The "Rot" Rots On: "Rot Within The Ranks" How Deep Does It Go?
By Danny Schechter
At what point does an organization "rot?"
"Rot" seems to be a new phrase du jure being used by the military in the case of several offices charged with mishandling the highly sensitive and uber-responsible job of operating our top-secret nuclear weapons systems. They are the people who literally have their fingers on the big boom button.
According to a Guardian report, here's how this rot came to public attention. "The US Air Force has stripped an unprecedented 17 officers of their authority to oversee nuclear missiles, after a string of failings that the group's deputy commander said stemmed from 'rot' within the ranks."
"Rot within the ranks!" That's a neat way of putting it. Is that rot just confined to the underground silos on the lonely plains below their "amber waves of grain?"
Could there be mental "rot" in the intelligence world that we know is usually anything but intelligent?
How about in its assessment of the threat posed by Iran which has triggered a vast escalation of military spending and adventurism with and without the "bomb first, justify later' practices of our Israeli ally whose stockpiles we fund?
Unfortunately, that good old "Washington consensus" seems to assure that the Republicans on the Right and the Democrats in the Middle share worldviews even when they disagree on tactics.
So to get another view, certainly a less partisan and ideological one, we need to travel overseas, to, say, Lund. Sweden where a think tank called the Transnational Foundation (TFF) dissects the rot in our thinking. (Lund is near Copenhagen, in the country the bard once implied was riddled with rot.)
"Scores of Western politicians state that Iran is a threat to its neighbors or even the world. But before we end up in yet another cruel war based on wrong assumptions and delusion, somebody should ask them the simple question: How do you know?
- There is little, in fact, to back up these claims. Each time Iran spends 7 US$ on its military, the U.S. spends 700 US$, Israel 15,60 US$, Saudi-Arabia 44 US$ and the Arab Emirates 16 US$. Therefore, if Iran were to start a war, it would have to ignore the "balance of forces" of 1:110 with its basic opponents!
- "To construct Iran as a threat, one must assume that its leaders are lunatics or suicidal. There's no evidence they are," says Jan Oberg, director of TFF, The Transnational Foundation in Sweden.
- False or exaggerated threat assertions are necessary to build up legitimacy among citizens before wars are started. Experts call it "fearology": Instill fear in peoples' minds and they accept, from left to right, their own governments' taxpayer-funded wars.
- Iran's military expenditure is roughly the size of Norway's. It has not invaded any country since 1738 but has repeatedly been invaded. Its population is 10 times larger than Israel's and its military costs half as much. Contrary to Israel, it has no nukes, it's party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and accepts inspections. Facts like these would be part of professional threat analysis.