It is difficult to reach any conclusion as to what this book, Bush At War (N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 2002), by Bob Woodward, is. Scary, certainly is one way to read it. Is it black propaganda to mislead the enemy into underestimating its opposition? Is it a hatchet job on the Bush administration? Is it the god's truth? Is it the result of the Bush administration feeding vagaries to an investigative reporter? Is it the result of an investigative reporter writing about a subject he knows nothing about? Is it just a piece of commercial kitsch put out by a multimillionaire to make more millions?
I cannot find a single statement in the book indicating insight into what is involved in actually interdicting an insurgent infrastructure, be that infrastructure located in one country or be it transnational. No relevant analytical comments are made. There are no discussions of infrastructure organizational issues, organizational transitions, et cetera. When someone raises the question as to how Al Qaeda will respond to what the U.S. is doing, no one has a thought on the matter (p. 182). How plausible is that in a military planning environment where contingencies projection is SOP? No one raises the issue as to what Al Qaeda's strategy is or what the series of objectives might be through which that strategy is to be realized. The only thing discussed along these lines is what targets Al Qaeda might have in mind. And since there is no discussion of Al Qaeda strategy, there is not even discussion of targeting criteria (which is relative to strategy). They talk about interdicting Al Qaeda metabolism (commo and money) and eliminating Al Qaeda personnel (few of whom, from this account, and those in the media, appear to have learned to use AKAs) and base areas. That's about as far as it goes.
The recurrent discussion of inability to insert Special Forces teams is laughable to someone who jumped C141s several times while in Training Group: insertion into northern Afghanistan with necessary supplies, even vehicles, could have taken place directly from Ramstein, Okinawa, Ft. Bragg, Diego Garcia. And there were large numbers of allied forces (Northern Alliance and a CIA team) on the ground to receive them, so they wouldn't have been jumping into hot LZs! Not even to mention HALO. They could have gone in with full-blown field hospitals air dropped behind them. Part of their training involves how to erect such airborne delivered hospitals. The quote from General Downing regarding operating in the field without support, It's dangerous, the teams may be betrayed, (p. 233) must lift the top off the head of anyone who ran a Mike Force: it was well known that some small percentage of the members of Mike Force teams were infiltrators whose assignment was to kill the American in the first firefight. The American had to set up intelligence in his own unit and run false missions in order to identify these infiltrators and eliminate them, before attacking elements of the 2nd NVA Division and retreating slow enough to call in air-strikes and airmobile troops. That's dangerous! That's may be betrayed! The whole initial mission of Special Forces, from the 50s, was to be inserted behind enemy lines to undertake spoiling operations, without support, living off the land. This insertion wasn't even behind the lines; it was into an Allied pocket. What the Jeds and those with Operation Tommy must think!
When Rice asks how to assess U.S. progress in Afghanistan, she is directed to color-coded maps of the territory (pp. 252-3) and Powell, who believes in massing force on a single objective, wonders about what the objective is beyond bombing (p. 253). My god! If there is any truth at all to Woodward's account, it is clear the U.S. fought the war in Afghanistan it could win, not the war as it actually is. Is controlling territory a key variable? But some progress in U.S. concepts of operation has been made in the last 60 years: instead of handing out chocolate bars, we now hand out dollars in the tens of millions and, apparently, expect those so influenced to remain influenced when the dollars dry up or the value of the dollar collapses. Bush team members were surprised when the tide of the war changed so rapidly. Meaning they did not anticipate that there would be no real attempt to hold the cities, to hold the landscape -- something no insurgent, let alone a global insurgent, ever tries to do. This is so basic a principle that one simply cannot believe the Bush team was not familiar with it. So the premises of public discourse on the present Afghanistan war have nothing to do with actual realities of the case. There is, therefore, no meaning to be found in discussion of details. Something else is happening than that which is being portrayed.
Look, I obviously don't have access to the information that would be required to make definitive statements. Nonetheless, I understand the principles involved very well. The U.S. performed superlatively at the game of soccer in Vietnam; only trouble was, the game being played there was tennis. This is how the U.S. won every battle and lost the war: what constitutes a battle and a win were defined by the U.S. according to the rules of soccer, which have very little to do with the rules of tennis. Depending upon local circumstance, stage of the war, organizational requirements vis-à-vis a particular offensive action or defensive maneuver, type of combatant, and so on, the services of between 15 and 30 non-combatant civilians were required by the Vietcong to keep one armed combatant in the field. Because the U.S. leadership was playing soccer, and didn't realize the game was tennis, it developed defining categories of such non-combatants such that this leadership actually believed the Vietcong tooth-to-tail ratio was less than that of the U.S., officially 1 to 5 (counting essential out-country support personnel, Dixie Cups and all other U.S. civilians in-country, this ratio was actually more like as high as 1 to 10). Why was the Vietcong combat troop to support personnel ratio so high? Quoting MOON (Vol. I, pp. 485-6):
Well, there are a lot of reasons. They don't, for instance, have our vehicles, helicopters, transport planes, et cetera: that's the most obvious. Of course, there are damn few roads in many of the areas they operate in, so a host of bicycles is really better for them anyway. But then, those bikes require a whole lot of people to keep them moving. And don't forget that proselyting and recruiting is a labor-intensive business. U.S. forces don't have to do any serious in-country recruiting of support personnel. Or consider how low their supply infiltration tonnage requirement is. They get most of what they need in-country; that involves a very extensive materiel acquisitions effort. Then, look at how many people they need to operate their commo-liaison system. Every time a group of military commanders and/or political cadre get together to plan an operation, they don't go hop in their jeep or helicopter; their commo-liaison system has to go into high gear to guide them to the meeting site. It's complex as hell: cutouts and all sorts of shit
Just getting from one place to another is a project run like an intelligence operation. That takes a lot of manpower. Think of how many thousands of people they needed just to organize the liaison involved in the planning aspects, alone, of the Tet offensive with its simultaneous attacks on over a hundred cities and towns… and the many specific targets in each of those locations that had to be reconned by the unit commander with the help of the local VCI Security Section. When you look with understanding at what was involved in just this planning aspect of that offensive, you have to be struck dumb in amazement at what this collection of so-called grandmothers, old papa-sans, and young boys were able to achieve. You want to talk about ignorance! Think of the big deal everybody made about the VC/NVA jumping the gun by one day up north at the start of the offensive. The silly bastards are so fucked-up, they couldn't even get their puny, fizzled offensive coordinated properly. If I heard that once, I heard it a dozen times. That's nothing but ignorance talking; it's a veritable miracle they could organize the mind-boggling complexity required to get the thing going at all, never mind a few coordination problems Let me tell you, there is hardly anyone out there who has any real appreciation of the complexity and labor-intensity of their communications and liaison operations. Look at the regular mail system, their normal means of official communication Shit, if you want to be impressed, go across the hall to out-country POLOB and study the maps those people have made up which roughly locate the Vietnamese -- I emphasize Vietnamese -- communist Letter Box Numbers: the system blankets not only South Vietnam, but also Laos, Cambodia, northeast Thailand, and even goes into the Kachin and Shan areas of Burma Yep, studying those maps will put some hair on your chest. All the communists' mail has to be moved clandestinely and any important stuff goes through a complex system of cutouts and dead drops. We're talking major, major manpower investment in communications. Then, their Finance and Economy system doesn't use any computers. Hell, it doesn't even have enough typewriters
Reading articles about the Afghan War subsequent to the supposed collapse of the Taliban, one encounters no discussion of U.S. activities suggesting that the U.S. understands that the game being played is tennis, not soccer. The U.S. is focused on the guy in the field carrying the AK, not the 30 people required to keep him there. And 20 of those 30 people are far more skilled, far more time consuming to train, and far more difficult to recruit then is the guy carrying the AK or the bomb strapped around his waist. But the U.S. is playing soccer, not tennis, and does not realize that it has been suckered into facilitating organizational phase transitions Al Qaeda could not have made unassisted. The transition from transnational terrorist organization supported by rogue states and failed states to global insurgent infrastructure directed against the very idea of the secular nation-state SYSTEM is an enormous organizational phase transition involving destruction of nation-states, and the setting in motion of a chain reaction in destruction of nation-states. Destroying nation-states is not something a terrorist organization can easily do; another nation-state must be enticed into performing this task on behalf of the terrorist organization. The U.S. has volunteered its services to facilitate accomplishment of this task. It looks as if an uninterrupted band of destroyed nation-states could, quite soon (31 January 2003), have been created from Bosnia to Afghanistan. It is not America per se that Al Qaeda wants to destroy, but the secular nation-state system. Al Qaeda cannot accomplish this end without enlisting the assistance of America, because America is the only entity with sufficient force available to accomplish that task. That Al Qaeda should have formulated this strategic goal at the very moment quantum computers are poised to make the final assault on the Newtonian paradigm, the paradigm, that is, which underlies the secular nation-state system, is probably not a mere coincidence.
Here is an interesting quotation illustrating how historical falsifications as self-propaganda eventually come back to haunt you by becoming tacit assumptions of the policy formulation process. Quoting from U.S. Mulls Air Strategies in Iraq by Scott Peterson (Christian Science Monitor, 01/30/2003), where Peterson quotes Harlan Ullman, a strategic analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, regarding probable use of a shock and awe bombing strategy against Iraq:
The Japanese quit [in World War II], because they couldn't appreciate that one bomb could do what 500 planes did in a night. That was shock, Ullman says. Now, can you take that level of shock and apply it with conventional weapons? We thought you could.
The Japanese did not quit World War Two because of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; they had been trying to surrender for a long time before those bombs were dropped. The U.S. simply was not going to permit a surrender before it was able to use the bombs, as the dropping of those bombs was required in order to convey a message to the Soviets. Bombing of NVN steeled Vietnamese resolve. Bombing of Cambodia induced a state of mass psychosis leading to genocide. Shock and awe relative to outcome is not a monotonic function.
Here it is February 13, 2003 and it seems appropriate to remind that it was in the Spring of 1968, sitting in Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, that Derek Dillon predicted a severance of NATO, the formation of a Germano-Russian bloc, the emergence of a Greater China (including Taiwan, the Koreas, Japan, and Vietnam), and a mutual defense pact between the Germano-Russian Bloc and Greater China. This, Derek argued, would be the prelude to WWIII, a war the U.S. would lose primarily due to internal disintegration, paranoia over a Latin American Trojan Horse, and mutiny in its armed forces relative to the Latin American component of its operations. Such a war still looks nearly a decade away, but who knows? Maybe the acceleration of events is now transiting to time rate of change of acceleration. This prediction was not made primarily on the basis of politico-military analysis, but by extrapolating implications from how psychological gradients visible in the Vietnam war reflected themes in quantum theory and in mathematics -- and how these themes relate to cultural predispostions of the foremost actors. That this very detailed 35 year-old prediction is realizing itself in truly amazing fashion is very significant relative to theories of history, to historiography. So what! you say? All this focus on theories of history when people are dying is disgusting! But this is not an I-told-you-so proclamation. So what because detailed materialization of this prediction on basis of such considerations would point clearly to the only direction of recovery. Never mind the last 35 years of treating verbalized ruminations on this theme as the ravings of yet one more crazy caustic Cassandra.
Of course it is reasonable to assume that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. So does the U.S. But this does not mean that Saddam's possession of WsMD has anything really to do with the impetus to make war on Iraq. War on Iraq is necessary to maintain dollar hegemony and prepare for the showdown with the big boys over a whole nested hierarchy of factors.
It's fascinating reading the newspapers in these days and times, seeing current effects of the ideological boomerangs cast into collective cognitive processes decades ago. Historical falsifications and the black propaganda campaigns associated with them, eventually, always return to slam into the back of your head. The atomic bombings of Japan are cited as evidence that shock and awe works: those bombs brought WWII in the Pacific to an end. The truth is, however, the Japanese had been trying for months to surrender, and the U.S. was not about to accept a surrender until it had had the chance to use the atomic bomb it had spent so much emotional energy upon developing and had vested so much self-identity into (To be is to be bombable) -- and because the Russians had to be set straight as to who was going to be the king rat of the postwar era. What better instructional device than a pair of demonstration bombings? So, even the military authorities, the think-tank elites, and the institutionally-indentured historians of subsequent generations believe the black propaganda campaigns initiated in the late Forties by the likes of, say, young McGeorge Bundy ghost writing the memoirs of his father's old buddy Secretary of War Stimpson with explicit instructions as to how to handle Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and formulate policy today based upon the content of those falsified histories. Similarly, for the false notion that U.S. and South Korean covert actions against North Korea did not precipitate the June, 1950 pre-emptive attack -- and, therefore, has no influence on current North Korean behaviors and U.S. strategic misassessment. Similarly, for the notion that the U.S.-sponsored 1950 sterile invasion of Yunnan from Burma was not an invitation to China to enter the Korean War -- and, therefore, has no influence on current Chinese assessment of U.S. intentions and American misassessment of Chinese strategic objectives. Similarly, for the notion that the continuous WWII to postwar OSS to CIA to Special Forces presence in the temples of Tibet, initially established by an OSS team dispatched from Lijiang, from which, in the post-'49 period, a guerrilla infrastructure was created and maintained, was not an invitation to China to take over Tibet and destroy those temples -- and, therefore, has no influence on current Chinese assessment of U.S. intentions and American misassessment of Chinese strategic objectives. Similarly, for the false idea that the U.S.-sponsored clandestine guerrilla infrastructure put in place in Afghanistan five years before the Soviet invasion (Gunna git some back from da Bear!) had no role in causing the Soviet phase of the Afghan War -- and, therefore, has no influence on current Russian assessment of U.S. intentions and U.S. misassessment of (1) origins of Islamic international terrorism; (2) prerequisites for organizational phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency against the very idea of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state; (3) the catalytic role the American phase of the Afghan War is having in facilitating that phase transition, which the international terrorist apparat could not have made without the assistance provided by the American invasion of Afghanistan -- the transition from mere terrorist to full-blown insurgent being exceptionally difficult to accomplish without a little help from your friends (intended or unintended). And how many dozen such false notions, with similar consequences, are operative in the backdrop to the current U.S. war against Iraq and the Middle East context of that war? I can think of quite a few, but suppose those dozens can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
If it weren't so tragic, it would be humorous. Now that the second Bush war against Iraq has become protracted running on to near two weeks, we have the specter of the 1968 Tet offensive paraded in the media. Victor Mallet, in his Finanacial Times article America Meets the Ghost of the Tet Offensive (27 March 2003), makes a distinction between the traditional military and the political/psychological aspects of war, arguing that, while the Anglo-American forces have overwhelming military superiority, they are lagging in the extra-military political and psychological aspects. I wish these so-well-informed pundits would do their homework, actually sit down and read Clausewitz. Is there anyone out there who learned anything from the Vietnam war? There is no non-military variable in war. There is a valid distinction to be made between force-structure variables and non-force-structure variables such as space and time and the various means of their manipulation, but both of these categories are wholly military in war. When have guerrilla groups or terrorists transiting to insurgents ever attempted to hold ground and have not dispersed, faded away, when force has been massed against them? Only those who have been defeated. Is a line drawn in the sand, a national border, a constraint sufficient to make these principles violable? I also wish these commentators would actually sit down and read a copy of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. I recommend the copy on reserve in the Georgetown University Law Library, and feel sure there must be a copy somewhere in London. Such commentators might then see how totally on the surface even the best pieces being written on the Geneva Conventions are, for instance Henry Michaels' Washington's Use and Abuse of the Geneva Conventions World Socialist Website, www.wsw.com (29 March 2003). In one of Derek's rants in MOON, he outlines how the Geneva Conventions, convention by convention, promulgate Newtonian summation-of-forces and Aristotelian-Baconian single-valued binary logic either/or assumptions in every prescriptive moral definition legally enshrined: absolute distinction between combatant and non-combatant, for instance. There is not a single convention of the Geneva Conventions that unambiguously applies to contemporary warfare, and few if any of those conventions directly apply to the realities of any war ever fought, ever.
Not only are the Geneva Conventions themselves a crime against humanity, in that they legalistically legitimate the fantasy of moral war as a God-given right of the corporate person -- the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state, that is -- in conflict resolution, but they embody in writ and statute all the basic worldview assumptions underlying institutionalization of the hundred-years-dead Cartesian-Newtonian world construct, thus preventing global phase transition to institutionalization of the quantum-relativistic account of spontaneous order in natural systems. By thus preventing a desperately needed phase transition, these conventions insure continuance of the warfare they ostensibly were created to minimize the severity of. And given that, in reality, if not in the sanitized histories produced by victors, there has never been a belligerent who has fought a war morally, the sham and pretense of legalistic moral mandate to minimize severity of warfare is in and of itself a crime.
What is truly laughable, however, is how this dressing of warfare by the Geneva Conventions in Newtonian clothes has been psychologically eaten by the Anglo-American civil-military elites to such an extent that it has led them to incorporate false tacit strategic assumptions into their concepts of operation, such that they actually believe there is a real distinction between military and non-military variables in war. And this tacit assumption has caused them to make overwhelming strategic blunders, like declaring planetary warfare on Islamic terrorism. When there is extreme asymmetrical disparity in force-structure variables between belligerents, space and time are the only variables available to the underdog to overcome the imbalance of forces. The greater the imbalance, the more the required reliance upon space and time. The wider the conflict is spread out in space and the more protracted the conflict becomes, the more extra-combat free energy enters the strategic equation. DECLARING open-ended global war on terrorism instantly potentiates space and time as effective countervalence to force-structure variables. The Bush Doctrine has put overwhelming obstacles in front of the Anglo-American agenda to maintain viability of the Cartesian-Newtonian institutionalization under the myriad challenges it faces from assault by post-Newtonian salients, be those salients quantum-based IT, a failing single-logically-valued global monetary system, or whatever.
What I like most about this review (Time, March 31, 2003) of François Bizot's The Gate is how aggressively the moral superiority of the West is essayed by a Buddhist scholar: demonstration of certain insight into the makings of a bestseller, given the temper of the times. And who was it, anyway, which Frenchman, who made certain his Cambodian wife was not left behind before he made his exit? Yet, more importantly, deranged metaphysical conversation of the jailers, men of principle, all, is exactly how I felt in Spring of 1965 sitting in the Sheraton Park Hotel listening to three men -- Walt Rostow, Stanley Hoffman, and Hans Morganthau -- debate a war in the coldest of abstractions one could ever hope for from moral men, men of principle, men who always sacrifice the person to the principle at every turn, so cold and heartless a deranged metaphysical conversation was this, so devoid of consideration for the human dimensions of warfare, I simply had to do something about it: understand -- for, surely, being an American too, this derangement of the principled man was a derangement also in me. It was during this appalling debate at the First National Teach-In Against the War in Vietnam that I decided to quit college and volunteer for Special Forces, the place I felt I would be able to learn most about the derangement in question. I was not wrong in this feeling or in taking this decision, but my expectations when met face to face were inverted in the fact.
Toward the end of the film Black Hawk Down, the Delta Force operator clues in the young Ranger by telling him that we -- special service operatives -- continue to return to the field of battle not because of big issues, politics, moral conviction, principles, that is, but simply because of the guy right next to you, your wife, so to speak, that and only that, the human element. This statement was supposedly made as a score of Americans and a thousand Somalis were dying because an American general made the blunder of trying to extract the possibly dead crew of a downed helicopter located in a hot zone after the tactical mission of the day had already been accomplished. This decision was so disastrous it blew the whole country mission he had been sent out to perform. Who was not-the-man-of-principle, the man devoted to the human element? The Delta Force operator acting for the man right next to him or the general acting on the principle that we never leave a man behind? Once the men of principle have thrust a people into war there is no human element. None. Wars, all wars, are without principle and without a human element.
The Delta Force operator in Black Hawk Down was from Hollywood, not Smoke Bomb Hill. And all the Delta operators lost in Somalia were not lost in the Black Hawk raid. The generation I went through Training Group with -- those who stayed, not me -- played a leading role in formation of Delta. Yes, they fought for the guy right next to them, but that is the least that can be said of it, the most superficial shade -- a travesty, if the truth be told, told amongst themselves if not to others who would never understand.
The Khmer Rouge genocide, as are all genocides, was a form of mass suicide. What created the collective psychosis prerequisite to the national tragedy? The massive bombing was but a trigger, not the diathesis, the root of illness. Who among us in the modern world has ever been in Khmer peasant psychological space? Being fluent in Khmer, being a scholar of Khmer Buddhism does not grant entry to that space, that green, that time loss, that identity contagion. Some of those who created Delta may have attained to the portal, but even they were barred full entry. Try to imagine sight when time rate is so slow it has almost stopped. Green is not your green. Thousands of green! Green so manifold, so rich, so beyond modern sensibility the nervous system short-circuits, cows before the immense pleasure, recoils, cannot withstand, shuts down. That green. The state of consciousness signified by the Vietnamese term van minh song nuoc; the manner of being in the world engendered in a people whose mode of life in its every aspect is entrained to the rhythms of a river, the movements of its fecund mud.
Try to imagine all-the-time sight as eidetic imagination, as the presence of others-in-me. Sitting on the prow of the boat watching the reeds go by, the grass grow as others-in-me, seeing them-me not only as they-me are now -- which in this time loss is also yesterday and tomorrow -- but as they-we were and will be in presence of there are-ness, there whole life cycle simultaneous in the instant of sight always, their seen seedling-to-bloom in one image always. That green, that thousand-fold green in me their. Or scarlet sunset bleeding out of your sweating pores, trickling down the silhouette palms to caress your brow there which is the flank of the buffalo ridden home along paddy dikes their. That red, the red that drenches all, the magic all of the surround swirling presences of all who have there, all who are and will be right now here in me, the surround that I am their. There is their! That red.
Sight in so slow a slowed-down time it sees seeing all the way right back into the eyeballs, and behind the back of the head where eyes do not see -- following migration of the inner voice as it fades into echoes emanating from my inner presences out there. Here is hear! Try to imagine that sight lying there on the prow of the boat as night movement on the water begins, lying there unable to distinguish the wood from the back lying upon it. Try as you will, your back is the planking you rise up from. Sticky is the presence of the wood's boat, boat of the forest which is my back sweeping across the mud of my life, my wife, my house, my food which is raised in me there. You must hold this boat's deck down, your back; this is a cosmic imperative that must be believed, fulfilled -- or the world will be no more there: me-them-us, you-they-we.
Here is hear! Try to imagine lying sighted on the prow of the boatwood, your back their, in early night movement a symphony of frogs, cicada, and nightingale composed in polyphonic dreamtime chant, syncopated, drenched in the red pouring of your pores, thousand-fold green of me turning silhouette palms into aural hieroglyph, and night jasmine lifting off the reed grass blowing in the breeze. Smell my nose! Smell my nose! Always. Every night, each dawn. The scorching noon. The king cobra slithering there their mudra, their ecstatic gesture seizure there heard here: trance reading the hear in-here. So much pleasure too much pleasure. It can't be withstood: mudra gesture seizure escape ecstasy; mudra gesture seizure escape ecstasy; mudra gesture seizure escape ecstasy
The only access the Delta Force operator has ever had is in combat, and then only at the portal. And that portal transliterated into a pathological space. Nothing else he knows cleanses his doors of perception from the modern filth clog clogging them. War is his only Roto-Rooter man! The guy right beside you is a mere stand-in.
Now, imagine all of this taken away from the Khmer peasant, forced into the tiny modern urban mind, sensory wasteland sterility, neural short-circuit after short-circuit. No mudras no more, no quivering the grips of the me-surround. No such seizures, none. Even the prospect of such a loss would drive any sane person insane, would create such a sense of hopelessness no one amongst here-me-there-their-hear could possibly abide it. Mass suicide induction in response to the U.S. forced-draft urbanization free-fire zone anti-animism men-of-principle democratic policy. Take me to the gate! Take me to the gate!
I'm sorry. What was that? I couldn't quite hear. The what between the Palestinians and the Israelis? The Persian Gulf what? The Balkan what? The what in Chechnya? The Afghanistan what? The what in Iraq? In due course people will learn that these were not wars, only longer or shorter battles, maybe even skirmishes or firefights. Let me repeat: when have guerrilla groups or terrorists transiting to insurgents ever attempted to hold ground and have not dispersed, faded away, when force has been massed against them? Only those who have been defeated. Is a line drawn in the sand, a national border, a constraint sufficient to make these principles violable? The Powell Doctrine of massing force on a single objective, say Iraq, is not different from exercising escalation control options, given the global theater of warfare. The only things that have changed are the grid length, the time step, and the size of the insurgent recruitment base: the U.S. is pursuing exactly the same strategy it pursued in Vietnam. And it is winning every battle, just like in Vietnam! U.S. force structures are more elaborate than they were then, but the geographical extent of the battlefield is far, far greater than before, and the protracted nature of the conflict will be commensurate with the expanded geographical context. In the present thirty-year war, the central issues have yet to strike a pose in collective awareness and the main contenders haven't even come into existence. One way to hide from strategic variables is to call a battle a war: the strategic error (ceding control of space and time variables to your opposition) hidden in a string of tactical successes can thus be concealed (even from yourself). This is a three-stage war, a global war declared by the President, and we haven't even gotten well into the first stage yet. The U.S. is again playing soccer when the game is tennis. There are many sets yet to come. Circumstances will be such that victory will always be declarable, so long as battles are called wars, the thing is called by the name of its opposite, categories of enemy strength are disallowed from official estimates, and so on.
No, Derek Dillon cannot agree. The U.S. is blindly marching towards a very big Little Big Horn. One reason why is its denial of the larger historical cycle: social, political, and economic consequences of death of the Cartesian-Newtonian world construct. Judeo-Christian fundamentalist common cause has been made to stand braced before the Enlightenment Founding Fathers in order to protect America from these consequences of the passage of time (as they see it with their Newtonian mindset). People ask: What has happened to America? Derek's answer is: Nothing. The postwar occupiers joined with the prewar occupiers to fight yet one more war against time. What could be more American than that? People ask: Why is America so hated all over the world? Derek's answer is: Why is America so hated in America? The Jedediah's of the world's only Great Nation travel the world interviewing foreigners about this question, when, if they wanted real answers, they would be interviewing Americans. The number of people who have graduated to My Planet Right or Wrong! is truly staggering. Why are Americans hated by so many Americans? Because such haters are all mad, like Kaczynski? Why do so many Americans hate The American Way of Life? Another reason for the coming Little Big Horn is the extent to which America has lied to itself concerning why and how the Soviet Union collapsed. So much manipulated history and self-propaganda has been produced in the post-WWII era, the American mind has no hope of recovery. Our greatest communicators succumb to Alzheimer's while still teenagers!
Think about it. How consequential is it when they capture or kill a field operative whose cover has been blown? Once they know his name, instead of a couple of his five AKAs, have a voice print, or, my god! a picture of him, how much of his effectiveness remains? And what are his current assignments? You think Bin Laden has ever been more than a field commander? In 1967 in Saigon, the Saigon Party Committee Chairman was eating pho at the table next to the half a dozen field-grade American officers having their Kobe beefsteaks. Smiles passed between the tables numerous times before the meal was over. A significant number of the Committee, after graduating from Lycée Marie Curie, went on leave for their higher education to America -- on USIS scholarships, as educating foreigners is the best way create agents of influence, to promote American values, to inculcate cultural monism. The big boys have never even been to Afghanistan. They go to the office everyday in London, Paris, New York, Tokyo Bin Laden has never met them, and knows one of the AKAs of only one of them. How much harder to run a Phoenix Pogrom on a global scale than it was in tiny Vietnam! America is not forcing a reorganization of the terrorist apparat into a global insurgency against the very idea of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state; America took the hook in Afghanistan and has started to be reeled in with its victory in Iraq. Major organizational phase transitions need major catalytic events: it is the job of the big boys to see that such events are brought into being. How? By well, for instance, manipulating dollar confidence, feeding fears of, say, a petroeuro. America got real interested in taking on Iraq again -- I mean when the Soviet Union, it's main military supporter, was not in the process of collapsing -- only after Iraq began denominating its oil transactions in euros. Geo-strategically, there is now a band sewn together almost without break all the way from Austria to India and China, requiring garrisoning or guaranteeing in perpetuity. Instead of occupying Eastern Europe as the Soviets did, America is now occupying oh, I'm sorry, is Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state building Quite a switcheroony! Interesting to think about how the hook was baited. Russians were applying Special Relativity theory to atmospheric physics by 1923. When that started in the U.S., Americans began describing butterflies flapping their wings in the Amazon basin. So, America will just keep on spinning the barrel band right on down the street with its stick -- the fife yammering its encouragement from the old rocking chair on the broad front porch, and the flag hung at forty-five degrees from the column with the crowning Roman capital supporting the ridge pole.
I agree with you that Amy Chua (World on Fire, N.Y.: Doubleday, 2003) doesn't see the degree to which her perspective -- on origins of the increasing global ethnic violence -- is an expression of her ethnic background and experience. But I would go further. Her biggest error of assessment, which makes her greatly underestimate severity of the case, comes as a result of assimilating the perspectives of her adoptive culture, America. In the following statement made on page 9, she gives a quintessentially American point of view which I think is dead wrong:
Markets concentrate enormous wealth in the hands of an outsider minority, fomenting ethnic envy and hatred among often chronically poor majorities.
I don't think envy has anything whatsoever to do with the hatred. The idea that there is envy is an American perspective that is self-aggrandizing and completely false. The notion of envy is based on the idea that everyone in the world wants to move to America. This is America patting itself on the back. A certain kind of person from cultures around the world makes his or her way to America, where, not surprisingly, he or she often is quite successful, becomes an exemplar, becomes a true believer in the American Way -- thereby making reform in America impossible. America is unreformable because there is a constant stream of psychologically-screwed people waiting in line to enter. That part of the Sixties generation who learned this lesson well left the country and never returned -- quite a large number of very intelligent people, actually, this exodus being one reason for the poor quality of leadership in America over the last couple of decades. Hatred of the market dominant minority, be that minority Chinese, be it Jewish, is not because the minority is emulated, but because it is despised for what it has allowed itself to become: constitutionally Chinese, Jewish, Catalan, Lebanese These minorities forcibly impose their psychological space on all those around them, making it impossible to live except as their space determines. Reach an agreement with a Lebanese involving money and what happens seven out of ten times? Just try to get a Chinese to function outside the shopkeeper mentality. Who voluntarily wants to daily deal with all the macho sensitivities of Catalan red-blanket-to-the-bull histrionic arrogant crap? If every time you get your weekly pay check, from your Jewish boss who lives in a five-million-dollar estate, there are ten or twenty dollars missing, and you have to bring it up every week to have the missing money added to the next week's check, and this goes on for years, is your bad attitude about this because you envy the guy, because you are concerned about a few bucks a week, or because you just don't like being forced to live in the sort of psychological universe the guy lives in? His knee-jerk short-change act leverages your psychological space intrusively.
You could quit, get another job. But does that really change anything? The market dominant minority doesn't just dominate the market, it imposes its mental habits and values on all those in its vicinity. Eventually, the market dominant minority takes over the institutions and modifies them so as to mirror that minority's screwed mental habits and values. This imposition is the source of the hatred, not envy. Listen to people talk when they are railing out ethnic hate. It's not envy, not by a long shot. If it were mere envy concerning wealth disparities, the megadeath hiding in the wings would be far less than it certainly will be. When a society is taken over by screwed mental habits and values, each individual makes his or her personal life choices relative to immediate circumstance so as to most intelligently respond to the situation as presented to the person. This may look, en masse, like everyone is freely choosing the imposed way, when most of them hate the life choices they are being forced by circumstance to make.
America is an innovative society. In making itself a global market dominant minority, the innovation is that in adopting cultural monism as the major objective of globalization, America has made imposition of its psychological space upon the cultures of every other people a matter of explicit national policy. This sort of national objective is a rare event in history; it does not easily constellate in the collective psyche of a population corpus. When it manages to do so, this is because there are very strong forcing factors behind it, historical factors with great inertia that will not easily be turned in a different direction. One such forcing factor was the WWII holocaust of the Jews. Unconscious archetypal compensatory processes. America will be unable to achieve its global monoculture objective, which is not a sane objective. But America will not give up the effort to do so, no matter what happens. If thwarted, it will choose to pull the whole edifice down upon itself, rather than relent.
What is the monoculture being imposed by global markets and uniformizing technologies stripped of all cosmological metareference? How does one distinguish between Judeo-Christian fundamentalism and 18th century Enlightenment rationalism? Duke professor of religion, E. P. Sanders, tells us in Who Was Jesus? (Review of: Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts by John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed, New York Review of Books, April 10, 2003) that there has been a sea change amongst the group of scholars called the Jesus Seminar (p. 49):
For many New Testament scholars today -- and this is a very welcome change, since it is a departure from Christian anti-Judaism -- the connection with Judaism is a positive one. The New Testament should be seen in continuity with the Hebrew Bible, Jesus in continuity with the great Hebrew prophets.
This politically-driven sea change is a making of common cause for achievement of cultural monism, a common cause wherein the secular component is the Enlightenment thought which both Christian and Jewish fundamentalists have no trouble cozying up to. Consider the following statements from Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy (Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1979) produced in the waning years of the 19th century by James Tyler Kent, M.D., America's foremost homeopath, a homeopath with a strong Christian fundamentalist bent whose school dominates American homeopathy today:
It is law that governs the world We must begin by having a respect for law, for we have no starting point unless we base our propositions on law Let us acknowledge the authority (p. 6)
The physician ought to have a well-grounded idea of government and law to which there are no exceptions If law and government are present, then law directs every act taking place in the human system. Every government is from the center to the circumference Whenever the system of central political government is not bowed to, anarchy and loss of confidence prevail There cannot be two governments; such would lead to confusion. There is but one unit in every standard. In man the center of government is in the cerebrum. (p. 22)
when man is fully indoctrinated in principle, that which he observes by experience may confirm the things which are consistent with law. (p. 28)
Let me again impress the necessity of knowing something about the internal government of man in order to know how disease develops and travels. If we observe any government, the government of the universe, civil government, the government of commerce, physical government, we find that there is one center that rules and controls and is supreme. (p. 29)
the law directs and experience confirms. (p. 41)
Such statements pervade these lectures on homeopathic medicine, and I suggest that few members of the rabbinate -- given rabbinical emphasis on the law -- would find them offensive.
E. P. Sanders argues against the notion that Jesus was a rural political radical and socioeconomic utopian reacting against a Greco-Romanization of Palestine that was urbanizing and commercializing, destructive of the prevailing subsistence rural social fabric. This argument, whatever its merits of detail, misses the supreme historical fact determining who Jesus was: had Jesus not de-Hebraicized himself, there would not have arisen a Christianity distinct from Judaism. What, then, actually motivates E. P. Sanders' argument for re-Hebraicizing Jesus in this thinly veiled essay in support of current U.S. policy in the Middle East? Were Jesus allowed to be seen as opposing imposition of urbanization and commercialization by the forces of Greco-Roman monoculture, 21st century Christian fundamentalists, by analogy, would be called to oppose the very thing they are largely responsible for creating: exportation of free market democracy to breed ethnic hatred and global instability, Amy Chua's world on fire.
Quite obviously, in due course, they will have it that Jesus helped set up the money changers' tables! Such improved understanding of history will become necessary because Christian fundamentalism is a shaky foundation from which to launch military action for cultural monism. This is so despite missionary zeal and the monolithic catholic medieval church. Why? Jesus Christ, who was he anyway? To anyone knowledgeable about the Indic origins of Pythagorean thought and the principles underlying Cabala who has seen the Sermons on the Mount rendered from ancient Greek into gematria dot patterns and associated cosmological geometrical images (yantras), the question of Jesus' cultural seat is not a pressing issue. Primitive Christianity, which long preceded the appearance of Christ, was a clandestine, Gnostic, cellular, utopian-anarchistic, free-sex, cult movement utilizing sophisticated means of secret communication (gematria), cover organizations (Pythagorean-type schools), mind altering substances (mushrooms), ritual practices (fasting-colonics), and magical procedures (spiritual healing) to spread its message of spiritual liberation.
The affluence of the rural subsistence economy and the richness of its social relations ended with demise of barter and the monetarization of that rural economy. Historically, this preceded the time of Christ and was the why of his attack on the money changers' tables. The gift economy that had paralleled the barter economy had been rooted in identity exchange (not commodity exchange): this was one meaning of the Eucharist Christ attempted to resurrect via a ritualistic taking of bread. Body of my Body is the identity transparency signified in ritual gift exchange. It will not be with Sixties-style street theater or mass demonstrations that America's global monoculture agenda will be seriously challenged at home when it gets into trouble overseas. With sufficient stress, fundamentalism slips easily back into the so-called primitive. Consider the Branch Davidians when you think of the last American government supper. The Japanese government has already faced something similar, and a Tokyo gas attack was required to postpone the inevitable.
Paradoxically, Amy Chua believes that the best hope for democratic capitalism in the non-Western world lies with market-dominant minorities themselves (see her last chapter). This is to be achieved in significant measure by voluntary generosity on part of these minorities. What? What? Voluntary generosity? World on Fire falls into the same category as James C. Scott's celebrated Weapons of the Weak (New Haven: Yale U. Press, 1985), wherein techniques to oppose, say, rise of Malaysia's agro-industrial empires (see: Aihwa Ong, Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline, Albany, SUNY Press, 1987) were recommended, techniques to be employed by peasants that obviously did not work, and couldn't possibly have worked. Why would the world's leading expert on The Moral Economy of the Peasant (New Haven: Yale U. Press, 1976) recommend techniques to the peasantry which could not possibly work? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Scott was an understudy of the CCF's Michael Polanyi? I certainly will not provide the obvious answer a specialist in black propaganda would give.
Not only do I not recommend holding your breath for results of voluntary generosity, but I would ask Amy Chua why she thinks free markets and/or constitutional democracy exist anywhere on the planet today, and how she thinks either could persist when the 17th and 18th century metaphysical assumptions upon which they are based have been proven wrong over and over and over again by experimental science throughout the last 150 years. There is zero chance of free markets and constitutional democracy getting established in the non-Western world when they haven't existed in the Western world for a very long time (if they ever existed). And why would anyone wish to resurrect what is well-deservedly dead? If death had not been well deserved, we wouldn't have quantum and relativity physics. She writes as if Washington policy makers actually believe their own propaganda, i.e., that globalization of free market democracy will create a planetary New Harmony. There is no doubt that self-propaganda subverts the mental functions of the propagandist, but this generally transpires only when the propaganda falsifies past history, not when it projects an improbable future history. Washington policy makers know globalization of so-called free market so-called democracy is a cultural can opener, an ISO uniformization enhancer, a way to gain increased access to natural resources at fire-sale prices, the manner by which financial dominance can be expanded, the royal road to cheap labor, and so on. Local ethnic strife -- as, in the general case, with any successful application of the divide-and-rule strategy -- promotes ability to achieve these U.S. policy goals of globalization, so long as the strife does not altogether remove the local compadors needed for realization of these goals of policy. She says (p. 195):
In other words, the United States is aggressively exporting a model of capitalism that the Western nations themselves abandoned a century ago Is this wise?
Note that she does not ask why, why is the U.S. doing this? Why do you think she doesn't ask why? To ask that question not only would mean to ask whether or not the Plaza Accords were a sting operation and the East Asian economic crisis beginning in July of '97 a consequence of playout of those accords, but it would mean questioning a wealth of false tacit assumptions involved in phrases like analogous historical periods and well-established rule of law traditions. There are no analogous historical periods, unless there is a law of linear historical development culminating in the omega point utopia America signifies for all the worlds peoples. Just as single-logically-valued property is theft of the multivalue at heart of any self-organizing free-market process, so prescriptive law is criminal in that it destroys the autopoietic operators responsible for spontaneous social order, thus mandating necessity of the thin blue line. But just look at what can be achieved by the academic mode of production when Many research assistants devoted dozens, in some cases hundreds, of hours to this book (see her acknowledgements).
You got it. That's right. I regard Amy Chua's book as a piece of black propaganda. What else could come out of Yale Law School Library? Harvard's Samuel P. Huntington produced the U.S. policy encapsulation phrase forced-draft urbanization and Yale spearheaded the attempt to bring to trial for war crimes Cambodian victims of this policy. Meandering the halls of MACV Headquarters in the Spring and Summer of 1968, I was predicting catastrophic consequences of Huntington's policy to anyone who would listen. At that very time, height of the Vietnam War, Huntington produced a tract (Political Order in Changing Societies, New Haven: Yale U. Press, 1968) against Third Word democracy, i.e., self-determination, and later, miraculously, predicted a clash of civilizations due to the policies he had so well advocated: forced urbanization and denial of self-determination. I do not see this as an example of naive American idealism. I'm sorry, I stopped attributing aw-shucks good intentions and inept good will to Americans by the time I was nine years old watching American behaviors in Japan in the mid-1950s. There has never been a misdirected American idealist: this is a creation of disgruntled onetime British colons dissing rise of the American Imperium and of the Hollywood propaganda machine. And no, I do not think this is scapegoating America. Hate America? I love that landscape. To scapegoat is to falsely blame. In the current global avalanche of blame, there have been no mispointed fingers.
Yes, I think Amy Chua underestimates severity of the case. AIDS in the standard account of its origins was created by spreading markets in Africa: forest clearing, road building, et cetera. Moreover, AIDS is a very democratic process. It will not primarily be ethnonationalism and warfare against the very idea of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state system which claims three-quarters of the human species; this will be largely from the psychoneuroimmunological effects of trashed genomes, electromagnetic pollution, omnipresence of mimetic estrogens, and so on and so on.
What do you expect me to say? I obviously think that that assessment of the import of recent events in Iraq is naive. These events mean endgame will be all that much more horrorific. The major contenders have not yet congealed into identifiable entities. I said over a year ago that the organizational phase transition at issue here will take a minimum of three years (which was based on the fact that it took the VC that long to reorganize following the 1965 U.S. troop buildup). Vietnam is not irrelevant simply because the force-structure variables have changed. The U.S. is employing the exact same strategies now it did then. War is war. This war is still in its earliest stages. When the buildup becomes very lavish, there will be major contenders in the wings constraining escalation control options, just as there were relative to Vietnam. It just hasn't gotten there yet. Counting the French period, it took over twenty years for that stage to be reached in Vietnam. Since we are talking global spatial scales and, hence, commensurately dilated temporal scales -- as space and time variables march in lock-step -- three years may well be an underestimation of the time required for organizational phase transition, and time to appearance of heavy constraints on escalation control options is likely much longer. All the strategic defensive requires while undergoing organizational phase transition is to keep on enough tactical offensive pressure that the presence of foreign troops continues to be demanded by the circumstance. Lull your opposition into underestimating your strength. Strategy will change to that of counteroffensive only after the phase transition. Targeting criteria will all have changed. Tactics will be completely different. Afghanistan was not a war, only one of many search and destroy operations. Iraq was not a war, only one of many battles. Why be hoodwinked by the mirage of national boundaries dependent on a notion of space under challenge across the full spectrum of contemporary human thought and practice? Global terrorism is not the real enemy; the enemy to be concerned about has not yet come into being. Evolution of events is bringing him into being. The recruitment base is unparalleled and undepletable. The more people taken out, the easier the task of recruiting. Base areas are not needed as large-scale actions are not required. There is no need to take over a block of geography and establish a nation-state. This war is evolving against the very idea of the nation-state! The more protracted the global conflict becomes, the more processes of self-organization kick in. Private armies are proliferating over virtually the whole planet, as each corporation, each NGO, each care-giver institution recruits its own corpus of mercs. These guys might wear a tie and be well behaved in the beginning. Professional, y'know. Once blooded, twice blooded, group psychology of the battlefield starts to set in. In the end, who the hell do these guys think they're working for! The average merc, you know, is a true believer in the nation-state. Training is not as big an issue as might be thought. Babies learn to swim when tossed into the pool. Sink or swim. The same principle applies here. Some will sink; some will swim. Those who swim are the next generation of leaders. Necessity is the mother of invention. The global insurgent entertains no idea of winning. He does not need to win. Historical processes long in motion will win for him. His job is simply to aid and abet. Just like during the 40-year period of the Containment Policy, when outstanding human problems on this planet could not be effectively addressed, the U.S. has again hijacked and kidnapped the social structure of attention such that no outstanding human problem will be adequately addressed for another period of decades. Trouble is, time's running out for this and many other species. Just as the standard theory (but surely mistaken theory, because it ignores the quantum properties of DNA and RNA) of the origin of AIDS has it that the virus jumped the species barrier due to road building and deforestation, so official history will have it that global Islamic terrorism jumped the religio-ethnic barrier to become global insurgency against the very idea of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state with its supraordinate agglomerations and its hypercorporate market dynamics. While collective attention is arrested by recent wars, present wars, future wars, imaginary wars, reality sneaks up on the species in terms of the dozens of unaddressed human problems, not the least of which is science falsified in service to recent wars, present wars, future wars, imaginary wars, such that severity of the problems cannot be accurately assessed, the models having been falsified in service to That which goes unaddressed brings the species to its knees. The end of history is because there is no longer anyone here who can write it. Unless, of course
Yes, Bizot's The Gate is getting a lot of press. The early-April piece by Alan Riding in the International Herald Tribune (3 April, p. 20) was good. But no one seems to be talking to people who knew Bizot in Southeast Asia in those early days. Nor is anyone actually looking to understand the Cambodian holocaust. There's nothing to understand! It's been fully comprehended from the moment it began. Crazed red idealists imposing their deluded dreamscape on a population of water puppets unable to function without their strings. Oh, the Kissinger/Nixon bombing may have been a factor. But there was bombing in Laos, in Vietnam -- and nothing similar happened. That gives you a feeling for the boundaries of American, indeed, French, Western responsibility. The French embassy was the exit gate, not the entry point to the snake pit. And even if there were something yet to be understood, it's certainly of no great moment, certainly wouldn't reflect directly on the current drift of global events Then there are writers who really understand, even if they don't understand what it is they understand. John Leonard, for one (see his review, p. 75, Harper's, March 2003). Harper's writers are so skilled! How well they have mastered the art of saying nothing well. But in saying nothing well, they sometimes say a great deal they did not know they said.
Leonard compares Bizot's thoughts on causes of the Cambodian holocaust to rubbishy [great word: one always looks for diversions like this as signaling when the writer is putting something over on himself: characteristic property of postmodernist discourse] thinking that blames the Holocaust on the Enlightenment. So, what could Leonard be putting over on himself? In reviewing, in the same extended review, Alston Chase's Harvard and the Unabomber, Leonard says: And so we have to read a lot of the author's undercooked lasagna about Aristotle, Faust, and Western Science since the Renaissance These are the same two statements! They refer to the same blackhole in Leonard's mind. Two different holocausts being talked about here, but Leonard does not use the word holocaust in reference to the two million (his number) Cambodians killed; the extermination of Jews, however, is the Holocaust with a capital letter. So, what is Leonard putting over on himself? It obviously has something to do with the Enlightenment and the Renaissance (about which Harper's has so much positive to say these days). Derek Dillon has made some comments on that subject in his brief verbal retch on the Cambodian holocaust from perspective of a Target's analyst, those who chose B-52 strike locations in Cambodia for the bombing campaign on Cambodia which transpired before the official-history bombing campaign on Cambodia, and also in something of an essay on the deep structure of the origins of WWII. But bombing wasn't the real issue discussed in that retch on Cambodia; the issue discussed was the Enlightenment and Western Science since the Renaissance. Leonard knows something he won't tell himself, something about the past that has something to do with the present which is overwhelmingly vectoring our future. But it's a blackhole in his mind and therefore he can't look it in the face.
Thank you for the article on mercenaries (Pierre Conesa, A Pedigree for the Dogs of War, Le Monde Diplomatique, April 2003). I knew mercs had gone corporate and that subcontracting for warfare was becoming a big business, but I certainly had no idea there are 300,000 security and military assistance companies worldwide and that they do $50bn in annual turnover. This does, indeed, represent a considerable transformation in the nature of warfare: not only will market-driven forces be involved in causes of war and influence strategic considerations, but tactics that are not profitable will not be employable -- at least by those who rely on corporate mercs.
I still (08/27/03) say that those people, the terrorists, with extraordinary psychological insight, pushed America's button and have ever since kept the U.S. on strings, just as would puppet masters. 9/11 represented a meeting of minds. The international terrorists needed an entrapment device to catalyze emergence of circumstances within which they could effectively initiate organizational phase transition to global insurgency against the very idea of the Newtonian nation-state and its supranational agglomerations, and the Americans were waiting with baited breath for events to make possible policy initiatives which otherwise would not be tolerated by the international community, but which were clearly necessary to demonstrate to the Americans themselves, and others, that the Newtonian paradigm is alive and well, in spite of the fact that it is daily being more and more disproved by experimental science and the technology base is evermore thoroughly embodying itself in the principles of quantum mechanics. The prevailing institutionalization is sustainable because the paradigm it is derived from is intact: that is what America doubts and, therefore, must prove to itself by exhibitions in force of arms. The problem is, in allowing the terrorists to make transit to global insurgency, America has bitten onto a hook tied to a superstring with elastic spacetime dilation properties it cannot hope to break, while the terrorists have only to gain by whatever action the American fish undertakes in trying to throw the hook. Like the hydra, every terrorist killed yields ten new volunteers -- because they still have big families in that part of the world; kill a brother, recruit the whole extended family.
Declaring global war on terrorism, America not only volunteered to engineer for the terrorists their sought-after phase transition, but formalized the exponential growth curve in resource commitment required to service the counterinsurgent's explicit responsibility to maintain public safety spread over a geographical extent spanning the whole planet and within a protracted timeframe of indefinite extent. Iraq certainly is not another Vietnam War; it is far worse. Afghanistan was no war, Iraq was no war; these were engagements in what ultimately will become protracted global war, a war with conflicts between nation-states embedded within it. The list of soft targets worldwide is, indeed, a long one. Hardening them would cost the projected GNP of the planet over the next several centuries. And the terrorist, not yet having become an actual insurgent -- he's only recently entered that school, minimally in Afghanistan and somewhat more elaborately in Iraq -- has not even begun to explore the spectrum of targeting criteria available to him.
Whatever the first moves out of the gate, the American Achilles has no possibility of beating the terrorist tortoise. Why else was there such a big flap over the recent paper on Zeno's paradoxes and time? That young fellow proved America could beat the terrorists! Even when infinite regresses in space and time are involved.
Rise of the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm began as the New World -- the American continents -- was being discovered: late 15th, early 16th century. This paradigm was being codified as village massacres marched toward full-blown genocide and slavery: mid to late 17th century. America's "manifest destiny" has been and still is to kill animism anywhere and everywhere it is found. That is why an unmolested, non-probablistic quantum theory is so problematic: the identity construct involved is unadulterated animism. Animism is identity transparency between persons, places, and things: the exact opposite of individualism. Get rid of the probability interpretation of Schrödinger's wave-function, and you are left with identity transparency, non-simple identity in quantum parlance.
This evokes fear of the redskin every time. As Kathleen Parker says in Anxious Moderns Seek Solace in Primitive Hooey (Townhall, 08/21/03), we seem to have devolved to a state of such self-contempt that any ol' aborigine is better than what white men have wrought in the guise of Western civilization. She perceives, and fears the fact, that anywhere and everywhere people are psychologically identified with anything and everything associated with animism. Whether the topic of the day is fatherhood, family, marriage, divorce, childbirth, nutrition, addiction, blackouts or the California recall, some little snip out there launches the 'oh-yeah-well-in-primitive-cultures-yadda-yadda-yadda'. What Ms. Parker doesn't understand, and what is the source of her fear, is that those who are identified with animism do not understand why they are so identified. Ask people why they love piercing behaviors and tattoos. You will not get an insightful answer because the motivations are largely subliminal. The actual reason for this animistic identification is that the collective unconscious knows quantum theory has all along been falsified and that the correct understanding of the new physics involves embracing the animism we have been on a rampage to destroy since the first village massacre in the 1630s.
The correspondence between tribal animism and the non-simple identity described by Schrödinger's wave-function is the reason why the phase shift from international terrorism to global insurgency against the very idea of the Newtonian nation-state and its supranational agglomerations will ultimately be successful: this success will be achieved as the barrier of Islamic extremism is jumped through achievement of a rapprochement with the pro-animistic, anti-nation-state sentiments of the dispossessed herd, the billion-plus forced off the land by individualistic capitalism into squatter settlements in mega-urban regions around the world. America's knee-jerk rampage against animism, on its many levels and in its many guises and incarnations over centuries, is a behavioral automatism easily read by terrorists, and represents a strategic vulnerability not likely to be overcome, because it is the defining characteristic of the original charter forming the American sense of self-identity. Like Sampson, America will choose to pull the whole temple down upon itself when this goes to cusp.
Nope, wrong again. Derek Dillon is not anti-American, he is anti-human. He is against the human interest, of which Empower America is only a small part. The human interest is not in the larger interest. Derek Dillon has had his complement of personal last-straws, precipitating terminal contempt. This is the source of his optimism. These last-straws have been the occasions of his personal spiritual liberation: breaking psychological identification with larger and larger, less concrete and less concrete loops of the self-identity spiral. What else is yogic inner work all about? Each identification broken opens onto deeper, larger, fuller realms of experience and conception. Science is in principle, and at its best, a failed enterprise, because it does not ennoble the practitioner. Fully commensurate consequences will be reaped. The general outlines of what is going to happen on this planet are quite clear. The details are of no real interest. What is going to happen to the human species is exactly what that species deserves, and though this certainly will not be in the human interest, it very definitely will be in the interests of the biosphere, the planet, and larger spheres. You can only slap the hand that feeds you so long, before it grabs you by the throat. As Kazantzakis, in his great epic poem, put into the mouth of Odysseus: I fling red poppies down! May the world burst into flames.
Here it is 09/08/03 and President Bush has asked for 87 billion more dollars for Iraq. Tell me that popular misconceptions about the 1968 Tet offensive, due to concealment of intelligence information, have no relevance to contemporary circumstances. If you do not believe this see the following article from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2993,96675,00.html.
Now (10/06/03) that C. Rice has been named to head up a new incarnation of CORDS, yet one more ad hoc committee, this time with responsibility for Iraq and Afghanistan, it seems appropriate to make a few more comments. One of the things that makes Iraq not another Vietnam, but far worst then Vietnam, is the fact that the U.S., in its global war against international terrorism, is using absolutely every technique -- bureaucratic, strategic, and tactical -- it used in Vietnam, only applied to much larger geographic and time scales. This is the case even of the so-called new Network-Centric Warfare used to conquer Afghanistan and Iraq. In context of the global war against terrorism, the actions in Afghanistan and Iraq were equivalent to battles in Vietnam like that at Dak Tho where enormous amounts of massed force were thrown against the adversary; they are not equivalent to the whole of the Vietnam war. The Powell Doctrine, derivative of lessons learned in Vietnam, has not been applied to the present global theater of warfare, only to specific engagements, because it can't be applied to the whole war anymore than it could have been applied to the whole Vietnam war -- and in both such engagements, Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy has faded away so as to fight another day in its own way at its chosen time and place. The enemy needed to make a synoptic organizational phase transition -- from that appropriate to international terrorism to that required to foment global insurgency against the very idea of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state system and its supranational and supracorporate agglomerations -- and it could not make this transition without assistance. The U.S. clients who fought the Russians in Afghanistan learned more than the U.S. learned from that war and Vietnam taken together. Only the U.S. had the military capability at its disposal required to catalyze the enemy's required organizational phase transition. 9/11 was the baited hook used to get the U.S. to take the actions required to create the circumstances within which this phase transition could be entered upon. The U.S. need to make periodic marshal displays in order to demonstrate its control of the global agenda, so as to maintain dollar confidence in an unbacked, freely printable, untied to gold exchange, fiat international reserve currency, insured that the hook would be taken with the bait. The enemy's phase transition will take years and run through many stages, and there certainly will be setbacks, but, so far, it has been going very well for the enemy. They have made no big mistakes and, all in all, have performed better than even they could have hoped. There are five main reasons why the U.S. is currently using all the same techniques it used in Vietnam: (1) No one who learned anything strategically and politico-militarily significant in Vietnam stayed in the military; those who stayed had learned little and subsequently applied all the little they learned; (2) America convinced itself that it was stabbed in the back in Vietnam, that it was not beaten on the politico-military battlefield; consequently, the techniques used there were not, and are not, considered ineffective; autopsies on people's war were written; (3) the top-down conventions of American politico-military bureaucracy cannot effectively adapt to the demands of bottom-up low-intensity warfare, so the bureaucracy keeps running through the few algorithms available to it whenever confronted by such challenges; the administrative separation of psywar into special ops and psychological ops in the 1950s signified the failure to integrate the politico-military aspects of warfare, and this separation has never been overcome, and can't be because of the nature of the American political philosophy: countervailing forces, separation of powers, and so on, determine the categories through which events are perceived and catalogued, and the forms of organization that can be employed (there is no political framework within the U.S. military, for instance, therefore no effective political dimension to military action); (4) a democracy failing because the institutionalization of the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm is failing cannot effectively spawn clones of a political system it no longer possesses in viable form; this was the case in Vietnam, and it is the case in Afghanistan and Iraq; (5) the war in Vietnam was not the war in Vietnam anymore than the war in Iraq is the war in Iraq; both wars were surrogates or proxies, in Vietnam relative to the Russians and Chinese, in Iraq/international-terrorists/global-insurgents/Afghanistan relative to the global economic system and the specter of confrontation with a Greater China (potentially aligned with a Germano-Russian bloc). The war within the war was not then the war, just as the war within the war is not now the war. Dollar confidence and Chinese access to strategic oil reserves are the overriding strategic determinants today, just as Containment was once the overriding strategic determinant. Central Asia is tactically important because of the threat to the Chinese rear control of it represents. The Vietnam war brought down the Bretton Woods monetary system; the present global conflict in all likelihood will bring down the U.S. dollar. Strategy of the enemy within the enemy today is directed to the presidential elections of 2004, just as strategy of the enemy within the enemy was once directed toward the 1968 presidential elections. The wild card on the scene right now, the wag-the-dog factor, is the North Korean Chinese client, probably the only thing presently prevailing that could immediately galvanize U.S. public opinion behind another adventure or continuing adventurism. But, regardless of who is elected in 2004, the global strategic conundrum will remain in place and its forcing functions will remain just as they were before the election. Incidentally, don't you find it interesting how effective a deterrent it is to give the death sentence to those members of suicide-bomber squads who survive their act of terrorism and are captured.
The Tet Offensive of 1968 was a desperate roll of the dice by the Viet Cong. It ended in their disastrous defeat. Some 50,000 of its critical cadre were killed, and all the gains of Tet were rolled back by the Americans in three weeks.
Iraq & Tet, George W. & LBJ
September 29, 2003
Critical cadre, indeed. What a belly laugh! Even Douglas Pike, the USIA originator of the psychological defeat thesis (and thus of the American version of the stab in the back myth), must be rolling his eyes in his grave as a result of this statement, so factually inaccurate it is. When Pike's article came out in the N.Y. Times soon after the offensive, the intelligence analysts at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ, in Saigon could not keep from rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter. Those same analysts laughed their way through the Westmoreland versus CBS trial as the concealment of intelligence information begun in 1966 continued to unfold, this time in full public view. Other than Sam Adams, not a single truly knowledgeable person was called to testify in that trial, and when the threat of calling such a person was made, Westmoreland dropped the suit. Not Derek Dillon, someone else. The Viet Cong carried out by means of that offensive a country-wide re-organization of their apparat, purged their ranks of the recalcitrant local-autonomy advocates who would have later plagued them, and began dismantling the NFLSVN (yes, little known outside suppressed intelligence documents, stamped NODISS, no dissemination, meaning laterally or VERTICALLY, the Vietnamese communists themselves, beginning in 1968, brought the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam to an end, beginning in Military Region V) as they successfully transited country-wide to a completely new post-front and pre-government organizational format untouched by activities of the Phoenix Program. If anything, the Phoenix Program was of great assistance to them in making this organizational phase transition which placed them in a position to entice the U.S. into expanding the geographical extent of the war, such expansion being a self-defeating act on the part of any counterinsurgent, where expanded scales of space- and time-related variables ALWAYS favor the insurgent. By continuing to promulgate the myth that the Tet Offensive was a psychological victory and a military failure, Buchanan contributes to the stab in the back way of thinking that gave rise to the Powell Doctrine, applications of which he decries in the same piece of commentary. By doing so, he helps conceal significance of the fact that the Bush Doctrine, by employing a contemporary version of the Phoenix Program and in declaring the geographical extent of the current war on terrorism to be planetary in scale and indefinite in extent, is catalyzing an organizational phase transition that could not otherwise be accomplished. In over 30 years Buchanan has made no effort to correct his mistaken impression, his lack of information, and his factual inaccuracies. But that certainly does not make him unique!
Thanks for alerting me to Jonathan Minsky's review of David Elliott and Daniel Ellsberg (Wartime Lies, The New York Review of Books, October 9, 2003). I will certainly have to read Elliott's book (The Vietnamese War: Revolution and Social Change in the Mekong Delta, 1930-1975), although it seems clear from the review that the Rand perspective has not been supplemented, which is a shame after all these years. The problem with Rand was not what they did and the information they generated, but what they didn't do and the information they did not assimilate. Their reliance on interrogations (interviews), category studies (insurgent economics, 1954 stay-behinds, taxation policies, captured diary studies, recruitment, the like), and when they used captured enemy documents, reliance predominantly on policy documents (which were largely internal self-criticism having psychological purposes as a large component of their reason for being), prevented Rand from penetrating certain critical aspects of what transpired. In 1968, David Elliott wrote a Rand memo on Saigon rumors that a purge within the Vietcong was part of what was involved in the Tet offensive. He dismissed these rumors as having no substance. I read the memo in Saigon at the time, and the dismissal was based on being ill-informed about what was happening within the Viet Cong (political) Infrastructure (VCI). Rand did not do systematic analysis of nuts-and-bolts VCI bureaucratic documents, as was done at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2. This sort of analysis involved engagement with all the details and difficulties associated with code designations, document discovery coordinates, AKAs, and a wealth of other traffic analysis minutia which were not within the purview of Rand Corporation as a profit making entity. Out-sourcing to corporate warriors has its inherent liabilities. If you want to understand why SRA had little influence on U.S. Government policy, read MOON. Everything that came out of Rand was read at SRA. I read a large number of Rand interviews, probably most every one circulating in intelligence channels through mid-summer of 1968. I, and others at SRA, interrogated many of the same people Rand interrogated, spending a great deal of time traveling to POW camps to find them -- particularly 1954 stay-behinds (including many Rand did not find and interview who surfaced after the Tet-'68 offensive). But we focused on a different kind of information than did Rand; our focus was upon the minutia. I read all of Rand's category studies I could find. I saw, however, little evidence that Rand assimilated the material produced by SRA. They simply weren't interested in the perspective SRA took to the subject and they had a tendency, being academic specialists and scholars, to off-handedly dismiss what was produced by intelligence analysts within the military. Admittedly, our reports were no where near as well written as was theirs, but the circumstances under which our reports were written were very different from the circumstances at Rand. We, for instance, did not have a typing pool. Nonetheless, the material produced by SRA not only was unique, it was based on voluminous information access not available anywhere else. On a daily basis, we interacted with the translators at the Combined Document Exploitation Center as the documents were being selected for translation and as they were translated (thus we knew something of what wasn't being translated, and often accessed things that never went past the hand-written stage: analytical strategies determined what was translated, and if your analytical strategy wasn't sanctioned from above, you had to find back-channel ways to get what you wanted, which couldn't be done outside the theater or with periodic trips to the theater, as it depended on cultivating and constantly servicing personal relationships); we were continually in and out of the Combined Intelligence Center, Viet Nam, the Norodom Complex at the U.S. Embassy, and the Joint General Staff compound; we could interrogate anyone we wanted anywhere in the Southeast Asia; and we had access to all the intelligence distribution everyone else got. We learned, for instance, that the dismantling of the NFLSVN began in MR-5 in the immediate aftermath of the 1968 Tet offensive, and that the year-long countrywide massive reorganization (actual acts of reorganization, the general planning stages for which came before) of the VCI in preparation for that offensive was executed in such a way as to anticipate that dismantling. Gary Giles, an SRA analyst, wrote a detailed, well documented, and illuminating study of this in late 1968, a copy of which I found on the first day I went to the U.S. Army Center for Military History in 1980 while researching MOON. I knew exactly what to look for. By late 1968, this dismantling had evolved to marked degree over much of the South. The Southerner-staffed front format of insurgent organization was being transformed into a pre-governmental format largely staffed by Northerners. The offensive had been so successful as a vehicle of organizational transformation (the primary objective of the offensive), that the front format could be successfully abandoned over large areas. Truong Nhu Tang, whom Minsky cites as an authority, was a non-party NFLSVN cadre, and that being the case, he could not have had the information access to have been appraised of this organizational transformation. The NFLSVN existed as a stage set at the national level in the South, where Ong Tang sat as Minister of Justice, and at the levels district and below. In between these two echelon levels, the NFLSVN had no actual existence at any point in the war: it was mere paper projection. The details of how this worked are described in MOON. The last stage set dismantled was at the national level, as the primary role of these non-party NFLSVN people was to project an image to the world at large, and this was useful late into the war. Ong Tang could not have understood this, as he was never involved with vertical communication or command between echelons in the NFLSVN, as there never was any such vertical communication or command within the NFLSVN at any time in the war. The VCI, which ran everything at every level in the South, was not the NFLSVN; the two were composed of different people -- the NFLSVN being an interface, not a command and control apparatus. This is not yet really understood by most experts on the war. And this lack of understanding is currently of critical importance to formulation of U.S. counter-terror policy. Claims have all along been made, and currently are being repeatedly made, that all of this has been and is thoroughly understood, yet public statements by U.S. Government officials to this very day are continually being made which belie that claim. Minsky's review once more endorses the false thesis that the Tet offensive was a military failure. There was not a single intelligence analyst at SRA in 1968 who believed this notion, as they understood that peoples' war is not a war of attrition, that it is a war of competitive forced assimilation, with a hierarchy of levels of organizational competency (not only numerical scales) relative to the recruitment base -- locally to globally -- being the all-important critical variable. There is a great difference between numbers of people organized at given points in time, and levels of organizational competency at given points in time. This distinction has never been adequately appreciated by American policy makers and most American intelligence analysts. A lower number at a higher level of organizational competency may well have greater capability. Nor are levels of organizational competency simply a matter of the skills of the people involved; there are many systemic factors determining these levels. And scholars with a social history focus have, without undertaking the requisite studies, largely dismissed organization as having been overstated in importance, when the exact opposite is the actual case. David Marr, for instance, while an intelligence officer in Vietnam, did not have the information access to arrive at such a judgment -- and never had it subsequently. Level of commitment to promulgation of the war amongst the American population (located toward the global end of the Vietnamese communist recruitment base) was only one of a multiplicity of interactive variables. Application of force in peoples's war has utility only in so far as it has inductive effect and/or facilitates transition to higher levels of competency in self-organization. Apply the principles determining outcome of a war like World War Two to assessment of the 1968 Tet offensive and you conclude the offensive was a military failure. Apply the principles determining outcome in peoples' war to the assessment of that offensive and you conclude that it was a military success. Attrition is not a critical variable determining outcome: level of self-organizational competency achieved, at any point in time, sets rates, rates of recruitment, taxation, infiltration, et cetera. Many factors are involved in determining success or failure of a given phase transition between levels of self-organizational competency. All the rules of organizational adaptation under the influence of free-energy flows across nested boundaries are at play. This is why boundary changes were of such importance to how the VCI organized all of its activities. There may, for instance, be multiple reasons why sacrifices in currently available manpower would facilitate a specific self-organizational phase transition: this was, indeed, the case at Tet-'68. And it is surely again the case in the present phase transition between international terrorism and global insurgency. To quote Evelyn Fox Keller quoting Barbara McClintock (A Feeling for the Organism, W. H. Freeman, 1983, p. 136): the long-sought-after 'determination events' whichever way they arise [are] 'organized systems that function as units at any one time '.
It is truly an astounding experience to read prevailing public commentary on the current global war against international terrorism. One simply cannot find any significant level of comprehension on display by commentator or quoted official: there is no substantive difference to be found, for instance, in reading Oliver North writing for the Washington Times and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. writing reviews in The New York Review of Books. Oliver North is like a wind-up toy poodle who barks the same yap-yap over and over and over: The long, hard slog (Nov. 2, 2003). This wouldn't be so bad if he actually knew something about the subject he ostensibly writes about. Are we capturing or killing more terrorists than are being produced by fundamentalist Islamic schools? No. Thank God we are building schools that actually teach math and science: a new tool to supercede CAPs in the war of attrition, I suppose. He even quotes Sun Tzu (but, unfortunately, misinterprets the quote). With such insightful commentary from a person with a great deal of insider experience, the American people can rest assured they are not in process of committing collective suicide. And Schlesinger offers similarly profound observations: Following the attack of September 11, the Afghan war was necessary, since the Taliban government refused to turn over bin Laden (p. 26, The N.Y. Review of Books, Eyeless in Iraq, Oct. 23, 2003). It was necessary, you see, for the U.S. to facilitate organizational phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency because the Taliban government refused. And American public opinion, of course, as ill informed as it was and is, had and has to be satisfied. But, as stated in the entry given immediately above, There may, for instance, be multiple reasons why sacrifices in currently available manpower would facilitate a specific self-organizational phase transition. This was certainly the case for Al Qaeda and the Taliban following 9/11, 9/11 being the means by which, to quote the quotation from Sun Tzu quoted by North, Those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him. In responding in the prescribed way to the Taliban government's refusal, the U.S. took the baited hook and, with its subsequent war in Iraq, has done far more to catalyze the sorely needed global organizational phase transition then anyone, including bin Laden, could ever have hoped for. People like Schlesinger and North imagine the evolving circumstance may in time become, at worst, something like a quagmire requiring The long, hard slog. Try to imagine a more complete failure in comprehension! As if national borders are somehow like cell walls preventing organizational phase transitions from escaping their boundary conditions. Think of the half-dozen levels of relevancy that statement has to the presently evolving global war. In Vietnam, the GVN boundaries remained substantially unchanged throughout the war. The VCI, however, did not use GVN boundaries; for the same province, district, village, they created their own boundaries and kept them in a state of considerable flux as part of their ongoing organizational dynamic. As international terrorism transits to global insurgency, more and more indications will be noted that alternative geographical boundaries are being established de facto without regard to government-consensus national borders. Were this to fail to occur, international terrorism would not successfully transit to global insurgency. For those who think in terms of attrition, of course, such a statement makes no sense. Subsequent organizational phases would involve transits through various states of insurgent self-organizational competency toward the condition of pre-government. How this transpires is all in a wealth of detail.
I'm not just making idle Cassandraesque predictions; I'm explaining why. Consider the following excerpt from Derek's Journals (MOON, Vol. II, p. 350) written in the early 1970s and published in 1994:
We will see increasingly that the terrorist is being transformed into an insurgent. What is the difference between these two? He [the insurgent] also knows that his actions have no possibility of achieving his goal. Therefore, he decides to use the provoked actions of the state to achieve his goal The only player in the game with sufficient force available is the state. But this entity's communications systems and decision algorithms -- by necessity of its very defining characteristics -- are so confused, so vulnerable, so tending toward self-contradictory behaviors, that it takes very little to provoke the entity into autoimmune responses. All the more so, the more centralized these systems become, the more they rely on classification schemes, entry codes, et cetera The opposition engages in actions to provoke increasing secrecy and therefore increasingly contradictory response.
Certainly such responses were part of the intelligence SNAFUs preceding 9/11 and the second U.S. invasion of Iraq, as well as the provoked response which was the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The suicide of David Kelly (see: Blair in Trouble by James Fenton, New York Review of Books, October 23, 2003), viewed in the context of the British intelligence bureaucracy, is most assuredly a case of the autoimmune responses the insurgent relies upon. Morale in the bureaucracy is profoundly impacted by such occurrences. But these cases were much more complex than that. They were preceded by the Oklahoma City bombing and the Tokyo gas attack, both of which very likely had a discreditation operation component -- given that Soka Gakkai was about to take over the Japanese government and that the precursor legislation to the Patriot Act was publicly aired soon after the bombing in Oklahoma City. And because Beau Gritz was found in his SUV on a back road in Montana having accidentally shot himself in the chest with his sidearm soon after having made public comments about rogue elements in the U.S. government in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing. It is simply not within the realm of actual possibility that someone with a combat background as elaborate as that of Beau Gritz accidentally shot himself, as the police told the reporters, even were he drunk. In trying to assess an actual strategic equation, it is beneficial to look at the actual realities of the involved circumstances. And the actual motivations for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, just as surely, involved factors not publicly acknowledged by the U.S. or British governments. Such conspiracy theory judgments are not nearly so out of the box as they once were, given that Al Gore's recent speeches present assessments strongly tending in the same direction.
But applicability of the above given quotation is germane not only to grand strategy and globalony, but also to the minutia of bureaucratic detail. Juxtapose this quotation with recent (November 14, 2003) reports out of Afghanistan that 94 percent of U.S. National Guard troops assigned there have pay problems, that many have not been paid for the duration of their tours there, that some have even received bills for the pay due to them, bills as high as $48,000. Was I surprised by this? Not in the least. After being wounded in Vietnam, I went many months without pay and had to survive on my poker skills. The disintegration of the U.S. Army in Vietnam was not only due to being defeated on the battlefield, but also was in part brought about due to the attitude changes induced in the average soldier by an inordinate wealth of bureaucratic SNAFUs and resultant corruption. My father was the supply and materiel trouble-shooter brought in from the Pentagon to handle the Phan Rang/Cam Ranh Bay construction project. This was well before the disintegration became elaborately visible. His biggest headache was the stealing of supplies by other U.S. military units (much of which made its way onto the black market and thus into supply channels of the Viet Cong, the profits going into the pockets of U.S. officials as far away as Japan). Many millions of dollars were involved. Those supplies likely were used in the building of the superhighway the Ho Chi Minh Trail eventually became. My father retired from the military soon after leaving Vietnam because he was fed up with the ever increasing moral depletion of the American officer corps he had witnessed since the end of WWII as a result of its corrupt involvements with defense contracting. On a much smaller scale, in Special Forces Training Group we were subtly taught to steal to accomplish the task at hand. We were given tasks and not given the supplies required to accomplish them. Protestations were repeatedly met with: Just get the job done; I don't care how. In due course, the correct interpretation was arrived at. This was training, not due to an actual lack of supplies. Living off the land behind enemy lines. By the time of the Afghan invasion, people were going in with suitcases full of cash to buy outcome of the war. Imagining that this does not have a disintegrative effect on integrity of the military is to live in a fantasy world. Use of money as a major component of military strategy is a behavior that grows out of a particular type of military culture. Another example is how in the late 60s, immediately after formation of the Jewish Defense League, that League, under cover (a blank box on the separation clearing form that had to have a Joe Blow signature in it), was allowed by the U.S. government a recruitment interview with each Special Forces soldier separating from the Army at Ft. Bragg. Ostensibly, this was a recruitment pitch for a training assignment in a border kibbutz, but in actuality was for running cross-border reprisal raids. Big money. Swiss bank account. Life insurance policy. Likely, this was out-sourced because the Israelis did not want to corrupt their intelligence services with illegal activities that would have been publicly classified as terrorist in nature. Discipline in the corps breaks down under such circumstances. Derek predicted in MOON that a time will come when an American Expeditionary Force lays its arms down in the field and attempts to walk home. Circumstances certainly don't appear to be approaching anything like that yet, but the prerequisites are being constellated, and will continue to be constellated.
You asked what I thought would happen if international terrorism jumps the Islamic fundamentalist ethno-cultural-religious divide and actually becomes full-blown global insurgency. I think we already see clear indications of what will happen. There are over 300,000 private security firms out there subcontracting to governments and multinational corporations, each pulling together a nascent private army. This is the beginning of the warlordization of the planet. Out-sourcing to corporate warriors and other war profiteers, privatizing warfare on a large scale -- war-related construction being a big example of the involved trickle-down effect -- began in earnest with the Vietnam war and has gathered steam ever since. Colin Powell became a speech-making multimillionaire after the first Iraq war, a behavior profoundly corruptive to the American officer corps. Indeed, the computerized library system in America today -- which is closing down access to technical literature to all those who have not passed the compliance test of institutional affiliation, technical journals being pulled off the shelves as they go to electronic media requiring an access code for perusal -- was an outgrowth of the IDHS (intelligence data handling system) developed by Computer Sciences Corporation for use at MACV Headquarters in Saigon, which Derek, in his journals written in the early 1970s and published in MOON, railed against becoming the model for the public library system. When falsification of science is pandemic, and the world view construct upon which the prevailing institutional structure is based comes under profound challenge, the best protection of the falsifications is a data handling system with access limitations. There are many dimensions to warlordization. The greater risk is something like happened in Russia in the aftermath of WWI, only with a different informing ideology. This topic is broached in the Kyoto International Conference Hall scene in MOON. When the Cartesian-Newtonian institutionalization fails utterly, yielding great suffering to huge numbers of people, involving epidemics and consequences of recombinant DNA, use of nuclear weapons, ecological disasters, and so on, the onus for this will be placed on the professional and moneyed classes, who will rightfully be seen as having been complicit. Any educated person, anyone known to have been wealthy, will be hunted down as collective hysteria drives mass behaviors. That is the risk in the evolving circumstances. When I argued in 1968 from general principles of insurgency warfare that any expansion of the geographical boundaries of the Vietnam war would lead to a catastrophe, I did not imagine anything like the Cambodian holocaust. What actually transpired was beyond my imagination. And what actually transpires out of the present global situation may well also be beyond my capacity to imagine, projecting from general principles. Indeed, that seems quite likely. I make these arguments and predictions, while at the same time describing what I feel needs to be done, because, so long as people do not acknowledge the realities in the situation, there will be no actions undertaken to effectively engage what needs to be engaged. The actions taken will remain ineffective.
Look, virtually without exception, there will be no registration of the real reasons why the Cartesian-Newtonian institutionalization was terminated. The terminator will be seen as riding on the back of specific concrete circumstances, circumstances unique in history and unrepeatable, not esoterica like conflicts in higher mathematics, physics, logic, intruding unwelcome concepts concerning the nature of identity, and so on. The concrete circumstances could be very like those presently prevailing, or they could be others yet to come. Currently, there certainly are those who see the U.S. as having brilliantly won the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as having put tremendous pressure on the international terrorists. Yes, they acknowledge, there are continuing problems in Iraq and Afghanistan; nation-building is a complex, expensive, and lengthy task. But very few casualties have been sustained and the process is moving along about as fast as can be expected. Yet, an election is looming in America and there is increasing public outcry, largely due to partisan politics and media manipulation. The U.S. may be forced to backtrack on a successful policy because of the vagaries of electoral politics. In this age of international terrorism, where the very foundations of civilization are at stake, this cannot be allowed to happen. Dot. Dot. Dot. When they lose control of events abroad, they will not acknowledge this even to themselves, and they will take control over what they can control -- the domestic situation -- because what they most need to experience is control over their own mental functions, a control which they demonstrate to themselves by controlling events, whatever events. This compulsion for control is because of the subliminally recognized threat to their mental automatisms presented by the real reasons for termination of the Cartesian-Newtonian institutionalization: conflicts in higher mathematics, physics, logic, intruding unwelcome concepts concerning the nature of identity, and so on. The they is virtually everyone, as virtually everyone still cognitively resides, psychologically and perceptually resides, in the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm -- even most of those who pretend to have moved on into the so-called new paradigm.
Now that the evoked-response hammer strategy is being applied in Iraq (do what you do best, not what is required by the circumstance) and the U.S. has been forced into a proposed global shift to a colonial hill station military posture so as to implement a planetary flea swatting approach (see: Military Alters Plans for Possible Conflicts by Bradley Graham, Washington Post, November 17, 2003), Al Qaeda must be rubbing its palms together with glee as well as ghee. And we even have desk jockey academic experts in counter-terror policy observing that Al Qaeda's shift to softer categories in targeting policy indicates weakness, even a gathering desperation, when, in fact, it indicates a successful transit through another stage in global self-organizational phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency. Evoked-response down-sizing of the U.S. military to a central-command-directed colonial hill station posture, serviced by air power -- the French strategy in Vietnam up through Dien Bien Phu, which was resupplied from Ashiya AFB, Japan, under the watchful eyes of a preadolescent Derek Dillon -- when it is globally implemented, will greatly facilitate the warlordization of spaceship Earth. Who is it, anyhow, who has mastered the principles of self-organizing systems, free-market neocons with their ever more centralized single chain of command over peppered hill station flea swatters or Al Qaeda with its increasingly fractalized interlinked neural network approach? Who is locked into the old Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm and who is transiting to the new? Increasingly, it looks like -- as Hernando de Soto suggests -- extralegality will become the royal road to social, political, and economic formalization of the new paradigm, globally. Not that this in any way surprises post-adolescent Derek Dillon.
Here they come! Finally starting to get the idea. Starting, but only just starting. Talking of The Thirty Years' War, the Peace of Westphalia, of Hobbes' Leviathan, of initialization of the modern nation-state system, of tribalism, of all against all. Yes, Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr. is starting to see it. Thank you for referring me to this article: "Forget Vietnam" (National Journal, November 21, 2003). He notes that during The Thirty Years' War the population of central Europe dropped by a third. Increment that up in terms of the relative proportionality of available force between The Thirty Years' War and the present global war and you will get a feeling for potential losses in the currently evolving conflict. Freedberg says: the terrorists strike at every aspect of the Western system the great irony of the 21st century is that, even as Islamic extremists are eroding the Westphalian state system from below, Western elites are eroding it from above. But is this truly irony? Not by a long shot. Freedberg neglected to read the preface to Hobbes' Leviathan, which Derek Dillon studied very closely and quoted from memory in MOON: For what is the heart, but a spring? It has been quite sometime now that we have known that the heart is not a spring; the mechanistic view of reality has been in increasing abeyance since the mid-19th century. The metaphysical foundations of the Westphalian state system were terminally sundered long ago. That system has been dying a long, slow death and is now approaching the final rattling fulmination. Freedberg begins his article with the following observation: The United States is like a man who survives a massive heart attack and becomes compulsive about checking his blood pressure, salt intake, and cholesterol -- but ignores the fact that both his father and grandfather died of colon cancer. This statement is most applicable, not to the U.S., but to the Westphalian state system as a whole -- and colon cancer is a very appropriate simile.
But Freedberg is ill-informed on another point that makes him underestimate severity and depth of the case. He says: Even where they exploited tribal conflicts, Communist guerrillas superimposed central committees to exercise top-down control Therefore, Forget Vietnam. He contrasts this top-down centralized control with the amorphous decentralization of Al Qaeda's network of networks. Vietnam does not apply to Iraq qua Iraq, it applies to the whole global war against the very idea of the nation-state system and its supraordinate agglomerations. Freedberg is starting to see actual dimensions of the prevailing global conflict, but he does not know that what beat the U.S. in Vietnam was the amorphously decentralized (think, for instance, constant ongoing boundary changes) Viet Cong Political Infrastructure (VCI) which emerged out of the age-old Taoist identity-transparent animistic roots of the village voluntary associations (bao giap), an identity transparency modernized under the influence of the anarchistic and Trotskyist commitments cultivated from the late-20s by Southerners like Tran Van Giau, the leading figure in the South from the mid-Thirties through the mid-Fifties (the figure Tran Bach Dang's career followed in lockstep). These anarchistic decentralizing commitments the Northern Confucian bo doi relentlessly opposed throughout the whole anticolonial and American periods, and these commitments were the primary reason for the purge dimension to the Tet-'68 offensive. MOON discusses all of this in great detail, of course. The academic and governmental authorities on the Vietnam war all took Douglas Pike's book The Vietcong at face value, or, if they were left-leaning, simply dismissed all intelligence-derived characterizations; there was no recognition that his account was based on only some 800 VC policy documents (primarily internal kiem thao or phe binh, self-criticism) and largely was an uninformed generalization onto the Vietnamese case from the academic literature on international communism, that the book was not based on analysis of bureaucratic nuts-and-bolts documents, with which Pike never engaged, even in the days after the war when he created the Indochina Archive (Nha Trang and I spent six months there doing research for MOON and talking with him daily). Sam Adams, for instance, made repeated attempts to read Pike's book, but never could get through it because there was so little connection between what Sam knew from close analysis of the nuts-and-bolts documents and what was said in Pike's book. Moreover, the Western academic take on Chinese communism and the Cultural Revolution was also not based on internal documentary evidence, but largely on generalizations from the academic literature on international communism. There has never been Western exposure to internal nuts-and-bolts bureaucratic documents relative to the political dimensions of Chinese communist party organization. Only the Imperial Japanese Army had access to such captured documents, and there is no non-classified English-language evidence that this category of documents was ever systematically analyzed by the Japanese. I made an exhaustive search for such evidence in researching MOON. Even when such documents were captured in the millions during the Vietnam war, less then three dozen people ever actually undertook systematic ANALYSIS of some of them, and far less a number of people ever became very knowledgeable on the subject. That is not to say that many more people did not PROCESS such documents, process them, for instance, in search for names to hand over to CORDS and Phoenix. Such processing is not systematic qualitative analysis so as to arrive at a synoptic understanding of the dynamics of the bureaucracy. Sam Adams and I independently searched everywhere, and that is the estimate of the number of actual analysts we both came up with. People like Daniel Ellsberg, for instance, clearly never seriously studied a single such nuts-and-bolts bureaucratic document. What is a nuts-and-bolts bureaucratic document? This is Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, slang. So and so is transferred from section X to section Y, effective October 25, 1967. That is the content of a nuts-and-bolts bureaucratic document. Ellsberg never studied such documents; they had to be ANALYZED in the thousands to be of value. And there were code designations to penetrate, and pickup coordinates to subject to traffic analysis, and on and on. The major studies of Chinese communist party organization came with the Korean war, and these studies were exclusively of the military party bureaucracy, which, in the Vietnamese case, was very, very different from organization of the civil insurgent apparat (which was in command of the military through multiple, overlapping, and redundant party channels). My rolling arguments with Tran Van Dac, described in MOON, about the utility or non-utility of line-and-block charts to characterize exercise of authority within the VCI, during my extensive debriefing of him following his becoming a chieu hoi, were all about the details of such distinctions -- and the lack of Western insight Dac insisted was the case. Since there is no documentary evidence from the 1930s on the Chinese case, we can only speculate that the civil insurgent apparat of the Chinese communists was similarly different from the Chinese military party bureaucracy, especially as that military party bureaucracy existed by the time of the Korean war -- and this is likely good speculation, given the degree to which Mao was committed to Taoist perspectives, which comes across very strongly in his corpus of published writings. The VCI cadres I interrogated in 1968 understood very well that the Cultural Revolution, which they were quite well informed about, grew out of the conflict between the opposed Taoist and Confucian tendencies as manifest in divergent organizational strategies. Why wouldn't they understand this? They were absolutely suffused with concern about the involved issues. What has been written by Western scholars about origins of the Cultural Revolution is so much dust in the wind. These origins almost surely came from the fact that the civil party apparat had never actually been centralized well into the post-1949 period -- and that the centralization, when it came, was not carried out by Mao, but against Maoism on behalf of burgeoning Confucian corruption spawned from the side of the military party bureaucracy: the political affairs officers overseeing the party chapters attached to each military unit down to company level.
Severity and depth of the present war against the very idea of the nation-state system and its supraordinate agglomerations is amplified by the fact that, in both the Chinese and Vietnamese cases, Confucianism won out in the end. These triumphs drove the governing impulse back into the psyche, the collective psyche of the whole species, there to fester. From the Twenties, in the post-Phan Boi Chau era when Vietnamese of more and more diverse backgrounds were able to make their way to Paris, many of the Vietnamese anticolonialists wanted to find a way to throw the French out, and enter the modern world while simultaneously retaining the identity-transparent volunteerism that had for generations and generations prevailed behind the village gate, which was dear to their animistic hearts. The appeal of the anarchism and Trotskyism they learned of in Paris was resident in the fact that these modern Western ideas seemed to suggest that the latter contradictory aspiration could actually be achieved. There was a strong resonance recognized between animistic voluntarism and anarcho-syndicalism. This inspiration took deep root in the Southern wing of the anticolonial movement. I know that this is the case, because this subject was often broached at the end of interrogations I conducted with 1954 stay-behinds. Unfortunately, I cannot document this, as, for many reasons (see MOON), it was never written up -- not the least of which was the fact that people at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2, stopped writing up anything out of the box in aftermath of the command falsifications associated with the enemy strength debacle. The analysts were intrinsically interested in the subject matter, had limited time to learn as much as they could, and knew writing it up would lead to nothing. Their time was spent pursuing understanding for larger reasons than the Vietnam war which clearly had already been lost, not in disseminating understanding no one was interested in. Not to mention the fact that it was a muddy issue as to which side was in the human interest -- given the fact, much discussed at SRA, that the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm had long since been in abeyance. Doubt that such matters were discussed at SRA? Read MOON. One can hardly doubt that similar aspirations to those of the Southern apparat were cultivated from the Twenties by some corpus within the Chinese communist political infrastructure. The whole global anticolonial movement had a dimension to it like this. Look at the early history of the IIL, the Indian Independence League Agnes Smedley interfaced with! The Confucian back-reaction was motivated by the same factors, and in the same time frame, that drove the Nazification process in Germany and the militarization process in Japan during the Thirties. It was in the Zeitgeist of the period, globally.
And one can not doubt that today similar conflicted motives and factionalism prevail within Al Qaeda. Where does the amorphous decentralized network-of-networks organizational strategy -- their "Network-Centric Warfare" -- come from amongst a group of people so patriarchal as are the Islamic fundamentalists? It surely comes not only from their animistic tribal traditions, but also from the Sufi component of Islam. They do not have to tap into modernist quantum-relativistic concepts of spontaneous self-organization: their age-old traditions going back even to before the advent of Islam are rooted in such notions of spontaneous order -- just as were Vietnamese and Chinese Taoist cultural dimensions. Those age-old cultural heritages are all post-Newtonian! Tao of Physics and all that. There have been repeated assaults made on the Westphalian state system, but until now these have never successfully jumped beyond the national liberation struggle stage: Confucianism in its many guises has always managed, in the end, to contain the impulse toward spontaneous social order. But this time, after having festered in the collective unconscious long enough and deep enough, the assault has come from a genuinely transnational framework, a framework not rooted in a national liberation struggle context. And the parallelism between these age-old traditions worldwide and post-Newtonian thought concerning spontaneous self-organization will be one of the main factors causing the present assault on the Westphalian state system to jump the ethno-cultural-religious barrier of Islamic fundamentalism to become full-blown planetarized insurgency. Such a jump does not have to be mediated by conscious awareness; indeed, it is most likely to occur on the level of gradients in the collective unconscious. If a conscious route cannot be found, the psyche will always find a path of regression to follow. I don't think the consequences of this circumstance are by this time any longer avoidable, but if the worst cases are avoidable this can only be so if m-logically-valued monetary units are implemented: these units, and their associated aspects, are the only things I've heard of that engage the full spectrum of involved fundamentals. Superimposed on the phase transition are a morass of conflicting claims: historical grievances to be settled, various parties battling for advantage in and after the transition, myriad clinging behaviors, mass hysterias, and so on. Avoiding worst cases can only be achieved by finding some non-regressive path for the collective psyche to move along. The morass is irresolvable except following upon opening up such a path. There will be a very short window of opportunity, which has yet to arrive, when the full dimensions of the crisis are suddenly acknowledged by a quorum, and before events push through that window. People generally still believe the thing can be avoided. How to find a way to maximize the possibility of exploiting that window remains hugely perplexing. How do you get more and more identified with the unconscious psychodynamics of the involved collective processes, so as to find the governing archetype's trigger point, while retaining the ego autonomy required to act independently of those processes if the opportunity arises? Very much like one of Lilly's ketamine trips in the isolation-flotation tank, only here it is not only the canonical problem always presented -- how to get back -- but how to act in the absence of an actor that doesn't exist before getting back. And the actorless action has to be simultaneously inwardly and outwardly directed. Voluntary dissociation to the mth degree! Who can possibly do this?
I'm not sure I want to get into discussing what I identify as a worst case. Given that the Pentagon works with as many as 84 scenarios in order to arrive at a replication of the colonial hill station military posture, it is clear that worst case is a class, not an element of a class. Identifying such a class is a task one must imagine VirFut Q-Pro would tackle. But this would require not only extension of p-branes (themselves extensions of superstring theory) under m-valued logics, but employment of Terrence McKenna's corrected time wave theory and much more. Look, the best book I've ever read on Islamic fundamentalism is John Horgan's The End of Science (Addison-Wesley, 1996). No one has written so well about the factors facilitating fundamentalism than has Horgan. He interviewed over 40 of the sickest minds on the planet and added his NYC small-town-boy interpretation to what they had to say about the future of the supreme human activity called science. Can anyone doubt that the leadership elite of Al Qaeda -- those with offices off-Broadway, in Paris, and on the outskirts of London -- thoroughly studied this runaway bestseller while planning 9/11? In projecting a final theory of all-that-is Steven Weinberg, for instance, imagines an extension of Unamuno's tragic sense of life, which, in parentheses (p. 77), according to Horgan's view, is accurate. This is on a par with John A. Wheeler -- Dr. Jason, that is -- next to Einstein and Bohr third in patrilineage to the classes of both atomic and nuclear bombs, presenting himself as a sage by liberally quoting from the Eastern classics in his quarto volume, Gravitation, while adopting an aphoristic style of dealing with the hoi palloi on a par with McArthur's corncob pipe and crushed cap. Westmoreland picking up a parachute from the enlisted men's pile. And this final theory is going to be based on the corpus of mathematics and physics generated by 1T>2 logic, when each order of logical-value of the infinitely infinite number of m-valued logics can each generate a corpus of mathematics and physics as extensive as the one generated by 1T>2 logic. I, for one, believe that this final theory they speak of will truly be worthy of aphoristic crushed caps and corncob pipes. The Dominance of the Dumbest is a leitmotif of our age, and that alliteration certainly defines one class of worst case.
Well, that's how I reacted to the bulk of Horgan's book, which I have only recently read (November, 2003). It's a very accurate portrait of contemporary science and its scientists, and extremely well written, though I don't agree with his thesis, or at least that thesis up until the chapter entitled The Terror of God. Horgan is clearly a brilliant man and should know that Kazantzakis by crying, in one of his slim meditational volumes, Man must save God! made himself a 20th century Socinian. Hugh Everett's relative-state applies not only between parts, but also between parts and whole, whole and parts; more accurately, there is no identity transparency between parts that is not mediated by the whole. Quite a responsibility being alive -- a responsibility for reciprocal maintenance when the part holographically contains all the information possessed by the whole, instants of linear-time being definable as self-identical and absolutely separate only under a 1T>2 logic. Plato's learning is remembering, anamnesis. The mystical experience Horgan had and described in that chapter, which he calls the most important experience of my life, was a nascent vision of the less metaphorical sand pile, described at the end of Tranche VII posted on the m_valuedlets website, which is the central theme of MOON -- except for the terror part, which is projective identification. The terror comes from being locked into 1T>2 logic, having no access to m-logically-valued identity transparency or consciousness-without-an-object with which to adequately process content of the vision. Consciousness-only-of-the-internal-and-external-object, with a little help from consciousness-only-of-the-external-object-and-its-introjected-cognitive-artifacts must, ah yes, oh how it must find some way, some path, to one or another form of pseudo-comprehension of the vision, if it is to avoid descent into full-blown involuntary dissociation as dementia. Projective identification provides this way, this escape valve. The terror Horgan felt at being dissolved into what seemed to be an infinity of selves is the same terror felt by those who back-reacted against Cantor's mathematics, against the Axiom of Choice, and who falsely interpreted Schrödinger's m-valued wave-function in terms of probability amplitudes, rather than through the lens of m-valued logics, which were available at the time Schrödinger produced his equation. Ah yes, oh how it must find some way, some path, to one or another form of pseudo-comprehension. Only this terror of great mathematicians, of great logicians, of great scientists, of great composers, of great artists remained subliminal, was not brought into conscious awareness as Horgan was able to do: the indication of his brilliance. The probability amplitude interpretation banishes the infinity of selves hidden within the specter of cosmological solipsism, i.e., the universal wave-function. This terror initiated the deep play underlying the Franco-Prussian war, the first two world wars, and drives the mass clinging behaviors seen everywhere about us today. Mark this, this horror, the dimensions of this enormous human catastrophe. First encounters with this are terrifying! Pascal's fear of the cold utter darkness of infinite space, related in Pénsees. For three years of my life, uh, the life of Derek Dillon, I could not sleep without a light on in the room and without one leg hanging off the bed and one foot planted flat on the floor; I was plagued by visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, taste polymorphism, ringing in the ears, non-ordinary experiences of time and ponderable space, perpetual arguments between Dean and Liana, and much more. Eventually, I had a fully-elaborated, and fully-conscious, gran mal seizure. Without that foot so planted, everything spun about me and I could not escape the most nauseating state of dizziness. Holding the floor down. Some degree of dizziness was my perpetual lot throughout the whole of those three years: there were symptoms one could mistake for nascent MS, for idiopathic epilepsy. Stuck on a temporal twistor, trying to resolve the infinity of axial spokes -- quite literally. The terror, the terror, to complement the horror, the horror of apocalypse now: the whole of human experience, the full catastrophe, is my experience now, the perpetual now. One is constantly washing dirty underwear. Yoked onto the trigger point of the governing archetype: syzygy as your e-mail address. Infinite regress in the selfhood is the nature of the case: that is where an SFOB, a Special Forces Operational Base has to be established. The center of the cyclone. Eventually relaxing into identity transparency, however, the blur of the spinor, of the twirling temporal axes, starts to look like home: another hooch in the jungle where one can barrow knowledge from those who have truly lived there, made their home in that center. One takes recourse to ritual, animistic Shinto ritual, for instance. The rotating solution to the Einstein-Rosen bridge! Make a gate to hold the moon! The Chinese ideograph for ma, sacred space, the layered transparent, is a gate holding the moon. Make moon in yourselves!, as Gurdieff kept saying. The center in the midst of the conditions, as they state in The Secret of the Golden Flower. One no longer feels compelled to be in control. The fundaments of generative empathy lay themselves bare. The necessity for single-valued self-definition simply evaporates: there are better places to being-there. Sette's first question to Derek, Sette being a projection of Derek's anima. All the characters in MOON are relativity-ly autonomous complexes, double lives at least, Gödel-numbered Regge lattices. Horgan's account of Frank Tipler's related omega point concept is very good, though again, this concept is not formulated by Tipler through an m-logically-valued lens; it is only a nascent concept. When McLuhan technologized Chardin's transcendental noosphere, projective identification was greatly facilitated. I wrote to Tipler several times, after reading the book of his which explicates the omega point concept, in attempting to convey to him something of what I see as the larger picture within which this concept is appropriately framed. I chose to do that in the realm of economics. Let me quote from my paper entitled Constructing a Chaotic Marketplace which was written in 1994:
Nobel laureate Friedrich Hayek has stated that the only adequate description of th(e) ‘supply of capital’ is a complete enumeration of the range of output streams of different time shapes that can be produced from the existing resources. Physicist Frank Tipler recognized this notion as being fundamentally quantum mechanical in nature. In his book THE PHYSICS OF IMMORTALITY (Doubleday, 1994) Tipler quotes Hayek on two occasions in observing that Hayek’s notion of total capital stock is equivalent to the many-worlds (or relative-state) interpretation of quantum mechanics offered in the late 50s by physicist Hugh Everett, III. This interpretation does not view the wave function as a probability amplitude; it regards the multiple-values of the function as representing real states. With an economic universal wave function, the many worlds would be the multiple time shapes of flux-partitioning which the global economy assumes under continuous chaotic self-organized far-from-equilibrium phase transition. The supply of capital is viewed as a multivalued function, as possessing complex-identity by virtue of being composed of a superposition of differing time shapes. Can this idea be the basis for an electronic exchange unit that carries multivalued, holistic information?
But Tipler never replied to my overtures. Physicists can't do physics when they are all the time bothered by amateurs. Once a person has complied sufficiently to receive a Ph.D. degree, particularly in the hard sciences, mathematics, or music, the chances are vanishingly small that he ever will develop the capacity to escape the isolation in 1T>2 logic he has crystallized. How could he, having so thoroughly introjected the notation incumbent upon his discipline? The brain has been altered on the quantum level by this prolonged introjection of higher enculturation. One thing not understood about the present global crisis is that the human species is in a condition worse than that of the heroin addict: chemical alteration on the molecular level is far less relentless than re-automatization on the quantum level. The deeper the shift goes, the more chronic it has become. Attaining to the capacity to change course will be much more difficult to achieve for humanity than for the addict. One reason is because of how much post-traumatic stress has been built into the re-automatization the species has been subject to over the last 150 years. Chronic stress registers via alteration of the quantum frequency parameters of DNA, particularly intraneuronal and perineural DNA. Harp of Burma understood this; that's why he returned to Burma after World War II to dissipate ghosts. Let's hear from Derek Dillon (MOON, Vol. 1, p. 259):
Look, I believe that the human need for war arises out of the denial to experience of the collective aspects of consciousness. These become buried in the unconsciousness and, since they cannot find healthy social expressions, emerge in regressed form as collective violence. The allure of war is to taste momentary loss of self in collective awareness -- like the petite morte of sexual orgasm. The mass hysteria involved is very like a state of collective demonic possession. The person participating in an atrocity action, for instance, is simply not an individual for the duration of the experience -- even if the act is perpetrated by a single person: the collective unconscious does not require the physical presence of a group. Many of the psychopathological aspects of PTSD, I believe, relate to the continued constellation of collective contents. The collective energy gestalt associated with the mass violence and activated by the dissolution of individual identities is recorded as archetypal patterns of neuronal facilitation in the brains of the participants: electrical predispositions imposed on the cortex, a collective induction. You might say that a kind of electromagnetic ghost is made to cling to the brain. Some primitive rites may have been designed to dissipate this specter; various psychotic behaviors may represent a struggle with it And this ghost is not just an after-the-fact residue of the killing; it's right there on the battlefield when the murder goes down. Drivin' your luuuuurp inta Injun Cuntry! If you're tuned in, you can sense its presence: sixth sense. Deep serious shit, mon! Ain't no time ta sweat da small stuff, diddy-bop, dream about DXin' a gook. It's a pattern of psychic energy in the neighborhood of the coming kill. You can smell it, taste it, feel it crawl along the hairs on the back of your neck. Knowin' your dork is in the wrong hole, you drop some Special Forces popcorn, swallow a greenie, take some uppers, gulp a green bomb. Some people find sensitivity to the presence of this ghost is as good as radar; it's either boogie time and adios motherfucker, time for a little E & E shuffle, right you should un-ass and dee-dee-mau, Hotel-Alpha most ricky-tick, sky, make-yoarsel'-a-hat, beat feet, or necessary you get on the horn and ask your buddies back in the camp to crank up the four-deuce, forget the smoke, and come walzin' right on in with the HE. Comprendi?
This quantum-level neurological ghost is the Zeitgeist of our era.
The pre-Saddam-capture article in the International Herald Tribune on no real organization of the Iraqi insurgency was, indeed, interesting (Iraqi 'warrior' tells of a resistance with 'no real organization', by Ian Fisher, 6-7 December 2003). Up to 40 attacks a day is a lot of spontaneous activity and pretty revealing of prevailing Iraqi sentiment if this activity has, in fact, been wholly spontaneous. In Vietnam, it took the full-time efforts (and a lot more part-time efforts) of over 30 people to keep a single armed VC in the field (this was one of the issues the strength estimates controversy was about: who to or not to count into the tooth-to-tail ratio) -- whereas, officially, it only took the efforts of 5, actually nearly 10 (counting Dixie Cups), rear-area personnel to keep one U.S. grunt in the field. Divide the U.S. troop strength in Iraq by 10 and you get a pretty good idea of who is doing what. (The fact that Wolfowitz has no technical knowledge of the Vietnam-era strength estimates controversy is revealed by his statement to the House Budget Committee quoted in the November 24, 2003 New Yorker article War After the War by George Packer [p. 62]: It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his Army. Hard to imagine.) The most intriguing comment in the Tribune article, reading it post-Saddam-capture, is: 'If it were not for Saddam, I think more people would have joined already,' said Kashid Ahmad Saleh, 48, a farmer here who is deeply angry at the American presence. A similar thought crossed my mind in reading about the capture of Saddam. Only time will tell. Another thought that crossed my mind in reading about Saddam's capture was that, though capture and show trial, rather than killed outright like the sons -- and both cases have the ear-markings of command decisions -- will certainly be good for Bush's re-election bid, it may also be very good for al Qaeda's recruitment efforts. Al Qaeda's strategy (they have long been in the strategic defensive modality, 9/11 representing an occasion of the tactical offensive designed to provoke a strategic response from their adversary) regarding Afghanistan and Iraq can only be to keep up enough activity that U.S. and international troop deployment continues to be required, while al Qaeda slowly perseveres in pushing forward its planetary phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency against the very idea of the secular Cartesian-Newtonian Westphalian nation-state system. I would think that al Qaeda also would be doing whatever it can think of to help get Bush re-elected. He is their most reliable ally, and they probably would not know what to do without him. What is still not understood about Tet-'68 (though explicitly written into the 1968 analysis of the offensive produced at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-J2) is that its main objective was to provoke the U.S. into expanding the geographic boundaries of the war, and that making a probe on the American public's will to continue the war was way down in the list of objectives. Carrying out an internal purge was a far more important aspect of the Tet offensive than was putting pressure on the American public. People simply haven't been able to shift scale levels in thinking about the present situation; they can't see that principles that can be applied within one country can also be applied transnationally, and that the involved principles, though remaining the same principles, undergo changes in applications format while undergoing scale-level shift. The recent articles on the work of the CIA's Illicit Transactions Group (e.g., the cover story of U.S. News for 12-15-03, The Saudi Connection: How Billions in Oil Money Spawned a Global Terror Network by David E. Kaplan) showing billions of dollars (there is even talk of as much as 70-billion dollars collected by Islamic charities) in resources garnered starting in the 1980s, not only goes a long way to illustrating why I have all along surmised and contended that Osama bin Laden could only be a field commander, not among al Qaeda's main men, who surely have their offices in NYC, Paris, London, Tokyo, and et cetera, but also shows how conservative al Qaeda has been in using the resources available to it (recruitment, training camps, and weapons procurement in over 20 countries). This is a clear indication that al Qaeda and Associates take military-type action only when it serves their long-term organizational purposes. This also reveals exactly how well they understand what it is they are doing. They know terrorist actions will not bring down the nation-state system, that the war they are in is a war of competitive forced assimilation. Individuals, leaders, leadership generations: none of this is of more than momentary concern. Osama has not raised billions of dollars while commanding in the field, and those who have raised billions of dollars surely have not handed strategy formulation over to those who haven't. It will probably be well into Bush's second term before people start to get a sense of the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq have been mere skirmishes in the war they don't yet know they have actually begun to fight. As I have argued forever, it seems, the deep structure of all this is rooted in things far more fundamental than politics, economics, and ethno-religious conflict. If one road is blocked, the collective unconscious will find another path to follow. Wolf, no wolf; Bush, no Bush; Saddam, no Saddam; Osama, no Osama: which ever way, only the details change.
No matter how many times one sees concrete examples, and how thoroughly one theoretically understands it, one cannot avoid being repeatedly astounded by the degree to which unconscious collective psychological gradients screen the contents of individual awareness. Here it is less than two weeks from 2004 and people still have absolutely no conception of the gradient they are entrained to, and where that gradient is leading them. Institutionalization of the Cartesian-Newtonian world construct has had several petits morts, several little deaths (1870, 1914, 1939), and now, with collapse of its Marxist embodiment, that institutionalization has moved into final terminator phase. The collapse of communism was not the triumph of capitalism and constitutional democracy; it was the beginning of incendiary demise of the whole institutional paradigm, the Westphalian nation-state system itself. As people scramble to add new echelons to the Cartesian-Newtonian federalist pyramid, the foundations of the system, under heat of current events, turn from soft jelly to thin slime. What happened to the USSR after 1989 certainly only gives some feeling for what will happen globally when the cusp point is reached: planetary warlordization is only a neologism, a mere word. PMC's, private military companies; violent entrepreneurs; global prison systems; globalized-market-mediated forced-draft urbanization into squatter slums to the tune of two-billion hapless persons over the next decade or so; Shanghai pushing past 20 million in population, sucking up 3 million people a year; the Chinese government giving out life prison terms for participants in sex parties, an obvious AIDS-related instance of state-sponsored social violence, when only one lifetime ago group sex in the rice fields following spring planting (the Vietnamese government, when it recently outlawed the spring planting festival, said, as reported in Hanoi's Vietnam News, that this festival was nothing but a fertility rite) was nearly universal throughout East and Southeast Asia (I personally witnessed it as a child while living in rural Kyushu, Japan during the mid-1950s); China being no less heavily into GMOs than is the U.S., with all that that represents concerning mass hysteria over psychological identity dyscrasia: the list of symptoms one sees daily recorded in the newspapers and on the internet is seemingly endless: increasingly pandemic collective psychosis. Since the degree to which validity of foundational concepts has been shattered by experience, experiment, exanimation, and exasperation -- presaging utter collapse of the prevailing institutional paradigm -- goes unacknowledged, nothing REAL is being done to find a VIABLE replacement (which can only come out of post-Newtonian thought). That being the case, there is but one place the entraining unconscious collective psychological gradient (a suicidal self-metaprogram, as John C. Lilly, M.D., would have said) can track upon: the attractor is a Cambodian holocaust of the Whole Earth (for all the reasons, described earlier, that the Delta Force operator couldn't make it through the gate). How else -- given the near-universal stonewalling insolent refusal and generalized wet-blanket in-denial state -- can the collective unconscious organize a new departure, except via a massive internal purge? It appears the human species has already chosen the destination for its present trip. Any kind of sane assessment is just water off the duck's back as it glides into the blind.
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