Inivisible History

Invisible History:
Afghanistan's Untold Story

Tells the story of how Afghanistan brought the United States to this place in time after nearly 60 years of American policy in Eurasia - of its complex multiethnic culture, its deep rooting in mystical Zoroastrian and Sufi traditions and how it has played a pivotal role in the rise and fall of empires.

Invisible History, Afghanistan’s Untold Story provides the sobering facts and details that every American should have known about America’s secret war, but were never told.
The Real Story Behind the Propaganda (read more)

Crossing Zero: The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire

Focuses on the AfPak strategy and the importance of the Durand Line, the border separating Pakistan from Afghanistan but referred to by the military and intelligence community as Zero line. The U.S. fought on the side of extremist-political Islam from Pakistan during the 1980s and against it from Afghanistan since September 11, 2001. It is therefore appropriate to think of the Durand/Zero line as the place where America’s intentions face themselves; the alpha and omega of nearly 60 years of American policy in Eurasia. The Durand line is visible on a map. Zero line is not.(Coming February, 2011) (read more)

Comments

"A serious, sobering study... illuminates a critical point of view rarely discussed by our media...results of this willful ignorance have been disastrous to our national well-being."

Oliver Stone

Read more...

Invisible Sources

Read the document that reveals an invasion of Afghanistan by the Shah of Iran was being prepared years before the Soviets invaded. Read more...

Mystical Imperialism

A 19th century philosophy still in use by Washington that infuses a sense of divine mission into the politics of empire building. Read more...

Invisible History Blog

We'll explore anomalies we discovered while researching the causes of the Soviet and American invasions of Afghanistan. We look forward to your comments. Paul & Liz.


Our interview about President Carter’s true role in starting the longest war in US history

October 26th, 2020

worldbeyondwar.org    OpEdNews

This week on Talk Nation Radio, as we begin year number 20 of the U.S. war on Afghanistan that Obama pretended to end, Trump promised to end, and it seems every U.S. presidential candidate from here on out (including Trump again) will promise to end, we look at how exactly destroying Afghanistan got started over 40 years ago. Our guests are Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, whose article at World Beyond War dot org is called “President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?.” Total run time: 29:00

Listen to our interview with David Swanson, host of Talk Nation Radio here.


President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?

October 7th, 2020
Dear Ones,
October 7th is the 19th anniversary of the longest war in American history.   The real start of the longest US “war”was when the Carter/Brzezinski agenda succeeded on December 27, 1979 in drawing the Soviets into the “Afghan Trap.”  It is the back story leading up to the Soviet invasion that Americans desperately need to know today. Please click on the URL to read the footnotes.
Thanks! Paul & Liz

President Carter, Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth?

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould October 6, 2020  World BEYOND War.org

Conor Tobin’s January 9, 2020 Diplomatic History article titled: The Myth of the ‘Afghan Trap’: Zbigniew Brzezinski and Afghanistan attempts to “dismantle the notion that President Jimmy Carter, at the urging of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, aided the Afghan Mujahedin intentionally to lure the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979.” As Todd Greentree acknowledges in his July17, 2020 review of Tobin’s article, the stakes are high because the “the notion” calls into question not just President Carter’s legacy, but the conduct, the reputation and the “strategic behavior of the United States during the Cold War and beyond.”

Central to the issue of what Tobin refers to as “the Afghan Trap thesis,” is French journalist Vincent Jauvert’s infamous January 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview with Brzezinski in which he brags about a secret program launched by him and President Carter six months before the Soviet invasion “that had the effect of drawing the Russians into the afghan trap…” “According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise.” Brzezinski is on record as saying. “Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”

Despite the fact that the secret program had already been revealed by the CIA’s former chief of the directorate of Operations for the Near East and South Asia Dr. Charles Cogan and former CIA Director Robert Gates and was largely ignored, Brzezinski’s admission brings attention to a glaring misconception about Soviet intentions in Afghanistan that many historians would rather leave unexplained. From the moment Brzezinski’s interview appeared in 1998 there has been a fanatical effort on both the left and the right to deny its validity as an idle boast, a misinterpretation of what he meant, or a bad translation from French to English. Brzezinski’s admission is so sensitive amongst the CIA’s insiders, Charles Cogan felt it necessary to come out for a Cambridge Forum discussion of our book on Afghanistan (Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story) in 2009 to claim that even though our view that the Soviets were reluctant to invade was authentic, Brzezinski’s Nouvel Observateur interview had to be wrong.

Tobin expands on this complaint by lamenting that the French interview has so corrupted the historiography as to have become the almost sole basis to prove the existence of a plot to lure Moscow into the “Afghan Trap.” He then goes on to write that since Brzezinski asserts the interview was technically not an interview but excerpts from an interview and was never approved in the form it appeared and that since Brzezinski has subsequently repeatedly denied it on numerous occasions—“the ‘trap’ thesis has little basis in fact.” Tobin then proceeds to cite official documents to prove “Brzezinski’s actions through 1979 exhibited a meaningful effort to dissuade [emphasis added] Moscow from intervening… In sum, a Soviet military intervention was neither sought nor desired by the Carter administration and the covert program initiated in the summer of 1979 is insufficient to charge Carter and Brzezinski with actively attempting to ensnare Moscow in the ‘Afghan trap.’”

So what does this reveal about a secret U.S. government operation taken six months prior to the Soviet invasion of December 1979 and not bragged about by Brzezinski until January of 1998? To summarize Tobin’s complaint; Brzezinski’s alleged boast of luring the Soviets into an “Afghan trap” has little basis in fact. Brzezinski did say something but what—is not clear, but whatever he said, there is no historical record of it and anyway it wasn’t enough to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan because he and Carter didn’t want the Soviets to invade anyway because it would jeopardize détente and the SALT II negotiations. So what’s all the fuss about?

Tobin’s assumption that the President of the United States and his CIA would never intentionally set out to exacerbate the Cold War in the middle of such a hostile environment, may reveal more about Conor Tobin’s bias than his understanding of what Brzezinski’s strategy of confrontation was all about. To read his article is to step through the looking glass into an alternative universe where (to paraphrase T.E. Lawrence) facts are replaced by daydreams and the dreamers act-out with their eyes wide open. From our experience with Afghanistan and the people who made it happen, Tobin’s “valuable service of traditional diplomatic history” (as quoted from Todd Greentree’s review) does no service to history at all.

Looking back at what Brzezinski admitted to in 1998 doesn’t require a top secret clearance to verify. The Great Game-like motivations behind the Afghan trap thesis were well known at the time of the invasion to anyone with an understanding of the history of the region’s strategic value. M.S. Agwani of the Jawaharlal Nehru School of International Studies stated as much in the October-December 1980 issue of the Schools Quarterly Journal citing a number of complicating factors that support the Afghan trap thesis: “Our own conclusion from the foregoing is twofold. First, the Soviet Union had in all probability walked into a trap laid by its adversaries. For its military action did not give it any advantage in terms of Soviet security which it did not enjoy under the previous regimes. On the contrary, it can and does affect its dealings with the Third World in general and the Muslim countries in particular. Secondly, the strong American reaction to Soviet intervention cannot be taken as proof of Washington’s genuine concern about the fate of Afghanistan. It is indeed possible to argue that its vital interests in the Gulf would be better served by an extended Soviet embroilment with Afghanistan inasmuch as the latter could be taken advantage to ostracize the Soviets from that region. The happenings in Afghanistan also seem to have come in handy for the United States to increase its military presence in and around the Gulf substantially without evoking any serious protest from the littoral states.”

Whenever questioned over the nearly two decades after the Nouvel Observateur article appeared until his death in 2017, Brzezinski’s responses to the accuracy of the translation often varied from acceptance to rejection to somewhere in between which should raise questions about relying too heavily on the veracity of his reflections. Yet Conor Tobin chose to cite only a 2010 interview with Paul Jay of the Real News Network in which Brzezinski denied it, to make his case. In this 2006 interview with filmmaker Samira Goetschelhe states that it’s a “very free translation,” but fundamentally admits the secret program “probably convinced the Soviets even more to do what they were planning to do.” Brzezinski defaults to his long held ideological justification (shared with neoconservatives) that since the Soviets were in the process of expanding into Afghanistan anyway as part of a master plan for achieving hegemony in Southwest Asia and the Gulf oil-producing states, (a position rejected by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance) the fact that he might have been provoking an invasion was of little significance.

Having dispensed with the implications of Brzezinski’s exact words, Tobin then blames the growth and acceptance of the Afghan trap thesis largely on an over-reliance on Brzezinski’s “reputation” which he then proceeds to dismiss by citing Brzezinski’s “post-invasion memos [which] reveal concern, not opportunity, which belies the claim that inducing an invasion was his objective.” But to dismiss Brzezinski’s well known ideological motivation to undermine U.S./Soviet relations at every turn is to miss the raison d’être of Brzezinski’s career prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Accepting his denials at face value ignores his role in bringing the post-Vietnam neoconservative agenda (known as Team B) into the White House not to mention the opportunity to permanently shift American foreign policy into his anti-Russian ideological world view by provoking the Soviets at every step.

Anne Hessing Cahn, currently Scholar in Residence at American University who served as Chief of the Social Impact Staff at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1977–81 and Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense 1980–81, had this to say about Brzezinski’s reputation in her 1998 book, Killing Détente: “When President Carter named Zbigniew Brzezinski as his national security advisor, it was foreordained that détente with the Soviet Union was in for rough times. First came the March 1977 ill-fated arms control proposal, which departed from the Vladivostok Agreement and was leaked to the press before it was presented to the Soviets. By April Carter was pressing NATO allies to rearm, demanding a firm commitment from all NATO members to start increasing their defense budgets by 3 percent per year. In the summer of 1977 Carter’s Presidential Review Memorandum-10called for an ‘ability to prevail’ if war should come, wording that smacked of the Team B view.”

Within a year of taking office Carter had already signaled the Soviets multiple times that he was turning the administration away from cooperation to confrontation and the Soviets were listening. In an address drafted by Brzezinski and delivered at Wake Forest University on March 17, 1978, “Carter reaffirmed American support for SALT and arms control, [but] the tone was markedly different from a year earlier. Now he included all the qualifiers beloved by Senator Jackson and the JCS… As for détente—a word never actually mentioned in the address—cooperation with the Soviet Union was possible to meet common goals. ‘But if they fail to demonstrate restraint in missile programs and other force levels or in the projection of Soviet or proxy forces into other lands and continents then popular support in the United States for such cooperation with the Soviets will certainly erode.’”   The Soviets got the message from Carter’s address and immediately responded in a TAAS News Agency editorial that: “‘Soviet goals abroad’ had been distorted as an excuse to escalate the arms race.’”

At a Nobel conference on the Cold War in the fall of 1995, Harvard/MIT Senior Security Studies Advisor, Dr. Carol Saivetz addressed the tendency to neglect the importance of Brzezinski’s ideology in the Cold War decision-making process and why that led to such a fundamental misunderstanding of each side’s intentions. “What I learned over the last couple of days was that ideology—a factor which we in the West who were writing about Soviet foreign policy tended to dismiss as pure rationalization… To some extent, an ideological perspective—an ideological world view, let us call it—played an important role… Whether or not Zbig was from Poland or from someplace else, he had a world view, and he tended to interpret events as they unfolded in the light of it. To some extent, his fears became self-fulfilling prophecies. He was looking for certain kinds of behaviors, and he saw them—rightly or wrongly.”

To understand how Brzezinski’s “fears” became self-fulfilling prophecies is to understand how his hard line against the Soviets in Afghanistan provoked the results he wanted and became adopted as American foreign policy in line with Team B’s neoconservative objectives; “to destroy détente and to steer U.S. foreign policy back to a more militant stance viz-à-viz the Soviet Union.”

Although not generally considered a neoconservative and opposed to linking Israel’s objectives in Palestine with American objectives, Brzezinski’s method for creating self-fulfilling prophecies and the neoconservative movement’s geopolitical aims of moving the U.S. into a hardline stance against the Soviet Union found a common objective in Afghanistan. Their shared method as Cold warriors came together to attack détente and SALT II wherever possible while destroying the foundations of any working relationship with the Soviets. In a 1993 interview we conducted with SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke, he affirmed his belief that the Soviets would never have invaded Afghanistan in the first place had President Carter not fallen victim to Brzezinski and Team B’s hostile attitude toward détente and their undermining of Soviet confidence that SALT II would be ratified. Brzezinski saw the Soviet invasion as a great vindication of his claim that the U.S. had encouraged Soviet aggression through a foreign policy of weakness which therefore justified his hardline position inside the Carter administration. But how could he claim vindication for Soviet actions when he had played such a crucial role in provoking the circumstances to which they reacted?

President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s science advisor George B. Kistiakowsky and former deputy director of the CIA, Herbert Scoville answered that question in a Boston Globe Op-ed barely two months after the event. “In reality, it was actions by the President designed to appease his hardline political opponents at home that destroyed the fragile balance in the Soviet bureaucracy… The arguments that stilled the voices of the Kremlin moderates grew out of the approaching demise of the SALT II treaty and the sharply anti-Soviet drift of Carter’s policies. His increasing propensity for accepting the views of National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski led to the anticipation of dominance in the United States by the hawks for many years to come…”

In an April 1981 article in the British journal The Round Table, author Dev Murarka reveals that the Soviets had refused to intervene militarily on thirteen separate occasions after being asked by the Afghan government of Nur Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin—knowing a military intervention would provide their enemies with exactly what they had been seeking. Only on the fourteenth request did the Soviets comply “when information was received in Moscow that Amin had made a deal with one of the dissident groups.” Murarka observes that “A close scrutiny of the circumstances of the Soviet decision to intervene underlines two things. One, that the decision was not taken in haste without proper consideration. Two, that an intervention was not a predetermined inevitable consequence of growing Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. In different circumstances it could have been avoided.”

But instead of being avoided, the circumstances for a Soviet invasion were fostered by covert action taken by Carter, Brzezinski and the CIA directly and through proxies in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Egypt ensuring that Soviet intervention was not avoided but encouraged. Additionally absent from the Tobin analysis is the fact that anybody who tried to work with Brzezinski at the Carter White House—as testified to by SALT II negotiator Paul Warnke and Carter CIA Director Stansfield Turner—knew him as a Polish nationalist and a driven ideologue. And even if the Nouvel Observateur interview did not exist it wouldn’t alter the weight of evidence that without Brzezinski and Carter’s covert and overt provocations, the Soviets would never have felt the need to cross the border and invade Afghanistan.

In a January 8, 1972 article in the New Yorker Magazine, titled Reflections: In Thrall To Fear, Senator J. William Fulbright described the neoconservative system for creating endless war that was keeping the U.S. bogged down in Vietnam. “The truly remarkable thing about this Cold War psychology is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of proof from those who make charges to those who question them… The Cold Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of the public discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not. If the skeptics could not then the war must go on—to end it would be recklessly risking the national security.”

Fulbright realized that Washington’s neoconservative Cold Warriors had turned the logic for making war inside out by concluding, “We come to the ultimate illogic: war is the course of prudence and sobriety until the case for peace is proved under impossible rules of evidence–or until the enemy surrenders. Rational men cannot deal with each other on this basis.” But these “men” and their system were ideological; not rational and their drive to further their mandate to defeat Soviet Communism only intensified with the official loss of the Vietnam War in 1975. Because of Brzezinski, U.S. policy formation surrounding the Carter administration on Afghanistan, SALT, détente and the Soviet Union lived outside the realm of what had passed for traditional diplomatic policy-making in the Nixon and Ford administrations while succumbing to the toxic neoconservative influence of Team B that was gaining control at the time.

Tobin ignores this glaring historical conjunction of likeminded ideologists. He insists on relying on the official record to come to his conclusions but then ignores how that record was framed by Brzezinski and influenced by Washington’s cult of neoconservatives to deliver on their ideological self-fulfilling prophecy. He then cherry-picks facts that support his anti-Afghan trap thesis while ignoring the wealth of evidence from those who opposed Brzezinski’s efforts to control the narrative and exclude opposing points of view.

According to numerous studies Brzezinski transformed the role of national security advisor far beyond its intended function. In a planning session with President Carter on St. Simon Island before even entering the White House he took control of policy creation by narrowing access to the president down to two committees (the Policy Review Committee PRC, and the Special Coordinating Committee SCC). He then had Carter transfer power over the CIA to the SCC which he chaired. At the first cabinet meeting after taking office Carter announced that he was elevating the national security advisor to cabinet level and Brzezinski’s lock on covert action was complete. According to political scientist and author David J. Rothkopf, “It was a bureaucratic first strike of the first order. The system essentially gave responsibility for the most important and sensitive issues to Brzezinski.”

According to one academic study, over the course of four years Brzezinski often took actions without the knowledge or approval of the president; intercepted communications sent to the White House from around the world and carefully selected only those communications for the president to see that conformed to his ideology. His Special Coordinating Committee, the SCC was a stovepipe operation which acted solely in his interest and denied information and access to those who might oppose him, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and CIA Director Stansfield Turner. As a cabinet member he occupied a White House office diagonally across the lobby from the Oval Office and met so often with the President, the in-house record-keepers stopped keeping track of the meetings. By agreement with President Carter, he would then type up three page memos of these and any meetings and deliver them to the president in person. He used this unique authority to single himself out as the primary spokesman for the administration and a barrier between the White House and the president’s other advisors and went so far as to create a press secretary to convey his policy decisions directly to the Mainstream Media.

He was also on the record as singlehandedly establishing a rapprochement with China in May of 1978 on an anti-Soviet basis which ran counter to U.S. policy at the time while renowned for misleading the president on critical issues to falsely justify his positions. So how did this work in Afghanistan? Tobin rejects the very idea that Brzezinski would ever advise Carter to actively endorse a policy that would risk SALT and détente, jeopardize his election campaign and threaten Iran, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf to future Soviet infiltration—because to Tobin “it is largely inconceivable.”

As proof of his support for Brzezinski’s belief in the Soviet’s long term ambitions to invade the Middle East through Afghanistan, Tobin cites how Brzezinski “reminded Carter of ‘Russia’s traditional push to the south, and briefed him specifically on Molotov’s proposal to Hitler in late 1940 that the Nazis recognize the Soviet claims of pre-eminence in the region south of Batum and Baku.’” But Tobin fails to mention that what Brzezinski presented to the president as proof of Soviet aims in Afghanistan was a well-known misinterpretation of what Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentropp had proposed to Molotov—and which Molotov rejected. In other words, the very opposite of what Brzezinski presented to Carter—yet Tobin ignores this fact.

From the moment Afghanistan declared its independence from Britain in 1919 until the “Marxist coup” of 1978 the main goal of Soviet foreign policy had been to maintain friendly but cautious relations with Afghanistan, while preserving Soviet interests. U.S. involvement was always minimal with the U.S. represented by allies Pakistan and Iran in the region. By the 1970s the U.S. considered the country to already be within the Soviet sphere of influence having defacto signed on to that arrangement at the start of the Cold War. As two long term American experts on Afghanistan explained quite simply in 1981, “The Soviet influence was predominant but not intimidating until 1978.” Contrary to Brzezinski’s claim of a Soviet grand design, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance saw no evidence of Moscow’s hand in the 78’overthrow of the previous government but much evidence to prove the coup had caught them by surprise. In fact it appears the coup leader Hafizullah Amin feared the Soviets would have stopped him had they discovered the plot. Selig Harrison writes, “The overall impression left by the available evidence is one of an improvised ad hoc Soviet response to an unexpected situation… Later, the KGB ‘learned that the Amin’s instructions about the uprising included a severe ban on letting the Russians know about the planned actions.’”

Moscow considered Hafizullah Amin to be aligned with the CIA and labelled him “‘a commonplace petty bourgeois and extreme Pashtu nationalist… with boundless political ambitions and a craving for power,’ which he would ‘stoop to anything and commit any crimes to fulfill.’” As early as May 1978 the Soviets were engineering a plan to remove and replace him and by the summer of 1979 contacting former non-communist members of the King and Mohammed Daoud’s government to build a “non-communist, or coalition, government to succeed the Taraki-Amin regime,” all the while keeping U.S. embassy charge d’affaires Bruce Amstutz fully informed.

To others who had a personal experience in the events surrounding the Soviet invasion, there is little doubt that Brzezinski wanted to raise the stakes for the Soviets in Afghanistan and had been doing it at least since April of 1978 with the help of the Chinese. During Brzezinski’s historic mission to China only weeks after the Marxist takeover in Afghanistan, he raised the issue of Chinese support for countering the recent Marxist coup.

In support of his theory that Brzezinski was not provoking a Soviet invasion, Tobin cites a memo from NSC director for South Asian Affairs, Thomas Thornton on May 3, 1978 reporting that “the CIA was unwilling to consider covert action” at the time and warned on July 14, that “no official encouragement” be given to “coup plotters.” The actual incident to which Thornton refers regards a contact by the second highest Afghan military official who probed the U.S. embassy chargé d’Affaires Bruce Amstutz on whether the U.S. would support overthrowing the newly installed “Marxist regime” of Nur Mohammed Taraki and Hafizullah Amin.

Tobin then cites Thornton’s warning to Brzezinski that the result of “giving a helping hand… would likely be an invitation for massive Soviet involvement,” and adds that Brzezinski wrote “yes” in the margins.Tobin assumes the warning from Thornton is further evidence that Brzezinski was discouraging provocative action by signaling a “yes” to his warning. But what Brzezinski meant by writing in the margin is anybody’s guess, especially given his bitter policy conflict over the issue of destabilizing the regime with the incoming U.S. ambassador Adolph Dubs who arrived that July as well.

“I can only tell you that Brzezinski really had a struggle for American policy toward Afghanistan in 1978 and 79 between Brzezinski and Dubs” journalist and scholar Selig Harrison told us in an interview we conducted in 1993. “Dubs was a Soviet specialist… with a very sophisticated conception of what he was going to do politically; which was to try to make Amin into a Tito – or the closest thing to a Tito – detach him. And Brzezinski of course thought that was all nonsense… Dubs represented a policy of not wanting the U.S. to get involved with aiding antagonistic groups because he was trying to deal with the Afghan Communist leadership and give it off-setting and economic help and other things that would enable it to be less dependent on the Soviet Union… Now Brzezinski represented a different approach, which is to say was all part of a self-anointed prophecy. It was all very useful to the people who, like Brzezinski had a certain conception of the overall relationship with the Soviet Union.”

In his book with Diego Cordovez Out of Afghanistan, Harrison recalls his visit with Dubs in August of 1978 and how over the next six months his conflict with Brzezinski made life extremely difficult and dangerous for him to implement the State Department’s policy. “Brzezinski and Dubs were working at cross purposes during late 1978 and early 1979.” Harrison writes. “This control over covert operations enabled Brzezinski to take the first steps toward a more aggressive anti-Soviet Afghan policy without the State Department’s knowing much about it.”

According to the State Department’s 1978 “Post Profile” for the ambassador’s job, Afghanistan was considered a difficult assignment subject “to unpredictable – possibly violent – political developments affecting the stability of the region… As Chief of mission, with eight different agencies, almost 150 official Americans, in a remote and unhealthful environment,” the ambassador’s job was dangerous enough. But with Ambassador Dubs directly opposed to Brzezinski’s secret internal policy of destabilization it was becoming deadly. Dubs was clearly aware from the outset that the ongoing program of destabilization might cause the Soviets to invade and explained his strategy to Selig Harrison. “The trick for the United States, he [Dubs] explained would be to sustain cautious increases in aid and other links without provoking Soviet counter pressures on Amin and possibly military intervention.”

According to former CIA analyst Henry Bradsher, Dubs attempted to warn the State Department that destabilization would result in a Soviet invasion. Before leaving for Kabul he recommended that the Carter administration do contingency planning for a Soviet military response and within a few months of arriving repeated the recommendation. But the State Department was so out of Brzezinski’s loop, Dubs’ request was never taken seriously.

By early 1979 the fear and confusion over whether Hafizullah Amin was secretly working for the CIA, had so destabilized the US. embassy, Ambassador Dubs confronted his own station chief and demanded answers, only to be told Amin had never worked for the CIA. But rumors that Amin had contacts with Pakistan’s Intelligence Directorate the ISI and the Afghan Islamists backed by them, especially Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are most likely true. Despite the obstacles Dubs persisted in advancing his plans with Hafizullah Amin against the obvious pressure coming from Brzezinski and his NSC. Harrison writes. “Dubs meanwhile was arguing vigorously for keeping American options open, pleading that destabilization of the regime could provoke direct Soviet intervention.”

Harrison goes on to say; “Brzezinski emphasized in an interview after he left the White House that he had remained strictly within the confines of the President’s policy at that stage not to provide direct aid to the Afghan insurgency [which has since been revealed as not true]. Since there was no taboo on indirect support, however, the CIA had encouraged the newly entrenched Zia Ul-Haq to launch its own program of military support for the insurgents. The CIA and the Pakistani Interservices Intelligence Directorate (ISI) he said, worked together closely on planning training programs for the insurgents and on coordinating the Chinese, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Kuwaiti aid that was beginning to trickle in. By early February 1979, this collaboration became an open secret when the Washington Post published [February 2] an eyewitness report that at least two thousand Afghans were being trained at former Pakistani Army bases guarded by Pakistani patrols.”

David Newsom, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs who’d met the new Afghan government in the summer of 1978 told Harrison, “From the beginning, Zbig had a much more confrontational view of the situation than Vance and most of us at State. He thought we should be doing something covertly to frustrate Soviet ambitions in that part of the world. On some occasions I was not alone in raising questions about the wisdom and feasibility of what he wanted to do.” ‘CIA Director Stansfield Turner, for example,’ “was more cautious than Zbig, often arguing that something wouldn’t work. Zbig wasn’t worried about provoking the Russians, as some of us were…”

Although noting Ambassador Dubs’ subsequent murder on February 14 at the hands of the Afghan police as a major turning point for Brzezinski to shift Afghan policy further against the Soviets, Tobin entirely avoids the drama that led up to the Dubs’ assassination, his conflict with Brzezinski and his overtly expressed fear that provoking the Soviets through destabilization would result in an invasion.

By the early spring of 1979 the “Russia’s Vietnam” meme was circulating widely in the international press as evidence of Chinese support for the Afghan insurgency began to filter out. An April article in the Canadian MacLean’s Magazine reported the presence of Chinese army officers and instructors in Pakistan training and equipping “right-wing Afghan Moslem guerillas for their ‘holy war’ against the Moscow-back Kabul regime of Noor Mohammed Taraki.” A May 5 article in the Washington Post titled “Afghanistan: Moscow’s Vietnam?” went right to the point saying, “the Soviets’ option to pull out entirely is no longer available. They are stuck.”

But despite his claim of responsibility in the Nouvelle Observateur article, the decision to keep the Russians stuck in Afghanistan may already have become a fait accompli that Brzezinski simply took advantage of. In his 1996 From the Shadows, former CIA director Robert Gates and Brzezinski aid at the NSC confirms that the CIA was on the case long before the Soviets felt any need to invade. “The Carter administration began looking at the possibility of covert assistance to the insurgents opposing the pro-Soviet, Marxist government of President Taraki at the beginning of 1979. On March 9, 1979, CIA sent several covert action options relating to Afghanistan to the SCC… The DO informed DDCI Carlucci late in March that the government of Pakistan might be more forthcoming in terms of helping the insurgents than previously believed, citing an approach by a senior Pakistani official to an Agency officer.”

Aside from the purely geopolitical objectives associated with Brzezinski’s ideology, Gates’ statement reveals an additional motive behind the Afghan trap thesis: The long term objectives of drug kingpins in the opium trade and the personal ambitions of the Pakistani General credited with making the Afghan trap a reality. In 1989 Pakistan’s Lieutenant General Fazle Haq identified himself as the senior Pakistani official who’d influenced Brzezinski into backing the ISI’s clients and to get the operation to fund the insurgents underway. “I told Brzezinski you screwed up in Vietnam and Korea; you’d better get it right this time” he told British journalist Christina Lamb in an interview for her book, Waiting for Allah.

Far from absolving Brzezinski of any responsibility for luring the Soviets into an Afghan trap, Haq’s 1989 admission combined with the Gates 1996 revelation confirm a premeditated willingness to use destabilization to provoke the Soviets into a military response and then use that response to trigger the massive military upgrade that was referred to in the Soviet reaction to Carter’s Wake Forest address in March of 1978. It also links Fazle Haq’s motives to President Carter and Brzezinski and in so doing, makes both witting accessories to the spread of illicit drugs at the expense of Carter’s own “Federal strategy for prevention of drug abuse and drug trafficking.”

In late 1977 Dr. David Musto, a Yale psychiatrist had accepted Carter’s appointment to the White House Strategy Council on Drug Abuse. “Over the next two years, Musto found that the CIA and other intelligence agencies denied the council—whose members included the secretary of state and the attorney general—access to all classified information on drugs, even when it was necessary for framing new policy.” When Musto informed the White House about the CIA’s lying about their involvement he got no response. But when Carter began openly funding the mujahideen guerrillas following the Soviet invasion Musto told the council. “‘[T]hat we were going into Afghanistan to support opium growers in their rebellion against the Soviets. Shouldn’t we try to avoid what we had done in Laos? Shouldn’t we try to pay the growers if they eradicate their opium production? There was silence.’ As heroin from Afghanistan and Pakistan poured into America throughout 1979, Musto noted that the number of drug-related deaths in New York City rose by 77 percent.”

Golden Triangle heroin had provided a secret source of funding for the CIA’s anti-communist operations during the Vietnam War. “By 1971, 34 percent of all US soldiers in South Vietnam were heroin addicts – all supplied from laboratories operated by CIA assets.” Thanks to Dr. David Musto, Haq’s use of the Tribal heroin trade to secretly fund Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s rebel forces was already exposed, but because of Fazle Haq, Zbigniew Brzezinski and a man named Agha Hassan Abedi and his Bank of Commerce and Credit International, the rules of the game would be turned inside out.

By 1981, Haq had made the Afghan/Pakistan border the world’s top heroin supplier with 60 percent of U.S. heroin coming through his program and by 1982 Interpol was listing Brzezinski’s strategic ally Fazle Haq as an international narcotics trafficker. In the aftermath of Vietnam, Haq was positioned to take advantage of an historic shift in the illicit drug trade from Southeast Asia and the Golden Triangle to South Central Asia and the Golden Crescent, where it came to be protected by Pakistani intelligence and the CIA and where it thrives today.

Haq and Abedi together revolutionized the drug trade under the cover of President Carter’s anti-Soviet Afghan war making it safe for all the world’s intelligence agencies to privatize what had up to then been secret government-run programs. And it is Abedi who then brought in a retired President Carter as his front man to legitimize the face of his bank’s illicit activities as it continued to finance Islamic terrorism’s spread around the world.

There are many who prefer to believe that President Carter’s involvement with Agha Hassan Abedi was the result of ignorance or naiveté and that in his heart President Carter was just trying to be a good man. But even a cursory examination of BCCI reveals deep connections to Carter’s Democratic Party circle that cannot be explained away by ignorance. It can however be explained by a calculated pattern of deception and to a president that to this day refuses to answer any questions about it.

To some members of the Carter White House who interacted with Brzezinski during his four years at the wheel from 1977 to 1981 his intention to provoke the Russians into doing something in Afghanistan was always clear. According to John Helmer a White House staffer who was tasked with investigating two of Brzezinski’s policy recommendations to Carter, Brzezinski would risk anything to undermine the Soviets and his operations in Afghanistan were well known. “Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter’s term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.” Helmer wrote in 2017, “To Brzezinski goes the credit for starting most of the ills – the organization, financing, and armament of the mujahideen the Islamic fundamentalists who have metastasized – with US money and arms still – into Islamic terrorist armies operating far from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Brzezinski started them off.”

Helmer insists that Brzezinski exercised an almost hypnotic power over Carter that bent him towards Brzezinski’s ideological agenda while blinding him to the consequences from the outset of his presidency. “From the start… in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House… not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based.” Yet the warning fell on Carter’s deaf ears while the responsibility for Brzezinski’s actions falls on his shoulders. According to Carter’s CIA Director Stansfield Turner; “The ultimate responsibility is totally Jimmy Carter’s. It’s got to be the President who sifts out these different strains of advice.” But to this day Carter refuses to address his role in creating the disaster that Afghanistan has become.

In 2015 we began work on a documentary to finally clear the air on some of the unresolved questions surrounding America’s role in Afghanistan and reconnected with Dr. Charles Cogan for an interview. Soon after the camera rolled, Cogan interrupted to tell us he had talked to Brzezinski in the spring of 2009 about the 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview and been disturbed to learn that the “Afghan trap thesis” as stated by Brzezinski was indeed legitimate. “I had an exchange with him. This was a ceremony for Samuel Huntington. Brzezinski was there. I’d never met him before and I went up to him and introduced myself and I said I agree with everything you’re doing and saying except for one thing. You gave an interview with the Nouvel Observateur some years back saying that we sucked the Soviets into Afghanistan. I said I’ve never heard or accepted that idea and he said to me, ‘You may have had your perspective from the Agency but we had our different perspective from the White House,’ and he insisted that this was correct. And I still… that was obviously the way he felt about it.  But I didn’t get any whiff of that when I was Chief Near East South Asia at the time of the Afghan war against the Soviets.

In the end it seems that Brzezinski had lured the Soviets into their own Vietnam with intent and wanted his colleague—as one of the highest level CIA officials to participate in the largest American intelligence operations since WWII—to know it. Brzezinski had worked the system to serve his ideological objectives and managed to keep it secret and out of the official record. He had lured the Soviets into the Afghan trap and they had fallen for the bait.

For Brzezinski, getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was an opportunity to shift the Washington consensus toward an unrelenting hard line against the Soviet Union. Without any oversight for his use of covert action as chair of the SCC, he’d created the conditions needed to provoke a Soviet defensive response which he’d then used as evidence of unrelenting Soviet expansion and used the media, which he controlled, to affirm it, thereby creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, once his Russophobic system of exaggerations and lies about his covert operation became accepted, they found a home in America’s institutions and continue to haunt those institutions to this day. US policy since that time has operated in a Russophobic haze of triumphalism that both provokes international incidents and then capitalizes on the chaos. And to Brzezinski’s dismay he discovered he couldn’t turn the process off.

In 2016, the year before his death Brzezinski delivered a profound revelation in an article titled “Toward a Global Realignment” warning that “the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity, but given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.” But after years of witnessing American missteps regarding its use of imperial power, he realized his dream of an American-led transformation to a new world order would never be. Though unapologetic at using his imperial hubris to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan, he did not expect his beloved American Empire to fall into the same trap and ultimately lived long enough to understand that he had won only a Pyrrhic victory.

Why would Conor Tobin eradicate critical evidence regarding the US role in the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan NOW?  In light of what’s been done to the historical record through Conor Tobin’s effort to debunk “the Afghan Trap thesis” and clear Zbigniew Brzezinski and President Carter’s reputations the facts of the matter remain clear. Discrediting Brzezinski’s Nouvel Observateur interview is insufficient to his task in view of our 2015 interview with former CIA chief Charles Cogan and the overwhelming body of evidence that totally disproves his anti “Afghan Trap” thesis.

Were Tobin a “lone scholar” with an obsession to clean up Brzezinski’s reputation for posterity on a school project his effort would be one thing. But to position his narrow thesis in a mainstream authoritative journal of international studies as a definitive rethinking of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan beggars the imagination. But then, the circumstances surrounding the Soviet invasion, President Carter’s premeditated actions beforehand, his overtly duplicitous response to it and his post-presidency participation with the CIA’s covert funder Agha Hassan Abedi, leave little to the imagination.

Of all the evidence disproving Tobin’s anti-Afghan Trap thesis, the most accessible and problematic for the managers of the ‘official narrative’ regarding the U.S. role in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan remains journalist Vincent Jauvert’s 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview. Whether this effort to wipe the record clean is the motive behind Conor Tobin’s essay remains to be determined. It is likely that the distance between now and Brzezinski’s death signaled that the time was right for redefining his public statements for the official record.

It was fortunate that we were able to discover Conor Tobin’s effort and correct it as best we could. But Afghanistan is only one instance of where Americans have been misled. We all must become far more aware of how our narrative-creation process has been coopted by the powers-that-be from the start. It is critical that we learn how to take it back.

Copyright © 2020 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved


US Remains Mired in Afghanistan 19 Years Later – Rising Up with Sonali

October 7th, 2020

risingupwithsonali.com

View our interview here    Listen to our interview on mp3 (Duration: 21:20 — 19.5MB)

FEATURING PAUL FITZGERALD AND ELIZABETH GOULD – Wednesday October 7th marks the 19th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan – the longest official war the U.S. has even been in in the modern era. The war is so long that some soldiers who served when the war first began are now seeing their own sons and daughters deploying to the same war. While peace talks are underway between the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan government, violence still continues to plague the nation with relentless bombs and attacks by domestic groups and outside countries like the U.S.  But the U.S.’s intervention in Afghanistan goes back much further than 2001. It can be traced back to 1979, a year before the Soviet Union invaded. And that history is in danger now of being rewritten.

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Dr. Charles Cogan Interview

September 24th, 2020
https://d36sl0c5mfud67.cloudfront.net/thumb/yNJsxSkWiI0_AF1Mk1hPUyTk6aK.jpg

An  interview by Paul Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Gould and Bob Nesson filming with Dr. Charles Cogan former Chief of the Directorate of Operations for the Near East, South Asia Division of the CIA from 1979 to 1984 discusses the CIA’s Afghanistan Operation against the Soviet Union in detail; including the Zbigniew Brzezinski “Trap” admission. The 1 hour 30 minute interview was filmed February 8, 2015.


A Grand Illusion of Imperial Power: Part 1

September 16th, 2020

veteranstoday.com

VT Classic – How Neocon dream for everlasting Hegemony turned America into a nightmare


 “All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but those dreamers of the day are dangerous men for they act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”  Lt Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)  “
A Grand Illusion of Imperial Power: Part 1 
Few Americans today understand how the United States came to be owned by a London-backed neoconservative/right-wing alliance that grew out of the institutional turmoil of the post-Vietnam era. Even fewer understand how its internal mission to maintain the remnants of the old British Empire gradually overcame American democracy and replaced it with a “national security” bureaucracy of its own design.

We owe the blueprint of that plan to James Burnham, Trotskyist, OSS man and architect of the neoconservative movement whose exposition of the Formal and the Real in his 1943 The Modern Machiavellians justified the rise of the oligarch and the absolute rule of their managerial elite. But Americans would be shocked to find that our current political nightmare came to power with the willing consent and cooperation of President James Earl Carter and his National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski; aided by intelligence agencies in Europe and the Middle East.

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

And then there is that hidden “meddler” behind the meddling; Britain. The extent of British meddling in American politics – at least since – the beginning of the 20th century would shock even the most devout cheerleaders of ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele and his “dirty dossier”. In a case reminiscent of America’s current hysteria over Russia, British intelligence even meddled with its own government back in the mid-1970s when right-wing elements of the military plotted a coup d’état of Labor Prime Minister Harold Wilson based on information generated by their own disinformation campaign about Soviet influence.

The 1917 Zimmerman telegram and the creation of the British Security Coordination in 1940 directly intervened in American politics on behalf of Britain. But the 1970 Creation of the Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) by British secret agent Brian Crozier marked a key turning point in the transformation of officially sanctioned propaganda.

As presented by Edward Herman and Gerry O’ Sullivan in their 1989 study, The Terrorism Industry, “The London-based Institute for the Study of Conflict (ISC) provides an especially well-documented case study of the use of a purportedly ‘independent’ institute as a front for propaganda operations of hidden intelligence agency and corporate sponsors.” The purpose of ISC was to give discredited right-wing, anti-Communist and anti-union clichés in Britain the cover of legitimacy.

The “Institute” got off to a quick start in the U.S. by forging an alliance with the National Strategy Information Center, NSIC a right-wing neoconservative think tank founded by Frank Barnett, William Casey and Joseph Coors in 1962. ISC’s first major triumph came in collaboration with the ultra-right-wing Pinay Cercle when Crozier and his protégé Robert Moss produced an ISC Special Report attacking the legitimacy of détente with the Soviet Union called

European Security and the Soviet Problem.

The study, financed by the Pinay group made no bones about its “Soviet problem” actually being the old “Russia problem” that European Imperialists had been hoping to solve since Napoleon’s disastrous march on Moscow in 1812.

As a devoted acolyte of James Burnham, Crozier brought to his secret world of rightwing businessmen, intelligence, police and military officials a strategic plan to use the media to move the West’s democracies to the ideological right by fabricating threats of Communist subversion.

Determined to undermine détente, Antoine Pinay was so delighted with Crozier’s double-speak he presented the study in person to President Nixon and Henry Kissinger and by 1975 the group was staged to make their move on Washington. Less than two months before the fall of Saigon, the US Committee of the ISC (USISC) was launched which would act as the parent body of the Washington Institute for the Study of Conflict (WISC).

In the vacuum created by Vietnam Crozier and Pinay’s extremism was no longer viewed as extreme. Despite the public scandal over the CIA’s use of Crozier’s Forum World Features as a London-based fake news service, Washington elites were rolling out the red carpet to welcome them, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Ball. Under Ball’s Chairmanship WISC appeared a veritable who’s who of high-level ex-CIA, neoconservative and right-wing influencers.

From Georgetown University came WISC’s first President James Theberge whose books on Soviet influence in the Caribbean – helped provide the pretexts for overthrowing Chile’s legitimately elected leftist president Salvador Allende. And then there was Richard Pipes, the anti-Soviet history professor from Harvard University, who would soon be hand-picked to lead a neoconservative attack on the CIA known as Team B.In the words of Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1985, Pipes and the Team B were the real reason for the intelligence failures represented by 9/11 because of their biases and unbalanced judgement. But in the end the Team B view gained influence.With the appointment of fellow WISC member Zbigniew Brzezinski as President Carter’s national security advisor, British intelligence agent Brian Crozier’s plan to subvert the détente process with the Soviet Union was complete. Crozier’s belief “[T]hat the entire security apparatus of the United States was in a state of near collapse,” provoked yet another move to interfere in American politic
His solution was a secret off-the books “Private Sector Intelligence agency, beholden to no government, but at the disposal of allied or friendly governments for certain tasks which, for one reason or another, they were no longer able to tackle…” including “[S]ecret counter-subversion operations in any country in which such actions were deemed feasible.” Brian Crozier and Zbigniew Brzezinski were of one mind when it came to disbelieving in “mutual coexistence” or power-sharing with the Soviet Union and Brzezinski’s membership in WISC proved it.  Thanks to WISC member Richard Pipes and the Team B, Brzezinski could now bring Britain’s radical right-wing formula for social change right into the Oval Office.Brzezinski devised a structure that channeled all executive decisions into two committees, the Policy Review Committee (PRC) and the Special Coordination Committee (SCC) chaired by him. Carter then elevated the national security advisor to cabinet level and the palace coup was complete. As recalled by the neoconservative author David J. Rothkopf in Charles Gati’s 2013 book ZBIG, “It was a bureaucratic first strike of the first order. The system essentially gave responsibility for the most important and sensitive issues to Brzezinski.

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

By 1978, Brzezinski’s plan to use China as a weapon against the Soviets was playing out in Afghanistan. The April, 1978 Marxist coup against the King’s cousin, Mohammed Daoud played into Brzezinski’s “predictions” of a Soviet plan to incorporate Persia and South Central Asia into the Soviet sphere and ultimately take-over The Middle East. Vance rejected Brzezinski’s argument.

The coup had caught both the Soviets and the State Department by surprise and the coup leader, Hafizullah Amin raised doubts on both sides of the fence as an unpredictable agent provocateur. Amin had taken money from the CIA and headed up the Afghan Student Association at a time when it was being used as a CIA recruitment tool for future Third World leaders. Amin was now one of those leaders and Vance was sending a tough and savvy American Ambassador to Kabul named Adolph “Spike” Dubs to deal with him. The outcome would change the world and end in tragedy for all.

In an interview we conducted in 1993 with Selig Harrison – former Washington Post foreign correspondent and Carnegie Endowment Senior Associate – Ambassador Dubs came to Kabul in the summer of 1978 with a mission: Bring Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin over to the American side and keep the Russians out.

President Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski had engineered a grander mission: Pressure Amin to draw the Soviets in through destabilization and then keep them tied down and give them their own Vietnam. By the time Ambassador Dubs arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan had become ground zero for a long anticipated anti-Soviet destabilization campaign organized by Brzezinski and carried out by an off the books intelligence operation known as the Safari Club.

The “club” represented the true essence of the CIA ethos; an autonomous covert action organization with global reach, beyond the jurisdiction of American oversight and responsible to no one. A spinoff of the right-wing Pinay Cercle, the Safari Club had been active informally in the Middle East and Africa for years. But the club found its true calling following Watergate and the Church Committee hearings on 30 years of CIA coups, cover-ups and assassinations.

Managed by France’s Count Alexandre de Marenches chief of French external intelligence, the club included the Shah of Iran, King Hassan II of Morocco, President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt, Kamal Adham, head of intelligence for Saudi Arabian King Faisal and Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. More to the point, by 1976 the Safari Club had become the real CIA, covertly funded by Saudi Arabia’s chief of intelligence Kamal Adham through the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI) and run out of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.   Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved

The Grand Illusion of Imperial Power: 2 Part Series


VT Classic: We’re all CIA Assets! What can be done, a personal story

September 15th, 2020
By VT Editors  

CIA sabotaged the anti-war movement through its music

[ Editor’s note: The more things change on the surface, the more they stay the same. Perhaps a useful question would be, how can you have a liberal democracy without it being derailed by popular arts that are rooted in a profane culture, with its consistent goal of social disintegration and reinvention? Will there be an era when the ‘barbarians’ take over, as Americans are molded by covert methods and can not seem to fathom how bad things can get? To the WWII generation, the raucous 1960s generation seemed headed for disaster, and the older gen attempted to push back with their “America–Love it or Leave it” slogan, parrying the youth liberation movement and civil rights. Now seemed like a good moment to revisit a VT Classic by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould where they examine the tension between war and peace. ]

– First published 6 December 2018 by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same way in any country.” — Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall, Luftwaffe-Chief and founder of the Gestapo, at the Nuremberg trials

The CIA and the 1960s West Coast Music Scene

We had written an article about mind control that included the role of a top-secret CIA research project known as Project MK-ULTRA. MK-ULTRA operated from the early 1950s through the1960s by using Americans, (without their consent) as guinea pigs in an illicit research project to alter mental states and brain function.

The project remained secret for two decades until 1975 when the Church Committee Hearings revealed the CIA’s illegal activities. We knew that MK-ULTRA was involved in experiments in sensory deprivation and sexual abuse. But what really got our attention back then was the confirmation that MK-ULTRA had infiltrated the New Age anti-Vietnam War Movement to undermine its legitimacy which included the widespread distribution of psychedelic drugs.

As teenagers growing up in the 1960s, the San Francisco and Laurel Canyon music scenes and the antiwar movement were synonymous. A new age was dawning and our generation wanted to believe that we could keep war from becoming part of it. What we didn’t know until recently was how much influence military intelligence and the CIA had in forming what we believed was an organic outgrowth of popular  sentiment.

The Laurel Canyon Connection      

Before bands such as The Mothers of Invention, The Byrds, The Mamas and The Papas and The Doors became famous; the songwriters, musicians and singers who would form those bands flocked from all over North America to Laurel Canyon. What was strange about this sudden migration of musical talent to Laurel Canyon was the absence of a music industry in the area at the time.

What it did have though was Vito Paulekas and the Freaks; a regular feature of the Sunset Boulevard Club scene starting in 1964. Paulekas became well known for supplying a corps of wildly frenzied dancers to stir up interest in the new Laurel Canyon bands and is credited with their early success. Having materialized a musical revolution out of thin air, he has also been credited as the inspiration for the Hippie movement, its fashion and its free love communal lifestyle.

Another oddity of the Laurel Canyon phenomenon was that a large percentage of the artists who arrived descended from America’s most influential ruling families, came with military or intelligence backgrounds or were somehow connected to high ranking military personnel or intelligence operatives.

One example of this unusual confluence of talent is Frank Zappa, (Mothers of Invention) who spent his youth at the Edgewood Arsenal Chemical Biological Center where his father worked as a chemical warfare specialist. It also happens that the Edgewood Arsenal was connected to MK-Ultra’s chemical mind control program.

Major Floyd Crosby, father of David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash) was an Annapolis graduate and WWII military intelligence officer descended from a prominent New York elite founding family, the Van Rensselaers. Crosby’s mother’s family the Van Cortlandts started their American adventure in 1637.

And then there were The Doors. According to Wikipedia, keyboardist Ray Manzarek served in “the highly selective Army Security Agency as a prospective intelligence analyst in Okinawa and then Laos” in the run up to the Vietnam War. The Doors producer for their first five albums, Paul Rothchild also served a stint in the same elite Military Intelligence Corps in 1959.

When the Music’s Over Turn out the Lights

The most enigmatic of all, Jim Morrison, was the son of U.S. Navy Admiral George Morrison.

In August of 1964, U.S. warships, under Admiral Morrison’s command, claimed to have been attacked while patrolling Vietnam’s Tonkin Gulf. Although the claim was false, it resulted in the U.S. Congress passing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which provided the pretext for an immediate escalation of American involvement in the emerging Vietnam quagmire.

Jim Morrison

Morrison never spoke publicly of his father’s role in creating the “false flag” that was used to deceive the American people into accepting a war against Vietnam.More intriguing still was Morrison’s apparent lack of interest in music until he suddenly transformed himself into one of the most glorified rock stars of all time!

Along with becoming the Door’s lead singer, Morrison also played a major role in forming the band’s identity.

He chose the band’s name from one of his favorite books, Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. It turns out that Huxley’s “doors” opened through the use of psychedelic drugs. Not so coincidentally it also happens that Huxley was a key player behind MK-Ultra as one of the original promoters of the use of psychedelic drugs for social control. In a letter to George Orwell in 1949 Huxley described their use as “more efficient…than prisons.”

As an avowed acolyte of the Greek god Dionysus and the Dionysian Mysteries – the most famous religious rites of ancient Greece – Morrison reveled in the use of drugs, drink and frenzied dancing. Morrison was so enamored of this Greek god he almost named the band after him, until settling on The Doors.

MKUltra’s objectives had much in common with the Dionysian Mysteries  and with Jim Morrison’s philosophy of life who once said of his own behavior “I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown.” Morrison was also described by those who knew him as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Doors Manager Paul Rothchild explained it this way, “You never knew whether Jim would show up as the erudite, poetic scholar or the kamikaze drunk.” Given his lineage, the question remains; was Jim Morrison in control of his own mind?

In view of current New Cold War plans to mount a full scale global war against China and Russia, Americans need to look back and reconsider the turning points that brought our country to this crossroads

How did we as Americans come from being so much against war in Vietnam in the 1960s into preparing for a world war against just about everyone on the planet today?

Was the Laurel Canyon scene the only operation subtly sabotaging the legitimacy of the anti-war movement by co-opting its message?

Or was the CIA responsible for another popular piece of counter-culture showmanship intended to permanently wrap the anti-war movement and public dissent in a beaded cloak of freaked out hippies, communal sex and acid trips on LSD?

The 1950s and 60s saw the United States in direct competition with the Soviet Union not only for military superiority but also for the world’s hearts and minds. With an emphasis on “freedom of expression”, the Cultural Cold War waged by Washington embraced a broad swath of cultural activities that were intended to outshine anything done by its communist rival.Given the nature of this cultural competition in literature, music and the arts, is it so surprising that the American intelligence community should have had a hand in the creation of uninhibited performance, free from the rules and strictures of the past? A successful psychological warfare campaign to break down traditional patterns of behavior would require a willingness to participate and the blueprint had already been laid out in 1953 by the CIA’s Psychological Strategy Board’s comprehensive doctrine for social control known as PSB D-33/2.  With an emphasis on the strange and the avant-garde, the CIA began bringing artists, writers and musicians into what was known as its “Freedom Manifesto”.

The CIA would come to view the entire program, beginning with the 1950 Berlin conference, to be a landmark in the Cold War, not just for solidifying the CIA’s control over the non-communist left and the West’s “free” intellectuals, but for enabling the CIA to secretly disenfranchise Europeans and Americans from their own political culture in such a way they would never really know it

As historian Christopher Lasch wrote in 1969 of the CIA’s secret co-optation of America’s non-communist left,  “The modern state … is an engine of propaganda, alternately manufacturing crises and claiming to be the only instrument that can effectively deal with them. This propaganda, in order to be successful,    demands the cooperation of writers, teachers, and artists not as paid propagandists or state-censored time-servers but as ‘free’ intellectuals capable of policing their own jurisdictions and of enforcing  acceptable standards of responsibility within the various intellectual professions.”

While declaring itself as an antidote to communist totalitarianism, one internal CIA critic of the program, PSB officer Charles Burton Marshall, viewed PSB D-33/2 itself as frighteningly totalitarian, interposing “a wide doctrinal system” that “accepts uniformity as a substitute for diversity,” embracing “all fields of human thought — all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology.” He concluded: “That is just about as totalitarian as one can get.”

The evidence that the birth of the psychedelic 1960s West Coast New Age music scene was guided by the invisible hand of military and intelligence operatives is well documented. But what about the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical HAIR that swept the world from its debut in 1968 after opening to rave reviews on Broadway?

We lived our personal experience with HAIR when we became a part of the Boston production in 1970 while college students. HAIR was on the front lines of the anti-war movement and we waved the banner every night for a year before sold-out audiences. To us, the Vietnam War was nothing more than what Daniel Ellsberg described as a neocolonial enterprise repeating France’s mistakes.

A 2011 production of HAIR; the wildly popular 1968 anti-war American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Was the CIA behind HAIR too?
America’s Winter Soldiers applauded our efforts and joined us on stage to celebrate our right to dramatize the undoing of American society by the terror being inflicted on Southeast Asia. Boston’s old guard wanted the production shut down. The challenge went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Their effort failed but in the end our victory was not what it appeared.

HAIR was a worldwide phenomenon with original casts in every major U.S. city and nineteen productions outside North America. Its main theme was strongly anti-war and was shared by the millions of Americans who watched and participated in it. Every HAIR cast was local to the city it performed in and established new standards for racial diversity unheard of at the time.

Almost 50 years on we still receive letters from people whose lives were profoundly changed by the performance. HAIR made the war and its impact on human beings personal in ways that nothing else could. But that impact and the anti-war momentum it had accrued was soon lost and within a short time channeled away from the universal peace we believed was possible.

Was HAIR’s popularity just a fluke; the beneficiary of some temporary anti-war fad? Or was it part of a cultural cold war experiment to influence public opinion that succeeded beyond expectations and was then made to go away? A post-Vietnam 1977 revival at the Biltmore Theatre where it had run for 1750 consecutive performances from 1968 to 1972 was attacked by the New York Times as “too far gone to be timely; too recently gone to be history or even nostalgia.”

With its antiwar message derided and dismissed as reminiscent of “something of the old battles re-fought quality of an American Legion reunion,” and with President Carter’s Russophobic  National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski taking over foreign and national security policy at the Carter White House, the new message was clear. The antiwar movement would not be coming to power in Washington in 1977 and never would be.

When the film version of HAIR by Czechoslovakian New Wave director Milos Forman was released in March of 1979 – completely rewritten and fundamentally detached from the original Broadway version – the show’s passionate and prominent anti-war theme was gone. With LBJ, Richard Nixon and Vietnam disposed of; the West’s endless war against Russia could be put back on the fast track.By the time Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980, the anti-Vietnam War movement had been reduced to a “Syndrome” and cured with an unprecedented World War II size defense budget that transformed the U.S. from a creditor to a debtor nation.

The earmarks of a PSB D-33/2 cultural operation are hidden in plain sight. HAIR may even have been used as a prototype for the so called color revolutions and Arab Springs that followed in the breakdown of the old Soviet bloc. Alongside authors Jim Rado and Jerry Ragni the celebrity arm of the non-communist left was well represented at our February 22, 1970 HAIR opening night in the presence of Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow and the Broadway show’s executive producer Bertrand Castelli; a member of Europe’s cultural cold war elite that hobnobbed with the likes of Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso.

Yarrow’s famous song, “Puff, the Magic Dragon” became the anthem of the pot smoking 60s hippie movement and whether by design or coincidence his Ukrainian born father Bernard was a charter member of the CIA’s European cultural front organization known as the National Committee for a Free Europe.

Having served during World War II in the OSS (with distinction)  and after joining no less than Sullivan and Cromwell, the Dulles brothers‘ law firm, Bernard helped to found the CIA-funded Radio Free Europe and became its senior vice president.

Along with numerous members of the early 1960s music scene who wound up in Laurel Canyon, Peter Yarrow played an early and active role in the civil rights and peace movements. He even acted as referee between the Old Left’s Pete Seeger and the New Left at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when Bob Dylan decided to move from “folk” music to rock and roll. In a famous confrontation over what many considered Dylan’s sellout, Seeger threatened sound engineer and future Doors’ Manager Paul Rothchild that he would cut the cable with an axe if he didn’t turn off “that” distortion; but the distortion stayed.

Following Vietnam, Yarrow transferred his antiwar activism to the issue of Soviet Jewry and their emigration to Israel – a major component of the rising neoconservative agenda. Through Yarrow’s leadership, by the 1980s the issue had become a key platform of the Reagan administration to use against any détente with the Soviet Union.

As for HAIR, stripped of its antiwar message, it was reduced to being the poster child of a 1960s debauched hedonism. Or as Bertrand Castelli, the executive producer of the original Broadway production labelled a revival in 2008, “It’s though everything in ‘Hair’ turned into a nightmare, …“Everything that was joyful and harmless became dangerous and ugly.”

Everything must be rethought
Dangerous and ugly is not the way we remember our year-long experience with HAIR. Nuclear war and Vietnam were dangerous and ugly and in the intervening 50 years that danger and ugliness has returned to haunt us.
If HAIR was part of a top secret psychological warfare campaign to energize the youth of America and the world to political action in the pursuit of peace, flowers, freedom and happiness it succeeded. But if the ultimate objective of this Hobbesian campaign was to then crush that freedom and numb us to the growing danger of permanent war in a haze of disease, opioid addiction and suicide, it too has succeeded.
At the time, HAIR’s success helped us believe that we had changed our future for the better. The war ended, the troops came home and life resumed. But we now accept that as of 2018 that new age we sought was nothing more than an illusion.

War is Insane, Endless War is Suicide

President Eisenhower warned us what would happen if our country dedicated itself to war. War makes you mad. Endless war puts you in a hell of madness from which there is no escape. The madness of that war on the world has come full circle and is now in our schools, parks, bars and homes.

It was of course always there as part of our nature, but we have given in to it. We have given in to that part of our nature that should have matured and been processed but instead has remained aloof and separate from our humanity. That part of our nature has remained unlearned and untamed. We are the victims of our own design and therefore we can change it.

Through various means the CIA did succeed in redirecting the American peoples’ anti-war sentiment towards accepting permanent war (clearly illustrated by the longest war ever in American history in Afghanistan).

To paraphrase Hermann Goering’s 1946 observation:People don’t want war, nobody does, but people can easily be brought to the bidding of their leaders by instilling fear or denouncing the pacifists for exposing the country to danger, no matter where or when and works the same way in any country.

Our only course is to step outside today’s war narrative and see where we are in the paradigm.

The false narratives that control our thinking will fall away as we replace them with the deep knowledge and acceptance of what we have actually lived through. As the past finally becomes prologue; we can imagine the genuine future we truly want and start to make it happen!


Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved

A Webinar with Paul & Liz

September 8th, 2020

Watch our 9/11 Mt Diablo Peace and Justice Center presentation here.
 

‘Magical Thinking’ has Always Guided the US Role in Afghanistan

August 14th, 2020

Photograph Source: The U.S. Army – CC BY 2.0

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

– The Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

The best way for us to understand Afghanistan is to look at the record of American involvement going back four decades and to look at the record requires a reexamination of President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. From the start, U.S. policy formation surrounding Afghanistan has lived in a realm of magical thinking that has produced nothing but a catastrophe of nightmarish proportions. Brzezinski impacted the future of American foreign policy by monopolizing the Carter administration in ways that few outside the White House understand. In his role as national security advisor he put himself in a position to control information into and out of the White House and when it came to Afghanistan – to use it for whatever purposes he saw fit.

According to numerous studies Brzezinski transformed the role of national security advisor far beyond its intended function. In a planning session with President Carter on St. Simon Island before even entering the White House he took control of policy creation by narrowing access to the president down to two committees (the policy review committee PRC, and the Special coordinating committee SCC). He then had Carter transfer power over the CIA to the SCC which he chaired. At the first cabinet meeting after taking office Carter announced that he was elevating the national security advisor to cabinet level and Brzezinski’s lock on covert action was complete. According to political scientist and author David J. Rothkopf, “It was a bureaucratic first strike of the first order. The system essentially gave responsibility for the most important and sensitive issues to Brzezinski.”

Over the course of four years Brzezinski often took actions without the knowledge or approval of the president; intercepted communications sent to the White House from around the world and carefully selected only those communications for the president to see that conformed to his ideology. His Special Coordinating Committee, the SCC was a stovepipe operation which acted solely in his interest and denied information and access to those who might oppose him, including Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and even CIA Director Stansfield Turner. As a cabinet member he occupied a White House office diagonally across the lobby from the Oval Office and met so often with the President, the in-house record keepers stopped keeping track of the meetings. He used this unique authority to single himself out as the primary spokesman for the administration and a barrier between the White House and the president’s other advisors and went so far as to create a press secretary to convey his policy decisions directly to the Mainstream Media. He was also on the record as singlehandedly establishing a rapprochement with China in May of 1978 on an anti-Soviet basis which ran counter to U.S. policy at the time while renowned for misleading the president on critical issues to falsely justify his positions.

So how did this work in Afghanistan?

Central to that issue is the claim that Brzezinski intentionally lured the Soviet Union into invading in order to trap them in their own Vietnam. And central to that claim is the now infamous January 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview with Brzezinski in which he admits to luring the Soviets into an Afghan trap with a secret program.

From the moment Brzezinski’s interview appeared in 1998 there has been a fanatical effort by observers on both the left and the right to deny its validity as an idle boast, a misinterpretation of what he meant, or a bad translation from English to French and back to English. Brzezinski’s admission is so sensitive, the CIA’s former chief of the directorate of Operations for the Near East and South Asia from 1979 to 1984, Charles Cogan felt it necessary to come out for a Cambridge Forum discussion of our book on Afghanistan (Invisible History) in 2009 to claim that even though our view of the Soviet invasion was authentic, the Nouvel Observateur interview could not be right.

But of all the articles that have been published by “experts” and academics refuting Brzezinski’s claims, none comes close to a recent article by University College Dublin scholar Conor Tobin, titled “The Myth of the Afghan Trap.”

In his article Tobin argues that based “almost solely” on the Nouvel Observateur interview the Brzezinski “trap” thesis doesn’t hold up and complains that it has filtered uncritically into the works of several reputable historians. He even cites our work as an example of this uncritical acceptance while failing to note that our use of the interview is but one piece of a wealth of evidence of Brzezinski’s involvement in the Afghan issue.

Tobin discounts Brzezinski’s life-long “reputation,” for ideological bias against all things Russian then moves on to base his debunking mandate solely on the veracity of the interview, declaring: “That if this one unreliable interview is discounted there is very little legitimate evidence to back up the trap thesis…” and then concludes that “This article will demonstrate that the ‘trap’ thesis has little basis in fact.”

Based solely on his wish fulfillment rather than the facts, Tobin rejects the very idea that Brzezinski would ever advise Carter to actively endorse a policy that would risk SALT and détente, jeopardize his election campaign and threaten Iran, Pakistan and the Persian Gulf to future Soviet infiltration—because to Tobin “it is largely inconceivable.”

As proof of Brzezinski’s belief in the Soviet’s long term ambitions to invade the Middle East through Afghanistan, Tobin cites how Brzezinski “reminded Carter of ‘Russia’s traditional push to the south, and briefed him specifically on Molotov’s [supposed] proposal to Hitler in late 1940 that the Nazis recognize the Soviet claims of pre-eminence in the region south of Batum and Baku.’” But what Tobin fails to mention is that what Brzezinski presented to the president was a well-known misinterpretation of what the Nazis had proposed—not Molotov—and which Molotov rejected. In other words, the very opposite of what Brzezinski had presented.

To others who had a personal experience in the events surrounding the Soviet invasion, there is little doubt that Brzezinski wanted to draw the Soviets into an Afghan trap and had been doing it since April of 1978 through a program of destabilization. The record indicates that U.S. Afghan ambassador Adolph Dubs and Brzezinski came to blows over Brzezinski’s destabilization program at least a year before the Soviet invasion if not sooner. Afghan expert Selig Harrison, who’d gone to Kabul and interviewed Dubs in the summer of 1978 writes in his book with Diego Cordovez Out of Afghanistan, “Brzezinski emphasized in an interview after he left the White House that he had remained strictly within the confines of the President’s policy at that stage not to provide direct aid to the Afghan insurgency. Since there was no taboo on indirect support, however, the CIA had encouraged the newly entrenched Zia Ul-Haq to launch its own program of military support for the insurgents. The CIA and the Pakistani Interservices Intelligence Directorate (ISI) he said, worked together closely on planning training programs for the insurgents and on coordinating the Chinese, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and Kuwaiti aid that was beginning to trickle in. By early February 1979, this collaboration became an open secret when the Washington Post published an eyewitness report that at least two thousand Afghans were being trained at former Pakistani Army bases guarded by Pakistani patrols.”

David Newsom, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs who’d met the new Afghan government in the summer of 1978 told Harrison, “They struck me as very ideological but they were still Afghan nationalists… From the beginning, Zbig had a much more confrontational view of the situation than Vance. He thought we should be doing something covertly to frustrate Soviet ambitions in that part of the world. On some occasions I was not alone in raising questions about the wisdom and feasibility of what he wanted to do.” CIA Director Stansfield Turner for example “was more cautious than Zbig. Zbig wasn’t worried about provoking the Russians, as some of us were.”

To some members of the Carter White House who interacted with Brzezinski during his four years at the wheel from 1977 to 1980 his intention to provoke the Russians into doing something was clear. By early 1979 events had grown so unstable in Afghanistan, the ambassador had to confront his own CIA station chief and demand answers about CIA interference. According to John Helmer an NSC staffer who was tasked with investigating two of Brzezinski’s policy recommendations to Carter, Brzezinski would risk anything to undermine the Soviets and his operations in Afghanistan were well known.

“Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter’s term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world.” Helmer wrote in 2017, “To Brzezinski goes the credit for starting most of the ills – the organization, financing, and armament of the mujahideen the Islamic fundamentalists who have metastasized – with US money and arms still – into Islamic terrorist armies operating far from Afghanistan and Pakistan, where Brzezinski started them off.”

Helmer insists that Brzezinski exercised an almost hypnotic power over Carter that bent him towards Brzezinski’s ideological agenda while blinding him to the consequences from the outset of his presidency. “From the start… in the first six months of 1977, Carter was also warned explicitly by his own staff, inside the White House… not to allow Brzezinski to dominate his policy-making to the exclusion of all other advice, and the erasure of the evidence on which the advice was based.” Yet the warning fell on deaf ears.

In 2015 we began work on a documentary to finally clear the air on such sophistic arguments as Conor Tobin’s and reconnected with Dr. Charles Cogan for an interview. Soon after the camera rolled, Cogan interrupted the interview to tell us he had talked to Brzezinski in the spring of 2009 about the 1998 Nouvel Observateur interview and been shocked to learn that the “Afghan trap thesis” as stated by Brzezinski in the Novel Observateur interview was legitimate. Brzezinski had done it with intent and wanted Cogan to know it. As one of the highest level CIA officials to participate in the largest American intelligence operations since WWII it was a devastating blow to learn that the CIA hadn’t won the Cold War against the Soviet Union fair and square. Brzezinski had tricked them and they had fallen for the bait.

Yet Cogan’s willingness to recount his conversation with Brzezinski on camera has given us a vital piece of evidence that will change history and we are all fortunate that he chose to leave his testimony with us that you can now view for the first time here.

For Brzezinski, getting the Soviets to invade Afghanistan was an opportunity to shift the Washington consensus toward an unrelenting hard line against the Soviet Union. Without any oversight for his use of covert action, he created the conditions needed to provoke a Soviet defensive response which he’d then used as evidence of unrelenting Soviet expansion and used the media, which he controlled, to affirm it. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was Brzezinski’s self-fulling prophecy. However, once his Russophobic system of exaggerations and lies about his covert operation became accepted, they found a home in America’s institutions and we live with them today. US policy since that time has operated in a delusion of racist triumphalism that both provokes international incidents and then capitalizes on the chaos.

From its origins in 1977 as Brzezinski’s covert program to destabilize the Soviet Union through ethnic violence and radical Islam, a straight line can be drawn to the current American quagmire in Afghanistan today. The time has come to see it for the lie it always was. And end it.

Copyright © 2020 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved.


Magical Thinking and the US War in Afghanistan

August 4th, 2020

-Watch Paul and Liz’s 8/11/20 discussion on Magical Thinking and the US War in Afghanistan.  -Watch the interview clip with Dr. Charles Cogan former Chief of the Directorate of Operations for the Near East, South Asia Division of the CIA from 1979 to 1984 admitting that Zbigniew Brzezinski told him that the “Afghan Trap Thesis” is authentic.  -Read Valentine Moghadam’s summary of the discussion.

August 11 @ 7:00 pm8:00 pm

A discussion on magical thinking underlying US policy in Afghanistan featuring video-journalists Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald and moderated by Prof. Valentine Moghadam.  Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action’s Middle East Working Group.  Register here.

Our discussion will focus on a paper authored by University College Dublin scholar Conor Tobin. Titled “The Myth of the ‘Afghan Trap,’ Brzezinski and Afghanistan 1978-79,” it claims that there is no proof that President Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski lured the Soviets into the December 27, 1979 invasion. Even Brzezinski’s infamous interview in a 1998 Nouvel Observateur article boasting about the Soviets falling into his ‘Afghan Trap’ is now in doubt. Having trailed the Afghan story as journalists for decades we already had the research to connect the US quagmire in Afghanistan back to Brzezinski’s scheme. In addition to providing evidence validating the ‘Afghan Trap’ claim, we will reveal a technique favored by ideologues that uses ‘magical thinking’ to wantonly remove facts that contradict the narrative they wish to create. ‘Magical thinking’ literally means, “If I think it’s real, it is real and you have to prove it’s not.” Tobin’s paper is a jaw-dropping example of how the context of the U.S./Afghan record is being stripped down to a fantasy based on ‘magical thinking.’ The practice of rewriting historical records through an ideological lens has resulted in generations of policy failures that will continue until there is a complete transformation from magical to conscious thinking.

 

 


Eyes Wide Open: Will the ‘Masters of the Universe’ Notice No One Takes Them Seriously Anymore?

April 9th, 2020

By Alastair Crooke  April 6 2020  strategic-culture.org


The intrusion of some wholly extraneous event – like a pandemic – into any given status quo doesn’t necessarily break it, in and of itself. But it exposes cruelly the shortcomings and workings of the existing status quo. It shows them, as not just stark naked, but also with its dark backstage of barely legal, dole-outs to business, and Wall Street friends, suddenly spotlighted.

Fyodor Dostoevsky sets out in The Brothers Karamazov an allegory that can be applied to our times, but was set in Seville, in the most terrible time of the Inquisition, when fires were lighted every day to the glory of God (rather than today’s ‘glory to Mammon’), and in that splendid auto da fé, when wicked ‘heretics’ were burnt alive. It was published in 1880.

Into this city an entirely extraneous (shall we say non-human) event occurs, that deeply unsettles society: Citizens are suddenly snatched-up from their humdrum daily slog to see the status quo afresh – but now with eyes wide open.

The Grand Inquisitor of Seville is outraged. This extraneous occurrence risks spoiling his carefully contrived status quo:“Oh, we shall persuade them [the citizenry of Seville] that they will only become free when they renounce their freedom to us, and submit to us. And shall we be right, or shall we be lying? They will be convinced that we are right … Receiving bread from us, they will see clearly that we take the bread made by their hands from them – [only] to give it back to them … In truth they will be more thankful for taking it from our hands – than for the bread itself! Too well, will they know the value of complete submission! We shall show them that they are weak, that they are only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all.“We will indulge them their sins; allow them to occupy themselves with their vices. We will monitor everything, regulate everything, order and legislate for everything – and be their conscience too – so that they do not have to trouble themselves to think, overly; or, to be obliged to make decisions. They exist only to serve us, the élite who rule over them: The millions, numerous as the sands of the sea, who are weak, must exist only for the élite, who rule over them. In this mystery, says the Grand Inquisitor, “lies the great secret of the world”.

Well, here we are: We have an extraneous event: Covid-19. It is different, of course. The Inquisitor literally burnt-out the threat (alive), to the existing order in Seville. Similarly, our ‘Elect’ of today, are equally agog to preserve the status quo. And for reasons very similar to those of the Inquisitor. Full article is here


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