Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lessons of the Matrix for "the War on Terror"

So today moonbat shall expound on how Osama bin Laden uses The Matrix (1999) to plot his global jihad and recruit otherwise luckless young people to go blow themselves to pieces in foreign countries. You see, it's one thing to declare war on the United States, fast food and the Jerry Springer Show, and quite another to have a clue. Now, OBL got schooled in the usual Saudi customs and road construction, yet neither provide a road map for how to organize a global network of terror without potential recruits laughing in your face and going back to the Arab version of moonshine. And then OBL got his lucky break: a movie came out in America. A movie about a young man waking up to the corrupt system that keeps his true nature a prisoner and the soulless machines whose power must be challenged and whose citadels can be destroyed. That evil liberal Hollywood; don't those directors ever think about how their movies could be emboldening the enemy? So OBL hops on Ebay and snags a pirated copy from a Chinese seller, leaves some positive feedback and an exhortation to read the Koran, and throws a bag of black market Pop-Secret popcorn in the microwave. And Morpheus expounds to him all the secrets of how to recruit idiot young men:

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it....What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad... What is the Matrix? Control.

If there's anything young people want it's to be the ones in control, to be outside the system, to be above the powers that be. And all that Morpheus tells Neo, all that he promises Neo he will become if he swallows the Red Pill, that my dear readers, that's what OBL tells his recruits into Al-Q. Step outside the system, your actions are for a higher cause, accept no boundaries and no limitations, you will find glory. Of course, not everyone can be the chosen one, even if you tell everyone that they will be the chosen one. Running a terrorist cell in a Western Country, staying under the radar, and reaching your target do take at least a few braincells, and not all your "Neos" have enough to suffice? So you have to get rid of them, and what better form of euthanasia than someone else's occupation? Like... an occupation by a certain Western Country in an Arab land. Iraq. You hardly need persuade your not-quite graduates to the worthiness of their target, since from a distance everything American looks the same.

Moonbat found cause to desire pills for several hours herself today, listening to the debate on the floor of the House in Congress. Republicans denied funding for the troops, of course. Republican after Republican took to the floor, not to admit that 4 previous surges have failed, not to admit that they spent years hiding the total cost of the Iraq War in six other supplemental funding bills, but to insist they were right about investing in an endless war for the mere sake that such a pursuit is fundamental to being American. Meanwhile, the total cost of the Iraq War soon shall surpass $500 billion. Calculate out how many millions and hour that is. And how much did moonbat contribute in taxes for 2007? $3,900. Did moonbat literally pay for a nanosecond of our occupation in Iraq? For the dry erase markers used by defense contractors to teach Iraqi Security Forces to yell "Drop your weapons!!" .. in English? If I insist I would rather have paid for something besides dry erase, of course, that would be emboldening the enemy. Not that they don't laugh about dry erase markers already...

Back to the Matrix. So OBL got the point clean off, that the heart of the movement should have an ethereal city away from the war with the "West" and should strike by slipping in and out of the false world, removing recruits and eliminating targets. Show recruits that the false world can be used to defeat it's own masters, and that by having secret knowledge and faith, an individual could become stronger than the weapons of war, and transcend them, even if only in death. The glamorous image of the warrior that the villains fail to see, touch or stop, destroying even those central artifices of power which reason holds as impenetrable. Shut down the system built to ignore you and your anger at it, again and again and again.

Of course "Zion" is not Iraq. The point of having a "Zion" is so that no matter where you fight you cannot be defeated, your source of fighters will not be lost, your flag is never in jeopardy. Yet out on that House floor, the Republican Party tried to cling to a world without computers, a world without cellphones, a world without globalization. A world where war is a seige of a castle, or a capital, or a country. And as always, appearances for appearances sake. The pure wish that if everything looks good, then everything is good. That the presence of American troops on every street corner in Iraq stops training camps from being set up in Pakistan-when it does not. That the existence of the Green Zone prevents Islamic extremists from a hostile takeover of other countries- when it did not. Republicans hiss and spit over Beruit and Somalia, and neglect to mention that when al-Q assisted the radical Islamic takeover of Somalia last year... the Republicans left that to Ethiopia. Oh yes, but we can't have a second Somalia, they plead. Don't they mean a third?

So long as we humor Bush and his elephant friends by calling this a "war on terror," the longer we remain caught in that loosing equation of energy expenditures that Morphous demonstrated to Neo: takes twice as much energy to swing and miss, as it does to swing and hit. No matter how many "Al-Qaeda operatives" go down in Iraq, the West always misses Al-Q. Anytime Al-Q carries out a terrorist attack on a Western target, they strike us. How can they loose? As long as you can't hit Morpheus, and he can hit you, he always wins. And instead of seeing this, the Republicans lower their heads and flail away at a target that remains always out of reach, only to get blind-sided time and again. Four other times, four other surges, all promised to work. Meanwhile, the monstrous appeal of being at war against an evil enemy keeps debate over not getting our fanny whomped time and again constrained to the classical idea of war: battlefields, generals, tanks, soldiers. But like Morpheus, OBL pursues targets not in the "desert of the real," but in the false cities of the Matrix, in the West.

Democrats like the shine of the term "war on terror," that much is true. Obama and Clinton remain on very romantic terms with GWOT, and so far, only Edwards perceives the relationship might be a little.. limiting. "I also think it suggests that there's a fixed enemy that we can defeat with just a military campaign. I just don't think that's true." Not true in Britain, where investigative work uncovered and stopped a 2003 Al-Q bombing plot and just netted 5 life imprisonments. No weapons of mass destruction were found, however, just plant food. Such a point finds itself hard to be understood. Democrats everywhere who seek to broaden efforts to combat international terrorist networks will be accused of trying to abandon the use of military force and being irresponsible. And people do understand what our "war on terror" means; it's something for which no one has to be responsible. A broad catch-phrase for whatever your chosen politician advocates, from sound environmental policies to the highway robbery that gets itself called cost-plus defense contracting. Want funding? It's for the "war on terror." Don't support tax cuts for the rich? By golly- you must be one of those terrorists!!

War remains the ultimate defense, even ones of last resort and even pre-emptive ones. You find war an appealing choice because you were lazy or too proud to deal with the five thousand things that led up to the war itself. You never will hear conservatives admit they should have listened when liberal American call for intervention in Afghanistan and the ousting of the Taliban... in 1997. Never. You will hear continued Republican refusal to intervene in Darfur (including Bush's "I really mean I might think about doing something about you" speech to Sudan) used by the Republicans to support as many surges as it takes to surpress an insurgency in a country where everyone and his brother has a weapons cache. From old Iraqi Army munitions depos. Which Bush and his cronies failed to secure. Too busy printing up that "Mission Accomplished" banner, eh? As long as we see this only as a war, all we focus on as a nation is the art of war. Not homeland security, not airline security, not international security. Not the black market, not passports and visas, not how much plant food Muhammad is buying on Aisle 5. Not of course, all the future Timothy McVeighs out there either. But I digress.

Giuliani's idea that a Democratic President would mean a return to pre-9/11 mentalities on the reach of global jihad is more than "plain wrong" as Edwards replied, it's plain hysteria. Guiliani remains the kind of politician who believes there are no cockroaches if you stamp on all the ones you see. That sort of mentality leads to the idea that if you make war on the Al-Qaeda network you can see, there is no other network in the world. While the U.S. made war on Al-Q in Afghanistan, and later after the fall of Saddam and the entry of Grand Viceroy Bremer, in Iraq, Al-Qaeda merrily trained the bombers of the "Operation Crevice" intercepted 2003 plot and the successful 2005 "7/7" bombing of our allies, in London. Two years of occupying Iraq failed to prevent, by some form of magic, the ability of Al-Qaeda to target and strike a Western City. Perhaps that is why the Republican Party stood up on the floor of Congress today and declared that "Europe was lost."

Moonbat gets it. Iraq we can't loose, but our Allies can fall to the enemy. What does a dusty little desert country have that our time-honored and true Allies don't? Oh wait, we didn't go into Iraq for oil. So it must be goat meat!!

Whatever we are there for, the pentagon has made a few moves to keep America from ever ever knowing. Opinions about
the surge perhaps:
Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Based on what I read and the soldiers with whom I communicate, it's my view that military personnel in Iraq are deeply divided over whether the "surge" will work. There seems to be far more support among officers, even junior officers, than there is among enlisted personnel. That may well be because enlisted personnel are often the ones at the greatest risk over there because they are the ones running convoys, going on patrols, etc. They also are able to see how Iraqis on the street level relate to them and whether the presence of additional U.S. forces is changing Iraqi attitudes.

The reporter in question would be the author of "Imperial Life in the Emerald City." Reporters may soon be our only source of info out of Iraq, whatever your stripe, besides the rare Iraqi blogger. On April 19th the U.S. Army issued a directive prohibiting all unauthorized blogging or personal e-mail, including one imagines, anything criticizing your CO or anything NC-17 for the wife.
Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on Internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

No resumes? No A ploy to increase retention, by limiting job-hunting? Not all bloggers always went unscathed before, though now anyone seems fair game for telling the truth. Of course, while this may be the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging, there's little talk about this "emboldening the enemy." Only that it would cut down on PR for the U.S. military, keep the real glory of war and the success stories from getting through the MSM and countering the bleak accounts given by the anti-war crowd of misery and death. Of course, all of OBL's little Neos won't be fooled into thinking that just because they've gone silent, there's been a withdrawal of the American military....

Neo: I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

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