Substance of the following short essay, Space and Time in Insurgency Warfare, was written into Derek's personal journals in the Spring of 1968 while he was a strategic intelligence analyst at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, the intelligence branch of the supreme American command in Vietnam. SRA, located in the MACV Headquarters building, was the section of J2 charged with studying the underground political network or infrastructure of the Vietcong. At time of outbreak of the enemy strength estimates controversy, which many years later culminated in the Westmoreland vs. CBS trial, SRA was named POLOB (Political Order of Battle) and was located, not in the MACV Headquarters building, but in the Combined Intelligence Center, Vietnam (CICV), which had its own large building adjacent to the Vietnamese Joint General Staff compound. POLOB, which studied the terrorist network of the Vietcong, was not created by command decision. It was created by low-ranking OB (Order of Battle) analysts who, of their own initiative and on their own time after completing their assigned duties studying military order of battle, began studying captured enemy documents containing political information heretofore ignored by the military intelligence system. POLOB grew up from below in this fashion and eventually was begrudgingly acknowledged by the MACV command, which in large measure did not credit the terrorist network of the Vietcong as having military significance sufficient to count its membership as part of the total enemy strength figure.
It just so happened that the low-ranking OB analysts who were the MACV experts on enemy strength and all the complexity of indices of its information sourcing and calculation were the very same OB analysts who were most responsible for creating-from-below POLOB to study the Vietcong terrorist network. Whenever a command briefing on the subject was given, the high-ranking briefer would have to turn the briefing over to the low-ranking OB analyst, because the high-ranking officer did not have command of the subject. This was inevitably the case in command briefings related to any technical aspect of the Vietcong terrorist network throughout history of the Vietnam war. In due course, as the documentation grew and its analysis became more and more elaborate, these low-ranking OB analysts began adding personnel categories of the Vietcong terrorist network to the array of categories of enemy personnel who were counted in the total enemy strength figure -- thus increasing magnitude of that figure. This raised a few eyebrows in the SIA (Sensitive Intelligence Area) located next to the COC (Command and Operations Center) at the core of MACV Headquarters, but nothing much was said about it until a low-level CIA analyst located at Langley near Washington, named Sam Adams, began arguing essentially the same thing. Sam, independently, and again largely through his own initiative, had begun closely analyzing documents on the Vietcong terrorist network which had heretofore largely been ignored by the CIA as unimportant. Still, nothing much came of it; the new information was largely ignored by decision makers in Washington and Saigon.
Sam, however, was dogged in his advocacy of the perspectives implied by analysis of this new information -- and he managed to travel to Saigon where he personally interacted with the low-ranking OB analysts who had created POLOB. When the MACV command found out about this personal engagement, Sam Adams was declared persona non grata in Vietnam and POLOB was renamed SRA (Strategic Research and Analysis) and physically moved out of CICV into the MACV Headquarters building where it could be closely watched over and more effectively isolated (from the Vietnamese Joint General Staff and the American intelligence establishment). Why such a big deal made over this relatively unimportant matter of which categories of enemy strength to count and which categories not to count?
The judge presiding over the Westmoreland vs. CBS trial ruled impermissible discussion of strategy issues in his courtroom. This judgment effectively ruled out any possibility the American public might gain insight into significance of the enemy strength estimates controversy. At issue was whether the real war in Vietnam was the big unit war or a war over processes transpiring within the Vietcong terrorist network and between that network and the Vietnamese people (the recruitment base of the network). If outcome of the big unit war was going to determine winners and losers in the overall conflict, then it was not advisable to count membership of the terrorist network as part of enemy strength, because the inflated figure could lead to unsound strategic judgments concerning balance of forces. Capability analysis is, of course, a far more difficult matter than comparative force structures analysis. If processes related to the terrorist network, however, were going to determine outcome of the conflict, or a combination of the big unit war and these processes were going to determine outcome of the conflict, then one would be well advised to count membership of the network as part of enemy strength. But it was far more complex than that. Counting was only one aspect of gaining insight into significance of the terrorist network and arriving at effective measures to deal with it. But counting was important because, if you were not allowed to count it, you certainly were not going to receive the resources required to study it in sufficient depth to discover effective means of interdiction.
The terrorist network of the Vietcong had not been studied in significant measure in the pre-1966 period of the war. USIA official, Douglas Pike, had written a book on the subject, based on approximately 800 documents (SRA later analyzed thousands per month and skimmed tens of thousands per month). A few other studies had been produced within the military services, notably by Conley, and by the Rand Corporation, and the like. But the resources devoted to this area were miniscule and formulation of U.S. strategic doctrine for winning the war in Vietnam had proceeded in near total ignorance of the constitution of the Vietcong terrorist network. By 1967, the low-ranking OB analysts who had created POLOB were not only arguing that members of the network had to be counted as part of enemy strength, but that processes transpiring within the network and between that network and the Vietnamese people were going to determine winners and losers in the overall conflict. This was what was being said in the MACV snack bar and the mess halls; it could not get into the intelligence reports, because reports containing such ideas never got past censorship of the DIP (Director of Intelligence Production). Why such censorship? If what the low-ranking OB analysts who had created POLOB were saying was correct, then the U.S. strategy for winning the war had been wrong from the beginning. Everything about how the war was being conducted would have to change! By the end of 1967, this was clear to all the very few doing serious work in this area concerning the Vietcong terrorist network -- and they knew that anything that had implications for the subject of strategy would not get past the DIP. Low-ranking OB analysts who had created POLOB (remember, no high-ranking briefers could adequately brief on the subject without turning to their low-ranking horseholders for help) had been sent back to argue against their own conclusions and in support of the official MACV strength figure before the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and against Sam Adams before the National Intelligence Estimates Board. The high-ranking briefers who didn't know the subject well enough to brief on it, nonetheless, knew the conclusions they wanted the briefing they were charged with giving to make. But they didn't know the subject well enough to make a plausible argument justifying those conclusions, when confronted with someone as knowledgeable as Sam Adams, so the low-ranking horseholders who did have mastery of the subject were charged with the task of making a plausible argument -- which argument was an argument against the conclusions the horseholders would have made had they been allowed to make plausible arguments for conclusions actually warranted by the facts of the case which the high-ranking briefers had not themselves mastered. In late 1967, all the very few analysts doing serious work in this area thoroughly knew this history. They knew what would be censored by the DIP. They, nonetheless, continued to do real studies -- but much of what they came to learn was never written up. And what was written up was largely ignored within American intelligence channels.
But bizarrely -- and this illustrates the role that collective unconscious processes play in such a case -- the Vietcong's political operators became objects of obsessive fixation on part of the high-ranking American officers who refused to count them and who would not inform themselves concerning processes transpiring within the Vietcong terrorist network and between that network and the Vietnamese people. In fact, the obsession became so elaborate that the whole American command in Vietnam was reorganized so as to create a more unified command and a single agency charged with eliminating those political operators who were not important enough to be counted, let alone important enough to study processes transpiring in their network so as to arrive at effective measures of interdiction. That new agency was CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support). The word salad which this name constitutes was only one of the many instances in which the U.S. Government employed post-modernist literary stylistics to dissimulate what was actually transpiring. CORDS administered the Phoenix Program, a counter-terror effort to eliminate the Vietcong terrorist network or Viet Cong Infrastructure (VCI). Irregular special service forces were brought together in hunter-killer teams to find and eliminate the political operators of the Vietcong terrorist network. CORDS did not study the processes occurring within the network it was charged to eliminate. Not only did it not study this network, it did not talk to those people who did conduct such studies. No CORDS person ever appeared at SRA or initiated a discussion with a Political Order of Battle analyst. Effective versus ineffective means of interdiction of the terrorist network was not an issue identifiable in the CORDS lexicon. You didn't have to know anything about the thing to be eliminated, you just eliminated it. You just went out there and got the job done. Simple as that. Significantly, not one of the low-ranking OB analysts who created POLOB had anything but belly laughs to offer when asked how effective they thought CORDS and Phoenix would be at eliminating the Vietcong terrorist network. The low-ranking OB analysts who created POLOB to study the processes transpiring within the terrorist network knew that the processes transpiring within the terrorist network were of such nature as to prevent military forces, regular or irregular, from fatally damaging that network. Throughout history of the war, from its earliest days, there had always been irregular counter-terror units to seek out and eliminate people who place satchel charges in public places, throw grenades from motor bikes into restaurants, and the like. But such people are not terrorist network cadre, for such cadre never personally undertake such actions themselves. They are many steps removed and their business has little to do with planning and carrying out such actions. Such actions are undertaken by easily replaceable members of sapper squads.
American history has it -- and what Vietnamese strategic national interest would be serviced by the Dang Cong San Viet Nam disputing the American take on it? -- that in aftermath of the communist's 1968 Tet offensive, which was a military disaster and a psychological success because the American people lost the will to continue the war, CORDS and the Phoenix Program eliminated the Vietcong terrorist network. The terrorist network having been eliminated, America would have prevailed in the conflict had not the American people failed in their perseverance. The view from Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2 (which had by then been effectively isolated from the Vietnamese Joint General Staff and the American intelligence establishment), however, was quite different. The low-ranking OB analysts who created POLOB knew that the political operators killed by CORDS/Phoenix in aftermath of the '68 Tet offensive were already dead when killed by the Phoenix hunter-killer teams. The low-ranking OB analysts who created POLOB knew that the '68 Tet offensive was not primarily part of the big unit war, but primarily about processes transpiring within the Vietcong terrorist network. Prior to the offensive there had been a country-wide communist policy of massive lateral transfers of political operators into military units of the Vietcong. This was the sort of information that high-ranking American officers charged with briefing on the terrorist network never took the time to appraise themselves of. These military units of the Vietcong (now containing huge numbers of political operators) were the main units which undertook the Tet attacks. The political operators in these Vietcong units died in great numbers during the offensive as some NVA units stood in reserve and watched. The CORDS/Phoenix effort was counter-productive, not effective counter-terror. Why would the communists want to eliminate their own political operators? Derek has written himself into a 1700-page novel which addresses this question in great detail and also extensively discusses processes transpiring within the Vietcong terrorist network which have implications for the issue of effective versus ineffective means of interdiction. Another objective of the Tet attacks was to panic the American command into expanding the geographical extent of the war. Why would the communists have wanted their surprise attack to cause the Americans to expand the geographical extend of the war? Wouldn't geographical expansion of the war strategically undermine the Vietnamese communists and their terrorist network by denying them base areas and infiltration routes? Not hardly. The successful counterinisurgent confines the conflict to the smallest possible space and the shortest posssible time. It is noted that expansion of the geographical extent of the war was ultimately associated with the Cambodian holocaust. But consider content of the following short essay.
Incidentally, none of the low-ranking OB analysts who created-from-below POLOB to study processes transpiring within the Vietcong's terrorist network testified in the Westmoreland vs. CBS trial. As far as anyone knows, no such OB analysts ever existed.
SPACE AND TIME IN INSURGENCY WARFARE
time a dynamic factor of forces
At the end of ON WAR, in Ends in War More Precisely Defined, Clausewitz uses the following phrase: time by a dynamic analogy as a factor of forces. The great strategist seems confused on this issue. Initially, he says that to arrive at this concept of time in military strategy is completely wrong. Just a page later, however, he hedges somewhat and says that time itself can have some effect upon a military situation, but only if the almost defeated foe can no longer hope to bring forth another battle, only if, in effect, the war has already been won. But earlier, back toward the beginning of the book, in End and Means in War, he acknowledges, by using the term duration, that the enemy can be overcome by wearing him out: mere duration can eventually cause the opponent to lose force. Clausewitz again qualifies this by saying that duration can not be used to achieve a positive offensive object, for it is a principle of the pure defensive. Yet again, in Assembly of Forces in Time, he says that, if time on its own account can have significant effects tactically, in the realm of strategy these effects diminish to the vanishing point. This confusion was a mark of Clausewitzís genius! The strategist ran up against the brick wall established by his assumptive framework, and made probes in an attempt to find a way to the other side. Who knows what would have happened to the art of war had Clausewitz not fallen prey to a Polish cholera and died upon his return from the frontier to Breslau?
Clearly, the Clausewitzian view of war and power politics does not admit to the rigidity of physical law that Newtonian physics describes, but, nonetheless, the conceptualization of the whole system of nation-states and their interactional dynamics, in peace and in war, is so governed by analogy to those physical laws that he could not codify a framework radically departing from the constraints thereof. Clausewitz, obviously, was bound by Newtonís concept of absolute space and time. But just think of it! Some three-quarters of a century before Einsteinís Special Relativity, at the very moment Lobatchewsky at Kazan was producing the fundamental ideas for his pangeometry, Clausewitz in Berlin brought forth the idea of time as a dynamic factor of forces -- if only to struggle with the concept and reject it in the end. Even General Relativity does not go so far as to make time active, except insomuch as it is made space-like. Operator-time plays no part in contemporary consensus physics.
world picture and pure conception
Not only did Clausewitz use Newton-derived concepts like friction, equilibrium, summation of forces, the extremum principle, but he directly borrowed the meta-structure of Newtonian science: the distinction between the physical world-picture and the physical world. In his very first chapter, What is War?, he establishes definitions distinguishing between the pure conception of war and war adapted to the real world. The world-picture and the pure conception are idealized constructs or models cultivated for their heuristic value. If we remove complicating factors like friction, for instance, in creating a model of a physical process, it is much easier to create that model. We are left, however, with the problem of determining the relation of the idealized model to the real world. This latter problem, in the early years of science, was not a matter of much preoccupation. It was only well after the time of Clausewitz, when men like Max Planck came upon the scene, that this became a problem in physics of almost insurmountable proportions. And later yet, with the entry of Heisenberg, the problem became intractable: not only a question of the relation of the physical world to the world-picture, but also a question of the picture of our relation to both. Planck personally addressed a lengthy essay specifically to the subject. But Clausewitz, in the domain of his chosen application, anticipated these difficulties -- somewhat.
Not only did this problem -- the relation between the pure conception and the real world -- present itself in the issue of the relation of time to force, but also in the question of how rigidly one should adapt the logic of Francis Baconís NOVUM ORGANUM to the assessment of a military situation. Clausewitz deals with this issue most directly in his discussions of the principle of polarity: simply another way of talking about binary logical relations. He points out that the conflict of interests between opposing commanders is a firm binary exclusion, a true polarity, while the modulation of force between the offensive and the defensive allows no such rigid dichotomy: the polarity, here, exists only in the decision, not in the process. This was a hole -- having to do with the real world -- in the brick wall of Newtonian assumptions, through which Clausewitz, had he looked without reservation, might have seen Sun Tzu, and foreseen Mao Tse-tung.
The logical method of ancient China, in contrast to that of Francis Bacon, posits a complete transparency of opposites: the rotation of yin and yang in the tai chi symbol. This is a pure conception, an idealized model of the modulation of force between the offensive and the defensive which goes so far, in Sun Tzuís formulation, as to break down even the true polarity of interests between opposing commanders. There is a certain relativity involved. The Chinese, of course, never felt themselves constrained to play zero-sum games. Is it any wonder that Vinegar Joe was so confused by the situation in China? Is it any wonder why so many others were later confused by the situation in Viet Nam?
a hyperspace governing the combat
The non-orientability, the automorphism, the mutual convertibility of the cheng and chíi forces -- pick any set of opposites you wish: fixing-flanking, diversion-decision -- in any tactical or strategic situation, not only destroys binary logical relations, but paints a new face for war. This rotational element in the logic of the meta-structure of the pure conception of war, generates, in the full technical mathematical sense of that word, an abstract hyperspace governing the outcome of the combat. The origin of this logical rotation, this propositional spin component, is the animism of the object-made-sacred -- be it talisman, landscape feature, sword, instrument, point-of-origin, cultural seat, whatsoever. Identity of subject and object: their thermodynamic reversibility. A logic of identity-relation, rather than truth-value! Superficially, it appears the opponents in war are forced to adopt what amounts to one or another form of Borelís mixed strategy, which, in the long run, always reduces to the minimax touted by von Neumann. But only if viewed superficially through the lens of a non-rotational binary logic. It is not simply the fact that the distinction between combatant and non-combatant has been completely destroyed; it is not merely that we must WHAMíem: win the hearts and minds by grabbing their balls -- be those balls military, economic, or cultural. The fight is no longer for control of physical ground; it is for control of the hyperspace. Thatís the hyperspace, not the conscious minds of the people! We have warfare taken, not only to a new threshold of technology or totality or intensity (higher or lower), but to a new level of abstraction in the very idea of war. Now, the elements in tactical and strategic equations are not simply concrete variables (numerical signifiers of the power series of participant force structures), nor are these elements merely first or second order derivatives of the concrete variables integrated over time. Calculus has become obsolete as a tool of strategic planning. One must tensor the conflict, ascertain the boundary-values being imposed, determine likely escapements and intrusions of extra-combat free-energy. There are extraordinary reservoirs of free-energy available, not identified in the summation of forces. The hyperspace maps the field of free-energy flux. One must consider, for instance, how constant the entropy surface is upon which the army marshalls its force structures. On this basis alone can maximizing escalation control options become self-defeating.
Sun Tzu says: Those skilled at making the enemy move do so by creating a situation to which he must conform. He says, moreover, that a skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it from his subordinates. In other words, victory should occur with the same ease that a boulder rolls down a hill. And for the same reason! Because the hyperspace in the cosmological neighborhood of the boulder is curved in such a way that it rolls down the hill of its own accord: gravity -- not as Newton saw it, but as Einstein did! It is not a matter of application of force to the physical body of the boulder; it is a matter of the event-gradients established in the hyperspace.
event gradients, attractors, and the action of protraction
In developing civil application of Sun Tzuís thought, Mao, the Taoist practitioner, adapted strategic contingencies projection for tactical improvization in an extraordinary fashion by concerning himself primarily with the total configuration of the environment of the combat. If the event-gradients in the environment were right, then the combat would take care of itself. How did Mao bend the hyperspace of national liberation war? He used time as a topological handle on the space! What else is protraction for in war? Time is a dynamic factor of forces -- on the hyperspace -- as Clausewitz almost knew. The del operators that have always tacitly controlled the field of the combat have now been directly mapped on the hyperspace which determines the outcome of the action. A sorting demon of a new type has arrived on the field of battle: the action of protraction on the hyperspace. Call it temporal curl.
This twisting by Mao of the civil affairs handle constitutes an application of strategic contingency theory of organizational adaptation, and an interesting expansion thereof: not only does a changing environment modulate organizational behavior through autopoietic resource exchange across boundaries, the altered sub-unit power relations impress themselves on the very same environment. All in animistic violation of thermodynamic irreversibility! Which acts first? Active time as a factor of forces is entropically transparent, like Maxwellís demon! Absent passive linear time, entropy is undefinable. Two fields of contingency coupled in mutual inductance by temporal operations on the hyperspace. We surely have here a path to field theory in sociology.
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that when Clausewitz drew a distinction between preparations for war and war itself, he was wrong. It is the business of the commander to destroy this distinction. If he can destroy the distinction -- thus changing initial conditions and boundary-values of the conflict -- he can win the war. The political infrastructure that controls those individuals who will never carry arms, whose business it is to manage the whole litany of subsistence and administration, in Clausewitzís phrase, is the primary vehicle available to the commander to bend the hyperspace of the combat so that victory will roll down the hill like a boulder. The idealized, pure conception of this -- in the limit -- is to win the combat without even having to fight. Like the World Wars, much of the Korean War belonged to Newton: in spite of destiny being tick-tocked by a second hand, as MacArthur imagined, spatial modes of thought determined the actions of both sides -- the logic of the Inchon Landing being the most obvious case in point. Compression, envelopment, isolating component, pincer, flank, vise, geographical potential, end run, salient. The dilemmas of the Yalu, however, were points of entry into Maoís world -- and America wisely hung back. Viet Nam, in contrast, fully belonged to Einstein: much more abstract, non-spatial modes of thought are required to comprehend what actually transpired there, because an unfamiliar concept of time was masterfully invoked. It was not Giap who slew Westmoreland at Tet; it was Einstein who slew Newton. And this, of course, is to sidestep the question of how Sun Tzu knew something of what Einstein came to know.
Journal Entry, circa approximately 1971
(reprinted in 1994 in MOON, Volume II, pp. 348-352)
Having been back from Viet Nam a few years, back from studying in the concrete instance, not just through speculative philosophy, the information handling apparatus for a self-organization of mass political action, I now read of the distinction between sign and index (Roger Poole, Towards Deep Subjectivity). The sign is the essence of peaceful protest: physical body as communicator in ethical space. Reform is the message. The index, however, is the mark of the terrorist: body has evaporated along with the attempt to signify. There is no message, only the desire to destroy.
This distinction between sign and index, I do not comprehend. As if there was a gulf between the two! As if the two were not arrayed along an arousal-activation continuum. Unless you have lived in the villages of Viet Nam or some similar place, you have not comprehended the potential of terrorist action for delivering a message. Media-directed terrorism; high-exposure, high-risk terrorism; terrorism of the bomb randomly placed in public space, ethical or otherwise: this is but the mere outer shell of the action-potential of the so-called index.
Industrialized urban civilization has not yet experienced anything remotely resembling the full potential of organized terrorism coupled to organized subversion (this is not to overlook Beirut, Ireland, Saigon, et cetera). The very concept of the target has yet to be explored in depth, among other things. This is only because the measure of duress in contemporary society has not yet reached its cusp, has not yet activated a constituency. It would be nice if we could avoid this cusp, but one cannot be optimistic.
The powers-that-be believe that the state possesses the means to control the terrorist potential. The worst that can happen, they believe, is that the terrorists will force us to adopt the measures of a totalitarian state. This is the absolute height of non-comprehension. This arrogant stupidity is one of the main factors insuring that the cusp eventually will be reached. Prevention is not thought to be necessary; suppression, when required, is the policy. The rub is that prevention would mean the terrorists have achieved their objective: a sane, equitable society (totally unacceptable to the powers-that-be). Once the cusp is reached, however, see if there is anyone who does not break down in hysterical laughter at the mere mention of the state's ability to control. Once the forcing functions are catalyzed, self-organization exhibits an extraordinary immunity to suppression. It is the state that is subject to hypersensitivity reactions and autoimmune responses, all the more so if it is a totalitarian state: when the village you have to destroy in order to save it is your own, then the paradox involved becomes insupportable. If you want to get a feel for the thing, think of social autoimmunity in the same breath as you contemplate the terrorist's targeting problem. This is the essence of organized action-potential. Moreover, it is well to remember that it does not take an isolated camp identifiable by satellite-borne remote sensing technology to train a very effective dagger team. Nor does it require firearms or C-4, which actually are liabilities predisposing to counterproductive actions. It takes a basement; it takes intelligent planning; it takes endless dry runs; it takes audacity, information, and most of all knowledge of the operational procedures, information technologies, and vulnerabilities of the state and the exploitable emotional and ego instabilities of its controllers. People who have a psychopathic need always to be in control are very predictable and very destructive when they experience themselves losing control. Viet Nam was a veritable wonderland of education on that subject!
This amateur, sophomoric psychoanalysis is disgusting, you say? Okay. Tell me. Is there any more dangerous, irrational animal than an American male who has had his masculinity called into question? A thousand times, at least, I've seen it on the schoolyard playing field. Call a man a wimp and he loses all power of assessment, all control over his rational faculties. And I've seen it on the battlefield. A wimp weathered a mortar attack. After the last round came in, he jumped out of his hole, raised his fist in the air and yelled: Come and get me you chickenshit mutherfuckers! One tardy round arrived and killed the wimp.
You know how cats and dogs are: sometimes the ol' tomcat just gets fed up with the infernal yapping of the mutt: unexpectedly he springs up from his lazy languor and speeds along into the woods. The dog takes off after him barking up a storm. Moments later the cat returns, stretches, and lies down in peace. The dog can be heard crashing through the woods creatin' a horrible row. Both are happy: doing what comes natural to them. If you get the idea in the full context of the contemporary urban environment, I wouldn't be surprised to see your hair standing on end! One level of competence is in getting someone else to do your work for you: just imagine the destructive potential in the hands of the average metropolitan police department. Have you any idea what a fifty-caliber machine gun mounted on the back of a jeep and manned by a frightened National Guard soldier can do to an apartment building? The residents of Watts found out. When Special Forces troops were sent from Bragg up to Detroit during the riots, even they had trouble responding in a disciplined fashion to the provocations. Imagine how difficult it is to control poorly trained troops and police units. The terrorist doesn't need to have weapons; he just needs to have an opposition with weapons! Our bureaucracies have not exactly established a reputation for dealing efficiently with complex challenges, without getting their wires crossed. This is a very important fact! Don't tell me the terrorist doesn't think in this vein. That was the (unconscious) assumption made by those who planned our strategy in Viet Nam. And how right they were, eh? All one had to do was walk around certain sectors of Saigon after Tet '68 to see that. Whose weapons done the damage, anyhow? Ah, ah what'shisname! What the hell war were our fearless leaders fighting? is what I'd like to know. Ah, ah whatchamacallit! Must be. We just like being dumb as a flee-bitten mutt is what I think.
We will see increasingly that the terrorist is being transformed into an insurgent. What is the difference between these two? An insurgent does not waste his time in media-directed acts, in symbolic posturing, in assassinating high-level government officials: all high-risk, low-gain actions. First of all, he considers official institutional incompetents as part of his own team's assets and would not, for a minute, consider taking them out. Instead, he attacks the systematics of the state at its lowest most vulnerable level with the objective of exploiting the tendency to mass hysteria. This is a virtual canonical rule taught in every special warfare school as the essential feature of behind-the-lines irregular warfare. He also knows that his actions have no possibility of achieving his goal. Therefore, he decides to use the provoked actions of the state to achieve his goal. Once urban warfare training programs are created in the military arms of states, the terrorist's objective is half accomplished. The only player in the game with sufficient force available is the state. But this entity's communications systems and decision algorithms -- by necessity of its very defining characteristics -- are so confused, so vulnerable, so tending toward self-contradictory behaviors, that it takes very little to provoke the entity into autoimmune responses. All the more so, the more centralized these systems become, the more they rely on classification schemes, entry codes, et cetera. Secrecy keeps people out, but promotes self-defeating responses -- especially when the opposition's strategy incorporates an awareness of this fact. The opposition engages in actions to provoke increasing secrecy and therefore increasingly contradictory response. In Viet Nam, the GVN censorship laws (preventing dissemination of information about communist organizational techniques, for instance -- even to National Interrogation Center interpreters!) did more to help the insurgents than perhaps any other single factor. Moreover, to counter this low-level interdiction by the insurgent requires disproportionate mobilization on part of the state: there is an exponential growth curve involved here. These methods have been known for the better part of half a century and have occasionally been applied in the Third World. There is no reason to doubt that their use will increasingly gravitate toward applications in the First World as the measure of duress increases.
If you want to understand the communicational potential of the terrorist index, look at Schrödinger's equation. Ask yourself what the wave function substituted for in Newtonian mechanics. And why! This is, indeed, a pregnant riddle. That message delivery potential of the index is tied to self-organization for collective action (a branch of contemporary quantum physics: superconductivity, superfluidity, and so on). If you come to comprehend this, you will surely become a true believer in the proverbial ounce of prevention. Terrorism is not a series of acts; it is a long, drawn out cultural process. Terrorism is not perpetrated by individuals or groups; it is autoimmune response in a civilization suffering degenerative disease of the collective psyche. The disease has been intensifying by ebb and flow over the decades. If the problem of terrorism continues to be met as if it were perpetrated acts, there will be an inflammatory fulmination of unimagined proportions.
But there is a more fundamental reason why the state will not triumph over terrorism. This is because of a simple fact: the state's various and pervasive forms of oppression are responsible for the deaths of vastly more individuals than that resulting from terrorist actions to interdict the state. Those deaths caused by the state create by reaction more individuals opposed to the state than it can possibly exterminate. The quickest way to create a terrorist willing to undertake a suicide mission is to kill his brother or his mother or his sister. Moreover, as the Newtonian nation-state system draws closer and closer to its expiration date in human history due to complex evolving factors, it will become increasingly oppressive, increasingly responsible for mass death, and therefore increasingly effective at creating autoimmune agents. The state will reach its greatest power and lethality at the very moment of its incendiary disintegration.
Send in the Special Forces! says the low intensity warfare academic, a man who has learned how ta kill bad guys sittin' at a desk. Ask the fella who has survived a year or two runnin' Nungs, as the only non-rice-burner in the bunch, what he thinks about clean extractions or precision hits while receiving support and intelligence from our brilliant leaders and super-efficient bureaucracies. Sure, they'll pull off some big knocks on the media-directed terrorists with deir super boomer military technologies. They'll be gloatin' just like they was in da Nam. But what will their great successes achieve? The surgical raids will slowly turn terrorist gnats into a real ball buster: global insurgency. Previously fixed training camps will start to be organized like COSVN was -- which the boxes our B-52s put down were so effective at eradicatin', eh. Ask anyone who worked in CICV-Targets! Pin-point bombing works only against those stupid enough to organize themselves for simple-locality, who organize themselves, that is, so as to allow the force structures of their opposition to be effectively massed against them. But what can you expect from a Great Nation so prone to hysteria it's sure to call out the Navy's major cans and intercontinental bombers in response to irritants. I mean how can one avoid thinking about psychosexual compulsion in trying to find an explanation? Societies governed by such compulsion are an easy mark for terrorist-induced autoimmune dyscrasias.
The more successful the state is at repressing media-directed terrorist activity by the use or threat of the use of massed force, the more successful it will be at transforming the terrorist into an insurgent. Why? Because the fundamental causes are not being redressed. Are the origins of Middle East conflict in the Middle East? Only superficially. Less superficially, they have to do with global energy, less superficially yet, they are an expression of the still unresolved collective psychological causes of World War Two. Are the causes of terrorism in South Asia due to events in South Asia? Only superficially. They are the continuing residue of forced population movements undertaken to service the colonial economies -- a fundamental ingredient in the social pathology leading to the Great Pacific War.
Current locations of terrorist crisis are localized inflammations in a systemic disease. Forceful suppression simply drives the illness deeper into the marrow. The nation-state system as a whole will suffer the same fate as the local case, in due course. Send in a foreign army to put down a local separatist movement? This effort is momentarily successful, perhaps, but forces metastasizing. New groups, new sites of inflammation arise, ever more resistant to the prophylaxis of massed force. A day of reckoning will come. Then we will all experience the full consequences of the petty little minds and silly infantile psychologisms of our Great Leaders. The more short-term successes they accumulate, the greater will be the ultimate violence of the coming cusp.
How to fix it all, you want to know? Start dealing with the psychological blocks that have given rise to the violence of the century. Rewrite Russell's theories of logical atomism; stop dissimulating the quantum wave function; overcome the fear of psychological dissociation; slay the dread of the actual infinite; and on and on. But the repressive blocking has transpired for so long, at such an extraordinary level of intensity, that the consequences will not be escaped through action taken at this late date.
Re: White House Justifies Option of Lethal Force, Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times, 10/29/98. One thing not being adequately considered in the debate over the assassination ban is whether or not creation of a globalized Phoenix Program would be an effective counter-terrorist policy, irrespective of its compatibility or incompatibility with the democratic tradition. Those who advocate such a program very likely have been at least tacitly influenced by the historical assessment of the effectiveness of the program pursued during the Vietnam War to eliminate Viet Cong cadres, i.e., the Phoenix Program. If this is the case, the U.S. is in process of embarking on a dangerous path based upon misconceptions derived from falsifications rooted in the Vietnam War era.
Historical accounts of the Phoenix Program maintain that it was very effective at eliminating the Viet Cong Political Infrastructure (the VCI, or underground communist apparat) and point to the fact that its numbers rapidly declined following the 1968 Tet Offensive, and that it was never properly rebuilt. This is disinformation. In actual fact, the program was a horrible disaster, suggesting that any such program pursued on a global scale is likely to be a disaster commensurate with the scale of its application. The strategy issues involved lie behind the surface issues debated in the Westmoreland versus CBS trial. I have read virtually everything in print about the Phoenix Program, and I can assure you that those who produced this body of literature had no greater understanding of the organizational dynamics of the VCI than did those who created the program in the first place. Most of the VCI who died were killed in combat, not under the gun of Hunter-Killer Teams or Provincial Reconnaissance Units operating on behalf of Phoenix. Most of the kills claimed by Phoenix were not VCI, but members of the National Front for the Liberation of South Viet Nam (NFLSVN). Most commentators still believe that these two were the same, when in many cases the memberships of the respective entities did not even intersect. So small has remained knowledge of the transformational dynamics of revolutionary apparats!
The reason why most Southern VCI were killed in combat was because, in the nine months prior to the Tet Offensive (when a vast organizational transformation was accomplished by the communists), there was a nation-wide communist policy of transferring members of the Southern political apparat into slots in the military machine. From the start of this reorganization, almost a year before the offensive, there was no intention to rebuild the Southern VCI after the offensive being prepared for. The communists were so successful at achieving their strategic goals for organizational transformation associated with that offensive (though suffering tactical military losses in the process) that the NFLSVN was no longer needed, was disbanded in much of South Vietnam in subsequent months, and a whole new organizational format was implemented, staffed in leadership positions mostly by Northerners. Why this transpired the way it did involved complex historical factors of Vietnamese communist factionalism going back to the early 1930s, and its outcome played a major role in determining postwar national policies in unified Vietnam.
Ecclesiastically-based revolutionary and terrorist apparats are at least as complex in their organizational dynamics as those of communist origins. Ill-chosen policies of interdiction can become potent catalytic forces helping such apparats move through organizational, funding, and recruitment phase transitions they could not successfully maneuver in absence of such interdictive efforts.
The thing that is really interesting about Harvard professor Samuel Huntington, which is rarely mentioned these days, is that he originated the concept and coined the term forced draft urbanization -- the strategy component justifying free-fire zones and so very much more during the Vietnam war. Not to mention the fact that the process of forced-draft urbanization (i.e., forced de-ruralization) was a primary precipitant, by compensatory abreation, of the forced-draft de-urbanization associated with Cambodian Holocaust (see: Who Caused the Cambodian Holocaust, Anyway?). The same de-ruralization concept, when applied on a global scale, primarily via economic forcing functions, has been the most potent of the drivers of the clash of civilizations Huntington has been forecasting (another driver being the relentless pressures brought to bear mandating a global monoculture based on the long-metaphysically-dead Cartesian-Newtonian world picture and its institutionalization). This Huntington case is a classic example of projective identification by an individual as expression of collective unconscious processes of a population corpus. There is no fundamental difference between this projective identification and the projective identification engaged in by the Germans in the 1920s and 30s.
The prediction made in THE MOON OF HOA BINH regarding emergence of a global war against the very idea of the nation-state and its supraordinal agglomerations is only superficially similar to Huntingtonís prognostication. He is not conscious of the fact that 150 years of expanding cognitive dissonance over ever increasing divergence between evolving world-view construct and its institutionalization through analogical political, economic, and social models has unconsciously driven the extremist equation, be the fundamentalism Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Slavic nationalism, a national will to globally impose defunct Cartesian-Newtonian monoculture, or whatever. Unconscious collective angst and existential anxiety over the lack of correspondence between knowledge of nature (quantum-relativity) and institutional embodiment (Cartesian-Newtonian) of that knowledge leads to utter breakdown in sense of self-being (identity) and resultant collective clinging behaviors (clinging to traditional signifiers of identity, wherever they are found). This, of course, is mirrored in the present deteriorated condition of human immune system function (the bodily system essentially involved with self-identity), itself a case of projective identification. The prevailing falsification of quantum chemistry of DNA informing recombinant technology relates to cognitive components of the involved collective identity disequilibrium -- and is another example of projective identification. When contending clinging behaviors reach the right cusp, warfare begins. Globalization driven by monoculture mania (rather than insight into metaculture: see Multivalue, Nanoimmunity, and the Genesis of Metaculture) achieves the opposite of its intent, a resurgence of ethnocentricity.
In MOON, there is talk of emergence of a new global polycentrism on cultural lines: Mahayana Buddhist Bloc, as a Greater China; formation of a Germano-Russian Bloc; the Islamic Crescent through the Middle East and Central Asia; and the Anglo-Saxon Alliance. Just as Marxism was described as the weakest link in the Cartesian-Newtonian institutionalization, so the Islamic Crescent is characterized as that polycentric focus with the clinging behavior component in most acute inflammation. One, therefore, expects the initial lightning bolts to appear over the Islamic Crescent. I have spoken of a mutual defense pact between a Germano-Russian Bloc and a Greater China, in part based upon exploitation of the natural resource base of Siberia, but have not projected an expansion of this alliance to include the Islamic Crescent. It has seemed to me that the Central Asian and South China Sea oil issue will be similar to what it was prior to World War Two in the Pacific (this is referred to in MOON relative to Trang Minh using cover as a Naptha Trust agent in his Trans-Siberian and North China adventures of the 1930s). I doubt expansion of this likely alliance to include the Islamic Crescent because the clinging behaviors are culture bound, and thus unlikely to culturally jump as far as that. Whereas, ever since the early 1920s, archeologists have described origins of Southeast Asian and South China Bronze Age culture as being the German Halstatt culture. A ridiculous Kulturekreis and diffusion thesis, to my mind, but quite revealing regarding cultural affinities. C. G. Jung pioneered this sort of methodology to read collective unconscious impulses, and used it brilliantly to essay on Nazification of Germany in Modern Man in Search of a Soul. His method is an indispensable tool in any real assessment of the present global crisis.
If one were to initiate activities directed toward the aftermath of global war against the very idea of the nation-state and its supraordinal agglomerations, a great deal of multiple scenarios projection or contingency planning would be required to identify the most likely correct geographical areas for implementing such activities. My gut feeling about it, without having had the opportunity to carry through the required multiple scenarios projection is that the best locations are interior mainland Southeast Asia, the Andes, Australia, and possibly some portions of southern Africa (if it were not for the dimensions of the AIDS crisis there). Of course, choice of such locations would also necessarily be governed by analysis of scenarios of emergence in the aftermath period.
Dear Chalmers Johnson:
Your knowledge of Japan began in 1953, aged 22; mine, 1954, aged 9. I was the son of a U.S. bomber pilot living in a 10-house hamlet one-half hour into the rice fields from Ashiya AFB, kita Kyushu (not the well-known Ashiya, but the Ashiya of Yul Brenner's film Flight From Ashiya and the Ashiya from which Dien Bien Phu received U.S. air support under French insignia). I've read your books all along and always thumbed my nose at them. Reading Blowback, I hate to say it, but the cognitive dissonance with your other books is so strong you seem to be a prospective degenerative disease victim.
I laughed all the way through Change In Communist Systems -- having produced numerous tracts on transformational processes of the VCI while analyzing thousands of captured enemy documents at Strategic Research and Analysis (SRA), MACV-J2. I also laughed through Autopsy on People's War, having begun my engagement with that subject matter at Special Operations Research Office and having continued with it through Special Forces training, Psychological Operations Group at Special Warfare Center, and, after a stint in the field, on to SRA. In between the field and SRA, I was briefly at Targets Branch of CICV (Combined Intelligence Center, Vietnam) where sites for B-52 strikes were chosen for rubberstamp by Washington. It was at Targets that I began to learn about the (psychopathological) WHY's of American Empire. You deal largely with the surface occasions of war without mercy, then and now: economics, politics, sociologies of cultural conflict, all that non-efficient cause sort of thing -- which is merely epiphenomenal, especially so regarding America and Japan -- while essential forcing functions have largely to do with collective psychology.
After the May 1968 offensive on Saigon, Lt. Col. Tran Van Dac rallied to the GVN side. He was the highest ranking chieu hoi of the war and had commanded the headquarters facility wherefrom Gen. Tran Van Tra had directed the Tet attacks on Saigon. Don Oberdorfer interviewed Dac and was greatly influenced by Dacís statements, as reflected in the whole orientation of his book, Tet. But Dac mislead Oberdorfer extensively. I know this for two reasons: (1) I debriefed Dac for two weeks at the Bien Hoa POW camp and in a Saigon safe house; (2) Dacís headquarters had earlier been overrun and a huge document cache, containing much historical memory, captured. I analyzed these documents in depth for several months before interrogating Dac and could extemporaneously quote to him verse and line from his own letters, directives, transfer orders, and so on. When he started feeding me the same line he had fed Oberdorfer, I began quoting to him from his own papers. After some considerable shock and a period of adjustment, Dac began singing a very different song.
I would submit to you that you have little understanding of the dynamics of political infrastructural response to a changing combat environment in course of a war of national liberation and, therefore, are in no position to understand the situation Mao Zedong faced relative to the party apparat in the post-í49 period, leading inevitably to initiation of something like the Cultural Revolution. How could you possibly have such understanding, as there is no conceivable way in which you could have had access to the required information? Such information is contained only in the nuts-and-bolts documents of daily bureaucratic operation of the political infrastructure in response to a changing combat environment: personnel transfer orders; promotion certificates; disciplinary citations; directives creating new agencies, letterbox codes, AOs, TOARs, echelons, geographical boundaries; formulations of new mission statements; and et cetera. Only the Japanese and the KMT captured such documents relative to the Chinese revolution -- and such documents were never valued, never adequately studied, never retained as archival materials. What was valued and retained were policy briefing documents: largely internal self-propaganda cultivated primarily for psychological purposes at the party chapter level, purposes similar to the psychological purposes (inculcation of identity transparency) of the criticism/self-criticism session at the cellular level. Basing historical analysis on such policy documents is to be most certainly misled.
Mao, like Sun Tzu, was a Taoist in basic orientation; he was a Taoist who created an organization which became increasingly Confucianist as the war of national liberation evolved. The Cultural Revolution was yet one more failed Taoist attempt to remove Confucianism from its place of dominance in Chinese life.
After the 1968 offensive in Vietnam, there were many 1954 stay-behinds in POW camps. I traced these people down and interviewed about two dozen of them. I questioned them about the history of Vietnamese communist party organization. Many of these old political cadres referred to the Cultural Revolution then transpiring in China. They were very afraid something similar would be necessary in Vietnam. The younger of this group were in their mid-forties by 1968 and thus had a long perspective through which to view party organizational change.
Dac, a highly skilled political affairs officer who had joined the party in 1945, rallied to the GVN because the 1968 Tet offensive had been used to purge Southern political cadres, those members of the party bureaucracy who, after the war, would be most inclined to undertake in Vietnam something like the Cultural Revolution. The 1968 purge was accomplished by lateral personnel transfers from Viet Cong political infrastructure (VCI) slots into slots at equivalent echelons of the military meat grinder prior to and during the six-month-long period of the offensive. These lateral transfers took place on a massive scale all over South Vietnam. The involved political cadres were killed in large numbers as some NVA units stood uncommitted to battle and watched. Simultaneous with this purge, the NFLSVN was progressively dismantled and in lock-step a new non-front format was introduced and increasingly staffed by Northerners. All forms of local autonomy (of which there were many types in the Southern VCI) were removed and replaced by, for instance, reverse representation which was implemented across echelons throughout the party bureaucracy. Thus, impetus to any possible future Cultural Revolution was removed from the Vietnamese context: Confucianism again triumphed over Taoism. Taoism beat the American army; the Confucianists beat the Taoists who beat American technology. Postwar Vietnam was stagnation as a result.
I have just described for you one of the iceberg dimensions hidden behind the enemy strength estimates controversy occasioning the Westmoreland versus CBS trial. I worked in POLOB-SRA, MACV-J2 (i.e., Political Order of Battle, Strategic Research and Analysis of the intelligence staff at MACV Headquarters in Saigon), a unit where people were ordered to argue against their own analytic conclusions in order to substantiate the command position on certain issues. They were even ordered to fabricate data to this end. They were even given medals for fabricating file cabinets of such data. Has there ever been a military headquarters that has not engaged in such behaviors? MacArthur's FECOM certainly so engaged, as did USAK.
The Phoenix Program to eliminate the VCI, to whatever degree it killed actual political infrastructure cadre, helped the Vietnamese communist party avoid a Cultural Revolution. But Phoenix clearly killed few actual VCI. And since President Bushís knee-jerk evoked over-response global war on terrorism is in large measure explicitly based on analogy with the Vietnam-war-era Phoenix Program -- taught at Command and General Staff College as having been a great success -- we can see major BLOWBACK waiting in the wings for having falsified Vietnam intelligence at command insistence.
But there are larger, deeper issues here which are the primary subject matter of the novel written by my wife and I. The compulsiveness of Americaís massive bombing campaigns, free-fire zones, broad-choke shotgun-type elimination program was not driven by strategic or tactical military, political, or economic considerations (no matter how much any given policy maker may have so convinced himself), but by fear (psychological dread) of Taoist identity transparency (cultivated by the criticism/self-criticism session) and the inherently unbombable nonlocality (i.e., inability to find, fix, and finish) of the animistic yellow redskin Asian Taoist combatant. The reason these two (identity transparency and nonlocality) are extreme elicitors of compulsive disproportionate violence is that they are essential attributes of any system self-organizing on basis of QUANTUM principles, the class of systems, that is, which has slain validity of the Cartesian-Newtonian assumptions without which constitutional democratic and capitalist thought has no metaphysical foundation and no validity by appeal to nature. Globalization is Americaís contemporary campaign against a planetary Cultural Revolution (in that quantum mechanics is Taoism to Cartesian-Newtonian Confucianism). Deeper exploration of all this gives much insight into efficient cause relative to both world wars and holocaust of the Jews during World War Two (see: Echo of the Mockingbird).
The idea that the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam was a military failure but a psychological success played a major role in preprogramming American policy initiatives in reaction to the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. This assessment of that 1968 Viet Cong offensive is inextricably associated with the derivative idea that the Phoenix Program to eliminate the Viet Cong (political) Infrastructure (VCI) was successful. Americaís post-9/11 global counter-terrorism policy is based on direct analogy to the Vietnam-War-era Phoenix Program and has been justified in recent Pentagon Public Affairs Officer statements on basis of success of that program in Vietnam.
A mere matter of days following initiation of the 1968 Tet offensive, Douglas Pike, who had earlier written the book entitled Vietcong, authored a newspaper article arguing the military failure but psychological success thesis. Those in Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV Headquarters, charged with assessing that offensive rolled on the floor in uncontrollable laughter upon reading Pikeís article. This was so even though Pikeís work was held in high regard by SRA analysts because of his pioneering effort in studying the VCI from an information exchange process perspective. It must be remembered that Douglas Pike was a United States Information Agency official throughout period of the Vietnam War and that his academic product was necessarily an expression thereof. Subsequent to appearance of Pikeís article, myriad newspaper reporters, academics, think-tankers, and Command and General Staff College strategists echoed Pikeís thesis. In mimicking Pike, the academics in this group inevitably used one or another professional deniability phrase like that employed by Chalmers Johnson (Autopsy On Peopleís War, UC Press, Berkeley, 1973, p. 51) If Pikeís analysis is accurate Of course, all of Johnsonís analyses assume accuracy of Pike, as he never addresses the contrary possibility: If Pikeís analysis is inaccurate The accuracy or inaccuracy of Pikeís analysis is of great present-day significance, because upon it the fate of Americaís post-9/11 globalized application of the Phoenix elimination program may very well hang.
Two juxtaposed quotations from the Sixties serve to highlight importance of the involved questions. Quoting Robert Taber, an American-born newspaper reporter wounded during the Bay of Pigs while fighting on Castroís side, from The War Of The Flea, (London: Paladin, 1972 reprint of the 1965 Chaucer Press edition, p. 151): The study of guerrilla movements in the post-war era leads to the conclusion that the United States is slowly moving into a worldwide conflict which it cannot win. Now, to quote Herbert Marcuse, author of Eros And Civilization and one-time OSS-R&A officer, from On Revolution, in A. Cockburn and R. Blackburn, editors, Student Power, (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969, p. 368): Any romantic idea of the liberation front is incorrect. Guerrilla struggle as such does not present any mortal threat to the system: in the long run it cannot resist a technological ĎFinal Solutioní. The system reserves for itself the right to decree whether and when it will achieve Ďvictoryí by burning and poisoning everything.
Chalmers Johnson rightly notes (Autopsy, p. 38) that all terrorist and urban guerrilla strategies are based on an attempt to elicit a counterinsurgent overreaction from the status quo power. Is U.S. declaration of global war on terrorism a measured response or provoked overreaction? Answer to this question in part hinges on whether or not the Vietnam-War-era Phoenix elimination program -- of which the present U.S. counter-terror policy is a globalized version -- was a success. Why? Because if Pikeís analysis is inaccurate the Phoenix Program in Vietnam was, itself, a provoked overreaction.
Derek Dillon read Pikeís Vietcong at JFK Special Warfare Center, Ft. Bragg, before going to Vietnam where he was first exposed to primary documentation (captured enemy documents) on operational algorithms of the VCI. Sam Adams, the CIA analyst who later instigated activities which became the circumstance leading to the Westmoreland versus CBS trial, was not so fortunate. He encountered Pikeís Vietcong after being exposed to primary documents on the VCI. Walking through his Leesburg cow pastures discussing the VCI, Sam admitted to Dillon that he had never read Pikeís Vietcong. Iíve tried a dozen times to read that book, he said, but each time Iíve been forced to set it aside, as I cannot recognize in anything Pike says the Viet Cong I studied through analysis of captured enemy documents. Pikeís book seems to have come from outer space.
Dillon had a similar reaction to Don Oberdorferís Tet (Garden City: Doubleday, 1971), even though Sam Adams regarded it the authoritative text on the Tet offensive. Sam had not been allowed to visit Saigon for almost two years at the time of the 1968 offensive. The reason for Dillonís negative assessment of Tet, the book, was that he had spent two weeks debriefing VC rallier Lt. Col. Tran Van Dac, Commander of Sub-Region 2 -- which incorporated part of Saigon -- in whose headquarters facility General Tran Van Tra located himself while directing military aspects of the Tet attacks on Saigon. (Tran Bach Dang, the Saigon Party Committee Chairman, was located approximately 40 kilometers southeast directing political aspects of the offensive relative to Saigon.) Derek Dillon knew Oberdorfer had interviewed Tran Van Dac (and the fact that a reporter was prioritized Dacís time prior to Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV Headquarters intelligence staff, is a reflection of the U.S. Governmentís orientation to that offensive) and naively accepted as fact Dacís mouthing of what he, a very accomplished VC political affairs officer, thought the MACV command wanted him to say. Derek was not taken in by this drivel from Dac for three reasons: (1) SRA where Derek worked was the only American unit exclusively focused on studying the VCI theater-wide and his geographic area of responsibility was Saigon; (2) Dacís headquarters facility had been over-run and a huge document cache captured, much of which was Dacís (personal) professional correspondence; these documents, containing a great deal of historical memory, came to Derek who studied them in depth before debriefing Dac; (3) Derek found his own translator at University of Saigon Law School and personally taught him Viet Cong political terminology and associated concepts -- which translators at the National Interrogation Center were not taught because there was a national law against publication of these words. When Dac began to give Derek the sort of talk Oberdorfer took at face value, Derek began quoting to Dac from his own letters, authorizations, directives, and suggested that he might like to carry the discussion into further depth. When Dac decided to do this, his story, of course, was fundamentally different from that given to Oberdorfer.
A total of perhaps several hundred pages scattered throughout THE MOON OF HOA BINH address fundamental issues involved in assessing the 1968 Tet offensive and effectiveness of the Phoenix Program (including text of the 60-page paper written at SRA in June-July of 1968 evaluating the offensive -- along with the catalog numbers of the referenced and quoted intelligence documents, many of which likely are in the William Joiner Center collection -- which was declared LIMDIS, locked in a safe, and burned in April of 1975 when the Defense Attachťís Office was destroyed). The Tet offensive was a military success; the Phoenix Program, an abject failure. The strength estimates controversy which culminated in the Westmoreland versus CBS trial was only the tip of the iceberg. In wake of the provoked overreaction to the 9/11 attacks, America may pay a large price for having falsified to itself so very much for so long.
Four annotations from the bibliography to MOON(written sometime between 1980 and 1993):
The Vietcong Infrastructure, a Background Paper. Saigon: U.S. Embassy, 1970. (Is it even possible to imagine people with allegiance to a bureaucratic abortion like America has spawned having the intelligence and independence of thought to comprehend the VCI? Reading this report -- summarizing official knowledge of the subject -- years after it was written, one can have no doubt why our experts at mounting insurgencies were so successful with the Afghan Mujaheddin. The CIA went in and set up an extensive political infrastructure that transformed itself progressively -- as the process of the combat unfolded in well-defined stages -- into ever more elaborate structures engaging larger and larger sectors of the civil population, until, at the critical moment, an effective pseudo-government existed de facto to replace that they were trying to supplant. And the formats chosen were so in concert with the projected post-insurgency institutions that no members of the civilian population had difficulty seeing the logic of the transition which occurred without a hitch. Because of the pervasive political infrastructure, it wasn't necessary to proclaim in abstentia an interim government located out-country in Peshawar. And since the rebel's shadow government in Afghanistan was so thoroughly entrenched, all AOs were well prepared and there were no embarrassing setbacks in development of the combat Right on! Broth'. It's 'bout time dey done somethin' CO-rect. Dem folk in da Central Asia sure was smart listenin' ta deir U.S. ADD-visors, tweren't dey? Since this was done to perfection in Afghanistan, they completely avoided a potential bleeding of the combat across Pakistan toward India (how many training camps staffed by U.S. special service operatives were located on the Kashmiri border?) -- in contrast to the expansion of the Viet Nam War into Cambodia -- and thereby precluded the possibility of inflicting on the people of Central Asia what they had earlier brought down upon the residents of Cambodia Uh, uh, the intelligent person, y'know, looks closely at the word "RESISTANCE" -- beloved by the OSS -- in the phrase Afghan resistance and evaluates the implications thereof: the rebels were organized after the fashion of a World War Two resistance movement, not like any successful insurgency one might refer to. Of course, it will be many, many years before an objective history of the clandestine origins of the Afghan war is written. Don't mean nothin' that, as our special service operatives were run off their turf and lost their livelihood in the Golden Triangle, they refocused attention -- Haven't been involved in significant action in that region since the Kashmiri-Chinese border area in '65! uh, '56! uh -- on another Asian producer population. This was during the time of our neutrality regardin' the IndoPak War. Heh-heh-heh! Don't mean nothin' that half a decade before the Soviet invasion, we was openin' up yet another AO, creatin' a guerrilla infrastructure through yet another client's intelligence service. But this was big shit bein' prepared -- Gunna get ours back from the Soviet Bear! -- so one little Noriega, one little Roberto, one little Savimbi tweren't ee-nuf; at least a dozen of 'em was required But, of course, there's always oil in Angola in in to worry about. Tell the world that middle-class values are not serviced by mass murder! THUS SPRACH DEREK DILLON.)
Joyner, Christopher C.: editor. The Persian Gulf War: Lessons for Strategy, Law, and Diplomacy. N.Y.: Greenwood, 1990. (Here's another lesson, one from Derek Dillon in regards to the fifty-year-long American oil policy in the Middle East. What are Derek's credentials for offering lessons? Consider this: an old friend of his was the first American killed in Somalia, who earlier had done his time on Desert One -- and once was NCOIC of Delta Force. Terrorists persist in media-directed acts because, like Sixties radicals, they continue to believe in the system -- otherwise, they wouldn't be trying to influence public awareness. The more apparent successes like the Persian Gulf War America pulls off, the closer the time comes to when terrorists stop believing in the system, therefore stop being terrorists, and become transnational insurgents. Insurgents do not play to the media. So what will they then do? They will turn America's methods back upon herself; they will create a transnational Phoenix Program directed toward the elimination of anyone suspected of being an American. They will exploit the fact that certain minority groups in America are more a part of the Third World than they are of America. Most of the enlisted American military come from this Third World other America. This is a rich circumstance within which to conduct military proselytizing. And so on and so on.)
Radu, Michael: editor. The New Insurgencies: Anticommunist Guerrillas in the Third World. New Brunswich: Transaction, 1990. (One problem Derek Dillon has in assessing just how horrible the coming global deautomatization is likely to be, is in reaching conclusion as to whether or not people who produce hagiographic accounts of events -- for instance, an elucidation of the war in Angola without a single word on the role of U.S. special service operatives, or a description of the origins of the Afghan War without mention of the Cold War consequences of Kabul's position as an international drug entrepot in the 60s and early-70s -- actually believe what they write. (Kabul, oh, yes, Kabul Never want to go through a mess like that again! Movin' all that shit -- banking operations, the whole shebang -- outta there into Pakistan Jesus Christ! it was worse than startin' over again after Havana.) Or e'en da stories told in the press 'bout Desert One. Did you really believe dat one dey tol' 'bout poor visibility for pio-lets trained ta fly blind and da necessary and sufficient causal connex'ion 'tween sand 'n mechanical failure? Heh-heh-heh. Derek Dillon didn't. And dere was prob'ly some folk sittin' on the Committee on da Present Danger what didn't nother! Because, if they do so believe ummmm, ummmm, ummmm. Here's a real explicit prediction from Derek Dillon: the reversal of the Nicaraguan revolution and the mauling of Panama have simply put the cap back on the pressure cooker that is northern Latin America, preparing the way for an unprecedented explosion. Why did the Sandinista government give up so easily? Because, had they stuck it out, they'd have had to have fought U.S. ground combat troops. Could they have won that conflict as a government? But when the national unemployment rate jumps from a mere sixty to perhaps seventy or eighty percent ummmm, ummmm, ummmm. And when the multinational protracted war comes -- run by knowledgeable insurgents organized and funded by a cartelized and ecclesiastically-based political infrastructure -- what will become of the U.S.A.? Every Latino resident will be regarded as a potential fifth columnist and secessionist by the FBI; U.S. interests will be viewed as fundamentally threatened like never before. This situation, karma being what it is, will be the culmination of the incendiary dissolution of the global nation-state system -- accompanied by unprecedented levels of violence.)
Friedman, Norman. Desert Victory: The War for Kuwait. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1991. (So, what did Derek Dillon think about the war in Kuwait? First of all, three years before Saddam's invasion, he was telling everyone he knew that America was soon going to have herself another war, that walking the streets of D.C., the Cornell campus, the small towns of Pennsylvania, he could feel the coming kill in the air, feel it crawl along the hairs on the back of his neck. The collective NEED, NEED, NEED had become so great, it was everywhere palpable: prefigured in histrionic daily interactions, in the films, in the fashion magazines (even to the point of offering the 'I shall return!' Dress inspired by MacArthur's uniform and crumpled cap and advertised with the slogan, Return to the Forceful Forties!). Three years before! So Derek never believed the media account of the war and its origins.  Hardly anything of consequence has happened in the Middle East since World War Two not caused directly by U.S. oil policy, and Derek, for one, does not agree that the U.S. has every right to kill millions of people so as to avoid building adequate mass transit systems.  No one but an idiot could believe that the war in Kuwait was not intimately involved with events transpiring in the Soviet Union.  When Saddam released the huge number of hostages, the last vestige of doubt fled Derek's mind; Saddam may be a fool, but he is not that much of a fool! Had the confrontation become PROTRACTED -- and the hostages were the key to this -- much extra-combat free energy would have flowed into the situation, causing multiple realignments and many unexpected events worldwide. Saddam's decision on the hostages postponed the onset America's time of reckoning -- which is no service to America, because the longer it is postponed, the greater the megadeath hiding in the wings will be. Much was happening in the situation that has gone totally unsuspected.  Accounts of why Saddam was such a tactical and strategic idiot read exactly like MACV intelligence assessments, and have equal credibility.  America is clearly a GREAT killer NATION -- as many as six million good kills in Indochina, due to American actions affecting the area since mid-1945, for a loss of some 60,000; not a bad kill ratio, eh? -- and her technology of war appears unparalleled, but the future holds huge surprises, staggering shocks even, on this issue. The mass psychology of American psychic diarrhea from trying to digest falsified quantum theory has become so acute, it just had to create a simply-located bombable foe. Otherwise, America would have suffered urban melt-down. If nothing else can expurgate nonlocality, smart bombs and a Maginot-minded foe can surely do the trick! Ever wonder what was really behind all those glassy-eyed stares of TV joy at witness to mass murder in the trenches of this reincarnation of a World War One foe? Ah yes, back there where all the collective slaughter over quantum mechanics and transfinite set theory began. But the situation with this issue for the American psyche is now so critical, it has become another Germany in the Thirties -- and even requires ikons to signify the fact: adoption of Nazi-style helmets and pig-faced German heroes and its own little test-war in a new Spain called Iraq.)
Dear Mr. Soros:
The notion of countervailing institutions was an innovative idea in the 1750s; today it is a recipe for collective suicide. There are reasons why you personally are unaware of this fact. Let me share with you a little teaching story by way of explanation.
Derek Dillon has no problem with the rabbinate, no disdain there for. Haggadistic rabbinisms do not ruffle his feathers. This does not make him a Semitist, of course, even though he has been a life-long, though intermittent, goyish student of Cabala. Witnessing the habdalah hasnít become habit forming, though respect for the Chasidimís unvarnished insight has.
In 1967, while an intelligence analyst focused on the Middle East at Special Warfare Center, Ft. Bragg, Derek was regarded as an anti-Semite on basis of his opinion that the Israelis had no intention of relinquishing the lands occupied during the Six-Day War -- that they felt they needed not only a defensive buffer but some Lebensraum -- and that the exercise of this intention would ultimately doom Israel as a political entity.
This accusation of anti-Semitism was made by one of Derekís best friends, a Jew with whom he had been a fellow Special Forces trainee, and whom would go on to become one of the longest running NCOICs of Delta Force. Also at issue was Derekís negative estimation of the fact that at that time each Special Forces soldier ETSing from Bragg had an untitled box on his separation clearing form representing his required presence at a recruiting pitch made by a member of the Jewish Defense League. The pitch was ostensibly for a training assignment in a border kibbutz, but actually was for cross-border reprisal raids. Derek understood the logic of this. Should they squander the resources of their special ops unit, Sayeret Matkal, on relatively simple, but risky, projects like reprisals? Perhaps they donít want to undermine the integrity of their intelligence services with such noxious tasks when they can get personnel from elsewhere. Would you hand it over to foreign intelligence -- Mossad -- or internal security -- Shin Bet -- or Army intelligence -- Aman? Hell, the reasoning has to involve bureaucratic considerations. Itís always best that illegal actions be undertaken by outside parties when possible; discipline breaks down within the agencies, otherwise. Derek felt this sort of tactic reflected poor strategy -- and for voicing that opinion he was deemed anti-Semitic.
Derek was a crackerjack political and military analyst who created the first OB maps of the Middle East Special Warfare Center ever had. He briefed many a Pentagon luminary on history of conflict in that region and was placed on a Go-Team and locked in a Smoke Bomb Hill blockhouse on two-hour alert during period of the Six-Day War. It was not because of his politico-military acumen, however, that Derek felt Israel was digging its own grave; it was because of his perspectives on collective psychology.
There was a great deal of holocaust hysteria in Israel during the period immediately prior to outbreak of the Six-Day War -- or such was the import of intelligence reports that passed over Derekís desk. One would have thought Habakkuk had reincarnated! This collective behavior twenty-some years after the fact was in great contrast, it seemed to Derek, with collective Zionist behaviors during and only several years after that same fact. Before entering the U.S. Army, Derek had spent a lot of time at SORO, Special Operations Research Office, studying undergrounds in insurgency and resistance warfare. One area he had read deeply into was history of Zionist organizations, underground railways to Palestine, politico-military organization preceding and during the 1948 war. There was little holocaust hysteria amongst the Lehi or Sternists, the Irgun, the Haganah. This contrast between 1945 to í48 and 1967 Derek found to be a very significant Israeli transition indicative of a systemic vulnerability sure to be exploited: a predisposition to mass hysteria which could be played upon with all the tools of irregular warfare. Retention of the occupied territories would draw into use with ever increasing insistence more and more lethal categories of such tools.
Derekís interest in Cabala was not a matter of spontaneous generation. While a student at American University in D.C., he was spoon fed liberal doses of the subject by a lovely young lady who lived in the library. This was no flighty Westchester County princess. More like a thaumaturgic sabra Hagar sent into the desert with the Haganah to petition numina of the various AOs. Derek simply could not visualize this Hagar succumbing to holocaust hysteria. She would have been right at home in one of the early utopian kibbutz, but by the Sixties these were largely myths of origin. Myths accompanied by holocaust hysteria? Hmmmm. A pregnant question? One he was to return to over the years.
What did and does ruffle Derekís feathers is the secular rabidate, uh rabidity, uh rabidment rabbin: be he legal, medical, pecuniary, or academic. The personality profile, the patriarchal persona, the mental habitus, the moral pretense in midst of massive day-by-day malfeasance, the valuational smugness, the conceptual rigidity, the resort to rule regulation as the only possible solution to any disordering factor, the preference for the lexical, the mnemonic, the cartographic, the taxonomic, the ordinal in cognition. When these take over a society and determine its patterns of relatedness, life in general simply becomes intolerable. Look at contemporary America! But this anti-Semitism may not necessarily be anti-Semitic; it may be only against that part of the Judaic mind that, in secularizing itself, forgot that Jerusalem is a spiritual state of consciousness available right now, not next year. What is the New Jerusalem? Is anti-Semitism, indeed, necessarily anti-Semitic?
Hagarís Cabalistic commitments and utopian kibbutznickim temperament, so antithetical to the secular rabbin, seemed to Derek to shed light on the issue of myths accompanied by holocaust hysteria -- and efficient cause in the question of Arab-Israeli conflict. As strategic as the issue of land appears, Derek does not believe that oil, land, or ancient history are in the realm of efficient cause relative to contemporary conflict in the Middle East. More relevant is the psychodynamics of the relationship between Einstein and his first wife, concerning which Marja Sklodowska was the only real expert.
It is not at all possible that Einstein himself had the initial intuitive burst of insight which was responsible for genesis of Special Relativity. His first wife, a thaumaturgic Hagar type, clearly was the responsible agency. Had Einstein had the initial inspiration, he could not possibly have moved on to General Relativity without first having fully explored implications of absolute limiting acceleration and absolute limiting time rate of change of acceleration (the two most important concepts for an authentic account of quantum-gravity). Moreover, no one so inspired as to have received the burst of illumination responsible for Special Relativity could have been so forthcoming with secular rabbinisms on quantum theory as was Einstein. Though he rightly rejected Bornís 1926 dice-roll interpretation, this was not done from insight, and in an attempt to return to a pseudo-Newtonian perspective he became more responsible than anyone else for obfuscating Schrodingerís cat.
What, for Godís sake, does this have to do with the Middle East? Absolutely everything. Obfuscation of Schrödingerís cat, which permitted group-think consensus on Bornís false notion of probability amplitude (thus banishing to the desert quantum nonlocality), was the straw that broke the camelís back concerning efficient cause of World War Two. The right interpretation was on the scene as early as 1921 in the form of Emil Postís m-valued logics. But this implied multivalued identity -- all the Cabalistic, utopian, kibbutznickim, Hagaristic, fuzzy-minded, intuitive disorder so infuriating in the temperament of Einsteinís first wife. Being a secular rabbin, he simply would not tolerate such an interpretation -- based on Polish logic! which, however, was rather congenial to Marja Sklodowska -- coming to the fore: Hagar was again sent to the desert with her spiritual child. This Einsteinian falsification right at the heart of a cultural transformation of epochal proportions -- impetus for transit being mainly Hagarís doing -- stopped dead in its tracks the Germanic psyche which had done more than any other to prepare the way for the much needed transit. Without Polish logics there was no way to integrate the new world vision, all seemed aslant, footloose, nothing to rely on, no way to imagine any sort of order, order, order, order, order And so there was the Nazi pathogenesis by back-reaction -- which scapegoated through psychological projection-introjection the secular rabbin, its co-conspirator seen in the magical mirror of the unconscious: both, during the war, immolated/self-immolated in psychological transference. That Poland was attacked first is no mere historical happenstance. That the secular rabbin were scapegoated -- i.e., sent into the desert carrying sins on their heads, which is part of the biblical Yom Kippur ceremony [Lev 16:8] -- too, is no mere historical happenstance.
And so it is today in the Middle East, a mere continuance in the metapsychology of World War Two.
And so it is with George Soros, who in his youth had some exposure to m-valued logics and, like Einstein, spends the rest of his life cultivating pseudo-Newtonian irrelevancies in his chosen domain of activities -- and refuses in any way to consider m-logically-valued monetary exchange units. Hagar yet once again sent to the desert. And at what cost!
This is a fascinating article by Tony Stigliano (Fascism's Mythologist: Mircea Eliade and the Politics of Myth, Revision, 24:3, Winter 2002) -- and it illustrates why the final solution history will find to the inherent incompatibility between quantum mechanics and constitutional democracy necessarily will involve the passing of some considerable percentage of human beings presently living on this planet: as with so many U.S. casualties in Vietnam, these human beings will actively choose to die rather than face the consequences of comprehension. Stigliano is a deconstructionist critic carrying overt and tacit Marxist assumptions to the task of ostensibly arguing on behalf of democratic thought and against anti-semitism. And he probably regards himself a Libertarian who advocates a pro-active, forward-deployed American military and a strong municipal police department. This particular stance, which is of course in no way self-contradictory, has become a veritable contemporary American stereotype.
In discussing Eliade's treatment of linear versus cyclic time -- which Stigliano quite garbles, as he clearly does not at all comprehend, let alone have any direct experience of, nonlinear orders of time -- he rightly observes that This way of explaining such narratives precludes democratic institutions and practices. My God! One hundred-and-fifty years after writing of the Tristan chords, after the Franco-Prussian War, after two world wars were fought over back-reaction (by people just like Stigliano without direct experience of nonlinear orders of time -- of which Eliade clearly had elaborate experience) against recognition of this preclusion, he reveals to us the preclusion as profound truth -- and is devoting an academic career to discovering totalitarianism hidden in 19th century Romanticism. And he will do this career without ever once in his whole life on this planet taking the effort required to directly experience nonlinear orders of time! And because of this lack of experience he will persist in the notion that there is either democracy or there is totalitarianism, and that there certainly is not democracy that is totalitarianism. Moreover, he could never entertain the actual case: democracy (force divided against itself) is inherently in principle totalitarian because its fundamental Cartesian-Newtonian-Aristotelian assumptions are linear-time-bound, thereby precluding states of non-simple identity not rooted in the mutual dominance relations (force divided against itself) of the psychological transference (nation-state as collective psychological projection of the linear-time-bound discrete ego-sphere).
The other thing that is interesting about this article is that Eliade is absolutely right about the Judaization of primitive -- i.e., animistic -- Christianity via historicization, which Stigliano maintains is an anti-semitic falsification. The tacit Marxist assumptions of Stigliano's deconstructionist historicism regards the only-possible-historical as a linear-time-bound account of single-valued, self-identical, simply-connected events, because nonlinear orders of time are unacknowledged and therefore not experienced. These nonlinear orders of time were the essence of primitive Christianity (and primitive religion globally, as Eliade's writings lavishly demonstrate) which had to be in some manner historicized if perspectives like those Stigliano is identified with were to come into being. Rabbinical thought, in its opposition to Cabalistic thought, was undeniably one agent in the global historicization of the nonlinear temporal awareness associated with primitive religious experience. Thus, Stigliano stigmatizes stigmatization of the very process which gave rise to his own mode of thought: a classic example of psychological projective identification in transference.
And so it goes with intellectual culture in America these days.
Dear Mr. Christopher Hitchens
Author of: The Case Against Henry Kissinger,
Parts 1 and 2, Harper's Magazine, Feb and Mar, 2001.
Ever since I first learned of the beginnings of the Cambodian holocaust, I've been arguing that Kissinger is more responsible for the holocaust than Pol Pot. I have made, and continue to make, this argument on basis of perspectives which derive from three points of personal history:  I was a targets analyst at CICV-Targets (Combined Intelligence Center, Vietnam) where locations for B-52 strikes were chosen (please see: Who Caused the Cambodian Holocaust, Anyway? as well as considerable related material contained at the end of Roof-Brain Chatter and in The Honolulu Papers); and  I later was a political order of battle analyst at SRA, MACV-J2 (Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ intelligence staff, where POLOB-CICV, Political Order of Battle at CICV, was moved and renamed, so as to be closely watched over in midst of the enemy strength estimates controversy which arose as the Phoenix Program congealed and CORDS was formed, and which involved Sam Adams' thesis, of Westmoreland vs. CBS fame); and  before either of the above, I was trained as a Special Forces medic, and by virtue of earlier experience at SORO (Special Operations Research Office), while a student at School of International Service, American University, was phased into intelligence work at JFK Special Warfare Center, Ft. Bragg, just prior to the Six-Day War, which I became engaged with as an order-of-battle briefer. While a student at AU, I was a live-in in the Georgetown household of LBJ's foremost speech writer in the days after JFK's death, was a close student of Elspeth Rostow, W. W.'s wife, and knew Mac Bundy and many others. My personal judgment on these holocaust issues is informed by this behind-the-scenes Washington exposure.
I have a complex orientation toward the issue of prosecuting Kissinger personally, primarily because what concerns me most is the larger human interest. In the MOON OF HOA BINH, our novel, Kissinger particularly, and Nixon secondarily, is stigmatized as being most responsible for the Cambodian holocaust. But even this is a much more complex issue than you portray in your article. Regardless of the public record (the documentation was elaborately fabricated on an ongoing basis), B-52 strikes on Cambodia were taking place as early as late-1966. I directly worked with people who were siting such strikes in early-'67, who personally knew target analysts of the earlier period. I cannot document any of this and that is one reason why I wrote a novel rather than a history book. Your investigations, however, might be better informed by awareness of some facts that may never be demonstrable. Were you able to get your hands on CICV-Targets records (most of which were surely destroyed when the Defense Attache's Office [formerly MACV-HQ] was demolished in April of 1975) and compare them with USAF records from Sattahip, Kadena, and so on, you would find that the sites chosen at CICV were predominantly the sites actually bombed. The Pentagon rarely over-road the CICV sitings. I was not at CICV-Targets after early-68, but I would strongly bet it was not in terms of choice of specific sites, as you suggest, that Kissinger is culpable. The targeting criteria were many and complex, most of which were not related to photo-interpretation, so the types of information the NRO and NPIC could have added in Washington could only rarely have been decisive. It is hard to imagine what purpose Kissinger might have had in arbitrarily specifying sites. And the whole argument regarding civilian bombing casualties is moot in face of Allied strategic bombing policies in WWII: not only Dresden and Tokyo fire-bombings, but it is now virtually beyond dispute that the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki primarily to deliver a message to the Soviets concerning postwar realities. In the last decade, a great deal of scholarly attention has been devoted to this issue of use of the A-bombs, based largely on declassified documents: circumstances in Japan were not major decision factors. I had a pretty clear awareness of this as a kid when taken in 1954 to both detonation sites by my bomber pilot father. I had even greater awareness of it as a teenager living at Eielson AFB, Alaska, chumming around the gym with U2 and SAC pilots -- Gary Powers being one of them. Long-term Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe was the direct result of the A-bombs being dropped on Japan.
Actual Kissinger culpability underlies all the stuff behind Sam Adams' thesis -- which never became public and which Sam Adams himself never came fully to grips with -- which determined future policy-making compulsions. This is nothing I could possibly write into a mere letter (I've written a 1700 page, 2-volume novel about it, which I will send you a gift copy of if you request it), but I will make a stab at an outline. I would also suggest that other things were happening with regard to the 1968 peace negotiations than those which you discuss. I received at SRA, MACV-HQ, many requests for specific pieces of information from the Paris negotiators, and sent many responses. Judging by their questions and information requests, the negotiating team was very poorly informed. I personally do not believe that actual peace negotiations took place in Paris. There were real secret negotiations distinct from the false secret negotiations leaked to the press as a cover. I believe they took place in Laos, under Sullivan's jurisdiction (which is plausible, given his relationship to Harriman). Any such negotiations at that time hinged on minute details of coalition government in the South. Such details could not possibly have been worked out by the people who were in Paris. The deal worked out in Laos would have been announced in Paris. This is a central part of the story line in our novel, and the captured enemy document discussed there actually existed. To understand why a transitional coalition government would have been the very least NVN would have accepted at that time, you need to understand what really happened at TET '68, which involves all the stuff behind Sam Adams' thesis which never became public knowledge. For that, I recommend the novel of my wife and I (as well as our website).
One issue is related to COSVN and what later became the Kissinger-Nixon bombing campaign against Cambodia. This is discussed in the Cambodian holocaust paper on our website. (See: Who Caused the Cambodian Holocaust, Anyway?.) Kissinger is culpable because he surely knew ahead of time that COSVN (Central Office for South Vietnam) could not be seriously disrupted by such bombing -- which was the ostensible objective of the bombing campaign. The second issue is the incursion. In early summer of '68, I spent much time de-briefing the highest ranking hoi chanh of the war, Lt. Col. Tran Van Dac. Other people did the same. What was unique in my case, is that when Tran Van Dac's headquarters (which was at the time used by Tran Van Tra) was over-run during the Tet Offensive, its whole document store was captured intact. (I later, in 1992, met with Tran Bach Dang, the Saigon Party Committee Chairman in '68, and learned details of his whereabouts and activities during '68, of which I was then unaware. I was fortunate also to meet Tran Van Giau in 1992.) This document store came directly to me, personally, as I was the chief political-order-of-battle analyst responsible for the Saigon area at that time. I had several months with this document store before Dac rallied at time of the May Offensive and could quote to him verbatim off the top of my head from his own papers at the time I debriefed him (for two weeks). Don Oberdorfer, who was unaware of the captured document store when questioning Dac, basically ate, as recounted in his book, Tet, the official MACV line Dac had by then learned, thus missing altogether what actually transpired. Dac's document store allowed SRA to piece together in great detail the massive (unprecedented in world bureaucratic history) organizational transformation of the VCI (Viet Cong Infrastructure) in preparation for the Tet Offensive, which was undertaken over the preceding year (contrary to all the scholarly studies, this time frame of planning and preparation is correct and very well substantiated by captured enemy documents and could be verified using the William Joiner Center collection). This document store also made clear that one NVN objective of the offensive was to force a choice on the U.S.: get out or expand the geographical boundaries of the war (much to the strategic disadvantage of the U.S.). This strategy of NVN was elaborately documented in early '68. It was also deemed by SRA to be based on an accurate strategic assessment. I wrote a long paper in June-July of '68 on the strategic aspects of this issue, including a strategic assessment of the impact of the Tet Offensive, (reproduced, along with document reference numbers, in our novel THE MOON OF HOA BINH) which the Director of Intelligence Production, MACV-J2, ordered locked in a safe, but which nonetheless was later briefed personally to Laird, and which was surely one source of his reluctance to support a Cambodian incursion. The paper argued, on the basis of analysis of out-country LBNs (Letter Box Number arrays), and other such technical factors, that any expansion of the geographical boundaries of the war would lead to disaster. I was unable at the time to imagine anything quite the magnitude of the Cambodian holocaust, but I had a very big sniff of it.
There is no possibility that Kissinger understood these matters, as there is no possibility he would have sought, let alone obtained, access to the details such understanding required (as no one over the rank of major understood anything significant about functioning of the VCI, for they never adequately studied the documentation or permitted themselves a detailed briefing thereupon by those few, like Sam Adams, who conducted such adequate studies). Kissinger certainly was aware of these strategic assessments, but disregarded them because other factors determined his policy choices. His actual culpability is on basis of these other factors. Before I go into that, I would observe that if you wish to nail Kissinger personally relative to Indochina, the most likely path is discovering details of the several failed Sihanouk assassination attempts and what these had to do with the narrowly escaped Chinese intervention into the war and the resultant Nixon opening to China as payback for staying out. An early attempt on Sihanouk is described by a retired Special Forces officer in his book entitled The Bassac Bastards. A late attempt (inside China), at the time of Kissinger's reign, is fictionalized in the novel The Five Fingers. I met the author of the first and can see no reason to doubt his veracity. The second seems to me likely based on real events and is written under a pseudonym.
Kissinger's decision-making process was caught in grips of collective compulsion expressed by many, many people. Anything related to the bombing behaviors literally wreaked of it -- no matter what official role attribution the given individual happened to be identified with. Anyone who walked into CICV-Targets! Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington's forced-draft urbanization (see: The Bases of Accommodation, Foreign Affairs, July 1968), the notion legitimizing free-fire zones, was ostensibly to separate the fish from the sea, but actually (i.e., subliminally) was designed to destroy animism (the one most consistent theme in puritanical American behavior -- informing the founding of Harvard -- from the first village massacre of 1635 to Special Forces subterfuge vis-à-vis the Kurds and the contemporary conflict in Colombia). The stated policy is never the real policy! Opposition to communism (i.e., the collective) was only a special case of opposition to animism. Kissinger identified himself with this collective American compulsion, as a way of obtaining personal power, and applied its dictates globally. The reasons for this compulsion are elaborate and the actual subject of THE MOON OF HOA BINH.
I do not advocate prosecuting Kissinger personally. I strongly advocate not mounting a war crimes tribunal in Cambodia. This is my orientation, even though it is an absolute certainty to me that the U.S. is the agent most directly responsible for more than 6 million deaths in Southeast Asia in the post-WWII era. Those who cause a holocaust are rarely those who perpetrate it; those who perpetrate it, rarely cause it. I would refer you to my paper Echo of the Mockingbird, which discusses similar issues as underlying the WWII holocaust. I would also encourage you to attempt to separate out individual and collective responsibility in each of these cases (which I believe to be impossible). I would further encourage you to consider how the prevailing American orientation to the individual-collective issue makes future holocausts inevitable. War crimes tribunals and prosecutions of individuals prevent nothing; on the contrary, they hasten the next holocaust.
But these notions are not likely to interest you. You believe that proper application of the rule of law would prevent such things. In my judgment, you could not be more mistaken, because the driving energy is collective psychopathology which becomes embodied in legal statute. The very potion you offer as a cure is the cause of the disease you attack. There is nothing I could say which would likely lead you to entertain this notion, but your insistence on the rule of law is an expression of the collective compulsion against empathic animism Kissinger ate as a collective archetype -- which psychological eating impelled him to engage in the behaviors you attack. Such is the nature of projective identification. This does not mean I have no suggestions as to what needs to be done to prevent holocausts. I have very elaborate suggestions, many of which are described on our website.
Now (11/11/01) let me explain why, in terms of military strategy, it was impossible for America to respond intelligently to the WTC attacks. Following is an excerpt from a recent editorial by National Review editor Jonah Goldberg:
The strongest of all warriors, according to Tolstoyís Kutuzov, are these two: Time and Patience Kutuzovís strategy was based on the expectation that Napoleonís army would overextend itself, venturing too deep and too late into the oncoming winter Now the problem here, one could argue, is that in this [Afghanistan] context, Kutuzovís advice is better heeded by the Taliban than by the U.S. But I think Kutuzovís advice applies to us too, and not just because he sounds like a Russian Calvin Coolidge. In every major war America has won, weíve owed our victories to the patience of the American people. Every war weíve lost or tied (i.e., Vietnam and Korea) was not lost of the battlefield.
Just like the Germans following World War One, the American people have been so saturated with the stab in the back myth (Dolchstosslegende), they would not have permitted an intelligent military strategy in response to the WTC attacks. Their assumptive framework is based so thoroughly on self-propaganda and continuous intoning of falsehoods intelligent action is precluded. When Westmoreland sued CBS for libel, I sent National Review an article describing in detail the strategy issue background of the enemy strength estimates controversy and summarizing the 1968 Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, paper demonstrating the Tet offensive a military triumph by all the conventions of military science. National Review informed me that, instead, they had decided to print an article by an ex-Foreign Service Officer, a person who had never even worked in MACV Headquarters. Typical decision in the evolution of Americaís stab-in-the-back myth.
Secretary Rumsfeld states that the Taleban are not functioning well as a government. He cites this as an indication that the U.S. effort is being successful. These observations by Rumsfeld, which I do not think are mere propaganda, indicate how little he understands the nature of the type of warfare he is engaged in. One indication of how well the Taleban will do is how elegantly or clumsily they handle the transition back to the pre-government. They cannot prevail in this war if they attempt to remain a government, attempt to provide the public services, LOCs, public security, and so on, associated with government, but they cannot too quickly abandon governmental functions without alienating their recruitment base. Had the Sandinistas understood detailed dynamics of this transition, they could have prevailed against the Contras, American airpower, and the several hundred thousand U.S. troops that likely subsequently would have been thrown against them. At the time of the Sandinista downfall, I was at Cornell. The person who wrote the equivalent to Doug Pikeís Vietcong on the Sandinistas taught at Cornell and lived in the same apartment building I did. We periodically had Sunday morning brunch together. His book is a detailed account of Sandinista political organization. From these conversations on the structural properties of the Sandinista revolution, it was clear to me that they had no sophistication in these matters comparable to the Viet Cong Political Infrastructure (VCI), no focused awareness of the controlling variables on transitional processes. It is hard to imagine the Taleban having sophistication similar to the VCI in these matters (particularly given who their teachers were). Organizing terrorist actions is a matter far less complicated. It remains to be seen, however, whether the Taleban do or do not have a similar level of sophistication. How well the Taleban handle or fail to handle transition to the pre-government will provide considerable forecast of their subsequent performance. The more elegantly they handle this transition, the longer they will be able to protract the conflict. The longer they protract the conflict, the better their chance of insuring that the conflict does not become geographically contained.
What do I mean by transition to the pre-government? Twisting the civil affairs topological handle on the hyperspace of insurgency warfare -- the fundamental means by which time and space are manipulated -- is all in the details of infrastructural management described in the 1968 Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, paper (declared LIMDIS, locked in a safe, burned in 1975, and subsequently printed in MOON in 1994, pp. 2-34, Vol. 2, in a version reconstructed from the SRA NEWSLETTERS, which were obtained from the U.S. Army Center for Military History subsequent to their declassification in 1992): redefining mission statements, areas of operation, areas of tactical responsibility; making boundary changes; creating new echelons, new agencies; reorganizing agencies within echelons; reformulating personnel allocation algorithms; making personnel transfers on a large scale without losing behavioral coherency; changing recruitment strategies; changing taxation types and collection processes in relation to supply systems; modulating commo across radio, landline, foot-runner, dead-drops; coordinating boundary changes with AOs of forward supply councils for upcoming or anticipated defensive or offensive activities; changing administrative committee types; altering representation schemes, command structures, varieties of chains of command, and so on. All of this modulation activity is undertaken in relation to the population base and the changing combat environment. The Taleban presently face a similar situation to what the VCI faced in 1965 with the U.S. troop build-up. In 1963-64, the VCI had successfully shifted country-wide from the National Liberation Front format (with its typical front organizations) to the Autonomous Administrative Committee (AAC) format, with its pre-government-type organizations detailed in MOON. This was a major transition in the competency level of administrative self-organization, an accomplishment presaging triumph in the war. When the U.S. troop build-up took place, the situation was rapidly altered. The VCI, however, very elegantly made the reverse transition back from the pre-government to the front format, maintained their equilibrium, and by mid-1966 were formulating strategy for how, once again, to transit back to the pre-government AAC format. The Tet-í68 offensive was their strategy of transition. Elaborate transformation of the VCI country-wide in terms of all the bureaucratic variables mentioned above was required in order to mount that offensive. The purpose of the offensive was not to win this or that battle, not to kill more Americans and ARVN than they were able to kill in return, not to take this building or town, not to bring about a popular uprising (a myth cultivated for its uplifting vision), not to make a propaganda victory, not to play to the American anti-war movement. The primary objective was to make the required transition between levels of self-organization in their own political infrastructure (by which they marshal and allocate manpower and matériel resources). Transformation in self-organizational competency requires goal-directed activity, otherwise there is no occasion through which to undertake what is required. The purely military (in the most narrow of definitions) aspects of this are not unimportant, but they are far from being primary. You can lose more men than the adversary; you can fail to take the base, the town, the building, the airfield; you can fail to foment a popular uprising. And yet, with all these failures and loses, you can succeed marvelously in making the transformation in self-organizational competency which determines outcome of the war by greatly shifting the balance of capabilities (not forces) vis-à-vis the domain of conflict.
The Taleban, if they have any sophistication, will be trying to smoothly shift back to the pre-government from whence they came -- not trying to remain a government in the manner Rumsfeld apparently imagines. Depending on how many troops the U.S. puts in and how much airpower is brought to bear, the Taleban may have to shift back further yet from the pre-government. How well or poorly they are able to handle these transitions in Afghanistan will determine much about the course of the larger war: whether or not they can maintain out-country sources of supply; whether or not a significant constituency is maintained or developed for geographically-removed supportive actions; how good their tactical intelligence is; the quality of spoiling operations they can run; and so on.
If you look at a topo map of Afghanistan, you see flatland to the north and flatland to the south and a huge area of mountainous cliff faces in the middle. Clearly, the cliff faces are the Talebanís primary tool for protracted war. The mountains are their handle on the time variable. Most of the cities are in flatland. They canít reasonably be expecting to hold the cities, which would be a liability in any event as they finesse their return to the pre-government. But they donít want to be confined to the mountains, as the spatial variable requires the successful insurgent to expand the geographical extent of the war. They seem to have the possibility through their own actions of expanding spatial extent of the war in two directions: Turkmenistan and Kashmir. As they lose the cities, there may be some attempt by the Taleban to ignite guerrilla actions in one or both of those areas. Most of the camps U.S. Special Forces used for training the Afghan Mujahideen were located in the Kashmiri border area of Pakistan in the mountains northeast of Peshawar: possibly a significant piece of history relative to presently evolving circumstances.
The devil is in the details (11/25/01). Just because things are not reported or drop out of the Western media does not mean they are not influencing affairs (as many policy makers lapse into believing). Direct orders to take no prisoners. Machine gunning PWs and calling it a prison riot. Giving Hunter-Killer Teams targeting authority. These are all spindrift of falsifying the 1968 Tet offensive, a consequence of the American Dolchstosslegende. The Phoenix/CORDS elimination program is cited in current newspaper articles, by quoting U.S. military authorities, as precedent for the license to kill given Special Forces teams in Afghanistan. The precedent is based on the fiction that the Phoenix Program eliminated the Viet Cong Political Infrastructure (VCI) in aftermath of the Tet offensive. The truth, however, is that most of the VCI were killed during the offensive itself as a result of the communist policy of massive lateral transfers of political cadre to military units in the months prior to Tet-í68. These political cadres died in great numbers as some NVA units stood uncommitted to battle and watched. As the communists shut down the NFLSVN and replaced it with Autonomous Administrative Committees (AACs), those AACs were staffed with Northerners. This was most rapidly in place in MR5, Hue, and the B3 Front (where rapid collapse of the GVN took place in 1975 as a result of spontaneous emergence of a flood of self-initiated spoiling operations). Part of the Tet offensive as strategy of transition was to purge the Southern apparat of its strong anarchic, anarchosyndicalist, and Trotskyist commitments inherited from its deep involvements with the French Communist Party during the 1930s (when the Northern wing of the Vietnamese party was intensely involved with the then Stalinist Communist Party of the USSR). The Phoenix Program killed those who were already dead. For every actual VCI cadre Phoenix killed, it killed 99 who were not VCI. For each of the 99 wrongly targeted and eliminated, 10 aspirants to the VCI were created by back-reaction. One can hardly imagine something fundamentally different happening in Afghanistan and the large number of other countries U.S. Hunter-Killer Teams are and will be roving. The Bush Doctrine is simply Phoenix globalized, which, you will notice from my journal entry earlier sent, I predicted as early as 1971. Just as the failure of Sachís program of crash capitalism in the former USSR will produce a Germano-Russian Bloc with all the inevitability that the Versailles Treaty produced Nazification of the Germany, so the certain failure of the Bush Doctrine will be the death knell of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state and its supraordinal agglomerations.
Itís impossible to have complete confidence about anything based on what is surely highly manipulated and most probably outright falsified press from Afghanistan, but, nonetheless, my MACV Strategic Research and Analysis intuition tells me there is a real possibility that the Taleban have thus far (12/01/01) performed brilliantly in response to U.S. actions over there. They have made no effort to remain a government, smoothly shifting to the insurgent role. By forfeiting that role, they force others to provide what governments provide at great expense and labor intensity, thus raising the long-term costs for their adversaries. They have abandoned the cities with few significant losses, making the obligatory token fight, very likely leaving behind and in place their underground clandestine apparat. They have kept their elite forces intact, moving them to the mountains or out-country. They have jettisoned their least reliable personnel, who would have been impossible to feed and keep armed in an insurgency role, many of whom will later, after being PWs, re-enter the population base and become subject once again to recruitment. The foreign troops who were in Kunduz and elsewhere, which the U.S. has publicly designated as Al Qaeda, absolutely cannot be Al Qaeda network cadres. Such cadres are very highly trained in all sorts of non-military tradecraft, and never would be placed by the thousands into military-type units. These foreign troops are simply one recruitment pool for Al Qaeda. It is quite possible that Son of Osama has not even been in Afghanistan since before 9/11 -- only his doubles. Even if he is there and they get him and most of the top leaders of Al Qaeda, this will cripple Al Qaeda no more then getting Nguyen Chi Thanh and Associates crippled the VCI in South Vietnam: that is the nature of well-formed cellular organizations: each cell, in the limiting case, can re-grow the whole organization.
Your last message was quite thought provoking, as I found myself contemplating why popularity or unpopularity of the Taleban had not entered my equation as a significant variable. It think, long ago, probably as early as fall-spring of 1963-64 at Special Operations Research Office (SORO), I had reached the conclusion that an unpopular repressive regime is a psycho-political impossibility -- just as I at about the same time realized that there is no such thing as clearly the aggressor or a reluctant belligerent (the title of a book on American entrance upon World War Two, I read at the time). It was at SORO that I researched my long paper comparing, from the perspectives of anthropology and social psychology, the Briggs Plan used during the Emergency in Malaya with the Strategic Hamlets Program in RVN for the anthropologist George Harris as he emerged from having recently written his share of the U.S. Army Handbook for Vietnam. Interacting with SOROís old Asia hands (one of whom had been on The Long March with Mao) and pouring over the wealth of anthropological material related to Vietnam and Malaya in the SORO library (accumulated over decades and inherited from ORO and HumRRO) and Bernard Fallís personal library at Howard was a tremendously unsettling experience. There was the growing awareness that peopleís war is not a battle for the conscious minds of the people, that the notion that it is is a false tacit assumption brought to assessments by those from Cartesian-Newtonian societies with atomistic notions of identity.
Now, most people reading this statement will conclude that I am writing current terminology back onto 1963 when such thoughts were not to be had. But this is not at all true. I was then going between SORO and two other conditioning environments while at American Universityís School of International Service (SIS) in Washington, D.C.:  a semester-long role-playing intensive social psychology seminar on Group Dynamics that was an unrelenting assault on ones assumptions concerning the absolute nature of ego-sphere boundaries;  Elspeth Rostowís (the wife of W. W. Rostow, then Director of the Policy Planning Board of the State Department) incredible seminars on American Intellectual History, where there was a strong focus upon analysis of the Cartesian-Newtonian assumptions underlying historical rise of constitutional democratic thought. The realities of group dynamics, I found, contravened Cartesian-Newtonian assumptions and validated much that I was hearing and reading at SORO. But this mere intellectual stuff (except for the role playing) was not enough to produce real insight.
AU at the time, except for SIS, was ninety-percent Jewish. The Student Council invited the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) to present a case in November of 1963 (quite a month, if I remember correctly) against the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. This would have been a minor occasion of no great interest had George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazi Party (ANP), based in Arlington on the other side of the river, not found out about it. ANP posters appeared one morning all over the campus threatening to break up the CPUSA presentation. On the evening of the meeting, the gymnasium was standing room only and seething with intense angry emotions. Each time a CPUSA speaker moved to the podium; someone jumped up; gave the Nazi salute; yelled, Kill all the Communists and Jews; was pounced upon by members of the crowd; and mercilessly beaten. One after another, in decreasing interval, ANP provocateurs rose, made their salute, screamed their statement, and were beaten. Then someone ran up on stage and in full view of the crowd drove a knife into the chest of a female CPUSA speaker. The crowd went into complete pandemonium. Fights broke out all over the gymnasium. It became an unconstrained brawl, with people attacking everyone and anyone in their path. Total utter hysteria. I was there as an observer, a student of group dynamics not particularly involved in the issues, and resisting the build-up to hysteria. But when the knifing took place, I felt a physical force -- like a riptide at the Wedge at Newport Beach -- grab hold of me and, against my will, propel me into the pandemonium. Nothing but nothing could have resisted that riptide, which possessed all the physical reality of a 25-foot tidal bore at Fundy Bay. About two dozen police cars descended upon the campus gymnasium. Later, we read in the Washington Post that 15 ANP members had been hospitalized with serious injuries, some number of students had been arrested, and that the knife had been a plastic toy with a retractable blade. If memory serves, JFK was assassinated a couple of days later, quickly re-directing public attention.
Just as you have to pull a magnet against the magnetic flux to feel the presence of a magnetic field, so you have to actively resist mass psychological induction to experience its presence. This event was the decisive experiential component in my growing realization that peopleís war is not a battle for the conscious minds of the people (and the beginning of my understanding of the hyperspace of insurgency warfare). Since then, I have had a number of similar experiences, most notably in Sri Lanka, and in some different ways in Vietnam. Iíve read every book and article I can find on group mind, animal societies, collective behaviors, and have found that, overwhelmingly, the exclusive focus is upon violent-mob-type and ant-swarm phenomena interpreted through the lens of an atomistic identity construct. There is the other side, however, as you well know. I excerpt the following from Christopher Bacheís Dark Night, Early Dawn: Steps to a Deep Ecology of Mind (Albany: SUNY Press, 2000), wherein he speaks of experience in the classroom:
What could not be experienced separately becomes available to those who work together, and the wholeness that surfaces in these moments is characterized by a luminescent transparency. This transparency is contagious and its gifts precious. Each person draws from it gems unique to his or her situation. For me, the most precious gift of all is the transparency itself, as it is a token of the true nature of mind First, we habitually restrict our experience of mind to the nearby territory of ego and, second, our culture has not taught us to recognize the presence of this broader mental field, let alone how it functions We can picture this if we imagine Sacred Mind as a large tablecloth spread out on a table. If we were to pinch the tablecloth at one point and lift, the entire fabric is drawn up to some degree. Our spiritual ecology simply does not permit isolated realization The forms of teacher and student become transparent to this larger dynamic What is required at this point, however, is not that we abandon our concept of individuality, but that we relocate this individuality in a transpersonal paradigm that allows us to recognize dynamics that are invisible within the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm.
My point is that both the violent and non-violent aspects of identity transparency play decisive roles in collective human behaviors like insurgency warfare. Scientific action-based sociology and stimulus-response behavioral psychology falsely limit their consideration to discrete billiard-ball-type actors. Like the physicists, they treat collective and cooperative behaviors in terms of stochastic probablistic ensembles because this treatment removes the threat to Cartesian-Newtonian political economy, as no actually functioning institutions can be grounded in rules of chance. Scientific treatment of these subjects -- be they found in the social or physical sciences -- has been governed, as Thomas Kuhn would have suspected, by paradigmatic sociopolitical concerns. Ego-conscious preferences (popularity or unpopularity) play only a very small role in determining collective social behaviors. It is the undercurrent, the riptide, that controls and directs -- whether this is acknowledged or not. The repressiveness of the Taleban regime was not imposed by a few authoritarian personalities; it was a warfare-stress-induced collective behavior set in motion by large forces of back-reaction to forced global monoculture, the effects of chronic cognitive dissonance, the uniformizing nature of technologies stripped of metareference in design (see Multivalue, Nanoimmunity, and the Genesis of Metaculture), and many similar factors -- the real consequences of which are virtually unconscious. What people think they think is unimportant; what they think they donít think determines the flow of events.
Turning the civil affairs topological handle on the hyperspace of insurgency warfare involves focusing engagement upon the riptide (the currents within which the fish swim). Taoist Mao was the master of this art (closely followed by Truong Chinh). Whether or not the Taleban can turn the same topological handle will depend upon whether or not they have understanding of the civil affairs details. If they do, then the woman now wearing lipstick, the guy who shaved his beard, both of whom have long been, and continue to be, clandestine Taleban operatives, now left as stay-behinds in the cities, will, in fact, actually exist, and will be engaging the riptide. If the Taleban have no such detailed understanding, they will have no such stay-behinds and their largely intact military forces will wither on the vine. As the Tamils in Sri Lanka have so well demonstrated, even on an island, you can have an out-country base area and still have reliable supply channels -- if you have the required clandestine political framework. Killing the Taleban leadership will be effective only if they have no real clandestine political apparat; if they have such an apparat, such killing will be an incidental matter. I think we are not likely to know answers to all this for three or four years -- unless they are very, very unsophisticated or very, very sophisticated. The infrastructural transitions involved are time consuming.
But regardless of the fate of the Taleban -- which clearly will involve what does and does not occur with the Kurdish insurgency in Iraq, the Palestinian issue, opposition to the Saudi Royal Family, developments in Iran, and the Kashmiri situation -- one thing is certain: regardless of what Pico Iyer writes for Time Magazine about how well people are adapting to global monoculture, the earlier mentioned large unconscious behavioral factors of back-reaction responsible for driving repressiveness of the Taleban regime have a bright future, as there is not a single significant initiative anywhere on this planet directed toward transforming those factors. Not in politics, not in economics, not in monetary systematics, not in business and governmental management, not in science, not in the arts, film, fabric, fashion, architecture, garden design, product development nowhere. And it seems quite certain this will not soon change.
Yes, in fact, I actually do have many concrete suggestions. See The m-ValuedLets Homepage for one such. But I must caution you. In reflexively knee-jerking the World-War-Two generationís standard challenge, you invoke a game Iíve been forced to play since childhood. You ask that alternative policies be formulated without change in the fundamental assumptions upon which policy formulation has heretofore been made. Any policy I would formulate would share few of the assumptions which informed the old policies you are committed to.
So, that's what you think. Wonderful. I would, however, ask you to consider the fact that there always has been extreme Islamic fundamentalism. The question is: Why, at this juncture in human history, has it moved into the social mainstream? Economic and social oppression are not enough to explain this move. U.S. actions, and the actions of the oppressive regimes it supports to service dictates of its strategic objectives, its concepts of operation, are not enough to explain the phenomenon. You would not see mainstream extreme Christian and secular Jewish fundamentalism in America if economic and social oppression were enough to explain it.
Yes, I know Islamic extremists are terrorists and Christian and secular Jewish fundamentalists are vociferous advocates of state intervention, state interdiction. Fundamentalists in control of the state use means of war available to the state; fundamentalists not in control of the state use the means of war at their disposal. It is not more complex than that. The state legitimizes the state. Social contract theory was sundered irrevocably that day in 1900 Planck published his paper on the quantum of action. The Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state thence forward had no de jure status by appeal to laws of nature: Lockeís Second Treatise no longer had metaphysical validity. Who causes war? Armies? Show me a civilian whose habituated psychological states make him innocent of causing war: enculturation for war begins in the womb along with language learning. There is no such thing as an innocent civilian! One of my best friends in the Sixties, with a degree in PPE from the London School of Economics, left MACV-HQ his whole life and career orientation irrevocably changed, returned to get a Ph.D. in early childhood development, and became an elementary school staff development specialist because this womb learning of war is so clearly the case! I, on the other hand -- being a child of world war born to an American bomber pilot on Flag Day, 1945, whose ancestors arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1730s and have always been military men, evangelical ministers, or yeoman farmers -- picked up the scent very early in life. My catechism was administered by the Evangelical Grace Reform Church!
What is fundamentalism, religious or secular? It is a clinging behavior, a clinging to monotonic, purified identity (Puritanism being one form). Psychological clinging behaviors transpire when there is extreme existential anxiety due to an atmosphere filled with actual existential denial or perceived existential denial. Unconscious processes mediate its emergence. Today, driving mainstreams hither and yon, we have Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism, Hindu fundamentalism, even Buddhist fundamentalism (if you don't believe Buddhist fundamentalism, then you haven't been amongst Sinhalese in Sri Lanka lately).
All of these religious constituencies, and many ethnic groups besides, suffer profound effects of actual or perceived existential denial? Apparently so, judging from the behavioral gradients. But how could this be? Who is threatening non-existence to all of these religions, all of these peoples? Globalization, you might say, is the culprit. Or science, maybe. Then there is uniformizing technology and ISO 9002. Perhaps all of these, you feel.
But the ideology of cultural monism, and the drive to monotonic purified identity was the informing psychological salient for rise of Nazism. This was before what we know as globalization, before the International Standards Organization set global writ. Not before science, of course, and not before technology. Not even before science became technology research for war. Maybe science has something to do with it. The world all over, in deepest jungle, on the highest peak, science today sets terms by which world view constructs are judged by the elites of all cultures, all ethnic groups, all religions. If in throes of existential anxiety, people compulsively cling to familiar signifiers of purified self-identity it is because something is amiss in the tool by which their Umwelt, their own world, is judged.
I have argued that the meanings of strategic elements of higher mathematics (Abelian functions, Riemann surfaces, transfinite sets) were falsified during the 19th century, that the field of logic was falsified at the turn of the century, and that quantum theory (SchrŲdinger's wave equation in specific) was falsified in the 1920s, each of these falsifications taking place because the discoveries falsified brought into grave doubt the sacrosanct Western notion of simple-identity embedded in foundational assumptions of post-Renaissance political economy. (See: Echo of the Mockingbird.) Domino effects of these falsifications have cascaded throughout every culture on the planet by virtue of science being the contemporary global world-view arbiter. A falsified science makes only incoherent cultural impacts, impacts that disturb, dissolve, disintegrate. There is no adjustment of tradition, of any tradition, that can adequately meet demands of science falsified. Under such circumstances, no culture can provide its population corpus with a coherent picture of its self-identity, all cultures become caldrons of existential anxiety, breeders of clinging behaviors. The more existential denial falsified science issues (recombinant genetics, alone, is a veritable viper pit of identity discombobulation), the more people, and peoples, cling to ever more purified familiar signifiers of monotonic identity -- whatever those signifiers may be.
The real irony is, the Cartesian-Newtonian system did not work, does not work, and will not work,
(to parody the title of the swan song of Mr. Komer, Director of CORDS) no matter what adjustments to it are made.
Derek wrote the following into his journals in 1971:
Our bureaucracies have not exactly established a reputation for dealing efficiently with complex challenges, without getting their wires crossed. This is a very important fact! Don't tell me the terrorist doesn't think in this vein.
The stories of the pre-9/11 snafus -- interagency rivalries and failure to exchange information between the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA; all the necessary information being in the data base uncorrelated so that enemy intentions were not read until after the fact; the CIA justifying its failure to share information on basis of the need to conceal sources and methods from the FBI and the NSA -- read exactly like the pre-Tet 1968 snafus. No discernible difference! But this is not surprising in an institutional environment based upon the assumption of inherent conflict of interests resolved by countervailing forces or the notion that conflict resolution and social harmony are to be defined as force divided against itself (sociopolitical applications of Newtonís laws of motion).
The 9/11 intelligence failure was the Tet-1968 intelligence failure reincarnated. Or one must entertain multiple levels of conjecture:
- The 9/11 attacks were wholly unjustified aggression by foreign parties, and were not anticipated by American authorities with enough specificity and prescience to be effectively interdicted.
- Given American actions abroad over the past several decades, attacks of this nature were only to be expected, indeed, were not only expected but were anticipated expectantly, with intentional benign neglect, as it was recognized that they would be a godsend in regards to justifying global and domestic policy initiatives felt to be necessary but otherwise not easily justified to the public and other nations.
- The attacks were acts of deception, discreditation and spoiling operations undertaken with the complicity or active involvement of agents of the U.S. Government -- sanctioned or non-sanctioned -- and justified on the basis of a looming fossil fuel crisis demanding major strategic geopolitical readjustments known to require a decade or more to complete.
- The attacks were acts of deception, discreditation and spoiling operations undertaken with the complicity or active involvement of agents of the U.S. Government -- sanctioned or non-sanctioned -- solely due to greed for oil profits.
- Complicity with or active involvement in the attacks by agents of the U.S. Government -- sanctioned or non-sanctioned -- was undertaken to provide justification for global policies which function as cultural can-openers, policies which open cultures to the forces of globalization and insure the imposition of global monoculture based on the American model.
- The compulsion for imposition of global monoculture justifying complicity with or active involvement in the attacks by agents of the U.S. Government -- sanctioned or non-sanctioned -- was subliminally motivated by fear of m-valued quantum states of identity (animism) associated with quantum systems. This compulsion arose and intensifies because quantum theory is being evermore experimentally verified, because quantum-based technologies are increasingly dominating everyday life, and because the principles of quantum mechanics are antithetical to the Cartesian-Newtonian precepts upon which prevailing institutions and habituated states of consciousness are based -- thus more and more undermining confidence in validity of these precepts.
Indeed, one can even imagine some people concluding that all of these levels of conjecture may simultaneously be correct.
And what is the Department of Homeland Security but CORDS reincarnated? After the intelligence failure comes the reorganization of the Cartesian-Newtonian institutions responsible for that failure. CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support) was in the works before the 1968 Tet offensive, because the paramount Vietnam intelligence failure was long running, cumulative, and responsible for the 1965 U.S. troop build-up. The troop build-up was undertaken because the Viet Cong terrorist network had by then reached extremely sophisticated levels of functioning. Injections of force (including 500,000 U.S. troops and bomb tonnage greater than that of World War Two) could not reverse an irreversible situation, only force major adjustments -- which took about three years to bring together. CORDS was created as a single manager system to oversee the Phoenix Elimination Program directed against the terrorist network of the Viet Cong. The Department of Homeland Security (a reincarnation of a Clinton proposal, i.e., in the works before the premier intelligence failure) is CORDS writ large, a 40-billion dollar response to the actions of nineteen people well, a single dimension of the hypertonic evoked response elicited by the Gang of Nineteen. One of the most elaborate cases of collective psychological induction in modern history. Holocaust hysteria imposed on 200-million people. So, what are the odds being offered in the Pentagon snack bar these days that the Department of Homeland Security will be more successful today than CORDS was yesterday? We will have to wait for about three years, probably, for major adjustments in Afghanistan and elsewhere to solidify before knowing whether the odds takers or the odds givers win the bet.
You protest. I say it again. You have been hoodwinked! The U.S. has won nothing in Afghanistan. It is losing the war. I say the same thing now (June, 2002) I said soon after the U.S. attacks began. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have performed brilliantly in response to U.S. actions in Afghanistan; they have made no major mistakes. They have lost every battle exquisitely, and as a result, they are very likely to win the war.
The Sandinista gave up when it became apparent that they would have to fight, not the Contra, but U.S. ground combat troops. Perhaps they were just too tired, too old. They could not have prevailed against U.S. troops, U.S. firepower, U.S. airpower had they remained a government (which must protect LOCs, and so on). They would have had to have shifted back to a pre-government, even, perhaps, so far back as to once again become only a united front. Just imagine the organizational nightmare this phase transition would have been! They would have had to have given up the comfort of their offices, abandoned the cities except for their clandestine stay-behinds. Many of them would have been killed and their victory would have been that of another generation, not their own. And they would have had to have greatly expanded the geographical boundaries of the conflict well beyond the borders of Nicaragua so as to force the U.S. to devote more and more personnel and resources to the task of pacification and public safety and maintaining integrity of LOCs and public utilities -- a task with an exponential growth curve as the involved geographical area increases. Mounting such a challenge was just too much for the Sandinista to contemplate, so they gave up. Actually, they also just didnít have the requisite organizational skills, which can be seen by looking at the evolution of their apparat in the period before they became a government: the influence of Ché Guevara, Régis Debray, Frantz Fanon. And the incipient battle was thereby postponed, for decades perhaps, as new metastatic foci form, encapsulate, multiply, and expectorate in Northern Latin America.
Not so, the Taliban and Al Qaeda. They made no attempt to remain a government, no attempt to defend training camps that were more important to recruitment and public relations than to actual training of network cadres (who require tradecraft, not infantry tactics, and who are never formed into military-type units). They made only the obligatory token effort to hold the cities. They jettisoned their non-essential personnel, as well as those who would have become security risks under the new circumstance, and burdensome replaceable matťriel. They left their clandestine stay-behinds in the cities and at critical points for intelligence gathering, cleared out, fought holding operations only in those cities where covering actions were required in order to facilitate evacuation of important personnel. Similarly, in those large-scale cave and tunnel complexes built during the Soviet war with American money (for which the Americans certainly possessed floor plans), they fought only token resistance skirmishes or rearguard actions to cover retreat farther into the mountains. Indeed, they all but abandoned the country. And why not, given that their main task in strategic defensive is to expand geographical extent of the conflict? The dozen-and-a-half training camps U.S. Special Forces had used to train them for the Russian war in Afghanistan -- spread out along the Kashmiri frontier -- made excellent jumping-off points in terrain they knew well from myriad training exercises with American advisors. Besides, several years, at least, of solidifying strategic defensive (with intermittent tactical offensive operations) would inevitably be required before shift to strategic offensive could even be contemplated.
Clearly, the Taliban and Al Qaeda are not devotees of Ché Guevara, Régis Debray, Frantz Fanon. They did not make the army the nucleus of the party or lapse into undue subjectivism or mount Guevarist-type uprisings. To the contrary, the nucleus of their network had ecclesiogenic origins and was organized through a pre-existing ecclesiastic infrastructure -- making the inner core virtually impossible to subvert and insuring transgenerational integrity. Inspiration was taken from organizational algorithms developed by those who fought the French in Algeria. And they learned their lessons well from American mistakes in the Russian war in Afghanistan. Using the OSS-inspired support-to-a-resistance model, the Americans undermined all attempts at creation of a viable political infrastructure, thus sustaining factionalism and preventing resolution of the conflict, which dragged on and on. By contrast, the Taliban and Al Qaeda began their actions by creating a finely wrought politico-religious infrastructure poised for geographical expansion on a global scale before probing their adversary in a serious manner -- thus enticing that adversary into taking the bait: bite onto that exponential growth curve in resource commitment in order to maintain credibility by providing for public safety, integrity of LOCs, et cetera, on a global geographic scale over a protracted warís period of engagement. The U.S. has essential economic interests all over the planet. Therefore, it is necessary for the Taliban-Qaeda terrorist network to antagonize a local government only to the extent necessary to form viable coalitions with local dissident forces -- and insofar as the local government is embarrassed by attacks on U.S. interests upon its soil. Given how well all the preparations have been made, this task of strategic defensive is not at all a difficult one to undertake by the Taliban-Qaeda, not at all daunting regardless of the form taken in relationship with local dissident forces. Afghanistan, with its pony show training camps, a mere Corps Tactical Zone in a global conflict, was sewn together as a fishermanís fly and the U.S. took the hook on second go around (Clintonís bombing raid being the first). Only after shift from strategic defensive to strategic offensive will the Taliban-Qaeda again make a concerted push there. But they will keep just enough pressure on in Afghanistan to make necessary a continued U.S. presence.
I am sorry, sir, but I must strongly disagree. Ecclesiogenic origins of a political infrastructure is not a fatal long-term liability, as you suggest. To carry your assumption into counter-terror operations is to greatly underestimate your adversary. I would also maintain that suicide bombers and self-immolators do not commit suicide; they have long-since been dead-to-themselves when killed. Most people mistakenly assume that most peopleís experience is exactly as theirs is. Being dead to ones ego-sphere is a transfiguration, a transcendence of the Existentialistís human condition. This transfiguration occurs before the act of violence itself. This is what Frantz Fanon did not understand when he said, violence is not just a means to an end but a necessary experience in itself; violence is liberation; it is the cleansing fire which tests and purifies (stated in the chapter entitled Concerning Violence, The Wretched of the Earth, N.Y.: Penguin, 1967). Fanon recommended violence to the revolutionary as a way of purging the sense of inferiority the experience of being colonized imposes. In making such a recommendation, he doomed the revolutionary to non-experience of the states of consciousness necessary to achieve the forms of organization prerequisite to reaching the explicit goals of the revolutionary. Fanonís recommended employment of revolutionary violence is self-defeating. Were this not so, there would have been no need to make the film Apocalypse Now. If this statement is surprising, then that is largely due to the fact that most accounts of war are journalistic accounts, while no journalistís account ever captures the realities of war because, being a voyeur who comes and goes pretty much as he pleases and who does not have to take responsibility for life-or-death acts, the journalist does not experience the states of consciousness of actual participants in war.
When Special Forces A-Teams created CIDG camps in the central highlands of South Vietnam during the period 1961 to 1964, they arrived in country experiencing states of consciousness far more resonant with the tribal people they were to work with than with the states of consciousness experienced by other American persons. When they arrived! not as a result of their subsequent experiences in the central highlands. Not as a result of the horror, the horror. This was not the case with those Special Forces personnel arriving in country during the period 1965 to 1972. Why? Because when the CIDG program was terminated following the FULRO uprising, and the Colonel of Apocalypse Now retreated with his tribals into Cambodia, and the U.S. troop build-up took place, Special Forces personnel stopped receiving their paychecks from the CIA. Follow the money! The man who pays the bills sets the terms of reference. Under the Department of the Army after 1964, Special Forces was no longer Special Forces. Small unit cohesion deteriorated enormously because team integrity and mission-specific assignment was terminated. In the pre-1965 real Special Forces, there were no individual replacements to an A-Team during a mission. The team trained on a mission-specific basis as a team, was inserted on a mission-specific basis as a team, was pulled out as a team. Casualties were not replaced during a mission; integrity of the team was never violated. If casualties were too high, the remainder of the team was pulled out, and another one inserted. Psychologically, there was no such thing as an individual person in mission-bound pre-1965 real Special Forces. Such a cursed thing simply did not exist. In the early days, people volunteered for Special Forces, not because they were actually patriotic (most of them cultivated anarchist sentiments), but because they wished to get rid of the onus of an ĎIí (i.e., the onus of separatism, alienation, anomie, inauthenticity -- as the Existentialist says). At the moment of volunteering, they may not have been fully aware of this dimension of motivation, but in time it became quite clear. My ĎIí quit Special Forces in large measure because team integrity was terminated.
Why is this Special Forces history important to the topics of ecclesiogenic origins of a political infrastructure and use of violence by revolutionary movements? In order to actually understand this, one must get a feel for the whole sweep of human history in regards to the training of elite military units. This kind of training had it origins, not in war, but in spiritual practice; it arose out of shamanistic puberty rites of tribal peoples. Over time, as increasing role stratification more and more transformed tribal bonding values and their social forms (cross-cousin marriage, for instance), the psychological content of shamanistic practices was extracted, made formulaic (cross-training, for instance), and applied to the context of warfare -- while the spiritual intent of those practices was removed altogether or substantially reduced (with a few exceptions, such as Bushido). But no matter how stripped bare the shamanistic practices became in application to the training of elite military units, essence of the spiritual intent bled over in degree commensurate with the rigors of that training and the degree to which small unit cohesion was maintained. That essence was identity transparency: what quantum physicists call non-simple identity. There are transitional thresholds in training of such a unit, each threshold being a stress-induced collective psychological crisis. The individual recoils from the psychological induction, wishing to maintain the habituated sense of simple-self and the accustomed attribution of self-control and individual volition. One resists learning, for instance, that one can get not only a second and a third wind, one can entrain oneself to the rhythm of the group (a form of heterohypnosis) such that one literally could run -- carried half an inch off the ground by some ethereal property of the group through a tunnel of collapsed feeling-space and stalled time-rate perception -- without fatigue, until one dropped dead of a heart attack. Thus, may a particular sort of threshold in collective psychological induction be passed through: non-simple identity entered upon. This is not running through the forest in dark of night without tripping or hitting a tree (which requires an intense animistic interlock with the natural surround), but there are many such thresholds of transition in identity, each more elaborate and demanding than the one before, leading to thresholds which occur in the maw of battle.
Those who self-immolate as protest, commit motivated suicidal acts, or undertake missions with little likelihood of survival have so thoroughly identified their sense of self-being with the perceived needs of the whole to which they conceive themselves as belonging, that they have consciously died-to-themselves well before the event of physical death. The involved voluntary abandonment of the ego-sphere is a transfigurative act: time and space perceptions are fundamentally altered. There is no experience of stress. The extremely heightened sense of immediacy associated with the altered perceptions is direct awareness of being-in-itself, not self-being. This holographic state of part-whole/mediating/part-part identity transparency is an inherent property of the unconscious made conscious through a totalistic act of letting-go-before-the-group -- whether motivated by religious sentiment, a catharsis of political will, a shamanistic initiation rite, or an extremely rigorous elite military unit training regimen. All of this occurs before acts of violence are engaged in. Adrenalin rush is something different, a heightening of the sense of self-being in a person under mortal threat, at high risk, succumbing to acute stress, fighting to maintain existential habitus. Fanon, by focusing attention on the act of violence itself, drew attention away from the actual factors responsible for inducing the state of identity transparency. This state, when co-experienced by all members of the involved group, leads that group through a series of critical transition thresholds fulfilling the conditions for emergence of spontaneous order: total elegance of collective movement, unpremeditated complete coordination of response to challenge, volumetric perception, group prescience: hitting the target without looking at it. These spontaneous properties are the result of each-in-all/mediating/each-in-each, such that any perception available collectively or individually is available to all and each -- on some level of explicit or tacit awareness. Such states of consciousness make possible organizational processes of great efficacy.
But Fanonís error was not a unique personal error; it is the same error all humanity has made throughout recorded history -- otherwise, the species would not be addicted to war.
Cellular organization of a political infrastructure with ecclesiogenic origins is a most elaborate means to cultivate the above described states of consciousness in a pathological environment, i.e., a combat environment -- a state of war, be it called peace, be it called war. Training camps are not needed for such cultivation. Indeed, the best situation is that of everyday life in everyday circumstances, circumstances urban or rural. Honing tradecraft of a cell by running pre-mission training exercises in realistic circumstances is the method of choice. In a sense, this is paradoxical because, ever since the Renaissance in the West and the imposition of colonialism in the East, identity transparency has been absolutely denied to human experience in everyday life. Prior to that time, it was increasingly denied in service to the needs of role stratification. As this denial became more and more complete, massed warfare became more and more commonplace. This situation has become a phobic obsession in the West since advent of quantum mechanics. Why? Because non-simple identity, the quantum physicistís term for identity transparency, is a characteristic feature of quantum systems. This fact denies validity of Cartesian-Newtonian forms of social and political organization.
Identity transparency is an inherent quantum property of organisms -- built into the wave properties of their molecules, particularly their DNA molecules. Denying access to states of identity transparency in everyday life forces the human species to seek the experience in non-everyday life, non-everyday life such as mass warfare. And if the denial becomes thoroughgoing, then non-everyday life becomes everyday life. This is what happened to the human species in the 20th century.
Historically, the normal state of consciousness in unmolested tribal societies the world over elaborately exhibited properties of identity transparency. This is why the Cartesian-Newtonian, constitutionally-democratic, social-contract nation-state originated in genocidal attacks on tribal societies in The New World and on The Dark Continent. This is why, with the advent of theosophy, there was yellow-peril hysteria: Eastern thought, in large measure rooted in experience of identity transparency, had infected the European mind. Yellow-peril hysteria was a collective psychological projection. And when it became apparent that Special Forces A-Teams were arriving in Vietnam already experiencing the elaborate states of identity transparency characteristic of the tribal societies they were sent out to work with, THIS WAS A BIG PROBLEM. A movie had to be made to stigmatize this circumstance, this state of consciousness, this manifestation of spontaneous order, this illegitimate access to the denied condition which denied metaphysical validity of the nation-state (and led Special Forces personnel to cultivate anarchist sympathies based on direct immediate experience of spontaneous self-organization). This state-of-consciousness had to be designated as the horror, the horror. And so it was -- because this illegitimate access to the denied state of consciousness was an apocalypse now: the most heinous threat to the Cartesian-Newtonian world order, with it rigid role stratifications.
The prevailing situation of global conflict now takes on an uncanny weirdness. I recently read an account of a speech given by the head of Mossad to a NATO meeting wherein he said he thinks World War III began with the 9/11 WTC attacks. He went on to say that the involved targeting of civilians with suicide attacks is a totally new form of warfare that sets the character of this Third World War. He drew attention to the fact that the promulgators are not nation-states, but transnational groups.
The truly new factor, however, is not civilian targets, acts of suicide, or groupings formed across national boundaries, but a dimension of acausality. Any action taken by any party has geographically removed disproportionate outcomes which cannot be anticipated because there is no causal geopolitical connection between antecedent and consequent. But this did not begin with 9/11; it began with the war in Sri Lanka, along with Afghanistan, one of the two earliest full-blown characteristic post-Vietnam conflicts.
A lot of civilians were killed by military units of both combatants in the Vietnam war, and considering the communist policy of assassinating village-level officials and the US/GVN Phoenix Program and free-fire zones, this was an element of strategy employed by both contenders. But in Vietnam such strategy was not the main strategy employed by either party for winning the war. In Sri Lanka, however, as the war evolved, both sides began trading massacreís of civilians to such an extent that actual battles between opposing military units became a rarity and the war ground down into a stalemate situation. Sub-rosa Israeli advisors to the Sri Lanka Government continually urged a decisive invasion and occupation of the Jaffna peninsula, but each time this was attempted there was an international outcry and charges of a policy of genocide. India was opposed to such an invasion and occupation largely because of the big Tamil voting bloc in south India which was essential to Gandhi and his partyís hold on power.
This was the situation in Sri Lanka in 1986 when the Reagan bombing raid on Gadaffi took place half a world away. Derek Dillon was in Colombo at the time, hearing a lot of commentary on the war from the Director of Security for the Port of Colombo. One could literally feel the psychological ground shift in Colombo when the Reagan raid took place: suddenly, full-scale invasion of the Jaffna peninsula was possible. This was an acausal removed outcome of the Reagan raid. Because of instant global communications and transnational mobility of labor, situations that are far removed from each other, and ostensibly have no causal relation, are in fact tacitly coupled on the psychological level -- conscious and unconscious. A situation to which C. G. Jung, in characterizing the psychological run-up to WWII, applied the term sygyzy: a yoking together in the realms of the collective unconscious. India entered the Sri Lankan civil war to prevent the invasion of the Jaffna peninsula from becoming genocidal. Sinhalese, not Tamils, began in response a policy of assassinating large numbers of village-level Sri Lanka Government officials all over Sri Lanka, because they felt the government was allowing India to annex Sri Lanka. But the Indian Army eventually sided with the government against the interests of the Tamil Tigers and Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide attack by a pregnant Tamil woman trained by the Tigers.
The uncanny in present global conflict is in parallels with these events in Sri Lanka. The U.S. counter-terror invasion of Afghanistan, in response to the 9/11 WTC attacks, pushed the simmering Indo-Pak-Kashmiri conflict to the edge of all-out war -- which possibly could have involved a nuclear exchange. This was a proximal situation, and the two evolving circumstances were causally related, not acausally unrelated, yet tacitly coupled -- though there was a psychological dimension, in that India justified its troop build-up in response to the terrorist attack on its parliament by drawing a parallel with the U.S. declaration of global war on terrorism. Sharon, of course, similarly justified invasion and occupation of the West Bank. For the present, it appears that a proximal cause, the U.S. counter-terror invasion of Afghanistan, was not sufficient to push the Indo-Pak conflict to all-out war. Will this remain the case in the event of a removed occurrence, a removed occurrence such as an invasion of Iraq to get rid of Saddam? What other removed situations, besides the Indo-Pak conflict, would an invasion of Iraq acausally impact? Because of the present instant global communications, transnational mobility of labor, and associated psychological dimension, are situations that are acausally unrelated potentiated more decisively than situations that are causally related? This may well be the case, because causally related proximal situations can be anticipated with some facility and incorporated into contingency planning, while acausally unrelated, yet tacitly yoked or syzygial, removed situations cannot be similarly treated. Such cases fall into the purview of collective behavioral psychiatry, a medical field that has not yet emerged as a well defined discipline -- but is once again sorely needed.
You certainly picked the right three sentences to emphasize in the article How Al Qaeda Slipped Away (Newsweek, August 19, 2002):
We are confronted with cells that are all over the place, developing in a very horizontal structure without any evident big center of coordination Our operational evaluation today is that the threat is a lot greater than it was in December. That is to say, the worst is ahead of us, not behind us.
It's interesting that this quote is attributed to a European or Arab intelligence expert, not an American authority. It is evident also that the American editors don't quite get it, in that they designate this state of the network as a mutated form of Al Qaeda. In Vietnam, the MACV experts in the Command Operations Center of MACV-HQ absolutely refused and refused and refused to comprehend that even COSVN itself, the Central Office, the communist headquarters for the South, was organized in this constantly in movement, delocalized, horizontal, cellular fashion -- and in their outrage at the existence of what they refused to comprehend, they oh-so counterproductively and holocaust-inducingly bombed hell out of Cambodia with B-52 strikes. Did you notice that in the file photo, located just below the above-given quotation, a puff of smoke is identified as being from a B-52 strike. One would think Newsweek could hire someone better at photo interpretation than that! or who was able to purge his inappropriate affect and wish-fulfilling fantasies, at least for the period while on the job.
(An aside on postwar evaluation of the effectiveness of the bombing of COSVN. At Tet of 1988, Ngo Vinh Long went back to Vietnam and interviewed about two dozen Viet Cong cadres who had planned and participated in the 1968 Tet Offensive. He published a long two-part article on his findings in Vietnam Generation Newsletter. This was the most accurate piece on the offensive I ever had the opportunity to read outside of intelligence channels, and better than most things I read inside those channels. But it was clear that information in the communist system was so effectively fractionalized on the basis of need-to-know that even twenty years after the offensive these cadres had not been able to put together the big picture. I would say that the same principle applies to postwar Vietnamese communist impressions of the effectiveness of the bombing strikes on COSVN. There were tactical costs to the communists exacted by those bombings, but the strategic benefits that accrued far outweighed the losses apparent to cadres on the ground. These strategic benefits were understood and projectively delineated in captured documents dated as early as late 1967, and that assessment was why the communists had as one objective of the 1968 Tet Offensive to entice the U.S. into expanding the geographical boundaries of the war.)
But the intelligence expert quoted in Newsweek doesn't quite get it either. It's not a very horizontal structure. Structure is disposable. Functional requisites, set by the changing environment of the combat, determine all the phase transitions. Not structural mutations, but phase transitions. The intelligence analyst who keeps trying to pull structure out of the mass of confusion confronting him will anticipate absolutely none of the phase transitions. He needs to find terrorist network structure because that is what his commander's force structures can go after. The first step in Find, Fix, and Finish is to identify a structure to find. How do you bomb a function? How do you identify essential elements of information, EEI, without a structural tag on the Three F's? But the absence of any evident big center of coordination will keep the analyst obsessionally (not merely obsessively) pouring over his charts trying to resolve a structure, oh god! any structure -- particularly when he sees all sorts of coordinated activities and no apparent command and control channels that could possibly explain them. Functions, without apparent structures; coherent coordinated activities, without the requisite information exchange. Such quantum behavior is an absolute existential denial to Cisco Systems! to America's vision of its role in the Universe! to America's whole post-WWII approach to international monetary policy! We'll eventually just have to nuke'um.
And a couple of pages later in the same issue of Newsweek, we have a RELATED article entitled Cowboys und Indians, an article about German costume theater, where one can go to a camp and live like a Lakota dressed in authentic garb, so as to get in touch with your inner Teuton. The editor who wrote into this article didn't have any more insight into this phenomenon than the editor who wrote about the RELATED phenomenon of Al Qaeda mutation. The only interpretation he offers is:
(If the Indian cult grew even under Nazism and communism, it's in no small part because both regimes used the image of the Good Native to discredit America and Western capitalism.)
Realizing that this is the full extent of this editor's insight, one can entertain no possibility that America will not eventually nuke'um. No notion that identification with animism (Teutonic or native American) is subliminal identification with the quantal identity transparency responsible for the function of spontaneous coordination in a very horizontal structure without any evident big center of coordination. The editor is right that the existence of identification with such spontaneous coordination discredits America and Western capitalism, but he does not consciously understand that this discrediting is by virtue of the function of spontaneous coordination being an expression of a fundamental quantum attribute of nature antithetical to the 17th and 18th century metaphysical falsehoods upon which American democracy and Western capitalism are based. Nor does he seem to realize that his secretary, or the one down the hall, with her tattoos and pierced navel is subliminally engaging in just the same psychological identification with animism and spontaneous quantal coordination as is the Teutonic Lakota-for-a-week. Indeed, so many millions and millions of non-Muslims -- not overtly into mutated horizontal structures -- all over the world are getting pierced and tattooed every which where, one must begin to think that a collective unconscious quorum is about to be reached on the notion that the only solution to the present biospheric crisis is to altogether terminate the present civilization and start again from scratch.
I do not think the present (08/31/02) nub of controversy is about a prospective invasion of Iraq; it is about the other Middle East targets, about the intended massive forced population relocations, about the planned oil industry expropriations in the Kermit Roosevelt tradition, and so on. At each stage in the unfolding of this concept of global operations there will be apparent success. Only in the final cusp will it become impossible to conceal the reality of what has transpired. Islamic extremism is still largely media-directed terrorism; the serious transitions havenít really begun yet. When the constituency for war against the very idea of the nation-state and its supraordinate agglomerations jumps the extremism barrier and becomes normative for the moral majority, then it will be accurate to say that global insurgency has come of age. The Bush Doctrine, in due course, will produce this transition -- and if it doesnít, what replaces it will.
How do I justify making apocalyptic predictions? You wish to stay with this subject, I see. Okay, so be it. I quit college with the explicit purpose of going to Viet Nam because I had concluded that America was in the grips of a collective psychosis having its origins at least as early as my fatherís generation. I had seen it in American behavior toward the Japanese as a child in the 50s; I had seen it intensify in the early 60s and focus upon the war in Viet Nam. I knew, being an American and a military brat, that the only way I would gain insight into this psychotic dimension in the American character, and thus in my own character, was to go to Viet Nam and observe the psychosis up close, as close as would be made possible by being a member of the Green Berets. In Viet Nam during the spring of 1968, I had certain knowledge some enormity was going to occur, but I was not capable of pushing my thought from the existing circumstances to a full envisioning of the character and scale of events which ultimately became the Cambodian holocaust. I had certainty because the decision makers were mentally deranged. This was particularly visible in behaviors displayed by high ranking American officers and officials visiting CICV-Targets, the intelligence unit where B-52 bombing sites were chosen. What I didnít know at that time was that the U.S. balance of payments deficit had become so extreme that this was one major reason why Westmorelandís request for 200,000 more troops was denied: big American corporations were starting to take rabbit punches to the solar plexus. Inflation was seriously hurting interests of the super-rich. Tariff barriers had to go up. Almost beyond imagination, there were financial constraints on American policy. I did not fully envision the Cambodian holocaust because I did not know where expansion of the war would transpire. Had West-more-land gotten his extra 200,000 troops when requested, there would have been a drive west across the landscape of Laos to block the Ho Chi Minh Trail -- and a bonfire would thus have been lit across northern Thailand into the Shan States of Burma. Vietnamese (not Lao, not Thai, not Burmese) LBNs (Letter Box Numbers) were spread out through the whole area, indicating they had done their homework. So, I didnít know where, what, or exactly when, only that it was going to be a large enormity. And today, I have certainty there will be an enormity on a scale commensurate with the prevailing global concept of operations. In MOON, Derek Dillon forecasts a Cambodian holocaust of the Whole Earth. Personally, my other I am is in the same mental position I was in in Saigon during early 1968. I cannot predict details or exact timing, but there is no lack of certainty. The level of collective psychosis is far more elaborate now than it was 40 years ago. The leadership elite is far more deranged than it was in 1968. Regardless of media proclamations, publication content, or the posturing of photo ops, there is no intention on part of institutional leaders in any area of human endeavor or of the super-wealthy globally to solve any of the problems currently facing the species, the biosphere, the planet. Indeed, the intent is to block all attempts at finding authentic solutions, whatever form such solutions may take. Think this is a very great exaggeration, do you? These are basically good people who occasionally make honest mistakes? Why, forgodísake, would they want to prevent solutions? Just to serve their own vested interests? These people are mentally ill, thatís why. Your implied attribution of rationality is unfounded. Why are they mentally ill? By way of answering, I would suggest you read MOON. And these mentally ill people will continue to have great success at blocking potential authentic solutions. Collective hysteria will continue to grow -- until the cusp is reached. Dillon believes the collective hysteria will by then have become so great that, irrespective of ethnic origins, all professionals of whatever profession will be targeted, hunted down, killed, like in Russia with the Tzar and his family and those who served his governance, or like in the Cultural Revolution -- only far more violent and spread out on a global scale. My other I am personally doesnít know. It seems to my me that it may well be far worse then my I am is capable of imagining -- just as was the case in the spring of 1968. The behavior of societies caught in the grips of collective psychosis is no easier to predict than is that of psychiatrists who lived through the events of World War Two and still maintain there is no such thing as collective psychosis.
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