In the course of a week, America went from annoyance and shame at our monstrous embassy in Iraq being protested and attacked (sort of) to shitting its pants after President Trump ordered a drone hit on a special General in Iran because finally, finally America looked to have droned or bombed someone who could punch back. The chicken littles tweeted that WW3 was coming. Besides neocons and Likudniks, all prayed that no wider war would happen. Tuesday night saw a tame response from Iran. By Wednesday morning, it was in our rear view. It’s a win for Trump. The space between was chaotic magic.
One of our writers will cover the strange way new media and social media played with this, but we got our taste for what a real conflict would be like in our hyper-anxious society. The selective service website was overloaded. We have been at war for two decades and never needed a draft, yet now people think there will be one. How in the Lord’s name were we going to launch WW3 with fewer than 20,000 troops in the area? We did not have the assets in place. Iran is getting squeezed economically right now and could not afford a war.
Not just hyper-anxiety but hyperbole. The left started off as calling the embassy protest and quasi-attack a Benghazi, which we were told was nothing but I guess was something therefore an opportunistic label. The optics were bad, but we are forgetting that for the last decade, we have seen embassy protests over Muhammad cartoons and other infractions against hypersensitive Muslim egos. The left was crowing about this. It was a jump to conclusions mat moment, “okay something negative happened, what square do we land on to smear Trump“.
Before they could enjoy this, it all got real when the news reports came out that Gen. Suleimani was dead from a dronestrike. Last April we covered this general as a man that the American system no longer creates and can barely understand. The left suddenly realized that Trump was not f*cking around. Juxtaposed with Benghazi and also with Obama tipping off Iran to Israel’s plans to ice Suleimani, the contrast of the two sides could not be clearer. Their sorrow for a foreign general, an enemy, a good one, but an enemy, was disgusting.
It was nowhere near as disgusting as the neocon glee and celebrations over the dronestrike. They had zero thought as to the consequences of this act, just pure joy at the death of Suleimani. There were tweets calling for Tehran to get the Dresden treatment, and neocons were popping champagne that finally the big war with Iran was set up. It was repulsive. Hyperbole in every social media post. Suleimani was a terrorist! He was incredibly evil!
He was a general. He was the head of the Quds Force. He used proxies and aided terrorists. A general who heads up special ops units and uses proxies that aide terrorists describes different figures in America’s military and intel community, too. This is their business. This was effectively a mob hit by drone. It hurt Iran, but this is the business that he signed up for. How often does Trump do this? He does push-pull. He revs everyone up, and then pulls back. After three years, one would expect this. A mob hit to look tough followed by a call for peace, trying to look magnanimous for the cameras. Nixon called it Madman theory. Trump’s got 4d chess. Both were just riding the tiger.
Let us all hope this does not lead to anything more serious. Suleimani’s death does not really help us but if you do believe in Great Man theory, it will be hard for Iran to replace his specific skill-set, approach and genius when it comes to fighting asymmetric, proxy warfare. Do look back though and pay attention to what were the reactions of different people & groups and their behavior.
On to the links, and there are so many, I could not pick five…
Sequel to the Misandry Bubble post – Scroll past the econ stuff and ctrl+f “misandry bubble”. The writer of a post from 2010 that informed a lot of different fringe right people about the state of misandry in our society returned to look at his predictions, the future and declare that peak misandry has passed.
Bad news for the ’20s, history repeats itself – A writer takes a look at what lies ahead with a tip of the hat to Peter Turchin. Turchin’s cliodynamics and ideas of overproduction of elites and cycles of violence are good to be familiar with.
America is as guilty as Iran – This should not shock readers in this sphere. We know that America has done the same proxy warfare, funding of jihadis and support for very questionable allies as Iran. Everything we accuse them of doing we have actually done. To review the American engagement in Syria from start to today is to see a nation doing everything in its power to destroy a country and tear it to shreds.
America, nation-state? – The future offers many potential outcomes for our nation and country. Once the Boomers are gone, the last people who really knew the post-war security and peace as well as social cohesion will be dead. Who will really want to keep the circus tents up? No one but the exploiters.
South Korean Hell – This is one of a trend of articles describing South Korea as a dystopia. They have a TFR of 1 or even sub-1.0. This has a lot of whining but the South Koreans have been introduced to the offshoring problem. Their wages got too high, and now their managerial elite are gladly collecting assets gains and dividends while shipping jobs elsewhere.
Ghosn Ghosts – Carlos Ghosn escaped prosecution in Japan by escape via a bass’ travel bag. This is worth the read for the comedic lengths he went to escape justice.
The Future Of Our Fight With China – Of all the links, this is the one to set some time aside to read. The entire security state is turning to confront China. Even the neocons know it, and it is going to be a much tougher fight than the Cold War.
Animals Thriving in Fukushima – Animals are doing better in the exposed, contaminated zones than before. The scare-mongering about nuclear power is unfounded. France has never had an accident. Let’s go CO2 free and go nuclear.
Russian offering s-400s to Iraq – Russia does a great job of swooping in and offering defensive weapons systems for nations. Especially nations that are in odd situations with the American alliance.
The Shia Axis was weak – This is a different take on the death of Gen. Suleimani. This author argues that the axis of powers and groups that the Iranians had built up for a decade were weakened, which is how he could be droned to death.
Sam Kriss + the ’10s – Sam Kriss provides cultural commentary of high value here. This is an interesting review of the decade that does not go easy on any generation nor cultural product.
Why Iran is about China – This author is an advisor to Andrew Yang, so it is interesting she connects the dots how and why the Iranian general’s death matters to the dragon. Iran matters to China as an oil producer and their future presence at the Strait of Hormuz. To control the trade to Asia, you need command of the horn of Africa, Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca. China has a base in Djibouti now, is pulling Iran into it’s one belt, one road framework and had multiple plans for Malacca (even funding a canal in Thailand that would bypass it).
Forget memes, we need a think tank – Billionaires fund a think tank and one of their minions gets onto the NSC and is pushing for war in Iran. This is why judges were a success for Trump. The Federalist Society had a list ready for him. We need immigration restrictionist think tanks and fully funded Americans First thinkers and aligned policy-makers.
An anthropological study of an AWFL – This is it. This profile of an AWFL (affluent white female liberal) is full of revelations, unexpected truths, unintentional comedy and reads as if a parody written by the Second City Bureaucrat. Enjoy!