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The British American Project for the successor generation

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
Many of the guests on Newsnight are often members as well.

My understanding of this (briefly) is that it was set up alongside other similar projects in order to center left politicians / journalists / whatever onside with the US, providing them with placements in US foundations and building relationships with US politicians / journalists / whatever.

There is (or was) a similar project in the arts which promoted certain types of art (US modern stuff) over things like Soviet Realism

I have some stuff on this I will go and dig it out.
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
When Prime Minister Gordon Brown spoke recently about his government's devotion to the United States, "founded on the values we share", he was echoing his Foreign Office minister Kim Howells, who was preparing to welcome the Saudi dictator to Britain with effusions of "shared values". The meaning was the same in both cases. The values shared are those of rapacious power and wealth, with democracy and human rights irrelevant, as the bloodbath in Iraq and the suffering of the Palestinians attest, to name only two examples.

The "values we share" are celebrated by a shadowy organisation that has just held its annual conference. This is the British-American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP), set up in 1985 with money from a Philadelphia trust with a long history of supporting right-wing causes. Although the BAP does not publicly acknowledge this origin, the source of its inspiration was a call by President Reagan in 1983 for "successor generations" on both sides of the Atlantic to "work together in the future on defence and security matters". He made numerous references to "shared values". Attending this ceremony in the White House Situation Room were the ideologues Rupert Murdoch and the late James Goldsmith.

As Reagan made clear, the need for the BAP arose from Washington's anxiety about the growing opposition in Britain to nuclear weapons, especially the stationing of cruise missiles in Europe. "A special concern," he said, "will be the successor generations, as these younger people are the ones who will have to work together in the future on defence and security issues." A new, preferably young elite - journalists, academics, economists, "civil society" and liberal community leaders of one sort or another - would offset the growing "anti-Americanism".
The aims of this latter-day network, according to David Willetts, the former director of studies at Britain's right-wing Centre for Policy Studies, now a member of the Tory shadow cabinet, are simply to "help reinforce Anglo-American links, especially if some members already do or will occupy positions of influence". A former British ambassador to Washington, Sir John Kerr, was more direct. In a speech to BAP members, he said the organisation's "powerful combination of eminent Fellows and close Atlantic links threatened to put the embassy out of a job". An American BAP organiser describes the BAP network as committed to "grooming leaders" while promoting "the leading global role that [the US and Britain] continue to play".

The BAP's British "alumni" are drawn largely from new Labour and its court. No fewer than four BAP "fellows" and one advisory board member became ministers in the first Blair government. The new Labour names include Peter Mandelson, George Robertson, Baroness Symons, Jonathan Powell (Blair's chief of staff), Baroness Scotland, Douglas Alexander, Geoff Mulgan, Matthew Taylor and David Miliband. Some are Fabian Society members and describe themselves as being "on the left". Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is another member. They object to whispers of "a conspiracy". The mutuality of class or aspiration is merely assured, unspoken, and the warm embrace of power flattering and often productive.
http://johnpilger.com/articles/how-the-anglo-american-elite-shares-its-values-
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
the British-American Project, funded by major oil and other corporations and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the subject of little public awareness or enquiry, represents a similar network on the centre-left, along lines Tony Blair and Gordon Brown would have approved. Indeed, it complemented the various schemes under which the future leaders of 'New' Labour were primed for high office, under the tutelage of the FCO's Jonathan Powell, who later went on to become Blair's chief of staff. Indeed, Powell was a member of BAP, as was David Miliband for many years.
The BAP is a political project aimed at incorporating and developing rising stars in Britain - in a diverse range of fields - and ever so subtly helping them conclude that the United States - for all its faults - remains the power to which Britain's own chariot must remain hitched. The propaganda, to be sure, is subtle and needs to be - the sort of people attracted - whether Trevor Phillips of the Equalities Commission or Yasmin Alibhai Brown or Anatol Lieven, all critics of George W. Bush's adventurism - are not dupes. Yet, it is the very presence of such 'critics' that lends such weight to BAP.
http://ij-poli-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/british-american-project-needs.html
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
It is important to note that those within BAP are keen to play down the project's origins in the cold war. The initial drive of initiatives such as BAP were avowedly anti-left, anti-CND and emerged from very specific high level and far-reaching projects: Eugene V. Rostow's The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) is a hawkish gathering of ideologues first founded in 1950 then re-formed in 1976 (when Rostow went to the right of Nixon) pushed for larger defense budgets and arms buildups, to counter the Soviet Union, now terrorism and internal dissent. The CPD had a stranglehold on Reagan's defence and foreign policy in a similar way to the neoconservatives' ideological grip on George W. Bush's. Indeed there are many continuities given that the CPD Members in 2004 include associates of the American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Boeing Company.

In the early 80s a leaked memo to the Washington Post outlined a revivied COINTELPRO in the US and that:

'Rostow was equally concerned about the growing unilateralist movement and so helped initiate a similar propaganda exercise in Britain, aimed at neutralising the efforts of CND. It would take three forms: mobilising public opinion, working within the Churches, and a 'dirty tricks' operation against the peace groups.'
A project was then organised through the CIA and the US Information Agency (USIA) to organise (through private organisations) a propaganda campaign in Europe. The Rand Corporation, linked to the government and the CIA, 'sponsored a week's study on 'the Successor Generation' and its implications for Nato.

The "Successor Generation" was initially another name for anti-Americanism in Europe.' In Lobster 3 Stephen Dorril notes the appearance of Peter Dailey here, who was later an initiator of BAP, and also of the creation in March 1982 of the British Coalition For Peace Through Security (CPS), based on its American counterpart (CPS-US), this unleashed US propaganda techniques into Britain and a growing alliance between old Cold War warriors, ideologues like Rostow and Norman Podhoretz (the latter editor of the 'neo-conservative' Commentary), hardline dissenters in the intelligence community and the grass roots New Right. By 1984 The New York Times obtained leaks which showed arrangements 'for President Reagan to meet a group of businessmen he had put together under the banner 'Project Democracy', a propaganda effort to 'support democratic institutions abroad'. They were to contribute $300,000, and the group included Sir James Goldsmith, Rupert Murdoch and a representative of Axel Springer � all international publishers.'
Influencing New Labour
The BAP newsletter just after Labour's 1997 general election victory was headlined, "Big Swing to BAP". It was believed that this would help foster a greater reciprocity of American interests in Whitehall.[3]

The confidence of the BAP statement in their newsletter was related to its self-proclaimed declaration of purpose and the high membership of subsequent Labour MPs within its ranks. David Willetts, the then Shadow home secretary, explained BAP's intent to "help reinforce Anglo-American links, especially if some members already do or will occupy positions of influence". [4]

The extent to which members of the BAP are present in the upper stratus of desicion makers in the United Kingdom can not be exaggerated. On New Labour's election victory in 1997, no less than four fellows of the association, and one from the advisory board, were promoted to ministerial posts [5]. The names of these people, who were to help realise Tony Blair's modernising views, included: George Robertson, Chris Smith and Marjorie 'Mo' Mowlam who were promoted to ministerial positions, and Peter Mandelson,Tony Blairs much derided Spin doctor, and Elizabeth Symons, the foreign office minister for the house of Lords.[6] [7]

A British journalist involved with the association described New Labour's dominance from the British side as coincidental. He claimed that in comparison with the Americans' broad cross party ties, the British contribution represented a fairly small group. He stated, "There was a stage where ... a lot of the people who emerged as part of the New Labour leadership group happened - and I say happened, because it is partly chance - to be members of BAP ... The American side is more spread out: Americans who just enjoy contact with Brits. We have Republicans, Democrats, people who work on Capitol Hill." [8]
http://powerbase.info/index.php/British_American_Project
 

butchersapron

blood on the walls
Many of the guests on Newsnight are often members as well.

My understanding of this (briefly) is that it was set up alongside other similar projects in order to center left politicians / journalists / whatever onside with the US, providing them with placements in US foundations and building relationships with US politicians / journalists / whatever.

There is (or was) a similar project in the arts which promoted certain types of art (US modern stuff) over things like Soviet Realism

I have some stuff on this I will go and dig it out.
The numerous post-war projects weren't really aimed at soviet realism - the war itself had killed that monstrosity. It was more about fostering the common sense of the idea of individual freedom of expression and the singular artist free of any wider collective commitments or the concept of progress as totalitarian etc- this was the sugar coating that allowed two generations of anglophone leftists to write for encounter and to laud abstract expressionism and so on. See Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stonor Saunders for an in-depth look at this.
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
Not about the BAP in particular but about the wider covert cultural cold war. A review of 'Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stonor Saunders' by Edward Said in the LRB

E.P. Thompson called it the ‘Natopolitan’ world: that is, not just Nato plus all the Cold War military and political institutions that were integral to it, but also a mentality whose web extended over a lot more activity and thought, even in the minds of individuals, than anyone at the time had suspected. Of course there were the revelations in the mid-Sixties about Encounter and the CIA, and later in the US and Britain a stream of disclosures about covert counter-insurgency in every form, from secretly underwritten academic research to assassinations and mass killings. Yet it still gives me an eerie feeling to read about people like George Orwell, Stephen Spender and Raymond Aron, to say nothing of less admirable characters of the Melvin Lasky stripe, taking part in surreptitiously subsidised anti-Communist ventures – magazines, symphony orchestras, art exhibitions – or in the setting up of foundations in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ against Soviet totalitarianism.

One of the rare dissenters, Charles Burton Marshall, is quoted here as saying that this bizarre operation to ‘counter Communism’ by trying ‘to break down ... doctrinaire thought patterns’ and anti-American attitudes throughout the world was ‘just about as totalitarian as one can get’. Marshall belonged to an Orwellian US Government agency called the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) and his kind of common-sense voice, commenting on the enterprise from within, isn’t ever heard from again. On the other hand, Frances Stonor Saunders’s gripping book is stuffed with names of individuals, organisations and publications, whose sleazy history she gives in painstaking detail.
http://thurnundtaxis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/hey-mister-you-want-dirty-book.html
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
The numerous post-war projects weren't really aimed at soviet realism - the war itself had killed that monstrosity. It was more about fostering the common sense of the idea of individual freedom of expression and the singular artist free of any wider collective commitments or the concept of progress - this was the sugar coating that allowed two generations of anglophone leftists to write for encounter and to laud abstract expressionism and so on. See Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stonor Saunders for an in-depth look at this.
see above ^^
 

Dillinger4

Es gibt Zeit
In addition to Who Paid The Piper, the following are also good:

The CIA, the British Left and the Cold War: Calling the Tune? (Studies in Intelligence) by Hugh Wilford

Shortly after it was founded in 1947, the CIA launched a secret effort to win the Cold War allegiance of the British left. Hugh Wilford traces the story of this campaign from its origins in Washington DC to its impact on Labour Party politicians, trade unionists, and Bloomsbury intellectuals
The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America Paperback by Hugh Wilford

In 1967, the magazine "Ramparts" ran an expose revealing that the Central Intelligence Agency had been secretly funding and managing a wide range of citizen front groups intended to counter communist influence around the world. In addition to embarrassing prominent individuals caught up, wittingly or unwittingly, in the secret superpower struggle for hearts and minds, the revelations of 1967 were one of the worst operational disasters in the history of American intelligence and presaged a series of public scandals from which the CIA's reputation has arguably never recovered.
 

likesfish

Paid Male escort complete with Handcuffs
The Cold War.
Russia wasn't insane enough to attack America but America was crazy enough to believe they would.
 
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