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Archive for January, 2011

Attached herewith is a link to my latest essay, ” The Domestic Roots of Perpetual War,” just published in the Jan-Feb edition of Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs.

http://www.challengemagazine.com/extra/054_069.pdf

Chuck Spinney

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The 7 minute video at the link below is painfully embarrassing to watch, but it
is quite revealing with regard to the dysfunctionality of our foreign policy and
the state of decay in the U.S. mainstream media.

http://pulsemedia.org/2011/01/27/shihab-rattansi-lays-bare-us-hypocrisy-on-egypt/

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Yes their regimes are repressive. But, the real reason the people are demonstrating and beginning to revolt is unfortunately, a flavor to come. They are doing so because their populations have far outstripped resources, especially in Egypt. The government there, to keep the people quiet gave jobs to the educated, and free grain to the masses. But, then never address family planning. It, like us, wants to live in fantasy world of unlimited, but irresponsible population growth will be maintain by technology. Well that dream is coming to an end.

This is the problem with the other nations as well, instead of facing reality, they keep dreaming.

My prediction is this will only get worse when fuel prices go up so far to keep food deliveries from happening. Another case of leaders ignoring the problem instead of having the moral courage to address it (unlike China). Of course, our nation’s leaders and elite continue to live in the 1700 and 1800s where the never ending frontier and resources allowed everyone to avoid hard issues and solutions, and just keep grabbing more. As a result of this poor leadership, we are all going to suffer. The population is now reading 7 billion, and unless our nation begins to address it, at current consumption rates, there is going to be a lot of upheaval.

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The Clear-Hold-Build (C-H-B) strategy was first enunciated enthusiastically during the Bush Administration as the new counterinsurgency strategy to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. Actually, this strategy was merely an unimaginative regurgitation of Marshall Lautey’s “tache d’huile” (oil spot) strategy used to quell native uprisings during France colonial wars at the end of the 19th Century and the first decade of the 20th Century.

The recent escalation in Afghanistan may be taking the unimaginative C-H-B soundbyte to the extremities of its logical absurdity, if the attached report by Spencer Ackerman is correct: Apparently, our forces applied the C-H-B strategy literally to a small Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley of Taliban by using 25 tons of air delivered explosives to CLEAR it off the map (see photo). Ackerman goes to suggest HOLDING will be accomplished because we will spend one million dollars to (re) BUILD it. As part of our cultural sensitivity strategy to HOLD onto the Afghan’s hearts and minds during the BUILD leg of the strategy, our troops are holding “construction shuras” with the villagers to compensate them for their loses.

Think of the C-H-B strategy as the Petraeus equivalent of destroying a village to save it — sound familiar?

Chuck Spinney
Archive of selected Blasters (http://chuckspinney.blogspot.com/)

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Bill Hartung’s new book, Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex, reveals information that redefines the term “Military-Industrial Complex.” His C-SPAN Book TV interview with Pierre Sprey, and Pierre’s 50+ years of experience as a close and perceptive observer of the “MIC,” reveals even more. Some of it is horrifying; some of it is disgusting. See a podcast of the Hartung-Sprey conversation at the C-SPAN Book TV web site at http://www.booktv.org/Program/12175/After+Words+William+Hartung+Prophets+of+War+hosted+by+Pierre+Sprey.aspx Look for “Watch This Program” on the right. Book Notes describes the broadcast as follows: In “Prophets of War,” William Hartung presents the history of the largest military contractor in U.S. history, Lockheed Martin. Mr. Hartung argues that with 25 billion dollars annually in Defense Department contracts, Lockheed Martin’s reach into American life is extensive and largely unknown, including creation of satellites used to spy on the phone calls of American citizens. He discusses the company’s size, scope and influence with Pierre Sprey, father of the A-10 and F-16 military aircraft.

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