Stratfor’s Global Forecast: Myopia or Neoconservative Manipulation?

The U.S. military elite once identified with the historical American nation and saw its mission as defending it in addition to defending the state that the nation had created (see Kevin MacDonald’s review of Joseph Bendersky [2000], The ‘Jewish Threat’. Anti-Semitic Politics of the U.S. Army). The military was realistic about minority interests.

Times have changed. Now the Department of Defense is one of the most politically correct institutions in the United States, proactively subservient to minority interests. Cadets at West Point are served up much the same distorted social science as civilian students. There is a close working relationship with America’s “ally” Israel. Much of the neoconservative effort to manipulate the U.S. into the Iraq quagmire came from DoD under the administration of G. W. Bush and his Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

In this article I show that the neocon influence goes deeper.

One reason this is important is that conservative Americans, overwhelmingly White, see the military as a bastion of political realism. That goes a long way to explaining the popularity among conservatives of the private intelligence firm Stratfor. The Stratfor website describes its readership as “worldly and savvy” and an “elite audience of affluent, informed users” with an average income of $150,000. It began operating in 1996. Names that come up are Founder and CEO George Friedman (on geopolitics), Fred Burton and Scott Stewart (on security).

Stratfor presents views that are respectable in Defense Department circles. Friedman’s Wikipedia entry describes a close working relationship with the elite U.S. military:

Prior to joining the private sector, Friedman spent almost twenty years in academia, teaching political science at Dickinson College. During this time he also regularly briefed senior commanders in the armed services as well as the Office of Net Assessments, SHAPE Technical Center, the U.S. Army War College, National Defense University and the RAND Corporation on security and national defense matters. … Friedman was an early designer of computerized war games. In 1994 he founded the Center for Geopolitical Studies at Louisiana State University, which engaged in integrated economic, political and military modeling and forecasting. The Center was the only non-governmental organization that was at that time granted access to Joint Theater Level Simulation by the Joint Warfighting Center.

This military connection is attractive to conservatives as is Stratfor’s willingness to say politically incorrect things, like distinguishing between important and unimportant countries, acknowledging America’s economic and military leadership, and exposing other countries’ attempts to limit that leadership. Its hard realism is its selling point. That is what makes Stratfor sexy to patriots.

Understandably, conservatives disapprove of other countries’ attempts to hem in the United States, to restrict its sovereignty by making it obedient to international bodies in which tin pot dictators have an equal vote. It is indeed refreshing to read seemingly hard-headed analyses that expose such manoeuvres. However Stratfor does not appear so impressive when viewed from a perspective informed about ethnic differences and the realities of ethnic contestation in the United States.

Stratfor’s analysis is so poor in that regard that it being taken seriously by conservatives can be taken as symptomatic of pathology in the political culture. Consider the recently released Stratfor projections for the next decade.

Stratfor’s predictions capture some major trends, for example the shuffling of coalitions by weaker countries trying to control the U.S. The crisis of ageing industrial populations is also important, as is the winding-down of Jihadism, though I think the latter will be chronic until Israeli aggression is tamed. Friedman predicts the secession of America’s southwestern states and their joining Mexico. The cause? Large scale Mexican immigration to the region, the rising economic power of Mexico, and its festering resentment over the U.S. conquest of its territory.

Stratfor’s prediction of China’s economic stagnation by 2015 is less clear. Something is missing something there, especially China’s disciplined mercantile policy directed by an astute and authoritarian government and served by a hardworking and intelligent population, the large scale transfer of scientific, technological and industrial knowledge and jobs from the West, and the resulting $2 trillion in foreign reserves. My own expectation is that China will experience major civil unrest but that its economy will keep bounding ahead. Nationalism will continue to replace Marxism as the legitimating ideology. The best formula for hindering China would be to convince it to emulate America’s policies of open-door immigration and systematic subordination of the majority ethnic group.

The China question opens the door to what is lacking in Stratfor’s report. If Stratfor really is staffed by hard realists who ignore the ideological fluff of the left wing media, why do they not factor into their assessments the immense role of K-selected populations versus r-selected? Is it not relevant to geopolitics that in the next century sub-Saharan African economies will remain a basket case, the Malay and Hindu countries will be a mixed bag, while populations derived from Europe and East Asia will be the most dynamic and wealthiest? From the same perspective, it is a sure bet that the racial diversification of the United States and Europe will bring greater inequality and internal divisions. The Stratfor report has nothing to say about this. It treats replacement-level immigration as a plus for the economy and little more. That is obtuse or dishonest.

Stratfor commits a more obvious omission. Its analysts are right to point to the U.S.’s great power, both economic and military, but there is no discussion (none!) of the shift of ethnic power within the United States and its profound implications for foreign and immigration policy. Yet they have a large section on the Middle East, as if this is divorced from America’s ethnic scene in which Jews have risen to preeminence over the last several decades. Samuel Huntington and others (e.g. Mearsheimer and Walt) have pointed out for many years that the Israel Lobby is distorting American foreign policy. This is not a new reality.

Also not mentioned is Israel’s substantial direction of U.S. Mideast foreign policy via its agents of influence in the organized Jewish community. These omissions are sufficient to categorise Stratfor as neoconservative.

To reiterate, conservatives like Stratfor because of its realism in general and its exposure of attempts to constrict U.S. sovereignty in particular. Yet Stratfor systematically avoids mentioning the most prominent example of U.S. subservience — to Israel externally and to the formidable Jewish lobby internally. The failure to conduct an even-handed and prudent foreign policy in the Middle East is promoted by the same elite Jewish activism that has played such a large role in disabling the country’s normal immune reaction to massive alien immigration. Other disgruntled minorities are involved, but since the early 20th century, the organised Jewish community has taken the lead and enabled them financially, legally, and in the media.

This is a well-documented reality that is relevant to geopolitics. Why does Stratfor not even hint at it?  

A likely reason is Stratfor’s connection to the activist Jewish community. Its reports are favoured by Jewish publications, for example J. (“The Premier Source for Jewish and Israeli News and Commentary”). A column by Friedman has been regularly published in Jewish World Review beginning in 2005 (see, e.g., his article “Next Pope could, and maybe should, be a Third-Worlder.” The articles are run with the Stratfor logo below Friedman’s name. This example is typical of the attitude towards Western identity one finds in Stratfor reports.

A Stratfor article in January 2009 argued that, despite their rhetoric, Arab regimes really supported Israel’s punitive invasion of the Gaza strip begun in late 2008 which inflicted many civilian casualties and was condemned by a UN report for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Stratfor article gave the impression that the invasion was not a war crime.

Stratfor reports also appear in mainstream non-ethnic media, such as Barron’s, the BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, Fox News, the New York Times and Reuters. But the popularity among Jewish publications is striking.

Wikipedia also signals Friedman’s robust Jewish identity. He is categorised as a Jewish writer. His parents were Jewish. He was born in Hungary from where his parents’ fled communist rule to the U.S. This combined with his early scholarly focus on Marxism indicates a typical neoconservative outlook. Friedman’s first book was The Political Philosophy of the Frankfurt School (1981). A review by Anthony Giddens reports that the book has some affinities with Marxist critiques of Horkheimer, Adorno et al., although Friedman considers the Frankfurt School to have been right wing (!) and is favourable towards it on that basis (see review here).

George Friedman

The idea that the Frankfurt School was right wing is the controversial aspect of Friedman’s analysis: that although they saw themselves as Marxists, Frankfurt School thinkers were in fact so radical in their critique of bourgeois culture, so pure in their drive to defend humanity from capitalist instrumental rationalism, that unlike conventional scientific socialists they sought to rescue the aesthetic and sacred from capitalism’s relentlessly profane functionalism. So radical were Horkheimer and Adorno (especially) that they completed the circle and drew on rightist anti-bourgeois thought, including de Sade, Nietzsche and Spengler.  However Friedman did not wonder why these strongly identified Jews did not sympathise with economic nationalism — an important strand of anti-capitalist thought or with the views of Werner Sombart who argued in his 1911 book The Jews and Modern Capitalism that Jews were the most successful practitioners of the capitalist mode of production. Why did they dwell almost exclusively on Jewish scholars such as Marx and Freud?

A more direct route to redefining Horkheimer and Adorno as rightist would be to emphasise their tribalism, the fact that their ethnocentrism drove their philosophy and choice of enemies and allies. This is one interpretation of Kevin MacDonald’s analysis of the Frankfurt School as a Jewish intellectual movement. Thus their efforts to shame Westerners and to overturn all but Jewish racism and nationalism could be interpreted with some plausibility as a form of tribalism or ethnic activism.

Whichever route Friedman took to categorise such thinkers as rightwing, it is a dubious credential for his claim to be an American conservative. Neither should real conservatives be content with this ideological background unless it is convincingly repudiated. The opposite is true. Friedman’s reports deviate from conservative realism wherever they touch on Jewish interests. Even his critique of Israeli settler extremism is couched in terms of what is good for Israel (“Jewish Extremists: A Growing Threat to Israel’s Security”). He does not categorise mainstream Israeli politics and its army of American Jewish contributors as extreme compared to the Western mainstream while simultaneously portraying transformative Third World immigration to the United States and Europe as an unavoidable and beneficial fact of life. Friedman predicts continuing American dominance partly because of its large size and small population density compared to Japan and Germany. This means that the U.S. can accommodate long term population growth via immigration. In addition, the U.S. is much better at making immigrants welcome. The result is that its population will not fall as will that of European powers, including Russia and Germany and that will allow it to remain vigorous economically (see here at about 4 minute mark). In case TOO readers think I’m exaggerating, here is a quote from that youtube interview, starting at 4:15:

The European countries have particular problems not only because their birthrate is plunging but because they are very bad at managing immigration. They don’t integrate very well. The birthrate of the White native population of North America, the United States, has actually plunged. The reason American population is rising is because of immigrants who are reproducing at a much higher rate. The United States is very good, for all the noise about Mexicans, at integrating immigrants. And that means we have a stability in the United States that you might not notice in Europe or Japan.

Friedman went on to note that Germany was projected to lose 20% of its population by 2030, and that Russia was even worse off. He concluded that they would not be able to maintain their position, unlike America with its stable population. (Curiously Friedman maintained this view despite also predicting in the same interview that the U.S. could lose Texas and New Mexico and perhaps other states as Mexican-Americans sought to reunite with Mexico.)

There it is. A “conservative” analyst, a cold realist, contends that White Americans being replaced by Mexicans will not affect the country’s wealth or power. Several objections come to mind but consider just one. In their groundbreaking book Intelligence and the Wealth of Nations (2002), Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen show that 50% of the international variance in per capita GDP and economic growth is explained by the average IQ of populations. Mexican IQ averages around 13 points below that of White Americans. This is a long-term trend as shown by the similar IQ of Hispanic Americans who have experienced good nutrition and American culture for generations.

Is that not a fact of staggering geopolitical import? But you will not find it or other relevant and well established facts about racial differences mentioned in Stratfor’s reports. Nor could I find a case where Dr. Friedman applied his iron logic to Israel, whose immigration policy contrasts with America’s near open door. Israel admits only people of Jewish descent and is excruciatingly conscious of the rising Arab population within its borders. Perhaps Stratfor has a paper recommending that Israel dispense with its dream of remaining a Jewish state by opening its doors to the world. When it shows up I shall inform TOO readers.

This has been a critique of Stratfor’s Jewish bias, which mars a generally conservative, realist record. It is understandable that conservatives are attracted to that record. For example, in his recent book, The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century, Friedman projects the breakup of the Russian Federation and the dismembership of China. He thinks that Siberia and central Eurasia will witness struggles for independence. These predictions are based on national histories, economics and other factors. Whether or not they come true, Friedman’s arguments are impressive.

Also Friedman nicely punctures the aura of rectitude and heroism surrounding the Washington Post’s exposé of President Nixon’s involvement in Watergate. He wrote the article in 2008 after the death of Mark Felt, the operational head of the FBI at the time. Friedman argues persuasively that the Post distorted the public’s understanding of Nixon’s fall when it agreed to protect Felt’s identity:

The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. That simply wasn’t what happened. Instead, it was about the FBI using The Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and The Washington Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat’s identity.

The same analytic ability turned to revealing the realities of global population differences and ethnic power in the United States would make Stratfor’s prognoses more accurate and a service to the historical American nation. Instead, in the realm of ethnic power, far from being an agency for informing patriots Stratfor is complicit in the cultural war being waged against White America.

Charles Dodgson (email him) is the pen name of an English social analyst.

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