Cold War Warrior

About The Cold War Warrior

“I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

This Blog is about the learning. It is also about the men and women from all the cold wars who worked so hard for something they believed in and played so hard they forgot the pain. They were the Cold War Warriors. They lived at missile sites, on nuclear subs, sat on little and not so little islands that were either too hot or too cold but always isolated. They were the doers and the watchers. Oh, by the way, they still are.

Recent Posts

Rev Martin Luther King – The Man, the Myth, the Enigma

By |June 1st, 2020|The Cold War (1947-1991)|0 Comments

An Essay of Awakening

The Enigma

I respect Dr. King, but it was not always that way for me. It has taken much study and determination to build the overriding respect and admiration I have for Rev Martin Luther King Jr. His time spent with the U.S. Communist Party under the influence of The International Department of the Central Committee responsible for the International Communist Movement (ICM) aroused deep suspicion.

I was quick to judge, but judge I did. Tens of millions died under various Communist rules and millions continue to die under that socio-political-economic regime. Millions more were and are enslaved through domination and fear under those same values. The imperialist nature of Communism requires continuous conquest and occupation to sustain itself.  I was and remain judgmental of Communism and its adjunct, socialism.

That Martin Luther King Jr. attended camps is not in question. Yet, nothing in his subsequent actions or writings appear to fully endorse either Communism or Socialism.  Of course, that is open to dispute and discussion.

The Myth

The best summary about Martin Luther King, Jr., The Myth, comes from a 2016 article in The Washington Post:

  1. King believed in a color-blind society.
  2. King’s focus was racism in the South.
  3. King was the natural antagonist of Malcolm X.
  4. King is irrelevant to Black Lives Matter protesters.
  5. Without King, the civil rights movement wouldn’t have happened.

All good points and true, but what he achieved in his lifetime was a significant awakening by an overwhelming majority of the American people. His choice of actions grabbed the moral compass by its brass housing and, through his leadership, moved it significantly to the right. His writings may be interpreted in several ways and therein lies their beauty. They are a seed from which personal growth and understanding may evolve.

The Man

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a flawed individual and still he changed the face of America forever for the better.  The ‘content of his character’ revealed a person who was studied, a wicked good orator, and a strong leader when leadership was woefully needed. He gave us words that we could ponder and from whose ideas we, as individuals, could grow. He demonstrated in effective ways that ended up uniting millions to move along a path of much needed growth. He plowed the fields of acceptance through actions that led toward healing and highlighted nasty, uncomfortable obstacles that needed removing. Martin Luther King, Jr. enabled all sides to change and grow no matter the discomfort. Martin Luther King, Jr. actions enabled redemption and salvation so that the boat of humanity sailed forward rather than capsizing into the endless cycle of retribution, usurpation of power and destruction.

Summary

It’s taken a lifetime to finally understand my debt to Rev Martin Luther King, Jr.  As I read his letters, speeches, and other communications, it becomes clear that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a student of many philosophies. No harlot to a singular approach, Dr. King appears to have integrated ideas and ideals to become his own unique character with a unique philosophy. In the midst of today’s anarchy and the tinderbox that is our county, I miss his leadership.

Merry Christmas!

By |December 14th, 2019|Cold War Legacy|0 Comments

Christmas is upon us, and our country, our world is in flux. Our past and present are the prologues of our future. You are ready. Merry Christmas.  

We Were Made For These Times

Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. 

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. 

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless. 

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. 

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater? 

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. 

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. 

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. 

 

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. 

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. 

By Clarissa Pinkola EstesAmerican poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

Published with Dr. Estes’ permission.

USS de Haven (DD-727) provides anti-aircraft and anti-submarine protection for the carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) while on Yankee Station, the operational staging area just off the coast of North Vietnam (88-160-FI).

 

The Deep State

By |October 27th, 2019|Cold War Legacy, The Cold War (1947-1991)|0 Comments

Thank you, Walt Disney Production, for the two rams bellowing endlessly at their echo in Brother Bear. That scene illustrates today’s political environment perfectly. Click here and see if you agree. Or, as Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, perhaps, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”


Walt Disney’s Brother Bear

On the other hand, the politics playing out today could well signify the end of America’s aspirations we old-timers remember and for which we fought.  That is the stuff the big brains need to ponder.  My mental ramble is through the forest of the Deep State.

What is the Deep State? Why does its environment, The Swamp, exist? The framers of the Republic are either writhing in their graves or rolling in laughter, as they are the very individuals who set the process in motion.  The Deep State and The Swamp exist because of the Democracy Transform. A Fourier Transform takes the frequency domain through a magic portal of mathematics and transforms it into the time domain (and back). By comparison, The Democracy Transform takes the will of individual voters through a magic portal to a Republic (and back).  Each Transform offers benefits and, if not monitored properly, potentially fatal flaws. The Fourier Transform allows for excellent signal analysis. The disadvantage is the inherent compromise between frequency and time resolution. The Democracy Transform allows ‘The People’s Voice’ across and through the elected government.  The inherent compromise is the bureaucracy created by The People’s Voice, which becomes the ‘Keeper of Institutional Historical Knowledge’. Unmonitored or uncontrolled, it forms its own, separate, unelected branch of government. Individual elements come to believe they have ‘The Answer’. These individuals fight hard to make their world view reality irrespective of the will of The People.  The Deep State is a disparate collection of people, and The Swamp is the environment in which they are resident.

If we review the inherent compromise in the Democracy Transform, we find a range of personalities but not much individual evil.  The individuals who choose to be actors in the Deep State probably believe they are doing the right thing. The result, however, is chaos as The People fight (through their votes) to right the Republic. There is a great deal of buoyancy, but no self-righting mechanism in our Constitution. If non-elected members of the government assume control either through covert or direct action, the equations of the Democracy Transform become unpredictable. There are many examples throughout America’s short 243-year history. And, in many cases, it was a consequence of elected officials not wishing to be responsible for their actions. The elected officials delegate to a handy workforce available to do the dirty day-to-day work. In all cases, there is either a passive ignorance of history or an active snubbing of history’s lessons. We all make choices.

Cloaked in secrecy, the Tehran Conference convened in November 1943. FDR, Churchill, and Stalin met to discuss the conditions for the end of WWII. During a dinner discussion, Stalin proposed killing 50,000 German military officers. Only Churchill erupted in anger and walked out citing a crime against humanity. It took some doing and Stalin’s rolling back the condition under the guise of Soviet humor to get Churchill back to the table. One stubborn, intractable, old man kept morality alive that day.

President Eisenhower formalized the process for Deep State development. “The National Security Act of 1947 added covert operations coupled with ‘plausible deniability’ to the mix of collecting and analyzing data. Covert operations weaponized the agency. Now, not only could the CIA convert data into information it could, at the behest of the president through the State Department, act on it with impunity; the CIA had become a tactical weapon.”

President Bush enacted the Patriot Act, allowing secret courts and all manner of loss of freedoms and privacy under the guise of terrorism: 1.1 Title I: Enhancing domestic security against terrorism; 1.2 Title II: Enhanced Surveillance procedures; 1.3 Title III: Anti-money-laundering to prevent terrorism; 1.4 Title IV: Border security; 1.5 Title V: Removing obstacles to investigating terrorism; 1.6 Title VI: Victims and families of victims of terrorism; 1.7 Title VII: Increased information sharing for critical infrastructure protection; 1.8 Title VIII: Terrorism criminal law; 1.9 Title IX: Improved intelligence; 1.10 Title X: Miscellaneous. Under President Obama, the National Defense Authorization Act was reauthorized with several potentially awesome opportunities for the ‘Deep State’ to grow stronger.

One such well-documented member of the Deep State was Major General Edward Geary Lansdale, a force of nature during his career. Never heard of him? Not surprising. Lansdale was a complicated player, committed to the United States, yet determined that he knew what was best for the country. Lansdale died in 1984. At the end of his career he wrote The Midst of Wars.  In that book he detailed an approach to retain control of third-world nations by exporting ‘the American Way’ “through a blend of economic aid and efforts at ”winning the hearts and the minds of the people.” Sound familiar? Yet this same individual with his ideology violated and violently manipulated countries’ leadership.

As you read the next excerpt, it’s important to note that Kashii was a Japanese soldier and Yamashita’s driver so, theoretically, he knew where Yamashita buried the gold. Severino Garcia Diaz Santa Romana was a Philippine national trying to discover the location of the gold.

John Simpkin, Spartacus Educational historian, writes, “According to Sterling Seagrave, Lansdale was sent by General Charles Willoughby to the Philippines after the war. Lansdale “joined the torture sessions of Major Kojima Kashii “as an observer and participant”. As Seagrave explains: “Since Yamashita had arrived from Manchuria in October 1944 to take over the defense of the Philippines, Kojima had driven him everywhere.”

In charge of Kojima’s torture was an intelligence officer named Severino Garcia Diaz Santa Romana (Santy). He wanted Major Kojima to reveal each place to which he had taken General Tomoyuki Yamashita, where bullion and other treasure were hidden.” Ray Cline argues that between 1945 and 1947 the gold bullion recovered by Santy and Lansdale was moved by ship to 176 accounts at banks in 42 countries. Robert Anderson and CIA agent Paul Helliwell set up these black gold accounts “providing money for political action funds throughout the noncommunist world.”

Later Lansdale would return to ‘help’ the Philippines establish a U.S. friendly government through direct interference. He also directly and violently interfered in Vietnam and Cuba. He was, at various times, loved and hated by an assortment of presidents. There is an excellent piece on the National Security Archive about Cuba and Operation Mongoose, that provides new insight based on recently declassified documents.

Lansdale was the perfect Deep State operator. While Lansdale stated he believed in truth, justice, and the American way, his actions stated that the ends justified the means.  He never relinquished his belief system irrespective of foreign policy decisions of the elected officials. He just went deeper or became more visible over the decades. Major General Lansdale did not perceive a conflict.

I was honored to work in the Swamp for several decades. During that time, I struggled through several administrations. There were areas in every administration I disagreed with one or more of the challenges I addressed as part of the machinery. Some administrations took the US in a direction I felt was wrong. My choice was to voice my opinion as effectively as I could. Were I over-ridden, I saluted smartly and got the job done. When I was directed to perform an illegal function, I just flatly refused. I believed the government could not force me to do anything illegal. Although there was pressure, there was never any retribution for this course of action. In one notable case, both my company and the local government project office backed my decision against the Washington, D.C. swamp denizens.

It is the nature of the Democracy Transform beast. Piece by piece, over the decades and centuries, the elements of the Democracy Transform equations are corrupted as mostly well-meaning elected officials to dodge responsibility and transfer it to selected bureaucrats. Unelected people make more and more decisions for the American people. The American people become more and more impotent. The Democracy Transform is unbalanced, but not for the first time. We live in interesting times.

 

Storm-Tossed Seas

By |March 25th, 2019|Cold War Legacy|0 Comments

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”— Vincent Van Gogh, Painter

One might make the same claim for politics in the Republic.  Reading the daily political news is tantamount to sailing a mono-hull in a hurricane. It leaves the intrepid reader hungering for relief. Giving voice to an opinion, one way or another exposes the intrepid individual to assault from both sides. Extremism hangs in the air like pollen on a humid spring day. It permeates every barrier. People who are not allergic are surprised by the sudden attacks of sneezing while experienced allergy sufferers head to the stock of allergy pills.  The negative energy pervading the air is the greatest I’ve felt since the riots of 1968. Frightening for those of us who lived through the insanity.

The vitriol of 1968 was coherent; it was a policy donnybrook. The current chaos appears to be cultural. The rise of Donald Trump as a Republican caught me by surprise. A darling of the Democrats and a friend of several Civil Rights activists, he donated loads of money in those directions. His statement of policy direction, particularly economic and trade policies, worried my little head.  Oh, by the way, I found his persona unpalatable, but there he was-brash, braggadocio, and paternal. Following the election, I settled in with popcorn to see what would happen next. The plot took one surprise turn after another. I must say, I didn’t see any of it coming. As a president, he performed as well as or better than most. A surprise because business is radically different from good policy. The din from the gallery did not settle as I expected. The tempo picked up and continues accelerating. I backed off smartly to review, consider and reflect.

American voters appear to consciously, or unconsciously, crave balance. On average they change executive leadership focus every eight years. The same voters change the balance of power in the Senate and House with the same rhythm. Rhetorical crescendos are beating politics into a gale rise and ebb to the beat of the elections every couple of years. Pattern disruptions such as Johnson, Nixon, and Carter add interest, vitality, and sometimes great national sorrow as in the loss of President Kennedy.  We, the American people, have learned to sail in these storm-tossed seas.

This storm is different. Gale force winds are tearing the sails. High seas are breaking the ship apart. The anger between individuals and groups is deep and unyielding. Friendships are ending, and people are drawing into themselves in fear. The drop in the barometric pressure of freedom and liberty is alarming.

I love this country not because it is perfect, but because it keeps trying. I love the ideal of not agreeing with someone and defending that someone’s right to say it. The pressure to erase and change history demeans the continuing lessons that can be learned. The pressure to deny a culture demeans potential growth. We are Americans, not hyphenated ancestry. Our culture is the product of all cultures blended in a cauldron over a fire of freedom. No one is absconding with another’s culture by cooking its food or learning its dances. We are honoring its advent to America. People’s private lives are their private lives, and now it’s codified…why not celebrate the formal acknowledgment?

Before we rip this country to shreds and each other with it, take a step back. Look at where we came from and where we want to go. Thanks to this country, more people in more countries vote than have ever had a say in the future before. Slavery has been eliminated except in a very small geographic corner of the world. The fight to eradicate must be carried on. The USA has done some evil deeds, but the system has exposed the evil, tried to punish the evil doers and modified the processes to prevent a future of those same evils. The USA has conquered many lands and returned them to their peoples. The returns were sometimes clumsy and bedeviled, but returned they were. The USA has done and continues to do great good. When the world is hungry, we do our best to feed it. When the world suffers great pain and suffering, the USA sends its best.  We need to keep that pattern alive and well.

As for the Chief Executives, the Presidents, I haven’t liked any in totality. I don’t think I’d like Donald Trump personally, but I certainly can’t say he’s evil or vile. I think he’s performed better than many.  I thought I’d like to meet President Eisenhower until I understood fully what he allowed Dulles brothers to pull. Talk about falling off a pedestal. I think George W. Bush is probably a very nice person, but his actions as President were unforgivable no matter his intentions (the Patriot Act, NDAA, DHS, the invasion of Iraq).  President Obama didn’t seem to like the USA or its people very much, but he did some very positive things. President Clinton made me crazy, but he balanced the budget and successfully sorted out several knotty issues. I loved President Reagan, but he made some monumental mistakes. They are all just people shopworn by life in the political lane. Some aspire and even reach greatness, but most simply succeed in keeping the Ship of State upright.

The Republic works. Millions wish to enter the United States because the Republic works. The execution is not perfect, but the framework is sound.  Let us not allow the Ship to founder on the shoals of chaos.