"I'm not sure which planet they live on"
October 17, 2002 10:29 AM   Subscribe

"I'm not sure which planet they live on" While Wesley Clark stumps for War on Public Radio’s darling station WBUR, “Hawks in the Bush administration may be making deadly miscalculations on Iraq, says Gen. Anthony Zinni, Bush's Middle East envoy.” To answer Zinni’s question: they’re certainly NOT living on planet “accidental armageddon”, or planet “C.I.A. Warns That a U.S. Attack May Ignite Terror” or planet "Butler Fears Israel could Use Nukes". I’d say they’re on planet Shifting rationals for war, planet Pax Americana, planet “Bullish on War”, planet “G.I.Joe’s Forward Command Post”, planet “Universal US Draft”, planet “Blanket immunity for US” and when they’re not thinking about war, they go to planet “upward wealth transfer” and also hang out sometimes at planet “genetically targeted weapons as politically usefull tools and perception reengineering via nanobots, psychedelic drugs and valium” But they stay far away from planet “Origins of Fascism in the US”. And they hang garlic on their beds to ward off planet "Is Bush a commie mole trying to destroy capitalism?" from the Krugman nebula.
posted by troutfishing (34 comments total)

Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

Great work once again troutfishing. Thanks for the links.
posted by nofundy at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2002

posted by Hall at 10:46 AM on October 17, 2002

Planet “genetically targeted weapons as politically usefull tools and perception reengineering via nanobots, psychedelic drugs and valium” links to a rant of mine on a recent thread - Steely Dan member Skunk Baxter's bizzare technofetish wet dreams presented to Pentagon Brass after 9-11, meets a bizzare quote (in my opinion) from Paul Wolfowitz's PNAC document about "biowarfare weapons that target certain genotypes as a politically usefull tool, meets Stanislaw Lem's projection of tailored, government dispersed psychedelics in "The Futurological Congress".

My apologies (in advance) to Shoos for that rant - I hope I didn't imply that he/she was sympathetic to the bizarre implications of this quote which I was sketching out.
posted by troutfishing at 10:50 AM on October 17, 2002

I'm confused. I thought this was an astronomy thread of some kind. What planet are we talking about again?
posted by allaboutgeorge at 10:57 AM on October 17, 2002

What a yeomanry effort. Yes, I'd say you're fishing alright, troutfishing, but not for trout.
posted by Pressed Rat at 11:02 AM on October 17, 2002

god, i'm lost at this point, but i must say when i saw mr. baxter at cobo arena on my wedding night 1973 where steely dan opened for jeff "the real beck", i had no idea one day he would be advising the government. of course, he had to spend some 'seasoning' time doing a stint with the doobie brothers, probably to bolster his grasp of world political dynamics. skunky is just all right with me.
posted by quonsar at 11:07 AM on October 17, 2002

I for one am simply sick and tired of people dissing fishing.
posted by hackly_fracture at 11:08 AM on October 17, 2002

Help, Help!! All that yellow type has blinded me!!

...and quonsar, skunk just wants to do our dirty work, oh yeah.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on October 17, 2002

Needs more links.
posted by cinematique at 11:11 AM on October 17, 2002

I still like Baxter's guitar work quite a lot, even if I think he's into um....well....er...."speculative" territory on the nanobot theme. David Corn annoys me, but this was quite a scoop of his.
posted by troutfishing at 11:13 AM on October 17, 2002

Working Universal US Draft link.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:20 AM on October 17, 2002

a bizzare quote (in my opinion) from Paul Wolfowitz's PNAC document about "biowarfare weapons that target certain genotypes as a politically usefull tool

I'm still waiting to see the actual document that little tidbit came from. Quotes in obscure UK newspapers don't qualify. I'm skeptical that those Heritage Foundation rejects would actually go that far and even more doubtful that they would put a statement like that in print.
posted by euphorb at 11:27 AM on October 17, 2002

Hey, next time try to fill up the WHOLE front page, not just 3/4 of it...

posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:52 AM on October 17, 2002

Euphorb - here's the link. Publications and Reports from the "Project for a new American Century". Look for "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (pdf file). That quote is on page 72. The context is ambiguous. The overall document concerns the new vision for a "Pax Americana".
posted by troutfishing at 11:55 AM on October 17, 2002

Oh, and check out Statements and Principles, scroll down to see the list of repubs. who signed on to this manifesto in '97. Jeb Bush is there but, strangely, no "W". But of course W is a doer, not a thinker.
posted by troutfishing at 12:00 PM on October 17, 2002

Zinni's an interesting fellow:

Attacking the terrorist, becoming more aware of the threat, those are at the symptoms. You have to go back to the root cause. I don't believe that the vast majority of terrorists do what they do out of some fanatical motivation, religious or political belief. It's usually because we have a part of the world that's traumatized; that, through humanitarian or political conditions that are very, very poor, we have a number of young people, usually young men, who are disenfranchised, who are radicalized, dissatisfied, who want to strike out at something. Some political condition, economic or human condition, has made them that way. And they find refuge in sanctuaries, usually in places like Afghanistan and Somalia where there is no rule of law, no nation state that's viable, no existing state, usually a failed or incapable state. And they find refuge among extremist groups that will give rationale to the cause, be it religious or otherwise. But the real underlying ability to recruit has to be in an environment where these other conditions exist.

There's nothing in Islam that supports extremism and terrorism. Like there's nothing in Christianity, but you still find, obviously, Christian extremists. So it isn't a religious thing. It isn't an ethnic thing. I really think it traces back to a root cause that we ought to learn to deal with. We don't deal with these well. We don't invest in regions. We don't invest in the stability in regions. The way we go about foreign assistance, foreign aid, in helping others help themselves deal with these problems is woefully inadequate.

Imagine. Someone who actually had to go and do the fighting, taking exception to the chickenhawk blather.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:04 PM on October 17, 2002

Yo, folks, stop raggin' on troutfishing for the size and density of the post! If you mouseover it in random directions you can generate your own lo-tech version of a scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

posted by soyjoy at 12:07 PM on October 17, 2002

Hey, next time try to fill up the WHOLE front page, not just 3/4 of it...

It's 12 lines, we've seen worse.
At least he's providing many good links

Good job troutfishing
posted by matteo at 12:16 PM on October 17, 2002

On one hand, Trout, way to many links. On the other, there is alot of good information here. Wouldn't have been better to parse these out over a week or two? Like a media campaign? Propaganda works best when disseminated slowly over time, so that the viewer doesn't realize what's happening until it's too late.

That said, I like Krugman's commie-mole theory. It's a good dose of sarcasm and it makes a point. Either the Bush admin is entirely moronically corrupt, or there is some kind of larger secret society styled conspiracy going on. It makes sense that Bush and Co. are working to make themselves and their backers rich and powerful, but much of what they have done, especially economically, makes little sense in the long run. I've been scratching my head over these people since the White house was handed to them on a silver Supreme Court shaped platter. What is it they want? I'm at a loss. My grandfather once told me that "A republican is someone who cannot enjoy a good meal unless they know someone else is starving." I thought he was joking......
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:27 PM on October 17, 2002

Fold -

That's a great quote you cite.

I'd question your point at the end though - in a democracy military decisions are made by non-military personel. That's the way it should be. There are plenty of gung-ho army guys and plenty who don't think a war makes sense - the issue is does he make sense (which he clearly does - particularly in that quote). You can still argue that in addition to the reasons he cites against a war there are reasons for it, but basically he brings up the key issues that I think anyone needs to address in order to clearly and rationally be for or against this potential war.
posted by fluffy1984 at 12:44 PM on October 17, 2002

It's great having this whole collection in one place. Even though we all read one or two of these things every day, having them brought together makes the brain implosion even more effective.

One missing planet, though: "Butler Fears Israel could Use Nukes" actually takes you to the same planet as the previous item, “C.I.A. Warns That a U.S. Attack May Ignite Terror”. I'd be very interested in visiting planet "Butler Fears Israel could Use Nukes" if anyone could provide directions to it.
posted by alms at 12:49 PM on October 17, 2002

fold_and_mutilate - Damn. That's a really good quote. I wish I had posted it. I could have tacked it on to my seething mass of links to break up the "Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind" effect that....

Soyjoy .....almost made me spew my coffee out over (laughter).

ElwoodWiles - have you encountered "Al Martin RAW"? He's got LOTS and LOTS of theories about this, tales of economic conspiracy to make your head swim. BUT.................even before I ran across Al Martin's ....ouevre?......I had noticed this:

Bush 1: 1) Saving and Loan Scandal (upward transfer of wealth). 2) Gulf War, with oil as at LEAST a background motivation. 3) Economic recession exaccerbated by an apparent complete lack of an economic plan other than regurgitated trickle down economics. 4) Military buildup

Bush 2: 1) Multiple corporate scandals (resulting in upward transfer of wealth 2) Gulf War, with oil as at LEAST a background motivation 3) Economic recession exaccerbated by an apparent complete lack of an economic plan other than regurgitated trickle down economics. 4) Military buildup

Help me out! This is just like that Lincoln/Kennedy assasination concidence list. What am I missing?
posted by troutfishing at 1:03 PM on October 17, 2002

I thought it said "planet 'Bullshit On War'" and thought...

is Pan Am taking reservations?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:06 PM on October 17, 2002

Alms - sorry, the links clogged my brain. Here it is:
It in now in the NYT pay archives. It ran september 26, 2002, NYT - Trout

Butler Fears Israel Could Use Nukes if Iraq Attacks

Filed at 6:36 a.m. ET

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former chief U.N. arms inspector Richard Butler said Thursday his biggest fear was that Israel will be drawn into a war against Iraq and use its nuclear weapons.

If the United States and its allies wage war on Baghdad, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could raise the stakes by attacking Israel, possibly igniting another Arab-Israeli war, Butler told a business conference in Hong Kong.

``The prime minister of Israel has said it will not be restrained, that it will respond (if Iraq attacks it),'' Butler said.

``My deepest fear in that context, if that occurs and the war escalates, is that Israel will use its nuclear weapons.

``If that happens, the world would have been changed beyond recognition, and I would fear that if that happens the state of Israel would cease to exist.''

Butler stressed repeatedly that he believed the rest of the world had every reason to bring Saddam back under the law and even remove him from office.

He dismissed Iraq's offer to allow the resumption of U.N. arms inspections as ``a stalling tactic.''

``That letter (to the UN) does not do the one thing that it was supposed to do, which was to give an absolute guarantee that if inspectors return to Iraq, they will be able to do their jobs unfettered,'' Butler said.


Butler's tenure at the U.N. Special Commission was marked by repeated disputes with Iraqi authorities over access to suspected arms sites. His inspectors left in 1998, just before a U.S.-British bombing campaign aimed at punishing Iraq for its perceived stonewalling on inspections.

U.N. resolutions passed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 barred Baghdad from possessing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.

Iraq's recent offer appeared to aim at countering growing pressure from the United States for new Security Council action to ensure Baghdad had no weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush has dismissed the Iraqi letter as a trick.

Butler also had harsh words for the U.N. Security Council and urged it to get tough with Saddam.

``He (Saddam) continues to violate, he continues to refuse to allow credible verification of their claim that they have no such weapons, yet the Security Council has done nothing about it,'' Butler said.

``This in my view raises the question of responsibility...if the law maker and law enforcer is prepared to allow the outlaw get away with it, its authority is absolutely thrashed.''
posted by troutfishing at 1:07 PM on October 17, 2002

Needs more links.
Hey, next time try to fill up the WHOLE front page, not just 3/4 of it...

you can't please much of anyone, most of the time. so....... do what you will!

Metafilter: weblog as aggravation.
posted by quonsar at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2002

I was trashed,
Ridin' on my 74
Goin out to even the score
She pulled the top down on her convertible....

Skunk Baxter, huh? - too much mold/PCP on those doobies?
posted by Pressed Rat at 1:40 PM on October 17, 2002

Trout: thanks for that Al Martin link. I'll spend some time headswimming now. Keep posting.

btw I hope 5) on that coincidence list is - loses re-election bid.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:18 PM on October 17, 2002

Um. Clearly, troutfishing is living on Planet "Mother Jones".
posted by dhartung at 3:15 PM on October 17, 2002

This thread has been metatalked. If you'd like to complain about the threads length, link-depth, style or substance, please do so there.
posted by zpousman at 4:29 PM on October 17, 2002

Dhartung - I read your profile, including your professed hatred of ideologues. As a broad definition, I would consider those who do not use debating tactics based on logical assesment/evaluation of credible information but, instead, employ rhetoric and emotionial appeals to be the real "ideologues".

So, for example - what do you actually think of "Operation Paperclip" (as discussed in the "origins of fascism in the US" link at the end of my monster post)? The US gov. admits to the operation, by the way. Their nutshell history on the web merely omits the nasty Nazi bits. So what do YOU think about these "nazi bits"? - were they a good idea?

You can, of course, ignore this challenge. But if you respond by sidestepping the issue and posting another ad hominem attack, I'll have to asume that you are your worst nightmare - AN IDEOLOGUE!
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 PM on October 17, 2002

Well here's what I think of Operation Paperclip-it proves once again what a great system of government America has.

Let's quote Alexander Hamilton from Federalist Paper No. 6:

"A man must be far gone in Utopian speculations who can seriously doubt that, if these States should either be wholly disunited, or only united in partial confederacies, the subdivisions into which they might be thrown would have frequent and violent contests with each other. To presume a want of motives for such contests as an argument against their existence, would be to forget that men are ambitious, vindictive, and rapacious. To look for a continuation of harmony between a number of independent, unconnected sovereignties in the same neighborhood, would be to disregard the uniform course of human events, and to set at defiance the accumulated experience of ages."

The rapacious nature of human beings was ignored by some in the twentieth century. Humans were viewed as pliable creatures that could be perfected from the outside in given the appropriate socioeconomic superstructure. We can see what these Utopian speculations wrought. Final confirmation, if any was needed, that man is wolf to man.

So now we see one more ethically wanting operation of the U.S. government and we're supposed to be shocked? We actually did business with Nazis???? Join me in a cocktail on the patio of reality, my friend.
I can't be shocked by nefarious U.S. government policy, that's the nature of the beast. What shocks me is that, given the technology and wealth available to that government, the whole totalitarian apparatus hasn't descended upon us, and Operation One Thousand Sharpened Paperclips isn't breaking out all over.
Americans are no angels. The only reason we have a modicum of freedom is the United States Constitution-the very document Hamilton agitated for above-and its revolutionary scheme to pit wolf against wolf and hope the lamb survives. It's worked reasonably well so far. The proof is in the pudding.
Operation Paper Clip huh? I'll be damn. God bless America!
posted by quercus at 3:03 PM on October 18, 2002

Quercus - Thanks for the short history lesson. (really, no sarcasm intended) I wasn't exactly shocked to learn of operation paperclip. And, like you, I am somewhat surprised that we haven't descended into true fascism. One point about the Hamiltonian take on humanm nature: It has been partially disproven by recent scientific research, both as a general take on the natural world, and on the human race in particular. The "nature red in tooth and claw" argument has been replaced by a scientifically informed, more nuanced view which recognizes the interplay between aggression and predation, and interdependence and cooperation. The human speciea is now recognized to embody both poles also - agression and cooperation, violence and altruistic instincts. By the way, I did not nutshell rant on the "is it all about oil" post several days ago on the connections between the Bushes and Nazism - here it is again:

["Speaking of which, this reminds me of the genesis of the the Bush family fortune, and it's ties to Fascism: Prescott Bush, George W. Bush's grandfather, was laundering money for the Thysson industrial empire (which produced a significant percentage of Germany industrial output), for the Union Banking Corp. during WW2. Alan Dulles, later head of the CIA, had the job of hiding the money trail. UBC was busted, in '42 or '43, under the "trading with the Enemy" act. But Prescott Bush got a whopping $750,000 or so from the (reconstituted) Thysson empire after the war ended. That's maybe 15 million in current US dollars. Meanwhile, George Bush 1 went into the air force, during WW2, to redeem the family name. Prescott Bush's friendship with Alan Dulles clearly came in very helpfull for Bush 1, as he ascended the ranks of the intelligence system, to become in turn director of the CIA himself. It was Alan Dulles who went against Truman's explicit orders to not allow confirmed Nazis into the US under Operation Paperclip (which brought in (Nazi) scientists and (SS) intelligence officers who had extensive info on Eastern Europe)."]

I think that the secret compartmentalized nature of the "Paperclip" programs and their many offspring has been chewing the heart out of American democracy for about 50 years, and that this is one reason we now seem to be living in something which (in my opinion) is more like qausi fascism. Other major factor include the rise of the giant multinational corporation, and the advertising industry. [but I'm sure many more factors than this can be cited.]
posted by troutfishing at 1:22 PM on October 19, 2002

Troutfishing-the Bush-Nazi connection is certainly interesting in a sick way. I'll have to pass on the more scientifically nuanced view of human nature-not that I disagree man has a better side, indeed, I'm a huge fan of Kropotkin's Mutual Aid and Mencius's 2300 year old proposition that Man's original nature is good-just that I think that conviction is no way to run a government. Finding the kindness gene is no cause to amend the constitution. As Hamilton said, we still have "the accumulated experience of ages" to justify suspicion. Trust but verify, a great man once said.
Re: a quasi-fascist state: You might want to check out this article on Corporatism.
posted by quercus at 4:39 PM on October 19, 2002

Quercus-you are one smart motherfucker.
posted by quercus at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2002

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