May 3, 2013

Peak state theory

The theory of the Deep State is a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern concept, popular in Turkey, Italy, and Egypt, that goes back at least to the Ottoman Empire of persistent shadowy coalitions behind the nominal leader.

In turn, my theory of the Peak State is that the single most likely leader of the Deep State is the nominal ruler himself. 

For example, if the Army chief of staff overthrows the elected leader and installs himself as military dictator and then the dictator's rivals and enemies start blowing up or dropping dead of lead poisoning, well, yes, you can probably blame elements within the Deep State. 

But, it's easy to be too clever by half. For example, when exiled Filipino politician Benigno Aquino returned from exile in the U.S. in 1983 to challenge dictator Ferdinand Marcos, he was immediately shot dead on the tarmac. My brilliant conclusion at the time was that it couldn't have been Marcos -- that was too obvious!

Similarly, when Benazir Bhutto returned from exile to challenge Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, she happened to blow up. 

Oddly enough, bad things keep happening to people who displease Musharraf, even now that he's under house arrest.

From the NYT:
Gunmen killed a court prosecutor working on the murder case of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto early Friday, casting into turmoil a politically charged case that has also embroiled Pakistan’s former military leader, Pervez Musharraf.

Assailants fatally shot Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali as he was leaving his home in a suburb of the capital, Islamabad, for a court hearing in which Mr. Musharraf, who is currently under house arrest, was due to seek bail. 
... A doctor at the hospital where his body was brought said he had been shot 13 times. 
Mr. Ali represented the Federal Investigation Agency, which has implicated Mr. Musharraf in the case of Ms. Bhutto, who was assassinated in December 2007, just before the last election. Mr. Ali was also the prosecutor in the trial of seven people from the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba who have been charged with orchestrating the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. 
After a court hearing on April 30, Mr. Ali told reporters there was “solid evidence” that connected Mr. Musharraf with Ms. Bhutto’s death. Investigators had compiled evidence that “directly connect the accused” with the killing, he said. 
Mr. Ali was also involved in other prominent cases including the militant assault on the military’s general headquarters in Rawalpindi in October 2009, and the trial of militants accused of orchestrating the Mumbai attacks.

If you remember the pop quiz a reporter sprung on candidate George W. Bush in 1999: name the leaders of Taiwan, Pakistan, India, and Chechnya, Bush got Taiwan right and partial credit for Pervez:
''The new Pakistani general, he's just been elected - not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's good news for the subcontinent.''

26 comments:

hbd chick said...

probably some of those aryan nation guys again -- like the ones who killed those prosecutors in texas.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Turks really took over the Byzantine state and maintained its machinations.
Not unlike the Muslim Obama took over from the evangelical Bush and maintained Guantanamo,drones,renditions,ghost wars,special ops missions on the military front
and cronyism,political appointees, politicizing moral issues, a blind eye to squabbling within various intelligence agencies and so on.

I think it was Robert Kaplan who pointed out the differences between Austro Hungarian and Byzantine/Ottoman system of governance by highlight the transparent government of Hungary(they immediately provided him all the stats he asked for) and Romania(it took a month before they provided him with some cooked up numbers)

Dr Van Nostrand said...

forgot to mention

How that one pop quiz sealed Bushs reputation for the next 8 years.
Of course he didnt do himself any favors by his mangled speech.

Yes that he got Pakistan and Taiwan right are interesting

Just a couple of months after Bush was sworn in, the Hainan Island incident forced an apology for sorts from Bush to China but he followed it up by quickly reaffirming U.S commitment to protecting Taiwanese sovereignity.

And of course 9/11 and Musharaff.

Hmmm, if I was an acolytye of a certain Rex Cones(or rhymes with) I would see a revelation of method or some such in that clearly staged "pop" quiz.

Dave Pinsen said...

"Not unlike the Muslim Obama took over from the evangelical Bush and maintained Guantanamo,drones,renditions,ghost wars,special ops missions on the military front
and cronyism,political appointees, politicizing moral issues, a blind eye to squabbling within various intelligence agencies and so on."


You don't need deep state to explain why Guantanamo is still open. Most of the prisoners' countries of origin don't want them; Most Americans don't want them moved to US soil; and the risk of recidivism remains high. The path of least resistance for Obama, as for Bush, is to keep it open.

As for the move toward drones and special ops, you don't need deep state to explain that either. I'll offer another theory: call it Pendulum Theory. In the wake of Vietnam, the pendulum swung in the direction of believing that conventional wars were inevitably quagmires (I even recall a TV commentator during the invasion of Panama in 1989 predicting that it could turn into "another Vietnam"); after the first Gulf War, it swung in the opposite direction. After Iraq, the pendulum has swung back in the quagmire direction; hence the increased emphasis on special ops and drones.

Anonymous said...

Many Filipinos believe Imelda's generals did it. Not Marcos. The old man was too clever to be that obvious. But Imelda directly stood to gain as she was planning to rule after him and yes, unlike Ferdinand, she IS that stupid.

Anonymous said...

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2013/05/steven-soderbergh-speech-on-hollywood.html

Anonymous said...

http://nation.foxnews.com/justice-clarence-thomas/2013/05/02/clarence-thomas-obama-approved-elites

Anonymous said...

"I think it was Robert Kaplan who pointed out the differences between Austro Hungarian and Byzantine/Ottoman system of governance by highlight the transparent government of Hungary(they immediately provided him all the stats he asked for) and Romania(it took a month before they provided him with some cooked up numbers)"

because providing accurate numbers to foreigners seeking to meddle in your politics is a wise move, right?

the difference btw east and west is that in the east, everything requires a bribe, while in the west, low-level figures are scrupulously honest but high-level figures find various ways to legalize the direction of vast money streams into their bank accounts. no easterner would, e.g., have the effrontery to try to convince a generation of useful idiots that diversity is strength/silicon valley pays too much for programmers/etc etc etc.

--bbtp

Anonymous said...

What if there's an even Deeper State in Pockyston? Deeper States all the way down?

Clearly, this is a job for Johnny Deeper. I nominate him for our Bond.

The parsimonious explanation is that it's a murderous hellhole.

Toddy Cat said...

Musharraf was still better than the nitwits/Taliban opening act that is running Pakistan now. Admittedly, that's a low bar to clear, but still...

Toddy Cat

rob said...

I think it was Robert Kaplan who pointed out the differences between Austro Hungarian and Byzantine/Ottoman system of governance by highlight the transparent government of Hungary(they immediately provided him all the stats he asked for) and Romania(it took a month before they provided him with some cooked up numbers)

Well telling the truth is easier. Just do it every time. Lying is harder. You gotta decide what lies to tell, remember the lies you already told, coordinate new lies among a bunch of people...it's hard!

Anonymous said...

So all the intrigue in "I, Claudius" surrounding Livia, Sejanus, and Messilina acting as proxy rulers of the Roman Empire proves Robert Graves is a naive Deep State conspiracy buff.

Sid said...

Let me quote a Chechen, Abdurakhman Avtorkhanov, on the Chekist deep state:


It is not true that the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party is a superpower (...) An absolute power thinks, acts and dictates for all of us. The name of the power—NKVD—MVD—MGB. The Stalin regime is based not on Soviets, Party ideals, the power of the Political Bureau, Stalin’s personality, but the organization and the technique of the Soviet political police where Stalin plays the role of the first policeman.

To tell that NKVD is a state secret police—means to tell nothing to the point. Intelligence Service is also a secret police, but in the eyes of the Britons its existence is as natural as the Health Ministry. To tell that NKVD is a body of mass inquisition also means to tell nothing to the point, because Gestapo also was a mass inquisition, although its chief Himmler—would not have fit a sergeant of the State Security Service. To tell that NKVD is «a state in the state» means to belittle the importance of NKVD, because the question allows two forces: a normal state and a supernormal NKVD: whereas the force is the universal Chekism. A state Chekism, a party Chekism, a collective Chekism, an individual Chekism. Chekism in ideology, Chekism in practice. Chekism from top to bottom. Chekism from the almighty Stalin to a paltry.

Anonymous said...

Check this out...the Dark Enlightenment on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/DarkEnlighten/status/330397227006705665



...

Eric said...

Musharraf was still better than the nitwits/Taliban opening act that is running Pakistan now. Admittedly, that's a low bar to clear, but still...

Was he? My impression was Musharraf was playing every side. Us, the Taliban, Pakistan's nascent civil society, NGOs... Musharraf may have been been better for Musharraf, but I don't see that he was actually good for his country.

Kaz said...

Pervez was already out by the time Benazir was on her way in.

He lost control which is why Benazir felt confident enough to come back in the first place. I don't know many Pakistanis that think Musharraf was behind the the assassination, my parents included.

Pakistan under him was generally a better place, less extremism, discord, etc.. Pakistan recovered pretty well from the fallout related to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Although.. after 9/11 things started going to shit again.

Pakistan as it stands right now is a damn mess.

Simon in London said...

It's hard for people to obey the Leader if they don't know who the Leader is. Therefore the Leader needs to be known. Either he is the nominal ruler himself, or he makes sure everyone knows he's the real ruler. It wouldn't have done well for Putin if anyone had actually thought that Medvedev was in charge.

NOTA said...

I heard once. from a guy who had briefed W on some stuff when he was president, that he was attentive and apparently informed and asked very good questions, and that Clinton had been more-or-less the opposite. It's interesting to see how much this clashes with the common public image--sort of like the standardized test scores that showed that Gore and Bush had comparable intelligence.

It's worth remembering that politicians' images are professionally produced by people who are very, very good at their jobs, with amazing access to megaphones. They are helped enormously in this by the massive willingness of reporters to run with whatever the commom narrative is on any issue. Whatever you think you know about W, Obama, Clinton, etc., is far more likely to be the result of their image machines or their opponents' image machines than the result of actual understanding.

W's term in office was very bad for America, and it's clear that many of the worst decisions (invading Iraq, the general way we approached the war on terror, NCLB) had his fingerprints all over them. And there are times when the image machine can't help them much, like when it becomes clear they don't know whether Iraq is majority Shia or majority Sunni. But you probably know a lot about Obama or W that is professionally produced bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I think Musharaff skillfully played the Americans for fools during the WOT, while protecting as many Al Qaeda as possible.

David said...

Here is the Peak Jobs theory.

Lenior said...

"Most of the prisoners' countries of origin don't want them; Most Americans don't want them moved to US soil; and the risk of recidivism remains high."

I suspect this idea that people have to be deported to exactly their country of origin is a modern conceit that is going to slowly go away, as more and more countries refuse to take in their own criminals. Countries may have to resort to simply expelling them, as in the old days.

Mr. Anon said...

To quote an old David Frost joke (which was originally about Greece): "There's been another general election in Pakistan. And we all know which generals are going to be elected."

Anonymous said...

AMERICA is a Deep State -- Obama was handpicked by Jews, who provide about half the funding for the Democratic Party, much of the White House staff, control major news media, advertising agencies, publishing houses, Ivy League schools, and Hollywood studios

Dr Van Nostrand said...


I think Musharaff skillfully played the Americans for fools during the WOT, while protecting as many Al Qaeda as possible."

Musharaff was an SOB but OUR SOB and all that.

As far as Indians were concerned ,he just an SOB until say 2002 when DID really clamp on support to terrorists in Kashmir.

Musharraf may have played a double game with Al Qaeda and U.S but his heart wasnt for it. As much as I loathe Musharraf,I have to admit that he was a throwback to the pre Zia ul Haque Pakistan where secular,cosmopolitans politicians ruled the roost in Pakistan.

Zia opened up Pakistani society and its institutions to the worse type of fundamentalist Islamic and Pakistan as well as the rest of the world is still paying the price.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


bbtp:because providing accurate numbers to foreigners seeking to meddle in your politics is a wise move, right?

DVN: Eh? No, because participating in a open,free market economy run by an efficient and honest administration requires that non sensitive information be available to those who require it.He wasnt exactly asking any classified intelligence but something rather innocuous related to its GDP.

bbtp:the difference btw east and west is that in the east, everything requires a bribe, while in the west, low-level figures are scrupulously honest but high-level figures find various ways to legalize the direction of vast money streams into their bank accounts. no easterner would, e.g., have the effrontery to try to convince a generation of useful idiots that diversity is strength/silicon valley pays too much for programmers/etc etc etc.

DVN: There you go on some bizarre tangent ranting about diversity.Clearly you have an agenda in mind apart from the topic of discussion.Please focus

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Dave Pinsen:You don't need deep state to explain why Guantanamo is still open. Most of the prisoners' countries of origin don't want them; Most Americans don't want them moved to US soil; and the risk of recidivism remains high. The path of least resistance for Obama, as for Bush, is to keep it open.

DVN: I was being a bit tongue in cheek when I was comparing Obama -Bush to Ottoman-Byzantine-heck they even start with the same letters and follow the same faith! I agree with you re Guantanomo.The issue isnt so much gbay but the WOT itself. If you have a never ending war then you can keep these prisoners of war and since they dont operate by the normal rules of war(uniforms,post national et al) then the Geneva does not apply to them.
Having said that, I find it hard to believe most of this lot are mild mannered college kids or shepherds who ended up at the wrong place and the wrong time.Most of them do belong there.

Dave Pinsen:As for the move toward drones and special ops, you don't need deep state to explain that either. I'll offer another theory: call it Pendulum Theory. In the wake of Vietnam, the pendulum swung in the direction of believing that conventional wars were inevitably quagmires (I even recall a TV commentator during the invasion of Panama in 1989 predicting that it could turn into "another Vietnam"); after the first Gulf War, it swung in the opposite direction. After Iraq, the pendulum has swung back in the quagmire direction; hence the increased emphasis on special ops and drones.

DVN: Its the pottery barn rule(you break you buy it) that leads to quagmire type situations.
The problem is war mission nowadays is not military but political.ie it is not enough to go in,break stuff and kill the leadership but also fix ,build and buy new stuff and install leaders and build democracies.
If THAT is your mission then it is bound to run into quagmire aka failure.
Thankfully its back to sp ops and drones as political ,military and the public realized that nation building has failed(except in Iraq, the somewhat rebuilt nation is handed over to Iran)