Zbigniew’s Ghost: An Exorcism by Matthew Ehret for Strategic-Culture
The only difference between 2021 and 1981 is that today, a Multipolar Alliance led by the Russia and China has created a new paradigm, capable of challenging the dystopic unipolar hegemon that Brzezinski believed should govern the New World Order.
As a journalist, it is necessary to do my best not only to stay up-to-date on as many of the cutting edge developments as possible, but to also keep a flexible mind so that the buzzing myriad of facts emerging every day can be imbued with value such that my analysis can be useful to readers.
Over the past weeks, my mind processed such a dizzying array of information pertaining to the evolving situation surrounding Afghanistan that I ultimately had to shut myself off of reading any breaking news for a few days. It was during this short break that I took great pleasure reviewing the pre-release of a new novelized memoir entitled Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond, published by Trine Day Press and written by the husband and wife team of Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould.
Just when I was beginning to think that nothing new could be offered to the topic, I was happily surprised that this book provided an invaluable dimension to Afghanistan’s story within the context of world history from the first-hand account of the only two American journalists permitted to enter the war-torn nation in 1981 and again in 1983. The two documentaries produced by the duo during that period went far to shatter the carefully-constructed narrative of a “Russian Vietnam” that had been built up for years by a western deep state.
Paul Fitzgerald’s story begins with a chance encounter with Presidential-nominee Edward (Ted) Kennedy’s chief of staff Al Lowenstein in the lead-up to the 1980 elections. In their brief exchange, Lowenstein described his and Kennedy’s intention to shed light on the CIA’s involvement in the murder of the two Kennedy brothers. When Lowenstein ended up shot dead in his office by a former colleague two weeks later, Paul and his wife began to realize that they were pressing on something much larger than themselves.
Taking the reader through their journey of discovery, the couple artfully relay how they grappled with the startling discovery that there wasn’t one USA, but rather two opposing factions of U.S. intelligence at war with each other.
The journey began with the discovery that Lowenstein had been the founder and president of the National Students Association launched in 1951 which operated as a CIA front group designed to recruit both talented young Americans and foreign students alike who would later be propped up in various governments during the Cold War. It was obvious that Al was sick of playing a part in this machine and had found his last years emersed in organizing for Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and when they fell, made the surviving Kennedy brother’s presidential election his governing passion. (1)
The broader clash of two intelligence agencies touched upon the question of whether or not the USA would operate on the basis of a foreign policy doctrine that presupposed an honest intention on the part of the Soviet Union to adhere to detente and the 1972 SALT treaty or whether U.S. security doctrine would operate on the assumption that the Soviets were liars intent on imposing their own global world government onto humanity.
Paul and Liz document the rise of a new think tank named Team B formed in 1976 which revived the earlier Committee on Present Danger led by financier Paul Nitze who in 1950, used this organization to spearhead the passage of NSC-68 that first justified the notion that the USA should maximize its build up of nuclear warheads on the supposition that the USA was in a moral equivalent of war with Russia. Throughout the 1960s, saner forces pushed back against Nitze’s Committee resulting in the nuclear test ban treaty, Open Skies Treaty, Space Treaty, and other trust building measures. The 1972 SALT was an extension of those mechanisms and limited the growth of U.S. nuclear warheads while operating on a presumption that Russia would do the same while respecting each others’ spheres of influences.
In the minds of Nitze, Brzezinski and the growing hive of neoconservative right wingers like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pipes, Richard Perle and Bush Sr. growing in power and prestige amidst the presidencies of Ford, Carter and Reagan, this push towards trust and cooperation had to stop.
Hence this cast of characters was grouped together to promote a counter-argument to the “official” National Intelligence Estimate (referred to as “Team A”) which was assigned the role of proving the Soviets to be honest in their promises to respect their fields of influence and limit their nuclear warheads.
Where the NIE at the time was still maintaining the view that the threat posed by Russia would decrease if it’s sense of security and stability were increased, Team B asserted the opposite view promoting the fictious idea of an evil empire committed to becoming a global Soviet hegemon.
As one can imagine, the debates set up between the two teams were highly tilted in Team B’s favor as the champions selected to represent the Team A assessment was staffed by incompetent second rate minds completely out of their depths and totally incapable of refuting the vast data crunching sophistry of powerhouses like Nitze and his neocon team. Though history has demonstrated Team B’s thesis to be an artificial construction, the propaganda was successful and by 1978, the Trilateral-run coup of U.S. intelligence was nearly complete. At this time, a newly re-organized system of international clandestine operations were launched to conduct asymmetric warfare against not only Russia, but any other force in either the east or west that didn’t fit with Brzezinski’s ‘technetronic age’ then coming into being.
The Trotskyist Roots of the Neoconservative Takeover
In evaluating this strange cabal of right wingers, Paul and Liz astutely observe: “developed by an inbred class of former Trotskyist intellectuals, the Team B approach represented a radical transformation of America’s national security bureaucracy into a new kind of elitist cult.”