Joseph D. Douglass, Ph.D., author of "Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America and the West"
<a href="http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2001/04-09-2001/vo17no08_shades.htm">Shades of Subversion
by William Norman Grigg</a>
Despite "winning" the Cold War and becoming the world’s last remaining superpower, America is still haunted by the ghosts of an old nemesis: Communist subversion.
Interview of Dr. Joseph D. Douglass
Dr. Joseph D. DouglassJoseph D. Douglass, Ph.D., is author of the book <a href="http://www.aobs-store.com/reviews/redcpb.htm">Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America and the West</a>. Dr. Douglass received a Masters in Network Analysis and a Ph.D. in Network Theory and Communication Theory from Cornell University. He has 35 years of experience in national security matters, having worked for several national defense corporations as well as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the Defense Department. In recent years he has focused upon the issue of international organized crime and its role in long-term Soviet/Russian strategy. This spring Dr. Douglass is a featured speaker in a nationwide tour sponsored by the John Birch Society Speakers Bureau on the subject, "Battle Lines in the Drug War."
Q. Despite some recent friction between Washington and Moscow, hardly a week goes by without some public figure invoking the West’s "victory" in the Cold War, which ended nearly 10 years ago. Could you describe your perception of what happened with the "end" of the Soviet Union in December 1991?
A. It’s a gross oversimplification to claim that we — the West — "won the Cold War," or even that the Soviet Union doesn’t exist anymore. We did not win the Cold War; the Soviets lost it, notwithstanding our efforts to help them maintain their empire. Not many people are interested in stopping to ask what exactly happened in 1991. The critical question is why did the Soviets decide to self-destruct? What was their strategic plan? The Soviets never did anything without a plan. Yet no one has asked these questions.
We should pay careful attention to this fact: No bureaucracy simply wills itself out of existence. Look at how our own domestic bureaucracies in the United States continue to exist, decade after decade — and they’re not maintained through terror, like their Soviet counterparts. No revolution took place in Russia or the other Soviet "republics" that would account for the sudden dismantling of the Soviet state. Nothing forced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU] to relinquish its monopoly on power.
In fact, what the CPSU did was diversify its holdings, rather than dispense with its monopoly. Party leaders either created new parties, or took over the leadership of existing ones. And in anticipation of this, the CPSU and the KGB — years before the "end" of the Soviet Union — set up all of the structures of what they call the "invisible party economy." This was already going on in the early 1980s, even before Gorbachev came along with his "reforms."
So by the time the Hammer and Sickle banner was rung down, the Communist nomenklatura had positioned itself as the rulers of the new, "privatized" economy. The same is true of nearly every single country of the former Soviet Bloc. Throughout the former Soviet Union we find "reformist" leaders whose background includes a stint in the Komsomol [Young Communist League] and a leadership position of some sort in the Communist Party. And we see much the same thing in nearly every country of the former Soviet Bloc.
Q. You’re a specialist in nuclear threat assessment. How do you assess our current strategic situation?
A. While it’s unwise to understate the nuclear dimension of the threat we face, in some ways that threat serves as a diversion from matters of even greater importance, particularly efforts by cultural Marxists to destroy our country from within. [See <a href="http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2001/04-09-2001/vo17no08_sade.htm">"In Sade's Shadow" from this issue.</a>] But we do still confront a nuclear threat, and in some ways it’s more serious today than it ever was in the past. Before 1991, our security was based upon the concept of deterrence: An attack from an identifiable foreign rival would be met with a swift and overwhelming reply. But this equation depends upon our ability to know who is responsible for an attack. To a large extent this is no longer the case, and five years hence things will be even more complex.
I’ll illustrate some of the dangerous complexities of our current situation. As a result of proliferation — both real and perceived — it is possible that we could be attacked by a single-warhead missile that could be used to generate an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, that could blind much of our information infrastructure. We’ve known about the possible strategic use of EMP for decades, and how the Soviets could use it to cripple our sophisticated, computer-dependent national security system. As some nuclear strategists put it in the early 1980s, through EMP the Soviets would be able to attack the connections between targets, rather than the targets themselves.
But in today’s environment the EMP scenario becomes even more plausible, because the single-warhead missile could come from any number of places, from a source we couldn’t identify, and against whom we couldn’t retaliate. It could come from Russia, from China, or from a supposedly independent third party acting as a sub-contractor. So there are ways in which our current strategic environment is more dangerous now than it was, say, 15 years ago.
Q. In recent years many studies have been published describing the emergence of the so-called Russian mob, or "Mafiya." How do you describe the role played by international organized crime in the ongoing Soviet/Russian strategy?
A. First of all, what is commonly called the Russian mob is just the visible element of the "invisible party economy" created by the CPSU and the KGB. But what is commonly called "international organized crime" is hardly new, contrary to what most commentators would have us believe. The narcotics trade, which along with money laundering is perhaps the most lucrative field of organized crime, has been a state-run enterprise in Communist China since 1949. The Soviets entered the field in 1956, and their Cuban clients came on board in 1961.
Much of our knowledge of the Communist role in creating what the Soviets called the "pink epidemic" — combining red Communism and white cocaine — comes from the late General Major Jan Sejna, who defected from Czechoslovakia in 1968. To my knowledge Gen. Sejna was the highest-ranking Soviet Bloc official ever to seek asylum here in the West: He was Secretary of the Czech Defense Council, Military Chief of Staff, and a member of the Czech Communist Party’s Central Committee. He was an eyewitness to, and participant in, top-level meetings during which the Soviet drug offensive was planned and implemented. He was privy to reports from the Soviets regarding the development and testing of various drugs on prisoners in 1960.
Sejna offered detailed testimony regarding the role played by the Soviets and their surrogates — particularly the Czech and East German intelligence agencies — in creating the Latin American cocaine trafficking networks centered in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Those networks were brought on-line in 1967, which is almost exactly when the United States witnessed the beginning of the cocaine-use epidemic.
Q. Every year it seems as if we read about "progress" in the so-called war on drugs, yet we also read that narcotics are cheaper, more readily available, and being used more widely by our youth. What accounts for this, in your view?
A. The biggest problem is the fact that narcotics trafficking enjoys political protection — partially for ideological reasons, and partially because of deeply entrenched institutional corruption. The gross annual revenues of international organized crime are nearly two trillion dollars; this exceeds the gross domestic product of Great Britain. Much of this is produced by laundering the illicit proceeds from narcotics trafficking and other forms of vice. Obviously this provides a lot of money for buying off political officials at every level. But it also offers valuable leverage to compromise and manipulate institutions, as well.
The Soviets, beginning in the 1960s, targeted banks and other financial institutions around the world, for much the same reason that they penetrated and tried to control the existing organized crime networks: They are extremely useful in collecting both political and industrial intelligence. By penetrating banks, the Soviets gained access to a wealth of information about governments and major industries, which they could use to their strategic advantage. General Sejna revealed that by 1968, the Soviets and their satellite intelligence agencies had collected detailed dossiers on more than 10,000 people in positions of power and influence who had been compromised by their involvement in the drug trade or other illegal activities. One can only imagine how vast that dossier collection would be today. This "kompromat," to use the Russian term, is incredibly valuable strategic leverage. The proceeds from organized crime can be used to purchase political support, and the "kompromat" can be used to ensure that a politician stays bought.
Q. During the Clinton era, there have been numerous scandals involving illegal campaign contributions from various organized crime figures, such as Jorge Cabrera, Grigori Loutchansky, Ted Sioeng, Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, Ng Lap Seng, and others. And in recent weeks we’ve learned about donations made by fugitive financier Marc Rich; those donations apparently bought a presidential pardon. Do these scandals illustrate your point about the strategic corruption of our political system?
A. Indeed they do. Cabrera was a Cuban drug trafficker who played a major role in Fidel Castro’s network. Loutchansky was head of Nordex, a Vienna-based KGB front corporation that was deeply involved in all kinds of illegal activities. Sioeng was a Red Chinese agent and close business associate of Cambodian heroin kingpin Theng Bunma. Trie is a member of a Red Chinese-controlled "Triad" criminal syndicate. Ng Lap Seng is also a Triad and is one of the leading crime lords on Macao. And Marc Rich, despite his carefully manufactured façade of humanitarianism, was a major player in the CPSU’s creation of its "invisible party economy." The Clinton fundraising scandals offered a textbook example of how the Soviet- and Red Chinese-created crime networks purchase influence from Western politicians.
Q. You mentioned earlier that you regard cultural subversion as a more immediate lethal danger than nuclear weapons. Why?
A. We cannot have a corrupt political elite, and a degenerate populace, and remain a free society. The institutions of a free economy are built upon transactions entered into by responsible, accountable people; they cannot survive if personal responsibility is destroyed. The same is true of the civic, religious, and cultural institutions that help us provide for each other and offer social cohesion without government control. These institutions are eroded as well when the public is corrupted by narcotics and other forms of vice. If voluntary cooperation becomes impossible, all that’s left is government control — which suits the designs of cultural Marxists perfectly.
Lenin’s program is to destroy the institutions of a free society and replace them with a totalitarian state. Antonio Gramsci, Lenin’s heir, understood that the most important institutions in any society are those that the government doesn’t directly control — religious congregations, civic clubs, labor organizations, youth organizations, and so on. Gramsci emphasized that Communists must "capture the culture" and corrupt the morals of the public in order for revolutionary change to occur.
Q. Several analysts of international organized crime, including the late Claire Sterling, have referred to a consolidation or merger of the various underworld factions; Sterling called this the "New Underworld Order." How does this relate to the ongoing amalgamation of nations into larger, transnational entities — such as NAFTA and the European Union (EU)?
A. International organized crime consists of both an "underworld" of private sector criminals, and what we might call an "overworld" of corrupt politicians and public institutions. These two elements are pursuing the same objective, which is control over the world’s economy and avoidance of accountability. As the political "overworld" is consolidated into larger blocs — NAFTA, EU, and other regional arrangements that are accountable only to themselves — it is taking on more and more of the same characteristics we see in the criminal "underworld"; in fact, it could be said that in the Clinton administration these worlds became indistinguishable.
Marx and Lenin talked about the state "withering away." Might they have had in mind the end of government as a limit upon the ambitions of a criminal elite? This would also include an end to independent nations as well. Were Lenin to see how the "new world order" is presently shaping up, he would certainly recognize it as his vision at work.
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon