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bemildred's Journal
bemildred's Journal
February 23, 2015

IS and the morning after


The Iraq War parallel

George Tenet, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, wrote in his book At the Center of the Storm that in September 2002 CIA analysts presented the Bush administration with an analytic paper titled "The Perfect Storm: Planning for Negative Consequences of Invading Iraq." The paper included "worst-case scenarios" of what could go wrong as a result of a US-led invasion of Iraq.

The paper, according to Tenet, outlined several negative consequences:

. anarchy and the territorial breakup of Iraq;
. regime-threatening instability in key Arab states;
. deepening Islamic antipathy toward the United States that produced a surge of global terrorism against US interests.

The Perfect Storm paper suggested several steps that the United States could take that might mitigate the impact of these potentially negative consequences. These included a serious attempt at solving some of the key regional conflicts and domestic economic and political issues that have plagued the region for decades.

Unfortunately, the Bush administration spent more time worrying about defeating Saddam's army than focusing on what could follow Saddam's demise. Ignoring the Perfect Storm paper, as the past decade has shown, was detrimental to US interests, the security of the region, and the stability of some key Arab allies. The US and the region now have to deal with these consequences - anarchy, destruction, and refugees - of the Bush administration's refusal to act on those warnings.

May 3, 2014

I think both sides are bluffing, though Putin is better placed to be doing that.

I'm still not inclined to think I know what Putin thinks. But I do think a lot of this is theatrical in nature, on both sides, and the danger is that it gets out of control, and I'd say we are just about there.

April 15, 2014

As insurgents dig in near Russia, Ukraine sends in its tanks

IZYUM, Ukraine - Pro-Russian insurgents dug in Tuesday across eastern Ukraine, fortifying positions around seized buildings and erecting new barricades even as Ukrainian troops and tanks set up outside one eastern city now controlled by armed men. The uptick in war-like posturing by all sides in the Ukrainian crisis has world leaders scrambling to find a solution.

In Kiev, Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, announced an "anti-terrorist operation" to root out the separatists, but it was unclear how that measure differed from the one announced Monday, which resulted in no visible action.

The central government claimed Tuesday morning that some of the separatists had already surrendered, but so far there's been little evidence of that, reports CBS News' Holly Williams.

Much of the focus Tuesday was on the eastern city of Slovyansk, 100 miles from the Russian border, which has come under ever more secure control of the gunmen since it was taken over last weekend.


Edit: A few predictions:

1.) There is going to be something between a civil insurrection and a civil war.
2.) Russia will not invade, but will also not interfere with its citizens "helping" in Ukraine.
3.) The Fuckwits in Kiev will lose, and it won't take long.

After that, I don't know, but it probably doesn't result in immediate accession to the EU. etc.

April 14, 2014

It is standard US politics to co-opt populist movements of the left or the right.

Or the middle for that matter.

And then either fail spectactularly, or ignore the positions you ran on. Or start a war.

And it goes way back. And until people wise up to the fact that "leaders" who try to scare you or make you mad are not your friends, it will continue.

April 14, 2014

Yep, and it starts with all this "rule the world" bullshit after WWII.

Like because that war came out so well (for us), then war was the way to go.

After that war, WWII, we really did bestride the world like a colossus, and we had legitimacy out the wazoo. And we have pissed that all away, boatloads of treasure, rivers of blood, years of darkness, and all in pursuit of vainglorious fantasies of eternal dominance and delusions of permanent superiority.

And since then, it's been lots of little bitty wars with unfit adversaries, where you look like a bully even when you "win", and a few big "unconventional" wars that we just lost because we were on somebody elses turf, or the war was pursued without public support, or (often) in the face of public opposition.

And our "leaders" still can't seem to figure out why that doesn't work.

Not that we are alone in that sort of folly, but we could have learned from history. We still could. Maybe we should learn to rule ourselves first.

February 4, 2014

We are socialized according to the society we live in.

It is the first thing a child must learn, how society expects it to act. That can be compassionate, or not. Boys are often taught to suppress compassion. Women are supposed to emphasize it.

This socialization may fail, if the child is not properly cared for. And people are often lousy parents.

And some people just have more natural inclinations in one direction or the other. Empathy is tied to structures in the brain, and these may vary. Those structures seem to be of recent origin, possibly developed as we became more intensely social, and a good reading of the mood of our fellows became more essential.

February 3, 2014

Might as well enjoy life while you can.

I think the current crop of "youth" has much to be said for it. I think they are going to kick some ass, but they will find their own way to do it, like we did.

I am comforted more by my ignorance than anything else, it leaves a lot of room for the unexpected, good and bad. If one actually examines the history of the species, it's always a surprise at the time.

One of the tactics of propaganda is the pretense of inevitablity for whatever one wants to occur. What I see is that the world is not stable anymore, country after country is a country in name only, an administrative shell, a Capital surrounded by lawlessness, or a private family enterprise with sovereign rights.

I expect totalitarian governments to fail, they always do. They are inferior. The more control they try to exert, the more it slips from their hands.

January 19, 2014

That is actually how these things work, look at Syria.

The more you fuck with it, the more fucked up it gets. Duh.

This is what our military leaders cannot figure out, don't want to figure out. Human societies are not machines you change or fix like a car, not that sort of thing, at all. To change them you have to understand their dynamic functioning, assert incentives and disincentives, and nudge them to grow in the desired direction. And even then if may not work, if you are a lousy ruler, or your ideas are stupid, or the public really doesn't want to be ruled the way you think you want to rule them. Those all lead to trouble.

That is really why all the lying, secrecy, and violence are necessary, because you will NEVER convince people to do what you want voluntarily.

The old-school military theory was destroy your enemies and take all their food, women and stuff. "Crush your enemies, watch them flee before you, listen to the lamentations of da wiimmen." -- Conan. If they surrender, you let some live and be your slaves.

But that only works if a.) Your enemies are not too numerous, or you have fancy weapons that allow mass killings, and b.) they don't come for you first.

And, you cannot control a society that way for long, for duration you must have buy-in, cooperation, the citizenry has to follow the rules without being watched. This is the virtue of being a democracy, people think it's their government, so they have a bias to obey it, to cooperate. This is why hydraulic empires last so long, the citizens must obey to eat.

This is why the authority humpers, the aficianadoes of rules, coercion, manipulation, and "law and "order", want their methods (violence, secrecy, lying) obscured. If the public knew the facts, the corruption, the dishonesty, the pretense of public-service being used for private gain, they would not obey, they would obstruct and ignore and disrupt. And this is happening now.

And this is why OWS is such a threat. The truth sets you free.

October 24, 2013

Yes, it's the cheap labor conservatives, and it started in the 70s.

And it will stay that way until we tax the shit out of them again.

September 8, 2013

In chess, if you have no good options, and still must move, it's called Zugzwang.

And it means you lose. And losing always "looks weak".

Sometimes doing "nothing" is the best thing you can do, it's like "waiting" a bit. In fact, in my experience, most of the time, it's not time yet, there are no useful things you can do yet, so you wait.

Not everything can be fixed, and of those things which can be fixed, often it's still the case that YOU can't fix them.

People who try to threaten you or anger you or disgust you to get you to do something when you don't want to are salesmen, merchants, and they are not your friends. The very fact they are so vehement to get you to do something, this person who does not know you from Adam, and willing to jerk your chain emotionally to get at you, tells you to ignore what they say, they have an agenda, and it's not your well-being and autonomy.

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zugzwang

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Gender: Male
Hometown: LA/CA/Left Coast
Home country: Amurkin
Current location: Amurka
Member since: 2002
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About bemildred

Only intelligent beings can care what happens, it\'s a big responsibility.
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