Sunday, September 14, 2014

How Predicting 911 Came About - It Started with a Lay Off and a Fiction Book That Became Fact

Recently while moving papers I discovered an old dusty thick file. Inside I found a printed original manuscript for a "fiction" book I was writing about a terror attack against the U.S. - in 1990!  The original title was Fire Over Arabia.  It was fiction that become fact in more ways than one.

I wrote it because I had lost my high flying global negotiating job after being sent to over 30 countries in a five year span--from Egypt to China and India and South America. I figured it might be a way to take my unique knowledge of people and strange places far and wide that I had come to know -- and make a buck trying to be like Tom Clancy or Dan Brown etc. since I was broke!  Little did I know I was writing a non-fiction scenario that would soon occur.

Fire Over Arabia was my fictional story of "a flash war in the Middle East" and a "terror attack on the U.S."  I was about half way through the manuscript, writing about my main character becoming caught in an unexpected flash war in Iraq, when the news broke that Saddam had invaded Kuwait.  Part of my fiction book had just become real. America was heading for the first Gulf War.

Being broke means you have a highly refined radar for sensing opportunity. I didn't let not having a car at the time stop me (it had broken down and been repossessed).  I sent my book info around to Houston TV stations.  I got exactly one favorable response: Houston's Fox 26 station sent for me.  I got a friend to drive me there and one of the broadcasters dropped me back at my apartment afterward.

This is IMPORTANT: Fox 26 then and now is nothing like the national Fox network.  Houston's Fox 26 has always had the nicest group of people in studio with no political agenda. It presents straight news in a non-biased, non-political manner. I like everyone there - from Fran Fawcett (1990) to Jose Grinan, Melissa Wilson, etc. and I still appear there from time to time.  It is totally different from the national Fox network which is become like Russian TV, which is one-party controlled propaganda media for Mr. Putin instead of straight unbiased news.)

Within three years the second part of Fire Over Arabia would also come true.

In 1993, we had a warning. It was was the first bombing of the World Trade Center. Few Americans remember it but I paid attention. Six people were killed when terrorists set off a bomb in the parking garage below the twin towers.  The second plot part of "Fire" was a terrorist attack on the United States. People remember 9/11, but we had a series of warnings long before then, from the attack on the USS Cole to the African U.S. embassy bombings and including the famous August 2001 memo President Bush received warning about an imminent Al Qaida attack, but Americans didn't notice until we had our generations Pearl Harbor size event.

My Fire Over Arabia terrorist plot was about a nuclear device, not planes flying into buildings. The result is the same although the delivery systems will vary.  My "Fire" did have a (nuclear) missile flying towards Washington DC, launched offshore by terrorists operating from the Middle East.

Why did the local Fox station pick me?

Because few people in Houston, then and now, had the unique experience I had in the Middle East doing actual business deals (not strolling around as a casual tourist).  I had been a young Fortune 500 legal negotiator for a major oil services company (Dresser Industries).  Before that a company called Brown and Root (now KBR) had hired this kid out of school and sent him to Nicaragua, so I was there at the beginnings of the Contra war in the Reagan administration and witnessed a lot of other very weird stuff -- like the company getting indicted and the then B&R President coming suicide.   I even had to try to get $ 2 million out of Saddam in the 1970's for Brown & Root on an oil drilling deal.  I was "kicked" out of a room at the Nile Hilton in Cairo, Egypt to make room for President Carter's entourage for the first ever peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country (all described in "Better Times Ahead".)

"Fire" never got published. Why? Because back then it took a year to get a book processed and printed.  The publishers said "Saddam will be gone within a year" and then the book would be out of date.

Well, they were wrong. Saddam was around for over another decade because the first Bush administration knew what would happen if they toppled him (I just heard James Baker talk about it on "Meet the Press" today).

In 1994, I produced a TV video talking about the potential of a 9/11 coming and my guest was a weapons expert from the Reagan administration. It is posted on YouTube. I sent a copy to VP-Elect Dick Cheney and Congress Majority Whip Tom DeLay nine months before 9/11. No Response. This link is the video they would have seen if they looked.

I am attaching the Prologue that I wrote for "Fire Over Arabia" in 1990 --so YOU can judge if I had vision of national significance or not.   And if you want to know what America should be concerned about next - and how to FIX it then read a new book I have published called "Better Times Ahead April Fool."  Sorry, its a jpeg converted from a PDF but it is authentic, except the address and phone number which I haven't used in twenty years.

If I was right about 911, then read my latest book and ask yourself if I am also right about how to make America No. 1 again in the final chapter "Agenda for American Greatness."

Fire Over Arabia was written in 1990 - 11 years before 9/11.  That was almost a quarter century ago from today and still America isn't listening. Agenda for American Greatness is all about looking ahead.  Because we can win, but only if we are smart.

Here is my 1990 Prologue for Fire Over Arabia...let me know with a comment if you think I should publish it, or even update it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where Were You on 911? I became a terrorism analyst that day...

11 September 2014

Thirteen years ago today 9/11 shook America. Where were you that day?  I ended up in a different place. Normally I would have been practicing law. But I spent the day in a TV studio as a terrorism expert, watching the images and trying to analyze a confusing situation.

                                                     Michael Fjetland on 9/11, 2001

                                                     Inside the World Trade Center 1994

Why was I on TV as an expert in that area?  Because I had been an international negotiator before getting laid off during the “Great Texas Oil Bust” of the 80’s. Looking for a project that might earn a buck and use my knowledge of the world (I had been in the Middle East and over thirty countries) I had written a “fiction” book about a potential terrorist attack on the United States (and a flash war in a place called Iraq). I had no idea my fiction book would soon become non-fiction.

In the middle of my book, Saddam invaded Kuwait, which led to the first Gulf War in 1990-91.  When the second plane hit the WTC, I called the same TV station and asked: “Would you like me to come in?”  The answer was yes.  I saw photos that were never published. Some were of people falling from the towers. A close look showed that they had no feet, apparently burned off by the burning towers. I couldn’t imagine the choice they had faced.

Nine months before 911, I had sent to the just-elected VP, Dick Cheney, a video I had produced and aired on cable TV with a weapons expert from the Reagan administration, Dr. Ron Hatchett. I made it in 1994, a year after the first bombing of the World Trade center that killed six people. I asked Dr. Hatchett if the premise of my fiction book could happen: a terror attack on the U.S. He said “Yes” and went on to explain how it could occur.  In late January 2001, I sent a copy of that video to Mr. Cheney and to my local Congress rep at the time, Tom DeLay. Neither responded or asked “What is this about?”  In the months preceding 911, they cut counter-terrorism funding.  I cover all this in my chapter “Predicting 911” in my book “Better Times Ahead April Fool.” The proof: the video is available on YouTube if you search my name.

In 1994 Al Qaida was just forming – something I didn’t yet know, so my focus in the book and video was on Saddam Hussein. But it became clear after 9/11 Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. It was all about Osama bin Laden and a place called Afghanistan.

As a result of the invasion of Iraq, the borders of Iraq opened to Al Qaida. Until then, Saddam had kept Osama bin Laden out of Iraq – he HATED him. Osama bin Laden was the religious nut and Saddam was the non-religious nut. I still remembered Reagan supporting Saddam in the eight year war against IRAN. Without Saddam, Iran was free to build its nuclear capability. 

And without Saddam, Al Qaida morphed into ISIS, which we now confront today – an organization so radical that it was kicked out of Al Qaida.

So, I remember all too well 9/11, and what led to today’s mess. The President is right to attack ISIS – a group that not only beheads American journalists, but kills children and sells women into bondage. Iraq’s Prime Minister Maliki had kicked us out of Iraq, but then they screwed it up so badly they had to invite us back in.

Osama had hoped the attack would get the U.S. into a war that would make us become the enemy in the Shia vs Sunni sectarian battle, and it worked. President Obama has been smart enough to make sure that we aren’t picking sides and forced the Iraqis to become more inclusive.

We should remember that on this day. The Iraq war cost over $5 Trillion dollars on borrowed money and nearly 5,000 U.S. lives, on top of those lost on 9/11.  We did much of the damage to our own economy – just as Osama bin Laden wanted.

The person who brought bin laden to justice was President Obama. He deserves Congress support against ISIS and their support in rebuilding our own country’s roads and bridges that are over 70 years old. We have done enough damage to ourselves. 

Let’s start investing in our future.
Michael Fjetland

Author, Better Times Ahead April Fool

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Get ready for Our first SPACE ARK....for humans to survive

I have been watching "How the Universe Works" which raises some fundamental things for us humans to think about if we wish to avoid extinction -- by either our own actions or a cosmic event like a meteor strike like the one that killed the dinosaurs.

                                            Last thing dinosaurs saw. We could be next

Eventually we will have to leave this planet to survive as a species. Can you imagine making a 300 day trip in a vehicle the size of a SUV to Mars even with people you like? How about your mother in law? lol. OK, how about four or five people in a small space for nearly a year with current NASA technology? How long before someone will want to KILL someone else?  It's not possible for someone to go for a walk or "leave" in that space prison.

                                            Artists conception of a "Space Ark"

Obviously, the answer is that faster transport may be required to prevent murder in space! lol. Calling Scotty for Warp Drive!

The "How the Universe Works" episode on the "Space Ark" is fascinating -it raises the question how would we migrate to another world to survive as an intelligence, space-technology species?

Even if we built a huge space vessel filled with all kinds of humans (WHO gets to go? Who would decide?) and our cats, dogs, bbq pits, etc., it would be a 42 year trip to reach the closest sun to our sun star - Alpha Centuri A.  Once there, no guarantees it would work. Being adaptable will be vital to success.  Scientists think with a "Warp Drive" we could be there in 5 months! Right now, its 42 years! Let's start with Mars and start planning ahead. It's stupid not to.

As the sun ages it will GROW into a red giant, evaporating the Earth. Sooner or later, humans will face a day when we will HAVE to become planetary migrants and fall back to the outer planets like Mars to avoid becoming extinct as our solar system heats up from the sun.

So today's immigration debates will look silly. We are all about to be migrants on a grander scales since the GOP does not want to minimize the damage to our planet by human emissions.

Unlike dinosaurs, we are lucky enough to have a space program, so if we don't survive it will be because we were too dumb to take advantage of it. Frankly, we have been pretty damn dumb lately - our politicians would sell their souls for a lobbyist plane ticket and not give a second thought to any of this.

At some distant future billions of years from now (no one living today will have to worry about it) our Milky Way galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy, requiring even more ingenuity of our species to survive.

Of course the GOP Congress will be against doing anything about any of this, or paying for it! They don't even want to fix 70 year old bridges before they collapse, so vision is not their long suit. But all these things will happen anyway.

Either build the ark or drown in the flood!

Either we build an asteroid early detection and defense system or risk losing a city like New York, Houston or Paris to a city killer meteor like the one that hit Russia in 2013.

Just today another huge asteroid just buzzed within 25,000 miles from us - closer than the moon! We are getting dozens of hits from space rocks that we don't see coming.  Earth is "flying blind" because we don't have a global asteroid detection system, so it is a matter of time before we pay for our negligence. We are not defending our planet's trillion dollar economies from a real threat that we have the technology to avoid. All it takes is the vision to make the investment. It should involve every country since all of us face the same risk and each of us, from Moscow to Bombay and Chicago, would be devastated by a hit.

The effort would create jobs and advance technology while providing our first-ever planetary defense system.
                                            Artist concept of Mars Terraforming station

We WILL have to make changes to survive as a species.

Right now that means "do no harm" to our only home in this vast empty part of space. I for one am not anxious to live on our dead moon, or even move to Mars, but Earth is being suffocated into a hothouse Venus-type planet with our man-made carbon emissions.
                                                                   Planet Venus

If we kill our own planet with climate change it will end up forcing us to begin that transfer sooner rather than later....

They say if you put CO2 machines in Mars it would eventually create an atmosphere, just the opposite of the impact on above.  Let's put off the need for a Space Ark and save our planet as Priority No. 1. All else is relative versus a dead planet.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

How ISIS is Recruiting Americans to Fight For It While Beheading Those It Doesn't Like

This summer has been one of the most bizarre in recent history, a bonfire of blood.  As our attention has been focused on the unrest in cities like Ferguson, Israel and Gaza exploded in a rocket and bomb exchange, Ukraine has been overrun by Russia’s mercenaries, Ebola is getting out of control in Africa (and threatens the world) and that’s before we get to Iraq. The Pandora’s Box that was kicked open in the 2003 invasion of Iraq continues to spawn more horrors, now in the guise of ISIS, a killing machine so extreme is was kicked out of Al Qaida! It has been murdering Muslims, Iraqi minorities, Syrian soldiers even before it beheaded two Americans while recruiting Americans to come fight against us and our Iraqi allies. 

Killing Americans while recruiting Americans -- it doesn’t get much more strange than that. How do we fix this?

Donald Morgan is one of those Americans who fell into the “Internet Brainwashing” of ISIS and went to fight “jihad” in Syria. He has returned. Is he a threat to Americans?  Why is ISIS attractive to Americans who decide to fight for our enemies? It turns out that Minneapolis, Minnesota is a prime area for recruiting young jihadists. Who would think it would happen in a state known as "Minnesota nice?"

Apparently Mr. Morgan was an “angry young man” with no job, struggling to “fit in.” He felt mistreated by authorities. Then one day he started watching hours on the Internet, intently following the fighting in the Middle East and the slick recruitment videos of ISIS (young men sitting around, talking in English how “cool” it is to come over and “do jihad” to protect the faith.)  Suddenly, Morgan’s friends said “he changed” and before they knew it he was leaving America to “defend Islam” and wage war. Then he came back. Can we trust him? I really doubt it.

How many more of these Donald Morgan’s does America (and our European allies) have?
Part of the problem is that we have angry young men with too much time on their hands, no job and easy access to the global brainwashing now possible. When I hear Americans say “All Muslims are terrorists,” I know that is not true. But when young Muslims hear their religion constantly being attacked, then groups like ISIS can use that to convince these gullible young men that they are doing the right thing to join them--even though it is all a big lie by ISIS. 

ISIS does not represent Islam any more than the Catholics who were setting off car bombs in Northern Ireland in the 70’s represented true Christianity.

They enter Syria by going to Turkey, which has a long border with Syria. Turkey is doing almost nothing to stop these young men. It is the same entry point used by the journalists who were killed in Syria. More could be done to block these young wannabe fighters from Europe and America at the border.  

Back here in the U.S. and in Europe, we need to get these young men into jobs, but Congress has refused to pass any jobs bills or major infrastructure bills to fix our 70 year old bridges, etc. that would create jobs for those living on the margin. We need to establish dialogue between cultures and tone down the prejudice that Muslims encounter – which is not unlike that faced by young black men and Hispanics every day. We need to show them that America is a great country because it is not a sectarian nation, but is a tolerant society in which all religions are freely practiced and all deserve respect – a nation where differences are not settled with armed miltias but in a court of law.

At the same time we must attack ISIS in Syria, with local and global allies, to neutralize these unredeemable extremists and the American heavy weapons they stole from Iraq.  But then Iraq must fix its political system so that it is as tolerate of each different religious group as America is. 

ISIS lack of tolerance and promotion of conflict has also been embraced by Mr. Putin, who needs to put Russia back on the road to democracy and press freedom. Instead, Putin has been promoting armed aggression in Ukraine where he has taken over the Crimea and seems to be bent on taking more Ukrainian land to establish a land route to his latest conquest. This is just like ISIS. In Russia, all the media is state-owned and Russian people have no independent news source.  They don't see the same news we do in the U.S. and Europe.

Therefore, America must continue to lead by example.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Over 70 Americans Fighting FOR ISIS – How Ferguson Incidents Could Recruit American Jihadis

Over 70 Americans Fighting FOR ISIS – What Happens When They Come Back to America?

                                        How Ferguson Incidents Could Recruit American Jihadis

Out of the approximately 10,000 ISIS fighters, it is believed that about 2,000 are foreigners, with 70 of those being American. One of them, Douglas McCain, was recently killed fighting in Syria. In his pocket was an American passport.  This should be a wakeup call in more ways than one.

What happens when these young men return to Europe and America?  Will the next 9/11 be by American citizens?  As a terrorism analyst for over 20 years, incidents against minorities like the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson could end up recruiting more Americans to become jihadists –not African Americans but Muslim Americans, who are also targeted by police due to their skin color.

Possible. A lesson we should learn from the Ferguson shooting is that the enemy is not minorities like Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot six times. The biggest threats we face on the homeland are twofold (1) a subculture of jihadists like Douglas McCain who already live in America (and Europe) who are connected to the world via the Internet, and (2) the mostly white “sovereign citizens” who do not believe that state, federal or even local law applies to them – and have been shooting police who merely stop them for a traffic offense.

These two young men—McCain and Brown-- couldn’t be more different.  Michael Brown had been accepted to college. He obviously wanted to learn new skills. Douglas McCain was not going to college; he was choosing a deadly direction, based on what? Stuff he read on the Internet? The treatment of his kind by authorities? McCain would have returned to kill us for being Americans.  He would not be alone – he would have to compete with (mostly white) sovereign citizens like those who stood on the Bundy ranch in Nevada and pointed high powered guns at U.S. law enforcement (protecting a deadbeat who had not paid grazing fees in decades).  Neither are role models. Michael Brown would have returned with a college degree. Big difference.

Police treatment of minorities could actually become a recruiting tool for jihadists because of the use of excessive force on young black and Hispanic men (and women) -- which happens in cities like Ferguson across America every day. Police and Americans need to realize that America is becoming a majority minority country (like Ft. Bend, Texas is already). They need to realize that our minorities are not a threat to our society.  But these minorities are being punished more severely than whites for the same offense.  It’s why all police should be required to wear a cam during incidents.

One real example of injustice: Blacks are arrested more than two and half times more than Whites for even nonviolent crimes like possession of marijuana, even though the use by both groups equal as shown in this study.  “Racial disparities in drug arrests represent a serious threat to the integrity of the criminal justice system that should concern all Americans," said the report's author, Jon Gettman, Ph.D.

Rather than focusing on punishing our minorities for nonviolent offenses, or putting a deadly choke hold on a man whose only “crime” was selling cigarettes as recently happened in New York, our police forces should be becoming more diverse to be an integral part of the community. Law enforcement should focus on violent offenses instead of arresting people selling cigarettes or jaywalking which deserve, at most, a small fine or a traffic ticket. 

Harassment of minorities degrades what America is all about. And it plays into the recruiting by jihadists who can use cases of injustice and violence by police towards minorities as vindication for their own journey down the road of violence. 

A country that stands for liberty, equality and justice cannot entirely claim the moral high ground against American jihadists if we tolerate our own law enforcement carrying out summary killings under the color of law.  I spent time in Syria on a kidnapping case as outlined in my book.  ISIS is killing and mistreating minorities.  Intolerance that leads to death is the same result whether it is in Iraq, Syria or Ferguson.

Being targeted because of color is no different than being shot because of one’s religion. Both are repugnant to American values.  The serial shootings of unarmed black men and other minorities by police needs to stop.  A police officer is neither a sovereign citizen nor judge and jury.

Michael Fjetland/BBA/JD

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Accidental Conversation with a Lady in a Bar Today, Playing Fox News...She said "Really?"

My accidental conversation at lunch today, at a bar, which was playing Fox National News (I have to say that our Local Houston  Fox26 is great - just facts, no political slant. I have been their terrorism expert from time to time since the 1991 Gulf War).

Woman, sitting two chairs down from me who is having a beer for lunch (as I stare at my S5 Facebook scroll), suddenly looks at me and says: "Can you believe the President is on VACATION during this crisis with ISIS?"

Me: (Not wanting to get into this conversation and enjoying shrimp quesdillas) "At this point Bush had taken three times MORE days off...and Obama did authorize an attempted rescue of Mr. Foley and the other captives a couple months ago but they had been moved."

Woman, drinking more beer: "Really? I didn't know that!" Then she blurts:
"Can you believe we traded 5 terrorists for Bergdahl?"

Me: "The Israelis traded one of their soldiers kidnapped for 5 years for 2,000 Palestinians...."

Woman: "Really? I didn't know that!" (I try to stare even more intently at my phone, hoping it would end soon)...Then she had to go again:

"Can you believe those people in Ferguson are doing what they are? Now they are rioting on the other side of town!"

Me: "If I had been shot six times for stealing a box of cigars I'd be pissed too."

Woman: SILENCE. "Well I better get back to getting barnacles off my boat."

I looked. Her beer was empty. Fox News continued...

I left with a smile, knowing one of their viewers was now better informed. lol

My story, from farm to Mach 2 travels, to running out of money in Bangkok during the Great Texas Oil Bust and negotiating international kidnapping cases... It ends with "Agenda for American Greatness" - how to become No. 1 again.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Russia to Move More Missiles to Ukraine - Send in the Drones

Reports like the one below say that it is imminent that Russia will send more deadly anti-aircraft missiles into eastern Ukraine, openly enlarging the pro-Russian war that has had bodies falling through peoples' roofs. 

They will be given to same pro-Russians who claimed NOT to have BUK missile launchers to shoot down Malaysia MH 17 and kill nearly 300 people. The same people who then shot down two Ukraine fighters a week later -- using the same type of system! They are bad liars and really don't care that you know it.

These sour men with extreme weapons are doing Mr. Putin's bidding in the Ukraine, a sovereign nation. Ukraine has already lost the Crimea to Mr Putin's hungry Russian bear. Have you forgotten that already?

If I were Obama's adviser I would recommend that we give Ukraine DRONES with hellfire missiles to knock out these weapons as they come over the border into Ukraine from Russia. They DO pose a threat to civilian airliners etc.   THAT would finally send Putin a message he can understand. You can talk all you want and do only so much with sanctions. Putin needs to lose some hardware to understand -- this is something that needs to STOP. Putin is even authorizing artillery fire into Ukraine from Russia!

We do NOT need U.S. troops there. There is no need to repeat the mistake of going into countries with U.S. troops and doing the fighting for them instead of training the local Afghans and Iraqis to do the fighting for their own country.

Putin continues to fuel this war by Russia against Ukraine. On top of that elements in our Congress are helping Putin by not backing the President in an effort to support democracy against men who would steal a nation or two, or three.

Did you know that Putin will not even eat a meal in any country he travels to? It's all brought in from Mother Russia. Uses only land lines from the Soviet days. In short, Putin is "Paranoid KGB" to the max. He continues to miscalculate and then doubles down when his efforts fail.

He needs a united message from Europe that it is time to stop his gangs in the Ukraine and become a constructive partner in the global economy instead of an isolated pariah. If not, then Europe needs to know its neck is on the line and they need to do back up Obama and reign in the Russian bear before more countries become dinner - or more civilian airliners are shot down.