Friday, September 04, 2009

The Plan

According to the NYT Robert Gates has signaled (With middle finger?) that he was open to increasing the level of troops in Afghanistan. And here we go again as Adm. Mullen says “Time is not on our side” and there is a “sense of urgency” regarding the Afghan War. No there isn’t a sense of urgency. The only sense of urgency is in the imagination of Mullen’s fevered mind. True they say we are losing the war but then that was entirely predictable, indeed it was predicted by more than one person. A little farther down the article through the miasma of its own propaganda we find…


A wily former C.I.A. director who has worked for eight presidents of both parties, Mr. Gates will also take cues on troop increases from Mr. Obama, whose schedule and public speeches have been dominated this summer by the health care debate.

Oh that wily wascally fun loving effervescing lover of boiling cats and troop increases. The man who has worked for eight presidents of both parties. What better illustrates the continuity of presidents past and present than that wily Robert Gates? You know, every once in a while the New York Times will print a really excellent article with actual facts and information. Unfortunately this article isn’t one of those but one may still glean little tidbits of truth from the shores of this ocean of horse manure.

But it gets even better if you have the courage to read further into the article. Apparently the good General McChrystal has three options dumbed down for Obama’s consumption. They are, in fact, Plan 1 from outer space, Plan 2 from outer space, and Plan 3 from outer space, Plan 9 from outer space they already made a movie of. Plan 1 is high risk with the economy package of only 10,000 more troops, Plan 2 is the medium risk plan with 25,000 more troopers, and the new and improved low risk plan 3 from outer space for those who will settle for nothing but the best comes with a whopping 45,000 troops!

Then, unexpectedly, the wily Gates shows us some wisdom of the ages…

At the news conference, Mr. Gates said he understood why public support for the war in Afghanistan was slipping, but counseled patience. “The fact that Americans would be tired of having of their sons and daughters at risk and in battle is not surprising,” Mr. Gates said.

He asked that Americans give the strategy time to work. “Our new commander appeared on the scene in June,” he said, adding that not all of the 21,000 additional American troops Mr. Obama approved for Afghanistan in March are in place yet.

Golly, that wily Robert Gates is awful smart. He must be correct, lack of public support isn’t waning because we have been waging two brutal and illegal wars for eight tediously long years with absolutely, and I mean absolutely nothing to show for it in the eyes of the public and rightly so. It hasn’t benefited anyone except the defense industry and contractors and a few other types of parasite. It most certainly hasn’t benefited the general population of Iraq, what’s left of it. The funny thing is these guys don’t really give a damn what the public thinks any more than they care about the welfare of Iraq or anyone else other than themselves. So they will plow ahead with whatever they call it these days, humanitarian colonoscopy, spreading democracy, or what have you. Meanwhile the NYT will obviously gladly crank out much propaganda in support of U.S. imperialism.

The U.S. is playing a high stakes game gambling the stability and well being of the U.S. against the prospect of future world dominance hoping that somehow, some way, this is all going to turn out alright despite that almost every move the government makes backfires or blows up in their face. Surely with the monetary and industrial advantages that are enjoyed by the U.S. there are other ways of remaining a major world player other than this brute force that has been favored for so many long years. But now I am entering into pure fantasy so I better stop here.


At September 05, 2009 12:17 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

"The U.S. is playing a high stakes game gambling the stability and well being of the U.S. against the prospect of future world dominance hoping that somehow, some way, this is all going to turn out alright despite that almost every move the government makes backfires or blows up in their face."

Absolutely so. I wanted to bring this dynamic up, in your discussion with Bob from the other day regarding the CIA, also suggesting that possibly the CIA isn't necessarily all that monolithic in its culture.

Although the agency has, without doubt, been responsible for substantial mischief and sorrow over the years, you have to believe that there are people within the organization who do see the writing on the wall, and recognize that a transition to a post-imperial future has to be in the cards at some point.

Point being, it's reasonable to believe that there is a faction within the agency that sees things differently, and doesn't think behaving as they have in the past is the best way to secure the future, or even to maintain the relevance of the agency in particular. At this point clearly they don't have much power, but I suspect history will eventually favor them.

(I also suspect that the longer their ascendancy is forestalled, when they are finally able to convince the oligarchs to wake up and smell the Asian coffee, the more brutal the transition will be for American society-- at least for ordinary folk.)

I don't even know if that qualifies as a "beef" with Bob's p.o.v., per se, which is why I wanted to wait to flesh it out, and will wait to comment further when he finally posts.

At September 05, 2009 5:28 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Good, good post, Rob. You seem to be able to state facts strongly in simple, but meaningful language. How could anyone have believed Obama was "different" once he 1.) selected Biden as runing mate and 2.) named Gates and Clinton to his top team? But hey, the starry-eyed still love him, it seems, and the slaughter still goes on .

At September 05, 2009 3:00 PM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

The U.S. is playing a high stakes game gambling the stability and well being of the U.S. against the prospect of future world dominance hoping that somehow, some way, this is all going to turn out alright despite that almost every move the government makes backfires or blows up in their face.


Or if one simply traces the $$$ one may conclude that it's all about profiteering. The other "stimuli" aren't doing anything despite the spin-heavy messages offered by Bernanke, so Empire is falling back on the warmaking profiteering angle.

And there's the undying problem of wanting desperately to control the world's oil, which has no bearing on an innocent desire to be The World's Policeman.

Read the Iraq Study Group report. It's spelled out pretty clearly. This was never about "national security" of the democracy-transformation sort.

It's possible to see what's happening.

At September 05, 2009 6:35 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Hey thanks, what a nice thing to say.
Those are two good points and should have been dead give aways as to the nature of Obama’s White house. We see that Bill Clinton is still actually quite popular among the faithful even though he was a war hawk. Alexander Cockburn recently wrote a piece about the anti-war organizations remaining mute on the Afghan war. All that matters is that a Democrat is in the White house. Thanks for stopping by Mimi and I hope you are doing okay these days.

A thoughtful comment. I would guess you are quite correct that the CIA isn’t monolithic. If you look at Chalmers and McGovern at least when it comes to imperialism they both seem to see the writing on the wall. My impression of the CIA is that probably most of them are patriotic and feel that they are doing something for their country, how far that goes though I don’t know. I’m sure there are some real dirt-bags working for the agency but I wouldn’t think that they all are. Quite likely there is a split in the CIA probably between the upper management and the field agents and others lower in the ranks. There has always been that dynamic in any company I have worked for.

Thanks for stopping in. Unless I’m mistaken I believe we are saying pretty much the same thing here. The goal is world domination and the tool used to achieve domination is control of the oil, simple as that. I agree with the war profit angle because that’s what this nation has become, fully militarized economically, socially, and culturally. After shipping all the good jobs to China that’s about all we have left, a war culture.

At September 07, 2009 9:03 AM, Blogger Bob In Pacifica said...

Good points, Rob.

I suggested Gates' role in the permanent government back here:

While I often talk about the CIA's involvement in and placement at the scenes of our national/corporate crimes, that doesn't mean that there isn't a motive or a beneficiary beyond the CIA. Fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and cooler wars Georgia, Iran and Tibet) are all for the benefit of Big Oil. And arms providers love war for obvious reasons.

Supplying weapons is a great moneymaking scam. Not only do you make money in the immediate transaction, but you suck out more money for the sellers (and their US government partners) from the buyers by the necessity of requiring people to maintain the weapons systems.

Remember, the reason why a segment of the revolutionary Iranians were dealing with the Reagan/Bush team (and the CIA, again) during the hostage crisis in 1980 was because they wanted spare parts. After the hostage-taking Carter was not in the mood to give the mullahs spare parts. But the intelligence community was. They saw it as a money-making opportunity and a way to exploit the situation for power.

Robert Parry, who wrote THE OCTOBER SURPRISE, wrote about today's "democratic opposition" in Iran and their work with the Republicans and the CIA back in 1980 here:

And since Carter had just housecleaned the CIA, there were many operational guys who needed the work, so the secret arms deal was an employment program too!

The other thing to remember is that corporatism (that is, fascism) functions when the state serves the needs of the corporation. The best thing for corporations is a weakened state that can't resist corporate influence. Civil wars provide a means of weakening centralized states. Wars with neighboring countries are entrees into the power structure by foreign powers. Military men become more aligned with the corporations/countries that supply their weapons and training than with the guy in power.

And look at the countries that the West allows to break up. For example, the old Yugoslavia was a marginally socialist country at the end of the 80s and a force opposed to Western corporate advances into Eastern Europe. The same ethnic tensions that were exploited by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in WWII were used to chop up that country. After all the bloodshed and ethnic cleansing (and it wasn't just the Serbs, folks) I bet there are Starbucks all across the little countries of the former Yugoslavia.

The point is, and this is all making a long trip about to Jonathan's comment, the CIA is the police force, the Pinkertons if you will, of corporatists. They work in the dark, they carry their own "get-out-of-jail" cards, they have their own cheering section throughout the media. But ultimately their work profits the corporate state. If it didn't they wouldn't have survived.

One big happy family.

At September 07, 2009 11:18 AM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Bob -- good stuff.

Rob -- I agree with your response to my comment. What I didn't quite understand was the reference to a desire that "all this will turn out all right." I don't think it can be a good end for the USA as a whole, and I understood your post to be talking about the USA as a whole.

What I believe is happening here is that both parties in power, including the whole of the US Congress, are just squeezing the corpse dry as any vampire would do. I include the whole US Congress because as far as I can tell, anyone who genuinely opposed the present course was booted in the 2006 elections at the latest. I recognize there are those who are held up as courageous obstacles (i.e. Kucinich) but I don't see those folks actually making much noise.

The theory held by many observers is that anyone who actually makes noise will be killed, and the evidence offered is usually Paul Wellstone's untimely death. I don't doubt that our Fed Govt is capable of murdering its own, but I think it's a lot easier these days to merely do as was done with Cynthia McKinney -- merely railroad the seated member out of his/her seat, with a mud-smearing campaign that praises someone from the ejected person's own party as if the ejected person needs replacement. I'm not convinced that Wellstone was murdered by our govt, because I can't recall anything Wellstone did that was a genuine threat to those who hold power. In my view, Kucinich isn't far different and Kucinich remains seated.

We can imagine that Congresspeople are elected by the populace, but that's a nifty delusion allowed to exist in order to quell any sorts of real effective public massing against those currently in power. As I've said many times, if Kucinich were actually effective at exposing the fraud, murder, inhumanity of the Fed Govt he'd not be in his seat still. What he does is offer theatre, in exchange for which he remains in the public eye and is thrown an occasional bone by the infotainment media, who will periodically pay attention to him as if he's making big differences on the Hill.

Anyone who gains a seat in the Congress these days is pre-approved by those who hold monetary and political power. It's possible to be so approved even while offering a "progressive" perspective, mainly because the "progressives" these days are about appearance and not action.

At September 08, 2009 5:43 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

One big happy family indeed. You know I’m reminded of a special program that was on PBS a number of years ago. It was about how the upper crust lived. The fellow narrating the show, can’t recall his name though he is a comedian, attended a party in Washington whose guests included members of Congress from both parties, journalists – those erstwhile “watchdogs” and there they all were. In public they appear to be at odds but at the party all were best of friends, one big happy family.
I don’t know if you have read any of Paul Craig Roberts but he just wrote some very critical things regarding the CIA. Here is a snippet…

The CIA program is so indefensible that when CIA director Leon Panetta found out about it six months after being in office, he cancelled the program (assuming those running the program obeyed) and informed Congress.

Yet, the CIA wants the person who revealed its crime to be punished for revealing secret information. A secret agency this unmoored from moral and legal standards is a greater threat to our country than are terrorists. Who knows what false flag operation it will pull off in order to provide justification and support for its agenda. An agency that is more liability than benefit should be abolished.

Yes, the CIA ought to be abolished; it’s an integral part of our imperialism and is therefore destructive to all concerned.


What I believe is happening here is that both parties in power, including the whole of the US Congress, are just squeezing the corpse dry as any vampire would do.

Yes! That is a very good description and in fact I view Obama as the undertaker taking measurements for the coffin. I say that because of Afghanistan which I think stands a good chance of making everything unravel and come apart at the seams, or so it seems (sorry about that).

That’s a good point about smear campaigns being easier than a bullet in the head. I think there is a good chance the CIA was behind Ted Kennedy’s dip in the river that ruined his chance of running for president. I can see Tricky Dick Nixon ordering it and the CIA doing it. But that is just a guess.

On Congressional nominees I have to agree, in fact many come from very wealthy families which is not a coincidence.

At September 08, 2009 6:00 PM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...


If you examine what is happening globally to the US Economy and the power of the US Dollar, you find reasons why those in power are bleeding the corpse.

Have you ever watched the UK journalist's video interview of Jim Rogers?

That explains why we're not hearing the truth from our Fed Govt... assuming Rogers is correct, of course. I'm not an "economist" but I do pay attention to what is happening with nations around the world and their respect (or not) for American business and the US Govt as such business's handmaiden. We have seen in the past year a lot of repositioning of foreign nations' support. Hugo Chavez brokered deals with Asian nations to give them oil and other access to Venezuelan resources, while thumbing his nose at America. America is heavily indebted to China and Japan. Middle Eastern nations are slowly moving away from pricing their bourses in the US Dollar. All these signs point to a dying American economy, from a global perspective.

If you were in the unique position of leading America as POTUS or a Congressperson, and your interests were more selfish than selfless, where would you put your energies? In making a smooth transition that benefits all Americans? Or in protecting your own interests?

If protecting your own interests was enhanced, if your interests were more strongly protected by NOT telling the American people the truth, would you be interested in telling them the truth?

I think it's tough for considerate, thoughtful people to appreciate just how craven and callous politicians are. It's easy for highly partisan people to see the "other" party as craven and callous, but it's tougher to see one's own "team" as the same way.

One of the up-sides of Obama & Co behaving as they are is that it's becoming a lot tougher for partisan Democrats to continue believing there's a significant difference. What I hear most often these days is,

"well at least he's better than McCain would have been"

...which ought to raise flags of obvious question-begging, specifically, how would one presume there would be any difference of substance under McCain, if Obama's continuing the previous 8 years of Republican agenda points?


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