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JT McPhee
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And that personal sorrow is then the rationale for all the “policy” to follow? So more Gold Stars can be “awarded” to more families? More little cortèges making their way from Joint Base MacDill to those graveyards nearby, to keep the population on-side?
So is it just a matter of finding the right shade of lipstick to apply to the pig? Good money and troops after “bad?”
Lots of intense stuff happening, as usual. I'm just a lowly deplorable and e-4 Vietvet who's been watching the world get sicker and uglier and more stuffed with incredible hair-trigger and tipping-point vulnerabilities (like nuclear weapons and pollution) since I figured out that Catch-22 was history, not a novel. People here mostly seem to talk about tactics and strategies and to root for one team or another in the Great Game that now seems only about looting and "full-spectrum dominance" or subsets of that notion, particularized to strategies and tactics and operations overt and covert that are advantageous to the individual and his or her group or tribe or branch. My little pea brain always comes around to asking "What is this all about? What is the aim of the game, actually? Is there any chance that the axis of the game could be changed to something more of a positive-sum model, rather than the negative-sum it's mostly become? Is there any kind of organizing principle that might help all us humans facilitate our survival (with particular personal attention to my nearest and dearest friends and family members,) or is it all just "red of tooth and claw, knife in the kidney" stuff, driven by the impulses and pleasure-seeking of what I would consider to be the worst of us?" People who read here follow the minutiae and daily action reports, to the extent we are allowed to see them, looking for indications that their world views and strategic predictions are correct, maybe hoping to offer comments that reach actual Players that can affect policies and outcomes. I venture to guess that in all the offices and halls and theaters of conflict, people in action are more concerned about just doing what serves their immediate interests and promotes their personal and group goals. Is that all there is? Ignorant armies clashing by night kind of stuff? Nothing better or more sustainable or stable? I'm getting older and will be outa here soon enough. I would like to think that the human presence will become something a whole lot more benevolent and beneficent than what's shown in the dailies and what can be observed and inferred from conditions and behaviors and apparent interests and clues about the nature of this species I was randomly born into. There. That should be good for a knowing and deprecating laugh or three. Time to go abuse my soul further by reading up on the new National Security Documet, that apparently is all and only about "economic mutual death grip competition" and that vastly undefined thing that everybody presumes they hold the definition of, "national security."
There are a lot of people "involved in intelligence matters" who are no doubt subject-matter experts in the postholes they occupy or occupied within the "intelligence community" (community being a singularly unfortunate choice to describe what apparently really goes on behind all the fog and fraud and deniability). Lots of those people "involved in intelligence" have for generations busily sought to "influence" and shape the awareness and activities of not only USians but people all over the world, and their governments and other institutions too -- academia, religious, etc. At home we got various CIA and other "intelligence operations," designed to "influence public opinion" with carrots and sticks of many sorts, including heavy injections of "fear, uncertainty and doubt" into public discourse across all media. Same thing for more global activities. (not the strongest citation but there's a whole literature on this, some linked within the wiki piece.) Propaganda and espionage are ancient arts, of course. Always, there are studious efforts to update the techniques and "bring them into the __th century," e.g., No doubt the bookshelves of "intelligence community professionals" are full of many more on the subject. So there is this cast (and caste?) of "intelligence professionals," whose toolboxes are full of gadgets and playbooks on how to deceive and obfuscate and manipulate and destabilize, ostensibly "in service to the nation." In prosecution of "national objectives," that are pretty much straight imperial and corporate advantage and, in the current dream language of our rulers, "full spectrum dominance." There is lots of occasionally visible internal rivalry and shenanigans and incompetence within the "intelligence community," e.g., in the runup to 9/11, and from what I understand, that has been the case since people started sedentary agriculture and built walls to protect the granaries. A concerned citizen, trying to participate in the kayfabe of democracy as wisely as possible and to vote responsibly, tries to make sense of all the competing messaging and claims that get fed into his or her awareness in a manipulated flood. And also incorporate, in personal "estimates," as much of the history of large and tiny deceptions, and all the other stuff that "the intelligence community" and the rest of the visible stuff that military-security apparatus has done or failed at, as he or she can accommodate in memory. Good thing, I guess, for the movers and shakers who drive "policies" and "operations," that most of us can be driven to accept the manufactured consensus that our owners present to us. So to me, a claim of "long experience in the intelligence community" is as much an impeachment as a credit. But of course my personal sense of the value of such claims counts for diddly-squat, in the large context and contest of powers and principalities. It is nice to have a range of claims of expertise and claims of informed insider knowledge of how things are (supposed to be) done inside the panopticon and the quarters of the manipulators. Sorting what's true and real, in context and meaningful, from the rest, when there is so much untruth and fog generated and propagated by so many crafty and intelligent people, is a nice invitation (as likely intended) to just giving in to a sense of futility. To just go with the flow of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, to just continue to labor to earn just enough to survive on while generating the profits and extracting the resources that keep the privileged living so very large, and live in fear that some whim or miscalculation by the insiders might sweep it all away. One other pet peeve: "national actors" get reified so glibly: "Russia wants," "the US plans" and so forth. Which parts of these vast collections of moving parts are the speaker talking about, when making such generalizations? I know it's part of the lexicon, but still, when claims of accurately spotlighting strategies and tactics and policy goals are made, how about a little detail from those making the assertions?
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Nov 14, 2017