Friday, September 14, 2012

The Government of MOMCOM: Wartocracy - 2

We all seem to like to play with new words from time to time.

In the first post of this series Dredd Blog used the word "wartocracy" to indicate a type of government.

That word envisions a form of government based on the lusts of those few who control the reigns of war departments of government, specifically those who harbor and seek to increase the lust for war (Is War An Art or Is War A Disease?).

Since "lust" is difficult to condense into a concept of action at a governmental level, we have also viewed it from the perspective of "bullying" as envisioned by George Orwell, which he wrote about as bullying at the governmental level rather than at the individual level (Bully Worship: The Universal Religion).

The point being made in all of this is that the character of any government cannot be discerned nor described by the mere use of the word "government".

So, Dredd Blog got more into it by considering the various words used to characterize different types of government, different because they behave differently from one another:
The reality becomes at once obvious when one considers the many different forms of government that exist, or have existed, over time:
Androcracy, Aristocracy, Autocracy, Communist state, Confederation, Consociationalism, Corporatocracy, Corporatism, Demarchy, Democracy, Despotism, Empire, Ethnocracy, Fascist state, Federation, Feudalism, Garrison state, Gerontocracy, Green state, Hierocracy, Isocracy, Interregnum, Kakistocracy, Kratocracy, Kleptocracy, Kritarchy, Kritocracy, Kyriarchy, Logocracy, Matriarchy, Mediocracy, Meritocracy, Minarchism, Monarchy, Nanny state, Nation-state, Nomocracy, Noocracy, Ochlocracy, [Oilagarchy], Oligarchy, Panarchism, Pantisocracy, Parliamentary state, Patriarchy, Provisional government, Plantocracy, Plutocracy, Police state, Polyarchy, Presidential, Puppet state, Republic, Socialist state, Sociocracy, Squirearchy, Stratocracy, Sultanism, Superpower, Supranational union, Synarchy, Technocracy, Thalassocracy, Theocracy, Timocracy, Tribe, Tyranny, Unitary state, [Wartocracy], Welfare state
(Forms of Government). The creation of jobs in an Autocracy does not take place in the same manner as it does in a Communist state, for example.
(Who Are The Job Creators?). "What are some of the signs of a Wartocracy Dredd?", you may be wondering, so let's take a look:
It’s pop-quiz time when it comes to the American way of war: three questions, torn from the latest news, just for you.

...

Now, consider question two in our little snap quiz of recent war news:

In 2011, what percentage of the global arms market did the U.S. control?

...

a) 37% ($12.1 billion), followed closely by Russia ($10.7 billion), France, China, and the United Kingdom.

b) 52.7% ($21.3 billion), followed by Russia at 19.3% ($12.8 billion), France, Britain, China, Germany, and Italy.

c) 68% ($37.8 billion), followed by Italy at 9% ($3.7 billion) and Russia at 8% ($3.5 billion).

d) 78% ($66.3 billion), followed by Russia at 5.6% ($4.8 billion).

Naturally, you naturally eliminated “d” first. Who wouldn’t?

...

The correct answer for 2011, however, is the singularly unbelievable one: the U.S. actually tripled its arms sales last year, hitting a record high, and cornering almost 78% of the global arms trade.
(Tom Dispatch , emphasis added; see also HuffPo). This is why Dredd Blog points out that war is the Highway 61 of the 1% (War is the Highway 61 of the 1%).

We talked about what a U.S. General and a Secretary of Labor called "a coup d' etat" in yesterday's post (Ye Olde Gunboat Diplomacy Rides Again), so let's finish with what a former Deputy Secretary of The Treasury says about it:
... as a presidential appointee to high office, I had high level security clearances. In addition to my duties as Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, I had FEMA responsibilities in the event of nuclear attack. There was a mountain hideaway to which I was supposed to report in the event of a nuclear attack and from which I was supposed to take over the US government in the event no higher official survived the attack.

...

The government’s agents and apologists try to deflect attention from disturbing facts by redefining factual evidence revealed by experts as the product of “a conspiracy culture.” If people despite their brainwashing and lack of scientific education are able to absorb the information made available to them, perhaps both the US Constitution and peace could be restored. Only informed people can restrain Washington and avert the crazed hegemonic US government from destroying the world in war.
(Paul Craig Roberts, emphasis added). As the song lyrics say, "this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around".

The previous post in this series is here.

The lyrics to the following song ("Life During Wartime") are here.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ye Olde Gunboat Diplomacy Rides Again

Gunboat SMS Panther - Wikipedia
Over the past decade, during the Bush II administration, U.S. foreign policy went back in time to the era of gunboat diplomacy.

Over several decades prior to the advent of the Bush II foreign policy, much ideological ground had been gained by civil discourse and economic interaction toward global prosperity and peace, conducted by the diplomatic corps of The United States of America ... gains which had been carefully and skillfully developed over sophisticated diplomatic inroads, utilizing the techniques of modern civilized professional diplomacy, which eventually extended all the way from Russia, to China, and even to the Middle East.

Almost everywhere ratings, approvals, and acceptance of the U.S. was high, robust, and for the most part favorable, reaching a peak in this month of September of 2001 following the 9/11 attacks ("We are all Americans now" - French Leader).

It was a time to take careful aim, to build upon our national popularity and prosperity around the globe, but before taking aim the neoCon warmonger elements within the nation seized our foreign policy in what the general who commanded NATO forces called a coup:
"What happened in 9/11 is we didn't have a strategy. We didn't have bipartisan agreement. We didn't have American understanding of it. And we had instead a policy coup in this country, a coup, a policy coup.

Some hard nosed people took over American policy and they never bothered to inform the rest of us."
(A Tale of Coup Cities, quoting Gen. Wesley Clark). Immediately following the foreign policy coup, they shot before taking aim, and the wars they started are still going or being discontinued.

Much was lost or severely eroded in terms of the image of the U.S. by the knee-jerk reactions and policy changes they forced on America and the world:
Since then, polls conducted by the U.S. Government and respected private firms have revealed a precipitous decline in favorability toward the United States and its foreign policy. The generally positive ratings from the 1950’s to 2000 moved to generally negative after 2002. As the very first witness in a 10-hearing series with pollsters and regional analysts told the Subcommittee — “We have never seen numbers this low.”

The reversal is unprecedented and widespread ...
(Decline of U.S. Reputation - Why?). Eventually the madness of the neoCon policy coup became ever so obvious by a statistic comparing marching bands to diplomatic bands:
The U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service — and that’s preposterous.
(Is The Empress Taking Off Her Clothes?, quoting NY Times). It is little wonder that the good will the U.S. had in the world eroded as the jobs in the diplomatic corps dried up in the bloodlust for wars and more wars.

Their gunboat ideology, taken from the 18th century, is described as:
The term ["gunboat diplomacy"] comes from the period of colonial imperialism, where the European powers would intimidate other states into granting trade or other concessions (unequal treaties) through a demonstration of their superior military power. A country negotiating with a European power would notice that a warship or fleet of ships had appeared off its coast. The mere sight of such power almost always had a considerable effect, and it was rarely necessary for such boats to use other measures, such as demonstrations of cannon fire.
(Wikipedia, Gunboat Diplomacy). We discussed the issue in graphic terms about the re-activation of the Fourth Fleet:
The 5th Fleet together with troops are in the Middle East where there is lots of oil.

The 4th Fleet has been reactivated after 58 years of being moth balled, and has been sent to Central / South America where there is also lots of oil.

A website of the federal government tells us:
"Oil is the lifeblood of America’s economy."
(Department of Energy [they removed it, so here is The Wayback Machine copy of that page: Department of Energy]). Which is the same thing as saying you are economically dead without your blood, your oil.

The struggle for economic life then, would be the struggle for oil would it not?

Bush II put it in the cowboy language during a state of the union address to congress, saying that "America is addicted to oil".
(The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil). We have also mourned the fact that this policy, which we call "The W Direction", has been followed up on too much by the Obama Administration:
Of course it was only coincidence that the Brazilian oil discovery in late 2007 (the world's largest find in 30 years) was quickly followed by the reactivation of the U.S. Navy's 4th Fleet that had been mothballed for 58 years.

It was only further coincidence that the 4th fleet went south to end up anchored around and about that "Brazilian" oil field.

Oh and yes it was another coincidence that Obama announced the invasion of Libya, the country with the largest oil reserves in Africa, on the day he arrived in oil rich Brazil.
(The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil - 2). This gunboat diplomacy has come back to haunt us, as we pointed out in yesterday's post, concerning the destruction and attacks on various U.S. Embassies (Oil's Well That Ends Well - 3).

"It's been a long time coming":


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oil's Well That Ends Well - 3

Less oil requires more control
In this series we have been discussing foreign relations that result from the U.S. activity around the world that is necessitated by the addiction to oil.

This is not a discussion of dirty oil's pollution, global warming induced climate change, or economic problems developing because of the rise of oil prices (see e.g. New Drug Dealer - Same Addiction or New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage for examples of coverage of those issues).

Today's post in this series is more to the point about the policies involved causing the Libyan and Egyptian attacks on the U.S. embassies (see 'US ambassador killed' in Libya protest and Protesters attack U.S. diplomatic compounds in Egypt, Libya).

Today we argue that those embassy-attack events of 9/11/12 are of the same nature as those that happened during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (see 1983 Beirut barracks bombing), which we call "blow-back" or "unintended consequences."

For example, when we invaded Libya it had a system that guaranteed health care, education, home loans, cheap energy, and the like to all its citizens:
... the fact that the Libyan people were cared for by their government (they shared in the revenue when their oil was sold, and it was deposited into their bank accounts; they had benefits at no cost to them such as health care, full education, zero interest loans, $50,000 upon marriage, free land use for farmers together with seeds and tools, cheap gasoline at .14 cents per liter, half of the purchase of a vehicle provided to them, and on and on) was not the reason they were invaded "in order to save them from their government".
(MOMCOM And The Sins of Libya). Is it too hard to see that removing those citizenship benefits and giving them to The Private Empire would cause problems?

Let's remember that this is an old U.S. foreign policy, shown by a quote from a book written in 1944:
The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims, while incidentally capturing their markets; to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples, while blundering accidentally into their oil wells.
(Iraq: World's Number One Oil Producer?, quoting 1944 book). We can get to a detailed explanation in a more recent book:
"How America 'manages' Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa's subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world's central continent. About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources."
(Oil's Well That Ends Well - 2, quoting The Grand Chessboard). That book by Zbigniew Brzezinski incidentally also points out the problem we have run into:
"Never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public's sense of domestic well-being. The economic self-denial (that is, defense [war] spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties, even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization."
(ibid). No democracy has done it before, but the myth of American exceptionalism generates a foreign policy that won't work long because it will bankrupt any nation that tries to exercise that myth:
"In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last."
(ibid). So, now we are experiencing economic problems that do not go away easily because those problems that cause it are not going away (see The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy and War Is The Highway 61 Of The 1%).

The series The Peak of the Oil Wars and Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil point out that the addiction to oil can't be healed by fighting for more of the dirty oil drug.

The previous post in this series is here.

Randy Newman, "drop the big one":



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage - 7

Solid Technology
This series takes a look from several vantage points at the attitude officialdom in various places has regarding preparations for the impact global warming induced climate change will have on various types of infrastructure.

In so doing one runs across a lot of different reactions as well as a lot of different types of geography that will be impacted.

Different types of preparations are very normal because the variations in geography naturally require different adaptations.

Since these issues derive from different aspects of environmental changes taking place in varying degrees, a one size fits all approach is not to be expected or desired anyway, because, while we see many changes from sea rise, droughts and flooding, to unusual storm scenarios, we also see strange factors such as sea rise sooner at some locations than at others:
There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’ lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow.

...

“We’ve got the highest rate of sea level rise on the East Coast,” said Skip Stiles, executive director, Wetlands Watch, who will be making a presentation on the historic, current and future sea level changes and potential impact on the Eastern Shore.

Stiles said some of the evidence of sea level rise visible to people who spend time around the water include seeing wetlands disappear, ditches going tidal, backyard vegetation changes, and “ghost forests” — full grown trees that are dead along the shore because the water is “moving in underneath them.”
...
Stiles said all of the Virginia tide gage measurements are showing about the same rise of a foot and a half over the last 100 years.
(Social Dementia Causes Heated Misunderestimations - 2). The triage type mentality leads some legislators to think they can pass a law dictating how much or how little the oceans may rise in their jurisdiction.

On the other hand, some specialists who study this ongoing phenomenon within governments, note that another aspect of the sense of triage is all too prevalent:
Instead of “planning to be flooded,” as he put it, city, state and federal agencies should be investing in protection like sea gates that could close during a storm and block a surge from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean into the East River and New York Harbor.
(NY Times). In other words instead of accepting an attitude that admits of hopelessness, those critics advocate for a more proactive approach.

On the front lines where global warming induced climate change is created, that is, on the fossil fuel consumption front, the attitude is still quite defeatist too.

Rather than go for renewable energy technology revolution, the governments are bowing to fossil fuel industry pressures and are allowing, under what seems like desperation thinking, drilling to take place where it should not be allowed.

The recent case of President Obama speeding up the permitting of drilling in the dangerous Arctic is a case in point:
After a day of slower-than-expected preparations in the Chukchi Sea, Shell Alaska officially began drilling into the seafloor above its Burger prospect at 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the company said.
(Shell Begins Drilling). It did not take long for dangers to show up causing the drilling to stop:
Royal Dutch Shell halted drilling in the Chukchi Sea on Monday -- one day after it began -- because of sea ice moving toward the company's drill ship off Alaska.
(Shell Stops Drilling). This is too casual an approach to what is a very, very serious problem that threatens civilization as we know it (New Drug Dealer - Same Addiction).

As far as global warming induced climate change is concerned it does not matter in the least that the dirty oil use that causes greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere is native oil or is foreign oil.

But that is the new rave "local oil is better than foreign oil" policy governments are engaged in, a policy that blunders ahead toward disaster with only triage at the forefront of planning.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Secret Afghanistan Underground - 2

Afghanistan mining - NY Times
In the first post of this series Dredd Blog took a look at "the underground of Afghanistan" to try to detect the real reasons we are still there.

In that post regular readers perused various Dredd Blog ideas advanced over the years.

Those posts offer less puzzling discourse than the official cognitive dissonance generally blabbered about by clueless politicians and the main stream media concerning "the reason" we are still in Afghanistan after all these years (see e.g. First Day of Spring 2009, Oilah Akbar In Afghanistan and Afghanistan Is A Bipartisan War - 2).

No less than "America's newspaper" has become all rogue and mavericky, going down the same stretch of "the underground railroad" that Dredd Blog has been tracking on:
If there is a road to a happy ending in Afghanistan, much of the path may run underground: in the trillion-dollar reservoir of natural resources — oil, gold, iron ore, copper, lithium and other minerals — that has brought hopes of a more self-sufficient country, if only the wealth can be wrested from blood-soaked soil.
(Potential for a Mining Boom, NY Times 9/8/12, emphasis added). We call that underground route "Highway 61" (see War Is The Highway 61 of the 1%).

That could be one reason the Romney campaign does not want to talk about The Mining Bane Capital of Afghanistan, not even discussing it at the Republican Convention, and also why Obama signed an extension keeping some U.S.eh? forces there "forever and a day" (we have already been there "forever").

The political parties see eye to eye when other nations are on top of "our" natural resources under their land, never-the-less it still causes us non-partisan type problems getting to those resources (see U.S. Political Parties And Political Science).

We noted that whether the resources are under the ground, or under the oceans, those resources for some mysterious reason (wink, wink) draw terrorism and the fleets (The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil), which causes tensions (The Fleets & Terrorism Follow The Oil - 4).

A whole new "agricultural technology" has developed which is used to extract the resources and religiously distribute them accordingly.

The previous post in this series is here.