In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right, something is wrong. — Addition to Murphy’s Laws
My Russian contacts and the dissident sources I read are generally more dispirited with Russia than I have ever been with the USA. I am not a Tom Friedman fan usually, but of late he’s been pretty perceptive and asking some interesting questions.
“President Trump’s steadfast reluctance to say anything negative about Russia is so striking that a former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, once observed that Vladimir Putin manages Trump as if he we were a Russian intelligence “asset.” He may be. But if I were a Russian citizen, I’d be asking this question: Is Putin a U.S. agent?”…
“Beginning around 2007 or 2008, Putin appears to have decided that rebuilding Russia by nurturing its tremendous human talent and strengthening the rule of law was just too hard… Instead, Putin decided to look for dignity for Russia in all the wrong places: by tapping his oil and gas wells, not his people; by strengthening the Russian military, instead of the rule of law; and by enriching himself and his circle of oligarchs while wrapping himself in a cloak of Russian Orthodoxy and Russian nationalism that appealed to his base.”
Sounds to this writer that we’ve arrived in a terrible, albeit familiar situation. The two most powerful military nations in the world are being run by a couple of insecure, unhappy and ultimately unqualified idiots. If you need a scalpel but the only tools in your toolbox are sharpened sticks and rocks, well, bombs away. So, is what looks like treason really just absolute boobery and incompetence?
Well, one of Murphy’s Laws is that Nature hides with the hidden flaw; incompetence and boobery will trump treason every time.(Pun intended)
Well, if you’re looking for a reason for why people do dumb things, the seven deadly sins working in concert with Murphy’s various laws seem like a pretty good starting point. We should also remember that when smart people do really dumb things or empower really dumb people to do even dumber things, the consequences can be absolutely amazing.
The better you know the amount of ill luck that will strike you,
the worse you know when this will happen,
and vice-versa. Corollary: Ill Luck is actually Absolute. –Heisenberg’s Indetermination Murphy’s Function
One parallel that strikes me is the decision of Caesar Augustus to appoint Varus, a time-serving political hack who thought he was potentially the second coming of the “Divine Julius” if only given the opportunity, to the governorship of Germania in 8 CE. Augustus knew that Varus was crooked, even for a Roman politician and susceptible to flattery, but figured that it couldn’t cause any harm. Varus became friends with a smart, rich German prince and Roman Auxiliary Commander, Herman or Arminius, and they made great plans for the future conquest of the rest of Germany.
Arminus, of course, had other plans. By the end of 9 CE, the Roman forces in northern Gaul and southern Germania were cut by at least a third, approximately fifteen thousand Roman legionnaires, auxiliaries, family members and slaves were slaughtered in the Teutoburg Wald, four sacred Eagles, the symbols of the Legions, were captured and hidden in various parts of Germany, and there was no certainty that the Germans weren’t about to just come across the Rhine and sweep everything away. Augustus went slightly crazy, wandering his palace in Rome in mourning, crying out randomly “Varus! Give me back my legions!”
Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will. –Greeting card from Murphy’s Library
Varus, of course, was known to have committed suicide at the height of the battle, and Arminius was having problems holding his coalition of German tribes, most of whom hated each other as much as they hated the Romans. Augustus appointed his least favorite possible heir, Tiberius, to clean up the German mess, and by the time he had done so, Augustus was now about out of time and suitable successors except for the guy nobody really liked but whom everybody admitted was competent.
Arminius was assassinated by disgruntled followers in Germany, possibly for cash from Tiberius, who knew a good investment when he saw one as well as having a well honed sense of resentment and revenge. You could say with some accuracy that Tiberius military and administrative skills were matched only by his twin virtues of paranoia and cynicism.
A knowledge of Murphy’s Law is no help in any situation. If you apply Murphy’s Law, it will no longer be applicable. — Murphy’s Corollary to Murphy
If that seems too ancient, look back seventeen years to 2001, CE. I am not interested in debating who destroyed the World Trade Center, whether it was Osama bin Laden, the Deep State, or the Reptilian-Illuminati alliance. But, unless it was the Lizard-Mason offshoots, it’s really difficult to contend that it worked out as planned. It’s hard to decide who came out ahead; the list of losers if pretty impressive though.
Rather, what was accomplished was the empowerment of the Bush-Cheney administration to have the war it wanted; the waste of hundreds of thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, the destruction of a variety of cultures, communities and traditions, and the ultimate empowerment of the the Trump-Cthulhu administration and our current happiness. Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Egypt ruined; worldwide terrorism and anarchy. Seventeen years in, and the VA reports an increase of veterans with various forms of lung, pancreatic and other cancers probably due to indiscriminate and unregulated burn pits by soldiers and contractors.
Heckuva job, Brownie, a heckuva job.