Report From Iron Mountain: Peace Would Be All Hell
By Rand Clifford
Early in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, protagonist Winston Smith writes in his diary, “I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.”
Sixty-four years later, neocon think-tank warriors bristling with the bravery of being out of range are realizing their dreams of perpetual war; fruition of their world-conquest manifesto, Project for the New American Century (1). For humanity it’s all translating into a nightmare with no waking up.
If we step back from mainstream-media sweet talk about freedom and liberty, democracy, government of, by and for the People, human rights, “humanitarian” interventions…we might better see the roots of perpetual war.
Mainstream corporate media calls what is essentially perception management, news.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
— H. L. Mencken (2)
Hobgoblins come in many varieties. Among the most enduring are inanimate menaces such as communism, socialism, environmentalism, Islam, other nations’ weapons of mass destruction; and there’s Cuba, Serbia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela—essentially, any nation not yet under Washington’s thumb….
Living hobgoblins are more ephemeral; we often kill them and add fresh ones.
Castro, Milosevic, Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Kony, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, bin Laden…ahem, Osama was scary enough that even after mainstream media reported his death at the end of 2001, his menace was prolonged for years with ridiculous body doubles, then audio for idiots…until we “…killed Osama bin Laden” for political lube (3).
So many people actually swallowed Osama’s second death that, after profound amnesia kicks in as usual, we may kill him again, and again—keep surfing the amnesia waves until the “new” wears off. Stay tuned to Fox News (if we do kill bin Laden again, it will be Fox’s third announcement of his demise).
Third time’s a charm—or is Osama bin Laden a bad cat living to the nines?
My apologies if this seems over the top, but…please consider that, officially, 19 Arab boys with box cutters executed the heinous “surprise attacks” of 9/11. It’s stoned into history now, right down to a hijacker’s passport fluttering unscathed to the sidewalk for officials to snatch up. 9/11 is evidence that if the PR, branding and packaging are just right, and fear is cultivated properly, virtually anything is salable to the American public.
The hobgoblin mill runs at capacity 24/7, scaring us into apathetically surrendering citizens’ rights earned over centuries with bravery and blood.
Ever more docile, ignorant, disinformed, xenophobic, acceptive of fascism…we have hands bloodier by the day from being party to an expanding palette of war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Acquiescence to neocon barbarity has left our hands—even our souls?—with stains that might never wear off.
George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, told us at every opportunity that “They hate us for our freedoms and democracy.” Well, perhaps “they hate us” more for our handiwork (and souls—or lack thereof) than anything else?
Unelected and unaccountable neocon foreign-policy prophets that inspire our ruling 1% are dogs of war wagging the deadliest machine the world has ever seen. Neocons are a gnarly bunch, war on their breath, Satan in their eyes, hearts full of Zion. A tiny tribe of Israeli-American think tank psychopaths sometimes known as, “The Crazies”, “The Bombers”, “The Vulcans”. Royal neocon Richard Perle justly deserves his moniker, “The Prince of Darkness”.
And regarding the ruling 1%: Is it simple coincidence that 1% of the population are born psychopaths, with brain abnormalities detectable via magnetic resonance imaging? 9/11 was a pageant of reality-defying coincidences, enough to span eternity, all packed into one sunny and Satanic late-summer morning. Many of the 1% profited enormously—still profit enormously and will until enough scat hits the fan. Do you think anyone above our 99% were among 9/11’s fatalities?
We 99% are tolerated by the 1%, used, abused, mocked, hustled toward oblivion….
Report from Iron Mountain
They were called the “Special Study Group”. Fifteen anonymous men, experts of diverse disciplines; social and natural sciences, humanities, law, business, communications theory, systems analysis, international relations, war planning….
The Group was commissioned to study what might happen if we find ourselves in a state of peace…and to suggest how we should prepare to deal with no more war. They began their work in August of 1963. And after producing The Report thirty months later, they insisted that it not be released for publication. Public discussion of The Report’s conclusions and recommendations threatened to provoke, as they said, “…clear and predictable danger of a crisis in public confidence.”
The U.S. News and World Report claimed in their November 20, 1967 issue, that an unnamed government official told them President Johnson “hit the roof” after reading The Report, and ordered that it be suppressed for all time. The same government official also confirmed the Report’s authenticity.
Apparently, a member of The Group leaked The Report…leading to Dial Press publishing The Report From Iron Mountain (4), also in 1967.
The book made the New York Times bestseller list, has been widely translated.
The government declared it a hoax, did all they could to suppress The Report. Then in 1972, Leonard Lewin (5) claimed that he was the author, and that The Report from Iron Mountain was a spoof.
The Guinness Book of World Records lists The Report from Iron Mountain as the “Most Successful Literary Hoax”.
TopTenz.net (6) lists it as number five on it’s list of most controversial books.
So what was in there that made LBJ hit the roof, and order The Report suppressed for all time?
The Report’s first paragraph of SECTION 7 – SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS, under the subheading THE NATURE OF WAR, reads:
“War is not, as is widely assumed, primarily an instrument of policy utilized by nations to extend or defend their expressed political values or their economic interests. On the contrary, it is itself the principal basis of organization on which all modern societies are constructed. The common proximate cause of war is the apparent interference of one nation with the aspirations of another. But at the root of all ostensible differences of national interest lie the dynamic requirements of the war system itself for periodic armed conflict. Readiness for war characterizes contemporary social systems more broadly than their economic and political structures, which it subsumes.”
They are leading up to saying that before consideration of a peace scenario, it must be recognized that war is the foundation of our social systems. The nature of the war system, and the functions it performs for society must be explicitly understood, and replacements for those crucial functions must be ready before any abandonment of the war system is contemplated; before peace could ever work.
The Report breaks the functions of war down into five categories; economic, political, sociological, ecological, cultural and scientific.
Economically, war has throughout history stabilized and provided a system for controlling national ecomomies.
Politically, war, and the permanent possibility of war have been basic to stable government while propagating acceptance of political authority, maintaining “necessary” class distinctions, and subordinating citizens to the state. The Report claims that without sustaining credible threats of war, no modern rulers have been able to maintain proper control.
Sociologically, war, and presence of military institutions have throughout history helped control social dissidence and antisocial behaviors while promoting binding social allegiance and social cohesion.
Ecologically, war has been indispensable for balancing population with available supply of food and other essentials.
Culturally and Scientifically, war culture has shaped values in the creative arts, as well as motivating advances in science and technology.
Essentially, The Report insists that without war, modern civilization would fall apart—unless substitutes can be devised to replace the functions of war summarized above. Topping the list of general criteria these substitutes must meet are: political acceptability; technical feasibility; public credibility.
The Report breaks down into the same five categories certain characteristics of any acceptable surrogate for the war system.
Economic – Expenditures of resources for “completely nonproductive purposes” must be at a level similar to that achieved by war, must remain independent of the existing supply-and-demand economy, and must be under arbitrary political control.
Political – A “generalized external menace” must be maintained to promote acceptance of political authority.
Sociological – Institutions must be developed to maintain public fear of “personal destruction” the war system provides; fear that promotes adherence to societal values, and acceptance of the transcendence of such values over individual lives.
Ecological – Population control must be maintained to keep humans from threatening the species by reproducing beyond the carrying capacity of Earth’s biosphere.
Cultural and Scientific – Establishment of “a basis for sociomoral conflict” as powerful as war provides is important for determination of cultural values. Also, there must be a “sense of internal necessity” to motivate the quest for scientific knowledge.
Under SUBSTITUTES FOR THE FUNCTIONS OF WAR: MODELS, The Report effectively, if obliquely, fleshes out fundamentals of WHY we have perpetual war.
Shining in these proposed substitute institutions for replacing the nonmilitary functions of war are reflections of the kinds of minds behind the war system being the very foundation of civilization.
In terms of economics, the three suggested war surrogates are:
- — “A comprehensive social-welfare program, directed toward maximum improvement of human life.”
- — “A giant open-end space research program, aimed at unreachable targets.”
- — “A permanent, ritualized, ultra-elaborate disarmament inspection system, and variants of such a system.”
Four suggestions in the politicalarena:
- — “An omnipresent, virtually omnipotent international police force.”
- — “An established and recognized extraterrestrial menace.”
- — “Massive global environmental pollution.”
- — “Fictitious alternate enemies.”
The section of sociologicalsurrogates has six entries, two under CONTROL FUNCTION:
- — “Programs generally derived from the Peace Corps model.”
- — “A modern, sophisticated form of slavery.”
And under MOTIVATIONAL FUNCTION:
- — “Intensified environmental pollution.”
- — “New religions or other mythologies.”
- — “Socially oriented blood games.”
- — “Combination forms.”
The only ecologicallisting:
- — “A comprehensive program of applied eugenics.”
No replacements are suggested in the cultural arena.
The listing related to science:
- — “The secondary requirements of the space research, social welfare, and/or eugenics programs.”
The Group rounds out the SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS section of The Report with the caveat: “The models listed above reflect only the beginning of the quest for substitute institutions for the functions of war….”
The entire text of the Report from Iron Mountain is available online (7).
If it didn’t ring so true, The Report might be easier to suppress. Another factor is the government’s relationship to the truth. Not only is there overwhelming evidence that the relationship is, at best, adversarial, evidence of the government telling the truth seems hyper-rare.
Realistically, shouldn’t the government calling The Report a hoax be considered solid evidence of The Report’s authenticity?
With neocons stroking so many levers of power, the government’s relationship to peace is a no-brainer. Besides, if peace didn’t scare the government’s pants off, why were they so terrified of John Lennon? Seems certain that, through black-op back doors, American taxpayers paid dearly to get rid of Lennon.
Similarly, concerning how government feels about truth, an inescapable example is the taxpayer-funded circus engulfing Julian Assange.
Maybe perplexing, maybe not…our own apathy could be a greater public menace than government of, by and for the 1%.
Regardless of how far our nation is from being a democracy, or even a functional republic, the following seems apropos:
In 1787, Alexander Tyler of the University of Edinborough wrote that all democracies go through eight stages, two hundred years being the average cycle time. The stages are:
- From bondage to spiritual faith;
- From spiritual faith to great courage;
- From courage to liberty;
- From liberty to abundance;
- From abundance to complacency;
- From complacency to apathy;
- From apathy to dependence;
- From dependence back to bondage.
As deeply as we have sunk into apathy, dependence is breathing down our necks. And the “New World Order” sounds like a euphemism for bondage.
Speaking of apropos…while Winston Smith is referring to their proletariat in 1984 (“proles”), our 99% sure seems a tidy fit regarding this this entry in his diary:
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
Next time you hear the word “peace” squeak from between the lips of someone lying for your vote, remember “The Crazies”, “The Vulcans”, “The Bombers”, “The Prince of Darkness”.
And don’t forget the Report from Iron Mountain.
(1) Project for the New American Century: http://www.newamericancentury.org/
(2) H.L. Mencken quotes: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke101109.html
(3) Obama on the “killing of Osama bin Laden”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8j8LpwDo7Q
(4) The book, The Report from Iron Mountain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Report_from_Iron_Mountain
(5) Leonard Lewin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_C._Lewin
(6) TopTenz.net list of most controversial books: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-controversial-books.php
(7) Complete text of the Report from Iron Mountain: http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/iron_mountain_full.htm
Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novel, CASTLING, is “A Story of the Power of Hemp”. The sequel, TIMING, and Clifford’s new novel, Priest Lake Cathedral, are published by StarChief Press.