Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Yr Enemies R Stupid

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  • giovanni tiso,

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

    Underestimating human incompetence: the common trait of conspiracy theorists. That said, while it is true that the passing of time has made the project's authors seem not so much nefarious as stupid, for the most part they're doing pretty well, and not just within the sphere of government. Kristol has just landed a column in the New York Freaking Times.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    FWIW Greg Palast says you can read the approach of the iraq occupation as a competition between the shiny neocon type after the free market paradise and the US oilmen who would be happy to pillage but are content with the whole thing being a roiling mess. Different sides lead at different moment and Cheney is sort of both.

    I'll also mention one of the more impressive points I got from the Rough Guide To Conspiracy Theories: the people who told the world the Soviets had more bombers than the US and then, when that was debunked, had more bombs, are literally the actual same individuals that told the world Iraq had all those weapons of mass destruction. That kind of makes it look deliberate.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Steven Shaw,

    That document is bizarre -- page 12 -- "Pave the way for the creation of a new military service -- U.S. Space Forces".

    Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers is just about here then...

    Auckland • Since Apr 2008 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That document is bizarre -- page 12 -- "Pave the way for the creation of a new military service -- U.S. Space Forces".

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

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    FWIW Greg Palast says you can read the approach of the iraq occupation as a competition between the shiny neocon type after the free market paradise and the US oilmen who would be happy to pillage but are content with the whole thing being a roiling mess.

    But as Chait points out, the neocons aren't really very economically focused: they're about the projection of taxpayer-funded force. He holds that they're less amenable to corporate interests than every other kind of conservative.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    "Israeli-aligned neocons" -- I would call them Likud-aligned.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rogan Polkinghorne,

    I've always read Naomi Klein's writings out of personal interest, and while she normally raises some valid/interesting points & arguments, you also have to keep a fairly large grain of salt handy...she's working from a pretty obvious agenda on the subjects she discusses (which I find is always strongly apparent), which can overpower her more positive points.

    A-town • Since Nov 2006 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    "Israeli-aligned neocons" -- I would call them Likud-aligned.

    True. I guess you could say "Likudnik" is indeed shorthand for for the former.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    I haven't read the Shock Doctrine yet but from the reviews I've read, it sounds like the same flow as No Logo. While many of the arguments are valid, the conclusion is wrong. There is no conspiracy. At most, it is opportunism.

    I subscribe to Alan Moore's take on things. Nothing is in control, it's all just chaos. Both the neo-cons and Naomi Klein cannot assimilate this and have to create schema to rationalise it all.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    1st rule for any battle. Never underestimate yr enermy.

    Not having read "Shock Doctrine" but it sounds like the 1980s&90s to me.

    Those free market plans Clark, Cullen & Bolger started and are now correcting.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And in a piece (not online) in The Straits Times earlier this year McCain continued the same 'ring China' argument as a way to 'contain' her. It's not over yet.

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

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

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    That document is bizarre -- page 12 -- "Pave the way for the creation of a new military service -- U.S. Space Forces".

    Yeah, that's pathological indeed. The aim there is to produce a worldwide web of orbiting satellites, each armed with projectiles that can be rained down on any point on the earth's surface using GPS data. Essentially, it represents a desire to apotheosize American military force into some kind of vengeful, Old Testament God.

    Hopefully, we'll run out of oil before it gets to that point.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    There doesn't need to be a conspiracy if the song sheet is widely distrubuted and so actions can be achieved in chorus with or without a conductor.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Hopefully, we'll run out of oil before it gets to that point.

    http://www.afspc.af.mil/

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

  • Russell Brown,

    And in a piece (not online) in The Straits Times earlier this year McCain continued the same 'ring China' argument as a way to 'contain' her. It's not over yet.

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

    As Josh Marshall pointed out recently, there's a reason for that.

    McCain's chief foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, is a full-blooded neocon. As the creator of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, buddy of Chalabi, etc, he was in the Iraq project all the way.

    Teh stupid lives.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    This knuckleheaded approach is all the more remarkable when you consider that the authors are at least as paranoid about China as they are about any Arab state.

    god... i remember that 1990s thinking from a former, academic, life. i couldn't believe that the US was willingly seeking to make an enemy out of china, if not only to justify that massive military spend.

    back then the great civilisational clash was with "confucianism" not "islamofascists".

    good to see that we've settled on the enemy being 'confusionism', and they've left the 2500-year old Weberian in peace.

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

  • Conor Roberts,

    This week's Media7, featuring NBR's Nevil Gibson, Bridget Saunders and Laila Harre discussing the merit and meaning of the annual NBR Rich List

    The final quote from Bridget Saunders at the end of your show was lol funny.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    back then the great civilisational clash was with "confucianism" not "islamofascists".

    It certainly was. A fair chunk of the wingnut bestsellers published by Regnery up till 2001 had the China threat as their theme. The ease with which they all moved over to the Islamist threat is quite remarkable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    We have always been at war with Oceania.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The ease with which they all moved over to the Islamist threat is quite remarkable.

    Well, they did get their Pearl Harbour, though, it's not as if it happened by force of persuasion alone. What Shep said about the song sheet is very valid, at any rate, the discipline of neocon politicians and commentators in pushing their talking points in unison is well documented; I might have the timeline wrong, but it seems to me that it was around the time of Katrina that the united front started to crack.

    Another thing to be said in favour of the cabal idea: it's not as if the US or any other Western administration can push its politics through the various branches of govenrment without attrition and compromise, except when it comes to the small business of waging war - amazing how easy it is then to suspend democratic and public debate. So if you have what is essential a very small group of like-minded people who have read the same instruction manual making the military decision, the attrition disappears and yes I think it becomes quite legitiamate to make the kind of argument that Klein makes in her book. But again, they needed a Pearl Harbour, no question about it.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    I'm reading the shock doctrine ATM, but I haven't got up to the post-9/11 parts. The early stuff is good, however, and makes a strong case that neo-liberal "reform (as we had here during the Revolution) is primarily aimed at redistributing wealth upwards and allowing multinationals to pillage entire countries.

    Like Zippy, though, I don't think its a conspiracy as such - rather a lot of rich and powerful people with a self-justifying ideology engaged in rank opportunism to fatten their own wallets and those of their class.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Well, they did get their Pearl Harbour, though, it's not as if it happened by force of persuasion alone

    although, the 20-20 hindsight applied to the pre-twin towers intelligence provides some pretty fertile ground for the conspiracy theorists.

    i'm in the: "the spooks just didn't know what they were looking at" camp on that one though.

    iraq otoh? if those neocon fkcers had been planning to murder an individual other than hussein they'd all be on death row for premeditation.

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    iraq otoh? if those neocon fkcers had been planning to murder an individual other than hussein they'd all be on death row for premeditation.

    I wasn't suggesting that Iraq follows legitimately from 9/11, it was obviously well planned in advance as is well documented, but without 9/11 Saddam would have had to do something rather spectacular for Iraq to be invaded again. So Bush and co. seized the opportunity, and that's what Klein's book is about - disasters that are not the result of conspiracy (she says so explicitly) but that allow TPTB to apply the shock doctrine.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

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

    Contrast this with Bush's 'Axis of Evil' speech in 2002. Lenka Clayton, an English film-maker, broke the speech down into its individual words and arranged them in alphabetic order

    If it wasn't so frightening it would be funny.

    The evolution of rhetoric.

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

  • Simon Grigg,

    I might have the timeline wrong, but it seems to me that it was around the time of Katrina that the united front started to crack.

    But for all that there is a refusal by the more ardent to recognise that, and an inability to recognise the huge shifts that the FUBAR in Iraq have caused in the world's perception of the USA.

    At least here in Asia the US has been shifted from the role of the lone superpower, to that of a very major player, which is quite a jump from 2000. It could reasonably be argued that the Neocons have diminished the role and influence the US has over much of the world.

    Of course the other problem which remains largely unresolved is the fact 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. It's a problem that any future president has to come to terms with.

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

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