On Shock and Awe

Shock and Awe (2017)


I watched the new movie Shock and Awe which dramatizes the American government’s use of fabricated intelligence to justify its war with Iraq. The producers made a good case that the decision to attack Iraq was made well in advance of finding any evidence of an Iraqi military or terrorism threat.

I found the movie to be a little stiff and ham-fisted so did not enjoy it very much. It did however provide another good example of the ubiquity of denial in our culture.

Shock and Awe was more interesting for what it didn’t say than what it said.

Not once did the producers ask or attempt to answer the question why did senior American leaders decide to attack Iraq?

How is it possible that the only question that matters is the only question that is not asked?

It isn’t, of course, unless you’re in denial and don’t want to know the answer.

Put yourself in the shoes of an American leader in the few years leading up to the 2003 Iraq war.

Your best minds are predicting a peak in global conventional oil production somewhere around 2005. The 2008 crash and resulting zero interest rate that enabled the unprofitable fracking industry to increase oil production has not yet occurred and was not predicted by the idiot economists that advise you. Iraq has the second best reserves of high quality oil left on the planet and is led by a dictator who is no longer friendly and is starting to sell oil to your enemies in euros which might undermine your reserve currency which enables your country to live far beyond its means. Your economy is totally dependent on imported oil and you have no chance of being re-elected if there is a recession and gas shortages.

Now the Iraq war makes more sense.

But you won’t learn any of this from Shock and Awe.

4 thoughts on “On Shock and Awe”

  1. There are dozens of recent articles with headlines like this:

    The $247 trillion global debt bomb

    and you won’t learn anything from reading them as none of them make the obvious connection to declining net energy.

    Well actually you will learn that 99.99% of humans, experts and laypersons alike, have their heads up their asses. Denial – a feature NOT a bug.

    Norman Pagett gets it.

    From oilslick to tyranny

    A prosperous society is an orderly society.

    People with full bellies, stable homes and secure employment do not allow themselves to be involved in civil disorder.

    “Unfortunately we are living on borrowed money in a bankrupt society. When our debts catch up with us, society will collapse, violent disorder will ensue and martial law will be inevitable. Before our era of fossil fuels, despotic rule was the norm and democracies did not exist; we are going to return to that era.

    Any business that continually burns through its assets at ten times the rate of replacement can be said to be bankrupt. That describes the global economy as clearly as it describes the smallest business enterprise.”

    View at Medium.com


  2. I have an old friend who occasionally disconnects from the real world and talks conspiracy theories, such as how a league of lizard skin aliens secretly run the world. Of course, Hillary is one of those aliens. Now, I think this is silly and put no stock in this at all. But then sometimes….I ask myself how is it that there is almost complete radio silence on mainstream media (MSM) about the issues of resource depletion etc., and how they impact geopolitics. The simplest explanation is that deep analysis of geopolitics and discussion of existential threats decreases viewership and therefore profits. That would explain why media outlets of both left wing and right wing political orientation generally avoid these topics. On some days however, especially after talking to my friend about lizard skin aliens, I find the follow-the-money explanation to be an insufficient explanation for the narrow and shallow narratives put out by the U.S. MSM on geopolitics. Something else seems to be going on…limiting the narratives fed to the general population, to stories of bad guys and good guys.


    1. Once you truly understand the gravity of our predicament the most interesting question is why do we never discuss it, let alone debate and vote on possible responses. I used to think that our leaders and meda conspire to hide information. But after observing the response from neighbors I’ve tried to educate I’ve concluded that our entire society is in denial and that denial must have a genetic foundation as explained by Varki’s MORT theory.

      It’s interesting that the only thing most political parties seem to agree on is that military spending should remain at the top of the discretionary spending list which leads one to speculate that subconsciously we know we need to prepare for a fight.


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