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School for dictators: A scholarship to learn how to rule the world


A University in China offers a master’s program to those who wish to master the art of being a ruler.

The Schwarzman Scholars Program is a new master’s program at Tsinghua University, China that seeks to “educate students about leadership and about China’s expanding role in the world.”

The program was created by Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive and co-founder of Blackstone, an American multinational private equity corporation based in New York. Mr. Schwarzman started the program, supposedly, with the goal of identifying “your best guess as future leaders of the world.”

With Schwarzman’s estimated net worth totaling at least $9.6 billion, it is good to learn, once again, that the rich and powerful are trying their hardest to shape the future leaders of the world.

Though this program could be construed as a philanthropic effort, a deeper look reveals other interests. Aside from Schwarzman donating his own money to the cause, other sponsors include Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Boeing Co., Caterpillar Inc., and General Electric Co.

This elite group of sponsors is matched by a highly influential Advisory Board, which, according to the Guardian, has the role of providing “help where help is needed.” This can be seen most clearly with former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, who was able to draw on his extensive list of contacts in China to contribute to the program.

The members of the Advisory Board also include Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Nicolas Sarkozy, to name a few. Together, these advisers have one heck of a portfolio.

For example, Sarkozy was the president of France from 2007 until 2012 and was responsible for the destruction of Libya in 2011. According to the U.N. Human Development Index ratings (2010), Libya had the highest standard of living out of any country in Africa. In 2015, alone, Libya fell 27 places on the U.N. list.

Sarkozy’s role in the Libyan war was not minimal. In fact, it was a French jet that first struck Muammar Gaddafi’s motorcade before al-Qaeda-linked rebels were brought in to assassinate him without trial. Murdering Gaddafi was no accident, as the corrupt French president had a vested interest in burying his connections with the Libyan ruler; Sarkozy reportedly received 50 million Euros directly from Gaddafi for his election campaign.

Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, was the man who systematically lied to the U.N. to justify invading Iraq in 2003, which helped plunge the country into chaos. A former top aide to Colin Powell said he wished he had not been involved in the fiasco, adding, “I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life.”

Following Powell’s blatant lies to the U.N., Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, joined the invasion of the already fragile nation, helping to create the turmoil we witness today. It is not an understatement to say the Iraq War created ISIS. Shortly after the invasion, the coalition dissolved the police and military and fired over 400,000 servicemen simply because they were members of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party. Many of these men now hold senior positions within ISIS.

In light of this stellar record, Blair was appointed as a Middle East peace envoy, tasked with trying to maintain peace in the Middle East, particularly between Israel and what is left of Palestine. Unfortunately, Blair had other things to do – mainly making himself rich – and he resigned in 2015 having made little progress.

Condoleezza Rice was arguably George W. Bush’s closest adviser, so she, too, deserves an honorable mention for the crime of invading Iraq — a decision she still defends.

Finally, Henry Kissinger, former national security adviser and secretary of state for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, is a man still wanted for alleged war crimes. In his book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens outlines Kissinger’s involvement in war crimes committed in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, and East Timor. Despite these damning allegations, Kissinger is heavily involved with American foreign policy to this day. Former NSA adviser James L. Jones admitted this horrifying fact when he stated, “I take my daily orders from Dr. Kissinger.”

Kissinger played a powerful role in the disastrous Vietnam War, yet he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his involvement. As satirist Tom Lehrer famously stated, “political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize.”

What would Lehrer say if he knew Kissinger was involved in advising and mentoring future world leaders on how to continue his legacy? Noam Chomsky, a notorious critic of U.S. foreign policy, put it mildly when he said, “With that choice of advisers I frankly wouldn’t expect much.”

In completing the course, students will have a choice of four academic disciplines: public policy, international relations, economics, or business and engineering. The course is expected to be completed in three legs. The first leg provides an intensive academic experience, including studying Chinese culture, history, economics, politics, and international relations. The second leg seeks to give the recipients a deep understanding of Chinese culture, professions, and language. The third leg consists of the recipient enjoying a rich and varied college life in the hopes of bringing the academic and Chinese experiences together.

How a Master’s course can achieve all of this in one year, creating the future leaders of the world at the same time, is yet to be seen.

In order to understand what Noam Chomsky’s pessimism is all about, look no further than the current scholarship recipients, one of whom is Lt. Daniel Glenn. Glenn is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and did his interview for the program via Skype from a secret location within Iraq. Glenn intends to one day run for Senate, and with his genuine interest in engaging in war-ravaged Muslim nations, he seems to be well on his way.

(, Darius Shahtahmasebi)

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