Monday, September 26, 2011

Click and Clack and Play War

27 Sep. 2011

by Jeff Huber

I’ve said for some time that the biggest casualty of our woebegone Ism Wars may be our national cognizance.  The lines between intelligence, news, gossip, rumor and brainwash have faded like a hangover at happy hour, and the gap between reality and perception has never been greater.  Big Media has been the dutiful echo chamberlain for Big War for so long that it may never again be possible for Americans, by now hopelessly addicted to the slime from their TV sets, to clearly conceptualize the causes and consequences of our fist-first foreign policy. 

Leon Panetta and Mike Mullen
testify before the Senate.
During an INFOWAR opportunity last week, Leon “Uncle Leo” Panetta and Mike “Moon” Mullen, the Pentarchy’s Click and Clack, told the Senate Armed Services Clodhoppers that the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan were the evildoing of a terror networks relationship with the intelligence service of Pakistan.

Senator Lindsey Graham
has always relied on the kindness
of campaign contributors in
the defense industry. 
Mullen, the son of a Hollywood publicity agent, followed standard operating procedure and weasel wordsmithed his way out of presenting anything anyone could call, strictly speaking, a “lie.”  He told Blanche Graham and Joe Liebfraumilch and Senator Ex-Prisoner of War that the Hagqani terrorist network “acts as” a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Internal Services Intelligence Agency aka “ISI.”  You can drive the flat earth theory through that kind of wiggle room.

Mullen didn’t offer any proof to back his claims other than to cite “credible intelligence.”  Hey, Abbott.  At what point since 9/11 have we had “credible” intelligence, civilian or military, in this country?  U.S. intelligence is to intelligence what McDonalds is to food.  Our intelligence consists of bribing or beating sources into telling us what we want to hear and/or weaving facts out of air molecules and selling them to Congress and the public in packages designed by Mullen’s bull-feather merchant marines.  

Mullen is invoking a variation on Don Rumsfeld’s one-percent doctrine.  If one percent of anything the likes of Mullen says is true—and one can reasonably infer that yes, Pakistan’s ISI is up to things they’d rather we didn't know about—then we have to buy the other 99 per-cent of their message too.  It’s kind of like the colossus cosmetics company that only allows retailers to carry its top-of-the-line products if said retailers also display said colossus cosmetics company’s crud-ola.  We only have one military, and if we don't allow it to defend us from the 99 percent of our enemies that they manufacture, they won’t protect us from the one percent that are real.

Uncle Leo hurled a healthy helping of hamana hem-and-haw onto the heap about how “we should put as much pressure as we can” on Pakistan, and then he cut to the chase and said that if Congress forces the Pentagon to cut its budget it will cause “catastrophic damage to the military.”  Uncle Leo didn’t bother to explain what “catastrophic damage” meant any more than Moon troubled himself to clarify what a “veritable arm” might be or how it might “act as” anything. 

When you take a fire hose to Click and Clack's cockamamie presentations, you get "we need more money so we can continue to send American troops to third world countries that pose no genuine threat to us to act as targets for our enemies there who increase in number every day we keep American troops in their countries."  Neither Click nor Clack nor anyone in Congress nor the newspapers bother to point out the obvious truth that thee enemies who are killing our troops would stop being enemies the moment we took our troops out of their country.  The only way they can kill our troops is if we deliver our troops to their doorstep.  Despite what young Mr. Bush's spin physicians used to tell us, the only way they can fight us over here is if they manage to jump or swim across the oceans.  

Let's play war!
Panetta and Mullen are engaged in something I identified in Bathtub Admirals as “play war.”   Intelligence weenies tell bathtub admirals and sandbox generals what they want to hear so they can play war, and fight among themselves for control of the toy ships and tanks and airplanes and melting plastic soldiers, and to see who can suck up to the bedroom politicians the most and become master of the known universe (aka “become King David Petraeus”).  Play war assumes many guises, from stacked “battle experiments” whose purpose is to prove the need for the newest and costliest weapons systems to wars against countries that don’t have militaries to toys and games that the warmongery fashions to make war seem no more real than reality television programming. 

The latest play war toy to surface in the “real world” is something called the “Obama Kills Osama” (aka “OKO”) action figurine.  It was supposedly cooked up by some kooks in China to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  The figurine is cheesy to the point of obscenity.  The keyboard commandos who populate object to the figurine, but not because of its repellant portrayal of violence.  They don’t like it because it gives Obama credit for killing bin Laden, and not SEAL Team Six.  The repellent violence part they actually kind of like. 

On that note, here is a snippet from the work in progress on Sandbox Generals:  
            Calling the “enemy” World Wide Evil (aka WWE) was Flip’s idea and he stole it from World Wide Entertainment, the fake professional wrestling franchise.  The subconscious association Flip created exploited Americans' latent tendency to think of war the same way they thought of professional wrestling: as an entertainment.  The main difference between the two was that though Americans knew professional wrestling was fake they managed to sufficiently suspend their disbelief to respond to it emotionally as if it were real.  Americans knew that war, on the other hand, was real, but they tended to regard it as entertainment, and attached little emotion at all to it.  Even graphic pictures of babies horribly burned by sulfur bombs seldom moved Americans, whose minds had come to equate the war violence they observed in the news with the special effects they saw in movies and television and video games.
We have met the barbarians, and they are us.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now.


  1. You've got to admit that's an amazing likeness of Obama (the Osama character isn't quite as accurate, seeing as how he's still got an intact face). The MIC Gadget people should rethink their limited edition, one-to-a-customer policy, as the DNC will probably be placing orders in bulk.

    Would the keyboard commandos be objecting if that were Bush standing there instead of Obama (with a bottle of Jack in his belt instead of the Blackberry)? Somehow, I think not.

    Any hints on the ETA for the new novel? Maybe I'm reading too much into the excerpts, but it sounds like it's going to be more serious in tone than the first one.

  2. Hah! Bult orders indeed, JP. The novel is at least a year away from the shelves, maybe two. It's more serious in the sense that it's much more of an Orwellian dystopia satire, but trust me, there's plenty of Mel Brooks for all the comedy fans. thanks for asking.

    No, I don't reckon they'd mind if it was Bush in the vignette. Bring 'em on!

  3. RE: Mullen...told Blanche Graham and Joe Liebfraumilch and Senator Ex-Prisoner of War that the Hagqani terrorist network “acts as” a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Internal Services Intelligence Agency aka “ISI.” ~ Huber

    MY COMMENT: Right! And back before the invasion of Iraq, ye old stovepiper extraordinare, Douglas Feith, assured Pretend-President George W. Bush that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda had a "mature symbiotic relationship".
    G-d only knows what Bush thought "symbiotic" meant. Something to do with Gog and Magog, perhaps? And I'm certain Bush would not dare ask anyone what "symbiotic" meant, or go to the gargantuan effort of looking it up in a dictionary. But then, I imagine that was precisely why Feith used that term. And perhaps because it provided beaucoup 'wiggle room' so as allow Feith to later deny responsibility for his fallacious assessment.

    P.S. Good-ness gray-cious! Sen-a-tuh Gray-yam certainly does look fetching in J. Edgar's favorite party dress. Those Carolina bois are way hot!
    Be still my heart!

  4. I'd like to get a feel for how badly the intelligence communities are getting pressured to cook intel now versus then, Dickerson. I suspect everybody who would object retired or resigned long ago.