Research and teaching interests are centered in the following areas: Cognitive and linguistic anthropology, ethnobiology, environmental decision making, categorization and reasoning, evolutionary psychology, anthropology of science (history and philosophy of natural history and natural philosophy); Middle East ethnography and political economy; natural history of Lowland Maya, cognitive and commitment theories of religion, terrorism and foreign affairs.
Need the link for a new book. Review in a few days. Certain to be very favorable, this is precisely the kind of synthesis we need more of. Contrasts with the nine pillars of peace used within the UN which are more functional, will compare and contrast shortly.
True Story, Part of the “Made in USA” Atrocities r’ US
December 26, 2009
Sterling and Peggy Seagrave
I first met the authors after reviewing Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold and then traveling to Europe to interview them–they are in self-imposed exile–for a DVD that was shown at one of my earlier international conferences. [My rendition of this review at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, has live links Amazon does not allow here.]
This is a great read. I attended boarding school and later served as a Marine Corps infantry officer passing in and out of the Philippines; I have been inside Japanese tunnels and have a great regard for the Filipino people. Because the US has been so asidious in writing (and fabricating) the history of the Cold War, few know that the Huks were originally a loyal resistance to the Japanese occupiers–the US, despite its tolerance for out of control atrocity mongers like Landsdale, has managed to “occupy” with a softer touch, but one no less detrimental.
As a former spy–a recovering spy–for the Central Intelligence Agency I would certify that 90% of the CIA is good people trapped in a bad system with no blood on their hands. Our problem is the 10% that does renditions, tortures, helps train and arm those who would do genocide and atrocities (including the Israelis, who now teach us rather than learn from us).
RED SKY has no endnotes, but is based on solid evidence. [I provide others supporting references at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, as live links within this review there.] I consider Gold Warriors (with its CD containing 60,000 pages of maps and supporting documentation) to be the better book, but for some readers, this book will be much more fun and memorable. Here are the highlights from this most truthful account
+ Landsdale was never in combat–he spent WWII in San Francisco writing propaganda for the OSS.
+ When Truman closed down the OSS (he later regretted every starting the CIA) OSS people were scattered around to hide them, Lansdale was sent to Manile to work a desk for Army G-2.
+ Landsdale’s bright shining moment came when he recognized the value of a captured driver (Major Kojima Kashi) to General Yamashita, and bribed him to reveal treasure locations. That treasure became the basis for the USA’s covert post-war Black Eagle and Golden Lily slush funds used to restore Nazis in Germany and fascists in Italy and Japan, and to do those things Congress would never agree to pay for.
+ Santa Romana, a Vatican agent and member of Opus Dei, was Landsdale’s co-conspirator (fast forward to the Opus Dei penetration of the US Government today, every bit as good as the Mossad’s sayonim and the Mormon network).
+ Landsale–whom all the books I’ve seen describe as an opportunist and con artist at heart–saw that anti-communism was the wave of the future in Washington circles (even then CIA was busy importing 100 Nazis a year), and he came up with the idea of demonizing the Huk’s, who were freedom fighters, as part of the “Communist Menace.”
+ The book also covers the Chinese diaspora that the US Government has never understood and never taken seriously. The Chinese “High Cabal” is easily as powerful as the European “High Cabal,” they just work more discreetly and make better use of local fronts.
+ Landsdale needed to invent evidence of Russian support for the Huks, so he focused on Russian exiles living in Manila or enroute through the Philippines to other locations including the US.
+ The heart of the story is how Landsale personally destroyed one innocent person and their family, ultimately making the person disappear after five years of surveillance, prison, and torture were brought to an end by a crusading attorney. Some sources have suggested that Landsdale ordered the murder of his trumped up Russian spy, who is believed to have been thrown from a helicopter into the South China Sea.
+ The book ends with Landsdale being rewarded by being sent to Viet-Nam to support Diem (a Catholic mandarin hated by the Buddhists, with a sister that makes Idi Amin look like a wimp) and I have seen other reports that suggest that Landsdale led an effort to plant bombs in the 1950’s and early 1960’s to achieve the US end of creating a local civil war that would demand US intervention.
There is also a happy ending, despite all the ills that befall the patsy, the source of much of the information in this book escapes and lived happily every after.
I still believe in America the Beautiful and the righteousness of The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation’s Most Ordinary Citizen but I am disgusted and alienated by all that has been done “in our name” over the years, ultimately impoverishing the many to benefit the few. I earnestly believe that the public is a populist power that cannot be suppressed, and that information and communications technologies have changed the balance of power to favor the possibility of creating a prosperous world at peace.
This book is one of the many nails in the coffin of Cold War “irrational exhuberance” that has clearly been repeated in the failure to keep capitalism moral and the failure to keep government honest at home and abroad. We can do better.
Rather than provide links here, see the 98 categories of Reviews at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog.
The authors provided us with the following additional supporting reference:
James Gibney, one of my most respected sources for common- sense and integrity, posted a review of this book on 15 January 2006 in the New York Times. At Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, I have posted that three-page review along with some other original references on “Colonel” Landsdale, a journalism drop-out from UCLA and former advertising person, that document the role he played in making genocide and atrocities part of the “Made in USA” Cold War tool-kit.
At Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog it is possible to access all of my reviews via any of 98 categories 9e.g. Intelligence, Secret; or Pathology of Power; or Empire, etcetera, something Amazon has refused to make possible since I began suggesting it years ago.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars INTEGRITY: easy to lose, hard to restore
February 4, 2008
He was a Navy officer serving on the USS Yorktown by the age of 22, in law school at 26, a staff assistant to the counsel to the president at 29, and Undersecretary of Transportation at 33. At 34, he was in jail. How could this happen to a man raised in a highly moral family, with an excellent education, with Christian Middle American values and a strong sense of patriotism? Yet here was Egil “Bud” Krogh at 33, starting a prison sentence for violating the civil rights of Dr. Lewis Fielding, a California psychiatrist. Bud says the principal cause was the collapse of integrity of those members of the White House’s Special Investigative Unit (SIU) who conspired, ordered and carried the break-in of the doctor who had been consulted by Dr. Daniel Ellsburg, the “leaker” of the Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times in early 1971.
The author has achieved extraordinary synthesis and summation, with gifted straight-forward language.This book is not only a capstone reference, but demonstrates why we need to LISTEN–none of us could learn–in a lifetime–all that this author has in his head. That’s why multinational engagement is a non-negotiable first step toward the future.
Key notes and quotes:
+ Bush Senior should not have left Saddam Hussein off the hook in Gulf I, should have finished off the regime while we had enough troops on the ground to make the peace.
+ US blew Gulf II from the moment of victory onward. “Incoherent” is a word the author uses frequently in describing virtually every aspect of US operations in Iraq. The one element that gets high marks from him is the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) but the fact that the bulk of the “reconstruction” money was mis-managed by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) makes AID’s excellent a footnote in this sorry tale.
+ Book covers 2003-2006; the author was Minister of Defense and then Minister of Finance during the reconstruction period.
+ “Too few Americans actually cared.” Fred Smith (parent agency not clear) gets high marks from the author for caring and competence as the CPA-appointed advisor to the Ministry of Defense in the 2004 timeframe.
EDIT of 21 Feb 2010: A colleague in COINSOC has pointed out that I missed one key aspect of this book and I hasten to add it: “Moyar’s point that we are applying peacetime personnel policies by putting people in place based on factors other than their leadership ability and continuing to allow poor leaders even after their capabilities are apparent is a good one though. It’s kind of like we are the Titanic and the inertia is too much.” It is an important point. It takes two years to weed out the unfit leaders in a real war, but first you have to admit you are in a real war, and the USA has still not gotten to that point so we are damned on both sides: not taking the fight seriously, and leaving the home front wide open to attack (see my review of Charles Faddis’s two books, one on CIA and one on DHS).
I first encountered the author when I read and reviewed Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965, but in ordering this book, took no notice of who the author was, I rarely do, and thus was surprised to discover this is the second work by the author, now at the Marine Corps University where I served as Adjunct Faculty once upon a time.
This book is brilliant and unique in its chosen focus, but I have to leave it at four stars because it simplifies in a manner that is almost neo-conservative in its sharpness.
The single most important insight is that the single most important intelligence quesiton as we get into any insurgency or counter-insurgency is this: who are the elites on either side of the confrontation, how good are they, do they have the special character (that this book helps define), and what does this mean to us?
The problem I have with this book is that it dismisses legitimacy and morality, does not recognize the futility of being on the wrong side of the conflict (as we were in Viet-Nam and have been on hundreds of occasions) or on having ideological traitors or blatantly corrupt self-serving partisan hacks in the White House making decisions that are grounds for impeachment if our flag officers had more character and could remember they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution against all enemies domestic and foreign, not an oath to be blindly loyal to the craven and the corrupt. Continue reading “Review: A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq (Yale Library of Military History) (Hardcover)”