A Very Cthulhu Parody of Anti-Catholic Bigot Jack Chick

Jack Chick isn’t just a cartoonist occasionally lampooned by :

penny_arcade_chick_cropped

He’s also an anti-Catholic Bigot

In 2000, he started the Bible series of his tracts, which starred one of his more famous creations, a Fundamentalist Christian man named Bob Williams. Bob, a rather smug character, would always appear to lead people down the correct path, though he was not always successful (see Gladys), and the Bible Series has served as a collection of many of Chick’s core beliefs on topics such as evolution, witchcraft, and the Catholic Church.

Jack Chick has been heavily criticised for his views. His anti-Catholicism was not immediately evident in his earliest cartoons, and seems to have evolved during the mid to late 1960s. Several earlier comics were re-edited in the 1970s to reflect Chick’s changing views on the Vatican. Example: a portrayal of the Antichrist, originally drawn as a man wearing a business suit, was changed to show the Pope in later editions of the same tract. The early 20th century pamphlet The Two Babylons was influential in popularizing a view — held by Chick — that the Roman Catholic Church is really a continuation of Babylonian religious practices.

(That is, a bigot who is anti-Catholic):

A recurring theme in Chick’s tracts is the role of the Roman Catholic Church, which he presents as one of the most powerful and insidious branches of this conspiracy. According to Chick the Catholic Church is the ‘Great Whore’ referred to in the Book of Revelation, and will bring about a Satanic New World Order before it is destroyed by Jesus Christ.

Drawing on the dubious claims of Alberto Rivera, Chick claims that the Catholic Church helped to mold Islam as a tool to lure people away from Christianity, that it infiltrates and attempts to destroy or corrupt all other religions and churches , and that it uses various means including seduction, framing, and murder to silence its critics. He accuses Catholicism of supporting ideologies such as Nazism and Communism, and using the Holocaust to persecute opponents of the Catholic Church.

He also sued a cartoonist for this hilarious parody: “WHO WILL BE EATEN FIRST?

01
Who Will Be Eaten First?

02
One day, while sitting in a cafe

George, it’s vital that you make the right decision before you die.

03
You’re gonna say I have to choose between God and the devil, right?

WRONG!

04
The stars are right! The Elder Gods are going to rise and eat us all!

In his house at R’ley dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
-HP Lovecraft

05
Soon the evil spawn, who had slept for eons… will awaken to clear the earth of man!

That is not dead which can eternal lie… And with strange aeons, even death may die.” – H.P.L.

06
NO ONE will be saved! EVERYONE will die and mankind itself will come to a horrible end!

“… I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars that dream beneath the sea… ” HPL

07
Soon the seas will turn red with the blood of the human race, as the unspeakable terrors come from beyond the gate, which is Yog Sothoth, to devour all in their path! Ia! Shub Niggurath! Ia! Ia!

08
So if we’re all gonna die, what difference does it make? Who cares? Nothing I can do about it…

or is there?!

09
You’re right George… It’s hopeless. But there is one thing we can hope for…

TO BE EATEN FIRST!

10
BE EATEN FIRST?!

What the fuck kind of advantage is that?!

Give me one good reason why I would WANT to be eaten first!

ONE GOOD REASON!!!

11
Do you really want to stick around and watch the entire world be destroyed by evil creatures from beyond Hell?

Not really…

12
Oh God… you’re right… I don’t want to see it all end!

I want to be eaten quickly!

What do I have to do to make my death a swift one?

The thing cannot be described – there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy…” HPL

13
You must worship and sacrifice at the altar to appease the appetites of the Elder Gods! Then you may hope for a fast death!

Ph’lngu! mghw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagi fhtagn!

WAAAHH!

Gasp… This can’t be!

CTHULHU FHTAGN!

14
Chant invocations from the NECRONOMICON, the book of dead names written by the Mad Monk, Abdul Alhazred!

15
Only then… on the dreaded day when they rise… Will you be eaten first!

16_md
The Elder Gods are coming and everyone is doomed!

You might as well party and do all the ship you were always afraid to do!

NOBODY CAN SAVE YOU.
WE WILL ALL BE EATEN.

If yhou start to have dreams about cities where the geometry is all wrong and get inspired to make weird sculptures, do it!

1. Don’t worry about going mad.
There’s no avoiding it.

2. Be prepared for horrible visions and creatures that will chill you to the bone!
3. Remember… Yog Sothoth is the gate!

What to say!
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

If you have done all this, and you go completely mad… the Elder Gods will eat you first! Or maybe not… maybe they’ll torture you in their dank and rotting lairs… but you won’t care by then because you’ll be insane! A shell of a human being! BWA HA HA HA HA!

Just remember…
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die!

Help another person go mad with the knowledge of the horrible evil! Give them this book:

NECRONOMICON


Do I have anything good to say about Jack Chick — a man who says Catholocism is a Babylonian Plot, Islam is a Catholic Plot, and Communism is a Islamic Catholic Plot? Yes. Even though he threatens -style strategic lawsuits against public participation, he has a write to make his claims. As the says

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Jack Chick has a write to spread his beliefs. So-called “hate speech” regulations, whether on campuses or for entire countries, would take away Chick’s right to proselytize as he believes The Lamb wishes him to do so.

Chick has a right to speech. So do the men he has sued.

What I’m Reading

narnia_sm
Title: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy
Author: C.S. Lewis
Best Part: dancing girls (pg 238)
See Also: Review of The Chonicles of Narnia movie
skytrain_to_murder
Title: Skytrain to Murder
Author: Dean Barrett
Best Part: A smooth, well-dressed character named John Morrell
See Also: “The Chaplain’s Last Sermon” Poem

why_geography_matters_sm
Title: Why Geography Matters
Author: H.J. de Blij
Best Part: Our Ice Age
See Also: Dr. de Blij’s Presentation in Washington, DC

Embracing Defeat, Part IV: Embracing Victory

We need to win.

Here’s how

embracing_victory

In , Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett gives a forward-looking plan for winning the Global War on Terrorism, shrinking the Gap, peacefully integrating China, and ending war as we know it. Dr. Barnett’s goals are achievable, and the vocabulary, methodology, and vision he brings them are correct.

The engine for our victory, the reverse domino theory, teaches that as one nation globalizes, it will pull other nations up with it. We are seeing this with China, which is building trade relationships with Central Asia, South America, Russia, and even Sudan. The first globalization domino, Japan, knocked down South Korea and Taiwan, which knocks down China, which will knock down…

Dr. Barnett also presents an A-Z Rule-Set for Processing Politically Bankrupt States. As 9/11 proved, globalization needs a bodyguard. The United States and the international community must provide this security. Or two, really: the Leviathan blitzkrieg-force and the SysAdmin peacebuilding-force.

We don’t want to fight this struggle fairly. We wish to play to our strengths, fighting as we want. The abilities and characteristics of the American Nation should be completely exploited to help in our victory. The globalization wars are crusades, and our greatest abilities will be the shining armor of our knights.

We Americans have two core competencies:

  • We are rich
  • We want quick fixes

We are rich: we have a large, growing, dynamic economy that is the envy of the world. We are tremendously resilient: even the worst attack in our history (9/11) and losing a major city () has not prevented a low unemployment rate and strong economic growth. We also have a history of trying big things if they can deliver the goods quickly, which has made us early adopters of technological and business wonders.

In this series I talked about the importance of “embracing defeat.” This just means realizing that things that go against our core competencies are core incompetencies. There are some things we cannot do. Our core incompetencies are the flip-side of our core competencies

  • We have little will or endurance
  • We are impatient

Our core incompetencies are paying prices in non-monetary ways (solutions which require patience of moral will), and solutions which are small and slow (like fighting a series of Iraqs). We cannot rely on our incompetencies. If we try we will fail. America is too cowardly and treacherous to pay a price of blood and will.

We Americans have two strategic goals

  • Keep the Reverse Domino Theory working
  • Process Politically Bankrupt States

The main-point of globalization is the Reverse Domino Theory. It is an engine that will give us the entire world for what Barnett calls “the China price.” The Reverse Domino Theory plays to our core-competency of wealth. Just do nothing and everyone gets rich.

The other-points of globalization is processing politically bankrupt states. Here we stop massacres, genocides, wicked invasions, and mass rapes. This process plays to our core-competency of wanting quick, big results. Just do something and we stop the killing.

First, we need to protect the Reverse Domino Theory. This is more important than anything else. If globalization cannot grow on its own then nothing we can do can save it. Likewise, if the world globalizes on its own not even terrorists and incompetent ideologues will be able to stop it.

The China price is an acknowledgement that China’s central role in the Reverse Domino Theory means that a successful completion of the Reverse Domino Effect will have to be tailored with China in mind. The China Price is the recognition that the loss of China to the world economy is the single greatest catastrophe imaginable, short of nuclear war of an attack from space. We need to encourage the reality of peacefully connecting China. The China Price must be paid to prevent China from disconnecting or warring.

Because our core competency is money, not will or blood, the China Price will have to be paid in cash. Because our competency is something quick, while the connectedness of China will only grow slowly, the China Price must buy us something to discourage China from warring or disconnecting itself over generations.

We need an automatic system which makes it not just easy, but profitable, for politicians and leaders to make the choices that prevent war with China. Not just a one-off like abandoning Taiwan, because even then China would realize she has lost Burma, Vietnam, Turkestan, Mongolia, and Siberia. We need something that gives us the backbone we couldn’t afford in will or blood. We need a China price that puts profits on the line.

We need a military-industrial-Leviathan complex.

boeing_md
Boeing: The Good Guys

A military-industrial complex is the only way to make Chinese war aims not just dubious, but delusional. A military-industrial complex is the only way to give the doves in Beijing the upper-hand, year after year after year. Because a military-industrial complex provides jobs for constituents, golden parachutes for generals, and jobs for the wives of Senators, the military-industrial complex gives us the patience and will to do the hard work of preventing China from fighting a war we do not want. Mere trade with a party dictatorship cannot do this, just as mere nuclear weapons cannot do this. The money from a military-industrial complex can.

A secondary concern is rolling back rogue regimes. Barnett’s A-Z Rule-Set cannot do this effectively, and Barnett’s SysAdmin wouldn’t be politically possible. America is not able to pay the price in blood, or will, to send uniformed soldiers in. And because America really, really wants to do something, every new outrage hurts America’s will even more. Clinton was write to criticize GHW Bush for not acting unilaterally in Bosnia, just as Clinton was wrong to not act unilaterally in Rwanda. Able to see things go to Hell and unwilling to do anything, Americans are taught to feel bad about themselves while they let others die.

It’s easy to begin processing politically bankrupt states. The public outcry is intense, and the left/right isolationist coalition almost always loses the initial debate. But everything after the Leviathan’s bomb-’em-back-to-the-stoneage task is hard politically. Not only does someone have to go on and kill the worst actors, America has to be ready, willing, and able to quickly send someone in. It would be disastrous to further tie America’s hand, by handcuffing her to corrupt international institutions. A million died in Rwanda because the Hutu genocidaires knew there would be no soldiers from the west to stop them.

Something that gives us the backbone we couldn’t afford in will or blood. We need a “Rwanda price” that puts profits on the line.

We need a military-industrial-SysAdmin complex.

blackwater_md
Blackwater: The Good Guys

To misquote Mark Safranski, the Military-Industrial-Leviathan complex is a visionary grand-strategic level good that builds something new. But without a Military-Industrial-SysAdmin complex, Barnett’s vision has had nothing to compete with John Robb’s realization that “you can take a great idea, with few resources, and conquer the world” applies to transnational crime and unconventional war, too. By using functionally similar private military contractors, what Safranski calls “,” we can coopt this dynamic. Using open-source free-companies to directly engage our enemies, while knowing that these terrorists will be squeezed between contentional, vertically-organized crime on one hand and their fratricidal tendencies, we can minimize the chances of a -style insurgency.

As Dr. Chet Richards appears to be arguing in the land-war portion of America’s counter-insurgency ability should heavily use private military companies. Instead of politicians fretting over American lives lost in stopping a genocide, politicians will know that intervention means campaign contributions. Processing politically bankrupt states becomes not just easy, but profitable.

By protecting our military-industrial-Leviathan complex which prevents big-war with China, and building a military-industrial-SysAdmin complex which processes politically bankrupt states, we can shrink the Gap, end true poverty, end wars as know them, and make globalization truly global.

Let’s do it.


This has been Embracing Defeat, part of a series of reviews for Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Blueprint for Action. The posts in Embracing Defeat are:

I. Barnett’s Two Strategies
II. Blood and Will
III. The Born Gimp
IV. Embracing Victory

Embracing Defeat, Part III: The Born Gimp

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Tom Barnett has been embracing losing.

Now it is time for him to embrace defeat.

embracing_defeat_globoimperialism

In the first part of Embracing Defeat, I outlined Barnett’s two plans for winning the Global War on Terrorism: the Reverse Domino Theory to move countries to the Core, and the A-Z Rule-Set for dealing with bad guys. I went on to describe America’s fear and trembling of nation building. The “Systems Administrator” Tom Barnett describes in Blueprint for Action is crippled at birth.. Dr. Barnett’s SysAdmin is a born gimp.

Dr. Barnett is a globo-imperialist. He wishes to prevent a reemergence of mini-Cores and instead build an Empire of the Core – a rich-country security force using his A-Z Rule-Set to slowly yet surely shrink the Gap. But Barnett’s dreams are both incompatible with the depths of American cowardice and treachery and incompatible with the heights of American idealism.

In his new song Happy Christmas and a Whole Lot of Love, emerging web-artist writes the following verses

At this hour
the world is witnessing
terrible suffering and horrible crimes
in the Darfur region of Sudan
Crimes my government has concluded are genocide
The human cost is beyond calculation

More troops are need
to protect the innocent.
We need to intervene now,
before it’s too late.

and

I still can’t figure out
why it’s a good thing for us to be at war with Iraq
And have all these middle class people
over there sacrificing
Surely there’s some way we can find
in this new moment of hope
Peace in the Middle East

Rx’s pleas to leave Iraq and enter Sudan are not examples of liberal hypocrisy. Rather, they are evidence that the American people want a functional Systems Administrator: one able to stop genocides, ethnic cleansings, mass murders, and mass rapes, even before they begin. Also, they want a SysAdmin that won’t cost thousands of American lives per use. Sadly, Barnett’s vision now shuts the door on these dream.

Everything wrong with Barnett’s vision is summed up in one slide from his recent presentation

barnett_dirty_harry_md

and, for that matter, in one slide transition:

dirty_harry_md

Barnett’s plans for the lawful multilateralism — liberal institutionalism — of his SysAdmin are the equivalent of hammering an infant. It creates a gimp unable to function as an adult, which will only leave pain and disappointment to all who hoped for it.

For example, imagine that there was a genocide. Say in a country like Sudan, and a popular outcry demanded that something must be done. Barnett’s own words would prohibit involvement. No removing the problem on his watch:

Does the tyrant have a friend in Hu Jintao or Jacque Chirac? Then no SysAdmin!

The employment of our SysAdmin force must represent the highest order of our military cooperation with the rest of the world’s advanced militaries. Moreover, if structured correctly, whereby the United States provides the “hub” to the rest of our coalition’s “spokes,” our unilateral ability to employ our portion of the larger, multilateral SysAdmin force will be effectively curtailed, meaning we will be unable to wage peace inside the Gap without effectively gaining at least the approval of the Core’s other major pillars, such as Europe, Russia, India, China, and Brazil. ( 36)

After all, ending genocide isn’t a “permanent” victory since another intervention might be needed in a generation. The lives saved in the short-term just aren’t worth

So yes, a unilateral America can bomb a Gap country back to the Stone Age (for some, a very short trip), but what sort of permanent victory would the resulting fear and loathing represent in an age where disconnectedness defines danger? (36)

Would a local government, or just an end to the government’s export of violence, be worth it? Nope, because no regime change without nation building — circumstances be damned

So what we’re looking for is a rule set that makes the application of the solution transparent to all interested parties (eliminating the sense of zero-sum competition among great powers), judicious in its application (the Leviathan does not generate more work than the SysAdmin an handle), consistent in its use (a sense of due process), and just in its outcomes (the guilty suffer, but the innocent are reconnected to the larger global community in a manner respectful of local needs and desires). (50-51)

And again. Who cares if just removing a government would solve the immediate crisis: no peacekeeping, no peacemaking.

There will always be the temptation, in trying to create a global SysAdmin function, to pretend that we can somehow outsource that function to Gap nations themselves… Better warfighting is not the answer; better peacemaking and nation building is. (64)

Barnett wants to neuter the Leviathan (blitzkrieg force) by tying it to the SysAdmin (peacekeeping force) — and tying the SysAdmin to the liberal, multilateral institutionalism that has done so little for the Gap.

Dr. Barnett’s SysAdmin cannot survive the world of John Kerry and Howard Dean. It’s a gimp unfit for America after Vietnam, or any world with the French. It is deaf to the cries of the needy, because its ears have been plucked out by Barnett’s need for Core-wide buy-in. And its impotent, because it’s castrated by the political whims of the American people.

The wretched of the world don’t need Barnett’s born gimp. They need a knight in shining armor.

Who is the Knight in Shining Armor, and how will he make globalization truly global? Stay tuned, and find out!


This has been Embracing Defeat, part of a series of reviews for Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Blueprint for Action. The posts in Embracing Defeat are:

I. Barnett’s Two Strategies
II. Blood and Will
III. The Born Gimp
IV. Embracing Victory

Embracing Defeat, Part II: Blood and Will

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Tom Barnett has been embracing losing.

Now it is time for him to embrace defeat.

embracing_defeat_cowardice

In the first part of Embracing Defeat, I outlined Barnett’s two plans for winning the Global War on Terrorism: the Reverse Domino Theory to move countries to the Core, and the A-Z Rule-Set for dealing with bad guys.

Dr. Barnett also looks at the enemy and lists his plan for defeating globalization, and outlines a Hub and Spoke Response System for dealing with it

barnett_hub_spoke_md

Dr. Barnett also list’s the enemy’s four strategies

  • Discourage Mobilization
  • Lie Low ’til After the Blow
  • Encourage Insurgency & Chaos
  • Wait for Withdrawal

The enemy’s schemes boil down to blood and will. Will, or Moral Warfare, is the enemy using his superior resolve to take away our determination. By discouraging mobilization, he relies on peace activists and other ne’er-do-wells in America to turn parts of America against the war before it begins. By lying low, he prevents bloodshed by his side while our hyper-successful Leviathan kills anything it can find. By encouraging insurgency, he increases the blood we spill and further takes away our will. By waiting for withdrawal, the enemy knows our will depletes quickly, and that time is on his side.

The enemy’s formula is extremely successful. Variations of it, where the blood wasn’t even spilled by Americans, have been used to topple American allies. Persia fell to an Islamic Revolution that could have been prevent by a coup — a coup that President Carter vetoed, because of the non-American blood that might be spilled in it. Likewise, South Vietnam fell after the US Congress slapped a de-facto embargo on it, because it was winning a war that was spilling Communist blood.

Barnett almost recognizes these weaknesses

In :

Spending American treasure on securing global peace in one thing (because we’re rich), but spending American blood is something altogether different. A big part of the so-called Vietnam Syndrome was the notion that the American public is casualty-averse, something many strategies believe was reinforced by the terrible experience in Somalia, when the bodies of American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. (204)

Dr. Barnett goes on to exempt high-tempo Leviathan operations, leaving the weakness on the SysAdmin’s lap. A similar point, that the Leviathan is free of public weakness but the SysAdmin is full of it, comes from Blueprint for Action

The reality of the transformed Leviathan is, however, that the Pentagon can go to war quite effectively without asking buy-in from the public. What it can’t do, because we’ve also stuffed most of our natural SysAdmin forces (e.g. military police, civil affairs construction) in the Reserve Component, is go to peace without gaining the public’s buy in. (33)

Dr. Barnett acknowledges the strength and will of the Bush Administration

If there’s one thing the Bush Administration has accomplished, it’s demonstrated that the U.S. Government is willing to wage war with almost no concern for the resulting VIP body count, the subsequently incompetent occupation, or the inevitable political uproar back home. (185)

But how can one have faith that Americans will continue to be won by strong, determined leaders like Bush, when even Barnett supported the Opposition?

And even under President Bush, “doubts” (weakness and cowardice) naturally grow when America tries to fight a SysAdmin war

Such an approach can work for a while, but then the photos from Abu Ghraib are posted on the Web, and you have to explain to your kids why that sort of stuff is okay when it’s the bad guys who are really bad. And if you’re the president? Well, maybe the doubts creep in when your own White House counsel warns you about possible war-crimes charges over Guantanamo, your oversight-free mini-gulag down in Cuba. (129)

Barnett sees hope for strength and resolve in religious proselytization, something I originally called the neocon-theocon axis

Remember how nineteenth-century colonialism went hand in hand with missionary zeal? Well, we shouldn’t be surprised that an era that demands a grand strategy of shrinking the Gap would go hand in hand with a renewed focus on proselytizing global faiths. While the more secular Left can’t support U.S. interventionism abroad because of its association with military means, and the secular Right can’t stomach the “betrayal” of our “founding principles” for similar reasons, the religious community — both left and right — similarly can’t stomach the notion that America, with all its wealth and power, stands by while the faithful in numerous Gap countries (and a few New Core ones like China) suffer persecution for their beliefs. To believers, then, the Heavenly Father’s admonition to spread the faith trumps the Founding Father’s inhibitions on mixing church and state. (298)

But this is a hope, not a guarantee. It’s better to recognize our weakness, and take what strength there is as a bonus, than to hang our dreams on the devout of the future.

A clear-eyed view of our past would embrace defeat and recognize that America would rather be a cowardly traitor than spill blood and will. Grand strategists must realize this.

As Barnett has said

So you can’t be just about peace in this quest, because that’s like pretending you can fashion a world with neither crime nor police (205)

..

If you want to be all about peace, you have to understand war (266)

You can’t be just about victory in this quest, because that’s like pretending you can fashion a war without defeat. If you wish to kiss victory, embrace defeat.

Or maybe more clearly:

When you see fear, start running toward it. (47)

How should Dr. Barnett run towards betrayal and cowardice? Stay tuned, and find out!


This has been Embracing Defeat, part of a series of reviews for Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Blueprint for Action. The posts in Embracing Defeat are:

I. Barnett’s Two Strategies
II. Blood and Will
III. The Born Gimp
IV. Embracing Victory

Embracing Defeat, Part I: Barnett’s Two Strategies

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Tom Barnett has been embracing losing.

Now it is time for him to embrace defeat.

barnett_embracing_defeat

The original , written by Dr. , is the story of Japan under the American Occupation. It argued that Japan recognized the destruction of the war as a result of an independent foreign policy, and so concluded that the way forward had to involve a dependent foreign policy. The rise of Japan since has proven the wisdom of this policy.

embracing_defeat

Japan, by embracing defeat, was applying a common military doctrine: don’t reinforce failure. Just as a wise general doesn’t lose more lives taking a hard pillbox, when there is an easier way to victory, a wise nation’s policy should flow like water, away from the tough high points and to the easy lowlands.

In Blueprint for Action, Dr. Thomas PM Barnett embraces strategic defeat, urging America to save her strengths by avoiding what is difficult. He specifically rejects ‘s vision of a “pagan ethos,” because it is too hard.

Just as Barnett says America won’t win in Iraq — globalization will win in Iraq, Barnett the solution for the Gap isn’t American occupation, but rather international cooperation.

barnett_kaplan_md

In this he is correct. However, Barnett’s defeatism, which has unfoled with his philosophy, has yet to rearrange some of his original concepts.

Tom Barnett‘s grand strategic vision is shrinking the Gap, expanding the Zone of Peace into the whole of the Zone of War.

barnett_core_gap_md

Dr. Barnett gives two strategies for shrinking the gap. The first is the “Reverse Domino Theory,” which is familiar to anyone who has read ‘s The Lexus and the Olive Tree, and its extended final chapter, The World is Flat. In the Reverse Domino Theory, the rising connectedness of one country spills over into others, such as Chinese investment in nations that supply raw materials to the Middle Kingdom.

barnett_china_reverse_md

The second strategy, “The A-Z Rule Set for Processing Politically Bankrupt States,” fleshes out one paragraph in Barnett’s previous book, The Pentagon’s New Map

Perhaps the most important institutional challenge we fave in shrinking the Gap is the lack of international mechanisms to encourage and manage much-needed regime change there. The Gap suffers numerous bad leaders who have greatly overstayed their welcome, and the Core needs a series of international institutions to guide this process, such as Sebastian Mallaby’s “International Reconstruction Fund” be created along the lines of the International Monetary Fund. This organization would focus on pooling expertise and resources, such as peacekeeping forces, to facilitate the professing of failed states once bad leadership has been removed, How to identify such leaders for removal? Here is the example of the joint UN-Sierra Leone war crime special court shows the way. Once the court indicated Liberia president Charles Taylor for his activities in Sierra Leone, his fall was predetermined. This is exactly the sort of approach we should use for the Castros, Mugabes, and Qaddafis of the Gap. Let their own regional neighbors hurl the first charges, and then let the Core step in and force their downfall

As outlined in Blueprint for Action, the Rule Set starts and ends with the United Nations (from Security Council to International Criminal Court), has a lot of room for Inter-Governmental Organizations in the middle (from the G20 “Star Chamber” to the International Reconstruction Fund), with the American invasion and hand-over smack in the middle.

Because of American weakness, Barnett cedes critical portions of shrinking the gap to non-Americans, subsuming much of American foreign policy under a “global test.”

barnett_az_ruleset_md

Barnett’s philosophy naturally tries to maximize gains with a minimum of expenditure. Yet he stops here, not taking his philosophy to its logical conclusion.

How should Dr. Barnett embrace defeat even more? Stay tuned, and find out!


This has been Embracing Defeat, part of a series of reviews for Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett’s Blueprint for Action. The posts in Embracing Defeat are:

I. Barnett’s Two Strategies
II. Blood and Will
III. The Born Gimp
IV. Embracing Victory

Review of "PostSecret," edited by Frank Warren

Following my review of the PostSecret website, I was contacted as part of PostSecret‘s “blog-first marketing strategy.” Regan Books, a division of Harper Collins, was kind enough to send me a quality of the hard-bound, 276-page PostSecret book. tdaxp-friend Dave generously offered to review collection

postsecret_cover
Cover of “PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives”

by Frank Warren ($16.47, amazon.com) is a book about an inspiration which grew into a project. The young Frank was off at camp, mailed his family a postcard, and got home before the postcard did, leading to a lifetime of interest in the personal spaces involved in physical forms of communication.

harvard_hype_md
Don’t Believe the Hype

This book is about an art project/social experiment he assembled, in which he asked people to send him postcards with a secret on them..not necessarily anything world-shattering, just a secret they had not shared with others. The results range from tragic (people feeling sorry about what they never had a chance to say to those now dead) to the somewhat depressing (many, many postcards expressing loneliness and a feeling of abandonment) to the funny (one that cracked Dan up was a confession of physical attraction to Adolf Hitler- not his actions, just how he looked in a uniform) to the uplifting (toward the back of the book, a young woman writes her secrets on postcards, but, deciding this medium is impersonal enough to share comfortably, leaves them on her boyfriend’s pillow as she goes off to work, and receives his proposal of marriage before lunch). Truly, a something-for-everyone brawl of human fears, hates, loves, and lusts, in no particular order. One senses that any attempt to categorize PostSecret would have lost something in translation, much like an effort to straighten up a Zen garden or a Pinter play.

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Sometimes I daydream about extraordinary places I might have seen

The postcards frequently feature artwork. Some are professionally printed cards which take on new meaning in the light of the message, others are collages of images and text. A few are clearly original drawings or watercolors, giving the message unique personalization. Some of the artwork is clearly R-rated or more, but always in a context of making the message clear and driving home that these are real people trying to communicate.

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I told her I’d stop, but I can’t

This isn’t a book for everyone- one of Dan’s friends [who knew of the book beforehand and began reading by saying “This book is going to be big!” — tdaxp] was actively repulsed by it, thinking it perhaps just too open about what other humans really think and do. I’m of the opinion that this book has value just for its rich visual texture, and the messages are a bonus. If you know someone who really and truly loves people, despite all their quirks, this would be a fine Christmas gift.

Visit the website, or buy the book. After all, the postcards in this review came from a web post by the author.

PS: National Public Radio has a free segment on the book. Interested in other book reviews? Check out Trumpy Productions, or read the tdaxp reviews of Blueprint for Action and Freakonomics.

Review of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe"

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is good. Really good.

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At the end of the movie the entire theater erupted into applause. Did I say it was good?

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The film is emotionally very moving. I haven’t had tears in my eyes from a movie since , or from fiction since trilogy.

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Stylistically, Narnia is a kids version of . Like Rings, Narnia was shot in New Zealand, and that vast Mythic England is on gorgeous display.

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Narnia also had wonderful comic relief. The Beavers drew a reaction from everyone. As someone who hasn’t read the books, the identity of he-who-gives-the-royals-weapons was hilarious. You didn’t see that one coming!

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There’s a good deal of anti-Naria hate in the media, and along with it frantic denials by Disney’s stooges that the movie has anything whatsoever to do with a certain Christian apologist. Anyone who watches the movie and can write, like ‘s Stefan Lovgren did…

However, Lewis himself said he didn’t set out to write a Christian story, but simply a great children’s tale. His creative influences, at least at the outset, were not Christian, but various mythologies from early cultures.

… is either crazy or culturally illiterate. (Or playing with language — like another writer criticized on tdaxp)

But such peevishness is besides the point. is a great movie. If is this good, I will be thrilled.

See now!

Allawi’s Law, Season 3

Allawi’s Law: Season Three Trailer

Allawi’s Law, developed by long-time tdaxp-reader PKA, is a reimagining of , but with international politicians in all the major roles. The Season 2 Teaser came out in March 2005, so it is about time for the Season 3 Trailor…

Enjoy!

The trailer immediately begins in an afternoon sun-lit room. Standing up and visibly nervous is L. Paul Bremer. Sitting down is the new chief of police, Colin Powell.

City Councilman L. Paul Bremer

Bremer: He’s been a problem in my side since day one. Even now I, a city council member, have to put up with Allawi. There’s nothing I can do! But he’s your problem now.

Powell: Wrong Bremer. He’s OUR problem. I will set things up but we have to finish him together. Remember that I made you.

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Colin Powell: The New Chief of Police

Bremer (Close to panicking): But I’m my own man now!

Powell (Angier in his voice): Fool! Voinovich thought the same thing and now he is crying like a baby because of what I did to him! We must take out Allawi!

Voinovich: Another of Powell’s Many Victims…

Bremer: I’ll help you get Allawi but then I’m out. What do you have in mind?

Iyad Allawi: The Shield of Justice

Powell: Sharon.

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Ariel Sharon: Working with Internal Affairs?

Screen shows Bremer’s shocked expression while an announcer’s voice is heard.

Announcer: This fall, Allawi’s Law meets its biggest challenge yet.

Screen shows Sharon making a speech in front of the other cops.

Sharon: Due to Chalibi’s leave of absence I am now head of Internal Affairs. The strike team will have a new leader since I’m busting Allawi down. Everyone, meet Shimon Peres.

Peres: Thank you my friend. I pledge allegiance to the victor.

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Shimon Peres: Unlikely Ally for Ariel Sharon?

Camera moves to show Allawi and the strike team’s shocked expression. Allawi runs up to Powell.

Allawi: What is this?

Powell: Your downfall, of course.

Next scene shows Powell alone with two of Allawi’s lieutenants.

Announcer: Loyalties will be tested.

1st Lieutenant (With malice in his voice): What do you want?

Powell: You know what I want. Allawi. And I’ll reward those who give him to me.

The first lieutenant spits at Powell but the second lieutenant, played by Gordon Brown, appears to think about the proposal in his head.

The subsequent scene has Allawi and the Lieutenants at a bar discussing plans and events.

Allawi: The strike team did what?

1st Lieutenant: We were forced to arrest your old partner, Netanyahu on charges of trying to impede the investigation of al-Jaafari.

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Benjamin Netanyahu: Framed by Colin Powell?

Allawi: What? That’s nonsense!

Brown: What are you going to do?

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Gordon Brown: Loyal Deputy to Iyad Allawi

Allawi: Try to save me, the team, Bibi, and take down Powell and al-Jaafari.

Announcer: This season will be a long, dark night for Allawi

The final part is grayed-out. Allawi is sitting hunched over. He is looking down away from the camera. Johnny Cash’s Hurt is playing on the soundtrack. Voice-overs are heard.

Allawi: Who is setting me up? My team?

1st Lieutenant: Gordon, you told Sharon about the money train?!?

Allawi: My enemies?

Peres: Officer Sharon, the strike team is turning on itself.

Allawi: My allies?

Brown: Don’t shoot! Bolton is Allawi’s friend!

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Will John Bolton be able to save Iyad Allawi?

Sharon: I know.

BAM!

Condi Rice: You can’t be here Allawi. You’re a wanted man. What are you going to do?
Allawi: Take them all down.

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Condoleeza Rice: Allawi’s Last Friend Inside the Department?

Allawi then looks up into the camera with a stern look.

Announcer: This fall, Allawi stands up for justice!