Monday, April 13, 2009

History Lesson

From Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa:
The Cold War and the Iraq War are far from being identical. But they are similar. In both wars our enemies were armed with Kalashnikovs and Katyusha rockets. And in both wars our enemies were indoctrinated by Moscow to hate Americans. In 1972, Yury Andropov, the first KGB chairman to be enthroned in the Kremlin, tasked the Soviet bloc intelligence community to transform Palestinian anti-Semitism into an armed anti-American doctrine throughout the whole Islamic world. A billion adversaries could inflict far greater damage on America than a million could,” he told me. Our task was to portray the U.S. as a Zionist country dedicated to converting the Islamic world into a Jewish colony. The KGB chairman explained that Islamic cultures would be uniquely receptive to our goals. They had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology. Their oppressed mobs could be whipped up to a fever pitch. Terrorism and violence against “Zionist America” would flow naturally from their religious fervor.

Sounds familiar?

We do not have an instrument to measure the results of intelligence influence operations. But over the course of thirty-some years the Soviet bloc community spread millions of Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a tsarist Russian forgery that had become the basis for much of Hitler’s anti-Semitic philosophy) in the Islamic world. It also sent thousands of influence agents to the same area, tasked to portray the U.S. as a country intent on subjugating the world to Jewish interests. It is safe to presume that this combined effort must have played a role in generating the hatred for America that is now screamed forth across the Islamic world.


The general perception is that Germany was the cradle of contemporary anti-Semitism. But before we had the word Holocaust we had the Russian word pogrom, meaning massacre. An official Russian dictionary of 1939 defines pogrom as the government-organized mass slaughter of some element of the population as a group, such as the Jewish pogroms in tsarist Russia. Russia’s first major pogrom against the Jews took place on April 15, 1881, in the Ukrainian town of Yelisavetgrad.

Totalitarianism always requires a tangible enemy.

The Protocols was compiled by the tsarist political police, the Okhrana, to compromise Russia’s Jewish minister of finance, Sergey Witte, who wanted to modernize the country. The author of the Protocols was an Okhrana disinformation expert, Petr Ivanovich Rachovsky, who was assigned to France at that time and had been inspired by the enormous wave of anti-Semitism aroused by the Dreyfus controversy. Rachovsky lifted most of his text from an obscure, 1864 French satire called Dialogue aux Enfers entre Machiavel et Montesquieu (Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu), written by Maurice Joly and accusing Emperor Napoleon III of plotting to seize all the powers in French society. Rachovsky had essentially done nothing more than substitute the words the world for France and the Jews for Napoleon III.

To disguise its hand, the Okhrana claimed the Protocols to be the minutes of the first Zionist Congress (held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897), at which the Jews had allegedly plotted to take over the world.

The Protocols are one of the most resilient pieces of disinformation in history. In 1921, the Times of London published a devastating exposure of the forgery by printing extracts from the Protocols side-by-side with the passages from the Joly book that had been plagiarized. That did not stop the Protocols from becoming the basis for much of Hitler’s anti-Semitic philosophy as expressed in Mein Kampf, written in 1923. In fact, Nazi Germany later translated the Protocols into many languages and flooded the world with them to support its allegation that there was a Jewish conspiracy aimed at world domination, and to demonstrate that the persecution of Jews was a necessary self-defense for Germany.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, the Protocols began infecting Russia itself. The state-controlled Orthodox Church, alleging Jewish plans to overthrow Christianity in Russia, started printing the Protocols and selling them to the population. In October 1998 Albert Makashov, a retired Soviet general and member of the Duma, called for the “extermination of all Jews in Russia,” after insinuating that they were being paid by American Zionism. On November 4, 1998, the Duma officially endorsed Makashov’s statement by voting (121-107) to defeat a parliamentary motion censuring his hate-filled statement. On August 3, 2001, a letter from ninety-eight U.S. Senators expressing concern about the rise of anti-Semitism in the Russian Federation was sent to President Putin.
Footnotes excised. For more, read the original at FrontPage Magazine.