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Friday, June 17, 2011

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"We like Ike,
And Ike is good on a mike,
We like Ike,
But Ike says he don't wanna," etc.

From "Call me Madam."

What's 20 quid to the bloody Midlands Bank. -- Ewan McTeagle.

Ike! He Kept Us Out Of War!

Can you imagine a single sitting general, admiral or chief of branch sounding like Smedley Butler?

Yeah, it is discouraging.

John, it's even worse than that... (from DN!):

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told a gathering in Brussels that NATO risks becoming "irrelevant" unless member states increase military spending and boost involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Libya. Gates criticized European members of NATO for cutting back on their military budgets, which he called "chronically starved for adequate funding."

This is urgent people... we have chronically starved military budgets! Call U2... fire up the informercials... anyone want to sponsor the Belgian air force?

Reminds me of the Goldman CEO saying they're doing God's work, or the CEOs in an Ayn Rand novel devoting their lives to coming up with more energy efficient motors.

Actually that's what I was getting at--the difference isn't just in form but in content, which is the polar opposite ("rockets are theft from those who hunger" vs "screw the hungry; buy another rocket").

There is an upside here.

It's small, but it's there.

The Eisenhauer appeal is universal. Translate that into any language and it is understood and compelling.

Gate's diabolical call has literally no pull on anyone but the vilest or most deluded among us. Further, anyone below wealthy isn't even remotely tempted by his plea, or similar ones.

The upside, then, is that our aristocracy has a harder time than ever rallying the populace behind war. Our institutional memory is, for the first time, too damn good. Now, they don't need us to start a war, but the fact of the matter is not even another attack on the U.S. itself would lead the citizens to back a new war without tremendously successful propaganda -- and our recent administrations are not capable of that sophistication. They rely instead on a preexisting mythos and a shit-ton of fear and economic desperation.

It's not the best news in the world, but at least a populist war machine isn't in the cards. This makes it easier for populist agitators to get someplace.

If any of you DON'T think this is good news, let me know, because all this positivity is making me feel dirty and I need to shower so I'd like to be wrong.

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