Connectivity and Counterinsurgency; For the West freedom includes speech like porn
In this post, Dynamically stable systems and big bangs in the Middle East, connectivity is again highlighted.
Connectivity is but one potential damper, control surface (or perhaps control rod is more accurate to the real situation, in a metaphor of reactor meltdown, but we have an aerospace engineering metaphor to work with). Other elements proposed in Thomas P.M. Barnett's Blueprint For Action included access to capital, and access to markets. Obviously these are big pluses, and the basics have to be something like physical security, safe and sufficient supplies of water and food, basic medical care. Access to capital, to markets, to competitive and accurate information about markets, has to follow quickly the provision of the basics, or you get the situation of the Palestinian refugee camps (for example). These peaces should work to increase dynamic stability, even if the political system takes on a more Islamic form than what we've anticipated for a Western constitutional democracy, the model in "our" mind's eye, when "we" invaded Iraq.
Here is a better piece about counterinsurgency: The Most Important Culture War. IMHO, it should be the only culture war waged beyond our own borders, and Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and other evangelical relief operators that swooped in to feed on ther corpses of Iraq, Afghanistan and Aceh should not be empowered to create more chaos on the taxpayer's dime in these tricky fucking environments where lots of people have been killed, and there is the potential for more violence, until the right control elements have been applied, intelligently, sensitively, dynamically. No one needs to be subjugated by foreign market systems, foreign capital manipulated without local input, foreign cultures and religions, but especially after shock-and-awe of one form or another, it isn't going to be accepted gladly.
The culture war here at home is a different beast. The revelations of the past few weeks show that the conservative movement, even the family-values/evangelical wings of the movement, has as much freaky sex going on within them, behind closed doors, as does any porn site that is worth its monthly membership fee. Which is cool, I suppose, if their enjoyment of these activities didn't necessarily cause them shame, humiliation, self-hatred and lead to political compromise and blackmail. And vocal criticism of people who enjoy same, shamelessly and overtly. And bad legislation, like the CDA, COPA, DOPA, the PATRIOT Act, et al.
The one cultural lesson that is applicable to our current, domestic political crisis from Charlie Wilson's War, is that Southern evangelical voters, like Jesus himself, have and endless capacity for forgiveness, especially for handsome, bold, and compromised male politicians that need to put behind them for the sake of re-election, revelations of drunk-driving, coke-snorting, womanizing and whoring, and trafficking arms to our Islamic enemies. Maybe they've had enough, but I doubt it.
Despite PageFuckerGate (a.k.a Cocktober Surprise), and charming little failures like this: Country Music, Anal Sex, GOP Fund-raising and Dancing With the Stars, Red State Dems and Jimmy Carter style Christians are going to have to work hard to overcome the "golly-shucks, I didn't realize that buggering Prince Bandar for cash (for our district) was the sin in the Bible called sodomy. Maybe that was the coke, or my drinking problem interfering with my judgement. I'll repent and go to church, rehab (or drinking in Texan (?gay?) bars)" that plays so well in papers and other local media south of that Mason-Dixon line, and select micro-targetted audiences everywhere.
In my book, it is not the gay that is the problem, or the sex. It is the closeted, ashamed, Republican gay in Congress or other important office that gets compromised by foreign intelligence services, by international bankers, by former pages and their families, whoever.
We need more shameless pervs in Congress. And we need to stop attacking porn, just address the supposed shamefulness of a usually natural and healthy interest. In the words of Salman Rushdie, "(porn) sometimes becomes a kind of standard-bearer for freedom, even civilization".
In the West, disclosure of one's use of porn, or creation of it, or just imitation of it in the bedroom (or bathroom stalls of D.C.'s Union Station) has become a tool of intimidation and compromise wielded by the American Taliban (Ashcroft, Gonzalez, among others), but it only works for them if we are ashamed of what it is only natural to be captivated and motivated by. Some elements of the American left are now also able to use this weapon, but only as long as Republicans remain closeted, ashamed, and agressively hypocritical on the politics of sex and the legislation of morality.
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