On Monday, Reuters reported about the ISIS takeover of Ramadi in Iraq. They quote Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Ramadi was a “target of opportunity,” that could be retaken in a matter of days, and US officials insisted there would be no change in strategy despite a failure to make major advances against ISIS. They also reported that Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior Iranian official, said Tehran was ready to help confront Islamic State, and he was certain the city would be “liberated”.
Pat Lang at Sic Semper Tyrannis made a great point about deceptive propaganda that is directed at a countryâ€™s own people. He was talking about the US and that John Kerry and our General in Iraq, Gen. Thomas Weidly used exactly the same talking points. Col. Lang makes a case that the US Militaryâ€™s embrace of â€œThought Controlâ€ occurred after America lost the Vietnam War. This from Lang: (emphasis and brackets by the Wrongologist)
It came to be an article of faith that “Information Operations,” (propaganda = IO) and “Kinetic Operations” (shooting people as necessary) were equally effective ways to wage war. This belief led to an exaggerated faith in the IO side of COIN [Counterinsurgency Operations]…and [our] repeated attempts to change…the basic beliefs of the many different peoples of the earth who simply do not want to be changed by foreigners.
And we have conclusive evidence it hasnâ€™t worked in the Middle East. Lang continues:
As a result of this kind of thinking we have done all kinds of foolish things. Among them, we situated outposts in totally hostile parts of Afghanistan next to villages from which our men would never be able to defend themselves.
And we were told that if we followed COIN, we would win in Afghanistan and Iraq. But we didnâ€™t win. And now in Iraq, Syria and Yemen our government continues to spin us. The government narrative is that all is well, defeat at Ramadi is nothing but “a momentary setback”. This theme is propagated, while they tout a raid in Syria (see below in Links) as a distraction from what now appears to be a catastrophe in the making in Iraq.
Kerry has emerged as our â€œBaghdad Bobâ€. Increasingly, it seems that we are in a phase where our government tries to intervene in all aspects of our lives to keep people believing in our geopolitical strategy, whether it is Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran or Yemen.
When information operations (IO) came into vogue, truth was buried by the narrative. Somehow, the American public became a legitimate target for national IO. Lang closes by comparing us to the Borg:
When you are part of the Borg you eventually come to believe that the talking points are the only reality and that defeat is evidence of impending victory. Locutas said that resistance is futile.
Talking points wonâ€™t protect our Republic, they will hasten its demise.
US officials leak information about their ISIS raid thatâ€™s more sensitive than anything Snowden ever leaked. Over the weekend, the US government announced that Special Forces soldiers entered Syria to conduct a raid that killed an alleged leader of ISIS, Abu Sayyaf. In the process, anonymous US officials leaked classified information that the New York Times published. As to the â€œgrowing network of informantsâ€ the Times quotes, maybe the US wants the ISIS to believe they have traitors in their midstâ€¦.
World’s longest and highest glass-bottom bridge to open in China. The foot bridge spans two cliffs in Chinaâ€™s Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. It is 1,410 feet long and 20 feet wide, hovering over a 984-foot vertical drop. This may not be for the vertigo-challenged.
NYC police Chief Bill Bratton to assign 450 NYPD cops to fight terrorism that may come from the ISIS. Apparently ISIS is selling loose cigarettes on Staten Island.
Forbes reports on all 50 states ranked by the cost of weed. States where recreational marijuana use is legal are also the states where marijuana is least expensive. This is also the case in Canada, where weed can be bought legally from places like speed greens at an inexpensive price. Mr. Market says thatâ€™s what was supposed to happen. In four states where pot has been legalized or decriminalizedâ€“Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, the price of an ounce has fallen below $300, compared with the nationwide average of $324. Oregon leads with a price of $204/ounce.
Florida GOP approves winner-take-all presidential primary for March 15, 2016. This makes FLA a BFD, especially for Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. It means the guy who finishes 2nd in Florida will have a hard time winning the Republican presidential nomination from the guy who finishes first.