Sunday, December 10, 2006


"The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people"
~ Adam G. Mersereau, National Review.

Southern Kurds are not the only ones to object to the ISG recommendations. The neocons object to them too, but not for the same reasons. Check this:

It totals 96 pages, not counting its introductory letter from Secretary Baker and Congressman Hamilton, the executive summary, and the many appendices, which includes such helpful information as the fact that the ISG talked to 15 senators (not one of whom was elected for the first time since 9/11, creating a generation bias in the interviews, one which appears replicated in the 10 House members interviewed.,) and that of the 21 foreign officials interviewed, only David Abramovich, the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was consulted from the state most threatened by the Iranian mullahs and Syrian thugs the ISG demands the US appeal to.

Incredibly, the ISG did not consult with anyone from the democratic government of Lebanon, even as the ISG urges us to reach an understanding with Syria.

Of the 43 "former officials and experts" consulted --including Mark Danner of the New York Review of Books, Thomas Friedman, Leslie Gelb, Sandy Berger, Anthony Lake, Ken Pollack, Thomas Ricks, and George Will-- the ISG did not find it necessary to talk with, say, Victor Davis Hanson, Lawrence Wright, Robert Kaplan, Mark Steyn, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, or Christopher Hitchens. The ISG did talk with Bill Kristol. I wonder how long that sit down lasted?

An update indicates that one other Israeli was consulted, a Deputy Defense Minister.

The neocons have something in common with Baker & Co.; They don't believe in consulting the Başûrî about a report that has the potential to directly impact their lives. What is interesting is the list of people which this post suggests the ISG should have consulted, but there is one name in particular about which Kurds should be aware: Michael Ledeen.

I have previously mentioned Robert Gates, the new American Defense Secretary, and the fact that he was connected to the Iran-Contra affair, a huge American political scandal of the 1980's in which members of the Reagan administration sold weapons to Iran in order to fund the Contras (right-wing, US-sponsored terrorists) in Nicaragua. The Iran-Contra affair was so huge that we might consider it second only to Watergate, as far as political scandals go. Gates was not the only one involved in Iran-Contra; coincidentally, it was Michael Ledeen who arranged for the sale of arms to Iran through the then Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres. Ledeen's Iranian connection was an Iranian called Manucher Ghorbanifar.

Ledeen seems to have gotten his start in the dirtier side of politics in Italy. He was connected with the Propaganda Due (P2) people in Italy. P2 was connected with the Italian Gladio stay-behind program that was responsible for numerous false-flag operations during the 1970s and 80s, which were designed to discredit the Italian communists. The strategy of tension which P2 used was supposed to create fear in the Italian population so that they would clamor for protection from the very source of the terror, the fascist right wing military and police. Sound familiar? Michael Ledeen was also paid as a consultant to SISMI, the Italian intelligence service, and he worked with the chief of SISMI outside of usual CIA channels. In other words, he was part of a parallel security structure which in Turkey would go by the name of Deep State.

Ledeen was also one of the three major propagandists for the far-fetched notion that the Bulgarians and the KGB were behind the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul 2. The one who seems to have created the initial propaganda work for this theory was Paul Henze. Kurds will remember Paul Henze as the CIA Ankara station chief who, on September 12, 1980, is widely quoted to have reported to Washington that "Our boys have done it," when the Pashas overthrew the Turkish government and ushered in a period of terror in which hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens were detained, tortured, murdered. It simply wouldn't do to have NATO member Turkey taking serious pot-shots at the leader of the Christian world, would it, so Ledeen and Henze had to concoct a completely implausible story which was dutifully repeated by the lapdog US media. Given the players involved in the assassination attempt and subsequent propaganda campaign, it is far more likely that the shooting of the Pope was another Gladio/NATO false-flag operation.

See Ledeen's RightWeb and SourceWatch entries, as well as the Wiki entry for the Iran-Contra Affair.

More recently, Ledeen has distinguished himself by becoming involved with the forged documents that tried to prove that Saddam Hussein had acquired yellocake (a uranium concentrate) from Niger. Apparently, Ledeen used some of his old connections in the Italian Deep State to set that up. See Bellaciao for more on that.

According to the Bellaciao link, Ledeen was the policy advisor to Karl Rove, former deputy White House Chief of Staff, assistant and senior advisor to Bush 43. Rove himself was called "Bush's Brain" but how many of the ideas of that "brain" came from Michael Ledeen?

Ledeen's attraction to the darker side of Italian politics is not an aberration. Ledeen is a devotee of Machiavelli and Italian fascism, and it is the ideas of both that form Ledeen's worldview. Since the early 1970's Ledeen has been a true believer in fascism as the revolution of the 20th century and one of fascism's greatest apologists. From the The American Conservative:

Indeed, Ledeen criticizes Mussolini precisely for not being revolutionary enough. “He never had enough confidence in the Italian people to permit them a genuine participation in fascism.” Ledeen therefore concurs with the fascist intellectual, Camillo Pellizi, who argues—in a book Ledeen calls “a moving and fundamental work”—that Mussolini’s was “a failed revolution.”

[ . . . ]

The purest ideologues of fascism, in other words, wanted something very similar to that which Ledeen himself wants now, namely a “worldwide mass movement” enabling the peoples of the world, “liberated” by American militarism, to participate in the “greatest experiment in human freedom.” Ledeen wrote in 1996, “The people yearn for the real thing—revolution.”

[ . . . ]

As Ledeen shows, the Italian fascists expressed their desire “to tear down the old order” (his words from 2002) in terms that are curiously anticipatory of a famous statement in 2003 by the Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. In 1932, Asvero Gravelli also divided Europe into “old” and “new” when he wrote, in Towards the Fascist International, “Either old Europe or young Europe. Fascism is the gravedigger of old Europe. Now the forces of the Fascist International are rising.”

Ledeen has adapted fascism to American foreign policy:

Quotes from Ledeen's works reveal a peculiar set of beliefs about American attitudes toward violence. "Change -- above all violent change -- is the essence of human history," he proclaims in his book, "Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago." In an influential essay in the National Review Online he asserts, "Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically ... it is time once again to export the democratic revolution."

As for the spread of democracy:

Iraq, Iran and Syria are the first and foremost nations where this should happen, according to Ledeen. The process by which this should be achieved is a violent one, termed "total war," a concept pioneered by the 19th century Prussian general, Karl von Clausewitz in his classic book "On War."

Ledeen's take on this idea is wedded to ideology. In summarizing his book "The War Against the Terror Masters" on the American Enterprise Institute Web site, he writes: "We wage total war because we fight in the name of an idea, and ideas either triumph or fail ... totally." In his reckoning, force is the only reliable strategy to enforce our ideology on our enemies. In the same summary he claims, drawing inspiration from Machiavelli: "We can lead by the force of high moral example ... [but] fear is much more reliable, and lasts longer. Once we show that we are capable of dealing out terrible punishment to our enemies, our power will be far greater."

With Ledeen's devotion to the idea of total war and the fallacy of "democratic revolutionaries" (borrowed from his love of Italian fascism and Mussolini's ideas of a "fascist internationale"), coupled with his calls for regime change in Iran, what is the likelihood that he will be the "brain" behind the creation of more false-flag operations that will serve as the detonator for a series of events in the region? What if such a series of events were to cause more suffering for Kurds?

Persian nationalists believe Ledeen has already been involved with the Gray Wolf attempts to radicalize the Azeris in Iran in preparation for a Balkanization of Iran. See also the Persian nationalists' take on Greater Turan. Persian nationalist hype is laughable for several reasons. First, if the Persian nationalists had been paying any attention to Iraq, they would have noticed US efforts to preserve Iraqi "territorial integrity." What would lead anyone to believe that the US would not attempt to preserve Iranian "territorial integrity?" Secondly, Persian nationalists use the same arguments against ethnic "separatism" in Iran as Gray Wolves do in Turkey. Thirdly, they would realize that anti-Persian propaganda is broadcast on a Turkish broadcasting license from the US.

However, given that other neocons have advocated working with groups opposed to the Teheran regime, such as MEK, it should not come as a surprise if they are working with Azeri Gray Wolves. In fact, this may be more likely given the Gray Wolves' close relationship with neocon fellow travelers in the Turkish Deep State. Remember that Ledeen is a fellow at that premier temple of neocon policymaking, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), along with such pro-Turkish notables as Michael Rubin. For them, the only good Kurd is a dead Kurd. This is why PKK and daughter organization PJAK must carefully evaluate any cooperation with the US and agree to nothing that does not serve Kurdish interests.

Ledeen himself has engaged in Turkish propaganda as regards Kurds, from the year 2000:

The Ocalan affair is a throwback to the worst moments of international terrorism in the mid-1970s.

[ . . . ]

The Ocalan affair is exemplary. Abdullah Ocalan is one of the bloodiest terrorists of modern times.

[ . . . ]

. . . the "Kurdish cause," by which is usually meant a separate Kurdistan and punishment of Turkey, receives wide support from European intellectuals and parliamentarians.

[ . . . ]

The PKK has offices in Rome, and its European representative, Kani Yilmaz, has spent considerable time there in recent months. He was spotted by some Italian journalists, but apparently overlooked by the authorities, who have issued a warrant for his arrest. Meanwhile, leading Italian Communists from Rifondazione Communista (who at the time were members of the governing coalition) held meetings with Ocalan and offered to work with him to gain the support of the European Union for the "peace process" in Kurdistan. In other words, a virtual replay of the methods of the late 1960s and early ’70s: a free pass for the terrorists in Italy, and support for their cause internationally.

More of that drivel can be read at the link. It is ironic that someone deeply involved with the Italian Deep State, and all the terror it perpetrated on the Italian population in order to secure the power of Italian fascists, should comment on the Kurdish cause at all. It is even more ironic, given that the neocon Deep Stater, Ledeen, is a proponent of total war, set up the weapons supply line to the US enemy, the Iranian mullahs, during Iran-Contra, assisted with the forging of documents that provided the pretext for the Iraq war, and refers to all peacemakers as "appeasers." Neither Ocalan nor any other Kurd has ever advocated total war or gone to the same lengths to create conditions of war as Ledeen has.

One of the more enlightening aspects of Ledeen's attraction to fascism can be found at the Boston Globe:

Born in Los Angeles in 1941 to an engineer father and schoolteacher mother, Ledeen credits his upbringing as the source of his scholarly interests. "A fairly religious Jewish person growing up in the `50s inevitably did a lot of thinking about the Holocaust," Ledeen noted in a recent e-mail interview. "I spent 15 years studying fascism, trying to understand how something so awful could have happened, and obviously, resolved to fight it and similar things in the future."

Ledeen's "thinking about the Holocaust" and study of fascism appears to have brought about a situation similar to that which can also be observed among certain Kurds--the condition of self-hatred. This is a condition in which hatred by the enemy for one's own ethnicity is internalized to such an extent that one ends up assimilating oneself into the ideology which perpetrates the hatred. Ziya Gokalp was one example of such a self-hating Kurd, who went so far as to contribute to the ideological foundation of the Turkish state which continues a policy of genocide against Kurds to this day. Of course, Ziya Gokalp ended up taking his own life.

Michael Ledeen is most likely insane and definitely dangerous, but the example of Ziya Gokalp's hanging himself makes me believe that, in the case of Ledeen, there is still hope.


Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that he is now claiming he was never for the invasion of Iraq. Michael Ledeen is a known profesionnal fabricator who was involved in the disinformation campaign about Gladio, the shooting of the pope (the "bulgarian connection") and now terrorism and "al-Qeada".

His kids were in Iraq: Simone, as a junior provisional government member, and his son in the Marines. At least, that makes him a little bit less of an hypocrit compared to other neo-con.

Vladimir said...

There is something wrong with the lay-out of your blog. I see your menu at the bottom of the page.

Anonymous said...

Mizgin, that was one nutty, weirdly serpentine analysis there.

I've read and listened enough to Michael Ledeen over the years to have great respect for him. He's not always correct, but he beats about 95% of the other analysts out there.

When we say "democratic revolution," we mean precisely a revolution that leads to a democratic polity. It was rather crooked of you to insert a "quote" from a crooked critic of Ledeen to imply that LEDEEN favors "total war" as a means to democracy.

Other than 4th hand innuendo, do you have anything from the millions of words Ledeen has published in the past ~30 years to indicate he supports "total war"? If so, in what context?

You may be ignorant that Italian fascism was NOT originally anti-Jewish, but that is an historical fact. Many years after Mussolini took power (~1939, I believe), he fell in line w/his new ally, Hitler. Before that, he had condemned National Socialism for its mass violence and racism.

Unlike you, Mr. Ledeen is a knowledgeable student of modern Italian history. As a Jew, he studied the features and distinctions of both fascism and national socialism, and formed his opinions based on the historical facts.

What you arrogantly presume to be "self-hating" was no more than conclusions of an historical analyst.

I think that Mr. Ledeen's Cardinal Sin here was writing some baaaaaad comments about The Shining Sun and Luminous Infallible Leader of All Humanity, He Whose Words Inspire Us All To Devote All Our Worthless Lives To The Glorious Party Cause, that Maximum Leader and King of Kings, Abdullah Ocalan.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what was your source for that alleged Ledeen quote leading your essay? We're not relying on those fabricating fact-checkers at The Nation again, are we?

Be careful...Count to 10...Think before you hit "enter"...

sephiroth said...

Actually, the quote at the top of your page is from someone named "Adam G. Mersereau," another columnist. It looks like someone misattributed it to Ledeen years ago, probably because it was published in an article on Ledeen.

Anonymous said...

Jewish oddyseus, if Mr. Ledeen was "only" analyzing the "differences" between fascism and national-socialism, then why did he and his buttbuddies gave birth to the so-called "Turkish-Islam synthesis" ala Turkish islamofascism sugarcoated with pan-turanism? Care to explain that?

Mizgîn said...

You are correct, Sephiroth, and I have changed the attribution of the quote to show it was Mersereau's statement.

Anonymous, you are also correct that Ledeen has tried to deny he was ever pro-invasion.

JO, as a student of Italian history, Ledeen should confine himself to the subject, especially since he is no expert on the ME. And, unlike me, he knows absolutely nothing about Kurds. In addition, along with everyone else at AEI, he's never had a single word to say about severe Turkish-perpetrated human rights abuses against Kurds. Just like the Blair government, the Americans believe that Kurds should simply "acquiesce" in this abuse . . . an abuse which reaches to the level of genocide.

I guess none of this is unusual, though, given that neither Israel nor the US have acknowledged the Armenian genocide.

Ledeen would be a far greater expert on fascism if he'd ever had to live under a fascist regime as some 20 million Kurds do. Instead he arrogantly preaches fascism as if he were an expert. I could line up hundreds of REAL experts on fascism to serve as genuine teachers on the subject.

As the likes of Ledeen try to push for total war against Iran, let them remember how much they will NEED those who choose Ocalan as their leader. . . which is why the US has already gone begging to Qendil numerous times.

Anonymous said...

I accept your apology.