MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Militarization’

A Wilderness of Lies – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on March 23, 2021

For example, no one living in Russia accepted what was told to them through state media as the truth. It could be true but was most likely false. The game was to figure out what the lies meant. Instead of poring over photos in the newspapers, citizens relied on their personal networks to provide a narrative that explained what they could see happening around them. There was public truth and private truth.

This is something Americans are learning. When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false. The framing of the story is always a self-serving fairy tale. You eliminate that and then try to figure out a new narrative from the facts that can be verified. Figuring out what is really happening has become a booming industry for independent commentators and analysts.

https://www.takimag.com/article/a-wilderness-of-lies/print

The Z Man

Way back in the before times, a regular feature of the media was the Kremlinologist, who would be brought in to explain something about the Soviet Union. Strictly speaking, Kremlinology and Sovietology were different things. The former focused on Russia and its role in the Soviet system. The latter focused on the Soviet Union as a whole, as if it was a single organism. The terms were often used interchangeably in the Cold War.

Further, the media version of the Kremlinologist was something like the court astrologer, in that they were tasked with using their secret knowledge to explain what was happening with the Russians. If Brezhnev was seen as distracted at a public ceremony, the Kremlinologist would be brought in to explain its meaning. The Kremlinologist became a carnival act toward the end of the Cold War.

Kremlinology and Sovietology were useful to statecraft, however, as the Soviet system was a black box. The West had its spies, but many of those spies were double agents used to feed the West false information. In the wilderness of mirrors that was the rivalry between East and West, the Kremlinologist was useful in helping to sort the facts from the deliberate fictions. They helped contextualize Kremlin behavior.

No doubt the roles are now reversed. The rest of the world is forced to develop experts at analyzing the American regime in order to understand what is going on in Washington and why it is happening. The administrations of Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama were like the Brezhnev period of the Soviet Union. The rhetoric changed from one administration to the next, but public policy, especially foreign policy, did not change. “When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false.”

Then we get Donald Trump. The logic of the American political class said that a populist firebrand could never win a primary, much less a general election. The system made sure of that after the Perot and Buchanan scares. Trump wins and official Washington has a nervous breakdown trying to expel him from the capital. Eventually they replaced Trump with a dementia patient and the empire no longer makes any sense.

The Soviet analogy is not a perfect one, of course. Trump was more like Khrushchev, a reformer who failed to reform the system and was pushed out by hardliners. Biden, on the other hand, is a good analog for Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, two men long past their prime, who were installed as placeholders. They did not last long and were eventually replaced with a younger man, which is what will happen with Biden.Read more

Historical analogies are not supposed to be perfect. They are simply a useful way to use the past to shed light on the present. As the American empire follows down a similar path as the Soviet empire, the comparisons between the two are helpful in understanding what is happening in Washington. Just like the Kremlinologist of yesteryear, we are left to guess about the internal workings of the ruling regime.

That is another aspect of Kremlinology useful for us today. Outside the system, academics in the West pored over publicly available information to explain to the public what was happening inside the Kremlin. American intelligence did the same thing but relied on data not available to the public. Inside the Soviet empire, however, people came to understand their rulers using similar techniques.

For example, no one living in Russia accepted what was told to them through state media as the truth. It could be true but was most likely false. The game was to figure out what the lies meant. Instead of poring over photos in the newspapers, citizens relied on their personal networks to provide a narrative that explained what they could see happening around them. There was public truth and private truth.

This is something Americans are learning. When consuming American media, you start with the assumption that the narrative is false. The framing of the story is always a self-serving fairy tale. You eliminate that and then try to figure out a new narrative from the facts that can be verified. Figuring out what is really happening has become a booming industry for independent commentators and analysts.

You see this with the Covid panic. The one thing everyone agrees upon is that the virus did not start from a bat market in rural China. That is the official explanation, but everyone knows it is a lie. Similarly, few people think the government measures have much to do with public health and safety. Some do, but they are mostly old people more afraid of the Grim Reaper than being lied to by their government. The result is we have lots of theories about what is “really happening” behind the Covid scare.

Similarly, the militarization of Washington is becoming another topic for regime experts to analyze. The bizarre reaction of the inner party to the very peaceful demonstrations in January makes no sense at face value. There must be another reason for why they are telling the citizens that they will shoot the next demonstrators who come into the city to petition their rulers for redress. The question is, what are they plotting next?

That is the problem with black-box government. When Brezhnev was in control of the party, people did not need to know what was going inside the Kremlin, because the Kremlin was predictable. It is why Russians who remember those days look back fondly on those times. It was a time relatively free of politics. They woke up every day knowing the rules were going to be the same as they were yesterday. When the black box became unstable, no one could be sure of anything.

This is the state of the American regime. No one knows what is really going behind the razor wire and Army troops patrolling it. We are left to analyze video of Biden falling down the stairs of Air Force One and reading the body language of his handlers. Amateur linguists try to tease meaning out of his incoherent mutterings on Zoom sessions. The other geriatrics running the party are scrutinized by regime analysts, looking for clues to contextualize their behavior.

Like the Soviet empire, the American empire is now a confusing black box. It does things and makes noises, but none of it can be accepted on its face, so the world is left to guess. As citizens, we are forced to rely on private networks and create our own narratives to explain what we are seeing. There is the public truth and then millions of private truths. This is the result of black-box government. It is a wilderness of lies.

Be seeing you

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Kissing the Carter Doctrine Goodbye (Shouldn’t Be This Hard) | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on May 5, 2020

Should you be curious about why 9/11 happened, tracing U.S. efforts to implement the Carter Doctrine would be a good place to begin your inquiry.

By adhering to the Carter Doctrine, the United States has sown chaos across much of the region while inadvertently promoting radical Islamist terror. Should you be curious about why 9/11 happened, tracing U.S. efforts to implement the Carter Doctrine would be a good place to begin your inquiry.    

More war—that’s the answer. I’m guessing that by now President Carter himself might be having second thoughts. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/kissing-the-carter-doctrine-goodbye-shouldnt-be-this-hard/

It has produced bloodshed, grief, and instability, but our esteemed foreign policy elite just cant let go.

(L-R) Pres. Carter and Saudi Arabia’s Prince Fahd at arrival ceremony on South Lawn of White House in 1977. (Photo by Mark Meyer/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Writing in Foreign Policy, three distinguished members of the foreign policy establishment—Hal Brands of Johns Hopkins, Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Ken Pollack of the American Enterprise Institute—have issued a warning: Don’t look now, but President Trump appears intent on repudiating the Carter Doctrine. If he does, all the great successes achieved by U.S. policy in the Persian Gulf over the past several decades will be lost. This, they want you to believe, would be a terrible thing.

There is an alternative view and it goes like this: Dating from January 1980, the Carter Doctrine was a catastrophic error. Leading directly to the progressive militarization of U.S. policy in the Gulf, it has produced bloodshed, grief, and instability. Pursuant to the terms of the Carter Doctrine, the United States has spent trillions and sustained tens of thousands of casualties. We killed even more. By adhering to the Carter Doctrine, the United States has sown chaos across much of the region while inadvertently promoting radical Islamist terror. Should you be curious about why 9/11 happened, tracing U.S. efforts to implement the Carter Doctrine would be a good place to begin your inquiry.

You won’t hear any of that from the triumvirate of Brands, Cook, and Pollack. Theirs is a good news story —at least until Trump started screwing things up. Acting in accordance with the Carter Doctrine, they write, “the United States established and upheld the basic rules of conduct in the region.” Making that claim with a straight face requires ignoring a) U.S. support for Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s war of aggression against Iran, which began the very year of the Carter Doctrine’s promulgation; b) the vicious U.S. sanctions imposed on Iraq throughout the 1990s, punishing not Saddam, but the Iraqi people, c) the Axis of Evil cynically devised to create a fictitious rationale for attacking nations without any involvement in 9/11, d) the flagrantly illegal and reckless U.S. invasion of Iraq dating from 2003; e) the rise of ISIS and various Al Qaeda offshoots as a direct consequence of that failed war; and f) the embrace of assassination as an instrument of statecraft.

Brands, Cook, and Pollack do not explain how these actions accord with “basic rules of conduct,” merely conceding that the George W. Bush administration “botched the reconstruction of Iraq” as if the Iraq War were a really nifty idea that inexplicably didn’t turn out well.

A more accurate description of U.S. policy in the Gulf from the 1980s through the first decade of the twenty-first century would be this: Washington devised rules and then disregarded them whenever they proved inconvenient. More often than not, havoc resulted.

Brands, Cook, and Pollack correctly note that various initiatives undertaken under the aegis of the Carter Doctrine have ultimately redounded to the benefit of the Islamic Republic of Iran. But if Iran is a problem, they have a solution. Kick some ass.

They urge Trump to respond to “further acts of Iranian aggression”—it’s always the other side that commits aggression—“with strikes against Revolutionary Guard facilities, warships, ballistic missile sites, command and control nodes, or other valuable regime assets.” Brands, Cook, and Pollack want the United States “to strike hard enough to demonstrate both to Iran and to the world that it will not back down from a fight, and that if Iran chooses to escalate, so too will America.”

More war—that’s the answer. I’m guessing that by now President Carter himself might be having second thoughts.

Be seeing you

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Militarization Of North Australia Is A Must To Win A War Against China, Report | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on August 20, 2019

Australian international engagement in support of our strategic partnerships.”

Australia had been warned it must militarize its northern borders amid threats of Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific­ region and prepare for the US losing its “milit­ary primacy” in the area.

Guess who is doing the “warning”. I thought being being a US sock puppet was just a European thing.

Like it or not Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific region is akin to US expansion in the Caribbean. Except Chinese warships aren’t cruising off Key West.

Australians are a nominally independent bunch. Why they volunteer to become a suicide victim, point man in a US instigated war is beyond me.

Why aren’t the Liberals and Greens screaming bloody murder over the US military presence? Why are they buying the F-35 albatross? Trade sanctions? “Foreign Aid” promises?

The Aussie military is highly respected but small (60,000 active). That said, I suspect all China has to do is spend an afternoon cruise missiling a few big cities and Aussie priorities will be shifted inward.

A couple well placed nukes would do the trick. If that isn’t foremost in Scott Morrison’s mind, he has lost his mind.

I think Australia’s best bet is to be armed, prepared and transformed into a South Pacific Switzerland.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-19/report-militarization-north-australia-must-win-war-against-china

by Tyler Durden

Expanding on our June report, that outlined Australia is constructing a new naval port on its northern coast to counter a rising China in the Indo-Pacific­ region, Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said the government recognized the “vital importance” of militarizing northern Australia for national security purposes.

Senator Reynolds said, “over $8 billion will be invested in defense infrastructure in the Northern Territory alone. Northern Australia is key to Australian international engagement in support of our strategic partnerships.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/2019-06-25_14-19-33_0.png?itok=T-BOpyLd

This comes at a time when Washington and its strategic allies are falling into Thucydides Trap, referring to China, the rising power, challenging the US, the status quo, could one day lead to a shooting war somewhere in the heavily contested South China Sea and western Pacific waters.

Senator Reynolds said Australia had been warned it must militarize its northern borders amid threats of Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific­ region and prepare for the US losing its “milit­ary primacy” in the area.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and United States Studies Centre are expected to sound the alarm Monday on the lack of troops and military hardware in northern Australia and the need to increase weapon stockpiles and fuel reserves.

ASPI’s report requests the government to stress test defense, intelligence, and border security agencies in the North against sudden threats.

ASPI suggests troop deployment in the North is at decade lows calls for a “single scalable defense ­and national security ­ecosystem.”

Be seeing you

NATO

 

 

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The Real Problem: The Militarization of the NFL | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2017

Shocker! It’s about the money. Paying for “patriotism”.

It’s time for sports teams and dumb shit players to quit being the pentagons’s whore.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-real-problem-the-militarization-of-the-nfl/

 Before 2009, Colin Kaepernick would have had to find some other way to protest racism against African Americans.  That’s because until the height of the Iraq War, NFL football players weren’t even required to leave the locker room for the national anthem, much less stand for it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Militarization-Why I Don’t Like Erie PA’s New Armored Vehicle

Posted by M. C. on August 27, 2011

The new armored vehicle recently acquired by the NW PA Emergency Response Group seems relatively mundane. The concept bothers me none-the-less. The nationwide militarization of our police departments is a scary thing. What are police departments doing with armored personnel carriers, arrays of automatic weapons and, yes, stockpiles of bayonets? I haven’t seen this in our local police agencies but police in many places no longer “protect and serve”. They “take and hold“. Think Waco TX. Read the rest of this entry »

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