Anonymous NYT Review of Books
Nothing since the triumph of the Vandals in Roman North Africa has seemed so sudden, incomprehensible, and difficult to reverse as the rise of ISIS. None of our analysts, soldiers, diplomats, intelligence officers, politicians, or journalists has yet produced an explanation rich enough—even in hindsight—to have predicted the movement’s rise.
ROBERT STEELE (Letter to the Editor, The New York Review of Books):
The Anonymous review of two books on ISIS is a wonderful read. I am moved with admiration for how the author has clearly enjoyed — and made the most of — a gifted melange of education and experience.
What he evidently lacks is the ability to question every premise by which the West manages its affairs. I see no glimmer in this erudite essay of how virtual colonialism, predatory capitalism, and unilateral militarism have screwed over not just the 99% here at home, but the 99% everywhere else.
There is nothing in this smooth narrative about the fact that we embrace 40 of the 42 remaining dictators on the planet, among whom the Sunni Arabs (and more specifically, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Republic) are perhaps the most corrupt, the most perverse, and the most able to fund ISIS for their own ends.
Never mind that NATO is a front end for a US military-industrial complex that excels at taxpayer-subsidized waste on the order of 45-75% while failing to deliver truly advanced integrated capabilities relevant to the four threat classes (high tech brutes, low tech brutes, high tech seers, low tech seers), at the same time that 4% of our force, the infantry, takes 80% of the casualties and receives 1% of the Pentagon's budget.
A friend of mine, Anthony Judge, has posted an article entitled “Beheading versus Befooting — Lesser Evils Anyone?” I myself created the original analytic model for predicting revolution, and The Guardian as well as Homeland Security Today have been kind enough to feature the core graphic easily found online — with the preconditions existing in the west colored in red — as Graphic: Preconditions of Revolution in the USA Today.
You cannot screw over 99% of the world 99% of the time, and get away with it. If you fail to factor that into your calculations, and you have treasonous knaves as your elected officials, each intent on shaking down the banks and corporations without regard to the public interest, you get what Matt Taibbi has described so brilliantly in his book, Griftopia: the merger of political and financial crime.
I live in the real world where ethics — intelligence with integrity — is a priceless artifact. Holisitic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering is what we should all be doing. ISIS is our mirror. We are ISIS. Think.
Mr. Steele is a former spy featured by Alvin Toffler in a chapter “The Future of the Spy;” co-founder of the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (and creator of the expeditionary analytic model); an honorary hacker who sounded the alarm on cyber-insecurity with Winn Schwartau in the early 1990's; the #1 Amazon reviewer for non-fiction, reading in 98 categories; a for-profit CEO who has trained 7,500 mid-career intelligence professionals across 66 countries; and an author of ten books, the latest of which focuses on electoral reform. Learn more about him at robertdavidsteele.com.