The Vietnam War Is Not History for Victims of Agent Orange

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By Marjorie Cohn and Jonathan Moore,

Watching the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick 18-hour series, “The Vietnam War,” is an emotional experience. Whether you served in the US military during the war or marched in the streets to end it, you cannot remain untouched by this documentary. The battle scenes are powerful, the stories of US veterans and Vietnamese soldiers who fought on both sides of the war compelling.

The toll in human terms caused by the war is staggering. Nearly 58,000 Americans and 2 to 3 million Vietnamese, many of them civilians, were killed in the war. Untold numbers were wounded. Many US veterans of the war suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. More US Vietnam War vets have committed suicide than died in the war.  However, those numbers do not begin to tell the complete story of the war.

The US Engages in Chemical Warfare

In one of its most serious omissions, the series gives short shrift to the destruction wreaked by the US military’s spraying of deadly chemical herbicides containing the poison dioxin over much of Vietnam, the most common of which was Agent Orange. This is one of the most tragic legacies of the war. Yet, aside from a few brief mentions, the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin, both Vietnamese and American, are not portrayed in the series. More importantly, the ongoing harm created by this chemical warfare program is never mentioned.

Agent Orange/dioxin was an herbicidal chemical weapon manufactured by US chemical companies like Dow and Monsanto and sprayed by the US military from 1961 to 1971. Dioxin is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humankind. Approximately 3 million Vietnamese and thousands of US and allied soldiers were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin.

The US government was aware that the use of poison as a weapon of war was forbidden by international law well before it authorized its use in Vietnam.  In fact, the US government suppressed a 1965 report, called the Bionetics study, that showed dioxin caused many birth defects in experimental animals. It was not until the results of that study were leaked that the use of Agent Orange/dioxin was stopped.

Horrific Birth Defects

Those exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin often have children and grandchildren born with serious illnesses and disabilities. There is a virtual unanimity of opinion within the international scientific community that exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin caused some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies, and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam, as well as to US veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in the United States. For many of them and their progeny, the suffering continues.

Mai Giang Vu was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in the Army of South Vietnam. He carried barrels of chemicals to spray in the jungle. His sons were unable to walk or function normally. Their limbs gradually “curled up” and they could only crawl. By age 18, they were bedridden. One died at age 23, the other at age 25.

Nga Tran, a French Vietnamese woman who worked in Vietnam as a war correspondent, was there when the US military began spraying chemical defoliants. A big cloud of the agent enveloped her. Shortly after her daughter was born, the child’s skin began shedding. She could not bear to have physical contact with anyone. The child never grew. She remained 6.6 pounds – her birth weight – until her death at the age of 17 months. Tran’s second daughter suffers from alpha thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder rarely seen in Asia. Tran saw a woman who gave birth to a “ball” with no human form. Many children are born without brains; others make inhuman sounds. There are victims who have never stood up. They creep and barely lift their heads.

Rosemarie Hohn Mizo is the widow of George Mizo, who fought for the US Army in Vietnam. After he refused to serve a third tour, Mizo was court-martialed, spent two and a half years in prison and received a dishonorable discharge. Before his death from Agent Orange-related illnesses, Mizo helped found the Friendship Village where Vietnamese victims live in a supportive environment.

Dr. Jeanne Stellman, who wrote the seminal Agent Orange article in Nature, said,

“This is the largest unstudied [unnatural] environmental disaster in the world.”

Dr. Jean Grassman, of Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, stated dioxin is a potent cellular disregulator that alters several pathways and disrupts many bodily systems. She said children are very sensitive to dioxin, and the intrauterine or postnatal exposure to dioxin may result in altered immune, neurobehavioral and hormonal functioning. Women pass their exposure to their children both in utero and through the excretion of dioxin in breast milk.

These were some of the witnesses who testified at the International Peoples’ Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange, held in Paris in 2009.

An Empty Promise of Compensation

In the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, the Nixon administration promised to contribute $3 billion for compensation and postwar reconstruction of Vietnam. That promise remains unfulfilled.

In 2004, both US veteran and Vietnamese victims sued the chemical companies who knowingly manufactured Agent Orange and other herbicides, which they knew contained an unnecessary but lethal amount of dioxin. The victims were prevented from suing the US government because of the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Despite agreeing to compensate US veterans in an earlier lawsuit for some maladies caused by their exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides, the US government and the chemical companies maintained before the courts and to this day that there was no evidence to support a connection between exposure and disease. 

The efforts by veterans’ groups and others to take care of our vets has resulted in a compensation scheme administered by the Veterans Administration. It annually pays out billions of dollars to veterans who can demonstrate they were in a contaminated part of Vietnam and have an illness that is associated with exposure to Agent Orange.

Unfortunately, the Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange on a scale unheard of in modern warfare have been left out in the cold. The failure to include this history in the Burns/Novick series is unconscionable. Indeed, one could argue that even the mention of Agent Orange in the series was seriously misleading. For example, in the last episode, the narrator notes the spraying campaign but does so against a verdant backdrop of green fields and abundant crops. 

The actions of the US government and the US manufacturers of Agent Orange and other deadly herbicides is a moral outrage. The US government has funded the cleanup of dioxin at the Danang airport, only one of the 28 “hot spots” still contaminated by dioxin. But this effort ignores the damage caused to the people who live there and eat the crops, animals and fish from the surrounding area. All of these hot spots need to be remediated.

The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2017

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) has introduced H.R. 334, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2017, which has 23 co-sponsors. The bill would lead to the cleanup of dioxin and arsenic contamination still present in Vietnam. It would provide assistance to the public health system in Vietnam directed at the 3 million Vietnamese people affected by Agent Orange. It would also extend assistance to the affected children of male US veterans who suffer the same set of birth defects covered for the children of female veterans. It enable research on the extent of Agent Orange-related diseases in the Vietnamese-American community and provide them with assistance. Finally, it would support laboratory and epidemiological research on the effects of Agent Orange.

Contact your representative and ask him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 334. Effective compensation for Agent Orange/dioxin victims is a moral imperative.

*

Marjorie Cohn http://marjoriecohn.com/, a veteran of the antiwar movement, is on the national advisory board of Veterans for Peace. She is co-author (with Kathleen Gilberd) of “Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent” https://www.amazon.com/Rules- Disengagement-Marjorie-Cohn/ dp/0981576923/ref=sr_1_1?s= books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507478600& sr=1-1&keywords=rules+of+ disengagement. And she served as one of seven judges from three continents at the International Peoples’ Tribunal of Conscience in Support of the Vietnamese Victims of Agent Orange http://www.vn-agentorange.org/ paris_2009_tribunal_ execsummary.html, held in Paris in 2009. 

Jonathan Moore was one of the attorneys who filed a lawsuit to gain compensation for Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin. Cohn and Moore are co-coordinators of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign http://www.vn-agentorange.org.

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Agent Orange: 17 Chilling Photos of the Vietnam War Crimes the US Got Away With

Agent Orange: 17 Chilling Photos of the Vietnam War Crimes the US Got Away With

By Amanda Froelich

For ten years during the Vietnam War, the United States used a toxic concoction of two herbicides, labeled ‘Agent Orange,’ to wipe out large areas of Vietnam which were covered by thick jungle. The aim was to enable easier and more effective bombing of enemy bases. The issue was, Agent Orange wasn’t just an herbicide — it was also a deadly weapon, as it contains large amounts of dioxin.

Agent Orange was discovered in the year 1943 by American botanist Arthur Galston. Between the years of 1962 and 1971, the US army “showered” the deadly chemical over Southern Vietnam as part of the military operation “Ranch Hand”, or “Trail Dust.” In total, more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was used. Sadly, Agent Orange did more than contribute to the deforestation of vast areas of land. It also contaminated air, water, and food sources

History Rundown reports that in high concentrations, dioxin can trigger severe inflammation of the skin, lungs and mucous tissues. Sometimes, the toxicity can result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary edema, and even death. The highly effective carcinogen is also known to affect the eyes, liver, and kidneys, and to cause laryngeal and lung cancer.

As a result of using Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, more than 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and at least 500,000 children were born with mild to severe birth defects. Additionally, 5 million acres of forests and millions more of farmland were destroyed. Agent Orange is said to have killed 10 times more people than all chemical weapons combined.

Because the United States didn’t “technically” violate international laws, as it signed defense treaties with Southern Vietnam’s government and its actions (for the most part) were in line with the defense treaties, there was no reprimand for using Agent Orange as a chemical weapon during the war. That doesn’t mean hundreds of thousands didn’t suffer — or continue to today.

Today, many Agent Orange victims live in Peace Villages, communities where workers care for them and try to give them a normal life. However, “normal” will never truly be possible for most, as mutations caused by Agent Orange still affect the people and the children of Vietnam. As AllThatIsInteresting reports, those who can live in Peace Village are luckier than some of their siblings. Reportedly, some victims of the chemical agent are too deformed to even survive childbirth.

“There is a room at the hospital which contains the preserved bodies of about 150 hideously deformed babies, born dead to their mothers,” one charity worker said“Some have two heads; some have unbelievably deformed bodies and twisted limbs. They are kept as a record of the terrible consequences of chemical weaponry.”

Veterans who served in the Vietnam war, as well, returned to US soil reporting unusually high rates of lymphoma, leukemia, and cancer. The rates were highest among those who worked with Agent Orange directly.

Following are haunting images from the war crime the US got away with:

1) Three planes fly over Vietnam releasing chemicals.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

2) An aerial photograph showing the effects of Agent Orange. The land on the left hasn’t been sprayed while the land on the right has.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

3) Not all of the chemicals were sprayed from above. These soldiers are spraying crops from atop a vehicle, getting up close and personal with the dangerous chemicals.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

4) A ten-year-old girl born without arms writes in her schoolbook.

Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. December 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

5) Soldiers down below help spray Agent Orange on the jungle, getting a dangerous dose of the chemicals all over their skins in the process.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

6) 55-year-old Kan Lay holds her 14-year-old son, born with severe physical disabilities because of Agent Orange.

A Lưới, Vietnam. August 6, 2013. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

 

7) A soldier, after spraying the land with Agent Orange, tries to wash himself clean in some of the very waters that he had helped pollute.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

8) A helicopter sprays Agent Orange.

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, Jr. Collection: Agent Orange Subject Files/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

9) Lt. Kathleen Glover comforts an orphaned Vietnamese child.

After the war, Lt. Glover would come home and find out that she had contracted Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from her exposure to Agent Orange. Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: RADM Frances Shea Buckley Collection/The Vietnam Center and Archive/Texas Tech University

10) A man begs for money outside of a cathedral. He was born with a deformed arm because of Agent Orange, and it makes it nearly impossible for him to find work.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. June 1, 2009. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

11) A group of American planes fly over top of the jungles and release chemicals meant to kill the trees underneath

Vietnam. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

13) A helicopter sprays Agent Orange on Vietnamese farmland.

Mekong River, Vietnam. July 26, 1969. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

14) A massive stack of 55-gallon drums full of Agent Orange waits to be poured over the people of Vietnam.

Location unspecified. Circa 1961-1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

15) Military personnel demonstrate how to handle an Agent Orange leak, apparently growing increasingly aware of how dangerous the chemical they’d been using really is.

Okinawa, Japan. May 11, 1971. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

16) Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong poses for a photo with the handicapped children under her care. Every one of them was born with a defect caused by Agent Orange.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. December 2004. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

17) The third-generation child of an Agent Orange victim. Despite the generations between him and the Vietnam War, this boy still feels the effects and lives in a special village for Agent Orange victims.

Hanoi, Vietnam. November 10, 2007. Credit: A. Strakey/Flickr

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

The Sea of China…. The problematic of the new world system

Written by Nasser Kandil,

سبتمبر 20, 2017

Any reader cannot comment on this title and why we concern about the Sea of China, knowing that what we have is enough to concern about. The major country which leads the wars against us is the United States, and it is normal to care about confronting it with at least three things, its opponents, their suitability to be taken as allies, its plans, and its priorities in order to know the effectiveness of our confrontations and victories in the field in producing stable political equations, and how to change the world system and its new balances by all the surrounding variables. In the three points we will see China in front of us, it is the first opponent of the American hegemony, an active partner in any new or old world system, and today it is the priority of America, so how to pay attention that the politics in its different aspects is an outcome of economy which China is preceding to occupy the first global world ranking, as a consumer of the energy which forms one of the most important resources of our region,  as a producer of the goods which our countries form a vital market for them, and as an inspiring to enter the old world in which our geography locates.

The Sea of China forms the confused geographical area which seems the first appropriate region for the solutions instead of our region which is full of disputes and the conflicts. On its shores a high tense confrontation is taking place in which the American wants to have control on it and wants to prevent China from making it a regional lake, which its balances will be determined by equations of the forces which surround it. The Americans locate on the shores of this sea from the South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam, they bet on hindering the Chinese project which based originally on the concept of the regional lake which is directed by the partners that share the same geography, through internationalizing the Sea of China and its crises. This requires igniting the crises between the neighborhoods and raising the tension towards justifying the military internationalization of these crises. Burma’s problem which bothers China does not stem from the fact that it is the concerned country of persecuting the Muslims there, but because China is aware that the American provocation of the issue stems from the attempt of internationalizing in order to deploy foreign troops on the borders of China, under the framework of Chinese-American conflict between the regions and the internationalization as the Korean cause, and as the Chinese industrial islands in the Sea of China. So the deployment of the US missile systems which threaten the Chinese security as the modern Thad system becomes a justification that has a cover made by the countries which the Americans try to put it under the threat of China and its allies in order to seek for the US protection, exactly as how America does in the Gulf by spreading panic from Iran.

China is the partner of the Arabs, the Muslims, and the other nations of the region in confronting the projects of the American hegemony, and the rising power in the world economically. In Asia which constitutes two-thirds of population and distance, China constitutes one third of its population, while Russia constitutes one third of its area. As the understanding with Russia has led to an equation that started changing the world, the completion of the birth of new world system is waiting for the future of the balances in the Sea of China to become clear. What should be concerned regarding the issues of the freedom and independence in our country is not to take one of the two extreme positions towards the issue of the Muslims of Burma whether through ignoring the issue, denying its existence and considering it mere US fabrication or ISIS movement as what was repeated by some people thinking that they serve China by repeating what is being spread on its media, or through participating in arousing the issue, because America can invest it in order to internationalize its security and to be positioned under this pretext on the borders of China. Iran seems the first concerned to have a dialogue with China and to reach to an understanding for a regional solution sponsored by the neighboring countries of Burma as China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand  that ensures its security and the security of the Muslims in it , and stops the malicious game of America under its pretext.

North Korea’s missiles remain the indispensable deterrence till the Americans recognize the choice of negotiation for a political solution and till Japan and South Korea understand that the solution must be regional or there is no solution.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بحر الصين… إشكالية النظام العالمي الجديد

ناصر قنديل

سبتمبر 16, 2017

– لا يستطيع عاقل أن يعلق على العنوان وما علاقتنا ببحر الصين، فما عندنا كافٍ ليشغل اهتمامنا وأكثر، فالدولة العظمى التي تقود الحروب علينا هي أميركا، والطبيعي أن نهتمّ لمواجهتنا معها بثلاثة أشياء على الأقلّ، خصومها ومدى صلاحيتهم كحلفاء لنا، وخططها ونسبة الأولويات فيها لإدراك مدى فعالية مواجهتنا وانتصاراتنا في الميدان في إنتاج معادلات سياسية مستقرة، وكيفية تغيّر النظام العالمي وتوازناته الجديدة بفعل كلّ المتغيّرات المحيطة به. وفي الثلاثة سنجد الصين أمامنا، فهي خصم أول للهيمنة الأميركية وشريك فاعل في أيّ نظام عالمي قديم وجديد، وهي اليوم أولوية أميركا، فكيف إنْ كان لعقلنا أن ينتبه أنّ السياسة في كثير من وجوهها مولود للاقتصاد، الذي تتقدّم الصين لاحتلال مرتبة عالمية أولى فيه، كمستهلك للطاقة التي تشكل أحد أهمّ موارد منطقتنا، وكمنتج للسلع التي تشكل بلادنا سوقاً حيوية لها، وكطامح لدخول العالم القديم الذي تتوضّع جغرافيتنا في قلبه؟

– يشكل بحر الصين المنطقة الجغرافية المضطربة التي تبدو المرشح الأول للحلول مكان منطقتنا في تصدّر الأحداث والنزاعات، فعلى شواطئه تدور مواجهة عالية التوتر، يريد الأميركي عبرها الإمساك بمفاتيحه، ومنع الصين من جعله بحيرة إقليمية، تقرّر توازناتها معادلات القوى المتشاطئة عليه، والأميركيون موجودون على ضفاف هذا البحر من كوريا الجنوبية واليابان، وأندونيسيا والفيلبين، وفيتنام، ويراهنون على عرقلة المشروع الصيني القائم أصلاً على مفهوم البحيرة الإقليمية التي يديرها الشركاء الطبيعيون جغرافياً، بتدويل بحر الصين وأزماته. وهذا يستدعي تصعيد الأزمات بين الجيران ورفع منسوب التوتر وصولاً لتبرير التدويل العسكري لهذه الأزمات. ومشكلة بورما التي تزعج الصين، ليس لأنها هي الطرف المعني باضطهاد المسلمين هناك، بل لأنها تدرك أنّ الإثارة الأميركية للقضية نابعة من مسعى للتدويل وزرع قوات أجنبية على حدود الصين، تندرج في إطار الصراع الصيني الأميركي بين الأقلمة والتدويل، ومثلها القضية الكورية، ومثلهما الجزر الصناعية الصينية في بحر الصين، ليصير نشر المنظومات الصاروخية الأميركية التي تهدّد الأمن الصيني، كمنظومة ثاد الحديثة، مبرّراً ويملك غطاء تصنعه مخاوف وهواجس دول يشتغل الأميركيون على جعلها تحت تهديد الصين وحلفائها، لتطلب الحماية الأميركية، تماماً كما هو حال التعامل الأميركي في الخليج بقوة إنتاج الذعر من إيران.

– الصين شريك العرب والمسلمين وسائر شعوب المنطقة في مواجهة مشاريع الهمينة الأميركية، وقائدة العالم الصاعدة اقتصادياً، وفي آسيا التي تشكل ثلثي العالم سكاناً ومساحة تشكل الصين ثلث سكانها، وتشكل روسيا ثلث مساحتها، ومثلما أنتج التفاهم مع روسيا معادلة بدأت تغيّر العالم، فإنّ اكتمال ولادة نظام عالمي جديد ينتظر تبلور مستقبل التوازنات في بحر الصين، وما يجب أن يهتمّ به المعنيون بقضايا الحرية والاستقلال في بلادنا، هو أن لا يتخذوا أحد الموقفين المتطرفين من قضية مسلمي بورما، فيصبّون الماء في الطاحونة الأميركية، إما بتجاهل القضية وإنكار وجودها، واعتبارها مجرد فبركة أميركية، أو حركة داعشية، كما يتحدّث البعض ظناً منهم أنهم يخدمون الصين بتكرار ما تقوله وسائل إعلامها، أو بالمشاركة في إثارة صاخبة للقضية ينجح الأميركي بتوظيفها لتدويل أمنها والتموضع بذريعتها على حدود الصين، إن إيران تبدو المعني الأول بحوار مع الصين يخرج بتفاهم على الدعوة لحلّ إقليمي ترعاه دول الجوار لبورما، وهي الصين والهند وبنغلادش وتايلاند، يضمن أمنها ومن ضمنه أمن المسلمين فيها، ويقطع الطريق على اللعبة الأميركية الخبيثة بذريعتها.

– تبقى صواريخ كوريا الشمالية رادع لا غنى عنه، حتى يستسلم الأميركيون لخيار التفاوض لحلّ سياسي، ويفهم اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية أنّ الحلّ يكون إقليمياً أو لا يكون.

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USA, The Superpower That Fought Itself—And Lost

The Superpower That Fought Itself—And Lost

by William J. Astore

131210-N-VC599-169 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 10, 2013) Ships from the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group simulate a strait transit. The strike group is conducting a pre-deployment evaluation. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Wolpert/Released)

When it comes to the “world’s greatest military,” the news has been shocking. Two fast U.S. Navy ships colliding with slow-moving commercial vessels with tragic loss of life.  An Air Force that has been in the air continuously for years and yet doesn’t have enough pilots to fly its combat jets.  Ground troops who find themselves fighting “rebels” in Syria previously armed and trained by the CIA.  Already overstretched Special Operations forces facing growing demands as their rates of mental distress and suicide rise.  Proxy armies in Iraq and Afghanistan that are unreliable, often delivering American-provided weaponry to black markets and into the hands of various enemies.  All of this and more coming at a time when defense spending is once again soaring and the national security state is awash in funds to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars a year.

What gives?  Why are highly maneuverable and sophisticated naval ships colliding with lumbering cargo vessels?  Why is an Air Force that exists to fly and fight short 1,200 pilots?  Why are U.S. Special Operations forces deployed everywhere and winning nowhere?  Why, in short, is the U.S. military fighting itself — and losing?

It’s the Ops Tempo, Stupid

After 16 years of a never-ending, ever-spreading global war on terror, alarms are going off in Asia from the Koreas and Afghanistan to the Philippines, while across the Greater Middle East and Africa the globe’s “last superpower” is in a never-ending set of conflicts with a range of minor enemies few can even keep straight.  As a result, America’s can-do military, committed piecemeal to a bewildering array of missions, has increasingly become a can’t-do one.

Too few ships are being deployed for too long.  Too few pilots are being worn out by incessant patrols and mushrooming drone and bombing missions.  Special Operations forces (the “commandos of everywhere,” as Nick Turse calls them) are being deployed to far too many countries — more than two-thirds of the nations on the planet already this year — and are involved in conflicts that hold little promise of ending on terms favorable to Washington.  Meanwhile, insiders like retired General David Petraeus speak calmly about “generational struggles” that will essentially never end.  To paraphrase an old slogan from ABC’s “Wide World of Sports,” as the U.S. military spans the globe, it’s regularly experiencing the agony of defeat rather than the thrill of victory.

To President Donald Trump (and so many other politicians in Washington), this unsavory reality suggests an obvious solution: boost military funding; build more navy ships; train more pilots and give them more incentive pay to stay in the military; rely more on drones and other technological “force multipliers” to compensate for tired troops; cajole allies like the Germans and Japanese to spend more on their militaries; and pressure proxy armies like the Iraqi and Afghan security forces to cut corruption and improve combat performance.

One option — the most logical — is never seriously considered in Washington: to make deep cuts in the military’s operational tempo by decreasing defense spending and downsizing the global mission, by bringing troops home and keeping them there.  This is not an isolationist plea.  The United States certainly faces challenges, notably from Russia (still a major nuclear power) and China (a global economic power bolstering its regional militarily strength).  North Korea is, as ever, posturing with missile and nuclear tests in provocative ways.  Terrorist organizations strive to destabilize American allies and cause trouble even in “the homeland.”

Such challenges require vigilance.  What they don’t require is more ships in the sea-lanes, pilots in the air, and boots on the ground.  Indeed, 16 years after the 9/11 attacks it should be obvious that more of the same is likely to produce yet more of what we’ve grown all too accustomed to: increasing instability across significant swaths of the planet, as well as the rise of new terror groups or new iterations of older ones, which means yet more opportunities for failed U.S. military interventions.

Once upon a time, when there were still two superpowers on Planet Earth, Washington’s worldwide military posture had a clear rationale: the containment of communism.  Soon after the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 to much triumphalist self-congratulation in Washington, the scholar and former CIA consultant Chalmers Johnson had an epiphany.  What he would come to call “the American Raj,” a global imperial structure ostensibly built to corral the menace of communism, wasn’t going away just because that menace had evaporated, leaving not a superpower nor even a major power as an opponent anywhere on the horizon.  Quite the opposite, Washington — and its globe-spanning “empire” of military bases — was only digging in deeper and for the long haul.  At that moment, with a certain shock, Johnson realized that the U.S. was itself an empire and, with its mirror-image-enemy gone, risked turning on itself and becoming its own nemesis.

The U.S., it turned out, hadn’t just contained the Soviets; they had contained us, too.  Once their empire collapsed, our leaders imbibed the old dream of Woodrow Wilson, even if in a newly militarized fashion: to remake the world in one’s own image (if need be at the point of a sword).

Since the early 1990s, largely unconstrained by peer rivals, America’s leaders have acted as if there were nothing to stop them from doing as they pleased on the planet, which, as it turned out, meant there was nothing to stop them from their own folly.  We witness the results today.  Prolonged and disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Interventions throughout the Greater Middle East (Libya, Syria, Yemen, and beyond) that spread chaos and destruction.  Attacks against terrorism that have given new impetus to jihadists everywhere.  And recently calls to arm Ukraine against Russia.  All of this is consistent with a hubristic strategic vision that, in these years, has spoken in an all-encompassing fashion and without irony of global reach, global power, and full-spectrum dominance.

In this context, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the full scope of America’s military power.  All the world is a stage — or a staging area — for U.S. troops.  There are still approximately 800 U.S. military bases in foreign lands.  America’s commandos deploy to more than 130 countries yearly.  And even the world is not enough for the Pentagon as it seeks to dominate not just land, sea, and air but outer space, cyberspace, and even inner space, if you count efforts to achieve “total information awareness” through 17 intelligence agencies dedicated — at a cost of $80 billion a year — to sweeping up all data on Planet Earth.

In short, America’s troops are out everywhere and winning nowhere, a problem America’s “winningest” president, Donald Trump, is only exacerbating.  Surrounded by “his” generals, Trump has — against his own instincts, he claimed recently — recommitted American troops and prestige to the Afghan War.  He’s also significantly expanded U.S. drone strikes and bombing throughout the Greater Middle East, and threatened to bring fire and fury to North Korea, while pushing a program to boost military spending.

At a Pentagon awash in money, with promises of more to come, missions are rarely downsized.  Meanwhile, what passes for original thinking in the Trump White House is the suggestion of Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, to privatize America’s war in Afghanistan (and possibly elsewhere).  Mercenaries are the answer to Washington’s military problems, suggests Prince.  And mercs, of course, have the added benefit of not being constrained by the rules of engagement that apply to America’s uniformed service members.

Indeed, Prince’s idea, though opposed by Trump’s generals, is compelling in one sense: If you accept the notion that America’s wars in these years have been fought largely for the corporate agendas of the military-industrial complex, why not turn warfighting itself over to the warrior corporations that now regularly accompany the military into battle, cutting out the middleman, that very military?

Hammering a Cloud of Gnats

Erik Prince’s mercenaries will, however, have to bide their time as the military high command continues to launch kinetic strikes against elusive foes around the globe.  By its own admission, the force recent U.S. presidents have touted as the “finest” in history faces remarkably “asymmetrical” and protean enemies, including the roughly 20 terrorist organizations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan theater of operations.  In striking at such relatively puny foes, the U.S. reminds me of the mighty Thor of superhero fame swinging his hammer violently against a cloud of gnats. In the process, some of those gnats will naturally die, but the result will still be an exhausted superhero and ever more gnats attracted by the heat and commotion of battle.

I first came across the phrase “using a sledgehammer to kill gnats” while looking at the history of U.S. airpower during the Vietnam War.  B-52 “Arc Light” raids dropped record tons of bombs on parts of South Vietnam and Laos in largely failed efforts to kill dispersed guerrillas and interdict supply routes from North Vietnam.  Half a century later, with its laser- and GPS-guided bombs, the Air Force regularly touts the far greater precision of American airpower.  Yet in one country after another, using just that weaponry, the U.S. has engaged in serial acts of overkill.  In Afghanistan, it was the recent use of MOAB, the “mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon the U.S. has ever used in combat, against a small concentration of ISIS fighters.  In similar fashion, the U.S. air war in Syria has outpaced the Russians and even the Assad regime in its murderous effects on civilians, especially around Raqqa, the “capital” of the Islamic State.  Such overkill is evident on the ground as well where special ops raids have, this year, left civilians dead from Yemen to Somalia.  In other words, across the Greater Middle East, Washington’s profligate killing machine is also creating a desire for vengeance among civilian populations, staggering numbers of whom, when not killed, have been displaced or sent fleeing across borders as refugees in these wars. It has played a significant role in unsettling whole regions, creating failed states, and providing yet more recruits for terror groups.

Leaving aside technological advances, little has changed since Vietnam. The U.S. military is still relying on enormous firepower to kill elusive enemies as a way of limiting (American) casualties.  As an instrument of victory, it didn’t work in Vietnam, nor has it worked in Iraq or Afghanistan.

But never mind the history lessons.  President Trump asserts that his “new” Afghan strategy — the details of which, according to a military spokesman, are “not there yet” — will lead to more terrorists (that is, gnats) being killed.

Since 9/11, America’s leaders, Trump included, have rarely sought ways to avoid those gnats, while efforts to “drain the swamp” in which the gnats thrive have served mainly to enlarge their breeding grounds.  At the same time, efforts to enlist indigenous “gnats” — local proxy armies — to take over the fight have gone poorly indeed.  As in Vietnam, the main U.S. focus has invariably been on developing better, more technologically advanced (which means more expensive) sledgehammers, while continuing to whale away at that cloud of gnats — a process as hopeless as it is counterproductive.

The Greatest Self-Defeating Force in History?

Incessant warfare represents the end of democracy.  I didn’t say that, James Madison did.

I firmly believe, though, in words borrowed from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, that “only Americans can hurt America.”  So how can we lessen the hurt?  By beginning to rein in the military.  A standing military exists — or rather should exist — to support and defend the Constitution and our country against immediate threats to our survival.  Endless attacks against inchoate foes in the backlands of the planet hardly promote that mission.  Indeed, the more such attacks wear on the military, the more they imperil national security.

A friend of mine, a captain in the Air Force, once quipped to me: you study long, you study wrong.  It’s a sentiment that’s especially cutting when applied to war: you wage war long, you wage it wrong.  Yet as debilitating as they may be to militaries, long wars are even more devastating to democracies.  The longer our military wages war, the more our country is militarized, shedding its democratic values and ideals.

Back in the Cold War era, the regions in which the U.S. military is now slogging it out were once largely considered “the shadows” where John le Carré-style secret agents from the two superpowers matched wits in a set of shadowy conflicts.  Post-9/11, “taking the gloves off” and seeking knockout blows, the U.S. military entered those same shadows in a big way and there, not surprisingly, it often couldn’t sort friend from foe.

A new strategy for America should involve getting out of those shadowy regions of no-win war.  Instead, an expanding U.S. military establishment continues to compound the strategic mistakes of the last 16 years.  Seeking to dominate everywhere but winning decisively nowhere, it may yet go down as the greatest self-defeating force in history.

Reprinted, with permission, from TomDispatch.

TomDispatch regular, William Astore is a retired lieutenant colonel (USAF) and history professor.  His personal blog is Bracing ViewsFollow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power as well as John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II, John Feffer’s dystopian novel Splinterlands, Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt’s Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower WorldCopyright 2017 William J. Astore

Putin and Trump and the step-by-step: Henry Kissinger’s advices بوتين وترامب والخطوة خطوة: نصائح هنري كيسنجر

Putin and Trump and the step-by-step: Henry Kissinger’s advices

يوليو 17, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It was remarkable for those who observe the Russian-US relationship the presidential meetings of the coordinator of the golden era in the US diplomacy the former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who has arranged the withdrawal from Vietnam and led skillfully the openness up to China, he sponsored the understandings of cease-fire after the war of October 1973 between Syria and Israel. His held meetings for seven month included his meetings with the presidents of China, America, and Russia. He did not hide his keenness to provide the advice and the consultation to the leaders of the three countries regarding the danger of the collision, the escalation of the confrontations, and the adoption of a speech that claims imposing exclusivity or imposing wills, as long as the nuclear war is impossible. All of these three countries have what is enough of sidelines and capacities to wage a war of attrition that will force sitting at the table at the end, but after the profits of the negotiation have become much less than the cost incurred by each one of them in the absurd wars of attrition. Henry Kissinger did not stop talking about the hypothesis of the opportunity of winner-to-winner understanding in the international relationships, because confronting the terrorism is not mere a moral or humanitarian issue but a higher interest issue according to all these countries, moreover the system which they have has great motives to be based on the stability in the world, where it can grant the opportunities of prosperity and growth of their economies. Because reducing the expenditure of the races of the nuclear arming will save many of the resources to be spent in the development plans and to have their revenues, and because most of the conflicts do not revolve around the ability of a team to extract unilateral influence in a region, however around sharing the influence in the solutions not in the wars depending on the ability of each party to disrupt the other’s unilateral influence.

The few presentations of Kissinger and what is reported from him with optimism stems from the awareness of the leaders of Russia, China, and America that the understanding is their fate, he does not overcome the difficulties to announce an understanding especially according to the US President who is surrounded with a preemptive war that was waged against him under the title of accusing him with weakness comparing with the Russian President, but at the same time he does not negate the opportunities of unannounced slow understandings that lead to stop the attrition and to pave the way for showing the consequences of the understanding in order to build on them, until the moment of establishing a new world system which becomes an urgent necessary for each of the three countries. The absence of the system, the spread of chaos, and the danger of terrorism is more critical than the presence of a system even if it is subject to sharing with others, especially according to Washington which likes to talk about the exclusivity and the unilateral pole  and the eagerness to restore it, since the exclusivity and the unilateral pole are no longer exist, so the insistence on not recognizing their fall does not revive them, on the contrary it leads to world with no system, where the chaos and the terrorism will grow and continue, and the number of the failing countries will increase, thus this will provide more opportunities for further chaos and terrorism.

Depending on Kissinger’s experience in the concept of “step by step” which he adopted in reaching to an agreement of disengagement between Syria and Israel in 1974 after ten months of the war, the best scenario of Putin-Trump summit can be expected, which starts with setting the rules of engagement and showing the forbidden areas at the state of collision, which means; the lines which must not be reached no matter how long the dispute remains and the struggle continues, this is known clearly by the two teams. According to Washington this is represented by not supporting the Korean President to cover his escalation against Washington, not to collide with the Syrian country, its army and its President, and at the same time not  to provide the US cover to Saudi Arabia to wage a war against Qatar, on the other hand, Russia must not undermine the opponent regime in Ukraine, after that to link the conflict by identifying the issues around which the race, the competition and the conflict can continue, but under the ceiling of recording points and having more pressing papers waiting for a new round, taking into considerations the gas market and the race on the markets of the western Europe, testing each team of its capacities in order to reserve fixed shares in this market, as well as the direct relationship or through the allies with each of Iran, Turkey, and Israel whether positively or negatively on the basis of the exclusion of the threat of confrontations which affects the stability. The south of Syria will have such of these arrangements as the Kurds in its north and the Gulf, like controls to prevent the collisions and therefore to reach the appropriate moment for the major understandings or the historical deal, but to take into account the strategic maps, where Russia has a recognized presence politically, militarily, and economically in the countries in which it was their arena in the Cold War, and some of the interests outside it, contrary to America, and to restrict the variables on the maps in order to discuss their fate especially the new major players at their forefront Iran.

No one thinks that the issue is related to the differences of opinions, jurisprudences, positons, because everything is announced and clear. America’s desire is to resize the position of Russia which returns strongly to the international economic, military, and political arena. While Russia has invested what is enough to impose its presence in new form, so it is not possible to expect its regression after it has imposed new unbreakable equations that cannot be neglected. The dialogue starts from the US recognition that the cooperation is a need, while according to Russia it is a goal.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

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بوتين وترامب والخطوة خطوة: نصائح هنري كيسنجر

يوليو 8, 2017

ناصر قنديل

لفتت نظر كلّ الذين يتابعون العلاقة الروسية الأميركية اللقاءاتُ الرئاسية لمهندس الحقبة الذهبية في الدبلوماسية الأميركية الوزير الأسبق للخارجية هنري كيسنجر، الذي صمّم وأخرج الانسحاب من فييتنام وقاد ببراعة الانفتاح على الصين ورعى تفاهمات وقف النار بعد حرب تشرين 1973 بين سورية و«إسرائيل». وقد شملت لقاءاته خلال سبعة شهور رؤساء الصين وأميركا وروسيا، ولم يخف الإعلان عن حرصه على تقديم المشورة والنصح لقادة الدول الثلاثة بخطورة التصادم وتصعيد المواجهات، والوقوف وراء خطاب يدّعي فرص التفرّد أو فرض الإرادات، طالما أنّ الحرب النووية مستحيلة، وأنّ لدى كلّ من هذه الدول ما يكفي من الهوامش والمقدرات لخوض حرب استنزاف ستفرض الجلوس على الطاولة في النهاية، لكن بعدما تكون كلّ مكاسب التفاوض قد صارت أقلّ بكثير من الكلّفة التي تكبّدها كلّ منهم في حروب الاستنزاف العبثية. ومن جهة مقابلة لم يكفّ كيسنجر عن التحدّث حول فرضية وجود فرصة تفاهم رابح رابح في العلاقات الدولية، لأنّ مواجهة الإرهاب ليست مجرد قضية أخلاقية وإنسانية، بل مصلحة عليا لكلّ من هذه الدول وللنظام الذي يملكون دوافع كبيرة لإشادته على الاستقرار في العالم بما يتيح فرص الرخاء والنمو لاقتصاداتهم ولأنّ تخفيض الإنفاق على سباقات التسلح النووي سيوفر الكثير من الموارد لإنفاقها في خطط التنمية والفوز بعائداتها ولأنّ أغلب الصراعات لا تدور حول قدرة فريق على انتزاع نفوذ أحادي في منطقة من العالم بل حول نسب تقاسم النفوذ في الحلول، وليس في الحروب، استناداً لقدرة كلّ طرف على تعطيل أحادية نفوذ الآخر.

يوحي كيسنجر في إطلالاته القليلة وما يُنقل عنه بتفاؤل نابع من إدراك قادة روسيا والصين وأميركا بأنّ التفاهم قدرهم جميعاً. وهو لا يقلل من صعوبات الخروج بإعلان التفاهم، خصوصاً بالنسبة للرئيس الأميركي المحاط بحرب استباقية خيضت عليه تحت عنوان اتهامه بالضعف أمام الرئيس الروسي، لكنه لا ينفي فرص تفاهمات غير معلنة تسير ببطء وتثبت أرضية وقف الاستنزاف وتفتح باب تظهير عائدات التفاهم ما يتيح البناء عليها ومواصلة التظهير والبناء حتى تحين لحظة ترسيخ قواعد نظام عالمي جديد بات ضرورياً وملحاً لكلّ من الدول الثلاث. فغياب النظام وسيادة الفوضى وخطر الإرهاب أشدّ كلفة من مجرد وجود نظام ولو كان تشاركياً مع الغير، خصوصاً على واشنطن التي قد يروق لها الحديث عن التفرّد وأحادية القطبية، والحنين لاستعادتها، وهما تفرّد وأحادية لم يعودا موجودين، والإصرار على عدم الاعتراف بسقوطهما لا يُعيدهما للوجود بل يُبقي العالم بلا نظام ويبقي الفوضى والإرهاب في تنامٍ مستمرّ وزيادة عدد الدول الفاشلة في تصاعد ما يوفر المزيد من الفرص للمزيد من الفوضى والإرهاب.

بالاستناد إلى خبرة كيسنجر في مفهوم الخطوة خطوة التي اتبعها في التوصّل لاتفاق فك الاشتباك بين سورية و«إسرائيل» عام 1974 بعد عشرة شهور من الحرب، يمكن توقّع السيناريو الأفضل المنتظر من قمة بوتين ترامب، بأن يبدأ بوضع قواعد الاشتباك ورسم المناطق المحرّمة في التصادم، أيّ الخطوط التي لا يجب بلوغها مهما بقي الخلاف قائماً والصراع مستمراً. وهي معلومة للفريقين بوضوح، تمثل عند واشنطن عدم تقديم الدعم للرئيس الكوري لتغطية تصعيده بوجه واشنطن، وعدم دخول واشنطن بتصادم مع الدولة السورية وجيشها ورئيسها. وفي المقابل عدم توفير التغطية الأميركية للسعودية لشنّ حرب في قطر، وعدم قيام روسيا بتقويض النظام المناوئ لها في أوكرانيا. ثم الصعود درجة على السلم لربط نزاع، بتحديد القضايا التي يمكن مواصلة السباق والتنافس والصراع حولها، لكن تحت سقف تسجيل النقاط وامتلاك المزيد من الأوراق بانتظار جولة مقبلة. وهنا يحضر سوق الغاز والسباق، خصوصاً على أسواق أوروبا الغربية، واختبار كلّ فريق مقدراته على حجز حصص ثابتة في هذه السوق، كما تحضر العلاقة المباشرة أو عبر الحلفاء بكلّ من إيران وتركيا و«إسرائيل» سلباً وإيجاباً على قاعدة استبعاد خطر المواجهات التي تهزّ الاستقرار، فيصير لجنوب سورية نصيب من الترتيبات، ولشمالها مع الأكراد نصيب، وللخليج نصيب، كضوابط لمنع التصادمات، ليتمّ الصعود لاحقاً على درجة جديدة من السلم وبلوغ اللحظة المناسبة للتفاهمات الكبرى أو الصفقة التاريخية وفيه تحضر على الطاولة خرائط الاستراتيجية، حيث لروسيا حضور معترَف به سياسياً وعسكرياً واقتصادياً في الدول التي كانت ساحة نفوذها في الحرب الباردة، وبعض المصالح خارجها، والعكس بالنسبة لأميركا، وحصر الحالات المتغيّرة على الخريطة لبحث مصيرها، وخصوصاً اللاعبين الكبار الجدد وفي مقدّمتهم إيران.

لا يتوهّم أحد أنّ القضية خلافات رأي واجتهادات مواقف. فكلّ شيء معلن وواضح، رغبة أميركا بتحجيم مكانة روسيا العائدة بقوة إلى الساحة الدولية الاقتصادية والعسكرية والسياسية، وروسيا استثمرت ما يكفي لفرض حضورها بصيغة جديدة وما عاد ممكناً توقع عودتها إلى الوراء، وقد فرضت معادلات جديدة ما عاد ممكناً كسرُها ولا تجاهلها، فالحوار يبدأ من تسليم أميركي بأنّ التعاون حاجة، بينما هو بالنسبة لروسيا هدف.

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The Coup, Then and Now – The Enemies of Humanity Try to Give Trump the JFK Treatment

May 31, 2017

By Anton Chaitkin

The Coup, Then and Now – The Enemies of Humanity Try to Give Trump the JFK Treatment

The Anglo-American oligarchy began a coup against President Donald Trump after his surprise 2016 election. They were in a panic to block his announced aims of partnership with Russia, the end of permanent war, the overturn of predatory Free Trade, and the return of Glass Steagall to break Wall Street’s power. The panic turned into a frenzy on the Russian angle, as it emerged that Trump had been working with strategic advisors who were prepared to return the United States to its traditional support for national sovereignty, and drop the regime-change insanity pursued by Presidents Bush and Obama.

We have seen this kind of coup d’etat before, against the outstanding nationalist U.S. President of the second half of the 20th century, John F. Kennedy.We have lived in the shadow of that coup ever since.

Perhaps throwing some new light on those events and, most importantly, what Kennedy himself understood about them, can help us see our way now to sanity and survival.

In this report, we will focus on two leading mortal opponents of JFK, Allen Dulles and Lyman Lemnitzer, the first in the spy world, and the other in the military. Alhough they were Americans, we will situate them as they saw themselves, internationally: they were men of the London-centered power structure that ran the Cold War against President Franklin Roosevelt’s design for peace at the end of World War II, that warred on President Kennedy, and that now pushes for world war.

1. Dulles and Lemnitzer Betray President Roosevelt

In November, 1942, Allen Dulles set up shop in the Swiss capital, Bern, in collaboration with the British secret intelligence service station chief in that city, Frederick Vanden Heuvel.

Allen Dulles was the most prominent American attorney for the Morgan, Rockefeller and Harriman financial and political interests, interests closely allied to the British Crown and the City of London. He was nominally a high officer of President Roosevelt’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS) intelligence organization. But Dulles and the President were the deepest of enemies.

A month before Dulles arrived in Bern, the Roosevelt administration had used the Trading with the Enemy Act to confiscate shares in a Nazi-front banking apparatus (“Union Banking Corporation”) run from the New York offices of a core client of Allen and his brother John Foster Dulles, Brown Brothers Harriman.[1] The Harriman parent enterprise was the world’s largest private investment bank, closely connected to the Bank of England. Its attorneys, the Dulles brothers, had long acted as that bank’s intermediaries with the Hitler regime.

In Bern, Dulles and Vanden Heuvel began conferring with their Nazi contacts on how German forces would be redeployed against the Soviet Union, America’s ally against Hitler, after Britain and the United States would conclude what they hoped would be a separate peace deal with the Nazis.

The British intelligence strategist Van den Heuvel and Dulles met in February 1943 with a representative of the Nazi SS (“storm troopers”)—the section of the German regime then in charge of exterminating the Jews. The SS spokesman was a German prince from Czechoslovakia, Max Egon Hohenlohe,[2] Dulles’s friend of 20 years.

In reporting on those 1943 discussions in Bern, Hohenlohe said that Dulles told him the post-war arrangements must permit “the existence of a ‘Greater Germany’ which would include Austria and a section of Czechoslovakia. This … would be a part of ‘a cordon sanitaire against Bolshevism and pan-Slavism’ which … would be ‘the best guarantee of order and progress in Central and Eastern Europe.’” [3]

Meanwhile, President Franklin D. Roosevelt conferred with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Casablanca, Morocco in January 1943. Roosevelt declared that “unconditional surrender” of the Nazis must be the firm policy of the Allies. FDR, using the terminology of American Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, emphasized that German war-power must be ended completely, as opposed to London’s idea of shifting Germany into action against Russia. Churchill was shocked by Roosevelt’s stance; although he made no rebuttal, he never accepted this standpoint.

Russia had long been a target in British geopolitical wars. The British Empire abhorred the potential rise in Eurasia of national industrial powers that could challenge its global hegemony, which was based on free trade, control of financial flows, and supremacy on the seas. Most greatly feared was any alliance between Russia and the United States, two transcontinental nations whose best thinkers came to see themselves as natural allies—a relationship that took shape through the close Russian study of Alexander Hamilton’s nation-building economics in the early 19th century; American participation in building Russia’s first railroads in the 1830s; great popular support for Russia by Americans when Russia was under attack by Britain in the 1850s Crimean War; Russian Tsar Alexander II’s military backing of President Abraham Lincoln and the Union against the London-sponsored Confederacy; and the late-19th century surge of Russian industry under the guidance of Finance Minister Count Sergei Witte, a practitioner of Hamiltonian “American System” economics.

In the course of its long drive in the late 19th century to disrupt the spread of the American System in Europe, especially through pitting Germany and Russia against each other, Britain sponsored the 1905 war by its ally Japan, which destabilized Russia and led, in 1917, to upheavals that London tried to control. But the British did not succeed in controlling the Bolshevik Revolution or the subsequent policies of Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union; and when Russia could not be controlled through agents and allies within, the traditional British practice was to seek to weaken it by war.

British interests and their Wall Street partners had backed the rise of Hitler, largely on the logic that Hitler would make war on Russia. Britain only began really opposing Hitler when he turned his forces west, toward them, in 1940.

Once the United States joined the war against Germany, fascist Italy, and Japan at the end of 1941, Churchill worked to prolong the conflict, while Russians were dying by the millions fighting the Nazis, who had invaded in June of that year. Churchill prevented, until 1944, a direct western invasion through France to hit Germany. Churchill’s chief factional allies in this stalling tactic were General Bernard Montgomery, commander of the British Eighth Army, and Montgomery’s superior officer, General Harold Alexander, Britain’s Mediterranean commander, a high English aristocrat close to the Royal Family.

President Roosevelt was well aware of the British and Wall Street perfidy. When he returned home from Casablanca, Roosevelt explained the unconditional surrender doctrine to the American people:

[U]nless the peace that follows [this war] recognizes that the whole world is one neighborhood and does justice to the whole human race, the germs of another world war will remain as a constant threat to mankind….

In an attempt to ward off the inevitable disaster that lies ahead of them, the Axis propagandists are trying all their old tricks, in order to divide the United Nations. They seek to create the idea that if we win this war, Russia, and England, and China, and the United States are going to get into a cat-and-dog fight.

This is their final effort to turn one Nation against another, in the vain hope that they may settle with one or two at a time—that any of us may be so gullible and so forgetful as to be duped into making ‘deals’ at the expense of our allies.

To these panicky attempts—and that is the best word to use: “panicky”—to escape the consequences of their crimes, we say—all the United Nations say—that the only terms on which we shall deal with any Axis Government, or any Axis factions, are the terms proclaimed at Casablanca: “unconditional surrender.” We know, and the plain people of our enemies will eventually know, that in our uncompromising policy we mean no harm to the common people of the Axis Nations. But we do mean to impose punishment and retribution in full upon their guilty, barbaric leaders.

The Nazis must be frantic—not just panicky, but frantic if they believe that they can devise any propaganda that would turn the British and the American and the Chinese Governments and peoples against Russia—or Russia against the rest of us.

The overwhelming courage and endurance of the Russian people in withstanding and hurling back the invaders- the genius with which their great armies have been directed and led by Mr. Stalin and their military commanders—all speak for themselves.[4]

London’s stalling tactics succeeded in diverting Anglo-American military force into North Africa and across into Italy, beginning with the invasion of Sicily. Decades of geopolitical mischief would be set afoot from the British position in Italy.

Relations between the American and British allies were deeply mistrustful in July 1943, as they began moving into Sicily. On the premise that American troops were inferior in fighting quality to the British, General Alexander initially ordered U.S. General George Patton to keep his forces lagging behind those of General Montgomery, for a long slog through the island. The American liaison officer on Alexander’s staff, Gen. Clarence Huebner, angered Gen. Alexander by maneuvering to help Patton break out of the British grip and race past Montgomery towards victory in Sicily.

The too-Yankee Huebner was kicked out of Alexander’s entourage.

Enter Lyman Lemnitzer

General Lyman Lemnitzer replaced Huebner (July 25, 1943) as the U.S. liaison with the British Mediterranean commander. Lemnitzer, an American of ordinary birth and great ambition, looked up to the British aristocracy, and to High Society folks, as lords of the world’s great and important affairs. Lemnitzer had a “passion for keeping out of the limelight,” “rarely read a book,” and “could speak no foreign languages.”[5]

But Harold Alexander became his revered mentor[6] and under that British general’s sponsorship throughout his subsequent career, Lemnitzer rose to the highest American military rank.

Lemnitzer had a pathetically worshipful attitude towards the oligarchs, and what he assumed to be the magic of their secrets. His authorized biographer hints that this state of mind was reflected in the General’s pride in having risen to the highest levels of Freemasonry.[7]

General Harold Alexander was the son of the Earl of Caledon, and an aide-de-camp to King George VI. The general had been a high officer of the Masonic Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of British empire freemasonry, in which princes of the Royal Family have traditionally been Grand Masters.

Lord Alexander was a master of the Athlumney Masonic Lodge, whose initiates were usually also members of White’s—the legendary London gentlemen’s club at whose elegant bar MI6 director Stewart Menzies conducted “much of the informal business” of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) during and after World War II.[8]

For the war’s last two years, 1943-1945, Gen. Lemnitzer organized meetings for Gen. Alexander with King George VI, Winston Churchill, Harold MacMillan, and other British leaders, travelling back and forth from Gen. Alexander’s headquarters in a vast palace at Caserta, Italy, to the royal precincts of London.

Operation Sunrise

On March 1, 1945, as Allied armies were finally rushing through Germany to terminate the war against Hitler, President Roosevelt reported to Congress on his just completed meeting with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin and Churchill at Yalta on the Crimean Peninsula in the Soviet Union.

Roosevelt reiterated that Nazi unconditional surrender meant American-Soviet post-war cooperation in running the affairs of both eastern and western Europe; that “the political and economic problems of any area liberated from Nazi conquest … are a joint responsibility of all three Governments”—the USA, Britain, and the USSR. He insisted that the coming peace should be the end of the failed system of “exclusive alliances, the spheres of influence, the balances of power”—i.e., the old British system of divide-and-rule.

But at that moment Dulles had already begun secret negotiations in Bern with German Gen. Karl Wolff,[9] head of the SS forces in Italy, for Britain and the USA to reach a separate peace with Germany, allowing the redeployment of German assets against Russia. On March 13, British commander Harold Alexander sent the American General Lemnitzer (accompanied by British General Terence Airey, an intelligence officer on Alexander’s staff) to Switzerland, to continue these talks. Dulles, Lemnitzer, Airey and Wolff now met repeatedly in Lugano, Switzerland.

These talks came to be known as Operation Sunrise. Dulles and Lemnitzer would gain great notoriety, and applause in London, for this betrayal of their Commander-in-Chief.

Roosevelt was told only what Dulles and the British wanted him to think—that the talks with Gen. Wolff were merely preliminary, to arrange a meeting with Gen. Alexander at his Caserta headquarters to negotiate a surrender.

Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov sent a letter to the American ambassador in Moscow, Averell Harriman, on March 22, protesting that the Dulles/British meetings had been occurring for two weeks behind the back of the Soviets. From Roosevelt’s reply,[10] it appears the President was not aware that actual negotiations were already under way, on the British premise that World War was to continue indefinitely—now against Russia.

The Post-Colonial World

The U.S. President had then recently stated very publicly his anti-colonial outlook for the post-war world, in contradiction to the plans of his London opponents. Roosevelt said in his press conference February 23, 1945, aboard the U.S.S. Quincy, en route home from Yalta:

I have been terribly worried about Indo-China [Vietnam and neighboring countries]. I talked to [China’s Generalissimo] Chiang Kai-shek in Cairo, Stalin in Teheran. They both agree with me. The French have been in there some hundred years….

[Chiang] said that [Indo-China] should not go back to the French, that they have been there for over 100 years and had done nothing about educating them, that for every dollar they have put in, they have taken out ten….

With the Indo-Chinese, there is a feeling that they ought to be independent but they are not ready for it. I suggested at the time, that Indo-China be set up under trusteeship—have a Frenchman, one or two Indo-Chinese, a Chinese, and a Russian because they are on the coast, and maybe a Filipino and an American—to educate them for self-government….

Stalin liked the idea. Chiang liked the idea. The British don’t like it. It might bust up their empire, because if the Indo-Chinese were to work together and eventually get their independence, the Burmese might do the same thing to England….

[Reporter’s question:] Is that Churchill’s idea on all territory out there, that he wants it back just the way they were?

The President: Yes, he is mid-Victorian on all things like that….

[Reporter’s question:] Do you remember that speech the Prime Minister made about the fact that he was not made Prime Minister of Great Britain to see the empire fall apart?

The President: Dear old Winston will never learn on that point. He has made his specialty on that point….[11]

President Roosevelt died April 12. A surrender of Nazi military forces in Italy was finally signed at Alexander’s Caserta headquarters on April 29, only eight days before the total German surrender in Europe. But a great deal of evil had been set in motion in the Swiss talks.

Roosevelt’s death before he had secured the peace was a catastrophe for America and the world. Those FDR had called the “Tories” rushed in to assert control over U.S. strategy. By tradition of family and institutions, these London/Wall Street royalists had never accepted the principles of the American Revolution. They had gained power over U.S. affairs at the dawn of the 20th century, after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 and the rise of such figures as President Theodore Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson. But the 1930s crash of their misrule had allowed FDR, with his New Deal and infrastructure development, to bring back that American devotion to progress that has inspired the world’s nationalists and modernizers. With FDR out of the way, the leading Anglo-American faction now emphasized financial-imperial aims, under the theme of “freedom” versus “communism.”

The British shut the Soviets out of the Wolff negotiations on the grounds that the Soviets must not participate in post-war arrangements in Italy or other West Europe countries, while the British did not desire the Allies to participate in arrangements in East European countries that would be occupied by Soviet forces. This was the beginning of the division of the world which became known as the Cold War. [12]

Allen Dulles and British MI6 aided many other top Nazi war criminals along with Karl Wolff to evade prosecution at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. They went out via the “ratlines” in Europe, the Mideast, and Latin America to prop up dictators and run covert armies. Among them were Klaus Barbie (the SS mass murderer in France); Reinhard Gehlen (Nazi intelligence officer who became post-war Germany’s intelligence service chief under the direct supervision of the CIA and MI6); Otto Skorzeny (head of the SS commando units, master of stay-behind covert armies and death squads in Europe, Africa and South America); and Hjalmar Schacht (Skorzeny’s father-in-law, banker, protégé of Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman and of John Foster Dulles). Schacht had coordinated the fundraising to install Hitler as Germany’s dictator, and had supervised the building of the Nazi war machine.[13]

The 14th Waffen SS Grenadier Division (1st Galician), a unit of eight thousand Ukrainian troops under Nazi command, including concentration camp guards, surrendered to General Alexander. Instead of being sent back to the USSR to be broken down, they were dispersed to Britain, to Canada, and throughout Europe for use in new underground secret armies under NATO. The direct heirs of these and other wings of the Ukrainian fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) still celebrate Hitler’s war with Russia. They have considerable influence today in NATO and Washington corridors of power, which they brought to bear in rallying U.S. support for the Anglo-American coup of February 2014 that installed the present regime in Ukraine.[14]

2. Kennedy Views the Postwar Tragedy

In April 1945, as the world war drew to its heartbreaking and uncertain end, John F. Kennedy[15]became a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers. Kennedy covered the tense conference (July 17 to August 2, 1945) at Potsdam, near Berlin, between Churchill, Stalin, and Harry Truman, Roosevelt’s successor.

Behind the scenes in Berlin, the British were pursuing the logic of Operation Sunrise. With Roosevelt dead, Churchill had commissioned a top secret military plan, Operation Unthinkable,[16] in which German armies, rather than being demobilized, were to be put back into action alongside British and American divisions for all-out war against the Soviet Union. The final Unthinkable report came back to Churchill July 11.

On July 16, the day before the Potsdam conference opened, the United States successfully tested the first atomic bomb (in New Mexico). Churchill was in on the secret, which gave even graver implications to Unthinkable. Churchill commented that the now nuclear-armed Truman was elated at Potsdam, and was “bossing” Stalin around.

Mid-conference, on July 26, Labour Party leader Clement Attlee was declared winner of the British election and replaced Churchill as Prime Minister. Unthinkable went onto the shelf—but the Soviets did not forget the intent of the British Establishment.

As Truman sailed back home from Europe, on August 6, Hiroshima, Japan was destroyed by an atomic bomb.[17]

A shadow of fear soon covered the Earth; by 1953, the United States and the Soviets would both develop hydrogen bombs capable of ending all human life.

Years later, John Kennedy indicated that by 1946, when he first ran for a seat in Congress, he was already surveying with bitterness the dark world his generation had inherited. He labored to understand what had gone wrong. How had Roosevelt’s peace policy been destroyed? He believed that Soviet Communism distorted history and violated human nature; but that America’s own mission of uplifting mankind was being buried in the fast-widening world division. JFK won a seat in Congress in 1946. Within his family, he was taking on the leading political role his brother Joseph had been expected to play before he had died in the war, and the assumption grew in Kennedy’s mind that he himself would have to lead the way out of the national policy disaster.

The problem that Kennedy would have to confront, was that the London-centered imperial system which FDR had sought to abolish, persisted after his death in the form of a global financial-looting apparatus, which controlled continents even without formal colonial governments. The preservation and expansion of this system underlay the activities of the Anglo-American secret intelligence agencies and the Atlantic military alliance structure after World War II.

The Special Operations Executive

We may observe the realities of this cryptic governance by looking into the origin of the “stay-behind” covert military-political armies that the British, with help from Dulles, Lemnitzer and some old Nazis, put in place around Europe.

The Special Operations Executive (SOE) had been formed in 1940 as Britain’s wartime agency for spying, sabotage, and assassinations within Nazi-occupied areas. SOE was run principally by two men, SOE commander Roundell Palmer, and SOE director Charles Hambro. They were exalted figures in the City of London financial center and the associated imperial apparatus.

Roundell Cecil Palmer, the 3rd Earl of Selborne, was born into imperial power as the son of the High Commissioner for South Africa,[18] the nephew and protégé of Lord Robert Cecil, and the grandson of Lord Salisbury (Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil), who had been UK Prime Minister thrice during 1885-1902. The Palmers were one of the families comprising the “Cecil Bloc,” the “great nexus of power, influence and privilege controlled by the Cecil family” which “has been all-pervasive in British life since 1886.”[19]

Roundell Palmer and his Palmer ancestors were also the hierarchical leading family in the Most Worshipful Company of Mercers—the very highest ranking of the secret society “livery” companies running the City of London Corporation. These livery groups are the core of the centuries-old apparatus for funds management, connecting the Royal Family, the London banks, and their colonial enterprises. Roundell Palmer was a director of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga corporation in the Congo, in association with the Royal Family’s own central-Africa holdings.

As Minister of Economic Warfare, Palmer selected Hambro, his City colleague, to direct SOE operations.

Sir Charles Hambro, of an old British/Scandinavian banking family, had been a powerful director of the Bank of England working with Montagu Norman to install and nurture the Hitler regime in Germany, and to found the Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements (with several Nazis on its board), through which Nazi loot and SS funds would be used for post-war objectives.

The Special Operations Executive was officially disestablished after the Nazi surrender. But Roundell Palmer insisted that its personnel, assassination capabilities, assets, and intelligence arrangements be continued underground in Western Europe, in a quasi-war against the Soviet Union.

The new “intelligence community” was managed from the Privy Council, from the permanent government apparatus that ran the Cabinet and Foreign Office, from White’s Club, and from the Mercers’ haunts and the City board rooms, regardless of elections or political parties. The very existence of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, was not officially acknowledged until 1994.

The U.S. marriage to imperial Britain for the Cold War led to the 1947 National Security Act, creating the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department. Reacting to Britain’s threat to pull its forces out of Greece, the United States declared the “Truman Doctrine” in March 1947, which committed the United States to building up an anti-Soviet presence in Europe. Marshall Plan funding for European war-recovery was also partially channeled into Cold War geopolitical intrigue, while the war-devastated Soviet Union was excluded from such assistance.

The Western European Union, NATO, and the Rise of the Dulleses

Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer’s deep British connection made him the natural choice for Defense Secretary James Forrestal to send to London in 1948 as the U.S. observer in secret talks establishing the Western European Union (WEU), a military alliance of Britain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Planning sessions were held at British General Montgomery’s headquarters in Fontainebleau, France.

Over the next year, a Clandestine Committee of this WEU’s military arm, the Western Union Defense Organization (WUDO), went into operation under the guidance of MI6 director Stewart Menzies.[20]

The WUDO itself was transformed into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as a result of British strategy operating on the United States as follows:

Beginning in 1948, President Harry Truman was counseled by Sir Oliver Franks, the British Ambassador. Franks had helped ram acceptance of the new Atlantic Alliance through the British government, past the national-sovereignty objections of Labour politicians. Franks had been sent to Washington to overcome the same misgivings in America. Anglophile Secretary of State Dean Acheson boasted in his memoirs that he met regularly in secret with Franks and made him a virtual member of the President’s Cabinet.

Truman soon brought in John Foster Dulles as advisor to the State Department, and Allen Dulles as the CIA’s director of covert operations. Under-Secretary of State Robert A. Lovett (Averell Harriman’s partner and client to the Dulles brothers in the Hitler-buildup) ran the U.S. negotiations for the Atlantic Alliance. Under heavy British pressure, Congress voted for the United States to join NATO in 1949. Kim Philby, a Soviet agent still working for the British, then came to Washington as Ambassador Franks’s first secretary and as the MI6 liaison with the CIA. Philby fed Soviet paranoia with accounts of evil American deeds, thus cementing the Cold War Anglo-American alliance. Sir Oliver Franks went back to London to become chairman of Lloyds Bank.

The Western Union Defense Organization clandestine structure set up under Sir Stewart Menzies persisted under NATO auspices. It managed the MI6/CIA-run secret armies with their old-Nazi and Italian fascist components, which were to infest Europe over the following decades. Gen. Lemnitzer, running back and forth between Washington and Europe in the late 1940s, was given control of the logistics for American military supplies to the Western Union/NATO apparatus.[21]

3. JFK Opens the Attack

Congressman John F. Kennedy toured the Middle East and Asia in 1951, accompanied by his younger brother Robert. Kennedy was angered to see that the United States was giving up its own Revolutionary heritage, in support of British and other imperial aims.

Among the places he visited was Iran, where Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh had just nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to end Britain’s domination and impoverishment of the country. President Roosevelt had been in Teheran eight years earlier. FDR had commissioned the Hurley Report, supporting Iran’s use of its own resources free of imperialism, as a model for the national sovereignty to be gained by all former colonies.[22] But now Dean Acheson was coordinating with Sir Oliver Franks and a joint CIA-MI6 team, planning a coup d’etat against Mossadegh,—whose courage was then inspiring nationalist revolts by Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and others across the rest of North Africa.

Kennedy went to Israel and Arab countries, which were embroiled in the bitter conflict brewed under British rule in the area.

After Yalta, Roosevelt had called for economic development of the desperately poor Muslim countries, based on the sovereign use of their oil resources, as the only road to regional peace.[23] But now, masses of hopeless Palestinian exiles sat in camps, and the Anglo-American Cold War alliance had buried FDR’s plans for progress.

In Vietnam, Congressman Kennedy sought out his own U.S., French and Vietnamese sources to get behind official explanations for the policies that would soon lead the United States to disaster. FDR and his Vietnamese ally Ho Chi Minh had called for that country’s independence. But in 1945, the British army had taken over Vietnam from Japan, and had given control back to the French empire. When Truman sided with the empires, Ho had turned to the Communists for support, and war again consumed the region.

Returning home, Kennedy aired a blistering radio report on the sickness of America’s alliance with its imperial opponents. Six years after the death of his Commander-in-Chief, Kennedy precisely echoed FDR’s warnings against imperialist aims.

[The post-war colonial world] is an area in which poverty and sickness and disease are rampant, in which injustice and inequality are old and ingrained, and in which the fires of nationalism so long dormant have been kindled and are now ablaze. It is an area of our world that for 100 years and more has been the source of empire for Western Europe—for England and France and Holland….

A Middle East Command operating without the cooperation and support of the Middle East countries … not only would intensify every anti-western force now active in that area, but from a military standpoint would be doomed to failure. The very sands of the desert would rise to oppose the imposition of outside control on the destinies of these proud peoples….

The true enemy of the Arab world is poverty and want…. Our intervention in behalf of England’s oil investments in Iran, directed more at the preservation of interests outside Iran than at Iran’s own development, our avowed willingness to assume an almost imperial military responsibility for the safety of the Suez, our failure to deal effectively after three years with the terrible human tragedy of the more than 700,000 Arab refugees, these are things that have failed to sit well with Arab desires and make empty the promises of the Voice of America….

In Indo-China [Vietnam] we have allied ourselves to the desperate effort of a French regime to hang onto the remnants of empire…. To check the southern drive of Communism makes sense, but not only through reliance on force of arms….

[O]ne finds too many of our representatives toadying to the shorter aims of other Western nations, with no eagerness to understand the real hopes and desires of the peoples to which they are accredited, too often aligning themselves too definitely with the “haves” and regarding the actions of the “have-nots” as not merely an effort to cure injustice, but as something sinister and subversive.

The East of today is no longer the East of Palmerston and Disraeli and Cromer…. We want, we may need, allies in ideas, in resources, even in arms, but if we would have allies, we must first of all gather to ourselves friends.[24]

Kennedy became a Senator in 1953. Meanwhile, President Eisenhower brought in John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State and Allen Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, and began elevating Gen. Lemnitzer, the Dulles-British cohort in Operation Sunrise, to successively higher commands.

Thus, despite the better intentions President Eisenhower revealed in policies such as the Atoms for Peace initiative he made at the United Nations in December 1953, there was a dreadful continuity of British imperial control over crucial U.S. government functions, reaching from the Truman era forward into Eisenhower’s Presidency. It was personified by the Dulles brothers. The effects came quickly, around the world.

Iran’s government was overthrown in 1953 by British Intelligence and the Dulles CIA. A ghoulish dictatorship put Prime Minister Mossadegh into solitary confinement, and he later died under house arrest. The rescued British oil giant changed its name to British Petroleum. Anti-Western fury ultimately would lead to Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979.

In 1954, the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s President Jacobo Arbenz to reverse his nationalization of the United Fruit Company, whose plantations had kept the population in feudal backwardness. Among the charges hurled at the government was that it proposed to divert a river used by a plantation, to build a hydroelectric station. The Dulles law firm represented United Fruit, and Allen Dulles had been on the company’s board of directors. The coup helped lock Central America into poverty that bred drug-smuggling, violent insurrections, and migrations of hopeless masses north to the United States.

The French were driven out of Vietnam in 1954, despite U.S. backing. During the climactic battle at Dien Bien Phu, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles offered to nuclear-bomb the battlefield, but President Eisenhower decided against the plan. A new U.S.-backed regime was then installed in the southern half of Vietnam; warfare dragged on for years.

In 1955 (two years after the end of the Korean War), Lyman Lemnitzer became Commander of the U.S. Army forces in the Far East. He pushed for bringing tactical nuclear weapons into Korea.[25] Battlefield nuclear missiles came over in 1957; these weapons were withdrawn from Korea only in the 1990s. The North Korean Communist regime, increasingly paranoid, began developing its own nuclear weapons.

In 1956, President Eisenhower acted to curb America’s involvement in overseas colonial operations, by demanding an end to Britain’s imperial invasion of Egypt. He acted diplomatically with the Soviet Union and through economic pressure, to force Britain, France, and Israel to withdraw the troops that had invaded Egypt to seize the Suez Canal and attempt to overthrow President Nasser. Eisenhower would never move directly to break the power of the British and their American partners, but in JFK, that enemy faction now saw a new, more threatening challenger arise on the American scene.

4. Going Head to Head

Who now remembers how John Kennedy first shook up politics and became world famous?

He spoke to the U.S. Senate on July 2, 1957, on “Imperialism—the Enemy of Freedom.”[26] As Americans prepared to celebrate the July 4th anniversary of their Revolutionary War for Independence, Kennedy blasted the U.S. alliance with European imperialism to violently suppress African and Asian freedom—for U.S. actions vis-a-vis the raging war in Algeria had differed sharply from the American position on Suez.

That speech, and the reaction to it, put Kennedy in the kind of public spotlight Abraham Lincoln had stepped into when he debated Stephen Douglas over slavery, a century before. As Lincoln’s emergence had alarmed the dominant pro-slavery leaders, so now the alarm rang at White’s Club in London, at NATO command centers, and among those who considered themselves the permanent U.S. government. From that moment until his 1963 assassination, JFK was head to head with his and mankind’s enemies.

French troops, NATO-sponsored and U.S.-helicopter-equipped, bombed, burned, tortured and assassinated Arabs fighting for Algerian national independence. But Kennedy said imperial troops could never prevail over rebels representing the hopes of the native population. Imperial failure was as certain as it had been in Vietnam, into which we had “poured money and materiel … in a hopeless attempt to save for the French a land that did not want to be saved, in a war in which the enemy was both everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”

Kennedy reported that he had undertaken “an intensive study of the problem” for more than a year. He chaired the Senate Subcommittee on United Nations Affairs—and he had worked out the July 2 speech in personal cooperation with the Algerian rebel leadership. He stressed that he had long criticized U.S. policy, hitting the betrayal of our interests by both the Truman Democrats and the Dulles Republicans.

He attacked the reigning axiom that every other interest must be sacrificed to the anti-Communist Cold War. Why hadn’t this conflict ended long ago?

[We] have been told that the war was being kept alive only because of interference and meddling by Colonel Nasser … or … because of Russian and Communist meddling in Algeria. None of these explanations which seek to make outsiders the real agents of the Algerian rebellion carries much conviction any longer, … as shown [by] attempts to suppress … critical newspaper and public comment….

If we are to secure the friendship of the Arab, the African, and the Asian—and we must, despite what Mr. [Secretary of State John Foster] Dulles says about our not being in a popularity contest—we cannot hope to accomplish it … by selling them free enterprise, by describing the perils of communism or the prosperity of the United States, or limiting our dealings to military pacts. No, the strength of our appeal … lies in our traditional and deeply felt philosophy of freedom and independence for all peoples everywhere.

Kennedy inserted into this speech a remarkable historical clue. It helps us see how his “intensive study of the problem” had inspired him to revive, from the late Franklin Roosevelt, the American tradition of anti-imperial leadership. JFK spoke of “Sultan Ben Youssef, with whom President Roosevelt had conferred at the time of the Casablanca Conference.”

Back in 1943, FDR had sought out this Sultan of Morocco to assure him of U.S. support for his country’s economic development and independence from France. The meeting had deeply moved the Sultan, an FDR favorite who had stood up against the Vichy French government’s attempts to exile Morocco’s huge Jewish population to Nazi death camps. The Sultan afterwards credited FDR with having ignited his and other nationalist movements for self-rule. By 1956 he had successfully negotiated with France and Spain for Moroccan independence; one month after Kennedy’s groundbreaking speech, the Sultan took the title of King Mohammad V.

Kennedy concluded by offering a Senate resolution, calling on President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles to place U.S. influence behind efforts, either through NATO “or through the good offices of the Prime Minister of Tunisia and the Sultan of Morocco,” to move toward Algerian independence and the end of the bitter war.

The Kennedy speech electrified African nationalists. A stream of African, Arab, and Asian leaders came to confer with the young Senator, whom they wanted to see elected as the next U.S President.[27]

John Foster Dulles counterattacked Kennedy on Cold War grounds, as did the New York Times, and Dean Acheson and other anti-FDR Democrats.

French imperial leaders and their scheming “stay-behind” NATO sponsors were particularly furious: JFK had pointedly made common cause with French people of good will who agreed with his standpoint, but who had been afraid to speak out against the proto-fascist hardliners running France’s government.

The most extreme hardline elements of the French army and secret services had been operational partners of British MI6 and Dulles’s faction since 1946, fighting in Indochina, and then in Algeria. By 1958 the Algerian Arab rebels provoked the most savage, Hitler-style repression, torture, and assassination by these French forces, throwing both Algeria and France into chaos.

The hardliners staged a coup in Algeria against the “weak” Paris government. Charles de Gaulle came out of retirement to solve the great national crisis. He created a new, Fifth Republic, became President, and led the country out of the disaster of futile British-aligned imperialism and permanent war. The hardliners and their British and American partners, having expected de Gaulle to hold onto the Algerian colony, cried “treason” against de Gaulle and vowed revenge. The seat of this hot fury was NATO headquarters in Paris, France.

Throughout this period, the Cold War had grown increasingly dangerous. Soviet forces crushed the Anglo-American-encouraged 1956 revolt in Hungary. The nuclear arms race intensified after the Soviets rocketed the first satellite, Sputnik, into Earth orbit in 1957. The insane strategy of “limited nuclear war” gained credence in NATO.

5. In an Age of Dread, the New Frontier

Senator Kennedy announced his Presidential candidacy on January 2, 1960. As Kennedy campaigned, President Eisenhower prepared to meet Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchov at a crucial May 16 East-West-South summit conference in Paris. President de Gaulle and India’s President Jawaharlal Nehru had planned the meeting to promote nuclear disarmament, and East-West cooperation for aid to underdeveloped countries.[28]

But two weeks before the summit, Dulles’s CIA sent a U2 spy plane on a photo mission over the USSR. It was shot down; its pilot was captured and confessed his mission on May 1, deeply embarrassing Eisenhower and collapsing the Eisenhower-Khrushchov summit meeting. Khrushchov lashed out at the United States and disinvited Eisenhower from his planned June visit to Moscow.

Kennedy meanwhile won Democratic primary elections, famously taking West Virginia May 10, on his way towards a November final-election victory. The NATO partners hastened to pre-empt any serious alteration in global arrangements.

Central Africa was their first target.

In January, 1960, Congo nationalist leader Patrice Lumumba had declared the independence of Congo from the rule of Belgium. The British were the predominant power in the Congo, exercising control through the Union Minière du Haut Katanga corporation, owner of most of Congo’s valuable minerals, including uranium.

Calling for the use of his county’s resources to bring his people out of backwardness—in other words, precisely Senator Kennedy’s program—Patrice Lumumba became Congo’s first elected Prime Minister in June 1960. In July, the British detonated war against the Congo: the British-controlled Katanga province, containing most of Congo’s mineral wealth, declared its secession from the newly independent nation.

Days later, the Democratic Party nominated Kennedy for President.

On September 14, the elected Congolese government was forcibly overthrown by Belgian military and anti-nationalist paramilitary forces sponsored by the British power center in Katanga and their CIA partners. Prime Minister Lumumba was kidnapped, escaped, and was repeatedly hemmed in by his would-be assassins.

Lemnitzer’s Special Ops

In October 1960, Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer was appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now the two men who had betrayed President Roosevelt in Operation Sunrise sat at the top of the U.S. strategic services apparatus, Dulles at CIA and Lemnitzer at the Pentagon.

Lemnitzer had displayed what his faction viewed as his qualifications for this role back in August, when, as Army chief of staff, he announced that the Army was all ready to “restore order” in the United States after a nuclear war with the Soviet Union—to bring back normalcy just as the military does after a flood or a riot.[29]

To move a bit closer to that “orderly” nuclear war, Chairman Lemnitzer now went ahead with plans to install U.S. nuclear ballistic missiles in Turkey,[30] on the border of the Soviet Union.

Lemnitzer and Dulles meanwhile proceeded with secret arrangements for an invasion of Cuba and the overthrow of Fidel Castro. His rebel movement had taken power in Cuba in 1959, and Castro had confiscated foreign-owned properties, including the plantations of the Dulles company, United Fruit. The Russians had then given Castro military aid against an expected U.S. counterrevolution. Russian military personnel were on the island. An invasion might lead to shooting between the two great powers, both now armed with nuclear weapons a thousand times as deadly as the Hiroshima bomb, and both exploding them in open-air tests.

The American public was then widely debating the doomsday threat.

In June 1960, two veteran Washington journalists had issued a startling book about the 1945 U.S. nuclear bombings of Japan.[31] Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey had used newly available archival sources and had interviewed participants in the nuclear decision-making process. They showed that many relevant military and government leaders had not been allowed to know of the bomb’s development or the attack plans; and that warnings by critical scientists were brushed aside when Truman, encouraged by Churchill, had made the call. Knebel and Bailey made clear that the atomic bomb had forever changed the logic of full-scale war, because a new World War would be civilization’s suicide.

John Kennedy was elected President on November 8, 1960. He sent representatives to Africa to announce America’s renewed commitment to national sovereignty. They reported that African crowds everywhere were chanting “Kennedy! Kennedy! Kennedy!”

He would have ten weeks to plan a government, before his January 20, 1961 inauguration. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, hopes rose for a new U.S. role that might dispel the fearful tension.

Seeking to take office and get some kind of start without provoking open insurrection from the Anglo-American establishment, Kennedy announced that Allen Dulles would stay on at the helm of the CIA, and J. Edgar Hoover would remain at the FBI. To placate Wall Street, he made investment banker Douglas Dillon the Treasury secretary. [32] Lyman Lemnitzer’s term as Joint Chiefs chairman was to run until 1962, and by tradition it would then be extended.

But JFK also brought in people intensely loyal to his promises of a new direction. His brother Robert, who had been by his side since the 1951 anti-imperial tour, would ride shotgun as attorney general.

On January 17, three days before Kennedy’s inauguration, the British MI6 station chief in Congo, Ms. Daphne Park, reportedly gave the signal for the forces that the Anglo-Americans had assembled, and Congo head of state Patrice Lumumba was assassinated in a remote location to which he had been kidnapped. [33] The incoming U.S. President was not notified of the plan, nor was he even informed, until two months later (February 13), that the murder had even occurred.

On January 17, 1960, the day the Anglo-Americans murdered Lumumba, President Eisenhower delivered his Farewell Address. He warned:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence … by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.[34]

President John F. Kennedy’s January 20 Inaugural Address[35] called for a reversal of the slide toward nuclear war with Russia, and announced clearly the return of the American founding mission:

[M]an holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe….

He awakened in young people, especially, a passion to improve the world. Colonial-sector leaders already knew him better than most Americans, and were thrilled at the suddenly enhanced prospects for progress.

Kwame Nkrumah arrived in Washington March 8, 1961, becoming the first foreign head of state to visit President Kennedy. They began working together on overcoming political and financial roadblocks to Nkrumah’s great project: a dam on the Volta River through Ghana, to generate cheap electricity that could help industrialize West Africa.[36]

6. Regime Change

Allen Dulles now pressed upon the President the plan he and General Lemnitzer had concocted to overthrow Fidel Castro. Kennedy was told that Cuban exiles would invade and do the fighting, not U.S. troops. Dulles warned that if the plan were not approved, armed and dangerous exiles could be smoldering in Florida, directing their anger at the President. Seeing Castro as a brutal dictator close to American shores, and being as yet unsure of his own Presidential leadership, Kennedy approved the plan on April 4, 1961. He specified that U.S. warships and combat aircraft would not be allowed to support the enterprise. But Dulles and Lemnitzer planned to compel Kennedy to throw in U.S. forces when the 1,500-man invasion would inevitably falter.

Just five days before the Cuban invasion went ahead, a Dulles representative in Spain assured French generals that the United States would recognize their new regime if they would overthrow President de Gaulle and install a military dictatorship to stop Algerian independence.[37]

The invasion at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs April 17-19, collapsed quickly, a terrible embarrassment to the new President. Confronting Kennedy, Dulles, and Lemnitzer demanded that he bring in naval and air cover to save the operation, but he kept his resolve not to allow it. He took upon himself full responsibility for the plan’s failure. The word went out at the CIA and the Pentagon that Kennedy was weak-unfit-dangerous. Just in case curious Congressmen might meddle into the affair, Gen. Lemnitzer destroyed his aide’s notes of the Joint Chiefs’ discussions leading into the Bay of Pigs.[38]

On April 21, 1961, two days after Castro defeated the Cuban invasion, French generals led by former NATO Central Europe Commander Gen. Maurice Challe staged an attempted coup d’etat in France. Thousands of paratroopers were stationed not far from Paris, preparing to move on the Presidential palace. De Gaulle appealed to the French people to support him and save their country. Millions of French citizens blocked the coup plotters with strikes and other pro-government actions. Directly countering Dulles, President Kennedy contacted his French counterpart and pledged full support, including military assistance if de Gaulle wanted it.

New York Times reporter James Reston wrote that the CIA had masterminded “the rebel attack on Cuba last week, the U-2 spy plane incident a year ago, and [now] was involved in an embarrassing liaison with the anti-Gaullist officers who staged last week’s insurrection in Algiers.”

[In] the last few days, the President has looked into angry reports from Paris that the C.I.A. was in touch with the insurrectionists who tried to overthrow the de Gaulle government of France…. C.I.A. officials gave a luncheon here in Washington for Jacques Soustelle, a leader of the anti- de Gaulle movement, when M. Soustelle was … in Washington [last December.]

All this has increased the feeling in the White House that the CIA has gone beyond the bounds of an objective intelligence-gathering agency and has becomethe advocate of men and policies that have embarrassed the administration.

Reston reported that Kennedy wanted to bring in his brother Robert to replace Dulles at the CIA and clean the Agency up.[39] Claude Krief, reporting for the liberal weekly magazine L’Express, gave details on a clandestine meeting held April 12, 1961 in Madrid, of “various foreign agents, including members of the CIA and the Algiers conspirators, who disclose their plans to the CIA men.” The CIA men were said to have complained that de Gaulle’s policy was “paralyzing NATO and rendering the defense of Europe impossible,” and assured the French that if they succeeded, Washington would recognize the new government within two days.[40]

By the end of April, Kennedy made it known that he considered the CIA disloyal, that—as the Paris newspapers put it—it constituted “a reactionary state-within a state.”[41] Kennedy forced the resignation of Allen Dulles, his deputy Richard Bissell (involved in both the Cuban and Paris disasters), and Charles Cabell, the CIA’s liaison with Gen. Lemnitzer. Dulles left the CIA in November 1961, but within a month or two he was back at the center of the ruling group at the Agency, giving and receiving briefings several times a week. Those who frequented Dulles’s house in Georgetown viewed the President as a usurper-weak-dangerous.[42]

American opinion rallied behind Kennedy after he took public responsibility for the Bay of Pigs disaster. Resolving to put his own stamp on the Presidency, Kennedy announced to Congress on May 25, 1961 the dramatic goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade.

But with the news from Cuba, the Congo, and Paris, murder was in the air in Washington. Journalists Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey were working on an urgent follow-up to their 1960 book on nuclear war. Knebel interviewed Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay, who had led the firebombing of Japan, and had transmitted the orders for Hiroshima. Knebel picked up the scent of madness that permeated the Pentagon.

Knebel and Bailey now crafted an account of a future military coup d’etat against the United States President, to be called Seven Days in May. The beliefs and actions of the chief perpetrator, a fictionalized Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff named “James Matoon Scott” mirrored the real-life role of Lyman Lemnitzer. To make certain that this identification was not missed, the authors gave the fictional President the last name “Lyman.” The plotters target him as weak-unfit-dangerous, denouncing his attempt to get a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union.

7. Shall Mankind Die?

The real chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Lyman Lemnitzer, met with President Kennedy and his National Security Council on July 20, 1961, just as the East-West crisis over Berlin threatened to explode into immediate hot war in Europe. Lemnitzer presented his plan for a surprise, preemptive nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, to take place in 1963. This was Churchill’s Operation Unthinkable, updated for thermonuclear use.

Lemnitzer cautioned that if all-out nuclear war were begun a year earlier, it would not be as effective in utterly annihilating Russia; he said that only by 1963 would the United States have absolute superiority in delivery systems, at which point the Soviets would possess no real ability to retaliate. The President asked Lemnitzer how long Americans would have to remain in fallout shelters after the rival country was exterminated. A Lemnitzer aide replied that about two weeks should be sufficient. Kennedy concluded the meeting by directing that “no member in attendance at the meeting disclose even the subject of the meeting.”

A memorandum with notes of this meeting was declassified only in June of 1993. Professor James Galbraith, son of JFK’s trusted strategic advisor John Kenneth Galbraith, discovered this declassified memo and immediately brought it to the attention of the public.[43] His article received virtually no attention in the corporate media.

McGeorge Bundy recalled that “In the summer of 1961 [Kennedy] went through a formal briefing on the net assessment of a general nuclear war between the two superpowers, and he expressed his own reaction to [Secretary of State] Dean Rusk as they walked from the cabinet room to the Oval Office for a private meeting on other subjects: ‘And we call ourselves the human race.’”[44]

On March 13, 1962, Joint Chiefs Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer gave Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a plan for the United States to carry out terror attacks against its own armed forces and civilians, to be blamed on the Castro regime as “pretexts which would provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba.” Known as Operation Northwoods, the plan would remain secret until declassified in the 1990s. It is now available online.[45]

The state of mind discernable behind Northwoods comes straight out of the history of the British Empire. “False flag” terror had been the British specialty in Africa, India, and Ireland, and through synthetic Muslim movements in the Mideast. During and after the Cold War, it has been the trademark of the MI6 and Special Air Services that have instructed and guided NATO strategy.

Among Lemnitzer’s proposals were these:

Bomb the U.S. base at Guantanamo, Cuba, and destroy U.S. ships—“Lob mortar shells from outside of base into base…. Blow up ammunition inside the base; start fires. Burn aircraft on air base (sabotage). Sabotage ship in harbor; large fires—naphthalene. Sink ship near harbor entrance. Conduct funerals for mock-victims…. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters…. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack.”

Lie to news media—“[After] an air/sea rescue operation … to ‘evacuate’ remaining members of the non-existent crew … [c]asualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.”

Conduct terror atrocities inside the United States—“We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots ….”

A military attack to “be simulated against a neighboring Caribbean nation….”

An “incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner en route from the United States…. [The] aircraft [used in the fake attack] … could be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area….”

“Hijacking attempts against civil air and surface craft….”

Make it “appear that Communist Cuban MIGs have destroyed a USAF aircraft over international waters in an unprovoked attack.”

Kennedy dismissed the Northwoods proposal. About a month later, Lemnitzer simply demanded that the United States stage a full-scale military invasion of Cuba, without provocation, on the presumption that the Soviets would not react.[46]

The President now ordered that Lemnitzer be ousted as chairman of the Joint Chiefs when his term expired in October 1962, six months hence. Kennedy designated General Maxwell Taylor to replace Lemnitzer as chairman at that time, and to supervise Lemnitzer as long as he remained the chief. Lemnitzer’s British sponsors intervened at this crucial stage to keep him in a position of power, as he later explained to his authorized biographer:

[In] the Spring of 1962 … [he] had been invited by his old World War II commander, retired Field Marshal Earl Alexander, to come out to his home near Windsor castle for Easter dinner. The earl was no longer the British minister of defense [as he had been in the Churchill cabinet, 1952-54], but he was still influential in government affairs, and he was a lifelong friend of Harold Macmillan, the prime minister. While the two were walking in his garden, Alexander ask the general about his retirement plans. When Lemnitzer said he was considering several offers in the private sector, Alexander asked him if he had ever thought of succeeding general [Lauris] Norstad as NATO’s supreme Allied Commander. Lemnitzer said he was surprised and replied ‘Hell no. I’ve never even thought about it. As far as I know, Larry is doing well there and I’ve never given it any consideration. Why do you ask?’ Alexander answered that Macmillan, with whom Lemnitzer had been acquainted when he served with Alexander in Italy, had asked him to bring up the subject and inquire if the general was interested. The two went on to talk about other things, and he put the conversation in the back of his mind until he returned to Washington…. The next move came from Kennedy, who talked to Lemnitzer … in June, and told him he wanted to nominate him to succeed Norstad.[47]

Kennedy saw the British proposal for Lemnitzer to command NATO military forces in Europe as a way to kick him out of the Pentagon without provoking an open revolt by his high-ranking military followers.

8. Against Pure Evil, JFK Did Not Flinch

The novel about a coup d’etat against the U.S. President, Seven Days in May,[48] came out in September 1962. Chilling real-life events made the book a best seller.

On August 22, a few days before the book’s release, a squad of assassins on motorcycles had attacked French President de Gaulle’s car with automatic weapons fire. Bullets passed very near his head, but he escaped unhurt.

General Lemnitzer stepped down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs on October 1, 1962, but his departure for Paris NATO headquarters was temporarily delayed while the hunt was on for the Algerian Secret Army would-be assassins. Lemnitzer remained at the Pentagon, in the same unofficial top-boss status among his colleagues as Allen Dulles retained within the CIA.

Thus it was amidst a struggle for the survival of lawful government that the Cuban Missile Crisis began on October 16, 1962. During those terrifying hours, Seven Days in May was the number one best seller in Washington DC, because no one viewed it as fiction.

A U.S. spy plane over Cuba took photographs showing that the Soviets had brought in ballistic missiles capable of striking the United States with nuclear weapons. The President kept the situation secret until he could reach a firm decision on what to do, to get the missiles out of Cuba without starting World War III. The sacked Joint Chiefs chairman, Lemnitzer, attended the meetings of the special “Executive Committee” (Excomm) which Kennedy had created to deliberate on the correct path to take. [49]

A battle of wills went on day after day. The President and his loyal staff wanted to give the Russians a way to back down without being crushed or humiliated. The Dulles-Lemnitzer faction wanted to bomb the missile sites, and follow that action with an all-out U.S. invasion of Cuba. They claimed that even if Russian soldiers were killed, the Russians would do nothing; and that even if the Russians struck back in Berlin (then divided East-West), the United States could easily defeat them in a nuclear conflict.

Kennedy raised the possibility that the USA might remove its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets taking theirs out of Cuba. Lemnitzer reacted angrily that the missiles in Turkey were not ours to withdraw—they belonged to NATO!

A partly fictionalized film about the Cuban Missile Crisis—13 Days, starring Kevin Costner—omits Lemnitzer from its depiction of those secret strategy meetings. Nonetheless, the film provides a sense of the Lemnitzer faction’s attempt to bully the President into a catastrophic war.

Kennedy decided to impose a naval blockade around Cuba, which could interdict any ships transporting offensive weapons. As both the United States and the Soviets continued testing nuclear weapons throughout the crisis, the entire world awaited the outcome, and the likely death of humanity.

Kennedy said that if the Soviets removed the missiles, he would pledge never to invade Cuba. He kept in touch with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchov through private channels, and sent his brother Robert to meet in strict secrecy with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. The crisis ended with the successful offer to take the missiles out of Turkey, the removal to occur quietly six months later on.

The Manchurian Candidate, a film about a plot to take over the White House by assassination, was released to American movie theaters at the height of the 13-day missile crisis. Its director, John Frankenheimer, became very close to Robert Kennedy.[50] Frankenheimer bought the rights to Seven Days in May, the novel about a future coup d’etat in the USA, and proceeded to make it into a movie. President Kennedy and his staff gave Frankenheimer their active, eager cooperation in the film-making project. The movie is a startling reflection of the psychology of the two sides, the mortal enemies who had confronted each other within the Excomm during the missile crisis.

Lyman Lemnitzer, defeated in the Cuban Missile Crisis and sacked as Joint Chiefs’ chairman—but not incarcerated—went over to Paris as head of NATO military forces. Lemnitzer inherited a continent-wide covert apparatus of Mafia killers, Hitler Nazis and Mussolini fascists, French colonial diehards, and white mercenaries fuming about the loss of Africa. This was the “stay-behind” network he had seen constructed after World War II by the British Secret Service, with help from Dulles and logistical support by himself. It was not until October 1990 that Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti rocked the political world by revealing the existence of this covert network, which came to be called after the name for its Italian section, “Gladio.”

This was the apparatus that had repeatedly attempted to murder President de Gaulle, who finally kicked NATO and Lemnitzer out of France in 1967.

Intimidation by “Gladio” had worked a 1964 coup d’etat in Italy, forcing the government to purge ministers and parties favoring East-West cooperation. The apparatus had killed several German leaders who were seeking peaceful relations between East and West.

Its most notorious crime was the so-called Strategy of Tension, exploding bombs and murdering civilians in the name of non-existent radical groups, to foster servile obedience in the population.[51]The apparatus had carried out the 1978 “Red Brigades” kidnapping and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro. This was the same “false flag” terror campaign that Lemnitzer had unsuccessfully proposed to President Kennedy for the USA. The tactic has persisted into the present age of terror and counter-terror.

In 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison would prosecute CIA/MI6 asset Clay Shaw as a perpetrator of the JFK assassination, showing that Shaw was a central figure in the Italian Gladio murder apparatus.

9. What the World Lost in the American Coup

The peaceful outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis, serving the mutual interests of the United States and the Russians, was a decisive victory of Kennedy over his Anglo-American opponents. With the grateful opinion of a reprieved world at his back, he immediately pressed the advantage, acting to secure a future in which American interests were once again identified with the world’s progress and safety.

His murder one year later (November 22, 1963) ought to be recognized as the decisive act in a coup d’etat against the United States. The resultant absence of America’s unique optimism and creativity from world affairs was everywhere deeply demoralizing.

We may now be witnessing a global popular revolt against the failed system which Kennedy’s enemies imposed after his death: uncontrolled financial speculation, deindustrialization, and the devastation of permanent wars. It may now be possible, culturally and politically, for citizens to once again understand Kennedy’s traditional American viewpoint, which has otherwise been incomprehensible to generations subjected to humiliation and social degradation. We will briefly here examine how Kennedy, as the representative and leading American, acted on the world immediately after he had faced down and defeated his internal enemies in the Missile Crisis.

Kennedy’s first target was the Congo, engulfed by war and chaos since the imperial murder of Prime Minister Lumumba just before Kennedy’s Presidency had begun.

The old, hideously cruel colonial system in Africa had little support at that time outside the City of London, Wall Street, and a hard-right circle supporting the financiers. But the British royals and their continental cousins, together with their secret services and military apparatus, defined their very existence around their colonial-sector investments. The original Belgian crown colony in the Congo had long ago come under control of interlocked banking and mining interests linking British Rhodesia and Congo’s Katanga province, joined by Morgan, Rockefeller and other clients of the Dulles Brothers.[52]

The London “Katanga Lobby” steered the Congo mayhem from their castles, from White’s, and from the Worshipful Companies of the City of London. Its leaders were the Marquess of Salisbury, his cousin Lord Selborne (Roundell Palmer), Lord Clitheroe, Ulick Alexander, and Captain Charles Waterhouse, who together managed the British Royal Household, represented royal investments, ran Tanganyika Concessions and Union Minière du Haut Katanga, owned the relevant central African railroads, deployed regional mercenary gangs, and controlled the funding mechanisms for the Conservative Party.

Acting only a month after the Soviet stand-down in Cuba, President Kennedy got the rather reluctant Belgian Foreign Minister Paul Henri Spaak to issue a joint statement with him, threatening “severe economic measures” against Katanga unless secession were quickly ended. Kennedy simultaneously applied painful political pressure on the British regime that was backing the Congo’s dissolution: he decided to prevent the U.K. from acquiring an independent nuclear weapons delivery system, the Skybolt air-to-ground missile, which they had counted on acquiring from the USA The British press blasted Kennedy; Anglophile right-wingers in the Deep South attacked him for betraying the White Race. Kennedy met with Prime Minister MacMillan and forced him to accept an American nuclear-umbrella defense of Britain in place of Skybolt.

With the British reeling, Kennedy moved the United Nations to support the Congo’s national sovereignty with U.N. military forces and U.S. logistics. Within weeks, peace was restored, the Katanga secession was crushed, Katanga leader Moise Tshombe was arrested, and the Congo government asked British diplomats to leave.

A letter to the London Daily Telegraph, January 9, 1963, expressed imperial rage: “We … have witnessed three … attempts at world domination, first by Hitler, then by Stalin … and now by President Kennedy.” But this hatred was perhaps not widely shared among Britons, who were alive because the American President had followed his own judgment and had not been intimidated by anti-Russian madmen.

The Akosombo Hydroelectric Dam, the joint Ghana-U.S. great project, was then midway to completion. More broadly, Kennedy sought to employ nuclear energy as a peace-building development tool. The International Atomic Energy Agency started a panel dedicated to nuclear desalination/irrigation works as joint projects of the United States and Russia, Israel and the north African Arabs, India and Pakistan, North and South America.

Kennedy’s “Peace Speech”

After securing the Congo, Kennedy moved diplomatically for a U.S.-Soviet agreement to end nuclear weapons testing, and pushed strongly towards a broad agreement to scale back the suicidal arms race. A Test Ban Treaty among the U.S., U.S.S.R., UK and France had been another item on the Spring 1960 Paris summit agenda, which was wrecked by the U-2 spy plane incident.

JFK’s famous “Peace Speech” came on June 10, 1963 as the commencement address at American University in Washington, DC.[53] He announced that the United States would unilaterally stop testing nuclear weapons, to encourage a U.S.-Soviet accord. He said that Russia had suffered more than any other country to defeat Hitler.

He asked Americans to re-examine their own attitudes toward Russia:

… not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats. No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements—in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture and in acts of courage…. What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave…. Our problems are man-made—therefore, they can be solved by man.

The USA and the Soviets soon entered into a treaty partially banning nuclear bomb testing, opening the way toward greater accords.

The next day after the peace speech, Kennedy reported to the American people on the fight for civil rights.[54] Again, he challenged American attitudes:

One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is the land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or caste system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise.

With the additional impetus of the Civil Rights Movement’s August 28, 1963 March on Washington, the occasion of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, the Kennedy Administration began crafting the epochal civil rights legislation that would be passed after his assassination.

In the last weeks of his life, he pressed for a joint space program with the Soviet Union; at the U.N. on September 20, he called for a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the Moon.[55]

On October 5, President Kennedy decided to withdraw U.S. military advisers from Vietnam to prevent an American war there. This decision was given force by his National Security Action Memorandum 263, issued October 11, 1963.[56]

Kennedy was quietly putting out peace feelers to Fidel Castro, when he was shot to death.

***

This, then, is what Senator Chuck Schumer (Dem., NY) meant January 3, 2017 when he tried to intimidate Donald Trump by calling him “really dumb” for attacking the covert agencies: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Schumer’s brutal threat was that Trump would get the Kennedy treatment.

Since the murder of the last President to stand up decisively to the oligarchs, the United States and Britain have been led to abandon industrial progress in their own countries, and to attack the right of poor countries to industrialize as “environmentally dangerous,” and as a potential military risk if such countries were to know too much science. Governments, bribed and coerced, have surrendered economic control to financiers who are universal plunderers.

They have launched dozens of new Bay of Pigs wars–in Iraq, Libya, Syria, all over Africa and all around Russia–killing millions, producing only refugees and terrorists, even as they “preach freedom around the world.” They paid billions of dollars to buy the forcible overthrow of the elected president in Ukraine when he opted for closer relations with neighboring Russia.

Citizens’ revulsion against the Establishment swept Europe and hit the United States in the 2016 elections, in the votes cast both for Bernie Sanders and for Donald Trump. When Wikileaks exposed Hillary Clinton’s betrayal of her country—she had assured her Wall Street sponsors that they would control national policy—the frantic lie came back that Russia was somehow responsible for leaking Clinton’s secret speech, and thus Russia had meddled in the U.S. elections.

NATO—the NATO of Lord Harold Alexander and his idolizer Lyman Lemnitzer—is now stationing American and British troops in the Baltic countries on Russia’s borders, preparing for a Third World War.

It takes little imagination to think how quickly and forcibly the United States would have reacted during the Cold War, if the Soviet Union had stationed Soviet combat-ready troops just across the U.S. border in Mexico.

Kennedy acted to remove Allen Dulles and Lyman Lemnitzer. Kennedy’s murder gave their faction a victory, but not until he had left an indelible mark on human history.

President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey for his participation in the blatant coup attempt against Trump on the anti-Russian theme.

Proceeding further in the face of the coup, Trump decided to send a U.S. delegation to Beijing for the Belt and Road summit meeting on global infrastructure, to discuss the way out of strategic disaster.

China has recently raised hundreds of millions of its people out of poverty. And it has now been joined by Russia and many other like-minded nations to build the greatest set of transport, electric power and industrial projects ever seen.

John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday is commemorated on May 29, 2017.

The United States, which brought electricity to the world in the 19th century, and brought the world to the Moon in the 20th, could best celebrate JFK’s memory by joining in our era’s great infrastructure projects—and thus rejoining the civilized world.

The author may be contacted at antonchaitkin@gmail.com.

  1. On October 24, 1942, the U.S. Alien Property Custodian issued Vesting Order 248, seizing the shares in “Union Banking Corporation” held by E. Roland Harriman (brother of Averell Harriman), Prescott Bush (father of President George H.W. Bush), three Nazi executives, and two other Harriman partners. The UBC had been created in the 1920s for a single client, Fritz Thyssen, Adolf Hitler’s chief political fundraiser. See also Anton Chaitkin and Webster Tarpley, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (Washington: Executive Intelligence Review, 1992), pp. 26-44.
  2. Prince Max Hohenlohe was loosely related to British royalty, and had holdings in Spain and Mexico, besides his estates in Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. He longed for a return to the feudal imperial world of the Habsburgs. Back in 1938, Prince Max had helped bring the British and Nazi-German governments to the ill-fated agreement at Munich, allowing Hitler to take control of Czechoslovakia. London interests then joined Berlin in looting the subdued Czechs. The whole swindle soon blew up in World War II.
  3. Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service (New York: The Free Press, 2000), p. 168.
  4. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address to the White House Correspondents’ Association, February 12, 1943. Roosevelt had in mind the immense Soviet death toll, which would reach over 27 million civilians and soldiers, in fighting Hitler. This Russian sacrifice on humanity’s behalf would be brought up by President Kennedy in his famous 1963 peace speech at American University.
  5. James L. Binder, Lemnitzer: A Soldier for His Time (Washington and London: Brassey’s, 1997). This is the authorized Lemnitzer biography, written with the cooperation of the general’s family and his Anglo-American military faction.
  6. Binder, Lemnitzer, see chapter entitled “The Mentor,” pp. 106-125.
  7. Binder, Lemnitzer, pp. 9-10. “When Lemnitzer sat for formal photographs or was otherwise conscious of the camera, he almost always turned the back of his left hand toward the lens so that the ring on his third finger would show. It was his West Point class ring, but the reason he displayed it so prominently was that it also carried the Masonic emblem. The general took his masonic obligations very seriously; he joined the freemasons in 1922 when he was a young lieutenant at Fort Adams, Rhode Island, eventually became a 32nd Degree Mason, and finally attained the honorary rank of 33rd Degree. He was a member of the Masons’ Shrine, whose charitable work for orphans probably helped influence his strong interest in Korean orphanages when he was [later] Far East commander in chief. A sure way of getting the general’s attention was to identify yourself as a Mason; military members of all ranks wrote to him, addressing him as ‘brother’ and being addressed the same way in Lemnitzer’s reply.”
  8. Dorril, MI6, p. 3.
  9. Karl Wolff had been chief of personal staff to SS boss Heinrich Himmler, and later was Himmler’s intermediary with Hitler. Wolff had supervised the deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to be exterminated. He wrote from Hitler’s headquarters to Nazi railway chief Albert Ganzenmüller on August 13, 1942, referring to shipment of victims to the Treblinka death camp: “I note with particular pleasure from your communication that a train with 5,000 members of the chosen people has been running daily for 14 days and that we are accordingly in a position to continue with this population movement at an accelerated pace…. I thank you once again for the effort and at the same time wish to ask you to continue monitoring these things. With best wishes and Heil Hitler, yours sincerely W.” Kerstin von Lingen, Allen Dulles, the OSS, and Nazi War Criminals: The Dynamics of Selective Prosecution (Cambridge University Press, 2013), p. 216.
  10. Michigan State University, “Seventeen Moments in Soviet History,” Roosevelt to Stalin, March 25, 1945:“[I have received the contents of] a letter … from Mr. Molotov regarding an investigation being made by Field Marshal Alexander into a reported possibility of obtaining the surrender of part or all of the German army in Italy. In this letter Mr. Molotov demands that, because of the non-participation therein of Soviet officers, this investigation to be undertaken in Switzerland should be stopped forthwith.“The facts of this matter I am sure have, through a misunderstanding, not been correctly presented to you. The following are the facts:“Unconfirmed information was received some days ago in Switzerland that some German officers were considering the possibility of arranging for the surrender of German troops that are opposed to Field Marshal Alexander’s British-American Armies in Italy.“Upon the receipt of this information in Washington, Field Marshal Alexander was authorized to send to Switzerland an officer or officers of his staff to ascertain the accuracy of the report and if it appeared to be of sufficient promise to arrange with any competent German officers for a conference to discuss details of the surrender with Field Marshal Alexander at his headquarters in Italy. If such a meeting could be arranged Soviet representatives would, of course, be welcome.“Information concerning this investigation to be made in Switzerland was immediately communicated to the Soviet Government. Your Government was later informed that it will be agreeable for Soviet officers to be present at Field Marshal Alexander’s meetings with German officers if and when arrangements are finally made in Berne for such a meeting at Caserta to discuss details of a surrender.“Up to the present time the attempts by our representatives to arrange a meeting with German officers have met with no success, but it still appears that such a meeting is a possibility“My Government, as you will of course understand, must give every assistance to all officers in the field in command of Allied forces who believe there is a possibility of forcing the surrender of enemy troops in their area….“There can be in such a surrender of enemy forces in the field no violation of our agreed principle of unconditional surrender and no political implications whatever….”
  11. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16589.
  12. Stuart Rosenblatt, “The British Empire’s Cold War vs. the U.S.-Russia Alliance,” Executive Intelligence Review, July 11, and August 1, 2014, provides an overview of British-guided postwar strategy.
  13. Allen Dulles justified the ratlines by stressing, in each case, how the individual Nazi in question had better manners than the typical brute, wanted to be useful to the Western cause, and had at some point been in factional conflict with Hitler—just as he himself claimed that, by the late 1930s, he had criticized the pro-Nazi policy of his brother and their law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell.
  14. “Heirs of the OUN, Grandchildren of MI6” in “British Imperial Project in Ukraine: Violent Coup, Fascist Axioms, Neo-Nazis,” Executive Intelligence Review, May 16, 2014.
  15. Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy had been honorably discharged on March 1, 1945, due to painful injuries sustained when a Japanese destroyer had smashed through his tiny patrol boat. For a summary account of Kennedy’s public life, see Anton Chaitkin, “John F. Kennedy vs. the Empire,” Executive Intelligence Review, August 30, 2013.
  16. Operation Unthinkable: “Russia: Threat to Western Civilization,” British War Cabinet, Joint Planning Staff—Draft and Final Reports: 22 May, 8 June, and 11 July 1945, Public Record Office, CAB 120/691/109040 /001.
  17. The decision to A-bomb Japan was reached without the approval of senior U.S. military leaders. General Dwight Eisenhower wrote:“[I]n [July] 1945 … Secretary of War Stimson … informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act…. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’…. ” [Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change: The White House Years, 1953-1956 (New York: Doubleday, 1963), pp. 312-313.]Norman Cousins, a consultant to General Douglas MacArthur in the American occupation of Japan, wrote:“MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed. When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.” [Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power (New York: W.W. Norton, 1988), pp. 65, 70-71.] Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, wrote:”It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.” [William Leahy, I Was There (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950), p. 441.]The outstanding U.S. nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg was one of a group of the scientists on the bomb’s development who wrote (in their Franck Committee report):“We believe that … the use of nuclear bombs for an early, unannounced attack against Japan [is] inadvisable. If the United States would be the first to release this new means of indiscriminate destruction upon mankind, she would sacrifice public support throughout the world, precipitate the race of armaments, and prejudice the possibility of reaching an international agreement on the future control of such weapons.” (Political and Social Problems, Manhattan Engineer District Records, Harrison-Bundy files, folder # 76, National Archives.) As President, John F. Kennedy would make Glenn Seaborg chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, to push for global, peaceful use of nuclear power, and against the nuclear arms race. The above quotations from Eisenhower, MacArthur, Leahy and the Franck committee are cited in Doug Long, “Hiroshima: Was it Necessary?” (http://www.doug-long.com/quotes.htm).
  18. William W. Palmer, 2nd Earl of Selborne, succeeded Alfred Milner as High Commissioner for South Africa and ran “Milner’s Kindergarten” of rising imperial rulers; they would form the Round Table strategy circle, associated with gold magnate Cecil Rhodes, the British Crown and the Rothschild family.
  19. Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment, from Rhodes to Cliveden (San Pedro: Books in Focus, 1981), p. 15.
  20. Nick Must, “The Western Union Clandestine Committee: Britain and the ‘Gladio’ networks,” in Lobster magazine, 1972.
  21. Binder, Lemnitzer, pp. 162-165.
  22. Anton Chaitkin, “FDR’s Hurley Memorandum,” Executive Intelligence Review, November 30, 2012.
  23. Roosevelt press conference Feb 23, 1945, op. cit.
  24. Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. President’s Office Files. Special Events Through the Years. Radio report on trip to Middle and Far East, 1951.
  25. Lee Jae-Bong, “US Deployment of Nuclear Weapons in 1950s South Korea & North Korea’s Nuclear Development: Toward Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,”Japan Focus: the Asia Pacific Journal, February 17, 2009). “Commander-in-Chief of the [United Nations Command] Lyman Lemnitzer sent a telegram dated January 30, 1956 to the Department of the Army in which he suggested that it was highly desirable for the U.S.F[orces]K[orea] to possess weapons with atomic delivery capability in order to alleviate the imbalance of strength between the opposing forces in Korea…. U.S. diplomatic correspondence during the 1950s [shows that] the U.S.F.K. started deploying nuclear weapons in January 1958 at the latest. But according to a secret report written by the U.S. Pacific Command, nuclear weapons were first deployed to South Korea in 1957 and withdrawn in 1991. The Washington Post also reported in October 2006 that ‘In 1957, the United States placed nuclear-tipped Matador missiles in South Korea, to be followed in later years … by nuclear artillery…’”
  26. https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/JFK-Speeches/United-States-Senate-Imperialism_19570702.aspx
  27. Kennedy would later meet with Guinea’s nationalist President Sékou Touré, and became his confidant. Most importantly, Kennedy opened channels of communication with Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah, who had lived for 10 years in FDR’s America, and returned to lead the struggle against Britain. In March 1957, Nkrumah had declared Ghana’s independence as the first black African nation to overthrow colonial rule.
  28. “De Gaulle and Nehru Hold ‘Useful’ Pre-Summit Talk,” New York Times, May 9, 1960.
  29. Binder, Lemnitzer, pp. 245-246, quotes from Mark S. Watson, Baltimore Sun, August 8, 1960: “There was no question in the minds of the public that many thousands, even millions, of civilians would die in a nuclear attack; what was not clear was how order would be restored afterward…. The chief of staff stated: ‘As proved by the handling of lesser peacetime disasters over and over again, the surest means of broad-scale relief and recovery is the nation’s military organization—organized, disciplined and of all establishments the best equipped for that urgent responsibility.’”
  30. The Turkey missiles were officially a NATO project, carried out with the support of two key NATO officials who were factionally close to Lemnitzer: Sir Evelyn Shuckburgh, a high official of the British foreign-policy establishment who was then Assistant Secretary General of NATO, stationed at NATO headquarters in Paris; and French Air Force General Maurice Challe, Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in Central Europe, who had led the brutal counter-insurgency against the Algerian Arabs.Shuckburgh and Challe were old imperial dance partners. Years earlier, Sir Evelyn had confided to his diary, “the Americans are not backing us anywhere. In fact, having destroyed the Dutch empire, the United States are now engaged in undermining the French and British empires as hard as they can” (quoted in Dorril, MI6, page 497). Tony Shaw, Eden, Suez and the Mass Media (London: I.B. Tauris & Co., 1966), p. 67 reports that in 1956, Gen. Challe had visited with UK Prime Minister Anthony Eden (whom he served as principal private secretary) to propose that Britain, France and Israel should jointly invade Egypt to overthrow President Nasser, and pretend it was just an Israeli defensive move. President Eisenhower forced their withdrawal from Egypt in the Suez Crisis.
  31. Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, No High Ground (New York: Harper & Row, 1960).
  32. Kennedy chose Douglas Dillon even though he had been the pro-imperial Ambassador to France until 1957. In Kennedy’s famous 1957 speech on Algerian independence, Kennedy had named Dillon as part of the problem of the Dulles-dominated American policy.
  33. The following letter by Lord David Lea to the London Review of Books (April 11, 2013) politely reviewed Britain’s culpability, a half century after Lumumba’s assassination.“WE DID IT“[Quoting a previous letter:] ‘The question remains whether British plots to assassinate Lumumba … ever amounted to anything. At present, we do not know’…. Actually, in this particular case, I can report that we do. It so happens that I was having a cup of tea with Daphne Park—we were colleagues from opposite sides of the Lords—a few months before she died in March 2010. She had been consul and first secretary in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa, from 1959 to 1961, which in practice (this was subsequently acknowledged) meant head of MI6 there. I mentioned the uproar surrounding Lumumba’s abduction and murder, and recalled the theory that MI6 might have had something to do with it. ‘We did,’ she replied, ‘I organised it.’“We went on to discuss her contention that Lumumba would have handed over the whole lot to the Russians: the high-value Katangese uranium deposits as well as the diamonds and other important minerals largely located in the secessionist eastern state of Katanga. Against that, I put the point that I didn’t see how suspicion of Western involvement and of our motivation for Balkanising their country would be a happy augury for the new republic’s peaceful development. David Lea London SW1.” Lord Lea’s letter sparked a political row, featuring an ambiguous response from the BBC.
  34. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/eisenhower001.asp
  35.  https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/JFK-Quotations/Inaugural-Address.aspx
  36. During his ten years in the USA, Nkrumah had seen how FDR’s Tennessee Valley Authority dams had helped end backwardness in the South; he saw this could be done once Ghana was free to improve itself.
  37. Claude Krief, in L’Express, cited in William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (London: Zed Books, 2003), pp. 150-151.
  38. Binder, Lemnitzer, p. 273.
  39. James Reston, New York Times, April 29, 1961
  40. Krief, cited in Blum, op. cit.
  41. Thomas P. Brady, “Paris Rumors on C.I.A.,” New York Times, May 2, 1961.
  42. David Talbot, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (New York: 2015, Harper).
  43. The memorandum was reproduced with an article by Galbraith and his aide Heather Purcell, “Did the U.S. Military Plan a Nuclear First Strike for 1963?” which appeared in the American Prospect, number 19, Fall 1994, pp. 88-96. The text was as follows:TOP SECRET—EYES ONLYNotes on National Security Council MeetingJuly 20, 1961General Hickey, Chairman of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee, presented the annual report of his group. General Lemnitzer stated that the assumption of this year’s study was a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.After the presentation by General Hickey and by the various members of the Subcommittee, the President asked if there had ever been made an assessment of damage results to the U.S.S.R which would be incurred by a preemptive attack. General Lemnitzer stated that such studies had been made and that he would bring them over and discuss them personally with the President. In recalling General Hickey’s opening statement that these studies have been made since 1957, the President asked for an appraisal of the trend in the effectiveness of the attack. General Lemnitzer replied that he would also discuss this with the President.Since the basic assumption of this year’s presentation was an attack in late 1963, the President asked about probable effects in the winter of 1962. Mr. Dulles observed that the attack would be much less effective since there would be considerably fewer missiles involved. General Lemnitzer added a word of caution about accepting the precise findings of the Committee since these findings were based upon certain assumptions which themselves might not be valid.The President posed the question as to the period of time necessary for citizens to remain in shelters following an attack. A member of the Subcommittee replied that no specific period of time could be cited due to the variables involved, but generally speaking, a period of two weeks should be expected.The President directed that no member in attendance at the meeting disclose even the subject of the meeting. Declassified: June, 1993.
  44. Quoted by Galbraith, op. cit.
  45. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/news/20010430/
  46. https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/U.S.-Military-Intervention-in-Cuba-10-April-1962-Recommendation and https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/U.S.-Military-Intervention-in-Cuba-10-April-1962-Recommendation-Pg-2
  47. Binder, Lemnitzer, p. 306.
  48. Fletcher Knebel and Charles Bailey II, Seven Days in May (New York: Harper & Row, 1962).
  49. Binder, Lemnitzer, p. 309.
  50. John Frankenheimer would go on to produce campaign ads for Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 run for the Presidency. Frankenheimer was in Los Angeles with Bobby after the California primary victory made Bobby the likely next President, and was devastated by Bobby’s assassination that same night.
  51. Claudio Celani, “Strategy of Tension: The Case of Italy,” Executive Intelligence Review, 2004.
  52. In the April 1962 showdown over steel price increases, Kennedy had used the government’s full force to defeat the Anglophile Morgan and Rockefeller interests, who dominated the steel industry with an anti-industrial, speculative financial bias. JFK said, “the American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans” (https://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Research-Aids/Ready-Reference/Press-Conferences/News-Conference-30.aspx).
  53. https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx
  54. https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/LH8F_0Mzv0e6Ro1yEm74Ng.aspx
  55. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9416
  56. James K. Galbraith, “Exit Strategy,” Boston Review, October/November, 2003.

Making America great… again?

May 16, 2017

by Ghassan KadiMaking America great… again?

The more pre-election, post-election and even post-inauguration promises that President Trump breaks, the harder he makes it for himself to “Make America Great again”. But this narrative herein is not based on the political rhetoric and broken promises, rather, it is about a hypothetical scenario that questions if America is realistically able to bring Trump’s slogan to fruition.

“Make America Great Again” is a catch phrase that implies a restoration process of a bygone station of greatness. So before one explores the chances of success of such an ambition, one ought to go back to the basics of how and when America was great in the first place.

Admittedly, America has historically been a country of dreams for many. The pop culture of the 1960’s has even had songs about wanting to live in America and surfing USA. The dream has been realistic and fathomable, especially for Europeans who wanted to seek a better life, and thus the flow of migration began as soon as settlement began, and that flow was later on mirrored by the rest of the world, and it did not stop as yet.

But historically also, America was never a dream for its native people; quite the contrary. The influx of white migrants into America has resulted in one of the greatest, bloodiest and definitely the longest lasting genocides that spanned for over four whole centuries.

As for the young African men and women, even boys and girls, who were raided and stolen from their tribes and villages, taken away from their parents, loved ones and friends, to be sold and traded as slaves, put to hard labour, raped and killed, there was nothing for them to dream for at all in regard to America.

A dream for some and a nightmare for others, it would be hard to say that defining America as a dream has ever been a description that has been ubiquitously endorsed during its early-mid stages of nation-building. Did the global consensus change later on?

As the new nation that became known as the United States of America became independent in the late eighteenth century, another century later, it suffered from a brutal civil war and the new nation was not really able to stand on its feet and have its place on the global scene until the union was saved and Lincoln managed to pass his 13th amendment.

As a result, America prospered, and later on, late in the nineteenth century, America became the biggest global economy, and in hindsight, the few decades that followed up until WWI, America came the closest ever to being great at different levels. President Woodrow Wilson made it clear that the USA did not join the war for any gain of territory or to build an empire. He was instrumental in setting up the “League of Nations”, the predecessor of the UN.

All the while ignoring that the 13th amendment did not stop racial segregation and we shouldn’t, ignoring that racial inequality persisted and we also shouldn’t, was this short period, the few decades spanned in between the presidencies of Lincoln and Truman enough to classify America as a great nation?

To answer this properly, we must define greatness from a humane perspective. After all, if we allow ourselves to base greatness on wealth, we will have to accept that the Rothschilds, the Soroses and the Rockefellers are the greatest people on earth, but are they? Who is a greater person George Soros or Jonas Salk who invented the anti-polio Salk vaccine and donated it to the world and refused to take any royalties?

The real greatness of people and nations ought to be gauged by their contribution to humanity, easing its pain, spreading knowledge, spearheading liberation and enlightenment, and not by their wealth.

Or is greatness a subject of might?

The post-WWII era in which America was elevated to the level of the world’s first nuclear power and most powerful nation, has left behind a legacy of wars that began in Korea and went on unstopped to Syria and counting, and has left a trail of destruction, tens of millions of civilians killed, mostly from impoverished developing countries. Economies were destroyed, infrastructures decimated, which again begs the question, how and when exactly was America ever great?

Whilst America did offer great opportunity for a great number of select people for a great number of years, based on the proper and relevant criteria of greatness, it can be fair to say that America was never really great.

Surely, many people were attracted to America to go and live there and partake in the big “American Dream”, be able to buy a Chevy, buy a house in the suburbs and send their kids to the best schools and universities in the world, all the while have the best doctors and hospitals at their beck and call. But in reality, what is the percentage of Americans who were able to afford those luxuries even during the years of economic boom?

Whilst it might be true to say that in the 1950’s – 1970’s or so, America might have had a living standard that was higher than most other nations, the standard is shrinking at an alarming rate. With nearly 50 million Americans currently on food stamps, it becomes imperative to realize that today’s USA is a country that is wrought with poverty.

But poverty is not America’s only current problem, and when Trump claims that he wants to” Make America Great Again”, assuming he means it, one wonders if he is simply talking about rebuilding America’s financial prowess.

So if Trump’s take on greatness stops with money, how far can the best ever financial reform process go? Not that there is any sign of it coming from the Trump administration, not that we can see that he is keeping his word by putting America first and stopping all wars, but we must remember that we are looking at a hypothetical situation here, one that has nothing to do with Trump.

In other words, is America able to become great again if Trump was indeed serious about his promise?

The formal and declared American debt stands at nearly $20 trillion dollars, and if calculated on a per capita basis, the figure amounts to $60,000 per every man, woman, and child. But this debt is the tip of the iceberg. With collapsing infrastructure like roads, dams, river levees, schools, airports etc, the restoration of those public facilities constitutes overhead costs that are not budgeted for. They are simply ignored and allowed to decay and rot. These are referred to as “unfunded liabilities”.

It is hard to put an accurate figure on the value of those unfunded liabilities and the estimates vary greatly from a low of $150 trillion to a high of $350 trillion. At the higher estimate figure, the individual debt balloons to nearly $9 million, again, for every man, woman and child. But even at the lower end, the per capita figure is shyly short of $4 million.

When we make balance sheets we have to look not only at liabilities, but also at assets. The estimate of America’s total assets is another elastic figure that also varies from $300 to $550 trillion. That said, if the liabilities figure is indeed in the vicinity of the high $350 trillion figure and that of assets is in the vicinity of the low $300 trillion, then America could well and truly be literally insolvent.

We must remember here that even if the high $550 trillion figure is the correct figure of assets, it does not truly mean much because much of the sub-estimates are based on untapped natural and human resources and are based on today’s value of commodities that can easily crash.

Apart from material assets, there was a time when people around the world talked about “the latest thing from America”. America was the world centre of research and development and innovation in all fields of science and technology, but today’s America does not produce enough engineers, doctors and scientists who can bear the load of a techno-financial revolution that can take America out of the trouble it is facing. When we look today at developments such as China’s massive ultra-fast railway, we can foresee that we are not far from talking about “the latest thing from China”.

On the other hand, the slick, “low budget”, and highly advanced Russian military technology has given America a run for its money. The Russians have been playing their game very smartly, exposing the Americans to a taste of what’s up their sleeve, and –God forbid- in the event of a major escalation between the two super powers, America may find itself with bases and fleets exposed as sitting ducks facing an invisible enemy. It is highly likely that the Russians are not trying to “show off”; as it were, but they are sending strong and clear messages of deterrence to their “American partners”.

Back to economy, it seems likely, as a matter of fact we can safely say that it is highly probable that the demise of the American economy has gone too far and beyond repair. It is also possible that Trump has come to this realization after his inauguration, and that after reaching this realization, he made his U-turn on his promises on the basis that all he has left up his sleeve is a stash of nukes and a mighty war machine.

To reconsider the definition of greatness, does President Trump believe that might alone brings greatness and that by escalating the global bullying role of the United States of America he is going to “Make America Great Again”?

America is certainly a nation that has the highest military budget, largest navy and more off-shore military basis than the rest of the world combined, it has had the world’s biggest economy for many decades and continues to enjoy this status, but has never been a great nation that has spread knowledge and wisdom to the rest of the world. It has used its military might in the past to pillage poor countries and its current financial woes are literally impossible to resolve.

But when it comes to military matters, what is pertinent is that most, if not all, American military ventures have failed to achieve their objectives. After reaching a stale-mate in Korea, a total defeat in Vietnam, after two decades into the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq, America is still incapable of gaining the upper hand on the ground.

So if the military is the only trump card left up Trump’s sleeve in order to “Make America Great Again”, on what grounds is he basing his assumption that he can confront and subdue Russia and China combined given that the 125,000 strong American army that invaded Iraq in 2003 was not even able to control the streets of Baghdad?

Ironically, Obama and Trump have both won their campaigns using slogans that are based on desperation; from “Yes We Can” to “Make America Great Again”, the slogans were effectively used to lure in voters who cognize that America is in deep trouble and needs a saviour. Obama has failed and left America with twice the official debt that he inherited on his inauguration day, and Trump will not be able to do much, because like a rusty old car, America is too far gone, and I feel sorry for the good people of America, and there are many of them, including some very good and dear personal friends.

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