Friday, December 30, 2022

Fletcher Prouty and Our Situation, Part Two


Fletcher Prouty and Our Situation, Part Two

Peter Schultz


            Having tried to delineate what might be called “the perfected-war regime” in part one of this offering, it is worthwhile to ask: What is required domestically in this regime of “perfected” or “limited” war, in this regime that seeks “full spectrum dominance” throughout the world?


            Most importantly, this regime requires that dissent be delegitimized, “pathologized” as C J Hopkins puts it. “Full spectrum dominance” applies at home as well as abroad, meaning that a consensus is required that overpowers dissent, whether the dissent be “liberal” or “conservative,” or “nationalistic” or “socialistic.” Why is this? Because dissent threatens to reveal how savagery, widespread death and destruction, define this regime. As an alternative to nuclear war, that savagery, if exposed, would undermine the regime’s legitimacy. Perfected war is best seen as “surgical,” “clean,” “technologically sophisticated,” and capable of great precision. It should be seen as almost bloodless, where enemies and threats are made to disappear either through renditions or via assassinations.


            But of course, there will be dissent, so the best kind of dissent is that which reasserts the need for full-throated, good “old-time” war making, that which seeks victories by way of the annihilation of enemies. Such dissent is tolerable, even beneficial, insofar as it hides the savagery of the perfected-war regime. In fact, such dissent can make the perfected-war regime look weak, vacillating, anti-American, and even cowardly. And those dissenters who assert the savagery of the new regime may be easily dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” or as anti-American. In one way or another, these dissenters are characterized as irrational and deserving of being “pathologized.” (Check out the James Webb story.) And those who recommend the savagery of the good, old-time variety, e.g., Michael Scheuer, are in fact bolstering the bona fides of that which they claim to oppose. “Making America Great Again” thus serves to fortify those policies which are, allegedly, undermining America’s greatness.


            Moreover, to achieve such a consensus, propaganda, what is now called “public diplomacy,” is requisite and, hence, perfectly legitimate. Propaganda becomes one of the supports for the perfected-war regime. And it is indispensable.


            Given the need for propaganda, “democracy” in any genuine sense isn’t possible in the perfected-war regime. Arguments, conflicts will arise over the legitimacy of the outcomes of particular elections, which may be and most often are fanciful. But that elections are “rigged,” controlled to assure the victories of the partisans of the perfected-war regime is impossible to deny insofar as any such dissenters are marginalized, ala’ Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich. And disenfranchisement is practiced in different ways to lessen the threat of a “popular rebellion” arising via the ballot box. Contra Malcolm X, this disenfranchisement which makes ballots disappear, as it were, ensures that ballots won’t be alternatives to bullets.


            So, the perfected-war regime has far-reaching consequences, both at home and abroad, as all regimes do. It would be interesting to take note of what happened or happens to those politicians who have managed to get elected but then, for a variety of reasons, take on this regime. Whether he did or he didn’t say it, the fact that JFK was said to have promised to break up the CIA into “a thousand pieces,” made him seem like an enemy of the perfected-war regime, as did his opposition to sending US ground forces into Vietnam, to say nothing of his plans to pull out of Vietnam after he was re-elected in 1964. And Richard Nixon, by seeking détente with the USSR and by going to Communist China, sought to defuse what were considered major threats to the US, thereby undermining the arguments on behalf of maintaining the military-industrial complex for the sake of defending the nation’s national security. Those officials who seek to redefine or restructure threats to national security as “non-threats” are working at cross purposes with the perfected-war regime, which needs such threats to justify its policies, to justify its embrace of full spectrum dominance or American hegemony.

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