Part IV: America’s Late Stage Imperial Dementia

OpEdNews 11/3/2016

By (Parts I,II & III are linked at the bottom of the page)
The 1854 painting of the 12th cc. Marriage of Aoife and Strongbow (Daniel Maclise [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

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

PART I: When America Became the Dark Force

PART II: How Guilt, Innocence & Facts Have Been Rendered Irrelevant

PART III: Neoconizing the Just War Doctrine in the service of American Empire

PART IV: America’s Late Stage Imperial Dementia

PART III: Neoconizing the Just War Doctrine in the service of American Empire

By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould      November 3, 2016

St. Thomas Aquinas  (1225-1274) laid out the conditions when war could be justified long before nuclear weapons were imagined
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) laid out the conditions when war could be justified long before nuclear weapons were imagined
Carlo Crivelli (1435–1495) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
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America, an Empire in Twilight Four Part Series Over the years only a small handful of policy pundits have struggled to find a core principle that might explain the American government’s irrational desire to expand its Cold War military alliance (NATO). With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the demobilization of Warsaw Pact forces, the organization no longer had a reason to live and should have been disbanded. Instead, under the Bill Clinton regime NATO found new life and new members and after 9/11 it was assigned a new purpose in the Bush administration’s war on terror. Flash forward to November 2010 when one of America’s few truly astute commentators, the now deceased William Pfaff, resorted to the term “medieval mysticism” to describe what had become of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. “American policy seems to these allies to be lost in fantasies as Alice was lost in a mathematician’s logical joke, in which all was reversed from what existed in real life, on the other side of the looking glass” Pfaff wrote. Today, NATO remains more than ever lost on the other side of the mirror with the only exceptions being the location has changed from Afghanistan to Russia’s border states while the fantasy has transformed from making an Afghan democracy out of terrorists, warlords and drug kingpins into a World War II style Nazi blitzkrieg on Moscow.

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

PART II: How Guilt, Innocence & Facts Have Been Rendered Irrelevant

America, an Empire in Twilight Series By Paul Fitzgerald Elizabeth Gould OpEdNews  11/2/2016

The Neocon Additiction to Mirror Imaging: Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
The Neocon Addiction to Mirror Imaging: Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon
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By Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory)
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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 I: When America Became the Dark Force

PART II: How Guilt, Innocence & Facts Have Been Rendered Irrelevant

PART III: Neoconizing the Just War Doctrine in the service of American Empire

PART IV: America’s Late Stage Imperial Dementia

PART I: When America Became the Dark Force

America, an Empire in Twilight Series


Painting of John Milton's 'Paradise Lost' 1866 by Gustave Dore'

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

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