Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A spook ponders ...


A blinkered view of our enemies has caused us to make lots of miscalculations, most consequently it’s caused us to overlook some white citizens' dispossession — that steep loss of privilege and power of a group once on the top. Along with it we’ve missed what some Republicans and Neo-Nazi sympathizers eager to upend the country really are: symptoms of white male dispossession.

Both groups want to turn the clock back to a time when pure, orthodox Americanism was ascendant and expanding. They look at all outsiders as existential threats. These two groups lashing out with seemingly random violence may not be to most American's taste, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to dispossession, people on the margins often turn to violence when the group’s collective existence is at stake. Finally, in dismissing our enemies’ grievances, we miss that they may just have legitimate grievances.

... If the United States continues to dismiss our enemies’ fears, count on it that our miscalculation will continue to pile up, making things look more and more like a plague than a proper war. Forgetting that people governed by fear want to be governed by faith is a cardinal political error.

The author is Robert Baer, a CIA case officer in the Directorate of Operations from 1976 to 1997.

You may have guessed that the nouns in bold type are my replacements for Mr. Baer's original words. I'll post the original in the first comment below.

2 comments:

janinsanfran said...

A blinkered view of our enemies has caused us to make lots of miscalculations, most consequently it’s caused us to overlook Sunni dispossession — that steep loss of privilege and power of a group once on the top. Along with it we’ve missed what al Qaeda and the Islamic State really are: symptoms of Sunni dispossession.

Both groups want to turn the clock back to a time when pure, orthodox Islam (read Sunnis) was ascendant and expanding. They look at all outsiders as existential threats. These two groups lashing out with seemingly random violence may not be to most Sunnis’ taste, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when it comes to dispossession, people on the margins often turn to violence when the group’s collective existence is at stake. Finally, in dismissing our enemies’ grievances, we miss that they may just have legitimate grievances.

... If the United States continues to dismiss our enemies’ fears, count on it that our miscalculation will continue to pile up, making things look more and more like a plague than a proper war. Forgetting that people governed by fear want to be governed by faith is a cardinal political error.    

Robert Baer was a CIA case officer in the Directorate of Operations from 1976 to 1997, where he served in Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq,  Lebanon, Syria, and Morocco.

Michael Strickland said...

Brilliant substituting.

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