Adventures of the Deep State
As the media gets more and more uhm... emotional about events in Russia and Ukraine, it's past time to start asking some important questions. This dialog between Billmon and Greenwald is a very interesting place to start:
At this late stage in my life I find myself automatically skeptical whenever I feel the hysteria rising among the Village and the national security elites. It's happened so many times before. And it's very rarely what it seems.
I'm going to quote Lapham again here:
One of the quickest ways to suppress domestic dissent is to produce a foreign enemy and a foreign war. The whole, slow building of the national security state in America after 1950 is bankrolled by the Cold War and if you would make an objection to things that were amiss within America — if you would say “all is not right, all is not well in the American scheme of things” — the answer would be “well, would you rather live in Russia?” So you used the foreign enemy to accrue power to the state. That’s the same device employed by the Bush Administration with the War on Terror. The War on Terror was regime change, but it was regime change in the United States. In other words, you give more to scare the hell out of the American people to make them more obedient. You get in the habit of putting your arms up in the air when you go through airport security. Over time that instills a proper respect for men in uniform.
That GWOT was wearing a little thin, wasn't it?
The thing is, there are very few heroes here. Everyone has similar incentives to those expressed by Lapham above. That's when things can get out of hand.
But it behooves everyone to keep their heads. If there is one thing 9/11 should have taught us it's that there are many people with different motives looking for an opening. And there are even more who react like a bunch of screaming five year olds in a haunted house at the first sign of danger. This leads to bad results.
I actually feel that the president is handling this as well as anyone could under the circumstances. The pressures coming from all sides to "do something" are very strong. So far, he's been restrained and unruffled. But it's important to keep your eyes on the big picture and not be dragged along with the emotion of the moment.