Jump to navigation
July 18, 2007
July 15, 2007
ear Readers, we are constantly trying to provide you with a better community experience. Towards that end, we have developed STSOZ 2.0, which will offer more multimedia, easier cross linking, use and one hopes more fun and stimulation.
It is located at Stop The Spirit of Zossen 2.0.
Let us know what you think about it. Either leave a comment over there or here. One benefit of the new STSOZ is that valued members of the community can assume contributing editor roles more easily should they have an item they wish to share. We have a hardy band of enthusiasts and it would be nice to formalize our community a bit — or at least offer the opportunity.
Future posts will migrate to that platform. We will work hard to integrate the rich and frankly dazzingly creativity of readers (and critics) here there. Database migration presents a moment of extreme vulnerabilities to wreckers so we will proceed with some caution. Several times today we believed we lost the entirety of STSOZ 1.0 2005-2007 due to an errant click of a mouse.
Tomorrow, Fran Townshend et al. get taken to the woodshed over there.
Tags: Fran Townshend
, NIE Nonsense
, Banging Ones Head On The Deak
July 14, 2007
ur friend Global Paradigms has two items that offer intruiging insights into the geopolitical challenges facing both the United States and Israel. In “The Globalist,”
The choice that Washington will face in the aftermath of Iraq is between continuing to strive for strategic dominance in a way that has ignited more opposition at home and resistance abroad — or working together with other powers to contain threats to the international system.
In that case, the United States will still be first among equals (or primus inter pares) — which is the next best thing to being Number One.
e are skeptical that the U.S., particularly its so-called policy-making elites, is prepared psychologically or even structurally to recognize the constraints already apparent before our eyes now. It would be a pleasant surprise. Our guess is that it will take a “shot across the bow” or an even more eggregious geopolitical setback to make the point. Perhaps Dick Lugar can take the Senate floor and quote David Brooks again. The over all analysis is excellent, as usual in the piece.
Not content to stand there, GP also supports and expands upon the position of those who describe Israel's current strategic woes as the unfortunate legacy of its alleged greatest strategic success, the 1967 War
. Definitely worth a a read.
Tags: Global Paradigms
, Leon Hadar
, 1967 War
July 12, 2007
Only twice before over the last century has 5 percent of the national income gone to families in the upper one-one-hundredth of a percent of the income distribution — currently, the almost 15,000 families with incomes of $9.5 million or more a year, according to an analysis of tax returns by the economists Emmanuel Saez at the University of California, Berkeley and Thomas Piketty at the Paris School of Economics.
Such concentration at the very top occurred in 1915 and 1916, as the Gilded Age was ending, and again briefly in the late 1920s, before the stock market crash. Now it is back, and Mr. Weill is prominent among the new titans. His net worth exceeds $1 billion, not counting the $500 million he says he has already given away, in the open-handed style of Andrew Carnegie and the other great philanthropists of the earlier age.
he scale of damage done to the foundational fabrics of our society and its possibilities as a stable, actually functioning liberal democracy is mindboggling. Particularly when combined with the destruction of a broad-based middle class in the last 7 years (obscured by the false economy of inflated housing 'equity'). The purposeful rollback of the 20th century (and as mentioned here often, 1789) is fuelled by a longstanding philosophy from the Continent and many American strands of the Movement. Most of them, except the Neocons, are ignorant of their historical roots and even larger political purpose — seeking only their immediate agendas.
And still we wonder who can rescue the Nation from this monsterous, mutational mockery of itself? And then summon the political will, fashion a concrete program, the cadre and infrastructure needed to retrieve this Nation from this grotesque state? We look, and we hope. And we find . . .
Tags: Guilded Age
, Radical Conservatives
July 10, 2007
hen this regime took over, most of the senior personnel across the board came from either smokestack industrials such a Alcoa and paper (Paul O'Neill), Haliburton, Searle or from academia/policy wilderness. They missed having to confront the digital era and its impact on governments and States; recall “real men do nation states”, etc.
The first Clinton Administration was not too different. It had to learn the hard way. When Ira Magaziner and others first started looking at the Internet, etc. their response, too, was largely to approach from a State/FCC/regulatory stance. Circumstances forced learning. True, Sandy Berger, the trade lawyer turned national security mandarin, Dick Clarke, Cressey and others by 1999-2000 totally got the networked nature of the world (of which terrorist cells are only one phenomenon). We know this because we had dealings with the Clinton White House. But that knowledge was hard won. And not there inherently — although Clarke took to it with gusto — his energetic flacking of the digital 'Pearl Harbor' fears in the late 1990s bordered on the comical. It will be, however, a valid concern soon, though.
Read more »
July 09, 2007
Calling Gerson, your whirlwind is on the way
The Stiftung ran into this evening alone the Bete Noire
of the Neocon imagination the past decade and a half. A true pleasure.
As we are fond of saying, van Creveld had it right from the beginning
. Note that van Creveld even then, years ago, predicted a fighting American withdrawal down essentially shooting gallery narrow logistical arteries.
It needn't be a calamity, although we suspect it may well be such or close to it. Not only for American forces but for the region and the refugee crisis. Some from deliberate domestic bait-and-switch, some from incompetence, inertia and not a little from instinctive American reliance on kinetic solutions. Which leaves the Stiftung a bit despondent tonight.
The rubble of the 'Vulcans' will clutter the Movement/Republican symbiotic relationship for some time, but no one 'serious' as they are fond of saying, would entrust them again with with a PTA meeting, let alone national security affairs. (It would be amusing to see how they would insist that First Graders are required to understand Ze'ev Zabotinsky's 'steel bayonet' theories). The McCain Campaign's death spiral is all the more encouraging in that regard. (And we say that after where we were and who we were with the night of the South Carolina primary).
Yet even the verbose Biden et al. have yet to come to turns to the pragmatic consequences of withdrawal — whether in “stages” or whatever AgitProp term is used, or not. Half-assed going in is no excuse for half-assed now. That should have been another Dean Wormer quote.
, Condi Rice
July 05, 2007
hat gerund is optimistic, naturally. If, perchance, you are a long time reader, you know our cant on the fractured, micro-channelled and above all, incoherent nature of the contemporary American mind. This diagnosis applies most accurately (and ironically) to the most regimented and hierarchical of our institutions, such as the DoD/industrial duality.
William Lind offers us still more incisive analysis on the fundamental failure of the American military to meet our current needs
. Lind, correctly in our view, notes the excellent Israeli Winograd Commission's review of why Israel lost in Lebanon in 2006 applies (unsurprisingly) to the U.S. as well. The Commission excoriates the Israeli's fixation on technology as an end unto itself, while failing to understand that warfare has changed to what Lind et al. coined as “4th Generation”. Both the U.S. and Israel remain addicted to a flawed view that warfare remains putting fire on targets, hence the continued fixation on “precision fire”.
Lind quotes the Commission's pithy insight:
[The-IDF Chief of the General Staff] Halutz encouraged the civilian leaders to believe that Israel could launch a precision air and artillery offensive without getting dragged into a broad ground offensive. ... the failure of Halutz and the General Staff to appraise the enemy's abilities: correctly at the outbreak of the war stemmed not from incorrect intelligence or analysis, but from a willed denial of the limitations of the IDF's precision weapons.
o do we see OSD's dreams also buried in the sands of Anbar.
s we noted recently, OSD and the military deliberately hide the true cost of “Operation Excellent Adventure” by obscure the staggering Force Replenishment bill for hardware destroyed or worn out through accelerated lifecyle useage. CNN ran a surprisingly good piece this weekend on this topic. The military take enormous efforts to hide destroyed and damaged Bradleys, Humvees, even M1s, helicopters, etc.
Replenishment is a separate cost item from next generation procurement price tags (based on stunningly expensive, over designed platforms designed to deliver precision fires). The Navy wants new carriers, a new destroyer and the troubled littoral combat ship. The Air Force is smart enough to make sure that the F-22s are prominently displayed in the pop culture imagination such as Transformers movies, etc. And the Army has the Future Combat System, and so on. Something has to give.
e raise all this because the issue is about to leave ethereal academic discussion and plummet into the Tweetysphere (tm). Naturally, the fact that the U.S. will lose a war because the military itself no longer understands warfare will be obscured and ignored. Lind's initial arguments about 4G warfare, the precision fire ethos, even Rummy's transformation all still remain specialized, arcane debates. How many angels (Powerpoint slides?) on the head of a APFSDS 120mm round?
The Tweetysphere (tm), however, can comprehend spending, budgets, pork and jobs. Very soon, the U.S. for the first time must confront external resource restraints — we can not afford Force Replenishment and procurement of the next generation at the same time. Boys with toys naturally want the new stuff, so the Air Force for example retired the F-117 Stealth platform to make way for the F-22. But what we have been calling the scissors crisis — two tend lines in diamentrically opposite directions — will not go away.
, Winograd Commission
, 4th Generation War
, precision fire
July 03, 2007
July 02, 2007
ne's expecations for American political discourse are by necessity low. But after 7 years, it still surprises us a bit that even now, after all that has unfolded, how few realize the true nature, imperative and direction of the Cheney era.
Forget those silly WaPo articles about Cheney that everyone found so “revealing”. Talking to long departed second tier staff about vague generalities regarding peripheral events and minor details constitutes a new hot issue of “Tiger Beat” for the Tweety Class.
Read more »
June 30, 2007
wo interesting and intertwined stories collide. First, Lynne Olson, author of the feted “Troublesome Young Men”, the story of Churchill's wilderness years leading up to 1940 and immortality, spanks Bush, the Neocons and the whole Likudite effort to hijack Winston as their own revisionist mascost.
he WaPo is increasingly irrelevant as a journalistic force and even a useful local information source (witness Sunday's incredibly inane effort to promote their young hip Internet reporters against the WaPo rebel kids who left to found Politico.com. The WaPo scoop? People should use BCC instead of CC on Capitol Hill when sending mass emails. We almost sobbed at the temporary nadir, soon to be surpassed.)
But the Olson piece is a pleasant surprise. Read the whole thing as the ex-space-law power tool law firm associate-turned-blogger says. The Walter Reed stories and a few other glimmers at the WaPo, too — but so much empty banality.
Then, the Imperator of the White House grounds (and little else) bestows Scooter's Neocon-VC (and in this case not even politically postumously).
We were never a blog site that devled into the feral debates and arcana of the L'Affaire Wilson
. The case against the WH et al. seemed clear to the Stiftung from the outset. We have always suspected from knowing Grover et al. that this WH ran an enemies list operation that would make Erlichman blush, and from outing Plame to selective IRS audits is how we know and suspect these guys roll.
Moreover, from the outset the details bored the Stiftung and were often wrong when reported. In truth, Firedoglake and the other usual suspects will serve you better, Dear Reader, if this issue is of concern. Those people, more than the traditional media, brought this story to the American people and deserve your readership. We could never match their expertise on the case even if we wanted to try.
Read more »
June 28, 2007
t may look like this to the casual observer, but the damage to the Nation's very core is vast. Healing it will last long beyond the next presidency.
The Roberts' Court surprised the Stiftung in moving this fast, this early. Americans still don't understand the ideology that has been gloating at them through familiar institutions the past 7 years — their anger at Dubya and even Cheney is about perceived failures, not goals or vision. So how to explain the need for a thorough and complete purge to remove those planted into the apparat still devoted to the regime's goals? Who will even think even to mount a purge? Who would know how to do it, anyway, except the Movement itself? Does anyone really believe the feckless Democrats ever could be trusted not to screw it up beyond recognition anyway?
onetheless, there is some satisfaction that the Imperial Project is in a tailspin. The Movement's internal destruction has been far more successful than the Neocon strand's Home Depot International Imperial Dreams. If the Movement's various strands continue to gnaw on themselves that is a double plus good. They can even take solace together in the massive damage done to our institutitonal infrastructure and the global community while they nurse those grudges against hateful — but possibly temporary — Reality.
, extra constitutional
, Carl Schmitt
, unitary executive
, contempt for democracy
, anti enlightenment
, Imperial America
IC contactors out of control.
June 28, 2007
June 27, 2007
Just the tip, my friends. This is gonna be one ugly mess when that rock gets kicked over. To be fair, TSA and HLS were problematic. No one competent wanted to work there.
The Stiftung and others lost the legislative fight to give HLS a meaningful, internal and independent intellegence analysis with limited collection capabilities. The rice bowls too sacred to move. Intelligence at HLS was a bureaucratic Chernobyl. So in HLS' case, one can argue that they were so screwed and no one wanted to be bureaucratic castrato, some contracting was inevitable.
We even said so at the time. But that does not excuse this kind of behavior. Which is merely Peoples' Exhibit A.
n fact, the entire HLS Dept. is a Titanic, of qualified people leaving after short stays or refusing to come on, etc. Another Joementum special. We hae known legions of senior people who left in despair of anything productive ever happening even before Katrina. Hijacked by Rove and Card after polling and they used it to crush the Dems in Fall 2002. And the rest is history. It's a farce. It's worse than a farce, it is criminal.
This Booz contact is bad. There are so many, many others. The incomprehensible scale of wasteful, stupid, possibly illegal if not illegitimate contracting that has gone one makes profligate Rome look like Calvin's Geneva. (Apologies to Salon for invoking Rome again). Trillions of dollars coursing through the veins of the Imperial City. Very little or no reliable, professional supervision. And people wonder at all these farcically huge and undeniably tacky McMansions popping up like body lice all over the Imperial City? All the shiny new Lexus and SUVs? Together with the regulatory and lobbyist contingent, they don't even bother hiding it.
Rookies when they go up to the Hill always forget that the two most important things to a member, particularly in the House, are (a) money; and (b) jurisdiction (especially for chair
person). The intern screwing and all that gets tossed in the back along with constituent service. So it is true Tom Davis, that you had jurisdictional struggles to deal with and your NRCC tricky burden to pull off, but I like and liked you, even raised many thousands of dollars for you. But you and the Committee took a dive on the Nation for a felonious pest control salesman, a maleable wrestling coach and a libertarian-leaning 3rd rate economics professor — all whom thought you were a Bolshevik anyways.
Sadly, I think the regime's thefts will go unpunished. Another sign of terminal dogma.
, Tom Davis
June 26, 2007
June 25, 2007
s a random thought experiment, which of you, Dear Readers, could offer a coherent paragraph summation about the foreign policy (note, not just Iraq) vision of the oh, top three candidates of either party? Without cheating and clipping and pasting some crap a 24 year old intern posted on the web page from a think tanker angling to be the new Dep.Asst.Sec. of something. We mean, in real time, an off the top of your head kind of thing.
e tried it tonight. Even after Advil, no success. Just bits and pieces of AgitProp and gibberish. Maybe you, Dear Reader, might have more luck.
It looks like it will get worse.
, Asuka Langley Soryu
, American Foreign Policy
, Post Neocon Age
, Post Realism
, Post Post
, Beyond the Beyond
so in interim point you, naturally, to Balkinization
Who knew that the widening Gyre would have Tucker Carlson's smug face on it and ever more insulting MSNBC promo graphics. There's this lovely little item that notesFukuyama (and Michael Novak (the other one) paens to how Christianity is uniquely suited to capitalism) join the rest in frankly flatulating into Tuckers beaming smile, now the breadth of 4 galaxies, as we near the End.
But what to make of Tweety's desperate ratings lunge with Ann Coulter. Does she have something on him? Or perhaps something must be amiss in the Matthews household? As he is devoting 60 minutes tomorrow to the only kind of pole dance that can really get him hopping now — with that gangly incoherent attention seeker. Will in anyone in the crowd have the honesty to toss her (the deserved) singles, one wonders?
Tags: The Legacy
, Tucker Carslon
, Tweety Getting Pole Dances