The Dead Run Toward

I can’t recall the book now, maybe it was Black Hawk Down, but I remember years ago pausing to consider one of the more fascinating observations I had ever read. The well-traveled author said that Africans (or at least those native to the story) were the only people on Earth who ran toward gunfire rather than away from it. I gave that idea quite a bit of thought, and subsequently theorized that the average speed and direction of bystander flight to/from gunfire was an accurate and egregiously underutilized metric to predict larger societal outcomes.

For instance, societies that sprint toward gunfire would tend to exhibit extremely high time preference to the point of valuing immediate street entertainment over the more distant considerations of life without intestines or a jawbone. Societies that sprint away would be conversely more inclined to delay gratification and invest in the future–like tomorrow morning. The latter category would naturally tend to be far more peaceful and prosperous than the former. Of course those societies that tended to shuffle about equivocally during violent exchanges by strangers would produce outcomes somewhere in the middle.

It wasn’t until later that I realized how plainly this applied to larger conflicts as well. Governments that sprint toward international gunfire will tend to exhaust their treasuries, their liberties, their habitats, and their most valiant young men. Those who keep a safe distance from foreign conflicts tend to host laughing grandchildren in their home for Christmas.

And that idea lead me to some very cursory research.

Of the ten most populous countries in the world, only one has suggested it may sprint toward Syrian gasfire. Eight others have issued no official statements on Syria whatsoever, and one has addressed the issue by casting doubt on the situation’s highly doubtful narrative.

It’s interesting to note this broad majority approach to the internal affairs of distant foreign states, and how vividly it contrasts with the single outlier. I was very tempted to speculate on the difference being a function of wealth. Just as only the plutocracy feels sufficiently well insulated to dissolve its national borders, only rich countries can afford the vainglory of a moralizing militarism. But that can’t be all of it.

Japan is a large wealthy country, and yet one that remains purely contemplative about landing marines at Jablah. China also possesses an increasingly formidable military capability, but it too seems focused to the point of distraction on its own self-interests.

Maybe there is something in the American psyche quite like the Somali one–both dazzled by shiny shell casings. Or maybe it’s not truly Americans at all that guide our policies on war and peace–or at least not Aliyah ineligible ones.

Perhaps those eight other countries asked what the Syrian civil war had to do with them, without a single compelling answer percolating to the surface. Or perhaps they’ve taken note of the returns on our Iraq and Afghanistan adventures. Both countries are still at war, with both boasting year-to-date casualty figures actually approaching Syria’s. Why not just bomb someone there? At least it wouldn’t upset the old routine.

For that matter what makes Syria imperative? Earth is perpetually stocked with wars. Significant armed conflicts are presently ongoing in Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Sinai, Nigeria, and Yemen. Surely we’re not going to just let our troops rot in their barracks while deadish people are posing for photo ops in all of them.

Maybe the use of chemicals is our trigger event. I have no doubt that’s an excruciating way to expire; and nothing at all as pleasant as absorbing a rifle round through the gut or feeling about for your own skull fragments in the wake of a grenade. Honestly, I don’t see a clear distinction.

What I do see is that there is enormous incentive for Assad’s enemies to stick a gas-carrot in front of America’s face so that the bills and body bags associated with removing a regional rival may all be sent west. And once our dead have done their work, what then? Assad is aligned against ISIS; a group that would never use gas owing to its unacceptably humane effects. They and/or al-nusra front would be his successors, not any laughably so-called moderates. So who are the ‘good guys’ in Syria? And how many dollars and dead should Americans invest in seating them? And what, besides gravesite bromides, will our people get back from the endeavor?

I’m actually quite concerned about the peace scare that seems to be sweeping through the American government. Our officialdom has become a troop of Africans looking for gunfire to sprint toward. And they seem frantic enough to start their own in its absence. China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Syria have all been put on some form of notice. Can we run five directions at once? And what if photos of dead people emerge in Djibouti?

What worries me the most is the complete absence of cost awareness being expressed by the howlers. It’s the arrogance of believing pain is only a sensation for others. Tax dollars and soldiers lives are wholly extraneous to politicians with blood in their eyes. But it’s not just theater losses that should be considered. Escalate a situation far enough with capable adversaries, and citizens and cities can be erased like a white majority from California.

China and Russia are of course nuclear powers. Though fortunately both seem mature enough to manage our tantrums. Kim is another story altogether. It is already presumed that North Korea can deliver an EMP strike on America. Are we certain this could be disabled during a raid on Pyongyang? I guess we’d have the rest of our short lives to find out, as 290 million American dead would be the consequence of error according to congressional testimony.

I’m not a pacifist and have no use for those who are. Men should fight for what’s actually important: their home, their family, and their nation. Just let me know when Russia or Syria gets around to threatening those things. In the meantime I’ll be shuffling in the opposite direction.

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41 thoughts on “The Dead Run Toward

    • Ya, I read this while watching the news. Sure didn’t take long. The other most populous nations who are not getting involved, as you mentioned, have apparently somehow figured out how to ignore a certain tiny non muslim nation in the middle east, and are not led around the nose by them.

      About those dead children, its a curious notion to pursue. Putting aside the fact that the evidence against Assad is dubious at best, lets ponder the innocent children that were killed. How many children have we sentenced to an early grave? We use DU rounds in populated areas, despite being well aware of the long term consequences of doing so. Death by thermobaric also sounds like a terrible way to go. We have been throwing them around that region with the reckless abandon of a drunk throwing beads from a mardi gras float for over a decade. How many children’s lives were cut short because of that? People in glass houses should not throw stones, nor launch Tomahawks.

  1. A further thought. We, as in the US govt, are committed to the “Assad gassed a bunch of children” narrative from this point forward. We have now crossed the Rubicon of killing people in the name of this narrative. No matter what evidence becomes available in the coming days, it will be ignored, suppressed, and denied. The Trump admin will finally be on the same page as the MSM and Deep State, and between them they will bury any notion that there exists the possibility that they were wrong. We, as a country, are committed now.

    Also, ponder for a moment the absurdity of it all. This proves that elections really don’t matter. Despite that fact that Trump was elected to prevent this type of nonsense from happening, here we are. Despite his insistence in 2013 that attacking Syria would be a blunder of momentous proportions, he went ahead and did it.

      • If next, DJT opines about providing safe passage to the Syrian women and children to the good ole USA, you’ll have your answer.

    • >>>We, as a country, are committed now.
      This war-seeking by TPTB is an example of why “we, as a country” are at the point of no longer existing as a country.

  2. Trump derided previous administrations over the same knee jerk action he just took. How is this foolish display supposed to draw support from his base which voted him into office on exotic promises of a border wall, some type of immigration reform and a loose notion of non interventionist foreign policy / warming of relations with Russia?

    I don’t see how he walks away from this without looking like a complete fool, which leads me to beleive that he will double down on further action to effect “regime change”.

  3. I’m very disappointed, but I suppose it has been obvious for years that solving anything through the electoral process has almost no chance of working in any Western country.

    I don’t care about Syria. I don’t care about the entire region. I don’t care how they kill themselves or in what numbers or with how they do it. I just don’t care.

    Even if Assad was personally going into classrooms and cutting the throats of five year old Syrian children before setting their bodies on fire with homemade napalm, I still wouldn’t care.

    Trump was elected to secure the border, deport the squatters, and stop meddling overseas. It’s not that hard for him to understand this, and yet we’re still bombing people for OUR GREATEST ALLY. Unbelievable.

    • The White race’s Epitaph will read “Racists who blew up Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afganistan, etc etc etc”

      And our benefactors will write it.

      The US is a Golem.

    • So true…we’ve been in perpetual war in the Middle East for over 20 years, with no end in sight. Hundreds of thousands of casualties, thousands of maimed and killed US servicemen ( overwhelmingly whites ), and trillions of tax dollars flushed down the fucking toilet. The results being worse than it was when it started. How is this any of our business, even if any of its true?
      WMD anyone? When does it stop? I can’t believe we’re doing this shit again. Word has it his shiska daughter Ivanka convinced him to do it…

  4. The truly intended audience for this message may be China, North Korea, Russia, Iran, with Syria just being a convenient foil. At least that’s what I hope the WH thinking is. Because taken unidimensionally and at face value, the strike can indeed make you wonder.

  5. “International terrorism is throwing down a challenge, and not just to Russia.”- Boris Yeltsin

    “I can only tell you there’s a lot of bad things going on. They’re chopping off heads in Syria, and they’re chopping off heads all over the Middle East.ISIS is doing a number, and plenty of other beyond ISIS is doing it now. And all I know is that, when they start chopping off heads, we have to be very firm, we have to be very strong, we have to be very vigilant. And I heard a statement, and I disagree with his statement.”
    -Donald Trump

    Whatever happened to ole Boris anyway?

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  7. Swing and miss. Its not American at all. America could care squat about kebab kiddies. I’ll say this for our Evil Merchants, they’re consistent. Killing kids is how they gin up bankster wars, man.
    Evil Huns in the World Wars, Japs with bayonets in Manchuria, and Saddam and his troops taking wittle innocent babies out of Kuwaiti incubators. Dullards. Its not these lame ass fake news stories that did it. It was the vainglory of patriotism. Watch how it doesn’t work anymore now that White has been removed from the Failed State of Freedonia.

  8. Susan Rice? Susan? nope can’t place it. I mean the name sounds vaguely familiar, but…

    Every member of the Obama administration was just handed a giant pack of get out of jail free cards.

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  10. Most politicians enrich themselves throughout their political career. Trump entered politics self-enriched and became poorer, harassed, endangered, etc as a result. I don’t know what’s going on but I don’t think he’s turned into GWB overnight. I’m holding hope that buried in the Syrian attacks is a different strategy than regime change unapparent and unannounced, reflecting Trump’s strategy of not telling us what he’s going to do. Another possibility (long suspected) is that one man can not fight the global machine–that Americans have to unite, not just vote, for America. War is perceived by half of this country as a mundane event that is fought somewhere else and affects someone else. It’s a shame the small handful of decent politicians don’t use their platform to inform and inspire, like Porter does without the audience deserved.

  11. So now, one reason for a Trump vote – not to meddle in Syria – has evaporated. And Assad had (what?) reason to gas people and invite more of the wrath of neocons. The fact that Pelosi, Schumer (interestingly, auto-correct changed Schumer to “Schemer”) and McCain are all supportive of this missile strike illustrate why it was entirely the wrong thing to do.

    • Trump told China last week that they could help the US deal with North Korea or the US would do it alone. This week he’s doing business with a Chinese trade delegation, and reportedly talking tough. I wonder if this is a message to them, and to NK. It also forces everyone to his left to voice their approval and tells Russia not to take him for granted. That’s about my last hope, because if the attack on Syria really is as it’s been presented to us, then we are all in very deep trouble.

  12. I am disappointed but hardly surprised. Anyone paying attention always knew that Donald Trump was erratic and changeable, and most decidedly so on foreign policy. I reluctantly marked his name on the ballot in November anticipating full well I would not be likely to do so again in 2020 (if the dried-out husk of the Republic even lasts that long). If it’s any consolation, Mrs. Clinton would have done this and more three months ago, and we’d probably be evacuating major cities and digging improvised fallout shelters right about now.

  13. There must be some secret glasses they give presidents upon assuming office that makes them see through Bill Kristols eyes. When BHO came to town, it was on the promise that he would shut down Gitmo and get us out of Afghanistan. Here we are 8 years later, protecting those empty girls’ schools we built.
    As much as I’d hoped Trump would be different just based on temperament, I don’t have enough faith in him to think he’s playing some kind of 4D foreign policy chess. He’s dealing with folks who have 3rd level knowledge of their specialty (neo-conning), and it feels like he’s relying on his gut. I hope I’m wrong.
    In the end, I’ll forgive damn near anything if he builds the wall and restructures our immigration system, but days like this along the way will require doubles. Several.

  14. Former candidate and hero Nationalist Trump set in ruins his presidency yesterday with a few of me, my-selves and I and many others. He destroyed a potential avenue to make allies with Russia and bring some sanity to the world. What a way to ruin your entire life’s work karma. This was not a good day however the information gleaned was paramount.

  15. Here’s my day-after-detonation reflections. Trump’s selection of advisors has been poor, now bordering on disastrous. New-gen-jew Kushner being by far the most egregious. What’s clear to me is that Trump’s convictions are fairly insubstantial, and require persistent bolstering to remain in a semi-solid state.

    The viable slate of alt-rightish aides to do so was unfortunately paper-thin, and Sessions and Bannon were all there really ever were. This is why at the time, I considered it an extremely bad omen that Kobach was passed over for DHS. Specifically because it meant one fewer of the already precious few pro-american voices in Trump’s ear.

    For his part Sessions appears to be doing the lord’s work, though wields little influence. If Bannon goes, as rumors suggest, then there will be no load-bearing wall left to hold Trump’s America-First program.

    I’m not sure to what extent light passes through his ego, but it would be helpful if Trump understood that he would have never been elected as another neocon, and he will never be reelected as one. Every artificial media lifeform praising him last night will be spitting venom at his eyes in 2020. To win, he must both keep his base enthusiastic and turn off the immi-dem spigot. I think neither alone will be sufficient, and both are trending negatively.

    So right now I’m watching what happens with Bannon. If he remains in the inner circle, some of the campaign’s themes and promises will periodically be injected into Trump’s consciousness and good (certainly relative to the alternatives) can still come of this administration. If Bannon is excised we’re probably looking at a stock neocon program…if we don’t get EMPd out of our misery first.

    • Porter

      I have multiple posts coming tomorrow at The Burning Platform about the conflict between nationalist Bannon and the Jew Kushner. For the love of God, please write an essay about the disastrous influence Kushner is having on Trump. Chateau Heartiste wrote a brief essay. I need your brilliance with words to drive the point home. Thank you.

      • We know the direction, but do we really know what degree of influence Kushner is having on Trump? There are an awful lot of assumptions being made to that effect, but other than riding around in Iraq with a doofus Dukakis helmet on, can we name specific offenses? I get the sense he’s being overly targeted for the sins of the many (Mattis, Tillerson, etc). I can’t imagine he’s having a good influence, but we seem to be unhealthily fixated on him.

        As for bench strength, Pat Buchanan is only 78.

    • Looking glass at vox day has a different take that’s worth reading.

      The rope seller is necessarily operating in the propagandosphere. Am I to believe that he has become careless, impulsive, and easily swayed, or that I can spot what’s fake, but he and Bannon can’t? The GGE has earned my trust and much more. Bannon isn’t going anywhere.

      Thanks for all you do, porter. Have faith. Keep watching the programmers, not the program. Might be that at the end we’ll be in awe over what just happened.

    • Yojimbo, I’ll think if I can find anything to say that others haven’t already.

      DN, yeah we don’t have vision into these interactions beyond what the lugenpresse reports. And that’s obviously been manipulated more than a clay pot. Though going with what we have, Kushner appears to be as relentlessly hostile to western nationalist impulses as we would expect a lifelong liberal jew to be. Thousands of years of their identical behavior and the source of anti-semitism remains as elusive as ever.

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  17. “Our officialdom has become a troop of Africans looking for gunfire to sprint toward. And they seem frantic enough to start their own in its absence.”

    What do you think the whole “gas attack” in Syria last week was? I’m just disappointed that Trump was stupid enough to fall for it.

  18. first I dont believe he gas anybody, maybe they hit a building where the terrorist were hiding gas, and things happen. And if he did use gas, he didnt use enough of it, there still alot of jihadis running around. Cockroaches have to be killed, whether you shoot them, stab them, hang them, set them on fire, drown them, gas them, or drop a big old rock on their head.
    This civil war has lasted long enough, Assad needs to end it by any means necessary. The USA has no business in this war, we have no dog in this fight, no skin in this game. Even George Washington a confirmed warmonger said the US needs to stay out of foreign entanglements, he would have never approved of nato or seato or all the other military alliances we have made with no actual upside for us, does anyone really think europe is going to come to the US aid if the russians invade us? how they have no military capability, just a large welfare state. Trump has let us down, he’s not deporting enough illegals, refugees still streaming into the US, and now he annoyed his only friend vladamir putin, who is actually fighting terrorists. It seems russia is the only one keeping the jihadis at bay, but even they will eventually tire of the neverending fight.

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  20. Liberals want to die, but they don’t want to die alone.

    Edgar Allen Poe is a window into the soul of the new england, yankee, blue tribe white.

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