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January 2003 Archives

January 31, 2003

That's the kind of world...

By Celeste at 20:49

are you prepared for it? Last week, I admitted that I was not.

I've been doing some haphazard research, in my downtime at work, and these are some of the immediate countermeasures I've come up with:
· I need emergency food and water supplies. At least enough for four persons for a week, preferably longer. This is good policy for just about any emergency situation, and would at least cut me out of the class of people who rushes to the grocery store for milk, bread and toilet paper every time it looks like it will snow. I especially need water, since I just found out that with the well my house is on, if the power goes out, there goes the water.
  Google has an entire directory for Home Emergency Supplies
  Food Storage Central is an information site for Latter Day Saints "or anyone interested in preparing their household for any trials to come." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a long association with emergency food storage and preparedness, since they've been encouraging their members to do this stuff for years.

· I'm already fixed up pretty well for non-electric cooking, what with two large fireplaces, at least a years supply of firewood, and an Eagle Scout on the property.

· I need a decent first aid kit. I don't know if I'm representative of the rest of the population around here, but the medical supplies in my house are limited to: tylenol, hydrogen peroxide, pepto bismol and a box of bandaids.

Once I get these things taken care of, I'll at least be able to hole up in my house during bad news, until I figure out what to do next.

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  • Jami: You should know that MRR's do not last forever. They read more
  • Celeste: Rand - Generator is an excellent idea. A.L. - I'd read more
  • Joe Katzman: A.L. Absolutely post that list! What a great blog entry read more

Big Brother Alive and Well?

By Joe Katzman at 14:50

Noah Shachtman of Defense Tech says the dreaded "Total Information Awareness" (TIA) uber-database may not be dead. Reader Randall Ross emails to explain why that's a bad thing.

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The Blogosphere and The War in Europe

By Joe Katzman at 07:33

In my article on "La France et Le Suicide Diplomatique II," I noted of Tony Blair and his recent diplomatic riposte:

"This ain't no poodle. This ain't no weasel. This ain't no foolin' around."
Which brings me to my next point. This ain't no foolin' around. Let's get a bit of perspective on this Euro thing, people. I'm hearing some silly stuff around the blogosphere, and we need to get a grip. Emotional satisfaction is no substitute for a tough, wise, winning policy.

The peace of Europe was not easily won. Their armies may be weak, but they are steeped in the Western Way of War and its technologies – what Victor Davis Hanson correctly refers to as "the most lethal practice of arms conceivable." To even consider setting in motion forces that could lead to irreconcilable division on the European continent is to toy with the gravest of risks.

The signatories of this letter understand that. So, too, should those of us in the blogosphere.

This does not mean we must become quietist or morally defenseless. It does mean we have an obligation to think before we speak. To issue ringing and reasoned condemnation of cowardice and moral turpitude is a sign of moral health. To fire "the jibe heard round the world" from one's home computer is exemplary. To lapse into ethnic caricatures, or engage in blanket condemnation of entire societies, or to engage in loose talk that calls out a genuine European democracy as "evil," is not.

To know one's history is to recall where such careless talk has led Europe before. We did not enjoy the view.

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  • Creno: Thee best bloggg read more
  • Guy Montag: Ummm... does this mean I have to change my domain read more
  • Dean Esmay: Bravo. read more

State of the Union (2)

By Armed Liberal at 01:31

(this is the second part of the speech which begins here)

We live in an information age, and so education and the intellectual capital of Americans are the key to our future. Each of us cares about education because it primarily affects our children and their future, and no one is more important to each of us and no dream is more important than that of a better, more secure, more prosperous life for our daughters and sons.

We in the federal government have tried many things and spent a lot of your money on education. Some of it has worked, and some of it hasn't. We haven't seen the 'bang for our buck' that we'd like, but neither have we seen an alternative but to spend what it takes to get our children educated. We've neglected one key factor. There is no substitute for involved, caring adult family members - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles - in determining a child's future success in school. In case any of you missed that, let me repeat it. There is no substitute for involved, caring adult family members - parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles - in determining a child's future success in school. No government program, no physical facility, no library, nothing we can buy with money can be as effective as involved parents and the culture of achievement they can instill.

But not every child has those, and we refuse to leave them behind because of it. The glue that holds America together is hope; that hope is for mobility and a better future for ourselves and our children. Education and the opportunity for jobs that it brings are what brings both.

To that end, we are proposing a senior mentor program, in which neighborhood seniors can get training and part-time jobs as mentors to families and children. This is a small answer, and it may not ultimately be the right answer to this difficult problem; but the solution is in a constellation of small answers like this one. We intend to challenge and fund promising programs designed from the school districts upward, to monitor the success or failure of those programs closely, and to expand and extend the programs that work, and close the programs that don't.

Which brings me to a broader issue. We in government propose programs; we live to solve problems or we wouldn't be here. Not all of them work, and others of them outlive their usefulness. The Democratic leadership has met and agreed that we will hereby offer to work with the Republican leadership to prune unsuccessful and unnecessary programs from the Federal budget. We will commit that for every new dollar of expenditure (tax or direct) we propose, we will find at least fifty cents in savings to offset it, and will work to do so from programs traditionally supported by the Democratic constituencies. We challenge our Republican colleagues to do the same thing.

Each of our parties has sacred cows which we preserve simply because we always have. The challenges we face today are simply too great to keep doing business as usual, and we have to agree - both Democrats and Republicans - to look hard at ours and work to cull those that provide no real benefit.

The challenges we face today are driven largely by external events, which brings me to the topic of the hour. What do we do about Iraq?

First, let me be clear that the moment the first aviator flies her jet from its aircraft carrier, we will be at war, and we will stand behind our president and our troops. But we are here to advise the President, and to make sure that when we act we do so as a nation, because we must act together or not act at all.

The President must make a clear case for why we must invade Iraq, and what we will do once we win.

What we cannot do is to look at Iraq in isolation.

We cannot look at it in isolation from our allies.

We cannot look at in isolation from the rest of the Islamic world.

Elements of the Islamic world are at war with us, make no mistake about it. The acts of September 11 were not isolated; they were the culmination of a long chain of warnings and actions that struck at our people, symbols, and interests abroad.

The acts of September 11 were acts of war. If they had been committed by the soldiers of any nation, that nation today would sit under American military authority, and the leaders of that nation, had they survived, would face imprisonment for their crimes.

This government exists to defend the people of the United States from just such an attack as we have suffered, and no government could allow such an attack to take place without responding, or having suffered this attack, risk more terrible attacks without action.

The question is what action should we take? Is invading Iraq the right one?

Legally, we believe that the United States has grounds for war. Saddam Hussein had violated - and the United Nations inspectors have confirmed his violation - the terms of the cease fire that he signed after he invaded Kuwait and our troops and the troops of our multinational alliance defeated him.

But the President has not yet connected the dots.

He has not yet laid out his best facts in support of invading Iraq...we know this because we have seen some of them. But it isn't enough for him to say "trust me" or for me to say "trust us" based on partial information. This is a decision that must be made in the full light of day.

He has not laid out his plan for what we will do once we win, and how defeating the armies of Iraq - who I ly pray will be intelligent enough to immediately surrender and not stand in the way of or try to harm our fighting forces - leads us to defeating the shadowy forces of terrorism.

Let me take a moment to speak to American Muslims and to Muslims the world over. Horrible acts are being done in your name and in the name of your religion and deity. I reject the notion that this is a war between the Muslim world and the West. But you undermine my case when your official media broadcast hate and incitement, when your governments turn a blind eye to terrorists and their sponsors, and when you allow those who strike at the people of this nation - not with words, not with economic boycotts or peaceful action, but with violence - to act in your name without raising your hands or voices - you risk the wrath of the American people. We are a tolerant party in a land of tolerant people, but we must have partners for peace on the other side. You cannot broadcast hate in Arabic and then turn and speak of peace in English and expect us to ignore it any longer.

Great leaders bring forces together; they unite people, interests, and nations in great causes. We expect greatness from our Presidents in general, and we demand that greatness from our President today.

We expect nothing less, and the times demand nothing less.

We stand as the loyal opposition, ever ready to challenge the specifics - the means - but in full support of the goal - of a great and united United States in a peaceful, free, and prosperous world.

Thank you.

No, thank you...

(edited for grammar)

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  • Defend Democracy: Free Voices of Iraq is a series of perspectives published read more
  • Armed Liberal: Thanks!! A.L. read more
  • kendall: Bravo. Well said. Linking immediately. read more

January 30, 2003

North Korea: Parapundit Begs to Differ

By Joe Katzman at 19:55

On January 22, Trent Telenko penned "North Korea's Tony Sopranos," describing what he believes to be a state based largely on organized crime and run by the Army rather than the Communist Party. As such, Trent believes it may be vulnerable.

Randall Parker thought all of this over, and considered what it would take to force regime change in the North. He respectfully disagrees with Trent, and make some good points along the way. Formenting internal instability, he says, probably isn't the answer.

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  • Peninah: Best of Africa tours and Kenya lodge safaris including budget read more
  • Joe Katzman: Sorry, Trent, just a typo. Your name is fixed now. read more
  • Trent Telenko: Joe, Care to look at your post again? Hint. Hint. read more

La France et Le Suicide Diplomatique II

By Joe Katzman at 19:12

On Friday, I wrote a post that referred to France's recent efforts as "Le Suicide Diplomatique." It explained how their recent set of international actions, taken together, had set them up for greatly diminished international standing and influence.

Well, that didn't take long. ("Antagonized large group of European states with EU power-grab maneuver, thus creating incentives for future payback on European front, too... Check.")

Let's skip right past serious alienation of the only world hyperpower, and kneecapping a body that serves as the 3rd leg of your diplomatic triad (the nuclear force de frappe and the EU being the other two). Or even the perfect timing and hilarious spectacle of their Keystone Cops venture in Africa going so wrong that thousands of demonstrators are asking for the U.S.A (gotta love them pictures!). Let's stick to Europe for now.

Let's stick to this letter. These are the leaders of the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland talking. They aren't happy. Many have substantial farming interests who aren't happy with France's privileged position as the main beneficiary of subsidies, and who may begin to see gain in cooperating within the EU to push for change. Success in that area would be very destabilizing to France's internal politics, and they know it. Worse (for France), the scene is ripe for it.

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  • Richard A. Heddleson: Here is the link that did not show up in read more
  • Richard A. Heddleson: Xavier, Actually, the Journal had an article by a deputy read more
  • xavier: Hi all: Well since Joe wrote this article 'Jesus Gil' read more

Forward-Swept Wings: The SU-47

By Joe Katzman at 16:44

A couple of days ago, Steven Den Beste had a post that talked about the use of forward-swept wings on jet fighters.

America isn't the only to work with this technology. See the following profile (and pictures) for Russia's Sukhoi S-47 Berkut ("Golden Eagle"), which just resumed flight testing. According to Interfax, testing is expected to continue through 2003.

For some of us, this Russian beauty ranks right up there with Anna Kournikova.


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  • prashant singh: THIS IS THE REAL FUTURE FIGHTER JET ,IT CAN CHANGE read more
  • Mike Calamusa: Although neither stealth fighter the Su-47 or the Mig 1.42/1.44 read more
  • Ruslan: Russia - rulezzz. Good work comrades :). read more

We're Movin' On Up!

By Joe Katzman at 03:34

To a de-luxe MT blog, in the sky-y-y-y!!!

Hi, all. Sorry for the brief period off-air, we had some hacker troubles that required our attention.

As you can see, Winds of Change.NET has moved into new digs. They're more secure, and give us more upside with respect to features etc. Efforts to add those features and import our archives are underway, and so you will see this blog continue to evolve over the next little while.

Some of you have asked about emailing team members. That's now set up and ready, and I can explain it without creating links for spammers to harvest - it's (firstname) Adil, Armedliberal, Celeste, Joe, Trent.

All clear? Once more, then, into the breach....

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  • Joe Katzman: We're working on it... moving pains... aargh! UPDATE: Fixed. It read more
  • Sal M: One problem... display is hosed in IE. Cuts off vertically read more

January 29, 2003

The State of the Union

By Armed Liberal at 16:20

We don’t have TV in Casa de Armed Liberal, so I didn’t get to read the State of the Union speech and the Democratic responses until this morning, when I read them on the New Laptop which is important, because I was so damn frustrated with the weak-ass Democratic response that I was tempted to chew on the screen, but restrained myself because the machine was so expensive.

Middle Guy, my 16 year old son, noted my frustration, and in the warm, supportive style we share as a family suggested "Geez, dad. If they’re so weak, why don’t you write a better one."

So here were the comments Rep. Joe Democrat should have made last night:

Thank you for taking the time tonight to listen to this critical dialog about our nation’s future.

We know how many of you have been turned off by the ugly politics of the last decade, and how easy is to be distracted from what goes on here in Washington. But right now is the time when, more than ever, we need an informed and engaged citizenry as we confront critical issues of war and peace, the economy, and national security.

Let me talk first about national security.

We in the Democratic Party have been and are the strongest defenders of individual expression and the 1st Amendment. We believe that there is a wide gap between political speech and political action on one side, and terror and violence on the other. We have a judicial system to stand between them, and most important, to act as a check on the power of the Federal Administration, as the Founders intended.

And we cannot accept the notion that U.S. citizens or resident aliens arrested on U.S. soil can be treated outside that system.

Our troops faced enemy combatants in Afghanistan; including, sadly, a U.S. citizen. We are not asking for our legal procedures to apply on the battlefield. But the cities of the U.S. are not a battlefield, and while there may well be terrorists in our cities today, we will not accept the notion that we must deal with them extrajudicially when they are on U.S. soil.

I take this position first because the Federal Government cannot fight and defeat terrorism alone. It will take the combined efforts of local police and public safety officials, an active, informed, and alert citizenry along with the Federal security forces to win this fight, and the structures of justice are in place to use them today. It will also be critical that when we win this fight we survive as a nation founded on the public and just application of law and the notion that we have no sovereign who stands beyond the gaze of citizens and the laws that bind us all.

We will move to require that all U.S. Citizens and resident aliens suspected of terrorist activity or conspiracy be dealt with through the legal system, and to ensure that political speech and actions as opposed to terrorist conspiracy are fully protected.

We recognize that we face many threats from outside, and we believe that it is important to first combat the ones that are obvious and easy, as opposed to unlikely and hard. The interests that would injure us do not have ballistic missiles that can reach our cities. The threats we face will arrive by commercial airliner, container ship, and delivery truck.

We cannot afford to spend the billions of dollars it will cost to develop a relatively ineffective missile shield against a threat that does not today exist. Not when we are still too open and vulnerable to terrorist threats which remain all too easy to carry out.

To that end, we propose reallocating the bulk of the funds proposed for ballistic missile defense implementation, as opposed to research, to strengthening the technology and personnel who can secure our ports, airports and highways against terrorist attacks.

Our country has already been attacked with biological weapons - the anthrax-laced mail that was sent to this House two years ago - and we have discovered how fragile our public-health system has become through decades of bipartisan neglect. We are seeing increases in communicable diseases in almost all our major cities, and our ability to predict, track, and respond to those is a major defense against the most frightening type of terrorism.

We propose substantially increasing the budget for public health to create mechanisms to defend us against the possibility of both natural and man-made diseases.

The health of our economy is also our best defense, and touches all of us within the US and also people outside as it directly affects their economies and as it affects our ability and resources to act both militarily and charitably.

A healthy world economy is the ultimate cure for terrorism. Jobs, security, and a better standard of living will reduce the pool of unemployed, hopeless young men that feeds the terrorist stream.

A healthy U.S. economy is the answer to a number of our problems as well. We respect the President’s commitment to reducing the tax burden on individuals and businesses in the U.S., and want to work with him to help nurture the economy.

But we think he’s going about it wrong.

The biggest impacts on consumption will come from reducing the tax burden on the middle class. They pay Federal and State Income taxes, as well as sales, property, and a host of other taxes, and taxes saved translate directly into spending.

We want to retarget his changes in the tax rates downward.

The repeal of the estate tax was an expensive mistake. We want to undo it.

We support a reduction in corporate taxes as well, and would support his effort to eliminate taxes on dividends, as long as it was combined with a tax on ‘mailbox’ corporations that do business and are truly headquartered in the U.S., but maintain fictitious addresses in foreign tax havens.

We also want to examine the subsidies built into the tax codes for the largest corporations, and retarget those at the true engines of prosperity and job growth, the small and regional businesses that are the backbone of American wealth and well-being.

For too long, we have tolerated fiscal mismanagement at the state and local level, and compounded it with unfunded mandates. We need to sit down in an open dialog with state and local governments and look hard at the fiscal crisis that they are facing today. These are the services and jobs that directly face most of us, and we need to find ways to put them on a firmer financial footing.

We propose a national task force on local government finance, with a deadline of next year and the honest charter to find a way to keep the states and local cities from going bankrupt.

This Administration is missing the boat on issues affecting the environment. The American people have shown, over and over again that they expect us to be better stewards of the natural riches we have been blessed with.

To that end, we want to move to do several things.

We need to improve the efficiency with which we use energy. Our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil is limits our freedom to react to the threats and politics there.

The President’s proposal to experiment with hydrogen is a good one, but we believe that there are two things we can do to move our cars and trucks in the direction of greater efficiency.

Natural Gas is clean-burning, widely available, and can be blended with hydrogen as a first step toward a hydrogen-based energy economy. We propose to incentivize the automobile manufacturers, gas and oil companies, and consumers to build, fuel, and buy cars and trucks powered by natural gas. We in government need to lead the way. To that end, we will propose the entire Federal civilian vehicle fleet be transitioned to natural gas over the next five years, and that a series of tax and regulatory incentives be put in place to encourage the use of natural-gas powered vehicles.

We propose to end the subsidies to fuel-inefficient small trucks and SUV’s.

Look, we believe in free choice.

But the reality is that Chevy Suburbans and other similar vehicles are subsidized by regulatory loopholes which need to be closed. We use them like cars, let’s treat them like cars.

We believe that we have to continue the exploration and exploitation of domestic energy resources. We will look carefully at drilling in the ANWR. But let there be no mistake about it. Twenty years ago, this Congress approves the trans-Alaska pipeline, premised on the promise by the Administration and the oil companies that the oil that flowed through it would feed the energy needs of the U.S. It was less than ten years later that we were shipping that oil to Japan.

We won’t make the same mistake again. If we are going to drill in the ANWR, the energy extracted must be for our domestic use. Period.

And now, education and the threat of war....

(break for commercial) be concluded tomorrow.

(edited for emphasis)

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  • Rand Simberg: Oil is 'kinda' fungible, in that certain crude stocks refine read more
  • Armed Liberal: Rand - Oil is 'kinda' fungible, in that certain crude read more
  • Joshua Scholar: You've got my vote, even though all the clowns in read more

January 28, 2003

Hunter of the Apocalypse: An Interview with a U.N. Weapons Inspector

By Trent Telenko at 07:40

A friend of mine called me up and directed me to a thread over on the on a Fox News Channel interview with a former U.N. weapons inspector named Bill Tierney. Tierney was a former US Army Military Intelligence Chief Warrent Officer who was recruited in 1996 as a weapons inspector. He made two highly charged accusation. First, the French were spying on the U.N. weapons inspection teams by providing the Iraqis lists of sites to be inspected. Second, he is convinced the Iraqis have operational nuclear weapons.

In the interview, Tierney detailed how the French had a spy at UN HQ in NY who was caught rifling thru a desk that held the inspection site list and how a French inspector was caught passing info to the Iraq. Tierney's inspection team went as far as feeding the French spy phony sites they planned on searching. (Now you know why the Iraqis accused Tierney of being a spy!)

This article from Newsmax excerpts the part of the Hannety and Colmes interview relating to Tierney's nuclear accusation:

Tierney told Hannity that a 1997 inspection he attempted to conduct at Saddam's Jabal Makhul presidential palace lead him to suspect that the Iraqi dictator already had the bomb.

"Certain things convinced me that they had proscribed items at this presidential site. That led to the inspection in September 1997 where we were locked out. There was something about that. The just came up and said, 'There will be no inspection. Good Day.' And they walked off."

Tierney said the rebuff was "completely different" from other inspections of sensitive sites, where some sort of compromise was always worked out.

Another sign of sinister activity: As Tierney and his team were being turned away, a U.N. helicopter attempting to overfly Jabal Makhul nearly crashed when an Iraqi official on board lunged at the controls.

"That was a distraction to keep that helicopter from going over to the other side of the mountain to see what they were doing" at the facility, said Tierney.

He described Jabal Makhul as a "gigantic" complex of warehouses and underground tunnels, before noting that last year the London Times reported Saddam was storing nuclear weapons in bunkers in and around the Hamrin Mountains.

"There is only one heavily guarded place in the Hamrin Mountains," Tierney told Hannity. "And that's where we were, Jabal Makhul."

Still, despite efforts by Iraqi officials to keep inspectors away from Jabal Makhul, U.N. officials continued to give Saddam the benefit of the doubt, he complained.

"If you had ambiguous reporting; it could mean he has the nukes, it could mean that he doesn't." he said. "Normally the call would be, 'Oh well, that doesn't confirm so therefore he's still developing. He doesn't have it,'" Tierney said he was told.

While, as mentioned previously, Bill Tierney was accused by the Iraqis of being a spy. That wasn't what got him in trouble with the Clinton Administration. No, he was removed from the inspection teamsfor the "crime of proselytizing." The following is from the Tampa Tribune Online:

At the time, Richard Butler was executive chairman of the U.N. Special Commission which provides and oversees U.N. weapons inspectors. Scott Ritter was the team's chief inspector.

``The position which Mr. Tierney would fill would be in direct support of [Ritter], and is a critical position on the lead access team for any inspection, especially one which may be categorized as sensitive by Iraq,'' Butler wrote in 1998 as he sought to extend Tierney's tour with the inspectors.

Tierney says his career began unraveling after he was called on to help interrogate an Iraqi defector who was a Christian. The defector was nervous, Tierney says, so Tierney prayed with him.

Tierney drew fire for that. Critics accused him of violating a Central Command directive prohibiting religious proselytizing. Before long, Tierney says, doors always before open to him began closed, and his career fell into limbo.

He resigned, he says, mistakenly believing it would be easier that way to clear his name. He learned that wasn't so and unsuccessfully tried to win reinstatement.

The Pentagon said in rejecting him that his behavior with the defector was inappropriate and could have cost the United States a valuable intelligence source.

Tierney scoffs at that. The man already professed Christianity, he says, so he couldn't have been proselytized.

``The fact is, I established excellent rapport with the source,'' Tierney adds. ``If anything, a U.S. government official expressing compassion for his situation enhanced his willingness to cooperate.''

Given the flat out hate many senior Democrats have for Christian "bible thumpers" (and lets face it, the deference to the Saudis that Republicans pursue) it is not surprising that the senior officers in Central Command took advantage of Tierney's naivete to get rid of him. He was to dangerous to Clinton Administration Iraq policy to be "allowed to live" anywhere near the Iraqi WMD intelligence.

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  • Aynt Rand: Tierney is a Certified Crackpot. "Tierney's methods of ascertaining this read more
  • Bill Mosley: Please le us hear more from Bill Tierney read more

Tuesday Daily Winds

By Trent Telenko at 06:58

Tick, tock goes the clock. The Bush State of the Union speech arrives tonight.

If you missed Monday night's Hannity & Colmes on Fox News Channel, you missed a corker of an interview with a former U.N. weapons inspector named Bill Tierney. It is blogged below.

Today's Blogs:
  * Hunter of the Apocalypse: An Interview with a U.N. Weapons Inspector

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January 27, 2003

Three Degrees of Separation: Envy, Genocide, Anti-Semitism and the Trans-Atlantic Rift

By Trent Telenko at 07:59

There were several articles this week end on the subject of the growing US-European rift. One appeared in the Washington Post and it referenced two more (one each in the N.Y. Times Review of Book and the other in the TIMES Literary Suppliment) that are worth looking at. The gist of the three articles is that the Europeans envy American military power, but won't pay for their own. While Americans of the Left and Right are disgusted with the Europeans over their moral failings.

The Washington post article was written by Gianni Riotta and is titled Transatlantic Chill? Blame Europe's Power Failure. It says the primary reason for America and Europe parting ways is Europe's structural disarmament after the Cold War.

It is not America's unilateralism that relegates Europe to the kids' table. It is Europe's budget priorities. Europe spends $2.50 a day on every cow that grazes happily on the grass of the EU. Yet defense spending lags. Andrew Moravcsik, a professor of government at Harvard University, estimates that "the United States spends five times more on military R&D than all of Europe." Europe's soldiers cannot fight beside their U.S. comrades-in-arms because they lack technology such as the AN/PVS-7 night vision goggles; the U.S. Army has 215,000 of them. European forces have 11 heavy military transport planes; U.S. forces have 250.

The United States will accept Europe as a real equal when it sees muscle behind diplomacy.

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  • Sister: Been searching online for this opinion piece in today's Tribune read more

Monday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 00:20

Tick, tock goes the clock. 1 DUPBBSNIT (Day Until President Bush's Big Speech, Not Including Today). The speech is coming on Tuesday evening.

Saw "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" yesterday - you know, the movie about Gong Show host Chuck Barris and his claim that he was a CIA assassin. Let's just say I'm skeptical, but the movie was well done: alternately sharp, sad and funny when called for. Recommended, as is "Catch Me If You Can."

Today's Blogs:
  * Three Degrees of Separation: Envy, Genocide, Anti-Semitism and the Trans-Atlantic Rift

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January 26, 2003

London Bio-chemical Attack Averted?

By Trent Telenko at 16:16

London Bio-chemical Attack Averted? What Next?

I was doing a news pass through the WorldNetDaily and found this article, "Bio-chem suits found in London mosque" and got the chills. From the three opening paragraphs:

Police investigating an Islamic terror plot have discovered "chemical warfare protection suits" in a north London mosque, according to a report in tomorrow's edition of Australia's Herald Sun newspaper.

The discovery at the Finsbury Park mosque seems to confirm investigators' worst fears – that supporters of terror kingpin Osama bin Laden have been plotting a massive biological or chemical attack on British civilians.

According to the report, both Scotland Yard and British intelligence agency MI5 had tried to conceal the discovery of the nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) suits, fearing public disclosure would spark panic in that country. Law enforcement had revealed early on the seizure of assorted weapons – including a stun gun and a gas canister – but not the existence of the protective suits. But today detectives confirmed they were having the NBC suits found in the mosque tested for traces of ricin or other toxic agents.

The British have an official secrets act they can invoke on the British press in situations like this. So the story surfacing in an Aussie paper and getting picked up by WorldNetDaily tracks as far as credibility is concerned. If I add to that the fact the implications of a recent U.N. inspection in Iraq that I saw on Fox News Channel, namely they looked at a Chicken hatchery, my blood runs cold. The only reason for U.N. inspectors to look at a hatchery is that they think it was supporting the production of small pox.

Face the facts folks. Weapons of Mass Destruction have just been put on the table by the Terror Masters. This is why you are hearing about the American military planning to use nuclear weapons. It is not just a blood thursty threat. It is a promise.

T.T. Update:

The Blogfather has picked up the story with the original Aussie URL.

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The Works of Yossef Bodansky and the War on Terrorism

By Trent Telenko at 14:18

If you want to know the thinking behind the actions of the "Neo-con" faction in the Bush Administration. The man to read is Dr. Yossef Bodansky, Director of Research for the International Strategic Studies Association and Director of the United States Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare.

I mentioned Dr. Bodansky in my first post on Winds of Change, North Korea: Clinton Knew...and 'Kicked the Can' Anyway, and I knew he was reliable from his book Crisis in: Korea. Bodansky's 1993 predictions in that book on North Korean ICBM development were forsightful and were undoubtedly included in the 1998 Rumsfeld Commission report on 3rd World missile development. That commission's report, and the 1998 North Korean ICBM test over Japan, collapsed Clinton Administration resistance to National Missile Defense.

I had one other book of Dr. Bodansky's Target America & the West: Terrorism Today, a 1992 book which lays out the Iranian terror network and the emerging Sunni Islamist terrorist movement. It even mentions that Islamist terrorists had been practicing flying jets into buildings since the late 1980s!

The one thing "Target America" lacked was a background on Al-Qaeda and Ossama Bin Laden. Bodansky addressed this in his 1999 and 2001 updated version of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America. Among other things, this book lays out Bin Laden's role in the Somali fighting that became "BLACKHAWK DOWN," his $3 million quest for a Soviet suitcase nuke in ex-Soviet Central Asia and the collaboration between Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein through his son Qusay Hussein.

The final book of Bodansky's that should be considered, and virtually the third book of a "terror trilogy," is The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism. It slams the American role in the Arab-Israeli peace process as a myopic sham and documents Arafat's strategy, lies, broken promises and terrors ties during the Oslo Accords. Upon reading this, you can see why the George W. Bush Administration abandoned Arafat as someone they could negotiate with.

The question you have to ask, with this background of accurate prediction and analysis over the years, is why isn't Dr. Bodansky in every major media Outlook contact file, quoted in every story on the war and on every pundit talking head show there is? I have only seen him in the WASHINGTON TIMES and INSIGHT magazine and no where else. The only answers I can come to are that:
1) The major media is lazy and incompetent.
2) the major media, being 80% Democrat, doesn't want to expose the disaster that was Clinton era national security policy.
3) The major media outlets don't want to destroy their sources in the State Dept., CIA, DoD, and other three or four letter national security agencies, because Bodansky's body of work shows a bigger intelligence disaster than Pearl Harbor. A disaster that the national security establishment really, Really, REALLY does not want there to be an in depth, outside investigation of.
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  • Ken Albridge: Someone must have had ESP on your posting, Bill Steigerwald read more

A Ralph Peters Exerpt

By Trent Telenko at 12:32

I found this at the site. These are excerpts from Ralph Peters' interview in American Heritage:

I ly feel that we’ve made a grotesque mistake aligning ourselves with the most oppressive of the Arabs, with the Arab world’s Beverly Hillbillies. Other Arabs built Damascus, Córdoba, Baghdad, Cairo. The Saudis never built anything. The fact that they came into their oil wealth was a disaster, not for us but for the Arab world, because it gave these malevolent hicks raw economic power over the populations of poor Islamic states, such as Egypt. The line about Al Qaeda that’s absolutely true is that Saudis supplied the money and Egyptians supplied the brains. So Saudi money, spent to support their grotesquely repressive version of one of the world’s great religions, has been a disaster for the Arab world.

And the Protestant Reformation is the seminal event in the rise of the West. It opens the door for the last great Western religion, the secular religion of science. Without that fissure, without that breakdown in the one path to the truth, you can’t have science. In Islam the historical symmetry is chilling. Within 10 years of Gutenberg’s invention of movable type, a prince, astronomer, mathematician, and poet, Ulugh Beg of Samarqand, built a great observatory. He was a genius, their Galileo, but the mullahs murdered him, and I take that moment as the point at which it all started calcifying. There are myriad factors in the Islamic decline, but the decline itself has been irreversible. Muslims never turn it around; they never have their reformation that breaks down the one true path.

Jealousy is a powerful human emotion. Hatred is a tremendous emotional release. Blame is cathartic. At this time in history, the United States is humane, free, rich, and powerful. The Arab Islamic world is just the opposite. Our success is infuriating to people who value their own culture, who love their traditions even though they no longer work, and who look at our enormous success with inchoate envy. Ten years ago, when I tried to talk about the role of religious belief and the power of religion, it was not considered a serious strategic factor. People talked about economics and demographics, about political structures and development theory. Since September 11, people are perfectly happy to talk about religion. In the future we’ll get around to recognizing the neuroses, if not psychoses, that are far too prevalent within the Arabian heartland of the Islamic world. I believe that a primeval terror of female sexuality is a significant strategic factor, one we’ve failed to examine. Males in these traditional cultures see the pictures of Pamela Anderson or replay Sharon Stone movies, and they want a piece of the action. But they don’t want their daughters and wives to turn into Pamela Anderson, or Britney Spears, or, for that matter, Emmylou Harris. They’re mesmerized by the sexual component in our culture, which our media grossly exaggerate and which they misread.

The truth of the exerpt above cannot be contested. Our Islamist foes are insane with hate for Western women. It is one of the reasons we must kill them and force wider Islam to accept women as people and not property. And if that is cultural imperialism, so be it. If the choice is the West or Islam. I choose the West, whatever it takes.

T.T. Update:

The full Ralph Peters interview can be found here. It is titled “The Shah Always Falls.”

(Hat Tip: Occam's Toothbrush, and "he who wishes to remain unnamed.")

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  • Scarlett: "Males in these traditional cultures see the pictures of Pamela read more

January 26: Good morning.

By Trent Telenko at 12:23

To quote Joe: "Tick, tock goes the clock. 2 DUPBBSNIT (Days Until President Bush's Big Speech, Not Including Today; acronym appropriately pronounced: "dub-snit")." Since Joe seems to be sleeping in, I'll kick off today's Blogs with a clip from Ralph Peters I found on the Free Republic web site and a plug for the works of Yossef Bodansky, the Repulican Majority director of the House Congressional Task Force on Terrorism, and how they play into Bush's "Axis of Evil" strategies.

Today's Blogs:

  * A Ralph Peters Exerpt
  * The Works of Yossef Bodansky and the War on Terrorism
  * London Bio-chemical Attack Averted? What Next?

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January 25, 2003

U.N. = Unimaginable Negligence

By Joe Katzman at 18:50

If you were a weapons inspector in Iraq, and someone with a notebook ran up to you at one of your inspection sites and frantically told you they were in danger, would you:

[a] Wonder if he had valuable information and take him elsewhere for questioning, regardless of Iraqi objections.

[b] See him as someone on dire need of help and use [a] as an excuse to pull him in under U.N. protection, hopefully for later repatriation out of the country.

[c] See him as a problem and summon Iraqi soldiers to physically remove him from your compound, taking him away to almost certain torture and death.

If you picked anything other than [c], you're obviously not qualified to be a member of Hans Blix's U.N. team. Two people, in two separate incidents were handed over (see photo). As Charles points out, they're probably being tortured as you read this.

That's the U.N. in a nutshell.

What a contrast to the actions of this international diplomat in similar situations. Which reminds us that even though this incident is perfectly emblematic of the U.N. (Rwanda, Srebrenica, now Iraq), the decisions to turn these men over were made by individuals... and they have to answer on a moral level as well.

With respect to those individuals: there are just no words to express the depth of my moral loathing. Who the hell raised these lower forms of life, anyway? To borrow a refrain from Charles, "what the hell is wrong with these people?"

Alas, I think know the answer. Think I may know a few like them, too.
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"That's the kind of world...": Condolences to the Sensings

By Joe Katzman at 18:49

Celeste's post about Police Chief Reuben Greenberg's advice to some Charleston citizens struck an unfortunate chord. My friend Donald Sensing emailed me the next day with some tragically relevant news. He's blogged the story and related advice on his site, so I'll just send you over there.

Please drop him a line with your condolences... Ministers so often give this out, but sometimes folks forget that they need it too.

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Sufi Wisdom: Hodja on the Battlefield

By Joe Katzman at 17:37

As militant Islam does its level best to discredit the religion, it's important to remember that there are other voices within the faith. One such is the Sufis, the Islamic mystics. The Wahhabi hate them, of course, which constitutes an endorsement in my books. The great poet Rumi was a Sufi, and so were many other figures of religious and cultural significance. Every Shabbos, therefore, I share some of that via my Blog.

This week's story involves the popular story figure of Hodja. As usual, what seems to be a simple story resonates from many different angles.

"Once, in a tea shop, some soldiers were boasting about a few of their recent victories. The local people were gathered around them, listening eagerly.

"And I took my double-edged sword and charged the enemy fearlessly," said one. There was a loud round of applause.

"Oh, that reminds me," remarked Hodja, "of the time I cut the leg off an enemy on the battlefield. I cut it right off!"

"Sir," replied the captain of the soldiers, "it would have been better to have cut off his head."

"Of course," replied Hodja. "I would have. But somebody else had already done that."

Story courtesy of Fadiman & Frager's highly recommended "Essential Sufism"
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Taxes and Liberalism: A Comment

By Armed Liberal at 14:13

A comment over at pointed out an interesting distinction that explains a lot about the difference between the liberal and conservative view of taxes:

The first analogy is BS. Taxes pay for government services. Most of these are consumed relatively evenly, while the social services are consumed mostly by the poor and less as you travel up the income scale. The fact that someone can afford to buy additional services after paying taxes means nothing.
Are taxes a form of fee-for-service?

...or are they the cost of operating a complex society?

There is a school of 'literalist' conservatives (and of course, libertarians) who argue that taxes should be simply fees for services rendered...national defense, police, fire, sewers, parks.

But...liberals like me would argue that there are a broader class of 'services' which are somewhat harder to track, and which lead to the operation and maintenance of a desirable society. I fully acknowledge that it's difficult to reach consensus on what's desirable, and as I've pointed out incessantly, the hand of government doesn't always accomplish the desirable without significant costs.

But a 'fee for service' society would be one that I think few of us would really (as opposed to in costless assertions on the Internet) choose to live.

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Winning the War With Arms Isn't Enough

By Armed Liberal at 12:47

Look, let’s face it.

We’re going to go to war. The machine has been started and set on track, and stopping it is at this point virtually impossible. No one is going to debark tens of thousands of men and women and thousands of tons of materiel and then throw their hand up and go “Just Kidding!”

The Left in America and the West has done an immense disservice to their stated cause of peace by embracing a wooly “anything but war” stance instead of making any attempt to grapple head on with the problems that are presented by radical Islamism and the failed kleptocracies that are embracing it.

As a side note, “anything but war” neatly captures what I see as the failures of modern liberalism, which seems to only stand for “anything but…” a long list of things. But that’s another subject for another time.

I’m deeply conflicted by this war that’s coming soon; unlike my blog-mates, who seem to have pretty much made up their minds.

If this was Risk, or a war game, I’d be all for it. But I’d be for it for a different reason than the one you probably think; not because it wouldn’t involve real blood and death, I’d be for it because I knew we would stick it out. What I know about people tells me that they are good at sticking to things when the costs are low. But as any decent gambler can tell you, it takes heart and stomach to stay in when the stakes get significant and painful.

And this is not going to be a test of our arms; Trent and Joe have covered many of the reasons why in the blog below. This is absolutely going to be a test of our stomach and heart, and I am worried about both of those.

It’s not even a question of whether to go to war.

As I’ve said before, I think we’re in a war; in an anti-modern, anti-Western war led by elements of our own intelligencia on one hand, and by the enraged, disenfranchised population of parts of the Third World, led by dictators who find that railing against America buys them time to loot their countries by selling their natural resources and moving the money to Switzerland or Panama.

And we really have no clue how to respond. Oh, we’ll go kick the hell out of whatever organized or semi-organized military forces are out there.

But then what?

It’s “Yes, but…” this and “Yes, but…” that and the only consistent vision of the Western-led future looks to many of the average people of the world a helluva lot like the masts of yachts seen from the outside of a marina fence littered by a stack of annual reports and deposit slips to Bermuda banks.

Our failure of vision and nerve has brought this about. We founded America to get the little guy out from under the thumb of the oppressive nobles, and instead of offering the average person in the rest of the world a path they could follow, we turned around and cut deals with their nobles so we could have cheap gas, Nikes, and chipboard. (I know, this is hyperbole, but I’m trying to make a point here…)

This isn’t some lame-ass “give peace a chance” argument; we are not at peace today, and if we brought all the soldiers home from the Middle East tomorrow and forced all the Jews out of Israel on the day after, we’d still be at war.

I’m standing here waving words in your face because if we are to shed American blood, I’d really like to feel like we’re getting something for it. And that something needs to be a lasting peace. And to accomplish that peace, we need to rediscover some basic American values in order to export them. It’s never really been done before. And we have no choice but try.

I’ve never been a soldier. Even my dad, who got medals in WWII, got them while sitting and basically running a Hollerith card-sorting machine over in India. He was a cryptographer in Army Intelligence (yeah, I read “Crytonomicon” pretty damn intently, thank you), and the only guns he ever saw were on the Rangers who were there to keep him and his peers “at least 200 miles from any known or suspected enemy activity”.

But I’ve been honored to know a fair number of soldiers…particularly of “pointed end of the stick” kind of guys who I’ve trained with and been trained by in my various martial hobbies. And I keep thinking about them and their attitudes as I try and figure out where I stand in this mess.

And the principle I keep coming back to is this: How do we make their sacrifice…of their own blood and of the blood of others they will have to shed…actually lead to a change? How do we do this in a way that won’t mean that we’ll be back next year, and the year after, and the year after that?

Because otherwise, we’re playing King Canute, lashing the tide as a demonstration of the limits of our worldly power. We can push back our enemies. We can weaken them. We can even kill them all, if it comes down to that.

But can we stick this out long enough to make peace with them? Or rather, to fight them hard enough and long enough and still have the stomach and heart to offer the average person on the ground in Tikrit or Jakarta something worth living for? Because that’s what it will take to have a chance that they will make peace with us.

This is uncharted territory. I can’t think of an example in modern history where it has worked.

I think we’ll readily win the clash of arms. But as the Israelis have discovered, I believe that this is more a war of stomach, heart, and backbone than one of arms.
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January 25: Shabbat Shalom!

By Armed Liberal at 11:49

Tick, tock goes the clock. 3 DUPBBSNIT (Days Until President Bush's Big Speech, Not Including Today; acronym appropriately pronounced: "dub-snit").

Most Saturdays here on Winds of Change.NET are "good news" days, where we put aside our normal conversations and focus on Sufi wisdom, heroism, and promising new discoveries. Today's thoughts are a bit more somber. All of us can see what's coming, and understand its necessity. Doesn't mean we have to like it, though. And there's other news we'd rather not have heard.

Folks who prefer our regular rotation may find value in some of yesterday's exchanges, from Celeste's post about responsibility in the face of a sometimes-hostile world to Armed Liberal's meditations on taxes to Trent Telenko and I having a bit of a back and forth over France.

Today's Blogs:
  * Winning the War With Arms Isn't Enough
  * Taxes and Liberalism
  * Sufi Wisdom of the Week: Hodja on the Battlefield
  * "That's the kind of world...": Condolences to the Sensings
  * "That's the kind of world...": U.N. = Unimaginable Negligence

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January 24, 2003

LePennistan? More Like Le Suicide Diplomatique

By Joe Katzman at 23:38

Earlier today, Trent Telenko wrote:

"I cannot help but see the face of the evil nation that was once France. Perhaps it should be renamed "LePennistan."
Trent, you're my brother in arms here. Now, howsabout a deep breath or two.

All this adds up to a different bottom line for me: France just blew it. Kicked an own goal. Kicked several. Last time someone screwed up this bad, they were filming Waterworld. Let's review:

  • Alienated world hyperpower no matter what they do next... Check.
  • Ensured significant incentive for payback when Saddam falls, from both hyperpower and Iraqi opposition, thus doing significant harm to domestic oil industry... Check.
  • Significantly weakened legitimacy of international body that furnishes one of your nation's top 3 claims to being a serious power, regardless of what comes next... Check.
  • Did this just a week or two after 2nd largest donor to this body, Japan, cut its contribution by 33%. Kicking key source of own prestige when it's down... Check.
  • Significantly upped the odds that this international body will in fact kark it utterly and go the way of the League of Nations. Check. Fortunately, compensating factor in Euro power-grab. Oh, wait...
  • Antagonized large group of European states with EU power-grab maneuver, thus creating incentives for future payback on European front, too... Check.
  • Major insurance against being left more or less completely isolated is German politician so unpopular that he's the subject of widespread online game parodies. Good news: you may not have to honour deals with him. Bad news: you just honured the biggest deal that will do you the most damage, he may not be around very long to honour much of anything with you, and now you're a convenient target for Schroder's domestic opposition. Who may decide to repair strained relations with the Americans and alleviate European anxieties about Germany by knifing you and publicly championing the smaller states in the EU once they come to power... Check, and probably Mate.
Just bleedin' brilliant, this is. All in the space of just 1-2 weeks, no less, and just as payback opportunities are beginning to pile up on the horizon. Pepe Le Pew had more finesse than this.

Now the Americans can treat the oil situation fairly in all other ways but screw France, then turn around and work with smaller European countries to make France's life trying to run the EU a living hell. Many of those countries will be only too happy to oblige, even as the USA uses Turkish membership as a risk-free club to beat the EU with from the outside. Germany may even flip on them once under new management, thus making the disaster complete.

Of course, even if all this gets going France still has the U.N. and that meaningful Security Council veto to guarantee its relevance. Oh, wait....

Like I said, they've boxed themselves in and handed us the keys. Folks, this calls for a Dom!

JK Update: Vodkapundit is back, with his own take on France. He's more measured than Trent, but hardly kind. What all this says to me is that Trent is probably correct about the Jacksonian reaction now underway in America, even if I don't entirely agree with his assessment of France itself.

T.T. Comments: He Joe, I am cool about this. After all, "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold." And it is very cold in the Iraqi Desert during a winter night.

What most people, including you, don't realize is that the French elite's pursuit of a dirigist E.U. leaves them horribly vulnerable for an American information warfare campaign aimed at French nationalism. Just look at how Rumsfeld's off hand crack about "Old Europe" had them hopping. This is from the Times of London

"... Paris has long known that enlarging the EU means tipping the balance towards an EU majority with a pro-American, pro-market outlook. Yesterday, Le Monde, voice of the elite, came close to acknowledging defeat. Mr Rumsfeld was right, it said. “It is perhaps unpleasant to hear it, but for the moment it is unavoidable: the countries of East Europe are massively inclined to follow automatically American leadership in defence and foreign policy.”

The split over Iraq makes a mockery of the EU’s hopes of pulling together as what the French call l’Europe-puissance — Power Europe — on the world stage. Chris Patten, the British EU Commissioner for external relations, worried yesterday that Britain, France, Germany and Spain, the EU members currently on the UN Security Council, would split over Iraq. “Let’s be frank. This will be an important failure for our efforts to build a common foreign policy for the Union,” he told Le Monde..."

The Le Kermitoid EUphiles have had a hard enough time with "Jacque Wine-Glass" as it is. So what happens when you start seeing America calling the current French elites evil for abandoning all the things that made France great for E.U. power? The best kind of information warfare is telling an unpleasant truth about your opponents in a well marketed manner. IOW, calling *Evil* by its name robs it of its power. It worked when Reagan named the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire." And it could work with the thing that was France.

J.K. Replies: I doubt it very much, especially if it relies on this kind of name-calling. Let's close this one and take our disagreements to a new set of blog posts.

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An Internet Chestnut on Taxes

By Armed Liberal at 18:34

Paul Oei passed this on to me, and I thought it a useful way to add to the thinking about taxes and tax cuts. It's a variation on an Internet chestnut that's been making the rounds, and appeared in my comments over at Armed

The Real Truth about Taxes

by Anonymous

Let's put taxes in terms everyone can understand, but with enough detail to show why they work that way.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner at their favorite restaurant "The Economy". The bill for all ten meals comes to $100. If their meals reflected their wealth, the orders would look something like this:

-The first 2 men rarely show up. Their wives would kill them if they spent the rent money eating out every day. (20% of income earners made under $10,000 in 1999)

-The 3rd and 4th men buy soup and salad, so they can take the salad and some bread home to their families. (The next 20% of income earners made $10,000 to $19,000)

-The fifth man ate his soup AND his salad (His 10% of income earners made $20k to $25k)

-The sixth man had a hamburger and a soda (His group made $20k to $35k)

-The seventh man had ribs and an iced tea (His group made $35k to $50k)

-The eighth man had soup, steak and a beer. He passed on dessert, so his daughter could go to college. (His group made $50k to $75k)

-The ninth man had a salad, steak, some wine and a fruit tart for dessert (His group made $75k to $200k)

-The tenth man ordered a seared ahi appetizer, a caesar salad, a juicy cut of filet mignon with hearts of palm au gratin, the house's best wine and some crème brulee for dessert. (He is representative of the top 2% of income earners, who made anywhere from $200k to $100 Million).

Now they decided to pay their bill like we pay our taxes so:

The first two men-the poorest-would pay nothing
The third and fourth men would pay $1 each
The fifth and sixth men would pay $2 each
The seventh $10
The eighth $12
The ninth $29
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $43 (Not bad for that meal!)

One day, the owner threw them a curve.
In order to keep his customers paying money into "The Economy", he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."

So now dinner for the ten only cost $80.

How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his
"fair share?"

(The data above is based on real data. The endings below are hypothetical.)

The optimist's (or liberal's - A.L.) ending:

The 10th man, who cared about his friends, realized they had few luxuries and decided he could at least split the difference equally.

The 20 dollars divided by the 6 paying customers came to $3.33 each.

The first six men would be paid to eat. That wouldn't be right, so the money is pooled so that all six could attend and eat a better meal. Remember, the first 2 couldn't even come to the meal before.
The seventh man paid $6.67.
The eighth man paid $8.67.
The ninth man paid $14.67.
The tenth man paid $25.67.

In the short run, "The Economy" lost some money, but since the men had more expendable income, they were able to buy better meals, more appetizers and desserts. And so "The Economy" actually did better. The tenth man, who happened to hold 50% of the stocks in "The Economy" (as well as a few other restaurants) profited doubly from the shared savings (as the wealthy often do).

Trickle-down ending:

Because the 10th man ate the bulk of the food and paid the bulk of the bill up until now, the owner awarded the 10th man a much larger savings than the others. The 10th man, only able to consume so much on any given evening, didn't reciprocate by ordering much more at future dinners. Instead, he opted for an after-dinner cigar. The other nine men, respecting that the 10th probably worked hard to get where he is (unless, of course, it was inherited), walked away muttering..."I would have used that money to buy a better dinner." It occurred to the owner of "The Economy" that he had empowered a small percentage of his customers to fill his cash registers. His smaller consumers bought less because they had little spending power. Rather than empowering 8 consumers to spend, he had concentrated his efforts on one.

The pessimist's ending:

It didn't matter how the men split the savings. The foolish owner had not taken the cost of running "The Economy" into account. He could barely afford to pay for the infrastructure of "The Economy", such as rent, cash registers, kitchen supplies and food. In order to pay for "The Economy's" infrastructure, he could no longer afford his head chef. It was the head chef that trained the other chefs. In other words, education went to pot. Sure, the burgers were still OK, but the filet mignon was never quite right, and the crème brulee was always runny. The tenth man began frequenting other restaurants like "IRA's Diner" and "Bond's Place". "The Economy" lost over 30% of that $80 and went into a downward spiral until it was forced to close.

All tax and income data is taken from the following source:

(added link to IRS data)
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The Evil That Was France

By Trent Telenko at 18:32

The Evil That Was France

France is dead. Everything that was the real glory of France is gone. It has been replaced by a soulless, hollow, fascist shell, blindly pursuing power and inflicting pain where ever it goes. It is now an ally to thugs and dictators anywhere and an enemy to freedom everywhere. We have to deal with the nation of Le Pen without the true face of Le Pen.

Yesterday Donald Rumsfeld said the following:

"You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't," he said. "I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire NATO Europe today, the center of gravity is shifting to the east and there are a lot of new members."

Rumsfeld added that "Germany has been a problem and France has been a problem ... but you look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe, they're not with France and Germany on this. They're with the United States."

This set off the French and Germans and inspired the Axis of Weasels Blogburst. It also had me reexamining what I said earlier about the likelihood of France vetoing a use of force resolution in the U.N. I particularly found these posts over on Innocents Abroad here, here, here, here, and here helpful in filling in the back story of France's stab in the back in the U.N. After all, when Secretary of State Powell and the State Department staff start saying things like this about France:
On the other hand, Mr. Powell is said by aides to regard the French criticism of a war as hypocritical. In this view, the French are more interested in exercising power on the Security Council, where they sit as a permanent member, and perhaps in being guaranteed access to Iraq's oil resources.

In private, many French diplomats acknowledge that the war is inevitable. In public, they say war can be avoided. That infuriates the State Department, where aides speak sarcastically of French envoys as "the French resistance."

You know something radical has happened to the French.

The French are usually far more calculating and contrary to what Max Boot said in the LA TIMES there is far more economically to this than $1.2 billion in Iraqi oil concessions. Also in play are French arms, Airbus jetliner, and communication satellite sales (as well as Ariane launches for them) to Persian Gulf states. All of those industries have their claws set deeply in the French state. They will make a great deal of trouble for Chirac if a post US-invasion Iraq leaves America with both a defacto control over Persian Gulf oil income and a willingness to use it against France's economic interests. In terms of international prestige, turning the U.N. into the new "League of Nations" will remove the last French pretense to being a world power, the U.N. veto, from its diplomatic arsenal.

So why did the French government do it? The answer to that question was provided by Bill Safire. France is trading all this for immediate power inside the European Union:

"Then Schroder, reliant on his militantly antiwar Greens, made Chirac an offer he could not refuse: to permanently assert Franco-German dominance over the 23 other nations of Continental Europe.

In a stunning power play in Brussels, Germany and France moved to change the practice of having a rotating presidency of the European Council, which now gives smaller nations influence, to a system with a long-term president. This Franco-German czar of the European Union would dominate a toothless president of the European Commission, chosen by the European Parliament."

However, this is no guarantee that the French will actually use that veto in the U.N. They could still abstain when the vote comes up at the U.N., thinking that since Schroder is such a political loser and buffoon that he won't be around later to punish the French later. (That is my bet.)

It doesn't really matter anymore what the French do as far as American Jacksonians are concerned. France's betrayal in the U.N. has toggled over Jacksonian activists in the blogosphere, talk radio and wider media punditry. They are reaching out to the wider Jacksonian base in American politics with choice lines like this from Debra Saunders column French kiss-off:

"De Villepin told a reporter that France's Iraq policy is guided by four principles: justice, solidarity, morality and the law.

All four ideals are missing in action. Justice demands that Hussein, who has killed his own people, be driven from office. Solidarity was what the United Nations had when France and other nations voted unanimously to send inspectors to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Morality dictates that France stand by that vote.

The law? In November, the U.N. Security Council voted that if Iraq doesn't comply with Resolution 1441 to deliver its weapons of mass destruction, there will be "serious consequences."

What is France's idea of serious consequences for Hussein? Not being invited to Maxim's for dinner? Are serious consequences allowing Hussein to stall the inspectors? Or to bask in the pleasure of watching them make excuses for him? Or to enjoy the leisure of choosing the moment to shoo U.N. inspectors out of Iraq -- and then get away with it?

An enemy couldn't concoct a more perfect formula for helping Iraq become as menacing as North Korea than our ally, France."

Whether an activated Jacksonian base will find a leader to express its displeasure outside opinion polls is a different question. The Democrats and Jacksonian’s parted company during the 1972 McGovernite wing take over of the Democratic party. And while this might seem a natural for Senator John McCain, he hasn't shown the ability to both recognize and take advantage of this kind of opportunity. There is no one else in the Republican leadership with the necessary national visibility willing to take this and run with it.

Not all American pro-war bloggers are Jacksonian activists. For example, some in the blogosphere are arguing that this crash of French greatness is the fault of America for its subsidizing French delusions. I disagree. The fault is neither in the stars nor in wads of American taxpayer cash. It is in the French themselves. France long ago made the choice to replace religion with nationalism as a defining characteristic of the French cultural soul. Now with the Transnational Progressivism of the EU, it has given up even that. We are now starting to see the results of that choice.

I'm catholic and for me it is an article of faith that evil is real and exists in the world, that the path to hell or redemption is the choice of individual, and that you will know evil by its works. People who have chosen the path of damnation are easily known. They seek power above all things. They choose what will immediately benefit them over choices that take longer but reward more. And they use what power they have to hurt others, because inflicting pain is the only pleasure they have that will reach past the aching wound where their soul used to be.

When I look at that pattern. I cannot help but see the face of the evil nation that was once France.

Perhaps it should be renamed "LePenistan."

JK UPDATE: Perhaps you'd also like to see the "Waterworld" reference mentioned by Instapundit, with an analysis of just how badly France has screwed up here....

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Calling Evil by its Name: The Axis of Evil Revisited

By Trent Telenko at 13:54

Get thee hence to the NRO site and read this column by Micheal Leeden.

The killer 'graph:

The only legitimate criticism of the Axis of Evil speech is that it was too limited, not that it was fanciful. There is indeed a working alliance involving Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, and it embraces other countries as well, including Syria, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. It is a political and strategic alliance that unites this generation's tyrants in common cause against the democratic West whose very existence threatens their grip on power by inspiring their peoples to fight for freedom. The Axis countries share military technology and help one another to develop the most lethal weapons available to them. North Korea promised to stop testing missiles, so, for several years, Iran has done it for them. Once proven, the technology moves from Pyongyang to the other terror sponsors, including Saudi Arabia. Iranian ships transport weapons to Palestinian terrorists, as in the celebrated case of the Karine A last winter, and in the more recent Italian seizure of an Iranian ship loaded with chemical precursors headed for Libya. Hardly a week goes by without another story documenting the flow of chemicals and finished weapons between Iraq, Iran and Syria, often ending in the murderous hands of the terror network, from al Qaeda and the Islamic Jihad to Hezbollah and Hamas. Like the countries that compose the Axis, the terror groups are now working intimately with one another, to the point where it hardly makes sense to separate them, either in our analysis of the threat they pose, or in our strategic planning.

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Police Chief Reuben Greenberg:

By Celeste at 13:27

Police Chief Reuben Greenberg: "That's the kind of world you live in"

The Volokh Conspiracy led me to this surrealistically common-sense advice from a police chief. He is actually suggesting that local businesses arm themselves for protection.

Some Folly Road business owners concerned about crime were taken aback Thursday night when Charleston Police Chief Reuben Greenberg appeared to suggest that an effective crime deterrent would be for them to arm themselves. ...
Greenberg told them that robberies, burglaries and rapes are a fact of life for communities across the country.

"There is never going to be zero crime. We can only work to reduce those that happen," he said.
He said one particular downtown business in a high-crime area hasn't been held up in 20 years because the owner and employees, including the guy mopping the floor, are armed.
I find an honest admission from a law-enforcement officer that they cannot prevent every crime, and that citizens should take some steps to defend themselves mighty refreshing. It is disturbing to me, however, that there is a significant segment of the population that refuses to accept this simple fact of life.
Mary Jane Keathley, meeting organizer and co-owner of a restaurant, asked Greenberg if he was joking. "Are you telling us we should arm ourselves?" she said.

"That's a decision you have to make for yourself," Greenberg said.

"I find that completely unacceptable," she said.

"I can't believe that's the only way," one man said.

"That's the kind of world you live in," Greenberg replied.
It is never a good idea to place total responsibility for your safety and life in the hands of someone else. I started thinking about that, after reading this article. I've been sitting around, waiting to hear what the Bush administration plans to do about further possible terrorist attacks, and how they plan to handle, say, a smallpox outbreak, when I could be thinking up my own plans and making my own preparations.

I need to ask myself the following questions:

  • What will I do if there is a nuclear strike on DC? (I live about 50 miles outside our nation's capitol.)
  • What will I do if there is a smallpox outbreak?
  • What will I do the next time some nutjob is randomly targeting citizens in my area for assassination?
  • What will I do if a terrorist attack takes out the communications and power infrastructure in my area?
That's just an initial list of questions, and I'm sure some of my answers are going to overlap each other, but I'm going to do some research and get back to y'all. Anyone who does have suggestions that do not involve calling the police, and waiting for them to figure it out, are welcome to clue me in.

JK Note: Reuben Greenberg has had a very high profile career. He's Jewish, as one might guess. What you might not have guessed is that he's also black, the first black Police Chief Charleston ever had. Nor is this the first time he's stepped up with refreshing and sensible views, as this article in Policy Review demonstrates.

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48 Ways to Wisdom: Way #15 - Oral Instructions for Living

By Joe Katzman at 08:30

This is a regular feature on Winds of Change. Every Friday (for Friday evening begins the Jewish Sabbath), we cover one more way to wisdom from Rabbi Noah Weinberg. These materials are written by an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, but are written in such a way that they retain their value no matter what creed you follow.

Think of it as a gentle and modern way of sharing 5,000+ years of accumulated wisdom.

This week's heading is "Oral Instructions for Living," dealing with the oral commentaries around the written Torah. Even if you're not Jewish, applying the principles he explains to your preferred source of wisdom literature can pay real dividends. As Rabbi Weinberg notes:

"Judaism is not supposed to be a reference work sitting on the shelf. It's to be lived and internalized. If you gain a piece of wisdom, integrate it into living."
Why not?
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Friday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 08:23

Tick, tock goes the clock. 4 DUPBBSNIT (Days Until President Bush's Big Speech, Not Including Today; acronym appropriately pronounced: "dub-snit").

Today's Blogs:
  * 48 Ways to Wisdom: Way #15 - Oral Instructions for Living
  * Police Chief Reuben Greenberg: "That's the kind of world you live in"
  * Calling Evil by its Name: The Axis of Evil Revisited
  * The Evil That Was France
  * An Internet Chestnut on Taxes - Revisisted
  * LePennistan? More Like Le Suicide Diplomatique

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January 23, 2003

USA to France: Make My Day!

By Trent Telenko at 09:16

The French are making a pest of themselves in American Foreign policy and David Warren has some pithy comments on it.

I disagree with those who say we should have previously and should now ignore the U.N. We should go back to the U.N. and ask for a use of force resolution. Let the French threaten to veto it. One of three results will happen:

1) The French are in cooperation with our deception/psych-war campaign against Saddam (that is always a possibility, we are talking the French here), and there will be no veto.

2) The French are "playing Kermit" like they did last time. So we call their bluff and there is no veto.

3) The French aren't bluffing, in which case the UN is useless for promoting American interests. So we should let the French veto the use of force resolution and attack Iraq anyway. That will make the UN another "League of Nations" and remove it as an obsticle to American interests. The up side is that it also gives us the justification make a really public and gory example of France.

I really don't see France crashing and burning the U.N. over this. It is clear to all and sundry that the USA is out to control Arab oil income so that it won't be diverted to Pakistani and North Korean WMD production or to fund Al-Qaeda and its mind children. Control of that oil income is a great deal of economic power. Volunteering to be the first example of that power's use is *not* within the meme of French Statecraft.

You NEVER threaten a Great Power's vital interests, unless you are willing to risk your own. Conquering Iraq is a vital American interest. Stopping America from doing that isn't a French one. I think they're bluffing and grand standing for a domestic audience.

"Go ahead, make my day."

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  • Balagan: i agree with phil. the "international community" should worry more read more
  • Phil Winsor: John: I must respectfully disagree. The majority of the world read more
  • john: Hmm, I must disagree. Invading Iraq at this stage has read more

Windtalkings, 2003-01-23

By Joe Katzman at 02:47

Here's some interesting stuff I've come across lately:

  • Trent has written tons of great stuff on North Korea lately. If this is an area that interests you, Bargarz directs us to a fantastic wealth of background on North Korea. Analysis, history, even satellite photos!

  • Blaster's Blog explains "Why Iraq? Why Now?" Lots of folks have done that, of course, but Blaster does it with an interesting "Why Iraq?" Chart.

  • To give Blaster's chart even more oomph, please take a look at this Al-Qaeda nuclear threat on LGF. It comes with a picture from their video that is worth far more than 1,000 words. More like 1,000,000.

  • Donald Sensing, whose predictions for the start of the Iraq war are looking more and more on target, points us at two great columns. Tom Friedman's latest is fantastic. (I have never seen a more inconsistent columnist than Friendman - he's either great or in la-la land, with no in-between, and on the same subjects no less.) Meanwhile, Michael Kelly explains in the Washington Post how the Left's psychoses have sunk them from dominance to their present state of raving irrelevance. agrees, and says they're dragging liberals down with them.

  • A Namby-Pamby Euro watches the war debate in Washington. No, really, that's how the author describes himself. He has some interesting observations, too. (courtesy of Sharkblog)

  • Can't let the subject of namby-panby Euros go by without telling this story, courtesy of Bjorn Staerk. It's a great bit involving noted leftist Gunter Grass' telling rejoinder to a frothing crowd. Quiet, ironic, devastating.

  • Right-wing blogger Rob Lyman is actually impressed by an affirmative action defense!

  • While we're in the "isn't that unusual" category, how about an intelligent, reasoned post about the abortion debate from one of its partisans? Impossible, you say? Not for Pejmanpundit. With third trimester procedures under the microscope these days, it's a timely subject - and more to the point, an excellent example.

  • India and Israel continue to strengthen their defense ties, and recently agreed to jointly market India's ALH (Advanced Light Helicopter). The ALH looks like a competitor to the UH-1 Huey, Westland Lynx, and Hughes 500. Wonder if Israel is also thinking that it might be better to have some light 'copters that can carry missiles, rockets or troops but didn't leave it open to U.S. pressure re: the way they're used.

  • Always end on a cheery note. Thos one comes courtesy of Spleenville and Cold Fury. Would you believe that a doctor managed to reattach a kid's head that was almost entirely severed from his body? The kid is now up and playing basketball. On other health matters, Andrea has some tart comments for the fat kids who had their lawsuit against McDonalds thrown out the other day.
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Bill Mauldin Died TodayFrom

By Armed Liberal at 01:27

Bill Mauldin Died Today

From CNN:

'It's really good that he's not suffering anymore," he said. "He had a terrible struggle."

His characters Willie and Joe, a laconic pair of unshaven, mud-encrusted dogfaces, slogged their way through Italy and other parts of battle-scarred Europe, surviving the enemy and the elements while caustically and sarcastically harpooning the unctuous and pompous.

Somewhere I have a complete book of the Willie and Joe cartoons. As an anti-Vietnam war protest leader, my memory of those cartoons, and the humane eye and hand of their creator is what made sure I stayed connected to my peers who wore uniforms.

We all owe a lot to our soldiers; I want to thank Bill Mauldin for teaching me that above all, they are us.

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Grasshopper No More

By Joe Katzman at 00:53

Welcome to the Blogosphere, Wild Monk! He's most known these days for his political ity test, which has some interesting angles embedded in the ratings it offers.

Having caught 1,000 blogreaders in his marketing opener, he was deemed ready to leave the temple and wander the blogosphere. Looks like he's doing a pretty fair job of that, too, judging by what's on
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Thursday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 00:34

Tick, tock goes the clock. 5 DUPBBSNIT (Days Until President Bush's Big Speech, Not Including Today; acronym appropriately pronounced: "dub-snit").

Big kudos to Armed Liberal yesterday for coining the term "skybox liberalism," and to Trent Telenko for yet another razor-sharp North Korea post. And did I mention Fouad Ajami's article on "Iraq and the Arabs' Future" yesterday? Oh, good, I did. That one is absolutely worth reading - especially now.

Today's Blogs:
  * Grasshopper No More
  * Armed Liberal Mourns Bill Mauldin's Death
  * Windtalkings, 2003-01-23
  * USA to France: Make My Day!
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January 22, 2003

More on Despotic BureaucracyThis

By Armed Liberal at 09:58

More on Despotic Bureaucracy

This morning's Daily Breeze covers the latest news from the City of Los Angeles' Board of Airport Commissioners:

Only 10 rental car companies will be allowed to drive their shuttle vans through Los Angeles International Airport’s crowded terminal area under a new policy LAX directors unanimously adopted Tuesday.

Customers of the other 29 companies licensed to operate at LAX will have to take an airport bus to a remote parking lot where they will transfer to rental car courtesy vans, a practice known as “double busing.”

Airport officials say the change, which is to take effect next month, is aimed at cutting from 1 million to 810,000 the number of annual rental car shuttle trips through the terminal area, and increasing annual rental car revenue by up to $8.2 million. Currently, all rental car companies are allowed to send shuttles through the terminal area.

I've talked about this kind of 'SkyBox Liberalism' in the past, where a government agency has regulatory control and uses it to maximize its own revenues at the expense of the overall good of the community it serves. In this case, the 29 smaller car rental companies will probably be driven out of business by the decision, but since the 10 large ones will in turn raise their payments to the airport (and doubtless their charges to their customers, who will have fewer choices), the Commission supports the plan.

Who gains? The big players and the bureaucracy, who has more funds to spend on 'economic development'. Who loses? The paying customers, who are inconvenienced and overcharged, and the local economy as the small business owners who really drive the local economy are driven under by their inability to successfully play politics.

I don't own or work for any of these companies, and have no dog in this fight. But I'd encourage folks to drop a line to the board at or to Mayor Hahn at and let them know what you think.

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North Korea's Tony Sopranos

By Trent Telenko at 07:09

North Korea is not a serious military threat to anyone. The most its corrupt, decrepit, so-called army can do is commit suicide with a week long artillery bombardment of the Seoul area in South Korea. That would be horror show, but it would end quickly for a variety of reasons included running out of ready ammunition in its border forts and American precision guided munition (PGM) decapitation. But it won't happen due to the phenomenal corruption of the North Korean Army.

What got me here started about 10 years ago when I noticed the spontaneous criminal entrepreneurial activity by the Chinese Navy (PLAN), commonly referred to as piracy. While I was puzzling over that one, I started reading of North Korean support of terrorism ceasing in favor of drug smuggling after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Two recent articles toggled me over to the conclusion in my first paragraph. The first was in the Asian Wall Street Journal titled "China Props Up An Evil Regime" By Danny Gittings (and clipped over in the web site).

The key section from the ASWJ article:

"Mr. Lim, who served for more than a decade in the North Korean military before fleeing to the South in the early 1990s, says he knows what he's talking about. He claims to have participated in a 1991 attempt by disgruntled army officers to kill Kim's father, Kim Il Sung. The assassination attempt, known in South Korea as the Sept. 24 incident, reportedly collapsed when Kim didn't turn up as scheduled at the site of the proposed shooting.

It's one of five coup attempts against the North Korean regime reported in Seoul over the past decade. But none have been confirmed, and Mr. Lim's account contained some inconsistencies. Even the best known of these attempts -- the U.S. embassy reported evidence of a revolt by the army's sixth corps in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong in 1995 -- may have been more complicated than it appears at first sight. A veteran foreign analyst in Seoul told me it was more of a "squabble among thieves," after the sixth corps refused to turn over to a greedy leadership in Pyongyang the hard currency it had made through illicit activities such as opium smuggling.

Whatever the true circumstances behind the reported coup attempts, they shatter the pervasive myth that North Korea is a hermit kingdom of docile slaves, who know nothing of the outside world and still swallow Pyongyang's propaganda about the two Kims being living Gods.

That myth suits the regime's evil purposes. After all, those who know no better are unlikely to revolt, even against a leadership that is starving them to death. But it has long since ceased to be any more than a myth. According to Mr. Lim, more than a decade ago army officers were already grumbling in private about the regime. By the mid-1990s, officers in the northeast, if not actively plotting to bring down the regime, were at the very least more interested in lining their own pockets than defending Kim Jong Il."

This made me sit up and take notice. Corruption that endemic in a military is only a symptom of wider corruption in the state and society. The only model I had for similar corruption was Syria. Whose only hard currency earning exports are colonists to Lebanon and heroin to Europe. And whose political parties were made up of, according to Jim Dunnigan, the Syrian Army's I through V Corps.

Then this US News & World Report article "The Far East Sopranos " by David E. Kaplan filled in the pieces of the puzzle and gave me my title. From the last paragraph:

While the younger Kim gambles away funny money, some 2 million of his countrymen have died of hunger since the mid-1990s. Still, North Korea's racketeering could damage Kim Jong Il's regime. Its official crime wave is helping fuel growing corruption there and prompting independent crooks to get into the game. Smugglers now find they can more easily bribe border cops and other officials. Some U.S. officials welcome the development. "The key here is lack of government control," says one. "Criminal activity may bring about the disintegration of this regime."

In communist states, supreme power has always rested in the hands of the Party with the Army and Secret Police being near co-equals. These two institutions were always set against one another by the Party so the Party could maintain control.

The various communist nation's cultures also played a role. For example, East Germany was never allowed by the Russians to have a large army because Russians were afraid of a large German Army. Various "Peoples'/Workers' militias" were created to fill the role of militarizing and regimenting larger society for East German communists that the Red Army did for the Soviet Union (and let more East Germans wear spiffy uniforms).

In North Korea, a much larger standing army was required earlier in the history of the communist state. This resulted in the the Army filling many of the "ecological niches" in regime politics that in other communist states were held by the Party and the secret police/forced labor camps. The end result was corrupt regional power groupings centered on the various Army Corps. These military leaders are North Korea's "Tony Sopranos" and like their TV name sake, they chose a weak leader they could dominate, Kim Jong Il.

Once these North Korean "Tony Sopranos" got in the habit of disobedience for the sake of corruption to line their pockets, they became "a little bit pregnant" in the disobedience department regarding other things, hopefully including suicidal orders to bombard Seoul. This is why I feel there is little chance of that.

And it is good news for us and bad news for China. North Korea is a failed state doomed to fall because of its corruption no matter what anyone does. It is only a question of when and what the body count will be, despite China's providing the Kim regime 40% of its food and 88% of its oil. All America has to do is nothing, and it will win in North Korea, something Steven Den Beste pointed out recently. And no matter what else happens, China will be faced with a free, unified, Korea with lots of ethnic Koreans on China's side of their common border.

Of course, America isn't going to do "nothing." As I have said on Winds before, the Bush Administration is filled with senior people who are expert in bringing WMD armed totalitarian regimes to soft landing via psychological warfare. The corruption in North Korea has reached the point that the CIA can bribe North Korean border guards to let in radios for American psychological warfare broadcasts. And there is circumstantial evidence the CIA has already started to do so. Again from the ASWJ article:

"As Radio Free Asia President Richard Richter said earlier this week, while announcing a doubling in broadcasts aimed at citizens of the giant gulag, North Korean listeners "have demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity to secretly hear our broadcasts." Although foreign visitors still return with tales of a highly regimented nation, where everyone wears Kim Il Sung badges and does what he is told, the increasingly numerous refugees paint a very different picture. They describe a society where corruption of all kinds, including prostitution, is now rife. In short, they depict a regime in decline and more vulnerable than ever to being overthrown from within."
Mark this well ladies and gentlemen, I had thought that the Bush Administration was just going for a "Bloodless Victory" in Iraq with a pick up of the Iranian Mullahocracy as a opportunistic benefit. Now I think we will not only get a bloodless victory trifecta over all of the names states in the "Axis of Evil", but we may get them all before the end of the year and almost certainly before the 2004 Presidential elections.

UPDATE: Hat tip to David Adesnik of Oxblog for spotting this NY Times article titled "Russia Helped U.S. on Nuclear Spying Inside North Korea." The CIA has been working with Russian intelligence to emplace sensors to detect nuclear weapons manufacturing.

From the article:

"Traditionally, uranium enrichment facilities have required large amounts of electricity and water, making it possible to identify them by spy satellite photographs of power grids and other industrial infrastructure.

Plutonium reprocessing, on the other hand, is a chemical process requiring less power and water, and so such plants can be situated in more remote locations, like Yongbyon, which is about 60 miles north of Pyongyang.

But plutonium reprocessing gives off distinctive emissions that can be tracked and measured, even in very small amounts. Experts familiar with the joint operation between the C.I.A. and Russian intelligence said plutonium reprocessing emits an isotope of krypton in gaseous form that is relatively easy to detect. The Russians were apparently given American sensing equipment to help analysts determine whether reprocessing was under way at Yongbyon, which after 1994 would have been a violation of the agreement reached under the Clinton administration, known as the Agreed Framework. The equipment could also help the C.I.A. determine whether plutonium reprocessing had secretly been moved to another site in North Korea.

"Krypton is a very good technical indicator that is hard to hide," said one person familiar with the intelligence efforts. "If you are able to situate the sniffers in the right places, then you could have confidence that you can find out whether plutonium reprocessing is going on or not."

Now, if the Russian and American intelligence services were cooperative to this extent, how hard would it be to conspire to bribe North Korean border guards to let smugglers get in American radios for psychological warfare broadcasts?
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Tarek Heggy on "Compromise"

By Tarek Heggy at 01:55

Tarek Heggy on "Compromise" & the Arab Mind See the rest of his articles here on Winds of Change.NET.

Back in November, I noted briefly that Arabic culture has no real word for compromise, and that such words as are used in translation often have overtones of surrender and shame.

The incomparable Randall Parker recently pointed me to Egyptian author Tarek Heggy, a Renaissance Man in the true sense of the term. His "A Culture of Compromise" article is fascinating reading, not only for its insights into the Arab mind but also for this insight into the Anglosphere:

"For nearly twenty years, I had the opportunity to work closely with people drawn from over fifty different nationalities in a global economic establishment which remains, after a long history stretching back to the nineteenth century, one of the five largest establishments in the world. What I noticed over the years is that people with a west European background use the word 'compromise' more often than those coming from an eastern cultural tradition. As the study of cultures is one of my hobbies, particularly when it comes to comparing the Arab, Latin and Anglo-Saxon minds, I could not help noticing that just as those with an Arab mind-set use the word compromise less than those with a Latin mind-set, so too do the latter use it less than those with an Anglo-Saxon mind-set. There is a simple explanation for this. If one’s way of thinking is based on a set of philosophical/religious principles, then it is normal that people raised in an Arab culture should be less inclined to use the word compromise than those whose minds were conditioned in a Latin context, where, although the philosophical dimension looms large, the religious dimension figures less prominently than it does in the Arab mind-set. It is also normal that Latin societies use the word less than societies with an Anglo-Saxon cultural formation. The Anglo-Saxon way of thinking, which has come to dominate the world in a manner unprecedented in history, is based on an altogether different set of rules."
This is one of the good guys talking, and I'll be featuring more material from him in future. Worth a look.

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Belated MLK Day Regards

By Joe Katzman at 01:54

Belated MLK Day Regards From a Canadian

First of all, I understand that Jan. 20th was Martin Luther King Day in the USA. Apologies for missing that on the blog - it's just that we don't have that up here in Canada so it's easy to lose track. (Though coincidentally, I did run a Windtalkings piece on the treatment of Black Republicans that day).

In belated recognition of a mighty man of G-d and one of the great orators in history, we present the full text of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, courtesy of The Highway. Or perhaps you'd prefer to listen to a key excerpt, courtesy of

This is not the first time Winds of Change.NET has featured the words of Rev. King. Click here for his final speech as well: "I Have Seen the Promised Land"

Finally, I've heard rumours that these speeches are available in full via networks like Kazaa, Grokster, et. al. I'm also told that they are very much worth having in one's collection, and that listening to them on occasion does wonders for inspiration and insight. Rumours only, you understand....

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Windtalkings, 2003-01-22

By Joe Katzman at 00:04

Here's some interesting stuff I've come across lately:

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Wednesday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 00:01

Holy cats! Always nice to have visitors, but we weren't expecting a brigade or 2! Of course, pretty soon we won't be the only folks saying things like that...

Today's Blogs:
  * Windtalkings, 2003-01-22
  * Belated MLK Day Regards From a Canadian
  * Tarek Heggy on "Compromise" & the Arab Mind
  * North Korea’s Tony Sopranos
  * More on Despotic Bureaucracy

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January 21, 2003

Damnation by Omission: Hersh Fingers the Clinton Administration in the North Korea Nuclear Debacle by Mistake

By Trent Telenko at 08:28

Seymour Hersh has a new article in the New Yorker on North Korea and its ties with the Pakistani titled "THE COLD TEST: What the Administration knew about Pakistan and the North Korean nuclear program." It is an attempt by the usual suspects, Former Clinton Administration officials, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency to cover their bloody behinds on their failures with North Korea and shift blame to the "Bush's ideological Neo-cons."

What I found interesting were these two passages:

A former senior Pakistani official told me that his government's contacts with North Korea increased dramatically in 1997; the Pakistani economy had foundered, and there was "no more money" to pay for North Korean missile support, so the Pakistani government began paying for missiles by providing "some of the know-how and the specifics." Pakistan helped North Korea conduct a series of "cold tests," simulated nuclear explosions, using natural uranium, which are necessary to determine whether a nuclear device will detonate properly. Pakistan also gave the North Korean intelligence service advice on "how to fly under the radar," as the former official put it——that is, how to hide nuclear research from American satellites and U.S. and South Korean intelligence agents.

and this,

An American intelligence official I spoke with called Pakistan's behavior the "worst nightmare" of the international arms-control community: a Third World country becoming an instrument of proliferation. "The West's primary control of nuclear proliferation was based on technology denial and diplomacy," the official said. "Our fear was, first, that a Third World country would develop nuclear weapons indigenously; and, second, that it would then provide the technology to other countries. This is profound. It changes the world." Pakistan's nuclear program flourished in the nineteen-eighties, at a time when its military and intelligence forces were working closely with the United States to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The official said, "The transfer of enrichment technology by Pakistan is a direct outgrowth of the failure of the United States to deal with the Pakistani program when we could have done so. We've lost control."

Aside from the fact that the United States never had control over Pakistani nuclear development thanks to its technical cooperation with China, and the Saudi bank rolling of an "Islamic bomb," the above points out the following conclusions:

1) The trigger event for post 1994 North Korean highly enriched uranium (HEU) development was the Clinton Administration's embargo's of India and Pakistan over their 1997 'tit for tat' nuclear testing. Not only was this embargo "unilateral," but American farming interests, working with Indian affiliated lobbyists, managed to weaken it such that the embargo hurt Pakistan more in relative terms than India. This made the Pakistani HEU deal with North Korea a vital Pakistani national interest.

2) The post-Cold War cutbacks of the Clinton Administration to the CIA's analysis capability not only prevented them from detecting India's second and successful nuclear test program in time to stop it. These cutbacks also prevented the Clinton Administration from detecting and acting against these Pakistani nuclear transfers to North Korea starting in 1997.

Assuming they were really looking, which I have made plain I doubt.

Seymour Hersh, by avoiding the issue of the 1997 India-Pakistani nuclear tests, the Clinton Administration's unilateral embargo, and their connection to the current North Korean Crisis, has unintentionally laid a spot light on another failed aspect of the Clinton Administration's anti-proliferation policy. I guess Seymour is going to have to learn that Bush-Bashing is its own reward.

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Celebrity and Home-Built Airplanes

By Armed Liberal at 01:00

Celebrity and Home-Built Airplanes

New blogging star Bill Whittle stopped by and joined Tenacious G and I for dim sum last weekend; he’s on his way out of town for a while to go build himself an airplane.

We had a great lunch, and he’s such an interesting and pleasant guy that I’m kind of irked that we never got to meet until he had his bags packed and the car door open.

We talked animatedly about a number of things while G watched us with some amusement; liberalism and how he’d lost his faith in it and found himself on the other side of the table, the fact that somehow I’d kept mine, his great new essay on celebrity, modern technology, and homebuilt airplanes among a dozen or so other things while they cleaned up the restaurant around us.

If you haven’t found his piece on celebrity already, go read it now. It’s great on its own terms, and hits me close to home.

I grew up in Beverly Hills, in the shadow of celebrities everywhere. At Nate & Al’s deli, at Carroll & Co. and Sy Devore, where my dad bought his clothes, at Carl’s Market on Doheny and Santa Monica. This was in the 60’s and early 70’s, and it was different back then; somehow they were famous people, with an emphasis on people.

Groucho really did give out 50-cent pieces to kids who trick-or-treated his house. George Peppard came over in his bathrobe and screamed at my friend and I to “turn that damn thing off” as we tuned the racing engine on my friend’s Boss 302 Mustang in his back yard. We once wound up seated with Dean Martin’s family at Cyrano’s; I’ve never been certain why, but his son briefly went to Beverly High and remembered me there.

Something has changed. Bill recounts some of the symptoms, but I think we have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves exactly when it was that we handed the keys to our polity to the celebrity class? How exactly did that happen, and why exactly do we put up with it?

Because we do put up with it. I was at dinner maybe eight years ago in a fairly chichi restaurant (hey, I don’t just eat BBQ…) in Venice; I excused myself to go to the men’s room, and found my way blocked by an obvious bodyguard. “You’ll have to wait,” he explained to me. “No, I won’t,” I replied. “Not unless you have a badge that says U.S. Secret Service.” We had a brief but professional exchange of views, and at the point where I was going to step past him and he was going to have to make a decision, his principal stepped out of the bathroom and walked past both of us without looking up.

I didn’t recognize him.

The bodyguard was flummoxed because he was used to ready compliance. I’m sure that he’s used the “You’ll have to wait” line, and that the usual response was “Oh. OK,” followed by a craned neck to see who it was who might be important enough to warrant a bodyguard at dinner.

And we have made a sacrifice in adopting the point of view; not only of some measure of our self-respect, but of something that goes deeper still. I’m not sure how this ties together with how wonderful it is that Bill is heading off to build his own airplane, but it does.

I know one other man who builds his own airplanes; he is a retired immigrant rocket scientist. He worked at TRW or Hughes during the 50’s and 60’s, and while he worked building missiles, his wife invested every penny they had in beachfront apartments, and now they are quite well off. I stayed at their home north of Los Angeles when I first met them through one of their children, and when I woke up well before everyone else in the house (as I usually do) I padded about exploring, and went into the garage, where he was lofting a wing on the garage floor. My first reaction was “Holy Sh*t!! That’s a big model!!” Then I realized that he was building a damn airplane in his garage. His daughter woke up and matter-of-factly explained, “Oh, he does one of those every two years or so…he designs them himself”

And that’s one of the wonderful things about America, Bill and I agree. That an immigrant rocket scientist can become rich, and more, can build and sell airplanes out of his garage. It is that sense of hope, of possibility, of dynamic enterprise that has made this country wealthy and successful, powerful and great.

You don’t get that kind of hope sucking on the glass teat of celebrity, or clutching LOTTO tickets sweaty-palmed while you wait for the numbers. It comes from work, engagement, sacrifices and the real success that comes from some measure of accomplishment. If we liberals are to be taken to task for anything, it is for the fact that we succeeded in feeding the bellies of the poor here in America, but at the cost of any real hope. It’s there, someone’s just got to help look for it.

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If Mike Hendrix Were A Fighter Pilot...

By Joe Katzman at 00:57

... I suspect the proprietor of "Cold Fury" might be something like this gentleman. At least that's who I kept thinking of as I read it. "Hoser" harshed many a mellow, and his colourful antics have inspired many a story - including one that's still told often at Top Gun. Follow the link and read for yerself!
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Tuesday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 00:54

Quite the day yesterday. A bit of everything, from UAVs and "throwbots" to urban warfare tactics, nudist flights, and terrorist leaders.

Throw in one heapin' helping of whupass "I told you so," and a late post by Armed Liberal on how bureaucracy can become despotism. Stir. Serves thousands.

Today's Blogs:
  * If Mike "ColdFury" Hendrix Were a Fighter Pilot...
  * Celebrity and Home-Built Airplanes
  * Damnation by Omission - Hersh Fingers Clinton On North Korea

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January 20, 2003

The Coastal Commission and

By Armed Liberal at 17:26

The Coastal Commission and Bureaucracy

As is usually the case with me, I started down one path in writing something and wound up taking quite another.

I started to write about the problems with the Coastal Commission, having written about some of the benefits, and demurred because first, I was uncomfortable talking abut my own direct experience with them (which is pretty substantial) because of that pesky pseudonym issue, and second, it began to look more and more like a litany of generic complaints about bureaucracy.

That started me thinking more generally about bureaucracy, which led me to another of those "aha" moments I'm prone to, and the realization that this takes me a little closer to an understanding of '4th Generation Liberalism', as I'm wont to call it.

So what I want to do is set out some comments on bureaucracy, using as core examples the bureaucracy of land-use regulation with which I'm pretty familiar, and trying to tie it a bit to some examples from managing software development with which I'm also pretty familiar.

So here's the outline I'm working to:

I. Introduction: the nature of bureaucracy, and the problem of rational despotism (today's article).
II. Next up - Rational management of irrational processes; software development.
III. Finally - Some concrete suggestions.

My experiences in dealing directly with the Commission and staff convinced me that it was an organization that could charitably be called despotic. Now what do I mean by that?

A despot is an absolute ruler, whose power is . The term comes from the Greek term for the master of a household, whose power was domestic, rather than political.

And in many cases, modern bureaucrats are despots. How can that be? Wasn't bureaucracy supposed to be rational and im? Wasn't it supposed to represent the triumph of rationality?

Max Weber talks about it:

[The calculability of decision-making] and with it its appropriateness for capitalism . . [is] the more fully realized the more bureaucracy "deizes" itself, i.e., the more completely it succeeds in achieving the exclusion of love, hatred, and every purely , especially irrational and incalculable, feeling from the execution of official tasks. In the place of the old-type ruler who is moved by sympathy, favor, grace, and gratitude, modern culture requires for its sustaining external apparatus the emotionally detached, and hence rigorously "professional" expert.
Or, better:
The theory of modern public administration, for instance, assumes that the authority to order certain matters by decree--which has been legally granted to public authorities--does not entitle the bureau to regulate the matter by commands given for each case, but only to regulate the matter abstractly. This stands in extreme contrast to the regulation of all relationships through individual privileges and bestowals of favor, which is absolutely dominant in patrimonialism, at least in so far as such relationships are not fixed by sacred tradition.
From my direct experience, and I'm sure from others who can chime in, bureaucratic management of land use has become in large part an exercise in 'patrimonialism'. What do I mean by that?

In the beginning, there was zoning; it specified specific types of uses for neighborhoods, in an effort to make sure that slaughterhouses would be moved away from homes, and that stamping plants would not be built next to shops. This grew out of the horrible conditions in many early industrial cities (in 'Gangs of New York', note that while the real gang battles were much tamer, the real physical conditions were much worse).

Within zones, physical standards began to be set, to assure, among other things, that apartments would have light and heat, and that some effort would me made to limit the susceptibility of buildings to fire, and to make sure their inhabitants could survive fire.

The modern 'tenement' building in New York, with lightwells and fire escapes, is a testament to these physical standards.

Over time, the physical standards got more complex, as layers and layers of new land-use and physical development regulations were created, and fairly soon, we find ourselves in a situation where the regulations overlap, are ambiguous, and often mutually contradictory.

So the expert interpretation of the zoning administrator is required.

In the idealized bureaucracy, the zoning administrator...the interpreter and enforcer of a dispassionate professional, and most of the ones I know try as hard as they can to fit into that role.

But the fact that they and they alone are the interpreters, judges, and guides through these regulations means that for the average citizen, they are the zoning code, and their interpretation...their absolute.

Because the average citizen doesn't 'speak the language', or have the specific knowledge to pull the relevant bits out of the code books, have the resources to hire someone who can, or have access to the local politicians to have them intervene, they are absolutely at the mercy of the bureaucrat, and the administrator's power becomes entirely . I have known of ZA's who have 'mislaid' files, delayed hearings, and otherwise impeded the planning process because an applicant was simply annoying.

When planning is local, there are some limits to this kind of despotism; the local citizen has some access to the Mayor, or to a city councilman, or to the local press. In a mega-city like Los Angeles, there isn't much access, to be sure (which is one of the reasons why the city came close to being broken up, and why there are now several thousand new members of community 'neighborhood councils'), and at the Coastal Commission level, where the elected officials are state legislators and the Governor, the average citizen effectively has no recourse outside the administrative process.

They do have recourse, of course, to hiring or buying access. They can hire me or one of the dozens of 'expeditors' like me for $150/hour; they can hire high-powered attorneys at $250 - $400/hour; they can spend thousands of dollars to attend fundraisers for legislators and the Governor and gain access as a donor.

And it takes time. My advice to clients looking at significant projects in the coastal zone was to budget three years, between applications, hearings, and legal maneuvering.

What this cost in time and money does is to segment applicants into two classes: those who can spend and wait, and those who cannot. Those who can, usually win; those who can't take their chances.

So the small homeowner or developer has no recourse except to comply with any demand made by the coastal staff, no matter how thinly grounded in the law they might be.

Now, I believe that the Coastal Commission staff acted aggressively not to line their own pockets, but to protect the coast in the best light they knew how. There were clear instances of corruption on the appointed board (Mark Natanson went to jail, and Gray Davis got $8.4 million in donations from applicants with permits pending), but no one has made a credible accusation against the staff.

And their general efforts have definitely meant that California's coast is less overdeveloped and mansionized than, say, Florida's.

But they've created a two-tier system (not that the rich and powerful didn't get or buy better before) where the gap in treatment between the 'connected' and the 'citizens' has never been greater.

And the consequence of that is profound, in the loss of legitimacy of the government, as I've discussed in the past.

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Iraq: The Trap is Sprung!

By Trent Telenko at 15:09

Instaman has found a link to an article in the Guardian that shows the Lefties opposing war in Iraq have just realized the political judo Bush has done to them with another U.N. use of force resolution:

For those who have doubts but remain undecided, a second UN resolution has also assumed a key importance. UN authorisation of force would go a long way towards salving many consciences troubled by the prospect of yet more western violence aimed at the Iraqi people. "The UN's voted for it, so that's all right then" would be the comforting, responsibility-shifting refrain.

The Blair government understands this dynamic very well. Like the US, it initially opposed the French idea of a second resolution. Now Jack Straw and others say it is their preference. They know a vote in favour, or some form of UN consensus, would help calm party members, persuading them that the government (and also they themselves) had done all they could - and now had a primary duty to "support the UN". Concord would be restored, even as deathly discord loomed over Iraq.

What ministers also know, but are far less willing to say, is that a second UN vote will make no difference whatsoever to US intentions. In the unlikely event (see above) that the council tried to delay or block its invasion plans by more than a few weeks, the US can be expected to walk away. It will claim (as before) that it already has all the authority it needs. It will invite others to join with it. And then it will attack. On the other hand, if the council accepts its case and endorses action, then - in Washington's view - all well and good.

In other words, the current fixation with a second UN resolution is delusional. It enables the government to offer its supporters false reassurance. It allows the unpersuaded among the public a figleaf behind which to banish well-justified doubts. It is all smoke and mirrors, under whose cover we cower.

I am here to say: I told you so!

And so did Steven Den Beste!

Facing some sort of major political problem, Bush keeps silent and doesn't really comment. Opponents criticize him, and the head of their rhetoric rises as they smell blood and feel as if he is on the run. His lack of response encourages them, and they seem to make points.

And then Bush will make a speech, and everything changes. He will lay out a coherent policy and explain it. But even more important, after he does so the context of the discussion itself will have changed, for everyone involved. In the first couple of days after the speech there is a muted silence from his critics as they realize, in stunned silence and then in rising horror, how deeply he's snookered them. And they realize that his previous silence and apparent inaction was actually a sign of his patience and determination, and that he'd been giving them rope to hang themselves.

Break out the latest Toby Keith CD and start playing his "Beer For My Horses" duet with Willie Nelson, because Bush's Texas posse is filling the trees with western leftists hoisted by their own petards!
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Fight Night: Joe vs. Trent on the American Way of Urban Combat

By Trent Telenko at 13:02

Joe put up a bunch of interesting links today on urban combat and UAV/UGVs. However, he seems to have missed this source,The Urban Operations Journal , and particularly a link there to this article""Knock 'em All Down:" The Reduction of Aachen, October 1944 by Christopher R. Gabel, Ph.D.

This is the money 'graph from my point of view:

The battle for Aachen challenges conventional wisdom in another respect. Urban operations are commonly regarded as bloody, time consuming operations in which the defender can exact many times his own number in enemy casualties. In Aachen, however, the defenders outnumbered the attackers, and yet managed to hold out for only nine days because of the American offensive methods and the incoherent nature of the German defense. The two battalions of the 26th Infantry (plus attachments) that bore the brunt of the fighting in Aachen lost 75 killed, 414 wounded, and 9 missing in securing a city defended by over 5,000 enemy troops.[58] For the U.S. Army, the true bloodbath of the 1944 campaign was not an urban operation, but rather the battle of the Huertgen Forest.

And how did these two infantry assault battalions pull this off against a skilled foe who made the Somalis of Blackhawk Down seem like the drugged out, armed children they really were? They used a tactical doctrine dubbed "Knock 'em all down."

"Knock 'em all down" started with artillery fire. Heavy artillery struck German lines of communication to isolate the battle area. Medium artillery and mortars fired across the front itself. Artillerymen used delayed fuses to ensure that rounds penetrated buildings before exploding. Division and corps artillery was arrayed south of the city, which allowed artillery to fire parallel to the front of troops fighting in the city. With the danger of short rounds falling on American troops thus minimized, artillerymen were able to adjust fires within yards of the infantry lines. However, since the encirclement battle still raged, the forces fighting in Aachen could not count upon artillery support all the time.[30]

Tanks and tank destroyers assigned to the platoons were, on the other hand, an ever-present source of mobile firepower. The American troops, acutely aware of the dangers posed by German panzerfausts in close-quarters fighting, developed combined arms tactics in which infantry protected the armor from panzerfausts while the armor engaged strongpoints that impeded the infantry. Platoons generally kept their armor one street back from the street being cleared. The tank or tank destroyer would nose cautiously around the corner and pour fire into a specific building. Then, the infantry would assault the building, whereupon the armor would shift fire to the next in line. Once the block had been systematically cleared, all available weapons would fire into every possible panzerfaust firing position while the armor dashed forward into the street just cleared.[31]

As for the infantry, the rifle platoons stayed out of the streets as much as possible. Heavy machine guns maintained steady fire up the streets along the axis of advance, thus impeding German lateral movements, while the American infantry moved from building to building by blowing holes through adjoining walls with bazookas and demolition charges. The preferred mode of clearing a building was to fight from the top down, with grenades being the weapon of choice.[32]

The 2/26 eliminated every German position as it was encountered, intentionally bypassing none. Every sewer manhole was blocked off to prevent the reoccupation of positions behind American lines. In accordance with orders from higher headquarters, all civilians encountered were evacuated from the city.

As fighting progressed on 14 October, the 2/26 received augmentation from VII Corps in the form of a self-propelled 155mm gun. (The 3/26 was likewise reinforced on this date.) This weapon fired a 95-pound armor-piercing projectile at a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second[33]—sufficient kinetic energy to penetrate an entire block of buildings. Daniel was strictly enjoined to take good care of this asset.

As far as American soldiers were concerned, "Overkill is good. More Overkill is Better!" This was especially true in dealing with snipers and enemy obervation posts:

During this period, the 2/26 found itself taking fire from the rear, despite all its precautions to assure that no Germans were bypassed. After a careful search, the Americans discovered that the fire was coming from a church steeple that had been reinforced with concrete, making it a fortified observation post. This position proved to be impervious to both small arms and 75mm tank destroyer fire, whereupon Daniel again called upon his 155mm artillery piece. One shot from the 155 brought the entire structure crashing to the ground.[38] This use of a 155mm gun as an anti-sniper weapon is perhaps the epitome of "Knock 'em all down."

A similar suite of American tactics was used in the Pacific in the taking Manila in Feb. 1945:

The American method, once area artillery fires and tanks became available, was to pulverize the building they faced and then to assault into the remains. They used bazookas and flamethrowers against machine gun nests. They used abundant light suppressive fire weapons, grenades, and mortars, as well as small arms. Sometimes U.S. assaults failed because of withering fire or counterattacks, in which case troops would pull back and repeat the process. Tanks and tank destroyers were used in a direct-fire role for the artillery preparation. Their use beyond that was evidently limited by mines, rubble and the heavy concrete walls of the buildings themselves. Tanks could not follow infantry into the cellars and onto the roofs. Americans in Manila evidently learned to use their assets as they went along and used them to full advantage. Casualties suffered by the 37th Infantry Division when artillery restrictions were first lifted from 10-12 February averaged twenty-six KIA per day. By the period 21-23 February when the division was fighting at City Hall and assaulting Intramuros, casualties were down to six KIA per day on average.[l]

The key to low casualty urban combat isn't technology. It is attitude.

The point isn't to defeat the enemy in "urban terrain".

It is to remove the urban terrain.

If American political and military leaders are not prepared to engage in "High Firepower Civil Engineering" for political reasons. Then don't do it. Or send in send in the local "loyal allies" to pay in blood for the bricks and mortar (and kill their own civilians). The later is what we did in Khafji and what we should do in the future when politics gets in the way of doing the "right thing" militarily with American forces.


Joe e-mailed a reply to me saying that he viewed my post here complimentary and not confrontational.

I beg to differ and now that I found my copy of T.R. Fehrenbach's Korean War classic, "THIS KIND OF WAR" I can quote the passage I meant to show up in my first go:

The American way of street and town fighting did not resemble that of other armies. To Americans, flesh and blood and lives have always been more precious than sticks and stones, however assembled. An American commander, faced with taking the Louvre from a defending enemy, unquestionably would have blown it apart or burn it down without hesitation if such would save the life of one of his men. And he would be acting in complete accord with American ideals and ethics in doing so. Already, in the Korean War, American units were proceeding to destroy utterly enemy-held towns and villages rather than engage in the costly business of reducing them block by block with men and bayonets, as did European armies. If bombing and artillery would save lives, even though they destroyed sites of beauty and history, saving lived obviously had preference. And already foreign observers with the United States Army -- not ROK's -- were beginning to criticize such tactics.

Observers from France and Britain, realizing that war was also highly possible in their own part of the world, were disturbed at the thought of a ground defense of their homelands. For the United States Army, according to its history and doctrine, would choose the lives of its men over the continued existence of storied cathedrals. these observers wrote news releases -- and soon Frank Munoz could get no artillery on the enemy assembling in plain sight in the villages below him. When he asked Battalion to fire on the village, and burn it down, Battalion replied it could not. Fortunately, such orders in Korea were soon changed.

In the book BLACKHAWK DOWN, much is made over the fact that the Rangers did not have the armor or the AC-130 gunships that then Secretary of Defense Aspin denied them. And also much is made of the fact that the U.N. was passing information to the Aideed clan so they could not be trusted ahead of time with a pre-arranged rescue plan. Actually the problem wasn't Aspin or the U.N. It was the Chateau Generalship of the modern US Army in ignoring its own history and doctrine to cater to the whims of its political masters.

The measure of an American military leader is his “GO To Hell” or “GOTH” plan. That is, what do you do in case everything else in your plan goes to hell? When all the rules of engagement go out the window because the enemy blew them to hell and you are looking to make sure your force gets out alive. In that test, Gen. Garrison failed hands down.

First, the USMC had a platoon of tanks available off-shore in amphibious ships that could have been quietly landed in Mogadishu (and kept hidden in the Ranger compound for a rescue force) without going all the way to the Pentagon ahead of time. But Gen. Garrison wasn’t going to do that, bad for the Pentagon Budget Wars, you know.

Second, the real place the Crusader artillery gun died wasn't in the hills of Afghanistan nor in the halls of the Pentagon. It was in the streets of Mogadishu. Why should Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld let the Army buy a brand new artillery system when the Army refuses to use the ones it has in the most desperate conditions not once, just in Mogadishu, but twice including Afghanistan?

Not once during the entire Mogadishu engagement was their any indirect fire used to protect the Rangers and Delta. The Ranger’s own organic mortars were in range of the street fighting. So were the mortars and artillery of the 10th Mountain Division. There was a general rule of engagement imposed by the Clinton Administration not to use indirect fire in cities and no one in the American Army chain of command was willing to over rule it, even when the best people in our ground forces were in danger of being over run and killed for 16 hours.

The U.S. Army pays you not only to obey orders, but to know when to disobey them, and live with the career consequences afterwards.

The lives of enlisted men, junior and field grade officers are made for sacrifice in war. The corollary is so too are the careers of flag rank officers. We seem to have another generation, just like the one in Vietnam, of flag ranks without the moral courage to face down their political masters for the sake of their men. Until that attitude is fixed, arguing over how this or that technical toy will make urban combat easier is less than useless.
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Story of a Canadian Terror Master

By Joe Katzman at 00:23

Story of a Canadian Terror Master

Looks like Charles at LGF has twigged to this story in one of my local papers, which details the evolution and activities of a prominent Canadian member of al-Qaeda. Naturally, it's written by Stewart Bell, Canada's top investigative reporter on the subject of terrorism:

"After finishing high school in Ontario, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah became an al-Qaeda terrorist. Now detained in the U.S., the 21-year-old is revealing his secrets: He met with the architects of the World Trade Center and Bali bombings, convinced Osama bin Laden of his worth as an operative and planned several attacks of his own."
As they say in the newspaper business, "read all about it!" Because even if Mohammed Mansour Jabarah werre still in Canada, he would not be the most dangerous Islamic terrorist on our soil.

Until Canada gets serious about this stuff, you Americans really ought to be tightening up our mutual border.

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Rotten to the CAIR

By Joe Katzman at 00:22

This blog has slammed CAIR before as apologists for terrorism - but their conduct at the recent DC "anti-war" rally crossed even that line.

AS LGF and others who watched the rally on TV the other day report, Dr. Ghazi Khaksan, of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), took to the podium near the end of the rally to read a poem packed with criticism of the Bush administration. Near the end of his poem, Khaksan announced:

"I bring to you salaams and greetings from the Mujahadeen at CAIR."
This choice of words is more than curious. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines Mujahadeen as: "a person who wages jihad, Islamic guerilla fighters esp. in the Middle East." In December, top Al Qaeda official Sulaiman Abu Ghaith warned that "The Christian-Jewish alliance will not, God willing, be safe from attacks by the mujahadeen...." and indeed the term is used frequently by Islamofascist terrorists of all types. It does not, to my knowledge, have other meanings - certainly none that are popularly understood.

It would appear that CAIR is continuing its drift toward open support of terrorism and hostility to the USA, a road well traveled by other Islamist organizations like the American Muslim Council. Our best weapon in response is continued, focused, critical publicity. Happy to do my bit here... please spread the word.

N.B. Other moments of note from this rally included Imam Mousa Masjid Al-Islam stepping up to the podium, to lead the crowd in multiple chants of "Alhaam hu Akhbar." That the crowd actually went along with this tells you everything you need to know about the current state of the Left.
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MILTECH: From UAVs to "Throwbots"

By Joe Katzman at 00:21

In Friday's "Send in the Droids" piece, Trent Telenko noted advances in flying UAVs (the famous Predator drone is a UAV), including the possibility of portable micro-UAVs that could be carried by individual soldiers.

His work strengthens a strong tradition here at Winds of Change.NET, where we've been covering this subject since June 2002. See our coverage of Urban Warfare, the "Two New UAVs (robot planes)" article re: the X-45 UCAV and Sentry Owl, and the August 4GW: UAVs and Entomopters piece on some of the research into smaller systems.

Like Trent, I believe that larger UAVs will play important roles in future warfare. The Israelis have already come to this conclusion, as has the U.S. Army, whose current "Future Combat System: Battle Brigade Construct" includes a "Robot Assault Team" (see pg. 10 of this presentation)." Still, I'm particularly excited about the role of UAVs that can be carried by individual soldiers. Urban warfare is an unmistakable trend, and its tendency to produce high casualties means that we can expect our enemies to employ it frequently in the years ahead. A combination of expendable robots, simple communications systems (vid. ISRs from the 1998 "Urban Warrior" exercise), and proper doctrine can go a long way toward evening the odds - or even reversing them in our favour.

All great stuff. Now... what if entomopters and mini-UAVs aren't the best answer for close-in urban combat? I can see real limitations, myself, and both technologies are admittedly longer-range prospects. What have we got right now? What have we got that's cheaper?

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read the rest! »

Windtalkings, 2003-01-20

By Joe Katzman at 00:17

Here's some interesting stuff I've come across lately:

  • Photodude notes that the music industry wants all ISPs to pay them a fee, which they could then pass on to all their customers. The arrogance of these people truly knows no limits.

  • Speaking of clueless arrogance, Scrappleface reports that Sheryl Crow's comments have been taken to heart, and the USA has decided not to have enemies. So glad that's settled now.

  • In contrast, take this leftist journalist, who wrote: "Who, you may be asking incredulously, would want their country to be bombed? What would make people want to risk their children being blown to pieces? I thought this too until, last October, I spent a month as a journalist seeing the reality of life under Saddam Hussein." Read it.

  • Bala Ambati wonders "...where are moderate Muslims protesting the actions of Islamic fundamentalists with "Not in our name" banners or "No blood for Qur'an"? (We have one here, and this blog is his sign... wish there were more.) Bala is apparently an opthamologist of no small water - no idea where he finds the time to write, but I'm glad he does.

  • Kevin at LazyPundit has some very interesting thoughts on the reasons Bush and his team went along with the U.N. weapons inspectors: to safeguard the U.S. buildup in the area. Bill Quick at DailyPundit disagrees, Kevin responds, and it all makes for a very interesting debate.

  • Meanwhile, recent cooperation between the inspectors and Western intellncies appeas to have uncovered something more significant than the chemical warhads. It may be evidence that Saddam has been pursuing a nuclear program despite Iraq's formal oficial denials to the U.N. CPO Sparkey over at Sgt Stryker has the link.

  • Are Black Republicans just window dressing? If these stories are true, this is shameful... and this response is, if anything, worse. There are unquestionably racists in both American parties, and the Democrat kind are certainly more vocal. None of this removes the onus on the Republicans to deal with inexcusable crap like this in their midst. If the response alone is true, someone in the California Republican Party deserves a serious ass-kicking.

  • I knew my praise of Christopher Hitchens would come with consequences. Seems the leftist Zorro also has a growing respect for the right. Hitchens even has some tongue-in-cheek suggestions re: how his opponents could keep that momentum going.

  • Last week's self-contradiction award goes to TIME Magazine, for an article in its pages about "America's Ultra-Secret Weapon" - High Powered Microwaves (HPMs) that can fry electronics. Guess it isn't ultra-secret now, is it? (Hat Tip: Watch/, Randall Parker)

  • In other lighter fare, Charles at Little Green Footballs had to explain publicly that his bit about an Arab League protest of Israeli Ilan Ramon's recent space voyage was a gag. Somehow, the inclusion of the term "atomic wedgies" in the "report" failed to clue some people in.

  • One thing's for damn sure... this flight has zero chance of having Islamic terrorists get on with concealed weapons. Actually, they'd probably be religiously forbidden to get on, period. Who knew the solution to terrorism in the skies was so simple, and so cheap?

  • It's COLD up here in Ontario! But Andrew Sullivan has some relevant poetry to ease your mind.

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Monday Daily Winds

By Joe Katzman at 00:16

We don't often post articles on Sundays, but Adil "Muslimpundit" Farooq made a righteous exception. He lives in the UK, you see, and having Taliban terrorists granted immigration asylum right after fighting British soldiers doesn't exactly sit well. It's an insult as a moral Muslim, and injury as a British citizen. As another famous Brit used to put it: "we are not amused!"

Thinking happier thoughts... you know what I'm most looking forward to when the programming resources free up and we move this blog to Movavble Type? The Comments section. Been wanting to have one for a long time, but the external systems are just too damn slow.

Many of you have been hearing from us for a while now... and one day very soon, we're going to start hearing from you and tapping some of your intelligence. I'd like that.

Today's Blogs:
  * Windtalkings, 2003-01-20
  * MILTECH: From UAVs to "Throwbots"
  * Rotten to the CAIR
  * Story of a Canadian Terror Master
  * Fight Night: Joe vs. Trent on the American Way of Urban Combat
  * Iraq: The Trap is Sprung!
  * The Coastal Commission and Bureaucracy

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January 19, 2003

Taliban: Destination UK

By Adil at 15:20

Imagine that you are somebody who has fought for the Taliban forces in the rugged, dusty hills of Afghanistan against American and British forces. After the fall of Kabul, you decide to leave for Britain where you intend to apply for asylum. Once in Britain, permission is granted for you to stay, and you are let loose into the country, with the help of legal aid - thanks to those kind British taxpayers:

Lawyers representing the 32-year-old fighter have disclosed that the Home Office has given him permission to stay after accepting that his life would be at risk if he returned to Afghanistan.

It is the first known case of a Taliban soldier being granted asylum in this country. The disclosure last night sparked outrage and raised concerns that the successful application may open the doors to hundreds of other similar requests.

More and more, it seems the Home Office has gone quite mad.
Nick Bourne, the leader of the Conservative Group in the Welsh Assembly, intends to raise the case with David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. "This is an extraordinary kick in the teeth for our troops," he said.

"I think most people would agree that anyone who has fought against Britain and our allies should not be granted asylum."

How does a Taliban fighter reconcile what he has done in the recent past - in this case, actively fighting against British troops - with a decision to apply for permission to stay in the lands of the infidels, the very target of his venomous hatred?

Is it out of repentance? No, because humiliated and defeated fighters in retreat - Taliban or otherwise - are not stupid. The strength of the application for asylum lies in that claim that this Taliban lunatic is escaping from reprisals back home - in which case, repentance is more likely to be a tactical ploy rather than genuine. But why did he choose to come halfway around the world to Britain? Says The Economist:

[S]uspected terrorists whose claims for asylum are rejected cannot be returned to their home country if it is deemed they would be at risk there. They can be deported to a third country but, not surprisingly, few want to take them in. Then the only option is detention. But the authorities are eager not to repeat the mistakes they made in Northern Ireland—where widespread internment without trial inflamed Catholic sentiment—by appearing to target Muslim men.
In other words, our Taliban fighter travels to Britain precisely because of his contempt for British infidels in particular. When the Brits are not seen to be forthright with returning Taliban fighters whence they came, that breeds contempt for a pathetic British policy, not respect. How else would a Taliban fighter justify his action to apply for asylum to like-minded colleagues? It is crucial to understanding Islamic fundamentalism that it is primarily sustained by intense peer pressure, which tends to translate into reinforced opportunism - certainly not genuine penitence from past sins - a fact that seems to be little understood in the Home Office. And there is certainly no absence of groups that take advantage of this appalling lack of British bluntness towards Islamist capacity to incite and justify violence elsewhere without having to say it explicitly to members.

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  • Bridget E, London: Eek! I don't want to run into one of these read more
  • anon1: We don't want Islamofascists down under, despite what The Greens read more
  • dave: I think they call it Australia read more

Sunday Shenanigans

By Adil at 14:12

Sunday Shenanigans

Today's Blogs:
  * Taliban: Destination UK

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January 18, 2003

Anthrax as a Cure

By Joe Katzman at 21:55

Anthrax as a Cure for Leukemia?

Well, it can't be any crazier than the idea of botulinum as a solution to skin-care woes. Noah Shachtman's excellent "Defense Tech" blog has the story.

The greatest warrior is the one who turns an enemy into a friend. Human ingenuity continues to astound me.

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Quantum Cryptography: Can You See the Light?

By Joe Katzman at 13:16

This week, both ZDNet and WIRED carried reports about a small breakthrough at Northwestern University. Scientists there say they have harnessed the properties of light to encrypt information into code, using approaches that are a signifiant advance over previous 'single photon' encoding models.

"What makes the system so secure is that an eavesdropper can't tap into it without disturbing the photons," said Paul Kwiat, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a leading authority on quantum cryptography. "If an eavesdropper disturbs the photons, then they're gone."

The implications for military and intelligence use are obvious. So are the implications for both terrorists/criminal syndicates and for freedom as the technologies involved become cheaper and cheaper. Which makes this a development worth keeping an eye on.

That said, Quantum cryptography still suffers from one major limitation. As it stands today, all quantum cryptography techniques only work over dedicated fiber-optic lines -- not over the Internet -- between less than 90 kilometers apart.

Research continues.

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Sufi Wisdom: Let Love Rule

By Joe Katzman at 12:50

As militant Islam does its level best to discredit the religion, it's important to remember that there are other voices within the faith. One such is the Sufis, the Islamic mystics who live islam (submission), iman (faith) and ishan (awareness of G-d, "to act beautifully").

The Wahhabi hate them, of course, which constitutes an endorsement in my books. The great poet Rumi was a Sufi, and so were many other figures of religious and cultural significance. I've come to appreciate the Sufis for their poetry, their humour, and their body of wisdom. Every Shabbat, therefore, I will be sharing some of that via my Blog. This one comes from Ahmad Hatif:

"Let the eye of your heart be opened that you may see the spirit and behold invisible things.

If you set your face toward the region where love reigns, you will see the whole universe laid out as a rose garden. What you see, your heart will wish to have, and what your heart seeks to possess, that you will see. If you penetrate to the middle of each mote in the sunbeams, you will find a sun within.

Give all that you possess to Love. If your spirit is dissolved in the flames of Love, you will see that Love is the alchemy for spirit.

You will journey beyond the narrow limitations of time and place and will pass into the infinite spaces of the Divine World, What ear has not heard, that you will hear, and what no eye has seen, you shall behold. Finally, you shall be brought to that high Abode, where you will see One only, beyond the world and all worldly creatures. To the One you shall devote the love of both heart and soul until, with the eye that knows no doubt, you will see plainly that "One is and there is nothing save God alone."

For in-depth philosophical exploration of these concepts from a less mystical point of view, you might try this essay, whuich references Hatif's words in the process.
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Broadband Pop Sociology

By Trent Telenko at 11:11

I originally wrote the following to Jerry Pournelle and a version of it was posted on his site. In keeping with Joe's site theme of "No bad news" on Saturday, I think folks will find this both amusing and thought provoking.

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January 18: Shabbat Shalom!

By Joe Katzman at 02:32

As many of you know, Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. In that spirit, my weekend posts to this blog will always be "good news". I will share Sufi wisdom, highlight the acts of good and decent people, laugh at humourous events, and point to amazing discoveries that could benefit humanity.

Other blogging days may include these things as well, but today I seek to fill my entire day with that. This provides a necessary and important break from current events, which by nature are often dark. Unless I can stop to acknowledge the other side of the coin and see the light also, my perspective and analysis will inevitably become flawed.

If you do have a hankering for our standard fare, I recommend yesterday's extensive daily contents - including some excellent late additions.

Today's Blogs:
  * Broadband Pop Sociology
  * Sufi Wisdom of the Week: Let Love Rule
  * Quantum Cryptography: Can You See the Light?
  * Anthrax as a Cure for Leukemia?

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January 17, 2003

Gaming the Invasion of Iraq -- A Thought Experiment

By Trent Telenko at 20:14

Steven Den Beste is saying that Late January/Early February looks very good as a date for kicking off operations in Iraq.

After reading the media reports on our deployments, I tried to view them in this manner:

1st Strategic Echelon

2-3 Heavy Divisions,
1 Air mobile division (+) [Including British Air Assault Brigade]

Reserve, 1st Strategic Echelon
1 Marine Division (-) on ships

2nd Strategic Echelon

2-3 Heavy divisions [Including British 7th Armored Brigade]
1 Light Division (+) [Including Canadians and French?]

Reserve, 2nd Strategic Echelon
1 Marine Division (-)

The second American strategic echelon is in the deployment pipeline to the Iraqi Theater of Operations with date certain arrivals. Both the reserves and the 2nd echelon are beyond the reach of Saddam's WMD. The American 1st echelon will be in place by Jan. 28th

We have every military incentive to kick off the 1st echelon attack before the 2nd echelon starts debarking at Kuwaiti ports and airfields because of the threat of Iraqi Scud/Frog/multiple rocket launcher delivered weapons of mass destruction, primarily persistent nerve agents, mustard gas and possibly anthrax.

Airmobile forces and Marine AAV-7's mean we can take Iraqi river obstacles nearly in stride with combat forces. And those light/marine infantry units are now armed with Javelins for dealing with tanks. They will also have top cover from loitering B-1 and B-52 heavy bombers carrying Sensor Fuzed Weapons fitted with Wind Corrected Munition Dispensers and AH-64 Longbow Apaches flying in close support to prevent "A Bridge Too Far" from happening.

Remember, bridges are for combat service support (CSS). That is, bullets, bombs, food and fuel for advancing forces that must go by truck. And how much of CSS will be needed in the event of an Iraqi collapse outside Baghdad is the real issue. The biggest Iraqi threats are the chemical armed multiple rocket launchers, Frogs and Scuds in the hands of Saddam's regime protective forces -- particularly the first in a 'Siege of Baghdad' scenario.

When we will kick off is as much keyed on the results of our psychological warfare campaign and other special operations, as it is CSS. We will go if and when we think we can get someone to shoot Saddam by moving with our forces. Or if we get lucky and can nail Saddam ourselves. That could be tomorrow or it could be six months from now.

We are playing for high stakes with Iraqi WMD. Their capture and neutralization is the highest priority, followed by the capture of Saddam's files for intelligence exploitation. The Bush Administration is playing to win big, not to fight as soon as it can in order to show manly chest hair to the Arab Street, the Western Media, or its own conservative Republican base.

Given the course of our psychological warfare campaign to date, I see Bush and Blair demanding another U.N. use of force authorization vote after the American state of the union address. The point of which is to utterly destroy any hope in Saddam's inner circle that the usual suspects (France, Russia, China, Arab states) can in any way affect the American "Hammer of God" about to fall on them. So their choice become a) Fight and Die for Saddam, b) Shoot Saddam now and get a good deal from the Americans, or c) Shoot Saddam later and get almost nothing from the Americans.

You all know which choice the Bush Administration wants Saddam's inner circle to take.
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MILTECH: Send in the 'Droids

By Trent Telenko at 19:21

One of the on-line magazines I frequent to get the latest in military technology is the Journal of Electronic Defense. The Jan. 2003 issue has a corker of an article on the development of Killer UAVs. The article (registration is required) is titled The Robot's Got Your Back by Brendan P. Rivers.

Here is the passage that grabbed my attention:

"An even more ambitious UAV-based SEAD program, however, is already underway: the Loitering Electronic Warfare Killer (LEWK) advanced-technology concept demonstrator (ACTD), a program involving all four US military services (with the Air Force serving as the lead). Begun in 2001, the LEWK ACTD seeks to develop a UAV with the ability to deliver precision-guided munitions - in this case, BLU-108 sensor-fuzed weapons - and provide a jamming capability to augment the EA-6B Prowler, all at a unit cost of about $100,000. For the ACTD, the LEWK will be deployed from a CH-53 helicopter, but the plan is to eventually get the UAV certified on a fighter aircraft. The idea is to have LEWKs, pre-programmed with target points as determined by the enemy's electronic order of battle, carried into a threat zone by a manned aircraft and released. The LEWKs would then fly in close to their targets for stand-in jamming and fly pre-programmed egress routes to a recovery point upon completion of the mission. In addition, the LEWK would provide an additional capability to strike time-critical targets that may pop up in the area. "If there's a time-critical target out there and we can meet the rules of engagement by employing the BLU-108s, we'll do that," said Col John Wilcox, US Air Force.

Again, the benefit to employing a UAV for this type of mission is the aircraft's persistence. "Putting a LEWK on a fighter that goes in at 500 knots and dropping it allows the LEWK to use all its fuel on station, rather than traveling to and from the site of interest," Wilcox said. The flight from Mazar-e-Sharif, for example, would take an average UAV three hours. The LEWK, Wilcox pointed out, gets there more quickly and can loiter longer.

But the LEWK ACTD is even more ambitious. Although the initial flights under the program have focused on controlling a single LEWK, Wilcox said, "We plan to have a swarm of LEWKs. We want to have one pilot and 50 LEWKs." Employing a swarm of UAVs, though, presents some challenges. Deploying the swarm requires a lot more carriage capacity than a fighter possesses, so a rack has been developed that could carry 18 LEWKs, with designs in place for a rack that could carry as many as 24. Controlling the swarm poses yet another challenge. The pilot, he said, could be anywhere - in a ground-control station, in an EA-6B - so long as he's got the laptop-based control system and a datalink. But Wilcox explained that the swarm concept is still a little way off. "We're going to crawl before we walk and walk before we run," he said. "After we get through one guy controlling one LEWK, we'll probably go to one guy controlling two LEWKs, then one guy controlling six LEWKs and see where we go from there." This isn't so different from the way manned aircraft are handled, Wilcox noted. "A lot of times manned platforms abort, and we have to retask other fighters and bombers to pick up their targets. It would be the same thing with LEWKs," he said."

So there you have it. America is looking to automate the control of armed UAVs such that swarms of them can be used by a single controller to hunt down and kill enemy air defenses, or any other military target.

The real mind bender is when this swarm control technology is mated to emerging micro-UAV technology in the law enforcement and paramilitary role to control large urban populations.

But that is the subject of another post here on Winds of Change.

Stay tuned.
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Silence from Amnesty & Human Rights Watch

By Celeste at 15:53

I know this sort of stuff is probably getting old, but where are Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International on the

"systematic cannibalism, rape, torture and killing by rebels in a campaign of atrocities against civilians in the forests of northeast Congo, with children among the victims"?
I've visited both sites, and the most recent documents I can find with the search term 'congo' are from December. Is forced cannibalism not a human rights concern?

The UN investigative team has confirmed a list of atrocities that read like a Brett Easton Ellis novel:

  • the removal and consumption of hearts of infants,
  • small girls killed and mutilated,
  • people executed before their families
  • the rape of small children
  • cannibalism and forced cannibalism, including people made by rebels to eat members of their own family
I haven't found a single statement from either organization condemning such evil.
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Armed Liberal: My Thoughts on Iraq

By Armed Liberal at 13:35

This is an expansion of a piece I recently did at Armed Liberal.

I haven’t published much of anything about Iraq, although I’ve written a bunch about it and thrown it away. Most of what I’ve written has represented my own confusion about there I stand, and while honesty is a good thing, simply standing up and saying “I’m confused” seemed like a waste of my time and yours.

But I saw something the other day over at Oliver Willis’ place that made me sit up and think and finally brought me to some clarity.

It was an article in Newsday, suggesting that members of the Administration have floated a plan to take and sell Iraqi oil to pay the costs of the invasion. ‘Spoils of war” they call it.
Now I don’t doubt that someone has floated this as a concept, but I’m also a little dubious about whether it has been adopted as U.S. policy. I Googled it, and find the same story – literally, the same story, by Knute Royce, republished in three places – Newsday, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Gulf News in the UAE. Googling Knute Royce I see that he’s apparently a two-time Pulitzer winner and the Washington D.C. correspondent for Newdsay, so he’s a credible guy. My jury's still out on this one. But even if we don’t just take the oil as ‘reparations’ for our costs of invading, we’re apparently looking hard at the impacts on the energy economy. The Guardian has an article:

A model for the carve-up of Iraq's oil industry was presented in September by Ariel Cohen of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, which has close links to the Bush administration.
In The Future of a Post-Saddam Iraq: A Blueprint for American Involvement, Cohen strikes a similar note to Chalabi, putting forward a road map for the privatisation of Iraq's nationalised oil industry, and warning that France, Russia and China were likely to find that a new INC-led government would not honour their oil contracts.
I’m not putting on my “No Blood For Oil” t-shirt yet, but thinking about this brought some small clarity to my thoughts, and I realized just what it is that I think we’re doing wrong.

There are (at least) two issues at stake in our approach to the Middle East.

The first is that we (the industrial West) have profited quite substantially from Middle Eastern oil; our trading partners there have profited as well, but the profits haven’t built economies and societies that offer much to the average person. In fact, in an effort to ly keep their hands on the wealth that oil produces, these countries tend to be ruled by oppressive despots.

The second issue is that in no small part in response to the dysfunctional societies that have been built and maintained with our oil money, a culture has emerged which is virulently anti-Western; it combines the anti-Western Romantic intellectual strains that flowered in the 60’s and became intellectual commonplaces in the 90’s with traditions in Muslim history of conflict with the West. The despotic rules of the Middle East have supported these movements as a way of defusing the internal political pressure for reform.

This second issue, funded by the profits of the first, has emerged as a chronic, low-level war that has most dramatically shown itself on 9/11, but has cost thousands of lives over the last decade in less-dramatic attacks.

This second issue is a genuine threat to us, and to our allies in the West, as the hate and frustration has built to the point where it is being and will continue to be acted upon. In addition, the people who are forced to live in religious dictatorships in Islamist countries suffer (note that not all Islamic countries are religious dictatorships or post aggressive threats to the West).

This problem is in no small part of our (again, the West’s) making; we traded freedom for stability in the region in order to have secure and compliant trading partners. But having had a role in raising a psychopath doesn’t mean we should let ourselves be attacked by him as a way of assuaging our guilt.

I am coming to believe that the fight is inevitable. The rage that has grown in the Middle East won’t burn itself out, and the opportunities for reform are too few to deny it fuel.

If we are going to fight, we have a clear choice; we can fight to secure a supply of affordable oil, and to intimidate the other countries in the region into maintaining our supply of cheap oil; or we can fight to dismantle the social structures that our oil money and their dictators have created and attempt to free the people who have been forced to live hopeless, squalid lives. The first may come as a consequence of the second, but the second will never come as a consequence of the first. If we can help create stable societies in the Middle East, they will most likely be good trading partners. If we create good trading partners, they will most likely have to continue the repression that fuels their population’s hopelessness and rage.

There’s a bunch of issues collapsed into that paragraph that will require substantial discussion and explanation…at a later time.

Right now, I want to focus on one thing; that if we’re going to do this, we need to do it for the right reasons, or at least for reasons that aren’t transparently wrong.

If we are going to invade Iraq, we need to make two public and firm commitments:

1) We aren’t in it for the oil. Not in the short run, anyway. A prosperous, stable Middle East would doubtless want to sell and exploit their natural resources. We’d want to buy them. Sounds like a deal could be made. But planning now for our own version of ‘crony capitalism’ stinks, and it is already costing us much of our credibility and moral leadership.

2) We’re in this for the long haul. We don’t get to ‘declare victory and go home’ when the going gets tough, elections are near, or TV shows pictures of the inevitable suffering that war causes. The Marshall Plan is a bad example, because the Europe that had been devastated by war had the commercial and entrepreneurial culture that simply needed stuff and money to get restarted. And while we’re damn good with stuff and money, this is going to take much more, and we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves, work, and be willing to sweat with this for some time.

There are no good examples of this that I can think of in history. The postwar reconstruction of Japan comes the closest, and it’s not necessarily a good example, because the Japanese by WWII were a coherent, unified, hierarchical society that could be changed by fiat from the top. I don’t think that Germany is a good example, because once we de-Nazified, there was some tradition of liberal politics to work with. The Robert Kaplan-esque world we’re moving toward doesn’t have any of that.

3) We need to make a grand moral gesture to make it clear to the world that 1) isn’t the case. ly, I think that it needs to come both from the American people and businesses, from our government.

I think the whole anti-SUV thing is a good place to start. It’s an incredibly powerful symbol to the rest of the world that we’re killing people in Iraq so we can buy Hummers, Excursions, and Suburbans. I don’t believe it should be legislated, I don’t believe they should be banned, but I think that we should each examine what we’re willing to give up to play our part in changing the world so that 9/11 is an aberration.

I do think that on a national level, we should talk about moving toward taxing energy to encourage efficiency; there are a lot of arguments about this, but I’ll make a simple one: we can buy energy from outside our economy, or we can buy ingenuity and products that save it from within it. Which one leads to jobs?

I’m not one of the liberals who has a vision of essentially 19th Century village life as the way we all should live. That goal is of people who have an essentially abstemious belief set, and see a frugal life as it’s own reward. I don’t believe that sacrifice and frugality are in themselves character-building or good moral values. I do believe that sacrifice in the name of a goal is a good thing, and that frugality in the name of building a better future is something we could all use.

So if the Democrats want a response to the war, here it is:

1) We won’t take Iraqi oil as booty;
2) We will work to wean ourselves from Middle Eastern oil through efficiency and domestic sources (but this time, unlike the Alaska pipeline, we won’t lie to Congress and the people and go sell the oil to Japan)
3) We’re in this for the duration.

If we can’t answer all three as a solid “yes”, we shouldn’t go. We should just close out eyes, hunker down and hoep for the best.

If we can, we should. We’re in a fight, and wishing it away won’t make it disappear.
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Zimbabwe and liberal guilt

By Armed Liberal at 12:58

Zimbabwe and liberal guilt.

Today's L.A. Times has a laudatory article about land seizures in Zimbabwe.

They miss more than a few things, however, including the brutality aimed at stealing elections and terrorizing the white minority; the allocation of choice land to cronies of Zimbabwe's despot Mugabe; the fact that the agricultural economy of Zimbabwe has collapsed and that the country faces starvation; and, finally, a growing body of work that suggests that real (in both senses of the word) property rights seem to be strongly correlated with development.

Now if you've looked at the history, you'll note that part of the crisis was made in the U.K., who committed to fund a land buyout and apparently has issues.

Even Afrocentric commentators seem appalled.

A key element of my liberal beliefs is that we in the better-off, developed world need to help those who are less well-off become better off. A pervasive sense of guilt that allows us to look at something like the land seizures (which reinforce the notion that property is political booty) warmly isn’t going to get us there.

I have talked about a few things that might…

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Hitchens on De-Nazification

By Joe Katzman at 02:10

Christopher Hitchens is still essentially a Trotskyite leftist. Which is to say, a long way from my point of view. But he has an unusual distinction among leftist commentators - my full respect. When Henry Kissinger was named to the 9/11 investigation commission and Hitch slammed the choice as unconscionable, he got an attentive hearing from me... and upon considering his points, I agreed.

I don't always agree, of course, but I'll always give him a close hearing. Hitch earned it the hard way: with raw moral courage and a laser-sharp pen, battling steadily against evil in front of him and rampant moral cowardice among his colleagues behind. To face one's enemies in combat is one thing. To face one's friends takes rare courage indeed.

So it's no surprise that he should come out with a very worthwhile article on Iraq and what we're up to. One that adds something to the debate about our road ahead in Iraq, and also raises an issue that I told a friend yesterday was coming to our debates: the reassessment of colonialism on both the left and right.

"Barham Salih, the brave gentleman who is currently the elected prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan, told me recently that of the two historic examples of American involvement in "nation-building," he prefers the instance of Germany over Japan. "In Japan too much of the old order was left in place. In Germany there was de-Nazification." This would be more like "revolution from above" or what colonial idealists used to call "the civilizing mission": everything from the education system to the roads. Nobody should underestimate for a second what the magnitude of the task is. But we still persist in employing a clever euphemism, which was designed precisely to obscure that task, and its magnitude, from our gaze."
Remember this as the first shot, folks. As this issue begins to bite in earnest, it will help define our age. And it will not break along traditional left/right lines. More on this issue next week.
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Palestinian Islamists Aren't Nazis

By Joe Katzman at 01:56

Palestinian Islamists Aren't Nazis - But They're Trying

Meanwhile, the IDF has shut down 3 universities on the West Bank. When you read and see what they found there, you'll understand why. Disgusting does not even begin to do this justice, but I guess it all accessorizes nicely with the Osama Bin Laden key chains that are so popular among the "Palestinians" these days.

There will be no peace until the Middle East is de-Nazified, and the organized hatred is stopped cold. Whether this happens the "easy" way or the hard way is up to them.

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Axis of Evil? Oh, Yeah.

By Joe Katzman at 01:52

In case you haven't seen it yet... Read this article about the North Korean gulags, then come back and tell me with a straight face that evil isn't real, and running North Korea.
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Feminism AWOL on IslamLike

By Joe Katzman at 01:52

Feminism AWOL on Islam

Like this is a big surprise to anyone. From an article in the Winter 2003 City Journal:

"You didn't hear much from feminists as it emerged that honor killings by relatives, often either ignored or only lightly punished by authorities, are also commonplace in the Muslim world.... As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists?"
Where, indeed? Lucid and devastating.

(Hat Tip: Terror Watch)

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Letters from Iraq

By Joe Katzman at 00:59

Letters from Iraq

If you haven't yet tuned into "Where's Raed?" - do so. It features a number of letters from someone inside Iraq to an Arab friend outside.

Several other bloggers have looked into this and pronounced it legit. I can't be sure myself, but if its a staged operation it's a pretty good one.

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48 Ways to Wisdom: Way #14 - Written Instructions for Living

By Joe Katzman at 00:58

This is a regular feature on Winds of Change. Every Friday (for Friday evening begins the Jewish Sabbath), we cover one more way to wisdom from Rabbi Noah Weinberg. They're written by an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, but retain their full value no matter what creed you follow. Think of them as a gentle and modern way of sharing almost 6,000 years of accumulated wisdom.

This week's feature encourages Jews to RTOM, or "read the owner's manual":

"All men have an inalienable right" -- straight from the Bible. "Love your neighbor" -- the Bible. Isaiah's vision of peace adorns the United Nations. The biblical sanction to "proclaim freedom throughout the land" is engraved on the Liberty Bell.

You don't need to accept the existence of God to learn these basic lessons. Whether inter relationships, self-awareness, community relations, or environmental concerns -- Torah is the ultimate "owner's manual."

Thanks, Rabbi, but I'm kind of busy over here. Maybe later? Hey, he understands:
"We don't have the patience to get to know ourselves and we want to learn from experience. Many people say: "After I make money, when my business is self-sustaining, then I'll take time out to learn Torah. But I need to experience life a little first."

Three divorces later..."

Uh, point taken.
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Friday Jan. 17: Written Wisdom

By Joe Katzman at 00:50

Yesterday was a corker. The U.N. inspectors actually managed to find some undeclared chemical warheads in Iraq. But you already knew that. Trent says it's evidence that Bush knows what he's doing. Hmm.

If you're interested in military matters at all, however, Trent's in-depth interview with a "Wild Weasel" pilot is a must-read. These are the guys who fly jets over anti-aircraft missile and gun sites, bait them into turning on their radars, then head in for the attack. Not for the faint of heart. Trouble is, the U.S. Air Force has had a lot of this capability stripped away. His piece adds real depth and concrete examples to some of the points made Wednesday by Vandergriff and Coram via "The American Way of War - Good Enough?".

Muslimpundit opened with a substantial post of his own, meanwhile, a broadside right into the pretentions of the ever-deserving Edward Said.

Damn, but I'm proud to be with these folks; and we kicked it up yet another notch today.

Today's Blogs:
  * 48 Ways to Wisdom:
Way #14 - Written Instructions for Living
  * Letters from Iraq
  * Feminism AWOL On Islam
  * Axis of Evil? Oh, Yeah
  * Palestinian Islamists Aren't Nazis - But They're Trying
  * Hitchens on De-Nazification
  * Zimbabwe and Liberal Guilt
  * Armed Liberal on Iraq
  * Congo: Silence From Amnesty & Human Rights Watch
  * MILTECH: Send in the Droids
  * Gaming the Invasion of Iraq: A Thought Experiment
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  • Yehudit: I debunked the "feminism is AWOL on Islam/2rd World abuses read more

January 16, 2003

Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day -- UNMOVIC Finds The Goods

By Trent Telenko at 23:10

It looks like the Inspector Cloueseau wanna-bes of UNMOVIC struck lucky and found found prohibited weapons of mass destruction. Specifically they found 12 empty artillery rocket chemical warheads, most likely for a The BM-21 Grad (Hail) 40-tube 122mm multiple launch rocket system.

The Federation of American Scientists says the following on the Grad:

"The BM-21 fires a "9-ft rocket" with a range of 20,380 meters. Each launch tube is grooved to impart a slow rotary motion to the rocket. However, the rocket is primarily fin-stabilized. This combination of spin- and fin-stabilization ensures closely grouped fire at ranges of up to 16 kilometers. The BM-21 and other 122mm rocket launchers can fire all 122mm rockets designed to fit in Soviet-derived 122mm launchers (including those that can achieve ranges of 30,000 to 36,000 meters). The 122-mm fin-stabilized rockets can deliver Frag-HE, chemical, or incendiary warheads to a range of over 20 kilometers, or the newer HE and cargo rockets out to 30 kilometers. On explosion, the warhead produces a great fragmentation effect and shock wave.

Because of its high volume of fire and large area coverage, the BM-21 is well suited for use against troops in the open, for use in artillery preparations, and for delivery of chemical concentrations. One volley from a BM-21 battalion is 720 rounds. Because these weapons have a large circular area probable (CEP), they are not suited for attacks against point targets."

Make no mistake folks, this is a material breach.The gun is not only smoking, it is red hot.

The UN Report is on Iraqi compliance with weapons of mass destruction inspections is scheduled for 27 Jan. 2003.

George Bush will give his State of the Union Address 28 Jan. 2003.

American popular culture has some lines for this kind of occasion:

"It's a pleasure watching a professional at work." George Peppard in Battle Beyond the Stars after the good guys rented the Robert Vaughn character.

"I love it when a plan all comes together like this!" George Peppard in The A-Team when the good guys won by improbable luck.

"Trust me - I know what I'm doing." The lead character in the vanished Sledgehammer TV show fires a pistol directly at the viewer in the opening credits.

As I pointed out in an earlier post:

The fall and "soft landing" of the Soviet Union were not accidents. They were stage managed in large part by the efforts of the mid-to-senior level national security appointees from the first Bush Administration. Those people now make up Dubya's senior level national security team.

The sign of a master strategist is not only arranging his decision tree so that every result is a victory for him. It is arranging those choices so that his opponents rationally make decisions in their immediate short term interest that support the strategist's master plan for his optimum outcome.

It didn't matter what UNMOVIC did or didn't do as far as the ultimate outcome in Iraq is concerned. Bush was going to remove Saddam's regime. The only question was the ultimate political and military price America would pay for that victory. And how paying it would affect future campaigns in the war. So Bush's people laid out the choices for the U.N. such that being America's unwilling tool was a better thing in the immediate short term for the U.N. than becoming "League of Nations road kill." The same game was played with the Saudis via press stories that spooked them into giving the U.S. military air space access and basing rights in the short term, even if it isn't in House of Saud's interests to see Iraq fall.

Face it folks, the Bushies know what they are doing. (Steven Den Beste has noticed this about the Bush Administration as well.) They are preparing Iraq for a "soft landing" regime change that will remove Saddam and make sure none of his WMD fall into non-American hands.

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When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said

By Adil at 11:48
It is commonly supposed that pursuing knowledge in a systematic, scientific manner is good scholarship. There is an excellent reason for this - the frontiers of human understanding are advanced only by modifying or discarding theories that fail to explain reality in favour of those that do. In other words, it takes a theory to beat a theory. In intellectual circles, this has become the obvious standard against which the quality of scholarship is held. And yet, in some cases, it isn't so obvious. In an important sense, such scholarship is regarded as more valuable in some cultures than in others. In a culture driven by a sense of justice that derives itself from positional authority, as opposed to a rational authority, extending scholarship to its logical conclusions can fraught with problems. Good scholarship does not allow itself to be subordinated to issues of shame and honour – it carries on regardless. But in cultures where the claims of the community against its members take unconditional priority over individuals against the community, the costs of renegade scholarship are considerably greater than the short-term benefits. In other words, works that cross the boundaries of defection exact a very high price. In the U.S., as well as Britain, Middle Eastern Studies seems a culture unto itself. Since the publication of Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient by Edward Said, the study of the Middle East has been driven more by insidiously shaming scholars into harbouring particular viewpoints, rather than analysing the intellectual merits of the subjects under scrutiny. Never has an established academic field so widely degenerated into emulating what is meant to be the remote object of its study. And the recent, albeit timely, advent of Campus Watch reflects an overwhelming need to readdress such unwarranted bias in an era where silencing critics of Said and his followers has become more widely institutionalised ever since the days when Orientalism was first published.
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  • Jason Pappas: A delightful reminder of the absurdity of Edward Said. Kramer's read more
  • Arthur: I never thought so many people could verbally masterbate over read more
  • Margot Pierce: Pokiotherm, You still didnt answer europeans observers "occupation question and read more

Interview with a Weasel Jock – A Retrospective

By Trent Telenko at 07:42

A few years ago, at roughly the time Scott O'Grady's F-16 was shot down in 1995 over Bosnia, I had a long correspondence with a now likely ex-USAF Wild Weasel pilot.

The original e-mails have been lost in a hard disk crash, but I pulled the following from my floppy files, edited it for clarity, and removed a number of professional references to my correspondent. I originally sent this to a mailing list that included Austin Bay, James Dunnigan, Steven Cole and several others from my old Genie Military Round Table community.

While this is dated, I think it useful for two reasons. First, it nails down some of the institutional problems of the USAF’s Fighter Pilot leadership is causing. Second, it lays a stick in the ground against which to judge what has happened in the USAF since then.

I have my own postscript after the interview.

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The Sword That Was Broken

By Joe Katzman at 00:12

Iain Murray, the columnist and blogger better known as "The Edge of England's Sword," has been dismissed from his workplace. His blog was given as cause, even though he had previously been given permission to do it. It's also worthy of note that none of his organization's procedures or policies for discipline were followed in this case.

First things first. Please head over to Iain's blog - especially the tip jar.

Second: as blogging becomes more high profile, this sort of thing is unfortunately something to keep in mind. Blogging has helped some, and hurt others. If you're a blogger, consider both your position and your protection... and secure both.

Finally, Iain, go see a lawyer. From here, it looks like your employers have left themselves open to action on this front. You owe it to yourself to find out for sure, and most lawyers will do the consultation for free.

Best of luck, friend.
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Thursday: Muslimpundit vs. Said

By Joe Katzman at 00:11

I was wondering what Adil's first topic post to Winds of Change.NET would be. Now we know. With a bit of help from Ibn Warraq's exhaustive essay, he takes dead aim at "the pretensions of Edward Said toward... any conceptions of intellectual scholarship."

Don't hold back, Adil. Tell us how you really feel! Meanwhile, looks like someone else has picked up Trent Telenko's brainwave re: North Korea's "Blazing Saddles Defense," and even gone one up on T2.

Today's Blogs:
  * The Sword That Was Broken
  * Interview with a Weasel Jock: A Retrospective
  * When Ibn Warraq met Edward Said
  * UNMOVIC Finds The Goods in Iraq
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January 15, 2003

Rumsfeld Versus North Korea

By Trent Telenko at 23:07

Rumsfeld Versus North Korea, Film at 11!

Run, don't walk to this link.

I'm still rolling with laughter. How can you not like a post with lines like this:

"Unless that option is to starve to death while we watch and laugh, I'm not sure what they're talking about," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at a press conference. "Frankly, I'm getting tired of these retarded Commies. I keep trying to concentrate on the demise of the Iraqis, and then North Korea interrupts my train of thought by screaming, 'Kill us! Kill us horribly!'"

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Welcomes From the Team: Armed Liberal

By Armed Liberal at 01:38

Welcomes From the Team: Armed Liberal

Well, first off my name really isn't 'Armed Liberal', although both of those adjectives usually fit me pretty well.

I've been blogging over at since way back in May of 02, when you had to build your own computers out of sand and tinfoil, (or actually use Blogger which felt like you were doing that). I started, as many did, because of Glenn Reynolds, Ken Layne, and Matt Welch.

I'm joining this blog because my real life is sagging under the demands of a solo blog, and I'm hoping to do fewer better posts and still have time to take care of the boys, work, take care of the cats, take care of the house, and get snuggled by Tenacious G, my wonderful sweetie.

I started blogging because I've struggled for years to figure out how I could vote Green and be a member of the NRA at the same time, and why it was that my head never exploded from containing those two worldviews. And blogging seemed like a way for me to work out my political problems with the help of an unsuspecting public.

Because what I'm trying to do is rope that unsuspecting public into helping me figure out where I ly want to go, politically. Because I think that I'm actually pretty typical, and that the frustrations I feel with the current slicing of the political pie are felt by others as well.

And my goal in writing this stuff is to force myself to try and articulate some of these notions about issues and engage you in trying to bat them back and forth and see if there's anything there.

My core focus is simple: How can we construct a liberal politics that respects individual rights? How can we accomplish liberal goals...helping the poor, improving the environment, equalizing the imbalances of power...without creating a stultifying bureaucratic state? I think it can be done, but I honestly don't know how. And how can we do it in the face of a world where the imbalances within and between societies in power, wealth, and culture are running up against cheap communication, transportation, and weapons.

This is about testing the first assumption and solving the problem. I'm more of a 'root causes' guy than a 'technique' guy; I think we're engaged in a War on Bad Philosophy, and that we'll need to change our worldview as a part of the overall changes that will be necessary to get us through the next fifty years.

Stuff about me: I'm a middle-aged, middle-class guy who lives in the South Bay region of the Los Angeles SMSA. I have an advanced degree in urban economics and planning theory, and have worked in a variety of jobs in a checkered but wildly entertaining career. I'm the proud father of three wonderful sons, the proud ex-husband of two ex-wives, and the owner of too many motorcycles to fit in my garage and not enough shelves for my books.

I'l suggest three of my old posts as introductions:

Why be an Armed Liberal
Romanticism and Terrorism
The War on Bad Philosophy

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Afghanistan: A Bad War for the 'Fighter Pilot Generals'

By Trent Telenko at 01:11

Let's look at what is happening to USAF budget priorities within the American Department of Defense as a result of the Afghanistan campaign.

1) Carriers Forever. The political realities that made the huge investment in large deck carriers pay off in the Afghanistan campaign won't go away. The USAF case for transferring money from the USN at the expense of large deck carriers has been destroyed for the next 10-15 years, A.K.A. when the F22 is being procured and the F35 is being readied for production.

2) B52s forever -- NOT! Two B1s could deliver more JDAM than an entire carrier air wing. And no one believes that the B52 will last until 2040. The performance of the B52 and B1 during the campaign (72% of the ordinance delivered!) has reopened the debate over restarting the B2 production line just as the F22 is about to get on the production line. Odds are we will get more B2s to replace the B52s.

3) C17 production forever. The wings fell off a C141 last year during a refueling and the whole C-141 fleet was grounded pending wing crack inspections and repairs. The C5 transport fleet is averaging less that 60% availability due to various structural design and age issues. The upshot is that the USA *will* build more than 300 C17, not the 200 odd the USAF plans in budget documents. This means the C17's production run will go on for at least the next 10-15 years to replace both the remaining C141 fleet and the C5A fleet. That is, right through the "procurement hump" of the F22 in the USAF budget.

4) Jammers Forever. The 1950s era EA-6B Prowler's wings, like those of the C141 fleet, are wearing out. The Prowler is the primary jammer for any American air campaign. Kosovo showed even stealth aircraft need jammers; so replacing it is more vital than the F22. The Prowler replacement has to operate from carriers, so it will be a F18 variant. And the EA-6B had to be replaced _NOW_. The procurement money for this plane is much higher priority than the F22 at DoD level and it will be built simultaneously with it.

5) Armed UAVs & High Altitude "CAS." The emergence of armed UAVs in Afghanistan, plus the recognition with both UAVs and the bomber fleet that the key feature of modern close air support is the ability to _loiter_, endangers the short legged, manned, air superiority and strike fighters. The A10's big wing that slows it also makes it an outstanding loiter performer. For the price of a single F22, the entire remaining A10 fleet can easily be upgraded with digital data links and smaller 250 lb JDAM bombs (24 plus carried per A10!) to become a high altitude 'close' air support star. For the price of a single F22, scores of Hellfire armed Predator drones can be purchased and modified to carry data links plus 100lb or even 50 lb JDAM bombs.

6) Ground Forces are still needed. The Afghanistan air campaign did not get effective until special forces spotters made it so and the escape of Bin Laden from Tora Bora, and Marine projection of forces to the air field that became Camp Rhino, underlined both the US Army's need for transformation and the USMC's need for the V22 like transport capabilities. Raids on the Army's and USMC's procurement budgets for the F22 just got much harder. And stealing from the US Army's operations budget for heavy forces runs smack dab into the Congressional anti-base closing, it's 'pork in *MY* district,' buzz saw.

7) New tankers and the O&M 'Death Spiral.' The USAF logisticians in the late 1980s overlooked a key point in their insistence on keeping the old 707 airframes in the USAF fleet for the sake of 'commonality.' Now that the old 707 has been retired from airline service around the world due to noise pollution issues. The USAF is finding that part commonality with the _airline fleets_ is far more important than commonality across the _air force fleet_. That is why the oldest 707s are going to be replaced with leased 'KC-767s.' The problem in doing this via the operations and maintenance budget, rather than procuring them (at 30% less cost!) to protect the F22 budget, is that the maintenance 'death spiral' with older planes is really starting to bite.

Ths brings up a major problem for keeping the B52 in service. When the early KC-135 tankers leave the force, so do their 1950s vintage turbojet engines. These engines are the same as those that power the B52. Once all the support costs for those 1950s era engines are placed on the B52 fleet, they will cost more to operate than the B2 with its exotic stealth coatings. The huge support costs for these engine has already forced the USAF's 707 based "Big Safari" recon planes to be reengined. Given the need for bombers, either the B52 will be reengined at the price of several F22s, or more B2s will be bought at the price of several F22s per B2. (It is rumored that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld considers the B2 to be a more of a "Leap Ahead" technology that the F22.)

This will leave the oldest F15 air superiority fighters as the highest cost to operate tactical fighter planes in USAF service when the F22 isn't being produced fast enough to replace them. If the choice is operating two F16 or a single F15, the choice will be to operate two newer F16s to keep the pilots. The structural reduction this will cause in the single mission F15 force will also reduce the total number of F22s built.

8) Missile Defense. The major American military procurement of the 21st century will be the deployment of theater and national missile defenses. The USAF Brass has been actively purging air force advocates of orbital missile defenses (necessary for boost phase ICBM intercepts) and space planes (which would service orbital constellations and be delivery platforms for both spy satellites and kinetic energy weapons) as threat to the F22. This has delayed missile defense, but it is also making the case to military space advocates in Congress that a new military space service, with a non-fighter pilot service culture, is needed. The ability of the US Navy to get a huge piece of the theater and national missile defense budget pie via upgrades to their Aegis cruiser fleet means that the missile defense delay game will get the USAF budget killed.

The Fighter Pilot Generals face the following choice. Either they give up power in the USAF in favor of the service evolving in other directions. Or they are going to see the end of the USAF. There are no other choices open to them. If the USAF brass fights for more than 100-150 F22s, there may be no more USAF.

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Germany's Path to its Present

By Joe Katzman at 00:13

Germany's Path to its Present

Chancellor Schroder may not be the most popular gentleman these days (it's escalated to the point where they're making video games about him now), but he didn't come out of nowhere. Back in July 2002, Norwegian Vegard Valberg briefly drew attention to "the 1968 generation" and its influence on Europe's politics. Looks like he was onto something.

Omaha reporter Geitner Simmons at Regions of Mind points to and excerpts of a very thought provoking article on Germany in The National Interest. Uwe Siemon-Netto believes that three factors have received too little attention in explaining the course of recent political trends in Germany:

  1. The pacifist sentiment rooted in Germany’s modern history.
  2. The effect of the 1968 student rebellion and the Left's 'Long March through the institutions.'
  3. A peculiar German susceptibility to utopian fancy.
Like it or not, Germany is a significant player in Europe. We owe it to ourselves to understand what's driving their politics, even if we don't agree with it. Some useful analysis here - highly recommended.

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  • Benson Mutape: Yes, It seems the 1968 generation in Europe is somehow read more

Parapundit's 2003 PredictionsOn my

By Joe Katzman at 00:13

Parapundit's 2003 Predictions

On my roster of underrated bloggers, one name stands out above the rest. Randall Parker was one of those "uber-commenters" par excellence. He now writes four (yes, 4!) blogs, solo, and somehow manages to fill them with relentlessly intelligent and thought provoking content.

No, I don't know how he does it either.

Today I'll just offer a hat tip, and direct you to the "ParaPundit Predictions for 2003." To go out and be that specific definitely takes los grandes huevos, but I know Randall and so I know that he's thought hard about every single one. Bet he makes you think, too.

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4GW: The American Way of War - Good Enough?

By Joe Katzman at 00:12

Lots of visitors to Trent Telenko's JSOW piece yesterday here at Winds of Change (thanks, Glenn!). Just one more example of how far beyond the rest of the world America's military capabilties are headed.

Now, here's a question for everyone: when it comes to military effectiveness, are technologies like that enough? A recent article in the US Army War College magazine PARAMETERS was clear and unequivocal: No.

It's one of the apparent paradoxes of conflict that technologies can change the nature of battle, but not win wars. Col. John Boyd's insights into that conundrum produced some important thinking, and led to the concept of 4th Generation Warfare (4GW). It doesn't supplant or replace classical views on the subject, but it is an important adaptation that's especially relevant to our current situation.

We ignore his ideas at our peril.

Winds of Change has covered 4GW for a while now (see our Quarterly Archives, conveniently arranged by date and title). Recently, Atlantic Magazine's James Fallows began an Atlantic Unbound email discussion with a couple of Boyd's disciples:

"...a word about each of your books. I was surprised when reading them to find that despite their differences—in approach, tone, length, documentation, official subject—they're really about the same thing: the role of character in military affairs. Robert Coram's biography of John Boyd is about an under-appreciated pioneer in twentieth-century military tactics and strategy. Donald Vandergriff's Path to Victory is about internal changes in Army rules and culture that are at odds with military effectiveness."
Wait a minute! You say. Isn't the American military the envy/terror of the globe? We've covered Vandergriff before; he and Coram have some thoughts on that very question that are worth your time and consideration. With a promise of more to come.

Fallows himself makes some good and valid points about the way American debate about the military has ossified from both sides... which makes this exchange worthy reading regardless of which side of the political fence you hail from.
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Wednesday Contents

By Joe Katzman at 00:12

Wednesday Contents

Another banner day yesterday. From where I sit the content is better, the workload is bearable, and the process is more fun. I wish I had gone to a team blog several months ago, but as my friend Pat Milland always says: "the universe unfolds."

Thanks for reading!

Today's Blogs:
  * 4GW: The American Way of War - Good Enough?
  * Parapundit's 2003 Predictions
  * Germany's Path to its Present
  * Afghanistan & Future USAF Budget Pririties
  * Welcomes From the Team: Armed Liberal

P.S. The promised "Iran and Al-Qaeda" post has been held over a bit; I want to do a bit more research into Persian traditions of statecraft. Any suggestions or links in that area, please email joe {at} windsofchange{.}net.

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January 14, 2003

CIA Blogging? A Little Gossip Might Help...

By Celeste at 12:34

I don't think I'm the first person to suggest this, but I haven't yet seen anyone articulate just how useful weblogs could be for the dissemination of intel information. Right now, this is roughly the way it works: analysts at the CIA and FBI each find out interesting bits of information. Each of them writes a report and sends it on up to their respective superiors. Superior decides wether or not to send it further on, or to act on it, or to share it with anyone else. If superior shares it, the superior at the other agency will decide wether or not its worth passing on. So information travels up the chain in one org and then down the chain in the other before it makes it to someone who would find it useful... and that's if the information even gets shared at all.

The intel community already has a secure intranet, founded with improved access to intel and communications in mind. Blogging software already exists. Wouldn't it be cool if, say, the primary analysts for each country from each of the respective communities got together and had a team weblog?

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  • Joe Katzman: Thanks, David. I've updated the exact link now. read more

What Keeps Britian's Tony Blair Up At Night?

By Joe Katzman at 11:17

British Prime Minister Tony Blair held a press conference the other day whose transcript is worth reading in its entirety. The key excerpt for me:

"...I would never as British Prime Minister send British troops to war unless I thought it was necessary. But there is a direct threat to British national security in the trade in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. And I tell you honestly what my fear is, my fear is that we wake up one day and we find either that one of these dictatorial states has used weapons of mass destruction - and Iraq has done so in the past - and we get sucked into a conflict, with all the devastation that would cause; or alternatively these weapons, which are being traded right round the world at the moment, fall into the hands of these terrorist groups, these fanatics who will stop at absolutely nothing to cause death and destruction on a mass scale. Now that is what I have to worry about.

And I understand of course why people think it is a very remote threat and it is far away and why does it bother us. I tell you every single day I am faced as British Prime Minister with information about how these weapons are proliferating, how states are trying to acquire nuclear capability - states you would not want to have that capability - how chemical and biological weapons are being freely traded by groups and individuals right across the world. Now I simply say to you, it is a matter of time unless we act and take a stand before terrorism and weapons of mass destruction come together, and I regard them as two sides of the same coin. And the reason why Iraq is important is Iraq is the issue around which this has come to have focus."

The press conference also offers a good cross-section of his thoughts about N. Korea, the weapons inspections, and other domestic and international issues.
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"Networkcentric" Death from 20,000

By Trent Telenko at 08:38

"Networkcentric" Death from 20,000 Feet

While cruising the BBS this week end I found a link to a Jan 2003 article on the Air Force Research Laboratory's Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement (AMSTE) Program. The USAF is working with the US Navy to turn global positioning system (GPS) guided munitions like the Raytheon Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) and Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) into killers of Scuds and tanks. The link shows a really impressive picture of a remotely driven M-60 tank with a newly installed "moon roof" from an inert JSOW.

The two money paragraphs from the article:

Under AMSTE, data from multiple airborne ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar sensors are combined to provide weapons with real-time target position updates while in-flight. It is hoped that AMSTE will provide an enhanced but low cost ability to engage moving surface threats from standoff ranges, in all weather, using slightly modified precision-guided munitions. Such a system has particular significance in the theater of emerging 21st century shoot-and-scoot battlefield in any number of third world areas, land or sea.


A month before, two JDAMs, employing UHF anti-jam data links, simultaneously targeted the second and third vehicles within a five-vehicle convoy on the Navy’s desert test range, with both weapons landing within their effective circular error of probability (CEP). The JDAMs tested were slightly modified inert Mk-84 bombs with Raytheon UHF anti-jam data links added. Launched at 20,000 feet from an F-14D, the bombs took under a minute to travel six miles to the target for successful hits. Later the same day, a JSOW, launched from an F/A-18D flying at 30,000 feet and approximately 35 miles from the target and using a link-16 Weapon Data Terminal, traveled for approximately five minutes before scoring a direct hit on a remotely-controlled, maneuvering M-60 tank. Both tests were controlled by an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft, providing real-time target location and maneuvering velocity data gathered from bi-laterated GMTI radar. Northrop Grumman's BAC 1-11 test bed aircraft was also involved, carrying a fourth generation AESA F-35 prototype Global Hawk MP-RTIP radar to provide additional targeting data. Both radars are produced by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (Baltimore, MD).

The bottom line is that the U.S. Military is less than three years, and perhaps as little as six months, away from deploying 1st generation air-to-ground "networkcentric" precision guided munitions using an inexpensive datalink add on to existing GPS guided munitions.

What any one American plane sees with its radar, assuming it has the proper GMTI function, any other aircraft in the same data network can hit day, night, and in any weather. And while our blogging buddy CPO Sparkey has shot down the threat of Iraqi GPS jamming, anyone else who is good enough to do so will have to deal with American link 16 data link and aerial radars to beat this system.

Advantage: America!

N.B. for some rather in-depth explanations re: JDAMs and Jamming, Winds of Change also covered that thread here and here.

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Human Shield Killed in Iraq

By Joe Katzman at 00:01

Occam's Toothbrush reports that a Canadian "human shield" volunteer died in Iraq late last week when his truck flipped along the Baghdad-Basra highway.

In an additional irony, the body is considered "cargo" and therefore cannot be shipped out of the country without going through U.N. clearance due to the sanctions on the Iraqi regime.
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Tuesday Contents: Almost Cut

By Joe Katzman at 00:01

Tuesday Contents: Almost Cut My Hair

Please extend a warm welcome to Winds of Change.NET team member Celeste Bilby, who introduced herself yesterday. Her excellent post today proposes weblogs as a useful tool for the CIA and FBI.... and she ought to know.

Trent Telenko, meanwhile, continues to throw out provocative stuff. His post about North Korea's "Blazing Saddles" Defense rings true, and it's damn funny to boot. Nevertheless, we'd be wise not to underestimate the threats of a foreign leader so bloodthirsty that he's obviously murdered every single hairdresser in his country.

Today's Blogs:
  * Human Shield Killed in Iraq
  * MILTECH: Networkcentric Death from 20,000 Feet
  * What Keeps Britian's Tony Blair Up at Night?
  * CIA Blogging? A Little Gossip Might Help...
  * Gedankenpundit: Go After the Key Idea (IsraPundit post)

P.S. The promised "Iran and Al-Qaeda" post has been held over a bit; I want to do a bit more research into Persian traditions of statecraft. Any suggestions or links in that area, please email joe {at} windsofchange{.}net.

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January 13, 2003

North Korea's "Blazing Saddles" Defense

By Trent Telenko at 18:56

In the Mel Brooks movie "Blazing Saddles" there is a scene where the black sheriff held back a mob intent on lynching him by putting a gun to his own head and yelling "Don't move or I'll shoot the n--r!" The mob, not having an I.Q. higher than your average E.U. diplomat, was held off by that threat as the sheriff retreated off-screen.

I bring this up because that seems to be what James Dunnigan is describing the current North Korea stand off as, in a short piece titled "KOREA: Surrender or We'll Kill Ourselves," over on
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Howdy from the Team: Celeste Bilby

By Celeste at 11:43

Howdy from the Team: Celeste Bilby

I've been asked to tell a little bit about myself to the class as well, although I feel a little intimidated, being in such exalted company. I was born and raised a mormon army brat, and spent most of my growing years in west Germany. My father retired in Virginia, and I graduated high school here, class of 1993. These days, I'm a software tester for AOL (sorry about the membership wars, Trent) but in my slave days, I was a contractor for the intel community. I've worked with the CIA, NRO and NIMA, primarily, writing risk assessments and training materials for the Directorate of Administration, providing technical field support and software testing for the Direcorate of Operations, and with some network engineering and graphics work to boot. It's been a little over two years, but my most recent assignment was with the Near East and South Asia division of the DO.

I was writing risk assessments and helping run a course in Analytical Risk Management over at the DA when Kasi was finally captured, and was still there when some poor nut decided to run the main gates at CIA headquarters and finally come to a stop on the front steps of the old Headquarters building. It was here that I developed a passionate hatred for the standard security philosophy in government, that "it takes an incident." Hardly surprising, given that I was being paid to teach security professionals to stop thinking like that... I didn't have much luck, but I came away with some very clear ideas on what I thought were some of the intel community's weakest points.

Given my inability to keep my mouth shut for political purposes, I had to move to a commercial job, but that made it possible for me to discover Instapundit, start lurking in the comments of Little Green Footballs, and eventually start a weblog of my own. I was mighty flattered when Joe Katzman invited me to join up with Winds of Change.

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Venezuela: The Quiet Crisis

By Joe Katzman at 02:06

The rest of the world doesn't stop just because Iraq and North Korea are on the boil. Venezuela's long-standing troubles under dictator Hugo Chavez have been covered here before, including their relationship to the War on Terror.

As usual, El Sur has the reports you need on the latest developments in this major oil producer. Start reading here, and just keep going.

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Moral Clarity in a A Time of War

By Joe Katzman at 01:44

Sounds like a great idea to me.

"...the classic tradition insists that no aspect of the human condition falls outside the purview of moral reasoning and judgment–including politics. Politics is a human enterprise. Because human beings are creatures of intelligence and free will–because human beings are inescapably moral actors–every human activity, including politics, is subject to moral scrutiny."
We have a war in progress. Iraq looms on the horizon, and surely there is more to come. Rarely in America's history has a moral as well as a practical debate been so necessary. To do that obligation justice, however, it's time to bring back a few lost elements: historically-tested rigor, moral seriousness, and an honest effort to understand the worldview of our American friends.

We'll start with understanding. Steven Den Beste writes very well indeed as an advocate of the Jacksonian tradition in American foreign policy, which bubbles up from national traits that express themselves on more individual levels too.

A basic understanding of and empathy for this mindset is the price of serious admission to the contemporary debate. Without that, any analysis of options and possibilities will be deeply flawed. Worse, the common ground for debate with the main protagonist in this conflict will be close to zero. As Europe is learning the hard way.

For historically-tested rigor and moral seriousness, meanwhile, I recommend Western "Just War Theory" as pursued by serious interlocutors. George Weigel is one such, a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The December 2002 issue of First Things Magazine includes an excellent and clear-eyed discussion of this subject. Weigel states his opinions clearly, sets the context properly, and offers a reader a great many useful things to think about:

"As a tradition of statecraft, the just war argument recognizes that there are circumstances in which the first and most urgent obligation in the face of evil is to stop it. Which means that there are times when waging war is morally necessary to defend the innocent and to promote the minimum conditions of international order. This, I suggest, is one of those times. Grasping that does not require us to be "pagans." It only requires us to be morally serious and politically responsible. Moral seriousness and political responsibility require us to make the effort to "connect the dots" between means and ends."
Unlike many of today's political voices, this is the voice of an adult. On a level, and on a larger historical level, too. Many centuries of politics, empire, debate and bloodshed have gone into the Just War doctrines. They are not obsolete.

Yes, the technology has changed, and these changes may well change the scale and even the nature of acceptable responses in an age where the creation and delivery of megadeath weapons is moving below the threshold of states and armies. What has not changed, however, is the human element. The tools our ancestors developed at such fearful cost are still available today, and offer useful guidance as we choose our path in these dangerous times.

If you're serious about issues of war and peace, Weigel's insights are well worth your time.

UPDATE: Rev. Donald Sensing (formerly Major Donald Sensing, US Army) has also covered this issue and Weigel's article. As usual, he has some pertinent things to say.

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Jan. 13: One For All... And All for One!

By Joe Katzman at 00:46

What a weekend. Trent Telenko's North Korea posts ("...Clinton Knew..." and "What the Defectors Say") garnered substantial attention - and today's post about "North Koreas' Blazing Saddles Defense" seems likely to continue that . If you want to learn more about Trent, his intro. was posted Sunday. Adil "Muslimpundit" Farooq's return also got off to a great start, with a noble and heartfelt introductory post.

To top it all off... Welcome, Armed Liberal! And Celeste Bilby says "howdy" today too.

Our thanks to all who have sent their good wishes and regards. The best is yet to come.

Today's Blogs:
  * Moral Clarity in a Time of War
  * Venezuela: The Quiet Crisis
  * Howdy from the Team: Celeste Bilby
  * North Korea's "Blazing Saddles" Defense

P.S. The promised "Iran and Al-Qaeda" post has been held over a bit; I want to do a bit more research into Persian traditions of statecraft. Any suggestions or links in that area, please email joe {at} windsofchange{.}net.
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January 12, 2003

Another Welcome From The Team: Trent Telenko

By Trent Telenko at 23:04

Another Welcome From The Team: Trent Telenko

Joe asked me, like the rest of our team, to introduce ourselves. I started this as one of Joe’s, and several other blogger’s, "uber-commentator" on defense matters. This is something of a natural for me as a descendent from a multi-generation military family, and then later in my day job is as a US Department of Defense civil servant, a Quality Specialist by trade. I have done acceptance of 2 & ½ and 5-ton trucks at a contractor truck plant in Sealy, Texas since 1994. Sealy is an isolated small town an hour’s drive west of Houston.

I worked in Greenville, Texas, another small Texas town an hour east of Dallas, prior to that. Where I was hired out of the University of Texas El Paso in 1987 as an upward mobility intern. The then E-Systems plant did depot level maintenance on aircraft. In my time there I worked on various transport and specialty aircraft to include one of the 747 "doomsday" planes. Standing on the deck of a plane that can order the end of your world was a life changing moment.

My other career is as a "professional space activist" in various space activism related non-government organizations (NGO). For fun, I am a long time military wargamer. I started at 14 years of age and I have been at it more than 20 years. Which qualifies me for the coveted title of wargame "grognard."

My on-line existence started after the invasion of Kuwait when I joined the General Electric Network for Information Exchange (GENIE) in order to participate in Steven Cole’s "Military Round Table." At the time Steven Cole was the editor of "For Your Eyes Only" (FYEO), the largest military-affairs newsletter in American circulation. I became a regular contributor there and later to Cole’s newsletter. I count James Dunnigan, Al Nofi, Tom Holsinger, and Austin Bay, among others I met there, as friends. (For those who don’t know, FYEO was later sold by Steven Cole to James Dunnigan and became the web site/blog.)

Like all other things on-line, GENIE came to an end when it lost the on-line membership wars to AOL.

I kicked around the web, use-net and several list serves after that until I found the Instapundit blog after 9/11/2001. I branched out across the blogosphere as reader and sometimes commenter until Joe Katzman invited me to join the Winds of Change crew.

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Welcomes From The Team: Adil Farooq

By Adil at 09:53

Joe asked us to use our first posts on Winds of Change.NET for introductions, starting with the reason we're here. A few of you may already be aware of who I am from my blog But it's probably more likely that many don't.

Although my background training is in economics and maths, my interests also extend to history and religion, especially when relating to questions of Islam. Needless to say, the main reason for this interest owes to the resurgence of local and global Islamism that has especially come to light after September 11. I have often encountered strident Islamists in the past, and have increasingly become intrigued by the remarkable power this political ideology wields over its adherents, who otherwise seem to be normal, even rational people. The outward behavioural paradoxes that one frequently observes in these Muslims suggest that Islamism is able to tap into something deep into the behavioural psyche. One of my jobs, as I see it, is not simply to help shed some light on these paradoxes, but, most importantly, to learn from others who know more about this than me. Joining the intrepid Wind of Change.NET team allows me to spend more time exploring this fascinating area.

Another reason for my interest in this immense subject owes to the damning behaviour displayed by a disproportionate number of Muslims in response to September 11, and their ambivalent responses to issues of terrorism towards non-Muslims and the spread of totalitarian ideologies in general. Exploring the implications of such behaviour will be another issue that I hope to learn more about while I am here. By the way, you won't find apologetic tracts unconditionally excusing aspects of Muslim culture here. I find such self-pity to be beneath contempt and irredeemably fallacious; I don't support it, and I don't excuse it. Indeed, my first name*, in Arabic, means "to be just, honest", and my surname means "one who distinguishes between good and evil". Assuredly, they are not pseudonyms. My parents gave me this name in the hope that I would live up to it, and I fully intend to see it through, even if Muslims elsewhere don't. Nothing to me is more sacred.

Welcome back, and thanks for reading!

[*] Contrary to popular opinion in some parts, this doesn't mean I'm from the Balkans. (Yes, I know, I saw that episode of The Simpsons too!)
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January 11, 2003

Attaboy of the Week: No Gas for You!

By Joe Katzman at 12:17

The esteemed Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has been untiring and on the mark in his coverage of the organized culture of hatred infecting the Islamic world. It's vitally important reading for anyone who wants to understand what's really going on.

That said, he's also willing to give credit where it's due:

"A Muslim gas station attendant in Brooklyn sold a can of gasoline to a young Bosnian Muslim man - then watched in disbelief as the young man marched across the street and began splashing the gas on a synagogue. Before this freak could set the synagogue ablaze, the attendant called police; and today he is being hailed as a hero."
I should add that the attendant, Syed Ali, also refused to sell the wacko more gas when he returned. Ali was attacked for that refusal, and when he made it he had no way of being sure the guy wasn't armed as well. All things considered, I'd say that "hero" label has some real merit.
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Sufi Wisdom: Judgment Day

By Joe Katzman at 09:46

As militant Islam does its level best to discredit the religion, it's important to remember that there are other voices within the faith. One such is the Sufis, the Islamic mystics who live islam (submission), iman (faith) and ishan (awareness of G-d, "to act beautifully").

The Wahhabi hate them, of course, which constitutes an endorsement in my books. The great poet Rumi was a Sufi, and so were many other figures of religious and cultural significance. I've come to appreciate the Sufis for their poetry, their humour, and their body of wisdom. Every Shabbos, therefore, I will be sharing some of that via my Blog.

This week's gem comes from al-Ghazzali, via Fadiman & Frager's highly recommended "Essential Sufism". Its contemporary audiences should be obvious:

On the Day of Judgment Allah shall ask the learned men, "What did you do with the knowledge and learning I conferred on you?" They will reply, "We spent it in Your way." Allah shall say "You are liars." And the angels shall also repeat the same charge. Allah shall further say, "You spent it in earning applause, in passing for learned men and seeking praise of the people."

Then Allah shall ask the rich men, "I gave you wealth. What did you do with it?" They will say, "We gifted the riches in Your way." Then Allah and the angels will say, "You are liars, you spent it so the people may call you charitable."

The Allah shall summon those who gave away their lives in the Holy Wars. "How did you spend your life which I gave you?" They will reply, "We sacrificed it in Your path." Allah and the angels will call them liars and say, "You gave away your lives that people might call you brave and style you martyrs."

Ouch. Not to mention the monetary rewards...

al-Ghazzali's historical legacy is somewhat checkered, but in some way it is his very status as a link between Sufiism and orthodox Sunni Islam that makes this quote so interesting in light of today's events.

On a deeper level, it's also a good illustration of the Sufi focus on the cultivation of the correct inner life (haqiqah) as something beyond the foundation of the law (shariah) or even the inner practices of the Sufi (tariqah) as one journeys toward direct spiritual knowing (marifah).
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January 11: Shabbat Shalom!

By Joe Katzman at 09:09

As many of you know, Saturday is the Jewish Sabbath. In that spirit, my weekend posts to this blog will always be "good news". I will share Sufi wisdom, highlight the acts of good and decent people, laugh at humourous events, and point to amazing discoveries that could benefit humanity.

Other blogging days may include these things as well, but today I seek to fill my entire day with that. This provides a necessary and important break from current events, which by nature are often both dark and an incomplete view of the world. To see the deeper trends and the way forward, we must also look elsewhere to remind ourselves what we we are creating, what is possible, and what we truly wish to be.

Today's Blogs:
  * Sufi Wisdom of the Week: Judgment Day
  * "Attaboy" of the Week: No Gas for You!

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January 10, 2003

North Korea: What The Defectors Say..

By Trent Telenko at 21:42

In a Jan. 9th NY TIMES article titled"North Korean Defectors Seek to Pry Open a Closed Land," James Brooke interviews several North Korean defectors for their view on how to end the North Korean Crisis. Their answers were straight forward.

1) An economic blockade by China will bring down the North Korean state.

"When China and Russia stop giving aid, North Korea is bound to halt its nuclear weapons program," said Ma Young Ae, 39, a former counterintelligence agent who now runs a restaurant here with her new South Korean husband.

"Most of the food in Pyongyang is from China," she said, referring to North Korea's capital. "The best way to stop the nuclear program is to stop the aid."

This, BTW, is why Steven Den Beste is wrong about the USA obtaining and using a UN Security Council resolution concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. As was pointed out over on, a Security Council resolution provides both additional motivation and political cover from domestic political factions in foreign countries when the US exercises its raw power. This has been useful in Iraq. And it will be useful in North Korea later, when we need to pressure China.

2) North Korea is a no-trust bureaucratic state that knows it could be vulnerable to a psychological warfare campaign. So they have taken steps to make sure they never become vulnerable.

Ms. Ma urged the Bush administration to flood North Korea with radios equipped with long-lasting batteries that would allow North Koreans to listen to South Korean stations and to Radio Free Asia, which is supported by the United States.

"Radios, tape cassettes, magazines — that's what I mean by cultural penetration," she said.

In North Korea, "all the tape recorders and radio have to be registered," said Ms. Lee, who was a housewife until she left 18 months ago. "At registration, they cut off and solder the tuning dial to make sure you don't have a `free' radio. If you have a cassette player, sometimes the police come to your apartment to check your cassette library."

The problems of no/low trust bureaucratic states facing American information warfare are legion, once there are independent means of contacting the people in those states. has been speculating here, here, here, and here on how it is affecting our Iraqi campaign strategy and execution.

This passage from the third link sticks with me because it is about manipulating the Saudis and the U.N., so we can better arrange the fall of Saddam:

...Recent news stories about Saudi officials' involvement with Al Qaeda terrorists, especially the 9/11 hijackers, should be reconsidered as successful pressure by the U.S. government to achieve its strategic objectives. Qualms about the ability of the Bush Administration in such matters should vanish too, but won't.

The Administration's decision concerning UN weapons inspections should be viewed in light of this demonstrated competence - just doing their job tells us where Saddam's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) aren't. We're using the UN for our own purposes, which includes deception of Saddam Hussein and psychological warfare against his underlings. An ideal American victory would consist of Saddam's assassination before the invasion followed by a relatively bloodless occupation and creation of a US military government to reconstruct Iraq as we did 57 years ago in Germany and Japan. Saudi access makes this feasible - Saddam's henchmen have no chance whatever now and know it.

The fall and "soft landing"** of the Soviet Union were not accidents. They were stage managed in large part by the efforts of the mid-to-senior level national security appointees from the first Bush Administration. Those people now make up Dubya's senior level national security team. If there is a way to arrange a "soft landing" for North Korean, around the "Hermit Kingdom's" controls on information, they are going to take it. Which is a good thing because:

3) The North Koreans are immune to any military threat America makes. The North Koreans have already imagined far worse ones in their own propaganda.

Military pressure, the defectors warned, will have little effect on one of the most militarized societies in the world. In the mid-1990's, during a famine, Ms. Lee recalled, "they had this slogan: `Without the candy bowls, you can still live; but without the bullets, you cannot survive.' "

4) The North Korean defectors don't think much of the illusions that South Korean protestors hold about the North.

Ms. Park said she had no patience with young South Koreans who muse that a North Korean nuclear bomb is really a "Korean bomb."

"That's a 3-year-old kid talking, someone who doesn't know about politics," retorted Ms. Park, whose two sons — a seminarian and a street vendor — are in Seoul.

** “Soft landing” meaning in this case no gas, bugs, or nukes were used by the totalitarians in charge to keep power.

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North Korea: What He

By Joe Katzman at 11:28

North Korea: What He Said...

Who else but the man who puts the "class" in the "classics," Victor Davis Hanson! "Korea Is Not Quite Iraq" is the best thing I've read yet. It doesn't duck, or dissemble, or dismiss the issue. It acknowledges that U.S. actions are not consistent, and that pretending they are serves no-one. Then it makes a convincing case for what we need to do next.

Here's a guy who knows how to think.

I have only 2 questions: (a) how the hell can we find/encourage/train more people like Prof. Hanson? and (b) how can we get them a bigger media platform? The man is worth a division all by himself.

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48 Ways to Wisdom: Way #13 - Think About It

By Joe Katzman at 07:33

This is a regular feature on Winds of Change. Every Friday (for Friday evening begins the Jewish Sabbath), we cover one more way to wisdom from Rabbi Noah Weinberg. These materials come from an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, but are written in such a way that they retain their full value no matter what creed you follow.

Think of it as a gentle and modern way of sharing 5,000+ years of accumulated wisdom.

Way #13 (the Bar Mitzvah!) is about making decisions in ways that avoid both rashness and dithering, as we consider the challenges life places before us:

"The Sages say that whatever you encounter, study it four times. This process is likened to the act of planting - because wisdom is for the soul what food is for the body.
  • Plowing. The first time you go over an idea, try to figure it out. That's "breaking up the soil."
  • Planting. The second time, the idea begins to make sense. You're "putting seeds into the ground," planting it into yourself.
  • Harvesting. The third time, you come to an experiential and intellectual understanding. It's "reaping the wheat."
  • Digesting. The fourth time, you integrate the idea into your life. It "nourishes" your soul and is now part of you.
....With everything you want to achieve - and the short time you have to do so - taking time to deliberate is the best investment you'll ever make."
Rabbi Weinberg then goes on to offer 6 Tools of Deliberation to help you in your efforts. To grasp them, you'll need to read the whole thing.
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Jan. 10: New Faces, Old Wisdom

By Joe Katzman at 07:32

First of all, please welcome Trent Telenko to the Winds of Change team. Trent was one of those "uber-commenters" who consistently sent me good stuff, and I thought it was high time he got a soapbox of his own. Mr. Telenko's specialty is defense technology, but as you'll see he's not averse to posting about wider matters occasionally. See: North Korea: Clinton Knew... And 'Kicked the Can' Anyway. Welcome, Trent!

Today we're restarting our "48 Ways to Wisdom" series, and the weekend will feature the return of our "Sufi Wisdom" series as well. Next week will begin with an essay about Iran and Al-Qaeda.

Today's Blogs:
  * 48 Ways to Wisdom: Way #13 - Think About It
  * North Korea: What He Said...
  * North Korea: What the Defectors Say
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January 9, 2003

North Korea: Clinton Knew...and 'Kicked the Can' Anyway

By Trent Telenko at 22:57

A recent article in INSIGHT magazine, and an op-ed by Michael Kelly on MSNBC, cast extreme doubt on the "conventional wisdom" Josh Marshall and others are pushing on the North Korea crisis.

1) that the Bush Administration blundered on North Korea, and

2) that the “Agreed Framework” of Oct. 21, 1994, was anything other than a cynical exercise in appeasement by the Clinton Administration

The Clinton Administration knew at the time (1994) from NK defectors that the North Koreans had no intention of honoring the 1994 Nuclear Agreement, according to Insight Magazine.

Two key passages from the INSIGHT article:

Publicly, experts disagree about the state of the North Korean nuclear-weapons program. Some estimates indicate that the Kim Jong-il regime could have a nuclear bomb within one year; others say it already has two. However, the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare (TFTUW) issued a report in August 1994 that said of the Agreed Framework, Washington is buying time while maintaining the charade that the DPRK [North Korea] does not have nuclear weapons. Consequently, the United States and its allies have settled into the 'do-nothing-for-now' mode, merely postponing the hour of reckoning." "


The TFTUW report quotes "high-level North Korean defectors," saying that the current leadership in North Korea will not give up nuclear weapons no matter how many agreements it enters into with the United States. One defector, Kang Myong-To, was quoted in the report as saying, "North Korea's nuclear development is not intended as a bargaining chip as seen by the Western world. ... [Pyongyang] sees nuclear development as the only means to maintain Kim Jong-il's regime." Bodansky tells Insight, "Nuclear weapons are the ultimate insurance policy of the ruling elite" in North Korea.

Read the full article for the above passages in context and for how the Clinton Administration made sure those dissenting from the agreement in DoD and State were suppressed.

An op-ed by Micheal Kelly over on MSNBC goes farther in taking down "conventional wisdom."

Kelly states that:

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM tends by its nature to get things wrong, but seldom this wrong and seldom this dangerously wrong. This is wrong to the point of divorce from reality.

The reality, in brief, is as follows (largely taken from reports by the Congressional Research Service, the Federation of American Scientists and the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control):


A 1990 KGB report to the Soviet Central Committee asserted, based on “available data,” that North Korea had “completed” its “first nuclear device” and in 1994, prior to the agreement, the director of the CIA said that the agency believed North Korea had already produced one to two bombs. Current U.S. intelligence assessments are that North Korea has probably produced at least one nuclear weapon.


In October 2002, after years of mounting evidence of North Korean violations, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly confronted North Korea with evidence that it was conducting a clandestine bomb-building program based on a process of enriching uranium. North Korea had begun this program only months after the signing of the 1994 Agreed Framework — and, note, seven years before George Bush called anybody evil. North Korea first denied the truth, then admitted it — and then unilaterally “nullified” the 1994 deal.

We were bound to end up at this point, no matter which president ended up holding the can kicked in 1994. North Korea never had any intention of living up the agreement, and it never did. Eventually, it was going to get caught, and it did.

Bush has reacted as probably any responsible president would. He has refused to back down. Well, what else? Would it be better that he “renegotiate” — that he give North Korea another seven years of bomb-building time?

If memory serves, Clinton's CIA director at the time was James Woolsey.

And please carefully note that the Clinton Administration's opposition to missile defense collapsed after the 1998 NK missile test over Japan. Many at the time attributed it to the accurate predictions of the Rumsfeld Commission on North Korean ballistic missile capabilities. Perhaps there was other knowledge involved, as Insight implied?

It will be interesting how the former Clinton Administration officials Josh Marshall's "always invaluable Nelson Report" mention will answer a line of "What Did you Know And When Did You Know It" questions from Republican Congressmen. Perhaps questions on the subjects of 1994 North Korean Defector reports on the NK nuclear program, the CIA's 1994 and 1998 North Korean nuclear capability and intentions estimates, and what role all three may have had in the Clinton Administration abandoning opposition to a National Ballistic Missile Defense.

Seeing former Clinton Administration officials in open Congressional session answering to those questions under oath will make for great television. Which why I don't expect it to happen.

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Women in War

By Joe Katzman at 19:27

On, Martha Brant writes:

"In my family, women have gone to war for generations. So when I signed up to cover what now seems like an inevitable war with Iraq, my decision did not meet with protest or worry, but, rather, stories..."
Worth a read.

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Maybe He Can Go Back to Peanuts...

By Joe Katzman at 19:25

In the "You Don't Say" category: [German Chancellor] "Schroder's Problems Largely of His Own Making".

"Herr Schroder, under fire over vacillating leadership, strains in his coalition, the row with America and new rumours about his private life, appears to have retreated into sullen silence. No wonder senior figures in his Social Democratic Party (SPD) are asking how and when he can be replaced. "
Tap... Tap... Nope. Sympathy meter still busted.

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We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties...

By Joe Katzman at 15:35

Sorry, folks. MAJOR problems with Blogger.

A (') instead of a (") made a certain post uneditable, and I can't stop it from destroying the next post down. Safe mode did not give me any ability to fix this, and I had no choice but to delete today's postings manually using FTP/HTML editing. Further publishing will have to wait until it's fixed.

I HATE blogger.

UPDATE: Postings wiped and restored now. It was fixable, but only when using safe mode on my Mac at home (IE5). No idea why safe mode in IE6 and Netscape 7 for Windows wouldn't activate the edit tag. And so I join my compatiots Mike (Cold Fury), Charles Johnson (LGF), et. al. in praising my Mac! But the move to MT can't come soon enough for me.

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Jan. 9: Here, There, and Everywhere

By Joe Katzman at 11:16

The team is coming together nicely, and they should be posting their intros on the site soon so you can get to know them. As you'll see, some of them are folks you already know.

Tomorrow I'll restart our "48 Ways to Wisdom" series, and Saturday will feature the return of our "Sufi Wisdom" series as well.

Today's Blogs:
  * Maybe He Can Go Back to Peanuts...
  * Women in War
  * North Korea: Clinton Knew... And 'Kicked the Can' Anyway (Trent Telenko)
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January 8, 2003

Two Towers Thoughts

By Joe Katzman at 02:07

Just saw The Two Towers this past weekend. It was a pretty good movie, even though some of the script changes affected the story's moral core in important (and negative) ways.

On the bright side, the action/effects were tremendous. Gollum was spectacularly done, a watershed in movie-making as the first digital character to convincingly convey emotion. The methods by which the Ents dealt with Isengard was an outstanding improvisation, deeply true to Tolkien the author despite their status as an embellishment. I confess that I also liked the way they handled Arwen, creating a romantic sub-plot that added depth to the movie without getting in the way.

Two thoughts still stick in my mind:

#1: Given how crappy human generals seem to be, it's no wonder the elves hadn't showed up to fight with them for several centuries.

#2: Granted, his questionable tactical commands got most of the elven contingent killed... but if you were Aragorn, wouldn't you have thrown Theoden over the battlement walls after the 3rd time or so he sent you to charge the enemy, then hung you out to dry?

"Kill the Dark Lord and become King." Hold off the orc army while we close the gate behind you." Sheesh. Some guys'll do anything to keep ya from bonking their daughters.

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January 5, 2003

Jan. 5: New Beginnings...

By Joe Katzman at 03:41

You may have noticed a change in this blog's description. This is not an accident. Winds of Change.NET is returning very shortly, with the same focus but an expanded team (and soon a new infrastructure too, thanks to Sekimori).

You'll definitely recognize some of the people on the new team. For instance, Muslimpundit is moving in right here after a long blogging hiatus. Others you'll get to know and appreciate for their expertise in their respective fields. I'll talk about them all once the initial roster is finalized, so I can do a proper introductory post.

The bottom line: I look forward to having them all here. I hope you will, too.

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