RANGER AGAINST WAR: In Lieu of Reason <

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In Lieu of Reason

Don't give me no lectures
'Bout stress and strife
Just ain't my way of life 
--If You Don't Start Drinking, 
George Thorogood and the Destroyers

Ranger was troubled by a recent Popular Mechanics piece on the "Future of Special Forces" but couldn't find the right way to address his concerns; he now realizes that is the subtext of the piece which is more significant than the particulars.

Subtext is the basis of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©) and present United States' insecurities, whether politico-military, economic or psychological.  All of Gaul is divided into three parts, the greatest of which is the psychological, and the following ideas are brought to bear:

[1] The U.S. loves the underdog

[2] Control of the media is more important than the losses to al-Qaeda terrorism

[3] Terrorists and the Neoconservatives and Teabaggers share the belief that government is just no darn good.  Both wish to monopolize belief systems and worldviews

[4] The Department of Defense, government, FBI, CIA SOCOM and the Homeland Security Administration all want the polity to believe that they are indispensable to our continued existence

[5] Terrorists thrive on inculcating the belief that government is powerless to protect us; this leads to government overreaction, suggesting the the PWOT is about violence when actually it is about control -- control of media and the resulting propaganda which perpetuates the collusion of the institutions which have control as their raison d'etre; a perfect Mobius strip.

[6]  Both terrorists and government interests are battling for our minds and hearts, and a sorrowful heart will accept lunacy as policy, in lieu of reason.

[7] Terrorist, government and religion all seek to castrate the individual will, and teach that through abdication of such may salvation be offered.  "Please be lost, so that we can find you."  Our collective will grows flaccid through fear borne of incessant propaganda.

The message in media like the Popular Mechanics piece and the movie "Act of Valor" is to confirm our infirmity and needful subservience to the institution for our safety, under the bunting of piousness or patriotism.  This requires we believe threats are everywhere and in need of outside neutralization.

The needful analog to the institution's efficacy is the primacy of our own insecurity.

Both the Right and the Left thrive upon this distortion of reality in the name of freedom of liberty and we accept their patronage, while never examining the reality of terrorism, its capability and intent.  Concurrently, we do not examine the capabilities and intents of our own government, also shrouded in secrecy and dogmatic hypocrisy.

Both terrorism and government are based upon paternalism and elitism, and the Special operations Forces are the definition of military elitism.

Next: A discussion of the Popular Mechanics article.

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Anonymous Deryle said...

Ok..where's Herlander Refugee?
Loved her commentary and courage and flat out in yo faceness
.And her back was beautiful, too..
help me.


Friday, September 21, 2012 at 12:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

I thought she was a friend, DP, so I thought to put her in the milblog section to get her a bit of readership.

She came to me last year (via email) in extremis duress over marital woes. I counseled her diligently for months last year, often several times a day, when her marriage was rocky, always encouraging her for the best; I could see that it would persist when she could not.

Then in short order I read her victory post -- that the marriage had broken through to success (no personal note, however), then I noticed RAW was no longer in her sidebar and asked why. At first, she attributed it to computer malfunction.

Three days later she said she couldn't stand our radical views on Obama and had removed us.

Labrys had broken with us in the past over our conviction on similar issues pre-election '08, and then when the truth was revealed to her, she returned.

We confront this inflexibility in liberals fairly often. What was disappointing is that an erstwhile friend saw fit to cut bait after a prolonged association on the basis of her perception that we were racist due to the post, "The Notorious B.H.O.". Not all get our sarcasm.

Sociologists say that those one helps often turn on their assists due to pride or whatever (see the blacks v. the Jews post Civil Rights activism; not all, but some.)

That may be the case here, but I felt disappointed at what felt like pettiness. I thought I would find more, alas.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 5:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Deryle said...

Aww..too bad all around, but thanks for the update.
Got it on the inflexibility of liberals...reminding me again, of my salty old man's description:"Son, you know what a liberal is don't you?
As I'd said before, "No,but i've got a hunch I'm about to find out."
"A liberal is someone who couldn't say shit with a mouthful."
It's getting a bit old now, but of late my mission had included aggravating my liberal friends in some quixotic attempt to get them to nudge a bit toward the real.
Naa..ain't gonna happen.

"Sleepers--join hands" Robert Bly wrote in one of his poems.

"Stop. Pay attention.You're drunk and we're at the roof's edge" Rumi said.

"The Dogs bark but the caravan moves on", the poster in one of my undergrad professors office read.

There it is.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 9:08:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blakenator said...

Tis a sad story, indeed. I long for the days when you could disagree, even discuss, politics and still be friends. I think Newt Gingrich was the leader of the "zero-sum" theory of politics and it has gotten worse over the years. I also believe most of us in this old USofA have become authoritarians (ref: The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer of the Univeristy of Manitoba) at some level. He mentions the part of supporters of the "leaders" and their willingness to overlook things they vehemently accuse the other side of. Sound familiar?
As for me, I have always had an independent (some say rebelious) streak that has persisted in spite of my reasonably successful military career. My political views are all over the map, and can be characterized from what we now call "conservative" to "liberal" to "radical wingnut" to "radical moonbat" and beyond.
Of course, a bit of thought has to be brought to bear (and wishful thinking, too), and that is what is so painful to too many of us. I believe none of the "isms" in their purest form are practical because of the human element.
Note: the paragraph below is just one example and not intended to produce a "flame" war.
Try explaining to a closed mind how you are pro-choice but do not condone abortion. Try to explain that, in a sane world, the "right to lifers" should be working side by side with the "pro-choice" crowd. Ask a "pro-lifer" why they are willing to use violence to "protect" lives when they are hoping for the death penalty for the 14 year old in the news.
Sorry if I got too carried away, I couldn't help myself.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 10:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I like Rumi because he challenges us to wake up. That'll be a great day, hmmm?


Yes, 'tis sad. One would hope that all who even marginally think to question the status quo would band together in common cause on that account, alone. Unfortunately, I find that a certain conventionality undergirds even those who would claim for the outsider status. I feel betrayed, but I am not surprised by this as I have found myself here before.

Like you, I cannot be categorized. I think about issues and arrive at my best position, but I am not inflexible, given new data. I am not part of any cheery band who cleaves to any convention; this is because I can see the corrupting influence of the human adherent.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 3:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

p.s. --

anyone who reads us should know that we are equal opportunity in our sarcasm. It's not fair to just out the likes of GWB, for he's surely not alone in his folly.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 3:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Re: the old Herlander Refugee site I exchanged mail with Labrys the other day and she said that she had issues with the Google/g-mail folks and shut down the Blogger site. She's still over the airwaves at Wordpress here: http://herlanderwalking.wordpress.com/

I think part of what gets her in the giggy, Lisa, is a combination of the times and they way you expressed them.

U.S. politics, as Blakenator points out, which are returning to the pre-cold-war norm, which was characterized by a violent and in many ways unbridgeable hatred between the Right and Left, the haves and the have-nots.

My father was an Eisenhower Republican in the Fifties and Sixties but he loathed the Taft/McCarthy breed. His tales of the Thirties left me with no illusions about the poisonous rhetoric of the Thirties and the hatred between factory owners and factory workers, between rentiers and the guys in the bread lines.

Most of us grew up during the Long Political Peace that Gingrich and his crew destroyed, and we remember "discussing" and debating issues. But that presumed a fundamental acceptance of certain political ideas like a welfare state and taxes as a public good. Now the battle lines are drawn, the GOP has rejected the old New Deal contract, and we are either on one side or another. It's pretty much clear-cut. There's really nothing to "discuss", is there.

And the other thing is your humor as expressed on the blog. I was a grunt medic and a combat-arms type for a long time, so my definition of humor is pretty crude.

But I can see how she had a tough time with Obama-as-gangsta; not because of your calling him out for his secret assassinations and overseas farkling about, but because the image of a black President as a gangsta was damn deadly close to the images the Republicans use to niggerize him.

And in these parlous times, giving voice to the words of my enemy, well, seems less than friendly. Any maquis could tell you; the German is just an enemy, but the Vichite is worse.

I am an asshole and frankly don't care what people say; deeds, not words, are my standard. So feel free to call the man a Kenyan Usurper and I could care less - my bottom line is that as craven and bought as the Dems are they ARE better for me and mine than the GOP, which is largely just batshit crazy and your words do not make them less so - but she has another standard, and that's her business. I don't agree with her - but I can see, in these fierce partisan times, how she felt your words were like a slap in the face.

For the record I wouldn't call that petty or inflexible but, rather, a lower (or higher) standard of what language is considered "acceptable". Calling a sitting president a moron wasn't considered acceptable to the GOP when C-plus Augustus was on the throne; calling the current one a black gangbanger isn't acceptable to many liberals, even those who dislike many of his policies.

Ah, well.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 7:40:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

You're a very compassionate man, Chief, but how can I be misconstrued? I am straight and ironic, and agree with you that "the Dems are they ARE better for me and mine than the GOP, which is largely just batshit crazy" ... but your last part misconstrues me: "and your words do not make them less so."

Per "standard of what language is considered 'acceptable'", I wasn't aware she had one :) I have always considered vulgarity to be a lesser form of argumentation -- not "passionate", simply angry. Frankly, there were times I had to close that site due to the barrage of anger I felt hitting me. That is a violence (though I allow that some use writing as therapy.)

I am not crude, but I certainly find the thought of being compulsory p.c. revolting.

I have never defended GWB or Romney. It should be pretty clear that I am in the liberal camp. Humour is wide open today, and I consider myself on the mild, albeit slightly wicked, side. Freedom of speech, y'know?

I know that I am on the right side of things. OTOH, I find such "shut-off" behavior sad; I have dealt with it enough in my life and know it brings one nowhere productive.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 6:55:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

You miss my point.
i didn't call obomba a bad dog-i said that he's just acting like one.pls substitute dog for gang banger.
i stand behind my essay.

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 9:18:00 AM GMT-5  

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