Sunday, March 2
Slouching Toward Baghdad…
Mike Davis, TomDispatch.com
Imperial Washington, like Berlin in the late 1930s, has become a psychedelic capital where one megalomaniacal hallucination succeeds another. Thus, in addition to creating a new geopolitical order in the Middle East, we are now told by the Pentagon's deepest thinkers that the invasion of Iraq will also inaugurate "the most important 'revolution in military affairs' (or RMA) in two hundred years."
According to Admiral William Owen, a chief theorist of the revolution, the first Gulf War was "not a new kind of war, but the last of the old ones." Likewise, the air wars in Kosovo and Afghanistan were only pale previews of the postmodern blitzkrieg that will be unleashed against the Baathist regime. Instead of old- fashioned sequential battles, we are promised nonlinear "shock and awe."
Although the news media will undoubtedly focus on the sci-fi gadgetry involved - thermobaric bombs, microwave weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), PackBot robots, Stryker fighting vehicles, and so on - the truly radical innovations (or so the war wonks claim) will be in the organization and, indeed, the very concept of the war.
In the bizarre argot of the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation (the nerve center of the revolution),
a new kind of "warfighting ecosystem" known as "network centric warfare" (or NCW) is slouching toward Baghdad to be born.
Promoted by military futurists as a "minimalist" form of warfare that spares lives by replacing attrition with precision, NCW may in fact be the inevitable road to nuclear war. [...]