1983 World War III threat is a hoax

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1983 World War III threat is a hoax

by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.; EIR October 28, 1988.

On Oct. 16, the Sunday Telegraph of London reported a prominent Soviet defector, Oleg Gordievsky, as revealing that Moscow was prepared to launch thermonuclear World War III back during the autumn of 1983. Usually authoritative sources have insisted that Moscow did simulate such threats during that period. That was the period forces inside the administration moved to oust Judge William Clark from his position as National Security Adviser, and to break off all direct contact between me and the National Security Council.
The fact is, Moscow was not ready to go to nuclear war at that time. The threat was simply carefully orchestrated psychological warfare. Apparently, many Western authorities were deceived by that bluff then, and many continue to be fooled to the present day.
I was a key figure in crucial aspects of the developments of that period, and the individual figure against whom Moscow and its assets in the U.S.A. and Western Europe concentrated the greatest amount of attention. For that, and related reasons, I am best situated to identify what really happened in those developments of 1983, and to indicate the significance of those events for a terrifying period of crisis to erupt beginning the post-election "transitional period."

Moscow vs. LaRouche

It should be recalled that the Soviet press identified me as the individual person they considered a virtual casus belli during that period, and demanded that all Reagan administration contacts with me be broken. This Soviet campaign against me was echoed among left-leaning circles within the Democratic Party, and, inside the administration itself, among both the ex-Lovestonite circles linked to Richard Mellon Scaife. and the RAND Corporation's ex-Trotskyite Albert Wohlstetter.
As an outgrowth of bipartisan discussions between me and the Reagan administration, beginning the 1980-81 transition period, during 1982-83 I was closely associated with the National Security Council (NSC) on two projects. The first. was my work in defining strategic and economic feasibility of a new policy later known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The second, was a (back-channel) discussion I conducted on behalf of a tight circle of the U.S.A. intelligence establishment, with Soviet channels, over the period from January 1982 through April 1983. From the middle of 1982, until April 1983, coordination of my exchanges with Soviet channels was shifted into the National Security Council.
As part ofthis association. I returned from an international fact-finding trip of June-July 1983, to present my report on current Soviet posture to the NSC. I reported that we must expect some key Soviet military incident directed against the United States within about 30 days, and that this incident, whatever it might be, would be the beginning of a general escalation of almost unprecedented Soviet threat postures My point was that our nerve was to be tested.
It should be recalled, that close Andropov associate Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov personally supervised the shooting down of a helpless civilian airliner, KAL 007, within less than 30 days of my report to the NSC.
Apart from the mass-murderous brutality of that Soviet military action, the peculiarity of the incident, the killing of the crew and passengers of a Boeing 747 civilian airliner, was that electronic interception of the Soviet pilot's messages with his base showed that the pilot had identified a civilian airliner before shooting it down. The operation was conducted in a way to make clear beyond doubt that the authorization to proceed with the kill had been issued by the Moscow command-center itself; it was not an autonomous decision by the pilot or the Soviet Far Eastern air defense command.
Although the President rightly identified some of the elements which proved conclusively that Moscow had deliberately attacked what it knew to be a civilian airliner, no adequate sorts of political penalties against Moscow were taken, U.S. nerve had been tested, and, by Soviet standards, the U.S. response failed that first test. This led to the Soviet escalation, to the alerts which occurred during the period of what was essentially a NATO "desk exercise," ABLE ARCHER, a few weeks later.
The recent coverage of those 1983 developments, from London, insists that the West "blinked" under pressure of a series of the kind of strategic bluffs I had indicated as to be expected in my August 1983 report to the NSC.
Following ABLE ARCHER, Judge Clark was ousted from the NSC, and the operation to break my connections to the NSC were launched simultaneously, beginning October-November 1983.
In addition to the role of NBC-TV News, the key players against my work on the SDI and Soviet strategic assessments included such associates of W ohlstetter as the circles of Richard Perle inside the Pentagon. and such proteges of Richard Mellon Scaife as Roy Godson inside the NSC, and Herbert Romerstein at Charles Wick's U.S. Information Agency. Notably, Godson and Scaife are associated with not only John Rees and Uri Ra'anan. but include such notorious elements of the U.S. pro-drug lobby as Dukakis accomplice John Foster "Chip" Berlet and terrorist-linked scribbler Dennis King. the latter key assets of the dirty operations run through NBC-TV News.
At the same time, the escalated activities against me through the Democratic National Committee and Wohlstetter and Scaife associates inside the administration and NBC-TV News operations, were publicly backed to the letter by the leading Soviet press, including Andropov agent Fyodor Burlatsky.

The U.S. blinked

Was there, as London sources now say, a Soviet threat of World War III during Autumn 1983? No. There was something very nasty afoot in Moscow: grand-scale strategic deception. It was "nuclear living theater." A great number of honest patriots and others in high places, here in the U.S.A., and in Western Europe, were successively deceived. The West "blinked," and the rest, to date, is recent history.
What was pushed aside was the very simple fact, that Moscow was not prepared to go to war, unless attacked, at that time. Also. Moscow feared no U.S.A. attack at that time, or any time since to the present day. The London report, that the Soviet leadership's paranoid fears caused it to read ABLE ARCHERas athreatofNATOpreemptive assault, is childish fiction of the sort we might expect from the producers of a TV soap opera; no one who understands the ABCs of Sovietology should be taken in by such fairy-tales.
The facts are simply these:
1) Moscow never takes what it considers unnecessary risks except in those instances it considers the Soviet homeland under attack.
2) Discounting culturally induced psychological defects in the Soviet strategic command and doctrines, the circles around the late Yuri Andropov and his closest ally, Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, have shown themselves among the most brilliant strategists of the 20th century. They calculate matters of war down to such details as almost the last cotter-pin; indeed, the characteristic weakness of Soviet military practice, is the Russians' culturally induced inability to improvise effectively in strategy and tactics. The Russians praise this mental defect of theirs as "objectivity."
3) Moscow's Andropov-Ogarkov war-plan of world conquest, set into motion at the beginning of 1983, was a five-year plan of perestroika, to bring Moscow's forces up to war-fighting readiness by approximately 1988. On this subject of war-readiness, the policies of Ogarkov, and the leading members of his military "kindergarten" now rising to the top in the Soviet military command. are clear and militarily most sound. Any Soviet command group which had thought to launch war in 1983 would have been shot promptly as "suspected traitors."
4) The Andropov-Ogarkov war-plan of world conquest is based upon chiefly three non-military factors: a) the coming financial and economic collapse in the West; b) a loss of political will in the Western governments, centered around inducing reduction of U.S. military commitments in Western Europe and the Pacific region; c) the erosive influence of the rock-drug-sex counterculture in the West. These were the near-term (five-year-span) Soviet strategic objectives of the 1983 period.
5) During 1983, the strategic military element of the war-plan required absolute Soviet superiority prior to a potential for launching of first-strike attack during some time after 1988. The prerequisites for this included: Soviet deployment, of its version of strategic ballistic missile defense systems, a sweeping reorganization of the Soviet order of battle by about 1988 (now not expected to be completed until about 1991). weakening of U.S. forward-based capabilities in Western Europe, a Soviet strategic naval breakout into the eastern Mediterranean, Pacific, and Atlantic, and a weakening of the political will of the West to defend itself.
6) The actions of Andropov and Ogarkov during the period April-November 1983 were intended to test and weaken the political will of the West, as a contribution to fostering the conditions for Soviet strategic break-out, although not necessarily war, beginning 1988.
7) The Soviet leadership may be evil, but it is not a collection of children in the matter of war. Why should it incur the terrible penalties of general warfare, if it could acquire its strategic goals as Hitler did up through the summer of 1939? Why force a powerful victim to resist, when one might induce him to surrender by psychological intimidation and subversion?
So, in 1983, there never was a danger of general war, from our side, or Moscow's. However, it was most useful to Moscow to induce the U.S. government to believe that such an immediate potential existed. As Moscow hoped, Washington and Western Europe "blinked." Moscow obtained everything it sought for the medium term, without firing a single Soviet missile.

Failures in Western analysis

The principal cause of failures of this sort in the Western governments and related establishment circles. are chiefly two. First, Western society has become what sociologist David Riesman described as an "other-directed society." Most people, especially the politically sensitized ones, do not act upon their own independently formed, rational opinions; they borrow what they imagine to be "approved opinions." Second, there is a powerful faction within the Atlantic establishment which is committed to a form of "world federalism" based upon global power-sharing arrangements with Moscow; they tend to assist Moscow in anything which seems to them to bring the world closer to their peculiar sort of goals of global power-sharing between the Anglo-American liberals and Moscow.
The cultural psychological flaw of "other-directedness" is the reason that nearly every liberal press and politician's interpretation of events in Moscow reminds us of a script from a TV soap opera. Everything is explained in terms of soap-opera-like explanations of interpersonal, who-hit-whom sorts of transactions among individual personalities and groups of personalities.
As I have stressed in earlier reports on the poor quality of most Western Sovietology, real history is no soap opera. Real history is shaped by the same principles we ought to recognize from such great classical tragedy as that of Aeschylos. Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote, Shakespeare, and Friedrich Schiller. The essence of the U.S. government is that it is a real-life Greek tragedy. The Soviet Union is also a Greek tragedy , although a different drama than the U.S. one.
People' s actions are governed by the way in which they think. Most people have almost no "free will" in the strict sense of the term; they act as they are habituated to react to events, often resembling the way a gold-fish swims in tight circles in a pool, after being released from a small bowl. "Free will" requires that we not accept blindly those usually unconscious axioms of thinking which cause us to choose the kinds of decisions we make in response to events. In other words, if we understand the axioms of a people's thinking, assumptions of which they are usually not conscious, we can predict with fair accuracy how entire nations will walk as blindly to self-destruction, in a crisis, as sheep compete with one another to reach the head of the line in the procession into the slaughter-house.
That is the way in which Soviet behavior is shaped. That is the way the behavior of the political parties of the West has been shaped over the past 20-odd years.
There are breaking-points. especially during grave crises. during which some influential people may examine the underlying assumptions of their behavior up to that point. Bold decisions, either good ones, or very bad ones, are likely at such times. It is during such periods that the factor of "free will" tends to come to the surface, to the effect of changing the way governments and most people respond to events.
If we keep our eyes on these two characteristic features of classical tragedy and real-life history, we are enabled to assess the facts with greater or lesser degree of competence.
In the present period, the trick is not to react to events, but to uncover the largely unconscious assumptions which tend to cause us to react to events with an habituated kind of emotional response.
On the level of government, the U.S. administration's emotional reaction to the Soviet psychological-warfare stunts of 1983 was a blind reaction by a group of "other-directed" persons who were reacting to events as we might expect of actors in a Hollywood soap opera. However, it was not the U.S. government which made the decision to "blink', back in the second half of 1983. It was the trans-Atlantic establishment, which usually has its way with the U.S. government in such matters.
As I emphasized to the press at my Oct. 17 National Press Club appearance [see article, page 58], the trans-Atlantic establishment is divided broadly among three above-party factions.
The most obvious is those ultra-liberals, with fascist economic and social ideas, who control the candidacy of Michael Dukakis entirely. These are all-out world-federalists, committed to establishment of total global condominium, as a form of power-sharing with Moscow, by about 1992.
The directly opposite faction are traditionalists, who believe in the institution of the sovereign nation-state, representative self-government, improvement of productivity and conditions of life of all persons through benefits of scientific and technological progress, and what we know as traditional Western European Judeo-Christian values. These forces are based politically on traditionalist constituency groups in the population, such as farmers, industrial operatives, industrial entrepreneurs, and racial and ethnic minorities seeking full opportunities to share traditional benefits.
In between, there is a large section of the trans-Atlantic establishment whose ideas are those which the general public will tend to associate with the "Metternichean" ideas of Henry A. Kissinger. This group accepts the idea of increased global power-sharing with Moscow, and Beijing, but believes that concessions to Moscow must be limited ones: In short, it is their view that the Western establishment must never give away so much that it loses its ability to remain a major player in a global "balance of power" game.
Back in 1983, the ultra-liberal and "balance of power" factions of the trans-Atlantic establishment were united against the traditionalists on the issues involved in Moscow' s gigantic strategic bluff. Today, the alignment is more complex, as Kissinger' s Sept. 19 Newsweek feature illustrates this point. Much of the middle faction is frightened by what it now views as dangerous Western establishment misestimates of both the Andropov and Gorbachov phonomena, and view what Michael Dukakis represents as a grave danger to the future of civilization on this planet.
The Bush candidacy today is the political centerpiece of an effort to bring together new establishment and other combinations around a next Bush administration. Bush's backers contain elements of all three establishment currents: Harrimanite ultra-liberals, centrists, and traditionalists. It is the growing perception, that the policies of a Bush administration will be determined largely by the kinds of realignments which might emerge among the three elements of the establishment.
Although I am neither tied to Bush, nor a member of the establishment, I function internationally on the same level of influence as were I a kind of fourth element of the establishment, close to the traditionalists in my commitments and direction of thinking, but actually a continuation of the Federalist-Whig current which was more or less dominant during the first hundred years of our republic, as typified by Frank1in, Washington, Hamilton, the Careys, and John Quincy Adams's foreign policy. That was the character of my relationship to the NSC back during 1982-83.
Hence, when two factions of the trans-Atlantic establishment decided to capitulate to the Andropov-Ogarkov strategic bluff, I was ousted from connections to the combination of bipartisan forces around the Reagan administration, and those tied to the traditionalist current of the establishment, such as Judge Clark and many others, were purged from key policy-shaping positions. This purge continued through 1985.
The reason that the legal frame-ups against me and my friends were tolerated, beginning 1984, and coming to peaks in October 1986 and October 1988, was that arrangement. The ultra-liberals, including Dukakis's Harvard cronies and Ramsey Clark' s old cronies in the Justice Department, wished me dead; the centrists accepted the decision to have me eliminated; the traditionalists were too busy protecting their own political hides to risk anything important for the sake of a former ally.
This and related international experience afford me an objective insight into the various factions and other matters; the advantage of being an outsider permits me to see many important matters with far greater emotional and intellectual detachment than perhaps any other international public figure of this period of time. I am not obliged, as most members of the establishment currents are, to contort my mind into the state required to rationalize support for a foolish policy currently in vogue among either a current within the establishment, or the establishment as a whole. As long as I take the personal risk I incur so, I am free to call the shots as I see them. It is a hazardous profession, but the only one which permits one to view events with a clear head.

Implications of 1983

The "transitional period," from the day after the election, until the next inauguration, will be one of the most dangerous periods in modern history. If Michael Dukakis were elected, most Americans, especially the poor and the minorities generally, would wish the proposed permanent colony on Mars were already accepting immigrants. The looming new international financial crisis, the deepening economic crisis generally , the global food-crisis to worsen over the coming two years, and the dangerous situation in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean generally , indicate what will confront the next President, beginning in the transitional period.
During this period, the U.S. and other governments will be faced with crises far worse than the Soviet bluff of late 1983.
If the next government reacts no better, or even worse, than the U.S. government reacted to the bluff of 1983, the U.S. situation will deteriorate more or less irreversibly, there might be no next election in 1992.
This will not be a happy period for Moscow. It might possibly come to dominate the world by 1992, or some time near to that. However, the internal self-destruction of the Soviet empire is already in progress; if Moscow continues to play out the classical tragedy in progress there now, Moscow is doomed only soon after Israel is obliterated by Middle East developments which will assuredly occur were Dukakis elected.
Mainland China is in a parallel state of internal crisis. Entire Third World nations, such as Uganda, are presently vanishing from the political map, biologically. Presently, hundreds of millions of deaths from famine and related causes, are to be expected around this planet, and surely so were Dukakis elected. We are looking into the red eyes and black soul of a hideous monster, the prospect, that over the coming years, this entire planet might be plunged into a New Dark Age.
Presuming Bush were elected, this is the nature of the situation which confronts his administration. If he reacts in a centrist way, his performance will be poorer than the referenced 1983-86 response to Soviet bluffs by the Reagan administration. It is therefore urgent now, that the 1983 fairy-tale from London be seen as the nonsense it is, in order that the next President not repeat the same kind of blunder, with global results akin to the final scene of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

World almost went to war
The Sunday Telegraph of London on Oct. 16 purported to tell the story of how war almost broke out by mistake in November 1983. The story is based on the testimony of Oleg Gordievsky, a KGB defector who worked in the KGB' s First Chief Directorate for espionage abroad Gordievsky claims that then-First Chief Directorate head Gen. Vladimir Kryuchkov -- who has just been appointed to head the KGB -- called senior KGB officers together, to mobilize them in response to perceived Western war moves.
The moves Kryuchkov was talking about, Gordievsky said, were part of a Nov. 2-11 , 1983 NATO exercise, code-named ABLE ARCHER. This was a command post drill, to enable the Western alliance to practice its nuclear release procedures.
Gordievsky claimed that the Soviets responded to the manuever by going into an "ill-founded panic," since they believed that "belligerent imperialist circles in the U.S.A. are getting ready for war, and are preparing new weapons systems which could render a sudden attack feasible." As a result of this "panic," Gordievsky claims, on or about Nov. 8-9, the world "really passed through a war danger."
The article claims that NATO monitors discerned that "something was going badly wrong. Instead of the monitoring normally to be expected from across the Iron Curtain, a sharp increase was registered in both the volume and the urgency of the Eastern Bloc traffic. The incredible seemed to be happening, namely that the Warsaw Pact suspected it might really be facing nuclear attack at any moment. Gordievsky was later to explain to the West that this was, in fact, far from incredible. The classic Soviet plan for an offensive agaisnt the West envisages that maneuvers will be used a a combined camouflage screen and springboard for the real attack. The Russians naturally assume that their adversaries would do the same."
The lesson which Gordievski draws from what he calls the Soviets' "ill-founded panic" at the time, is that the West must develop a policy of responsible detente toward the U.S.S.R., responding positively to what seem to be genuine concessions from the Soviets, but "meeting Gorbachov with straight talk." He advises : "Never fudge the basic differences between East and West. Above all, in the meantime, remain strong on the military and nuclear fronts."
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