Invisible History Blog
We'll explore anomalies we discovered while researching the causes of the Soviet and American invasions of Afghanistan. We look forward to your comments. Paul & Liz.
Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire
Focuses on the AfPak strategy and the importance of the Durand Line, the border separating Pakistan from Afghanistan but referred to by the military and intelligence community as Zero line. The U.S. fought on the side of extremist-political Islam from Pakistan during the 1980s and against it from Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. It is therefore appropriate to think of the Durand/Zero line as the place where America’s intentions face themselves; the alpha and omega of nearly 60 years of American policy in Eurasia. The Durand line is visible on a map. Zero line is not.(Coming February, 2011) (read more)
"A serious, sobering study... illuminates a critical point of view rarely discussed by our media...results of this willful ignorance have been disastrous to our national well-being."
Read the document that reveals an invasion of Afghanistan by the Shah of Iran was being prepared years before the Soviets invaded. Read more...
A 19th century philosophy still in use by Washington that infuses a sense of divine mission into the politics of empire building. Read more...
We'll explore anomalies we discovered while researching the causes of the Soviet and American invasions of Afghanistan. We look forward to your comments. Paul & Liz.
America’s conflict with Russia regarding the Ukraine and the transformation of Muslim extremists into the leadership of the Islamic State (ISIS) were both triggered by a legacy of tragically flawed US policies towards Central Asia and the Soviet Union going back to the post-World War II era. This process reached its most deadly phase at least 6 months prior to the December 27, 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when President Jimmy Carter signed a secret directive allowing his national security advisor Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski to empower Muslim extremists in Central Asia to trick the Soviet Union into an invasion of Afghanistan
In a 1998 interview in Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski boasted, “That secret operation was an excellent idea. Its objective was to lead the Russian to the Afghan trap, and you want me to regret it? The very same day the Soviets crossed the Afghan border I wrote the following to President Carter: This is our chance to give Russia its Viet Nam.” The reporter then asked, “Aren’t you sorry either for favoring Islamic fundamentalism and providing weapons and consultancies to future terrorists?” Without hesitation Brzezinski responded, “What is the most important thing when you look at world history, the Taliban or the fall of the Soviet empire? Some excited Islamists or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?” Brzezinski clearly was convinced that his 1979 policy was correct regardless of the blowback. Winning the “Cold War” was all that mattered back then.
Ironically, once the anti- Muslim backlash began to grow after 9/11, Brzezinski started calling for an end to irrational hostilities towards the Muslim world as a solution to the spread of Islamic extremism. In a 2008 Kommersant.com interview Brzezinski even referred to himself as an optimist in Russian-American relations and that the younger generation of both countries would find much in common as soon as “the dinosaurs of the Cold War” die out. Since the Ukraine crisis erupted it is obvious that Dr. Brzezinski terribly miscalculated not only the negative long-term effects of his policies on the US and the region but how tenaciously those “dinosaurs of the Cold War” could continue to hold the Washington bureaucracy in its grip.
WATCH our presentation-Afghanistan and Mystical Imperialism: An expose of the esoteric underpinnings of American foreign policy Read a review from Examiner.com: Afghanistan bedeviled by ‘Mystical Imperialism’.
“… the Supreme Court has held that in matters of legislation, law, and public programs, the religious positions of one person (and of course they have recently reaffirmed the original 1880s railroad-lawyers-Court decision that corporations are people (see “Citizens United”), can outweigh the religious position, or non-religious but ethical/moral position, of another.”
“And so, what the Court has done here is to take one set of religious beliefs, that of the owners of a company incorporated under public law (and gaining the tax benefits of so doing), and placed them above the religious beliefs of their employees, all in the name of religious freedom.”
OpEdNews Op Eds 7/7/2014 at 09:47:03
On the Road to Theocracy: The Hobby Lobby Decision
The Hobby Lobby decision has many implications. First, one must agree with Justice Ginsburg that regardless of Justices Alito’s caveats, the tide unleashed by the decision of the Right-wing Five is not going to stop at the shoreline of the separation of church and state any time soon. And for the long-range future of the United States, that is the most significant element of the decision. That is not to say that it also has horrible outcomes for women and their sexual behavior, their private lives, and their private decision-making. As Andy Borowitz so cogently put it, “Supreme Court Majority Calls Case a Dispute between Women and People.” Chiming in was everyone’s favorite very-far-right GOP Senator Mike Lee of Utah who said that most women who use contraceptives do so for “recreational purposes.” Like that’s supposed to make a difference on whether or not a public corporation can discriminate against women on their choice of FDA approved contraceptives, on religious grounds. Read more…
Ignoring Russia’s peace plan today is a repeat of what happened when we brought back the news from Kabul in 1981 of what it would take to get the Soviet’s out of Afghanistan and the Reagan administration ignored the opportunity with the same dismissive attitude as Obama’s today. Here is the story of our effort from a presentation we gave recently:
“The footage from our 1981 trip did not conform to what CBS NEWS expected to see. We were told by the CBS producer that the front office had thrashed around for a month trying to figure out how to make our story conform to the official narrative. They finally settled on comparing what we saw to Soviet propaganda. What CBS expected was the official narrative that Dan Rather had presented to the country a year earlier: That the Soviets were bent on controlling Persian Gulf oil and that the U.S. wasn’t doing enough to stop them. Dan Rather did show Afghan President Babrak Karmal praising the presence of the Soviets. What Rather didn’t show was Babrak Karmal citing the undeclared war by the United States being waged from Pakistan and the conditions under which the Soviets would withdraw. This of course is what complicated the telling of our story for CBS News because at the time the official line out of Washington held that the U.S. wasn’t supporting the Mujahideen even though everybody on both sides of the Durand line knew it.
Our return trip in the spring of 1983 for ABC NIGHTLINE was to follow up on Karmal’s statement. Was this just more Soviet propaganda put out to weaken America’s resolve in the war against the Soviet empire? Or was it true? And if so what would it take for the Soviets to go home? Roger Fisher of the Harvard Negotiation Project had already been approached by the Soviets in the fall of 1982 to help them get out of Afghanistan when we offered him the opportunity to go with us to Kabul and the results were startling. The Soviets did wish to withdraw their forces as long as the United States would pull back support for the resistance, allow them to save face and help in establishing a non-aligned coalition government that would be acceptable to everyone. Roger’s recommendation that the U.S offer up a Golden bridge was never seriously considered in Washington because at that moment Charlie Wilson’s war was gaining political traction as a vindication for Vietnam. As the momentum grew, everybody in Congress climbed on board the effort to hurt the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, despite concern at the CIA and the Pentagon that the war could never be turned off.”
“Let me repeat again, that in Russia’s view, the blame for the crisis in Ukraine lies with those who organized the coup d’etat in Kiev on February 22-23… But whatever the case, we must look for a way to solve the situation as it is today…And, as I said, what is needed is direct, full-fledged and equal dialogue between the Kiev authorities and the representatives of people in southeast Ukraine…I don’t know whether a Geneva-2 round of talks… is realistic. (But) I believe that if we want to find a long-term solution to the crisis, there must be an open, honest and equal dialogue. That is our only option.” ~~Russian President Vladimir Putin, press statement, OCSE meeting, Moscow, May 7, 2014
“So many lie beneath the eternal granite
But of those honored by this stone
Let no one be forgotten
Let nothing be forgotten.”~~Olga Berggolts, “Leningrad”
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal for ending the violence in Ukraine at an OCSE (Organization for the Cooperation and Security in Europe) in Moscow. Unfortunately, most Americans never heard what he had to say because the media failed to publish his statement. The reason for the omission is fairly obvious, the media doesn’t want people to know that Putin is not the ghoulish, authoritarian caricature he’s portrayed to be, but a levelheaded pragmatist who wants a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis. Here is what he said:
“We think the most important thing now is to launch direct dialogue, genuine, full-fledged dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of southeast Ukraine. This dialogue could give people from southeast Ukraine the chance to see that their lawful rights in Ukraine really will be guaranteed.”
Does that sound like a bloodthirsty “KGB thug” who’s driven by dreams of territorial expansion and empire-building or does it sound like a responsible leader who wants to facilitate a cease-fire until cooler heads prevail? Read more here
“The re-assertion of Russian identity, meanwhile, is as brutal a business as Russian self-assertion has been since the time of Peter the Great. Putin’s patriotism is not my patriotism. I don’t particularly like what Putin did in Crimea, but it was delusional to expect any other course of action. Russia is short of Russians, and it cannot ignore the 22 million Russians left stranded in newly independent republics of the former Soviet Union.”
By Spengler Asia Times
An Obama administration official leaked to the New York Times on Sunday the fact that German Chancellor Angela Merkel told President Obama she wasn’t sure if Putin was in touch with reality. “In another world,” Merkel reportedly said, according to the leak. Then in a conference call with reporters later in the day, three administration officials took turns firing rhetorical shots: “[B]eing inside Putin’s head is not someplace anyone wants to be.”
I doubt that Merkel ever said it, but that’s a different question. Russia, as Colonel Ralph Peters (retired) told Sean Hannity last week, “believes in Russia”; to the Obamoids, belief in one’s country is prima facie evidence of mental defect. Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain and Senator Marco Rubio meanwhile compare Putin to Hitler, an example of what the late Leo Strauss derided as “reduction ad Hitlerium”. Read more here.
“When Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925) reflected on the history of civilization, he envisioned a special role for Russia, because he considered Russia the country that could best embody the spirit of a new cultural epoch. In Russia, Anthroposophy developed beyond the mere study of an esoteric doctrine and its theory of knowledge. Anthroposophy sought to evaluate Russian and Soviet reality concretely, to interpret Russia’s historical development in the context of world history, and to become the basis of action for Russian cultural activities. Russian Anthroposophy is more than a variant of the Anthroposophical movement. Russia occupies a prominent place in the Anthroposophical conception of culture.
Steiner structured the history of civilzation in seven (post –Atlantean) periods: Indian, ancient Persia, Egyptian-Chaldean, Greek-Roman, Central European, Slavic, and American. According to his scheme, humanity at the end of the fifth ,the central European period-that is, at the threshold of the end of the fifth, the Central European period-that is, at the threshold of the sixth period, the Slavic period. The fifth post-Atlantean epoch began in the first half of the fifteenth century among the Germanic peoples. It manifested itself through an increase in individualism and through a growing interest in the sciences and technology. Around the year 3500, this era of perception was to be succeeded by the sixth epoch, the epic of the “Spirit Self” the characteristics of the Slavic people were to prevail: a sense of community, selflessness, patience, and the ability to accept a higher truth. These qualities constitute the basis for the ’seed’ of the world spirit incarnation in the Russian people, according to Steiner, the broad Russian masses already carried in them the seed of the coming civilization. Steiner used the image of ’seed’ repeatedly to describe the state of Russia’s development, the embryonic, nuclear state of the East as opposed to the ‘hypertrophy’ of the West. The spirit of the Russian people was ‘young and fresh in it’s hopes’ and ‘yet to confront it’s task.’ This task, to suffuse all aspects of life with new meaning, would be realized only in the course of history. Steiner called the Russian a child, in whose very soul one could find the questions that must be answered if humanity was to master the future. From the Russian character traits Steiner derived the capability of holistic thinking. In the Russian way of thinking, as he saw it, two opposing concepts can hold sway simultaneously so that rationality was mysticism and mysticism is rationality. ‘The Russian does not have the slightest understanding of what Westerners call ‘reasonableness.’ He is accessible to what we term ‘revelation. Basically, he will accept and integrate into the content of his soul anything he owns to a kind of revelation.”
In Soloviev’s ideas Steiner saw the seed of the philosophy of the ‘Spirit Self’ of the sixth epoch, for here the religious and philosophical worldviews merged. Soloviev’s philosophy spoke the language of religion, while his religion strove a philosophical worldview.” According to Steiner, this was where the superiority of the Russian philosophy over the aging Western philosophy lay: it transcended the limits of reason and it built a basis for a new holistic understanding. In order to develop the capacities and to fulfill its mission, Steiner said, the Russian people needed contact with the West; the ‘female East’ should be impregnated by the ‘male West.’ Intellectuality and technology, the achievement and problem of the fifth epoch of civilization, had led the life force to stagnate in Europe. Meanwhile this life force was at work in Russia, but was so lacking in form that it could fall into chaos. That was why Steiner felt that Russia depended on a Western awareness of form and consciousness. ‘To imagine that the East, at its present state, would develop on its own would be comparable to the foolish hope of a woman who wanted to have a child without a man. In the past, Eastern Europe had proved its receptiveness to the West. Steiner pointed to the reception of the Byzantine religion in Russia. Thus the Slavic peoples showed that they were also capable of absorbing higher truths- that is, the spirit of the sixth epoch.”
We made a documentary with economist John Kenneth Galbraith and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) negotiator Paul Warnke on the eve of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Our timing with this issue made the Soviet invasion seem all too convenient. As we point out at the very end, it was President Carter who asked the Senate to hold back on ratification of SALT II following the invasion while having secretly authorized Brzezinski’s black project to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan in the first place. The Soviet invasion enabled the military/industrial/congressional complex to shift the political discussion permanently away from the civilian sector and towards the need for an unending military escalation of all sectors of the economy. It’s the basis of the false narrative of triumphalism our country is dying from today.
America’s Financial Armageddon and Afghanistan is an article we wrote that goes more deeply into the Cold War effects on today’s economy.
America’s Financial Armageddon and Afghanistan
by PAUL FITZGERALD and ELIZABETH GOULD
The U.S. economy grinds down to a finish, it becomes increasingly difficult to measure whether Washington understands the importance of how to deal realistically with the worsening crisis in Afghanistan. Left off the front pages during the recent obsession with the debt crisis, Afghanistan has lurched back onto the scene in ways that are reminiscent of the Soviet collapse of two decades ago. After ten years of war, it seems Washington not only continues to lack a comprehensive understanding of Afghanistan, but it lacks an understanding of its own role in creating both the economic and political catastrophe it now faces.
Even less understood is how the political decisions of the late 1970s are tied to the current simultaneous financial and foreign policy crisis. Nor is it understood how Washington and Wall Street set the stage for America’s financial downfall by using Afghanistan as an investment bank throughout the 1980s to renew the Cold War instead of reinvesting in America’s civilian economy.
Much like today, the America of 1979 faced a crossroads. Vietnam, two oil shocks, a disintegrating infrastructure, a beleaguered manufacturing base and the loss of strategic ally Iran had shown that America was a vulnerable colossus. Thirty five years of economic Cold War against the Soviet Union and China had produced a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons that were proving as useless as they were unusable. World War II had set the stage for the happy marriage of war production to business — pulling the U.S. out of the depression by doubling the Gross National Product in one year (1940). The Cold War ushered the financial benefits of the 1940s into the 1950s and 1960s. But these expenditures came at a massive expense to the civilian economy and not just in terms of tax dollars. Weapons development of the post World War II years lured America’s best and brightest away from the civilian economy and even the real world of guns, tanks and armies into a world detached from time, space and money. While Germany and Japan rebuilt their civilian industries free from defense spending, the U.S. moved into ever higher levels of technology, glorifying and expanding the influence of the defense industry into every fabric of American life.
Originally termed Military Keynesianism to describe the buildup of the German defense industry prior to World War II, America’s military Keynesianism of the Cold War was the unseen hand of government supporting the American economy, balancing the cyclical ups and downs of the market by providing 16 percent of the Gross Domestic Product in 1950s and 9 percent in the 1960s. By 1963 defense spending accounted for 52 percent of all the research and development done in the United States. But by the mid-1970s, a stagnant American economy combined with the Arab oil embargo and inflation brought on by the Vietnam War exposed the weakness in the system. As German and Japanese manufacturers battered their American competition in the marketplace, the defense-heavy American economy faltered.
Born of necessity, diplomatic overtures to China and détente with the Soviets offered the first chance since World War II to get off the wartime treadmill. To that end, for most of the decade the U.S. and Soviet Union pursued Strategic Arms Limitation Talks.
Endorsed by President Nixon in 1972, it was hoped that the agreement signed by President Carter and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev would enable the United States to back away from weapons manufacturing and reinvest those resources in the civilian economy. But the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan changed all that.
Our involvement in this story began in the summer of 1979 when we began production of a documentary we called Arms Race and the Economy: A Delicate Balance. During the next months numerous experts including economist John Kenneth Galbraith lent their experience to our understanding of the unseen damage that a massive new diversion of tax dollars and capital investment would represent to the civilian economy. The arms race wasn’t just about defending the United States. The arms race was also about jobs and money in a dark world of business, science, and politics ruled over by a self-described “priesthood” of experts. Galbraith insisted that accelerated defense spending and renewing the Cold War, which the neoconservative right was lobbying hard for at the time, would ultimately destroy the civilian economy. He was convinced that the Cold War had already helped rigidify the capitalist system by bureaucratizing a large part of production for non-productive uses. He saw American industry becoming more and more like the Soviet Union, ruled by a military-industrial-academic establishment immune from reality, living in a planned economy designed to suit its own needs at the expense of society.
Galbraith jokingly referred to his “First Law of Executive Talent” that he had formulated to describe the thinking of America’s military-industrial leadership. “It was that all great executives come to resemble intellectually the products they manufacture. Until you had done business with top officers of the steel industry, you didn’t really appreciate the intellectual qualities of a billet of steel.” So it was with the defense department. America’s militarized economy was already in essence a Soviet-style “planned economy,” to make it an even larger part of the economy would only lock the U.S. into the same dismal fate.
That fall, in Washington, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was one of the last holdouts of sanity in a rolling sea of hysterical accusations about American security. Was the Soviet Union really planning a sneak attack on the United States with nuclear weapons as the right wing claimed? Was SALT II really just a public relations scheme by Moscow to put the U.S. off its guard?
In hindsight we know that these claims were absurd. The Soviet Union was dying, driven to SALT by its weakness, not its strength. But when the Soviets crossed their southern border into Afghanistan that December of 1979 it played out on America’s TV screens like a World War II Hollywood B movie. Afghanistan was a far off South Asian country of no particular interest to the United States. A half dozen administrations had refused Afghan requests for military assistance. Eisenhower’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’s callous and careless diplomacy drove Afghanistan towards Moscow in the mid 1950s and its politics followed close behind. A low priority remnant from Britain’s colonial empire, President Carter labeled the invasion, “the greatest threat to peace since the second World War.” But the script had already been written long before the Soviet’s crossed their southern border on December 27, 1979.
A trap had been set to give the Soviets their own Vietnam and the Soviets had taken the bait. But no one outside a handful of policy experts and Wall Street wizards were supposed to know that. Instead, a crop of neoconservative experts appeared on the scene claiming the Soviets were running out of oil and using Afghanistan as a staging ground for Middle East conquest.
By the time our program aired that winter, the argument was no longer whether our government should call a halt to the nuclear arms race and reinvest in the civilian economy. The U.S. had stepped into the mirror with the media echoing a return to 1947 style Cold War rhetoric, and the debate refocused not on whether, but on how much was to be spent to counter Soviet aggression.
In the planning stages for most of the decade, the new right’s military stimulus program regained for them a strategic hold over the economy, raising American investment in new weapons systems to a new high, while setting in motion a series of changes to the fundamental economic order endemic to the previous iteration of the Cold War.
As it had in the 1950s and 1960s, military spending once again drove the American economy, accounting for up to 6.2 percent of GDP by 1984. But where previous defense spending had been carefully balanced against America’s industrial output as a percentage of GNP, the so-called Reagan agenda or Reaganomics required massive borrowing to finance the military budget while reducing regulation and oversight of where it was spent. This change would transform American thinking about the economy, sending it into a star wars unreality and more importantly from a creditor to a debtor economy.
Always detached from the real economy, the Reagan budgets lifted the arms race and its Wall Street backers into the stratosphere, focusing the nation’s attention away from the depression era roads, bridges, dams, schools and industry that were in desperate need of attention. Instead, America became transfixed by the phantom of an ever present danger of Soviet troops in Afghanistan and a stock market driven by the military’s expansion.
A Campaign Where the Lie Became the Truth and the Truth Became the Enemy of the State
A Campaign Where the Lie Became the Truth and the Truth Became the Enemy of the State
By Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald
9/11. The number still rings in the mind as if chosen to act as a Pavlovian trigger: Outrage, anger, paranoia, retribution. A shadowy band of religious zealots fly not one, but two commercial airliners into the heart of America’s financial community while others deal a deadly blow to the Pentagon. It was a Hollywood movie, an act of war rivaling Pearl Harbor. Why did it happen? Who would do this to Americans, to America? How could a band of ragged terrorists plotting from a cave in faraway Afghanistan have accomplished such a complex task given the size and pervasiveness of the largest and most expensive military/intelligence apparatus in the history of the world? And even more curiously, why would Islamic radicals give the ideology-driven neoconservative administration of George W. Bush exactly the pretext they needed to launch a bloody invasion and further occupation of the Middle East?
According to the official narrative, 9/11 was an attack on everything American and in so doing changed everything about America. Like Kafkaesque characters who’d suddenly found themselves on the other side of a Cold War “Iron Curtain” mirror, Americans would now have to “watch what they say and watch what they do,” open up to questioning or face jail when prodded by squinty-eyed border guards and forsake any hope of privacy or dignity in a new world of electronic spies and full body scans. Former National Security Advisor, Admiral John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness program would be enacted and a preexisting “Patriot Act” would be signed into law to clamp down on dissent and real or imagined domestic terrorism.
Some careful observers like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times had already noticed the bizarre coup-like changes coming over Washington in the months leading up to the attack as the George W. Bush administration inaugurated radical shifts in domestic and foreign policy that seemed un-American and alien to anything that had gone before. But those concerns would soon be forgotten in the race for revenge.
9/11 would ultimately give President George W. Bush and his neoconservative advisors all the public approval they needed to transform America and invade Afghanistan and Iraq to cleanse the world of evil in an endless “war on terror.” In the end it would turn America’s reputation for racial and religious tolerance, military invincibility and economic dominance on its head.
Looking back on the carnage of the last ten years it’s easy to see how the psychology of 9/11 changed America. What’s not easy to see is how a long standing campaign of covert psychological warfare built up since the early days of World War II had made the slow destruction of American democracy and the ascension of rule by secrecy inevitable, long before the planes ever left the runway on 9/11:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” -Dr. Joseph Goebbels
As chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, Joseph Goebbels system of black propaganda not only helped Hitler’s rise to power but kept him there by utilizing near-hypnotic powers over the German people even after the consequences of his disastrous failures had become obvious.
To counter Goebbels’ propaganda theatre emanating from Nazi party headquarters at Munich’s Braunes Haus (Brown House), an organization named Freedom House was founded in New York City in 1941. Fronted by American celebrities and public luminaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt, the brains behind the outfit was Leo Cherne, the psychological warfare specialist/co-founder of the Research Institute of America (RIA), which would much later be labeled the “CIA for businessmen.”
If anyone was a match for Goebbels mastery of the black arts of psychological warfare it was Cherne. In 1938 Cherne had published a guide to industrial mobilization in Adjusting Your Business to War, prophetically forecasting the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939 and on September 1st of that year completed a 3000-page report titled, Industrial Mobilization Plans for World War II, the very day that German troops crossed into Poland.
That same year Cherne asked a young protégé named William J. Casey, the future director of the CIA, “How do you take a country like ours, stuck in depression, and convert it into an arsenal?” Their combined answer was the loose-leaf book called The War Coordinator. Cherne and Casey’s psychological warfare campaign would establish a narrative that didn’t just embrace freedom as its major theme, in their minds their ideas would actually become Freedom and through the use of propaganda would grow and harden over the decades into an impenetrable shield-like narrative of American triumphalism.
Cherne’s prophecies on war and business attained a near mystical quality and over the decades following World War II he would attract the most powerful and influential figures in American business and politics to his causes. A listing of Freedom House trustees on its 50th anniversary in 1991 includes people as diverse as Kenneth L. Adelman, Andrew Young, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Albert Shanker, Donald Rumsfeld and James Woolsey. It has since become an exclusive neoconservative bastion.
Freedom House’s narrative is no less than the narrative of the American century where, “It has fought on the side of freedom and against aggressors in struggles that can be evoked by simple words and phrases: the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, NATO, Hungarian Freedom Fighters, the Berlin Wall, the Prague Spring…” and of course Afghanistan.
We experienced Freedom House’s simple words and phrases and their dark influence on the major media in the spring of 1983 in a televised Nightline program following a trip to Afghanistan with Harvard Negotiation Project Director, Roger Fisher. We had brought Fisher to Afghanistan to explore the possibilities of a Soviet withdrawal of forces and discovered the Soviets were desperate to get out. But instead of expanding on Fisher’s efforts to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, host Ted Koppel undermined the very premise of the discussion by introducing a political officer of the Jamaat-i Islami, which Koppel described as “an anti-communist resistance group based in Pakistan. He is here in the United States under the auspices of two American organizations, concerned with democracy in Afghanistan, the Afghan Relief Committee and Freedom House.”
Had Koppel and Freedom House really been concerned about democracy in Afghanistan, their choice of the Jamaat-i Islami could not be viewed as anything but the darkest of black propaganda, an outright lie.
Originally founded by the Pakistani theologian Abul Ala Maudidi in 1941, the goal of the Jamaat-i Islami was more than just that of gaining political representation for radical Islamists. The Jamaat was to be an all-embracing, extremist Islamic Society, crafted through the strictest interpretation of Islamic law, as a replacement for a modern western-style democracy.
Through the help of the mainstream media during the 1980s the psychological war promoted by Freedom House and Ronald Reagan’s C.I.A. director William J. Casey held the Soviets in Afghanistan for an additional six years, destabilized Central Asia, encouraged the growth of the largest heroin operation in history and enabled the rise of the very Islamic extremists that allegedly planned and carried off the attacks on 9/11.
Ten years after 9/11 Afghanistan remains the center of a growing Islamic insurgency and the longest war in American history. The success of America’s seventy year old psychological warfare campaign, where the lie became the truth and the truth became the enemy of the state, has now so disorientated America’s institutional thinking that we have reached the moment when the state can no longer shield the American people from the consequences of that lie.
Part III A Clockwork Afghanistan
Copyright © 2011 Gould & Fitzgerald All rights reserved
Mystical Covert Agendas
America’s New Role as the Dark Force
By Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald
As the U.S. becomes more and more the kind of country it has traditionally opposed, the answer to where we are headed may lie more in the arcane traditions of a dim past than in a bright future.
“‘We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,’ a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit.”
If anyone (correctly) thought that the war on terror and Washington’s response to it had taken on a fantastical otherworldly quality, this recent quote on the front page of the Washington Post seemed to confirm it.
Following 9/11 the elected government of the United States of America delivered the country to a whole department (of Homeland Security) dedicated to expanding the government’s fear of darkness into everybody’s life (remember the 2003 duct tape and plastic sheeting craze?) Now we also have a top secret military operation known as the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that thinks it is the dark.
Begun as a modest hostage rescue team, JSOC has morphed into a veritable heart of darkness, with the power to murder at will and with immunity from American legal jurisdiction (which apparently still maintains that such assassinations are illegal).
Even within the military, JSOC operates as a “Stovepipe,” operation, meaning that it operates completely in the black, reports to no one and continues to employ rogue ex-CIA professionals such as indicted Iran Contra operative Dewey Clarridge. The Navy Seal Team that took out Osama bin Laden operated under JSOC. Retired military personnel refer to JSOC as “Murder, Incorporated” and the “most dangerous people on the face of the earth.”
But if JSOC’s reputation for secrecy, vengeance and death from above can’t be explained from within the context of traditional U.S. military operations or U.S. law, then what set of rules is it operating from? Or is it simply that the traditions of rationalism and law that most Americans took for granted about the United States are subject to deeper, religious, or perhaps even mystical rules, whose anachronistic logic has found a renewed acceptance in an irrational world of personal, private and holy war?
No one less than the legendary Cold Warrior, Time Magazine’s Henry Luce understood that his passion for defeating Communism constituted “a declaration of private war,” which, in citing the example of the privateer Sir Francis Drake made it not only “unlawful,” but “probably mad.” As the child of American missionaries, Luce was committed to the militant spread of Christian Capitalism while viewing its ultimate triumph over the world as an inevitable consequence of God’s will.
Known to its 19th century advocates as mystical imperialism, the term can be traced to both Britain and Russia’s 19th century efforts to establish dominion through a mix of imperialism and Christian zeal. The competition came to a dead stop in Afghanistan with the end of the Great Game in 1907. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 complicated matters by infusing a heavy dose of socialist realism. But with the advent of the Cold War and the mysterious and intoxicating god-like qualities inherent in nuclear weapons, a new iteration of mystical imperialism came into being.
America’s mystical Cold War warriors were far removed technologically from their 19th century counterparts whose Christian elite believed they were bringing rational western thinking to the “darker regions of the earth.”
The sole purpose of America’s mid 20th century defense intellectuals was to rationalize nuclear war scientifically. Their failure over time ultimately dragged an entire stratum of American scientific and political thought back into the irrational realm of medieval mysticism. A 1960s London Times Literary Supplement marveled at the new priesthood who moved as freely through the corridors of the Pentagon and the State Department as the Jesuits once had through the courts of Madrid and Vienna, centuries before. Tasked with defeating Communism they invented their own reality, accelerated the nuclear arms race, created the domino theory of Communist expansion and then escalated the war in Vietnam to counter it.
President Kennedy’s science advisor Jerome Wiesner eventually came to realize that the so called “missile gap” and the massive buildup of America’s nuclear arsenal in response to it was only a “mirror image” of America’s own intentions towards the Soviet Union and not the other way around. Yet instead of addressing the error, the U.S. slipped deeper into the Cold War mirror until its own identity began to take on the image of its “Other.”
By 1973 these thermonuclear Jesuits and their CIA counterparts were using the U.S., NATO, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia to shake the Soviet Union’s domination over Central Asia through a Christian/Islamic holy war in Afghanistan. In a rational world it might be assumed that this war was supposed to stop with the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. But instead of ending, America’s full blown splurge into personal and private holy war had caused the U.S. to slip into a crisis of identity.
Forced after seventy five years of anti-communism to finally define itself based on what it stood for and not what it stood against, the United States entered a house of mirrors in which it continues to wander. Stricken by the results of decades of economic and military excess, it finds its mission confused and its underlying philosophical grounding threatened.
What is America on the eve of 2012? Who are these Americans who revel in their dark powers? What have we become and how did we get that way?
Join us as we explore the little-analyzed facts and mystical covert agendas that the United States continues to press on with into the 21st century and what those agendas may mean to America’s new role as the dark force that orders the universe in the run up to the 2012 presidential elections.
Part III- Making the Irrational Rational by turning the Empirical into the Lie & the Fantasy into the Truth
Copyright © 2011 Gould & Fitzgerald All rights reserved
Published on Boiling Frogs Post
The Afghan think tank we collaborate with, New World Strategies Coalition, has released an important policy brief. Pashtun Awakening: Defeat the Taliban by Changing the Narrative outlines a solution for the disintegrating situation in Afghanistan that can work for all the Afghan people. ======================================================================================= FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Afghanistan Policy Brief
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The New World Strategies Coalition, a think tank founded by native Afghans which creates nonmilitary solutions for Afghanistan, released its latest policy brief today entitled, Pashtun Awakening: Defeat the Taliban by Changing the Narrative.
The policy brief outlines a solution for resolving the situation in Afghanistan by exposing how Pakistan has systemically weakened Afghanistan’s sacred tribal structure via its Taliban proxy. Pakistan and the Taliban have conspired to keep the Pashtuns, the country’s largest ethnic group, in the dark ages in order to advance Islamabad’s age-old agenda of controlling Kabul, by replacing the Afghan ancient tribal code with the extremist ideology of the Taliban – a process we refer to as “de-Pashtunization.”
The objective of this brief is to provide U.S. policymakers with a snapshot of the ground truth in Afghanistan so they can make informed decisions on how to best address the de-Pashtunization of Afghan society. The key to setting the Afghans free is by setting the truth free, as the brief explains:
There is still hope if the Pashtuns can restore their sacred tribal structure and identify the Taliban movement for what it really is – a religious mafia concocted on white boards in Rawalpindi.
In order to accomplish this, NATO and ISAF should focus on unifying the Pashtuns through a grassroots information campaign – a path that will be much more effective than the military option:
If the crux of the problem is a lost narrative the solution is taking it back from the jihadists who hijacked it. This calls for identifying, confronting and defeating propaganda through public diplomacy counterstrikes and preemptive psychological tactics.
The Policy Brief can be downloaded by clicking here.