Many of America’s most prominent political leaders were induced to comment on “International Burn A Koran Day”—a high profile provocation proposed by a Christian-Zionist preacher with a small congregation in a small town in Florida.
When U.S. General David Petraeus spoke out against the proposal, the issue immediately gained an international profile as did Pastor Terry Jones who quickly became an international celebrity.
One need not dig deep to identify who may have advised General Petraeus to grant a global profile to a provocation consistent with Israeli goals for the region.
In March, as head of Central Command, Petraeus offered testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee confirming facts that have long been obvious but are seldom mentioned: our “special relationship” with Israel and its oppressive occupation of Palestine undermine U.S. interests in the Middle East and endanger American personnel. Read it for yourself:
“The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests… Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the [region] and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas….”
Petraeus is often spoken of as a potential Republican presidential candidate. Thus the chagrin among some in Washington when this high profile military leader appeared to curry favor with Max Boot, a former Wall Street Journal op-ed editor and outspoken Zionist. In an apparent attempt to soften the candor of his written testimony before the Senate, he wrote to Boot:
“Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?! And that I will be the speaker at?the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…”
Boot wrote back to assure him that those comments were not necessary as Petraeus had not been described as anti-Semitic. Boot then posted a pro-Petraeus piece on the website for Commentary, a neoconservative publication, assuring readers that the general is not anti-Israel and dismissing his anti-Israel comments as inserted by staff in his statement—that Petraeus reviewed.
The Supporting Cast
After General Petraeus, now senior commander in Afghanistan, created a high profile for the Burn-A-Koran controversy, comments were offered by Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. With that, the provocation went viral.
These fuel-the-fire comments were followed by a personal appeal to Pastor Jones in a phone call from Defense Secretary Robert Gates that also went viral.
As any game theorist could predict, even the possibility of such a psy-ops (a Koran book burning) was guaranteed to galvanize anti-American sentiments and catalyze anti-American demonstrations. As the book burning gained steadily more profile, this provocation increased the probability of catalyzing long-lasting anti-American sentiments.
This stunt bears a remarkable resemblance to a Newsweek story alleging that a U.S. soldier flushed a Koran down the toilet. Though that May 2005 account by Michael Isikoff was later withdrawn in substantial part, its publication provoked an earlier well-timed response by setting off anti-American demonstrations in Muslim countries worldwide.
At first, the story gained only scant attention. That muted response changed dramatically when Pakistani cricket star Imran Khan gave Isikoff’s story an international profile by announcing from Islamabad that American military personnel had desecrated a holy Islamic text.
That’s when this Clash of Civilizations-catalyzing, U.S.-discrediting account went viral. In practical effect, Khan’s celebrity was appropriated to associate the U.S. military with conduct similar in its psy-ops effect to the profile given an American proposing to burn a Koran.
Newsweek was recently acquired by Sidney Harman, the husband of California Congresswoman Jane Harman, the Jewish Zionist chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security. At the time of this provocation, Newsweek was a magazine affiliate of The Washington Post newspaper, an influential opinion-shaping newspaper based in the nation’s capital.
In the annals of “field-based warfare,” the Koran-flushing story will go down in history as a classic psy-ops for its success in targeting the minds of a built-in audience outside the U.S.—cricket fans—as a vulnerable and receptive shared field of consciousness.
When the high-profile Imran Khan described the alleged incident as factual, this operation transcended the literacy barrier as it provoked Muslims who did not even need to read in order to be reached—and provoked.
And because the story targeted cricket fans, its impact was disastrous to Americans while also remaining invisible to America where cricket is neither a well known activity nor a widely played sport.
In what passes for mainstream American media, the Isikoff story was called news. In national security parlance, the well-timed launch of that provocative storyline is called tactical psy-ops. So far, the Koran-burning story is being attributed solely to the whims of a southern preacher.
Stay tuned. It may be only a coincidence that Jones was a high school classmate of Rush Limbaugh, America’s most provocative radio talk show host.
Information Age Warfare
If this sounds familiar, it should. You may recall when the wartime role played by global media became apparent in the Clash-catalyzing “cartoon riots” that swept the world in February 2006. That reaction followed the publication in France, Germany, Italy and Spain of graphic images of the prophet Muhammad that first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September 2005.
Citing free speech as the rationale, cultural editor Flemming Rose published a compilation of cartoons certain to be seen by Muslims as blasphemous, including one featuring Muhammad with a bomb in place of a turban.
An Ashkenazi native of Ukraine, Rose worked as a reporter for five years in Moscow during the oligarchi-zation of Russia. As his contribution to that nationwide fraud, he translated into Danish a fawning 1990 autobiography (Against the Stream) of presidential candidate Boris Yeltsin whose administration enabled the wildly successful financial pillaging of Russia.
Six of the top seven Russian oligarchs were Ashkenazim who qualified for Israeli citizenship.
Rose’s career tracks the trajectory of a typical media asset. After Russia, he relocated to Washington, D.C. Again employed as a journalist, he traveled to China with Bill Clinton before returning to Moscow to work for Jyllands-Posten, a rightwing Danish publication known for its anti-immigrant news fare.
Before catalyzing the cartoon crisis, Rose published a flattering interview with the Islam-bashing Daniel Pipes who heads Campus Watch. This organization monitors, disrupts and seeks to intimidate pro-Palestinian speakers when they accept invitations to speak at U.S. colleges.
Pipes is the neoconservative, Jewish-Zionist son of “Team B” leader Richard Pipes a Polish emigre. Team B was a 1976 alternative intelligence assessment whose success with phony intelligence during the presidency of Gerald Ford (when G.H.W. Bush was C.I.A. Director) informed those who fixed the intelligence that enabled the U.S. to segue seamlessly from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism during the presidency of G.W. Bush.
After the promotion of Rose to cultural editor and publication of the provocative cartoons, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer featured Pipes on The Situation Room. By showcasing Pipes, Blitzer ensured the airwaves would carry his anti-Islam interpretation of the Rose-catalyzed, media-fueled crisis.
Blitzer elected not to inform the viewers of CNN (“the most trusted name in news”) that he (Blitzer) served as an editor of Near East Report, the Israel lobby’s in-house journal, or that he spent 17 years with The Jerusalem Post, or that he published a sympathetic book on Israeli super-spy Jonathan Pollard who did more than anyone in history to damage U.S. national security.
The ensuing crisis cost many lives while the reaction to that provocation consumed the public’s attention and polarized public opinion internationally. Appearing on television, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used the crisis to criticize Iran and Syria, adding American credibility and military authority to stoke The Clash of Civilizations as the post-Cold War narrative.
Overall, the response heightened tensions and made an attack on Iran appear more reasonable as scenes of widespread outrage by Muslims fueled Islamo-phobia in the West. To escape the media scrutiny, Rose fled to the U.S. where he vacationed in Miami.
Timing is Everything
The usual suspects stepped into the fray in support of Pastor Terry Jones’ First Amendment right to further outrage an already outraged Muslim population for whom the Koran is a sacred text.
Supporting cast for the Jones stunt included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who chose an annual Iftar dinner at Gracie Mansion to cite the U.S. Constitution in support of this provocation. Likewise for New York Times columnist Charles Blow whose prominently placed op-ed on September 11th urged that “great American debates” should not be “tempered for terrorists.”
National security may (at long last) be catching on to how those complicit in these psy-ops use our guaranteed freedoms (of speech, press, religion, etc.) to undermine our freedom. It’s no coincidence that those most concerned about domestic eavesdropping by national security are drawn from the same ranks as those complicit in this ongoing manipulation of public opinion.
The high profile nature of this latest 911 anniversary ensured that agent provocateurs would use the event to keep hate alive. The day prior, President Obama urged that Israel extend its “temporary partial freeze” on settlements for the sake of sustaining the peace talks.
Meanwhile Jewish Zionist Pamela Zeller sponsored a speech at Ground Zero by Dutch politician Geert Wilders who likens the Koran to Mein Kampf. A staunch supporter of Israel, Wilders is known for his incendiary speeches with a strong anti-Islam theme.
Geller, a disciple of Russian philosopher Ayn Rand (Alisa Rosenbaum), advocates measures to “Stop Islamization of America.” She emphasizes the role of Barack Obama in doing the bidding of “Islamic overlords” in what she calls “The Obama Administration’s War on America.”
An outspoken Jewish Zionist, Geller urges that Israel “give up nothing.” A regular commentator on Zionist-dominated media outlets (CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, The New York Times), she insists that Israel should “take back Gaza” and “secure Judea and Samaria”—better known as the West Bank, the key area of contention on expansion of the settlements.
Geller is also a driving force behind anti-Islam hate groups working to scuttle plans for an Islamic Cultural Center two blocks from the 911 site. Allied with others in the hate campaign, she was among the first in November 2009 to describe the shootings on Fort Hood, Texas as a “Muslim terror attack.”
Next: Staying on message to advance the narrative.
The Manipulation of U.S. General Colin Powell and Pakistani Cricket Star Imran Khan
Mass media and popular culture are powerful tools of manipulation when wielded by those skilled at waging way by way of deception. When shaping the opinion of an unsuspecting public, the star power of military leaders and sports heroes is routinely appropriated.
That duplicity was on display in February 2003 when Colin Powell gave false testimony to the U.N. Security Council that helped launch the U.S.-led invasion of a Muslim nation. Similar duplicity was deployed in May 2005 when Pakistani cricket icon Imran Khan launched from Islamabad a false story that provoked outrage at the U.S. in Muslim nations.
Since the “bread and circus” era of the Roman Empire, pop culture has proven a potent means to distract and misdirect. With the modern reach of mass media, pop culture can be deployed not just to manipulate the public’s mental state but also to promote for political office high-profile personalities such as astronauts, newscasters, war heroes and even well known comedians.
Those who induced the U.S. to wage war in Iraq on false pretenses used Secretary of State Colin Powell for that purpose when he was dispatched to the U.N. to vouch for phony intelligence. The Powell “brand” as a credible four-star general was appropriated by pro-Israeli war-planners to market the false impression that Iraq had mobile biological weapons laboratories.
By deploying a public official’s known integrity to obscure their duplicity, those complicit in this deceit discredited both Powell and the U.S. while also undermining the credibility of the U.N. The phony intelligence on which Powell relied was provided by George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, and vouched for by Paul Joyal, reportedly Tenet’s Ashkenazi Chief of Staff.
A similar power-of-association ploy emerged two years later when the pop culture celebrity of Imran Khan was appropriated to provoke violence worldwide that damaged the image of the U.S. A global crisis commenced soon after those handling public relations for this legend of the cricket world summoned reporters to a May 6, 2005 press conference in Islamabad.
As an international sports figure, Khan’s star power and his position as a Pakistani politician directed media attention to an April 30th issue of Newsweek where Ashkenazi journalist Michael Isikoff reported that U.S. interrogators had flushed a Koran down a toilet in an attempt to exert pressure on Muslim combatants in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Not until May 16th did Newsweek editors publish a partial retraction along with an apology in The New York Times conceding that the widely reported story was inadequately supported by the facts. By then Isikoff’s tale of Koran desecration had gone viral.
Game Theory Warfare
The story provoked massive anti-U.S. demonstrations in Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Indonesia, Palestine, Jordan, Bangladesh, Sudan and Malaysia. Though the Guantanamo inmate retracted his statement, by then the story had done lasting damage to U.S. interests throughout the Islamic world while adding plausibility to the thematic Clash of Civilizations.
In game theory terms, the results were foreseeable because the reaction was mathematically predictable; the response could be projected—within an acceptable range of probabilities.
As an Ashkenazim-dominated global media spread this provocation worldwide, the “probabilistic” outcome induced protests in Central Asia, unrest in Uzbekistan and calls for an “Islamic revolution” in Pakistan where violent protests left 16 dead.
Why would a world-renowned Pakistani cricket star be used to publicize in Islamabad an unsubstantiated story from a U.S. magazine? Answer: Khan’s pop culture status ensured that an identifiable demographic group (cricket fans) would quickly learn about—and react to—a provocation featured in a leading U.S. news weekly.
That media-induced provocation proved its potency as the story stoked extremism. For Tel Aviv’s game theory war-planners, the anticipated response became a potent weapon in the arsenal of the agent provocateur.
Mass Media as a Geopolitical Force-Multiplier
Cricket has long been a mainstay in nations historically under British colonial rule. When the desecration story was promoted in Islamabad, the editors of Newsweek, a Washington Post publication, successfully discredited not only the U.S. but also the U.K. by provoking outrage among Muslims worldwide. A bombing in London two months later was motivated by this “desecration” according to a cousin of one of the attackers on July 7, 2005.
By associating the story with a sports icon, Newsweek breached the literacy barrier common to less developed nations (54% in Pakistan). As the story spread by word-of-mouth, this provocation reached tens of millions among the illiterate as well as sports fans of younger age for whom extreme reactions come more readily.
By launching the provocation from Pakistan, the response also weakened President Pervez Musharaff, a key U.S. ally with the Taliban active in Pakistan’s western provinces and Al Qaeda suspected of seeking refuge there. Isikoff’s tale also served as a potent recruiting tool for Islamic fundamentalists. At a critical juncture, the (foreseeable) result further endangered coalition troops and also pre-staged today’s plausibility of Pakistan as a source of jihadists.
Formerly a Musharaff supporter and anti-corruption crusader, Khan had become an outspoken critic of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. By appropriating the Khan “brand,” Newsweek assured the global reach of this provocation as a pop culture star’s celebrity gained traction for a story guaranteed to prove troublesome for the U.S.-Pakistan alliance.
The timing of this provocation also addressed a key strategic need for Israel. Initial response to the April 30th article was muted. The May 6th press conference overlapped a critical May 4th news cycle when U.S. Defense Department analyst Lawrence Franklin appeared in a U.S. District Court outside Washington where he was charged with leaking to the Israel lobby classified Pentagon materials on Iran.
The pop culture-catalyzed protests and riots diverted the public’s attention away from wartime espionage by a purported ally. Instead mainstream media marketed a tale certain to outrage Muslims abroad while downplaying facts certain to anger Americans at home. The Washington Post media group has been under Ashkenazim control since June 1933 when patriarch Eugene Meyer acquired the flagship newspaper at auction.
The Newsweek provocation also diverted attention from the fact that Franklin worked for senior pro-Israeli war-planners: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Under Secretary Douglas Feith who oversaw the Office of Special Plans, a key source of the “fixed” intelligence that induced the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Whether appropriating Colin Powell’s integrity or Imran Khan’s celebrity, such “associative” weaponry works the same: the power of association is deployed by those adept at manipulating thought and emotion in order to influence behavior and shape policy in plain sight. Such operations are commonplace for those skilled at waging war by way of deception—the motto of the Israeli Mossad, the intelligence and foreign operations arm of the Jewish state.
From a geopolitical perspective, the appropriation of these “brands” mimics how Israel appropriated and systematically discredited Brand America. Over the six-decade history of this entangled alliance, our association with this enclave of nuclear-armed religious extremists cost us the global goodwill that an earlier generation earned at untold cost in blood and treasure.
The U.S. continues this perilous relationship only at great risk. Any nation that views this enclave as a legitimate sovereign state only further enables this trans-generational treachery.