How the NSA Can Greatly Reduce Mass School Shootings

Instead of spying on Americans to crush dissent, consolidate power, or gather sensitive information for blackmail, the NSA could actually do something useful.

The NSA could reduce the number of mass shootings using existing technology and resources.

Remember, virtually all school shooters are males in their teens or early twenties.

And the New York Times reports that most school shooters leave numerous public clues about their intentions before the shooting ... and most are obsessed with reading about prior school shootings:

Studies have shown, for example, that in school shootings, the killers virtually always “leak” their intentions, leaving a trail of clues behind them. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who the police said has confessed in the Parkland shooting, apparently was no exception: Students reportedly avoided him and joked that if anyone were going to shoot up the school, it would be him.

Researchers have also found that in many, if not most, cases of school violence, the perpetrator has done extensive research on previous school shootings, studying them in detail, often with special attention to the killings at Columbine High School in 1999. A study of nine school shootings in Europe conducted by J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist in San Diego who consults on threat assessment for schools and corporations, found that a third of the killers had “consciously imitated and emulated what had happened in Columbine.”

Elizabeth Englander, Professor of Psychology, and the Director of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), Bridgewater State University, writes:

Technology may challenge kids’ social development, but it can also be harnessed for good. Anonymous reporting systems – perhaps text-message based – can make it easier for parents and students to alert law enforcement and school counselors to kids who seem disconnected or disturbed. That enables early intervention.

In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, one such tip appeared to prevent extreme violence in May 2017. Police took a young man who’d threatened to harm his peers into protective custody before he could act on his words.


Extreme violence is almost always preceded by certain behavioral problems. These typically include a propensity toward aggression, a marked lack of social connectedness, indications of serious mental illness and a fascination with violence and guns.


Most young people today use social media to express their feelings and aspirations. In the case of school shooters, these posts are often violent. A single violent post is hardly a guarantee of homicidal acts, of course. But evidence strongly indicates that repeated expressions of this nature can be a sign of trouble.

But the current approach of law enforcement is just to wait and hope for a luck break:

We are not proactively scraping the Internet for offenders … We react.” Instead, the agents depend on what [the head of the FBI's the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, America's top expert on identifying mass shooters] calls “the human bystander.” They depend on somebody giving someone else the creeps. Though he acknowledges that many bystanders are fragile resources—“it’s usually the people closest to an individual who are best positioned to observe those kinds of concerning behaviors and at the same time the most reluctant to report”—his team members have no choice but to wait for a concerned person to tell them about a person of concern.

But we don't have to wait for a lucky break of a volunteer bystander getting the creeps ... the NSA can do it for us.

After all, the NSA is already spying on virtually everyone in America.

The high-level NSA executive who created the NSA's global electronic surveillance system, Bill Binney, says that the NSA could help identify would-be shooters ... while protecting the privacy of most Americans.

Specifically, the system which Binney designed at the NSA to catch terrorists automatically encrypted and anonymized Americans' information.  The information could only be decrypted with a court order.

Binney thinks this could work for school shooters ...

Specifically, the NSA could gather information from the web, social media, and other sources and gather information on:

  • Males in their teens or early twenties
  • Who lack social connectedness
  • Who have obsessively studied past school shootings ... or otherwise made violent statements on social media or the web
  • Who have experienced mental health issues
  • Who law enforcement personnel or others say are unstable

The identity of people who turn up using these parameters would be kept encrypted and anonymous ... unless and until a judge ordered them to be decrypted in order to further investigate and question the individual.

Then the suspect could be imprisoned, counseled or left alone ... as appropriate.

How about the NSA do something - for a change - which actually helps the American people?


stacking12321 Ex-Oligarch Sat, 02/24/2018 - 14:52 Permalink

You’re being naive, George.

are you still under the illusion the nsa works for the American people?

the nsa is the intel division of the praetorian guard, whose function is to keep the ruling class in power.

if anything, they want to encourage more school shootings, which may enable gun grabs, which will consolidate their monopoly on the use of violence.

In reply to by Ex-Oligarch

scraping_by stacking12321 Sat, 02/24/2018 - 18:14 Permalink

They're already tipping off the DEA. Just look at all the money and weed (no coke or meth) being nailed on I-80 here in flyover country. No way the Lancaster County, NE deputies are just happening to pull over the car/truck/van loaded to the gills with bundles of cash that smell like marijuana. This is either protection money from the cartels, or someone's been talking on a cell phone.

In reply to by stacking12321

Tarzan scraping_by Sun, 02/25/2018 - 06:57 Permalink

Well George, all that would be prudent, if the goal was to stop the shootings, but since their goal is to divide, disarm and enslave us, the rampage will continue.

All the tools you list, that could find these kids before the crime, are being used to locate and assist them!  From the "Doctors" who assist in drug addled minds, to the Media and Entertainment industries that plant the rage, to the officers who stand down during the massacre, it's all designed to abate the crime, not stop it!

The Cowards of Broward mime, is well played diversionary propaganda.

Everyone is hyper focused on the "Cowards" while the Satanic wizards who ordered them to stand down remain invisible.

Yes, those officers are cowards, but it wasn't Cruz they feared.  It's their overlords they fear, the same group who knew Cruz was a lite fuse and cleared a path for his demented drug addled mind, who planted his fantasies of murder, who assisted in his rampage, and who now run the media blitz against gun owners and the second amendment.

In reply to by scraping_by

Endgame Napoleon Tarzan Sun, 02/25/2018 - 09:24 Permalink

If they stationed curent military personnel at all school entrances, it would protect the kids without costing additional taxpayer money. It would prevent the shooter’s entry, especially in conjunction with metal detectors, but as you point out, most of the adults are interested in the career-enhancing angle that this issue presents for adults, not about preventing more school shootings.

Pragmatic action on this school-shooting issue won’t bring more voters to the booth, so Congress thinks, unlike the unfair-cubed, doubled, refundable / non-refundable child tax credits, now set above a max of $6,444, that hoist up the paychecks of often part-time mom workers.

Swampers probably will make a big deal of setting new guidelines for government employees to reduce school shootings, but it will not likely work, when so many [employed] Americans are above firing due to workplaces that accommodate the personal lives of some employees in the extreme.

You cannot be a vigilant employee, guarding the public, when skipping out of work all the time due to baby travel soccer or other kid-related activities. They may not do that in FBI jobs, but the retained mom-gang employees sure do in other office jobs.

Due to the extreme amount of excused absenteeism for parents in America’s many crony-parent workplaces, and due to the fact that many single moms need to [officially] work part time to stay below the earned-income limit for a multitude of monthly welfare programs, parents with unearned income often work fewer hours than individuals covering all bills on earned-only income. This is likewise true for the many married moms, workng part time—whether officially or unofficially in back-watching arrangements with mom managers—to add keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ income to an ample spousal income.

Congress cannot spend any money on protecting kids in these schools, but they can allocate even more child-tax-credit welfare to part-time working parents, piling on more unearned income to their spousal income, child support that covers rent or monthly welfare—i.e. free or subsidized rent, free groceries, monthly cash assistance, nearly free daycare, electricity assistance, etc., in addition to a refundable child tax credit that puts their paychecks high above the earned-only income of full-time, hardworking individuals, struggling to cover rent that absorbs more than half of their pay.

Swampers saw a political payout in giving parents [that they assume are registered to vote] more child-tax-credit money to spend as they please on trips with boyfriends to the beach, tattoos or kitchen renovations. Swampers do not see a political payout in doing something practical to stop the school-shooting carnage.

Working parents are always the ones with the money and the excused time off to take long trips, leaving offices short staffed. They also leave every afternoon in many cases without returning to work, even at times of the day when phones ring off the hook with paying customers. Parents (mostly moms, but not always) take mornings, afternoons, days and weeks off beyond PTO and pregnancy leaves with ZERO repercussions.

It is no surprise that the [retained], above-firing employees make lots of serious mistakes, including in cases where lives are on the line. In the family-friendly workplaces of the fake-feminist era, work quality is secondary to the personal lives of “culture-fit” employees.

Anyone other than parents can be fired for absolute trivialities, even after coming to work every day, staying the entire day and meeting the quotas each and every month, but not the frequently absentee parents with “kids to feed.” In all of office jobs I have worked, including a government job, I have seen an enormous volume of excused absenteeism from “busy-working” parents and only one mom fired for all day, everyday absenteeism in a management job.

The more politicians accommodate absenteeism among the working parents, the less professional workplaces will be, including government offices that handle crucial and life-critical issues.

Parents “need the jobs,” they say, even when a spouse brings in enough pay to support two households in style, and so, parents dominate most of the management jobs in many government and corporate offices, just like they dominate the vast majority of the lower-level jobs in most government and corporate back offices, “voted best for moms,” watching each other’s backs in excused-absenteeism rings.

Automation is making this easier for gangs of parenting-focused employees and managers, doing a lot of their work for them, enabling the absenteeism. Perhaps, that is part of the problem.

The FBI might hire more men than most government and corporate office jobs, so the workers might not be as absentee or as preoccupied with the next mom-bonding ritual at work, like the next Halloween dress-up day, the next baby-mommy-look-alike-bulletin-board-decorating contest, the next tacky Christmas sweater contest or the next bring-daughter-to-work day. 

I don’t know.

But, after the Snowden revelations, I seem to remember some articles about NSA employees listening to the phone sex of troops as part of their “terrorism-prevention” measures. After those revelations, Americans saw a ton of mass murders by terrorists, including the San Bernardino and Orlando mass shootings.

The type of excused chicanery in workplaces varies with the reigning crony clique. Mom gangs have their own brand of workplace negligence, and since they have kids, mom employees are nearly 100% above criticism, with all bad workplace behavior done for the sake of their kids.

When they ramp up services in government agencies after one of these horrific mass murders, whether it is a school shooting or a terrorist event, there is a lot of media hoopla, but as with all other workplaces, the reigning workplace social cliques will still determine the quality of the work and the quality of the protection they provide to American citizens.

Back-watching, frequently absentee momma managers, hiring / retaining almost all fellow absentee crony moms, just protect themselves. Other crony groups in America’s workplaces likely do the same.

In reply to by Tarzan

sgt_doom stacking12321 Sat, 02/24/2018 - 19:15 Permalink

Keep hearing this Molly McKew character on the local and international fake news (locally in Seattle, on KIRO, internationally on BBC, etc.)

She keeps ignoring everything Chinese and harping on the Russkies, yet it was Chinese military hackers who penetrated the Pentagon and private contractors to steal the plans to ALL the major US weapons systems.

Heard her the other day on BBC, same bullcrap, but this time one of the other guests was from that bullcrap so-called think tank in the UK, Chatham House, and this dood claimed that the NSA --- which has been under the Pentagon's authority since 1988 --- wasn't military (they just have military personnel there and a general is always the director and the Pentagon has the authority over it, etc., etc., etc.!!!!

So much bullcrap . . .

In reply to by stacking12321

Radical Marijuana stacking12321 Sat, 02/24/2018 - 19:31 Permalink


"... if anything, they want to encourage more school shootings, which may enable gun grabs, which will consolidate their monopoly on the use of violence."

The established systems ARE doing what those institutions were actually designed to do, which enables runaway social polarization to become increasingly irreconcilable, while also mostly maintaining the safety values on those pressure cookers in their welded shut positions.

George Washington is typical of the standard fare presented in Zero Hedge articles, by grossly understating not only the degree to which the dominate systems ARE based on excessively successful applications of the methods of organized crime, while then those kinds of superficial analyses allow recommending similarly superficial "solutions."

Civilization is necessarily controlled by its murder systems. However, because the most socially successful murder systems were selected to become as deceitful and treacherous as possible, it also followed that the established sociopolitical systems are based on the maximum possible maliciousness.

In general, the various layers of controlled "opposition" groups, which surround the central core of bankster dominated governments, stay within the same overall frame of reference of dishonesty with respect to the death control systems in general, and especially the murder systems in particular.

Deeper dilemmas are arising because about exponentially advancing technologies are enabling the basic dishonesty that Civilization was built upon to become about exponentially more dishonest. In that context, one could not expect an article from an author like George Washington to entertain any more holistic understanding of the human death control systems. Instead, facile sets of recommendations follow from facile levels of analysis.

Personally, I have never been able to determine whether the articles republished on Zero Hedge from George Washington were actually "naive," rather that deliberately pitched to attempt to surf the boundaries between the mainstream and the fringes. (On balance, I have tended to presume the latter, rather than the former.) But nevertheless, attempting to surf the relative popularity boundaries between what used to be fringes, while the mainstream more and more overtakes those, is becoming more and more difficult. Since the established systems, based on being able to continue to enforce frauds, are becoming about exponentially more fraudulent, and since being able to enforce frauds never stops those from still being fundamentally fraudulent, the basic structure of Civilization is automatically becoming more psychotic every day.

That manifests as the ruling classes becoming increasingly psychotic psychopaths, while most of those they rule over match that by becoming increasingly incompetent political idiots, albeit while relatively more people are also noticing the accumulating apparent anomalies, such as the painfully obvious "failures" of the national security apparatus to work for the sake of "We the People."

In general, anyone who continues to take for granted staying inside the frame of reference made and maintained by false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals, is not going to be able and willing to go through deeper levels of analyses regarding how and why the so-called national security apparatus actually serves the interests of the ruling classes, by keeping the entrenched systems of enforced frauds achieving symbolic robberies of the many by the few.

For the foreseeable finite future of Globalized Neolithic Civilization, the evolution of human ecology will remain buried under deepening piles of bullshit ... Politics both is, as well as should be, applied human ecology, which includes that political economy operates inside human ecology, since the death controls back up the debt controls, through the combinations of the ways that money is measurement backed by murder. However, while that is the case, because that is so, it has also happened that the human death control systems became dominated by human murder systems, which maximized their maliciousness. Theoretically speaking, any genuinely better resolutions of political problems would require better human ecology, which would demand better death control systems. However, history has driven the most socially successful murder systems to become as dishonest as possible, and indeed, to become about exponentially more dishonest, from the perspective of contemporary observers.

Natural selection was internalized as human intelligence, which was then applied to the most important selection pressures, which were other groups of people. Therefore, natural selection pressures drove the development of artificial selection systems to become as dishonest as possible, and that included not only the ways that the ruling classes maximized their maliciousness, but also the ways that the layers of their controlled "opposition" groups adapted to survive by staying inside the same frames of reference, which took for granted regarding human death control issues in the most deceitful ways which were humanly possible.

The so-called "intelligence" services, like the NSA, are trapped within the apparent oxymoronic status of "military intelligence," which appears so intensely incompetent due to its compartmentalization. ( ) Overall, we are living inside an oxymoronic Scientific Dictatorship, which is deliberately not genuinely scientific about itself. That can also be perceived as due to the ways that another classic oxymoron is "political science."

All of those oxymorons trace back to the deeper dilemmas driven by the ways that Civilization was necessarily the manifestation of the principles and methods of organized crime on larger and larger scales. In that context, "national security" has become another runaway social psychosis. Hence, the NSA actually serves the interests of the ruling classes, which are NOT to stop the development of runaway fascist police state powers, but rather to enable those powers to serve the interests of the runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut.

However, there is NO good language which is widely understood available to use to discuss that situation, since the primary source of the "wealth" of those plutocrats is the ability to make the public "money" supplies out of nothing as debts, while the public powers of governments continue to enforce those frauds, and thus maintain those social robberies to become runaway social polarizations (which not only seem to have become irreconcilable, but also, even worse, are within the context of irreparable destruction of the natural world, as facilitated by fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting systems "paying" for the strip-mining of a fresh planet.)

By definition, when human ecology is forced to change, that will primarily mean changes in the death control systems, which will especially mean changes in the murder systems. The tragic trajectory "we" are on is for the deeply entrenched artificial selection systems to continue to become increasingly dishonest, and hence, be driven through series of psychotic breakdowns.

Any superficial analysis of mass murders taking place inside schools should be placed into the larger context of the history of mass murders through warfare. Indeed, it is not possible to generate genuinely better resolutions of the relatively minor mass murder problems without admitting and addressing the larger mass murder problems.

While human beings and civilization are manifestations of general energy systems, since groups of human beings live as nested toroidal vortices engaged in entropic pumping of environmental energy flows, because that is the case those systems have been driven towards becoming most socially successful by becoming as dishonest about themselves as humanly possible. (It is barely possible to exaggerate how deep that dishonesty goes!)

Prodigious progress in physical science was enabling growing chasms to develop between about exponentially advancing technologies, while political science did not progress, except by becoming an even more oxymoronic Scientific Dictatorship, which was deliberately NOT genuinely scientific about itself.

Entities like the NSA were originally made and maintained to serve the murder systems which backed up the money systems. Hence, the primary activities of the NSA are to attempt to enable enforced frauds to continue to become about exponentially more fraudulent. Since that includes the ways that there are practically no genuine opposition groups, but only relatively controlled "opposition" groups, there tends to never be presented in publicly significant ways sufficiently profound paradigms shifts in the perception of the deceitful murder systems, which would be required to adequately admit and address what entities like the NSA are actually doing. Hence, there is pretty well never any publicly significant presentation of what the NSA should actually do better, because, by definition, that would amount to serving better murder systems, (which runs into those deepening dilemmas that the previously best murder systems have been maximizing their maliciousness.)

The overall context of a culture in which mass murders could rather routinely take place within schools are the ways that globalized electronic monkey money is backed up by the threat of force from apes with atomic weapons. Since those overall combined money/murder systems have become far too criminally insane for the primates who are operating those systems to completely comprehend anymore, one ought not be too surprised at the eruptions of death insanities in the forms of mass murders taking place in schools.

My view is that "we" should think about the series of intellectual scientific revolutions and profound paradigm shifts which took place in mathematical physics, in order that about exponentially advancing technologies could manifest in such forms as the NSA becoming about exponentially more psychotic "national security."

The underlying theme of the progress in physical sciences has been to develop UNITARY MECHANISMS to replace the old-fashioned DUALITIES. In the case of correct presentations of the situation that the government is the biggest form of organized crime, dominated by the best organized gangsters, which was how and why entities like the NSA enabled that kind of excessively triumphant organized crime to flourish, what has become theoretically imperative is for militarism to go through series of intellectual scientific revolutions and profound paradigm shifts.

Militarism is the supreme ideology, because it is the ideology of the murder systems, which was the overall context in which "military intelligence" always developed. Recall that the oldest book on The Art Of War starts by saying "success in war depends on deceits," and ends by saying "spies are the most important soldiers." Hence, the actual history of successful warfare has driven entities like the NSA to become as deceitful and treacherous as possible, despite that the final consequences are driving Civilization toward manifesting runaway psychoses and criminal insanities, which is the overall context in which one should regard the death insanities of schools suffering mass murders.

In general, from that perspective, authors like George Washington may well slightly push the envelope of more mainstream thinking toward what was previously a relatively more fringe position, (while doing only that may well not be due to actually being "naive," but rather, due to considering practical political effects upon the mainstream.)

The underlying problems are that the overwhelming vast majority of people are NOT able and willing to reconsider the ways that natural selection worked, as manifestations of general energy systems, as well as were conditioned to NOT want to be able to reconsider the ways that artificial selection systems worked. Rather, the vast majority of people have adapted for generation after generation to living inside Wonderland Matrix Bizarro Worlds, which were based on enforcing frauds, resulting in the presentation of everything in the most absurdly backward ways possible, especially including the ways that the dominate natural languages and philosophy of science continue to take for granted presenting the concepts of time and space in the most absurdly backward ways possible.

That Civilization necessarily operates according to the principles and methods of organized crime has necessary corollaries, that the biggest and best organized gangsters dominated Civilization for thousand of years, and that was context in which the USA's NSA could be made and maintained. At the present time, and for the foreseeable future, it is politically impossible to imagine the NSA doing any genuinely better job, since it already serves notions of "national security" which have become runaway social psychoses.

In reply to by stacking12321

Beowulf55 Radical Marijuana Sat, 02/24/2018 - 22:18 Permalink


Albeit insightful, and I don't disagree with your feels to me that you had already thought and written about this and had been wanting to get this off your chest for a while.....or did it all just come off the top of your head while smoking a bowel?


In reply to by Radical Marijuana

Handful of Dust Chupacabra-322 Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:10 Permalink

Obama, Hillary, Bernie, the DNC, soros, etc and especially MSM, spread so much hatred the last 8 years, I am surprised these massacres don't happen more often.

I think it's odd that CNN and NBC avoids posting any information about the cops and fbi who allowed this mass killing to occur. No photos, no write-ups, etc...

I guess that would not fit their Alynski agenda.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

Chupacabra-322 Handful of Dust Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:16 Permalink

@ Hand,


What they really don’t want is any person, group or thing interfering with with their Ideological, Marxist, Pseudo Intellectual, Illogical viewpoints.  It’s about Control.  They want you disarmed.  Period.  No Debte.  Like angry Children.   


God forbid the Impressionable Minds of the Pupils in their Liberal / Marist / Statist Indoctrination Centers have a Non Biased Perception of Safety built on Liberty & not Fear.


Last thing a Conservative Parents want is some Liberal nut job Democratic Teacher with a Gun next to our Kids.  Seems as though the only Group shooting Senators and such are Liberal Democratic nut jobs.  


We’re Governed by Children and Psychopaths.

In reply to by Handful of Dust

Chupacabra-322 Nameshavebeenc… Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

The National Security Elimination Act of 2018


The United States survived quite nicely for 130+ years with neither a Criminal FBI, CIA, IRS nor the Federal Reserve. Let's return to those better days ASAP.


Would precisely achieve that objective & more by recentrailizing the “Intelligence” Agencies. By Elimination of rouge Criminal Agencies such as the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at & in the CIA.


Elimination of the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths in the Deep State & CIA.


As easily as The National Security Act was signed in 1947 it can & must be Eliminated.


The “Intelligence” Agencies are nothing more than the epitome of what are defined as Crimes Syndicate’s.  


Mass PsyOps, Espionage & Surveillance Against The American People & Against other Countires must end.  



In reply to by Nameshavebeenc…

Bludklot Sat, 02/24/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

I believe that sort of thing is outside their charter. Umh has the answer. Get the appropriate Government agencies to do their fucking job.

FIAT CON Sat, 02/24/2018 - 11:25 Permalink

1. That would be using technology for "Good" We can't have any of that.

2. Stopping shooters! But, but why? That would go against our plan of scaring the people out of their guns or other sinister motives.

Thoreau Sat, 02/24/2018 - 11:42 Permalink

The NSA is doing something "useful." Namely, following the orders of their NWO masters. Thank goodness ol' Carrot Top is here to save us.

Bloodstock Sat, 02/24/2018 - 11:55 Permalink

Simple plan, investigate the inconsistencies and prosecute the ALL of the people involved in the false flag for treason against the United States of America. MAGA! Take out those and this shit is over.

Bemused Observer Sat, 02/24/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

I have an about gathering the data on the medications these shooters are or have been on? Not just 'he took SSRI's', but WHAT SSRI's, when did he take them and for how long, and were any negative effects noted or reported?

I have a feeling that a particular chemical or chemical combo will turn out to be a common factor. Perhaps an unhappy blending of a childhood ADD drug and a later SSRI given in the teens...Those kids who were so aggressively medicated are graduating now, and have been for several years now...look for parallels.

Tell you what...if in a few years the school shootings slow or stop, but we start seeing an uptick in workplace shootings, then it will look more like a problem with this particular generation, because that's what you'd expect as the current 'school shooter' age group grows into their twenties and thirties.

Number 9 Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:05 Permalink

to think (((they))) dont want these school shootings is the epitome of stupidity..

red pilled Zero Hedge posters indeed..


when do we call the spade a spade?..

500 million


Dr. Bonzo Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:07 Permalink

Media responsibility for this epidemic of shootings has been completely ignored by.... the media, yet the age of mass shootings didn't start with the existence of firearms in the population, or newspapers, or radio, it correlates nicely though with the rising popularity of television and the rise of television ownership, the increased use of medication and the breakdown of the American family. The extent to which school shooters are basically copycats of all other shooters is nearly completely ignored, yet it is the extensive coverage of previous shooters that actually inspires and motivates other aspiring mass shooters. Oh wait. The guns did it.  Let's disarm the population and let heroic law enforcement protect us. Oh wait.....


Applause. This is what a  country tearing itself apart looks like.