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A Secret History

of the
American Crash

Coach Red Pill

Part 1 of 6

May 8, 2018.


©2018 by Picador Pictures, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No

part of this work can be reproduced, either in part or in
whole, without the express written consent of the
copyright holder.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 2.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator

ever took charge in this country, the technological
capacity that the intelligence community has given the
government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and
there would be no way to fight back because the most
careful effort to combine together in resistance to the
government, no matter how privately it was done, is
within the reach of the government to know. Such is the
capability of this technology.
—Senator Frank Church

If you’re riding high, and there’s a correction coming,

and you keep forestalling it, the correction will get
larger and larger and larger and larger, and finally,
when it comes, you will not be able to tolerate it.
—Jordan Peterson

Everything seems amazing in retrospect.

—Donald Rumsfeld
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 3.



If you are reading this manuscript, then you are holding a sheaf of papers
written out in longhand, or typed on an old-style typewriter, or copied on a
non-networked “dumb” photocopier or printer (few of which exist anymore,
after the 2025 Citizens Compliance Act (CCA)).
Be forewarned: If you are caught reading this Secret History, you will
be detained as an Information Terrorist under the CCA, and processed under
Article 58 of DOPA-Norm.
Depending on how many pages of this manuscript you have in hand,
your possession of this book can carry a penalty of automatic Administrative
Detention. Which means essentially lifetime imprisonment in a supermax
solitary confinement cell (a so-called “white coffin”), or indefinite internment
in an Administrative Detention and Processing Facility.
Therefore we recommend you follow these simple guidelines to ensure
your safety:
1. Only read and have in your possession less than nine pages of this
history at any one time. The word count of these pages is immaterial, so
long as they are nine or less. Secrete the rest of the manuscript in a
physically secure location that cannot be traceable or connected to you. Thus
if you are stopped and frisked with less than ten pages of material deemed
Information Terrorism, you will only receive a Notice of Non-Compliance. If
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 4.

you hold ten or more pages of this Secret History, you will receive automatic
Administrative Detention. This warning is less relevant in the FC, where
stop-and-frisk is less frequent, and the rules on Information Terrorism are
more laxly enforced. On the Coasts, however, the rules of Information
Terrorism are enforced strictly and without exception.
2. Use disposable latex gloves when handling pages of the manuscript,
and be careful not to lick your fingers when turning the pages. Fingerprints
can be easily lifted off of paper. Likewise, DNA from dried saliva can be
easily extracted from paper. If a subsequent reader of this book is
discovered by authorities, or turned in by a government infiltrator, the
authorities will as a matter of course look for fingerprints and DNA on the
manuscript, including hair. Since DOPA-Norm requires all Americans register
their fingerprints and DNA in order to be eligible for Citizen Privileges and
government Direct Aid Benefits, government law enforcement can and will
trace the manuscript to you—unless these precautions are taken.
3. Do not lend or pass along this manuscript unless you personally
know the individual who is receiving it. And even if you know the individual,
be sure to ascertain that the individual is not a government networker. If
you are not sure, or have doubts, then we recommend you not lend or pass
along this manuscript to that particular person. Remember, government
networkers specifically target people whom they believe have contraband or
material that qualifies as Information Terrorism. Government Direct Aid
Benefits are supplemented for each accurate “tip” a networker gives the
local Sec-Com. (A rule of thumb is, if in the FC an individual or a member of
his/her immediate family appears overweight, if even slightly, and does not
have some obvious skill, government position, armed forces commission, or
other factor which would make them eligible to receive supplemental
nutritional aid, then he/she is likely a government networker. On the Coasts,
where there are more innocuous ways to receive supplemental nutritional
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 5.

aid, government networkers are harder to spot. A One-Percenter, a

participant in the Cathedral, a member of the Block Bloc, any member of the
Armed Forces, or any member of any of the other oligarchical support
groups and service staffs is, by definition, a government networker, and
should not be trusted under any circumstances.)
4. Do not under any circumstance use a compliant copier, scanner,
phone-cam, digital camera, or other networked reproduction device. Since
these reproduction devices are content-monitored by the JUPITER, Cray-ON
and NulStans text and image analysis algorithms deployed by the NSA, the
registered owner of the reproduction device—be it you or some other third
party—will receive automatic Administrative Detention if detected. And you
will be detected. Schultz’s Rule is currently five to nine days before the local
Sector Commander dispatches an Intercept to detain an Information
Terrorist, regardless of whether on the Coasts or Flyover Country. But
through hard and bitter experience, we of the Secret History Project know
that Fort Meade rarely allows more than 48 hours before ordering a Sec-
Com Intercept on anyone holding pages of ASHOTAC.
Finally, if you can, please try to copy by hand this manuscript, so that
others might read it. One reading circle we are aware of set each member
the task of copying one tenth of the entire manuscript by hand. Thus the
work of copying was not so onerous, and in short order another copy of the
Secret History came into existence and was distributed.
Samizdat is the only form this project has to be reproduced and
passed along to other readers. If you believe the Secret History Project has
any value, we beg you help disseminate this text.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 6.


To Marylynne Severeid, Mary Jane Bartolozzi, ‘Topher

Sheen, and the founder of the Secret History Project,
Louis Gibbon, as well as the others who bravely and
selflessly sacrificed their freedom and their lives for the
sake of this Secret History.

We will arise and somehow

Find our world renewed
We will uprise and then we’ll
Make our world anew . . .
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 7.

Introduction: September, 2030.

We, the editors of this Secret History, cannot today reveal our names. But
we can tell you what we saw, and report on what others saw, when the
American Crash happened.
Our goal as historians and researchers is to show that, though the
American Crash started as an economic crisis brought about by events in the
Middle East, the various social, cultural and political weaknesses afflicting
American society at the time of the 2019 Oil Shock exacerbated the
economic downturn, turning what should have been a major economic
depression into a socio-political cataclysm of well-nigh biblical proportions.
We want to show how these social, cultural and political stresses fed
on the economic crisis besetting the country, inflaming and intensifying one
another, breaking out into what is now considered by Underground
historians to be both a race war and a class war—a second Civil War where
the intersectional divisions along class lines, ethnic lines, socio-educational
lines and political affiliation broke out into open conflict. A second Civil War
that led to death, destruction, despair and national ruin. A second Civil War
that was eventually suppressed by way of the brutal crackdown authorized
by the Domestic Pacification and Normalization Act (DOPA-Norm) of 2025. A
second Civil War that never really ended, but which was quelled by the use
of overwhelming force, and at the cost of creating what is for all intents and
purposes a police-state in America.
A second Civil War known colloquially as “The American Crash”.
The method of this Secret History is to explain the events of the period
2019–2030 by presenting eye-witness testimonials. All of the witnesses here
presented were carefully vetted and screened to ensure that their testimony
is honest and true. In every single case, there are multiple and independent
pieces of evidence that corroborate and confirm the testimony of the eye-
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 8.

witnesses. Most of these interviews were carried out between November

2029 and September 2030. A few of these interviews were conducted
earlier; where that is the case, a note is made in the introductory
Before beginning with the testimony of the witnesses, it behooves us
to give an overview of the United States, and assay how much the country
has changed during the eleven years of the American Crash.

How Things Are Today

The American Crash is unprecedented in U.S. history. In terms of economic

impact, it has left the Great Depression in the dust. In terms of social and
cultural impact, it makes the tumult of the 1963–1974 period look like the
serenity of the 1950’s.
But in terms of loss of life, nothing in U.S. history save the Civil War
can compare—and at that, distantly.
The United States is today a country of some 289 million people1. On
July Fourth of 2019—which is generally considered the start of the American
Crash with the attack of Israel against Iran—the population of the United
States was 331.2 million people.

1 The Census Department states that, as of 2030, the exact population of

the United States is 340.2 million. However, simple statistical sampling
makes it clear that the Federal government figure cannot be accurate. The
figure of 288.9 million is a best-guess estimate compiled by statistician
Connor Nash in 2029. Most Underground actuaries and demographers who
have carried out field studies of the current population agree with Nash’s
estimate to within ±1.3% or less; see Delessep [2030]; Jones, Burlap,
Hedges et al. [2029]; Wintersteen, Murray [2029]. Nevertheless, the LOI
[Law of Irrefutability] of the CCA [Citizen Compliance Act of 2025] makes it
illegal to question Federal government information, punishable by
Administrative Detention.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 9.

So in absolute terms, between 2019 and 2030, there was a net loss of
some 42,200,000 people—over 12.7% of the total population in eleven
This is the largest, fastest population decline in human history2.
When we factor in that the U.S. population should have been 360
million by the year 2030, the loss is even even more staggering: 71 million
people in eleven years.
How that population decreased is well-known and well-studied, at least
among Underground historians and ethnographers.
During the period 2019-2030, some 17.7 million people emigrated
from the United States. Approximately 6.9 million of those people were
foreign-born or first- and second-generation immigrants from Central and
South American countries; they returned mostly by land to their countries of
origin. About 4 million white non-Jewish Americans emigrated to various
parts around the world (the so-called “white flight”); most of these were
educated, upwardly mobile individuals, 80% of whom emigrated in the
period 2021-2025, before DOPA-Norm curtailed emigration. At least 3.2
million people of South Asian and East Asian descent emigrated between
2019 and 2030; 600,000 of those emigrated to Canada, 2.3 million to their
countries of origin, and 200,000 to various other countries. An additional 2.1
million emigrants were Jewish-Americans, 1.1 million of whom emigrated or
were deported in the period between September of 2024 and July of 2025,
during the height of the so-called “Networker Sweeps” hysteria; of those 2.1

2 For context, the Ukrainian decline of 1989–2013 was the previous record-
holder. That country’s decline was some 6,000,000 people in 24 years;
approximately 13.7% of the total population, the vast majority from
emigration. Compare that to the U.S. population decline during the Crash,
which was twice the Ukrainian annualized rate. And of course, multiple sizes
larger: Whereas in 24 years, the Ukrainian population had a net decrease of
5.9 million people, in eleven years, the American population had a net
decrease of 42.2 million people.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 10.

million, 900,000 emigrated to Israel, where they presumably perished in the

Second Shoah. Approximately 1.1 million white Americans—a distinct group
from the aforementioned 4 million non-Jewish whites, a separate group that
was overwhelmingly (+95%) male, 80% of whom were between the ages of
18 and 45—emigrated to European countries east of the Oder Neisse line
(the so-called “Incel Invasion”). And finally, some 400,000 African
Americans emigrated to Western Europe (300,000), Asia (50,000) and Sub-
Sahara Africa (50,000, mostly more highly politicized individuals).
Between 2019 and 2030, there were 35 million deaths that can be
attributed to diseases (see Chapter 7), chemical poisoning (see Chapter 9),
radiation poisoning (see Chapter 12) or inadequate health care. The
breakdown of the deaths is as follows: 13 million from shigella gravis3, 6
million from opioid overdoses (both deliberate and accidental), 6 million from
water-bourn cholera, another 3 million in childbirth (mother and/or child),
2.3 million from radiation sickness from Byron Station, 1 million from sepsis
(non-natal), 1 million from maladies associated with chemically impure
water (benzene poisoning, mercury poisoning, etc.), and 2 million from
various preventable or curable diseases.
An additional 12 million Americans died by violence. Underground
research indicates that of that total figure, approximately 8.2 million people
died in the Race-Class War: 6.9 million Migrant Warriors (“Zippits”, “Antifa”,
“SJW’s”, “Nigger Rivers” “Sullies” or “Copperchuckers”, in the slang of their
opponents), and 1.3 million Homestead Defenders (“Nazis”, “HeteroScum”,
“Alt-Right”, “Ciscum”, “White Trash”, “Whiskey Tangos” or “White Fucks”, in
the slang of their opponents) were killed in armed clashes during the

3 Of the total deaths worldwide attributed to shigella gravis—530 million

between 2023 and 2027, the height of the scourge, 605 million total as of
2030—the United States actually suffered the lowest mortality rate of all the
OECD countries. The self-imposed isolation of many Identity Zones during
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 11.

Indigent Migration of 2020 through 2025. Some 2 million people are

confirmed to have committed suicide between 2019 and 20304.
Finally some 2 million people have died in violent conflict with Federal,
State or local government police or Sector Command forces between 2019
and 2030, a figure that is illegal to publish or disseminate publicly under the
Citizen Compliance Act, and which both Federal and Cathedral academics
vehemently deny. At this time, it is unknown how many additional people
have died while in Administrative Detention. It is believed that the number is
substantial, and that the cause of death has been (in descending order)
malnutrition, disease, intra-detainee violence, and custodial abuse.5.
These three categories—emigration, disease/poisoning, violence—
account for some 64.7 million out of the +70 million gap in the U.S.
population from what what it should have been (360 million) and what it
actually is (289 million).
Life expectancy has fallen to 56 years for men, 60 years for women,
compared to 76 and 79 years respectively in 2011. Infant mortality is at

the scourge is a possible reason for this statistically significant discrepancy.

Please see Chapter 7 for a further discussion.
4 Some Underground researchers believe the tally is higher, and point to the
number of opioid overdoses as likely masking a large number of suicides.
But for the purposes of this history, we follow Delessep’s approach of
counting only those deaths that are incontrovertible suicides. However,
Jones, Burlap, Hedges et al. state that at least 20% of the opioid overdose
deaths, i.e. 1,200,000 people, were likely victims of suicide, and make a
strong argument for their position, using regression analysis and
comparative statistics studies based on pre-Crash data.
5 Many Underground historians and actuaries believe the number of deaths
at the hands of government forces is far higher—at least 4 million among the
general population, plus an additional 2 million deaths in the Administrative
Detention facilities operated by Homeland Security. However, and once
again for the sake of prudence, the editors of this history cannot
categorically say this higher figure is accurate. Nevertheless, there is
incontrovertible proof for the figure of 2 million killed by government
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 12.

36.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is over five times the infant
mortality rate of 2018 of 6.5. The fertility rate of American women is 0.97
births per female, compared to 1.85 births per woman in 20196.
The social organization of the country has also changed—radically, and
to an unprecedented degree.
On the Coasts, specifically the urban and suburban centers walled off
or otherwise secured from indigent migrant violence by Sector Command or
paramilitary Black Bloc elements, most people live in either individual
dwellings or family dwellings much as they did before the American Crash.
Communal integration is fostered by mandatory political rallies and at-work
indoctrination sessions (“Diversity Training”). There are also “Company
Farms”: Walled off racially and ethnically heterogeneous communities where
managerial staff of a large corporation lives in isolation, protected by private
security personnel.
In Flyover Country, communal and filial ties are much stronger, due to
mutual dependence and the need for mutual defense from the mobile
indigent. Most people are organized in either Familial Clans, or belong to
Identity Zones.
Familial Clans are groups of an extended family, or else non-related
individuals with deep personal ties, who organize to provide for and protect
a Homestead; that is, organize to provide and protect a common dwelling or

security agencies: Photographic and video proof. Hence why this number is
used in this history.
6 It should be noted that the explosion of plural marriages is rapidly
changing fertility rates: Women in polygynous marriages have a whopping
3.79 live births, compared to 0.62 live births per white woman not in a plural
marriage, and 1.79 live births per black woman not in a plural marriage. The
practice of polygyny rose from <1% of child-bearing-aged women in 2018 to
a current level of 15.8% of women aged 16–35. Current Underground,
Federal government and Cathedral research all concur that the practice will
continue to grow, and likely plateau in the 20%–25% range of child-bearing-
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 13.

territory. These Familial Clans are often organized under a patriarchal

authoritarian leadership, usually the eldest or most prestigious male of the
Clan, with a strict division of tasks and responsibilities among the adults,
often along traditional gender norms. In Familial Clans, the males are
expected to physically defend the Homestead from outside threats as well as
provide for the necessities (food, water, etc.); while the females are
expected to bear as many children as possible and care for the children as
well as carry out domestic chores.
Identity Zones are amalgamations of Familial Clans, the vast majority
of which are ethnically or religiously homogenous7. These groups number
from two Family Clans to as many as 100; the largest IZ’s we have
encountered numbered close to 10,000 adults and children, though the
median population of the 55,000 Identity Zones that we know of is 175
individuals. They are usually located at some distance from any other
Identity Zone, and are usually inaccessible to outsiders who do not share
their racial, ethnic or religious background. It is estimated that currently,
some 45 million Americans live in Identity Zones, roughly one seventh of the
total current population.
Finally, the mobile indigent class, made up of economically displaced
people as well as those displaced by the Byron Station Disaster and to a
lesser extent those people caught on the wrong side of the political divide at
the height of the Crash, comprise some 35 million people—roughly 12% of
the current population. Though their name implies that they are forever
itinerant, it is estimated by government, Cathedral and Underground

aged women by the year 2050, with an average of 2.7 women in plural
marriages, assuming current social trends continue.
7 In our research we have in fact never encountered an ethnically or racially
mixed IZ, though we have found religiously mixed Identity Zones. However,
these religiously heterogenous groups comprised various Protestant
Christian denominations, and often were organized such that religious
affiliation was of secondary or tertiary importance.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 14.

researchers that +50% of the mobile indigent have lived in the same tent
cities for at least 4 years, +80% for at least 18 months, and +93% for at
least 6 months. As of of this writing, at any one time, there are no more
than 2,000,000 who are properly speaking “mobile indigent”. However, at
the height of the Crash, there were some +60,000,000 itinerant mobile
With regards to detainees: There are 14 million Americans who are at
this time detained by the various government agencies. Of those, 5.5 million
have been found guilty by the criminal justice system and are lawfully
incarcerated for various crimes and misdemeanors. An additional 8.5 million
are held in various Federal and Sector Command Detention Facilities without
recourse to the criminal justice system.
This latter group are called Administrative Detainees, and they are
being held under the powers granted to the Executive and Sector Command
by DOPA-Norm. The process by which an Administrative Detainee is held or
released is classified information, and the various legal challenges made by
various civil rights groups have so far all failed at the Circuit Court level. The
Supreme Court has never heard a case involving DOPA-Norm since it was
enacted in January 2025.
With regard to the economic impact of the American Crash, the simple
facts speak for themselves.
Unemployment at the Crash’s peak in 2023 was 73%, and today still
stands at over 30%9; youth unemployment (18 to 25 year-old cohort) is

8 It should be noted that this figure of +60 million also included some +15
million foreign-born and first- and second-generation Hispanics who were
fleeing the United States by land, and so joined in the mobile indigent horde
for a period of time before crossing the Mexican border on their way farther
9 The official U-3 unemployment rate issued by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics never rose above 32% in 2023, and as of this writing stands at
12.5%—yet these numbers have been achieved with some outrageous
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 15.

currently 70%. It is estimated by credible sources that the Gross Domestic

Product of the United States is approximately 28% of its 2019 peak. The
currency has so far crashed three times10. Foreign-made consumer products
are now non-existent, but no domestic industry has been able to rise and
take advantage of the demand due to currency instability. Heavy industry
apart from government-dependent arms manufacturers are non-existent.
Moore’s Law has been broken, now that the non-government tech industry
no longer exists. New businesses are almost uniformly black-market, almost
uniformly service oriented. Barter, rather than currency, is the main
mechanism of individual exchange. About 94% of the non-indigent, non-
incarcerated, non-detained population receives Direct Aid Benefits from the
Federal government; about 44% of the total population could not survive
without this government assistance. Food distribution has been essentially
socialized, with the 2028 creation of the Federal government-run Central
Distribution Centers (Cendeecent) by the Gillibrand Administration.
Today, only 67% of American households have safe running water
every day, though today we can happily report that nearly 100% have
access to potable water within walking distance of their domicile (i.e., within
1 mile). However, only 28% have daily continuous electrical supply, while
only 80% have access to electricity for five hours or more per week.
Approximately 12% of the U.S. population is indigent, though that is down
from the peak of 27% in 2024. Malnutrition has been halted now that the
Cendeecent rationing has been fully implemented: It is estimated that only

statistical sleight-of-hand which we will discuss in the relevant chapters of

this book.
10 Though as we will show, high-, severe- and hyper-inflation has been an
uninterrupted process from 2019 through today, and the “three currency
crashes” in the 2019–2030 period have really been three peaks in an
inflationary continuum, even after the old-dollar was replaced by the
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 16.

12% of the general population is malnourished, mostly among the mobile

indigent and those held in Administrative Detention Facilities.
In the face of such catastrophic population loss and economic decline,
there has been no change in the political system of the United States—
apparently. The system of Federal government exists identically to what it
was before 2019. Congress regularly meets in session, the Supreme Court is
still the highest and final arbiter in the land. States still have elected
governors and duly elected local representatives. Every four years, citizens
turn out to vote for a President.
However, the Crash changed the United States from a “cramped”
representative democracy with curtailed but still-viable popular influence on
the political process, into a de facto police-state. Starting with the Crash in
2019, and exacerbated by DOPA-Norm, the Citizen Compliance Act, and the
other security legislation passed in January–April of 2025, all of the rights
guaranteed by the Bill of Rights have been essentially suspended, even as
the Bill of Rights itself is still putatively the law of the land.
This Dark America, to coin a term, is ruled by a kleptocratic
plutocracy—the so-called “One Percent”: A class of elite bureaucrats who
pass through the famed “revolving door” between the upper echelons of
business and the upper echelons of government. Buttressed by an extremist
neoliberal ideology whereby the health and welfare of private corporations
and group-collectives is regarded as the highest good and ultimate aim of
the government, this kleptocratic plutocracy governs autocratically, by
administrative diktat, yet is still careful to maintain a gauze-thin cloak of
democratic trappings and tradition, even as it is aggressively and bluntly
propped up by the military.
Supporting this 1% kleptocracy is the military, the Homeland Security
apparatus, local police, private security and intelligence services, as well as a
service and managerial class, all of whom comprise approximately 13.7% of
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 17.

the population. This support and enforcement class receives dispensations

and special privileges because of their position, often in the form of
enhanced Direct Aid Benefits, or special ration bonuses that can be collected
at the Cendeecent.
The two classes, representing less than 15% of the overall population,
control the United States of America. The rest of the population is for all
intents and purposes the serfs, prey and prisoners of the upper classes.
At this time, Sector Command troops occupy and control every city,
county and municipality in the United States, even as there are regular
elections where the citizens vote for their local democratic representatives.
But these local elected leaders govern at the whim and pleasure of the local
Sector Commanders, as per the Domestic Pacification and Normalization
Program (DOPA-Norm) of January 2025. In other words, the United States
essentially exists under perpetual martial law. And every citizen is aware of
this reality.
As to the Federal government representatives (Chapter 14): Election
fraud and widespread tampering have essentially turned elections into
competitions between plutocratic factions, to see who can outspend and out-
cheat their opponents. Elections are widely mocked by the population, which
is why barely 23% of the eligible voters turned out to “vote” to re-elect
President Gillibrand in the 2028 election11.
In terms of America’s geopolitical standing, the United States is
diplomatically and commercially isolated from the rest of the world. In a very

11 Underground informants claim that in fact less than 14% of the population
actually voted in the 2028 presidential election, and that the Federal Election
Commission inflated the figure in their bid to secure victory for the Gillibrand
Administration and create the illusion of a “mandate”. However, there has
been no incontrovertible evidence as to the veracity of these allegations, yet
there have been so many accounts from so many disparate quarters from
people who would be in the position to know or realize that malfeasance was
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 18.

real sense, the rest of the world no longer pays attention to the United
States, or factors in the United States into its geopolitical or strategic
decision-making. The U.S. still has not been able to acquire the foreign
currency reserves necessary to reëstablish its former diplomatic standing, let
along hegemony. Because of these funding limitations, America can no
longer afford either its foreign military bases nor its carrier battle groups—
both of which were essential to project the U.S.’s military power beyond its
own borders, and thus buttress its commercial and diplomatic efforts. Apart
from Guantánamo Bay, there are no longer any operational U.S. military
bases overseas, and apart from the U.S.S. Gerald Ford carrier battle group
(which Underground reports estimate is fully battle-ready only 42% of the
time; hence why this solitary, undermanned and underperforming battle-
group tends to operate strictly between the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii),
there are no longer any operational aircraft-carrier battle-groups in
America’s arsenal.
In terms of military power, apart from the UBD [Unmanned Battlefield
Drone] invasion of Venezuela in 2028,
In terms of foreign trade, the United States is still a net importer of
goods and services. Its major source of foreign currency is food exports and
weapons sales,
The question every citizen and historian ought to ask is, How did this

Our Aim

As stated previously: We want to show how the American Crash began as an

economic crisis which morphed into a social, cultural and political crisis that
quickly escalated into calamity. We want to show how each of the steps led

occurring, that these accounts cannot all be summarily discounted. But to

A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 19.

to the next, how each event gave room to the next, until we eventually
reached the current state of affairs that we are living under.
To achieve this aim, we wanted to give a bird’s eye view of what
happened between 2019 and 2030, explicating the historical causes of the
Crash. Yet at the same time, we wanted to give granular, first-hand
accounts of what it was like to actually live through this period at every level
of American society.
Thus in order to meet this seemingly contradictory historical approach,
we settled on the interview model of the old WPA Writer’s Project: In-person
interviews with Americans of all stations, hues, backgrounds and
perspectives. Some of these perspectives are from specialized academics
and professionals, others are from ordinary citizens, and others are from key
participants of the various events that occurred.
We hope that, by aggregating all of these eye-witness accounts, they
can explain and inform what happened during the American Crash.
All of these accounts are verbatim transcripts of in-person interviews
carried out with our witnesses. We very lightly edited these transcripts for
clarity and stylistic coherence. But on the whole, we let our witnesses speak
for themselves. We self-consciously and deliberately edited out all of the
interviewer questions, except in such cases where removing the questions
would have made the witness’ answers incoherent or nonsensical.
Some of the voices assembled here contradict one another, insofar as
analysis and evaluation of the facts, or explanations of how those facts and
events came to be. But all of the facts and events here described are
accurate to the best of our knowledge. For instance, we have gathered
contradictory evidence as to who bombed the Capitol Building on November
9, 2026. But the fact that it was destroyed is not in dispute.

repeat, there is no incontrovertible evidence of this happening.

A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 20.

A note on the text and testimonials: Unless otherwise specifically

noted, or unless it is the name of a public figure whose position has been
clearly identified, all proper names in this book are pseudonyms. A small
asterisk next to the name, thus*, is a gentle reminder to the reader that it is
a pseudonym. Certain other identifying information has been subtly altered,
so as to protect the witness from being identified. But these small alterations
in no way change or alter the substance or specifics of the witnesses’
Finally, the first witness testimony here included was actually the last
interview carried out. The reason is that, by happenstance, Carson*
provided the best overview of what it is like for an ordinary American to
experience life after the American Crash.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 21.

Preface: “It’s Hell In The FC”

Carson* is a 20 year old man who lives in the Arcadia suburb of Phoenix,
AZ. This interview was conducted September 21, 2020. It was the last
interview conducted for this history.

What’s my typical day like?

I guess I get up in the morning? And if there’s water, I take a shower.
But we can’t get shampoo, so’s why I keep the dome shaved bald. Just
easier? Sometimes the water doesn’t get on for four-five-six days even, so
it’s just smarter to keep it bald. My brothers and most of my friends do the
same. Friends I got with hair? Specially girls? They have a helluva time
keeping it clean. My mom bitches about it all the time, it can get annoying.
We’re a family clan in Arcadia. Oh, uh, like-see, we live in a big
suburban house in Arcadia. No, it’s not part of an Identity Zone, it’s just a
lone McMansion out in the suburbs sitting on an acre of land. [It] can get
hard to defend. Yeah, I know. When Identity Zones were getting organized
out here, we decided not to join up. I wish we had, but well. No, we’re not
moving. We’ve got no place to move to. And anyway, my folks and my
brothers and their wives and me have put too much of ourselves into this old
shitpile. I hate it here. I mean I love it and all, it’s my homestead, my clan’s
homestead, right? But I hate it. It used to be a real nice area? You could
even call it upscale? But then with all the fire-sales when the old-dollar
crashed, it was just abandoned. Now it’s all decrepit and stuff. Our house is
practically the only one around here that still has the actual owners living in
it. The houses that’re burned down flat’s ‘cause the family living in ‘em died
of d-grave. Easier to just torch the place than deal with that mess. Most of
the other houses still standing are boarded up and abandoned, or else
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 22.

there’s squatters; no, not zippits, just ordinary squatters; a lot of people
who got kicked out of IZ’s for some reason or other.
I remember growing up how all the houses had green lawns. I swear,
that’s how much water we had. And not a single board on any window,
every glass intact, and green lawns any which way you looked. But now it’s
all dirt. No way you’re gonna water a lawn. A vegetable garden, maybe, but
not a lawn. Besides, who’s gonna grow a vegetable garden out here, nothing
grows in this soil, it’s dead. No, see, when the water comes on, you gotta do
what’s right: Fill up the bathtubs and water jugs, and whip out the purekit12.
‘Cause you never know when the water will get cut off again, or how long it’ll
be out. Specially out here in Arcadia. They call the East Side the Rich Side,
so we get less water than other neighborhoods. Punishment for being rich. If
they only knew! [laughs heartily] No, you never drink unpured water,
especially if it’s been off for a few days. That’s just like, begging for d-grave
or cholera.
No, it wasn’t just the water shortages. See, people left their big
suburban houses ‘cause they were harder to defend? My dad refused to
move out when it got real bad, I guess back in ‘21, and ‘22. And ‘25. And
‘28! Guess every year’s been a bad year! [laughs] My dad, he just said, No!
We’re staying! So’s with my brothers Mitch* and Jason* and Alex*, we all
defended the house with the collection of shotguns that my dad had. He’s a
big skeet shooter, or used to be. He never pushed it on us? But we all got to
be pretty good shots. Hard not to, going every other weekend to the
shooting range. So like, in 2021 and ‘22? When zippits were really taking
over? It was, like, every week we’d have to make a stand and drive the
sullies off. When it was really bad, around Christmas ‘21 and the winter of
‘22? There were like, zippit attacks every other night!

12 Water purification kit.

A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 23.

“Zippits”? You know what they are. Oh, okay, I get it, okay. Uh, zippits
are gangs of homeless people who go, like, marauding around the place,
trying to steal your shit. Zippits, sullies, copperheads, they’re all the same.
They say that the zippits are all niggers—in the East Coast they call them
“highway niggers”—but the sullies we’ve ever seen out here were Whiskey
Tangos [“White Trash”] or Po-Beaners [Hispanic]. I myself never saw a
nigger zippit gang. Never seen a slope [Asian] gang neither, now that I think
about it. A lot of people demonize them, but they’re just people with no
place to go. No, they don’t care what they steal, they’re after anything.
Food, guns, water—specially water. Some zippit gangs, they’re after women,
some after boys. My little brother, Alex, came this close to getting snatched
up by a boy-gang. The stories you hear . . . grim. Like what? Like, the whole
gang will take turns raping the little kid or woman that they catch, just one
after the other. If they live, they get to join with the gang. If they don’t,
they just leave the corpse right there on the street. When zippits first
started making the scene, and I first heard these stories? I thought it was all
bullshit. But I got educated, I dunno, in 2021? When it was ramping up to
getting real bad? I remember, it was right after the whole gas coupon thing
tanked and there was no more gas for private cars, I was like a little kid, like
11? And I was biking real early one morning down to Camelback Road, and
there was a military patrol cleaning up this dead girl. She was twelve—I
knew her: Katy Restall [actual name]. She was a year older’n me. One of
the soldiers told me she’d got caught by copperheads who’d done her all
night. She looked messed up, I’ll tell you. Like she’d been run over by a
truck. The soldiers, they just scraped her off the pavement with shovels, I’m
not kidding. I’ve seen God knows how many since. But when I do, I try to
look away. That dead girl in my head is enough. I’m never going to forget
the sound of those shovels scraping the pavement. Steel on concrete. It
fucks you up.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 24.

Sure shit like that still happens! Zippits never rest! But, you know, this
doesn’t get on the news. The news, man, it’s all SHP bullshit. I mean, really,
they’re not gonna run stories about what’s really going on. So’s all they run
is SHP bullshit—KNXP [the local news station] ought to change their call sign
or whatever to KSHP!
“SHP”? Shiny happy people bullshit. You know: Fake news, stories that
are bullshit just to keep everybody happy, or to hide what’s going on. I
mean, I don’t even know why they do it anymore. Everybody knows what’s
going on. There’s no food, there’s no water, there’s no security. Everybody
fucking pedaling a bike around ‘cause there’s no gas. ‘Cept the fucking
military, man. They always have plenty of gas. And guns. And I’m here to
tell you, they’re not afraid of using either.
Course I’m bitter, wouldn’t you? The Coasts are sitting pretty—we got
left high-and-dry out here in the FC.
Fuckit, why don’t you use subtitles or footnotes or something. The FC
is flyover country, a’right?
It’s hell in the FC. People on the Coasts, they have no idea what it’s
like, they live in fucking Xanadu, in fucking fantasy land. Like, in Manhattan?
They’ve got the Hudson River and the East River protecting them.
Checkpoints at all the bridges and tunnels. Nobody they don’t like gets into
Manhattan. So they live like everything’s copacetic. Sure, there’s no cars on
the streets anymore, just electric buses and bikes and the subway. But they
got running water, electricity, regular food supplies. They got queues like
everywhere else, but they get food after making the queue—guaranteed.
Not like in the FC. I know all this stuff about Manhattan ‘cause my cousin
Erin* lives out there. When we were little, like when I was 8 years old, we’d
go to Manhattan a lot, stay at the Plaza or the Waldorf, visiting Erin’s folks.
Me and my sister and Erin, we got to be pretty tight, running around the
city, being little kids. Those were good times, back in the day. I used to
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 25.

skype her once in a while. I used to tell her about what was going on out
here in Phoenix, she’d tell me how it was over there. Then the Eyes send her
a Notice of Non-Compliance. She cuts us off after that. My sister was real
hurt, when Erin cut us off, but me, I can’t say that I blame her, life’s all
about compliance out on the Coasts. A buddy of my dad’s, out in San
Francisco? He keeps us up to date on what’s going on out there and in LA
and San Diego. You know, real indirect conversations. Fort Meade [the
location of and metonym for the NSA, the National Security Agency]
monitors our calls—all calls, really. They don’t even have to hear you, they
got JUPITER, so their computers can figure out what you’re talking about
and flag you for a Notice or for a QT if the Cray-ON algorithm detects certain
keywords in your conversation, or combination of keywords. They’re fucking
precise too.
An NSA flag means squat in the FC—I mean, out here, the Sec-Com’s
[Sector Commander] got bigger fish to fry than hunting around for an
Information Terrorist here in Phoenix. But out in San Francisco? My dad’s
buddy could get into real trouble. It’s all about compliance out there, they’re
sticklers for it, so they have to be real discreet when they talk. Fort Meade
watches you online and the Black Bloc keeps an eye on you IRL.
No, the open internet is SHP bullshit, totally compromised. The ISP’s
[Internet Service Providers] screen what you can look at, nothing’s real
there on the internet, all they show on YouTube are videos of LOLcats and
cute Japanese babies and SHP’s that never lose their smile. TOR and the
DarkNet gives you straight info if you can bypass your ISP’s screens, but it
isn’t safe to communicate, and neither is the VORTEX, not even Frame-CAM
or any other BlackNets. For secure com, you gotta go full NullNet—and even
then it’s not safe. The only NullNet communication system I trust at this
point is C-DOG, but that’s just because it’s new. Once Fort Meade cracks it,
they’ll be watching it like all the others. See I understand Fort Meade is
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 26.

trying to catch the terrorists, specially insider threats—sure, after they blew
up the Capitol, and what they allegedly did to Byron Station [Nuclear Power
Plant], who doesn’t want to catch those fuckers. But they’re scooping up a
lot of other people—loyal people—who are just chatting innocently—people
who aren’t insider threats. People who have no desire or interest to carry out
any terrorism, people who are just shootin’ the shit.
So what was I saying?
Right. The Coasts have no idea what’s going on, but I’ll tell you, I
wouldn’t want to live out there. Things are rough in the FC, but at least you
have, like, a modicum of freedom. The NSA can send you a truckload of
Notices of Non-Compliance, it don’t matter: The military won’t bother
hassling you unless it’s serious. And if you’ve got a good enough reason for
what you did, they’ll leave you alone. Like when my dad and my brothers
and me put a couple of zippit corpses up on crosses on our front yard and
back yard? And zippit attacks dropped off to nothing after that? Our Sec-
Com, Sgt. Billy Jackson*, he high-fived my dad and my brothers and me. He
said, “You guys just made our jobs a whole lot easier.” Freaked my mom
out, though, I’ll tell you that. The copperheads started to rot after barely a
day. Smell was awful—got so bad, we set ‘em on fire three-four days after
putting them up. But we left them up there, the corpses. They were all
charred and stuff, but they got the job done, the zippits were warned: Fuck
with us, we’ll crucify you and set you on fire. So no more sully attacks on
our property after that. So well . . . You can’t argue with success.
What? How many—? Yeah. Sure I did. I killed my first sully when I was
eleven. Uh, I guess it must’ve been after I seen what happened to Katy
Restall; hadn’t thought about it really. Plenty, I guess, I don’t know how
many I killed. I didn’t, like, keep a fucking tab of how many, a’right? Thirty,
forty. No, listen, I don’t want to talk about that. Look, I’m not a bad person,
okay? But I have to help protect our family, and our homestead. I mean
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 27.

what am I supposed to do, let zippits barge in, rape my mom, rape my kid
brother, steal our shit, and by the way, kill my older brothers and my dad
and me and steal our women? Fuckit, I’m not a bad person, a’right? I’m a
decent person, I might not be a big Christian like my brother Jason and my
mom and some of the sister wives, but I believe in being a good person and
doing what’s right. I try hard to be a good person and do what’s right. But if
it’s a choice between you or me? You or my family? Buddy, sorry, but I
won’t hesitate to pull that trigger. That’s just the way it is. Those zippits,
man . . . especially in 2023? Like, in ’21 and ’22 and ’23—it was like every
fucking night, man, marauding outside our house—they targeted us ‘cause
we were a lone house on a big piece of land, God I wished we’d been in an
Identity Zone, then! IZ’s are a fucking hassle, with all their fucking rules and
regs, all the petty politicking—but when the zippits are coming down, you
can sleep easy in an IZ. But us, no such luck, we had to make a stand
ourselves [against the mobile indigent]. Fuckers would use sirens ripped off
from ambulances and cop cruisers. Those sirens, they’d let ‘em wail all night,
trying to wear us down, trying to psyche us out . . . It was me. I was the
one who got the idea to hang some dead zippits on our front lawn and back
yard. Teach those fuckers a lesson. I’m not proud of it, a’right? I’m not. I
mean they were fucking human beings, man . . . People. But the
motherfuckers deserved it.
Yeah, let’s.
No. No way would I live on the Coasts. IZ’s are bad enough, with their
rules and petty politics—but the Coasts? Sure, they got food, water, lights,
all that good stuff, they’re not worrying about zippit attacks or catching the
death-shits, their water supplies are pure, what with the allotments from the
Cendeecents—but the price they pay? Fuck that. Out on the Coasts, you got
to be in compliance every second of the day. You got the Black Bloc
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 28.

breathing down your neck, and then you turn around and you got your
Sector Command troops with itchy trigger fingers. They don’t screw around
on the Coasts: You deviate from compliance even an inch and you’re in
trouble. Like [Dean] Skerrit’s song says, [sings the lyrics] “Compliance is
their watchword / Control is what they want / A bullet in the head you get /
If ever you deviate.” Yeah, I heard that too: Shot him in the head when they
caught him, then said it was because he was “resisting arrest”. Yeah right.
Kind of proved his own point, now didn’t he.
Out on the Coasts, you’re trading in freedom for security. In the FC,
you can wipe your ass with a Notice of Non-Compliance—well not exactly.
You get enough NNC’s, they can cancel your cards, and then how are you
going to live. How are you gonna buy food? But on the Coasts? They got the
Three-Strikes Rule: Three NNC’s, you get automatic Administrative
Detention. Which means detention for life.
What? Sure it’s for life. Everybody knows that. What, you ever heard
of anybody who got AD’d who’s ever been heard from again? That’s why
they call it the Roach Motel: You go in, but you don’t come out. (Actually, I
have no idea why they call it that. I guess the Roach Motel was in a movie or
something. Before my time, but whatever.)
Trials? Like, by a jury? No—I mean that’s why they invented AD: The
courts couldn’t handle all the terrorist crimes and trials and stuff. What,
why? I dunno, it just happened. Look, man, I’m no lawyer, so I don’t—okay,
cool, I gotcha.
Anyway, my point is, NNC’s is why it pays to make friends with the
military commander of your sector. Sgt. Jackson’s good people. He washed a
couple of NNC’s that we got; two on my dad, one on me, and one on my
brother Jason. If the members of a family clan get five Notices of Non-
Compliance within a year’s time, technically, they can cancel all the cards of
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 29.

that family clan and declare them an Insider Threat. And that’s no joke. Sgt.
Jackson did us a big, big favor by wiping those NNC’s.
My Notice of Non-Compliance? I didn’t get it for talking with my cousin
Erin, actually. You would’ve thought, huh? Weird. Anyhow, I got mine for
chatting on VORTEX, about whether they were telling us the truth about
Byron Station. Well everybody says it was the insider threats who did it,
right? Like, those nut-job Marines who blew up the Capitol. But I was
thinking if it wasn’t something else. No, not a conspiracy—I don’t truck with
conspiracy theories, my brother Jason does, Capitol Hill Bombing Truthers,
all that jazz, but I don’t buy any of it—I was thinking it [the Byron Station
explosion] was something more simple, like just basic incompetence. My dad
always says that what looks like malice is often just incompetence. And in
my experience, that’s true; people aren’t bad, just lazy and stupid, then
when something bad happens, they just rush to cover it up so as not to look
too bad. Byron Station always seemed like the product of incompetence, not
terrorism y’know? Incompetence that they tried to cover up. Poor fucks in
Chicago, they don’t care I guess, if it was incompetence or terrorism. They
still got fried like rotisserie chickens. Honest, I’ve never bought that it was
terrorism—it just seemed like someone fucked up, then tried covering their
ass, you know? Hell, how many bridges have collapsed, how many sewage
treatment plants have failed, how many electrical grids gone up in flames?
Dozens, hell, thousands, all ‘cause the county or city or whatever didn’t have
no more money, so they cut back on repairs and maintenance, and then
boom! It’s the same story a million trillion times across the country. So why
not with a nuke station? What, politicians cut back on everything, but kept
pouring money into repairing the nuclear plants? Y’see what I’m saying?
Everyone was saying Byron Station was terrorism, but I didn’t buy it.
Still don’t. And I said so on an anonymous chatroom. But like a dork, I
hadn’t properly masked my IP address, so I got flagged with an NNC. But
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 30.

like I said, our Sector Commander, Sgt. Jackson, he wiped it, so it’s all good,
no harm no foul.
See, Sgt. Jackson and my family are tight. One of my brother Mitch’s
wives is sisters with one of Sgt. Jackson’s wives; like a real sister, a blood
sister, so that makes us practically family. Mitch’s wife? Jenna*, the middle
one. Yeah, when her little sister Corinne* turned 16, we got Sgt. Jackson to
take her on and add her to his home. Corinne’s real pretty, and smart too,
she got knocked up right away and sealed the deal with Sgt. Jackson. A man
can’t walk away from a wife once he’s bred her. And Mitch’s wife Jenna has
bred two of his kids already. So Sgt. Jackson’s bound by blood to our family.
If we hadn’t had that relationship, I’d have that NNC hanging over my head.
Our family would be one NNC from getting our cards all cancelled. Sgt.
Jackson? I dunno, he must be around 40 I guess. He’s been Sec-Com for
these parts since—I dunno—2025? No, I don’t think he’s leaving. I guess
he’s the permanent Sec-Com for Phoenix Metro, hadn’t really thought about
it really.
My day? Right, that’s what you asked at the start, right. Uh, I get up,
and I shower if I can. My girlfriend and I bike downtown to see if there’s
anything available. No, I never use internet to find out if something’s
available, not even secure-com like C-DOG, unless I actually, like, know
who’s telling me that there’s food or supplies in such-and-such a place. The
government notices? Nigger, please! [laughs heartily] The government puts
out a lot of noise about “normalized food and supply chains”, saying how
there’s plenty for everybody. But there isn’t. Our Cendeecent [Central
Distribution Centers]? Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. The
only way to be sure that there’s food or supplies is to actually go down to a
distribution center or a store or supermarket and make the queue.
You always know when there’s real food or supplies ‘cause the queue’s
so long. Lots of times, me and my current girl, Tracey*, we just get in a
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 31.

queue the second we see one shaping up. You ride around town on your
bike, and the second people start queueing up, you’re there.
One time I got in a queue just as it started, I had no idea what it was,
I was fourth in the queue, and then guess what it was: Toothpaste! Man, I
was a happy camper—I hadn’t seen toothpaste in months! And the best part
was, the supply manager must’ve fucked it up, ‘cause he accidentally let us
buy as much toothpaste as we wanted! Serious! I managed to snag thirty
tubes of Colgate with my EBT card; if I’d had more balance, I’d’ve snagged
more, I used up all my month’s EBT on that toothpaste. (“EBT”? Uh,
Electronic Balance Ticket, I think?13) Mom and Dad and my bros and their
wives had huge happy-heads when I came home with that loot. We kept half
the tubes for ourselves, then swapped the rest for food and shotgun shells.
Money? I don’t know the economics, right? Just that all of a sudden in
like in 2019 or 2020? Prices just went ballistic. Gas through the roof, food
through the roof, ‘til you needed a brick to buy a loaf of bread. A brick? A
stack of bills as thick as a brick. Man, I don’t know why, I’m just telling you
what I know . . . Okay, alright, fair enough. No, we ran out of our silver and
gold coins years ago. Yeah, my dad actually had some, and then traded
some of our stuff for more. We got, like, two ounces of gold for his Harley
hog, and three ounces for my mom’s Mercedez G-wagen she used to tool
around in. We unloaded it like, five minutes before they stopped selling gas
to civilians. Suckers! But what goes around comes around: We had this
lakehouse up in New Hampshire? ‘Cause mom and dad are from the East
Coast? My uncle Bruce* sold it for us, for twenty gold ounces. Mom and dad
were ecstatic—but when they registered the sale with the county registrar,
the government confiscated the gold and gave us dollars for them, at
government’s set price. So we sold the lakehouse for literally nothing.

13 In fact, it is the acronym for Electronic Benefit Transfer.

A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 32.

The thing my dad always says, “We should have left when we had the
chance.” He’s right. But it’s too late. My mom specially kept begging him for
us to leave. Like in 2019, 2020? When the first shortages started, and the
dollar crashed for the first time? My mom, she’s a saint, okay? Living with
my dad and four sons, she’s a saint who can kick ass! [laughs heartily] But a
saint all the same. And she might be real quiet, but she’s no fool. She’s
always kept her ear to the ground. In 2019, she kept saying, “Things are
gonna get bad, things are gonna get worse, we should clear on out while we
have the chance.” Then like, most of their friends and the people they knew
from the country club started to leave like in 2019, 2020. Not just the Jew
rats slinking away (what do you expect from those Hebe fucks)—I’m talking
PLU [People Like Us] started to leave. No leave the country. And my mom
got the idea that we should go too. Only time I ever saw my parents fight
full-on, you know? Scared the shit out of me and my sis and our brothers,
the two of them fighting like that. They didn’t hit each other or anything—I
mean they love each other, right?—but jeez there was just a lot of
screaming and shouting and a lot of tears. My dad, man, he’s a-a great guy.
And I’m not gonna disrespect him, a’right? But he was . . . My dad, he just
took the wrong option. Mom was right, we should have bugged out when we
could back in 2019. Where? Anyplace. Anyplace would have been better. My
mom, she was talking New Zealand, but my dad kept saying that this was
just a dip, that things would turn out for the best, get back to normal. Yeah
right. . . . Normal left, and never came back.
So we’re stuck here in Arcadia, cooped up in a big boarded-up house
that no one wants, living hand-to-mouth, depending on the government for
our EBT card balance to buy food and supplies. I fucking hate it, but well . . .
spilt milk, you know? What’s done is done.
Right, so me and Tracey bike around town during the morning, and
get whatever we can get on our EBT cards. My brothers and their wives do
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 33.

the same. We split up the town so we don’t double team any area. You want
to know how much I got? Right now? Lemme see, I got my EBT card right
here, I got here . . . fifty-three thousand two-hundred americans. That’s
about my full weekly government allowance. With that, I could buy two
pounds of ground beef, or a keg of beer, or six or seven pounds of fruits and
vegetables, if they’re available. All those things cost about ₳50,000. Old-
dollars? Uh, I guess, what, fifty-million old-dollars? Wait, uh—one american
equals a thousand old-dollars, so yeah, right, fifty million old-dollars. The
zeros, man; they can trip you up! I heard they’re getting ready to knock off
another three zeros from americans and go back to calling ‘em “dollars”, or
maybe “new dollars”. But that’s just a rumor I heard, I could be wrong.
That’s right: You can only use EBT cards at government approved
supermarkets and stores and shops, and now at the Cendeecent they set up
last year. You can’t use an EBT to shop at any ordinary store. I mean, there
aren’t any anymore. All the food stores are government stores. Only high-
end stores aren’t government stores; Louis Vitton and shit. And those don’t
take EBT cards.
What do you mean, “How many americans do you have in your
pocket”? I don’t have any—americans don’t exist like actual bills, like old-
dollars used to. Americans are a virtual currency. You buy stuff on your
credit card or debit card or EBT card. You can’t buy anything without a card.
You can trade stuff for stuff. But all money is on cards. That way they can
make sure that you’re in compliance with your taxes and stuff.
What we do is, we get stuff with our EBT card, and then trade it for
other stuff we want or need. It doesn’t matter what you buy with your EBT
card—just get in a queue and buy. Then trade that shit later for what you
need. Right now what we really need is construction material. The house is
falling apart, and we’ve already scrounged the surrounding empty houses.
We need everything from duct tape, to parts for our air conditioning unit, to
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 34.

bike chains, to good old DW-40, to freon for the fridge. We got a whole list
of stuff. When me and my brothers gather back at lunchtime, we inventory
what we got from the morning’s shopping, set aside what we can use, then
take the surplus and go to the Camelback Market in the afternoon. It’s the
open-air market right on Camelback Road. No, not all of us, but always two,
and one of us is always openly strapping [carrying a firearm]. Always, no
exception. Lots of times, undercover zippits are trolling the market, trying to
rip you off. Sometimes, even PLU might get wise, if they see you’re easy
pickings. So if you’re carrying goods, you always go in pairs or threes, and
one of you is always strapping. It’s getting better—I mean like in the last six
months or so, things seem to be getting better. But it’s not like you can walk
around with a bag of just-bought groceries and not expect to get ripped off.
We can’t afford to get ripped off. We need to get all this stuff to fix the
Why can’t we get the construction stuff we need? Dude, ‘cause they
don’t make that shit in America! Construction materials, I mean. No they
don’t. It used to all get made in, like, China, along with everything else, but
China’s not selling to us anymore, right? Behind the Bamboo Curtain or
whatever? That hurt, by the way. When they shut us out in ‘20 or ‘22?
Partnering up with those sly Russians in their Customs Union; I have no idea
why they did it, shutting us out like that, not taking our money anymore; I
wish I did, but I wasn’t following the news so close, then. It was in the
middle of the zippit raids, and man, honest? I don’t remember a hell of a lot
of those years, you know what I’m saying? My sis caught the death-shits,
and we were getting raided every night, so it’s all kind of like a blur.
Yeah, of course me and Steffi were tight, what do you think, she was
my twin. She got d-grave [shigella gravis, an antibiotic-resistant form of
dysentery], and that was that; died within the week. Dumb luck she caught
it and I didn’t. Me: I was with her the whole time, right up to the end. Only
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 35.

time I ever saw the old man cry. He didn’t cry, he wailed. My mom, she just
. . . [shakes his head] y’know? It was so bad that my head just kind of
zoned out during those years.
Yeah. I don’t know.
I dunno . . .
What you say? Bullshit. What, all that stuff used to get made here in
America? Get the fuck out of here, you’re messing with me! No way, man.
Nah-ah, that’s not true, I know for a fact that all that stuff was made in
China, and before that in Korea, and before that it came from Japan. Stuff
never got made in America. Maybe in, like, way-way back, like in the
eighties, maybe then stuff used to get made here. No disrespect, but I do
believe you’re talking out of your ass: We only ever bought stuff from the
rest of the world—we never ever made stuff here in America. We might’ve
designed stuff here in America, but it only ever got built in China. And then
they stole our designs, so we got left with nothing. That’s why everything’s
secret now: So they don’t steal our designs.
I’ll tell you what, though: Food. That sure used to get grown right here
in the good ol’ US of A. I know for a fact that there are miles and miles of
farmland—all of it, like, full of food, right? Corn and wheat and soybean,
miles of food, right—I’m talking hundreds of miles of farmland, in Iowa,
Nebraska, Kansas: More than enough to feed us all. It’s just sitting there—
but we don’t get any. Why? ‘Cause the people who own it, the big
corporations? They make more money selling it overseas than selling it to
Americans! Yeah, I know what they all say about “rebuilding the balance of
trade” and all that, but that’s all bullshit: All that means is that regular
people like us have to pay higher prices—sky-high prices, impossible prices
for a little bit of food, and that’s not right. I mean, look, the country is
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 36.

completely fucked up. In Washington, they let the big corporations make
money off of our farmland, but they won’t give Americans the food to eat—
Why don’t I say any of this in public? Dude, think white and get
serious. Shooting your mouth off gets you absolutely nothing but AD’d
[Administrative Detention]. Or, shit, they can cut off your EBT card—and
then what are you going to do? They can cancel your cards, which means
you can’t buy anything, including food—you can only buy food and supplies
with a government approved card. Especially now with the Central
Distribution Centers, you cannot afford to piss off the authorities. If they
cancel your cards, how you gonna eat? You can’t spend your americans
without a card. So you don’t protest, you don’t say shit against how things
are—not if you know what’s good for you and your clan.
Guy I knew from junior-high, Peter Dearborn [actual name], he got
AD’d for saying stuff like this at a political debate. The candidates, one
Democrat, one Republican, like there’s any fucking difference, but whatev.
They threw the floor open to questions from the audience. Pete—the stupid
dumb fuck—asked both candidates, “Why’s there a food shortage in Phoenix,
when there’s all this food on the Coasts? And are you gonna do anything
about it? How come we don’t have clean running water, when we got the
Hoover Dam with all that water filling it to the brim?”
Sure, everyone roared when he asked his question, catcalling the
candidates and booing them, practically a riot—the debate shut down after
that. Sure, Pete was a hero for about five seconds—but then? He got AD’d
on the spot. I saw it happen, not two yards away from me, I’d been trying to
get to him to congratulate him. MP’s [Military Police] grabbed him when he
was leaving the debate, shipped him on the spot, and that was it. Nobody’s
seen Pete since that night; nobody knows where he even is, not even his
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 37.

Oh, and about his family clan—and this is why I don’t respect Pete
Dearborn: After Pete got shipped? Pete’s family clan—parents, brother and
sisters, grandparents—they all got their cards cancelled. The government
called it “administrative sanction for associates of a know information
terrorist”. I call it a death sentence. We all depend on the government—no
cards, no money, which means no food. The Dearborns, they started
begging for food at first, but all those people who’d cheered Pete mouthing
off slammed their doors in Pete’s clan’s face. I heard those people became
zippits, then got AD’d to a camp out in Wyoming. No, I know it for a fact:
Sgt. Jackson told us. Because he was the one who shipped ‘em.
See they don’t need to charge you? When they AD you? They just say
that you’re an insider threat; or a potential insider threat. A threat to what,
they don’t say. They don’t need to say. They just do. They grab you, say
you’re a threat, ship you on a black truck, and stick you in a supermax
solitary detention, or in some fucking zippit camp in the middle of nowhere,
like that place up in Alaska? And that’s it, you’re never coming out. No
communication with anyone, no lawyer, no family, you’re gone. Might as
well be dead. And it doesn’t matter how tight you are with your Sector
Commander: If the word comes down from the Feds that you’re set for an
AD? That’s it, you’re going, no two ways about it.
You know what scares the shit out of me, though? When you get a call
for a QT. Stands for “Question Time”. When you get AD’d, well, you know
where you stand: They’re sticking you in a white coffin [a supermax solitary
prison cell] forever, tough luck, or maybe shipping you to a camp up in
Alaska or wherever. But with a QT? It’s a crap shoot—which is, like, worse.
‘Cause there’s hope. They pick you up for a QT, they might talk to you for
five minutes and let you go—that happened to my older brother Mitch; they
confused him with someone else and were honest enough to admit it and let
him go, thank God. It might’ve been his plural wives. All three of his ride-or-
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 38.

die-bitches went down to the Sec-Com and raised holy hell! Brenda*, his
middle one, she like pitched a fit right then and there! This was before our
relationship with Sgt. Jackson, we had nothing but air to back us up. Mitch
was Goddamned lucky they let him go, I’ll tell you.
They might let you go, if they call you up for QT. But then other times,
they might be too embarrassed to admit they got the wrong guy, or that
you’re innocent. Or they might need to fill a quota—and buddy, don’t tell me
they don’t have a quota to fill. You always hear how the military suddenly
rounded up a bunch of people come the end of the month. When it’s the end
of the month, I always get antsy if I see Sgt. Jackson or any of his men. And
they’re good people. Up in Flagstaff, when that fuck Sgt. Terence [actual
name]—“Tommy the Terror” Terence—when that mean fuck took over
Flagstaff in early 2026? He AD’d half the town. All so he could look tough
and get promoted. What’s that, if not filling quotas, so come on.
Things can go south, in a Question Time—all of a sudden, it might
become an enhanced QT—what’s that mean, it means they put you in front
of a fucking sunflower! Nosir, I’m a dumb hick, but I know enough to know I
don’t ever wanna be sitting in front of a sunflower—fuck no! What, a choice
between doing a QT in front of a sunflower, or indefinite Administrative
Detention in a supermax? Buddy, that ain’t no choice at all—just different
brands of hell.
Let’s get off talking about sunflowers and white coffins, man. I don’t
know anything about them—and I do not want to know anything about
them, you know what I’m saying?
Okay. Sure.
Well, after making a queue, it’s usually around lunchtime. By that
time, whatever was for sale at stores or a distribution center is gone. So me
and Tracey hook up with my brothers and my mom and dad and my
brothers’ wives back at the house. What? Oh, Mitch’s got three wives, and
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 39.

Jason’s got two, but he’s looking to add another. Three’s a good number for
some sister wives, four starts getting into trouble-territory; lots of drama,
and who needs that. Me? No way, I’m not married. Maybe in a couple of
years. Alex’s a kid still, but he’s getting offers. We got a nice house, sitting
on an acre that we own, we grow our own food, and everybody knows we’re
a strong family-clan, so Whiskey Tango bitches aren’t above using their
snatch to trap a 16 year-old like Alex and to ginny us. But mom and dad
say, No, he’s too young; and he is. Mom specially, she’s sort of like, vetted
my bros’ sister wives; not a one of ‘em joined our clan without her okay. I
mean, she’s mom, right? She’s looking out for us. No, between you and me,
[my current girlfriend] Tracey’s a pogo-sticker, she’s done the cock carousel,
she’ll drop me the second someone better rolls along; can’t trust her. When
I get married, it’ll be with a couple of pure girls. Mom and Mrs. Forsyth*,
down the road, are already talking about hooking me up with the Forsyths’
middle daughter. Their property’s adjacent to ours, so it makes a lot of
sense. Uh, I think she’s fourteen, so in a couple of years I guess. She’s real
pretty, so I wouldn’t mind, and, she’s guaranteed pure, which matters.
Anyway, so we count up what we got after morning shopping, then
talk about trading whatever surplus for something else. So off we go to
make a deal, score something we might need at the Camelback Open
When night falls, it’s best to stay indoors.
No, zippits really have gotten better. Nothing like back in ’23, when it
was real bad, or ’28 when Byron Station happened. But it’s safer to stay
home after dark. Look, I don’t mean to be a douche or anything? But we’re
the Crawford* Clan, a’right? One of the strongest family-clans out here.
Everybody knows the Crawford Boys, everybody knows my dad, Big Steve*
Crawford. Everybody knows we got guns up the wazoo, everybody knows we
got a strong tie to our Sec-Com. We’re, like, a powerful family out here.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 40.

We’re known. But fuck-all will we go out after dark. Even with everyone
knowing us, even if we’re packing, we do not go outside after dark, unless
we’re a posse of three or four, openly strapping. Then, maybe—but on your
own? Alone? Even with a weapon? You’d have to be crazy. Even now, when
things are getting more pacific, night is not a time you want to get caught
out in the open.
Looking for work? What are you talking about, there’s no work here.
No, I didn’t go out on any wit-wots [“Whiskey Tango Wipeouts”]. No,
no zippit hunts either. Well, one time, me and my brothers sort of, rode
along? On a zippit hunt, that’s right—but man, it’s one thing to defend your
homestead from a zippit raid, okay? It’s another to go looking for a zippit
camp and slaughter the fucks. I mean some of them were little kids,
defenseless women, and a lot of those Whiskey Tangos were PLU, even if
they were dirty fucking zippits. Going out killing them, fuck this “prophylactic
defense” bullshit talk, man, I saw that shit once and it was bad and I didn’t
like it and I didn’t participate and made it fucking clear especially to Jason,
he’s a fucking cruel fuck when he’s got it in him, I told him, “Bro, you go on
some fucking zippit raid again and we’re through.” I’m not one for threats,
a’right? But in my family, they know I don’t fuck around when I lay it down.
As far as I know, Jason and nobody else in my family-clan’s gone on a zippit
raid. That’s fucking wrong.
No, I’ve never gone targeting networkers either. Don’t need to, there
aren’t many kikes left out here in Phoenix. What’s that? Dunno. [I] guess
the Jew rats slithered away when things got tough, what, in ‘24 or ‘25? Gone
down to Argentina, or wherever the fuck’ll have the pricks.
No, well, I actually don’t know.
I guess, I don’t know . . .
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 41.

Look, bud—look, my mom’s just like you, she’s got a soft spot for the
Jews: She’s all like, “Poor Jews, the Second Shoah, boo-hoo-hoo.” Argues
with me all the time, but whatevs, my point is: The Jews had it coming, now
didn’t they. They started this whole mess when they bombed Iran, right, and
dragged us into a war out there, right? That’s a fact. Made gas so expensive
it broke our economy, broke our country. And, like, how the Jews had
bought out Congress for Israel through the campaign contributions? That’s
another fact, it all came out in the Cross Hearings [the Congressional
Committee on Foreign Allies and Partnerships hearings, chaired by Senator
Willard J. Cross. —Ed.], I saw it on TV. Everybody saw it, that’s why
everybody got so pissed off at the Jews. How those congressmen and
senators were doing shit to help Israel and the Jews, and fuck America and
Americans? No wonder they shipped all those networked congressmen and
senators for Perfidy. No wonder they started looking for networker
infiltrators, and started sweeping them out and getting this country clean of
those fucking Jew rats. I mean, they were insider threats, right? Everybody
knows that insider threats are the most dangerous threats there are. Insider
threats are the ones who bombed the Capitol, and that’s a fact.
Well, yeah, I guess I feel bad about what happened in the East Coast,
with the big networker sweeps and shit, that was fucked up. I mean, those
Hassidic Jew-boys they tasered to death out in Charlotte or wherever? Man,
those little kids jiggling on YouTube until they died? Fucked up, I didn’t find
that shit funny at all. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t’ve let that happen, but . .
. well, they had it coming. I mean there’s a reason they’ve been hated in
every country in every century in history: They’re parasites, plain and
simple. They wriggle their way into your society, trying to pass as PLU,
giving you their creepy little hook-nosed Hebe shit-eating grin, while all
along they’re trying to suck you dry. No wonder the Saudis nuked Israel—
and they were their friends, man. What does that tell you. [I] hate those
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 42.

sand-niggers, but they had the right idea when it came to the Jews. Wipe
‘em out the second you get the chance.
My weight? What’s that got to do with anything. Okay, uh, I’m up to
160 pounds even. My height? Six foot one inch. My lowest? 125, back in
2027, when I got cholera; nearly kicked it that time. I don’t know, my
weight might’ve been lower back in ’24 when Steffi died, but honest? I don’t
remember much of that year. That year was bad.
What I’m reading now? Just stupid shit, you know: Nothing special.
Why’d you care what I read. Oh. I see. Okay, uh . . . Okay, this might sound
a little weird? Uh, but I’m going through this muckraker phase? Upton
Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, all those early Twentieth Century muckrakers. I really
like them. I like their, like, moral clarity. I’m reading Babbitt. Sinclair Lewis
is pretty rad. Arrowsmith. Yeah, outstanding. They don’t, like, write real
well? But they don’t fuck around between what’s right and what’s wrong.
My dad? Yale, same as his dad. My mom went to Smith College, same
as her mom—my folks met out on the East Coast, at some hoity-toity
debutante ball. Uh, then dad worked for FedEx then went and got an MBA at
Stanford. His last job? CFO of Global Van Lines; they were, like, the third
largest trucking company in the world, before they went bankrupt when they
cut the oil.
College? Me? That won’t happen. I didn’t finish high-school. Barely
managed to finish elementary school, I was otherwise indisposed—staving
off zippits! [laughs] I’m 20 already, I got no time for college, I gotta help my
clan. I mean, I’d love to have had the opportunity, you know? Spend four
years just reading and thinking about serious shit. Would’ve liked to go to
Yale, like my dad. Mm. It’s a luxury I wish I could have afforded. But I
couldn’t, and now that’s gone, so there’s no sense talking about it.
What I’d like to do? Like, in the future? I’d like to go live in someplace
cold. [I] fucking hate the heat. Must be my Yankee genes! [laughs] When I
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 43.

was little, my parents and brothers and Steffi and me all went skiing in
Zermatt? In Switzerland? It was so pretty. These real-real pretty mountains,
covered in snow. Pretty little log cabins. I’d like to go live there. The Swiss,
man, they got their store organized. I hear Paris is a shithole, and London’s
like Manhattan: Either you’re super-rich, or you’re a servant of the super-
rich, protecting and entertaining those rich assholes, or else you’re nothing
and so they drive you out. Europe’s like, all these little countries, fighting
and hating on one another, all of them broke to boot. And they got a zippit
problem worse than in America; all those fucking African and Turkish and
Eastern European immigrants. The SHP broadcasts, on the news and the
regular internet, are always carping about zippits in Spain and Belgium and
Italy. The Germans, you know those fuckers, they just deported their Turks
and shot any of them that complained—Fourth Reich über alles! [laughs] But
the Swiss, from what I’ve heard, they’ve got things organized. Kicked out all
their sand-niggers [Arabs] and Turks, and now do not let in any immigrants,
not even Americans, not even white Americans. Not unless you got
something they want; either a sackful of gold, or some tech skill they can
use. But I don’t have any tech skill, and as for gold, sorry! I’m all out!
[laughs bitterly]
But yeah, I’d like to move to Switzerland. Work a nice little farm. Have
as much food as I want, not be dependent on anyone else. Or at least, be
dependent on people who aren’t gonna fuck me over. No more EBT cards,
yeah! [laughs] Not be worried about getting in trouble with the law. No more
NNC’s, no more fear of getting AD’d, no fear of sunflowers or white coffins.
Just pretty thoughts and a head full of peace. Wherever I can get that,
that’s where I’d like to be.
Any place in America that I’d move to? No. Buddy, haven’t you heard?
America crashed. Nobody wants to live here anymore. We’re all just stuck
here, trying to survive.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 44.

Chapter 1: Operation Striped Shirt

Most historians agree that the start of the American Crash was the Israeli
bombing of Iran on the morning of July 7, 2019, which not by chance
coincided with the American Fourth of July long weekend.
In this chapter, we have gathered the testimony of witnesses who saw
first-hand the actual attack, and the immediate aftereffects of the attack.

Dr. Zhang Hui Zong is a Chinese-American petroleum chemist. She was at

the Gachsaran Oil Field in Iran’s Kohkiluyeh Province on July 7, 2019.
We are meeting in her family-clan’s home, located in the town of
Floris, in Fairfax County, VA; the largest Chinese-American Identity Zone in
the Washington, D.C., area. “We were lucky, we didn’t experience the
violence of some other Identity Zones,” she explains. “Floris has always had
a strong Chinese-American community. When Identity Zones were being
organized—even before they were properly called ‘Identity Zones’—the
people of Floris were already organizing themselves in terms of water,
power, and access to food supplies. And of course, sector defense. When
mobile indigents tried to muscle in on us, especially in ‘21 after d-grave
broke out, we were prepared, and managed to repel them. So far we’ve
been doing okay.”
She lives in a family-clan, her grandparents, parents and younger
siblings with their spouses and children all living in a single house. “Our
family-clan started like a lot of others: Our grandparents couldn’t afford to
live on their own on their fixed income that’d been killed by inflation; not to
mention the mobile indigents roaming their neighborhood; so they moved in
with my parents in late ’20, while my brothers and sisters found themselves
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 45.

financially wiped out by the winter of ’21, so they moved back in with our
parents. Four generations living under one roof, but you know something? It
worked. It was more practical, it just made more sense to be living all
together. We didn’t even call it a ‘family-clan’; people started calling it that
in I think 2023 or ‘24,” she says.
(In fact, the terms “family-clan” and “open-clan” began to gain
currency as early as 2019 in some area, though became widespread after
the famed Saturday Night Live comedy skits, “Clan Clash”, began to air in
October 2021.)
Dr. Zhang’s parents and sibling are all medical doctors. Thus they
have enhanced EBT allowances, and thus more access to food and other
supplies, and receive Priority Protection from the local Sec-Com. “I should
have been a doctor too,” she explains, “but when it came time to dissect a
frog, I chickened out! Chemistry is what I always loved, and once I
discovered petroleum, it was love at first sight. I just love oil, the sight and
smell of it, everything about it.”
When asked why she did not remain overseas, as she had myriad
employment opportunities, she nods thoughtfully. “I couldn’t leave my
family in a lurch,” she says. “I had to help them. Maybe it would have been
better for me to remain in China or Asia generally, and send money back
home to my family. A lot of Asian Americans are doing that. I still might do
it, I don’t know,” she says, clearly torn about the issue. “Right now, my
family needs me here. Maybe later . . .”
She is unmarried and unattached. “As a 45 year-old woman, I guess
my window of opportunity passed,” she says a little wistfully. Like other
women in similar conditions who live outside lesbian or misandrist Identity
Zones, Dr. Zhang is very embarrassed by her childlessness and her lack of a
husband—though she is self-consciously aware of this embarrassment. “I
was a hard-core feminist, in college and afterwards. ‘Girl Power!’ and all
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 46.

that,” she says with a self-conscious laugh she uses to mask her uneasiness.
“It’s hard to believe how quickly that all went out the window. I thought
Feminism was an immutable truth. It didn’t occur to me that it was a
superficial luxury you’d give up when you couldn’t afford it any more, like
facials or Belgian chocolates.”
We chat in the densely wooded backyard of her family-clan’s home on
a warm summer day. We have a pitcher of iced tea and crackers with home-
made jam, made from berries grown on the property. Dr. Zhang,
incongruously, enjoys smoking a pipe. “I hope you don’t mind,” she says as
she lights her pipe and puffs on it, richly aromatic smoke wafting around her
and drifting into the nearby trees. “No one in my family smokes, it’s a
horrible habit I picked up in China. My only excuse is that I find it just so
I make no objection as we drink our tea, our conversation punctuated
by the sounds of gently fluttering leaves and the chirping of birds.
She is a small dainty woman, with a quick smile that often turns into a
girlish laugh. Yet she is a remarkably still person, with an economy of
movement which is worth noting. She blinks very infrequently. Her hair is
black, straight, and shoulder-length. Her clothing is extremely neat,
perfectly balanced between comfort, stylishness and practicality. When she
chats casually, she speaks very quickly, her statements often made in the
tone of questions. But when she speaks of subjects she knows well, or
recounts events she witnessed, her voice assumes a naturally lower registry,
her speech becomes slower and her sentences longer, with a clear and
unflappable authority.

It happened in the morning in broad daylight in Iran, which made it the

middle of the night back home in the States, which is something the U.S.
media never got right. They kept saying that the Israeli attack was a night-
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 47.

raid, explaining that that was why they mistook the oil fields for a uranium
processing plant, but that is just absurd. It was night in the States, but day
in Iran. [Operation] Striped Shirt was a daytime bombing. Saying you
mistook the oil fields for nuclear installations is like saying—I don’t know—
that you mistook the Statue of Liberty for the Grand Canyon. The Israelis
knew exactly what they were targeting, there was never a doubt in my
mind: They wanted to flatten Gachsaran. And of course they had to: It was
the price they paid the Saudis for their assistance [in carrying out the
I was there working for Sinopec, the China Petroleum and Chemical
Company, analyzing the oil they were producing at Gachsaran and verifying
that their output was of a consistency and quality that was required per our
contract. I ran an on-site lab with two other technicians, all Chinese. We
were purchasing roughly 20% of Gachsaran’s output—over a 100,000
barrels a day—so of course it made sense to have a permanent staff double-
checking our purchases.
That Sunday morning, I was all caught up with work but there was
really nothing to do—Gachsaran was in the middle of nowhere, really, and
though it was a nice city, I’d never really learned Farsi—which was why I
was at the oil field hanging out with some friends just for fun, chatting and
drinking tea when the bombing started.
No I didn’t hear any planes; they were too far away. It’s not that you
heard anything. There was no sound of jet planes attacking, or the whistling
sounds of a falling bomb or anything like that. The missiles were supersonic,
so they were outrunning their own sound wave. It was completely silent—
and then things started exploding.
I was in the main cafeteria, looking right at the main oil depot of
Gachsaran, where all the oil from the various wells was pumped, and where
it was collected in huge storage tanks before being loaded onto tanker
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 48.

ships—I just happened to be facing the big picture window of the cafeteria,
looking right at the oil depot when the first missiles struck. There was no
sound—nothing—just suddenly two white streaks appeared, and then all
these huge storage tanks simply exploded.
A split second later, the sound of the blast hit you. Like a movie that’s
not in synch? Exactly. It was the loudest noise I’d ever heard in my life, just
a single bang! that left my ears ringing for days afterwards, in fact I still
have tinnitus in my left ear because of it.
[Dr. Zhang pauses to scrape out the bowl of her pipe, then add fresh
tobacco. It’s impossible to tell if this pause is self-conscious or not. She
relights her pipe, and continues.]
The window blew into the cafeteria, flying glass splashing everywhere
like a crashing wave of water. My face, ear and the back of my head were
pelted by glass—I turned my face away as the first missiles exploded, just
instinct—but we were lucky that it [the window’s glass] was tempered,
because I was cut, but it was just little nicks, nothing serious.
But what really frightened me was the shock wave. People later told
me that I was incredibly lucky: I was just far enough away that the blast
wave didn’t kill me. But I was close enough that I felt it. It’s like a hand
reaches inside of your body, and squeezes the softest parts. And not gently
or slowly, it’s like, bam!, my intestines, my lungs, my brains, all get
squeezed and rattled by the blast wave, hard. I’ve never been raped, thank
goodness, but I imagine it feels like that. Like something outside reaches
inside, and hurts you with a purpose.
The first bombs fell about two hundred yards away from us in the
cafeteria, while the next wave of bombs started falling further and further
away, hitting all the big oil storage tanks. I remember walking towards the
blown-out window after the first blast. I watched the rest of the attack. The
missiles were like white blurs coming down from the sky—like white chalk
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 49.

marks across the clear blue sky. Those missiles fell on each and every one of
those storage tanks, one after the other, deliberately, implacably. There
were dozens of storage tanks, each of them as big as a six storey condo,
and they were all destroyed, all of them.
I don’t remember whipping out my phone to film. All of a sudden I was
just doing it.
No it wasn’t fast, I guess we’re conditioned by movies, because you’d
think that the missiles would fall one after the other, but they don’t. A group
of missiles would fall, destroying one of the huge storage tanks, and then
there’d be a wait, anywhere from fifteen seconds to a couple of minutes.
Then another grouping of missile would hit. The whole attack, from the first
missiles to the last must’ve taken a good fifteen minutes or so14. The feeling
I had [as the attack was happening]—the subjective sense that I felt was
that there was nothing that I could do, no place that I could run to for
safety, no place where I could hide and be safe. I became an instant fatalist.
I consciously realized that all I could do was stand and watch and wait, and
hope that I didn’t die as I filmed the whole scene on my iPhone.
Actually filming calmed me down. I could focus on what I was
recording, instead of allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the actual
experience of watching the bombs fall—bombs that might very well
obliterate me at any moment.
The storage tanks didn’t explode up, like in a mushroom cloud like in
the movies. The tanks blew down and out, like the giant hand of God had
slapped the earth, as if swatting at a fly. The smoke that came out at first
was gray, light gray, but it quickly turned flat black and billowy as the oil
caught fire. The wind was blowing to the east, away and to the right of

14 In fact, records indicate that the attack, from first missile to last, had a
duration of 17 minutes. A total of 47 Israeli fighter-bombers took part in the
mission, and released a total of 94 Hellfire missiles, of which 87 found their
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 50.

where I was looking, which was why oil smoke didn’t obstruct my view of the
intact oil tanks as they were each destroyed one after the next. Again,
incredibly lucky: If the wind had been blowing towards the cafeteria, we
would have died from asphyxia or smoke inhalation.
Every missile that fell made an explosion that gripped my body. Just
like the first one, but not as severe as the first one. Or maybe I had just
gotten used to it, I don’t know. It got to where I was sort of looking forward
to another missile’s explosion.
When the tanks were hit, they collapsed, oil spilled every which way,
waves of it. Hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil, spilling across the
desert, and catching fire. You have to remember that Gachsaran was
pumping close to six hundred thousand barrels a day, it was an enormous
field. Its central depot was huge. Oil pooled two or three feet deep, like an
ocean of oil. It reminded me of footage of tsunamis, of water rushing across
the shore. It was just like that, only it was oil, thick and black and glittering
under the sunlight.
No, no one knew at first if the Israelis were responsible, or the
Americans, but everyone knew it was either one or the other or maybe even
both. It was just assumed. That the Saudis were mixed up wasn’t even
considered, but when it came out, everyone was shocked but not really
surprised. But that was much later, when I was already back in Shanghai.
So as I was saying: The missiles had been falling for a good fifteen
minutes in that slow, stately fall, so when the attack finally ended, nobody
was really sure it had ended. There wasn’t anybody who could suddenly
jump up and tell us, “It’s over!” I remember that everyone in the cafeteria
was ducking and hiding under tables and chairs. I remember clearly thinking
of the old “duck and cover” Cold War PSA’s [Public Service
Announcements]—I was too young for them, but I remember seeing them in
my history classes at Stanford. I remember thinking that all the people in
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 51.

the cafeteria hiding under chairs and tables would not be saved if a missile
fell on us. So it was best to just get a good view of what was going on,
instead of trying to hide beneath a table. Which was why I was the only one
standing [in the cafeteria], facing in the direction of where the bombs had
fallen. The wind was blowing the smoke away, towards the city of
Gachsaran, about fifteen kilometers away, and all the oil storage tanks of
Gachsaran were completely destroyed. I remember clearly thinking as it was
happening that the bombing was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen,
or would probably ever see in my lifetime.
About Gachsaran: After about five or ten minutes or so of no more
missiles falling, that’s when everyone slowly started getting up and started
to do things. But it was slow going. Like everyone was a little bit stoned, a
little bit in shock, as if everyone had just woken up from a deep sleep, and
needed a while to get their bearings.
Slowly, in no real rush, we were evacuated. Everyone was in various
degrees of shock: Iranians and foreign workers. We were all shuffled onto
buses with no real urgency, and then sent back to our apartments in the
foreign worker village. On my way back to the village, I saw Iranian firemen
trying to stop the blaze, which was impossible. It was almost ridiculous,
watching them trying to put out those fires. I’ve worked in oil fields all my
professional life: It’s impossible to stop a big oil fire. Firemen at any oil field
are practically for show. With a big oil fire, all you can do is wait for it to
burn itself out.
[At the foreign worker village,] I made sure that the two techs working
with me were okay; they were, they’d been sleeping in late, they were fine.
That Sunday afternoon, we wandered around the village, looking in the
direction of Gachsaran. We were ten miles away, but the horizon was black.
The sky was perfectly clear, which made that black cloud even more
startling. It was like a crouching black monster, rolling towards the city [of
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 52.

Gachsaran]. I don’t know how many pictures I took, I had never seen
anything like it.
Because of all the smoke from the burning oil—that smoke can be
severely toxic, it can easily asphyxiate hundreds of people if the wind blows
the wrong way—the whole city of Gachsaran had to be evacuated, no two
ways about it. Obviously, so did we, the foreign workers.
For the Iranians, we [foreign workers] were an easy problem to solve:
Put us on a plane and kick us out of the country, which is what they did. Six
hours after the attack, they ordered us to report to the airport on Monday
morning at 6am [local time, 02:30 GMT], with no more than one suitcase
and one carry-on. They put us on buses and drove us out to the airport.
No, already there was a communications blackout, so I couldn’t talk to
my boss in Shanghai. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the attack, or
because the Iranians had shut off outside communications. [It has been
subsequently confirmed that Gachsaran’s civilian communications
infrastructure was crippled by the attack. —Ed.] We tried getting the word to
our bosses and our families, but we couldn’t. What I did was, I posted a
bunch of tweets on my iPhone, and figured when there was broadband, they
would get uploaded automatically.
That’s right. I had never been in a war zone, I had never witnessed an
armed attack. So I had no idea what I was seeing. What? No [they did not
mistreat us or blame us]. The Iranians just wanted to get all foreigners out
of there; I got the feeling that they wanted us to clear out just so that they
wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of us—they had to relocate almost
100,000 people, which was the population of the city of Gachsaran. A few
hundred foreign workers was just a hassle to be brushed aside, I understood
them completely. Besides, with Gachsaran [oil field] destroyed, there was no
reason for us being there. Already on Sunday evening, they [the Iranians]
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 53.

had confirmation that it was the Israelis, and of course they were gearing up
for war.
No, the Iranians couldn’t have been politer; they knew I had an
American passport, they knew I’d grown up in Chula Vista and gone to MIT.
But they did not hassle me or mistreat me in any way.
My team and I were put on a plane to Shiraz [a regional city and
transportation hub in southern Iran] the next day, Monday [July 8]. At
Shiraz, at the airport, I finally got in touch with my boss in Shanghai. Yes,
Monday morning, right before we were leaving Shiraz for Doha [in Qatar], I
told him that Gachsaran had been destroyed. He had no idea. He had just
assumed like everyone else that the Israelis had bombed the Iranian’s
nuclear sites—not the oil fields. The Israelis were insisting they had attacked
only the nuclear installations. My iPhone hadn’t had access to the internet at
Gachsaran, but in Shiraz, my twitter feed uploaded with all my pictures. I
couldn’t upload the video, there wasn’t enough bandwidth, but the pictures
were enough. My boss saw them, then told me to get on a plane to Shanghai
the second I got to Doha.
While I waited in Shiraz for my connecting flight, I got caught up on
my email and Facebook feed. I managed to live-chat with some of my
friends and my parents in the States—it was late Sunday night back home—
but I wasn’t there in Shiraz long enough for anything except a quick touch-
No I wasn’t thinking about doing press. I’d never done press, actually.
I was thinking of getting to Doha, and from there to Shanghai and tell my
bosses all that I’d seen. I was already starting to put together a full report of
what I’d seen.
There was Wi-Fi on the plane to Doha, so I kept on chatting with
everyone on the hour-long flight.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 54.

Right. [The al-Jazeera reporter] Sharon [Lonahan] was waiting for me

at my arrival gate at Doha. Sharon was friends with a friend of mine from
MIT, Carl Sonnenberg. I’d been tweeting about the attack the whole time.
Online, it was all about how the Israelis had attacked Iran’s nuclear
installations. But I was like, “That’s not right, they bombed the oil fields.”
When I said this in chat room, people called me a troll [internet provocateur]
and dismissed me. My twitter feed showed all my pics, but nobody was
paying attention. Gosh, I must have put out 25 or 30 tweets. Yeah, I’ve
heard that kind of talk: That somehow my tweets were suppressed
somehow, but I don’t buy into big conspiracy theories or anything like that.
Well, they suppressed my twitter and Facebook feeds later, but that’s a
different story. I remember people [online] dismissing me because they said
I was trolling, and not to be taken seriously. Anyway it doesn’t matter. My
friends were all e-mailing me, asking me if I was alright. Carl’s email asked
me the same, and told me about Sharon, asking me if she could interview
me. I said sure, so long as I didn’t miss my connecting flight to Shanghai. So
I met her in the Doha airport just as I was getting off my flight from Iran.
No, I had downloaded the video onto my computer, but my computer
was stuffed in my bags and I didn’t want to pull it out. I never thought I was
special or unique. Like with the Capitol Bombing, how many people saw that
first hand? Thousands? Of course, which was why it never occurred to me
that I would be a unique or special witness. Hundreds of other people had
witnessed the bombing at Gachsaran right along with me. I saw literally
dozens [of people] just like me, whipping out their cell phones [and] filming
what was happening. I just assumed that those people would be interviewed
and spread the news. I didn’t realize that I was the first non-Iranian
eyewitness to what had happened. Or the first non-Iranian witness reporting
what she saw from outside of Iran with an American accent. No wonder
Sharon was so eager to interview me!
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 55.

No, it wasn’t a big deal. Sharon was waiting for me as I deplaned. I

recognized her because she was standing with a microphone in her hand and
a cameraman next to her. She was wearing a yellow outfit, and she was
really tall. She didn’t notice me when I went up to her; I’m kind of short and
easy to miss! [Dr. Zhang is 4’11”. —Ed.] We moved over to the side and
talked a bit. Then we had to wait until their control booth cued us up.
Then we went live.
I’ve seen the footage, and objectively, I look incredibly frazzled. But
now with some perspective, I realize why that single interview had such an
impact. First of all, it happened just as the commodities markets were
opening in London. And second, Israel’s lobbyists and spokespeople and
networkers had appeared on all the Sunday news programs, and they had
been polished and persuasive, wearing nice suits and done up in make-up to
look good on TV, working hard to assure everyone that their attack had been
“safe” and “surgical”, and insisting that they had struck only known nuclear
But then I show up, dressed in dungarees, practically, and I
completely threw a monkey wrench into their careful narrative. My lack of
polish, and my obvious emotional and physical distress, coupled to the fact
that I was giving a first-hand account, gave me instant credibility.
No it wasn’t Sharon’s idea; she didn’t know I had the footage on my
phone. I was trying to explain what I saw, but I didn’t feel I was expressing
what I’d seen. So in the spur-of-the-moment, I just pulled out my phone
and showed Sharon the footage I’d shot. I wasn’t even thinking that there
was a camera there, or that the footage on my phone would be broadcast

15 During the so-called “Networker Sweeps” of 2025, many people noted

how the Israeli spokespeople networked within the Mainstream Media had
clearly had advanced knowledge of the bombing of Gachsaran, pointing to
the fact that many of these U.S. media figures had purchased oil futures in
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 56.

around the world. We were three people standing in a deserted arrival gate
in the Doha airport. I just wanted Sharon and her cameraman to see what I
had seen, to understand what I had witnessed.
I showed Sharon my footage, it lasted about eight minutes, which
surprised me. I’d honestly thought I’d filmed a lot more, but I guess it was
the shock that tricked my mind. I showed her all the footage, then we talked
a bit more, she thanked me, and that was it. I ran to catch my plane to
No, there wasn’t any internet on the plane to Shanghai. Actually, I
slept the whole flight, I was bushed.
Sure. When I got to Shanghai eight hours later, that’s when I heard oil
had almost tripled after my interview. Because of little ol’ me! [Dr. Zhang
laughs in amazement.] Oh I know it wasn’t me. It was the video. One thing’s
to hear about something—another’s to see it.

Up until 2021, Russell Boyd was a commodities trader in Chicago.

Today, he and his family live in the outskirts of Portland, OR. Their
homestead, nestled amid 400 acres of wooded and cultivated property, is a
sprawling 5,000 square foot house. “One of our daughters is in a wheelchair,
which is why we built the house with only one storey,” he explains. We are
standing outside by the pool, as he points to the property. “In the big house,
my wife and I live with our kids, as well as the three maids. Over there is
the security shed, where our three bodyguards work and live with their
families. We have bodyguards 24/7; we’d be crazy not to. They’re constantly
monitoring the property and its perimeter, and I can’t tell you how many
times we’ve had people who thought they’d get wise with us.

the days before the attack, profiting enormously from the sudden rise in the
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 57.

“Over there is the little barn, where we keep the farming equipment on
the ground floor. Above the farming equipment, the two farmhands live with
their families; their wives—who look after the cows and sheep, the big barn
where we keep the animals is that way over there, on the other side of the
property—the farmhands’ wives and kids help out with harvesting, but
usually just the farmhands work the fields. We’ve planted about 330 acres of
food—my wife knows all about that crap, she’s in charge of it, I have no
clue, I just pay the bills and eat the food that’s grown there! But kidding
aside, I’m sure glad we’ve got those planted acres. I was the one who
insisted that we have a property big enough, with enough access to water,
that it can be self-sustaining if conditions deteriorate even further. But my
wife is the brains behind actually carrying out that proposition.”
When I ask if he thinks that conditions will deteriorate further, he
shrugs. “Who’d’ve thought we’d slide as far south as we have? Not me,
that’s for damn sure. I never could have imagined in a million years that
today I’d be living the life I’m living.”
When I ask him how he would compare his current life to his old one,
he pauses to think.
“Life now is a lot more feudal,” he says thoughtfully. “Before, it was
just the wife and the kids and a cleaning lady who came two-three times a
week. Shirts need cleaning? Send ‘em to the dry-cleaners. Things need
repairs? Call the specialized repairman. Want to have a nice dinner? Go out
to a nice restaurant, or hire caterers. Life was more transactional. But today,
the bodyguards, the maids and the farmhands and their families all pitch in
to keep this operation running—everything that needs fixing is done by
someone in the house. We eat our meals all together, always a home-
cooked meal, with food grown right here on the property, even homemade
bread. We never go outside the family-clan for anything, or very rarely; and

price of oil afterwards.

A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 58.

if we have to go out, we always go out armed. We’re self-contained—but we

are fifteen adults and 18 children, which can create serious problems. Me,
I’m the head of this family-clan, the king of the castle—which means that
my job, just about 24/7, is to make sure that any internal dispute gets aired
and ironed out. And quickly, too; simmering disputes can fester like
gangrene, you want to air it out and cure it fast. Often as not, I have to
head off disputes before they break out into the open. We’re all in this
together, which means that we all have to get along more than we used to
before. Before, if there was a personal dispute, you’d replace the person.
Say you’re cleaning lady has a problem with the gardener, you replace one
or the other. Now, you can’t do that. People are more valuable, individuals
are more valuable, not for what they can do for you, but for their
relationship to you. Their loyalty to you. They can’t be simply replaced. So
someone has to arbitrate, and smooth things over. And that’s my job. I
actually feel as if I have more demands on me than before. Before, all I had
to do was make money. Anything I wanted or needed done, any demands
my family made on me, I’d just whip out the checkbook or the credit card
and just pay for it. But now, I have to be a full-time diplomat.”
When I ask him if he has a plural marriage in his family-clan, he
scoffs. “That’s something that happens in the FC, I’m not some fucking
Mormon with a third-grade education. Besides,” he says with a laugh, “if I
messed around with any woman, my wife would chop my balls off!”
Boyd is famous for having correctly anticipated where the global
economy was headed, immediately after the Israeli attack on Iran.
“I’m the luckiest guy you’ll ever meet,” he says. “I used to think I was
a really smart guy who worked really hard and therefore deserved all the
luck he got. Now, I know better: I’m just fucking lucky. Yeah sure, I saw
what was coming after [Operation] Striped Shirt, and I saw how it would be
with dollar hyperinflation, and how it would be after China and then the rest
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 59.

of the world stopped taking dollars, sure. But after Byron Station? After that,
I realized that I didn’t know squat—I was just a flat-out lucky bastard. It
was just luck that we weren’t even in Wilmette, where we lived in Chicago,
when the station blew.
“Call me Mr. Front-Row Seat—I had front-row seats to 9/11; I was two
months out of B-school in September 2001, working my first job at Goldman
Sachs at 85 Broad Street, not three blocks away from the Twin Towers when
the planes hit. I was working the commodities pit in 2019 when the Israelis
attacked Iran. And we were living within the death range of Byron Station
when it blew in February ‘26. Me and my whole family should have died like
everyone else—cooked by all that radiation. But we missed it—because we
were in the process of moving here,” he explains, amazed at his own luck.
“From what I heard, even what, four years later, our old house has enough
radiation to microwave an elephant in five minutes flat.”
A lifelong Chicagoan, he’s clearly downbeat, recalling what happened
to his city. So I ask him about the effects of Striped Shirt on the oil markets,
and his eyes light up. “That was fun,” he says. “I mean as a trader, wading
through the whole mess caused by Striped Shirt—I won’t lie, that was fun.”

It was all the fault of that pretty little Chinese girl, if you ask me.
Of course I’m being facetious. But there’s some truth to it. A joke’s not
funny if it’s not a little bit true.
The Israelis were fucking smart, they bombed Iran on the morning of
July 7, local time—which made it late Saturday night on the U.S. east
coast—on a long July 4 weekend to boot—so no one in the States was
paying any attention, everyone busy nodding off the July 4 barbecue and
watching the fireworks with the kids. That’s what I was doing. When Sunday
morning [in the United States] rolls around, the fucking Israelis and their
lobbyists and networkers are out in full force on all the talking heads’ shows
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 60.

[morning news interview programs], Face The Nation, This Week, all those
shows, you’ve got an uninterrupted stream of Israeli lobbyists and
networkers and traitors in the States going on and on and on about how the
strikes were surgical, and all of them were aimed at Iran’s nuclear facilities,
and that nothing that was not nuke-related was so much as touched and
blah-blah-blah—and on the other side, Iran isn’t saying anything, the
ayatollahs are all mute—‘cause they don’t have American PR [public
relations] firms booking them on Sunday morning talk-shows, they don’t
have former congressmen and senators lobbying for them like the Israelis
do—so sure, everyone bought the Israelis’ story—at first. Hell, I did too—at
first. That Sunday, I wasn’t worried.
Then Monday, I get up at my usual 4 in the morning to catch up with
the London action and get ready for my day. I got one eye on the Bloomberg
[news service monitor], catching up on my feed [i.e., digest of news
reports], and another eye on al-Jazeera, which I figure is going to give me a
better perspective on what’s happened in Iran. I’m not really worried that
this is going to affect oil prices. I’m assuming it will, but it’ll be more like a
speed-bump that a real price rise. If the Israelis hit the nuclear installations,
then Iranian oil is uninterrupted. No harm, no foul, that’s what I’m thinking.
And all of a sudden, Zhang appears on al-Jazeera.
She looked like she was twelve; an excitable twelve year-old. They’re
interviewing her live from the Doha airport, and lemme tell you, she looked
like a war refugee. Her face is half-covered with these little nicks, flying
glass I guess. And she’s talking a mile a minute—I swear to God I had never
heard a person speak that fast in my life before—I’d worked my whole life in
the trading pits, but this woman was talking so fast even I couldn’t keep up!
But then I’m realizing what she’s saying: She’s saying she saw the
Gachsaran Oil Field get leveled by Israelis jets.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 61.

That’s right—whoa Nelly!, what-the-fuck! I’m googling this girl’s name

even as she’s going on a mile a minute—and just as I’m thinking, “Bullshit,
this girl doesn’t know fuck-all what she’s talking about”, out comes her
motherfucking iPhone—right the fuck there on fucking live TV—the camera’s
zooming in on her iPhone as she plays the video—and I recognize
Gachsaran! Hell yeah, course I recognize it—you think there’s a single major
league ballplayer who can’t recognize Yankee Stadium? Same deal.
Gachsaran pumps half a mill[ion] [barrels of oil] a day, and I’m looking at
this girl’s iPhone, and it’s showing me that Gachsaran is fucking gone.
Meanwhile, on my Google page, I’m seeing this chick—Doctor Zhang
Hui Zong from MIT via Stanford, her LinkedIn page, her Facebook page, her
motherfucking twitter feed—she tweeted the whole fucking bombing! Right
there is all of it! She had, like, 200 followers, nothing, but right on her
twitter feed, every single thing: Pics, vid16, everything from her iPhone, she
uploaded to her online stuff.
That little fucking iPhone did it.
Then it hits me—if I’m googling her, if I’m crawling through her online
record, then every other fucking oil trader is googling her too—and every
fucking trader is thinking the same exact fucking thing: This Zhang Hui Zong
is credible as all get-out, which means Gachsaran really is down. And, okay,
the United States and Europe don’t import any Iranian oil—but sure as shit
China does! Sure as shit India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam,
Thailand, all sorts of industrial Asian countries import Iranian oil—Iran
accounted for 13% of global oil exports—and the Iranian’s buyers are now
fucking shit-out-of-luck—so what’s that gonna do to West Texas

16 Zhang Hui Zong would upload her full video of the Gachsaran Oil Field
Attack on the afternoon (EST) of Monday, July 8, though she did upload a
set of 14 photographic stills taken from the full video she would later upload.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 62.

Fuck yeah, motherfucker! I’m sorry, but you know it: Every single
trader is thinking the exact same thing: Go long oil—now!
The little Chinese chick—I mean, she was dwarfed by that woman
interviewing her—she’s still talking, but I’m already laying out lines and
calling brokers in London—in London, they were watching her too, all hell
was breaking loose over there.
Getting to work was a mess. I remember the whole thing was breaking
so fast that there was no way I could unplug in order to shower or shave or
drive to work. I told my wife that the kids stay home, she’d have to drive me
while I manned the computer. I plugged my [cellular] telephone into my
laptop to give me wireless Internet, while my wife drove me to work. The
kids thought it was the greatest; like it was a snow-day or something. I
didn’t even shower—I just threw some old sweats over my pajamas while I
kept working the phone and the laptop. Started trading in the pit with my
pajamas sticking out of my sweats!
I never unplugged from the second I saw Zhang Hui Zong on al-
Jazeera at 4:30 in the morning, until past 3am the next morning. Those
were some rough 24 hours.
Oh yeah, I remember it perfectly.
The price of WTI [West Texas Intermediate crude oil] for September
delivery was $103.27 [per barrel] at the close on Wednesday, July 3 [2019].
When I got to the Chicago pit [on the morning of Monday, July 8, 2019],
WTI opened at $145. Shot up to $160 by mid-morning—but then it sort of
stabilized in the $160 to $170 a barrel range, which was weird. No, not that
it stabilized—the shape of that stability. It wasn’t market-driven. There was
a distinct feel that someone was doing their absolute darnedest to keep oil
prices down—no matter what. In three seconds flat, we all knew who was
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 63.

behind this plunge protection team: The ever-fucking DOE [Department of

Meanwhile, the talking heads on TV were spinning like crazy, claiming
that everyone in the trading pits was panic-buying, that the Israeli airstrike
had been only on the Iranian’s nukes, not the oil fields. CNBC, CNN,
Bloomberg, all the business news channel anchors had that coked-up,
desperate vibe like they get when something bad’s breaking that they don’t
have a real clear handle on. Everyone in the pits was nuts to get Zhang’s
footage—but here’s the thing, the TV news reports weren’t passing along the
[Gachsaran bombing] pics or the vid [that were on Dr. Zhang’s twitter
feed]—not Bloomberg or the TV channels—they kept claiming that the
footage was unverified—I remember Bloomberg ran a line [posted a news
item] saying that Zhang’s footage was bogus. The line was full of weasel-
words, practically screaming that Zhang was a nobody posting a hoax
without coming right out and saying it. They kept harping, “Where’s Zhang?
Why won’t she be interviewed, where’s Zhang, why is she hiding, what has
she got to hide?” It felt like they were sending up a trial balloon, see if
discrediting Zhang would hold. Lemme tell you, it fucking didn’t. I took a
screen shot of that Bloomberg line, before they retracted it. Still got it
Then her twitter feed vanished. All the pics she’d taken of Gachsaran,
everything about her, gone, then her Facebook page, her motherfucking
LinkedIn page! Gone! This must’ve been around 11am or so, WTI for August
was at $172, and all of a sudden, the one person who claims she saw
Gachsaran go up in flames—and has the pics to prove it—her online
existence vanishes in a puff of smoke. And where exactly is she? According

17 It later emerged that the Department of Energy sold some 300 million
barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves—roughly 40% of the
Reserve’s total—during the period July 8 through July 12, in order to
stabilize global oil prices.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 64.

to the woman who interviewed her from al-Jazeera, Zhang is on some plane
on her way to Shanghai, she’ll be arriving there around noon Chicago time.
And wouldn’t you know it, nobody could get in touch with that plane where
she was supposed to be on.
That’s right: Someone had realized that only Zhang was saying that
Gachsaran was down. So if they suppressed Zhang and all her feeds, maybe
the reality that Gachsaran was down will vanish along with her.
Fucking idiots.
You know why a panic happens? It’s not when bad news happens. It
happens when traders don’t know what’s going on, and infer the worst.
Whoever was the fucking idiot who decided to disappear Dr. Zhang—hint-
hint, the DOE, obviously, and behind them, the Deep State, they always
hated whistle-blowers and truth-tellers—whoever it was, that idiot sparked a
The American MSM [Main-Stream Media outlets] was playing along,
trying to explain away Dr. Zhang. But all the non-American press was
running with the story. The BBC, al-Jazeera, ChinaDaily, Le Monde, RT, they
kept hitting home that Zhang held a doctorate from MIT—one of them
actually dragged out her thesis adviser and interviewed the old geezer, I
swear to God—it was like for a second, the world’s press were all saying one
thing, the American MSM was saying something completely different,
pretending like nothing had happened at Gachsaran. Meanwhile, Iran’s
locked tighter than a drum, the Israelis and the Trump administration and all
their Jew networkers are all screaming that they didn’t touch the oil fields.
Course. The oil industry is small. A buddy [of mine] knew a pal who
knew her [Dr. Zhang] from college, and on the other side I had a trader on
my team who’s wife knew the guy who’d hired her at Sinopec—she was
vetted, Zhang was the real-deal, course she’s rattled but she’s not lying, and
Bloomberg’s telling us it was a prank? The MSM is ignoring her? And saying
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 65.

that us traders are under a delusion, that everything is fine, that we’re all
panic-buying and that we’re fools? Jim fucking Kramer [a government
financial-news propagandist] asking in his pompous hysterical whine, “Who
is this Dr. Zhang? Nobody in the oil business has ever heard of her!”—which
is a lie, lots of people in the oil & gas business knew and respected her. And
meanwhile al-Jazeera’s running that clip of her with her cellphone over and
over again? And twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn are all acting innocent,
pretending to’ve never even heard of Zhang, when just this morning I was
trawling her feeds?
Fuck . . .
So what does this all mean? It means someone’s going to an awful lot
of effort to snuff out anything Zhang has to say—which means she’s either a
loon and the markets and traders are all caught up in some weird collective
delusion—or she’s on the up-and-up.
If she’s a loon, we’ve been had—but if she’s on the up-and-up, then
the situation we’ve got is potentially catastrophic. Maybe Gachsaran isn’t the
only field destroyed—maybe all the Iranian oil fields were destroyed!
See where this was heading? The lack of information, and the ham-
fisted suppression of what little information had been available, created
enormous uncertainty. And uncertainty is best buds with panic.
When Zhang got to Shanghai at noon my time, there was the BBC
along with RT, al-Jazeera, all the non-American TV: They all carried it live,
her arrival in Shanghai. The American MSM? Nothing. Like she didn’t even
exist. At the pit, we were all watching monitors—[on one monitor,] CNBC
was carrying a piece about how to avoid fees on your fucking mutual funds
(I swear to God), while [on other monitors] the BBC and al-Jazeera and all
the non-American TV are all accosting Zhang like she’s a rock star or
something, like she was Lady Gaga or Dean Skerrit or whatever, cutting into
their programming to carry her arrival live.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 66.

That moment? The world oil markets stopped.

She gets off the plane, and compared to the previous interview she
looked a lot more put-together. Change of clothes, all washed up. She goes
up to the microphones and goes through the same spiel as before, but a lot
calmer and more in-depth. Someone must’ve told her they’d be waiting for
her, ‘cause she was smooth: Coherent, sane, talking in complete sentences,
in fact pretty impressive. The press, they asked her everything, but it didn’t
matter: After about a minute of the interview, you could tell that this woman
was for-real.
Within thirty seconds of this second live interview, WTI [crude oil] shot
up another twenty bucks a barrel, to $185.
But you know—meta—you know what it did, right? Zhang’s second
interview? It torpedoed any credibility from Washington or Tel Aviv. Or the
MSM. Especially the American MSM. Everyone in my industry all of a sudden
realized you couldn’t trust those corporate fucks, those networked Jew
It also made people think that maybe more than just Gachsaran had
been hit. Sure, Zhang only saw Gachsaran—but what about the other big oil
fields in Iran? You see? Trying to tamp down the actual bad news made
people imagine that the news was even worse.
Five minutes after Zhang started talking in Shanghai, [oil] prices blew
past $200 a barrel. The DOE’s plunge protection team was out in force—they
rocked that price down to $175 during the rest of the afternoon, doing
whatever was necessary to keep oil down, filling every bid in order to bring
the price down.
But then just before the end of the trading day—like a kick in the teeth
to the poor DOE—the rumor came down—later confirmed that night—that
American satellites had taken pics of Gachsaran, confirming that it was
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 67.

gone. With that kind of momentum buying, you don’t wait to confirm, you
just go.
By the end of Monday’s trading? We hit motherfucking $235 a barrel.
And by week’s end, by Friday’s close? An even $400 [per barrel of WTI oil].
In five trading days, oil had just about quadrupled in price. And during
those five days—five days!—the U.S. government, the Israelis, and the
American MSM kept saying, “All is fine, nothing to see here folks! Move
Fuck . . .
What, if Zhang hadn’t come forward with the video? You’re asking the
wrong question. Dr. Zhang or no Dr. Zhang, the Gachsaran bombing would
have come out—you can’t hide it when over half a million barrels of oil a day
cease being produced. Oil prices would have risen like a motherfucker
regardless. How high? At least 50% higher than the Wednesday close
[before the crisis].
But honest? I don’t think it would have been higher than that. Maybe
$170 a barrel, tops, and then it might even have started going back down,
say to $120 a barrel, maybe even less—if, I say if the motherfucking TPTB
[The Powers That Be] had been up-front and honest from the start.
What caused the full-blown panic—because that’s what it was, I was
there, Mr. Front-Row Seat—what caused the panic was the decision to
censor Dr. Zhang’s twitter and Facebook feeds where she’d posted her pics
and video [of Gachsaran], and then start trying to manipulate the market so
ham-fistedly, so arrogantly, so stupidly.
What they should have done is tell the world that yes, Gachsaran is
down—but it’s the only oil field down. Say to the world, “Dr. Zhang? Oh yes,
everything she says she saw is true.” Say to the world, “Gachsaran was a
mistake, but it was the only mistake—the Israelis only struck nuclear
installations, and Gachsaran by accident, and they say they’re very sorry.”
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 68.

If they had said that, then there would have been no panic. No panic,
no $400 a barrel oil. The panic happened because we [the oil markets] had
clear and compelling evidence that Gachsaran was down—but the authorities
were lying through their teeth about it, making us think that Gachsaran
wasn’t the only oil field down, that there was more bad news in the offing,
more oil fields down, maybe even all the Iranian oil fields were down.
Then there was the pricing manipulations. I understand the fucking
DOE [Department of Energy] going out there, trying to tame this runaway
[oil pricing] panic—that actually makes a lot of sense. But the way that the
TPTB reacted—strong-arming the markets, instead of going out there and
making a rational case—censoring Dr. Zhang (as if that would’ve changed
anything), instead of just helping the markets be fully informed . . .
No, ‘cause see, the market manipulations continued.
After that Monday, oil prices began to move around in no fucking
pattern—or, no, prices moved around in quanta: In big fucking price jumps
and price falls that made no rational sense. It freaked the shit out of all of
us. Oil prices would fall steadily, say to $275 [a barrel], and then boom! An
absolute feeding frenzy right back up to $350 in a heartbeat—like on a
rocketship to $350, and then? Hard wall, no more upward movement, then
another slow grind down to $275 or whatever, until another rocketship. We
felt, as a market, that we were being manipulated. And not cleverly. So the
buying and selling became much more volatile, not less. Prices dipped a
dollar? Everybody was like, sell-sell-sell! Prices rose a dollar? Buy-buy-buy!
The whole market began chasing momentum. As a market, we were no
longer looking for organic price-discovery—we were looking to figure out
where the DOE had decided to hold the pricing line at any given moment.
That’s right: We weren’t worrying about where the price of oil was going, we
were instead trying to second guess the moron bureaucrat who was
tampering with the market!
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 69.

They wanted a stable oil market, but instead they created hyper-
volatility in the oil markets—psychosis in the oil markets.
It was all because of the fucking DOE. The arrogance of the DOE. If
they’d let prices rise, instead of trying to set the markets’ prices, there
would not have been the volatility that we experienced that week. The oil
markets would not have panicked. Oil prices would have risen, sure, but it
would have been orderly, calm, not panicked and crazy. But their arrogance
in thinking that they could control the markets was what did them in.
If you understand one thing, understand this: Gachsaran was a huge
oil field, sure—but it represented less than 1% of the world’s daily output of
oil. Less than 1%. In 2019, the world’s oil fields were producing 76 million
barrels a day. Gachsaran produced 580,000 a day. That’s, what, three-
quarters of one percent. Gachsaran wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s destruction
should not have made the price of oil quadruple. Never.
That week I started buying gold. It’d been floating for ages in the
doldrums of $1,200 to $1,500 [a troy ounce], and I’d always heard from the
goldbugs [gold traders] that the price was being manipulated. Me, I’d always
thought they were full of crap—until then. Watching how the price of oil was
shoved around by the DOE, I started thinking the goldbugs might be crazy,
but they also might be right. I also started thinking about how my old man
had gotten into gold heavily back around the time of the ‘79 Oil Shock. I’d
been like ten years-old, but I remember my dad explaining to me why he’d
gotten into gold, explaining about inflation, everything. So I started buying
gold heavily, that week and during the rest of the summer. We were
supposed to go to Hawaii that summer, but I sent Kathleen and the kids
without me while I tidied up the ship: Sold out all our equities, all bonds, all
our retirement accounts—I took the tax hit, in order to get at the cash—and
then I got into a mix of 70% physical gold and 30% paper gold, playing the
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 70.

options markets that summer—playing shorts and longs, but always banking
my profits in gold, and always taking physical delivery.
Thank God I did. Or else who knows where me and my family would
be today. Like I said, I’m Mr. Lucky: If I hadn’t taken physical delivery, I
would have been wiped out in the Gold Rush Panic [of January 2020].
What’s that? No, I don’t think oil prices would have risen as fast as
they did [without the DOE market manipulation]—but they would have gone
up, fuck sure, no question. But it would have been a lot—
Oh, you’re asking if Dr. Zhang had not appeared on TV? Good
question. You know, thinking about it, maybe the DOE’s price manipulation
and propaganda would have worked. Oil prices would have risen anyway,
that would be a given. It just would’ve been a long, drawn-out process.
Weeks, maybe even months. It would have been Iranian claims against
networked Jew lobbyists, no one knowing whom to believe. Then eventually
the fact that Gachsaran did get bombed would have come out, but by that
time the higher oil price would’ve been priced in. I think that’s what the
Israelis had planned, what they wanted: Ambiguity and uncertainty, until
everything got settled.
But those plans got thrown out the window when Dr. Zhang played her
iPhone video.
Like I said. It was all the little China girl’s fault.

Chaim Kotok was the former head of Mossad’s Operational Branch from
2018 through 2023, when he claims he resigned in protest, though of course
there is no one alive who can confirm his claim. Today, he and his family live
in Paris.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 71.

For a man barely 53, Kotok speaks with an old man’s deliberateness
and calm. He is slight and thin, his thick brown hair lightly dusted with gray,
his skin olive, his eyes a curious almond color, with dark half-rings beneath
them. He smiles broadly but without revealing his teeth. When he thinks, or
slows his speech to choose his words carefully, it’s as if his whole body
clenches into a frown.
“Paris is a wonderful city,” he says. “We live in the 8th
Arrondissement, near the Madeleine. The city is more wild-and-woolly than
before. More like New York in the 1970’s. There were some difficult periods,
in the past few years,” he says diplomatically, referring to the Banlieue
Massacres of ‘20 and ‘21, and the Food Riots of ‘23. “But Marine Le Pen has
proven to be a confident and adept President. She has restored law-and-
order, and she has been effective in eradicating the immigrant problem of
France. Under her stewardship, Paris has reclaimed its place as the heart of
Europe. My family and I feel privileged to live here, and thank the French
people for allowing us to share their wonderful city.”
Though he speaks fondly of Paris, it is with the detachment of
someone who will never see his homeland again.
The interviewer speaks fluent Hebrew and French. Nevertheless, this
interview was carried out in English.

It was a mistake. Everybody knows that. Now. But then?

[Kotok slowly shakes his head.]
We made a pact with the Devil. And it was because of our arrogance.
As a Jew, I of course do not believe in the Christian Devil. But I respect and
appreciate the intellectual concept of an adversary to God’s righteousness.
The Miltonian Devil of Paradise Lost. His favorite sin is pride. Because he
knows that pride is the fount of man’s greatest sins and most evil deeds.
It was because of pride that we made our agreement with the Saudis.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 72.

For once, the Trump Administration was being very wise. It was trying
to salvage America’s position in the Middle East. [Over the years,] the
Administration had managed to antagonize all their friends and allies. Its
double-dealing in Egypt. Its flip-flopping on Syria’s civil war. Libya. Not to
mention [the wars in] Iraq and Afghanistan, and its “secret wars” in
Pakistan, Yemen, Oman. All those secret wars created more terrorists than
they eradicated. Then there was the tensions with America’s allies: With
Turkey, with Saudi Arabia, with us.
The Americans’ position in the Middle East was untenable. They had to
somehow reset their position in the region.
Hence they [the Trump Administration] reached out to Iran in 2018.
Yes, yes, Donald Trump wanted his absurd “Nixon in China” handshake
moment—the man lived for the photo-op—but it made sense: A
rapprochement with Iran would allow the Americans to advance their
interests in the Middle East without resorting to chaos and violence. What
were those interests, you ask? Very simple: Secure their oil supply. That was
it. By negotiating with Iran, America could begin salvaging its relationships.
Not with Iran, but with the other countries in the region. Because Iran was
friendly with everyone in the Middle East. Excepting of course Israel. And
Saudi Arabia. Whereas the Americans had no friends in the region. Not even
the Saudis. Not even us. Everyone had come to hate the Americans.
Yes. Pride. We were so obsessed with regional hegemony. We had won
our security in ‘73. We were slowly but surely eradicating the Palestinian
population from our borders. Squeezing them out with settlements [in the
West Bank]. Squeezing them in Gaza by throttling their economy, while
stopping short of creating an outright humanitarian crisis. Creating laws
whose sole purpose was to make life miserable for Palestinians and the other
Israeli Arabs. They couldn’t even marry in Israel, even if they were Israeli
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 73.

citizens. They had to leave Israel to marry. And if they did, chances were
good that they would not be allowed back in.
It was all a matter of population. By 2019, there were over 13 million
people living in Israel and the Occupied Territories. There were 7.3 million
Israeli citizens, of whom only 5.7 million were Jews; the rest were Arab
Israelis. There were 4.7 million Palestinians, between the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip. Then there were an additional 300,000 guest workers; Filipinos,
Thai and Chinese, for the most part. People rarely ever counted them, but
they were there, and they worried us. Plus there were an additional 200,000
“others”: Sudanese refugees who we kept rotting in the Negev Desert, Druze
of various degrees of assimilation, Negev bedouins, and so on.
Thirteen million people. And less than half of them were Jews. The
other half—the majority in our own country—all hated us Jews.
Our goal was clear. But we had to appear as if we were not doing what
we were doing: Persecuting Palestinians and Israeli Arabs in all but name,
taking full control of all the land within our borders.
I was against this, but there was nothing I could realistically do. It was
the will of the majority in Israel: Take over all the land, and leave none for
the Palestinians and the Israeli Arabs. I did not want this. But what could I
Controlling our land and settling it with our own people should have
been enough. But it wasn’t enough. Not for our leaders. Not for our people.
We had to dominate the region. Dominate in an arrogant, despotic manner.
Bullying our neighbors. Rubbing their noses in how powerful we were. Crush
even the idea of challenging us.
It was not what I wanted, but it was the reality of the situation. I
wanted us all to live in harmony. I wanted us to live in a multi-cultural state.
I wanted us to be friends and good neighbors with the countries surrounding
us. But the political leadership did not want this.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 74.

[He sighs.]
I was a soldier, a soldier in a democracy. Thus I followed the orders
given to me by my duly elected leadership.
The potential for an American-Iranian deal terrified and infuriated
[Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu, and other extremists in our
country’s leadership. A deal with Iran would have allowed America to pivot
away from Israel. This would have affected our ability to carry out the
homogenization of our country. It would have weakened our position with
the rest of the world. America was a shield which allowed us to carry out our
national policy of turning Israel fully into a Jewish state.
The P5+1 negotiations in November [of 2018] came very close to a
deal. But Netanyahu scared off the French into blocking the negotiations,
using Meyer Habib. Habib told the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
that if France did not block the deal, Israel would attack Iran. That scared
them. So there was no breakthrough deal. Instead, they had the Time-Out
deal [a statement of intent whereby Iran promised to freeze its nuclear
enrichment program for a period of six months, later extended to twelve].
The Time-Out deal that was agreed to in November was exactly that:
A time-out. It did not change that the Americans and the Iranians wanted to
make a deal. The Europeans and China and even Russia wanted America to
normalize relations with Iran. It helped no one to have this strain.
No, not Israel. Netanyahu, and the Far Right. There were many of us
who wanted peace with the Palestinians. Peace with our Arab neighbors, and
with our Arab Israelis.
Yes, I participated in those operations. Maybe I am being hypocritical,
but I wanted peace with our Arab brothers and sisters. But I had my orders,
you see. So yes, I participated in those operations.
Netanyahu ordered the Israeli lobbying groups [in the United States]
and our various American affiliates to make every effort to derail the
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 75.

negotiations with Iran. In the [American] Senate, our affiliates came within a
whisker of securing a veto-proof majority to pass a deal which would have
given us carte blanche to deal with Iran.18 Netanyahu directed all of our
American affiliates that we had in place in the Cathedral [i.e., the American
intelligentsia and mainstream media. —Ed.] and in Washington to support
the effort. Our affiliates in the media especially tried to convince and
pressure the White House to support the bill.
But the Menéndez-Kirk bill failed.
When political pressure failed to achieve our aims, it was decided that
military resources should be used. The goal was to present the world with a
fait accompli. This tactic had served us well in previous cases. When we
carried out Operation Opera [the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear facilities in
1981], for instance: No one questioned our actions, or the righteousness of
our cause.
We thought the same would happen if we bombed Iran’s nuclear
facilities in 2019.
Our aircraft could not reach Iran, not on their own. It was simply too
far, even with refueling planes. If we wanted to strike Iran forcefully,
crushingly, we needed on-the-ground refueling. Better yet, a base where we
could resupply missiles and bombs as well as refuel. From a base near
enough to Iran, we could send wave after wave of attacks.
The Americans would never let us use Iraq as such a staging ground.
They did not want a war with Iran, not after the near-two decades they had
spent on Iraq and Afghanistan. Besides, the Americans were withdrawing

18 This was the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2018 (S. 1881, December
19, 2018), introduced by Senator Robert Menéndez (D-NJ) and co-sponsored
by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). The bill garnered the support of 59 senators—
eight shy of a veto-proof majority—but ultimately failed to gain the political
traction necessary for its passage. At the time, many politicians, including
many pro-Israeli American lawmakers, believed the bill was extremist, and
tantamount to a U.S. declaration of war against Iran.
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 76.

from Iraq, turning over control to the Maliki government. American soldiers
were already gone [from Iraq]. All that remained were a thousand or so
military contractors [i.e., mercenaries] and two-hundred U.S. State
Department officials. The Maliki government was friendly with Iran. So
obviously, the Maliki government would not help us.
But Saudi Arabia would. They were not our friends, but [they] let it be
known that they would help us. The famed saying, “The enemy of my enemy
is my friend.” Saudis are Wahhabi Sunni Muslims who hated Iran’s Shi’a. But
that wasn’t the real reason for their help.
Their real reason was simple self-interest.
MBS [Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi
Arabia] was becoming very nervous. Saudi oil was running out. The figure
for their oil reserves was their most closely guarded secret. But through our
affiliates in the American intelligence agencies, and our covert agents in
Saudi Arabia, we had knowledge that their oil would be gone by 2059. There
were no further reserves [in Saudi Arabia], no untapped fields. Their days of
being the world’s leading oil supplier were coming to an end. The cost of
extraction of the depleting fields would significantly reduce Saudi Arabia’s
net oil income by as early as 2029. Which in 2019 was a mere 10 years
It was likely that, by 2029, the Saudi princes would no longer be able
to afford the welfare state that they had.
This is something that must be understood, in order to understand the
Saudis: The Saudi welfare state allowed the princes to stay in power. The
people [of Saudi Arabia] received free education, free foreign education to
those qualified, free housing, food. The people let the princes rule, and let
them keep the lion’s share of the oil revenues. But in return, the princes
paid off the people with the most generous welfare state on earth. That was
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 77.

the bargain. Its end would cause severe unrest among their 30 million
people. Possibly revolution. Likely revolution.
MBS knew this. He was afraid of this. Ten years fly by in the blink of
an eye. He and his retinue realized that in the time they had left, they had
to maximize the wealth of their oil, before they fled. Because they had every
intention of fleeing. This was why they were buying properties in London and
Manhattan and Singapore and Switzerland. In the time they had left, they
needed to get a higher price for the oil they had left. The highest price
But how to do that.
Make their oil that more desirable.
By eliminating the world’s third largest oil exporter: Iran.
Israel did not have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. But we had
many contacts with them. We wanted to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. They
wanted less oil on the global markets, which would drive up the price of their
own supplies. We had the ability to bomb Iran. They could not appear to
have had anything to do with the bombing of Iran.
It was relatively easy for us to come to an agreement in principle: We
would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as selected oil facilities and ports,
in exchange for guaranteed Saudi oil at $50 a barrel, in perpetuity. We
would also guarantee Saudi Arabia’s external security by way of a mutual
aide pact, if Iran attacked Saudi Arabia in retaliation.
That was our pact with the Devil. We would be Saudi mercenaries, all
so that we could arrogantly rub Iran’s nose in our military prowess.
This agreement in principle [between Israel and Saudi Arabia] was
sealed in January 2019, six months before the strike. It was codenamed
Operation Striped Shirt. The reason we waited [between January and July
2019] was because Bibi Netanyahu was not certain if the Americans would
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 78.

really make a deal with Iran. But when it became clear that they had every
intention of making such a deal [in the spring of 2019], regardless of how
forcefully the Israeli-affiliated congressmen and senators tried to stop it,
Striped Shirt was ordered to proceed.
We had 47 aircraft, all F-15’s, all of them camouflaged with Saudi
Arabian Air Force markings. We flew the aircraft into [Saudi Arabia’s]
Dhahran Air Base, outside Damman. It was a major civilian airport, anyone
could see us. Hence the need for Saudi Air Force camouflage. We flew our
attack on Iran pretending to be someone else’s air force.
When the Americans and the Iranians did come to a backroom
tentative agreement in May 2019, the operation was ordered. Operation
Striped Shirt.
The attack was flawless. Out of 27 nuclear sites targeted, all were
destroyed. As to the oil fields, we destroyed Gachsaran. But more crucially,
we destroyed the ports that Iran used to ship its oil. The other oil fields were
intact. But without a way to ship the oil, they were useless.
Striped Shirt was a perfect operation, without a single lost plane. And
now we had guaranteed oil for ourselves, at a discounted price. Everything
that both Saudi Arabia and Israel wanted was achieved.
Our affiliates in America quickly blamed Iran for the attack. They
showed doctored photographs and information to convince the world Iran
was closer to possessing a nuclear weapon than it really was. The Iranians
did not help their cause. They blamed America for the attack. They foolishly
declared war on America and Israel. Then they began a series of paltry
terrorist attacks across the Middle East, including in Israel, against Israeli
and American targets. These attacks were militarily pointless. But they
created a priceless opportunity for our affiliates. It was a relatively simple
matter for our affiliates in America to push the United States into responding
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 79.

to the Iranian declaration of war and by Iranian terrorist attacks in the

Middle East by a call to war of its own.
American troops were dispatched to Iraq [in September 2019], to
begin preparations for an invasion of Iran. Three hundred thousand soldiers
flew to Iraq to prepare for the invasion. But then they rapidly became
embroiled in a quagmire in Iraq. Worse than the previous one [between
2003 and 2011]. The Iranians, who had supported the Maliki government,
activated their own agents in Iraq. They relentlessly attacked the Americans
in Iraq. None of the attacks were truly damaging. Not individually. But they
were like tiny mosquitoes swarming the head of a giant. They kept the
Americans pinned in Iraq. They were unable to properly prepare for an
invasion of Iran.
In Tel Aviv, though, we were thrilled. Iran’s nuclear installations were
destroyed. We would have cheap oil in perpetuity from the Saudis. America
was going to war with Iran. And not a single Israeli life had been lost.
It never occurred to us that our success would make the Americans
hate us. Especially as they sunk into the Iraqi quagmire. They never did
invade Iran. They just spent more and more money, until they were finally
broke. And they blamed us. Israel. I never understood why. We did not do
them any harm. All we did was protect Israel. But the American people
showed their true, secret anti-Semitic colors when the Cross Committee was
convened. When they began persecuting Jews. They called it “networker
sweeps”. [Shakes his head.] They were pogroms, nothing more. They hated
us Jews. They had never been our friends. When their economy began to
collapse, they blamed it all on us Jews. As has been our lot in all of recorded
The Saudis, though . . . They were the true evil we did not see. MBS
showed himself to be a monster. A monster! A man of unfathomable evil!
Worse than Hitler!
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 80.

[Kotok pauses for over two minutes, in order to collect himself. When
he resumes speaking, his voice is steady, but he is weeping.]
I blame the Saudi treachery on ourselves. We knew whom we were
dealing with. We had been warned. It never occurred to us that the Saudis
who helped us attack Iran were the same Saudis who still hated us. We had
concluded a successful operation to our mutual benefit: Saudi oil was trading
at $400 a barrel within two weeks of Striped Shirt. The Saudis would have to
pay us with $50 a barrel oil in perpetuity. But our oil requirements were so
minuscule compared to Saudi output that they could not claim our price had
been unfair or onerous.
We thought we were now friends with the Saudis. We were blinded by
our success.
The Saudi princes still hated us. And they had the money to buy our
destruction. Which they did, from Pakistan, from North Korea. They bought
the nuclear technology necessary to make bombs of their own. Of course
they did . . . For the Saudis, nothing had changed. They hated Iran, but they
hated us too. And the Saudis, they hate deeply.
And that madman, MBS. That monster. . . . Hitler’s worthy heir. . . .
He hated you Americans—that is why he broke your economy.
But much as he hated you, he hated us more.
My family and I were vacationing in Italy, when it happened [i.e., the
destruction of Israel on September 19, 2025]. Six nuclear weapons: That
was all they needed to smuggle into our country and destroy it utterly. If
you had told me before the strike [on Iran] that I would live to see a Second
Shoah, I would have scoffed at you.
But it happened.
[Pauses thoughtfully. The pause become unusually long. Mr. Kotok
continues to weep, though his voice is still steady.]
A Secret History of the American Crash, Part I 81.

I do not believe in the Christian Devil. But I do believe in God.

However, I no longer believe in a wise or merciful Lord. On the contrary. I
can’t help wondering if maybe we are mere ants, and God is a giant child. A
giant child who giggles as he holds a magnifying glass. I can’t help
wondering if maybe God chose our people so that He could see what it was
like to make a people suffer.
What it would be like to make our people burn.