This is a convenient page with very easy to navigate and load pictures concerning fashions around the world. Give it a gander.
Archive for March 2007
Update: Check out this link, which is a nomination by the Watcher’s Council that both Bookworm and Cheatseekingmissiles is on. It talks about medicine and how people seek to increase entropy in that field, motivated by selfishness and greed. And yet, in a way, selfishness and greed are themselves agents of entropy, even though the people who have them are looking to maintain their own lives and youth. They wish to fight entropy’s grasp on their lives, souls, and mind, yet they become more corrupted via the means that they chose.
A couple of comments I wrote that continues the Entropy series
First some original comments. Global Warming and Global Cooling good indicators of things becoming less entropic or having more entropy. As things cool, energy is lost and current energy is harder to collect. As things get hot, more energy pours in and therefore more can be collected, if only by solar panels. So when the Left says Global Warming is bad, it is only bad for them because they fight for entropy while I would prefer a slower slide into decay and destruction. The Left says any change will spell people’s doom. They said it about Iraq. They said it about social security. They said it about immigration. They said it about welfare after Bush senior. Everything that is bad and is decaying fast in this world, is something the Left is happy to keep the way it is, and if you try to change it like Bush tried to change the Middle East, then the Left will use entropy to unmake you and your plans. Don’t be fooled, the Left’s views on destruction isn’t the same as ours, but they will exploit people’s good intentions and sense of self-preservation if they can.
Now, dealing with the Islamic Jihad in Europe is also a question of decay. Thomas has an interesting article here about Britain. I would quote Melanie Phillips but I’m time constrained. Suffice it to say that civilizations thrive by fighting against entropy, through building up stores of energy, food, knowledge, technology, and progress. The Left and their allies seek to overthrow, through subversive and revolutionary means, all the gains that humanity has made. And they are not above using the fruits of Western civilization, law, international accord, and so forth to help them. Beware the Left, for their lies sound as honey and their lips leak with the blood of the unborn.
First we have the insanity of the Left, although Dr. Sanity has a whole boatload of links about the Carnival of Insanity. Huge.
Iran understands their enemies, and they also understand their own goals and what they are willing to do to accomplish them. These two things are linked, if only because of Sun Tzu’s rather ancient wisdom set down in… some kind of writing material.
The Left seems to be very conflicted to me. They don’t understand and they keep arguing, even within themselves. Totalitarian systems are noted for their efficiency, planning, and will. There’s some dissent and difficulties, as Neo wrote about concerning how native Germans got their Jewish spouses released from the Gestapo early on, but in general totalitarian systems of belief empowered by entropy act in a very linear and clear fashion. You can understand them clearly, so long as you make just a small attempt at doing so, whether for Amanie, Hitler, or Saddam. Or Hugo for that matter.
But the Left’s behaviors and beliefs are not clear. And I’ve said this before. It is sort of muddy, like doublethink. How do you determine which of the conflicted thoughts people hold simultaneously in their heads, is the prime motivator for their actions? You can’t, because all their ideas motivate them. Love of America and hate of America don’t both motivate the terrorists you know. But this dynamic somehow exists on the Left. I’m not going to say it works well… but it exists.
It is easy to know what is true or not true about a claim, but that’s not the difficulty you see. It is figuring out why people on the Left act like they believe in the things that they say. Do they believe in the things that they say about America and the Islamic Jihad? That’s tricky, because of their doublethink. Triplethink, quadruplethink, and so forth. The smarter a person is on the Left, the more conflicting thoughts they can hold in their heads simultaneously at once. It makes analyzing the motivations of the Left, very hard, even if analyzing the truth of their claims becomes easier. (obviously people who don’t know themselves, won’t be able to know anything else for that matter, so it becomes easier to discard their opinions, plans, and descriptions)
When the Left talks about diplomacy, they are not talking from their anterior orifices. I mean that only in the sense that a competent diplomat with the resources and knowledge to use them, can take care of Iran easily if backed by the power of the US. That’s why “diplomacy” sounds good, but isn’t very effective. How can it be effective when its prime advocates are either mindless zombies or people with an affliction similar to multiple personality disorder? If the diplomat doesn’t even know himself, his goals, and his path, how is he going to fool or otherwise convince his counterparts in Iran? I mean the more crazy you seem, the less the Iranian diplomats and leaders will pay attention to you. And the Left has been pretty crazy all along. Oh sure, they use that craziness for Iran’s advantage, but then again, that is the duty of a competent diplomat and propagandist. Iran has many of those, the US has… well, the US has people fired by the Senate (bolton).
The same applies to Geneva or laws. If you enforce them, if people obey them and are made to obey them on pain of death or execution (the two things are similar but not the same), then things will go well. The Left serves chaos, entropy, and insanity far too much to ever make good on their promises of law and order, Book. But many gets swindled anyways.
You bring up a good subject for a question, Book. Since after all, why are the Iranians better at exploiting our weaknesses than the Democrats are at exploiting the Islamic JIhad’s? The Democrats obviously exploit the Republican’s weaknesses very well, so it is not a matter of competency or willingness. So I think it is a matter of madness and insanity. And that, is something that I don’t think I can explain well or delve into. I cannot delve into the madness of the Left. I can correlate their behavior and describe their actions, but their inner functions and thoughts… are a different order of magnitude.
Iran probably understands the Left even less than we do. But they don’t need to understand, they just need to exploit. You don’t need to understand anything of the greater wisdom, to exploit, right?
The Left has a very compartamentalized mindset, either collectively or individually. Or just both in that matter. Compartamentalized because one part of their mind believes in the truth of A and the falsity of B, while another part of their minds believes in the falsity of A and the truth of B…. and that occurs all the time in their minds. All the time.
This makes their mind endlessly capable of adapating to any sort of “inconsistency”, because it becomes incorporated automatically into the maze of chaos that is their minds. We, if we see something that conflicts with our beliefs, try to understand it and integrate it with our beliefs or change our beliefs. The Left when it sees something that conflicts with a belief in one part of their mind, simply shuts that compartment off by sealing it from the environment (the senses), and then opens up another compartment that agrees with the “inconsistency”, thereby incorporating it with ease. This makes it very hard to crack using analysis models, because how many models are you going to have to use? A lot.
But there’s one model, Book, that is common to everyone. And that is the human Pavlovian response to pain and pleasure. People do things that they are rewarded for doing, and they avoid doing things that they are punished for doing. By this model you can affect, if not understand, the behavior of ALL humans. And I think it is the model Iran uses, very well in fact. They don’t need to understand the insanity of the Left, they don’t need to debate, they simply use intimidation. And they think their methods are very good, top of the line, and they probably take a lot of pride in their ability to collect confessions and hostages. As with the French version of the Gestapo in Vichy, when he laughingly picked a file cabinet list of names (alphabetically) in order to execute (by the letters, As, Bs, people with names ending/beginning with them). They take pride in their efficiency.
But that’s a human weakness, Book. Pride goeth before a fall after all. If you are confident… that is one thing, but overconfidence can lead to vulnerabilities in your defense. These vulnerabilities can be exploited, Book, with a competent use of power and fear. However, the people who seem to be in power in the US are either too incompetent or too unwilling, or both as the case may be, to exploit these vulnerabilities.
So I guess the answer in the end concerning why Iran is better able to exploit our flaws is that Iran just isn’t saddled with conflicting desires. They have one desire, kill Jews and those who protect them. They have one means to do it, murder and terrorism. Simple, right. No endless morality high grounds… no endless debates over right and wrong. Kill a Jew and you will go to Heaven in the Jihad… pretty simple really if not easy. Fanaticism gives them strength, if only by making the Iranians imbeciles and idiot cannon fodder…
And the Left, to continue the description model, would then be your jesters and mad wizards. Sometimes showing brilliant moves, but most of the time blowing up your own people by accident or intent.
Certainly Bookworm here gets a lot of court jesters to her mix. The DNC must have had a layoff period or something.
Main Entry: in·san·i·ty
1 : unsoundness of mind or lack of the ability to understand that prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or that releases one from criminal or civil responsibility: as a : a disease, defect, or condition of the mind that renders one unable to understand the nature of a criminal act or the fact that it is wrong or to conform one’s conduct to the requirements of the law being violated b : inability to understand and participate in legal proceedings brought against one : INCOMPETENCE c : inability to understand the nature and purpose of a punishment (as the death penalty) to which one has been sentenced d : inability to understand the nature and consequences of one’s acts (as making a will) or of events, matters, or proceedings in which one is involved —see also COMMITMENT, DURHAM RULE, IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE TEST, M’NAGHTEN TEST, NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY, SUBSTANTIAL CAPACITY TEST —compare CAPACITY, COMPETENCY, COMPETENT, DIMINISHED CAPACITY, SANITY
I don’t make this stuff up. That is what insanity is after all, the inability to tell genjutsu from reality. Book, being a lawyer might be familiar with the insanity defense, although it would probably not be common in her business specialization line.
The insanity defense is used in my view, as a way to say that someone else is to blame, legally. That it is not your fault, you can’t be expected to do the right thing, legally because you’re insane. Ethically speaking, that doesn’t parse. And as we see with Iran, just cause you’re crazy and the West pays you no mind because they think you’re insane and incapable of doing things…. doesn’t mean you’re not dangerous. The Left calls Amanie “exaggerating” about his rhetoric or some such. The Left should know, they’ve been on the side of exaggerations and inability to tell the truth a long time. I’m gonna wrap this up in a few, since I could go on for awhile on this subject.
In the end, the Islamic Jihad has one advantage that the Left can never equal. The Islamic Jihad understands human nature, the Left does not.
Comment by ymarsakar | March 29, 2007
Part one was here.
Btw, evil tends to be tempting, like this picture. Evil in reality, is not the hulking and monstrous evil looking demon eating a baby. Evil is more beautiful and tempting than many wish to recognize, and if you believe in Satan, Lucifer the Fallen Angel, then if angels are beautiful then so are devils.
Allthingsbeautiful has a photo and a blog post relevant to this subject, I believe.
These are two of the comments I wrote at Book’s Nihilism thread (which I strongly recommend for the 40 minute video that analyzes evil and annihilation)
In a philosophical sense, people have been trying to define what is evil and what is good, for a very long time. There are different definitions and standards, not only different ways of looking at things, but different states of consciousness even.
My personal views on this subject has a lot to do with my belief in God and a higher power that orders the universe. And therefore, by looking at the universe and the physical principles which power it and the laws that it functions under, I get a peculiar insight into human values.
The reason why evil is a concept that exists independent of the existence of humanity, is because evil is the human adaptation and application of a universal constant/function. A lot of narcisissts and self-aggrandizing libertarian/self-fish folks talk about evil being something that relies upon the existence of man. Meaning, if man were to disappear, then what would be around to even think about what is evil or not evil, if free will disappeared through the disappearance of humanity, then would not evil disappear as will? Not exactly. Technically, that would be true, if evil was nothing but a human construct. But it isn’t… and why it isn’t is precisely because our existence is a universal existence, it functions through universal laws like the Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy, or energy just for short.
Life is a struggle, it is an evolution of sorts, a constant reinvention of the self and continued adaptations in order to increase function and ability. We are part of this universe, regardless of whether you believe that a man is a self-contained island, that if he dies, the world dies with him. Our ethics, values, and whatever are NOT just made up because of “will” or “free will” or even desire. Some are, but not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is universal truth, things that are true throughout the universe. You could not explore this using scientific induction, there is no experiment to go looking around the universe for “data” about “things that apply universally”. So we must use deduction, which is not the same thing as gathering data scientifically.
One of the reasons humans don’t make things up as they go along according to their individual fancies, is because they can’t. They couldn’t do so even if they wanted to. I mean you could go to lalaland on 9/11 like John Kerry did, but reality is reality. You can’t breath under water just cause you desire to do so. You can’t win a war just because you desire to do so. There are realities and limits which everything must abide by, not just humans, but gods and energy as well. If we understand and accept this basic concept, then why don’t people extend it to ethics, good and evil?
In the end, I think it is a basic question of “what makes humanity good”. And I think the answer is, human progress via technology and social reforms are the good, because it allows more energy to be harnessed from individuals, more productivity, more efficiency, more creativity, and more usable energy to be used.
Tyranny is bad, and if you asked a religion or a human why it is bad, they might answer that it is bad because tyranny violates human rights or hurts people. But on a universal level, the answer for why tyranny is bad, then becomes, tyranny is bad because it doesn’t work, it isn’t as efficient as other methods of governance, and therefore force equals mass times velocity squared. When Tyranny hits freedom, tyranny loses, because tyranny sucks. This is not a human value we just created out of thin cloth, this actually exists. Meaning, centralized systems are weak. All you have to do is to blow up the brain and the whole edifice will collapse. The universe likes freedom, if only because of quantum mechanics. All things are possible, and all things have occured. The universe likes uncertainty too, and tyrannies are all too certain. Tyrannies are nearing the heat death of their closed system, which allows nothing in and nothing out. Closed systems either have a zero increase in entropy or an increase in entropy. Entropy never decreases in a closed system, just because. And so it makes sense why tyrannies are evil and become more evil, as time goes on, doesn’t it.
And entropy is bad, because the more entropy there is, the less life there is in the universe. This isn’t just planet earth. Entropy is also bad because if your universe has a high entropy, your technology won’t work. Or if it does work, your ability to extract energy will be slow and inefficient, meaning you will pay a lot of energy to extract a little bit more than a lot of energy.
And that’s bad because the heat death of the universe is also the equivalency of everything in it. Cold is no longer cold, hot is no longer hot. (The temperature of a room becoming moderate between any two extremes in temperature would be entropy, a bad thing. Not a bad thing for air conditioning, but a bad thing for ethics, which is not luxury btw. )
There would be no stars because stars are low in entropy. Maximum entropy when engaged in by human agents, is what I call evil. There are many ways to do so. Dictatorships, human rights violations, wars, peace, fighting, lack of fighting. There are all kinds of ways to limit the ability of the human race to extract usable energy out of our world and universe. Slavery being one of them.
And that in essence, is why good and evil are independent of the existence of humanity. Evil is universal across the universe, so long as you work from some basic deductive principles of how the universe functions.
I never was satisfied with people’s attempts to define entropy. Because it is not something that can be defined as a “thing”. It is not a thing, an entity so to speak. It is more like a function, a process. I think defining good and evil becomes harder if you think of them as entities and things. This brings up the subject of demon possession… instead of say desires and urges.
A lot of basic applications of thermodynamics in Wankel Engines used in UAVs and Sterling Engines and various other engines which convert one kind of energy to another kind of energy, really do help in understanding what entropy is.
It is easier to tell whether people are doing evil or not, as opposed to determining whether they are or are not evil. Being evil or not being evil, seems to me more like a religious question, and not a physics question.
The reason why I even had debates concerning whether evil was independent or dependent upon humanity, was because if evil depends upon our existence, then would it not be true that if you could wipe out humanity, global warming would not occur?
Oh wait, did I say global warming, I meant evil.
I don’t suppose I have to tell people that wiping out humanity is a bad thing, right? And that any motivations or philosophies that advocate it, are also a bad thing. That’s the worst case scenario in a way. But even the best case scenario is simple apathy. You just don’t care. Why defend the Iraqis from death squads if humanity’s very existence sustains eivl? Eh?
This was only a small segment of what I took from Book’s vid. It is piecing together the pacifist but sadistical savages on the Left, the anti-war yet vehemently violent and enraged people of that movement, and various other loose ends into a common whole. A common analytical model, an explanation.
I was going over this in my head and I think most people understand entropy intuitively, if not scientifically. Meaning, whenever we use up fuel or throw away something, that’s entropy in action. And understand what occurs, intuitively. If you throw something away, it is because you have used it up. Now it is useless. But why is it useless? Is it is useless because you have extracted the energy and so now it is in a form from which you cannot extract more energy. You could recycle it, which is reshaping the object into a form from which you could extract more energy, but do people really understand how much that costs?
In order to reshape something, you have to invest energy into reshaping it… so technically how much energy do you need to put into recycling before you can get back more than you spent? Remember that in a closed system, entropy never decreases. Just like time never goes backwards. It always goes forward, even by micro-seconds.
Recycling delays things, but it still produces wastes. So, does this mean the Islamic Jihad and the Europeans are right, that America the materialistic society is bad and evil and must be destroyed? No. Why? Because. Okay, if you aren’t satisfied with that argument, here’s a longer one.
I have just told you that everything and everyone in the universe uses up energy simply by existing, we further entropy simply by existing. Think about that for a second. It will give you an insight into why humans believe and prefer nihilism, and why others favor predestination and inevitable fate.
If our fate has been sealed and our ultimate destination is absolute destruction, then why prolong it with wars, suffering, and what not? Why not just get it over with, stop fighting, and lay down in eternal peace? Think about that, think about how seductive that is. No wars, no poverty, no struggling.. eternal peace. No pain, no agony… eternal tranquility. Your spear is heavy, your helmet stifling, your shield weighs as if it is a mountain… why don’t you surrender and drop your arms, Leonidas? Sparta will eventually be extinguished, its customs and people adrift in the sands of time and decay. Even if its name were to be remembered, why do you fight for so transient an object? Why don’t you simply enjoy life, while it lasts, and dominate your fellow inferiors, Greeks, and Athenian rivals?
What was Leonidas’ answer?
Leonidas fought against evil, have no doubts about that. He fought to preserve that which he knew would eventually become dust and faded. Only power mad tyrants believe their memories will be etched unto humanity for thousands of years… the thousand year Reich. Leonidas fought against entropy, as hard as he could. He would not allow entropy to take his loved ones away before their time.
Life is an eternal struggle. War is an eternal struggle. You can give up. Or you can fight. As I said before at Neo’s site, that is a choice made by nations as well as by individuals.
Good is the best in humanity. And is not attempting to preserve what you love, a virtue? Is not attempting to save guard the loves of children and their futures, a good thing to do?
The United States have brought order and stability to the world. Our technology introduces new energy into calcified and stagnant systems, economies, and cultures. Our military power preserves trade, free expression, peace, and prosperity on this planet of ours. It is the greatest country in the history of the world. It is great not because it uses up energy and lives, everything in the universe uses up energy and lives. Is is great not because it has power, for entropy is more powerful than all of us combined. It is great because the US fights against its fate, it fights to craft a new fate, an impossible fate, a fate from which entropy is held at bay. Held at Bay Consider what that means. It requires 100% efficiency, 100% dedication, and 100% loyalty. There can be no loss of will, no permanent defeat, no giving up, and no cowardice if a nation or people is to accomplish that goal.
Humans are both creatures of chaos and creatures of order. Life, evolution, and reason provides order in our lives. While our base desires waste resources, and thus mirrors entropy.
The only good that humans can achieve is to side with the light against the darkness. Not to destroy the darkness, but to keep it at bay, to resist it, to remain ever vigilant.
The Islamic Jihad and the Left will waste countless numbers of resources. There will be no paradise. They are the very agents of chaos and stagnancy. Their human slavery methods will destroy countless geniuses, ingenuities, and discoveries. They will set back human progress for centuries if not millenia should they succede.
That is evil. Our side is not evil, because we hurt people, our side is not evil, because we use air and resources. Our side is not all of those things because everyone hurts people, everyone uses air and resources. No, what makes the US different is that we resist the temptation of power, we resist the lure of time and decay, we resist as Leonidas resisted the force of destruction he sought to defeat.
The United States is good because we do not give in. And if you look back historically, giving in by the US usually meant a lot of evil unleashed in the world.
Ah, by now people might be wondering if entropy is such a powerful force, doesn’t this mean that the power of the US means the US is an agent of evil? That’s a good question, and therefore it should be addressed.
It is a truth that the Islamic Jihad uses chaos, disorder, killing and wasting of resources, in their eternal struggle. Doesn’t this mean that as agents of chaos, they become empowered by entropy? Hell No. They are cowards, they do not even understand the true meaning of hatred.
Remember, entropy isn’t power as we think of power. It isn’t the ability to “do things” and “extract energy out of matter and resources”. Entropy is the ABSENCE of energy and life. That’s why chaos is not even a good synonym for entropy, because maximum entropy is where even chaos is absent. True power comes from fighting to preserve people, fighting to preserve the potential of children, instead of wasting them in war.
The United States has achieved the military power it has right now because the US has understood the true wisdom of power, its true source (the people), and how to best organize and preserve its forces. The greater your ability to fight entropy and resist it, the more powerful you become, if only because you cannot resist something like entropy without power.
While entropy is a function and a process, it makes a lot more sense when thinking in human terms, to think of entropy as an entity that we fight against. An idea even.
In a sense, entropy is death. That is why the Islamic Jihad said they loved death while we loved life. We know the Islamic JIhad is a barbarian culture of failures and criminals. We know that they are evil. But knowing why they are evil and what evil really is… is even more beneficial.
I think the philosophical fields of ethics is too constrained by humanocentric beliefs concerning evil and good. Where evil is “hurting people” and “good is happiness”. It illuminates some of the truth, but I don’t believe it completely illuminates the truth. Not in the way that a cosmological system of belief could, where good and evil are seen as universal functions.
It is easy for the Islamic Jihad to say that the US is evil because we have killed civilians, so it makes us no better than them. They may even believe that. So if you base evil and good on utilitarian concerns, you will face problems such as this, where you can’t explain the “why”, therefore leaving you at a disadvantage.
Good people know that the Islamic Jihad is evil and that those who fight and resist them are good, but they can only explain it in events, by pointing to Islamic killing of children. Which the Islamic Jihad points back to us and says we have killed children in WWII as well. And we point back at them and say that they intentionally kill children….
Okay, fauk all that I say. The Islamic Jihad is evil simply because they serve entropy, and seek the ultimate death of the universe, by speeding entropy along. They are a danger to all of us, to every living thing in the universe. The United States cannot avoid killing and wasting of resources, because we are NOT entropy’s equal. Can we make time stand still? Not yet. Can we make death release its grasp on an individual’s life? Not really. We resist because we want to stop the loss of life, we want to stop or delay death, as humans with human motivations. The Islamic Jihad embraces it, they embrace it because they are not powerful enough to resist entropy’s corruption. The Islamic Jihad is weak, and can be destroyed easily by the United States, if we lower our limitations a bit. Limitations on what? Limitations on how much of entropy we use, limitations on how much energy and force we use and waste. You see… the only way you can master a force or an entity, is to become its equal or better. By resisting entropy, the United States is able to harness more and more of entropy’s abilities even if we are not entropy’s equal. The ability to destroy… increases more and more as we become entropy’s equal in the case of using energy. After all, the US has no interest in destroying entropy, we like our technology, we want to be able to use energy. But we are not greedy, we won’t use more than we need to. We are not the Islamic Jihad. And our differences in power proves that in a way that is irrevocable.
I was googling and found this old blackfive.net comment topic about the reliability of civilian revolts inside repressive regimes. one side mentioned Saddam and Iran crushing dissent, the other side(person) mentioned the fall of the Soviet Union.
I think the key to resolving the incompatibilities, is people, strength of belief, and in the end time. As time progresses, entropy increases. It is how we know which direction time is going after all. (but that’s not really the point unless people wish to research entropy and time)
Comment below written by: Lt. J. A .Fishman
Frankly, too many smart right wingers have fallen for the leftist BS. Since when does it work to rely on the “civilian masses” to overthrow a vicious dicatorship?!!
Jimbo- how successful was the Iraqi people’s revolt against Saddam Hussein? Last I checked, the guy ruled from 1979-2003 and it took the US military to finally get rid of him. Yet I remember hearing how sanctions would work, or how we could use divisive parts of the population to get rid of him. Well that sure worked wonderfully!!
The counter-point is.
Comment below written by: JPS
“Since when does it work to rely on the “civilian masses” to overthrow a vicious dicatorship?!!”
Call me simplistic, but it seems to me that the Cold War pretty much ended that way. Rather literally in the case of Romania. Your point that it can be a lot to hope for, and that very often it doesn’t work that way, is however well taken.
The below was my reasoning.
Comment below written by: Ymarsakar
Call me simplistic, but it seems to me that the Cold War pretty much ended that way.
After how many changes in leadership since the Revolutionary leaders of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin? How many?
Iran and Iraq are originals. That makes a difference.
Posted by: Ymarsakar | Mar 25, 2007 10:39:32 AM
As time procedes, and the Russian Revolution which began in WWI decayed into its constituent components, the strength of belief desserted themselves. Fewer and fewer true believers were produced. In point of fact, you have more believers in capitalism in Eastern Europe than Western Europe. That’s what communism decayed into, a disbelief in communism and central state planning. Iran and Iraq are and were different. Why? Because their totalitarian systems were fresh, for Iran they are still more or less in the first generation translating into the second (Amanie would be fringe second wave) while Saddam was first generation, and now dead along with his terminated second generation sons.
We don’t have time to wait for the Islamic Jihad to go for a couple of decades in order to show people that it really isn’t paradise. We have to act now, or else see millions destroyed in the furnace of jihad.
That’s the report, go read it for the details.
Iran is pushing the West. Seeing whether you will jump or not. Hitler did much the same thing. Push, push, push. The moment that they think you are weak enough, they will go for your throat.
This was a couple of comments I wrote at Bookworm’s thread about the CIA. I’d like to save it, both for future reference and I think because it makes a good argument if I may say so myself. A Link to Amanpour‘s interview and piece, concerning a peripheral issue about reports to the White House. Not all that important, but it has some interesting bits. And of course this is the main piece, the interview with Gary Bernsten.
- PBS interview with A-Team
That is the link to the portion I quoted about Karzai and Afghanistan. People should read it, if they have not already, simply in order to get a sense and understanding of what guerrila and clandestine operations are. The military version is different from the CIA version though, just keep that in mind. But the objective is the same. Get local support, use local support to defeat enemies. Simple, but not easy.
I’ve finished my research, more or less. And I’ll state a few conclusions off the top of my head.
One thing, it appeared that Bush in 2001 had a bunch of bureacratic advisers that he listened to. Wrongly, as the case may be. Because of that environment, I tend to think he Bush never really tried to circumvent the leaders of his department, JUstice, Executive, or MIlitary.
This means that Bush was not listening to the commanders on the ground. And it could also be a probable motivation for why he has become so adamant about “listening to the commanders” on the ground in 2004.
Bush wanted Bin Laden. He had a personal picture chart of all the terrorist leaders of Al Qaeda and he was just crossing them off each day whenever one got killed or captured. Bush wanted Bin Laden, that was plain, for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear free of political prejudices.
I am reasonably certain Bush did conduct his own little personal investigation into what Gary said. And perhaps based upon that, Bush listened more to CIA (Tenet) and more to the military people favoring conventional warfare (non-SOCOM regular Army). It is hard to piece together what actually happened in Bush’s inner circles, because I have no spies in there, but I do have a pretty good take on Bush’s psychological profile and his motivations. That is more than half the battle. If you know what someone’s goals and motivations are, you can predict his actions based upon the smallest datum.
BERNTSEN: We brought in Spectre gunships which can put a bullet on every inch of a football field.
AMANPOUR: Gary Berntsen was the leader of a secret CIA paramilitary unit that had pursued bin Laden since he had fled Kabul. And now, the CIA was sure it knew where he was, thanks in large part to a radio taken off a dead Al Qaeda fighter.
BERNTSEN: We listened to bin Laden for several days using that radio, listened to his communications among him and his men. We listened to him apologize to them for having led them into this trap and having led them into a location where they would be having airstrikes called on them just relentlessly.
PETER BERGEN (terrorism analyst): The policy of using very limited number of U.S. Special Forces on the ground calling in airstrikes and a large number of Afghan ground troops worked brilliantly overthrowing the Taliban. But at the battle of Tora Bora, it was a total disaster.
BERNTSEN: In the first two or three days of December, I would write a message back to Washington, recommending the insertion of U.S. forces on the ground. I was looking for 600 to 800 Rangers, roughly a battalion. They never came.
Bergen is being rather myopic with victory disease. Because if you read the interview with Karzai’s A-Team like I recommended, you would understand easily that the difference between “brilliant success” and “total disaster” was far close than people realized. The overthrow of the Taliban was not a brilliant success, it was just a victory, one battle out of a war we are still fighting in Afghanistan. And the loss of Bin Laden was not a total disaster, a total disaster would be losing 90% of the attacking forces to a trap. That’s a total disaster.
I will be posting another comment because I don’t want to put two html links into one post. But first comes the doubt. Get the doubt out of your system first, think about what Gary’s motivations are, or Amanpour, or whatever. Try to remember the past and relive it. It is important for what is coming up next.
Quote fest coming up.
- He’s not much of a reader, this President, and never has been, despite White House efforts to trumpet which serious books he is reading at various times. … But he’s a very good listener and an extremely visual listener. He sizes people up swiftly and aptly, watches them carefully, and trusts his eyes.
The trap, of course, is that while these tactile, visceral markers can be crucial — especially in terms of handling the posturing of top officials — they sometimes are not. The thing to focus on, at certain moments, is what someone says, not who is saying it, or how they’re saying it.
I think that’s just and accurate. Bush on Putin, for example.
And it backs up what I’m saying concerning Bush just not being connected to Gary. Bush never talked to Gary. Gary just sent a message… which probably gets ignored in the DC politics arena. The power comes from the capital, and you have to be in the capital to exert influence on the decision makers. If you are out in the field, that means you are too busy doing your job to play politics. That’s good… to a certain extent, up until leaders like Bush make decisions that obstruct your ability to perform in the field.
So Bush’s ability to analyze the truth then depends wholly upon the people he was meeting. Two guesses who those would be at this time and age. I did say after all that Bush had a bad tendency to listen to his idiotic advisers, and I think this is as good a reason as any why he does so. Bush isn’t weak, he isn’t a puppet, but it also doesn’t mean he is getting the right info for his decisions.
I recommend reading the two links in order, first the one then the second up above. But after you read some of the more relevant quotes here.
*There was a meeting in Kabul … where you were asking for the troops [to come in at Tora Bora]. What happened?*
… I had meetings with the military on the ground there. First we drafted a document which indicated what sort of offensive operations we were taking, where we were going to conduct in Tora Bora. I presented those to the senior officer in the country, who had no interest in looking at it, which sort of surprised me. Finally another very, very senior officer from the CIA … said to me: “Gary, he didn’t look at it because he doesn’t want his fingerprints on it. Things go badly, it’s all on you.” I said, “Well, that’s fine; it’s on me.”And then, of course, I specifically requested to him that we needed to put [in] ground forces. More than once I stated that, and I wrote it, and I documented my requests back to my organization. History will vindicate me if anyone says I’m not telling the truth. Eventually these things will be declassified. They can see the nature of my requests and the dates on those requests, so I’m confident.
*[But couldn’t the president have ordered the troops in?]*
… Of course. During the 2004 campaign, when you had the Kerry/Bush discussion on this, and John Kerry says, “The president contracted this all out to the Afghans to do this,” well, that’s not exactly true. … It was mostly us. We had our teams out there calling in air strikes. We did use Afghans as blocking forces, and Delta Force would go in. … The Afghans didn’t want to fight. … We had to pay them, had to yell at them, had to threaten them, had to do all sorts of things to get them to get into combat.
There was truly a fog over what occurred, and it doesn’t surprise me, because there is often lots of bureaucracy between that man in the field, whether he’s a CIA officer or a military commander, and the commander in chief back there. … And the president, of course, relied on the people around him. I don’t think the president was served well. … I know the president would have done anything possible to kill bin Laden at that point, but I’m certain my requests never got to him.
*That was your first time in Afghanistan?*
That was my first time in Afghanistan, and it was fabulous. I was thrilled to be there. … Unfortunately, there were some reports that came out of left field … that said, “Bin Laden is aware that there are Americans in the country.” He had put a bounty on the life of any CIA officer that could be captured in Afghanistan and brought to him for $3 million. Our headquarters panicked, and they said, “You have to come out.” …
*Tell me what the mission was.*
Well, we were in there to collect intelligence and, working with the Northern Alliance, to identify one of those key lieutenants near bin Laden … and to snatch him, to kidnap him.
*Did you know who you were after?*
We had two or three choices. … We knew several of the ones that we were looking at.
… Now we come back after being withdrawn. First they tell us, “You have to leave.” … We said, “We can’t, because it’s cloudy.” Well, we were lying. It wasn’t cloudy; it was blue sky, but we were trying to do anything possible to extend our mission on the ground. Finally, [there was an] intervention on the seventh floor [of CIA headquarters]: “No, you have to come out, or we’ll discipline you, because we know you’re not telling us the truth. We’re looking at weather maps.” This is what we were told. So we had to fly, and the Afghans were horrified. They were horrified that we would tell them that we wanted to come … and then [at] the slightest threat we would abandon them. It was disgraceful.
*Who was it?*
It was the CIA’s leadership. I would put that on [Director George] Tenet and [Deputy Director of Operations Jim] Pavitt, put that right on them. It was heartbreaking. When I came back, of those six men, two of those men would resign — … good men — because they were just disgusted. They said, “We’ll go do something else with our lives.”
*And you? Why did you stay?*
I still believed I could do things; I still believed I could make a difference. I was more senior. I had the chance to be a chief of station. When you’re a chief of station, you can make decisions in the field; you can get things done. …
*[Tenet’s] reputation among the real working guys?*
Well, he spoke very, very well. I remember seeing George Tenet one time get up in front and give a speech on the agency, and it was wonderful. He talked about how proud he was of his service there and of the workforce. When it came down to making the tough decisions, like on that mission, he did not stand with those of us that wanted to fight. That was terribly disappointing. I think he’s probably a fine man. I think he’s an honest fellow. He wasn’t strong enough to lead under those circumstances, unfortunately. It’s heartbreaking.
*Early part of 2001, a new administration comes to town. Director Tenet is getting face time with the president of the United States. … Does it feel like things are … going in the right direction?*
When Bush comes in, you can feel the difference in CIA: that now we have someone who’s concerned and cares about the agency. It’s clear he cares about the CIA. His decision to keep Tenet is based on factors that I don’t fully understand. … But you can feel an optimism. His father had been DCI [director of central intelligence]. … George Bush, the father, understood CIA like no other president. …
When you say “understood,” [he] understood what?
Understood what we did as operations officers. Understood what the product was. Understood how to use the intelligence product. He was masterful in handling the collapse of the Soviet Union, masterful. … I know chiefs of station that would be called back from overseas with the ambassador to be in front of the president and have a discussion with him. … I don’t know any other president that’s done that. That’s using intelligence.
Not everybody can be recruited. It’s just an investment in human efforts. … It’s not always a difficult thing, because I personally believe that America is a force for good in the world, and that’s what you’re selling. You’re selling America, and we’ve done a lot of great things. …
I didn’t know much about Gary, just the remembered recollections of more than a year ago concerning one flimsy segment on Fox News. But I was willing to tentatively support his conclusions. Why? Because it was about comptency, it was about relying upon my logical axioms. If I believe that field officers are one thing and that CIA headquarters are another, more decaying org, then would I not have to place faith unto CIA field offcers? Real field officers.
This is deduction. Basing your analysis and conclusions based upon what you know or assume to be true, and then seeing how the chips fall. How the dice roll, how the cards play out.
Ymasarker, I would be dubious about information contained in a book by an ex-CIA Commander.
Just call me Ymar, shorter and faster.
I’m sure you would be dubious, but the methods by which I analyze events and people require me to not be dubious. Cautious, yes, but not dubious. Because of the events on the ground in Afghanistan, because of the success there in 2001.
I believe actual field agents are different and superior, and I think with the interview with Gary, that my position is strenghtened.
In a sense, my method of determining people’s motivations and whether they are telling the truth or not is the opposite of Bush’s. Bush relies upon personal meetings, like any politician, he rewards personal loyalty and conduct… and he therefore entrusts people based upon these traits. But people have to realize, just because a person is loyal or well meaning, does not mean they are correct… My method uses deduction in order to pierce the veil of illusion, in order to determine if I have a blindspot and where it is. It was a simple case of either or for me. Either Gary was telling the truth and he was responsible for competent victory, or he was lying and responsible for incompetent disaster. Since I don’t believe Afghanistan or Bin Laden Hunt was a total disaster, even though the results were disappointing, I did not really believe that Gary was trying to grind an axe or attempt to cover up his own problems like Kerry did.
That was based a lot on the interview with Karzai’s A-Team. And on Tenet and Bush and all the others at DC and the media corps.
Deduction in order to determine if I am correct, intuition to determine if someone else is correct.
Mike Scheuer and others have said to us: “It’s not that we lost Afghanistan, but we haven’t yet won Afghanistan. We won the cities, but bin Laden lives in the mountains in Pakistan, and much of the country is still very much in play.” … From where you were sitting, did it feel very much that way? And did you wish that the war on terror had not moved in the direction of Iraq and had finished the job in Afghanistan? Could it have?
I looked at the construction of democracy there. [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai is a figure that is trying to transform the country, … and the initial steps were very positive. It’s a country that’s remote; it’s poor; it’s backward. It’s got several thousand years of producing heroin. Nobody thought this was going to be easy, and no one has invested the amount of money that would be necessary to fix that place. … But they’re making progress. We’ve made a certain amount of investment. We have to recognize that that is going to take a long, long time. …
The second part of your question, as far as going on to Iraq and the war on terror, I looked at Saddam Hussein as a weapon of mass destruction. I was never all that concerned about the fact that whether he did or didn’t — he always possessed the desire to have that. He had a modern industrial state beneath him and oil; he would eventually get them at some point. He had rejected a dozen U.N. calls to open up his programs. … He caused that war. People want to say, “It’s President Bush’s fault.” He caused that war in my eyes.
The problem that we made there was after the invasion: the failure to seize the magic moment; … to maintain order; to not allow rioting; to recognize when the insurgency began and to suppress it quickly. Tactical errors were made in those first six months that have made it almost impossible to catch up … and have cost us dearly the lives of more than 2,000 of our citizens out there. Terrible. But I don’t doubt that we needed to go and to deal with Iraq, because I believe they presented a threat. I’d read the intelligence over the year. I had worked on Iraqi issues when I first began in NE Division, and Saddam was doing horrific things, horrific things. … So he had the desire, he had the intention, to eventually acquire those things to defend his regime. The fact that they weren’t found, quite frankly, to me it didn’t make much of a difference. … The problem is the administration based its argument to the American people on the fact that he had that. …
And there’s your conclusion. I try to make my judgements of a person’s actions and motivations based upon unclouded and unprejudicial outlooks. I wrote this comment without having read the last portion of the interview, which I just pasted in italics.
If my deductive method had been incorrect, if it had branched off on a wrong either-or path, then the conclusion would have more or less demonstrated it, by saying he had an axe to grind given Saddam, or he was against Bush senior and Bush junior…. but he wasn’t, was he. This is no absolute truth, it is just simple confirmation. Each branch of the deductive either-or path builds upon its previous ancestry. The more links there are, the stronger the conclusion becomes. But it doesn’t become more right, since one wrong link will disprove the conclusion. No, it just makes the foundation stronger and harder to make the building fall over. Either the building stands, and it is right. Or if it falls, it is wrong.
- As for the logistics requirement of airlifting a battalion, 600-800 of combat light infantry… that is not a pipe dream. How do I know? Because, if I recall, most (if not all) Rangers are Airborne qualified. And with the transport planes mobilized, you could airlift in humvees and equipment for a 600 force. The same way that the 101st was Airlifted into Kurdistan. If the LZ is safe and secure, they go find a landing stripe and land regularly. If the LZ is hot, then they do the parachutes, and drop the equipment with parachutes as well, after suppressing enemy fire of course.
In the first place moving a “second ranger battalion” into place to block the passes to Pakistan sounds like a pipe dream.
OldF, if the President orders it done, it will be done. If the President orders a surge, there will be a surge. If the President orders everyone at GitMo executed right now, that would be done. Pipe dreams are for the powerless, those with the bong, marching to DC and the Vietnam memorial.
Comment by ymarsakar | March 23, 2007
Oh by the way, you can check out part I here, which was a long time ago. One of the links actually go to a 2005 article on Scooter Libby… man, that was some time ago. So, a historical outlook, if you are interested in past events about the CIA. Also, the comments section for this post is not working because of how I pasted the html code over. So comments have to be left on another thread.