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PODCAST: On Defeating Global Jihad

Listen to the below podcast of the April 10, 2016 The Lisa Benson Show with our guest, Dr. Sebastian  Gorka, noted counterterrorism expert and author of Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.  See our review, “Freedom is Precious and Fragile”, in the April edition of the New English Review currently serves as the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at Marine Corps University. He is a much sought after guest on Fox News, BBC, CNN, Sky News.

Dr. Gorka was interviewed in by host Lisa Benson, co-host Jerry Gordon and Member of the Advisory Council Richard Cutting.  Gorka’s incisive responses to questions from the panel and callers presented key elements of his thesis that the war against Global Jihad is winnable.  His template for achieving this was the US doctrine and road map adopted at the start of the Cold War that led to the defeat of Soviet Communism with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 without firing a bullet.

Gorka was motivated to write this book in part by his heroic parents experience as refugees from the 1956 Hungarian Revolt who found freedom in the West. The other motivation was to portray the hybrid religious based tyranny of Global Jihadism.  In the course of the discussion he identified the grand masters who implemented the Islamic doctrine of Global Jihadism that spawned the competition between Al Qaeda and the monster it spawned, the Islamic State. He dismisses the false and opaque arguments of the Bush and Obama Administration that Islamic terror is perpetrated by so-called “lone  wolves”  and the priority should be given to  “countering violent extremism.” The latter ironically  has involved the Administration reaching out to  Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic clerics perpetrating the same Global Jihad doctrinal messaging we should be defeating.   One of the Cold War templates he referred to in the discussion was the “long telegram” drafted by US Diplomat George Kennan in Moscow in 1946. That led  President Truman to announce the ‘containment’ policy before a joint Session of Congress in 1947. The companion document  he mentioned is  NSC-68, authored by Paul Nitze of the State Department Planning Staff in 1950 that providing a road map to victory in the Cold War

Gorka identified in the discussion four grand masters of Global Jihad.  They were  Osama bin Laden’s  real boss who created Al Qaeda, Jordanian Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Sayyid  Qutb, author of Milestones, Pakistani  Gen. S.K. Malik, author of  The Qur’anic War that espoused terror tactics implemented by Al Qaeda’s bin Laden successor Ayman  Al -Zawahiri and American Yemeni, Anwar al-Awlaki, the so-called “bin Laden of the Internet”. When queried about what was it that the caused ISIS to attract more that 76,000 supporters from100 countries, 6,000 from the west including returning fighters who perpetrated the November 2015 Paris Massacres and March 2016 Brussels, he pointed out the end times significance of the eschatology of the self-declared Caliphate, the Islamic State.  The term Al-Shaam in  ISIS refers the mythic venue of the final war against the infidel Christian Jews and others, Syria and Iraq. The genius of Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was he declared the Caliphate after conquering swaths of Syria and Iraq , the Shaam site of  the final war vanquishing  the armies of world’s infidels..   When asked about the significance of ISIS’ use of chemical, biological and so-called dirty bomb and drones for delivery, Dr. Gorka said we didn’t have to get too sophisticated about  creating  panic from Jihadi terrorist threats. He pointed  out the Washington sniper case with his son as a spotter had wreaked havoc in the metro area shooting victims on the beltway and in service stations. People were fearful of filling up their cars at gasoline stations unless there were under a tarpaulin. The message  Gorka conveyed was it doesn’t cost much for members of Global Jihad networks here in the US  to unleash terror in a major urban areas.

Besides  appendices  containing the Cold War template documents, Kennan’s “Long Telegram” and Nitze’s NSC-68 “roadmap”, Gorka also mentioned  he included in a separate appendix  a list of readings and a valued guide to better inform citizens so they might challenge Presidential nominees, US Senators  and Members of Congress on the issue of winning the 15 year long war against Global Jihadism.

To emphasize the importance of that goal he cited a question from a Department of Homeland Security employee  at a recent  briefing he gave who contested that  the real threat were the KKK,  some Militia group in Montana, noting  the bombing of a federal office building  by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City in 1995.  As tragic as the example cited by the DHS employee was, Gorka asked the person wasn’t there something more contemporary than  unfortunately one that  occurred 21 years ago? The inference was that more Americans were killed  in 9/11, Little Rock, Fort Hood, Chattanooga and at a Christmas Party in San Bernardino by members of Al Qaeda and US members of the ISIS Global Jihad network.  The Pentagon, FBI and  DHS  at the behest of the Administration have redacting words like Islam and Jihad from training material preventing national counterterrorism and counterintelligence echelons from naming the religious hybrid tyranny of Global Jihad as the real threat.

Dr. Gorka’s  message to win the war against Global Jihad is laid out in a compact  44,000 words in Defeating Jihad. There is the option of listening to a  week’s worth  of audio tapes of the book during commute to work time. However, you can start by listening to this highly informative podcast from The Lisa Benson Show sharing it with friends and groups.

Our usually astute Europeam listener commented:

An excellent show and Dr. Gorka knows his subject profoundly. The way he explains the massive danger facing the free world needs to be distributed everywhere.The main problem that I find is that the free peoples of the world are still sleeping. They prefer to push the danger they are facing into their sub-conscious instead of demanding massively from their elected politicians to fight Global Jihad. Are these populations waiting for the day that Global Jihad will decide to use dirty bombs to assassinate very large numbers of civilians? Regretfully I think that the awakening will come only after a huge shock which is a dreadful feeling for me.

RELATED ARTICLE: Kuwaiti Urges Arab & Muslim States to Recognize Israel Immediately

EDITORS NOTE: This podcast and column originally appeared in the New English Review.

How Ice Cream Won the Cold War by B.K. Marcus

Richard Nixon stood by a lemon-yellow refrigerator in Moscow and bragged to the Soviet leader: “The American system,” he told Nikita Khrushchev over frosted cupcakes and chocolate layer cake, “is designed to take advantage of new inventions.”

It was the opening day of the American National Exhibition at Sokol’niki Park, and Nixon was representing not just the US government but also the latest products from General Mills, Whirlpool, and General Electric. Assisting him in what would come to be known as the “Kitchen Debates” were attractive American spokesmodels who demonstrated for the Russian crowd the best that capitalism in 1959 had to offer.

Capitalist lifestyle

“This was the first time,” writes British food historian Bee Wilson of the summer exhibition, that “many Russians had encountered the American lifestyle firsthand: the first time they … set eyes on big American refrigerators.”

Laughing and sometimes jabbing fingers at one another, the two men debated the merits of capitalism and communism. Which country had the more advanced technologies? Which way of life was better? The conversation … hinged not on weapons or the space race but on washing machines and kitchen gadgets. (Consider the Fork)

Khrushchev was dismissive. Yes, the Americans had brought some fancy machines with them, but did all this consumer technology actually offer any real advantages?

In his memoirs, he later recalled picking up an automatic lemon squeezer. “What a silly thing … Mr. Nixon! … I think it would take a housewife longer to use this gadget than it would for her to … slice a piece of lemon, drop it into a glass of tea, then squeeze a few drops.”

Producing necessities

That same year, Khrushchev announced that the Soviet economy would overtake the United States in the production of milk, meat, and butter. These were products that made sense to him. He couldn’t deliver — although Soviet farmers were forced to slaughter their breeding herds in an attempt to do so — but the goal itself reveals what the communist leader believed a healthy economy was supposed to do: produce staples like meat and dairy, not luxuries like colorful kitchenware and complex gadgetry for the decadent and lazy.

“Don’t you have a machine,” he asked Nixon, “that puts food in the mouth and presses it down? Many things you’ve shown us are interesting but they are not needed in life. They have no useful purpose. They are merely gadgets.”

Khrushchev was displaying the behavior Ludwig von Mises described in The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. “They castigate the luxury, the stupidity and the moral corruption of the exploiting classes,” Mises wrote of the socialists. “In their eyes everything that is bad and ridiculous is bourgeois, and everything that is good and sublime is proletarian.”

On display that summer in Moscow was American consumer tech at its most bourgeois. The problem with “castigating the luxury,” as Mises pointed out, is that all “innovation is first a luxury of only a few people, until by degrees it comes into the reach of the many.”

Producing luxuries

It is appropriate that the Kitchen Debate over luxury versus necessity took place among high-end American refrigerators. Refrigeration, as a luxury, is ancient. “There were ice harvests in China before the first millennium BC,” writes Wilson. “Snow was sold in Athens beginning in the fifth century BC. Aristocrats of the seventeenth century spooned desserts from ice bowls, drank wine chilled with snow, and even ate iced creams and water ices. Yet it was only in the nineteenth century in the United States that ice became an industrial commodity.” Only with modern capitalism, in other words, does the luxury reach so rapidly beyond a tiny elite.

“Capitalism,” Mises wrote in Economic Freedom and Interventionism, “is essentially mass production for the satisfaction of the wants of the masses.”

The man responsible for bringing ice to the overheated multitude was a Boston businessman named Frederic Tudor. “History now knows him as ‘the Ice King,’” Steven Johnson writes of Tudor in How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World, “but for most of his early adulthood he was an abject failure, albeit one with remarkable tenacity.”

Like many wealthy families in northern climes, the Tudors stored blocks of frozen lake water in icehouses, two-hundred-pound ice cubes that would remain marvelously unmelted until the hot summer months arrived, and a new ritual began: chipping off slices from the blocks to freshen drinks [and] make ice cream.

In 1800, when Frederic was 17, he accompanied his ill older brother to Cuba. They were hoping the tropical climate would improve his brother’s health, but it “had the opposite effect: arriving in Havana, the Tudor brothers were quickly overwhelmed by the muggy weather.” They reversed course, but the summer heat chased them back to the American South, and Frederic longed for the cooler climes of New England. That experience “suggested a radical — some would say preposterous — idea to young Frederic Tudor: if he could somehow transport ice from the frozen north to the West Indies, there would be an immense market for it.”

“In a country where at some seasons of the year the heat is almost unsupportable,” Tudor wrote in his journal, “ice must be considered as outdoing most other luxuries.”

Tudor’s folly

Imagine what an early 19th-century version of Khrushchev would have said to the future Ice King. People throughout the world go hungry, and you, Mr. Tudor, want to introduce frozen desserts to the tropics? What of beef? What of butter? The capitalists chase profits rather than producing the necessities.

It’s true that Tudor was pursuing profits, but his idea of ice outdoing “most other luxuries” looked to his contemporaries more like chasing folly than fortune.

The Boston Gazette reported on one of his first shiploads of New England ice: “No joke. A vessel with a cargo of 80 tons of Ice has cleared out from this port for Martinique. We hope this will not prove to be a slippery speculation.”

And at first the skeptics seemed right. Tudor “did manage to make some ice cream,” Johnson tells us. And that impressed a few of the locals. “But the trip was ultimately a complete failure.” The novelty of imported ice was just too novel. Why supply ice where there was simply no demand?

You can’t put a price on failure

In the early 20th century, economists Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek, after years of debate with the Marxists, finally began to convince advocates of socialist central planning that market prices were essential to the rational allocation of scarce resources. Some socialist theorists responded with the idea of using capitalist market prices as a starting point for the central planners, who could then simulate the process of bidding for goods, thereby replacing real markets with an imitation that they believed would be just as good. Capitalism would then be obsolete, an unfortunate stage in the development of greater social justice.

By 1959, Khrushchev could claim, however questionably, that Soviet refrigerators were just as good as the American variety — except for a few frivolous features. But there wouldn’t have been any Soviet fridges at all if America hadn’t led the way in artificial refrigeration, starting with Tudor’s folly a century and a half earlier. If the central planners had been around in 1806 when the Boston Gazette poked fun at Tudor’s slippery speculation, what prices would they have used as the starting point for future innovation? All the smart money was in other ventures, and Tudor was on his way to losing his family’s fortune and landing in debtor’s prison.

Only through stubborn persistence did Tudor refine his idea and continue to innovate while demand slowly grew for what he had to offer.

“Still pursued by his creditors,” Johnson writes, Tudor

began making regular shipments to a state-of-the-art icehouse he had built in Havana, where an appetite for ice cream had been slowly maturing. Fifteen years after his original hunch, Tudor’s ice trade had finally turned a profit. By the 1820s, he had icehouses packed with frozen New England water all over the American South. By the 1830s, his ships were sailing to Rio and Bombay. (India would ultimately prove to be his most lucrative market.)

The world the Ice King made

In the winter of 1846–47, Henry David Thoreau watched a crew of Tudor’s ice cutters at work on Walden Pond.

Thoreau wrote, “The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well.… The pure Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.”

When Tudor died in 1864, Johnson tells us, he “had amassed a fortune worth more than $200 million in today’s dollars.”

The Ice King had also changed the fortunes of all Americans, and reshaped the country in the process. Khrushchev would later care about butter and beef, but before refrigerated train cars — originally cooled by natural ice — it didn’t matter how much meat and dairy an area could produce if it could only be consumed locally without spoiling. And only with the advent of the home icebox could families keep such products fresh. Artificial refrigeration created the modern city by allowing distant farms to feed the growing urban populations.

A hundred years after the Boston Gazette reported what turned out to be Tudor’s failed speculation, the New York Times would run a very different headline: “Ice Up to 40 Cents and a Famine in Sight”:

Not in sixteen years has New York faced such an iceless prospect as this year. In 1890 there was a great deal of trouble and the whole country had to be scoured for ice. Since then, however, the needs for ice have grown vastly, and a famine is a much more serious matter now than it was then.

“In less than a century,” Johnson observes, “ice had gone from a curiosity to a luxury to a necessity.”

The world that luxury made

Before modern markets, Mises tells us, the delay between luxury and necessity could take centuries, but “from its beginnings, capitalism displayed the tendency to shorten this time lag and finally to eliminate it almost entirely. This is not a merely accidental feature of capitalistic production; it is inherent in its very nature.” That’s why everyone today carries a smartphone — and in a couple of years, almost every wrist will bear a smartwatch.

The Cold War is over, and Khrushchev is no longer around to scoff, but the Kitchen Debate continues as the most visible commercial innovations produce “mere gadgets.” Less visible is the steady progress in the necessities, including the innovations we didn’t know were necessary because we weren’t imagining the future they would bring about. Even less evident are all the failures. We talk of profits, but losses drive innovation forward, too.

It’s easy to admire the advances that so clearly improve lives: ever lower infant mortality, ever greater nutrition, fewer dying from deadly diseases. It’s harder to see that the larger system of innovation is built on the quest for comfort, for entertainment, for what often looks like decadence. But the long view reveals that an innovator’s immediate goals don’t matter as much as the system that promotes innovation in the first place.

Even if we give Khrushchev the benefit of the doubt and assume that he really did care about feeding the masses and satisfying the most basic human needs, it’s clear the Soviet premier had no idea how economic development works. Progress is not driven by producing ever more butter; it is driven by ice cream.


B.K. Marcus

B.K. Marcus is managing editor of the Freeman.

Centers for Islamic Studies: Cold-War-Style Influence Operations?

The launch of a new Center for Global Islamic Studies at the extremely leftist University of Florida in Gainesville may have been planned as a purely academic affair, but the announcements in the local and national media, including AP and Fox News, exhibited more than a purely academic interest in this event. To compare, one doesn’t often see national media announcements about, let’s say, a local center for the study of viruses — unless the virus is Ebola. And just like with any news about Ebola studies, any news about studies of Islam attracts attention from the general public, who want to know if there’s a hope for the cure, containment, and safety from danger.

Unfortunately, these may not be the kind of Islamic Studies that answer those hopes. The Center opened on September 18th with a conference on “Global Islam and the Quest for Public Space,” headlined by none other than Georgetown professor John Esposito, a known apologist for radical Islam and founding director of the Saudi-sponsored Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

A small group of protesters picketed the event outside the Pugh Hall on the university campus, with a dozen creative posters and a vinyl banner pointing out that John Esposito and the leader of ISIS both hold PhDs in Islamic Studies: “Same goal, different tactics.” The video of the protest can be seen below.

The protest organizer, Randy McDaniels of ACT for America and the Counter-Terrorism Advisory Group, stated that our students certainly need to study Islam, as long as such studies are based on scientific objectivity and critical analysis. But the presence of John Esposito as the keynote speaker indicated that the new Global Islamic Studies Center was likely to go the way of many other universities, opening their doors and exposing our children to political Islam under the guise of education, with programs funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other state sponsors of Islamic fundamentalism.

While many among the leftist faculty and the students were visibly upset with the protest, complete with occasional angry obscenities, a few others were interested in the message and asked for a flyer. Some of them asked, “What’s wrong with having an Islamic Studies Center, even if it’s financed by foreign money?”

The short answer would have been to compare such a project to active measures undertaken in America by the KGB during the Cold War — except that, unfortunately, most American students aren’t familiar with this term. Their knowledge of the Cold War has been thoroughly sanitized by the leftist faculty, especially if the professors are Marxists who used to root for the other side. The resulting perceived absence of the Soviet subversion, propaganda, disinformation, and other influence operations inside the U.S. and around the world creates the impression of an ideologically neutral world, in which America’s response to protect liberty can very easily be misconstrued as imperialist aggression against the innocent.

Ignorance about the enemy leads to confusion about one’s own nation’s role in the world, regardless of the historical era or the current adversary. Whether we admit it or not, we are now in a new global conflict that has many parallels with the Cold War; it is often fought by similar means and sometimes even by the same actors.

Now, just as it was then, we’re up against a supremacist collectivist ideology whose goal is to establish a totalitarian utopian society on a global scale. The two deadly pipe dreams — global communism and the global caliphate — may have their differences, but in practical terms they both view the United States as the main obstacle in their quest of world domination. There is no reason why one can’t learn from the other’s vast experience in subverting this country.

Both foes have made claims that they stand for peace. The problem is that Marxists understand peace as the absence of opposition to socialism, just as the Islamist supremacists understand peace as the absence of opposition to Islam. Eventual peace will theoretically ensue once they subjugate the rest of the world to their totalitarian rule.

In both cases, tolerance is a one-way street: everyone must be tolerant of their“superior” views, while they retain the right to self-righteous intolerance of the “inferiors.” Both ideologies generate a variety of wild-eyed conspiracy theories as a means to retain loyalty, boost morale, recruit new members, and demoralize their opponents.

The Soviets didn’t necessarily hate Americans or wanted to kill them off; they only wanted to “convert” our economic and political system for our own good. Likewise, the Islamists feel morally justified: they don’t view terrorism as the murder of innocents, but rather as a collective punishment for being foolish in resisting Islam. This makes mass murder a moral virtue, absolving them of all sins and encouraging them to keep punishing us, “the inferior fools,” until we see the light and either convert or accept their supremacy. They’d rather convert than kill, so if we force their hand, it’s “our own fault.”

Now, just as it was then, the U.S. is being drawn into fighting regional proxy wars while maintaining a semblance of dialogue with the main instigator, who remains visibly uninvolved but is pulling the strings of a vast network of loosely affiliated non-governmental groups, from registered non-profits to armed gangs of cutthroats. The seeming lack of affiliations, in both cases, is usually a cover for a centralized, coordinated effort.

Cold War spy thrillers may show some exciting action, but the fact is that espionage wasn’t even the main focus of the KGB operations in the U.S. According to retired KGB Maj. Gen. Oleg Kalugin, the heart and soul of Soviet intelligence was “not intelligence collection, but subversion: active measures to weaken the West.”

The KGB maintained an extensive, sophisticated network of agents in the media, academia, government, and the cultural establishment. Acting on strategies designed in Moscow, they led a relentless, coordinated attack on this country’s institutions, often quite effectively demoralizing the population, undermining people’s confidence in America’s political and economic systems, spreading rumors, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories, influencing politicians, swaying public opinion, promoting some public figures and discrediting others, creating a positive image of the USSR, and so on.

Fast forward to the fall of the USSR. What happened to these strategies, this system, its networks, and its methods? Did they just disappear? Not really. The KGB was never dismantled; it was renamed into FSB and one of its former lieutenant colonels, Vladimir Putin, is now running the country, using the old KGB network just as effectively to spread disinformation and to promote his imperial agenda.

Even more disturbingly, this system has now replicated itself, producing an even more dangerous and aggressive clone.

In 1960, the Soviet government had set up the so-called Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University in Moscow, offering free higher education to students from the Third World, many of them from Muslim countries. In addition to regular student curriculum, the goal was to train and recruit agents who would then spread the ideas of Marxism in their home countries, and if possible, conduct active measures designed by their Moscow handlers.

To be exact, the university received its African name in 1961. Patrice Lumumba was a pro-Soviet Congolese prime minister who earlier that year was removed from power in a coup d’état and shot by a firing squad. The international Left quickly made Lumumba into a martyr of anti-imperialist struggle; what they won’t mention is that the coup and the execution were a drastic response to Lumumba’s plans of bringing the Soviet troops to the Congo and potentially staging a major military conflict in Africa, similar to the wars that the USSR fought in Korea, Vietnam, and later in Afghanistan. In this regard, the school’s name was rather symbolic.

According to KGB Major Vasili Mitrokhin, who defected to the West, “The University’s first vice-rector and a number of its staff were KGB officers who used the student body as a recruiting ground for Third World agents.” The students were trained in the art of propaganda, infiltration, and influence operations. More specialized training, such as terrorist activities, was provided at locations in Baku, Odessa, Simferopol, and Tashkent.

Carlos the Jackal, the notorious Marxist terrorist from Venezuela, who joined Palestinian terrorists and later converted to Islam, was one of the graduates, even though the school insists that he was expelled. A BBC News article titled Carlos the Jackal — three decades of crime puts it this way:

He began acting in the name of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after leaving Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, a notorious hotbed for recruiting foreign communists to the Soviet Union.

Grand Ayatollah and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, is listed among notable graduates on the University’s Wikipedia page, although he vehemently denies it. Another graduate is Timoleón Jiménez, the leader of FARC — a communist guerrilla army in Colombia, which is funded by drugs, kidnappings and extortion.

Other notables include the President of Honduras, the President of Namibia, the President of the Central African Republic, a former President of Guyana, a former Jamaican MP, a leader of the Sudanese Socialist Democratic Union, and — of all people — Anna Chapman, a Russian intelligence officer.

Most importantly, the list of graduates includes today’s Palestinian leaderMahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the PLO and President of the Palestinian National Authority, who received his Ph.D. in Moscow in 1982 after completing a thesis partly based on Holocaust denial.

In a 2004 interview with FrontPage Magazine, Ion Mihai Pacepa, former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service, described the KGB role in setting up terrorist networks around the world and particularly in the Middle East, as well as persuading Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi to join the terrorist war against the US, with the added benefit of using Iraq’s and Libya’s huge intelligence services that were being run by the KGB advisers and extended their tentacles to every corner of the earth.

Says Pacepa:

The PLO was dreamt up by the KGB, which had a penchant for “liberation” organizations. There was the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created by the KGB in 1964 with help from Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Then there was the National Liberation Army of Colombia, created by the KGB in 1965 with help from Fidel Castro, which was soon deeply involved in kidnappings, hijackings, bombings and guerrilla warfare. In later years the KGB also created the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which carried out numerous bombing attacks on the “Palestinian territories” occupied by Israel.

“In 1964 the first PLO Council, consisting of 422 Palestinian representatives handpicked by the KGB, approved the Palestinian National Charter — a document that had been drafted in Moscow,” Pacepa continues.

The Palestinian National Covenant and the Palestinian Constitution were also born in Moscow, with the help of Ahmed Shuqairy, a KGB influence agent who became the first PLO chairman.

The entire story of the Palestinian “liberation,” which has provoked a tidal wave of global Islamic extremism, has recognizable marks of a manufactured influence operation. That includes media coverage in the Western press, which regurgitates regularly produced and coordinated disinformation. A lot of this dirty work was done initially by the Middle Eastern graduates of Patrice Lumumba People’s Friendship University in Moscow, many of whom are still active in the field.

The school still functions today, having dropped Lumumba from its name and calling itself The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. Its page claims that as of now, more than 97,000 of its graduates work in approximately 170 countries around the world.

Granted, not all of the graduating engineers, doctors, or agricultural experts have become KGB agents or even Marxists, but how many of them have? Even a small percentage of the total 97,000 means that thousands of agents with the knowledge of propaganda, infiltration and influence operations are currently active in the world today, particularly in the Middle East. If in the past some Muslim students may have embraced Marxism, they no longer do now. Even Carlos the Jackal has now converted to Islam. Today’s Next Big Thing is the Muslim Brotherhood, and that’s where all the action is.

The astounding sophistication and effectiveness of the Muslim Brotherhood in setting up networks of various front groups, infiltrating the Western establishment, spreading disinformation, swaying public opinion, promoting some public figures and discrediting others, creating a positive image of their ideology, and other influence operations are the evidence that the thousands of trained experts in these fields didn’t just disappear. Even if they aren’t being run from Moscow today (some may still be), they are still using their knowledge and skills, as well as teaching a new generation of Islamic supremacists the intricacies of active measures. If the methods and techniques are effective, they don’t get abandoned.

Given the history, what are the chances that the new Center for Global Islamic Studies at the Florida University, “christened” by a Saudi-financed, PLO-loving Georgetown professor, won’t be turned into yet another center for the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence operations on American soil?

Relearning The Cold War’s Harsh Lessons

Some very interesting realignments are taking place in the world, often between nations one would think have little in common. The threat of fanatical Islam in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda related groups has produced unexpected outcomes.

Russia, China and Iran are supporting Syria which is under attack from Islamist forces while the Saudis are eager to see the regime overthrown, apparently for the same reason. The United States is likely to use its military assets to demonstrate it is no paper tiger, having largely been in retreat in the Middle East since Obama took office.

At age 75 I lived much of my life during the Cold War from 1946 until 1989, some 43 years which culminated two years later in 1991 with the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Throughout that era it was, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the “evil empire.” Presidents from Harry Truman to George H.W. Bush had to base their decisions on what the Soviets and their satellite states were doing. At times it turned hot as in Korea and Vietnam.

It was the U.S. development of the atomic bomb and later the hydrogen bomb that dictated what occurred because neither nation wanted to engage in a nuclear war. Having stolen our nuclear secrets, the Soviets were able to develop their own and, later, Red China had the bomb as well. Other nations, too, would acquire their own. What emerged was the fear of “mutually assured destruction.”

This fear worked, but now the world is facing the prospect of an Islamic nation, Iran, having nuclear weapons (as does Pakistan) and, at that point, all bets are off. Islam embraces death as martyrdom and the gateway to paradise. In Iran, its leaders believe that massive human death and destruction is necessary to secure the return of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical figure, but one that is real to them.

In an excellent history, “The Cold War”, by John Lewis Gaddis, published originally in 2005, the reader is taken on a journey back to that era, but a goodly portion of the present U.S. population has little or no recall of it. Anyone age 24 or younger has no experience with the Cold War and likely no knowledge of it. The Korean War was fought in the 1950s and the Vietnam War in the 1970s.

The single lesson of the Cold War was that Communism could only exist if the governments that embraced it were led by despots and the full power of the state was used to maintain it. In the case of Russia and China, literally hundreds of millions died as a result. The closest example of Communism is Cuba, just ninety miles off the shore of Florida.

Other nations such as Venezuela and Nicaragua are essentially Communist, but the good news is that, during the course of the Cold War and in the wake of the demise of the Soviet Union, many new democracies have emerged. What occurred was the “globalization of democratization.” Gaddis notes that “By one count, the number of democracies quintupled during the last half of the 20th century, something that would never have been expected at the end of the first half.”

What Americans are witnessing, however, is the effort of the Obama administration to “transform” America into a close approximation of a Communist nation as more and more of its structure has come under the control of the federal government. It has been a long process that began at the beginning of the last century, ushered in with the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 and manifested here with a vastly expanded federal government and the creation of various “entitlement” programs that comprise some 60% of our annual budget.

Americans have become accustomed to a government that has extensive control over many sectors of its economy and other aspects of our lives. The educational system has been transformed into a form of politically correct indoctrination and one that consistently fails to teach the most fundamental skills, least of all the ability to think independently. The emphasis has gone from self-reliance to self-esteem.

These days, one in five households in America is on food stamps. Despite four years of failure to reverse the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, the nation remains mired in the longest non-recovery in its history since the Great Depression.

At the end of World War Two in 1945, in response to the Soviet Union’s takeover of Eastern Europe and the need to put Western Europe on a firm economic footing, the United States had to remain on a virtual wartime footing. Our troops would remain in Europe where the Marshall Plan was implemented to aid the recovery of our allies as well as West Germany. This was followed by the creation of NATO to provide military support against a possible Soviet invasion.

The U.S. had to lead the effort to force the North Koreans back across the 38th parallel. Later it would attempt to do the same thing to maintain South Vietnam. The former was a stalemate that exists to this day and the latter was a defeat.

During this period, the Soviet Union remained the focus of U.S. attention. The CIA was created by Truman to monitor and respond to Soviet efforts to extend its influence such as the Communist takeover of Cuba in 1959. The expansionist efforts led to a fearful confrontation in 1962 when the U.S. demanded the removal of nuclear missiles that the Russians had placed in Cuba. The Russians backed down.

All during this time, from Stalin to Khrushchev, the real story of the Soviet Union was the continuing failure of Communism. Gaddis noted that “By 1971, the Soviet Union’s economy and those of its East European satellites were stagnating. By 1981, living standards inside the U.S.S.R. had deteriorated to such an extent that life expectancy was declining—an unprecedented phenomenon in an advance industrialized society. By the end of 1991, the Soviet Union itself, a model for Communism everywhere else, had ceased to exist.”

After the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Union would be led by a succession of aging dictators until events required that a far younger leader, Mikhial Gorbachev, was installed in 1985, but it was too late and he came on the scene when powerful leaders, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John-Paul were positioned to resist.

Today, we have a President who told his Russian counterpart that he would have more “flexibility” after his reelection and, having imposed the takeover of the nation’s healthcare system, the expansion of federal power over the economy, and the vast expansion of its surveillance system, every American is learning what it was like to live under Communist domination.

Historically, the Cold War is over, but if the chill relationship between Putin’s Russia and Obama’s America is any indication, it still endures.

It doesn’t look to end anytime soon and the destruction of the U.S. dollar and our economy, a communist goal for decades, is well underway.

© Alan Caruba, 2013