No C.O.

In the wonderful old Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now, there’s a scene where the boat reaches a bridge being defended — or, possibly, attacked — by an American detachment.  Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) goes ashore to requisition supplies, and is immediately engulfed in chaos.  After wandering around for a while, he encounters a soldier with a terrifying thousand-yard stare.

“Where’s your C.O.?,” Sheen asks, looking for the unit’s commanding officer.

“Man, there ain’t no fuckin’ C.O.,” the GI replies.

Sounds familiar.  Looking around at Current Year America, it’s increasingly clear that there ain’t no fuckin’ CO.  Nobody’s in charge.  Someone’s out there giving orders, I suppose, but that someone is like the someone who keeps ordering the GIs to defend — or is it attack? — the bridge: The fight goes on, night after night after night, but nobody wins, because nobody even knows why they’re fighting in the first place.  The soldiers — Americans and Vietnamese both — go on fighting on autopilot, each individual soldier doing his individual thing, with no thought to the (nonexistent) goal.

The “impeachment” mess is the most obvious example.  Pelosi, Schiff, et al obviously haven’t given the first thought to what happens if they actually go through with it.  They’re just doing their own thing, fighting on autopilot, with no sense of what, if anything, they’re trying to accomplish.

All you have to do to prove it is to take their accusations seriously.  No matter which version you select — and of course they change daily — the upshot of the “case” against Trump is that he colluded with someone to do damage to his political enemies.  Maybe he colluded with Ukrainians to get dirt on Biden, maybe he colluded with Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, but whatever, everyone who accuses Trump of something agrees that a shady deal with a foreign power was part of it.  Ok, so: What happens if this man — this guy who is willing to wheel and deal with America’s oldest enemy while in the Oval Office to preserve his political perks — is in real danger of being ousted?

Do you really think that kind of guy — who, again, we’re stipulating is an active agent of a hostile foreign power — is going to just quietly pack up his bags and leave town if he’s impeached?

Maybe Trump himself is too emotional a topic to consider rationally, so let’s look at second-tier guys.  Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump’s underlings have a tendency to end up in jail, thanks largely to obviously, egregiously manufactured “evidence” from the security apparatus.  Now, let’s say Trump is turfed out of office.  What’s going to happen to his underlings, do you think?  What do you think they think?

Like all Presidents, Trump has a military attache or two.  Those are high-ranking career officers.  Is Colonel So-and-So just going to sit back and wait for the FBI to file charges on him?  I wouldn’t bet on someone who has an infantry division or two at his disposal to just roll over….

… and I don’t think even Nancy Pelosi, ideologically enstupidated though she is, would expect it either.  If she were looking at it rationally, that is, as part of a larger strategy.  But she isn’t.  She doesn’t have a plan.  No one does.  She’s blindly flailing about, caught on the horns of a self-created dilemma — impeach Trump, and blow up her party at the polls; or don’t impeach him, and blow it up from the inside.  Since the voters are out there and “the Squad” are in here, she made the decision to impeach.  She didn’t look any further than that, because she can’t.  She’s been a politician since… well, since Apocalypse Now was first in the theaters.  She’s fighting on autopilot, just like the rest of them.


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8 thoughts on “No C.O.

  1. Joseph Moore

    Re: CO – In addition to the harder to ignore by the minute diabolical theory, there is the Vanguard + useful idiot/cannon fodder explanation: a few people, after the fashion of John Dewey, understand the goal: to bring about the Revolution. In his defense of Trotsky, Dewey explains that the only moral judgement on any action is: did it further the Revolution? Burn stuff, beat up and kill people, destroy institutions, lie your ass off – all perfectly A-OK if it helps bring the Glorious People’s Revolution nearer. Those few egg on the less conscious, as it were, fanning and creating fears and hatreds, the better to cause chaos and destroy the habits – in this case, the habit of congress creatures to adhere to perceived self-interest at least to the extent of not throwing themselves on a pyre that’s already on fire – that keep the Revolution at bay.

    I keep going back to Bella Dodd, who seemed like a nice lady, who was obviously intelligent, who spent years reading and absorbing Marxist dogma, and even executed the infiltrate, dodge, lie, and calumniate tactics for the cause – yet she says she was shocked to discover, once she reached the Politburo level, that there weren’t any plans to implement any of the do-gooder policies that had attracted her to Communism in the first place, that all that helping the poor and fighting racism stuff was simply a tool to bring about the Revolution, that the magic flying unicorns of History would fart out the pixy dust of the Worker’s Paradise when the time came so that you didn’t need to worry about it.

    She was a very useful idiot, and, after a fashion, a *leader* – she organized and lead the NY Teachers Union – and yet, she was not leading in the very basic sense of understanding where she was going. Might the less intelligent and well-intentioned of Pelosi’s ilk be even more easily lead in a similar way, as their desperation to stay at the cool kids’ table (and out of jail) makes them more pliable? Which leads me to wonder how she will behave as she comes to realize that she’s completely expendable. Or is that what we’re seeing now?

    1. Pickle Rick

      Pelosi’s trying to ride the tiger she and her generation of leftist activists created and she knows the minute she lets go the tiger’s gonna eat her. Honestly, I think she’s banking on the GOPe (or Vichy Right, as I prefer) to save her from the monsters of the woke left and the dissident right. Don’t ever forget that the political class as a whole fear them and us in equal measure, as well as loathing Bad Orange Man.
      I’m in total agreement with AOC and her little “squad” – I’m sick and tired of accommodating my enemies.

  2. Pickle Rick

    Oh, and Apocalypse Now is a fuckin’ stupid war movie. It’s a dressed up Boomer “Heart of Darkness” because everything HAS to be about Viet Fucking Nam- and whether it bears any resemblance to actual events is irrelevant.

    1. Severian Post author

      Agreed that Apocalypse Now is silly as a war movie, but it’s a wonderful piece of art. It’s a good adaptation of Heart of Darkness, which is a truly great novel.

      1. Pickle Rick

        I’ll admit, part of my disgust with the boomer obsession with Vietnam is that it completely skewed everything after. Think about this-the Vietnam war pretty much has a kickass soundtrack. What did I get? Lee Greenwood and a shit ton of bad country songs. Because of Vietnam guilt, we’ve got the equally destructive “support the troops/thank you for your service” meme as well as the “all troops are victims and have PTSD” trope. We got Budweiser and the NFL waving the flag for profit at halftime.
        The Vietnam war got good movies made (and if I think Apocalypse Now sucks as a war movie, I agree it’s a great film). What did I get? Film after film about poor veterans unable to cope with the mean war, or rah rah movies sucking the dick of Chris Kyle’s ghost and the SEALs.

  3. Maus

    With due respect to Pickle Rick, who knows the difference between a movie and the real thing; the obvious course of action is to grab your board, check the break, call in the air strike and smell that smell of victory to the dying strains of Ride of the Valkries. The truth is that some day this “war” too is gonna end.

  4. MBlanc46

    Nobody in charge. That’s not exactly new. Anyone who’s ever worked for a large corporation has seen that. But, it is the case that things used to work differently. There was a generally accepted goal and a generally accepted set of procedures for achieving that goal. There were at least some folks who had attained some mastery of those procedures. About a half a century, or a little before, we ceased to have a generally accepted goal or a generally accepted set of procedures for achieving that goal. So now no one has a clue what to do. Everyone is making it up as they go along.

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