For some time I’ve been trying to develop an all-encompassing theory to account for the behaviour of Western leaders and the media over the last few years. At times their actions and the words of many of them have appeared to be, shall we say, unhinged.

But it was only when I heard what the British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, had to say in the House of Commons on 14th March that the penny finally dropped for me and my all-encompassing theory was finally settled. He was answering a leading question on the Russian withdrawal announcement from Syria, put to him by one of those servile members of the so-called Conservative Party who clearly sees his job as being the asker of leading questions, rather than calling the Government to account. Here’s Mr Hammond’s reply:

“Somebody goes in to another country, starts bombing civilian populations, destroying hospitals and schools. If they decide they have done enough, let’s not give them too much praise. It’s a bit like ‘did he stop beating his wife’. The fact they are there in the first place is something we have to continually protest about. We certainly should not give them any credit for simply withdrawing from these illegal activities.”

What is wrong with this statement? The word everything springs to mind. Firstly, although Western leaders have consistently said that Russian airstrikes were targeting schools and hospitals, often drawing on the Coventry-based one-man-band known as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights for proof, we now know from a leaked Nato memo that privately they were impressed at the accuracy and efficacy of the Russian strikes.

Secondly, this is the same Mr Hammond who voted in favour of the war against Iraq, who is part of a Government which dismembered the state of Libya, and who has consistently supported the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria. His bleeding heart humanitarianism is therefore more than a tad nauseating and to paraphrase his own analogy, it’s a bit like a wife-beater getting upset over someone shouting at their wife.

And finally, there’s that bit about Russian activities being illegal. Of course they were the opposite of illegal, since they were done at the request of the Government of the sovereign state of Syria. Mr Hammond wouldn’t understand that, of course, since he is part of a Government that despises the idea of national sovereignty and has consistently meddled in the affairs of sovereign states, which pose no threat whatsoever to Britain. British bombing in Syria was illegal, and for Mr Hammond to accuse the Russian campaign of being illegal is a stunning display of selling a falsehood as the truth.

But you might wonder why his speech gave me the answer to my search for an all-encompassing theory to explain the policies, words and actions of Western leaders, and what that all-encompassing theory is. The answer to the first part is this: Mr Hammond’s words were so utterly, mind-numbingly stupid, that it became clear to me that there must be much more to it than meets the eye. Surely no-one in such a position could voluntarily come out with such trash and expect anyone to believe it, could they? Yet the fact that he clearly did expect people to believe such an unhinged and false statement, solved the mystery of what is going on.

Isn’t it obvious that the whole thing has the Hand of Putin all over it? Isn’t it clear that Putin has been Weaponising Stupidity itself? And wouldn’t that explain all the other instances of stupid behaviour we have witnessed over the past few years?

But how, you say. Well let’s say that the Russians have invented some way of making people do or say really ignorant or stupid things — things that actually work against their interests and those of the people they lead. And suppose they have also discovered a way of putting it into capsule form. Well, Putin and members of the Russian Government have met with most high ranking Western leaders at various forums haven’t they? They’ve probably even had a cup of tea with most of them (emphasis on the word probably, which is a British legal term for certainly). How easy would it have been for them to slip a pill into their drink while they weren’t looking?

What about the media, though? Whilst the capsule explanation might explain the behaviour of a handful of politicians, they can’t have had tea with every Western journalist that writes stupid things about Russia or the Middle East can they? Of course not. But then if they have invented a way of Weaponising Stupidity, and if they have discovered the technology to put it into capsule form, who’s to say they can’t find a way of, say, pumping it into newspaper offices through the air-conditioning?

All well and good you might say, but it does beg a question: Why would Putin want to make Western leaders do and say stupid things? What benefit would he get out of Weaponising Stupidity? Again the answer is obvious, is it not? The more the leaders of Western countries and the media have displayed their folly and sheer ignorance, the more they have dragged their countries towards collapse. And since Putin’s goal is obviously to Weaponise the World, no doubt for his own dastardly reasons, you can begin to see how it would be in his interests to use Stupidity as a Weapon to achieve his aims. Can’t you?

Then again, I don’t want to be overly dogmatic about my new theory. I may be wrong. In fact, I still hold out the possibility that the truth might well be much simpler. It could just be a case that we really are run by ignorant buffoons who never learn, and even if Mr Putin were inclined to develop a way of Weaponising Stupidity, he’d actually be wasting his time.

22 thoughts on “Is Putin Weaponising Stupidity?

  1. Rob,

    This is a brilliant piece of writing.

    Like everyone else, I am sure, it gave me a good laugh.

    However, on reflection, reality finally dispelled my good humour when I sadly realised that your conclusion is probably closer to the real truth. Unfortunately, most of the “flock” who elect these nit-wits have just been so brainwashed that they cannot discern when they are being led up the garden path.

    “……we really are run by ignorant buffoons who never learn, and even if Mr Putin were inclined to develop a way of Weaponising Stupidity, he’d actually be wasting his time.”

  2. Rob, I am happy that we are both in agreement that we are not in a position to validate neither what the Russian officials are saying nor what the Observatory is claiming. So maybe, just maybe it would be wise and honest to wait patiently for the dust to settle before passing any hurried judgment? Meanwhile, of course, it would be up to our common and moral sense to be inclined to believe or not to believe the words of the Russian command known for bombing of its own Russian city into a stone age (see photos of Grozny after the bombing here https://yandex.ru/images/search?text=%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B7%D0%B1%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%B1%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9%20%D0%B3%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9)

    1. Nick you’re an idi0t, all that babble for that? Here this is Grozny today http://russiatrek.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/grozny-city-russia-from-above-night-view-1.jpg
      you can look it up more and realize that it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities in the world. Grozny was like that in 90s because you west and Saudis supported islamist terrorists, like you did in Afghanistan, now in Syria and everywhere else you need them. Now compare Grozny today to Baghdad, Kabul or any other place USA/west “liberated” at same period. Looks like good part of them is still in the “stone age”. Not to mention that you can easily visit Grozny and see how your propaganda falls apart, its one of the most patriotic Russian cities. Again compare that sentiment to what Iraqis feel for their liberators. Everything Russia was saying about war in Chenchnia proved to be right, and everything west and Saudis said were lies which is easily seen today , but you didnt have to be some kind of guru even in those days to know truth. And most ironically during 90s Russia was a good obidient buddy of USA with puppet Yeltsin in the office, again you know nothing.

      “Rob, I am happy that we are both in agreement that we are not in a position to validate neither what the Russian officials are saying nor what the Observatory is claiming.” this doesnt make any sense, you sound completely unhinged? You don’t seem happy, you seem stressed that your silly propaganda is falling apart and you keep repeating same crap to try to save it

      “Meanwhile, of course, it would be up to our common and moral sense to be inclined to believe or not to believe the words of the Russian command”, why is that you moron? Again you keep repeating about Grozny and again you know nothing, dont use people for your own propaganda, Chechenia was at war because USA and Saudis supported radical islamists for their own benefit, like they usually do. What is there to believe to “Russian command” who provides evidence for all their claims, just because it destroys the stupid view on the world you have and propaganda you’ve been brainwashed does not make it true. Your SOHR is just a propaganda, its one man but even if it wasnt it wold not change anything, these kind of tactics are used by west for decades, every war, every regime change built on same lies, all disputed and even wests own propaganda like NYT can talk about them like coups in Chile or Iran but only after decades when no one cares anymore. Always same pattern

  3. Rob, actually Shoigu did mention the number of sorties made by the Russian aircraft in Syria – 9000. I agree that some other targets were also hit. But you also have to agree that little is known what really Russian forces were doing on not doing in Syria. We know the figures revealed by Shoigu. Do we have any reason to trust him? You know the quote: the first victim in any war is truth. We know the claims made by the London-based Syrian Observatory For Human Rights claims that the Russian air force killed almost 2000 civilians, including almost 500 children. Do we have to believe this source? I do not know. What I know is that the Russian troops did not hesitate to level to the ground a major Russian city – Grozny during the second Chechen war. Hey, that was a Russian city with lots of Russians still living in it…

    1. The simple answer is I don’t know if they killed civilians, and if so, how many. I would certainly take the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with a large bucket of salt, since it really does appear to be run by one man, Rami Abdulrahman, from his house in Coventry. I am also sceptical about most Western claims, especially since they started making such claims just before the Russian warplanes even got off the ground on September 30th last year.

      That does not mean that I either believe or disbelieve what the Russians have said, since I simply have no way of validating most of the information that comes out. Having said that, three things I am sure of: They have been far more transparent than NATO ever is, holding daily military briefings and showing videos of targets they had hit. Secondly, they have managed in a very short time to bring about a cessation of hostilities in a conflict that has dragged on for several years. Finally, Daesh, al-Nusra, and Ahrar ash-Sham are in far worse shape and control far less strategic positions today than they did on September 30th last year.

  4. The Focus article quotes the NATO memo that Russia used its force in Syria “accurately and efficiently”. The Russian aircraft were making up to 75 sorties a day, according to this Focus article. Since Russia started its bombing operation in September, then until now the Russian aircraft have obviously made much more than 2000 sorties. Why is this figure important? Because, according to Russian Defence Minister Shoigu, Russian troops in Syria killed 2000 terrorists. That is, they were killing less that one terrorist per each sortie if my math is correct. Do those reading this post still believe that the use of force by Russia in Syria was “accurate and efficient”?

    1. In a word Nick, yes (though of course as the author of the piece I would, wouldn’t I). They never claimed that they were just “killing terrorists”. Rather, most of their focus has been on destroying the terrorist’s infrastructure, munitions and oil convoys. Therefore, it’s not as simple as just doing the maths to work out how many terrorists they killed, divided by the number of sorties.

      Best,

      Rob

  5. “Years ago, Stirling Newberry told me that the job of modern politicians was to wrangle the masses for oligarchs. He was right. That is what they do. They are good at manipulating enough of the population, and they are good at giving money and power to those who already have both.

    They are not good at anything else, and expecting them to do anything else is insane.”

    http://www.ianwelsh.net/do-not-ask-western-leadership-to-fix-anything/

    I also agree with David Shelton and consider the human brain to be extremely vulnerable to stressors. I think there are a lot more than statins at play, but I’m rather heterodox on health issues.

  6. I think Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin have a patent on the same weapon!

    Wonderful piece. Thank you for the grand smiles because … bingo! You nailed it.

  7. Interestingly, one of the side effects of STATINS (the cholesterol drugs) is DECREASED MENTAL FUNCTIONING and short term memory problems – seeing as just about every white anglo-saxon male in the US is on these, it would be ironic indeed if the decision makers were just that little bit incompetent, so that the total all those not-quite-right decisions leads to the collapse of the empire.

    I was prescribed statins a few years ago – they lowered the LDL numbers but I had to stop taking them as they caused me to be “foggy” and forgetful. Working as a systems analyst this was clearly noticeable – affecting my work. I tried two types but had the same side effect, so I stopped, and clarity returned.

    Now years later I’m fine.

    I suspect cognitive effects have not been pinpointed in studies, as when my “episode” comes up in conversation a surprising number of folks echo my experience.

    And we do seem to be seeing such effects in the incompetence of our western leaders – no need for Putin to weaponize – it’s done already!

    https://www.statineffects.com/info/adverse_effects.htm

    1. That’s very interesting David. I have long been disturbed by the increased prescription of certain powerful substances, and anecdotal evidence such as this only serves to confirm my impression of the damage we are doing to ourselves by always reaching for chemical solutions.

      Best wishes,

      Rob

  8. Congratulations! Brilliant! The metatheory that explains all facts and all theories.

    (Of course, there is the slight possibility that it’s Washington that has weaponised stupidity; or maybe exported it.)

  9. Putin’s tactic (let’s call it The Loop):

    1) offer a big sweet compromise
    2) they refuse it due to alternated state of mind, thinking that was sign of weakness
    3) then conditions around the negotiations are changing one way or another
    4) offer a compromise again, this time no that big and that sweet, because SUDDENLY Putin’s position only became stronger
    5) repeat The Loop until it appears to be The Noose

    Now, what is a point for discussion, is if it (The Loop) happens on it’s own (including alternated state of mind and ever worsening conditions) or it is Putin The Evil who make “partners” to think he’s weak and thus lose all the benefits that Putin himself seemed to offer.

  10. An overdose of hate, like any emotion, an can interfere with “rational”
    human function.

    The West has hated the USSR/Russia since the USSR pulled the West’s (chest)nuts out of the fire of WWII.

    The West’s, and its media’s, daily, 2-minute (at least) Russia-hate, directed recently at Putin, has reached profound and cumulative levels of overdose.

    This has blocked any and all rational reflection, thought or action.
    Societal stupidity is the result. This phenomenon is independent of Putin’s motives but, rather, a direct result of the West’s 7 decades of continuous hate.

    The only question is: will the West successfully detox from its self-induced intellectual coma or, instead, launch us, logically, into the abyss of WWIII.

  11. Interesting theory but I think Western stupidity runs way ahead of any chemical concoction that the Russians could come up with. Western stupidity appears to to have no limits so no drugs required. Easy for Putin to exploit.

  12. Hi Rob
    I just made a reply to an earlier article of yours and I could continue the story in a way.
    Commitment and consistency are strong principles of influence, even influence of the self
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini
    Even when the facts are taken away, people tend to stick with what they committed to. Even in such degree that when challenged they will get mean and angry.
    The West was committed to overthrow Assad and secure the realm as proposed by Perle, rejected back then, and picked up again.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm

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