Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The geopolitics of Nicky Hager

A new book claims the NZSAS killed civilians not as a side-effect of a 2010 mission in Afghanistan, but as the primary goal as revenge for the death of a New Zealand soldier.

Under any normal circumstance, this would be an opportunity to discuss the utility of special forces. But it looks like this book will be useful in other ways: just reverse everything the authors say to know the truth. Consider this passage from an interview:

"New Zealanders were told that their military was in Afghanistan to bring peace and reconstruction and that they treated the locals with empathy and respect. But when a New Zealander died in the attack on a New Zealand patrol, our military response was reckless: innocent people were killed and wounded, houses were blown up or burnt down..."

Indeed. Notice two things: 1) only protected nations accept a military's role is to "bring peace and reconstruction," 2) observe how the military becomes "bad" when it performs its traditional role.

This situation is a direct result of Washington’s re-education after 1945. One of the more fascinating facts of American politics today is that both progressives and conservatives hate their government. They just hate different parts of it, and love and cherish the others. In foreign policy, progressives hate the Pentagon, and love and cherish the State Department. Conservatives hate the State Department, and love and cherish the Pentagon.

In most countries outside the US, the educated elite is hooked on the State Department party line. The only country in the world with any meaningful right-wing political element is the US. This is not a coincidence. The message they are chanting is: less Pentagon. The Pentagon is State's hereditary bureaucratic enemy. It's the ancient war of soft power diplomats battling hard power soldiers for imperial supremacy.

But neither hates Washington as a whole. So they can never unite to destroy it, and the whole machine is stable. By separating voters into two competing but cooperating parties, the two-party system creates a survivable government. If you can find a way to stop being a progressive without becoming a conservative, you might even find a way to actually oppose the US government.

The thing about progressivism is how similar it is to Christianity. Any distinction between secularism, liberal mainline Protestant Christianity and progressivism is so minute as to be almost irrelevant. The three form a single culture and belief system. They ascribe credibility to the same Anglo-American institutions and support the same policies.

It’s like the difference between a Salafi and a Wahhabi. I’m sure a serious scholar of Islam can explain why the two terms are not synonymous. But to anyone without a particular interest in Islamic theology, they are basically the same thing.

So here is the answer to our riddle. The New Zealand Defence Force follows State’s party line of being "peacekeepers" first and soldiers a distant, almost unobservable second. But one small pea still bothers: the last bastion of traditional military in the NZDF – the Special Air Service. These men kill people, regularly. And that’s not very diplomatic.

The NZSAS is part of the traditionalist social structure. And progressives hate traditions. Any tradition not invented by progressivism cannot be controlled by it and poses a threat to its power base. But the institution itself is useful: hence why women are in the military and the “Easter” is removed from the eggs. Yet progressives and traditionalists can't both control the same institutions.

Dear reader, did you think it would be different? Someone should ask Nicky Hager if his progressive ideology is the underdog or overdog and watch his brain CPU heat up and start to smoke.

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