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18 November 2015

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rjj

"A place to look at for the start of this is the University of Chicago's Great Books program."

only thing wrong with the Great Books project was the embalming job by Great Bore mediators such as Mortimer Adler and Harold Bloom.

FB Ali

In my earlier comment (18 November 2015, 11:25 PM) I had refrained from expressing an opinion on the main issue raised. However, this thoughtful and thought-provoking post, and the excellent discussion on it, obliges me to place my views on the record (even though they be of an outside observer).

I tend to agree with Origin that US policy is largely made by a small group of people in positions at the top of the power structure (the Cabal, as he calls it). Because they share common views and goals tends to shape the ongoing consensus that exists among them, without there being any need for a 'conspiracy'. However, I would add another element to the mix that supports and propels their policies forward. This is the old "military-industrial complex", now reinforced by a group of think-tanks and sundry 'intellectuals'.

I doubt if the primary goal of the Cabal is to "create chaos" in the 'crescent rimlands'. Rather, their goal is the primacy of US power throughout the world (creating chaos in certain areas is a means to that end). The main goal of the military-industrial complex is to make money through the militarization of the US and its international allies. (This is not very different from the dynamics that underlay the old British Empire. The goal of the politicians was the primacy of British power in the world; the aim of the merchant (and later the industrial) class was to make money off the conquered lands).

I think it is incorrect to view Israel as merely being used by the Cabal to create chaos in the ME. It seems to me that it is Israel, through its adherents in the Cabal, which seeks to shape US policy in the ME in its own interests, which are to destabilise the Muslim countries of the region.

There is no doubt that these policies have not proven beneficial to the US and its people, a point reiterated by Ingolf (and others). But that was not the goal of the Cabal; they sought unrivalled power for the US, not prosperity for its people. However, even on their own terms, it is open to question whether the means they have used are not self-defeating. What they have done is to push Russia, which once earnestly sought to join the West, into the arms of China, thus creating the potential for a vast continental power in Eurasia, a power that will rival the US. While the scope for creating chaos in the rimlands of this continental power will remain, the chances of thereby defeating this power have diminished significantly.

Hanging over all this (and all of us) as a dark cloud is the ever-present danger of a deadly miscalculation that leads to an unstoppable spiral into nuclear oblivion for our world. It appears more and more thinking people, even in the US, now pin their hopes (as I do) on the Russian and Chinese leaders, instead of the US, to avert this cataclysm. That in itself is an appropriate judgement on the Cabal.

Thomas

Then it is a misunderstanding of terms, what you call the Cabal many of us here see as the Borg, it's Brain, Neo-Cons, the Deep State, etc. After all Neo-Con Michael Leeden has publically stated that they are after societal destruction, and Bremer is a Kissinger disciple.

One key thing you left off in your quote from Narcissus was when he told Susskind that we are an empire now and that is what going on, Imperial Games of no rules for me only for thee. It won't last long.

Thomas

"I think it is incorrect to view Israel as merely being used by the Cabal to create chaos in the ME. It seems to me that it is Israel, through its adherents in the Cabal, which seeks to shape US policy in the ME in its own interests, which are to destabilise the Muslim countries of the region."

You could also add for their own Imperial Goals. The Ukrainian Oligarchs trying to drag US into their war are dual citizens in Israel.

Babak Makkinejad

I think I am misunderstood women prefer handsome men -

Ingolf


This is a rather curious discussion. Although Furrukh tends to come down on Origin's side, there's almost nothing in his reply that I disagree with. Indeed his summary of what drives US foreign policy isn't markedly different to mine. In tone, perhaps, but not in content.

That "US policy is largely made by a small group of people in positions at the top of the power structure" is surely true. Then again, I imagine it's also true in most countries. The influence of those who benefit from conflict, together with that of ideologically oriented think tanks, is, I would have thought, common ground for pretty much everyone on SST. Ditto Israel, although as is evident in this thread, opinions here are a little more divided.

So what's the real difference between Origin and those of us who disagree with him? For me at least, it's his conclusion that this "small group of people" (in his terms, the Cabal) have for decades been deliberately promoting chaos in order to ensure the US stays at the top of the heap. That chaos has been the overwhelming result of US policy is hardly controversial; I can't imagine many, if any, of this Committee would disagree. The question is whether that was the intent.

There's no doubt there are times when chaos is exactly what's sought (like Syria of late), but I think the ever increasing chaos has for the most part been unintentional. The policies that give rise to it stem primarily from a failure to properly grasp either history or present reality, together with a warped, often delusional intellectual framework and an innate presumption of superiority. In other words, the "blindness" the Colonel mentions.

Take Iraq. Did Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al have in mind what actually happened? To the extent they'd thought it through at all, I'm pretty sure they figured they could manage events, that the overthrow of Saddam would trigger a (profitable) transformation not only in Iraq, but in time across the Middle East. Ditto with Iran in 1953 (to take another of Origin's examples); the goal wasn't chaos, the goal was a satrap in place. That it ultimately failed disastrously, producing chaos, seems to me yet another result of a deficient underlying framework. And aren't many of the policies presently producing chaos, if we trace them back, deeply rooted in these two catastrophic foreign policy failures? Certainly, viewed through Origin's template that this was (and is) about preventing unfavourable shifts in the power balance, there was no reason to do anything dramatic in the Middle East in 2002; things were OK for the US.

There's little to quibble with in Origin's description of where things stand. Chaos (and policies that can only result in further chaos) have indeed become ever more common. To my mind the question is whether that's more a consequence of cascading failure than of any conscious plan.

Origin

Gen. Ali, Ingolf and all,

One of the peculiar things about a Committee of Correspondence is the way it winds around and explores a topic from so many different sides.

What started all of this was the simple question posed at the very beginning of this thread. Whose side are we on? The question arose in my mind because it seems that the U.S. is both supporting and subverting the Sunnis we supposedly hate, IS-AQ-JAN and supporting the "moderate" rebels who are supporting the Sunnis we supposedly hate. At the same time, I have always been puzzled at the source of the fierce hatred expressed by so many against Assad. After, the U.S. which has a strong Christian element in its heritage seems a probable supporter of Assad because he has protected the small remaining Christian minority in Syria while the ones we support-subvert seem to want nothing but Salafist ethnic cleansing. The facts just made no sense. I was looking for the U.S. master game plan to obtain the Cabal's goal of total domination.

After going through the progressions of thought I outlined, I came to believe that the STRATEGY being applied is the tool of intervening at all points to disrupt, that is to destabilize all parties in the local theater and across the globe. There has been a misunderstanding of the immediate target of the strategy, destabilization, with the goal that the strategy is intended to foster, domination, or as Gen. Ali phrases it, primacy of power.

It is my view that the adoption of the strategic tool of destabilization, applied to every nail is really a strategic failure because it really means that the party applying the tool, the U.S. has lost its guiding light. When chaos is all that can be added to the equation, more positive strategies and results cannot be used or achieved. The Beacon on the Hill is now dimmed and nearly extinguished.

In response to Ingolf, I think the final, desperate resort to destabilization and the only strategic tool commonly employed is a cascading failure of morals, imagination, and foreign policy expertise. The Cabal simply cannot learn a better way, so they can only find a hammer to use whether it is on a nail or a piece of fine china. It is also a conscious plan because, surely, those in the Cabal know a hammer is not a good tool, yet, in desperation and lack of skill or imagination, the hammer is intentionally used because they know it works most of the time. It may now be that considering the multiplicity of contexts in the world, that old hammer is still the highest and best technology available to remain dominant. If you hammer enough nails, many will be bent, but most will hold. In my view, the choice of strategy is intentional.

As for my position that Israel is being played too, I am sticking to it, not having yet seen a sufficient argument to the contrary. I will concede that we may prefer Israel in many circumstances, but to the extent we may prefer Israel, we are just hastening its demise. Also, Israel often acts as our proxy using their hammer to pound our nails. In the end, if Israel gets too haughty or gangs up with the wrong party, the U.S. will subtly crush it as it would any other challenger, anywhere on the globe.

Origin

Andrew B.

Colonel Lang forwarded me your email today. I, not he, am the author of this thread under my byline of Origin. In order to maintain my anonymity, I will not reply to it directly. From reading your works, it seems to me you could add to this Committee of Correspondence. As long as you follow the Colonel's rules, I am sure you will be welcome. Of course, the Colonel has final moderator's power as he should as the owner of the site.

Origin

The last post should be Andrew K instead of B. My typo

Ingolf


"I think the final, desperate resort to destabilization as the only strategic tool commonly employed is a cascading failure of morals, imagination, and foreign policy expertise. The Cabal simply cannot learn a better way, so they can only find a hammer to use whether it is on a nail or a piece of fine china."

You plead your case eloquently, Origin, but it seems to me you also acknowledge the central point I was trying to make. Namely, that the increasing use of this primitive and unpredictable tool is a confession of failure on many levels.

If the worldview of the foreign policy elite (no matter how "smart" they may be) is out of sync with the real world, isn't it to be expected that its actions over time will generate ever more unintended consequences? And that its reaction to those will in turn produce more of the same with each cycle likely to be increasingly chaotic?

I don't think we need to posit a retrofitted rationale to satisfactory explain what's happened. When most of the negative feedback pouring in is ignored because it doesn't fit prevailing preconceptions and desires, then rather than self-correcting the machinery will in time shake itself to pieces.

Fred

Ingolf, Origin, FB Ali,

Origin says “…fierce hatred expressed by so many against Assad. After, the U.S. which has a strong Christian element in its heritage…” to which I agree but I do not find this puzzling. There is an intellectual conformity amongst the policy elite; which I credit to their early training amongst institutions that are no longer known for promoting anything of our Christian heritage, quite the opposite since the ‘60s. It seems to me that this hatred expressed against Assad is a manifestation of reality (the complexities of human nature, especially the role religious belief plays in a mans life) imposing itself quite ruthlessly upon an intellectual conception held by the Cabal. They certainly have the intellectual ability to see this but I doubt the courage; certainly not the courage to speak out due to the cost. Which says all that needs be said about what they truly value.

de castro

Wow wow. Twice as many comments as the "story"
Surprise surprise !

glupi

Graf Andrássy wanted to use the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina as counterbalance and anchor against the Slavic sea (Russia's "pan-slavism" lurking ominously behind)

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