The Universal Empire Four Part
Series   Originally published 2017

“Lasciate ogne
speranza, voi ch’intrate. (Abandon all hope ye who enter here.)”–Dante, “The
Divine Comedy,” Inferno (Part 1), Canto 3, Line 9

Before the Tomahawk missiles start
flying between Moscow and New York, Americans had better educate themselves
fast about the forces and the people who claim that
Russia covered up a Syrian government gas attack on Syrians. Proof no longer
seems to matter in the rush to further transform the world into Dante’s vision of
Hell. Accusations made by anonymous sources, spurious sources and outright
frauds have become enough. Washington’s paranoia and confusion bear an uncanny
resemblance to the final days of the Third Reich, when the leadership in Berlin
became completely unglued.

Tensions have been building since
fall with accusations that
media interfered
with our presidential election and
is a growing threat to America’s national security. The
WikiLeaks release
revealed the tools the CIA uses for
hacking. One theory is that the CIA’s own contract hackers were behind Hillary
Clinton’s email leaks and not Russians. The U.S. has a long reputation of
accusing others
of things they didn’t do and planting fake news stories to back it up in order
to provide a cause for war. The work of secret counterintelligence services is
to misinform the public in order to shape opinion, and that’s what this is.

The current U.S. government campaign
to slander Russia over anything and everything it does bears all the earmarks
of a classic disinformation campaign, but this time is even crazier.
Considering that Washington has put Russia, China and Iran on its
anti-globalist hit list from which no one is allowed to escape, drummed-up
charges against them shouldn’t come as a surprise. But accusing the Russians of
undermining American democracy and interfering in an election is tantamount to
act of war, and that simply is not going to wash.

This time, the United States is not
demonizing an ideological enemy (USSR) or a religious one (al-Qaida, ISIS,
etc.). It’s making this latest venture into the blackest of propaganda a race
war, the way the Nazis made their invasion of Russia a race war in 1941, and
that is not a war the United States can justify or win.

The level and shrillness of the
latest disinformation campaign has been growing for some time. But the American
public has lived in a culture of fake news (formerly known as propaganda) for
so long many have grown to
accept fake news as real news. George Orwell saw this coming, and here it
is. As a big supporter of U.S. military intervention in Cuba and an avowed
practitioner of “
yellow journalism,” in 1897, William Randolph Hearst admonished the
illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found
no war to illustrate: “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.”
Hearst eventually got his war, and
America’s experiment in imperialism was off and running.

Americans should know by now that
their country’s wars are fertile ground for biased, one-sided, xenophobic, fake
news, and the United States has been in a permanent state of war since 1941.
Although the targets have shifted over the years, the purpose of the propaganda
hasn’t. Most cultures are coerced, cajoled or simply threatened into accepting
known falsehoods demonizing their enemies during wartime. But no matter how
frequently repeated or cleverly told, no lie can hold if the war never ends.
The legendary cold warrior, Time and Life magazines’ Henry Luce, considered his
personal fight against Communism to be “a declaration of private war.” He’d
even asked one of his executives whether or not the idea was probably “
and probably mad
.” Nonetheless, despite his doubts
about his own sanity, Luce allowed the CIA to use his Time/Life magazines as a
cover for the agency’s operations
and to provide credentials to CIA personnel.

Luce was not alone in his service to
the CIA’s propaganda wars. Recently
declassified documents reveal the CIA’s propaganda extended to all the mainstream
media outlets. Dozens of the most respected journalists and opinion makers
during the Cold War considered it a privilege to keep American public opinion
from straying away from CIA control.

Now that the new Cold War has turned
hot, we are led to believe that the Russians have breached this wall of
not-so-truthful journalists and rattled the foundation of everything we are supposed
to hold dear about the purity of the U.S. election process and “freedom of the
press” in America.

Black propaganda is all about lying.
Authoritarian governments lie regularly. Totalitarian governments do it so
often nobody believes them. A government based on democratic principles like
the United States is supposed to speak the truth, but when the
U.S. government’s own documents
reveal it has been lying over and over again for decades, the jig is up.

Empires have been down this road
before, and it doesn’t end well. Americans are now being told they should
consider all Russian opinion as fake and ignore any information that challenges
the mainstream media and U.S. government on what is truth and what is the lie.
But for the first time in memory, Americans have become aware that the people
Secretary of State Colin Powell once called “
the crazies” have taken the country over the cliff.

The neoconservative hitmen and hit-ladies of Washington have a long list of targets that pass from
generation to generation. Their influence on American government has been
catastrophic, yet it never seems to end. Sen. J. William Fulbright identified
their irrational system for making endless war in Vietnam 45 years ago in a New
Yorker article titled “
in Thrall to Fear

The truly remarkable thing about
this Cold War psychology is the totally illogical transfer of the burden of
proof from those who make charges to those who question them. … The Cold
Warriors, instead of having to say how they knew that Vietnam was part of a
plan for the Communization of the world, so manipulated the terms of the public
discussion as to be able to demand that the skeptics prove that it was not. If
the skeptics could not then the war must go on—to end it would be recklessly
risking the national security.

Fulbright realized that Washington’s
resident crazies had turned the world inside out and concluded, “We come to the
ultimate illogic: war is the course of prudence and sobriety until the case for
peace is proved under impossible rules of evidence [or never]–or until the
enemy surrenders. Rational men cannot deal with each other on this basis.” But
these were not rational men, and their need to further their irrational quest
only increased with the loss of the Vietnam War.

Having long forgotten the lessons of
Vietnam and after a tragic repeat in Iraq that the highly respected
Gen. William Odom considered “equivalent to the Germans at Stalingrad,” the crazies are at it again. With no one to stop them,
they have kicked off an updated version of the Cold War against Russia as if
nothing had changed since the last one ended in 1992. The original Cold War was
immensely expensive to the United States and was conducted at the height of
America’s military and financial power. The United States is no longer that
country. Since the Cold War was supposedly about the ideological “threat” of
Communism, Americans need to ask before it’s too late exactly what kind of
threat does a capitalist/Christian Russia pose to the leader of the “Free
World” this time?

Muddying the waters in a way not
seen since Sen. Joe McCarthy and the height of the Red Scare in the 1950s, the
Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” signed into law without fanfare by President Obama in
December 2016 officially authorizes a government censorship bureaucracy
comparable only to George Orwell’s fictional Ministry of Truth in his novel
“1984.” Referred to as
Global Engagement Center
, the
official purpose of the
new bureaucracy will be to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter
foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining
United States national security interests.”

But the real purpose of this totally
Orwellian center will be to manage, eliminate or censor any dissenting views
that challenge Washington’s newly manufactured version of the truth and to
intimidate, harass or jail anyone who tries. Criminalizing dissent is nothing
new in time of war, but after 16 years of ceaseless warfare in Afghanistan, a
Stalingrad–like defeat in Iraq and with Henry Kissinger advising President
Trump on foreign policy, the Global Engagement Center has already assumed the
characteristics of a dangerous farce.

The brilliant American satirical
songwriter of the 1950s and ’60s Tom Lehrer once attributed his early
retirement to Henry Kissinger, saying, “Political satire became obsolete [in
1973] when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Kissinger’s
duplicitous attempts at securing an “honorable peace” in America’s war in
Vietnam deserved at least ridicule. His long, drawn-out negotiations extended
the war for four years at the cost of 22,000 American lives and countless
Vietnamese. According to University of California researcher Larry Berman,
author of 2001’s “
No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and
Betrayal in Vietnam
,” the Paris Peace Accords
negotiated by Kissinger were never even expected to work, but were only to
serve as a justification for a brutal and permanent air war once they were
violated. Berman
writes, “Nixon recognized that winning the peace, like the war,
would be impossible to achieve, but he planned for indefinite stalemate by
using the B-52s to prop up the government of South Vietnam until the end of his
presidency. … [But] Watergate derailed the plan.”

The Vietnam War had broken the
Eastern establishment’s hold over foreign policy long before Nixon and
Kissinger’s entry onto the scene. Détente with the Soviet Union had come about
during the Johnson administration in an effort to bring some order out of the
chaos, and Kissinger had carried it through Nixon and Ford. But while dampening
one crisis, détente created an even worse one by breaking open the longstanding
internal-deep-state-struggle for control of U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union.
Vietnam represented more than just a strategic defeat; it represented a
conceptual failure in the half-century battle to contain Soviet-style
Communism. The
Pentagon Papers
revealed the extent of the U.S. government’s deceit and incompetence, but
rather than concede that defeat and chart a new course, its proponents fought
back with a Machiavellian ideological campaign known as the “experiment in
competitive analysis” or, for short,
Team B.

Writing in the Los Angeles Times in
August 2004 in an article titled “
Time to Bench ‘Team B
,’ ” Lawrence J. Korb, a senior
fellow at the Center for American Progress and assistant secretary of defense
from 1981 to 1985, came forward on what he knew to be the real tragedy
represented by 9/11. “The reports of the Sept. 11 commission and the Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence missed the real problem facing the
intelligence community, which is not organization or culture but something
known as the ‘Team B’ concept. And the real villains are the hard-liners who
created the concept out of an unwillingness to accept the unbiased and balanced
judgments of intelligence professionals.”

Copyright – 2022 Fitzgerald &
Gould All rights reserved

Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, published by City Lights (2009), Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire, published by City Lights (2011).
Their novel
The Voice , was published in 2001. Their novelized memoir, The Valediction Three Nights of Desmond was
published by TrineDay (2021) and
The Valediction Resurrection was published by TrineDay (2022). For more information
invisiblehistory , grailwerk and