Obama or rather people metaphorically behind his back, which, in practice, ought to be in the front, have greatly improved on Colin Powell's infamous Pottery Barn Rule, which was applied to Iraq and it worked there only half-way: the country was and is being continuously destroyed as a result, but the US did not not only failed in owning it, but the US also rejects any responsibility, not mention any guilt, for doing so. Instead, a good portion of the destruction and "owning" has been outsourced to al Qaeda of Iraq morhed into ISIS and al Nusra and then into IS or Islamic State/Petro State/Empirate/Caliphate whose key commanders are Chechens trained by Western special forces and paid by the Saudis and the Qataris.
The supposed "Pottery Barn rule"--"you break it, you buy it"--is American jargon, which describes a notable deviation from and innovation on consumerist culture, in which the consumer or customer is or was "always right." "Pottery Barn rule," which is actually not a rule of Pottery Barn is a threat and policy sometimes used by various smaller retailers who dare to assign the damage and responsibility to their consumers.
Consumption in its original sense did mean destruction, and if the consumers are to be masters of the universe, destruction, i.e., consumption, was to be their royal privilege, and that's why, as a former East European, one of the first astonishing discoveries in North America was to find in North America a place where even damaged goods were taken back by stores "without any question asked." U.S. foreign policy of THE by far greatest consumer and customer in the world was supposed to work much in the same way and often it did and sometimes still does.
In reality though, Pottery Barn, the upscale home furnishing store—does not have a "you break it, you bought it" policy. Instead, like other US retailers dependent on consumerist culture for their survival and profits, Pottery Barn too writes off broken merchandise as a loss thanks to the convenient tax policies of Uncle Sam, who approves.
"In reality," as the wikipedia entry on Pottery Barn explains, "many U.S. states have statutes forbidding policies," which would "suggest [that] if your organization inadvertently creates a problem, the organization is [also] obligated to correct it." In other words, to correct problems, which you yourself have created is not how things are supposed to work according to the statues of the Empire, that is, if you are an important organization or corporation. Or a sufficiently important consumer. Fixing or correcting problems which consumers or corporations or the US government make has not been high on the priority list. It also contradicts the basic articles of exceptionalism.
General Powell now denies many things, and one of them is using the term Pottery Barn rule. He wrote:
It is said that I used the “Pottery Barn rule.” I never did it; [Thomas] Friedman did it … But what I did say … [is that] once you break it, you are going to own it, and we’re going to be responsible for 26 million people standing there looking at us. And it’s going to suck up a good 40 to 50 percent of the Army for years. And it’s going to take all the oxygen out of the political environment . . ."
Those lucky among us who have seen and enjoyed Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, the unforgettable spiff on the Empire and the Star Wars, may certainly appreciate the fabulous, though most likely unintentional and thus unconscious allusion to Spaceballs' plot about stealing all the oxygen in Powell's confirmation, which confirms much of what it denies: "And it’s going to take all the oxygen out of the political environment."
Indeed, New York Times columnist and Iraq War professional cheerleader, Thomas Friedman does claim to be the author of Pottery Barn rule, having introduced it in a February 12, 2003, column. Colin Powell might have forgotten it or he chose to do so, but he also said back in the summer of 2002 this:
You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,' he told the president. 'You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.' (Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, 2004, p. 150)
"Privately," Woodward added, "Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it."
So how did the Obama administration and its neo-cons improve on their own beloved rule--the boldly declared the Empire's new rule of "proudly owning it," made out of the traditional "The winner takes it all" a "Pottery Barn rule"? Under Obama, it is no longer about if "you break it, you own it." For the US, it is "to own it, you must break it first and, if you cannot own it, you must break it anyway, and the more you break it, the more you will keep doing the same."
Robert Perry's article unveils in many words that a portion of US intelligence apparatus is aware that the US led by neocons is trying to pull off a "Samson option," which could besides burying both its makers and their victims under one roof, could be a MAD option as well.
What can you do when your bosses know better and you are on an excellent government pension plan unlike 90% of the people?
Perry writes: "I’m told that Obama now understands ... [but that] he has felt compelled to join in Official Washington’s endless Putin-bashing, causing a furious Putin to make clear that he cannot be counted on to assist Obama on tricky foreign policy predicaments like Syria and Iran."
Was Putin supposed to "assist" Obama on Syria and Iran until Obama obeyed his masters and hurt Putin's personal feelings? A lie, which both contains and conceals a grain of truth, deserves a stupid question.
The roof of the world is falling, and the US is pulling it down. That's what sometimes happen when the foundations themselves no longer hold.