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Monday, May 10, 2010

The Poetry Of "Patterns," By Courtesy Of Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium
Empire Burlesque - High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, by Chris Floyd
Chris deserves a book plug for this post - The Poetry of Death: Patterns of State Terror (excerpting and yes, yes, go read the whole thing):
This "pattern" is put together from clumps of data gathered by surveillance robots hovering high in the sky above Pakistani towns and villages, watching people as they go about their ordinary business, and from whatever bits of local gossip the CIA can glean from paid operatives raking through their neighbor's private lives...

In other words, the program, for all its technological whizbangery, is essentially a crude KGB-style rape of the privacy of individual human beings, whose lives are a forced open book, with every action and interaction being judged by a remorseless spy, holding the power of life and death in his hands... Nowadays, we send heavy missiles screaming through the sky to destroy whole buildings and city streets in order to kill one unnamed, unknown suspect who has somehow exhibited the wrong "pattern of life." In almost every case, many people -- sometimes dozens -- die with the victim, regardless of the "pattern of life" they displayed for the deadly peeping toms on the Potomac.

As the Times notes, this particular tactic of state terror was initiated in the last year of the Bush Administration, but has been greatly expanded and "even streamlined" by the Obama Administration. The result has been the deaths of hundreds of people...

...A program like this, conducted on such a broad and relentless scale, is in no way aimed solely at eliminating individual "militant leaders" or even "insurgent networks." It is, quite demonstrably and unarguably, a terrorist campaign, designed to terrorize the target populations into acquiescence with the attacker's agenda...
And here is the money quote, the final adjudication by Floyd, and the spoiler... but go read the whole goddamn thing (emphasis mine):
This is the "pattern of death" that a system based on terror, violence and domination will inevitably produce. You can pervert the language that surrounds it, cloaking it with security-geek jargon, or fine phrases about freedom and security; you can tell jokes about it, turning stone-cold mechanized killing based on "fragmentary information" into a jolly jape to titillate sycophantic journalists and vacuous celebrities. You can do anything you like to disguise the reality of your terrorist campaign -- but you cannot change that reality on the ground where it is occurring, nor stop the reverberations from your evil and idiotic actions from spreading their turbulence in ways you have never foreseen, and can never control.
To ham-fistedly paraphrase Pogo, we have met the "patterns," and the "patterns" are ours.

Own them.


  1. Conservative In Your MidstMay 11, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    IF you agree that there are dangerous and violent people hell bent on killing us (Americans) because they believe something very differently about the way life should be lived than we do…and IF you agree that we have essentially two choices 1) get the hell outta there as quickly as possible or 2) a “you broke it you bought it” philosophy and we have to stay until we can make it right…and IF you agree that conventional methods of fighting a war (read: the way we always have fought wars, since WWI) will NEVER work in this kind of a struggle.

    IF you agree with these things (and I understand that you probably don’t), and IF you understand that the government and military as they are currently constructed are never going to get the hell out as quickly as possible (my guess is you do, even if you don’t want to admit it), then I’ve got news for you.

    Fighting like a terrorist is the only way we can possibly fight effectively against terrorists.

    We hear people bemoaning the fact that this is an “army without a country” or an “army without a flag” and that is why the offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t worked. Don’t fight them like an army with a flag then dipshit.

    Fight them they way they fight you, only utilize your superior technology.

    They don’t attempt an assassination of our President. They fly planes into skyscrapers.
    We can’t be satisfied with hitting exactly who we were aiming for, we’ve got to be prepared to take out that target, his family, and anybody in his general area.

    They don’t target our military (exclusively). They attack civilians. No reason we shouldn’t be prepared to do the same.

    There are those out there that would tell you we’re making it worse, that we’re inspiring those who might be on our side (or at least neutral) to go to “their” side because of the damage we’re doing.

    Those same people will tell you that we’re not dealing with stupid people, that we’re not dealing with ignorance.

    Then those “innocent” people should recognize that we’re (eventually) going to win, even if that means turning the Middle East into a parking lot. They should abandon any allegiance to these terrorists, turn them in, and we’ll happily be on our merry way.

    If this war was ill advised, so be it, but we’re in it now, and we shouldn’t simply lay down and take our beating. We should be fighting back, and we should be doing it the most effective way possible.

  2. CIYM:

    I am happy that you stopped by, for that is a very thoughtful and provocative comment.

    So much so, that I am currently writing a front-page blog post in response, featuring your comment. Sadly, since the drinking lantern is lit, it will have to wait until my sober editing on the morrow for the post.

    Oh - and let me know if you don't want to be front-paged. I'll be happy to respond here in the comments...

    Again, thank you!

  3. Your Favorite BartenderMay 12, 2010 at 7:48 AM

    Such a weird feeling to be the moderate here...this must be what it feels like to be a Republican who is getting forced out of his Senate seat.

    Conservative, there is (obviously) a fundamental disagreement here, and it is the "win at all costs" mentality you display.

    You may be right that the only way to "win" this war in Afghanistan is to fight as the terrorists fight, but I (and I believe Petro will agree with me here) am not necessarily willing to give up the fundamental principals that this country was founded on to win.

    I suppose my feeling my be different if the Taliban or Al Queda or whomever was dropping IEDs along the Pacific Coast Highway or in the Lincoln Tunnel, but this is half a world away.

    I would equate it to the Patriot Act. It is possible that the illegal wiretaps and technological evesdropping the government engaged in with American citizens might have brought actionable intelligence (though there has been no evidence of this so far) but I go back to the old reliable Franklin quote, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

  4. Gentlemen, my response is "upstairs."


    "...[I] am not necessarily willing to give up the fundamental principals that this country was founded on to win."

    ROFLMAO! Stop, you're killing me! Hahahaha! Fundamental principles! Can't. Breathe.

  5. Your Favorite BartenderMay 12, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    Now you're just being mean...


I welcome all reactions and points of view, so comments here are not moderated. Cheerfully "colorful" language is great. I'll even tolerate some ad hominem directed against me... each other, not so much. Racist or excessively abusive comments (or spam) will be deleted at my discretion.