The Hidden Face of
Terrorism does not emerge by accident but is usually sponsored by the state to serve the demands of a powerful elite, as can be seen in the creation of Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida.
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 10, Number 3 (April-May 2003)
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The following is an edited extract from The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11, by Paul David Collins.
In our modern world, discomforting truths are usually discarded in favour of fictions. One such fiction is the idea that terrorists are disenfranchised dissidents who independently generate the wealth and resources necessary for their heinous acts. Such is the contention of Professor Mark Juergensmeyer. In his article, "Understanding the New Terrorism", he says that modern terrorism "appears pointless since it does not lead directly to any strategic goal" (p. 158).
Juergensmeyer arrives at this conclusion because he restricts his examination to the visible perpetrators, whose motives may be, in fact, irrational. However, he does not examine the patrons of terrorism. Given the exceptional subtlety and discretion of terrorism's shadowy sponsors, Professor Juergensmeyer may just be oblivious to their existence. On the other hand, he could simply be parroting his fellow academicians in order to maintain the status quo.
Whatever the case may be, this contention seems to be the overall view held by the orthodoxy of academia. With such a view vigorously promulgated by the arbiters of the dominant national paradigm, few can recognise those shady individuals who stand to profit from terrorist acts.
To understand terrorism, one must discard the view that arbitrarily characterises it as "a resort to violence or a threat of violence on the part of a group seeking to accomplish a purpose against the opposition of constituted authority" (Adler, Mueller & Laufer, p. 309). Such an impotent notion is predicated upon the hopelessly flawed accidentalist perspective of history. It relegates terrorism, which is the product of conscious effort and design, to the realm of circumstantial spontaneity. In other words, a contrived act suddenly becomes an inexplicable social phenomenon.
In November 1989, Father Ignacio
Martín-Baró, a social psychologist, delivered a speech in
He [Martín-Baró] stressed several relevant points. First, the most significant form of terrorism, by a large measure, is state terrorism--that is, "terrorizing the whole population through systematic actions carried out by the forces of the state". Second, such terrorism is an essential part of a "government-imposed sociopolitical project" designed for the needs of the privileged.
Disturbing though it may be, Martín-Baró's definition is one validated by history. The majority of terrorism throughout history has found its sponsors in the hallowed halls of officialdom, in the entity known as government. Terrorism is surrogate warfare, a manufactured crisis designed to induce social change. Its combatants consciously or unconsciously wage the war on behalf of higher powers with higher agendas. Whether its adherents are aware of it or not, terrorism always serves the ambitions of another.
In his article, "Fake Terror: The Road to Dictatorship", Michael Rivero states that "It's the oldest trick in the book, dating back to Roman times: creating the enemies you need" (p. 1). The strategy is quite simple: individuals create a crisis so that they can then introduce their desired solution.
Are there recent, modern examples of state-sponsored terrorism? Unfortunately, the answer to that question seems to be "Yes".
The first example is in 1962. The Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman L. Lemnitzer, and his fellow JCS members
wanted to remove Castro from
According to James Bamford, former
According to secret and long-hidden documents
obtained for Body of
Secrets, the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may
be the most corrupt plan ever created by the
Codenamed Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, DC, Miami and elsewhere.
People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.
Northwoods even called for the military to turn on itself (p. 84):
Among the actions recommended was "a
series of well-coordinated incidents to take place in and around" the US
Navy Base at
Operation Northwoods would draw
upon history as well, using the 1898 explosion aboard the battleship
"We could blow up a
The attempt to create a Cuban terrorist
threat makes it clear that the
American Imperialism and the Terrorist Threat
However, it is in the
What came out of the
These and other eye-opening revelations
have many people asking why the
The story of the dreaded al-Qa'ida terrorist network begins with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor. In his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Geostrategic Objectives, Brzezinski provides readers with the motivation for the creation of a terrorist threat. He begins (p. xii):
The last decade of the twentieth century
has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a
non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power
relations but also as the world's paramount. The defeat and collapse of the
Brzezinski celebrates the fact that
This sense of awareness has been a major
obstacle to the foreign policy elites that Brzezinski represents. Thus far,
enough patriots know that none of the "Freedom Documents" (i.e., the
Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.) makes concessions for the arbitrary
America's withdrawal from the world, or because of the sudden emergence of a successful rival, would produce massive international instability. It would promote global anarchy.
Brzezinski continues further on in hyperbolic fashion (p. 194):
Without sustained and directed American involvement, before long the forces of global disorder could come to dominate the world scene.
In other words, the promotion and practice of representative government amongst other nations would lead to doomsday itself. In such statements, the former National Security Advisor reveals the authoritarian features of his bizarre eschatology. According to Brzezinski's Weltanschauung, those who cherish individual liberties and the sovereignty of their respective nations constitute the "forces of global disorder"; these forces must be defeated or they will invariably cause the apocalypse--so public opinion must be altered. (Brzezinski fails to mention that such a doomsday will only mean the end for him and his elitist comrades.) Brzezinski cites a very interesting historical example (p. 25):
The public supported
Ah, an option presents itself! Mass consensus could be facilitated through mass trauma. In fact, the engineering of widespread compliance is an essential constituent in the implementation of Brzezinski's foreign policy. In an exemplary moment of self-incrimination so endemic to elitist tracts, Brzezinski pens a damning confession (p. 211):
A readily exploitable menace, whether genuine or promulgated, is the solution.
Brzezinski began the construction of his "direct external threat" years before he wrote The Grand Chessboard. In an interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, the former national security adviser made a stunning confession that will change the history books forever (Blum, p. 1):
Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert
Gates, stated in his memoirs [From the Shadows] that American intelligence
services began to aid the Mujahadeen in
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official
version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to
say, after the Soviet Army invaded
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Re-education and the Creation of the Taliban
Having encouraged the Soviets to invade
Part of the radicalisation process included the brainwashing of children under the guise of education. The Washington Post's Joe Stephens and David B. Ottaway report (pp. 1-2):
In the twilight of the Cold War, the
The "Primers", which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system's core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books, though the radical movement scratched out human faces in keeping with its strict fundamentalist code.
Stephens and Ottaway identify the governmental and educational organisations involved in development of the textbooks (p. 4):
Published in the dominant Afghan languages
of Dari and Pashtu, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an
AID [Agency for
International Development] grant to the
Under this project, the images and talk of
violence were craftily intermingled with legitimate education (p. 4):
Children were taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines, agency officials said. They acknowledged that at the time it also suited US interests to stoke hatred of foreign invaders.
An examination of a textbook produced
shocking results (p. 5):
An aid-worker in the region reviewed an unrevised 100-page book and counted 43 pages containing violent images or passages.
The writers of the Washington Post story go on to provide a specific example of the material that is nothing less than appalling (pp. 5-6):
One page from the texts of that period shows a resistance fighter with a bandolier and a Kalashnikov slung from his shoulder. The soldier's head is missing.
Above the soldier is a verse from the Koran. Below is a Pashtu tribute to the mujaheddin [sic], who are described as obedient to Allah. Such men will sacrifice their wealth and life itself to impose Islamic law on the government, the text says.
This social engineering project successfully transformed Muslim children into conscienceless killing machines. Many would go on to join al-Qa'ida, the terrorist network headed up by Osama bin Laden.
An heir to a Saudi construction fortune,
bin Laden went to
What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan's state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA's primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow's occupation.
Even after the war, bin Laden was on good
terms with the CIA (p. 3):
Though he has come to represent all that went wrong with the CIA's reckless strategy there, by the end of the Afghan war in 1989, bin Laden was still viewed by the agency as something of a dilettante--a rich Saudi boy gone to war and welcomed home by the Saudi monarchy he so hated as something of a hero.
Bin Laden would later receive three necessary provisions from factions of government. These essentials would allow him and al- Qa'ida to conduct one of the worst terrorist attacks ever conceived. These constituents were: (1) protection courtesy of highly influential, well-placed shepherds in government; (2) government funding; and (3) government training. Without a beat, individuals in positions of authority delivered.
Both Democrat and Republican administrations protected bin Laden. Undaunted by Osama's attack on the USS Cole and bombings of the embassies, this non-partisan aegis consistently insulated the terrorist and his network. President William Jefferson Clinton, a Democrat, shielded bin Laden and company from the hand of justice in Sudan. Mansoor Ijaz revealed this fact in the December 5, 2001, Los Angeles Times (Ijaz, p. 1):
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last yearÉ
From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial
President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who
wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and
extradition of bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global
networks constructed by Egypt's Islamic Jihad, Iran's Hezbollah and the Palestinian
Hamas. Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted
commercial airliners into the
Bin Laden left for Afghanistan, taking with him: Ayman Zawahiri, considered by the US to be the chief planner of the September 11 attacks; Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, who traveled frequently to Germany to obtain electronic equipment for al-Qaeda; Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden's personal secretary and roving emissary, now serving a life sentence in the US for his role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya; and Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and Saif Adel, also accused of carrying out the embassy attacks. Some of these men are now among the FBI's 22 most-wanted terrorists.
LONDON -- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worked in tandem with Pakistan to create the "monster" that is today Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, a leading US expert on South Asia said here.
"I warned them that we were creating
a monster," Selig Harrison from the Woodrow Wilson International Centre
[sic] for Scholars said at the conference here last week on "Terrorism and
Regional Security: Managing the Challenges in
To the average American, the Taliban might
have been a rogue gallery of maniacs that comprised a fanatical outlaw
government and nothing more. However,
The Taliban are not just recruits from "madrassas" (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence, the intelligence wing of the Pakistani government).
A Covert Government Agenda
The government had all the means necessary to detect and prevent the September 11 attacks. Researcher Russ Kick makes a significant statement concerning this point (p. 1):
In 2001, the
After reviewing the facts, one must
consider a more sinister possibility: that certain factions in the
The CIA, ever mindful of the need to
justify its "mission", had conclusive evidence by the mid-1980s of
the deepening crisis of infrastructure within the
Now, a troubling question arises. Given
the impending collapse of the
What was the true agenda that motivated the CIA to support what would later become an international Frankenstein's monster? Former CIA Associate Deputy Director of Operations Theodore Shackley may have already answered this question in his book, The Third Option (p. 17):
Senior intelligence officers like myself, who had experience in paramilitary operations, have always insisted that the United States should also consider the third option: the use of guerrilla warfare, counterinsurgency techniques and covert action to achieve policy goalsÉ Political warfare is very often the stitch in time that eliminates bloodier and more costly alternatives.
It is possible that the September 11
attack represents a tangible enactment of Shackley's third option. Bin Laden's
ties to the intelligence community certainly reinforce such a contention. Were
al-Qa'ida and bin Laden considered part of a third option to facilitate
political and social change in the
Consider a conversation that took place
between former DEA agent Michael Levine and a CIA agent. It suggests that the
CIA is ready and willing to use the third option in
"How can you be so good at what you do and have so little understanding of what really pulls your strings? Don't you realize that there are factions in your government that want this to happen--an emergency situation too hot for a constitutional government to handle."
"To what end?" I asked.
"A suspension of the Constitution, of course. The legislation is already in place. All perfectly legal. Check it out yourself. It's called FEMA. Federal Emergency Management Agency. 'Turn in your guns, you antigovernment rabble-rousers. And who would be king, Michael?"
"CIA," I said.
Terrorism in the
The truth of the matter is that you do have those standby provisions, and the statutory emergency plans are there whereby you could, in the name of stopping terrorism, apprehend, invoke the military, and arrest Americans and hold them in detention camps.
Add to the list of "statutory emergency plans" the Patriot Act, passed in response to the September 11 attacks. According to Washington Post staff writer Jim McGee (pp 1-2), this law:
Éempowers the government to shift the primary mission of the FBI from solving crimes to gathering domestic intelligence. In addition, the Treasury Department has been charged with building a financial intelligence-gathering system whose data can be accessed by CIA.
Most significantly, the CIA will have the
authority for the first time to influence FBI surveillance operations inside
The Patriot Act is designed to transform
The new law also gives the CIA unprecedented access to the most powerful investigative weapon in the federal law enforcement's arsenal: the federal grand jury. The grand juries have nearly unlimited power to gather evidence in secret, including testimony, wiretap transcripts, phone records, business records or medical recordsÉ
The new law permits allow the FBI to give grand jury information to the CIA without a court order, as long as the information concerns foreign intelligence or international terrorism. The information can also be shared widely throughout the national security establishmentÉ
All of the above points to a very frightening conclusion: there are some factions of government that consider terrorism to be a tool of social engineering. The direction society is being steered by this "tool" is even more frightening.
Terrorism: A Tool of the Ruling Elite
Terrorism is being used to keep the rabble in line on behalf of an elite that wishes to maintain and expand its power. In The Power Elite, sociologist C. Wright Mills introduces these powerful individuals (pp. 3-4):
The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences. Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important than the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions: their failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do make. For they are in command of the major hierarchies and organisations of modern society. They rule the big corporations. They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered the effective means of the power and the wealth and the celebrity which they enjoy.
Talk of oligarchs might tend to conjure
pictures of mediaeval feudal lords. However, a Federal Reserve study points out
to elitism being alive, well, and existing in the "Land of the Free",
É54 percent of the total net financial assets were held by the 2 percent of families with the greatest amount of such assets and 86 percent by the top 10 percent; 55 percent of the families in the sample had zero or negative net worthÉ
This concentration of wealth in so few hands certainly suggests that there is a ruling class. It is highly naive to believe that this elite does not wield a great deal of influence over civilisation. In her book, Beyond The Ruling Class: Strategic Elites In Modern Society, Professor Suzanne Keller states (p. 3):
The notion of a stratum elevated above the mass of men may prompt approval, indifference, or despair, but regardless of how men feel about it, the fact remains that their lives, fortunes, and fate are and have long been dependent on what a small number of men in high places think and do.
Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Colby recognised the existence of a network of bluebloods. When former Nebraska Senator and Vietnam War hero John W. DeCamp was looking into elites' involvement in child abuse, drug running, gun running, and satanic ritual-murder, Colby warned him of the hidden aristocracy and their power (DeCamp, pp. ix-x):
"What you have to understand, John, is that sometimes there are forces and events too big, too powerful, with so much at stake for other people or institutions, that you cannot do anything about them, no matter how evil or wrong they are and no matter how dedicated or sincere you are or how much evidence you have. That is simply one of the hard facts of life you have to face. You have done your part. You have tried to expose the evil and wrongdoing. It has hurt you terribly. But it has not killed you up to this point. I am telling you, get out of this before it does.
"Sometimes things are just too big for us to deal with, and we have to step aside and let history take its course."
Probably the greatest source of
"insider" information comes from
There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it and to many of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments.
I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied, or even federated, with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
Quigley also informs us that the ruling class has a very low opinion of the common people. He voices this elitist sentiment when he refers to the commoners as "the petty bourgeoisieÉ" (pp. 1243-1244).
So why is the great mass of human civilisation unaware of the oligarchs' presence among them? In The Architecture of Modern Political Power, Daniel Pouzzner explains why (p. 16):
The establishment cloaks itself in
cultural camouflage, employing tactics for which it almost seamlessly maintains
plausible deniability. Subtle, ubiquitous, often implicit propaganda fosters a
broad public acceptance and embrace of the authority of the establishment, and
of the establishment's definitions of good and evil, preventing the public from
seriously contemplating the reality that the establishment is itself quite
often evil by its own definition. The establishment reiterates the mantra that
the President of the
Generally, an errant public attributes the results of the establishment's meddlesome actions to happenstance, or to motives viewed as essentially innocuous or virtuous. The design is irrefutably evident only in the pattern of results, or by actually showing proof of meddling. The public has been systemically conditioned to ignore such patterns, and to condemn those who draw attention to them (derisively calling them "conspiracy theorists"). Thus, controlling access to and dissemination of information that constitutes proof of meddling suffices in large part to protect the establishment program from exposure. The compartmentalization of the establishment's covert apparatus assures that those exposures which do transpire cause only limited damage.
Bush/Bin Laden Family Links
Are there any ties between the power
elites and the current terrorist network? The answer to that question lies with
the Bush dynasty. Neither Bush Senior nor Bush Junior can be described as
Presidents in the
One of our basic theses is that George Bush [Senior] is, and considers himself to be, an oligarch.
In an article for the London Daily Mail, Peter Allen points out a connection between George W. Bush and Osama's brother, Salem bin Laden (pp. 1-2):
As he built his own business empire,
Three years ago, Mr Bush said the $50,000 investment in Arbusto was the only financial dealing he had with Mr Bath.
The connection between the bin Ladens and the Bush family does not end with Arbusto Energy.
On the BBC's Newsnight program, Greg Palast stated (p. 5):
Young George also received fees as director of a subsidiary of Carlyle Corporation, a little-known private company which has, in just a few years of its founding, become one of America's biggest defence contractors. His father, Bush Senior, is also a paid adviser. And what became embarrassing was the revelation that the bin Ladens held a stake in Carlyle, sold just after September 11.
These business connections may explain why the Bush Administration frustrated the FBI's efforts to investigate Abdullah and Omar bin Laden. Investigations may have demonstrated that Osama was not the "black sheep" of the family. Instead, they may have shown that terrorism was actually the bin Laden family business. This would have associated the Bush family with terrorists, something the current President could not allow to happen.
For neo-conservatives, the portrait of the Bush family as a criminal syndicate with ties to questionable characters is reprehensible. However, this contention can be based upon a major precedent.
Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin's investigation into former President George Herbert Walker Bush's background led to a startling discovery: that "The President's family fortune was largely a result of the Hitler project" (p. 28).
The Bush dynasty's connections with the
bin Ladens suggest that the family's collusion with enemies of the
A State-sponsored Sociopolitical Project
Re-examining Martín-Baró's previous contention, that terrorism is part and parcel of a "government-imposed sociopolitical project", one is faced with some very disturbing questions.
What will be the results of this "government-imposed sociopolitical project"? Where exactly is all of this state-sponsored terrorism leading?
Quigley provides a fragmentary glimpse of
the outcome in Tragedy and Hope. The
With representation for the masses removed from the picture, what kind of life can the common man expect to live? Quigley (p. 886) declares that this will be a system where the individual's:
Éfreedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number, through his educational training, his required military or other public service, his tax contributions, his health and medical requirements, and his final retirement and death benefits.
There you have it. George Orwell's 1984, built al-Qa'ida style!
¥ Adler, Freda, Gerhard Mueller, William Laufer, Criminology,
¥ Allen, Peter, "Bin Laden's family link to Bush", 2001, http://www.infowars.com/saved%20pages/Prior_Knowledge/faÉ
¥ Bamford, James, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, Doubleday, 2001.
¥ Blum, Bill (translater), "Interview
with Zbigniew Brzezinski",
¥ Brzezinski, Zbigniew, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Geostrategic Objectives, Basic Books, 1997.
¥ Chomsky, Noam, Deterring Democracy,
¥ Cuddy, Dennis, Secret Records
Revealed: The Men, The Money, and The Methods Behind the
¥ DeCamp, John W., The Franklin
Cover-Up: Child Abuse, Satanism, and Murder in Nebraska, AWT Inc.,
¥ Greider, William, Secrets of the
¥ Juergensmeyer, Mark, "Understanding the New Terrorism", Current History, April 2000.
¥ Ijaz, Mansoor, "Clinton Let Bin
Laden Slip Away and Metastasize",
¥ Keller, Suzanne, Beyond The Ruling
Class: Strategic Elites In Modern Society, Random House,
¥ Kick, Russ, "
¥ Levine, Michael and Laura Kavanau, The
Triangle of Death,
¥ McGee, Jim, "An Intelligence Giant
in the Making",
¥ Mills, C. Wright, The Power Elite,
¥ Moran, Michael, "Bin Laden comes home to roost", http//www.msnbc.com/news/190144.asp?cp1=1, 2001.
¥ Palast, Gregory, "Has someone been sitting on the FBI?" 2001,
¥ Pouzzner, Daniel, The Architecture of Modern Political Power: The New Feudalism, 2001, http://www.mega.nu:8080.
¥ Quigley, Carroll, Tragedy and Hope: A
History of the World in Our Time, MacMillan Company,
¥ Rivero, Michael, "Fake Terror: The Road to Dictatorship", 2001, http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ARTICLE5/index.html.
¥ Shackley, Theodore, The Third Option:
An Expert's Provocative Report on an American View of Counterinsurgency
Operations, Dell Publishing,
¥ Stephens, Joe and David B. Ottaway, "From the USA, the ABCs of jihad", http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/728439.asp,2002.
¥ Tarpley, Webster Griffin and Anton
Chaitkin, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, Executive
¥ The Times of
About the Author:
Paul D. Collins has studied suppressed history and the shadowy undercurrents of world political dynamics for roughly eleven years. In 1999, he completed his Associate of Arts and Science degree. He will soon complete his Bachelor's degree, with a major in Communications and a minor in Political Science.
Paul's book, The Hidden Face of Terrorism: The Dark Side of Social Engineering, From Antiquity to September 11, is available online from www.1stbooks.com/bookview/13401, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, and also http://www.amazon.com. It can be purchased as an e-book (ISBN 1-4033-6798-1) or in paperback format (ISBN 1-4033-6799-X).