I covered the first three seasons a long time ago. That was the time of the war against Islamic terrorism with the destructive aggression and invasion, plus occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, not yet Syria though it was in the background.
Then I covered the first six seasons with the second period of the series which is mainly centered on the fact that the main terrorist danger, the main plotting against the American government and system comes from inside the various security agencies, and first of all the CIA, using at times some coordination with foreign terrorist organizations, Islamic or not.
Finally, I covered the seventh season and this time it turned frankly anti-Russian, so much anti-Russian that it becomes a caricature that Schwarzenegger had never dared produce in his famous film about a KGB officer who likes birds in cages. We are now in absolute phase with the propagandist political campaign against the Russian Federation and against Putin who is obviously producing nightmares in the minds of both Democrats and Republicans.
Maybe it is time for the USA to start thinking a second time, and to turn their tongues at least seven times in their mouths before speaking, and to crisscross their fingers seven times before typing a tweet. We are living in a caricature of what the USA could be, and this caricature reveals how much it is needed to upgrade the electoral and political system in the USA. I must say we have not yet reached the point when it will have to be done. As Boris Johnson said in the UK about Brexit there will only be one choice then: “Do it or die!”
HOMELAND — SERIES — SEASONS 1–3
The action of the series is extremely dense and as such the series is interesting, entertaining, suspenseful. But it takes more than simple action to make a good series.
The first problem it envisages is the fact that a US soldier captured in Iraq or Afghanistan, kept prisoner for eight years and liberated as some kind of collateral incident of one particular raid on a Taliban or jihadist post, goes through debriefing and even lie-detecting without a hitch though he has been turned during captivity. Yet one CIA agent is suspicious but she cannot come to anything conclusive.
The whole story turns around the fact that this marine was turned or broken by his captors. The way they did it, and we learn right at the end it was decided by Iranian people directly under control of the security boss in Iran, is original and at the same time standard. First torture knowing that all the man says during the first seven or eight days is worth nothing because a marine is trained to resist torture for seven to eight days. Then he can say everything he knows, after eight days, because he knows that by then everything has had time to change or be changed. In other words, torturing well trained elite fighters is useless since they will be speaking freely and the truth only the truth but after eight days during which all they had told was lies and prepared inventions in order to let their side change what has to be changed.
The second element is that after this torture that can only last a short time, you have to get the chap into total absolute isolation with rare moments of contact with the outside world and under perfect guidance. The prisoner will little by little get out of his mind and to keep some sanity he will turn to a god or some kind of spiritual or religious belief. That’s when the Stockholm Syndrome can hit hard on the prisoner. In that total loss of contact, perspective and connections with the world if some kindness is proposed by one of the captors, if possible one that has played a role in the torturing but not the direct torturing part, rather the commanding part in the torture, then the prisoner will become grateful and if this kindness goes on and increases the prisoner will naturally turn. His religious need will lead him to adopt the religion of his captors. In this case, the prisoner is entrusted with teaching English to the son of the leading figure among the captors and this brings the prisoner into an emotional situation where he falls in love with the child, the young boy. At this moment the prisoner has become a member of a situation that makes him part of the captors’ world. The torture broke him and the kindness turned him.
It is then a US drone that kills dozens of children in a school, and among these children the boy whose education our prisoner had been entrusted with, that completes the turning of the man. Then the rest is detail. He becomes the willing live suicidal bomber that will kill those who are responsible for the bombing of the school, and that is the US Vice-President and his security outfit or team if you prefer.
The third element here is that this turning cannot be reversed but it can at first be blocked by small elements that come from his previous life and in his case his wife and his children, particularly his daughter. You can turn a man but you cannot erase his past. You can block that past and train him so that he can go through any debriefing and any lie-detecting, but you cannot delete his past, and you must not because this past is what is going to make him able to go back to his society to fulfill his mission there. But this past contains emotions that are revived for some of them by his coming back to his previous life and that can block the resolve and mission of the turned prisoner. The film gives two cases and the same element, attachment to previous wife and children, is the blocking element, the emotion to which the two people go back to and that can become the stumbling stone. Turning a man is never complete because it is impossible. That’s what the series tells us.
It goes, in the last episodes of the third season, as far as showing the turned prisoner can first be turned all over again and back to what he used to be, a Marine, and then the mission he had been entrusted with when he was turned the first time can become the very incentive for fulfilling at any cost the mission he has been entrusted with when he was turned back to his initial Marine format, and the intermediary turning of the man by his captors will become the force that will motivate his vengeance or vengeful power which will lead him to fulfill the second mission: he will eradicate those who turned him the first time out vengeance.
The second theme of the series is very debatable. To pretend that the present change in Iran is the result of a CIA opposition that liquidated the historical main security leader in Iran and had him replaced by a CIA undercover agent is simply absurd. This undercover CIA agent was the chief of security under the Shah and then became the second man in command of the security system under the ayatollahs. In other words, he is a turn-coat. To pretend that he has embezzled great sums from his own security operations and hence from the regime in Iran is just foolish. It takes an embezzler to recognize another. That’s the type of tactics the CIA uses and they consider everyone does the same. Since the CIA leads the people they want to buy to embezzling money through their double-agent situation, they think it is natural for everyone to dream and desire to be an embezzler. What’s more to think that the evolution of Iran is nothing but secret service corruption and penetration and infiltration from the CIA is mental simplicity. The evolution of a country in any direction can only come from the people themselves if it is to be long lasting and serious. We seem to forget Hitler and Mussolini were elected. At that level, the ideology of the Mossad (this series is adapted from an Israeli series) is so obvious that we wonder if the series is not financed by that Mossad.
The final remark I will make is that the CIA is using, at times at top level, people who are psychologically deranged or non-functional. Here the main agent in these “adventures” is a woman and she is bipolar, hence highly sensitive to any withdrawal from her drugs and she should not even be sent in hostile fields since she could be tortured by just being cut off from her drugs. Such “motivations” or “abilities,” I mean the abilities that are developed in such psychologically deficient situations, can be useful for some extreme situations but they are extremely dangerous in the long run because the person cannot be trusted.
And she sure cannot be trusted, so much that she can easily be manipulated including by the CIA in order to fulfill objectives she is not even conscious or aware of. This vision of humanity (man is nothing but a manipulated manipulating manipulator) is a denial of humanity itself. We can see what it may lead to, with ISIS or Ukraine. In the first case, Iran finds it easy to laugh at the West who actually financed the various movements that now have turned out to be ISIS. In the same case it does not take much from Putin to manipulate Ukraine back to some kind of a compromise after the Ukrainians (including the remnants of the Nazi units that had managed to survive in the West as political refugees from the USSR and had come back to be the agents of the West, and particularly the European Community, after the fall of the USSR) had been manipulated into ousting the properly elected President during the Sochi Olympic Games.
If this world has any future it will only come from consensual properly expressed wills and desires of the mass of the people of every single and all countries in the world. Scotland is there to prove the point: in spite of all public opinion polls manipulated by the media to predict such a close result that they could not even tell which side dominated, the winning margin of NO was so wide that there cannot be any kind of doubt.
This series is typical of the new Cold War ideology that is developing in the West confronted to the fact that this West has lost the leading position in the world and the future is in the hands of the BRICS and their allies or partners. Who — apart from me and Ivan Eve, THE INDIAN OCEAN THE MARE NOSTRUM OF HUMANITY [Kindle Edition] — could have said four or five years ago that Sri Lanka was going to be the maritime hub in the Indian Ocean and what’s more the security hub in this Indian Ocean. What this means is not clear as for the security hub, so far, but it is crystal clear as for the maritime hub with the latest announcement about the development of Colombo’s harbor.
This Cold War flavor is regrettable because the series is fascinating at many levels.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
HOMELAND SEASON 1–6–2011–2017
I will not review all the seasons, but I will rather look at the political perspective. Shifting from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq when it turned into stalemate with the emergence of the Islamic State in Syria, and the story of a US war prisoner manipulated by the Islamic State, or at least a faction in it, into changing sides and then being freed in a rather surprising way, debriefed properly but getting nothing out of it, returned to his wife and family and of course his secret mission which is to approach the vice president and blow him up. All that is possible because this Brody believes the second man who was taken with him was killed by him as the final act to get him under the control of one particular Islamic State leader. But this second prisoner was not killed and in fact, was sent back to the US incognito. He lives underground and has a very precise mission which is to enable Brody’s own mission. They will meet at the end and Brody will shoot the other one on the command from the particular Islamic State leader whose influence they both were under. We cannot even say there is any racism in this story since Brody is white and the other is black, though the black chap is given the less glorious task.
Then this original plot will move to a wider scope and from a POW manipulated from the outside, with some contacts inside, we move to a completely different story in which some traitors have been infiltrated into the CIA and the State Department or the Homeland Security Department, and maybe even the Pentagon. It is going to become more and more morbid with time. At first, the infiltration was from the Islamic State, then it moved to Iran and the CIA mission to assassinate the main intelligence and security officer in Tehran. It then culminates with the official public hanging of Brody there. But nothing can stop this fundamentally plot-leaning story and we move to a Russian agent infiltrated at the top of the CIA. It sounds iffy, and it is, and the end is absolutely absurd in a way since that Russian agent would have been the accomplice of some Islamic radicals from who knows where, and does it matter anyway? The Russian agent will just be executed CIA-style on her way out of Germany where this season takes place. She will not cross the border for sure.
Then we can move one step deeper and this time the influence and manipulation of the CIA and US political institutions comes from inside, which sounds more logical indeed, and from some plotting extreme right activists. But the target is the newly elected president who is a woman and it corresponds to the idea that Clinton was going to be elected, as everyone thought at the time. She is the target of this extreme nationalistic right in the US that is present everywhere in the political apparatus and military forces. She is saved in extremis by Peter Quinn, a CIA zombie that has been revived back from a coma caused by some severe poisoning by Islamic extremists. But at the end of this new line of plotting, the new president is instated, and she turns America First in her turn. You can imagine Carrie Matheson, the main character, and how she reacts to this sudden change in policy: The president is arresting all those that have had some say and do in the CIA political plotting and calculations, except Carrie Matheson who had been number 1 along that line.
So this series that started as deeply engaged against Islamic militants and jihad to move later on to a Russian extension of the same problem and finally to an inner national plot against American democracy, with extreme right people in fact defending their conception of this American democracy in which the various agencies who are not elected but appointed have been entrusted by the — is it the Constitution? — political system of the USA with the responsibility to defend the US against any menace from outside or inside and the rejection of the security instated by Bush Junior’s Patriot Act is a menace from inside. Add to this social networks and populist trash media and you have the very situation that produced Trump. But at the same time, the idea is that these forces inside the US state and establishment are so strong that no matter who is elected the result will be the same. After such a dramatic and in a way pathetic turn in the story, I long to see the seventh season to check what they can do with this sudden conversion of the newly instated female president from democracy to populist, nationalistic and at least protectionist authoritarianism. Imagine Clinton becoming Trump, the donkey becoming an elephant or vice versa because American politics have always been and will always be a story of two animals, two spiders in one pot.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
HOMELAND SEASON 7–2018
This 7th season changed a tremendous lot in tone, topic, subject, genre, and here I do not mean feminine or masculine, though the newly elected president is a woman, but the literary genre behind this new season. It is no longer a simple security thriller. It is no longer a simple political fictional story. It is not even utopia or dystopia, but it is directly committed political dystopic propagandist plot-fiction. To imagine what Hillary Clinton would have done if she had been elected is one thing but to reduce it to a simple and even simple-minded Russian plot is the most absurd thing I have seen lately. It is true since the non-election of Clinton and the election of Trump, the Russian business, the Russian plot have been the only central topic of all political discussions in the USA, to the point of ranting and raving about it.
If we believe it — and I insist on this word “believe” — this Russian plot is the greatest logical nightmare ever invented by a paranoid and endangered mind. The USA is losing its footing in the international arena in the most natural free market approach imaginable. Since 1917 up to 1989 the USSR was the one who was menacing the USA, so Americans say, especially with their first Sputnik satellite, presented in this season as the possibility for the USSR to drop an atom bomb on any city in the USA from such a satellite. In this season one professor of something even pretends that at the time the USA was convinced the Russians had thousands of satellites in orbit and thousands of atom bombs already in orbit. This here season goes on pretending that Russia or the Russian Federation have infiltrated all security sectors and agencies in the USA and are able to totally destabilize the country and its constitution. Absurd for two reasons.
The first one is that the USA does not need anyone from outside to do this. The USA are systematically dividing themselves into two ridiculous and pathetic halves, each one of them believing that the other is lying and vice versa in all possible directions. This political division between Democrats and Republicans is only the modern presentable division of the USA, at least one that is more presentable than the one between slaves, slave owners and anti-slavery militants, which makes three as for people but only two as for geographical zones, since slaves and slave owners are in the same territory, reducing then the ternary social division into the binary couple of South and North. Never the US have been so split in two, and what’s more with a constitutional electoral system that enables the one who does not have the majority popular vote to be elected. You won man, but you lost indeed. And no one is able to introduce the urgent necessary reform of the electoral system for which one person can only have one vote and in which all votes are represented by representatives these votes have elected. In too many of the fifty states, the candidate who gets 50% plus one vote gets all the delegates who will elect the president him/herself. Only the English electoral system is worse because you generally have three candidates and only one electoral round, which means the candidate who gets the highest number of votes is elected even if that highest number is one third of the votes plus one as opposed to two other candidates who only got one third of the votes and one of these two has necessarily one third of the votes minus one. Let me insist a little bit on this point: if three candidates in a constituency are running close so that one gets 999 votes, the next one 1,000 votes and the third one 1,001 votes, the last one will be elected with 1,001 votes out of 3,000. That’s what the British call democracy: The West is right now killing itself with a fetish word, “democracy,” which is exactly what it is called, a fetish, or if you prefer a totem, an icon, a lure.
What Americans cannot understand is that their bias against Russia is making them blind to the real problems that come along with the end of their dominant position, and their general attitude against the whole world as being accomplices of this nasty loss of dominance is making the US unable to confront the real challenges, and the main one is that Artificial Intelligence is out of the hands of the federal government and is in the hands of several, very few actually, private companies who are no longer US by nationality and not even US-based really because they cover the whole world or at least the whole western world with regional managing teams and regional finances that make the whole corporation illusionary since each regional branch has to respect the rules of the region they are in. China is at the top because they have a centralized authority and policy in the field and the Chinese market alone is bigger than the western market the G-MAFIA may try to control. That is a deadly lethal mortal sin for Artificial Intelligence. Not to mention the tremendous restrictions that can exist here and there in our democratic world against collecting data, private or not. The problem is not to collect private or public data, the problem is to anonymize that data.
The last element in this debate is that it is part of the game for any country in the world to try to influence the results of elections in any other country in the world and the famous democracies that the USA, Great Britain, and France are, have also been very good manipulators of democracy in other countries with coups, putsches and direct military interventions if necessary, and let’s say that colonialism is direct intervention into the national affairs of foreign peoples and foreign countries and the use of sanctions by the US government is nothing but direct intervention in the political systems of foreign countries, and they add to that the systematic use of mediatic propaganda to make us believe Russia is dying of starvation and China is dying of hyper pollution. The first assertion is plain absurd, and the Russians develop the crops that the US cannot export to China anymore, even when highly subsidized to compensate for the Chinese tariffs. The second assertion is just a lie because per ten million people the pollution of China is four times (at least) lower than in the USA.
It is this set of narrow-minded and propagandist asserted absurdities that is irritating to the highest possible level and the final decision of the female president of the US, Hillary Clinton as everyone believes and understands, is the most outrageous miscalculation you can imagine. Neither weak nor fear-loaded, just plain foolish. What can happen next? I don’t even want to know. When you want to get rid of an actor or when an actor wants to get out of a series, you generally kill the character. In this case, this killing is suicide.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU