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Thursday, 21 August 2014


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Be nice to JK. One of the cell phone providers, claiming that they have better coverage than anyone else have a map posted everywhere of the coverage area of the four main providers. The one thing that is common is there is a big white hole in North Central Arkansas.


I read a long time ago a history of terrorism. It seems to be phenomenon of peace. As you noted there was a lot pre-WWI. But it almost stopped through the 1960's. They speculated that there is percentage of the population that likes to blow things up, given a good excuse. WWI and WWII channeled this tendency into "constructive" activities but the long peace post 1945 did not provide an outlet.

I'm sure there is much more to it but it is an interesting idea.

A bit counter intuitive but might it be better to let ISIS (ISIL) just get on with it. Sure there would be a bloodbath but in 20 years time I am pretty sure the necessity of trade and the realignment of self interests would settle down to something more stable. The American (and British) adventures have merely left in place corrupt and enfeebled regimes that would always need propping up. Maybe that is what Western strategists have planned - a sort of sand-pit for ongoing arms-length interference.

If you look at the area claimed by IS, its main feature is lots of sand. It is also home to the Sunni Muslims who ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein. They had a political party called The Baath party and showed little or no interest in religion but a lot of interest in material things. They will turn on IS in time, if they haven't already done so. Also, the Islamic State suffers from the same problem as Kurdistan - no access to the outside world that is not controlled by someone else.

I agree with rogerh, let them get on with it with plenty of helpful airstrikes. Anyone in a pickup in their area is bombed. Will make it a lot easier for Mr Duff's friends with the game controllers.

Hank, I have it on good authority that the "white hole" above central Arkansas which interferes with telecommunications is entirely due to the fumes arising from the stills! And I suspect that there is much in your theory concerning terrorism during times of peace. The sad fact is that young men really do want to fight - I suppose that's why I joined the army when I was eighteen!

Roger, there may be something in what you suggest although the thought of ISIS actually gaining the trappings of a fully-fledged state strikes me as ominous. I think if we can keep them confined to the desert at minimum cost/risk to ourselves then that may prove to be sufficient in the longterm. More or less as BOE suggests.

The main strength of IS and Islamic fundamentalists is their invisibility. When in a position of strength, such as they are now in Iraq, they openly patrol waving their black flags and either killing opponents or forcing them to convert to Islam. However, away from Iraq, with their faces covered and voice altering technology, no one knows who they are, apart from the fact that they are Muslims. As such, they have the opportunity to mingle with the general population, often using funds naively provided by their unwitting enemies, while planning their destruction (7/7, Lee Rigby, Muslim patrols in English towns and cities, etc). Guerilla warfare is the most difficult to deal with. Sun Tzu mentions this and these lessons have been learned through the ages. With one side operating by a recognised set of rules and the other ignoring them, which one will win? IS rule by fear, making their opponents so scared of being captured or defeated that they would prefer not to fight them in the first place. Against the world heavyweight boxing champion, I would last about 3 seconds (one for my heart to give out and two for me to realise it), but make him stand on one leg with a hand behind his back while I have a large piece of wood with a nail sticking out the end and the result may well be different. That is IS and the rest of the world. So, do we fight them in the same way, and possibly lose our view of being civilised, continue to fight them on one leg with a hand behind our backs, or try and talk to a group who do not recognise compromise and are not willing to listen to, or accept, any views other than their own?

Regarding ISIS, the aggressor sets the rules. To defeat it, use his rules. If we don't, we won't have to worry about being civilized. My father pretty much saw this in WW2 during his years in the Pacific. To defeat dug in Japanese, the bull dozer and flame thrower were the most effective weapons. Afterwards, patrols were organized to shoot the bodies of "dead Japs"...just in case.

Good points, Gentlemen, but read JK's link for a cool assessment of the politics and remember Clausewitz's principle that war is politics by other means!

Also, this...forgive the dead link, but is wrong with ISIS is what is wrong with Islam

[A] cool assessment of the politics and remember Clausewitz's principle that war is politics by other means!

I'd prefer not to find myself "noodled" into stating anything on just how apt David's observation is - and fortunately I don't have to because another of my "e-pals" already has.

I will add this though ... earlier on the evening of the Benghazi attack I "found myself" manning a desk monitoring the Egyptian press due to the earlier occurring attack on the Cairo Embassy.

The Egyptian press did mention the now-infamous video, but solely in the context of the events in Cairo.

I can only guess the "Source of the Stupidity" that conflated the shit in Cairo with the shit in Benghazi. "Fucking amateurs" in my most D&N style succinctness.

And I Definitely Do Not "man desks" at the behest of nor, on behalf of, any official entity or Agency.

It dawned on me the other day why these Muslim plonkers (Islam for Dummies anyone?) go off to fight in Syria and so on. Actually, there are two reasons. First of all - they don't like us! Secondly, and most importantly, they know that we don't care that they don't like us. In fact, we don't care about them at all.

I haven't the time this morning, Whitewall to find the exact post but I think the interesting site you refer to is:

JK, sorry about you being dumped in the Spam Box, 'bloody-bloody Typepad' has been behaving itself recently but obviously it took against you for some reason. I'll read your link later.

I'm not so sure that I "don't care about them at all" particularly if they come back with some nasty surprises! Also, whether we like it or not we have a very large Muslim community here and I really don't want an emotional backlash against them. The majority just want to keep their heads down and earn a crust like the rest of us.

I disagree that Leftist terrorism fizzled out in the 1960/70's. Weren't the Baadet-Meinhoff and various club med organizations busy kidnapping and killing middle class folks, just as their anarchist / socialist ancestors were in the late 19th / early 20th century?

It seems to me that once a body politic has been infected with one terrorist, and put the siren call out to announce to all nutters that a justified outlet for their nuttiness that would otherwise manifest itself in schoolroom massacres and other individual acts of psychotic barbarity is available, there is no going back for that body politic until it is as a whole destroyed.

So the leftist terrorism phenomenon only abated when the great power bases of socialism, be they race socialism or class socialism, were destroyed: Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Therefore I am in favour of the "fly paper" strategy, criticized as it is in JK's linked article, when there are two flies, who, once lured to the paper, will willingly fight each other to the death. Without the great self-obliteration of socialism on the Ostfront our job of finishing the job would have been much more than a mere 40 year cold war.

The factional divide in Islam is a Godsend that makes the "flypaper strategy" non-linear, unlike the linear conflict we would have faced if we were squared up to a unified, singular Islam. In the case of a unified, singular Islam I agree the "flypaper" strategy is a disaster, the last thing you would want to do is help your one and only enemy concentrate his resources.

Get the Shia and Sunni nutters in a room and merely close the door. I think you'll find you won't even have to lob a grenade in behind them, they'll do the job nicely. And what walks out of the room some time later will be a reformed and acceptable Islam and Islamic states. Just like us after our wars of religion (until the next ideology and associated powerbase came along and got its terrorist infection - race socialism and class socialism went back in the room, and out came social democracy).


Leaving aside the matter of "the flypaper strategy" Lawrence I would suggest Brian's larger point is something else.

Admitting of course:

"Now, the analogy between the England of centuries past and Islamic terrorists of today is far from perfect. As brutal and cruel as the English were, they weren't sending out propaganda videos depicting the gruesome execution of innocents."

The point that should get our attention is more along the lines of the Western "pattern of thinking" which got "us" from 1690 to 1998 - as opposed to the Islamic "pattern of thinking" which, hasn't even glimmered on the merest horizon yet.

The majority just want to keep their heads down and earn a crust like the rest of us.

David, I suppose I mostly agree with that "just want to keep their heads down" - but only insofar as for lack of an agreed upon label I'll term, 'the founder immigrant generation.'

Over here I've an easy to hand example being the US' escapades in Somalia. During the mid to latter years of the Clinton Administration the US received a sizeable influx of Somalian refugees wanting merely to breathe free as the saying goes.

And that new demographic mainly settled in our Minneapolis/St Paul region of Minnesota where, what with all that free breathing produced a new generation a sizeable number of whom listening to the 'Dreams of the Father' up and (along with their US passports) took holiday with al Shabaab back in Somalia.

I would submit, al Shabaab never held out much attractiveness to yours and the EUs would-be jihadis however, the ME is another planet.

Oh Lawrence, that bit of text was lifted from this;

I "have a suspicion" as to the 'why' I'm landing in Spam, I just hope I'm wrong as to the 'who.'

"I haven't the time this morning, Whitewall to find the exact post but I think the interesting site you refer to is: the blogger, about the 3rd article down.


(Now it may be due to the underground nature of where I'm reading/commenting from) But - you got a date for the specific post, perhaps the title, from that blog you're meaning to direct to?

I may have to switch networks - easy enough - but clicking on your link as posted still leads to an Error 404.

I am familiar with the site - hell, it's possible (if there're certain quoted studies cited) I may've contributed in some small way.

JK, you really need to come up from your underground bunker to the fresh air because your comments are still landing in the Spam Box. Either that or "switch networks" on your, er, network-thingie - whatever that means!

JK.....the post date is August 19, 2014. The site should be familiar to you as you were the first person who made me aware of it on that other "dormant" site some time ago. BTW, as a native Tarheel, I am some what familiar with "white out" gaps over some areas of a state. We have some places through the gorge country going west that not only is it impossible to get a phone is nearly impossible to even "think straight" until you exit the other side. So, from a Tarheel to an Arkie, I understand.

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