Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Yr Enemies R Stupid

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  • Simon Grigg,

    Where's James when you need him to tell us how it really is?

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Underestimating human incompetence: the common trait of conspiracy theorists.

    Yes. We seem to have this innate need to believe that "they" are smarter than we think. They're not - just a bunch of greedy, small minded selfish halfwits in my experience.

    BTW, I think the rich list is hugely relevant. ;-)

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Where's James when you need him to tell us how it really is?

    Trying to work and, as always with PAS, being distracted.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Worthington,

    This scathing critique of "The Shock Doctrine" is also worth reading for a wider-ranging review of Klein's thesis.

    The Klein Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Polemics

    Since Jan 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I wasn't suggesting that Iraq follows legitimately from 9/11

    sorry, an assumption on my part is that the pre-911 conspiracy is widely known.

    some have suggested that there existed orders from high in the bush administration to *let the planes hit the buildings*. it would provide a big dose of chaos, and the neocons could take a firmer hand on the reins.

    i'm not convinced by that.

    the US military budget needs to be substantially increased in the near future to simply maintain the current level of power simply because of aging hardware from the Reagan and earlier eras, coupled with WOT attrition

    the only salient point in charles stross' latest novel ('Halting State', bloody awful) is a near-future in which the US bankrupts itself trying to support all those aircraft carriers, much like the UK did in the post-ww2 era. meanwhile china has become, ah, formidable.

    as has the european union.

    all a bit 'peloponnesian war' really (china is the macedonians. or maybe rome) </smart arse who has read his history>

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Trying to work and, as always with PAS, being distracted.

    Always appreciate your thoughts James, but the tongue in my cheek was pointed elsewhere.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    it was around the time of Katrina that the united front started to crack

    Nostradamus hat: I'm going to predict that in the future, Katrina will be seen by historians as a much more important contributor to the Great Disillusionment. I'm still furious/horrified/gobsmacked by how all that played out.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Always appreciate your thoughts James, but the tongue in my cheek was pointed elsewhere.

    I'll figure it out one day. (And he crept quietly away.)

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    This scathing critique of "The Shock Doctrine" is also worth reading for a wider-ranging review of Klein's thesis.

    You mean for the entertainment factor? This guy is one of the biggest Friedman apologists on the market. I'm not saying that he's not entitled to write a critique of Klein's book, but I went straight to the part where he (oh-so-predictably) tried to severe the ties between Pinochet and Friedman, and found it well deserving of a laughing track.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    sorry, an assumption on my part is that the pre-911 conspiracy is widely known.
    i'm not convinced by that.

    Neither is Klein, just to be clear.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Rowe,

    I'll figure it out one day. (And he crept quietly away.)

    Please don't go James. When Simon's friend arrives, it'll be worth the wait :)

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I'm still furious/horrified/gobsmacked by how all that played out.

    Al Jaz has been running a series here of after-the-afterwards pieces recently and the stuff two years on was almost as horrifying. Warehouse full of donated goods being left to rot, donated goods sold, and so on

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Warehouse full of donated goods being left to rot, donated goods sold, and so on

    *almost* as bad as pledging "a billion dollars" to tsunami relief, then forgetting to sign the cheque.

    thank god that little rodent is out of government.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    Don't you just love that idiotic justifying expression: "pre-emptive war" .

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Oh yeah -- the space stuff is awesome. Or possibly pathological.

    <pedantry>Maybe in the context of this particular report it may be looniness (can't be bothered looking at it for the particular spin given), but distinct Space Forces has been long mooted. The actual spending on military space assets by all the armed services - spysats, communications etc - is already considerably larger than NASA's budget (which is only about 5-6% of the whole Department of Defense's). This isn't Starship Troopers stuff in essence, but an acknowledgment of realities.

    The US Air Force, remember, did not actually exist as a distinct entity until after WWII - it was instead the US Army Air Force.

    The thing stifling it creation of a US Space Force is rivalry between the Army, Navy, Air Force, NSA, NRO etc that all have a heavy stake in current space spending and won't surrender it to a new branch.

    However, if you want some real Strangelovean stuff, you can look up projects like Orion (there's an excellent book by George Dyson) and some early plans for nuclear missile basing on the Moon, and of course Reagan's SDI (Strategic Defence Initiative) that morphed into BMDO (Ballistic Missile Defense Organization) - but even these are by no means the whole of milspace (as Pentagon jargon puts it. OK, I'll cut down on the acronyms ASAP before the whole discourse is FUBARed and everyone says OMG WTF.</pedantry>

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Danielle: agreed about Katrina. I really hadn't been following US politics closely up until then, but I was horrified by the callous cockup; really gobsmacked. That picture of a smiling GWB with his guitar superimposed over a Katrina victim had legs.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    <pedantry>OK, just another correction, NASA is not part of the DoD, I was making a comparisson between separate organisations.</pedantry>

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    disasters that are not the result of conspiracy (she says so explicitly)

    Though there is the bit where she highlights NeoLibs at the IMF and World Bank talking about the desirability of provoking crisis so as to have an excuse to implement "reform". And a couple of examples from Canada and the Carribean where they did just that, using bogus statistics to manipulate credit ratings and hot money flows to strongarm countries into allowing themselves to be pillaged. Which kindof puts the constant negativity from our local business community and right-wing thinktanks into perspective...

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    He's either as mad as the rest of them or simply doesn't understand. Maybe he can't find it on a map......

    I think that's because he's looking for it over by the Iraq-Pakistan border...

    =|

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Suze Vermeer,

    Things that will never happen:
    Cleverest US foreign policy move would be ditching Israel as No 1 Middle East ally and getting onside with Iran.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 29 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The idea that the US federal government might instead drunkenly spend and borrow its way into the control of China's financiers, or that America might lose productive capacity and economic control to its putative enemy; or that commerce and internal pressures might actually drive democratic progress in China more than a kind of fantasy military encirclement? Not there. It goes without saying that these guys didn't see the Euro coming.

    A Suez Crisis for the 21st century, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Naomi Klein has an angle and a customer base to cater to:

    Chait writes that after the terrorist attacks of 2001, Klein, the author of No Logo, "went through the transition from intellectual guru of the movement against Starbucks to intellectual guru of the movement against the Pentagon, and came away as influential as ever."

    Heh, technically true. Klein has been equally not at all influential in terms of slowing corporate expansion as slowing pentagon budgets. However she has sold a lot of books providing the "awareness" readers are being "exploited".

    The Shock Doctrine, he says, "has a single, uncomplicated explanation for everything that ails us*.

    * The "us" refers to the nice middle class American types who buy Naomi Klein's schtick, shop in whole grain stores and have been ailled by soy latte prices. It certainly does not refer to the 800 million third worlders who have been lifted out of subsistance poverty over the same time period.

    It identifies the fundamental driving force of the last three decades to be the worldwide spread of free-market absolutism as it was formulated by Milton Friedman and the department of economics at the University of Chicago.

    Except that free-market absolutism has not been applied anywhere within that time period. What has occured has been marginal reform in the direction of greater market freedom. However the most critical thing for Klein is not reality, but that marginal reform in the direction of free trade is favoured by Republicans (mostly nice middle class American types who do not buy Klein's schtick) who are couched in radical terms possible to create a threat or evil.

    And yet, as he notes, the idea "that crises create fertile terrain for political change, far from being a ghoulish doctrine unique to free-market radicals, is a banal and ideologically universal fact.

    Crises can be invented for all kinds of reasons - "if it bleeds it leads" is a cynicism said of TV, but also effective to sell books.

    But she may have committed the fatal mistake of believing her enemies are far cleverer than they really are.

    At worst she has extrapolated a competent, evil, fanatical enemy bent on world domination for nefarious ends from a few factoids gleaned whilst selectively ignoring contradicting evidence. This is hardly "fatal", quite the opposite - she sells well.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Except that free-market absolutism has not been applied anywhere within that time period.

    Huh?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Terrorists and terrorism are mentioned three times in passing in nearly 80 pages.

    Which is about right, even today. The lack of understanding of the role economics has to play is, however, terrifying.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Philip,

    Stumbling upon this discussion is like chancing upon a conference of UFO enthusiasts. Naomi Klein for gods sakes! Klein v Friedman - you must be joking. Read something serious first, not a conspiracy theorist whackjob. An account from the inside is a good place to begin. Try for a starter a view from the inside of US policy: War and Decision, by D J Feith, former under secretary for Defence.

    Since Jul 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

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