Wednesday, June 1, 2011

caution: "cyber" double standard ahead

in the nauseating spirit of double standards that animates most of american foreign policy these days, we learn the following:
"The US is working on a plan to categorise cyber-attacks as acts of war, says the New York Times newspaper.
In future, a US president could consider economic sanctions, cyber-retaliation or a military strike if key US computer systems were attacked, officials have said recently.
The planning was given added urgency by a cyber-attack last month on the defence contractor, Lockheed Martin."
this is particularly curious, given the US' proclivity for flagrantly disregarding the sovereignty of other nations in the conduct of its "war on terrorism" would almost certainly be considered "acts of war" if the victims of our aggression had a chance in hell of mounting some kind of effective retaliation

whether it be the rendition program, where individuals are snatched off the street in some distant nation, and transported to a "black site" for torture, or the more egregious -- not to mention deadly -- conduct of assassination-by-drone campaign in places like pakistan and yemen, the US is engaged in the routine commission of acts of war in places where it has no business being, while committing acts clearly in violation of international law.

none of these nations, however, has the military muscle to respond to the provocations of uncle sam in the spirit in which they were given. so, like momo gadhafi in libya, all they can do it suck it up, and try to hang in there. in the grand scheme of things, nowadays simply enduring and surviving an attack by the US and its lackeys is construed as a sort of Pyhrric victory.

as for this cyber-war and the pentagon's new doctrine of retaliation against "state sponsors" of cyber-attacks, this is both an opportunity and a risky gambit by the military establishment. more enemies equals more money, in the perverted calculus of the war makers. at the same time, there are ample opportunities for misdirection and manipulation of cyber "attacks," where it can be difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish friend from foe.

there is one lesson to take from the amorphous "war on terror," and it applies in spades to cyber conflict: non-state actors working on behalf of shadowy sponsors, whose motives and goals are murky to impossible to fathom, make this "theater of operations" -- in pentagon jargon -- a bizarre, hostile and booby-trap-laden landscape where things are seldom what they appear to be.

when the pentagon announces a new mission, such as this, it implies a couple of things. first and worst of which is, this is an area where the pentagon itself has already positioned itself as to feel it has a huge tactical advantage already -- it feels secure in knowing (or thinking it knows) that it's far ahead of any adversary or potential adversary.

second is the presumption that if this is a mature enough battlespace to be publicized by the pentagon's psyops regime, there must be advanced planning underway to identify and attack predetermined targets against "rogue" nations -- those being the usual suspects with strategic resources who are not operating on behalf of multinational corporate and banking conglomerates that own and operate the US government.

it can be taken as a given that the US is not contemplating going to war directly with china or russia -- two potent forces in the global cyberwar battlespace -- but rather second-tier powers like iran, which pose a threat to corporate hegemony. incidentally, the foe is already engaged, with the US and partner israel having already attacked the iranians with the stuxnet virus, which hobbled iran's nascent uranium enrichment program.

the US flouts international law with impunity, and will continue to construct an ever-expanding list of provocations upon which it feels entitled to unleash the full brunt of its military muscle on weak and non-compliant nations. now that the cyber-war has been officially joined, watch for a coming confrontation -- the table is set. let the banquet of destruction commence!

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