In light of the recent assassinations of two NYPD officers amid a general conflict along racial lines, I started thinking about this particular book, which I read a few years back when it came out.
My views about biological differences among humans began to change after I read this book, in part because it encouraged me to re-evaluate the history of civil rights and the Civil War.
The first book that I’m going to review on this topic is called “Tremble the Devil,” written by an anonymous author who claims to be a former NSA worker. You may also read this book, which is partly about terrorism and partly about civil conflict, for free at the author’s site. You can also buy it at the Amazon link below.
The author is apparently going through some financial difficulties, though, and the Kindle edition is well enough put together that it’s worth picking up.
For the first 80% or so, it’s about the phenomenon of terrorism in the context of both history and contemporary Islamic radicalism. That part is not why I’m reviewing it right now: it’s good enough, but plenty of other authors have already covered that territory. While the author is essentially a liberal, he doesn’t deny what Islam is, how it plays into motivating terrorism, and also takes note of the flimsy Western construct known as ‘tolerant’ Islam.
He also brings terrorism into the context of special operations and guerrilla war, but not as well as authors like John Robb or William Lind.
What’s unique about this book is that it brings this analysis into the context of a revised history of the American Civil Rights movement, and the Drug War that followed it. This is made more interesting by the fact that the spook-author published it in 2011, years before the recent spate of race-related chaos.
The author writes:
As the revolutionary decade of the 1960’s found its stride, urban violence in America grew to new heights. Police were regularly acquitted for killing innocent black students, shooting black rioters in the back, and cases that captured the racist injustice of the time came ‘randomly but persistently out of a racism deep in the institutions, the mind of the country.’ Polls showed that nearly half of America’s blacks under the age of twenty-one had great respect for the militant Black Panther Party, and despite some attempts by the white establishment to integrate blacks and provide economic incentives to them the unemployment, crime, drug addiction, and violence that was destroying the black lower class continued to only grow in force.
This, not the integration rhetoric, is what lead to the reaction from the state. That reaction was the Drug War and the ensuing laws, which were used as a pretext to throw enormous quantities of blacks into prison — as he notes, since that legal regime began, America’s incarceration rate has quintupled. At this time, not necessarily for the same reasons, economic outcomes for blacks continued to plummet. The writer sheds some obligatory progressive tears about this, but when he writes on the terrorism issue, he becomes much more compelling.
The author makes a connection between deteriorating economic conditions among Blacks and the growth of the Drug War:
The precise era that saw a drug-law fueled explosion in our prison population, the early 1970s, are the exact same years that the economic situation of blacks began to starkly worsen and that the gap between rich and poor is wrenched wide open. Beginning in those years and continuing into today, “the economic status of black compared to that of whites has, on average, stagnated or deteriorated.” Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller drug laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing. But then that year it changed course, and in ‘an ominous bellwether… the gap between black and white incomes started to grow wider again, in both absolute and relative terms.’
The author doesn’t make the connection between this and the Great Society programs, the breakdown in the Black family, or lower average intelligence among Blacks. Despite this, it’s still a worthwhile observation to make: the Drug War is not about drugs, and is about the reaction that began with Nixon to crime among certain minority populations.
If it were about drugs, as liberals are wont to state, then Whites would be thrown in jail for drug-related crimes at a much higher rate than they are, comparative to their use of drugs. The mass incarceration has been a stop-gap measure to handle the consequences of the banning of segregation. The segregation just moves ‘off the books,’ into the prison system. The entire historical narrative about civil rights is false, and it creates a contradictory pressure point that the radical left has been able to use to their advantage repeatedly.
In 2011, this spy predicted that this would create civil conflict, with Black Muslims like the D.C. Sniper engaging in symbolic and tactical terrorist attacks, using this incarceration of an entire male population as a motive. Given the recent assassinations of NYPD officers by a Black Muslim with those motives, it’s fair to say that this particular spook did some bang-up analysis, regardless of the bleeding heart rhetoric that accompanies it.
The spook-author also connects this tension to the financial crisis — as the ability of the state to pay for mass incarceration declines, the problems that this enormous expenditure covers for (racial conflict) begin to return to the forefront. There is simply not enough money left in the public coffers to continue the prison/welfare state as it exists.
Opinions about whether or not the mass-incarceration police state is a good thing begin to become less relevant: as the police state retracts due to lack of funds and public support, the problem that it came into existence to respond to begins to become more dire. The Drug War is and was a sham, but that sham covered a history and social realities that the general public would rather not have acknowledged.
Libertarians and others may be right to call for an end to the corrupt drug war, but the sham that is that war is essentially the only thing that covers up the unpleasant reality of what diversity plus proximity always leads to: a more general war. The pretenses of post-war America are coming undone.
This book was overlooked when it came out, but it’s worth your time to read it (even if you only read the last 20%) because its predictions and analysis have become suddenly relevant. Read it for free at the link above, or buy it from Amazon at the link below.
“the recent spate of race-related chaos”
Manufactured by the New York Times:
Yes. I also wrote on this topic earlier:
“Up until 1973, the precise year the Rockefeller drug laws were passed, the difference between black and white median income had been closing.”
See accelerated loss of US manufacturing jobs along with Hispanics starting to replace blacks in service jobs. The steel mills, for example, used to hire black ex-cons for dirty but well-paying jobs. Those steel mills either no longer exist or are almost fully automated. They used to be major employers in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Birmingham.
Griggs vs. Duke Power was 1971 also. Those Black ex-cons were being given jobs appropriate to their station and ability.
I’ve, in fact, worked with colorful ex-cons in a warehouse setting. When they’re older, they tend to mellow out, whereas the young pre-cons can be explosive, unpredictable, lazy, and apt to babble about their mix tape.
Griggs made it impossible to run such mills, plus the EPA, plus protectionism under Carter for steel in particular, plus feminism, plus the growing prog hatred of work that caused people’s hands to become dirty, plus Nixon going to China means all those steel mill jobs went to Japan and then to China and elsewhere.
People tend to go wrong by behaving like the blind men with the elephant and jumping onto a single cause for these major shifts.
The general public only has a few bytes of memory available, also, so they can only hold a single fragmentary idea in their minds at one time.
You will see this often with people like radio hosts who repeat a single political complaint over and over and over and over without comprehending anything of the broader context.
Regarding the drug war, Foseti had some similar comments a while back:
I believe Handle wrote something on this general topic earlier this year, also. Thanks for pointing this out.
J Edgar says
Odd. I liked the book until he got on his “racism” kick in the third section when he got into doctrinaire leftism. A couple comments on his book.
1. “Income” does not include government benefits. Black “income” may be dropping, but it is offset by government freebies.
2. The legal difference between “powder” and “crack” cocaine is due to energetic lobbying by black politicians: the CBC, Conyers, Rangel, etc.). They said crack was fundamentally different than powder and that it was racist for the government (read: “white people”) not to crack down on crack. Black leaders (and the author) engage in revisionist history when they recast the very laws they begged Congress to pass as some new white war on black men.
3. A further reason for the explosion in black dope convictions is because they tote (and use) guns and deal dope on the streets where they can be easily seen and from which evidence is easily collected (watch “The Wire”). Black moms and grannies happily call the cops on street-corner dealers. They don’t like the wild shootouts that endanger their children.
4. Perhaps the biggest reason is that black dope dealers/users are just plain stupid. A white stockbroker doing cocaine is (1) employed, and (2) intelligent enough to be careful in his behaviors. Cops bust what they see and what people complain about.
4. As far as the War on Drugs being some premeditated fifty-year-long racist struggle against brown/black people, Remember “Miami Vice”? Machine gun shootouts on the street? Watch “Cocaine Cowboys” to get a sense of the huge cultural changes due to Latino political corruption and dope dealing.
5. Selling vice (whores, dope, booze, guns) has always attracted middleman immigrants (and blacks) looking to make a quick buck. Make it legal and they will just look for another high-margin corrupt/illegal business. We certainly don’t have any low skill/high pay jobs for them any more.
Some reasonable points here, Mr. Hoover.
I don’t really see it as a ‘racist’ struggle so much as a way of handling the unintended consequences of the War on Poverty, desegregation, and Civil Rights.
I read it. Tendentious is the best adjective I have for it. I can’t condemn what he condemns (e.g., the Crusades, America, the American South, Christians….) nor praise what he praises.
Bet that’s a representative opinion at the NSA.
One of the few truly interesting things I got out of the late unlamented Larry’s site was a comment by one of his readers making the point that the drug war and police militarization is simply the inevitable consequence of trying to apply one set of standards to two radically different peoples. There is no means to accomplish this except by rigorous force – you are trying to force one thing into a shape it is not suited for and does not want.
I am not, by any means, pro-cop. I would want them to return to being peace officers – tasked with preventing or handling breaches of the peace – not law enforcement officers – rewarded for hunting down any breach in the law. So long as they are LE, I will not lift a finger in their support. But this change can not happen so long as the society paying them and giving them orders insists on trying to resolve the fundamental contradiction.
Could this simply be solved by restoring Freedom of Association and allowing people to naturally self segregate, along with tossing Griggs and indeed the New Deal/Great Society governance on the ashbin of History?
NB – as you know I don’t expect peaceful resolution or achievement of any of the above, the decision belongs to the Victor.
But would that solve it? Instead of 2 Formal standards. Informal is fine, that’s how most people get along. Remember we can’t simply ignore our Christian and English Fair play impulses that bought us here.
Not established peacefully, not likely to be disestablished peacefully.