[Note: This article was written for the Unz Review.]
My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind:
North Korea’s air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn’t even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the “fearsome” Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It’s a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA’s sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don’t forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia’s capabilities and denigrate the US’s capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice versa. But if its a head to head shooting war, the US and NATO would dominate. FACT.
Commander’s intent: Decapitate the top leadership and remove retaliatory capability.
Massive missile/bombing campaign (including carpet) of top leadership locations, tactical missile locations and DMZ artillery belt. Destruction of surface fleet and air force.
Advance into DMZ artillery belt up to a range of 240 mm cannon. Not further (local tactical considerations taken into account of course).
Phase three: “break the enemy’s will to fight” and destroy the “regime support infrastructure”
There you go….
I guess an American attack on North Korea would consist of preemptive strategic nuking to destroy the entire country before it can do anything. Since North Korea itself contributes essentially nothing to the world economy, no one would lose money.
- First foremost, simple, very simple one-sentence “arguments”. Gone are the days when argument were built in some logical sequence when facts were established, then evaluated for their accuracy and relevance, then analyzed and then conclusions presented. Where in the past one argument per page or paragraph constituted the norm, we now have tweet-like 140 character statements which are more akin to shouted slogans than to arguments (no wonder that tweeting is something a bird does – hence the expression “bird brain”). You will will see that kind of person writing what initially appears to be a paragraph, but when you look closer you realize that the paragraph is really little more than a sequence of independent statements and not really an argument of any type.
- A quasi-religious belief in one’s superiority which is accepted as axiomatic. Nothing new here: the Communists considered themselves as the superior for class reasons, the Nazis by reason of racial superiority, the US Americans just “because” – no explanation offered (I am not sure that this constitutes of form of progress). In the US case, that superiority is cultural, political, financial and, sometimes but not always, racial. This superiority is also technological, hence the “there has to be” or the “would undoubtedly” in the example #1 above. This is pure faith and not something which can be challenged by fact or logic.
- Contempt for all others. This really flows from #2 above. Example 3 basically declares all of North Korea (including its people) as worthless. This is where all the expressions like “sand niggers” “hadjis” and other “gooks” come from: the dehumanization of the “others” as a preparation for their for mass slaughter. Notice how in the example #2 the DPRK leaders are assumed to be totally impotent, dull and, above all, passive. The notion that they might do something unexpected is never even considered (a classic recipe for military disaster, but more about that later).
- Contempt for rules, norms and laws. This notion is well expressed by the famous US 19th century slogan of “my country, right or wrong” but goes far beyond that as it also includes the belief that the USA has God-given (or equivalent) right to ignore international law, the public opinion of the rest of the planet or even the values underlying the documents which founded the USA. In fact, in the logic of such imperial drone the belief in US superiority actually serves as a premise to the conclusion that the USA has a “mission” or a “responsibility” to rule the world. This is “might makes right” elevated to the rank of dogma and, therefore, never challenged.
- A very high reliance on doublethink. Doublethink defined by Wikipedia as “the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts“. A perfect illustration of that is the famous quote “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it”. Most US Americans are aware of the fact that US policies have resulted in them being hated worldwide, even amongst putatively allied or “protected” countries such as South Korea, Israel, Germany or Japan. Yet at the very same time, they continue to think that the USA should “defend” “allies”, even if the latter can’t wait for Uncle Sam’s soldiers to pack and leave. Doublethink is also what makes it possible for ideological drones to be aware of the fact that the US has become a subservient Israeli colony while, at the same time, arguing for the support and financing of Israel.
- A glorification of ignorance which is transformed into a sign of manliness and honesty. This is powerfully illustrated in the famous song “Where were you when the world stopped turning” whoso lyrics include the following words “I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you, the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God” (notice how the title of the song suggests that New York is the center of the world, when when get hit, the world stops turning; also, no connection is made between watching CNN and not being able to tell two completely different countries apart). If this were limited to singers, then it would not be a problem, but this applies to the vast majority of US politicians, decision-makers and elected officials, hence Putin’s remark that “It’s difficult to talk with people who confuse Austria and Australia“. As a result, there is no more discernible US diplomacy left: all the State Department does is deliver threats, ultimatums and condemnations. Meaningful *negotiations* have basically been removed form the US foreign policy toolkit.
- A totally uncritical acceptance of ideologically correct narratives even when they are self-evidently nonsensical to an even superficial critical analysis. An great example of this kind of self-evidently stupid stories is all the nonsense about the Russians trying to meddle in US elections or the latest hysteria about relatively small-size military exercises in Russia. The acceptance of the official 9/11 narrative is a perfect example of that. Something repeated by the “respectable” Ziomedia is accepted as dogma, no matter how self-evidently stupid.
- A profound belief that everything is measured in dollars. From this flow a number of corollary beliefs such as “US weapons are most expensive, they are therefore superior” or “everybody has his price” [aka “whom we can’t kill we will simply buy”, perfect recent example here]. In my experience folks like that are absolutely unable to even imagine that some people might not motivated by greed or other egoistic interests: ideological drones project their own primitive motives unto everybody else with total confidence. That belief is also the standard cop out in any conversation of morality, ethnics, or even the notions of right and wrong. An anti-religious view par excellence.
Notice the total absence of any more complex consideration which might require some degree of knowledge or expertise: the imperial mindset is not only ignoramus-compatible, it is ignoramus-based. This is what Orwell was referring to in his famous book 1984 with the slogan “Ignorance is Strength”. However, it goes way beyond simple ignorance of facts and includes the ability to “think in slogans” (example #2 is a prefect example of this).
There are, of course, many more psychological characteristics for the perfect “ideological drone”, but the ones above already paint a pretty decent picture of the kind of person I am sure we all have seen many times over. What is crucial to understand about them is that even though they are far from being a majority, they compensate for that with a tremendous motivational drive. It might be due to a need to repeatedly reassert their certitudes or a way to cope with some deep-seated cognitive dissonance, but in my experience folks like that have energy levels which many sane people would envy them. This is absolutely crucial to how the Empire, and any other oppressive regime, works: by repressing those who can understand a complex argument by means of those who cannot. Let me explain:
Unless there are mechanisms set in to prevent that, in a debate/dispute between an educated and intelligent person and an ideological drone the latter will always prevail because of the immense advantage the latter has over the former. Indeed, while the educated and intelligent person will be able to immediately identify numerous factual and logical gaps in his opponent’s arguments, he will always need far more “space” to debunk the nonsense spewed by the drone than the drone who will simply dismiss every argument with one or several slogans. This is why I personally never debate or even talk with such people: it is utterly pointless.
As a result, a fact based and logical argument now gets the same consideration and treatment as a collection of nonsensical slogans (political correctness mercilessly enforces that principle: you can’t call an idiot and idiot any more). Falling education standards have resulted in a dramatic degradation of the public debate: to be well educated, well read, well traveled, to speak several languages and feel comfortable in different cultures used to be considered a prerequisite to expressing an opinion, now they are all treated as superfluous and even useless characteristics. Actual, formal, expertise in a topic is now becoming extremely rare. A most interesting kind of illustration of this point can be found in this truly amazing video posted by Peter Schiff:
One could be tempted to conclude that this kind of ‘debating’ is a Black issue. It is not. The three quotes given at the beginning of this article are a good reminder of this (unless, of course, they were all written by Blacks, which we have no reason to believe).
Twitter might have done to minds what MTV has done to rock music: laid total waste to it.
There are a number of important consequences form the presence of such ideological drones in any society. The first one is that any ideology-based regime will always and easily find numerous spontaneous supporters who will willingly collaborate with it. Combined with a completely subservient media, such drones form the frontline force of any ideological debate. For instance, a journalist can always be certain to easily find a done to interview, just as a politician can count on them to support him during a public speech or debate. The truth is that, unfortunately, we live in a society which place much more emphasis on the right to have an opinion than on the actual ability to form one.
By the way, the intellectually challenged always find a natural ally in the coward and the “follower” (as opposed to “leader types”) because it is always much easier and safer to follow the herd and support the regime in power than to oppose it. You will always see “stupid drones” backed by “coward drones”. As for the politicians , they naturally cater to all types of drones since they always provide a much bigger “bang for the buck” than those inclined to critical thinking whose loyalty to whatever “cause” is always dubious.
The drone-type of mindset also comes with some major weaknesses including a very high degree of predictability, an inability to learn from past mistakes, an inability to imagine somebody operating with a completely different set of motives and many others. One of the most interesting ones for those who actively resist the AngloZionist Empire is that the ideological drone has very little staying power because as soon as the real world, in all its beauty and complexity, comes crashing through the door of the drone’s delusional and narrow imagination his cocky arrogance is almost instantaneously replaced by a total sense of panic and despair. I have had the chance to speak Russian officers who were present during the initial interrogation of US POWs in Iraq and they were absolutely amazed at how terrified and broken the US POWs immediately became (even though they were not mistreated in any way). It was as if they had no sense of risk at all, until it was too late and they were captured, at which point they inner strength instantly gave way abject terror. This is one of the reasons that the Empire cannot afford a protracted war: not because of casualty aversion as some suggest, but to keep the imperial delusions/illusions unchallenged by reality. As long as the defeat can be hidden or explained away, the Empire can fight on, but as soon as it becomes impossible to obfuscate the disaster the Empire has to simply declare victory and leave.
Thus we have a paradox here: the US military is superbly skilled at killing people in large numbers, but but not at winning wars. And yet, because this latter fact is easily dismissed on grounds #2 #5 and #7 above (all of them, really), failing to actually win wars does not really affect the US determination to initiate new wars, even potentially very dangerous ones. I would even argue that each defeat even strengthens the Empire’s desire to show it power by hoping to finally identify one victim small enough to be convincingly defeated. The perfect example of that was Ronald Reagan’s decision to invade Grenada right after the US Marines barracks bombing in Beirut. The fact that the invasion of Grenada was one of the worst military operations in world history did not prevent the US government to hand out more medals for it than the total number of people involved – such is the power of the drone-mindset!
We have another paradox here: history shows that if the US gets entangled in a military conflict it is most likely to end up defeated (if “not winning” is accepted as a euphemism for “losing”). And yet, the United States are also extremely hard to deter. This is not just a case of “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” but the direct result of a form of conditioning which begins in grade schools. From the point of view of an empire, repeated but successfully concealed defeats are much preferable to the kind of mental paralysis induced in drone populations, at least temporarily, by well-publicized defeats . Likewise, when the loss of face is seen as a calamity much worse than body bags, lessons from the past are learned by academics and specialists, but not by the nation as a whole (there are numerous US academics and officers who have always known all of what I describe above, in fact – they were the ones who first taught me about it!).
If this was only limited to low-IQ drones this would not be as dangerous, but the problem is that words have their own power and that politicians and ideological drones jointly form a self-feeding positive feedback loop when the former lie to the latter only to then be bound by what they said which, in turn, brings them to join the ideological drones in a self-enclosed pseudo-reality of their own.
What all this means for North Korea and the rest of us
I hate to admit it, but I have to concede that there is a good argument to be made that all the over-the-top grandstanding and threatening by the North Koreans does make sense, at least to some degree. While for an educated and intelligent person threatening the continental United States with nuclear strikes might appear as the epitome of irresponsibility, this might well be the only way to warn the ideological drone types of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK. Think of it: if you had to deter somebody with the set of beliefs outlined in #1 through #8 above, would you rather explain that a war on the Korean Peninsula would immediately involve the entire region or simple say “them crazy gook guys might just nuke the shit out of you!”? I think that the North Koreans might be forgiven for thinking that an ideological drone can only be deterred by primitive and vastly exaggerated threats.
Still, my strictly personal conclusion is that ideological drones are pretty much “argument proof” and that they cannot be swayed neither by primitive nor by sophisticated arguments. This is why I personally never directly engage them. But this is hardly an option for a country desperate to avoid a devastating war (the North Koreans have no illusions on that account as they, unlike most US Americans, remember the previous war in Korea).
But here is the worst aspect of it all: this is not only a North Korean problem
The US policies towards Russia, China and Iran all have the potential of resulting in a disaster of major magnitude. The world is dealing with situation in which a completely delusional regime is threatening everybody with various degrees of confrontation. This is like being in the same room with a monkey playing with a hand grenade. Except for that hand grenade is nuclear.
This situation places a special burden of responsibility on all other nations, especially those currently in Uncle Sam’s cross-hairs, to act with restraint and utmost restraint. That is not fair, but life rarely is. It is all very well and easy to declare that force must be met by force and that the Empire interprets restraint as weakness until you realize that any miscalculation can result in the death of millions of people. I am therefore very happy that the DPRK is the only country which chose to resort to a policy of hyperbolic threats while Iran, Russia and China acted, and are still acting, with the utmost restraint.
In practical terms, there is no way for the rest of the planet to disarm the monkey. The only option is therefore to incapacitate the monkey itself or, alternatively, to create the conditions in which the monkey will be too busy with something else to pay attention to his grenade. An internal political crisis triggered by an external military defeat remains, I believe, the most likely and desirable scenario (see here if that topic is of interest to you). Still, the future is impossible to predict and, as the Quran says, “they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners“. All we can do is try to mitigate the impact of the ideological drones on our society as much as we can, primarily by *not* engaging them and limiting our interaction with those still capable of critical thought. It is by excluding ideological drones from the debate about the future of our world that we can create a better environment for those truly seeking solutions to our current predicament.