Thoughts on Michael Scheuer, The Perfect War, and Wasteland
Bin Laden as a “terrorist” is bin Laden objectified. Once objectified, we can do whatever we want to him, and we certainly don’t have to listen to him.
Michael Scheuer writes about how Muslims see bin Laden and, thereby, he’s going beyond the objectified bin Laden, the “terrorist.” Scheuer is trying to experience bin Laden as Muslims experience him; he trying to move beyond what we know about him and trying to know him. He doesn’t want to know more about bin Laden; he wants to know his better or deeper.
Following the production mode consciousness, intelligence agencies and agents want more knowledge, thinking that the more knowledge they have, the better prepared they will be to handle situations because these will be clearer. What they don’t realize is that what they should be doing is piecing together a whole, i.e., in bin Laden’s case, the whole person. They gather pieces of “intell,” the facts, but they lack the imagination to put these facts together to form a whole. So, they are repeatedly surprised by events that more imaginative people could and did see: Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, Egypt’s invasion of the Sinai, the Tet attacks in Vietnam, as examples.
It wasn’t a deficit of facts that allowed 9/11 to happen; it was a lack of imagination. The production mode consciousness, the single vision, emphasizes deficits – here of facts. It is thought regarding 9/11 that we needed more facts, more intell, not a more expansive, imaginative consciousness. Scheuer is trying to expand our consciousness and, by doing so, is deemed to be subversive. Note the madness: Illumination, imagination is subversive! And, of course, it is. It always is. Just ask Socrates or MLK or Malcolm X.