April 10, 2009
On the evening of March 19, 2009, Lawrence Korb spoke at the University of Pittsburgh (video at the end of this article).
Korb was the Vice President of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) from 1998-2002. He was also the CFR’s director of National Security Studies during that same period. From 1985-1986 he was Vice President of Corporate Operations at Raytheon. He was Assistant Secretary of Defense from 1981-1985 during the Reagan Administration. He was an advisor to Barack Obama when Obama was campaigning for president. He currently is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information.
Afghanistan: Deadly, Unaffordable Quagmire For Sale
The National parties and their presidential candidates, with the Eastern Establishment assiduously fostering the process behind the scenes, moved closer together and nearly met in the center with almost identical candidates and platforms, although the process was concealed as much as possible, by the revival of obsolescent or meaningless war cries and slogans (often going back to the Civil War).…The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy. … Either party in office becomes in time corrupt, tired, unenterprising, and vigorless. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party, which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.” – Carroll Quigley, Council on Foreign Relations member and historian, as well as mentor to CFR and Trilateral Commission member Bill Clinton, in his book Tragedy & Hope (1966), pp. 1247-1248
Korb discussed Obama’s plans for Afghansistan at length. He said, “The indications are that, you know, he’s gonna be going big in Afghanistan.”
He acknowledged that this is a betrayal of what his supporters — many of whom are anti-war — were led to believe about Obama’s agenda during his campaign.
“A lot of people say, ‘Well, no. We voted for him because we didn’t want [to go] to any wars!’” Korb said with an amused smirk.
In a mocking tone, he continued: “And… you know on the ‘BLOGOSPHERE’ you should see the stuff. I mean, these people are mobilizing to stop going to Afghanistan.”
But Korb did not seem to think that this pervasive, adamant grassroots opposition to “going big” in Afghanistan should give Obama a moment’s pause, despite the fact that, according to Korb, “seeing it through” will require America to pay a high price, in both money and lives.
“I think what the president has to say if he wants to do it is be honest with the American people and say, ‘Look, if you want to do this, and you want to do it right, you’re going to be there for another ten years.’” Korb said.
Later, Korb indicated that ten years may not even be long enough. He said, “Within ten years it should be okay if you do everything right. But there’s no guarantee.” (emphasis added)
This is especially noteworthy considering that he also acknowledged that so far “we haven’t done it very well”
Korb went on to say (possibly still in presidential ventriloquist mode), “You’re gonna have to have at least 100,000 troops… and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna put the troops in the areas to protect the population [inaud] where the Taliban is. That’s gonna be more casualities, okay? And you’re gonna have to do that, and it’s gonna be expensive.”
He also acknowledged that the Afghan people have become increasingly unsupportive of the U.S. occupation, and admitted that, in fact, the U.S. may never be able to regain widespread support from the Afghan people.
According to a poll conducted in late December through mid-January by the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research in Kabul for ABC News, the BBC and ARD German television, only 47 percent of Afghans hold a favorable view of the United States. This number has fallen 36 percent since 2005, and the steepest drop has occured in the past year. This may be due to the fact that, as the Guardian reported last month, “The number of civilians killed in the war in Afghanistan increased by 40% last year to a record 2,118 people”.
More than 420 U.S. troops have already been killed in combat in Afghanistan since the war began, according to USA Today.
Despite all of this, the former Council on Foreign Relations Vice President and Obama Advisor said that the president has “got to see it through” in Afghanistan, and that Afghanistan is a “real threat to the United States.”
“It’s gonna be a very, very difficult sell.”
“Once the ruling members of the CFR have decided that the U.S. Government should adopt a particular policy, the very substantial research facilities of CFR are put to work to develop arguments, intellectual and emotional, to support the new policy, and to confound and discredit, intellectually and politically, any opposition. The most articulate theoreticians and ideologists prepare related articles, aided by the research, to sell the new policy and to make it appear inevitable and irresistible.” – Rear Admiral Chester Ward, Former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy and a member of the CFR for sixteen years, in his book Kissinger on the Couch (1975), co-authored by Phllyus Schlafly, p. 151
“This is not a war of choice; it’s a war of necessity”, Korb said.
One way that Korb attempted to “sell” his plan for Afghanistan was by expressing concern that Afghanistan could “become a narco state”.
It is interesting that he would say that in light of the fact that in 2000, the year prior to the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the Taliban had banned opium poppy growing, causing the country’s opium yield to drop by a whopping 94% in 2001. [source]
However, within a couple months of the CFR-dominated U.S. government announcing its “War on Terrorism” and invading Afghanistan (using the false flag attack of 9/11 as a pretext), The Independent ran a story headlined, “Opium Farmers Rejoice at the Defeat of the Taliban”. This article indicated that massive opium planting was underway all over the country.
In actuality, the invasion was planned months before 9/11, and Bush was presented with detailed war plans for Afghanistan two days before the event. [source]
Another article in late 2001 in The Observer stated that farmers were being encouraged by warlords allied with the victorious Americans to “being encouraged to plant as much opium as possible”.
Then, in December of 2001, The Asia Times reported that the U.S. had gotten convicted drug lord and opium kingpin Ayub Afridi released from jail, allegedly to help establish control in Afghanistan.
[efoods]A few months later, it was reported that estimated opium harvests in Afghaistan in the late-spring of 2002 would reach a world record 4,500 metric tons. In 2007, that number was a record-breaking 8,000 tons; and in 2008 it was 7,700 tons.
Last month, Reuters reported that today Afghanistan “grows more than 90 percent of the world’s illegal opium poppies, the source of heroin.”
Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat and professor at the UC Berkeley. He has studied what he calls the “deep state” (as opposed to the “public state”) for decades, and has written nine heavily-footnoted books, some of which deal in large part with CIA covert operations and/or the drug trade. On 3/18/09, the evening before Korb spoke in Pittsburgh, he had this to say on the Alex Jones Radio Show:
We had the cocaine epidemic that turned into the crack epidemic. And so much of it was as a result of what the CIA was doing. It’s now official that in the first year that the CIA started operations in Afghanistan back in 1980, within months — certainly in that year — we went from virtually no heroine coming from that part of the world to the United States to forty percent of our heroine coming from that part of the world to the United States. And it’s very striking right now that we can’t get the people who are in Afghanistan to target the big drug lords, you know? Drug refineries… they process the heroine right there in Afghanistan.
Three days later, Global and Mail, Canada’s largest-circulation national newspaper, published an article entitled “Afghan officials in drug trade cut deals across enemy lines”, and subtitled, “Corrupt politicians are safeguarding traffickers who then help the Taliban, Globe investigation finds”.
The article relates the story of a specially trained unit in of police in Afghanistan which caught a drug dealer moving 183 kilograms of pure heroin, only to discover that the man had “a signed letter of protection” from “their own boss… General Mohammed Daud Daud, the deputy minister of interior responsible for counternarcotics, widely considered Afghanistan’s most powerful anti-drug czar.”
“That document, along with other papers and interviews with well-placed sources, show that Gen. Daud has safeguarded shipments of illegal opiates even as he commands thousands of officers sworn to fight the trade”, the article said.
And who is propping up these “corrupt politicians”?
“The annual budget for the entire Afghan government is largely provided by the United States and other international donors.” – Reuters 3/18/09
And its not just Afghanistan; it’s Pakistan… I mean Pakistan has hundreds of nuclear weapons… you can destabilize that whole region. And this is where Al Qaeda Central is. If you walk away, you know, they’ll get ready to, you know, begin to do other things.
Personally, this came to mind when I was listening to him say that.
When the Iranians had a message for the Bush administration, they called the VP of the CFR
Korb told this story:
I was in New York in 2001 [inaud] The Council on Foreign Relations… 68th and Park. About a week after that I get a call from the Iranian Ambassador to the U.S., because, remember we don’t have relations in Washington… and I at that time was Vice President [of the Council on Foreign Relations]… He said ‘I’d like you to come over for dinner with some of your scholars that work on that part of the world… And basically he said ‘We want you to convey this message to the government: We’re with you in Afghanistan. We don’t like the Taliban; we don’t like this narco stuff; we don’t like Al Qaeda; we’ll do whatever we can to help you.’ Well, I think they had an exaggerated opinion of the Council on Foreign Relations… [inaud]… I called Condi Rice and told her.
Now, come 2002, January, Bush gives the “Axis of Evil” Speech. I get a call from the ambassador; this time [inaud]… and of course they have not been helpful in Afghanistan since then. And you may know that in 2003 they offered to sit down and talk to us about a whole bunch of issues, and we got mad at the Swiss Ambassador for transmitting the thing.
“Previous attempts to document CFR’s influence have been ignored or smeared… as ‘exaggerated’. This is to be expected, considering the beachheads that key CFR members hold in all parts of the media, and especially because any attempts to tell the truth about the power and activities of CFR members is bound to sound exaggerated. Actually, however, all the published accounts thus far have understated CFR’s influence…” – Rear Admiral Chester Ward, Former Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy and CFR member for sixteen years, in his book Kissinger on the Couch (1975), co-authored by Phllyus Schlafly, p. 148
Members We Are Change Pittsburgh were on hand to film this talk, and the group’s organizer Dave Beard was able to ask Korb two questions during the Q&A session.
In the preface to his first question, Beard first mentioned recent plans to station active U.S. Army unit’s inside the United States.
In September of 2008, Democracy Now! reported:
Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.
Beard asked, “Doesn’t that violate Posse Comitatus?”
Korb paced around the stage with a perplexed look on his face throughout Beard’s question, rocking back and forth.
Beard asked “Have you heard anything about that? What are your thoughts on that?”
Interestingly, despite his aforementioned body language and facial contortions, Korb did not answer the former question (”Have you heard anything about that?”) directly.
KORB: Well you got two… you’ve got to be careful. You know, the National Guard, when it’s not mobilized is under the government. We can use the national guard in a state function and that does not violate Posse Comitatus…
BEARD: …But… I’m sorry to interupt you. But, we used them in Katrina to [inaud] towns. They were used in New Orleans to disarm the public.
KORB: Well, yeah, okay, but then… and that’s an interesting legal question. Whose authority were they under? And basically they were under the control, theoretically, of the governor. You had the [General?] in there to coordinate it. And remember, the [inaud] Coast Guard… But yeah, that’s, uh, there’s been a lot of people that have argued we ought to drop that now, you know, given the fact we might have a terrorist attack and so on and so forth. But the president can announce that he’s recinding it temporarily. Johnson did it in ‘68 when we had riots in Detriot at the height of, you know, after Dr. King’s death and uh, people protesting the war. Um, President… the first President Bush sent Marines to Los Angeles after the Rodney King and… see what happens… the governor has to say “My National Guard can’t handle it, can you send in active.” And if you’re requested you can do that. In fact, if you go back and look at the history of Katrina it was one of these things… Bush kept saying “The governor hasn’t asked me”… you see… you know… and that delayed the thing.
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communicst Dictatorship… the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” – Hermann Goering, a leading member of the Nazi Party and Hitler’s designated successor, as quoted by Gustave Gilbert in the book Nuremberg Diary
One interesting comment by Korb came in response to a question about the American people’s lack of support for the occupation of Afghanistan.
In 2002, the people who voted no all lost the elections. (laughs)
You know, it’s interesting that you mention that. Go back and look at the Gulf of Tonkin, which everybody remembers was the authorization to go to Vietnam; and it turns out that that incident never happened. I remember — I was on active duty — my commanding officer [inaud] said “Why would the North Vietnamese do this!? You know? I mean, it doesn’t make sense!” Well [inaud] they didn’t do it.
The only two Senators who voted against that, Ernest Gruening and Wayne Morse, lost the next election. So it’s us when you get right down to it.
Just to be clear, the “us”, in this context, seemed to mean the American people.
Korb’s point is only slightly valid at best, and an outright canard at worst. It is disingenuous not to assign any culpability for these policies to the elitist collectivists who have dominated our federal government for decades. As a matter of fact, they deserve the lion’s share. It is well documented that the ruling establishment in this country (and other countries as well) frequently uses the problem, reaction, solution paradigm, whereby (often criminal) elements within the government create, facilitate the creation of, or just plain fabricate a “problem” to incite a “reaction” from the people in order to get them to accept a “solution”, which is, in reality, the establishment’s predetermined political agenda. The key aspect of this paradigm is the inherent deceit; deceit as a catalyst for manufacturing consent for a policies that the public would otherwise not be likely to support. There’s a word for this: it’s called “fraud”.
It may be tempting to blame the people for “falling for” these ruses, but the truth is that it is ultimately the ruling establishment who is primarily to blame for the success of these tactics. By seizing control of the education system and mass media, these people have deliberately and systematically worked to program generations of Americans from birth to be mostly oblivious to their machinations.
(Nevertheless, “when you get right down to it”, even if average Americans are not the primary ones to blame for the widespread ignorance in this country, it is “us”, and only us, who can save ourselves from the tyranny that they have endeavored to condition us to acquiesce to. What is needed [and is in fact underway right now] is a mass “awakening”, not only to their endgame, but also their means to that end. This is why exposing the problem reaction solution paradigm and real-world examples thereof is a critical aspect of combating the “new world order” agenda.)
It is especially interesting that Korb would bring up a false flag lie such as the Gulf of Tonkin in response to a question about the public’s initial support for war in Afghanistan considering that 9/11, the supposed justification for the invasion and subsequent occupation of that country, is the mother of all modern false flag events and the quintessential example of “problem, reaction, solution”.
Beard Questioned Korb on this.
BEARD: I noticed that you talked a lot about Afghanistan, but I don’t think there’s enough said about why we’re in Afghanistan. Obviously 9/11 happened, but going back to the Commission Report, it was kind of a whitewash if you ask me. And in light of the fact that we know that there’s been a lot of false flag events perpetrated by the United States – there was the Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Gladio in Europe, the U.S.S. Liberty Incident – why wasn’t there a proper investigation of 9/11? And do you support a new investigation?
KORB: Well, you did have the 9/11 Commission… whether… I’ll leave it up to you to judge. I think that, um…
BEARD: Well even the Commissioners said they were stifled, there wasn’t…
KORB: …Well, ok I’m just… (trails off into laughter)
BEARD: (finishes brief comment, inaudible)
KORB: Alright, well you had… the administration did not even want to have [a] 9/11 Commission… if it were not for the, the, you know, the victims you know [inaud]. No, I agree! And they talk about now… I’m not worried about putting people in jail, but I think we ought to investigate and see what happened so we don’t do it, you know, we don’t do it again. Because – go back and look at your history – in the 70’s [when we had] the Church Commission, we found out that, you know, some of the things that were going on that we didn’t really know, and, you know, we shouldn’t have been involved [with].