Monday, September 8, 2014

It Depends on What the Meaning of the Word IsIs

How to declare war the slick Clintonesque way?  Parse it to death. Drone on and  on and on until the free-floating angst of a nation is rendered into acquiescence. Bore them to death with clinical academic discourse. The only bodies shown on TV will be the headless ones. The only atrocities ever shown on YouTube will be the ones committed by the latest in a whole series of CIA-manufactured renegades.

Assure anyone still paying attention that there will be no American boots on the ground despite the fact that at least a thousand pairs of boots are currently on the ground. Assure them that it will take at least three years to exterminate whoever dares stand in the way of the profiteering oil companies which dictate American foreign policy. However, be sure to substitute the words "American interests" and "ethnic minorities" for the corporations and their multibillion-dollar luxury bunker known as the embassy in Baghdad. Assure the lesser American people that other, lesser countries are also being asked to "chip in," so that the atrocities and the terror can be spread around. Brag that you've already got a whole baseball team (nine) of them, but neglect to mention that to the extent it exists at all, it's a farm league made up entirely of back-benchers and cheerleaders, with an occasional at-bat by a pinch hitter: maybe a Jordanian pilot flying an American bomber.

Obama, whose first presidential campaign was also declared the winner of AdWeek's 2009 marketing campaign contest, who disingenuously claimed on TV that optics are not his forte, will very deliberately and very optically and very officially declare yet another surge in Forever War this Wednesday. It is, of course, purely a coincidence that this date coincides with our great National Terror Holiday, known as Nine-Eleven.

Let the government mouthpiece of record try to explain:
The Obama administration is preparing to carry out a campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that may take three years to complete, requiring a sustained effort that could last until after President Obama has left office, according to senior administration officials.
The first phase, an air campaign with nearly 145 airstrikes in the past month, is already underway to protect ethnic and religious minorities and American diplomatic, intelligence and military personnel, and their facilities, as well as to begin rolling back ISIS gains in northern and western Iraq.
Oh, and they're going to Syria. It's the next best thing to Disneyland for the neocon war hawks. They're already measuring their pudgy little fingers for their World War Series rings:
“Everybody is on board Iraq,” an administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the policy is still being developed. “But when it comes to Syria, there’s more concern” about where airstrikes could lead. The official nonetheless expressed confidence that the countries would eventually come around to taking the fight into Syria, in part, he said, because “there’s really no other alternative.”
Once you've already "done" Afghanistan and Iraq, (and Yemen and Pakistan) there really is no alternative but to go on to the next theme park of terror. Might as well -- it's in the neighborhood, only a no-exit away on the Bellicose Highway.
As Bertrand Russell wrote nearly a hundred years ago in "Why Men Fight," there are only two ultimate aims of war: wealth and power. War is the manifestation of a profound lack of impulse control.“The state makes an entirely artificial division of mankind and of our duties toward them: towards one group we are bound by law, toward the other only by the prudence of highwaymen. The State is rendered evil by its exclusions, and by the fact that whenever it embarks upon aggressive war, it becomes a combination of men for murder and robbery.”

One such felon is George W. Bush's former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.N., now under investigation for money-laundering of the billions of dollars and euros he officially looted in his capacity as a "diplomat." The suspect, one Zalmay Khalilzad, is still active in the war business in his capacity as founder and president of Gryphon Partners, which "advises companies and wealthy individuals on business opportunities in several industries and regions, including high-risk territories."

According to AP, "he sits on the boards of the National Endowment for Democracy, America Abroad Media, the Mideast studies center at Rand Corp., the American University of Iraq and the American University of Afghanistan. He also is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and writes about foreign policy issues and frequently appears on U.S. news shows."

You can watch this war profiteer/media personality teaming up just last month with one of Obama's former "national security" advisers/media personalities to foment more war in this recent CNN (The War Channel) clip.

 If we do not have enemies, we create them. ISIS is the pure creation of neo-con warmongers and the military contractors and Wall Street capitalists. It's only the latest mutation in the toxic stew sloshing endlessly in the closed feedback loop of money begetting power begetting death begetting more money, more power, more death. The nightmare quest for "national security," in turn, begets nothing but endless insecurity.

Is it any wonder that American leaders are escalating international war in the wake of Ferguson and increasingly unsustainable wealth disparity? It is imperative that this dying republic herd the citizens into the veal pen to bray helplessly and fearfully at more and more manufactured enemies, thus keeping us in line on the domestic front. Just when we have met the Enemy and he is the plutocratic Police State (not us) our attention must be diverted to a different, external menace. That is the meaning of the word ISIS --  in the words again of Russell, "it is the essence of the State to suppress violence within and facilitate it throughout."

Come to think of it, World War I has never really stopped raging, has it?


James F Traynor said...

"Come to think of it, World War I has never really stopped raging, has it?"

Denis Neville said...

The beating of war drums is the most persistent sound that reverberates through history.

"When a nation talks of its honour, it means its prestige. National prestige is a reputation for the will to war. A nation's honour, then, is measured by a nation's willingness to use force to maintain its reputation as a user of force. If one could imagine the game of tiddleywinks assuming a supreme importance in the eyes of statesmen, and if some innocent savage were to ask why tiddleywinks was so important to Europeans, the answer would be that only by skill at tiddleywinks could a country preserve its reputation as a country skilful at tiddleywinks. Which answer might cause the savage some amusement." - A.A. Milne, World War I propagandist and creator of Winnie the Pooh, Peace With Honour: an Enquiry Into the War Convention

The war drums of Washington and its media whores are beating louder and louder.

One would think that the last thing the American people want is another war in the Middle East.

George Orwell reminds us:

“At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.”

The future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, globalisation, staggering inequality and environmental change:

A public unable to effect real change by acting only as spectators means they will only ever be seen as such by those in power.

“If we are ever to escape the snare of ineffectual resistance, the art of protesting needs to break free from its current condition, which blocks almost all meaningful expression and participation and allows activist organizations to become as giant and as unanswerable as the states they seek to contest.” - Temujin Doran

Obey? Or rebel?

Denis Neville said...

“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” - Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays

How stupid do they think we are?

“This is a terrorist group the likes of which we haven’t seen before, and we better stop them now. It ought to be pretty clear when they start cutting off the heads of journalists and say they’re going to fly the black flag of ISIS over the White House that ISIS is a clear and present danger.” - Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida

More war please!

Glenn Greenwald, “Americans Now Fear ISIS Sleeper Cells Are Living in the U.S., Overwhelmingly Support Military Action,”

Stupidity is the same as evil when one judges the results.

So once again we’re going to war in the Middle East.

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." - Voltaire

Jay - Ottawa said...

George Bush Fils only passed two wars on to his successor. It appears Obama will one up Bush by passing three wars –– smoulding Iraq and Afghanistan and now red hot Syria –– on to Hillary Superhawk.

Ukraine just might make it four if NATO would just man up. Nothing wrong with an Iron Curtain as long as the next one is hung by the good guys well to the east of Western Europe. We’ll have to see what happens in the talks between Ukraine (and its backers) and Putin (being backed into a corner)..

Wars keep a war machine lubricated and in tip top shape. To the generals, peace means rust. Repetition is the mother of learning. Practice makes perfect. The more deployments, the more experienced and unbeatable the front line troops. Ammunition supply lines are more reliable if allowed to operate without interruption.

Casualties? Well, Shinseki is out. The VA under new leadership is being reorganized and better financed to provide better service and more timely care. So bring on the casualties. Those still breathing go to the bright new VA system; coffins will continue to be unloaded at Dover after dark.

Support our troops, and in three or four years ISIS will be WASWAS.

annenigma said...

It also depends on what the meaning of the word ISIL is. Notice how Obama insists on referring to ISIS as ISIL. Why? It leaves out the name of the real target of this sabre rattling - SYRIA and its president, Bashir al-Assad.

That's how Obamaspeak works - he either says the opposite of what is true or uses words to misdirect. That way he gets to avoid questions about the real intent, risks, and outcome - the overthrow of Assad and a proxy war with Russia. How can the public object to starting a war against evil ISIL?

This war is inevitable. Obama's ego has taken a serious hit with low approval ratings that continue to drop, and he has a failed Presidency to try to rehabilitate in a mere 2 years left. It could also have the added benefit of helping retain a Democrat in the White House since the country doesn't like to change warhorses in midstream, and this war should be raging during the next election. Some have projected that Obama's War will last at least 3 years. 3 decades is more like it.

When Obama threatened to bomb Syria two years ago and changed his mind supposedly due to lack of public support (we wish), it was undoubtedly because he had a longer range plan in view and needed time to implement the revised plan properly. "We don't have a plan yet"? That means he most certainly did.

Many have questioned how it is that the Intelligence Community didn't see ISIS coming a mile away. Obviously they did, but they need them as cover and propaganda for the new and improved plan to bomb Syria by making it look like evil ISIL is the enemy. That plan seems to be working too. Notice how the media isn't asking or addressing the issue of bombing the sovereign nation of Syria, ally to Russia, and the repercussions of that. They, and the public, are being being misled to focus simply on ISIL. How can the public possibly object to waging war against such barbaric thugs?

Obama plans to kill two birds, Syria's Assad and Russia (and ultimately a few hundred thousand more in collateral damage) with one stone. ISIS will of course survive and disperse globally, just like Al Qaeda. In his futile attempt to rehabilitate his failed presidency, Obama will unwittingly provide cohesiveness to the many enemies of Empire, ala 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Imperial egos are not just expensive and dangerous, they can also be easily played. Obama is using ISIS but they are using him as well. This will not end well for the Empire.