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I agree in general with the flow chart, but I don't think it explains Libya or (to a lesser degree) Syria. Both these states were under Bush the lesser becoming clients. Doing Americas torture, collaborating with keeping refugees out of Europe in exchange for (at least in Libya's case) surveillance tech and money (some of which returned as kick-backs). Liberalising the economy, sending the leader's sons to London for education etc.

So according to the chart they were at "J", were you end up if you are neither a client nor an enemy, and is being groomed as a client. At some point they were kicked over to "R" (with a bit of "Q"). And to get there you need to be an enemy. So at some point, budding clients were shuffled over to the enemy column, through no apparent action from the clients. With the "successful" result in Libya being a perfectly predictable (given Afghanistan and Iraq) end result of prolonged civil war with the economic collapse, refugee crisis and assorted horrors.

And that is where I get stuck. Is destruction of these states an intended goal? But that is nuts from an imperial perspective. Why would any paranoid leader trust the US henceforth? If selling out doesn't earn a retreat in Monaco, a fat Swiss bank account and a dynasty for the kids, but instead you and yours are hunted down, then why sell out?

Of course, incompetence is always a possibility, but both of these happened mainly during the rather competent Obama administration.

Competing government factions is also a possibility, but I have not found much indication of competition on whether to attack, only on how.

There's always arms sales and the need for conflict for promotions etc. And of course wacky political theories within the establishment, like domino theories.

But still, it's hard to see the logic here. The flow chart illustrates this by not really representing such an illogic move.

by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 1st, 2018 at 11:36:59 AM EST

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