The Fifth Communism

Asia Times considers the significance of the recent plenary assembly of the Chinese Communist Party that elevated Xi Jinping Thought to the highest ideological level:

Marx. Lenin. Mao. Deng. Xi.

Late last week in Beijing, the sixth plenum of the Chinese Communist Party adopted a historic resolution – only the third in its 100-year history – detailing major accomplishments and laying out a vision for the future.

Essentially, the resolution poses three questions. How did we get here? How come we were so successful? And what have we learned to make these successes long-lasting?

The importance of this resolution should not be underestimated. It imprints a major geopolitical fact: China is back. Big time. And doing it their way. No amount of fear and loathing deployed by the declining hegemon will alter this path….

Make Trade, Not War: that would be the motto of a Pax Sinica under Xi. The crucial aspect is that Beijing does not aim to replace Pax Americana, which always relied on the Pentagon’s variant of gunboat diplomacy.

The declaration subtly reinforced that Beijing is not interested in becoming a new hegemon. What matters above all is to remove any possible constraints that the outside world may impose over its own internal decisions, and especially over its unique political setup.

The West may embark on hysteria fits over anything – from Tibet and Hong Kong to Xinjiang and Taiwan. It won’t change a thing.

Concisely, this is how “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – a unique, always mutant economic system – arrived at the Covid-linked techno-feudalist era. But no one knows how long the system will last, and in which mutant form.

Corruption, debt – which tripled in ten years – political infighting – none of that has disappeared in China. To reach 5% annual growth, China would have to recover the growth in productivity comparable to those breakneck times in the 80s and 90s, but that will not happen because a decrease in growth is accompanied by a parallel decrease in productivity.

A final note on terminology. The CCP is always extremely precise. Xi’s two predecessors espoused “perspectives” or “visions.” Deng wrote “theory.” But only Mao was accredited with “thought.” The “new era” has now seen Xi, for all practical purposes, elevated to the status of “thought” – and part of the civilization-state’s constitution.

That’s why the party resolution last week in Beijing could be interpreted as the New Communist Manifesto. And its main author is, without a shadow of a doubt, Xi Jinping. Whether the manifesto will be the ideal road map for a wealthier, more educated and infinitely more complex society than in the times of Deng, all bets are off.

It is vital to accept that one can no more understand the current and future actions of the CPC – and therefore China – while ignoring Xi Jinping Thought than one could have comprehended the development of China since 1978 while attempting to ignore the Dengist revisionism that has completely transformed both China as well as the global order.

One cannot hope to grasp Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Dengist-Xism any better than one could have grasped Marxist-Leninism by reading nothing but Marx. Or than one can anticipate the actions of the fake Biden administration by referring to the US Constitution.

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A Lesson from Comics History

It’s always a good idea to learn from the successes and failures of the past:

1960s Marvel provided verisimilitude and continuity to characters, allowing characters to experience consequences that mattered to the story, and thus to the readers. When Sue and Johnny’s father died in Fantastic Four Issue 32, it was a permanent change for them and the rest of the team. When the Thing crushed Doctor Doom’s hands in Issue 40, it was a driver for Doom’s revenge twenty issues later in Issue 60 — there was memory of the insult and damage, the thirst for Doom’s revenge upon the Thing, creating an element of verisimilitude for the readers. This is how readers expected the arrogant Victor von Doom would behave–it made sense and it felt “real” to them.

Chris’ page on “How to Make Great Comics” highlights this formula, but I believe that Chris, Stan Lee, and Jack Kirby were on the wrong track by calling it “Realism”. I believe the word they wanted was “Verisimilitude”–it needs to feel or appear real enough to generate belief. It does not necessarily need to be “real”, but rather “real enough”. The scientific jargon Reed Richards uses doesn’t have to come from a real-world physics text, but it needs to be believable enough to the reader to give that impression to the story. The verisimilitude benefits from continuity and is reinforced by it. Discontinuity tends to pull the reader out of the story.

What is clear is that when Marvel was sold in 1968, the bonds of continuity and verisimilitude were being damaged and ultimately removed. With that removal, the quality of the books began to suffer. Under the sale, Marvel was no longer under the agreement with National Periodicals to limit the number of its titles, and that number almost doubled in two years. But, the creative engines that built the 1967 Marvel were leaving or had left. Working within those externally imposed limits may have also contributed to the 1960s Marvel’s sharp writing, tight pacing, and innovative art. The quality of the books declined rapidly with the onset of the 1970s, and this was quickly seen in the sales.

I re-created the graph that is on Chris’s page discussing the Marvel Universe and how it lost its way. My version removes some of the sharp peaks and adds a few real-world events against the sales curve. Note that the Marvel upward peak in 1977 is likely from Roy Thomas convincing Marvel senior leadership to allow him to create a 6-issue mini-series of the new movie Star Wars, which is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy.

That 1968 sale and the change in the fortunes of Marvel are well-aligned, though not causally linked via this data. So we have correlation vs causation event here — but correlation is strongly predictive. Stan brought over 35 years of experience managing creative teams and writing dialog for comics to the fore for Marvel’s success. Notice how many people attempted to assume the Editor-in-Chief role after Stan left it, and were only in the job a year or two. It was not until Jim Shooter took the Editor-in-Chief position that Marvel’s sales fortunes began to turn around. Shooter demanded hewing to a universal continuity for Marvel. Though the creative talent chafed against it, sales improved throughout Shooter’s tenure, and declined after his departure.

It is worth observing that the two Editors-in-Chief who practiced or demanded continuity were the most successful in financial benefit to the company.

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They Tried to Cancel Thanksgiving

But even The Wall Street Journal is having none of it.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board announced that the paper will continue with the publishing of its annual Thanksgiving editorials despite efforts by the left to cancel them.

In a Monday op-ed, the board declared that efforts by progressives to stop the publishing of the “racist” 1620 account of the first Thanksgiving, as well as a mid-20th century “contemporary contrast” of American progress, would not succeed and that The Journal wouldn’t “bend to political demands for censorship.”

“No doubt it was only a matter of time. The progressives have come for our annual Thanksgiving editorials. They won’t succeed, but we thought we’d share the tale with readers for an insight into the politicization of everything, even Thanksgiving,” the board wrote.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board announced that the paper will continue with the publishing of its annual Thanksgiving editorials despite efforts by the left to cancel them. It noted that the pair of editorials had been run every year since 1961 without complaint.

Whether you can bring yourself to admit it yet or not, the wicked elite that presently rules the Imperial USA through the fake Biden administration and the finance-media complex is seeking to eliminate every last vestige of Christianity, Heritage America, and American history from the United States, and there is no element of it too small to ignore.

This elite are the heirs of the Bolsheviks who did the same thing to the Russian people – in some cases, they are literally their grandchildren and great-grandchildren – which is why the history of the Soviet Union provides an accurate road map for both their evil intentions as well as their inevitable failure.

So be thankful to God this Thanksgiving that at least you are given to know the truth about the historical situation facing you, your family, your nation, and your faith.

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Winter Heart Attacks

Posted for the record, in anticipation of the media attempting to explain away the unprecedented number of heart attacks this winter as being “in the normal, because people are shoveling snow”.

As winter arrives, it’s worth noting that each year about 11,500 people in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to snow shoveling. On average, 100 of those injuries are fatal, generally heart attacks. The data, compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and analyzed a few years ago by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, indicates that soft tissue injuries are the most common (55 percent), followed by lacerations (16 percent), fractures (7 percent) and heart-related injuries (7 percent). In the 17-year span of the data, however, cardiovascular injuries accounted for half of the hospitalizations and 100 percent of the fatalities.

And obviously, the number of fatalities related to snow shoveling should be on the low side, due to all that global warming of which we hear so much.


The Barbarossa Question

I tend to agree with the historical revisionists concerning the planned Soviet invasion of Germany, but I disagree that the burden of proof is on them any more than it is on the traditionalists. The fact that one is the first to reach a conclusion does not indicate that the conclusion is the most accurate one.

In the years 1939-1941, Stalin ruled the Soviet Union with the idea that war would be inevitable. Stalin had been preparing for that inevitability both before and during those years: This is evidenced from many developments, from the economy, to propaganda, to Red Army deployments at the border. With his poker game conception, the only question that remained is who would become Stalin’s main adversary? After the fall of France – which happened so swiftly that it baffled and enraged Stalin – it became more and more obvious that the main adversary would be Hitler. Rather than picking up the scraps of two foes who had battled each-other to exhaustion, he would now have to face Hitler alone on the European continent

There were good reasons for Stalin to fear encirclement, but even the Soviet defensive strategy contained fundamentally offensive operations which included defeating and conquering the enemy on his own territory. The neglect of defensive lines, the offensive posture of Soviet divisions, Stalin lambasting the Maginot defense strategy of the French, the brutal imposition of the Stalinist system on the conquered territories in the years 1939-1940 all point to Stalin not being afraid of the Germans. Instead it points that he was confident enough to fend them off and counter-strike in case of an attack.

There have been many Soviet war plans, many of which can be regarded to be contingency plans in case of an attack. Germans had these too even before Operation Barbarossa was decided upon. The May war plan was the plan that contained proposals for the Soviets to strike first. To date, the revisionists, especially Ewan Mawdsley, have mostly compared the May war plan with other Soviet war plans, while I attempted to compare the May war plan with the mobilization plan of 1941 and saw many similarities. MP-41 predates German deployments to the Soviet border. The completion of MP-41 would have enabled the Soviets to carry out the May war plan. The biggest issue as I have already highlighted was the date at which the Soviets would launch their preemptive strike.

Stalin’s rhetoric and behavior in the months February-May cannot possibly be construed as him waging a campaign of appeasement against the Germans. Soviet deployments, along with aggressive propaganda campaigns that intended to fuel hatred against Germans, interrogation reports of captured soviet soldiers saying that they were expected to attack soon and the stepping-up of military production all point to Stalin intending to strike against Hitler. Stalin may have become concerned in June when Germans completed their deployments, probably a lot faster than he expected. But at that point, it was too late to shift all his armies from an offensive to a defensive posture. Alternatively, Stalin may have remained confident for his armies abilities to hold off the Germans at the border in order to launch a counter-attack. Zhukov’s and Timoshenko’s directives on 25 June to counter-strike and capture Poland and East-Prussia certainly points in that direction.

So did Stalin intend to invade Germany? Yes I think that he did. But it needs to be stated that both traditionalists as well as revisionists operate on circumstantial evidence alone, granted the burden of proof is on the revisionists. I hope to have convinced the reader that the evidence points into the direction of Stalin preparing to invade Germany.

Frankly, I think the author gives too much credence to the “see no logic” traditional crowd. Anyone who pays any serious attention to history knows that the Soviets were determined to avoid the situation they faced in 1917; the Bolsheviks were – and remain – experts in the strategy of “let’s you and him fight”.

The obvious reason that Stalin wasn’t ready, and therefore the reason Hitler was able to strike first, was because Germany defeated France at least one year sooner than anyone had any reason to believe possible. And the scale of the Soviet preparations, which were considerably larger than those of Operation Barbarossa, was both why it took Stalin longer and why he didn’t expect the Germans to consider themselves ready to attack him when they did.

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And Now We Know Why

A few years ago, in 2015, I presented evidence that strongly suggested that the rumors concerning Arthur C. Clarke being a pedophile were correct. However, the initial public reports by a reporter working for News of the World and the Sunday Mirror were never followed up on by the media and were subsequently dismissed as aberrations without anyone ever actually being refuted. Now we know why they never led anywhere.

The News of the World spiked an exclusive story exposing the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke as a paedophile, according to a new book about life inside the newspaper whose closure was announced a year ago today.

In Hack, an account of his nerve-shredding days as a reporter on the News of the World and then the Sunday Mirror, Graham Johnson claims that although the NOTW prided itself on outing pederasts, editors made an exception for Mr Clarke because he was a friend of Rupert Murdoch.

Through BSkyB, the tycoon commercially exploited the futurologist’s theory that satellites would be ideal for communications and praised him in public. As a result, according to Mr Johnson, who by that time had been sacked by the NOTW and had joined the Sunday Mirror, a story by reporter Roger Insall about Mr Clarke’s alleged abuse of adolescent boys was never published for fear of upsetting the proprietor.

Tipped off about the story, the Sunday Mirror sent Mr Johnson to Colombo, where he extracted an confession from the author that he paid boys for sex. “I have never had the slightest interest in children – boys or girls. They should be treated in the same way. But once they have reached the age of puberty, then it is OK,” Mr Clarke was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror. “If the kids enjoy it and don’t mind it doesn’t do any harm … there is a hysteria about the whole thing in the West.”

Mr Clarke subsequently denied he was a paedophile, saying: “The allegations are wholly denied.” But he never sued the Sunday Mirror and died aged 90 at his Sri Lanka home in 2008.

Speaking to The Independent yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “Roger [Insall] said that because Arthur C Clarke was a mate of Rupert Murdoch, the editor wasn’t having any of it and despite Roger getting a lot of evidence that Clarke was a paedophile they wouldn’t publish it.”

It’s probably not a coincidence that Murdoch has himself been accused of harboring similar predilections.

Full disclosure: Castalia House publishes several Clarke stories in the THERE WILL BE WAR series. We will continue to publish them despite our belief in Mr. Clarke’s misdeeds because a) they are very good stories, b) I do not believe the work is inseparable from the author, and c) Mr. Clarke derives zero benefit from their publication.

In like manner, we will not refuse to publish H.P. Lovecraft because he is accused of racism, John C. Wright because he is accused of Catholicism, Vox Day because he is accused of white supremacism, or Owen Benjamin because he is accused of heightism, regardless of how substantive or insubstantial the accusations may be.

UPDATE: A reader writes about his experience meeting Mr. Clarke in Sri Lanka.

Very interesting post about Arthur C. Clarke. I actually met him in spring 1988 at his house in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where I found him simply by looking in the phone book, called the number, and he answered and invited me over straightaway. I was delighted to meet him, but very surprised to see something like ten to fifteen 11-year-olds running around the house like pets. I was 19 at the time, and made no question of it, just noted it in my head.

A few weeks later I met an expat living in Sri Lanka who said there were two reasons why Arthur C. Clarke moved to the remote island nation of Sri Lanka, the official reason, and the actual reason. The official reason: the sacred mountain was visible from space, and this was where the aliens would land when they came to earth, and he didn’t want to miss it. The actual reason: loads of 11-year-old boys, and very little legal consequence for taking advantage of them. He said that “everyone” in Sri Lanka knew this, but nobody talked about it except in knowing smirks and nods.


Over the Target

The trailer for Scooter Downey’s new documentary for Tucker Carlson is out, and already the SJWs are frothing at the mouth over it. Owen Benjamin’s stalker at the Daily Beast has the honor of publishing the first hit piece:

The writer of Tucker Carlson’s controversial documentary series on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot previously directed films made by far-right figures, including a leading promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, a virulent anti-refugee activist, and an alt-right comic book writer whose lead superhero’s outfit resembles a Confederate flag.

Los Angeles-based filmmaker Scooter Downey will likely reach his biggest stage yet on Monday, when Fox Nation plans to air the first part of Carlson’s three-part Patriot Purge movie. A series trailer, which aired Wednesday evening on Fox News, included the false claim that the riot was a “false flag” meant to attack conservatives. The series also appeared to include a sympathetic interview with Ali Alexander, who has been subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Select Committee for his role in organizing a pro-Trump rally in front of Congress that eventually turned violent.

Carlson’s series has already sparked backlash, with fellow Fox News mainstay Geraldo Rivera calling his colleague’s promotion of false conspiracy theories about the riot “bullshit.” But Downey’s role in the Fox production, and his past working for conspiracy theorists and hate figures, has gone thus far undiscussed.

Downey and Carlson share writing credit for the documentary series, according to a screenshot the filmmaker posted on Twitter. It’s not clear whether Downey also directed Patriot Purge, but he has retweeted messages from other right-wing figures suggesting he played a lead role in the series’ creation.

He’s Writing Tucker’s Deranged Jan. 6 Movie—After Directing a Pizzagater’s Opus, Daily Beast, 29 October 2021

Given the mind-numbingly repetitive nature of these useless little hit pieces, you’d think these poor hacks get paid bonuses for every time they can work “right”, “far-right”, or “hate” into the article.

That being said, I did the way this guy put in the hard work of attempting to discredit by citing Wikipedia. I believe the technical term for that is argumentum ad asininus. When’s the last time that actually worked on anyone, 2013?

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Of All the Things That Never Happened

This never happened the most:

Mr. Hubert was sent to Buchenwald. ”In the camp there was a cage with a bear and an eagle,” he said. ”Every day, they would throw a Jew in there. The bear would tear him apart and the eagle would pick at his bones.” ”But that’s unbelievable,” whispered a visitor. ”It is unbelievable,” said Mr. Hubert, ”but it happened.”

Time ‘Too Painful’ to Remember, New York Times, 10 November 1988

No it didn’t. Even if the story wasn’t obviously absurd, it was also impossible.

  1. Buchenwald was a Nazi concentration camp established on Ettersberg hill near Weimar, Germany, in July 1937. It was one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps within Germany’s 1937 borders.
  2. The brown bear was considered extinct in Germany after the last bear was shot in 1835 in the Bavarian Alps near Ruhpolding. In May 2006, 171 years later, a young male bear made headlines after wandering 250 kilometers (155 miles) from northern Italy to Bavaria.

As always, the only thing one can be absolutely certain did not happen is whatever passes for the mainstream media’s official story. And remember, what they’re telling you today will one day be seen to be as ridiculous as what they were reporting in 1988.


A New Foundation

The Tree of Woe contemplates the West’s need for new philosophical foundations in the aftermath of the complete failure of the Enlightenment and classical liberalism.

We need to do better than our great ancestors did.

To defend the good, the beautiful, and the true we must be able to know what is actually good, beautiful, and true — and then we must be able to persuasively demonstrate that to others.

For the good, beautiful, and true to be actual, they must in some way be real. Thus, to defend their actuality, we must be able to defend their reality; and that requires defending a theory of moral realism, a theory of aesthetic realism, and a correspondence theory of truth against those who would say they the good, beautiful, and true do not really exist.

But to defend these theories of realism, we must be able to defend the objective and knowable existence of the real itself against those who would say that reality as a whole is subjective or unknowable.

And to be able to defend the knowable existence of reality, we must be able to defend the evidence of our senses and the conclusions of our reason from skepticism.

To be able to defend the evidence of our senses, we must be able to defend direct realism, or something like it; to be able to defend the conclusions of our reason, we must be able to defend the laws of thought.

So we must do more than just identify the natural order, we must identify how we have identified it, and then defend both the method and the outcome.

The Enlightenment failed to do this. It failed to defend the evidence of the senses, it failed to defend the laws of thought, it failed to defend moral realism, it failed to defend aesthetic realism, and it failed to defend the correspondence theory of truth. It failed on every front and was routed from the field.

We must do better than the Enlightenment. We cannot return to classical liberalism. There is no retreat; the bridges are burned; the way is blocked. We must advance.

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Psalm 11:3

I could not agree more, having thought similar thoughts in recent years. In fact, I’d even begun laying out some of my own contemplations in this regard a few months ago, so this seems like a reasonable time to share a few of them here. For the time being, I’m referring to this proto-philosophy as “veriphysics”.

The Principles of Veriphysics

  • The truth is that which exists independent of any human perception, sense, or analysis.
  • The truth must be always be the foundation of any correct idea, concept, ideal, objective, policy, or principle.
  • The fullness of the truth cannot be conclusively and comprehensively established from any human perspective or by any human method.
  • Every partial truth is perceived on a gradiant that depends upon both the perspective and the method utilized to determine it.
  • The not-truth can be conclusively established by a wide variety of methods, including logic, observation, statistical analysis, mathematics, and experiment.
  • The practical objective of veriphysical analysis is to construct reliable predictive models that provide a sound basis for pragmatic decisions which produce observable results that correspond with the predictions derived from the models.

The rhetorical version of which is as follows:

  • Truth is reality.
  • Truth is the basis for correct thought or action.
  • All truths are partial.
  • The parts of the truth perceived depend upon the who and the how.
  • The not-truth is easier to establish than the truth.
  • Veriphysics is a practical philosophy.

The primary forms of existence are: ontological, experiential, testimonial, experimental, spiritual

That which can be imagined.
That which can be experienced by the senses.
That which can be testified to by others.
That which can be repeatedly and consistently observed.
That which can be perceived indirectly through its effects on the material world.

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That Would Explain a Lot

Ron Unz delves deeply into a surprisingly compelling theory concerning a) why Israel attacked the USS Liberty, b) why US Secretary of Defense refused to permit the Sixth Fleet to defend it, and c) why the US government aggressively covered up the undeniable fact of Israeli responsibility for the attack:

I had never heard of Peter Hounam and a book entitled Operation Cyanide containing wild talk of World War III in the subtitle certainly multiplied my doubts, but the cover carried a glowing endorsement by the BBC World Affairs Editor, hardly the sort of individual likely to lend his name to crackpots. Moreover, according to the back flap, Hounam had spent thirty years in mainstream British journalism, including a long stint as Chief Investigative Journalist at the London Sunday Times, so he obviously possessed serious credentials.

A bit of casual Googling confirmed these facts and also revealed that in 1987 Hounam had led the Sunday Times team that broke the huge story of Israel’s nuclear weapons program, with the evidence provided by Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu, just before he was kidnapped by Mossad, returned to Israel, and given a twenty year prison sentence. Hounam certainly had a much more impressive background than I had initally assumed.

The book itself was of moderate length, running perhaps 100,000 words, but quite professionally written. The author carefully distinguished between solid evidence and cautious speculation, while also weighing the credibility of the various individuals whom he had interviewed and the other material used to support his conclusions. He drew upon most of the same earlier sources with which I was already familiar, as well as a few others that were new to me, generally explaining how he reached his conclusions and why. The overall text struck me as having exactly the sort of solid workmanship that one might expect from someone who had spent three decades in British investigative journalism, including a position near the top of the profession.

As Hounam explained on the first page, he had been approached in 2000 by a British television producer, who recruited him for a project to uncover the truth of the attack on the Liberty, an incident then entirely unfamiliar to him. His research of the history occupied the next two years, and included travels throughout the United States and Israel to interview numerous key figures. The result was an hour-long BBC documentary Dead in the Water, eventually shown on British television, as well as the book he concurrently produced based upon all the research he had collected.

As I began the text, the first pages of the Introduction immediately captured my attention. In late 2002, with the book almost completed, Hounam was contacted by Jim Nanjo, a 65-year-old retired American pilot with an interesting story to tell. During the mid-1960s he had served in a squadron of strategic nuclear bombers based in California, always on alert for the command to attack the USSR in the event of war. On three separate occasions during that period, he and the other pilots had been scrambled into their cockpits on a full-war alert rather than a training exercise, sitting in the planes for hours while awaiting the signal to launch their nuclear attack. Each time, they only discovered the event that had triggered the red alert after they received the stand-down order and walked back to their base. Once it had been the JFK assassination and another time the North Korean seizure of the U.S.S. Pueblo, with the third incident being the 1967 attack upon the Liberty.

All of this made perfect sense, but when Hounam checked the pilot’s reported chronology, he discovered that the squadron had actually been put on full war-alert status at least an hour before the Liberty came under Israeli attack, an astonishing logical inconsistency if correct.

Memories may easily grow faulty after 35 years, but this strange anomaly was merely one of many that Hounam encountered during his exhaustive investigation and the facts that he uncovered gradually resolved themselves into the outline of a radically different reconstruction of historical events. Although more than half the book recounts the standard elements of the Liberty story that I had already read many times before, the other material was entirely new to me, never mentioned elsewhere.

President Johnson was a notorious micro-manager, very closely monitoring daily casualties in Vietnam, as well as the sudden new outbreak of war in the Middle East, and he always demanded to be told immediately of any important development. Yet when America’s most advanced spy ship with a crew of nearly 300 reported that it was under deadly attack by unknown enemy forces, he seems never to have been informed, at least according to the official White House logs. Instead, he supposedly spent the morning casually eating his favorite breakfast and then mostly engaging in domestic political chit-chat with various senators.

Declassified documents from the CIA, the NSA, and the Pentagon prove that red-alert messages had been sent to the White House Situation Room almost immediately, and American military policy is that any flash message reporting an attack on a U.S. naval vessel must be immediately passed to the president, even if he is asleep. Yet according to the official records, Johnson—wide awake and alert—received no notice until almost two hours later, after the assault on the Liberty had ended. Moreover, even when finally informed, he seemed to pay little attention to the most serious naval attack our country had suffered since World War II, instead focusing upon minor domestic political issues. Johnson did put in two calls to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who according to naval logs minutes later ordered the recall of the carrier planes sent to rescue the Liberty, and Secretary of State Dean Rusk later stated that McNamara would never have made that decision without first discussing it with his president. But based upon the official records Johnson himself had not yet been informed that any attack had occurred.

Indeed, according to the later recollections of Rusk and top intelligence advisor Clark Clifford, during the morning Situation Room meeting two hours later, the Soviets were still believed responsible for the attack, and the participants had a sense that war might have already broken out. Although the Israeli identity of the attackers had been known for more than an hour, most of our top government leaders still seemed to be contemplating World War III with the USSR.

Hounam believes that these numerous, glaring discrepancies indicated the official logs had been altered in potentially very serious ways, apparently with the intent of insulating President Johnson from having learned of the attack and its crucial details until long after that had occurred. The author’s analysis of these severe chronological discrepancies seems quite meticulous to me, covering several pages, and should be carefully read by anyone interested in these highly suspicious events and the seemingly doctored record.

Hounam also focused upon several unexplained elements presented in the books by Ennes and others. There does seem solid if very fragmentary evidence that the Liberty‘s positioning off the Egyptian coast was part of some broader American strategic plan, whose still classified details remain largely obscure to us. Ennes’ book briefly mentioned that an American submarine had secretly joined the Liberty as it traveled to its destination, and had actually been present throughout the entire attack, with some of the sailors seeing its periscope. Although one of the crew had been privy to the classified details, he later refused to divulge them to Ennes when asked. According to some accounts, the sub had even used a periscope camera to take photographs of the attack, which various individuals later claimed to have seen. The official name for that secret submarine project was “Operation Cyanide,” which Hounam used for the title of his book. One heavily-redacted government document obtained by Hounam provides tantalizing clues as to why the Liberty had officially been sent to the coast, but anything more than that is speculation.

There were other strange anomalies. A senior NSA official had been strongly opposed to sending the Liberty into a potentially dangerous war-zone but had been overruled, while the ship’s request for a destroyer escort from the Sixth Fleet had been summarily refused. The day before the attack, top NSA and Pentagon officials had recognized the obvious peril to the ship, even receiving a CIA intelligence report that the Israelis planned to attack, and this led to several urgent messages being sent from Washington, ordering the captain to withdraw to a safe distance 100 miles from the coast; but through a bizarre and inexplicable series of repeated routing errors, none of those messages had ever been received. All of these seemingly coincidental decisions and mistakes had ensured that the Liberty was alone and defenseless in a highly vulnerable location, and that it remained there until the Israeli attack finally came.

Hounam also sketched out the broader geopolitical context to the events he described. Although originally open to friendly relations with America, Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser had been denied promised US assistance due to the pressure of our powerful Israel Lobby and was therefore pushed into the arms of the USSR, becoming a key regional ally, arming his military forces with Soviet weaponry and even allowing nuclear-capable Soviet strategic bombers to be based on his territory. As a consequence, Johnson became intensely hostile towards Nasser, regarding him as “another Castro” and seeking the overthrow of his regime. This was one of the major reasons his administration offered a green-light to Israel’s decision to launch the Six Day War.

In the opening hours of that conflict, Israel’s surprise attack had destroyed the bulk of the Egyptian and Syrian air forces on the ground, and these devastating losses soon led Nasser and other Arab leaders to publicly accuse the American military of having entered the war on Israel’s side, charges almost universally dismissed as ridiculous both by journalists at the time and by later historians. But Hounam’s detailed investigation uncovered considerable evidence that that Nasser’s claims may have been true, at least with regard to aerial reconnaissance and electronic communications.

According to the statements of former American airman Greg Reight, he and his aerial photo reconnaissance unit were secretly deployed to Israel, assisting the attack by determining enemy losses and helping to select subsequent targets. This personal account closely matched the details of the overall operation previously described in Green’s book almost two decades earlier. All these claims were supported by the extremely sharp photos of destroyed Egyptian airfields later released by Israel and published in American news magazines since experts agreed that the Israeli air force did not then possess any of the necessary camera equipment.

A successful Florida businessman named Joe Sorrels provided a very detailed account of how his American intelligence unit had been infiltrated into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula before hostilities began and set up electronic monitoring and “spoofing” equipment, which may have played a crucial strategic role in enabling the sweeping Israeli victory. There were even claims that American electronic expertise helped locate the crucial gaps in the radar defenses of the Egyptian airfields that allowed Israel’s surprise attack to become so successful.

Hounam also emphasized the likely political motive behind Johnson’s possible decision to directly back Israel. By 1967 the Vietnam War was going badly, with mounting American losses and no victory in sight, and if this quagmire continued, the president’s reelection the following year might become very difficult. But if the Soviets suffered a humiliating setback in the Middle East, with their Egyptian and Syrian allies crushed by Israel, perhaps culminating in Nasser’s overthrow, that success might compensate for the problems in Southeast Asia, diverting public attention toward much more positive developments in a different region. Moreover, the influential Jewish groups that had once been among Johnson’s strongest supporters had lately become leading critics of the continuing Vietnam conflict; but since they were intensely pro-Israel, success in the Middle East might bring them back into the fold.

This provides the background for one of Hounam’s most controversial suggestions. He notes that in 1964, Johnson had persuaded Congress to pass the Tonkin Gulf Resolution by a near-unanimous vote, authorizing military strikes against North Vietnam, but based upon an alleged attack upon American destroyers that most historians now agree was fictional. Although the resulting Vietnam War eventually became highly unpopular, Johnson’s initial “retaliatory” airstrikes just three months before the 1964 election rallied the country around him and helped ensure his huge landslide reelection victory against Sen. Barry Goldwater. And according to Ephraim Evren, a top Israeli diplomat in the U.S., just a few days before the outbreak of the Six Day War Johnson met with him privately and emphasized the urgent need “to get Congress to pass another Tonkin resolution,” but this time with regard to the Middle East. An excuse for direct, successful American military intervention on Israel’s behalf would obviously have solved many of Johnson’s existing political problems, greatly boosting his otherwise difficult reelection prospects the following year.

We must always keep in mind that only a miracle kept the Liberty afloat, and if it had been sunk without survivors as expected, almost no one in American media or government would have dared accuse Israel of such an irrational act. Instead, as Stephen Green had first suggested in 1984, Egyptian forces would very likely have been blamed, producing powerful demands for immediate American retaliation, but probably on a vastly greater scale than the fictional Tonkin Gulf attack, which had inflicted no injuries.

Indeed, Hounam’s detailed investigation discovered strong evidence that a powerful American “retaliatory” strike against Egypt had already been put into motion from almost the moment that the Liberty was first attacked. Paul Nes then served as charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and in a taped interview he recalled receiving an urgent flash message alerting him that the Liberty had been attacked, presumably by Egyptian planes, and that bombers from an American carrier were already on their way to strike Cairo in retaliation. With an American-Egyptian war about to break out, Nes and his subordinates immediately began destroying all their important documents. But not long afterward, another flash message arrived, identifying the attackers as Israeli and saying that the air strike had been called off. According to some accounts, the American warplanes were just minutes from Egypt’s capital city when they were recalled.

American Pravda: Remembering the Liberty, Ron Unz, 18 October 2021

In other words, the attack on the USS Liberty appears to have been a failed false flag in the USS Maine/Gulf of Tonkin mode, a precursor of the successful 9/11 false flag, and one was intended to justify a US attack on Egypt that may have been intended to be a nuclear strike. It was anti-American treachery on the part of both the Israeli and the US governments of the time, which explains why both governments have so assiduously attempted to silence all of the witnesses and bury all the evidence ever since.

And the Egyptian hypothesis helps clarify the reason 9/11 happened, as a US government willing to enlist a foreign government to sink its own near-defenseless ship, or to blow up a civilian airliner, is obviously one that is willing to permit a few thousand of its civilians to die in order to justify a war it intends to wage in the Middle East. The attack on Afghanistan never, ever, made any sense, not even at the time. The only real question about 9/11 is whether it was the Israeli government or the Saudi government, or both, who were utilized by the US leadership. Logic, combined with the failure of the historical false flag, tends to suggest the Saudis were the responsible party, but the Israelis knew about the planned wars and were observing the operation.

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