Over the past 15 years, fighting-talk has periodically flared over ‘what to do about that alleged “crazy Asian dictator” in North Korea. Today’s round of brinkmanship by the US/Western ‘deep state’ against North Korea will – in all probability – unfold the same way as in previous episodes; it will fizzle out. China is a guarantor of North Korean security, so the US will not go to war with North Korea. Period.
The battle between Trump and the Washington Crazies for control of the reins of empire continues, however, and the ‘Krazy Korean’ is relevant to that. I hope to get to that in a later article, but in the meantime, take note of the contradictory messages coming from the US.
One minute, US Navy battle-groups are ‘en route to North Korea’; the next they’re heading in the opposite direction. One minute, THAAD missile systems are ‘installed and operational in South Korea’; the next, Trump wants South Korea to pay for them.
One minute, someone on the US National Security Council is telling NBC News that the US is considering ‘decapitating the North Korean regime’; the next, Trump announces he’d be honored to meet Kim Jung Un…
All of which has provoked the South Korean and Japanese governments to denounce Trump’s confusing and contradictory statements. Is there a method in Trump’s apparent madness?
I recently read The China Mirage: The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia by James Bradley, a breathtaking panorama of US and Chinese trajectories from the Opium Wars in the mid-19th century to the birth of ‘Communist’ China and ‘Pax Americana’ a hundred years later. This naturally encompassed US involvement in Korea, so in this article I’d like to share some historical context that is either incomplete or missing from summaries of US-Korean relations I’ve seen online so far.
The US has a long history of propping up crazy Asian dictators – from imperial Japan to ‘Christian’ Chiang Kai-shek in ‘New’ China to Catholic Diem in the short-lived US invention of South Vietnam. ‘North’ Korea is similarly a US invention. After existing for hundreds of years as a sovereign country, Korea fell under Japanese imperial influence in the late 19th century. The Japanese had by then become the ‘Yankees of the Far East’ and so accepting were they of civilized Western ways (and Anglo-Saxon values in particular), that the US and British empires were able to convince the Japanese that they should expand their empire as a check against Russian economic expansion in the Far East and as a vehicle through which to ‘Americanize’ China and the wider region.
In 1882, the US signed a treaty with the Emperor of Korea, declaring that there “shall be perpetual peace between Korea and the US.” If Korea was ever threatened by a third party, the US would intervene on its behalf. In the East, such commitments are both legally and morally binding. Not so in the West, however. Behind Korea’s back, then-US president Theodore Roosevelt (whose family, like all the US patrician families, got rich illegally smuggling opium into China), gave Japan the green light to take over Korea in 1905 (under the fabricated pretext that if they didn’t, the Russians would beat them to it) and use it as a staging ground to launch war on Russia. Bradley recounts this treachery in The China Mirage:
In March of 1905, when wave after wave of Japanese soldiers ran directly into Russian bullets during Japan’s victory at the Battle of Mukden, Roosevelt wrote, “The Japanese are the most dashing fighters in the world!” For the first time in modern history, an Asian country was besting a white Western Christian country. Roosevelt wrote [Baron] Kaneko [Japanese envoy to the US] on White House stationery, “Judging by the state of affairs, all is going well and your army is advancing at full speed and power. Banzai!!” When the baron later arrived at the White House for a celebration of the Mukden victory, Roosevelt’s “face shone with joy over the unprecedented victory.” After his chat with Kaneko, Roosevelt told Secretary of War William Howards Taft, “I heartily agree with the Japanese terms of peace, insofar as they include Japan having the control of Korea.” [p.72]
Korea found few advocates. John Ford, the secretary of the American Asiatic Association, a major trade group, defended Japan’s takeover of Korea because “the true peril of Asia and of the world is the Muscovite, and not the yellow peril.”
The ‘yellow peril’ refers to the late 19th century realization in Anglo-American power circles that – sooner or later – the vastly more populous East Asia would industrialize and eclipse their Western-led global domination. And yet, it wasn’t that which frightened them most – it was imperial Russia, a fear that echoes down to the present time.
Thus began Korea’s descent into hell, and Japan’s imperial march across the region. Only later would the US have a problem with this; at the time, Japan was being encouraged to apply a ‘Japanese Monroe Doctrine for Asia’ by Roosevelt – a doctrine that was guaranteed – financially, militarily and politically – by the Anglo-Americans. The Japanese occupied Korea, Nazi-style, for the next 45 years, during which time they also invaded and occupied Manchuria, northeast China, in 1931. They then spread further southwards into China in 1937, slaughtering millions of people as they went (35 million, according to Chinese sources).
By the time WW2 broke out, the Japanese war machine was heavily reliant on Californian oil, which then-US president Franklin Roosevelt (cousin of the first Roosevelt) was loathe to choke off for fear the Japanese would declare war against the US at a time when it was focused on the situation in Europe. To hedge its bets, imperial Japan spread further south into Indochina and Indonesia to take over oil fields and other raw materials.
And that’s where it crossed the Anglo-Americans’ red line: the Japanese were eyeing up key resources in Western colonies. In a move they knew would collar Japan’s regional ambitions, and thus likely be interpreted by the Japanese as a declaration of war, the so-called ‘wise men’ around Roosevelt (who we might today recognize as actors of the ‘deep state’) went behind his back to embargo oil shipments to Japan, which hadn’t yet secured much-needed resources in South-East Asia, triggering its decision to attack the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. There is some debate as to whether or not Japan’s surprise Pearl Harbor really surprised the Americans, but in any event, history records that once the US military entered the west Pacific, it planned to stay there.
While the rest of the world celebrated the end of the second ‘war to end all wars’, US elites watched aghast as ‘dirty commie’ Mao Zedong took control of all China by 1949, forcing their crazy Asian dictator (the actual Chinese one, Chiang Kai-shek) to flee to Taiwan, which the US then recognized as ‘the real China’.
This brings us to the second US ‘sell-out’ of Korea. After the US invited the USSR to defeat the remnants of the Japanese military in N.E. China on its behalf (‘better their boys do the fighting than ours’), the Soviets pushed the Japanese into the Korean peninsula, but only as far south as 38 degrees north, an arbitrary line drawn by the US that split Korea in two. As Bradley points out,
“no one in the US thought to consult the Korean people about this division of their ancient land.”
‘Wise Man’, by the way, is a moniker for the handful of US strategists at the State Department and elsewhere who did the most to chart American foreign (really, imperial) policy during and after WW2. These are the ‘geniuses’ who came up with the plans to ‘contain’ the USSR away from western Europe, and likewise China from its neighbors by re-instituting Japan as the region’s dominant power. Bradley continues:
Koreans were even more outraged to learn that US officials would govern South Korea with help from the Koreans’ former Japanese colonial masters. North Koreans watched uneasily as South Koreans who had cooperated with the Japanese occupation now helped the US gain influence on the Korean Peninsula. Koreans had just suffered 40 years of Nazi-like domination by the Japanese. North Korean leader Kim Il Sung had begun his military career fighting the Japanese in the spring of 1932, and his government was first of all, and above all else, anti-Japanese.
A major concern of Dean Acheson’s [then US Secretary of State] was reinvigorating the world economy after the devastation of WW2. In Europe, the US would adopt a program of economic aid called the Marshall Plan; in Asia it was known as Policy for Asia, National Security Council document 48/2. According to NSC-48/2, Japan would become Asia’s industrial economy, fired by US companies. Washington would ‘connect up’ other Asian economies to Japan’s industrial machine and as markets for Japanese goods (thus isolating and containing China). […] Their plan called for Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries to be the supply/consumption machines within the US-Japanese orbit. The American military would provide an umbrella of security for Japan and keep the other Asian countries in line.
The Wise Men didn’t understand that their Policy for Asia looked to many Asians alarmingly like imperial Japan’s recent attempts at empire. To them, it was as if the US was green-lighting another era of Japanese dominance with American backing. When North Korean leaders realized that Washington wanted Japan to once again dominate Korea, they perceived a mortal threat. […]
A good friend of English economist John Maynard Keynes, Acheson wondered if a huge Keynesian expansion of US military spending could prime the worldwide pump.
Acheson’s top secret policy was laid out in National Security Council document 68, which called for something new in American history: an enormous US military encircling the globe to protect ‘war-making capabilities’ of its allies, a euphemism referring to countries with resources that American industry needed to manufacture arms to contain Communism worldwide. […]
Acheson urged Truman not only to go to war in Korea with no congressional consultation, but also to send covert military aid to the French in Indochina for their war against Ho Chi Minh. With no debate – and none was sought – a Wise Man, rattled by events in Asia he little understood, committed the US to current and future wars. [p.344]
One of the great ironies of this set-up to ‘contain China’ is that Mao wanted his country to be included in US post-WW2 development plans; he wanted US industry and capital to develop China, something that wouldn’t begin until Henry Kissinger ‘saw the light’ in 1972.
Kim Il Sung realized that the reanimation of his arch enemy (Japan) meant that the imaginary war-time line would become a permanent hard border. It’s well-known that North Korean troops invaded (liberated from Japanese collaborators, in their view) the South, sparking the Korean War of 1950-1953. Left out of the narrative is the nature of the ‘good guys’ that the US rushed to defend. Australian human rights lawyer James O’Neil writes:
The US felt able to leave South Korea in 1948 because they had installed the US-educated Syngman Rhee as dictator. He ruled as dictators do, killing, jailing or driving into exile tens of thousands of his political opponents. Rhee was finally overthrown in a popular revolution in 1960. In scenes later to be replicated in Saigon in 1975, he was plucked from his palace by a CIA helicopter who ferried him to safety while the crowds converged on the palace.
Rhee also had ambitions to forcefully bring about the reunification of the two parts of Korea. Thanks to the scholarship revealed in Professor Bruce Cumings‘ two volume history of the Korean War we now know that the standard Western line about the Korean War starting with an invasion of the South by troops from the North is at best an approximation of the true history of the conflict. The truth is considerably more complicated.
For years preceding the Northern troops crossing the border in July 1950, Rhee had been staging incursions into the north, carrying out killings, sabotage and other forms of asymmetrical warfare. On the island of Cheju-do for example, as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s military forces.
Reflecting the ‘game theory’ paranoia of the time, the US elite misread the North’s invasion as a plot hatched in Moscow and Beijing to ‘test’ America’s new global strategy and ‘break out of containment’. Acheson was sure it was a ruse to distract from an imminent invasion of western Europe by Stalin. It wasn’t. It was just the Koreans wanting their country whole again – and foreigners’ influence gone from their peninsula.
In the summer of 1950, the North Koreans quickly overran nearly all of the South. The US raised a hue and cry, organized its first ‘UN coalition of the willing’, and countered with a combined force of over 1.7 million troops to defend the brutal regime of Syngman Rhee. They just as quickly pushed the North Koreans all the way back up the peninsula, past the 38th parallel, and approached the Chinese border. Despite being exhausted by decades of civil war and fighting the Japanese, 2 million Chinese troops – with a relatively small air force and no nuclear weapons – entered North Korea and pushed General Douglas MacArthur’s troops out of North Korea, returning the status quo of the north-south divide by 1951.
O’Neill explains what this first ‘war against communism’ did to North Korea:
What is scarcely acknowledged in the West was the devastation the Korean War wrought upon the North. The US-led UN Command dropped more bombs on the North than the US had dropped in the whole Pacific theatre in World War 2.This included the dropping of 20,000 tonnes of napalm, a particularly gruesome way of killing people. This method was later used to equally horrific effect in Vietnam.
We now also know that the US waged bacteriological warfare, building upon Japanese expertise garnered in their war on China and further developed by US scientists at Fort Detrick.
An estimated two million people, or 20% of the total population, were killed.The bombing flattened every city in the country. In addition, the bombing targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River. The intention was to destroy the rice crop and thereby starve the population into submission. Only emergency assistance from, among others, the Soviet Union and China prevented widespread famine and death.
All 78 North Korean cities were leveled, along with thousands of villages. The US quite literally wiped ‘North Korea’ from the face of the Earth. Another estimate puts the loss of North Korean lives at one third of the population – so, about 3 million dead. So the Korean War was hell for Koreans, but for the US deep state, North Korea’s invasion of South Korea ‘confirmed’ to them that their policy of containing China was correct, and was the catalyst for transforming the US into a global empire. The Wise Men had powerful incentives to read the situation their way: if this was a global Communist plot to ‘break out of containment’, then both containment theory and practice were correct, justifying the reconfiguration of US military and industry to a permanent, global war-footing. Bradley continues:
The irrational fear of worldwide communism as a result of the Wise Men’s misunderstanding of a small Asian civil war persuaded Congress to dramatically increase funding for the military. Martin Walker wrote,
The first defense budget presented by President Truman after the war began was for $50 billion, the precise figure Acheson had hoped for. The US Army doubled, to over 3 million men. The number of Air Groups doubled to 95, and were deployed to new bases in Britain, Libya, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Everything changed with Korea. American diplomacy, defense budgets and military reach exploded across the globe.
Bruce Cummings concludes,
The Korean War was the crisis that finally got the Japanese and West German economies growing strongly, and vastly stimulated the US economy. American defense industries hardly knew that Kim Il Sung would come along and save them either, but he inadvertently rescued a bunch of big-ticket projects. […]
The Korean conflict would transform the US into a very different country than it had ever been before: one with hundreds of permanent military bases abroad, a large standing army and a permanent national security state at home.
Survivors of a bombed out North Korean village.
US Air Force bombers destroy warehouses and dock facilities in Wonsan, North Korea, 1951. Source: US Dept of Defense – USIA
US Air Force attacking railroads south of Wonsan on the eastern coast of North Korea.
Now we understand why North Korea distrusts the US so much. The message behind its apparent belligerence is simply: ‘Stay Away!’
On the other side of the Pacific, through the distortion field of US ‘strategic thinking’, you see why North Korea is the ‘gift that keeps on giving’: from their perspective, it’s the place that ‘made America great’.
Today’s situation, where a prosperous and westernized South Korea stands in stark contrast to an impoverished North, was exactly the reverse until relatively recently. ‘Communist’ North Korea rebuilt after the Korean war and was the economic success story. For all its secrecy, isolation, and ‘weird ways’, North Korea is still a pretty highly developed country.
It was only after South Korea removed its (actual) crazy Asian dictator in 1960 and became one of the ‘Asian Tiger’ economies by industrializing that foreign investment, development and ‘democratization’ took place in the South. In conjunction with later US-led international sanctions on the North, the Koreas’ trajectories switched directions. The South today does best according to all the indicators of economic orthodoxy, but there’s room for debate as to which population enjoys the better quality of life. The South may have wealthy elites and plenty of consumer goods, but it also has an overworked, stressed-out workforce, and based on numerous visitors’ testimonies in recent years, North Koreans’ love of country is substantially more genuine than ‘forced’.
On May 9th, South Koreans go to the polls. If you remember back during the battle between Trump and Clinton for the US presidency, massive rallies took place at that time against the South Korean president, Park, after it emerged that she had assembled some weird clique conducting ‘dark arts’ to chart her government’s course. Now Park has been impeached, triggering snap elections.
The upshot of the Park scandal last November’s and the current election campaign is that after 10 years of very pro-US rule in Seoul, the political climate in South Korea has swung back to seeking friendly neighborly relations with the North rather than continual antagonism. The leading contender for the leadership of South Korea is calling for the installation of THAAD to be delayed until after the election, which is why the US urgently wants it installed, before a new South Korean government can change its mind.
Others have written about the intrigues surrounding the installation of US missile systems in South Korea. The upshot of it is that it’s happening – with or without a liberal, pro-peace government in Seoul, and regardless of who pays for it. Just as everyone knows that US missile systems in eastern Europe to ‘defend Europe from Iran’ were actually there to ‘contain’ Russia, everyone knows that US missile systems in eastern Asia to ‘defend it from North Korea’ are actually there to ‘contain’ China.
It’s the same old 70-year-long US ‘Policy for Asia’. And, judging by China’s meteoric rise, it’s still not working, and isn’t ever going to work. But North Korea holds fond memories for the US ‘wise men’ of today, because their New World Order was born amid the charred corpses of millions of North Koreans.
Niall Bradley has a background in political science and media consulting, and has been an editor and contributing writer at SOTT.net for 8 years. His articles are cross-posted on his personal blog, NiallBradley.net. Niall is co-host of the ‘Behind the Headlines’ radio show on the Sott Radio Network and co-authored Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False-Flag Terror Attacks with Joe Quinn.
America’s War for Global Domination. The Roadmap of Conquest
To understand recent developments in Syria, it is important to address the history of Washington’s Middle East war.
The US led war on Syria was planned well in advance. Already in 2003, in the immediate wake of the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration had identified Syria as the next stage of the Middle East “roadmap to war”.
The bombing of presumed ‘terrorist bases’ in Syria were targeted by the Israeli Air Force in October 2003 with a view to providing a justification for subsequent pre-emptive military interventions against Lebanon and Syria.
Ariel Sharon launched the attacks with the approval of Donald Rumsfeld.
This planned extension of the war into Syria announced in 2003 by the Pentagon (analyzed in my 2003 article):
“means that Israel becomes a major military actor in the US-led war, as well as an ‘official’ member of the Anglo-American coalition.”
Adm. Elmar Schmaelling and Prof. Michel Chossudovsky at Humboldt University, December 2003
The following text first published in December 2003 was presented at two public lectures, the Society for the Defense of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, 10-11 December, 2003 and Humboldt University, Berlin, 12 December 2003.
Michel Chossudovsky, May 6, 2017
* * *
We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.
The US Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).
The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors.
US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the “free market reforms” imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people.
The World Bank sponsored privatization programmes in these countries enabled Western capital to acquire ownership and gain control of a large share of the economy of the former Eastern block countries. This process is also at the basis of the strategic mergers and/or takeovers of the former Soviet oil and gas industry by powerful Western conglomerates, through financial manipulation and corrupt political practices.
In other words, what is at stake in the US led war is the recolonization of a vast region extending from the Balkans into Central Asia.
The deployment of America’s war machine purports to enlarge America’s economic sphere of influence. The U.S. has established a permanent military presence not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has military bases in several of the former Soviet republics on China’s Western frontier. In turn, since 1999, there has been a military buildup in the South China Sea.
War and Globalization go hand in hand. Militarization supports the conquest of new economic frontiers and the worldwide imposition of “free market” system.
The Next Phase of the War
The Bush administration has already identified Syria as the next stage of “the road map to war”. The bombing of presumed ‘terrorist bases’ in Syria by the Israeli Air Force in October (2003) was intended to provide a justification for subsequent pre-emptive military interventions. Ariel Sharon launched the attacks with the approval of Donald Rumsfeld. (See Gordon Thomas, Global Outlook, No. 6, Winter 2003)
This planned extension of the war into Syria has serious implications. It means that Israel becomes a major military actor in the US-led war, as well as an ‘official’ member of the Anglo-American coalition.
The Pentagon views ‘territorial control’ over Syria, which constitutes a land bridge between Israel and occupied Iraq, as ‘strategic’ from a military and economic standpoint. It also constitutes a means of controlling the Iraqi border and curbing the flow of volunteer fighters, who are traveling to Baghdad to join the Iraqi resistance movement.
This enlargement of the theater of war is consistent with Ariel Sharon’s plan to build a ‘Greater Israel’ “on the ruins of Palestinian nationalism”. While Israel seeks to extend its territorial domain towards the Euphrates River, with designated areas of Jewish settlement in the Syrian heartland, Palestinians are imprisoned in Gaza and the West Bank behind an ‘Apartheid Wall’.
In the meantime, the US Congress has tightened the economic sanctions on Libya and Iran. As well, Washington is hinting at the need for a ‘regime change’ in Saudi Arabia. Political pressures are building up in Turkey.
So, the war could indeed spill over into a much broader region extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian sub-continent and China’s Western frontier.
The “Pre-emptive” Use of Nuclear Weapons
Washington has adopted a first strike “pre-emptive” nuclear policy, which has now received congressional approval. Nuclear weapons are no longer a weapon of last resort as during the cold War era.
The US, Britain and Israel have a coordinated nuclear weapons policy. Israeli nuclear warheads are pointed at major cities in the Middle East. The governments of all three countries have stated quite openly, prior to the war on Iraq, that they are prepared to use nuclear weapons “if they are attacked” with so-called “weapons of mass destruction.” Israel is the fifth nuclear power in the World. Its nuclear arsenal is more advanced than that of Britain.
Barely a few weeks following the entry of the US Marines into Baghdad [April 2003], the US Senate Armed Services Committee gave the green light to the Pentagon to develop a new tactical nuclear bomb, to be used in conventional war theaters, “with a yield [of up to] six times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb”.
Following the Senate decision, the Pentagon redefined the details of its nuclear agenda in a secret meeting with senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex held at Central Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. The meeting was held on August 6, the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, 58 years ago.
The new nuclear policy explicitly involves the large defense contractors in decision-making. It is tantamount to the “privatization” of nuclear war. Corporations not only reap multibillion dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has unleashed a major propaganda and public relations campaign with a view to upholding the use nuclear weapons for the “defense of the American Homeland.”
Fully endorsed by the US Congress, the mini-nukes are considered to be “safe for civilians”.
This new generation of nuclear weapons is slated to be used in the next phase of this war, in “conventional war theatres” (e.g. in the Middle East and Central Asia) alongside conventional weapons.
In December 2003, the US Congress allocated $6.3 billion solely for 2004, to develop this new generation of “defensive” nuclear weapons.
The overall annual defense budget is of the order of 400 billion dollars, roughly of the same order of magnitude as the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Russian Federation.
While there is no firm evidence of the use of mini-nukes in the Iraqi and Afghan war theatres, tests conducted by Canada’s Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), in Afghanistan confirm that recorded toxic radiation was not attributable to ‘heavy metal’ depleted uranium ammunition (DU), but to another unidentified form of uranium contamination:
“some form of uranium weapon had been used (…) The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf War veterans tested in 1999.” www.umrc.net
The Planning of War
The war on Iraq has been in the planning stages at least since the mid-1990s.
A 1995 National Security document of the Clinton administration stated quite clearly that the objective of the war is oil. “to protect the United States’ uninterrupted, secure U.S. access to oil.
In September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: “Rebuilding America’s Defenses.”
The PNAC is a neo-conservative think tank linked to the Defense-Intelligence establishment, the Republican Party and the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which plays a behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy.
The PNAC’s declared objective is quite simple – to:
“Fight and decisively win in multiple, simultaneous theater wars”.
This statement indicates that the US plans to be involved simultaneously in several war theaters in different regions of the World.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the presidential elections.
The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest. It calls for
“the direct imposition of U.S. “forward bases” throughout Central Asia and the Middle East “with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential “rival” or any viable alternative to America’s vision of a ‘free market’ economy” (See Chris Floyd, Bush’s Crusade for empire, Global Outlook, No. 6, 2003)
The Role of “Massive Casualty Producing Events”
The PNAC blueprint also outlines a consistent framework of war propaganda. One year before 9/11, the PNAC called for “some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor,” which would serve to galvanize US public opinion in support of a war agenda.
The PNAC architects seem to have anticipated with cynical accuracy, the use of the September 11 attacks as “a war pretext incident.”
The PNAC’s reference to a “catastrophic and catalyzing event” echoes a similar statement by David Rockefeller to the United Nations Business Council in 1994:
“We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
“…it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus [in America] on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter was one of the key architects of the Al Qaeda network, created by the CIA at the onslaught of the Soviet Afghan war (1979-1989).
The “catastrophic and catalyzing event” as stated by the PNAC is an integral part of US military-intelligence planning. General Franks, who led the military campaign into Iraq, pointed recently (October 2003) to the role of a “massive casualty-producing event” to muster support for the imposition of military rule in America.
(See General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution, November 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/EDW311A.html ).
Franks identifies the precise scenario whereby military rule will be established:
“a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event.” (Ibid)
This statement from an individual, who was actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the highest levels, suggests that the “militarisation of our country” is an ongoing operational assumption. It is part of the broader “Washington consensus”. It identifies the Bush administration’s “roadmap” of war and “Homeland Defense.” Needless to say, it is also an integral part of the neoliberal agenda.
The “terrorist massive casualty-producing event” is presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil are intended to facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures.
General Franks’ statement reflects a consensus within the US Military as to how events ought to unfold. The “war on terrorism” is to provide a justification for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to “preserving civil liberties.”
Franks’ interview suggests that an Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack will be used as a “trigger mechanism” for a military coup d’état in America. The PNAC’s “Pearl Harbor type event” would be used as a justification for declaring a State of emergency, leading to the establishment of a military government.
In many regards, the militarisation of civilian State institutions in the US is already functional under the facade of a bogus democracy.
In the wake of the September attacks on the World Trade Center, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or “Office of Disinformation” as it was labeled by its critics:
“The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries — as an effort to influence public opinion across the world. (Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002.)
And, all of a sudden, the OSI was formally disbanded following political pressures and “troublesome” media stories that “its purpose was to deliberately lie to advance American interests.” (Air Force Magazine, January 2003)). “Rumsfeld backed off and said this is embarrassing.” (Adubato, op. cit. ) Yet despite this apparent about-turn, the Pentagon’s Orwellian disinformation campaign remains functionally intact:
“[T]he secretary of defense is not being particularly candid here. Disinformation in military propaganda is part of war.”(Ibid)
Rumsfeld later confirmed in a press interview that while the OSI no longer exists in name, the “Office’s intended functions are being carried out”.
(Quoted in Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Secrecy News, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2002/11/112702.html ,
Rumsfeld’s press interview can be consulted at:
A number of government agencies and intelligence units –with links to the Pentagon-remain actively involved in various components of the propaganda campaign. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as “humanitarian interventions” geared towards “regime change” and “the restoration of democracy”. Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as “peace-keeping”. The derogation of civil liberties –in the context of the so-called “anti-terrorist legislation”– is portrayed as a means to providing “domestic security” and upholding civil liberties.
The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine
Spelled out in the National Security Strategy (NSS), the preemptive “defensive war” doctrine and the “war on terrorism” against Al Qaeda constitute the two essential building blocks of the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign.
The objective is to present “preemptive military action” –meaning war as an act of “self-defense” against two categories of enemies, “rogue States” and “Islamic terrorists”:
“The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. …America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.
…Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction (…)
The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.
The United States has long maintained the option of preemptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction- and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, (…). To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act preemptively.”12
(National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html )
To justify pre-emptive military actions, the National Security Doctrine requires the “fabrication” of a terrorist threat, –ie. “an outside enemy.” It also needs to link these terrorist threats to “State sponsorship” by the so-called “rogue states.”
But it also means that the various “massive casualty-producing events” allegedly by Al Qaeda (the fabricated enemy) are part of the National Security agenda.
In the months building up to the invasion of Iraq, covert ‘dirty tricks’ operations were launched to produce misleading intelligence pertaining to both Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and Al Qaeda, which was then fed into the news chain.
In the wake of the war, while the WMD threat has been toned down, Al Qaeda threats to ‘the Homeland’ continue to be repeated ad nauseam in official statements, commented on network TV and pasted on a daily basis across the news tabloids.
And underlying these manipulated realties, “Osama bin Laden” terrorist occurrences are being upheld as a justification for the next phase of this war. The latter hinges in a very direct way:
1) the effectiveness of the Pentagon-CIA propaganda campaign, which is fed into the news chain.
2) The actual occurrence of “massive casualty producing events” as outlined in the PNAC
What this means is that actual (“massive casualty producing”) terrorist events are part and parcel of military planning.
Actual Terrorist Attacks
In other words, to be “effective” the fear and disinformation campaign cannot solely rely on unsubstantiated “warnings” of future attacks, it also requires “real” terrorist occurrences or “incidents”, which provide credibility to the Washington’s war plans. These terrorist events are used to justify the implementation of “emergency measures” as well as “retaliatory military actions”. They are required, in the present context, to create the illusion of “an outside enemy” that is threatening the American Homeland.
The triggering of “war pretext incidents” is part of the Pentagon’s assumptions. In fact it is an integral part of US military history.(See Richard Sanders, War Pretext Incidents, How to Start a War, Global Outlook, published in two parts, Issues 2 and 3, 2002-2003).
In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled “Operation Northwoods”, to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to justify the invasion of Cuba:
“We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba,” “We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington” “casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” (See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”16
(See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html ).
There is no evidence that the Pentagon or the CIA played a direct role in recent terrorist attacks, including those in Indonesia (2002), India (2001), Turkey (2003) and Saudi Arabia (2003).
According to the reports, the attacks were undertaken by organizations (or cells of these organizations), which operate quite independently, with a certain degree of autonomy. This independence is in the very nature of a covert intelligence operation. The «intelligence asset» is not in direct contact with its covert sponsors. It is not necessarily cognizant of the role it plays on behalf of its intelligence sponsors.
The fundamental question is who is behind them? Through what sources are they being financed? What is the underlying network of ties?
For instance, in the case of the 2002 Bali bomb attack, the alleged terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah had links to Indonesia’s military intelligence (BIN), which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.
The December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament –which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war– were allegedly conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba (“Army of the Pure”) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (“Army of Mohammed”), both of which according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are supported by Pakistan’s ISI.
(Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html, Washington 2002).
What the CFR fails to acknowledge is the crucial relationship between the ISI and the CIA and the fact that the ISI continues to support Lashkar, Jaish and the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM), while also collaborating with the CIA.
(For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Fabricating an Enemy, March 2003, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html )
A 2002 classified outbrief drafted to guide the Pentagon “calls for the creation of a so-called ‘Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group’ (P2OG), to launch secret operations aimed at “stimulating reactions” among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction — that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to ‘quick-response’ attacks by U.S. forces.” (William Arkin, The Secret War, The Los Angeles Times, 27 October 2002)
The P2OG initiative is nothing new. It essentially extends an existing apparatus of covert operations. Amply documented, the CIA has supported terrorist groups since the Cold War era. This “prodding of terrorist cells” under covert intelligence operations often requires the infiltration and training of the radical groups linked to Al Qaeda.
In this regard, covert support by the US military and intelligence apparatus has been channeled to various Islamic terrorist organizations through a complex network of intermediaries and intelligence proxies. In the course of the 1990s, agencies of the US government have collaborated with Al Qaeda in a number of covert operations, as confirmed by a 1997 report of the Republican Party Committee of the US Congress.
(See US Congress, 16 January 1997,
In fact during the war in Bosnia US weapons inspectors were working with Al Qaeda operatives, bringing in large amounts of weapons for the Bosnian Muslim Army.
In other words, the Clinton Administration was “harboring terrorists”. Moreover, official statements and intelligence reports confirm links between US military-intelligence units and Al Qaeda operatives, as occurred in Bosnia (mid 1990s), Kosovo (1998-99) and Macedonia (2001).
(See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Research, 2003, Chapter 3,
The Bush Administration and NATO had links to Al Qaeda in Macedonia. And this happened barely a few weeks before September 11, 2001, Senior U.S. military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon, were fighting alongside Mujahideen in the terrorist attacks on the Macedonian Security forces. This is documented by the Macedonian press and statements made by the Macedonian authorities. (See Michel Chossudovsky, op cit).
The U.S. government and the Islamic Militant Network were working hand in glove in supporting and financing the National Liberation Army (NLA), which was involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia.
In other words, the US military was collaborating directly with Al Qaeda barely a few weeks before 9/11.
Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI)
It is indeed revealing that in virtually all post 9/11 terrorist occurrences, the terrorist organization is reported (by the media and in official statements) as having “ties to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda”. This in itself is a crucial piece of information. Of course, the fact that Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA is neither mentioned in the press reports nor is it considered relevant to an understanding of these terrorist occurrences.
The ties of these terrorist organizations (particularly those in Asia) to Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) is acknowledged in a few cases by official sources and press dispatches. Confirmed by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), some of these groups are said to have links to Pakistan’s ISI, without identifying the nature of these links. Needless to say, this information is crucial in identifying the sponsors of these terrorist attacks. In other words, the ISI is said to support these terrorist organizations, while at same time maintaining close ties to the CIA.
While Colin Powell –without supporting evidence-pointed in his February 2003 UN address to “the sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network”, official documents, press and intelligence reports confirm that successive US administrations have supported and abetted the Islamic militant network. This relationship is an established fact, corroborated by numerous studies, acknowledged by Washington’s mainstream think tanks.
Both Colin Powell and his Deputy Richard Armitage, who in the months leading up to the war casually accused Baghdad and other foreign governments of “harboring” Al Qaeda, played a direct role, at different points in their careers, in supporting terrorist organizations.
Both men were implicated –operating behind the scenes– in the Irangate Contra scandal during the Reagan Administration, which involved the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to finance the Nicaraguan Contra paramilitary army and the Afghan Mujahideen. (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Expose the Links between Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration,
Moreover, both Richard Armitage and Colin Powell played a role in the 9/11 cover-up. The investigations and research conducted in the last two years, including official documents, testimonies and intelligence reports, indicate that September 11 was an carefully planned intelligence operation, rather than a act conducted by a terrorist organization. (For further details, see Centre for Research on Globalization, 24 Key articles, September 2003)
The FBI confirmed in a report made public late September 2001 the role of Pakistan’s Military Intelligence. According to the report, the alleged 9-11 ring leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from sources out of Pakistan. A subsequent intelligence report confirmed that the then head of the ISI General Mahmoud Ahmad had transferred money to Mohammed Atta. (See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalization, op.cit.)
Moreover, press reports and official statements confirm that the head of the ISI, was an official visit to the US from the 4th to 13th of September 2001. In other words, the head of Pakistan’s ISI, who allegedly transferred money to the terrorists also had a close personal relationship with a number of senior Bush Administration officials, including Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, whom he met in the course of his visit to Washington. (Ibid)
The Antiwar Movement
A cohesive antiwar movement cannot be based solely on the mobilization of antiwar sentiment. It must ultimately unseat the war criminals and question their right to rule.
A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to weaken and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign.
The momentum of the large anti-war rallies in the US, the European Union and around the world, should lay the foundations of a permanent network composed of tens of thousands of local level anti-war committees in neighborhoods, work places, parishes, schools, universities, etc. It is ultimately through this network that the legitimacy of those who “rule in our name” will be challenged.
To shunt the Bush Administration’s war plans and disable its propaganda machine, we must reach out to our fellow citizens across the land, in the US, Europe and around the world, to the millions of ordinary people who have been misled on the causes and consequences of this war.
This also implies fully uncovering the lies behind the “war on terrorism” and revealing the political complicity of the Bush administration in the events of 9/11.
September 11 is a hoax. It’s the biggest lie in US history.
Needless to say, the use of “massive casualty producing events” as pretext to wage war is a criminal act. In the words of Andreas van Buelow, former German Minister of Technology and author of The CIA and September 11:
“If what I say is right, the whole US government should end up behind bars.”
Yet it is not sufficient to remove George W. Bush or Tony Blair, who are mere puppets. We must also address the role of the global banks, corporations and financial institutions, which indelibly stand behind the military and political actors.
Increasingly, the military-intelligence establishment (rather than the State Department, the White House and the US Congress) is calling the shots on US foreign policy. Meanwhile, the Texas oil giants, the defense contractors, Wall Street and the powerful media giants, operating discreetly behind the scenes, are pulling the strings. If politicians become a source of major embarrassment, they can themselves be discredited by the media, discarded and a new team of political puppets can be brought to office.
Criminalization of the State
The “Criminalization of the State”, is when war criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to decide “who are the criminals”, when in fact they are criminals.
In the US, both Republicans and Democrats share the same war agenda and there are war criminals in both parties. Both parties are complicit in the 9/11 cover-up and the resultant quest for world domination. All the evidence points to what is best described as “the criminalisation of the State”, which includes the Judiciary and the bipartisan corridors of the US Congress. .
Under the war agenda, high ranking officials of the Bush administration, members of the military, the US Congress and the Judiciary have been granted the authority not only to commit criminal acts, but also to designate those in the antiwar movement who are opposed to these criminal acts as “enemies of the State.”
More generally, the US military and security apparatus endorses and supports dominant economic and financial interests – i.e. the build-up, as well as the exercise, of military might enforces “free trade”. The Pentagon is an arm of Wall Street; NATO coordinates its military operations with the World Bank and the IMF’s policy interventions, and vice versa. Consistently, the security and defense bodies of the Western military alliance, together with the various civilian governmental and intergovernmental bureaucracies (e.g. IMF, World Bank, WTO) share a common understanding, ideological consensus and commitment to the New World Order.
To reverse the tide of war, military bases must be closed down, the war machine (namely the production of advanced weapons systems like WMDs) must be stopped and the burgeoning police state must be dismantled. More generally we must reverse the “free market” reforms, dismantle the institutions of global capitalism and disarm financial markets.
The struggle must be broad-based and democratic encompassing all sectors of society at all levels, in all countries, uniting in a major thrust: workers, farmers, independent producers, small businesses, professionals, artists, civil servants, members of the clergy, students and intellectuals.
The antiwar and anti-globalisation movements must be integrated into a single worldwide movement. People must be united across sectors, “single issue” groups must join hands in a common and collective understanding on how the New World Order destroys and impoverishes.
The globalization of this struggle is fundamental, requiring a degree of solidarity and internationalism unprecedented in world history. This global economic system feeds on social divisiveness between and within countries. Unity of purpose and worldwide coordination among diverse groups and social movements is crucial. A major thrust is required which brings together social movements in all major regions of the world in a common pursuit and commitment to the elimination of poverty and a lasting world peace.
On Human Rights Day, 10 December 2003, Michel Chossudovsky was awarded The 2003 Human’s Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM). [details deutsch ]
Photos of GBM event in Berlin, click here
The German Text was published by Junge Welt: Vortrag von Michel Chossudovsky Neuordnung der Welt Der Krieg der USA um globale Hegemonie (Teil 1)
The original URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO312A.html
by Michel Chossudovsky
In this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky’s 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by “Islamic terrorists”. Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration.
The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarisation of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy.
According to Chossudovsky, the “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.
September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington’s agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State.