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Delivered at Harrisburg Peace Rally 3/20/04 (Pennsylvania, USA)
by Alanna Hartzok, Co-Director, Earth Rights Institute
Contact info:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 717-264-0957.

'Full Spectrum Dominance' is the key term in Joint Vision 2020, the blueprint the United States Department of Defence will follow in the future, from which these extracts are taken.

'The ultimate goal of our military force is to accomplish the objectives directed by the National Command Authorities. For the joint force of the future, this goal will be achieved through full spectrum dominance - the ability of US forces, operating unilaterally or in combination with multinational and interagency partners, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the full range of military operations.

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O SAY CAN YOU SEE - A Perspective on the Current Crisis

ByThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Presented at the Books Not Bombs/Stop Iraq War Forum organized by students at Shippenburg University, Pennsylvania on March 5, 2003

The unjust and inequitable ownership and control of vast amounts of the land and natural resource wealth of our planet is a root cause of the great majority of local-to-global conflicts and wars. Our current form of democratic governance is severely limited in its capacity to negotiate peaceful means of resolving resource inequities and disputes, whether over oil and other minerals or over land for housing and livelihoods.

Neither the market system as currently structured nor the force of military might have provided a democratic means to equitably share the gifts of nature. This fatal flaw of democracy can be most clearly seen upon review of some of the 3,000 major and 10,000 minor CIA covert operations during the past several decades. This Third World War - the war on the people of the third war - has slaughtered at least six million people in the third world since World War II, as determined by former CIA chief John Stockwell and others. (1)

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Women, Earth, and Economic Power

Women once enjoyed a special relationship to the land when nomadic tribes shifted to an agricultural way of life. Plants and children were gifts from the gods and woman was the medium for both. Women seemed to have the ability to summon ancestral spirits into her body, and cause fruits and grain to spring from planted fields. In a mystical sense, the earth belonged to the women and they had a religious and legal hold on the land and its fruits.

The human worldview has since moved from an awareness of the interconnectedness of all through the female to the individuality and separateness of individual beings which is the emphasis of the male principle. The male qualities of force, strength, drive, and individual self-determination led us out of the state of unity with nature that had come to have its own limitations.

Land no longer was held in common under the care of the women, but could be acquired by male conquest. Individual landholdings were justified under the Roman law concept of dominium which gave absolute power to the title-holder to control, use, and abuse.

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Who Owns the Earth?

by Alanna Hartzok

The task of conservation, restoration, and rational use of the earth is vitally linked to the question of "Who owns the Earth?" The ever-widening gap between rich and poor, both within and among nations is a primary source of conflict and violence, a trigger mechanism for warfare. The root cause of this local to global maldistribution of wealth problem is the inequitable ownership and control of the planet¹s land and natural resources.

The ownership of land resources and valuable landsites ultimately determines the social, the political and consequently the mental and physical condition of a people. Attaining an ethic of wise and careful stewardship of the Earth is likewise inseparable from the task of securing the well-being of individuals. The health of the human being and the health of the Earth is interrelated. It is unlikely that environmental degradation will cease until the exploitation of the human being is alleviated. The pressures upon those who are themselves exploited to exploit in turn each other and the environment is great.

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by Alanna Hartzok

Despite our rhetoric of individual freedom, increasing numbers of us are being frustrated and thwarted from lack of security in the necessities that are basic to sustain life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One out of four children under age six is now being reared in poverty. For some time now it has taken two full-time workers to sustain the modest middle class standard of living that could be procured by just one full-time worker twenty years ago. The incapacity of wages to keep up makes the cost of housing and other necessities a greater burden each year.

Gains in automation and production, advances in education and training, all have been nullified by the steadily increasing cost of what no one has ever manufactured - land and natural resources. Our treatment of the earth as a market commodity, just like a car or television, is the basic flaw in our economic ground rules. Treating the earth as simply a capital line item is the root cause of the ever-widening gap between those who have too much and those who have too little.

About Earth Rights Institute

The Earth is the birthright of all people

Earth Rights Institute (ERI) is designed to be an equilateral knowledge platform, where local people collaborate with academics and development professionals, both local and foreign, by exchanging skills, experiences, and knowledge to solve crucial development issues such as widespread poverty, land right disputes and environmental degradation.

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