Putin and the fighter pilot

In The Tao of Vladimir Putin, I connected Putin’s mindset to that of Eastern philosophy, underscoring his integrity.

With Bucha, the recent fake massacre story invented by the SBU and CIA and their fellow fascists, what I have written becomes more relevant, for this event, like Saddam’s fake WMD underscores the importance of integrity in war and why you cannot lie your way to victory.

The US propaganda machine is huge, sophisticated and powerful — but it is still propaganda. Yes, “the truth will out”.

Getting caught in a lie undermines “morale”, the bond of trust that is the glue of all organizations from small companies up to empires.

Which is why the US won Iraq in the first few weeks and then lost the trust of its people — and much of the world — for all time. War is more than physical. Nobody much likes America except Americans, and they mostly don’t either.

Bucha tells us that Putin’s “operation” is almost over. Propaganda events like this usually occur at the end of a war, when one side has lost, as the case with Okinawa in WWII. But now, Russia has the Ukraine in a missile lock.

40 Second Boyd

To understand all this, we have to look at the greatest military strategist of the 20th Century — and one of the greatest of all time — fighter pilot John Boyd, known as 40 Second Boyd .

Boyd had a standing challenge to any and all comers that he, starting from a position of disadvantage, could win in 40 seconds. Legend has it that he never had to buy beer. Boyd had limited combat experience in Korea. Never fired his guns. Yet he revolutionized not just fighter combat but military theory — not just for war — but as conflict theory for all areas of life.

Boyd was one of those rare people with the Da Vinci trait — an autodidact and polymath. He taught himself higher mathematics and advanced statistical analysis, aerodynamics and design, game theory and physics while studying Sun Tzu, and a range of philosophers and military strategists. He helped invent E-M Theory, developed the concept for the most successful fighter jet in US history — -the F16 — and developed the Maneuver Combat strategy that won the First Gulf War. His theory of the OODA loop was revolutionary and taught in MBA courses as a universal theory of competition and conflict, not that anyone in the West actually understands it.

A “grateful nation” rewarded Boyd by ignoring ins accomplishments. He received no medals, no commendations. Never rose beyond Colonel and lived close to poverty. Boyd didn’t care — for him, integrity was wealth.It is for Putin, too.

zSun Tzu?

Boyd took Sun Tzu’s theory of war and updated it.

He defined war in three aspects.

Physical or military, of course. Killing people.

Mental, which means altering the enemy’s perceptions of events through information and communications. Winning minds.

Finally, Morale which means negatively breaking down the human bonds and trust that are the glue of any organization . Positively, winning hearts.

As I indicated in The Tau of Vladimir Putin, Western thinking is linear, taxonomic and deductive, meaning that it moves from a theory — too often taken as an axiomatic premise or truth — to particularities, which are cherry picked as proof. This is mostly a faith-based approach which developed from Judeo Christian belief — it is not scientific skepticism where premises are tested and scientists look for contradictions or disproof.

Oriental logic, by contrast, is not religious in its origins nor scientific as we understand it — but pragmatic, focused on this world rather than on a putative heaven; it is a response to what-is, and what-is-not — rather than would we want-it-to-be.

So, it is inductive, staring from particularity, acknowledging contradictions, reconciling them and developing workable strategies rather than ‘theory” or “proof”. The West is always inside the box, with a top in place. The East has boxes too but they look beyond. And no top.

In war, the West, or rather the USA, which controls the “West”, thinks of military power too often in terms of the glitzy popular symbols of strength — big aircraft carriers, hi-tech aircraft and systems, alliances and bases all over the place, regardless of whether these have specific applications or actual usefulness. This disconnect from reality predicates Mental Warfare as propaganda, disinformation, dirty tricks, and disruption of communications — smoke and mirrors. But propaganda only really works with your own people.

Morale warfare for the West is an extension of Mental warfare, with an emphasis on deception. Again, it relies upon propaganda — but, as mentioned, that rarely works on anyone but your own. And even then its effects are transient. Morale depends on Moral.

In other words, warfare in the Western mind is in the mind. It’s a game. It is not existential. Which is natural because the USA has never experienced an existential war, which threatens the nation as a whole. US losses in any of the wars since the civil War have been minimal.

In the East — Eurasia — wars are existential. Reality intrudes. Propaganda is not misunderstood as information; rather, it is symbolic. Nobody in Russia or China believes what the government says reflexively, as Americans tend to do — but they trust their governments more than in the West because social “morale” is high . Putin and Xi keep their word, deliver real world benefits and continually demonstrate they care.

The Empire of Lies

While for Russians, your word is your bond, for the US, it is an opening gambit.

No nation in history, including the Third Reich, has been so deceptive nor broken so many agreements willy-nilly, flouting international law and the principles of justice — assuming it can control information through propaganda and manipulation of the media.

But information leaks. Which is why the USA must try to destroy whistleblowers like Assange or Manning, or even the unfortunate computer repair guy who exposed Hunter Biden’s secrets.

Propaganda as the Instrument of US Policy

The Gulf of Tonkin attack? Saddam’s WMD? Afghanistan “harboring Bin Laden” as cassus belli when it offered to give him up to an international tribunal ? Libya? Syria? Now the Russian “unprovoked invasion” of the Ukraine. Not to mention, “plucky little Ukraine” defending democracy against the forces of Fascist Russia.

No, George Washington never cut down a cherry tree. And “Honest Abe” wasn’t really honest and didn’t like black people.

Already the plotholes are showing in the joint CIA-Ukrainian made for prime-time and social media Bucha video .

While it should be impossible to believe Bucha, given all the glitches, many people will trust the story for a while: not so much because of censorship, although this is also a factor — but primarily because they are conditioned by the entertainment industry to willingly suspend disbelief to accept any official narrative that fits the decor of the box in which they live.

But just about every TV series tends to drop in the ratings over time as people get tired of it and it seems less compelling: “the Ukraine Story” is a one season mini-series. How long its sponsors, the CIA, US State Department, and congressional parasites will support it is unsure. As time goes on fewer and fewer trust the media.

By contrast, the Russians have been honest.

They have done exactly what they said they would. To the extent that the goals of their war, beyond national security of their own state, prioritize civilian safety and preservation of democratic values and the human rights violated by the now clearly defined fascism of the Ukrainian Right, they can win both the Mental War and the Morale War. It is about integrity.

The West lies. Zelensky and his ilk lie. As time goes on, and the fascists over-reach as they have in Eastern Ukraine and now Bucha, ordinary Ukrainians who want peace, security and a better life will welcome what Putin has promised to deliver: freedom.

The Bucha story was invented because, as I have said, Putin won the war militarily in the first week. “De-nazification” has already begun as Ukrainian fascists go out in paroxysms of violence, committing random atrocities that cannot be hidden and subvert the Zelensky narrative.

John Boyd would see this as desperation, an aircraft in his site, trying to avoid the inevitable. Russia has won. And Russia and China will win the same way against the American Empire, which attacked them from a position of advantage, only to see the tables turned.

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More from Julian Macfarlane




Canadian media analyst / writer. 40 years in Japan. Study evolution, psychology, anthropology, zoology, music, art, neurology. I see, think, am.

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Julian Macfarlane

Julian Macfarlane

Canadian media analyst / writer. 40 years in Japan. Study evolution, psychology, anthropology, zoology, music, art, neurology. I see, think, am.

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