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.
Neoconservative pundits howled when Yale historian Paul Kennedy suggested in his 1987 study The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers that America and its global Empire, like all empires before it, was in a process of decline. The disintegration of the Soviet Union just a few years later in 1991 seemed to undermine Kennedy’s thesis as the United States expanded its influence into the U.S.S.R’s former territories and moved on Moscow to bury the former communist economy. However, following the financial crash of 2008 and the chaos caused by Washington’s military adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan, the illusion of American inevitability quickly vanished. Now, 30 years later, the idea that any empire facing unprecedented debt, political gridlock and military failure could somehow sustain itself purely on willpower and social media can only be described as delusional. Yet despite rising opposition to the costs and consequences at home and abroad, Washington’s demented imperialistsremain committed to Unipower dominance and are desperate to force the incoming Trump administration to obey its ghost.
Understanding the forces that drive Washington’s quest for empire may appear on the surface to be limited to money and power. But when it comes to the ultimate objectives of the so called Anglo/American “deep state” the foundations of today’s realities may be better explained by looking into the deep past.
The term Anglo/American itself bears within it a complex matrix of races, heterodox religious beliefs, families and family grudges that date back before the Norman Conquest of 1066. The army of Normans and mercenaries that gathered under William the Conqueror to invade England was drawn from across Europe but differed little from the population of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Danes and Normans that had already migrated there in previous centuries. The battle of Hastings established the nation of Britain as we know it today but what remains unappreciated is the degree to which those original Anglo/Norman warrior families continue to control decision-makingand remain at the epicenter of financial and political power nearly 1000 years later.
In its current expanded iteration consisting of the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand; known as the “Five Eyes”, the Anglo/American “deep state” came to gain political hegemony over the world following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, although popularly known as the “Anglo/Saxon” nations, a more accurate description of the genetic legacy should read Anglo/Norman.
In 2005 when a historian in Wexford Ireland discovered that President George W. Bush was a descendent of the 12th century Anglo/Norman Earl Richard de Clare, “Strongbow” it caused something of a commotion in the British press not to mention our own personal shock. I’d first heard the name Strongbow at the age of ten when my family-historian-aunt told me our branch of the Fitzgerald family had come to Ireland with him. During the 1990s I’d written a novel about his influence on the family and here he was again staring out from the imperial White House of George W. Bush.
As Strongbow’s vassals and veterans of the conquest of Wales, the Fitzgeralds had done their share of the dirty work of empire building. After taking part in the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the family and their extended clans had become deeply entwined in Angevin family politics as part of King William I’s invasion force of South Wales. The marriage (arranged by Henry I) of the patriarch of the Fitzgerald family, Gerald FitzWalter of Windsor to Princess Nest, daughter of Rhys Ap Tewdwr (Tudor) the last king of the Britons, cemented the Fitzgeralds to an ancient British dynasty of kings and the Arthurian legends surrounding them. But our discovery of an old book titled Strongbow’s Conquest of Ireland forced us to realize that the standard historical accounts we were accustomed to have never included the deeper inside forces at work that made a true understanding of the past, possible.
The first Crusade to Jerusalem in 1099 came at a time of deep social unrest in Europe. Muslims occupied Portugal, Spain, Sicily and Southern Italy. Pagans warred with Christian Crusaders throughout Eastern Europe. Pope Urban II’s call for a Crusade to the holy land began a movement that would last until the failed Crusade of the Spanish Armada against Elizabeth I’s English heretics in 1588. Unlike most dry, bowdlerized accounts of the origins of British history, Strongbow’s Conquest offered up a personal account by a family prelate named Gerald de Barry (Gerald of Wales). Gerald was also the personal tutor to the future Angevin King John and offered plenty of insight into dealing with Henry II’s internecine warfare with and between his three sons. For us, the family feuds surrounding the conquest of Ireland detailed by Gerald of Wales personalized our understanding of an historical event and the beginnings of British history. Now with the Bush connection to Strongbow came a chance to take those family feuds and track them a thousand years into the future.
Ever since John Fitzgerald Kennedy, tracing a presidential candidate’s lineage to Ireland is a common pastime. But the Guardian’s description of Strongbow as “a desperate land-grabbing warlord whose calamitous foreign adventure led to the suffering of generations” was a sadly deficient twist on what had really happened. Strongbow was an Anglo-Norman Earl with a long Viking lineage from one of the most powerful Norman/French families in 12th century England. His grandfather Gilbert and great uncle Roger were closely affiliated with William the conqueror’s son King William Rufus and were among the few intimates present at his mysterious murder by Walter Tyrell in the New Forest in 1100. The de Clare brothers were never implicated in Rufus’s death but along with a select handful of Norman barons gained great wealth and prominence from backing the rise of his successor, Henry I.
Evidence of heretical cult practices swirls around the 11th century court of William Rufus and his ruling nobles. William Rufus regarded himself as divine, was an avowed pagan, openly homosexual and fiercely anti-Christian. He surrounded himself with long haired, clean shaven “effeminati”, compared himself to Alexander the Great and acted as a patron to the Troubadours. The conquest of Wales brought him into contact with a Prince of Dyfed named Bledri, author of the original Grail romances who remained friendly to William Rufus throughout the wars against the Welsh. Norman mercenaries who’d fought Muslims in southern Italy were no strangers to dualist life-denying heresies and neither were the courts of France from where the new English royalty drew its political base.
The threat to the Roman Church by these heresies was not a simple challenge. As described by Reverend V.A. Demant, Canon of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in a preface to a 1947 book on the subject titled The Arrow and the Sword, “It was in fact a rival religion and almost succeeded in being a counter-Church with its own rival and ritual system.”
By 1170 the struggle for power within that system extended to Strongbow’s challenge to the authority of King Henry II’s House of Anjou and his threat to set himself up as a rival Norman King of Ireland. Upon his death in 1176 the challenge extended to the Fitzgerald antecedents of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. At the behest of Strongbow a number of Fitzgerald vassals married directly into the de Clare family line shortly after coming to Ireland and to the horror of the Angevin royal court, proceeded to establish themselves as a competing dynasty. With political and military independence and with religious connections to Rome, the Fitzgerald’s ambitions were viewed from London as dangerous from the very beginning and as the medieval Catholic Church evolved that danger would grow in bitter hatred.
Strongbow had been a Crusader, served in the Holy Land and was known to be a generous supporter of both the Knights Hospitaller and the infamous Knights Templar, the warrior monks for whom the Cistercian Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux penned De Laude Novae Militiae (In Praise of the new Knighthood) thereby redefining the very nature of murder when done in the name of Christ.
The early Catholic Church was riven with multiple dualist heresies left over from the conversion of the Roman Empire from pagan to Christian. Much has been romanticized in the past decades about the Knights Templar and their supposed dedication to the divine feminine as represented by the Holy Grail. Credited with magical powers of prophecy and divination, popular mythology such as Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code has them guarding the secrets of the Messianic Grail lineage, i.e. the royal descendants of the House of David from the marriage of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.
Other supposed Templar secrets link them to life-denying Gnostic cults like the Paulicians, Manicheansand Cathars. But less has been said about the Templar’s central role as bankers to Europe’s royalty and their practice of financing wars between Europe’s rival kings and princes.
The Templar Knighthood walked a fine line between two worlds in their role as bankers and “warrior monks” and often failed to maintain a balance between them. The Knights Templar’s circular “Temple” in the very center of the city of London still echoes their primary military and financial role as a prototype multinational bank opening trade routes between Europe and the Middle East. But their internecine political rivalries with the other Christian knighthoods, the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights and their long string of military defeats causing them to lose Jerusalem, precipitated their downfall.
On Friday October 13, 1307 the French King Philip IV, who was deeply indebted to the Templars, ordered them arrested and charged with heretical practices and on November 22 of that year under pressure from Philip, Pope Clement V issued the papal bull Pastoralis Praeeminentiae instructing all the monarchs of Europe to seize their assets.
Instead of capping a feud between the rival knighthoods and their benefactors, the dissolution of the Templars and the subsequent transfer of their vast assets to the Hospitallers by Pope Clement in 1312 would create an anti-Catholic firestorm. The repercussions from November 22, 1307 would set the stage for the Protestant Reformation, the rise of Britain’s empire and the destruction of the competing dynasties, especially the Fitzgeralds.
Join us for the finale of this saga as we explain how this hatred for Catholic Rome would establish a life and death struggle within the European deep state. This conflict would in turn lead to the rise of a crypto-Cathar counter church, whose apocalyptic world-ending goals would finally come to fruition in the Anglo/Norman America of the present day.
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould.
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould (Parts I,II & III are linked at the bottom of the page)
The 12th cc. Norman Invasion of Ireland, led by Strongbow, brought with it the Fitzgeralds’ genetic connection to the Camelot mythology (via the marriage of Gerald of Winsor to Princess Nest). JFK brought this connection to the White House thereby challenging the Anglo/American political establishment to its roots. It has continued to haunt the establishment to this day.
America, an Empire in Twilight Series In 2005 when a historian in Wexford Ireland discovered that President George W. Bush was a descendent of the 12thcentury Earl Richard de Clare, “Strongbow” it caused something of a commotion in the British press. Ever since John Fitzgerald Kennedy, tracing a presidential candidate’s lineage to Ireland has become a common theme. But according to the Guardian having Strongbow as an ancestor, “a desperate land-grabbing warlord whose calamitous foreign adventure led to the suffering of generations” was something of an embarrassment.
As an Anglo-Norman Earl with Viking lineage from one of the most powerful Norman/French families in 12thcentury England, NOT being a land-grabbing warlord was probably a death sentence. In a world where might meant right Strongbow’s real crime was his challenge to the authority of the Anglo/French King Henry II’s House of Anjou and his threat to set himself up as a rival Norman King of Ireland. Also unmentioned in this Guardian article titled, “Scion of traitors and warlords: why Bush is coy about his Irish links” is Strongbow’s even stronger genetic links to the Fitzgerald antecedents to JFK, who as a family of mercenary soldiers in service to numerous European royal houses, made Strongbow’s English and Irish conquests possible and married directly into the de Clare family line shortly after coming to Ireland.
Chafing under the rule of the Angevin King Henry II of England, the ambitious Strongbow pictured himself on a par with the English King. His marriage to the daughter of Irish King Dermot MacMurrough was intended to seal the deal but Henry soon scuttled the plan.
Strongbow was a Crusader, served in the Holy Land and was a known to be a generous supporter of the infamous Knights Templar, the warrior monks for whom the Cistercian Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux penned De Laude Novae Militiae (In Praise of the new Knighthood) thereby redefining the very nature of murder when done in the name of Christ.
Strongbow’s daughter Isabel was married off by King Richard I to William Marshall in 1189. Considered the greatest knight in Christendom, he was installed as a Knight Templar on his deathbed in 1219. Marshall stayed loyal to the Angevin king John during the baron’s rebellion and was present at the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. The Magna Carta defused a rebellion by England’s powerful barons by setting limits on royal power and placing all future sovereigns under the rule of law. Alongside Habeas Corpus, it stood as an abiding principle of Western and international law until being subsumed by the events of 911.
Upon Strongbow’s death in April of 1176, the equally ambitious Fitzgerald family assumed Strongbow’s original mission in Ireland but their challenge to Britain’s royalty had already begun a century before.
After taking part in the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the family and their extended clans had become deeply entwined in Angevin family politics as part of the Norman invasion force of South Wales. The marriage (arranged by Henry I) of the patriarch of the Fitzgerald family, Gerald FitzWalter of Windsor to Nest, daughter of Rhys Ap Tewdwr (Tudor) who is considered the last king of the Britons, cemented the Fitzgeralds to an ancient British dynasty of kings and the Arthurian legends surrounding them.
Known for their loyalty to a Catholic Rome, their embrace of Ireland’s Celtic culture and their fierce desire to establish their control over Ireland, the next four hundred years found the Fitzgerald family drawn deeply into English as well as European politics with numerous Fitzgerald kin interned in the Tower of London. The coming of the Reformation to England in the 16th century turned four hundred years of border disputes and jurisdictional feuding into holy war. In 1580, the Holy See in Rome sent an army of Italians and Spaniards to help the Fitzgeralds fight Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant forces under the authority drafted by the “Just War Doctrine.”
Dubbed by author Richard Berleth as the “Twilight Lords” for their role as the last doomed, feudal barons of Ireland, the Fitzgeralds’ struggle against the Elizabethans and the Renaissance Neoplatonism of men such as Edmund Spencer and Walter Raleigh presents a dark moment in British history. But it also offers a window into a thousand year old factional struggle of a European “deep state” that exploded openly in Ireland in the 16th century before spreading to the four corners of the earth through imperial expansion.
Allegorized as the embodiment of evil in Edmund Spencer’s Faerie Queene, the Fitzgeralds were transformed into the “Other” in the English propaganda of the day, while Elizabeth and her Red Cross Templar knights followed in the tradition of King Arthur and the Round Table.
Far from being only a war over ecclesiastical principles, this “holy war” fought between the Catholic Fitzgerald clans and their Calvinist opposites was also a war against economic domination and colonization from London. From London’s perspective, the war was a just war because it was a struggle to the death against the Papal forces of the Counter Reformation, which were encircling it militarily and economically and rolling back Protestant reforms. In the end, the war devastated Ireland, depopulated the Irish countryside, shifted power from local landowners to mercantilists in London and instilled a lasting fear and anger between Protestants and Catholics. Ireland set the standards of behavior that marked the beginnings of Britain’s empire that live on as much today in the neighborhoods of Kabul, Kandahar and Peshawar as they do in Derry and Belfast. But it also marked a turning point in Rome’s ability to manage world events through military force and a shift from the ecclesiastically sanctioned violence of “just war” to the secular/state sanctioned violence of “just war.”
We have illustrated in our multi-part series An Empire in Twilight that whatever America once appeared to be, at least since World War II, it never was the country we thought.
Although once assumed to be governed by rules, democratic laws and financial regulations, today’s America operates not unlike Strongbow’s feudal state ruled by the private and personal agendas of a handful of individuals and the vast majority of the American public disapproves of it. Over the years, organizations such as the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberg group and the Club of Rome are known to have exerted a decisive role over government policies and mass media. We have known for a century or more of the secret financial power groups that work behind the scenes. Such family lines as Rockefeller, Carnegie and Rothschild and their desire to control the world through financial manipulation are the stuff of legend. Yet, despite their monopolistic and anti-democratic efforts their power and their money continue to fuel popular allure. We have written of secret intelligence organizations such as Le Cercle, the Safari Club and the 6I which at the behest of international business cartels both legal and illegal have secretly undermined democratic elections, overthrown governments and redirected the world’s economy for the benefit of a chosen few.
But what are their plans now that they have transformed the world into a financial and geopolitical shipwreck? Our personal understanding of the present dilemma starts with another shipwreck, this one off the coast of Ireland in the year 1577. That was the year a notorious English pirate and slave trader named Martin Frobisher ran aground with a cargo of “gold” off the isolated, rocky, western coast of Ireland at a place known as Smerwick. According to one account, Frobisher’s mission was intended to find the fabled Northwest Passage to China as part of a “Protestant adventure that would rival the Catholic quest as well as enrich the queen’s [Elizabeth I] treasury.” Unfortunately for Frobisher and the queen, the gold was soon revealed to be nothing more than iron pyrites (fool’s gold).
An Irish rebel-captain by the name of James Fitzmaurice raised a fort at the summit of the cliffs and named it Fort Del Oro, (Fort of Gold) to mock Queen Elizabeth for her vain challenge to Rome for wealth and power. At the time Britain was not yet an Empire but with the capture and beheading of the last Fitzgerald Earl of Desmond in 1583 that would quickly change. The next four centuries saw Britain expand both east and west, to India and America and dominate the world.
In America, Strongbow’s descendants established dynasties of their own and continued on through the political process; in the modern era through the Bush family and the Fitzgerald branch of the Kennedy clan.
As a Fitzgerald it came as a shock when I learned that my ancestors had once invoked the “Just War Doctrine” to justify their role in a suicidal conflict with Queen Elizabeth I. When in 1980 Colin Gray and Keith Payne attempted to stretch the concept to justify nuclear war-fighting, it came as a cruel awakening that despite the gulf of four hundred years little had changed in the need to bend reality to justify war.
Thirty six years later the medieval nature of America’s political system is more obvious than ever. The ambitions of the Fitzgerald/Kennedy dynasty were thwarted by World War II, assassinations and then by the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s son John Junior. George W. Bush’s legacy still smolders in the ashes of Iraq and the collapse of the world economy while brother Jeb has been lost in the stampede for Donald Trump. The newcomer-Clintons have been dubbed heirs to the throne in the hope of extending the legacy to at least one more generation. But despite the saber rattling and the constant demonizations, the nuclear upgrades and the media disinformation, it’s becoming clear they cannot avoid the bloody handwriting on the wall.
The United States crossed through the mirror with the creation of the national security state in 1947 and never came back. By embracing the Wolfowitz doctrine and defining everyone as the enemy after 9/11 it proudly completed its long journey into the darkness and has since become lost in it. Whatever justification Strongbow and his fellow knights had when crusading to Jerusalem in the 12thcentury the true meaning of “Just War” has now finally disappeared into “the dark matter” that can’t be seen”.
No one less than the ancient founders of civilization, the Sumerians experienced a similar fall from the heights as their obsession with victory, superiority and prestige consumed everything they stood for. “Sumer became a ’sick society’ with deplorable failings and distressing shortcomings,” writes Samuel Noah Kramer, in Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth. “It yearned for peace but was constantly at war; it professed such ideals as justice, equity and compassion but abounded in injustice, inequality and oppression; materialistic and short sighted, it unbalanced the ecology essential to its economy” And so Sumer came to a cruel, tragic end.”
When the smoke clears following the presidential election of 2016, Americans will at last see through the cover of darkness and realize that we have been witnessing an empire in the midst of its death throes.
Regardless of what the election brings we must now rid ourselves of the delusions of empire that have been driving our leadership toward self-annihilation for millennia and build, from the ground up, a democracy we can be proud of.
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould November 3, 2016 opednews.com
As odd as it may seem to American audiences of 2016, William Pfaff’s use of medieval mysticism to describe American thinking is not as far beneath the surface of present day American policy as one might think. In fact following the crisis brought about by the failure of advanced technology to defeat Communism in Vietnam, America’s premier defense intellectuals were quick to fall back on the Middle Ages for a moral justification of their fantasies.
One vivid example came from future Reagan administration officials Colin S. Grayand Keith Paynein the summer 1980 edition of Foreign Policymagazine who declared in an article titled “Victory is Possible” that: “Nuclear War is possible.But unlike Armageddon, the apocalyptic war prophesied to end history, nuclear war can have a wide range of options” If American nuclear power is to support U.S. foreign policy objectives, the United States must possess the ability to wage nuclear war rationally.”
Having the American Empire come of age at a time when it enjoyed an overwhelming nuclear advantage and unquestioned technological superiority, its plunge into military defeat in Vietnam simultaneous with the Soviet Union achieving a rough nuclear parity was cause for a deep philosophical crisis. The old right and the “new right” embodied in pro-war advocacy groups like Team B, the Committee on the Present Dangerand the American Security Councilneeded to undo the debilitating effects caused by their own failure in Vietnam. Discrediting the strategic doctrine implemented by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamaraknown as Mutual Assured Destruction or (MAD) topped a long list.
These former government insiders and harsh critics of de’tente believed that the constraints on nuclear war fighting posed by the 1972 Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty(ABM) and the Strategic Arms Limitations TalksI and II (SALT), were predicated on a false assumption that nuclear weapons were too horrible to ever be used again. Neoconservative defense intellectuals viewed this restraint as a form of suicide and vowed to break free of it utilizing some pre-enlightenment thinking that challenged the very nature of modern reality.
The Cold War buildup for a nuclear war against the Soviet Union was never based on the rational. No one on the left or right could predict with any certainty where or when a nuclear war would stop if one ever broke out. Regardless of the kind or size of nuclear weapons used, with the enemy’s leadership decapitated and communications destroyed, there’d be no one left to stop it. Non-communist solutions to social problems were a matter of faith in which the political right and the political left shared similar goals but differed in tactics. But the political right’s accommodation of the political left was never more than an elaborate game of deception. In fact, according to the CIA’s own documents, “the theoretical foundation of the Agency’s political operations against Communism”for the first twenty years of the Cold War relied completely on the manipulation and control of the so called progressive, liberal, non-Communist left.
Blamed by the neoconservative right for the failure in Vietnam and the relative decline in America’s nuclear posture, the non-communist left’s legitimacy as a valid political factor in American politics began to crumble. With the left’s policy of nuclear restraint now dismissed as irrational what possible justification could be found to wage a nuclear war in which tens of millions of innocent Russians and Americans as well as millions of others would be killed?
By the late 1970s, those obscure strategic nuclear analysts who’d helped to formulate America’s nuclear policies had attained the stature of religious figures. With their supposed wisdom raised to an almost mystical level and accepted as dogma the neoconservative high priests of the new right stood ready to displace not only the non-communist left but traditional conservatives as well. By the summer of 1980 (6 months after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) two of those high priests were willing to take the dogma one step further by reinterpreting the Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church to justify what reality, reason and common sense had forbad the U.S. from doing since the final days of World War II.
“Ironically, it is commonplace to assert that war-survival theories affront the crucial test of political and moral acceptability” wrote Colin S. Gray and Keith Payne that summer. “Surely no one can be comfortable with the claim that a strategy that would kill tens of millions of U.S. citizens would be politically and morally acceptable. However it is worth recalling the six guidelines for the use of force provided by the “just war” doctrineof the Catholic Church”"
Carefully sidestepping the fundamental principle that war can only be “just” when used as a last resort and that targeting innocents is strictly forbidden, Gray and Payne would go on to claim that based on the most ancient rules of the game, not only did U.S. policy of nuclear deterrence toward the Soviet Union (MAD) fail to qualify for “just war,” but that in failing to plan to actually fight a nuclear war, “U.S. nuclear strategy is immoral.”
In other words, since Gray and Payne could not use a rational scientific process to achieve victory through nuclear weapons or to find hard evidence to support their claims that the Soviets assumed they could achieve victory through theirs, they turned to a premodern religious system (developed centuries before the first atomic bomb) that dismissed empirical evidence and replaced it with whatever they could imagine as truth, based on precepts evolved by medieval monks.
From the dawn of Christianity the justification for killing fellow Christians presented scholars with a moral dilemma. St Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE) originated Just War theorywhich was later refined and expanded by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274). But murdering in the name of Christ was tricky business and often subject to conflicting interpretations. Far from the romantic notions of chivalry presented by today’s popular mythology, the knightly class was viewed by the medieval Catholic Church as lawless thugs whose behavior was clearly “unjust.” The idea that a monk would engage in the plunder and murder of innocents, much less warfare was anathema to church teaching.
The influential Cistercian abbot, Bernard of Clairvaux weighed in with a different opinion in his famous twelfth-century treatise De Laude Novae Militiae(In Praise of the new Knighthood) by redefining the very nature of murder itself in support of his friend Hugues de Payens, Grand Master of the warrior monks known as the Knights Templar.
“The soldier of Christ kills safely and dies the more safely” He is the instrument of God for the punishment of malefactors and for the defense of the just. Indeed, when he kills a malefactor this is not homicide but malicide, and he is accounted Christ’s legal executioner against evildoers.”
Like Colin S. Gray and Keith Payne’s “Victory is Possible,” Clairvaux’s treatise bent the rules for the uses of acceptable violence on behalf of an elite group of European nobles who wanted to go to war in the holy land. It opened the floodgates of recruits for the Crusades, established the spiritual and legal authority of powerful, wealthy Catholic military orders and put the power of the feudal machine under Church control, at least temporarily.
After working for three years as the host of a public affairs program (under the terms of the Fairness Doctrine) for an affiliate of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network in Boston, we were aware that an aggressive rightwing/Christian political movement was merging into the American mainstream. But following the publication of Gray and Payne’s 1980 treatise we realized that the underlying philosophy of America’s defense policy was also being challenged on the basis of faith, not facts. Just war was a contentious subject with a long history including a surprising connection to president JFK’s Fitzgerald family. The Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church had been invoked by the Papal Nuncio on behalf of the Fitzgerald family in Ireland during the 1570s in their war against the Elizabethan’s. The Catholic Fitzgeralds had lost and some notable Elizabethan victors had gone on to establish a corporate empire that would redefine and dominate the world’s economy from North America to Asia for the next four centuries. Join us as we explain how medieval feuds between rival families evolved into today’s “deep state” and continue to drive today’s increasingly desperate actions in Europe and the Middle East to control of the world’s resources in our final chapter of America, an Empire in Twilight.
Copyright 2016 Gould & Fitzgerald All rights reserved
While covering the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton mainstream commentators and pundits have found to their mock surprise that facts just don’t seem to matter. The candidates bob and weave and excoriate each other as unfit for the presidency. But neither has shown a genuine capacity for leadership or can explain exactly how they’ll make the desperately needed course-correction Americans want, once they assume the White House in 2017. How could this have happened?
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 Paul Wolfowitz proposed a radical new national defense policythat rejected post-World War II collective internationalism in favor of a unilateral American dominance. Known forever after as the Wolfowitz Doctrine it would ultimately change the nature of America’s relationship to the world by requiring that any and all of America’s potential competitors either submit to America’s will or have their countries invaded and their governments subverted and overthrown. The events of 9/11 enabled the U.S. to go to any lengths to enforce the plan, but the last fifteen years have been hard on “the dark force that orders the universe.”Judging by the rise of ISIS, strategic failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, the unravelling of the Post World War II NATO alliance and the fracturing of the European Union along nationalist lines, the rapid decline in America’s Imperial power has become obvious to everyone. Even Zbigniew Brzezinski admits, the era of America’s imperial expansion has ended and the time has come for a realistic realignment of U.S. goals and objectives. Yet, despite this overwhelming evidence that times have changed, the American government and its policy makers in Washington continue to steer a self-destructive course toward a nuclear confrontation with the Russians and Chinese.
In this twilight world where the traditional weapons of American power projection no longer guarantee the expected results, guilt and innocence and even facts have become irrelevant. By openly embracing the imperial agenda of the Wolfowitz Doctrine the U.S. left the realm of science and empiricism and entered an imperial realm populated by those who can neither be understood nor reasoned with outside the confines of their own internally consistent logic. It is a strange and shadowy world where reality is made by those in power and those in power can no longer tell the truth from their own fictions.
From its inception during World War II, America’s military/intelligence apparatus has acted more as a cult drawn from America’s ruling elite than a bureaucracy dedicated to the nation’s security. It was said of America’s first spy agency the OSS that its initials stood for Oh-So-Social because of its abundant staffing with New York’s high society blue bloods. Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks even titled their 1974 book on their life in the CIA and Foreign Service as The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence.
But over the last forty years and especially since the events of 9/11, that “Cult,” and its sister organizations in the military/intelligence community have emerged from behind the curtain to become a ubiquitous and forbidding presence.
In effect, Marchetti and Marks’s cult of intelligence has grown to become the dominant American “Culture.” But what that culture really is and where it’s leading us remains a frightening proposition that each and every American needs to understand.
After 9/11 “national security” came to pervade all aspects of American life from the grocery storeto academia to hotel check-ins to religion. This total militarization of American society helped to polarize the political process, obsolete diplomacy as a tool of American interests overseas and slowly and inexorably change the way Americans think about their country.
Although tapering off slightly from its early popularity, the celebration of mass murder in such games as Call of Duty after 15 years of budget-busting real war is a cruel reminder of the Orwellian illogic of life on the other side of the mirror. But the deeper and more disturbing problem now surfacing is that real war and the imagined warplayed out on the video screens of America’s youth appear to have merged into one stark unreality as they bring the real war home.
Apart from the moral implications, the future of society and the very nature of who we are as human beings have been fundamentally altered by such technology. Recent studies indicate that heavy gaming may impact the integrity of the brain’s hippocampus “which is associated with an increased risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”
The altered states of awareness traditionally offered by drugs and mysticism, religion and meditation have been replaced by technology of all kinds and through technology real war and fantasy war have exchanged places. The tyranny of illogical thinking evidenced by the U.S. in its War on Terror can be traced most recently to the Cold War where it became necessary to throw out the burden of proof and invert the rules of logic in order to defeat Communism.
Our personal experience with this illogic came in 1982. In response to our PBS documentary on Afghanistan, Afghanistan Between Three Worlds we were informed by Major Karen McKay, a spokesperson for the right-wing Washington-based propaganda outfit Committee for a Free Afghanistan, that getting proof of Soviet guilt in Afghanistan wasn’t necessary simply because “we know they’re guilty.”
Such faith-based assumptions were more the realm of medieval theologians than rational analysts and the late Senator J. William Fulbright said so in his 1972 New Yorker article titled, Reflections: In Thrall To Fear.
“The truly remarkable thing about this Cold War psychology,” he wrote, “is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of proof from those who make charges to those who question them” The Cold Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of public discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not.”
Fulbright realized that “Rational men could not deal with each other on this basis,” and arrive at anything resembling “truth.” But this understanding quickly evaporated as the Vietnam era ended and the U.S. drifted into a realm governed by irrational men who believed their own illogic superseded the inconvenient facts and figures surrounding their failures. Guided by old ideologues who’d helped to create the Cold War like Paul Nitze, Leo Cherne, William Casey and General Danny Graham and leading neoconservatives like Richard Perle, Harvard professor Richard Pipes and Paul Wolfowitz, their group known as Team B guided the restructuring of American military policy towards the Soviet Union not on the basis of fact or proof, but only on what their biased minds could imagine. Team B set about to psychologically reverse the impact the Cold War and especially Vietnam had on Washington’s ruling elites by accusing the CIA’s analysts of “Mirror imaging,” their own intentions as President Kennedy’s science advisor Jerome Wiesner had claimed back in the 1960s. Only this time (in a further twist of Wiesner’s logic) Team B claimed the mirror image was of American weakness and not strength reflected in the mirror of the Soviets’ steely eyes.
At the time the idea that the Soviet Union could or should be judged solely based on an ideological perspective was rejected by Washington’s more rational elite. “I would say that all of it was fantasy,”said Anne Hessing Cahn who worked on the staff of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1982 to 1988. “They looked at radars out in Krasnoyarsk and said ‘this is a laser beam weapon’ when in fact it was nothing of the sort” And if you go through most of Team B’s specific allegations about weapons systems and you examine them one by one, they were all wrong” I don’t believe anything in Team B was really true.”
So what is true about the prevailing motives that drive American national security policy as the Pentagon cranks up new Cold War accusations against Russia? In the summer of 1980 we got a major clue to the thinking behind the neoconservative’ s aggressive plotting to overturn the U.S. government’s rational policy regarding nuclear weapons (Mutual Assured Destruction) by replacing it with a faith-based policy that would justify fighting nuclear wars.
Join us next as we unravel the de-evolution of rational defense policy and its immersion into the mystical as we explore the radical 1980 re-interpretation of the 4th century Just War Doctrine of the Catholic Church and it perennial advocates.
Copyright 2016 Gould & Fitzgerald All rights reserved
America, an Empire in Twilight Series
PART IV: America’s Late Stage Imperial Dementia
John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” 1866 by Gustave Doré[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
No matter who is labeled president after the election, the crisis this process has created for most Americans will not be over. It will be like no other moment in all of America’s history. Now is the time to look back into the past and connect those events that have led us to this most strange and significant moment. We’ll start with the day America’s leadership lost all consciousness.
“‘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 thought the war on terror contained an otherworldly quality, this quoteon the front page of the September 11, 2011Washington Post from Dana Priest and William M. Arkin’s book Top Secret Americaconfirmed it. 9/11 had taken America through the mirror and there was no coming back.
Following 9/11 the elected government of the United States willingly delivered over what remained of America’s civilian control to a department of Homeland Security dedicated to expanding the unelected government’s fear of darkness into everybody’s life. Added to this was a top secret military operation known as the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that thought of itself as the dark.
Begun as a modest hostage rescue team, by 2011 JSOC had morphed into a veritable heart of darkness, with the power to murder at will and completely unaccountable to American or international law.
At the height of its notoriety under General Stanley McChrystal in Iraq and Afghanistan JSOC operated completely in the black as a “Stovepipe,” operation reporting to no one and employing infamous rogue ex-CIA professionals such as indicted Iran Contra operative Dewey Clarridge. The Navy Seal Team that was said to have taken 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 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 rational enlightenment traditions that most Americans take for granted have become subjected to deeper and older rules of behavior rooted 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.
Described by Tournament of Shadows authors Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac 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 when Imperial Russia and Great Britain chose to accept Afghanistan as a neutral buffer state between empires. But with the advent of the Cold War in 1947 and the mysterious and intoxicating god-like qualities inherent in nuclear weapons, a new and more apocalyptic iteration of mystical imperialism came into being.
The sole purpose of America’s mid 20th century defense intellectuals was to rationalize nuclear war, not mystify it. America’s cold warriors were far removed technologically from their 19th century counterparts whose Christian elite believed they were bringing enlightenment to the “darker regions of the earth.”
But whether by design or by accident within a short time an entire stratum of American scientific and political thought found itself immersed in an irrational realm that looked, smelled and tasted like 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 by any means possible they invented their own reality, accelerated the nuclear arms race, created an imaginary domino theoryof Communist aggression in Southeast Asia and then escalated a real 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.
By 1978 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 would 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 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 shadows in which it continues to wander. Stricken by decades of economic and military excess, its mission has become confused, its legal, moral and philosophical foundation abandoned and its role as leader of the western world questioned as never before.
America is clearly not the country it was before 9/11 but what has it become and what do the current candidates for the 2016 presidential election tell us about the direction we’re headed?
Join us as we explore the little-analyzed facts and covert agendas that the United States must now reconsider in the 21st century and what those agendas mean to America’s role as “the dark force that orders the universe,” in our next installment of America, an Empire in Twilight Part II.
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald discuss the on-going presidential campaigns between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They also connect some critical dots in the history and dynamics of international affairs between British and American imperialism on one hand and the Soviet Union/Russian nation on the other, and how that has played out over generations through proxy wars in the Middle East and Af-Pak region.
|OpEdNews.com 9/19/2016 By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould|
|In 1947 the creation of President Truman’s covert national security government would transfer the power from the Congress, the courts and the Presidency to a concealed “Trumanite network” of military managers, diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Zbigniew Brzezinski came to power through the “Trumanite network.” Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election would renew its power and America would never be the same.|
Five Part Series: 15th anniversary of 9/11, 2016
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter and Cyrus Vance,1977: As National Security Advisor Brzezinski activated the greatest game plan of the 20th cc that killed detente and broke the Vietnam Syndrome by luring the Soviets into their own Vietnam(By Unknown or not provided (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) License DMCA
The inspiration behind Winston Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain speech of 1946 and its warning of the growing Communist threat to “Christian civilization” was the American child of British immigrants, James Burnham. As the “first neoconservative,” Burnham would work his way from acting as an assistant to Bolshevik revolutionary Leon Trotsky in the 1930s, to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. His much critiqued landmark 1940 The Managerial Revolution would be read and admired by Hitler’s general staff and viewed as the blueprint for George Orwell’s 1984 in which a new class of business executives, technicians, government bureaucrats and soldiers would destroy the old capitalist order, crush the working class and seize all of society’s wealth for themselves.
In a 1945 Partisan Review article titled “Lenin’s Heir” Burnham, while still at the OSS, infused his apocalyptic political views with mystical allusions to the Eurasian heartland. Defined as “the magnetic core” of Soviet power, he compared it to the mystical “reality of the One of Neo-Platonism,” whose inexorable and unstoppable “emanative progression” descends through the stages of Mind, Soul, and Matter” towards its ultimate destination beyond the Eurasian boundaries and through “Appeasement and Infiltration (England, the United States).” Burnham was a keen advocate of dirty tricks. He would play an important role in the overthrow of Iran’s Mohammed Mosaddeq and the installation of the Shah. His book The Machiavellians would become a handbook for CIA planners.
As an “anti-Communist ideology” Burnham’s apocalyptic warnings about the inevitability of Soviet expansion from Eurasia’s magnetic core, ring like a medieval incantation throughout Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech. George Orwell even makes clear in his 1946 “Second Thoughts on James Burnham” that Burnham’s words read like a mystical invocation and were most likely intended to hypnotize.
Twenty six years later, Senator J. William Fulbright would realize that only because of the disastrous outcome of Vietnam was there any willingness at all to reexamine the basic assumptions of American postwar policy toward the Soviet Union and what had brought the United States to such a sorry state. The 1972 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks SALT would spring from this realization, as would the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty ABM and eventually SALT II, until in January of 1980 President Jimmy Carter would ask the Senate to delay consideration of the Treaty on the Senate floor because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. That treaty would never be passed. At the time few understood that Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski had masterminded the campaign to bait the Soviets into invading Afghanistan and then used the invasion as a pretext for moving an extremist neoconservative agenda into the mainstream of American politics.
Our involvement in the Afghanistan story started in the summer of 1979 when we began production of a documentary titled 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 investment capital would represent to the civilian economy. Galbraith insisted that accelerated defense spending and renewing the Cold War — as the neoconservative right was demanding at that critical moment — would ultimately destroy the civilian economy. He was convinced that the Cold War had already made America more and more like the Soviet Union, ruled by a military-industrial-academic establishment suspended from reality.
But 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 December 27, 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had rolled back the narrative to 1947, the Truman Doctrine, to Churchill and Burnham’s mystical, medieval enchantment and the psychological warfare campaign necessary to bring it back to life was about to begin.
J. William Fulbright’s 1972 “Reflections: In Thrall To Fear” represented an awakening from the deep hypnotic trance imposed upon Americans by Cold War ideology. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan brought about its re-emersion, but this time to a deeper and totally detached level of unreality.
With the election of Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980, the United States rejected Fulbright’s concerns for the intellectual dishonesty represented by the Cold War and America’s disgust with the Vietnam war and committed itself to taking it one step further.
The U.S. crossed through a mirror in 1947 with the creation of President Harry Truman’s second and covert national-security-government. Few if any would fully understood at the time that the creation of this Double Government would soon lead to the transfer of power from the Congress, the courts and the Presidency to a concealed “Trumanite network” of military managers, diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The 1980 election would renew this shadow government’s power through a two dimensional Hollywood invention named Ronald Reagan and America would never be the same.
The Reagan campaign’s militaristic motto of Peace through Strength was sold to Americans as the Reagan Revolution. It was in fact a counter-revolution engineered by a reactionary group of insiders headed by former Research Industry of America employee, OSS veteran and Wall Street lawyer William J. Casey with the intention of burying the Vietnam legacy and restoring the power of America’s hidden Cold War masters. Casey’s mandate for control of the American mind was simple and clear. As he told the President of the United States in 1981 “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
As a top level intelligence professional since 1939, Casey had built key access to the concentric circles of international power necessary to carry off the tectonic shift of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street that the Reagan Revolution really represented. And as Director of Central Intelligence he was perfectly positioned to put James Burnham’s dirty tricks and Machiavellian philosophy to work in the heartland of Eurasia.
Casey’s passion for the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union was messianic. As an ultra-conservative Catholic, he saw little difference in the antimodernism of the House of Saud and the anti-enlightenment views of the newly installed Polish Pope, John Paul II. Disguised as a war to liberate Afghanistan from Soviet aggression, Casey’s campaign picked up where Zbigniew Brzezinski’s left off by expanding the infiltration of an extremist terror network beyond Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Muslim provinces to provoke an insurrection.
Backed by neoconservatives, the Saudis and secretive organizations like the Safari Club, Le Cercle, the Bilderberg Group and the 6I, the secret plan would ultimately play out in American propaganda from Rambo to Charlie Wilson’s War as the greatest American victory of the Cold War.
In the end, Casey’s team would so tear down the wall between fact and fiction, legal and illegal, truth and the lie; it would open the door for chaos from South America to South Central Asia.
But if any two men could be said to have infected the mind of America’s leadership with the germ of imperial world-domination and made 9/11 inevitable it is James Burnham and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Burnham’s 1940 prediction that Nazi Germany would win the war was wrong as was his belief that the Soviet Union would grow and expand to consume England and the United States. Nor did Burnham or any of his acolytes foresee the collapse of the Soviet Union; yet on February 23, 1983 James Burnham was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan culminating his fifty years of service as one of the “guiding lights in mankind’s quest for truth.”
In George Orwell’s 1946, “Second Thoughts on James Burnham,” Orwell clinically diagnosed Burnham’s convenient powers of revisionist prophecy as the product of a “mental disease” whose “roots lie partly in cowardice and partly in the worship of power, which is not fully separable from cowardice.”
Like Burnham, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s influence came with the help of that “Trumanite network” of defense professionals who continue to rule over the state behind a veil of secrecy. With the generous support and influence of the Rockefeller brothers Brzezinski rose from the obscurity of immigrant status to become a venerated master of the Global Imperial chessboard which he once predicted would be ruled by the United States. While Burnham propounded ideas, Brzezinski acted on them by subverting the diplomatic process and undermining the U.S. Secretary of State while at the National Security Council. Brzezinski’s plan to sacrifice Afghanistan on his Cold War chessboard also served to redirect an emerging modern state; propelling Afghanistan back into the Middle Ages and opening the door for a global jihad. Yet, the psychological warfare that enabled both Zbigniew Brzezinski and James Burnham lives on in the actions of the Obama administration in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and again Afghanistan. It now grows shrill in calls for outright war with Russia in the rhetoric of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who promises to restore the “Trumanite network” to its former glory once again.
15 years after the events of September 11, 2001, thirty seven years after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and sixty nine years after the creation of the Cold War, James Burnham lives on as an icon to a deeply corrupted national security-state that remains “In Thrall to Fear.” Even Zbigniew Brzezinski has come to accept that “America is no longer the global imperial power,” it once was and must seek some kind of accommodation with the rest of the world, yet the psychological warfare continues and the danger grows by the day.
We cannot continue in this manner and survive as a people. We must calm down, face the facts of where we have come from, and put our minds to diffusing the crises and not making it worse. On this fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 we must finally take stock of ourselves and shake off the delusions of empire before it is too late. We have no one to blame but ourselves for allowing a culture of war with its lies and their fabrications to continue to hypnotize us.
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
OpEdNews.com September 15, 2016
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould
Since World War II, Americans have been lulled into accepting a messianic 19th-century British Imperial agenda. One key British agent in the psychological war for American public opinion was RAF pilot Roald Dahl who, along with James Bond creator Ian Fleming, playwright Noel Coward and Gallup pollster David Ogilvy, were given free rein to propagandize “the natives” (Americans) through whatever means possible.
President Truman and Winston Churchill heading to Missouri for Churchill’s 1946 ‘Iron Curtain’ speech that inaugurated the U.S. Cold War against the Soviet Union Abbie Rowe, 1905-1967, Photographer (NARA record: 8451352)) License DMCA
The world watched in horror as New York’s twin trade towers exploded and vaporized in a hypnotic Old Testament moment. It was as if some invisible dark force had reached out and in one swift stroke signaled that the Apocalypse had begun. The destruction seemed to defy gravity as 200,000 tons of steel and 425,000 cubic yards of concrete fell so freely to the street below, it resembled a controlled demolition. This was not a Pearl Harbor-style attack on a faraway American military base. This was a poisonous wound to the American psyche, an act of psychological warfare more devastating than any military strike could ever have accomplished. Fifteen years on, everything about 9/11 still feels otherworldly and irrational, the reasons for it, the apparent helplessness in the face of it, the curious identities of the people involved and the American government’s response to it. It defied logic then and it still does today. The World Trade Towers were proud symbols of who Americans were, at least who they thought they were. The spiritual motto of the original 1939 Flushing, NY, World’s Fair “World Trade Center” pavilion was dedicated to “world peace through trade.”
There would be no peace after 9/11. The destruction loosed a demon that had been struggling for America’s soul since the creation of the Cold War in 1947. The U.S. would now be freed to pursue “evil” wherever it could be found and there would be no turning back. The creation of the World Trade Towers by Rockefeller brothers Nelson and David had been steeped in psychological symbolism from their start in the early 1960s. As the most well-known scions of American business, the Rockefeller family brought more than just money to their endeavors; they brought a vision for the future of the planet and a philosophy to guide it.
Begun as a massive undertaking to revitalize lower Manhattan, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David and New York Governor Nelson pushed hard for the project and each tower stood as a symbol of their respective power. As metaphor, the towers were more than just two of the tallest buildings in the world. It might be said they were as important as the two pillars Joachim and Boaz, which stood at the entrance to Solomon’s Temple; mystical gates to a Cathedral of wisdom in which all could worship under one religion; the religion of business, Capitalism.
The Rockefellers were no strangers to the power of psychological warfare and its impact on American opinion. During World War II Nelson headed the U.S. government’s intelligence agency for Latin America, the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA). CIAA’s film division guided the 1942 production of Walt Disney’s Saludos Amigosto promote pro-American sentiment in South America. In 1954 Nelson was appointed as President Eisenhower’s White House special assistant on Cold War tactics and psychological warfare. Nelson Rockefeller played a central role in formulating domestic-propaganda programs throughout the 1950s as chairman of the Planning Coordination Group that, in addition to its propaganda work, oversaw all CIA covert operations. His 1956 Special Studies Project directed by Rockefeller prote’ge’ Henry Kissinger produced many of the domestic-policy recommendations that came to be known as President Kennedy’s New Frontier. His family’s philanthropic support of the arts had been carefully coordinated with the CIA and was both overtly and covertly propagandistic.
As a committed Anglophile, Rockefeller had aided British intelligence during World War II when he rented space in New York’s Rockefeller Center at a steep discount to a number of British propaganda agencies including their secret intelligence service for the Americas, the British Security Coordination (BSC). The BSC’s chief, Sir William Stephenson (Intrepid), set up shop in New York City with the help of some of New York’s wealthiest families with one main objective in mind: Get the United States into the war in Europe on Britain’s behalf.
One key agent in the psychological war for American public opinion was young RAF pilot Roald Dahl who, along with James Bond creator Ian Fleming, playwright Noel Coward and Gallup pollster David Ogilvy, were given free rein to commit sabotage, political subversion and propagandize “the natives” (Americans) through whatever means possible.
Dahl’s creative fiction earned him praise from the New York Times and publishing contracts from Random House as well as entre’e to Hollywood where he would collaborate with Walt and Roy Disney in their studio’s transformation into an arsenal of animation while inspiring numerous imitators. Dahl would go on to marry a movie star and become a Hollywood icon with perennial successes, most notably “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The cult of intelligence would ultimately become so seamlessly blended into every aspect of publishing, television and film, the CIA would jokingly be referred to as “the Chocolate Factory.” Along with Fleming, Ogilvy and Coward, Dahl would help to get the United States into the war with Germany and craft an enduring Anglo-centric cultural narrative in the public’s mind whose main objective was the promotion of a British agenda for the United States. That agenda would quickly shift from anti-fascist to aggressive Cold War anti-communist (read anti-Russian) as World War II ended, with Britain playing a seminal role in the creation of America’s national-security state.
President Harry Truman’s March 12, 1947, proclamation laying out the rationale for the Cold War (Truman Doctrine) fundamentally altered America’s identity by embedding a permanent psychology of fear. But a hidden aspect of this conflict was the slow, grinding corruption that its unreality fostered in America’s leadership. That unreality was finally revealed in the catastrophe of Vietnam.
In a remarkably self-effacing (especially by today’s standards) January 8, 1972, New Yorker article tracing the origins of the devastation caused by Vietnam titled “Reflections: In Thrall To Fear,” Senator J. William Fulbright bemoaned the mental corruption caused by the Truman Doctrine during the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, whereby “Our leaders became liberated from the normal rules of evidence and inference when it came to dealing with Communism. The effect of the anti-Communist ideology was to spare us the task of taking cognizance of the specific facts of specific situations. Our ‘faith’ liberated us, like the believers of old, from the requirements of empirical thinking. Like medieval theologians, we had a philosophy that explained everything to us in advance, and everything that did not fit could be readily identified as a fraud or a lie or an illusion.”
What Fulbright’s brilliant but tragic reflections fail to include is that America’s assumptions about the Cold War were never empirical. In fact the assumptions weren’t even necessarily American but had been crafted by America’s Anglo-centric intelligence bureaucracy and rooted in messianic 19thcentury British designs for control of the Eurasian landmass. A release of classified documents in 2009 revealed that Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill was so obsessed with Eurasian conquest he’d envisioned rearming Germany and attacking the Soviet Union right up to the end of World War II in a plan named Operation Unthinkable. Faced with the absurdity of confronting an overwhelmingly superior Soviet ground force and starting World War III, Churchill’s operation was shelved, but his famous Iron Curtain speech of 1946 would kick off the Cold War and establish the ideological narrative by which all future U.S./Soviet relations would be defined.
Join us next time when we explain how Americans of all stripes had been brainwashed into accepting the cultural narrative of an Anglo-Saxon American Empire long before the Soviets crossed the border into Afghanistan in our final installment of Psychological Warfare and the American Mind
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
OpEdNews.com September 13, 2016
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould
By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
The forces vying to determine the direction of the American Empire in the 21st century began their struggle long before 9/11. It might be said that the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the signature event that made 9/11 inevitable. The Soviet reaction to infiltration and destabilization on their southern border ended detente and renewed the Cold War but also kicked off a U.S. backed Islamist expansion into Central Asia that has now spread like a plague into Europe and the Middle East and today threatens to ignite World War III. At the time the Soviet invasion was presented as an open act of aggression and declared by President Jimmy Carter to be the most serious threat to peace since World War II. It would establish a new narrative of uncompromising hostility toward the Soviet Union and erase decades of efforts by moderates inside both Soviet and American systems to end the Cold War. It would increase defense spending to World War II size levels thereby changing the United States from a creditor to a debtor nation and would also embed the so called New Right and their neoconservative allies with their aggressive, militarist agenda into the American political establishment.
The engine that drives today’s ideological and economic warfare against Russia and the crisis the United States suffers from in both its domestic and foreign agendas, both politically and economically stems from an extended psychological warfare campaign cooked up against the Soviets during the Cold War but prolonged and intensified during their long war in Afghanistan.
Following the events of December 27, 1979 Americans responded dutifully to a prepared script as it poured from a hoard of foreign policy “experts” bemoaning America’s military weakness while claiming Afghanistan was payback for Vietnam. Zbigniew Brzezinski himself claimed in his memoirs that the Soviet’s move into Afghanistan was a vindication of his concern “that the Soviets would be emboldened by our lack of response over Ethiopia.” The shaken president, Jimmy Carter announced a U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the creation of a rapid deployment force to the Middle East and a new get tough posture toward the Soviet Union.
On January 2, 1980 the MacNeil Lehrer News Hour brought in former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Theodore Eliot and Harvard Professor Richard Pipesto speculate on the implications of the invasion. As an unabashed neoconservative ideologue, Pipes should have been considered a controversial choice sitting alongside the thoroughly mainstream Eastern establishment Eliot. But on this evening Pipes had been chosen to play the very special role of delegitimizing detente with the Soviet Union while moving the discussion permanently and irretrievably to the neoconservative right wing. Paired with Eliot, the dean of American diplomacy and soon to be Secretary General for the United States of the Bilderberg group, the message was made clear that the ideology of neoconservatism, globalism and the institutions of the American government were now one and the same.
It was a moment that would change the United States in ways that few Americans would immediately understand and many continue to find baffling. Years earlier, Pipes had been chosen to chair a biased, highly partisan study of the CIA known as the Team B experiment in competitive analysis.
The decade of the 1970s presented a series of strategic shocks to the United States. The Watergate scandal and the Arab oil embargo, campus protests, combined with the American military failure in Vietnam opened the door for detente with the Soviet Union. Vietnam removed the veil from America’s Cold War defense-intellectual elite, revealing their complex mathematical formulas for war to be useless as a guide to action. But even before the end of that war in 1975, pressure had been building from an influential collection of neoconservative hawks assembled by Albert Wohlstetterto ignore the facts on the ground, blame de’tente for American weakness and wind back the clock to an openly militarized Cold War approach to the Soviet Union.
Backed by Gerald Ford’s CIA director George H.W. Bush, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) vice chairman, Leo Cherne, and the father of Cold War thinking, Paul Nitze, Team B’s goal was to turn the CIA’s thinking about the Soviet Union on its head.
“The intensity and scope of the current Soviet military effort in peacetime is without parallel in twentieth century history,” they claimed in their top secret 1976 report. The Soviets were preparing for a “third world war” and were comparable only to “Nazi remilitarization of the 1930s.” Given military superiority and the will to use it, they reasoned, at some point in the near future the Soviets would make a strategic move that the United States would be militarily unable to stop.
But it was in their claim that the Soviets would first “intimidate smaller powers . . . adjacent to the USSR . . . where pro-Soviet forces have an opportunity to seize power but are unable to do so without military help,” that the Team B assessment attained a level of prophecy.
If anything could be described as a psychological warfare operation come unhinged, it was the Team B experiment. Team B effectively exposed the CIA’s own process of rational analysis to an exercise of personalized, politicized, ethnic and faith-based psychological warfare. And it succeeded.
By 1979, the Team B and its acolytes Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and the Afghan Zalmay Khalilzad had so managed to overlay their alternate reality onto the mind of American government that when the invasion of Afghanistan took place that December their imaginary, foreordained crisis had become as real as it was intended to be.
But it was in the reliance of World War II-style imagery where the hyperbole strove to achieve the glow of Hollywood’s golden era. Richard Pipes made it clear in that January 2, 1980 broadcast that Afghanistan was “a superb springboard from which to launch offensives both into the Indian subcontinent and into Iran and the Iranian Gulf”.” And then invoked the magic of World War II by stating that never before had the Soviets “felt bold enough” to engage in a direct blitzkrieg. So if they get away with it in Afghanistan, there’ll not only be great danger for our whole Middle eastern position but we will have encouraged them to engage in actions of this sort in other parts of the world, including, for example, Southeastern Europe or possibly even Western Europe.”
This had been Team B’s siren call from the start. America had weakened itself through de’tente and negotiation while the Soviets had been secretly preparing a “direct blitzkrieg” aimed at the Middle East, India, Southeastern and even Western Europe, and now here it was. Just like the phantom threat posed by Saddam Hussein in 2003 and brought forward by the very same group of ideologues, the idea that the Soviets might cut off a vital oil supply was all that was needed to capture public opinion. That spring CBS News anchor Dan Rather followed up with a coast to coast broadcast reinforcing that sentimental Rick’s Cafe 1940s Hollywood line: the American people were asleep to Soviet designs and had better start supporting the Mujahideen “freedom fighters” before it was too late.
The major media had been setting the public up for months prior to the invasion citing Brzezinski and the importance of the “arc of crisis,”and predicting that the Soviet Union would be driven toward the Persian Gulf within the decade due to intelligence reports that it was “running short of the oil it needs to fuel an expanding economy.” Never mind that the Soviet economy was actually contracting at that point and the CIA’s secret 14-page memo titled “The Impending Soviet Oil Crisis,” was pure hokum.
Brzezinski and his Team B allies wanted the Soviets in Afghanistan as part of a long standing plan for the conquest of Eurasia and the psychological warfare campaign to convince Americans of the Soviets’ malevolent desires for world domination was already gearing up to make it reality.
The International Rescue Committee’s Chairman Leo Cherne was well practiced in the methods necessary to provoke the desired reaction from the public. According to its annual reports for 1978, the year of the Marxist coup in Afghanistan, the IRC was already actively engaged in bringing Afghan refugees to Europe and the United States following “The takeover of Afghanistan by dictatorial forces sympathetic to the Soviet Union”" The report that year featured a photograph of Cherne’s old protégé’ at the Research Institute of America, board member William J. Casey while conducting a tour of Southeast Asia. Casey would serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee the next year before running Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election campaign and shortly thereafter becoming his CIA director.
The IRC in cooperation with the CIA had virtually created the elaborate psychological warfare mechanism that sold the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam to the American public. In 1975 their campaign ended in failure but in faraway Afghanistan, those mistakes would be forgotten. We got a personal look at the inside agenda and what would be done to keep it a secret in December of 1981 when Theodore Eliot, former U.S. Ambassador and Bilderberg General Secretary showed up at a private preview of our documentary Afghanistan Between Three Worlds and demanded our silence.
How did they get away with it? How could the American public be so caught up in the media theatrics to support the funding of Islamic fanaticism in Afghanistan they’d completely miss out on the largest CIA operation in American history?
Join us next time when we explain how Americans of all stripes had been lulled into accepting a British Imperial agenda as their own long before the Soviets crossed the border in our next installment of Psychological Warfare and the American Mind.
Copyright – 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved
OpEdNews.com September 11, 2016
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould
America’s coordinated use of psychological warfare began in earnest during World War II and has grown and expanded into public relations, advertising, cinema, radio and television, electronic video games and now social media. Its pro-war boosterism extends over sports, religion, education, news and entertainment to form a seamless electronic cocoon-like web.
Five Part Series: 15th anniversary of 9/11, 2016
By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
By definition, America’s use of Psychological Warfare is described as the “The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.” Of course this very definition is itself propaganda, a black lie which omits the fact that America’s domestic population is just as often the target of psychological warfare as any “hostile foreign groups.”
The state’s use of psychological warfare to bend the population to war is as old, if not older than the existence of states themselves. But it was perhaps Nazi Reichsmarschall Hermann Goeringwhose statement while on trial at Nuremberg best summed up the cynical simplicity of the logic.
“Of course people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders, that is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater danger.”
Psychological warfare in the form of propaganda comes in all shapes and sizes as well as shades of black, grey or white. America’s coordinated use of psychological warfare began in earnest during World War II and ever since has grown and expanded into public relations, advertising, cinema, radio and television, electronic video games and now social media. Its pro-war boosterism extends over sports, religion, education, news and entertainment to form a seamless electronic cocoon-like web. It is employed on an ever growing list of those deemed as enemies of America as well as on a confused and agitated American public — whose corporate news networks frame and manage an increasingly false narrative while engaging in a kind of Orwellian Kabuki Theatre of fairness and balance.
Americans were heavily propagandized to support a U.S. entry into World War II and again to accept the morality of deploying the atomic bomb to end it. Even Mickey Mouse was conscripted for America’s total war effort along with the minds of America’s youth. Following the war Americans were heavily propagandizedto accept the Cold War, the need for maintaining a permanent army, navy and air force as well as the buildup of a nuclear weapons arsenal.
Since 9/11 Americans have been bathed in psychological warfare on Islamic terrorism, but so much evidence has emerged linking that terrorism to covert U.S. policy goals, tha the propaganda value has backfired.
The Bush administration can take credit for breaking the system in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, by using fraudulent claims as a pretext for the invasion. But for reasons that defy logic, the U.S. government continues to employ these methods despite them having been shown time and again to be fraudulent.
One has only to look to the U.S. role in Afghanistan in the 1970s to understand the background of the current crisis in American thinking; but without reexamining the real purpose behind America’s long term involvement, today’s disinformation wars will remain imponderable.
The origins of Washington’s war in Afghanistan have always been strategic, long term and particularly black, obscured throughout the Cold War by a narrative adapted from Britain’s 19thcentury colonial expansion in India.
After a fruitless effort in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s, America’s psychological warfare campaign shifted its attention to Central Asia in 1973, when Afghanistan’s king was overthrown by his brother in law and cousin, Mohammed Daoud. Aided by the Parcham faction of the Marxist/Leninist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), Daoud’s takeover fit neatly into Washington’s anti-communist manifesto, despite his overwhelmingly nationalist credentials. The role of the Communist party meant so little to the U.S. media at the time that it remained invisible in both Time and Newsweek’s published reports of the coup. But to U.S. ambassador Robert G. Neumann, the presence of the PDPA meant that a “limited Great Game” with the Soviet Union was now back in play.
A coordinated campaign of pressure from U.S.-backed Pakistan and Iran soon ousted Daoud’s Marxist partner, while the Shah’s dreaded spy agency SAVAK moved in to help Daoud clean house of leftists. The Shah even readied a military force to invade, should Daoud waver in his newfound anti-Communist zeal. But by 1978 a new day for Iran and Afghanistan was about to dawn.
Enter Hafizullah Amin. Before, during and after World War II, the U.S. had created a number of psychological warfare organizations designed to compete with the political propaganda of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Integrated closely into the CIA’s intelligence and psychological warfare units after the war, organizations like Leo Cherne’s International Rescue Committee (IRC) and according to the CIA’s own website, the Congress for Cultural Freedom, helped to solidify CIA’s emerging strategy of promoting the non-Communist left–the strategy that would soon become the theoretical foundation of the agency’s political operations against Communism over the next two decades.”
In constant competition with the Soviet KGB, the CIA was also known to target foreign students destined to hold high rank in their home countries. Handpicked by U.S. administrators to participate in a UNESCO/Columbia University program, Amin was sent to New York in 1957. He later completed a master’s degree at Columbia–coincidentally, at a time when future National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski was gaining prominence there as a professor.
Amin claimed to have become radicalized at the University of Wisconsin in 1958. He also claimed to have become a Marxist that summer, but would conceal his emergence as a leader in the Kalq faction of the PDPA until much later. Despite being a Marxist, Amin was again chosen in 1962 by the Americans to attend Columbia, this time as a doctoral candidate, rising quickly to become the president of the Afghan Student Association. A disclosure in Ramparts magazine in April1967 would reveal the CIA’s sponsorship of that same Afghan Student Association during that time. Following his return, Amin rose rapidly in Afghan politics and by 1978 was positioned to play a pivotal role in another Palace coup, this time of Prince Mohammed Daoud himself.
1978 was a pivotal year in the foreign policy of the United States as President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski made steady inroads into Secretary of State Cyrus Vance’s power. By that year, he had persuaded Carter to transfer jurisdiction over the CIA from the Inter-Agency Policy Review Committee, (headed by the Secretary of State), to the National Security Council’s Special Coordinating Committee, which he chaired. This shift gave Brzezinski control over covert operations in Afghanistan. It also gave him control of the psychological warfare campaign necessary to make those operations work both at home and abroad.
Hafizullah Amin played the perfect foil to Brzezinski’s propaganda war which, regardless of the lack of evidence, painted the PDPA takeover in Kabul as a clear example of the growing dangers of Soviet expansionism and their pursuit of dominance in the Persian Gulf. Throughout 1978 and into 1979, Amin’s actions dovetailed perfectly into the expanding psychological warfare campaign against detente and the Soviet Union, with Brzezinski blaming Amin’s February 1979 assassination of American Ambassador Adolph Dubs on the Soviets.
Transcripts from Politburo meetingsin Moscow from March 1979 show a Soviet leadership confounded as the events unfolded, referring to a conversation with Amin as seeming “like a detective novel.” Had the operation been scripted in advance by the CIA to confuse Moscow, it could not have worked more brilliantly.
The subsequent, December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ended detente, renewed the Cold War and opened a U.S. military relationship with Communist China that could not have been imagined up to that time. It established a new narrative of an expanding Soviet Evil Empire threatening America’s vital interests in the Persian Gulf, while shifting U.S. foreign policy permanently into the neoconservative’s hands. This policy shift was laid out within days of the Soviet invasion by former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Theodore Eliot and Harvard Professor Richard Pipes in a MacNeil Lehrer broadcast on January 2, 1980.
But it wasn’t until we probed this new narrative by going to Afghanistan ourselves in 1981 and were challenged personally in a public forum for doing so by Ambassador Eliot, that we realized there was much more to Ambassador Eliot and his narrative than met the eye. Join us for Part III as we explain how President Jimmy Carter’s reelection, as well as American diplomacy, suffered a stealth attack from his own national security advisor in the next installment of Psychological Warfare and the American Mind.
Copyright 2016 Gould & Fitzgerald All rights reserved
By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould
Looking back on the carnage of the last 15 years it’s easy to see the psychological changes in America. What’s not easy to see is how a longstanding 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.
Five-Part Series: 15th anniversary of 9/11
9/11/2001. The date still echoes in the mind with outrage, anger, and utter disbelief. Through the clarity of hindsight it now seems more than ever like a Madison Avenue commercial intended to sell the American population on another war they didn’t need or want. But that’s what we got. Fifteen years of it so far and no end in sight. Believing in the official narrative of 9/11 requires what’s referred to in drama as a willful suspension of disbelief. How could this happen? How did a band of ragged terrorists plotting from a cave in faraway Afghanistan accomplish such a feat given the pervasiveness of the most expensive military/intelligence apparatus in the history of the world? How did three skyscrapers defy the laws of physics and manage to collapse as if brought down by a controlled demolition? And even more curiously, why would Islamic radicals provide the neoconservative administration of George W. Bush with exactly the pretext they needed to launch a bloody invasion of Afghanistan and further occupation of the Middle East?
Who among America’s national-security mandarins at the CIA or FBI or Department of Defense would be held accountable? No one would. Instead America’s national-security apparatchiks would be rewarded with expanded powers to eavesdrop and torture; powers that were supposed to be anathema to the American way of doing things. Like Kafkaesque characters who’d suddenly found themselves on the other side of the Cold War mirror, Americans would now have to “watch what they say and watch what they do” as 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 the end it would turn the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and America’s reputation on its head.
Looking back on the carnage of the last 15 years it’s easy to see the psychological changes in America. What’s not easy to see is how a longstanding 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 Braunhaus (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 wizard behind the outfit was Leo Cherne, psychological warfare specialist/co-founder of the Research Institute of America (RIA), which would later be labeled the “CIA for businessmen.”
If anyone could match Goebbels’ black arts of psychological warfare it was Cherne. In 1939 Cherne 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 an ambitious young prote’ge’ 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?” The answer was a highly profitable loose-leaf book called The War Coordinator. Operating through Freedom House and a second entity known as the International Rescue Committee, (IRC) Cherne and Casey’s psychological-warfare campaign would ultimately transform universally held concepts like Freedom, Justice and Truth into exclusive American brands, which over decades of repetition and reinforcement would grow into the now sacred axioms of American exceptionalism.
Over the decades following World War II Cherne 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 Andrew Young, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, Albert Shanker, Donald Rumsfeld and James Woolsey. It has since become an exclusive clearinghouse for the neoconservative’s international agenda.
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 profound 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 expert opinions about Soviet intentions, host Ted Koppel steered the discussion toward the CIA-backed Mujahideen by introducing a political officer of the Jamaat-i Islami, which Koppel described as “an anti-communist resistance group based in Pakistan… 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, they would never have chosen the Jamaat-i Islami. Originally founded by the Pakistani theologian Abul Ala Maudidi in 1941, the Jamaat-i Islami’s primary concern was not about democracy but replacing western-style democracy with an extremist Islamic Society.
According to testimony of Freedom House’s Rosanne Klass at a congressional hearing in February 1988, Freedom House’s real concern wasn’t about ending the conflict in Afghanistan at all but about keeping the Soviet Union tied down indefinitely. So, Nightline’s challenge to Roger Fisher’s evidence of a Soviet willingness to leave Afghanistan in 1983 and its choice of the Jamaat-i Islami could only have been intended to discredit Soviet intentions and the potential for peace in Afghanistan.
In 1939 Leo Cherne and William Casey set out to wage a war of disinformation on Germany and Japan. When that war was over they turned their campaign onto the Soviet Union. Then in 1981 – after they’d helped to stoke up a disinformation campaign surrounding events in Afghanistan – CIA Director William Casey told the President of the United States, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
Fifteen years ago on 9/11, the product of Leo Cherne and William Casey’s disinformation war came home to America. Americans couldn’t know what had just happened and still can’t know because everything they’d been hearing for decades about the Soviet Union, about Afghanistan and Ronald Reagan’s fiercely religious freedom fighters was admittedly false. By September of 2001 both men had passed on, but the false narrative where the lie became the truth and the truth became the enemy of the state lives on today. It comes as a steady flow of false information about America’s latest enemies floods American minds as never before.
How did the American political system and foreign-policy apparatus become enslaved by a demented political class whose only recourse is to prepare for a third World War that can never be won? How can the American people defend themselves against a lie they would rather accept than face the stark truth that lives within our society like a cancer? Join us, as we explain how this dilemma came to be, who the players are and what they really want in the next installment of Psychological Warfare and the American Mind.
Copyright 2016 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved