If one is going to go after sacred cows, one should really go after sacred cows. Most of the people in our society who get credit for "going after sacred cows" are just going after unfashionable ones. At least ones that are unfashionable in the circles they want to appeal to. We live in a world of iconodules posing as iconoclasts.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

On Asymmetric Warfare: Sedition?

The connection between my first post on Asymmetric Warfare and this one on Progressives being "tough with domestic enemies, and soft with foreign ones" should be as obvious as it is outrageous. Therefore, it's worth starting with this:

[A]s I listen to the increasingly vitriolic and even seditious rhetoric coming from the political right, I can't help thinking that we need a threatening external enemy
Especially after the previous eight years, one might think the unsupported assertion of "sedition" on the political right is a simple case of projection, but it's not quite.

For Progressives, political opposition to Progressive policies, politicians, and extraconstitutional transformamtion of America is tantamount to treason. But it is not conservatives who are trying to restrict military options or that the war is lost.

No, that bill will not come close to passing through Congress. Progressives have become more subtle since Tom Hayden called for many Vietnams, protesters openly carried the enemy flag and chanted that the NLF is going to win, and cut off military support to our allies.

An exchange here is illustrative, however, of both now and then:
Unknown Speaker 1: "Just a few months ago, I spoke to someone who was carrying the NFL flag. I see that you're carrying an American flag, aren't you? How do you feel about those who are displaying the flag of the Vietcong?"

Unknown Speaker 2: "Well, this is my flag. That may be their flag, but this is my flag and I love it; so I carry it, and I wave it. I'm not gonna burn it, spit on it, it's mine. Somebody try to take it away from me, and I’d fight them to take it away from me."
To Gregory Rodriguez, "Unknown Speaker 2" is vitriolic and seditious, not the person who carried the NFL flag, because "Unknown Speaker 2" will fight back. ("Cet animal est tres mechant; quand on l'attaque, il se defend.")

How does that relate to overseas enemies of the United States, and the understanding and even sympathy Progressives extend to them? Even when they are theocratic reactionaries of the sort Progressives would viscerally abhor and detest if they were "Christianists"?

There is the direct, and the indirect. Lets explore the indirect first, how information supportive of our efforts is expunged from the record of The Narrative. On my 2nd blog, I had an extensive post on what was found in Iraq. Since that is gone, I'm able to use Andrew Sullivan and the Kay Report as a case study.

Do follow the links, if you have (understandably) forgotten about this. Under circumstances where the application of telling power to truth does not apply, what was in the Kay Report would critically inform everyone's understanding of the Iraq War. Instead, it is largely forgotten, and the belief that nothing of import was found in Iraq with respect to WMD is widespread. Along these lines also, the previous Joe Wilson is viewed as a Whistle Blower, when in fact he was found, in the Senate investigation, to be a serial liar (see also here and here).

Sullivan quotes from the links above are, given later turns of events, too apt to pass up:
The war was legally based on the premise that Saddam had clearly violated U.N. resolutions, was in open breach of such resolutions and was continuing to conceal his programs with the intent of restarting them in earnest once sanctions were lifted. Having read the report carefully, I'd say that the administration is vindicated in every single respect of that argument. . .

But what we now see may not impress those who are looking for any way to discredit this administration and this war. But it shows to my mind the real danger that Saddam posed - and would still pose today, if one president and one prime minister hadn't had the fortitude to face him down. We live in a dangerous but still safer world because of it. Now is the time for the administration to stop the internal quibbling, the silence and passivity, and go back on the offensive. Show the dangers that the opposition was happy for us to tolerate; show the threat - real and potential - that this war averted; and defend the record with pride and vigor.
What a difference an age makes: Sullivan subsequently turned on Bush, not just over spending and opposition to Gay marriage, but on the Iraq war itself, and not just it's conduct, but in toto, and soon found himself once again featured on MSNBC and celebrated in fashionable venues.

This demonstrates the power of The Machine over The Narrative, and how it can contribute to "Asymmetric Warfare" through manipulation of information. It takes a person of particular courage and intellectual integrity to resist it, when they run in its social circles. The Kay Report, and similar finds, are forgotten today, having been dropped down the memory hole.

By changing people's perception of reality, both in what is deleted from The Narrative and what is inserted into it that just aint so by the "Reality-Based Community" enables small-time thugs to compete with superpowers not just on an equal footing, but on one where all involved think they can emerge victorious.

We'll explore the more direct ways this dynamic plays out in the next post On Asymmetric Warfare.



Blogger francois said...

Holy crap! You're back! Awesome!

October 10, 2009 at 11:04 PM  

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