V. Susan Ferguson, Contributor
We live in the era of delusions and mirages, the Age of Conflict and Confusion, the Kali Yuga. The Sanskrit text the Linga Purana predicted the symptoms of our current Age of Confusion, the Kali Yuga:
*People will prefer to choose false ideas.
*Base [low minded] men who have gained a certain amount of learning (without having the virtues necessary for its use) will be esteemed as sages.
*Thieves will become kings, and kings will be the thieves.
*Rulers will confiscate property and use it badly. They will cease to protect the people.
Have the ‘elite’ become the victims of their own monumental bloated egos? Has ‘true believer’ faith in quantitative easing, market manipulation, and media propaganda rendered them delusional — to make consistently wrong even stupid decisions? Our high priests of finance have created a no-exit monster that everyone is beginning feel will inevitably self-detonate taking down the banks. Nomi Prins is an ex-Wallstreet banker who once worked for Goldman Sachs, and in a recent interview, Prins said that a few members of the Federal Reserve had privately admitted to her that they are scared.
We ordinary mortals prefer to believe that the people in charge of the world – and our money – at least have some semblance of competence. In fact, it seems that we would prefer to believe that there is a well-calculated massive conspiracy of which only the perpetrating insiders know the final end, rather than consider the unacceptable idea that those in charge, the infamous powers-that-be are actually stupid, uninformed and worse — deluded.
It has happened before.
The China Mirage, The Hidden History of the American Disaster in Asia, by James Bradley might forever obliterate any Disneyland-fantasy we still hold dear about our fearless leaders. Bradley chronicles the deluded misconceptions regarding China held by the power elite in the west — delusions, ‘mirages’ that led to years of disastrous policies and unnecessary wars because of complete ignorance, arrogance and a blind stupidity that reigned from the time of the East India Company’s Opium Trade (drug running) in China, through to Japan’s invasion of China and the Rape of Nanking, right on into Pearl Harbor and World War II, and continuing through the Korean War and the Vietnam tragedy. All because of the ignorance, incompetence, and racial arrogance that created a true believer ‘mirage’ in America regarding China.
This book hurt, compelling me to reconsider whatever misguided beliefs I still had about my own country. I felt deceived, again betrayed. Viet Nam was my generation. Back in the 1960s I had realized that the Viet Nam war was not about stopping communism, but rather for corporate profit and aggrandizement of the military industrial multinationals.
The Opium Trade
I did not know that the Delano family, as in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made their fortune by dealing opium in China. Opium funded/built the British Empire and was one of “the critical engines of the era.” In India, the East India Company had control over “one million Indian opium farmers.” Many, as they love to say ‘old money’ east coast families who now consider themselves the ‘blue-bloods’ of America, originally made their fortunes in the opium trade. Warren Delano was one.
I did not know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had no qualms about creating a secret government to avoid a pesky Senate & Congress and carry out his policies covertly. Sound familiar? I did not know that the man who founded TIME magazine, Henry Luce was the source of endless distorting propaganda. “Luce was the missionary, the believer, a man whose beliefs and visions, and knowledge of Truth contradicted and thus outweighed the facts of his reporters [David Halberstam].” Henry Luce’s publications beginning in the 1920’s held the American people captive, and hypnotized them into believing that China could be “Christianized” — and that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was America’s friend, a Christian on “the side of the angels” who would be the ‘savior’ of the Chinese people needing “Jesus and Jefferson”!
In reality Chiang Kai-shek was little more that a henchman for the notorious Charlie Soong family who had learned how to siphon millions of dollars off deluded American governments and missionaries by promising to promote the Americanization of China through Democracy and Christianity. The money was used for the Soong’s own wealth and power in China, and by continually influencing American sentiment through the ‘China Lobby’ and Henry’s Luce’s publications.
Thieves & Missionaries
Charlie Soong had gone to the United States as a laborer, but found himself the poster-boy for Southern Methodist missionaries in North Carolina obsessed with converting all of China into Christians. Charlie Soong was awarded a degree in theology in 1885. Back in China he preached Christianity, but quickly realized his fellow countrymen had no interest in becoming Christians or being Americanized. However, Charlie realized “there was a lot of money to be earned from American Christians” who believed in their ‘mirage’ of China.
Charlie Soong had three daughters and a son, who for years played an enormous role in the China Lobby, which kept Roosevelt and the American public spellbound in the ‘mirage’ that China could be Americanized. The eldest daughter, Ailing Soong is described in 1925 as “the most powerful person in China” and by the FBI as “an evil and clever woman [who] sits in the background and directs the family.” Another daughter, Mayling Soong was married to Chiang Kai-shek, who favored wealthy Chinese bankers and landlords that lived off peasant labor. These people bilked the United States for millions of taxpayer dollars.
A War Over Oil
Again I did not know that the USA had kept Japan supplied with oil for its war on China right up to 1941. Money was needed to recover from the Great Depression cause by the Wall Street crash, caused by… …well you know, the usual. According to Bradley, another ‘mirage’ was eventually created to convince the American public that the Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was “bravely fighting the Japanese” and that there would be no repercussive blowback suffered by cutting the oil supply to Japan. Pearl Harbor changed that perception. One hundred thousand Americans and over two million Japanese perished in the Pacific WWII.
READ: All Wars Are
In 1948, one of the Soong daughters, Mayling, came to the United States looking for more money. President Truman later said this: “I discovered after some time, that Chiang Kai-shek and the Madame (Soong) and their families…were all thieves, every last one of them. And they stole seven hundred and fifty million dollars out of the 3.5 billion we sent to Chiang. They stole it…Every damn one of them ought to be in jail…”
It was Japan’s occupation of Korea that allowed it to initially invade China. Korea was divided, but the plan to reinvigorate Japan’s economy after the war “called for Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries to be the supply/consumption machines within the U.S./Japanese orbit.” This proved disastrous and according to Bradley ignited the Korean War, then Vietnam, and Mao’s Chinese revolution. In 1950, “The North Koreans attacked the South because of fears that Japan’s industrial economy and its former position in Korea were being revived by recent changes in American policy.”
Ignorance & Vietnam
The war in Vietnam also emerged from ignorance and delusion. Ho Chi Minh was committed to ending foreign domination of Vietnam, just as the American Revolutionaries had kicked the British out in 1776. But Eisenhower saw Ho Chi Minh “as a tool of international Communism.” Eisenhower instead chose a man to rule who was “allied with the wealthy, who kept the peasants in near servitude” — a Catholic in a mostly Buddhist Vietnam.
So many lost their lives in Vietnam — and for what? Former secretary of defense Robert McNamara later explained that, “Our government lacked experts for us to consult to compensate for our ignorance… There were no senior officials in the Pentagon or State Department with comparable knowledge of Southeast Asia… The irony of this gap was that it existed largely because the top East Asian and China experts in the State Department… had been purged during the McCarthy hysteria of the 1950s… I badly misread China’s objectives… totally misunderstood the nationalist aspect of Ho Chi Minh’s movement.”
True Believers are Truly Dangerous
The primary delusional characters in this long tragedy are Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Henry Stimson, Pearl Buck (yes, that ‘Good Earth’ was propaganda!), Henry Luce (founder of the TIME magazine empire), Claire Chennault (an incompetent Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps who became a mercenary for Chiang Kai-shek), and Joseph McCarthy (who ruined countless creative lives in his obsessive paranoia). These were the misguided ‘true believers’ who longed to make an ancient culture they literally knew nothing about, into their ideal of a New China founded on ‘Jesus and Jefferson’. Their search was as Bradley says, for a mirage that never was and never will be, a search that resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men and women duped by their delusions. True Believers are truly dangerous.
James Bradley is the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. His astonishing book, The China Mirage, bravely peals off layers of deception and lies that have been kept from the American people through the 20th century — and haunt us still as we fight through the mire of propaganda that threatens to destroy what we have held high, the ideals of freedom and the Bill of Rights.
In Taking the Risk out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty, Alex Carey says that we the American people have been subjected to a 75-year long multi-billion dollar intentional assault on our freedom to think and to choose. “… propaganda techniques have been developed and deployed (in the United States)… to control and deflect the purposes of the domestic electorate in a democratic country in the interests of the privileged segments of that society.”
The idea that Americans might be the most brain washed country on the planet is confirmed by The China Mirage. In 1927, Harold Lasswell wrote Propaganda Techniques in World War I and suggested that, “familiarity with the behavior of the ruling public (meaning those who had so easily succumbed to the propaganda) has bred contempt… as a consequence, despondent democrats turned elitist, no longer trusting intelligent public opinion, and therefore should themselves determine how to make up the public mind, how to bamboozle and seduce in the name of the public good…” Alex Carey: “propaganda has become a profession. The modern world is busy developing a corps of men who do nothing but study the ways and means of changing minds or binding minds to their convictions.”
Thieves Have Become Kings…
James Bradley cuts and clears out the obfuscating rot of lies and self-deceit. After 9/11 bewildered Americans asked, “Why do they hate us?” The rest of the world laughed at our ignorance. The world now hates America. This sad fact is something I have personally experienced from living in New Zealand for the last seven years. I recently returned home. Our once trusted leaders in their arrogance have squandered all our good will. Yet I continue to meet and know so many decent, hard working, honest people here in the USA. If we Americans can begin to see ourselves as the rest of the world sees us, maybe we still have a chance at redemption — before it is too late.
About the Author
V. Susan Ferguson is the author of Inanna Returns, Inanna Hyper-Luminal; her own commentary on the Bhagavad Gita and the Shiva Sutras; and Colony Earth & the Rig Veda. Her website is Metaphysical Musing.
The China Mirage, The Hidden History of American Disaster in Asia, by James Bradley; Little, Brown & Company, 2015.
The True Believer, Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, by Eric Hoffer, 1951; Harper Perennial Modern Classics, NY, 2010.
The Sorrows of Empire, Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, by Chalmers Johnson; American Empire Project, 2005.
The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, by Zbigniew Brzezinski; Published by Basic Books, A member of the Perseus Books Group, 1997.
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