Assimilating The Gordian Knot
"The terrorists may have recruited their new Atta, now splattered on the walls of the Baghdad mosque he has suicide-bombed. We have recruited tens of millions of Afghan and Iraqi Muslims--with Lebanese and others to follow--opposing that Atta as they attempt to build decent, moderate, tolerant societies. I'll take our recruits."
Market Forces, A Brief Summary
Natural forces shape the human experience. These forces are everywhere, and a careful observer can feel them interacting. These forces have benefited humanity. Forces of electromagnetic energy have fed the planet, providing convertible energy to the plants on our tables. These same forces carry our voices to and from metal rails we construct in the sky. The biggest emitters, our sun and the stars, not only nourish humanity with radiation, but by heating pockets of air and sea, generate harvestable energy for mills and sails. The seafarer's ability to make cloth catch hold on the wind connected a transatlantic trade system that pulled the world into it's modern state of plenty. The forces of the sun begat market forces, a phenomenon quickly chronicled by a Scottish mathematician in 1776.
The Scotsman, an intellectual named Adam Smith, analyzed the natural processes that caused the American Revolution. The market, he discovered, is a force of nature that benefits those that engage in it. The free market is the trade of one party's goods for other desirable goods. Many willingly pledge eight hours of work a day in exchange for easily exchangeable tokens. When one finishes the work, one leaves with the tokens, and seeks out the most advantageous ways to trade this currency with the most valued goods one can bargain out of it.1
Conversely, other men may wish to collect these tokens by selling goods. Chances are, more than one seller will exist. These sellers will bid for the currency through providing bargains in competition with other sellers. Because humans engage in economizing behavior, they will naturally select the best offers, while the sellers will invest the least quality they can while still outperforming their rivals. These circumstances generally put the market in an equilibrium between buyers and sellers, where both are content with the agreement they've made.2
Since Smith's day, this system has expanded on every route pioneered by the builders of empires. The merchants often followed close behind, sometimes cooperating with the empires in turn for special privileges. Smith termed this "mercantilism," and condemned it for polluting the bidding process. The British notoriously cut foreign competition from trade after the French-and-Indian War that ended in 1763, going for short-term schemes to generate enough revenue to pay their war debts. Dutch and American traders could no longer enter the bidding process.3
As Smith formulated his theories, Bostonians ignited in revolution. The merchant class of Massachusetts had had it with having their outlet removed, and refused to be the inlet for tea from India. The war resulted in the formation of a continental nation willing to take on the fresh ideas of Smith. They subsequently crafted a trade coalition of states that quickly benefited from the open relationship, but there were problems.4
A rift developed in President George Washington's cabinet. It was philosophical, and it was heated, and it broke into sectarian factions. Alexander Hamilton stressed that America needed to (temporarily) subsidize the development of an American textile industry, to counter British dominance. Thomas Jefferson disagreed, arguing on the grounds that an agricultural society was more moral. The divergent views found support in different regions. Towns like Lowell, Massachusetts, a town where the textile looms were eventually set to work, naturally sided with the Federalists. Fredericksburg, Virginia, a farming town, sided with Jefferson's Democratic Party. From that point on, leaders in government granted regulatory favors to their voting blocks, but overall, America upheld most of Smith's "old time religion" of a free market.5
It was 1807 when America first used trade as a weapon.6 The French and English battled for domination of Europe, and Horatio Nelson's7 fleet sank Napoleon's chances of competing at sea. The new emperor had failed to capture Egypt several years before, had ditched an effort to tunnel under the English channel, and desperately needed ways to lash out at the British. Well, with the Royal Navy in control of the sea, maybe Napoleon could check it by holding and closing all the ports in Europe. He took that action as the British once again strangled transatlantic trade. President Jefferson resolved to protect American sailors and starve out the war by closing all American ports. The embargo did diminish the flow of goods to Europe, but didn't halt aggression in the European war.
The embargo theme is one that will return many times in this essay, as will the concept of market forces, but for now, we'll discuss a few other issues needed for understanding the broader meaning of this essay.
Defining terms should be the right start. Asymmetric Warfare, Fourth Generation Warfare, and Network Warfare in the context of discussing Al Qaeda means the same thing.
To fight asymmetrically, one only has to fight in an unconventional manner. From the author's perspective, the War of 1812 wasn't a land grab for Canada, as the history teachers will tell you, but an American attempt to offset the British Navy's overwhelming superiority. Capturing Eastern Canada would have meant a short crossing to Ireland, a threat that, if achieved, would have forced the British to capitulate at the negotiation table.
Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW), is conflict through a revolutionary body other than an armed force. You may have heard the pundits accuse so-and-so of being a "fourth column" for such-and-such. Well, some of those so-and-sos are agents of such-and-such, and their function is to alter the enemy's system from it's current state down to a level it can finish off. Fourth gen is a maneuvering variant of asymmetric warfare, aimed at unseating the political leadership of the enemy.
Network Warfare is the operation of terror organized from an ubiquitous cellular network. Operatives disperse across the world, live off hidden accounts, then one day, the clock strikes, and the whole cell retrieves weapons from their caches and initiate a Black Hawk Down. With cells setup with staggering timelines, one could rotationally orchestrate a serial Black Hawk Down, or a real-life 24.
Because Al Qaeda means "The Base" in Arabic, one can surmise the organization originated as a hub-and-spoke network operation. Such a network has it's origin in logistics, specifically, the package delivery company Federal Express. Fed Ex deliveries filter through a hub in Memphis, Tennessee, where they're arranged and tagged, before going down the "spokes" to their ultimate delivery. This was in fact how they operated against the Soviet Union.
In it's origins, Al Qaeda worked under this philosophy. Back when the Soviets were the enemy, the training camps, then based in Pakistan, were the hub, and the "payload" walked through the Khyber Pass, a web of terrain-masking "spokes" for operatives to walk through.
Since the invasion of Afghanistan, however, Al Qaeda hasn't been so vertically structured. Today, the only place where Al Qaeda is operating a complex top-down command structure is Iraq, where a wounded Abu Musab Al Zarqawi just happened to recover from his 2002 war wounds when an American-led coalition removed the country's sponsoring Baathist government.
Speaking of Baathists, they are an Arab Socialist movement. Egypt's leadership was once a part of it, as was Saddam, and now the only one left is the Syrian system.
Why So Much Contention Over Iraq?
Since the fundamentalist takeover of Iran in 1979, members within the Saudi Royal family have considered that movement the most dangerous to their national security. The radical Shiite youth in Iran considered all other Arabic governments corrupt western entities, not Moslems to be protected. They formed Hezbollah not only to remove America and Israel from the region, but even marginally secularized Moslem governments- and there is the old Shiite-Sunni feud.(8)
Back then, the United States military was still in a period of malaise over Vietnam, the transition to an all-volunteer force, reductions in force, and dealing with an ill-thought-out policy of accepting convicted criminals in lieu of prison.9
The policy in replace of direct intervention was to battle by proxy. The Shah's military had the finest air defense, including the latest radar installations, Hawk missile batteries, and F-14A interceptors. A coup just dashed that investment aside.10
Forget that, how about a buffer to crush our previous buffer? So Saddam Hussein became a client of the United States, invading Southern Iran to grab the fertile Shatt Al Arab. The region saw eight intense years of Soviet and American hardware slugging on a borderline, with the occasional Scud terrifying Tehran citizens, and a brief Iranian F-4 raid reaching deep into Iraq.(11)
Curiously, Saddam's artillery fired deeper than existing western or Soviet designs. Regardless, the war ended in stalemate, with nearly a million Iranians slaughtered, with Iraqi casualties numbering roughly a third that number. Saddam also discovered his fascination with chemical weapons.
Afterward, the Baathist government needed a quick plunder to cover their loses, and Kuwait seemed easy pickings. Sadly for him, the Soviet Union collapsed as it happened, freeing the US from a European commitment.
Some may be too young to remember, but the Cold War focused American attention on Communist-inspired brushfires, not on inter-Arab conflicts. The sixties saw a civil war in Yemen escalate enough that rebels were shelled with mustard gas, and the Egyptians developed Cobalt-60 (highly radioactive) warheads for their ballistic missiles- only to lose them in a stunning 1967 Israeli air raid. These things weren't core concerns (not even the Arab-Israeli conflict until détente) while Lenin's global movement still marched.
So, completely out of form with the old reality, in 1990-91, a large portion of European Command, still painted forest green, shipped to the desert to face down a plunderer. These were the days of the Powell Doctrine,12 an operating procedure that specified that the US military wouldn't fight prolonged wars, basically. The Saudi's were joyous over this, because they were still in the mindset that Saddam made a firm buffer against those Shiite crazies. So the coalition stuck within the limits of the UN mandate and focused only on ousting the Iraqis from Kuwait. Meanwhile, air strikes focused on breaking their communications and leadership core, and the 101st airborne division landed several hundred miles within the border.(13)
It ended after 1000 hours of air operations, and 100 hours of ground operations. Saddam signed an armistice, the Saudis provided King Khalid Military City and a few other facilities for Operation: Southern Watch, and the Turks, within their NATO capacity facilitated Northern Watch. ibid
For the rest of the 90s, Saddam Hussein, still valued as a buffer, lay in a box. Those Iranians were still crazy, after all, and thanks to the Powell Doctrine (named after Colin Powell, the founder), the Pentagon had no interest in pursuing the urban operations and occupation necessary for removing him. All parties were happy.
The UN placed strict sanctions on Iraq, while the United States and United Kingdom enforced the embargo. Special Forces and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) cooperated in Operation Provide Comfort in the Kurdish Autonomous Region. This humanitarian mission lasted from the tail end of the Bush Sr. administration into early 1997, and basically provided a functioning democracy friendly to the United States within reach of Mosul. The Kurdish infant mortality rate fell from the world's worst to one acceptable within the industrialized world, and the united Peshmerga swelled to 50,000 competent members by the time the next opportunity to smite Iraqis arrived. ibid1
Elsewhere, the world moved along with Saddam in his box. Americans condemned "police actions," and vocally denounced perceived efforts to fashion the military into the "world's police." Palestinians slung stones, and Somali "technicals" ferried about khat-chewing militiamen. 14 The UN banqueted against the Rwandan genocide15, careful never to actually say "genocide," and equally bad things happened in Indonesia, only Americans don't know about it. Hands were hacked off in Sierra Leone, a madman named Charles
Taylor landed a boat loaded with 100 men with assault rifles, and killed a lot of people.16
Saddam botched a bomb plot to kill an American president, and his successor retaliated with some cruise missiles. Fidel Castro beached a lot of people on Florida, paradoxically convincing kids at UC Berkley that Cuba was a socialist paradise. All this happened while Saddam lounged in the box General Anthony Zinni proudly claimed CENTCOM had him trapped in, while that embargo did what embargos do; strangle wealth from a population.(17)
The absence of trade is the absence of wealth. America rode a boom cycle on NAFTA. The absence of trade is the absence of wealth. Larger trade spheres means larger markets, so inversely, the absence of trade is the absence of wealth.
So, summarizing Saddam in the 90s:
1. Saudi Arabia held their buffer against crazy Shiite radicals.
2. The United States, utilizing the Powell Doctrine, checked Saddam in what Zinni called his "box."
3. The United Nations attempted to starve out the box with the embargo.
Saddam, in his box, felt no need to unseat the first two rules set by the new world order, they actually propped him up, but the third one did hurt. Luckily, he could bleed the heart of western civilization. If images of starving kids could attract aid to Somalia, perhaps it could bring goods into Iraq. For all the recent talk of the United Nations being a "European banquet club," the members seemed to understand what trade sanctions could do. Saddam had something to trade, and he had a population westerners wanted to care for. He'd just need to strike a few deals, and the embargo would be neutralized. He'd still be in the box, at least on paper.
Subverting The Medium of Ideas
Ours is an international system of trade. We trade food, we trade manufactured goods, and we trade ideas. If you've actually listened to non-English television or radio, at least if you have my ear, you'll discover many commonalities. Just the other day, I listened to a Polish economist speak in his native language. I've never studied Polish a day in my life, but because he spoke very formally about economics, every other word originated from Latin or Greek, and I followed the conversation! This is "the language of pure science" Europeans have long spoken of.
Language has an undeniable power. It is a fundamental medium of ideas. Some ideas are Latin, some are Germanic, and then there are English ideas. Most of the Old English words we still us are very coarse, and won't show up in this essay. Englishmen have become Latin in scholarly fields, just like other Europeans, and have largely become French in law and the arts.(18)
Japanese subtly become more Portuguese and Dutch over a few centuries, and after America opened trade in 1854, many Anglicized Latin words labeled the new items introduced. Such things have eased the friction of introducing reforms throughout the world.
Language, however, only has so much potency in subverting. With the exception of the "estate tax" versus "death tax" instance, people seem highly immune to having their values shifted by language. An example of the practice being futile would be the effort of television news to subvert opinion on abortion. The author can't determine who started it, but today it is clearly evident that Fox News and CNN are speaking different languages. An "abortion clinic," a fairly neutral term for a place where pregnancies are terminated, is no longer an abortion clinic. At CNN, Eric Rudolph bombed a "women's clinic," while at Fox News, he bombed an "abortion mill." Divergent sides now have euphemisms for everything, but notice that opinions are grid locked despite the adventures in wordplay.
Assimilating Change In Your Culture
Yeah, pundits try to trick us, we all know that, but what does it have to do with diffusing terrorism? Well, think about how trade languages naturally seed into lands we trade with. Our tongue is just one aspect of our culture to embed into the world dominated by Islam, but it may be the first introduction to change the Arab street. Once Arabs begin exchanging ideas in say, Americanisms, "the infidel has already won."
This is mostly ineffectual alone, but our culture is loaded with a bag of tricks. Imagine if we do the opposite of an embargo, eliminate tariffs with the Arab street. What happens when we share our meals, our jobs, our money with them? What if we dismantle Saddam's box? What if we go beyond removing the embargo, and remove the Arab command economy government with a free market?
The world has a wealth of real world examples of this working, but let's indulge the Star Trek fans. The Jihadist network is basically the inverse of the Borg, it is currently a decentralized network that exports the decay of civilization. For western civilization to defeat this network structure, Star Trek offers a solution. Could we not inject our virtues into their recruiting ground? You bet we can! We can follow Janeway's 19 method, insert a "neurolytic pathogen" into the network structure, a covert action, and use Picard's method, insert our core values (a borg with humanity, like Hugh) into their recruiting ground. This is largely a diplomatic and free market solution.
From the beginning, UBL understood that his network could only thrive as long as Hugh didn't enter the collective. At the training camps, he forbade members from enjoying aspects of Americana. Conditions remained Spartan at all times, Coca Cola was specifically forbidden, 20 and UBL himself never touched ice water. He always drank it at room temperature, rather than allow refrigeration in the camps. Tapes of the televised results of his attacks were the only aspect of western culture he came in contact with, and arguably, those were more infused with his culture than ours.
Whenever you watch an attack, you're watching a bin Laden production. Culture flows aren't one way.
"We are the market economists. Lower your guns and dismantle your explosives. Your cultural and ethnic distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated into our way of life."
The Boys From Chicago
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." -Henry Alfred Kissinger
In America, the state pension plan, social security, earns approximately 1.75 percent interest, while the typical Chilean pension program, a free market system, earns conservatively five percent. Over a career, that means a Chilean's pension will equal 90 percent of the retiree's income if he retires at 65. An American, if he relies solely on the state pension plan, can only expect a return of 60 percent of his salary in his pension. 21
What do pension plans have to do with fourth generation warfare? Well, the success of Chilean retirement accounts is part of the endgame of one of the most successful 4GW operations in the history of man.
You may vaguely know the story of General Pinochet's government, of his September 11th coup over Allende in 1973. The coup was military-oriented and funded by Director Helms of the CIA under direction of President Richard Nixon, but that isn't the 4GW we're discussing, that was your regular tin pot military coup. Bolivia had thousands of those. No, we're discussing how economic freedom leads to civil liberties.
Back in 1973, American foreign policy still ran on some assumptions since rejected under the current doctrine. Anyone that uttered the right words against socialism was better than someone that called himself a socialist, and if the White House were convinced this ardent anti-communist could stabilize a country while waving the right flag in the Cold War, well, they'd pick him, and beware if you're the other guy!
So, in the name of stability, the CIA propped up Pinochet and funded the liquidation of the socialists that called themselves socialists. Cold War mission achieved. Not really. While Henry Kissinger may have believed the economic differences between Pinochet and Allende were worth killing over, the General, now Dictator, attempted central management of the economy. It wasn't free market economics, and he operated it worse than the "socialist" (actually, often Keynesian) policies of Allende.
He needed someone smarter than his army logisticians to cut inflation (in part a consequence of Allende's Keynesian "juicing" of the money supply), but most of the old advisors had been liquidated (killed, disappeared, exiled, that kind of thing). The only (untainted) Chilean economists left were the ones that had taken part in the University of Chicago's exchange program. 22
The Chicago Boys, as they came to be called, reversed state controls and strangled the money supply in one sweep, drastically cutting inflation. State ownership and central management disappeared everywhere but the copper mines. Suddenly, an ownership society overtook Chili, and the country became the most economically free in South America.
As a free market society, forty percent of the nation's gross domestic product came from international trade, largely from the United States. A funny thing happens when you trade with a democratic society, they trade back, importing an influence. Most internationally trading countries sign trade agreements that come with basic human rights rules, the World Trade Organization has some, but whether or not international trade comes with an international regulatory body, one can see the "source code of western civilization" being assimilated into Chili's structure.
Alexander Hamilton said a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will. Alexander Hamilton was a very smart man. When the state holds that power over a man's subsistence, it hold his center of gravity, thus, he can't be free, he's dependent. In the base of a free market, however, the state doesn't hold leverage over the man's center of gravity, because it doesn't provide his income.
It does something else, too. The free market provides the concept of self-ownership, and the ownership of property. Property ownership equals power, because property is something an individual can manipulate outside of oneself. One can own it, improve it, trade it, sell it, or choose to abandon it. Such control over objects gives individuals power over something, and once they realize they can be trusted with this power, they develop confidence, a sort of confidence nonexistent in a planned economy.
Take a look at the world community. Whose citizens are deemed "arrogant," and whose are labeled "humble?" Right, Americans are arrogant, and certain East Asians are often viewed the same way. There's a reason for that, and it isn't ethnic or physiological. The reason is based in economic freedom. Countries with more leadership-controlled systems begat more docile citizens.
Here's a thought experiment. You're name is Yao Ming, and you're upset over a loss at a Knicks game. You take a taxi to the United Nations building, and you insult the honor of every passerby. Who is most likely to defend his honor? Make a list based on the common stereotypes, and compare it to the Index of Economic Freedom rankings kept by the Heritage Foundation. Chances are, those that control their assets are the most likely to lash out at you.
The bystanders of stereotypically docile countries probably won't make you apologize. With the exception of the ethnically Chinese countries (and their attitudes are rapidly changing), they live in centrally planned economies.
Not convinced? Well, real life example; Chileans weren't cowed. They replaced Pinochet, and reestablished a democracy. Clarifying my earlier statistics, when I said their private pension plans "conservatively" earned five percent interest, I cut the real average growth in half. From 1981 to 2004, the average Chilean private pension account has averaged a 10.3 percent annual growth rate, and all that's real untaxed money.
Some of you may be unable to review this work at the date of its publishing. I'm sorry about that, but if you are on my list of blocked accounts, it may be because you are prone to forming adversarial relationships with writers. While I'm not trying to limit the dialogue to a consensus, I mustn't allow the usual hurling of empty adversarial slogans, because building on the understandings in this paper is too important to be lost in the normal zero-sum game played by the ideological clientele of this site.
Within western civilization, we are all winners if an applicable strategy comes forward from this paper. If you are blocked but willing to alter your behavior into something more civil and constructive, mail me an oath that you'll be helpful, and I'll grant you access. You don't have to pledge loyalty, you don't even have to say you like me, but you do have to agree to see me as a writer first, and maybe an ideological adversary far after that.
Disclaimer on perceived cultural insensitivity
I'm perfectly aware of cursory treatment of various cultures trigger contention between people, especially in cultures as old as that of China, but it is so evident to the author that the shift from central accountability to personal economic responsibility is rapidly changing Chinese culture and the Chinese sense of self. It is clearly manifested in the interpersonal dynamics of the Chinese National Basketball Team in the 2004 Summer Games, when center Yao Ming asserted himself in defiance of the consensus-driven culture of the team.
In short, I'm calling a spade a spade and following the consequences. I'll more thoroughly discuss the globalization of the People's Republic in the next chapter. Expect more low-context analysis.
In Context of Iraq
After explaining why China is no longer communist, and why democracy is inevitable, I'll explain what the second Gulf War was really about, why an occupation force is really necessary, and why we (the citizens of western civilization) are winning. You'll learn the true casus belli, and why it was more rational and humanitarian than the status quo.
Between now and then, this account name has a fan fiction novel titled Tying The Gordian Knot dealing with the minutiae of implementing this doctrine in Iraq.
1Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ?fkfiles93618
2 Investopedia dot com
3 Economic Experts dot com
4 US History dot com , Profile of John Hancock
5 Bartlebydot com definition: Jeffersonianism versus Hamiltonianism
6 Infoplease dot com
7 BBC History, Horatio Nelson
Nb: My unconventional warfare definitions are a personal synthesis from innumerable sources.
8 Tom Clancy & Carl Stiner, Shadow Warriors.
9 Tom Clancy & Chuck Horner, Every Man A Tiger.
10 See #8
11 Imperial Iranian Air Force official website
12 Charles Krauthammer, Jewish World Review column, What Happened To The Powell Doctrine details what was right about it, in balance to my criticisms. Nb: The problem with the doctrine is that it doesn't allow for sustainable occupations. Am I the only person that adds opinion to
13 Andrew Leyden & Camille Akin, Gulf War Debriefing Book: An After Action Report
14 Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War.
15 History Sunday: Soldiers for Hire, from the History Channel.
16 Klaire Boutwell, Scientific American, Special Report: A Scourge of Small Arms, June 2000 issue.
17 Tony Zinni & Tom Clancy, Battle Ready.
18 The Modern Li, by Le Creature.
19 Full synopsis at Wikipedia. Search "borg."
20 Mentioned in Frontline's special on bin Laden special. See PBS dot org.
21 Alan Clendenning, Chilean Pension System A Model For Privatization, from the Washington Times.
22 Wikipedia entry on The Chicago Boys, The PBS video on the Chicago Boys and Pinochet, an Milton Friedman's feature in the PBS "Commanding Heights" special.
One other thing to "note well:" you'll need this link to the Heritage Foundation:
http :www. heritage. org/research/features/index/
Footnoting is a tiresome business, but it develops credibility quickly, if I didn't make any mistakes. If you catch any, my email address is on my profile page.
Having to put the numbers by the correct test can be confusing when one does it after the fact, as I did. Please forgive me, and let me know if there are any dead links. Thank you.