Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Vietnam' is associated with 57 posts.

FTR#1269 Interview #8 with Jim DiEugenio about “JFK Revisited”

In this broad­cast, we con­tin­ue our dis­cus­sion with the hero­ic Jim DiEu­ge­nio, select­ed by Oliv­er Stone to write the screen­play for his doc­u­men­tary JFK Revis­it­ed. Jim also wrote the book con­tain­ing tran­scripts of both the two-hour and four-hour ver­sions of the doc­u­men­tary and sup­ple­men­tal inter­views.

No dis­cov­ery by the ARRB was more impor­tant than its uncov­er­ing of the Oper­a­tion North­woods con­tin­gency plan to set up a provo­ca­tion to jus­ti­fy a U.S. inva­sion of Cuba.

The law­suit filed by the Mary Fer­rell Foun­da­tion aims at com­pelling fur­ther dis­clo­sure about North­woods.

At log­ger­heads with then Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lem­nitzer, JFK replaced him with Maxwell Tay­lor, unaware that Tay­lor and Lem­nitzer were close. 

The ARRB faced seri­ous resis­tance from the Secret Ser­vice in its attempts to shed fur­ther light on the JFK assas­si­na­tion. Although pro­hib­it­ed by law from doing so, the Secret Ser­vice destroyed doc­u­ments.

Par­tic­u­lar­ly note­wor­thy are doc­u­ments from the agency about two attempts on JFK’s life in 1963 that may very well have been part of the con­stel­la­tion of events lead­ing up to Dal­las on 11/22.

That agency was par­tic­u­lar­ly reluc­tant to share records about the two attempts on JFK’s life.

ARRB mem­ber Dou­glas Horne uncov­ered some fas­ci­nat­ing infor­ma­tion about pay records of both Oswald dur­ing his last months in the Marines and TSBD man­ag­er Roy Tru­ly, Oswald’s super­vi­sor at the build­ing.


FTR#s 1264 & 1265 Interviews #3 and #4 with Jim Di Eugenio about “JFK Revisited”

Con­tin­u­ing our dis­cus­sion with Jim DiEu­ge­nio about JFK Revis­it­ed, we begin with analy­sis of com­par­i­son between the “stab in the back” hypoth­e­sis float­ed by reac­tionar­ies in Weimar Ger­many, deny­ing that they lost World War I, with sim­i­lar revi­sion­ism float­ed by the right wing con­cern­ing Amer­i­ca’s defeat in Viet­nam.

Bridg­ing dis­cus­sion that will be con­tin­ued in our pre­vi­ous pro­gram, we note a key quote from the book and doc­u­men­tary by Lisa Pease, not­ing that JFK stood apart from the Eisenhower/Dulles view that non-align­ment among the for­mer colo­nial ter­ri­to­ries that achieved inde­pen­dence was the equiv­a­lent of pro-Com­mu­nist ori­en­ta­tion.

JFK Revis­it­ed: Through the Look­ing Glass by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [HC]; Copy­right 2022 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑5107–7287‑8; p. 352.

. . . . Lisa Pease: His [JFK’s] approach was a rad­i­cal break from his pre­de­ces­sor. In an oral his­to­ry inter­view that Sukarno gave after John Kennedy’s death, he said words to the effect that what made Kennedy spe­cial is that he believed non-align­ment was not amoral as it had been under John Fos­ter Dulles. I thought that was an inter­est­ing way of putting it. . . .

Exem­pli­fy­ing Kennedy’s under­stand­ing of how nation­al­ist aspi­ra­tions were at the fore­front of strug­gles for nation­al inde­pen­dence that were cast into the anni­hi­lat­ing Cold War meat­grinder, we detail his trip to Indochi­na, where he net­worked with French gen­er­als, who told him that France was win­ning its strug­gle against the Viet Minh, and then with State Depart­ment pro­fes­sion­al Edmund Gul­lion, who opined that France was los­ing the war and would, in the end, lose.

Gul­lion also told Kennedy that, if the U.S. got involved, it would lose as well. It was Gullion’s con­vic­tion that the Viet­namese peo­ples’ desire for inde­pen­dence trumped any­thing the West could do.

We note that rough­ly 80% of the bud­get of the French war effort was bankrolled by the U.S. We also note that there was a con­tin­gency plan devel­oped for a mas­sive U.S. air sup­port oper­a­tion on behalf of the French called “Oper­a­tion Vul­ture.” Part of that plan was the deploy­ment of three atom­ic bombs for use against the Viet­namese.

For more about Kennedy’s ear­ly edu­ca­tion about the real­i­ties of war in South­east Asia, see—among oth­er pro­grams, FTR#1031.

This aware­ness guid­ed JFK’s Viet­nam pol­i­cy, in which he not only resist­ed tremen­dous pres­sure to com­mit U.S. com­bat troops to Viet­nam, but planned a with­draw­al of U.S. forces from Viet­nam.

Per­haps the most impor­tant change made after JFK’s assas­si­na­tion was John­son’s nega­tion of Kennedy’s plans to with­draw from Viet­nam.

LBJ can­celled Kennedy’s sched­uled troop with­draw­al, sched­uled per­son­nel increas­es and imple­ment­ed the 34A pro­gram of covert oper­a­tions against North Viet­nam. Exe­cut­ed by South Viet­namese naval com­man­dos using small, Amer­i­can-made patrol boats, these raids were sup­port­ed by U.S. destroy­ers in the Gulf of Tonkin, which were elec­tron­i­cal­ly “fin­ger­print­ing” North Viet­namese radar instal­la­tions.

The elec­tron­ic fin­ger­print­ing of North Viet­namese radar was in antic­i­pa­tion of a pre-planned air war, a fun­da­men­tal part of a plan by LBJ to involve the Unit­ed States in a full-scale war in South­east Asia.

Despite hav­ing promised dur­ing the 1964 cam­paign that no Amer­i­can com­bat units would be com­mit­ted to Viet­nam, with­in three months of the elec­tion, the first com­bat units were dis­patched to that unfor­tu­nate nation.

In addi­tion to not­ing that Hubert Humphrey, con­trary to pop­u­lar mis­con­cep­tion, was an oppo­nent of John­son’s war strat­e­gy, we note that Robert McNa­ma­ra was also opposed to it, although he went along with the Com­man­der in Chief’s poli­cies.

McNa­ma­ra did com­mis­sion the Pen­ta­gon study of Viet­nam pol­i­cy that became the Pen­ta­gon Papers. 

Jim notes that Noam Chom­sky and Pro­fes­sor Howard Zinn ini­tial­ly opposed dis­cus­sion of how JFK’s assas­si­na­tion changed U.S. Viet­nam pol­i­cy.

There is a clip in the film of a con­ver­sa­tion between LBJ and McNa­ma­ra where LBJ cod­i­fies his oppo­si­tion to the JFK/McNamara poli­cies in Viet­nam.

The fledg­ling nation of Laos was also part of French Indochi­na, and Jim notes how out­go­ing Pres­i­dent Eisen­how­er coached Pres­i­dent-Elect Kennedy on the neces­si­ty of com­mit­ting  U.S. com­bat forces to Laos.

Again, Kennedy refused to com­mit U.S. ground forces and engi­neered a pol­i­cy of neu­tral­i­ty for Laos.

Where­as JFK had imple­ment­ed a pol­i­cy afford­ing neu­tral­i­ty to Laos–against the wish­es of the Joint Chiefs, CIA and many of his own cab­i­net, LBJ scrapped the neu­tral­ist pol­i­cy in favor of a CIA-imple­ment­ed strat­e­gy of employ­ing “nar­co-mili­tias” such as the Hmong tribes­men as com­bat­ants against the Pathet Lao. This counter-insur­gency war­fare was com­ple­ment­ed by a mas­sive aer­i­al bomb­ing cam­paign.

JFK’s pol­i­cy vis a vis the war of inde­pen­dence being waged by the French in Alge­ria is of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance.

The pro­gram  reviews Kennedy’s stance on Alge­ria. A French colony in North Africa, Alger­ian inde­pen­dence forces waged a fierce guer­ril­la war in an attempt at becom­ing free from France. Once again, Kennedy opposed the West­ern con­sen­sus on Alge­ria, which sought to retain that prop­er­ty as a French pos­ses­sion.

The French peo­ple were divid­ed over the Alger­ian strug­gle, and those divi­sions led to the fall of the Fourth Repub­lic and the rise of Charles De Gaulle. De Gaulle grant­ed Alge­ria its inde­pen­dence and then faced down the lethal oppo­si­tion of the OAS, a group of mil­i­tary offi­cers ground­ed in the fas­cist col­lab­o­ra­tionist pol­i­tics of Vichy France. De Gaulle sur­vived sev­er­al assas­si­na­tion attempts against him and there are a num­ber of evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries lead­ing between those attempts and the forces that killed Kennedy.

Mau­rice Brooks Gatlin–one of Guy Ban­is­ter’s investigators–boasted of hav­ing trans­ferred a large sum of mon­ey from the CIA to the OAS offi­cers plot­ting against De Gaulle. In addi­tion, Jean Souetre–a French OAS-linked assas­sin was in the Dal­las Fort Worth area on 11/22/1963.

JFK, Alge­ria and oper­a­tional links between JFK’s assas­si­na­tion and OAS attempts on De Gaulle’s life are dis­cussed in FTR#1162.

Note that JFK told the French that he could not con­trol his own intel­li­gence ser­vices.

The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of JFK’s poli­cies with regard to Africa, the Con­go in par­tic­u­lar. This top­ic is pre­sent­ed at greater length in our next inter­view with Jim.


Latest Patreon Talks: U.S. Cold War Policy in Asia; NYT Beatifies Ukrainian Nazis; Team Marcos Returns to Power

In the lat­est series of three, one-hour talks per week, Mr. Emory sets forth a num­ber of points on his Patre­on site: The return to pow­er of the Mar­cos fam­i­ly in the Philip­pines may have sig­nif­i­cant effect on U.S. Pacif­ic pol­i­cy; U.S. Asian pol­i­cy in Cold War peri­od was in many ways an exten­sion of Japan’s Worldl War II pol­i­cy; “The New York Times” con­tin­ues its Mon­key Love for Ukrain­ian Nazis. Ukrain­ian tele­vi­sion anchor quotes Adolf Eich­mann ver­ba­tim in this video from UKRAINE 24. This video of Ukraine’s top mil­i­tary med­ical offi­cer dis­cussing an order to cas­trate Russ­ian males is an eye-open­er. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


Eugene McCarthy Revisited

We have dis­cussed the dubi­ous con­nec­tions of the late Sen­a­tor Eugene McCarthy of Min­neso­ta, the “Peace Can­di­date” who upend­ed the 1968 Pres­i­den­tial race. We note his remark­able, reveal­ing 1980 endorse­ment of “Peace Can­di­date” Ronald Rea­gan: ” . . . . Mr. McCarthy said he had come to the con­clu­sion that Mr. Rea­gan’s posi­tions on nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment and tax­es were bet­ter than Pres­i­dent Carter’s . . . .” Ukrain­ian tele­vi­sion anchor quotes Adolf Eich­mann ver­ba­tim in this video from UKRAINE 24. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


Patreon Update: Latest Talks Plus First Zoom Q & A Scheduled for June 5

The Patre­on site con­tin­ues to devel­op and take form: The first Zoom Q & A Ses­sion is sched­uled for 6/5 in the late afternoon/early evening. In addi­tion, the lat­est talks devel­op both recent polit­i­cal events and his­tor­i­cal trends. Top­ics of dis­cus­sion include: the mass shoot­ings in Uvalde Texas and Buf­fa­lo, NY; Don­ald Trump’s suc­cess­ful use of polit­i­cal mythol­o­gy to devel­op his cam­paign and Pres­i­den­cy; the unsa­vory polit­i­cal con­nec­tions of Bernie Sanders and Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez; the late Sen­a­tor Eugene McCarthy’s so-called “Peace Can­di­da­cy” in 1968; Mr. Emory’s own expe­ri­ence com­ing of age dur­ing the Viet­nam War. Ukrain­ian tele­vi­sion anchor quotes Adolf Eich­mann ver­ba­tim in this video from UKRAINE 24. This video of Ukraine’s top mil­i­tary med­ical offi­cer dis­cussing an order to cas­trate Russ­ian males is an eye-open­er. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


Memorial Day Weekend Special on KFJC-FM

On Sun­day, 5/29, from 7 until 10pm and Mon­day, 5/30, from 6 until 7pm, KFJC-FM observes Memo­r­i­al Day Week­end by fea­tur­ing Dave Emory’s research on the fun­da­men­tal inter­re­la­tion­ship of fas­cism, mon­ey, war and mur­der. Ukrain­ian tele­vi­sion anchor quotes Adolf Eich­mann ver­ba­tim in this video from UKRAINE 24. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


Latest Patreon Talk: The OUN/B, the ABN and the Assassination of JFK

In the lat­est Patre­on talk, Mr. Emory delves into man­i­fes­ta­tions of polit­i­cal lying, with the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy as foundation/centerpiece of dis­cus­sion. The role of the Ukrain­ian fas­cist OUN/B and over­lap­ping Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations in the JFK assas­si­na­tion com­prise the bulk of the pre­sen­ta­tion. Ukrain­ian tele­vi­sion anchor quotes Adolf Eich­mann ver­ba­tim in this video from UKRAINE 24. WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


Project Paperclip and Agent Orange

The rav­ages of the Agent Orange defo­liant used in South­east Asia are well known. What has not received as much pub­lic­i­ty is the doc­u­ment­ed fact that the poi­son was devel­oped by Friedrich “Fritz” Hoff­man, one of the Third Reich alum­ni brought to the U.S. under Project [or “Oper­a­tion”] Paper­clip. “. . . . Under the umbrel­la of the CIA’s Secu­ri­ty Research Ser­vices, [CIA orga­ni­za­tion] Mor­wede was among the front orga­ni­za­tions pro­tect­ing Nazi chemists trans­port­ed to the US, includ­ing Dr. Friedrich “Fritz” Hoff­man, a major ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the largesse of the Paper­clip pipeline. In the late ‘50s, Hoffmann’s work for the CIA and Fort Det­rick includ­ed devel­op­ment of lethal chem­i­cal agents to be used as weapons in Viet­nam, proof that the dis­hon­or­able was just over the hori­zon when John Kennedy took office. One of these weapons, the hor­rif­ic and now-infa­mous Agent Orange, was autho­rized for use in Viet­nam in Novem­ber 1961 . . . .” WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE. Mr. Emory emphat­i­cal­ly rec­om­mends that listeners/readers get the 32GB flash dri­ve con­tain­ing all of Mr. Emory’s 43 years on the air, plus a library of old anti-fas­cist books on easy-to-down­load PDF files.


FTR#1221 War Games, Part 3 (Rittenhouse Nation)

In these pro­grams, we con­tin­ue our dis­cus­sion of Nick Turse’s 2008 tome The Com­plex: How the Mil­i­tary Invades Our Every­day Lives.

Writ­ing in his nov­el Trop­ic of Can­cer, Hen­ry Miller wrote: ” . . . . Amer­i­ca is the very incar­na­tion of Doom. And she will lead the rest of the world into the Bot­tom­less Pit. . . .”  (The quote was includ­ed in his For­give My Grief  books by pio­neer­ing JFK assas­si­na­tion researcher Penn Jones.

Epit­o­miz­ing Miller’s obser­va­tion is what Mr. Emory terms the res­o­nant syn­the­sis of video games and mil­i­tary train­ing and train­ing tech­nol­o­gy:

“. . . . Cer­tain­ly, the day is not far off when most poten­tial U.S. troops will have grown up play­ing com­mer­cial video games that were cre­at­ed by the mil­i­tary as train­ing sim­u­la­tors; will be recruit­ed, at least in part, through video games; will be test­ed, post-enlist­ment, on advanced video game sys­tems; will be trained using sim­u­la­tors, which will lat­er be turned into video games, or on recon­fig­ured ver­sions of the very same games used to recruit them or that they played kids; will be taught to pilot vehi­cles using devices resem­bling com­mer­cial video game con­trollers; and then, after a long day of real-life war-gam­ing head back to their quar­ters to kick back and play the lat­est PlaySta­tion or Xbox games cre­at­ed with or spon­sored by their own, or anoth­er, branch of the armed forces.

More and more toys are now poised to become clan­des­tine com­bat teach­ing tools, and more and more sim­u­la­tors are des­tined to be tomorrow’s toys. And what of America’s chil­dren and young adults in all this? How will they be affect­ed by the daz­zling set of mil­i­tary train­ing devices now land­ing in their liv­ing rooms and on their PCs, pro­duced by video game giants under the  watch­ful eyes of the Pen­ta­gon? After all, what these games offer is less a mat­ter of sim­ple mil­i­tary indoc­tri­na­tion and more like a near immer­sion in a vir­tu­al world of war, where armed con­flict is not the last, but the first—and indeed the only—resort. . . .”

A con­crete exam­ple of that “res­o­nant syn­the­sis” is the bat­tle of 73 East­ing:

“. . . . Just days into the ground com­bat por­tion of the Gulf War, the Bat­tle of 73 East­ing pit­ted Amer­i­can armored vehi­cles against a much larg­er Iraqi tank force. The U.S. troops, who had trained using the SIMNET sys­tem, rout­ed the Iraqis. With­in days, the mil­i­tary began turn­ing the actu­al bat­tle into a dig­i­tal sim­u­la­tion for use with SIMNET. Inten­sive debrief­ing ses­sions with 150 vet­er­ans of the bat­tle were under­tak­en. Then DARPA per­son­nel went out onto the bat­tle­field with the vet­er­ans, sur­vey­ing tank tracks and burned-out Iraqi vehi­cles, as the vet­er­ans walked them through each indi­vid­ual seg­ment of the clash. Addi­tion­al­ly, radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions, satel­lite pho­tos, and ‘black box­es’ from U.S. tanks were used to gath­er even more details. Nine months after the actu­al com­bat took place, a dig­i­tal recre­ation of the Bat­tle of 73 East­ing was pre­miered for high-rank­ing mil­i­tary per­son­nel. Here was the cul­mi­na­tion of Thorpe’s efforts to cre­ate a net­worked sys­tem that would allow troops to train for future wars using the new tech­nol­o­gy com­bined with accu­rate his­tor­i­cal data. . . .”

Plac­ing Hen­ry Miller’s quote into an iron­i­cal­ly-rel­e­vant con­text, a pop­u­lar video game “Doom” quick­ly was adapt­ed to Mar­tine Corps train­ing pur­pos­es:

“. . . . In late 1993, with the green glow of Gulf War vic­to­ry already fad­ing, id Soft­ware intro­duced the video game Doom. Gamers soon began mod­i­fy­ing share­ware copies of this ultra­vi­o­lent, ultra­pop­u­lar first per­son shoot­er, prompt­ing id to release edit­ing soft­ware the next year. The abil­i­ty to cus­tomize Doom caught the atten­tion of mem­bers of the Marine Corps Mod­el­ing and Sim­u­la­tion Man­age­ment Office who had been tasked by the corps’ Com­man­dant Charles Kru­lak with uti­liz­ing “‘com­put­er (PC)-based war games”‘to help the marines ‘devel­op deci­sion mak­ing skills, par­tic­u­lar­ly when live train­ing time and oppor­tu­ni­ties are lim­it­ed.’

“Act­ing on Krulak’s direc­tive, the marines’ mod­el­ing crew nixed Doom’s fan­ta­sy weapons and labyrinthine locale and, in three months’ time, devel­oped Marine Doom, a game that includ­ed only actu­al Marine Corps weapon­ry and real­is­tic envi­ron­ments. Kru­lak liked what he saw and, in 1997, approved the game. . . .”

Next, Turse dis­cuss­es Pen­ta­gon plans to oper­ate in urban slums in the Third World. Mr. Emory notes that many com­bat vet­er­ans of this coun­try’s long counter-insur­gency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are join­ing the increas­ing­ly mil­i­ta­rized police forces in this coun­try.

Pen­ta­gon strat­e­gy as dis­cussed here by Turse may, even­tu­al­ly be real­ized, to an extent, in the U.S., par­tic­u­lar­ly in the event of an eco­nom­ic col­lapse.

More about Pen­ta­gon plans for urban war­fare in slums, osten­si­bly in the devel­op­ing world:

” . . . . As both the high-tech pro­grams and the pro­lif­er­at­ing train­ing facil­i­ties sug­gest, the for­eign slum city is slat­ed to become the bloody bat­tle­space of the future. . . . For exam­ple, the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps launched a pro­gram seek­ing to devel­op algo­rithms to pre­dict the crim­i­nal­i­ty of a giv­en build­ing or neigh­bor­hood. The project titled Find­ing Repet­i­tive Crime Sup­port­ing Struc­tures, defines cities as noth­ing more than a col­lec­tion of ‘urban clut­ter [that] affords con­sid­er­able con­ceal­ment for the actors that we must cap­ture.’ The ‘hos­tile behav­ior bad actors,’ as the pro­gram terms them, are defined not just as ‘ter­ror­ists,’ today’s favorite catch-all bogey­men, but as a panoply of night­mare arche­types: ‘insur­gents, ser­i­al killers, drug deal­ers, etc.’. . .”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Dis­cus­sion of Colonel Dave Gross­man­’s book On Killing against the back­ground of the res­o­nant syn­the­sis of video games and mil­i­tary train­ing; analy­sis of the use of gam­ing apps by Nazi ele­ments to cel­e­brate school shoot­ings and encour­age them; dis­cus­sion of school shoot­er Niko­las Cruz of Park­land high and his Nazi, white suprema­cist and Trumpian influ­ence; dis­cus­sion of alt-right use of web­sites cater­ing to peo­ple suf­fer­ing from depres­sion for recruit­ing pur­pos­es.


FTR#1219 and FTR#1220 War Games, Part 1 and War Games, Part 2

In these pro­grams, we con­tin­ue our dis­cus­sion of Nick Turse’s 2008 tome The Com­plex: How the Mil­i­tary Invades Our Every­day Lives.

In this pro­gram, we exam­ine how the mil­i­tary exerts dom­i­nant influ­ence over our enter­tain­ment activ­i­ties and how that, in turn, both affects and bol­sters the Pen­ta­gon.

We begin by “going to the movies.”

The syn­the­sis of Hol­ly­wood and “The Com­plex” is sum­ma­rized by Nick Turse in the pas­sage below. It should be not­ed that the meld­ing of Hol­ly­wood and the mil­i­tary is a foun­da­tion of the deriv­a­tive syn­the­sis of the mil­i­tary and the video-gam­ing industry–the focus of the bulk of these pro­grams.

“. . . . As David Robb, the author of Oper­a­tion Hol­ly­wood: How the Pen­ta­gon Shapes and Cen­sors the Movies, observed: ‘Hol­ly­wood and the Pen­ta­gon have a col­lab­o­ra­tion that works well for both sides. Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­ers get what they want—access to bil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of mil­i­tary hard­ware and equipment—tanks, jet fight­ers, nuclear sub­marines and air­craft carriers—and the mil­i­tary gets what it wants—films that por­tray the mil­i­tary in a pos­i­tive light; films that help the ser­vices in their recruit­ing efforts.’. . .”

Indeed, the very gen­e­sis of video games in deriv­a­tive of the defense indus­try: ” . . . . In 1951, Ralph Baer, an engi­neer work­ing for defense con­trac­tor Loral Elec­tron­ics (today part of Lock­heed Mar­tin) on ‘com­put­er com­po­nents for Navy RADAR sys­tems,’ dreamed up the idea of home video games, which he termed ‘inter­ac­tive TV-based enter­tain­ment.’. . . .”

The Hollywood/Pentagon/gaming indus­try syn­the­sis is epit­o­mized by the Insti­tute of Cre­ative Tech­nolo­gies:

” . . . . The answer lies in Mari­na Del Rey, Cal­i­for­nia, at the Insti­tute for Cre­ative Tech­nolo­gies (ICT), a cen­ter with­in the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USC) sys­tem. There, in 1999, the military’s grow­ing obses­sion with video games moved to a new lev­el when Sec­re­tary of the Army Louis Caldera signed a five-year, $45-mil­lion con­tract with USC to cre­ate ICT, says the center’s Web site, ‘to build a part­ner­ship among the enter­tain­ment indus­try, army and acad­e­mia with the goal of cre­at­ing syn­thet­ic expe­ri­ences so com­pelling that par­tic­i­pants react as if they are real.’. . .”

The video game/Pentagon rela­tion­ship has evolved into a fusion of the two: “. . . . The rest fol­lowed, lead­ing to the cur­rent con­tin­u­ous mil­i­tary gaming/simulation loop where com­mer­cial video games are adopt­ed as mil­i­tary train­ing aids and mil­i­tary sim­u­la­tors are reengi­neered into civil­ian gam­ing mon­ey mak­ers in all sorts of strange and con­fus­ing ways. . . .”

Author Turse looked ahead (in 2008) and fore­saw a future that, to a dis­turb­ing extent, has become real­i­ty: ” . . . . Cer­tain­ly, the day is not far off when most poten­tial U.S. troops will have grown up play­ing com­mer­cial video games that were cre­at­ed by the mil­i­tary as train­ing sim­u­la­tors; will be recruit­ed, at least in part, through video games; will be test­ed, post-enlist­ment, on advanced video game sys­tems; will be trained using sim­u­la­tors, which will lat­er be turned into video games, or on recon­fig­ured ver­sions of the very same games used to recruit them or that they played kids; will be taught to pilot vehi­cles using devices resem­bling com­mer­cial video game con­trollers; and then, after a long day of real-life war-gam­ing head back to their quar­ters to kick back and play the lat­est PlaySta­tion or Xbox games cre­at­ed with or spon­sored by their own, or anoth­er, branch of the armed forces. . . .”