Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The United States and population control

Emil Jurado
TO THE POINT
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideOpinion.htm?f=2011/april/5/emiljurado.isx&d=2011/april/5

Reports have it that both the United States and the United Nations are endorsing the reproductive health bill. There will be a plenary debate on the measure come May 9 upon the resumption of session.

But of course. The US and the UN are all for population control.

Let’s rewind a bit to see how involved the US really is on population control. In December 1974, shortly after the first major international conference was held under UN auspices in Bucharest, Romania, several of the major US government agencies—the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department and the Agency for International Development)—submitted their inputs.

Their contributions were combined into one report entitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth on US Security and Overseas Interests.” The final study was more than 200 pages long.

That crucial document became what is known as NSSM 200. It stands for National Security Study Memorandum and the number 200 identified the order in which it was produced.

Records show that the original request for a review of overseas population policies is also called NSSM 200, and was written April 27, 1974 by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The actual study which covered 229 pages of text represents one stage of the NSSM 200 correspondence series, and was submitted on December 10, 1974. It became the official guide to foreign policy November 26, 1976, when a National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM 314) was signed. It endorsed the findings of the study.

Who actually was responsible for the study? NSSM was compiled by the National Security Council, which is the highest level of command in the US government. The NSC is headed by no less than the US President and his designated Security Advisor, and its purpose is to coordinate the overseas operations of all executive branches of the US government.

Now, read this: Specifically, NSSM 200 targets 13 countries of “special US political and strategic interest,” which include India, Brazil, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia. Why? I will come to that later.

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The question is whether or not NSSM 200 is still in force. Records show that it still is, technically. It remains the official paper on population until it is replaced by another of equal importance. However, the implementation of the guidelines may differ from one administration to another.

Former President Jimmy Carter, for example, showed considerably less interest in curbing population growth than did his predecessors, former US President Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. The Reagan administration took a somewhat different approach (i.e. the Mexico City policy that banned direct US financing for abortions). Records also show that funds for population control increased rapidly and dramatically during the Reagan and Bush years, but this did not necessarily indicate a new NSC direction.

Why was the NSSM 200 only discovered in 1990? This is a highly classified document, which the public—much less the people of the developing countries affected—should not know about. But in the mid-1990s, there was a schedule for declassifying secret documents. The document was not actually made public until almost a year later, when it was given to the US National Archives in response to a request from an American journalist working for the Information Project for Africa.

The reason reportedly for the document’s declassification is first, by 1990 at least, many of study’s recommendations for population control on aid-receiving countries had been achieved; and second, records also showed that the US had elected George Bush, a former CIA director, in 1988, which may have signaled to classification review personnel that the American public had grown more tolerant to covert US activities overseas.

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Now, we come to the reasons why the US wanted to control other countries’ population.

NSSM, according to records and studies, showed US concern for population growth in the developing world threatening US security in four basic ways. First, certain large nations stand to gain significant political power and influence as a result. Second, the US and its western allies have a vital interest in strategic materials, like mineral and ore, which have to be imported from less-developed countries like the Philippines. Third, societies with high birth rates have large numbers of young people, who are more likely than older people to challenge global power structures. And last, population growth in relatively disadvantaged countries jeopardizes US investments. Santa Banana, the bottom line is US self-interest!

The report cites Brazil that could benefit politically with population growth. Since Brazil clearly dominates the continent demographically, Brazil could outnumber US residents by the end of the century. This would give Brazil a growing power status not only in Latin America but on the world scene over the next 25 years. Nigeria, likewise with a growing population to number 135 million by the end of this century, would have political and strategic influence in Africa south of the Sahara.

How does population control help the West acquire minerals? It is said that the location of vast reserves of higher-grade ores of most minerals favors increasing dependence of all industrialized regions on imports from less-developed countries. Studies show that the real problems of mineral supplies lie, not in basic sufficiency, but, in the politico-economic issues of access, terms of exploitation and exploration and division of the benefits.

Another issue is the role of the youth. Records show that young people have historically been advocates for change and are more prone to confront imperialism. This is especially true in the Philippines with the youth now more involved in political and economic problems.

There is also the issue of US commercial investments being affected by growing birth rates overseas. The NSSM 200 document points out that the growing nations are hard put in providing their growing needs. Thus, it warns, they are likewise to make increased demands of foreign investors. Thus under such circumstances, western corporate holdings are likely to be expropriated or subjected to arbitrary intervention.

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United States and United Nations policies repeatedly assert that birth control is necessary for development. This is also the core of the advocacy of population control through a reproductive health law. And the US and the UN do it by means of providing less-developed nations like the Philippines with grants and aids, like the involvement of the World Bank and other agencies of the United Nations in development.

For instance, the NSSM 200 document advises the US government to play an important role in establishing the United Nations Fund for Population Activities to spearhead a multilateral effort in population as a complement to the bilateral actions of USAID and other donor countries.

The document even asserts the need for mandatory programs like the appraisal of assistance to less-developed countries and their requirements.

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Now comes the rub. The NSSM 200 document requires US diplomatic and embassy officials to be alert to opportunities to demonstrate to the leaders of less-developed countries like the Philippines on the consequences of rapid population growth. That’s basically propaganda by imperialist America.

This propaganda includes invitations to Washington extended to every leader of a less developed nation. That explains the yearly homage of every Philippine president to Washington.

Simply put, the slower the Philippine population grows, the better for Washington.

We must be blind if we don’t see through all these.

The bottom line is that the controversy over population control is not really between the anti-life advocates and the so-called Damasos of the Catholic church.

2 comments:

  1. so what if it benefits Washington?

    i really dont care as long as it has positive impact to us as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i just don't want to have a certain limit on how many children we have to have

    ReplyDelete