Document:Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposed
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Sins of Statecraft: The War on Terror Exposed
Few things are more crucial to our global situation today than a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental habits and recent overtly aggressive trend present in United States foreign policy. To achieve such requires a look into the long-standing tradition of creating external threats to conceal unsavory imperial operations conducted elsewhere in the world. This paper includes an examination of the US-USSR Cold War and the so-called “war on terror” as covers for expansion of imperialism, and 9-11 in the context of provoked and internally engineered first strikes throughout American history, devoting much of its contents to theories on militarism and post-World War II influence on policymaking - how and why those in power do what they do.
The reasons for the use of the long-standing instruments of fear and militarism in the cause of navigating the contours and undulations of the Cold War are revealed in the context of the post-Cold War “war on terror,” which employs the same rhetoric and means of manipulation. Such revelations are not limited to identical methods, but spring forth from statements voiced by the manipulators themselves. A recent example (among many) came from the wife of Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, founder of the Committee for the Free World, and cofounder of a plethora of single-minded think tanks ranging from the second incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), Hudson Institute, Heritage Foundation, Coalition for a Democratic Majority, to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In a 2004 Los Angeles interview, Decter stated, “We’re not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We’re there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.”
Statements like these surface after years, even decades, of manipulations that use very different and far more publicly palatable rhetoric to arrive at the tipping point when pretexts "to get" what manipulators want are achieved and exploited.
Regarding methods, again reflecting undulations in tensions between presidents and individuals acting in groups to influence policy - groups whose objectives invariably have little or nothing to do with democracy and the welfare of the American people - a clear pattern of self-serving interests emerges from the comparison of the ascendancy of 32 CPD members to posts in the pro-Cold War Reagan administration with the ascendancy of a roughly similar number of PNAC members to posts in the pro-“war on terror” Bush administration. Though the precise reasons have somewhat varied between the end of World War II and today, they have in common the convergent interests of such influential groups with likeminded groups outside the US, who together stood to gain from imperial ambitions pursued under the cloak of American projection of force as a response to the well-fashioned threats of “communist enslavement” and “international terrorism” respectively.
All of this is and has been about control of Central Asia and counteracting or inhibiting Russian and Chinese moves to control its resources. As Zbigniew Brzezinski observes, “For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia.... Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.” Importantly, he adds, “Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat,” a statement that should be understood in the context of one made earlier in his book: “The public supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”
Daniel Yergin identified two axioms of Soviet intentions that led up to the creation and eventual adoption in 1950 of the most important foreign policy document of the last 56 years, NSC-68: the Riga axiom of belligerency (a militarized version of George Kennan’s early, hostile viewpoints while stationed in Riga and Moscow before and during World War II) and the Yalta axiom (based on the greater understanding achieved at the Yalta Conference with regard to postwar visions that would employ cooperation, compromise, and face-to-face diplomacy). While in 1945 great strides were being made under the Yalta axiom in Moscow meetings with Joseph Stalin, at home the Yalta axiom was under attack from an inner circle of State Department officials who recognized an economic opportunity in the vacuum left by the fall of the Third Reich and the exhaustion of old European powers. Notably, many in this inner circle that would later trumpet the adoption of NSC-68 had worked together in Wall Street investment firms, served in high military positions, or were otherwise intimately connected to the corporate web from which they stood to reap massive profits in a heightened military state. These State Department officials, projecting the Riga axiom, insisted that Russia was an aggressive totalitarian power bent on world conquest, contradicting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessments. Thus, between 1946 and late 1950 the Yalta axiom came to be rejected by a confused and pliant President Truman, setting in motion a lucrative tragedy and an escalating trend that continues to this day.
Two points illustrated by Jerry Sanders’ book, Peddlers of Crisis, are useful in understanding manipulation. Firstly, NSC-68, while presented as a military strategy in response to an imminent threat, was in reality an economic strategy requiring military buildup to suggest that a threat existed. Secondly, CPD was formed by supporters of NSC-68 to manipulate the public and Congress into embracing NSC-68’s recommendations. NSC-68 itself, drafted in January 1950 and signed by Truman in April 1950, was not enough to persuade, nor was the advent of the Korean War in June 1950. Only after CPD was formed and issued a series of media statements, followed by echoing statements from President Truman in December 1950, did the public and Congress perceive a threat grave enough to motivate the adoption of NSC-68’s recommendations for “a three-fold increase in military spending on nuclear and conventional forces - a bold program of rearmament.” In April 1950, when NSC-68 was signed, four months after Truman had approved the hydrogen bomb program, the US possessed some 500 atomic weapons and was producing them at the rate of four per week, while the Soviets had only recently tested their first atomic bomb and possessed at most a dozen such weapons.
This perception - or deception - highlights the thesis of this study: that the US majority acquiesces to an aggressive arrogance arising whenever the three spheres of financial, military, and political powers fall into the hands of an elite self-serving minority that is highly influential through media, lobbying, one-on-one persuasion, and key connections within these spheres.
As NSC-68 reveals in its own language, and as revealed in the statements of its supporters, the notion of an external threat (in this case, the Soviet Union) was required to maintain US-European trade advantages gained from World War II. The illusion of a Soviet threat in Europe was key to preventing European trade partners from ratifying the prevailing desire among Soviets and Europeans alike for a neutralist trade environment, while the external threat in the US was necessary to persuade the public and Congress into acceptance of NSC-68’s huge defense budget increases, ostensibly to provide protection, but in reality to legitimize the threat and produce economic growth both in the US and Europe (whereas growth in Europe meant more growth in the US).
In other words, the threat was not as real as NSC-68’s economic goals, but only the threat could achieve those goals, and only through exaggeration. NSC-68 was therefore an offensive strategy disguised as a defense against “communist enslavement.” The resulting new foreign policy of what Sanders calls Containment Militarism, adopted by Truman (and which should not be confused with the conventional notion generated from the term “containment policy”), consisted of a structure that grew and prevails today, requiring new external threats to maintain today’s US-global trade advantages, mainly produced in the intervening years (and previously) through imperial coercion. Thus, the degree of deceit necessary to sway public opinion also grew, often employing first strikes against Western assets both to satisfy this demand for acceptance/acquiescence, and to serve as pretexts for the placement of forces in geostrategic regions and approval of finances necessary to sustain key areas of the structure.
Today this geostrategy is directly linked to the predicted peak in world oil production. Since lucrative control of renewable resources is much more difficult to concentrate in the hands of a few, Western nations have chosen to maintain their immediate investments and establish supremacy over remaining energy reserves by supporting US foreign policy, though they have little choice but to acquiesce and follow US policy because of the strength of its military. In any event, the exaggeration of threats in the “war on communism” have given way to more virulent preemptive and preventive policies in the “war on terror” that represent a trend far more devastating to American founding principles and produce a danger to global security on a scale not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Between 1798 and 2004, the United States conducted 322 operations involving US forces abroad, not counting covert operations, disaster relief, and routine alliance stationing and training exercises. 153 of these occurred between 1946 and 2004, and have dramatically increased in frequency decade by decade. This astounding number represents the most prolific global projection of power by any empire in history. Even worse, no nation in modern times has worked so hard to kill independence movements, and the US has routinely done so in the name of freedom and democracy.
In The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Threat, published in 1979, Alan Wolfe states that, “Without a sharply negative view of an enemy, it is difficult to justify an activist foreign policy.” He rightly suggested that “postwar American policy has gone through two peaks, two valleys, and now seems to be entering a third peak,” with a peak being a US assertion of strength against Soviet ideology represented by an increased defense budget or interventions and symbolic displays such as moving the American fleet. For the first peak, Wolfe pointed to the period from the end of World War II to the early 1950s, particularly the decision to build the hydrogen bomb and the issuance of NSC-68, the blueprint for every belligerent strategy report issued by the Pentagon under the Bush administration, and similar documents drafted by Paul Wolfowitz and PNAC prior to the ascendancy of George W. Bush to the presidency. The second peak began in 1957 with the Gaither Report and culminated in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The third peak began in 1976 with the Team B Report, authorized by then CIA director George Bush Sr.; the resulting push for intelligence community reform; and the reappearance of CPD, which flooded the media with false notions of an impending Soviet first strike. (Paul Nitze was instrumental in all three peaks as primary author of each of the three belligerent documents.)
It could be argued that a third valley arrived with the collapse of the Soviet Union, so sudden as to deflate and disappoint such staunch neoconservatives as Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz. When asked in 1990 why he had stopped writing, Podhoretz lamented that he had lost his compass and no longer knew what to think, humorously noting that Kristol had moved all the way to Washington just as “the spirit blew out of the Beltway.” However, as Stephen Cohen argues below, the US-USSR Cold War never ended. Indeed, the consistent belligerent and bipartisan condescension of US foreign policy toward Russia since 1991 is indicative of deep-rooted and fundamental flaws that have plagued the US majority in the form of an aggressive arrogance that arises whenever financial, military, and political powers fall into the hands of a negative-activist minority. (I apply the term “negative” to signify the decidedly self-serving and willful use of violence in the process of manipulating the majority.)
Stephen Blank, professor and expert on Russia at the US Army War College, states: “The obvious implication of current policy is that NATO under US leadership will become an international policeman and hegemon in the Trans-Caspian, and define the limits of Russian participation in the region’s expected oil boom.”
Immediately after 9-11, Vladimir Putin promised support for Bush’s “war on terror,” with the caveat that NATO cease its eastward push. Bush agreed, and just as immediately set about pushing NATO eastward. Professor Stephen Cohen of NYU points out that (thus) the Cold War never ended, and with the US today openly stating that Georgia and Ukraine are to become NATO partners, with US troops present - and with Putin having drawn the line with Ukraine, as Russia subsidizes much of Ukraine's economy - a new and very real tension has risen once again between the two largest possessors of nuclear arms. (In fact, a US warship and 200 Marines were chased out of the Russian province of Crimea just weeks ago by a massive group of protesters.)
Implicit in the above is that the illusion or projection of Cold War triumphalism asserted under the Clinton and Bush II administrations has lent additional leverage to those negative activists who were already seeking global supremacy and a new external threat in the wake of the Cold War. (While Russians saw the end of the Cold War as an agreement between East and West, negative-activists in the US declared a triumph of “freedom and democracy” over a “tyrannical regime.”)
Moreover, for the average American, the valleys described by Alan Wolfe - the mid 1950s, the 1960s and early 1970s (and the Clinton years) - seemed to offer hope, but a sustained increase in general prosperity that a shift away from the spending of a national security state and toward domestic growth never arrived. Such a shift would have required a sincere and sustained investment in the rise of an international justice system, and the removal of US military forces from around the world. Persistent extremists in elite US foreign policy circles did all they could through these valleys to see that this would never happen; America was the only true force for good in the world, they argued, and had “a duty” to project that force - with heavy emphasis on “force.”
The United States has shipped much its infrastructural technology and economic wealth to Japan, South Korea, Germany, and elsewhere in exchange for its continued overseas military presence and expansion, some of it due to an obsession with roots in the racisms of 19th century Manifest Destiny, all of it due to a determination to control the economic affairs of the world through intimidation rather than chart an equitable new course: “Indeed, if there is one common thread running from 1945 to the present, it is the ever-widening sphere of American containment of an unruly world, with no end in sight.”
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Cold War with the Soviet Union was less about confrontation between two superpowers and more about two superpowers ultimately exploiting the illusion of confrontation for domestic and global ventures of a profitable nature. For Soviet leaders, this illusion permitted the resolution and consolidation of its internal difficulties, most prominently rooted in its multiculturalism. Its borders grew more secure, and the suppression of dissent became easier. For the United States, exploiting the “threat of Soviet communism” in Europe fostered its wider economic command in European and global affairs. There were actually three cold wars, two of which are still raging: in East Asia, and in Latin America. The United States found this “threat” convenient in both of these regions, lending an easy excuse for basing its troops in East Asia - which again goes back to America’s historic obsession with China - and providing a distracting cover for long-standing exploits in Latin America, installing dictators to allow American fruit companies and other businesses to perpetually exploit the land while indigenous farmers suffer immensely. In fact, the best thing that ever happened to help cover the United States’ imperial ambitions in Latin America was the rise of Fidel Castro, allowing the US to point to the “spread of communism” and thus legitimize military operations, particularly under President Reagan, which in nearly every case targeted and killed the rise of national independence efforts, also known as democracy movements.
As an undergraduate recipient of Oregon’s most prestigious award for overseas study in Japan, and as a graduate with honors in Japanese history, I was shocked to learn only after creating my nontraditional independent masters degree program in Peace Studies how the transfer of power in Korea, from Japanese to American hands in September 1945, held in place much of the divisive Japanese colonial structure and kept in power Koreans who had sided with the Japanese, thus alienating nearly all Koreans and serving to thwart attempts at reunified independence to allow occupation by US forces to this day - a shameful trend repeated in Vietnam and countless locations throughout recent history.
If we for a moment equate occupation with terrorism rather than the one-sided equating of anti-occupation movements with terrorism, another advantage of using terrorism is illustrated by Harvard Professor Stephen Rose (director of the Olin Institute, a primary funding source for extremist think tanks): “The maximum amount of force can and should be used as quickly as possible for psychological impact - to demonstrate that the empire cannot be challenged with impunity. We are in the business of bringing down hostile governments and creating governments favorable to us. Imperial wars end, but imperial garrisons must be left in place for decades to ensure order and stability.”
To approach an understanding of the nature of US foreign policy, it is useful to begin with an assessment of arguably the most crucial juncture in policymaking between the end of World War II and the present: a period spanning the mid 1970s to the early 1980s.
Let us, therefore, back up to the subject of Midge Decter and husband Norman Podhoretz for the sake of highlighting once again their true objectives. Podhoretz’s end-of-the-Cold-War lament did not last long, and indeed both he and his wife had apparently overlooked the solution to their need for a new external threat, which was present through a simple reorientation of a tactic laid out in the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism they had attended. (This recount is best served with a brief discussion of the years leading up to 1979, most of which is common knowledge.)
In 1974, when Gerald Ford took over for Richard Nixon in the White House after Watergate, Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld insisted that Ford appoint Dick Cheney as Assistant to the President. Ford had no idea who Cheney was, but under the pressure of Rumsfeld’s insistence, Ford approved Cheney’s appointment.
The following year, on November 4, 1975, Rumsfeld and Cheney executed the infamous Halloween Massacre, persuading Ford to severely reduce the powers of the pro-détente, anti-Cold War Henry Kissinger, limit the role of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and most importantly, replace the proud Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) William Colby with the extremely anti-détente and pro-Cold War oil man George Bush Sr. Rumsfeld also bumped himself up to Secretary of Defense, and Cheney moved up to Rumsfeld’s old position of White House Chief of Staff.
This set the stage for devastating intelligence reforms and the eventual return of brutal policies in the CIA that had been drastically curtailed after Watergate, Vietnam, and other sins of statecraft.
Each year the CIA produces National Intelligence Estimates (NIE), and William Colby had staunchly defended their veracity in showing that the Soviet Union urgently sought parity through diplomacy (as it had all along), was in severe decline economically, and strongly desired an end to the Cold War. The NIE produced in 1976 showed precisely this, but the new DCI George Bush Sr. called for an independent team of outside analysts to challenge his CIA’s own findings. Far from independent, each member of this group, called Team B, was closely tied to the defense industry and all were extreme anti-Soviet, anti-détente, pro-Cold War hawks. Members included Paul Nitze, who had authored the scariest documents throughout the Cold War, indeed had officially launched the Cold War with his NSC-68 (while serving in the State Department as Director of Policy Planning), and Paul Wolfowitz, Nitze’s protégé, who has since produced the scariest post-Cold War documents.
Dissenting views were allowed in NIE in the form of footnotes, and the most prolific writer of dissenting footnotes in the NIE of 1976 was General George Keegan. Keegan had a history of creating pretexts, among them the Northwoods plan (below), and the “death ray scare” of the early 1970s designed to build public and military opposition to détente. Keegan also had close ties, in the religious fundamentalist sense, with Jack Kemp, Gary Bauer, General Daniel O. Graham, and many other figures prominent in the rise of interventionist policy after Team B.
Team B did not challenge any facts whatsoever, but simply embarrassed the youthful CIA team by alleging with great skill and flourish that the Soviets were building fantastical new weapons in preparation for a first strike. In any event, the outcome was that Bush used Team B’s perspective to reform the entire basis for assessing Soviet capabilities, so that henceforth NIE were based not on facts (a.k.a. intelligence) but on imagined potential.
The results, coupled with increasing pressure from the reincarnated CPD, forced the incoming President Carter to adopt a hard-line foreign policy to the extent that by 1980 he was so strongly outgunned by pro-Cold War people within the intelligence community and the Pentagon, as well as within his own administration, that he announced in his State of the Union address precisely what had been put before him rather than what he may have believed or desired.
Chronologically digressing for a moment to provide useful background, among the previous sins of statecraft in US history were Operation Northwoods and Operation Mongoose of 1962, two parts of one plan designed with help from both General Keegan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Lyman Lemnitzer. Northwoods was a plan to target American citizens in several cities and put the blame on Cuba, serving as a pretext for invasion of Cuba. (President Kennedy rejected the plan, and some contend that this rejection led Keegan, Lemnitzer, E. Howard Hunt, and others to plot his assassination.) In the declassified Northwoods documents, suggestions also include building a plane that looked like a Cuban MIG fighter jet to shoot down a chartered US commercial plane filled with students flying over Cuba on their way to a Caribbean holiday; staging a military strike on the US base at Guantanamo dressed as Cuban soldiers; and flying a remote-controlled commercial plane over Miami and using a fake Cuban MIG fighter to shoot it down in broad daylight for the American public to witness.
I pause to mention this because pretexts such as these have been used throughout US history, and represent the rising trend - from national to international - of organized assertions of combined powers of influence exercised in the hands of a negative-activist minority upon the majority in the form of terrorism. First strikes on US assets have served as pretexts for almost every major war in which it was involved. Even in its struggle for independence from Britain, rebels in 1770 engineered a first strike against colonists, called the Boston Massacre, to galvanize public opinion and demonize an enemy. In extremely organized fashion, British soldiers were provoked into killing five colonists - a pivotal event leading to the War of Independence. Boston revolutionaries under the leadership of Samuel Adams portrayed the event as a “cold-blooded slaughter of defensive colonists revealing England as murderous and oppressive,” and “proof that there was no alternative to war.” The findings of deep research into actual details of this event as noted in Nafeez Ahmed’s The War on Truth are both startling and instructive in understanding the efficiency of such methods.
Widely praised as the best critique of the official inquiry into 9-11, the final chapter of The War on Truth illustrates America’s legacy of arranging first strikes against itself to establish new external threats, to legitimize these threats in the minds of congressional leaders, and to galvanize public sentiment for war. Executive director of Britain’s Institute for Policy Research and Development, Ahmed highlights Professor John McMurtry’s explanation of such events as follows:
Shocking attacks on symbols of American power as a pretext for aggressive war is, in fact, an old and familiar pattern of the American corporate state... with an attendant corporate media frenzy focusing all public attention on the Enemy to justify the next transnational mass murder. Throughout there is one constant to this long record of hoodwinking the American public into bankrolling ever rising military expenditures and periodic wars for corporate treasure...to provide the pretext and the public rage to launch wars of aggression against convenient and weaker enemies by which very major and many-leveled gains are achieved for the US corporate-military complex.
Ahmed’s final chapter describes how such methods were systematically applied to the Mexican-American War, and by the sinking of the Maine, which sparked the Spanish-American War; the sinking of the Lusitania, which ultimately brought the US into World War I; Pearl Harbor, with overwhelming evidence that the Japanese attack was deliberately provoked and allowed to occur to generate public support for entry into World War II; Operation Northwoods, the rejected plan to carry out acts of terrorism within US cities designed to spark a war with Cuba; and the Gulf of Tonkin incident, an official lie that succeeded as a pretext for US expansion of the Vietnam War. In this context, Ahmed points out, “it is perfectly reasonable to consider the possibility that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were the outcome of the same sort of geostrategic thinking - rooted in long-standing political, social, and economic forms - that gave rise to previous US operations along a similar framework.”
Now back to 1979, the year that international terrorism found a new incarnation through consolidation of converging interests and the “war on terror” was conceived. (Its conception was necessarily followed by a process of maturation: first applied to the Cold War and in rhetoric within limited theaters, such as in Latin America and the Palestine-Israel situation; second in the post-Cold War formulation of a global “war on terror” plan during the 1990s; and third in its implementation after 9-11.) On January 21, 1979, 170 admirals and generals published a letter to President Carter in major US newspapers, calling for US military superiority over the Soviet Union, the recognition of Israel’s strategic value and the reinforcement of its military capabilities, and a final renunciation of détente. The organizers of this campaign were the previously mentioned General Lemnitzer, the Operation Northwoods Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman from the early 1960s; General Daniel O. Graham, a major Team B participant; and General Keegan, the second half of the Northwoods leftovers and the footnote man from the 1976 NIE.
Around June of 1979, according to Zbigniew Brzezinski, “The United States launched a covert operation to bolster anticommunist guerrillas in Afghanistan at least six months before the 1979 Soviet invasion of that country. We did not push the Russians into invading, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.” The US had actively recruited Afghan warlords to form terrorist groups along the northern border, forcing the USSR to conduct a full-scale invasion in December to counter the US destabilization program. Among the methods used by the US in this program was the production and distribution of textbooks to schools (madrassas) promoting the war-values of murder and fanaticism, fostering a generation steeped in violence.
The US government "in collusion with Pakistan’s leaders took abusive advantage of the opportunity...to rule out the creation of any responsible and independent organization among Afghans...in complete disregard to the Afghan people’s sovereignty and sacrifices."
In other words, the United States once again crushed a democratic uprising, resulting in the occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet forces, and allowing the US to form its own resistance group against the occupation. This is where the bin Laden family became deeply involved. The family helped fund the rebellion, and enthusiastically supported Osama bin Laden’s decision to join the struggle.
Between July 2 and July 5, 1979, in Nafeez Ahmed’s words from The War on Truth, citing Philip Paull’s brilliant 1982 thesis on the organized reinvention of international terrorism,
“a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of ‘international terrorism.’ The (Jerusalem) conference (on International Terrorism, or JCIT) established the ideological foundations for the ‘war on terror.’ JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union. All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which - according to the JCIT - provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe. The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services.”
Nafeez Ahmed (2005) 
The nonexistent target of this antiterrorist program leads us to ask what the real target was.
According to former State Department official Richard Barnet, the inflation of Soviet-sponsored ‘international terrorism’ was useful precisely for demonizing threats to the prevailing US-dominated capitalist economic system.
It is crucial to identify the architects of the JCIT’s terrorism project. Thanks to Philip Paull, we know they were, “present and former members of the Israeli and United States governments, new right politicians, high-ranking former United States and Israeli intelligence officers, the anti-détente, pro-Cold War group associated with the policies of Senator Henry M. Jackson - a group of neoconservative journalists and intellectuals - and reactionary British and French politicians and publicists.” Among prominent individuals who participated were Menachem Begin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, and George Bush Sr. (The aforementioned anti-détente, pro-Cold War group associated with the policies of Senator Henry Jackson are well known to be Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan, Charles Horner, and James Woolsey, to name a few.)
Importantly, Paull’s thesis includes the entire list of the JCIT participants, many of them intimately connected to the 1976 Team B assault on National Intelligence Estimates and to CPD. Participants from the United States at this conference, arranged by Benjamin Netanyahu and George Bush Sr., were neoconservative organizers Norman Podhoretz and his wife Midge Decter (CPD), Senator John Danforth, Professor Joseph Bishop, General George Keegan (Team B), Ray Cline (former CIA deputy director who had assisted with Operation Northwoods, and director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies), Jack Kemp (CPD), Lane Kirkland (CPD’s connection to the AFL-CIO), journalist George Will, nuclear physicist and staunch Cold War hawk Edward Teller, Richard Pipes (Team B, CPD), Bayard Rustin (CPD’s connection to the A. Philip Randolph Institute), Professor Thomas Schelling (RAND), Ben Wattenberg (CPD), Claire Sterling, and Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Participants also came from Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany, Canada, Ireland, and the largest contingency was comprised of Israeli military, government, and intelligence service personnel. The bulk of the international representatives not from Israel and the US were media propagandists long connected to covert operations.
In 1981, some of the conference attendees published books, including Claire Sterling’s The Terror Network, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s International Terrorism Challenge and Response: Proceedings of the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, asserting the existence of this Soviet-backed threat.
For a decade or more, the United States government, like the governments of most Western powers, was largely silent on the question of Soviet complicity in international terrorism. Beginning in about 1979, and culminating in 1981 with the publication of Claire Sterling’s book, The Terror Network, the evidence that the Soviet Union had provided substantial supplies and training to a broad spectrum of terrorist organizations became so compelling that it was difficult to deny it.
In 1982, within just a few years of this conference, Philip Paull, the masters degree student at San Francisco State University, used his thesis to demonstrate that the JCIT’s literature and source documentation was profoundly flawed, with authors citing each other and altering official documents. Its assertion that there was a ten-fold increase in international terrorism between 1968 and 1978 had been deliberately fabricated, and contradicted CIA data showing a decline.
According to Ahmed: “It also routinely relied on techniques of blatant disinformation, misquoting and misrepresenting Western intelligence reports, as well as recycling government sponsored disinformation published in the mainstream media. Paull thus concludes that the 1979 JCIT was "... a successful propaganda operation... the entire notion of ‘international terrorism’ as promoted by the Jerusalem Conference rests on a faulty, dishonest, and ultimately corrupt information base.... The issue of international terrorism has little to do with fact, or with any objective legal definition. The issue, as promoted by the JCIT and used by the Reagan administration, is an ideological and instrumental issue. It is the ideology, rather than the reality, that dominates US foreign policy today."
Nevertheless, Ahmed continues, "The new ideology of ‘international terrorism’ justified the Reagan administration’s shift to ‘a renewed interventionist foreign policy,’ and legitimized a ‘new alliance between right-wing dictatorships everywhere’ and the government. Thus, the administration had moved to ‘legitimate their politics of state terrorism and repression,’ while also alleviating pressure for the reform of the intelligence community and opening the door for ‘aggressive and sometimes illegal intelligence action,’ in the course of fighting the international terrorist threat."
In other words, this plan was similar in nature to the Team B assault on intelligence in that it was an effort to fan Cold War flames and produce stronger intelligence community cover for continued and further imperial projections, which was the primary purpose of the US-USSR Cold War in the first place (as University of Chicago professor of history Bruce Cumings and East Asia expert and former CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson suggest).
Upon taking office in January 1981, Reagan outlined his new foreign policy in a speech by Alexander Haig, which boiled down to an adoption of the JCIT theme: “International terrorism will take the place of human rights in our concern.” Thus, the 1979 US destabilization program using terrorist groups to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan was used by the US to call the Soviet invasion “terrorism” and to point to that invasion as a model for “Soviet-backed terrorism” around the world.
A nation of such greed and superior strength will often allow itself to be attacked because it can afford to do so, and because in the minds of a negative-activist minority it makes strategic sense to do so. In Inventing the Axis of Evil, Bruce Cumings notes that: "From Polk’s attack on Mexico to the South’s shelling of Fort Sumter, the sinking of the Maine and the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, the Korean War, the Tonkin Gulf incident, and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, presidents who were bent on war or not, expecting it to erupt or not, nonetheless waited until the enemy made the first move."
Cumings goes on to point out that the George W. Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq did not fit that typical pattern - though it is now clear from documents and statements, many of them authored by Paul Wolfowitz, that this administration (and its supporting base of influential negative-activist groups) was obsessed with Middle East intervention and global dominion via force long before they took office, with Iraq as their first stepping stone. Thus, 9-11 was a plausible pretext, and one for which President Bush’s administration was willing to wait.
Paul Wolfowitz’s obsession with Iraq dates back at least to 1973. It was then that Wolfowitz - who had studied under the pro-Cold War nuclear weapons advocate Albert Wohlstetter at the University of Chicago, and whose father had been Albert Wohlstetter’s math teacher at Columbia University - visited the Pentagon and asked why there were no war room contingencies for the Persian Gulf. Later, while serving under President Carter in the capacity of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Regional Programs and tasked with generating a Limited Contingency Study to examine possible third-world threats in regions including the Middle East, Wolfowitz voiced the view that no attention was being paid to the possibility of the Soviets turning southward to seize the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. He advised the deployment of military equipment to the Gulf, but his advice was rejected. Indeed, the first written expression of such Middle East contingencies appeared in the 1977 Military Strategy and Force Posture Review authorized by President Carter (also known as Presidential Review Memorandum 10/NSC-10), which incorporated Wolfowitz’s studies. After joining the Reagan administration, his advice was accepted and tankers of military equipment were anchored in the Persian Gulf (and later used by George Bush Sr.).
In 1986, according to Ahmed Osama bin Laden's activities occurred "with the full approval of the Saudi regime and the CIA." Under contract with the CIA, he and the family company built the multi-billion dollar caves known as the Tora Bora complex: "to serve as a major arms storage depot, training facility, and medical center for the Mujaheddin."
With CIA support to override visa requirements, Osama rounded up recruits and sent them into the United States for terrorist training by the CIA; the recruits then returned to fight against Soviet forces. At the height of this operation, the US was shipping 65,000 tons of arms annually to Osama bin Laden’s fighters. Pakistani operatives in contact with bin Laden received assistance from “American Green Beret commandos and Navy SEALS in various US training establishments,” and by 1988, Jane's Defense Weekly reported that “with US knowledge, bin Laden created Al-Qaeda (The Base): a conglomerate of quasi-independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries.”
When Iraq invaded Kuwait after the fall of the Soviet Union, Osama bin Laden attempted to rally the Saudi royal family to organize civil defense and raise a group of Afghan war veterans to fight against Iraq. This offer was declined, and instead the royal family accepted the stationing of 300,000 US soldiers. This is said to be the point at which Osama chose to become an enemy of the Saudi regime, although according to a classified intelligence report, a deal was struck with the tacit approval of the CIA that allowed Osama to leave Saudi Arabia with his funding and supporters. The deal also stipulated that funding for his activities would continue with the caveat that he not target the Saudi kingdom.
Al-Qaeda subsequently received increased funding through Saudi Arabia, stronger organizational support from Pakistani intelligence services, and more equipment and training from the CIA. Its network received direct assistance from these three sources, with active and tacit support of Western intelligence agencies in spreading to 40 countries and conducting pro-Western operations in Macedonia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Chechnya (and Moscow), Bosnia, Philippines, [[Spain], Morocco, Kenya, and others (including the US and United Kingdom), covering key regions where Western interests are at stake: the Balkans, the Caucasus, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Asia Pacific - all central to control of the Eurasian continent. Thus, in the wake of the Cold War with Russia, US means of statecraft grew more aggressive.
Following the departure of Soviet forces, Afghanistan experienced heavy conflict between various factions; among the most brutal of these was the Northern Alliance (whose portrayal in US media after 9-11 was anything but brutal). By the mid 1990s, several factions joined to form the Taliban movement, which captured Kabul and took power in 1996, reportedly orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence and the oil company Unocal, and approved by the CIA, to provide easier oil pipeline negotiations and the greater chance of its successful construction through Afghanistan. In other words, the Taliban were installed because they were easier to bribe than the previous leadership. These negotiations occurred during the mid to late 1990s between the Taliban and current US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad (then a Unocal advisor). The negotiations involved Condoleezza Rice (then an advisor for Chevron), current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai (then an advisor for Unocal), and Enron, which paid $750,000 for the pipeline survey using a grant funded by US taxpayers. However, the negotiations deteriorated in the year prior to 9-11, leading to a major US invasion plan, for which wargames were conducted in January 2001. From February to May 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney gathered executives from the world’s major energy corporations for his Energy Task Force meetings. Maps acquired by Judicial Watch show the carving up among these corporations of Iraq’s oilfields and much of its other infrastructural assets.
In 1993, the bombing of the World Trade Center had led investigators to a wealth of evidence indicating intelligence community complicity, and warnings of another, larger attack. In 1995, Project Bojinka, in which eleven commercial jets were to be hijacked and flown into major buildings in the United States, was thwarted, producing another mass of evidence that planes would be used as flying bombs. The top concern of Olympic officials for the 2000 Sydney games, in fact, was an airliner-based attack by al-Qaeda. Subsequent investigations strongly indicated that the next attack date would be September 11, the anniversary of the 1996 conviction of those caught in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing campaign. Throughout the years leading up to 9-11, especially in the nine months prior to the attacks, investigators and representatives from dozens of nations and within US borders attempted to warn top White House and US intelligence officials of an attack set for the second week of September 2001 using hijacked planes as flying bombs. All attempts were systematically ignored. Statements by top officials immediately after the attacks, that no one was prepared for or could have predicted the events - and that no plans for an invasion of Afghanistan existed - therefore, were lies. In fact, in October 2000, the Pentagon held an evacuation drill with the theme that an airplane had been hijacked and flown into the building. Warned of an impending al-Qaeda attack on the Genoa, Italy, G8 Summit in July 2001, the office of President Bush, who was scheduled to attend, arranged to have the skies cleared and secured, just as they had been for the 2000 Olympic games. Also in July 2001, US representative Tom Simons warned Taliban leaders, “we will offer you a carpet of gold or bury you with a carpet of bombs.”
So, the US had at last put its reinvented (post-Cold War) international terrorism plan to work, knowingly paving the path to the “war on terror” well before it began. This military option was perfect for those who longed for a new Pearl Harbor for economic gain at the hands of “international terrorists.” The groundwork was complete; the evil mastermind created, and all that was needed to complete the Unocal pipeline was a legitimate excuse for taking control of the region. The CIA was still negotiating the pipeline deal in August 2001 while troops were already stationed in surrounding states. Thus, all that was needed was a trigger, a pretext to galvanize public opinion.
In June 2001, Paul Wolfowitz’s speech to the graduating class at West Point had cited Pearl Harbor and stressed the imminence of a similar surprise. On September 9, two days before the attacks, President Bush was presented with detailed plans to invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban before the heavy snowfalls of the Afghan winter. The plans highlighted a global campaign against al-Qaeda. How long, we must ask, were the Pentagon and CIA drawing up these plans simultaneous to their operations that had created and supported the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the first place? The answer, according to law professor Francis Boyle, is four years, with wargames and troop gatherings in neighboring states for this invasion commencing in 1997.
After September 11, top insiders of the military-industrial-academic-congressional-thinktank complex exploited a fearful electorate, not because of a real threat, but because the door to profits had been kicked open. This is why security has not improved, only the spending for war and the price of oil to pay for it have increased while profits have skyrocketed.
According to Ahmed:
A plausible conclusion from all this is that the (2001-present) US military campaign in Afghanistan, assisted by Pakistani military intelligence, was not really designed to destroy al-Qaeda at all. Rather, it was designed to crush the (uncooperative) Taliban regime, in the knowledge that al-Qaeda would be displaced elsewhere to safety. Fighting a ‘war on terror’ against al-Qaeda had never been the real goal of the plans for a military invasion of Afghanistan, which had been formulated years before 9-11. Those plans were motivated by other strategic and economic interests. But the 9-11 terrorist attacks happened to provide a convenient and powerful pretext to implement those plans, as well as other geostrategic imperatives.
In other words, the US created the threat and, through the resultant fear, the worldwide authoritarian means to pretend to deal with it while exercising the full scope of its imperial ambitions. This is why the US has more than 750,000 troops in at least 134 countries today. Moreover, that the US knowingly harbored al-Qaeda cells throughout the 1990s and up to if not beyond 9-11 lends a new perspective to President Bush’s post-9-11 promise to “make no distinction between those who committed these terrible acts and those who harbor them.”
On September 16, 2001, Osama bin Laden issued a statement to Al Jazeera: “The US government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it. I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons.” Evidence appears to support his contention that 9-11 was not a result of his orders, but rather a convenient outcome of manipulations of people within his sphere of influence by oil company representatives, intelligence services, and others in preceding years.
Speaking of Enron, it is Professor Peter Dale Scott’s opinion that the American people remain traumatized by the 2000 election, a crisis that was substantially influenced by Enron’s interests in Afghanistan. Enron paid Christian Coalition president Ralph Reed $500,000 to stop John McCain’s campaign, and was the biggest donor to the Bush campaign. (Enron was also one of the largest donors to the Gore campaign.) It is plausible that 9-11 was on the table of persons other than Osama bin Laden, especially in light of revelations regarding 9-11 complicity of top-level American Airlines officials at its center in Fort Worth, Texas.
Regardless, Professor Scott is correct in stating that:
We are living in an atmosphere which creates the possibility for minorities to govern acquiescent majorities. Covert power produces fallout similar to nuclear power: trained terrorists turn on their former trainers, the criminal complicity of governments which hinders prosecution of such people, and society’s overall corruption. The result is deep politics: the immersion of public political life in an immobilizing substratum of unspeakable scandal and bad faith, and the result in practice is 9-11.
The fallout of training people how to blow things up and kill others gives them an upper hand, because secrets are shared that cannot be revealed in the homeland, in this case the US. All parties complicit agree not to implicate one another.
Americans had double agents in al-Qaeda and in the Project Bojinka group (the Philippines’ Abu Sayyaf), which merged and melded with al-Qaeda from the very beginning. Double agents become triple agents, and their intermediaries are up to their own misdeeds or simply unable to report all the information to their superiors. All in all, with Enron’s stake in the Central Asian Republics [and Halliburton, Unocal, Chevron, et al] and the 2000 election, the best possible outcome for those who were put in office - and setting conditions for the indefinite control of the majority in the US - was 9-11, legitimizing entry into the region on a massive scale whether engineered or not.
The Cold War phenomenon of a foreign policy driven more by domestic politics than concerns for national security has in the transition to “war on terror” become reversed: domestic policies are in large part driven today by the peripheral effects of and blowback from the rise to prominence of a grand neo-Manifest Destinarian vision. In the words of Bruce Cumings, “Not since McKinley seized the Philippines have we had a president who justifies his aggression by virtue of an open pipeline to God.”
This points to an almost self-fulfilling prophecy or cultivation of an international terrorist threat as envisioned by the JCIT back in 1979, again, invented and then reinvented not to counter Soviet actions, but “useful for demonizing threats to the prevailing US-dominated capitalist economic system.” The crux of Philip Paull’s thesis is that the JCIT represented a precisely coordinated and globally oriented propaganda network for the purposes of selling a pretext for war. This is what the so-called “war on terror” really is, and Americans would not have accepted it without a massive media propaganda effort accompanying an attack against the United States, or with the kind of enlightenment about such tyrannical behavior that a truly competent education system should provide.
Democrat and Republican administrations have been equally complicit in using invented threats as cover for imperial expansion. No fundamental changes in this pattern have occurred as a result of the election of a new president - ever. The current Bush administration has made the most effective use of the ideology of international terrorism; the only difference is the Soviet Union as the alleged sponsor has been replaced by the newly invented and CIA-approved transnational Islamist threat at taxpayer expense. This point is crucial: Power in the United States is conventionally believed to be derived from the consent of the governed, yet the governed have unknowingly paid the salaries of every Taliban leader and member (thus tacitly supported the immense suffering under their leadership), paid for Pakistani intelligence services, paid for pipeline surveys and construction, paid for CIA and Pentagon black operations and negotiations between US representatives and Taliban leaders, paid for every gun and bullet used in installing and removing them, and for everything throughout the Cold War and since that had nothing to do with promoting the general welfare.
This small story of Afghanistan is just the tip of the tyranny iceberg. For example, since abandoning the democratization of Japan in 1952 in favor of using it as a permanent military base, the US continues to pay Japan (and other nations) with the exportation of technology, and jobs lost in the US, in exchange for acquiescence to and support for the US military presence of some 100,000 troops in East Asia.
Nearly all of these wars and external threats are and have been for US economic gain in various regions of the world. Corporations feed on profits from conflict and the threat of conflict. In my research, I went looking for companies on the Pentagon payroll, expecting to find weapons manufacturers. But, in a stroke of lucrative genius, Dick Cheney had begun the outsourcing boom of every aspect of militarism to the private sector before leaving office in January 1993 by commissioning Halliburton to conduct a study on hiring firms to move US forces abroad rapidly. Halliburton itself responded by accepting the task of transporting troops to Somalia, and by subsequently hiring Cheney (who, while in public service, nevertheless continues to receive kickbacks from Halliburton). The Clinton administration then fueled the boom with great zeal, hiring Halliburton to assist in outsourcing everything from milk shakes and missiles to all-beef patties with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on sesame-seed buns.
During the Cold War with Russia, US weapons production was dispersed among the 50 states to motivate representatives to continually approve weapons programs for the sake of jobs in their respective states, however wasteful these weapons were for the taxpayer, however destructive they were to social progress. But from the 1990s outsourcing, I found more than 300,000 companies on the Pentagon payroll, including Campbell’s Soup, Avon Cosmetics, Bumble Bee Seafood, and Hallmark Cards. I also found more than 350 universities among these companies. San Diego city proper has 3,600 DOD-dependent companies, including 12 colleges. In my town, Eugene, Oregon, there are 56 companies on the Pentagon payroll, including my school, University of Oregon. In Lowell, Oregon, with a population of 750 people, ten companies work for the Pentagon, and whether they make shovels, ladders, or gun barrels, that small town pulls in $1.5 million a year, making it a junior partner in the structure of dependence on militarism, not to mention less likely to question the aggressive actions of its government. Moreover, many board members of the largest consumer product firms also sit on the boards of the largest media and defense corporations.
America’s top industry since 1950 has been weapons. The US is addicted to conflict, and in a capitalist society, profits must escalate. Thus, it was remarkably profitable for the Bush administration to invent an “axis of evil” in a famous January 2002 speech, despite the complete falsehoods employed in doing so. By 2002, Iraq, as is now widely known, was a nation on its knees. Iran had undergone a twelve-year pro-democracy reformation in the wake of the Iran-Iraq war, with women performing a far greater role in society than ever before. North Korea had signed an agreement with the Clinton administration in 1994 that halted its nuclear ambitions, provided a window for reunification with South Korea, and would have led to the removal of US forces.
Therein lies the reason for the Bush administration breaking of this agreement and the inclusion of North Korea in the “axis of evil” speech. With that one speech all three nations became external threats, alienating them immediately, and thus to an extent fulfilling Bush’s assertion that they are anti-American. In light of the fact that North Korea today insists on direct talks with Washington alone indicates that the issue for North Korea is about the breaking of the previous agreement. The fact that the US insists on bringing four additional nations into the discussion can thus be seen as an effort to legitimize the status quo (of US forces in South Korea, and the separation of North and South).
The recent US response to the testing of missiles by North Korea illustrates the extent to which deceit is employed in White House rhetoric to maintain military forces abroad. The rhetoric is designed to suggest that the world community is united with the Bush administration’s determination to maintain a military presence in South Korea, and that indeed it is North Korea that is refusing to be rational in joining the world community as a separate nation, while the previous (1994) agreement framework and the desire on the part of both North and South to reunify without the presence of US forces are rendered as non-issues. Even before the tests were over, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill asserted that not only were nations united against North Korea’s actions, but that North Korea was stubbornly refusing a rational solution, as if the previous agreement had never existed:
Just about every responsible country in the world weighed in against it... So, the first thing they have done is to unite us all.... Well, the provocation is that - you know, we put out, last September, a pretty in-depth agreement, an agreement in principle on how we could denuclearize North Korea, and, in return, they would be offered an open road into the international community. And, so, instead, they seem to want to go in another direction.
In reality, by breaking the 1994 agreement, it is the Bush administration that has chosen “another direction.” Moreover, out of the group of six nations the Bush administration has tasked to “settle” the situation - aside from the US and North Korea itself - two, Japan and South Korea, are essentially US military states, far from being capable of issuing opposing opinions on the matter; and the other two, China and Russia, are anything but united or aligned with the Bush administration’s position. This is well known, and Hill touches on it in his own statements, which, as seen between the lines and in light of statements by China and Russia, carry a heavy degree of condescension toward the two larger powers and attempts to force North Korea into “international organizations” that the US clearly dominates:
The six parties - you know, originally, or...back in the 1990s, we were trying to deal with this bilaterally. And it was basically the US and North Korea. And the US and North Korea was not prepared, really, to reach agreement. So, Japan is a part of that. South Korea is part of that. China and Russia are all part of the six-party process. And the point is that when we reach settlement - and I do believe that, at some point, we will reach a settlement - all of these countries have a role to play. I mean, we are very concerned about this. The - we have been talking to our South Korean allies, our Japanese allies. And we’re going to start having some in-depth discussions with the Chinese. And we’re going to see what we can do. Part of the draft, the September agreement, was that North Korea needs energy. Well, South Korea is going to be providing them energy. They need economic assistance. Japan was prepared, under the September agreement, to provide that kind of economic assistance. We’re prepared to help them - help North Korea get into international organizations. [Emphasis added]
The US position, as seen in Hill’s comments, can also be seen as a pretext for pushing missile defense:
So, it is a provocation. I mean, we’re obviously going to have to be working with our partners about how to protect ourselves. After all, we had a little country firing off six missiles in different directions. You know, clearly, this is a threat to a number of countries in the region. So, we have to look at the whole issue of how to defend ourselves.
Again, Bruce Cumings helps illustrate the dangers inherent in concentrating power in the hands of a few:
In a classic article in 1941, Harold Lasswell defined ‘the Garrison State’ as one in which ‘the specialists on violence are the most powerful group in society.’ North Korea is a classic garrison state, perhaps the best example in world history of a thoroughly militarized nation; this was their (unfortunate) answer to the defining crisis of the regime - occupation by an American army. But we are also well advanced toward a national security-dominated system, making the country of the founding fathers unrecognizable above all to them.
It can be safely argued that a fourth and permanent “peak” in Alan Wolfe’s ups and downs of militarist postures and rhetorical gestures arrived in the form of official statements following the events of September 11, 2001, and in national security documents under the Bush administration beginning in 2002 and culminating with the Quadrennial Defense Review and National Security Strategy of 2006, which openly declare a “long global war” to “rid the world of evil,” and cite several future enemies, including China. These public documents - to which the public is largely oblivious - have deep roots in NSC-68.
The rhetorical summation of NSC-68 as a blueprint for all subsequent scary documents intended to motivate citizens and representatives alike can be observed in a single sentence, typifying Paul Nitze’s style: “The Soviet Union, unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world.”
In light of the fact that Paul Wolfowitz began working closely with Paul Nitze in 1969, it is of interest to compare that statement with these excerpts from an April 2004 speech by Paul Wolfowitz, honoring Paul Nitze at The Johns Hopkins University’s Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (where Wolfowitz had both taught and served as dean during the Clinton years):
When Don Rumsfeld and I had lunch with members of the 9-11 commission recently, one member asked what could they do to ensure that their report would make a real difference. What I told them, basically, was to write something similar to George Kennan’s Long Telegram or Paul Nitze’s NSC-68.
I hope that we might agree that the phenomenon of terrorist fanaticism has presented itself to us with such a horrible and menacing face that we need to confront it with the same openness of mind and breadth of vision that a young Paul Nitze confronted the menace of Soviet communism with more than 50 years ago. Like 50 years ago, there is an urgency and a need to act. As NSC-68 explained so well, the Soviet threat was not just military, but ideological. In some ways, the ideology of terrorist fanaticism is even more dangerous. With them, we face an enemy who hides among the shadows, shifting positions and methods with the wind. As they go about their ugly business, they exploit the freedom of open societies. There is one constant, however, across half a century. Theirs, too, is an ideology of evil. But today we face an enemy that not only hates freedom; it hates life itself and worships death.
This is not about America imposing its values on other people. It’s about America enabling other people to enjoy the values from which we benefit so enormously.
In other words, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz had lunch with members of the 9-11 Commission (tasked with investigating government failures) during its deliberations, whereupon Wolfowitz advised them to write what was essentially a declaration of war.
It is a fact that Iraq was discussed within the Bush Cabinet just hours after the attacks on 9-11, and it is a fact that two months later, during the bombing campaign in Afghanistan, President Bush asked Donald Rumsfeld to begin plans for invading Iraq. What we are left with, then, with this “long war” to “rid the world of evil,” is a permanent state of defense buildup and preparation for advanced warfare, and other lucrative perpetual peaks of power assertion via real interventions and official (and belligerent) Pentagon strategies. It is not comforting that likely and so-called moderate presidential candidates such as Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton support the war in Iraq, or that Republican Senator John McCain, who speaks against torture, also stated that, “The United States is the greatest force for good in the world. We have not an obligation to go out and start wars but to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world.” Both views keep the past ghosts of our manifest failures alive to threaten our future while fortunes flow to the ruling minority.
Coincidentally, the 9/11 attacks were ultimately fortuitous for the Bush administration, which was facing both a domestic and an international crisis of legitimacy prior to 9/11. Under the mantle of the new ‘war on terror’ that followed the attacks, the government was able to significantly divert and reverse these trends. The domestic crackdown on basic civil rights, combined with the demonization of dissent, has arrived part and parcel with the granting of unlimited war powers - lending the US state a free hand to embark on a new unlimited war against any regime that challenges US interests.
In a Meet the Press interview televised on March 2, 2003, Richard Perle was asked about the Bush administration’s policy toward Iraq. Perle gave this reply: “If the whole world were democratic, we’d live in a much safer international security system, because democracies do not wage aggressive wars.” His associate, Michael Ledeen, asserts that “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world that we mean business.” Likewise, in an interview with Ted Koppel, William Kristol, cofounder of PNAC (along with Perle, Ledeen, Wolfowitz, Cheney, and Rumsfeld), justified the policy of invading Iraq by saying, “This is a bold and ambitious American foreign policy. I think it’s right for us and right for the world.” Another important perspective is voiced in a lengthy essay by Major Ralph Peters, which can be summed up in one statement: “There will be no peace. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy, and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.”
Outrageous in their arrogance, these quotes represent a euphoria descended from power and propelled through the cohesive and expanding self-reinforcing and self-congratulatory nature of elite negative-activist circles, wherein the motivation is not democracy, domination through force, geostrategic primacy, or even oil in and of itself. The motivating force common in all similar pursuits of empire is money and the maintenance of lucrative power. A natural product of escalating corruption in an almost totally unchecked government system is the merging of corporate, military, and administrative forces. When these spheres are dominated by negative-activist minority circles, and their deeds are disguised as acts of goodness, liberation, and protection, the total abuse of power becomes possible, if not inevitable. The majority (“the people”) in such a “democracy” is irrelevant, except as workers, soldiers, and voters to equip, expand, and legitimize “democracy’s” imperial conquests for money and the maintenance of lucrative power under the fearful illusion of external threats.
None of this is new; all of this has been refined over centuries. The only difference today is the scope of the negative consequences of empire, which presents the question of how long the Earth’s ecosystem will tolerate empire’s exhaust. Thanks to the complete failure of democracy in the American experiment, America’s time - empire’s time - has reached its closing act. There is no substantial residual value in America’s founding documents, and very little real power left among the common people. All that remains is a countdown to catastrophe, one (or many) that may or may not allow the people to demand a paradigm shift. Such a shift should begin with legal action against those who have neglected the people’s general welfare in favor of a lucrative warfare state. The total US withdrawal from the Kyoto Accords presents one such basis for legitimate action. The increasing defense budget in light of the accompanying increase in carbon emissions through industry and conflict presents another. The absence of any law that requires US citizens to pay taxes from wages is clearly a cause for legal action.
The contrast between reality and status quo rhetoric is both comedic and tragic, as illustrated by Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, David Chu, who, attempting to justify the raising of age brackets for Army recruitment goals, explained that upping the age level to 42 is not a change in standards, “because people are living longer these days.” The other reason for upping the age bracket is that Donald Rumsfeld is turning 74 and becomes “quite offended when anyone suggests that 42 is ‘old’.” Chu went on to tout a 75-year-old serviceperson who is currently on his third tour of duty.
Typically as empires end, their rulers become more ruthless and authoritarian, often using unexpected tactics. To illustrate this today, some neoconservatives are turning to the Democratic Party and speaking with green tongues about climate change: tactics to keep power by playing the current anti-Bush sentiment to their advantage. In any event, their installed neo-Manifest Destinarian military strategies stand to be honored by both parties beyond the tenure of this administration. While human nature, as Noam Chomsky explains, may preclude the majority from stealing ice cream out of the hands of children, it obviously does not prevent the rise of equally reprehensible indicators among the minority inner circles of humans motivated when presented with seemingly irresistible opportunities for abuse in the combined spheres of finance, warfare, and politics.
In a speech to the House of Representatives in 2003, Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas highlighted the dangers of the three spheres of power:
Our obsession with policing the world, nation building, and pre-emptive war are not likely to soon go away, since both Republican and Democratic leaders endorse them. Liberty is virtually impossible to protect when the people allow their government to print money at will. Inevitably, the left will demand more economic interventionism, the right more militarism and empire building. Both sides, either inadvertently or deliberately, will foster corporatism. Those whose greatest interest is in liberty and self-reliance are lost in the shuffle. Though left and right have different goals and serve different special-interest groups, they are only too willing to compromise and support each other’s programs. If unchecked, the economic and political chaos that comes from currency destruction inevitably leads to tyranny - a consequence of which the Founders were well aware.
My final words of indictment against the negative-activist minority involve a heart-wrenching event related to the film The Battle of Algiers, al-Qaeda, and current Pentagon policy. In December 1991, some 26 years after Gillo Pontecorvo made his landmark film, he was asked by Italian media to revisit Algeria and assess the situation in the context of the rise of a new political party, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), which had just won a landslide victory. During his visit (captured on film and available in a three-disc DVD set some nine-hours long), Pontecorvo interviewed the new president of Algeria, Mohamed Boudiaf, a former member of the National Liberation Front (FLN) that had been the subject of Pontecorvo’s 1965 film. Boudiaf pointed to - and the documentary footage clearly shows - tremendous tensions within Algeria in the wake of the 1991 election. One week later, after Pontecorvo’s arrival back in Italy, Boudiaf was assassinated. In The War on Truth, Nafeez Ahmed points out that: "In December 1991, the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) won a landslide victory in Algeria’s national democratic elections. But before the parliamentary seats could be taken in January 1992, the Algerian military violently overturned democracy. The elections were canceled while the Army rounded up tens of thousands of Algerian FIS voters into concentration camps in the middle of the Sahara.... This was a dark day for democracy. According to Ben Lombardi, who is with the Directorate of Strategic Analysis at the Department of National Defense in Ottawa, Canada: “In 1991, the West supported the coup in Algeria in an effort to prevent Islamic fundamentalists from coming to power through the ballot box.” As noted by John Entelis, professor of political science and director of the Middle East Program at Fordham University in New York: “The Arab world had never before experienced such a genuinely populist expression of democratic aspirations.... Yet when the army overturned the whole democratic experience in January 1992, the United States willingly accepted the results.... In short, a democratically elected Islamist government hostile to American hegemonic aspirations in the region... was considered unacceptable in Washington.”
The new junta, in contrast, expressed “willingness to collaborate with American regional ambitions,” which included “collaborating with Israel in establishing a Pax Americana in the Middle East and North Africa. Not long after the coup, hundreds of civilians were being mysteriously massacred by an unknown terrorist group... calling itself the Armed Islamic Group (GIA)...[whose] “core members are the thousands of ‘Afghans,’ men who have received their military training from Afghanistan.” The formation of the GIA was rooted in al-Qaeda.
Ahmed goes on to state that the death toll from the massacres came to some 150,000 civilians, and that, “According to Stephen Cook, an expert on Algeria at the Brookings Institute, ‘there are Algerian [terrorist] cells spread all over Europe, Canada, and the United States’.”
Not surprisingly, Algeria’s primary resource is oil.
On August 27, 2003, the US Directorate for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict arranged a screening of The Battle of Algiers for a top-level, civilian-led group within the Pentagon. The flier for the showing stated, “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas. Children shoot soldiers at point-blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Soon the entire Arab population builds to a mad fervor. Sound familiar? The French have a plan. It succeeds tactically, but fails strategically. To understand why, come to a rare showing of this film.” A discussion followed the film, but no details were provided.
The “strategic” lesson of the film is that torture by the French Army ultimately cost them the war in Algeria, though they had won the battle of Algiers. Apparently, judging from Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and the process of rendition, the civilian-led group within the Pentagon failed miserably to “understand why.” Or did they? The result of French torture was that all Europeans became targets of the French Army (which later admitted it had planted bombs to provoke attacks on European settlers and thereby justify further urban warfare) and of the Algerian FLN, which had taken the war from the Algerian countryside into the urban setting of the capital to win public sentiment. Ultimately, such tensions produced a nexus that carried out horrific acts against both sides to prevent acceptance of a deal between the French government and the FLN. Herein we see the complexities - militarists would say “the opportunities” - of terrorism.
This begs the question of who is killing coalition forces in Iraq (and elsewhere). After all, though Westerners are the targets in the “war on terror,” who benefits most? Those who stand to gain and have the greatest motive are the Western (minority) rulers. Using financial and military powers against their own human assets, they reap perpetual profits and geostrategic victories. The human (majority) element is once again the only expendable asset: such people are not power; they are pawns.
Moreover, Guantanamo by its very nature breeds worldwide contempt, providing fuel for the fire - a far better strategic rationale for its existence as a place of torture than official explanations offer. Again, there are three primary spheres of concern for rulers: financial (corporate, economic motives), military (threats and demonstrations of force to pursue the motives), and political (manipulation of the people to achieve the motives). The latter is of no moral significance to the rulers; manipulation is the operative word, whether the people are domestic or otherwise. Thus, law is something to be circumvented or reinvented globally at any price and at every opportunity.
Featured in the film (and its accompanying interviews) is the issue of French determination not to allow Algerians to form a strong allegiance to the FLN. In my December 2005 London interview with Iraq’s Southern Oil Worker’s Union president, Hassan Juma, he clearly described how the US occupation forces had rented at exorbitant costs all the halls and meeting places in southern Iraq, thus preventing unions from gathering to discuss the possibility of peaceful worker strikes against US occupation. The US also terminated the contracts of the majority of the oil workers and replaced them with non-Iraqis and Kurds, sowing further tensions.
What appear to be acts of war between two distinct sides in reality can be something completely different. Where rules of war were once applied, in today’s world there is little such clarity, and opportunists rule the day. Where torture moved the French public to pressure the French government to establish Algerian independence in 1962, the memories of torture at the hands of Nazis or anyone else are today not present in the consciousness of Americans sufficient to produce the same scale of societal rejection. Meanwhile, as one interviewee emphasizes in disc three of The Battle of Algiers, “Torture only leads to revolt.” The battle of ideas is lost as hatred is sown. Thus, the American majority stand to bear the fallout of the acts of the American negative-activist minority in power.
Nafeez Ahmed’s concluding thoughts reflect my own, and my words could not state them better:
The rise to power of the conglomerate of neoconservative factions represented in the Bush administration and its web of political, financial, and religious connections was, perhaps, merely the inevitable outcome of the very logic of the interests and operations of US and Western power in the post-Cold War period. US/Western military-intelligence policy has consistently been conducted in a manner that is fundamentally unaccountable to meaningful democratic influence. The root of this problem clearly lies in the structure of Western power itself, which - although conventionally believed to be the epitome of democracy - is in reality conjoined to a sprawling network of overarching criminal and financial interests that tends to drive US/Western foreign policies and which in the post-Cold War period has driven the West and international terrorism into an increasingly dynamic (and unstable) interconnected continuum of power.
The criminalization of Western power and the corruption of Western democracy is therefore not a new phenomenon exclusively linked to the rise of the Bush administration. On the contrary, the Bush administration has merely followed through with the inner logic of the historical trajectory of the policies of previous US administrations. The rise of the Bush administration simply demonstrated the extreme degree to which the criminalization of power has come to penetrate so deeply into the structure of society. It is therefore crucial to recognize that the cause of the problem here is not a particular group of individuals, or a particular set of ideologies, or a particular party’s political program, linked to the Bush - or any other - administration. The problem, which has plagued both Democratic and Republican administrations to varying degrees and has only grown increasingly entrenched with time, relates fundamentally to the structure of the international system, which Western power dominates. It is these structures that generate the individuals, ideologies, and political programs that promote the climate in which international terrorism flourishes.
As Alan Wolfe concluded in 1979, our task is to unmask the illusion of the threat so the underlying undemocratic and monopolistic economic program is revealed. “If Americans wake up to the danger posed from those within their midst who would destroy the best features of their country in order to militarize it against an illusory enemy, they have a chance to create the kind of future that they will then deserve.”
Sadly, the trend of the movement against global economic injustice since the death of Dr. King, as I see it, has been near total dysfunction of the whole due to the self, and little more than group therapy in a burning house. This positive-activist movement is dysfunctional because of the flailing and fragmented myopic approach that persists regardless if a true solution or a prime piece of the puzzle is presented. There is a myriad-symptom-addressing “peace” movement when a narrow and more specific root-cause exposure and unified approach is required.
Though 9-11 was either an engineered pretext for assertion of power, a conveniently provoked trigger for assertion of power, or both, either way our government brought it on with imperial ambitions in the shadows of deception and public ignorance in a nation founded on power derived from the consent of its people. Such arrogant and longstanding policies of bullying and lying for corporate wealth remain for the moment traditional tools of US foreign and domestic policy. But this “fourth and permanent peak” is in the end likely to prove fatal for the negative-activist continuum, perhaps fatal for humankind itself. Regardless, the positive-activist movement is on the verge of shifting into high gear.
Today the world as we know it is in for a serious makeover - what David Korten calls The Great Turning from Empire to Earth Community. The age of global economic injustice driven by the greatest polluter - militarization - cannot survive its own methods. Globalization, militarization, corporatization, overpopulation, domination by a sole superpower - these conditions will be rendered obsolete by nature itself, and humans thus stand to experience a forced awareness quite soon. Those who recognize that time has nothing to do with humankind, who begin to demand a massive shift in priorities to attempt to offset and prepare for the severity of the consequences of empire, and who demand a new paradigm of coexistent cooperation - those who “labor to keep alive in (their) hearts that celestial fire called conscience” and are willing to adapt will be in the best position to do so. In the face of nature’s vengeance, Dr. King’s dream is still the only path forward. Gandhi’s way of life is the way of the future. Our swift transformation from killers to caretakers will be the only means of surviving together the coming change. Humankind will carry forth a triumph of vision if we do survive - not a triumph of human superiority, but a triumph of surrendering the concept of superiority to the higher power of cooperation, with a perspective of our place as caretakers of life. True security is the rejection of exploitative policies in favor of the selfless surrender of ego as our personal engine and the collective and adaptive surrender to the Earth as our master.
Diversity is the struggle to minimize hierarchies and banish prejudices in the selfless effort to maximize life in harmony for the common good, making closed minds the true minority. What is called self-awareness is really the awareness of All and our role as part of All. Beneath the trappings of training for a particular society and in a particular body lies common ground where flexible humans fundamentally agree, where they are one, where the struggle for awakening and productive communing is waged. This awakening or empowerment - this elimination of suffering - cannot progress without its conscious pursuit, without deliberate self-diminishment and deliberate elevation of others in pursuing spiritual equality and material justice.
Massive popular demand for change through positive activism will recognize in this challenge its natural allies: that nearly every nation on Earth deplores America’s tyrannical government, that the majority of Americans are good people who simply require a unified and empowering awakening, and that the planet’s increasing rejection of empire’s impact puts Earth itself on our side as the awakening device.
Obvious immediate solutions, if we had a choice, might include banning think-tank and corporate lobbying and corporate personhood and standing armies, reforming the banking industry, crushing the Federal Reserve, and diverting excessive wealth. But these are almost irrelevant, as the Earth will soon shudder and reform the human condition, if not banish us altogether.
In the age of the end of empire, America is its last vestige, the most selfish construct on Earth. In the process of the end of empire, there comes a time when the illusions and falsehoods of the ruling elite become like an old and irreparable shoe: neither fit to wear in the light of dawning realities nor useful in the expediency of the forward march of life. To use a different metaphor, there comes a time when the passengers of empire’s crumbling slave ship - with its human cargo chained to the anchor - must together and with wisdom free themselves, fashion a new vessel out of faith, and set course toward community, partnership, and life in balance with nature. This will become a clear choice to many Americans as the effects of global climate change and the depletion of resources come home to impact their lives.
In the final throes of the end of empire, in fashioning a lifeboat fit to endure Earth’s tortured, irritable seas, the new course must be substantial, built of an understanding of history and of faith in transcendence, generating a brilliance based on a deliberate choice against failed frameworks in favor of the timeless safety of cooperation in the Earth’s embrace. As it rejects the plague of empire, nature provides proof that we must awaken to our silent complicity as consumers, as followers of traditions of conflict and disunity.
We will no longer see ourselves as special because of wealth, but because we realize wealth does not make us special. Our sins of statecraft will compel a new responsibility for caretaking an equal world, for sharing a new wealth of spirit, for building a lasting legacy that will absolve us of these sins that have caused untold suffering. To avert extinction, humans can only be special in acting out the desire to transform the suffering of so many into harmony for all.
Summing up theoretical conclusions, beyond the human perspective lay other possibilities of driving forces. It is not without a certain degree of gravity that I suggest another documentary, though seemingly innocuous, may have also come to the attention of negative activists in foreign policy circles. Sharks at Risk describes how - absent human intervention - sharks maintain the security of the oceans by eliminating only the old, weak, and injured among marine species, thereby increasing the genetic strength and numbers of each species (and ultimately the number of potential shark victims). This is not to say that only humans who have seen this documentary would imagine themselves as shark-like predators, but that some human individuals do appear to operate on different frequencies of aggressiveness, to the extent that they seem to others to be acting out of tune, even on a course that, in the case of the overall ecosystem, is decidedly suicidal in the long term.
Moving farther beyond the confines of the human experience and conventional theories of militarism and empire, an explanation may lie - and indeed be observed in the microcosm of human behavior - in what physicists call the “string” theory. This theory that apparently unites general relativity with quantum mechanics suggests that everything in the universe, including space that appears to be dark to the human (and the telescopic and scientifically measurable) eye, is composed of a fabric of vibrating strings too small to be measured in any known way, but that are logically independent (individuals, if you will) parts of the whole, operating on a dazzling array of frequencies. That there are humans who, consciously or not, operate as over-the-top aggressive sharks in moderating the entire chain of life on Earth - and that there are humans of other inclinations of thought - could be a product of this theory as well. Most significantly, and offering a thrillingly hopeful possibility, the theory also suggests that the cosmos is progressing toward a kind of intelligent balance of positive-activist unity, and that everything in the cosmos is part of that progression.
In fact, personally, this explains the lifelong driving force that continues to sustain my positive activism. Long before I heard of string theory, my motivation was that we are challenged by a worthy opportunity in the harshest of circumstances and the most dangerous of times surrounding human activity (that we know of), and that perhaps this was a choice made by or for us because it generates a brilliance of positive energy, or ultimately has the potential to do so. In this respect, we are part of a symphony, seeking to play in tune with an orchestra that we can neither see nor yet imagine.
So many creation myths and belief systems talk of a transformation, a judgment day, a rapture, whereupon we are judged - or perhaps collectively challenge ourselves through a forced awareness of the full scope of a natural cosmic progression toward positive activism. Mainstream television now speaks of scientists in ninety-nine percent agreement that humans have caused climate change and that the consequences may be unstoppable and ultimately fatal if not urgently addressed within ten years. This presents a collectively physical and self-tasking chasm of the most transformative kind. How we shall respond, whether miserably or magnificently, may depend not on our idea of human nature (wherein that “nature” has been to date contaminated by a minority), but on the ability of the majority to think ahead and take the positive-activist and adaptive leap of faith forward.
The Mayan calendar points to an “end” on December 21, 2012. Who are we to say that this coinciding and apparently random number is not definitively linked to human behavior and the “string” theory of a positive-activist universe? We do seem to be rushing down a vortex of turmoil, like a star collapsing inward before a supernova. Time will tell, but one thing is certain: if our minds do not change, our fate is sealed - and this vortex toward cataclysm is wholly capable of changing minds in a hurry.
What appears random may be anything but random as we collectively recognize the need for, prepare for, and execute the necessarily humbling measures for a leap across the chasm from dark uncertainty to an enlightened existence, changing entirely the connotation of “intelligence,” from the negative-activist “gathering of secret information about an enemy,” to its primary meaning, the positive-activist “ability to use memory, knowledge, experience, understanding, reasoning, imagination, and judgment in order to solve problems and adapt to new situations.”
In the end, “doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move,” the answer - as in Shakespeare’s time - is that in the micro and macro sense, we do not yet know all it would take to know what drives us. After all, theory is mere conjecture. However, every indication imaginable suggests that this, too, is about to change with a monumental forward leap.
- Midge Decter interview, The Warren Olney Show, Los Angeles, , 21 May 2004.
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 338-339
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard (New York: HarperCollins, 1997), pp. 24-25. Some nations have regrettably studied and adopted methods or perspectives of defeated powers (e.g., Nitze’s fascination with Albert Speer’s 1946 statement - in a personal interview with Nitze - asserting that Germany would have won World War II had it suffered a Pearl Harbor at the outset to galvanize the public, and France’s use of torture in Vietnam and Algeria). Indeed, former Nazis and Japanese counterparts were employed by the US following the war for the purpose of espionage in the affairs of the Soviet Union and Korea, and to extract a greater understanding of barbaric methods used in warfare.
- Daniel Yergin, Shattered Peace (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), pp, 17-68.
- Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency 2001; CIA’s Analysis of the Soviet Union, 1947-1999: ORE 22-48, April 1948, Possibility of Direct Soviet Military Action During 1948; ORE 22-48, September 1948, (Addendum) Possibility of Direct Soviet Military Action During 1948-49; ORE 46-49, May 1949, Possibility of Direct Soviet Military Action During 1949.
- It must be noted that the proponents of the Riga axiom were greatly assisted in the formulation of a national security, military-dependent state by Dwight Eisenhower’s “Memorandum for Directors and Chiefs of War Department, General and Special Staff Divisions and Bureaus and the Commanding Generals of the Major Commands,” of 27 April 1946 (available at: http://www.workers.org/marcy/cd/samgen/index.htm). This boost came just two months after the distribution of George Kennan’s Long Telegram among Washington’s foreign policy elite by then-Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. Forrestal became the first Secretary of Defense a year later, and served in this capacity until his apparent suicide in 1949.
- Jerry Sanders, Peddlers of Crisis (Boston: South End Press, 1983), pp. 34-38.
- David Callahan, Dangerous Capabilities (New York: HarperCollins, 1990) p. 78.
- Jerry Sanders, Peddlers of Crisis (Boston: South End Press, 1983), pp. 54-55. This trade or “dollar gap” was of deep concern to influential US defense industry executives, who were severely impacted by the postwar economic downturn in the period from 1946 to 1950, and many of whom had during this time lobbied top officials in Washington’s military circles. A turnaround occurred in 1948 and profoundly so after the adoption of NSC-68’s recommendations in December 1950. For further insight, see Frank Kofsky’s Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948.
- Richard F. Grimmett, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2004, , 14 March 2005.
- Alan Wolfe, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Threat (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Policy Studies, 1979), p. 25
- Alan Wolfe, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Threat (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Policy Studies, 1979), pp. 7-9.
- Gary J. Dorrien, Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 14
- Stephen J. Blank, “The United States: Washington’s New Frontier in the Trans-Caspian,” in Oil and Geopolitics in the Caspian Sea Region, Michael P. Croissant and Bulent Aras, ed., (London: Praeger, 1999), p. 252
- Stephen Cohen, interview by Charlie Rose, Charlie Rose Show, Public Broadcasting System, “The New American Cold War,” 28 June 2006
- Bruce Cumings, Time of Illusion: Post-Cold War Visions of the World in Cold War Triumphalism, Ellen Schrecker, ed., (New York: The New Press, 2004), pp. 96-99
- Chalmers Johnson, The Three Cold Wars in Cold War Triumphalism, Ellen Schrecker, ed., (New York: The New Press, 2004), pp. 237-239
- Ibid., p. 257. This pattern is most hauntingly memorable in the case of Vietnam, which had declared its non-communist independence - using as its model the United States’ Declaration of Independence - after Japanese occupation ended with America’s defeat of Japan in World War II.
- Whether or not this gap in my traditional education represents a general national nuance toward protecting the status quo in international relations - and I am convinced it does - the lack of emphasis on such past and current unsavory government policies in traditional education programs represents the US government’s economic addiction to the global status quo, a deliberately maintained vacuous state of general public awareness, and an immense threat to global security. It is essential that students and citizens have access to stark realities, to learn unsavory truths so they can participate in the rejection of such policies as preventive regime change under the absurd guise of spreading democracy.
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 335
- “The Dark Side,” Frontline, Public Broadcasting System, , 20 June 2006
- John Prados, Team B: The Trillion Dollar Experiment (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 49, no. 3, April 1993), pp. 27-31
- Operation Northwoods, Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense: Justification for US Military Intervention in Cuba, , 13 March 1962 (declassified 18 November 1997); John Pike, “The Death-Beam Gap: Putting Keegan’s Follies into Perspective,” , October 1992; Erik German, “Mind Machines,” The Prague Post, , 5 July 2000; Eric Jewell, “The Unholy Alliance: Christianity and the New World Order,” , 25 February 2002.
- Ed Rippy, “How the US has Gotten into Wars,” IndyMedia, , July 2002
- Cryptologic Quarterly, Center for Cryptologic History, NSA, 24 February 1998, [www.nsa.gov/vietnam/releases/relea00012.pdf], declassified 3 November 2005
- Sam Marcy, “Generals Over the White House,” , 1980. The letter to the president and a list of the 170 signatories is also available at this link.
- Cited by Agence France Press, 14 January 1998. See also Greg Guma, Cracks in the Covert Iceberg, Toward Freedom, May 1998, p. 2; Leslie Fienberg, Brzezinski brags, blows cover: US intervened in Afghanistan first, Workers World, 12 March 1998; Corroborated by former DCI Robert Gates in his memoirs, From the Shadows
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 8
- The War on Truth Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, p. 3
- Ibid., p. 4
- All are members of the Project for the New American Century and are current or former Bush administration officials or advisors. Charles Horner, along with other PNAC members Daniel Pipes, Stephen Hadley, Kenneth Adelman, and Peter Rodman, and CPD members Kenneth Jensen, John Moore, and Robert Turner - as well as Caspar Weinberger and many other pro-interventionists - created and/or serve or have served on the board of the United States Institute of Peace. (Hadley, Pipes, and Adelman are also CPD members.) This compelled me to design an independent peace studies program, as USIP funds the majority of peace and conflict studies graduate programs in the US, and sends out annual surveys to its recipients.
- Philip Paull, “International Terrorism”: The Propaganda War, San Francisco State University, California, June 1982. Other JCIT participants cited by Paull (info circa 1982): Canada - David Barrett (former premier of British Columbia); France - Professor Annie Kriegel (University of Paris, Nanterre), Jacques Soustelle (correspondent for l’Aurore, former governor of Algeria 1955-6, charged with subversion for attempted OAS coup 1962, 1962-8 in exile, author of La longue marche d’Israel 1968); Ireland - Frank Cluskey (Irish Labour Party); Israel - Professor Mordechai Abir, Major-General Meir Amit (Knesset member and business executive, former chief Mossad 1963-8, director Al Aman military intelligence 1961-3), Mordechai Ben-Ari (president El-Al Airlines 1967-77, former commanding officer Haganah 1948, active in Alliyah “B” Austria and Eastern Europe 1948-50), Asher Ben-Natan (special advisor to Ministry of Defense 1976-8, ambassador to France 1970-5 and West Germany 1965-9, director general of Ministry of Defense 1965), Vladmir Bukovsky (author and Soviet émigré), Ambassador Walter Eytan, Ambassador Michael Comay, Major-General Shlomo Gazit (director Al Aman military intelligence 1973-9, director Department of Military Intelligence and Coordinator of Activities in Occupied Territories 1967-74, Intelligence Branch IDF 1964-7), General Chaim Herzog (business executive and lawyer, permanent representative to the United Nations 1975-8, first governor of the West Bank 1967, director Al Aman military intelligence 1948-50 1959-62, chief Security Department of Jewish Agency 1947-8, media expert), Yitzak Navon (president of Israel 1978-, former chair Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, chairman World Zionist Council 1973-8), Gideon Rafael (ambassador to United Kingdom 1973-8, senior political advisor to Foreign Ministry 1972-3, former United Nations ambassador, intelligence service Foreign Ministry), Brigadier-General Meir Shamgar (justice of the Supreme Court 1975-, military advocate general and legal advisor to Ministry of Defense 1968-75), Major-General Aharon Yariv (director Center for Strategic Studies Tel-Aviv University 1977-?, minister of information 1974-5, special advisior to prime minister 1972-3, director Al Aman military intelligence); Italy - Manlio Brosio (former secretary general NATO), Piero Luigi Vigna (attorney general Florence); Netherlands - Harry Van Den Bergh (member of parliament), Edward Van Theyjn (deputy leader Socialist Party), Joop Den Uyl (prime minister 1973-77); United Kingdom - Lord Chalfont (Arthur Gwynne Jones, director IBM-UK 1973, foreign editor New Statesman 1970-1, minister of state Foreign Commonwealth Office 1964-70, British Army staff and intelligence appointments 1940-61, Russian expert), Brian R. Crozier (cofounder and director Institute for the Study of Conflict 1970-?, chairman Forum World Features 1965-74, editor Conflict Studies 1970-5, former publisher Economist Foreign Report, correspondent for National Review), Michael Elkins (BBC correspondent, Israel), Rt. Hon. Hugh Fraser (conservative MP, minister of defense for RAF 1964, Special Air Service World War II), Paul B. Johnson (journalist and broadcaster, New Statesman 1955-70, author of Enemies of Society 1977), Robert Moss (coauthor of The Spike 1980, former editor of confidential Economist Foreign Report, author of new book Death Beam [...“this spy-vs-spy thriller reveals how an unknowing world reaches the brink of total war ‘when the Soviets perfect an incomparably powerful death beam...and point it at the United States’”--PP], now with Heritage Foundation), Rt. Hon. Merlyn Rees (home secretary 1976-9, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1974-6, undersecretary Ministry of Defense 1965-8); West Germany - Eric Blumenfeld (member of Bundestag), Hans Joseph Horchem (Hamburg Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), Gerard Loewenthal (journalist). Use Google.com for comprehensive up-to-date information on all names in these notes and this paper. Grateful acknowledgment to James Zogby and the Arab American Institute for promptly sending Paull’s thesis.
- James Q. Wilson, Thinking About Terrorism , July 1981
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 4
- “Excerpts from Haig’s Remarks at First News Conference as Secretary of State,” New York Times, 19 January 1981, p. 1. Haig’s subsequent ouster from the administration as it took a far sharper turn to the right is equated (by Jerry Sanders in Peddlers of Crisis, p. 341) with George Kennan’s ouster from the Truman administration, both of which have in common the rise in stature of Paul Nitze.
- Bruce Cumings, “Decoupled from History,” in Inventing the Axis of Evil (New York: The New Press, 2004), p. 29
- Presidential Review Memorandum 10/NSC-10, 18 February 1977 (declassified 6 January 1992), pp. II-6, II-7. Perhaps understandable from today’s perspective, the only section redacted or blacked out of PRM-10’s entire 150 pages is the one-page-length section on the Middle East. PRM-10 was declassified with this redaction while Paul Wolfowitz was serving as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 10
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 9-11
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 12-13
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 368, The CIA’s list of these countries and its records of al-Qaeda communications with various nations does not include Iraq.
- Unocal headquarters are located in Sugarland, Texas; Tom DeLay’s congressional base
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 20
- Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), pp. 119, 121-123
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 28-29
- Oilfields and assets maps from Dick Cheney’s 2001 Energy Task Force meetings, released by Judicial Watch, 17 July 2003, . See also The Struggle for Iraq: The New Looting, 28 May 2004 (and previous New York Times articles on the looting of Iraq).
- Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 83
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 160
- Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 29. See also pp. 30-31: “March 4, 2001, Television Show Eerily Envisions 9/11 Attacks,” Contradicting the later claim that no one could have envisioned the 9/11 attacks, a short-lived Fox television program called The Lone Gunmen airs a pilot episode in which terrorists try to fly an airplane into the WTC. The heroes save the day and the airplane narrowly misses the building. There are no terrorists on board the aircraft; they use remote control technology to steer the plane. Ratings are good for the show, yet the eerie coincidence is barely mentioned after 9/11. Says one media columnist, “This seems to be collective amnesia of the highest order.” In the show, the heroes also determine, “The terrorist group responsible was actually a faction of our own government. These malefactors were seeking to stimulate arms manufacturing in the lean years following the end of the Cold War by bringing down a plane in New York City and fomenting fears of terrorism.”; “April 2001: Military Considers Exercise Simulating Flying Airplanes into Pentagon,” NORAD is planning to conduct a training exercise named Positive Force. Some Special Operations personnel trained to think like terrorists unsuccessfully propose adding a scenario simulating “an event having a terrorist group hijack a commercial airliner and fly it into the Pentagon.” Military higher-ups and White House officials reject the exercise as either “too unrealistic” or too disconnected to the original intent of the exercise. The proposal comes shortly before the exercise, which takes place this month. (Paul Thompson’s book is wholly comprised of media reports, official statements, and other competent 9/11-related source material.)
- Michael Ruppert interview, Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11, film directed by Stephen Marshall (GNN Productions & The Disinformation Company, 2003)
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 27-28; Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 134
- “Prophetic Remarks of Hon. Paul Wolfowitz,” Commencement Address at the US Military Academy, West Point, , 2 June 2001
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 29
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 30
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 153; Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), p. 136
- Chalmers Johnson interview, Why We Fight, film directed by Eugene Jarecki (Sony Pictures Classics, 2005)
- CNN Student News , 20 September 2001
- Bush reciprocated on his third day in office by raising the energy rates for the state of California, driving it into bankruptcy, and generating billions of dollars for Enron executives. Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Greg Palast (DVD, 2004)
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 276-277; Gail Sheehy, “9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks,” (New York Observer, 15 June 2004): “You would have thought American’s SOC would have grounded everything. They were in the lead spot, they’re in Texas - they had control over the whole system. They could have stopped it. Everybody should have been grounded. In Fort Worth, two managers in SOC were sitting beside each other and hearing it. They were both saying, ‘Do not pass this along. Let’s keep it right here. Keep it among the five of us’.”
- Peter Dale Scott interview, Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11, film directed by Stephen Marshall (GNN Productions & The Disinformation Company, 2003)
- Bruce Cumings, “Decoupled from History,” in Inventing the Axis of Evil (New York: The New Press, 2004), p. 5
- William D. Hartung, “Outsourcing Blame,” TomPaine.com, , 21 May 2004.
- Pentagon Statistical Information Analysis Division (SIAD), ST25 Fiscal Year 2004: “States and US Territories single-year listing of the dollar summary of prime contract awards by state, county, contractor, and place,” , site disabled after download and printout of 1000 pages; remaining contents due pending FOIA compliance to request filed February 2, 2006 (Dave Henshall, Senior Advisor, Information and Privacy, Office of Freedom of Information, Department of Defense, 1155 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1155)
- Project Censored study , August 2005; This study served as a platform for a more extensive study by Intelligent Future that led to the discovery through SIAD of 300,000 companies on the Pentagon payroll. Crosschecking through theyrule.net, projectcensored.org, and crj.org/tools resulted in a three-fold increase in the number of media, consumer product, and defense board members who served on multiple boards. (Copy available upon request).
- Bruce Cumings, “Decoupled from History,” in Inventing the Axis of Evil (New York: The New Press, 2004), pp. 52-73
- Christopher Hill, interview by Gwen Ifill, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Public Broadcasting System, “U.S. Envoy Says Missile Test Further Isolates North Korea,” , 5 July 2006
- Bruce Cumings, “Decoupled from History,” in Inventing the Axis of Evil (New York: The New Press, 2004), p. 50
- Paul Wolfowitz, “Paul Nitze’s Legacy: For a New World,” , 15 April 2004
- See Chapter 14 of Ahmed’s The War on Truth, “The Failure of the 9/11 National Commission,” for his detailed investigation of the ten panel members and many on the staff of the 9-11 Commission, revealing extreme conflicts of interest that should have disqualified them.
- John McCain interview, Why We Fight, film directed by Eugene Jarecki (Sony Pictures Classics, 2005)
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 364
- Richard Perle, interview by Tim Russert, Meet the Press , 2 March 2003
- Michael Ledeen, quoted by Ervand Abrahamian in “Empire Strikes Back: Iran in US Sights,” Inventing the Axis of Evil (New York: The New Press, 2004), p. 93
- ABC Nightline, “Tonight, ‘The Plan,’ how one group and its blueprint have brought us to the brink of war,” entire script at , 5 March 2003
- Ralph Peters, “Constant Conflict: a look behind the philosophy and practice of the US push for domination of the world’s economy and culture.” (US Army War College: Parameters, Summer 1997, pp. 4-14), . At the time he wrote this article, Major Ralph Peters was assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he was responsible for future warfare. Prior to becoming a Foreign Area Officer for Eurasia, he served exclusively at the tactical level. Peters is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, and holds a masters degree in international relations. Over the past several years, his professional and personal research travels have taken Peters to Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Ossetia, Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Mexico, as well as the countries of the Andean Ridge.
- “America: From Freedom to Fascism,” film directed by Aaron Russo, June 2006
- “Military Recruitment Goals from the Pentagon,” C-SPAN 2, 11 July 2006
- Ron Paul, “Paper Money and Tyranny,” [www.fame.org/PDF/Paper%20Money%20and%20Tyranny.pdf], 5 September 2003
- The Battle of Algiers, Disc 3, “Remembering History,” and “Etats D’Armes,” (State of Arms), Gillo Pontocorvo, with Edward Said (series producer Tariq Ali, Criterion Collection, 2004). It is worth noting, as the DVD series reveals, Pontecorvo was deeply conscious that his film portrayal of terrorism could be exploited. He had carefully weighed the matter against the positive aspects of bringing to the world’s attention the extent to which an oppressed people’s popular cause could free them from their oppressor.
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 65-66
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 66
- Michael T. Kaufman, “Film Studies,” , 7 September 2003
- It is deeply troubling to note that the greater part of the Pentagon’s plans for the future, as spelled out in its Quadrennial Defense Review of 2006, revolve around tactics for urban warfare.
- Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 347-348
- Alan Wolfe, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Threat (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Policy Studies, 1979), p. 89
- Quote from President George Washington
- Sharks at Risk, Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, Public Broadcasting System, 12 July 2006
- Einstein’s Dream: The Elegant Universe,” Nova, Public Broadcasting System, 10 July 2006
- Mayan Calendar . This is not the date for the end of the world, but for the end of an age for humankind. The end of the world, according to the Mayan “Long Count,” will occur on October, 13, 4772
- 21st Century Dictionary (Edinburgh: Chambers, 1996), p. 706