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PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE & POLITICAL GRAMMAR


- AN HIR SERIES -

 

0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10

 

 

4. IS US GEOPOLITICS MEANT TO STRENGTHEN OR WEAKEN DEMOCRACY?

 

 

US policymakers, every single time they spend billions of dollars in the Middle East, end up benefitting Iran and other Islamist powers. Should we call these ‘mistakes’?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical and Investigative Research – 17 May 2016, by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/political_grammar04.htm

 

 

 

 

 

The study of geopolitics is meant to account for the foreign policy behaviors of the various States. However, geopolitical scholars have certain taboos about which kinds of hypotheses may or may not be entertained. In particular, the prevailing political grammar in the Western media and academic system appears to rigorously forbid that anybody question the purity of intention of those making foreign policy decisions in Western states. Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Geopolitical scientists study “international relations”—the chess game of foreign policy in its geographical context. They must produce a model of four things:

A.   MOTIVATORS. The ideologies and values of the relevant actors.

B.    PLANS. The practical short-term intentions and long-term goals of the relevant actors.

C.   ASSETS. The special tools of power wielded by relevant actors to pursue their specific chosen strategies.

D.    LIMITS. Whatever factors constrain the liberty of movement of those relevant actors and force them either to

a) use a subterfuge or roundabout in order to try to achieve their aims; or else to

b) momentarily accept a less than ideal state of affairs.

Since the point of any scientific model is to match and anticipate observations, geopolitical scientists should consider more than one hypothesis and discard any that don’t match observed behaviors.

So far so good. But, on the geopolitical stage, who are the relevant actors?

Readers of the Economist, the New York Times, or Foreign Affairs probably think that ‘the United States’ is a relevant actor, for in such publications one will find sentences such as:

“The United States is pursuing its interests in the Middle East.”

or

“How should the United States define its interests in today's world?”[1]

But do these sentences even make English sense?

Can ‘the United States’ really define and pursue its geopolitical interests? No. Neither can the United States think, react, speak, or do. Why? Because ‘the United States,’ in human terms, is currently estimated at well over 300 million. This vast population makes exactly zero collective decisions in the field of international relations.

Who makes the decisions? A vanishingly small group of people—the power elite. This is the relevant actor.

But what about US citizens? Aren’t they relevant? What is the relationship between the US power elite and the US citizen?

A good question (see Part 3). But notice that, to consider it, you first need to say ‘US power elite’ and also say ‘US citizen.’ To reason about a relationship, the parties to it must be kept linguistically distinct, each with its own name.

Unfortunately, journalists and academics breezily gloss over the distinction. They’ll say, when discussing geopolitics, that the United States did this or that. In this manner they subliminally telegraph a presumed solidarity (commonality of values and interests) between the ‘US power elite’ and the ‘US citizen.’ The subliminal corollary is that US foreign policy—deployed by the tiny US power elite—means to advance US-citizen interests.

Well, perhaps. But this is a hypothesis.

Or it would be a hypothesis if presented openly, as happens in proper science. Instead, woven into the very structure of speech, this claim is smuggled as a silent ‘axiom’ that henceforth waits in ambush to murder any competing hypothesis that rears its head. Who teaches you to speak teaches you to think (Orwell tried to explain this).

By assuming solidarity between rulers and citizens, this implicit hypothesis—dominant in media and Academia—produces a view of US power-elite motivators and plans that agrees closely with how the bosses represent themselves in public, as supposed protectors and disseminators of democracy and human rights, and thus at war—both symbolically and materially—with totalitarian ideologies and systems.

The assets and limits consistent with such claims correspond to the expectations of a functional democracy. What are they? First, a US power elite with no undue, across-the-board influence on media and Academia—free news and scholarly markets. And second, real alternatives before the voters to choose from—a free political market. In a country with free markets, officeholders will be ‘democratically responsive,’ constrained to enact policies that agree broadly with the values and wishes of the US ‘body politic.’

 

Perhaps the most powerful people in the world are terribly prone to large
and repeated mistakes, or perhaps we only dimly perceive the chess game.

But against this implicit dominant model, consider the following alternative model about the US power-elite:

A.   MOTIVATORS. In the conduct of international relations (as in domestic politics), the US power elite pursues the enhancement of its own power by the destruction of democracy.

B.      PLANS.

a.     Long-term: the US power elite wishes to secure the establishment of a totalitarian world system.

b.    Short term: ruining the people’s free markets in the crucial areas of media, Academia, and politics, and strengthening chosen totalitarian ideologies and states (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

C.      ASSETS. The US power elite already decisively influences media and Academia (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

D.      LIMITS. Given a prevailing democratic political grammar, the US power elite is forced to dissemble and use psychological (or political) warfare to hide the true intent of its foreign policy (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

If this alternative model (A-B-C-D) is misguided, the evidence will disgrace it. But in proper science a model must first be disgraced, then discarded, rather than outlawed ab initio (as happens in religious dogma).

The alternative model is not easily disgraced.

The postwar creation of a clandestine US psychological warfare regime with centralized control over the mainstream mass media has been documented (Part 1). And the founding architects explained its purpose: to manage ‘democracy’ with “persuasive communication aimed at largely disenfranchised masses”—supplemented with “selective... violence”—as a “strategy for [both] domestic government and international relations” (Part 1).

This corresponds to what I have called ‘sloppy totalitarianism’ (Appendix A). It is an attack on democracy.

If the alternative model is any good, then we expect to make two critical observations:

1)    Foreign policy conducted by the US power elite will routinely do violence to US-citizen values and interests.

2)    It will be next to impossible to find—in the mass media or in Academia—any consideration of the hypothesis that such results were intended by the US power elite.

Put another way, whenever it becomes obvious that US foreign policy has harmed democratic values and interests, journalists and academics will present this—without discussion—as a ‘mistake.’ They will seem fairly critical at times but they will invariably accuse incompetence, accepting in the end the power elite’s excuses (themselves entirely obligated within the prevailing political grammar).

Such behaviors will be typical not only of US media but of mainstream media and academics around the world, for, in a globalized world, it hardly makes sense for the US power elite to allow non-US intellectual production to remain free. In fact, ever since the National Security Act of 1947, it is explicitly legal for US Intelligence to corrupt foreign media (and political processes).[2]

Take, for example, The Guardian, a British newspaper. In 2006 it expressed itself as follows concerning the US (and British) invasion of Iraq.

“Iran is the true winner of that war. They only had to sit tight and smile as the West delivered on a golden plate all the influence Iran had always sought in the Middle East. The US and its allies will soon be gone from Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving Iranian-backed Shias dominant in both countries, their influence well spread across Syria, a chunk of Saudi Arabia and other countries for decades to come. Historic Iranian ambitions have been fulfilled without firing a shot while the US is reduced to fist-shaking. How foolish was that?”[3]

The Guardian recognizes that invading Iraq strengthened Iranian rulers—a group of Muslim, theocratic, nuclear-wannabe, judeophobic, and genocidal thugs who sponsor terrorism everywhere in hopes of destroying the very liberties and human rights cherished by Westerners. Since this outcome is bad for democracy, the Iraq invasion—a US (and British) power-elite policy—must have been “foolish.”

Interesting. No evidence is presented to satisfy us of this interpretation against an alternative. In fact, no alternative is even mentioned—not even to dismiss it out of hand. So this is not science. In science every claim must be defended against an alternative. Single-hypothesis science—like single-party democracy—is an oxymoron.

What is the obvious alternative? It is this: when the world’s most powerful bosses spend billions of dollars, they get what they paid for. And what did they get? A more powerful Iranian Islamism. That’s what they wanted. This hypothesis agrees with the alternative model (A-B-C-D) above.

Shouldn’t the media at least put this alternative model on the table? Not if the media is controlled. The very job description of a controlled media in a grammatically ‘democratic’ world is to protect the perception that power elites respect our Enlightenment values (Part 2), not to investigate whether they do. It is telling, therefore, that the Guardian seems entirely uninterested in investigating power-elite intentions, whatever the evidence, and instead pushes with rabid consistency the view that the power-elites are on our side: they mean well (they are just idiots).

This abrogation of scientific inquiry, notice, flows directly from the Guardian’s linguistic style, for the relevant actor is either “the US and its allies,” “the West,” or “the US.” This way of speaking, as we said, joins everybody together, the powerful with the rest, which implicitly and subliminally makes US citizens co-responsible in policy with power-elite decision makers, and these latter solidary in values with US citizens. It is this merging that forces the interpretation of ‘foolishness,’ because: Why would ordinary US citizens want to “deliver... on a golden plate all the influence Iran had always sought in the Middle East”? They wouldn’t.

See how that works?

The Guardian is hardly alone. Pulitzer-winning authors (i.e. recipients of an Establishment prize), such as Thomas E. Ricks, loudly interpret for the public that the US invasion was a ‘FIASCO.’

 

Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco sells the mainstream interpretation
that the consequences of the Iraq invasion were unintended.

Of course, if the Iraq invasion is an isolated case then the Guardian may reasonably treat its outcome as an aberration, and my analysis is considerably weakened. But as HIR has shown, for over three decades—ever since Ayatollah Khomeini founded the Iranian Islamist regime in 1979—the most important and expensive US foreign policy adventures in Western Asia—each costing billions of dollars—have all strengthened the Iranian power elite.[4]

Each time, media and academics have called it well-intentioned ‘foolishness,’ ‘short-sightedness,’ ‘stupidity,’ or ‘ignorance.’ US policymakers, they tell us, get it wrong every time—they never learn.

How plausible is that? Even the dumbest of creatures—such as lab rats—quickly learn to avoid an electrified wall. Such ‘operant conditioning’ is the furthest thing from rocket science: you get burned, you stop touching. Are the most powerful people in the world supposed to be dumber than lab rats? This is a reasonable model?

What about the alternative model? Can it solve outstanding paradoxes? It can. Quite a few, in fact. Here’s one, for illustration: ‘Iran-Contra’ (or ‘Irangate’).

 

‘Irangate,’ or the ‘Iran-Contra scandal’:  billions in secret CIA weapons,
over several years, to the terrorist Ayatollah Khomeini

When caught secretly (and illegally) sending billions of dollars in arms to the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iran-Iraq war (1980s), the US power elite ‘confessed’ to well-intentioned stupidity. They had meant to release hostages held in Lebanon by the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah terrorists, they said, so they sent billions of dollars in arms to Iran, over several years, breaking US law, and against an explicit and official policy not to negotiate with terrorists, in hopes that Iran would lean on Hezbollah to release a handful of hostages.

This explanation was preposterous. And insulting. But we shan’t argue about it. Ten years later, the New York Times reported what congressional investigations into the Reagan-Khomeini relationship had found: that US arms transfers started “in 1981,” which is before the Iranian-sponsored seizure of American hostages in Lebanon began in 1982...” (my emphasis).[5]  This had nothing to do with hostages.

Behold, therefore, a natural test of the media.

The publicly proffered ‘stupid-but-well-intentioned’ apology has been here specifically and publicly refuted, so it can no longer be invoked. And the NYT article that reports on that refutation was penned by Seymour Hersh, another Pulitzer winner, and famous for supposed fearlessness in speaking truth to power. So did Hersh now put the alternative hypothesis on the table?

No. He just threw up his hands:

“No American rationale for permitting covert arms sales to Iran could be established.”[5]

 

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We have here an ‘exception that proves the rule.’

It is an exception because the mandatory grammatical move—to claim a ‘well-intentioned mistake’—is foreclosed: the dates don’t allow it. It proves the rule because, rather than present an alternative hypothesis, the New York Times rushes to say nothing: there is simply “no American rationale.” US leaders sent billions in armament to the Iranian terrorists, over several years, because… nothing.

So there will be zero geopolitical science: if it can’t be the one hypothesis—the official apology—then no hypothesis.

Under the dominant model, all of these behaviors are perfectly absurd: the US power elite went to great lengths to clandestinely arm totalitarian terrorists to the teeth, and the New York Times, “the newspaper of record,” the most influential news source in the world, then refused to make any effort to explain it.

But the alternative model has no trouble with this evidence: the US power elite armed the Iranian Islamists as an attack on democracy. Since that is ungrammatical (i.e. politically incorrect), the power-elite’s loud pretense of enmity with the Islamists, and the secrecy of the arms transfers, were grammatically forced moves. The mainstream media—because it is rather tightly controlled—first repeated the ‘well-intentioned stupidity’ apology; when that became impossible, they just shut up.

Media and Ivory Tower have been tamed. They speak or don’t as required to hide the hand of power, which, resting gently on the citizen’s shoulder, nudges his sleepwalk on the path of directed history (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

But where is this going? What is the US power elite’s great geopolitical game? We consider this next.

 

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NEXT : PART 5  THE GOALS OF THE US POWER ELITE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related readings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Bush Sr.'s 1991 Gulf War? To Protect Iranian Islamism.
Like father, like son: this is also the purpose of Bush Jr.'s war.
http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/gulfwar.htm

Will the US attack Iran?
An alternative hypothesis
http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/attack_iran.htm

Just where did ISIS come from?
http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/isis.htm

Here comes the Muslim Brotherhood.
http://www.hirhome.com/islam/muslim_brotherhood_1.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] “Redefining the National Interest”; Foreign Affairs; July/August 1999 Issue; By Joseph S. Nye, Jr.
http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/55209/joseph-s-nye-jr/redefining-the-national-interest

[2]Did the National Security Act of 1947 destroy freedom of the press? The red pill...”; Historical and Investigative Research; 3 Jan 2006; by Francisco Gil-White
http://www.hirhome.com/national-security.htm

[3] Comment & Debate: No more fantasy diplomacy: cut a deal with the mullahs: Iran cannot be prevented from developing nuclear weapons, only delayed. We must negotiate not ratchet up the rhetoric,  The Guardian (London) - Final Edition, February 7, 2006 Tuesday, GUARDIAN COMMENT AND DEBATE PAGES ; Pg. 31, 1095 words, Polly Toynbee

[4] Why Bush Sr.'s 1991 Gulf War? To Protect Iranian Islamism.
Like father, like son: this is also the purpose of Bush Jr.'s war.
http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/gulfwar.htm

Will the US attack Iran?
An alternative hypothesis
http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/attack_iran.htm

[5] The Iran Pipeline: A Hidden Chapter/A special report.; U.S. Said to Have Allowed Israel to Sell Arms to Iran, The New York Times, December 8, 1991, Sunday, Late Edition - Final, Section 1; Part 1; Page 1; Column 1; Foreign Desk, 2897 words, By SEYMOUR M. HERSH,  Special to The New York Times, WASHINGTON, Dec. 7

 


www.hirhome.com

 

 

   0. Introduction: The Iran deal, what does it teach us?

 

This series of articles is a primer. It contains selected historical knowledge minimally sufficient to abandon the ‘Establishment model’ of geopolitical processes and to begin constructing an alternative model that will explain and predict the world of international relations.

 

    1. Psychological warfare, commu-nication research, and the media

 

PSYOPs originally refers to psychological warfare operations conducted by the military against the enemy. But PSYOPs have domestic applications as well. We review here historian Christopher Simpson’s documentation of how social science was corrupted in the United States so that power elites could bend ‘democracy’ to their will using psychological warfare.

 

    2. Political grammar: How does psychological warfare work?

 

Psychological warfare is governed by grammatical rules. Power elites with a good command of such rules can deploy psychological warfare to ‘manage’ citizens into doing things they otherwise wouldn’t—even into destroying their own liberties. We here explain the basic operation of Western political grammar, created in 1848, and how it may be manipulated.

 

    3. Principal-Agent Theory (PAT), the citizen, and the State

 

Principal-agent theory (PAT) examines how ‘principals’ can manipulate ‘agents’ to do their bidding. It has been applied to political behavior but, perhaps not too surprisingly, in such a manner that it will not challenge the perception that Western States are functioning democracies whose governments are duly responsive to the citizenries. Here we explore an alternative picture that takes into account what power elites can do through psychological (or political) warfare.

 

   4. Is US geopolitics meant to strengthen or weaken democracy?

 

The study of geopolitics is meant to account for the foreign policy behaviors of the various States. However, geopolitical scholars have certain taboos about which kinds of hypotheses may or may not be entertained. In particular, the prevailing political grammar in the Western media and academic system appears to rigorously forbid that anybody question the purity of intention of those making foreign policy decisions in Western states. Why?

 

   5. The goals of the US power elite in historical perspective

 

The US power elite’s most important players were responsible for setting up the US psychological warfare regime after World War II (Part 1). These same players had a major hand in precipitating the onset of World War II. This information is of some importance in evaluating the probable aims of US power-elite geopolitics today. But it is next to impossible to pursue this analysis because the US power elite role in causing World War II has been almost completely expunged from historical education.

 

   6. US postwar policy toward Nazi war criminals

 

Few people are aware that the US government recruited Nazis after WWII. And most of the aware believe this was just a handful of Nazi scientists employed in rocket development (Operation Paperclip). In fact, the US government shielded from justice a giant multitude of Nazis—including many war criminals who had bathed themselves in innocent blood—and used them to create the postwar US intelligence infrastructure. This affected both domestic and foreign policy. The self-imposed silence of the Western media on this topic is diagnostic of the psychological warfare regime that dominates.

 

   7. The aims of the US power elite in WWII

 

Certain important events surrounding the causes and aftermath of World War II may be recruited to defend a model of the US power elite as pro-Nazi. This model naturally needs to provide satisfactory special reasons for important behaviors of the same power elite that appear anti-Nazi. But the same applies to the Establishment model: it must provide satisfactory special reasons to explain why, if the US power elite has been anti-Nazi, it involved itself so intensely with sponsorship and then recruitment of Nazis. We examine these issues here.

 

   8. US foreign policy in the Arab-Israeli conflict

 

Given US power elite’s sponsorship of the eugenics movement, which became German Nazism, and the same US power elite’s creation of the postwar psychological warfare regime, it is reasonable to ask whether US postwar foreign policy has been consistent with the aims of the eugenicists and the German Nazis, namely, to destroy democracy and to kill Jews. That is the question we ask here.

 

   9. Why do enemies of democracy attack the Jews?

 

Shoa (‘the Holocaust’) was a horrific slaughter and a Crime Against Humanity, but it was not an historical aberration. As Western historical processes go, the mass-killing of Jews may be the most recurrent and stable. Those who killed the Jews in World War II were enemies of human liberty. This, too, is not new. In the history of the West, whenever the Jews are under attack, everybody’s liberties are in danger. What explains this? One simple fact: for 2500 years, Jewish thought has been the engine of Western political liberation, and Western enemies of liberty have always understood this.

 

   10. Grammatical Realism: Outline of a geopolitical approach

 

Geopolitical approaches fall into two broad traditions, classical and critical geopolitics. We situate the approach followed in this series, called grammatical realism, in the context of these two traditions in order to lay bare the methodological assumptions and its programmatic strategy. We make clear which aspects of classical geopolitics and critical geopolitics have been adopted and which discarded.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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