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June 6, 2024 50 mins

Robert explains to Garrison how a chunk of the online left have convinced themselves the Houthis sunk an aircraft carrier, and what that means about the nature of reality in 2020s.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Al Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:04):
Welcome back to It Could Happen Here, a podcast about
things falling apart, and today, the thing that's falling apart
is our shared concept of reality, our ability to exists
as a population within the same world, or at least
versions of the same world that even slightly interact with

(00:24):
each other. And my guest for this episode about the
breaking of reality Garrison, Davis Garrison, what do you know
about the USS Eisenhower?

Speaker 3 (00:35):
Is that is that from Star Trek?

Speaker 2 (00:37):
Is that a yeah? Huh, that's the ship that they
all fly around and in Star Trek, the many voyages
of the Starship Eisenhower. It's continuing mission.

Speaker 3 (00:48):
It's such a different show.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
Every every episode they're just fucking with Guatemala, Like every
single episode, the Cards just finding another way to overthrow
the government of Guatemala.

Speaker 1 (01:02):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:02):
No, that's like alternate universe evil Gene Roddenberry.

Speaker 2 (01:05):
Yeah yeah, yeah, if Gene Roddenberry had been like a
hardcore conservative. Yeah, speaking of hardcore conservatives, we are talking
again about alternate realities and the USS Eisenhower is relevant
to that because it's kind of been the subject of
a reality fracture recently. Just talking in terms of like
things that are actually true. The USS Eisenhower is a

(01:28):
very big aircraft carrier. It's got something like five thousand
people and its crew. It's nuclear powered. It can stay
I think up to like twenty five years. Potentially, it
could stay in the field without needing to like refuel
or anything like that.

Speaker 3 (01:41):
That's wild.

Speaker 2 (01:42):
Yeah, Yeah. Aircraft carriers are insane things. And it is
the center of an air Force carrier group, which is
a group of I think there's something like ten or
eleven other ships in it, a combination of like you've
got like destroyers, these little like missile ships. I think
there's some submarines, probably an ice cream ship in there somewhere.
That's kind of like a Keith thing the US military does. Anyway,
the Eisenhower is the ship that's out in the Gulf

(02:04):
of Aiden right now, throwing down with the Houthis. And
on the thirty first of last month, there was a
series of attacks launched by the Eisenhower along with some
of our British allies, striking thirteen Hoothy targets at various
locations in Yemen. This was in response to a number

(02:25):
of attacks that the Hoothies had launched recently on shipping
in the region, including I think they hit a Greek
ship a couple of times. The strikes came also a
day after the Hoothis shot down an m Q nine
Reaper drone, which was the third downing of a Reaper
drone in May, so the Hoothies have been dropping Reapers
pretty regularly. So anyway, all of this led to a

(02:46):
massive series of strikes that were kind of you know,
launched from the Eisenhower on Houthy targets. Houthy rebels said
that the air strikes killed at least sixteen people and
wounded thirty five others. I think that death toll has
risen since the article, the Washington Post article I'm looking
at now, and that you know, we're going to be
talking about things that are credible and not credible. If

(03:07):
the Hoothies say, given the attacks launched, that death toll
seems pretty credible to me, just based on other strikes
that I've read about. The Houthis launched a retaliatory strikes
on the Enterprise, or at least they claim that they did,
wait on the on the Eisenhower. We did used to
have an aircraft carrier name the Enterprise. I don't. I
think we've decommissioned it since I'm blaming real fast.

Speaker 3 (03:30):
He would he would not, he will, he.

Speaker 2 (03:32):
Would, he would be fucking his way through the Houthis
already Kirk would have. That's ah, God, Star Trek is
so much more fun to talk about than actual geopolitics, uh,
which are mostly depressing with the genocide and all. Anyway,
the Houthis claimed that they launched an attack on the
Eisenhower the US. The do O D says that they

(03:55):
did not. The Houthy press person stated that they hit
the Eisenhower. The hit was accurate and direct. Again, there's
no evidence of this whatsoever that's been posted. The story
seems to have started percolating out into kind of lefty
media when Huthy Press people made this announcement. I think
the first direct statement I found about it outside of

(04:18):
like Hoothy press resources was a Twitter account called for
an online news magazine calling West Asian geopolitics called The Cradle.
I'm not wildly familiar with the Cradle. They've got something
like one hundred and nine thousand followers on Twitter, and
they seem to mostly be you could say, like a
broadly sort of anti imperialist left. Most of their content

(04:42):
lately is very pro Gaza. You know, there's stuff like
articles about Israeli organ trafficking networks in Turkey. You know,
they've got like video clips of like pro Palestinian protesters
getting dunks in on pro israel protesters, a like protests
and stuff like that, very standard stuff. On the thirty first,
they posted a they made a post, yeah, basically restating

(05:05):
what the Houthis had said, although they instead of saying
the Houthis made a claim that they had struck the Eisenhower,
they claimed it was ye Many armed forces. It's an
easy way to tell that someone is not accurately reporting
on what's happening in Yemen because the Houthis are actively
at war with yem Many armed forces. Like that is
the actual reality of the situation on the ground over there.
So this got picked up by chunks of lefty media,

(05:29):
and particularly like American lefty media. I think one of
the first big accounts to take this story was a
guy named Ashton Forbes. You know Ashton.

Speaker 3 (05:39):
I don't think I've heard of Ashton Forbes. This is
this whole like left media. Yeah, anti imperialism bubble has
just gotten so big the past like six months.

Speaker 2 (05:51):
These are mostly accounts, and I believe this is true
for Ashton too, who like they blew up in the
wake of October seventh once, particularly once the Israeli started
launching massive strikes on Gaza. And they primarily exist within
the profit ecosystem that Elon established in Twitter, right, where

(06:11):
if you have a verified account and you get a
lot of engagements from other verified accounts, you get a
chunk of money from Twitter, right, And so all these
people figured out that, like there's a huge appetite for
reposted videos from Gaza, or videos that you just claim
are reposted videos from Gaza. A huge number of them
are from Syria, and if they make people really angry

(06:32):
or horrified, they'll get shared and get a ton of
engagement and you will get a check, right, Like, That's
that's where Ashton comes out of. That's where all these
guys come out of. So Ashton sees, I don't know
if he picked it up directly from the Hoothy Press people.
I don't know if he picked it up from that
thing on the cradle, but he posts the next day
breaking and he's got Of course, of course I'll show you.

(06:53):
I'll share screen Garrisons. You can see he's got he's
got the two sirens. Yeah, he's got the two little
signs on either side. Oh yeah, No, of course there's
a million of this guy. This guy is all over
the internet. A source has informed me that the USS
Eisenhower has been sunk all caps. Mainstream media reports from
yesterday claim the ship was not hit by houthy missiles.

(07:15):
Social media shows conflicting reports of damage. I'm seeking corroboration
on this potentially huge story. So first we see the
escalation of the HOUTHI say, we shot at the Eisenhower
and we hit it right. They didn't claim they'd sunk it.
I think because the houthis are like they're not dumb,
and like that's an easy claim to disprove. Whereas, yeah,
you can kind of like there's not as much live

(07:37):
footage of this, you could kind of get away for
a while with making people think maybe you damaged it
a little bit, or at least you got close, you know.
But a source a source, yes, a source from citizen
journalist Ashton Forbes.

Speaker 3 (07:50):
Speaking Truth to power.

Speaker 2 (07:51):
Yeah, the evidence that Forbes post because he says, like
social media so there's conflicting reports of damage. Is a
screen grab of what looks like an aircraft carrier that's
on fire. You can see a water very bying.

Speaker 3 (08:05):
Very very blurry picture as well.

Speaker 2 (08:07):
Yeah, and there's there's there's a watermark. I don't know
if you can see it clearly on this gear, but
like that says Arabic journal So he clearly took it
from another website. Right now, I would describe the image
quality of this as cell phone camera circa two thousand
and seven.

Speaker 3 (08:22):
That's accurate. Yeah, it roughly at like three DS camera.

Speaker 2 (08:26):
Yeah, yeah, it looked It's not even super clear to
me that that's an aircraft carrier. Forbes's post obviously, you know,
does not occur in a vacuum here, And it would
be deeply fucked up for me to say, like citizen
journalists shouldn't exist, Like if someone identifies themselves as that,
it's a sign that they're dangerous or that they're they're
full of shit, right, because recent history is filled with

(08:48):
people who call themselves citizen journalists putting out bullshit. But
like it's also filled with instances of citizens doing crucial
journalism in the absence of credential professionals.

Speaker 3 (08:57):
Especially in Gaza right now.

Speaker 2 (08:59):
Oh yeah, I'm and that's basically everything right, in part
because most of the journalists who have tried to report
on it have been fucking murdered. But even in the
US we have the recent case of Darnella Fraser, who
was the eighteen year old woman who filmed the murder
of George Floyd on May twenty fifth, twenty twenty. She
received a Pulitzer Prise the next year for her video. However, journalism,
while again there's a lot of value in citizen journalism,

(09:20):
journalism is also a technical trade and there are in
fact some things that random dirbs on the Internet should
not report on, and an attack on the Eisenhower is
maybe one of them. To make a long story short,
the USS Eisenhower was not sunk. It is virtually impossible
for non state forces like the Houthies, with the weaponry
that they currently enjoy, to sink a vessel like the Eisenhower.

(09:43):
And for a little bit of context on why that
is the case, I want to talk about another aircraft
carrier called the USS Independence. The Independence was one of
many many aircraft carriers produced by the United States to
curb stomp the Empire of Japan during World War Two.
After that war, we found ourselves with way more aircraft
carriers than we needed or could afford to operate indefinitely

(10:03):
at peacetime. So we decided to do the smartest thing
we could with all these extra aircraft carriers and nuke them.

Speaker 3 (10:10):
That was swait.

Speaker 2 (10:12):
Yes, yes, well, it's classic nineteen forty six America logic.

Speaker 3 (10:20):
That is true. That is true.

Speaker 2 (10:21):
That is so the Independence didn't brave nuclear hell fire alone.
As part of Operations Crossroads, we detonated two nuclear bombs
within seventeen hundred feet of a fleet of ships. That's
pretty close to point blank range in nuclear weapons terms.
Fourteen ships were sunk out right by these nukes, and
the remainder were badly damaged. The Independence was one of

(10:43):
the boats that remained floating, though, and it actually was
towed back to San Francisco after being nuked twice. Two
nukes could not sink a nineteen forty six aircraft carrier.

Speaker 3 (10:55):
What are they building these things out of?

Speaker 2 (10:57):
They're very big, and they are if you are attacking
them above the water line, it's really hard to sink
one of these boats, right, Like, that's kind of the thing.
You can lob huge missiles and hit them with huge
missiles on the top of the thing, and that can
stop them from being able to launch aircraft. It can
kill crew, but unless you're actually blowing a big hole

(11:18):
in it below the water line, you're not going to
send one of these fuckers to the bottom of the ocean. Right,
that's just kind of sure physics, you know.

Speaker 3 (11:25):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah.

Speaker 2 (11:27):
So we towed the Independence back to San Francisco. They
actually built a radiation lab in the boat itself for
a while. And then that's again because the United States
be how the United States do. We filled this massive
boat with concrete drums full of radioactive waste and sunk
it thirty miles off the coast of California with your tour.

Speaker 3 (11:47):
That's fucking hilarious. That rules.

Speaker 2 (11:51):
Hell yeah, brother, this country man. So again, once we
started lobbing tour, you know, is it this fucker underneath
the boat? It was not wildly hard to sink the
son of a bitch, right, And that's the reality of
the situation. If the houthies were able to get like
some subs that were capable of like actually getting through

(12:11):
you know, the dragnet of boats that are defending the Enterprise,
and they could get any kind of you know, decent
sized torpedo underneath it, they might have a chance of
sinking it.

Speaker 3 (12:21):
Photon torpedoes, photon torpedo for the Enterprise, yes, yes, yes, yes,
or a quantum torpedo.

Speaker 2 (12:27):
If we've moved on to d S nine garrison.

Speaker 3 (12:30):
Oh I've not started DS nine year.

Speaker 2 (12:31):
Oh oh it's great. It's the horniest Star Trek Garrison,
which which is shocking to it is shockingly horny. So
I want to note while while I'm talking about the
impossibility of the Houthies using their current methods, which are
basically when it comes to how they've been attacking the Eisenhower,
they've been either flying drones at it, trying to ram

(12:52):
it with an explosive drone, or launching cruise missiles at it, right,
and all of these are basically aiming for the top
of this boat, because that's kind of the option they have.

Speaker 3 (13:00):
I was not aware that they had like advanced submarine capabilities.

Speaker 2 (13:04):
They sure don't, as far as I'm aware, they don't. Yeah,
now it is it's worth noting potentially it could be
surprisingly easy sometimes to sink a modern aircraft carrier if
you have a decent submarine. And there's evidence of this
that came from a joint Franco US naval exercise off
to the coast of Florida in March of twenty fifteen
where basically we're doing this exercise with the French at

(13:27):
one point. This French submarine is part of the OP four,
which is like opposition forces during a war game, and
it sinks the Roosevelt and most of its escorts in
like a simulated battle. And this is you know, it's
very funny because like the French military posted about this
and then had to delete it because it was really
embarrassing for the Navy, and it's seen as evidence by

(13:49):
people who actually know their shit about naval power and
naval warfare. Is like, oh, US anti sub interdiction tactics
and technology really took a hit in the post Cold
War period. We stopped putting money into it because like
we thought, well, who's going to send subs after us
if the Russians are gone? Right?

Speaker 3 (14:07):
Yeah exactly, yeah, ye yeah yeah.

Speaker 2 (14:09):
So I don't mean to say that like these boats
are invulnerable. Nothing can stop the US Navy. In fact,
the evidence suggests that like a modestly powerful naval power
could do some serious damage to a carrier group in
the right circumstances. It's just the way the houthis. The
claims people are making about how the houthis sunk the
Eisenhower is not a way in which the Eisenhower could
realistically be sunk. Right, Some bootleg Iranian missiles are not

(14:32):
going to sink the most advanced carrier in the world today.
Two nukes couldn't do a comparatively shitty carrier in nineteen
forty six. Now, this is all pretty obvious to anyone
who knows the first thing about modern naval warfare. But
it was not obvious to our citizen journalist friend, Ashton Forbes.
When numerous people pointed out to him that his claims
were absurd, he replied, yeah, I wanted to hold back

(14:53):
on this story in case it's not true, but I
trust my source and the media reports stink to me.
If this ends up being wrong, all ready tracked. But
the implications are too huge not to report.

Speaker 3 (15:03):
Sure, sure, yeah, sure, buddy, why not.

Speaker 2 (15:06):
We're going to dig into that and the ethics of
the journalism that he claims to be uh practicing. But first,
the ethics of my journalism are that you should buy
whatever these advertisers are selling, and we're back. So I

(15:33):
really hate the too huge not to report justification. That's like,
that's that's incredibly unethical journalism, because like, if a story
is that huge.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
Actually, Robert, no, no, no, I just got an update
from a source that nine to eleven two just happened.
Oh wow, I have I have, I have a very
blurry picture. I'm going to post it up on Twitter
right now. I can't verify, but this is if true,
this is groundbreaking, literally in case of you know the ground.

Speaker 2 (16:03):
Yeah, and I know listeners, you're like, there's no way
nine to eleven two happened several days ago by the
time you listened to this episode, and I haven't heard
about it. I want to remind you about the film
Mad Max Fury Road. You know, when that came out,
none of us were expecting another Mad Max movie and
we got a great one. And I think nine to
eleven two could be the Fury Road of terrorism attacks.

Speaker 3 (16:24):
Real promise, real promise. They also could be censoring the story.
They may not want you to know. In case you
haven't heard.

Speaker 2 (16:30):
The news doesn't want you to know that nine to
eleven two already happened because it's going to destroy the
market for nine to eleven one memorabilia. You know, that's
everybody needs to read Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky. He lays
it all out.

Speaker 3 (16:46):
As you're saying.

Speaker 2 (16:48):
So obviously, if a story is as big as this
and the sinking of the Eyes, and how would be
like the most significant military reversal in the twenty first century? Maybe,
you know, I guess you could argue like the US
leaving Afghanistan. Maybe, But honest, from a technological standpoint, at
least the whoth he's managing to drop an aircraft carrier
would be massive. And if a story is that big,

(17:10):
you have a responsibility not to report on it until
you have any reason at all to believe that it's true.
So when somebody says the implication or too the implications
are too huge not to report on what they mean
is I wanted the clout in traffic from getting this
out first, and I don't really care if it's true. Now, yeah,
it happens to be quite easy to prove that the
US S. Eisenhower is still among the living because the

(17:32):
captain of that boat is a poster. His name is
oh God, Oh. This man posts like you wouldn't believe Garrison.
I've never seen a commanding officer in the US military
who posts like this man.

Speaker 3 (17:45):
Do you think Riker would be a poster. I don't know.

Speaker 2 (17:49):
Riker would be. He would do a lot of dming.
He would be sliding into DMS an awful loss like yeah, yes, absolutely.
He would constantly be trying to fuck. But I think
the only reason he would actually post is when like
something broke and he couldn't figure out how to fix it.
He would he would be like adding Jordie constantly like yes,
I can't kill my computer working.

Speaker 3 (18:11):
That makes sense.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
So the captain of the Enterprise is Christopher F. Hill,
and again he's a poster for reasons that I have
not bothered to look into and don't care to learn.
He goes by chowda on Twitter like with a with
a dah I don't I don't know why, and within
minutes of the Forbes post about uh or of Forbes's post,
he himself posted videos of the bakery on board the Eisenhower,

(18:35):
which showed no signs of being underwater. I think that
was kind of his subtle way of being like we
are still making like cinnamon rolls, like everything is fine
on board this ship. In short order, Internet Salutes discovered
that the the video clip posted by Forbes that claimed
to show the Eisenhower in flames was Garrison. Do you
want to guess where this what this was a screenshot from?

Speaker 3 (18:57):
Is this a video game?

Speaker 2 (18:58):
It is a video game. It's the video game from
ARM three. It's from ARMA three. Every time, every time,
whenever this happens in the war in Ukraine too constantly
they'll be like, we've shot down you know, a bunch
of these MiG twenty ones, or you know, shot down
this massive Russian jet that's never been shot down before.
Every time it's ARMA three, like every single time.

Speaker 3 (19:20):
Unbelievable.

Speaker 2 (19:22):
Yeah, like eighty percent of the time, fake videos of
military vehicles being destroyed. It's just clips from ARMA three. Now,
a brief glance into the backstory of Ashton Forbes would
have made it clear that his claims were nonsense, As
this write up by George Allison in the UK Defense
Journal notes, Ashton Forbes, despite his self identified role as
a citizen journalist, has I'm told history of posting sensational

(19:43):
and often unverified claims, particularly about Malaysia Airlines Flight three seventy.
It almost seventy was a commercial flight that disappeared in
twenty fourteen we'll en rout fro Kuala Lumpur to Beijing,
leading to numerous conspiracy theories. Now we don't actually know
why MH three seventy went down. I think probably the
leading theory was that the pilot committed suicide. But even that,

(20:04):
I don't think that there's like strong. I don't think
it's it's very unclear, could have just been a fuck up,
something like It's we really don't know, which is why
there's so much conspiracy.

Speaker 3 (20:13):
Could have gone into a wormhole.

Speaker 2 (20:14):
So it could have gone into the wormhole right now.
Forbes's belief, according to I found a post by Swift
on security, who's a popular security expert, who states that
Forbes believes MH three seventy had secret free energy tech
on it that was raptured into a wormhole by reptilians.
Are you so yeah? You actually got it? He's doing
a bit So you got it right, Garrison? Oh my god.

(20:42):
Swift provides an example of another one of the citizen
journalist's big scoops free energy announcement. Free Energy, otherwise known
as over Unity, is one hundred percent real. The devices
exists already. I have been told exactly how an operational
device works. I signed an NDA, so won't be able
to disclosed specifics.

Speaker 3 (21:02):
One hundred.

Speaker 2 (21:04):
That's great. I love that the people who figure out
free energy would let you post about it as long
as you don't explain how it works.

Speaker 3 (21:13):
I like that you signed an NDA so you can't
talk about it except for this post in what you
do talk about it and which have absolutivate about classic
classic move now.

Speaker 2 (21:22):
Once Forbes's post started to gain traction, the entire ecosystem
of infogrifters who cropped up like mushrooms to profit off
the massacre in Gaza, swung into gear thanks to Elon's
new ownership of Twitter. Being able to draw viral crowds
to your content by latching onto the most discussed topics
of the day is very profitable, as we discussed, and
into this mix you do have some state funded actors.

(21:43):
You've got people working for Iran, for Israel, for Russia,
for the United States, all trying to push their own
sundry lines of propaganda using the engines of algorithmic virality.
And then, of course there are the legitimately hopeful but
ill informed. And these are the people that I have
sympathy with and who I'm kind of like total focusing on.
These are people who are understandably numb from constant exposure

(22:05):
to a barrage of photos and videos of war crimes,
and they are desperately ready to believe in some kind
of miraculous underdog victory. Right, Hollywood fiction has trained us
all to see that as possible. This is being thought
of by a lot of people who are just numb
and broken from videos of horror as like, well, I
don't know, maybe we could have our Star Wars moment, right,

(22:26):
maybe we've got a Luke Skywalker downing the death Star. Now,
the Hoothies aren't Luke Skywalker, and the Eisenhower isn't entirely
the death Star. It's like it's got shades of Death Star,
it's got some Death Star DNA and it sure, yeah,
I mean it's closer to closer to a Star destroyer,
closer to a Star destroyer, right right, right. One of

(22:47):
the posts I came across Researching this was Alden Marky,
who describes himself as a counter propagandist and researcher with
a focus on Yemen. He posted a photoshop of the
Eisenhower from above with a dagger in the water beneath it.
This was accompanied by the text uss Eisenhower was just
struck for the second time in twenty four hours and
it had something like two thousand likes two hundred and

(23:08):
fifty thousand views when I came across it. Another account
quote tweeted this and got nearly five thousand likes, saying
it won't happen, but it would be so fucking funny
if Yeman sinks an aircraft carrier, like can you imagine?
And I think that guy represents the more common attitude,
which is this mix of on we and desperation. Right,
nothing is going to stop this massacre. It seems like that.

(23:29):
It really feels like that, right, But wouldn't it be
rad if something did? And to be realistic, I don't
know that. I think there's a real odds that dropping
the Eisenhower somehow would stop net Yahoo from what he's doing.
I mean maybe it would, like it would certainly reduce
the ability of the United States to interdict Iranian missiles
coming into Israel. But I don't know that. I think
that it's realistic that that's going to stop Netan Yahoo

(23:51):
from doing the shit that net Yaho's doing. You can
feel however you want about that. It's not irrational to
be like, boy, I don't think this is real, but
like I wish it was right, So you can feel
however you want about this guy wanting, you know, thousands
of US soldiers to get murdered. I get both, Like,
I don't think that realistically anything the Hoothies are doing

(24:14):
is going to stop what Israel's doing at this point,
but I also understand just desperately wanting some violence to
come down on the other side of this thing after
months of watching videos of the slaughter in Gaza, you know, especially.

Speaker 3 (24:28):
As you have you have like Nikky Haley signing right
bombs that that is sending over like come on, Like yeah, no,
I could understand the emotional like.

Speaker 2 (24:37):
Yeah, braw, it doesn't speak to the best angels of
our nature, right because you're what you're thinking, You're hoping
for huge amounts of human death either way, But like,
I get it, and it's not irrational right, saying there's
no way this is real, but I wish it was
is not an irrational feeling, right. You can contrast that
to the posts of independent journalists and newsgrifter Richard Medhurst

(24:59):
with four hundred and eighteen thousand followers, who posted this
on June second, yem instruct the best ship in the
US Navy with ballistic and cruise missiles. The ship is
fleeing and the captain of the US S. Eisenhower tried
to do damage control by posting a video of the
deck on Twitter. But it's an old Instagram reel from
thirteen weeks ago. Left Yemen never lie.

Speaker 3 (25:19):
And this is just an alternate reality that they've entered into.

Speaker 2 (25:21):
Now, yes, yes, you have departed reality in favor of
one that you are crafting because it's more comforting than
the one in which nothing seems to be able to
actually alter the course of violence in Gaza, Right, So
you're just deciding to believe in something else. Now. Community
notes flagged this post, but it still has something like

(25:44):
three hundred and fifty thousand views and more than four
hundred thousand likes. Medhers tis hundred thousand or four thousand
likes sorry, four hundred and eighteen thousand followers, four thousand
likes on the post I see four thousand likes? Is
still a mess? Is a sizable super?

Speaker 3 (26:00):
What's for large number?

Speaker 2 (26:01):
Yeah? Medhurst has leaned hard into repeating claims that the
Houthis have sunk or damaged the Eisenhower, and another post
with six thousand likes in eight hundred and twenty one
thousand views, he describes the IKE as being hit with
ballistic and cruise missiles and add, yeomen never lie in
their press breathings, so I'm inclined to believe them. In
one post, he I know it's. In one post, he

(26:21):
notes that the Houthis recently shot down an m Q
nine Reaper drone, which did happen, and claims the US
won't admit to that either, and like, I haven't run
into the US denying that this happened. There's three clear
cases of m Q nine's being shot down last month alone, right, Like,
we actually know a lot about this, which is part
of why I don't believe the Eisenhower shot down, as
they the Houthis were able to prove quite readily that

(26:45):
they had shot down the MQ nine's. I have seen
no proof that the Eisenhower's been hit. Right, And this
isn't just a case where like the Houthis should be
able to provide some actual proof if they'd done this.
The Eisenhower is a floating city with a population of thousands.
There's like seven or eight thousand people. I think at
least in the whole strike group. I will conceie that
the military could probably keep a lid on an attack

(27:07):
against the Isenhower and might even temporarily be able to
hide the fact that it had suffered minor damage. But
you're not keeping any anything significant secret for the long haul, right,
Like you just you can't. You can't keep secrets like that.
There's too many people. They're going to talk to their families.
If the boat goes down with thousands of people on board,
family members are going to be like, boy, none of

(27:28):
us have heard from our loved ones in a while. Right.

Speaker 3 (27:30):
Also think also like the government would say something and
like start like a massive batch of retaliation, Like it's
not like America would be like, oh, sh quiet, we just.

Speaker 2 (27:40):
Have to pretend this didn't happen.

Speaker 3 (27:42):
Yeah, No, they're going to be talking about a NonStop
for the past like three months.

Speaker 2 (27:47):
We sent the Eisenhower and its crew to a nice
farm up state exactly. So why why would the Hoothies,
this is a question to ask, And why would the
Hoothies make fake claims that are obvious fake claims about
striking the Eisenhower?

Speaker 1 (28:02):
Right?

Speaker 2 (28:02):
And I think it's because at this point, for a
sizeable chunk of people, fake Hoothy attacks on US assets
are just as good as real ones. And I think
there are people within the leadership cadres of the Houthis
who know that perfectly well, it is entirely possible that
the Hoothies find themselves low on munitions after months of
conflict with the US, and somebody smart realized, like, what

(28:23):
if we just say we shot at them, right, It'll
have the same propaganda impact and we won't have to
waste a missile.

Speaker 3 (28:29):
Right, No, you'll still be able to talk about it
on your Los Angeles Twitch stream to your hundreds of
thousands of followers, right.

Speaker 2 (28:39):
The ongoing genocide and if that's what actually is happening here, right,
I could see that as a reasonably cunning move, you know,
the ongoing genocide and gaza, the other inability of protest
or arm resistance to change it in any way leads
some people to a kind of mad desperation. In this desperation,
the Houthis have become a symbol of hope to many
people for the simple reason that they seem to be

(29:00):
capable of taking action against the forces protecting Israel as
Israel commits war crimes. Now, the reality of the situation
is that the Huthis themselves have committed their share of
war crimes, some of which are reminiscent of the very
crimes committed by Israel. In December of twenty fourteen, the
Houthis laid siege to Yemen's second city, Taies, leading to
a humanitarian catastrophe, as this article from The Guardian lays out. Quote.

(29:23):
Sincerely April, when the resistance, an alliance of local forces
dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, fought off the Houthi's attempt
to control the city, the militia retaliated by cutting off roads,
preventing food and medical aid from getting in. Access is
only allowed through a single checkpoint dubbed the Rafa Crossing
by the residents after its more famous namesake, on the
Egypt Gaza border. Every morning, long queues form outside the

(29:44):
crossing by those wanting to enter the city, Huthi malicious
search and confiscate medicine, cooking, gas, cigarettes, bottled water, or
anything more than a small shopping bag of food. In
order to survive. The city has for months been relying
on groups of young boys and long trains of donkeys
to bring its supplies a long and arduous journey through
the mountains. But donkeys alone can hardly fulfill the needs

(30:04):
of the city. Medicine and food have all but disappeared
from the market, and the prices of what are left
have jumped in the last few months, pushing most of
the population below the poverty line. Now the comparison between
Ties and Gaza are striking, right, Like the crossing was
called Rafa you know.

Speaker 3 (30:21):
Yeah, no, they literally name that for the crossing.

Speaker 2 (30:24):
Yeah, and you know, you hear a lot of the
same stories, like the hospitals basically were out of you know,
anything to actually treat the injured. One of the one
doctor at one of the two functioning hospitals in the
city told the Guardian, we can't do operations, we can't
put people in intensive care. We can only patch wounds
and tell the patient you are welcome. To die here. Now,
I want to be clear here, the other side in
this conflict was inarguably even worse. The Saudi led coalition,

(30:48):
using US weaponry put the whole country in a state
of siege that like led to catastrophic famines and situations
very similar and in some cases worse than what the
Huthi did to Ties. Right, Like, this is the this
is I mean, it's war, right, this is like unspeakable
suffering compounding on unspeakable suffering. Right. You've probably heard that

(31:11):
old saying when you stare into the abyss, the abyss
stares back. And there's a corollary to that statement that
I think is relevant to some of the fantasies that
some people on the left have about the hoovies. When
you start giving yourself up to false realities, eventually you
can lose yourself entirely. And we're going to talk a
little bit about that, but first lose yourself to these products.

(31:46):
We're back. So people like Medhurst, you know, postlike by
these guys, they aren't meant to inform people about the
real world. Medhurst's fans, the people who take him seriously,
have departed reality in favor of a fantasy. Because that
fantasy world is the only place in which victory feels possible.
There's a term that you and I talk about a

(32:07):
lot garrison, coined by the author Robert Anton Wilson, that
I think is useful in dealing with situations like this,
and that term is reality tunnel. The concept is complex
and explanations of it tend towards long, but the basic
idea is that we in the modern world are all
constantly flooded by information from our senses and from the
different information delivery devices that we filled our world with.
In order to function, we have to triage that information,

(32:30):
to pare it away until we get to a reality
that we can live inside. The fact that human beings
can and perhaps inherently do this is not necessarily bad,
and in fact, I might argue that without the ability
to choose and flip between different realities to change the channel,
as Wilson put it, positive progress is impossible. I found
this explained well in an essay on Wilson's work by

(32:51):
Mikola Bilokonski. Quote, we can slide between reality tunnels by
consciously choosing to pay attention to things we might normally ignore.
It's hard at first, but is skill that we can
develop with practice. Train yourself to pay more attention to
the emotions of the people you're speaking to, for instance,
and you'll be surprised at how much richer the world gets.
Train yourself to pay attention to your caloric intake, and
eating fundamentally changes. Train yourself to hear the voices of minorities,

(33:15):
and suddenly you see racism and sexism everywhere. Now, those
other reality tunnels like that you can key yourself in
on are always there. They always exist, right, You just
had to actually learn the filters that you existed within
in order to access them.

Speaker 3 (33:31):
You know, whether or not you're tuned in doesn't mean
like they just don't exist.

Speaker 2 (33:36):
They're still there. Yeah. Yeah, So again the constant, you know,
the fact that people can like pick and choose which
reality chair and can change the channel, so to speak,
isn't necessarily bad and in fact is part of you know,
necessary positive progress. But some people don't want to hop
between tunnels and explore the dazzling variety of realities that exist.

(33:57):
They want to pick a tunnel in which they feel
comfortable and then burrows so deep into it that no
other realities can find them. I want you to think
of one of my favorite recent Trump World grifts, right,
is these kind of this company that started putting out
these like ads with an obvious AI Donald Trump or
Elon Musk voice where they're like, Trump is going to
change the monetary system, and if you buy these like

(34:19):
trump Bucks debit card things or fake checks, he's going
to like when he changes it, they'll be worth a
ten thousand times what you put in. So if you
put in two or three thousand dollars worth of this,
you'll be rich. He's doing this to reward his loyal fans.
He's gonna like he's gonna fix everything, and you'll finally
be rich. Right, you know you deserve to be rich, right,
And a bunch of people bought these like fake promisary

(34:42):
notes and then like went to Bank of America to
cash them in, and the bank was like, well, no,
that's not this, this isn't real, this, this is nothing
at all, right, And you know, these people got fleeced.
And one way to look at the people who got
fleeced is like, well they're dumb, right, These people are stupid.
You know, they did a stupid thing. They believed something
that was obviously fake, and you can take that out

(35:04):
of their story if you want. I don't think that's helpful, though.
The reality is that these people represent a cautionary tale.
They didn't start out believing that the guy from The
Apprentice was their messiah. Their break from consensus reality began
years or decades earlier, and it's going to be different
for every individual person. When I think about my own

(35:25):
family members who came to believe pretty unhinged things that
you know, figures within the Republican Party or Trump himself
told them, I tend to trace their break from reality
back to well back to the day when the calming,
charismatic voice of Ronald Reagan said this about the Iran
Contra scandal, a deal in which his administration gave Iron

(35:46):
weapons in exchange for hostages. And this is Reagan. A
few months ago, I told the American people, I did
not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best
intentions tell me that's true, but the facts and the
evidence tell me it is not. Yes, And I think
that line is an important moment in the shattering of

(36:07):
what we might call reality, consensus reality, right, The undeniable,
actual truth is that Ronald Reagan and many members of
his administration committed high crimes and light about it. But
Reagan's supporters, his fans, people like my parents, loved him
too much to accept this, and old Ronnie offered them
a way out, ignore the facts and the evidence, and
embraced the deeper truth of his heart and his best intentions.

(36:31):
And in that moment, I think that's where a lot
of Americans, who are now in an even more unhinged place,
started burrowing down and started tunneling away from their friends
and family and towards the heart of something dark. As
the years went on, the consequences of many Reagan era
economic and social policies became impossible to ignore. No wealth
trickled down, Mourning did not return to America. The promise

(36:53):
of the Internet boom yielded to the dot com bubble
bursting September eleventh sobered us up from the hallucination of
permanent victory. After the end of the Cold War, the
housing market crashed, the hideous reality of climate change became unavoidable,
The promise of a bright future faded, and people buried
themselves deeper in fantasies to avoid oblique and empty horizon.

(37:14):
And all Throughout this the left prided itself on a
sort of logical sobriety, a willingness to stare into the abyss,
to accept the reality of our dire moment, and to
propose radical solutions. Yet one by one, the different protest
movements put out by the left flopped and fizzled. Promising
organizers and ideological leaders were revealed as frauds or became

(37:34):
corrupted by the system. Capitalism failed to fall or reform,
and rather than confront the dire complex reality that leaves
us in, increasing numbers of leftists found alternative realities, served
eagerly by an alliance of conmen and paid propagandists. Now,
leftists have always been just as vulnerable to vicious fantasy

(37:56):
as conservatives. This has proven well in the last century.
There's a case of a Marxist academic named Malcolm Caldwell,
who I think is which I think is valuable depending
on who you talk to about Caldwell. He's the Scottish academic.
He was a college professor, apparently a pretty good economist,
and he also had this weird thing for agrarian communist movements,

(38:21):
which he thought were He believed that there was this
like massive global famine coming, and he believed that these
like back to the land Marxist movements sweeping Southeast Asia
where the only way forward for a lot of humanity.
He was this like third worldist. A lot of his
belief was kind of centering that, you know, the United
States was the source of all evil in the world effectively,

(38:42):
but this kind of led him to he became a
stan of every communist state, even the ones that were
in conflict with each other. He traveled to like North
Korea and came back like talking about all of the
wonderful accomplishments of Jucha ideology. You know, he was in
love with Vietnam, and he was also in love with
Khmer Rouge in Cambo. And that's kind of part of
the evidence that like he had entered a reality tunnel

(39:05):
that had taken him away from any kind of logical reality,
because like Cambodia and Vietnam went to war, right, Vietnam
invaded Cambodia, Like these these two were not like Communist
fellow travelers on the same side of a conflict. Whenever
this would get brought up to Caldwell when he'd argue about,
you know, Vietnam and the conflict that Vietnam was having

(39:25):
with Cambodia, or he you know, people would try to
argue with him about the realities of the Khmer Rouge system.
He would just kind of shut down like he was
he was, yeah, he couldn't talk about it right now. Eventually, Caldwell,
because he's an academic, he travels to a lot of
these countries and you know, it's fine. He travels to
the USSR, he gets a tour there. He travels to
North Korea, he gets a tour there, he gets a

(39:46):
tour at Vietnam. That's all fine. All of those states
are saying states, right, which is not to say that
like they don't do bad things, but they're they're run
by people who like, there's no benefit in us to
anything bad happening to this guy who's out there in
the West writing nice things about our regimes. Right, Polepot
was not sane, The Khmer Rouge was not sane. So

(40:08):
he goes to Cambodia with two American journalists, one of
whom had been in Cambodia in the years prior to
the Khmer Rouge overthrow of the US backed government of
Law Nol and knew the country well, and when she
got there, they had all these arguments where he was like,
I think the revolution is working. You know, it's not perfect,
but it needs its time. Look at all the wonderful

(40:29):
accomplishments already. And she would point out, I have been
to these cities years ago, and there's no people anymore.
All of the people are gone. Something is terribly wrong,
and he just couldn't listen to her. So they're there
a couple of weeks and he gets invited to have
a meeting with Polepot, and you know, he has a

(40:50):
meeting with him right after these journalists do, and he
comes back from it really excited, being like we had
a great talk. He's such a smart man. You know,
we talked about economics. I feel he's invited me back
next year, you know. And by the way, within like
weeks of this, Vietnam invades and forces Polepot out of
the capitol, right like the state of the Khmer rouge

(41:12):
was deeply precarious at this point. But he comes out
super optimistic, and then later that night a gunman shoots
him to death and then shoots himself to death. It
is really unclear to this day. It's a bit of
a mystery what happened. The most likely explanation is that
the Khmer Rouge wanted to pin the murder of a

(41:32):
leftist Western academic on Vietnam to try and generate international
outrage against Vietnam who was about to invade. It's possible
Vietnam killed him for but I don't really see a
benefit to Vietnam and doing that again. They invade right
after this. It seems like one of the journalists who

(41:54):
was there basically was like a poppot, was out of
his fucking mind. Of course he would do this. There's
no like, there's no trying to lay out like the
rationality behind this man's actions. I think what's more interesting
is Caldwell had been presented with plenty of evidence that
the Khmer Rouge regime was deeply evil and violent, and
in fact, he had published right before he went over there,

(42:15):
he published an article about like the successes of their
agrarian reforms and the Khmer Rouge government official that he
cited in that paper that's like the basis of most
of his claims about how well the reforms had worked
with it like a couple of weeks before he arrived
in Cambodia was tortured to death in the S twenty
one prison.

Speaker 3 (42:34):
Well, that's not a great sign.

Speaker 2 (42:36):
Not a great sign anyway. I bring this guy up
because I think he's maybe the best example of like
the damage that you do to yourself when you let
yourself fall into these tunnels. Because Caldwell, he's not one
of these like gray zone guys. He didn't make a
bunch of money being a stand for dictatorships. He seems
to everyone who talked, even the people who thought he

(42:56):
was like out of his mind and his opinions on
the Khmer rouge, he was a really nice man. He
was a family man, he was a good teacher. He
just completely left reality in this one thing, and it
led him to oblivion.

Speaker 3 (43:11):
You know, I've been thinking about a lot of similar
stuff in terms of like what Israel's currently doing, and
like there's so many people who are just vocally supportive
every single action that's being done. And there's even been
attacks where I've seen people like Vietnam ly uh like
defend what happened. It's like, no, this was like a
necessary strike. It did for all these reasons, blah blah

(43:34):
blah blah blah. Even if even if someone like net
and Yahoo then like like comes out and says like, actually, no,
this was like quote unquote like terrible accident or whatever,
there will still be people defending it. And like, I
don't know if all of these people are literally like bloodthirsty,
like I don't know if they actually really want to
see like everyone in Gaza killed. I'm sure there's there's

(43:57):
maybe some people who are like just bad, But I
think the reality tunnel version, I think is a lot
more useful for understanding how there's so many otherwise very
like normal, normal people who feel totally fine about cheering
on the actions of the State of Israel right now
as there you know, as the death toll just gets

(44:18):
higher and higher and higher every single day. No, it's
certainly been something I've thought about very often these past
few months, as I as I'm sure many other people are,
you know, both staring into the abyss on on Twitter
dot com, where everyone has a take. But then also
you know, if if you're ever going outo any like,
if you're ever going into any of these protests, there

(44:39):
will probably be like a group of Zionist counter protesters
yelling something and it's it's a really tricky thing to navigate.

Speaker 2 (44:47):
Yeah, it is like it because like and I guess
what the scary question to me is, like how do
you communicate with someone who is not living in the
same reality? And like, totally, I don't think you really can.
I think sometimes, I know sometimes because I've seen it happen.
Sometimes people just get out of that alternate reality on

(45:09):
their own. Right, that does happen, thank god, But it's
not like reliable that it happens. And I have you know,
as someone who has been in this space of researching cults,
of researching disinformation for years now, I'm not aware of
any reliable ways to break people out of these now
you know, the these tunnels when they get themselves in.

(45:31):
And that's the scariest thing to me. Right, there's a
number of people. I don't think it's huge in an
electoral sense, but it's probably thousands or tens of thousands
of people who now believe that the Eisenhower is either
badly damaged or at the bottom of the sea, and
they will keep believing that the same way that like
a chunk of people believe that when they look up
and see clouds, every cloud they see is like poison.

(45:54):
The US government shot out into the sky using our
secret planes to murder people with fucking whatever. I don't
know it's anyway, or.

Speaker 3 (46:03):
The belief that literally ever university in Gaza has been
secretly turned into a military base.

Speaker 2 (46:08):
Right, yeah, yeah, exactly.

Speaker 3 (46:10):
It's they're like underground tunnels. It's like, you know, it's
all of all of all of these things that it's
not just like a I don't know if this switch
happens immediately. I don't think it does. They're there there.
There may be like a tipping point. It is often
a very gradual shift into different reality tunnels, and then
you don't realize how far you are in one until

(46:31):
you're like fully in it, and then in that case
you probably don't even realize yourself. People on the outside
will point out, oh wow, this is this is uh,
this is some interesting beliefs you have suddenly fallen into. Yeah,
but it it doesn't, It doesn't happen overnight. It is
it is. It is a slow shift in a lot
of cases, and yeah, laying out you know, quote unquote

(46:51):
facts and logic often cases does not help at all
and will actually hurt. It will produce a backfire effect.
That's not the case for everybody, but that is the
case for a lot of people. And it's easy to discount,
you know, people yelling horrible things at you at a protest.
It's easy to discount people you know, saying horrible things
on Twitter. But it's more frustrating when it's like you're

(47:14):
on who you like previously, like had a good relationship with,
and yeah, no, I mean this, this this kind of
reminds me of like, you know, attempts at QAnon and
deprogramming back in like twenty nineteen, where you know, we
had this influx of influx of older people and boomers
and sometimes just like not super old people either also

(47:34):
just like like moms in their thirties who started like
leaving all this stuff and cutting them off from you know,
contact with you or other people doesn't help, obviously, but
they can also be really hard to maintain, like a
good relationship. And yeah, it's a weird balance of being
able to provide a little bit of like compassion to
someone and not completely cut them off while also maintaining

(47:57):
your own personal boundaries. It's it's a really tricky thing.
But in a lot of the cases of the QAnon stuff,
all the most successful things that I've heard about people
getting out of it. It did require a line, like
there had to be some connecting thread to the person,
and over time that thread could be pulled upon and

(48:18):
maybe the person would use that thread as like as
like a crutch when the reality so slowly started to
crumble around them. And it's really tricky and I don't
have any good solutions for this. Nobody does. Anyone who
does say they do is also a grifter who's lying
and trying to make money.

Speaker 2 (48:36):
Yeah, I will agree with you. The closest we come
to there being a solution is don't cut off ties
with the person. I mean unless you have Obviously, there
are some things that people can come to believe and
advocate for that you have to, Like, I'm not saying
that that line doesn't exist. Like I had someone reach
out about a family member who had started to believe
some conspiracy stuff regarding extra terrestrials that was like obviously

(48:59):
untrue and it worried them, and I was like, well, look,
you know, you don't have to tell them that you
believe them. You can say like, I don't you know,
really feel the same way you do about this, But
I'm always down to talk about it, right or like
you know, I'm always you know, here to to listen
if you want to talk about this and let him
know that like they have a connection still, if you
make sure that there's like still a way they can
get out of that tunnel and back up to something

(49:20):
that resembles reality, maybe they will, you know.

Speaker 3 (49:24):
Yeah, I I really wish Robert Ana Wilson could have
seen the twenty era Internet. I'm sure he would have
had some thoughts.

Speaker 2 (49:34):
He would he would have had some fascinating things to
write about it.

Speaker 3 (49:37):
Yeah, well this is this has been an exciting tale.

Speaker 2 (49:40):
Yes, indeed, so, I don't know, go.

Speaker 3 (49:43):
Aircraft carrier down.

Speaker 2 (49:44):
We did it, Joe, Yeah, we did it. Joe. Go
destroy the USS Eisenhower in your own life, just like
the fake Koothies. Pretend did.

Speaker 1 (49:58):
It Could Happen year as a production of Kools Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
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Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can
find sources for it Could Happen here, updated monthly at
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