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Posts Tagged ‘Gaslighting’

The War Over Your Mind | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2022

The political class of parasites that feed on your labor and successes have spent the last few generations selling out the future for their own gains and comforts. Your children and grandchildren are expected to be sacrificed on the altar of their desires.

Parents are no longer expected to sacrifice themselves for the well-being of the children’s future, rather, children are to be tortured and psychologically abused by society so that the boomer generation may have everlasting life.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-war-over-your-mind/

by Tommy Salmons

Attention is the new currency.

This isn’t an original thought. For decades there has been competition for your mind and attention on a multitude of fronts. With the popularity of social media and the twenty-four-hour news cycle the efforts have only accelerated.

The speed at which information travels today is exhausting. Information overload is a real thing, and everyone is feeling it.

The other day, a young man approached me and said, “Man, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I used to have so much energy, but ever since COVID I feel so tired all the time.”

At twenty-five years old, he should be hitting his prime, but instead he’s burdened by the weight of the ever-changing narratives, lies, and gaslighting coming at him from every direction.

Even as I sit here, I know the message I wish to convey, but my mind is a jumbled mess of information that is peripherally relevant to the burdens of the modern age.

How does one discern what to pay attention to and what to ignore?

Censorship

Over the last few years (after Trump’s surprising victory) the decision as to what information and news the masses ingest is being monitored by the elites and corporate press. The rise of alternative media, especially large podcasts, has fueled their panic, and pushed their attempts to control the narrative into overdrive.

The big tech companies took it upon themselves to determine what was allowable discourse. They ran mass censorship campaigns against anyone that said anything that challenged the power and prestige of the elites. What was once common speech among friends and colleagues is now hate speech. Comedians, politicians, and independent media personalities were depersoned and ostracized from the public square, social media platforms.

“It’s a private company, bro,” became the battle cry of the blue-check class and their useful idiots. But none dare take on the actuality that these “private companies” are funded and utilized by governments and intelligence communities around the world to track and trace dissidents.

This dystopianism didn’t stop with Julian Assange, Alex Jones, and Donald Trump. As more people have come to depend on Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for news and information we’ve seen respected doctors and researchers deplatformed and search results throttled to curb “dangerous” voices and “disinformation” that challenges the approved directives of the elites. Even the Financial Times is publishing stories promoting psyops as crucial in the fight against disinformation. After Joe Biden asked publicly for tech companies to censor opposing voices DirecTV quickly announced they were dropping OAN, a right-wing populist news agency, from their list of networks.

In their attempts to control the information the elites are creating more division among the citizens. Soon there will be parallel societies in operation in these United States.

Alongside Right

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The Great Struggle of Our Time: The Battle for Reality – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2021

Gaslighting is now an integral part of the left’s every move, and it is sowing confusion and wreaking havoc everywhere. The gaslighters have already managed to disorient many people and weaken their hold on reality. They correctly sense that if they can press sufficiently hard, they will be able to take advantage of the disarray and implement their godless, nihilistic, inhuman, love-deprived and freedom-negating agenda.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/10/the_great_struggle_of_our_time_the_battle_for_reality.html

By Vasko Kohlmayer

With societal turbulence all around us, many people feel that we are locked in some great and portentous struggle. But because it is so pervasive and multifaced, the nature of this struggle is not readily obvious. There are many fronts on which this struggle is being fought: racial relations, education, healthcare, popular culture, financial system, and freedom of speech, among others. It is not easy to make sense of it all, especially since the battles are highly pitched and emotions are running very high.

What characterizes these battles, besides their intensity, is deep polarization. The possibility of the warring camps coming together and meeting on some common ground seems to be growing more distant by the day. There is even talk that the two sides will either come to blows, or they will each go their own way in some form of secession.

Many have observed that the contenders seem to be separated by an unbridgeable gap, and yet no one has been able to explain the nature of this gap, or what exactly it is that separates the mindsets of the opposing sides.

In our view the great struggle in the grip of which we find ourselves cuts much deeper than the immediate issues we argue over. The real fight extends beyond any particular point of public friction.

The great battle of our time is a battle about the very nature of reality. More precisely, what the two sides war over on the most fundamental level is what constitutes truth and how it should be determined.

To shed light on this dynamic, let us take one of the heated controversies of the present time. For this we choose transgenderism. This is an especially suitable example for two reasons: this issue is highly divisive and polarizing, and it delineates the opposing camps sharply and clearly.

As you may know, transgender advocates claim that biological males can become women and vice versa.

Understandably, many people find this claim rather far-fetched. For one thing, it does not feel true, given that the evidence of our senses seems to refute it. When, for example, people look at transgender “women” – i.e., biological men who say that they are women – most people immediately recognize that these are not real females. What most people see is men who pretend to be girls. This is how the human mind – in the vast majority of instances – interprets sensory input that it receives upon encountering such persons.

Rachel Levine, President Biden’s Assistant Secretary for Health. Few people would perceive Dr. Levine is a genuine woman. (YouTube screengrab)

And yet transgender advocates vehemently maintain that this is not the correct interpretation of visual data. They insist that what is in front of our eyes are not men who pose as girls but real girls.

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My ‘fake news’ odyssey: How I learned the media prefer narratives over facts and never tell the whole story

Posted by M. C. on October 29, 2020

After the war, when I came to the US to study, I remember reading with incredulity the newspaper archives at my university library. They depicted a war that never happened, a politically correct fiction totally divorced from reality, often thanks to simple omission of relevant facts and ‘editorial guidance’ telling people what they should think instead.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/october/29/my-fake-news-odyssey-how-i-learned-the-media-prefer-narratives-over-facts-and-never-tell-the-whole-story/?fbclid=IwAR1BjSwbUFlkAc3BUUDCK30M7nBKkI4491AQniY-eQq5rJDCZVbxP30FHZI

Written by Nebojsa Malic Thursday October 29, 2020
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With just days left to go before a US election everyone deservingly regards as pivotal, a battle is raging over ‘fake news’ and even the meaning of words. It’s a battle I’ve already watched being fought, in another war long ago.

Today, outlets like CNN would have you believe ‘fake news’ began with President Donald Trump five years ago, and that he weaponized the term against the good and honest media serving as the guardians of ‘our democracy’, or some such.

Trump was the first US President to deploy the term “fake news” against his opponents. And over the last 4 years, he has brought the phrase into the mainstream, popularizing it as a smear for unfavorable, but factual coverage | Analysis by @elizamackintosh https://t.co/CcrzGNtdQX — CNN (@CNN) October 25, 2020

One doesn’t have to be a Republican (I am not) to reject this as misinformation at best, or at worst deliberate gaslighting. It was in fact the mainstream outlets, led by CNN, that weaponized the term ‘fake news’ against Trump, first to block his election and then to delegitimize it with the likes of the ‘Steele Dossier’.

CNN’s Oliver Darcy will be surprised to learn from CNN that “fake news” was pushed by Trump, as opposed to what really happened, which is that Darcy & other journos mainstreamed it as a buzzword in their campaign to delegitimize and undermine the results of the 2016 election. pic.twitter.com/hfcvy22DJN — Omri Ceren (@omriceren) October 26, 2020

The reason I know this, however, goes back 25 years, to Sarajevo. To most of you, the name may only be familiar in the context of the First World War, or the Bosnian War of the 1990s. It happens to be my home town. I grew up on the street where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, and almost got killed at least three times during that other war, fourscore years later. 

After the war, when I came to the US to study, I remember reading with incredulity the newspaper archives at my university library. They depicted a war that never happened, a politically correct fiction totally divorced from reality, often thanks to simple omission of relevant facts and ‘editorial guidance’ telling people what they should think instead.

It was the age of ‘advocacy journalism’, led by the likes of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. So Western adventurers flocked to the war zone, to do advocacy disguised as journalism. I should know – I worked with many of them, as the translator and local fixer in Sarajevo for the better part of 1995.

One story in particular stuck with me, in a ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ sort of way. It was October, and a ceasefire had just been declared. Most of us there didn’t expect it to last, but it would turn out to be the war-ending armistice. I joined a trio of journalists to visit an apartment building, the morning after a gas explosion.

We found a square hole in the building, as if some giant hand had punched right through. The contents of the apartment were scattered about in the parking lot outside. The neighbors told us what happened: like many others in Sarajevo, the family that lived there had installed a makeshift gas hookup, using garden and water hoses. One of the hoses had sprung a leak and filled the apartment with gas. Then power sputtered back on during the night. When one of the sons flipped the light switch… Boom.

The Washington Post version of the story was mostly fair, actually – except for what it omits. For example, it says “the natural gas supplied to Sarajevo by Russia is not odorized, so nobody notices when it leaks,” as if that’s to blame. Except it wasn’t Russia’s fault, as the odor agent is supposed to be added by the local distributor, not the country of origin.

The story also doesn’t mention why most gas hookups were pirated – including the one my family had set up – and that’s because all the metal pipes normally used for the purpose had been diverted to make weapons. So was much of the gas, for that matter: I remember it suddenly running out in the mornings, only to come back sometime at night. If you left your vents open… Boom. 

The explosions were so frequent, we quickly learned their specific sound, just as we had learned to recognize if we were shelled by mortars, howitzers, tanks or rocket launchers.

I told the reporters all this. None of it made it into the stories. It didn’t fit ‘the narrative’. The gas explosions simply couldn’t be a story of civilians suffering from incompetence and greed of their own government, but had to be blamed on the ‘besieging’ Serbs. Even Russia, which provided the gas at a special humanitarian price at a time when it could least afford to, was made to look bad for it.

The is just one story. There were many more. Bosnian War propaganda has radicalized millions around the world, from jihadists and liberal interventionists in the 1990s – as Brendan O’Neill has documented – to domestic militants in places like Norway and New Zealand, as I wrote before.

So it is with anxiety that I watch the same media outlets using the same kind of propaganda now, this time in a battle for power within the US. The same people who insisted the infamous Steele Dossier had been proven true (fact check: wrong) and constantly cite unverifiable anonymous sources, all of a sudden insist that even mentioning a laptop allegedly belonging to a candidate’s son is “unverified” or “Russian disinformation.” 

These are the same people who insist any criticism of them is a danger to freedom of the press, but go out of their way to get dissenters doxxed and deplatformed by social media networks, insisting it’s not censorship when it’s private Big Tech companies doing it. 

Just like the gas leaking out of the makeshift hoses in Sarajevo, this sort of poison is slowly filling up America. Next thing you know, someone will flip a switch. And then… Boom.

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My Corner by Boyd Cathey-Who Are the Real “Crazies”?

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2020

In contemporary America “gaslighting” has become a praxis, a weapon of choice of the post-Marxist Progressivist Left: That is, repeatedly projecting on to their opponents the belief and sense that somehow they (we), because of our “unenlightened views” are racist, sexist, and “against progress and ‘democratic values’.” Nearly the entirety of the media, the entertainment industry, and many political leaders do this on a regular basis;

Chesterton discusses the concept of liberty, and in so doing defines it succinctly as “the power of a thing to be itself…We are limited by our brains and bodies; and if we break out, we cease to be ourselves, and, perhaps, to be anything. The lunatic is he who loses his way and cannot return….”

http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

by Boyd Cathey

Friends,

A few days ago I sent out to some friends a short piece, unsigned, on “gaslighting.” If you follow media pundits and online scribblers, you’ve probably heard or seen the term used in a political or social context and wondered exactly what it meant.

Gaslighting, in that currently employed sense, can be defined as a form of psychological abuse aimed at controlling a person by altering perceived reality to the point where the person will doubt his own sanity. Essentially it involves mental manipulation  “in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and information, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs.”  

This usage apparently originates with the play, Gas Light (1938) and two succeeding classic movies from 1940 and 1944 (this latter film famously stars Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotten). The main character in the play (and in the films) literally attempts to drive his wife crazy by gradually dimming the gas-powered lights in their home. As she complains that the lights seem to be getting dimmer, her husband not only denies the fact, but convinces her that it is just her imagination…to the point where she begins to question her own sanity.  

In contemporary America “gaslighting” has become a praxis, a weapon of choice of the post-Marxist Progressivist Left: That is, repeatedly projecting on to their opponents the belief and sense that somehow they (we), because of our “unenlightened views” are racist, sexist, and “against progress and ‘democratic values’.”  Nearly the entirety of the media, the entertainment industry, and many political leaders do this on a regular basis; it is inculcated into our children in practically all our schools…. And once we begin to believe that meme, we then retreat from real opposition, we may apologize for our perceived sins, and defensively we may compromise and give way, or just be silent.

This praxis has been very successful in essentially neutering many voices of the supposed opposition to the madness that is eating away at our society.  

How many elected Republicans have given way to “gaslighting” for fear of being called “racists” or “white supremacists”? But not just their apologies or silence, and their running to hide “in the tall grass”: Some have convinced themselves of the rightness of Progressivist positions, even supporting them publicly. We only need cite the literally dozens of former Bush administration officials, staffers for John McCain (his wife is voting for Biden) and Mitt Romney, and Neoconservatives like Max Boot, Bill Kristol, and others who now openly support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.  

Does this not indicate something deeply disquieting about these so-called “Establishment Conservatives”? That they are easily spooked by the constant barrage of Progressivist accusations is one thing…but more profoundly, does this not indicate their own lack of deeply-held conservative convictions?  

And these were the folks we were to support as our champions in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012?  

Whatever criticisms we might level at Donald Trump, and yes, certainly there are some, he has at least done one thing of immense value: he has torn the mask partially off those “Deep State” apparatchiks, made them surface publicly, revealing them as the condescending elitists, Managerial State globalists that they are. And that, despite all the negative things, in a sense compensates in some ways for many of the Donald’s peccadillos….  

It is those who righteously claim the Progressivist mantle who are the real madmen, lacking rationality, outside reality, and strangers to the inherent laws of nature and Divine Positive Laws of God. It is they who, like demons from the bowels of Hell, seek to convince us that we are “outside reality” and “unprogressive.” And in this they engage in a form of transference, that is, projecting zealously onto their victims—onto the “deplorables” and those who dissent from their template—the insecurities and sense that our thinking and actions are somehow distorted, wrong, hurtful, and not normal…that we are crazy.  

In fact, it is they who are, to quote the great Christian English essayist G. K. Chesterton, the real “lunatics.” In his volume, The Poet and the Lunatics (1929), Chesterton discusses the concept of liberty, and in so doing defines it succinctly as “the power of a thing to be itself…We are limited by our brains and bodies; and if we break out, we cease to be ourselves, and, perhaps, to be anything. The lunatic is he who loses his way and cannot return….”  Those who have rebelled against the order of Creation and nature, he adds, are “already outside the world of reason, raging with a desire to be outside of everything.” It is they who have in fact rejected reality. Thus, their frenzy and anxiety not so much to convince us, as to convince themselves of their rightness….for like all Children of the Night, down deep, gnawing at them is the dark, if faint but constant sensation that this is so. 

Against their constant barrage we need to affirm our rootedness in our God-given and created nature and in two-thousand years of Western tradition and civilization…while rejecting the Progressivists as crazed fanatical rebels against that Creation and its Author.  

They must be totally repudiated…no compromises or deals with them. Things may—and probably will—get worse, and our enemies appear to gain triumph.  But in the end the Faith will conquer…if we let it. at

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A Maverick, Literally – EPautos – Libertarian Car Talk

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2020

In Stow’s case, innocence is no defense. It doesn’t matter that he can prove he’s incapable of getting others sick because he himself isn’t. It doesn’t matter that people who aren’t sick can’t spread sickness.

His “crime” was to question this sickness of being presumed sick – and expected to act accordingly.

His refusal to accept guilt – and punishment – for what he hasn’t got and didn’t do is what landed him in hot water.

What ended up with him in handcuffs, for trying to go to class.

https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2020/09/18/a-maverick-literally/

By eric
 
 
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And the children shall lead us – since the adults, apparently, won’t.

One such is 17-year-old Maverick Stow of Long Island, NY. He decided to lead by example – and go back to school. In person rather than virtual – because he’s sick of being treated as if he might be sick by people who are sick in the head.

Stow showed up for class – and was promptly suspended, for a year. He has been excluded from his senior prom as well as graduation. He also was arrested by Suffolk County police, who have stopped arresting criminals and now arrest kids for showing up to school – and  failing to pretend they are sick.

The school says it has a “zero tolerance” policy for “unauthorized people trying to enter our buildings to disrupt the educational process and/or to potentially cause an unsafe environment for our students and staff.”

So many italics added. Where to begin?

 

How about with all these possessives? Our buildings? Aren’t public schools public property, Herr (or is it Frau) Gesundheitsfuhrer? They are certainly paid for by the public, which  includes Stow’s parents – who haven’t got a say as far as whether to not pay for buildings their kids are forbidden to enter by those who control them.

Perhaps the Stow family is due a refund?

And our students? Interesting that the Herr/Frau Gesundheitsfuhrers also regard the humans they control as their property, too.

G-P Middle School – PODS System for Face-to-Face Learning from Gregory-Portland ISD on Vimeo.

Aber, the most loathsome italicized thing is this business of sanctioning kids who are potentially unsafe.  An assertion which cannot be disproved since anyone – kid or adult – is potentially practically anything. It is a sentence of guilt without even the possibility of establishing innocence – which is the glowing radioactive core of this WuFlu hysteria.

Also italicized – to make the point that punishing anyone on the basis of assertions is a pretty solid working definition of “hysteria.”

Stow isn’t sick. No one has even accused him of being sick. His actual health status is immaterial.  It is apparently sufficient to assert that he might be sick to punish him for refusing to pretend he is sick. Consider what this implies – in principle – if it is allowed to be established as the “new normal” for restricting and punishing people.

Wait. It has already been established as the basis for restricting and punishing people. Many examples, but here are a few:

Someone – it doesn’t have to be anyone specific; indeed, the absence of specificity is entirely the point – might use a gun to shoot up a school. People who never shot up anything (well, other than a paper target at a shooting range) are restricted and punished because the potential exists that they might shoot up something other than a paper target.

You go to an airport. You’ve never been to a jihadi training camp. You aren’t wearing a hijab much less a dynamite corset. But because it is asserted that the potential exists that you might be a “trrrist” – something that requires no proof at all – you are treated as such.

 

You are out driving – and forced to stop – not because you broke any law or gave any reason to suspect you might be so inclined. Your presence on the road requires you to prove you are not “drunk” – based on the potential that someone might be.

In the last two cases, at least, one can avoid punishment by proving one’s innocence (as opposed to the former standard of it being the obligation of the accuser to prove guilt before imposing punishment). You pass the “drunk” test – and you’re free to continue driving.

You let them jiggle your junk, you are free to board the airplane.

 

In Stow’s case, innocence is no defense. It doesn’t matter that he can prove he’s incapable of getting others sick because he himself isn’t. It doesn’t matter that people who aren’t sick can’t spread sickness.

His “crime” was to question this sickness of being presumed sick – and expected to act accordingly.

His refusal to accept guilt – and punishment – for what he hasn’t got and didn’t do is what landed him in hot water.

What ended up with him in handcuffs, for trying to go to class.

The Herr/Frau Gesundheitsfuhrer says Stow is “irresponsible and selfish” for not playing Sickness Kabuki.

The gaslighting is overpowering – much stronger than the WuFlu itself, which hasn’t killed 99.6 percent of the healthy/not-elderly population  – including practically no school-age kids, who are at greater risk of being killed by an accident such as falling down the stairs or from a bad hit during football practice than by the WuFlu.

But the hysteria has practically killed the country.

It has killed tens of millions of jobs – and careers. It has killed people’s financial security as well as their peace of mind. It has left old people to die alone in nursing homes – of depression caused by isolation. It is destroying the childhood of millions of kids, who are being isolated and regimented and taught to live in fear of a virus that is far less a threat to them than the fear itself.

One brave young man has said enough – and acted on that sentiment. He has set a worthy example for more adults to emulate.

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The Blob Attacks: Gaslighting or Just Gasbagging? | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on May 4, 2020

“In Defense of the Blob” is filled with so many straw men, lies, and misdirections that the only takeaway is that we must have hit one hell of a nerve this time. The authors’ peculiar attempt to gaslight their critics, suggesting that we are seeing things that aren’t there, is weak. Like: 

Blob theorists view the establishment as a club of like-minded elite insiders who control everything, take care of one another, and brush off challenges to conventional wisdom. In reality, the United States actually has a healthy marketplace of foreign policy ideas. Discussion over American foreign policy is loud, contentious, diverse, and generally pragmatic—and as a result, the nation gets the opportunity to learn from its mistakes, build on its successes, and improve its performance over time.

No, no, and no. As a reporter in this ecosystem for more years than I care to admit, I can say with absolute certainty the reality is the opposite.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/state-of-the-union/the-blob-attacks-gaslighting-or-just-gasbagging/

After a 75-year-run of failure, the foreign policy elite is on the wane, with some clearly taking it harder than others.

It’s always fun to see the Washington foreign policy and Nat-Sec establishment get up on its hind legs at their critics. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does it’s usually when someone has touched a raw nerve, penetrating the bubble, if only momentarily. One time that comes to mind is when TAC’s Andrew Bacevich—he’s really good at this—called out elite bubble denizens Peter Feaver and Hal Brands for what he said was “close to being a McCarthyite smear” against realist thinkers in a Commentary piece entitled, “Saving Realism from the So-Called Realists.”

The two men (Feaver cut his teeth in George W. Bush’s National Security Council during the height of the Iraq War; Brands is an academic with a perch at the neoconservative AEI) implored TAC to publish a response, writing: “The stakes of debates about American grand strategy are high, and so it is entirely proper that these debates be conducted with passion and intensity. But it is equally vital that they be conducted without resort to the sort of baseless ad hominem attacks that impede intellectual discourse rather than encouraging it.”

Hrumph. It is not surprising now that both Feaver and Brands (joined by William Inboden, also in Bush’s wartime NSC), are at it again, this time with a longer treatise in Foreign Affairs, entitled, “In Defense of the Blob.”  The last four years have been rough for the establishment. President Trump, after running on a platform of getting out of endless wars, is a Jacksonian who refuses to hide his contempt for this entrenched policy class and all of their attending courtiers and courtesans, most of whom are leftovers from the Obama, Bush and even Clinton Administrations. Their “accumulated” knowledge means nothing to this president, as he has plowed his own mercurial course in North Korea, Syria, Iran and the Middle East.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Trump’s rip in the Washington Blob’s time-space-continuum has allowed realists and restrainers to quantum leap into the space like no other administration before. Suddenly, conservatives of all stripes are talking TAC’s language. Money is pouring into colleges and think tanks now, all with the goal of pursuing approaches outside the status quo of hyper-militarization and American hegemony. The wars have been largely maligned as failures of the two previous administrations and their “experts.” The Quincy Institute, populated by scholars from both the Right and Left, has risen up to directly challenge the idea of a necessary militarized “liberal world order” to secure peace across the globe.

“In Defense of the Blob” is filled with so many straw men, lies, and misdirections that the only takeaway is that we must have hit one hell of a nerve this time. The authors’ peculiar attempt to gaslight their critics, suggesting that we are seeing things that aren’t there, is weak. Like:

Blob theorists view the establishment as a club of like-minded elite insiders who control everything, take care of one another, and brush off challenges to conventional wisdom. In reality, the United States actually has a healthy marketplace of foreign policy ideas. Discussion over American foreign policy is loud, contentious, diverse, and generally pragmatic—and as a result, the nation gets the opportunity to learn from its mistakes, build on its successes, and improve its performance over time.

No, no, and no. As a reporter in this ecosystem for more years than I care to admit, I can say with absolute certainty the reality is the opposite. The major policy think tanks in Washington are rife with three sources of funding: government, private defense companies, and very wealthy neoliberal and neoconservative foundations (think Carnegie on the left, Scaife on the right). The National Security and “Grand Strategy” programs at elite schools are no different. They all have one thing in common: the status quo. As a result, the output is hardly dynamic, it’s little more than dogmatic, conventional thinking about world problems that keep bureaucrats in jobs and always meddling, the military amped up with more hammers and nails to hit, and politicians (and attending administrative class) favorable to either or both of these goals in Washington, preferably in power.

This is a closed club that offers only gradations of diversity just like Democrats and Republicans during the war: No one argued about “liberating” Iraq, only about the tactics. That was why it was so easy for Hillary Clinton’s Nat Sec team in-waiting to create the Center for a New American Security in 2008 and transition to an Obama think tank shop in 2009. Plug and play one for the other, counterinsurgency under Bush? Meh. Under Obama? Let’s do this! They all had a plan for staying in Afghanistan, and they made sure we were, until this day.

This doesn’t even include the orbit of research centers like RAND and the Center for Naval Analysis, which actually get government funding to churn out reports and white papers, teach officer classes, lead war gaming, and put on conferences. Do you really think they call for less funding, killing programs, eliminating lily pads, or egads, pulling out of entrenched strategic relationships that might not make sense anymore? Never. The same players get the contracts and produce just what the government wants to hear, so they can get more money. If they don’t get contracts they don’t survive. It’s how the swamp works.

As for it being a cabal? This ecosystem—the Blob—is a revolving door of sameness, a multigenerational in-crowd of status-driven groupthink inhabiting a deep state that is both physical and of the mind. It’s a lifestyle, and a class. To get anywhere in it, you not only have to have the right pedigree, but the right way of thinking. Ask anyone who has attempted to break in with the “wrong credentials,” or marched off the reservation in the early years of Iraq only to be flung to the professional margins. Conference panels, sanctioned academic journals, all run by the same crowd. Check the Council on Foreign Relations yearbook, you’ll catch the drift. You can be a neocon, you can be a “humanitarian” interventionist, but a skeptic of American exceptionalism and its role in leading the post-WWII international system? Ghosted.

The worst element of the Feaver/Brands/Inboden protest is not so much their pathetic attempt to suggest that sure, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya “were misconceived and mishandled,” but they were “no worse” than failures in the preceding decades, like the “bloody stalemate in Korea,” or “catastrophic war in Vietnam.” (This completely denies that the same consensus thinking has been leading our global and military policies for the last 75 years, therefore the same people who blundered us into Vietnam were also responsible for backing the contras in Nicaragua, and then blowing up wedding parties in Pakistan three decades later).

No, the worst is the straw man they present when they suggest that “scrapping professionalism for amateurism would be a disaster.” No one has ever suggested that was on offer. If anything, there has been every attempt, by TAC and the aforementioned new movements, to shift new voices—academics, military strategists, politicians, policy wonks and journalists—who represent fresh, outside thinking into the forefront, at the levers of power, to make a difference. People like Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Walt, Doug Macgregor, Chris Preble, Mike Desch, are hardly lightweights, but to the Borg, they are antibodies, therefore amateurs.

But Bacevich, Walt, et. al,  did not keep their mouths shut or try to obfuscate the truth during 18 years of failure in Afghanistan. That was left to the friends and colleagues of our esteemed Feaver, Brands, and Inboden. They cannot deny the Blob’s sins because it’s all in black & white in the Afghanistan Papers. That’s what has really hit a nerve, the raw exposure. Still, they cry, the Blob is “not the problem,” but the “solution.” We think not. And we think they protest too much.

Be seeing you

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