What is the Next Big Surprise?

In corporate engineering one of the big buzzwords is risk management.  We’re supposed to evaluate all the possible risks and rate them according to probability and severity.  This allows you to plan a remediation or prevention action for each possible risk.  This allows us to kid ourselves into thinking we are in control of what will happen to us in the future.

But in reality, there is always an X factor, the unknown unknown, the thing that we don’t know that we don’t know.  And there is Murphy’s Law that says that the worst thing possible always happens at the worst possible time.  What that means is that when a system is already stressed the chances that something bad will become something terrible becomes almost inevitable.

Regardless of ideology, both the Left and the Right will admit that when the United States was the sole superpower in the 1990s foreign policy was more predictable.  No one messed with the big dog.  Not the Russians, not the Chinese or any of the regional powers like Iran or India or Pakistan.  Sure, they could pull some proxy mischief in Lebanon or Somalia or some other rat hole but nobody would go toe to toe with us back then.  And that made it a lot easier for us to make policy.  We moved carefully and slowly.  But we could be sure that as long as we took it nice and easy and actually knew what would be the outcome of our actions that no one would gainsay it.  The Europeans would gripe but accommodate us.  The Arabs would threaten and then do nothing.  The Russians and the Chinese would condemn and posture and then do nothing.  And all the small countries would go to the United Nations and draft a resolution condemning us which we would veto when it got to the Security Council.

But those days are long gone.  Since then, we have frittered away our superpower status chasing Al Qaeda and ISIS psychopaths from Pakistan to Morocco.  We disillusioned a generation of American warriors in the sands of Iraq and we have handed over our industrial wealth to the Chinese.  Our military has become a political football to be kicked around over transgender and feminist talking points.  And now witch hunts to uncover white supremacists in the rank and file has taken unit cohesion to an all-time low.  No one thinks we are in charge anymore.

Imagine if you can the chances that China, Vietnam, Japan, North and South Korea, Myanmar, Russia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Libya will between themselves figure out an equitable arrangement that will satisfy them all.  When we were calling the shots, we could make the bigger, stronger countries toe the line and only the rat holes were given a pass.  The outlaws like North Korea or Iran were isolated commercially and socially.  But now the Chinese are openly mocking us when we condemn their brutal tactics against the Uighurs.  They only have to point to our cities burning during the BLM riots and both our weakness and moral confusion are self-documented.

China is now openly pursuing its own interests everywhere from Equatorial Africa to Latin America and Russia is involved militarily and commercially in the Middle East in Iran, Turkey and Syria.  Russia’s saber rattling in the Ukraine and other parts of its former domain in Eastern Europe highlight that NATO isn’t what it once was.  And speaking of Europe, it is in upheaval.  The madness that has infected the United States is just as virulent there.  The EU is in total disarray and nationalist movements are springing up all over threatening the very existence of the EU.

So, what’s my point?  Alright, when 9/11/2001 happened we were no longer the world military hegemon we had once been.  We were already starting down the road of de-industrializing our country in favor of Chinese outsourcing but we still had a very, very potent military and we were still for the most part a unified country with a deep streak of patriotism.  We could rally the whole country, Democrats and Republicans and put together a war effort that would up-end a country like Afghanistan in weeks.  We could hammer a medium sized country like Iraq in a few weeks too.

9/11 was our last big surprise and we had the wherewithal to answer the challenge.  But what about the next big surprise?

What about now?  If we were attacked by Iran or if the Taliban staged a major attack in Afghanistan would Americans come rallying around and enlist to do their part.  I don’t think they would.  The feminized millennial males would just mumble something about Gaia under their breath and go back to drinking their soy lattes.  If Joe Biden got on tv and begged the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to support him in a new emergency I think they’d throw a lamp through the screen.   This government and the media have vilified the flag and the national anthem and the soldiers they stand for.  They’ve told us that what we stand for is racism and hate.  Well, then let Joe Biden get Antifa and BLM to fight his wars.  The rest of us should take a knee.

I’m not sure that the next big surprise will be a terrorist or military attack.  It could be a fuel shortage or an agricultural blight or even another bio-attack.  The point is there isn’t any good will left in the country.  Nobody will be rallying around anything.  If the BLM riots get out of control and one of the big cities in the blue states burns down, I don’t think any of the red staters will care in the least.  They’ll probably cheer.  In fact, I’m hoping Derek Chauvin is acquitted of all charges and Minneapolis is burned to the ground from end to end by the mostly peaceful Antifa and BLM thugs.  I think it would be the best possible outcome.  Minnesota would reap what they sowed.  It would be what Obama was so fond of calling a teachable moment.

When the next big surprise happens, it will end the illusion that this is one country.  And that will be a very good thing.

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[…] What is the Next Big Surprise? […]

7 months ago

I frankly think the country has gone too far from the characteristics that originally elevated and sustained it, though the abandonment is not universal. The worst of it is strangely consistent with the local prevalence of progressive attitudes. Portland makes a good example. Something very, very bad would have to happen in Portland to shock enough of the locals badly enough to do an area wide radical change in political direction. Unfortunately, the same could be said for significant portion, perhaps the entirety, of the nation. Failing a black swan, perhaps the nation would stumble, like a drunk, off into… Read more »