By Cory Morningstar
In the image above, Tom Perriello, an Avaaz co-founder, can be seen arranging Avaaz banners. On the Avaaz Flickr account one can find images with the credit as follows: “Tom Perriello, www.AVAAZ.org, The World in Action, firstname.lastname@example.org, (M) +1-434-825-0745 [Source]
Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and (former) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. “Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
“Perriello has had a long relationship with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, which continue to this day. Amnesty International is also financed by the Soros Open Society Institute. All of these organizations have been instrumental in opening up the doors for foreign invasion into Libya and now Syria.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Like his co-founders, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda, Perriello’s career within the realm of ruling class agencies/administrations, etc. has been extensive. To name just two: United Nations: Special Adviser to the International War Crimes Prosecutor and the U.S. State Department. [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
“Avaaz’s stance on both Libya (now annihilated) and Syria currently is in smooth synchronicity with the positions within the U.S. administration, such as those vocalized by the likes of war criminals like Hillary Clinton (of “We came. We saw. He died. Laughter…” fame).
The ugly iron fist of war is gently being spoon-fed to the public by way of a very dark velvet glove – that being Avaaz.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Above: A picture worth a thousand words. In May 2009, 60 Congress members voted against dumping another $97 billion into the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Perriello voted for it. [Source] On 10 March 2010, 65 Congress members voted to end the war on Afghanistan. Perriello voted in favour of keeping it going. [Source] Perriello’s steadfast support of defense bills and war is well-documented [view voting record]. Yet, in spite of these pro-war positions, the liberal left and their so called “progressive media” continued to shine a glowing light on Perriello and frame him as a stand-out progressive as you will see below. [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012][Photo: Getty Images]
Congressman Tom Perriello with war criminal, General David Petraeus (far left). Under this Flickr photo the caption reads: “Passing the Baton, United States Institute of Peace”  [Photo: Jon-Phillip Sheridan | Source] [In July, 2011, “General David Petraeus was approved as CIA Director by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate, whose vote was an astounding 94-0, astounding because this is a man who was deeply implicated in war crimes, including torture.” Source]
“Perriello’s view of Israel borders on fantasy. He views Israel as one of the most “dramatic and exciting creations of the international community” in the 20th century and believes that a permanent moral and strategic relationship exists between the U.S. and Israel.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Image: Tom Perriello attending an intimate Avaaz party in New York City. Source: Flickr.
In the image above, Perriello can be seen just right of center holding the red, orange and black flag. [Source: Flickr]
Published by Counterpunch, September 13, 2013
Year 2013: A Brave New World
Neil Postman, social critic, compares the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. He observes:
“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.’ In1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.”
On Sept 1, 2013, in the article Deja Vu | War Against Syria: Built on a Lie, Roxanne Amico observes:
“It’s all familiar… Notice that nonstop ‘breaking news’ on all the media outlets? How easily the current puppet in the belly of the beast of industrial capitalism dances to the tunes played by the corporate shareholders pulling their [purse-] strings. Note how every single day, sometimes more than once a day, some new piece of ‘news’ is brought to the public for all of us to swallow, just as Aldous Huxley predicted, when he said, ‘There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.”
Aldous Huxley (1894 –1963) has proven to be quite prophetic in his predictions of the future. There is in fact a “pharmacological method of making people love their servitude” precisely because of what Huxley prophesized: “They will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” Of course, the pharmacological method Huxley spoke of does not constrain itself to pharmacological agents alone. Today we can expand the pharmacological method and use of terrorism that Huxley spoke of, to the stealthy, steady-state psychological warfare waged against the public psyche bymainstream media (MSM) in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex.
As an unparalleled set of multiple crises of the most epic proportions looks down upon as – right before it crushes us – it appears that this may very well be the “final revolution” Huxley spoke of, from manufactured, faux revolutions, that are embraced and celebrated by the Western left, to the oncoming climate holocaust, which we collectively “address” by not addressing it, convincing ourselves that we need not discuss the very root cause of our accelerating crisis: the industrialized, capitalist economic system.
Our fake prophets within the non-profit industrial complex serve us, and our insatiable appetite for lies, insidiously, assuring us that the same system destroying us (albeit in bright green packaging) will now save us. The West applauds.
The philanthropic colonization of the collective is complete.
Whereas philosopher/cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) once stated, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you,” today’s collective society, in cohesive acquiescence, says “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m grateful that your lies allow me to maintain my privilege. I’m grateful that our collective acceptance of cognitive dissonance allows us, and in fact encourages us, as a society, to embrace your lies. I’m grateful that the acceptance of lies has evolved to be mainstream, avant-garde, and status quo. I’m grateful that I can get back to my TV show now.”
The normalization of lies and complete indifference has never been so vogue, so celebrated. Anyone who does not kowtow to the line of resolute false hope is labeled “divisive” and is isolated or ridiculed by the obedient, the indoctrinated. Thus, the 21st century critical thinker of today must always be cognizant that “the masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” [Gustave Le Bon, 1841-1931]
Our entire belief system, built upon a foundation of lies and conditioning, is now cradled, and even cultivated, by collective society itself. However, if this state-of-the-art web of deception, held together only by the most intricate, seemingly fragile web of lies, were to start falling apart, we would witness the inevitable unraveling of the entire system and the existing power structures within it. But one must be cognizant of the fact that the tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel… thus, the untangling work will not be easy.
A show of hands please from everyone who knows that a key founder of Avaaz is none other than U.S. Democrat Tom Perriello, former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010), founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. As demonstrated in the 2012 investigative report on Avaaz, Perriello’s curriculum vitae, built upon privilege within elite circles, is most extensive.
Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, which is described as a global civic advocacy group, and Democratic front party, Moveon.org. The silent voice behind Avaaz, Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of three key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur; Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello; and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.
Res Publica (based in New York) is a primary co-founder of Avaaz along with MoveOn. Res Publica’s stated goal is to “develop innovative solutions to global justice and security threats.” Res Publica “ran as a pilot project” in Sierra Leone in 2001-2002 and has three full-time fellows, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello and Tom Pravda. Res Publica is supported by a broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” and a Global Advisory Board. It is anyone’s guess as to what individuals or groups make up the broader network of the “Friends of Res Publica”.
29 December 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on ‘building the movement infrastructure’ and ‘objectives, strategies and core issues.’”
Perriello (now President and CEO of the Center for American Progress) described Res Publica as an “incubator for social entrepreneurship.”
With the taste of blood still in its mouth from with its facilitating role in the annihilation of Libya, and on the eve of an illegal attack on Syria, Avaaz is now frothing at the mouth like a rabid animal. While the Avaaz founders and elites live a privileged luxurious existence in metropolitan cities such as New York, the brutal slaughter of Libyan people continues to this day, all while foreign funded mercenaries/rebels create chaos, death and destruction in destabilizing Syria – the goal being to assist imperial states to overthrow the Assad government, ultimately seizing the full control of the natural gas, oil and pipelines (while simultaneously protecting the U.S. dollar), and finally, to secure an opportune geopolitical position to invade Iran.
On September 4, 2013 Avaaz made yet another desperate push for war on Syria. In this particular campaign, Avaaz appealed to its “members” (today, over 25 million according to Avaaz) to “call on our leaders to exercise their responsibility to protect.” [Emphasis in original.][Screenshots of the email will follow article.]
The key words: responsibility to protect. Commonly known in the halls of war as R2P, along with “humanitarian intervention,” We can call it what it actually is: regime change (with extensive “collateral damage” thrown in for good measure).
“… humanitarian intervention, along with the concept of the ‘right to protect’ (R2P), has developed into the most effective ideological weapon the liberal human rights community provided Western imperialism since the fall of the Soviet State. Humanitarian intervention has proven to be an even more valuable propaganda tool than the “war on terror,” because as the situation in Libya and now Syria has demonstrated, it provides a moral justification for imperialist intervention that can also accommodate the presence of the same ‘terrorist’ forces the U.S. pretends to be opposed to. And of course, in the eyes of the U.S. government, tyrannical and dictatorial governments that need to be deposed are only those that present an obstacle to the realization of U.S. geo/political interests – never those paragons of freedom and morality like Saudi Arabia and Israel.” — Ajamu Baraka, Syria and the Sham of “Humanitarian Intervention”, June 4, 2013
This new Avaaz campaign/petition demanding the R2P doctrine be applied to Syria would give the green light for the US to legally strike Syria. This campaign follows the call by Avaaz co-founder Ricken Patel, on August 22, 2013, for a no-fly zone over Syria. [Further reading: On the Eve of an Illegal Attack on Syria, Avaaz/350.org Board Members Beat the Drums of War, August 30, 2013.]
The latest campaign/petition for the R2P doctrine, titled “She Survived” appears on the Avaaz website, highlighting a video with the caption “WARNING: This video is very disturbing and difficult to watch.” Under the caption it reads “All she kept screaming was “I’m alive, I’m alive,” over and over again. And then she cried out for her parents.” [Emphasis in original.]
Such campaigns reveal brilliantly packaged think-tank material as explained ever so eloquently by the human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow.
The instant click activism that “clicktivism” has nurtured encourages citizens to add their names to petitions that provide zero in-depth background information or evidence. (There are legitimate organizations that do provide extensive background information; these are for the most part real grassroots-based orgs.) Further, the method employed to convince/coerce a citizen to sign by organizations such as Avaaz is highly charged emotional language: “The courage of these activists is unbelievable – a skype message read ‘state security searching the house, my laptop battery dying, if not online tomorrow I’m dead or arrested.” Images may include pictures of targeted states/leaders that the empire wishes to demonize in order to incite hatred against them. And finally, the promise of belonging to a “community” that “empowers” them does not disappoint. In a world where civil liberties are disappearing at an accelerating speed, and youth (the targeted audience) do feel disillusioned and powerless, empowerment is an enticing option.
Triangulating (a research technique that checks at least three different sources, never relying on just one) and dissecting hegemonic campaigns requires time, care, patience and critical thought. In a Euro-American culture that is severely lacking in discipline and critical thinking skills, “liking” a campaign that is explained, in its entirety from three lines of emotive text solidifying a bizarre acceptance and acquiescence of illegal, sophisticated and brilliantly executed destabilizations and invasions by the simple click of a mouse.
(It must be noted that no organization can grow to the size of Avaaz without having acquired the respect of loyal followers for credible campaigns. A key method for building and establishing the required credibility and legitimacy is using campaigns that can quite easily generate a fairly broad consensus, that is, ecological campaigns (rainforest protection), “keeping hope alive” on climate, protection of archaeological sites, signing a Fukushima declaration, demanding aid to areas suffering natural disasters such as (now occupied) Haiti. The list, as well as the scope, seems endless.)
This particular Avaaz campaign/petition, addressed to the United Nations Security Council states “The UN has a responsibility to protect the people of Syria and make clear that these vicious crimes against humanity will not go unaddressed.”
Again, note the subtle language. The Responsibility to Protect doctrine is subtlety repeated. The Responsibility to Protect doctrine and humanitarian intervention are two disturbing ideologies designed to facilitate societal acceptance of war. Prior to this lovely terminology, it was formerly known as “the Right to Intervene.”
Perriello lives and breathes to convince the public that such disturbing doctrines are moral and just.
“The propagandists of the U.S. war strategy have been spectacularly successful in inculcating this shift in consciousness in the general population and the self-muting of the anti-war and anti-imperialist movements in the West, with the exception of a few organizations. The assertion of the right to unilaterally attack any State that it deems unfit for sovereignty is not a new articulation of White supremacist, imperialist ideology but in this current period where there are few constraints on the global exercise of ‘White power,’ the internalization of this position by the European and U.S. publics, irrespective of ethnicity or race, has made the world a much more dangerous place for Black and Brown people: 50,000 killed in Libya, 80,000 in Syria, 1,000,000 in Iraq, and 30,000 in Afghanistan.” — Ajamu Baraka, Syria and the Sham of “Humanitarian Intervention”, June 4, 2013
Following Perriello’s re-election defeat in December of 2011, the Center for American Progress announced new leadership roles for its advocacy arm. Perriello became the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP.
CAP serves as an ideal foundation and outlet for outlandish lies and propaganda that furthers U.S. interests. Consider the Feb 28, 2013 article A New Phase for U.S. Policy on Syria by Rudy deLeon, Michael Werz, and Brian Katulis, with Tom Perriello, Winnie Stachelberg, Peter Juul, and Ken Sofer:
“Given the negative evolution of the Syrian conflict, current U.S. policy is not sustainable and does not effectively advance U.S. regional interests and values, as witnessed last week when three senior American Progress staff – Michael Werz, Tom Perriello, and Winnie Stachelberg – took a weeklong trip to the region.
It is time for a change in policy. The United States needs to increase its assistance to the Syrian opposition with the goal of supporting an alternative opposition government that is better organized than at present.”
In the case of a sovereign state targeted for destabilization, the U.S. administration, which is akin to a bitch in heat, elevates its sophisticated psychological warfare machine into full-scale overdrive under the direction of the global oligarchy. All the shills, all the cheap whores on the foundation dole, come out to play. Corporate media and so-called “progressive” media are kicked into high gear.
Thus, one should not be surprised to find that in the 2012 winter issue of Democracy Journal, Perriello penned a grotesque and delusional article titled Humanitarian Intervention: Recognizing When, and Why, It Can Succeed. The views within the article are a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect.” Make no mistake, this is the ideology of the world’s most powerful NGO (Avaaz) and the matrix of NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex.
Like Bill McKibben who serves as the appointed “leader” for climate and environmental issues by the elites, Perriello serves as the “left” Democrat media darling for a political analysis on Syria. This is evident in interviews with Perriello by MSNBC, The Atlantic and scores of other corporate media outlets. As the old saying goes, the tail wags the dog and, in this same vein, the media saturates the masses with outlandish lies.
Note that the media (corporate and so-called progressive) make absolutely no mention whatsoever of affiliation between Perriello and Avaaz, let alone the fact that Perriello is a key founder of Avaaz.
In this video Perriello is introducing himself to the youth involved in a training organization named “e-mediat Jordan.” These youth, he states, are prepared to “sacrifice for their country.” Perriello is listed as director: “E-Mediat Jordan Country Director – Honorable Tom Perriello.” This organization is situated in Jordan, which borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine and Israel. This NGO describes itself as a “Tools, Technology and Training Centre.” Training youth has become code for and instrumental in advancing the Imperialist agenda. In essence, the exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century.
“Ban Ki-Moon emphasized two important points in his statement on Syria. First, speaking at the Hague, he urged members of the UN Security Council to look for a diplomatic solution, saying: “Give peace a chance, give diplomacy a chance, stop fighting and start talking”. He also stressed the need to abide by UN Charter provisions. Second, he made a statement, that sounded a bit extraordinary in his case, mentioning the fact that the Hague international criminal courts activities should be kept in mind by those who are on the path of committing an international crime. It sounded very convincing, no matter if he meant the United States of America and Great Britain or not. It’s well known who is going to perpetrate another international crime today.” — RACE TO WAR AIMS TO CONCEAL EVIDENCE THE WEST WAS BEHIND CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK, August 29, 2013
The global community’s most momentous mistake was the failure to prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is still possible, yet the question is whether or not there is the will to pursue it. With war crimes in mind, Ban Ki-Moon’s aforementioned remark regarding the Hague is nothing less than extraordinary. We can only hope that those with leadership capacity at Avaaz and the scores of other imperial NGOs that facilitated the invasion and annihilation of Libya which resulted in tens upon thousands of slaughtered Libyan citizens and African migrant workers, will also be tried for these same war crimes.
Perriello no doubt believes in the myth of American exceptionalism. His patriotic views are reinforced by like-minded individuals from the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the scores of organizations who “understand” the “need” to expand America’s “democracy” and “economic prosperity” around the globe. And while these myths are pushed forward by Imperialist administrations, the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media, civil rights in America – and now Syria – are being stripped away faster than you can say fascism.
Further Reading on Avaaz: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I, Part I, Section II, Part I, Section III, Part II, Section I, Part II, Section II,
About the Author
Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Political Context, Counterpunch, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. You can follow her on twitter: @elleprovocateur