A Formula For Endless War: The Wounded Shark, The Quest For Victory, And The Illusion Of Success

Yesterday, Chris Floyd posted one of his best pieces ever. It's called "The Wounded Shark: 'Good War' Lost, But the Imperial Project Goes On" and you must read the entire piece, if you haven't already done so. I can wait.

I respect and admire Chris Floyd's analysis -- especially in this case -- but I've also been having some mildly interesting thoughts of my own, about a few of the issues he touched on, and therefore I offer the following excerpts from his post, with extended comments.

I don't think I'm saying anything Chris hasn't already figured out. I think I'm saying things that he couldn't fit into his piece, which was already huge -- and brilliant! And therefore this commentary is not meant as a critique but rather as a companion piece to "The Wounded Shark".

You can read Chris Floyd's "The Wounded Shark" here ... and/or read my piece, "A Formula For Endless War" here ... and/or comment below:


W.P., you are right on the

W.P., you are right on the money!
This aspect of our wars of obliteration will not sell, not to the technocrats, (make it more efficient- see MacNammara from Ford to Defense), not to the patriots, (shining city on the hill dept.), and not to the dreamers of "change".
Good piece!
Patriotism is a manifestation of the Stockholm Syndrome.

oh my!

Chris's article was, as usual, an excellent one. Your additional thoughts are absolutely spot on, WP. Thank you. As is often the case you help to coalesce my own thoughts and feelings.

McJ's picture

One of your best pieces ever!

Awesome WP "one of YOUR best pieces ever." wink

"if we reduce a war of choice to the level of a game, we minimize all the things that matter most about the war: all the suffering we've inflicted becomes "collateral damage", and it doesn't even show up on the "scoreboard". Meanwhile, the false reasons that "justified" the war don't matter anymore, and we're free to proceed as if we hadn't done anything wrong, as if we're only in this "game" because we were "scheduled" to "play" it.

Terrific analogy and right on target!!

I wish I had more time and energy to comment but I was wondering if you have been following the political upheavals in Bolivia. Looks like the someone is facilitating a regime change there. Damn those shitty little countries that just won't follow the rules of the game.

Bolivia: Fascism Seizes Power - Morales Complains
Written by James Petras
Monday, 06 October 2008
by James Petras

Bolivian fascists have seized power in five of the richest states in Bolivia, forcefully ousting all national officials, murdering, injuring and assaulting leaders, activists and voters who have backed the national government – with total impunity.
...Beginning in late 2006 and increasingly throughout 2007, the neo-fascist right relied on its extra-parliamentary shock troops to assault pro-government representatives in the Constitutional Assembly, to organize road blockages and to assert their independence (‘autonomy’) from the national government.
...Any supporters of the national government who did not abide by their strike calls suffered cruel public punishment including beatings and the public humiliation of Indian and peasant Morales supporters in the urban plazas where they were stripped and whipped to the jeers of mostly white, European crowds.
...In Pando and Tarifa the oil and gas pipelines were blown up, causing extensive damage and costing millions of dollars in lost state revenues. Finally on September 11, 2008 over a hundred pro-Morales peasants were killed or wounded in Pando in an ambush organized by armed vigilantes supported by the department prefect Leopoldo Fernandez and his followers in the ‘civic’ organizations.
...The Bolivian government expelled the US Ambassador, Phillip Goldberg, only after the US Embassy actively backed the far right’s regional power grab after almost 3 years of open financing and public collaboration with the secessionists. Since the Morales regime did not break relations with Washington, it is likely that a new Ambassadorial appointee will soon arrive to continue Goldberg’s active plotting with the far right.

The Destabilization of Bolivia and the "Kosovo Option"
- by Michel Chossudovsky - 2008-09-21

The expelled US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg worked under the helm of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who directly oversees the various "activities" of US embassies around the World. In this regard Negroponte plays a far more important role, acting behind the scenes, than Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He is also known as one of the main architects of regime change and covert support to paramilitary death squads both in Central America and Iraq.

"I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." -- Shakespeare, Hamlet, I, v

Great piece, WP

It's all too true. I like the way, at the end, you tied it to Jim Marrs -- now THERE'S a scary fellow. I predict Marrs will mysteriously disappear a few days BEFORE I do and probably at the same time YOU do. Chris Floyd of course is untouchable because HE lives in Mighty Blighty, where they still believe in democracy -- oh WAIT! -- I almost forgot about Blair and Brown and the Labor Nazis. . . . There's really nowhere to run these days, is there? That tears it. I might as well just go and blow up that train. Banzai!

"It may be thought that I am prejudiced. Perhaps I am. I would be ashamed of myself if I were not." Mark Twain

I'm Dazed

How did we ever get to this? I just don't understand. Our country seems to have changed since I was a girl--or was it always this way and I just didn't know it? How can we fight this world domination thing? We're brain-washed from our earliest days to accept, even embrace, militarism. I despair that there's any path to follow to turn from it. Chris Floyd's essay and your followup spoke so clearly to me. And now I find myself wishing I had never read them.

lots of good questions

... and a few answers:

How did we ever get to this?

It's a long story. 9/11 had a lot to do with the final push, but it's been in the cards for decades.

Our country seems to have changed since I was a girl--or was it always this way and I just didn't know it?

It was always this way but a lot more discreetly, and most of us didn't know anything about it. But the list of violent subversive interventions by the USA in foreign countries is appallingly long, and bloody, and suppressed.

How can we fight this world domination thing?

Since it is based almost entirely on lies, some of us seek to tell the truth about it at every opportunity. It ain't much, perhaps, but it's better than nothing, and for some of us it's all we've got.

We're brain-washed from our earliest days to accept, even embrace, militarism.

Absolutely true. When my sister and I were kids we used to have to wash the dishes every night. She hated washing the knives, forks and spoons, because that was the most labor-intensive part of the job. So she called the flatware "the Russians". And neither of my parents ever thought to "correct" her. Personally, I didn't think anything of it, till years later when I could begin to see how much manure we'd been fed.

Chris Floyd's essay and your followup spoke so clearly to me. And now I find myself wishing I had never read them.

I know the feeling and I am sorry to have inflicted it on you. But knowledge is power and ignorance is far from bliss, so we must proceed with our eyes open ... if we are to proceed at all.

An excellent post by Winter

An excellent post by Winter Patriot. Many thanks for your work.

it's almost certainly about energy resources

What I see as the reason for the 9/11 false flag attack and invasion of Afghanistan is to emplace a puppet government that would agree to America's terms for building the natural gas pipelines across its territory from Turkmen gas fields (across Afghanistan) to Pakistan and a natural gas port.

The Cheney regime's negotiations with the Taliban government had reached an impasse, the Taliban wanting terms (heavy American investment in their infrastructure and some of the gas to be diverted for local use) that the U.S. wouldn't agree to. While the negotiations were still ongoing, the Cheney regime tried to bribe the Taliban with $43 million in aid, in addition to other aid already earmarked for Afghanistan: "The sum brings U.S. assistance to $124.2 million for this year, making the United States the largest Afghan donor for the second year in a row." http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/05/17/us.afghanistan.aid/

Christine Rocca was sent in August 2001 to try to get the Taliban to soften its demands, to no avail: "During her stay in Pakistan, Rocca is also expected to meet Taliban officials." http://iys.cidi.org/humanitarian/irin/casia/01b/ixl4.html

A little earlier that summer the U.S. had threatened the Taliban with war if they refuse to agree to the U.S.'s terms: ''At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs','' Brisard said in an interview in Paris." http://archive.democrats.com/view.cfm?id=5166

The Taliban of course did not back down, so the U.S. resorted to its 9/11 false flag operation to be blamed on "Al Qaeda" to use as a pretext to invade Afghanistan which was widely believed to be harboring "Al Qaeda". The Taliban is overthrown and a pro-U.S. puppet government is installed with Hamid Karzai at the helm. Karzai, though he denies it, is alleged to be a former consultant for Unocal: "Cool and worldly, Karzai is a former employee of US oil company Unocal – one of two main oil companies that was bidding for the lucrative contract to build an oil pipeline from Uzbekistan through Afghanistan to seaports in Pakistan" http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0610/p01s03e-wosc.html

Whether or not Karzai used to be on Unocal's payroll or that of one of its subsidiaries, it is indisputable that the real power broker in Afghanistan, the (then-) U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, used to be a Unocal consultant: "The ambassador once worked as an adviser to oil giant Unocal and his detractors linked his oil industry ties to his appointment to Iraq. They also noted that at the same time that he was working for Unocal, the company was touting for business in Taleban-run Afghanistan." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4736394.stm

The parliament itself, or loya jirga as it is called, is really just a rubber stamp for the U.S.'s policies in Afghanistan, one of the cabinet ministers even being quoted as saying it was a rubber stamp: "Seema Samar, the women's affairs minister, complained that the loya jirga was "not a democracy; it is a rubber stamp - everything has already been decided by the powerful ones". http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2039665.stm

So Karzai and the other puppets got to work hammering out a deal with the interests of their U.S. puppetmasters in mind, and in May 2002 it was announced that "Afghanistan" was planning a gas pipeline: "Afghanistan hopes to strike a deal later this month to build a $2bn pipeline through the country to take gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India. Afghan interim ruler Hamid Karzai is to hold talks with his Pakistani and Turkmenistan counterparts later this month on Afghanistan's biggest foreign investment project, said Mohammad Alim Razim, minister for Mines and Industries told Reuters. "The work on the project will start after an agreement is expected to be struck at the coming summit," Mr Razim said. The construction of the 850-kilometre pipeline had been previously discussed between Afghanistan's former Taliban regime, US oil company Unocal and Bridas of Argentina." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/1984459.stm

Later that month at the summit, sure enough, the pipeline plan was given the green light: "The leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmenistan have agreed to construct a $2bn pipeline to bring gas from Central Asia to the sub-continent. The project was abandoned in 1998 when a consortium led by US energy company Unocal withdrew from the project over fears of being seen to support Afghanistan's then Taliban government... The Pakistani leader said once the project is completed, Central Asia's hydrocarbon resources would be available to the international market, including East Asian and other far eastern countries. Pakistan has plans to build a liquid-gas plant at the Gwadar port for export purposes... The pipeline could eventually supply gas to India." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2017044.stm

A few months later, in December 2002, the pipeline deal was signed, just a little over a year after 9/11, the event that made it possible: "An agreement has been signed in the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat, paving the way for construction of a gas pipeline from the Central Asian republic through Afghanistan to Pakistan. The building of the trans-Afghanistan pipeline has been under discussion for some years but plans have been held up by Afghanistan's unstable political situation... With improved regional security after the fall of the Taleban about a year ago, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan have decided to push ahead with plans for the ambitious 1,500-kilometre-long gas pipeline... Turkmenistan has some of the world's greatest reserves of natural gas, but still relies on tightly controlled Russian pipelines to export it. Ashgabat has long been desperate to find an alternative export route." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2608713.stm

In 2006 it was decided to accelerate work on the pipeline project: "Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, the four partners of a proposed $ 3.3 bn pipeline, have vowed to accelerate work on the four-nation project to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan to India. The declaration was adopted in New Delhi at a two-day regional economic cooperation forum on Afghanistan, which was attended by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The partners of the so-called TAPI pipeline also committed to help Afghanistan become an energy bridge in the region." http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntc65139.htm

As early as late September 2001 some were realizing the potential economic significance of occupying Afghanistan. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle called "Energy future rides on U.S. war" it says: "the hidden stakes in the war against terrorism can be summed up in a single word: oil. The map of terrorist sanctuaries and targets in the Middle East and Central Asia is also, to an extraordinary degree, a map of the world's principal energy sources in the 21st century. The defense of these energy resources -- rather than a simple confrontation between Islam and the West -- will be the primary flash point of global conflict for decades to come, say observers in the region... The terrain of the globe's energy future ranges along a swath of mountain and desert with resource-poor Afghanistan and Pakistan at its volatile eastern end." http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/0...
Though this article mentions oil and Central Asia, it fails to mention natural gas, but anyway you get the idea.

Thanks Brutal Truth

That's some nice research you've put together there for us, Brutal. Thanks very much. Makes you wonder if Osama was sent to Afghanistan to act as magnet for the missiles and occupying force.

You wrote, "As early as late September 2001 some were realizing the potential economic significance of occupying Afghanistan. In an article in the San Francisco Chronicle called "Energy future rides on U.S. war" it says: "the hidden stakes in the war against terrorism can be summed up in a single word: oil". . . . "

Actually, I would sum it up in two words, oil and drugs. Illegal drugs are reputed to be the fourth most profitable business in the world after Banking/finance, Oil and Armaments. And it is also reported that 90% of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan. The poppies are grown there under the protection of the US Military and flown around the world in there transport planes mostly flying out of Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan. Where this ties into the invasion of Afghanistan is that the Taliban had just succeeded in reducing the annual harvest to zero. The year after the invasion poppy growing was back in full swing. It's now at record levels.

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