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Kunstler: What Could Go Wrong?

Public Policy

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” Yeats wrote. The funny thing is, we didn’t seem to miss the center all that much after it was gone. America is perfectly satisfied hunkering down at the margins these days. Especially the margins of thinking.

One thing that used to occupy the center was public discussion, debate, and argumentation. Now and again, it featured a coherent exchange of ideas. These days, the main political factions are sunk in hysteria of one kind or another. Their primitive promptings hardly add up to ideas but rather limbic spasms of fear and rage. And then there is the shadow partner of the two parties called the Deep State, led by the quaintly dubbed “Intelligence Community.” These birds, many of them lifers, are dedicated to making the public discussion of anything as incoherent as possible so as to prevent any change in policy that might curtail the growth of the Deep State, a sort of cancer of the body politic.

Case in point, the recent Syrian aerial gas attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Elected officials were all over the cable networks selling the NSA’s story that Syrian president Bashar Assad bombed women and children with Sarin gas three days after State Department declared that it had a new policy of letting Assad remain in power after decades of sedulously scheming to shove him out. That might have led to the end of the six-year-long Syrian civil war, which Assad seemed to be winning, finally — with Russian assistance.

But instead the incident has led to new official calls to shove Assad out… to be replaced by what…? Nobody knows. Because the US Deep State thrives when chaos reigns in foreign lands. So much the better for their looting operations, such as the theft of Libya’s 141 ton gold reserves in 2011. And if not looting hard assets directly, the Deep State benefits when its many black box vendors — the private security armies, materials suppliers, arms sellers — are raking in the accounts receivable.

The fascinating part of the Syrian gas bombing story is how easily the public swallowed it. Those elected congressmen and senators infesting the cable stations told the public that the Intelligence Community “issued a consensus report” that the Syrian air force has dropped Sarin gas bombs on the hapless civilians. Nobody offered any actual evidence that this was so. These days, mere assertions rule.

That’s how we roll now. I’m still waiting to see some evidence that Trump’s campaign “colluded with Russia” to spin the election toward him. Those claims, too, were put out as “a consensus analysis” by the Intelligence Community. And then in March, months after the disputed election, just-retired NSA director James Clapper told NBC’s Meet the Press that his agency had no evidence of “Russian collusion” with the Trump forces. That was only a few weeks ago.

For the moment, it may benefit casual observers to adopt the most cynical attitude possible about the “consensus reports” that emanate from these myriad agencies. What it all finally seems to represent is the snowballing incompetence, venality, mendacity, and impotence of the US government in general, in all its layers and branches.

Hence, the idiotic PR stunt the other day of dropping the so-called “Mother of All Bombs (MOAB)” on some backwater of the once-and-future Mother of All Backwaters, Afghanistan. Did you happen to see a photo of that Mother Bomb? It looked bigger than any airplane that might be assigned to carry it, a cartoon of a bomb, more ridiculous than anything you might see in a Vin Diesel movie. It even had the acronym “MOAB” plastered on its fuselage in case anyone might confuse it with a canister of Round-up. I wonder what it cost. Got to be more than the $1 million-plus for a Tomahawk missile. You could probably run the whole Medicaid system of Alabama on what one MOAB invoice comes in at.

Meanwhile, the Navy’s Aircraft Carrier Strike Force 1 steams off the waters of North Korea and we lately have word that the US might just try to preemptively take out Kim Jong-un’s nuclear bomb assembly site. There’s a tang of excitement in the air (and on the cable channels). America’s back in the game, proving that when all else fails we can be depended on at least to blow some shit up. What could wrong?


30 Comments on "Kunstler: What Could Go Wrong?"

  1. penury on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 11:35 am 

    All we can do is ope that the insane leader of the country will not destroy the peace on “sun day” (pick your own leader, and country of choice)

  2. eugene on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 11:43 am 

    I keep reminding my self that tens of millions of Americans think it’s just great. In fact, they’re wildly cheering about it all.

  3. onlooker on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 11:58 am 

    Not cheering Eugene just thinking what a sad spectacle of a country is the country I live in.

  4. Cloggie on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 12:29 pm 

    So much the better for their looting operations, such as the theft of Libya’s 141 ton gold reserves in 2011.

    The US did the same with Ukrainian gold:

    Much of Europe’s gold was “stored” in the US also after WW2, for reasons unknown. Perhaps a precaution the threat of a Soviet take-over, but these guys no longer exist. It remains to be seen if we ever get it back. I’m not aware that any US gold is stored in Europe. The Dutch got some of it back recently, no doubt after they secretly agreed to help cover up the MH17 disaster and help put the blame on Russia.

    The fascinating part of the Syrian gas bombing story is how easily the public swallowed it.

    They swallow anything as long as it was on TeeVee.

    These days, mere assertions rule.

    Make that the last 100 years.

    hat’s how we roll now. I’m still waiting to see some evidence that Trump’s campaign “colluded with Russia” to spin the election toward him.

    I think he did, to his credit. Why can’t Trump talk to Russia?

  5. BobInget on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 12:32 pm 

    As of today The Chinese; cut ALL flights to and from NK, returned all coal shipments to NK, threatened to
    cut all electricity shipments to N. Korea if any further nuclear testing goes on. Sent additional 50,000 troops to the border to prevent refugees from rushing into China.

    If all power is cut, NK can’t last 30 days.

    It seems nuclear power generation in NK forgot he ‘generation’ part.

    China needs NK as a viable insulator to ‘western-influence’ (AKA, democracy) No Chinese defect to North Korea.

  6. BobInget on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 12:34 pm 

    (China also suspended oil products shipping)

  7. onlooker on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 12:41 pm 

    China needs NK as a viable insulator to ‘western-influence’ (AKA, democracy) No Chinese defect to North Korea._—And even more try and keep the crazy ruling NK family pacified

  8. Hawkcreek on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 1:24 pm 

    Kunstler is not always right, but he is right about the center not holding. It just seems that it is all falling apart now.
    It looks like greed and theft have reached the point of diminishing returns for the elite.
    Might have to do a reset war and start over.

  9. Northwest Resident on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 1:24 pm 

    I’m pretty sure the goal of all the propaganda, lies, distortions, self-contradiction and threats of war are all designed to both confuse and entertain the clueless masses. To the extent that nobody has a clue in hell what the Trump admin, the FED, the stock market and the U.S. military are going to do next, TPTB have succeeded. If a majority of people worldwide were to ever one day suddenly become aware of the REAL issues that are besetting us, sheer panic would surely ensue.

    This game of obfuscate and pretend and extend has been going on for many years now. It certainly feels to me like it is in the bottom half of the 9th inning, but who knows, maybe they can stretch it out for another few years. The KEY is not the financial markets or global economy, but the availability of oil/energy. Once we cross a certain threshold of energy deprivation, rapid and chaotic disintegration will be unstoppable. Couple years or so is my guess, though with all the Black Swans circling, it could be much sooner than that.

  10. paulo1 on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 1:25 pm 

    From the Guardian:

    “Each MOAB, or massive ordinance air blast – nicknamed the “mother of all bombs” – costs $16m (£13m) out of a total programme cost of $314m which produced about 20 of the bombs.

    Crunched down – and in the most cold-blooded terms – that means the US military has expended some 5% of its stockpile of MOABs to kill three dozen Isis members at a cost of almost $450,000 per individual.”

  11. paulo1 on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 1:26 pm 

    I forgot to add, with borrowed money. 🙂

  12. Hawkcreek on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 1:52 pm 

    Looks like if we borrow another 20 trillion, we could finish them all off.
    Doing well (the FED) while doing good!

  13. Repent on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 2:20 pm 

    The Government of Canada is about to legalize dope, after years of debate it is finally coming to a vote. If a non-issue for civilization at large like this takes this many years of hype and debate; then how long would implementing a really, really big change to society take?

    The big changes never happen. Expect BAU until collapse arrives.

  14. Plantagenet on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 2:33 pm 

    Bush destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama finished destroying Afghanistan, then destroyed Libya and finished up with returning to Iraq and destroying Syria. Now Trump wants to destroy North Korea and Syria, with the occasional MOAB for Afghanistan.

    You couldn’t get three more different presidents, but when it comes to foreign policy they all do more or less the same things.


  15. rockman on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 2:59 pm 

    Paulo – “Each MOAB, or massive ordinance air blast…costs $16m”. If that price tag is correct it shows why our military budget is rediculous. Granted it’s not a “dumb iron” bomb but it ain’t exactly new high tech. Even with GPS and inflight adjustment capability most of that mass is just dead weight munitions. We probably could have just dropped ten 5,000 pounders from a B-52 out of Diego Garcia and did a lot more damage a lot cheaper.

    And the boys at DG would have been thrilled to have some “trigger time”. LOL.

  16. Ghung on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 4:02 pm 

    It’s “asynchronous warfare”, the latest thing.

  17. joe on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 4:23 pm 

    Dropping a moab on a bunch of Afghan shephards who onceca season raise black flag like a bunch of pirates is not going to scare anyone. Theres much bigger than moabs in the world, and the list of countries that a can use em is growing. Power is an illusion, just like your fiat money and climate change denial at the end of the century of oil.

  18. Go Speed Racer on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 5:22 pm 

    Blow up the fat kid. Obama wouldn’t do it.
    Trump will. Obama sits around worrying
    where will the pieces might land. Trump doesn’t
    give a schitt.

  19. Cloggie on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 5:38 pm 

    An average day in the empire:

    – Use Afghanistan as a testing ground for new weapons
    – Work yourself publicly in a rage over gruesome pictures without context and accuse your enemies
    – Repeat cycle

  20. makati1 on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 5:46 pm 

    The MOAB cost, what, ~$4M? It supposedly killed 39 ISIS ‘terrorists’. That is at a cost of ~$100,000 each. I bet you could have bought them off for a lot less. Now all we need is another $1,000,000,000 or more, for the rest of the gang. The MIC must be drooling by now.

  21. Anonymouse on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 6:09 pm 

    It is highly unlikely the uS would target its own USlamic state foot-soldiers, even to score propaganda points. I would wait for the announcement the uS actually hit a wedding party, or if not that, then a funeral, random travelers etc, with that stupidly impractical weapon. Its also equally possible, they didn’t hit anyone or anything besides sand and rocks. Dont buy into the bullshit they destroyed some elaborate underground base either, since that is also, impossible to verify.


    Your costs are way off paulo, but quite a bit. You didnt factor in the cost of the actual mission itself, would is likely far greater than the weapon itself. So conservatively, double the cost-per-kill. It might be even worse, since its quite likely the uS may have killed far less than they claimed, if they killed anyone at all. Finally, we dont even know if they were any so-called ‘terrorists’ present in the first place.

    Outright fabrication of ‘enemy’ causalities, is after, a time-honored tradition in the uS farces. The uS regularly inflates the number of actual fighters it kills, and routinely understates, or just denies the number of innocent, unarmed civilians it murders.

    Oh, hey rocketyman, I hope the afghan resistance get a lot more ‘trigger-time’ against you amerikan invaders in the days ahead. Like right-between the eyes. The only reason they dont kill more of you amerikan douchebags, is, uS soliders spend the bulk of their time protecting the opium fields alongside afghan opium lords and their fighters, and not actually engaging resistance fighters in the rest of country.

  22. makati1 on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 6:38 pm 

    Oops! Missed Paulo’s post and under stated the cost. Totally agree with Anon. The U$ is nothing but hot air and false brag.

    Big Hat. No Cattle! LMAO

  23. DerHundistlos on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 7:28 pm 

    Why do some posters perseverate incessantly over NK as if it really matters. NK is broke. NK does not pose an offensive threat.

    Trump would not dare a military operation to oust NK’s leader lest thousands of NK artillery positions, already pre-positioned, will obliterate the entire City of Seoul and its 10.000.000 residents.

  24. GregT on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 7:57 pm 

    16 years ago, back in 2001, the US supposedly began systematically bombing the shit out of Afghanistan, in order to take out Osama Bin Laden’s ‘Al-Qaeda Central Command Center’, buried deep underground in an elaborate network of caves. Fast forward to 2017, and they’re still working in it.

    The US military is either the most incompetent fighting force that the world has ever seen, or we are all being fed a pack of lies. At this point it is rather difficult to come to a firm conclusion. I suspect both.

  25. GregT on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 8:01 pm 

    “Why do some posters perseverate incessantly over NK as if it really matters.”

    When your economy is so reliant on blowing the shit out of stuff/ murdering other people, nothing matters as much as the enemy du jour. NK just happens to be the enemy of the week. Wait a few days, that is likely to change.

  26. DMyers on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 8:13 pm 

    “…proving that when all else fails we can be depended on at least to blow some shit up.” That’s the appointed narrative, and it rings so true[ly].

    MOAB I thought that was a person place or thing in the Old Testament. Does this mean the Jews are up to their old tricks?

    This MOAB, as it recently existed, was clearly intended as a symbolically large penis. These things all have their cores in primitive beliefs and superstitions. The bigger the better is a cultural maxim, not to be escaped by the masses. A really big bomb, that we can view while eating a triple cheeseburger, satisfies the will to power and inspires a sense of national pride.

    Big things like this really put our enemies in fear. There’s an innate aversion to giant incoming missiles. Even if a missile half the size would do equivalent damage, the size factor introduces an element of terror. You know, that thing we’re fighting.

    But Trump has a defense here, the same as his predecessor. “I was following orders.” It didn’t work at Nuremberg, but the defendants there were not so exceptional. And here we are safe from any questions regarding who gave these orders.

  27. dooma on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 10:33 pm 

    Boys playing war with their latest toys. The next war, which has always been touted as the last may not be that far away. I am scared.

  28. Hawkcreek on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 10:49 pm 

    Whats really funny is the the Trump administration was talking like Assad dropping “Barrel bombs” on his opposition was equivalent to using weapons of mass destruction.
    Barrel bombs contain approx 300 pounds of explosive compared to the MOAB’s 21,600 pounds of explosive.
    Morons continue to surprise me.

  29. GregT on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 11:18 pm 

    What’s even more funny, (in a sick and twisted kind of way) is that cowards murder other people with their bare hands, while the brave sit in office cubicles 8000 miles away, and murder people with drones. Even funnier (in an even more sick and twisted way), is that it is somehow more humane to blow people up into pieces and to let them suffer for days, months, or even years, than it is to murder them within a few seconds, or a few minutes.

  30. makati1 on Fri, 14th Apr 2017 11:54 pm 

    Dooma, anyone with any sense should be afraid of what is coming. I do not welcome it, but I am as prepared to endure it as I can be. I am not in denial like many here. When the SHTF, I can disappear into the jungle here and live more simple life. I would not have that option in the Police State called America.

    I was born just before the last world war ended (’44) and grew up in the best of times in the U$. By the time I married, (early 70s) the U$ was already in decline. I have watched it ever since, knowing the end would likely be in my lifetime.

    I had not realized then that it might also be the end of our species on this planet. I have been watching that event unfold since that recognition in the early days of this century. We seem to be hitting the hockey stick part of that graph also.

    When I was born, there were still blanks on the world map, Africa was still wild and the Amazon a mysterious place, not a mega corporation. There were still freedoms in America. All gone now.

    The Internet gives me the viewpoint of hundreds of people around the world who are also realists. Piecing the big picture together from all their thoughts makes me sure I will see the end of many things if I live to my father and mother’s age. That would be 2034. So be it.

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