Merry Christmas from the US Army War College

santa-claus-2have you been naughty…or nice?

Yanno, they’re just goofin’ around a bit gamin’ out all this as a thought experiment gone wild…but wait:  the authors note that these invasion contingencies are “as challenging as they are inescapable”. 

 ‘US Army document on urban warfare advances strategy for “contemporary Stalingrads”, from Eric London, wsws.org, Dec. 21:

“The United States Army War College published a document this month outlining US plans for waging total war in major metropolitan cities around the world.

The 163-page report, “Military Contingencies In Megacities and Sub-Megacities,” is written by two military academics, Dr. Phil Williams and Werner Selle. Employing cold and calculating military jargon, the authors advance proposals that would likely result in nuclear war.”

military-contingencies

“It is likely, the article begins, “that the United States will find itself at some point in the not-too-distant future engaged in military contingencies in large cities.” Elsewhere in the document, the authors call the invasion of major world metropolitan cities “as challenging as they are inescapable.”

The document pictures a future filled with historically unprecedented levels of death, destruction and human suffering. Urban warfare “ensures that the battlefield will be densely populated. Civilians will no longer be mere bystanders able to be circumvented or avoided, but an integral component of the battlefield.

The authors recognize that such battles might result in massive civilian and soldier casualties. “Such cautions notwithstanding, an inhibition cannot be allowed to become a prohibition. If there is a highly compelling strategic rationale for action, the United States might not have the luxury of avoiding the dangers of an urban contingency.”

The headings are alarming as hell, and I’ll just try to paste in the essence of each.

– Preparing for “contemporary Stalingrads”

“The authors explain that such “contemporary Stalingrads” would occur primarily in poor cities—what the military refers to as “fragile” or “feral” cities as opposed to more developed, “smart” cities. The destruction of the poorer neighborhoods will be a necessary component of “pacifying” the population.

“Given the trends in urbanization, especially in the global south and the concomitant problems of instability and fragility, it is more likely that the US Army will find itself in a fragile or feral megacity than in a smart city.”

– US military strategy: “Bulldoze the slums” and target poor and working class districts

“Large slums and shantytowns in impoverished cities present a unique challenge to American invasion:

“Megacities and dense urban areas also contain numerous slums or ‘sheet metal forests,’ which are very different from ‘concrete canyons’ [i.e., commercial centers]…These areas can provide significant concealment to the adversaries and even become strong operational bases. Apart from moving the population out and bulldozing the slum, there is very little that can be done.”

Poor young males will be targeted as they will likely become terr’ists or gang members; an alternative is to ally with ‘alternative governance’, with the explicit understanding that the military would turn a blind eye to their criminal organizations and ‘illicit businesses’.  Or as London says: “…the military proposes to either bulldoze the slums or to give criminal gangs free rein to rape, kidnap, kill, extort, and sell into slavery the most impoverished and defenseless section of the population.”  USA!  USA!

– Crushing “civil unrest” and “anarchy”

“Citing post-Katrina New Orleans, the authors note how easily civil unrest can turn a ‘fragile city into a feral one’, given that class conflict act as a disrupting force to eventual pacification or even ‘disaster relief’, so yanno: cyberspace must be controlled to avoid exploitation by citizen journalists, i.e.: kill all internet communication and cell services.  That scheme seems to be operative in DCR Congo this week.  ‘Dominating infrastructure w/ a very complete list folowing.

“The war college authors praise an Israeli Defense Force commander who wrote that during its 2002 attack on the Palestinian uprising in the West Bank city of Nablus, the IDF “used none of the city’s streets, roads, alleys or courtyards, or any of the external doors, internal stairwells and windows, but moved horizontally through walls and vertically through holes blasted in ceilings and floors. This form of movement, described by the military as ‘infestation,’ seeks to redefine inside as outside, and domestic interiors as thoroughfares. The IDF’s strategy of ‘walking through walls’ involves a conception of the city as not just the site but also the very medium of warfare—a flexible, almost liquid medium that is forever contingent and in flux.”

– Mass surveillance

London again: In other words, the US military will spy on the entire population of the cities it plans on invading, using drones and cell phones as real-time “sensors” to monitor entire populations. “Human intelligence” refers to the use of informants and government agents to infiltrate political groups and communities in order to suppress opposition.”

– Censorship and “the battle of the story”

From the Plan:

“In the final analysis, the battle of narratives and the contradictions of security are likely to be at the forefront, especially as the most likely contingencies will be humanitarian or stabilization operations. Moreover, such operations could even take place within the continental United States, as demonstrated by the Los Angeles riots and the responses to Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Presenting a positive image of the military to the American public is indispensable for continued support.”

– The American ruling class prepares for future war crimes

Er…not war crimes by the US, but ‘this manual would be Exhibit A in prosecuting war criminals in the nations that the US military invades because they must, or some such hideous fukkery.

No corner of the world is free from the threat of US invasion. The document lists several cities—including many in the United States—as hypothetical targets for invasion. Among those cities mentioned in the document are Mumbai, Beijing, Rome, London, Los Angeles, Abuja, Baltimore, San Salvador, Paris, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Dhaka, Nairobi, Delhi, Aleppo, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Frankfurt, Zurich, Hong Kong, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Seoul, Manila, San Francisco, Tehran, Istanbul, Guangzhou-Foshan, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Rangoon, Alexandria, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Shanghai, Kabul, Cairo, Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Mogadishu.”

A commenter under Dixon’s exposé noted: ‘The Pentagon made a short movie presentation/sales pitch of this roadmap for future wars of aggression.’

have you been naughty…or have you been nice?

 

Unintentional self-parody: gang-banger homies?

47 responses to “Merry Christmas from the US Army War College

  1. maybe they could use all that strategy & planning for good instead of evil?

    i needed some fortitude for the dark days ahead so i reread Eliot’s rather difficult “4 quartets”.today, partly b/c it’s about London during the blitz.
    the houses have all gone under the sea
    the dancers have all gone under the hills.
    dark dark dark…driven by daemonic, chthonic powers…
    The parched eviscerate soil
    Gapes at the vanity of toil….

    Where is the end of them, the fishermen sailing
    Into the wind’s tail, where the fog cowers?
    We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
    Or of an ocean not littered with wastage
    Or of a future that is not liable
    Like the past, to have no destination.

    We have to think of them as forever bailing,
    Setting and hauling, while the North East lowers
    Over shallow banks unchanging and erosionless
    Or drawing their money, drying sails at dockage;
    Not as making a trip that will be unpayable
    For a haul that will not bear examination.

    There is no end of it, the voiceless wailing,
    No end to the withering of withered flowers,
    To the movement of pain that is painless and motionless,
    To the drift of the sea and the drifting wreckage,
    The bone’s prayer to Death its God…

    ———————–
    here, here’s a nursery rhyme the US military can teach the children of the world in its preparation to reproduce the siege of Stalingrad around the globe:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Leningrad#Cannibalism

    “A dystrophic walked along
    With a dull look
    In a basket he carried a corpse’s arse.
    I’m having human flesh for lunch,
    This piece will do!
    Ugh, hungry sorrow!
    And for supper, clearly
    I’ll need a little baby.
    I’ll take the neighbours’,
    Steal him out of his cradle.”

    here’s a nice Bible story about the starvation that happens during sieges:
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+6%3A26-33&version=RSV

    nuper divitiae avaritiam et abundantes voluptates desiderium per luxum atque libidinem pereundi perdendique omnia invexere: recently [since the fall of the republic] wealth has brought avarice in its train, and the unlimited command of pleasure has created in men *a passion for ruining themselves and everything else* through self-indulgence and licentiousness. Livy’s prologue to his roman history.

    • oh, my. in preparation for the dark days ahead? i have to apologize, but i just realized it’s after 4, and i haven’t even started tonight’s zoup; i’ll be back soonish.

      • per PBS Newz Hour just now: “We must greatly expand our nuclear arsenal until the world comes to its senses.” Obama.

        Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
        Cannot bear very much reality.-4 quartets

      • http://eyeofthestorm.blogs.com/eye_of_the_storm/2016/12/rogers-against-capital.html
        essay from 1844 on the necessity of abolishing property for the survival of humanity. from 1844, observations drawn from US slavery. what would he say today?

        • I love that series of poems, Jason, and appropriate to now, winter solstice is my favorite one of them, Little Gidding:

          Midwinter spring is its own season
          Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
          Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
          When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
          The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
          In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,
          Reflecting in a watery mirror
          A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
          And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
          Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
          In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
          The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell
          Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
          But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow
          Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
          Of snow, a bloom more sudden
          Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
          Not in the scheme of generation.
          Where is the summer, the unimaginable
          Zero summer?

          Even before I took this to heart I’ve said spring begins today, the day after the solstice. I firmly believe it.

          • And as per your posting, wendye, this:

            “…Herod the king
            In his raving
            Charged he hath this day
            His men of might
            In his own sight
            All young children to slay…”

            • it took me a minute to see how apropos an analogy herod’s deeds were, juliania. a similar sort of epic fear and loathing at play, then rationalized as ‘pragmatism’? or as v arnold notes: there is no alternative?

              but of course i’m seeing king leopold’s personal fiefdom in the congo for so long, as another . and of course, kabila’s rule as killing the everyday citizens still, just a bit more slowly, but no less lethally.

              • Yes to both, or just simply the first military merry christmas reaction. The wise men proved themselves wise by returning home a different way. So should we all.

          • Sorry, I should have posted that separately so the lines would not be truncated. It reads much better that way. I suggest going to the original instead of my mangled version.

            • can i fix it, ww? i’d be gald to, but i’m a bit vacant right now, and not reading at my best, not that my best is good. i will say that just now, esp., that the solstice draws me far more than christmas, even of the secular kind. my santa, i assume, you know why i framed it that way?

          • Whats the “zero summer”?

            • I think I used to understand that better, jason, but to me now it points to the summer solstice and is saying that if one considers that the shortest day of winter the sun shines brightest, then on the longest day (poetically speaking) the conception one has of light is at its dimmest – we don’t count it as precious as we do in wintertime; we take it for granted, even maybe wish there wasn’t so much of it.

              • thank you. makes some good sense.

                • It could also mean that since midwinter is being called spring, where is the (nonexistent) summer? (Sometimes I overthink things, but that’s what you do with these poems.)

                  • “love wove the shirt…” (or something like that). some things repay over-analysis. it’s, among other things, a poem to the people of London during the blitz, could have been read in Aleppo and many other places. and to people going to sea: or stepping on the tube.

                    But age, with his stealing steps,
                    Hath claw’d me in his clutch,
                    And hath shipped me intil the land,
                    As if I had never been such-from the gravedigger’s song in hamlet, act 5.

        • brilliant, really. loads to read there, it seems.

          ““Is this fair earth but a poor house, by creation and intent? Was it made for that, and were those other round things we see dancing in the firmament to the music of the spheres – are they all great shiny Poor Houses, with chance of escape to the few upon their respective surfaces, who can manage to monopolize the wherewithal, and become the overseers of the poor, for their spheres?” heady stuff.

          crispin also seems to have written ‘The Practical Anarchist: Writings of Josiah Warren’

          yes, i’d seen a headline about mr. T’s wanting to build up the nuclear arsenal, as if it isn’t big enough. O’s thang was to ‘update it’ as well, yanno….for reasons of safety. kapow! his choice to head his jobs council is a dude that sincerely hates and fears china, so…it may be that his pragmatism won’t extend that far. it’s full-on trade wars w/ china! china is not amused, but the u.s. military did get their drone back. ;-)

          added on edit, and as he’d noted: mr. T is just following O’s guidelines on nukes:

        • iirc, charles eisenstadt of ‘sacred economics’/’gift economics’ said that long ago a number of economies were based on gifts. did the gifting turn into bartering? i’ve forgotten, it’s long ago since i read him, watched any of the videos.

          i was looking for a thoreau quote i never found, but switched to wendell berry and found:

          ““The atmosphere, the earth, the water and the water cycle – those things are good gifts. The ecosystems, the ecosphere, those are good gifts. We have to regard them as gifts because we couldn’t make them. We have to regard them as good gifts because we couldn’t live without them.”
          ~ Wendell Berry

          and for v arnold:

          ““Whether we or our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
          ~ Wendell Berry

          guess we’ll see about that, eh? ;-)

    • i’m still immersed in: “maybe they could use all that strategy & planning for good instead of evil?”

      of course that requires both a shrink answer, a propagandized belief system as well as a spiritual one, no?

      the middle one is easiest, i reckon, and brings me back to the site at which i’d commented earlier, i.e.: Darwinian natural selection means that the mighty rule, and should, although i don’t think that’s so historically or metaphysically. but american exceptionalism, a it’s been for 500 years, relying on the original sins of conquest of first americans and capitalizing to beat the band on slavery…have really never been purged from our socio-political/capitalistic understanding at all. i mean, look at the ‘bulldoze the slums’, lest..tra la la. how obvious can it be?

      the shrink answer might be that too many who take the authoritarian path might suffer from non-attachment issues, or similar causes for failure to develop consciences, thus mimic the greater background society. spiritually? they have no inner lives to ask questions at the blue meanie times in the early hours of the morn. or is this where all the opioids go?

      • we are all in a giant operant conditioning chamber, aka, Skinner box.
        to quote eliot again from the wasteland:

        We think of the key, each in his prison
        Thinking of the key, each confirms a prison

        the individual, imprisoned w/in the socially-determined. b/c, let’s face it, the goal of USG & Exxon & Bill Gates is to control the behavior of as many people as possible, aka power. and they are quite successful at it (except in places like Waziristan).

        Cultivated barbarism. The authors, west point natch, gleefully admit that USG will have to align itself w/ & control the criminal-mafia element to contain & control the degradation of the masses, among many other evils. real horror show. how is it that people like these authors come to think that their plans are either good or desirable? turn life into two rabid hyenas which laugh their filthy laugh as they maul each other over who all the globe’s sparkly toxic garbage “belongs to.” like Smaug in his lair in The Hobbit except it’s not a pile of gold & treasure but a heap of trash.

        psychological vs spiritual vs social. people on the left emphasize the social, partly b/c our society’s motto might as well be, “Be all you can be…by shopping.” Our paeans to individuality boil down to: “be yourself…by buying this Lexus.” bunch of BS. but social change does require appealing to people as individuals, so…anyway, half-formed tho’ts and i gotta split. back later.

        • you’ve left our soros, the rockefellers, “pierre”, long list, i reckon. and i’d agree that most amerikans kinda like being bernaysed, measuring their success through acquisitions, but allow me a question? would i be wrong in thinking that for the majority of people of color in this nation…there never was an american dream to have now been ‘deferred™’?

          yeah, i know about bling and stuff, but isn’t that stuff largely among the name brand ‘successful’ stars and whatnot? guess that’s a lot of what pissed me off about beyoncé’s little panther act…homage to bill gates: you can be just like him!

          is there/will there be any trend toward Not Wanting Stuff coming? the less ya want, the freer you are’? i mean, the best poets knew it, yes? i think most of the aboriginal cultures on turtle island know it, prolly in AU and NZ, too. too easy to muse/go long-stare day-dreamy about, but i can see that once the next financial meltdown hits, more and more may be forced into sharing, making intentional local communities, and so on. yanno, that massive revolution of values MLK counseled? all on mutual love/respect?

          • i’m not certain if Lacan intended this, but the mind/consciousness as a mobius strip w/its two sides: on the one hand, a person can feel a great deal of agency & freedom by buying a Lexus, which, on the other hand is an act of social programming. a freer person would probably just steal one or better yet, throw a brick thru the front windshield and race away on her bicycle.

            our society tries to manufacture compulsive behavior in so many ways, is it any wonder opioid addiction is up? America: come for the meth, stay b/c you’ve developed a crippling meth addiction. (is the US population yet the biggest consumer of Uncle Sam’s Afghan smack? nah, probably not. yet.) McDonald’s, Marlboro Lights, KFC, Coca-Cola, malt liquor, mentholated cigs, etc., etc., just these terrible products designed for one thing: addiction. the soul-crushing waste & emptiness of US consumerism drives many to seek a “higher,” “purer” path, since it’s not so easy to go become a pirate any more or have any adventures at all beyond some eco-tourist BS:

            (esp. the last minute.) public culture is all about the manufacture/manipulation of desire/need, so why not go concentrate all that need onto…the needle? really simplifies things. or the bottle, as is more respectable & so more common.

            anyway, the belief that the consumer is free is one of the Pavlovian stimuli in the operant conditioning shopping mall Skinner box we live in.

            However, I’m breaking out of the box. Making bread for the 1st time tomorrow! none of that fancy bread maker crap either. scratch, soup to nuts.

            chappy chanukkah!

            • ‘i’m gonna clean up, be just like you’. okay you walk the dark side far more than i. i’m a naif, comparatively. you are likely kinda correct about consumers believing they’re free…to choose, and perhaps that one feeling more free, just rips off the car.

              but still, i guess i’ve been trying to see a bit more prescriptively as to what then, comes next, as the tankies are asking at roasty’s…as they by and large have given up being voices howling in the dark and are ending their online lives.

              make the best bread ever, even if it’s soupy-nutty bread. i’m making poblano rellenos, beans, butternut squash and rice for christmas dinner.

              yes, a good channukah to you, as well.

              on edit: i reckon i’d had to make a dozen edits; sorry.

            • “walk the dark side.” lol. yes, in addition to watching “trainspotting,” not the book cuz the dude is most certainly lazy, i’ve listened to this song a time or two:

              “wish i’d been born a thousand years ago…” to my limited knowledge, lou reed never did heroin. and i personally adhere to a strict drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber…coffee, chocolate, xmas egg nog, and the occasional xmas bong hit. for jesus.

              we are making honey wheat! we are at first rising. doesn’t that sound like a michael bay movie? “Transformers 6: First Rising.” or “Red Dawn 2: First Rising.” or “Twilight: First Rising.” it’s fun but my co-baker is bossy.

              i’ve been telling the amputee (diabetic? military? both?) homeless begging outside the Safeway to go take over the mayor’s office. have cops shown on tv beating up homeless amputees at a take over on the steps of city hall so the mayor of DC can get about her job of creating more homeless & barring them services (see wsws today) w/the requisite dignity & efficiency that politicians uniformly bring to, you know, hurting people. local activism! (I was j/k about the Lexus. it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world in & of itself, but landing oneself in prison stupidly might be.)

              peace

              • ‘walk the dark side’ in films, i’d meant, silly. pinging off lou reed: i wish i hadn’t been born a privileged white person in this country, and/or mebbe a hundred years ago. do ya set out a bong for santa, is the big question.

                ooooh, i reckon nothing smells better than baking bread, and most baking are really just chemistry experiments, cookies being the most recipes to difficult to tweak due to that, say the folks at america’s test kitchen.

                lol; the pros i know call it ‘proofing’, but that doesn’t lend itself quite so readily to your movie title fun (not that i’ve ever heard of michael bay).

                wow on bow-wow-bowser, eh? unicorn riot has been following homeless camp confiscations for awhile, goddam. peace if you’re able, mi amigo.

                • it’s awful. a snapshot of our society in unicorn riot’s twitter feed.

                  Michael Bay is the force, director, behind such classics of bombast as all the Transformers movies, Pearl Harbor, The Rock, the Bad Boys movies, Armageddon, etc. he blazes away double-fisted w/two blunderbusses full of stupid that fire at everything for 2 hours w/o ever pausing to reload. He is to movies as Wendy’s is to cows. how anyone comes out of one of his movies not feeling bludgeoned almost to death, like someone has been pumping buckshot directly into one’s now mushy cerebrum…maybe the dumb masses do need aristocrats to guide them if the popularity of michael bay movies is any guide.

                  the bread is divine. seriously. as my co-baker said, baking bread is almost a religious experience.

  2. bless both your hearts, jason and juliania. i’d been about to tell jason how you love eliot, the time-traveling poet.

    please forgive me, as i’d been considering jason’s musing “maybe they could use all that strategy & planning for good instead of evil?” as i was concocting our zoup, and spinning out a bit. i’d forgotten how long it takes to prepare a large butternut squash (w/ other veggies to accompany it), but as well:

    but betwixt times reading jason’s first two comments (and i know i can often be a whinge-machine): i answered a comment at an oft-quoted allegedly brilliant but *capitalist* website from an erstwhile (now mr. T-loving) friend and former café commenter who said “he’d outgrown me and my site and my silly love for…yada, yada) also, our how to say it: ‘misguided’ son just got on the plane for the UAE with stops in ireland and kuwait…for a requested nine-month, year tour of duty.

    mr. wd had tears, and i swore i would not, and joked w/ him about john belushi’s ‘luck of the irish?’ sketch. but then he’d played the REM i’ given roasty at his blogging sign-off, if perhaps inappropriately. maintained composure and jigged w/ it. but mr. wd followed w/ ‘yahimba’, and i broke down, as in ‘sweet relief from the Dark.’ really, my ♥ to yours, i’ll be back.


    titi! or: the joy of life and music over death and military madness. for the times i’ve stared into the abyss for too long and find…well, you know the rest.

    • And bless yours, wendye, and Jason too, for good cheer and enjoyable recountings of delicious repasts. I used to make my bread from scratch too, when I had an oven that worked – my favorite ones were experiments with the Tassajara(?) cookbook – different longevities and temperatures and elasticities, loved to do that. The best breads I used to make had yoghurt or buttermilk in them.

      My little ol’ machine I’ve had for centuries still works for me on an almost daily basis – just a regular loaf mostly white with added whole wheat, very standard fare.

      I even used to do our church bread, which is a small, white, two pieced, round loaf – I still have and treasure the wooden stamp, large circle on one side with an incised patterned cross, smaller ‘handle’ circle on the other with incised lettering. Thus two circles are made for the bread, wetted so they will join with the smaller one on top.

      Of course, in those days we didn’t worry about the quality of the flour. “Organic” didn’t exist. No Monsanto messing with everything…

  3. sleep well, dream well if you can.

  4. Merry Kwistmass!

    the battle of narratives and the contradictions [hypocrisy] of security are likely to be at the forefront, especially as the most likely contingencies will be humanitarian or stabilization operations. Moreover, such operations could even take place within the continental United States, as demonstrated by the Los Angeles riots and the responses to Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. Presenting a positive image of the military to the American public is indispensable for continued support.”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. That’s a cry for help, dear comrades! He needs the humanitarian intervention, the tortured soul is caught in the crapitalist’s prison of war-mongering bureaucracy: You want to be a do-gooding socialist? Go kill some Xenos!

    Property: the elite homeopathy that will kill us all.

    • yes, yes. the population must, in the end, see us as saviors! we must control the message! oh, do read jason’s link on rogers at (i assume) crispin’s site.. there seem to be so many essays there worth reading.

      so many ‘others’ to bulldoze, so little time.

  5. Bwha-ha-ha-ha (I’m with C Rax). They claim TINA; which is a blatant failure of thinking. The degree of hubris however, is chilling.
    These people are trapped in a dystopian world of their own making; all aboard?
    Fuck no!
    That said: that world will likely never materialize for the simple fact we’re failing totally to deal with planetary abuse. That’s going to get us first; it’s already started…decades ago.

    • it seems to me that climate change is and will cause many of the situations in which ‘they’ will desire to execute such plans. consider the island nations and coastal areas (other than new orleans): floods, multiple hurricanes, shanty towns…yanno, the dangerous poor who might go rogue, lawless, and form gangs.

      but srsly, milder versions of this exuberant shock doctrine ‘stabilization’ aid. because: we hold it to be self-evident that we are the saviors of the world, and know what’s best. any thoughts on the list? a few ringers tossed in for distraction?

  6. surreal: our son just texted mr. wd that he’s “arrived ‘safe and sound in kuwait”.

  7. I came across a superb article at Zero Hedge (yes, my favorite head-line scan blog), and it’ll go along way towards making sense of the U.S. behavior towards, especially China, in the South China Sea.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-23/geopolitics-globalization-and-world-order-part-1

    It features English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Heartland Map.
    The second academic featured is the American, Nicholas J. Spykman, also a student of geography as well as a scholar of MacKinder’s theory. In the 1930’s Spykman developed a different map he called Rimland.
    WD, do you remember George Orwell’s map I linked a couple of months ago? Well, he got it from Mackinder and Spykman, especially Spykman’s map.
    Anyway, it’s one of the best reads I’ve seen in a while.
    Top of the holidays to you and yours.

    • oh, thank you, v arnold, and yes i remember. tarheeldem is a great student of actual geographical geopolitics, although perhaps he’s mentioned mackinder more than spykman. (but you know how it goes for my memory.) i look forward to reading it. i’ve considered having something on my desktop that would give me easy access to those maps…without using one of the maps themselves. perhaps just creating a word doc w/ them, then parking it on the desktop would be just the ticket.

      if i read correctly, aleppo is free now of the imperium’s worst machinations, and yes: my other walls come down. mr. T’s choice of china hawk peter navarro to head his jobs/trade council doesn’t bode well for détente w/ china, however. but that’s for another day.

      good holidays to you and your wife and extended family, too. it seems to be a more pensive time this year than a joyous one for us, but that’s perhaps as it should be, considering. and at least we bought nothing again this year. ;-)
      (h/t: reverend billy and the stop shopping choir) i ♥ flashmobs to pieces!

      • Thanks for crediting my frequent yammerings.

        And thanks for Rev. Billy’s Christmas Shopping Cheer.

        Yes to flashmobs as a tactic where quick, unexpected, and unarrested. More difficult as daily live becomes more security-officer-involved. And the cleverer at communications the better. Rev. Billy has done some of the best.

        Some of the ones during the first effort to convince people to withdraw from TBTF banks were good as well.

        The objective is baffled management trying to figure out how to shut it down without looking like fools.

        Best of the holidays to all of you in the Rockies. My kids are boycotting NC this year but might visit us on MLK day to see some of 2017’s festivities.

        Economic boycott of a bunch of brands owned by NC companies going own; there are several lists out. Here’s a short one: Hanes, Playtex, L’eggs, Champion, Wonderbra, Bali, Maidenform, Wisk, All, Sunlight, Surf, Shout, Snuggle, Glade, Windex, Pledge, Fastastik, Caress, Vaseline, Degree, Suave, Dove, Q-Tips, Butterball, Kettle, Cape Cod, Pop-Secret, Diamond nuts, Stella Dora, Archway, Tom’s snacks, Snyder’s of Hanover, Family Dollar, Burt’s Bees, Mt. Olive pickles, Purolator oil filters, Wix oil filters, Newport cigarettes, Camel cigarettes, Pall Mall cigarettes, Cree LED lamps, Food Lion, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Lowe’s hardware

        These are the ones with NC headquarters and enough local executives to be a political factor.

        • well look who the wind blew in! good to see you; i’d wondered if you might have expatriated. (j/k)

          not yammered: explained, shown us, theorized about, etc. but now you can tell me if my memory served on spykman. but no, i haven’t taken the time to grab the maps for my desktop, nor read the link. tryin’ to get as much of my prep finished before i assemble tomorrow’s traditional mexican dinner.

          good on your kids for the boycott, but perhaps bittersweet for you and miz? now our kids and grandchirren are boycotting montezuma county, which you’ll remember ed abbey had dubbed: ‘dipstick county, colorado. but the weather is horrid for traveling: days of male rain, and now driving winds w/ gusts up to 55, at least on mr. wd’s little john deere gizmo. but hard to stand in, srsly.

          i’d thunk popular resistance would have carried something on all that mccrory did goin’ out the door, but no. i just grabbed this long, long piece in case i either have time to read it, or you’d give us cliffs notes when you have time. whew; we don’t use any of those products save for q-tips, but i can’t switch, as it’s the only brand w/ non-plastic stems. handles? ;-)

          warm wishes and love to both you and miz thd.

          • Cliff notes: It’s not the governor in NC, even less so now. It’s the control of the legislature that has gerrymandered the state so a slight majority Dem win in popular vote translates into two veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly. And even before the new governor takes office, the old governor gave up 1100 political appointment, the power to appoint without consulting the State Senate, the gubernatorial control over county boards of elections, and gubernatorial control over a number of boards and commissions–on his way out of office. I guess we’ll see how good a politician Roy Cooper is — in gathering public support to put pressure on the legislature for two years and in flipping the legislature in 2018 in the face of a heavy gerrymander.

            The only help he will have institutionally is the attorney general and the state court system.

    • The third theory featured is of Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, the US naval strategist responsible for the increase in the US Navy leading up to US imperialism at the turn of the 20th century.

      Although US doctrine treats these as deterministic, they are nothing but narratives. Their biggest use seems to be to frighten people of the Heartland.

      They essentially focus on concentration of resources and transportation cost as variables to the exclusion of all others related to strategic position. They argue for concentration of power in the two opposing empires. Attractive to an existing global British empire and a wanna-be American one — and to Russian expansionists and Chinese traditionalists. Not as a attractive to the Brazilians, Norwegians, or Japanese. The mythology of global empire.

      I’ve yammered about these guys here and US strategic doctrine for a little bit. It is a huge blind spot in US strategic thinking, which any other power can play.

      Thanks for bringing ZeroHedge’s retelling of this to our attention, V. Arnold.

      Best of the holidays to you.

  8. Best holiday cheer to you TD.
    I find it some what surprising these theories are very rarely featured in the news or anywhere else for that matter.
    I first came across Makinder’s theory about a year ago, and that article didn’t reference Spykman or Mahan.
    Interestingly, I’ve learned more U.S. and world history in the 14 years I’ve been gone, than the previous 57 years. And I had read a lot, including of course, Howard Zinn.
    Re: the Chinese curse; we do live in interesting times…

  9. i wore myself out today, i’m out for the night. but i wanted to add that email from the white house came in a bit ago:

    “Merry Christmas from President Obama and the First Lady’
    President Obama and the First Lady just gave their annual holiday message from the White House for the last time.

    They talked about the values that bring Americans together over the holiday season:
    The First Lady: The idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. That we should treat others as we would want to be treated. And that we care for the sick, feed the hungry, and welcome the stranger, no matter where they come from, or how they practice their faith.

    The President: Those are values that help guide not just my family’s Christian faith, but that of Jewish Americans, and Muslim Americans; nonbelievers and Americans of all backgrounds. And no one better embodies that spirit of service than the men and women who wear our country’s uniform and their families.
    And they called on us to support the Americans who serve us all year round: our men and women in uniform.

    The First Lady: As always, many of our troops are far from home this time of year, and their families are serving and sacrificing right along with them. Their courage and dedication allow the rest of us to enjoy this season. That’s why we’ve tried to serve them as well as they’ve served this country, yada yada..
    “So as we look forward to the New Year, let’s resolve to recommit ourselves to the values we share. And on behalf of the all the Obamas — Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and that troublemaker Sunny — Merry Christmas, everybody.”

    i won’t bring their craptastic hypocritical video, but say: “see ya later ya neocon war criminal; i share Zero of your pretend values w/ you, and you don’t either”.

    but let’s hear from third day:

    sleep well, dream of a better world, and peace, solidarity, and hugs to all. may you all have good holidays, both christmas & channukka.

    oh, i forgot; woot! mr. wd took a neighbor a cherry coffee cake i’d made for him, and he discovered that our neighbor had no plans for xmas dinner. i called, and he said he’d come here! never has for decades, i swear. so…ya never know when reaching out might bear fruit, eh?

    • For you shall go out in joy,
      and be led forth in peace;
      the mountains and the hills before you
      shall break forth into singing,
      and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands-isaiah

      • thank you, jason, and i’ll add:

        “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” isaiah: 2:4

      • as for making bread being a religious experience, i wonder if it still is if one needs to feed four failed loaves…to the birds? ;-)

        and thanks for the cliffs notes, thd. good luck and all that….

  10. good holidays to all. i need to start dinner.

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