Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A LITTLE CLOSER TO UNDERSTANDING. We've considered the case of General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters at length here, yet while we have gotten a full load of his mania, we have not learned much about the man. His peroration in today's New York Post, though, offers clues.
A FUNDAMENTAL reason why our intelligence agencies, military leaders and (above all) Washington pols can't understand Afghanistan is that they don't recognize that we're dealing with alien life-forms.

Oh, the strange-minded aliens in question resemble us physically. We share a few common needs: We and the aliens are oxygen breathers who require food and water at frequent intervals. Our body casings feel heat or cold. We're divided into two sexes (more or less). And we're mortal.

But that's about where the similarities end, analytically speaking.
It will come as no surprise to regular readers that the General finds opposing life-forms inhuman and "more divergent from our behavioral norms than the weirdest crew member of the starship Enterprise." But he also reveals something of where he got this perspective. No, he doesn't mention whippings by his father or his time in that special CIA program where he was broken and rebuilt, but he does tell us this:
I was an effective intelligence officer. Why? In junior high, I matured past the French Existentialists and started reading science fiction. The prose was often ragged, but the speculative frameworks offered a useful approach to analysis.

Begin with the view that all opponents are aliens from another cultural planet. Build your assessment from a blank slate. What do the alien collectives desire or fear? How do they perceive the galaxy? What are their unique weaknesses?
Son of a sea cook! The General's a libertarian!

No comments:

Post a Comment