Category Archives: Information War

Mutually Assured Destruction

“In the nuclear age, the revised maxim might well be amplified — but not, as might be expected, by inserting the word ‘nuclear’. For if the nuclear power now available were unleashed and not merely maintained as a deterrent, its use would mean ‘chaos’ not ‘war’, since war is organised action, which could not be continued in a state of chaos. The nuclear deterrent, however, does not apply and cannot be applied to the deterrence of subtler forms of aggression. Through its unsuitability for the purpose it tends to stimulate and encourage them. The necessary maxim is now ‘If you wish for peace, understand war — particularly the guerrilla and subversive forms of war.”

page 361, Chapter on Guerrilla Warfare of Strategy, written by B.H. Liddell Hart, Copyright Faber & Faber, Ltd. London, England 1954, 1967

President Trump loves the military…

He wants his followers to know he is a fighter.

His political operatives touted him as the GOP Insurgent.

He won the 2016 scorched earth information war and defeated not only Hillary Clinton, but many in the mainstream media, who were colluding with her to try to destroy Trump with damaging stories. The Russians actively participated in America’s 2016 information war too.

This week is a typical “squirmish” in America’s endless scorched earth  information war.  These skirmishes consist of the media and Trump engaged in short-lived, emotionally intense battles for control of the 24/7 news cycle.  Both sides go “nuclear”, without any concerns about collateral damage or fallout, because after all, this is a war of words and no one is literally dying, right?

This week’s Trump sideshow is a typical Trump diversion.  He wasn’t man enough to just admit he hadn’t called the families of these recently fallen soldiers, so he turned the question into an attack on President Obama and other recent presidents.  He is the ultimate Mr. Whataboutism.  He will never admit to any weakness or mistake.

President Trump lies, as often and as outrageously as necessary, until he provokes his opponents to overreact.  His lies are “attacks” – they are his weapons and he uses them ruthlessly.  Once his opponents overreact, he will pick apart their statements looking for untruths or bits and pieces he can manipulate to discredit them.  He will lob his “alternative facts”, wrap himself in the American flag and borrow the honor of  “the generals” to sway his followers to remain loyal.

This week’s “squirmish” is just a slight plot change from Trump’s 2016 vet fundraiser.

Trump’s vet fundraiser, January 28. 2016 was a Trumper tantrum retaliation against FOX News and Megyn Kelly.  Trump claimed his fundraiser raised over 6 million dollars and he personally pledged a million dollar donation.

In February 2016, a Weekly Standard reporter contacted the Trump Foundation for information on the fundraiser:

“On Thursday, I contacted the Donald J. Trump Foundation by email with a few questions about how the $6 million had been or was being disbursed. Five minutes later, I received a phone call from Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s presidential campaign manager. Lewandowski said a list of the recipients had been made public and that more recipients were being added all the time. How much had those recipients received? Lewandowski couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say. As a non-profit organization, he said, the Trump Foundation would release all the required details of its disbursements at the end of the fiscal year. To find out before then, he said, I’d have to contact the recipients themselves.

“The list is publicly available,” he said. “You can do your homework and ask the veterans’ organizations.”

Why wouldn’t the Trump Foundation want to publicize how much it had donated? (Especially given the fact that in recent years, Trump’s charity organization had given more money to the Clinton Foundation than to veterans.) And why, when asking about the Foundation’s disbursements, had a representative of the campaign called? With no other options, however, I took Lewandowki’s advice.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/some-vet-groups-still-waiting-for-trump-foundation-checks/article/2001154

Months later reporters began asking more questions about which vet charities received that money and if Trump had made good on his million dollar pledge.  On May 28, 2016,Trump staged a big show where he attacked the media and had his million dollar check for a vet charity:

  “As recently as last week, Trump’s campaign manager had insisted that the mogul had already given that money away. But that was false: Trump had not.

In recent days, The Washington Post and other media outlets had pressed Trump and his campaign for details about how much the fundraiser had actually raised and whether Trump had given his portion.

The candidate refused to provide details. On Monday, a Post reporter used Twitter — Trump’s preferred social-media platform — to search publicly for any veterans groups that had received Trump’s money.”

Later Monday evening, Trump called the home of James K. Kallstrom, a former FBI official who is chairman of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. The charity aids families of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/05/24/four-months-later-donald-trump-says-he-gave-1-million-to-veterans-group/?utm_term=.471cc9ad77be

Trump was the one who politicized his vet fundraiser, in fact, the entire fundraiser was a political stunt.  Just like in previous “skirmishes” Trump goes nuclear with his war of words, but the media and Left go nuclear too.

On Monday, a reporter asked President Trump why he hadn’t commented on the recent deaths of American soldiers in Niger.

President Trump hadn’t called the families of those fallen soldiers, but instead of saying that, he attacked President Obama and other presidents:

“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls — a lot of them didn’t make calls — I like to make calls when it’s appropriate,” Trump said at a news conference in the Rose Garden when asked about why he had not addressed the recent deaths of American troops in Niger.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-false-claim-about-obama-fallen-soldiers-n811206

The media and former Obama officials immediately countered Trump’s assertion and General Dempsey, who has tried to remain apolitical, also countered Trump’s assertion.

President Trump then inserted General Kelly and “generals” into the controversy, telling reporters to ask them if President Obama had called the families of fallen soldiers.  General Kelly’s son was killed in action.

At this point, the “facts” seem to indicate that President Obama did not call General Kelly when his son was killed in action.  However, at an event honoring Gold Star families, the Kellys sat at the table with First Lady, Michelle Obama, six months after the death of Kelly’s son.

President Trump then called the families of the recently fallen soldiers.  A Democratic congresswoman, who is a Trump hater heard the call.  She claims President Trump disrespected the grieving family.  There are also reports of a previous Gold Star family, whom Trump had called in June and promised them that he would personally send a check of $25,000 to them.  He never sent the check, until yesterday, after the media started asking about it.

This week’s squirmish follows the same script as his million dollar vet fundraiser boast.

The battle lines are now drawn and it is President Trump who politicized the deaths of fallen soldiers.  He is the one who refused to answer a simple question honestly on Monday.  He had not called the families of those 4 fallen soldiers, who died on October 4th, but rather than admit that, he lashed out about President Obama and other presidents not calling grieving Gold Star families.  He is also the one who interjected General Kelly into this issue and now he and the White House are borrowing on General Kelly’s honor to try and do damage control.

That is the truth.

The media and Left, smelling blood, went nuclear, digging up “facts” to not only counter Trump, but to try and turn this issue into an “impeachable offense” and destroy him.

The truth is President Trump uses the military as stage props, beginning with his “squirmish” with FOX News over Megyn Kelly’s “unfair” debate question in August of 2015, which he whined about for 8 long months.  That question was not “unfair”.  It was a question about how Trump treats women.  Trump and his media friends waged an all out attack on Megyn Kelly and Trump called Roger Ailes, trying to get Kelly removed as debate moderator.

He was trying to use his influence to damage the career of a news analyst.

Ailes refused to remove Megyn Kelly, so Trump boycotted that debate and orchestrated a “vet fundraiser”  to try and draw viewers away from watching that GOP primary debate.  He was USING the U.S. military as stage props to make himself look patriotic.

It looks like President Trump used information, that General Kelly confided in him, as a nuclear blast against President Obama, to score some cheap points in this latest squirmish. He betrayed the trust of one of his generals. It appears that President Obama had not called General Kelly when Kelly’s son died and I hope that President Obama can be a bigger man than President Trump and call General Kelly .  Apologize for the oversight, because it does appear that General Kelly was hurt by not receiving a call from his commander-in-chief.

In a few days this latest controversy will be eclipsed by another info war “skirmish”.  In fact, the Trump operatives are already launching another nuclear info war attack to discredit Robert Mueller.  President Trump was tweeting this morning, lashing out at the FBI, accusing them of colluding with the Russians.  Another diversionary tactic, but he is always “winning” the 24/7 news cycle with these nuclear blasts.  He totally eclipses everything, even the sun…

The collateral damage from scorched earth information warfare isn’t dead bodies, it’s America’s heart and soul.  The very fibers of our national character get stretched and torn a little more with each, almost daily, “squirmish” and the indiscriminate flame-throwing leaves America a toxic nuclear wasteland of angry, seething people, who hate and distrust each other.

President Trump possesses a unique gift for dividing people and playing people against each other. He is now using “the generals” in his vicious scorched earth information war.

Scorched earth information warfare’s only outcome can be the destruction of America’s national character.

And Chaos.

There are no winners.

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Filed under American Character, Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics, The Media

Our Thoth,  God of 140-characters

My first two altered book junk journals.  The one on the left is for my oldest daughter, who loves primitive country type stuff.  For her book, Ann Coulter’s Godless, was transformed into a lovely autumn journal.  The book on the right was an “alterable book” I purchased at a craft store long ago.  The covers are very simple – more old calendar pictures cut-up and glued on with Mod Podge.  The spines are covered with old Walmart clearance ribbon.  The little metal word pieces have been in my scrapbooking supplies for many years.

The sampler image, on the left, is from The Lang Country Sampler 2009 calendar, artwork by Ellen  Stouffer.  The image on right is from my 2006 Holly Hobbie calendar.

In the early 2000s, I purchased several books on how to make altered books, but the altered book projects looked more like art journals, way beyond my very basic crafting skill  level, and although well-written, with clear step-by-step instructions, I didn’t have the confidence to attempt making one.

In 2017, after watching many hours of YouTube “junk journal” videos, I decided to try making some myself. Thinking about “altered books” as making “junk journals” from old “junk” removed a mental block for me.

The words we use can completely change how we, not only perceive the world, but they can also “alter” reality.  In many previous posts, I’ve written about America’s raging war of words (here, here, here, here).

Politicians have always used words to influence people.  Andrew Robinson, in the introduction of his 1995 book, The Story of Writing, wrote:

Writing and literacy are generally seen as forces for good.  It hardly needs saying that a person who can read and write has greater opportunities for fulfillment than one who is illiterate.  But there is also a dark side to the spread of writing that is present throughout its history, if somewhat less obvious.  Writing has been used to tell lies as well as truth, to bamboozle and exploit as well as to educate, to make minds lazy as well as to stretch them.

Socrates pinpointed our ambivalence towards writing in his story of the Egyptian god Thoth, the inventor of writing, who came to see the king seeking royal blessing on his enlightening invention.  The king told Thoth: ‘You, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess… You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant.’  In a late 20th century world drenched with written information and surrounded by information technologies of astonishing speed, convenience and power, these words spoken in antiquity have a distinctly contemporary ring”

page 8, The Story of Writing, by Andrew Robinson, Copyright  1995 Thomas & Hudson Ltd, London

Back in 1992, when he ran for president, Bill Clinton became a household name, as did his nickname, Slick Willie, which he had acquired back in Arkansas, due to his remarkable way of using words to deceive people.  Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Paul Greenberg, coined the Slick Willie nickname in 1980 and it stuck with Bill Clinton ever since:

“Greenberg saw Slick Willie as a waffler, a zigzagger, a master of obfuscation — the unworthy alter-ego of Clinton, the compassionate idealist. Greenberg concluded that, like Faubus, Clinton had presented a facade of making great progress during his first term when he had retreated on his basic promises. He talked about preserving the environment, for instance, but appeased the chicken industry. Slick Willie became a recurring character for Greenberg. All other Clinton monikers — “Kid Clinton,” “Boy Governor,” “Young Smoothie” — were retired.

In Slick Willie, Greenberg felt, he had found the perfect coinage. “It doesn’t mean liar. It means dissembler,” he explains now. “This is a particular subspecies of lying. It’s a very lawyerly, sophisticated, elastic lie. In my opinion, the old-fashioned lie would be a step up.””

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/slick122098.htm

Bill Clinton is a brilliant politician, who masterfully uses words and has a rare gift for sophisticated obfuscation.

Donald J. Trump is the king of conflating issues  His use of words is the polar opposite of Bill Clinton’s brand of “slick”.  Trump uses simplistic “branding” phrases, often divorced from the rest of the sentences he utters.  The sentences don’t matter in Trump’s dumbed-down, branding type of information warfare.

Trump transformed the Clinton spin information warfare, that relied on carefully worded, focus-group tested talking points, repeated by a vast army of colluding journalists and political operatives, into rapid-fire, Army of One, Trump-driven 140-character, daily information warfare guerilla attacks.

He’s using guerilla warfare tactics in an information war.

Trump word salad attacks break all the rules.  He strikes with bold-faced lies and never looks back. Trump doesn’t even bother to obfuscate.  He boldly lies, then insists all those around him repeat and back his lies, no matter how outrageous the lie.

He has perfected the art of conflating issues into being all about “Make America Great Again”. Trump seized on the issue of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem in protest over racial injustice and conflated it into disrespecting the U.S. military.  He creates endless reality TV conflicts, casting himself as the champion of American patriotism, who is the constantly maligned victim of the dastardly “fake news”. He wants to keep his supporters agitated and angry, while he wraps himself in the American flag and MAGA sound bites.

Yesterday, in his effort to deflect from a reporter questioning why he hasn’t called the families of recently fallen soldiers, Trump bold-faced lied about President Obama and other presidents, claiming they didn’t call fallen soldiers’ families.

General Dempsey, who has tried to stay out of the 2016 information war, took to Twitter last night to counter Trump’s LIE.

Our Thoth, God of 140-characters, manages to manipulate millions, mostly poor white people, by playing to their insecurities, their prejudices and most of all their anger.

The smarter Trump followers aren’t blind to his many flaws, but they’ve bought into a Faustian bargain, all prefaced on the belief that America is at the Flight 93 crisis point:

“2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.”

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/the-flight-93-election/

At every Trump outrage they cringe, but then they fortify themselves by talking amongst themselves about how the Left is worse, but Gorsuch, and turn up the volume of FOX News blaring about how Trump is “making America great again”.  And of course, the Left leads only to American demise… Trump is the last best hope in their view.

Trump is a “fighter”…

Flight 93 had some real heroes on board; the Trump propaganda train jumped the tracks into tin pot dictator level, Dear Leader, bowing and scraping.

Over the weekend, I walked into the room where my husband was watching FOX News, like always.  Jerry Falwell, Jr. was blathering on about how President Trump will likely go down in history as a great president, as great as President Lincoln.  The FOX  sycophantic hosts are as dutiful as the Pink Lady in North Korea.

They smiled, heads nodding, and agreed with Falwell.

Make America Great Again…

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Filed under American Character, Corrupt Media Collusion, Culture Wars, General Interest, Information War, Military, Politics, The Media, Uncategorized

Trump the Uniter…

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My I love America junk journal – changed the closure to an old button and different ribbon

Before rambling on with my blog post, here are two links, on two completely different topics worth reading:

WHEN MARSHALL MET PERSHING – an excellent article at War On the Rocks, written by Benjamin Runkle.

‘Our minds can be hijacked’: the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia – a thought-provoking article by Paul Lewis at The Guardian.

Now, let me step onto my soapbox and ramble on about politics.

Since the horrific attack in Las Vegas, like millions of other Americans, I’ve been waiting to find out why Stephen Paddock carried out this attack.  So far, the small bits of information, on the attack itself and on Paddock’s bio, don’t make sense to me and there’s nothing meaningful I can write about it.

President Trump went to Las Vegas.  He stuck to a prepared statement, made visits to wounded Americans and he “acted” presidential.  That’s the thing about President Trump – he can “act” presidential, but he chooses to go the “just Trump being Trump” route most of the time, because it adds drama, creates media feeding frenzies and steals the show (which is now the 24/7 news cycle).  His actions are deliberate choices he makes and calculated to evoke a response from his “enemies”.

The Left immediately went off the rails with their gun control hysteria.  The Right attacked the Left for politicizing this tragedy.

If you want to know who President Trump is waging information war against, just listen to Sean Hannity’s opening diatribe any weeknight.  My husband only watches FOX news, so I can’t avoid hearing Hannity’s Dear Leader monologues occasionally.  I try to avoid it, by working in my sewing/craft room.

Despite Sean Hannity going on a “Hail Trump the Uniter” propaganda blitz , praising the president’s effort to unite America this past week, Hannity has coupled that message with stinging attacks on the Left, the mainstream liberal media, Robert Mueller, Republicans who don’t back Trump, the elusive Deep State and anyone else who doesn’t support “our President”.

Hannity always makes sure to cast aspersions on Americans who don’t support and respect “our President”, even though Hannity’s career was built on viciously attacking President Bill Clinton and he was just as rabid at berating President Obama for 8 years.

Respect is earned.  Supporting our president is a choice Americans are free to make; it’s not required.  I respect and support The Constitution always, but I do not respect President Trump and I will never vote for him.  I support the Office of the Presidency and hope whomever that officeholder is, he or she works diligently in the best interests of the American people and to preserve, protect and defend The Constitution.  A president consumed with his own popularity and waging a no holds barred, scorched earth information war is not working in the interests of the American people and is actually corrupting our constitutional republic.

Among conservatives, Liberal hypocrisy was considered the greatest political sin and casting stones to publicly repudiate Liberal hypocrisy built the careers of pundits like Sean Hannity and so many other conservative mouthpieces.

Hypocrisy exposes liars and frauds.  President Trump has exposed a long list of conservative frauds, who built their careers lecturing on civility and proselytizing about the moral bankruptcy of the Left.  Hannity is not alone.  Look at Bill Bennett, who now lectures conservatives, who refuse to board the Trump train, about their “virtue-signaling” and “moral-preening”.

In 1992, we returned from 5 years of living in Germany, where my husband was stationed in the Army.  During those 5 years we lived in leased government quarters and we did not have American TV.  Our kids watched movies, but mostly they played outside a lot with other kids, read a lot, talked a lot, and did crafts.

We moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, which around the Army is referred to as Fort Lost In The Woods, and I was happy to have American TV again.  Politics had changed a lot during those 5 years and there was an American presidential election in full-swing.  During that time, Rush Limbaugh had a TV show and his provocative presentation was new and interesting.  I listened to his radio show some during the 90s, but by the late 90s, I had gotten tired of his diatribes, his bombast and his entire schtick.

Limbaugh became an iconic figure in conservative circles, but President Trump has exposed Limbaugh’s conservatism as, to use Trump’s favorite word, “fake”.  The Trump info war shock troops are all “fake” conservatives.  Despite Hannity’s preaching about President Trump working to unite our country, the real objective of Hannity’s propaganda is to fuel distrust of all those other Americans, whom Hannity lists constantly as “enemies of our President”  Kurt Schlichter, a devoted Trump Twitter Trooper and writer at Townhall, frames all political issues in America, as being between “we normals” and “those crazies” on the Left.

That’s some unifying message President Trump and his information warriors lob at not only those on the president’s “enemies” list, but at other Americans who don’t support President Trump…

I’m trying to wean myself off of spending so much time online and I’ve been working on my needlework and crafts more.  I’ll be posting pictures of more “junk journals” soon.  I decided to make some out of altered books, even though it’s very hard for me to tear apart any book.

Years ago, when I first became interested in altered books, I bought several books about how to make altered books, but I also bought 2 hardcover books in a craft store, that were sold as “alterable books”.  Just like with scrapbooks, I never made any altered books.  So, now I started using one to try out some painting and craft techniques, but I decided to actually “alter” some hardcover books.  I used the other one for an autumn-themed journal, which is still a work in progress.  Part of my personal challenge is to make these junk journals with craft stuff I already have and not buy stuff for in them.  This autumn journal is my 8th junk journal, made with stuff I already had in my craft room.  Here are a few photos:

Since I don’t want to go buy books to “alter”, which requires removing a lot of the pages and gluing in scrapbook paper and embellishments, I started looking around at the books already in my home.  In the spare bedroom, I found some old Rush Limbaugh books and my one son used to read Ann Coulter’s books.  I took off the dust jackets to look at the books.  See I Told You So is in the process of becoming a Christmas junk journal for my daughter and Coulter’s Godless, is becoming my second autumn junk journal.

It felt good tearing pages out of those books and it will be even more fun when I glue pretty scrapbook paper over all the text in both books.

I’ll post photos of those finished journals.

 

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Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, Information War