Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Book Review of "Disinformation" by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Professor Ronald Rychlak

by Benjamin Weingarten

Disinformation is not just a defunct Cold War strategy. It is applied routinely in every day America in the framing of stories by the mainstream media, smear campaigns against candidates and the speeches made by foreign leaders. Ion Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak’s “Disinformation” provides the history behind the strategy, and how it was perfected in some of the most devious but effective campaigns of all time, including fomenting Islamic Jew-hatred in the Middle East beginning in the 1970s, the trashing over many decades of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope,” despite his saving the lives of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, and hundreds of other movements designed to undermine the Western world and bolster the aims of the Communists. With the impeccable clarity and entertaining anecdotes that could only be provided by one who executed the strategy at the top of the KGB system and practiced its methods, Lt. Gen. Pacepa provides a compelling story of how the Soviet Union came to employ more agents in disinformation and propaganda then as traditional spies worldwide during the height of the Cold War. This strategy was devised to turn the West’s heart against itself and scramble its collective mind, the devastating effects of which are clearly evident today.

Blaze Books Review

How do G-d-fearing, freedom loving Tea Partiers become terrorists, arsonists and extremists, while the Muslim Brotherhood is treated as a legitimate diplomatic partner? How does Mitt Romney become a job-destroying oligarch, while Barack Obama is considered an economic savior? How do sizable portions of the world consider Israel a racist, apartheid state, while the media blacks out the ongoing Christian persecution and slavery in the rest of the Middle East?

“Disinformation” is the story of how lies like these have become truths. It is the story of how the Soviet Union over centuries developed a strategy that could impair the logic and judgment of the West and prove as effective a weapon as bombs. It is a strategy that at the height of the Cold War received the KGB’s disproportionate amount of focus, resources and people, over and above all other intelligence operations.

“Disinformation” is a story told through the eyes of Ion Mihai Pacepa, the Romanian Lt. Gen. and highest-ranking KGB defector in history of major disinformation operations, and how the KGB sought to defeat the West, through turning its people against its governments, against the Church and against the Jews.

Told with penetrating insight and clarity, Pacepa covers Cold War disinformation operations from the decades-long framing of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope,” despite his heroic actions which saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust, to the disinformation inherent in the concept of glasnost itself, which to the West was perceived as an opening up of the Soviet Union to Western ideas, but which in Russian actually translated into building a deceptive public face to gain acceptance and reverence with people that it sought to penetrate and defeat.

The disinformation that Pacepa describes is not only relevant in providing insight into an Alinsky-ite tactic that continues to be used effectively today, but in explaining how America and the West more broadly became progressive.

For if you want to understand the anti-Semitism and pro-Islamic nature of the left, you need look no further than the seeds which were planted during the 1970s when the KGB focused its sights on delegitimizing Israel through its propaganda, and backed the PLO and others against the “Zionist” forces.

If you want to understand the left’s reflexive anti-Iraqi War reaction, one can look no further than “Operation Ares” when the Soviet Union first focused on building up American resistance to Vietnam, the children of the movement like John Kerry of which now occupy the highest levels of the U.S. government.

If you want to understand how Rouhani can be called a “moderate,” and why he is working to court the West, you can look back at the historical episodes of Yasser Arafat, Gorbachev and Ceausceau who put on similar public faces while duping the West.

In order to counter an enemy, one must understand its nature, its goals and its tactics. Ion Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak have assembled a book that provides insight into all three. It focuses in painstaking detail to show the devastating effectiveness in particular through the tactics of disinformation and framing, as exemplified through operations that are still relevant today. In a world in which leftism and jihadism are on the march, a consciousness of the strategy of disinformation has never been more essential for those who seek to preserve and protect Western civilization.

Benjamin Weingarten


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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