Tuesday, March 06, 2007


There is no such "condition" as "schizophrenia," but the label is a social fact and the social fact a political event.

We are all murderers and prostitutes --no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.

Normality highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.

The brotherhood of man is evoked by particular men according to their circumstances. But it seldom extends to all men. In the name of our freedom and our brotherhood we are prepared to blow up the other half of mankind and to be blown up in our turn.

If I don't know I don't know, I think I know. If I don't know I know I know, I think I don't know,

--All above quotations by R.D. Laing
I've just finished Seymour Hersh's recent New Yorker article (The New Direction, 3/5/07 issue) concerning Prince Bandar and the new direction being taken by the Bush administration in the Middle East. Because of the nearly impenetrable nature of the Middle East imbroglio we've created, I was brought to mind of psychotherapist R.D. Laing's small but brilliant book, Knots.

In it, he alleges among other things, that we will never gain clarity living as we do in a society which is hopelessly muddled and violent, and which is invested in having us fit in, and therefore, by definition, muddled and violent. All of the above quotations taken together serve as summation of the Hersh piece.

I feel I have a real grasp of the situation now, and.wanted to distill it for the Rangers out there. I know how confusing it is given only words without pictures, but let's try anyway! Let's start at the beginning, since that's always a good place to start. My approach is Manichaean, but what could be more appropos?

U.S. invades Iraq. WMD=BAD; Saddam=BAD, Sunni=BAD; democracy=GOOD; purple thumbs=Mmm, mmm good.

Now, the U.S. has 20,000+ high-yield weapons, and as of 3/1/07, has awarded a contract to Livermore Laboratories to build a new generation of MRLV (multiple warhead). So 2007, WMD=GOOD.

Saddam was a Sunni and bad, so had to go. This is good, since he was bad. By association, the Sunnis are bad, so they are excluded from the communal gravy train that is the U.S.-led CPA. Sunni=BAD.

Democracy is good, so now the mob rules. The mob is Shia. Democracy is messy at times. Shia is good. But Iran is bad, and Iran is Shia. In Iraq, Shia=GOOD when dealing with U.S., but In Iran, Shia=BAD when dealing with U.S. Therefore, Shia is good and bad, but it averages out.

Fast-forward to Summer of '06, and Hezbollah and Israel mix it up. Lebanon is the playing field, and Sunnis (minority) control the country. Sunni=GOOD. Hezbollah makes up the majority of the rest of the population (simplified for Rangers.) Hezbollah=Shia=BAD.

So the U.S., through cooperation with Saudi Arabia, introduces Saudi Sunni extremists to the mix. Through this origination from our Saudi associates, Sunni now=GOOD. However, Egyptian and Iraqi Sunnis remain, BAD.

In Afghanistan, Sunni=Al Qaida=Taliban=BAD. But when funded by U.S. via Saudi Arabia, Sunni=GOOD.

I've constructed a chart to help simplify matters:

~ IRAN: Shia [bad] / Sunni [n/a] / Sharia [good] / Money [good]

~ IRAQ: Shia [good] / Sunni [bad] / Sharia [good] / Money [good]

~ SAUDI ARABIA: Shia [bad] / Sunni [good] / Sharia [good] / Money [good]

~LEBANON: Shia [bad] / Sunni [good] / Sharia [n/a] / Money [good]

So this appears to be a State Department wheel of fortune, whereby everybody in the Middle East game agrees the U.S. sucks, but their money is great. Bear in mind that the Saudi petrobucks are provided by the Friends of Bush (not Quaker-affiliated) to a grateful sand nation.

So if democracy is the key, then Lebanon should become a Hezbollah Shia state, since the majority usually rules in such situations. Of course, U.S. policy in Lebanon is to oppose majority rule. This is an alliance between Israel, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to preserve the minority Sunni hegemony of Lebanon.

Here is the policy written on the wheel of fortune. U.S. supports Sunnis in Lebanon, but opposes them in Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, we ignore linkages between Iraq Shias and those of Lebanon. Of course, the Iranian Shias are always the baddies.

This brings us to the present allegations of Hersh, which corroborate news reports that Saudi Arabia is the platform of U.S. policy in the region. In effect, the U.S. is not the mover and the shaker, but rather the lock-step dummy following Prince Bandar's lead. It is a lead which has seen the Saudis assuming regional hegemony since the U.S. foolishly removed Iraq from checking Iran's position.

By playing ball with the Saudi's, the U.S. administration is supporting Sunni extremism throughout the region. Another fine example of U.S. tax dollars at work. Great deal for our soldiers, too, who are being killed by those Sunni extremists, who trace their financial support back to Saudi Arabia. Q.E.D.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post, I'm going to go get that book. When you rationalize the whole Middle East conflict like you did, it really underlines how contradictory many of our policies are, and how the one consistent "Good" is whatever we inject into the situation.

The problem, as you point out, is that you cannot stop people from forming alliances, even if you really don't like them. All the bombs in the world could not stop neighbors from talking to each other and reaching compromises. So there's the Shia and Christians in Lebanon supported by Iran; the Sunni insurgency in Iraq supported by rich Gulf Arabs as well as former Baathists in Syria; and so on and so forth.

The U.S. thinks it can get away with sponsoring covert operations that it thinks no one knows about in order to destabilize countries it dislikes. Thus it seems that the U.S. is working with Pakistan to destabilize the Balochistan area, from which Sunni insurgents have lately been coming into Iran and launching attacks.

It's usually better to dig beneath the surface and look at the news that goes unacknowledged, like this report that Israel has kidnapped the top Iranian general in Turkey, who is accused both of having ties to an attack in Karbala possibly carried out by Iranians, and also of having downed an Israeli helicopter in Lebanon during the 80's and capturing some commander or other.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 1:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Thank you for that link. I will bring myself up to speed ASAP.

You are correct in that the U,S, imagines itself very clever, but there is no way to prevent other alliances we might eschew.

We truly live in a world federation at this time, and it is absurd to imagine we will jealously maintain clients who will not affiliate on their own elsewhere. Our policy is much too B/W, hence my parody.


Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 12:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Publius said...

Chuckle. I really like this post, Ranger. But, bearing in mind the audience you were trying to reach, I think you forgot the cartoons.

I've always been big on the old tides of history deal. History, like Mother Nature, always seems to have the trump cards. What we all should be asking ourselves is how we ended up being such an arrogant nation of dreamers, refusing to understand why things are the way they are and why history sometimes must logically unfold. Not always, but often. We have to be smart enough to recognize when we can make a difference. Doesn't hurt, of course, if we approach the task with pure motives.

That issue of the New Yorker has been lying around the house for a few days. Guess I'll have to read it tonight.

Well done.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 6:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Thanks for the smile. Correct re. the need to remove hubris and examine motives, something those of the land of manifest destiny tend to forget.


Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 5:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Just consulted the NZ post, and I can't speculate on the fate of this individual, as I don't have enough input.

However, I would guess that such an individual would not come over for money, or defection purposes. It would seem more likely that he's been dealt with, against his will.

I generally don't endorse kidnapping, but this individual could validate the argument that it is worthwhile. Not a legal matter, but oneof vengeance. Saith the lord.

Friday, March 9, 2007 at 6:29:00 PM GMT-5  

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