The Grand Illusion of Imperial Power

All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but those dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.

–   T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

How the Neocon Dream for Everlasting Hegemony Turned America Into a Nightmare

Few Americans today understand how the United States came to be owned by a London-backed neoconservative/right-wing alliance that grew out of the institutional turmoil of the post-Vietnam era. Even fewer understand how its internal mission to maintain the remnants of the old British Empire gradually overcame American democracy and replaced it with a “national security” bureaucracy of its own design. We owe the blueprint of that plan to James Burnham, Trotskyist, OSS man and architect of the neoconservative movement whose exposition of the Formal and the Real in his 1943 The Modern Machiavellians justified the rise of the oligarch and the absolute rule of their managerial elite. But Americans would be shocked to find that our current political nightmare came to power with the willing consent and cooperation of President James Earl Carter and his National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; aided by intelligence agencies in Europe and the Middle East.

A straight line can be drawn between today’s political hysteria and the 1970s era of right-wing Soviet hysteria as Russia stands accused of “meddling” in American democracy. The merits of those charges have been discussed in depth elsewhere. According to the dean of American intelligence scholars Loch K. Johnson as reported in the New York Times, the United States has done extensive meddling in other nation’s elections.

And then there is that hidden “meddler” behind the meddling; Britain. The extent of British meddling in American politics – at least since – the beginning of the 20thcentury would shock even the most devout cheerleaders of ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his “dirty dossier”. In a case reminiscent of America’s current hysteria over Russia, British intelligence even meddled with its own government back in the mid-1970s when right-wing elements of the military plotted a coup d’ etat of Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson based on information generated by their own disinformation campaign about Soviet influence. The 1917 Zimmerman telegram and the creation of the British Security Coordination in 1940 directly intervened in American politics on behalf of Britain. But the 1970 Creation of the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) by British secret agent Brian Crozier marked a key turning point in the transformation of officially sanctioned propaganda.

As presented by Edward Herman and Gerry O’ Sullivan in their 1989 study, The Terrorism Industry, “The London-based Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) provides an especially well-documented case study of the use of a purportedly ‘independent’ institute as a front for propaganda operations of hidden intelligence agency and corporate sponsors.” The purpose of ISC was to give discredited right-wing, anti-Communist and anti-union clichés in Britain the cover of legitimacy. The “Institute” got off to a quick start in the U.S. by forging an alliance with the National Strategy Information Center, NSIC a right-wing neoconservative think tank founded by Frank Barnett, William Casey and Joseph Coors in 1962. ISC’s first major triumph came in collaboration with the ultra-right-wing Pinay Cercle when Crozier and his protégé Robert Moss produced an ISC Special Report attacking the legitimacy of détente with the Soviet Union called European Security and the Soviet Problem. The study, financed by the Pinay group made no bones about its “Soviet problem” actually being the old “Russia problem” that European Imperialists had been hoping to solve since Napoleon’s disastrous march on Moscow in 1812.

As a devoted acolyte of James Burnham, Crozier brought to his secret world of rightwing businessmen, intelligence, police and military officials a strategic plan to use the media to move the West’sdemocracies to the ideological right by fabricating threats of Communist subversion. Determined to undermine détente, Antoine Pinay was so delighted with Crozier’s double-speak he presented the study in person to President Nixon and Henry Kissinger and by 1975 the group was staged to make their move on Washington. Less than two months before the fall of Saigon, the US Committee of the ISC (USISC) was launched which would act as the parent body of the Washington Institute for the Study of Conflict (WISC).

In the vacuum created by Vietnam Crozier and Pinay’s extremism was no longer viewed as extreme. Despite the public scandal over the CIA’s use of Crozier’s Forum World Features as a London-based fake news service, Washington elites were rolling out the red carpet to welcome them, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Ball. Under Ball’s Chairmanship WISC appeared a veritable who’s who of high-level ex-CIA, neoconservative and right-wing influencers. From Georgetown University came WISC’s first President James Thebergewhosebooks on Soviet influence in the Caribbean – helped provide the pretexts for overthrowing Chile’s legitimately elected leftist president Salvador Allende. And then there was Richard Pipes, the anti-Soviet history professor from Harvard University, who would soon be hand-picked to lead a neoconservative attack on the CIA known as Team B.

In the words of Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1985, Pipes and the Team B were the real reason for the intelligence failures represented by 9/11 because of their biases and unbalanced judgement. But in the end the Team B view gainedinfluence. With the appointment of fellow WISC member Zbigniew Brzezinski as President Carter’s national security advisor, British intelligence agent Brian Crozier’s plan tosubvert the détente process with the Soviet Union was complete. Crozier’sbelief “[T]hat the entire security apparatus of the United States was in a state of near collapse,” provoked yet another move to interfere in American politics. His solution was a secret off-the books “Private Sector Intelligence agency, beholden to no government, but at the disposal of allied or friendly governments for certain tasks which, for one reason or another, they were no longer able to tackle…” including “[S]ecret counter-subversion operations in any country in which such actions were deemed feasible.” Brian Crozier and Zbigniew Brzezinski were of one mind when it came to disbelieving in “mutual coexistence” or power-sharing with the Soviet Union and Brzezinski’s membership in WISC proved it.  Thanks to WISC member Richard Pipes and the Team B, Brzezinski could now bring Britain’s radical right-wing formula for social change right into the Oval Office.

Brzezinski devised astructure that channeled all executive decisions into two committees, the Policy Review Committee (PRC) and the Special Coordination Committee (SCC) chairedby him. Carter thenelevated the national security advisor to cabinet level and the palace coup was complete. As recalled by the neoconservative author David J. Rothkopf in Charles Gati’s 2013 book ZBIG, “It was a bureaucratic first strike of the first order. The system essentially gave responsibility for the most important and sensitive issues to Brzezinski.”

Another operation initiated by Brzezinski in 1977 was the Nationalities Working Group (NWG), dedicated to inflaming ethnic tensions among the Islamic populations of the South Asia region. Brzezinski then continued on into nuclear policy where he altered the SALT structure and then rigged the negotiations against Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. With Brzezinski expanding nuclear targeting options from 25,000 to 40,000 andcovert action teams sabotaging behind Soviet lines from early 1977 onward the message was clear; SALT and Détente were getting ripped up as well as the very assumptions both were based on.

By 1978, Brzezinski’s plan to use China as a weapon against the Soviets was playing out in Afghanistan. The April, 1978 Marxist coup against the King’s cousin, Mohammed Daoud played into Brzezinski’s “predictions” of a Sovietplan to incorporate Persia and South Central Asia into the Soviet sphere and ultimately take-over The Middle East. Vance rejected Brzezinski’s argument. The coup had caught both the Soviets and the State Department by surprise and the coup leader, Hafizullah Amin raised doubts on both sides of the fence as an unpredictable agent provocateur. Amin had taken money from the CIA and headed up the Afghan Student Association at a time when it was being used as a CIA recruitment tool for future Third World leaders.Amin was now one of those leaders and Vance was sending a tough and savvy American Ambassador to Kabul named Adolph “Spike” Dubs to deal with him. The outcome would change the world and end in tragedy for all.

In an interview we conducted in 1993 with Selig Harrison–former Washington Post foreign correspondent and Carnegie Endowment Senior Associate–Ambassador Dubs came to Kabul in the summer of 1978 with amission: Bring Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin over to the American side and keep the Russians out. President Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski had engineered a grander mission: Pressure Amin to draw the Soviets in through destabilization and then keep them tied down and give them their own Vietnam. By the time Ambassador Dubs arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan had become ground zero for a long anticipated anti-Soviet destabilization campaign organized byBrzezinski and carried out by an off the books intelligence operation known as the Safari Club. The “club”represented the true essence of the CIA ethos; an autonomous covert action organization with global reach, beyond the jurisdiction of American oversight and responsible to no one. A spinoff of the right-wing Pinay Cercle, the Safari Club had been active informally in the Middle East and Africa for years. But the club found its true calling following Watergate and the Church Committee hearings on 30 years of CIA coups, cover-ups and assassinations. Managed by France’s Count Alexandre de Marenches chief of French external intelligence, the club included the Shah of Iran, King Hassan II of Morocco, President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt, Kamal Adham, head of intelligence for Saudi Arabian King Faisal and Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. More to the point, by 1976 the Safari Club had become the real CIA, covertly funded by Saudi Arabia’s chief of intelligence Kamal Adham through the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) and run out of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

Brzezinski, Afghanistan and the End of Emperors

“From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. ”– Napoleon Bonaparte during his retreat from Russia

According to one-time CNN Special Assignment investigator Joe Trento in his 2005 exposé Prelude To Terror, Saudi Arabia’s chief of intelligence Kamal Adham worked alongside the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, BCCI’s founder Agha Hasan Abedi to expand the very concept of covert action by using BCCI to merge the Safari Club with “every major terrorist, rebel, and underground organization in the world.” A 2001 Time magazine report found that the bank functioned as “a vast, stateless, multinational corporation that deploys its own intelligence agency, complete with paramilitary wing and enforcement units, known collectively as the ‘black network:’”that wouldbribe or assassinate anyone to turn Afghanistan into the place to trap the Soviet Union in their own Vietnam.

Uninformed of the Safari Club’s activities, America’s ambassador proceeded to meet with Amin throughout the fall of 1978 and into the winter of 1979 often in secretmeetings.But Brzezinski’s ongoing destabilization, his military relationship with the Chinese and Amin’s antagonism toward the Russians was making life for Dubs increasingly dangerous. He grew alarmed by Amin’s provocative behavior and demanded to know from his CIA station chief whether he was employed by them. He was told no, but by then Afghan rebels were openly training in Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province. In addition there was what Joe Trento called the CIA’s Saudi-funded stockpile of misfits and malcontents manning the Safari Club’s 1,500-strong army of assassins and enforcers. And last but not least were Chinese-backed Maoist factions Setam-i Melli, Sholah Jaweed and SAMA programmed by Beijing to bring down their Afghan oppressor, Hafizullah Amin. Thanks to Saudi Intelligence chief Kamal Adham and BCCI banker, Agha Hasan Abedi, there were ample incentives for a holy jihad against Russia. Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the protectionof Western intelligence agencies.President Carter supported Brzezinski’s cross-border raids into Soviet territory. He also sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam; which he lied to the public about when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979. Joseph Trento writes, “Carter may in fact have signed his directive in July 1979, but the Safari Club’s Islamic fighters had been taunting Moscow into invading for nearly a year before that.”

By January 1979 the newly unstable region wasbecoming the primary financing source for a terrorist campaign that would spread around the world.But while Dubs was pleading that destabilization would provoke direct Soviet intervention, Brzezinski was promoting armed opposition.

That same month, Brzezinski’s NSC director of South Asian affairs, Thomas P. Thornton, arrived in Kabul to shut Dubs down, yet Dubs continued his mission.Between Dubs’ arrival in July of 1978 and the fall of the Shah on January 16, 1979 American policy in Iran, China and Afghanistan had shifted into the hands ofthe Pinay Cercle’s right-wing cabal. Run by a consortium of intelligence influencers, the decades-long geopolitical plan to move the United States into alignment with the Pinay Cercle’s old European right-wing was nearing completion.

By mid-February the Shah had fallen and the Afghan countryside was in open revolt. The Marxist regime of Hafizullah Amin was demanding military assistance from Moscow and the only man left to hold back Soviet retaliation wasAmbassadorDubs. But on the morning of February 14, 1979 Dubs himself would become the vehicle for the very outcome he had gone to Kabul to prevent when four men abducted him on his way to work and brought him to the Kabul Hotel.Three hours later the ambassador would die in a shootout that has been described as a botched rescue attempt.

The subsequent debate in Washington focused mainly on blaming the Soviets with unnamed “U.S. congressional sources” claiming “the Russians had wanted Dubs to die.” But as described in an interview conducted for Washingtonian Magazine in 2017 with Bruce Flatin, the political counselor dispatched by the U.S. embassy to the hotel that morning, the whole affair just didn’t make sense; unlessthe kidnapping wasn’t intended as a kidnapping and Dubs’ unfortunate death wasn’t the result of a botched rescue attempt, but was part of a Safari Club operation to remove the last obstacle to their plan. At a 1995 Nobel Symposium on the causes of the Afghan war – in the presence of former CIA director Admiral Stansfield Turner, the former Director of Soviet affairs at the National Security Council, General William Odom and dozens of former high-level officials – the leading Russian authority, General Alexander Lyakhovsky suggested the existence of a cover up. “Dubs was seen in the company of those same people who kidnapped him later in the same hotel—in the same room—the day before they kidnapped him. And then later Dubs was in his car, with a travel case. He stopped his car when those same people who he saw the day before ordered him to stop, as if they were known to him.”

No one has ever suggested the existence of anon-governmental agency in the death of Adolph Dubs. But the Safari Club’s anti-Communist agenda had been brought directly into the White House with Brzezinskiin 1977 and it had been active in Afghanistan long before February 14, 1979. If ever there was an opportunity for their 1,500-strong “black network” of CIA misfits, malcontents, assassins and enforcers to act on Brzezinski’s agenda to lure the Soviets into their own Vietnam,it was at room 117 of the Kabul Hotel on February 14, 1979.

The kidnapping and assassination of Ambassador Adolph Dubs ended any meaningful effort by the U.S. to prevent a Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan. The death was employed however from that day forward by Brzezinski as the opportunity to increase the level of provocation for luring the Soviets into their own “Vietnam quagmire” and keeping them pinned down for as long as possible. Because of  Dubs’ death, Brzezinski got control of foreign policy; got his hard line neoconservative policy toward the Soviet Union pushed through, ended support for détente once and for all and put Strategic Arms Limitation on hold.

Continuing his coup d’état, Brzezinski proceeded with plans for theradicaltransformation of America’s nuclear doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction – MAD into one of  nuclear “war-fighting” through a series of Presidential Directives. But the real irony of the Carter presidency was that his greatest success – the U.S- Egypt-Israeli peace treaty – was also arranged by the Safari Club. The death of Ambassador Dubs, the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late December 1979 doomed Carter’s reelection to failure. Afghanistan was soon to become the self-fulfilling prophecyof Soviet iniquity that the right-wing had been trying to create for decades;a permanent, ongoing crisis in U.S.-Soviet relations which it had precipitated and then claimed to uncover and respond to. Brian Crozier’s “ultimate sophistication of subversion” got its candidate Ronald Reagan elected in 1980 while completing the London-backed neoconservative/right-wing takeover of the American government. And they would never give it back.

The pattern and the profile of events parading across our screens today mirrors the pattern and profile of events engineered in the late 1970s by a London-backed neoconservative/right-wing alliancewhich paralleled the pattern and the profile of the late 1940s and the genesis of the Cold War. The United States, Britain and their post-World War II European creation, the EU continue to manufacture issues with which to demonize Russia as they once demonized the Soviet Union. But in the end, the goal set out by the Pinay Cercle and implemented during the Carter administration can only be said to have failed.

In his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brzezinski saw the United States “as the sole and, indeed, first truly global power” using France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine as “The Democratic Bridgehead for projecting into Eurasia the international democratic collective order.”  Yet even as the United States began to flex its unchallenged global power the ethnic flaw undergirding Brzezinski’s motives began to show.

When asked the real reason why the United States had taken such a hard line toward the Soviet Union on Afghanistanat the 1995 Nobel Symposium, President Carter’s CIA Director Stansfield Turner replied the responsibility could only be located in one individual. “Brzezinski’s name comes up here every five minutes; but nobody has as yet mentioned that he is a Pole,” Turner said, implying that it was ethnic hatred of Russia that had propelled his policy against the Soviet Union; not just geopolitics. Yet anybody who knew Brzezinski at the time knew that is exactly what he was doing, but they had all looked the other way.

The year before he died Brzezinski delivered a profound revelation in an article titled “Toward a Global Realignment” warning that “the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity, but given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.” Zbigniew Brzezinski had expected Poland to be at the center of America’s conquest of Eurasia. But after years of American missteps he realized his dream would never be. Though unapologetic at using his imperial hubris to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan, he did not expect his own beloved American Empire to fall into the same trap and ultimately lived long enough to see that in the end, his use of imperial power had won him only a Pyrrhic victory.

Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved

The Grand Illusion of Imperial Power: 2 Part Series


Part 1: How Neocon dream for everlasting Hegemony turned America into a nightmare
Part 2: The Tragic Imperialist: Brzezinski, Afghanistan and the End of Emperors


Part 1: How Neocon dream for everlasting Hegemony turned America into a nightmare

Part 2: The Tragic Imperialist: Brzezinski, Afghanistan and the End of Emperors

1 thought on “The Grand Illusion of Imperial Power

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