Death Squads—Part I

Recently, one of the General Government’s District Court Judges dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the purported authority of the President to order the assassination overseas of American citizens whom someone in the Executive Branch has categorized as a dangerous “terrorist”. The Judge ruled that the plaintiff, being only the father of the threatened victim, rather than the victim himself, lacked “standing” to prosecute the suit, and that in any event the issue involved a “political question” that could not be adjudicated in court. So the underlying claim was not decided, one way or the other.

The judicial dodge of denying “standing” to people who raise contentions that are extremely embarrassing to rogue officials in the General Government has become all-too-familiar these days—particularly in lawsuits and other proceedings that raise challenges to the qualifications of Barak Obama for the office of President. But in this case, not merely usurpation, but nothing less than murder is the ultimate issue. Which, one might have imagined, should have given even the most legally dim-witted and morally obtuse judge serious cause for concern that perhaps the matter was not just a “political question”.

Rather than analyzing the some eighty-three pages of this particular Judge’s opinion, though, I shall simply lay out some of the principles on which any honest and competent jurist would not only find “standing” in a case such as this, but also declare the claims of the Executive Branch to be unconstitutional.

1. The basic assertion from the Executive Branch is that the President, in his capacity as “Commander in Chief” during “the war on terror”, enjoys the inherent power, by himself or through his subordinates, to identify certain American citizens as extremely dangerous “terrorists”, and on the basis of that determination to order operatives of the General Government to assassinate those Americans wherever they may be found in foreign venues. Furthermore, the exercise of this purported power: (i) is not dependent upon any prior judicial determination that an individual targeted for execution is guilty of any crime punishable by death, or that the individual could not be apprehended and made to stand trial in some court; and (ii) is not subject to any other kind of judicial review, either before or after the execution takes place. Indeed, because many of the supposed facts on which a determination of an individual’s status as a “terrorist” certainly will be claimed to be “state secrets”, meaningful judicial review either ex ante or ex post would routinely be impossible as a matter of practice. In addition, inasmuch as the Constitution does not limit the exercise of the powers of the “Commander in Chief” (whatever they may be) to foreign venues only, no reason can be found why the supposed authority to execute certain Americans outside of any judicial process, if it does exist at all, cannot be exercised within the United States proper, even on the lawn of the White House itself. After all, if an American “terrorist” who might be apprehended in Afghanistan may nonetheless simply be assassinated there, because some bureaucrat in the Executive Branch considers the latter course of action more efficient than the former, then why should not an American “terrorist” operating within the United States also simply be executed out of hand, for the same eminently practical reason? So, in its fullest statement, the President’s contention is that he enjoys judicially unreviewable discretion—acting either by his own hand or by the hands of his minions—to assassinate, anywhere in the world and presumably by whatever means may prove effective, any American citizen whom someone in the Executive Branch, whose identity may never be disclosed, has identified as a dangerous “terrorist” by some process and on the basis of some purported evidence that in its most important particulars may forever remain secret.

2. This stark statement of the issue settles the question of “standing”. For, on this statement, any American—and certainly every American who, for whatever reason, may run politically afoul of the Executive Branch or of some subversive private organization with malign influence over the Executive Branch—is potentially the victim of an “official” assassination, the real reason for which can easily be disguised behind some fictional, or perhaps merely erroneous, assertion that the victim is a “terrorist”. Because the process and criteria for selection of an individual for “official” assassination are largely secret, one cannot predict who these victims will be, until they are killed and someone from the Executive Branch admits to complicity in the deed. But, self-evidently, once a victim has been executed, an injury irreparable by judicial process will have occurred. So, if the courts are to enforce the constitutional mandate of the Fifth Amendment that “[n]o person shall * * * be deprived of life * * * without due process of law”—with proper emphasis on the word “[n]o”—then they must entertain at least one suit by one American to determine the legality of the power the President claims, before that individual—or anyone else—is actually assassinated. Which means that the very first lawsuit meeting the standard requirements for personal jurisdiction and venue should be heard on the merits. (Of course, this would not guarantee that the issue would be decided correctly, the Bench being overrun by one Judge Flapdoodle after another in every jurisdiction throughout the federal system. But at least it would move the process of inquiry ahead under public scrutiny.)

Prudential considerations compel the same result. The doctrine of “standing” is mostly the bastard contrivance of individual judges, in the formulation and application of which the personality on the Bench rather than any fixed and certain legal principle usually decides the outcome. As such, the doctrine of “standing” is wholly nonscientific—being both unverifiable and unfalsifiable. Yet, in this case, that is no demerit. Rather, it is an advantage. Because, here, a clever judicial wordsmith could easily concoct out of bits and snippets extracted from hundreds of other judicial opinions his own decision in favor of “standing”. And although other jurists and lawyers might disagree with his conclusion, who could declare him to be wrong in any objective sense? No one. He would, as well, be quite right morally. Because, having found “standing”, he could at least temporarily enjoin the continuation of the program of “official” assassinations, until the Judiciary could pass on the question after plenary consideration, thereby preventing who could predict how many irretrievable violations of the Fifth Amendment. Eventually, higher courts might overrule him, licensing the assassins to proceed. But then the blood would encarnadine those judges’ hands, not his.

If they were honest in their claim of constitutional authority, the President and his agents in the General Government, too, would themselves encourage this result, so as to find out exactly where they stand legally. For if “official” assassinations committed anywhere within the United States are unconstitutional, then both the assassins and their principals are criminals for whose transgressions the penalty may be death. For just one example, Title 18 of the United States Code provides as follows:

§ 241. Conspiracy against rights.
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, * * * or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

§ 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law.
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, * * * shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, * * * or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Moreover, the victims of attempted unconstitutional “official” assassinations would, in the exercise of their natural right of self-defense, be entitled to resist their assailants with deadly force. Which means that, in an environment in which any agent of the General Government might secretly be engaged in an “official” assassination on American soil, against which the Judiciary refused to protect the citizenry, any American—and certainly any political dissident—could reasonably and justifiably resist any government agent with deadly force at any time, because the victim would have no way of knowing whether that particular agent’s assault was actually a “hit” disguised as some kind of supposedly valid “law enforcement”. Too many contemporary Americans may be sheep willing to be shorn; but it is unlikely that more than a few of them are sheep willing to be slaughtered after they finally realize that such is the shepherd’s intention, and are exposed to some examples of his bloody handiwork. And having publicly espoused the position that they may with impunity kill any American for secret (and judicially unreviewable) reasons at any time, agents of the General Government could hardly complain if every American took them at their word, and defended himself accordingly.

Obviously, to allow a situation of this kind to degenerate into widespread violence would verge on madness. So, any judge’s invocation of the “standing” ruse to derail timely litigation of this issue is more than merely intellectually indefensible and morally irresponsible. Unless the judge can successfully invoke the defense of insanity on his own behalf, his misuse of the “standing” doctrine amounts as well to his complicity in—and at least equal culpability for—whatever crimes may be perpetrated in the course of any attempted “official” assassinations. For part two click below.

vieiraDr. Edwin Vieira  is IAI’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Jurisprudence and Constitutional and Monetary Law.

This article was originally published originally published at on December 10, 2010.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.


C.S. Lewis’ Christian message in ‘Dawn Treader’

Erudite Christian author and evangelist/philosopher C.S. Lewis was pretty clear about the basic Christian symbolism in the seven books of his children’s classic, “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

For instance, the author once wrote about the character of Aslan, the Son of the Emperor Beyond the Sea:

“He is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question, ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia, and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He actually has done in ours?'” Lewis said.

This is what happens in the first book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” which tells the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through Aslan the lion, its effect on Edmund’s regeneration, redemption and salvation as well as the healing of Narnia from the curse of the White Witch.

Lewis continues this Christian symbolism in the third book, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which 20th Century Fox is releasing as a movie Friday, Dec. 10. Although the movie skips over some of the Christian symbolism from the book and changes the plot to be more dramatic and cohesive, much of the symbolism is still there.

C.S. Lewis writes in such a way that there are layers of meaning in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” as explained in the book “Narnia Beckons.” Clothes, for instance, have various different meanings. By putting on the robes in the wardrobe, the children are clothing themselves in effect in their future royal robes.

Most of the greatest writers write on several levels. Shakespeare most often wrote on at least three levels: the spiritual – such as when Hamlet ponders “to be or not to be”; the mundane or material – such as when Hamlet deals with Polonius; and the fleshly nature – as when Hamlet deals with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Lewis and Tolkien went way beyond this. Lewis’s work dealt with many levels, including a cosmology that brought the spiritual world into the material world, what the Irish like Lewis would call “a thin place.”

The church used to look at reality in terms of many different levels, such as the kerygma, or message, which is presented clearly here in this movie; the incarnational, which is the presence of God as manifested in Aslan; and, the sacramental, which is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. In other words, regarding the sacramental, when a married person wears a ring, the ring is not the marriage; it is an outward sign of the spiritual condition of being married. This is missing in the movie to a degree, although the filmmakers have done an incredible job of capturing some allegorical and metaphorical meaning.

Today, Christian evangelicals usually focus on the message, Catholics often focus on the sacramental and others, such as traditional mainline Protestants, focus on the incarnational – and so, the different groups of the church can barely understand each other. C.S. Lewis understood this and was trying to bring it all together.

In one way, both the book and the movie as a whole tell the story of a Christian pilgrimage to a sacred side, the border between Narnia and Aslan’s country, i.e. heaven.

That journey begins with a symbolic baptism when Lucy, Edmund and their silly, mean cousin, Eustace, suddenly find themselves in the Narnia ocean near the Dawn Treader, on which King Caspian is leading an expedition to find the seven lost lords who were friends of his father.

Both in the book and the movie, the seven lost lords remind us of the seven churches in Revelation and the seven angels associated with those churches, to whom Jesus Christ asks John to write individual letters, as well as the seven deadly, cardinal sins. Some of that symbolism remains, so that it is clear that the lord who fell into the dragon lake and turned into gold succumbed to greed, but much of the other symbolism is sacrificed for the more dramatic plot.

One of the greatest, most moving, episodes in the book and the movie is the special transformation, repentance, rebirth and baptism Eustace undergoes when he is changed into a dragon because of his sinfulness and greed.

The image of the dragon scales covering Eustace remind us visually of his and our grotesque sinful nature.

Eventually, Eustace recognizes his need for salvation and deliverance from his sin. Full of repentance, he tries to scrape the dragon scales off by himself, but he needs Aslan, the symbolic representation of Jesus, to step in and deliver Eustace from his sinful nature and baptize him. This is the regeneration, salvation and baptism of Eustace. In effect, Eustace is “born again” (see John 3:1-21).

Eustace isn’t the only character undergoing a spiritual journey in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

For example, with Aslan’s help, Lucy must avoid the temptation to be more like her sister Susan, who is outwardly beautiful but has drifted away from her belief in Aslan.

There’s also the example of Reepicheep the Adventurous Mouse. Reepicheep longs to actually travel to Aslan’s “country” beyond the sea, the representation of heaven in the Narnia chronicles. Aslan tells him and the others, however, that, once they go to Aslan’s country, they cannot return. Thus, Reepicheep, who sails alone atop a giant blue wave to enter Aslan’s country, is like Elijah, the great prophet who didn’t die but entered heaven in bodily form.

This scene is probably the emotional high point of the entire book and movie.

At the boundary between Narnia and Aslan’s country, Aslan tells Lucy and Edmund that he exists in their world too.

“But there I have another name,” he says. “You must learn how to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little while, you may know me better there.”

Aslan is, of course, referring to Jesus Christ, the incarnate deity in our human world (in the books, Narnia is depicted as an animal world to where humans from Earth have found their way, which is why Aslan appears like a lion, a reference to Jesus Christ as the “Lion of Judah” in Revelation 5:5).

A succinct summary of who Jesus Christ is, can be found in the beautiful passage in Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT):

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

The good news about the new movie version is that it keeps Aslan’s important reference to Jesus Christ in this piece of dialogue.

In the book, during the visit to the Dark Island, Aslan continues this comparison with Jesus by sending an albatross that at first “looked like a cross” to lead them out of the darkness and into the light.

Finally, in the movie and the book, as the Dawn Treader sails nears Aslan’s country, the light from the sun gets brighter and brighter, and everyone’s vision is improved by the ocean water, which has gotten sweeter and sweeter.

The symbolism of the water and light refers to the light that Jesus Christ brings to men, and the water refers to the power of the Holy Spirit that fills us when we put our faith and trust in God through Jesus Christ.

As Jesus tells the woman at the well in John 4:14, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

These are just some of the Christian and biblical references and themes in the Christian worldview reflected by “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” MOVIEGUIDE® encourages people to explore the other Christian symbols and themes in the book and the movie, such as the images of Aslan’s banquet table and the theme of overcoming temptation.


Dr. Ted Baehr is the founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission, and a well-known movie critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. He also is the author of several books, including “The Culture-Wise Family” with legendary entertainer Pat Boone, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Study of Culture, Media, and Mass Entertainment at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought. For more information, please call 800-899-6684 or go to the MOVIEGUIDE website.

This article was originally published at on December 7, 2010. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

Danger Ahead—Part II

Though unified around the project of Universal Caliphate, Islam does not pose any great strategic danger to the West in the short term. However, nothing that happens in the Islamic world is isolated from the grand “Eurasian” strategy that today guides the governments of both Russia and China. The idea for this strategy originated in the doctrine of “National Bolshevism,” an ideological syncretism created by writer Edward Limonov and philosopher Alexander Dugin in the 1980’s. Starting from a brutally stereotyped schematic view of Western civilization, derived from Sir Karl Popper’s book, “The Open Society and Its Enemies,” Limonov dreamed of a global alliance among all the potential enemies of the Western scientific-relativistic mentality, i.e. among all the lovers of “absolute truths.” And since this alliance simply aimed to destroy relativism—and by extension, the civilization founded upon it—little did it matter to Limonov that the various absolutes he summoned to the fight contradicted one another: the negative brotherhood could include in itself, with no greater scruples of consistency, communists and Catholic traditionalists, Nazis, fascists, Islamites, Hindus, admirers of René Guénon and Julius Evola, etc. As if this notion was not elastic enough, the holy unity would even receive with open arms all manner of haters of America, even those absolutely devoid of any identifiable absolute: punks, “rebels without a cause,” Black Power militants, and so on. In the wave of anti-Americanism that has spread around the world after the dissolution of the USSR, the offer to appease old antagonisms on the basis of hatred of a common enemy seemed a relief to many people, especially to Guénonians and Evolians, who, being hostile to the “modern world” in general, saw in it the remedy of their harrowing sense of isolation.

“National Bolshevism” was just an ideology, but Alexander Dugin (whose brain is far more consistent than Limonov’s), has eventually overcome it and absorbed it into a formidable strategic synthesis, “Eurasianism,” which now guides Vladimir Putin’s international policy, and whose first substantial victory was the establishment of the Shanghai Pact (see ), designed to expand until it can include, if possible, all the anti-American forces of the universe (especially the Muslim Brotherhood), not only around a vague ideological proposal, but very well-defined political-military plans.

Both Limonov and Dugin are sons of KGB officers, and the latter is now the maître à penser of the man who most clearly embodies the KGB in power.

Seduced by the promise of destroying the “modern world,” many traditionalists—Catholic, Orthodox, or Muslim—will probably end up becoming the best useful idiots that the KGB has ever had at its disposal. It has never occurred to any of these brilliant minds to notice that the liberalism of Karl Popper is one thing and the American nation is quite another, that the destruction or marginalization of the latter will not bring about the extinction of the execrable “modernity” and the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth, but rather the triumph of Western globalists (Bilderbergers and tutti quanti), to whom the neutralization of U.S. national power is the urgency of urgencies, and whose relations with the Russian-Chinese scheme are much friendlier than any “Eurasian” rhetoric may intimate  (the very support of the Obama administration to the Egyptian rebellion is further evidence of this).

The crisis in Egypt is not only a victory of radical Islam, but of the Eurasian project that stands behind it.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was originally published in the newspaper Jornal do Brasil on May 8, 2008, and translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota and Bruno Mori.

The New Russian Threat Out of the Old Soviet Collapse

This week I continue my conversation with former KGB Lt. Col. Victor Kalashnikov, who was kind enough to outline the untold story of the Soviet Union’s collapse. Kalashnikov was a KGB analyst who worked in Austria during the events of 1989-1991. The fall of the Soviet Union, he says, was an event that has been widely misrepresented and misunderstood. “We are going to mark the 20th anniversary of that event this year,” he noted. “I happened to be a witness, and I will comment, from memory, what I experienced; how the authorities acted, and how they reacted. There is a widespread opinion that economic problems were the main cause of the USSR breakdown, that economic problems led to Gorbachev’s reforms. My counter-arguments are: (1) the USSR was a society run by people with particular interests and motives; (2) these people were perfectly happy with the economic arrangement of the Soviet Union.”

Kalashnikov pointed to the southern Russian city of Tagonrog, where his uncle Alexei was the head of the city’s KGB. “I have visited him and his family various times in the sixties and seventies,” said Kalashnikov. “My uncle, who was a KGB general, occupied the best flat in this nice southern city. He had two Volga cars, and one from the KGB with a driver, for traveling. I remember at the time how people brought huge quantities of delicacies into my uncle’s flat. He had a huge villa on the Black Sea shore. Moreoever, he together with his Party colleagues, had an airplane at their disposal, an old lend lease plane, so they could fly to Moscow for shopping. They also made European tours through the Mediterranean. Summarizing all that, my uncle had no economic problem in the old Soviet Union. Most sections of the Soviet nomenklatura [ruling class], lived an upper middle class average existence. Today many of them live much higher, of course. But in the 1980s they were not motivated to change anything radically at all. That is my point.”

While the ruling elite lived comfortably, the people of the Soviet Union lived miserably. According to Kalashnikov, “Marina and myself made very expensive trips through the USSR as researchers, together with other researchers and students from our university. In 1980 or 81 we visited the Urals. Let me tell you, frankly, I visited hundreds of industrial enterprises and farms, city governments and hotels, and villages, and there was practically no food in the stores because everything was distributed through a sophisticated system by the population. The shelves in the stores were empty. There was one type of canned beans, a few staples, and nothing else. Now, in summer time, the water was hardly drinkable at all. The smell was horrible. The living condition of the vast majority of people was absolutely miserable. The nomenklatura lived well, but up to 90 percent of the people lived in squalor. The housing for normal citizens was desperate to catastrophic. Yes, indeed, the Russian people were facing very severe problems, it is true. But so what? The economic situation of the people had no impact on the stability of the regime. Was there any danger of a revolt? Absolutely not. After Stalin’s terror, the rulers knew how to block dissent, how to put people in jail. They had the gulag [prison camp system]. There was, of course, no labor movement. It was absolutely quiet, and this was normal. There was a sort of joke told at the time: ‘What is the Polish Solidarity [union]? When there is no food in Sverdlovsk they go on strike in Gdansk.’ The situation was absolutely horrible in Russia, but they strike in Poland. This is the Russian sarcastic form of humor. To evaluate this development in point of view of general economic problems, if you look at social groups, we easily may discover that there was no political or social unrest from the population. In the Urals, for example, everything was okay. Gorbachev could have governed in the same way for another 20 years. So why did everything change? I do not believe the economic problems were the major cause of the Gorbachev changes.”

Kalashnikov makes an excellent point. Furthermore, we know from the writings of Soviet Bloc defectors (like Jan Sejna and Anatoliy Golitsyn) that a change in the Communist system was contemplated long before the 1980s. This change was envisioned as part of a long-range strategy. The immediate occasion for reverting to this strategy, according to Kalashnikov, was Ronald Reagan. “Not only him personally,” explained Kalashnikov, “but his administration, his policy, his strategy and that of NATO. In the early and mid 80s I was in the Analytic Department of the KGB, and there was concern about military-political pressure from the West, from the Americans especially. There was competition in space, the oceans and in the military area. To assess all this properly, you have to look at events in the early 70s. What I mean is, of course, the war in Vietnam. Moscow drew a simple conclusion from that war. The conclusion of the Soviet General Staff was that the Americans could be defeated on the battlefield without recourse to nuclear arms. For that we only needed a Third World country, armed and trained by ourselves, and a good proletarian party with a strong leader. To gain such countries, the Soviet Union embarked on a worldwide expansion under the policy of détente [or разрядка]. The Soviets intervened in Africa, taking over Angola and Mozambique, and they involved themselves in Nicaragua. There was a successful global offensive, with some setbacks. This occurred at a time of general American weakness, due to the support we had from leftists and pacifists. I had access to General Staff reports from 1984, with operational military assessments. These included the effects of mass demonstrations on American military and rocket bases. The Soviets continued in this way until something changed quite unexpectedly for us.”

As Kalashnikov explained, President Ronald Reagan had begun putting military pressure on the Soviet Union during his first term. Reagan proposed the construction of anti-ballistic missile defenses for America (the Strategic Defense Initiative). He oversaw an increase in the size of the U.S. Army and Navy. There were qualitative and technological improvements to American forces as well. Were the Americans bluffing? Was the period of U.S. weakness at an end? Then, in 1986, Arab terrorists struck a discotheque in Germany. “This was carried out by Libyans with help from the East German Stasi,” said Kalashnikov. “Three people were killed, including American servicemen, and 200 wounded. Some days after that, American aircraft bombed Libya. It was a massive military response, which was serious. My superiors evaluated the situation carefully, and I was at several meetings. Just one attack on a disco, and the Americans sent in bombers. There would be no joking with Ronald Reagan or his people. This episode showed that the Soviet strategy of applying pressure on the West had reached its limit. We must now think things over. My bosses were upset and concerned about the American behavior. It was one of those crucial events, along with other indications of growing will on the Western side to contain the Soviet offensive, and to launch strategic counter-attacks wherever possible, with no serious compromises.”

Since the Soviet Union had begun pushing into Africa, into Afghanistan, and into Central America, the American’s felt obliged to firm up their defenses. From the Soviet strategic vantage-point, there was nothing further to be gotten from direct expansion. A reversion to another strategic model, long held in reserve, was to begin. The new strategy would employ diplomacy. “It’s about the idea of launching the common European house,” said Kalashnikov, “allowing the Germans to unify so that they would ask the Americans to go home, and they would pay off Moscow and transfer technologies to the USSR, etc. I know that the German unification was a scheme to produce a favorable outcome for the Kremlin, because pro-Soviet forces would come to power in Germany, mainly from the Left. We were confident of this. The main goal was to drive the Americans from Europe. If we succeeded, in that case, with destabilizing NATO, we would have more options from our fellow Europeans. In the first stage of this so-called German-Soviet condominium, the fate of Czechoslovakia and Poland was unimportant because the framework was ours. We were working with the Germans directly. It was all in the spirit of the Rapallo Treaty [1922], or the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact. The slogan was, ‘The Americans out, the Soviets in, the Germans up.’  What happened next, however, was not expected. The unification of Germany was carried out very rapidly, in a few months. Nobody expected this. In the course of 1990 the Soviet armed forces, which were intended to occupy Western Europe, found themselves sitting on NATO territory. There was no option for keeping this force in Germany. So the Russians were placed in an impossible situation. The Soviet forces had to leave. The process of that massive retreat had a huge impact on the Soviet Union. The Soviet machine was a massive military industrial monster. So the withdrawal of Soviet armies from Europe meant that the system was largely destabilized. It meant that a ripple effect was felt throughout the Urals [i.e., military industry]. The entire enforcement apparatus went out of balance. The situation dictated an abrupt change of domestic policy. In August 91 conservative forces supposedly took over in a coup. Gorbachev arranged this himself because he felt cheated in Europe. At the same time they engaged Saddam Hussein to occupy Kuwait, and Saddam started to threaten Saudi Arabia. Bush senior was clever enough not to engage too deep in Iraq at that time, while Moscow became an indispensible partner for the West in the United Nations Security Council. Later, the 9/11 catastrophe was necessary to lure America’s military might into Afghanistan and Iraq. That made Washington even more dependent on Moscow, and that is the strategic situation of today. What happened in 1991, with the collapse of the USSR, was due to the escalation of a political crisis in Ukraine. This was a huge and important part of the Soviet Union, and the Ukrainians continued to offer resistance, leading to serious discontent and opposition. And I know from Ukrainian KGB people that they worried all the time that something was going on; and if they lost control, there would be serious trouble for Moscow itself. That’s why the Ukrainian KGB was even more cruel and stubborn than it was in Russia. In our conversations, when they came to Lubyanka to various meetings, we expressed our criticism of their harshness, and their various scandals. They would reply, ‘You have no idea how dangerous and difficult the situation is in Ukraine.’ So when the Soviet military and Soviet forces suffered the shock of withdrawal from Europe, the activists in Ukraine organized a revolt. The Ukrainians were ready for armed resistance. They also had units within the Soviet armed forces. We were warned of this, that it was serious and reality-based. The leadership in Kiev kept calling Moscow for help, for any kind of support. But Moscow was unable to help, because it was engaged with Germany and NATO. So it was absolutely impossible to mobilize units to suppress the Ukrainian resistance. That was the real problem. As Ukraine got its independence, the national democrats came to power there, and the Soviet Union was done. This was clear to everyone. Without Ukraine, the USSR was a fiction. The political influence of Ukraine spread in all directions. It spread to Russia, infected the Russian democrats. Ukraine became a major stumbling block for the Soviet elite.”

But all was not lost for the KGB or the Communist elite. Decades earlier, Soviet planners had looked ahead to a time when a reform of the Soviet system would be necessary. In a book published in 1984, KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn wrote about a secret Soviet plan to do away with Communist Party dominance. This, he said, would be a deception. The Communist Party would still exist underneath the surface. It would merely go underground, or break into various new parties that would control the Russian political process according to a script. In facing the crisis, Kalashnikov noted the Kremlin’s agility: “Moscow managed to regroup itself, to recuperate, by launching Islamist forces. In this way they kept Soviet legitimacy. This is extremely important to understand. In diplomatic terms, the Russian Federation is the Soviet Union of today. It has all the prerequisites, with the Security Council, central structures, etc. And it retains the status of nuclear superpower. Back in 1991 we were told, ‘Listen comrade, it is a defeat for us. But it is a temporary setback.’ The Soviet Union never accepted defeat in the Cold War, not for a minute. There was not even a temporary break in the policy from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to Putin. We have been reorganizing and will be back on track. You may remember the removal of the Dzerzhinsky monument from in front of KGB headquarters. Now let me describe the reaction in our ranks, in our residencies. When we saw what happened in Moscow, there was a general sigh of relief. We knew that someone had masterfully distracted the crowd in front of our headquarters to that poor Dzerzhinsky monument, so our premises remained untouched. That was a huge difference from what happened in East Berlin. We immediately realized that the leaders and organizers of that crowd were KGB assets, our agents. The fall of Dzerzhinsky’s statue was arranged by the KGB. It was ultimately a fake event.”

And what was the attitude of the KGB’s top leadership at the time? “In October of 91 I went to Moscow to meet with Gen. Victor Ivanenko, who was the person commanding the security of the KGB. He wanted to see me to discuss the situation of the money of the Communist Party and KGB. Austria, where I worked for the KGB, was central to the international business of the Soviet Communist Party. In Austria we had several banks under our control, and the general directors were KGB officers; that is, in capitalist Austria. The Russian presence in Austria was overwhelming. My point in telling about my visit with Gen. Ivanenko was that the KGB elite showed no nervousness or bad feelings about what happened. They were just rearranging their business according to a new situation. In Vienna itself, the Communist Party boss changed his suit and became a capitalist.”

The turn to capitalism in Russia was not an honest turn to freedom. The privatization of the Soviet Union merely signified the transfer of state property into the hands of the nomenklatura. According to Kalashnikov, “In plain words, they started a process of transferring national wealth, factories, resources, etc., for nothing, into the hands of the Soviet elite, and trusted persons. In Russia, the nomenklatura took everything for themselves. They were not preoccupied with limiting themselves with laws, norms, or institutions of any kind.”

This was the formula for controlled capitalism in Russia. In this manner, explained Kalashnikov, the Russian Communists used the process of “privatization” to make themselves into a business class that could make deals with the West. “The Russians,” he said, “needed to gain legal status for their companies in the West. So again, the Russians are putting the West in a dire strategic position, because of al Qaeda, because of a new dependence on Russian gas and oil, because sections of the Western business community are collaborating with Russia in commercial ventures; and this will allow Moscow to expand its military-political endeavors across the globe. Russia today has resources it could only dream of during the Cold War. They need not spy on British Petroleum, since they are helping British Petroleum. The same is true of the Western media, finance, etc., etc. The field of intelligence has changed, and different tactics are being used. So the nature of spying has changed. It is not less than before, but even more intense.”

This is how a new threat emerges from the old threat. To quote KGB Major Anatoliy Golitsyn, it is a case of  “new lies for old.”

Jeffrey Nyquist is the President of the Strategic Crisis Center and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Political Science at the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought.

This article was originally published on Financial Sense on January 28, 2011. The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute.

U.S. Foreign Policy: The Art of Strengthening One’s Enemies

Discounting the brief interruption in the Reagan era, American foreign policy since the end of World War II can be summarized by two rules which the State Department has followed with exemplary faithfulness and consistency:

1. Trade allied dictators for enemy dictators.

2.  In so doing, trade authoritarian governments for totalitarian governments a thousand times more corrupt.

Sometimes in a direct, brutal, and overt way, sometimes in an indirect, subtle, and underhanded way, and sometimes helping those against whom they had fought until the day before, the United States replaced Chiang Kai-Shek with Mao Zedong, Fulgencio Batista with Fidel Castro, Shah Reza Pahlevi with Ayatollah Khomeini, Ngo Dinh Diem with Ho Chi Minh, and General Lon Nol with Pol Pot.[1] In human terms, the cost of all this tinkering was no less than 80 million deaths. Because of specific differences beyond the scope of this paper I am not including in the list the fact that Americans managed to get rid of Adolf Hitler at the cost of a hundred fold increase in Josef Stalin’s power and half a century of Cold War that cost them dearly.

Now the United States is replacing an ally, Hosni Mubarak, with the superlatively hostile Muslim Brotherhood, mother of all anti-American movements in the Islamic world.

In all of these cases, the government thrown overboard was on the right, while its triumphant successor was on the left. The leftists’ international outcry against Washington’s support for right-wing dictatorships is, quite obviously a disinformation engineering job calculated to obscure the stark fact that, in terms of dictators, the communists and pro-communists have been by far the biggest recipients of American aid. Some right-wing tyrants may have been “lackeys” of the United States, as the threadbare communist rhetoric proclaims, but the left-wing ones are not lackeys: they are their protégés. If the former have to work hard to repay the aid, the latter are given everything and asked for nothing in return.

Antony Sutton, the English economist who for decades studied the generous and never-repaid flow of American money to communist countries, summarized the subject by saying that the United States always strove to get “the best enemy money could buy.”

In one of these calamitous operations, the beneficiary himself proved somewhat shocked by the generosity bestowed on him. When Americans overthrew Ngo Din Diem, Ho Chi Minh remarked: “I cannot believe Americans are that stupid.” Diem was, after all, according to North Vietnam’s Politbureau, “the greatest force of anti-communist resistance” in the region.

In all cases, without exception, the official pretext was the promotion of democracy.

The only amazing thing in this whole sequence of events is the slowness of the population—and the deliberate refusal of the media—to realize the obstinate and patent consistency of the official anti-Americanism installed in the upper echelons of Washington. The contrast between historical reality and its public image could not be sharper. The majority of the American electorate continue to believe in the legend that its country is an imperialist power committed to valiantly defending national interests and halting the advance of communists, Islamists, and all potential enemies of America, when in fact these enemies could not survive a single day without the assistance they receive from Washington.

As early as the 1950s, an investigative committee of the House of Representatives proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the massive support that communist governments, parties, and movements had been receiving from major billion-dollar foundations—the same ones that through the Council on Foreign Relations and similar institutions have played a major role in the selection and approval of candidates for any public office in the federal upper echelons of the US. In recent decades, the volume of contributions to universal anti-Americanism has increased mightily, turning what was once the leading nation in the world into a walled-in, hated, and cowed country, fearing to take any serious initiative against its aggressors, even within its own territory. Today there are more Chinese and Russian spies in the United States than during the Cold War, while organizations that support Islamic terrorism are allowed to operate freely, and any attempt to denounce them is repelled as an intolerable sign of extremism.

American intervention in the Egyptian crisis does not deviate from the long-established course. From the outset, both the Obama administration and George Soros—one of the chief sponsors of the current president’s career—have had friendly contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood and have encouraged it to unleash a rebellion against an ally of the US government.

The likelihood that the Brotherhood, once in power, will establish a democratic, pluralistic system is so remote and contrived as was the chance that Josef Stalin might have done the same thing once he succeeded Lenin. The regime which will possibly come after Mubarak’s removal has already shown its true colors even before coming to power, by promoting the slaughter of Christians and the burning of churches. Both the American government and the entire journalistic class are well aware of this, but they refrain from drawing the most obvious and compelling conclusions from these facts. Instead they continue to present the conflict as a struggle between Egyptian idealist democrats and the evil dictator Mubarak.

For many decades the American mainstream media —starting with The New York Times and CNN—have radically abdicated their journalistic duties and become a mere instrument of social engineering. Their current mission is not to spread information, but to meticulously control its flow so as to encourage behaviors desired by the globalist establishment and to discourage inconvenient questions.

Within the American national environment, the effectiveness of this control is quite relative, because the big media in the United States are not as big as their counterpart in Brazil, and there is a vast number of independent publications and radio stations that reach at least 50 percent of the population, showing the American people all of what the global elite would like to completely black out behind a lead shield.

It so happens, however, that the non-aligned media have strictly national circulation. They do not reach other countries. In particular, they are completely unknown in Brazil. Thus, the official view, which fails to subdue the American electorate, ultimately spreads freely throughout the world, and is construed as a kind of universal consensus.

Though limited, the credibility of the official view still seems excessive to me, since this view is daily challenged by facts which never shake in the slightest the faith of the devotees. A brief historical study will suffice to show that the principles and criteria of judgment which now guide the American mainstream media are literally the same as those that Soviet propagandists tried, unsuccessfully, to impose on the American population between the 1940’s and the 1950’s. The change was profound and overwhelming. In a few decades, at least half of the American population has grown to hate what it once loved and to accuse its own country of a thousand crimes committed by external and internal enemies, and yet these Americans have no idea that they were induced into this by the action of an omnipresent and hostile foreign force. Just as communist infiltration in the Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower administrations was far greater than Joe McCarthy himself then imagined (read Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr and Alexander Vassiliev, Yale University Press, 2009), and just as the communist cultural war effort ended up dominating almost the entire education system in the United States to the extent that it merged with the local atmosphere and passed itself off as a spontaneous home-grown movement, the penetration of Islamic agents into all of the upper echelons of Washington was so quick and efficient an action that I can’t describe it here. One must read the book of P. David Gaubatz, Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia: Inside The Secret Underworld That’s conspiring to Islamize America (WND Books, 2009), to understand how these things happen before the blind and foolish eyes of so many people.

In vain will the reader search the pages of The New York Times and The Washington Post, or the comments by CNN or MSNBC for any mention of the fact that Obama is acting, in Egypt, in favor of the largest anti-American organization in the universe. In the United States there is no official censorship, and that information, with sufficient evidence, reaches us from thousands of channels. But it does not reach the believers in the mainstream media, and above all, it does not leave American shores.

Even if the government that emerges out of Mubarak’s downfall is a coalition government, the Muslim Brotherhood will certainly play the predominant role in it, and this is the surest guarantee that the country will move towards a regime which will be at once dictatorial, murderous to Christians, and openly hostile to the state of Israel.

The Obama administration is fostering not only another anti-American dictatorship, but a war.


[1] In each case, it would have been obvious to the responsible American State Department specialists, if not also to senior White House appointees, that fatal undermining or even sabotage of our allied leaders would bring mass suffering and death and strategic catastrophe. The only question for historians who know of the secret intrigues and betrayals is who understood the unavoidable consequences yet pushed or drove in directions that served communism.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.

The Owners of the World

The historic forces that today fight for power in the world articulate themselves in three projects of global dominance: the “Russian-Chinese” (or “Eurasian”), the “Western” (sometimes mistakenly called “Anglo-American”) and the “Islamic” one.

Each of them has a well documented history, which shows their remote origins, the transformation they have gone through in time and the present state of their implementation.

The agents that personify these projects are respectively:

1. The ruling elite of Russia and China, especially the secret services of those two countries.

2. The Western finance elite, as represented especially in the Bilderberg Club, the Council of Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.

3. The Muslim Brotherhood, the religious leaders of several Islamic countries and the some Muslim countries governments.

Only the first one of these three agents can be conceived of in strict geopolitical terms, as its plans and actions correspond to well defined national and regional interests.  The second one, which is more advanced in the implementation of its plans for world government, places itself explicitly above any national interests, including those of the countries where it originated and which serve as its basis for operations. In the third one, conflicts of interests between national governments and the overarching goal of a Universal Caliphate end up always being resolved in favor of the latter, which is today the most important factor for the ideological unification of the Islamic world.

The conceptions of global power that these three agents strive to implement are very different among themselves because they stem from heterogeneous and sometimes incompatible inspirations.

Although in principle the relations among them are of competition and dispute, sometimes even of military nature, there are vast zones of fusion and collaboration, as flexible and changing as they may be. This phenomenon disorients the observers, producing all sorts of dislocated and fabulous interpretations, some under the form of “conspiracy theories,” others as self proclaimed “realistic” and “scientific” refutations of those theories.

A good deal of the nebulosity in the world scene is produced by a more or less constant factor: each one of the three agents tends to interpret in its own terms the plans and actions of the other two, in part for deliberate propaganda purposes, in part due to a genuine misunderstanding of the situation.

The strategic analyses from all involved reflect, each of them, the ideological bias that is proper to it. Even though they strive to take into account the totality of available factors, the Russian-Chinese scheme stresses the geopolitical and military viewpoint, the Western scheme the economic, and the Islamic scheme the fight among religions.

This difference reflects, on its turn, the sociological composition of the ruling classes in the respective geographical areas:

1) Stemming from the communist Nomenklatura, the Russian-Chinese ruling class is essentially made up of bureaucrats, intelligence service agents and military officers.

2) The dominance of financiers and international bankers in the Western establishment is too well known and it is not necessary to insist on it.

3) In the various countries of the Islamic complex, the authority of the ruler depends substantially on the approval of the umma—the multitudinous community of authoritative interpreters of the traditional religion. Even though these countries display great variety in their domestic situations, it is not an exaggeration to describe the structure of their ruling power as “theocratic”.

Thus, for the first time in the history of the world, the three essential modalities of power—politico-military, economic and religious—find themselves personified in different supranational blocks, each of them with its own plans for world dominance and its peculiar mode of action. This doesn’t mean that they don’t act in all fronts, but only that their respective historical views and strategies are ultimately delimited by the modality of power they represent. It’s not far-fetched to say that the world today is the object of a dispute among the military, bankers and preachers.

Practically all analyses of international politics available today in the media reflect the subservience of “opinion makers” to one of the three disputing currents, and therefore the systematic ignorance of their areas of complicity and mutual help. These individuals judge facts and “take positions” based on the abstract values that they cherish, without even asking if their words, in the overall sum of the factors at play in the world, will not end up contributing to the glory of everything that they hate. The strategists of the three major global projects are well aware of this and they include political commentators—journalists and academics alike—among the most precious useful idiots at their service.

Olavo de Carvalho is the President of The Inter-American Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in Philosophy, Political Science, and the Humanities.

The opinions published here are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute. This article was  translated from the Portuguese by Alessandro Cota.