Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Wikileaks, Korea, the War on Terror, Afghanistan, and Kafka in the News

with 9 comments

Sigh. I had the week’s blogs all written out, hoping that reality would be kind enough not to invalidate them before I hit the ol “publish” button, no such luck. No, world events have just kept on transpiring, so I better take a look at them. I’ll get back to Barney and Betty Hill and their encounter with the Mothman tomorrow, today some breaking news.

First out of the gate is the Wikileaks Afghanistan document releases, possibly the largest leak of classified material in US history. This is disturbing to me on a number of levels. Yeah, it’s nice to see the ugliness of the war in Afghanistan exposed, I can’t fault that. The mainstream media’s complicity in overlooking the horrors that occur in our wars is a huge part of the reason why there is no large scale opposition to them. It’s nice to see information that the government and the military has tried so hard to cover up has been released to the public domain. When people or governments keep secrets, it’s usually because they are trying to hide something or at the very least mislead. In this case, it’s just how ugly and gritty and ineffective our so called war of liberation in Afghanistan is, and how many of the people we are purportedly helping are inadvertently (or vertently in some cases)  being killed. Sadly however, the people who knew this already knew this, and the people who are in denial about this are unlikely to be moved by this revelation.

Which brings us to the scary part. The powers that be are likely discussing whether this release of classified information constitutes a “casus belli” in the war on the Constitution. At this very moment there are some who might suggest that Wikileaks founder and CEO is a “terrorist sympathizer” and thus can be detained without trial or warrant. And of course the Internet being placed under government control so that some terrible act of treason like this could never happen again. And if there’s anyone who could give a speech announcing such things in a  way that tens of millions of Americans would feel grateful for, it’s Mr Obama. And since I wrote this last night, the government has indeed claimed that this release is a “threat to national security.” Hopefully that’s as far as it will go.

On the other hand, if one really gets into the Washington Post’s recent “Top Secret America” series, the War on Terror isn’t about government control or world domination or anything ideological at all, it’s about shovelling money to the military/industrial/security complex. And the chances that either the Washington Post series or the Wikileaks leak will seriously compromise the looting is about zero. Our Byzantine government bureaucracy that has grown like a cancer in the USA since World War Two, and in some senses since the Civil War, it’s way to large and diffuse to be threatened by any one foe anymore. Contemporary America is like a scifi movie where the blob won, most people in most urban areas have been assimilated, and the few that are still fighting are just more food for the blob.

And food for the blob is the key. As long as this amazing system of government and military bases gets their zillions of truckloads of supplies every morning, all will be well. Well, all will be stable and under control. However, the infrastructure that supports this whole edifice has been decaying for decades, and eventually it’s all going to collapse from its own weight. The only thing really keeping the US empire afloat is cheap oil, and like the Spanish Empire that was run on cheap gold, those days cannot last. (I wonder if their were Spaniards worried about “peak gold” back in the day?) The Spanish Empire is my current best guess for the fate of the American Empire. Like them, our control of  a resource of vast wealth has made us a superpower, gold in their case, oil in ours. And like them, instead of reinvesting this wealth in infrastructure and other long term wealth sources, we are spending it on the military and toys for the rich. That’s  exactly why the Spanish Empire decayed so quickly and left Spain in the doldrums while France, England, and even Holland grew rich beyond imagining with colonial wealth. At least they have some lovely cathedrals to show for it, all we got are freeway interchanges and concrete stadiums.

So this is already shaping up to be an interesting week. A confrontation with Korea is in full swing, we are conducting huge military manoeuvres off their coast to teach them that making military threats is wrong. (It’s “do as I say not do as I do”  in the bizarre world of American foreign policy.) The threat to go to war with Iran is still very much on the table. Another American has been taken captive by the Taliban. In Iraq violence continues and our corrupt quisling government is still paralysed and unable to form an actual government. And just in general the American Empire, like the Gulf of Mexico, is one messed up place.

Interesting times indeed. Hell, strange creepy times. I guess that’s what gets me most about the last decade, in so many ways the parameters that define America have literally drifted off the scale. Terrorists kill and maim Americans daily, yet that’s normal? The bankers, the military, the oil companies, the security industry … do whatever they please, dictate national policy, and get handouts in the trillions just for the asking. And almost daily American military power kills innocent people abroad. Heck, we live in an America now where the president can simply have Americans murdered by naming them as terrorists. And part and parcel of the whole shebang, the rich just keep getting richer at a dizzying pace while the rest of us schmoes are being converted into serfs. In the sixties and seventies people would have been rioting and fighting back against this level of injustice and atrocity. In the eighties and nineties they would have been demonstrating.

Today … they vent on Facebook. Yeah, that’s gonna change the world. I dunno where we are going from here, but it’s a hell of a ride.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is arguably a historically important image. Credit/copyright:  Vitaly Zaporozhchenko/AP. It’s the last Soviet troops leaving Afghanistan in 1989. They look happy, don’t they?)


Written by unitedcats

July 26, 2010 at 9:19 am

9 Responses

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  1. “I dunno where we are going from here, but it’s a hell of a ride.”

    Amen! To bad most people don’t even know they are on it!

    But apathetic sheep is what the elitist banker globalists are counting/planning on for a power base….



    July 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

  2. I occasionally think you’re too cynical (especially about Israel), but I will cheerfully admit that you are cynical in an equal-opportunity fashion.

    Tom Dickson-Hunt

    July 26, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    • Thank you. The main difference between organized government and organized crime is that organized crime is far more honest. —Doug


      July 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    • I have mixed feelings about Israel. I have a hard time feeling sympathy for the Palestinians, as I’m staunchly anti-Islamism (I’m also anti-Judaism, anti-Christianity, and anti-anything else that involves belief in the utterly silly), but let’s face it–Israel presents itself as a haven of democracy in a sea of Arab tyrants, all the while treating their unwanted leftovers like, well, unwanted leftovers. This is hypocrisy. If Israel’s laws made Muslims as comfortable as they make geese(!), then I might be inclined to say that such cynicism is unwarranted, but they don’t, and so it’s not.

      Geoffrey Rose

      August 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      • *”anti-Islam” is more appropriate. And I’m not advocating oppressing a people for their beliefs, just that (what I see as) their absolute delusion makes it very difficult for me to feel sympathy for them. Take the religion out of this conflict–which includes religious decree of land-rights–and you remove a major source of justification for bad behavior on both sides. Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but that’s how I see it.

        Geoffrey Rose

        August 2, 2010 at 11:10 pm

      • “I’m staunchly anti-Islamism”
        So were the Crusdaders. Talk to me again about how Islam is the ‘faith’ that invades foreign lands and murders those of differing beliefs.
        Better yet, check to see how ‘Christianity’…that was the flag they flew on it…was used by the Nazis.
        Islamofascism is an oxymoron. The whole anti Islam campaign was dreamed up in Britain and dignified with pseudo scientific Eugenics articles.
        Search function broken on your computer ? No problem.>Topical Index>Perception Alteration
        The Matrix Reloaded is about right.

        The article has worn well. New developments intrude.


        August 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm

  3. Mr. Opit,

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. If you read between the lines, you might realize that I’m condemning religion in general, hence my mentioning all three Abrahamic faiths. To be frank, it’s all bunk. And just so you know, I recently spent several months studying, in depth, the history of the middle east, including the Arab-Israeli conflict. Add to that the fact that my in-laws are all Muslims, and I think it becomes clear that I’m not just shooting off without knowing what I’m talking about and carefully considering what I want to say. I know enough about Islam and Islamism to say that the two usually walk hand-in-hand. That’s not to say Islam is the worst of the three, but neither is it any better.

    That said, the point I was trying to make is that, while Israel is guilty as hell for the way it treats the Palestinians, I find it hard to feel sympathy for the latter because there’s something about Islam (that -ism part) that usually prevents or degrades democracies. All one need do is look to Turkey for a perfect example of what Israel might face were it to loosen its grip on its unwanted minority. Countries such as Sweden are other examples. The philosophy of Islam doesn’t leave much room for its adherents to blend well with others, and I’m sure that scares the hell out Israelis.

    Again, not really taking one side over another. So, please re-read my comments, and maybe re-think your reply.

    Geoffrey Rose

    August 5, 2010 at 8:25 pm

  4. Surprising WikiLeaks cable describes Kim Jong-il as “crazy as raccoon shit.”


    November 29, 2010 at 2:56 am

  5. Islam isn’t in my area of professed expertise. British history I’m quite a bit better in. Given that what we have is not and never was a ‘democracy’ but is and was always a farce where the common are given a false ‘parlez-ment’ or ‘talking place’ which has the seeming of fairness without being handicapped by being so in any meaningful way whatsoever…and I’ll take a dose of ‘people who live in glass houses’ about others foibles. That includes recognizing a heritage of hypocrisy, bias, discrimination and much more.
    Nor do I use ‘New Rome’ as any different then the old – except in a shorter projected lifetime.


    December 4, 2010 at 12:48 am

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