Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Forecasting Political Events: Mao Zedong and the Middle East

The inland Chinese city of Chongqing will be selecting ten outstanding youth to serve as interns in the White House for five weeks.  This is the first year that mainland students will be able to participate along with students from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In return, perhaps the U.S. government should select ten outstanding intelligence personnel from the State Department and U.S. embassies in the Middle East to serve as interns in the Chinese Communist Party Central School in Beijing.  There they might immerse themselves in the writings of Chairman Mao.

In March 1927 Mao wrote “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan.”  This was perhaps the seminal event in the Communist Party movement that incorporated peasants into Mao’s Revolutionary Movement.  Mao followed this essay in January 1930 with a defining essay that is especially appropriate for understanding the eruptions spreading throughout the Middle East:  “A Singe Spark can Start a Prairie Fire.”

It appears evident that the intelligence services in the State Department and its embassies, the Military, the CIA, FBI, and other services in the Department of Homeland Security missed the great uprising.  With total budgets in the tens of billions of dollars, how can this be?

Inability to see outside the box?  Holding to a conservative view of autocratic rule, especially on behalf of Sunni regimes, in anticipation of post-government employment as a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia?

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