Few students of the Bible will fail to notice the connection between the Book of Revelation, and today’s events.
Rev 16: 12 "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates… 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. Revelation 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,…"
Babylon will fall, both the symbolic, sinful one, and the literal, contemporary Baghdad. All this is taking place while the memory of New York’s Twin Towers still resonates in our collective mind. The smoke, covering the New York skyline, the two planes falling from the sky, like innocent darts guided by an evil hand, the final death and collapse of the “twins” felt like an apocalyptic scene. And probably it was. Could the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation be connected to the World Trade Center? About two weeks ago, the Pope sent a special envoy to President Bush. Did they talk about the prophecies of Fatima? I believe that it makes no difference. Why? Because the events of Nine-Eleven may have not changed the direction of history, but our strength of spirit (and the actions taken in Afghanistan) may have changed some of the more painful events that were to follow that terrorist attack.
After September eleven 2001 history has taken a turn. The fears of repeating past mistakes, like a repetition of the Vietnam experience in Afghanistan, have been proven wrong. And also today’s fears, particularly among the atheistic, communist and socialist leaders of Europe, of witnessing another Vietnam in Iraq, is being proven wrong.
The world is witnessing a new age. Conflicts continue to exist, but they become more and more polarized between right and wrong, good and evil, freedom and oppression, truth and deception, fear and resolve, ignorance and information.
On this last subject I would like to offer a few personal reflections on the meaning and forms of ideological deception. I hope you’ll find it interesting. If you do, please feel free to communicate the contents, in full or in part, to any other like-minded friend.
How and why did Saddam, his friends, and the old KGB network try to confuse the issues, tried to separate old allies, and (in vain) tried to undo American resolve and undermine traditional values?
The root of the problem is that since the days of Vietnam, the U.S. has done very little to understand the way Marxist, and now Islamic propaganda is working. Some feeble attempt to court the international media, and some limited and pitiful efforts, like Voice of America broadcasts, could be the matter of jokes if their consequences weren’t so tragic.
It is time to aggressively attack the real front line of the war: the propaganda and disinformation war, or Iraq will end in the same mess as some Eastern European nations, even after we win the war, (where the old communists are back in power) but with greater, more tragic and more lasting consequences.
In the last few weeks, the extent of the pro-Saddam propaganda, including massive demonstrations here at home, has reached a level never seen before. There is little doubt that Iraq alone could not organize and coordinate such a multi-national, and psychological-sound propaganda campaign. So, who helped them?
The propaganda, and lies, regurgitated by so-called Islamic extremists is much, much worst than the Marxist doctrine (but very similar in its anti-US-establishment content, in its forms and methods) forced in the minds and hearts of the North Vietnamese, North Koreans, and anti-war protesters here and in Europe.
Few days ago in the Moscow daily newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russian, reporters indicated that President Putin special envoy Evgenij Primakov was sent to Iraq, where he met with Saddam, to discuss how to protect sensitive information that, if discovered, could bring to light some of Russia (and others) involvement with the Iraqi regime.
They are coming up again (Marxist and Islamic extremists), and they will unite if we do not face them, understand their strategy, and their number one weapon: propaganda (and education), and fight them with the same methods: propaganda, education, and counter-disinformation.
Disinformation is an effective weapon against any belief systems, and it is most dangerous when used in conjunction with highly emotional issues, and highly emotional states like fear, anger, and resentment. And in Iraq fear of Saddam’s reprisal have escalated to the level of sheer terror. We witness every day the terror induced in the hearts and minds of Iraqi people who come to get water and food from the hand of American troops in Basra, and yet chant pro-Saddam slogans for fear that his spies may report them.
Fear is the number one factor determining human behavior. Anger, hate and resentment also play a crucial role, but a lesser one. Last come values learned or assimilated from family, culture, religion and other belief systems.
Terror tactics used on a population already used to terror and repression will work best (did you see the movie Silence of the Lambs?).
Fear of consequences to one’s own life, fear for one’s family (kids, wives, relatives shot if they do not obey orders), and other complex fears can force people to do things they would not want to do. How do terror tactics work? By weakening the belief system (and possibly installing new beliefs), propaganda and disinformation goes to the core of man’s ability to perform: his value-system. Only by changing values and beliefs can one change behavior, and while ruthless regimes try to use fear and terror to change even the most fundamental human values, ultimately they fail because of their ignorance of the fact that as soon as the agents of fear are removed, human nature brings back to the surface those self-evident truths and unalienable human rights, such as life and liberty, we are so familiar with.
Saddam’s so-called elite troops can only bring terror to their own people, by being ruthless. They must be shown for what they have done: enslave women, sacrifice young children, killed opposition, leveled villages, destroyed the economy, destroyed culture, destroyed technology, misled their people, twisted their religion, killed other Islamic teachers not willing to bend their interpretation of the Qumran to the will of Saddam.
A few days ago, a television reporter near Basra was showing some Iraqi civilians lining up for water brought in by Kuwaiti relief. One thin man was asked about Saddam, he looked up, toward the sky and said that Saddam was like god. The truth about the so-called Presidential Palaces is that they represent some kind of cult, the Saddam cult. Saddam really thinks to be the reincarnation of some ancient Babylonian Emperor, and some sort of semi-deity. And if you think this seems outrageous, when we will finally enter in those Presidential palaces and interview those special guards, we will learn the twisted ideas of the Saddam cult.
There are ways to counter those immense and uncontrollable fears. It is possible to clear the minds and ease the emotional pain of a very stressed and confused population. But all these issues must be wisely assembled, clearly presented (one at the time), and a simple action (other than just giving money to some war lords as was done in Afghanistan) must be discreetly suggested.
That’s why I want a good, pro-U.S.A. Iraqi Aljazeera MTV. It is important to present the choice not as a choice between Islam on one side and the West on the other, but rather as the struggle between a repressing elite, torturing and terrorizing his own people, power-hungry, Saddam-cult crazy, intolerant, economy-wrecking, and bent of self-destruction, on one side, and tolerant, moderate, true-to-the-real-teachings of Mohammed, peace-loving Islamic peoples on the other.
I spent three days searching the Internet for articles and websites about disinformation, 99 out one hundred sites were communist propaganda about so-called conspiracy theories, and only one site was moderate in its approach. Nowhere I could find references to the most deadly weapon used by the old Soviet Union to weaken the US and discredit American Institutions for over four decades: the KGB disinformation war.
After September Eleven, for a brief moment, the patriotic spirit, spurred by that tragedy and pain, cleared the minds of media reporters, politicians and most of the public. Now the constant repetition of well-designed lies, contorted logic, and half-truths is clouding the minds and the judgment of many, including many prominent people. The Internet is becoming the platform where lies can be multiplied and spread like highly infected viruses. Its primary target hosts: younger people. Being an emotional triggered program, its easiest hosts: people with emotional imbalance such as, resentment, fear, hate, and frustration. The new Department of Home Security should try to install confidence and peace of mind, and not fear and uncertainty. Even the economy can work better only if surrounded by confidence and trust, while fear, lack of trust and insecurity can only bring depression… as in the Great Depression.
There are a million lessons that can be learned from the Vietnam propaganda war. Let us learn from it. The single, most destructive strength of communism was not their military, but their twisted ideology and superb propaganda machine. Perfecting the Nazi propaganda machine, the Marxist regimes, now surpassed by their Islamic pupils, have made disinformation and propaganda (and education) their number one objective and their primary battleground. The US is terribly lacking in means, strategies, manpower and leadership (but not in complacency). Let us hope we can be really flexible, adapt and overcome. The spread of Marxist ideas in South America (Venezuela and Brazil) and the arrival of IRA urban warfare experts in Venezuela and Columbia (a few months after their arrivals Marxist guerrilla warfare increased 10 fold) implies the spread of the network, and should lead to stepped up propaganda war in the southern hemisphere. To defeat the so-called terrorist network we need to eradicate their most powerful weapon: indoctrination of youth, poor and simple-minded people.
How ? By stressing the same point: ideology, education (on the net, in their nations and mosques, even the jungles, as well as in our mosques and cement jungles), and propaganda (in THEIR NEWSPAPERS, but also in our schools, among the media, and among the less educated population). A hard job? That's true. But there is no other way to win.
God Bless you
Dr. George Lombardi
International Council for Economic Development
New York, NY 10185
For a more extensive view of how beliefs influence values, and how values change behaviors, read “The Value Matrix.”
The Value Matrix can be ordered online from www.xlibris.com, www.Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble Books.