Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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Location: Edge City, Titan

31 October 2007

Gen. Casey on a Crisis in Generalship (Text)

General Casey was asked a question on a Failure in Generalship by Lt. Col. Paul Yingling. Here is his response.
Briefly, I don't believe that there is a crisis in generalship, and I don't believe we need Congressional support to help us sort our way through it. Now as I have gone around the army in the first 4 or 5 months here I have talked to leaders at all levels. I asked them the question. I got to the level where I talked to a bunch of majors, and I asked them what they thought about the Yingling article. They all kinda go, "we were going to ask you about that." I said "I asked first." You get a mixed bag. Some folks think there is a problem. and I will tell you I believe we don't do as good a job as we need to training our senior leaders to operate at the national level. We do a wonderful job training tactical leaders. and we do a pretty good job training operational level leaders at the corp and division level. but we don't do a good enough job at that level. That came out loud and clear to me in my transition. and that's kind of one of the things that Lieutenant Colonel Yingling gets at in his article. From that perspective we recognize that. I've already revamped our General Officer training program to start moving us in that direction. i think it's healthy to talk about it and I've directed all of the War College and the Command and General Staff College and all our advanced courses to talk about it. Sit down with the young folks, who have much more experience than we did, at the early times in their career. Find out what they think. and don't sweep it under the table. Let's get it out there and talk about it. We are putting out a new doctrinal manual, it will be the first manual since September 11, about how we gonna fight. It's entitled Full Spectrum Operations. I sat down with about 30 majors out of Leavenworth and I asked them to read it and we talked about it. The insights were striking. so we've got a lot to learn from the young folks. They're very invested in what we're doing here. We need to continue to seek them out and have a dialogue.

h/t: SWJ Blog.

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Ralph Peters: 12 Myths of 21st Century War

The SWJ Editors list the bullet points from Peters' original article over at SWJ Blog (Discussion).
Myth No. 1: War doesn't change anything.
Myth No. 2: Victory is impossible today.
Myth No. 3: Insurgencies can never be defeated.
Myth No. 4: There's no military solution; only negotiations can solve our problems.
Myth No. 5: When we fight back, we only provoke our enemies.
Myth No. 6: Killing terrorists only turns them into martyrs.
Myth No. 7: If we fight as fiercely as our enemies, we're no better than them.
Myth No. 8: The United States is more hated today than ever before.
Myth No. 9: Our invasion of Iraq created our terrorist problems.
Myth No. 10: If we just leave, the Iraqis will patch up their differences on their own.
Myth No. 11: It's all Israel's fault. Or the popular Washington corollary: "The Saudis are our friends."
Myth No. 12: The Middle East's problems are all America's fault.
I wouldn't call these myths since they don't serve as the foundation of any meaningful belief system, but rather cliched anti-war slogans from the fevered brains of International ANSWER and Code Pink.

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30 October 2007

Media Cheerleaders for Despair

In a 4GW like the Counterjihad the world is fighting against Al Qaeda and the other Caliphate gangs, the media are the the means of attack. We cannot afford to have a media with no regard for the obligations of good citizenship. They will amplify the enemy's message and muffle our own. And yet that is what we have. How did it get this bad?

There are no more Ernie Pyles telling the stories of American grunts from the perspective of the foxhole. Though Geraldo Rivera and other television news stars embedded with American troops in the charge to Baghdad in 2003, reporting positively on the initial blitzkrieg that seized the land with remarkably little bloodshed for a war of conquest, that changed quickly.

During the early days of the occupation the free media attempted to balance the narratives of the conflict "fairly" between the occupier and the occupied. The width of the arrows is intended to represent the amount of copy the media devote to narratives, denoted by color. Compare this to the balance on display in unfree media from Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, and Turkey.

In the initial, quiet months the free media had been influenced by its "peers" in the unfree media of neighboring countries, and had come to believe much of the anti-American propaganda and conspiracy theorizing (about a rash of gang-rapes by American soldiers, random slaughters, white phosphorus and depleted uranium rants, the Plame affair, etc.) that fills Arabic language newspapers of the region. The balance of stories that were allowed through the media filter changed. So too did the stories that were reported multiple times, therefore magnified by media attention.

For a while, the fight had been mostly uneventful except for the looting and all-around lawless behavior from the violent criminals who were loosed from Saddam's jails as the US invaded. Then it changed. Prompted to some degree by US bungling in the occupation, it became more dangerous, more bitter. The Baathist, Sunni supremacist, Al Qaeda, and the Sadrist and Badrist insurgencies had taken form behind the scenes and were ready to strike.

The troubles came.

Then the New York Times put a different Abu Ghraib photo on the front page every day for over a month. The free media gave up and where Iraq was concerned became an English language equivalent of the Gulf state media.

This is where we are now. The counterinsurgent is almost completely unable to get its message into its home-country media. The insurgent gets its message out easily. Because of the influence of supposed peers, even peers who have no freedom to choose stories as they fit, the quislings in the free media have taken the lead of the unfree media and debased their own product until it is indistinguishable from work produced by media who are under the thumb of despots and prevented by terror from speaking or writing freely.

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Conflict Map of the Counterjihad

The map is based on the Islamic Insurgency Conflict MapUnited States' struggle against Jihadist terrorists in Iraq and to a somewhat lesser degree in Afghanistan. It could well apply to other Counterjihad struggles, for example Israel against Hezbollah in Lebanon, Pakistan against Al Qaeda in the Pashtun tribal belt, Turkey against the Marxist PKK, and the Philippines against the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas.

The two fields on the ends of the map are the counterinsurgent democracy on the bottom and the country in the throes of insurgency on the top. The gray represents the neutral populace in both.

The two pentagrams in the middle are the military counterinsurgency and the insurgency. They are killing each other. The counterinsurgency is much more successful at actually killing its enemy than vice versa, as reflected in the width of the arrow. The counterinsurgency also manages to kill some of the semi-legitimate insurgent leaders. But this is not where it stops.

The insurgency not only kills the personnel of the counterinsurgency, but also kills neutral leaders and civilians of its putative own side in order to supply photogenic violence for its media productions. The media productions are the tools the insurgency uses to tell its narrative. The insurgency's narrative is represented by dark green arrows, and comes from the insurgency itself, from semi-legitimate leaders, and from covert supporters within the populace. For the purpose of this map, the narrative is directed at the democratic populace (for the political effects). However, in reality the narrative is primarily directed at all Muslims in an attempt to radicalize and mobilize them.

Finally, and now we come to the core of the processes this map is intended to represent, we come to the interactions between the Elected Government, the Opposition, the Pro-War and Anti-War Minorities, the Military, and the Populace. The center of this storm is the conflict between the Elected Government and the Opposition which desires to embarrass the Elected Government and throw it out of power, and is willing to go to great lengths to do so. For more on this section of the map, see Democracies at 4GWar.

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29 October 2007

4GW Jihad and the role of the World Media

4GW Jihad as it is currently practiced is characterized most often by recording photogenic megaviolence, then propagating the recordings to media channels that primarily serve the Muslim populace, for recruiting, radicalization and morale-building purposes, and secondarily the non-Muslim populace to propagandize against its own government and military. This is not ideal for the Jihadists, as they would prefer killing infidels to fooling them or demoralizing them, but it will do until they can advance to more sophisticated and impersonal methods of killing than beheading a kuffir with a dull knife. But it is good enough for their long-term plans.

F. G. Hoffman described it well in his talk at the Boyd 2007 Conference.

Today’s 24/7 news cycles and graphic imagery produce even faster and higher response cycles from audiences around the globe and offer powerful new “weapons” to those who can master them.

Today, many small groups have mastered “armed theater” and promoted “propaganda of the deed” to arouse support and foment discord on a global scale. There is a plethora of outlets now in the Middle East and an exponentially growing number of websites and bloggers promoting a radical vision. These outlets constantly bombarded audiences with pictures, videos, DVDs, and sermons. Ironically, in Iraq and in the Long War we are facing a fundamentalist movement that is exploiting very modern and Western technologies to reestablish an anti-Western social and political system. The 4GW school, in its initial offering, identified the potential for this phenomena and the associated religious and cultural factors that might inspire it.

The Arabic news channels, jihad bloggers, and other jihad-sympathizing media outlets are capable enough of spreading the jihadist message to the base of radicalized Muslims. However, the world media, Al Jazeera, CNN, BBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC, also serve their part. They are happy to run with jihadist-supplied footage as long as the chain of custody can't be traced back from the journalist to the jihadist. The world media, by reproducing and distributing the jihadist message all over the world, serves to magnify the jihadist narrative and lengthen the narrative's lifespan. By doing this they help the jihadists recruit, radicalize, build morale, and raise funds.

Every process in the shown feedback loop helps the Jihadists. Their violence has a direct morale effect on themselves, the US military, and the populace. Their goal is to tyrannize the populace, and violence helps attain that goal. By making media products they combine their most persuasive sermons with photogenic megaviolence, and preserve the greatest hits so they can be heard forever. The media amplifies their message and carries it many places they couldn't have reached otherwise. The electorate, demoralized by the 4GW Jihad's narrative might lose faith in the military and want to draw down forces early, or it might panic and pull them back immediately. Either is a victory for the Jihadists, and almost as good for them as sudden death among the counterjihad military.

The result of the process isn't always as spectacular as two planes destroying the tallest buildings in the US. But as its perfectly achievable goal is to increase the percentage of Muslims who are radicalized and mobilized worldwide, it is even more dangerous. With around 1.2 billion Muslims in the world, every 1% of additional radicalized and mobilized Muslims add up to another 12 million who are ready to kill and be killed for Jihad. Certainly the US cannot so easily recruit 12 million soldiers. Osama Bin Laden has a higher approval rate in Pakistan than Pervez Musharraf, at about 55%. If it is possible for Pakistan, founded 60 years ago as a secular Muslim state, to support the figurehead of Jihadist Totalitarianism and the Global Caliphate movement, then can you be sure that other "moderate" Muslim states cannot be transformed likewise in the next 60 years?

F. G. Hoffman again:
What some of the critics of 4GW have overlooked is the critical importance of the cognitive and virtual dimension of today’s conflicts. I expect several speakers to discuss this today. Now as we all know, T. E. Lawrence and the French expert Galula underscored this same issue in their seminal works. But the speed, frequency, and graphic imagery that is possible today with modern media is simply beyond their comprehension. It may still be beyond most of us. Recent scholarship by Dr. Audrey Cronin has persuasively compared the ongoing cyber-mobilization of Muslims around the world to the French Revolution and the levée en masse. This has profound implications for human conflict in this century as Dr. Cronin has perceptively warns “Western nations will persist in ignoring the fundamental changes in popular mobilization at their peril.”

As long as the "if it bleeds it leads" World Media continues to serve an unquestioning role in spreading Jihadist propaganda worldwide and refusing under the tyranny of multiculturalism to spread or even permit discussion of opposing or alternative views, the Media will assist the Jihadists in the radicalization and mobilization of Muslims, and the creation of a world-wide Muslim majority of Jihadists. Happy day for Osama bin Laden, perhaps. Not so much for the rest of us.

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28 October 2007

Democracies at 4GWar

Counterinsurgency and Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) are two ways of saying the same thing. War compels an enemy to submit to your will. 4GW is a form of warfare. It is still a technique for compulsion. However, it does not focus directly on the enemy military force but directs a narrative (a storyline which may bear little similarity to the facts) at the enemy population in order to convince them to do something, for example to stop supporting their military. Gunplay, bombing, and other kinetic operations (including security operations, a free press, and free elections) are useful in a 4GW so far as they fit into and reinforce the chosen narrative.

4GW hasn't been discussed much, but it has been the dominant practical method in major wars for fifty years. Vietnam was a 4GW. The US won the vast majority of kinetic battles convincingly. Even Tet was a disaster for the NVA. But the NVA won the war of the narrative. In the end, the US withdrew and refused to assist South Vietnam against the 1975 North Vietnamese invasion, with the result that 25-30% of Cambodia was murdered by Pol Pot and millions of "boat people" fled Vietnam to escape the reeducation camps and other horrors.

Colonel T. X. Hammes writes:
In January 2002, one ‘Ubed al-Qurashi quoted extensively from two Marine Corps Gazette articles about 4GW. He then stated, “The fourth generation of wars [has] already taken place and revealed the superiority of the theoretically weak side. In many instances, these wars have resulted in the defeat of ethnic states [duwal qawmiyah] at the hands of ethnic groups with no states.”

Essentially, one of Al-Qaeda’s leading strategists stated categorically that the group was using 4GW against the United States—and expected to win. Even this did not stimulate extensive discussion in the West, where the 9-11 attacks were seen as an anomaly, and the apparent rapid victories in Afghanistan and Iraq appeared to vindicate the Pentagon’s vision of hightechnology warfare. It was not until the Afghan and Iraqi insurgencies began growing and the continuing campaign against Al-Qaeda faltered that serious discussion of 4GW commenced in the United States.
In a 4GW war, both militaries direct their strategic narrative against the populace that supports their enemy military. Democracies that fight a 4GW have added vulnerabilities that can lead to defeat in a 4GW much like the US defeat in Vietnam and Israel's defeat in the 2006 HizbAllah conflict in South Lebanon.

Major Erik Claessen writes:
According to Galula, “The basic tenet of the exercise of political power [is that] in any situation, whatever the cause, there will be an active minority for the cause, a neutral majority, and an active minority against the cause” (italics mine). It takes considerable political interaction to make the neutral majority choose sides. The majority of the counterinsurgent’s electorate is only marginally interested in politics. In a democracy, three types of actors can generate the political interactions necessary to make the neutral majority choose sides on an issue: the government, the opposition, and active minorities. All three must compete to gain media traction because the average constituent either cannot, or will not, handle more than a few political issues, and the media largely decides what those issues are.
I have simplified the situation somewhat in my diagram.

Claessen continues:
“Because rhetorical campaigns are such an integral part of mobilizing public and political support, there is a tendency to oversell the message. The constant temptation to manipulate and distort information frequently leads the public to develop unrealistic expectations about the nature or likely cost or efficacy of military intervention.”

This initial justification for the involvement in COIN becomes a de facto contract between the government and the electorate. The government must abide by this contract or pay a high political penalty. Because the most important terms of this contract are the expected duration, nature, and cost of the counterinsurgency, the insurgent can inflict a political penalty on the government by prolonging the conflict, changing the perception of its nature (e.g., from a “war of liberation” to a “war against imperialist oppression and cruelty”), and/or increasing its cost. None of these require the insurgent to attain military victory.

The second consequence of a government’s decision to undertake COIN is that the political opposition can exploit the conflict for electoral gain. In a democracy, the opposition represents the electorate’s alternative to the government.

As the diagram shows, the opposition will represent both the government and active minorities as too extreme, and itself as the only centrist and reasonable alternative: the compromise party. It is hard to argue with this logic. In addition, the more attention that is paid to the military conflict, the more likely the populace is to respond to emotional arguments and search for a compromise position.

As Claesson points out, this makes a widely disseminated pro-military narrative counterproductive in a democracy fighting a counterinsurgency or a 4GW. The discouraged electorate is the central problem in 4GW for democracies.

Claesson again:
A discouraged electorate can be devastating for the democratic counterinsurgent, akin to destruction of his armed forces. The counterinsurgent must have a strategy to prevent this from happening. However, the three steps that might preclude such discouragement are impossible to take. The counterinsurgent cannot start a war without justifying it to his electorate; he cannot include the opposition in the government and abandon the government’s political priorities for the entire duration of the war; and he cannot curtail the activities of the active minorities that oppose the counterinsurgency.

Yet, as Max Boot points out and Claesson repeats, there is one way to minimize the possibility of a discouraged electorate. Keep it quiet and make sure the conflict is not closely covered in the media. Some ways to keep it quiet are:
  • Use minimal numbers of regular military forces in country.
  • Focus on training mission that can be performed out of country.
  • Leverage indigenous counter-insurgents.
  • Use private military contractors (letters of marque?).
  • Minimal forces cannot protect the media or NGOs in country.

Both the Hammes and Claessen articles are well worth reading. Taken together they show both the dangers and a path out of our current troubles with the 4GW against Al Qaeda, quite possibly a path to victory.

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27 October 2007

Hollywood Celebretards

I just started in PJ O’Rourke’s On the Wealth of Nations and there is an apropos quote from Adam Smith concerning overvalued celebs.
There are some very agreeable and beautiful talents of which the possession commands a certain sort of admiration; but of which the exercise for the sake of gain is considered … as a sort of public prostitution. … The exorbitant rewards of players, opera-singers, opera-dancers &c are founded upon .. the rarity and beauty of the talents, and the discredit of employing them.

Why exactly we treat these “public prostitutes” as royalty whose every word should be valued as much as precious jewels I do not know.

h/t: Woman Honor Thyself

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26 October 2007

If Dollars Grew in Diapers

Matthew Mosk writes:
Elrick Williams's toddler niece Carlyn may be one of the youngest contributors to this year's presidential campaign. The 2-year-old gave $2,300 to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

So did her sister and brother, Imara, 13, and Ishmael, 9, and her cousins Chan and Alexis, both 13. Altogether, according to newly released campaign finance reports, the extended family of Williams, a wealthy Chicago financier, handed over nearly a dozen checks in March for the maximum allowed under federal law to Obama.

If dollars grew in diapers, I'd give to candidates,
I'd give them all the limit, at least the fashion plates.
I'd tell them what to vote for, and projects that are right.
If dollars grew in diapers, I'd launder them all night.

If dollars grew in diapers I'd be the finest guy.
I'd teach my kids to donate to the leading pols to buy.
It's no shame running third, pay off place and show as well.
If dollars grew in diapers, it would redefine the smell.

If dollars grew in diapers, oh what a swell I'd be,
I'd summer in the mountains, and winter by the sea,
On beaches with my honey, and all our kids nearby,
If dollars grew in diapers, you'd never hear me cry.

If dollars grew in diapers, then near a thousand there,
Two thousand in that onesie, three in that underwear.
So give to dear Obama, and give to Clinton too,
If dollars grew in diapers, children save me some doo doo!

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Thugs Nearly Murder "Stop Islamisation of Europe" Leaders

The translation to English is squirrelly, but I think you will get the message.
there was a loud bang and the frontwindow was damaged. About two autonomous looking types were in the front and two on ecah sites smashing the site windows shouting Get him out get him out! and started hitting Anders and the SIAD passenger in the other site with ironbars. The SIAD member in the middle (foto) was hit of a thrown filled soda bottle in her backhead.

Anders succeded after a while to kick one of the autonomous hard in the face as he leaned in to unlock the door. Anders mananged to get out with a fire extinguisher from the van and hit another one hard on the shoulder. It remained later that they attemted to stab him down when there was found cut holes in the shirt, jacket and vest. Anders was wearing his securityvest which saved his life.

Details at SIOE Stop Islamisation of Europe.

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Knight Ridder's Blackest Day Ever (or is it McClatchy?)

...Was the day that Bobby Caina Calvan published his self-satisfied, smirking blog from Baghdad. Read it all at Doc Weasel.

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Why We Fight: Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders Visit Camp Arifjan

LiveLeak has a video of the real reason why soldiers travel to inhospitable places to face terrible danger.


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25 October 2007

Vidino: Jihadi Networks in Europe

The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor today published an article by Lorenzo Vidino in which he outlined Current Trends in Jihadi Networks in Europe. The patterns of action he identifies include.
Independent Terrorist versus Part of a Terror Network
The Independent Terrorist, or exemplar of Sudden Jihad Syndrome, fascinates many observers. But the reality ranges along a continuum from Independent actors to those who have traveled to Chechnya, Algeria, Mali or Pakistan and trained in the Jihad camps there.
Jihadist Travel Plans
While some Jihadists see their home areas as a field for terrorism, most travel away from home to wage Jihad. Some travel elsewhere in Europe, or to lesser known destinations like Somalia. But most travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan, or to Iraq, to fight Americans. Those from the Nordic and Germanic countries (plus England) go to Afghanistan, those from the Latin countries go to Iraq.
Jihad and Rap Music
Jihad in Europe, rather than being inspired by pure religious fervor, seems to be driven by the glamor, access to drugs, and easy money associated with a nihilistic, criminal life. Most European Jihadists are not driven by love of Islam, but by hatred for the society in which they live. Transmission of this pattern overwhelmingly takes place in prison, where irreligious prisoners are converted to Jihadist Islam by committed Jihad recruiters.
Leaving the Urbs
In the south of Europe, Muslim immigrants working in agriculture are ministered to by wandering Deobandi or Wahabist imams with radical messages. In some places, these missions have spawned not only radical mosques but isolated radical communes that engage in smuggling of Jihadists and money to Iraq.
Eastern Europe
Radical and Wahabi influence is widespread in Kosovo and Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans, and it is growing.

Read the whole thing.

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Zombies in time for Halloween

The California fires are just too big to blog about. On a day like today it's time to search out an amusing video and share it. Today's video is a very amusing one about Zombies.

Classic bit:
"Be careful this Halloween. You may see people that resemble Zombies. Remember, Zombies don't eat candy. Only brains!"

Plus lots more "this and that in plain english" videos. Most of them are about technology topics, like the "Social Bookmarking in Plain English" one.

Not amusing enough. More monsters please.

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24 October 2007

Kipling: The Gods of the Copybook Headings

Copybooks were for handwriting practice, back in the days when handwriting mattered. A timeless gem of old wisdom was written at the top of the page in a beautiful hand, and the user of the book would copy it all the way down the page.

By 1919, when he wrote this poem, Kipling had lost his son in World War I. He had lost his faith, though he yearned for faith in something. As is clear from the language of the poem, mentioning "Social Progress," the "brave new world," "robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul," the dangers of disarmament and immorality, and with the overall structure following the evolutionary narrative, the subject is the progressive movement that attempts to reduce human life to scientific, animalistic principles. The poem reminds the reader constantly that old wisdom is still wise and true even if we have lost faith in it, and the last line echoes the toll of the first two years of the Russian Revolution. For the reader in 2007, it echoes the 100 million death toll from Communism, the ultimate progressive movement for the scientific reformation of society and humanity. And it echoes in the toll of 40 million abortions in the United States since Roe vs. Wade. And finally, it echoes the threat of an even greater death toll from the Global Jihad, which in the worst case could end up with multiple American, European, and Muslim cities being attacked by nuclear weapons and a death toll better than half a billion souls.

To all of this, the God who inspired the copybook headings is the answer. Believe if you can believe. Keep trying if you can't. Chin up old bean. Never give up. Never give in.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Rudyard Kipling

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four—
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man—
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began —
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire—

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

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23 October 2007

Turkey's Primal Scream and the PKK

Someone appears to have been spending too much time howling at the moon. Ertugal Ozkok writes in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet:
If Barzani's plan involves using the PKK to create a new " powerful Kurdish nation," we need to show him a new map.

Either that, or we need to show him that the price for that nation, built by using the PKK as a tool, will be too high for them to pay.

We need to explain: A handful of F-16s from the Turkish Air Force carrying out 30 or 40 sorties would result in a northern Iraq that just went backwards 20 years.

What if American F-16s come in front of us to block us? Let them try, that's their business.

But the United States shouldn't forget that such a course will involve Iran, Syria, and attach Russia, too. In fact, what they'll see is a geography that stretches all the way to Afghanistan. Oh, and let Washington remember to add nations in its old backyard to the mix, those Latin American countries that now hate the United States. And then there's always neutral Europe. Yes, these are all things that not only we, but America, lying 14,000 kilometers away from us, needs to think about. If the calculations and bills are being made there, the scale is over here. And on one side of the scale lies northern Iraq, while on the other side lays Turkey.

Turkey has come to the point of making some historical and global decisions. And what has brought us to this point? What lies behind the caprices of the northern Iraqi government is a super state's (U.S.) super-caprice. This is the only conclusion I can reach after three hours of meditation trying to calm my feelings of anger.

Luckily for all involved, Ozkok is an editorial writer, not a general. Think of him as a Turkish Ann Coulter without the long blonde locks, throwing verbal hand grenades at his target du jour.

The picture he paints isn't totally implausible. If the US went to war with Turkey it would be a huge tragedy with enormous repercussions.

But, and this is a big but, Turkey is a NATO member, for Chrissakes! A war with Turkey is about as likely as a war with France. No matter how heated the rhetoric, it is rhetoric not reality.

Now to the problem.

The PKK is not just your average Kurdish nationalist coffee klatch. It is bad news. The PKK is a revolutionary communist Kurdish worker's party. They have been around for a while, getting funding from Turkey's neighbors, but have lost influence. They dress like Che Guevara and carry AK47s and bombs. They plan to bring the Revolutionary Terror backed by the apparatus of state power, to impose a brutally fascist, socialist state on Kurdish areas of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and even a corner of Syria, with the communist elites running and owning everything. They are hiding out in the hilly areas of northern Iraqi Kurdistan and conducting terror operations in Turkey. They may also be conducting terror operations in Iran. Given the state of affairs with Iran, the US isn't very interested in stopping the horrid PKK, nor does it have resources to spare. The Kurds are playing a secessionist game with Turkey, which is the country that would lose the most land to a united Kurdistan should that ever come about. The PKK helps the Kurds by providing an extreme counter example to the more reasonable approach of the official Iraqi Kurdish government. But this doesn't mean that anybody likes the PKK. Nobody, except for other militarized communist revolutionaries, likes the PKK.

So, they can be thrown to the wolves and nobody will bat an eyelash.

Most of Iraq is flat. This is why the US conquered it in 72 hours, starting at one end and continuing to the border of Kurdistan. The PKK thrives in a mountainous part of Iraqi Kurdistan that is barely under the control of the Kurdish government, and not at all under the control of the Iraqi Army or NATO. As Jeff Medcalf points out, the Westphalian nation-state struggles for existence today.
The PKK is, to the US, a minor threat. To Turkey, it’s a much bigger deal. We don’t have the resources to solve the problem right now, and don’t want Turkey to solve the problem because it would complicate our own problems if they do.

The real problem, though, is that the Westphalian system is failing. We don’t have a framework for discussing unruled areas within a recognized State, such as the drug cartel-controlled areas of northern Mexico, the Zapatista-controlled areas of southern Mexico, the PKK’s camps in northern Iraq, the Pakistani frontier provinces and so on.

A massive invasion would be a disaster for everyone in the region, including Turkey and the US. Since Turkey and the US are treaty partners in NATO, this isn't going to happen. No matter how many horribly mistimed Armenian Genocide bills Nancy "Blinky" Pelosi and her conspiracy of fools bring up this particular situation will not cause a NATO member to attack America!

Michael Van Der Galien writes:
Like Gareth Jenkins, I believe it is much more realistic that there will be narrowly-focused commando raids and aerial strikes, if anything at all. This approach ultimately represents the safer political course for Turkey’s political leadership.

I agree. More to the point, the answer that arises from this mess is local.

The national government of Iraq isn't able to handle this. The US leviathan government doesn't have the resources to handle it plus Iran and the rest of Iraq. The UN's worthless global peacekeeping forces can't handle it. The best governments are local. The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has to arm, train and empower local governmental groups like a local police SWAT force to control the areas in which PKK forces live. Give the locals a reason to drive the PKK out, quickly. I also have no doubt that NATO special forces (from Turkey) could be making friends and allies in the mountains where PKK hides out while the local operation gets going. If this were handled quietly, with no media interference, it could work out quite well.

Nobody will miss the PKK when they are gone. Not the Kurdish government. Not the Kurds themselves. Unless the Turks invade. Then people will rise up in defense of the PKK. But if Turkey (a NATO member) plays things the same way that the US is playing things in Afghanistan and Talibanistan, then with some local assistance on the Iraqi side of the border, PKK could be decimated and survivors forced out of Iraq into Iran. May those commie tools be a plague upon the mullahs' heads!

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22 October 2007

A Spur to Action: The Violent Oppression of Woman in Islam

The following video is not safe for work. It is not safe to watch with children. It is not safe to watch if you are easily sickened or horrified. What it is, is a true documentary depiction of what it means for girls and women to be subjugated and oppressed by barbaric and abusive practices associated with Islamic imperialism.

Narrated by ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, its name is The Violent Oppression of Woman in Islam.

h/t: Michelle Malkin

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Blogspotting: Skarbutts

Skarbutts is in no way a new discovery for me. I've been enjoying this infrequently updated WordPress blog, which uses the same WordPress theme I use, for over a year. Skarbutts' theme is fascism of all stripes, with a focus on the fascist vision of H. G. Wells and other Progressives of the same era. He is not in favor of fascism.

Skarbutts' central insight, which must be understood in order to comprehend the rest, descends from the First Reich (The Holy Roman Empire).

Although the term fascist has been distorted, once one understands the concept of the fasces the term becomes less murky and the false dichotomy between other forms of collectivism is exposed. Long before Mussolini espoused fascism the Roman Empire existed as a fascist state and the term fascist itself originated from the fasces which were the ancient Roman symbol representing the power of the state. The fasces were comprised of many rods which were bundled around an axe and bound by cords. The rods and axe together symbolized many diverse groups united and bound to a supreme authority as one. This symbol was revived to represent the Fascist Party during the twentieth century.

Unity by itself is not fascism but becomes so when control is placed under a centralized authoritarian which determines to purge out or suppress all nonconformity and resistance. Like the rods of the fasces, fascism today also consists of many social groups and organizations which unite as one in seeking the establishment of a universal authoritarian to empower their agendas and suppress their opponents. These global networks of various groups, many in the form of NGOs and PVOs, represent almost innumerable causes such as environmental, humanitarian, animal rights, civil rights, and gay rights just to name a few. By disguising themselves in a cause that evokes sympathy, and by consolidating forces, they infect the body politic to establish an authoritarian rule which will sympathize with and empower their cause. The fasces as a symbol may or may not have out lived its usefulness, but as a concept it is ever present. (Ideo-fascism)

Excellence aside, the main reason I am reviewing Skarbutts today is because right now his indexing is all screwed up and it's hard to find what you're looking for on it. I hope I can add something for those who want to have one place to use to access all his essays. Without further ado, in chronological order they are:

  • Cogitations 10.11.06
    Seeds for thought.

  • Super Power Stupor Power 10.11.06
    Is it a blessing or a curse to be the world's only super power?

  • State Sponsors of State Sponsors of Terrorism 10.11.06
    Key quote: "today both Russia and China continue to support and arm terrorist states." Seeing terrorism as a proxy conflict between communist nations and democratic states.

  • A Union of Fascist 10.11.06
    "Fascism quite simply put is a form of collectivism comprised of two principles, one rules as a supreme totalitarian and the other is its mass of subordinates which serve. Together they form one body united in a common cause. Relative to the entity’s perceived power, the tendency is to either assimilate, subjugate, or destroy all which are deemed foreign."

  • The War for the World 10.11.06
    The post-WWII, fascist struggle to use NGOs and tax-exempt organizations to overthrow national governments and create a world government with an elitist ruling class.

  • The Seed of Fascism 10.11.06
    “National Socialism is Marxism made workable” - Adolph Hitler, 1937. The Tower of Babel and the many faces and forms of fascism.

  • Ideo-fascism: The Fourth Reich 10.12.06
    The fascism of transnational progressivism and the one-world-government movement.

  • The Open Conspiracy Revealed 10.12.06
    H. G. Wells' books The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution and The New World Order are the play-books for transnational progressivism and the one-world-government movement. This essay is about the current state of the world.

  • The Progressive Wellsian State 10.20.06
    Back before the term was tarnished by association with Hitler, many people were proud to be called fascists. One of them was H. G. Wells, "referred to himself as a “liberal fascist” and put forward a theory of revolutionary praxis centered around a concept he described as “liberal fascism.”

  • Sophisticated Savages 11.25.06
    Subtitled "Neo-Tribalism, The Third Wave, and The New World Order," this essay describes the tactics (The Third Way, Communitarianism, and the sabotage of the Westphalian Nation State) that will be used to implement the New World Order and the One World Government.

  • Anti-Semitism and Collectivism 1.1.07
    Leftists are anti-Semites, not because of their leftism, but because of their collectivist mindset.

  • The Final Tower 2.10.07
    Philosophical foundations of the transnational progressive movement to impose a collectivist One World Government.

  • Synthesis of the Nations: Israel Alone 4.3.07
    Globalization has weakened national borders and boundaries and strengthened the ties between nations. As the road to a global government grows wider there is an increasing desire to punish and dissolve those nations, like Israel, that desire to retain their own unique identity.

  • A World off Axis 5.14.07
    Summing up: Global economic and governmental interdependence is at the mercy of the most ruthless of states, as the incentive is to appease the most aggressive states and give in to even their unreasonable demands.

  • Globalization Destabilization 5.26.07
    Is the increase of Islamic terrorism a reaction to increased globalization? Are other tensions between nations related to the current-day demand for international consensus before action and against unilateral actions for national self-interest?

  • Faith Against Faith 6.22.07
    The moral and intellectual weakness of dogmatic atheism.

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21 October 2007

Stossel: Gimme a Break, ManBearPig

The kids in the video are more scared about Global Warming than the kids in the 1960s were about Mutually Assured Destruction. And the threat is nowhere near as great. Global Warming is a scare tactic, not science.

If the video doesn't work, try here or here.

h/t: STACLU, Jawa Report.

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1st Amendment not OK in OK

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Oklahoma Three, libertarian activists Paul Jacob, Susan Johnson, and Rick Carpenter were indicted with "conspiracy to defraud the state", shackled and placed in leg irons, frog marched in front of the media to the courtroom, and face ten years or more in prison for petitioning the voters of OK to put a Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative (called TABOR) on the ballot. OK has a residency requirement for petition circulators. The TABOR petition circulators faced considerable harassment and intimidation while trying to get the TABOR initiative onto the ballot.
As this campaign unfolded, it met with ferocious opposition. Tactics included hiring “blockers” at $100 a day who admitted going into stores and lying to managers that a petitioner had cursed them out or treated them rudely and urging the manager to throw them out. As someone would talk to the petitioner, these folks would come around and begin yelling and be abusive. People trying to get groceries are doing petitioners a favor to stop as it is; they don’t want to be involved in a street fight.

reason: Is this common when interests are opposed to the content of a petition drive?

Jacob: The ferocity by which the powers that be opposed this drive is something I’ve never seen before. I saw a lot of harassment during my years working on term limits initiatives, but when it came to TABOR it increased tenfold and the worst case was Oklahoma. Something ran in the paper that mentioned petitioners were going to post offices, and the next day every petitioner at a post office was told to leave by police. (Reason)

TABOR had to import petitioners from other states. They followed state advice and obtained legal guidance and thought they were following the rules for how to do this legally. And now they are being indicted for petitioning the government for redress of grievances, namely the grievance that the OK state government is spending taxpayer money like Jack Murtha and Ted Stevens on a week-long drunken bender.

The persecution of the TABOR petitioners is bipartisan, proving that in some circumstances both parties work together.
The challenge [to the TABOR signatures] included public employee unions, teachers unions, the AFL/CIO, and also a number of the most wealthy Republican donors in the state, folks with energy companies and banks. This indictment was something Drew Edmondson is winning an awful lot of brownie points for with movers and shakers in Oklahoma. (Reason)

For more information on this outrageous prosecution see the Sam Adams Alliance (presumably named in honor of the firebrand politician and not the brewer).

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20 October 2007

Hillary Uncensored - Banned by the Media!

Watch if you haven't yet seen it.

Hillary Clinton’s Greatest Fan… NOT!

h/t: Doug Ross

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Is America Conservative or Liberal or neither?

America is a nation founded not on a homogeneous ethnic grouping, nor upon a traditional line of kings, nor upon adherence to a particular Christian sect, but on the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness (or Property, as variants had it). All adult Americans were declared to be free men, noble of spirit, with the rights and responsibilities adhering to nobles in European nations. The equal nobility of all Americans depends on their willingness to act nobly, to keep a common moral code, to rely on themselves, to be honorable and truthful, courageous, generous and patriotic.

This became clear to me when I compared two national Constitutions of approximately the same vintage: Poland; and America. The American Constitution, still in effect, was completed in 1787 and ratified and took effect in 1789. The Polish Constitution was completed in 1791, but the newborn Polish Republican Constitutional Monarchy was thought to be too radically opposed to Royal and Noble privileges and was betrayed by Frederick William II of Prussia and overthrown by Catherine the Great of Russia by 1795. A side-by-side comparison between the tables of contents of the two constitutions is all you need to understand the difference, though the difference will be further amplified if you read the entire text of both.

Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791Constitution of the United States of America
# 1 Government Act

* 1.1 [Preamble]
* 1.2 I. The Dominant Religion
* 1.3 II. The Landed Nobility
* 1.4 III. The Cities and Their Citizens
* 1.5 IV. The Peasants
* 1.6 V. The Government, or Designation of Public Authorities
* 1.7 VI. The Sejm, or Legislative Authority
* 1.8 VII. The King, the Executive Authority
* 1.9 VIII. The Judicial Authority
* 1.10 IX. Regency
* 1.11 X. The Education of Royal Sons
* 1.12 XI. The National Armed Force
* 1.13 [Signers:]

# 2 Our Free Royal Cities in the States of the Commonwealth

* 2.1 Article I. On the Cities
* 2.2 Article II. On the Prerogatives of Townspeople
* 2.3 Article III. On Justice for Townspeople
* 2.4 [Signers:]
Constitution of the United States of America

Article 1: The Legislature
Article 2: The Executive
Article 3: The Judiciary
Article 4: The States
Article 5: Amendments
Article 6: The Place of the Constitution
Article 7: Ratification

The Bill of Rights
1st Amendment: Freedoms of Religion, Speech, Press, Association, Assembly, and Petition
2nd Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms
3rd Amendment: Private Property shall not be seized for military use.
4th Amendment: Against unreasonable searches and seizures
5th Amendment: Against arbitrary justice
6th Amendment: Rights of the accused in criminal prosecutions.
7th Amendment: Rights of the accused in lawsuits.
8th Amendment: Against excessive, cruel, and unusual punishments.

...And the two most important Amendments in the Bill of Rights:
9th Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Note the attention paid in the Polish Constitution to defining the rights and privileges of Royal, Noble, Peasant and Townsman, and the lack of any sort of delineation of any classes of Americans in the American Constitution. That is key.

The Polish Constitution includes several sections on how citizens of Cities can become Nobles. This is the sort of question that would have been on Americans' minds as they created their own Constitution. "What are we to be: Townsmen; Nobles; or Peasants?" By explicitly discarding Nobility and the Peasantry as separate American political classes, the Constitutional Convention placed all Americans on the same level. This implied that Americans were of equal status to Nobles. This philosophy had been stated eleven years earlier, in the Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

"All men are created equal" was a clear claim to noble status for all Americans. And the Constitution built upon that foundation.

The only delineation in the American Constitution is between the duties of each of the four branches of the American government (Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, States). The American Constitution was an Egalitarian Constitution, the first of its type, and exemplary of the political philosophy that came to be known as Liberalism. To underline this egalitarian statement, there is even specific language in Article 1, Section 9 of the American Constitution prohibiting any establishment of noble or otherwise privileged status, even one granted by a foreign power.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.
The American Constitution, with its focus on natural rights, property rights, limited government, and individual freedom from restraint (liberty) is a practical implementation of the principles of classical Liberalism. From the time of the foundational struggle against the British Empire of King George III, America has been a Liberal nation that rebelled against traditional Conservatism, which assumes and furthers class divisions between royalty, nobility, freemen, peasants, and serfs or slaves. Traditional American values include egalitarianism and liberty, and are antithetical to racism, classism, sexism, and all claims of group privilege other than those given to the individual States. The existence of hereditary slavery in America was an insult to American egalitarianism, and was eventually banned by Abraham Lincoln (R) in the Civil War, as the equally non-egalitarian Jim Crow laws were banished after Dwight Eisenhower (R) integrated the Armed Forces and sent the National Guard to Little Rock, Arkansas, inspiring the civil rights movement. The present-day affirmative action laws are also an insult to American egalitarianism, privileging as they do one group of people above another. If the American Constitution holds, there will be a time when they also pass.

What would a Conservative nation be like? To my mind, the Polish Constitution of 1791 is a perfect example of a Conservative constitution. It enshrines the rights of different classes of peoples. It enshrines a single religion. It enshrines Royal and Noble privileges and responsibilities, and defines the Peasantry as an unfree class of people with fewer privileges than free people, but with the right to be taken care of by the nation.

Now to the question in the title. Let's break the question up by era. First, is America (of 1789) Conservative or Liberal or neither?

Clearly, America of 1789 was a Liberal republic.

How about today? Is America (of 2007) Conservative or Liberal or neither?

America of 2007 suffers under an unfortunate class system, where various privileged victim groups have rights above other groups. The nation takes care of the poor by means of centrally collected taxes and a huge bureaucracy, thus sustaining both a peasant underclass and a privileged bureaucratic class of government functionaries. Laws do not apply equally to all, having been manipulated by the Legislature, written in obscure language, and abused by lawyers for decades of bad precedent. Amendments have weakened some of the separations of powers enumerated in the Constitution by increasing the power of the Legislature (notably, the 17th and 25th Amendments). Questions such as what is right, honorable, or profitable have become secondary to questions about legality, as the legal code has become so massive and impenetrable that it cannot be negotiated except with help from a class of legal mandarins who not only profit from the state of the Law, but make up about half of the Legislature that creates Statute Law (roughly 2/3 of the Senate and 40-50% of the House).

In 2007, America is not Liberal. Nor is it a Conservative society with a hereditary nobility and royalty. America is neither Conservative nor Liberal, but something else. It is a formerly Liberal nation that since the passing of the 16th and 17th Amendments has taken on more and more socialist programs and government-imposed classist affiliations as a result of earmarks and other forms of Legislative vote-buying, with a reduced place for noble virtues, individual rights and responsibilities, and free association.

In other words, it has been going in the wrong direction for a long time now.

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19 October 2007

How to convince Jihadists to abandon suicide bombing

Updated Below

Ashraf Khan writes for Associated Press:

Ghulam Muhammad Mohtarem, the top security official in Sindh province where Karachi is located, [...] said it was the nuts and bolts and steel balls packed around the explosives that had made the bombing so deadly. He said it was impossible to prevent more such attacks.

Is this true? Is it impossible to prevent Jihadists from becoming human bombs? Or are there ways to do it that are too pointed for those with the power to prevent such attacks?

In the Phillipine Insurgency of the early 20th century, the Americans, in a campaign that has been mostly forgotten and was never widely known by Americans, pacified the Moros. They faced a problem similar to the suicidal human bomb tactic so popular with today's Jihadists.
The most unnerving form of Moro resistance was the juramentado, or suicide attack. A juramentado attacker would seek to reach paradise by slaying as many nonbelievers as possible before being killed himself. Such attacks were not common, but they occurred often enough to keep the Americans on edge.

Captain J. A. Tiffany described a juramentado attack. This may lend a more tangible understanding of the tactic.

"The camp itself was a large rectangle, completely enclosed with wire. The line of company tents were about ten feet inside the wire on each side. Inside the line of tents were the saddle racks and the picket lines of horses. The fence was seven feet high, with ten wires, making the strands about eight inches apart. Every twenty feet along the top of the fence, was a Dietz lantern with reflector to light up the high grass outside for several yards. The firing trench just inside was. banked up and ready for business. In a few seconds after an alarm by the sentries, the men could be out of their tents and ready to meet an attack. We felt secure.

"At sundown, with Captain Purington, I inspected the defenses. We agreed that the men could sleep in perfect security with four sentries posted. No Moro could get through that fence alive. Even if they made a quick mass attack, our men would split them on bayonets while they were entangled in the wire.

"I was about ready to roll in that night when I went outside the tent and sniffed the wind like a horse when a bear is in the bush. Lieutenant Crites and myself were quartered in a tent at the opposite end of the camp from our company. Something was not right. I felt it, but could see nothing. The sentries were alert on four sides. I said nothing to Crites about my uneasy feeling. Perhaps it was that I had been used to being near my men at night. In the jungles and in Lanao we Constabulary officers had been in the habit of bunking down alongside our soldiers and non-coms. Here, in an American army camp, we had army traditions to uphold.

"It was in the night that I came out of a deep sleep feeling that a shot had awakened me. Then there were two shots and a cry: 'MOROS . . . MOROS.' Then a whole barrage of shots. I reached for my riot gun. It was gone! So was Lieutenant Crites.

"Snatching my .45 from beneath my pillow, I tore aside the mosquito-net canopy and ran out of the tent. Dark figures were coming up to the fence on the run. The firing was general.

"Realizing that in my white B. V. D.'s I might be mistaken for a Moro, I jumped back into the tent for my khaki shirt, pulling it on as I ran down the company street. Eight juramentados broke from cover and charged the camp. The ten second's delay in recovering my shirt saved my life, for I would have been confronted by six of them with nothing but my .45.

"With drawn pistol I was running down the street to my command. My path lay between the picket line of cavalry horses and the row of tents. A dim figure was running just ahead of me. I supposed it was a soldier on his way to the firing trench. The night was so dark I kept butting into the saddle racks. A big cavalryman charged out of a tent just ahead of me with a riot gun. He poked the gun within a foot of the running figure ahead of me and blasted. The man swerved and stumbled on. 'My God,' I wanted to shout, 'stop shooting at our own men.' Then I brought up suddenly. Powder smoke filled my nostrils and I was looking down the barrel of that same riot gun. The big soldier was about to let go again. Some kind of a squealing voice came out of me: 'Hey . . . it's me . . . it's me'... I would never have recognized it as my voice. I ran on; there was no time for palaver. My boys were firing rapidly . . . standing up. That puzzled me. I could see the flashes. And then I heard the familiar clang of a steel blade on a gun barrel as one of my men parried a barong. The Moros were through the fence! My men were hand to hand! I saw Crites as I heard the boom of the riot gun. In the red light a Moro was charging in with barong uplifted. Crites dropped him in mid-air.

"Then all firing ceased as the men went at it in a furious bayonet to barong duel that was a fight to the finish. At the nearest cavalry tent a white soldier rolled out under the wall, rifle in hand. Before he could stand up a Moro was upon him. Another soldier crawled out and the Moro leaped to him. My Corporal Batiokan ran up to crush the Moro's skull with a rifle butt. Blood was squirting from two great gashes in the cavalrymen's back. Soldiers came running to carry away the wounded man. Their uniforms were red with blood.

"My own company were giving first aid to wounded men. One of the men was past medical aid. He had been chopped to ribbons, with arms and legs severed and lying apart from his body. Under a dead juramentado I found a loaded riot gun. I pulled it out and dropped into the trench with my men. Things had grown very quiet. I had the riot gun now; I felt safer. Out in the cogon grass I thought I saw something move in the light of the Dietz lanterns. I covered the dark blot and waited. It was a Moro all right. I pulled the trigger and the gun snapped impotently. I fired again with the same result. Then a third shell missed fire and I had a real case of the jitters. Would I continue to snap shells while that fanatic split my head through the wire? Fortunately for me a cavalryman behind me saw me pulling the trigger without result. His Springfield cracked and the Moro went down. The Springfield slug entered the top of his head and continued on through his body. We found him after the fight. He had been knocked down by a bullet in the neck at the first fire of the sentries. Recovering consciousness he had crawled on to be in at the finish. (A Moro juramentado has never been known to change his mind.)

"Seven of the eight juramentados who had made the attack had succeeded in getting through the wire in the face of the fire. One lay dead outside the wire and seven were stretched out in the enclosure when morning came and we made inspection. The hospital was lined with terribly wounded men, slashed with barongs, and we were forced to kill many of the slashed horses who had been in the path of the charging Moros.

"The juramentados who had plunged through the wire in a desperate dive had left skin and clothes on the wire. They were horribly torn from head to foot by the long barbs. They were riddled with bullets, and many had heads bashed in and bayonet stabs. They lay there, with glittering eyeballs and bared black teeth. Their heads were shaven and their eyebrows were a thin line of hair. As we looked into those ghastly, inhuman faces and saw those deadly barongs still clutched in their hands, it was too much--even for a soldier.

"As I reflected that there might be months and months of this--with every night a possibility of night attack from juramentados, it cracked my nerves more than I cared to admit. It was a jittery business, fighting Moros."

The Americans were able to stop Moros from using the juramentado tactic.
It was Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry who accomplished by taking advantage of religious prejudice what the bayonets and Krags had been unable to accomplish. Rodgers inaugurated a system of burying all dead juramentados in a common grave with the carcasses of slaughtered pigs. The Mohammedan religion forbids contact with pork; and this relatively simple device resulted in the withdrawal of juramentados to sections not containing a Rodgers. Other officers took up the principle, adding new refinements to make it additionally unattractive to the Moros. In some sections the Moro juramentado was beheaded after death and the head sewn inside the carcass of a pig. And so the rite of running juramentado, at least semi-religious in character, ceased to be in Sulu. (source)

This answers the question of whether suicide bombing can be stopped. A similar tactic was abandoned by Muslims once already in history. Whether the Pakistanis have the resolve to take this sort of action against Jihadists who are in armed revolt against the legitimate government is not known. Certainly they won't like it. But I think they may well be ruthless enough to use this or a similar tactic, with the promise to prevent Jihadists from obtaining their desired reward in Heaven by somehow making their corpse ritually unclean.

UPDATE 10/20/07:
As Muslihoon points out in the comments, it seems unlikely that Pakistan will take up this tactic. But there are two things that give me hope. First, Pakistan has a majority that desires democratic rule, that does not want to live in a Taliban-style Sharia-state, and that still respects the rule of law that was left by the British Empire. Second, Benazir Bhutto expressed takfirist thoughts regarding the suicide bombers and their sponsors.
Bhutto: 'These Cowards Are Not Muslims'
Benazir Bhutto has said the "cowards" who exploded bombs as her convoy passed by in Karachi last night, killing at least 136 people, are not true Muslims.

Two explosions ripped through crowds as she was driven through Pakistan's biggest city to greet supporters.

At a news conference she said: "The cowardly people who planned the assassination attack on me are not Muslims.

"No Muslim can attack a woman. No Muslim can attack innocent people. I am grateful to Almighty Allah for protecting me." (Sky News)

Jihadists like Al Qaeda use takfir (or excommunication) to render their opponents legally subject to all sorts of atrocities. Atrocities against non-Muslims are traditional in Pakistan. Payback is a bitch. And in this case, her name for the Pakistani jihadists might be Bhutto.

Trackposted to Stop the ACLU, Nuke's, Outside the Beltway, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, AZAMATTEROFACT, Stix Blog, Right Truth, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, Dumb Ox Daily News, Adeline and Hazel, Conservative Thoughts, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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18 October 2007

San Francisco Enables Heroin Addicts

In a push to make it safer to be addicted to heroin, intravenous cocaine, and meth, San Francisco is planning to open a safe-injection room, where addicts can feel at home to shoot up under nurse supervision.

Lisa Leff reports:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- City health officials took steps Thursday toward opening the nation's first legal safe-injection room, where addicts could shoot up heroin, cocaine and other drugs under the supervision of nurses.

Hoping to reduce San Francisco's high rate of fatal drug overdoses, the public health department co-sponsored a symposium on the only such facility in North America, a four-year-old Vancouver site where an estimated 700 intravenous users a day self-administer narcotics under the supervision of nurses.

This is not a decision to make things better for drug addicts. This is a decision to give up, and let drug addicts pretend that their addiction is okay. And it will attract even more addicts to San Francisco.

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17 October 2007

Cross your fingers and vote for Colbert

Cross your fingers and Vote for Colbert over at Crooks and Liars, the official website for cooks and liars and their friends, and mess with their heads!

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16 October 2007

L'âme occidentale

From Le blog drzz, translation by Aurora at the Midnight Sun. The article is addressed to Europe and specifically to France.
The war against terror undeniably suffers from the opacity that surrounds it. During the Second World War, the advancing army measured its success in towns and villages captured and the media of the country would boost the morale of the troops in detailing the front line action.

Today we face a different world. The totalitarian enemy already strolls in our streets, but nobody fights. The enemy kills, but we ignore the corpses. The enemy advances but there’s no defense. The enemy has nearly 100 million soldiers, but for most of the prevailing opinion it’s no more dangerous than every day life.

This is a war raging without commentary. The Islamists have studied the Nazi and Communist systems and have even been members of these. They know the weaknesses of these systems. The Nazis fell so quickly because they were too sectarian; the theory of the ‘Aryan man’ condemned Hitler’s ideology to total defeat because it excluded the world.

Learning from this, the Marxists have developed a more unifying strategy. You were Polish, Cuban, Vietnamese? You’re now a ‘communist’.

The Islamists and Marxists are, with our help, patiently unbolting the western democracies. They use the Constitution against us in their outrage against places like Guantanamo despite the dangerous nature of the criminals. As if the first goal of the Constitution was not to ensure the nation’s survival!

We are denying our own will to live! We are debating those who beat us. We listen to those who will not listen. We welcome those who do not welcome us and we give the benefit of the doubt to those who reject us. We count our dead against those who send their children to suicide with a bomb. We worry about the casualties of a people who are willing to reduce our countries to dust and we allow our media to report as if they were working for the enemy!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that a good half of the West has no will to fight to defend its past, present or future.

In the masses of mediocrity, we find an overwhelming majority of ‘elites’, policy makers who, in a healthy society would be leading their country forward, but not in ours. Certainly a minority of them see the danger but they are under constant fire from critics. The icing on the cake, democracy being what it is, it allows our enemies to influence democratic debate while our soldiers die in battle. You see the stupidity?

Besides our nice democratic system, our enemies have some help from us that their predecessors never had: secularism. Indeed, the Jihadists use this ideology as a Trojan horse. They see the extraordinary destruction wreaked on us by this force as more than the first and second world wars. With all his scientific achievements, traveling to the moon and studying molecular structure, western man has forgotten who he is.

You must be a little religious to understand that religion will always triumph over atheism. Religion offers a support that has never been replaced by the atheists.

Have the atheists already won? Of course not! But Christianity is exhausting itself trying to appeal to a society in full revolt against itself.

The Islamists know this. They have studied its history. They see both Christianity and Judaism as in decline. ‘Zionism’ or the will of the Jewish people to claim the land that is rightfully theirs is wavering.

Remove the Biblical references to Israel, remove the ‘In God We Trust’ from the dollar and forget Christianity in the European Constitution, and you will see that all the tanks, aircraft and nuclear missiles in the world will not prevent the most civilized countries on our planet sinking slowly into the Third World with the passive consent of the overwhelming majority of their populations. And I’m not talking about ‘cyclical blues’. I mean total devastation; a ‘galloping Africanization’.

Impossible, you say? Study the past, the Visigoths, that backward civilization which crushed the grandeur of Rome simply because the barbarians wanted the heads of their enemies when the Romans wanted universal peace.

The internet, the stock market, wealth, the Democratic system and nuclear weapons do not defend a civilization. Only one thing will ensure your survival.

The article ends with a photo of a bald eagle, the symbol of America.
Meaning: Only America can ensure the survival of Europe.

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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16