rkm posting policy

2005-09-13

Richard Moore

Friends,

I've received several somewhat angry complaints about the
report of demolition residue in New Orleans. Some don't like
the fact that the source was a 'politically incorrect'
website, some question the reliability of the report, and some
see it as a distraction from more useful analysis.

I appreciate people taking their time to express their views
on this topic, and I do understand the concerns being
expressed. I suppose this is a good opportunity for me to say
something about my de facto posting policies for the email
list.

The name 'cyberjournal' is intended to mean 'online journal',
in particular the online journal of my own thoughts and
investigations. Some of the ideas expressed are still
half-baked, and some of the explorations end up being down
blind alleys. In the beginning, most of the early subscribers
were from various activist groups, and I assumed they already
had their own ideas about the world situation, politics, etc.
So I've always assumed I'm writing for 'mature audiences', who
can think for themselves. I expect critical responses, and have
learned much from what readers have shared.

One complaint went this way:

      GS: You're jumping to the paranoid conclusions from the very start
        of the catastrophe's aftermath, rather than seeing it as the
        accumulation of hardcore, free market, Leo Staussian
        economics. In fact, rather than blame the now post-Katrina
        debunked theory and practice of U.S. government/corporate
        social and economic policies, you leap to paranoid conclusions
        with only unsubstatiated rumors as your Virgil, leading you
        through nine levels of irrational, capitalistic, paranoid Hell.

I don't mind this at all as a critique of my methods, but what
puzzles me is the emotional weight being expressed. Why does
anyone care so much about how I investigate things? Should I
be flattered? GS goes on...

        An old adage in medicine: "When diagnosing a patient, seek
        horses, not zebras." Rather than direct true political wrath
        at known culprits, generating viable opposition against
        corporate/state alliance ( Mussolini's definition of fascism),
        you seek "zebras," the least likely suspects of current
        FailedState, USA.

I suppose the key phrase in this complaint, revealing perhaps
the emotional side, is "generating viable opposition". That
is, by paying attention to 'zebras' (i.e., paranoid
conclusions) I'm failing to mobilize the masses against known
systemic culprits.

The thing is, the masses haven't subscribed to the list. Why
should I post things for them? And the viewpoint favored by GS
is being promulgated all over the Internet, on lists which
have much larger circulation, including the mainstream press.
Why I do I need to duplicate that analysis? And why should I
limit myself to that analysis? Besides, I've posted hundreds
of articles, and my own essays, over the years that offer
systemic critiques of capitalism and our other social systems.
I assume you folks know my views in that regard, and that you
have your own considered viewpoints as well.

I suppose one thing I could do that might help is to put a
notice at the top of postings, declaring what kind of posting
they are. In some cases I do attempt 'real journalism', where
I tie together 'reputable' data and offer a careful analysis.
Such postings are intended to be forwarded on, as they often
are. With something like the residue story, I could mark it
'unverified report'. These kind of postings are more 'between
you and me', something I consider worth noting, but not really
ready for prime time.

---

As regards Katrina, I personally have no doubt that the
episode is about a lot more than incompetence and neglect. The
evidence at this point is overwhelming. FEMA held a major
exercise, studying this very disaster - and then all
assistance was withheld, and help even turned away, until it
was too late to save the lives of most of the victims. In my
opinion, this was an act of intentional genocide. FEMA was
busy getting ready for this expected disaster, but their
preparations involved setting up a system of detainment
centers for the survivors, rather than planning for rescue
operations. Other preparations were also apparently underway.
Joseph Allbaugh, former head of FEMA, is now down in
Louisiana, negotiating reconstruction contracts for his
corporate clients such as Halliburton. It is also a looting
exercise, stealing the property of poor blacks, and using
funds intended for relief to line the pockets of Bush's
cronies.

Incompetence is the cover story. So is neglect, with the
excuse being the expense of the Iraq war. The multi-faceted
'response' to Katrina was clearly planned in advance, and
involves the introduction of important new programs,
particularly as regards the massive confinement of innocent
American citizens in prison-like conditions - as a 'disaster
response'. We are seeing the unfolding of 'Operation Katrina'
- with massive social implications.

When such an operation comes along, as they frequently do
these days, I think it is important to figure out what the
objectives of the operation are. Keep in mind that all of us
are the eventual targets of those objectives. In this case
there seem to be quite a number of objectives, some localized
to New Orleans, and some to do with the nation generally. As
the objectives come into focus, based on actual post-incident
developments, the scale and importance of the operation
becomes clear.

Once the importance becomes clear, then we must assume that
the operation could not have been left to chance, apart
perhaps from the exact date of the expected hurricane. Each
mission-critical item must be assured of happening. It is not
enough to plan on withholding assistance; it is necessary also
to be prepared to turn volunteer assistance away. It is not
enough to hope that an un-maintained levee might break; there
must be a backup plan in case it doesn't. Anything else would
be gross incompetence, and very unlikely in an operation of
this scale.

The issue of 'incompetence' plays an important role in the
Matrix. Since the government typically lies about what its
objectives are, it seldom accomplishes the public objectives.
Hence most people, both on the left and the right, believe the
government is basically incompetent. The quagmire in Iraq is a
perfect example. Bush said he was bringing liberation and
democracy, and most people, even savvy journalists who should
know better, seem to be willing to believe that he has
'failed' in his mission and is incompetent. Very convenient.
In fact the neocon's real objectives are clear: they want the
oil and they want permanent military bases. As regards these
well-documented objectives, we do not see incompetence: we see
careful planning and successful execution - but little
publicity.

How many of you really believe Bush was trying to bring
democracy and liberation to Iraq? And yet, even if you don't
buy that, do you still feel yourself sometimes drawn into
thinking in terms of 'incompetence in Iraq'? If you do, that's
the power of the Matrix - it sneaks up on you. To speak - or
even think - truth in the midst of the Matrix is like swimming
against the tide, a constant drain on your energy, an ongoing
need to justify yourself. Well meaning progressive journalists
are forced to phrase their critiques within the assumptions of
the Matrix, or else they would be ostracized from mainstream
sources.

On this list, after years of working out what the Matrix is
about, I now try to speak from outside the Matrix, and avoid
the quagmire of thinking and speaking in the Matrix's own
terms.  If elite troops are mounted on zebras, then it is 
zebras I will talk about. Some people find value in that and
other people are disturbed by it. But it's what I do.

I hope this clarifies things a bit.

all the best,
rkm
http://cyberjournal.org

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