Bush Agonistes – 2

After having watched Tony Snowjob at work today, I have returned to an earlier conviction about the "invincible ignorance" of the Bush camp and its "minders."

They are impervious to rational persuasion, and will take any unfavorable evidence and spin it into a web of deception and half truths that serves their purposes.  This does not mean that I think they are lying.  No.  It is worse than that.  They believe their own baloney.  Their baloney is based on esoteric understandings of history and the "progress " of history.

Pity the poor intelligence analysts.  They have nothing at their disposal but their experience and arguments based on probabilities and always incomplete "evidence."

Whatever they say or write will be interpreted by the "Fourth Awakening"  as evidence of its own truth.

Pat Lang

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21 Responses to Bush Agonistes – 2

  1. Matthew says:

    Not to be cavilier, but is this the natural result of “faith-based” policy making? I just finished a book on the Bible that explained that Cyrus allowed all the non-Persian subjects of his empire to return to their ancestral homes. Sounds like good politics to me. But when I was in Catholic school, we were taught the religious message that God delivered the Jews back to the Promised Land from their exile in Babylon. We didn’t learn about the non-Jews who were returned to their lands. My point is that a faith-based view can spin each event, good or bad, as a confirmation of an existing belief. This, I posit, is why our President does not change his mind.

  2. Ael says:

    The problem isn’t simply a matter of willful ignorance. The bushista’s are caught up in a system that has robbed the american defense establishment from being able to maintain a high operational tempo over a number of years.
    See the great article on why today’s military can’t manage a piddly little war in Iraq (Despite *huge* amounts of money being spent).
    It reveals a well know (if seldom talked about) systemic problem.
    The neo-cons were unlucky enough to actually try and *use* america’s lavishly endowed military.
    background articles by the same author:

  3. Soonmyung Hong says:

    It seems to me yet another history is on our side mindset.
    “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will live to bury you in your grave!” -Nikita Khrushchev

  4. Geoff says:

    personal ?
    Haave you written NIE’s in the past? Or been a part of the process?

  5. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Many, many times!
    I have drafted them, been head of the DIA negotiating team, etc. pl

  6. julie says:

    George Bush was a failure which is not a sin in itself, but he never lost his arrogance. He could always rationalize.
    And distort. His fortune came because he and his partners got a city to condem land and build them a baeball park. The courts later ruled the owners were payed one third value.
    Yet he and his supporters recently criticized a court ruling which allowed similar seizures of property. They simply don’t see.
    This kind of reality twisting was standard to the communist nations, but the degree to which it’s taken hold of large parts of the population are worrying. Note at the fringes these people call for lynching of judges and the press.
    Hopefully it’s history more as farce than tragedy, but we are getting a taste of the totaltarian mind set.

  7. Nicholas Weaver says:

    I remember when the drumbeats for the Iraq war were starting that I first heard the term “Incestual Amplification” to describe what was going on, as an example of how a group reasoning can horribly fail, in particular how the WMD intelligence was converging on the “Saddam is a threat”, even after inspectors were on the ground, demonstrating the toothlessness of Sadam’s WMD position.
    But I don’t know if there is quite a good enough term to describe what’s happened since. Its beyond the “Incestual amplification” of selected analysis/feedback, but a sheel willful ignorance of reality.

  8. Will says:

    ReL baloney
    I”m glad to find out you are of the “baloney” rather that the “bologna” persuasion.
    I lilke mine fried, in a sandwich, with mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes, and potato chips.
    Best Wishes

  9. arbogast says:

    I think that it is calming to recall that the Iraq war was supposed to be a several week love-in leading up to an invasion of Iran by freedom-loving Iraqi troops advised by US forces. I adduce as evidence the playing cards. Remember the playing cards, the fifty-two “Most Wanted” members of the dictatorial regime cruelly oppressing the Iraqi people. I sincerely believe that the Administration thought that once those 52 were taken care of, everything would be hunky dory.
    Am I wrong?
    In any case, once one accepts that what I have said is the truth (even if it isn’t), then everything the Administration says is exceptionally easy to interpret.
    They lost the war. They know they lost the war. They know they are losers. But they are not going to admit it.
    Waiting for them to admit it is a waste of time.
    One word of follow-up on the South. I think it is generally acknowledged that even though there was a strong anti-secession party in the South, that the Southern fighting man was one of the most ferocious creatures on earth. They were fighting on their own soil for their rights. Sort of like the Iraqi’s of today.

  10. john stack says:

    Anti bush is to-days Pro American !. ( Good democrat Slogan) The real America the world loves will return under a different regieme. I understand that many Americans go along with it out of blind loyalty to President, Army, and Country. Mostly these are reliable. But uninformed blind loyalty is laziness and leads to Nurmberg 1945 et al.
    My problem is that a dangerously incompetent man and his handlers has stolen my dream of the new Camelot (not new jerusalem or Mecca) with its honour, freedom, innovation, respect (wait George, I will explain them later) superman, science, Arts, Technology……
    My family has people there. Our parents have people there. Our Grandparents still have family still living there. We have a stake in the US. I have the right to complain that they do not have the right to hijack my hope for a better world. The present reality seen by most countries is power, arrogance, bullying, brutality, selfishness, my country right or wrong. This is not the real US
    The worlds USA is better while using its strength through the UN for all our benefit. When I think of the US I do not want to have a picture in my head of a screaming, choking, prisoner being tortured by cia for my benefit.
    If the Arabs gave the price of Oil in US gallons , instead of Barrels, it might help take the anger or fear of arabs out of the equation. So say 11 cents per liter or 41 cents per US gallon) . The cost is mainly their own Oil Cos and Government. If people are annoyed at the Arabs (etc.) charging $75 for a full barrell how much does the US charge for US oil in the US???. Cheaper or a premium ?. Why not hold the price down to $10 for a US barrell??
    Real America, stand up with courage and honour and see how you are being manipulated and destroyed by a smallminded bunch of selfish people.
    We all deserve better.

  11. Good obs:

    It seems to me yet another history is on our side mindset.
    “Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will live to bury you in your grave!” -Nikita Khrushchev

    I took to calling the current American Administration “Right Bolsheviks” for this very fact.

  12. Duncan Kinder says:

    Col. Lang
    The NIE was discussed this evening ( Wednesday, Sept. 27 ) by two analysts.
    I would appreciate your critiquing what appeared to me to be the pro-Bush viewpoint.
    This viewpoint apparently is that the terrorist network, however defined ( It was not during the discussion .) is – notwithstanding Iraq -subject to constraints such as financing and training. These asserted constraints limit the terrorists actual ability to conduct operations. These asserted constraints predated Iraq and – presumably – are being absorbed by the Iraq conflict.
    I would appreciate your discussing the merits of this argument. To what extent to training and financial facilities ( or other items ) constrain the effective ability of terrorists to conduct operations. Do these constraints exist? Has Iraq expanded or contracted them in any way? ( E.g., Have new sources of funding emerged because of Iraq? Is not the Iraq War itself a training facility? ) What are the objective constraints facing the terrorists and what factors weaken or strengthen these constraints?

  13. W. Patrick Lang says:

    If you mean the Rubin/Benjamin exchange on the Newshour, I do not demean myself by commenting on Michael Rubin or his remarks other than to say that I suspect he may be an extraterrestrial. pl

  14. RAM says:

    The people in this administration simply flat-out lie. Democrats are too fearful to call them on it; Republicans are too venal. And the press had been AWOL for this entire administration.
    I keep waiting for an honorable person to step forward–but there don’t seem to be any left–just one person to say this is wrong and immoral and profoundly unconstitutional. It’s very depressing.

  15. lightflyer says:

    I could not agree more. Your paragraph:
    “Pity the poor intelligence analysts. They have nothing at their disposal but their experience and arguments based on probabilities and always incomplete ‘evidence.’ ”
    I am sure it may be a tad pedantic but just to drive the point home and contrast it with the preceding paragraph you could intrude the word “reality” or similar into that paragraph. It is, of course, implicit in your statement but . . .
    The essential point is that intelligence might deal with what ifs and maybes but they are all contingent on the intelligence officer discovering the reality, elucidating it and working from there. Good intelligence is firmly grounded on the ability to determine the real situation. That is the difference.

  16. Got A Watch says:

    I bet Bush and Cheney haven’t read the NIE, but they sure do practise NIE in real life: Non-Intelligient Evasion.

  17. Duncan Kinder says:

    According to The Guardian, the British have released a report which appears to be consistent with the NIE, but which also attributes the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan in part to assistance from Pakistan’s ISI.
    The Iraq war has acted as a “recruiting sergeant” for extremists in the Muslim world, according to a paper prepared for a Ministry of Defence thinktank, which also said the British government sent troops into Afghanistan “with its eyes closed”.
    The paper, which describes the west as being “in a fix” and includes a savage attack on Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, was written by an officer attached to the Defence Academy, according to BBC2’s Newsnight programme. Its release provoked a furious response from the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, who has been touring the US.
    The MoD was quick to play down the significance of the report. However, the study reflects what the MoD, military commanders, and the Foreign Office, have been saying in private. What is embarrassing is the timing of the leak, a day after Tony Blair’s defence of Britain’s military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The research paper blamed the ISI for indirectly supporting terrorism and extremism.
    It adds: “The war in Iraq … has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world … Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.”
    On Afghanistan, the paper said Britain went in “with its eyes closed”. It claims that a secret deal to extricate UK troops from Iraq so they could focus on Afghanistan failed when British military leaders were overruled.
    The paper also accuses the Pakistan army of indirectly supporting the Taliban by backing Pakistan’s religious parties.

  18. Michael says:

    Sounds like Bob Woodward’s new book is pretty damning regarding Bush’s stand in Iraq. “State of Denial” – “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me”.

  19. CJ says:

    Pat –
    I saw that newshour piece… if Rubin is a representative extraterrestrial, then there really is no intelligent life out there.

  20. pbrownlee says:

    How does anyone know Barney supports Bush? Scotties are pretty intelligent.

  21. Larry Mitchell says:

    This may be way off topic, but I don’t know where else to put it. I saw members of this PAC on CSPAN last night and looked up their web site today: http://vetpac.org/bio.htm
    This is starting to give me some hope that a productive change could soon occur in congress. Anybody know much about these guys?

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