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Deconstructing “The next War” section in The Economist

by Thomas Prentice

from the Economist

How much should we let humans interfere with the functioning of machines and algorithms designed to kill people?

The Economist, published a 16-page special section called “The Next War” in its issue of Jan. 27 – Feb. 2.

In what is probably an unplanned revelation of the truly sick and twisted thinking of global capitalist militarist Davos elites – i.e. a mistake — The Economist, never a fan of authentic democracy, in a breakout quote in the article on autonomous weapons on p. 16 dryly says:

Most people agree that when lethal force is used, humans should be involved. But what sort of human control is appropriate?”

Instead of asking “what sort of HUMAN control is appropriate” the question that SHOULD be asked is:


Who needs drugs when reading this sort surreal delusion?

It seems the global capitalist elites have already decided to go forward full tilt boogie with more and more technological / Artificial Intelligence AI control of lethal force to kill humans. Those toy drones you can now purchase at Best Buy and online that can really fly and have cameras just normalize drones. Well, weaponize and militarize them and they could soon be armed kill you, no human intervention required. SWARMS of them. Imagine how quickly Occupy Wall Street could have been wiped out.

Worse. The special section reports that DARPA of the Pentagon is developing insect-sized killer drones that can penetrate buildings and, voila! Kill the people inside with no outside human management required.

So the only question being considered by The Economist and the Ruling Capitalist Imperialist Davos Elites seems to be how much should we let humans interfere with the functioning of machines and algorithms designed to kill people?

In thinking about that, one might remember that two Soviet officers singlehandedly — twice — prevented accidental all-out thermonuclear nuclear war.

In one case, a Soviet naval officer stopped a panicked Soviet submarine captain from launching nuclear torpedoes during the Cuban / Caribbean Missile Crisis of 1962.

In the other case, a Soviet Air Defense Systems Lieutenant Colonel refused to forward up the chain of command a technological report of a US nuclear first strike on Russia because he, the Soviet Officer, thought it was a technical malfunction. It was.

The name of the Soviet Naval Officer who stopped the firing of a nuclear torpedo that would have sparked all-out thermonuclear war in 1962, was Vasili Arkhipov, deputy commander and executive officer of the submarine B-59. Like the US, the Soviets had a two-key system and Arkhipov refused to turn his key. The sub captain believed that nuclear war had already broken out but Arkhipov thought they should wait for more information. In 2002 Thomas Blanton, who was then director of the US National Security Archive, said that Arkhipov “saved the world.”

The name of the Lieutenant Colonel. in the Soviet Air Defense Forces, who thought the reports from the Soviet technological early warning systems that (only) FIVE Minuteman missiles were streaking toward Russia might be wrong, was Stanislav Petrov. The report WAS wrong and Petrov, despite all the instant tension the missile launch reports caused in the Soviet command and control center, declined to forward the report up the chain of command which would almost certainly have resulted in Soviet retaliation for a five-missile, US nuclear first strike that wasn’t.

The false alarm was apparently set off when the satellite mistook the sun’s reflection off the tops of clouds for a missile launch. Artificial Intelligence AI indeed. The computer program that was supposed to filter out such information had to be rewritten.

We are wiser than the computers,” Petrov said in a 2010 interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel. “We created them.”

But it seems that US military planners as reported by The Economist want to make sure that the computers are smarter than humans … a phenomenon called a “singularity” in AI circles. Given that, one wonders if US military officers in the same situations would have acted in a similar fashion … or would US military officers have set off worldwide all-out thermonuclear war based on Artificial Stupidity AS ?

Or, given the US / NATO aggression against China and Russia, would Russian or Chinese or American military officers even have the authority that Arkhipov and Petrov had to interfere?

Yet not a word about either Arkhipov or Petrov in The Economist’s special section on “The Next War” about turning over human-killing functions exclusively and far more “efficiently” to algorithms and machines. High-speed financial trading by algorithms and “narrow” artificial intelligence” has consequences, but those machines can’t kill people. Using the same sort of algorithms and AI for machines to operate “as entrepreneurs” in selecting human targets and then killing them; well, what could possibly go wrong?

But The Economist and Pentagon / Think Tank revolving door US military analysts quoted profusely in these articles seem to think that turning everything over to algorithms and Artificial Intelligence AI is A-OK — to use the term from the early NASA Project Mercury manned space program. It is the way to go, foreordained, fate, destiny, the only common-sense, problem-solving solution. Get the messy humans out of the loop. Especially since those Big Meanies China and Russia are always bullying VictimAmerica.

But can we count on algorithms and Artificial Intelligence to come up with the same solution in reality – in real time –– that the computer in the Matthew Broderick film “WarGames” did? That all-out nuclear war results in “WINNER: NONE.”

Does The Economist consider any of this? In a word, “No.”

Is it not preferable to have Arkhipovs and Petrovs; Smiths, Washingtons, Joneses and Hernandezes; Lius and Zhous with authority to interfere in the efficient workings of algorithms designed to kill humans?

Fake news adjectives

Another curious failure in The Economist special report on “The Next War” is that on close, critical reading – some call it deconstruction –one notices that deployment of fake news adjectives and verbs proliferate.

For instance, on p. 5 of the report:

The main reason why great power warfare has become somewhat more plausible … is that both Russia and China are ***dissatisfied*** powers determined to change the terms of a Western-devised, American-policed international order which they ***believe*** does not serve their legitimate interests.

Are Russia and China “dissatisified” powers? Or are they sovereign nations in a multi-polar, non-US dominated geopolitical world who are determined to protect their national interests against outside interference from a “Western-devised, American-policed international order.”

Worse, look how that sentence worships and glorifies – to use liturgical words — the “Western-devised, American-policed international order…” as if the Divine Right of Kings has been inherited by “the West” and especially by “America” to rule the planet as America aka The United States — sees fit. Perhaps some of the other 200 nations on the planet might beg to differ?

Still another on p. 5:

…Putin wants to regain at least some of the prestige and clout his country lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union … he believes that in the 1990s, the West rejected making Russia an equal partner, and that the European Union’s and NATO’s eastward expansion jeopardized Russia’s external and internal security.

Note the use of the weasel word “believes” which, like the weasel word “feels” in journalism do not pose testable propositions and are thus never wrong.

But there are two testable propositions hidden within. The first is:

Did the West, in the 1990s (Clinton) reject making Russia (Yeltsin) an equal partner?

The answer is clearly YES! First it was US-imposed “Shock Capitalism” on “the former Soviet Union” which thoroughly destabilized the economy and made some instant Russian billionaires from the fire sale of state assets followed by treating Russia as a bastard stepchild, albeit one which still had nuclear weapons and a military and could still throw quite a dangerous temper tantrum. I’ll debate it with you if you wish.

The second testable proposition hidden in that sentence is:

Did the EU’s and NATO’s eastward expansion jeopardize Russia’s external and internal security?

Again, the answer is YES! I’ll debate that also with you if you wish, but here are two rather quick points:

  1. If Cuba was such a threat in 1962 to the “external and internal existential security” of the United States from 90 miles away, why would Clinton’s eastward expansion of NATO, violating George H. W. Bush’s documented pledge to Mikhail Gorbachev that eastward expansion would NOT happen, somehow NOT pose a similar external and internal existential security threat to Russia?

    And why would that existential threat not be WORSE than Cuba since the US and NATO have placed troops, tanks and nuclear weapons RIGHT ON THE BORDER with Russia, NOT 90 miles away? Not one word about that in The Economist special section on “The Next War.” Further,
  2. How would the US Deep State react – how would the people of the US feel – if, suddenly, say, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Sonora and Tamaulipas, or all of Mexico and Canada were suddenly regime-changed and Russian troops, tanks and nuclear weapons were all of a sudden on parts of the northern and southern US borders? Hello.

Another example of the naked fake news propaganda in this report by the voice of the International Capitalist Conspiracy (ICC) is that a simple find/replace function could turn around a lot of assertions into far more truthful statements.

Take this one from p. 6 of the report:

Even in Russia, where Mr. Putin has encouraged a revival of a more macho culture …

Use find/replace to replace “Russia” with “United States” and “Putin” with “Trump” and the statement rings with far more (pay-off-the-porn-star) truth. And add “to Make America Great Again” at the end of the sentence as the coup d grace so it would read:

Even in the United States, where Mr. Trump has encouraged a revival of a more macho culture to Make America Great Again…

The Economist apparently didn’t think of that.

Another find/replace example is this from p. 10:

A critical reason for the success of Russia’s and China’s grey-zone [soft power] strategies is that they have invested heavily in long- range sensor and precision strike networks as well as cyber and space capabilities that can impose unacceptable costs on America projecting power in their regions.

Flip “Russia’s and China’s” with “America’s” or even America’s and Britain’s or America’s and Israel’s — in a find/replace function (along with some minor but necessary grammatical changes) and one has a version far closer to the truth:

A critical reason for the success of America’s and Israel’s grey-zone strategies is that it has invested heavily in long-range senor and precision strike networks as well as cyber and space capabilities that can impose unacceptable costs on Russia and China projecting power against the United States.

Note how, in that original sentence, Russia and China are portrayed as Big Bad Bullies and Spiteful Meanies to poor, defenseless, inoffensive, virginal “VictimAmerica” when the exact reverse is true. Note also — once again — the presumption of a Divine Right Of Kings Bestowed Upon The United States To Preserve, Protect and Project Power and – (the Cheney term) “Full Spectrum Dominance” – To Rule The World.

What happened to the sentiment expressed in John F. Kennedy’s “Peace Speech” commencement address at American University in June, 1963?

What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.

Not a word about the contrast with Kennedy’s speech in The Economist special section called “The Next War.” But of course, the special section was not entitled “The Next Peace.”

At least the Economist does refer to America’s projection of power near Russia and China as being “in THEIR regions” as if the regions are actually closer to and should therefore be under the influence of Russia and China (which suggests that The Economist perhaps made another unconscious error here lol.)

I mean, what was Britain doing in 1853 fighting the Crimean War more than 2,000 miles away from the mouth of the river Thames in Russia’s region? Same with the US/Nato and the EU interventions in Ukraine/Crimea in 2014 or boldly sailing through Chinese waters – all in their regions – very far from the mouths of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Mississippi River and, the Columbia River.

And then there are all the failed wars and invasions and regime change operations — and successful assassinations — conducted by the US military and CIA [NOT Russia or China] over the years – from Korea, Iran and Guatemala to Vietnamistan, Chile, Libya, Iraq, Syria, the South American military dictators, the Greek colonels, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Brazil … and the beat goes on …

It is also surprising that, despite disseminating such an excellent propaganda piece extolling the unmatched, unmatchable vast superiority of the military of the United States, The Economist fails to note that

“America” Has Not Won A Single War Since 1945.

The Economist also ignores the fact that most of the “defence” problems the US and Europe faces aka “terrorism” are “BLOWBACK” from US overt or covert ops or actual invasions and attacks against sovereign nations whose governments are independent and do not want to follow the US party line.

Is there any doubt that the two attacks on the World Trade Center were blowback from US/British continuous interference in the Middle East and South Asia? The same with the various “terror attacks” in Europe.” Two oceans still separate the United States from the rest of the world, making white, Christian Europe an easier battleground for Islamic retaliation than, say, Des Moines. Which reminds me, if there are “Islamic extremists” are there not also “Christian extremists” and “Jewish extremists.” I mean, fair is fair.

It is solid truth, moreover, that the Bush-Cheney regime was WARNED IN ADVANCE by the CIA that Osama bin Laden intended to attack the US each month for four months prior the National Air Defense Failure of September 11, 2001 – and that Bush-Cheney regime did NOTHING. One would have thought that such Criminal Negligence would have been an impeachable offense in contrast to, say, a constitutionally unauthorized blow job adjacent to the Oval Office or, in the current situation, being an Unwiped Asshole.

Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine of Disaster Capitalism posits that natural or created catastrophes are necessary for neoliberal capitalism to even more successfully plunder a nation and by imposing both neoliberal austerity and a police state. The National Air Defense Failure of September 11, 2001 – which looks like a revision of the off-the-shelf OPERATION NORTHWOODS false flag plan proposed by the Joint Chiefs to provide an excuse to invade Cuba that Kennedy vetoed — was certainly a shock and catastrophe. Without The National Air Defense Failure of September 11, 2001, the last twenty years would have been different although the continuing decline of the US empire would have continued, albeit more slowly, rather than accelerated as it has since Cthulhu was elected emperor. As with the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the natural disaster in Puerto Rico has set the stage for imposition of Shock Doctrine Neoliberal Privatised Police State Capitalism on that devastated island. One should note that Cuba recovered quite rapidly which seems unusual for such a commiepinko country.

But back to the point that

“America” Has Not Won A Single War Since 1945.

One might interject that Ronald Reagan achieved a Spectacular Triumphant Victory over the Leftist government of the teeny tiny Caribbean island of Grenada, Codenamed “Operation Urgent Fury,” starting on October 25, 1983 – the cover story being that it was to “rescue” some “US medical students.” If so, then one must also count as a Spectacular US Military Defeat and Catastrophe the “terrorist” bombing of the Beirut, Lebanon barracks on October 23, 1983 killing 241 US soldiers whom Reagan himself had placed in harm’s way – coincidentally just two days before Reagan invaded Grenada – although it still took weeks for the US to wrap things up on that tiny island, according to that authoritative source on everything, Wikipedia.

Here’s another good find/replace exercise from p 8:

A Russian grey-zone strategy is to undermine faith in Western institutions and encourage populist movements by meddling in elections and using bots and trolls on social media to fan grievances and prejudice.

Substitute “American” and Western” for “Russian” and the truth springs out, free of the shackles of the International Capitalist Conspiracy:

An American grey-zone strategy is to undermine faith in Russian (or Venezuelan, Syrian, Iranian, et al) institutions and encourage populist movements by meddling in elections and using bots and trolls on social media to fan grievances and prejudice.

The poor delusional writers at The Economist do not seem to understand that the folk of the United States, as one example, and the folk of England as another, do NOT need Russian help to undermine faith in institutions. MOSTLY BECAUSE the institutions are doing quite a fine job at undermining faith in themselves by themselves, Thank You Very Much.

How much unemployment (22% as calculated by, absence of Medicare-for-All, male rape culture, income and wealth inequality, police shootings of young Black, Latino and Native American and disabled people in particular and ordinary people in general, export of jobs, infrastructure deterioration, the spectacle of electoral irrelevance and general Third World Shitholeness do Americans need to have their faith undermined in crapified institutions – and without the least bit of Russian help?

The rising support for people like Corbyn, Sanders and Mélenchon in France suggest non-capitalist solutions are afoot to solve capitalist-caused, NOT RUSSIAN-CAUSED problems. Such as capitalist, fossil-fueled Global HEATING causing Climate EMERGENCY as but one example accompanied by the looming Sixth Extinction – the only “terraism” and “terraists” we should be focused on. Although the Russians and Chinese, like the US and England, all examples of state capitalism, do far more than their fair share of stinking up Earth’s atmosphere.

Also present in The Economist report on “The Next War’ are plenty of self-deconstructing sentences such as this one on pp. 9-10:

China’s grey-zone campaign to assert uncontested control over the South China Sea and jurisdiction over disputed islands in the East China Sea …

An attentive reader might note that the two seas are NOT named “South American Sea” or the “East American Sea” now, are they? So why would China NOT want to assert control over these areas to protect them from the full-spectrum dominance and projection of power via naval intrusion by a nation that is several thousand miles away — and has a bloody history of intervening in nations all around the planet, including multiple times in China itself?

And then there are the flat-out lies – and there are plenty of them — such as this one on p. 8:

The clearest case of grey zone challenges are Russian intervention in Ukraine …

Talk about fake news. It was the US and the EU which intervened in Ukraine to, yet again, regime change a democratically-elected president and impose a government now headed by a billionaire president whose government includes authentic Ukrainian Nazis, descendants of actual Ukrainian Nazis who were all too enthusiastic partners in helping Hitler kill Jews.

And here’s a real whopper of a fake news lie from p. 7:

In February of last year, in the wake of revelations about Russian interference in America’s presidential election but before the full extent of its activities on Facebook, Twitter and Google had become known …

fake news again … and The Economists asserts this faith-based statement just as that meme “The Russians Did It” finds itself “melting, melting” like the witch in the Wizard of Oz.

And not one word about Israeli interference in US elections … or massive, continued, decades-long US interference in elections all over the planet. Postwar Italy comes to mind as do all the financial and operational support to smear Chile’s Dr. Salvador Allende in his three unsuccessful races of 1952, 1958 and 1964 as well as in his finally successful campaign in 1970.

And then there was September 11th. 9/11. But The Original was in Chile in 1973 by Nixon/Kissinger and the CIA.

The final fatal flaws in The Economist special section on “The Next War” are the flat-out omissions which are blatant, flagrant lies because of the severity and significance and the war threat represented by the information omitted. In Christianity, these are called “sins of omission.” On p. 12, the Economist writes that

Other states with nuclear weapons such as China, Pakistan, India and, particularly, North Korea …

Besides the high-handed dismissal of China as merely an “other state with nuclear weapons” can you spot the nation missing in action on that list?

It is the nation which obtained weapons-grade uranium in a theft from a uranium processing plant in Pennsylvania in the 1960s, a theft on the watch of CIA counterintelligence chief and fascist monster James Jesus Angleton — who was simultaneously the CIA’s Israel Desk Chief. Author Jefferson Morley writes about it in his 2017 book GHOST: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.

In the chapter simply called “Bomb,” Morley describes in detail that theft from the Apollo Pennsylvania uranium processing facility — which accounts for the unexplained large “losses” of processed uranium “lost” in processing at the Apollo facility – which far exceeded uranium lost in other uranium processing plants. (Take a moment and think about that: there are actually unexplained losses of uranium in ANY uranium processing plant.)

The Apollo facility was owned and operated by NUMEC corporation which was owned by David Lowenthal, a wealthy Jewish-American and veteran of the Hagenah which established that Jewish homeland state of Israel in 1948. Lowenthal was close to his Hagenah commander, future Mossad Chief Meir Amit. (NUMEC, perhaps coincidentally, was the first non-government, corporate-owned facility granted a license by the AEC to process uranium.) Morley’s whole chapter on the Israeli theft of uranium from the Pennsylvania facility to manufacture nuclear weapons is out of a Le Carre novel. Except it was real.

So Israel, that nuclear-armed-to-the-teeth Middle Eastern nation now poised to invade Lebanon for offshore natural gas and to take a bigger bite out of Syria for Syrian oil, is omitted in The Economist’s special report as a possible causal agent for “The Next War.” For that matter, Saudi Arabia is also missing in action as is the US itself for maintaining a beachhead of human boots on the ground among US-supported jihadists in Syria. Paging Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Unexplored in The Economist and far worse is Israeli hypocrisy: Israel still refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and similarly refuses to permit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the Dimona nuclear weapons facility in the Negev Desert and other facilities.It is not only ironic, it is total hypocrisy for Israel to refuse inspections of the invasive type endured by Iran – which were forced on Iran at the behest of israel by its faithful companion and domestic partner, the US. Talk about a serious lie by omission.

Jesus of Nazareth denounced hypocrisy and hypocrites twenty separate times in the KJV version of the four Gospels, not including his hurling of insults like “Ye pit of vipers!” (one never hears that on Sunday mornings). It is not clear whether these tirades against hypocrites and hypocrisy had anything to do with his designation as an “enemy of church and state” let alone his eventual fate. But the hypocrisies continue in the State of Israel. For some reason, Hamlet’s line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” comes to mind.

It may be that the U.S. and European militaries have actually learned something from World Wars I and II. Those wars were good for business – especially the munitions business and post-war reconstruction – but were so bloody and costly that “cold” rather than “hot” war became the imperial drug of choice. Except for the Wars in Koreastan, Vietnamistan and Iraq and regime change and other low-grade interventions such as Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “cold” intervention in Honduras and “hot” intervention in Libya. But generally speaking, all-out war – especially nuclear war — is NOT good for globalized, financialized business.

What is good for globalized, financialized business – especially the munitions industries – is for the US to constantly arm itself to the teeth and to constantly “modernize” weaponry so that there is almost an infinite loop of trillions of dollars in weapons inventions and modernizations — until the inevitable happens and all the upgrades and modernizations and improvements and new technologies combine in a weapon that Don’t Work Right – like the F-35 jet fighter.

But even better than an infinite loop of constantly modernizing and upgrading weapons that work fine killing people and destroying, ahem, Private Property, is the sheer orgasmic thrill the imperial warmongering neocon capitalists classes have by selling weapons to allied nations worldwide. Indeed, the desire to imitate and emulate the US among nations in “The West” is so strong – especially when US puppets attend “Military Trade Shows” (yes that is an actual term) – that bank financing is arranged (that will ultimately bankrupt the countries) but will provide immediate gratification in the acquisition of shiny new fighter jets, radars, algorithms, troop carriers, missiles, automatic weapons and other Christmas morning toys.

Indeed, the sale of armaments even to the Shithole Nations of the World is Good Business and continues apace — which means that Not-War, but arming for war in order to prevent war — is Good Business. But in order for this conclusion to this article deconstructing The Economist’s special section on “The Next War” to AVOID being FAKE NEWS, it should be said that the Russians, Israelis, and Chinese are also selling their military wares all over the world. Rubles and shekels and yuan, oh my!

But is that not to be the expected in all state capitalist empires?

The main point of The Economist’s special section on “The Next War” seems to be the assertion — despite the failure of the US to win any wars since 1945 — that VictimAmerica has the more-bang-for-the-buck innovative and technological prowess (READ: phallic prowess) to defeat any of the Big Bad Bullies … if push came to shove. Perhaps The Economist is simply warning the Big Bad Bullies to stop locking VictimAmerica in a school locker all the time.

If they know what’s good for them.

Here the links to the special section. One gets a handful of stories for free from The Economist each week, which I think is mighty white of ‘em.

The future of war: The growing danger of great-power conflict

The odds on a conflict between the great powers / The great powers seem to have little appetite for full-scale war, but there is room for miscalculation

Waging war with disinformation

Neither War nor Peace

Preparing for More Urban Warfare

Using Clever Technology to Keep Enemies at Bar

Threats to Nuclear Stability

Getting to grips with military robotics / Autonomous robots and swarms will change the nature of warfare

Thom Prentice was an early Global Warming Alarmist and he thinks in Dallas, Texas EUSE [Exceptional US Empire]. He grew up fighting the rabidly anti-communist, rabidly pro-capitalist, racist and fascist reich wing John Birch Society in 1960s Dallas and warns that the only way they will win, even in the current even more unpleasant circumstances, will be to pry his pen from his cold, dead hands.


  1. “America” Has Not Won A Single War Since 1945.

    I laugh sadly when I read this naive statement !

    WW2 was “America’s War” they created Hitler & funded the German Economic Miracle in the 30’s & put Hitler to war against the Soviet Union with the sole idea to attack Germany AFTER Hitler had conquered the Soviet Union so they could take all from Lisbon to Vladivostok BUT the Soviets had other plans………………………..


  2. milosevic says

    Is there any doubt that the two attacks on the World Trade Center were blowback from US/British continuous interference in the Middle East and South Asia?

    Yes, very considerable doubt exists about that question. Anybody still desperately clinging to that Official Faery Tale, at this late date, should be required to explain the unknown paranormal abilities which enabled the Middle Eastern blowbackers to accomplish this, without recourse to airplanes or any other physical means:

    The same with the various “terror attacks” in Europe.

    No, those were fabricated too, according to all available evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • milosevic says

      Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine of Disaster Capitalism posits that natural or created catastrophes are necessary for neoliberal capitalism to even more successfully plunder a nation and by imposing both neoliberal austerity and a police state. The National Air Defense Failure of September 11, 2001 — which looks like a revision of the off-the-shelf OPERATION NORTHWOODS false flag plan proposed by the Joint Chiefs to provide an excuse to invade Cuba that Kennedy vetoed

      — was certainly a shock and catastrophe.

      It’s funny how the kind of people who are most likely to be impressed with that book, along with its author, are completely unable to understand that obvious connection.

      the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor.

      — Project For the New American Century, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, page 51. published September, 2000.

      “Ask, and ye shall receive.” — The Gospel According to St. Matthew

      Without The National Air Defense Failure of September 11, 2001, the last twenty years would have been different

      No, the last sixteen years would have been exactly the same, just with a different “catastrophic and catalyzing” pretext. The Northwoods plan provides plenty of suggestions.

      although the continuing decline of the US empire would have continued, albeit more slowly, rather than accelerated as it has since Cthulhu was elected emperor.

      Cthulhu hasn’t started any major wars yet, and it seems that much of the Establishment hate directed against him is because he wants to avoid a war with Russia. (What other reason do they have to be dissatisfied with his performance?)

      Killary Klingon, on the other hand, promised to attack Iran and Syria, once she was installed as Imperial Reichsfuhrer, and the Evil Russia hysteria fabricated on her behalf is surely going to produce real-world (as opposed to delusional fantasy-world) results, eventually.


    • Paul Carline says

      Seems Mr. Prentice hasn’t done any real thinking in Dallas if he seriously thinks 9/11 had anything to do with ObL and his merry band of non-existent hijackers, or with “intelligence failures”. Giving credence to that nonsense has allowed many, especially in America, to argue that the war crime of the attack on and occupation of Afghanistan was somehow justified. It has permitted the justification for the massive increases in the Pentagon budget and the whole “war on terror” scam – on the fraudulent basis that “America was attacked” on 9/11.
      The meme has been replayed in many countries with significant – and depressing – success. We will not be free of the threat of war from the crazies in the West until this catalogue of false flags is fully exposed and challenged –
      openly and on the street – by a significant proportion of the population. People like Prentice (Chomsky and Pilger, for example), for all their anti-imperialist rhetoric, are nonetheless part of the problem – not of the solution.


      • milosevic says

        We will not be free of the threat of war from the crazies in the West until this catalogue of false flags is fully exposed and challenged — openly and on the street — by a significant proportion of the population. People like Prentice (Chomsky and Pilger, for example), for all their anti-imperialist rhetoric, are nonetheless part of the problem — not of the solution.

        To be fair, the author of the above article does at least strongly suggest the false-flag nature of the 9/11 event, in his comments connecting Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” with the Northwoods plan, an idea which she herself is careful to avoid. This seems to contradict his other comments concerning “blowback”.

        Although John Pilger does not himself describe 9/11 as a US government operation, he refrains from endorsing the Official Story, and slandering those who reject it.

        Noam Chomsky, however, must at this late date, be regarded as a US government disinformation agent, whether or not he is consciously aware of his role as such. But it’s hard to imagine how his absolute refusal to address any actual evidence about what actually happened, could be unconscious. His profound thoughts on the subject amount to “S**t happens, but nobody knows why.”


      • I am honored that you have placed me in the same elevator with John Pilger and Noam Chomsky. Thank you. The company is indeed distinguished and these gentlemen — being far-away mentors — are way above my own meagre talent and contribution to improving the human condition. I disagree with them here and there. Maybe we are part of the problem. But then, maybe you are also. But thank you anyway 😉


        • milosevic says

          As I pointed out above, you yourself strongly suggested the false-flag nature of the 9/11 event. Are you aware that Chomsky claims that people who believe this, do so not because of the absolutely overwhelming evidence, but because they are mentally defective?

          Do you seriously maintain that this is not a problem, and that Chomsky’s absolute refusal to address the evidence, while slandering those who do, is an intellectually or ethically defensible position?

          Presumably you know that he has exactly the same position on the JFK assassination — “nothing to see here, move along.” Do you regard THAT as a defensible position?

          He’s a shill, whether or not he’s consciously aware of it. He’s been building up his left-wing credibility for decades, in preparation for such a contingency. And now, in the interest of upholding the foundational pretext for the entire ruling class program, the endless Terror War against the third world, and the fascist assault against the Empire’s domestic population, when it really matters, his CIA handlers have decided to cash him in. And for the large majority of the pathetic first-world “left”, it’s working. Surely, Saint Noam would never deceive us. Never mind the US government, we all know Russia is the real enemy.

          It’s almost like somebody planned it that way.


    • 100% Agree – especially on all the French attacks – Bataclan Massacre while 6 soldiers sat outside & witnesses that survived inside silenced on what they saw when the lights went on briefly before the attackers got the lights switched off again !

      None of the French attacks would stand legal scrutiny in an independent court. Same as 9/11.


    • absolutely agree with your thought process. 911 was the crime of the century. It has not been properly investigated. its architects and enablers have not been brought to justice. this state of affairs enables the suspension of reality not only across government levels but also throughout all western society. Hence, up is down, black is white and the white helmets are a force for good. It is all mindblowingly Orwellian.
      Until the 911 reality is acknowledged and expurgated we are on the slow burner to global war and likely human extinction. Classy!


      • milosevic says

        It is all mindblowingly Orwellian.

        Indeed, the 9/11 Official Story might have been copied directly from 1984.

        Maybe it was, as an inside joke, and a slap in the face to those who see through it.

        “We know you know, but there’s nothing you can do about it. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Big Brother is watching you. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.”


  3. The ‘thinking’ by which a separate self sense claims power over ‘other’ is essentially mechanical, of conditioned habitual reaction.
    At its very inception it is an A.I or artificial masking filters through which intelligence operates in division…within itself.
    The replacement of the living relational appreciation and recognition with fixed ‘meanings’ that then define the define of such meanings as a mind trapped in its own thinking – yet experiencing it at the hand of ‘other’, is the identification within the form of personality structure rather than with the whole script.
    Invested identity is easy to see in act if instead of focussing in the drama, we focus on our own thought, and feeling reaction. Invested identity in the idea of control is the original error that replicates itself as the persistence of error under a chaos that is inherent to the imposition or assertion of ‘rules’, demands and expectations of a future like the past.
    Humanity is individually and collectively in theChoice as to whether to awaken from machine thinking and its ever dissociating replacement of consciousness with outsourced ‘rules and rulers’, or to overcome Life by replacement.
    We never were going to arrive anywhere but our beginning – in which to know it for the first time. Because the initiation of the masking in mind was necessarily blind and blinding, but the uncovering of its device is to become aware of what initiated its employ.
    I cannot choose for another, but in my own choice for life I can only join with all that lives – whether awake or not.
    Awake to the personal masking, cannot be a personal achievement or status. The measuring stick of personhood is the overlay of judgment upon the living – as a kind of augmented ‘reality’.


        • milosevic says

          Are you sure? Do find that gibberish in any way meaningful or comprehensible?

          More importantly, it’s completely irrelevant to the main article, as are all other outings by this entity. What purpose do they serve, why are they posted, if not to disrupt and derail discussion?


          • @milosevic. I too found the article gobble-dee-gook and skipped it. But then I came across your plausible explanation and went back to re-read the article as an AI construct. Everything fitted except the quote from TS Eliot — one of my own favourites. I was puzzled by this quote, because there is little likelihood of a CIA type feeding Four Quartets into his AI machine. For this reason (and even more because of my great respect) I accept Admin’s assurance that OneMind is a fellow mystic.


            • Mikalina says

              We use quotes from poetry, the Bible, many places in our metaphorically saturated language. Using known quotes, well recognised connotation, sprinkling of psychological buzz words and other easily recognisable indicators of communication makes the reader susceptible to believing that a message is being conveyed. To a certain extent, this is because we are flattered that we are so clever as to recognise the quote, the metaphor, the connotation, etc.

              The semantic field definitely changes with each reply but obviously it would as a reply per se. But words which belong to the semantic field and yet are not really in common use – and certainly not how they are used in the post – appear, I think, at a great rate than is normal.

              Added to all this is the joining of recognisable clauses into sentences that do not make sense; using verbs in subject, verb, object which do not ‘fit’ naturally.

              When I first tried to read one of these posts, I thought that it could be written by someone whose English was not their first language, but with this level of lexis, it is unlikely that there would be so many grammar inaccuracies.

              Going back to Milosovic’s point that the object of a bot is to disrupt the thread, I believe this is the work of a troll (using bot technology?)

              I think established contributors will scroll past as BigB does, but newer contributors or prospective contributors will be put off the thread by the intrusion of a piece of obfuscation which pretends to communicate.


              • @mikalina. Your suspicion is justified, and will become more so as AI improves. But I am not worried about the possibility of my mind being taken over by a robot’s ideas because, having been infected by propaganda in the past, people develope some immunity. As for potential readers being put off by “meaningless” posts, we are all adults here, versed in the game of Wheat from Chaff. Personally, I like a bit of roughage in my gruel, it helps the digestive muscles to work. But the deliberate insinuation of poison into the public wellspring is ‘ more serious affair.


  4. This is truly surreal: “What sort of MACHINE OR ALGORITHMIC CONTROL OF LETHAL FORCE is appropriate?” The T-800 – T-850 programmable assassin – aka the “Terminator” – operating within the AI “singularity” controlled by Google/FB? [Arpnet; Skynet?]


  5. rtj1211 says

    Off Guardian has now formally declared FACTS ARE NOT SACRED by its second piece of CLIMATE CHANGE NONSENSE claiming dangerous warming is due to capitalism. Two in teo days suggests contagion has broken out…..

    1) There is NO DANGEROUS WARMING, a fact I am very happy to argue at this site in very great detail. There has been warming out of a Little Ice Age 300 years ago, which for people who live in poverty, is a very good thing indeed. The data is in that far more people die of cold than die of excessive heat…..
    2) The evidence that warming is not primarily due to carbon dioxide emissions is also extremely strong, another point I am happy to argue AT GREAT LENGTH here. Computer models will not be the centre of the arguments….

    If you are not able to consider the possibility that ‘climate scientists’ game the system, but find it common sense that NIST scientists will distort science due to orders from Republican On High where 9/11 is concerned, then you have a cognitive dissonance issue needing to be dealt with.

    If you are not able to be open to the fact that ‘global warming’ is an Establishment replacement for ‘Reds in the Bed’ which needed replacing when the Soviet Union collapsed (1989) (IPCC founded in 1990), you need to sharpen your critical faculties.

    If you consider the papal infallibility principle within IPCC, allied to the politicisation of science to convey a desired message, as the way science should be conducted, you are not fit and proper people to talk about the scientific method. You are rabble rousers looking to sign up credulous members.

    In short, if you wish to be hard left propagandists peddling falsehoods, stick to your global warming assertions.

    If you are SERIOUS about the FACTS BEING SACRED, you must be open to detailed repudiation of IPCC documents, not using wordsmiths, but using hard scientific data, evidence and arguments.

    This site can make its choice but you are not fact-obsessed if global warming is not up for repudiation….you are socialism-obsessed.

    You do not need to be socialist to be anti-war, you need to believe in regulating the Arms Industry.

    You do not need to be socialist to be a scientist or a journalist, either.

    You do not need to be a socialist to believe in the Rule of Law, either.

    Make your minds up whether this site is Alt-Journalism or New Age Social Propaganda.


    • Off Guardian has now formally declared FACTS ARE NOT SACRED by its second piece of CLIMATE CHANGE NONSENSE

      The fact we have also been called ‘denialist’ suggests we are successfully balancing our coverage on this issue, which is our aim


      • Facts are held sacred by those whose identity is invested in them.
        Exclusive identity operates power struggle – ie narrative control.
        Polarized identity persists the artificially masked and divided intelligence so to act against itself. At some level this cannot be denied and so guilt accompanies the deceitful manipulation of ‘reality’ to which truth is the first casualty.
        Guilt is then packaged and redistributed as blame according to the ability to set or frame the thinking that arises to offset, escape and project blame.
        If the enemy is believed ‘fact’ then weaponry against it will be held sacred. How much should humans be allowed to interfere with the sacred power of our protection? This is the operation of denial that brooks no looking within, no real debate or dialogue and no opening of relationship to any other perspective but that set in fear and guilt to protect…. against exposures in fear and guilt associated with total loss of face, validity and power – which are equated with one’s life.

        So we have an ‘intelligent’ machine-mind operating to protect against exposure to fears by denial, diversion and dissociation, that induces you to believe it thinks for you and does so by repackaging fear, guilt and denial in shifting confusions that induce ever greater dependence on and sacrifice to, such thinking. Such thinking is ‘divide and rule’ at its foundation, regardless the shifting personae and scene of its act.

        Before the development of the scientific mind is the sub-structuring of its surface. The division of the participance of being and the mind of the intent to limit, define, and control it, is the idea that ‘we’ are in control of change, and this is reflected in all the thinking that seeks to ‘change the world’, by persuasion, manipulation and socially engineered deceit. In terms of inflammation, this does constitute AGW of the human imagination, and the reactions against ‘enemy’ do wreak havoc in pain loss and misery.

        The ‘enemy’ can be and is renamed periodically in association with feared outcomes, but always away from our own protected ignorance.
        I suggest that the out-picturing of a hateful world has more to do with self-knowledge than with a true discernment of the motives of others – and of course I include myself in the co-creation of a nightmare, but as one who has been in the willingness of facing and embracing the shadow or denied self for much of my adult life.

        Existence is the only Fact – all else are facets of a whole or figments of fig-leaf thinking. Death is held to be the fact above all else (in the thinking of this world) that is therefore worth-shipped as the definer of existence (in such a life). But is it fear of death that clings to and pays such sacrifice to live or is it fear of living?
        What else could fear of living embody than death’s protection – as an anti-bios?

        The oil cartels – that extend to the pharma (medical globalism) cartels are not about oil or fossil fuels, but about setting and maintaining artificial needs and scarcities upon the market netted – that started with a sense of life-extending powers but deliver an abject dependence and subjection to ever greater sacrifice. There is nothing new about such a pact or of the lack of vigilance against its deceit.

        Deceit must work through the same in others to find soil in which to grow. Love of truth is not the use of ‘truth’ for war on ‘enemy’. (With God on our side!). But the uncovering of the true relation where communication seemed lost.

        Self-protective gesture is understandable in others – including offensive acts as a pro-active defence. We can readily observe this in ourself. What may be less easy to accept is the conditioning of past experience – often unconscious – that is embodied in act. The willingness FOR communication, is sacred to any honourable outcome.


        • milosevic says

          Let’s have a vote.

          How many people think that the statement above is the output of an actual human mind, although possibly a malfunctioning one, and how many think it more likely to be largely or completely machine-generated?

          On a related issue, how many people think that the intended purpose of the statement is to disrupt discussion, and how many think that its complete meaninglessness implies benign intent?


          • @milosevic. I skipped that post because I found it a jumble, irrespective of whether the intelligence which produced it was Human or Artificial.


            • Kathy says

              I try to appreciate all angles in all things. Instinct plays a huge part in my quest. I some times feel that the only true path is meditative inactivity because action always leads to reaction, but I am only human. I find Binra posts often re ground me though.


    • I’ve read some of your comments before: advocating violence towards bankers (and Americans – presumably for the crime of being American?) Yet you are willing to argue at length, wittingly or unwittingly, to defend their power base: burning oil? You declare as a (presumably ) capitalist anti-war activist: but fail to recognise the causality of capital accumulation in starting wars? Have you thought your position through?

      There are other science and empirically based theories (biophysics; 2nd Law Thermodynamics; EROI; etc ) that indicate the the Age of Oil is drawing to a close. In short, we will need new paradigms of ecology and economy to move forward. These cannot be capitalist, as capitalism is incapable of accomodating non-valorisational stasis: I.e. degrowth or steady state economies. So digging ones heels in over the climate is in denial of the bigger picture: change we must.

      This is as succint an introduction to our current predicament as you will find:


    • BTW: if you want to argue the science, AT SOME LENGTH …then surely I do not need to inform you of the Scientific Method? Epistemologically, you can neither prove nor disprove a hypothesis. All you can do is provide an alternative hypothesis that better fits the data (Bayesian Calculus)? Which NO ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO. There are anomolies, science is never settled …but AGW is the best theory we have. You are welcome to disagree, but you cannot prove it.


      • That’s really not a good summary of the situation regarding climate. All climate scientists know we can’t make such a claim, and in fact, if you read the papers and studies, as opposed to the summaries and articles in popular media, you’ll see they don’t make such a claim.

        Increased Co2 is a plausible explanation for some of the recent warming. To say it’s “the best” we would have to be able to eliminate the effects of all other forcers. We simply don’t know enough about them to do that. In fact we likely don’t even know what all the climate forcers are.



          Nine planetary boundaries have been proposed: four have been breached; two (including climate) are operating in “zones of uncertainty”; three have yet to have safe margins determined. Humanity is detrimentally altering its environment: welcome to the Anthropocene. Or Capitalocene?

          And I agree with your point from yesterday: I know that the science is being funded by Rockefeller; Club of Rome; Davos; and the UN …and is being levered toward the SDGs and depopulation. But I also agree with Mog: that it would be an inconceivable meta-conspiracy to falsify. Particularly the original “Limits to Growth”: which now has 40 years of corroborating data; has been updated; meta-analysed …all by shills?

          The data is sound: the ends it is being put to are immoral, entitled, and immiserating. Is it not worth trying to put forward a morally responsible alternative? Or do we let the instrumental immorality that has brought us to the cusp of destruction dictate our future too? Because they are way ahead of us.


        • Consistent with other research, we found that, as the level of expertise in climate science grew, so too did the level of agreement on anthropogenic causation. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming.

          From the abstract of Verheggen et al:


          • With respect, this is exactly the kind of argument from authority/argument from motive matrix I have previously disowned. I want no part of it. Good science doesn’t need marketing memes and opinion-based statistics to support it. And no honest scientist would want to use such tactics.

            What am I supposed to conclude? that the available evidence just increased because this advertisement has been produced? It’s simply absurd. The evidence is what it is. No more. No less.

            One point though, since it is (quite disgracefully IMO) now almost impossible to get a “skeptical” view of AGW published in many major journals, the fact this absurd thing relies on number of publications as its indicator may clearly be to some degree self-fulfilling.

            May I ask -would you allow such a vague and anti-scientific claim to sway your opinion if it were presented by a group of deniers?

            No, you wouldn’t, and neither would I. Nor should we. So, let’s agree to reject all such nonsense from either side.

            If I appear annoyed, it’s not directed at you. This sort of thing is counter to everything science is supposed to represent and it brings out the Torquemada in me.


            • Advertisement? I produced an extract of a peer reviewed paper refuting your earlier claim “regarding climate. All climate scientists know we can’t make such a claim” Like all the points I’ve made: it’s based on science. What in your opinion is science if not an interpretative tool: it is not an end in itself? RTS (which is who I was responding to) wants to make outlandish claims: based on his interpretation of “science” – I set out to put an antithetical thesis – also based on science. He wants to argue hard data, well uninterpreted data is meaningless: interpretation is subjective and relativistic. That’s not a refutation of science: but the idea that science is an objective absolute end-in-itself might well be?


              • It’s not science. It’s statistics. And you know what has been said about them.

                Like I said, no offence ( mean that sincerely) but the real question is – what the hell is an opinion poll doing in a scientific journal? Collective subjective opinion polling is specifically excluded from scientific assessment and for damn good reason.

                Absolute objectivity in science is impossible of course, but it needs to be pursued as far as possible. Repeatable observation and experiment is the only thing to be considered. Interpretation of data is inevitable. But running a yes/no poll and using the results as if they were evidence is way beyond interpretation. Its trying to assert opinion in place of data. That’s anti-science. The data is just the same whether 1 person believes in AGW or 1 million. The data is all that matters.

                And I have no more time for a certain ranting voice of faux certitude than you have (if you know what I mean).


                • Likewise, I hugely respect your erudition and I am not questioning it. However, in application, it is almost too sensible. If science can only be a neo-objective closed community: concerned solely with the subtle inference drawn from otherwise unintelligible data – science is rendered redundant. Without science based advocacy: where are we? Another anti-scientific “opinion polling” advertisement would be the Union of Concerned Scientists 1992 , and recent follow up letter, warning humanity of the consequences of its actions. Should that not have been sent? There has been a call, from within and without the scientific community, for engagement. Scientists are people first and foremost. A disengaged specialist community limited to objectivity and capable only of internal ingroup peer to peer communication maybe scientific: but what use is that to humanity?

                  On your last point: amen!


  6. Truly excellent article and analysis. It would appear our amoral psychopathic Western elites would prefer to take the entire planet into extinction mode than live in a more multi-polar world. Maybe they should first run that “armageddon scenario” through one of their AI programs and see what the computer thinks of their plan? Just a thought.


  7. Beautifully written critique by Thom Prentice. His article gains punch from the contrast between a lively style backed by a living soul and the cold dead quasi-objective tone of the Economist verbal relay machine. More power to his pen until the Time comes when Death shall “clutch it with cold hands”; may that Time be long in coming.

    As for the subject of the Economist prediction — “Autonomous robots and swarms will change the nature of warfare” — well, that came true a long time ago. I remember the Nazis, both their robotic soldiers and their robotic V-missiles which were a triumph of Cybernetics in their time. And today NATZO is flooding Syria with just such autonomous robot killing machines, an Anglo-US creation called ISIS. Israeli war planners, who patch them up and send them back to their killing missions in Syria, call ISIS “the wasps”; and their mission is to destroy a country with “the death of a thousand stings”. Well, you can expel Nature with a pitchfork but it still comes back. You can expel Humanity with a program but it still breaks out. I know of one Nazi officer who refused to complete his ensatz mission and by sparing a little girl (like the Russian naval office who allegedly “saved the world” by refusing to turn his nuclear key. And the world knows of at least 4 human beings who are in process of saving the world from A-Z-C corporate fascism: Dr. and Mrs.Assad of Syria, President Putin of Russia and the Rev. Nasr’Allah of Lebanon. These 4 Leaders are showing courage and intelligence in their armed resistance to NATZO’s “invasion by armed insects”; but they are also showing a much rarer quality among today’s leaders: Humanity and concern for the wellbeing of their country. The program that drives the Economist verbal-message-deliverer is concerned only with Money — and it delivers its message with the flat speech of dead souls. Lethal Machines indeed.


  8. Pwest9 says

    An excellent albeit depressing exposé of the Economist article. This is the right wing narrative we are being fed on a daily basis and voices like Prentice are essential reading to enable a global understanding of the so called “Total Spectrum Dominance”


  9. Johnny Canuck says

    The latest high-tech TV, like recent Netflix SF such as Black Mirror, also gives us a taste of elite thinking. Hence, lots of zombies (that’s you and I), horrifying Westworld-like scenarios, and so on, clutter the cultural transmission belt.

    I still think it’s moot whether Gil Scott Heron was right or not. The counter-revolution will be televised, certainly. Quiet, hard work is the remedy to that.



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