Friday, December 14, 2012

Critique of the National Intelligence "Trends"

1. Critique of Myself: Why an Israeli Engineer feels he can criticize an official American intelligence document? Because they published it in the internet and expect to be read and receive feedback. Because I don’t have any comparable document to criticize, not Israeli nor Palestinian. Because it is the very best there is in a field I am interested.

2. Sincerity. It seems authentic and honest, like most things American. It even quotes the critiques and suggestions it received, like past mistakes in the evaluation of the velocity of changes, and the lack of awareness to the role of ideology in history.

3. Methodology. They apply the latest methodology including role playing and modeling to identify dis-equilibriums. However, I feel that mechanically extrapolating trends does not predict history at all. They are missing the power that moves history, which is human will and motivation. We are living organisms who play the game and are not passive masses following Newton's Laws.

4. The study does not take into account past history. That is a fantastic omission. I think history repeats patterns in ways we don’t really know why, but we should take past event to model the future. For example, the contact with Europeans causes the fast collapse of non-European peoples. It happened innumerable times in the past, from the collapse of the Inca and the Aztec empires weeks after the arrival of Europeans, and also the collapse of the Chinese Empire say fifty years after the appearance of the first British merchants. Victorians were aware of this phenomenon, we have forgotten it. The PR of China may be doomed as in the flatworld scenario of Gengis Cohn . I know, the National Intelligence is a serious organization that cannot base its predictions on Invisible University scholarship. I have no bread in this game so I can. Seriously.

5. There is no joker. When a tribal council's had to take kife  or death decisions, they used to have a big-headed dwarf who was charged with mocking the participants and could not be shut down nor punished. This report was elaborated by intelligent (per definition), serious, responsible officers of the Government of the United States, but there was no one to dis-inflate them and force them to face the ridiculousness of their milquetoast predictions.

6. There was an editor. I mean, the document seamlessly integrates different views. That is not how things work. It is like the closing speech of the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party resuming the work of the congress. I feel it should have been like the documents of the Soviet congresses in the nineteen twenties, where opposing fractions fought ferociously each other and tried to discredit the other faction. The policy documents reflect the night-and-day week-long debate that took part and are never unanimous. That was before Stalin's winning faction killed Trotsky and his followers. The socialist movement was a permanent debating club from Marx till Stalin, and their intelligence documents are a wonder of preparation for action. Read Lenin's What is to be done? They wanted studied the world to change it, the Trends is a passive, cool observer and shows no will of its own to change anything. Therefore, it is inherently wrong. I hope you follow my reasoning. I am tempted to elaborate.

7. Will the US be able to work with new partners to reinvent the international system? That question resumes my argument. The bureaucrat posing that question should be expulsed, purged from the National Intelligence office. Sent to a re-education camp. Is he an immortal sitting to the right of Zeus on the Olympus? Or is he an American decided to protect and extend American hegemony, national security and power? The question should have been: America is facing nuclear challenges, how can we change the world in a way that shall be secure and on the top?

8. Food, Water, Energy Nexus. Sheer nonsense. As a man totally immersed in the water thing, there is no water scarcity and never will be one. Humanity has solved that problem. What there is widespread incapability to apply existing technologies and that has nothing to do with water or energy but galloping dumbness.

9. "…largely reversing the historic rise of the West since 1750". The writer is an ignoramus. The West was born in Athens 2800 years ago and from that point it has being relentlessly rising. Alexander extended the West till India, did he? Then Rome civilized the known world. In 500 BC the Phoenicians colonized West Africa. In 1000 there were large Cruzades to take over the Middle East and in 1200 started a 800 years European colonizing movement towards Vladivostok and San Francisco.. By 1500 all of America has been Westernized and the Portuguese were all over the world. The Phillipines were European much before 1750. The expansion of England is not the rise of the West but a small part of it. The author has a very myopic view of history. How is going to be reversed this millenary expansion? By whom? And the bureaucrat is indifferent to the possibility? Are not his testicles on the table in this game?

10. "The shift in national power may be overshadowed by an even more fundamental shift in the nature of power." Since it does not define what is the nature of power, one cannot really follow what he is talking about. Power was defined as "to take their gold and fuck their women". That was the Hellenes did in Troy, the Spaniards in America, the British in Ireland and India, the Japanese in Batavia. What is the new nature of power the Washington bureaucrat is talking about?

11. "However, various developments—positive or negative—could push the world in different directions." No kidding. Oh boy, how right! Worthless, in J's best scenario. Otherwise, shit.

12." We believe the disincentives will remain strong against great power conflict: too much would be at stake." What historical precedents confirm this belief? Cyrus attacking Greece? WWI? WWII? The Mukden Incident? If the problem is nuclear weapons, the Patriot and the Iron Dome changed that game.

13. "Progress toward greater regional cohesion and integration in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa would promise increased stability in those regions." What is the National Intelligence report saying? Progress would blah blah blah. Would it, wouldn't it? Are they in the business of bland nonsense or preparing America for the future? Will be progress or not? I, in my humble J-cave, say no. Latin countries are trying to unite in the last 200 years, with no results. There will be no miracles in the next twenty years. I don’t think American experts are less smart than I am, but they sure lack beytzes (Yiddish for testicles).

14. "Many of our interlocutors saw a Palestine emerging from Arab-Israeli exhaustion and an unwillingness of Israelis and Palestinians to engage in endless conflict." Oh boy, with whom have you been talking? Are you completely blind? Just this week Israel announced the construction of a xillion new houses on the West Bank. Half of the Knesset is for annexing Area C of the West Bank. The colonization of the West Bank is proceeding non-stop. Israel operates bases along the shores of the Red Sea and bombed Khartum. Who is exhausted? The Americans and the Europeans. Not us. They are exhausted and fed up with us, eternal agitators and revolutionaries.

15. "An Amazon die-back or deforestation could alter the region’s water cycle in a way that would devastate Brazilian and much of Argentinian agriculture. Recent models suggest a die-back tipping point could be when deforestation reaches 20 percent; it presently stands at 18 percent." I know quite well this enormous region and I am amazed at the National Intelligence parroting environmental bullshit. Europe was once Schwarzwald, as far as I know, its deforestation did not change the climate. China was once a bamboo jungle, the laborious Han transformed it into rice paddies, the same in Viet Nam and the rest of South East Asia. Is it raining less? And how the hell will it affect the Pampas, half a continent afar?

Enough for today. Thank you Mr Caspar Milquetoast for your good wishes. I like you and wish you well and a Happy Christmas. But Mr Al Fin could do a better global trend report.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

J - you are expecting way too much here. US has a very good signal intelligence operation - NSA computers are now reading the email of everyone on earth and listening to all the phone calls and sifting them for keywords. They are processing terabytes of data every second on an industrial scale - very impressive and unequaled in the world and it leads to good results like finding Bin Laden (via his courier - Bin Laden himself realized this and completely stayed away from all direct electronic communication).

But its human intelligence is worthless. Less than worthless. Just as you say, you could read the newspaper or some blogs and get more accurate intelligence from them than you could from the intelligence establishment. Real intelligence is hard messy work that Americans don't have the stomach or inclination to undertake.

K

J said...

I respect your low opinion of American diligence but I dont share it. If I had to resume my impression of the document, I would say it lacks VIRTUS that is Latin for virility, manliness. I dont intend that as an insult.

Anonymous said...

Modern America is very feminized, from top to bottom. Basically the country is run by women and by de-balled men. Someone like Patton wouldn't last 5 minutes in the modern US Army. When Petraeus showed signs of behaving like a real man, they threw him overboard in the blink of an eye.

K

J said...

Yes, I have heard of Petraeus. The Arabs were first amazed, then amused.

Anonymous said...

J, do you think American whites will adopt race science again?

Anonymous said...

^^ Too late.

Anonymous said...

"Modern America is very feminized, from top to bottom. Basically the country is run by women and by de-balled men. . . . " . . you guys must be working with USAID a lot . . . the really interesting part of the present condition - the dynamic - it wasn't like this in the mid-1990's but the transition has been fast and ferocious - its headed somewhere - but somewhere under the heading of "history repeats itself" must be the answer . . .

Anonymous said...

Too late.

The minorities had better hope so. But if history is cyclical...

J said...

It is not clear what is the last commenter's intention. But the founding ethnia - the WASPs - have been a minority for the last generation and today they are not even the largest minority. The National Intelligence failed to notice the trend...

Anonymous said...

It is not clear what is the last commenter's intention.

Will there be a cyclical return of American race science?

J said...

I am sure that the answer is no. Traditional race science flourished before the discovery of genes and was basically wrong. There are no pure races and never were. After cheap genetic mapping there is no way back. Just like after Darwin there is no way to go back to creationism.

Dumb Goy said...

Who is exhausted? The Americans and the Europeans. Not us. They are exhausted and fed up with us, eternal agitators and revolutionaries.

The Tikkum Olam never ends J!

Anonymous said...

J likes to beat his chest and engage in hyperbole. With regard to his statement about agitators and revolutionaries, remember that he grew up in Communist Hungary and in the schools was exposed to an ideology that glorified revolutionaries (but suppressed anyone who threatened to overturn the results of the Communist one). A few hundred years ago, gentiles were much more involved in agitation and revolution than Jews (compare 16th century contemporaries Yossl of Rosheim and Martin Luther). In our day, American Jewish suburbanites are not possessed of much revolutionary spirit. American Jewish politicos and Jews in the nonprofit foundations might be different. They have oversized influence but are a small minority of American Jews.

J said...

American intelligence thinks we Israelis are exhausted.

They say they arrived to this conclusion through their interlocutors.

They have been talking to the wrong people.

So many "intelligence analysts" said we Jews are tired, obsolete, finished, yet they cant keep up with us.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, J. But all of that annoying activity by those Jews could arouse the anger of the whole world and bring about the final end of the Jews. If any other group were doing the same thing, probably not, but it seems that almost everyone hates the Jews.

Anonymous said...

" In our day, American Jewish suburbanites are not possessed of much revolutionary spirit."

I suppose it depends what you mean by "in our day". Many of the '60s radicals were Jews from suburban backgrounds. Americans in general don't seem that interested in revolution anymore, but you can bet that the next time there is a revolution, there will be Jews in it.

I'm sick of hearing about (and from) people who find the Jews annoying. If they find the Jews annoying, that's their problem. I don't give a damn any more what those goyim think. As we have seen, it wouldn't trouble most of them greatly if we were all dead, so why should I care about their opinions? Now Jews have to do what is good for the Jews and sometimes that involves pleasing the goyim, but pleasing the goyim as an end in itself - forget it.



K

Anonymous said...

K,

Even Jews like us can find other Jews and their activities annoying. As a non-Marxist, aren't you pleased that suburban Jews are no longer leftist revolutionaries? I absolutely would have loathed those red diaper baby '60's Jewish wannabe revolutionaries if I had been alive when they were most active.

Señor Choloquito said...

Forgive the goyim, they didn't get over Jesus after 2000 years, much less Karl Marx.

J said...

The British in 1946 - 1947 found the Palestinian problem so annoying and unsolvable that they gave up and left.

Now it is the turn of the Americans to be exhausted. The Trends suggests that Americans dont need the oil and may become so fed up that they leave the Middle East to itself.

To whom? Itself? You mean ... ourselves?

Anonymous said...

China is building aircaft carriers an they need natural resources more than the US.

Anonymous said...

I am sure that the answer is no. Traditional race science flourished before the discovery of genes and was basically wrong. There are no pure races and never were. After cheap genetic mapping there is no way back.

Well not exactly like the old race scientists, but some newer version with gene sequencing being the elites racism of choice instead of Victorian era phrenology textbooks.

Anyway, even if they were wrong about some things (they were) gene sequencing will prove most of what the old race realists held. New race realism based on genomic data won't differ much from the earlier paradigms.

J said...

Now I get your point and agree with you that earlier paradigms are being proven basically right.

Yet I doubt it will find practical application in real life. In my opinion, the racial considerations in the Victorian era and even in the USA till 1960 were not really racial but class considerations. I mean, middle class people lived in the fear of losing its middle class status and descend into the lumpen. Marrying a black woman or man meant sure fall into the servant/poor class. The moving in of a colored family into say Lewittown meant for the residents the loss of status of the town and loss of their investment/savings. People feared even to be seen with low-status persons.

Today, blacks have conquered political power and the President of the United States and possibly the second most powerful post (the Director of EPA) are mixed race. Today, class based racism is inimaginable. The economic and social class fear that motivated racism is felt less acutely by the average person.

About the future, who knows.

Anonymous said...

Levittown is a bad example because it has always been upper working class and lower middle class. People in those groups have less status to lose than those higher up in the middle class, but perhaps they are more anxious about ending up as proles.

B said...

>The Tikkum Olam never ends

If not for Tikkun Olam, you'd be sacrificing your kids to Moloch or Quetzalkoatl. What are you complaining about, dummy?

B said...

The US intelligence apparatus has more money than it knows what to do with, being spent by some of the smartest, toughest, most motivated people in America. Unfortunately, for every one of them, there are six shit-for-brains careerists who've never had an original thought in their lives and who act like a positive feedback loop for every stupid idea floating around (witness the COIN frenzy of the last 6 years.)

The whole thing is headed by complete political empty suits like Susan Rice and her boss, and they appoint the intelligence apparatus' leadership, which in turn appoints middle managers-you can imagine the criteria used. Finally, almost everyone except some of the guys on the ground is crippled by the dumbest ideology since the Munster Rebellion, and can only get stuff done locally via Unprincipled Exceptions. Oh, and also the media has more influence over the whole thing than the contrary-the intelligence apparatus uses soft power to seduce the media (see the Guardian's feature on the relationship between the CIA and the NYT,) and the media can collude with insiders to wreck intelligence careers and programs at will with no consequence-see Seymour Hersch's expose on the MEK's training in the US, the warrantless wiretapping expose in the NYT, etc.

In short, what this means is that any reasonable analysis will not come out of the official orifices of the apparat, such as published reports. You have to go to the ground guys for that.

J said...

The National Intelligence report is a potpourri of free advice (*) professionally edited to give it some semblance of coherence. And you know the worth of free advice. Zero.

(*) Bt free advise I mean not that it costs nothing (pundits and consultants are exceptionally well paid) but that the etzesgiber has no skin in the game. Ergo, his advice may be superficial. I think that those barbaric chieftains that killed the astrologers whose predictions didnt come out true were on the right path.

Anonymous said...

Except for low level operational intelligence which can never be released publicly, intelligence is overrated. The Soviet Union had a vast and effective intelligence operation and this did not prevent it from losing the Cold War. The US had such a bad intelligence operation that it had to read that it won the Cold War in the newspaper. The CIA had no clue, right to the very end. But still the US won and the CCCP lost.

K

J said...

It is said that the reason of American intelligence failure is that it goes against the inborn honesty and openness of the WASP, who feels guilty reading other people's mail. I believe it is true.

Israelis have no such moral problems. One of the main missions of Israeli spies in foreign lands is to collect dirt on Israeli politicians.

Anonymous said...

The Russian Communists may have lost the battle, but the cultural Marxists have won the war. Leftist indoctrination in the universities, endless affirmative action and feminism even after goals of legal equality have been achieved, out-tokening contests for high political appointments, media talking heads rejoicing at the coming minority majority, etc. The founding fathers wouldn't recognize the U.S. anymore.

Cremieux said...

Israelis have no such moral problems. One of the main missions of Israeli spies in foreign lands is to collect dirt on Israeli politicians.

Why Israeli spies didn't protect DSK in NYC? They didn't want a french Jewish president?

Anonymous said...

The Israeli spies were probably less interested in the matter than Sarkozy's spies. As far as the nastier sort of WN's are concerned, Sarkozy was France's recent Jewish president. They are certainly good at ignoring that he is only one-fourth Jewish by ancestry.

B said...

> the cultural Marxists have won the war

Yep, back in the 1930s or earlier.

> the inborn honesty and openness of the WASP

Yes, they are as known for these qualities as the Jews are for profligate spending and the Chinese for scrupulous adherence to manufacturing standards.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, they [the goyim] are as known for these qualities [honesty and openness]."

The hilarious thing is that the anti-Semites still think this is true and that's why the slick Jews are able to beat the goyim. And even funnier they take this as an original insight instead of one of the oldest themes of European anti-Semitism.

K

B said...

There are many non-Jewish communities which are permeated with honesty and openness. I am very happy to have lived, worked with and hung out with their representatives. Unfortunately, the WASPs running the country and intelligence apparatus are not them.

Anonymous said...

In the Amish country, maybe an hour by car west of the ghettos of Philadelphia, there are farm stands where the merchandise ( produce such as apples) is left unattended together with a pushke or cash box in which you are supposed to insert money for payment according to a posted price list. I have experienced similar setups in other (rural) parts of the US. Apparently this system must work or they would not do it. In Yiddish, if you want to say that somebody is trustworthy, you say that you can leave him with "uncounted money" (meaning that you would have no way of knowing whether any was missing).



K

J said...

In the issue of WASP honesty I may be behind the times. May be it is no more true, I dont know.

Anyway, everything is relative. In Latin America you can expect to be cheated, in Africa it would be surprising if they dont steal something from you, but in WASP country you can leave your baggage in the bus station and find it a week later. Again, I may be behind the times.

B said...

Individually, sure. When it comes to corporations and nations, no.