“Mind War” Aquino and Vallely

I keep running into people who ought to know better but who think that this kind of thing is acceptable in a domestic US setting. pl

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20 Responses to “Mind War” Aquino and Vallely

  1. Charles Cameron (hipbone) says:

    There’s a lot of interesting material on Aquino at the website of The Temple of Set, a movement “dedicated to the Prince of Darkness” which he founded:
    more detail at:
    including a linked bibliography of his writings headed by a playful portrait of himself as Indiana Jones:
    and including a more easily legible .pdf of his MindWar paper:

  2. Well,
    its a whole lot easier to run this democratic republic when we have convinced the Citizen that what clearly is not happening (for instance, winning the war in Afghanistan) is in “reality,” happening. Simple because we will it so.
    Unfortunately, our Citizens have been conditioned by generations of exposure to the Madison Avenue way to embrace the “reality” they are presented.
    Its almost like the Matrix. Often, I wish I had simply taken the blue pill.

  3. Jackie says:

    Nice picture of Colin Powell’s “lowest moment” in public service. After his presentation at the UN in 2003, Mary McGrory (God rest her soul), an op-ed columnist for the WashPost wrote that the war must be justified. I remember being so disappointed in her judgment, because she trusted Colin Powell. I think she passed away shortly afterwards.

  4. J says:

    What is going on with OSD Gates? Take a look at ‘his’ latest in the public venue. Does not he appear to be trying to intentionally undermine the President/NSC regarding decisions concerning Afghanistan?
    Look at the way this article reads:
    U.S. decision can’t wait for Afghan legitimacy: Gates

  5. matt says:

    My favorite reading on that topic – domestic psyops -was the Rolling Stone article about John Rendon by the excellent James Bamford: “The Man Who Sold the War” …. although that particular marketing effort may not meet the exact specs of military-grade psyops….must come pretty close, though!

  6. C. Kause says:

    Aquino and Vallely should have spent more time playing golf and going to Happy Hours at the War College instead of producing that dreck.
    As for the DSB’s recommendations, think how successful Karen Hughes and her ilk were as strategic communicators.
    ‘Nuff said.

  7. N. M. Salamon says:

    Having experienced the trutfullness of USA propaganda in 1956 Hungary, the Shiites and Kurds at other times, the Iraqi-s and most South/Central America at varius times, often accompanied by USA sponsored blodbaths, these two gentlemen should flush their papers dawn the drain , and apologize to the citizens of the world in general, and the USA explicitly for the audicity of trying to mislead them.

  8. Bill Wade, NH says:

    The big problem with their thinking is that they do think we are going to war to win.

  9. Bill Wade, NH says:

    “It has to be accepted that Stanley McChrystal and the Barack Obama White House will not reach out for the advice of Andrew Bacevich, William Lind, Pat Lang, Ron Paul, or Antiwar’s own Jeff Huber, but until they do they will only be getting a replay of the catastrophes of the past eight years.”
    The above excerpt is from today’s AntiWar.com

  10. VietnamVet says:

    The basic problem with American Psyops is that from President Obama on down we believe our own propaganda. We receive messages everyday from corporate media. The basic two are Free Markets are good and America is the greatest of all possible worlds. Neither is true.
    When the information Americans receive is manipulated and decisions are based on polls and focus groups rather than facts, the end result, such as doubling down in Afghanistan, is divorced from the reality.

  11. Patrick Lang says:

    “I was an Army PSYOP officer, taught at the PSYOP School in Ft Bragg, NC (72-73), served as PSYOP Plans and Training Officer in the Combined Forces Command, Korea (81-83), and as the PSYOP Staff Officer, USCINCPAC (91-93). I always saw the best PSYOP as that which supported doing the right thing, not trying to support misguided activities and absolutely not aimed at the domestic audience in a Democracy. The real Mind War should consist of our own leaders fighting to balance actual facts seriously , not desired facts, and to avoid self serving/justifying approaches when making decisions, otherwise we have met the enemy and they are us.”
    Stan Henning (posted for)

  12. jedermann says:

    Before we even get to the issue of applying PSYOPS or MindWar to our domestic population I see an assumption at work here that carries a great deal of dangerous freight. That assumption is that there is a way to prevail and accomplish our objectives in every situation if only we are clever enough, hard enough and willing to pay any price. This can-do spirit is admirable in those charged with executing a strategy or a game plan, but it is a huge flaw when folded into analysis for the making of policy or the development of strategy. The lovingly cultivated myth of American Exceptionalism would blind us to the hard realities of the world. There are simply some things that we cannot do and it is wisdom not weakness that discerns what those things are.
    The Neocons have profited greatly in their quest for influence by denying that there is anything that the U.S. cannot do. They have succeeded over and over in making acceptance of that proposition a test of intestinal fortitude and patriotism. The glaring failures of their analysis and our present involvement in two foreign wars notwithstanding, we find ourselves seriously debating whether or not to take military action or allow an ally to draw us into military action against Iran. No convincing case has been made that such an action could actually accomplish the objective of permanently destroying Iran’s capacity to develop nuclear weapons; no analysis that I have seen indicates what the true costs of such a venture would likely be or that there is any convincing evidence that the American people are willing to bear those costs and, yet, the assumption that somehow, if we just believe and act, we can make this happen, keeps the debate going.
    It is always a fundamental problem, for great powers in particular, to make policy that properly takes into account the relative strengths and weaknesses of one’s own society and that still embodies its national aspirations. No one wants to be seen as accepting what has loudly and widely been pronounced unacceptable. Still, to make policy that requires its executants to do things that cannot be done because the means are not at hand or the price is too high invites such expediencies as PSYOPS or MindWar turned on ourselves.

  13. Andy says:

    Col. Lang,

    I always saw the best PSYOP as that which supported doing the right thing, not trying to support misguided activities and absolutely not aimed at the domestic audience in a Democracy.

    I agree completely, however, I think it’s probably more difficult in today’s global media environment to insulate a domestic audience from PSYOP aimed at a foreign audience. It would interesting to hear your thoughts on this.

  14. Turcopolier says:

    The question is whether or not the culprits are deliberately targeting the American people. pl

  15. John Howley says:

    To the extent such efforts actually work it probably is because they function to reinforce the natural psychological tendency, that is very strong, to overlook one’s own sins, errors and defects and to highlight others’.

  16. Brad Ruble says:

    While taking a speech class years ago,the late 1900’s, we were taught a basic axiom.
    If the basic premise of an argument is false, the entire argument, no matter how well constructed, is false.
    Like Lincoln said “you can fool all the people…
    If you are trying to get a point across,and as long as people are able to think for themselves, those are tough one’s to get around long term.

  17. Fred says:

    Very appropriate that the photo is of Colin Powell. His reputation for integrity took slightly longer to vanish than did the ‘mushroom clouds’ over Hiroshima and Nagasaki did to dissipate. However the latter two cities have been rebuilt; the reputation of Colin Powell; and of Condoleezza Rice, will never be resurrected. Just as the dead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not brought back to life, nor will the dead of Iraq; weather Muslim, Jew or Christian; American or Iraqi.
    I disagree with the author’s belief that those atomic bombings in WWII broke the Japan’s “national will to fight.” However, the key point is that the ‘mind war’ is already being waged in the United States against our own people. Colin Powel’s address to the U.N. while Secretary of State was a prime example.
    The authors state that “Mindwar “always speaks the truth.; the truth of the future as well as that of the present”; and most importantly:
    “The stated promise of a truth is that the United States has resolved to MAKE it real if is not already so.”
    And “…Rather it states a whole truth that, if it does not now exist, will be forced into existence by the will of the United States….”
    Thus the non-existent Nigerian yellow cake, the non-existent Iraqi involvement with the 9-11 hijackers and Condoleezza’s “mushroom cloud” warnings. The actual truth did not change, only the policies and objectives of the American government as directed by the neo-cons; and, of course, the numbers of the dead.
    The quotation of Livy, “The terror of the Roman name shall be such…” is chilling. Do the author’s really want America’s reputation to be one of ‘terror’ when our name is mentioned?

  18. PL request please?
    Could you sometime do a post on your personal take on Colin Powell and Richard Armitrage?
    Will they be influenential ever again?
    Was Armitrage’s statement to Pakistani leadership after 9/11 that “You are either with US or against US” still the US policy formulation? Did the US ever decide or review whether the “NO” answer was the reality? Should such a review be conducted or it almost continuous? Looking for context largely out of my ignorance!

  19. Turcopolier says:

    Powell and Armitage (no second “r”) sold themselves in the cause of ambition and a desire to be “on the team.”
    Will they be powerful again? Probably not, time moves on. pl

  20. For a current, thorough, and accurate discussion, see my 2013 book _MindWar_, currently available on Amazon.

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