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Good Rigorous Intuition post on this latest 'Terror Scare', including links to emerging details, such as this; where we find that far from being something that fell out of the blue black sky, both US and UK Intelligence have known about this cell for a while; more, they had an undercover agent in there. Bush + Blair confabbed about it for the first time at the weekend, not yesterday.

This points to what I was trying to make clear yesterday in my dialogue with Mark in the Comments box. It is not so much that these murky details point to some 'hidden' Conspiracy, but that this way of going on is now a given. Let's think/blink/click back to this story back in June, about the last Terror Scare story, in which an undercover agent was also dubiously involved.*

It's not a "conspiracy" because the Establishment/Power doesn't even bother to try hiding this stuff any longer. It's all out in the open, waiting to be noted. The only problem being, there is just SO DAMN MUCH OF IT. Rigorous Intution is good on these sorts of stories - the sort of stories that make you really sit up and take notice at the time... but then ... they ... just seem to ... disappear. (There are so many of them, but to pick one at random... : Consider the attempted assassination of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena ...) How many times in the last few years have you clicked on the News to find whole Newsnights and Channel 4 News editions devoted to the latest 'crisis' at Number Ten ('John, what ARE Blair's chances of surviving this? Will he see out the day? ...') or the latest gaffe at the White House? And then ... it's gone. Bush just bumbles through episodes that would have floored previous incumbents...**

I don't (necessarily) think this latest Terror Scare is complete 'invention', but I do think there is an element of considered 'good timing' involved that suits both Blair + Bush.

One give away being the futile gesture of picking yesterday as THE day to introduce more stringent airport checks. As one expert on ITN said yesterday, if you're gonna go down this road, then the only sure thing would be to strip search each and every passenger - but you can just imagine how well it would play politically if Western hands started to strip search, say, Muslim women in burqas. Although, of course, one might say the same thing about Israel's flagrant disregard for innocent civilians in Lebanon: how well has THAT been playing, 'politically', throughout the Middle East? Whose 'interests' is that playing (in)to? (Some blogs have taken the view, at certain points in the last month, that it almost seemed as if the US were stoking Israel in this regard, that there was a deliberate element of provocation in all this, an apparent gunslinger urging for Iran or Syria to react (or 'over react') and just go on and cross that line, boy ...***

I would find it impossible, personally to go down that road of paranoia-as-politics; you just end up in a wasteland of mirrors, where apparent 'motives' open onto hidden motives, which in turn split and branch into hidden alliances and programmed co incidences and so on ... I think it sends you crazy, in the end. In a Schreber like fashion, you end up thinking of the CIA, say, as a God like force, spreading its fuck-up rays into every geopolitical nook and cranny ...

I do still do a lot of background reading in all this, but leave it to other analysts and journos to probe the wider picture. The point being, you dont even need to start proposing Conspiracies. Just laying out the facts as they stand is enough these days. (The role of Pakistan - and its military/Intelligence Services in all this, from Afghanistan and the Taliban, to 9/11, to the present day and yesterday's Terrorist scalps, is way more than enough to set your mind spinning for weeks. But Pakistan of course - like Saudi Arabia and Israel - is ostenisbly one of the Bush administration's declared "friends" in the 'War on Terror', so they are let off the hook on blatant and persistent and uncountable instances of un-ethical or downright illegal behaviour. (Lost count of how many U.N./Nuclear sanctions Israel is in contravention of...)

And I think THIS is what bothers most sane, rational, non-extremist non-paranoid adults these days: the huge gulf of hypocrisy and flagrant double standards which is betrayed by every portentous word uttered by Bush n Blair n Reid n Bolton n Rice ... (speaking of which, did anyone catch Condi the other day, reacting snottily to a perfectly reasonable Q about Civil War blood letting in Iraq, with the patronisingly weary 'reply' that, O come on, she wasnt in the business of dealing with pure "hypotheticals" ...?

Oh hell, I've already lost track of where I am, and what I started out wanting to say here. Just that I don't think you have to be paranoid or a tin-foil-hat wearing Conspiracy nut to find the timing of this latest Terror Scare just the tiniest bit dubious.

*{... another 'story' - in all senses - which just faded away. Although not for the poor befuddled guys who are currently still locked up somewhere (and being 'deprogrammed'?) because of it: because of the ridiculous 'War on Terror'. In our name.

**{And what IS it with Bush-speak? I've refrained from poking fun at his mis-speaks, for various reasons, one being that, far from finding it snigger snigger amusing, I find it ... spooky. It isn't occasional. It's virtually every time he speaks. Like the wiring is wrong, or something. Reporters don't even point them out any more - because it's a given. Last week I scribbled down one where, the morning after Israel had blown 50 women and children to bits, he was trying to come on all, like, Human and near-tearful about this "tragic" mistake/accident/collateral/situation. As usual he stumbled from word to word... but in the end, he said, all we can do is... [pause] express our ... [pause] sympathy, our sympathies, which are with ... everyone who's died in the last week. THAT IS WHAT HE SAID. You'd almost think he was taking the piss. Either way - that joke's not funny any more (if it ever was). The fallible, nakedly 'human' face of Hallibillions et al, Inc., motto: Let's think of War as an OPPORTUNITY, not a tragedy!

***{ altho one would have thought that the 'ten paces and we both shoot' model wasn't the one best suited for dealing with arrogant theocrats with nuclear arsenals...

posted by Ian 8/11/2006 09:51:00 AM

Comments:
to backtrack a bit from yesterday, i have no problem AT ALL with the idea that this (actually existing but somewhat inccomptently DIY) terror op was wound up JUST RIGHT NOW as a white-house-led counter-event to the result in the lamont-leiberman election -- the bush-cheney-rove administration is clearly VERY rattled by leiberman's narrowish defeat, judging by the scale of the chorus spinning the result as a CALAMITY FOR THE DEMS

my objection was the idea of "distraction from the war(s)" -- because i don't see how that, needful or no, has much of a short-timing element, in which urgency might trump care
 
...yeah, that was partly why i was suspicous about its origins in AMERICAN intel to begin with ... altho it does serve Blair, re possible revolt in the Labour ranks, everyone being on their hols notwithstanding...
 
... and further, re Israeli tactics on the ground (or from the air): why go to the trouble of having civilians massacred in camps a la Shatila, which may need a 'cover up' and may risk some kind of para legal aftermath... when you can achieve the EXACT same ends under cover of 'collateral damage' ... Better! you even get to blame it on Hezbollah, for having the temerity to live amongst populated areas!
 
similarly, if you look at the reports about the ex lebanese Prime Minister's assasination a year or so ago, Hariri, and the subsequent withdrawal of Syrian troops from the lebanon - many of them talk about who actually benefited from the situation? not Syria who were blamed for the killing, but Israel - and a lot of them talk about the possibility that this event might pave the way for an Israeli invasion (I'm talking Guardian style reports here, not conspiracy theory sites and whatnot) - I ended up thinking, of course Mossad did it, it's not a conspiracy, it's a certainty - and... then you think, and..? I mean, in the light of the current situation, what use is this information?
 
given the way it's played in the wake of lamont's win, i think the announcement was moved up (a week, this story claims) for short-term US electoral reasons (rather than medium-term UK ones)
 
sorry that was me
 
more still, from a kos poster: i guess what i want to stress here is the potential fact of strains and tensions within the bush-blair project -- one of the things which makes me tear my hair out re sub-chomskian analysis is the assumption that within the circle of the power-structure of the class foe, all is agreed and transparent

but brit and US (and israeli and pakistani...) interests and strategies and tactics and general forces and flow have all kinds of potentially very serious fissues and wave fronts in them, which "we" should be on the lookout for, to exploit -- i CANNOT RUBBERSTAMP the belief that the more radical you are, the more you have to amplify "their" firmness of purpose and serene monolithicity of self-knowledge and understanding; bascially it strips "us" of all manner of VERY USEFUL weapons
 
I've been reading v. good book called LYING IN STATE How Whitehall Denies, Dissembles and Deceives [From the Chinook Crash to the Kelly Affair] by Tim SLessor -which convincingly and exhaustively proves that sometimes (a lot of the time) cock-up can be identical to conspiracy: someone like MOD takes an 'incorrect' 'position' on something, but then for variety of reasons can never bring itself to admit they were wrong or misguided or economical with the verite...
 
here's the US evidence of the actual effect of the brit swoop on terrorists: no polling benefit AT ALL to bush

now given my argt previously i can't use this to bolster my position -- just bcz a stunt produces Effect A doesn't mean iot wz deployed to produce Effect B (unless you assume that the deployers are superpowerfully all-knowing, which is SPECFICALLY the assumption i reject)

my argt (as it evolved) became: a somewhat sketchy and very DIY high wycombe plot was (genuinely) uncovered by brit policework, but then MADE A TOO-BIG DEAL OF at the behest of the bush administration attempting to spin the leiberman loss -- to the momentary benefit of leiberman now running AGAINST his old party; but to no effect WHATEVER in terms of popularity of bush or of war

i don't think "convenience" was an issue -- this was probably the word i reacted most against -- as i think the bush-blair THING is entirely now between a rock and a hard place, all the time; they are having simultaneously to argue that iraq has everything and nothing to do with homegrown terrorism; that iraq is a success but the threat of terror is ever-present; that a state of constant panic is proof they are on top of stuff; and -- and this is where the "convenience" element really breaks down, that 50,000 items of air-luggage is a "price worth paying" for freedom (where freedom is defined in terms of absolute freedom to consume without consequence)

so my analysis is now this: IF they have ANY GUMPTION AT ALL, they are stuck with a set of awful choices --they HAVE to release the news of the plot and the arrests (= send the message ALL FUCKED UP EVERYWHERE NOW); best (just about) to do so when the war in lebanon can still "distract" from it (even if it means keeping blair's caribbean holiday in the news)

however it's frighteningly possible they have NO GUMPTION LEFT, in which cae all bets are off how this was "meant" to be played

(given that i lost a friend in 7/7, i am somewhat inclined to hope that real policework is making a follow-up impossible, but i am actually fairly sure these kinds of media spectaculars to damage to such policework)
 
oh for goodness sake:

"just bcz a stunt produces Effect A doesn't mean it wz deployed to produce Effect B" shd be "just bcz a stunt produces Effect A doesn't mean it WASN'T deployed to produce Effect B

and
"50,000 items of air-luggage LOST" = "50,000 items of air-luggage"

magic word: warpumr
 
i think this piece holds up well a month on -- newberry is a rather clodhopping stylist (obscure in meaning sometimes, haha like i can take shots, plus a V.POOR speller) but very adept INDEED at doing what he doing here -- strong but detailed political economy wound into military and cultural analysis

anyway the stuff at the end explains why BushKru is seemingly impervious to revelations that would have destroyed predecessors AND (implicitly here) how the widespread angry revolt of the professional classes has been played back, populist-style, against itself

(SN also writes string quartets and engages in blog flamewars and has a take-down commodity theory of modern pop culture which i haven't really got my head round: i hope he's writing a book about it all which has a GOOD EDITOR bcz i wd def read it if he is)
 
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