Friday, October 19, 2007

And, More On Brit Birt On A Fractured Friday

(not really, but, yeah, sure thing - another MySpace bulletin serendipitously sent at the same time as the last, which I'll share with you on a Fractured Friday)

From Rob:
Date: Oct 18, 2007 10:13 AM

please repost this if you find it even the least bit insightful

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Brainsturbator Dot Com
Date: Oct 18, 2007 10:01 AM

Urban Warfare Blackwater Training Camp

Two highly synchronous articles wound up in my inbox this morning. I will not argue with the Universe -- I will simply pass them along to you. As I have mentioned before, I am of the opinion that the only real "war" happening, here on Earth in 2007, is obscenely wealthy elites engaged in population control. The only way to maintain their lifestyle is by violently repressing literally everyone else on the planet.

I know that's dark. I know that's pessimistic. Have you ever been caught in the middle of a bar fight? Personally, this has happened several times and now I have a very attuned sense of impending violence. I don't think it's "pessimism" to state facts, especially when it's not a prophecy I'm making. This is already underway, and here's to excellent articles for the sake of perspective and brainfood:

The Billionaire Criminal Class

Via Counterpunch.

What do Brazil, Mexico, Russia and the USA have in common?

A rapidly expanding billionaire class.

Rampant poverty.

And a distressed middle class.

That's the take of Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times reporter David Cay Johnston in a soon to be released book--Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill) (Portfolio, December 2007).

In it, Johnston seeks to afflict the comfortable top one tenth of one percent of Americans--the 300,000 men, women and children who last year made more money than the bottom 150 million Americans.

The Urban Future of War

Via Asian Times Online.

"We think urban is the future," says James Lasswell, a retired colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. "Everything worth fighting for is in the urban environment." And Wayne Michael Hall, a retired army brigadier general and the senior intelligence advisor in Schattle's operation, has a similar assessment, "We will be fighting in urban terrain for the next hundred years."

Last month, in a hotel nestled behind a medical complex in Washington, DC, Schattle, Lasswell, and Hall, along with Pentagon power-brokers, active-duty and retired US military personnel, foreign coalition partners, representatives of big and small defense contractors, and academics who support their work gathered for a "Joint Urban Operations, 2007" conference. Some had served in Iraq or Afghanistan; others were involved in designing strategy, tactics, and concepts, or in creating new weaponry and equipment, for the urban wars in those countries.

Over the course of the conference, this representative of one of the world's best known weapons manufacturers will suggest that members of the media be shot to avoid bad press and he'll call a local tour guide he met in Vietnam a "bastard" for explaining just how his people thwarted US efforts to kill them. But he's an exception. Almost everyone else seems to be a master of serene anodyne-speak. Even the camo-clad guys seem somehow more academic than warlike.

In his tour de force book Planet of Slums, Davis observes, "The Pentagon's best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or Department of State types fear to go ,,­ [T]hey now assert that the ,,®feral, failed cities' of the Third World - especially their slum outskirts - will be the distinctive battlespace of the 21st century." Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, "is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor".

But the mostly male conference-goers planning for a multi-generational struggle against the global South's slums aren't a gang of urban warfare cowboys talking non-stop death and destruction; and they don't look particularly bellicose either, as they munch on chocolate-chip cookies during our afternoon snack breaks in a room where cold cuts and brochures for the Rapid Wall Breaching Kit - which allows users to blast a man-sized hole in the side of any building - are carefully laid out on the tables. Instead, these mild-mannered men speak about combat restraint, "less-than-lethal weaponry", precision targeting, and (harking back to the Vietnam War) "winning hearts and minds".

I definitely recommend reading the entire article.


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