RANGER AGAINST WAR: A Cultural Trend <

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Cultural Trend

--Riber Hansson

Cause wishin' and hopin'
and thinkin' and prayin

Plannin' and dreamin' his kisses will start

That won't get you into his heart

--Wishin' and Hopin'
Bacharach and David

A good politician is quite as unthinkable

as an honest burglar

--H. L. Mencken

I don't think we did go blind,

I think we are blind,

Blind but seeing,

Blind people who can see, but do not see

, Jose Saramago

British Petroleum's profligate, ever-expanding oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is but a logical progression in the mindset and events of modern America.

It is the evolution of a culture which wants every benefit, but refuses responsibility when things go pear up. It is Eric Hoffer's
Momism on speed, and no one is exempt from the blame game, except those pointing the fingers. We drill for oil as cavalierly as we start wars, expecting stellar outcomes because after all, we all earned gold stars in elementary school for just showing up.

What the wars and the Deepwater Horizon rig blowout share is the opposite of provident worst case planning
. It is pollyannish to imagine that one's contrivances will go off without a hitch. Somewhere between the two approaches is a middle ground lacking in our national lives. That mid ground is based upon taking prudent risks based upon realistic assessments and assumptions.

The 21st century U.S. wars are marked by hopeful thinking and wishful planning, executed with insufficient combat power. Both Iraq and Afghanistan have been unsuccessful because realism and cold logic have been ignored.

We now invade countries without Theatre Armies or proper depth to our engaged forces. We electively fight wars beyond the capability of our on-call active forces. The same lack of foresight is evident in other areas of our public lives, including the financial crisis characterized by incomprehensible instruments like collateralized debt obligations.

Like the oil spill according to Admiral Thad Allen, or the events of 9-11 according to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, it is all so unimaginable, except when it isn't.

The oil spill can be analogized to our Phony Wars (Phony Wars on Terror ©) in that we embraced both deep water drilling and the wars based on a hope, a prayer and a wish. It is obvious that contingency planning was severely lacking when the inevitable occurred.

Invasions of countries and
oil drilling are exactly the same functions of corporate life. If either can't be backed by realistic support and reserve forces that can block or prevent failure, then they are not plans; they are wishful thinking. Neither BP nor the DoD had the resources to successfully complete their respective missions.

Leadership and planning does not offer easy or simple solutions. There are no free lunches. Invading countries, drilling for oil and stabilizing economic systems are not simple operations devoid of risk. Our leadership deceives us and we accept their platitudes which push unreal fantasies.

Real Life doesn't end when you walk out of the bijou, even if it's the sequel.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep and here a scary story. I've also read there are as many as 5 leaks at this time. I can't even say how sad I am.

Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 5:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to let Mom watch the kid movies with our two cubs, except for one, "The Princess Bride". I have to admit that I used to always get a kick out of that one.

Any how, the relevant quote (and the most memorable from the movie) is, "That word 'inconceivable', I don't think it means what you think it does"


Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 9:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Serving Patriot said...

There are no free lunches.

Wha'aaaaa? I thought this was the American Way?

good post jim.


Monday, June 14, 2010 at 6:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


A quote I appreciate.


We have not been given the truth about the oil gusher. It will only emerge slowly, when the results are irrefutable.

Monday, June 14, 2010 at 10:24:00 AM GMT-5  

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