I stopped reading the book “Aberration in the Heartland of the Real” when I got to the point (roughly at page 400) when the author started going into the details of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and mind control. I’d probably felt like I’d hit a wall again of having been “battered and shattered” (the phrase I woke up with in my mind while the rest of the world was beginning to read about Wikileaks Vault #7)(see Fat In The Fire).
It was probably that sense of being personally and psychologically overwhelmed with the depravities to which the human can succumb, which our government can inflict, about which much of our populace can be ignorant or at least apathetic.
I’d been at that same place of feeling battered and shattered before; it’s starting to get annoyingly repetitive.
It started perhaps with the act of getting hauled off by a woman much larger than me who grabbed me by the ear and yanked me to the location and position she wanted me in, whether to see the error of my acts and my failures or to position me for finishing the job of more completely weeding her flowerbed or cleaning her floor, or bringing to the site of whatever next chore she’d picked out for me.
It continued with the act of watching grown-ups discuss amongst themselves, out of earshot of any of their adolescent charges, on that fateful extended weekend in Dallas.
It happened again when Bobby was shot, although at least then there was open weeping. I was in college at the time, and people were less reserved, less uptight, more hopeful of finding a way out of a war that was largely destructive, even of those who never got close to it. How many of us grew up wondering which family would next have to be told of the death of their son? Almost to a person, none of us knew the horrors of what was being done to another people, at least until we were told by citizen leaders who then had to pay a very severe price for speaking of it. In the end, you learn of those in the distance and those in the family who are left to rot to death because of the use of a sprayed poison.
Decades later, I was again shattered and battered with the knowledge that 3,000 souls can be killed in an single act on a morning, televised for the entire world to see, without anyone giving much thought to investigation or prosecution (except those few who signed their name to a petition or exercised the temerity of speaking up on an Internet discussion board).
It showed up again when I revisited that narrative about the bulldozer assault during the Gulf War, no longer cleansed and polished for heroic salutation but later opened for examination in all its brutality.
My feelings of being battered and shattered are, I suppose, a mild civilian form of PTSD. I’ve never been in combat. I’d probably have been the fellow who the general would have had to slap, or perhaps the one who ran AWOL, shrieking. Or perhaps the one who turned to embrace the violence and continue it. I had my moments in ROTC training when I was confronted with milder forms of violent reality, but that was mere pretense; I never saw any blood shed on purpose or by accident. But I had felt enough inside to know I couldn’t go down that path, and I didn’t.
Some would say I was a pussy, a coward.
I have a different perspective.
When one thinks for a bit about the divisions and crises that face the nation today, that pregnant moment of the unknown that hangs inside the clouds of a dark storm building up slowly off in the distance, the sense of impending trouble, a vague echo of my own personal run-up to the election of 2000, the high RPM 3rd gear “blinking red” prodrome before 9/11 which eventually got tamped down and packed down by my own personal medical events wrapped around interpersonal stressors, it raises the possible specter of haunting and repetitive visititations.
I am reading a book that I should have read in high school. It falls into line behind another book I should have read in high school, and a third one in which I am making slow progress. (I’m listening.)
I went to a very good high school and had one very very good teacher for AP English who was an Army veteran and who introduced me to writing, literature, and World War One war poems in a way that no one else did.
My AP History teacher was a veteran of World War One (his arm was permanently damaged in battle and he wore an early prosthetic forearm in a sling, inert and dysfunctional, perhaps for me the next level in empathy afterFarragut’s Theorem).
Either one of these live human beings who taught me on a daily basis might have stood in for the fictional high school instructor of History and Moral Philosophy described in Starship Troopers.
The author described high school classes I wish were available to me, but weren’t. The course in survival preparation described in Tunnel in the Sky is unlike anything offered even today by small companies of preppers and former soldiers; the final exam was its climax.
Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is topically resurgent online today and has also spin off movies, role-playing games, and more. But here today I’m focused on the book and the philosophies.
And the reason that I’m reading this book and looking at the phenomenon of its resurgence is simple: we’re going to war.
And we have not yet begun to even glimpse the final exam for that course.
We’ve been at war for a long time. We are a warring nation. We like war. Many of our elite get rich through war. They foster and incite violence, conflict and hatred regularly. There is a long tradition among the extremely wealthy of funding both sides of a war at the same time. They probably get some form of perverse enjoyment out of the sacrifices of humans to their fantasies of power. Henry Kissinger has a quote or two about these things. Mike Rivero has published an article on war and bankers. Today’s alternative news will bring you forecasts of impending war with Russia (and perhaps China, or both). Many people are aware of and concerned about the Soros-driven waves of Islamist refugees into Europe. The EU and NATO are described as the modern-day version of the Third Reich.
Others are concerned about waves of immigrants from various countries and cultures arriving via the US southern border. Imigration out of Asia into the Pacific Northwest has been forecast. War, weather and color revolutions have put a lot of peole on the march.
Civil war is forecast; the CONUS military exercises like Jade Helm have been widely discussed. Political change and degradation of rights enumerated under the Constitutiuon, itself widely degraded and no longer deemed worthy of protection by many, will be visible on the streets of the nation’s Capitol as a new President is inaurgurated (or perhaps assassinated, if you read some people).
So an old piece of science fiction that isn’t much younger than I am and that describes political and other virtues of military discipline and training comes into sharp focus for an individual concerned about the well-being of his family.
“War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how–or why–he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people–“older and wiser heads,” as they say–supply the control.”
“LANCE CPL. STEVEN West steps into a remote enemy hideout clad in a 350-pound exoskeleton, sensors piercing the darkness and displaying digital info on his helmet visor, until a shock of static feedback knocks him to the dirty floor. A band of locals surround him with pipes and rebar. “The feedback stopped, leaving his ears ringing, and grainy video feed warped back into view as he was struck again. And again.”
This scene isn’t pulled from the latest Clancy-esque techno-thriller, but a short story written as part of a new Marine Corps exercise using science fiction to think about possible threats 15 to 30 years in the future.
“Water’s a Fightin’ Word” recounts what happens when a squad of Marines on a humanitarian mission in Africa gets surrounded during a global freshwater shortage. The author slips in glimpses of military technology in its infancy today, such as the exoskeleton, electromagnetic pulse weapons, and combat-ready robots, and combines it with likely geopolitical scenarios, such as conflict over water and other environmental resources.
The stories share common themes of political chaos, a rising China, a less-powerful and more inward-looking United States, conflicts over environmental resources, and the growth of megacities in the developing world. For Marines, who are the first US boots on the ground in the toughest situations, the toughest challenges may stem from the latter.
“It will not be like Fallujah or Hue City,” said Marine Lt. Col. Patrick Kirchner, citing intense block-by-block conflicts in Iraq 2004 and Vietnam 1968. “But more like Manhattan, and not on a weekend.” Kirchner’s comments came at a panel on the sci-fi Marine warfighting project at the Atlantic Council in Washington. “You can’t pick out the enemy and you can’t just shoot him. You’ve got to figure out how to clear a skyscraper. You can’t just hang green t-shirts or chem-lites in the window and say it’s clear. We have to find out how to figure out this kind of situations.”
“Robert Heinlein’s ‘Starship Troopers’ is the only novel on the required reading list at the Army War College and Annapolis for the study of small force tactics.”
“Small Unit Tactics” by Will Serwetman is available as a free download on the Internet.
On YouTube, you can find hours of assessment by major national think tanks on Russian military capabilities, hybrid warfare, urban warfare and the growth of mega-cities, and I probably only scratched that surface.
YouTube is also resplendent with videos on squad tactics, urban warfare techniques, land navigation, and more. Books and classes are available on community squad formation, how to conduct local “intel”, etc. In today’s world, whether in the military or on the home front, we must consider the role and presence of women.
Preparing for war has become part of our culture.
Somebody wants to bring combat upon you.
Are you ready for it?
Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a story about boot camp and military duty.
“COMBAT – that means life and death with people actively seeking to destroy you.” Learning how to survive combat is a serious business involving “the teaching of serious skills in a dynamic, live-fire environment. It takes tough men [and women[ to have first acquired the skills in order to teach them and it takes tough men [and women] to maintain order, discipline and safety in an environment to teach those skills.”
“… Advanced sensors, air/land/sea vehicles that can stay on alert for extended periods of time, and immediate battle damage assessment have changed the rules of warfare — as well as what is considered acceptable collateral damage.
All these factors make it easier to control violence. But it’s up to the politicians to tell the military what purpose the violence serves, and that hasn’t gotten any easier. Sun Tzu himself warned about it, saying, “He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.” However, Sun Tzu never had to deal with satellite communications, a 24-hour news cycle, or a pesky thing called democracy.”
[Ed.: But we don’t have a democracy, and never did; we have what’s left of a constitutional republic….]
Heinlein’s tidy piece of science fiction offers lessons in civilian leadership.
8 Military-to-Civilian Career Transition Tips from Starship Troopers
Oct 21, 2015
Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic Starship Troopers, published in December 1959, is a permanent fixture on military reading lists among the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Starship Troopers describes how Johnnie Rico starts as a private in the Mobile Infantry, an Earth-based military force that serves as a galactic and heavily armed raiding force. The Mobile Infantry was similar to a WWII Marine Raider force or the Army Rangers of WWII – high on firepower, shock tactics, and infantry force. The essence of Starship Troopers was a fight for survival of the human race across the galaxy. Humans were threatened by a race of intelligent, highly skilled, and ferocious spider-like creatures (“Bugs”). Standing in their way, the front line of Earth’s defense forces, was the Mobile Infantry. The Mobile Infantry could be considered as interstellar Marines, transported from plant to planet in huge starships and then “parachuted” from planetary orbit. On the ground, the Mobile Infantry fought in incredible, 2,000 lb, powered, armored suits.
Starship Troopers showed us that, despite the technology, being in the Infantry was still the Infantry with constant hard work, impossible odds, and zero thanks. The Mobile Infantry fought and trained as Infantry has always done: outnumbered, in the cold and dark, and against incredible odds to save the human race and each other. Starship Troopers made its way into the modern military lexicon more than a decade ago, most notably during the U.S. involvement in Somalia, where local Somali militia were referenced as “Skinnies” in comparison to one of the antagonist militaries that the Earth forces fought against in the opening chapters of the book.
Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers is a great refresher on some of the truly vital and critical skill sets that veterans bring to organizations in their post-military careers. If you are on the first day or your 10th year of your military transition, be sure to look down this list to contribute all you can. There are 8 key insights that matter to how effective military veterans can be in business and their second careers.
1 The Entire Team Works On The Primary Mission.
The motto of the Mobile Infantry is, “Everybody drops and everybody fights.” On numerous drops, all of Rico’s unit went into combat. Regular soldiers, but also cooks, administrative personnel, and even Chaplain’s – everyone fought. From an organizational standpoint, this was the sheer genius from the Mobile Infantry. Literally, 100% of the organization was dedicated to its primary purpose of combat. The concept of “everybody fights” was a simple and valuable reminder that the majority of your organization should be dedicated to its mission.
Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition. When you come into a new company or organization, how much of your job should be dedicated to doing what your company does for its customers? If your primary job reinforce safety standards on oil rigs, then how much of your time do you actually spend enforcing and training on oil rig safety standards? In the military and in the corporate world, it can be very, very easy to be distracted by activities that take time and effort, but do not contribute to the primary purpose of your organization towards its customers.
1 Performance in The Present, Not In The Past, Is All Important
Every person in the mobile infantry, and society at large, was judged by what they did, how they performed, and how well they followed orders. This focus on performance as the sole benchmark of personal value weas refreshing. In Heinlein’s sci-fi future, you could be rich or poor, from a great family or a questionable one, or have a PhD or a high school degree, and the only thing that mattered in the mobile infantry was well you performed. In business, you can have a great corporate culture but if the product was bad, the customer service ineffective, or the company was not innovative, then you failed. For both business and the military, performance was everything.
Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition. Performance was a central driving criteria for veterans because no matter that you were a crewmember on a destroyer or an Apache Helicopter pilot, what mattered was how well you performed your current job. Don’t worry about how your background compares to others in your organization. Worry about how well you perform and always seek to improve.
1 Difference And Diversity Is A Non-Issue In The Modern Workplace
Starship Troopers gets some diversity and gender issues right and others completely wrong. Gender, physical disability, and race played significant roles throughout the book. Women were allowed to perform all combat roles, even direct ground combat. However, there were barely any women in the Mobile Infantry because they were better suited for more vital military roles, like being starship pilots, serving in military intelligence, or weapons development. Women, it turns out, were even more valuable than men in effective combat performance and outcomes. The most important, strategic positions were reserved for women.
What Heinlein missed was the concept that a woman would want a direct combat position? If Heinlein had ever met Ronda Rousey, then the whole Mobile Infantry might have been women. The vast majority of Rico’s teachers were disabled combat veterans. His Strategy instructor was the best military strategist who only happened to be blind. If anything, according to Rico, it made him a better strategist. Based on the concept of superior job performance that permeates the book, disability was an illogical reason to exclude anyone, because everyone’s value was based on how they performed.
Relevance to Military-To-Civilian Career Transition. For military veterans, we are used to dealing with gender, diversity, and other issues on a daily basis. Military members, like the Mobile Infantry, are used to dealing with different races and religions. Veterans will need to work with other non-veteran civilians to have their military service fully understood and how it contributes to their current workplace. Veterans will need to strive at times to be open and understanding with others as they explain and demonstrate the value of their service for their employer’s success. The lesson from Starship Troopers was that when an organization unites under a compelling mission, truly focuses on performance, then difference does not apply.
“… A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual’s instinct to survive–and nowhere else!–and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts. We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race . . . . The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual.”
Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers
If it is true, as Heinlein says, that “The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war’s desolation”, then a lot of us have a lot of thinking and work to do, even those of us who are physically impaired, elderly, or otherwise not inclined to sign up for some physically-punishing romp up and down some hills in the Appalachians, the Rockies, or even the flatlands.
With or without training, with or without armaments, in forthcoming wars, civil or otherwise, you will have to be mindful, self-aware, alert, prepared, and trained in the use and maintenance of your arms, your legs, your heart, your lungs, and your brain.
“It is a basic function of self defense and your job as an adult member of your family/ community. It is not a responsibility to be handed off the the police, or the State. When you do, it is all too easy to take that responsibility and capability away from you entirely, by disarming you and making you incapable of self defense. Whether by physically disarming you, or brainwashing your mind, you are gelded.”
Isn’t that in parallel with one of my most favored quotes from Tim Gallwey in Summon The Magic?
One’s true capacity for moving,
or being moved, can be achieved
only when one’s commitment to others
is in fact connected to and derived from
his primary commitment to himself.
When we find this kind of alignment of purpose,
there is a harmony of motivation
that can provide the fuel and clarity
to overcome great obstacles
in the pursuit of great challenge.
from The Inner Game of Work, by W. Timothy Gallwey
If your nation unleashes an environment — whether or not you are its target or merely it witness — of engineered super-soldiers, the use of drones, EMP and other directed-energy weapons, artificial intelligence and cyberwar, robotic military vehicles, drones and neuroweapons, are you ready?
NASHUA, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A Massachusetts State Police trooper and New Hampshire State Police trooper have been relieved from duty after the violent arrest and beating of a driver who led police on a two-state chase.
Police say Richard Simone, 50, of Worcester, led them on a one-hour pursuit that was captured on video Wednesday as it went from Holden, Massachusetts all the way to a dead end street in Nashua, New Hampshire. When Simone got out of the pickup truck, he appeared to kneel and put his hands on the ground when at least two officers began punching him.
Thursday afternoon, Massachusetts and New Hampshire State Police officials both announced their troopers had been relieved from duty. The troopers have not yet been identified.
“The Massachusetts State Police expect and demand all department members to act at all times with integrity, honor, and adherence to the law,” the Massachusetts State Police said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “If it is determined that a department member has not lived up to those expectations, we will take appropriate action.”
Mass. State Police said their trooper was relieved pending an internal hearing scheduled for Friday.
New Hampshire State Police Director Col. Robert L Quinn said during a press conference Thursday that the trooper was relieved “immediately” after the events of the arrest. He said New Hampshire State Police would conduct their own investigation, and would cooperate fully with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s criminal investigation.
The New Hampshire trooper is on leave without pay.
“The events of Wednesday evening are disturbing,” said Quinn. “However, we will not know the complete facts and circumstances surrounding this event until the investigation by an independent agency is concluded.”
The pursuit began when Simone refused to stop for local police in Holden. He was wanted on multiple warrants for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny, and failure to stop for police.
Holden police chased him, and a Massachusetts State Police cruiser followed.
The chase went through several towns at speeds exceeding 100 mph, with the pickup truck “making abrupt lane changes as the (suspect) continued to try to evade capture” and crashing at least once, said Dave Procopio, a state police spokesman.
But spike strips laid out by police eventually took their toll as the pickup truck rolled to a stop on Hughey Street in Nashua, New Hampshire.
WBZ-TV’s helicopter video showed the truck stopped next to a utility pole on a dead-end street before police officers surrounded it with their weapons drawn….”
Ed.: I once met a young woman at a seminar for sports counseling who was doing some deep research into the conjunction of post-game violence in athletes, particulary in terms of domestic violence.
That was two decades ago, and that kind of research has surely progressed, but the tentative focus or finding involved hormones (testosterone, in this case) and the stressors of competition and the physiological changes inherent in large-muscle exertion.
(Clearly there have been multiple other examples, cases, lawsuits, etc. involving alleged excessive use of force, police violence, etc. The questions involved also extend to military examples and situations.)
Related questions may involve the degree to which law enforcement professionals are routinely involved in high-intensity weight training or other forms of physical large-muscle exercise, and whether or not individuals were involved with steroids, performance enhancing drugs, HGH et al (i.e., was this roid rage?). You can easily find heavy metal music for gym workouts using the search term “songs about roid rage”. Equally, interested body-builders can easily find over-the-counter testosterone supplements right next to the generic erectile dysfunction caps.
Certainly a prolonged high-speed chase of a suspected culprit is extremely stress-inducing and can be likened to an athletic competition.
Equally, it involves issues of social dominance.
Is road rage related to roid rage?
While extended and deep research is necessary, my own cursory online search done with the text “violence in athletes testosterone competition large-muscle exertion” turned up the following:
Retired US Army General and the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe for NATO Wesley Clark advocates rounding up “radicalized” and “disloyal” Americans and putting them in internment camps for the “duration” of the war on terror.
“In World War II if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war,” Clark told MSNBC.
The difference is that World War II was a war declared under Article I, Section 8, Clause II of the Constitution whereas the war on terror is undeclared and thus illegal.
Clark is in essence advocating a life sentence for people who have not committed a crime but merely engaged in speech — often reprehensible, yet constitutionally protected — the government considers radical and in opposition to its foreign policy.
The Bush administration declared the war on terror would last a generation or more. Senior officials with the Obama administration meanwhile have said — when formulating “disposition matrix” to determine how terrorism suspects will be disposed of — they had reached a “broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade” or more.
The Edward Snowden “leaks reveal that the war on terror at home continues to grind on, capturing in its dragnet millions of Americans and foreigners, many of them innocent of any crime. The war on terror has become institutionalized, and the domestic costs of this war continue to mount: privacy is being eroded; communications are being monitored; and dissent is being cracked down on. The primary targets of the domestic war on terror continue to be Muslims and Arabs, though it is now clear that the sweep of the domestic war has ensnared millions of other Americans. And there is no end in sight to this domestic juggernaut,” writes Alex Kane.
Clark’s remarks reveal the mindset of the upper echelon of government. Those who disagree with the government are now to be rounded up and shut up indefinitely in political internment camps.
Mass internment of official enemies on par with Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union is now “on the table” and openly discussed as suspicious attacks and FBI orchestrated and grandstanded terror plots continue to grab headlines and build a reactionary consensus as the designed result of an incessant, decades-long propaganda campaign.
“… In the midst of a real war, what are the chances that the Supreme Court is going to stand up the Pentagon and the CIA? Nil. After all, if they wouldn’t stand up to them with respect to things like torture, undeclared wars, secret surveillance schemes, and other programs that are inherent to totalitarian regimes during the U.S. government’s much-vaunted “war on terrorism,” there is no reasonable possibility they would stand up to them on concentration camps, round-ups, and incarcerations in the midst of a real war…..”
It depends on who the user is. Law enforcement and private investigators will use the information to try to:
1. Identify individuals based on behavioral analysis of comments, etc.
2. De-anonymize individuals and leverage this information on other platforms, i.e. checking identical/similar usernames and using the behavioral analysis to predict other (online or offline) hangouts and activities in order to build a more complete picture.
Sociologists and psychologists will use it to build behavioral models for individuals acting as individuals and for ad-hoc groups of individuals without any external organization, goal, etc.
Members of the public and historians will use it to look at and for public figures and to better understand them. More importantly, the public should use this database as a wake-up call that the driving force behind Big Data isn’t Big Brother – it’s the masses. Between this and the Dark Net Market archives and some other releases in the last few weeks, it’s becoming more apparent that the “right to be forgotten” may be recognized by some governments but private individuals and researchers, not just megacorps, remain major obstacles to it.
This is, simply put, the biggest example of open source SIGINT to date. The fact that it was done legally and openly, and not as the result of a hack or data leak, may make it seem less newsworthy – but if anything, it makes even more alarming to privacy advocates. It’s not a one-off either, it’s just one of the biggest signposts we’ve seen so far.
Of interest to me is the Raytheon link, from which I borrowed the featured image.
Raytheon is at the epicenter of the military-industrial complex, headquartered — arrogantly, in my mind — in close proximity to the iconic history of Lexington and Concord. Bolt, Beranek and Newman was very involved in the creation of the linked simulator systems used to teach American armor tactics and strategy (TraDoc) how to fight with its new Abrams tanks and supporting equipment in a desert environment in the run-up to Desert Storm.
You can read about commander’s intent in the book “Into The Storm” by Tom Clancy and General Franks.
I wrote and circulated a proposal for the use of such technology to teach civilian mass casualty incident management “training and doctrine” to local civilian teams and, within a few days, received a call from someone at Langley; this was way back in 1981 wanting to know how I knew about that top-secret project. I pulled my source book off the bookshelf, one I found through a display in the window of the library at my graduate school in Boston — I never got the degree — and gave him the author, chapter title, book title and ISBN number.
BBN’s software engineering team broke off and formed a new company which was active in creating desktop computer-based simulation games to teach military tactics and strategy (one example was MAGTF for Marine amphibious Group Task Force) but which was dominantly focused on creating the supporting backbone or network on which virtually any military official with proper clearance could engage in such simulation gaming from the platoon level on up to grand strategy; dubbed DarWars, it was for DARPA and worked with a number of other vendors as well as training and evelopment centers in Orlando and elsewhere. I worked briefly for that company as a subject matter expert in civilian emergency management and incident command systems before that project was terminated.
Currently sitting on my desk, not yet completely read and annotated, is a copy of Weaponizing Maps, which opens up the door to two previous books on the power of maps as well as War, Violence, and Population: Making the Body Count. [“,,, this book offers a spatial perspective on how and why populations are regulated and disciplined by mass violence—and why these questions matter for scholars concerned about social justice. James Tyner focuses on how states and other actors use acts of brutality to manage, administer, and control space for political and economic purposes. He shows how demographic analyses of fertility, mortality, and migration cannot be complete without taking war and genocide into account. Stark, in-depth case studies provide a powerful and provocative basis for retheorizing population geography.”]
I’ve barely cracked the book Weaponizing Maps but what I see there is at least tangentially related to the topic of what is going on with Jade Helm 15. Here are some excerpts (emphases added):
On the third page of the book (actually xv in what they call “A narrative table of contents”):
“… in what follows, we trace the links among these seemingly disparate contexts in terms of the tactics and strategies of counterinsurgency. In all of them, the US military is confronted this series of unconventional armed threats, both real and potential, post by rebel organizations, criminals, and others not content to simply bow before the demands of US security. Throughout, the US military has been at pains to define the terrain of struggle, one that too often spills off the battlefield into the forests, fields, in cities where people make their everyday lives. Under such conditions, all society becomes a potential battlefield.
Maps have long been an important means of knowing this terrain, showing the locations of towns, where people farm and obtain food, and the trails and waterways they used to move from place to place. To borrow Mao Zedong’s aphorism, the insurgent must move in this every day landscape “the way the fish swims in the sea,” But this means being intimately acquainted with it. Counterinsurgency relies on the same approach to identify threats to security and to manipulate the vulnerability of life in settings where the battlefield is everywhere.…”
Later, in chapter 7, in a description of mapping in Central America and later in Afghanistan and Iraq,” the Army incorporated this approach into its new Counterinsurgency Field Manual, compiled by Gen. David Petraeus and published in 2007. Among other points, the manual highlighted the importance of mapping the “human terrain” as a critical aspect of counterinsurgency, revising”Red Mike” Edson’s vision of the battlefield [“Small Wars Manual”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Wars_Manual ] in the face of an expanding”war on terror”.
Having read this, I leapt ahead to page 138 to read the following: “… Field Manual 3–24 wasn’t the only thing Petraeus was overseeing during his tenure at Fort Leavenworth. There was also the human terrain system (HTS). Like the new field manual, the HTS was another response to the situation in Iraq that had been begun deteriorating in 2003. [See also the book “Weaponizing Anthropology” by David Price.] In the summer of 2004 Maj. Gen. Robert Scales testified before the House Armed Services Committee:
“… consensus seems to be building… that this conflict was fought brilliantly at the technological level but inadequately at the human level. The human element seems to underlie virtually all of the functional shortcomings chronicled in official reports in media stories: information operations, civil affairs, cultural awareness, soldier conduct… and most glaringly, intelligence, from national to tactical.”
[Petraeus, of course, was recently in the news for sharing secrets with his lady friend and is speculatively involved in the accidental death of a journalist whose car suddenly veered off the road into a tree and exploded.]
The lessons were clear, Scales insisted in his testimony, that “computers and aerial drones are no substitute for human eyes and brains,” and this led him to propose emulating the late 19th century British practice of immersing bright officers in the cultures of, for example, China (Charles George “Chinese” Gordon) or Arabia (T.E. Lawrence).
“At the heart of a cultural-centric approach to future war,” Scales concluded,”would be a cadre of global scouts, well-educated, with a penchant for languages and a comfort with strange and distant places.”…
On page 157, in a discussion of a trip made to the indigenous areas of Mexico in 2007 and 2008:
“Two staff from the Foreign Military Studies Office made the trip, as did the US State Department Geographer and a representative from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency team supporting the Army’s new reformed African Command, AFRICOM.”
I am going to address a theme that has been troubling me for some time.
I just spent about 45 minutes looking for one of those quotes from within my performance psychology archives; they go back 18 years now and sometimes I misplace things because I haven’t yet developed the IT skills and systems that hyper-linking allows to cross-catalog everything. But my mind works well enough and by just by placing the thought into my reticular activating system (the RAS is your mind’s own search engine), eventually something will pop.
It just popped.
I didn’t know whether I should post this at Boy Down The Lane” (“on the topics of life…, learning, choices, paths, fitting in, conformity and non-conformity, social ostracism, dysfunctional families (and society), complicity versus compliance, and … intimidation, destruction, and psychopathology”) or at The Sullen Bell (“media, social media, culture, perception management, mind control…, personal sovereignty, … cultural observation and reflection, and freedom of thought and mind”).
What I want to riff about is faith, religion, belief, and doubt. That topic grouping as I will express it will fit under freedom of thought and mind.
Out there in Internet-ville, I have encountered (and so have you) all manner of people who will tell you what’s wrong with your belief system.
We’ve been exposed for a long time — since we were about five or six — to the proselytism of family, community and the locally-dominant communal belief system through its teachers.
In America, people knock on your door to ask if you need to be saved, or to offer you gifts, seeds, literature and opportunities to be saved in their own special methodologies.
You can shut the door and turn on the TV and, on 10% of the channels on your particular system of delivery for “hot and cold running images”, you can have fundamental Christianity, mega-church services, local church services, the Jewish/Zionist point of view and, if you are lucky, perhaps another choice or two — though Taoism, the Buddhist practices, and others eschew the use of technologies for ritual celebration.
On the Internet, though you can choose an avenue of inquiry (or several of them) that will serve your own need for exploration, or to research and answer what appear to be unsettling questions for how what was yours or what is now offered clashes with science, or the arguments of agnosticism and atheism.
My point is not to argue that there is or isn’t a God, or never was a prophet in sandals, or that one such icon or symbol is better than another.
My point is to offer what someone once wrote — a grouping of materials and a core concept which have formed a cornerstone for my understandings — for everyone to consider as they encounter the proselytism of the dis-believing crowd.
Clearly one of the reasons that the agnostics and the atheists post so much information — noting the empire’s harnessing and shaping of religion, the Councils, the parallels with older indigenous belief systems or ancient myths, sometimes even citing chapter and verse from the Bible or other forms and formats,sometimes stating that Jesus never existed— is because of the violence and those who perpetrate the violence. They cite, and with a high degree of accuracy and surety, that passages from within the remaining or properly-approved verses, chapters and books incite genocide, or hatred, or behaviors we find — much later in our own evolution — to be uncivilized, tainted, and evil. Comparative religion on its own is fuel for violence and warfare; when religious hatred is purposefully incited to achieve control, profit or to re-structure cultures, re-draw maps, or destroy the centers, icons and social systems of a hated belief system, it becomes evil. Here we can see as examples the Sunni-Shia split, the ostracism of Yazidism, the use of fundamental Christianity as false allies for Zionism, the infiltration of the Khazarian banksters for the enrichment of the elite, the introduction of the Noahide laws, forms of occultism, collectivism, and Marxist-based-or-related efforts to degrade or destroy religious beliefs as well as the other “glial” matter of the social culture like movies, music and art. There are belief systems within all world-views that must be addressed and understood.
To suggest widely and repetitively that it is wrong-headed to believe in something, or to embrace a practice that the author of the suggestion finds repellent or appalling, is to engage in a certain form of violence.
To attack one’s faith, or the idea of believing in something, is to introduce doubt.
Here is the quote for which I went in search. It seems to be drawn from within the very narrow world of sports, but I submit that it has infinitely wider application. Note that I have changed the order of the paragraphs in order to demonstrate that wider application.
The quote is fromTimothy Gallwey, the author of a series of books devoted to the development of personal and professional excellence in a variety of fields, what he callsThe Inner Game. This particular quote comes from the inner book of tennis. One of his books is The Inner Game of Work. (As John Janovy Jr. says, “When your business is the conversion of human potential into reality, you can find work anywhere….”)
“To perpetrate doubt”, says Gallwey, and in the quote he refers to the educational system, the parent-child relationship, or manager-employee relationships, “is one of the most debilitating — though often unconscious — crimes against human potential.”
I don’t think there is much room for doubt about the fact that our inner game of work includes improving society, limiting interpersonal conflict, reducing warfare, improving well-being, increasing human potential; we have a lot of work to do. And we must work together because, as individuals, we cannot do it alone no matter how much we embrace the tools of the noetic sciences.
Belief and discipline are closely related.
“The cost” Gallwey goes on to say “of not recognizing” [and counteracting] the creation in another of doubt “is high, not only for the individual but for the group of organization [or community or society]. When doubt becomes an internalized norm, the spirit suffers, a sense of purpose decays, dignity declines, excellence and greatness go into hiding, and the seeds for decadence and failure are germinated.” The perpetration of doubt about belief is destructive; it’s like dropping phosphorus bombs into the spirit.
“The reason that doubt is such an enemy is that it attacks the will itself. Anxiety and fear are emotional and psychological disturbances that make functioning more difficult, doubt weakens the will, which is at the center of our being. Doubt can cripple a person’s desire to act, think or even to live.”
And, as stated in the book “The Art of Possibility”, “an individual’s unique expression plays an integral and constructive part in setting a direction for the group.”
So the next time you encounter someone who feels obligated to preach at you endlessly that that belief system that got internalized into you through repetition is worthless when subjected to objective analysis, tell the evangelist of agnostic atheism to spend his time knocking on other doors, change the channel, and tell him to believe in himself.
With a little practice at that, he’ll eventually believe in something bigger than himself.
“In the midst of setbacks, what is faith if not the call to rededicate oneself to a hard-won personal vision? To espouse faith is to practice some kind of knowingly lunatic alchemy by which the lead of randomness is converted to the gold of meaning. I am not saying that the idea is not entirely paradoxical or nuts. Maybe it is. But maybe it is fox crazy. Maybe there is also real magic in magical thinking, the loom that weaves itself into being, the artist’s hand that draws itself into the world.”
Chip Brown, in a book called
Afterwards You’re a Genius: Faith, Medicine and the Metaphysics of Healing.
Dion Fortune says, “Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.” You could also say that magic is the art of evoking power from within. Magic is first of all about an inner shift. That, in turn, may produce effects in the outer world. But the real focus is the inner change, the consciousness change.
When you do magic, one of the things you learn is to become responsible for your own mind. You learn how to take charge of it, how to visualize, how to be aware of the energies around you, how to shift and change them.
In my tradition, we do that particularly through ritual, which you could define as a set of actions designed to orchestrate a movement of energy,
In the Catholic mass, for example, a priest holds up a wafer and consecrates it. What that is meant to do is to draw in the Christ energy, which presumably the priest has contact with, and infuse the wafer with it. Through the wafer, then, people can physically connect with that energy It’s a very powerful magical ritual if the people doing it are aware of what they are doing. If they’re not, it’s just some guy saying words and holding up a stale piece of cracker.”
Starhawk, pages 178-179,
“Listening to the Land: Conversations About Nature, Culture and Eros”, by Derrick Jensen.
The next time you see someone just saying words and holding up a stale piece of thought, ask them if they are aware of what they are doing.
Ask them what energy it is that they wish their reader to connect with.