Thursday, October 26, 2006

Who goes there?

Fred Ikle has a serious resume. He was a Commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorism, which produced the Report of the National Commission on Terrorism in June 2000 for US President Bill Clinton and Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under Reagan. His recent book, entitled Annihilation from Within and published by Columbia University Press presents an interesting thesis. He seems to argue that the forces of globalization and the rise of powerful technologies widely available to private parties have destroyed — or at least undermined — the predominance of the State. This makes it feasible for the enemies of any society to assault it from within. Here are some passages from the excerpts provided by Columbia Press:

First of all, he dismisses the current crop of Islamists as being too driven by religious visions to present a serious global threat. But they are the harbinger of the real threat.

The fact is that contemporary Islamic terrorism does not have a strategy for victory. It is swayed by impulses animated by a fervidness for revenge and religious utopias. It is as if these jihadist terrorists—enraged by their impotence—seek gratification from bloodshed and self-immolation. While these murderous assaults hurt us, they also spur us to increase our military power and to strengthen the defense of our homeland. What does not kill us makes us stronger.

What he fears is the next strategic genius; the next Hitler; the next Lenin allied to the opportunities of the 21st century. Many readers of this site will notice that we have touched — touched — on these themes only briefly because they seemed too outlandish to consider. But here's Ikle, a former undersecretary of defense, giving the theme his best shot.

The greatest threat to the world order in this century will be the next Hitler or Lenin, a charismatic leader who combines utter ruthlessness with a brilliant strategic sense, cunning, and boundless ambition—and who gains control over just a few weapons of mass destruction.

This new threat, still offstage, now awaits us. Any such evil but charismatic leader will be able to attack a major nation from within even if that nation possesses enormous military strength and capable police forces. If this new tyrant turns out to be strategically intelligent, he could prepare to launch a couple of mass destruction weapons against carefully chosen targets—without training camps in another nation, without help from a foreign terrorist organization, without a military campaign across the nation's borders. He would thus offer no targets for retaliation and render useless a nation's most powerful deterrent forces. By contrast, an expanding caliphate—the utopia that jihadists dream about—would offer the leading democracies plenty of easy targets for retaliation.

The purpose of this new tyrant would not be to destroy landmark buildings, highjack airplanes, attack railroad stations and religious shrines. His aim would be to paralyze the national leadership and spread nationwide panic, to ensure that the center could not hold. He would be well prepared to exploit this chaos by seizing complete control of the nation's government and imposing his dictatorship. Success in any such endeavor would be a shattering event, signifying to democracies everywhere that their world, their basic institutions, their national security strategies, their citizens' everyday lives—that all this was now up for grabs. Living comfortably on borrowed time, most democratic societies lack the will and foresight needed to defend against any such calamity.

It will begin, he thinks, in a country we may not really care about. But it will not stop there.

Non-democratic governments will also be vulnerable—indeed, more vulnerable—to annihilation from within. In those Central Asian republics, for example, where authoritarian rulers confront large Muslim populations who want a fundamentalist Islamic state, the detonation of a single nuclear bomb in the capital would create a political vacuum. This could enable a religious leader (perhaps a cleric like Iraq's Muqtada al-Sadr) to mobilize his throngs of followers and seize control of the country.

The problem, he thinks, is built into society's relationship with technology. Technology's imperative is to do what is possible and to accomplish that it will enlist or brush aside the puny belief systems or political ideologies that mankind puts in its way. All it lacks is someone ruthless enough to use technology to gain power without regard to morality. And anyway many of us are convinced that morality does not exist.

The two modes of human thought and activity that split apart some 250 years ago are destined to drift farther apart because disparate aspirations of the two modes aggravate the widening schism. Science and technology do not have a final goal. They pursue a continuing conquest of nature in which disproved theories are replaced by new knowledge. But political endeavors have finite goals. Marxism did not aspire to be followed by capitalism, Islam does not seek to be replaced by Christianity, America's propagation of democracy does not strive to be succeeded by autocratic governments.

This widening divergence in human culture might overwhelm the political order of the world in a way that endangers the survival of all nations. And, bear in mind, only sovereign nations can marshal troops and rally political support to defeat terrorist organizations, deter aggression, enforce UN decisions. When push comes to shove, only nations can keep some order in the world. Annihilation from within is not a temporary peril, but the end point and ultimate impact of this elemental historic force that has gained ever more strength over two centuries. Military history offers no lessons that tell nations how to cope with a continuing global dispersion of cataclysmic means for destruction. Because of the cultural split some 250 years ago, the threat of annihilation from within is now woven into the fabric of our era.

Let us admit it: mankind became entrapped in a Faustian bargain. In the famous medieval legend, Faust sells his soul to the devil in exchange for the magical powers of science (or rather the imagined powers of alchemy in those days). There is much that we can do to avert the worst disaster. But as we begin to discern the trials that lie ahead, our exuberance about unending progress is tempered by a premonition that our "bargain with the devil" might end badly.

Perhaps the storm petrels arrived in New York on September 11 and we have inquisitively gone to visit their nests in the Middle East, Southwest Asia and on the Korean peninsula. And like some scene out of a horror movie, Professor Ikle grasps at our lapels and asks us, 'what did you see? What was sprouting out there?' But such a scene would be to misrepresent the ideas in his book. Only part of the threat is out there. It's complement, the other half of the key, is forging right at home, in the gleaming laboratories of the West. Are we, as Ikle claims, "living comfortably on borrowed time", lacking "the will and foresight needed to defend against any such calamity"?


A number of books including the Shield of Achilles or the Pentagon's New Map have advanced the proposition that we are going through an major historical transition and that we live in a fundamentally different world from that of the Cold War. Yet our mental models are lagged; perhaps the more educated we are, the more lagged we tend to be. Part of the problem facing strategists in the War on Terror, and perhaps even commanders in Iraq, is that a new kind of enemy is taking shape before our eyes. In such a situation survival depends critically on our ability to evolve at a rate equal to or faster than the threats. The terrible rigidity of certain aspects of our strategy, made inevitable by the partisan political necessity never to admit an error or to be reflexively "anything but" what your political rival is, is hurting us far more than any policy itself. It is the laggard response to changing directions, not any particular direction we might happen to steer, which is most damaging.

I don't know whether Ikle's thesis is correct in its particulars, but his intuition that something is out there in the dark, forming, menacing and waiting to strike seems to have a grain of truth. Let's turn on the lights and see.


Blogger Roderick said...

I'm moving to another planet at the first opportunity.

10/26/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

The real threat could be under our noses. Whoever the next Hitler or Lenin may be, "open society" one-world government jihadist, central Asia broker Soros may be behind him (or Hillary.) It's amazing how far money, media savvy, transnational sensibility and international organization, financial markets manipulations and technology go these days. Grate man theory supersedes great in the 21 C. of globally-enabled billionaire egoists.

Or, maybe Bill Gates will become il Nerdo Supremo.

10/26/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Frank Herbert wrote a short story called "Cease Fire" in 1958 about attacking the symptoms of warfare rather than its root cause. In the story, a soldier invents a device that can detonate any explosive from a safe distance. He thinks he has ushered in the end of all warfare, but his superiors know in the next conflict both sides will have this superweapon.

"So the next war will be fought with horse cavalry, swords, crossbows and lances...And there'll be other little improvements!... Elimination of explosives only makes espionage, poisons, poison gas, germ warfare--all of these--a necessity!"

10/26/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

10/26/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Wretchard, I can't differentiate between Ikle's example of the Central Asian Sadr, and your typical coup or revolution. Who needs a WMD when a well placed bullet will do the same trick. Furthermore, in any scenario the "strategic genius" might destroy a State, but he will do so ostensibly to replace it with another State.

It seems that the ability to assault a society from within has always been available. Other than the sheer destructive power available to the next Hitler or Lenin, what has changed?

10/26/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

A helpful thing to understand here is that the internet was developed to meet the very problem outlined above.

I think there was a very good demonstration of the power of the internet and assorted other communications systems at 9/11.

It was my thought at the time that there was very little confusion after 9/11.

I think had 9/11 occured a decade earlier there would have been much more confusion.

10/26/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...


The wacko you have to keep an eye on is George Soros. He is already on the fringe, has the money and leverage. He could do serious damage tomorrow should he decide to.
But then again if the Islamic cab drivers in Minneapolis keep gett'n funky, well people could miss their flights and then it's all downhill.

10/26/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/26/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger jafco said...

"...Only part of the threat is out there. It's complement, the other half of the key, is forging right at home, in the gleaming laboratories of the West...."

I am reminded of the movie "12 Monkeys" where a scientist releases a plague that kills most of mankind. I fear this more than some new Hitler in Central Asia, etc. There a people out there who would do such a thing, given the capability.

10/26/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...


Judith Miller of the NYT did a piece for TV's Frontline several years ago outlining some of the chemical and bio stuff the Soviets had cooked up. Of course none of it was in a "secured" status.
The program went to one abandoned base that had a chain link fence and no lock. Inside one of the buildings, also unlocked,was a refrigerator that contained a coffee can with vials of toxins so powerful that they putatively could wipe out millions.
I think you can buy the program. Check Frontline's site if you care but don't expect to get any sleep that night..the stuff out there now is a nightmare.

10/26/2006 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

The program went to one abandoned base that had a chain link fence and no lock. Inside one of the buildings, also unlocked,was a refrigerator that contained a coffee can with vials of toxins so powerful that they putatively could wipe out millions.

Habu, it was a KGB setup. They were fishing for more dollars from Washington to dispose of this stuff, just like we pay them to de-mil their nuke subs. I can smell a shakedown from 8,000 miles away.

10/26/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Why are we only considering the next Stalin or Hitler being born and arising? Isn't it equally possible that the next Churchill or Patton is also awaiting the turning of the right page of history to take the stage. Certainly, up to now the triumverant of Bush, Blair and Howard have been less than successful at motivating the followers of Not-Evil. Or of even successfully defining what evil is.

10/26/2006 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Ms T,

Easily could have been. Might not even have been KGB. What would Judith Miller know from KGB to mafia whatever.
I guess the main deal is (guess here) there probably is some very nasty toxins etc out there in the old world.
I know I always wash my hands before preparing a yoni for snacking.

10/26/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

The left will not allow the development of a Churchill or Patton without tarring them with the "Hitlerian" format. That's followed by the usual racist accusations. The persons defeated from the incubation of their philosophy. You have to remember that the average IQ out there in America is only around body temp.

10/26/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Ramen said...

I was thinking about this very subject, although vis-a-vis the modern day western leftist (aka nutroots moonbat). They certainly have the motivation (witness the recent attack on one of the Minute Men founders). But they lack a charismatic leader.

George Soros is too old.

Hillary Clinton has the near fanatical support of single women (which was key to Hitler's rise to power). Just about every single woman I know would vote for her even though hillary is to the far to right of them on many important issues - but most men hate her guts and would not pick up a rifle for her.

There's Markos from the Daily Kos. I'd say he's the closest thing the left has to a demagoguing lunatic for a leader, but I think he's just a tad bit fruity to get up, pound the podium and have people quaking in their boots.

Who does that leave? While I agree that the rise of powerful technologies widely available to private parties have destroyed — or at least undermined — the predominance of the State, those same technologies give us powerful tools to defend our homes and our society (ie, the ubiquity of cell phones thwarted the 9/11 attacks a plane early). Perhaps something like Strategy Page's futures board could be created, allowing people with fake money to 'vote' on the value of any particular person to become the next world-threatening dictator.

10/26/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The wacko you have to keep an eye on is George Soros."

Amen to that. He actually thinks he can succeed at forcing big value into his short position on the dollar; needs the Dems in power to do that because they will tank the economy on a massive enough scale for him to profit. Warren Buffett thinks enough of Soros' play so that he's got substantial short positions, too.

10/26/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

Iran is banning high-speed internet connections in the hope of stopping dissenting voices. But Iran is not alone in looking at ways to regulate technology it doesn't approve of: Germany is set to tax internet users 5.5 euros a month, starting January 1 next year.

10/26/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The internet was first designed in the late 60s to enable communications in the event a whole city was nuked by the russians -- or in the event several cities were nuked by the russians. Communications would simply and automatically reroute around the damaged areas.

that the internet itself creates a better breeding ground for massive terrorist attacks is also the case.

but I think its always helpful to look from one event horizon to the next.

Watch the machinations of the UN.

The un-Internet

By Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
October 19, 2005

Every once in a while an idea so goofy comes along one is inclined to dismiss it as just absurd rumor. More often than not, it seems, such ideas involve the United Nations and the ambitions of some of its staff and member nations to convert the "world body" into a world government. However hare-brained the scheme, if the United Nations is involved, it is wise to prepare for the worst.
A case in point is the idea the United Nations should be able to fund its operations by collecting international taxes ("globotaxes"), starting with international airline tickets. This notion has been kicking around Turtle Bay for some time but now is beginning to gain traction.
One particularly ambitious version has the U.N. charge a couple of pennies for every dollar's worth of international currency transactions. By some estimates, this globotax could net the U.N. $13 trillion each year. Why, even the kleptocratic international civil servants of Oil-for-Food fame could cobble together a world government with that income stream.
Fortunately, the dangers inherent in such wooly-headed plans for using international taxation-without-representation to float the U.N.'s boat has precipitated strong opposition in Congress.
In July, at the initiative of now-acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment to bar U.S. supporting or being subject to globotaxes. Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe has taken the lead on a similar piece of legislation in the Senate.
The need for such a statutory prohibition is becoming more obvious by the day. Despite expressions of concern (including a letter Mr. Inhofe and 16 colleagues sent to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan in September), we have already taken several steps on the proverbial slippery slope.
Specifically, President Bush was induced to agree to a recent "Outcome Document" issued at the U.N. "World Summit 2005" last month. It acknowledged a French-led effort to begin having "voluntary" "solidarity contributions" imposed on international airline tickets to raise development aid money. A globotax by any other name still stinks.
As it happens, visions of vast new revenue streams have helped spawn an even more preposterous, and ominous, U.N. initiative. The so-called "international community" -- notably, minus for the moment at least the United States of America -- has decided it needs to "control" (and presumably tax) the Internet. This information infrastructure, it will be recalled, was invented, developed and made available gratis to the world at the expense of the American taxpayer. For years, a U.S. government-created private corporation has been responsible for managing the Internet (not to be confused with "controlling" it) on behalf of the entire planet.
Now, the U.N. wants to have not one but two international committees control this information superhighway -- the first in charge of "public policy" and the other responsible for "coordination." Turning the very essence of an entrepreneurial, highly adaptive endeavor like the Internet over to stultified bureaucracies would be bad enough. Putting it in the hands of those like Communist China, Cuba and Iran who insist henceforth on a say in managing it is a formula for destroying this engine for freedom and economic growth.
To its credit, the Bush administration thus far adamantly opposes any change in how and by whom the Internet is run. Quite sensibly, it has taken the view that if ever there were a case where "if ain't broke, don't fix it" applied, it's this.
Still, in this post-Iraq era when the U.S. is supposed to demonstrate at every turn its commitment to "multilateralism," the U.N. might just get what it wants. Here is how Britain's reflexively anti-U.S. Guardian newspaper put it in the Oct. 6 article, "Breaking America's grip on the Net": [T] he [American] refusal to budge only strengthened opposition, and now the world's governments are expected to agree [to] a deal to award themselves ultimate control [over the Internet]. It will be officially raised at a U.N. summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the U.S. government can do but acquiesce."
Actually, there would appear to be one other thing we could do: Tell the U.N. to fuggedaboutit. The United States has no intention of surrendering a tool that has done vastly more to enrich and empower the world's people and to encourage the spread of freedom than the United Nations ever did.

The alternative is not simply to entrust to the tender mercies of the international bureaucrats and malevolent dictators the opportunity to start taxing internet transactions. That would be objectionable enough, as it would (like all globotaxation schemes) help make the U.N. less dependent on member state dues. Withholding dues is, as a practical matter, the only means available to compel even some U.N. accountability.
However, putting the United Nations in charge of the Internet would have an even worse effect: It would surely result in the eventual, if not the quite precipitous, demise of freedom's greatest force-multiplier.
This is as good a line to draw with the United Nations as any. We will not submit to the world-governing ambitions of globocrats and the generally despotic regimes whose ideas, absurd or simply malevolent, have one thing in common: strengthening the United Nations at the expense of American sovereignty and power. Thanks, but no thanks.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is a columnist for The Washington Times and lead author of the coming book, "War Footing: Ten Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World."

10/26/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Captain Ramen,

Soros is old but he'll do the financing. However...I think that once we are hit again by a large scale terrorist attack (eg.dirty bomb), that it will be over for the left.
The right is where the charismatic leader will come from rising from the spontaneous vigilanteism that will spring up. Mosques will burn, Islamists sniped by the hundreds.
I think the left is truly finished in this country once the Islamist try another attack.

10/26/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Structurally, its helpful to remember that the three great revolutions against Roman Power came within decades of Augustus and his successors being raised to the status of Gods.

Two of the rebellions were unsuccessful: the British & the Israeli. The third was succesful: the Germans at the battle of Teutenberg Forest. After that Rome stopped at the Rhine.

In our age its helpful to recall the transnational elites are as ambitious as the Claudians. The danger is not just from the barbarians at the gates but also vertical barbarians in the towers--or as the communists used to say ----the commanding heights.

10/26/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Soros has the juice to influence world events,but in a media saavy age,he comes off as a Gestapo inspector in a B movie.Seriously charisma challenged.Who was Adolf Shickelgruber but a failed artist,a semi deranged race baiter and he shook the world to its foundation.The coming Mr.Evil might be working as a night cook at Waffle House while he plans his world conquest.The danger of failed states is any buffoon with a dream can hit the bigtime.

10/26/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Technology will change, but humans don't. At least not on a time scal that does humanity any good. Wars are fought by men WITH machines. Unrestriced bombing kills voters but precision bombing kills politicians.

Over the next few centuries, the basis of civilization will be the corporate state and not the geographic one. You can see the beginings now. Iran has been struggling to build a nuke for the last couple of decades. Microsoft could do it within a year. Toyota 30 days. If Japan decides to build nukes, it will take them less then a week.
If the Corporate state replaces the nation/state then it will be because they do a better job of protecting their citizens. Since that is the purpose of any state, if corporate staes can do it better, then they deserve to take over.

10/26/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger reoconnot said...

I'm writing a movie script where a brilliant international money manipulator intent on taking over the world is killed by a screaming, unhinged, political operative and a "war hero" (actually coward) turned politician who won great acclaim and acceptance by attacking his own country-particularly those willing to fight when he wasn't.

Curiously the murder is blamed on a respected, yet besotted, senior member of the same party as the 'war hero" and screamer when in fact the murder was actually caried out by church -going, apparently respectable members of the other party.

I'm looking for investors.

10/26/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Another way to navigate through the current age is to look at the end of the age.

The earth is basically but literally coming to an end--as the focus of humanity.

I am not predicting this. Rather this kind of future baked into the technologies and innovative strategies of the current age.

So what would be three great manifestos for space colonization when it begins on a large scale in, say, 40 years.

1.) Boldly go where no man has gone before.
2.) Create conditions for colonies to be self sufficient and eventually self governing.
3.) Protect the earth.

These three manifestos are with us today and rightly kept in balance in this age for our time will enable the earth to gracefully transition to the next great age.

10/26/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

No threat from an external source can hurt us. Only one that can manupulate a substantial group inside the US is plausible. Our problem right now is not the GWoT, it is the leftists in the media and politics who are willing to attack the US on the say so of some lunatic on the otherside of the world.

10/26/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger drducati said...

A good friend was the Amnerican Ambassador to that Central Asian country when that occured. The Soviet's germ labs were abandoned and available for just about anyone to come carry the stuff away.
The CDC and the CIA were aghast at what they found. They had never dreamed some of it existed.

10/26/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

The wacko you have to keep an eye on is George Soros.


I would agree! That's why I mentioned Soros first and foremost ("Whoever the next Hitler or Lenin may be, 'open society' one-world government jihadist, central Asia broker Soros may be behind him, or Hillary.")

Captain Ramen reminds us that Soros is old, but it seems to me (and you, obviously) that he can still fund and lay the groundwork for a movement, back a personality, and maneuver a soft takeover. His involvement in the former soviets has been "complex", to say the least, not to mention his funding and sway over the Dem Party. Politics is a business and calling to him and business a means to his purse and political vision.

Trangbang is right about how untelegenic Soros is, but that may be why he isn't personally interested in being a political face man.

The point is, whether it's Soros or some real charismatic, smart, manipulative and especially monied individuals can affect geopolitics in ways that compete with state diplomatic and economic interests. Corporatists and international organizations engage in deals with governments that shape policy at large. Technology can be bought on both the black and open markets by anyone with the means.

Perhaps it has been this way for a long time and only the availability of vastly more destructive tech and globally interlinked financial markets make the potential buyer-investors intent on purchasing, inflaming or destroying countries more worrisome to us than before.

10/26/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

What Fred Ikle and Wretchard smell is the Anti-Christ.

Jesus said these last days would be cut short (by God) because if HE did not cut them short "... no flesh would be left alive"

I have always taken that to mean that men would devise some terrible weapons to accomplish it. When the first hydrogen bomb went off the pattern seemed obvious.

Anyway the Bible has much to say about this man of sin. There is endless literature and speculation about him. Many people are looking for him. It's nice to see that the Belmont Club is alert and buzzing.

I'm looking for Jesus though. I want to marvel at HIM when He comes. Jesus is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Have you seen the latest article about carbon 14? It turns out coal seams and diamonds and mile down granite zircons are full of carbon 14 which means the earth is thousands of years old not millions or billions.

Is Jesus looking any better?

10/26/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Look at how the flock of sheep are all lining up their bah-bahs for Barack Obama. Believe it, when the right knight comes along, the public will follow lock-step.

10/27/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Charles, You need to get the “Star Trek/Wars” delusion out of your head, the only way man will ever travel to other planets will be the development of the ability to instantly materialize in another place, say a different planet, reason being the human body (All earths animals) can not survive outside the earths protective magnetic shield, Humans do not posses the ability to build ships that can transport us very far before that protection would be insufficient and our bodies would be decimated by the hash realities of space and the time factor to travel by any other means is the next wall man will never over come, think about it, who would live on a spaceship for their entire life (sailors would go craze just crossing the ocean) and the lives of several generations of his offspring just so some future grand child (if the ship survives that length of time and travel) can walk on a planet that great, great, great, etc. grandpapa thinks will be hospitable when they get there. Man would need the ability to move between deminsions, say anything above the sixth, personally I believe God exists in the seventh, it gets really hard to comprehend anything above the seventh but why would it stop at seven?

Sparks Fly, were did you read this article about Carbon 14? Carbon dating is a very weak measure of how old things are, Carbon 14 will leap unknown years in age with every near collapse, complete collapse and pole change of the Earths magnetic field, any thing passing by the Suns side of the earth when the fields change is aged by an unknown amount, proof of the Earths Magnetic fields collapsing are well documented, fairly easy to look up via the internet (Google) along with the fact that the amount radiation from the sun effects how Carbon 14 ages.

10/27/2006 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cogitatus Incognito said...

These are some scary thoughts to consider. Perhaps we need to build in 'internet think' to our education system, i.e. distributed, self-sustaining knowledge-bases so that society can be quickly reconstructed if two or three of our major cities are taken out and civilization teeters on collapse. Dealing with threats is basically understanding what's happening and what are the likely aftermaths and then preparing for that. Perhaps we should teach our children to deal with the issues as readily as teaching them what to do if a tornado strikes their school. How's about a Boy Scout badge for social re-creation?

10/27/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Charles, You need to get the "Star Trek/Wars" delusion out of your head, the only way man will ever travel to other planets will be the development of the ability to instantly materialize in another place, say a different planet, reason being the human body (All earths animals) can not survive outside the earths protective magnetic shield

I agree with Summignumi. We can get to the Moon and live underground there, but that's about it.

10/27/2006 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

summignumi said...

Charles, You need to get the “Star Trek/Wars” delusion out of your head, the only way man will ever travel to other planets will be the development of the ability to instantly materialize in another place, say a different planet,
true. current technology doesn't cut it.

but its generally not considered to be prudent to assume that current technology will be current in 40,20,10 or even 5 years time.

10/27/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Oengus Moonbones said...

Civil society can survive if it's prepared to be even more ruthless than "the next Hitler, the next Lenin."

It's happened before. Of course, millions will die before the show is over.

10/27/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

How to defeat it:

A transparent society (ubiquitous surveillance, pattern recognition, early detection, and robust civil rights) with specified and limited privacy zones. It's already prospectively built into our Con-law. That means it's probably coming.

10/27/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger alanp1950 said...

I think this idea results in a self limiting situation. After you take over one country, you immediately create a target in the event that another country begins to suffer problems that may be laid at your doorstep. Syria Iran North Korea spring to mind as countries that have been meddling and are now potential targets. [The responses need not necessarily be military either.] So while I think his bsic thesis is correct, I think the result is self limiting.

10/27/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

The thesis is provocative, but ultimately flies in the face of history. Ever since the first hunter-gatherer began to cultivate plants instead of going out to find them, human society has gotten progressively more complex. On the one hand, such complexity makes possible mass industrial warfare of the sort that Hitler perfected. But a hidden asset of this increasing complexity is that flexibility and redundancy is increasingly hardwired into the system, especially since the Industrial Revolution. I was recently reading a management-guru book describing how several companies in the hours after September 11 reacted with astonishing flexibility to a problem they had never contemplated before, immediately making medical supplies available to people who needed them. In addition, all of the visitors in New York either found shelter there or quickly made their way back to where they came from. The panicked masses crossing the Brooklyn Bridge were the initial reaction, but the subsequent binding up of New York's wounds was far more illustrative.

There is a hidden lesson in these kind of responses that we all too often fail to note. Highly complex societies are like highly complex biological organisms, capable of repairing even substantial wounds.

It probably is true that societies with less social cohesion -- what we used to call patriotism -- might be less able to respond atomistically yet with a sense of common purpose. A major attack on a country like Saudi Arabia, or even Belgium, might cause catastrophic short-term deterioration. And yet if the rest of the world saw it as a sufficiently disastrous event, it would respond in a way that restored order.

Finally, with respect to the US in particular, "enormous military strength and capable police forces" are not all that stand between us and a dictatorial power grab. There is another even more impenetrable barrier -- a well-armed citizenry eager to defend its way of life.

10/27/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

The madman-wielding-total-destruction themse is like something out of a superhero comic book. Yet as developing WMDs becomes easier and more widespread, the threat must be taken seriously.

The solution is to beef up internal security, so one can find out and neutralize such threats before they completely develop. The problem with that, of course, is that our fundamental freedoms are sure to be compromised in at least some ways. Yet if the alternative to that is death, there isn't a choice. Best to start the theoretical development of such a system immediately, so it can be subject to public debate and appropriate safeguards as soon as possible.

10/27/2006 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Brother D-Day said...

The weakness of the State is that it always wants to find another State to go to war with, deal with, etc.

The fact is Bush had an opportunity to declare war on al Qaeda, Hizb’allah, and The Muslim Brotherhood on 9/12/2001. Putting us on a war footing with those organizations would have given us better legal cover to use all means available to stomp their asses. Instead we gave a gaping opening for the ACLU and the Soros left to undermine the effort here at home through the Judicial Dictatorship. Now those terrorist groups are laughing at us as we twist ourselves upside down to ensure the flow of Fruit Loops and fresh Qu’rans at GTMO while they saw our guys’ heads off. Their agents are attacking us from the inside.

Bush opted for old school. Go to war with whatever the State – or semblance of one – whether or not it was the actual perp of the act of war against you. The Taliban didn’t knock down the towers, al Qaeda did. The Yemenis didn’t bomb the Cole, al Qaeda did. Sudan didn’t blast our embassies, al Qaeda did. The Lebanese government didn’t kill 231 Marines, Hizb’allah did. Never mind the borders and asking “permission” to attack from the useless states in which the terrorists hide. If those states are supposedly strong enough to repel our guys, then they should be strong enough to boot terrorists. If they are not, then we need to do it form them. Life sucks, but that’s RealPolitik. Someone attacked us from their soil. We will come and pay them back.

Until we pull our heads out of the sand and get a scimitar-grip on reality, we’re doomed. The collapse of the Treaties of Sevres & Lausanne is happening before our eyes and the Middle East is returning to its natural order. The rotting corpses of the states that the Big Three set up are being devoured by the swarming tribes that inhabit them. We won’t be dealing with democracies over there. Ever. It will be The Biggest, Baddest Tribe on the block. Let them cut each other’s heads off and sort out who’s boss. It’s been that way for thousands of years, and it will continue for a thousand more. The Saudis are the model, hate to say it. Until oil becomes useless, we gotta deal with these clowns.

As for Soros, the Bush Doctrine is still relevant. He is a gathering threat. He is a foreign saboteur looking to collapse our currency and wreck our economy as a means of changing our government to his liking. That’s an act of war if you ask me. A Hellfire swarm into his Chalet, 671 grains of .50BMG love through his skull while sunning on his yacht, or his Gulfstream suffering a collision with an AIM 9 sounds good to me. No worries about trying to hide it, we’re protecting ourselves. Get the word out. Bye-bye Soros, and watch out, Fifth Column.

Aim I nuts? That’s 50/50. But show me who ain’t in this day and age.

10/27/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/27/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Evan is right for the most part. One caveat, though.

It is true that a highly complex society is robust and can withstand almost all kinds of attack (from my notes on the Network Theory:

Complex systems are very good at maintaining basic functions if one of their components break down; they have an amazing capacity to function in the face of many errors. Every network has a critical point for a random network, after which it will break apart. If you take a very large scale-free network (society, i.e.), you can remove 80 percent of the nodes randomly and remaining 20 percent still talk to each other.

However, a blanket attack on those nodes of the network with the highest connection coefficient (hubs) kills the network and disperses its constituents into the environment. Once that happens, reattachment starts almost immediately at a local level. This is where the danger of the demagogue resides, for the more followers one gets, the more followers one will get.

Anyway, it is not difficult to imagine a sophisticated simultaneous attack on those nodes that hold America together (leadership, energy, communication, etc.). Once that happens, the banner of RESTORATION can be raised, a restoration that never quite arrives.

10/27/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Smitten Eagle said...

What else is interesting this is how much the Unabomber's Manifesto is aligned with the ideas of the good Undersecretary of Defense. I guess the Undersecretary is saying that he had a point.

Quite an interesting alignment indeed.

10/27/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Roderick said...

OK, folks, about this "George Soros" thing: I don't like him either, and also see where he and other gazzillionaire "philanthropists" could do harm. The thing is, parts of this thread are starting to sound like Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground.

Please reset you gyroscopes.

10/27/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Yes, Roderick, but conjuring the specter of Soros is scary paranoid fun for Halloween time!

Is it really far-fetched to consider that the West may be harboring the next world strongman with an enlightened-dark vision? Soros isn't just a biznessman; he and his interests manipulate nations, political parties and whole economies. We'd be reading much more about his machinations were he a Republican.

No doubt there are others like him all over the increasingly smaller, less national, and more internationally corporate or cultish world.

10/27/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

brother d-day, I can't find a whole lot in your post to argue with. Of course, we all have to keep hoping things'll work out more peaceable-like. But then, your way may be the true peace way.

10/27/2006 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

Evan 08:34

I enjoyed and agree with your comments about the resiliency and ingenuity of american society. however, there are enough nihilist-utopian currents within american society that wish its destruction, rather than to heal it after it is wounded, that i maintain a bit of pessimism/realism. with chaos comes opportuntiy - opportunity to protect, preserve and heal - but also opportunity to destroy.

10/27/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Paul Coyle said...

The modern industrial state is immensely strong, and in the American case, flexible. So far, the cost and unconvinced of this war, have been minuscule (caterwauling not with standing).

I going to wander, but I’ll come back. I was thinking the other day about probably the last big civil engineering project in the country, Boston’s Big Dig. It was really a last gasp, 1950s-ish piece of work. Actually it was a make work money grab, but that’s another story. We didn’t need it because there isn’t a real reason to drive into the city. We don’t need cities. We don’t manufacture in cities anymore. We don’t need them for trade, commodity markets, and communication. They are an antiquated political/economic adaptation. We are just used to them, and, I suppose like them. Business, manufacturing, have left the city, dispersed. If the cities didn’t have such a grip on our mental roadmaps, and disproportional pull politically and economical, they would be gone like the small farm communities of the Dakotas.

So what I am getting at is, so what if a city gets vaporizes? Just like the Internet, our American and world economy is moving to, if not already, a flexible decentralized auto ordering, non-system system. As an example, think of weapons production in Nazi Germany under Speer. No matter how much Allies bombe, decentralized production went up. So, it is not that the center won’t hold, it’s a matter of ‘what center’?

10/27/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger David Son of Jesse said...

Sparks Fly is right.

Watch Star Wars Episodes II-III when the Robot army was used as a pretext for the Chancellor (Hitler was a Chancellor before becoming Fuehrer) to create a Clone army and use the outside threat to consolidate power and to become an Emperor.

Islamo-Nazis will be used as a pretext for Anti-Christ to come to power (possibly in Europe) as a "Savior". Forget George Soros. The Right will love the guy for his anti-immigrant anti-Muslim stance. Look at Belgium (European capital) in this last municipal election where Far-Right nationalist anti-immigrant party almost won last week.

The technology is there. Biometric documents and implanted "health records" chips introduces for anti-terror security will provide for ultimate control in distribution of scarce resources only to those who pledge allegions to the "beast."

The only solution is clinging to God. He alone is the source of security - The Rock. The righteous will shine at the time of tribulation because this is where the faith is refined.

I am not a conspiracy theorist - never been one. I would have laughed at these things a few years ago, but not anymore...

10/27/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger David Son of Jesse said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/27/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

The technology is there. Biometric documents and implanted "health records" chips introduces for anti-terror security will provide for ultimate control in distribution of scarce resources only to those who pledge allegions to the "beast."

The Bible makes it clear that the love of money is the root of all evil. Fundieprots ignore that verse and say that swiping your palm for your groceries at the supermarket is the root of all evil.

10/27/2006 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Hitler came to and stayed in power because he liquidated the leadership of the opposition groups and then put his people in power. He moved first against the Communists whom most of the population feared and then he moved against the center whom no one would defend. He used the media to silence his critics and to embarass his opposition. In less than two years, the country was Naziified. This was all before he attacked the Jews.

Unlike Palpatine, Hitler did not hide who he was. Nor did he create the violent political situation nor did he create the Communists - who were taking orders from Russia.

The Center coalition was not violent, and Hitler was. The Communists were violent, but most people opposed them. That left Hitler as someone people were not opposed to and who was the most ruthless.

This is a theme we have often seen with different actors in the 20th Century. Chile comes to mind, but with an outcome that was positive, depsite the Spanish-speaking current fetish for Communism revisionism. Peru and Colombia are others as well - but with an outcome determined by a ruthless center that did not abandon its ideals.

What the Germans did not have was an effective opposition - either ideological nor ruthless enough - nor did it have outside support.

I often wonder what would have been the outcome had Churchill been Britain's spymaster helping support Hitler's Opposition from early on?

10/27/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger David Son of Jesse said...


Swiping hand is not the root of all evil. It is a vehicle of control. Selfish desires (love of money is the most common occurence, that is why the Bible singles it out as opposed to listing all desires) are the root of all evil you are right. Selfish desires for security and access to resourses will serve as an incentive for the people to accept the "mark of the beast."

10/27/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger David Son of Jesse said...

Red River,

Star Wars is just an example and I didn't mean it to be all-encompassing. Jedi is not my religion.

10/27/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Love of money is just part of it. "It" is everywhere, the love of the self, expressed as disregard of facts in favor of feelings. Call it emotionalism (vs rationalism), but in the end it is a selfish love of one's own "truth".

What is called "making it real" is the acceptance of jungle rule, acceptance of being a beast. it's actually very human, that 'being a beast' thing.

The vastly more difficult choice, the 'higher calling', is supremely optimistic on the subject of "meaning". Don't know if it is possible without an old-fashioned belief in a real god.

10/27/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

“The collapse of the Treaties of Sevres & Lausanne is happening before our eyes and the Middle East is returning to its natural order.”

Hmm,.. The game of musical chairs never end.

If Iraq or Iran or Lebanon or the US or France or Sweden cannot take proper measures to enforce their Sovereignity within their recognized borders, then new borders with new State actors will enforce their Sovereignity in those areas. What’s the problem?

10/27/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

However, a blanket attack on those nodes of the network with the highest connection coefficient (hubs) kills the network and disperses its constituents into the environment

The 9/11 attackers obviously had at least an intuitive grasp of this. The world trade center was obviously a very highly connected node on the communications network for financial transactions. The economic damage from the hit was in the trillions. The Israeli's also understand and act on it from time-to-time as evidenced by their attacks a few years back on the leaders of Palestinian terror network, as opposed to attacking only the less connected followers. (Remember the blind sheik and other leaders hit by missles from aircraft).

The most highly connected nodes consist mainly of large cities. These are centers for communications, transportation, energy production and financial communications. So the broad attack you describe would be directed to the cities.

With regard to the rise of a Hitler type, it seems to me that a highly successful strike against multiple nodes would mitigate against that happening. This is because the Hitler types need a mass media to rally the folk to their banner. This would be lacking in the extremely successful case, which would lead to a large number of smaller networks, i.e. relative anarchy.

Thanks for the link to the article.

10/27/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Pride is the root of all evil, the queen of sins, all the others come from that.

10/27/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Pride is the root of all evil, the queen of sins, all the others come from that.

Jesus died for our sins, so let's not disappoint him!

10/27/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger johnCV said...

A fascinating subject and appropriate on so many levels.

Paul Coyle gets it closest I think.
"If the cities didn’t have such a grip on our mental roadmaps, and disproportional pull politically and economical, they would be gone like the small farm communities of the Dakotas. "

We and all Western societies have lived under the nuclear death watch for 50 years or so. We have always, in the back of our minds, made a little room for the 'end of the world as we know it' scenario.
We now have Same Shit Different Day (or SSDD as Stehan King would write it). What's the difference being blown up/gassed/bugged or poisoned by some whackjob 3rd world terrorist leader or the USSR?
A smaller target.
We live in a very jaded world now. While a catastophic strike on DC would cause havoc to our societal structures, I believe much of the population would rapidly rebound, seeking revenge (and it would be terrible).
I see on many levels that we are reverting to a more tribal system of support. Whether it's politics, worldview and yes, even race. This is the fallout from MultiCulti - accentuating the differences does not bring people together (to believe so flies in the face of 10000 years of human existence).
Back to Paul's comment, without the desire of maintaining a common culture and/or the enforced cohesion that a large centralized government brings, all bets are off. People on the farm have little use for people of the city anymore. They don't share common beliefs, customs, culture or even language.
Should a catastophic act befall us, it would only cause the nautural fissures to widen and likely force smaller more naturally cohesive groups/states. Look at some of the comments on both Left and Right web sites - many are eager to slice off CA and the NE and let them become "Bluetopia". Good riddance.

I think an 'evil world leader with a few nukes' would set some events in motion that they seriously did not consider - call if the Red State Response which would follow the removal of the throttling effect of the Blue states.
Smaller, more cohesive groups are much more likely to war with each other that are the larger non-homogeneous staes we have now (e.g. look at the US Indian nations, they fought as much amongst themselves as with the european colonizers).
Would that worse than what we have now? A society that reacts with equal savagery to the attacker? Wretchard had a post a week or so ago about 'Chicago Rules'. I think that would be the result of a the scenario he has proffered.

10/27/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

...many are eager to slice off CA and the NE and let them become "Bluetopia". Good riddance.

Bluetopia is much larger now, and even the Red States are drifting into Purpledom. All you have to do is follow the news. Most of Bush's campaign stops are in Red districts, trying to hang on to what they got, while the Demos are reaching out to independents. Stick a fork in Dubya, he's a done duck.

10/27/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

Best laugh I have had in days;
"reason being the human body (All earths animals) can not survive outside the earths protective magnetic shield,"

Anybody remember the name of the guy who held the chair of Physics at Oxford back in the early 19th century? He PROVED (with math) that the human body could go no faster then 60 MPH without falling apart. This was part of a political campaign to restrict the building of railroads. Sort of akin to the global warming crackpots of today.

10/27/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger John Samford said...

I found a whole list of In5an3 predictions along the lines of humans not surviving outside the Earth's magnetic field;

Everything that can be invented has been invented." --Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." --The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." --Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

The list is almost endless. Name an invention and you will find an 'exprt' somewhere who claimed it was impossible. Beware of experts.

10/27/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

In Baghdad, a Sudden Chance to Play
Washington Post ^ | October 28, 2006 | Ellen Knickmeyer

Posted on 10/27/2006 8:33:46 PM PDT by jmc1969

For the people of Baghdad, death took something of a holiday this week. By Thursday, U.S. and Iraqi military commanders were staring at murder rates that had fallen by half since Monday. On Thursday, Baghdad logged only one man killed by one bomb, the government said. It made for marveling.

"Quietest day in months," said Brig. Abdul-Karim, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. "Still quiet," Khalaf said Friday.

10/27/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Captain Ramen - While I agree that the rise of powerful technologies widely available to private parties have destroyed — or at least undermined — the predominance of the State, those same technologies give us powerful tools to defend our homes and our society

Ickle was talking about the small tribe or small group even a demented individual having "the power of nations"...

All this discussion of 60-year old Hitler-Churchill metaphors ignores Ickle's point that those paradigms no longer apply. What is past the WWII crap that people regurgitate endlessly because they lack other metrics - is discussion of how assymetric war works and can be defended against. And discussion of multipliers like engineered viruses, and strategic tactics such as assurance of victory by concentration by a small group of their total, maximum force on one of 100,000 possible targets in a nation...

Captain Ramen falls back on the "high tech" will stop any forced move away from present institutions and morals argument. That somehow, there is this magical cure in circuit boards for the ability of a Jihadi with a cell phone in a surrendered town from blowing up a 3 million-dollar tank and crew of 5...that won't force us to go back to historical methods of dealing with renegers of surrender, that won't force us to sacrifice "enemy rights"..

And on the homefront - we push the illusion of amazing new high tech and unlimited money that can be pissed away to defeat individual, small group, terrorist WMD threats or attacks in critical infrastructure nodes.......without the slightest change being forced on societal institutions, the preciousness of Law, enemy rights, and an out-dated Constitution.

[Our Constitution is the longest-standing in the world that has not had a Convention enabled to make revisions to modernize it. And account for such things as a WMD attack on DC would end Congress, SCOTUS with no succession plan until elections were held 6 months later...leaving America possibly under the control of the military or the Party out of power if the Speaker or President Pro Tem of the Senate was not in the dead President, VPs Party and survived..)

High tech is no answer, even if it exists...if it allows an enemy to bankrupt the country by forcing it to chase high tech solutions to low-cost high tech threats. A 25,000 dollar anthrax operation could cost America 100s of billions if everyone insists on the "miracle anthrax antidote" be available free to all at 80 bucks a dose and the threat lasts 10 years...and that's just for starters...any assymetric threat on one small part of a nation could force the bleeding of treasure until the nation fails from fiscal or economic collapse (what bin Laden justly claims was the real damage his group was partially responsible for with the Soviets - bleeding them of funds - hastening their collapse).

To be effective against the revolutionary lethal technology Ickle fears - we may have to make revolutionary changes to law and society - because superwhammadyne high tech is staggeringly expensive, ineffective against a thinking enemy, and cannot be deployed nation-wide and on a sustained basis to the "high tech solutions" envisaged for many WMD threats.....

We may have to go back to what the Greeks and Romans did in their democracies...modify the idea of innocence as applying to whole groups to better enforce collective responsibility. In cases of treason or insurrection - whole families or tribes were punished or executed in their democratic polities. We may have to declare possession and transmission of certain info In Of Itself - a crime of the severest sort - for just having an anthrax spore cookbook or passing it along - regardless of if there was any intent to actually use it.

Back to Lincoln's observation of breeching, not honoring one part of the Constitution to save the whole. And same on a broader scale with Western Civ.

And let's hope people finally educate themselves to facts and the idea that history in more than the 6 years of WWII, and examining modern problems involves more than fitting it into a WWII matrix.

And frankly, most Americans are ignorant about WWII in the Soviet side's lion share of contributions to defeating the Germans, Japan's actions, the British Commonwealth's having a larger role in victory in the European theater than America did.

We do know about the run-up, the Jewish victims, D-day - but little about other aspects of WWII battles (Kursk alone was 19 times bigger than the Battle of the Bulge) or other victims besides "the Jews".

10/27/2006 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C-4 , you have two blind spots occluding your vision. One of which I am bored with your refusing to discuss, but your privilage of course. The second is surprising to me as it has been mentioned in several of your posts and it indicates a base optimism which is rarely detectable in your comments. Color being rare on your palette, it stands out. You state:

" out-dated Constitution.

[Our Constitution is the longest-standing in the world that has not had a Convention enabled to make revisions to modernize it. And account for such things as a WMD attack on DC would end Congress, SCOTUS with no succession plan until elections were held 6 months later...leaving America possibly under the control of the military or the Party out of power if the Speaker or President Pro Tem of the Senate was not in the dead President, VPs Party and survived..)"

You place a very naïve faith in a new Constitutional Convention that will produce an outcome that will shine upon your point of view. Very hopeful, but why do you expect that outcome will occur? How do you expect this will happen from the most democratic generation, least prepared to understand basic civics?

10/28/2006 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

2164th -

Just because the American people are fat dumb and happy and unable to fix their Constitution by the broken Amending process doesn't mean they can't be jolted out of their complacency.

A decapitation strike on DC.
The judiciary becoming like Islamic clerics running the whole show.
An economic collapse caused by the US system's constitutional impediments causing other nations to surpass us (which is coming because business, infrastructure investment, industry, even gov't itself is growingly paralyzed by litigation)

Any number of things will FORCE the Americans onto a revision schedule that other modern nations use.

The Constitution is an operating manual. It is not a Sacred Parchment spoken to the Holy Founders and administered by a Lifetime Priesthood of Sanhedrin with law degrees. It is an operationg manual that was excellent for 220 years ago, but now has much accumulated dross and errors and bad decisions (lifetime appointments, concocted "rights" from judge's imaginiations, birthright citizenship for illegal's babies, etc.).

I agree it will take a major crisis to fix it significantly.
I do believe that crisis is coming soon.

10/28/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

JohnCV makes a great point. American culture was once a massively cohesive force. Even the remotest frontier town celebrated the 4th of July, and attempted to implement the accoutrements of Republican self governance. There was at least the illusion that we were "dedicated to a proposition," a sense, however slight, of what it meant to be American. De Tocqueville saw it clearly, and marvelled.

Multi culti bullshit is eroding this cohesion. The left attempts to make it shameful to be Amerikkan. Lincoln understood the essential fact--the idea of the Union, the great federal Republic dedicated to freedom was essential to our survival. It still is.

Bluetopians are silly children. We should never give them the car keys.

10/29/2006 08:20:00 AM  

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