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11 June 2012

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Seanmcbride

The Global War on Terror=The Global War on Amalek. One really needs to understand the neoconservative agenda. The Global War on Terror is the product of a narrow messianic ethno-religious nationalist movement that has nothing to do with the American interest.

Babak Makkinejad

I think as the lethality of weapon systems increase and the costs of wars - in human and material terms - increae, terrorism could become a major way of states fighting one another.

turcopolier

Babak

"terrorism could become a major way of states fighting one another." Yes, but that is not new and it is only one pf many ways of war. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I am not saying it is new, but that it could become the dominant form.

Chris Bolan

Perhaps, but politicians and pundits alike must largely advance their public arguments in the language of national interests.

Alba Etie

I was always more of afraid of the draft dodging VP Cheney and my civil liberties then I ever was of al Qaida ..

turcopolier

Babak

I think not. This kind of thing is decisively effective against the weak and the weak minded but few others. pl

Walrus

Democracy as a system of secular humanist Government is a relatively new phenomenon - the "great experiment" is only 236 years old by my reckoning.

Against that we have a monarchical autocratic "priest/king" system which has been a feature of human organisation from about 3000BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia all the way to the demise of the Romanovs and the Hohenzollerns in 1919 and the Ottoman Empire in 1922.

When studying this phenomenon it is not difficult to speculate that American democracy and its secular humanist variants currently practiced in Europe and elsewhere are brief abberations that will not survive concerted attacks aimed at a) concentrating military, economic and political power and b) controlling the education and access to information of the masses.

To those that say "it can't happen here and now" I say that human experience is against you. The rise of politically powerful middle classes can be easily explained by the requirements of the industrial revolution for large quantities of relatively skilled workers and informed lower and middle managers.

A post industrial tyranny, enabled by computer technology, has been a persistent feature of Science Fiction since at least 1955 and the predictions of that genre have a habit of being realised. The blurring of the demarcation between policing and military activity, together with the awesome capability of current and future weapons systmes and surviellance technologies and the refusal of the military industrial complex to retreat, togehter with the cheese paring interpretations of the Constitution in the last Twelve years should be of obvious concern to you.

..and the good guys don't always win.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melian_dialogue

Jackie

Alba Etie,
My thoughts exactly. I've never been afraid of a terrorist attact, whatever a "terrorist" might be. I'm sure we have some "terrorist" here in Kansas City, Kansas, but not of the al Qaida variety.

Morocco Bama

Something had to take the place of the Cold War, except when the War On Terror ends is much less definitive.

Joe

If we get money out of politics, politicians would worry about other things than how to waste government money on their big donors. All election money should be supplied by the state. If we did this there would be no war on drugs and no war on terrorism. Politicians would be able to govern instead of trying to find their next donation.

JohnH

I agree with Dr. Bolan that "U.S. citizens and taxpayers should demand a reality-based discussion of the military, security, and intelligence forces needed to defend critical American national interests here and abroad."

Were such a discussion to percolate, the well entrenched, deep pocketed special interests whose careers and prosperity depend on security business as usual would cause something to happen to stoke Americans' fears and sense of victimization.

Israeli political are tried and true masters of fabricating threats and exploiting fear and a sense victimization. Their neo-con brethren are their collaborators and have been known to act (Iraq). Liberal interventionists have honed their skills at goading Americans into hare brained action at the drop of a allegation of potential human rights abuses (Libya).

And then there's the special case of Iran, which is probably more valuable to the security establishment as a much exaggerated threat than as a defeated enemy.

mbrenner

It is stunning that it takes a professor at the U.S. Army War College to say these things while the entire political class and foreign policy community views such sentiments as almost seditious. That is our real tragedy. This self mutilation, this corruption of our public life, this wholesale, almost cavalier abndonment of the liberies and principles that have sustained us is the writing on the wall. One can discern the outline of a tragic fate - but we lack the perception and courage to see it.

YT

Prof. Brenner,

In regione caecorum rex est luscus.

In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Ursa Maior

Dr. Bolan's fate in the next months will be a good indicator of the current system. One can only hope these days that there will be no repercussions against him for speaking so openly.

Basilisk

"Something had to take the place of the Cold War,"

Regrettably, that may be true. Whether it was purposeful or not I couldn't say, but it is clear enough that once launched the the "Global War on Terror" (no matter how we rename it) is self-sustaining. There are those whose careers are tied to the "terrorist threat." It cannot go away, it would have too large an impact on employment.

It's so much better than the Cold War, it never has to end. There has always been terrorism as a tactic of the deprived (or depraved) and there always will be. Ergo, job security, don't you see?

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I hope not. But I do find myself wondering whether some of those who are so busily throwing stones have stopped to ask themselves whether they may be living in glass houses.

In relation to Israeli terrorism against Iranian nuclear scientists, I do not know whether the possibility of ‘blowback’ is something that the Israeli government needs to be worried about. Likewise, I do not know whether the fact that it is increasingly regarded as a bunch of thugs should be of any concern to it.

The apparent insouciance of Obama and his associates about the potential implications of the use of cyberwarfare against Iran does seem to me breathtaking. From one of David Sanger’s articles:

“They approached the Iran issue very, very pragmatically,” one official involved in the discussions over Olympic Games told me. No one, he said, “wanted to engage, at least not yet, in the much deeper, broader debate about the criteria for when we use these kinds of weapons and what message it sends to the rest of the world.”

The notion that it constitutes ‘pragmatism’ to grasp for grasp for a short term advantage in an unnecessary and probably futile attempt to prevent any enrichment of uranium by Iran, without taking any thought at all about the longer term implications, seems extraordinary.

(See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/03/sunday-review/mutually-assured-cyberdestruction.html )

David Habakkuk

JohnH,

On the ‘liberal interventionists’, there is a very good dissection by Daniel Larison of proposals by Nick Kristof of the NYT for interventions in Syria and Sudan.

Nowhere in Kristof’s column, Larison observes, ‘is there any mention of what American interests are at stake in these countries, and he does not consider the possible consequences or costs of the courses of action he recommends.’

The insouciance about the likely implications both for oneself and others is indeed breathtaking.

(See http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/nick-kristof-and-liberal-interventionism-run-amok/ )

Morocco Bama

My sentiments exactly, Basilisk.

Paul Deavereaux

Dr Bolans new duty station.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/facility/images/eareckson_shemya-island.jpg

William R. Cumming

From the long term viewpoint, technology has empowered the individual and combined with Globalization the non-state actor has new freedom of maneuver IMO to disrupt nation-states. So whether destructive "individualism" will continue to plague the modern world it remains a threat. Ever wonder why Ian Fleming made James Bond hold of a liscense to kill? Perhaps those who are knowledgeable about certain technologies and their engineering will eventually be licensed by states or international organization. Highly recommend the BBC series "The Last Enemy" available by streaming and DVD.


And of course the next two weeks may well contain discussion of the terrorism of the SCOTUS team as they continue to impose their viewpoints on the USA often with total ignorance of economics, politics, national security, or whatever but that is our way. As far as I know NO member of SCOTUS has ever served on active duty in the Armed Services but could be wrong.

Chris Bolan

UM & PD: So far, so good. Thanks for the photo...looks like I'd have a good bit of time for additional reflection on these issues :=)

different clue

Sounds like the "War On Drugs".

Babak Makkinejad

There is a very sensible article by Dr. Kissinger @ http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/syrian-intervention-risks-upsetting-global-order

Babak Makkinejad

Infantile, isn't it?

And as US goes so does EU:

"We will sanction Iranian oil even if we have to ride bicycles."

To me, all of these indicate the depth of anger in US and EU policy circles against Iran and an equally high determination to restore the US-EU position to status quo ante 2003.

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