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Re: <nettime> Portland Occupation's tactical innovation
John Hopkins on Wed, 4 Jan 2012 21:32:51 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Portland Occupation's tactical innovation

hei tim --

> The process you're talking about is called demobilization, and it
> has a social history. An important part of that history is how
> returning soldiers, and what exactly they're returning from, are
> mythologized. At one extreme there's _Dolchstosslegende_ nonsense
> and its US variations (e.g., POW-MIA lunacy); at the other there
> are things like the G.I. Bill. The experiences of generations of
> returning vets aren't reducible to a single analytical axis, of
> course. Still, you might want to think about where your macho
> rhetoric -- about vets who are "battle-hardened" and "tested under

From what I've looked found, those vets who return to police or other public/private sector law enforcement/security-related positions are around 1:8. That does not include ones who stay in the military as a career move (but have reached their battlefront deployment limits).

(see http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/pdf/IACPEmployingReturningVets.pdf, for example "However, there is concern that regular law enforcement academy or in-service training curricula do not contain course material specific to the needs of returning combat veterans. ... current curricula do not address the heightened reactions veteran officers develop in combat to enemy threats and how to temper these reactions to appropriate levels in policing environments.")

And I'd be mighty careful to connect the terms POW-MIA and lunacy if you are actually moving around the US outside of coastal urban centers...

> Remember, the G.I. Bill, which spoke very much to constructive
> aspirations, was central to America's post-WW2 prosperity. Iraq and

But that 'prosperity' was constructed primarily on hegemonic, militarily-controlled access to a hydrocarbon energy glut, not on 'human' resources (well, of course there had to be bodies and other resources to take full advantage of the glut -- engineers and M-I-A Complex centers like MIT and their training of a whole new cadre of Military-Industrial-Academic proles to chart the course of the complex through the '50s, '60s, & '70s (and later))...

> Afghanistan vets are returning to a country where many of the kinds
> of benefits offered to their predecessors have been withdrawn. How
> and where they see themselves fitting into the "1%" or the "99%" is
> up to them; hopefully they'll be less inclined than you to equate
> what the police are aware of with some final analysis.

Returning warriors are as multifaceted as the population, to be sure, although you have to acknowledge the 'you-had-to-be-there' difference. Right, I was not addressing the full range of possible humans returning from these wars. But there are plenty of historical accounts of the patterns of instability that ensue in the social system when warriors return from campaigns, and those definitely include the 'use' of those veterans in the domination of the 'peace-time' social system.

> Sun Tzu and Machiavelli have a lot less to say on this subject than
> Hunter S. Thompson, IMO. You might want to reread his description of
> the Vietnam Vets Against the War demo at the GOP national convention
> in Miami in '72 -- not to 'predict' anything, on the contrary, to

funny, my house mate in Sydney did happen to have that paperback of his early rotless jottings and dispatches on shelf which I read last fall... while I have always enjoyed his writing (I was writing a politics column in my university paper in Colorado partly inspired by his Aspen political train-wreck aspirations), I would never consider his writing as a guide for living, tho -- except perhaps as a metaphoric invective to following ones bliss (without submerging in the significant body-damage)... How many times was he jailed for speaking from a sense of righteous moral outrage? (maybe amoral self-righteous outrage, but...)


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