In unconventional warfare, manipulated beliefs are used to displace inconvenient facts. When waging war by way of deception, false beliefs are an oft-deployed weapon.
Recall Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda? Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratories? Iraqi meetings in Prague with Al Qaeda? Iraqi purchases of yellowcake uranium from Niger?
All these claims were reported as true. All were later proven false or, worse, fabricated. Yet all were widely believed. Only the yellowcake uranium was conceded as bogus before the invasion of Iraq. As the U.S. crafted its response to the provocation of a mass murder on U.S. soil, those widely shared beliefs shaped a consensus to wage war on a nation that had no hand in it.
A similar deception-traceable to the same source-is now working to expand this war to Iran. Based on fast-emerging events, the next conflict could include Pakistan.
The modern battlefield has shifted. Ground warfare is now secondary. Likewise air strikes, combat troops, naval support and even covert operations. Those physical operations are all downstream of information operations. Manipulated beliefs come first. Psyops precede bombs and bullets. Hardware ranks a distant third.
First and foremost are the consensus shapers and thought manipulators who target perceptions and opinions until a critical mass of agreement is reached. Then comes war. Those skilled at such duplicity induced coalition troops to war in Iraq. Knowledge was their target. Manipulate thought and all else was downstream.
Unconventional warfare is waged “upstream” with the assistance of those with the means, motive and opportunity to massage consensus opinion. Where are modern-day battles fought? Not on the ground nor in the air nor on the seas.
The mindset is the primary theater of operations. The first battlefield is the public’s shared field of consciousness. The death and destruction come later.
Deceit is not new to warfare. What’s new is the reach of the technologies-including modern media technologies-that now enable deception on a global scale.
Military action remains subordinate to politics. Politics, in turn, are subordinate to those skilled at inducing consensus beliefs. Regardless whether command is civilian or military, decision-making is no better than the information on which decisions depend. That’s why the Israel lobby has long targeted U.S. lawmakers as a strategic force-multiplier by the Israel lobby. [See: “How Israel Controls U.S.” http://www.arabnews.com/?page=7§ion=0&article=124829&d=24&m=7&y=2009]
With lawmaking dependent on information, those skilled at the manipulation of knowledge can operate atop the chain of command. As a system of law reliant on informed choice, democracy can be dislodged in plain sight by those skilled at inducing a shared mindset-a consensus-by manipulating thought, belief and emotion.
Thus the strategic motivation for media dominance by the Masters of Deceit in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Germany, India and other key nations that comprise the “coalition of the willing” induced to invade Iraq. Overlay media ownership with member states of this coalition and a common undisclosed bias becomes apparent.
When coordinated across four key areas, such “Information Operations” can displace informed decision-making with an undisclosed agenda. In retrospect, that systemic duplicity explains how the U.S. was deceived to lead this coalition to war in the Middle East. Here’s a brief look at each area: geopolitical, strategic, operational and tactical.
Duplicity in Plain Sight
The geopolitical realm is where the “framing” of future conflicts often first emerges. The Clash of Civilizations appeared in 1993 as an article in Foreign Affairs. When this premise was published as a book in 1996, more than 100 non-governmental organizations were prepared to promote its thematic conflict-of-opposites.
That agreed-to consensus facilitated the seamless transition from the Cold War to a perpetual Global War on Terrorism. Thus the fate of the post-Cold War “peace dividend.”
This widely shared mindset emerged just as A Clean Break appeared in print with its proposal for removing Saddam Hussein as part of a Colonial Zionist strategy for “securing the realm”-an expanded Greater Israel. Richard Perle, then a member of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, led the All-Ashkenazi team who prepared that 1996 report for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In 2001, Perle became chairman of the Pentagon’s policy board. Strategically, that’s a good example of working “upstream” to frame U.S national security issues around a preset agenda-for a foreign nation. Perle left the Board in February 2004 after 17 years of wielding insider influence. When your numbers are small but your ambitions large, what choice do you have but to wage war by way of deception?
Strategically, to evoke a new global war required a plausible Evil Doer linked to a credible provocation. The branding of the Taliban did not emerge in the “field” until March 2001 with their destruction of the ancient Buddhas at Bamiyan. Widely portrayed in mainstream media as a “cultural Holocaust,” that high-profile deed put Afghanistan’s previously obscure Taliban on a global Top-Ten list as certifiably evil.
The missing piece in marketing The Clash premise: the mass murder of September 11, 2001. Strongly provoked emotions, as with 9-11, facilitate the displacement of facts with what a targeted mindset can be induced to believe. That process was enhanced by the presence of a pre-staged Evil Doer and pre-staged intelligence that was flawed, false or outright fixed-but nevertheless widely reported as fact by mainstream media.
The capacity to succeed with such an operation is enhanced by the combined presence of: (a) evocation (images of religious extremism), (b) provocation (a mass murder), (c) association (a Doer of Evil), and (d) manipulation-as mainstream media parroted phony intelligence with virtually no investigative journalism.
This psyops campaign was facilitated by plausibly credible political leaders who dutifully read their lines from fear-evoking scripts written by this same insider network of agenda-shapers. That emotional manipulation included not only the “Axis of Evil” framing but also a widely broadcast WMD sound bite: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”
Mainstream media even reported as credible false accounts of “high-level links” between the secular Iraqi government and the religious fundamentalists of Al Qaeda. Yet anyone familiar with the region knew they despised each other. Truth was not the point. Nor facts. Informed consent was only an obstacle to overcome.
Deception on such a scale required a capacity to sustain a veneer of plausibility and credibility – i.e., believability. Thus the critical role played by mainstream media.
The Power of Association
When waging war on the public’s shared mindset, the power of association is one of the most effective weapons. Thus the potent imagery of the peaceful Buddhas at Bamiyan when associated with destruction, violence and religious extremism.
Thus the ease with which evil doing Al Qaeda extremists were associated in the American mindset with the Taliban – and the evil of 9-11 with known Evil Doer Saddam Hussein even though the intelligence was proven false.
Thus too the associative impact of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s February 2003 testimony before the U.N. Security Council. His credibility as a globally recognizable military leader (the Powell “brand”) was deployed-as a weapon-to lend the appearance of truth to lies about Iraq’s possession of mobile biological weapons.
Akin to showcasing the celebrity endorsement of a consumer product, this testimonial by a trusted military leader was broadcast worldwide in the lead-up to war. Powell was not the only “mark” in this operation. So were the U.N., the U.S. military and a global public. Both aggressor and aggrieved became casualties of this duplicitous “field-based” warfare. Meanwhile the source of this deception once again faded into the background.
Operationally, by the time the U.S. was induced to invade Iraq, 100-plus Israeli Mossad agents had been operating in Mosul for more than a decade. Soon after the invasion, several moderate clerics were murdered. Their elimination enhanced the capacity to provoke a conflict-of-opposites between long-warring Shias and Sunnis.
That conflict-within-a-conflict helped catalyze an insurgency that converted a clash into a quagmire. That result was mathematically model-able by an Israeli cadre of game theory war-planners. [See: “How Israel Wages Game Theory Warfare.” http://intifada-palestine.com/2009/08/20/how-israel-wages-game-theory-warfare/ ]
As Information Operations proceed at the geopolitical, strategic and operational level, tactical deceit and misdirection provide essential support akin to reserve forces deployed on an as-needed basis. Serial provocations are required to sustain the serial conflicts essential to maintain the faux plausibility of the mega-theme: The Clash.
The recurring use of crises to catalyze and maintain instability should be of immediate concern to Islamabad. A long-standing Indo-Israel alliance may well be coordinating the frequency of violent incidents that continue to strain relationships between nuclear-armed Pakistan and its neighbor Iran.
Reflecting similar tactics, the most recent Israeli assault on Gaza was scheduled between Christmas 2008 and the January 2009 inauguration of a new U.S. commander-in-chief elected on a platform of hope and a promise of change. The timing of that murderous incursion minimized the capacity to criticize. President-elect Obama said nothing.
Meanwhile this serial agent provocateur set the stage with that assault for another delayed reaction from those brutalized by six decades of occupation. And from those in the broader Muslim community outraged at the U.S. for enabling this behavior.
When that reaction emerges-as it will-Tel Aviv will again assert the moral high ground as a perennial victim living in a hostile anti-Semitic neighborhood. By deploying U.S. weaponry, Israeli aggression will again make Americans appear guilty by association-endangering the U.S. while enhancing the plausibility of the narrative: The Clash of Civilizations.
The uncomfortable truth is that the U.S. is guilty-for continuing to condone this treachery-to its own detriment. Meanwhile the only change is in the presidency with no substantive change in U.S.-Israeli policies. And no hope for those most affected by this duplicity-including both the U.S. military and those it was induced to target.
As critics of Israeli policy in Gaza emerged in academia, the Anti-Defamation League and its international network mounted an intimidation campaign to silence a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. By advertising that campaign widely, the ADL silenced thoughtful academics worldwide. [See: “Treason in Plain Sight?” http://criminalstate.com/2009/07/treason-in-plain-sight/ and “Education: The Ultimate Battlefield” http://criminalstate.com/2009/08/education-–-the-ultimate-battlefield/]
By Way of Deception
To succeed, Information Operations require both deceit and denial of access to the facts required for informed consent. How else can anyone explain the enduring perception that Israel is a democracy? Even now, a majority of Americans believe that Israel is an ally despite more than six decades of nonstop deceit, spying, treachery and ongoing treason.
Any observer of recent events in Pakistan should be concerned at the duplicitous history of those who have an “existential” stake in sustaining The Clash storyline. With any semblance of stability, an investigation will confirm that the intelligence fixed to induce the U.S. to war originated with a transnational network of pro-Israeli operatives.
Democracy assumes that all of us collectively are smarter than any of us individually. Thus the need for an educated electorate informed by an unbiased media providing the facts required to reason together.
Thus too the strategic need to dominate mainstream media by those with an undisclosed bias who are skilled at waging war by way of deception. We now see portrayed in that opinion-shaping domain a world turned inside out where the victim is cast as aggressor and the predator as prey.
The facts in the recent Goldstone Report confirm a need to investigate dozens of Israeli war crimes in Gaza as well as crimes against humanity. Instead of following the facts wherever they lead-consistent with the rule of law-on November 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 334-36 in favor of a resolution describing the report as “irredeemably biased” and opposing any further consideration.
That resolution was proposed by Howard Berman, Ashkenazim chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior Republican on the panel and also Ashkenazim. Meanwhile Nita Lowey, the Ashkenazim chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee warned, by implication, that her colleagues in the Congress would jeopardize funding for their projects if “further consideration” was given to the Goldstone Report.
The House vote came one day before the U.N. General Assembly discussed the report. A day later, on November 5th, a U.S. Army psychiatrist, a Muslim, killed 13 and wounded 42 preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Within 24 hours, more than 250 media personnel appeared at Fort Hood, the nation’s largest military base, to report on the event.
Many of them framed the event as confirming The Clash premise and even the on-base presence of “Islamo-fascism.” Suggesting the act of a “home-grown terrorist,” Jewish-Zionist Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, called for Congressional hearings into whether the U.S. military could have prevented it.
Interviewed in Palestine, the grandfather of U.S.-born and educated psychiatrist Nidal Hasan spoke of his grandson’s love of the U.S. and said simply, “America made him what he is.” While that comment hardly excuses this conduct, that poignant statement includes a point that Americans find difficult to contemplate. Yet we also found it uncomfortable to consider that the U.S.-Israeli relationship was a key motivation behind 9-11 and other attacks on Americans and American facilities.
The Goldstone Report called for an investigation of facts suggesting criminal conduct both by Israelis and Palestinians. Written by an eminent South African Jewish jurist, Richard Goldstone’s daughter conceded that her father’s findings would have been far harsher had he not been a Zionist.
Yet even the possibility that unfavorable facts could seep into the “field” required that the Israel lobby unleash its compliant Congressional forces in a litmus test of legislative loyalty-regardless of the facts. Or, indeed, because of the facts. It’s difficult to imagine a vote more clearly indicative of how a pro-Israeli bias has corrupted the rule of law.
Other disturbing facts also posed a danger of gaining traction, including a November 5th report that the International Atomic Energy Agency found “nothing to be worried about” in Iran’s recently revealed uranium enrichment site. That fact was preemptively displaced from the “field” the day before with reports of a well-timed Israeli boarding of a ship in international waters where weapons were found that were allegedly bound for Iran-supported Hezbollah.
When waging field-based warfare, timing is everything. That’s particularly the case when, as here, a belief-manipulating adversary is faced with the greatest danger of its six decade life: facts that conflict with the narrative required to sustain The Clash storyline.
Best Story Wins
With consensus beliefs the upstream target, democracy becomes the downstream casualty. When manipulated beliefs displace facts, the rule of law degenerates into a faith-based parody of self-governance. To protect the informed consent essential to freedom requires that those waging war on the public’s shared mindset become transparent so that those complicit can be made apparent.
How old is this form or warfare? Answer: How long has behavior been manipulated with beliefs? How long has faith been deployed to displace facts? The form of warfare is ancient; only the means are modern.
Upstream warfare and strategic deceit are only “unconventional” for the target. For Jewish extremists, such duplicity is business-as-usual.
This analysis describes how warfare is waged in plain sight in the Information Age. Without the complicity of mainstream media, this deceit could not have succeeded on such a scale.
In the Information Age, duplicity is how treason can be taken to scale-in plain view and, to date, with legal impunity-both in the U.S. and in the coalition member nations whose citizens were also targeted by those chronicled in this account.
The common source of this deceit remains little known either to the American public or the people in those nations the U.S. led to war. Here in the U.S., the tattered remnants of our system of informed consent are held hostage by this media-induced duplicity-and by legislators more inclined to protect their personal interests than the national interest.
There lies the strategic role for online media free of conspiracy theories that obscure the analytical clarity required to wage this battle with confidence. What’s described here is warfare being waged on knowledge by an enemy within. Liberty faces no greater danger than those targeting its foundation of informed consent.
What has been made of the U.S. due to our “special relationship” with this extremist enclave is not the form of governance to which our civilian and military leaders swore their allegiance. With our civilian leadership compromised by the Israel lobby, to whom do U.S. military leaders owe their allegiance-to this latest in a series of corrupted presidencies or to the people whose freedom they took an oath to protect from all enemies, both foreign and domestic?
Despite appearances, it is not America that is at war in the Middle East but Americans loyal to this nation who were sent to war by a foreign government imbedded inside what remains of “our” government.
With trans-generational premeditation, Ashkenazim elites and extremists lured the U.S. into an entangled alliance in order to manipulate Americans to wage their expansionist wars and to secure their “realm.” Only as the common source of this treason became transparent could those complicit now be held accountable.
For Americans to restore the fact-based rule of law requires sustained pressure from abroad. Our true allies will hold us accountable for what we allowed these extremists to do in our name. As the how of this treason becomes transparent, we Americans will see as our true enemies those who enabled this duplicity-to our long-term detriment. The best way to befriend us is to hold us true to the values we espouse.
* Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney, investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate and union leaders worldwide; an adviser to policy-makers worldwide; former counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee; and author of numerous articles and books including his latest book Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War, Democracy at Risk and The Ownership Solution. See www.criminalstate.com