by Jerry Alatalo
hus far, more than 50 journalists around the Earth have signed on and are participating in an investigation of the World Bank, sponsored by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The name of the international project is “Evicted and Abandoned: The World Bank’s Broken Promise to the Poor”.
Upon hearing word of this important and revealing global effort by ICIJ, one immediately wondered if the effort will be enough to break the historical chain of events starting 500 years ago in North and South America, when genocide of indigenous people of unimaginable proportions was undertaken for wealth acquisition.
Since 2004 World Bank actions have led to displacement of 3.4 million mostly poor people. How many of those people, forced to flee from the land of their ancestors by violence, hunger, and/or extreme poverty, have become the subject of greater numbers of refugee/migrant media reports – in particular about hundreds perishing while trying to cross the Mediterrean?
Structural adjustment (austerity) programs pushed for decades by the World Bank and other giant, privately owned international financial organizations has resulted in nations of the global south collectively losing 500 billion dollars per year during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Trillions of dollars over the years have become transferred out of poor, developing nations to investors and stockholders outside those nations, mainly through the World Bank’s facilitation of extractive industries, combined with the aforementioned “structural adjustment” programs.
Mr. Alnoor Ladha told the host of the Real News Network during his interview that the World Bank has been “…highly successful at trickle-up economics, not a conspiracy theory because the track record speaks for itself”.
Americans won’t learn from standard school history texts about the genocide of Native Americans – posited by many as the most horrific genocide in human history. “Sanitized” versions of history do not give American high school history students the truth, and they will only find the truth in books by historians who possess(ed) a conscience, such as “People’s History of the United States” by the late Howard Zinn. The men and women journalists collaborating on ICIJ’s “Evicted and Abandoned” project are essentially doing the same work that Mr. Zinn undertook, the only difference being that their intent is bringing the truth about this generation to millions around the world.
Will ICIJ’s noble and moral efforts be enough to stop centuries-old/historical exploitation of human beings by other human beings?
President Barack Obama explained his administration’s decision to improve relations with Cuba – whether one believes in the benevolence of the action or not – by saying “after something hasn’t worked for 50 years, it’s time for a change”. What over 50 international journalists, well-known media groups, and independent citizen journalists/volunteers working with ICIJ are saying is something close to Mr. Obama, but much more significant and universal: “after something hasn’t worked for 500 years, it’s time for change”.
Instances of genocide since 500 years ago have decreased in direct inverse proportion to humanity’s advancements in the ability to communicate over longer and longer distances at continuously increasing speed. Those generational, ever-present individuals who have shared the same insatiable desire for riches at the expense of others – from genocide, illegal wars, secretive financial dealings, bribery, corruption, manipulations for profit, to massive frauds – are today finding it much more difficult to operate with malevolent intentions because of nearly instantaneous communication by people the world over on the internet and honorable journalists/media groups like those coordinating with ICIJ.
Humanity’s ability to communicate faster may have reached its zenith. Today’s technology, as it relates to speed and talking to people on the other side of Earth, quite possibly is as good as it’s going to get. So, humanity probably now has achieved the greatest ability to communicate in history, thus enabling the best opportunity ever for ending exploitation of our fellow human beings.
The sole remaining question for consideration is how well men and women the world over are going to exercise that immense ability.
(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)
(Thank you to ICIJ at YouTube)
For more information on ICIJ’s ongoing, superb global investigation of the World Bank and its track record of actions negatively affecting the lives of poor people around the Earth, please visit:
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