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I watched "Bitter Lake", by Adam Curtis.     (Freely available here.  Readers outside the UK may need a proxy e.g. "Hola!" or "ZenMate" to watch it.)





Full disclosure:

I knew Adam Curtis for a li’l while,  around ’87 /  ‘88, in a going out with his sister kinda way. 
We talked politics, he considered himself a bit of a leftie.  He thought I was a bit of a Trot. 
At that time both he and his sister were thinking of joining the Labour Party.   I don’t know whether he did,  I know she didn’t as she got a job promotion which barred her ( a Thatcher initiative).

It was after I knew him that he became the success we know today.

I enjoy most of his stuff.  Particularly on the limits of science, it’s one of my hobby horses.  In this century I find him a bit of a Blairite when it comes to political analysis, I’m not sure if it was “The Power of Nightmares” or “The Trap” that this came through.



He said he was going to discuss the complexities of politics through the prism of Afghanistan but, for me, he didn’t shine a strong enough light through that prism.  One of them is that since the Vietnam War (when they ran out of money) the USA has backed up the dollar with oil instead of gold.  I don’t see discussed anywhere the effect of halving the value of a barrel of oil will have on the American economy. 
He made  no mention of the Afghan pipeline or the payments the US made to the Taliban during the years of their discussions over it.

He didn’t say why Afghanistan after 9/11 ??   The Taliban were prepared to hand over Bin Laden but the US rode roughshod over them.  Or why the US fingered Bin Laden.  The FBI never wanted him for it though they did want him for the Kenyan bombings.  (there is an argument that 9/11 wasn’t BL’s modus operandi.)

He didn’t mention America’s strategic interest or the PNAC.  Or that the original campaign hadn’t the intention of an American occupation.  The Plan had been to destroy the country from the air and the Northern Alliance (who controlled 10% of it) would then take over the whole shebang.
Then they’d put in a few bases and a bunch of missiles and put the heat on Russia, China and Iran. 

They’d have a sweetheart deal with India, the most populous and nuclear country in S.Asia, and that was it for the East.  The Korean peninsula and Japan are already covered.

Going West, they only had to knock out Iraq (which was already planned for) and they would have a checkerboard dominance of Laurasia.  (Errr .... if I got the name right.)

That was America’s strategic interest.


They had to go back into Afghanistan cos things didn’t go to plan and instead of getting a compliant tyranny, they got anarchy.  And Anarchy is not a place to site yr missiles.    Hence “bringing democracy” etc etc.

One thing that's certain about democracy, it can’t be introduced at the point of a gun.


I don't know he'd fully grasped the consequences of deregulation and Thatcher’s promotion of the “service industries”.  I knew a Tory hotelier at that time who thought she meant businesses like his were going to get a lot more trade !!
People who'd lived through The Great Depression of the 30’s frequently used the saying, “we’ll never get rich taking in each other’s washing”.

Thatcher was talking abt financial services, she was going to reorganise the economy of the country from manufacturing (which would have to be restructured as it was running down) to money handling.  A quick fix.  The Govt would get revenue from massive money streams passing through the City, which would help prop up unemployment.  What would happen abt making the place productive again would be a prob for someone else sometime in the future.   That’s how politics goes.



So, apart from 500 words of nit picking, it was interesting to see the footage. Good to hear a bit of old Bowie too.





Coupla quotes for ya ....

Robert S. Mueller, III, Director of the FBI __ 2002
“In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper – either here in the U.S. or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere – that mentioned any aspect of the September 11th plot.”

i.e.  these people were so clever there’s no evidence that they did it.  :rofl:



Donald Rumsfeld  DefSec __ 9 Oct 2001

" I don't know people who are smart enough from other countries to tell other countries the kind of arrangements they ought to have to govern themselves. One would hope and pray that they'd end up with governments that would provide the best possible for the people of those countries.
But I don't know that we know what that formula is, and my guess is it's the kind of thing that will ultimately be sorted out on the ground by Afghan people in a way that's -- I would submit may very likely be considerably more satisfactory to them than were it to be imposed by outsiders of different cultures, different religions, different continents."



US Army briefing on Taliban (pdf)






"And where is Adolf Hitler, now that we finally need him? It is bad business to go into War without a target."
Hunter S. Thompson  _19 Sep 01



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