Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's a Deterrent!

I don't know what to make of the squeaky wheels complaining about full body scanners and invasive pat downs at airport security. Some argue that these measures are a humiliating indignity that trample on personal liberty treating the innocent as if they were guilty while doing little to enhance airline security.

I believe much of the belief that the security measures do little to enhance security is because terrorist's are not getting caught in the act. I think that point of view misses the point. The security measures are there for the most part to deter would be terrorists from even making an attempt at all. It's the hard target theory: you make the easiest way for terrorists to commit gross mass murder as difficult as possible to accomplish. When this is the case terrorists either won't even try or won't try very often. Deterrence is the main objective, not catching terrorists in the act. A lack of catching terrorists in the act is just as much a success as catching a terrorist in the act. As long as airline passengers are not getting killed we are winning.

As for the argument that these measures are a humiliating affront to personal liberty and we are treating the innocent like criminals. My simple question is, what alternative is there? There is an obvious need for for airline security to be as tight as possible because the consequences of failure are so huge. No one wants to die in a terrorist attack except the terrorist on a suicide mission. To me it makes no sense not to put the pedal to the floor on this, even though that means it makes some people uncomfortable. I personally don't find the measures being taken to be unreasonable because they accomplish the goal of making mass murder as difficult as possible.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

9/11 Has America Forgotten?

I am sad to say that I think in some important respects we have. The tragedy of 9/11 happened because of a failure to recognise and effectively preemptively stop our enemies. Much has been done to see that this kind of failure could not occur again, but I fear we have lost much of our vigilance at this point. The American people are flagging in regards to Afghanistan and for the most part completely abandoned ship in regards to what should have been our commitments in Iraq.

The leaders of Iran seek nuclear weapons and openly talk of destroying our ally Israel. In Afghanistan and Iraq the Iranian rulers have plotted and conspired to kill American soldiers and stood in the way of progress and peace.

I question the resolve of the United States populace and the wisdom of our present Commander and Chief. I fear dark days ahead because we have forgotten, we have become passive and I don't think we should be at all.

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven...A time for war, and a time for peace."

The enemies of America are not defeated, some of them have not even been engaged and made to pay for their treachery.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What I Really Wanna Know Is...

There has been a bunch of hoopla in the air over the past few days due to a Pew Research Poll that found 18% of Americans believe President Obama is a Muslim. Some are apoplectic over this result.

I am not that interested in what "the average American" thinks on this matter. What I really wanna know is what a representative sample of American Muslims would show in answer to this question and then beyond that the results of scientific polls of Muslims from around the globe on this same question. I think those results would be highly interesting.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I have been paying more attention to the war in Afghanistan lately. There has been some stupid hullabaloo made by some about how this is now "the longest war in American History." Sorry but how long has "The war on poverty" or "The war on drugs" been going on? On a more related note the Korean War was really never resolved and our troops still "occupy" Germany and Japan.

Seriously, not until 2006 did the Taliban really start making this thing into an actual war and even then what was going on was a pretty low intensity conflict. Not until the Obama escalation of 2009 did this turn into something beyond a minor conflict in my mind.

Just recently independent journalist Michael Yon wrote on Facebook:

"July 2010 likely will become the deadliest month in the entire war -- that means Iraq or Afghanistan."

Now I highly respect Michael Yon, but I'm not sure about this prediction. This just past June was the deadliest month for both NATO and the US in Afghanistan. The thing is the Taliban have a mixed record when it comes to consistently increasing casualties from month to month. The Iraq insurgency was much the same.

Michael has also recently written on Facebook:

We've been at war for over a hundred months in Afghanistan. This is the deadliest month so far. I would not be surprised to see 2011 casualties double those of 2010.

There is no room for political correctness or bullshit. This war is on a collision course for something far worse than we ever saw in Ira...q.

I think this bit of speculation is even more incredible unless he meant to say 2010 casualties will double those of 2009, which is an outcome that is likely to happen thanks to the Obama escalation.

The Taliban have taken severe poundings in the past and are I'm sure taking a severe pounding right now. How well and how long they can hold up to a severe pounding is an open question.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review: The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq by Bing West.

The Strongest Tribe is a book I bought around this time last year got about a quarter read and then stopped. Within the last week I picked it up again and finished the rest.

The book is essentially about the progression of the Iraq War from the end of major combat operations in 2003 through the success at the end of "The Surge" in the Summer of 2008. I suspect the book went to publisher in Sept. of 2008 and so it does not have details or analysis of the Status of Force Agreement that was put into place between Iraq and the United States later that Fall into Winter.

The books strong suit is Bing West's connection with the US military and his ability to tell their side of the story about what was going on both good and bad. The book is weaker in it's reporting and analysis of the political realms of both the US and Iraq. Mr. West does not seem to be particularly fond of politicians and bureaucrats and makes little to no attempt to explain or give their side of the story.

I think the book is certainly worth reading to find out how the military fought the Iraq war and prevailed when so many had written the war off as a "fiasco,"disaster, terrible mistake, etc.

One of the books biggest surprises comes at the end in the 25th Chapter "The Stongest Tribe" as Mr. West gives his analysis about certain aspects of the war. The surprise comes in a paragraph entitled: Myth About the Lack of U.S. Troops. West argues that had there been more troops at the beginning doing the same things that the troops in country were doing than that would have made matters worse not better. West doesn't say but obviously hints that had the troops that were there been used in a smarter more efficient way than the numbers of US troops in Iraq would have been sufficient.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guantanamo and Jihadist Propaganda- The Biggest Problem.

Yesterday my law student older brother posted a article headlined: Local lawyers representing detainees at Guantanamo see big changes. Apparently something about the legal machinations inherent in the legal issues brought out is of interest to my brother. He indicated he would like to work on these issues in the future, but I am not sure what that means because there are several avenues of possibility.

Anyway, this article got me thinking about the proficiency and competence of our legal system and the conduct of the lawyers up to this point. From where I am sitting the legal system and lawyers in it get a very low grade because they have made what I regard to be inexcusable mistakes.

What are the inexcusable mistakes?

We have released a multitude of detainees that ended up right back on the battlefield, sometimes in leadership positions.

Note: I see from my Google research that a do gooder over at Huffington Post disputes the numbers given; mostly on the basis that some of these guys being counted have only engaged in anti-US agitation propaganda and have not gone back to the blood and guts battlefield per se. OK suppose I grant that anti-US agitation propaganda in a time of war is fine and dandy and so these guys shouldn't be counted and just to be ultra conservative lets say only 5 of the people believed to have taken up arms, really have.

Even if the number is only 5 that is a disaster of epic proportions and here's why?

These 5 will exist as a propaganda and recruiting bonanza orders of magnitude worse than the humane (or inhumane for that matter) detention of a few hundred possibly innocent Muslims. With those that are detained and suspected of being no threat we can always take steps to make the situation more palatable and pleasant to those detained; These efforts can be showcased to counter the jihadist propaganda that we are Christian ogres that eat Muslims for breakfast. In contrast the 5 that go back to fighting get to tell tall tails about how we are Christian ogres that eat Muslims for breakfast and their accusations are sure to be spread as far and wide as jihadist propagandists can distribute them. With them free we totally lose control of the message.

Worse than this the jihadists get to tell their "true story's" about how Allah delivered the faithful mujaheddin from the hand of the infidel. Make no mistake the narrative that invokes the guidance, protection, and intervention of Allah is the most potent arrow in the jihadist propaganda quiver. It is a morale booster for those putting their lives on the line and it is "sign and wonder" that points directly in the direction of the righteousness of the jihadist cause. As far as it is possible to us we cannot and must not give jihadists grounds for claiming miracles that can plausibly be believed as such.

From a distance we can let the hardcore lie all they want, but when that hardcore jihadist lies in the flesh and blood, we have a big problem.

So what to do with those that might be innocent?

This is war, collateral damage is an unfortunate consequence that should be managed with wisdom and a bigger picture in mind. Unfortunately, I don't think very many of our legal minds and absolutely not a single one of the "progressive" ACLU types understands the bigger picture.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some Wisdom from Michael Yon

"Some places like Afghanistan tend to blame history for their problems. And history certainly is part of the problem. But Poland could make the same excuse and does not. Poland is doing great. Germany and Japan were nearly destroyed during current memory of many living people, yet today those are great countries. Sometimes history is not the problem, but the society."

I think this is a brilliant observation that applies to a great many many countries. Haiti comes to mind.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Hype of An Illegitimate Grievance- Guantanamo Bay

I was struck by President Obama's remark today about how supposidly the terrorists prison at Guantanamo Bay is a national security liability and recruiting boon for the jihadists. I think it quite pathetic that some people in the West have gotten it stuck in their craw that the prison at Guantanamo represents some kind of special human rights scandal and grand injustice. I maintain that this hype about Guantanmo is simply nothing more than misguided self-righteousness run amok.

It's misguided because as long as Muslims, whether they are terrorist jihadists or not, are held in any Western nation prisons those Muslims will serve as a Raison d'ĂȘtre and major recruiting talking point for jihadists. The fact that some self-righteous baffoons here in the West have raised a stink served only to amplify something that is going to be a terrorist complaint no matter what we did.

I throughly believe Obama and the rest of you Guantanamo hype haters have been nothing but extremely useful idiots. Good Job Fools!