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)


"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


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.

Magical Thinking and the US War in Afghanistan

August 4th, 2020

-Watch Paul and Liz’s 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

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

Pashtun Rights Movement Complicates Pakistan-U.S. Endgame in Afghanistan

February 20th, 2020

Michael Hughes
February 19, 2020

A crackdown of Pashtun activists in Pakistan has drawn international opprobrium at an inconvenient time for Islamabad and Washington as they try to shape a public narrative to make a peace pact with the Taliban as palatable as possible.

The Trump administration wants the U.S.-Taliban exit deal to be seen as a victory for peace rather than a humiliating defeat at the hands of rag-tag insurgents who will continue destabilizing Afghanistan and the region.

In order to do this, the United States wants the world to believe that Pakistan has suddenly stopped using its northwest tribal areas as an extremist incubator to “keep the pot boiling” in Afghanistan. However, allegations suggesting otherwise that have recently gone viral threaten to upend Washington’s story line. Read the full article here.




Israel in the Middle East — A Civilisational and Metaphysical War

February 3rd, 2020 

by Alastair Crooke

President Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ has been published this week. Mostly, it has been examined as a purely political project – whether in terms of the domestic needs of Trump and Netanyahu, or as a maximum squeeze on Palestinians, which may, or may not, work. But there is another (implicit) dimension, lying – a little out of sight – behind these explicit politics.

It has been argued, by at least one US historian, that the U.S. is no ordinary nation-state, but should be understood as a system leader, a ‘civilizational power’ – like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire. The ‘system leader’, historically, has always sought to embed its particular civilizational vision onto those distant ‘lands’ that serve, or abut, its empire: which is to say that the universalistic vision may be bound to one state, but is forcefully unfurled across the globe, as ‘our’ inevitable destiny.

It is not hard to see what we are talking about when it refers to America: politically it is liberal markets, liberal capitalism, individualism and laissez-faire politics – and the metaphysics of Judeo-Christianity, too, if you like. For most Americans, their victory in the Cold War spectacularly affirmed the superiority of their civilizational vision, through the defeat and implosion of communism. It was not just a political defeat for the USSR, more significantly, it represented a triumph for America’s full cultural paradigm: It was a Civilisational ‘win’.

What has this to do with what happened in the East Room of the White House this Tuesday? Well, it gives us a better vantage point to perceive something less obvious than just the explicit politics to the spectacle. Something more often ‘felt’, than explicitly considered. Read full article here.


Quantum physics: our study suggests objective reality doesn’t exist

November 23rd, 2019

by Alessandro Fedrizzi, Professor of Quantum Physics, Heriot-Watt University and Massimiliano Proietti, PhD Candidate of Quantum Physics, Heriot-Watt University  November 14, 2019  

Alternative facts are spreading like a virus across society. Now it seems they have even infected science – at least the quantum realm. This may seem counter intuitive. The scientific method is after all founded on the reliable notions of observation, measurement and repeatability. A fact, as established by a measurement, should be objective, such that all observers can agree with it.

But in a paper recently published in Science Advances, we show that, in the micro-world of atoms and particles that is governed by the strange rules of quantum mechanics, two different observers are entitled to their own facts. In other words, according to our best theory of the building blocks of nature itself, facts can actually be subjective. Read the article here.

Why Does Chris Hedges Hedge His Bets?

September 23rd, 2019

By Edward Curtin 9/22/19

Chris Hedges omits mentioning in his recent article OUR INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT the Clinton administration’s dismantling wars against Yugoslavia, including 78 days of non-stop bombing of Serbia in 1999 that killed thousands of innocent people in the name of “humanitarian intervention,” wars he covered for the New York Times, the paper he has come to castigate and the paper that has a long history of doing the CIA’s bidding.  Read the article here.

Nexus Magazine Germany

February 21st, 2019

Wir wissen nun, dass der für die Washington Post tätige „Journalist“ Jamal Khashoggi tatsächlich ermordet wurde und jetzt, ebenso wie Osama bin Laden, ein alter Freund seiner Familie, vermutlich als Fischfutter dient. Wie hoch ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass dieser grausame Mord, der von 15 Männern eines saudi-arabischen „Killerteams“ am 2. Oktober um circa 13:17 Uhr verübt wurde, der Dreh- und Angelpunkt ist, an dem sich die amerikanische Weltordnung nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg auflöst und in eine multipolare Weltordnung übergeht? NEXUS 81 February – March 2019

by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

NBC cancels ‘Hair Live!’ broadcast that Diane Paulus was co-directing

February 15th, 2019
Judging from the excuse given by NBC to cancel a live production of HAIR, the powers that be are still afraid of its profound antiwar message! For those of you who may have missed the article we wrote about HAIR, hippies, the Vietnam Anti War movement and the CIA, here it is again: We’re all CIA assets! What can be done, a personal story. All Best, Paul&Liz

“Speculation arose that NBC scrapped “Hair Live!’’ because of concerns about the politically charged subject matter of the passionately antiwar musical about hippies in the East Village, which premiered on Broadway in 1968 at the height of the anti-establishment counterculture.”

NBC has decided not to let the sunshine in after all.The Peacock Network announced that it is canceling the planned May 19 live broadcast of “Hair,’’ which was to be titled “Hair Live!’’ Diane Paulus, who built her reputation on her acclaimed 2009 Broadway revival of “Hair’’ before becoming artistic director of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater, had been slated to co-direct “Hair Live!’’ …  Read the full article here.

Trump Account of Afghan-Soviet War Freaks Out U.S. Establishment

January 17th, 2019


by Michael Hughes Afghan Online Press

U.S. President Donald Trump sent the foreign policy establishment into a rage for suggesting the Soviets intervened in Afghanistan because they were concerned about terrorism. The comments, rather predictably, drew immediate rebukes from members of the military-industrial-media complex who were beside themselves that a U.S. president would dare claim the Soviets were motivated by anything other than pure imperialistic aggression.

Trump made his startling observation during a recent cabinet meeting as he tried to draw parallels between the Afghan-Soviet war and the current U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. “The reason Russia [Soviet Union] was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia,” the U.S. president told reporters on January 2. The Wall Street Journal editorial board was apoplectic, accusing Trump of reaching a new low by trying to alter reality with his “cracked history.” Seth Jones from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a former senior advisor for U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan, took Trump to task for failing to “get history right.”

In an article published in Lawfare on January 13, Jones correctly stated that the Soviets wanted to check U.S. influence in the region. However, he goes too far in what he explicitly excludes as a factor in the decision. “Soviet archives and other evidence indicate that the Soviet leaders were primarily motivated not by terrorism, but by balance-of-power politics, particularly concerns about growing U.S. influence in Afghanistan,” Jones said. “Terrorism had nothing to do with all this.”

Jones references Politburo meetings in early December of 1979 in which the Soviet leaders raised concerns that Afghan leader Hafizullah Amin – who had come to power in a coup in July – had grown too close to Washington. So the Soviets decided to invade and remove Amin to prevent Kabul from falling into U.S. hands. However, the same notes cited by Jones also reveal that the politburo members felt action was necessary because of CIA attempts to establish a “New Great Ottoman Empire” that would include the southern republics of the U.S.S.R.

The leaders specifically mentioned the work of a CIA operative based in Ankara by the name of Paul Henze, who had worked hand in hand with Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski in establishing the Nationalities Working Group, which aimed to use Islamism as a tool to undermine the Soviet Union in Central Asia. Moreover, years later Brzezinski himself admitted that in July of 1979 – six months before the intervention – the Carter administration authorized covert aid to Pakistani-based Islamic extremists for the specific purpose of provoking an invasion into Afghanistan and giving the Soviet Union “its own Vietnam War.”

Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald, the first journalists to enter Kabul in 1981 for CBS News with Dan Rather following the expulsion of the Western media the previous year, told Afghan Online Press that the Soviets – due to CIA information or disinformation – were convinced that Amin had struck a bargain with notorious Islamic radical Gulbuddin Hekmatyar to seize Kabul on December 29. “Amin did request Soviet troops on many occasions – which the Soviets vehemently resisted – but which could indicate his complicity in a Brzezinski plot,” the duo said. “Records indicate they were increasingly suspicious of his [Amin’s] motives and fully aware that sending troops would ruin detente, SALT and their relations with the West – which is exactly what Brzezinski wanted.” The journalists also pointed to a piece in Strategic Culture that revealed, citing a formerly top secret document, that the CIA back in the 1950s had embarked on a program to foment jihadism among Uzbek tribes of northern Afghanistan as part of a plan to terrorize the southern U.S.S.R.

They also said Seth Jones himself is well aware of what the U.S. did to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan based on his own book, In the Graveyard of Empires (2010) “The Soviets were right to worry about possible U.S. involvement. In early 1979, the Carter administration began looking at the possibility of covert assistance to Afghanistan,” Jones wrote. “By the spring, Zbigniew Brzezinski had come up with ways to undermine the Soviets in their own backyard.” This is underscored by former CIA Director Robert Gates who, in his book From the Shadows (2011), said Carter turned to the CIA for covert actions aimed at “the Soviet internal scene” as early as March of 1977.

Hence, Jones is correct to say that the Soviets feared the U.S. growing its influence in the region. But what Jones does not explain is that the U.S. growing its influence and the spread of terrorism were – in Soviet eyes – one and the same thing. This is not to suggest that the Soviets had any right to intervene militarily in Afghanistan – even if they thought a CIA agent had taken over the country. The point is that the U.S. establishment has distorted the reasons behind said action.

“The record has already been established and Trump is right,” Gould and Fitzgerald said. “We’ve been challenging the entire establishment’s narrative for 40 years now regarding the pivotal 1979 Soviet invasion. The proof of our position has only gotten stronger over time.”

We’re all CIA assets! What can be done, a personal story

December 7th, 2018
by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

A 2011 production of HAIR; the wildly popular 1968 anti-war American Tribal Love-Rock Musical. Was the CIA behind HAIR too? (Image by GisleHaa) Permission Details DMCA

“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 early1950s 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 the1960s 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 andThe Doorsbecame 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 ofthe 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 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. 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 DoorsManager 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. 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 refought 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 Ragnithe 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 Yarrowand the Broadway show’s executive producer Bertrand Castelli; a member of Europe’s cultural cold war elite that hobnobbed with the likes of Jean Cocteauand 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 organizationknown 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 Dullesbrothers‘ 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 Jewryand 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 de’tente 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