Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Tale of Two Team Bs


 By Igor Slamoff

A review of Understanding Shariacrap Law by the Center for American Progress

The CAP is a liberal think tank that supports the Democratic party and, as a sideline, also lustily cheers on Islamic imperialism. This piece of lying garbage is a response to the “September 2010 report "Sharia: The Threat to America," published by the conservative Center for Security Policy … [CSP, whose] … authors claim that their report is "concerned with the preeminent totalitarian threat of our time: the legal-political-military doctrine known within Islam as 'Shariah.'"

But first of all a remark on the unfortunate moniker under which the authors of Sharia: The Threat to America chose to appear on the public stage, to wit “Team B".

A retired CIA analyst called Melvin A. Goodman recently published a book entitled National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism, which contains a less than flattering account of the original Team B, a Cold War phenomenon. According to Robert Parry’s review[1] of the book, Goodman was in the 1970s "a senior CIA analyst responsible for assessing the Soviet threat”.

The name “Team B” is an evil omen and its choice attests to willful ignorance of history on the part of the conservative Center for Security Policy. Indeed, it would seem that ignorance of history is often the price one must pay to remain a conservative. For me to say such a thing may seem a gratuitous provocation to some. But those who persevere reading this review until its end might  conceivably change their respective minds.

The name “Team B” is copied from that of “an ad hoc group … [that in 1976 or thereabouts] demanded access to the CIA’s raw intelligence on Soviet military capabilities with the idea of writing their own analysis.”

[CIA Director] “Colby would not allow a clearly polemical group, led by Harvard professor Richard Pipes and referred to as Team B, to hijack the production of intelligence estimates. … [President] Ford removed Colby [and replaced him with George Bush I, who allowed] Pipes – with the help of [White House Chief of Staff Dick] Cheney and [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld – [to] name … a team of right-wing academics and former government officials to draft their own intelligence estimates on Soviet military power. …”

So as not to irritate my gentle readers, I shall refrain from remarking on the depressing associations that this constellation of foreboding names – Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld – must evoke in every critical observer – regardless of political opinion -- of events since 2000.

Now for the punch line: “Team B predicted a series of Soviet weapons developments that never occurred [my stress]. These included directed energy weapons, mobile ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] systems, and anti-satellite capabilities. Pipes’s team concluded (falsely) that the Soviet Union rejected nuclear parity, was bent on fighting and winning a nuclear war, and was radically increasing its military spending.” [p. 247] Though Team B’s assessment was wildly off the mark … The Reagan administration used these inflated estimates of Soviet military power to garner a trillion and a half dollars in defense spending in the 1980s.”

“When the Soviet bloc began falling apart in the late 1980s, Gates and other CIA bigwigs continued to miss this historic development because they were essentially programmed to ignore intelligence on Moscow’s weaknesses. However, when the reality could no longer be denied, they and other right-wingers simply adjusted the narrative and declared that Reagan’s military buildup and his other aggressive strategies had brought the Soviets to their knees.”

So the upshot of this episode of sterling patriotism – whether by accident or by design -- was to saddle America with an oversized and superfluous, nay, parasitical, military bureaucracy and weapons manufacturing industry that are still bossing us around while squandering our resources. Thus "Team B” is a name that inspires about as much respect as, say, “The Three Stooges”.

Since I haven’t read the CSP report yet, I cannot yet judge whether it is a work of fiction or non-fiction. However, as the authors of the CAP product criticizing it also wrote a wretched piece of propaganda maligning counterjihadists called XXX, it would appear that Team B the Second is considerably less mendacious than its namesake of Cold War notoriety.

By a curious quirk of fate, Richard Pipes’ son Daniel Pipes is now a prominent academic critic of Islamic suprematism. However he does not seem to share his progenitor’s flair for fantasy and science fiction, and even the most vitriolic Islamophiles avoid including him in the hard-core group of “hate-mongers” who are ceaselessly maligned by the Islamo-gutter press, although for the life of me I can't see why, since his statements seem to be almost as trenchant as those of the redoubtable Robert Spencer.

One of the more brazen lies dished up by the "Young Muslim American Voices”, as the CAP authors[2] bill themselves, is the claim that “none of [the CSP report authors] has any credentials in the study of Islam …”.

 When I read that, I glanced at the list of authors of the CSP report. The lead authors certainly inspire no confidence at all: topping the list is (thankfully retired) Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin, a Christian zealot who wants to give the US a Christian foreign policy. Definitely a loose cannon. As if we didn't have enough religi0us fanatics to deal with! He was recently disinvited to West Point, where he planned to give a speech to the hapless cadets. For once I applauded the Obama administration’s deference to Gangstapimp opinion. Not so much on grounds of political correctitude, but rather because I view Boykin’s apostolic hobbyhorse as an exercise in the most deplorable vulgarity, that would make the US the laughingstock of the world (again).  Also quite irrational.

However, listed as number three among the associate authors is Stephen Coughlin, an expert on Islamic law and the author of the brilliant treatise “To Our Great Detriment”: Ignoring what extremists say about jihad, a closely argued, extensively sourced and truly massive document [available on the Web, by the way] that clearly proves that extremist jihadi America-haters are solidly backed up by orthodox Islamic theology and accordingly that religious war against the West, far from being a distortion of Islam,[3] is instead a thoroughly respectable and indeed mainstream Moslem standpoint.

My confidence in Team B’s report thus restored despite its dodgy name, I plowed on through the morass of hinky-dinky-parley-voo disgorged by the professional quibblers and dissemblers of CAP who breezily champion the crude, virtually Neolithic rituals embodied in shariacrap as if it were the progressive thing to do. 

But then I was distracted by the sudden recollection of the incident that tragically derailed Col. Coughlin’s Pentagon career. You see, he was in the habit of teaching his students, military officers all, that jihad is a logical outcome – perhaps the most logical outcome – of Islamic theology. Apparently this habit of Coughlin’s got on the nerves of a senior civilian Pentagon official – actually more like a consultant (hard to tell the difference these days) -- a gentleman of Egyptian background called Islam something-or-other, who promptly blackballed Coughlin. Coughlin was accordingly eased out of government employ.

Mr. Islam – or is it Sheikh Islam? -- was – perhaps still is – a very influential figure in  Pentagonal circles, because among other things he was the trusted aide, nay the boon companion, of one Gordon England, a noted Undersecretary of Defense of irreproachable character, who had attained the dizzying heights of Penta-power through an illustrious career in the … armaments industry!

Hmmm, I said to myself. I smell a rat.

This is my reconstruction of the chain of causality involved. Some elements are optional,  other variants possible:

The Reagan Revolution brilliantly achieved its goal of making government more responsive to healthy, competitive free-market forces by unleashing the profit motive that slumbers in the core of every human being. 

President Reagan’s bold policies of privatizing and deregulating American society and government were  spearheaded in the realm of foreign policy by Team B the First, inasmuch as Team B the First privatized crucial analytical tasks out of the hands of stodgy, tradition-bound CIA bureaucrats completely unresponsive to the  profit motive. 

Newly empowered weapons manufacturers, being of the profit-maximizing persuasion, had a perfectly healthy and understandable tendency to accommodate the highest bidder.

Currently the highest bidder on the weapons market is The Wahhabi Entity, a.ka. São di Arabia. 

THE WAHHABI ENTITY
Consequently the inevitable outcome of the actions of Team B the First was to render exceedingly arduous the task of Team B the Second.




[1] What Has US Militarism Wrought?, Consortiumnews.com, 4 March 2013.
[2] These are the “Young Moose-leem American Voices” who confess their responsibility for this sordid piece of Islamo-Fascist propaganda called “Understanding [sic] Shariacrap Law”
•              Matthew Duss (sounds more like a Young Moose-leem-Bootlicker than a Young Moose-leem American Voice) is the National Security Editor at American Progress (makes me feel more secure already!)
•              Wajahat Ali is a Researcher for ThinkProgress. [In his blog Goat's Milk Ali rejoiced at Osama bin Laden’s demise and called for those of Bush and Rumsfeld as an encore, to the dismay of a writer at FrontPage magazine. I, on the other hand, found Ali’s proposal to decerebrate those two scheming bunglers worthy of serious  consideration. If you want to know why, read Paul Sperry’s Crude Politics.]
•              Hussein Rashid, associate editor, Religion Dispatches, and
•              Haroon Moghul, executive director, The Maydan Institute.
[3] As disingenuously argued ad nauseam by tiresome Islamo-windbags like Juan (“Ikhwan”) Cole. 

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