needed, then we need business – including the world’s major corporations – to play a key role in making that happen.” [20] Unfortunately, the nature of the corporation and the financial architecture from which they are birthed simply cannot entertain such a “key role” no matter how hard its employees, environmentalists and the public may want it to happen. Unless that is such dynamics can be turned on its head so that new industries can be borne, tied into the exact same market wheel. If psychopaths cannot be cured and nor can business models cast in their image.

While corporations were “greening” so too was their counterparts in crime.

The World Bank, IMF and UN were tinged with green as part of the international environmental movement’s on going penetration of ecological reform set in motion by the UN’s own Kurt Waldheim. The irony is that advocates of sustainability and self-sufficiency for the developed and underdeveloped world alike see no problem working away within the Structural Adjustment Team who despite every green initiative and conference declaration remain a part of the very economic architecture they wish to dismantle. While the Establishment and the wealthy stay the same, the working class and poor bear the brunt of new ecological systems designed to bring the world closer to a sustainable vision.

One example of the SD complexity inherent in non-linear eco-systems is the latest excitement that is producing ethanol from corn to make fuel. This product was once heralded as a saviour of environmentally sound agriculture in much the same cynical way as GMO foods were for feeding the world’s poor. Although corn is a renewable resource and replacing petrol with corn ethanol seems like a reason to be hopeful. But the cultivation, harvesting and conversion of corn is extremely energy intensive. Even if you succeed in making ethanol more sustainable than petrol you will leave a trail of environmental and social carnage behind you. When you divert corn to make ethanol it translates as less corn to feed your cattle, less corn to feed people which means the cost of corn goes up. That means more land is needed to turn into farmland and depending on the country and / or region that can mean more pressure on fallow or rainforest land which is razed to the ground once more. Open to alternatives sources of fuel and energy still inside the insatiable market maw cannot work unless the root perceptions and thus the economic frameworks upon which they are based has also changed. There lies the real “World Problematique.”

Sustainable Development is a buzzword with the best of intentions behind it. But it remains to be seen how much authentic sustainability can truly take hold in the present. The depletion of natural resources is a reality as is the scope for implementing solutions from permaculture to woodland management. The dark side sees SD fall into the hands of the World State advocates and their technocrats who see it as an opportunity not just to protect Nature over man, but as another avenue from which humanity can find themselves (literally) trapped.

In the next post we will briefly look at the UN’s Rio Earth Summit where many of these ideas were firmly planted in our consciousness care of Maurice Strong. We will then return to  Sustainable Development and how it seamlessly interlocks with another domain currently being contoured away from true creativity and emancipation: SMART growth.

 


Notes

[1] p. 637; Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements By Edmund Osmancyzk, Routledge, New York, 2003 | ISBN 0415939208.
[2] ‘Austrian university confronts Nazi past’ by Wolfgang Freidl, The Lancet, Volume 356, Issue 9246, Page 1994, 9 December 2000.
[3] Report of the International Historical Commission of 8 February 1988, section on “Membership in National Socialist Organizations”, as cited for example in http://www.nationalsozialismus.at/Themen/Umgang/waldheim.htm
[4] Quoted in William Walter Kay’s article: ‘Waldheim’s Monster: United Nations’ Ecofascist Programme’ 2009. This was in turn sourced from; Waldheim; Bernhard; Rosenzweig Luc, Adama Books, New York, 1987 (p. 18)
[5] The Waldheim Report. Submitted 8 February 1988 to Federal Chancellor Dr. Franz Vranitzky (p.39).
[6] ‘Kurt Waldheim: Austrian head of the UN who as president of his country was later tainted by charges of complicity in Nazi atrocities’. The Times 15 June 2007.
[7] Ibid. (Walter Kay quoting: Herzstein, Robert; Waldheim, The Missing Years; Arbor House/William Morrow; New York; 1988 (p.60 and p. 67).
[8] Bosworth, R.J.B. (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Fascism. Oxford University Press. p. 431. ISBN 978-0-19-929131-1.
[9] op. cit. Walter Kay.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Ibid. (Walter Kay quoting Cohen p.85-87)
[14] Ibid. (Walter Kay quoting Cohen p 79 – 80)
[15] Ibid. (Walter Kay quoting Hazzard, Shirley; Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case; Viking Penguin; New York; 1990( p. 91)
[16] op. cit Walter Kay
[17] Ibid.
[18] Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future, Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 – Development and International Co-operation: Environment. (1987) http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
[19] http://www.earthcharter.org 2009.
[20] ‘Sponsorship: green wave or greenwash?’ by Martin Wright, Green Futures, 19th July, 2012.

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