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The Pentagon's Road Map Since 9/11
Thierry Meyssan's article below describes the present system of chaos used by the US to splinter and thus control the world. He refers to it as building "a new form of power by plunging the world into hell" that is based on a military " Grand Strategy" of American foreign policy taught by Thomas P M Barnett that has become the road map for the Pentagon.

I think Meyssan's choice of the word "hell" in the context used is really very accurate and that we would do well to try to digest this.

Barnett's article published in Esquire in 2003 is posted lower down this thread. Meanwhile here is Meyssan's article:

Quote:The anti-imperialist camp: splintered in thought

by Thierry Meyssan

In 2011 when his country was subject to a jihadist siege, President Bashar el-Assad's reaction was against the norm: rather than strengthening the powers of his security services, he cut them back. Six years on, his country is in the process of emerging victorious, in the most important war since Vietnam. This same type of aggression is unfolding in Latin America. Yet here, it is sparking off a far more classic response. In this article, Thierry Meyssan distinguishes the analysis and strategy of President Assad on the one hand and Maduro and Morales on the other. His aim is not to place these leaders in competition, but rather to call upon each of them to remove themselves from political catechisms and to pay due attention to the lessons learnt from the most recent wars.


In May 2017, Thierry Meyssan appeared on Russia Today and explained where the South American elites were going wrong in their fight against US imperialism. He insisted that there has been a sea-change in the way the US now wages armed conflicts and we now need to radically rethink how we should defend our homeland.

The operation to destabilize Venezuela continues. The first phase: violent gangs demonstrating against the government killed passers by, as if citizenship created no bonds between them. The second phase: the major food suppliers organized food shortages in the supermarkets. Then some members of the forces attacked several ministers, called for a rebellion and now have retreated into hiding.

Of course the international press never ceases to hold the "regime" responsible for the deaths of demonstrators. Yet it is a fact that a number of videos testify that these demonstrators were deliberately assassinated by demonstrators themselves. No regard is paid to this and on the basis of this false information, the press then proceeds to qualify Nicolas Maduro as a "dictator" just as it did six years ago with respect to Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar el-Assad.

The United States has used the Organization of American States (the OAS) as an arm against President Maduro just like it once used the Arab League against President al-Assad. Caracas, not expecting to be excluded from the Organization, denounced this method and left of its own accord.

Maduro's government has however two failures on its balance sheet: the vast majority of its voters did not go to the polling stations for the legislative elections of 2015, allowing the opposition to sweep a majority in Parliament. it was caught out by the crisis of food products, even though the same thing had been organized in the past in Chile against Allende and in Venezuela against Chávez. It required several weeks to put in place new circuits to provide food.

In all likelihood, the conflict that begins in Venezuela will not be held back by its borders. It will ooze out, embracing the entire North West of the South American continent and the Caribbean.

An additional step has been taken with military preparations against Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador following Mexico, Colombia and British Guyana. The team responsible for co-ordinating these measures is from the former Office of Global Democracy Strategy. This was a unit established by President Bill Clinton, then continued by Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz. Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, has confirmed that this unit exists. This has led to rumours in the press, followed up by President Trump, of a US military option.

To save his country, President Maduro's team has refused to follow the example of President al-Assad. Maduro's team thinks that there is no real comparison between what is happening in Venezuela and Syria. The United States, the principal capitalist power, would set off to Venezuela to steal its oil, according to a plan that has been repeatedly played out in the past on three continents. This point of view was given further weight by a speech that Evo Morales, Bolivia's President, recently delivered.

Let us recall that in 2003 and 2011, President Saddam Hussein, the Guide Muammar Gaddafi and a number of President Assad's advisors reasoned similarly. They thought that the US would attack the following states in succession: Afghanistan and Iraq, then Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and Syria. And why? For the sole reason of bringing about the collapse of regimes that were resisting its imperialism and controlling hydrocarbon resources in an expanded Middle East. A number of anti-imperialist authors cling to this analysis today. So for example, they use it to try to explain the war against Syria by reference to the interruption of the Qatari gas pipeline project.

Now, this line of thinking is turning out to be false. The US is not looking to reverse progressive governments (Libya and Syria), nor to steal the region's oil and gas. Its intent is to decimate States, to send people of these countries back to a pre-historic time where "man did not love his neighbour as God loved him but would pounce like a wolf upon his neighbour" [Translator's note: the literal translation of the French original is: "man was a wolf for man"].

Has toppling the Saddam Hussein regime and the regime of Gaddafi brought peace back to these states? No! Wars have continued even though "government of occupation" has been set up in Iraq, then a government composed of other governments in the region including those who collaborated with the imperialists opposed to national independence. Wars are still being waged. This surely evidences that Washington and London had no intention of toppling these regimes nor defending democracy. These were transparent covers for their true intentions which were to eliminate the people in these states. It is a basic observation that rocks our understanding of contemporary imperialism.

This strategy, radically new, was taught by Thomas P. M. Barnett following 11-September 2001. It was publicly revealed and exposed in March 2003 that is, just before the war against Iraq in an article in Esquire, then in the eponym book, The Pentagon's New Map. However, such a strategy appears so cruel in design, that no one imagined it could be implemented.

Imperialism seeks to divide the world in two. One part will be a stable area which profits from the system while in the other part a terrifying chaos will reign. This other will be a zone, where all thought of resisting has been wiped it; where every thought is fixated on surviving; an area where the multinationals can extract raw materials which they need without any duty to account to anyone.

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According to this map, taken from one of Thomas P. M. Barnett's power point slides, presented at a conference held at the Pentagon in 2003, every state in the pink zone must be destroyed. This project has nothing to with the struggle between classes at the national level nor with exploiting natural resources. Once they are done with the expanded Middle East, the US strategists are preparing to reduce the North West of Latin America to ruins.
Since the eighteenth century and the British Civil War, Western development has been triggered by its attempt to do all it can to avoid chaos. Thomas Hobbes taught us to support the thinking of the State rather than risk experiencing this torment for another time. The notion of chaos only returned to us with Leo Strauss, after the Second World War. This philosopher, who has personally trained a number of personalities within the Pentagon, intended to build a new form of power by plunging part of the world into hell.

Jihadism inflicted onto an expanded Middle East has shown us what is chaos.

While President Assad reacted as anticipated to the events of Deraa (March April 2011), by sending his army to quell the jihadists of the Mosque al-Omari, he was the first to understand what was happening. Far from increasing the powers of the forces to maintain order to repress the aggression sourced from abroad, he equipped his people with the means to defend their homeland.

First: he lifted the state of emergency, dissolved the special courts, freed the Internet communications and forbid the armed forces to use their arms if to do so would endanger the lives of innocent civilians.

When Assad took these decisions he was clearly not going with the flow. And these decisions were ladened with consequences. For example, at the time of the attack of a military convoy at Banias, soldiers held off using their weapons in self-defence; they preferred to be mutilated by the bombs of their attackers and occasionally die, rather than to fire, risking injuring inhabitants that were looking at them being massacred without intervening.

Like many at this time, I thought that the President was too weak and his troops too loyal; that Syria was going to go down. However six years on, Bashar el-Assad and the Syrian armed forces met the challenge. While at the beginning the soldiers have struggled alone against foreign aggression, gradually, every citizen came on board, to defend the country.

Those who were not able to or who did not want to resist, went into exile. It is clearly the case that the Syrian people have greatly suffered. That said, Syria is the only State in the entire world, since the Vietnam War, to have resisted until imperialism tires itself out and surrenders.

Second: faced with this invasion of a multitude of jihadists, from Muslim populations all over the world Morocco to China, President Assad took the decision to abandon part of his territory to save his people.

The Syrian Arab Army confined itself to the "useful Syria", that is, to the cities. It abandoned the countryside and the deserts to the attackers. Damascus kept supervising, uninterruptedly, the provision of food to every region under its control. Contrary to an idea accepted by the West as common knowledge, the only areas where there is famine are those areas under Jihadi control and in the cities that it has besieged; the " foreign rebels" (forgive this oxymoron), supplied by "humanitarian" associations, use the distribution of food packages as a means of making starving populations submit to them.

The Syria people have seen for themselves how the Republic alone assumed the role of feeding them and protecting them. The Muslim Brotherhood and their jihadists played no part.

Third: In a speech delivered on 12 December 2012, President Assad traced, how he intended to remake political unity in his country. Of special mention, he pointed out the need to draft a new constitution and to submit it to adoption by a qualified majority of his people then to proceed to democratically elect all institutional officials, including of course, the President.

At that time, the Westerners mocked the claim of President Assad to call elections when the war was at its bloodiest. Today, all diplomats involved in resolving this conflict including the UN, support Assad's plan.

While Jihadi commandos were freely roaming the entire country, notably Damascus, and were murdering politicians even invading their homes where their families were, to do so, President Assad has encouraged dialogue with nationals who oppose him. He guaranteed the security of the liberal Hassan el-Nouri and the Marxist Maher el-Hajjar so that they too, might risk presenting themselves at the presidential elections in June 2014. Despite an appeal to boycott issued by the Muslim Brotherhood and Western governments, despite jihadi terror, despite the fact that millions of citizens were exiled abroad, voter turn out (of those present) was 73.42 %.

In the same way, from the beginning of the war, he created a ministry for National Reconciliation, something never seen before in a country where war is going on. Assad handed the ministry over to Ali Haidar, the President of PSNS, an allied party. He negotiated and concluded thousands of agreements taking into account the amnesty of citizens who had taken arms against the Republic and their integration in the Syrian Arab Army.

During this war, President Assad has never used force against his own people. This is so, despite the allegations of those who freely accuse him of widespread torture. So, let me be clear: he has never set up mass executions nor mandatory conscriptions. It is always possible for a young man to avoid his military obligations. Administrative procedures allow any male citizen to evade national service if he does not desire to defend his country with weapons in hand. Only the exiled who have not had the occasion to pursue these procedures may find themselves in violation of these laws.

For six years, President Assad has not stopped on the one hand, making an appeal to his people, asking them to thrust upon him obligations, and on the other hand, trying to feed them and to protect them, as far as he is able. He has always assumed the risk of giving before receiving. That is why today, he has won the confidence of his people, and can count on their active support.

South American elites are wrong to pursue the fight of the previous decades for a fairer distribution of their wealth. The battle which they must focus is no longer one where the majority of the people and small class of privileged individuals are on opposite sides.

The choice put to the peoples of the expanded Middle East and to the people of South America is this: aut defendendum vobis patriam est aut morendum vobis est (you must either defend your homeland or die). It is this question that they will have to respond to.

The facts prove it: the number one priority of imperialism today is no longer plundering natural resources. Imperialism, unscrupulous, dominates the world. Yet now its vision has expanded to wiping out people and to destroying the societies in the regions where it is already exploiting resources.

In this iron era, the Assad strategy alone allows us to stand tall and free
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

Why the Pentagon Changes Its Maps

And why we'll keep going to war.


SEP 10, 2016

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Originally published in the March 2003 issue.

Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the worldand a military strategy to accompany it. Now there's a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since September 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis at the U.S. Naval War College, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community. Now, he gives it to you.

Let me tell you why military engagement with Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good.
When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror. Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping pointthe moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization.
That is why the public debate about this war has been so important: It forces Americans to come to terms with what I believe is the new security paradigm that shapes this age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger. Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime is dangerously disconnected from the globalizing world, from its rule sets, its norms, and all the ties that bind countries together in mutually assured dependence.
The problem with most discussion of globalization is that too many experts treat it as a binary outcome: Either it is great and sweeping the planet, or it is horrid and failing humanity everywhere. Neither view really works, because globalization as a historical process is simply too big and too complex for such summary judgments. Instead, this new world must be defined by where globalization has truly taken root and where it has not.
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Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, andmost importantthe chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap.
Globalization's "ozone hole" may have been out of sight and out of mind prior to September 11,2001, but it has been hard to miss ever since. And measuring the reach of globalization is not an academic exercise to an 18-year-old marine sinking tent poles on its far side. So where do we schedule the U.S. military's next round of away games? The pattern that has emerged since the end of the Cold War suggests a simple answer: in the Gap.
The reason I support going to war in Iraq is not simply that Saddam is a cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years. The real reason I support a war like this is that the resulting long-term military commitment will finally force America to deal with the entire Gap as a strategic threat environment.

For most countries, accommodating the emerging global rule set of democracy, transparency, and free trade is no mean feat, which is something most Americans find hard to understand. We tend to forget just how hard it has been to keep the United States together all these years, harmonizing our own, competing internal rule sets along the waythrough a Civil War, a Great Depression, and the long struggles for racial and sexual equality that continue to this day. As far as most states are concerned, we are quite unrealistic in our expectation that they should adapt themselves quickly to globalization's very American-looking rule set.
But you have to be careful with that Darwinian pessimism, because it is a short jump from apologizing for globalization-as-forced-Americanization to insinuatingalong racial or civilization linesthat "those people will simply never be like us." Just 10 years ago, most experts were willing to write off poor Russia, declaring Slavs, in effect, genetically unfit for democracy and capitalism. Similar arguments resonated in most China-bashing during the 1990s, and you hear them today in the debates about the feasibility of imposing democracy on a post-Saddam Iraqa sort of Muslims-are-from-Mars argument.
It is a short jump from apologizing for globalization-as-forced-Americanization to insinuating that "those people will simply never be like us.
So how do we distinguish between who is really making it in globalization's Core and who remains trapped in the Gap? And how permanent is this dividing line?
Understanding that the line between the Core and Gap is constantly shifting, let me suggest that the direction of change is more critical than the degree. So, yes, Beijing is still ruled by a "Communist party" whose ideological formula is 30 percent Marxist-Leninist and 70 percent Sopranos, but China just signed on to the World Trade Organization, and over the long run, that is far more important in securing the country's permanent Core status. Why? Because it forces China to harmonize its internal rule set with that of globalizationbanking, tariffs, copyright protection, environmental standards. Of course, working to adjust your internal rule sets to globalization's evolving rule set offers no guarantee of success. As Argentina and Brazil have recently found out, following the rules (in Argentina's case, sort of following) does not mean you are panic-proof, or bubble-proof, or even recession-proof. Trying to adapt to globalization does not mean bad things will never happen to you. Nor does it mean all your poor will immediately morph into a stable middle class. It just means your standard of living gets better over time.
In sum, it is always possible to fall off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops.

So what parts of the world can be considered functioning right now? North America, much of South America, the European Union, Putin's Russia, Japan and Asia's emerging economies (most notably China and India), Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa, which accounts for roughly four billion out of a global population of six billion.

Whom does that leave in the Gap? It would be easy to say "everyone else," but I want to offer you more proof than that and, by doing so, argue why I think the Gap is a long-term threat to more than just your pocketbook or conscience.
If we map out U.S. military responses since the end of the Cold War, we find an overwhelming concentration of activity in the regions of the world that are excluded from globalization's growing Corenamely the Caribbean Rim, virtually all of Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and much of Southeast Asia. That is roughly the remaining two billion of the world's population. Most have demographics skewed very young, and most are labeled "low income" or "low middle income" by the World Bank (i.e., less than $3,000 annual per capita).
If we draw a line around the majority of those military interventions, we have basically mapped the Non-Integrating Gap. Obviously, there are outliers excluded geographically by this simple approach, such as an Israel isolated in the Gap, a North Korea adrift within the Core, or a Philippines straddling the line. But looking at the data, it is hard to deny the essential logic of the picture: If a country is either losing out to globalization or rejecting much of the content flows associated with its advance, there is a far greater chance that the U.S. will end up sending forces at some point. Conversely, if a country is largely functioning within globalization, we tend not to have to send our forces there to restore order or eradicate threats.
Now, that may seem like a tautologyin effect defining any place that has not attracted U.S. military intervention in the last decade or so as "functioning within globalization" (and vice versa). But think about this larger point: Ever since the end of World War II, this country has assumed that the real threats to its security resided in countries of roughly similar size, development, and wealthin other words, other great powers like ourselves. During the Cold War, that other great power was the Soviet Union. When the big Red machine evaporated in the early 1990s, we flirted with concerns about a united Europe, a powerhouse Japan, andmost recentlya rising China.
What was interesting about all those scenarios is the assumption that only an advanced state can truly threaten us. The rest of the world? Those less-developed parts of the world have long been referred to in military plans as the "Lesser Includeds," meaning that if we built a military capable of handling a great power's military threat, it would always be sufficient for any minor scenarios we might have to engage in the less-advanced world.
That assumption was shattered by September 11. After all, we were not attacked by a nation or even an army but by a group ofin Thomas Friedman's vernacularSuper-Empowered Individuals willing to die for their cause. September 11 triggered a system perturbation that continues to reshape our government (the new Department of Homeland Security), our economy (the de facto security tax we all pay), and even our society (Wave to the camera!). Moreover, it launched the global war on terrorism, the prism through which our government now views every bilateral security relationship we have across the world.
In many ways, the September 11 attacks did the U.S. national-security establishment a huge favor by pulling us back from the abstract planning of future high-tech wars against "near peers" into the here-and-now threats to global order. By doing so, the dividing lines between Core and Gap were highlighted, and, more important, the nature of the threat environment was thrown into stark relief.
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Think about it: Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are pure products of the Gapin effect, its most violent feedback to the Core. They tell us how we are doing in exporting security to these lawless areas (not very well) and which states they would like to take "offline" from globalization and return to some seventh-century definition of the good life (any Gap state with a sizable Muslim population, especially Saudi Arabia).

If you take this message from Osama and combine it with our military-intervention record of the last decade, a simple security rule set emerges: A country's potential to warrant a U.S. military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity. There is a good reason why Al Qaeda was based first in Sudan and then later in Afghanistan: These are two of the most disconnected countries in the world. Look at the other places U.S. Special Operations Forces have recently zeroed in on: northwestern Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen. We are talking about the ends of the earth as far as globalization is concerned.
But just as important as "getting them where they live" is stopping the ability of these terrorist networks to access the Core via the "seam states" that lie along the Gap's bloody boundaries. It is along this seam that the Core will seek to suppress bad things coming out of the Gap. Which are some of these classic seam states? Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia come readily to mind. But the U.S. will not be the only Core state working this issue. For example, Russia has its own war on terrorism in the Caucasus, China is working its western border with more vigor, and Australia was recently energized (or was it cowed?) by the Bali bombing.

If we step back for a minute and consider the broader implications of this new global map, then U.S. national-security strategy would seem to be: 1) Increase the Core's immune-system capabilities for responding to September 11like system perturbations; 2) Work the seam states to firewall the Core from the Gap's worst exports, such as terror, drugs, and pandemics; and, most important, 3) Shrink the Gap. Notice I did not just say Mind the Gap. The knee-jerk reaction of many Americans to September 11 is to say, "Let's get off our dependency on foreign oil, and then we won't have to deal with those people." The most naïve assumption underlying that dream is that reducing what little connectivity the Gap has with the Core will render it less dangerous to us over the long haul. Turning the Middle East into Central Africa will not build a better world for my kids. We cannot simply will those people away.
The Middle East is the perfect place to start. Diplomacy cannot work in a region where the biggest sources of insecurity lie not between states but within them. What is most wrong about the Middle East is the lack of personal freedom and how that translates into dead-end lives for most of the populationespecially for the young. Some states like Qatar and Jordan are ripe for perestroika-like leaps into better political futures, thanks to younger leaders who see the inevitability of such change. Iran is likewise waiting for the right Gorbachev to come alongif he has not already.
What stands in the path of this change? Fear. Fear of tradition unraveling. Fear of the mullahs' disapproval. Fear of being labeled a "bad" or "traitorous" Muslim state. Fear of becoming a target of radical groups and terrorist networks. But most of all, fear of being attacked from all sides for being differentthe fear of becoming Israel.
The Middle East has long been a neighborhood of bullies eager to pick on the weak. Israel is still around because it has becomesadlyone of the toughest bullies on the block. The only thing that will change that nasty environment and open the floodgates for change is if some external power steps in and plays Leviathan full-time. Taking down Saddam, the region's bully-in-chief, will force the U.S. into playing that role far more fully than it has over the past several decades, primarily because Iraq is the Yugoslavia of the Middle Easta crossroads of civilizations that has historically required a dictatorship to keep the peace. As baby-sitting jobs go, this one will be a doozy, making our lengthy efforts in postwar Germany and Japan look simple in retrospect.

But it is the right thing to do, and now is the right time to do it, and we are the only country that can. Freedom cannot blossom in the Middle East without security, and security is this country's most influential public-sector export. By that I do not mean arms exports, but basically the attention paid by our military forces to any region's potential for mass violence. We are the only nation on earth capable of exporting security in a sustained fashion, and we have a very good track record of doing it.
What stands in the path of this change? Fear.
Show me a part of the world that is secure in its peace and I will show you strong or growing ties between local militaries and the U.S. military. Show me regions where major war is inconceivable and I will show you permanent U.S. military bases and long-term security alliances. Show me the two strongest investment relationships in the global economy and I will show you two postwar military occupations that remade Europe and Japan following World War II.
This country has successfully exported security to globalization's Old Core (Western Europe, Northeast Asia) for half a century and to its emerging New Core (Developing Asia) for a solid quarter century following our mishandling of Vietnam. But our efforts in the Middle East have been inconsistentin Africa, almost nonexistent. Until we begin the systematic, long-term export of security to the Gap, it will increasingly export its pain to the Core in the form of terrorism and other instabilities.
Naturally, it will take a whole lot more than the U.S. exporting security to shrink the Gap. Africa, for example, will need far more aid than the Core has offered in the past, and the integration of the Gap will ultimately depend more on private investment than anything the Core's public sector can offer. But it all has to begin with security, because free markets and democracy cannot flourish amid chronic conflict.
Making this effort means reshaping our military establishment to mirror-image the challenge we face. Think about it. Global war is not in the offing, primarily because our huge nuclear stockpile renders such war unthinkablefor anyone. Meanwhile, classic state-on-state wars are becoming fairly rare. So if the United States is in the process of "transforming" its military to meet the threats of tomorrow, what should it end up looking like? In my mind, we fight fire with fire. If we live in a world increasingly populated by Super-Empowered Individuals, we field a military of Super-Empowered Individuals.
This may sound like additional responsibility for an already overburdened military, but that is the wrong way of looking at it, for what we are dealing with here are problems of successnot failure. It is America's continued success in deterring global war and obsolescing state-on-state war that allows us to stick our noses into the far more difficult subnational conflicts and the dangerous transnational actors they spawn. I know most Americans do not want to hear this, but the real battlegrounds in the global war on terrorism are still over there. If gated communities and rent-a-cops were enough, September 11 never would have happened.

History is full of turning points like that terrible day, but no turning-back points. We ignore the Gap's existence at our own peril, because it will not go away until we as a nation respond to the challenge of making globalization truly global.


My list of real trouble for the world in the 1990s, today, and tomorrow, starting in our own backyard:


Efforts to build a nation in 1990s were disappointing. We have been going into Haiti for about a century, and we will go back when boat people start flowing in during the next crisiswithout fail.


The country is broken into several lawless chunks, with private armies, rebels, narcos, and legit government all working the place over. Drugs still flow. Ties between drug cartels and rebels grew over decade, and now we know of links to international terror, too. We get involved, keep promising more, and keep getting nowhere. Piecemeal, incremental approach is clearly not working.


Both on the bubble between the Gap and the Functioning Core. Both played the globalization game to hilt in the nineties and both feel abused now. The danger of falling off the wagon and going self-destructively leftist or rightist is very real. No military threats to speak of, except against their own democracies (the return of the generals). South American alliance MERCOSUR tries to carve out its own reality while Washington pushes Free Trade of Americas, but we may have to settle for agreements with Chile or for pulling only Chile into bigger NAFTA. Will Brazil and Argentina force themselves to be left out and then resent it? Amazon a large ungovernable area for Brazil, plus all that environmental damage continues to pile up. Will the world eventually care enough to step in?


For most of the past decade, served as shorthand for Europe's inability to get its act together even in its own backyard. Will be long-term baby-sitting job for the West.


to three million dead in central Africa from all the fighting across the decade. How much worse can it get before we try to do something, anything? Three million more dead? Congo is a carrion statenot quite dead or alive, and everyone is feeding off it. And then there's AIDS.


Never really has solved its ongoing civil war (1.5 million dead in past quarter century). Basically at conflict with self since mid-seventies, when Portuguese "empire" fell. Life expectancy right now is under 40!


The only functioning Core country in Africa, but it's on the bubble. Lots of concerns that South Africa is a gateway country for terror networks trying to access Core through back door. Endemic crime is biggest security threat. And then there's AIDS.

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How the Hell Did I End Up in Iraq?



Terror will not abatethere is no next generation in the West Bank that wants anything but more violence. Wall going up right now will be the Berlin Wall of twenty-first century. Eventually, outside powers will end up providing security to keep the two sides apart (this divorce is going to be very painful). There is always the chance of somebody (Saddam in desperation?) trying to light up Israel with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and triggering the counterpunch we all fear Israel is capable of.


The let-them-eat-cake mentality of royal mafia will eventually trigger violent instability from within. Paying terrorists protection money to stay away will likewise eventually fail, so danger will come from outside, too. Huge young population with little prospects for future, and a ruling elite whose main source of income is a declining long-term asset. And yet the oil will matter to enough of the world far enough into the future that the United States will never let this place really tank, no matter what it takes.

10. IRAQ

Question of when and how, not if. Then there's the huge rehab job. We will have to build a security regime for the whole region.


Chronic lack of governance. Chronic food problems. Chronic problem of terrorist-network infiltration. We went in with Marines and Special Forces and left disillusioneda poor man's Vietnam for the 1990s. Will be hard-pressed not to return.

12. IRAN

Counterrevolution has already begun: This time the students want to throw the mullahs out. Iran wants to be friends with U.S., but resurgence of fundamentalists may be the price we pay to invade Iraq. The mullahs support terror, and their push for WMD is real: Does this make them inevitable target once Iraq and North Korea are settled?


Lawless, violent place even before the Taliban stepped onstage and started pulling it back toward seventh century (short trip). Government sold to AI Qaeda for pennies on the dollar. Big source of narcotics (heroin). Now U.S. stuck there for long haul, rooting out hardcore terrorists/rebels who've chosen to stay.


There is always the real danger of their having the bomb and using it out of weakness in conflict with India (very close call with December 13, 2001, New Delhi bombing). Out of fear that Pakistan may fall to radical Muslims, we end up backing hard-line military types we don't really trust. Clearly infested with Al Qaeda. Was on its way to being declared a rogue state by U.S. until September 11 forced us to cooperate again. Simply put, Pakistan doesn't seem to control much of its own territory.


Marching toward WMD. Bizarre recent behavior of Pyongyang (admitting kidnappings, breaking promises on nukes, shipping weapons to places we disapprove of and getting caught, signing agreements with Japan that seem to signal new era, talking up new economic zone next to China) suggests it is intent (like some mental patient) on provoking crises. We live in fear of Kim's Götterdämmerung scenario (he is nuts). Population deterioratinghow much more can they stand? After Iraq, may be next.


Usual fears about breakup and "world's largest Muslim population." Casualty of Asian economic crisis (really got wiped out). Hot spot for terror networks, as we have discovered.



Running lots of races against itself in terms of reducing the unprofitable state-run enterprises while not triggering too much unemployment, plus dealing with all that growth in energy demand and accompanying pollution, plus coming pension crisis as population ages. New generation of leaders looks suspiciously like unimaginative technocratsbig question if they are up to task. If none of those macro pressures trigger internal instability, there is always the fear that the Communist party won't go quietly into the night in terms of allowing more political freedoms and that at some point, economic freedom won't be enough for the masses. Right now the CCP is very corrupt and mostly a parasite on the country, but it still calls the big shots in Beijing. Army seems to be getting more disassociated from society and reality, focusing ever more myopically on countering U.S. threat to their ability to threaten Taiwan, which remains the one flash point that could matter. And then there's AIDS.


Putin has long way to go in his dictatorship of the law; the mafia and robber barons still have too much power. Chechnya and the near-abroad in general will drag Moscow into violence, but it will be kept within the federation by and large. U.S. moving into Central Asia is a testy thinga relationship that can sour if not handled just right. Russia has so many internal problems (financial weakness, environmental damage, et cetera) and depends too much on energy exports to feel safe (does bringing Iraq back online after invasion kill their golden goose?). And then there's AIDS.


First, there's always the danger of nuking it out with Pakistan. Short of that, Kashmir pulls them into conflict with Pak, and that involves U.S. now in way it never did before due to war on terror. India is microcosm of globalization: the high tech, the massive poverty, the islands of development, the tensions between cultures/civilizations/religions/et cetera. It is too big to succeed, and too big to let fail. Wants to be big responsible military player in region, wants to be strong friend of U.S., and also wants desperately to catch up with China in development (the self-imposed pressure to succeed is enormous). And then there's AIDS.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official policy of the U.S. government.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
In Barnett's above article, he describes the how the US chooses the export of war, famine and horror as an "away game":

"So where do we schedule the U.S. military's next round of away games?"

I find that description abhorrent and it speaks volumes to me about Barnett's personal psychology, if not his pathology. Why do we allow sick fuckers like this such success? That also speaks volumes about the state of our national psychology/pathology. Exporting war as a prized value a vile and cowardly --- it's "over there" and so we can all ignore it.

I also found his observation of Saddam as:

a cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years."

To be intellectually bizarre, given that he then goes on to expound on how the US should export war to all sorts of nations - and millions of people - not once seeing or understanding that he is recommending the US does the exact same thing to stay in power.

If ever there was a case of a shadow projection in operation, this clearly is it.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
In Meyssan's article at the top of this thread was a map used by Barnett in his power point presentation:

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=9182&stc=1]

Attached Files
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The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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