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Experts Fear Trump Will Give More Than He Gets, redux

Friday, June 29th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — history repeats itself, &c ]
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Here we go:

Is this some new strategy?

It would be nice to have a DoubleQuote to set beside this one, comparing the N Korean and Iran nuclear deals. Maybe I’ll find one.

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Sources:

  • New York Times, In Meeting With Putin, Experts Fear Trump Will Give More Than He Gets
  • Quartz, North Korea experts watching the summit will breathe a sigh of relief if…
  • Duel and duet? I dunno.

    Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — includes a rationale for my recurring arts orbits on Zenpundit, a strategy site ]
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    Conflict:

    Stop, Do Not Go On, from The Gospel At Colonus.

    Oedipus — played here by Clarence Fountain and the Blind Boys from Alabama — although accursed, has been promised an eventual resting place to which he will bring blessings, and is accordingly attempting to enter Colonus — resisted by the good people there — represented by Sam Butler and the Soul Stirrers — on the grounds that he is Oedipus, who killed his father and slept with his mother, a man accursed..

    **

    Love in union and separation:

    So very different from the battle of the bands above, yet such a close twin..

    Etta James & Dr.John (Dr John the Night Tripper) sing and enact I’d Rather Go Blind — a love song of great beauty and cruelty.. (he’ll never leave, he’s walking away)..

    There, that’s the music.

    **

    Now, strategy and conflict:

    Strategy has to do with the navigation of conflict, and since this blog is concerned with strategy, and our lives for that matter with the navigation of conflict, I try to remember strategy and conflict even during my flights (or fugues) into glass bead games, music and poetry — so that I may stray far from our central theme, but as with certain comets, always return on an elliptical orbit, no matter how extended.

    My sense that forms such as parallelism (rhyme, fugue or canon) and the ouroboros serpent (infinity symbol, paradox) are markers (when found in analytic materials) of likely analytical significance is also tied in with OSINT work — although the patterns themselves extend across the cultural, anthropological, psychological, historical, religious and artistic realms. It is in this spirit, which I seldom spell out, but which guides my writings here, that I offer the above pairing of musical events, each of them theatrical, dealing with human relations in conflict and in love respectively, one with an overt clash over territory, the other with love in its two phases of union and separation.

    It seems, in any case, that some at least of Zenpundit‘s original hard core strategists, as well as those whose interest was equally or more in creativity, which we at ZP “minor” in — and which is relevant as per Adm. Stavridis, Safranski and others to keeping strategic thinking cutting edge — have been kind enough to follow along with some or all of my eccentric orbiting, and I thank them / you.

    **

    Enjoy, Fcamer, but also ponder.. Or should I say, Ponder, then –but hey, also enjoy!

    Puppetry cascades, or “art is theft”

    Friday, June 22nd, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — and if you experience vertigo reading any of these cascades, feel free to hang in there vertiginously — or let go ]
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    Alright, here’s a DoubleQuote in images:

    I don’t believe there’s a direct borrowing (aka plagiarism, theft) here, but both images rely on a shared puppet cascades convention.

    **

    It’s been a bit of a yawn to say art is theft — at least since a few borrowings past Picasso, and maybe before him — what makes this pair of puppet cascades interesting is:

    First, that each depicts a portion of a cascade of puppets — in the earlier, My Fair Lady version, Bernard Shaw puppeting Henry Higgins puppeting Eliza Dolittle, while the recent New Yorker graphic might as well be X (unshown) puppeting Steve Bannon puppeting Trump with Jeff Sessions and Scott Pruitt, maybe.

    Second, note the X (Bernard Shaw) in the later version, and then ponder the idea that cascades may have a source, or may continue backwards ad infinitum, but Someone or Thing implicitly or explicitly needs to fill that X space. In the earlier version, Bernard Shaw does it, but that only begs the question, is Something puppeting Bernard Shaw? Deity, perhaps, or Muse?

    And in the contemmporary version, where the upper puppeteer is cut off from vision, They‘s a good guess for the X Who‘s puppeting the Bannon figure, because Bannon, They, and Puppetry are all widely associated with conspiracy theory. Oh, and think, X-Files!

    Hey, in reality Lerner and Lowe were making musical out of Shaw‘s theatrical Pygmalion out of Gilbert and Sullivan — and the cascade theft goes on and on, back into the mists and myths of antiquity..

    The actual figures in the New Yorker cascade are X, Lord Bell (representing Bell Pottinger, the PR firm), and, below, the brothers Atul, Ajay, and Tony Gupta. The article itself, The Reputation-Laundering Firm That Ruined Its Own Reputation, is well worth a read. And look at the illustrations careful documentation of the ownership-lineages it’s pilfering from:

    Illustration by Ben Jones; photographs by (clockwise from top): David M. Benett / Getty; Martin Rhodes / Gallo Images / Business Day / Getty; Foto24 / Gallo Images / Getty; David M. Benett / Bell Pottinger / Getty

    **

    Property is theft, now — that’s Proudhon.

    Red Bull joins the wise

    Monday, June 11th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — red bull expands on pascal, takes us deeper into instinctive / archetypal thought ]
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    **

    I came across a powerful paragraph in Beyond a joke, a piece witth the enticing subtitle, “The brain holds many secrets that admen would love to learn – not least, how to change behaviour. Rory Sutherland explores how comedy rouses the grey matter.” Powerful, in that it connects, at least for me, with at least three major quotes from “wise men of old” from here and beyond:

    The reason for this glaring discrepancy is that the part of the brain used to write economic papers is not the part of the brain that chooses a drink. The part of my brain that causes me to chug a can of Red Bull on the way home from work has a logic all of its own.

    **

    You remember my old DoubleQuotes format?

    I used it to make various kinds of connections beyween two quotes? Well, I’ve come to feel its clumsy visually, takes up too much space — breaks the train of thought it’s embedded in rather than illuminating it? But the concept, the holding together of two ideas in close juxtaposition, still seems extraordinarily useful to me.

    So here are elements of that para, juxtaposed with sayings from Blaise Pascal, Christ, and the Tao Te Ching — quite a variety of “wise” sources:

  • The heart has its reasons reason knows not of.
  • The part of my brain that causes me to chug a can of Red Bull on the way home from work has a logic all of its own.
  • The part of the brain used to write economic papers is not the part of the brain that chooses a drink.
  • The way that can be named is not the true way.
  • The part of the brain used to write economic papers is not the part of the brain that chooses a drink.
  • In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
  • Christ, Lao Tze, and Pascal! If the correlations are as powerful as I take them to be, and even if you omit the “many mansions” one which is I’ll admit bit of a stretch, that’s a power packed para.

    And the “many mansions”? It may be a bit of a stretch, but I think it adds a certain audacity to the whole — jazzes up what’s alreadt strong with an intriguing elan — what do you think?

    **

    The Bollingen classic:

    Jolande Jacobi, Complex/Archetype/Symbol in the Psychology of C. G. Jung

    **

    I mean, please comment, eh?

    Whiplash [NKorea Yes No] and Double Vision [Jerusalem Gaza]

    Thursday, May 17th, 2018

    { by Charles Cameron — sudden reversal in Korea, synchronicity in Israel ]
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    Whiplash alert

    Whiplash alert is a sharp, neat way to announce a sudden and powerful instance of boustrophedon — taking hairpin bends at racing speeds. Anna Fyfield nails it.,

    **

    The swuitchback whiplash is between a Triumphalist Trump suggesting that North Korea is both willing and implicitly eager to come to the table to discuss the total abandonment of its entire nuclear program, and an adamant, almost adamantine N Korean regime response that such total abandonment is not even on the table.

    In terms of goal posts:

    Various Trump aides, including Bolton and Pompeo, have repeatedly said that that what they want from the summit is “complete verifiable irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.” Of course, Pyongyang would love it if they could move the goal posts before the meeting, making the U.S. back off on this demand.

    then this:

    North Korea is rapidly moving the goal posts for next month’s summit between leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump, saying the United States must stop insisting that the North “unilaterally” abandon its nuclear weapons program and stop talking about a Libya-style solution to the standoff.

    The problem is:

    Denuclearization’ may be the goal of U.S.-North Korean summit, but each side defines it differently

    But the diplomatic buzzword can mean different things to different players on the world stage. The success of Trump’s gambit probably hangs on whether he and Kim can agree on what it means for them and whether it’s worthwhile to keep fudging the details of a term that U.S. and Asian diplomats have been fudging for years.

    Different interpretations of a word, differing perceptions — what seems at one moment to be a problem in foreign affairs seems on another to be a linguistic or even a perceptual— at the very least, an internal, not an external, issue.

    Internal maybe, but external in it’s implications:

    If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit,” said Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan in a statement published by the North’s state-run media.

    Subtlety:

    King Jung-Un may be under the imprression that “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” involves, gasp, the withdrawal of the American nuclear air umbrella protecting the SOuth..

    So: a sudden 180° change, the opposites here being presented as sequential.

    And the Nobel Peace Prize which Republican governors had wishes for President Trumo, sadly recedes..

    **

    From my POV, the interesting difference here between the Korean situation and that in Israel is that the former is inherently sequential, while the latter is synchronic — the furious and grief-stricken rioting in Gaza happens as official Israel, with Trumpian support, joyously celebrates the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem; the Isreli Independence Day is naturally considered the Nakba or catastrophe by Palestinians — and hey, to add to the tensions, Ramadan is about to begin, with its intensification of fasting and spiritual intensity.

    Synchrony, verbally presented:

    The fact that riots in Gaza and rejoicing in Israel happen simultaneously is so stark that while Israel — and Trump — might prefer triumphalist headlines, news souces have played up the double-edged nature of the situiation:

    and visually:

    This title is accompaniedd by a verbal explanation:

    The scenes were barely 40 miles apart: in Gaza, a chaotic panorama of smoke, fleeing figures and tear gas on the deadliest day since mass protests at the border fence with Israel began; in Jerusalem, Ivanka Trump and other American officials celebrating President Trump’s formal relocation of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv.

    and a visual double graphic (to see the images fully, click through to the original page):

    Various TV stations offered similar double images — the effect is to undercut the apparent joyfulness of the Jerusalem celebrations with simultaneous disturbing images of the Gaza rioting.

    If Trump, or Jared perhaps, or Ivanka, had made any slightest acknowledgement that the Palestinians, too, had hopes of an eventual capital of their own in the existing Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem, the celebrations might have been more widely shared and less easiky discounted.

    **

    If you come to your front door to conduct a press conference, it’s always wise to know what’s happening at the same time at the back door.

    Oh, oh, but I have to leave for a medical proceduerre, and there is so much more to be said..


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