Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Re-Visiting the Garrison State in the Age of "Global Terrorism" and Ebola

I'm re-running my post on the Garrison State, which continues to hold relevance, as illustrated by this news article:

Which President Cut the Most Nukes?
DOVES who once cheered President Obama for his antinuclear crusades and later fell silent as he backpedaled are now lining up to denounce him. A recent skewering by the Federation of American Scientists details how Mr. Obama, despite calling repeatedly for “a world without nuclear weapons,” has reduced the size of the nation’s atomic stockpile far less than did any of his three immediate predecessors, including both Presidents Bush….Mr. Obama should “suspend plans to develop a new arsenal,” Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, a private group in San Francisco, wrote recently in an op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times. He argued that the move would save money and advance global security. “Unless something is done soon,” he wrote, “we will buy thousands of new hydrogen bombs and mount them on hundreds of new missiles and planes.”
Nuclear spending up? The article states that the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, a Washington-based network of organizations, "recently condemned the administration’s plans as 'the largest expansion of funding on nuclear weapons since the fall of the Soviet Union.'

Perhaps no president today can ascend the throne until they've pledged fealty to the nuclear barons, by promising to support nuclear weapons and energy production....

THE U.S. AS A "GARRISON" SECURITY STATE published October 16, 2011 Majia's Blog (here):

The Cold War played an important role in shaping the U.S. evolution toward a security state. On March 2, 2006 Clifford A. Kiracofe Jr., a former member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave a speech in Berlin titled “U.S. Imperialism: The National Security State.” Kiracofe begins his speech by describing what he perceives to be the characteristic features of the U.S. security state:

"The project for the imperial Presidency, garrison state, and imperial foreign policy, was advanced after World War II by Presidents Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. For five decades, the project has relied on the manipulation of fear, and the creation of "emergency" conditions, through the systematic deception of the United States public and Congress about the international situation and foreign threats. "

These characteristics--the imperial Presidency, the garrison state, and imperial foreign policy--have arguably shaped everyday life and the government of American children and childhood populations abroad [all populations].

Kiracofe attributes the origins of the U.S. evolution toward a garrison state to the Korean War, which triggered escalation of the Cold War. Harold Lasswell coined the idea of a “garrison state” in 1941 to describe a “world in which the specialists on violence are the most powerful group in society” (455).

Lasswell observes that creation and maintenance of the garrison state requires a “deep and general sense of participation in the total enterprise of the state” by the populace (458).

One way this participation is fostered is through the populace’s acknowledgement of its absolute vulnerability. Lasswell suggests that aerial warfare, which abolished distinctions between civilian and military functions, enhanced this sense of collective vulnerability in the modern era (459).

The traditional distinction between civilian and military functions was completely obliterated with the development of nuclear weapons capable of eliminating entire populations. Thus, the Cold War mentality infused nearly all aspects of everyday life and popular culture.

The unprecedented U.S. military industrial complex that prevailed from the Cold-War (a.k.a. “military Keynesianism”) through the contemporary period found justification in the perils of nuclear warfare and the domino effects of “encroaching communism,” which threatened annihilation of “democratic capitalism.”

Garrison logics drove post-WWII expansion of military spending, creation of civil militias, enforced patriotism in mandatory cultural displays (e.g. pledge of “allegiance” at schools), and the centralization of executive power in the form of the “imperial presidency.”

The declared end of the Cold War with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the economic collapse of the Soviet Union failed to eliminate the garrison mentality, despite its inconsistency with libertarian, neoliberal economic ideals [of a globally integrated market governed by business].

Contemporary fears of nuclear and bio-terrorism have re-invigorated the garrison mentality, resulting in the proliferation of government and civil efforts to police populations (in the authoritarian sense) domestically and abroad.

Chalmers Johnson notes that as of 2001, the Department of Defense acknowledged at least 725 U.S. military bases outside the U.S. (4). At home, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security—a warlike administrative apparatus that centralizes otherwise diffuse police and military apparatuses—illustrates the post-Cold War growth of domestic garrison institutions.

Likewise the development of bio-weapons labs and research centers throughout the nation illustrates the way the garrison logic has captured purported engines of economic innovation such as twenty-first century bioscience.

The Cold War U.S. security state gradually evolved into the post-9-11 security state, characterized by a xenophobic “clash of civilizations” legitimized in the works of Samuel Huntington (“The Clash” 22-49) and pre-emptive warfare, articulated by former Vice President Dick Cheney “1 percent Doctrine,” which legitimized pre-emptive action against foreign nations or peoples if there existed a 1 percent chance terrorists could attain “weapons of mass destruction.” (“America’s Longest” 22).



In the American popular imagination, collective fears and anxiety about a clash civilization have been promoted by media promulgated fantasies of terrorists subversives. However, although U.S. enemies are represented symbolically as linked to the forces of darkness, a closer look reveals their geopolitical proximity to scarce resources.

Like all “great powers,” the U.S. has a history of imperial foreign policy designed to secure access to natural resources. The literature on U.S. imperialism is vast but for the purposes of this chapter what is important is growing global resource scarcity, particularly for oil and precious metals.

The U.S. “war on terror” fought primarily but not exclusively in Iraq and Afghanistan is fundamentally driven by resource insecurities, particularly oil and gas.

The symbolic discourse of the war on terror invoked in Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” obscures the material bases of the war but appeals to a U.S. public conditioned from children by Manichaean rhetorics.

However, the war on terror is but one strategic trajectory in U.S. imperial policy. International lending, foreign aid, and philanthropic sponsored development projects have also played important roles in the promotion of the U.S. security agenda, “merging development and security” (Duffield 1-265).

The world’s impoverished populations are represented within a new security discourse as posing migration, population, resource, and environmental “risks” to the world’s affluent populations (see Cooper 90-95).

...poor populations are seen as draining resources vital to U.S. bio-security. Additionally, they are increasingly viewed as radicalized, anti-modernists who reject democracy and liberalism and thereby threaten the security of the global order.

Since these impoverished populations cannot be eliminated through war, the world’s most powerful nation states struggle to contain the threats posed by their needs and frustrations primarily through lending (IMF and World Bank 'GOVERNMENT' programs) and foreign aid....

Majia here November 4 2011: I think the politics of dispossession are escalating rapidly.... 


  1. That is another excellent article, Professor! Here are some thoughts that might expand on a couple of regions.

    "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall ..." - Ronald Reagan
    (first Pres. to 'escape' 20yr Presidential 'curse')

    No, THIS wall. Wait; that's another one of 'ours'. SHUT THAT CAMERA OFF!

    Title: "Europe's Grecian wall of shame is completed"

    There's an aspect of the ISorNOTIS conflict you don't hear of on TV or even AM radio. Well, that and that they captured some banks for a haul of several hundred million dollars. Where did some of their founders come from now that they IS? Oh that was the 5 released in trade for Bergdahl? WHPPSS!!! er; oops.

    Like most former politicians, it would seem that Mr. Gorbachev is more popular away from his home country.

    If tomorrow Russia attacks Turkey from behind,
    Greece cannot possibly be of assistance. It's now a land of "busted hips and blue hair", as most young adults have migrated elsewhere for employment.

    "Injustice in this world is not something comparative; the wrong is deep, clear, and absolute in each private fate." - George_Santayana

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Santayana

    ""History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme ..." - Anthony Wittreich (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:History)

    Another thing that bothers me is the massive Cult Of Personality that permeates our airwaves and politik. Am so wary, as there seem to be so many, on either side of the "iron dome" separating East and West.

    "History" in that context may play an alto saxophone, for instance. I knew things were amiss at the first public handshake between O & W post-election. They looked so very comfortable together, i wondered if they were going to high-five or fist-bump each other!

    Where will historians mark the transition from "War on Terror" to "Reign of Terror"??? I suppose it depends upon what side of the "iron dome" one is.

  2. Quote: "Lavrov, on behalf of the Russian Federation implicitly warned that US/NATO is risking global war in embarking on its campaign to seize and dominate huge territories, while inexorably and ruthlessly determined to conquer and subjugate Russia, having learned nothing from the historic reality that Napolean’s effort to dominate Russia led to the collapse of Napoleonic France, and Hitler’s attempt to subjugate Russia led to the obliteration of his Third Reich."
    "“Washington has openly declared its right to unilateral use of force anywhere to uphold its own interests. Military interference has become a norm – even despite the dismal outcome of all power operations that the U.S. has carried out over the recent years.”"
    "“Let me recall a history of not so far ago. As a condition for establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in 1933 the U.S. government demanded of Moscow the guarantees of non-interference into domestic affairs of the U.S. and obligations not to take any actions with a view to changing political or social order in America. At that time Washington feared a revolutionary virus and the above guarantees were put on record on the basis of reciprocity. Perhaps, it makes sense to return to this topic and reproduce that demand of the U.S. government on a universal scale. Shouldn’t the General Assembly adopt a declaration on the inadmissibility of interference into domestic affairs of sovereign states and non-recognition of coup d’etat as a method of the change of power? The time has come to totally exclude from the international interaction the attempts of illegitimate pressure of some states on others. The meaningless and counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions is obvious if we took an example of the U.S. blockade of Cuba.”"

    Have you ever heard of Leo Wanta?

    Notwithstanding Ambassador Wanta; i wonder if there are any "Wanta" style agents operating now.


    "Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo."

    Isaiah 3:11: "Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him."
    Proverbs 26:27: "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."

  3. Quote of MeltingMermaid: ".. all the fermaldehyde released into our country's aquifers by the fracking industry only mimics the symptoms of Ebola".

    Title: "Man Caught Dumping Formaldehyde in Liberian Water Wells Causing Ebola-like Symptoms"

    Carefuly with that info please. Don't want that in the hands of any would-be copycat, if possible.

    Title: "The Ebola test: let the test’s inventor speak"
    Quote: "Therefore, the CDC’s gold standard for testing Ebola patients says nothing about whether they are sick or will become sick. It says nothing about why some patients do become sick."

    POTR Blog has many interesting things to say concerning Ebola too.


    "War on Drugs", "War on Terror", "Reign of Terror" or all three?

    1. Dud here: Note that have thusfar only found one source for Ebola PCR or Antibody test (un)reliability.

  4. http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/ebola-the-us-diagnostic-test-is-utterly-ureliable/


    Quote: "Many otherwise logical and liberty-minded folks have quickly dumped their principles over Ebola fears; a crisis which they believe to be real, demanding draconian actions from the government to protect the public."

    Time and tide wait for no person. Tide just turned.

    Title: "iPhones bend and PCs are awful for the same reason"

    We seem in a downward spiral, the so-called "race to the bottom", and i think that N/A is "Winning".

    Cue "The Donald" to direct Charlie Sheen.

  5. Quote: "Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is telling the market it won’t cut output to lift crude back to $100 a barrel and that prices must fall further before it does so, according to consultant FACTS Global Energy."

    Quote: "In a surprise move on Friday, the Bank of Japan dramatically increased the size of the quantitative easing program that it has been conducting. This sent Japanese stocks soaring and the Japanese yen plunging."

    The Yen goes down, and Japan's Public Debt skyrockets as a result of the simple mathematics.

    TEmPCO manages profits though.
    Must be a real "cost-cutter" to put off even trying to remove fuel at Eunuch#1 (2,3??) until 2025. What will rad readings be by then? Earthquake/Aftershock risk?
    How slick to announce that they are walking away.
    It would help if there were plans announced to remove fuel from the CSFP &/or Eunuch#5.
    Why do i get the sense that inEPTCO (llc) want to "fire up" Eunuch #6?

    1. It does appear that increasing Japanese debt may be offset by lower oil prices, which closed below US$78/bbl.

      Pressure to restart "nukular" in Japan in light of evaporating oil prices & conservation gains should be lowering, not growing. That is, unless there is an external pressure involved.

  6. "Who did your voting machine vote for?"
    Quote: "As Ars has noted over the last two years, electronic voting (much less Internet voting) is on the decline in the United States as voters and voting officials have placed less and less confidence in machines that were designed to replace confusing paper ballots in the controversial 2000 presidential election and the resulting Help America Vote Act.

    On Tuesday, the problems included 11 voting machines in Virginia Beach and Newport News, Virginia that were “knocked out of calibration.” In a statement, the Virginia Department of Elections said that some AccuVote TSX Touch Screen voting machines changed votes to something other than what the voter intended."
    "Another issue that cropped up was that the wrong digital voter rolls were loaded onto thumb drives in North Carolina. In Michigan, there was a similar problem that resulted in some voters being turned away: the mayor of Norton Shores was told that he had already voted by absentee, which he hadn’t. In Indiana, several polling locations were shut down as some computers would not boot entirely."
    "Estonia, the tiny, post-Soviet country in the northeastern corner of Europe that reclaimed its independence in 1991, has held Internet-based elections for nearly a decade. The country started issuing digital ID cards that look very similar in size to other European Union ID cards or American driver's licenses and feature a front-facing chip that can be read by a small handheld device."


  7. Great article and yes it is eternally timely in the nucleoape era.

    How funny is it that their capital city now will flaunt the federal law with "legal" cannabis sales? :-)

    Only in a "kindly" Orwellian Big Brother world would you see such strange dichotomy.

  8. Thank you Dud for all your fascinating comments and links.

    Sickputer I think big brother is less kindly and more inclined towards thinking that a stoned population is easier to control. However, I think they are absolutely wrong about that because marijuana has the capacity to "open" the mind...


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