Beyond the Wrapper: Cultural Dissonance

Cultural dissonance is the largest problem facing the United States. It is not fake news or shallowly branded politicians nor is it Russian hacking, and it is not Donald Trump as a President. Although, his foreign policy might really put us in grave danger. Cultural dissonance is the underlying diseases with fake news, shallow politicians, propaganda hacking, as well as many other visceral fears we hold as a society representing the symptoms. But do not forget, cultural dissonance has to have a population willingly believe in falsehoods (yeah, it’s just as much our fault at this point). Many of you are going to say that you don’t buy into a lot of the falsehoods out there. Well, good for you, but we’re a nation, not only a group of different states and communities and we are all in this together. So, if my neighbor is stupid, so too am I, at least in an attempt to relate and understand.

Sad day, I know

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Blackwater (PMSC) Remembered: Abu Ghraib Human Rights

Expert from: Coutnerterrorism and its Affronts to Human Rights by. Kurtis Edwards

**Eric Prince, Blackwater founder, is the brother of Betsy DeVos, current US Secretary of Education.

One of the more sinister parts of detaining terrorists and the subject that brings PMSC back in the conversation is the torture and humiliation of prisoners at the hands of PMSCs and military personal in clandestine prisons. Mentioned above was the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal of 2003. What were the causes of that scandal and what does it mean for PMSCs in general? Scholars like Kristine Huskey (2012), George Mastroianni (2011), and Bernardo Zacka (2016) find the cause to be in multidimensional causalities. They look at the organizational attributes of the operating staff and employer, the chain of command along the division lines of military and contractor, as well as the personal sexual deficiency of particular PMSC workers at Abu Ghraib.

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Quick read: International Conflict Negotiations, Intra and Interstate.

Successful negotiation boils down to three essential factors: agency, operation, and language. There has to be a drive by both sides to talk. Our readings this week have adequality shown when and where those meeting points transpire, of which they are rooted in the struggles for power and whichever side of the conflict is losing or winning, as well as the general population’s perspective on either group. That appears to be something akin to the proverb ‘it is what it is.’ What is entirely disheartening about that is the ‘is’ in this case is war and civilian death. However, it is legitimate to base an understanding of negotiation on the disparity between conflicting groups. Where I find a much greater need for agency and discourse on agency in negotiations would be the international response to intrastate conflict.

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