Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman . . . Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives
Orwellian Logic on Steroids?
E-Mail Message 130730
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper
July 30, 2013
George Orwell, in a classic novel we read in what now seems was a very different land, wrote about how “doublethink” and other devices could confuse and mislead the citizenry, while unsavory powers gain and retain power. We find current examples of how we are being misled, whether ignorantly or by design, into not recognizing threats to our freedoms and our very existence. These methods can become menacing—even to High Frontier—as they are being powered by more and more intrusive applications of modern technology. We must guard our liberty in such times as this—including in identifying existential threats and defending against them.
Doublethink for Today?
“Doublethink” was coined by George Orwell in his novel, Nineteen Eighty Four. Among other descriptions, he wrote that doublethink was the “power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.” Another description was “being able to control your memories, to be able to manually forget something, then to forget about forgetting.”
Orwell explored how doublethink could channel thinking among the masses even to bring social disapproval of any who opposed the party-line and spoke out. In another favorite of my young years in learning to discriminate among competing ideas, Animal Farm, he humorously noted, “All the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
Orwell and his writings were influenced by his understanding of how Hitler (and also Stalin) ruled in achieving and executing power. Both regimes glorified their leaders as demi-gods and saviors—and required destruction of all individuality in promoting the regime’s needs over the individual’s. They demanded absolute loyalty from their citizens and resorted to violence whenever disloyalty was suspected, and they demonized their enemies. Orwell’s “Thought Police” were modeled on the Hitler’s regime, which orchestrated large scale purges and terror, and indoctrinated young people—encouraging them to report disloyalty observed in their elders, even among family members.
With Orwell’s point of view in mind, fast forward to last Tuesday, when the gremlin powers that be in High Frontier’s mail distribution system would not pass my email message on some implications for today from several of Winston Churchill’s speeches that populated his timeline in leading Great Britain to victory in World War II—though there was absolutely nothing remotely politically incorrect about the content of the message.
As clarified in discussions with our email service provider, we used a historically accurate, but apparently now “politically incorrect” short hand term to describe Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). As its leader in the 1930s, he directed Germany to invade its neighbors and attack Britain, declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941 and called for the extermination of the Jews. We were told that if we just referred to them as “Germans,” my article would pass their screen—and we of course refused. Click here to see evidence—an image of the feedback we actually received.
This is just one example of the “political correctness” swamp into which we have been descending for some time—now at an increasingly rapid pace—apparently employing filtering processes of the world-wide web. It makes intelligent conversation and well informed debate difficult—and it is increasingly prevalent. It reminds me of Nineteen Eighty Four, seemingly when I lived in a very different land—and illustrates the growing modern “doublethink” to which we are exposed daily, now empowered by much more intrusive means to expose—and control—our individual and collective way of life.
High Frontier’s unsavory experience makes me uncomfortable with the alleged “phony scandal” under much scrutiny today, associated with Snowden’s exposure of some intrusive methods now feasible and possibly employed by the National Security Agency (NSA). The powers that be are indeed weighing how best to balance our security and privacy interests. And our Constitutional rights are at risk (even without mentioning implications of the alleged “phony” IRS scandal). While awaiting further congressional review to comment further, consider another well-known example of today’s Orwellian thinking.
Consider the upcoming trial of Major Nadal Hassan for killing 13 of his U.S. Army colleagues and wounding 32 others, while calling out Allahu Akbar as he fired the fatal shots at Ft. Hood, Texas in November 2009—four years ago; so much for a speedy trial. He is being tried for murder in an act described by the “politically correct” as “workplace violence,” but which any rational person would call an act of Islamic terrorism—or a “Jihadi terrorist attack.” It will be interesting to see how Hassan describes it, as he is to provide his own defense in the trial set to begin on August 6th.
We received an indication of that defense in last Saturday’s Washington Post, which carried an article on Hassan’s views as provided to Fox News—surprise, that the U.S. is “at war with Islam.” Hassan observed that “My complicity was on behalf of a government [read USA] that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah [read Sharia] to be the supreme law of the land.” Never mind the Commissioned Officer’s oath he swore “to support and defend the Constitution”—with which Sharia is at odds.
Though this is his first release to U.S. media, the Post reports that the transcript of his previous telephone conversations with Al-Jazeera will be introduced as evidence in his upcoming trial for “workplace violence.” Click here for more on Hassan’s message from Fox News’ perspective.
Hassan’s witness may provide an important teaching moment for America, which was told that Islam is a “religion of peace,” by President George W. Bush on the heels of September 11, 2001. And the Obama administration has drawn a further distinction between jihad and terrorism—even though some senior officials may have walked away from it, as recently discussed by Dr. Kiron Skinner, H. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a member of our Independent Working Group (IWG).
Islamic Terrorism by Any Other Name?
Dr. Skinner quotes the administration’s National Security Strategy of May 2010, which asserts that we are not engaged in a “global war against a tactic—terrorism or a religion—Islam.” Rather it asserts that we are at war with a specific network, al-Qaeda (AQ), and its terrorist affiliates who support efforts to attack the United States, our allies, and partners. She quoted the President and John Brennan, our current CIA Director in support of this administration policy. For example, when serving as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Brennan declared, “We [do not] describe our enemy as ‘jihadists’ or ‘Islamists’ because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering men, women and children.” It seems that Major Hassan disagrees.
Dr. Skinner observes that Hillary Rodham Clinton, in her final days as Secretary of State, illustrated a better understanding of reality when she broke with the administration’s orthodoxy and its specific characterization of the threat facing the United States, saying: “We now face a spreading jihadist threat. We have driven a lot of the AQ operatives out of…Afghanistan, Pakistan…. But we have to recognize this is a global movement.”
Later Clinton added, “What we have to do is recognize we’re in for a long-term struggle here. And that means we’ve got to pay attention to places that historically we have not chosen to or had to.” In other words, the U.S. is not in a war confined primarily to Afghanistan and Pakistan but rather in a long war—a monumental struggle over ideas and civilizations—being waged by Islamists.
Better late than never, I suppose—however long she went along with the fiction that has been our national policy for years. As she memorably testified four months after the jihadi attack on U.S. soil in Benghazi killed our Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, “What does it matter?” as to whether the attack on our consulate was planned jihadi terrorism or an extemporaneous response to a video that insulted Mohamed. I trust that Congress will continue to seek to learn from the folks who were on the ground that night just what happened in this alleged “phony scandal” and why it might matter.
They also might explore what her successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, thinks—as he is seeking “peace for our time” in the Middle East—including what he thinks of progress with the alleged “Arab Spring.”
In any case, it would be nice if the residual Obama administration addressed reality and also ceased its orthodoxy which prevents an honest in-depth discussion of the growing threat to America—indeed all of Western Civilization.
Moreover, contrary to repeated administration claims of victory in Iraq and that “bin Laden is dead and AQ is on the run,” AQ is alive and well, thank you—as illustrated last week when AQ attacked two Iraqi prisons, freeing numerous hardened AQ members, including many senior jihadist operatives who had received death sentences. The recent naïve U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is snatching failure from the jaws of victory, earned at a cost of many American lives.
And this is only the “tip of the iceberg” that the U.S. ship of state is heading toward—presuming, like the captain of the Titanic, that we are in safe waters. We are seemingly unaware of the potential dangers of a mortal enemy which our leaders, perhaps out of some deranged sense of tolerance, refuse to identify.
As Dr. Skinner warns in her excellent article: “We should be on notice that, more than a decade after 9/11, we have yet to have a serious nonpartisan discussion on the threat that radical Islam and Islamists pose to the West. Contending that there is no ideological battle at stake because al-Qaeda’s ideology amounts to terrorism—a tactic, not a worldview, is to misunderstand the persistence of jihadists, the diversity of their tactics, and the global spread of their movement, even though its adherents are few.”
Some Facts on the Nature of the Threat.
I assume Kiron meant “few” in the context of one-and-a-half billion or so Muslims around the world today. After all, even one percent of that number is fifteen million. Or for about 3.5 million in North America, one percent would be 35,000. See the estimates below for 2010, and do your own math—not a negligible number of jihadists, don’t you think? One percent of the 43.5 million in Europe would amount to 435,000—given the tenants of Sharia, it’s not hard to understand the difficulties our European friends are having with jihadist terrorism, is it?
So, I’m also curious about what “the few” are up to in our metropolitan areas, aren’t you? Especially after the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing—still not clearly identified in spite of the advance warnings from Russia that the brothers Tsarnaev had radical Islamic ties in Chechnya, their point of origin. The older brother was killed shortly following the Boston bombing. The surviving brother, Dzhokhar, has been indicted by a federal grand jury—30 charges including four charges of murder and the use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Suppose Global Terrorism is Reality—and Much More than al Qaeda.
At the risk of provoking more censure from our dependence on the world-wide-web, I’d like briefly to mention how today’s “politically correct” powers that be are dealing with a global threat that Samuel P. Huntington identified in his 1993 “Clash of Civilizations” article in Foreign Affairs and later elaborated in his book with the same title. Among other things and in brief, he argued that even if then current regimes fell, there would still be a fundamental clash between Islam and the West; that the more the two civilizations intermingled, the worse the tensions would be; and that the West would be wise to keep its distance from Muslim affairs.
While this advice was—and may still be—controversial, I think some subsequent evidence supports this view. In particular, there’s Iran, where the Mullahs long ago declared that Islam’s high calling is to destroy the United States as the “Great Satan”—along with Israel, the “Little Satan.” These folks are not al Qaeda operatives, although they certainly are allied with al Qaeda, and Hezbollah, and Hamas, etc.—and don’t forget terrorists proliferating throughout the world, seeking to conduct their own versions of jihad. The truth is that Iran is allied with and supports the jihadi terrorists who seek a Global Caliphate—and have a well-planned strategy to execute that strategy.
And as we discussed last Friday, Iran is connected to a “cacophony of proliferation” of nuclear and ballistic missile technology, which includes Russia, China, North Korea, and nations to our South—notably Venezuela. This isn’t just a set of hypothetical concerns, because we are vulnerable to a nuclear-armed ballistic missile attack from the South—one which could employ a high altitude detonation producing an electromagnetic pulse that could in a year lead to the death of several hundred million Americans.
And Iran is extremely unlikely to be deflected from that path as implied by Andrew Bostom’s June 19th American Thinker article, “Sharia Thirsty Iranian ‘Greens’ Elected Their Sharia Supremacist President, Rowhani.” Iran’s new President is no moderate, as some have speculated in their descent into another example of the “triumph of hope over experience.” And the Mullahs rule the roost anyway.
Is there a pattern here, especially as Iran approaches gaining nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to kill Americans and Israelis? There is little likely to “distract them” from that course—only uncertainly about what Israel (and the U.S.????) will do as they reach the “red line” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned about.
But if they do reach their obvious goal, then the U.S. homeland will be in their crosshairs as never before—as we have previously emphasized.
And what from this background should be of concern in today’s world? Technology aside, an accounting of the political concerns demonstrate Orwell’s pattern for 1984, Germany of the 1930s—and give one pause when considering the implications for today. This period was the subject of a book that I recommend for your consideration. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson recounts the experiences of William E. Dodd, our Ambassador to Germany (and his family) during Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s.
High Frontier Plans.
We at High Frontier will continue to inform the powers that be of existential threats to the American people—as we have discussed in our emails for many months—and to urge them to “provide for the common defense” as charged by the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. Hopefully, key federal authorities and members of congress will soon begin to deal more effectively with this existential threat. Key initiatives are to undertake both the Shield Act and efforts to enhance our ballistic missile defenses, especially for our citizens on the East Coast and around the Gulf of Mexico, where they are completely vulnerable to ballistic missiles launched from vessels in the Gulf—or from Latin America, e.g., Venezuela.
We will also be taking the message to grass roots America. Our local and state authorities need to understand these issues and what they might do if their federal representatives continue to fail “to provide for the common defense.” It would be wise for them to follow Maine’s initiative and harden the electric power grid in their states, while holding the Washington authorities accountable for their oath to provide for the common defense.
And what can you do?
Join us at High Frontier in seeking to alert the public and your local and state authorities to the existential threats posed by both man-made and natural EMP events—and what can be done about these threats.
We can use your help in spreading this information to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do. Will you do your part?
Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter!