May 5, 2011

Peak State

My insta-reaction to bin Laden being found not on Pakistan's lawless frontier but next to the Pakistan Military Academy -- We've been scammed for years by the Pakistan deep state! -- is gaining in respectability.

So much so that Speaker of the House John Boehner has had to put out the word that loyal Invade-the-Worldists shouldn't be discouraged by mere embarrassment. Under the title, "Republicans Are Useless," Your Lying Eyes cites an AP story:
The Obama administration was investigating whether Pakistan knew Osama bin Laden was hiding deep inside the country as House Speaker John Boehner and top lawmakers insisted the U.S. maintain close ties with the sometimes reluctant ally in the war on terror. The killing of Osama bin Laden at a compound just miles from Islamabad prompted furious questions about whether Pakistan was complicit in protecting the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks...Amid the harsh criticism of Pakistan, Boehner and others said this was not the time to back away from Pakistan. "I think we need more engagement, not less," he said. "Al-Qaida and other extremist groups have made Pakistan a target. ... Having a robust partnership with Pakistan is critical to breaking the back of al-Qaida and the rest of them."

How true!

Except that Pakistan hosted the founder of al-Qaida.

And that raises difficult questions of what we mean by "Pakistan."

Outside of the GOP brain trust, the discussion has moved on to whether "rogue elements" in, say, Pakistan's intelligence service sheltered bin Laden.

All this raises the philosophical question of what is meant by "the government of Pakistan." Earlier, I had asserted the metaphysical point that, from the point of view of the United States of America, the strategic question is which side are they on in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and that, therefore, whomever implements a decision on bin Laden is, for our purposes, the effective government of Pakistan. 

But, there might not be a need for that kind of subtlety of argument, because there's an alternative to the "rogue elements" theory:

Or did this conspiracy go all the way to the top?

The concept of a "deep state," a permanent government of shadowy behind-the-scenes manipulators, is closely associated with Cold War Italy. 

But there's an irony here. The man most often accused of heading Italy's deep state was Giulio Andreotti, who was prime minister of Italy for a total of over seven years from 1972 to 1992. (Here's my review of the 2009 Italian movie about Andreotti, Il Divo, which, I must say, strikes me as once of my best movie reviews.)

Andreotti is the anti-Berlusconi, a man with negligible need for fame and acclaim. If he took on Italy's prime ministership three times, it wasn't out of ego, but because he could get more things done that he wanted to do in the top job than as a grey eminence.

In other words: less deep state than peak state.

Similarly, having lived in Chicago for 18 years, it was obvious to all that there is a Deep City.

Perhaps there were some rogue elements in the machine who were embarrassing, say, their less ridiculous colleagues by embezzling quarters from tollbooths.

But, for 42 of the last 56 years in Chicago, there was no mystery about who was, overall, in charge of the Deep City: Mayor Daley. The young Barack Obama craved the Mayor's job because it represented true power. Rahm Emmanuel didn't quit his post as the President's chief-of-staff to get elected Mayor in order to be manipulated by obscure underlings.

So, let me take a wild guess and throw out a name of somebody in Pakistan who might have decided to host Osama bin Laden: Pervez Musharraf. Granted, I might just be tossing that name out because he's one of the few Pakistanis whose name I know. But, I know his name because he was Chairman of the Pakistan Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1998 to 2007 and President of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008. He resigned a little over a half year after his rival Benazir Bhutto got machine gunned and blown up after returning to Pakistan to challenge him for the Presidency. Maybe that was just a rogue element, too.

Here's a new interview on Fox News in which Musharaff concedes incompetence at catching bin Laden, but denies complicity.

Now, I don't know anything about Pakistan. It seems more disorganized than Chicago, so maybe President Musharaff really was a feeble figurehead. On the other hand, maybe not.


Wes said...

Is a deep state kind of like a military junta we might see in Latin America, only a bit more subtle and hidden? We know the rule of Latin American countries swing between White fascists on the one hand and Brown socialists on the other. Is this an analog in a less dramatic form?

I guess I am wondering if this is the manifestation of a somewhat unstable population. If so, does this mean the US is in the beginning stages of such a population?

Anonymous said...

I am mystified why anyone would expect otherwise from Pakistan.
My favorite new meme on this saga is that the kill raid was quote unquote on a par with the moon landing as a technological achievement. To which one can only reply: 'yes, and it took just as long and cost just as much.'
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

Is a deep state kind of like a military junta we might see in Latin America, only a bit more subtle and hidden?

"Deep state" politics seems common among Mediterranean/Latin/"gold chainer"/Mideast etc cultures.

Wes said...

If we keep moving toward toward a Deep State, I suppose this is consistent with the way Republics die. The Roman Senate became a fig leaf while the real power was held by the emperors and the military. Our own Congress seldom asserts it's constitutional powers with regard to war - and increasingly anything else.

Then it becomes a question of which groups can gain power at the expense of others - the jolly ol' Who Whom question. That's not been the America I wanted, but it looks like a real possibility in the coming years. In such an ethnically and culturally diverse nation, this could get ... interesting.

Wes said...

LOL "goldchainer" - that's funny, I'm going to use it if it's OK

Anonymous said...

You know, Sailer, your having degrees from not one but two institutions of higher socialism leads me to suspect you're all about deep states.

And, Wes, if you're ever interested in unraveling a conspiracy theory, my whole life seems to have been lived somewhere in between a deep state that was fully functioning at least 30 years ago and what we like to refer to as the freedom loving, innocent until proven guilty country of the USA.

That incompatible population you refer to hasn't emerged accidentally. Instead of worrying about how to control them after the fact, I'd be more concerned about why some people worked so hard to plant as many brown socialists in the midst of whites with a strong preference for economic freedom and living their lives with little hinderance from the government. Of course the quick answer is to create a socialist USA. But why would a government that isn't burdened by its people want to import a people who require somewhat more support by the state?

Is it the New World Order?

Is it payback for the many crimes against brownmanity committed by whitemanity?

Is it for access to oil?

Obviously Sailer knows why we do what we do. He also seems to believe that some of us should accept a greatly reduced quality of life especially if that compromise by the US can help achieve the aims of 2 or more conspiracies at once.

M.G. said...

Go back as far as you like, it's hard to find a civilian government that's ever held any real power in Pakistan. At the end of the day, the military calls the shots. True in many countries, such as Algeria, Egypt, to an extent Turkey.

Pakistan's is especially powerful, though. What to do when your entire 'big business lobby' is your military? The always interesting Pundita links to this very good in-depth piece from last year, for those who'd like a primer on the muddle that is Pakistan.

Wes said...

This reminds me of a concept from Barbara Oakley's book, "Evil Genes", which many readers of this blog would find interesting. She has a concept called Stable Sinister Systems about how stable and exploitative social systems can be established by Machiavellian personalities that can last for generations, if not centuries.

Basically, Machiavellian types attract each other and once in power, pass their genes for exploitation down to their descendants. Rome and Egypt may have been examples. Perhaps this is one of the ways Deep States maintain themselves over time.

Wes said...

Anonymous, I have no doubt that our "benefactors" have been pushing open immigration into this country because it furthers their political power. Let's face it, the old White, ethical, bourgeois stock was hard to control. The Machiavellian elite always wants an uneducated, illiterate, poverty stricken mob to rule over.

They want more browns, more temperamentally servile people. A mob, if you will. As Steve has said, they elected a new people. The elites have been following a risky strategy (as Kevin MacDonald might say) and the outcome is always unpredictable.

We live in interesting times.

rec1man said...

Pakistan is more like a Junta team than a one-man military dictator.

There is a group of a dozen generals who run the show.

They prop up one among them as the leader.

Musharaf was a Mohajir, ( an Indian muslim ), His family is from Delhi.

60% of the Pak army is Punjabi.
Kiyani is a Punjabi.
30% is Pashtun and 10% Muhajir.

So Musharaf had less power than most Pak dictators.

Mush was a personal friend of Bin Laden and used Bin Laden for a variety of dirty jobs for decades.

In 1990, Mush was in charge of Pakistani held Kashmir, and the Shias there revolted against the Pak Sunni regime.

Mush deputed Osama Bin Laden, to massacre thousands of Shias - burn them alive and ethnic cleanse them and change the demographics.
This was the type of job that the Pak generals did not want to do directly.

And while you are at it, Steve, do google up 'Kunduz Air Lift'.

In 2001 when Bush was bombing the taliban, 1000 ISI agents who were aiding the taliban against the USA, where trapped in Kunduz and Bush allowed Mush to airlift them out.

rec1man said...

@Miles, the Pak military took over in 1958 and deposed the elected civilian govt with the blessings of the Eisenhower administration.

Again in 1971, when the Pakistan army lost the Bangladesh war , they were disgraced for 5 years and it was under civilian rule.

So Pak had civilian rule from 47-58 and from 72-77

Anonymous said...

We won the war against Russia in Afghanistan, and aid to Afghanistan stopped. Perhaps the Pakistan military wants our aid to them, which they largely use to fight India, not to stop.
Robert Hume

Anonymous said...

Another point is this:
Pakistan is just a slum/sh*thole with nothing to offer anyone (all talk by Pakistanis that China is willing to back Pakistan to the hilt is just that, mere talk and bull-poopy).
It is Pakistan's sworn enemy India that this the real prize.By dumping Pakistan like a hot potato (like they deserve) and embracing India, Uncle Sam wins on all counts.

rob said...

It sure is fun to read and see browns going on and on about how stupid and incompetent they are.

Jeff Singer said...


I'm tempted to drive over to Mercy Hospital and talk to the General's brother Naved, who practices anesthesiology there (I think he lives in the western suburbs of Chicago), to find out if he knows anything. It would be great if somehow we could weave Chicago and deep state Pakistan all together.

Anonymous said...

I live in New Jersey. We most certainly have a "deep state" (no pun intended). Everyone in NJ knows it exists, even if it's not called by that name. Its members don't call it that nor do they think of themselves as part of a coterie. An illustration of it at a very low level:

What's the structure of a deep state? It's not like the Elks or Masons. It's based on extended familial relationships, which is why Goldchainer societies have them. Deep states may only get their power from the number of powerful members they have, not from the power of any individual member. When a power structure has only a few insiders they're called rogues. When the power structure is rife with likeminded insiders it's a deep state. A deep state is rogue elements that have metastasized.

In NJ Christie's problem is he's trying to clean up its mess by taking money from the towns, cutting schools, police and fire. And he's not above appointing his own people. Many cynics here claim he's just the Machine's face in order to win Wall St approval, that after the disaster of Corzine (who in bella Italiana fashion was sleeping with Carla Katz, the union leader the state was negotiating with) they needed to put up a figurehead for change.

A 70s Italian movie called Todo Modo satirized the deep state in Italy but is unfortunatelt incomprehensible to non-Italians.

Scratch the surface and I bet you'd find a similar structure in Hollywood, velvet or not.

Black Death said...

From George Will's current column:

Jim Lacey of the Marine Corps War College notes that Gen. David Petraeus has said there are perhaps about 100 al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. “Did anyone,” Lacey asks, “do the math?” There are, he says, more than 140,000 coalition soldiers in Afghanistan, or 1,400 for every al-Qaeda fighter. It costs about $1 million a year to deploy and support every soldier — or up to $140 billion, or close to $1.5 billion a year, for each al-Qaeda fighter. “In what universe do we find strategists to whom this makes sense?”


All this money flowing in may give some idea as to why "deep" elements in Pakistan wanted to see this thing go on a while. Also, wouldn't it just be cheaper to pay them to go away?

Anonymous said...

One of Gore Vidal's novels, Duluth, was about a city that was controlled not by the elected city government but instead by a shadowy criminal organization, which turns out to be headed by the Mayor.

Ben Stein said...

Emperor:Praetorian Guard

a. US Secret Service
b. Pentagon
c. Donor Class

No wonder our betters banished SAT analogy questions.

Whiskey said...

Deep States are a conspiracy theory designed to explain away political failures or justify political persecution of enemies. It's a laughable theory because Power ALWAYS is visible.

People exercise power to gain or increase wealth, women (the powerful are almost always heterosexual men) and pass on these resources to their families.

Therefore power has to be visible. Everyone has to know who to bribe, who to flatter, who to pay tribute to, in order to gain favors. Often outmoded institutions hang around, but no one thinks they are powerful: the Roman Senate, the Holy Roman Emperor, the House of Lords. Pakistan however is not anything but a tribal mess, divided among tribes.

Musharraf had a number of assassination plots against him as well -- so he wasn't all powerful (how many plots against Putin, or Stalin, or Mao?) But that is quite consistent with tribal alliances.

Whiskey said...

Wiki, if its accurate, counts four assassination attempts on Musharraf. That does not seem to me to indicate Deep State control, the mastermind pulling all the levers. It is not uncommon early in a rule by a dictator for various "baronial" powers to attempt to assassinate him -- but that usually results in the dictator wiping out the baronial powers if the attempt fails.

If attempts keep coming, that means the dictator has limited powers. If he cannot even wipe out all people trying to kill him -- it means he's weak.

Steve your thesis that Musharraf was the powerful mastermind fails that test -- one unspecified attempt, an IED, suicide bombers, and AK-47s fired at his plane are a sign of weakness above all else.

Anonymous said...

John Boehner and other Powers That Be insist that we stay tight with Pakistan for 2 reasons:

1.Paks got nukes and we don't want any to be loosed onto the world market.
2. If India and Pakistan were to engage in nuke warfare, this would be a bad thing for USA.

Point 1 is clear and I can agree with it. Point 2, If Hindoostan and Pakistan were trading nukes, would not this be a positive for USA. If they are killing each other, then they are not killing us.

Like Steve suggested the other day, we should play the "Great Game" on these two countries. Manipulate the scene so that India and Pakistan are at each others throats rather than ours.

Grumpy Old Man said...

Theres a Salman Rushdie novel, "Shame," that gives a lot of insight into Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, and Zia Al-Haq. The old landlord families and the upwardly mobile military guys jockeying for power, but basically part of the same system.

The same now, with the new Great Game between India, Pak, the US, Russia and Iran going on.

Our country has a "deep state," too. Neither a "ruling class," nor a mere "Establishment." For all the frenetic publishing, the definitive portrait hasn't been written. Gore Vidal is weird in many ways, but probably has come closest.

The literati go in where political "scientists" fear to tread.

Chicago said...

Who knew what and when did they know it? It seems to me the Bush team must have known that Osama was being sheltered in Pakistan. With all the money thrown around by the US to corrupt and influence people it's hard to believe that no one within the Pakistani government, military or ISI didn't tip them off.
If some of the current reports can be believed then Obama's hand may have been forced into acceding to the raid. That means he's possibly known about it for the past two years himself.
The Pakistanis come off as the epitome of cynical game players. What their angle was isn't clear but their trust quotient just went from low to lower.
Games within games; who can really sort it all out?

Dutch Boy said...

I'm still waiting for some convincing evidence that they killed Bin Laden. No body, no photos, no Seals - just the government's word (consult the WMD column above for my opinion about that).

CJ said...

Wes, thank you; Just looked up Barbara Oakley - wow, both her books have forwards by David Sloan Wilson. The newest was just released - 'Cold Blooded Kindness'. Both seem to be relevant to many of the topics in the Sailersphere.

Anonymous said...

Our own Congress seldom asserts it's constitutional powers with regard to war - and increasingly anything else.

Take that back! I see that the Democrats in the Senate want to pass a law mandating "relationship training" for all college students. See, they really are involved!

Anonymous said...

So, let me take a wild guess and throw out a name of somebody in Pakistan who might have decided to host Osama bin Laden: Pervez Musharraf, Chairman of the Pakistan Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1998 to 2007 and President of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008.

In that case he could easily have handed bin Laden a nuclear weapon as a house warming present.

We'll know that Pakistan is really in bed with Al Queda when Manhattan goes up in a fireball.

Wandrin said...

In the clannish latitudes the entire government is made up of a loose collection of rogue elements.

The exceptions are places like Syria or Saddamite Iraq where one particular clan, tribe or otherwise minority group monopolizes the elite and oppresses the majority. In those cases the elites are reasonably well disciplined through fear of what would happen to them if they lost power but even in those cases they are ONLY well disciplined in regards to internal security. In every other context the elites in those countries are also just a collection of loosely connected rogue elements.

White people are WEIRD. You can't understand the clannish countries if you look through white eyes.

Wandrin said...


"Is a deep state kind of like a military junta we might see in Latin America, only a bit more subtle and hidden?"

Yes. It's like if you have a small group of billionaires funding a pro-immigration Republican and a pro-immigration Democrat in the same election just to make sure.

"I guess I am wondering if this is the manifestation of a somewhat unstable population. If so, does this mean the US is in the beginning stages of such a population?"

Yes. Like you say it's a symptom of our old high-trust societies gradually becoming like the rest of the world because of immigration.

corvinus said...

I don't think this phenomenon is limited to swarthy Caucasians.

The British government has been among the world's most devious for centuries. The Soviets named MI6 as the biggest spy threat against them.

The difference is, I guess, that Brits at least try to give the impression of "fair play".

Terroni said...

The difference is, I guess, that Brits at least try to give the impression of "fair play".

Exactly. Brits are world class liars. They just feign external appearances. They pretend to be stoic and sober even though the reality is that they're infamous for things like buggery.

Wandrin said...

"The British government has been among the world's most devious for centuries. The Soviets named MI6 as the biggest spy threat against them."

Exactly true but the keyword is Empire. What was the British empire but a collection of loosely linked, relatively high IQ, minority elites trying to manipulate local majorities into not massacring them?

The people involved in that, e.g MI6and the colonial political officers, learned to use the same techniques other groups in the same siutation would use and they got very good at it (apart from being so focused on externals they didn't notice what was happening behind their backs).

The point is it has to be LEARNED. The people from the clannish latitudes are different and the great game involved learning in what ways they were different and how that could be exploited.

"I don't think this phenomenon is limited to swarthy Caucasians."

Of course not and even the most non-devious white person can be easily made more devious. It's just a question of getting the training right.

Hint: the second word in the phrase "Great Game."


Anonymous said...

India for years has been saying that Osama Bin laden was hiding in a compoud somewhere in the Islamabad metro area. Turns out we should've listened to them instead of going on wild goose chase in Wasiristan.

Anonymous said...

The idea that "rogue" elements hid Osama Bin Laden is stupid. Rogue elements don't hide a guy near a huge and well established military base. That's like hiding your drugs in your mom's purse.

This scam went all the way to the top and involved the elite elements of the establishment. Yes, Musharraf was involved. No question on that.

Wes said...

Wandrin, that makes sense. I think it's sad to see the passing of the old high trust society. It may limit the trust people put in government, which seems good at first, but most low trust nations seem even worse --- Russia, Latin America, etc. They all lean toward dictatorships or dictatorship-lite.

Dutch Boy said...

Real power may be evident to those within a society but not to those outside (e.g, Americans) who assume power is associated with formal political structures. I remember years ago some businessman who was a big Clinton donor was found not to have voted in years. He explained that his political contributions gave him much more influence over public policy than mere voting, which he considered a waste of time.

Wandrin said...

"That's like hiding your drugs in your mom's purse."

What if your mom is your dealer?

Anonymous said...

"What if your mom is your dealer?"

If your mom is your dealer, then you aren't a rogue element. You're just a member of the family.

Wandrin said...

"You're just a member of the family."

And if your dad is a cop?

Places like Pakistan are just like that.

Anonymous said...

"Couldn't Deep State here mean Islam? No one mentions Islam. Islam isn't Aristotelian cause and effect. Islam is dualistic thinking, i.e., to hold two opposing thoughts and both be correct."

I agree to a point, Propercharlie. My understanding of Pakistan's recent history, however, leads me to believe that this manifestation of Islamic states is reactionary in nature. For whatever reason, the people were convinced that their religion and culture were under threat from the West and responded accordingly. Why that fear was generated and who by is more important. That and the fact that you have a population long conditioned not to question religious authority.

Anonymous said...

US is a Geek State.

AmericanGoy said...

I live in Chicago, and the impression I get is that it is extremely organized.

The politicians, race baiters errr organizers, union leaders, thieves errr business leaders, all know their place and rules of the game.

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Deep States are a conspiracy theory designed to explain away political failures or justify political persecution of enemies. It's a laughable theory because Power ALWAYS is visible."

Yes, that's why - in medieval Japan - the shadow-emperor bothered to keep the emperor around, the shadow-shogun bothered to keep the shadow-emperor around, and the real shogun bothered to keep the shadow-shogun around.

For visibility.

propercharlie said...

As for questioning religious authority you'd be well advised to ask why a diversity shaman is president.