Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How (and why) the CIA targets *culture* - INTRO

I have a number of posts simultaneously under construction, so to speak, but am also otherwise too busy to devote much time to them, so I've decided to post this segment now.

When the CIA is ordered to conduct covert action undertaken in an allied country, the covert action has geopolitical objectives, as in the case of conducting covert action against a hostile country, but also has political implications locally in the host country. The characteristics differ, however, in that one objective is to artificially prop up the alliance with between the governments, which begs the question however, in this case, as to what the CIA and Japan’s own secret intelligence service, the Public Security Intelligence Agency (the “Ko-an-sho”) could seek to achieve by collaborating to undermine certain Japanese cultural traditions (e.g., Zen Buddhism, the Noh, Kinko-ryu (Fuke-shu) shakuhachi), while promoting Evangelical Christian missionaries, for example, and corrupted (and/or dumbed-down) versions of Fuke-shu shakuhachi.

First, there is a big picture (geopolitical) issue in that Japan, historically, as a country in East Asia has developed in a cultural milieu informed primarily by the universalistic teachings of Confucianism and Buddhism. One objective of the covert US foreign policy targeting culture is to alienate Japan from its cultural roots, aiming to culturally divide-and-conquer East Asia as a whole. The respective governments apparently want to level any cultural differences that might facilitate forms of social conscience that might serve to give the people pause and question the collective agenda being pursued by the government in Japan following the lead of the US. Meanwhile, the personal objectives of the people in government include, as has been demonstrated—with respect to ‘hereditary politicians’ ( in Japan and multi-generational CIA officer families in Japan, the hereditary inheritance of public office. A second aspect pertains to “the devil is in the details,” as the saying goes. “Diversity” was a buzzword in the Obama administration, reflecting an increasingly insecure US position in a post-Cold War world where the order should return to something more actually diverse (and normal) than the bipolar alignment with one-or-the-other of the dueling superpowers. Diversity is a natural occurrence, as demonstrated by evolutionary biology and the diversity among human cultures and languages, for example. Insofar as democracy involves a problem-solving discourse among members of society, diversity of opinion can result in more ideas being put forth in the course of determining the course of social development. Diversity is something that has to evolve against a common background, however, if the divergence is to be mutually intelligible and social cohesion maintained. True diversity cannot be imposed on a society, and if democracy represents a form of dialectical problem solving, most forms of diversity will resolve in the transience from one set of problems to another. That definition may not jibe with one that posits diversity as referring to radically irreconcilable difference (e.g., species level), which is another issue according to this schema. Take religion in Japan, for example. No more than 1% of the population of Japan has ever espoused Christianity as their religious belief system, even though there has been freedom of religion since the 19th century. Does that mean that religious diversity doesn’t exist in Japan? Hardly, I should think, as is shown by the large number of Buddhist sects that have been established over the ages, some with belief systems encompassing diametrically opposed elements.

It might occur to some readers knowledgeable of Japan that I have overlooked Shinto, which is often characterized as the “native” religion of Japan. I have not overlooked Shinto, however, as nativism has been a theme that the USA has sought to exploit in Japan consciously since it rehabilitated Japanese that were had been imprisoned and were awaiting trial as war criminals—including the grandfather (Kishi Nobusuke) of Sinzo Abe, the current Prime Minister current embroiled in a scandal (Moritomo Gakuen) involving a nationalistic elementary school accused of promoting such reactionary nativist teachings. Shinto has been associated with nativism and militarism at various points in Japanese history because it has been exploited for political purposes as a form of particularism in opposition to, for example, the influence of the overtly universalistic teachings of Buddhism and Confucianism. To the CIA, Shinto particularism is a form of ideological currency in Japanese history that resonates with the notion of American exceptionalism in that of the United States. Accordingly, it is an ideology that can be exploited in the divide-and-conquer objective pursued through a modus operandi that encompasses interfering in cultural affairs in civil society.

It bears emphasizing that the CIA has been seeking to have the pacifist clause, Article 9, of the Constitution of Japan, which had been drawn up by Americans, eliminated within a few years of its promulgation. Nominally, the USA had communism in its sights, but the behind the scenes diplomatic efforts (since declassified; i.e., FRUS documents such as those submitted to the Court and posted below) to support reactionary Japanese politicians who had been awaiting trial for war crimes and who favored eliminating the war-as-a-means-of-foreign-policy renouncing Article 9 represents a foreign policy that was diametrically opposed to the official foreign policy publically espoused by the government of the US at the time. Meanwhile, the Cold War ended about 10 years before the formation of the ultra-nationalist political organization known as the Nippon Kaigi in 1997 (e.g., Furthermore, communism, as an economic system, has all but been supplanted in China, but the promotion of nativist politicians in Japan by the CIA continues in the form of Shinzo Abe, Taro Aso, Toru Hashimoto, etc. I have posted links to some of the scholarly studies, etc., submitted to the Court about Abe’s grandfather and the founding of the LDP with funding from the CIA; however, I have not traced the Abe and Aso families connections to the Meiji Restoration. The family of Aso (Abe’s current Finance Minister and a former Prime Minister), in particular, and Abe, to a lesser degree, were directly connected to the Meiji Oligarchy (, the policies of which gave rise to what is generally described as a form of fascism in WWII era Japan under so-called State Shinto. Several pages of court filings are posted below with relevant quotes from scholarly publications, links, etc.

There are divide-and-rule machinations at various levels, intra- and inter-nationally, each of which will require more in-depth treatment, but the foregoing can be seen to describe an overview of a modus operandi aimed at coalescing a ‘home team’, so to speak, around a form of nationalism that lends itself to military adventurism, while dividing the opposition so as to be unable to put up a unified front of democratic resistance to the hegemonic aims of the ruling political clique of hereditary politicians and their cronies/cohorts internationally. 

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