Jessica Lynch: The Icon of America’s ‘Happy Place’ ©
Jessica Lynch Was Raped by the Iraqis: Who is Responsible? ©
Gerald L. Atkinson
Copyright 11 November 2003
Introduction: Jessica Lynch’s ‘Happy Place’
The most well-known soldier to participate in the war with Iraq in 2003 is undoubtedly Private Jessica Lynch. The diminutive five-foot, three-inch teenager, weighing less than 105 pounds was a member of the 507th Maintenance Company, which was ambushed in the town of Nasiriyah, Iraq on 23 March 2003. Jessica Lynch was injured in a collision between the Humvee in which she was a passenger and a jackknifed heavy U.S. truck, taken captive by the Iraqi Saddam Fedayeen militia, hospitalized in, first, an Iraqi military hospital near the ambush site and then a civilian hospital in the center of town, rescued by a team of U.S. special forces, Rangers, and Marines, and returned to the United States for medical treatment and, finally, home to Palestine, WV to participate in a festive parade and celebration in her honor.
This well-known episode is described in some detail in the essays at the links, ‘The Lynch Family: Patrick Henry’s People,’ ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army’, and ‘The Mythical Modern American War Hero.’ Now we have the ‘real’ story of Jessica Lynch with the authorized publication of her book, ‘I Am a Soldier Too’ by Rick Bragg and a one and one-half hour Primetime national television interview of Lynch by Diane Sawyer. An analysis of the many details in these two sources are provided in the pages that follow, but the most important idea, concept, or revelation in the book — with serious implications for a much more important set of problems facing our nation than the harrowing escapades of a little blond, blue-eyed girl from West Virginia who joined the Army to see the world (while receiving, to her, an eye-popping $1100 per month) — is presented in the book and the interview. That concept is something Jessica Lynch calls her ‘Happy Place.’
As a little girl, growing up in Palestine, WV, Jessica would escape the reality of stressful things [a] in her young life by “...hiding all day in a refrigerator box.” During Army boot camp, when the drill sergeants embarrassed her and made her angry, she [b] “...hid inside herself just as she hid under the table as a girl, so quiet that she disappeared.” Lynch describes it this way. “What is it that psychiatrists tell you to do, ‘Go to the happy place’? So I went to the happy place.’”
When Jessica awakened in an Iraqi military hospital after being captured, sexually assaulted, beaten and tortured during a three-hour period of semi-consciousness during which she claims to remember nothing, she was suffering horribly from pain and was terrified. According to Lynch, “Even though she was drugged and her mind frayed, she knew the hard, steel gurney was real, that she was not going to wake up in a bunk bed at home in Palestine or in the barracks at Fort Bliss. The only way she could escape was to slip back into sleep and dream it. ‘I just wanted it to all be back like it was,’ she said ... Maybe she could dream a box, or a Heidi movie, something green and happy with children in it, and disappear until things got better. ‘When you sleep, you get away,’ she said.” Yes, she could retreat to her ‘Happy Place’ and dream away reality.
Shortly after Jessica arrived at the Iraqi civilian hospital in shock, the doctors had stabilized her injuries. But they then decided to amputate her left leg. Bragg describes the scene [c], "The orderly did not say anything as he rolled her down the hall. Jessi had been hiding again, in her bed, in her dreams, until they found her. It was not like at home. They found her every time."
As we shall discover later, this concept of finding a ‘Happy Place’ took hold of Jessica’s parents as they faced the fact that she had been brutalized, then the mass media when they chose to subtly down-play the fact that Jessica had been tortured by her Iraqi captors, and finally by the American public as we chose to blot from our minds the consequences of women-in-combat, as exemplified by the Jessica Lynch story. And this concept has a role in the PASSIVITY of America’s institutional leaders in defending the Republic from the counter-culture revolution, which has had our nation in its grip over the past three-or-so decades. This concept bodes ill for the future of our nation and its people.
Indeed, huge consequences can result from small beginnings. The Jessica Lynch story may be one such beginning.
The Rape of Jessica Lynch
It has now become crystal clear that Jessica Lynch’s doctors at the U.S. military hospital in Germany and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Army, the Pentagon, and the White House have known for months that former-POW Private Jessica Lynch was raped by her captors during the 2003-war with Iraq. In her recently published book, ‘I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story,’ and during an interview with Diane Sawyer on a Primetime Special, Lynch reveals that  “She was a victim of anal sexual assault.” Although Lynch claims not to remember any such event (nor does she ever wish to recover such a memory, if, indeed, it does exist somewhere in her subconscious), her book informs us that “The medical record shows that ‘she was a victim of anal sexual assault. That her body armor and bloody uniform were found in a house near the ambush site.”
Diane Sawyer spoke with Dr. Greg Argyros, Lynch’s doctor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He told her that, in spite of an element of ‘speculation’ regarding this issue, the medical records from her first examination by American doctors in Germany does show agreement by physicians concerning “The traumatic nature of her perianal lesions.” It is now absolutely certain that Jessica Lynch was raped by the Iraqis during her captivity. There is no doubt of this fact in the medical record, her book, and even in the remote recesses of Jessica Lynch’s mind (she grants that it could have happened but claims to have no memory of it).
I have written of the possibility, indeed, the probability that Jessica Lynch was raped during her days as a POW in Iraq. The essay at the link, ‘The Violation of Jessica Lynch,’ describes this possibility in some detail. In addition, the torture methods used by the Saddam Fedayeen (the militia who controlled Lynch during her captivity— they had a command post in the civilian hospital from which she was rescued) against U.S. military women during the first Gulf War with Iraq and on their own Iraqi citizens are described in detail at the link, ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army.’ These torture methods are consistent with Jessica Lynch’s physical condition, as described in her medical records.
If the fact-of Jessica’s rape was so highly likely from an analysis of the historical record as referred to above (both essays are heavily referenced with mainstream books, news magazine articles and newspaper articles), why was it not provided by the responsible U.S. Federal Government agencies and the mass media to the American people? Why did it take the American public so long to learn of this fact when Jessica’s U.S. military doctors, the U.S. Army, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, and the White House all knew it by April 2003? Many Americans could blame it on a vast ‘conspiracy.’ We all remember Hillary Rodham Clinton’s defense of her wayward husband during the Monica Lewinski affair — it was a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’— that aimed to destroy her husband. If this explanation is not valid, then who — just who — is responsible for the rape and brutal torture of Private Jessica Lynch?
There is a better explanation. It involves various ‘communities’ of people in the United States, each of which are comprised of individuals who are ‘linked’ in a direct way to each other via a common ‘best interest.’ The ‘best interest’ may be a belief in a common idea, a vested interest in an outcome which rewards each individual personally (political reward, economical reward, career and professional growth, a paternal or maternal interest in the interest of a son or daughter’s ‘best interest,’ and many other ‘interests’ which are a part of our human existence in a complex society).
Usually, such ‘communities’ are sufficiently disparate in character and makeup that they seldom ACT in concert with each other in support of a common goal. In fact, many such ‘communities’ oppose each other or are at best, only tolerant of the other ‘communities’ which make up American society. But when the circumstances are just right, they can come together in an onrushing cascade to support a cause, a concept, a goal, or an idea that sweeps the nation by storm. This, of course, is the idea of a ‘Tipping Point,’ in a Network Theory explanation of the result of social interactions in American civilization.
Of course, the outcome of such a cascade may well be the same as that which conspiracy theorists invent to ‘explain’ the phenomenon. What they do not understand is that there need not be a ‘spider’ at the center of the web. There need not be an all-knowing, all-powerful, dark central individual or small group of conspirators who secretly bring about the cascade by nearly super-human powers of intellect, knowledge, and organization. A ‘self-organizing’ network is one which can result in chaos when the system reaches a certain state of complexity — just as if it were planned and carried out by a super-human person or group. Many examples of such ‘explanations’ abound in contemporary American affairs. Such ‘explanations’ are based on the ‘science of surprise,’ Chaos Theory. Scientific research during the 1990s has expanded this field to Network Theory as the tool to understand the nature of failures, disasters, and catastrophes—the ‘surprises’ that abound in our daily lives as well as in our nation’s dealing with other countries in the world.
The Jessica Lynch story is one such episode which can be described in the context of its most important element — women in combat, and its impact on the military as a fighting force. This description deals with the structure of the problem, in terms of networks of various ‘communities’ of interest and the how these networks produced a catastrophic failure — one which is important to understand in its portent for the future of our armed forces and the eventual ability of Americans to preserve their civilization. Such is the nature of the question: Who is responsible for the rape of Jessica Lynch?
Visual Proof of Reduced Standards in the U.S. Military
I have documented in detail the reduced standards in the basic and advanced training of soldiers in the ‘support tail’ of the U.S. Army, as well as those which have proliferated in the U.S. Navy at all levels over the past 25-or-so years. This degradation was accelerated during the 1990s, a decade in which politicians eroded combat readiness by ‘socializing’ our armed forces — reducing its support elements to a ‘job corps’ for minorities and women. The book at the link, ‘From Trust to Terror: Radical Feminism is Destroying the U.S. Navy,’ and essays at the links, ‘The McNamaraization of the U.S. Navy,’ and ‘The Danzigization of the U.S. Military,’ describe in minute detail the reduced qualification and training standards in the U.S. Navy. The essay at the link, ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army,’ describes in similar detail such degradation in the qualification and training standards in the ‘support tail’ of the U.S. Army. The U.S. Air Force has suffered similar degradations as described in the essay at the link, ‘Mother McGrory’s Military.’
Visual proof of the degradation of qualification and training standards in the ‘support tail’ of the U.S. Army is inadvertently demonstrated in Diane Sawyer’s Primetime Special  on Jessica Lynch. A U.S. Army training film shows Lynch (not an actress portraying Lynch, but Lynch, herself) during her basic training qualifications. Twice during the film, Lynch is shown ‘qualifying’ on the basic training obstacle course as she attempts to negotiate a climb over a nine-foot high board wall. The film reveals her ‘failed’ attempt to dismount by herself from the top of the wall. A female on the top of the wall has Jessica firmly in her grasp (holding the top of her fatigue uniform with both hands) as Lynch is slowly lowered down the wall by sliding down the back of a male instructor who is leaning against the wall with his arms stretched to near its top and his feet spread apart to allow Jessica a soft, gentle slide down his back (supported by the hands of the female on top of the wall) to the ground.
This filmed sequence is shown as Diane Sawyer coos on about how proud Jessica and her family were that she had succeeded in meeting the challenges of the Army’s Basic Training and the outside world far distant from her Palestine, West Virginia environs. She was portrayed as a sweet little waif of a girl who was showing herself, her brother and family, and the rest of America, how ‘tough’ she had become. This segment was proudly portrayed by Diane Sawyer and her ABC-TV producers, in the spirit of her new book, ‘I Am a Soldier, Too.’ But they inadvertently gave America a glimpse of the truth of the reduced standards and military effectiveness that results from women in combat. The result — while Jessica had presumably met all of the challenges of Army training and was ready to meet the challenges of the world outside the cocoon of her former world — she was, in fact, a ‘soldier’ who was so frightened during the ambush that she could not ‘lock and load’ her ill-prepared weapon during the ambush and was reduced to kneeling and praying for her survival in the back of the Humvee in which she was riding while the three male soldiers in the vehicle were firing their weapons at the Iraqi Fedayeen enemy.
Jessica Lynch Was Nearly Blind Before Entering the Army
A final detail, and a vivid example of how low physical standards have become in the ‘support tail’ of today’s Army, is buried in the Bragg book and the Sawyer Primetime television interview. Both played up the ‘fashion statement’ aspect of the fact that Jessica had to wear large, thick glasses in order to see the world around her. Bragg, in the authorized biography of Lynch, ‘I Am a Soldier, Too,’ writes (pp. 41-42) that “[In Army boot camp] they tested her eyes. The glasses they gave her, government issue and identical in style to her fatigues and boots, had huge brown plastic frames and lenses that looked like they had been carved from inch-thick bulletproof Plexiglass.”
“They called ‘em birth control glasses — and they really were. A method of birth control. Ain’t no guy gonna come anywhere near you as long as you are wearing a pair of those glasses. She did not want to see the world that badly. ‘I am a four-eyed, birth control glasses-wearing geek,’ she thought.”
So much for the fashion-statement aspect of her vision problem. But later in the narrative, we learn that Jessica cannot see without her glasses. She is damn-near blind. I am reminded, reading her book, that her eyesight is and was about the same as my pre-teenage son who, while playing football in a Boy’s Club league (before he had glasses) would run right past the ball carrier on a kickoff return without tackling him — he couldn’t see that the kick returner had a football cradled in his arm. When his mother took him to the doctor and got him glasses, his comment to her was, “Mom, these glasses are really great. I didn’t know that grass had blades.”
Jessica Lynch had and has the same problem. We only learn of this peripherally in the Bragg book and the Sawyer interview. One has to search for the proof of her near-blindness in the pages of lyrical prose describing Jessica’s early childhood and her traumatic experiences as a POW in the hands of the Iraqis. It is there, but completely hidden as one of the most important elements of her story — the physical standards for acceptance in the ‘support tail’ of today’s military have been lowered so far that a nearly blind female can become ‘a soldier too.’
Bragg’s book (pp. 80) brings this fact into clear focus, although inadvertently, when describing Jessica’s recovery of consciousness in an Iraqi military hospital just three hours after the Humvee accident during ambush. “She tried to focus her eyes, but a blur – enough to tell people from furniture – was all she could manage. Were her eyes injured, too? No, she had just lost her ugly glasses.”
This fact crept into the story again on page 112 of Bragg’s book, this time in a description of her treatment and ‘bonding’ with the Iraqi doctors and nurses in the civilian hospital in Nasiriyah from which she was subsequently rescued by American troops. “But at the time, and especially after they tried to cut off her leg, they were still the enemy. It might have been different if she could have seen them clearly, if she could have seen their smiles, their faces. But without her glasses she saw only the shapes of men and women, knew that one doctor was tall and thin and one was shorter and stockier, that one of the nurses who treated her was young, and the one who sang to her was old.” Indeed, Jessica Lynch was and is nearly blind without her glasses. And this condition preceded her Iraqi experience. It was not a condition suffered by injury during her stay in Iraq. This is a clear testament of the reduction in qualification standards in the U.S. military — especially in the ‘socialized’ ‘support tail’ of the U.S. Army. No soldier, male or female, with such poor eyesight should ever have been anywhere near a battle zone. She is a striking example of how low the physical standards have become in today’s all-volunteer force.
The Jessica Lynch story, the real story, is the revelation of a failed experiment with women in combat. It is an illustration of how far our military has been ‘socialized’ and turned into a jobs corps for women and minorities – especially in its ‘support tail.’ The Lynch story epitomizes, in miniature, what would have befallen our ‘tip of the spear’ fighting forces if the Clinton administration, the shrill sisters in Congress, and weak-kneed military brass had succeeded in ‘feminizing’ the entire force as it purged the ‘warriors’ and the ‘warrior ethos’ from those parts of the military that succumbed to their politically inspired move to promote ‘equality’ instead of military readiness.
We Americans can only thank God that the politicians and senior military brass who allowed such incompetence to seep into our armed forces were not successful in ‘feminizing’ the ‘tip of the spear’ of our fighting armed forces during the 1990s. Had they succeeded, our children’s grandchildren could be at great risk of growing up speaking a foreign language and worshipping in a mosque.
The Jessica Lynch Story Starts to Unfold
The story of the young teen-age private from Palestine, West Virginia, started to unfold during the November 2003 television ‘sweeps’ period when, first, NBC-TV presented an unauthorized account  of the ambush of the 507th Maintenance Company in Nasiriyah, Iraq, Lynch’s subsequent capture, and her rescue by American Special Forces and Marines from an Iraqi hospital. Second, Jessica was interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC-TV in a Primetime Special Edition, which purported to reveal the real Jessica Lynch story . This version was based on interviews with Iraqi doctors and nurses, U.S. doctors, and Rick Bragg, the author of the authorized book  which was released on the same day.
During this time and immediately thereafter, there emerged a deluge of national media coverage on the Jessica Lynch Story. The Washington Post Parade Magazine featured front-page coverage  of how “Jessica Lynch’s experience as a POW during the Iraq war gave her a new understanding of what it means to be an American.” The New York Times , USA TODAY , The Washington Times , and Newsday  all trumpeted the TV sweeps competition between the story of a former Iraqi POW and Elizabeth Smart, a 14-year-old kidnap victim abducted by a self-styled messenger of God in 2002.
Richard Cohen, the quintessential Boomer-generation liberal leftist columnist for The Washington Post labeled Lynch  a “...hero, not for what she did in Iraq but for what she did on the ‘Today’ show — told the truth.” Presumably because Jessica refused to “...pose as an older generation’s military mannequin.” The Associated Press reported  that Lynch said, “...there was no reason for her rescue from an Iraqi hospital to be filmed. ‘It’s wrong,’ she said.” The liberal left press used the occasion to bash President Bush.
Articles were written to provide disparate details of the Lynch Story. USA TODAY told us that  “Ex-POW tells of fighting doctors to save her leg.” In a later story, USA TODAY reviews Lynch’s book, ‘I Am a Soldier, Too.’ It suggests  that “Jessica Lynch’s story raises questions, [but] offers few answers.” The New York Times provides an anti-Bush rampage by the cultural Marxist columnist Frank Rich who intoned , “Pfc. Jessica Lynch Isn’t Rambo Anymore.”
Several major national news outlets muted the ‘Lynch as Hero’ story to suggest that Jessica was getting more attention than she may have deserved. CBS News featured Mike Wallace in a story  that described “...the heroic actions by Pfc. Patrick Miller who actually saved Lynch’s life by killing seven Iraqis who manned a mortar pit 25 yards from her convoy.” NEWSWEEK magazine summarized untold stories  from the 507th Maintenance Company soldiers, including that of Sgt. Donald Walters, a 33-year-old mechanic who was killed in the ambush, apparently while fighting bravely. This theme is accentuated by still another such story, this one in the Wall Street Journal, which explains , “Why You’ve Heard Of Jessica Lynch, Not Zan Horbuckle.” The explanation backs up that which I provide in an essay at the link, ‘Who Chooses America’s Heroes.’ It has a great deal to do with the ‘feminization’ of American culture. This essay will address that subject in more detail later.
Nearly all of these major news outlet stories about Jessica Lynch were repeated in countless small-town newspapers across the country, as is the current practice. Consequently, nearly everyone in America who isn’t living under a rock has heard of Jessica Lynch — her capture, her rescue, her homecoming, and her ‘heroism.’ And now they would know that much of the early stories about her were concocted out of whole cloth. For example, the first report on Lynch from The Washington Post on 3 April, 2003 stated:
“Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi hospital,
fought fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi
forces ambushed the Army’s 507th Ordnance Maintenance
Company, firing her weapon until she ran out of ammunition,
U.S. officials said ... ‘She was fighting to the death,’ the official
said. ‘She did not want to be taken alive.’
The truth of the matter is revealed in Bragg’s book and in the Primetime Special interview with Diane Sawyer on 11 November 2003:
“Jessica told her mother and father ... that her gun had jammed and
that she had not shot anyone. She told her parents that the last thing
she remembered was being in the Humvee with Lori, and bowing her
head, and praying. The headlines said SHE WAS FIGHTING TO
THE DEATH. ‘I didn’t do that,’ she said.”
Of course, this truth was well known by those of us who followed the Jessica Lynch story closely. See my essay at the link, ‘The Mythical Modern American War Hero,’ which explains who propagated the Lynch-as-hero myth, as well as how and why they did it. The news stories summarized above served to explain this truth to the American people — belated but accurate.
Surprisingly, The Washington Post was the harshest critic of Jessica’s book. Surprising because it was the Post which fed the fraudulent account to the world and, when found wanting, published a second article which blamed the unnamed Pentagon intelligence sources for the misinformation. Of course, long after the Post’s ‘hyped’ version was plastered in the headlines of every home town newspaper in America. In the book, when Lynch says the fraudulent story ‘...keeps me awake at night,” the Post book review responds [18a], “As well it should, along with, one might add, scores of reporters and editors, most notoriously the Washington Post, who midwifed the Lynch myth from the Army to the front page without double-checking the initial reports to see if they were true...The problem is, once the original myths surrounding her capture are stripped away, Lynch, as unworldly as she is sweet, simply doesn’t have much of a story to tell.”
One part of the Jessica Lynch story that has been publicized, but muted, is the fact that she was raped by her Iraqi captors during her captivity in the hands of the Saddam Fedayeen. Much of the silence on this matter was invoked in respect for her privacy. Both the Bragg book and the Sawyer Primetime Special announced this fact. Bragg informs us that :
“The [U.S. military] medical records also show that she was a
victim of anal sexual assault. The records do not tell whether her
captors assaulted her almost lifeless, broken body after she was
lifted from the wreckage, or if they assaulted her and then broke her
bones into splinters until she was almost dead.”
“Jessi’s body armor and her bloody uniform were found in a house
near the ambush site, the place that some military intelligence sources
said she was taken to be tortured. But Jessi remembers none of this.
When she awoke in the military hospital, it was during treatment,
not torture. When she came to, the cruelties were over.”
Diane Sawyer  attempted to draw Jessica out on this subject but was not successful. A transcript of the interview follows:
Sawyer: Her spine is still damaged. No one knows how long. ‘You say that, because of the injury in your spine, that your
kidneys and bowels weren’t working properly. They [U.S. Army doctors] tried to stimulate them electronically —
didn’t work. It was devastating.’
Lynch: Yes. It is devastating. No, that ... it didn’t work.
Sawyer: What now?
Lynch: Just time. Time to tell if it comes back or not.
Sawyer: Whatever her visible injuries, her book tells of yet another one. Something that it says, that could have happened in
a period that she doesn’t remember. In a time before the hospital and right after the crash. The exact words [camera
focuses on the open book and Sawyer reads the words from the book quoted above], “I spoke with Dr. Greg
Argyros, Lynch’s doctor at Walter Reed [Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.] who told me that the medical
record from her first examination by American doctors in Germany does show agreement by physicians of ‘The
traumatic nature of her perianal lesions.’ Lynch and her family remember the day that the doctors brought them this
Jessica: It was just ... like they were speaking but they weren’t speaking to me.
Sawyer: The family asked that if I approached the subject with her, to do it without using graphic words. ‘What did you
think when you heard it?’
Jessica: I just remember ... you know ... looking off into space and not reacting to anything.
Sawyer: Was it a hard decision to put it in the book?
Jessica: Yeah, it was, because I have no memory of that and I don’t want ... [a two-second pause] ... people ... [a two-second
pause] ... to look at me in a shameful way — which I had no control over even if it did, in fact, happen. But, you
know, if it did happen, then people had to know that — that’s the kind of people they are. That’s how they treat the
female soldiers that are over there.
Sawyer : Rick Bragg, the author of the book, said that Jessica did have reservations about putting these passages in.
Sawyer to Bragg: Why did you decide to put in those paragraphs about what happened in those hours [between Jessica’s
capture and her arrival at the military hospital]?
Bragg: Well, I think we had to.
Bragg: Because, to leave it out ... [thoughtful pause] ...would leave out ... [pause] ...the consequence. You could have
written a fairy tale — about — the princess goes off to war. That’s like watching old war movies. When people get
shot and they don’t bleed ... you know ... or people get hit in the jaw and they don’t fall down. Jessica got hit in the
jaw and fell down.
Sawyer to Lynch: You really wonder whether it happened? You don’t necessarily believe it?
Lynch: Hmmm. It’s all kind of questionable. I mean I don’t ... it’s all too painful [to think about].
Sawyer to Bragg: Any chance that the military spin artists are spinning you
Bragg: [Shaking his head side to side] I don’t think so, because I don’t think any of this helps them.
Sawyer: To make her ... I guess ... more in need of rescue ... to make the Iraqis more the enemy ...
Bragg: Why not leak it out at the beginning, if that’s true, so they could have milked it all along.
Sawyer: And, indeed, two other POWs have now confirmed that during their captivity, they were brutally beaten [the two Apache helicopter crewmen]. So, once again ... the question ... is there something buried in Jessica Lynch’s memory?
Sawyer to Jessica: Is it work to keep it from coming back? Do you think, sometimes, do you feel some memory you don’t
want coming back and you have to fight it away.
Jessica: No. I don’t want to have any at all memory ever for that to come back ... so I can remember that. I don’t want that. That’s a part that I hope that fades away forever and I never ever recall any of that.
Rick Bragg describes the scene in the book  from Jessica’s mother, Dee’s, point of view. “Dee stood beside Jessi’s bed and held her good hand, and Greg stood on the other side of the bed, his hand resting on her. Col. Harvey told them that Jessi had been assaulted, and of the injuries resulting from that savagery.”
Jessi’s face did not change.
“She just lay there, and her face was blank,” said Dee.
She thought Jessi might at least grip her hand harder, something, but her hand was limp.
“She was numb. She was on a lot of medication. Maybe that was it,” Dee said.
Jessi acted as if it were something that had happened to someone else, someone she didn’t know.
“I don’t remember,’ she said, turning her face up to look at her mother. “I don’t know.”
Dee kept waiting for her to just break down.
She was still waiting.
“She didn’t cry,” Dee said. “They couldn’t get her to cry.”
Dee leaned over her daughter’s face.
“It’s okay,” she said. “You don’t think about it. You don’t have to think about it.”
Later, doctors would say it would be better for Jessi if she could cry about it, if she could face it, but Dee is not sure about that. If Jessi wants to keep those hours in a dark place, a place darker than the deepest mine, then her mother will stand guard at the entrance to that place, all her life if need be, waiting. She does not know what she will do if it ever comes out.
Maybe it never will.
“And I will thank God for that,” she said.
It is clear from this conversation that Jessica Lynch, and then her family in support of her, have gone into that magical box where reality is submerged into the subconscious and the soothing, wonderful world of the imagination rules — their ‘Happy Place.’
Few major newspapers picked up on the details of the book’s description of her sexual assault by the Iraqis. The Washington Times reported the book’s revelation and noted the disinclination of family and local supporters to focus on that aspect of her captivity . “The complete story of her capture is a very painful one for Jessica,” said family spokeswoman Aly Goodwin Gregg. “However, she felt it was important to tell her story so that people fully understand the atrocities of war. But her story is more than just one incident.”
Newsday  reported on the book’s findings. Advertiser Newspapers Ltd. ‘The Advertiser,’ a British tabloid, shouted  that ‘Medical checks reveal Lynch’s rape hell.’ USA TODAY, a liberal left Gannet publication, gave a ‘balanced view.’ One  reveals that “...the Lynch book tells of rape by captors,” but another  gives the view of the negative, held by Lynch’s Iraqi doctors. In spite of these denials, Lynch’s medical records establish beyond any doubt that she was raped anally in a savage and vicious manner by the Iraqis — presumably during the period between her capture and delivery to the military hospital in Nasiriyah.
Jessica Lynch’s Injuries and the Possibility of Torture
As confusing as the mass media accounts were of Jessica Lynch’s injuries during the early days (April 2003) after her rescue from the civilian hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, there is now (November 2003) a clear and consistent public understanding of their general nature. I have described in great detail the discrepancies in reports of these injuries during the early period (i.e. April 2003 when she was rescued) and those emanating from both the U.S. military hospital in Germany and Walter Reed Medical Center in the United States. These descriptions are listed and compared in the essay at the link, ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army.’ There is still, however, great confusion and understanding of when, how, and by whom these injuries were inflicted on Jessica and by whom.
A summary description of the final medical condition of Jessica Lynch was reported from the Walter Reed Medical Center on 9 April by the Washington Post . “Lynch is in stable condition in a private room in intensive care after undergoing three operations. Her most serious injury involves a vertebra in her lower back. She also has fractures in four places: her upper right arm, upper left leg, lower left leg, and right ankle and foot. The hospital said it wasn’t clear how Lynch suffered the injuries. Gunshots from a low-velocity, small-caliber weapon may have caused one or more of them, but no bullets or metal fragments have been found.”
Bragg’s book describes her wounds as follows : “Her medical records show what happened in the three hours missing from Jessi’s memory [between the Humvee crash and waking up in the Iraqi military hospital]. Her right arm was shattered between her shoulder and her elbow, and the compound fracture shoved slivers of bone through muscles, nerves and skin, leaving her right hand all but useless. Her spine was fractured in two places, causing nerve damage that left her unable to control her kidneys and bowels. Her right foot was crushed.”
“Her left leg had broken into pieces above and below the knee, also a compound fracture, and splintered bone had made a mess of the nerves and left her without feeling in that limb. The flesh along the hairline of her forehead was torn in a ragged, four-inch line.”
The Sawyer interview  gave the same report as the book, but with slightly different adjectival descriptions of the severity of the injuries. “Her left leg was completely shattered below the knee, her foot crushed to splinters. [Jessica described the leg as] completely destroyed from the femur to the foot. Her right arm was broken at the shoulder and again below. Her spine was fractured in two places. [She had] a lacerating wound to her head.”
It is of note that the rescue operation showed Lynch holding onto the hand of a rescuer with her left hand: her left arm was either or both heavily bandaged and/or in a cast. No mention is made in either report of this ‘injury.’
Neither the book nor the Sawyer interview draw any specific attention to the two fractures of Jessica’s spine. I have, however, noted (see the essay at the link: ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army,’) the similarity of these injuries with those inflicted on Johnny Michael Spann, the CIA operative who was caught in an uprising by hundreds of Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners in the Qala-i-Jangi fortress-prison near Mazar-e-Sharif in northern Afghanistan where he was tortured during the early stages of the war there before being summarily executed by a shot to the back of his head. To be specific, According to Robin Moore , when American Special Forces recovered Johnny Spann’s body, they found that “Spann’s body would bear out the worst of the rumors — he had been captured alive and tortured by the AQ. Both of his legs had been broken below the knees in a typical al Qaeda torture method. What was not reported was that he had been alive for quite some time after. Two bullets had been placed in the small of his back, on either side of his spine. A final bullet, which killed him, had been inflicted some time later, in the back of the neck, probably as he knelt down with his hands tied behind his back.”
Despite the succinct but non-descriptive nature of the details of the injuries to Lynch by the U.S. Army doctors, it is clear that, while they satisfied the elites who write the news accounts and ‘analyze’ the situation, they did not satisfy the country-boy truck driver and all around handyman, Greg Lynch, Jessica’s father. His experience with the real world of trucks, accidents, and injuries in nature’s world led him to express doubts that Jessica’s injuries could have been caused in the crash of the Humvee.
Bragg’s book relates that  “The wounds to her limbs, with splintered and protruding bone, had been a mess, but [Jessica’s parents] still wonder why [U.S. military] doctors said bluntly early in her treatment that Jessi had been shot, and then changed their minds. Later, doctors would say that all her broken bones probably came in the wreck of the Humvee, but that puzzles [Jessica’s parents] too.
“Some Iraqi doctors had said that Jessica seemed to have injuries consistent with having been stomped and beaten with rifle butts, and [Jessica’s parents] wondered how she could be so badly broken in a crash the army estimated at about forty-five miles per hour on impact, when she had been in the rear compartment, wedged between the bodies of two soldiers and surrounded by duffel bags of [clothing] and equipment. ‘It just doesn’t make sense,’ Greg [Jessica’s father] said. How did the impact break bones on both sides of her body; how did that happen? Pictures of the Humvee had circulated in West Virginia newspapers — it had not looked badly damaged.”
“But it was better to believe it was just a wartime traffic accident, better to believe she was never subjected to the horrors they heard about day after day of how Iraqi soldiers treated their captives.” Indeed, as Jessica found her own solace, her own ‘Happy Place’ in her imagination to block out the reality of her terrible pain and suffering, her family also found their ‘Happy Place.’ It would be better to look away and not ask detailed questions concerning whether or not their daughter had been brutally tortured by the Saddam Fedayeen in Nasiriyah.
Rick Bragg is a spell-binding story-teller. His folksy manner, grasp of timing and temper, in telling stories is a lost art in today’s elite punditry on television and pop-culture books. But he is a master at his craft. I have observed him on C-Span completely enthrall an audience with his mastery of the art of down-home storytelling during his discussion of his book, ‘All Over but the Shoutin.’ He is especially effective in wooing a female audience of older women. But an astute book reviewer for The Wall Street Journal observes that  “[Bragg] makes much of the fact that, although the convoy was attacked at 7 a.m., Pfc. Lynch didn’t arrive at the hospital until 10 a.m. Are the ‘three hours missing’ important? Was she tortured, as ‘some military intelligence sources’ believe? Jessica Lynch doesn’t remember, and Rick Bragg is a lyricist, not an investigative reporter, so readers interested in the answers to these questions will have to look elsewhere.”
The reviewer is right and wrong at the same time. True, Bragg is a lyricist and he has spun a masterful story that should maintain Jessica Lynch solidly in the pantheon of America’s military heroes (if only in the minds of militant feminists, male and female). And hardly anyone could resist ‘liking’ the little waif of a girl who sat and chatted with Diane Sawyer for one and one-half hours on Primetime television. The interviewer treated Jessica as softly as one might treat a child, a pre-teen waif of a girl, but one who had been subjected to brutal treatment by savage adults and taken advantage of by her military superiors by placing her in extreme danger.
But Bragg also places all of the pieces in the book on which to build an iron-clad case that Jessica Lynch had, indeed, been brutally TORTURED by her Iraqi Saddam Fedayeen captors. The problem is that his ‘evidence’ is spread all over the book in bits and pieces that more fit his ‘lyrical’ style. He spends so much time in the book telling us about Jessica’s childhood, relationships with siblings and school mates, and other ‘public interest’ puffery (e.g. her friendship with Lori Piestewa and her boyfriend who ‘tented’ in the Kuwait desert near her) that the ‘meat’ of the whole untold story is there but dispersed among relative trivia such as, Jessica “... cried on the first day of kindergarten.” That Lynch [in mastering arithmetic] “...loved to divide, but hated the rest of it, the adding, the multiplying, the subtracting.”
Even someone who has been following the Jessica Lynch episode from the beginning and scanning all of the applicable news stories would have trouble picking the wheat from the chaff in Bragg’s account. But it is there, if you look. Jessica Lynch was TORTURED by her Iraqi captors.
After the three-hour period during which Jessica Lynch was apparently unconscious, from the Humvee crash until arriving at the Iraqi military hospital, she awoke. According to Bragg  on page 80, “From the circle of faces, she heard English. One of the faces leaned in closer. ‘Don’t hurt me,’ was the first thing she said. ‘I am not going to hurt you, the face said. She did not believe him.”
The Diane Sawyer interview gives a more emotional sense of this conversation. The transcript of the interview follows:
The segment introduction by a male voice-over promo: “Coming up next. Waking up to a nightmare. Surrounded by the enemy.”
Jessica: I kept repeating, ‘Please don’t hurt me. Please don’t hurt me.
Sawyer: Prayers [by her family and friends back in Palestine, WV] for a girl, who lies unconscious in the heat, and dust, and
wreckage. Lynch’s book says three hours will pass from the time of the collision until she awakens in the [Iraqi]
military hospital, and then she opens her eyes.
Sawyer to Lynch: What’s the next thing you remember?
Lynch: Waking up in the hospital, surrounded by Iraqis.
Sawyer: What was your first physical sensation?
Lynch: It was just pain. Constant. I mean, I even tried to get up but I was just flat on my back. I couldn’t move anything.
Sawyer: Your head even? Like ...
Lynch: It was so horrible. Like, I’ve never felt that much pain in my entire life. It was from my foot to my other foot to my
legs to my arms, to my back, (the camera pans to a table in a dark, empty room — presumably a torture chamber),
to my head. I knew that if I felt that much pain, then at least my legs, arms, and head and back ... everything were
still attached. But I seriously thought I was going to be paralyzed for the rest of my life.
Sawyer: Her first words to an Iraqi doctor [the Baathist military commander of the military hospital].
Lynch: I kept repeating, ‘Please don’t hurt me.’ ‘Please don’t hurt me.
Sawyer: We found that doctor, Adnan Mushafafawi, commander of the military hospital just five minutes from the ambush.
Mushafafawi: I assured her that we will not hurt her and she is in hospital now.
Sawyer to Lynch: Did you believe him?
Lynch: No! I mean, would you though? I mean, if you were surrounded by a whole hospital of Iraqis, would you believe him?
The clear implication of this conversation is that Jessica Lynch must have been brutally beaten and tortured during the time that she was held captive by the local Saddam Fedayeen fighters who ambushed her convoy. Why would she have used such a pointed phrase, ‘Please don’t hurt me!, unless she was had been brutally injured during torture by her captors.
But there is more evidence in the book, however disjointed, to more than imply that Jessica Lynch was brutally tortured by the Iraqis. On page 148, Bragg describes his first long-distance telephone conversation with his daughter shortly after she was delivered to the U.S. military hospital in Germany . “‘Daddy?’ The voice was sleepy, drugged and so weak it broke his heart. ‘Jessi? Baby?’ ‘Daddy, they broke my arm.’ It was Jessi’s first telephone call home after she was rescued from the hospital in Nasiriyah, and the first and only time that she would hint at what had happened to her in those three hours before she was carried by Iraqi soldiers into the emergency room [at the Iraqi military hospital].”
“‘You’ll be all right, baby. You’ll get over this.’”
“‘The Iraqi man broke my arm.’”
“He wishes sometimes that he had pressed her on what she meant just then, that he had asked her to tell him more, but he was afraid to push, because Jessica sounded so strained, so barely there — and he let the moment, and opportunity, pass.”
“She would later say she did not remember saying it, and she would never say anything like it again. At the time, [Jessica’s father] knew that she had been broken and mangled, but he did not know about the three missing hours — or the cruelty they had contained. ‘I know that they tortured my baby, that they tormented her,’ [her father] said. He guessed it then — what else could the words mean? But he figured there would be plenty of time to talk about the meanness in the future, and he did not want to fill this precious time up with that ugliness. ‘I just wish I’d thought to ask her more, but .. but it don’t matter: It don’t matter,’ he said.” Indeed, Jessica’s father had found his own personal ‘Happy Place.’
So, there we have it. Straight from Jessica Lynch’s mouth to her father. Jessica Lynch was tortured by her Iraqi captors. To deny this fact in the face of such powerful, straightforward evidence would be either foolhardy, or driven by a hidden agenda.
More of the damaging evidence of this torture is presented by Bragg on page 170 of the book . “A few days after the family arrived in Germany, Jessi’s psychologist, Lieutenant Colonel Sally Harvey, met with [Jessica’s parents] in Jessi’s room to tell them what she could about what had happened in those lost hours ... Col. Harvey told them that Jessi had been assaulted, and of the injuries resulting from that savagery.”
More such evidence is revealed, disjointedly again, on page 164 of Bragg’s book . “...[U.S. Army] doctors would say that all her [Jessica’s] broken bones probably came in the wreck of the Humvee, but that puzzles [Jessica’s parents] too.”
“Some Iraqi doctors had said that Jessica seemed to have injuries consistent with having been stomped and beaten with rifle butts, and [Jessica’s parents] wondered how she could be so badly broken in a crash the army estimated at about forty-five miles per hour on impact, when she had been in the rear compartment, wedged between the bodies of two soldiers and surrounded by duffel bags of [clothing] and equipment. ‘It just doesn’t make sense,’ Greg [Jessica’s father] said. How did the impact break bones on both sides of her body; how did that happen? Pictures of the Humvee had circulated in West Virginia newspapers — it had not looked badly damaged.”
Then again in a disconnected manner, Bragg presents a summary statement concerning Jessica’s torture at the hands of her Iraqi captors. On page 195, in summarizing Jessica’s homecoming parade in her hometown of Palestine, WV, he tells us that  “Now she was a hero, whatever that meant. She was the girl who had been beaten and brutalized and rescued in the middle of a war, who came home to magazine covers and morphine, to movie offers and physical therapy.”
I rest my case. Rick Bragg has told us, howsoever indirectly in his fascinating book, that Jessica Lynch had been tortured by the Iraqis. You can read detailed accounts of these torture methods used by the Saddam Fedayeen in my essay at the link, ‘Jessica Lynch’s Army.’ They are ugly. They are savage. They are brutal. They are heartless. They are cruel. But they are true. And the fact-of this torture is a major, dominant part of the Jessica Lynch story.
The only missing fragment of information concerning the Iraqi torture of Jessica Lynch is when it occurred, how it was done, and by whom. Bragg tells us that [37a], "...The [U.S. medical] records do not tell whether her captors assaulted her almost lifeless, broken body after she was lifted from the wreckage, or if they assaulted her and then broke her bones into splinters until she was almost dead." There are two, and only two possibilities. No account is available concerning where and when the assault occurred. It could have been carried out by the local Saddam Fedayeen fighters who ambushed her convoy before she was delivered to the Iraqi military hospital at 10:00 a.m. Or it could have occurred in the military hospital after she was delivered there and before she woke up on a gurney. She was reportedly worked on by doctors at this hospital for a two hour period from 10:00 a.m. to noon and then (according to Bragg) was loaded into an ambulance that afternoon. The Washington Post reported that [37b] “When Lynch arrived at Saddam Hussein hospital in a military ambulance that afternoon, the nurses and doctors who admitted her said they were surprised to find an American woman, almost naked, her limbs in plaster casts, beneath a sheet.”
There are two and only two possibilities. Jessica was brutalized either by the ambushers before they delivered her to the Iraqi military hospital, almost dead from her wounds. Or she was brutalized in the Iraqi military hospital after her delivery there and before she regained consciousness. We have only the word of the commander of that hospital that she received only life-saving treatment there. However, the military hospital was found to have a torture chamber in its basement, which was used as a command post for the Saddaam Fedayeen and its Baathist political party operatives. It was commanded by a Baathist Party member.
Nevertheless, Jessica was either sexually assaulted after arriving with her injuries as a result of the Humvee collision (highly unlikely) or she was assaulted by her captors and then severely tortured by crushing her bones afterward.
I do not for a minute believe that Rick Bragg deliberately obfuscated the fact-of Jessica Lynch’s torture by her Iraqi captors. He did not. It is just that, as a lyricist, he had a story to tell and in telling this story in the most effective and emotionally inspiring way, the evidence detailed above is spread incoherently over many disconnected pages. It takes some effort to ‘connect’ these disparate accounts. But when one takes the trouble to do so, a very different picture emerges from Bragg’s book. Indeed, the story of Jessica Lynch is directly connected to the issue of women-in-combat, which is directly connected to the ‘Feminization of American Culture,’ which is directly connected to the ‘socialization’ of the U.S. military [37c], which is directly connected to the cultural revolution that took place in America in the 1960s and 1970s, which is directly connected to the Frankfurt School – all of which are directly linked to each other and to the prospect of the loss of our Constitutional Republic which important implications for the disintegration, decay, dissolution, and possible ruin of American civilization.
Indeed, as is described in Malcolm Gladwell’s book , ‘The Tipping Point,’ “Little things can make a big difference.” Indeed, Jessica Lynch’s story is a relative small, insiginficant event that could be illustrative of a cascade of destruction through the ‘network’ of our American social fabric in such a way that the existence of our venerable American civilization could be threatened. One need only read Albert-Laszlo Barabasi’s account  of how we are all ‘linked’ together in a social network – the dynamics of which produce a self-organizing system – to understand that our Constitutional Republic (along with our Christian heritage) is the most important foundation of our American civilization, which, indeed, is one such self-organizing system.
The Feminization of American Culture
I have written extensively of the historical record of the feminization of American culture. Essays at the links, ‘Who Placed American Men in a Psychic Iron Cage – Part I,’ and Who Placed American Men in a Psychic Iron Cage – Part II,’ were published in 1997 and 1998 respectively, soon after my first book, ‘The New Totalitarians,’ was published in 1996. A detailed summary of this movement to ‘feminize’ American culture is presented on this Web Site for the first time. It was written in 2002.
To fully understand the Jessica Lynch story, one must first understand the radical feminist movement to open the U.S. military to accept women in combat positions. In order to understand women-in-combat, one must first understand the history of the feminist movement in America, from the late 1700s through the present. To understand that movement, one must understand how it ‘self-organized’ and became fiercely radicalized during the 1960s and 1970s. Only then can one come to understand how this radical movement came to political power during the 1990s. The essays at the links above provide a vivid description of how these concepts are ‘connected,’ – in terms of Network Theory, Chaos Theory, and the concept of a ‘Tipping Point.’ The latter being the idea that small beginnings can lead to huge results – e.g. the cascading of an idea that moves a people to revolution. The Jessica Lynch story is a microcosm of this process. That is why it is so important to understand the ‘real’ story of Jessica Lynch, not the story that has been foist on the American people by the various ‘communities’ which, acting in their own ‘best interests,’ have created the Mythical Modern American War Hero – Jessica Lynch. The story portends consequences far beyond the experiences of a little waif of a girl from Palestine, WV.
A quick summary of the feminist movement, as it pertains to the concept being presented here is that , “[There exists] a link between militant feminism and all other egalitarianism activities carried out in the past under the rubric of ‘individual freedom and equality’ in both the American and Ancient Greek experiments with democracy. We shall see that militant feminism is one of many elements that, in the past, have led to decay, dissolution, and death of democracy. It will be shown that Betty Friedan’s “Feminine Mystique” is nothing more than a human condition (vice female condition) that has, in the past, led males to lives of moral decay and physical dissolution that in turn led to the weakening of the family unit, which has always served as the fundamental strength of the nation-state in democratic societies. Radical militant feminism is an extension of a natural malaise that has invaded every democratic society since the first—a malaise stemming from the abundance and freedoms that are characteristic of the absolute best form of social control, free democratic government. History has shown that such societies simply risk decay into chaos resulting from the excesses that derive from the single form of government that optimizes the freedom, performance, and success of the individual.”
“ In early Grecian times, this [Friedan’s] ‘malaise’ was expressed as “Moral disorder accompanied the growth of luxury and the enlightenment of the mind. . . . As the state religion lost its hold upon the educated classes, the individual freed himself more and more from the old moral restraints—the son from parental authority, the male from marriage, the woman from motherhood, the citizen from political responsibility. Sexual and political morality continued to decline. Bachelors and courtesans increased in fashionable co-operation, and free unions gained ground on legal marriage. The young men spent all their time among flute-girls and courtesans; those who were a little older devoted themselves to gambling and profligacy; and the whole people spent more on public banquets and entertainments than on the provision necessary for the well-being of the state. The voluntary limitation of the family was the order of the day, whether by contraception, by abortion, or by infanticide.” It is obvious that the ‘boredom’ of a free and luxurious existence left time to contemplate, “Is this all there is to life?” This is precisely the ‘feminine mystique,’ in ancient Greece for men as in the 1960s America for women.”
“As with the men of ancient Greece, American housewives of the postwar period were bored with life. “The problem was dismissed by telling the housewife she doesn’t realize how lucky she is—her own boss, no time clock, no junior executive gunning for her job. Does she still want to be a man? Doesn’t she know yet how lucky she is to be a woman? As Newsweek put it (March 7, 1960): ‘She is dissatisfied with a lot that women of other lands can only dream of. Her discontent is deep, pervasive, and impervious to the superficial remedies which are offered at every hand...An army of professional explorers have already charted the major sources of trouble...From the beginning of time, the female cycle has defined and confined woman’s role.”
“Friedan mistakenly believed that the problem did not rest with the fact that American women had luxuries that women in other times and lands never dreamed of. She obviously did not go far enough back into history. If she had studied the Greek millennia between 1000 B.C. and the birth of Christ, she would have realized that the same malaise affected the men of the Greek Empire—and it perished because they could not recover from their reaction to the bounty that resulted from their free democracy. At any rate, Friedan believed that, “...part of the strange newness of the problem is that it cannot be understood in terms of the age-old material problems of man: poverty, sickness, hunger, cold. It is not caused by lack of material advantages; it may not even be felt by women preoccupied with desperate problems of hunger, poverty or illness. And women who think it will be solved by more money, a bigger house, a second car, moving to a better suburb, often discover it gets worse.”
“Friedan had part of the answer; it can be entirely explained by the problem of plenty. The history of democratic societies reveals this as mankind’s foremost problem. Friedan actually stumbles over the problem without picking the nugget out of the rubble. “And strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children whose mothers were always there, driving them around, helping them with their homework—an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort, a devastating boredom with life.”
“ Whereas men, when bored with an excess of plenty in their lives, turned to debauchery and frivolous pursuits, women turned inward with a malaise called the ‘Feminine Mystique.’ Friedan asked herself whether the problem that has no name was somehow related to the domestic routine of the housewife. “Is she trapped simply by the enormous demands of her role as modern housewife: wife, mistress, mother, nurse, consumer, cook, chauffeur, etc? Doctors she interviewed decided that the real problem must be something else—perhaps boredom.”
This is precisely the situation that affected well-to-do Greek men just before the collapse of 1,000 years of Greek democracy . “Only an act of persistent imagination, or a gift from observation, can enable us to realize what it means to a nation to have its traditional religion die. Classic Greek civilization had been built upon a patriotic devotion to the city-state, and classic morality, though rooted in folkways rather than in faith, had been powerfully reinforced by supernatural belief. But neither faith nor patriotism survived in the educated Greek; civic frontiers had been erased by empires; and the growth of knowledge had secularized morals, marriage, parentage, and law. The pursuit of pleasure consumed the adult life of the upper classes. The old problem of ethics and morals—to reconcile the natural epicureanism of the individual with the necessary stoicism of the state—found no solution in religion, statesmanship, or philosophy. Education spread, but spread thin; as in all intellectual ages it stressed knowledge more than character, and produced masses of half-educated people who, uprooted from labor and the land, moved about in unplaced discontent like loosened cargo in the ship of state. Sexual morality was relaxed even beyond the loose standards of the Periclean age. Homosexualism remained popular. Dances of naked women were accepted as part of the mores. Athenean life was portrayed in Menander’s plays as a round of triviality, seduction, and adultery.”
“Greek women participated actively in the cultural pursuits of the time, and contributed to letters, science, philosophy, and art. Some philosophers, like Epicurus,, did not hesitate to admit women into their schools. Literature began to stress the physical loveliness of woman rather than her worth and charm as a mother; the literary cult of feminine beauty arose in this period alongside the poetry and fiction of romantic love. The partial emancipation of woman was accompanied by a revolt against wholesale maternity, and the limitation of the family became the outstanding social phenomenon of the age. Abortion was punishable only if practiced by a woman against the wish of her husband, or at the instigation of her seducer. When a child came it was in many cases exposed [taken into the wild and abandoned to die]. We may judge how widespread the practice of limitation had become. Polybius wrote, about 150 B.C.,‘The whole of Greece has been subject to a low birth rate and a general decrease of the population, owing to which cities have become deserted and the land has ceased to yield fruit . . . For as men had fallen into such a state of luxury, avarice, and indolence that they did not wish to marry, or, if they married, to rear the children born to them, or at most but one or two of them, so as to leave those in affluence and bring them up to waste their substance—the evil insensibly but rapidly grew.’”
The point being made here is that the “feminine mystique” which was the cornerstone of the reawakening of the feminist movement in the United States in the 1950s is nothing more than the feeling of “Is this all there is to life?” which was displayed by males in ancient Greece during its Golden Age of democracy. It is the same feeling of boredom born of luxury and economic excess and extravagance in an age wherein the barbarian was simply waiting for the strong soldier-citizen of Greece to decay morally into weakness. The Greek empire fell suddenly and absolutely in a very short period of time [53 years at the hands of Roman legions]. The creeping weakness from within generated the cracks in the Greek civilization which led to its swift demise. The “feminine mystique” is not a gender-specific malaise. It has occurred in past history. It occurred to the male population. It led to chaos and decay of a magnificent civilization. Carried to its extreme, militant radical feminism could be one factor in America’s travel down that same path.
A note here about the role of the Greek philosopher, Epicurus, the founder of the Epicurian movement in ancient Greece which competed with Zeno and his Stoic philosophy for the soul of Greece in the period of its descent into obscurity. This was described by the esteemed scholar and popularizer of history, Will Durant , who summarizes the era in which Stoicism flourished in ancient Greece—the cradle of democracy. It was an era of decay—decay from within.
“When Sparta blockaded and defeated Athens towards the close of the fifth century B.C., political supremacy passed from [Athens]...and the vigor and independence of the Athenian mind decayed. When in 399 B.C., Socrates was put to death, the soul of Athens died with him, lingering only in his proud pupil, Plato. And when Philip of Macedon defeated the Athenians at Chaeronea in 338 B.C., and Alexander burned the great city of Thebes to the ground three years later...Athenian independence was irrevocably destroyed. The domination of Greek philosophy by the Macedonian Aristotle mirrored the political subjection of Greece by the verile and younger peoples of the north.”
“The death of Alexander (323 B.C.) quickened this process of decay. The boy-emperor, barbarian though he remained after all of Aristotle’s tutoring, had yet learned to revere the rich culture of Greece ... [and] he underrated the inertia and resistance of the Oriental mind, and the mass and depth of Oriental culture ... The quantity of Asia proved too much for the quality of Greece. Alexander himself, in the hour of his triumph, was conquered by the soul of the East ...”
“This subtle infusion of an Asiatic soul into the wearied body of the master Greek was followed rapidly by the pouring of Oriental cults and faiths into Greece ... the young conqueror had opened up the broken dykes [which] let in the ocean of Eastern thought upon the lowlands of the still adolescent European mind. The mystic and superstitious faiths which had taken root among the poorer people of Hellas were reinforced and spread about; and the Oriental spirit of apathy and resignation found a ready soil in decadent and despondent Greece.”
“...The introduction of the Stoic philosophy into Athens by ... Zeno (about 320 B.C.) was but one of a multitude of Oriental infiltrations. Both Stoicism [the apathetic acceptance of defeat] and Epicureanism [the effort to forget defeat in the arms of pleasure] were theories as to how one might yet be happy though subjugated or enslaved ...”
“...when Greece had seen Chaeronea in blood and Thebes in ashes ... and when the glory had departed from Athens, she was ripe for Zeno and Epicurus.”
Please observe that the ancient Greek Epicurian philosophy is precisely the same as Jessica Lynch’s ‘Happy Place.’ Thus, her ‘Happy Place,’ to which one can retreat within herself, forget the reality of the day, and simply ‘disappear’ – and submerge it so that what one wishes life to be, a happy dream world, a world in which one’s mind ‘goes to sleep’ and fantasy prevails — is precisely the concept, which if applied on a grander scale to the American people, can have tragic consequences.
Have the American people reached their ‘Happy Place?’ Have we become so ‘PASSIVE’ as we view the panorama of the cultural changes that have befallen us over the past three decades or so? Have we accepted Jessica Lynch as a Hero, a model for the woman warrior? Have we fallen asleep and accepted the concept of women in combat in our armed forces? Have we become ‘passive’ as we observe our culture falling apart at the seams? As alien ideas, concepts, and forces have taken over our public institutions. Have we allowed America’s tradition and heritage to become tainted with cynicism? Have we failed to educate our children and grandchildren to the objective history of our venerable Constitutional Republic? Or have we allowed the counter-culture revolution, led by the foot soldiers of the cultural Marxist revolutionaries attack and destroy every institution in the land? Jessica Lynch is an icon for the destruction of the penultimate institution, the U.S. military, to come under attack and which has partially yielded to the onslaught. The traditional American family, the fundamental unit of any democratic society, is the last institution still standing firm. Will we allow it, also to be degraded to the point that American civilization, like the ancient Greek civilization before it, crumbles from within and disappears into the dust bin of history?
The Korean War POW Experience
Major William E. Mayer, U.S. Army, is the psychologist who debriefed 1,000 of 4,000 American GIs who returned from captivity by the Koreans (and then the Chinese) after the Korean War. These interviews were conducted in 1954. They revealed, for the first time, the nature of the re-education program invoked by the Chinese to change the behavior of the American G.I. Excerpts of this record follow :
" And there, ladies and gentlemen, you have an ideal situation for the tyrant. If you think that the rest of us can tell what you are thinking about, in our culture today, you'd be psychotic. But in that culture, once you have learned that people can tell this, that they know your shortcomings, that you are indeed exposed, you're in great danger. You are very vulnerable.
They were very much like — well, they were going through something that happens more to women than happens to men in our culture today. And you females who've experienced this will know instantly what I mean. It's a situation in which you've gone into the powder room with some other gals during a party or something and you've talked about yourself. And suddenly you find you've gone farther than you intended. And maybe you've told more about yourself than you had originally planned to do. You've expose yourself. You've told confidential business, private affairs. I know boys do this too, but I think girls are better at it.
Well, when you're confronted with this situation which is definitely anxiety-producing, there is only one thing you can do to defend yourself, isn't there? And that is to collect an approximately equivalent amount of information about your listener. Because then sort of an armed truce exists and then everybody understands exactly where he stands. And this is exactly what was happening in these camps. These men were listening to each other, paying attention, being critical, making suggestions, jotting it down, and actually, or just in the backs of their minds so that they could be defended. And they would leave a self-criticism meeting and they would walk in ten or twelve separate directions — not together. Feeling very isolated indeed.
Well, this is brain washing if there is such a thing. You don't have to have prisoners of war to do this. They're doing it in Shanghai. It's called the 'neighborhood control system.' They go into the urban areas, designate as a neighborhood a group of 30 to 50 people. They select almost invariably a housewife in this group, appoint her monitor, give her a very minimal amount of training in techniques and a continuous supply of instructional material and directions from on high, and the neighborhood begins to function in just this way. And while the two Chinese that I know quite well, who are psychiatrists, who have come from China and have been educated in America and are psychiatrists in Honolulu, both have told me that they didn't believe that this Communist thing could ever be imposed on China and they're just beginning now to see how. And this is how.
It works. It works on perfectly good non-Communists — like you, and like me. Now, it can be done in all degrees. By selling certain ideas, this kind of thing is being communicated today in America. The same kinds of ideas that were communicated to these people rather abruptly and in intensified form. For example, we have among us today certain tendencies to minimize emotional things. Emotional is somehow identified with bad or weak or somehow not socially acceptable, don't you know. And thus it is, that if there's a parade, you see, you shouldn't get very excited about this and you certainly shouldn't get a lump in your throat when they play the star spangled banner, because, not only is that crass emotionalism, it is also chauvinism, you see, and it's nationalism, and this is what got Hitler going. And this is always how the world has come to trouble before.
There is a tendency among us to feel — among us, I mean our country — to feel that we should love more people, one world. The U.N. But I say to you, unless you know how to love your neighbor, you can never love other people. Unless you learn that in the first social organization that you join, your family, the meaning of real love and real devotion, and real willingness to take responsibility, and willingness even to deny yourself and give to somebody else, you can never have this kind of feeling for a larger society. It's got to be learned on the level of the individual, regardless of IQ. And this is a point that is being lost. And so, there is among us, a tendency to become PASSIVE."
" I think this has something to do with the emancipation of women. I'm not opposed to the amendment that gave the vote to our better halves. But I wonder how many of our females have become, not more emancipated, better females, but have instead become, somehow, imitation males and are competing with males as males. I think this is unhealthy. The nice thing about males and females is that they are different. Profoundly different. Now, this does not mean that females shouldn't be educated. It doesn't mean she shouldn't be a physicist. It only means that we are losing our idea of what the role of a female is and what the role of a male is in our culture.
And so it was that PASSIVITY in Korea was a deadly ailment. And it can be an equally deadly ailment, so it's slower, but equally deadly in America today. It can easily destroy us, as no fallout will ever get a chance to do. I'll talk specifically in a minute about exactly what I mean about that.
First of all, however I'd like to mention to you the fact that this process applied to the Americans in Korea was successful beyond any previous captors' wildest hopes. Now, the results of the program, combined, please remember, with the first six months which was not part of the Communist program, but made in the U.S. The results of this were phenomenal.
To begin with, more men died in captivity than have ever died before in military captivity — in any war in which America has engaged. Four out of ten men died. And one of the main reasons was PASSIVITY among the soldiers."
"In Korea, we saw a lack of resistance. We found that in ten of the twelve camps, there were no barb-wire fences around the camps, no machine-gun towers, no electric barricades, no guard dogs, and as few as one armed guard per 100 American prisoners. No resistance.
Worse than that, during the first six months, we found, and we had four physicians who were themselves prisoners, and we examined hundreds of these cases, we found that a new disease had occurred — a disease explicitly of PASSIVITY. This was a disease of that most popular of all of the targets of the psychiatrists — the mother's boy. The unresolved Oedipal complex, or whatever you want to call it. Nonetheless, the passive kid. He would walk into his hut in Korea, look despairingly about him, decide it was no use trying to participate in his survival, would go off into a corner by himself, pull his blanket over his head, and in 48 hours was dead."
Indeed, the record shows that during the Korean War POW experience, many American men found their 'Happy Place.' They just rolled up in a corner, found a place in their imagination where they could blot out reality — a magical place where they could dream, a place where their imagination took hold — and curl up and die.
T.R. Fehrenbach, a military historian who writes the most insightful account of the Korean War, tells us (from the mouth of an enlisted soldier, Schlichter, who RESISTED his captors attempts to 're-educate' him) that  "The veneer of civilized decency is much thinner than most Americans ... think. Civilization is a fragile discipline, at best...The sick and those with war wounds died first. Then the men without faith began to die, often, seemingly, of nothing at all."
"The youngest men, oddly, died first."
"Schlichter, who never lost his determination to live to return, or his faith in God, believed that most who died didn't have to die..."
"There were men who had grown up with no strong belief in anything; they had received no faith from parents, school, or church. They had no spiritual home or haven. Exposed to horror and misery, when the man with the gun cut the line to home, destroyed every material reason for living, they could not adjust. They no longer wanted to live."
"Schlichter saw men who refused to eat the meager slop he was eating, in his own effort to stay alive. He heard men mumble fantasies, living in a dream world of their own warm, protected past. One boy angrily told him, as he urged the youth to eat, 'My parents never made me do things like this!'"
"Another told him one night, sobbing, 'I know my mother is bringing me a pie tonight — a pie, Sergeant.'"
"In Charles Schlichter grew a feeling, which he never lost, that some American mothers had given their sons everything in the world, except a belief in themselves, their culture, and their manhood. They had, some of them, sent their sons out into a world with tigers without telling them that there were tigers, and with no MORAL armament."
In this way, some American G.I.s found their own 'Happy Place.' They simply curled up within their own mind, became invisible, and died. They had become completely PASSIVE.
A partial answer to the idea of our ‘passivity’ to the fact-of the counter-culture revolution in America is contained in an article I wrote which was published in the FORUM section of the Sunday Washington Times. It is at the link, ‘FORUM 6/11/00,’ and in more detail in the essay at the link, ‘Unedited FORUM 6-11-00.’ The latter describes how the American people have become so PASSIVE in the face of this onslaught. It tells of the role Kurt Lewin, the father of the 'sensitivity training' movement in America. An excerpt is repeated below:
“Kurt Lewin (a former OSS operative during World War II, and researcher sponsored by the Navy Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.), developed psychological warfare techniques to be used as behavior modification tools on the enemy. After the war, Lewin developed and perfected the ‘sensitivity training’ techniques, the extremely effective small-group encounter methods being used on our military personnel – at all levels – today.
These powerful psychological behavior and attitude modification techniques have been and are being used throughout our society by the power elites of the Boomer generation, the ‘foot soldiers’ of the Frankfurt School intellectuals who came here, dispersed, and spread their ideas of a ‘quiet revolution.’ Their revolution would be one so powerful that ‘it could not be countered even by the use of force’ And, now, they are gone. Disappeared. As in an apparition. Some dead. Some repatriated to Germany after World War II ended. But their presence is still felt.
These ‘phantom spirits,’ while here, achieved a strong bond with the elites of our nation’s potentially most dangerous generation—the idealistic Boomer generation—during their young adulthood in the mid-1960s. And the counter-culture revolution, which the youthful Boomers spawned, has been partially carried to completion during their adulthood. They are exemplified by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry and the other power elites of the Boomer generation who came to executive-branch and congressional political power in the 1990s.
The seemingly disjoint and unconnected events, a few of which are summarized above, are the products of these Boomer ‘foot soldiers’ of the Frankfurt School gurus. We can now connect the dots more clearly. They connect to us through every institution in the land: our universities, our K-12 public schools, our churches, our mass media, our judicial system, our corporations, our neighborhoods, our politics, and now our military—the next to last institution to hold fast against this dark onslaught. The only places they have not yet entirely corrupted is our families—our homes, the last bastion of RESISTANCE against the utopian dream of the revolutionaries’ ‘enlightened imagination.’
And now it appears that, given the Elian Gonzalez affair, even our homes are vulnerable to attack by a totalitarian use of armed force in the dark of the night. How could all of this come about? Why are we—the American people—so PASSIVE in the face of this tyranny?
The answer lies in the realization that we have been rendered PASSIVE by the same mind control techniques that the Chinese used on our Korean War POWs back in the 1950s. But now, these techniques have been used by our own government to render us PASSIVE to the spectacle of a complete breakdown of the rule of law—from Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial to the kidnapping of little Elian Gonzalez.
Recall that I warned of this phenomenon in a FORUM commentary (‘Military moral imperative,’ 2/13/00) which reviewed the Korean War POW experience. These techniques, applied by the Chinese, worked on our Korean War POWs. According to the best data available: Only 5 percent RESISTED the enemy indoctrination; 15 percent were consistent, dedicated, hard-core COLLABORATORS with the enemy; The other 80 percent were rendered “PASSIVE” by their captors’ ‘sensitivity training’ methods and stood for nothing but their own survival.
Most Americans have not yet recognized that these same methods, devised independently by U.S. citizens and applied by Americans, are morally corrupt. Few know that they serve a revolutionary agenda—the destruction of American civilization.
These techniques are being used every day, in nearly every walk of our lives. These attempts to change the world view of the populace have become mainstream in America. They have been used in a huge social engineering project to change the very nature of our fragile experiment with democracy.
The purpose of their social engineering? To slowly but surely replace our Constitutional Republic, handed down to us by our Founding Fathers, with a socialist utopia of their own ‘enlightened imagination.’
We have deceived ourselves. While winning the Cold War abroad, we were slowly and almost imperceptibly, losing a war at home to ‘cultural Marxism.’ In fact, we are so far behind that many have thrown their hands up in despair—and surrendered. They have been rendered PASSIVE.
The Frankfurt School intellectuals would not even have registered a footnote in history had they not captured the imagination and souls of the counter-culture Boomer elites as they came-of-age in the mid-1960s. Now these ‘foot soldiers’ of the Frankfurt School gurus, the elites of the idealistic Boomer generation, have risen to power in every institution in the land.
The U.S. military was the next-to-last last institution to come under attack. It is being destroyed from the top-down. Just the opposite direction that has corrupted every other venerable institution in the land.
And now, it has become clear that the last institution still standing—our families in our own homes—are under assault by a Federal Government out of control. While we remain PASSIVE to this totalitarian impulse of the power elites of the Boomer generation.
Will America retreat from this onslaught into its own ‘Happy Place’ — the final resting place, a lonely grave in the wilderness of history? ‘Will Jessica Lynch’s denial of reality in the world of the small be the precursor to the same malaise on a grand scale over the American people? If it is, then American civilization as it was originally constructed — the America our Founding Fathers, our grandparents and our parents handed down to us — will dissolve and disappear.
The fight to preserve our uniquely American ideals will require RESISTANCE across every facet of our lives to the agenda of the Frankfurt School gurus as it is being carried out by their New Age ‘foot soldiers,’ the power elites of the Boomer generation.
The fight is up to each of us individually. Are you a RESISTER? A COLLABORATOR? Or are you PASSIVE? If our family members, our friends, our neighbors, our fellow workers, our church members, our professional associates, and our military veteran acquaintances are not of the RESISTER group, they are part of the problem. It’s up to us. The future of our precious American civilization is in our hands.
Who is Responsible for the Rape of Private Jessica Lynch?
The White House, the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the U.S. Army and the elements of the military establishment who have, over the past decade, touted the radical feminist line that women have a right to ‘fight’ for their country and must establish ‘equality’ in every aspect of American culture, including the military, have a problem with the Jessica Lynch story. It was not only the families of the female soldiers in the 507th Maintenance Company who were shocked that they would be placed in harms way. The disgust and horror that Americans in their living rooms registered when they found out that women were being killed, captured, and possibly tortured by the Iraqis would redound harshly on those who were responsible for placing America’s women at risk in a combat zone. Not only was America sending women into a combat zone, but two were single mothers with toddler children. America should be outraged at this situation. Who would be held responsible? Not just the radical feminists, but the senior military officers, congressmen and women, and Executive Branch civilians who had implemented the Clintons’ agenda to ‘feminize’ our armed forces would feel the wrath of the American people for what happened to Pvt. Jessica Lynch.
Consequently, a way had to be found to ‘fuzz’ the realization that our female soldiers were being killed, captured and possibly tortured in Iraq. The way out was to immediately create a myth — the myth of the Modern American War Hero. It would portray Pvt. Jessica Lynch as the centerpiece of this myth. This situation is discussed in detail in an essay at the link: Private Jessica Lynch: The Mythical Modern American War Hero.
It is useful to question just who could gain by a coverup of the sexual assault and sadistic torture of Jessica Lynch. There are groups of Americans who would benefit if the truth were covered up. First, the radical feminist organizations who have lobbied, pressured, pushed, schemed, and used the mass media to usher females into combat or near-combat positions in the armed forces would benefit. The outrage of the American people, if they knew the truth, would be aimed directly at them.
Second, the politicians in the congress and in the Executive Branch would benefit if the truth were covered up because they would feel the same wrath of the American people directed at the radical feminists. That would include all of those who voted for the repeal of the ‘combat exclusion rule’ for women in 1993, which allowed women to be assigned to combat aviation and combat ships, as well as thousands of ‘jobs’ in the Army in ‘high risk’ near-combat areas. Senators John McCain, John Warner, the ‘shrill sisters’ in the Senate and the House and many others were swept up in the ‘political movement’ to provide ‘equal opportunity’ for women in our armed forces. They would not stand up to the radical feminists. They would not stand up against the tide of public opinion which sided with the ‘equal opportunity’ arguments of the radical feminists. Why? Simply to get re-elected to office. Their high position was worth more than a stand on principle and the experience of ‘tested’ combat veterans that would not have introduced reduced standards in our armed forces, especially in its vast ‘tail’ of support elements — of which the 507th Maintenance Company was one.
The largest group who would benefit from such a coverup is that comprising the general and flag-rank officers in our armed forces. They were the ones who, knowing that the Clintons’ agenda to ‘socialize,’ indeed ‘feminize’ our nation’s armed forces would reduce operational readiness by the resulting lowered standards, went along to get along — in the interest of their careers. The very people who are in charge at the upper echelons of fighting the war with Iraq, providing the news and developing the intelligence have gone through a ‘purge’ in the past decade that eliminated the ‘warriors’ and the ‘warrior ethos’ from the support ‘tail.’ of our armed forces. That ‘tail’ was reduced to a jobs corps for minorities and women.
And last, but not least of those who share the blame for the rape and brutal torture of Jessica Lynch at the hands of the Iraqis are those Americans who retreated into their own ‘Happy Places.’ The fathers of young women, who not only supported their daughter’s dreams of a military career, but actively proselytized organizationally and politically in supporting their daughter’s best interest. I know fathers who were members of the Navy’s Tailhook Association who took direct action with the Board of Directors to deny my access to their members to let them know of my new book, ‘From Trust to Terror: Radical Feminism is Destroying the U.S. Navy.’
Among this last group is a nameless and faceless group of people in responsible positions associated with the institutions which they represent who pretended to be resisters to the inroads made by the counter-culture revolution in their sphere of interest but who, in reality, served their own best interests in ‘going along to get along’ and/or actually becoming the instrument by which the revolutionaries infiltrated their institution. I have written extensively about these people. See the essays at the links: ‘The Judas Goat,’ ‘Anatomy of a Collaborator,’ ‘The Anatomy of a Closet Leftist,’ ‘Rebuttal to Maguire,’ ‘Ethics Rebuttal Essays,’ ‘Song of Solomon,’ ‘Going After Cacciato,’ ‘Tim O’Brien’s USNA Ethics,’ ‘Enemies Within,’ ‘Conversation with a Father,’ ‘The Bob Stumpf Affair,’ and ‘The Annapolization of America.’
And to bring up the rear of this list of those responsible for the rape and torture of Private Jessica Lynch are those of us who were too ‘busy’ — with their recreational activities watching and/or even tailgating at professional and college football games, playing and/or watching golf on TV, going to the theatre, and other recreational outlets — to pay any attention to and doing nothing about the damage being done to our civilization by the counter-culture revolutionaries bent on destroying it. This last group includes most all of us. Indeed, we all found our own little ‘Happy Place’ in which to close our eyes and ‘disappear,’ just as did Jessica Lynch. We are all to blame. Wake up America!
How Can All of this Be Explained?
I have gone to great length in several essays on the subject to ‘explain,’ at the most fundamental level, what has been working in the underbrush to destroy our great civilization. The essays at the links: ‘Chaos Theory and Generations,’ ‘The Fourth Turning,’ and ‘America’s Generations’ address the foundation for this ‘explanation.’ In addition, the recent advances of researchers (especially in the last-half of the 1990s) in the field of Network Theory have provided support for these explanations in terms of dynamically growing networks. These networks display the same self-organizing mechanisms that are described in Chaos Theory texts. The popular book , ‘The Tipping Point,’ contains a less esoteric ‘explanation’ of this ‘science of surprise’ in terms that the ‘man in the street can understand – epidemics, fads, and other cascading events observed in our normal lives.
Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, a physicist at Notre Dame University, is a leading researcher in the field of Network Theory. He and his colleagues have found that  “Nature normally hates power laws. In ordinary systems all quantities follow bell curves, and correlations decay rapidly, obeying exponential laws. But all that changes if the system is forced to undergo a phase transition [akin to water molecules freezing to snowflakes in the clouds or iron atoms all aligning themselves in the same direction in a sufficiently strong magnetic field or a material becoming a superconductor under certain conditions]. Then power laws emerge — nature’s unmistakable sign that chaos is departing in favor of order. The theory of phase transitions told us loud and clear that the road from disorder to order is maintained by the powerful forces of self-organization and is paved by power laws. It told us that power laws are not just another way of characterizing a system’s behavior. They are the patent signatures of self-organization in complex systems.” And, of course, American civilization is a fabric whose warp and weave are comprised of individual threads, each of which exhibit complex behavior themselves. Indeed, American civilization is a self-organizing system. It comprises choices made by independent people, free to choose at every level of their existence — within the context of a regulatory system (again freely chosen) governing the morality of the individual, Christianity.
The World Wide Web, which operates on an interconnected set of routers [maintained by several independent institutions] called the Internet, is a dynamically growing (new web sites appear every day) network which is characterized by a property called preferential attachment. That is, we do not link randomly to every site on the Web — we do not link to ordinary nodes. We most often choose to link to the most popular Web Sites. When choosing between two pages, one with twice as many links as the other, about twice as many people link to the more connected page . While our individual choices are highly unpredictable, as a group we follow strict patterns. These two properties, growth and preferential treatment, guarantee that the network, any network, will be scale-free, that is, it obeys a power law. This will also guarantee that the network will be self-organizing. It grows dynamically without the invisible hand of an all-controlling spider at the center of the Web.
The spread of the AIDS virus followed the pattern of networks which are scale-free, with a few highly connected nodes (hubs) and which have the property of diffusion. According to Barabasi , “Gaetan Dugas, once a French Canadian flight attendant, is often called Patient Zero of the AIDS epidemic. This is not because he was the first to be diagnosed with the disease but rather because at least 40 of the 248 people diagnosed with AIDS by April 1982 had either had sex with him or with someone who had. He was at the center of an emerging complex sexual network among gay men, a web anchored between the East and West Coasts of North America, spanning San Francisco, New York, Florida, and Los Angeles.”
“[Dugas] figured that he had about 250 sexual partners a year. While some estimates put the total number of his partners as high as 20,000, his decade of promiscuity in gay clubs and bathhouses clearly put him in sexual contact with at least 2,500 people...Dugas played an important role in turning the AIDS epidemic in a few short years from an obscure and rare ‘gay cancer (Kaposi’s sarcoma) to a North American health care crisis. He is a terrifying example of the failure of classical epidemic models and evidence of the power of hubs in our highly mobile and connected society. Indeed, when it comes to viruses and epidemics, hubs make a deadly difference.”
Barabasi observes that recent research on sexual behavior, characterized by Gaetan Dugas and Wilt Chamberlain’s (self-proclaimed 20,000 heterosexual encounters over his lifetime) sexual appetites, are not unique . “The scale-free topology [of the network of sexual associations] implies that, though most people have only a few sexual links, the web of sexual contacts is held together by a hierarchy of highly connected hubs. They are the Wilt Chamberlains and the Gaetan Dugas, collecting an astounding number of sexual partners.”
“The deadly virus must have followed the route already spotted [by network researchers] in the spread of innovation and computer viruses: Hubs are among the first infected thanks to their numerous sexual contacts. Once infected, they quickly infect hundreds of others. If our sex web formed a homogeneous, random network, AIDS might have died out long ago. The scale-free topology at [the] AIDS [virus] disposal allowed the virus to spread and persist.”
In the late 1990s, researchers found that the  “...connectivity distribution of the Internet routers follows a power law...They showed that [this] collection of routers linked by various physical lines, is a scale-free network.” It is not a random network. Consequently, it is a self-organizing system. According to Barabasi, “Routers are added where there is a demand for them, and demand depends on the number of people wanting to use the Internet. Thus there is a strong correlation between population density and the density of Internet nodes. The distribution of routers on the map of North America forms a fractal set, a self-similar mathematical object discovered in the 1970s by Benoit Mandelbrot. [On the internet there is] an interplay of growth, preferential attachment, distance dependence and an underlying fractal structure. Each of these forces alone, if taken to the extreme, could destroy the [Internet’s] scale-free topology ... But the amazing thing is that these coexisting mechanisms delicately balance each other, maintaining a scale-free Internet. This very balance of power is the Internet’s own Achilles heel.” It is susceptible to cascading failures and/or attack by those with malicious intent (crackers).
The World Wide Web comprised of over a billion individual web sites around the world has no central design — it, as the internet itself, is self-organized. It evolves from the individual actions of millions of users. As a result, its architecture is much richer than the sum of its parts. It cannot be shaped by any single user or institution. Most of the Web’s truly important features and emerging properties derive from its large-scale self-organized topology.
An example of this property is given by Barabasi  — democracy on the Web. “A scale-free topology means that the vast majority of [web pages] are hardly visible, since a highly popular minority has all the links. Yes, we do have free speech on the Web. Chances are, however, that our voices are too weak to be heard. Pages with only a few incoming links are impossible to find by casual browsing. Instead, over and over we are steered toward the hubs. It is tempting to believe that robots (software that is designed to enter a web site and copy all of the text on it) — primarily used by search engines, (e.g. Google, Alta Vista, etc.) can avoid this popularity-driven trap. They could, but they don’t. Instead, the likelihood that a [web page] will be indexed by a search engine depends strongly on the number of its incoming links. Documents with only one incoming link have less than a 10 percent chance of being noticed by any search engine. In contrast, robots find and index close to 90 percent of pages that have twenty-one to one hundred incoming links.”
As a gauge of this concept, every web site is ranked on a scale of 0 to 10 by Google in terms of its popularity and its ‘importance’ – the number of instances that it is at a link on a the more popular hubs on the Web. For example, Google has a rank of 10 (most important). Yahoo and Microsoft both have a Google-rank of 10. The New York Times and Washington Post web sites have a Google-rank of 7 and 8 respectively. The PBS and Washington Times web sites have a Google-rank of 5. This web sit [www.newtotalitarians.com] has a Google-rank of 4. This shows the power law nature of the World Wide Web. A quality web site can be rated right up there with the ‘big boys’ if it is increasingly ‘linked to’ by other web pages and especially those web pages with a high Google-rank. Thus, quality is an important aspect of a web site that determines its rank. Indeed, in the concept of a ‘Tipping Point,’ small beginnings can result in large results. A web site that continues to grow on the basis of its quality can rise to the rank of a major hub. Google, itself, among search engines, has proven this maxim as it quickly rose to the top over those which were previously established.
Barabasi explains this phenomenon. “The architecture of the Web controls just about everything, from access to consumers to the probability of being visited by surfing along the links. But the science of the Web increasingly proves that this architecture represents a higher level of organization than the code. Your ability to find my Webpage is determined by one factor only: its position [ranking] on the Web. If many people find my page interesting and they link to me, my node will slowly turn into a minor hub, and search engines will inevitably notice. If everybody ignores my Webpage, so will the search engines. I will join the ranks of invisible Websites, which are the majority anyway. Thus the Web’s large-scale topology — that is, its architecture — enforces more severe limitations on our behavior and visibility on the Web than government or industry could ever achieve by tinkering with the code. Regulations come and go, but the topology and the fundamental natural laws governing it are time invariant. As long as we continue to delegate to the individual the choice of where to link, we will not be able to significantly alter the Web’s large-scale topology, and we will have to live with the consequences.
Barabasi tells us that we shouldn’t underestimate the enormous services the search engines and their robots offer us [as Web users] . “We often sigh in desperation, calling the Web a ‘jungle.’ The truth is, without robots it would be a black hole. Space would curve around it such that anything falling in would never get out. Robots keep the World Wide Web from collapsing under its increasing complexity. They fold the space out, maintaining order in the chaos of nodes and links.
Barabasi reveals how much he and his colleagues have learned about the natural laws governing other complex systems by studying the properties of the Internet and the World Wide Web. “One of the most exciting aspects of this exploration has been uncovering laws whose validity does not stop at the gates of cyberspace. These laws, applying equally well to the cell and the ecosystem, demonstrate how unavoidable nature’s laws are and how deeply self-organization shapes the world around us. By virtue of its digital nature and enormous size, the World Wide Web offers a model system whose every detail can be uncovered. We have never gotten this close to any network before. It will continue to be a source of inspiration and ideas to anybody aiming to grasp the properties of our web-like universe.”
Much has been made recently of the huge scientific accomplishment of mapping the human genome — that vast chain of DNA which encodes every gene in our bodies. Barabasi brings this accomplishment down to earth . “To be sure, the sequencing of the human genome is a triumph, the result of modern molecular biology’s ability to reduce complex living systems to their smallest parts. It is undoubtedly a catalyst of a new era in both medicine and biology. But the genome project has brought along a new realization: The behavior of living systems can seldom be reduced to their molecular components.”
“Our inability to find a single gene responsible for manic depression is the best illustration. A list of suspected genes is not sufficient. To cure most illnesses, we need to understand living systems in their integrity. We need to decipher how and when different genes work together, how messages travel within the cell, which reactions are taking place or not in any given moment, and how the effects of a reaction spread along this complex cellular network. To achieve this we must map out the network within the cell. This web of life determines whether a cell develops into skin or labors constantly in the heart, decides the cell’s response to external disturbances, holds the key to survival in constantly changing environments, tells the cell when to divide or die, and is responsible for illnesses ranging from cancer to psychiatric disorders. As the historic Science article that reported the decoding of the human genome concluded, ‘there are no ‘good’ genes or ‘bad’ genes, but only networks that exist at various levels.’”
And then Barabasi goes on to describe  the research conducted on understanding the molecular metabolic and regulatory networks that govern this ‘map of life.’ “[The research suggests that] the scale-free nature of the protein interaction network is a generic feature of all organisms...Taken together, the similar large-scale topology of the metabolic and the protein interaction networks [in cells] indicate the existence of a high degree of harmony in the cell’s architecture: Whichever organizational level we examine, a scale-free topology greets us. These journeys within the cell indicate that Hollywood [the Kevin Bacon game describing the ‘connectedness’ of the 500,000 actors in the 250,000 movie data base] and the Web have only rediscovered the topology that life had already developed 3 billion years earlier. Cells are really small worlds [that is, have only a few ‘degrees of separation’ between nodes] that share the topology of many other nonbiological networks, as if the architect of life could design only these.”
“How did life arrive at this architecture? Almost as soon as we asked the question, we had the answer ... Each of three independent research groups offered the same simple and elegant explanation, claiming that the cell’s scale-free topology is a result of a common mistake cells make while reproducing.”
Barabasi explains how this and other such research on the cellular networks of living things resulted in describing the neural network  of the C. elegans, a miniscule little worm. “In 1996 the decoding of the yeast genome gave the scientific community a shock: It contained as many as 6,300 genes. Only about a quarter of these were expected and could be assigned vague functions. To be on the safe side, and boosted by humans’ perceived importance as the pinnacle of evolution, biologists estimated that the human genome would have at least 100,000 genes. This number was believed to be sufficient to account for the high complexity of Homo sapiens. Then came February 2001 and the publication of the human genome. It turned out that we have less than a third of the anticipated genes – only about 30,000. Therefore, a mere one-third increase in genes must explain the difference between us and the unsophisticated Caenorhabditis elegans worm — quite a provocative idea when we consider that the 20,000 genes of C. elegans need to encode only three hundred neurons, whereas our extra 10,000 genes have to account for the billion nerve cells present in our brain.”
“In short, it is now clear that the number of genes is not proportional to our perceived complexity. Then what does complexity mean? Networks point to the answer. Framed in terms of networks, our question becomes: How many different potentially distinct behaviors can a generic network display with the same number of genes? In principle, two cells that are identical except that a specific gene is on in the first cell and off in the second could behave differently. Assuming that each gene can be turned on or off independently, a cell with N genes could display 2N (2 to the power N) distinct states. If we adopt as a measure of complexity the potential number of distinct behaviors displayed by a typical cell, the difference between a worm and humans is staggering: Humans could be viewed as 103,000 (10 to the power 3,000) times more complex than our wormy relatives!”
Barabasi concludes this discussion with the predictive paragraph, “Whereas the twentieth century was seen as the century of physics, the twenty-first is often predicted to be the century of biology. A decade ago it would have been tempting to call it the century of the gene. Few people would dare say that any longer about the century we have just entered. It will most likely be a century of complexity. It must be a century of biological networks as well. If there is any area in which network thinking could trigger a revolution, I believe that biology is it.”
Or could it be network theory and experiment applied to the preservation of American civilization? Which is more important as a national policy goal – finding ways to prolong life or finding ways to assure our freedoms based on our Founding documents?
The answer is in our hands. Wake up America!
Note: For those interested in a mathematical explanation of the phenomenon described immediately above, please connect to the hyperlink at Dynamical Systems.