Sunday, April 6, 2014
Cheneyism: The Dominate Ideology in US Policy/Politics Today
Todd E Pierce has a very important article up at Unz Review . . . which was republished from Consortium News. The comments on both sites are worth reading. "Cheneyism" is an accurate term and describes much of our current US political reality. In fact with this concept, much of our recent history becomes comprehensible. As I have mentioned before, there are additional knock-on effects that are not so obvious at first. For instance, from a Clausewitzian strategic theory perspective, for a country/political community to act strategically there has to be a political context, a potential opponent against which the country/political community orientates. This opposition in turn has a specific context and capabilities which allow for contingent actions/reactions to take place over time. With Defense Planning Guidance or "DPG" this ended. No longer was there a specific opponent in mind, the context became global with even former allies in line to become potential adversaries. Defense planning (and procurement) went from threat assessment to capabilities enhancement which is essentially limitless . . . Instead of containing the Soviet Union, with DPG the goal was the unlimited maintenance of global dominance, which from a strategic theory perspective is incoherent since the scope is simply too broad and complex to plan for in any realistic way, not to mention beyond the material and moral means the US possesses. So, we see strategy giving way to notions of US exceptionalism and the proclivity to see the use of force (in various forms) as the preferred means in international relations. This explains why the US today has lost the ability to act strategically and has been acting astrategically since at least 9/11. This maintenance of global dominance in turn required the demolition of much of the international structure that the US had so carefully constructed after World War II, since the assumption (although not always followed) was that the US was first among equals; thus alliance relationships have decayed and shared values have been replaced by narrow interests of "allies" often operating at cross purposes . . . Notice too the mention of Carl Schmitt. On the Torture as Stalking Horse thread I used a quote from Schmitt to introduce his concept of "sovereignty". This consists of the ability to identify the enemy of the political community in question and wage war against that enemy. Cheneyism and its followers have been doing that since 9/11 and in fact much of what they have done has been in the name of "keeping us safe" from a projected "existential threat", which is what the Global War on Terror or current War on Extremeism has been all about. Both are struggles against abstractions or methods (as in terrorism) not against a specific political community at all. Cheneyism operates according to a politics of subversion and obfuscation. Nothing is as it seems, publicly stated policy goals are formulated for propaganda effect, while the actual goals remain hidden, unstated, even deniable. Much of what is going on in the world today follows in tow of this political approach with countries in the thrall of Cheneyism taking on many of its political characteristics. This fascistic ideology is perhaps best seen as a malignant social/political virus. This all has also had a serious knock-on effect on our national intelligence collection, in that the purpose of that collection has become providing the justification for actions already decided upon, rather than accurately reporting on foreign relations/conditions. Finally, the notion of US exceptionalism, upon which Cheneyism rests, assumes that the US cannot actually be defeated militarily. "We can only beat ourselves" or rather the people lose interest in carrying on "their fight". For this reason, domestic information operations become a military necessity, the main stream press becomes essentially a "ministry of truth" and elements of a police state are systematically put in place to restrain and punish an ungrateful populace . . . who are purposely kept unaware, but also assumed unworthy or even hostile to the attainment of the maximum plan. Exceptionalism thus applies not to Americans as a political community, but to the Cheneyite elite who guide and control the state unaccountable in any meaningful way.