Monthly Archives: February 2019

A new “Baghdad Bob” moment?

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

Many of you are watching now and praying for the people of Venezuela.  Reports coming in of failed attempts to get humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people, and repeated photos of Maduro and his generals/bodyguards hanging on defiantly, are enough to make good people want to tear their hair out, wondering what is coming next.

Despite assurances of amnesty and freedom to the military of that country by the incoming president, and by our president, only a few defections are being reported.   With the top “brass” still in place, the lower level military officers seem to be holding with Maduro.   And, you are scared.

Actually, we have seen this before.  There is a predictable similarity amongst dictators.   They are driven by money and power, and use any means necessary to keep themselves and a small, close group protecting them safe.   Basically, they are all cowards–albeit deadly–and they all appear to study each other’s play books.

Therefore I think we are witnessing a “Baghdad Bob” moment, and the Venezuela ordeal is nearly over.  If you remember when the US and allies invaded  Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, the world quivered in fear–believing his onerous propaganda about the power and loyalty of his almighty Republican Guard.

You may also remember we were treated daily with broadcast messages from his propaganda officer, Baghdad Bob.   Bob claimed daily that Saddam was safe, in charge, and unrelenting, and that the Iraqi military would crush all attackers.  I remember noting however that, as the days went on, Baghdad Bob’s message became very repetitive, as if he were being fed a script.

In fact, he was.  Saddam and others who would have faced death if they were to be captured had one by one been escaping from Baghdad.  Their money was moved, and they independently slipped away in the dark of night.   But, they left a shadow communication system which made it appear that the power structure was totally in tact, undaunted by the invasion.

If I remember, Baghdad Bob ultimately was caught, pathetically reporting prepared lies of just how well the Iraqi forces were doing, and how badly the Americans were suffering.   He kept doing this in an almost empty city, with an empty palace–his lone voice reporting lies daily.

Our military figured it out fairly quickly.   They could hear his broadcast and knew full well that what he was describing was not what they were experiencing.   I’m not even sure Baghdad Bob knew he had been thrown under the bus, left to report prerecorded messages and blustering threats from Saddam.

Eventually, the middle and lower level military officers realized that there was in fact no one on post at the highest levels–that the senior military officers had flown the coup, leaving repetitive and truly unresponsive instructions to the field commanders.   Once they realized that their senior officers and the tyrant commanding them had fled to save their own skins, the military laid down its arms, and defections were massive.

The resulting implosion occurred swiftly, and we all remember the film of Iraqi citizens flooding into the streets, tearing down the statue of Saddam Hussein.

Well, my opinion is that the same thing is occurring in Venezuela as we speak.   I believe Maduro has sent his money somewhere.   He may have already secured his exile location, and his senior military protectors have saved their sorry behinds as well.

Some lower level military have turned sides, trying to save themselves and their families as the new regime seems poised to eventually prevail.   But, as soon as the lower level field commanders realize they are receiving orders from “ghosts” who have already saved themselves, I expect we will see an implosion, and complete cessation of the military’s opposition.

My reasoning, you may ask?  I doubt I am the only one who has noticed that all the recent photos seem to be the same.   They show Maduro and his closest henchmen, but it seems to be the same picture.   So, either we have extraordinarily lazy journalists who can’t find anything other than their stock file photo to show the world, or there is a “Baghdad Bob” showing the dictator, as they want him to be perceived by the rank and file military, and the rest of the world.

If that is the case, it won’t be long before the men on the ground realize that they have been abandoned, left with the dirty work of preventing aid from reaching a starving people.   All while the real war criminals are arranging, or have already arranged, their exit strategy.  Once that realization has happened, I predict we will see them, too, lay down their arms, and rejoin their families.

In the novel, “White King and the Doctor” I laid out the escape mechanisms of  Ayman Al-Zawahiri (Al Qaeda’s mastermind), Bin Laden, all of them.   With years worth of prerecorded audio and video, they felt they could fool the world’s best into thinking they were still in Afghanistan, and even still alive.  That fictitious scenario seems to be true, and real.

So, it will be interesting to find Venezuela’s “Baghdad Bob.”  I wonder if Maduro actually threw him under the bus, or whether he too has escaped using the ruse?   Time will tell.

Either way, the Venezuelan military will soon be reunited with their families.  That, I think, will be good news.

The Need to Be Right

Published / by Lee Kessler / 2 Comments on The Need to Be Right

We all have a need to be right.  It’s a trait of human nature that we desire to be right: in our opinions, our work, our assessments and evaluations, our actions, our choice of friends, work places, politicians, housing locations, mates…the list is endless.

And certainly it is a good thing to be right.   None of us is perfect however.   Within that simple statement lies a hidden truth.   Since we know somehow that we are not perfect and don’t want to be held to that standard, we are forced to admit that as much as we desire to be right–maybe even need to be right–we are sometimes wrong.

So, rather than face with consternation and denial that we sometimes err in our judgment and actions, I would like to suggest that just as we have a need to be right, we must also be willing to be wrong.   Notice that I said “willing” to be wrong.   We don’t have to like it.   We don’t have to make excuses.   We don’t have to jump for joy at our mistakes and miscalculations.   But, we must be willing at times to acknowledge that we were wrong, in order to thereafter get to the truth of a matter, or on to success and happiness in a matter.

Therefore, if new facts or data proven factual surface, even if that data contradicts our impassioned and entrenched “positions,” we may at times in our lives have to slow down, take a deep breath, suck it up and say, “I was wrong.”

In the coming weeks and months in the year ahead, I believe we collectively as a nation are going to find ourselves in a position where some of us are going to have to be big enough to admit egregious errors in the political arena.

I am not speaking of Democrat vs. Republican. I am, however, speaking of an attack upon our Republic, and all of us as voting citizens.  And our emotional acceptance of that attack has allowed an undermining force–a Fifth Column–to nearly overthrow our government.  What do I mean, you ask?

Evidence is mounting and surfacing every day now–backed up not by “rumor” or “innuendo,” but rather by emails, letters, texts, and testimony under oath–that a group of men and women in our government, not elected by the people–but whose arrogance and self-espoused superiority surpasses any elected officials in my lifetime–have conspired to overturn an election, and the vote of the American people.

The danger is that this time the target might be a politician you don’t like.   And you don’t care what happens.   You should.   Because only the people of the United States can elect the men and women in Washington.  Only the people elect a President. So, rather than turn a blind eye to what will be coming into harsh daylight, scrutinize it.   For, if we don’t, next time it will be done to a politician you do like.   The target was never the politician.   The target was you.  It’s time to be prepared to be wrong.

In 2004 I commenced a journey of investigation and art to see if I could identify why we are being torn apart from within.   The journey resulted in the White King Trilogy, which is regarded as prescient.   Almost prophetic, each book was written before the situations became visible in real life.   But, the national nightmare we are living through today was forecast in those novels.   The fact that I have been proven “right” does not give me much solace.   Frankly, I would have preferred to have been “wrong.”

Not even I, however, could put my finger on the “Who”–the personnel that intend to run things from the shadows since you, they feel, are incapable of running things in the light of day.   They lurk in a subterranean world, empowered by your tax dollars, and protected by their “impeccable reputations” and “credentials.”

Yet, like any criminal, their goal is mainly self-preservation.  The sad thing for them now is that like any cabal, once an investigator starts closing in on one person, that person may throw the rest to the wolves to save himself.   The conspiracy begins to unravel, and the conspirators feed on themselves.

Since my analysis proved dead on accurate in  my books, I want to reveal to you now that one additional piece of research thread I was pursuing up to the present, just to satisfy me, has led ironically to a collision course with individuals who soon will be visible to you–but in a different light from how you perceived them in the past.

I decided to put a stake in the ground right now, and call them out.   I am willing to be wrong on this.   Only the coming months and years will establish whether my analysis was also correct on these individuals and their goals–as accurate as it was on the villains in the trilogy.  To be honest, I would rather be wrong.   But, sadly, I don’t think I am.   Every day, the new information surfacing has been confirming suspicions and analysis. This last two years’ incessant harping by the Media on “Investigate! Investigate!’ has bommeranged now.   One has to be careful what one wishes for.   The investigations happened all right, but they are revealing a very different picture.

So, here are a few of the names I want to identify as “players” or “unwitting pawns” in a horrific play. Some you may know, some you may not know.   And some, even I have not identified by name–only by agency. I only suggest that as you read this list, if you doubt it, read The White King Trilogy.   I challenge you to do that.

Here they are, in no particular order.   Players or pawns?  We will discover soon enough: The former director of Australia’s equivalent to our CIA; the current director of Britain’s equivalent to our NSA, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, FBI counsel James Baker, Rod Rosenstein, James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, Jeff Sessions, the former director of the DNC and Congresswoman from Florida, Christopher Steele, Glen Simpson, Fusion GPS, Bruce and Nellie Ohr, at least one FISA court judge, the Clinton Campaign, and at least two journalists who know they are releasing Black Propaganda, and whose finances, in my humble opinion, need to be investigated.

In “White King and the Doctor,” I theorized that the real life mastermind of Al-Qaeda used steganography ( a way of hiding a picture within a picture) as his means of communicating with his Propaganda Chief, the Public Relations officer Samir Taghavi.   Sending what looked like computer graphics designed for advertising campaigns, Samir had a secret computer program to reveal the encrypted picture hidden within.   Anyone looking at the document would assume it was just proposed images for public relations.  Instead, the man known as “The Doctor” was conveying specific instructions to his lead operative in Europe and the United States.   Those instructions expose the Fifth Column.

We Americans have had a “picture” continually painted for us with relentless passion for two years. Hidden within that picture of seductive lies is the truth.   And the “Truth” picture is surfacing every day, every week.  Once fully visible, you will know the magnitude of the misdirection and misinformation campaign waged against you.  However, the annoying thing about Truth– from the point of view of the Liar– is that it opens the door to a handling.   Once visible, the Good People line up, and the illusion that existed on the surface evaporates, as does the power of those who covered up Truth.

We are in for turbulent times.  These men, whichever ones actually turn out to be involved, will not give up easily.   They have already lost.   But, like a mortally wounded dragon, the tail flipping around in death throes can still do a great deal of damage.

Hang on everybody.





The “Identity Politics” Conundrum

Published / by Lee Kessler / 1 Comment on The “Identity Politics” Conundrum

Have you noticed that those who base their identity on  their race,  their gender, or their religion etc.,–and therefore base, almost robotically, their decisions on that one identity–often seem to be the most confused person in the discussion or debate?   Have you witnessed them become progressively more agitated when you try to solve a problem through a set of logics beyond simple “identity”?   Do they sometimes seem to be stuck or trapped in a limited or narrow alley, with their argument restrained and weakened by their “identity?”  I have.   And I watch smart, good, well-intentioned people be less effective  than they otherwise would be.

So, the question is:   How does that happen?

This is not a Blog on indoctrination.   That’s covered by other columnists.   What I want to do is illustrate that the dilemma comes when we see ourselves through one “identity.”   In fact, we are ourselves, and we are members of a family.   But we are also all members of groups.  As a group member, we want to help that group towards its goals.   Herein lies the confusion.

We are not just a member of one group.   We are a member of just one birth family, but we are a member of multiple groups, and the confusion comes from trying to decide who you want to be, if the groups you are part of are colliding.

Let’s take an example:   I am a woman.   My friend HM is a woman.  We share that group and the interest and goals of women.   But, I am also white.  She is black.   So, we do not share the same group related to race.   If the conflict is defined as black vs. white, which so much of politics has degraded to today, how do she and I decide?  One white woman and one black woman.   Do we act according to our race, and ignore the other group called women?  Do we engage in conflict with each other because of our identity as black and white? Or do we try to decide based upon what is best for all women, and not just the women of our color?

But suppose also I tell you that my friend and I share another group.   We are both Californians.  So, we are both members of that decidedly unique group defined by our state’s boundaries.   So, what race and what gender do we support politically in California?  Do we support our state if an issue conflicts with one of the other identities?  Do we support our state if women from another state have an issue with California? Which “identity” is premier.

And we are also both entrepreneurs.   Suppose a racial group, or ethnic group, or state decides that it is hostile to our business and wants to force us to act in ways that would be detrimental to our business.  To make matters even worse, suppose a white man from Kansas brings a solution for our business issues.   What does my friend do about the helper being white?   What do we both do about the fact he’s a male?   What do we do with the fact he comes from “flyover country?”

What do we do if he is attacked for his religion–especially if his religion is different from ours?   So, does a black female Buddhist Californian support a white, male, Christian from the Midwest?  Does a white female Californian support a white, male, Christian from Kansas?

Worse yet we are members of different parties.   Two are Republican.   One is Democrat.

We three–the Kansas hero, my friend, and I–are all Americans.   Boy, this is probably starting to make your head spin.   How do I choose?   From which “identity” do I speak?  Which group do I support singularly, at the expense of the others?  Who do I attack, at the expense of the others?

Well, if my friend and I are sane and rational we will ignore all the noise, and support the people and actions that do the greatest amount of good, for the greatest number.  If we are instead insistent on shrilly screaming from only the point of view of our race, our gender, or our party, then we have a terrible, almost pretzel-like confusion.   We are torn, and no matter what we espouse, we seem to be serving only one group, one identity.  We help the one, and potentially harm the others.

The reality is that though we are in fact a unique individual, we are all members of multiple groups, some of which conflict, but almost all of which overlap in some ways.   Ex. the white woman/black woman.   The Christian man/the Jewish man.  The male Republican/the male Democrat.   You can do endless examples for yourself based on careers, community involvement, parental status, income strata, gym memberships, charitable organizations, churches, schools…

But, In our hearts, I think we know that all of us are members of the largest group of all–Mankind.   These others are all sub-groups.   More importantly, we are not just one “identity.”   We are multiple “identities”– part of many groups–and we set the priorities.   Perhaps it is easier to assume just one, and ignore all the others.   That eliminates the need to understand anyone else, or any other point of view.  We might be smaller and less wise because of that choice, but surely we can take solace in hiding behind the “identity” talking points of our lone “identity.”

I doubt it.   And that’s my parting gift to you–that doubt!!

What Every Parent Knows: the Fallacy of Socialism

Published / by Lee Kessler / Leave a Comment

If you are a parent, or if you remember what you did to your parents, you can understand basic economics, and sort out the fallacy of Socialism.   Apparently this “ism” is rearing its ugly head again, even in the halls of Congress.   Every generation wrangles this beast to the ground.   So, let’s go at it again–from a different perspective.

The reason Socialism has failed in every country it has ever been tried in, and has brought those countries to their knees economically, has to do with a fundamental truth that sometimes gets obscured in all the political rhetoric and ideology.

The truth is this:   What you reward, you get more of.   What you penalize you get less of.  That is a truth, and every parent and child knows it.  Parents, recall a time when your child pitched a fit in a restaurant or out in public.  One so intense and loud and enduring that you just “had to quiet them” to stem the embarrassment of disrupting others.   So, you gave them a candy, or stopped doing what you were doing and put all your attention on them.   You coddled and cooed them into being quiet.   And at that moment you rewarded a “down stat” or bad behavior.   And the moment you rewarded it with food, cuddles, kisses, or money, you set the stage and virtually guaranteed yourself that another temper tantrum would ensue the next time the child wanted something.   You rewarded a tantrum, so you get more tantrums.   Eventually you learned not to do that, and you endured an excruciating amount of shrill screams until the child eventually learned that you would not reward that behavior any more.

Likewise, if your child came home with money he had earned by selling “homemade widgets” in the neighborhood because he wanted to earn money to buy a bicycle, and you forced him to share his profit with his brother, who stayed home playing computer games, you just penalized his initiative and activity.  Now he has less interest in making things, selling things, earning things.  You get less of the behavior that would make him a functioning, contributing adult, and you get two kids lying on their beds playing computer games.   That is followed by years of you cajoling both of them, trying to get them to “show some ambition.”

It’s pretty simple.   If someone produces, you reward it some way, and you will get more production.   If someone fails to produce, you deny them somehow, and you will get less of the failure.   You “penalize” the bad behavior, and you get less of it.  (Now you know I am not talking about child abuse, and beatings.  You are smarter than that.)   That production can be job-related, as in someone producing more product, sales, or profit; it can be emotional stability; it can be getting great grades; it can be sanity; it can be health; it can be harmony; it can be truthfulness…. you can add in any that come to mind.   If it’s good, reward it.   If it’s bad, penalize it.

Now, for example, take news agencies whose anchors and reporters on an almost daily basis make huge and potentially catastrophic misstatements of facts.   Getting it wrong is not something that should be rewarded.   It should be penalized.   One would think you can make one or two honest mistakes, but when it seems to be your regular approach to journalism, you should be fired.   Instead, they are rewarded with higher pay, and celebrity status.   And you wonder why the next network, or newspaper, suddenly finds itself with false reporting.   What you reward you get more of.

Conversely, if a journalist tries to straighten out his colleagues and honestly report something he feels has been misrepresented, he is held up to public humiliation, demoted and/or fired.  Good behavior was penalized.   What does that teach everyone?

I remember once calling a business mentor of mine to discuss something I was very upset about.   When she came on the phone, I was crying, and speaking forcefully in heated emotion about the situation, and some people I wanted to complain about.   She calmly said, “Lee, call me back when you are in a better mood, and we will discuss it.”   And she hung up.

After getting over my pout session, I realized she was right.   My behavior was unprofessional, and guaranteed to produce more upset with her and others.   So, she did not reward it with sympathy, attention, or anything else.   She held me to a standard of professionalism.  I got my act together, called her back, and discussed the very real situation like the adult I was, and like the professional she was.   We worked out a solution, and went on our way.

And I never did that again.   She rewarded my good behavior as an executive with attention and insight.   She denied my bad behavior.   And, I became a wiser, better leader.

Now I challenge you to look at Socialism through that prism.   What does it reward?   If it penalizes production you will get less production–thus a declining economy and then the  declining wealth of every citizen ultimately.   By rewarding the non-producer with something he has not earned, you get more non-production.

Pretty simple, actually.   Now–call your Congressmen and women and educate them please.   And if they won’t listen to you, fire them.