Monthly Archives: July 2013

Strategy of Tension

Italy in the late 1960s posed a difficult situation for the United States. Voters were supporting the Communist Party of Italy, or PCI, in increasing numbers. If Communists were even a part of an Italian government, it would represent a massive failure for the prestige of the USA. Moreover, Communists in government could have led to Italy leaking NATO secrets to the Soviet Union or causing Italy to withdraw altogether.

In Italy, NATO had an organization known as Gladio. Gladio existed to engage in long-term guerrilla struggles with a regime imposed in the wake of a Soviet invasion and takeover. But there was another wrinkle: Gladio’s members didn’t have to wait around for a Soviet takeover to get into action. They could engage in resistance to the nascence of Communist and Socialist movements by engaging in what was called “a strategy of tension.”

Strategy of tension was the cool summation of a wave of false-flag terror operations, starting with the Piazza Fontana massacre. In the wake of World War Two, the USA partnered with numerous Fascists and Nazis in order to resist Communism. Those Fascists and Nazis were ready and willing to engage in violence as part of a crusade against Soviet power. Those Fascists and Nazis were the backbones of Gladio-type organizations across Western Europe, from Nazi spymaster Reinhard Gehlen’s “Gehlen Org” in West Germany, on down to Gladio itself in Italy. Fascists and Nazis are the logical conclusions of political movements in which the end justifies the means, where evil done in the name of good is considered acceptable.

And so the Italian Fascists carried out a series of bombings and murders and then blamed them on leftists, in the hopes that such terror would drive people to support centrist and right-of center parties. The strategy did not succeed: as the terror claimed lives, the PCI grew to receive a third of all votes cast in Italy. It had grown so strong that, in 1978, Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro considered inviting them to be part of his government.

15 days later, terrorists killed Aldo Moro’s bodyguards and kidnapped him.

The terrorists demanded an exchange of persons: Moro for some of their members in prison. The Italian government under Moro’s fellow Christian Democrat – and Gladio architect – Giulio Andreotti refused to negotiate, choosing instead to search high and low for Moro’s location.

The kidnappers allowed Moro to release statements to his family and the media. Moro’s statements were highly critical of the government, and there were fears within the Gladio organization that he might reveal their secrets.

55 days after Moro’s kidnapping, the terrorists executed him.

The terrorists claimed to be part of the Red Brigade, but were they really? I don’t want to actually explore the answer to that question. I ask the question, instead, to illustrate the incredible chaos and paranoia that penetrated Italy in that day. The chaos and paranoia arose from over 2000 politically-related murders, with extremists on the left and right ready to murder and frame their opponents for the crimes. Strategy of tension.

Did things actually happen that way? Did the USA act as a prime mover behind a wave of Fascist murders in Italy? Based upon what the USA did in other nations, I’m inclined to believe so. Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Congo in 1961, Vietnam in 1963, and so on and so on: all these and possibly more were places and years in which the USA murdered people in order to topple governments in the hopes that their chosen replacements would follow along with the script from Washington. No nation was immune to the machinations of the USA, unless that nation allowed the Soviet Union or Communist China to be the one that murdered the politicians that did not follow the bidding of a superpower.

Which leads to another question: did the USA engage in a strategy of tension on home soil? Did the USA’s leaders construct or allow through acts of terror that could be laid at the feet of dangerous extremists in order to justify legislation that made the USA more authoritarian and capable of controlling its population? Given what happened in other nations, this is a serious question. The legislation passed in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing and the coordinated terrorist actions on 11 September 2001 certainly gave greater authority to the central government. Recent experience in Syria, Libya, and Egypt shows that the USA does not hold itself above toppling governments even to this day, so I must ask that terrible question: did the USA engage in a strategy of tension on home soil?

And if it did, what of it? What can we do about it? If the government itself is one built upon the idea of justified murders, opposing it effectively would seem to be a death sentence. Working to change it from within? Congress today looks like an Italian parliament… no, destruction comes from within. Change only comes from outside pressures. Given that violence and propaganda can both silence outside pressures, we in the USA do not seem destined to have change.

Certainly not from me. If non-violent opposition makes a person look like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Robert Kennedy, then that’s not a path for me: My family needs me to be here for them. Violent opposition would mean becoming part of the very violence that I abhor; and when violent opposition succeeds in revolution, the violence and oppression continue unabated, even if the list of victims changes.

The world is ruled by sociopaths and blind crusaders. When I have a realization like that, I am comforted by my faith. I am comforted by my deep understanding of my beliefs and my personal experiences that confirm to me that there is a better world beyond this brief mortality. I endure to the end. There is that word, “endure.” I do not flash out with a bang. I endure. All around me is tension, pulling, tugging, grasping – but I must endure it, that I might learn from it. I have my family, I have my friends, I have my God: if my government deserts me, at least I have those things that can give me peace in my heart when all about me is a strategy of tension.

An Open Letter to Lewis Black

Dear Mr. Black,

How are you? I am fine.

I understand the governor of my state has upset you. I feel your pain. He upsets me, too. The difference is that while he only insults your state about jobs, he sells pieces of our state to his friends. You may be only very recently upset about Governor Perry: I have been upset about Governor Perry for quite some time, now.

However, when you take on an assault against my entire state for the actions of just one of its citizens – and a politician, at that – I am cut to the quick. You say you want to fight fire with fire. Well, that means comparing apples to apples. Since you come from the City of Apples, you should appreciate that.

Which New York politician do you have that could match Governor Perry in all his glory? Which political gasbag can we find under the rotting wood, being jeered at and spat upon by the cockroaches as unfit to be among their noble brotherhood? Who is it from The Empire State that is as grievous to behold as Texas’ Rick Perry?

As a disclaimer, I have to note that most recent New York politicians in the national eye are Democrats, which have a different sort of sleaziness and hypocrisy about them than do Republicans. When Democrats do their pandering, they speak to large crowds and offer feel-good messages. Republicans skip all that hooey and go straight for the big donors. The Democrats hit up the big donors, too, but they seem to like making more of a show about how they are well-liked by people they don’t give a shred of care about.

With that being said, has there ever been a USDA grade-A certified ocean-going class of numpty that has been governor of New York? While your current governor has seen fit to shack up with a Food Network host, I’ll agree that’s not as big of a numpty as Rick Perry. Let us consider his predecessors.

First predecessor is one Eliot Spitzer. I remember him! He’s the guy that paid $1000 per hour for prostitutes, repeatedly, right? Real winner, there, Mr. Black. That’s the kind of numpty that could go head-to-head with Rick Perry and put up a good fight. I didn’t say he’d win, but it would be close.

Then we come to George Pataki, a Republican. This guy was so awful that the New York Post said “good riddance!” the day he left office – and they were his supporters! Perry and Pataki match each other, blow for blow, and I think it’s fair to say that both of them have done far too little good for the time they have been in office. Surely, you would not want your state to be judged by the standard of George Pataki. Well, then, don’t tarnish all of Texas over just one Rick Perry.

But let’s also take a look at how Americans in general feel about states. In a Public Policy poll, 29% of Americans said they had an “unfavorable” opinion about New York. Another 32% were “not sure,” which is polling for “I don’t like you guys, but I’m too polite to say that to a poller I don’t know.” Kind of like when people measure racial attitudes. If a guy can’t come right out and say he’s got no problem with people of a different skin color then, yeah… he’s a racist. So we’ve got 61% of Americans that can’t say they love New York. Interesting. How about Texas?

Turns out, it’s the same, too. 61% couldn’t say they liked Texas, either. Even if we were to say that all Texans hate New York and love Texas and vice-versa, we’re still dealing with a pretty big Venn diagram of people that don’t live in Texas or New York that wish we would all just shut up.

Only 27% of Americans admitted to liking California. 44% of Americans came right out and said they hated California – no politeness there. California hate is serious business. This means the dislike you or I might have for California is what brings the nation together. Say what you will about Texas – and I will say what I will about New York, but we can all agree that California can tumble into the sea so that we’d never have to hear someone choking on LA pollution go on about how wonderful the climate is there. California’s so bad, even New Jersey was more popular. Not surprisingly, New Jersey came in at #3 on the most hated list. Illinois was second to California’s first place as “most hated state.”

And it’s not some goofy governor of California that tarnishes their name. It’s not even most of California. There are millions of good, hardy, worthy souls that live in California that are saddled with being attached geographically to the pits of Los Angeles. These guys want to secede from their smarmy neighbors down south – a sentiment many people in Texas can understand – and I don’t blame them.

In fact, if we break things down by cities, we find that Detroit is the most hated city in the USA. It’s gone bankrupt, though, so it’s no longer officially a city. It is now a very large lawsuit. That leaves Los Angeles as the most hated city in the USA, with Oakland hot on its heels. Interestingly enough, Dallas (my home town) and New York City are about equally hated by Americans, with New Orleans, Houston, Salt Lake City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and Miami between us and Oakland. Hey, Mr. Black! Both our cities beat Cleveland in popularity! That’s pretty cool! Heck, we both beat Houston. That’s something we can all be proud of.

But getting back to the idea of lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness, why should we come to verbal blows over the words of a doddering sack of uselessness that is Rick Perry? Let us unite, along with millions of overwhelming millions of Americans, and direct our venom towards a truly deserving target: LOS ANGELES.


Dean Webb

We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us

Syria is a mess, and it just gets messier. Chemical weapons are in use there, but not by the Assad government: the rebel factions that the USA is supporting are the guys using them. The USA claims it is helping the rebels because Assad’s goons are plying the poison gas. Turns out, that’s a lie. Our moral high ground in that conflict is non-existent.

Not that we had much in the first place: Most of the rebels are al-Qaeda mercenaries. If they get in power, it won’t be pretty in Syria, at all.

Now there’s news that Israel shot a cruise missile into the air defense systems that Russia sold to Assad’s government. The Russian reaction? The largest military maneuver operation since the Soviet days. Not content to leave off at poking the Russian bear in that area, Netanyahu has begun to beat the “Iran might have nukes!” drum once again. Never mind that his own nation exists in violation of all manner of non-proliferation treaties. The USA ignores Israel’s violations and complains about everyone else’s.

Except now, we’re very much in a new Cold War with Russia. If Russia is supporting Assad, that means it has ties with Iran, at least as far as that issue goes. It recently accepted Snowden as a political refugee. Russia is a nation with thousands of nuclear missiles – it’s not a nation one would want to upset. Yet, here we are. Russia could have been a friendly nation, but we have antagonized that nation to where it’s back to the way things were in the 80s.

Our foreign policy is our own worst enemy.