February, 2004, and Al Qaeda & Associates must be in a state of virtual euphoria. They are clearly making their global phase transition right on schedule, and the icing on the cake is that their opposition gives no evidence of being aware of that fact. The sting operation they pulled out of their hat in getting the U.S. to invade Afghanistan has paid off in spades: once international terrorists, but no longer; currently, full-blown global insurgents. Bin Laden, no bin Laden: it certainly doesn't matter now. His big assignment has been successfully carried out. No longer needed is a midwife. Where could he have learned all that was required? Certainly not from the sheep-dipped Special Forces personnel who trained Benazir Bhutto's palace guard. None of all that was required has been investigated, let alone taught, by Americans since the Psychological Warfare Center was renamed the Special Warfare Center. And that was a long, long time before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan! There hasn't even been a course on it at The Bird in Baltimore. No such knowledge was ever transmitted by the U.S. advisors to the Mujahideen -- because they didn't have it to transmit. The ignorant pundits ask: Why no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11? Asking this question indicates how little they understand what is happening to their world. In the last week, I've seen several articles describing an Al Qaeda training manual acquired in Pakistan. These articles devote the bulk of their text to an account of the elementary clandestine tradecraft, only-on-a-need-to-know-basis rules, and the like, the manual contains: double-oh-seven stuff, swiftboat stunts. The articles employ one sentence to note the manual indicates that the terrorist network is segmented into three partitions: small units, planning groups, and recruiting agents. This is mentioned more or less in passing. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! This one sentence provides the answer to why there has been no attack on U.S. soil: there has been no need for such an attack. Things have been going so well, the terrorists-transited-to-insurgents have been able to create a tripartite structure for their double-stacked multi-echelon movement. This is no longer the surface-structure terrorist index delivering no message (missing that reference shows how uninformed you are); this is generative deep-structure insurgency. And this, this is what Ahmed Rashid, accomplished self-propagandist that he is, calls the rhetoric of global jihad (The New York Review of Books, p. 25, The Mess in Afghanistan, February 12, 2004). Rhetoric, mind you. An assessment worthy of The School of Criticism & Theory, Cornell University. Might as well be Jonathan Culler writing on Benedict Anderson writing on postcolonial literatures. And, it appears, Rashid is the sort of information source (American controlled or not) George Soros relied upon in reaching the judgment that The invasion of Afghanistan was justified by its role as the home base of al Qaeda (pp. 42 and 46, The Bubble of American Supremacy, Public Affairs, 2004). Al Qaeda's three partition-designating terms, as translated, don't convey, of course, the actual nature and extent of what is transpiring under their purview; but these rubrics are sufficiently germane as to leave little doubt as to what is indicated. Yet, no on-the-scene reporter, no sitting-in-NYC opinion maker, no quoted intelligence official, no international NGO executive, no NATO advisor, no UN-in-Afghan oh-so-High Commissioner, no corporate merc designer-cami security guard has picked up on the significance of this. Not even Delta Force operators, Derek bets, knowin' who trained 'em. None of them, it appears, have the slightest idea as to what is involved in bringing a hierarchically-organized clandestine movement to the level of organizational competency required successfully to trifurcate along classical lines, as the designations given in the manual indicate has transpired. This, in spite of the huge number of people who covered the Vietnam war over a twenty-year period and the tens of thousands of pages in the technical literature on undergrounds in irregular, insurgent, and partisan warfare as conducted back into the 18th century (excluding the much longer history in China). Now I wonder how that could have come to be? Ha-ha-ha. None of the great minds we so rely upon, by contrast to the minds directing Al Qaeda, it appears, have been able to move freely across scale levels in organizational theory, let alone in organization itself, so hemmed in by self-propaganda they are. What I learned as an 18-year-old in 1963 conducting studies at Special Operations Research Office was enough to then have recognized significance of this trifurcation (chaos theory was not required, let alone mathematical models for complex processes and decision making in very complex environments and situations military and corporate: symposium ad printed within the body of Rashid's article) and yet, all these years later, none of the above-mentioned classes of persons have the slightest idea, the slightest idea, the slightest idea Now I wonder how that could have come to be? Ha-ha-ha. Major activity comes from the intelligent insurgent only when an organizational corner needs to be turned. The bigger the corner, the larger the activity. It's a bijective function: pulls both ways. Need and can are reflexively engaged with each other. I bet one could even develop a mathematical model of it! The dim-witted mutts are beating the sun-drenched turf, kicking up a horrible row; while the ol' tom cats are lying back in the shade purring at all the new heads in the litter -- in all the new litters. Smoking mundungus in water pipes, blowing donuts of self-satisfaction: that's their game for the moment. Three years, I said, as a minimum, from collapse of the Taliban before organizational phase transition could be substantially undertaken. In the interim, just enough engagement to require continued troop commitments and to sustain the internal momentum, that's what I said in earlier postings to this Strategic Assessment. Of course, if a Sideshow gets started in Iraq, all the better for the global insurgent. Any activity that minimizes attention to what is transpiring in 40 other countries can only be appreciated by Al Qaeda. When, down the line, general counter-offensive gets up and running, it will have little to do with Islamic fundamentalism: the whole thing will have morphed into much more than a mere mumblety-peg match. With a little help from their friends in the ISI, the U.S. created the pre-conditions for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan -- ran a sting operation on The Bear. Gunna git some back fo' what dey done ta us in da Naaaaam! It is unlikely the U.S. in the end will be able to escape the logical predicate of that historical proposition. Dey done been stung by deir own sting, deir own MO! Now that's what I call reflexivity. In due course, the Afghani psyche will one way or another have its full retribution for the devastation wreaked upon it by the resultant 25-plus years of warfare. Why is this inevitable? Because the American leadership elite, in and out of government, believes its own black propaganda, whereas the Afghanis don't.
I certainly don't mind your trenchant criticism, if you don't mind my belly laughs. Many observations could be made, but they would all resolve to the fundamental. Coercion is non-commutative: stupidity can be imposed on the intelligent; intelligence cannot be imposed on the stupid. Rashid, in his February New York Review article, obviously takes the position of Human Rights Watch and the Western NGOs: the only way to end human rights abuses in Afghanistan is increased application of force. More international security forces, national army, national police. Coercion will impose intelligence. Derek Dillon, on the other hand, maintains that the only way to end human rights abuses in Afghanistan is to stop genetic engineering and the decisive move toward human cloning. There he goes again! off into one of his schizoid loosenesses of association. Rashid's catalog of human rights abuses in Afghanistan focuses upon molestations for virginity inspections on the street and abductions for recent-intercourse inspections in the hospitals. These are, indeed, rather more invasive and offensive than are panty inspections in the Japanese school system. Given that MacArthur's sexual impositions on the Japanese -- his sexual edicts, such as separating the sexes in public baths, and the near universal adaptation of the Western panty that followed soon upon these edicts -- played a great role in establishing the Japanese fixation of upon panties, which certainly must have played some role in initiating panty inspections in the school system, one wonders whether there might have been a similar origin for virginity inspections and recent-intercourse inspections in the Islamic world. The later systematic Islamic practice is a harder form of the earlier sporadic Japanese practice. And, as we all know, there has been a decisive global shift over the last 40 years from the subtle to the explicit. One of the central themes of Louis Mumford's little-read early book Art and Technics is that, in the several thousand years of recorded human history, whenever a technological advance has made a cultural given obsolete, the once-given, for a period, became an object of extraordinary collective fixation. A similar thesis was quantitatively documented and mathematically modeled several decades later in a book entitled Rubbish Theory. Given the accelerating daily advances in genetic engineering and toward human cloning, the day is hard upon us when the natural human fetus will no longer be a cultural given, but merely a poorly remembered artifact of a bygone era. Fixation upon a given of times past which is about to become rubbish of the future might well explain the aberration exhibited by those currently engaged in obsessive clinging behaviors such as virginity inspections and recent-intercourse inspections. Indeed, given that controversy soon will be over cyborg rights, one must contemplate the notion that Human Rights Watch, itself, is a manifestation of this same principle.
I agree right down the line. Who are they and what are they going to do once they have consolidated the enormous organizational gains won by their big action? I quote now your scenario:
What if OBL now appeared in a new video in this manner: clean-shaven, sitting in a modern environment, wearing a perfectly-tailored business suit, speaking perfect English, and declaring I am Osama Bin Laden. We have been victorious in the initial battles against the American war-machine which is now globally deployed and in the process of self-destruction. We offer our support and allegiance to all of those in the world, Islamic or otherwise, who are oppressed and terrorized by the Western powers of war and domination. We have no wish to dominate or impose our religion or way of life on anyone, but we must resist. The human race must overthrow the West, which offers us all only slavery, domination, and extinction. Whew! What would be the impact of that? If OBL (or, perhaps, the powers behind him) did something like that, the global psychological impact would probably be momentous, electric, and non-linear. Who knows?
I don't know if it will be the speech you wrote, but, in due course, it will be something tantamount to that (probably without the speech, though writing their speech is exactly how to get into their heads; writing the opposition's speeches and position papers was a task first assigned to me by Abdul Said at AU's SIS in 1963, and whenever since I have gotten stumped I have resurrected the exercise). A speech, or something like it, is likely too abrupt; there will probably have to be many organizational transitions involved in expansion of the recruitment base across the barrier separating Islamic extremists from the other constituencies within their potential recruitment base. The core of the movement has to be totally consolidated before effective expansion into a Front can be undertaken without undue risk. 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan accomplished that consolidation: the people they sacrificed in Afghanistan were for the most part those likely to become security risks. Non-violent infiltration and subversion is the main way other constituencies are prepped for coalescence into a Front. In the training document turned over in Pakistan, there was a lot said about adjusting to the prevailing context: don't talk about your religious views; don't wear a beard if it is not the local custom; do not wear traditional clothing if others are not, wear makeup if need be, et cetera. Fit in. These are instructions concerning the necessities for infiltration and subversion. The speech you wrote is the sort of speech given in 1960 to the All-Vietnam Conference of Voluntary Associations wherein formation of the NFLSVN was publicly announced. This is the end of the process, not the beginning. What were previously purely local associations were SCRIPTED as having been amalgamated into national associations (when no such thing had actually happened); then the corpus of these scripted associations (dozens of them) held a meeting to SCRIPT a national Front (when no such thing actually was brought into being, only the stage-set thereof). Presently the scale levels to SCRIPT into a coalescence have shifted from local-national to national-global. They will infiltrate already existing national associations beginning if need be at the below-national level, starting with the easiest such associations, create some new ones in areas needed, slowly take over the leadership, without the membership body being aware of who they are, then, when the process has reached the threshold, have a conference, maybe on the internet, and under that circumstance will your speech be given. Something along these lines. This process is supported with violent terrorist assaults on the official governmental institutions (not voluntary associations which are non-violently subverted) across the full spectrum of scale levels so as to elicit increasingly hysterical, violent, out of proportion back-reactions (such as, astoundingly, the invasion of Iraq; thus further undercutting legitimacy of those institutions). When awareness of the extent to which this sort of infiltration and subversion thing has already transpired dawns on those being subverted, that is when the Great Purges transpire, which set the stage for entrance by the insurgent upon general counter-offensive wherein he can mount sustained attacks on centers of power. It is at that point that one can expect the big events the CI services seem to be expecting at any moment. Given the reports of documents, CD-ROMs, tapes, et cetera picked up in Afghanistan, there can be little doubt that the whole thing (interests, goals, objectives) has been obsessively gamed -- the stuff taken in Afghanistan being the residue of lower-echelon planning. It's estimated that Islamic charities have picked up about 70 billion USD in donations over the past 20 years. OBL's 300 million was certainly a substantial contribution, but He has clearly been THE field commander. Others, however, raised the billions available to them (some substantial fraction of the 70) -- not him. Compare the resources available with the actions taken and it is clear they are very conservative risk-averse building-the-family-business types, not swash-buckling corporate CEO speculators willing to risk all in a binge of insider trading. There was a very revealing Al-J interview about 9 months ago of an AQ Someone who argued that one of their main objectives is to break the back of the US dollar, which is where the US is most vulnerable. The AQ Someone gave a very sophisticated analysis. The way the war in Iraq is being paid for is very similar (only worse, given the tax cuts) to how the VN war was paid for -- which brought the Bretton Woods gold-exchange mechanism down and created the petro-dollar a few months later. Given that the US declared global war on terrorism, it has bought onto an exponential (not geometrical) growth curve in required resource commitments. Whoever becomes or does not become the next US president, and the one after that, will not alter this curve. Once you step on the escalator, jumping off is to commit suicide. You will always choose to go to the next floor to see if you can find a non-suicidal way off from there. But it only gets worse with each floor. The only thing standing behind the fiat dollar is dollar confidence, which is dependent on demonstration that America sets the global agenda. Now, following declaration of global war, stepping off the escalator is to relinquish setting the global agenda, which is to decisively undermine dollar confidence. This cannot be finessed (given the circumstances of possible petro-euro, foreign holdings of T-bills and dollars, US balance of payments and domestic deficit, US economy being the growth engine for the global economy, et cetera, and specific targeting of this by the insurgent). Trying to finesse will be the mortification of grabbing the skids of the last helicopter off the roof, only this time there is no place for it to land. Once this becomes apparent to whomever gets into the White House, they will stay on the escalator hoping to hand the baton to the guy behind them. This was brilliantly conceived. And the psychological, temperamental, and behavioral profile of the US was read to a Tee. The model was Vietnam expanded to the global scale -- as the decisive turning of the tide of US commitment to the Vietnam war came when the economic costs were seen by the corporate elite to have passed an unacceptable threshold. It was then that real pressure was brought to bear on LBJ (not a result of the antiwar demonstrations). That such a threshold had been passed dawned on the corporate types at Tet-'68. They were taking it on the nose in trade negotiations with Japan, for instance. It was at that point that LBJ started the actions (imposition of monetary controls) against the Bretton Woods system which Nixon later brought to completion -- and which gave rise to the petro-dollar. Anyone sitting on the receiving end of the petro-dollar had to be greatly impressed by this, and had to study how it had come about. Those who conducted such studies are the ones who came up with the present strategy -- no OBL by his lonely. Their gaming. Islamic extremism is on the level of organizational tactics. Killing the dollar is on the level of objectives. Killing the nation-state system as a system qua system is on the level of goals. Establishing traditionally-based moral economies (in a world with modern technologies: they do use cell phones) is on the level of interests.
Being a dedicated ex-POLOBer, it's a fairly straightforward task for me to attempt to put my head in that place and project cognition through the lattice logic established by the many interactive variables. The Special Forces training, the night operations on the Mekong (without swiftboat stunts): none of that is of any value whatsoever for this task. I simply had not been reading into the publicly available information on what is going on in southern Thailand. But since you've drawn the evolving situation there to my attention by speculating that it is an Al Qaeda dry run for upcoming global applications, I have been more closely attending. You may be right. The Malay-Thai border area is a unique political geography within which to run live-fire exercises, but I'd have a tendency to regard what is going down there more like a homeopathic proving process. Developing and testing organizational and operational algorithms for generalization to many elsewheres, choosing between the available remedies and ascertaining the proper potencies. The task AQ has undertaken globally is extremely complicated. Though the basic principles are well known as applied on the scale level of the nation-state, the task has never before been attempted on the scale level of the nation-state system as a whole. Shifting scales is not a straightforward matter of just doing the same thing with more and bigger. How effectively to do the shift is something they will have to discover on a trial and error basis: there are no precedents. The Malay-Thai border area of Thailand is an especially good place for this sort of discovery process, given the separatist history in the area, the predominantly Muslim regional population within an overwhelmingly non-Muslim nation, the local experience with communist insurgency, potential availability of out-country base areas, possibility of seaborne infiltration of manpower and materiel, the fact that the border there changed location greatly during the Sukhothai, Ayudhya, and Thonburi periods, and that, indeed, the modern notion of a border was something pretty well imposed from without by the West. And it may be that the proving currently going on there does not have as its mid-term target Thailand, but creation of a salient by which to facilitate processes designed to force establishment of a non-secular fundamentalist government in Malaysia. The long-term global utility of the proving, however, would be to discover the most effective means by which to change the properties of a national boundary, how to fractalize it in such a way as to facilitate local organizational algorithms. There has been a wealth of experience with this in insurgencies over the past century within the confines of national geographies at the local and municipal and prefectural scale levels. But these are not militarily enforced boundaries, whereas the national border is. Contesting a national boundary is not merely a matter of setting up your own AOs and TOARs, then defining your bureaucratic variables relative to them -- and changing the definitions whenever the changing situation requires and warrants. Any modulations of the characteristics of the national border will not be permitted without challenge. How to engage in organizational adaptation by resource exchange across contended borders is a more difficult challenge than the intrastate case, and the Thai-Malay border area is the perfect low-intensity place for AQ to explore all the issues involved. It would be much more difficult over the Paki-Kashmiri border area, for instance, given the WWI front-like atmosphere -- and the applicability of what would be learned there would not be so wide. The twenty-some odd one-time U.S. Army Special Forces training bases on one side of the frontier and the Indian Army redoubts on the other represent a totally unique situation. The proving has to have relevance to the Balkans and Caucasus, for instance, two areas where our Great Conflict-Resolution Gurus have created feral hothouse environments fecund for insurgent organizational adaptation processes to play themselves out. What is discovered will be applied over borders across the whole breadth of the Islamic crescent: Iranian-Afghan border, Iraqi-Iranian border, Iraqi-Turkish border, Caucasus, Balkans, the various backdoors to China. AQ is actively contesting the landscape and resources prominent within the AO specified by America's tacit China policy; one can hardly expect this to subside any time soon. And you can be virtually certain that intense studies are underway relative to what is transpiring over the U.S.-Mexican border and in the Amur basin border area between Russia and China. How many ways are there to challenge the defining characteristics of the closed-circle, line-drawn-in-the-sand, binary-logic-type boundary, and how can these challenges facilitate local processes of self-organization? That is certainly what AQ is currently trying to discover at multiple places around the planet. Whereas Sharon's concrete wall is a contrary demonstration intent upon proving that Pythagoras' method of drawing squiggles in the sand with a stick (or as was done at Dayton relative to the Balkans on four-color maps with a PowerPoint pointer) is as valid today in this era of quantum-technology-forced globalization as it was way back then before the fall of the Greek city state.
Can't Dance. In the mid-'60s, that was a stock phrase in Special Forces. I knew it came down from the old guys, but I never knew its ultimate origin. Now I know, thanks to Robin Morgan's book The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism (p. 198, Washington Square Press, 1989, the post 9/11 printing). It came from Emma Goldman -- which makes a lot of sense. Those old guys were mostly Lodge Bill recruits from Eastern Europe and they were based at Bad Tolz, Germany, throughout most of the '50s (Aaron Banks equals Colin Dawes, Toussaint's mentor in MOON: AB to CD transposition.) They were a hyper-intellectual group very well read in the history communism -- not only well experienced therewith, moving back and forth frequently through the Iron Curtain as they did. Quoting Emma Goldman in an example of feminist reversal is just the sort of thing they would have been into, along with arguing about Clara Zetkin (a Ph.D. dissertation about whom Derek cites in MOON). Morgan's book is interesting and informative, but I don't think she has gotten anywhere so near the roots of terrorism as she thinks she has. Like most intense feminists (I'll refrain from the usual pejoratives), she gives little evidence of having read C. G. Jung, other than occasionally using the terms archetype and collective unconscious. Intense feminists most especially avoid reading the female Jungians. Jung does not appear in her index and there are no references to his work or secondary sources on his work in her notes. Oriana Fallaci's A Man would have greatly benefited by thorough knowledge of Jung, but the involved psychological insights are not the sort of thing that can be raised with her. Typical of the orientation! This is unfortunate because Morgan's interpretation of the myth of the hero is as greatly flawed as Fallaci's, as given to us in A Man. Joseph Campbell, himself, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces and volumes on other myths, was not particularly strong on Jung, and Morgan's treatment of Campbell reduces the insight further yet. She conflates Campbell's types (which are not so well chosen or justified as are Jung's) without providing justification for doing so, and produces an extremely literalistic non-psychological interpretation of the myth. Undoubtedly, she would assail the Jungian interpretation of the hero myth as androcentric, if not male chauvinist. In Jung's interpretation, the women appearing in the myth represent the Anima, personification of the unconscious of the male: no concrete female. The unconscious is always contrasexual. The unconscious of the male is female; that of the female, male. What Morgan refers to as the Women's cross-cultural 'collective unconscious' (p. 72) would be male, not female as she presents it as being: it would be a collective Animus. The hero's adventure and trial is a night sea journey within the collective unconscious: all the characters encountered represent figures in the collective unconscious, not actual people or representatives of actual people or types thereof. The death sought by the hero is death of the ego, not physical death: transfiguring death, not merely death. The myth is a vast metaphor, a parable. But -- and here is where Morgan is sort of right, but ultimately quite wrong -- the myth can be lived out in projected form, not consciously integrated. When integrated, it yields a psychic transformation, a movement to higher states of consciousness; when it remains unconscious, it is a vehicle for projective identification. Under projective identification the thematics of the myth are lived out in concrete form in the physical world. The myth is disallowed from conscious integration because of the transference, which occurs intrapsychically as well as interpsychically: intrapsychically between the male and female aspects of the psyche (the contrasexual elements of the psyches of both males and females); interpsychically, most potently, between a male and a female. If the myth is projected and lived out in concrete form -- regressed, infantile, violent -- that is because the transference is operational, because it has never been depotentiated by conscious investment. But knowledge of the transference, no matter how elaborate, cannot dissipate it; the undeveloped psychic functions in projection under transference must be developed, must be made consciously available. Cross-training in Special Forces parlance. And this is what people are unwilling to do. People will circle this for decades without doing what is required to actually develop their undeveloped functions. So transference becomes a collective behavior. Collective states of the individual (hysterical dissociation); individual state of the collective (entelechy of the state). Culpability of the corpus; culpability of each member of the corpus. "There is no such thing as an innocent civilian," as one would then hear in Special Forces. Attacks on Freud and Jung have become more general and more bitter to just the degree that processes of projective identification have more and more come to dominate human affairs. The condition of man-woman transference is equally the responsibility of man and woman: the man cannot transfer without a reciprocally transferring transference figure -- and the same for the woman. Failure to consciously integrate the Animus personified as incubus, as succubus, can lead to states of collective hysteria and mass witch burnings: one lethal form of projective identification. The male enslaves the outer woman; the female enslaves the inner man. It takes two to tango: If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution, as Emma Goldman said. Without an Oriana, there is no Panagolis; without a Panagolis, there is no Oriana. Can't dance in Special Forces, however, was an affirmative statement, not nugatory. In those days, the roots of terrorism were pretty well understood amongst this very small elite group: that's why they were such strong advocates of the proverbial ounce of prevention. Having experienced in depth the same psychodynamics as the terrorist, more intensely and more extensively in most cases due to participation in what Toussaint in MOON called high combat, with its elaborate states of identity transparency, and, unlike the terrorist, having moved through the psychodynamics and emerged on the other side, they knew that once started, then comes psychic contagion.
I quote from your last message:
The horror in Madrid. Your assessment of the growth dynamics of the nascent global insurgency seems prescient and accurate. AQ seems to have made its phase transition. In the videotape found in Madrid the man said he was the AQ military commander for Europe, a designation that connotes a parallel and global network. Increasingly sophisticated bombings in Bali, the USS Cole bombing, in Istanbul, in Iraq, now in Madrid -- a progression of accomplishments. The coordination and planning required to detonate 10-12 bombs near-simultaneously in a modern transport system -- and note that these were NOT suicide bombers, the bombs were detonated by mobile phones -- makes this clear. Note also that a group claiming AQ affiliation -- the Brigade of Abu Hafs al-Masri -- took credit for blackouts in the United States and London last year. In the official discourse, these events were memory-holed immediately: they were NEVER explained. Today it was reported that U.S. Special Forces are now being deployed all over North Africa -- Algeria, Chad, Morocco, et cetera -- in an attempt to prevent AQ activity. They just don't get it. It's so depressing. Not a single world leader shows any understanding of the magnitude of the global phase transition or discontinuity underway (of which the AQ dynamics are merely shadow play). I really despise these politicians. Everywhere they are flat-headed and vile, as someone said.
And the public debate over ETA versus Al Qaeda is especially illustrative of this flat-headedness. Especially is it an indication of how effective the agit-prop component of AQ action has been. Just as 9/11 was a perfectly formulated and executed entrapment, so the Madrid bombings were conceived on multiple levels with extreme sophistication incorporating exquisite feint. Beyond all reasonable doubt, this is the first full-blown example of coalition insurgency where the barrier of Islamic fundamentalism has been jumped. The Basques are not Islamic fundamentalists. Basque feint! AQ feint! Morocco feint! The governmental authorities, including those of the EU and the UN, either do not understand this, which I doubt, and/or they do not want that fact to be publicly recognized, waffling back and forth in reflection of their shock of recognition, and stammering in their feeble attempts at concealment. The Five O'Clock Follies all over again: this time in every world capital. This global coalition-insurgent self-organizational phase transition is moving so fast it makes your head swim. Contextualize this transition relative to climate shift, epidemiology, et cetera, and retching does not lie far behind the imposed nausea -- at thoughts of how many are going to die. I had an hour last night with a remote member of Hamid Karzai's personal security detail. Such people seem to pass through here on vacation. Strange. Several months ago, a similar vacationing person tried to recruit me for a security-related English teaching job in Kuwait! At a truly amazing salary. The fellow from Kabul, I think, was in a low-grade state of shock by the time our conversation ended. The detail I can bring to such discussions as to why what is going on is not really understood is considerable, down to the recruitment and entrance criteria used by Delta, which skew their personnel overwhelmingly into one physical-temperamental type, thus limiting the range of perceptions and perspectives brought to bear on the solution to any given problem faced by Delta. Cultivation of the macho top-gun self-image to the exclusion of too much else. One of Derek's closest friends in Training Group was a long-running NCOIC of Delta. I remember having a contentious discussion about this specific subject in Itewan about 15 years ago, arguing that there would be a huge price paid for such fundamental mistakes.
Yes, per your earlier message, the Spanish-French border is another such area -- an area as rich as the Thai-Malay border. I'm not really studying this stuff or it would have occurred to me to make a reference to this border in the comments on the situation in southern Thailand. There were also reports recently of Islamic fundamentalist involvement in the underground railroad shunting illegal immigrants from various points in northern South American and Central America through Mexico into the U.S. Being no engaged analyst, I'm just thinking about events as the occasion arises. I don't have any of the resources required for detailed thought on the involved issues (and wouldn't want to become thus engaged); but I may be able to make some reasonable observations relative to the grand strategy level, which is not so dependent on detail. According to popular accounts, the ETA has moved personnel and materiel back and forth across the Spanish-French border over a long period; there is an entrenched separatist movement with decades of history; there is long experience with terrorist techniques and the tactics of irregular warfare, including resistance against the Nazis during WWII (not to mention 1936-39). So, given that Spain was a seat of Islamic learning, a place Al Gebra was taught, an Al Qaeda coalition with ETA makes a great deal of sense in terms of global strategy, homeopathic provings on tactics, and discovery processes relative to the required organizational algorithms. What do you think was the strategic value of, the levels of motivation for, the bombings in Madrid? Reprisal for Spanish participation in Iraq? ETA attempt to impact the Spanish elections? An act of media-directed terrorism to focus public attention on the causes Al Qaeda and ETA exist to promulgate? AQ attempt to affect Spanish policy on Iraq? Thumbing their noses at the global counter-terrorism effort (leaving the van in such a prominent location, with detonators and Arabic tape on the front seat, being one aspect of the thumbed nose) so as to facilitate their recruitment efforts? Each of these may have been a minor motivation or may have been a rhubarb to confuse the opposition. It is clear now in the wake of the elections that Spain is likely to pull its troops out of Iraq, an agit-prop victory for AQ, of little comparative force-structure significance to the situation on the ground in Iraq. Was this the primary motivation for the bombings, as the press seems now to believe? No, no. One must understand that, with the U.S. response to 9/11, Al Qaeda was catapulted all the way out of the arena of media-directed terrorism and into full-blown global coalition-insurgency: their strategy and tactics have become that of insurgents. Media-directed acts are not engaged in by insurgents, which does not mean that they do not have an agit-prop component to their strategic and tactical planning. It means that this component is no longer the primary component; it's way down on the list of considerations. The U.S. action in Afghanistan made this all possible, and the transition is well into the exordium. But, I would argue, only the exordium. They will experience major setbacks in due course. The disparity of available force is so great, those setbacks are a virtual inevitability. But the weight of many of the other strategic variables -- space and time, for instance -- are so overwhelmingly on their side, that they will likely sustain momentum through such setbacks.
How are coalitions solidified and made effective? By undertaking joint actions. What sort of joint actions? If one were to read into the history of Japanese student radicalism during the 1950s and '60s, one would discover that the issue of joint actions versus no joint actions was pivotal to the organizational history of the whole movement. Factions rose and fell to the ebb and flow of this issue: to engage or not, whether the actions undertaken were to be peaceful or violent. If one were to read into the history of the Viet Cong in the period 1956 through 1959, the formative period when all the organizational algorithms were discovered which would distinguish the movement from the earlier Viet Minh, one could not fail to notice that among all that transpired during that critical period was a rain of constant criticism levied by higher echelon upon lower emphasizing that agit-prop activities without an armed component could not hope to be part of an effective vehicle. Such arguments were always made in terms of the internal organizational dynamic, not relative to balance-of-forces type considerations vis-à-vis the opponent. Actions are undertaken so as to draw more and more people into the organizational dynamic, where the internal environment thus created becomes the transformative vehicle. Regardless of the ideological commitment -- ecclesiogenic, communist, national-socialist, anarchist, racist, whatever -- becoming obsessed with beating the opposition by confrontation in force of arms is a right-wing deviation; placing one's hope in Sorel's popular uprising is a left-wing infantile disorder (given that George Sorel, himself, presented this as a myth: see Reflections on Violence, Free Press, 1950, but forget Edward Shils' introduction, given that he was the progenitor of the Newtonian-billiard-ball action-based power-theory sociology of the 1950s and onward to today so strongly responsible for the current meltdown in human affairs). The route to insurgent success involves undertaking whatever actions are necessary to push through the required series of organizational phase transitions, and not undertaking any other sorts of actions (which can only be dissipative inertial drags on the transformational process). Joint actions of coalition-insurgency involving the ETA necessarily will involve major modulations of clandestine activities around and across the Spanish-French border. I would be very surprised to find (had I access to the information) that manpower and materiel infiltration for this action was a seaborne operation. My first reaction to the Morocco connection would be to read it as a feint, even if some of the involved personnel came from there. It is well to remember that in Vietnam for every VC carrying a gun in the field there were approximately 30 people who would never carry a gun supporting him (or her). And, whatever the tactics employed in a particular action, whatever the nest of motivations for undertaking a particular action, the strategic link to the larger global task is the modulation of the border operations and the consequent organizational adaptation achieved by such modulations. Competitive metabolism: just like how the trans-cell-wall nutrient flow, flux of binding sites, chemotaxing, and so on orchestrate the metabolic-pathway changes involved in growth and repair processes. The Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state is defined in human awareness largely by its geographical borders, and the tacitly assumed character of such borders. If that system is to be brought down, which is an explicitly stated objective of Al Qaeda, the nature of the border as a political fundamental must be decisively modified. This will be tested, contended, and proved everywhere possible. One of Al Qaeda's coalition partners in this task is quantum mechanics, which has thoroughly subverted the basic Newtonian notion of boundary conditions. Another coalition partner is economic globalization, which assaults the integrity of national borders. Other such partners are the new information and computing technologies, which do not acknowledge the existence of such borders.
Cartesian-Newtonian national boundaries are psychological projections, projections of the boundaries of the ego-sphere. The artifact of projective identification, the nation-state, produced in the 17th century by psychological processes underlying collective fear of, in the words of Hobbes' The Leviathan, each against each is currently under attack from every LEVEL of human cognition and action. But virtually all of this cognition and action, on whatever level, is, itself, again, governed by the processes of projective identification. Al Qaeda is trying to do to borders what a non-dissimulated quantum mechanics generalized into the social sciences would do to borders, only AQ is doing it in a regressed, infantile, violent fashion. AQ is an agent of the human collective unconscious, that unconscious as regressed by the processes it has been subjected to in the last two centuries of falsification of higher mathematics, physics, and so on -- as described in MOON. The only possible effective counter-terror policy is to do to borders what AQ hopes to do to borders, only do it in a non-regressed, non-infantile, and non-violent -- hence, having brought the hidden factors into conscious awareness -- fashion. Implementation of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries is the only possible effective counter-terror policy. But, of course, you cannot truly implement such monetary units without rectifying the processes of projective identification transpiring on every level of human cognition and action. Trade-related and scientific obstructions to culture, for instance, must be overcome. A structural impediments initiative of the new type is needed.
A great recent example of such obstructions comes from the ululatory February 23, 2004, Newsweek article by Rana Foroohar entitled One Word: Plastics. Talking about the discoveries of Sir Richard Friend, an industrialist academic currently on sabbatical and incommunicado at Cornell -- how appropriate! -- his discoveries about how plastics can be made into transistors, discoveries which spun off the high-tech companies Plastic Logic and Cambridge Display Technology. Silicon Valley is now to move across the Atlantic and morph into Plastic Quad (and all the wives certainly will vacation at Wapping Wall). The following excerpts characterize the wondrous things the species is to receive from this startling scientific breakthrough: an always-on world; packets of medicine [that] could alert doctors if pills are being taken incorrectly, not to mention who else could be alerted at other politically incorrect behaviors; applications that will play an important part in the growth of radio-frequency ID tags; talking cereal boxes; advertising posters that spring to life and speak to you as you walk by (what better example of projective identification, technologically making the inert object animate, as in animism?); an electronic screen that would be cheap enough to throw away; rooms that change color with the weather. For this, this enhancement of the regressed, infantile, cartoon cultural universe, the guy will be rewarded with a billion-plus-dollar net worth and assuredly a Nobel prize. Twenty years ago, that's twenty years, MOON's Derek Dillon advocated various means of using plastic injection molding of electro-conductive molecular-metallic plastics to produce various components required to bring up Musculpt, an essential feature of any cultural framework prerequisite to actual global implementation of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. But, because of the dominance of the dumbest, those most indentured to collective processes of projective identification, cartoon culture replaced Coca Cola culture as the primary creative thrust on the planet -- and essential notions like Musculpt, rooted in the early history of avant-garde art and the 150-year-old new music, simply can't find a launching platform. Talk about this sort of thing as the only potentially effective counter-terror policy and the dodos dumb-out daaaaaaaaaaah!
It appears others have reached similar conclusions, the Italian Prime Minister, for instance. Quoting an article by Rome correspondents from the 18 March 2004 edition of The Australian entitled Berlusconi Joins Madrid Blame Game:
This whole story doesn't convince me. Deep down inside, I cannot get rid of the doubt that ETA had some role, said Berlusconi, though he did not rule out the involvement of Islamic extremists.
Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu also inclined to the belief that an Islamic group may have had help from a domestic terrorist group, saying it was very likely that the bombers had local help.
It is difficult to imagine an operation like the Madrid attacks being carried out without the contribution of vast local involvement, Pisanu said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera daily.
These statements represent informed gut feelings. Vast local involvement, in my judgment, is a phrase indicating considerable understanding of the organizational dynamics motivating such actions and required for successfully undertaking them. Brilliant multiple feints. And no small amount of good luck, if one assumes that the Spanish socialists were as much in the dark as everyone else. The article also mentions considerations of Islamic/non-Islamic coalition. Quoting Pisanu again:
This concerns me because it would demonstrate that Islamic terrorism can find accomplices in Europe, not only on the extremist fringe of 17 million Muslim immigrants, but also in national terrorism.
Italian anti-terrorist police have so far been unable to demonstrate links between left-wing and Islamic extremists in Italy.
A leader of an outlawed Red Brigades faction arrested last year, Desdemona Lioce, claimed in a statement made after her arrest that disenfranchised Arabs were the natural allies of the proletariat.
If 9/11 marked the end of media-directed Islamic extremist terrorism and, with the U.S. action in Afghanistan, its transit to global insurgency, Madrid marked a jumping of the barrier of Islamic extremism to full-blown non-sectarian global coalition-insurgency.
I'll tell you what Derek Dillon believes about the contemporary strength issue, what he thinks based on what he knew of the enemy strength debacle in Vietnam. First of all, he does not believe that there is a single current member of the American military or intelligence communities who is in possession of serious knowledge of what is involved in doing what Al Qaeda is in process of doing: none. They have no insight into what Al Qaeda's actual intentions are. Cruelty, that's all those terrorist rats know; violence has become an end in itself. Pssst! Hey there! Have you heard that the primary function of intelligence gathering and analysis is to determine enemy intentions? Servants of the nation-state, globally, have orders of magnitude more useless information than ten times their number could ever possibly usefully analyze, no matter how well computerized, but no significant knowledge to bring to the analytical task before them. They don't even know what they need to analyze! And they think that computerization and analysis are essentially the same. All the analysts have access to all the available information. It's all hyper-computerized. There is a multitude of search strategies, myriad cross-referencing analytical tools. But they don't even know what they need to analyze! What knowledge has been developed on this subject has been suppressed ever since aftermath of the Korean War, and anyone who obtains serious such knowledge is driven out of the system because that system cannot survive the implications and the certain consequences of such knowledge circulating within it. The consequences are intuited by all; the implications are intuited by all: therefore, prevent emergence of the knowledge, knowledge which simply cannot be tolerated. Reality is a bitch, you know: not to be condoned. The published quotations proffered by officials and experts clearly indicate how little they understand about what is transpiring. The metaphors and similes brought forth, the adjectives employed: all indicate a dearth of understanding. And a self-serving interpretation of events! Metastasizing cancer. Cut off the Gorgon's head and ten more arise. Smash a blob of mercury and the beads fly everywhere. Infection. Contagion. Senseless killing. These are characterizations and terms of self-exoneration. WE caused the metastasizing. WE caused the ten heads to arise. WE caused the beads of mercury to fly. They are on the run because of us. Their killing is senseless, driven by unconstrained emotion (it could not be a facilitator of a self-organizing process); while ours is reasonable, the result of dispassionate analysis. Not only is this bad black propaganda, it is self-destructive self-propaganda which prevents comprehension. Several hundred active Al Qaeda operatives, so run the public estimates. Within the services, of course, the estimates certainly are substantially higher than that: the talk there is probably about a thousand or so. What does Derek think? Derek's WAG -- based on what he sees happening, what is said, what he knows concerning the basic principles gleaned from an earlier era -- is that there are globally somewhere in the realm of 100,000 coalition-insurgent operatives supported by the full-time or near-full-time efforts of approximately 3-million people, that there are probably 10-million or more people who can be called upon reliably for short-term or project-specific services when needed, and that several-hundred-million people are passive supporters of any process that appears to be able to substantially modify the prevailing international system. All of this is supported by tens of billions of dollars in resources. The leadership is extremely conservative and risk averse. Time and space are on their side -- and they know it.
Of course that yellow circle is a blue square! The powers-that-be within the military and intelligence establishments are right to suppress within their own systems actual knowledge of what Al Qaeda & Associates is up to. It is correct to surmise on a gut level, as they do, that the nation-state cannot survive internal circulation of such knowledge. Look at the recent books of George Soros, for instance. In both The Crisis of Global Capitalism and The Bubble of American Supremacy he talks about far-from-equilibrium territory. His discussions imply that he believes organization of human affairs on this planet, and the interface between human systems and the planet's biosphere, have moved into a far-from-equilibrium state. But what does this mean, specifically, rather than merely in the most general of terms? The body of scientific literature describing theoretical perspectives on and experimental findings concerning far-from-equilibrium phase transitions in natural systems is a large one, but none of this detail is brought to bear upon analysis of the present crisis in human affairs. Why? Soros' proposals for rectifying the developing global situation are largely designed to quench the far-from-equilibrium transition he sees as being in process; they are not developed from an analysis of the details of that process. He certainly has detailed knowledge of the prevailing institutions and their various categories of power brokers, but he exhibits too little knowledge of the details of the ongoing far-from-equilibrium transformation to develop proposals for action directly from those details. Why? Is this just his personal failing?
Companies spun off, for instance, by Santa Fe Institute have been trying to apply scientific knowledge of far-from-equilibrium territory, chaotic landscapes, theories of complex and autopoietic systems, and the like, to human systems engineering. Do we see any real evidence that they have been successful? Nope. Why? Because, when they look at the yellow circle, they see a blue square -- just as was the case at MACV Headquarters in Saigon 35 years ago. They are trying to apply complexity theory, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, and nonlinear Newtonian dynamics to human systems so as to shore up prevailing institutional structures (and those structures' underlying metaphysical justifications) -- not to facilitate a far-from-equilibrium phase transition, globally or locally. They are also trying to make a great deal of money while doing so, which, in a very real sense, is itself a shoring-up operation. They know, for instance, that chaotic systems transiting towards self-organized criticality are made up of a myriad of small elements in self-similar array correlated at certain thresholds. If given a contract to apply their technical knowledge of such transitional processes to help improve military performance through organizational improvements, they become strong advocates of small unit cohesion and increased communications (which enhances correlation) -- and the involved military professionals grumble in the evening over their Manhattans, All they're being paid, and they have yet to show us anything we haven't long since already known! But showing the military something new would involve undermining structural stability of the very structures they are trying to shore up. Morphogenesis may be related to structural stability, but not in the way they want it to be! It is one thing to gerrymander voting districts; quite another, territorial boundaries of states, counties, and municipalities. These borders, once established, are rarely, if ever, changed in institutionalization of the Cartesian-Newtonian world construct. This is the sort of structural stability the military is there to protect, so how could its force-structures provide such protection while adopting organizational algorithms based upon flagrant violation of such stability? There are many such issues involved here, which I will not detail, as to why the powers-that-be within the military and intelligence establishments are right to suppress within their own systems actual knowledge of what Al Qaeda & Associates is up to. Of course, such suppression, though effective in the short term, will have rather unpleasant consequences as things play out to cusp.
The New York Review of Books article (February 26, 2004) by Henry Siegman, entitled Israel: The Threat from Within, presents another context within which for me to point out the present ever increasing necessity of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries as the only possible effective counter-terror policy. Siegman rightly notes that land issues, i.e., border questions, have been the central factor preventing resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from 1947. In 1967, during the first days of the Six Day War, I received two promotions (and later, in Vietnam, turned down offer of a direct commission: learned early as a military brat never to take a leadership position in a bad war) at JFK Special Warfare Center for briefings given on history of the conflict and current order of battle. Everyone was embarrassed to have such a low-ranking person briefing generals. I was put on a Go-Team and locked in a Smoke Bomb Hill blockhouse on 3-hour alert, 6-hour alert, 12-hour alert (depending on where I was supposed to be at the end of the specified period). But Israel won the war so fast the Go-Team didn't go. While at JFK-SWC, and subsequently, I vigorously argued that Israel would keep the lands it occupied and that this would be the source of interminable conflict, possibly in the end threatening the very existence of Israel. This situation, I argued, in context of U.S. oil policy toward the Middle East, would necessitate larger and larger infusions of force to keep that oil policy on track -- until the whole situation reached an irreversible cusp point.
Already, by the time I arrived at JFK-SWC, the notion of an m-valued monetary unit was nascent in my thought, as I had struggled with ideas related to it during my last year of high school in 1962-3. The experience at JFK-SWC prepared me to focus on the Viet Cong border-fluctuation issue in Vietnam several months later, which further prepared me to crystallize by the mid-'70s the notion of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. Presently, implementation of cybernetic security boundaries independent of territorial boundaries is evolving in response to international terrorism transiting to global coalition insurgency. These cybernetic security boundaries, in conjunction with RFID tags, will be how the Cartesian-Newtonian mind regresses the quantum notion of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. This regressed application will give rise to more conflict than it resolves -- just as a democratic caucus in the UN will formalize definition of some 60 nation-states as the outsider spawning grounds for global coalition insurgency, thus greatly facilitating transition from terrorism to insurgency.
The shock value for the average reader of Siegman's article is his account of Israeli historian Benny Morris' revelations concerning Spring-1948 orders given to Haganah by Ben-Gurion for transfer of Palestinians, which transfer in actual fact involved collective rapes and murders. Use of the term cleansing was noted in the declassified early documents referred to by Morris as substantiation for his claims. Moreover, Morris endorsed this transfer policy and argued that it did not go far enough and will be completed in the future. Use of the word cleansing in these early documents takes on shock value only relative to recent use of the term in the Balkans. Whatever euphemism, the violent nature of Haganah's activities in 1948, if not part of the public record, was part of the almost-public record. In the Fall of 1963, I read deeply into the history of clandestine Sabra organization from the 1920s on behalf of the Zionist cause, Irgun, the Sternists, Haganah, Palmach, and so on, at Special Operations Research Office: most of this material being classified as For Official Use Only. Since I was a student clipping FBISs for various research teams, anything I did in the SORO library was FOUO. Anyone reading this material could not escape understanding exactly what transfer implied, nor where the term had had its origins. Studying Cabalistic thought at the same time -- under tutelage of the staggeringly exotic face of an m-Morningstar -- drove home the degree to which the Jerusalem of next year was not the Jerusalem of Cabalistic thought: the former being a nation-state concrete personification of the spiritual state of consciousness referred to by the latter. The involved processes of projective identification were recognized as very likely intimately involved with the events transpiring during WWII. Upon later, in 1968, becoming aware that the Jewish Defense League was recruiting American SF troops ETSing at Ft. Bragg for cross-border reprisals (under cover of training missions to border kibbutz), this simply fell into pattern.
The border issue (not what border, but how borders can and cannot be defined), as Sharon's concrete fence graphically demonstrates, gives rise to deep-seated emotional reactions driven by factors that are largely subliminal, factors mostly having to do with permissible and impermissible notions of the very nature of identity as a metaphysical category. On this deep level, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a direct extension of all that WWII was fought over. The irreversible cusp point will be reached in the Middle East if the deep structure of the forcing functions is not addressed with creative innovation. There is no simple solution negotiable regardless of the evolution of events, because this deep level subliminally cues all knee-jerk reactions.
Look, for instance, at the positions publicly taken by the Jewish-American leadership elite on the involved issues. They generally regard themselves secular Jews, but their positions vis-à-vis the deep-structure fundamentals are always Rabbinical positions. They are removed from the issues, do not live in Israel, are not religiously oriented, often claim even to be atheist or agnostic, and yet, subliminally, always adopt a Rabbinical perspective -- never, say, a Cabalistic perspective. And certainly not a Sufi perspective! M-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries are nothing if not Cabalistic and Sufi in orientation. Fundamentalist clinging reactions will dissipate only when integrative perspectives on fundamentals creatively emerge. Relative to Israel-Palestine, this is Cabala and Sufism (dressed in completely modern clothes, and not to be so announced). The Rabbinical approach is not integrative -- definitions, rules, distinctions -- and cannot mediate resolution of fundamental differences.
The only way to go is via m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. Leave cybernetic security boundaries alone; leave RFID tagging of currencies alone. Create a context which in the end will assimilate these from their regressed applications into a new systemic framework based on quantum principles of identity and self-organization.
Borders. Why should borders be an obsession today, 2004, in just the same manner as being inherently unbombable was a phobic obsession in 1968? Projective identification on the level of group mind! You figure out what is being projected; I pulled it out of the collective unconscious 35 years ago. Stop diddling your dink and do something worth doing! You, sitting at the Presidio teaching special ops as a networking paradigm. My god! Globalized hunter-killer teams assimilated to the internet, to network-centric gobbledygook. Is there any relation between the ego investment here and the phenomenon projected? What sophomoric twaddle! Instead of the Open Door Policy, the Back Door Policy. Why are the Chinese obsessing about their western borders? Why? Ask yourself why? Think psychologically, if you can. What could this have to do with U.S. actions in Xinjiang and Tibet in the pre-1949 period, with why the Chinese felt the necessity to so thoroughly destroy the guerrilla infrastructure implanted into the temple architecture? How could these U. S. actions have set in motion a collective psychological Chinese back-reaction? What were the psychological factors motivating U.S. actions in Tibet in the pre-'49 period? Not the Tao of Physics, the Tzog-Chen of Physics. Think about it. Think about what is most fundamentally at issue, where the greatest threat resides. You tell me why Tibet is such an obsession of both sides. Is oil the only reason China has chosen to move its attention to the west? Think, forgodsake. Thinking is permitted, you know, even in this era of ever increasing noise-to-data ratio. Why would terrorist actions in Uzbekistan so decisively involve border modulations, counter-border operations, that is? Big city actions necessarily involve border modulations. Figure out why that is! What is important, the city action or the border modulation? Think about what is most fundamentally at issue. Not just strategically. Not just tactically. Fundamentally.
Yes. Clearly, one key to what is happening today is boundaries, boundaries on every level of conception: metaphysical, psychological, ethnic, religious, nation-state, gerrymandering, physics, biology, chemistry, genetics, logic, insurgent organizational dynamics, globalization, trade blocs, multinationals, multilaterals, currency areas, far from equilibrium phase transitions, electronic borders and firewalls, security borders, space shields, fractal boundaries producing fractal entrapment, and so on. People have not been able to assimilate the new concepts that have emerged. The cleanest way to institutionalize these emergent properties is with m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. I don't know the final form this will take, but I have very good leads in most of the areas involved. One central requirement is that the electronic commons required to formalize such monetary units will be based upon computer games developed from multiple-scenarios strategic planning methodologies -- with all the holography and virtual reality bells and whistles required to captivate the public imagination. This will not be a voting commons, but a gaming commons. The logical-value stack on the monetary base will be gamed, not voted. Consensus will emerge by public gaming of all the scenarios until the simulations leave no doubt. Anyone will be able to game. The results will be there for all to see. This will be done on each level of the fractal map the given currency base is defined upon. The boundary-value issue is a constellated archetype; it has been constellated since the early rise of statistical mechanics. It has established event gradients in human political and economic affairs for nearly 150 years now. Another such constellated archetype setting the terms of the prevailing Zeitgeist of this era is identity, how it is to be defined as a fundamental metaphysical property. These two, obviously, are related. They are deep drivers of the patterns of contemporary events. Any political, economic, or social attempts to solve contemporary problems that do not CREATE autopoietic operators dissipating these archetypal constellations will not alter significantly the pattern of evolving events. One such operator is m-logically-valued monetary units. Another is metareference in industrial design.
But people are emotionally and cognitively incapable of understanding these notions. The affective and neurological capacity which would be required is gone. There are reasons for this incapacity. Drug use is probably a factor There are many forcing functions at play. Whatever the full spectrum of reasons, the requisite capability does not exist. Nonetheless, I will continue on my way doing what very little I can with this, as I have always done; though speaking about it certainly is a matter of imploding returns (diminishing returns was a long time ago). Every indicator I see, however, suggests that the window of opportunity is closed. This window lies in the foothills of the rising cusp surface, not at the crest of the ridge. The window does not slam shut so everyone knows of the event; it gently closes and the lock quietly springs into place. The indicators I can identify tell me that that has already occurred. There is no exit from this runaway archetypal bullet train.
You still have no better understanding of the prevailing global situation than does the Bush administration. It was U.S. actions in Afghanistan, not Iraq, that made possible the far-from-equilibrium phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency. Current events in Iraq only facilitate that ongoing process; they are not the engine of that transition. Al Qaeda performed brilliantly in Afghanistan and has continued since then to codify all the gains thus made. The theater is the whole planet; Afghanistan and Iraq are battles, not wars. War itself is a crime against humanity, not specific acts carried out in wars. There is no such thing as a non-criminal war or a non-criminal act by a war machine. All terrorist infrastructures are nascent war machines; they are not mere criminal gangs, as for profit is no part of their motive. But there, obviously, can be coalitions between terrorist infrastructures and criminal gangs, and some techniques of one can be used by the other.
You do not understand this because you have not studied the concrete dynamics of self-organizational phase transitions -- which does not make you unique, as this is something no one working for the American government has done. How could the Sandinistas have beaten the U.S. Army on the ground during the Iran-Contra era? By not being a government. In remaining a government, the Sandinistas insured their defeat. Governments have to provide a broad spectrum of services to maintain their existence and credibility. The huge disparity of available force between the U.S. and the Sandinistas could not have been overcome so long as the Sandinistas continued to attempt to provide those services -- the provision of which requires forms of organization precluding the possibility of overcoming the disparity of available force. What the Sandinistas needed to do was transit coherently back to the pre-government stage in the process of their genesis; from there back to their united front organizational formats; and, if the U.S. committed ground combat troops, from there back to non-geographically-based cellular and guerrilla formats conducive to coalition insurgency across national borders in Central America. The U.S. was operating across national borders in assaulting the Sandinistas, and yet the Sandinistas remained a government within a fixed geographical area, providing public services through organizational structures precluding the marshaling of manpower and materiel resources for effective interdiction of the assault being made upon them. Defeat for the Sandinistas was the only possible outcome of their choice to remain a government in response to U.S. actions. The more overt force involved in the U.S. actions, the wider the Sandinistas had to spread the conflict out in space and the longer they had to protract the conflict in order to overcome the disparity of available force.
Not only did Al Qaeda not make this Sandinista mistake, they understood the dynamical processes of spontaneous self-organization underlying all successful insurgencies so well they knew they needed a specific circumstance within which the forcing functions of far-from-equilibrium phase transition between international terrorism and global insurgency could be successfully carried out. The circumstance they engineered to accomplish this was the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Without that invasion, the global organizational phase transition would have taken a much longer period of time. From the beginning, Al Qaeda knew that the magnitude of the disparity of available force required that they spread the conflict over a global extent and an indefinite period of time -- otherwise, their goals and objectives could not possibly be obtained. In responding to the evoked-response U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and the Taliban coherently collapsed through all the stages the Sandinistas should have collapsed through. They gained everything and lost nothing of consequence in Afghanistan. And they are presently well into the early stages of a successful far-from-equilibrium phase transition. Their actions are undertaken ONLY TO FACILITATE THE PROCESSES OF SELF-ORGANIZATION set in motion. This can be read by the world-line of their targeting strategy choices and so on. There is no such thing as international terrorism anymore; there is now the beginning of global insurgency riding on the back of intranational (urbanization under duress) and international migration patterns forced by the globalizing economy, which is in turn forced by the evermore widespread elaboration of quantum-based technologies. No amount of intelligence collection and police activity focused on breaking cells, arresting people, or killing them with hunter-killer teams (like in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam) will do more than slow down a process of insurgency building so well begun as the present one is by Al Qaeda's orchestration. The window of opportunity has closed and the lock on it has sprung into place. There will be many ups and downs, but this will play itself out regardless of the interdiction efforts brought to bear upon it, and it will play itself out in context of the gathering to cusp of U.S.-China confrontation. A point in such processes comes when no subsequent action can reverse consequences of earlier mistakes. That point in this process has already been passed. It was passed in Afghanistan, not Iraq. It is largely irrelevant whether or not Afghanistan is now made into a functional nation-state. And the same will be the case with Iraq.
Closed window of opportunity on what? Take your choice. Most fundamentally, a smooth transition out of the Cartesian-Newtonian nation-state system and its supranational agglomerations, its characteristic technologies and patterns of energy use. This window being closed, the transition will be one of great discontinuity and unmitigated megadeath. The nation-state, its institutions and agents, have no positive contributions to make, only negative ones. What recent events can you point at to plausibly dispute that conclusion? De jure political actors of every stripe have jumped to defense of the nation-state system: just the sort of knee-jerk longing-for-the-past response required to insure discontinuity. Thirty-five years ago, when I started writing about this inevitable transition, one could have located efforts to create the required autopoietic operators at, say, the lattice-link of amenity migration sites spread across the planet. Such activities would have been facilitative of smooth transit through far-from-equilibrium phase transition. But such efforts would be irrelevant today: no longer is there a smooth noodle map for the process. Efforts now -- not to facilitate smoothness, only to minimize megadeath -- have to be sited on cultural fault lines. Clearly, given the last 150 years of resolute refusal on part of the nation-state, its institutions and agents, quantum self-organization is going to come up in greatly regressed form through failed states and extra-legal sectors. The systemic vulnerabilities identified by Al Qaeda and the local micro-realities discoursed upon by Hernando de Soto are going to coalesce into a single unified gestalt forcing the great discontinuity in context of the nation-states themselves agglutinating into blocs poised for all-out internecine warfare. And people continue to believe the nation-state will survive. This is a collective cognitive phenomenon attributable only to pandemic lacuna-on-the-brain.
The list of I-told-you-so-type statements available is getting so long as to be utterly embarrassing. Derek Dillon's crazed Vietnam veteran statements in MOON about the levels of brutality America eventually would require to meet its psychological needs, for instance. Nowhere in the history of the Vietnam war, so far as I know, were Puff-the-Magic-Dragon C-130 gunships used on right-in-town locations, as they apparently are currently being used in Iraq. In a single burst of fire, these gunships can put a projectile into every square inch of a football field. It is not surprising that the involved Iraqi cities are burying their dead in local sports stadiums. In Vietnam, the closest the use of this weapons system got to population concentrations was enemy-occupied suburban light-industrial complexes. Being 50 yards from a Cobra gunship attack or 100 yards from a Phantom jet laying down napalm or WP is close enough, let alone under Puff-the-Magic-Dragon. To a student of international relations and a counter-terror intelligence expert like Derek, there was no trouble, walking around certain sections of suburban Saigon in immediate aftermath of the Tet-'68 offensive, projecting into the future. Who does the great bulk of killing, anyhow? The terrorist does not have access to the required quantity of disposable force. At least not yet. He must rely on provoked actions of the nation-state to achieve his objectives. On walks like that, through devastated areas of suburban conurbation, many associations flood the mind. Remembrance of similar walks around Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a child in the early 1950s -- sites just then truly coming back from the dead. And this association is the right order of magnitude for present circumstances, as the evolution of global neglect leading directly to 9/11 progressively ratcheted up over 50 years the level of duress inducing the WTC action designed to elicit a provoked response capable of killing the nation-state system dead, a system that should have died right along with the 19th century and the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm birthing it. Or that oft quoted passage from George F. Kennan, author of the 1947 Foreign Affairs Mr. X article explicating the basis of the U.S. containment policy, the man subsequently Director of Policy Planning at the Department of State (recently again quoted in Harper's Magazine, February 2004, p. 38, without citation and with incorrect date, something any student of American foreign policy should know by memory, if not heart):
We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of the population. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.
Kennan spent WWII at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. It is not hard to fathom from the above statement, and a childhood walk through the atomic bombing sites, the real origins of the Cold War -- or the actual achievements of the U.S. containment policy formulated by Kennan. Concentrating attention on immediate national objectives and dispensing with world-benefaction by that nation in control of 50 percent of the world's wealth, the only nation by geopolitical circumstance to emerge virtually unscathed from WWII, was the necessary and sufficient condition through which none of the world's outstanding problems were addressed for the half century prior to the present congealing of a morass of interlinked unsolvable global problems spanning virtually every aspect of life on this planet -- and threatening in myriad ways the very continued existence of that life. The psychological need to hide from that historically unprecedented level of culpability calls forth a great deal of brutality, indeed! The application of straight power concepts not only takes many forms, but has many levels of motivation, some fully conscious, some subliminal. A child growing up amongst military paladins, effector organs of straight power concepts, has little trouble becoming an expert about and a walking encyclopedia on the psychopathology involved. Making projections from that case is almost automatic for such a child.
If the U.S. bought into an exponential growth curve in resource commitments by declaring planetary war on terrorism and catalyzing far-from-equilibrium phase transition between international terrorism and global insurgency via invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Al Qaeda & Associates, too, in undertaking this phase transition, has forecast much about its future internal necessities and mechanisms of action. The conflict AQ & A has initiated -- escalated is a more accurate term -- is characterized by several outstanding critical variables:  a pre-existing condition, to wit: many tens of millions of people die each year due primarily to the prevailing unlevel-playing-field properties of the international system the U.S. has vested its national resources into protecting, preserving, and promulgating ever since WWI (dissimulating this fact in media discourse creates a cognitive environment wherein gross strategic misassessments inevitably are made);  the disparate ratio of available force between AQ & A and the U.S. of A and its coalition partners is so extreme it can be overcome only by extraordinary recourse to space and time variables;  such recourse to space and time variables in order to overcome disparity of available force means that AQ & A must move through all the stages of building a national liberation struggle apparatus on a transnational level of application. This will involve coalition insurgency on a global scale which cannot be successfully undertaken without formation of a broad-spectrum planetary united front transcending the confines of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden's last public statement clearly suggests that AQ & A is expeditiously moving along toward fulfillment of this goal. Successful formation of a united front (level of goals) is not accomplished by mere voluntarism, participatory process, declaration, convention, or vote (witness five decades of global counterculture ineffectiveness); its foundation is laid in joint actions (level of objectives) like the train attacks in Madrid (a spectacular operation) and the multiple small-scale actions transpiring in southern Thailand (more pedestrian operations). All united fronts, of course, are mere stage-set facades, so the border modulations, the recruitment dynamics, the apparat construction, the organizational adaptation involved in forming a united front are the actual goals associated with the objective of mounting joint actions against specific targets. As the united front grows, there will always remain a degree of doubt as to how committed is the leadership, sitting behind field commander Osama bin Laden, to Islamic fundamentalism, and how much this fundamentalism was regarded merely a catalytic necessity in the early stages of the movement. Questions concerning this issue will be internally cultivated on an increasing basis directly proportional to success in united front formation. At a later stage, moving from front to pre-government, there will be internal purges.
In pursuing fulfillment of its internal necessities, AQ & A will be trying from the bottom up to supplant the Westphalian state system which has existed since the mid-17th century to protect us all, according to Hobbes, from the the war of all against all which makes life nasty, brutish, and short. AQ & A will of internal necessity be trying to create a new system of world governance. This does not mean that AQ & A embraces the multinational corporate globalization ideology of a borderless world, even if it must by internal necessity attack integrity of national borders. No one knows, likely even AQ & A, what AQ & A envisions for a post-Westphalian world order -- no more than anyone knows the principles of governance by which a corporatized borderless world would function. Much of what AQ & A will be doing (on the levels of goals and interests) is exactly what needs to be done, from a quantum perspective on the processes involved in emergence of spontaneous self-organization -- only AQ & A's recipe is a regressed, infantile, violent version thereof (as its behavior on the level of objectives clearly illustrates). Moreover, not only does AQ & A know that the Westphalian state is most specifically designated by its geographical borders, it also knows that that state's monetary currency is defined on those very same borders. In this age of globalization, however, integrity of both the national border and the national currency is breaking down due to economically-forced migration and technologically-facilitated hot money. This is a strategic vulnerability AQ & A has set upon to exploit, as it presents the straightest path to overcoming the disparity of available force inherent in the nature of the conflict. Dollar confidence in a fiat currency monetary system is dependent upon making display in setting the global agenda. AQ & A contests that the U.S. of A sets the global agenda -- and thus threatens dollar confidence. This is why I maintain that implementation of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries potentially constitutes the most effective counter-terror policy.
In 1968, an eccentric friend of mine (once removed) was asked to design a lighting scheme for a Las Vegas casino. The idea that emerged was to float blocks of light above each table using intersecting laser beams. Two beams equidistant frequency-wise above and below the visible spectrum, at their intersection point, produce a spot of visible light, with nothing else visible. Enough such spots form a block of light. For various reasons, this design was never implemented. But it was a seed idea. Move the projecting beams, add color, and you have moving flowing forms: free-standing holographic kinetic sculpture without employment of photographic processes. Computerize the projection system and correlate the forms with electronically-generated music using the abstract constant-entropy surfaces characteristic of far-from-equilibrium phase transitions and you have what I call music-sculpture, Musculpt. In 1969, I helped a friend met at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ, research an article for Technological Forecasting on a futuristic home resource center based upon this notion of Musculpt. At the same time, I recognized this as being a model of the images I see and the sounds I hear when engaged in concentrated mathematical thought, a form of thought recently dubbed abductive reasoning. This was before emergence of virtual reality technology and the holographic theory of brain function. I found myself not going into the technological development of the idea, but into its larger implications. I studied the processes of tornado genesis in the Earth's atmosphere and the quantum aspects of self-generated brain discharges. Out of these studies I co-authored a paper describing the (holographic) quantum wave properties of the superconductant DNA molecule, published in 1979. This paper provided a mathematical model directly parallel, on another scale level, to how Musculpt would be produced technologically. We then imagined such a molecule inside a neuron cell and from that developed notions about how the brain would function as an m-logically-valued quantum processor. This was well before the emergence of the current approach to quantum computing as a way of speeding up binary processors.
The notion of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries and weighted relative to externalities tagged to indicators evolved in tandem with development of these ideas. The currencies would necessarily be e-currencies to allow m-logically-valued processing and the fractal boundaries would necessarily be e-boundaries floated on the internet. All of this was before Arpanet became the internet and before developments in m-valued logic permitted a non-probabilistic, non-truth-value interpretation of logical-value. Musculpt would be the means by which the given changing fractal boundary and the changing weights on the given currency base would be publicly posted. The currency bases employed in given currency baskets would be arrayed in a fractal nest, thus providing viscosity without currency controls, damping cycles -- in a manner directly mirroring how far-from-equilibrium phase transitions take place in multi-scale processes, say, tornado genesis, a natural instance of sounded-form generation. Arriving at the values of the weights stacked on the currency bases would be accomplished locally in the fractal nest of given baskets by computer games (ultimately played as Musculpt) developed on the decision algorithms associated with multiple-scenarios strategic planning methodologies. Such nested gaming would be a new form of electronic commons permitting culturally-specific reference within a unified global framework. In order to minimize conflict within an integrative process, such as a globalizing economy, diverse forms of meta-reference (mirroring what is called relative-state in quantum theory) are necessary concomitants to the processes of integration, i.e., spontaneous localization and spontaneous fusion: which is precisely how collective and cooperative quantum phenomena (such as superconductivity) operate in material processes understood with m-valued logics. An integration that demands diversity for its very accomplishment! Therefore, meta-reference, the traditional purview of the arts, is an essential feature of this notion.
There are many salient aspects of this not discussed here. For instance, if you read terrorism specialist Yossef Bodansky's 1993 book Target America (N.Y.: S.p.i. Books), a treatise on the organizational history of Islamic terrorist infrastructures, you will see many unanalyzed quotations from terrorist actors related to the issue of borders or boundaries. Indeed, from his account, one can surmise that this issue has been the foremost point of factionalist in-fighting related to the question of joint actions and strategic objectives -- just as it was the foremost issue of factionalism within the Vietcong political infrastructure. A discussion of why this must be so important an issue in the evolution of any self-organizing process would require much discourse on the details of far-from-equilibrium phase transitions. Even without such a discussion, it is apparent that there can be no resolution of the deep-structural aspects of the origin of current conflicts globally without implementation of fundamentally new notions like m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries. Absent such implementation, the processes of economic globalization, deployment of quantum-based technologies, terrorist assault, forced urbanization, and economically-driven migration inevitably will result in regressed violent modification of the basic nature of political borders, globally. Quantum political systematics will be criminally invoked. Why? Because money is local -- even in a globalizing economy. Globalization of local money criminalizes all economic processes by amplifying absence of extant purchasing power parities. The rural tax base is collapsing all over the Third World, even in the Tiger Economies. Why are so many of the downtown shops in Penang no longer open? Because of the lack of purchasing power parity between KL and Penang. KL money buys Penang shophouses on speculation and the rents are pushed up beyond what Penang money can pay. The currency is the same currency, but Penang money is not KL money. The same amount of currency is easy money in KL relative to (quantum relative-state, that is) Penang. The new owner stays in KL to pay off the mortgage. Penang tax receipts fall relative to tax receipts in KL. The same principle -- this time between currencies -- drives international tourism, global amenity migration, and global choices in retirement location for those from easy-money locations. Globalizing by ever-increasing employment of quantum-based technologies in a money-is-local planetary economy absent fractal e-boundaries magnifies all resident inequities. The unlevel playing field moves into a wild slant. The only rational choice for the vast majority, imposed by market imperatives, is recourse to what Hernando de Soto calls the extra-legal sector. Quantum economies, systemically speaking, have no alternative but to become criminally invoked. There is nowhere else for the system to go. One world currency in a borderless world will not solve this problem. There is no border between KL and Penang and only one currency is in play between them, yet KL money is not Penang money. The extra-legal sector arises as a systemic response, as an attempt to repair damage to functionality of the system imposed by lack of purchasing power parity. Individual choice in local circumstance is driven by the forcing functions imposed on the ensemble. Looking at prevailing megatrends, one can only suppose that the post-nation-state system, whatever it is to be, will be brought up exclusively through the extra-legal sector.
Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack (Simon and Schuster, 2004) was informative about CENTCOM's planning methodology, but after thinking about the book in total for a week, I find myself not believing that the explicated decision factors for war were the actual decision factors. I don't believe this book any more than I believe Woodward's Bush At War. Factually-based propaganda, naively undertaken or connivingly so. Since public exposure of the Nixon tapes, I don't think actual policy decisions are taken at formal policy meetings or are taken wherever recording devices are known to be. Neglecting unconscious factors in policy determination (as Woodward does and James Mann's Rise of the Vulcans [Viking, 2004] does to a lesser extent), still it is undeniable that this decision was taken within a nested construct of global assessments projected out over the next 20 years, where China looms large, where oil production peak looms large, where dollar confidence looms large, where multiple factors undermining integrity of the nation-state system loom large, and so on. Woodward addresses none of this except in passing and limits his explication to the issues of public discourse established by the administration through leaks to the media (just as was the case during the Vietnam era). These nested assessments, not explicated by Woodward, trigger both unconscious and conscious responses on part of policy makers which, in turn, establish needed intelligence production. Long-held tacit assumptions coupled to event-drift generate gut strategic assessments, predispositions to prefer certain interests, goals, and objectives over others possible, as well as vague policy orientations, within all of which specific intelligence levies are mandated. Upon reception of the levies, those producing intelligence estimates then struggle to match the intelligence data base to the synoptic gut strategic assessments such that specific estimates are produced wherein the whole world picture is seen to hold together. Surely, it was in such a context that the likely overstated WMD and Iraq-Al Qaeda coalition estimates were generated. And to me the Powell-Rumsfeld loggerhead rings more true as a good-cop/bad-cop routine (with both unconscious and conscious dimensions) than an authentic policy formulation hiatus. Not only was the Powell Doctrine taken away from Vietnam, so was the habit of fighting the war one's force structures are configured to fight, not the war as it really is. CENTCOM's planning methodology, as described by Woodward, illustrates exactly how this transpires. The cumbersomeness of TAADS (not mentioned by Woodward), the Pentagon's system for making force-structure modifications, is an overwhelming constraint on system adaptability to the changing environment of the combat. This latter doctrine of fighting the war one is structured to fight is as much a part of Powell's orientation as is the doctrine given his name. And Armitage's extensive personal history (greater hands-on than anyone else I have read about, as superficially described in Rise of the Vulcans: working out of Coronado, he certainly was exposed to SEAL Team One, which did much the same thing he apparently did; the claim that he was not part of Phoenix is likely based on not being a PRU advisor, but many types of units were employed on Phoenix tasks -- Ruff-Puffs advised by SF, Roadrunners, Hatchet Teams, Dagger Teams, Hunter-Killer Teams, and so on -- and a company-grade repeat returnee deeply interfaced with the ARVN, as was Armitage, was in a position to recruit his own unit as he saw fit) with Phoenix-Program-related activities overwhelmingly predisposes to neglect of the actual critical factors (organization-slaying prevention of critical phase transitions) involved in interdicting an underground infrastructure (thus putting all the emphasis upon bringing force to bear in removal of people), thereby reinforcing the doctrine of fighting the war one is structured to fight. As far as I can surmise, there have been no major force-structure TAADS modifications post 9/11 relative to fighting global insurgency, only a beefing up of special operations forces -- which is in conformity with the Phoenix Program orientation. Target states because that is what your force structures can do best. The big mistake post-9/11 was invading Afghanistan, and apparently Powell's major reservation there was insistence on employment of overwhelming force and a clear exit strategy. There was no thought given to preventing organizational phase transition, much less to how an invasion would facilitate such a transition. Iraq is secondary to this bigger mistake. Neither Powell nor Armitage served in positions in Vietnam giving them significant exposure to strategic issues of that war; they had no direct experience of, for instance, the enemy strength estimates controversy and all the strategic planning issues which never received public exposure lying behind those falsified estimates, no public exposure even in testimony at the Westmoreland vs. CBS trial (the judge ruled strategy issues irrelevant). Hence, Powell and Armitage took away only grunt lessons from Vietnam, not authentic lessons regarding competitive strategic organizational factors in insurgency war. No one, absolutely no one at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ, (where POLOB was buried after the imposed run in with Sam Adams and the interminable foot-dragging at producing falsified data to substantiate the command position, which burial was never mentioned at the trial) supported the Phoenix Program. No one in Armitage's position, with the limited information exposure incumbent upon that position, could possibly have assessed success or failure of the Phoenix Program. A frog sitting seven years at the bottom of a well. SRA, and Sam Adams, knew that a massive country-wide communist organizational phase transition was in process (transition from the national liberation front format to a pre-government format staffed with northerners, no longer staffed with Southern VCI: this began in MR5 and spread rapidly as an oil slick) at the very time CORDS was brought into being, and that Phoenix-type activities could only aid and abet that transition -- just as the Al Qaeda-engineered invasion of Afghanistan could only aid and abet far-from-equilibrium phase transition from the organizational formats appropriate to international terrorism to those appropriate to global insurgency. In order to see this stark parallel the only cognitive shift required is that between scale levels: intranational to transnational. Grunt lessons generate globalony, not well-formulated planetary strategies. Though Sam Adams was rubbing his palms together in anticipation, Westmoreland dropped his suit when people from SRA were soon to appear in court. If you want to understand why America had to make the mistake of invading Afghanistan, you have no further to look than this decision on part of Westmoreland. Americans never learned how it was they were so badly beaten in Vietnam, in spite of their overwhelming material advantage and extremely disproportionate deployment of force -- and they carried all the grunt lessons into formulating their strategic response to 9/11. Extremely disproportionate deployment of force is not good enough, extremely extreme disproportionate deployment of force is the answer. Lie to yourself long enough and there is no possibility you will ever be able to look facts in the face. The point of no possibility has long since passed for America. The good-cop/bad-cop routine is a great device for manipulating the captive, in this case the public imagination -- whatever origin of that device. And the only current alternative is swift-boat stunts!
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
It makes me angry that the Iraqi Shiites aren't resisting the Americans, one former Hezbollah fighter told me. But they should wait, he added. Resistance requires organization, it doesn't happen overnight. It must be studied. We learned from the Vietnamese and the Algerians, and I think the Iraqis have something to learn from us.
From: In Search of Hezbollah -- II by Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, May 13, 2004, p. 29.
Reading in Bodansky's 1993 Target America that Vietnamese cadre trained Hezbollah and the Republican Guards in the Bekka Valley and at camps in Iran during the early 1980s provides considerable insight into the strategic sophistication of current Islamic extremist initiatives.
Well, you wanted my reaction to Rich Cohen's Welcome to the Conspiracy (Vanity Fair, May 2004). Here it is:
There are no accidental events in this time-shape or any other time-shape of this one-and-only universe. I do not believe in conspiracy theories; I believe in conspiracies. The essence of conspiracy is quantum relative-state, a fundamental property of matter. Anything composed of matter -- in so far as the word composed is meaningful -- is a material conspiracy, a collective behavior in a particular time-shape. There is no configuration of events that is not a material witness to conspiracy. A quark is no-thing in m-logically-valued time-shape. An elementary particle is a material conspiracy amongst quarks. An atom is a material conspiracy amongst elementary particles. A molecule is a material conspiracy amongst atoms. We now know -- as it has repeatedly been demonstrated in the laboratory -- that quarks, elementary particles, atoms, and molecules are not where they are. They are not where they are by virtue of the m-logically-valued properties of their time-shapes. Neurons of a brain are superposed (i.e., m-logically-valued) time-shapes of the quarks, elementary particles, atoms, and molecules composing them. Since none of these constituents are where they are, a brain cannot contain itself: it is not where it is by virtue of its superposed time-shapes which logically preclude the notion of containment -- each such time-shape being a material conspiracy. So, if you tell me that the mass media oligopolies are not conspiratorial, what can I do but scoff? The only part of Science News I read regularly was Off the Beat, because that was where the best ideas were discussed.
Regarding your perception of a direct connection between Cheney's penchant to massacre birds with a shotgun and recent events in Abu Ghraib prison, I can only quote Derek speaking in MOON, circa 1977 (Vol. 1, pp. 320-21):
Denise chuckled. Oh, the mawkish, maudlin maunder of mushy suburban maws!
The ensuing laughter betrayed a tawdry tinge of ravishment.
If you skip the step just described and suggest that the content of American films, the level of urban crime, the incidence of mass murder, the need for drugs, illicit and socially encouraged, et cetera, indicate that American society has become sufficiently unhinged as to produce significant numbers of individuals in leadership positions who emotionally need to engage in violence, in one or another of its many forms -- from the most immediate physical brutality, through the various psychological assaults, to the most elegant and refined of the intellectual varieties. And that this is a fundamental factor determining national policy. Well generally, there is a collective pulling in of air that marks the group as being jointly put out. The hostility, this time, is not easily contained. It pervades the atmosphere as a stony silence and is signified by abrupt departures from the immediate area. You are identified as an unpleasant person, a solecism. Someone who, obviously, always destroys the evening or Sunday brunch.
And if in the midst of this pulling in of air you state that you have personally witnessed Americans groovin' on the torture of a thirteen-year-old girl -- after the electrical shocks to the genitals no longer did the trick, her wrists were tied behind her back with a rope attached to a pulley on the ceiling and she was thus lifted until her shoulders popped out of joint -- well, there is a collective move toward hyperventilation marking the state of aghast, and in the eyes of those pulling in the air, this last statement proves what they had already suspected: you are a jaded Vietnam veteran and nothing you say is to be given any credence. Least of all, when you up the ante one more time and predict that America will eventually manage to create another war in which this sort of activity will be much more widespread than it was in Vietnam -- the national need for it having become even more elaborated. Why why why obviously he's not one of them Nam-nesiacs. He's got some kind of pestilence in the historical part of his memory function.
For the record, let it be known that within a matter of days of arriving in Vietnam Derek inadvertently walked in upon the torture session. He immediately recognized this inadvertence as a life-threatening experience because he had earlier, at Ft. Bragg, inadvertently witnessed mass slaughter with baseball bats of a bunch of dogs from the local pound and barely escaped consequences of that incidence of inadvertence with his life intact. A whole series of events were set into motion wherein he was very unlikely to survive his upcoming tour in Vietnam. Public awareness of dog slaughter could have terminated the whole structure of SF medic training. There was a second inadvertent witness to the dog incident who did not survive his tour. Derek was never able to determine whether or not circumstances of his death related to the dog incident. It only takes someone not covering for you who otherwise would. The two American officers involved in the torture session arranged for Derek to become the token American on a Dagger Team going into the villes at night to take head count. This was an assignment Derek was not at all likely to survive, particularly, as Derek assumed, one or another member of the team surely had already notched the hilt of his knife in Derek's honor. Bare feet and a knife in a VC-controlled area, no other weapons. Stealth the only ally. In all fairness, it should be noted that the thirteen-year-old had been involved in planting a bomb that killed several Americans. By hook and crook, Derek managed to survive the likely consequence of his inadvertence. The girl was shipped off to a PW camp. It was a war, mon, a war. Know what I mean?
I certainly have nothing against Peter Galbraith's attempt to balkanize Iraq and promote swift-boat stunts (How to Get Out of Iraq, The New York Review of Books, May 13, 2004), but I do find it revealing that in his capsule history of Iraq he fails even to mention the U.S. role in causing Saddam Hussein's holocaust of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs. This is a revealing disjunction, no mere undersight -- for he fails to distinguish between those who cause holocausts and those who perpetrate them, the two parties generally not being identical. He even mentions Pol Pot without crediting the U.S. for its role in causing the Cambodian holocaust. Those who cause holocausts, apparently, are not culpable. This myopia is symptomatic of a larger problem with Peter's vision. In proposing balkanization of Iraq, he takes at face value the notion that the U.S. invaded Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, free the Iraqi people, and impose democracy. Issues of control over diminishing planetary oil resources and global positioning vis-à-vis likely eventual confrontation with China, for instance, played no role in prompting the U.S. decision for war. America could not be thinking ahead that many chess moves or it would have had better plans for postwar Iraq! Such matters are not mentioned -- as they would preclude acceptability to the U. S. of the balkanization of Iraq, at least until things get worse than they already are. More interesting, perhaps, is illustrated the fact that when the American mind gets itself around the notion of balkanization it inevitably relies exclusively upon 18th century notions like federalism -- even though federalism historically was used to build the nation-state, not slay it. Problems with geographical borders can only be viewed through the lens of Cartesian-Newtonian coordinates. This is totally bizarre coming from a people who gave us the internet, and particularly tragic in the case of Iraq where the resident tribal perspectives on boundaries clearly have much more in common with quantum processes than those Newtonian. I can just imagine how Peter's principles would clash with those involved in a fractal nest of m-logically-valued exchange units. Much better a tripartite UN mandate in a bantustaned Baghdad -- based on all we have learned in Jerusalem, of course!
Let me see if I can throw a little more light on my attitude toward Aurobindo, the Mother, and Sat Prem. This will necessitate telling some history of how I became involved with Aurobindo's skati-pad, and explicating some of the concomitant issues. I think that Aurobindo never used the phrase Man is unfinished in the period before he moved to Ponticherry and created a wide-open ashram in a French colony in India. By this I do not mean to say that I think the phrase is false, but that it was fashioned for a certain use: meaning is in uses, as Swedenborg often said. There is very little record of what Aurobindo said and did while he was still working with a small select group, before he concluded that even a spiritual Hercules is limited by constraint of mass psychological induction and that the Buddha's renunciation was affirmation of a framework law. Once he reached this conclusion, by studying his own internal dynamic, he changed the whole structure of uses he had earlier employed. This was the second time he had done this. The first time was when he abandoned clandestine political action against the British Raj (I have even read somewhere that at one point he was charged with political assassination). He made this first abandonment when he realized that his personal attention to the question of Indian independence was no longer required, that that independence was a done deal and that only endgame remained. Sat Prem's Sri Aurobindo, or The Adventure of Consciousness was virtually a bestseller, far larger a seller than any of Aurobindo's writings, and therefore most people first encounter Aurobindo through Sat Prem's book. I had already read Aurobindo's Collected Works and Luthe's six volumes on Autogenic Therapy before encountering Sat Prem's take on Aurobindo while at Cornell studying tornado genesis. So I struggled to assimilate Sat Prem to Aurobindo, rather than in the reverse direction.
My personal course followed a similar TRAJECTORY of focus as that of Aurobindo: politics, inner work, social application. It was through a person at SRA at MACV-HQ that I first learned of Aurobindo: KR. This was the person most responsible for creation of POLOB. He was the one ordered to present (falsified) substantiation of the official MACV strength estimate conclusions before the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to debate Sam Adams before the National Intelligence Estimates Board. We did not discuss Aurobindo in Vietnam, but later in Seattle. Lt. Col. Gaines Hawkins was the head of the OB Section at CICV when KR, on his own time, largely created the study of political order of battle. Hawkins stood behind everything KR did and saw that POLOB was institutionally formalized. KR was the walking encyclopedia, Hawkins the knowledgeable sponsor. Hawkins battled mightily against Westmoreland's (who was surely under great pressure from those close to LBJ, if not LBJ himself) insistence on sustaining the official MACV figure, which had evolved independent of POLOB's findings. KR stonewalled and dragged his feet in everyway possible to avoid creatively producing the required HES statistics, and so on. In the end, Hawkins informed KR that he simply had no choice but to go back to Washington and argue against his own conclusions on the strength estimate (which were roughly similar to those of Sam). Before the National Intelligence Estimates Board debate, KR knew this; Sam knew it. They had had long discussions in Saigon before Sam was designated persona non grata in Vietnam by MACV. The trip to Washington was a devastating experience for KR. Years later, by the time we lost contact with each other, according to my perception KR still had not fully recovered. Would it have been better to have refused what ultimately would have become a direct order, and to have been dumped, someone else handling the presentation and debate, or to do what he did so as to stay on after the debate in order to fight for every inch against what was transpiring at MACV? A judgment call. Everyone at SRA (the post-debate name of POLOB) concurred with the judgment made by KR. Nonetheless, he was racked with an overwhelming, if only self-inflicted, sense personal of guilt. Particularly after so many died at Tet, including the analyst at SRA who worked most directly with him. We all (except Sam Adams) understood that an accurate strength estimate would have had little effect on Tet, as much larger factors were involved than a mere matter of strength. Other than Sam Adams, Gaines Hawkins was the only truly knowledgeable person on the VCI who was called to testify at the Westmoreland vs CBS trial. But even Sam's knowledge base on the subject was small compared to that of KR. I know this for a fact, as I later spent a fair amount of time periodically talking with Sam in Leesburg. KR was supposed to testify at the trial, but just before he did, Westmoreland dropped the case against CBS. The potential of the trial Sam brought into being by his dogged efforts was that, to use Sam's words, The story of how they [the VCI] actually did it would finally come out. For that to occur, understanding of how far-from-equilibrium organizational phase transitions had governed course of the war would have had to have been transmitted in testimony. But consider the massive collective will brought to bear during and after the trial to sustain the falsifications, not least by the media, including even TV Guide! We had seen this all before at MACV-HQ and knew the dimensions of the collective psychoneurosis (psychosis?) involved. Who in their right mind would voluntarily walk into that mental ward, particularly after the judge had ruled at the outset that all the determining factors (issues of strategy) were non-material and wholly irrelevant. Given this collective American mental state, there was not a chance in hell the country would not make the evoked-response mistake of invading Afghanistan post-9/11, thus facilitating far-from-equilibrium phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency.
This is my account of it; others would have their own stories to tell. After I arrived at SRA, KR and I spent a lot of personal time talking about all of this, the blow-by-blow, the VCI, and many philosophical and political topics -- most of which made their way into MOON in one way or another. One topic began with the VCI and later became a focus of discussion concerning Aurobindo's The Life Divine, the first thing by Aurobindo I read. This particular topic had to do with the command structure of the VCI. One day, KR tossed me a copy of the recently published (1968) book by Watkins on the discovery of the structure of DNA and said, If you want to understand the VCI, read this book. The argument over the topic in question began there: with the central dogma as formulated by Watkins and Crick. Compare and contrast. The central dogma is that instructions move only from DNA to protein, with no feedback and no reverse movement of instructions: a one-way command hierarchy. They are still debating this in genetics: to wit, Barbara McClintock, Barry Commoner, and Mai-Wan Ho. This was the way communist infrastructures were supposed to work. But did the VCI work that way? We debated this in depth. The superchart provided with MOON has a big bold red chain-of-command line drawn directly down the center. This was the prevailing (e.g., Doug Pike) view, which KR and I agreed was not an accurate reflection. But how did it really work? I argued that the psychological impress of kiem thao, phe binh, and animism fundamentally modified rigidity of the command hierarchy. But, if so, how did this work in detail? Could these mechanisms and states be regarded feedback? If so, how so? KR had a mathematical mind, a mind focused on the statistical methods he had been taught at University of Washington. (That's why he was the reigning strength expert; he could produce statistical arguments on most any level of complexity desired, create models, write equations, draw graphs, input data to the MACV mainframes, and use numerical printouts to illustrate his briefings: Sam Adams was no match for this [particularly so, as his perspectives were not shared by most of his superiors at Langley] and no one at MACV could intelligently talk with KR about the subject; he had been there continuously since before creation of CICV and had a near photographic memory). Feedback seemed to make a lot of sense in a statistical context, and that's where KR focused his attention. I raised the issue of Hegel's Abfall and Afhebung -- which Hegel treated as being independent of time. I argued that animism was a state of consciousness outside time and that kiem thao (chapter level) and phe binh (cell level) criticism/self-criticism somehow tapped into this state such that Afhebung modified the properties of Abfall -- not by feedback over time, but in the very defining properties of Abfall. Unmodified Abfall corresponding to a one-way command hierarchy. We went round and round. He said I was nuts -- but he was intrigued enough to continue the debate. (Involution is the word Aurobindo uses for Abfall; Evolution, for Afhebung.) Were KR to read this, he probably would not even remember such details of discussion, as I am summarizing in different words snipits of conversation which occurred over months, summarizing them from my personal focus, which was not KR's personal focus. About this time, Pierre Le Grand Prix (never forget that name) came into SRA to ask questions. He had been hired (for big bucks) by CORDS to design a hamlet defense system. As far as I know, this was the first (and only) time anyone from CORDS ever came into SRA. In course of the conversation we learned that he had a Ph.D. in quantum physics. They hired a physicist to design a hamlet defense system? When that came out, we all literally could not stop laughing and the poor fellow finally just simply had to leave. But there was a hidden dimension to the laughter, as the relevance of quantum theory to study of the VCI had been raised, half in jest, a fair number of times prior to the appearance of Dr. Le Grand Prix, but we all knew it would have been hopeless to discuss this with him -- given the sort of simpleminded questions he was asking about the VCI. The quantum analogy never got very far at SRA.
KR had another R&R, had been everywhere, and decided to look for someplace unusual to go. We poured over a map of Thailand and he eventually said, I wonder what is in Trat? He took the bus there from Bangkok and found a rundown 3-room business hotel and nothing else. A couple of days after returning to Saigon, he became horribly sick and ended up in the Third Field Hospital. They couldn't determine what was wrong with him. I visited him in the hospital and worked up a differential diagnosis, categorizing all the symptoms and lab findings (which became part of his medical records): scrub typhus, mononucleosis, and something else I can't remember. Weeks later, he was not recovering, getting worse. They shipped him home, undiagnosed, but as probably having a communicable disease. He was put in a military hospital in Washington state, confined to a communicable disease ward, where he stayed and stayed. Eventually, he recovered without having been diagnosed. His ETS time was coming up, but they wouldn't let him out of the army until they knew what he had, but they couldn't determine what he had because he was already recovered: Catch 23. He couldn't get out of the army and the circumstance persisted and persisted and persisted. Maybe this was the only way he would ever have left Saigon.
In early 1969, I went to Seattle to visit him. He was out of the army and studying again at University of Washington. It was with him that I brainstormed the notion of music-sculpture for an article on a home resource center his professor was writing for Technological Forecasting and we began planning an intended community in Bella Coola along the British Colombia coast. While there in Seattle, he took me out into the mountains to visit a friend of his: JW. JW had been a major player behind the scenes of the Berkeley free speech movement. Before that, he had spent a lot of time in India, in the late-50s. It was he who arranged Mayer Baba's first trips to America and who escorted him all over the country. JW had a beautiful, smallish, hand-crafted wood house filled with stained-glass windows on a little private lake surrounded by conifers. We arrived early on a foggy morning and Gregorian chant waffled across the lake: speakers had been set up on the far side of the water. JW meditated to music each morning. In the entrance foyer were boxes and boxes of books partially open, each book bound in coarse tan raw silk. This was the 20-plus quarto folio volumes of Aurobindo's Collected Works. They had arrived several days before from the Asia Society in New York City and shelves had yet to be built for them. JW showed us the books, talked about Aurobindo and Mayer Baba, gave me a standard copy of The Life Divine, and invited me back for a visit after I had read it. I ended up spending a fair amount of time at JW's house later in that visit to Seattle and on subsequent visits. I eventually saved enough money to buy my own copy of the silk bound Collected Works, of which only a 1000 copies were printed in a limited edition (I think). They were horribly expensive.
This engagement with JW was one aspect of KR and I losing contact with each other. JW began work at University of Washington on a Ph.D. in Indian philosophy, which, much to his initial chagrin, early on required him to spend a great deal of time on Wittgenstein (for the general requirements) before getting into what he was really interested in. He studied under one of the world's leading scholars of Sankhara and Advaita Vedanta. There were lots of heavy discussions between JW, KR, and I about Aurobindo, which focused upon all the salient issues of Involution-Evolution or Abfall-Afhebung -- touching on the sorts of issues KR and I had discussed in Saigon -- but with different terminology. These discussions polarized, with JW and I taking a much more philosophical, psychological (JW was studying Gregory Bateson a lot then), and esoteric bent than KR was comfortable with. JW had a huge library of exotic books purchased in India over the years which I poured through and which did not much interest KR. This conceptual disjunction eventually led to personal distancing between KR and I. And also, after a trip to Bella Coola together, that project fell apart: a Japanese company had an option to build a pulp mill on a piece of property near the piece we were interested in. We started having less and less communication. In the discussions, I mostly asked questions and tried to learn some of the Sanskrit terminology JW was so familiar with. When I did advance a point of view, I did so mostly from a physics perspective, as I was then reading a lot of popular books on relativity and quantum theory -- popular histories, that sort of thing. The subject of discussion returned again and again to Abfall-Afhebung and I always argued that this concept could not be properly conceived in a time-bound context or as a mere matter of feedback. I was trying to apply relativity theory -- what little I was learning of it -- to the concept, so as to develop the orientation I had argued in Saigon. KR eventually ODed on this. And, surprisingly, JW was getting more and more into Wittgenstein. Eventually, he lost interest in my physics-oriented observations. But before that occurred, I learned from JW quite a lot about the larger context of Aurobindo's thought and experience.
One of the hardest things for people to think about is the nature of time. Any unusual idea about this is a show-stopper every time. JW had all sorts of time-related Sanskrit words, but could not give me definitions of the differing meanings of these terms which I could make sense of, conceptually or experientially. I would try to put physics on the terms and he finally got sick of this. We were both working our ways through Aurobindo's Collected Works at this time -- as I was making bus trips and hitchhiking back and forth across the country, whenever I could get free for a month or two. My living was being made with my left little finger while I employed my other faculties on the focal issues of the present incarnation. I was also doing my peculiar brand of walking mediation on a regular rhythm-entraining basis. I started having time-warp experiences and changes in spatial perception, which was something JW was very familiar with. That's why he was studying Bateson's double-bind theory of schizophrenia. So the whole issue of Is this mere alteration in time-rate perception due to information overload, or something more? Change in time itself? came up -- which brought the issue of feedback to the fore once more. Spinning wheels, it seemed, ever since kiem thao, phe binh, and animism in Saigon. I was scouring Aurobindo looking for a clear statement about the time properties of the Involution-Evolution, and could find nothing definite. There was no focused discussion of this anywhere; it was left vague. Aurobindo never actually addressed the issue. Maybe he just tacitly assumed, for undoubtedly he had closely read Plotinus and Hegel. Plotinus, just as Hegel, clearly states that the two movements (Abfall and Afhebung) are independent of time. There is no mistaking this in their texts. How to understand the notion of timeless movement (involved with Zeno's paradox)? Then, one day while engaged in walking meditation, a very pregnant thought came in upon me, a thought which I knew was important but could not understand. Alteration of time-rate perception IS something more! What the hell does that mean? I couldn't get my head around it, but some years later I realized that this statement by a dissociated inner voice (emergent under Bateson's double-bind) was what prepared me to understand Doug Paine's notion of temporal curl when I met him at the Velikovsky conference in Hamilton, Ontario.
Doug's relativistic ideas about nonlinear time are all developed from consideration of the rates of rate changes and how they orchestrate information transfer in a multiscale system, a hierarchically organized system like the VCI. And the severe-storm-generating cascade and reverse cascade process (analogue of Abfall and Afhebung) is most generally treated in terms of these rates of rate changes (what in the Vedas are called one-wheeled cars) -- and how they are graphed (the graphs representing changes of spatial configuration under alteration in the rates of rate changes). As soon as I encountered this idea, I knew I had found a way to understand Aurobindo's Involution-Evolution independent of passing linear-time, not only conceptually but experientially, experientially relative to the immediate sensory phenomenology associated with walking meditation. Change the time-rate perception and there are immediate alterations in the configuration of the visual field. Anyone can verify this by undergoing virtually any type of information overload. Pilot fixation syndrome is related to this. One-wheeled cars are changing axes of spin. Look at these axes (axels) of spin, end on, and you see: Aurobindo's WARM GOLDEN DUST OF SUPERMIND. The car can speed up and slow down in rotation rate, and in rates of rates, and the axes tilt through real-number and imaginary-number dimensions as these rates of rates change. Suddenly, I had a point of entry into understanding the many time-related Sanskrit terms JW had thrown at me. Understanding this involves what Plato called inverted intellectual vision. The Greek term, metanoia, change of mind. The consciousness has to spin and it has to tilt under the spin. Literally. When this happened to me (actually before I met Doug Paine, as a result of struggling with the statement made by the inner voice), I had months of unrelenting nausea and dizziness, as described in the last scene of MOON. We think that complexity DEVELOPS from the simple: this is Wolfram's fundamental thesis. But, in fact, the simple DEVOLVES from the complex. We cannot see this, in part, because of the written mathematical notation we use, and the habits of mind thus engendered which bleed into the cognition of the general populace. Exponents, for instance: X-squared, X-cubed, X-to-the-forth-power, and so on. For us, the nonlinear comes after the linear. But we must undergo metanoia, if we are to SEE it, see the warm golden dust.
But how can linear-time be nested inside nonlinear time and DEVOLVE from it timelessly? This is one way of restating the central question explored by Julian Barbour in his book The End of Time, The Next Revolution in Physics. How can a change of a rate come before the rate the change changes? What the hell could such a before mean? That there are different KINDS of before cannot be understood by extensions of relativity theory alone. Quantum mechanics is required, particularly Schrödinger's wave-function, a wave-function written by a practitioner of Tantric yoga, the yoga where Afhebung modifies Abfall. So this goes on to interpretation of the wave-function with m-valued logics. What appears to us a development, as evolution in passing linear-time, is actually logically before -- not temporally before. But this is very confused in the philosophical literature. Logical precedence, the logically before, means, in standard terminology, before in the logical march of the syllogism, the development of the argument -- not before in order of logical value. This is because, traditionally, there was only one permissible order of logical value, the binary order. Ontological precedence, the before in the theory of being, means, in standard terminology, before in order of being, the abstract and general being ontologically before the concrete and particular. Here, in this discussion, I say ontological precedence is logical precedence in order of logical value (not in march of the syllogism). We see, literally see, a logical relation as a development in linear-time. One can be completely out of linear-time and see exactly what those in linear-time see: what distinguishes the two cases is the meaning of what is seen. We see what actually is a how as if it were a where. Literally. If one becomes adept through disciplined practice, however, when being out of linear-time one can see things not often seen. Think of Jean Gebser's concretion-of-time analysis of Picasso's cubism and the dot-drenched art work of Yayoi Kusama. Behind any where seen by employment of binary logic is a whole nest of logical befores, the sum total of which is the how of the binary where. Every ponderable object contains the whole Abfall-Afhebung hierarchy of befores DEVOLVED to a where (superposition of orders of logical value in the Schrödinger wave-function) -- devolved by dropping orders of logical value out of awareness (spontaneous localization). Abfall is Platonic amnesis (of orders of logical value); Afhebung is Platonic anamnesis (of orders of logical value). The Platonic ideal form is the how of the where -- the localized where being the shadow on the wall of Plato's cosmological cave. The perfect chair is perfect by virtue of an aesthetic valuation placed on the beauty of hows relative to mere wheres. When you see the perfect chair, you see it as warm golden dust, all of its one-wheeled cars, its Penrose twistors, in coherent array. Virtually everyone has seen this, but generally it is simply dismissed as a mere photism flash during a period of deautomatizing stress (i.e., during a period of information overload). If this becomes persistent and you go to a doctor, as Yayoi Kusama did, you are likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic, as having migraine-induced hallucinations, or as suffering from petit mal idiopathic epilepsy. Obviously, autogenic brain discharges are involved, changes in neurotransmitter titers are involved, et cetera.
Many other things happen when Afhebung (reverse cascade process) is seen to alter Abfall, and that is where identity transparency comes in, as well as understanding that no information is actually exchanged between the localized wheres that are really nonlocal hows, such that supraluminal velocities, for instance, are not required. Which light, that is which absolute limiting velocity under what order of logical value? But that question leads in a different direction, a direction moving away from content of Sat Prem's book Sri Aurobindo, or The Adventure of Consciousness I have not looked at this book or Aurobindo's writings since the late-70s, so I am reaching into memory for this discussion. As I remember, Aurobindo rarely uses the word cells or even the word body. His persistent employment is transformation of the physical. The physical plane, the mental plane, the causal plane (traditional ontological precedence): he is persistently using classical Sanskrit categories, not primarily Western scientific categories (logical precedence as march of the syllogism). He leaves all of this vague; there is no real attempt to specify the mechanics involved. So there is much opportunity for reading specifics into his discourse, specifics he didn't actually put there. Such reading in is only to be expected, and there is nothing wrong with it. Each of us bring our personal experience to interpretation of a general discourse; only thus can we usefully internalize it. I found little evidence of overt social Darwinian strains in Aurobindo's writings, only a vagueness at critical points allowing a transpositional reading in as spiritual Darwinism: requirement of near lethal doses of the light, Sri Aurobindo's light, to induce changes at the cellular level. Which would, from the Western scientific perspective and under the central dogma, involve systemic mutations. Sat Prem's personal experience, his French mindset (involving the canonical back-reaction against French rationalism), subjection to Nazi incarceration, a feisty survivor's temperament: easy to see how the reading in might have transpired. I see nothing to be held against this. It is necessary. In fact, the only thing I contest is the emphasis, and the contextualizing of the transformation of the physical in a linear-time development. Except in one area. Aurobindo is explicit in his rejection of Kundalini uncoiling from the root Chakra. He does not deny its existence; he repeatedly cautions against it in his Letters on Yoga. This is to deny efficacy of Afhebung modifying Abfall and is the functional equivalent of affirming the central dogma of consensus genetics. One-way command hierarchy. Central dogma: despotism: ecological catastrophe. It also denies, by ruling out Schrödinger's m-logically-valued wave-function, the possibility of superconductivity to the pi-electron gas core about which the DNA helices coil-transit under changing rates of the rate of nucleotide transcription (the Platonic ideal form of which, the how of the where, likely has been described in general terms by Dan Winter). This insistence by Aurobindo ONLY on a descent from above predisposes choices as to how social applications are to be made (which was the very predisposition that led to formation of Asian despotisms, in the Western characterization -- something the human species is again at risk of succumbing to, West and East). If one's being-ness must make a descent into hell (Abfall), as all of us here have, then there is good reason to expect efficacy in Afhebung, which is a matter of logical precedence in orders of logical value, not in linear-time extension or in march of the syllogism.
When Aurobindo shifted from a small select group to a wide-open ashram as a form of social action, the institutional format chosen for that ashram (which I know about only from second-hand information) did not take the overt form of a one-way command hierarchy, but it did reflect his lack of clarity on these issues. He did not concentrate his attention on fulfilling the prerequisities for spontaneous self-organization, which are related to cultivation and maintenance of animistic identity transparency (quantal interfusion of Abfall and Afhebung -- outside linear-time). Thus, the ashram did not become the basis of a vehicle capable of modulating human affairs. And Sat Prem's spiritual Darwinian amplification fed this drift by prescribing near lethal doses of Sri Aurobindo's light, which prescription reinforced the collective penchant to believe only near collective catastrophe in linear-time could mediate the required global transition, thus helping to scuttle what might otherwise have become efficacious action. This assessment on my part, arrived at in the late-70s, helped push me toward the notion of m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries as a potentially more efficacious form of social action.
Well, of course I put things in there like that on purpose: to joggle the mind of the reader on the unconscious level. Creative thinking takes place ninety-percent on the unconscious level; if the writer writes only for the conscious mind of the reader, he pretty much abandons writing for creative purposes. So, I would recommend not so easily dismissing the juxtaposition of changing axes of spin, Vedic one-wheeled cars, Penrose twistors, and warm golden dust of supermind -- as this juxtaposition is a key to experimental verification of a superstring theory with presently existing technology. I would also suggest -- again for the unconscious mind -- that a fully elaborated deployment of m-logically-valued monetary units will be a model of a superstring theory. I say a superstring theory, because the superstring theory I speak of is no currently available superstring theory.
Isotropic ponderable spacetime is another ether-type cognitive construct derivative of the employment of the binary order of logical value alone. Contemporary superstring theory, with its nine spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension, goes some distance toward recognizing that this is the case. But present-day superstring theory is incomplete. Consider an axis of spin a superstring filament of energy mathematically viewed end on. The superstring is an axel of spin which can vibrate in different patterns. Elementary particle properties correspond to these different vibration patterns on superstring axels of spin. This spin, of course, like half-integral quantum spin, is not spin in an isotropic ponderable spacetime, but spin in a hyperspace. So, the word spin is an artifact of the mental habit to habitually employ the binary order of logical value alone, in order to arrive at the cognitive construct designated isotropic ponderable spacetime. What is spin in a hyperspace? Spin in a hyperspace is what we have habitually employed the black-box term time to denote. If this is the case, a temporal dimension is not required. The n-dimensional superstring axel spins, and this property of the superstring is responsible for what we have designated by the word time.
Contemporary superstring theorists have woven superstrings into p-branes, which can be regarded a lamination within the hyperspace mathematically contextualizing vibrating superstrings. I see this as a step in the right direction, but an incomplete step. The hyperspace itself is laminated, and not only laminated but modular, and the modules are like an n-dimensional jig-saw puzzle where all the pieces of the puzzle (polytopes) are constantly changing their shape. The shape changes of the modules, their configurations, result from spin of the vibrating superstring axels and the tilting of those axels under changing rates of the rates of spin. Leave the problem alone for now, as to how rates of a rate can ontologically precede existence of a rate. This is a Platonic problem (Essence precedes existence) which cannot be comprehended from an existential (Existence precedes essence) perspective alone. We have not yet discussed the category shifts incumbent upon going from the binary order of logical value alone to employment of the m-orders of logical value required to achieve an unvarnished interpretation of superposition in the Schrödinger's wave-function involved in description of the vibrations of the spinning superstring axels. Laminations of the hyperspace are arrayed in a Cantorian fractal nest according to prime number distribution. Sets of prime-numbered laminations correspond to orders of logical value via the functional relationships described by Alexander Karpenko. P-branes embed the laminations. The superstring axels are twisted (helix-coil transition under nonlinear rates of rate change in spin) into microtubule fibers woven into p-branes. The fibers of these microtubules are numbered according to the rules of fiber-bundle arithmetics. Each superstring axel of each fiber is numbered with a factor of a Gödel number corresponding to a proposition in the appropriate order of logical value. The collection of polytope modules of the hyperspace weave, mathematically viewed independent of substructure, forms a configuration space such as that described by Julian Barbour. Each such polytope module is associated with a set of defining limiting parameters, absolute relative to the domain thus defined (all absolute limits are relative).
The relativity of absolute limits removes the incompatibility of general relativity and quantum mechanics, because all fundamental constants would be m-valued, each such value being scaled to the appropriate polytope module of the Cantorian fractal hyperspace laminate. The notion of a classical limit, thus, would be no part of this superstring theoretical account of nature. Absence of a classical limit means that such a superstring theory could be experimentally tested relative to any collection of polytope modules and their substructures. Not only the collection of cosmological polytope modules; not only the collection of sub-quantum polytope modules; but also, for instance, the polytope modules appropriate to DNA pi-electron-parcel-gas superconductivity and the polytope modules appropriate to tornado genesis.
The issue of a rate of a rate coming ontologically and logically before a rate is not only a Platonistic conundrum, it is a Cantorian conundrum, of which the question of whether or not to countenance the Axiom of Choice is a special case. Why? The Cantorian fractal hyperspace context of this superstring theory would be transfinite n-dimensional, not nine spatial dimensions plus one temporal dimension. Temporal spin ACTS on the substructure of the hyperspace to generate form, form in process as the changing configurations of the polytope modules which become ontologically ponderable via configuration space. Time, as temporal spin, is the Mother, the mother of all invention. And this mother acts by generating m-logically-valued Gödel-numbered propositions (mapped on microtubules). Her most general statements are transfinitely m-logically-valued cosmological assertions. Under transfinite sets of orders of logical value, where cardinalities of parts and wholes are not simply distinguishable, the notion of orientability in logical and ontological precedence is undefinable. Definability of such orientability increases as the order of logical value employed decreases. Such decrease in order of logical value is involutory decomposition into ponderability. Rigorous codification of such a superstring theory would not be the end of science; it would be but one more pebble lying on Newton's seashore; whilst beyond, beckons vast oceans unexplored.
What is most staggering to me reading into the flood of recent books, the news reporting and op-ed commentary is the degree to which people simply still do not see what inevitably must soon transpire on this Easter Island spaceship earth: a year from now, ten years from now, twenty years. Nothing beyond palliative measures is contemplated. The most radical proposals involve devices like quota trading, carbon taxes, or formation of a world-state. People actually believe that tweaking systematics of existing forms of organization, along with an infusion of traditional moral and ecological concern, will indefinitely delay or fundamentally modify the outcome, such that worse cases will be avoided. The cavalry of human genius will arrive in Calgary, Mecca, at the foot of the sacred mountain just in the nick of time. It is not seen that no matter what palliative measures are employed, the fundamental principles informing system behavior will successfully conspire to determine outcomes. Humans and groups of humans compete with one another for limited resources, not systems, which are of human creation, and origins of prevailing conflict are viewed almost solely in concrete terms -- not across the full spectrum concrete to abstract, particular to general. Every principle underlying institutionalization of the Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm has been irretrievably sundered, and yet the vast bulk of material, emotional, and intellectual resources available to humanity is devoted to attempts to shore up the shattered foundations of that institutionalization. There is an explosion of collective fixation on the content of 17th and 18th century thought, reflected in a flood of books and articles. That which is utterly dead becomes the nostalgic object of unparalleled devotion by the popular mind. But forcing functions of current dilemmas span the concrete to the abstract extending back into human memory for 6,000 years and more, becoming evermore abstract the farther the regress in memory. This is truly an enormous burden of inertia rushing down the mountainside, a burden of inertia far beyond that which palliative measures can possibly significantly modify.
One hallmark, East and West, is death of the fundament underlying every form of thought employed by the human species over the past 3,000 years. That death was agonizing and spanned the period 1820s until today. Abel's discovery of m-valued functions in arriving at solution to an equation of the 5th degree set this death into its inevitable shuttering rattle. Codification of m-valued logics interpreted independent of the notion of truth-value renders outmoded all systemic institutionalizations built upon two-valued logic, be the binary understood as yin and yang or A and not-A. Consideration of this factor alone reveals the dimensions in tenuousness of the present world order, based as it is on the structure and functions of a nation-state system that has elaborated itself over the past 3000 years. Thirty years ago, it was possible to hope for an extended interval of transition through which the nation-state system and its supraordinal agglomerations is replaced in the certain organizational shift incumbent upon and mandated by emergence of m-valued logics. But it is now clear that all the other hallmarks -- concrete to abstract, particular to general -- have conspired to insure a snap-over event. As the cusp surface rises and duration of the interval of transition shortens to snap-over, the measure of the chaotic dimensions of transitional oscillation increases without bound, tracking on the breaking wave with its crest of foam. At this point, it is even possible to imagine probable specific scenarios of transit. All of these involve in one way or another competition over diminishing fossil-fuel energy resources and the downsides, lack of timely availability, or insufficiency of alternatives -- coupled to effects on the global monetary system. This is not to say that other factors will not be involved, only that they are unlikely to play the paramount role. Dollar confidence is the needle jammed into the global economic football. A fairly wide range of acts in competitive struggle are available with which to puncture the ball. Were that to occur, by whatever series of actions and events, the likelihood of some sort of nuclear exchange very rapidly rises. Under such circumstances, given the degree to which it has become dependent upon integrity of quantum-based technologies, the nation-state system would have available to it a large number of avenues of precipitous collapse. The informal systems presently being brought up in the extralegal sector -- criminal cartels, terrorist infrastructures, elaborations of voluntary associations -- would survive this collapse better than any other forms of organization and become the engines of reconstruction. Fixation on palliative measures prevents implementation of significant initiatives directed toward establishing alternatives for reconstruction.
Thanks for forwarding this very well written short article Brilliant Disguise: Light, Matter and the Zero-Point Field by astrophysicist Bernard Haisch (sans a reference, unfortunately, though possibly from the Journal of Scientific Exploration) about a derivation of F=ma, the zero-point field, light, and inertia. Where he says:
Now imagine a pendulum that gets smaller and smaller
is where the m-valued aspect comes in, where the laminated modular hyperspace comes in, where non-linear orders of time come in (if Schrödinger's wave-function is interpreted with m-valued logics understood independent of the notion of truth-value). This pendulum exists at all scale levels (which the author apparently does not quite see) because the fundamental constants (like Planck's length and Planck's time, and Einstein's limiting velocity) are m-valued, thus making the laws of quantum mechanics and relativity theory applicable in scaled measure at all length and time scales. (Remember that Schrödinger's wave-function replaced Newton's laws of motion: the easiest mathematical way to keep this pendulum at only one scale is to interpret the wave-function as a probability amplitude.) Hence, this multi-scaled thesis being the case, the laws of relativistic-quantum mechanics can be applied, for instance, to tornado genesis and the helix-coil transitions of DNA. Which means that the m-valuedness or non-m-valuedness of fundamental constants can be experimentally studied relative to, for instance, these two processes. Acceleration, a, is a rate. Take the rate of that rate and you have another order of time as operator. (Here I should like to quote Howard Bloom, who seems to be getting the idea, while still missing quite a bit: that operator we call time. Bloom's emphasis. [The interview in What is Enlightenment?, Issue 25, May-June 2004, p. 40.]) Put the consciousness (mathematically) on a photon of zero-point light (be it the quantum-scale zero-point or the atmospheric-scale zero-point), instead of inside Einstein's elevator, and the simultaneity of cause and effect seen by that light means that all precedence relations (logical, ontological, temporal) depend for their existence on the consciousness falling off that zero-point photon. Keep the consciousness on the photon and there is no spacetime; fall off, and spacetime is a becoming, as the Buddhists are wont to say. Spacetime itself becomes, and only after it has ontologically become can becoming within spacetime transpire (as Maya). Alan Watt's veil, God hiding from himself. God ever geometrizes, but the pregeometry as m-valued calculi of propositions is before geometrodynamics is, which is before spacetime is. What comes first, the rate or the rate of the rate? From the zero-point photon, the issue is nonorientable, as there is no propagation, only simultaneity (i.e., identity transparency). Temporal curl is the consciousness falling off the zero-point photon, at whatever length scale, and this falling off operates on the framework conditions of the system as would an operator: operator-time. This was one of Doug Paine's most brilliant insights. Not only are there different frequencies of light (as Derek says in his journals: Which light? Sri Aurobindo's light?), but m-orders of light corresponding, not to frequency, but, à la extensions of relativity theory, to limiting m-valued velocities, and limiting m-valued-a's, and limiting m-valued-a2's (limiting a2's are to limiting a's and limiting a's are to limiting velocities as denumerably-transfinite n-stepped functions in prime number distribution). MOON tries to demonstrate, in the realm of G. Spencer Brown's logical calculus, that m-valued-a3's are not required for logical closure. These are some of the reasons for the illusions of space, time, and matter. Or so it was conceived in our paper Toward a General Theory of Process.
And if this is so, the consciousness can jump back on the zero-point photon on any scale level whatsoever (which means the energy of the zero-point field is available to every process, whatever its scale). One might begin thinking of a tornado as a spacetime gate, not only astrophysical blackholes and quantum mini-wormholes. And even the helix-coil transitions of DNA molecules with their ambient radiation feeder bands, their frequency-response windows, limiting m-valued velocities, limiting m-valued-a's, and limiting m-valued-a2's carrying information (as if propagated) from other places and times (which, from the simultaneous point of view of the involved zero-point photons, are not other places and times). Evolution/no-evolution: it all depends on where the consciousness is placed relative to zero-point photons and their reference levels.
As we quote Buddhist scholar Christmas Humphreys on the quotation page at the beginning of MOON:
Cause and effect are one, though we see the two sides in the relative illusion of time.
Where did the organizational knowledge come from? Well, let's see. Did Derek in MOON have any anticipation of it in 1968? Quoting MOON (Vol. II, pp. 196-97):
But let me ask you about Algeria. Is it true that insurgency warfare doesn't work in the desert?
Don't ask Toussaint took a big swallow of his wine. I had no sympathy for the French action there. My father died in that war. I don't like to aggravate old emotional scar tissue But I will give you a few facts that tend to support your arguments. The population of Algeria in 1954 was well under ten million, about two-thirds the number of people in South Viet Nam at the time the French lost their war in Indochina. Algeria's population grew during the period '54 to '62, but not nearly so much as the population of South Viet Nam grew, which, by '65 when the U.S. buildup came, was about sixteen million. By 1960, counting everybody, the French had an armed force of 800,000 in Algeria, including troops assisted by helicopters, artillery, and close-support aircraft: that's almost half again as many U.S. troops as we have in Viet Nam right now. And we know what happened to the French in Algeria.
Jesus! said Derek, I had no idea the French had that many combatants in Algeria Let's see. Assuming, say, twelve million, that's somewhere near one troop for every fifteen members of the civilian population amazing! During World War II, the areas most heavily occupied by the Nazis never had a ratio better than 1 to 80.
Where the hell do you get figures like that?
Special Operations Research Office, sir. That kind of significant figure sticks in my head.
Well, unfortunately, that's only the half of it. The FLN never had more than 60,000 armed guerrillas.
Really? But I wonder what their political infrastructure numbered? Ten, twenty, or thirty times that figure, I'd wager -- depending on who you want to count, of course. Derek laughed electrical arcs at his own joke. You know, it would really be fascinating to do a comparative study of the political apparats of the FLN and the VCI: see what differences emerge between communist apparats and non-communist infrastructures utilizing preexisting ecclesiastical frameworks. Might be useful knowledge someday for other parts of the Middle East or even for Latin America.
Sounds pretty removed from any practical applications to me.
My sense of it today, June 2004, is: we ain't seen nothing yet. I'd say the knowledge is largely resident in the strange attractor, as is always the case with world historical transitions. What is the currently dominant attractor? Look at Yossef Bodansky's Target America (S.p.i. Books, 1993), which appears to be based largely upon open sources -- books, magazines, newspapers, and the like in a number of languages. There are several references to Vietnamese, a typical one being (p. 207): Most important is the Tehran Khomeini training camp where they are thoroughly trained, after being brainwashed by Vietnamese specialists. The reference cited for this is: Al-Watan Al-Arabi, 25-31 January 1985. There is no evidence the Vietnamese acknowledge this. Nonetheless, choice of the word brainwashed is interesting. Were the Vietnamese actually involved in training Islamic extremists in the early 1980s, what would this word denote? Derek did a very interesting thing in MOON with the long strategy paper reproduced there on the 1968 Tet offensive. He took Truong Chinh's outline of the 1945 pre-August Revolution organizational phase transition, described by Chinh in The Revolution Will Win with generic buzz words only, and showed what these black-box terms meant in detail, and did this while documenting that all the very same details transpired country-wide in the year-and-a-half preceding the 1968 Tet offensive. This paper was actually written at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ, in the early summer of 1968, marked NODIS (no dissemination laterally or virtually within intelligence channels), and locked in a safe. Brainwashed in the Vietnamese context means criticism/self-criticism sessions conducted in distinct fashion at different echelons -- cell, chapter, and so on. At the higher echelons, this was recorded as policy papers (which most American intelligence analysts took to be actual edicts issued by policy principals -- thus basing their intelligence estimates largely on committee-written residue of the internal psycho-babble used to facilitate collective identity transparency: the kind of talk Jurgen Habermas has for so long highly recommended). Ostensibly, criticism/self-criticism (deteriorated or not) is a communist party procedure, having its origins in 19th century utopian socialism, which adapted it from various forms of mystical Christian monastic meditation, with deeper origins in animistic heretical cults of the Middle Ages and before. In the case of the Southern Viet Cong political infrastructure, however, there were deep explicit animistic components related to how identity transparency functioned traditionally as the driver of village autonomy and self-organization -- functioned thus over a several-thousand-year period (and which differed profoundly in actual practice from procedures conducted by the Stalinist-influenced Viet Minh and the Northern bo doi by virtue of the Taoistic Southern party's early immersion in anarchosyndicalism, which resonated strongly with the local autonomy prerequisite to self-organizing processes, giving rise to myriad factionalist struggles, ultimately leaving the hierarchical Confucian Northerners triumphant). In the present radical Islamic case, the overt context of brainwashing would be Islamic religious practice differentially exercised within the cell and at higher echelons. Any insights provided by Vietnamese specialists would have been adapted to prevailing Islamic religious practices. The deeper radical Islamic context, virtually unacknowledged, subliminal even, would be the animistic identity transparency which functioned traditionally throughout the Arab world -- over a several-thousand-year period, thus preceding rise of Islam -- as the driver of tribal autonomy and self-organization. What is the currently dominant attractor?
Speaking of the radical Islamic infrastructure in Europe, Bodansky goes on to make referenced statements like (p. 209) : The support network shields a clandestine cell structure adopted from the proven cell structure adopted from the KGB, introduced by Wadi Haddad [front for Syrian MI?] and Carlos in 1972 Every overseas branch is comprised of two parallel sections, political and military. Only the section heads know the identity of another. Operating through front organizations [for the Shiites in France, for instance, according to Bodansky, these were spawned largely from the French universities; for the Sunnis in France, from the mosques], the political section provides general support The military detachment under a field commander is made up of about 10 professional operatives Even a place like the Institute for International Security Studies in London estimates there are currently (2004) as many as 100,000 who have been run through training camps and approximately 18,000 such operatives worldwide. Contextualize this relative to the Vietnam era strength estimates controversy. In 1966-67, the official MACV figure was approximately 300,000, while the MACV strength experts at POLOB and Sam Adams at Langley thought the real figure was more like 600,000. The most knowledgeable MACV person, Charles Michael Conley, who, after leaving the Army in 1965, wrote the best book ever on the VCI at the successor institution to Special Operations Research Office at American University in Washington, D.C., where I had done extensive research before going into the Army in 1965, estimated "well in excess of a million". Over a million in 1965. Conley's book was published at the end of 1966 by Department of the Army. By 1968, at Strategic Research and Analysis, MACV-HQ, in Saigon, I was arguing that this Conley estimate was three years old and that the figure was now much higher. Back to Islamic terrorism. Bodansky maintains that each such operative (circa mid-1980s) has approximately 20 reliable support personnel providing him the required assistance. Bodansky is not exactly precise about this, and his phraseology is fuzzy, but, on general principles alone, this is about the right number: by 1968, it took by best estimate 30 non-combatants to keep one combatant in the field in Vietnam. Bodansky estimates (p. 256) for Western Europe alone during the late-1980s "around 250,000-500,000 potential terrorists and their supporters". Most surprising, Bodansky describes (p.206) that by the mid-'80s had evolved a pyramidal structure where The second tier is comprised of field officers in charge of preparing and carrying out the assaults. Most of these officers are highly trained Caucasians who appear to be Europeans [some, according to Bodansky's elaborations, recruited from ETA, Action Directe, Red Army Faction, the Portuguese PF-25, and so on: this supports Ian Buruma's thesis in his recent book Occidentalism that the Islamic rhetoric of Jihad has incorporated major elements of the Marxist critique of capitalism]. For example, a male-female team known as 'the Belgians' was in charge of the late 1985 attacks in Rome. They provided the trigger men with detailed instructions and weapons and then disappeared before the attack. The trigger men are the professional operatives, not the field officers. Bodansky says, for instance, that (p. 200) In the summer of 1984, there were indications that ETA members were being trained in southern France by Iranian experts. An ETA network dismantled in Madrid was financed by Iran through the embassy. This last statement reflects public comments made by Berlusconi in aftermath of the recent Madrid train bombings and the even more recent publicly announced discovery that the explosives used in the attack were obtained from a source inside Spain. Descriptions of recruitment procedures and training increments are very interesting (pp. 206-214). Recruitment amongst the Islamic European population is focused on the educated unemployed or underemployed. They are drawn into front organizations, the ostensible purpose of which is to foment reform in the home country (Morocco, for instance). Promising candidates are often approached by businessmen and offered jobs in third countries. While in these jobs, they are vetted and recruited for basic at one or another training camp -- an occasion for further vetting and weeding out. The chosen are put into groups running operations in the Middle East for proving under fire. Those selected go for further specialized training at smaller camps in other countries -- classes running up to about 300, with sub-groups sometimes training for specific missions. More vetting, more weeding out. Survivors of this incremented training are returned to the European countries from which they were originally recruited and placed in sleeper cells of the military sections under field officers, where they undergo further pre-mission training under operational conditions in their areas of residence, but not their prospective areas of operation (AOs). The AOs of a given network are in the areas of residence of another network, frequently in the same country, occasionally in another country. This is a counterintelligence measure protective of the resident network requiring great sophistication to bring effectively into practice. Bodansky provides no discussion of the recruitment and training of field officers, nor does he discuss the organizational framework through which the parallel political and military structures are operationally coordinated. Not only must they deal with the Shiite-Sunni dichotomy, but they must have some unified basis for coordination committees to articulate the political and military wings. This basis was the party in communist infrastructures (Vietnamese case: Military Affairs Party Committee [MAPC] at higher echelons, Coordination Committee at lower echelons, constitution of the MAPC being a complex and continuously controversial issue for the VCI), and everyone sitting on the coordination committees wore two hats, rarely three (for many reasons only at the highest or lowest echelons would a person sitting on a civil front committee be involved: third hat). There is also the issue of reconciling divergences amongst multiple state sponsors.
It is rather jarring, to say the least, reading this description of extremist Islamic organizational dynamics as of the mid-1980s along side current media accounts. Not only is there a major disjunction, but, IF THERE WAS THIS LEVEL OF ORGANIZATIONAL ELABORATION BY THE MID-1980s, either they are sitting on their implied present capability, acting in an extraordinarily conservative fashion while putting most of their emphasis on organizational issues, or the Western intelligence services are interdicting with surpassing talent, in spite of major successes like 9/11 and Madrid. I am obviously a complete neophyte in this realm of specific information, but, off the top of my head relative to general principles only, it seems possible that one explanation of their apparent conservative stance, assuming rough accuracy of Bodansky's account, is an awareness of not having sufficiently overcome the obstacles to the high levels of coordination required for optimum utilization of their accumulated capability. Bodansky's account into 1993, is of a process undertaken via state sponsorship. Perhaps Al Qaeda and the strategy to create the circumstances for organizational phase transition from international terrorism to global insurgency had origins in the need to move beyond state sponsorship, which was perceived by some as the foremost obstacle to attaining the high levels of coordination required. If so, the border issue would be of the utmost importance (organizational adaptation by resource flows across boundaries), and people like Gaddafi and Musharraf might have dropped out due to the emergent anti-state bias.
What is the currently dominant attractor -- the teleological chaotic attractor being something not concretely realized but exerting a pull on participants, organizational algorithms, structures and functions? The obvious answer is: the age-old animistic identity transparency formalized in the non-simple identity characteristic of the collective and cooperative behaviors described by the post-Cartesian-Newtonian, post-Westphalian quantum theory of self-organizing processes. This attractor is virtually defined by an anti-state bias, anti-Westphalian nation-state system. Unconscious, archetypal, psychological gradients would patently be a part of the pull of this, or any other, human systems attractor. Many contemporary technologies, of course, are based on applications of this quantum theory, the quintessential one being holography, which exemplifies part-whole identity transparency. Itzhaq Hayutman wants to float a holographic temple over the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem as a way of reconciling conflicting claims, and he wants to open-source computer-game the temple design process online (Apocalypse Now, Joshua Davis, Wired, April 2004, p. 144). This conception could be considered a locally-specific application of some aspects of how m-logically-valued monetary units defined on fractal boundaries would be publicly posted and computer-gamed. In the same issue of Wired (Seamless, Jessie Scanlon, p. 162), is described another potential application of holographic meta-reference: Issey Miyake's A-POC (a piece of cloth) garments. Weave optical fibers into Miyake's A-POC fabrics, multiplex those fibers to medical mini-lasers connected to biofeedback devices attached to the wearer, and you have the beginnings of holographic smart dresses and dancewear which would lend themselves to myriad culturally-specific forms of art-related meta-reference. These are alternative approaches to the currently dominant attractor, alternatives to violent approaches to the attractor. In a world-historical organizational phase transition, there are multiple available approach paths to the dominant attractor. Competitive assimilation determines which path becomes the preferred path ultimately sweeping up a quorum from the aggregate of participants. Any successful syndrome of countermeasures to global insurgency against the Westphalian nation-state system will fully cultivate alternative, nonviolent paths to the dominant attractor. True, the existing system must be sustained until an alternative is available, but it must be recognized that any such sustainment measures whatsoever will feed pull to violent paths to the attractor. A balancing act is required if a snap-over event is to be avoided. And it must be realized that any organizational path to the attractor -- violent or nonviolent -- is a path to the post-transition state, not a primary catalyst of snap-over. Processes inherent to the old system -- in the present circumstance, the Westphalian nation-state system -- such as dwindling fossil-fuel resources, climate shift, and a dysfunctional monetary system are the real fundamental risk factors for snap-over. Why else would Derek have put 30 years of attention into holography, smart dresses, atmospheric studies, m-logically-valued monetary units, and so on? Trying to find alternative paths to the currently dominant attractor.
John Burdett's Bangkok 8 (Knopf, 2004) is absolutely awesome! The identity transparency of the Thai police officer set against the hysterical dissociation of the American who raped and murdered Russia and tried to re-make tribal Asia in the image of his own projected Anima. Now that's a future Derek Dillon can believe in!
Okay, let's take Paul Kennedy's article on Mackinder, Mahan, and the like (Mission Impossible, The New York Review of Books, June 10, 2004) as a starting point for discussing whether or not some chaotic attractor was involved in orchestrating organizational phase transition between international terrorism and global insurgency. Beginning this discussion, it will be well to remember, as described in MOON, that in the aftermath of the 1968 Tet offensive, the high muck-a-mucks associated with the SI-classified Command Operations Center at MACV-HQ, people like Danny Graham who later became a big wheel in the DIA (and testified on behalf of West-more-land, a very geopolitical name, at the Westmoreland versus CBS trial), maintained that the country-wide organizational transformation of the VCI was forced upon the enemy by the great military success of the FWMAF (Free World Military Assistance Forces), preeminently the U.S., as well as the ARVN, of course, in countering the Vietnamese communists' piddling offensive. This is similar to how it is now maintained that the great military success of the U.S. and Northern Alliance in Afghanistan was responsible for the reorganization of Al Qaeda (a fist slamming down upon a pool of mercury, small pellets of which flew off to distant locations, being one of the prevalent similes). Only trouble is, the high MACV muck-a-mucks were woefully uninformed because they never actually qualitatively analyzed the nuts-and-bolts captured enemy documents in their (well-selected) thousands upon thousands (available in their millions upon millions: literally), ignored what the people who actually did this had to say, and relied primarily upon easy-to-read-in-small-quantity captured policy documents (i.e., Habermas psycho-babble related to criticism/self-criticism), agent reports, and the myriad forms of high-tech intelligence -- which they quantified and graphed in every imaginable way. Quantifying marginally useful information. Why did the high muck-a-mucks not listen to those lowlings who actually performed the required studies? Because of the intelligence barrier! The muck-a-mucks were not very bright people, and the lowlings were always talking about quantum physics, DNA, statistical theorems, general systems theory, self-organization, boundary-value problems, and the like. That's what happens when you don't have an all-volunteer army! And that's why military professionals don't like the draft. I know; I was a military brat. The actual fact (which, years later, people like Danny Graham said they always knew) was that, not only did the VCI country-wide reorganization take place before the offensive, and was a necessary prerequisite to it, the reorganization in question began in earnest a year-and-a-half prior to that offensive. Such falsifications, then and now, effectively close off consideration of the issue of whether or not an attractor operates in the environment of organizational phase transitions. Our actions caused it; therefore, no attractor.
I do hate always to be so persistently negative, but given the abysmal character of the public discourse, how can this be otherwise? All of these guys certainly are functioning in great communicator mode (give me the Gipper!); they have mastered prevailing stylistics, which means speaking and writing politically correct ever so eloquently about pitifully tiny ideas. Paul Kennedy, for instance, I read in the list of contributors, has an endowed chair at Yale and is that university's Director of International Security Studies, thus telling us something about the kind of education received by the two likely candidates in the next U.S. presidential election. And what does this luminous personhood offer us, the plebs, in the august pages of The New York Review of Books? There is not a single thing in his article about Mackinder, Mahan, et al, which anyone who took Foreign Policies of the Great Powers at AU's School of International Service in 1963 did not learn about Heartland strategy, sea power, and so on -- including the projected relevance to current events any such ex-student certainly has long since seen, a relevance which Kennedy suggests would have astonished Mackinder. Most students at SIS took FPGP as second semester freshmen. It should also be mentioned that A. J. P. Taylor's book on origins of the Second World War, mentioned by Kennedy, was required reading in 1963 for FPGP. Who taught this course? Abdul Said, grad student teaching assistants of whom used to hang out at the Blue Nile Restaurant near Washington's diplomatic quarter, where numerous heavy Heartland conversations transpired before and after closing. Not that any such freshman could have written Kennedy's article. Catchy title. Such mastery of the stylistics takes years of institutional tutelage: the foremost accomplishment of higher enculturation.
Quoting Kennedy quoting Mackinder (though I probably could have resurrected it verbatim from 1963):
Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland.
Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island.
Who rules the World Island commands the world.
Sounds like circumscription of an attractor, doesn't it? Perhaps the historical attributions haven't been quite right and what we were really discussing at the Blue Nile was origins of chaos theory, Mackinder being an early anticipator. The Pivot of History (to employ the term from the title of Mackinder's famous 1904 paper), according to this precursor of chaos theory is, basically, Central Asia, indubitably an Islamic domain. Hitler, as Kennedy points out, through the good offices of geopolitical theorist Karl Haushofer, made his first moves East, and later vectored decisively on the U.S.S.R., because of his ruminations upon Heartland theory. I should note here that Ilse Haushofer, one of the main characters of MOON, a character who had made an assault on China during the Cultural Revolution, denies being a direct descendent of Karl Haushofer, and she does this in context of elaborating a psychophysiologic, autogenic brain discharge, collective and cooperative quantum behavior interpretation of world historical attractor-pivots. Ilse's name and denial is one sort of allusion employed in MOON.
What was so unorthodox about Oxford historian A. J. P. Taylor is that he did not treat Hitler as responsible for the origins of World War Two. Failure of the whole European institutionalization of the conventions of the Cartesian-Newtonian Westphalian nation-state system, according to Taylor, was where the origins lay. Nor did he regard German ruminations on the World Island, intensifying from the early-1920s, as an origin of the war. One cannot use the word cause if one is speaking of a teleological attractor like a World Pivot, because a different notion of time and a Jungian acausal connecting principle is directly implied (Jung's Modern Man in Search of a Soul was required reading in Abdul Said's first semester freshman course Introduction to World Politics). The word origins appears in the title to Taylor's book, not causes. I do not want to go into the geopolitical particulars of all this, or with regard to earlier historical epochs, as that is the purview of FPGP, and I do not wish to encroach upon that mandate. I would like to suggest, however, that the World Pivot cannot be an authentic attractor, only the psychological stand-in, the collective projection of the Unus Mundus, of Mount Mandara, of the Axel of the World stuck into the hexagonal interstices on the back of the cosmic turtle swimming the surf of the universal sea (a recurrent theme of cosmogenesis arising out of the Hindu Kush discussed and referred to almost ad nauseum in MOON). The superstring theory twisting axel of spin emerging from the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum is a contemporary evocation of this archetypal cosmogenesis myth.
What was virtually the first thing the Vietnamese communists did when they entered Saigon in April of 1975? They arrayed their tanks protectively around the Heartland space of the monument in the center of Dai Chen Si Circle. Always the intuitive, General Edward Landsdale, of Ugly-American/Quiet-American fame, had had his house on the edge of this circle, overlooking the critical (state)space so as to keep it continuously monitored. The monument in this central traffic rotary, during Landsdale's day, was called "the Turtle Monument". Earlier, before Landsdale took up residence in this house, the French had had in the center of the circle a monumental soldier's sculpture, later somewhat replicated as the unknown ARVN soldier placed before the National Assembly building, done in peanut-butter-applied-with-a-spatula style, modeled on the earlier done, more famous sculpture of Einstein. The giant turtle floating above the pond in the monument replacing that of the French had three huge spires riding upon its back. There are still many such turtles in the Van Mieu, the Temple of Literature, in Hanoi, each one of which has a hexagonal network inscribed upon its back. This network represents the lattice logic (which we now know to be m-logically-valued and Gödel numbered) prevailing in the oceanic quantum foam of the Nirvanic Void. The hexagonal network on the turtle's back is composed of equilateral triangular quark symmetry patterns, omnipresent throughout the Marginal Crescent of the World Island, particularly in tribal iconography.
As this last week of mass adulation clearly indicates, it was the fishy Gipper, by identifying his ego-sphere with an archetype, who put America on the path tracking toward the collective projection which stands in for the authentic attractor signified by the World Pivot. Decisive entry by George Bush (one and two) upon territories of the Marginal Crescent was secondary to this generative inductive identification. This is one level of explanation for why America could not have avoided invading Afghanistan and Iraq post-9/11. The hook was so well baited, the Judeo-Christian fish caught in the tidal bore of the oceanic foam could not possibly have thrown it and escaped the line reeling it in. Those tracking on networks of self-organization are pulled by the authentic currently dominant attractor. Woe be unto those caught in the projective mirror-world of their identifications which all night sea journeys traverse. The great enigma which must be solved today involves discovery of how the human species can jump off regressive paths of violence into the domain of this authentic currently dominant attractor.
Oh, I almost forgot. When the communists tore down the GVN turtle monument, they build a multi-tiered World Island floating above the oceanic pond, an island decorated with equilateral triangular motifs visitors can stroll over hand in hand with their children, and explore. Thus, does the collective unconscious orchestrate human affairs.
I've recently run across an article that supports my ideas about the U.S. preparing to challenge China via its backdoor. The support comes in a backdoor fashion, by a review of a U.S. government document attributing a facsimile of the notion to the PLA. This is the first thing I've seen in the press touching upon what I believe to be the foremost real reason for U.S. actions over the last couple of years. The quote is from Remember China by Christian Lowe, The Weekly Standard, 06/17/04:
The Chinese military also sees the global war on terrorism in a larger context, with some reading American victories in the Middle East and Central Asia not as steps toward a lasting security, but rather as further solidifying a U.S. global hegemony.
While seeing opportunities for cooperation with the United States emerging from the [global war on terrorism], China's leaders appear to have concluded that the net effect of the U.S.-led campaign has been further encirclement of China, specifically by placing U.S. military forces in Central Asia, strengthening U.S. defense relations with Pakistan, India, and Japan, and returning the U.S. military to Southeast Asia, the 2004 report states. Although most Chinese observers believe the U.S. force posture post-September 11 is based on a legitimate need to prosecute the GWOT, many remain suspicious and have implied that the 'real' U.S. intentions behind the realignment will not be known until the GWOT is more or less over.
There is also a recent article in Foreign Affairs (A Global Power Shift in the Making, by James Hodge, Jr., July-Aug, 2004) addressing the old thesis of ours concerning the probable emergence of a Greater China (Mahayana Buddhist bloc incorporating Japan) which is likely to become aligned with a Germano-Russian Bloc:
Even worse, from the American perspective, would be if China and Japan were to seek a strategic alliance between themselves rather than parallel relations with the United States.
The piece on Al Qaeda in the June 5-11 issue (p. 40) of The Economist you underlined into is very interesting. The title of the article seems an apt characterization of the prevailing level of insight: Amorphous but alive. Anything that doesn't conform to Cartesian-Newtonian organizational formats is APPREHENDED as amorphous. In the early (circa 1959-62) political science research on bureaucratic algorithms operative in the GVN, there was much hair pulling (e.g., Roy Jumper) over what was then called parallelism, which was an academic jargon way of characterizing the source of Asian corruption (later applied to the Japanese during the Japan bashing era). This created the intellectual context within which failure to understand Ngo Dinh Nhu's political philosophy of personalism and his attempted application of the Chinese pao chia system was dismissed as a method to build a counter-format to the VCI and propelled JFK's decision, as it turned out, according to my reading of the events, to assassinate the Diem brothers -- the decision, more than any other, that insured the ineffectiveness of the ARVN (which received 20 years of the best military training the world had to offer: contrast this to accounts of contemporary training efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq). It would be accurate to say, I believe, were one to take a psychological orientation, that when JFK's intellectual limitations were reached, assassination became the default method of choice for dealing with the consequences of his inner state. Amorphous is just another word for parallelism. The GVN response to the assassination of the Diem brothers, was, however, to decisively increase the parallelism in their intelligence bureaucracy (the exact opposite of JFK's tacit intent) so as to maximize coup protection via MSS and the CIO, using Tai Li's methodologies as their model -- Tai Li being the Kuomintang spy master with whom OSS liaison was maintained during WWII.
The discussion given in MOON between Jan and Derek of autopoiesis (where theory in that area of biological research is ridiculed) was put there to contextualize the discussions of self-organizing processes operative in the VCI. That discussion illustrates exactly why what Al Qaeda is presently doing organizationally can only be APPREHENDED as amorphous by those steeped in Cartesian-Newtonian thought.
When you look at the drift of what is currently evolving strategically relative to China, in the context of the evolving global energy situation and Japan's economic rebound on the back of the Chinese bubble, it is very hard to imagine any way that a snap-over event (10 years in duration?) will not transpire.
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