Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Definition of Insanity

Ben Franklin's famous quip - "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results", while accurate could do with a little revision.

Seven American's working for the CIA in Afghanistan were killed by a double crossing, suicide bomber several weeks back. My heart goes out to their souls and the families they left behind. But killing people from afar using less than perfect identification methods to determine friend, foe, or innocent bystander smacks of insanity to me. The "collateral damage" of killing 10 innocent travelers in order to "terminate" 5 "suspected militants", besides being completely unacceptable and disgusting, only leads to a desire for revenge amongst their people.

But maybe this is what somebody, somewhere wants very much? The gift that keeps on giving? A multi generational struggle is very, very profitable for some.

No power has been able to pacify Afghanistan in recorded history. I realize that Pakistan is a nuclear armed state, but somehow I don't think killing hundreds of people by "remote control", many of whom are likely to have been non-combatants (the same category as those killed on 9/11), is going to solve that issue - but it will endanger every Westerner in the region or traveling in the Muslim world, especially Americans.

I have no solution for militant Islam, or militant anything else for that matter... But this seems a terrible waste of resources and human life. Call me crazy, but the Right to Life extends not only to the unborn, but also to innocent peasants living in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course there are some huge risks associated with Pakistan's nuclear weapons... but is that really best handled by remote control bombings?

Isn't this the behavior the Left castigated the living sh*t out of GWB et al for? Where is the outrage at the current administration? I will tell you where it is... the American Left's agenda is being met - the socialization of the American economy and the continuation of the Abortionists to slaughter the innocent. In the end, these are the ONLY ISSUES that matter to the Left, and the faster the Left bankrupts the nation the sooner they can get to their ultimate goal.

The Right might be mean and stupid, but the Left is mean, stupid, and FOS.


tweell said...

The different culture makes this situation not as cut and dried as you may think. These are tribes with a common religion, and tribal survival trumps attacking the Great Satan. Retribution against the tribe is something they understand and do themselves, because it is a way to make the other side back down. What I have trouble believing is that the CIA understands how to do this right, especially after their first team was eliminated.
Pakistan has been playing both sides from the beginning. The Taliban originated from Pakistan, and are still in control of much of the military and bureaucracy. The people danced in the street after 9/11, and their leaders have been 'cooperating' with us only as much as they can get away with. I can see how this must frustrate the CIA.
In the final analysis, you may be right for the wrong reasons. The military are working their anti-insurgent strategy, which worked in Iraq, and the CIA is going rogue. "Let them hate, as long as they fear" is proven to be a viable governing tactic, but it isn't what America stands for and it isn't what our military is trying for.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Never said anything was cut and dried...

But it ain't what we stand for, that's fore sure...

There is nothing we can do to change 9/11 now, and revenge has been shown to be a dumb idea... The U.S. needs to concentrate its efforts back home - and soon. And we need to stop this tit-for-tat that will only result in more of our folks being killed or maimed than would otherwise be the case.

I don't believe word one about that Great Satan crap, or that they "hate us for our freedoms"... I don't care why they hate us; that hate will take generations to die out, and it may NEVER die out... so what is the advantage in getting my son or your daughter killed? Or in killing someone else's non-combatant child?

The British, the Soviets, and now the U.S... Afghanistan should be walled off and forgotten about.... it would be cheaper on lives and treasure. We are fighting over 20 years of Oil imports, and despite all of the money spent and lives lost, oil imports into the U.S. were down 11% last years...
If you draw this on an X and Y chart, it doesn't take Henry Kissenger to figure out that it ain't worth it.

And it ain't what we stand for.

bureaucrat said...

We'd have to ask the people of Middle East/Asia, but I think a big reason for it has always been that they are populations who have been oppressed by their governments who allow the peoples' oil to be sold out from under them, where they get no benefit from it (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Venezuela, Nigeria, etc. all have dirt-poor populations in oil-rich environments.) Perhaps all the violence is strictly religion-driven, and in that case, it's a much "harder slog" cause you can't fight that easily. But I would bet the WHOLE terrorist thing would disappear overnight if the people got to share in their resource wealth. Do YOU Americans feel intense anger at U.S.-pumped oil being sold out from under you/us in the U.S.? No, cause we all share in that wealth (government benefits, lower gasoline prices, etc.)

Bill Hicks said...

I am a regular reader of your blog and appreciate your obvious understanding of Peak Oil and your fierce anti-American Empire worldview. But stop with the juvenile name calling of "the left" already.

I am an extreme leftist by the idiotic definition of mainstream American politics (meaning I'd probably be run-of-the-mill in Europe). As such, I am here to assert definitively that Obama DOES NOT represent the true left, especially in his war policies. Personally, I held my nose and voted for Obama after his active support of the bailouts and gave up on him completely about six months into his Presidency.

Read the Smirking Chimp website, whose many writers have been almost universally excoriating Obama for months now, especially after the Afghan surge. Note the comments of Dennis Kucinich, who recently blasted the Democratic party for selling out the progressive agenda by supporting Wall Street and the expense of Main Street and for continuing the wars and imperial foreign policy.

"The Left" is not a monolithic as you seem to think. Many of us have a strong libertarian streak in our progressivism and are just as disgusted with the likes of Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd and Obama as you are.

Jeff BKLYN said...

In this case, I don't think it's about oil...

I can't imagine warlords caring too much about the 'politics' of the CIA. Just like the drug dealers at the local bodega here, all they care about is the competition and what help the CIA can provide at eradicating said competition. The CIA just reminds me of the cops that take a lion share of the cut. Both sides of feuding warlords hate them but not dealing with them is not an option.

It's depressing to see the blood shed and realize none of it will change till the nature of money changes... Banks depend on that steady cash flow that only the drug trade provide.

My inner Libertarian wants to see drugs legalized and taxed. Stop this unending insanity. Liberty, true liberty doesn't dictate morality. Too bad money has other things to say about the matter. Drug legalization and taxation is the only real way the situation in Afghanistan can change. Wall offed and forgotten is not an option as long as there is money to be made.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Bill Hicks:

Easy there...

I thank you for comments, but I must say you cannot be all things... if you are willing to use armed thugs to confiscate the property of others you are not much of a libertarian... you are a Leftist/Fascist.

And that's OK. Its a funny old world, and it takes all kinds. But the level of Hypocrisy in D.C. has stunk the place out... and I am thrilled someone who describes themselves as "Left" agrees with me...

But what, exactly, does it mean to be "Left"? Please frame it for me, and I will respond - and I will do so NICELY.

You see, its all in the "definition of what 'is' is"... I define the Left as Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Obama, Boxer, Feinstein, Waxman, and the rest of the intellectually challenged folks that have stuck with the political script from San Fran City Hall.

Further, most of those that define themselves as "Left", IMHO, here in America define themselves on ONE issue: Abortion. Ergo, the "Left" is really the ugly red headed step child of the Feminist movement. Oh, they have taken in some bed fellows they would be happy to sh*t right out again - gays, minorities, et al... but folks from those groups should not kid themselves - its all about "progressive women's issues": Divorce, abortion, equal compensation - and some of their issues are even legitimate... others have led to the disintegration of the family, obesity, the huge consumption of drugs to treat depression, consumerism, etc...

Before you roll your eyes... NO ONE can do ANYTHING without unintended consequences - both positive and negative. We can agree that there WERE, in fact, unintended consequences... we just may not agree what they were.

I am no fire breathing wing nut, or a child of privilege - in fact I often describe myself as self educated white trash. Just as black comedians are permitted to use the "N word" without retribution I permit myself - with my DEEP UNDERSTANDING of the working class and poor - to call 'em as I see 'em.
You see, I HAVE been rich and I HAVE been poor... Rich IS better... and still I fully expect to be poor and rich again before I cash in my chips... because that's the problem with being a progressive... your assumptions are f*cked up. If I washed ashore from a ship wreck and couldn't get home, without a penny to my name... in no time I would own a business, a home, have a beautiful wife, children, a dog, white picket fence... while some folks would just hang out at the beach and wait to be rescued.

Life ain't fair, and you can't level the playing field by government force for any length of time.

Anonymous said...

The whole left/right thing is meaningless. It is a strawman that the corporatists use to confuse the populists. The whole cold war right/left bullshit was ginned up by corporatists who realized from WW2 that you could make shitloads of money on war. Still going on. The US military is the biggest buyer of petroleum products in the US. The outsourcing of war to private corporations has been the biggest con job in US history. And because it's private enterprise, the libertarian populists have been totally sucked in. Punks. The corporate plutocrats are playing the other 99.5% of the US population like prison punks.
And the corporate loaded SCOTUS just put the cherry on top. Unlimited corporate money in US politics. The boyz in
Shanghai and Dubai are already planning the takeover.
Madison said, If men were angels, government would not be necessary.
Can you connect the dots?

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Anon at 12: 07:

Wow... I feel your pain - and anger.

But to say that the "whole left/right thing is meaningless" and then lay a turd on "libertarians" is just a bit disingenuous...

Left and Right ARE walking dead in America and the rest of the West.

The alternatives are Libertarianism or Fascism... and I feel you on the Corporations...

Read my next post.

Anonymous said...

Most lefties are not fans of abortion and would support reducing the number of abortions by means of sex education and contraception.

One big problems is outfits like the Catholic Church and Southern Baptists which fiercely oppose abortion but also fiercely oppose contraception and sex education.

Can't have it both ways.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Anon at 7:43:

I hear you loud and clear.

Further, I do not wish to use Law Enforcement to prevent abortions... I want to use common sense and as well as well funded programs that will help women with little to no resources keep their babies.

A 3 pronged approach:

Birth Control

Sex education

Abortion education

Now, I am going to say something that is really, really going to piss people off:

The feminist lobby has prevented the airing of TRUTH. Women seeking abortion are treating the procedure much like defecating - "flush it and forget it". I think people should be "educated" as to what happens during an abortion procedure, complete with viewing the dead fetus.

THEN I want to ask them if they still support a "Woman's Right to Choose"?

If they still say "yes", well, I am NOT prepared to put them in jail for their shit-for-brains believe system nor shoot Doctors...

We sanitize EVERYTHING with symbols. Some things really cannot withstand the cold light of day.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Dear Bill Hicks:

Regarding using the label "The Left", I really do not know what else to all them.

And this is a blog, not a thesis. I am not really trying to fully explore everything... just some broad get to the point:

What we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, et al is not right and it is not good for America. I tried to give Obama the benefit of the doubt... but I think the quicker we declare victory and remove our service members from the theatre(s) the better off we will al be.

While I am, as you say, "fiercely anti-AMerican empire", I AM fiercely AMERICAN. I LIKE being an American, and I like living here (and I am not running for office). I simply believe that America needs to turn inward for some period of time, cut our military and social spending dramatically, and help people make the transition from dependence to independence NOW, before it is forced on them which may result in some rather unpleasant political outcomes.

You see, while I am fiercely pro-American, I am not blind. The only difference between the U.S. FBI et al, and theKGB, et al... is the U.S. Constitution, and it has been under attack for years by folks from your side of the aisle.

The political implications of Peak Oil and Peak Social programs are the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

Anonymous said...


If the law is not a reflection of morality, then what else could it possibly be? We may argue about what is moral, or not. We may argue about what is so immoral as to be codified into law. But there can be no doubt that the law is absolutely a reflection of morals of a society.


Coal Guy

Greg T. Jeffers said...

Coal Guy:

Unfortunately, the way the law is enforced and the manner of fairness and equality in its application is ALSO a reflection a society's morality (I HATE that word; it always winds up associated with sex... and that is a subject in which our hypocrisy knows no bounds) - and we fail on all accounts.

Donal Lang said...

It is sad that the money that has been spent on wars couldn't have been invested on infrastructure in places like Gaza the Middle East Pakistan and Afganistan. The provision of free schools healthcare and basic training (welding and building and farming etc)could have defused the population timebomb and given umemployed young people some hope outside of madrasses and radical fundamentalism. The USA and West in general could have been seen as morally sound and constructive.

Instead the West is seen as oil thieves and warmongers without conscience or morality. Don't forget who supported the Shah Saddam and Bin Laden.

Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind!

Greg T. Jeffers said...


You will have no argument from me...

Jeff BKLYN said...

Got caught up in recent posts and didn't realize this thread had some more legs...

Coal Guy,
I do agree that law is a reflection of morality, but my point was about liberty. In a true-right, free country, all drugs should be a health concern, highly regulated and taxed like alcohol.

My big issue is that 'war is a racket' whether it be for oil, poppies or any other valuable resource. The laws on drugs, most written in the past hundred years, profit criminal cartels, both legal and illegal at the cost of our liberty and integrity.

Anonymous said...


I don't know what legalization of drugs would do. They outlawed narcotics 100 years ago because so many were addicted that things started to come apart at the seams. There must be a better way than what we're doing now. I am concerned about condoning another scourge. One of my daughters shot heroin for 5 years. I've seen the damage up close. There is nothing about that should get any kind of societal approval.

The other thing that will happen is the bleeding hearts will want to feed, clothe and house the "poor victims of addiction." We'll end up enabling addiction with our tax dollars. NFW is that a good thing.

As far as wars go, I think we've been in too many (present ones included), but I don't go so far as to believe that the US government starts them for profit.



Jeff BKLYN said...

Your personal experience is certainly a trump card. I've seen what cocaine can do and that was more than enough. Honestly, I don't think drug legalization will ever happen in my lifetime and it's probably for the best. We, as a society have far to many over-grown children. I get into this conversation often with close friends... We have no more adults left, with the exception of the author of this blogg and its usual posters of course. In theory, I would want to see drugs legalized because people would have the good sense and personal responsibility to know better. Nothing could be further from the truth, and even when they did, like a 100 years ago, it lead to illegalization.

Still, my conviction as a libertarian is that the responsibility to know better rests with the people. I think that too much drug paranoia has lead us too close to the edge to borrow your term. I don't want to see the police state.

Oh and as far as war, I grant it that it never starts for looting, but as they drag on, they must be financed.