Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The 1% Solution

As I’ve been off-line for a week I exchanged some loose bits of greenish paper for tightly bound organized white paper which are apparently called “books”.

The larger and thicker of the two was "Fiasco", a highly detailed account of the invasion and occupation of Iraq that illustrates and illuminates the strategies, tactics, thoughts, experiences and actions of those directly involved—from generals to corporals. Frankly it’s a bit of a slog, but then such is both the soldier’s and the documentarian’s life. The efforts of the soldiers and commanders and the efforts of the author are worth an effort from the reader.

The more compact book is “The One-Percent Solution" by Robert Suskind. Its title explains the doctrine Cheney espoused immediately after 9-11; that basically any conceivable threat to the US should be regarded as a certainty and acted upon. The book then goes on to illustrate how this singular doctrine both energized and confounded the prosecution of the “war on terror”.

It is written like a fast-paced movie, akin to Fox’s “24”. The bulk of the book concerns the actions of intelligence officials, but it is interspersed with moments of deep narrative, exposition, insight and comment about the nature and practice and impact of intelligence and personality and how these factors shape policy as a whole.

The terrible thing about this book is that it is thrilling and all too real. My impression from this book is that Bush et al are not overstating the case that there are extremists in the world constantly plotting to kill innocent people en-masse in pursuit of their respective causes and to affect change, and the administration and government are certainly obliged to counter them.
On the other hand the “1% Solution” is clearly not the means by which the US (or anyone else) should defend itself. Suspicion alone is not grounds for action, especially when that suspicion is based on a personal conviction. Sadly or rather horrifically this book illustrates both practically and philosophically, by example, how poorly equipped our current leaders and political infrastructre are to deal with the problem they so often claim is exclusively within their expertise and jurisdiction.

This book, through real examples and judicious commentary, explains the harsh and bizarre realities of governance and politics that surround not just the “war on terror: in particular, but policy in general—how it is formed and promulgated.

There is little outright blame in this book, but a lot of exposure. It is very explanatory, but inconclusive. It is above all eye-opening. Read it!


teaghan's mom said...

You can READ???!???!??? Holy written word, Batman!

Even with all these "newfound" and recently published epiphanies, America is STILL just as ignorant as Lucifer Cheney and Karl "Satan" Rove want us to be. It's really sad that we can't harness the power of the media as comprehensively and as adroitly as the God-awful Obtusely Partisan politicos.

(to English speakers everywhere, i apologies for all the adverbs)

Carl said...

Now, hang's *possible* that giant mutant space aliens will fly down and attack us, wreaking havoc on our capitalist way of life...what contingency did Cheney make for those, huh? Why does Cheney hate America so, not protecting us from giant mutant space aliens?

sumo said...

I think the space alien thing could be a new look for us. You know they'll come down from outer space and want to breed with us we might just crank out cute little mutant space aliens...I for one am curious. As long as 'they' don't resemble in any way...Cheney.

5th Estate said...

carl and sumo....

don't you remember that TV show "V" ?
The m.o. of space-aliens is always to harass women, enslave us all with their powerful weapons and insidious mind control because they hate our molecules (except for Mr Klaatu who was obviously some fringe liberal space-alien who just assumed our politicians would listen to reason--no wonder he got shot. YOu can also tell he was liberal becuase then he did the old "cut and run" ).

teaghan's mom said...

didn't the aliens in "V" eat humans? and not in the good way?

5th Estate said...

teaghan's mom...
I don't remember--they must have erased my memory! I do remember they were actually bipedal endothermic lizards with highly advanced technology and a passion for "glam-rock" couture--but in DISGUISE!

If they did eat humans they sure went to a lot of bother pretending otherwise. I hear we taste like chicken, but then I also gather that chicken is pretty rare in the endless reaches of outer space (in everything from Flash Gordon to the sequel of the prequel of the middle parts of Star Wars and all the comjectures of Asimov, Chesley Bonestell, Carl Sagan and even Steven Hawking, chickens are notably absent). So I guess the aliens thought it worth all the effort for that unique taste of chicken! Though if that were the case, why not enslave and breed chickens rather than humans?

Anonymous said...

i thought human flesh tasted like pork.

betmo said...

i have been slogging through suskind's book. i do have to disagree with you on the fast paced nature of the book. i am having a tough time holding on to my interest. yes, lots of good info- not an easy read. i don't think that there is anyone in the western world today that doesn't know that we are targets for extremists. we are- and we have to live with it. we can be prepared and we can defend ourselves--withough sacrificing our civil liberties or our reputation. these folks in washington aren't smart enough to realize that.

Carl said...

The aliens in V did not eat humans, as I recall. They were stealing our water. They may have drained humans of water, tho.

visitor said...

actually - the visitors did both - steal all earth's natural resources AND "harvest" humans for food.

"What they brought in actuality was an occupation army and harvesting equipment. The technicians were to steal drinking water from earth's reservoirs. The occupation army was to take control of our cities, streets, and governments. The harvesting equipment was to take care of us; to harvest every last man women and child as food or as a slave soldier force." (from

Anonymous said...

isn't that what the republicans are doing to the world now? turning us into ignorant, mouth breathing, slaves?

SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!!!! And Cheney and Bush are getting FATTER!!! They are eating people!!! AAAHHH!!!

(jumps through window)
(realizes it's only the first floor)
(curses and goes back to work)

5th Estate said...

thanks visitor--always appreciate truly informed comment