A documentary exploring the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism and the Neocons
Pt.1 The Neocons - Ideology and Fantasy goes over two founding philosophers.
Sayed Kotb was sent to the U.S. in 1949 to study the U.S. educational system, but saw here the dangers of liberalism and individualism. His ideas directly inspired those who conducted the attacks on September 11, 2001. He came to believe "we" are trapped by our own selfish and greedy desires.
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher whose ideas inspired the neocon movement. He taught that the liberal society of the U.S. contains the seeds of its own destruction. That individualism would destroy the shared ideals that formed society.
To defeat liberalism and establish the fight against good and evil, they had to defeat one of the most powerful men in the world. Henry Kissinger. Kissinger's realism was to discount good and evil, but to work with and find ways for the world governments to work together. The neocons formed an alliance with Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who at the time were in the Ford administration.
The danger at the time was Russia. One thing they did was to form a neocon-staffed intelligence gathering service to prove the danger Russia presented to the world. But that intelligence gathering service came up with fantasies and poppycock. It sounds very much like the Office of Special Investigations launched in the lead-up to the Iraq war to put together the proof that Iraq presented a grave danger to the world.
Leo Strauss had taught the need to weave a myth of the battle against Good And Evil. Even though the myth might not be true, the myth would, he taught, lead the U.S. back to moralistic living.
Discusses the teachings by Sayed Kotb that Muslim society had been infected with dangerous thoughts and liberalism. Ayman al Zawahiri was a Doctor in Egypt, and part of the Egyptian elite. Egypt was becoming a modern country which Zawahiri saw as being a corruption. The corrupted modern society was no longer Islamic, and under that theory allowed Zawahiri to first lead the assassination of Anwar Sadat and more.
At the same time, in the U.S., the neocons were making an alliance with Christian Fundamentalists in the U.S. If Religion is the means to bring people to moralistic thought, then how can you use government to spread religion? Liberalism won't give space for Religion in government. This led the neocons and Christian Fundamentalists to become politically active.
The Conservative movement had been largely intellectuals but with few "troops". By joining with the Christian Fundamentalists they gained millions of troops. They were then able to sweep into power through the election of Ronald Reagan.
Another thing they did was to put together a story that the Soviet Union was behind all Terrorism in the world. That the "International Terror Network" was driven and funded by the Soviet Union. The CIA denied this idea, dismissing it as a neocon fantasy. And it occurs to me that, today, the Administration is acting as if there is an International Terror Network who are acting together.
A book they drew "facts" from, "The International Terror Network", served to inspire many of these early neocon's to fight the good fight against Russia. But this book was later disclosed by the CIA to be full of propoganda the CIA had spread in Europe. The propoganda had been meant to undermine the Soviet Union in the eyes of Europeans, but that propoganda was then being used by the neocons to drive their own agenda.
In 1982 Ronald Reagan dedicated the Space Shuttle Columbia in the name of "freedom fighters" in Afghanistan fighting against the Soviet Union. The fight in Afghanistan was set up by the neocons as the struggle against Evil. We funded the resistance movement. We taught them the techniques of terror, including car bombing.
But the people the U.S. funded to fight in Afghanistan purposely intended that the people they drew to Afghanistan would become a cabal that would transform the Middle East. Not only did they work to drive out the Russians, they experimented with "real" fundamentalist Islamism. Their intent was that when the war was over, the people would return to their home countries and spread this fundamentalist Islamism to those countries.
Both Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden were drawn to Afghanistan and the above plan.
There was a change of power in Russia, with Gorbachev coming to power. Gorbachev wanted to pull out of Afghanistan and in the negotiations he warned the U.S. that the Muhajadeen and other fighters we had been funding would not form a democracy in Afghanistan. The Reagan administration ignored this warning, and we are seeing the result today with the wave of Islamic Fundamentalism sweeping the Middle East.
The U.S. has a myth that it was "we" who killed the Soviet Union. For example that by opposing them in Afghanistan, that bled the Soviet Union dry as they fought an expensive war. But supposedly the truth is that the Soviet Union crumbled because it was a house of cards. The fighters in Afghanistan also believed their own myth, that it was they who killed the Soviet Union.
At the same time the neocons were building their own story of the fight against good and evil. After the death of the Soviet Union they had to say there was other evil to fight. With the invasion of Kuwait they were able to focus on Saddam Hussein. The neocons saw the failure to destroy the Saddam Hussein regime in the first Gulf War as a symptom of the liberalism that, they believed, was destroying the U.S.
According to the video this led them to "destroy" the Republican party. Christian Fundamentalism hijacked the Republican Party. Rather than individualism and the like, the agenda of the Republican Party was then controlled by the Christian Fundamentalists.
This disaffected some Republican voters, who came to support Bill Clinton. The neocons then decided to do to Clinton what they had done to the Soviet Union. To label Clinton as the example of the dangers and evil of Liberalism.
Extremist stories were spread about Clintons past life. These came from a magazine, The American Spectator, and spread by David Brock. He has since turned against the neocons, and now calls it "Political Terrorism". The picture that was spread is corruption in government, which the neocons are using as their rallying cry to a campaign to change government. It was all lies until we were told "I have not had sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky". And on that small lie they were able to launch an attack on Clinton.
But the question is raised, in the quest to turn America to moralistic ways have the neocons themselves become immoral? They work by spreading lies and causing untold suffering. When is a lie immoral? Why can they commit huge lies and still see themselves as being moral?
Supposedly the rise of Islamic Fundamentalists was a failure because the violence offended the people. The people in their revulsion shunned the Fundamentalists. Their supposed failure drove them to launch a new Jihad against America.
That act by Zawahiri and bin Laden gave the neocons another phantom enemy which they could spin into their myth of the fight of good against evil. Supposedly the existence of al Qaeda was created as a myth in a trial against the plotters of the first World Trade Center bombing. That was so that they could include bin Laden in the prosecution of these plotters. The myth was that bin Laden was this all powerful figure behind a vast set of Terrorists.
The truth was that rather than bin Laden was ever in charge, but he was simply a source of funding for a loose association of fighters.
But we have seen over the last few years how al Qaeda has been labeled as this huge danger, an organized terror network with world wide capability, and poses a grave danger to modern society.
Sleeper cells? Coherent terror network? Supposedly this doesn't exist, it was a myth constructed by the neocons.
It was the attack on America, on September 11, 2001, that gelled al Qaeda as the source. But was it really bin Laden who planned this attack? Or was it Khalid Sheik Mohammed who simply went to bin Laden for funding, but was only loosely associated with al Qaeda?
The documentary says the neocons were able to hijack the Bush Administration, turning it to their ends. Bush had, during the election, been speaking opposite to the neocon agenda yet it was them who he appointed to positions of power all through government. Since September 11, 2001 Bush has been preaching the neocon agenda.
The Afghani training camps were said to be independent of bin Laden. That they were meant as training grounds to spawn Islamist revolutions in their home countries. The Northern Alliance claimed those training camps were bin Ladens.
The hunt for al Qaeda has been a failure because it doesn't really exist?
Has the U.S. been chasing a phantom enemy and missing the real threat?
Rather than a real organization, it's just an idea. It's the idea that poses a threat. The idea can alight in people all around the world. But just because someone finds values in anothers ideas, does that mean those people are working together?
Terrorist sleeper cells in the U.S.? All the cases that have been brought are based on flimsy or bizarre evidence, and none of the accusations have been proved.
More on phantom sleeper cells.
If there is no real terrorist organization then who are we fighting? They suggest it's a projection. That the danger lives as an idea within the U.S. leadership, but they have to project it out onto others who they prop up as the enemy.
One of the people captured by U.S. authorities started spinning a pack of lies, telling his interrogators a whole string of fantastic stories. Drawing ideas from horror movies like Godzilla etc.
The "Dirty Bomb" idea was one of those fantastic stories. Military studies have shown over and over that the dirty bomb idea does not pose much threat. A dirty bomb disperses the radioactive material, meaning no one place has a fatal dose of radioactivity. Further if an area is promptly cleaned up, the radioactivity stops being a threat.
But "Dirty bomb" as an idea causes terror in the people. By spreading the idea of a dirty bomb it has caused more damage than one of those bombs would cause if ever set off.
The Precautionary Principle is the idea that a leader should look into the future, predict future catastrophes, and act to prevent that catastrophe. Governments had a higher duty, they couldn't wait for the evidence to arrive to justify an action because it might be too late. Not having the evidence that something might be a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem. Action without evidence is justified?
Once you start imagining "what if" there is no limit to the ideas your imagination can concoct.
By embracing the precautionary principle the leaders have become trapped by their imagined scenarios. It leads to the most dire estimate of reality becomes the winning argument in planning meetings by the government leadership.
Something that isn't said, but is strongly implied -- once a lie begins the liar is trapped by the lie. In order to avoid being punished for lying, the lie must continue. In order for the Bush Administration to avoid being impeached they must keep propping up the lie. The lie has to get bigger and bolder to keep scaring the population into conformity.
But what happens when we begin to see the truth?